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National Sports Awards: Khel Ratna for Sania; Arjuna for Sreejesh

August12/ 2015

World No. 1 doubles tennis player Sania Mirza has been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – the the country’s highest sporting honour – by a 12-member selection committee headed by retired chief justice V.K. Bali here on Tuesday.

She is the first Indian woman to achieve the number one rankings in doubles along with a string of victories in major tournaments, including Wimbledon where she triumphed in the company of  Martina Hingis. Sania also bagged the gold medal and the bronze medal in the mixed and women’s doubles categories of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

Indian hockey team goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh has been selected for the Arjuna Award. The 27-year-old from Kerala is the vice-captain of the team and fashioned India’s triumph in last year’s Asian Games in Incheon. He was also part of the team which won silver in last year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Athlete M.R. Poovamma, boxer Sarita Devi, cricketer Rohit Sharma, kabaddi players M. Abhilash and Manjit Chillar, wrestler Bajrang, and ace shooter Jitu Rai also were chosen for the prestigious award.

The National Sports Awards will be presented by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29, the birth anniversary of hockey legend Dhyan Chand.

Suvra Mukherjee in critical state

August12/ 2015

President Pranab Mukherjee’s wife, Suvra Mukherjee who has been admitted to the Army Hospital (Research and Referral) on Friday evening , is in a “very critical” condition, hospital sources said on Tuesday.

She was suffering from a respiratory problem and was ill for some time. “Her condition is very critical. This is all we can say at this point of time,” a hospital source disclosed.

The president’s wife is a heart patient and has been kept in the intensive care unit.

Cong stalls GST Bill; Jaitley attacks Sonia, Rahul

August12/ 2015

Indian government’s attempts to push through the GST Bill in Rajya Sabha were on Tuesday stalled by the Congress disrupting Rajya Sabha, inviting angry reaction from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who targeted Sonia and Rahul Gandhi saying they were not able to digest election defeat.
When Jaitley got up to move the Bill, Congress members trooped into the well, shouting slogans against the government. Accusing the Congress party of creating obstacles in the path of growth and economy, he declared that government would try to get the bill passed with the help of parties supporting GST through “all correct measures politically and constitutionally”.

“The real purpose is that they want to stall the economic progress of the country. The issue relating to the external affairs minister is merely a pretext. The real reason is that they don’t want the Indian economy to grow and that is why session after session, they have been looking for one pretext or the other to make sure that the GST legislation which will give a boost to India’s GDP and economy, is not passed,” Jaitley said amidst the ruckus. “If the Congress party wants the economy of the country to slow down, when every other political party is in support of it, they must candidly say so. They don’t need any pretext in order to say this,” he added.

Amid stormy scenes and vociferous slogan shouting by Congress members, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said, “This being a Constitution amendment bill, I cannot take up the bill in pandemonium”. He then adjourned the House for the day.

India to organise ‘Make in India’ conference in Australia

August12/ 2015

India has proposed to hold a major ‘Make in India’ conference in @australia in November this year to tap the huge bilateral trade potential. The plans for the conference were discussed during a trade and investment meeting held between Indian High Commissioner Navdeep Suri and Australian trade minister Andrew Robb on the day before yesterday.

The talks were part of discussions on a broad range of issues related to economic ties including Comprehensive Economic Cooperation agreement (CECA). Suri indicated that while there was a strong mutual interest to finalise Free Trade Agreement by end of this year, there was still a lot of work remaining.

Robb said it will have a very strong emphasis on services and investment to support India’s growing manufacturing base.

India is Australia’s 12th largest trading partner and two-way trade between India and Australia is approximately 15 billion Australian dollars.

Marines Case: India challenges Italy’s contentions

August12/ 2015

India has told an international tribunal that the case of two Italian marines, accused of killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala’s coast, comes under its jurisdiction and Italy’s contentions in this regard were “misleading”.
Challenging Italy’s contention that Sergeant Girone has been kept in India as a “hostage”, India said such description is highly inappropriate and offensive and belies the fact that both marines were twice allowed to travel to Italy at the same time.
In its submission before the International Tribunal on Law of the Sea (ITLOS) here, India said the story told by Italy is as “short and straightforward as it is misleading” as the incident took place in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, thus it has full jurisdiction over the Marines Case.

“Marines used automatic weapons without warning and shot in head and stomach of the two fishermen.This case is not covered by Article 97 of  the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea but rather a double murder at sea,” India’s representative submitted before the Tribunal.
Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were on board ship ‘Enrica Lexie’, are accused of killing two Indian fishermen on February 15, 2012.

India requested the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to reject the submissions made by Italy in its request for prescription of provisional measures in the case.


August12/ 2015

Six days after a Pawan Hans chopper went missing, its wreckage was found 11 kilometers away from Khonsa area of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district. However, the three occupants, including a deputy commissioner, are still missing.

