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Bihar Election Roundup before October 12 First Phase Election

RJD submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission, seeking ban on all Narendra Modi rallies in Bihar for upholding “true spirit of free and fair election” after PM Modi called RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav a devil. Lalu himself called BJP President a “man eater” and PM Modi “Supreme Ghost”. Election Commission has asked all parties for restraint in barbs used during speeches. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar asked electorates to vote for a “Bihari” (referring himself) rather than a “Bahari” or “outsider” (referring PM Modi). Grand alliance released its 5-year developmental plan yesterday. Begusarai constituency, a left citadel, is going to poll on October 12. A united left has fielded CPIM candidates from Begusarai Sadar and Matihani, CPI(M-L) candidate from Sahebpur Kamal, and CPI candidates from Cheria Bariarpur, Bakhri, Tengra, and Bachhwara.

US Official says India-US Relationship made Enormous Progress under PM Modi

State Department Spokesman John Kirby has praised Narendra Modi government by saying that the bilateral relationship between India and the US has made enormous progress, especially on the security and diplomatic fronts, during the tenure of PM Modi. He went on to say that they are looking forward to enhancing India-US relationship for more productivity. However, Congress’s Manish Tiwari lambasted foreign policy of Modi government by saying that PM Modi’s 29 foreign visits in last 14 months hardly yielded any result. Tiwari also said that the PM has met US President Barack Obama 5 times till now but can’t show a single major takeaway from the meetings.

Opposition jealous of development in Bengal: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday flayed the opposition for spreading slander about her government despite the state's economic progress, saying they were jealous of her development initiatives. Launching the Parama Island Flyover, the state's longest, her first official function after her Bhutan tour, the Trinamool Congress chief also initiated projects for the New Town, on the north eastern fringes of Kolkata. "Despite all the development, the opposition is indulging in politics of slander and spreading negativity.... They are jealous of the progress we have ushered in. I tell them to stay quiet," she said. (Source: IANS)

Finance Ministry achieves over 50 Per Cent Indirect Tax Collection Target in 6 Months

Union Finance Ministry said in a statement that the tax department has already collected 50.6 per cent tax of the total Budget estimate for the financial year 2015-16. In the first 6 months of the financial year (April-September 2015), the total collection of indirect tax (including service tax, custom tax, and central excise) has reached Rs. 3.24 lakh crore, which is a jump of 35.8 per cent over the indirect tax collection in the same period last year. During April-September 2014, indirect tax collection was Rs. 2.38 lakh crores. Maximum increase has been recorded in case of excise duty, which was 69.6 per cent, followed by service tax (24.3 per cent), and customs duty (17.5 per cent).

Coolpad to invest Rs.300 million for phone manufacturing

Chinese handset-maker Coolpad will invest over Rs.300 million in the country in manufacturing, research and development (R&D) and design as it launched a new smartphone -- Coolpad Note 3 -- priced at Rs.8,999 on Friday. The company also said it will partner with Videocon to manufacture smartphones in the country and will roll out nearly half a million devices from its facility in Maharashtra. "The first Made-in-India Coolpad phone will be available in the first quarter of 2016," Coolpad vice president Johnson Luo said. Coolpad, which produces nearly 34 million smartphones every year and has $three billion revenue, had earlier launched in India with the Dazen brand name which was a partnership between Coolpad and Chinese search engine Qihoo 360. (Source: IANS)

CBI files charge sheet in Syndicate Bank bribery case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a charge sheet in the 2014 bribery case naming Syndicate Bank chairman-cum-managing director S.K. Jain and Bhushan Steel Ltd. vice-chairman Neeraj Singhal as accused in the case, sources said. The charge sheet was filed before Special Judge Gurdeep Singh, who posted the matter for October 12 after CBI sought more time for filing some other documents in the case as as they are voluminous. Source: IANS

NGT expresses displeasure over Centre's Lackadaisical Approach towards Ganga Cleaning

National Green Tribunal (NGT) has expressed its displeasure over Union Government’s lackadaisical attitude towards cleaning Ganga River. NGT has noted that in reality nothing has happened in spite of spending huge sums of money (Rs. 5,000 crore) on Ganga cleaning project. In fact, the tribunal has said that the condition of Ganga has gone from bad to worse. NGT was earlier asked by the apex court of India to act against industrial units that pollute the longest river of the country. NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar headed bench asked the government to show one place in the 2,500 km stretch of Ganga River where uninterrupted flow of clean water has been ensured.

