From Art of Living’s World Culture Festival getting a go ahead with a Rs 5-crore fine to Vijay Mallya leaving the country amid a call by banks to ban his overseas travel, here a is a quick rundown of the day’s top stories. Click ‘full story’ links for more.
Art of Living gets go ahead for Yamuna bank event, fined Rs 5 crore
The National Green Tribunal cleared on Wednesday a mega cultural event on the Yamuna floodplain in Delhi despite fears of irreparable damage to the area’s delicate ecosystem.
The green court said spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living foundation will pay a fine of Rs 5 crore before the three-day World Culture Festival opened on Friday.
The rest of the fine amount will be decided after a NGT-appointed committee assesses the damage to the floodplain.
Vijay Mallya has left India: Govt tells Supreme Court
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told Supreme Court on Wednesday that industrialist Vijay Mallya left India on March 2 and is most likely to be in England where he has lots of assets.
The AG also said the assets Mallya possessed outside India was far in excess of the outstanding loan amount owed to banks.
During Wednesday’s hearing, a bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton F Nariman questioned the banks as to how they gave loans to Mallya without securing adequate assets as guarantee. The apex court also issued a notice to Mallya on a petition filed by a consortium of 17 banks seeking his personal appearance in the apex court and impounding of his passport.
Dharamsala out, Kolkata in: India-Pak WT20 match moved to Eden Gardens
After days of speculation, the India-Pakistan World Twenty20 group match was shifted out of Dharamsala on Wednesday and allotted to Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, according to sources.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the decision at a media conference, after the Himachal Pradesh venue lost the battle to retain the high-profile, and commercially lucrative, contest scheduled on March 19.
ICC CEO Dave Richardson and tournament director MV Sridhar, in a joint media conference, made the announcement after Pakistan had asked the world governing body to shift the match either to Kolkata or Mohali due to opposition against the team playing at Dharamsala.
Congress is like death, it is above criticism: PM Modi in Rajya Sabha
The Congress is like ‘mrityu (death)’ as it remains untouched by criticism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday but appealed to the Opposition to pass key bills in the Rajya Sabha where the government’s lack of numbers has held up crucial legislation.
Speaking in the upper House, Modi appeared to draw a distinction between the Congress and other parties, saying the principal opposition party was blessed like death, which he said is above criticism.
BJP to field Netaji’s grandnephew against CM Mamata in Bengal polls
The Bharatiya Janata Party said on Wednesday it will field Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew Chandra Bose against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in the upcoming assembly elections.
Chandra Bose joined the BJP on January 25 , two days after he attended a ceremony in Delhi where the government released 100 declassified files on Netaji.
“It is my privilege and honour to announce that in the forthcoming assembly election of West Bengal, Chandra Kumar Bose will be our candidate against Mamata Banerjee,” HRD minister Smriti Irani said.
Indian attacked in Russia dies day after Sushma promised help on Twitter
An Indian medical student who was comatose after being assaulted in Russia has died, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Wednesday.
Swaraj had promised help to Yasir Hussain Shirazi (27), a Srinagar resident who was on a visit to Russia, after an SOS to the minister on Twitter said he was “attacked by some goons”.
“I am pained to inform that Yasir, an Indian medical student from Srinagar, has succumbed to his injuries in Russia,” Swaraj tweeted.
Ramdev wants to teach Yoga at JNU and the students seem okay with it
Ramdev wants to teach Yoga at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the students don’t appear to have a problem with it.
Ramdev’s official spokesperson said he expressed a wish to teach Yoga at the south Delhi campus that is under national spotlight for allegations of “anti-national” slogans shouted at an event.
Unlikely to campaign for Bengal, Kerala polls, says Kanhaiya Kumar
JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who walked out of Tihar on bail last week where he was lodged in a sedition case, indicated on Wednesday he is unlikely to campaign in the upcoming West Bengal and Kerala assembly polls.
“I have already said that mainstream politics is not my calling. I am a student and want to be a teacher after I finish my PhD. However, I will continue with activism even then. “Two of my friends are still in jail, we have raised whole lot of issues ranging from Rohith Vemula case and now the Allahabad University row. There is so much to do for the students that it is unlikely for me to take that much time to travel for campaigning,” he told PTI.
1 dead, 3 injured in construction mishap at AIIMS campus
One labourer died and three were admitted to hospital after they were buried under a pile of debris at a construction site on the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) campus.
The incident happened around 12:30 pm at the hospital’s Mother and Child Block that is under construction. Four labourers were dug out during the search operations, and the contractor took them to the nearby Safdarjung Hospital.
“One was brought dead and the other three are drowsy. We have kept them under observation in ward A and will be getting a CT scan done. All three, however, have stable vital parameters at the moment,” said a source at Safdarjung.
Trump wins 2 primaries, Cruz 1; Clinton, Sanders pick up one each
Donald Trump continued his march towards the Republican presidential nomination winning two more primaries on Tuesday in utter disdain of the party leadership’s efforts to stop him.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, had a tough night, losing delegate-rich Michigan to Bernie Sanders despite leading in polls. She won Mississippi, though.
Trump won Michigan, the big prize in the Tuesday contests, and Mississippi, taking up his tally so far to 14 wins, to Ted Cruz’s seven (he won Idaho), and Marco Rubio’s two.
The iPhone 5s never really had a true heir. The last phone designed with the tiny 4-inch screen to be equally loved and criticised -- because most Android phones had a the 5-inch screen -- was the iPhone 5c. With the rumours of a March 21 event, the expected launch of the iPhone 5s’ true heir -- the Apple iPhone 5se or 6c -- is getting quite a positive anticipation. Maybe because it’s an upgrade and not an overpriced downgrade like the iPhone 5c.
Kangana Ranaut: My parents told me every day I was unwanted girl child
She may have ruled many hearts and won several awards, but Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut was an unwanted girl child who grew up constantly being reminded about her ‘unwanted existence’. On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, the 28-year-old actress demanded that portrayal of women as “selfless” Indian ladies who only care about the happiness of the men in their lives should be stopped as it is regressive.
“My parents had a child before Rangoli, who died within 10 days of his birth. He was called Hero. My parents couldn’t emerge from the loss of that baby boy. But then Rangoli happened and she was taken care of, there was a huge celebration,” the Katti Batti actress told reporters.
Kareena Kapoor reveals her one condition for marrying Saif Ali Khan
Kareena Kapoor Khan says her sole condition for marrying actor Saif Ali Khan was that she would work all her life and he would support her. In her upcoming film, Ki and Ka Kareena will be seen as a career-oriented woman, while Arjun Kapoor will play the role of a supportive house husband doing household chores, including cooking. The film is directed by R Balki. “Today is Women’s Day and you equate women with mother earth, mother Mary...they have the power. They have extra power and so they can multi-task,” Kareena told reporters at a promotional event.
“Today I am a wife and all my life I will work and earn money and my husband will support. That is the only condition (on which) I married Saif,” said the 35-year-old star who tied the knot in 2012.
Priyanka Chopra: I’ve been called Arab terrorist, termed replaceable
Priyanka Chopra has everything going for her in both Bollywood and Hollywood -- the success of Quantico, the plum project Baywatch, a critically acclaimed performance in Jai Gangaajal and a perfect red carpet appearance at the Oscars. However, there was a time she had to face sexism as she was approached with a “take it or leave it” attitude during her early years in the Hindi film industry.