Tag: india

New Harry Potter Stage Play A Sequel

By Aglaia Staff

When news of the upcoming play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” first broke in June, rumors swirled and everyone started making their own guesses on the production’s plot.

But new details have emerged on the two-part play, which author J.K. Rowling developed with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany. It is set to premiere on London’s West End in 2016.
Most notably, we now know the play will be a sequel and should be considered the series’ “eighth story,” set to take place 19 years later, contradicting early reports predicting the play would be a prequel.
The epilogue to the final book, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,’ takes place 19 years after the events of the book, and sees Harry, along with his friends Ron and Hermione, dropping their children off at the Hogwarts Express.”

We’re also now seeing the first images of the play’s official artwork, which shows a child hunched inside a nest that appears to have black wings.
Below is a brief plot decription about what we can expect from the production:

“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”
Preview performances will officially begin on June 7 and July 30 will mark the world premiere opening night.
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Voting Begins In Four North-East States

By Aglaia Staff

The 5-week parliamentary elections entered its second phase on Wednesday with voting in four north-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

Simultaneous polls for two Lok Sabha and 49 of the 60 assembly seats of Arunachal Pradesh began on a peaceful note on Wednesday.


Congress, BJP, NCP, Peoples Party of Arunachal besides independents are in the fray in the Western and Eastern parliamentary constituencies, which are traditional Congress strongholds since 1975, except in 2004 when the BJP made its dent for the first time.

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Ninong Ering of Congress is pitted against BJP nominee Tarir Gao and PPA’S Wangman Lowangcha in the Eastern Parliamentary seat.

In the Western seat Congress MP nominee and sitting MP Takam Sanjoy has locked horns with BJP’s Kiren Rijiju in a multi-cornered contest which has eight candidates.

In the assembly polls the main contest will be between Congress and BJP but new entrant Naga Peoples Front (NPF), along with PPA and NCP are expected to put up formidable fight in several seats.

Altogether 155 candidates including 5 women are in the fray for 49 of the 60 Assembly seats in the state.

The rest 11 seats have been won uncontested by Congress. Among the winners are Chief Minister Nabam Tuki from Sagalee constituency.

An electorate of 7,53,170, including 3,77,272 women will cast their votes in 2,158 polling stations in the state.

An additional 20 companies of central paramilitary forces besides 24 existing companies have been deployed as well as 8000 policemen to maintain law and order during the polls.


Polling for the lone parliamentary seat in Nagaland which will decide the fate of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rioin began on a peaceful note on Wednesday.

Mr. Rioin is pitted against Congress’ K V Pusa and Akheu Achumi of Socialist Party (India).

This will be the first time that Nagaland would webcast poll proceedings of 84 stations out of the total 2,059 stations to maintain transparency.

Those polling stations can be viewed live through the CEO Nagaland website.

An electorate of 11,82,948, including 5,82,458 women will cast their votes during the day.


The Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seat, one of the two parliamentary constituencies in the state went to the polls on Wednesday.

A total 10 contestants from BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress, Naga People’s Front, NCP, JD(U) and Aam Admi Party, besides three independents are in the fray.

The candidates whose fate will be decided today are sitting Congress MP Thangso Baite, Gangmumei Kamei (BJP), C Doungel (NCP), Kim Gangte (TMC), Soso Lorho (Naga People’s Front), L Gangte (JD—U) and M K Zou (AAP).


An electorate of 9,11,699, of whom 4,63,068 are women, will cast their votes in 511 polling booths.

 Voting Begins In Four North East States
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Indian-Origin Engineers Create Device For Wireless Technology

By Aglaia Staff

Using an inexpensive Rs 3,600 inkjet printer, two Indian-origin electrical engineers at the University of Utah have for the first time produced microscopic structures that use light in metals to carry information.


This new technique, which controls electrical conductivity within such micro-structures, could be used to rapidly fabricate superfast components in electronic devices — making wireless technology faster for printing magnetic materials.


A recently discovered technology called plasmonics marries the best aspects of optical and electronic data transfer. By crowding light into metal structures with dimensions far smaller than its wavelength, data can be transmitted at much higher frequencies such as terahertz frequencies.


“Very little well developed technology exists to create terahertz plasmonic devices, which have the potential to make wireless devices such as Bluetooth — which operates at 2.4 gigahertz frequency — 1,000 times faster than they are today,” explained Ajay Nahata, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and senior author.