UC Browser captures 50 percent market share

Alibaba-backed mobile browser, UC Browser, has said it has now captured over 50 percent market share in the country as of September 2015, according to data compiled by web traffic analysis tool Statcounter. "UC Browser has seen staggering success in the Indian market with market share rising 15 percent in the last 12 months helping the company gain over 50 percent market here," Kenny Ye, director of international business development division, UCWeB, said on Thursday. "As of today, one out of two mobile page views come from UC which is driven by UC's cloud-based browsing technology, power of data and cost saving and providing local content," Ye added. (Source: IANS)

Motorola launches new Moto X Style

Lenovo-owned American handset-maker Motorola has launched the Moto X style priced at Rs.22,999. The new device will come with a Gorilla Glass 3 protected 5.7-inch quad-HD display which supports 520 pixel density. It will be powered by a Qualcomm 808 1.8Ghz hexacore processor and a 3GB RAM unit. In terms of storage, the phone will come in two variants of 16GB and 32GB internal memory, both expandable to 128GB. The 32GB edition will be priced at Rs.31,999. Source: IANS

Sania-Hingis duo reach Final of China Open

Indo-Swiss pair Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis is continuing dream run as they easily defeated Chinese duo in the women’s doubles segment of China Open in the semi final match played at Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center. Top seeded Sania-Hingis duo took 1 hour and 6 minutes to beat the wild card entrants Chen Liang and Yafan Wang in the semis in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 to reach the final of the China Open tournament, whose prize money is $4.7 million. In the final, scheduled today at 7pm, Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis will play against the 6th seed H. Chan-Y Chan pair.

'Michael Phelps Swimming' launched in Goa

A non-competitive, global swimming programme, 'Michael Phelps Swimming', promoted by the Olympic gold medal champion, was launched in India, with the aim to promote the sport. Speaking to reporters at the launch of the programme, the US Olympic champions' sister, Hilary Phelps, said that the swimming programme was designed on techniques practiced by Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time. Phelps has won 22 medals, including 18 golds. "'Michael Phelps Swimming' is aimed at promoting safe swimming by using the same techniques and philosophy that made Michael the world's top swimmer," Phelps said at the launch of the programme in association with the Goa-based Terrapin Swimming Academy. (Source: IANS)

Sania-Martina reach China Open semis

The Indo-Swiss tennis combine of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis were tested but eventually made their way through to enter the women's doubles semifinals of the $5.7 million China Open. The top seeds took an hour and 20 minutes to beat the German-Czech pairing of Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova 7-6(5), 6-4 at the Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center, which was built for the 2008 Olympic Games. The first set was an extremely close contest as both pairs earned five breakpoint chances and converted twice. This led to the tie-breaker where Sania and Martina proved a tad better to clinch it 7-5. 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

President Mukherjee starts his Landmark 6-days 3-Nation Tour

President Pranab Mukherjee today left for his three nation tour of 6 days during which he will visit Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. This is the first time ever a President of India is visiting two warring countries – Palestine and Israel – all at the same time. His first stopover will be Jordan where the President will spend two days, followed by a 1-day visit to Palestine on October 12, and 3-days visit to Israel from October 13. President Pranab will meet King Abdullah of Jordan and will discuss increasing trade opportunities with the country. Reports say Mukherjee will also ask Jordan to play an important role in securing release of 39 Indians captured by the terrorist organization ISIS in Iraq’s Mosul town.

Police record statement in case against Kejriwal

A Delhi Police constable on Friday recorded his statement in a defamation case against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal before a court here for using a derogatory term against the men in khaki. Metropolitan magistrate Anu Aggarwal recorded the statement of the complainant, Harvinder, a constable posted at Govindpuri police station in south Delhi. The court was hearing a complaint filed by Harvinder, who alleged that Kejriwal's usage of word 'thulla' had harmed his reputation in the eyes of the general public, including his family, relatives and friends. The complaint, filed by advocate L.N. Rao, claimed: "The 'thulla' remark made by a person of the stature of chief minister demoralised Delhi Police and it was intended to provoking breach of peace." (Source: IANS)

Repolling underway in 11 booths in Bengal civic polls

Repolling was underway on Friday in 11 booths -- nine in Bidhannagar and two in the Asansol civic bodies -- in West Bengal amid heavy police presence. Repolling was on in nine booths, spread across four wards of the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, and two booths of the Asansol Municipal Corporation. Till 11 a.m., the percentage of polling was 17 percent in Bidhannagar and 22 percent in Asansol, the state election commission said. The results for both the municipal corporations would be announced on October 10. (Source: IANS)