first_imgMobile internet users can now use Google services for free on Airtel connection from Thursday onwards. The telecom company joined hands with the search giant to launch a ‘Free Zone’ for Airtel mobile customers.Airtel users get to access Google’s mobile services like Gmail and Google+ on the go and free of cost. To use the service, customers will have to visit the Free Zone webpage and sign in to their Google accounts.When the user puts up a query on the Google search bar, the first webpage of the site linked to search results pops up with no data charges.”In this market, where feature phones predominate, our association with Google to bring Free Zone to India will encourage millions of users to discover the power of mobile Internet for the very first time and leverage the amazing world of information search, email and social collaboration – at no incremental cost,” Bharti Airtel Chief Marketing Officer (Consumer Business) N Rajaram told PTI.Though Free Zone is initiated with a noble cause of bringing more people to use web services and also to empower netizens, there is a limit to using the service. Free data usage is available up to 1GB per month on Free Zone. Also, it cannot be accessed on tablets either. The telecom operator warns Blackberry users, specifically, that they could run into problems while using Free Zone.This is not the first time Airtel has taken an initiative to reach a wider audience. The operator recently slashed its 2G data charges by 90 percent and reviewed its data plans for 4G users as well.last_img read more


first_imgPankaj Tripathi with wife Mridula and daughterPR HandoutPankaj Tripathi has been shooting rigorously for the past few months with several back to back projects. His busy schedules and work commitments didn’t allow him to spend quality time with his family. So before he could start shooting for the first schedule of Kabir Khan’s upcoming film 83 in London, he flew off to Scotland with his wife Mridula and daughter for a much needed family vacation.The actor had planned this much needed trip keeping in mind his shoot which is due to begin early next month in London.In the film 83, Pankaj is playing the role of India team manager PR Man Singh who played a very important role in shaping the Indian team that went on to win India’s first Cricket World Cup in the year 1983 under the captaincy of Kapil Dev.Pankaj said, “It has been almost 2 years I haven’t taken any leave from work for a longer period. My wife Mridula use to watch Outlanders and that is how she has seen Scotland and always wanted to visit Scotland in real life after having seen the series. Being in Mumbai or anywhere in India, I am always busy with some project or another. This was much needed vacation for all of us, even my daughter wanted to see Scotland since she is a fan of Sherlock Holmes. So unanimously it was decided to go-to Scotland on vacation. This would be the first time my wife and daughter will be visiting Scotland and I’m looking forward to going there.”last_img read more


first_imgIn a move that is likely to cause uproar among environmentalists, the government has brought back the proposal to grant retrospective green clearance if developers compensate for environmental damages caused so far. Government has sought feedback from the public on the proposal for ongoing industrial projects, which otherwise required clearance under the Environmental Impact Assessment norms, reported Mint.The notification says the ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) or the State EAC will refer non-compliant projects to an expert group which will come up with a blueprint containing environmental damage assessment and improvement provisions. The project developers are required to cooperate and implement the provisions under the supervision of the expert group.Critics of the move say the proposal defeats the logic of environmental protection laws. “It puts faith in a party which has already violated the law assuming that the same will not happen again if an ESP is prepared as per the proposed procedure. None of the court judgements mandate such a perverse solution to the problem of non-compliance,” Kranthi Kohli of the Centre for Policy Research was quoted as saying by Mint.The idea of retrospective green clearance is, however, not new as the UPA government had earlier come up with a retrospective clearance proposal in 2010. The National Green Tribunal had squashed the ministry’s order based on a petition which cited that the order disregards the legal authority vested in the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, according to an earlier Business Standard report.Unlike the previous office order annulled by NGT, the current proposal is a “formal notification under the law,” the environment ministry was quoted as saying by Smart Investor.There could be around 400 projects without clearances, a minister under conditions of anonymity told Mint.The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has put up the draft proposal dated May 10 online for public comments within two months.last_img read more


