India Top News Highlights, August 17: Kejriwal takes off gloves, pitches himself directly as Modi challenger; BJP rejigs Parliamentary Board – The Indian Express

India Top News Highlights, August 17: If the idea was to leave no room for any ambiguity about his overarching political ambition for the 2024 general elections, the Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener, Arvind Kejriwal, pulled off that feat through his speech at the AAP event in the national capital on Wednesday.
Launching the “Make India Number 1” campaign, Kejriwal appealed to the country’s 130 crore people to join the “national mission” on five projects – education, health, employment, women rights and sustainable farming.
The BJP on Wednesday reconstituted its Parliamentary Board, the party’s apex decision-making body, and the Central Election Committee (CEC) after eight years, dropping veterans such as Nitin Gadkari and Shivraj Singh Chouhan and springing a surprise by including faces such as former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and former IPS officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura, the first Sikh leader to become a member of the Parliamentary Board.
 
If the idea was to leave no room for any ambiguity about his overarching political ambition for the 2024 general elections, the Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener, Arvind Kejriwal, pulled off that feat through his speech at the AAP event in the national capital on Wednesday.
Launching the “Make India Number 1” campaign, Kejriwal appealed to the country’s 130 crore people to join the “national mission” on five projects – education, health, employment, women rights and sustainable farming. Read more in our Political Pulse
The Central Bureau of Investigation has questioned All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary KC Venugopal in connection with the alleged sexual exploitation of a con woman involved in the solar scam in Kerala. Sources on Tuesday said Venugopal was questioned in the case a week ago at the agency’s headquarters in Delhi. Read More
Hours after Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri said Wednesday that all Rohingya refugees would be shifted to EWS flats in Delhi’s Bakkarwala, the office of Union Home Minister Amit Shah issued a statement denying any such move by the Centre.
“With respect to news reports in certain sections of media regarding Rohingya illegal foreigners, it is clarified that Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has not given any directions to provide EWS flats to Rohingya illegal migrants at Bakkarwala in New Delhi,” Shah’s office said in a tweet. Read more
The BJP on Wednesday reconstituted its Parliamentary Board, the party’s apex decision-making body, and the Central Election Committee (CEC) after eight years, dropping veterans such as Nitin Gadkari and Shivraj Singh Chouhan and springing a surprise by including faces such as former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and former IPS officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura, the first Sikh leader to become a member of the Parliamentary Board.
The new members of the Parliamentary Board and the CEC have been hand-picked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The revamp signalled the complete consolidation of power in the BJP’s central leadership, said sources. 
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Other Backward Class (OBC) Morcha chief K Laxman, former MP Sudha Yadav, and former Union Minister Satyanarayan Jatiya are the other new members of the Parliamentary Board. Read more in this Political Pulse
In view of the rising COVID-19 cases across the country, airlines have been advised to ensure that passengers are wearing face masks properly throughout the journey and ensure proper sensitization of the passengers through various platforms: Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
In case a passenger does not comply with the directions, strict action will be taken by airlines against the passenger, the DGCA added. (ANI)
The Calcutta High Court Wednesday granted interim bail to three Jharkhand Congress MLAs arrested by the West Bengal police after they were found with Rs 49 lakh in cash in their vehicle last week, news agency PTI reported.
The party, however, linked the recovery of cash to attempts to destabilise the JMM-Congress government in Jharkhand and claimed that the chief minister of a state had been directly contacting some of the MLAs. Read More
The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgement on separate pleas of the Jharkhand government and Chief Minister Hemant Soren against an order of the Jharkhand High Court that accepted the maintainability of a PIL for a probe against the JMM leader who has been accused of granting himself a mining lease as the state’s mining minister.
“Heard counsels for the parties. Order reserved. Since the court is seized of the matter, the High Court shall not proceed with the matter,” the Bench said. Read More
In a major organisational reshuffle, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday dropped Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from its parliamentary board, the party’s highest decision-making body.
Former Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa, Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal, former IPS officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura, former Lok Sabha MP Satyanarayan Jatiya, BJP National OBC Morcha president K Lakshman, and national secretary Sudha Yadav have been included in the party’s parliamentary board. Read More
Granting anticipatory bail to writer and social activist Civic Chandran in a sexual harassment case, a district sessions court in Kozhikode observed that the offence under Section 354 (A) (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code would prima facie not be attracted when the woman was wearing ‘sexually provocative dresses’.
Chandran, who had furnished photographs of the complainant along with the bail plea, was granted anticipatory bail on August 12. Earlier, on August 2, he had obtained anticipatory bail in another sexual harassment case filed against him. Read More
The Gujarat government on Monday released 11 convicts in the Bilkis Banomurder and gangrape case of 2002 under its remission and premature release policy after one of the convicts, Radheshyam Shah, moved the Supreme Court. Shah, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment by a CBI court in Mumbai in 2008, had completed 15 years and 4 months in jail.
Under Articles 72 and 161 of the Constitution, the President and Governors have the power to pardon, and to suspend, remit, or commute a sentence passed by the courts. Also, since prisons is a state subject, state governments have powers under Section 432 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to remit sentences. Read more. 
All private and commercial vehicles can drive through the new multi-level car parking (MLCP) area to pick up passengers, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) announced Wednesday.

