President Ram Nath Kovind today hailed Tipu Sultan, saying he died a heroic death fighting the British, remarks that came in the backdrop of protests by the BJP in Karnataka against the glorification of the 18th century Mysore ruler. The remarks by the President in his address to the joint session of Karnataka legislature amid the raging debate on Tipu Sultan’s legacy sparked a war of words between the ruling Congress and opposition BJP. The saffron party has opposed the Congress government’s plans for ‘Tipu Jayanti’ celebrations on his birth anniversary on November 10.
The BJP alleged that the state government has “misused” the office of the President by getting Tipu’s name mentioned in the speech while the Congress said the opposition party should be “ashamed” for levelling this charge.
Assembly elections in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14, the Election Commission announced today, setting the stage for a high- stakes battle between the state’s ruling BJP and the Congress. The votes will be counted on December 18, the same day as Himachal Pradesh, where elections will be held on November 9, Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti said at a press conference. “The Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately. It will be applicable to the state government of Gujarat, the Union government and all candidates and political parties,” he told reporters. The poll process in the state will start on November 14 with the issue of the gazette notification for the first phase. Candidates can start filing their nominations from that day. The first phase will be held in 89 of the 182 seats and will cover 19 of 33 districts.
Indian Railways may look at a rate of return (RoR) of 12% on its investments under the revamped station redevelopment programme as the transporter plans to be a co-investor along with private developers. This was mooted by railway minister Piyush Goyal during his interaction with developers earlier this month. The minister sought stakeholder comments. Under the arrangement, the transporter will co-invest along with developers at an agreed price point and the developer would have the right to buy the project at an agreed higher level later on, ensuring returns for the railways. This is apart from the 10-12 test stations that the Indian Railway Station Redevelopment Corporation (IRSDC) will redevelop on a fast mode.
In Karnataka, economy bikes just took a back seat. Literally. The state government has stepped on the gas by banning riding pillion on two-wheelers with engine capacity of less than 100 cc. The Karnataka High Court insisted the state government adhere to the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Act, 1989, which does not allow seats for any pillion riders in two-wheelers below 100 cc engine capacity. In the wake of the order, the Karnataka State Transport Department decided to ban the registration of sub-100 cc two-wheelers fitted with a seat for passengers. Karnataka’s ban on the sale of small-engine bikes with pillion can have a negative bearing on nearly half a dozen models of Hero MotoCorp, the country’s largest two-wheeler maker, impacting its Splendor, Splendor+, Passion, Passion Pro, HF Delux and HF Delux Eco models.
In this age of high-end iPhones, Galaxys and Pixels, it’s tough for any other phone to stand out. Correct? No. The recently launched Asus ZenFone Zoom S not only challenges them, it even one-ups them in certain areas. It’s the world’s slimmest and lightest 5.5-inch smartphone, and comes with a 2.3X optical zoom and 12X digital zoom. Before the camera wows you, the design does. Its display is a 5.5-inch full HD AMOLED panel that has high 500cd/m2 brightness for outdoor-readable images. The result is extreme clarity and contrast. It also has the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 display cover panel that, the company claims, is 70% more resistant to drop damage compared to the previous generation Gorilla Glass. Attention to detail is apparent in the way the panel has been shaped to fit within the phone’s aluminium alloy body. And even though it is all-metal body, Asus has given the phone a fine sandblast finish for a better grip. At the back, it gets the fingerprint sensor that unlocks the device in 360 degrees of finger placement. There are two colours to choose from: navy black and glacier silver.
The department of telecom (DoT) is exploring an alternate mechanism for those subscribers who do not want to link their Aadhaar cards with mobile numbers. A source said on Wednesday that DoT is ready to explore “other options” for those who have Aadhaar cards but do not want to link it to their mobile numbers for SIM re-verification. However, the process will be in conformity with the directions given by the Supreme Court in the Lok Niti Foundation case on February 6 this year. The apex court had asked the Centre to put in place within a year an effective mechanism to scrutinise the details of identities of over 1 billion existing as well as future mobile telephone consumers. It had also said that verification is important as mobile phones are being used for banking services too.