Impacting Lives of Beginners: Mrs. Neena Bhatia, Principal ABC Public School

Impacting Lives of Beginners: Mrs. Neena Bhatia, Principal ABC Public School

  Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My father was my inspiration in Childhood. He always preached us that luck sure comes at the door and knocks too but your efforts More »

Top of the Town: Ravindra Bhadana, MLA  Indian politician and a member of the 16th Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh of India

Top of the Town: Ravindra Bhadana, MLA Indian politician and a member of the 16th Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh of India

1. आपका बचपन में प्रेरणा स्त्रोत कौन था? मेरे पूज्य बाबाजी स्वर्गीय श्री रामसिंह जी । जो एक कृषक थे, एक सामाजिक व्यक्ति थे। उन्होंने जिंदगी में मुझे जीना सीखाया। प्ररेणा भी More »

Top of the Town: Mr. Vikram Parakash Lamba, MD American Institute of English Language Pvt. Ltd.

Top of the Town: Mr. Vikram Parakash Lamba, MD American Institute of English Language Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Vikram Parakash Lamba, MD American Institute of English Language Pvt. Ltd. with 300+ Centers all across India Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My mother and father were my source More »

Top of the town: Dr. Mohini Lamba, Director in American Kids Play School, Early Childhood Curriculum Developer, Montessori Teachers Trainer

Top of the town: Dr. Mohini Lamba, Director in American Kids Play School, Early Childhood Curriculum Developer, Montessori Teachers Trainer

Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My inspiration was my family. I was surrounded by educators in my family. Ma Nanaji, Mamaji, my mother everybody was into academics. My Mamaji was More »

Top of the Town: Mrs. Monika Kohli, 52 years young model and actor, into print ads, T.V. commercials and movies

Top of the Town: Mrs. Monika Kohli, 52 years young model and actor, into print ads, T.V. commercials and movies

Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? I always believed that inspiration is from inside and not from outside. Only you can inspire yourself. Outward inspirations are momentary and do not stay More »

Top of the town: Respected Rajendra Aggarwal, MP

Top of the town: Respected Rajendra Aggarwal, MP

  Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My dad and my uncle were my inspiration in my childhood. Both of them were associated with RSS. They inspired me to join RSS More »

Top of the town: Dr. Vishwajeet Bembi, renowned Physician and Social Worker

Top of the town: Dr. Vishwajeet Bembi, renowned Physician and Social Worker

Dr.Vishwajeet Bembi, renowned Physician and Social Worker Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My mother was my inspiration in my childhood and she is still my inspiration. My brother had also More »

Top of the town: Mr. Rakesh Kohli, Chairman, Stag International known for sporting goods in different countries of the world.

Top of the town: Mr. Rakesh Kohli, Chairman, Stag International known for sporting goods in different countries of the world.

Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My grandfather was my biggest inspiration. I had learnt the minutest details of life from him. I learnt a lot from him about business. Like More »

Top of the town: Mr. Prem Mehta, Principal City Vocational Public School

Top of the town: Mr. Prem Mehta, Principal City Vocational Public School

Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? I think in my childhood it was the national leaders like Gandhi ji and Nehru ji who inspired me the most because our exposure at More »

Top of the town: Dr. Mamta Varshney, Lecturer and Poetess

Top of the town: Dr. Mamta Varshney, Lecturer and Poetess

Who was your inspiration in Childhood? Radio was my source of inspiration as I used to listen to loads of music and radio and tape recorder were the only source to listen More »

 

Astronaut breaks US space record, gets call from Trump

CAPE CANAVERAL: Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke the US record on Monday for most time in space and talked up Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump.

The International Space Station’s commander surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in space by an American.

“This is a very special day in the glorious history of American spaceflight,” Trump said. His daughter Ivanka also offered congratulations to Whitson from the Oval Office.

Whitson said it’s “a huge honor” to break such a record. “It’s an exciting time” as NASA prepares for human expeditions to Mars in the 2030s, included in new legislation signed by Trump last month. She called the space station “a key bridge” between living on Earth and traveling into deep space, and she singled out the station’s recycling system that transforms astronauts’ urine into drinking water.

“It’s really not as bad as it sounds,” she assured the president.

“Well, that’s good, I’m glad to hear that,” he replied. “Better you than me.”

Whitson already was the world’s most experienced spacewoman and female spacewalker and, at 57, the oldest woman in space. By the time she returns to Earth in September, she’ll have logged 666 days in orbit over three flights.

