Shiv Sena boycotts NDA meeting, asks govt to rework on land acquisition bill

New Delhi, Feb 25 (ANI): After the opposition parties led by congress walked out of the Parliament in protest of government’s land acquisition bill, BJP ally Shiv Sena skipped a meeting of NDA government over the issue. Both Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal have termed the Government's controversial land bill “anti-farmer and against the interests of poor”. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the party has always worked in the interest of the farmers and will ask the BJP to review certain points in the bill. Meanwhile, central government hinted at diluting some of the provisions of the new land acquisition ordinance after meeting with its allies and amid growing protest on Tuesday. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who presided the meeting, assured the government would consult all the stakeholders before taking final decision. Feb 25, 2015

Section 144 imposed in Ahmedabad to prevent swine flu

Siliguri/ Kanpur, Feb 25 (ANI): Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, prohibiting mass gatherings without prior permission, has been imposed in Ahmedabad in order to prevent swine flu. However, gathering for marriages and death processions have been exempted. According to reports, if the public events cannot be called off or postponed, organisers will have to take prior permission to ensure that proper care is taken to stop the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, doctors in West Bengal say that hospitals in northern part of the state were fully equipped to provide medical facilities to swine flu afflicted patients. Doctor Rudra Nath Bhattacharya said that North Bengal Medical College had set up an isolation word, appointed maximum number of staff and kept close watch on the pig farms. He requested people not to panic. Meanwhile, in Kanpur, people alleged that hospitals were ill-equipped. Feb 25, 2015

Central government gives higher share to states in central taxes

New Delhi, Feb 25 (ANI): Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has stated that the recommendations by the 14th Finance Commission were accepted and raised the share of states in central taxes from 32 percent to 42 percent. This is the single largest increase ever recommended giving more power to states in determining how they spend this money. Jaitley said that each recommendation would be implemented for five years. He also urged states to be self sufficient and stop looking at the central government. Jaitley said it was a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of giving greater autonomy to states in financing and designing the schemes. Feb 25, 2015

In Japan, robot dogs are for life -- and death

Robot dogs are the perfect pet for some in Japan who go to repairmen-turned-vets when their pooch breaks down - while a full Buddhist funeral ceremony awaits those who don't make it. Feb 25, 2015

Budget hopes: Jewellers in Surat seek import duty cut on gold

Surat, Feb 25 (ANI): With the Narendra Modi government all set to present its first full-fledged budget, jewellers in Surat pin their hopes on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to cut down the import duty on gold. The present 10 per cent import duty on gold was set in 2013 by the previous Congress party-led government as part of efforts to cut the current account deficit. Jaitley will on February 28 present his first full-year budget, seeking to put Asia's third-largest economy on a path of 7-8 percent growth over the next two years. A jeweller, Milan Shah, said on Tuesday that the high import duty was discouraging NRIs to buy jewellery from India. Gold is a popular gift at weddings in India and is also bought for auspicious occasions and hence reducing the import duties is the only way to revive the declining imports. Feb 25, 2015

Clean trains, reduced fares on India's wish list for Rail Budget 2015-16

Varanasi/ Kanpur/ Secunderabad, Feb 25 (ANI): People across Indian states have pinned their hopes on Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to not to increase the fares and provide more facilities to the passengers in the rail budget 2015-16 that will be presented in the parliament on February 26. The upcoming Railway Budget by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government is expected to restore the glory of railways as the sector is reeling under financial crunch. According to local reports, rail connectivity tops the expectation list, especially for remote regions of the northeast, and also the electrification of existing railway tracks. Last week, Modi flagged off the first express train in Arunachal Pradesh, which now connects its capital Itanagar with New Delhi. However, residents in Modi's constituency Varanasi expressed disappointment and said after nine months in power, the government should take steps to upgrade the railway facilities. Feb 25, 2015

Greece on course for bailout extension

A vital document submitted - just in time to meet a midnight deadline. Greece has now delivered a list of reforms it's promising to get an extension of its bailout. But with Brussels already warning Feb 25, 2015

Fashion designer hits the road for inspiration

For accessories designer Anya Hindmarch driving and roadways were the source of her latest inspiration. At London Fashion Week, her new line, 'Diversion', sports familiar images from the road. ( Feb 25, 2015