BJP shines in Bihar legislative council polls |

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has again outnumbered the ruling Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) in Bihar by winning 11 seats out of 24 seats in the legislative council biennial election of the state on Friday.

The ruling JD (U) managed to register win only in five seats while its alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) won four seats and the Congress won one seat, taking the total alliance tally to 10. 

The BJP&’s winning candidates include Sachidanand Rai from Chapra, Aditya Pandey from Gopalganj, Rajan Singh from Aurangabad, Sunil Singh from Darbhanga and Dilip Jayaswal from Purnea, Santosh Singh from Sasaram, Hari Narayan Chaudhary from Samastipur, Suman Mahaseth from Madhubani, Tunnaji from Siwan, Rajanish from Begusarai and Bablu Gupta from Motihari.

BJP&’s alliance partner Lok Janshakti Party&’s (LJP) leader from Saharsa, Nutan Singh also won the elections.

Meanwhile, in the JD-U, Reena Yadav from Nalanda, Dinesh Singh from Muzaffarpur, Manorama Devi from Gaya, Salman Ragib from Nawada and Manoj Yadav from Bhagalpur won the elections.

RJD candidate Subodh Rai from Hajipur, Radhacharan Shah from Ara-Buxar, Sanjay Prasad from Munger and Radhacharan Shah from Bhojpur also emerged victorious.

Congress leader Rajesh Ram won from Bettiah.

Two independent candidates also won the polls. Ritlal Yadav, who is lodged in Patna&’s Beur jail, won from Patna, Yadav, a criminal-turned-politician, is considered close to RJD. Another independent candidate, Ashok Yadav, won from Katihar, who was backed by the BJP.

The election for the 24 seats of Bihar Legislative Council was held on Tuesday with an estimated 94 per cent voting turnout recorded during the polls. Altogether, 152 contestants were in the fray for the seats.

The legislative council election was termed ‘semi-final’ by many political experts before the assembly election which is scheduled later this year.

Observe ”Mother Nature Day”, says Amma


 The world should observe a day dedicated to "Mother Nature" when people must plant at least one tree, Indian spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi has said.

"Just as we celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving, we should have a day to respect and worship Mother Nature," Amma, as she is widely known, said in an address here.

"On that day, everyone in the world should try to plant at least one tree," she said, addressing a conference on sustainable development the UN organised here on Wednesday.

In the capacity of the chancellor of Amrita University, Amma addressed researchers representing 93 leading international universities here.

"In the olden days, because people lived in tune with nature, they would look for an auspicious day before planting or cutting down a tree," she said.

Today, she lamented, "not only do we rarely plant trees, we relentlessly destroy them and all of nature".

Amma said the annual day dedicated to "Mother Nature" could even coincide with New Year’s Day, "so we start the year on an auspicious

"If we do so, this planet will become a paradise. A tree is like a
house that we construct for Mother Earth."

Amma, who is based in Kerala, went on to say that "science,
technology, and spirituality must unite in order to ensure a
sustainable and balanced existence of our world.

"The present age and the world around us demand this transformation."



Jennifer Garner ”furious” with JLo


Actress Jennifer Garner is reportedly "furious" with Jennifer Lopez as she thinks the singer is "passive

The ’13 Going On 30′ star, who announced her divorce from actor Ben Affleck last week, is fuming with Lopez, who previously dated Affleck.

"Jen is furious at JLo. Jen is certain she’s the one who keeps coming out and saying stuff about her divorce from Ben."

"Jen thinks JLo is passive aggressive because Jen is the one who got Ben after their relationship ended. Jen feels JLo is punishing her for that… She’s asked Ben to make it stop. Ben insists he’s not in contact with his old girlfriend, but Jen doesn’t believe it," a source told

Meanwhile, friends of the couple — who have three children, Violet, nine, Seraphina, six, and Samuel, three, together — have claimed Lopez is to blame for Garner’s split from Affleck.

A source said: "Everyone is talking about JLo and Ben and saying it’s inevitable they will get together again at some point. They were pretty flirty at the Oscars and have stayed in touch over email. Jennifer Garner never liked it.

"Jen’s fed up with him flying off to Vegas for gambling sessions and going on other solo trips, leaving her holding the family together. Their household is pretty much alcohol free so he would disappear when
he wanted to indulge."

Play video games to improve mood


Just around 20 minutes of video games after a hectic day at office can provide you quick stress relief, says a study.

The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour, however, said that choosing violent games to bust stress may be problematic as they may increase aggressive outcomes.

The study authored by assistant professor Karyn Riddle from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and two of its graduate students looked at how video games may be used to manage emotions.

The participants included 82 undergraduate communication students. Half of the participants were asked to play a frustrating video game while the other half skipped the frustrating game and went directly to the next phase of the study.