first_img Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:45Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:44?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … India buys 100 advanced Balakot bombs in Rs 300 crore deal with Israelcenter_img An employee of a private company at Mahindra Tech City in Chennai set off a bomb in order to extort money from his employers on June 7 at the IT Park situated on the outskirts of the city. However, he failed with his plan and was arrested soon after the incident took place.Karthikeyan, the accused, had asked for Rs 50 lakh from his employers for personal reasons but they did not respond to his email. Angered, he put his engineering degree to use and assembled a small bomb, with the intention of scaring and blackmailing his employers.Times of India reported that Karthikeyan made the bomb which was set to go off with the help of a mobile app that he downloaded from the internet. However, things did not go according to plan when the bomb didn’t explode but emitted a lot of smoke.As the bomb went off, the security guards at the gates alerted the Chengalpet police who came to investigate the matter. They narrowed down to the culprit by analyzing the CCTV footage and subsequently arrested Karthikeyan from his apartment in Maramalai Nagar in Chennai on Sunday.last_img read more


first_imgTractor sales in India rose sharply last month on the back of improved sentiments in rural India after good rainfall this monsoon in comparison to two straight years of drought. Mahindra and Escorts reported growth of 61 percent and 52 percent, respectively. Besides, the two companies and Sonalika exported record number of tractors this October.Mahindra sold 43,826 tractors last month in the domestic market, up 61 percent from 27,280 units sold in October last year, while volume sales at  Escorts rose 51.9 percent to 8,859 units from 5,832 tractors in October 2015, according to regulatory filings by the two companies to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).As for exports, Mahindra shipped 1,351 tractors (up 69 percent) while Sonalika ITL exported 1,248 units, a growth of 70 percent over 735 units last October.”This season’s rainfall has been normal resulting in healthy water levels in reservoirs. Expectations of good kharif crop coupled with good sentiments will positively demand going forward,” Rajesh Jejurikar, president and chief executive, farm equipment and two-wheeler division, Mahindra & Mahindra, said in the filing.Passenger vehicle sales of Mahindra however, grew 3 percent to 24,737 units from 24,060 vehicles last October.Mahindra shares closed 3.54 percent higher at Rs 1,369.35 apiece, while Escorts lost 1.86 percent to end at Rs 372.25 on the BSE.The BSE Sensex lost 349 points, or 1.25 percent, to close at 27,527, following a sell-off across stock markets worldwide over uncertainty in the US presidential elections. A recent poll showed Donal Trump gaining over his rival Hillary Clinton, albeit by a small margin.last_img read more


