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It's authors' wish to return Sahitya Akademi awards: Minister

With eminent authors returning Sahitya Akademi awards to protest rising intolerance, union minister Bandaru Dattatreya said it was their individual right and intellectuals were free to act as per their wish in a democracy. "It is their individual wish and India is a democratic country," the minister of state for labour told media persons here on Tuesday while attending an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Source: IANS

After attack, Sena calls Kulkarni 'Pakistani agent'

A day after blackening the face of veteran journalist and BJP leader Sudheendra Kulkarni, the Shiv Sena has called him a "Pakistani agent". Such "elements" may be handful in number but they wield a lot of influence and sabotage the country, the party said in an editorial in its mouthpiece "Saamana". Source: IANS

VHP seeks anti-conversion law in Jharkhand

After a large number of tribals reportedly converted to Christianity in Jharkhand's Gumla district, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has sought an anti-conversion law in the state. "Anti conversion law should be formulated in Jharkhand. Christian missionaries are silently working on their agenda, converting tribals," VHP leader Pramod Mishra."In the last 15 days, over 300 people belonging to Asur, one of the nine primitive tribes, have been converted to Christianity," he added. Source: IANS

Jayakumar takes over as Bank of Baroda CEO

P.S. Jayakumar took charge as managing director and chief executive officer of the state-run Bank of Baroda (BoB) following a weekend of raids on its Delhi branch by the CBI over a forex fraud case. The chief executive's post at BoB had been vacant for the last 14 months. Jayakumar was named to it by the government on August 14. Jayakumar, who was earlier with Citibank, is the second private sector executive to head a state-run bank following Rakesh Sharma, who joined Canara Bank in September. Source: IANS

Reliance Communications takes customer care to Twitter

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications has launched 'Smartcare on Twitter' to provide various user account management services to its wireless subscribers through the micro-blogging site's live, public platform, a company statement said. The new customer service initiative platform will let users explore a range of account information and services without having to reach out to traditional customer service representatives, it added. Source: IANS

Airtel to offer Rs.15,000 freebies with iPhones

Bharti Airtel will offer iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus from Friday through 235 of its retail stores across the country, a company statement said. "Bharti Airtel is pleased to offer the only 4G network in India, and its customers can take advantage of its incredible network with the new 'iPhone Infinity' plans, which include 60GB of free 4G data over 12 months, saving customers Rs.15,000 on their monthly bill," the statement said. Source: IANS

Google dedicates doodle to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Internet search giant Google paid tributes to Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on his birth anniversary. The doodle showed the musician singing, his left hand raised to make the letter "l" in the word Google. Born on October 13, 1948, Khan was primarily a singer of qawwali, the devotional music of the Sufis. The singer died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 49 on August 16, 1997. Source: IANS

Kotak Mahindra Bank studying integrating ING Vysya's technology

Private sector Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd is in the process of studying integrating the technology platforms of ING Vysya Bank and the study is expected to be over in couple of quarters, said a senior official. Recently ING Vysya Bank got merged with Kotak Mahindra Bank thereby making the latter the fourth largest private bank in the country with over 1,200 branches and over 1,900 automatic teller machines (ATM). Source: IANS

Science and Technology Minister inaugurates Medical Biotechnology Complex

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union minister for Science and Technology, inaugurated Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology’s (CCMB) Medical Biotechnology Complex. While delivering speech after the inauguration, the minister said that scientists must concentrate on researches that try to find solutions for masses and that’s why must get research ideas from the perspective of general mass and not from laboratories. The minister also asked the scientific community to “introspect the work done” and then plan the future research for making breakthrough in field of medicine. Bandaru Dattatreya, Union minister for Labour and Employment, stressed on manufacturing medicines at affordable cost for making medicine available to the unpriveliedged.

