Rupee softens 11 paise against US dollar in early trade

Mumbai: The rupee weakened 11 paise to 65.14 against the US dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange on increased demand for the American currency from importers and banks. Forex dealers said that increased demand for the US currency from importers and the dollar’s gains against some currencies overseas put pressure on the rupee. However, a higher opening in the domestic equity market capped the rupee’s losses, they said. On

Waiving farm loan is partial relief: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today said the UP government’s decision to waive off farm loan was a ‘partial relief’ but a step in the ‘right direction’ and asked the Centre to evolve a national response to the widespread distress. Rahul said the Centre should not discriminate amongst States and no politics should be played with farmers suffering across the country. “A partial relief for UP farmers, but

Secretary to Lt Governor summoned by privileges panel

Puducherry: Deputy Speaker of Assembly and Chairman of the Committee on Privileges V P Sivakolundhu issued summons to the Secretary to Lt Governor Theva Neethi Dhas to appear before it today for contempt of the Assembly. The committee asked him to explain why he should not be charged for contempt of the House by abetting R Chandrasekaran to function as Commissioner of Puducherry Municipality violating the ruling of the Speaker on

Plans to convert Travancore House as cultural centre

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Government decided to convert ‘Travancore House’, which was one the residence of the Maharaja of Travancore in Delhi, as a cultural centre. The plan is to convert the heritage building situated in a nine acre plot into cultural complex with a convention centre and office. Besides, it was also planned to construct an Ayurveda centre at Kapurathala. The government also decided to renovate the Kerala house, its official State

Blind elephant will not be seen in Ernakulam festival

Kochi: Thechikottukavu Ramachandran, an elephant known for its height, is temporarily banned from parading in festivals in Ernakulam district. An order in this regard has been issued by Ernakulam District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla, District Administration officials said. The elephant is banned from parading as it is partially blind and as per the elephant parade rules, it is unlawful to parade blind elephants. The step is taken to ensure the safety

HC directs TN govt to renew licences of hotels

Chennai: Reserving its order on a plea seeking to cancel the licenses of hotels and restaurants functioning without adequate parking facility here, the Madras High Court directed Tamilnadu government to renew the licenses of all hotels. The first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh and Justice RMT Teekaa Raman passed the interim order on the impleading petition filed by Chennai Hotels Association. The association had moved the court challenging its February 10

Pink diamond fetches record USD 71.2M in auction

Hong Kong: A stunning 59.6 carat diamond known as the ‘Pink Star’ sold for USD 71.2 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong, setting a new world record for any diamond or jewel, according to the auction house. The oval mixed-cut diamond smashed the USD 60 million pre-sale estimate set by Sotheby’s when it went on the block. The sale comes three years after the gem was sold at an even higher price at another

EU Parliament prepares to set Brexit 'red lines'

Strasbourg (France): The European Parliament will lay down its ‘red lines’ for negotiations over a Brexit deal, on which the assembly will have the final say in two years’ time. The parliament in Strasbourg, France, is set to back a call by EU leaders for Britain to first agree to divorce terms before striking any new trade deal with the bloc. MEPs are to vote on the motion a week after British Prime Minister Theresa May formally

Artist reveals story behind Baahubali-Kattappa image

Fans will have to wait for the sequel to know Why Kattappa killed Baahubali? but concept artist Viswanath Sundaram has spilled the beans about how he created the now-famous image in the S S Rajamouli-directed blockbuster. Sundaram, who has designed more than 1,000 concept art pieces for Rajamouli’s film, says working on the project was equivalent to doing ten movies thanks to its epic nature. Talking about that famous shot, Sundaram says, “Rajamouli sir

MCI cancels admissions to TN pvt medical college

New Delhi: The Medical Council of India (MCI) has directed some private colleges in Uttar Pradesh and Tamilnadu to cancel admissions of around 500 students who had allegedly not appeared for NEET exam last year. According to a senior MCI official, these are suspected to be backdoor admissions allegedly done after receiving capitation fees as these states were among those who had opted for NEET. Around 17 to 18 private colleges in UP have been

Delegates to meet Prez, PM to discuss Bedi's functioning

Puducherry: A delegation of political leaders will soon meet the President, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to apprise them of the political situation arising out of rejection of transfer of a senior civil service official by Lt Governor Kiran Bedi. The decision was taken at a joint meeting of leaders and MLAs of Congress, DMK, the opposition AIADMK (Amma) and other parties here yesterday. Speaking to reporters, PWD Minister and PCC President