The world record, 879 days, is held by Russian Gennady Padalka. Whitson broke the NASA cumulative record set last year by astronaut Jeffrey Williams; Scott Kelly holds the U.S. record for consecutive days in space , 340.

Whitson is also the first woman to command the space station twice and the only woman to have led NASA’s astronaut corps. Behind her was a banner that read: “Congrats Peggy!! New US High-Time Space Ninja.” The sign arrived Saturday on the commercial cargo ship, the S.S. John Glenn, barely in time for Monday’s celebration.

NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, who arrived at the space station last week and took part in Monday’s call, said the space station is “by far the best example of international cooperation.”

Whitson told the president that spaceflight takes a lot of time and money, so getting to Mars will require collaboration from other countries to succeed. NASA is building the hardware right now to test a new rocket that will carry astronauts farther from Earth than ever before, she said.

“Well, we want to try and do it during my first term or, at worst, during my second term, so we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, OK?” Trump replied.

“We’ll do our best,” Whitson replied.

The debut of the mega rocket is still more than a year away, at least. The date will depend on whether astronauts are on board for the test flight, which could hoist the new Orion capsule to the vicinity of the moon.

Both Whitson and Fischer raised a hand when Trump asked which one of them was ready to go to Mars.

Joining Trump in the Oval Office was astronaut Kate Rubins, who last summer became the first person in space to perform entire DNA decoding, or sequencing. She said she used a device the size of a cellphone for the job, and noted that such sequencing can detect microbes aboard spacecraft and monitor astronaut health.

“That’s fantastic,” Trump said. “I’ve been dealing with politicians so much, I’m so much more impressed with these people, you have no idea.”

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Germany sees new rise in far-right offenses, hate crimes

BERLIN: Violent crimes in Germany with far-right motives rose 14.3 per cent last year after a bigger increase in 2015, and the country also saw another increase in hate crimes, authorities said Monday.

The Interior Ministry said that 1,698 violent right-wing crimes were recorded in 2016, up from 1,485 the previous year. In 2015, the figure soared as Germany saw a large influx of migrants.

There was a 3.6 percent increase last year in the broader category of “hate crimes” — offenses of a racist or anti-Semitic nature or targeting people because of their religion, often in online posts. They increased to 10,751 from 10,373 after surging in 2015.

Violent politically motivated crimes targeting homes for asylum-seekers were close to the previous year’s level — 169, compared with 177 in 2015. Including non-violent crimes such as cases involving propaganda, the total number of offenses against asylum centers slipped to 995 from 1,031.

Violent crimes with a far-left motive dropped by a quarter in 2016 to 1,702 — a fall that was apparently due to a lack of major politically sensitive events in Germany last year.

However, politically motivated offenses by foreigners rose by two-thirds last year, largely because of the conflict between Turkey and the outlawed PKK.

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I can’t believe I am 44, says Sachin Tendulkar

Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Monday said that he could not believe he has turned 44 as he celebrated his birthday in front of thousands of adoring fans at the Wankhede Stadium.

Jaitley says 7-8% growth 'absolute normal' for India

NEW YORK: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said India will continue to grow at 7-8 per cent rate, an ‘absolute normal’ for the nation under the current global environment.

Jaitley said as far as the economy is concerned, all the decisions taken by the Modi-Government are consistently in one direction.

“The aspirational class in India has become very large and therefore, through the decision making of the government there is a popular support. Election results have indicated that.

“Most important decisions as a result of this pressure of public opinion are also finally resulting in decisions with larger political support,” said the minister who is on an official visit here.

“My own impression of the Indian economy today is that under the current global environment, certainly the 7-8 per cent range is the absolute normal that we have.

“All our economic parameters in terms of fiscal prudence, fiscal deficit, current account deficit, inflation control, I think the figures have been quite encouraging. They have never been so good as far as India is concerned,” he said while speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations.

India continues to be the world’s fastest growing large economy. The country is likely to register a growth of 7.4 per cent in the current fiscal.

Jaitley also said if global growth picks up, then “we are quite capable of improving on our present normal and then creating a new normal”.

The finance minister added that at least for the next two decades India needs high growth to reduce poverty.

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16 drown as migrant boat sinks off Greece's Lesbos

ATHENS: At least 16 people, including two children, drowned after an inflatable boat carrying refugees and migrants sank off Greece’s Lesbos island, authorities said on Monday.

They are believed to be the first confirmed deaths in Greek waters this year of migrants or refugees making the short but dangerous crossing from Turkey on overcrowded rubber dinghies.

