डीडी / एआईआर न्यूज

  • The warmth and bonhomie evident at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo signifies the importance of growth in ties. During first leg of his three nation tour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with President Widodo and underlined importance of boosting diplomatic, trade and economic ties between the two nations. Both the leaders reiterated the need for "free, open, transparent, rule-based, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region" India is exploring new dimensions of development in collaboration with East Asian countries. That is the prime reason behind the Act east Policy initiated by Prime Minister Modi in 2014. During the talks, both sides agreed to set a target to enhnace bilateral trade to 50 billion dollars by 2025. 15 agreements in various fields including defence, science and technological cooperation, railways and health were also signed. These include - Agreement for cooperation in Defence covering regular bilateral dialogue on strategic defence issues, exchange of information, military education and training. - Framework Agreement on exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes - MOU on Technical Cooperation in Railways including capacity building, modernization of rolling stock, signaling, communication system and operations. - MOU between Kite Museum Ahmedabad and Layang Layang, Jakarta for Annual Kite Festivals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the act east policy and S A G A R initiative blends perfectly with similar policies of Indonesia. The two countries have a shared Vision on Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. They emphasized their "collective interests in a prosperous Indo-Pacific region by enhancing connectivity for promoting regional prosperity based on universally recognized international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency, equality and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. Both nations emphasized an expeditious conclusion of ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Agreement. The Prime Minister paid tribute to the martyrs in the Kalibata National Heros Cemetery located in the capital Jakarta. This monument was built in memory of people who died in Indonesia's independence struggle. The Prime Minister expressed deep concern over the growing terror attacks and condemned cowardly terrorists attack in Indonesia. After this, a grand welcome ceremony was held at the presidential palace in the honour of Prime Minister Modi where President Widodo received the Prime Minister. He was given customary guard of honor. Prime Minister also met the children at the Mardaca Palace. Children of both the nations wearing traditional attire were all animated and excited while meeting the prime minister. The bonhomie between PM Modi and President Widodo is testimony to the strong association of the two Asian power houses. Prime Minister Modi's visit to Indonesia has opened a new chapter not only in the bilateral ties of the two countries but also for India's engagement with ASEAN region as a whole. "A prosperous Indo-Pacific region by enhancing connectivity for promoting regional prosperity based on universally recognized international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency, equality and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and in this regard looking forward to the expeditious conclusion of ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Agreement"

  • Jain, who holds the PWD portfolio, is already facing a Central Bureau of Investigation case related to alleged money laundering.   ---Jain is accused of violating norms in hiring architects for the public works department (PWD)   --- The  agency also named then officials of the PWD -- engineer-in-chief S K Srivastava, and others as accused ---CBI raided their homes in addition to 5 other locations ---During a year-long preliminary enquiry, the CBI said it found that Jain had allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy with the officials of the PWD to award the tender to an agency to hire a creative team ---It is alleged that the accused abused their official position to change the terms and conditions of the notice inviting the tender to bring within the eligibility criteria the company, which had no prior experience of such work.   ---accused of violating norms in hiring architects for PWD   --- also names then officials of the PWD -- engineer-in-chief S K Srivastava, and others ---CBI raids homes of accused and 5 other locations ---year-long preliminary enquiry found  irregularities in award of tender to agency ---creative team hired found to have no prior experience of such work

  • The UPA may have gone out of power 4 years ago, but details of scams during its regime continue to surface at regular intervals. While on the one hand the CBI is fast progressing into investigations of Air Asia flouting regulations and bribing ministers, the threat of arrest seems to be looming large over former Finance Minister P ChidambaraM in the Aircel Maxis Deal case. In the Air Asia case , the CBI, after filing a case of flouting license regulations against the airline conducted raids in 5 locations across the country. ---CBI names Group CFO of Air Asia, Tony Fernandes and Director Ram Chandran Venkatraman  with 5 others in the criminal case registered ---criminal conspiracy , according to agency's FIR occurred before the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 ---50 lakh dollars for FIPB clearance paid to UPA ministers ---the FIR states that Kickbacks were paid in the garb of sham transactions to unknown public servants of government of India and others for securing permit of international scheduled air transport services ---cash  was paid to an unidentified private individual to "facilitate" the removal of 5/20 rule AIR ASIA on its part, however, says that the news is false and that  it is fully cooperating with agencies to reveal the truth. Meanwhile, there was some relief for Chidambaram in the aircel Maxis Case. The Former union minister had moved a Delhi court for protection from arrest in the money-laundering case in which his son Karti Chidambaram is an accused. The court has told the Enforcement Directorate that no coercive action can be taken against Chidambaram until the next hearing on June 5. Reacting to the development, the BJP said that majority of the Congress party's top leaders are on bail. In both Aircel-Maxis deal of Rs 3,500 crore and INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore, Chidambaram's role has come under the scanner of the investigating agencies as during his tenure as Finance Minister in the UPA-1 regime, FIPB clearance was granted to the two ventures in which alleged irregularities have been found. Enforcement Directorate had summoned Chidambaram for questioning on Wednesday in the Aircel Maxis case and the CBI has slapped a notice on him to join the probe in the INX Media case on Thursday. 

