Mumbai-bound IndiGo flight

IndiGo Eyes Long-Haul Expansion With Airbus A350-900 Aircraft

IndiGo has confirmed a firm order for 30 Airbus A350-900 wide-body aircraft. The airline’s chief executive officer (CEO), Pieter Elbers, announced on Tuesday that deliveries of these aircraft are slated to commence in 2027.

IndiGo’s order for the A350-900 comes with the flexibility to determine the exact configuration of the aircraft at a later stage. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2027, marking a significant milestone for the airline’s expansion plans.

Additionally, IndiGo holds Purchase Rights for an additional 70 Airbus A350 family aircraft, providing the airline with the option to meet future needs under certain conditions.

The Airbus A350-900 is equipped with the capability to operate long-haul routes, making it an ideal choice for expanding into markets like Europe and the USA.

When ANI questioned IndiGo about its plans for entering these lucrative markets, CEO Pieter Elbers commented, “We have yet to finalize the routes, but A350 aircraft possess the capabilities to fly directly to the said destinations.”

With a fleet of over 350 aircraft, IndiGo has been a dominant player in the domestic market and is now aggressively pursuing international expansion.

The decision to invest in wide-body Airbus A350 planes signals IndiGo’s intention to compete not only within India but also on the global stage. (ANI)

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April Delhi AQI

Delhi Records Max Good To Moderate Air Quality Days In April

Delhi recorded the maximum number of ‘Good to Moderate’ air quality days in April 2024 as compared to the corresponding period of the last six years starting in 2018 (except 2020, the year of lockdown due to COVID), denoting a marked improvement, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said in a release.

This was a result of favourable meteorological or weather conditions coupled with consistent, comprehensive, and concerted efforts by the Commission for Air Quality Management in the NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) and various stakeholders to control air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The number of days with ‘Good to Moderate’ air quality in Delhi during April, 2024 were 23 as against 17 in 2023; 0 in 2022; 18 in 2021; 30 in 2020; 12 in 2019; and 08 in 2018, the release said.

Keeping ‘Poor to Severe’ air quality days under control, during April 2024, Delhi experienced only seven days with AQI more than 200, as per the CPCB data.

The number of days with AQI more than 200 were 13 in 2023, 30 in 2022, 12 in 2021, 18 in 2019, and 22 in 2018, the release said.

The average AQI for Delhi during this period also remained in the Moderate AQI category, that is, below 200. During April 2024, Delhi experienced its second lowest monthly average Air Quality Index (AQI) as compared to the corresponding month of April for the last six-year period from 2018 (barring 2020 – the year of lockdown due to covid).

Month-wise daily average AQI in Delhi for April was 182 in 2024, 180 in 2023, 255 in 2022, 202 in 2021, 110 in 2020, 211 in 2019, and 222 in 2018, the release said.

Considering the daily average PM2.5 and PM10 concentration levels, the 30-day period of April 2024 also witnessed a significant reduction in daily average PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations as compared to the corresponding period in the previous years.

CAQM is working closely with various stakeholders concerned to take effective measures for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution and to improve the overall air quality in NCR, the release said. (ANI)

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Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi

Admiral Tripathi Takes Charge As New Navy Chief

Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi on Tuesday took over as India’s 26th chief of naval staff. He succeeds Admiral R Hari Kumar, who retires upon superannuation, after an illustrious career in the Indian Navy.

Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, is an alumnus of Sainik School Rewa and National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. He was commissioned on July 1,1985 into the executive branch of the Indian Navy. Tripathi is a Communication and Electronic Warfare specialist and commanded warships like corvette INS Vinash, Kirch and Trishul.

He served on frontline warships of the Navy as Signal Communication Officer and Electronic Warfare Officer and later as the Executive Officer and Principal Warfare Officer of the Guided Missile Destroyer INS Mumbai.

