The government on Thursday officially handed over Air India to the Tata Group.
Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekharan said the group is very happy to have Air India back in its fold.
Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey told reporters that Air India has been handed over to Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata Group's holding company, which is the successful bidder.
"Now, the new owners (of the airline) are Talace," Pandey noted.
Speaking to reporters here, Chandrasekharan said, "We are totally delighted that the takeover process of Air India is complete."
"We are very happy to have Air India back in the Tata group. We look forward to working with everyone to create a world-class airline," he added.
After a competitive bidding process, the government had on October 8 last year sold Air India to Talace Private Limited for Rs 18,000 crore.
The Supreme Court on Thursday orally asked the Punjab government not to take any coercive step against SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia till January 31 when it hears his pre-arrest bail plea in a drugs case.
A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli took note of the submissions of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Majithia, that the plea seeking anticipatory bail plea needed urgent hearing as the accused has been facing "political vendetta".
The pre-arrest bail plea of Majithia, who has been booked under the NDPS Act, was dismissed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on January 24.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, in an open letter to the people, has slammed the Uttar Pradesh government over a range of issues, terming the current phase as "half income, double inflation", adding that the present government has only brought "difficulties and troubles".
He wrote, "Apart from the poor and oppressed, the skilled and unskilled workers, unemployed youths, people who have been sacked from their job due to the dire state of the economy, businessmen, industrialists and farmers have also been suffering due to the current phase of 'half income, double inflation'. Actually, since the present government came into power, it has only brought difficulties and troubles."
Yadav, who posted the letter on Twitter, urged people to pledge to save the constitution which led to the formation of this great republic.
"To bring the positive change, let us move forward with the positive, progressive and practical politics that does not favour only a sect of people but takes everyone together," Yadav said.
He further said: "This government has divided society into two parts. On one hand, there are people who are continuously getting richer and on the other hand, there are people who are continuously getting poorer. Even among the wealthy, only a few persons are cornering wealth. The middle class is getting crushed in the middle. Their savings and interest on which their future depends are also not safe in banks."
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi has written to Twitter questioning its policy on suppressing his reach to his followers and not curbing hate speeches in the country.
The letter written on December 27 says, "It is perplexing that growth in my Twitter follower has suddenly been suppressed, with nearly 20 million followers on my Twitter account very active adding 8 to 10 thousand followers daily."
He said in May his account gained 6,40,000 followers but since August it has fallen to zero.
"I have been albeit discreetly informed by people of Twitter India that they are under immense pressure by the government to silence my voice," he wrote.
Rahul said to twitter, "you have enormous responsibility that twitter does not actively help in the growth of authoritarianism in India as the world is watching."
He also mentioned how his account was blocked but Twitter at that time had said that following the complaint by the NCPCR, Gandhi's Twitter account was temporarily suspended and the party, from his official handle, tweeted that due process was being followed for its restoration.
Rahul Gandhi, who joined Twitter in April 2015 and has 19.6 million followers on the social media platform, is expected to stay connected via other social media platforms.
With 2,86,384 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 4,03,71,500, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
The death toll has climbed to 4,91,700 with 573 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
The active cases have decreased to 22,02,472 and comprise 5.46 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has decreased to 93.33 per cent, the ministry said.
A reduction of 20,546 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 19.59 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 17.75 per cent, according to the ministry.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,76,77,328 and the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.22 per cent.
The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 163.84 crore.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.
The 573 new fatalities include 140 from Kerala and 79 from Maharashtra.
A total of 4,91,700 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 1,42,316 from Maharashtra, 52,281 from Kerala, 38,705 from Karnataka, 37,359 from Tamil Nadu, 25,710 from Delhi, 23,106 from Uttar Pradesh and 20,445 from West Bengal.
The ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.
India logged 2,85,914 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 4,00,85,116, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
The death toll has climbed to 4,91,127 with 665 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
The active cases have decreased to 22,23,018 and comprise 5.55 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has decreased to 93.23 per cent, the ministry said.
