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Modi invites entrepreneurs from across world to be part of India's growth story

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday invited entrepreneurs from across the globe to invest in India and become a part of the country's growth story, assuring them of the government's whole-hearted support.

 
Modi, Ivanka Trump attend GES 2017 in Hyderabad
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited entrepreneurs from across the globe to invest in India and become a part of the country's growth story, assuring them of the government's whole-hearted support.
 
"To my young entrepreneur friends from India, I would like to say: each of you has something valuable to contribute towards creating a New India by 2022. You are vehicles of change and instruments of India’s transformation," he said in his inaugural address at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, 2017 here, an event hosted by the Government of India in partnership with the Government of the United States of America.
 
The Summit is being held in South Asia for the first time. It brings together leading investors, entrepreneurs, academicians, think-tanks and other stakeholders to propel the global entrepreneurship ecosystem.
 
Ms. Ivanka Trump, Advisor to US President Donald Trump and also his daughter, is leading the US contingent to the three-day event.
 
"This event not only connects the Silicon Valley with Hyderabad but also showcases the close ties between the United States of America and India. It underlines our shared commitment towards encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation," Mr. Modi said.
 
He noted that the topics picked for this year’s summit include healthcare and life sciences; digital economy and financial technology; energy and infrastructure; and media and entertainment, which are important issues, relevant to the well-being and prosperity of mankind. 
 
"The theme 'Women First, Prosperity for All' makes this edition of GES stand out... We believe women empowerment is vital to our development," he said.
 
"Indian women continue to lead in different walks of life. Our space programmes, including the Mars Orbiter Mission, have had immense contribution from our women scientists. Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, both of Indian origin, have been part of US space missions. Three out of four oldest High Courts in India are now headed by women judges. Our sportswomen have done the country proud. This very city of Hyderabad is home to Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, and Sania Mirza, who have brought laurels to India.
 
"In India, we have provided for not less than one third of women representation in rural and urban local bodies, ensuring women’s participation in grass-root level decision-making. More than sixty percent of workers in our agriculture and allied sectors are women. Our milk co-operatives in Gujarat and the Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, are examples of highly successful and globally acclaimed women-led co-operative movements.
 
"Here at the GES, more than 50 percent of the delegates are women. Over the next two days, you will meet many women who have dared to be different, in their own walks of life. They now inspire a new generation of women entrepreneurs. I hope the deliberations in the summit would focus on how women entrepreneurship can be further supported," he said.
 
"The power to think differently and ahead of the times for the betterment of mankind is what sets entrepreneurs apart. I see that power in India's young generation today. I see 800 million potential entrepreneurs who can work towards making the world a better place," Mr. Modi said.
 
He said the number of smartphone users in India is projected to grow to over 500 million by 2018. This offers immense potential for the growth of any venture, in terms of outreach and job creation, he felt.
 
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He said the Government's Start-Up India programme is a comprehensive action plan to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation. It aims to minimize the regulatory burden and provide support to startups. Over 1200 redundant laws have been scrapped, 87 rules for FDI have been eased in 21 sectors, and several government processes have been taken online, he said.
 
He said the Government had taken several steps to improve the business environment. "The jump in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report, from 142 to 100, in three years, is a result of this. We have improved on indicators like dealing with construction permits, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency," he said.
 
"The process is not yet complete. This is an area where we are not satisfied with 100th rank. We would strive towards 50th rank.  
 
"We have launched the MUDRA scheme to provide easy finance of upto one million rupees to entrepreneurs. Since its launch in 2015, over 90 million loans worth 4.28 trillion rupees have been sanctioned.  Of these, more than 70 million loans have been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs," he said.
 
The Prime Minister also mentioned the Atal Innovation Mission and the opening of Tinkering Labs in more than 900 schools to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among children. 
 
"Our Mentor India initiative engages leaders to guide and mentor students through these tinkering labs. In addition, 19 incubation centers have been created in various universities and research institutions. These will nurture innovative start-up businesses to become scalable and sustainable," he said.
 
He also mentioned Aadhaar, the world’s largest biometric based digital database. This currently covers over 1.15 billion people and digitally authenticates over 40 million transactions daily. He said the Government now digitally provides monetary benefits of various government schemes to the beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer using Aadhaar.
 
"Almost 300 million bank accounts with deposits of over 685 billion rupees, or over 10 billion dollars, have been opened through the Jan Dhan Yojana. These bring previously un-banked sections of society into the formal financial system. Of these, 53 per cent accounts are of women.
 
"We are steadily working towards a less cash economy and have launched a Unified Payment Interface App called BHIM. In less than a year, this platform is processing almost 280 thousand transactions daily.
 
"Having almost completed our programme to connect all villages with electricity, we have launched the Saubhagya scheme. This will provide electricity connections to all families by December 2018.
 
"We have launched a programme to provide high-speed broad-band internet to all rural areas by March 2019," he said.
 
The Prime Minister also mentioned initiatives in areas such as renewable energy, the national gas grid, the national gas policy, the Swachh Bharat Mission to improve sanitation and cleanliness, the rural and urban housing missions, and infrastructure and connectivity programmes like Sagarmala and Bharatmala, and said they offered entrepreneurs many business opportunities for investment.
 
"Our recent World Food India initiative helped us engage with entrepreneurs in the food processing industry and agricultural waste sectors.
 
