Jaya Verma Sinha

Jaya Verma Sinha Becomes First Female Chairman, CEO Of Indian Railways

In a historic move, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has granted approval for the appointment of Jaya Verma Sinha, a seasoned member of the Indian Railway Management Services (IRMS), as the new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Railway Board.

This appointment signifies a pivotal juncture in the 166-year history of the Indian Railways, as Jaya Verma Sinha takes on the mantle of CEO, becoming the first woman to hold this esteemed position.

Sinha joined the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) in 1988. She is currently serving as a Member, of Operations and Business Development, Railway Board, Ministry of Railways. Sinha is responsible for the overall transportation of freight and passenger services on Indian Railways.

Prior to the current assignment, she was an Additional Member, of the Traffic Transportation, Railway Board. In the last 2 years, Indian Railways has registered an all-time high growth of over 20 per cent in the freight segment and has broken the mark of 1.5 billion tonnes annually in freight.

In her career of over 35 years in Indian Railways, she has worked on diverse verticals spanning operations, commercial, IT and vigilance. She was also the first woman to be appointed as the Principal Chief Operations Manager of South Eastern Railway. She has also been Principal Chief Commercial Manager of Northern Railway and Divisional Railway Manager of Sealdah Division. She had worked as the Railway Advisor in the High Commission of India in Dhaka, Bangladesh during which the famous Maitri Express from Kolkata to Dhaka was inaugurated.

With a distinguished career within the Indian Railways, Sinha has demonstrated exemplary leadership and expertise in the realm of Operations and Business Development. Her elevation to the coveted position of Chairman and CEO, of the Railway Board, underscores her remarkable contributions and dedication to the development of the railway sector.

Jaya Verma Sinha’s appointment will be effective from the date of her assumption of charge on or after September 1, 2023. She will hold this esteemed position until her superannuation, with an additional re-employment period from October 1, 2023, to August 31, 2024. This significant announcement is accompanied by the assurance that her term will adhere to the standard terms and conditions, or until further orders, whichever transpires earlier.

Established in 1905, the Railway Board, a key institution within the Indian Railways, has been functioning for over 118 years. Sinha’s ascent to the role of Chairman and CEO marks the first instance in its history that a woman has held this pivotal position. Her appointment reflects not only her exceptional capabilities but also the increasing recognition of gender diversity and inclusivity in leadership roles within India’s railways.

As Jaya Verma Sinha prepares to take on this historic responsibility, the railway community at large eagerly anticipates the positive transformations and progressive strides that her leadership is poised to bring to one of India’s oldest and most vital sectors. (ANI)

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Philippines china

Philippines Rejects China’s ‘Standard Map’ Claiming Entire South China Sea

The Philippines rejected China’s 2023 edition of its “standard map,” which includes the nine-dashed line (now a ten-dashed line) in their territory. 

China, on August 28, released the 2023 edition of its “standard map”, incorporating the country’s claims over the nine-dash line, thereby laying claim to a large part of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei have all claims over the South China Sea areas.

An official release quoted the Philippines Foreign Ministry as saying, “This latest attempt to legitimize China’s purported sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones has no basis under international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”

The 2016 Arbitral Award invalidated the nine-dashed line, the statement read, adding that “maritime areas of the South China Sea encompassed by the relevant part of the ‘nine-dash line’ are contrary to the Convention and without lawful effect to the extent that they exceed the geographic and substantive limits of China’s maritime entitlements under the Convention”.

The Philippines called on China to act responsibly and abide by its obligations under UNCLOS and the final and binding 2016 Arbitral Award. 

On July 12, 2016, the arbitral tribunal ruled in favour of the Philippines on most of its submissions. The arbitral tribunal adjudicating the Philippines’ case against China in the South China Sea ruled overwhelmingly in favour of the Philippines, determining that major elements of China’s claim—including its nine-dash line, recent land reclamation activities, and other activities in Philippine waters—were unlawful, according to the United States–China Economic and Security Review Commission.

However, China didn’t accept the ruling, maintaining it was “null and void.”

Meanwhile, China’s new map has also become a matter of concern for India as it shows Arunachal Pradesh which China claims as South Tibet and Aksai Chin occupied by it in the 1962 war as part of its territory.