  • Addressing a commemoration event in Colombo Wednesday evening, Mr. Sirisena  said the late Sobitha Thera, who came forward to set up government through a common candidate, never asked that common candidate to loot the Central bank. Several members of United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe have been accused in central bank Treasury bond scam. Sirisena asserted that he had not experienced insults, character assassination and disgrace in his 47-year-old political career than what he experienced as the President. He blamed UNP government on acting in small cases but failing to act against former regime in high-profile murder cases. He took swipe at his detractors for saying that anyone contesting the Presidential election as the common candidate could have won, saying that he was used as the common candidate as he was a clean politician and came forward as a lion despite life threats. President’s party and UNP had formed a national unity government after 2015 elections but both parties have differed on several issues. Relations between the two leaders grew after both sides faced defeat at hands of Mahinda Rajapakse’s coalition during local body elections held in February. Some MPs of the President side supported a no confidence motion against Prime minister last month which failed to garner majority support in Parliament.  

  • The minister said that under Prime Minister Modi's leadership, India got a corruption free and transparent government. The minister said that the Modi government took many bold decisions in the interest of the nation like the surgical strike and demonetization. On completion of four years of Modi government, MoS PMO Dr Jitender Singh has said that the country has progressed on every front under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Speaking at a program in Vijaywada, he said the Prime Minister is working for the country and not for the government.

  • In Coastal Karnataka, normal life was thrown out of gear after Cyclone in Arabian Sea caused torrential rain and gusty wind on Tuesday, claiming one life in Mangalore city. In the impact of rain, which was accompanied by gusty wind and lightning, many trees were uprooted, houses were submerged and electric polls have fallen forcing authorities to disconnect electricity supply in rural areas as safety measure. Schools and Colleges have declared holiday for two days. The MeT office has forecast rain for next 48 hours. Prime Minister Narendra Modi prayed for the safety and wellbeing of all those affected by heavy rains in various parts of Karnataka. In a tweet he said "Have spoken to officials and asked them to ensure all possible assistance in the affected areas." However, the heat wave continues in most of north India. Many cities of UP, Bihar, Gujarat and Punjab are facing scorching heat, as are cities of Haryana and Rajasthan. The heat wave continues in national capital Delhi as well. People have been forced to use creative means of beating the heat. Met department has forecast heat wave conditions very likely to continue over West Rajasthan & MP. It said that heavy rain is also likely at isolated places over Coastal Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram & Tripura on Friday. Met also said that thunderstorm accompanied with squall are very likely at isolated places over Uttar Pradesh, Gangetic West Bengal and Jharkhand. Thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds very likely at isolated places over Uttarakhand, Bihar and Odisha on Friday.

  • It was the Cultural connect touching the skies in Indonesia! 1st Joint Kite Exhibition on the theme of Ramayana & Mahabharat at National Monument was unveiled by Prime Minister Modi. Ahmedabad and Jakarta Kite Museums also exchanged MoUs. Prime Minister Modi and Indonesian President together took the relationship to new heights by also flying kites on the occasion. A manifestation of age-old cultural ties! Prime Minister Modi and Indonesian President visited the iconic Arjuna Wijaya Chariot statue in the heart of the city of Jakarta. The visit highlights the strong influence of Indian culture in Indonesia. Later Indonesian President accompanied Prime Minister Modi during a visit to Istiqlal Mosque. The national mosque of Indonesia is the largest in southeast Asia. The visit to the mosque comes in the holy month of Ramadan.

