IS THE INDIAN TEAM MISSING VIRAT KOHLI?

Overconfidence to experiments, dissecting Indian cricket team’s shocking display In a Virat Kohli-less India team, it was surprising to see Ajinkya Rahane’s name missing from playing XI in the first ODI against Sri Lanka - even when experiments have looked the norm in recent times. (INDIA vs SRI LANKA FULL COVERAGE) At the HPCA Stadium here, it took just two overs for Rahane’s absence to be felt. That was how long Sri Lanka took to hand the hosts the first jolt. A noisy crowd was silenced as Shikhar Dhawan was adjudged leg before off Angelo Mathews via DRS. If the star opener’s dismissal silenced the home fans, what followed left them in shock. A team of talented players, eyeing to become world beaters, crumbled in conditions aiding swing with bounce on offer. (Read | Dharamsala ODI loss versus Sri Lanka an eye-opener, says skipper Rohit Sharma) In the space of 27 runs, India lost six more wickets. Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, debutant Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were flummoxed as Sri Lanka bowlers breathed fire in seaming conditions. Experimentation group Karthik, Pandey, Iyer and Pandya belong to the ‘experimentation group’ in the Indian cricket team. They are still on trial as India zero...

HAS RAHUL GANDHI ATTAINED LEVERAGE BY COMING TO MODI’S DEFENSE?

Rahul Gandhi's Handling of Mani Shankar Aiyar Gives Him Upper Hand Rahul Gandhi showed who's the boss and reacted decisively in what can be termed his first decision as nearly Congress president - the suspension of Mani Shankar Aiyar for his "neech" comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gandhi's swift and tough action - he first demanded a public apology from Aiyar and then threw Aiyar out in a bid to damage control - represents a clear break from the way the Sonia Congress did things. Aiyar's ridiculous and ill-timed jibe that "Modi would never be PM but was free to sell tea outside the All India Congress Committee (AICC)" had virtually wrecked the Congress campaign in the 2014 general elections. Modi and the BJP capitalized on the sneer to the full. Modi quickly used Aiyar's comment yesterday to similar effect and Aiyar who seems to be the gift that does not stop giving to the BJP tried to brazen it out with a perfunctory non-apology. Gandhi was having none of it and Aiyar, who seems to think that he is still debating in the rarefied environs of the Shakespeare Society in St. Stephen's college, was out. Contrast that with his motor-mouthing when...

IS THE CONGRESS RIGHT IN EXPELLING MANI SHANKAR AIYER?

After Rahul Gandhi Rebuke, Congress Suspends Mani Shankar Aiyar Over "Neech" Remark NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar was suspended from the primary membership of the party on Thursday for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi", a remark that PM Modi said was aimed at his humble origins. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had responded to the volley of attacks from the BJP over the comment by his sharp disapproval of the language used by Mr Aiyar during the day and asking him to apologise. The Congress' decision to later suspend Mr Aiyar and seek his explanation is seen as an attempt to insulate the party from the controversy that erupted just two days before the first phase of Assembly elections in Gujarat. The BJP and PM Modi, who was campaigning in Gujarat, had invoked Mr Aiyar's remarks to target the Congress through the day. "Shriman Mani Shankar Aiyar today said that Modi is of 'neech jaati' (low caste) and is 'neech' (vile). Is this not an insult to Gujarat? This is an insult to the great legacy of India. This is born of Mughal mentality," he told an election rally in the state's diamond city, Surat. PM Modi...

Need of New Reform Agenda to Revive India’s Growth Story – By Areesha Fatma

In this decade of rapid developments in the global economy vis-a-vis emerging new economic stance in the United States, emerging protectionism in the advanced economies, recovery in Global trade; turn around in China’s economic growth and various geo-political issues, India stands on the cusp of major change, a transformation that could lead to unprecedented economic growth. The Indian economy has been observing various changes, turmoil and adjustments in the form of reforms during the past two-three years. Two key reforms undertaken in the regime of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi primarily historic demonetization drive and newly introduced GST have been both bane and boon for our economy which is quite evident as per the GDP estimates for Q1 and Q2 for FY2017-18.The economy still hasn’t revived from the aftershocks of cash crunch as the consumption demand has been impacted severely and the teething problems associated with GST implementation are still persisting. According to the much awaited CSO data released by Ministry of Statistics and Implementation recently, real GDP registered an increase in the growth rate from 5.7% in the Q1 of FY18 to 6.3% in Q2 of FY18. Also, quarterly Gross Value added (GVA) registered an increase in...

HAS THE SMOG EPISODE AT KOTLE SHAMED THE CITY?

Kotla Test pollution woes: BCCI’s poor scheduling puts players’ health at risk Pollution levels in Delhi hit alarming levels in November for the second year in a row and threatened to disrupt all outdoor activities, leave alone sports. Yet, the Indian cricket board scheduled the Test against Sri Lanka in the Capital for early December. Surprisingly, the schedule was made only in October. (Kotla Test, Day 2 highlights) On Sunday, top BCCI officials were left red-faced after the second day’s play was halted briefly during the post-lunch session as many Sri Lankan players felt the effects of the haze and smoke that blocked the sun altogether for a while. (Kotla Test, Day 2 scorecard) At one point, it appeared the Sri Lanka camp was reluctant to continue playing, before India skipper Virat Kohli’s declaration salvaged the situation and allowed the Test to continue. The series that has been sharply criticised by Kohli for burdening the players could easily have been tweaked to allot the final Test to another venue. SOURCE - NDTV.COM Masks of shame at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi There is almost nothing Virat Kohli cannot do at the moment. On a day when he scored his sixth Test double-century, braving a back...

