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Heavy rain pummels Hyderabad; one dead
Normal life was thrown out of gear as heavy rain lashed Hyderabad for several hours this evening. One man was killed in a rain-related incident in Old City area, according to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). GHMC Commissioner B Janardhan Reddy has advised people to venture out as per the rain updates on Met department website. According to a Met official, 67.6 mm of rainfall was recorded in the city from around 4.30 PM to 8.30 PM. The rainfall was mainly due to the monsoon. The downpour led to inundation of several low-lying areas and traffic moved at a snail’s pace due to water-logging at different places in the city. The GHMC said its personnel have been pressed into service to flush out stagnated water and to take up other relief works.
BHU protests: VC proceeds on indefinite leave
BHU Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi, under fire for his alleged mishandling of student protests last month, today proceeded on indefinite leave citing personal reasons. Tripathi, who is scheduled to retire on November 30, has gone on “indefinite leave”, BHU officials said. The development comes amid indications from top HRD ministry sources that the central government was upset with the manner in which he handled the entire episode, including a protest by women students of BHU following an incident of alleged harassment. However, HRD officials maintained that the ministry has not asked Tripathi to go on leave and it was a “personal decision”. The Banaras Hindu University VC had told PTI last week that he “will resign if the ministry asks him to proceed on leave as it will be insulting for him”.
After Congress flak, admin says yes to Rahul’s Amethi tour
Facing criticism from the Congress for asking Rahul Gandhi to postpone his visit to Amethi, the district administration today said it was ready for the party vice-president’s three-day tour beginning Wednesday. Amethi district magistrate Yogesh Kumar said the authorities “never said no” to Gandhi’s visit to his Lok Sabha constituency, but suggested a postponement taking into account his security concerns. “Rahul had proposed to visit Amethi from October 4-6. We never said no (to his visit),” the district magistrate told journalists. Kumar said the request was made in the wake of Muharram and Dusshera celebrations in the district. “We had just sent a confidential letter to the district Congress chief suggesting that the visit be postponed by 24-48 hours in view of the fact that the security personnel would be busy with the Durga idol immersion and Muharram processions,” the district magistrate told journalists.
Even 1,000 Gandhis cannot ‘clean India’ without support of 125 cr Indians: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that issues such as cleanliness and hygiene should not be politicised and asserted that even 1,000 Mahatma Gandhis could not achieve the goal of a ‘clean India’ without the participation of 125 crore Indians. Addressing a gathering here to mark three years of the Swachh Bharat mission, he said he had been severely criticised when he had initiated the programme and stepped out with a broom to launch it. Maintaining that it was essential for children to wash their hands before eating as unhygienic conditions had led to several children dying, the prime minister said when he flagged the issue people asked how they would get soap and water. People went to the extent of saying that the prime minister was making these statements just for the purpose of making a speech, Modi said.
Sri Sri Ravishankar takes up the art of selling, follows in Baba Ramdev’s footsteps
Whether it’s because a rival brand has taken a hit or merely because their ambitions are taking wing, both Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Sri Sri Tattva (SST) and Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali are upping the ante. SST has carved out an alliance with Franchise India to open 1,000-odd stores over the next two years wherein the Art of Living guru’s chain will exclusively sell SST brands. Moreover, the SST chain, which now operates in 33 countries, will find its way into another 30, including Brazil and Argentina. While retail had acquired a spiritual halo way back in 2006 with Ramdev-hosted Patanjali Ayurved’s foray from soaps to skincare, both prominent brands promoted by spiritual leaders — Patanjali and the Sri Sri Ravishankar-fronted SST — are now trying to corner a bigger share of the market with some space created by the reduced presence of a rival player.
Good news: Jio Phone rival handsets to launch soon; Airtel lines up sub-Rs 2000 phone, Idea, Voda smartphones in the works
Reliance Jio’s celebrated VoLTE-enabled feature phone is poised to face some competition, with rivals scrambling to hit the market soon with their versions of ultra-cheap handsets with attractive features. Bharti Airtel will unveil a sub-Rs 2,000 VoLTE-supported 4G smartphone next week while Idea Cellular and Vodafone India are also expected to launch similar handsets in the next two to three months. Bharti’s handset, sources said, will come with bundled offers for postpaid and prepaid customers. The attendant mobile tariff plans will offer voice and data at very competitive rates, they said, adding that the handset will be available in the market by the third week of this month.