  • The warmth and bonhomie evident at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo signifies the importance of growth in ties. During first leg of his three nation tour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with president Widodo and underlined importance of boosting diplomatic, trade and economic ties between the two nations. Both the leaders reiterated the need for "free, open, transparent, rule-based, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region" India is exploring new dimensions of development in collaboration with East Asian countries. That is the prime reason behind the Act east Policy initiated by Prime Minister Modi in 2014. During the talks, both sides agreed to set a target to enhance bilateral trade to 50 billion dollars by 2025. 15 agreements in various fields including defence, science and technological cooperation, railways and health were also signed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the act east polict and S A G A R initiative blends perfectly with similar policies of indonesia . The Prime Minister paid tribute to the martyrs in the Kalibata National Heros Cemetery located in the capital Jakarta. This monument was built in memory of people who died in Indonesia's independence struggle. The Prime Minister expressed deep concern over the growing terror attacks and condemned cowardly terrorists attack in Indonesia. After this, a grand welcome ceremony was held at the presidential palace in the honour of Prime Minister Modi where President Widodo received the Prime Minister. He was given customary guard of honor. Prime Minister also met the children at the Mardaca Palace. Children of both the nations wearing traditional attire were all animated and excited while meeting the prime minister. The bonhomie between PM Modi and President Widodo is testimony to the strong association of the two Asian power houses. Prime Minister Modi's visit to Indonesia has opened a new chapter not only in the bilateral ties of the two countries but also for India's engagement with ASEAN region as a whole.  

  • He said that as in 2014 people of India voted a person belonging to a poor background to power, in Indonesia too, people elected President Joko Widodo whose background is also humble. Prime Minister also spoke at length about the similarities between the two nations that bind them together. He said that there is a special link between the cultures of India and Indonesia. Prime Minister Modi also said that the government of India is making arrangements of free of cost visa for Indonesian citizens for travel of up to 30 days.

  • As the outermost layer of the human eye, the cornea has an important role in focusing vision. Yet there is a significant shortage of corneas available to transplant, with 10 million people worldwide requiring surgery to prevent corneal blindness as a result of diseases such as trachoma, an infectious eye disorder. In addition, almost 5 million people suffer total blindness due to corneal scarring caused by burns, lacerations, abrasion or disease. The proof-of-concept research, published in the journal Experimental Eye Research, shows how stem cells from a healthy donor cornea were mixed together with alginate and collagen to create a solution that could be printed, a 'bio-ink'. Using a simple low-cost 3D bio-printer, the bio-ink was successfully extruded in concentric circles to form the shape of a human cornea. It took less than 10 minutes to print. The stem cells were then shown to grow. "Many teams across the world have been chasing the ideal bio-ink to make this process feasible," said Che Connon, a professor at Newcastle University in the UK, who led the research. "Our unique gel - a combination of alginate and collagen - keeps the stem cells alive whilst producing a material which is stiff enough to hold its shape but soft enough to be squeezed out the nozzle of a 3D printer," Connon said. "This builds upon our previous work in which we kept cells alive for weeks at room temperature within a similar hydrogel. Now we have a ready to use bio-ink containing stem cells allowing users to start printing tissues without having to worry about growing the cells separately," he said. The scientists also demonstrated that they could build a cornea to match a patient's unique specifications. The dimensions of the printed tissue were originally taken from an actual cornea. By scanning a patient's eye, they could use the data to rapidly print a cornea which matched the size and shape. "Our 3D printed corneas will now have to undergo further testing and it will be several years before we could be in the position where we are using them for transplants," said Connon. "However, what we have shown is that it is feasible to print corneas using coordinates taken from a patient eye and that this approach has potential to combat the world-wide shortage," he said.     

  • The Goa Statehood Day is celebrated every year on May 30. "I wish all Goans on the occasion of the 31st Goa Statehood Day. The state has witnessed development during the last 31 years," Parrikar said in a video message in Konkani which was released by his office. "During the last four years, several developmental works have been initiated in Goa by the Narendra Modi-led government (at the Centre)," he said referring to the infrastructural projects going on in the state. The works to build the third Mandovi bridge (near Panaji) and the Galjibag-Tolpon bridge (near Canacona in South Goa) are inching closer to completion while the construction of Zuari bridge is going on in full-swing, he mentioned. He said the state has witnessed development in the social sector due to various schemes. The state government is committed towards creating employment in the information technology and industrial sectors, the chief minister said. "We intend to continue the pace of development witnessed by the state in the last 31 years, for which we would require the cooperation of people, which is very important," he added. The country's smallest state attained statehood on May 30, 1987 changing its earlier status as the Union Territory along with Daman and Diu. Parrikar, 62, has been in USA for the treatment of a pancreatic ailment. Dhavalikar, a senior minister, is part of a three-member Cabinet Advisory Committee (CAC) that was formed to run the government in Parrikar's absence. 

