Nitish Kumar takes oath as Chief Minister of Bihar

Patna, Feb 22 (ANI): Senior Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar on Sunday evening. This will be his fourth stint as the Chief Minister. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Raj Bhawan in Patna by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi attended the ceremony. The ceremony was also attended by Kumar's predecessor, Jitan Ram Manjhi, who had stepped down on Friday after a lengthy battle to hang on to the chief minister's post. Along with Nitish, 22 ministers took oath. Feb 22, 2015

Cricket World Cup: India defeats South Africa by 130 runs

New Delhi/Jaipur, Feb 22 (ANI): The Midas touch of Shikar Dhawan continues as India records yet another win against South Africa at the spectacular Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. India defeated South Africa by 130 runs in a dominant World Cup display. Shikhar Dhawan's 137 and a quickfire 79 from Ajinkya Rahane set the tone as India amassed 7 for 307, before skittling the Proteas for just 177. After the victory, Indian cricket fans distributed sweets and burst firecrackers. Feb 22, 2015

India secures release of Jesuit priest father Alexis Prem Kumar from Afghanistan, MEA says he is in

New Delhi, Feb 22 (ANI): India has secured the release of Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar who had been in Taliban captivity in Afghanistan since June last year. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that he is in safe hands and will return to his home with his family shortly. He said that this has been a difficult eight months period where the government of India persuaded the matter relentlessly and that the prime minister has also been keeping track of the case. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his delight over the release of Father Kumar. "Delighted at securing the release of Indian Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar from captivity in Afghanistan. Have spoken to Father Alexis Prem Kumar. Informed happy family of Father Alexis Prem Kumar of his safe return after 8 months in captivity" the Prime Minister tweeted. Feb 22, 2015

Venkaiah Naidu says general view in all-party meet expressed smooth functioning of Parliament

New Delhi, Feb 22 (ANI): After an all-party meeting ahead of the Budget session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that the general views expressed smooth functioning of the Parliament. Naidu said that the government is ready to take up discussions and suggestions on the topics demanded by the political parties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also said it was the collective responsibility of all parties to run the House as the budget sessions start Monday. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister also said that he met Congress President Sonia Gandhi today morning and extended request to her to help in smooth functioning of the Parliament. Feb 22, 2015

German Bakery blast case: Convict says assaulted in jail

Pune, Feb 22 (ANI): German Bakery blast convict Himayat Baig, who is presently lodged in Pune's Yerwada Prison, has alleged that he was subjected to a "life threatening assault" by a co-prisoner on February 19. Feb 22, 2015

People throng annual 'Rose Festival' in Chandigarh

Chandigarh, Feb 22 (ANI): Nature lovers thronged the three-day annual 'Rose Festival' in Punjab on Sunday. The 43rd edition of the festival, which began on Friday (February 20), is taking place at illustrious Rose Garden in the capital city of Chandigarh. The garden has more than 50,000 rose plants and bushes. Around 829 varieties of roses, including hybrid teas, floribunda, polyanthus, miniatures and climbers, are being displayed. Folk artistes from various parts of the country are presenting their exclusive regional art forms to depict the socio-cultural ethos of India. Rose festival gave a good platform to the people to enjoy the nature and know more about the variety of flowers and plants grown in and around the city. Feb 22, 2015

Regional RPI protests demanding arrest of Govind Pansare's killers

Mumbai, Feb 22 (ANI): Activists of the regional Republican Party of India (RPI) held a protest march in Mumbai city on Sunday demanding arrest of the killers of veteran Communist leader Govind Pansare. Senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Govind Pansare died on Friday, four days after he was shot at by unidentified assailants. The protesters took to the streets shouting slogans against the state government for failing to arrest the culprits. Police rounded up several activists and RPI leader before they were released. Kolhapur police has announced a cash reward of rupees 500,000 to any person providing information about the murderers of slain leader. Maharashtra state government has set up special police teams to nab the culprits. But no arrests have been made so far. Feb 22, 2015

Philately exhibition at Aero Show attracts visitors in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Feb 22 (ANI): A unique stall of the Indian postal department containing postal stamps of aero shows and old aircraft attracted visitors at the Aero Show 2015 in Bengaluru city. Indian postal department has exhibited stamps released on aero shows since 2003 and pictures of old aircraft on the stamps. Various national and international companies participated in the five-day biennial air show where they showcased defence equipments of the world's leading defence suppliers. Post Master General of Business Development and Mails department, Veena Srinivasan, said the stamp exhibition was based on aero philately. The commemorative stamps commemorate any event or occasion while definitive ones are usually seen in correspondence. Items like mugs and lettersets with stamps embossed over them were also exhibited at the gallery. Feb 22, 2015

Congress will not support any anti-people bills and ordinances: Ghulam Nabi Azad

New Delhi, Feb 22 (ANI): The Government on Sunday reached out to the Opposition, calling for "a spirit of mutual cooperation" ahead of the Budget session of Parliament on Monday that is expected to be a stormy affair. After the all party meeting in New Delhi, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the government should not expect support on any anti-people bills and ordinances from the Congress party. The government is looking to pass key legislation, including bills to replace a slew of ordinances in this session. Feb 22, 2015