India lodged a strong protest against China, rejecting claims made by Beijing in the so-called “standard map” and saying they have no basis to claim India’s territory.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said such steps from the Chinese side would only complicate the resolution of the boundary question.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said it is an “old habit” of China to stake claim on territories that do not belong to them. He dismissed Beijing’s “absurd claims” and said “putting out a map does not mean anything.” (ANI)

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MP Anil Desai

2 More Regional Parties To Join INDIA

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 31 (ANI): Ahead of the third meeting of the Opposition alliance — INDIA — in Mumbai, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MP Anil Desai on Thursday said two more Maharashtra-based regional parties will join the bloc.

Speaking to ANI, Anil Desai said, “Two more regional parties in Maharashtra will join INDIA, taking the total number of parties in the alliance from 26 to 28.”

Congress MP Nasir Hussain, too, claimed that 7 big and small parties were in touch with them.

“7 more big and small parties are in touch with us and we are considering bringing them on board. We will arrive at a decision and make a formal announcement shortly,” Desai told ANI.

On who will be the prime ministerial face in the Opposition alliance, the Sena (UBT) MP said, “We believe in a parliamentary democracy not a presidential form of government.”

As the battle heats up for next year’s Lok Sabha elections, the 26-member Opposition bloc — INDIA — will on Thursday hold its third meeting in Mumbai, picking up from where they left off in their last huddle at Bengaluru and carrying forward the process of laying a broader roadmap against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre.

While the discussion among the partner leaders in the bloc would centre on the battle plan for the next general elections and a seat-sharing formula, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) is also likely to unveil its logo during the two-day meeting starting Thursday.

The INDIA leaders would go into an informal huddle on Thursday and the same would be followed by a formal meeting on September 1.

While the inaugural meeting of the Opposition bloc was convened by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the third meeting is being organised by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the Opposition alliance in Maharashtra comprising the Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction led by Sharad Pawar.

Earlier, on Monday, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole confirmed the participation of the party’s national president Mallikarjun Kharge, as well as Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, at the two-day meeting.

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin had also confirmed his participation in the meeting earlier. (ANI)

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Krishna Raja Sagar(KRS) Cavery waterTN

K’taka’s Farmers Continue To Protest Over Cauvery Water

The farmers associations in Karnataka will on Thursday stage a fresh protest near Krishna Raja Sagar(KRS) reservoir in Mandya district against the release of 5,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of Cauvery water to the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. The Farmers will also stage a protest in front of the Mandya district collector’s office today. 

Complying with the direction of Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), Karnataka on Wednesday started releasing water from its reservoirs to Tamil Nadu.

CWMA on Tuesday had directed Karnataka to ensure 5,000 cusecs of Cauvery water at Billigundulu on the Tamil Nadu- Karnataka boundary every day up to September 12.

CWMA’s direction came after the Cauvery Water Regulation Committe (CWRC) recommended Karnataka release 5,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Though Karnataka made a protest at CWRC’s recommendation CWMA upheld it. 

After the Karnataka government started complying with CWMA’s direction farmers started protesting saying that the Cauvery basin was facing severe drought and water storage in the reservoirs was barely enough to meet the drinking water needs of the region. 

Farmers in Mandya on Wednesday staged a protest late at night against the CWMA’s decision. 

Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the Tamil Nadu government’s plea seeking direction to Karnataka to release 24,000 cusecs of water daily starting from August 14 to the end of the month- from the reservoirs in Karnataka on Friday. 

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister  DK Shivakumar is expected to leave for Delhi on Thursday to discuss the Cauvery case with Karnataka’s legal team. 

“I’m going to Delhi to to meet our legal team. The hearing (on TN’s plea on Cauvery water) will be coming on Friday. All ready our department officials argued very well after Tamil Nadu demanded 24-25 TMC. we said we can give 3 thousand cusecs,” DK Shivakumar had said on Wednesday.

Earlier Tamil Nadu Water resources minister Durai Murugan said that the CWMA was not acting in a proper manner.

“In relation to this issue, we will emphasize the need of the Tamil Nadu government side in the court. There is a definition of how to distribute Cauvery water when there is a lot of water, but there is no definition of how to distribute the water when there is a shortage of water” he said (ANI)

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Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah Masjid dispute

Ready Eor elections In J&K Anytime Now, Centre To SC

The Central government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it is ready for elections in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir any time now and the decision depends on the Election Commission of India and State Election Commission. The court is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Centre, told a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud that the process of updation of the voters’ list in Jammu and Kashmir is underway and it will take a month or so to complete.

