• Shahid Kapoor, Mira Rajput blessed with daughter

    Mumbai, Aug 26 (IANS) Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor and his wife Mira Rajput on Friday welcomed their first child, a daughter, with utmost joy. "She has arrived and words fall short to express our happiness.Thank you for all your wishes," Shahid tweeted on Friday night. The 35-year-old, son of veteran actor Pankaj Kapur, married Delhi-based Mira, 22, last year.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • My toddler threw up on my shirt — and the airline tried to make me wear it

    Passenger Raj Purohit’s ‘terrible’ flight this summer

    MarketWatch q
  • Modi goaded Pakistan in deliberate yet risky move

    By Rupam Jain and Tommy Wilkes NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - When Prime Minister Narendra Modi met top aides to prepare last week's annual Independence Day address, some senior bureaucrats warned him against mentioning Baluchistan, arch-rival Pakistan's restive southwestern province. Referring to Baluchistan in such a prominent speech would be a highly unusual move bound to ratchet up tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours more used to trading barbs over Kashmir, the cause of two of their three wars. According to a senior official at the meeting in early August, the more hawkish politicians in the room, angered by what they saw as Pakistan's recent trouble-making in Kashmir, thought differently, and so did Modi.

    Reuters
  • Kerala Woman Slams Slut-Shaming Internet Trolls with an Epic Reply That Went Viral

    In a recent statement that garnered a lot of ridicule, Rishiraj Singh, a senior IPS officer and Excise Commissioner of Kerala, said that a man who stares at a woman continuously for 14 seconds can be jailed. Among the many people who shared their views, Vanaja Vasudev, a resident of Alappuzha district in Kerala, also wrote a Facebook post about how she finds the statement ludicrous. But she was bombarded with obscene and derogatory remarks on the social media platform. A strong-willed woman, Vanaja decided against remaining silent and letting the trolls win. She lashed out against those commentators in an elaborate Facebook post, which went viral. Source: Facebook "If a boy stares at a girl for 14 seconds, just 14 seconds, the girl can file a FIR and have the boy in the lock up," Rishiraj Singh had said on August 16. Vanaja took to Facebook to share her views on the issue. She wrote that she was bemused by the comment because it is quite natural for men and women to look at each other and that she too enjoys looking at handsome men in public places. She added that she sometimes felt good when men looked at her in the past and pointed out the sexism and double standards in the statement by addressing the fact that it applies only to men. One of the most pressing questions in her post was about how such offences will be measured? But not everyone was empathetic of the stand Vanaja chose to take. The comment section on her post that sought to equalise both the genders was flooded with several negative and problematic responses. Since Vanaja chose to mention that she enjoys selective male attention, people immediately tagged her as a “whore” and some even had the audacity to ask for “the rate” that she charges to perform sexual favours. Through her second post that later went viral, she addressed all the vulgar messages that were being sent to her through private messages as well. The post mentions how the trolls mustn’t assume a morally superior stand because she hasn’t replied to them individually and it isn’t because of her inability to come up with a scathing response. “Don't measure my life or confidence with your 4-inch scales,” she told the commenters, adding that none of them know about the hardships she had to live through as the daughter of a widow in Kerala. Her father passed away when she and her brother were very young and their mother raised them alone. She talks about how she had to deal with her mother’s insecurities and loneliness, because of which her mother soon became short-tempered and physically abusive. After hitting her repeatedly, she would come to Vanaja while she lay in bed and would touch the welts left from the beating, as she was filled with remorse. She addressed the fact that her mother chose not to be in a relationship with a man again because of the stigma surrounding widow remarriage. A self-made woman, Vanaja juggled various jobs until she finished her education. She slowly realized that she had a lot of bitterness inside her that she wanted to get rid of in a conscious manner. Soon this hatred turned into love and it is this approach to life that is apparent in her first Facebook post. Before concluding, she asks various chetans (elder brothers) not to try and teach her Bharat Sanskar (Indian culture) while speaking about her private parts. She ends the post by asking the trolls how they dare fix a rate for her dignity. The befitting reply concludes with Vanaja reminding them that she grew up with dignity, even in abject poverty. Let me introduce myself...... എവിടെ നിന്നാണ് ഞാന്‍ എന്നെ നിങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് കാണിച്ച് തരേണ്ടത്. നാല് മുറികള്‍ക്കുള്ളില്‍ ഒതു... Posted by Vanaja Vasudev on  Saturday, August 20, 2016 Prashanth Nair, District Collector of Kozhikode and Aashiq Abu, a Kerala-based filmmaker who wrestles with themes of women empowerment in some of his popular films, also shared her post. Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia).