"My government understands that an environment of transparent policies and a rule of law providing a level-playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish. A historic overhaul of the taxation system has been recently undertaken, bringing in the Goods and Services Tax across the country. Our Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code introduced in 2016 is a step towards ensuring timely resolution for stressed ventures. We have recently improved this further, preventing wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets.
 
"Tough measures have been adopted to tackle the parallel economy, check tax evasion and control black money. Our efforts have been recognized by Moody’s recent upgrade of India’s government bond ratings. This upgrade comes after a gap of almost 14 years.
 
"India has improved its rank from 54 in 2014 to 35 in 2016 on the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index. This signifies the relative ease and efficiency with which products can be moved into and from a country," he said.
 
Stating that an investment-friendly environment needs to be stable from the macro-economic perspective, he said the Government had succeeded in containing the fiscal and current account deficits, and curbing inflation. 
 
"Our foreign exchange reserves have crossed 400 billion dollars, and we continue to attract large foreign capital flows," he said.
 
"I am informed that President Trump has declared November 2017 as National Entrepreneurship Month. America has also observed National Entrepreneurs’ Day on November 21st. This summit will certainly resonate with those themes. Let me conclude by wishing you fruitful, engaging and rewarding deliberations at this summit," he added.
 
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Kiran Reddy quits as Andhra Pradesh CM day after LS passes Telangana Bill

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy announced his resignation on Wednesday in protest against the decision of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre to go ahead with its decision to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state of the Union.

Andhra Pradesh CM Kiran Reddy resigns, quits Congress
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy announced his resignation today in protest against the decision of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre to go ahead with its decision to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state of the Union.
 
Mr Reddy handed in his papers to Governor E S L Narasimhan a day after, amid noisy schenes, the Lok Sabha passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, which seeks to bifurcate the state to create the new state of Telangana.
 
Before driving down to Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation, Mr Reddy addressed a press conference at which he hit out at his Congress party for allegedly flouting Parliamentary procedures in its haste to get the Bill passed.
 
"I am ashamed. They did it like thieves, blacking out the live telecast. What was the need to do all this?" he asked.
 
Thanking the party for giving him the chance to serve as Chief Minister, he, however, made it clear that he could not continue in the Congress because, according to hi, it had betrayed the Telugu people.
 
He said he would also resign as a member of the Legislative Assembly as well as from the membership of the Congress.
 
Mr Reddy said the Congress and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had got together in the Lok Sabha yesterday to get the Bill passed.
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He was particularly upset that the Bill was passed in the absence of several MPs from Andhra Pradesh, who had been suspended from the House for disrupting proceedings on February 13.
 
There has been media speculation about Mr Reddy planning to launch a new party but he did not touch the topic today. "My future is not important," he said when asked about it.
 
Some of his Cabinet colleagues from the Seemandhra region, who were opposed to the bifurcation of the state, and several legislators were present at the press conference.
 
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I don't believe in soft or hardcore Hindutva: Rahul

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi made it clear on Tuesday that he was not wedded to Hindutva - "soft or hardcore".
 
In an interaction with editors, Gandhi did not agree that he was embracing soft Hindutva to appease the majority community. 
 
"I don't believe in any kind of Hindutva, soft or hardcore," he said.
 
Gandhi said there was nothing wrong in his meeting religious leaders and visiting religious places.
 
His differences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he insisted, were ideological and not personal.
 
Gandhi, on a two-day visit to Hyderabad, predicted that Narendra Modi would not become Prime Minister in 2019.
 
He said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would not even get 230 Lok Sabha seats and hence there was no question of Modi continuing in office again. The BJP tally would be cut primarily due to the alliance among non-BJP parties in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
 
He also pointed out that several allies of the BJP, including Shiv Sena, were against Modi becoming the Prime Minister for a second term.
 
The Congress President said the party was working with like-minded parties to form a grand alliance to defeat the BJP.
 
He was confident that a Congress-led alliance would form the next government at the Centre.
 
He evaded a direct reply to a question on who would be the Prime Minister in the event of Congress and other non-BJP parties getting a majority. He merely said they would work it out.
 
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He was also non-committal on whether the Congress would repeat the Karnataka formula, where it accepted the leader of a party with fewer seats as the Chief Minister to prevent the BJP from taking power.
 
Asked about his hug to Modi in Parliament, Gandhi said it was intended to show that he doesn't hate people. 
 
He, however, said the Prime Minister was cold in his response. He alleged that Modi doesn't give due respect to political rivals.
 
He voiced concern over growing intolerance in the country. He said that minorities were feeling insecure.
 
Gandhi said the party's state units were free to have alliances with like-minded parties. He was confident that the Congress would come to power in Telangana.
 
Asked about Andhra Pradesh, where Congress drew a blank in the 2014 polls, he said the party was improving its position.
 
He said Modi had failed to implement his promise of providing two crore jobs annually.
 
"China provides employment to 50,000 people in 24 hours while in India only 458 people get employment during this duration," he said.
 
In a lighter vein, Gandhi remarked that he was wedded to the Congress.
 
"I am wedded to Congress," he said when he was asked about his marriage plans.
 
IANS
 

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Rahul Gandhi challenges PM for debate on Rafale deal

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a debate on the Rafale jet deal with France, reiterating his graft charge against the government.
 
He said that he was ready for a debate with Modi at any place and time to prove that the government will get each Rafael jet for Rs 1,600 crore against the Rs 540 crore when the contract was signed during the earlier UPA rule.
 
Addressing a meeting of party workers, he said that Modi could not look him in the eye when he spoke in Parliament on the aircraft deal.
 