Officials said cars will now be parked from Wednesday at the new parking area to enhance and maintain the parking space. At present, people use Lane 3 of Terminal 3 forecourt to pick up arriving passengers. “Delhi Airport is continuously working to provide a convenient and safe airport environment for arriving passengers.

All arrival pick-up vehicles for passengers will need to go to the multi-level car parking (MLCP) at Terminal 3. Multi-level car parking provides a clean and systematic arrangement along with multiple passenger facilities and amenities for pick-up and parking,” said DIAL chief executive Videh Kumar Jaipuriar. Read more. 
Living with Type 2 diabetes often means cutting back on our favourite foods and beverages. Much time is spent in every medical consultation discussing appropriate food choices. Some of the most frequently asked questions by people with diabetes pertain to the consumption of alcohol. Can I have alcohol or not? How much? How frequently? What type of alcohol? And so on and so forth.

When first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, many alcohol-drinkers are concerned whether alcohol can be the cause of their diabetes. Commonly known risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are family history, obesity, older age, and sedentary lifestyle. T

he relationship of alcohol and diabetes is complicated. Women metabolise alcohol less efficiently than men. Moderate intake of alcohol (eg <30 ml/day whisky for women, <60 ml/day for men) does not increase the risk of developing diabetes.

However, excessive intake of alcohol is associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes as it can cause weight gain. Alcohol abuse may also cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), a dangerous condition, which can lead to diabetes.

Should diabetics avoid alcohol?

In general, it is advisable for people with diabetes to avoid alcohol. This is particularly true for those whose diabetes is not well-controlled. It is true that drinking alcohol in excess, either on a single occasion or over time, can take a serious toll on one’s health.

An alcohol binge causes changes in behaviour and make it harder to think clearly, leading to random, uncontrolled eating and unsafe activities. This may result in alcohol poisoning, hospitalisation, car accidents and other injuries. Drinking excessively over time can cause high blood pressure, damage the heart, liver, pancreas and even increase the risk for certain cancers. Read more.
For the first time ever, in recognition of International Tiger Day (July 29) and World Lion Day (August 10) and the impending arrival of cheetahs to Kuno, DiJ got the “big four” members of the cat family to share their views on the matter.

Edited excerpts:

DiJ: We start with the cheetahs — they will soon be our guests after all. So, Speedy are you looking forward to you sojourn in India?

Cheetah: Man, I don’t know. You shot all of us the last time our species were here… That is not good for blood pressure, no?

Leopard (grinning evilly): Yes, and they have no recent experience of India… By the way, five or six of us have already sneaked into Kuno and are waiting to welcome them with garlands.

Tiger: Hmm… I believe they’ve stocked the place with good venison. Might be worth a look — and if we like it, Speedy here will have to chase chickens and goats. Read more. 
THE DELHI Police, which has used facial recognition technology to identify those accused in major clashes that have taken place in the capital over the past two years, considered a match to be “positive” if there was an accuracy rate of 80 per cent, according to records obtained by digital rights group Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

The records, shared under two RTI requests and reviewed by The Indian Express, throw light for the first time on how the Delhi Police uses facial recognition matches during investigations.