    The Better India
  • 30 words Americans can’t pronounce correctly

    Can you guess the word Americans struggle to pronounce most?

    MarketWatch q
  • 'What if Sheena Bora's vanished, why fuss,' Peter Mukerjea told Rahul

    MUMBAI: A year after Indrani Mukerjea's arrest in the Sheena Bora murder case, phone conversations between Rahul and his father Peter Mukerjea, also an accused, and his stepmother, Indrani, appears to place Mukerjea in a corner. The CBI had relied on seven out of 20 transcripts in the chargesheet. Now it has given the remaining 13 to the accused. In one of the conversations, Peter tells Rahul: "What if she (Sheena) has disappeared, why are you making all this fuss". This is a considerably damning conversation. The conversations were recorded by Rahul. TOI had reported significant sections of the transcripts that was earlier submitted by the CBI in its chargesheet. The tapes show how Peter is

    The Economic Times q
  • India, West Indies to play two T20 Internationals in United States

    Saturday and Sunday's back-to-back fixtures come at a crucial time for the West Indies. West Indies faces India in two Twenty20 internationals in Florida at the weekend in a litmus test for both cricket's future in the US and Carlos Brathwaite's credentials as Caribbean skipper. After India cruised to victory in the Test series and in the aftermath of the Caribbean squad’s latest round of blood-letting, the sides head for the sport's newest outpost, the Central Broward Regional Park, the only purpose-built cricket stadium in the U.S. Six matches in the recent franchise-based Caribbean Premier League were played at the $10 million arena while the first full international matches, two Twenty20

    The Hindu q
  • SC grants 6 weeks protection from arrest to expelled AIADMK MP

    The Supreme Court today granted protection from arrest to Rajya Sabha MP Sasikala Pushpa for six weeks in a sexual harassment case filed by her two domestic aides. A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said that the High Court will expeditiously decide the anticipatory bail application of the expelled AIADMK leader The bench also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that the High Court will take a decision on her application uninfluenced by the order of the apex court. Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra appearing for Pushpa said that she is not going to run away. "She is a Rajya Sabha MP and due to some technical problem in vakalatnama, the High Court has asked her to

    Deccan Herald q
  • The surprising thing millions of men do that can wreck their health

    A new study shows how young men may be putting their well-being at risk

    MarketWatch q
  • John Abraham Steps Into Ranbir Kapoor’s Shoes!

    One actor's loss is another's gain

    Spotboye
  • No AC? No problem. How to keep cool this summer without a big electric bill

    These people live like Americans before the invention of air conditioning.

    MarketWatch q
  • Meet Pratyaya Amrit, the Inspiring IAS Officer Who Has Placed Bihar Firmly on the Road to Success

