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India News

Cash-for-query scam: Probe begins against 11 MPs

By Kanu Sarda, IANS

New Delhi : Delhi Police have finally begun investigating the three-year-old 'cash-for-query' scam but need more time before filing the status report, Delhi High Court was informed.

Counsel for Delhi Police also informed the court recently that voice samples of the 11 members of parliament involved in the case had been taken and sent for test to a laboratory at Hyderabad.

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Superintendent suspended for alcohol, mobiles in jail

By IANS

Raipur : The superintendent of Raipur Central Jail was Monday suspended for his role in providing alcohol, mobile phones and other facilities to prisoners, officials said.

Jail superintendent S.K. Mishra and several other officials were last week charged in a crime branch report for their alleged involvement in supplying drugs, alcohol and mobile phones to inmates at the high-profile prison.

The jail houses around 2,200 prisoners, of which about 200 are Maoist insurgents.

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Relax takeover regime for banks: Rajan committee

By Arvind Padmanabhan, IANS

New Delhi : India should be liberal in allowing takeovers of banks by both domestic and foreign entities and sell state-run financial institutions that are under-performing, says a high-level committee set up by the plan panel.

"India is at a turning point in its financial sector," says the draft report of the Planning Commission committee on financial sector reforms headed by Raghuram G. Rajan, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Bird flu in Tripura, culling starts Tuesday

By IANS

Agartala : There has been an outbreak of bird flu in Tripura with a general alert sounded across the northeastern state, officials Monday said. The state will cull around 20,000 birds starting Tuesday.

"We have received a report from the High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal, preliminarily confirming bird flu in Mohanpur village, 150 km north of here, in Dhalai district," said Aghore Debbarma, Tripura's agriculture and animal resource development (ARD) minister.

Ujjain gets first medical care unit for AIDS patients

By IANS

Bhopal : A HIV community care centre has been set up to provide medical help to AIDS patients in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain town, the headquarters of a district that has the second highest number of such cases in the state.

Ujjain Chief Medical and Health Officer Dileep Nagar said the 10-bed medical centre, which was inaugurated last week, is a unit of Saathi, a facility providing support to HIV-positive people.

Energy focus of Ansari's talks with Kazakh leaders

By Vishnu Makhijani, IANS

Astana : Energy and trade were the focus as Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari began the second leg of his weeklong visit to Central Asia by meeting key leaders of oil-rich Kazakhstan Monday.

"We held discussions on increasing trade and expanding the areas of economic cooperation, particularly in the hydrocarbon sector," Ansari said in a statement after delegation level talks with Kazakh Senate Chairman Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

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Journalists from the northeast write to PM, seek safety

By IANS

New Delhi : Alarmed at the rise in number of attacks on journalists working in northeastern India, the North East Media Forum (NEMF) has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure their safety in the region.

The NEMF, a group of journalists from the northeast working in the capital, pointed out in the letter that time and again scribes in the region have been targeted for carrying out their duties truthfully and fearlessly.

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India's chief election commissioner to observe Nepal polls

By IANS

Kathmandu : India's Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalasami will be arriving in Nepal Tuesday as part of a delegation to observe the historic constituent assembly election Thursday that is regarded as being a crucial step towards restoration of peace and stability in the Himalayan nation.

Gopalasami is part of a delegation of election commissioners from South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries who are among the teams of observers invited by Nepal's government.

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Madonna planning to adopt Indian baby

By IANS

London : Pop superstar Madonna is planning to adopt an Indian baby, reports thesun.co.uk.

According to the website, Madonna has abandoned plans to adopt a baby from Africa after getting increasingly frustrated with the bureaucracy. She is now looking to India after having spent her New Year holiday there.

Sources say she will start looking once she is done with the promotional work for her upcoming album "Hard Candy".

Her husband Guy Ritchie is reportedly supporting her in this endeavour.

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Public Distribution System goes online in Jharkhand

By IANS

Ranchi : Jharkhand is to provide soon online information related to Public Distribution System (PDS) of food grains.

"We have developed web-based software to disseminate information on dispatch of essential commodities to PDS shops from Food Corporation of India (FCI)," R.S. Sharma, information and technology secretary, told IANS.

He said the move was to redress complaints by consumers on about non-availability of food grains at the PDS outlets.

"The information will be available on the official website of the state government," he said

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