On the occasion, the newly-appointed Navy Chief Dinesh K Tripathi said that his singular focus as the Chief of Naval Staff will be to “ensure operational readiness and be ready to deter potential adversities at sea in peace and to ‘win the war at sea’ when asked to do so”.

“I am deeply honoured to be appointed as twenty-sixth Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy. Over the years, our Navy has evolved into a Combat, Cohesive, Credible,’ and Future Proof Force, for which, I want to thank all the esteemed former Chiefs of the Navy. I will also strengthen the ongoing efforts of the Indian Navy towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, towards new technologies and becoming an important pillar of the nation’s development towards our collective quest for ‘ Viksit Bharat’,” Navy Chief said.

“My priority will be to upskill our human resource i.e. the men and women of our Navy and provide them with the best armament, training, professional environment and administrative support,” he added.

During his career spanning nearly 40 years, he has held various important operational and staff appointments, which include Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet at Mumbai, Director of Naval Operations, Principal Director Network Centric Operations and Principal Director Naval Plans at New Delhi. On promotion to the rank of Rear Admiral, he served as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy and Plans) at NHQ and as the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.

On promotion to the rank of Vice Admiral, he has served as Commandant of the prestigious Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala, Kerala, Director General of Naval Operations, Chief of

Personnel and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command at


Adm Dinesh K Tripathi has undergone courses at Signal School, Kochi, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Naval Higher Command Course, Karanja and Naval Command College at the United States Naval War College, United States of America.

He was the Vice Chief of Naval Staff, prior to taking over helm as Chief of the Naval Staff on April 30,2024. (ANI)

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The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

Uttarakhand Char-Dham Yatra: NDMA Reviews Preparations

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a tabletop exercise at the Secretariat auditorium in Dehradun on Tuesday to review the ongoing preparations for the upcoming Char-Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand on May 10.

Earlier, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami held a meeting on Friday to review preparations for Char Dham Yatra 2024. During the meeting, CM Dhami directed officials to ensure proper arrangements for electricity, drinking water, and roads on the travel routes during the Yatra.

He also emphasized that security personnel deployed on Yatra duty should be on alert mode and to ensure that they are given rest every six hours. Arrangements for the stay of drivers participating in the Yatra were also discussed during the meeting.

In addition, the Chief Minister highlighted the importance of utilizing social media to provide updates related to Char Dham Yatra to passengers coming from outside and directed that directories related to the Yatra be made available in different languages in hotels, guest houses, and homestays.

The Char Dham Yatra, a pilgrimage to four holy sites–Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath–is a significant journey for devotees. The pilgrimage starts from Yamunotri, proceeds towards Gangotri, onto Kedarnath, and finally ends at Badrinath, following a clockwise direction. The high-altitude shrines remain shut for around six months every year, opening in summer (April or May) and closing with the onset of winter (October or November).

Pilgrims can complete the journey by road or by air, with helicopter services available. Some devotees even undertake a Do Dham Yatra, visiting two shrines–Kedarnath and Badrinath–as per the Uttarakhand tourism official website.

Earlier, CM Dhami assured the pilgrims on Friday that all preparations had been made for the Char Dham Yatra, with around 16 lakh people registered for the Yatra.

“We have assessed and analyzed all the arrangements. And whatever preparations were necessary, all have been done. Wherever there was a need for improvement–roads, transport system, parking, hotels, dhabas, restaurants, and police traffic system–all has been discussed. The number of pilgrims in the Yatra is increasing every year, so there should be a good Yatra… till now around 16 lakh people have registered for the Yatra,” he said. (ANI)

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu

This is How Samantha Celebrated Her Birthday

Actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu, who turned a year older on April 28, shared a glimpse of her celebration and thanked everyone for wishes on her big day.

Taking to Instagram stories, she shared a picture of herself from a restaurant while cutting her birthday cake and wrote, “Thankyou for all the love.”

The photo captured Samantha flaunting her smile while making a birthday wish.

On Sunday, celebrities including Varun Dhawan, Ram Charan, Vijay Deverakonda, Tamannaah Bhatia, and many others showered love on her birthday.