first_imgReutersThe ‘battle’ between and India and China for a key stake in Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) has entered the final lap with the Bangladesh Security Exchange Commission (BSEC) set to pick a bidder on Monday. Consortiums led by Indian and Chinese bourses have been in the fray for a 25 percent stake in the third largest capital market in Asia. A win in Bangladesh will be another feather on the cap of China, which picked up a 40 percent stake in the Pakistan Stock Exchange last year. And for India, a loss of turf in Bangladesh will be another wound to nurse in the backdrop of rising Chinese influence in its backyard.The drama surrounding the DSE stake sale, however, suggests that the consortium led by India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) might pull off a victory despite having submitted a much smaller bid price than the Chinese consortium.China’s Shanghai and Shenzen stock exchanges offered 22 takas ($0.26) each for the 2.8 billion shares on offer in DSE, while the NSE, Frontier Bangladesh and US bourse Nasdaq offered only 15 takas per share. The Chinese offer also came bundled with a proposal for technical support to DSE worth around $37 million. While NSE also offered technical support, the value of the proposal was unspecified.What appeared to be a normal bid process soon became a complicated power play after news emerged that DSE ‘selected’ the Chinese bid. “The consortium of Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges has been chosen from the two consortiums that submitted proposals, considering capabilities, competitive bids and everything,” a DSE director told BD News on February 6.The Indian authorities apparently swung into action as the rival regional power sealed a toe hold in its sphere of influence. India couldn’t have done anything to prevent China from picking up a stake in Pakistan’s only bourse, but in Bangladesh, Indian diplomatic pressure has apparently tilted the scale in its favour.NSE managing director and CEO, Vikram Limaye, travelled to Bangladesh last week, where he held discussions with the officials of DSE and the Bangladesh market regulator. After the meeting the Daily Star reported that the BSEC asked the DSE board to scrutinise the rival proposals again. BSEC Executive Director Saifur Rahman, who was quoted in the story, did not confirm if the Chinese bid had been rejected, though earlier media reports had suggested so.Yuan-denominated financial productsThe Indian side is reported to have convinced the Bangladeshi counterparts that though the Indian bourse’s offer price was almost 50 percent lower than the Chinese bid, they had better expertise in running a bourse. India appears to have outmanoeuvred the Chinese in the first round, having forced the Bangladeshi regulator to scupper a straight-laced plan by the DSE to accept the Chinese offer.It’s interesting to watch how the dice turns — whether India’s close ties with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will tilt the balance in its favour or if the Chinese will have the last laugh. Given the fact that the Bangladesh government will have a final say in this, it will also be a stray in the wind as far as China’s geopolitical push in India’s backyard is concerned.For China, a successful bid will mean an easy extension of its footprint in the region. More importantly, in the long-term, it will even help China in its efforts to make Yuan a major international currency. Again, if China is able to list Yuan-denominated financial products on the Dhaka bourse in future, it will help the expansion of Chinese companies in Bangladesh.last_img read more


first_imgMembers of Bangladesh Army seized two AK-47s, two Chinese riffles, 124 ammos, four magazines, and 7 uniforms from Golachari area in Langadu upazila of Rangamati, said Langadu Mainy zone commander Lt Col Abdul Alim Chowdhury.During a drive conducted by Alim, unidentified terrorists fled the area leaving the artilleries behind, which was later seized by the armed forces.Langadu police station officer in-charge Md Mominul Islam confirmed this to Prothom Alo.last_img


first_imgStudents lay siege to DU VC’s officeA group of Dhaka University (DU) students on Tuesday besieged the office of Dhaka University vice chancellor.The demonstrators demand scrapping of the university’s affiliation with seven colleges and punishment of the Chhatra League activists who were involved in harassing some of the female students.Over one hundred students started demonstrations in the morning and gathered at the foot of Aparajeya Bangla at 11am.’Cancel affiliation of seven colleges to protect DU honour’ and ‘Our only demand is to scrap affiliation of seven colleges with DU’ are the slogans they chanted during the demonstrations.Their demands include withdrawal of a case filed against unknown DU students and removal of the DU proctor.After staging demonstrations at TSC, Arts Building, Business Studies Faculty they marched towards the registrar building and broke a collapsible gate and took position in in front of the VC office.The seven affiliated colleges are; Dhaka College, Eden Mohila College, Government Shaheed Suhrawardy College, Kabi Nazrul Government College, Begum Badrunnesa Government Mohila College, Mirpur Government Bangla College and Government Titumir College.On 15 January, some BCL activists foiled a demonstration of the students who were staging a sit-in in front of the VC’s office and assaulted some female students.last_img read more


first_imgAuthorities in New York have identified the remains of a male victim of Al-Qaeda’s 11 September 2001 terror attack on the World Trade Center – some 16 years after the incident.The victim will not be publicly identified at the family’s request, the New York City medical examiner’s office said Monday.More than 2,750 people were killed when two passenger jets destroyed the Twin Towers, the symbol of New York’s financial wealth and confidence.The remains – usually bone fragments – of 1,641 of the 2,753 people known to have been killed have now been positively identified.The latest identification was the first in more than two years, the New York Times reported.“This ongoing work is vital because with each new identification, we are able to bring answers to families affected by tremendous loss,” chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, told The Times.Advances in DNA extraction and testing technology helped confirm the victim’s identity, the medical examiner’s office said.last_img read more


