BHU backs appointment of Muslim professor to Sanskrit department amid protests by students

The Banaras Hindu University in Uttar Pradesh on Friday backed the appointment of a Muslim professor to its Sanskrit faculty, PTI reported. The administration of the college said that the university is committed to providing equal opportunities to everyone, irrespective of their religion, caste, community or gender.

JNU fee hikes: VC asks students to call off protests, says dialogue ‘not possible through coercion’

Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar on Friday appealed to protesting students to call off their agitation. The students have been protesting against the recent fee hikes for the hostels and mess. In a letter to the students, Kumar wrote that dialogue between the students and the faculty “cannot be dictated through coercion and illegal methods”.

Economy is doing fine as people are getting married and airports are full, says Union minister

Union minister Suresh Angadi on Friday said the Indian economy was “doing fine” and claimed that it grows through a decline in demand every three years, PTI reported. The Minister of State for Railways made the remarks on the day Business Standard reported that consumer spending – the total value of goods and services that households spend on – had declined for the first time in more than forty years in 2017-’18.

Student suicide: Amid protests, IIT-M says social media trolling is demoralising for those on campus

The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, on Friday said the attacks it has faced on social media since the death of a woman student on campus last week was demoralising its students and faculty, The Hindu reported. The statement came amid anger and protests demanding a fair investigation into the alleged suicide of Fathima Lateef – the fifth such incident in IIT-Madras over the last year.

‘Bitter truths must remain in memory’: CJI Ranjan Gogoi refuses interview requests on last day

Outgoing Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi declined interview requests from journalists on his last working day on Friday, saying judges need to maintain silence while exercising their freedoms. “This is not to say that judges do not speak,” he said. “They do speak, but do so only out of functional necessity and no more. Bitter truths must remain in memory.”

Sabarimala is no place for women activists, says Kerala Devaswom minister

Kerala Devaswom Board Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Friday said that the Left Democratic Front government will not protect women’s rights activists who plan to visit Sabarimala temple, The Hindu reported. Surendran claimed the hill shrine was not a place for those who just want publicity.

Gautam Gambhir ‘enjoying’ in Indore, didn’t show up at MPs’ meeting on pollution: AAP

Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party on Friday accused Bharatiya Janata Party MP Gautam Gambhir of choosing “enjoyment” over a Parliamentary panel’s meeting to discuss high pollution levels in the national Capital. Only four of the 29 MPs on the Standing Committee on Urban Development turned up for the meeting on Friday. The meeting was cancelled because three commissioners of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the vice-chairperson of Delhi Development Authority, and the secretary and joint secretary of environment did not turn up either.

INX Media case: Chidambaram denied bail, court says relief will send wrong message

The Delhi High Court on Friday denied bail to Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate, saying the allegations were serious in nature and that he had “played an active role”.

Delhi air pollution: SC raps northern states, says odd-even scheme not a long-term solution

The Supreme Court on Friday said Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana have failed to take effective steps to combat rising pollution in the National Capital Region. The court issued summons to the chief secretaries of all the states for November 29. The top court observed that the odd-even road rationing scheme in Delhi could have been effective in reducing pollution in the national Capital if no exemptions were provided under its rules.

Lata Mangeshkar’s health is now much better, says her team

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, 90, is now in much better health, her team said on Friday. Mangeshkar was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on Monday with viral chest congestion. “Dear friends, we are as happy as you are to inform you that with all your prayers and best wishes, Lata didi is doing much better,” said the singer’s team. “Thank you for being there. God is great.”

Maharashtra logjam: Sena closer to forming government with NCP-Congress, to meet governor tomorrow

The Shiv Sena is likely to get its chief minister in Maharashtra soon as it inched closer on Friday to form a government in the state in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress. The three parties will meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at 3 pm on Saturday. Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik told ANI that the governor had given the three parties an appointment to discuss the prevailing agrarian crisis in the state.

Tis Hazari clash: Delhi HC stays coercive action against booked police officers till next hearing

The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered that no coercive action be taken against two police officers who were booked for the clash between lawyers and the police in the Tis Hazari court premises, till the next hearing, PTI reported. The next date of hearing is December 23. The November 2 clash, which began over a parking dispute, had injured over 30 people. The police personnel who were booked had allegedly fired at the lawyers.

‘Read dissenting view in Sabarimala verdict, our orders not to be played with’: SC judge to Centre

Justice Rohinton F Nariman of the Supreme Court on Friday told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the top court’s judgements were not to be “played with” and the government should read his dissenting view in the Sabarimala case, Bar and Bench reported. Nariman made the remark while dismissing the Enforcement Directorate’s petition against the bail granted to Congress leader DK Shivakumar by the Delhi High Court in a money laundering case on October 23.