Using a commercially available inkjet printer and two different colour cartridges filled with silver and carbon ink, Nahata and his colleague Barun Gupta printed 10 different plasmonic structures with a periodic array of 2,500 holes with different sizes and spacing on a 2.5-inch-by-2.5 inch plastic sheet.


“Because we can draw and print these structures exactly as we want them, our technique lets you make rapid changes to the plasmonic properties of the metal, without the million dollar instrumentation typically used to fabricate these structures,” Nahata added.


Depending on the relative amounts of silver and carbon ink used, the researchers could control the plasmonic array’s electrical conductivity or how efficient it was in carrying an electrical current.


Plasmonic arrays are currently made using micro-fabrication techniques that require expensive equipment and manufacture only one array at a time. Until now, controlling conductivity in these arrays has proven extremely difficult for researchers.


Nahata and Gupta used terahertz imaging to measure the effect of printed plasmonic arrays on a beam of light. When light with terahertz frequency is directed at a periodic array of holes in a metal layer, it can result in resonance — a fundamental property best illustrated by a champagne flute shattering when it encounters a musical tone of the right pitch.


According to Nahata, with this new printing technique, “We have an extra level of control over both the transmission of light and electrical conductivity in these devices”. You can now design structures with as many different variations as the printer can produce, he added in a study that appeared in the journal Advanced Optical Materials


These faster plasmonic arrays could prove useful for wireless devices and printing magnetic materials for greater functionality in different devices.


 Indian Origin Engineers Create Device For Wireless Technology
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Bengaluru Gets India’s First Electric Bus; Other Cities To Follow

By Aglaia Staff

The passenger bus, with zero emission level, was inaugurated by Karnataka Transport Minister R Ramalinga Reddy as an initiative of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation. The air-conditioned bus can seat 31 passengers and a fully charged battery (5 hours) covers a distance of around 250 km.

“The bus will run on free trial basis for the first three months, following which the BMTC will decide on its purchase. The passenger fare will be equivalent to the Volvo bus fare,” Ramalinga Reddy told The Hindu. At a cost of around Rs 2.7 crore, the bus will operate from Majestic to Kadugodi (Route No 335E) and may be used on the airport access road as well. While the cost of the bus is high, if it proves to be efficient in the city, Reddy said the government could look at increasing the number of buses in a phased manner.

350px Bmtc logo Bengaluru Gets Indias First Electric Bus; Other Cities To Follow

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“We will consider various options if the bus is found to be suitable for the city. At present, it is on a three-month trial and following this, a decision will be taken on whether or not to purchase the bus,” Reddy told the New Indian Express. While switching entirely to e-buses could be a long term measure, the Karnataka government has indicated that it is looking at cutting pollution caused by public transportation.

In his budget speech last week, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had indicated that the government will soon introduce buses running on eco-friendly fuel such as CNG. “The distribution work of natural gas is in the final stage with the joint venture of KSIIDC and GAIL. It will be completed at the earliest and action will be taken on priority basis to supply CNG in Bangalore.

Action will be taken to introduce and adopt eco-friendly CNG in urban transport vehicles in a phased manner,” he had announced. A report by the Centre for Science and Environment released in 2013 identified Bangalore as one among 14 cities that have high levels of particulate matter. A World Bank study has indicated that using CNG over diesel would reduce carbon monoxide by about 83 percent, nitrogen oxide by 58 percent, and a 97 per cent drop in particulate matter, the Bangalore Mirror reported. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation currently has 6,472 buses operating on 2,398 routes with 4.9 million passengers using its services daily.


 Bengaluru Gets Indias First Electric Bus; Other Cities To Follow
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UPA Medical Scam: Ghulam Nabi Azad Cornered Over Desiraju’s Transfer

By Aglaia Staff

As the Lok Sabha elections 2014 are fast approaching, the UPA government has come under scanner for another scam. According to Times Now report, the controversy is related to the sudden ouster of the Union health and family welfare secretary and IAS officer Keshav Desiraju.

On February 11 this month, Desiraju was ‘transferred’ to the department of consumer affairs during cabinet reshuffle, while AIDS Control department Secretary Luv Verma was given additional charge as health secretary. The Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is said to be involved in the “capable officer” Desiraju’s ouster.