Massive search operations for the missing helicopter were carried out by Tirap and Changlang district administration and security forces after the chopper went missing. The chopper was carrying the Deputy Commissioner of Tirap District, Kamlesh Joshi, and two pilots.

The helicopter was on a routine sortie to Longding and was to return to Mohanbari airport in Assam’s Dibrugarh city when the contact was lost. The Air Traffic Control received the last signal from the chopper near Deomali in Tirap, officials said.

Aadhaar Card will be Optional for Availing Social Benefit Schemes

August11/ 2015

The Supreme Court today allowed the Centre to link the Aadhaar card with the public distribution system (PDS) and LPG. But the court made it clear that Aadhaar will not be mandatory for availing any social benefit scheme.

The court said that the government was at liberty to use Aadhaar for PDS, especially distribution of food grains, kerosene oil and LPG with the rider that possession of the card will not be a condition for according benefits. It asked the government to give wide publicity in print and electronic media to let people know that it is not mandatory to obtain Aadhaar card.

The bench also told the Centre that no personal information of Aadhaar card holders shall be shared by the authorities concerned.

Kerala State Awards 2014: honoured real Talents!

August11/ 2015

Minister of state for Forest Transport, Sports, Environment and Cinema Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, announced the Kerala State Awards 2014 here at a press conference on Monday.

This year, as many as 70 Malayalam films were listed among the state award nominations.

Best Film: Jayaraj’s Ottal

Best Director: Sanalkumar Sasidharan forOraalppokkam

Best Actress: Nazriya Nazim for Bangalore Days andOm Shanti Oshana

Best Actor: Nivin Pauly for 1983 and Bangalore Days and Sudhev Nair for My Life Partner

Second Best Actress: Sethu Lakshmi for How Old Are You

Second Best Film: My Life Partner directed by Padmakumar

Best Story: Sidhartha Siva for Ain

Best Screenplay (Original): Anjali Menon for Bangalore Days

Best Screenplay (Adaptation): Ranjith for Njaan

Best Cinematography: Amal Neerad for Iyobinte Pusthakam

Best Music Director: Ramesh Narayanan for White Boys (Song: Aadityakiranangal..)

Best BGM: Bijibal (various films)

Best Child Actor: Adwaith for Ankuram

Best Child Actress: Anna Fathima for Randupenkuttikal

Best Singer (Male): Yesudas (Song: Aadityakiranangal.. Film: White Boys)

Best Singer (Female): Shreya Ghoshal (Song: Vijanathayil Film: How Old Are You)

Best Debut Director: Abrid Shine

Best Lyrisist: O.S. Unnikrishnan for La Sa Gu (Ithrapakalinodu…)

Best Editor: Lijo Paul for Om Shanti Oshana

Best Art Director: Indulal Kaveedu for Njan Ninnodukoodeyundu

Best Live Sound: Sandeeo Kurissery Jijimon Joesph for Oralpokkam

Best Sound Mixing: Harikumar (various films)

Best Sound Design: Thapasnayak for _Iyobinte Pusthakam

Best Make-up Artist: Manoj Angamali for Iyobinte Pusthakam

Best Costume Designer: Sameera Saneesh (varous films)

Best Dubbing Artist (Male): Harishanth for White Bosy

Best Dubbing Artist (Female): Vimmi Mariyam George for (Munnariyippu)

Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value: Om Shanti Oshana directed by Jude Anthony Joseph

Best Children’s Film: Ankuram directed by T. Deepesh

Special Jury Award: Pratap Pothan for Once upon a Time There was a Kallan

Special Jury Mention: M.G. Swarasagar (Singer, Manalchitrangal), Dr George Mathew (Producer, Apothecary), AUPS Chembrassery (Producer, La Sa Gu), Yakzan Gary Pereira, Neha S. Nair (Music Direction, Iyobinte Pusthakam) and Indrans (Actor, Apothecary)

Modi wishes new google firm CEO Sundar Pichai

August11/ 2015

The technology giant co-founder Larry Page announced the formation of a new new parent company ‘Alphabet’, of which Google will be a part. Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended best wishes to Chennai-born Sundar Pichai on becoming the new CEO of Google’s new umbrella firm ‘Alphabet’.

“Congratulations @sundarpichai. My best wishes for the new role at @google,” he tweeted.


Alphabet will house the main Google businesses such as Search, Maps and YouTube, along with separately-managed firms such as Fiber and Nest, as well as investment arms Google Ventures and Capital.

Alphabet Inc will replace Google as the publicly-traded entity and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with all of the same rights.

Pranab Mukherjee Greets Chad on Independence Day

August11/ 2015

President Pranab Mukherjee  today extended Independence Day greetings to Chad.

“Warm greetings and felicitations to Government and people Chad on their Independence Day – President Mukherjee,” the official Twitter account of Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted.

Chad, a landlocked nation in north-central Africa, celebrates its Independence every year on August 11 to commemorate its freedom from France, gained in 1960.