  • Unabated capital outflows by foreign funds and profit-booking by retail investors too dampened sentiments. There was caution among investors ahead of the May month derivatives expiry on Thursday. The 30-share index, which had lost 216.24 points in the previous session, drifted down by 214.13 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 34,735.11. The NSE Nifty cracked below the 10,600-mark by falling 69.45 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 10,563.85. All sectoral indices led by bank, oil & gas and capital goods were in the negative zone, slipping up to 1.02 per cent. Brokers said sustained foreign funds outflows, weak trend at other Asian markets and overnight losses at the Wall Street, rattled by renewed concerns of a possible China-US trade war and political uncertainty in Italy, mainly triggered selling. Major losers included Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, SBI, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, Adani Ports, Yes Bank, Dr Reddy's and HDFC Ltd, falling by up to 1.92 per cent. Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net of Rs 407.33 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 578.38 crore yesterday, provisional data showed. Globally, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 1.62 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei shed 1.79 per cent in early trade. Shanghai Composite too was down by 2.04 per cent. The US Dow Jones ended 1.58 per cent lower in Tuesday's trade. 

  • Prime Minister Modi, who is on his first-ever official visit to Indonesia, will meet President Joko Widodo and discuss bilateral cooperation in a broad range of areas, including maritime, trade and investment. Kalibata Heroes' Cemetery in South Jakarta is a military cemetery in Indonesia. It was built in 1953 and opened in November 1954 when the first burial took place. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet: "Lest we forget...Paying homage to martyrs of Indonesian independence struggle! PM @narendramodi laying wreath at the Kalibata National Heroes' Cemetery and signing the Visitor's Book". More than 7,000 people who are military casualties and veterans from Indonesian War of Independence are buried at the cemetery. PM Modi arrived in the Indonesian capital on Tuesday on the first leg of his three-nation tour to East Asia to cement the political, economic and strategic interest of the two friendly maritime neighbours. 

  • Lava engulfed the heads of two wells that tap into steam and gas deep in the Earth's core at the 38-megawatt Puna Geothermal Venture on Saturday. Its operator, Israeli-controlled Ormat Technologies Inc , said it had not been able to assess the damage. Residents fear the wells may be explosive. Officials have said the power plant is safe but lava has never engulfed a geothermal plant anywhere in the world, leaving a measure of uncertainty. At least 82 homes have been destroyed in the southeast corner of the Big Island and about 2,000 people have been ordered evacuated since Kilauea's once-in-a-century eruption started on May 3.

  • Last year, Mira Dedhia, whose mother competed in the bee three times, finished third. This year, the first child of a former champion is competing. Dr. Balu Natarajan, a physician from Hinsdale, Illinois, won in 1985 by spelling "milieu," a word that almost certainly wouldn't be used beyond preliminary rounds. His 12-year-old son, Atman Balakrishnan, is making his debut this year, and his ultimate goal is to equal his father's achievement. No pressure, though. "He does help me and try to make me work harder, because he knows that I want this," Atman said. "If he knew that I did not want this, he would not push me." The bee began on Tuesday with 516 spellers, by far the most in its history. The expanded field means three full days of spelling instead of two. The 50 or so spellers who make the finals will be announced Wednesday, then compete Thursday until a champion is crowned. As usual, most of the presumed favourites are Indian-American. Natarajan was the first Indian-American to win. Another followed in 1988. Eighteen of the past 22 champions have been Indian-American, including three years when there were co-champions. Natarajan is on the board of the North South Foundation, a nonprofit that hosts national competitions in spelling and other subjects and has served as a training ground for nearly all the recent champions. That's just one reason among many for the success of Indian-Americans. "It's become now kind of a good cycle where certain Indian-Americans succeed, and I think they've inspired others to do the same," Natarajan said. "I have no idea what my part is in that, if any." This year's bee has 516 spellers, roughly a fourfold increase over Natarajan's first bee. That's not the only thing that has changed. "The word bank of most of the spellers or many of the spellers has just gone up dramatically," he said. "I think you could win the spelling bee back then by knowing maybe 10,000 words, and now the kids who win have to know somewhere between 40-and-80,000 words." Here are some other things to know about the first day of spelling: HIGH-STAKES TEST The bee begins with a written spelling and vocabulary test. It's the biggest factor in determining the roughly 50 spellers who will advance to Thursday's finals, and the consensus was that it was very difficult. The field of spellers expanded by more than 200 this year because Scripps started a wild-card program to give opportunities to more kids from highly competitive regions. As a result, Scripps had to craft a test that would separate the most skilled and prepared spellers. 

  • Soccer is Peru's most popular sport yet the national team has failed to qualify in nearly four decades against regional heavyweights such as Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. Their preparations for the FIFA tournament so far have been plagued by drama with their captain Paolo Guerrero to be barred from the competition after testing positive for cocaine contained in a tea. But the controversy has not dampened spirits in Lima. The Scotland friendly in Lima is their last match in the country before heading to Europe, where they will take on Saudi Arabia and Sweden in preparation. The matches will give coach Ricardo Gareca the chance to whittle down the 25-man preliminary team to 23 players. In Peru's group stage of the World Cup they will face Denmark, France and Australia.  