    The walls were dank, the chairs broken and the curtains tattered. By no stretch of imagination did the place look like it was the office of a major state corporation about to embark on the onerous responsibility of creating a bridge infrastructure in one of the poorest states in the country. “It did not look like an office at all. I did not know where to begin,’’ Pratyaya  Amrit recalls. When the reticent IAS officer took over as Managing Director (MD) in 2006, the turnover of the Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman  Nigam ( BRPNN) stood at a measly Rs. 47 crore, with the state government having made up its mind to close it down. Within two years, the turnaround took everyone, including the government, by surprise. The defunct organisation was in a position to donate Rs 20 crore to the Chief Minister's relief fund during the Kosi floods. Not only had IAS Officer Pratyaya Amrit single-handedly saved a government organisation from the brink of bankruptcy, he had taken it to the forefront of the construction business. Photo Source As the MD of Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam (BRPNN), he had overseen the completion of around 300 major bridge projects in three years. This was akin to moving mountains in a state where even a stone does not budge easily! Amrit, a 1991 batch IAS officer, was on central deputation in New Delhi when he received a call from a bureaucrat from the Bihar government, asking: "Would you mind returning to your home state? There's plenty to be done here." The state government wanted to entrust him with the responsibility of reviving a dying institution. When Amrit returned to Bihar, cutting short his scheduled deputation by six months, he became the first IAS officer to head the BRPNN. The huge losses that BRPNN had been incurring for almost a decade had pushed it to the brink of liquidation. The first thing Amrit targeted was the completion of pending projects, some of which had been pending for almost 17 years, to revive the Corporation. But this was easier said than done. The system in place lacked basic amenities and the morale of the employees was low. An able administrator and HR expert, Amrit ensured that the staff got a congenial environment to work in and the basic facilities to carry out their jobs. Photo Source For instance, he provided them with GPS-enabled phones, making it easier for them to monitor the progress of work. Opting for out-of-the-box solutions to encourage his engineers, Amrit got professional motivators to give encouraging talks to his dispirited engineers, while rewarding the best performers with ample administrative freedom. The engineers responded to this show of confidence by rising to the occasion. BRPNN, which had completed 314 bridges during the first 30 years of its inception, successfully executed 336 bridge projects in just three years. Photo Source A lot of importance was given to quality, monitoring and field visits and Amrit himself travelled more than 40,000 km in three-and-a-half years. He also got a state-of-the-art engineering lab for the organisation and computerised everything. Thanks to his initiatives, by July 2009, BRPNN was an ISO 9001, 2000 and 1410:2004 certified company and its turnover had surged to Rs 768 crore. Prior to appointment as the MD of BRPNN, Pratyaya Amrit's work and ability to get things done as a District Magistrate ( DM) had also earned appreciation from the public. As the  DM of Katihar, he implemented, for the first time, a public-private-partnership for the district hospital where he asked local NGOs to take responsibility for a ward each. This changed the condition of the hospital – it went from being in deficit to having surplus funds. As the  DM of Chapra, he put an end to sleaze shows at the famous Sonpur fair (Asia’s largest cattle fair) by making it compulsory for CCTVs to be installed in theatres. In February 2011, Pratyaya Amrit, as MD of Bihar State Road Development Corporation (BSRDC), stepped in to help destitute girls in Patna find better futures for themselves. Photo Source He  made the organisation literally adopt the destitute girls, instead of just providing them monetary assistance. The BSRDC would not only bear the entire education costs of these girls till college, but would also provide them with job-oriented training to help them start working. Now, besides the monthly stipend that BSRDC deposits in the bank accounts of these girls, the organisation has also parked Rs 50,000 each as fixed deposits in favour of the girls. The money, taken from Corporation profits, will be available to the girls after they turn 18. So effective was Amrit's management style in improving Bihar’s roads that it earned him praise from other countries and the World Bank too. Photo Source The Asian Development Bank (ADB) rated the road work in Bihar as one of the best. Amrit was invited to attend the Urban Planning and Economic Development Programme in the US in 2011. He was also awarded the Prime Minister's Excellence in Public Administration award in 2011 – the only IAS officer to get it that year. His facilitation certificate reads: "Bridging the gap: For turning around a dying Bihar State Bridge Construction Corporation into a profit-making unit." In 2014, Amrit was given charge of Bihar's rural electrification programme. His first target was to cover partially electrified villages. To ensure this work would happen seamlessly, he held meetings with engineers and power companies every fortnight. He coupled these meetings with intensive field visits, travelling across the state for more than 15 months at a stretch. Amrit was also instrumental in accomplishing the crucial task of getting politicians like MLAs on board and giving them lists of all the villages in their constituencies where electrification was taking place, including the names and numbers of contractors. He also had a web-based app made so that MLAs could access updates on the state of electricity in their area. In addition, spot billing centres (to increase convenience) and meters in every household (to minimise power theft) were installed. You May Also Like: How a Doctor Turned IAS Officer Organized India’s First Green Swearing-In Ceremony in Kerala The difference this effort made was visible in less than a year. More than 20,000 burnt transformers were replaced in two months and transmission jumped from 2282 MW to 3500 MW. A strong back-end support system was also created, which helped resolve breakdowns when they happened within 30 minutes. Amrit's next goal is to electrify all villages by October 2016 and set up a separate agriculture feeder that will increase the availability of power to agriculture from 4% to 18%. On the personal front, Amrit keeps his feet firmly on terra firma. A simple, unassuming man, he enjoys playing cricket, is an ardent Steve Jobs fan, and likes reading. His favourite book is Who says Elephants Can't Dance? (a fascinating story of IBM's turnaround scripted by Louis Gerstner Jr., the Chairman and CEO of IBM). Known for his ‘get it done and now’ attitude and his attention to detail, Pratyaya Amrit can be called one of the main architects of Bihar’s turnaround story. His parents, both college lecturers, had always told him to do what he felt good about; Amrit made his never-say-die attitude and dedication to the nation his biggest strength. It is due to innovative and pro-active officers like him that a positive change in Indian governance is finally rolling in. Also Read: How a Young IAS Officer Used Education to Transform the Naxal-Affected District of Dantewada Like this story? Have something to share? Email: contact@thebetterindia.com, or join us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia). To get positive news on WhatsApp, just send 'Start' to 090 2900 3600 via WhatsApp.