Meanwhile, Samantha delighted her fans as she dropped the first poster of her next movie, ‘Bangaram.’

In the poster, Samantha wore a saree and gazed ahead with a fiery expression. The poster also depicted a boiling pressure cooker and a teddy bear next to her.

The film will be produced under Samantha’s banner Tralala Moving Pictures as its maiden production venture.

Apart from Bangaram, Samantha is preparing for ‘Citadel: Honey Bunny,’ an Indian version of the Russo brothers’ Citadel, which stars Priyanka Chopra and Richard Madden.

In the series, Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Varun Dhawan will portray the characters Honey and Bunny. The show’s creators, Sita R Menon, Raj Nidimoru, and Krishna D.K., have also written the series. (ANI)

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Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Flaunts Her Toned- Muscles In ‘Between Shots Selfie’

Priyanka Chopra who is currently busy shooting for her upcoming project ‘Heads of State’ treated her fans with a new selfie from the film’s set.

The actress on Monday took to her Instagram Stories yet again to share a selfie that she took in between the shots.

In the picture, Priyanka is seen showcasing her well-defined muscles while wearing a crop top and pants, paired with a black coat.

Just yesterday, Priyanka dropped a compilation video showcasing lovely moments with her daughter Malti Marie and hubby Nick Jonas, giving fans a glimpse of her life.

A few days ago, the actress shared a glimpse of ‘bring your baby to work’ day as she took her daughter to the sets of ‘Heads of State’.

The image captured Malti sitting on her lap and can be seen interacting with the people on the sets.

Earlier this month, Priyanka also shared behind-the-scenes pictures of her from shoot diaries.

The ‘Barfi’ actress looked stunning in a radiant selfie. She wore a cool pair of sunglasses and posed with a river in the background.

‘Heads Of State’, is an upcoming action comedy featuring Idris Elba, John Cena, and Jack Quaid in key roles, under the direction of Ilya Naishuller.

On the Bollywood front, she will be seen in Farhan Akhtar’s next directorial ‘Jee Le Zaraa’ alongside Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt. However, no update has been provided on the film since the announcement was made a couple of years ago. (ANI)

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Rishabh Pant SRK

These Boys Are Like My Sons: SRK Recalls Pant’s Car Crash

As Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant continues to shine in the ongoing IPL edition, after recovering from a horrific accident that put him out of action for over a year, superstar and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) co-owner Shah Rukh Khan cannot be prouder.

In a recent conversation with the host broadcaster, Star Sports, Shah Rukh spoke highly of Pant, revealing that he was ‘horrified’ after learning of the near-fatal car crash involving the former.

“That was horrifying. I saw that video (of his car). It was horrifying! Because we didn’t know then, what was the result of that accident. So, you get the worst feelings. To me, these boys are like my own sons. I have youngsters in my team as well. I hoped he wasn’t injured badly,” SRK said in a video shared on KKR’s social media handle.

“And a sportsman getting injured, it’s a double jeopardy. Worse than that, us getting injured. I wish him all the best. I hope his knee gets fully recovered soon,” the actor added.

The ‘Pathaan’ star also shared his memorable interaction with Pant post KKR and DC’s match in Vizag on April 3. A video clip of Shah Rukh catching up with the Delhi Capitals captain after the match broke the internet.

Seeing Pant sitting on the ground, SRK insisted that he stayed seated but the former got up anyway. With a warm hug, SRK whispered something into Pant’s ear, showing his respect and admiration towards the wicketkeeper batter.

Recalling that interaction with Pant, SRK shared, “In the last game, when I met him, I was telling him don’t get up, it must be hurting. I was hugging him and asking are you well? I had not seen him before that, post the accident. I am really happy that he’s back, playing well and I hope he keeps on playing well.”

Pant met with a life-threatening car accident in December 2022, shortly after India toured Bangladesh that month. The star wicketkeeper-batter sustained multiple injuries to his head, knee and back.