The top PMO official reportedly put pressure on Desiraju to “clear” Ketan Deasi’s file. In an alleged “secret fightback” note, it has been claimed that Azad had written to the cabinet secretary that “why Desiraju must go”. When reporters asked him on his ouster, Azad evaded questions and instead attacked the shunned bureaucrat. Shockingly, the PMO has remained silent on the medical scam, that has resurface now.

Now, after coming under media’s scanner, ‘cornered’ Azad has been forced to “expalin” that why he tried to “undo” the MCI’s decision. Azad has said that “he initially did not want to accept Desai’s nomination.” On being questioned for backing ‘graft tainted’ ex-Medical Council of India (MCI) chief Dr Ketan Desai, Azad has reportedly given a long ‘winded’ reply.

Azad has been accused of shunting Desiraju, an IAS officer of 1978 batch of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, who opposed him because he did not give his go ahead to the re-appointment of ex-MCI boss, who was jailed on corruption charges. Under pressure to explain, Azad tried to throw dirt back at the bureaucrat. When Azad was questioned about Desiraju’s transfer within 11 months of his appointment, he said these were ‘administrative things’. “I don’t think people should get into it. Officers’ and ministers’ portfolios change. It is a regular affair. He (Desiraju) is a capable officer”, he said.

5930962078 85c3b3d066 n UPA Medical Scam: Ghulam Nabi Azad Cornered Over Desirajus Transfer

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Sources said that the decision to transfer Desiraju was taken by the PMO, due to issues with the Cabinet secretariat. Alleging foul-play, many health ex-secretaries and former bureaucrats had written to the PM Dr Manmohan Singh, that why Desiraju was removed without following any procedure. Desiraju had joined the Ministry as an Additional Secretary in 2010, after completing his tenure as the Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand.

The ‘tainted’ Dr Ketan Desai’s name first emerged in 2000 when the Income Tax Department had raided his house and established a corruption charge against him. In 2010, he was arrested by the CBI on corruption and disproportionate assets charges and is said to be currently out on bail.

‘Government doing contempt of court’ The former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian told a newspaper, “by transferring him (Desiraju), the government appeared to be violating a Supreme Court order last October directing the government to ensure fixed tenures for bureaucrats — to insulate them from political pulls and pressures. This is fully contempt of court.” AAP questions Congress, BJP over ex-MCI chief According to a news report, senior AAP leader Prashant Bhushan told mediapersons, “Ideological differences have been set aside to bring back Ketan Desai, despite the ongoing criminal cases pending against him.” “Medical education was reduced to a private business when Desai was at the helm in MCI,” Bhushan alleged.


 UPA Medical Scam: Ghulam Nabi Azad Cornered Over Desirajus Transfer
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Indian Muslim Hunts For Lover In Taliban Land; Disappears

By Aglaia Staff

Fifteen months ago, a 26-year-old management graduate from Mumbai set off on a journey few would ever contemplate. Indian Muslim Hamid Nehal Ansari took a flight to Kabul and sneaked into Pakistan to meet a girl he had met on the internet and fallen in love with. 

After reaching Kabul on November 4, 2012, Ansari illegally crossed into the wilds of north-west Pakistan to meet his soul mate who had informed him that her family was in the process of fixing a match for her — the trigger for Hamid’s courageous, if risky, adventure. 

On Monday, the Supreme Court could offer little succour to Ansari’s mother Fauzia, who had moved the court seeking a direction to the Centre to pursue the case of her son with the Pakistani government after he vanished in Taliban territory in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Hamid was last traced to Pakistan’s Kohat region where he stayed with a journalist working for an Urdu daily after crossing the border around November 10. Indian high commission officials in Pakistan have been unable to trace him thereafter. 

After the young man virtually vanished into thin air, his relatives discovered from Facebook posts that he had used the ruse of a job interview in Kabul for a pre-planned journey to meet the girl whom he had met and wooed on the social networking site. 

Fauzia’s worries grew as she learnt that Kohat was not too far from Taliban-dominated Waziristan area. She moved the Supreme Court in November 2013 for a direction to the Union government to trace her son and ensure his safe return to India

She had complained to a bench of Justices Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Pinaki Chandra Ghose that her letters to the Pakistani government had gone unacknowledged and the stock reply of the Indian high commission was that they were trying to elicit information on Hamid’s whereabouts from Islamabad. 