A reduction of 13,824 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.
India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.
Courtesy : PTI
The march past on Republic Day on Wednesday began with Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra gallantry award winners following the parade commander in their jeeps.
Retired Subedar Major Yogender Singh Yadav, who won India's highest wartime gallantry award Param Vir Chakra for showing exemplary bravery during the 1999 Kargil war, was in the first of the three jeeps.
Yadav was conferred the rank of Honorary Captain on Independence Day last year.
Subedar Sanjay Kumar, who also won the Param Vir Chakra for showing exceptional bravery during the 1999 Kargil war, was in the second jeep.
Colonel D Sreeram Kumar -- who won India's highest peacetime gallantry award Ashok Chakra for showing exceptional bravery during an anti-terrorist operation in Imphal on October 23, 2008 -- was in the third jeep.
All three jeeps -- each with an award winner -- drove parallel during the parade.
In view of the 73rd Republic Day celebrations, Delhi has been brought under a heavy security cover as the city police has intensified patrolling and sealed the borders of the national capital in coordination with its counterparts from the neighbouring states to thwart any untoward incident amid a terror alert by intelligence agencies.
Over 27,000 police personnel have been deployed on Republic Day security duties in Delhi and anti-terror measures intensified, officials said.
According to the officials, the police personnel deployed include deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners, inspectors and sub-inspectors. Armed Police Force personnel and commandos, officers and jawans of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have also been deployed.
CCTVs fitted with a facial recognition software and anti-drone equipment have also been installed, police said.
All major border points of Delhi, including Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, have been sealed to ensure incident-free and smooth Republic Day celebrations unlike last year. Extra pickets have been deployed and patrolling has been intensified at the border points, the officials said.
On January 26 last year, thousands of farmers protesting against three agriculture laws of the Centre entered Delhi on tractors and wreaked havoc on the city roads. They clashed with police and even hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort, a privilege reserved for the Indian tricolour.
"We have sealed the borders and put up extra pickets in coordination with our counterparts. No commercial vehicles will be allowed to enter the national capital. Only permitted vehicles and those engaged in essential services will be allowed. Non-permitted vehicles will be sent back while at some borders, traffic diversions and alternate routes are also in place," a senior police officer said.
The security personnel are keeping a hawk-eyed vigil over the venue, where President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be celebrating the occasion along with other dignitaries and thousands of people.
"We are fully prepared. We have been preparing for almost two months now. Elaborate arrangements with multi-layered security have been made all around the district. Vehicle checking would start at the borders of New Delhi district and it would become more and more stringent as you move towards the venue," Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Deepak Yadav said.
Only vehicles with authorised passes or control passes that have already been issued will be allowed to move towards the function area, he added.
All the high-rise buildings have been covered with rooftop arrangements and anti-drone equipment has been installed on a number of these structures, the DCP said.
"With the help of multiple agencies, we have taken adequate measures against any kind of a drone attack or anti-social elements. At the same time, we have also briefed our staff to take adequate precautions to curb the spread of COVID-19. At the time of entry and exit, the staff have been briefed to ensure that it is done in a phased manner and there is no crowding at the entry and exit points," he said.
Briefing the media on Saturday about the security arrangements, Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana had said a total of 27,723 Delhi Police personnel, including 71 DCPs, 213 ACPs and 753 inspectors, have been deployed for the Republic Day parade. They are being assisted by 65 companies of the CAPFs.
Police said anti-terror measures have been intensified in coordination with other security agencies.
"Since the last two months, we have intensified our anti-terror measures. These measures have been taken on 26 parameters very intensively. It is also because Delhi has always been a target for terrorists and anti-social elements. This year too, we have been very much alert," Asthana had said.
He mentioned that the anti-terror measures include blockades (naka bandi) at various places, checking of vehicles, hotels, lodges and dharamshalas and various verification drives like that of tenants, servants and labourers.
Counter-drone technology is being used for air space security. Security in and around the area where the Republic Day celebrations will take place has also been beefed up, Asthana said.
