India Elected By General Assembly To Human Rights Council To Combat Intolerance


New Delhi: India for the fifth time has been elected to the Geneva-based Council, the main body of the UN charged with promoting and monitoring human rights when it was elected with the highest number of votes by the General Assembly to the influential Human Rights Council with a pledge to combat intolerance. India received 188 votes, the highest polled by any of the 18 countries elected in the voting.

India’s presence on the Council will be important because the previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein asked the body to facilitate an international commission of inquiry into allegations of human rights violation in Kashmir.

His successor Michelle Bachelet and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have backed Zeid’s recommendation, which Pakistan -- a member of the Council -- is campaigning for. So far, no other country has backed Zeid’s call for the investigation.


Kerala Devaswom Minister Says, RSS Leader Had Moved SC For Entry Of Women Into Ayyappa Temple

New Delhi: Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran sought to turn the tables on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on the Sabarimala issue, claiming that hardcore Sangh leaders had moved the Supreme Court 12 years ago, seeking entry of women of all ages into the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa.

He also equated the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) five-day march from Pandalam to Thiruvananthapuram on the issue with the “rath yatra” organised by the saffron party to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.


Schools Closed, Lakhs Evacuated ; Odisha Put On High Alert Due To Cyclone Titli

New Delhi: Odisha closed schools and other educational institutions across the state, evacuated lakhs of people and put armed forces on alert as cyclone Titli, now intensified into a ‘very severe cyclonic’ storm, expected to hit its coast anytime soon.

As the cyclone moved across the Bay of Bengal towards the Indian coastline where it is likely to make landfall between Odisha’sGopalpur and Andhra Pradesh’s Kalingapatanam around 5.30 am at a wind speed gusting up to 165 kilometres per hour, there was heavy rainfall in many parts of Odisha under its influence.

“Titli moved with a speed of about 15 kmph and intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm and lay centred over the west-central Bay of Bengal, around 200 km south by southwest of Gopalpur,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a bulletin on Wednesday evening.


Government Considering Tapping NRIs To Lure Foreign Exchange Flows And Prop Up Re

New Delhi: To deal with the falling rupee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is considering tapping Indians living overseas to lure foreign exchange flows and prop up a sagging rupee.

Officials from the finance ministry and the central bank are discussing a plan to raise money from non-resident Indians, the people said asking not to be named as the information is not public. An announcement regarding the method may come as early as this month, they said, without providing further details.

India is seeking to boost flows to support its currency that has declined more than 14 percent against the dollar this year, Asia’s worst performer. The risk of a widening current-account deficit left the rupee vulnerable to the rout in emerging markets amid surging oil prices, trade tensions and rising US interest rates. The rupee fell 0.4 percent Tuesday to a record low of 74.3950 per dollar.


Gujarat Government Deploys Additional Security Forces For Security Of Migrants

New Delhi: Prompting the state government to make an appeal for the return of Hindi-speaking migrants, he government has deployed additional forces in the industrial area of Gujarat for their security. Attacks on them sparked exodus of these migrants laborers.

Assuring security to the migrants, the Gujarat government said 431 people were arrested and 56 FIRs registered in connection with the attacks, as chief minister Vijay Rupani appealed to people not to engage in violence.

Claiming that no untoward incident had taken place during the last 48 hours, Rupani said the situation has been brought under control by police.