She was worried that like many Indians who had crossed into Pakistan without valid papers, Hamid could have been arrested and lodged in a prison by the authorities there. The stories about inhuman treatment meted out to Indian prisoners were reflected in her nervous petition. 

The bench ordered that a copy of Fauzia’s petition be served on additional solicitor general Indira Jaising, who in turn informed the court on the last two occasions that the Indian government was trying its best through diplomatic channels to elicit information about Hamid’s whereabouts in Pakistan. 

On Monday, advocate Abhinav Mukherjee told the bench of Prasad and Ghose that Hamid had gone through Rotary Club for a cultural exchange programme in Afghanistan on November 4, 2012. He allegedly crossed over to Pakistan’s Kohat region on November 10 through an illegal route and stayed there with a friend, a journalist with Urdu daily ‘Dastak’. 

The journalist confirmed to the Indian high commission that Hamid indeed stayed with him for two days and had talked about his friendship with the girl in Kohat. It also transpired that Pakistani security agencies reportedly apprehended Hamid, but the trail went cold thereafter. 

Satisfied with the government’s prolonged efforts to trace Hamid, the bench disposed of Fauzia’s petition to send back the mother empty-handed. The bench said given the facts and circumstances of the case, there was little the government and even less the court could do. 


 Indian Muslim Hunts For Lover In Taliban Land; Disappears
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Indian Rail Budget 2014: Highlights

By Aglaia Staff

Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge left train fares and freight rates unchanged on Wednesday, in an interim rail budget ahead of a national election due by May.

The government did raise fares last year, this time with a Congressman at the helm of affairs, as a cash-strapped railways ministry tried to raise money to pay its employees.

But there was no repeat of that on Wednesday, as any hike in passenger fares would have run the risk of upsetting commuters in a crucial election year. The government limited itself to announcing some people-friendly measures without increasing fares.

Here are some of the key announcements for passengers travelling on the world’s fourth-largest railway network:

– More than 70 trains introduced, including 17 premium and 39 express trains.

– Updates on passenger name record (PNR) status via SMSes.

Passenger services to Katra, near the popular Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir, to start soon. Trial runs on the extended railway line from Udhampur are under way.

– Meghalaya and Itanagar (in Arunachal Pradesh) in India’s Northeast to be connected to rail network.

Indian Railways to explore options to raise trains speeds to up to 200 kilometres an hour on trains to Agra and Chandigarh from India’s capital. A feasibility study for high-speed trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is already under way.

– An independent Rail Tariff Authority being set up to advise the government on fixing fares and freight rates, a step that would help rationalize fares in the coming years.

– System of passenger upgrades to be extended to second-class sitting, AC chair car and executive chair car.

– Online booking of retiring rooms at important railway stations.

– Online booking of meals on trains at several stations.

– Mobile phone ticketing to be started in the unreserved segment.

– Increasing the number of automatic ticket vending machines.

– Indian Railways considering proposal to allow foreign direct investment.

– ‘Green Curtains’ to be set up at railways stations in Agra and Jaipur as a pilot project, which would involve constructing a boundary wall and landscaping around railway tracks .

– Increasing the reach of a new bio-toilet design that has been introduced in about 2,500 coaches.

– Portable fire-extinguishers to be kept in railway coaches and induction-based cooking to be introduced in pantry cars.

– Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and other improved safety systems to be introduced.


 Indian Rail Budget 2014: Highlights
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Dalai Lama Asks China To Learn From India

By Aglaia Staff

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today said China should learn from India the practice of harmonious co-existence of different people, languages and lifestyles.            

“They should learn from India, which has apart from different regions, different people, different languages, different scripts and different lifestyles. Yet they all live harmoniously,” the Dalai Lama said while addressing the convocation of a state university here.        

The spiritual leader, who visited Meghalaya for the first time since he made India his home, termed his adopted country as “wonderful and very nice” to live in.      

He likened the country to the United Nations in its embracing a multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religion society, while blaming Chinese hardliners for infusing hatred against people living in Tibet. “We are not seeking separation from China. We belong to China with common interests and common economic development,” the Dalai Lama emphasised. 

“Over 3,000 years ago, India had the concept of Ahimsa (non-violence). Because of that it commands respect,” he said, adding that India was the living example of religious tolerance and culture.


