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'Safety of women tourists top priority'

New Delhi : Union Minister of Culture and Tourism Shripad Yesso Naik Thursday said the safety and security of all tourists, especially women, remains the top priority of the government and the ministry is framing guidelines for state governments to ensure this.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the day-long "State Tourism Ministers Conference" here, Naik said in-bound tourism has shown growth since June 2014 and foreign tourist arrivals grew by 9 percent.

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India committed to boosting ties with Arab world: Sushma

New Delhi : Emphasizing the government's "unflinching commitment" to expand ties with the Arab world, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Thursday said there was no change in India's policy of "extending strong support to the Palestinian cause, while maintaining good relations with Israel".

Addressing the inaugural session of the First India-League of Arab States Media Symposium here, Sushma Swaraj told the Arab delegates that India's ties with the Arab world "is pivotal to our national development goals as well as regional peace and stability".

Kerala to create a directory on its diaspora

By Sanu George,

Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala will soon get a directory to enable it connect better with its two million-strong diaspora that annually remits home a staggering Rs.75,000 crore ($12 billion). It's probably the first-such exercise in the country.

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Manipur, Tripura get separate IAS, IPS cadres

Agartala : With the creation of separate Manipur and Tripura cadres for All India Cadre Services (AICS) officers, the administration in both states would be considerably smoothened, an official said here Thursday.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) under the union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions issued a notification earlier this week creating separate Manipur and Tripura cadres for IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IPS (Indian Police Service) and IFS (Indian Forest Service) officers.

Modi seeks clear mandate in Jharkhand

Ranchi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday urged the people of Jharkhand to give a clear mandate in upcoming assembly elections in the state.

"In the life of boys and girls, the 13-18 years period is crucial. Jharkhand is 13 years old. People should give a clear mandate to shape up the state," Modi told a meeting here.

"My government is taking one decision after another very fast. We are able to do this because people gave a clear mandate to us," he added. "A stable government can perform."

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Removal of AIIMS CVO routine thing: Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi : Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Thursday said the removal of AIIMS chief vigilance officer (CVO) Sanjeev Chaturvedi was a "routine thing" and should not be turned into a "controversy".

"Sanjeev Chaturvedi was not at all eligible for the post he was holding at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)," he said at the launch of a dental OPD at the institute.

"We were informed that without the approval of the Central Vigilance Commission, nobody can be assigned the post of a CVO anywhere... Taking cognizance we have removed him from the post.

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Don't venture out after dark: Jammu villagers advised

Jammu : With the Pakistan Rangers continuing to violate a bilateral ceasefire, villagers in Jammu's R.S. Pura and Arnia areas were Thursday advised not to venture out of their homes after dark.

A senior official told IANS here that people living in villages close to the international border in R.S. Pura and Arnia sectors have been advised by the security forces not to venture out of their homes after dark.

"These are precautionary measures needed to be taken to ensure safety of civilian life and property.

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Now, a nutrition expert for plants

By Vishal Gulati,

Shimla : Move over nutritionists for men and women. Here comes a nutrition expert for fruit-bearing plants who helps growers in Himachal Pradesh reap bumper high quality harvests.

A state government-run scheme now analyses the leaves of various fruit plants and figures out the quantity of micro contents such as iron, manganese, copper and zinc, and major nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, calcium and magnesium in them.

On the basis on this analysis, the scheme offers consultancy about the volume of fertiliser to be used.

Arms, ammunition recovered in Kashmir

Srinagar : A large cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from a car in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora district, police said Thursday.

"Around 3 a.m. today (Thursday), security forces, including Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police and the Indian Army's 5 Para batallion, recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition from a Maruti car in Bandipora," a senior police officer told IANS here.

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SC to hear PILs challenging judicial appointments bill

New Delhi : The Supreme Court will hear Monday a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice R.M. Lodha said Thursday the matter would be heard along with other similar petitions listed for hearing after senior counsel Sushil Kumar Jain mentioned a plea by Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association and another by counsel R.K. Kapoor.

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