  • The US has accused North Korea of launching a slew of malicious cyber activity in recent years. But this warning comes just as the Trump administration is trying to start denuclearization talks with Pyongyang. The latest warning about malware, called Joanap and Brambul, was issued as North Korea leader Kim Jong Un dispatched one of his top advisers to New York. The adviser, Kim Yong Chol, is thought to have been behind a 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment over a satirical film about a plot to assassinate the North Korean leader.

  • Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council the situation in Idlib, one of the opposition's last remaining footholds in Syria, is "alarming" with airstrikes, clashes between armed groups, overcrowding and severely stretched basic services. Idlib has suffered deteriorating security in recent months as rebel and jihadist factions battle with the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee for dominance and Lowcock said more than 80,000 newly displaced people have arrived in the area since March. He said the first convoy in more than two months is due to go to northern rural Homs on Wednesday with assistance for nearly 93,000 people. France's UN Ambassador Francois Delattre called the humanitarian situation throughout Syria "alarming," saying access for UN agencies and aid organizations to deliver humanitarian assistance "is still very much constrained." In Idlib, he said, there are more than two million people including hundreds of thousands of Syrians evacuated from cities taken back by the government, many who lack "everything" living in over-saturated camps. "We must do everything we can to prevent Idlib to become a new humanitarian disaster," he said in a statement. In the Damascus suburbs of eastern Ghouta, Lowcock said the government asked the UN to provide assistance after it retook the former rebel-held area and he released USD 16 million. But he said the UN has only received authorisation to visit once since mid-March. The humanitarian chief reiterated the UN's request to facilitate access, saying the government has approved a convoy to aid 70,000 people in the eastern Ghouta town of Douma, but "facilitation letters have not been provided." Lowcock, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said the 2 million Syrians in hard-to-reach areas "in places like northern rural Homs, Douma and southern Damascus are some of the most desperate in the country." So far this year, he said, only six convoys have reached those area helping 1,69,000 people, "less than 20 per cent of the people we would like to be reaching." Lowcock urged the Security Council to support his office's efforts to ensure "safe, unimpeded and sustained access" to those Syrians in greatest need. He lamented that violence against health care facilities and health personnel remain "a grim hallmark" of the seven-year conflict in Syria. In the first four months of 2018, Lowcock said, 92 health-related attacks have been documented involving 89 deaths and 135 injuries. He also expressed serious concern at reports that medical facilities were attacked shortly after coordinated deconfliction efforts were taken to avoid attacks. Despite all these problems, Lowcock said UN convoys provided food to over 2 million people in government-controlled areas last month, and to 8,50,000 people in cross-border deliveries to rebel areas.   

  • An evening before the beginning of the famed festival, the organizers arranged an exhibition at Jakarta's National Monument. The festival is themed on Hindu mythology this year with images on kites depicting stories from Hindu religious epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The kite festival of Jakarta has been one of the oldest and most famous long standing festivals of Indonesia. Participants from across the country will compete to showcase their unique kite creations. "It's very very good to know again about the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (Hindu muthology epics), so this (themed kite festival) is (a) good idea,"a member of the Indonesian Kite Museum, Andal said. PM Modi landed in Jakarta on Tuesday night for his first stop of a three-nation visit. After paying homage to Indonesian freedom fighters, the PM will hold talks with President Widodo, inaugurate the kite festival, and address business tycoons and the general public.

  • Krystina Pliskova, who shared the Wimbledon winners' stage with Serena back in 2010 -- the Czech was junior champion as Serena won the real thing that year, played her part across the net on centre court, but there was only one star. Dressed in a skintight, all-in-one black bodysuit, broken up by a vivid scarlet belt, Serena captivated the French crowd from the start of the contest to its 7-6(4) 6-4 conclusion. "You know me, I really feel like I can improve on literally everything. And that's the great thing, I feel like I can improve and there's room for improvement and that means I can get better so I'm really excited that I'm playing again and I'm getting to that level and there's so much room for improvement in my game," she said. The last time the American had appeared in a Grand Slam tournament was at the Australian Open in 2017, when she won it while pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia. This time there was a little rust to shake off -- she only gave birth in September -- and she didn't quite move as when at her best. But all the same Serena was too strong, too good, simply too Serena for her world 70-ranked opponent. Next up for the three-times champion is Australian 17th seed Ashleigh Barty, who overcame a back injury to compete in Paris.    

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