Oarsmen row snake boats in rhythmic unison in Keralas backwaters

Alappuzha, July 12 (ANI): Oarsmen rowed in rhythmic unison in the backwaters of Kerala as they marked the beginning of famed snake boat race, which is one of the biggest tourist attractions and an integral part of the state’s cultural ethos. The Chambakulam Moolam Boat race started in the backwaters of Alleppey in Kerala on Friday. The race is the first one and from now on there will be more than 15 such small and big races witnessed in this season. Champakulam race which is held every year during the mid monsoon season was witnessed by scores of enthusiasts gathered from in and around the village. The race has its origin in history of over 400-years. Jul 12, 2014

Harsh Vardhan visits Lady Hardinge Medical College, says facilities must be upgraded

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday paid a visit to Lady Hardinge Medical College and said that the Health Ministry is trying to upgrade the facilities in hospitals. He also said that the ministry will try to implement World Health Organization programme all over the country. Harsh Vardhan also visited Kalavati Children's hospital in New Delhi where he visited the ICU, surgery and oncology ward and interacted with patients and directed for various improvements. Jul 12, 2014

Devotees throng temple in Mathura to celebrate Guru Purnima

Mathura, July 12 (ANI): Thousands of devotees thronged temple of Lord Krishna in holy city of Mathura on Saturday to offer special prayers to mark the festival of Guru Purnima, which is celebrated to honour the spiritual teachers. Chanting hymns and carrying religious offerings, believers made a beeline to pay respect to Lord Krishna. According to the Hindu mythology, the festival is celebrated to express gratitude towards one's Guru (spiritual teacher). According to Hindu beliefs, a guru holds an exalted position, even higher than that of the God. Hindus believe that one’s Guru is the only person who can guide them on the path towards Moksh (emancipation). Traditionally, Hindus walk around the idols of their god while praying and hope that their prayers would be rewarded. Jul 12, 2014

Anil Singh appointed as Additional Solicitor General Western Zone, thanks govt

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): Anil Chandrabali Singh on Friday thanked the government of India on appointment as Additional Solicitor General of India (Western Zone) in the Bombay High Court. He said that he will coordinate with the government and work to all his efforts in cases enshrined to him. Singh has replaced Kevic Setalvad and is appointed for a tenure of three-years. Jul 12, 2014

Ravi Shankar Prasad takes jibe at parties who lost to BJP in LS Polls

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): India’s Law & Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday, during a meeting of BJP's Legal Cell, attacked the parties which lost against BJP in the recent Lok Sabha Polls. Prasad attacked AAP saying that the party which had dreamt of coming to power with majority is left with very few seats. He then attacked JD (U) saying that it could not stand before BJP in Bihar. Further, Prasad attacked Congress party saying that it could not even manage to get more than 5 seats in any state other than Kerala. Jul 12, 2014

MGNREGA row: Nitin Gadkari turns down Vasundhara Rajes suggestions

New Delhi/ Nagpur, July 12 (ANI): Politicos on Saturday reacted over Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari, who in a reply to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, rejected most of her suggestions on UPA’s flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Jul 12, 2014

IED blast near Manipur University in Imphal, at least 5 injured

Imphal, July 12 (ANI): At least 6 persons have been injured in an explosive blast that took place at Langthabal Kunja near Manipur University in Imphal on Saturday. According to information culled from the spot, an explosive suspected to be remote control IED went off on the top of a banyan tree which was planted along the western side of NH-102. The injured have been rushed to a nearby hospital. Jul 12, 2014

7 infant deaths in 24 hours at Malda Hospital in WB, CPI (M) condemns

Kolkata, July 12 (ANI): In yet another incident of government’s ignorant attitude, 7 infant deaths have been reported in 24 hours at Malda hospital in West Bengal. The government hospital had been in the news for the death of 23 infants due to an unspecified illness in June. Reacting to the reports CPI (M) leader Mohd Salim said that such incidents have been reported from Malda in the past too. Jul 12, 2014