"I spoke before the 'chowkidar' with a 56-inch chest. He was looking everywhere but towards me. A corrupt person when told about his theft can't see you in the eye," Gandhi said.
 
The Congress President said that during his 1.5-hour reply to the debate, Modi did not speak a single word about the Rafale deal.
 
He reiterated his charge that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had lied to the nation that the aircraft price can't be revealed as per a pact between India and France. 
 
The Congress leader had claimed that the French President had told him that there is no such pact and that the Indian government can reveal the price to anyone it wants.
 
Gandhi recalled that the UPA government led by his party had given the contract for 126 aircraft to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited because it had been making aircraft for 70 years. He said that when Modi visited France, the contract was snatched from HAL and given to "his (Modi's) friend".
 
"Modi's friend did not make aircraft in his life. That businessman is in Rs 45,000-crore debt," Gandhi alleged.
 
He said that the contract was given to a company formed only 10 days before the contract.
 
Gandhi accused the Modi government of snatching jobs from the Indian youth as manufacture of the aircraft by HAL would have provided employment to lakhs of Indians.
 
The Congress leader said that the non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks shot up to Rs 12 lakh crore during NDA rule from Rs 2.5 lakh crore under the UPA rule. He claimed that the entire Indian banking system has jammed.
 
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The Congress President targeted Modi for failing to fulfil the commitments made to both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh at the time of the bifurcation of undivided Andhra Pradesh.
 
He said that, if voted to power, the Congress would fulfil all commitments, including special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
 
Aiming at Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Gandhi wanted to know why he supported Modi on demonetisation, the Goods and Services Tax and other issues when the Prime Minister failed to fulfil commitments given to Telangana.
 
Gandhi said that Telangana has become the "capital of corruption" as only one family is reaping all the benefits.
 
He said that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief was no less than Modi in making false promises.
 
He said that if Modi promised Rs 15 lakh in every bank account and two crore jobs every year, Rao promised a job for every family and double bedroom houses to all the poor in the state. 
 
Gandhi said that during the last four years, the TRS government had filled only 10,000 of the one lakh vacancies in government departments and built only 5,000 of the promised 22 lakh houses.
 
IANS
 

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Best scientific universities increasingly becoming sources of innovation, says Kovind

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President Ram Nath Kovind today said that the best scientific universities and institutions of learning are not just teaching shops or degree factories but increasingly becoming sources of innovation and incubators of technology and technology-driven start-ups.
 
Addressing the 7th convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad, Mr Kovind said that, as a second generation IIT, it is important that the institute borrows from as well as learn from the models of the past.
 
“The conditions are different from the 1950s and 1960s. India has changed. Technology and the very discipline of engineering have evolved. Our aspirations are no longer limited to the heavy industrial base that we created six decades ago. Rather, IIT Hyderabad has to remain relevant to the fourth industrial revolution that will write the script of the 21st century,” he added.
 
The President said he was happy to note that a start has been made by setting up a network of centres for research and promotion of entrepreneurship at this Institute.
 
“The knowledge ecosystem of public investments in science, academic institutions and universities, research laboratories, commercial applications and private enterprise has an almost magical potential. Its best example is, of course, the Silicon Valley in the United States. At the core of the Valley are basic science and technology campuses and their talented faculty and students,” he pointed out.
 
IIT Hyderabad has been set up in a city and in a metropolitan area where several elements for such an ecosystem already exist. Hyderabad has a long tradition of scientific discovery and application. 
 
The city has as many as 19 research facilities and laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Biotechnology, the Department of Atomic Energy, the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Indian Space Research Organisation.
 
Individually, many of these entities are doing excellent work. But there is a need for cross-pollination. IIT Hyderabad is not envisaged as just an add-on to this ecosystem. Rather, it needs to be the hub of this ecosystem. It must be the connecting tissue and the catalyst for a greater synergy, he added.
 
Mr Kovind urged IIT Hyderabad to break out of silos and to encourage others to follow suit. “India will judge the success of IIT Hyderabad by the vitality and the output it can ensure for not just itself but for the entire Hyderabad knowledge ecosystem,” he added.
 
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Kovind to visit Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala from August 4-7

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President Ram Nath Kovind will pay a four-day visit to three southern states -- Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala --- from tomorrow.
 
On August 5, Mr. Kovind will address the 7th convocation of Indian  Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad. 
 
On the same day, he will visit Chennai to meet ailing DMK leader M. Karunanidhi, who is undergoing treatment in the Kauvery Hospital there.
 
On August 6, the President will inaugurate the ‘Festival of Democracy’ in Thiruvananthapuram to mark the conclusion of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Kerala Legislative Assembly.
 
On August 7, he will inaugurate the centenary celebrations of St. Thomas’ College, Thrissur, before returning to Delhi. 
 
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Two students die in school roof collapse in Hyderabad

 
Two girls killed after roof of shed collapses in Hyderabad school
 
 
Two girl students died and five others were injured when a shed of a school here collapsed during a karate class on Thursday, police said.
 
The two, aged around 10 years, were killed as the roof of the concrete shed collapsed in the premises of New Century Public School in Kukatpally area.
 
The injured were admitted to a hospital where the condition of one of them is stated to be critical.
 
The incident occurred when students of Class IV were taking part in a karate class.
 
According to police, seven students were injured in the incident and two of them succumbed to their injuries at a private hospital.
 
The pillars of the old structure were believed to have weakened due to recent rains.
 
Deputy Commissioner of Police Venkateshwar Rao said they would take action against the management of the private school if it was found that the incident occurred due to the management's negligence.
 