India’s requests for Facebook user data shoots up, now second only to US: Transparency Report

The Indian government lodged the most requests for Facebook user data after the United States globally in the first half of 2019, the social networking site has said in its Transparency Report published on Wednesday.

Consumer spending fell for first time since 1970s in 2017-’18, report withheld: Business Standard

Consumer spending – the total value of goods and services that households spend on – declined for the first time in over four decades in 2017-’18, Business Standard reported on Friday, citing yet-to-be-released data from the National Statistical Office. The office has withheld the survey report so far due to the “adverse findings”, four unidentified officials told the newspaper.

Supreme Court holds former Ranbaxy promoters, Fortis Healthcare guilty of contempt

The Supreme Court on Friday held former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh guilty of contempt in a case filed by Japanese drug manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo, PTI reported. A bench of outgoing Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta also held Fortis Healthcare guilty of contempt, NDTV reported. The court said the brothers can “purge” contempt by depositing Rs 1,175 crore each.

Marathi singer Geeta Mali dies in road accident on Mumbai-Nashik highway

Marathi playback singer Geeta Mali died on Thursday in a road accident near Shahpur on the Mumbai-Nashik highway. Mali was on her way to her residence in Nashik along with her husband, who was driving the car, when the incident occured. Police said the singer was returning after performing at a concert in New York. Vijay Mali rammed the car into a tanker parked on the roadside.

Delhi: Air quality remains hazardous, situation may improve by Saturday

The air quality in Delhi-National Capital Region fell further in the “severe” category on Friday morning as schools remained closed for the second straight day. Air this bad affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. The agency reported an Air Quality Index of 467 at 10 am, slightly increasing from the overall AQI reading of 463 the day before.

Bhopal gas tragedy activist Abdul Jabbar, who led the fight for victims, dies at 63

Abdul Jabbar, an activist who worked for the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy, died on Thursday at the age of 63. Jabbar had been undergoing treatment for the past few months. Earlier in the day, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s office had said that the state government would bear expenses of Jabbar’s treatment. He was diabetic and was suffering from multiple heart ailments in recent months.

J&K: ‘Pakistan is a nearly failed state, has deep-rooted DNA of terrorism,’ says India at UNESCO

At the UNESCO General Conference in Paris on Thursday, India hit out at Pakistan over its “false claims and propaganda” on Jammu and Kashmir. Ananya Agarwal, who led the Indian delegation to the UNESCO meet, reiterated the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity over the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. “Pakistan’s neurotic behaviour has resulted in its decline to a nearly failed state with its weak economy, radicalised society and deep-rooted DNA of terrorism,” she said.

J&K: At second Congressional hearing, US lawmakers express concern over India’s actions

United States lawmakers on Thursday once again raised concerns about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the Congressional hearing on human rights, Hindustan Times reported. Witnesses examined the situation in the region and recommended action by the Congress, similar to the last hearing held on October 22. Kashmiri columnist and political commentator Sunanda Vashisht, meanwhile, defended the government’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special constitutional status.

Jharkhand Assembly polls: BJP, AJSU fall out over seat-sharing, say reports

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the All Jharkhand Students Union will contest the upcoming Jharkhand Assembly elections separately as they failed to finalise a seat-sharing agreement, NDTV reported. The saffron party is left with no other ally as Lok Janshakti Party had announced on Tuesday it would contest the elections alone.

Mumbai: I-T searches on BMC civil contractors find financial irregularities worth Rs 735 crore

The Income Tax Department on Thursday revealed that it conducted search and survey operations at 37 locations in Mumbai and Surat connected to civil contractors working with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on November 6, Hindustan Times reported. The department has found irregularities to the tune of Rs 735 crore.

Terrorism led to $1 trillion loss to global economy, says PM Narendra Modi at BRICS Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said terrorism has resulted in a loss of $1 trillion to the world economy and described it as the “biggest threat” to development, peace, and prosperity. Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Brazil, made the remarks at the 11th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit.

Kulbhushan Jadhav: Pakistan rules out deal with India, says will follow ICJ order under its laws

Pakistan on Thursday said that there would be no deal with India in connection with the case of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. “Absolutely no deal on Kulbhushan,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said during a weekly media briefing in Islamabad. “We will honour the ICJ judgement in light of the laws of Pakistan and there should be no doubt about it.”

ED arrests former Ranbaxy promoter Malvinder Singh in connection with money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday arrested pharmaceutical giant Ranbaxy Laboratories’ former promoter Malvinder Singh in connection with a money laundering case for alleged misappropriation of funds of Religare Finvest Limited. Singh along with his brother Shivinder Singh and three others were arrested by the Delhi Police in the same case last month, and are currently lodged in Tihar Jail.