Nine bodies were recovered in Greek territory and another seven in Turkish waters, Greek and Turkish coastguard officials said. Two survivors have been rescued.

The two women, one of whom is pregnant, told the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR that 20 to 25 people were on board when the dinghy capsized around 1900 GMT on Sunday. The women are from Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Though fewer than 10 nautical miles separate Lesbos from Turkish shores, hundreds of people have drowned trying to make the crossing since Europe’s refugee crisis began in 2015.

In that year, Lesbos was the main gateway into the European Union for nearly a million Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans. But a deal in March 2016 between the EU and Ankara has largely closed that route. Just over 4,800 people have crossed to Greece from Turkey this year, according to UNHCR data. An average of 20 arrive on Greek islands each day.

“The number of people crossing the Aegean to Greece has dropped drastically over the past year, but this tragic incident shows that the dangers and the risk of losing one’s life remains very real,” said Philippe Leclerc, UNHCR Greece representative. The number of refugees and migrants in Greece has swelled to about 62,000 in the last year, about 13,000 of whom are in camps on five eastern Aegean islands waiting for their asylum applications to be processed.

Violence has broken out in overcrowded camps on several occasions, as have protests against asylum delays. Twelve Syrian Kurds living in Lesbos’s Moria camp for months began a hunger strike on Friday, the Athens News Agency reported.

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Hollande 'will vote Macron', calls Le Pen 'risk' for France

PARIS: French President Francois Hollande today endorsed pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron in May’s presidential run-off, citing “the risk for our country’s future” if Marine Le Pen won.

In a televised statement, the Socialist leader said France risked “becoming isolated and breaking away from the European Union” if the far-right, anti-EU Le Pen were elected.

Hollande said French purchasing power would be hit, “thousands” of jobs would be lost and prices would soar if Le Pen won and then implemented her pledge to take France out of the eurozone and hike tariffs on imports.

A far-right victory would also “deeply divide France” at a time when it needed to show “solidarity and cohesion” in the face of terrorism, he said.

“Faced with such a risk it is impossible to remain silent or indifferent,” he said, adding: “For my part, I will vote for Emmanuel Macron.”

Macron was Hollande’s economy minister from 2014 to 2016 when he quit to form his own centrist movement En Marche (On The Move).

Yesterday, Macron topped the first round of voting for president, winning 23.75 percent of the vote to Le Pen’s 21.53 percent.

Nine other candidates were eliminated.

Macron and Le Pen will face off in a second round of voting on May 7.

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Microsoft India employees to get family caregiver leave

MUMBAI: Microsoft India has introduced a new family caregiver leave benefit of four weeks of full paid leave to take care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition. The company said the enhanced family leave benefits are directed at helping employees meet their needs to be fully present at home and work.

In addition, maternity benefits for those who are adopting a child or who choose to have a child via surrogacy is at 26 calendar weeks of paid leave. The company has also increased paternity leave to six weeks paid at 100 percent, to give both parents more time to bond with a new child.

Ira Gupta, director, human resources, Microsoft India, said, “At Microsoft, we are committed to fostering a healthy work-life balance by enhancing productivity and efficiency for our employees through a flexible work environment as part of our workplace advantage philosophy. Our employees bring their best to work every day, to support our mission, strategy and culture. So, in turn, we are aiming to bring the best to our employees by continually assessing, refining and enhancing the world-class benefits we offer to ensure that they have the time they need to care for the people who matter most in their lives.”

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TCS launches Merchant Pay to help retailers integrate payments

NEW DELHI: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has launched ‘Merchant Pay’ to help retailers seamlessly integrate payments across multiple channels like Aadhaar, credit and debit card as well as phone-based payments through a single interface.

‘Merchant Pay’ will allow consumers to transact by using fingerprint and confirming identity at stores that are enabled with this platform, TCS said at a statement.

“The Merchant Pay platform will effectively integrate with various banks to provide multiple-mode payment options to suit one’s own business model and provide a unified view of all payments,” it added.

Additionally, it will also serve as a business analytics platform for strategic business decision making to reduce cost of payment.

The solution will facilitate advanced analytical data by offering analytical report based on transaction pattern analysis.

TCS has worked with the government to develop the payment acceptance using Aadhaar.

“With numerous digital payment methods like UPI, eWallets, Aadhaar Pay, Debit and Credit cards available, there was a need for a unified platform that integrates all digital payment methods offering convenience to customers and also allowing merchants to accept any form of digital payment,” TCS President Growth Markets Ravi Viswanathan said.