The frustrating game was designed to be nearly impossible to complete, although the participants were led to believe they should be able to go through all the levels in 10 minutes.

All the participants then played for 18 minutes either a violent or a non-violent game and then filled out a questionnaire about their emotions and feelings about the game.

The researchers found that frustrated players were motivated to progress farther in the games, which decreased their frustration and boosted feelings of competency.

This process of emotional restoration increased players’ enjoyment of both games.

However, those players who highly enjoyed the violent game showed a tendency to perceive the world in a more hostile way than those who played the non-violent game.

The results suggest that video games can be used to manage negative emotions, but doing so with violent games might be problematic.

India name 18-men junior hockey team


India on Friday named an 18-member junior men’s hockey team for the six-nation Volvo International U-21 Tournament to be played in the Netherlands from July 18 to 25.

The tournament will be played in round-robin format.

Apart from India, other participating nations are hosts the Netherlands, Germany, England, Belgium and New Zealand.

The Volvo International Tournament will provide a testing platform to the U-21 men’s team, who are even gearing up for the upcoming Junior Asian Cup in Malaysia and next year’s FIH Junior World Cup.

The 18-member squad was selected following a preparatory camp here last month.

The Indian colts will be captained by promising midfielder Harjeet Singh while defender Dipsan Tirkey has been named as the vice-captain. The team will be coached by Harendra Singh.

Most of the selected players have the experience of playing international tournaments and were part of the champion team of last year’s Sultan of Johor Cup.

India will open their campaign in the tournament against Germany.

"This is a very energetic and talented team as most have the capability of implementing strategies on the field and experience of playing under tremendous pressure," Indian junior team coach Harendra Singh said.

"The preparatory camp was very fruitful. Most of the players in the squad have international experience and this I think will help in the upcoming tournament."

The Volvo International U-21 tournament will be held in Breda, the Netherlands


Goalkeepers: Pankaj Kumar Rajak, Suraj Karkera

Defenders: Vikramjit Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Baljit Singh, Anand Lakra

Midfielders: Santa Singh, Manpreet, Nilakanta Sharma, Harjeet Singh, Ajay Yadav

Forwards: Sumit Kumar, Armaan Qureshi, Parvinder Singh, Gurjant Singh, Simranjeet Singh.

23 killed in Bangladesh stampede


At least 23 people — all women and children — were killed in a stampede in Bangladesh’s Mymensingh district, about 120 km north of capital Dhaka, as they crowded outside a donor’s house early on Friday morning to receive zakat clothes, distributed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, police said.

Dozens more were injured in the crush as thousands of people packed a narrow side-street in the central Bangladesh district headquarter town, Xinhua news agency reported.

Since Thursday night, poor people gathered near the house of Md Shamim, a local businessman dealing in chewing tobacco, to collect zakat, residents of the area and police said.

"Too many people came and they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to get the clothes so they pushed each other. That’s why the stampede occurred," said Kamrul Islam, a Mymensingh police officer.

But one zakat clothes seeker, Zamila Khatun, alleged that workers of Shamim’s factory, where he pays poor wages, had swooped down on them with batons and triggered the stampede.

She also alleged that the businessman stages this show every year in the name of zakat.

Eight people, including Shamim, have been reportedly held in this connection.

A three-member probe body has been formed and asked to submit itsfindings within three days.

The incident took place at around 5 a.m.

A doctor at the hospital where the dead and injured were taken said all the victims were women and children.

Farhad Hossain, at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, confirmed that 23 bodies were in the hospital and said the cause of death was suffocation and stampede.

Television images of the incident showed women crying out in pain and fear as the crowd packed into a fenced area outside the family’s house, with those at the back apparently trying to push their way to
the front.

Authorities concerned have expressed "regret" over the loss of life and blamed the organisers.

The ministry of religious affairs has announced a donation of 10,000 taka (about $129) to each victim’s family.

Zakat clothes distributions is a common form of charity favoured by wealthy Bangladeshis during the holy month.

According to Islam, rich Muslims should give zakat to the poor. Zakat means a part of wealth whose payment has been made obligatory for rich Muslims and giving off a precise part to the eligible people following specified rules and norms.

Every year some poor people die in stampedes in Bangladesh while collecting zakat clothes or money.

Monte Carlo to take outlets count to 230 during FY16


The exclusive brand outlets of Monte Carlo will touch 230 from 219, at present, by the end of this fiscal year, a top company official said on Friday.

As part of its aggressive expansion plan, which also includes South India, the company has identified two locations in Chennai, one in Bengaluru, one in Kochi and another Mangaluru within two months, S K Sharma, General Manager Sales and Marketing told PTI.

Sharma who was here to open the 219th outlet said that Monte Carlo’s retail its through exclusive brand outlets and over 12,00 multi-brand outlets both in India and abroad.