“Central government is ready for elections any time now,” the Solicitor General told the Constitution bench hearing pleas against abrogation of Article 370.

“To date, updating of voters list was going on, which is substantially over. Some part is remaining, that the Election Commission is doing,” SG told the bench also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant.

The Solicitor General further said that the State Election Commission and the Election Commission of India will take a call together on the time for elections.

He explained that three-tier elections are to be held. For the first time, the three-tier Panchayat Raj system is introduced, SG told the bench. First, elections would be for Panchayats.

Legislative elections in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to be held after Panchayat polls, and municipal polls, said the government.

The Centre also said that it is unable to give a specific timeline for restoring the Statehood status of Jammu and Kashmir but clarified that Union Territory status is temporary.

“I am unable to give an exact time period for complete Statehood while saying Union Territory status is temporary,” the Solicitor General told the bench.

On the last date of the hearing, the top court while observing that “restoration is important” had asked the Centre to give a definite timeline for Statehood and elections in the region.

Centre told the bench today that steps are being taken by the Central government for the Statehood of Jammu and Kashmir and these steps can be taken only if it is a Union Territory.

Developments are taking place for it to become a complete State, he said.

SG explained the various steps taken by the Centre saying terrorist instances have reduced by 45.2 per cent compared from 2018 to 2023 and infiltration reduced by 90 per cent. Law and order issues like stone pelting etc. reduced by 97 per cent.

Security persons casualty is reduced by 65 per cent, he said.

Stone pelting instances in 2018 were 1767 cases, it is nil now. Youth has been gainfully employed now and earlier they were misled by secessionist forces. Organised bandhs etc in 2018 were 52 and now it is nil, the Solicitor General told the bench.

In 2022, 1.8 crore tourists visited and in 2023, 1 crore tourists have visited, Mehta said.

On the other hand, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the petitioners against abrogation of Article 370, said that the government has 5,000 people under house arrest, section 144 imposed, the internet was shut off, and people could not go to hospitals even.

“Let us not make a mockery of democracy, and not talk about bandhs etc.,” he said.

CJI Chandrachud then clarified that it will deal with the legality of the abrogation of Article 370 on constitutional grounds and that facts relating to election or statehood won’t affect that determination.

On the last date of the hearing Centre told the apex court that the status of Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory is only temporary and it will be restored to Statehood, however, Ladakh would remain a Union Territory.

The Constitution bench is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories.

On August 5, 2019, the Central government announced the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 and split the region into two Union territories (ANI).

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Chinese President Xi Jinping

Xi To Skip G20 Summit In Delhi

Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to skip the G20 Summit to be held in India next week, sources familiar with the matter in India and China have revealed, Reuters reported.

On Xi’s behalf, Chinese Premier Li Qiang is expected to represent Beijing at the September 9-10 meeting in New Delhi, as per two Indian officials, one diplomat based in China and one official working for the government of another G20 country.

Spokespersons for the Indian and Chinese foreign ministries did not respond to requests for comment.

As per Reuters, the G20 Summit in India had been viewed as a venue at which Xi may meet with US President Joe Biden, who has confirmed his attendance, as the two superpowers seek to stabilise relations soured by a range of trade and geopolitical tensions.

Xi last met Biden on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, last November.

One senior government official from India told Reuters that “we are aware that the premier will come”, in place of Xi.

The sources in China, two of whom said they were informed by Chinese officials, said they were not aware of the reason for Xi’s expected absence, according to Reuters.

The Chinese President has made few overseas trips since China abruptly dropped its COVID restrictions. He, however, attended the BRICS Summit in South Africa last week.

Several G20 ministerial meetings in India ahead of the summit have been contentious as Russia and China together opposed joint statements which included paragraphs condemning Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine last year, as per Reuters.

Meanwhile, PM Modi had a conversation with Chinese President Xi on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in which he highlighted India’s concerns at the unresolved issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh with the two leaders agreeing to direct their relevant officials “to intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and de-escalation”.

Addressing a press conference on India’s participation at the 15th BRICS summit, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said Prime Minister Modi had interactions with other BRICS leaders during the summit.

He said PM Modi in his conversation with the Chinese President underlined that the maintenance of peace in the border areas and observing and respecting the LAC are essential for the normalisation of the India-China ties. (ANI)

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Raksha Bandhan 2023

Kangana To Sanjay Dutt, B’wood Stars Celebrate Raksha Bandhan 2023

As the country celebrates Raksha Bandhan, which is dedicated to the bond of love and care between siblings, Bollywood celebs shared pictures of their celebration and extended best wishes on this festival.