    The Better India
  • My father wants to leave me everything — and cut my sisters off

    Her two sisters changed their last name 25 years ago.

    MarketWatch q
  • The Mighty Jupiter Enters Earthy Virgo – What Sort Of Effects Will It Have On Your Life?

    Jupiter – the planet of wisdom and expansion, will be entering the Virgo Sign on 11th August, 2016. Find out the likely effects on different areas of life.

    GaneshaSpeaks.com
  • Carol Gracias makes comeback on ramp post baby's birth

    Mumbai, Aug 26 (IANS) She left a lasting impact when she walked the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer-Resort 2016 ramp flaunting her baby bump in a sari by Gaurang Shah. Glowing in a handloom sari draped beautifully with a bindi shining on her forehead, Carol told IANS: "It's exciting to come back. This is my walk post baby birth and it's just been a month and a week (since the delivery)." She was blessed with a son.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • IIT-B names, shames start-ups reneging on job offers

    Mumbai, Aug 25 (IANS) In an unprecedented move, the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) on Thursday released the names of nine companies it had blacklisted for allegedly going back on plum job placements they offered to its students. The erring companies are LeGarde Burnett Group, which had revoked its job offers and was later found to be fake. The others who are said to have revoked job offers are GPSK, Johnson Electric of China, Portea Medical, Peppertap and Cashcare Technologies.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • Subrata Roy offers to pay additional Rs. 300 crores

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 26 (ANI): Sahara group chief Subrata Roy on Friday told the Supreme Court that he is ready to pay additional Rs. 300 crores which should be adjusted with the bank guarantee. In a breather to Sahara chief Subrata Roy, the apex court had on August 3 extended his parole till September 16 to enable him to deposit Rs 300 crores with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Earlier on July 11, the apex court had extended his parole on humanitarian grounds following the death of his mother, with a strict condition that he would have to deposit the balance of Rs. 300 crores out of the Rs. 500 crores promised by him.

    ANI
  • Jio does Apple, people throng Reliance Stores for free 4G test SIM

    New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) If you are in awe of those early morning queues outside Apple Stores globally, hang on. From Bhubaneswar to Ahmedabad and from Lucknow to Mohali, people on Thursday made a beeline -- some even as early as 2 a.m. -- for Reliance Digital Stores and Digital Xpress Mini Stores to get a free Jio test 4G SIM.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • India's deadly floods raise risk of women, children being sold into slavery

    By Nita Bhalla NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Women and children in India's flood-hit eastern region are at risk of being preyed upon by human traffickers and sold into slavery in middle class homes, restaurants and shops, and even brothels, aid workers warned on Friday. Charities working in the worst affected regions of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh said trafficking was widespread in the aftermath of previous disasters in the region, such as last year's earthquake in neighbouring Nepal and floods in Bihar in 2008.

    Reuters
  • Oil up on U.S.-Iran scare, dollar; Saudi output stance cuts gains

    Oil prices rose 1 percent on Thursday on U.S.-Iran military tensions in the Gulf and speculation the dollar will fall on a monetary policy speech due from the U.S. Federal Reserve chair. The market, however, gave back some gains after an interview by Saudi Arabia's energy minister with Reuters raised fresh doubts about a potential OPEC output freeze. Crude futures rallied toward the close after a U.S. defense official said a U.S. Navy ship fired three warning shots after an Iranian fast-attack craft approached two U.S. ships in the northern Gulf on Wednesday.

    Reuters