first_imgRohingya BangkokNearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled renewed violence in Myanmar, crossing the border in Bangladesh in waves following a military crackdown the UN says amounts to ethnic cleansing.It is the latest chapter in a long and tumultuous history of the Rohingya, the world’s largest stateless population.Before the most recent surge of violence, there were over one million Rohingyas in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state.But the questions of who they are, how many live in Myanmar and when they arrived is hotly disputed, highly emotive and behind much of the current unrest.Many of the Muslim minority trace their lineage in Myanmar back generations, but were effectively stripped of their citizenship by the former junta and are demonised among the Buddhist-majority population as illegal immigrants.Here is a brief history of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims.When did they first arrive in Myanmar?By some accounts, they are descendants of Arab, Turkish or Mongol traders and soldiers who in the 15th Century migrated to Rakhine state, previously called the Kingdom of Arakan.Other historians say they emigrated from Bangladesh in several waves, a widely held view among most Burmese.For centuries the small Muslim minority lived peacefully alongside Buddhists in the independent kingdom, some were even advisors to Buddhist royals, according to historians.Upheaval ensued from the late 18th century.In 1784 the kingdom was conquered by the Burmese and later by the British following the first Anglo-Burmese war of 1824-1826.Under British rule, a large number arrived to work as farmers and later as military recruits.”In the 1830s there was a massive influx of Muslim peasants from neigbouring Bengal, mostly to work in the agriculture sector,” said Sophie Boisseau du Rocher, Southeast Asia expert at the French Institute for International Relations.By 1912, more than 30 percent of the population of Arakan state were Muslim, up from five percent in 1869, according to British census data cited by historian Jacques Leider.When did tensions start?Tensions between the Rohingya Muslims and the Buddhist majority date back to the beginning of British rule in 1824.As part of their divide-and-rule policy, British colonists favoured Muslims at the expense of other groups. They recruited them as soldiers during World War II, pitting them against Buddhists aligned with the Japanese as the war played out on Burmese soil.”Both armies, British and Japanese, exploited the frictions and animosity in the local population to further their own military aims,” said Moshe Yegar, author of a book about Muslim communities in Southeast Asia.Their status was fortified in 1947 when a new Constitution was drafted, enshrining them with full legal and voting rights — which would be later stripped and render them stateless.Rakhine has a poverty rate nearing 80 per cent, double the national average, kindling resentments over ethnic claims to the area.What happened under the junta?A 1962 military coup ushered in a new era of repression and brutality. The country’s ethnic minorities like the Rohingya did not fare well.Most were effectively rendered stateless in 1982 when the junta issued a new law on citizenship, requiring minorities to prove they lived in Myanmar prior to the first Anglo-Burmese war in 1823 to obtain nationality.After the junta was dissolved in 2011, the country saw a rise in Buddhist extremism which further sidelined the Rohingya and marked the beginning of the latest era of tensions.The 20th century saw a series of military crackdowns against the group: in 1978 and 1991-2, which prompted hundreds of thousands to flee to Bangladesh.Some were sent back by Dhaka, and the United Nations questioned the supposedly “voluntary” nature of the repatriations.What’s behind the latest violence?They have been subjected to restrictions on movement, employment and access to basic services since another outbreak of violence in 2012.Tensions mounted again in October 2016, when a small and previously unknown militant group — the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) — staged a series of deadly attacks on Burmese military forces.The army responded with a massive security crackdown, sparking a new wave of refugee arrivals into Bangladesh.On 25 August, ARSA again launched an early morning attack on army installations in Rakhine, triggering a brutal military campaign in response.An estimated 391,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in the last three weeks, according to the United Nations, which has said the military crackdown amounts to ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.last_img read more