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Hyderbabad engineer lynched by mob in Karnataka on suspicion of being child lifter

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A long drive on his weekly day off along with a relative and friends proved to be deadly for Mohammad Azam, a software engineer who was beaten to death by a mob in Karnataka's Bidar district on Friday on suspicion of being a child lifter.
 
A pall of gloom has gripped the house of Azam, 28, in Errakunta in the old city of Hyderabad.
 
The body of Azam, who was working with Google, was brought to the city late Saturday and was buried at a graveyard near his house. Three friends of Azam, who were injured in the mob attack, were admitted to a private hospital in the city. They include Salham Eid Al Kubasi, a Qatari national and a friend of Azam who was on a vacation to India.
 
The family of Azam, a father of a two-year-old child, is seeking justice.
 
His brother Mohammad Akram, also a techie, urged the Telangana government to take up the issue with the Karnataka government for a proper investigations into the incident.
 
"The guilty should be punished so that no other innocent loses his life in this manner," said Akram.
 
He recalled that their cousin Noor Mohammad, Salham, Mohammad Salman and another friend came to meet Azam on Friday. "They left the house around 11 a.m. We did not know that they were going out of the city," said Akram.
 
It was a pleasure trip for the friends, who enjoyed the outing in the countryside. Relatives of Azam say they stopped at a hamlet and were taking pictures.
 
Slaham saw a group of children returning from a school. As he was carrying chocolates brought from Qatar, he offered it to few children out of affection.
 
When some people saw strangers including a foreigner offering chocolates to children, they mistook them to be child lifters. They started questioning them. Sensing trouble, the group left the place in their car.
 
However, few residents of the hamlet alerted people of nearby village Murki over their mobile phones.
 
At Murki, a mob chased the car and forced it to stop. The mob dragged out the occupants and started beating them with sticks and stones. After some time, police rushed to the spot and dispersed the mob.
 
While Azam died on the spot, others sustained critical injuries. Two of them were battling for life at a hospital in Hyderabad.
 
"We are software engineers. Do we look like child lifters," asked Akram, who fails to understand why the mob did not believe their clarifications. The young man wants the governments to take some serious action to stop lynching over rumours being spread through WhatsApp.
 
More than 20 people have been killed across India over rumours in the last few months.
 
IANS
 
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Telangana student shot dead in US by suspected robber

Sharath  Koppu (Image: Facebook)
Sharath Koppu (Image: Facebook)
A 26-year-old Indian student from Telangana was shot dead inside a restaurant here in the US state of Missouri by a suspected robber.
 
Sharath Koppu, who was pursuing his Master's degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UKMC), was shot on Friday evening at J's Fish and Chicken Market where he was working as a part-time employee, The Kansas City Star newspaper reported. 
 
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday condoled the death, saying: "We will follow this up with the police and provide all assistance to the family."
 
The Kansas City Police has released a brief video of the suspect inside the restaurant moments before the shooting and asked for people's assistance in identifying him. 
 
The suspect pulled out a gun and shot Koppu on his back. He died after being taken to a hospital.
 
Koppu, who was a software engineer, came to the US in January.
 
Meanwhile, the Telangana government on Sunday announced that it was making arrangements to bring Koppu's body back to Hyderabad within two days. 
 
The state's Minister for NRI Affairs K.T. Rama Rao along with his cabinet colleagues Kadiam Srihari and T. Srinivas Yadav visited Koppu's house.
 
The state government was in touch the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in the US, according to Rao.
 
The UKMC also issued a statement condoling Koppu's death.
 
"We offer our sincere sympathies to Sharath's family and friends in the wake of this senseless tragedy," the statement said.
 
UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal offered his condolences.
 
"Sharath and I share an Indian heritage, but all of us at UMKC share in the grief such tragedies bring," Agrawal said on Saturday evening.
 
The incident comes a year after another Hyderabad techie, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed in a race-triggered attack at a bar also in Kansas City on February 22, 2017.
 
In May, former US Navy veteran Adam Purinton admitted that he fatally shot Kuchibhotla saying that he targeted the victim because of his "actual and perceived race, colour, religion and national origin".
 
IANS
 
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Three held for prostitution in Hyderabad hotel

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Hyderabad Police have busted a high-profile prostitution racket with the arrest of an actress of Bhojpuri films and two others at a five-star hotel here.
 
Acting on a tip-off, personnel of the Commissioner's Task Force made the arrests late on Saturday night at the hotel in the posh Banjara Hills area. 
 
A client and an organiser of the racket were also taken into custody, police said.
 
The client is a government employee from Gurgaon, Haryana, while the organiser has been identified as Janardhan Rao, a resident of Hyderabad who hails from Andhra Pradesh.
 
Three mobile phones and Rs 40,000 have been seized from the accused.
 
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Five killed in road mishap in Telangana

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Five people were killed and five others injured when a speeding car hit an auto-rickshaw on Monday in Telangana's Ranga Reddy, police said.
 
The accident occurred near Lingala area. According to the police, a group of 10 women with their vegetables were on their way to a market in Hyderabad when the car coming from opposite direction rammed into the three-wheeler.
 
The injured were shifted to hospitals in Ibrahimpatnam and Hyderabad. 
 
The death toll may increase as the three were in critical condition.
 
In a similar accident on Sunday, 14 women agriculture workers and a boy were killed when a tractor carrying them plunged in a canal in Yadadri district.
 