He was taken to Mumbai for advanced treatment, which included surgery. Due to the serious nature of his injuries, which also included a ligament tear in his knee, Pant missed out on the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, the Asia Cup and the Cricket World Cup at home last year.

Marking his return to competitive cricket this IPL season, after the horrific car crash, Pant has demonstrated full fitness not just with the willow but also behind the wickets. He has aggregated 398 runs in 11 matches for Delhi Capitals at an average of 44.22 and a strike rate of over 158, with three half-centuries. His best score this season is an unbeaten 88.

Pant has also been typically agile and effervescent behind the stumps, effecting 14 dismissals (11 catches and three stumpings). (ANI)

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'Chacha Vidhayak Hai Humare' Zakir Khan

Zakir Has This To Say About ‘Chacha Vidhayak…’ Season 3

Comedian Zakir Khan recently came up with the third season of ‘Chacha Vidhayak Hai Humare’.

Delving deep into his character of Ronny Pathak, Zakir shared, “If I had to describe Ronny’s character in one line, it would be ‘his intention is right, but his methods are wrong’. He tries to balance out these two things and his journey has revolved around the same since the past two seasons. In the latest season, viewers will see his defeat, betrayal, and how he comes out of it. I believe the transformation is what makes this season truly magical, and everyone will enjoy watching it.”

He added, “I relate to Ronny’s character, there are quite a few similarities between the real and reel personalities. I relate to his character on many levels, from his approach to tackling situations to his bond with his loved ones and how he is always ready to help others.”

The third part also stars Amruta Khanvilkar, Alka Amin, Vyom Sharmarma, Venus Singh, and Kumar Varun in pivotal roles. It is currently streaming on Amazon miniTV. (ANI)

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Congress Farmer Modi

Couldn’t Provide Farmers Water To Irrigate Fields In 60 Yrs: Modi

Firing a fresh salvo at the Congress over its track of governance at the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said even after holding the country’s reins for 60 years, they could not even give farmers water to irrigate their fields even as other countries propelled towards progress and prosperity.

Addressing a mega public meeting at Madha in the Solapur Lok Sabha constituency of Maharashtra, PM Modi gunned for the Congress, saying, “The country gave the Congress a chance to rule the country for 60 years. Over the course of these six decades, many countries made rapid transitions towards development and prosperity while we lagged on several fronts. The Congress could not even provide water to our farmers to irrigate their fields. When I took office in 2014, there were about 100 irrigation projects that had been stuck in red tape for decades. Of these, 26 projects were for Maharashtra. Just imagine the extent to which Congress betrayed Maharashtra.”

Also taking a swipe at NCP (SCP) chief Sharad Pawar over his tenure as Union Agriculture Minister under the Congress-led UPA at the Centre (2004-2014), PM Modi said Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane has increased under his tenure.

“When the remote-controlled government (a dig at Congress-led UPA government under then PM Manmohan Singh) was in power 10 years ago, a powerful leader of Maharashtra (Sharad Pawar) used to be the Agriculture minister. When powerful leaders from here ruled from Delhi, the FRP of sugarcane was around Rs 200 per quintal and today, under Modi’s term, the FRP has increased to Rs 350 per quintal,” he said.

Earlier, in February, the central cabinet approved the ‘Fair and Remunerative Price’ (FRP) for sugarcane payable by sugar factories for the season 2024-25 (October-September). With this approval, sugar mills have to now pay an FRP at Rs 340/quintal to sugarcane growers on the recovery of 10.25 per cent.

Prime Minister Modi alleged that the previous Congress governments in Maharashtra looted the funds that were allocated by the Centre for the state’s farmers.

“In the previous years, the Congress (governments) gobbled up whatever little funds were allocated by the central government for the farmers here. However, it is your son now who sits in Delhi. We will ensure that every penny that comes from Delhi goes directly into your account,” PM Modi said.