Facial recognition technology essentially maps, analyses and confirms the identity of a face in a photograph or video, typically using computer-generated filters to transform images into numerical expressions that can be compared. The key parameters include distance between the eyes and that from forehead to chin. Read more. 
The swearing-in of 31 ministers in Bihar on Tuesday reflects the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) attempt at implementing its “MY (Muslim-Yadav)-plus” strategy while the Janata Dal (United) has stuck to its reliable OBC-EBC-Dalit-Upper caste combination.

Of the 31 ministers in the new Nitish Kumar-led Council of Ministers, 16 are from the RJD, 11 are from the JD(U) — all from the previous administration retained — two belong to the Congress, one is from the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and one is an Independent MLA. The Bihar government can have a maximum of 36 ministers, including the chief minister and the deputy CM, but now has 33.

While, as expected, the chief minister retained the home ministry, the JD(U) also took control of the finance ministry. By entrusting Vijay Kumar Choudhary with the key portfolio, Nitish Kumar has marked him out as the most important leader in the party after him at the moment. Bijendra Prasad Yadav, the Yadav face in Nitish’s camp, has to make do with the Energy portfolio that he already held. Read more. 
Visiting a bakery, coffee shop or movie theatre seemed like a far-fetched idea for 74-year-old Prithwis Datta, who lives alone in Mumbai.

However, over the last six months, these outings have become a part of his life, thanks to a “grandpal”, who got introduced to him through Goodfellows, a start-up that helps senior citizens find empathetic young companions.

Based on the idea of making grandpals by nurturing fulfilling friendships between young graduates and senior citizens – through a fellowship aimed at providing meaningful companionship to senior citizens who live alone – the Goodfellows start-up was launched in Mumbai on Monday by Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons.

The start-up has been founded by Shantanu Naidu, a close mentee of Tata and a general manager in his office. Tata has even provided seed capital for the start-up.
FOR SEVERAL MINUTES late on Monday evening, Bilkis Bano could not believe that the 11 convicts had walked free — she first broke into tears and then went silent, her husband Yakub Rasool told The Indian Express.
A day later, when contacted by The Indian Express, Bilkis said: “Please leave me alone… I have offered duas (prayers) for the soul of my daughter Saleha”.
“We have been left numb, shocked and shaken,” said Rasool after a Gujarat panel granted remission of sentence to the 11 convicts who were jailed for life in 2008 for gangraping Bilkis and killing 14 of her family members, including her three-year-old daughter, during the 2002 riots.
“The battle we fought for so many years has been wrapped up in one moment. A sentence of life imprisonment given by the court has been curtailed in such a manner… We had never even heard of the word ‘remission’. We didn’t even know that such a process exists,” Rasool told The Indian Express over phone from their home at Devgadh Baria in Dahod.
Hours after he was appointed chairman of the Congress’s campaign committee and a member of political affairs committee in the party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit, Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday declined both posts, leaving the party red-faced.
Azad, a leader close to him said, felt insulted and humiliated.
“He is a member of the political affairs committee headed by (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi. It is strange to include him in a similar committee in a state (UT) as a member. These are mindless decisions,” a leader said.
Visiting a bakery, coffee shop or movie theatre seemed like a far-fetched idea for 74-year-old Prithwis Datta, who lives alone in Mumbai. However, over the last six months, these outings have become a part of his life, thanks to a “grandpal”, who got introduced to him through Goodfellows, a start-up that helps senior citizens find empathetic young companions.
Based on the idea of making grandpals by nurturing fulfilling friendships between young graduates and senior citizens – through a fellowship aimed at providing meaningful companionship to senior citizens who live alone – the Goodfellows start-up was launched in Mumbai on Monday by Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons.
The start-up has been founded by Shantanu Naidu, a close mentee of Tata and a general manager in his office. Tata has even provided seed capital for the start-up.

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