Road accidents have claimed 7,219 lives in Telangana during 2016. 
 
According to Road Safety and Railway Authority of Telangana, the number reduced by 9 per cent during 2017. Most of the accidents were caused by negligence by drivers.
 
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13 killed as tractor falls in Telangana canal

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At least 13 women agriculture workers were killed and 17 others injured when a tractor plunged into a canal in Telangana's Yadadri district on Sunday, police said.
 
The incident occurred when the tractor, carrying the workers, fell into the Musi canal near Veligonda.
 
According to the police, the tractor driver lost control of the vehicle while trying to avoid a motorcycle coming from the opposite direction.
 
The injured were shifted to nearby hospitals. The death toll may rise as the condition of some of the injured is stated to be critical.
 
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Driver dies as car submerges in rainwater in Hyderabad

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In a freak incident, a driver sleeping in a car died after the vehicle was submerged in rain water here on Saturday, police said.
 
The incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday in the basement of an apartment building in Kukatpally area here.
 
Bosle Gopinath, 25, was found dead in the car after the rain water was pumped out of the basement.
 
According to police, Gopinath dropped car owner Naveen Kumar late in the night and sought his permission to sleep in the vehicle. As it was raining heavily in the area, about two feet water got accumulated in the basement.
 
Police suspect that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and did not realise water entering into the car. He is suspected to have died of suffocation.
 
The body was sent to the government-run Gandhi Hospital for autopsy.
 
IANS
 
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Four of a family killed in Telangana road accident

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Four members of a family were killed in a road accident in Telangana's Peddapalle district in early on Friday, police said.
 
A car in which they were travelling rammed into a stationary truck on Hyderabad-Karimnagar Rajiv Rahdari near Katnapally, about 180 km from here.
 
The deceased have been identified as Arun Kumar, his wife Soumya and their children Akhilesh Kumar (10) and Shanvi (8).
 
Arun Kumar, who runs a school in Peddapalle town, along with his family was returning from Hyderabad after admitting his brother and brother-in-law into a polytechnic college in the city.
 
Police suspect that Arun Kumar, who was driving the car, failed to notice a truck parked by the road side and rammed into it. Front portion of the car was badly mangled.
 
Police shifted the bodies for autopsy to government-run hospital at Sultanabad.
 
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Hyderabad mosque welcomes non-Muslims to witness 'namaz'

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Standing on a balcony, a group of non-Muslims including women watched Muslims offer prayers at a mosque here which formally opened its doors for people of all faiths.
 
It was an opportunity for followers of different religions to know how a mosque looks from the inside and how Muslims offer 'namaz'.
 
Visitors including heritage activist P. Anuradha Reddy went around Masjid-e-Quba to see the charts displayed by the organisers explaining basic tenets of Islam. She said such programmes promote better understanding between communities.
 
The organising committee of the mosque located in Mehdipatnam area, organised the first-ever "open mosque" programme inviting people of other faiths to visit the place of worship in an effort to elucidate the teachings of Islam.
 
The programme was organised a day after Eid-ul-Fitr.
 
A large number of Hindus, Christians and Sikhs visited the mosque and were explained about 'namaz', 'aazaan' (call for prayers) and 'wazu' (ablution). They were also explained as to why the architectures of most of the mosques include minarets and domes.
 
The visitors were treated with dates and Sheer Khurma, a sweet made with vermicelli, milk and dry fruits.
 
The idea of the "open mosque" was proposed by Mohammed Mustafa, who recently embraced Islam.
 
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Mentally disabled twins killed by uncle in Hyderabad

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In a shocking incident, a pair of mentally disabled twins were killed by their maternal uncle here, who wanted to relieve his sister from the hardships of looking after the them, police said on Saturday.
 
Srijana Reddy and her twin brother Vishnuvardhan Reddy, both aged 12, were strangulated to death by Mallikarjun Reddy in his rented house in the city's Chaitanyapuri area late Friday.
 
According to the police, the incident came to light when the house owner noticed the accused along with two others trying to shift the bodies in his car. 
 
He alerted the police and they arrested Mallikarjun, his friend Venkatrami Reddy and car driver Vivek Reddy.
 
Mallikarjun had brought the children from their Nalgonda home on Friday. He had told his sister Lakshmi and brother-in-law Srinivas Reddy that he will teach the children to swim.
 
The parents told the police that the twins were mute and also mentally disabled since birth.
 
The accused confessed to the crime and told them that he could not let his sister suffer the hardships of looking after the mentally disabled children. 
 
The couple did not lodge a police complaint against Mallikarjun.
 
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Popular rice variety gets extra gene power to fight bacterial attacks

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Researchers at the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Rice Research have developed a new variety of the popular Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM) rice that can resist bacterial blight disease.
 
Bacterial blight disease, which affects rice crop, is caused by bacteria, Xanthomonas oryzae, and drastically reduces rice productivity.
 
The high yielding ISM variety is already protected against bacterial blight by three genes, but the new variety has been developed by adding another gene, Xa38, that increases the resistance.
 
“Till now about 41 resistant genes have been identified from diverse sources. These genes differ from each other in their mode of action. While some are broad spectrum, others are narrow in their resistance spectrum,” explained Dr Gouri Sankar Laha, who led the study, while speaking to India Science Wire.
 
The researchers used Marker assisted Backcross Breeding or MABB technique to accomplish the gene insertion. Unlike transgenic techniques used in genetically modified crops, MABB is less laborious but more efficient than traditional methods of ‘gene’ transfer. Besides it does not require regulatory clearances necessary for transgenic crops.
 