To ensure seamless adaption of this cloud hosting solution, TCS will conduct special drives to on-board and train merchants and have a 24×7 professional support set-up for merchants.

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Jet Airways to add 42, domestic, weekly flights

MUMBAI: Jet Airways on Monday announced that it will add 42 weekly flights connecting three new city pairs as part of strengthening its domestic network to meet growing demand between metros and emerging cities.

The carrier will commence operations between Nagpur and Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata, and Kozhikode and Bengaluru as part of its broader strategy of connecting India’s emerging / Tier II cities with India’s metros via direct flights.

“Introduction of additional frequencies and wide-body deployments between key metros will also boost capacity on existing sectors this summer as the airline bolsters its already extensive network to meet an expected surge in demand during the holiday season,” said the airline in a press statement.

It will also introduce additional frequencies on the highly traveled Delhi – Amritsar and Mumbai – Kolkata sectors and boost capacity on the New Delhi – Bengaluru and New Delhi – Bhopal routes with the introduction of the wide-body Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 services, respectively.

The changes are a part of Jet Airways’ summer schedule which will see the airline operate upto 650 flights per day connecting 65 destinations in India and abroad, the release said.

Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said, “Our summer schedule has been meticulously planned to meet the expected surge in demand over the holidays. New flights, additional frequencies, greater capacity including the introduction of wide-body services across more sectors are meant to offer greater choice, convenience, connectivity and added comfort.”

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Rupee surges to nearly 2-week high of 64.44, up 17 paise

MUMBAI: The rupee today came back strongly against the US dollar by surging 17 paise to close at a two-week high of 64.44 on heavy dollar selling by exporters and banks.

The domestic currency was further supported by unwinding of long-dollar positions by speculators against the backdrop of rising risk-on sentiment.

In equities, benchmark Sensex too saw a smart rebound of 291 points, its biggest single session gain in nearly 6 weeks, and ended at a fresh two-week high of 29,656 buoyed by robust earnings outcome amid global rally.

Healthy FII inflows into equities and debt also supported the recovery momentum.

Foreign investors pumped in a staggering $3 billion in the capital markets this month so far as regulator Sebi has raised investment limit for FPIs in government debt.

According to the depository data, FPIs infused a net sum of Rs 1,132 crore in equities during April 3-21 and another Rs 17,758 crore in the debt segment, translating into a combined inflow of Rs 18,890 crore ($2.91 billion).

The home unit resumed firmly higher at 64.55 from last weekend’s closing value of 64.61 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market owing to smooth supply of dollars.

Maintaining its strong edge over greenback, the rupee touched a fresh intra-day high of 64.43 in late afternoon deals before ending at 64.44, showing a smart gain of 17 paise or 0.26 per cent. Today’s rupee closing was the highest since April 14, when it closed at 64.41.

The RBI, meanwhile, fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 64.4757 and for the euro at 69.9884.

In worldwide trade, the US dollar traded lower against most major world currencies ahead of key macro data this week for clarity on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy.

The dollar index, which tracks the US currency against a basket of six major rivals, was sharply down by 0.77 per cent at 98.95.

In cross-currency trade, the local unit fell back against the pound sterling to settle at 82.61 from 82.55 per pound and also retreated against the euro to finish at 69.95 compared to 69.16 earlier.

The domestic currency, however, bounced back sharply against the Japanese Yen to finish at 58.45 per 100 yens from 59.23 yesterday.

Meanwhile, country’s forex kitty rose by $889.4 million to $369.887 billion in the week ended April 14, helped by increase in foreign currency assets, the Reserve Bank said.

They had declined by $956.4 million to $368.998 billion in the previous reporting week.

On the equity front, the flagship Sensex skyrocketed by a whopping 290.54 points to close at 29,655.84, while Nifty jumped over 98 points to 9,217.95.

In the forward market today, premium for dollar declined modestly owing to persistent receivings from exporters.

The benchmark six-month premium for September softened to 143-145 paise from 144-146 paise and the far-forward March 2018 also eased to 303-305 paise from 303.5-305.5 paise last weekend.

In the global commodity front, crude prices recovered some lost ground on Monday on expectations that OPEC will extend output cuts till the end of 2017, although a relentless rise in US drilling capped gains.

Brent crude futures rose 42 cents to USD 52.38 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures also added 42 cents to trade at $50.04 a barrel.

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