Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations begin across India

Mumbai/ Nagpur, Aug 29 (ANI): Celebrations of Vinayaka Chaturthi or Ganesh Chaturthi has begun across India as people in large numbers are thronging temples and pandals to worship and houour Lord Ganesha. The city of Mumbai, where the festival is celebrated with huge fervour, welcomed Lord Ganesha. The ten-day long Ganesh Chaturthi festival is to celebrate the birthday of the god of wisdom. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who is celebrating the festival at his home, wished people on the occasion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet, also extended greetings to people. Aug 29, 2014

Politicos, women activists condemn gangrape of minor in Delhi, demand strict action

New Delhi, Aug 29 (ANI): A minor girl was abducted and gang-raped at knife-point allegedly by five people in east Delhi's Madhu Vihar on Wednesday night. According to reports, three of the rapists were minors, who were known to the girl and one of them is believed to be her friend. On Thursday, the Madhu Vihar police apprehended two of the three juveniles accused and arrested another 35-year-old man. The remaining two accused, including a minor, are still evading the law. Teams of the east Delhi police are looking for them. Meanwhile women rights activists and politicos have condemned the crime and asked for strict action in the case. Aug 29, 2014

Forest guards kill poachers at Kaziranga National Park in Assam

Assam, Aug 29 (ANI): Forest guards gunned down two poachers at Kaziranga National Park famed for its one-horned rhino, in Assam. Kaziranga Divisional Forest Officer SK Seal Sarmah said patrolling forest officials confronted a group of poachers, which led to exchange of fire. The thick-skinned, one-horned Indian rhinoceros is one of the five surviving rhino species in the world. The global conservation group WWF estimates there are less than 3,000 animals left in the world. They are found mostly in northeastern India, with a few hundred in neighbouring Nepal. The officials also recovered a rifle and handmade gun. Aug 29, 2014

I had used word 'Hindi' not 'Hindu': Najma Heptullah on her 'nothing wrong in calling Indians Hindus

New Delhi, Aug 29 (ANI): After Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah's statement wherein she said that there is nothing wrong in calling Indians as Hindus sparked controversy, Heptullah said that she used the word 'Hindi' and not 'Hindu'. Heptullah said that she emphasized on the language and not in the religion and that her statement was misunderstood. She had virtually endorsed the RSS's view that all Indians are Hindus, saying there is nothing wrong with the term Hindu being applied equally to all citizens as a label of "national identity". Aug 29, 2014

Encephalitis under control in West Bengal, claims minister

Siliguri, Aug 29 (ANI): Minister for North Bengal Development in the government of West Bengal, Goutam Deb has stated that encephalitis, which turned out to be an epidemic in the state, is under control now. Deb added that appropriate preventive measures are being taken by the officials of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital along with chief medical officers to combat the further spread of the disease and their findings will soon be sent to the health department. Almost 570 people in India have died after contracting encephalitis, commonly known as "brain fever". Aug 29, 2014

Incessant rainfall trigger flood in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

Itanagar/ Kokrajhar, Aug 29 (ANI): Incessant rainfall for the past couple of days has triggered landslides and floods in several parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The state's Lohit District is said to be the worst affected by the floods and landslides. Road communication, water and power supply, standing crops and houses are in a poor state. After making aerial surveillance of the affected regions, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said that lot of damage has been caused due floods. Meanwhile, Flood water from river Brahmaputra inundated major parts of a wildlife sanctuary, Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and rose to danger level in many areas of Kokrajhar district of Assam. In 2012, hundreds of animals were killed during the floods in Kaziranga. Aug 29, 2014

Indian soldiers vigilantly guarding Indo-Pak border amid ceasefire violations by Pak: CRPF Chief

Srinagar, Aug 29 (ANI): India's Paramilitary Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) chief SK Bhandari in Kashmir said that soldiers were vigilantly guarding Indo-Pak international border amid ceasefire violations by Pakistani rangers. Bhandari on Thursday (August 28) assured that the country must have full faith in the armed forces as the soldiers were doing their job with utmost sincerity. On being asked about recent incidents of gun snatching from the officers of CRPF, Bhandari said such incidents may have occurred but still his soldiers were maintaining 24 hours strict vigil. Aug 29, 2014

BJP hails PM Modi's Jan Dhan Yojana

Lucknow/ Bhopal/ Mumbai, Aug 29 (ANI): BJP leaders and cabinet ministers hailed the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch a scheme to ensure that the majority of households in his country of nearly 1.3 billion people have a bank account within months. If successful, the Jan Dhan Yojana could help mend strained state finances by better targeting billions of dollars in welfare spending as well as relieving poverty in a country where about 40 percent of the population has no access to banking. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan praised the initiative saying through this scheme people would be able to save their money judiciously. Under the scheme, the government will give account holders a debit card and accident insurance cover of up to 100,000 rupees. Good customers would also be eligible for an overdraft facility of up to 5,000 Indian rupees after six months. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said this could help break a link between poor public services and corruption. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said this would make people financially independent. Meanwhile, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said through this scheme the poor people will be able to participate in the economic development of the country. Aug 29, 2014

Agartala city reaps the benefits of peace in the state

Agartala, Aug 29 (ANI): Tripura was once reeling under the impact of insurgency which had hampered its development. However, with the gradual decline of militant activities over the last few years, the state has been making tremendous progress. Agartala city is a proof of this change. Small and big industries, educational institutes, shopping malls, hospitals and better road connectivity - the city is witnessing a change. Emphasis on infrastructure development has resulted in better roads, education and health care facilities, thereby improving the living conditions of the public. With a decline in militancy, investors are also showing interest in the state and a good number of industries have come up in and around Agartala. This has created employment scope for thousands of youth. Additionally, the state has formulated investor-friendly policies to attract national and multinational companies. Aug 29, 2014

New power station in Kashmir brightens lives with uninterrupted supply

Rajouri, Aug 29 (ANI): A new power station set up in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir brightened up people’s lives with uninterrupted power supply. Junior Engineer, Javed Iqbal, said the power station aims at providing uninterrupted power supply. A resident, Ratan Lal, added lack of electricity impacted the industry work earlier. However, the plant, which was set up in June this year, is benefiting the people immensely. No line men from city ever visited the area to fix the electricity poles. People are now getting an opportunity to start their own work, which has generated employment opportunities for many. The new power station is boosting the number of small scale industries, such as flour mills, set up by people for self-employment. Aug 29, 2014

Obama on Ukraine, Russia and Syria

President Barack Obama said it is plain for world to see that Russian forces are in Ukraine. In a wide-ranging press conference Obama also said the US does not have to choose between Assad and IS in Syria. Duration: 01:18 Aug 29, 2014

Turkey's former PM Erdogan sworn in as president

Turkey's outgoing premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in as president Thursday, extending his decade-long rule, while opponents who accuse him of authoritarianism walked out of the ceremony. Duration: 00:35 Aug 29, 2014