ISM is popular and has been grown in over 80,000 hectares in south and east India since its release in 2008. However, of late it was observed in experiments that when deliberately infected, ISM plants had longer lesions – infected spot - than the earlier ones, indicating emergence of a new strain of Xanthomonas.
 
Xanthomonas is virulent, meaning its infection spreads fast and wide. It also evolves very quickly. Thus plants that seem to be resistant now might turn susceptible later as the pathogen evolves into different strains.
 
“It is, therefore, necessary that we keep developing new resistant varieties. Also rice plant resistant to Xanthomonas in a particular area may not be resistant to the bacteria in another place,” explained Dr C A Deepak, a rice breeder at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Karnataka, who is not associated with the work. The breed improvement for bacterial blight disease is a continuous process.
 
The new breed has been field tested in farms across several states and has been exposed to various strains of Xanthomonas. “We have done three backcrossing and six generations of improvement. It has taken five years including selection of parents and initial crossing,” said Dr Laha.
 
The effort has resulted in several improved lines of ISM with novel, broad-spectrum blight-resistant gene Xa38 that show high levels of blight resistance to different types of Xanthomonas. These plants are better both in yield and in other traits than their ISM parent lines. After more field tests in different parts of the country, it will be ready for commercial release, Dr. Laha added.
 
The research team included Arra Yugander, Raman M. Sundaram, Kuldeep Singh, Duraisamy Ladhalakshmi, Lella V. Subba Rao, Maganti Sheshu Madhav, Jyothi Badri and Madamsetty Srinivas Prasad. The research results have been published in the journal PLOS One. 
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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Thousands take 'fish prasadam' in Hyderabad

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Thousands of asthma patients on Friday took 'fish prasadam', which has been distributed by a family here for more than 170 years.
 
The patients from Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and some other states queued up at Exhibition Grounds to take 'fish prasadam' as the medicine began to be called a decade ago after rationalists challenged its efficacy.
 
Members of Bathini Goud family started administering the 'wonder drug' at 9 a.m. to mark 'Mrigasira Karti', which heralds the onset of monsoon.
 
Like in the past, the Telangana government made elaborate arrangements for the annual event. Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries T. Srinivas Yadav along with Telangana Legislative Council Chairman Swamy Goud inaugurated the distribution of 'fish prasadam'.
 
Despite the controversies which hit the popularity of the fish medicine over last few years, people continue to throng the venue in the hope of finding some relief to their nagging respiratory problems. However, the numbers have dwindled over the years.
 
They gulped down a live 'murrel' fish with a yellow herbal paste in its mouth, which is believed to provide the much-needed relief, if taken for three consecutive years. For vegetarians, the family gives the medicine with jaggery.
 
Bathini Harinath Goud said their family members were giving 'fish prasadam' at 40 counters. The process will continue till 9 a.m. on Saturday.
 
The Fisheries Department has supplied 1.30 lakh fingerlings for sale at its counters at the venue. However, the actual number of patients taking 'fish prasadam' could be less than a lakh.
 
Police, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Electricity, Transport and other departments made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the event.
 
Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is operating over 130 special buses from airport, railway and bus stations to ferry asthma patients to the venue.
 
Various departments are providing water, sanitation and other basic amenities to the patients. Voluntary organisations have also chipped in by distributing free food and water packets.
 
The fish medicine lost its popularity in recent years after some groups, working to inculcate scientific temper among people, termed it as a fraud. They also approached a lower court, claiming that since the herbal paste contains heavy metals, it can cause serious health problems.
 
But the Goud family claims that the tests in laboratories conducted as per court orders revealed that the herbal paste is safe.
 
The Goud family has been distributing the 'fish prasadam' free of cost for the last 174 years. It claims that the secret formula for the herbal medicine was given to their ancestors in 1845 by a saint after taking an oath from them that it would be administered free of cost.
 
IANS
 
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Hyderabad girl jumps to death after failing to get good NEET rank

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An 18-year-old girl jumped to her death from a building here on Tuesday allegedly after failing to get a good rank in the NEET exam, police said.
 
The girl, identified as Jasleen Kaur, jumped from top of the 10-storey shopping complex in the busy Abids area in the heart of the city. 
 
A police officer said the girl apparently ended her life as she went into depression after not getting the expected rank in National Eligibility-cum-Entrance (NEET) exam, the results of which were declared on Monday.
 
A resident of Kachiguda neighbourhood, Jasleen reached Mayuri Complex in the commercial hub of Abids around 10.30 a.m. After parking her two-wheeler, she climbed the stairs and reached the top floor. Some people who spotted her raised an alarm to deter her but she jumped down.
 
According to police, the girl sustained head injuries and died on the spot. The body was shifted to government-run Osmania Hospital for autopsy. 
 
Police registered a case. The CCTV footage showed the girl wearing jeans and T-shirt walking up the stairs and later jumping to death.
 
IANS
 
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Tata Boeing Aerospace delivers first AH-64 Apache combat helicopter fuselage

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Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited yesterday delivered the first AH-64 Apache combat helicopter fuselage ahead of schedule from its state-of-the-art facility in Hyderabad. 
 
The fuselage will now be transported to Boeing’s AH-64 Apache manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arisona for integration into the final assembly line. 
 
This delivery comes within a year of the aerospace joint venture facility becoming operational, a press release from the company said.
 