 Dalai Lama Asks China To Learn From India
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New FIR Vindicates AAP Claim On Night Raid

By Aglaia Staff

The accusations of thriving criminal activities in Khirki Extension area of south Delhi as claimed by Aam Aadmi Party gained further ground on Tuesday when three Ugandan women living there alleged of being wrongly confined and pushed into sex racket by drug mafia in the capital.

Even though Delhi Police has registered an FIR against unknown persons regarding the matter, AAP, claims it to be the vindication of what they had protested against last month.

The victims claim that a woman in Africa Eeram lured them into shifting to India promising jobs. When they reached here, their passport and other documents were snatched by the woman and her acquaintances. The trio claimed that they were forced into prostitution. They had arrived in India on January 17.

Aam Aadmi Party minister Somnath Bharti had led the infamous night raid in Khirki Extension area only alleging that drug and prostitution rackets thrive in the area. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had also supported his minister and organised two-day protest after which two police officials including SHO of the area were send on leave.

The victims, with the help of Aam Aadmi party approached district commissioner of south Delhi and recorded the statement, after which police registered the case. The case has been registered under sections 366, 368, 384 of IPC — kidnapping, forced intercourse, extortion, wrongful confinement and section 4/5 of Immoral Trafficking Act. “We are investigating the matter and would record the statements of the victims as well,” said a senior police official.

Delhi Commission for Women have also forwarded a complaint to Delhi Police regarding the matter and they would be meeting the victims on Wednesday. As of now, the trio have been kept at Nari Niketan.

AAP also claimed to have been vindicated by the revelations made by the victims. “We have been saying this from Day One. Why was no action taken? The Delhi Police was hand in gloves with the traffickers,” said AAP spokesperson Ashutosh.

Meanwhile, Delhi government and the external affairs ministry are now trying to send the women back to their country. “Three Ugandan women have requested that they be sent back. We have written to the Ugandan embassy,” MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.


 New FIR Vindicates AAP Claim On Night Raid
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Tiger Woods Checks In For His First Visit To India

By Aglaia Staff

Tiger Woods arrived in Delhi by private jet on Monday on his first visit to India. Woods will be playing an exhibition game on Tuesday at the Delhi Golf Club. Woods will first play alongside a select group of corporates and then in a four ball match on the last four holes against Indian golfers Shiv Kapur and Anirban Lahiri as well as Pawan Munjal, CEO and MD of Hero Motor Group. 

The 14-time Major winner had been reportedly invited to India by Munjal, who had sent personal invitations to a select group of golf aficionados — including corporates and international business leaders who will be in the capital ahead of the Auto Expo — for Tuesday’s event. Munjal incidentally also sponsors Shiv Kapur.

Woods will also open a set of apartments in Gurgaon that have been named after him. According to a report in The Guardian, Woods is expected to earn a seven-figure fee for his day-long appearance. A source pegged the amount at $ 2million. Woods is expected to return later in the year for a more relaxed visit.


It is learned that even the invitees to Woods’ exhibition game are required to bring their cards and requested not to ask for autographs from or photographs with Woods. The DGC members have also been asked to bring their membership cards. Woods had spoken about his impending India trip at the Dubai Desert Classic tournament, where he had finished tied for 41st place last week.

“I don’t know,” Woods had said when asked about his expectation from the visit. “I have never been there. This will be my first time so it will be fun. Then I will head back home to see my kids.”

Woods revealed in Dubai that the India trip was a long time coming as he had been invited by good friend Arjun Atwal several times in the past. “Arjun has been asking me to come to India, but somehow it never happened. Now it has. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it, finally going to go for my first time,” he had said.

Shiv Kapur, who also played in the Dubai Desert Classic, felt it will have a big impact on Indian golf.

“Tiger’s visit to India is going to make a huge impact and there is a big buzz already not only in Delhi but the whole country. I know the members at my club (DGC) are very excited and there is going to be people climbing all over the walls just to get a glimpse of Tiger,” he had said.

Incidentally Hero is in advanced stages of launching a 600cc sports bike that is slated for a launch in both the domestic and overseas markets. A concept version of this bike

is expected to be showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo starting February 5, a day after Woods’ high profile visit.


 Tiger Woods Checks In For His First Visit To India
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