Lahiri geared up to defend Venetican Macao Open golf title

Indian star golfer Anirban Lahiri is aiming to successfully defend his title at the $1 million Venetian Macao Open saying he has overcome his Presidents Cup heartbreak. Lahiri, the current Asian Tour leader, was involved in three ties and lost all of them as his side -- the International Team -- was pipped by the United States by a point to retain the Cup. “It was a disappointing result but it was certainly not a disappointment,” Lahiri, who missed a three-foot birdie putt for a half point that could have altered the end result of the Presidents Cup, reflected in an Asian Tour. Source: IANS

Messi the best in last 10 years, no intention to head FIFA: Pele

Football king Pele has rated Argentina’s talismanic forward Lionel Messi as the best footballer of the last ten years and declared he has no intention of heading FIFA. However, the Brazilian legend refused to compare Messi with the former greats saying it was difficult to draw comparison between "past players and those playing at the moment". "But, of course, in the last ten years, Messi was the best player," Pele said at a media conference. Source: IANS

Sania-Hingis lifts 8th Trophy this Season by Winning WTA China Open

The celebrated Indo-Swiss pair Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, popularly known as SanTina, has won their 8th trophy of the season by winning the WTA China Open. The top seeded pair defeated the 6th seeded Chinese Taipei duo Yung-Jan Chan and Hao-Ching Chan in a three set encounter (6-7, 6-1, 10-8) that went on for 1 hour and 40 minutes. This was SanTina’s fourth consecutive win. The first set was won by the Taipei girls but the top seed Indo-Swiss pair bounced back quickly to win the second set 6-1. Sania-Hingis duo won the final set 10-8.

A.R. Rahman creates signature tune for 17th Mumbai film fest

Oscar-winning composer and music maestro A.R. Rahman has lent his support for the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival by composing a bespoke signature tune for the festival.This is the first time that the film festival has a signature tune. “The 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is about creating, celebrating and nurturing cinema. I am very pleased to support the festival. I hope the people of Mumbai and India come and partake in this incredible movie feast,” Rahman said in a statement. Source: IANS

PM releases digital audio CDs of Ramcharitmanas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released a digital version of epic Ramcharitmanas, a set of digital audio compact discs produced by All India Radio. "The strength of Akashvani is immense and I fully understand it. I remember learning about the Pokhran (nuclear) tests of 1998 through a tea seller in Himachal Pradesh, who heard it on the radio. He told me very happily that Atal (Bihari Vajpayee) ji has tested the bomb," Modi said. Source: IANS

India to host 2018 Theatre Olympics

India will host the 2018 edition of the Theatre Olympics, an official announced on 24 August 2015. "India has been given the right to host the 2018 edition," said National School of Drama (NSD) director Waman Kendre during the inauguration of a five-day festival of northeastern plays, "Poorvotta Rashtriya Rang Manch". NSD chairman Ratan Thiyam returned to India on Sunday after attending a meeting in the Netherlands where the decision was taken. Source: IANS

Results of civil services prelims declared

The results of the civil services (preliminary) examination 2015 held by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on August 23 have been declared. The successful candidates will have to apply online in a detailed application form for the civil services (main) exam to be held on December 18. The application form will be available on UPSC website ( from October 29 till November 13, the UPSC said in a statement. Source: IANS

Government needs to boost medical tourism: FICCI

Leading business chamber FICCI has urged the Centre to take new initiatives to boost medical tourism in India including multiple-entry medical visa to enable easy followup treatment for foreigners. India needs to have a comprehensive, uniform and simplified check list for foreign medical travellers along with all relevant information for medical visas which should be displayed at the Indian embassy website across the globe, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said in a statement. Source: IANS

83 Indians stranded in Pakistan helped to reach Attari

The Indian High Commission in Islamabad has provided assistance to 83 Indians stranded in Pakistan to cross over to the Attari land border with the help of the Pakistan government. External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted: "@IndiainPakistan assists 83 Indians stranded in Pakistan cross over to Attari with help of Government of Pakistan. MEA is working with Pakistan High Commission to similarly help Pakistanis stranded in India to return," he posted.Many Pakistani passengers have been stranded in India following cancellation of the Samjhauta Express. Source: IANS