Actor Sara Ali Khan posted an adorable picture of the Rakhi celebration with the family on her Instagram handle. In the picture, she can be seen posing with Kareena Kapoor, Ibrahim Ali Khan, Taimur Ali Khan and Jehangir Ali Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Saba Ali Khan and Inaaya was seen sitting on Sara’s lap.

Sara captioned the picture, “Happy Raksha Bandhan”

Kangana Ranaut also shared a throwback picture of her sibling on Instagram Stories. She also captioned the image and wrote ”Three Musketeers.”

Huma Qureshi greeted her actor-brother Saqib Saleem on Raksha Bandhan and posted a picture with him on Instagram Stories. ”This is how he shows his love,” she captioned the photo.

On the occasion of Rakhi, Jackie Shroff shared a photo collage of his children, Tiger and Krishna Shroff. The post included a mix of nostalgic childhood photos, cherished recollections, and even a contemporary snapshot that brilliantly depicted their sibling’s love. Among the snapshots, one image shows Krishna lifting her brother, Tiger. “Always protecting each other since childhood. Tiger and Krishna, my heart’s pride and joy,” he captioned the image.

Rakul Preet Singh also shared a post on Instagram to wish her brother on Rakhi. She wrote, “Happppy rakhi my not so little one@aman01offl”

Actor Sanjay Dutt also wished his two sisters Priya and Namrata on Rakhi with a sweet message on his Instagram handle. He wrote, “My dearest Priya and Anju, on this Raksha Bandhan, I want to remind you both of the deep love and respect I hold for you. Just as you’ve been my pillars of strength, I promise to always stand by you, protecting and cherishing our bond. May our connection remain as pure and unbreakable as a sister’s love. Wishing you a joyful and blessed Raksha Bandhan!@priyadutt @namrata62”

Actor Genelia D’Souza wished her brother, Nigel D’Souza through a heartfelt message on her Instagram handle. My Dearest Nigu Pigu, We maybe poles apart..Literally chalk and cheese ( vegan cheese)But the bond we share is so close and so tight that no one or nothing can ever come between us… I just want you to know, I look at you and I’m so so proud of the man you have become, totally self made, totally on your own belief and that is your super power little one.. So I maybe annoying and unbearable but I’ve got your back forever..Happy Raksha Bandhan @nigeldsouza12”

Actor Sanjay Kapoor shared a throwback picture of himself along with Anil Kapoor, Boney Kapoor and Reena Marwah and wrote in the caption, “Happy Raksha bandhan”

Madhuri Dixit Nene posted a photo of herself applying a tilak to her brother’s forehead on her Instagram account.

Actor Shehnaaz Gill also posted a picture with Rajbir Cheeema, Kaushal Joshi and Manoj Chaudhry and wrote in the caption that she is missing her brother on this occasion, “Happy Rakshabandhan! @rajbircheeema @kaushal_j @chaudhry6989 Miss you!! @badeshashehbaz”

Shilpa Shetty posted cute pictures of kids and wrote in the caption, “Aaj mahurat late hai ..Magar yeh rishta great hai..Happy Raksha Bandhan to everyone celebrating ..#RakshaBandhan #HappyRakhi #siblinglove #siblingbond #family #love #grateful #blessed”

Through these amazing pictures, celebrities have made the festivity more special.(ANI)

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Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Meets Amitabh, Says, ‘I have got the Opportunity To Meet ‘Bharat Ratna Bachchan’

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday met Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and the entire family at his residence in Mumbai.

She hugged veteran actor Jaya Bachchan and posed with everyone in the family including Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Aaradhya Bachchan, Shweta Bachchan and Navya Naveli Nanda.

After meeting the megastar, she addressed the media and told them, “I am very happy today because I came to Mumbai so many times but this is the first time I have got the opportunity to meet what I say in my language Bharat Ratna Amitabh Bachchan. I had a great conversation with Amitabh ji, Jaya ji, Abhishek ji, Aishwarya Rai, her daughter Aaradhya, Shweta. I love this family. They are the number one family in India and they have a lot of contributions also. He is a legend and we respect him and his family. They are the number one family in India and they have a lot of contributions also. I also invited him to attend Durga Puja and International Film Festival.”

