Congress to finalize candidates, manifesto by February(14:18) New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) With a view to preventing infighting due to ticket distribution, the Congress has directed all its state units to expedite the process of candidate selection as well as state-wise electoral understanding for the Lok Sabha before this month which shall be then approved by the Congress Election Committee.
Fake Operations (Column: Spy's Eye)(14:00) A national Intelligence organisation -- like that of India -- earns the respect of the countrymen because it helps the State in discharging its sovereign function of safeguarding national security, stays completely non-partisan and establishes a method of working that is secretive but never crooked. Since security, by definition, is protection against a scheming adversary resorting to a 'covert' attack, the counter-intelligence effort relies on tradecraft techniques perfected with professional training - like surveillance, infiltration into the enemy's camp, communication monitoring, raising human sources and carrying out an interview under 'cover'. The adversarial entity has to be identified and then targeted keeping in view the aim that security by definition is preventive - if there is therefore the danger of an enemy infiltrating its vanguard into the country clandestinely, these ideally have to be picked up right at the point of entry.
Technology in Cricket: 'To be or not to be, is the question' (Column: Close-in)(13:02) The introduction of technology into cricket has not been a smooth one. The phrase "to err is human" was precisely why cricketers and cricket administrators around the world felt that with modern technology, the chances of a human error will be adequately solved. Furthermore, the introduction of stump mics, spider cams, DRS, snickometers will bring about transparency and excitement to the television viewers, who are growing in millions.
Net SIP growth falls 61% in April-December(11:38) New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Growth of Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) in the country's mutual fund industry fell 61 per cent in the first nine months of the current fiscal, following a year of negative returns and the growing uncertainty due to the upcoming elections.
How art is reforming prisoners, giving them second chance at life (IANS Special Series)(10:08) New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) One often thinks of Indian prisons as dingy, cramped cells with their mean and often dehumanised inmates waiting for redemption. So it comes as a surprise when a group of prisoners takes to stage and gets applauded for performing a play written by Rabindranath Tagore or when paintings made by inmates are appreciated by art connoisseurs and get sold at art exhibitions for thousands of rupees.
Imran's 'peace' push turns into bloody push(13:12) New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) From telephoning Kashmiri separatists directly to raising the issue of alleged human rights violations with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's so-called peace rush has quickly turned into a bloody push.
Filmmaking: Braving All Transitions (Column: B-Town)(12:24) The film industry during the 70s and 80s consisted mostly of prospect hunters. There were established production houses but more coming every day to give a shot to filmmaking. The Hindi film industry moved from Lahore to Kolkata and thence to Mumbai where it prospered, throbbed and still delivers anything between 150 to 200 films every year.
Audio tape puts Karnataka BJP, Yeddyurappa in the dock(17:16) Bengaluru, Feb 17 (IANS) A purported audio tape in Kannada has put the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leader B.S. Yeddyurappa in Karnataka in the dock. Its contents expose their desperation to topple the JD-S-Congress coalition government in the state ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, due in April-May.
Be ready for another week of volatility, choppy markets (IANS Insight-Market Watch)(16:54) Markets were under pressure last week and lost on every single trading day. Considering that there were losses for five days, the cumulative amount was not that very large. BSE SENSEX lost 737.53 points or 2.02 per cent to close at 35,808.95 points. NIFTY was down 219.20 points or 2.00 per cent at 10,724.40 points. The broader market lost a little more with BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 down 2.33 per cent, 2.26 per cent and 2.30 per cent down. The bigger pain continues to be in the mid and small cap which were down 2.71 per cent and 2.96 per cent respectively.
FinMin to take up demands to RBI on PCA, interim dividend, SME loan easing(15:50) New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) The Finance Ministry will take up the issue of dividend and Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) and easing of SME loan norms by public sector banks banks with the RBI when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will address the Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank on Monday in his first meeting after the Interim Budget.
How CRPF troopers got trapped(19:42) Srinagar/New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) The Valentine's Day isn't a very popular event among the forces, yet for over 2,500 men of CRPF's 76th Battalion returning from leave to join duty in Srinagar, the bus ride from Jammu starting as early as 2.33 am was to be memorable -- which turned most tragic as events unfolded in a few hours.
What's the hitch in Congress leading post-poll coalition opposite BJP? (Comment)(13:38) The ghastly news from Kashmir did cast a shadow, otherwise Lucknow has had a festive February. The first week was filled with the five-day annual Sanatkada jamboree with fabled Baradari as the festooned focal point. While the mood still lingered, the city found itself riveted on Priyanka Gandhi's roadshow with her brother and Congress President Rahul Gandhi in tow.