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Alapan Bandyopadhyay appointed interim Bengal poll panel chief

West Bengal transport secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay has been named interim state election commissioner after S R Upadhyay put in his papers allegedly succumbing under pressure from political parties following allegations of rampant violence and irregularities in the local body polls. Bandyopadhyay, a senior Indian Administrative Service officer, is slated to take over on 7 October 2015, according to sources.Bandyopadhyay was accompanying Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her four-day trip to Bhutan when he asked to take over as SEC. Source: IANS

BJP ally RLSP differs on cow slaughter ban in Bihar

The RLSP differed with its ally BJP over the ban on cow slaughter in Bihar if the NDA wins the assembly polls and forms the next government. "It is not proper to say such things without discussing with all allies," Rashtriya Lok Samta Party state president Arun Kumar told the media. The NDA's agenda was development, not ban on beef or cow slaughter, he said. Source: IANS

Show guts, attack Pakistan: Shiv Sena tells centre

The Shiv Sena has demanded the centre "show guts and attack Pakistan" in retaliation for the spate of terror attacks carried out from across the border in the recent times which killed many Indians. In a sharp edit in the party mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena - an important constituent of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre - said that recently, four Indian soldiers were martyred for killing one terrorist in Kupwara area of Jammu and Kashmir. Source: IANS

E-commerce driving India's SME growth: Study

The surge of e-commerce in India is driving the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which in turn is contributing to new job opportunities and GDP contribution, a recent study shows. The study, jointly conducted by domestic e-commerce player Snapdeal and market research firm KPMG, which also claimed that e-commerce sector in India is projected to cross $80 billion by 2020, examined the macro-impact of the sector on the growth of SMEs and identified remaining gaps in the ecosystem that needed to be plugged. Source: IANS

BSE to introduce smart beta indices by 2015-end

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in collaboration with S&P Dow Jones Indices will introduce three smart beta (factor-based) and a 1-2 thematic indices by 2015-end, an official said. "Work is under progress to introduce one-two thematic indices and at least three smart beta (factor-based) indices by December-end this year," Koel Ghosh, head of business development at Asia Index, told media persons here in an interactive session. Asia Index is a 50:50 joint venture between Asia's oldest bourse - the BSE - and S&P Dow Jones Indices. Source: IANS

Bombardier, Tech Mahindra sign deal for aircraft ground system

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Tech Mahindra on Monday announced that they have signed an agreement under which the latter will develop the Aircraft Ground Support System (AGSS) for Bombardier's Aircraft Health Management System (AHMS) for the C Series family of aircraft. The AGSS will facilitate real-time and post-flight recorded data management, fault notification and diagnostic reporting. Source: IANS

Mobile app on Badrinath Yatra launched

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat has launched a mobile application for the annual Badrinath pilgrimage. Known as 'Shubh Badrinath Yatra', the application made by the district administration of Chamoli, provides information of the pilgrimage between Joshimath and Badrinath. Officials said when users are online, the application would automatically detect their location and give them information from that point of journey. Source: IANS

Delhi Secretariat to run on solar energy

The Delhi Secretariat will be the first in the country to run completely on renewable and solar energy, the Delhi government announced. "The Delhi government in association with ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) will set up a three MW solar power plant at the Indraprastha Power Station," an official statement said. "The plant will directly supply power to Delhi Secretariat for the next 25 years, making Delhi the first state secretariat running completely on renewable and green energy," the statement said. Source: IANS

eBay India to expand refurbished products portfolio

E-commerce company eBay will expand its refurbished devices portfolio to electrical goods this month and increase sales in the category, the company said. "We are scaling up the refurbished products category to include white goods. We have seen a 100 percent rise in demand for such goods since we introduced it in August," head of retail exports and lifestyle category at eBay India, Navin Mistry, said. There were 6,000 refurbished product listings in August which has grown to 20,000 product listings, he said. Source: IANS

Delhi to get Athletics High Performance Academy

The Sports Authority of India (SAI), Athletic Federation of India (AFI) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish an IAAF High Performance Academy in athletics at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. An Expression of Intent (EOI) for this purpose was signed in the chamber of secretary, sports at Shastri Bhavan among SAI director general Injeti Srinivas, AFI president Adille J. Sumariwalle and IAAF president Sebastian Coe, it was announced at a press conference. Source: IANS

Beighton Cup: Central Railway hammer 10 goals past Canara Bank

Central Railway hammered 10 goals past Canara Bank enroute to a 10-2 victory in a Beighton Cup hockey encounter. Yuvraj Valmiki scored four times for the Railway team along with Affan Yosuf and Narad Bahadur who scored a brace each. Anup Valmiki and Nizam Mohd scored the other two. Rahil and Appanan got into the scoresheet for the losers. Source: IANS

Thought I would never play for South Africa again: Albie Morkel

All-rounder Albie Morkel, who was awarded man-of-the-match for his excellent bowling figures which helped South Africa beat India by six wickets, said that a few months back he thought he would never get the opportunity to play for his country again. South Africa took an unassailable 2-0 lead by winning the second Twenty20 International of the three-match series at the Barabati Stadium, the last of which will be played at the Eden Gardens on October 8. Chasing India's total of 92, South Africa crossed the line with six wickets in hand. Source: IANS

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

Sale of loose cigarettes now invites prison term in UP

Sale of loose cigarettes across Uttar Pradesh has been banned and deemed a penal offence with immediate effect, officials said. Manufacturing and sale of loose cigarettes would invite a fine and a prison sentence, according to the orders issued by principal secretary (health) Arvind Kumar. The state cabinet approved the move last week and with Governor Ram Naik signing an ordinance, the health department issued orders to the effect late. Source: IANS

Navy's eastern fleet gets new chief

Rear Admiral S.V. Bhokare took over as the Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet commander, replacing Rear Admiral A.B. Singh, a defence statement said. A specialist in navigation and aircraft direction and a graduate of National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla and Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Bhokare is a submariner and has commanded submarines Sindhughosh, Sindhudhwaj, and Sindhushastra as well as Indian Naval Ships Beas and Vajrabahu. Source: IANS

Schools, colleges to remain closed after Varanasi violence

Schools, colleges and other institutions will remain closed in Varanasi on Tuesday following Monday's violence that erupted when saints and Hindu religious groups were protesting against a lathi charge and ban on immersion of idols in Ganga. The orders were issued by the district magistrate Rajmani Yadav after Monday's situation in the temple town, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which witnessed violence during a 'Pratikar Yatra'. Source: IANS