IS THE RECENT SURGE IN GDP GROWTH A RESULT OF GST & DEMO?

Economy shakes off Demonetisation & GST impacts with 6.3% growth NEW DELHI: India's growth staged a recovery in the September quarter as the economy emerged from the shadows of the impact of demonetisation and rollout issues linked to GST, prompting the government to say that it was poised for a durable recovery in the months ahead. Data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Thursday showed that the economy grew 6.3% in July-September, the second quarter of the current fiscal year — faster than the June quarter's 5.7% —the expansion led by robust manufacturing. Growth had slowed to a three-year low in Q1 as the impact of demonetisation and GST implementation issues hurt expansion. Since then, a raft of positive news has lifted sentiment. India improved its ranking significantly in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business survey while global ratings agency Moody's Investor Services upgraded the country's sovereign rating. Another agency S&P kept the rating and the outlook unchanged but applauded the reform measures unleashed by the government which it said should help boost growth in the coming months. "The deceleration trend in the overall growth which was witnessed since the first quarter of last fiscal year has been now reversed;...

IS NORTH KOREA HEADED FOR ANNIHILATION?

Trump: North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ‘a sick puppy' President Trump took another dig Wednesday at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, calling him "a sick puppy." Trump, in St. Charles, Mo., was in the middle of calling the Republican tax plan "rocket fuel" for the U.S. economy, when he digressed and took an impromptu shot at "little rocket man." Earlier, Trump threatened new sanctions against North Korea a day after the isolated nation launched its longest-ranging intercontinental ballistic missile. The missile flew about 600 miles in a high trajectory, but would have had a range of 8,100 miles had it flown in a flat trajectory, according to calculations by David Wright, an expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists. That would make it capable of reaching Washington, D.C. The personal slugfest between Trump and Kim has no precedent. Since he became president, Trump has lashed out at Kim, referring to him as "short and fat" and as a "madman," and threatened to wipe Kim and his country off the face of the earth if they attack the United States or its allies. SOURCE - USA TODAY North Korea Fires a Ballistic Missile, in a Further Challenge to Trump WASHINGTON — North Korea...

ARE STATE LEADERS GIVING IN TO COMMUNITY PRESSURE TO CENSURE PADMAVATI?

Padmavati row: Nitish Kumar says film won’t be released in Bihar until Bhansali clarifies his stand Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati will not be released in the state until the director has clarified his stand on the controversy, The Indian Express reported. The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, has been in the midst of a controversy since January, with Rajput groups and others accusing Bhansali of distorting history. “As people from several quarters have been raising questions on Padmavati, the director of the film should clarify his stand,” Kumar said, according to The Indian Express. “Till then, the film will not be shown in Bihar.” He further said that the filmmakers should not have shown Rani Padmini dancing. However, an IANS report claimed that Kumar has already banned the film in Bihar on the request of Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Neeraj Kumar Bablu. Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij too jumped into the controversy on Tuesday. He told ANI, “I am astonished that in a democracy we need court’s permission to express ourselves.” Kumar and Vij’s comments came on a day when the Supreme Court criticised those holding power or public offices who...

HAS THE AGENDA OF POLLUTION TAKEN A BACKSEAT AGAIN?

Air quality dipping rapidly, Delhi government issues health advisory NEW DELHI: Air quality in Delhi, which remained 'very poor' for the fourth straight day today, is set to nosedive further, leading to the Delhi government advising people to stay indoors as much as possible. High moisture content and lack of winds have triggered the spike, the city government said. The Centre said it will take "harsh measures", if needed, to prevent any repeat of the recent smog episode. The Central Pollution Control Board registered the day's air quality inde .. Read more at: ET New ‘gas standards’ in the works to fight pollution The government is looking to prepare a unified testing methodology to ensure that all agencies that map air pollution use accurate instruments. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) -National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is in the process of setting up ‘gas standards’, or reference samples of Carbon Monoxide (CO), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrous Oxide (NO2) and Particulate –Pb (lead), –As (Arsenic) and –Ni (Nickel). Currently, the National Ambient Air Quality standards specify the upper limits for pollutants and, based on this, the Air Quality Index — that grades air quality in cities from ‘Good’ to ‘Severe’ — is prepared for several...

HAS THE PADMAVATI CONTROVERSY TAKEN A SERIOUS TURN?

Padmavati, we hang not just effigies: Man found hanging from Jaipur's Nahargarh fort walls A young man was found hanging off the parkot (parapet) of Jaipur's famous Nahargarh fort. The death is being linked to the protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed film Padmavati. This is because a charcoal graffiti on the wall next to the lifeless body said, "Padmavati, hum sirf putle nahi latkate (Padmavati, we hang not just effigies)." The words "Padmavati ka virodh (Protest against Padmavati)" were also found next to the body. The Jaipur Police is investigating the case. It's not clear whether it was a murder or a suicide. SOURCE - INDIA TODAY Body found in Jaipur’s Nahargarh fort, message claims link to Padmavati row The body of a yet-to-be identified man was found hanging from Jaipur’s Nahargarh fort on Friday morning and a message written on a rock nearby suggested the death was linked to the row over the Bollywood movie Padmavati. “We don’t just hang effigies. Padmavati”, said the message in Hindi, seen in images posted by news agency ANI. It is yet to be determined whether the death was a murder or a suicide. “It is early to comment on it as the matter is under investigation. The identity of the...

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