Security arrangements for the Central Vista project have also been made in coordination with the officers of the agencies working on the project, he added.
Besides the Delhi Police, other agencies have also been deployed to ensure foolproof security. About 200 teams have been working towards it.
About traffic arrangements, the police commissioner said an advisory was issued detailing specific restrictions on routes so that no inconvenience is caused to the public.
According to a recent order, the operation of sub-conventional aerial platforms, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), paragliders and hot air balloons, over Delhi has been prohibited in view of the Republic Day celebrations.
The order came into effect on January 20 and will remain in force till February 15.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage at the National War Memorial, a monument to the soldiers who have made supreme sacrifice for the country, on Republic Day on Wednesday.
Modi was joined by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the three service chiefs as he paid tributes at a solemn ceremony.
Republic Day events commence with the homage ceremony at the war memorial.
India is celebrating its 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday.
In a big honour for the top India-origin tech prowess that has virtually taken over the Silicon Valley in the US, the Indian government on Tuesday awarded Padma Bhushan to Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella and Alphabet and Google's Sundar Pichai among the 17 awardees.
Padma Bhushan is the third-highest civilian award in the country, after Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan. Born on June 10, 1972 in Madras (now Chennai), Pichai Sundararajan -- better known as Sundar Pichai -- earned his degree from IIT Kharagpur in metallurgical engineering.
Moving to the US, he earned an MS from Stanford University in materials science and engineering and further earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Pichai began his career as a materials engineer. After a short stint at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co, he joined Google in 2004, and the rest is history.
Pichai was picked up as the next CEO of Google on August 10, 2015, after previously being appointed Product Chief by CEO Larry Page. He was appointed to the Alphabet Board of Directors in 2017.
He was included in Time's annual list of the 100 most influential people in 2016 and 2020. Pichai is married to Anjali Pichai and has two children. His recreational interests include cricket and football.
On the other hand, Satya Narayana Nadella was born on August 17, 1967 in Hyderabad (present-day Telangana). His mother Prabhavati was a Sanskrit lecturer, and his father, Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandhar, was an IAS officer of the 1962 batch.
Nadella studied at the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, before receiving a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka in 1988. He then moved to the US to study for an MS in computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, earning the degree in 1990. Later, he received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1997.
He is currently the Executive Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014 as CEO and John W. Thompson in 2021 as Chairman.
Before becoming the CEO, he was the Executive Vice President of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company's computing platforms.
Former Union Minister and Congress leader RPN Singh on Tuesday said he is joining the BJP.
Singh is the second big exit from the Congress in Uttar Pradesh after Jitin Prasada quit it last year. Prasada joined the BJP and later became a minister in the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath.
“This is a new beginning for me and I look forward to my contribution to nation building under the visionary leadership & guidance of the Honourable Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi, BJP president Shri @JPNadda ji & Honourable Home Minister @AmitShah ji,” Singh tweeted.
In a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, he said, "I hereby tender my resignation from the primary membership of the Congress party with immediate effect."
"I thank you for providing me an opportunity to serve the nation, the people and the party," he also said.
Singh is also the in-charge for Jharkhand affairs of the party, where the party is in power along with the JMM.
He has earlier represented the Padrauna assembly constituency and had defeated Swami Prasad Maurya from Kushinagar in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Singh was on Monday included in the Congress list of 30 star campaigners for the first phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh.
BSP president Mayawati on Tuesday attacked her rivals, saying they have pushed Uttar Pradesh into "jungle raj" by criminalising politics, politicising crime and protecting the mafia.
In a tweet in Hindi, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief said that governments of all parties except that of the BSP are guilty of troubling the public.
Mayawati also accused her political rivals of keeping the state backward, but continuing with their 'jumlas' (tall claims).
"Governments of all parties, except BSP, are guilty of troubling the public by criminalising politics and politicising crime, playing with the law and protecting their party's goons and mafia, and pushing Uttar Pradesh into jungle raj by keeping it poor and backward. But their jumlas continue," she said.