Underscoring the role have to play towards building a ‘Viksit Bharat’ (developed India), PM Modi said, “Your Modi has left no stone unturned to empower women. Thousands of women have joined Self Help Groups in the past 10 years. Women are contributing increasingly to the ongoing development of villages. We have made 1 crore women Lakhpati Didis. The country will soon have 3 crore Lakhpati Didis and this is my guarantee!” he said.

Polling for 11 seats in Maharashtra will be held in the third phase on May 7. Of the 48 seats in the state, voting in 13 was conducted across the first and second phases. (ANI)

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‘I Am Thrilled to Become a Voice in the Grand Chorus of Democracy’

Kriti Bhargava, an undergraduate at FLAME University, Pune who is pursuing a major in Public Policy and a minor in Economics, offers a first-time voter’s perspective. Her views:

As a student of public policy with a minor in economics, I find myself at a crucial juncture in my civic journey – preparing to cast my first vote in the upcoming elections. This milestone not only marks my formal entry into the democratic process but also represents an opportunity to engage critically with the policies that shape our nation’s trajectory.

Voting for the first time is an exhilarating experience filled with a sense of pride and responsibility that comes with exercising one’s democratic right. I vividly recall the anticipation and excitement leading up to the day, a feeling heightened by the guidance and support of my father, who helped me navigate the process of getting my name included in the voter’s list. What struck me most was the noticeable change in the ease of application, a seamless transition facilitated by online registration without the hassle of bureaucratic hurdles or the spectre of corruption. It’s truly a surreal moment to realize that I am now a participant in shaping the future of my country through the power of my vote, and for that, I am grateful to the government for streamlining the electoral process and making it accessible to all without discrimination or favouritism.

Over the past decade, India has witnessed a multitude of policy reforms and initiatives under the leadership of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). As I prepare to exercise my democratic right, I cannot help but reflect on the impact of these policies on the socio-economic landscape of our country.

ALSO READ: ‘Even As A First Time I Can Recount NDA Achievements’

As a student, I am particularly appreciative of the significant strides made by the government in the realm of education and human capital development through initiatives which have helped foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and academic excellence, laying a strong foundation for the future of India’s youth.

One of the cornerstones of the NDA government’s educational reforms is the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which aims to overhaul the traditional approach to learning in India. By emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, and multidisciplinary studies, the NEP shifts the focus away from rote memorization towards experiential learning, empowering students to explore their interests and passions.

Complementing this, the Skill India Initiative, launched in 2015, underscores the importance of skill development in enhancing employability. Through programs like the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), millions of youth are equipped with industry-relevant skills, paving the way for a workforce that is not only job-ready but also capable of driving innovation and entrepreneurship in diverse sectors.

The government’s commitment to ensuring equal access to education is evident through initiatives like the National Scholarship Portal (NSP), which simplifies the process of availing scholarships and financial aid, thereby enabling deserving students to pursue their educational goals unhindered by financial constraints. Moreover, to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among students, initiatives like Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and Startup India provide platforms for students to unleash their creative potential and develop solutions to real-world challenges. Not only this, the National Digital Library (NDL) democratizes access to quality educational resources in digital format, empowering students and educators nationwide to pursue academic excellence.

The upcoming elections present an opportunity for me to engage critically with the policies and governance of the past decade under the NDA government. While acknowledging the positive strides made, I remain committed to scrutinizing the government’s performance across various fronts. As I prepare to cast my vote, I am motivated by a sense of responsibility and optimism for the future of our nation. With my ballot in hand, I am eager to contribute to shaping a better, more inclusive, and prosperous India for generations to come. Getting inked is not just about selecting a button, it is about making my voice heard in the grand chorus of democracy, and I am excited to play my part in this vibrant tapestry of civic engagement.

The narrator is serving as the Batch Captain UG2 in the Student Council and has also cleared the National Defence Academy Examination (NDA/NA-149) with AIR 332

As told to Deepa Gupta