There is no discrimination between women and men we are human beings. Whatever discussion will be done in INDIA meet only. We are citizens of the India family so we want to save our country. On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan I wished all our scientists and ISRO.”

On the LPG price cut, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “They are decreasing the price during elections…”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday arrived in Mumbai ahead of the INDIA alliance’s third meet to be held on August 31- September 1.

The meeting will discuss the alliance strategies for the Lok Sabha election and the seat sharing in the states. (ANI)

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Opposition bloc INDIA Kejriwal

AAP Joined INDIA Bloc To Prepare Blueprint For Better India: Raghav

Ahead of the third INDIA bloc meet in Mumbai, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Raghav Chadha on Wednesday said that AAP has joined INDIA to prepare a blueprint for a better India. 

“AAP has not joined the INDIA alliance for the PM post. Arvind Kejriwal is not in the race to become the PM. We have joined the INDIA alliance to prepare a blueprint for a better India,” the AAP MP said.

“If any party is saying this (that AAP has joined the INDIA bloc for the PM post), it means that we have many capable faces for the PM post. Many prominent leaders are the part of INDIA alliance,” he added. 

He further asked, do they (BJP/NDA) have any such face except PM Modi.

“Is there anyone in the BJP who can say that they want Nitin Gadkari, Yogi Adityanath or someone from Chirag Paswan’s party to become the next PM face…At their party, one can’t even express this kind of thought,” he said. 

Earlier in the day, AAP leader Sanjay Singh said party national convener Arvind Kejriwal is not in the race for Prime Minister.

“Arvind Kejriwal’s motive to join the INDIA Alliance is to save the country. Arvind Kejriwal is not in the race to be a Prime Minister. The issues like PM candidate and seat sharing will be decided by consensus by the alliance,” Sanjay Singh told ANI.

The third meeting of the INDIA alliance will be held in Maharashtra’s Mumbai on August 31 and September 1.

The meeting will discuss the alliance strategies for the Lok Sabha election and the seat sharing in the states. A new logo of the INDIA alliance is also likely to be launched.

A total of 28 parties are likely to participate in the third meeting of the newly formed opposition alliance in Mumbai.

The parties have come together to take on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which is led by PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and prevent it from winning a third straight term at the Centre in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The first meeting of the joint opposition convened in Patna on June 23 and the second meeting was held in Bengaluru on July 17-18. The third meeting is slated to be in Mumbai on August 31-September 1. (ANI)

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Govt Offices On Alert Mode G20 summit

G-20 summit: IAF AWACS, Fighter Jets, Air Defence Missiles To Be On High Alert To Protect Delhi Air Space

In view of the G-20 summit to be held in the next couple of weeks, the Indian Air Force would be keeping its airborne warning systems, fighter jets including the Rafale on high alert along with stationing the new air defence missile systems at vital locations to protect the Delhi air space to provide protection to the high-level meeting.

The counter-drone systems along with air defence missiles are also being stationed in the national capital to protect against any possible air threat in coordination with all security agencies by the Indian Air Force, defence sources told ANI.

To keep an eye on any movement around the northern parts of the country, the ‘eyes in the sky’— the Airborne Warning and Control Systems would remain in the air continuously.

The indigenous surveillance plane ‘Netra’ would also be carrying out regular monitoring in the area.

A number of air bases in the vicinity of the national capital territory including the areas of responsibility of the Western Air Command and the South Western Air Command would be ready in operational readiness platform mode.

The deployment would be been done in view of doing away with the possibility of any aerial platform trying to create any obstruction in the high-profile meeting where heads of state from countries including the US, Saudi Arabia, Japan, France and Germany would be coming.

Prime ministers of Canada, UK and Italy would also be in attendance.

The air defence systems that the Indian Air Force surface air defence missile systems activated and deployed to protect Delhi air space include the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) air defence system which can take out targets from 70-80 Km range along with the Akash air defence missile system which has been moved to areas from where it can counter any threat.

The Indian defence forces would also be seeing the deployment of their Special Forces to protect critical locations as a large number of global leaders would be in the national capital at an unprecedented scale in the last many years.

The IAF maintains such preparedness during national day celebrations like Republic Day and Independence Day when the highest air defence protocols are put in place in the national capital.

The air bases to be activated for the summit include the Hindan air base near Delhi and many others including Ambala, Sirsa, Bhatinda, and Adampur. (ANI)

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