The facility, which is spread over 14,000-square meters and will be employing 350 highly skilled workers at full production, was inaugurated by Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in March this year. The facility will be the sole global producer of fuselages for AH-64 Apache helicopter delivered by Boeing to its global customers including the U.S. Army. The facility will also produce secondary structures and vertical spar boxes for the multi-role combat helicopter.
 
“This is a major step forward in Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems’ continued commitment to make advanced, high quality aerostructures in India,” said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India. “Our investments in technology, capability and skilling are clearly paying off as evident from the quality and speed at which this delivery milestone has been achieved. As we accelerate our efforts, we see this as a major step towards future opportunities to pursue the co-development of integrated systems in aerospace and defence.”
 
Sukaran Singh, managing director and chief executive officer, Tata Advanced Systems, said, “The timely delivery of the AH–64 Apache helicopter fuselage marks a milestone in our collaborative journey with Boeing. Our partnership reflects a continued commitment to develop aerospace and defence manufacturing ecosystem in India. The delivery of the fuselage within a year of the facility being operational is a huge boost to indigenous manufacturing and also demonstrates our commitment to deliver high quality products within a short span of time.”
 
Tata Boeing Aerospace, Boeing’s first equity joint venture in India, is the result of a 2015 partnership agreement with TASL. Construction of the manufacturing facility began in 2016 and was completed on schedule a year later. In addition, Boeing and TASL have worked closely to develop a pool of highly skilled aerospace talent through skill development initiatives.
 
Today, customers around the world operate more than 2,300 Boeing-made Apache helicopters since the aircraft entered production. The helicopter has been fielded or selected for acquisition by the armed forces of 16 countries, including India. The United States Army Apache fleet alone has accumulated more than 4.3 million flight hours, including more than 1.2 million in combat, as of January 2018.
 
IANS
 
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Seven killed as truck rams into bus in Telangana

 
Seven dead in Telangana road mishap
 
 
Seven people were killed and 15 others injured when a speeding truck rammed into a bus in Telangana's Karimnagar district on Tuesday, police said.
 
The truck, while trying to overtake another truck, hit the stationary bus of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) coming from the opposite direction. The truck rammed into the rear side of the bus, crushing the passengers in their seats.
 
The ghastly accident took place near Chenjerla in Manakonduru block of Karimnagar district, 160 km from Hyderabad.
 
The rear portion of the bus, which was proceeding from Warangal to Karimnagar, was badly mangled in the collision. Rescue workers had a tough time in pulling out the bodies.
 
Heart rending scenes were witnessed on the site where human body parts, flesh and blood were strewn around.
 
The bus, which was carrying 40 people including a driver and a conductor, had stopped at the request of some passengers, when the truck crashed into it. Two persons on a motorbike and a cyclist behind the bus were also injured in the accident.
 
The dead include two women. The injured including the truck driver were shifted to nearby government hospital.
 
According to police, overspeeding and the lack of road divider led to the accident.
 
Finance Minister E. Rajender rushed to the spot and was personally monitoring the relief operations.
 
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao expressed grief over the tragedy and directed the officials to provide the best possible treatment to the injured.
 
This is the second major road accident in Telangana in three days. On Sunday, 13 people were killed and 20 injured when a truck hit a TSRTC bus and then rammed into a Qualis SUV and a container truck coming from opposite direction in Siddipet district.
 
IANS
 
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Watson blitz helps Chennai clinch 3rd IPL title

Shane Watson was back to his brutal best as the opener's scintillating unbeaten 117 runs helped Chennai Super Kings lift their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title, thrashing Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in the summit clash here on Sunday.
 
Making a comeback after serving two years of a ban, the Yellow Brigade stood up to their reputation of being one of the best teams in the cash-rich league. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side hunted down a competitive 179-run target against one of the best bowling attacks of the current season with nine balls to spare.
 
Watson was in devastating touch in his entire 57-ball innings, which comprised 11 boundaries and eight massive hits into the stands. 
 
The Australian along with Suresh Raina (32) forged a 117-run match-winning partnership to put Chennai ahead of their opponents.
 
Chasing 179, Chennai lost their first wicket in the fourth over as opener Faf du Plessis (10) was caught and bowled by pacer Sandeep Sharma when the scoreboard was reading just 13 runs.
 
Raina then joined Watson and the duo started slamming the bowlers all round the park at will. The strike mostly remained with Watson and the Australian all-rounder took advantage beautifully by unleashing some ferocious shots. 
 
Soon the duo helped their team get past the 100-run mark in the 12th over and just after that Watson, who was looking at his best, hammered Sandeep to 27 runs in his final over.
 
Trying to join the party, Raina miscued while trying to pull a short ball from Carlos Brathwaite which nicked his gloves and landed in the wicketkeeeper's hand. 
 
The southpaw's 24-ball knock was laced with three boundaries and one six.
 
The fall of the wicket brought in Ambati Rayudu (16 not out) who followed the same strategy of giving the strike to Watson. Soon, the Australian reached his second century of the season off just 51 deliveries through a single off Rashid Khan.
 
With Chennai needing 21 runs in 20 balls, the duo kept on playing freely and overhauled the target with ease to become the only team to beat a side four times in a single season.
 
For Hyderabad, Carlos Brathwaite and Sharma took one wicket each.
 
Earlier, put in to bat first, Yusuf Pathan's unbeaten 45 runs off 25 balls along with skipper Kane Williamson's 47 helped Sunrisers Hyderabad post a competitive 178/6.
 
In a batting friendly track at the Wankhede stadium here, Yusuf, who came when the scoreboard was reading 101/3, played a good knock to propel Hyderabad to a good total in their 20 overs. 
 