The company has presence in Dubai, Nepal and it recently ventured into Bangladesh with exclusive outlets, he added.

When asked about rural penetration, Sharma said that the company has outlets in tier II and III towns, particularly in North India.

The women segment contributed 40 per cent to the company’s sales, he said.

The company retails through its own website as well as portals of other leading e-commerce portal including Jabong, Myntra and Amazon and online sales contributed 6 per cent of the total turnover of Monte Carlo brand.

Agartala turning eco-friendly


To turn Tripura’s capital into a green city, efforts are on to run vehicles by compressed natural gas (CNG) and supply piped natural gas (PNG) to households.

According to an official, the Tripura Natural Gas Co Ltd (TNGCL) has taken ambitious steps in this direction.

"Currently, several thousand vehicles, including autorickshaws, run on CNG. We encourage all vehicles to use CNG as this is environment friendly and cheaper than petrol and diesel," TNGCL official Sankar Saha told IANS.

TNGCL, a joint venture company of Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) and the Assam and Tripura governments, was set up in June 1990 to supply CNG and PNG to make the environment clean and cut fuel costs.

"PNG has been supplied to around 20,000 households, besides many hospitals, schools and colleges and crematoria. PNG was also being provided to around 300 commercial establishments and 50 industrial
units in and around Agartala," Saha said.

He said TNGCL had set a target of supplying PNG to 10,000 new households by March 2016.

This, he said, would make Agartala "India’s first green capital city".

Inaugurating the state’s fifth CNG station at Khayerpur on the outskirts of Agartala, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Friday asked the TNGCL to provide PNG to all households and CNG to all
vehicles in the city.

To develop necessary infrastructure for CNG and PNG, the TNGCL is set to execute a Rs.60 crore business plan in five years, said another official.

TNGCL transports, sells and distributes natural gas as PNG and CNG through an underground pipeline network in Agartala and its outskirts.

The government-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), which found huge natural gas in different parts of Tripura, has been providing gas to the TNGCL.

The official said both CNG and PNG were eco-friendly, economical and safe alternative fuel.

Free DND toll gate, demands striking BKU |

Thousands of commuters enjoyed free passage at the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) toll gate as Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) members went on an indefinite strike on Thursday, demanding free DND toll gate.

Demanding free passage at the DND toll gate, BKU&’s national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, “If authorities concerned can’t do it, then we will continue our protest.”

The BKU protesters came in buses and trucks and blocked the Delhi–Noida highway for an hour. They forced booth operators to grant free passage to all vehicles. They later brought cooking utensils to set up an open-air kitchen on the highway to prepare food for co-protesters, indicating that they were ready for a long fight if their demands were not met in time.

“The project which was built by Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd (NTBCL) opened the Express Way in 2001 and Mayur Vihar passage in 2008. Since then the maintenance works were being carried out by illegal means,” Tikait alleged. He then added, “They are looting people by fixing unreasonable rates for commuters as there is no audit done on the revenue generated by the company from the toll collection.”

“We request Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to look into the matter and consider our demand for a toll-free movement of vehicles,” Tikait added.

According to the sources, NTBCL will file a complaint to the Uttar Pradesh government against the BKU, saying that it is forcefully trying to hamper the operation at the DND toll booth.

The sources also confirmed that NTBCL has incurred a loss of Rs.40 lakh approximately after 1.25 lakh vehicles passed through the DND toll gate on Thursday and Friday without paying any tax.

According to reports, a total of Rs.428 crore was spent in the construction of the DND flyover, but as per the DND records, an estimated Rs.700 crore has been recovered so far.

According to the Federation of Noida Residents’ Welfare Associations (FONRWA), Rs.1,400 crore has been collected so far.

State board yet to submit student info to JEE authorities


The fate of thousands of students aspiring for seats in the IITs and NITs hangs in balance as about four state boards are yet to submit student information to CBSE for preparing the JEE (Main) 2015 ranking list even as the extended period for holding the counselling ended on Thursday.

According to CBSE officials, the boards which are yet to submit the student’s marks for preparing the ranking list include Odisha, Rajasthan and Manipur.

They said that Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JOSAA) as per the request of CBSE had extended till Thursday the online registration. However, confusion remains as to the future of students of these states.

"We are still in communciation with JOSAA to extend the dates further keeping in mind the interests of the affected students. Besides, we have issued letters to all state boards to provide the student information as soon as possible," said a CBSE official.

The Joint Seat Allocation Authority is conducting the counselling for admission to IITs, NITs and other centrally funded technical institutes.

The All India ranking list was declared on June 30 even as a host of states including Telengana had failed to provide the scores by then, putting the academic career of thousands of students of these states at stake.

Later, Telanagana and some of the defaulting states provided student marks to CBSE for preparing the list.