Israel- Gaza air assaults continue leaving over 100 Palestinians dead

Gaza, July 12 (ANI): The night sky above Gaza City on Saturday was filled with flashes, rocket vapour trails and muffled explosions. The scene came as four days of cross-border fighting between Israel and Gaza militants pushed the Palestinian death toll past 100. As the conflict entered its fifth day, Israel showed no signs of stopping the offensive, despite international pressure to negotiate a ceasefire with the militants in the worst flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence in almost two years. According to witnesses and medical officials, an Israeli air strike killed five youths and wounded 15 people outside a family home in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza Strip early on Saturday. Further, a rocket seriously wounded one person and injured another seven Israelis when a fuel tanker was hit at a service station in Ashdod, 30 km (20 miles) north of Gaza. Medical officials in Gaza said at least 75 civilians, including 23 children, were among 106 people killed in the aerial bombardments that Israel began on Tuesday. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the United Nations Security Council to order an immediate truce. Jul 12, 2014

Raj Thackeray mocks Narendra Modi, politicos react

New Delhi/Nagpur, July 12 (ANI): MNS chief Raj Thackeray poked fun at Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a student meet organized by the party and narrated a joke circulating in social media over PM's big promises. Thackrey's joke came as a surprise as the MNS leader has openly backed Modi for the top post in the past. Jul 12, 2014

President sacks Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Virendra Kataria

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): After forcing some governors appointed by the UPA government to quit, the Narendra Modi government late Friday sacked Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Virendra Kataria, in the first such action against political appointees of the UPA regime. An announcement by Rashtrapati Bhavan said, "The President has directed that Shri Virendra Kataria, shall cease to hold the office of the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry." Lt Gen (Retd) Ajay Kumar Singh, Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, will discharge the functions of LG of Puducherry, in addition to his own duties, until regular arrangements for this post are made, the Rashtrapati Bhavan press communique said. Jul 12, 2014

Politicos react over US Prez Obama's formal invitation to PM Modi

New Delhi/ Mumbai, July 12 (ANI): Political leaders react as US President sent a formal invitation to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit US in September. BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the world is recognizing the potential of Modi and this is evident. Congress leader Rashid Alvi and NCP leader Nawab Malik said that Modi would be too excited on this invitation and that he should understand that the invitation is to Indian PM and not Modi. CPI leader Atul Anjan said that he and any other leader should go on such invitation. JD (U) leader Ali Anwar said that the invitation would have Modi happy, though his party does not much appreciates US's ideologies. Jul 12, 2014

BJP celebrates as Satish Upadhyay takes charge of Delhi unit

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): Satish Upadhyay, the Standing Committee chairman of South Delhi Municipal Corporation, on Saturday took charge as the president of BJP's Delhi unit. Union Health Minister and BJP leader Dr. Harsh Vardhan who had resigned from the post after being elected an MP from Chandni Chowk handed over the responsibility to Upadhyay. Jul 12, 2014

Politicos react as A K Antony says raising FDI in defence will harm national security

New Delhi/ Mumbai, July 12 (ANI): Politicos on Saturday reacted over former Defence Minister AK Antony who had attacked the NDA government for raising the FDI limit to 49 per cent in the defence sector. He has said that previous governments had overcome the "pressure tactics" of "lobbies" working for 100 per cent FDI in the key area. Jul 12, 2014

Reactions come in as trouble surfaces for Ashok Khemka over irregularities in audit

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): Leaders react as fresh trouble mounted for senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka as some irregularities were found in his previous audit. The Haryana Principal Accountant General (PAG) audit has confirmed irregularities in the state warehousing godown fabrication tender allotment, which took place when Khemka was the company's managing director. The state administration is now allegedly demanding CBI probe. Congress’ Rashid Alvi said that law will take its course, while CPI leader Atul Anjan said that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should stand for Khemka like they did for UP’s Durga Nagpal. Jul 12, 2014