The Baroda batsman's unbeaten innings contained four boundaries and a couple of hits into the stands.
 
Hyderabad started their proceedings on a bad note as opener Shreevats Goswami (5) gifted his wicket in the second over with the just 13 runs on the board.
 
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Opener Shikhar Dhawan was then joined by Williamson and the duo stabilised Hyderabad's innings, putting on a 51-run partnership for the second wicket. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja broke the partnership in the ninth over as he clean bowled Dhawan on 26 runs.
 
Shakib Al Hasan then took Hyderabad's innings forward with his skipper as the side crossed the 100-run mark in 11.5 overs. However, in a desperate attempt, Williamson came down the wicket trying to play big, but the ball drifted away and then Dhoni did the rest behind the stumps.
 
Williamson's fall bought Yusuf in the middle and the right-hander made clear his intentions from the very beginning, smashing a boundary in the second ball he faced.
 
But when things seemed good in the middle, Bravo packed back Shakib (23 off 15) in the 16th over, leaving Hyderabad at 133/4.
 
Incoming batsman Deepak Hooda (3) fell cheaply in the 17th over which saw Brathwaite joining Yusuf.
 
The Baroda batsman then accumulated 34 runs for Hyderabad with Brathwaite in the remaining 18 deliveries to help their side reach a competitive total in the mega final. 
 
Brathwaite, who fell to the final delivery of Hyderabad's innings, chipped in with a valuable 21 runs 11 balls.
 
Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 178/6 (Kane Williamson 47, Yusuf Pathan 45 not out; Lungi Ngidi 1/26) vs Chennai Super Kings: 181/2 (Shane Watson 117 not out; Carlos Brathwaite 1/27).
 
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Chennai Super Kings ride Watson ton to lift third IPL crown

Shane Watson notched up a brilliant century as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by eight wickets in the final to lift the Indian Premier League (IPL) title here at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
 
Chasing 179 for victory, seasoned Australian opener Watson smashed an unbeaten 57-ball 117, his fourth IPL hundred, as M.S. Dhoni's team bagged their third crown after returning to the fold following a two-year suspension. 
 
Chennai piled up 181/2 in 18.3 overs against Sunrisers' 178/6 in 20 overs, riding on skipper Kane Williamson's 36-ball 47 and Yusuf Pathan's 21 off 11 balls.
 
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IPL: Yusuf, Williamson help Hyderabad post 178/6 against Chennai in final

Yusuf Pathan's unbeaten 45 runs off 25 balls along with skipper Kane Williamson's 47 helped Sunrisers Hyderabad post a competitive 178/6 against Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Sunday.
 
In a batting-friendly track at the Wankhede Stadium here, Yusuf, who came when the scoreboard was reading 101/3, played a good knock to propel Hyderabad to a decent total in their 20 overs. 
 
The Baroda batsman's unbeaten innings contained four boundaries and a couple of hits into the stands.
 
Put in to bat, Hyderabad started their proceedings on a bad note as opener Shreevats Goswami (5) gifted his wicket in the second over with  just 13 runs on the board.
 
While trying to convert a single, Goswami fell short of the crease when a throw from long leg by Karn Sharma was easily picked by Dhoni to give Hyderabad the first jolt.
 
Opener Shikhar Dhawan was then joined by Williamson and the duo stabilised Hyderabad's innings putting on a 51-run partnership for the second wicket.
 
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja broke the partnership in the ninth over as he clean bowled Dhawan on 26 runs.
 
Shakib Al Hasan then took Hyderabad's innings forward with his skipper as the side crossed the 100-run mark in 11.5 overs. However, in a desperate attempt, Williamson came down the wicket trying to play big, but the ball drifted away and Dhoni did the rest behind the stumps.
 
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The Hyderabad skipper's knock came off 36 balls, decorated with five boundaries and two sixes.
 
Williamson's fall bought Yusuf in the middle and the right-hander made clear his intentions from the very beginning, smashing a boundary in the second ball he faced.
 
But when things seemed good in the middle, Bravo packed back Shakib (23 off 15) in the 16th over, leaving Hyderabad at 133/4.
 
Incoming batsman Deepak Hooda (3) fell cheaply in the 17th over which saw Carlos Brathwaite joining Yusuf.
 
The Baroda batsman then accumulated 34 runs for Hyderabad with Brathwaite in the remaining 18 deliveries to help their side reach a competitive total in the mega final. 
 
Brathwaite, who fell in the final delivery of Hyderabad's innings, chipped in with a valuable 21 runs off 11 balls.
 
For Chennai, Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur, Karn Sharma, Dwayne Bravo and Jadeja bagged one wicket each.
 
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 178/6 (Kane Williamson 47, Yusuf Pathan 45 not out; Lungi Ngidi 1/26) vs Chennai Super Kings 
 
IANS
 
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IPL: Hyderabad post 178/6 against Chennai in final

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) posted 178/6 in 20 overs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) final at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
 
Skipper Kane Williamson top-scored for Hyderabad with a 36-ball 47 while Yusuf Pathan hit an unbeaten 25-ball 45 and Carlos Brathwaite smashed 21 off 11.
 
For Chennai, Lungi Ngidi, Karn Sharma, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja all got a wicket each.
 
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 178/6 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 47, Yusuf Pathan 45; Lungi Ngidi 1/26, Karn Sharma 1/25, Dwayne Bravo 1/46, R Jadeja 1/24).
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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