NATION

Ex-customs official gets a year in jail for graft

Kochi: A former top Customs official was sentenced to a year in jail and levied a fine of Rs 60 lakh by a CBI court for taking a bribe worth nearly Rs four lakh from a private firm for clearing its goods without levying the applicable customs duty on it. Special CBI Judge B Kalam Pasha imposed the punishment on erstwhile Custom Deputy Commissioner K S Chandrasekhar, posted at Air Cargo Complex of the

'Linking Aadhaar to PDS card has massive savings'

New Delhi: Linking Aadhaar with ration cards has resulted in a huge saving of Rs 14,000 crore for the exchequer, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has said. “Eighteen crore ration cards have been linked to Aadhaar cards in the country. This has resulted in savings of Rs 14,000 crore due to weeding out of bogus ration cards,” the Food Minister said at the India Integrated Transport & Logistics Summit 2017.

Patanjali will be biggest Swadeshi brand: Ramdev

New Delhi: Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali is eyeing a two-fold jump in sales at over Rs 20,000 crore this fiscal as it plans to double its distribution network to 12,000 across the country and is adding to the capacity. Besides, the company is keen to further strengthen its presence and lead in most product categories. The Haridwar-based FMCG firm had clocked a turnover of Rs 10,561 crore in 2016-17. “We would grow

Kerala to plant one crore saplings on 5 June

Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI-M led LDF government in Kerala will launch a massive tree planting exercise on 5 June, World Environment day, as part of its drive to make the State green. The government’s programme is to plant one crore saplings across the State by involving school students, ‘Kudumbashree’ (women self-help group) units and civic bodies. A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reviewed the programme, being organised as part of the ‘Haritha Keralam’ project. Another

Kids' Internet passwords prone to hacking: Survey

New Delhi: As much as 98.8 per cent of children in urban areas use Internet and 54.6 per cent have weak password, making them vulnerable to cyber criminals, says a survey. The survey was conducted across 13 cities in the country, covering 2,700 students by Telenor India. “A whopping 98.8 per cent of children in the urban areas are using Internet and 54.6 per cent of those surveyed use ‘weak passwords’

Pondy surrenders funds without fully using them: Bedi

Puducherry: Lt Governor Kiran Bedi expressed anguish over Puducherry being one of the states which “surrender” funds without using them fully. In her message on Whatsapp, Bedi, who is in Delhi, said states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamilnadu and Rajasthan are “doing the planning in partnership with panchayats and are benefitting enormously.” She said these states get the benefit of “surrendered funds” from states or Union Territories which do not use them fully. “Puducherry is one

Smart bio-refinery to produce fuel from agri-waste

Pune: Praj Industries, the global process solutions company, has said it has commenced its first, integrated, second generation technology (2G) smart bio-refinery to produce ethanol from agri-waste here. The 2G demo plant produces ethanol by processing a variety of agri-residue like rice and wheat straw, cotton stalk, bagasse, cane trash, corn cobs and stovers, into ethanol, with superior product yields, the company said in a statement issued yesterday. “With continual

EC likely to convene all-party meet on EVM

New Delhi: The Election Commission is likely to convene an all-party meeting here on 12 May to discuss the issue of reliability of electronic voting machines flagged by 16 opposition parties. Sources said the commission stated that efforts would be made in the meeting to convince the parties that the machines are reliable and tamper-proof. “We will soon hold an all-party meeting in which they will be told how our

Security forces cordon off 20 villages in J&K

Srinagar: Concerned with the spate of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, the security forces on Thursday cordoned off more than 20 villages of Shopian district, in order to carry out search operation. The massive search operation has been jointly initiated by the Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and State Police. Ever since the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the Line

Ola, MakeMyTrip raise fresh funds from investors

Chennai: SoftBank-backed Ola has raised Rs 670 crore ($104.4 million) in fresh fundingincluding UC-RNT Fund, a venture between the University of California and Ratan Tata. While UC-RNT Fund has pumped in Rs 267.99 crore, another Rs 402 crore has been infused by FO Mauritius I Ltd, according to regulatory filing by ANI Technologies which runs Ola. However, the valuation of the company benchmarked against the fresh round of funding could

Mahout dies after elephant flings stone at his head

Thiruvananthapuram:  In a fit of rage, an elephant, taken for a temple festival to Palakkad district, hurled a stone at its mahout, causing him to die of grievous head injuries. The incident occurred two weeks ago at Alathur in Palakkad during a temple festival, when the animal ran amok, picked up a stone with its trunk and hurled it at the 49-year-old mahout. The injured man was taken to a