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India to introduce tamper-proof e-passports
Report dated 13/10/2014 @ 1:23 PM
The passport division of the Ministry of External Affairs has initiated the process for the introduction of new-age e-passports. The technology will make the document more secure and also substantially reduce the time required by the holder for immigration.
The look and feel of the passport will remain largely as it is now and an electronic chip, containing identification data will be embedded in its back cover. The change over to the new e-passports is to begin in the first quarter of 2016.
The e-Passport will contain all the data currently given on the second page of the current passports, including a photograph, personal details and biometrics, besides the country's digital signature used to validate the genuineness of the document.
The chip can be sealed only once with the signature of the Passport Issuing Authority, thus making the e-passports virtually tamper-proof.
E-passports are already the norm in more than 100 countries.
Tata's Land Rover on list of world's most valuable brands
Report dated 13/10/2014 @ 1:20 PM
The Tata Group’s Land Rover has made it into an elite club of the world's 100 most valuable brands as the only Indian-owned entity.
The iconic British car brand owned by the Indian conglomerate is the only Indian owned entity to make it to the list at 91st rank, with a brand value of $4.47 billion. It is one of the five new entrants on this annual list compiled by leading brand consultancy Interbrand who stated that with 115 awards across its car range (led by Range Rover with 55 awards) Land Rover is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
Land Rover is the only India-owned entity on the list and some six other brands ranked among the top 100 are part of the entities run by Indian origin CEOs. These include Satya Nadella-led Microsoft, Indra Nooyi-led Pepsi, Shantanu Narayen-led Adobe and Ajay Banga-led MasterCard.
Apple retains its top slot on the list with a brand value of $119 billion, followed by Google at 2nd position with $107 billion, the only two with brand values in excess of $100 billion.
Cyclone Hudhud wreaks havoc on India’s East Coast
Report dated 13/10/2014 @ 1:15 PM
Cyclone Hudhud is pounding the eastern coast causing extensive damage and prompting evacuation. At least three have been killed in Andhra Pradesh and three in Orissa. Mass evacuation in the two states minimised damage to life but rain is emerging as a big worry. Similar weather conditions were predicted for eastern Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.
The winds and heavy rains brought down trees and power lines, damaging crops and buildings in both states. It brought winds of 205 kmh as it passed over the coast near Visakhapatnam, where a man was killed in a wall collapse and another died when a tree came crashing down on him.. Hundreds of relief centres have been opened in the two states and disaster relief teams have also been sent to the area. Seventeen ships were moved offshore while the airport was closed and train services suspended.
Sea conditions are expected to become 'phenomenal' off the north Andhra and south Orissa coasts. However peak wind speeds are expected to drop to 60 kmh, though Hudhud is to continue dumping heavy rains in northern and northeastern India and eventually snow when it reaches the Himalayas. The eastern coast and Bangladesh are routinely hit by cyclonic storms between April and November.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said it was too early to assess the damage fully as 70% of communication has totally collapsed. For the first time in India the Andhra Pradesh government is using space technology with the help of ISRO and the National Remote Sensing Centre in disaster management. People have been asked not to come out of their houses and men and material are being mobilised.
Delhi announces housing for senior citizens
Report dated 12/10/2014 @ 2:43 PM
Bringing welcome news to its citizens, the Delhi Development Authority has announced a proposal for group housing and housing for senior citizens. In a statement the DDA said considering the huge demand one million dwelling units will be provided by 2022.
The complexes will have facilities such as a common kitchen, medical facilities, common rooms, reading rooms, a library, offices and gym among others, which will be allotted to eligible persons on a rental basis.
EC rebukes minister Nitin Gadkari over 'accept bribes' comment
Report dated 12/10/2014 @ 2:37 PM
The Election Commission (EC) conveyed its displeasure to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari over his statement at a public meeting encouraging voters in Latur, Maharashtra, to accept bribes on offer before deciding how to vote, and rejected his defence that the remark was made in jest.
The EC earlier said in its order on a show cause notice served to the minister, that irrespective of his intentions, such statements clearly bring disrepute to the purity of the elections as well as the integrity of the democratic process.
Gadkari said his comments were made through humour and sarcasm but the explanation did not wash with the EC, who said the election process is not something to be taken lightly, and in fact his statement amounted to encouraging the voters to accept the inducements.