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Hyderabad

Indian batting collapse after Pujara, Vijay shine

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara

Indian battting crumbled like a pack of cards in the second session and the hosts were bowled out for 503 in the first innings on the third day of the second cricket Test against  Australia at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here today.

Cheteshwar Pujara was the top scorer with 204, his second double century, and Murali Vijay scored 167.
 
India finished with a 266-run first innings lead. Australia had declared their first innings at 237 for nine. 
 
Resuming at 311/1, India scored 89 runs in the first session losing just two wickets. But in the second session things went horribly wrong for them as the last seven wickets fell for 110 runs.
 
After four sessions of hard work there was finally some luck for the Australian bowlers. Off-spinner Glenn Maxwell (4/127) wrecked the middle-order by removing Virat Kohli (34), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (44), Ravindra Jadeja (10) after dismissing Vijay in the morning. Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty (3/131) wrapped up the tail.
 
Earlier, the 370-run second-wicket stand between Pujara and Vijay was ended after the debutant Glenn Maxwell purchased some nice turn and bounce and Vijay offered a simple catch to backward short-leg. 
 
Their partnership is now the third highest partnership against Australia. The 382-un stand for the second wicket between England's Len Hutton and Maurice Leyland at the The Oval in 1938 remains on top while the 376-run stand for the fifth wicket between Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata 2000-01 is second.
 
Pujara got to his double century in style as he came down the wicket to charge Maxwell and flicked the ball through mid-on and mid-wicket for four. He punched the air and hugged Tendulkar as the stadium gave a standing ovation to the Rajkot boy.
 
But Pujara could not carry on and in the next over his to hook James Pattinson found Xavier Doherty taking a brilliant diving catch at long leg.
 
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Pujara's double ton takes India to 400/3

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara struck his second double century as India reached a huge 400 for three in the first innings at lunch on the third day of the second cricket Test against Australia at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here today.

Pujara and his overnight partner Murali Vijay (167) were the two wickets that fell in the morning session as India, resuming at 311/1, added 89 runs and stretched their lead to 163 runs.
 
Sachin Tendulkar was batting on 3 and Virat Kohli 4 at the lunch break.
 
The 370-run second-wicket stand between Pujara and Vijay was ended after debutant Glenn Maxwell purchased some nice turn and bounce and Vijay offered a simple catch to backward short-leg. 
 
Their partnership is now the third highest partnership against Australia. The 382-run stand for the second wicket between England's Len Hutton and Maurice Leyland at the The Oval 1938 remains on top while the 376-run stand for the fifth wicket between Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata 2000-01 is second.
 
Pujara got to his double century in style as he came down the wicket to charge Maxwell and flicked the ball through mid-on and mid-wicket for four. He punched the air and hugged Tendulkar as the stadium gave a standing ovation to the Rajkot boy.
 
But Pujara could not carry on and in the next over his attempt to hook James Pattinson found Xavier Doherty taking a brilliant diving catch at long leg.
 
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Pujara, Vijay slam unbeaten centuries to put India in driver's seat

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara

Unbeaten centuries by Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay put India in the driver’s seat against Australia after the second day’s play of the second cricket Teat at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here today.

Pujara was batting on 162, his fourth Test century, and Vijay came back to form with an unbeaten 129, his second, to take India to 311 for one in the first innings in reply to Australia’s 237 for nine declared. India ended the day with a handsome lead of 74 runs.
 
Resuming at five for no loss, India lost Virender Sehwag (6) early but from then, Pujara and Vijay grew in confidence and were in complete control of their game and have added 294 runs in their unfinished second wicket stand.
 
Pujara struck 25 fours and a six during his 251-ball knock while Vijay hit 17 fours and two sixes in his 288-ball stay.
 
The only wicket to fall went to Peter Siddle, who banged it short and Sehwag got a healthy edge to Matthew Wade. Sehwag now has only one 50-plus score in the last 13 innings and his place in the team is surely in trouble until he comes up with a big knock in the second innings.
 
Otherwise, it was a day of hard work for the Australian bowlers without much success.
 
The way Pujara and Vijay paced their innings was impressive. Having taken an early break, the Australian pacers were bang on target in the morning session. They gave away nothing to the Indian batsmen, who preferred to play a waiting game.
 
Just 49 runs came in the first session, but as the day progressed, Pujara and Vijay prospered and 106 runs came in the second, and 151 in the third.
 
Vijay and Pujara added 37 runs in the first session as India reached 54 for one at lunch. In the second phase, Vijay and Pujara were rewarded for their hard work as the runs started flowing and 106 runs were added without losing any wicket.
 
Australian spin duo debutant Glenn Maxwell and Xavier Doherty hardly troubled the Indian batsmen. Maxwell was introduced in the attack as late as in the 47th over. Doherty did extract some turn but fared poorly like other Australian spinners did in the past.
 
Vijay was the first to get to his half-century hitting a six off Doherty while Pujara got his in style with a cover-drive for four off Maxwell. India reached 160 for one tea and reduced the deficit to 77 runs.
 
In the day’s last session, Pujara and Vijay just toyed with the Australian bowling and the frustration was visible on skipper Michael Clarke’s face.
 
It was a flawless innings by both the batsmen and the only time Australia came close to breaking the partnership was when David Warner made a great attempt with a direct hit to run out Pujara. But the third umpire turned it down.
 
Scoreboard
Australia (1st innings) 237 for nine declared
India (1st innings)
Murali Vijay batting 129
Virender Sehwag c Wade b Siddle 6
Cheteshwar Pujara batting 162
Extras (b 1, lb 11, w 2) 14
Total: (1 wicket in 93 overs) 311
Fall of wickets: 1-17 (Sehwag, 7.6 overs)
Bowling
James Pattinson 18-7-56-0
Peter Siddle 19-5-51-1
Moises Henriques 19-7-38-0
Xavier Doherty 26-7-85-0
Glenn Maxwell 10-1-55-0
David Warner 1-0-14-0
 
Match details:
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Marias Erasmus (South Africa)
TV umpire: S. Ravi (India)
Match referee: Chris Broad (England)
 
 
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Vijay, Pujara help India reach 160/1 at tea against Australia

Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay

Unbeaten half-centuries by Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara helped India reach 160 for one in the first innings at tea on the second day of the second cricket Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here today.

Vijay and Pujara were both batting on 73 as India refuced the deficit to 77 runs. Australia had declared their first innings at 237 for nine.
 
It was a day of two contrasting sessions for India. In the first session, Vijay and Pujara had to battle it out after Virender Sehwag (6) departed early. The only wicket to fall went to Peter Siddle, who banged it short and the opening batsman got a healthy edge to Matthew Wade.
 
Australian pacers were bang on target in the morning session as they gave away nothing to the Indian batsmen, who played a waiting game.
 
India, resuming at five for no loss, added just 49 runs in the first session. Vijay and Pujara added 37-runs for their unfinished second wicket stand in the first session India had reached 54 for one when lunch was called.
 
In the second phase, Vijay and Pujara were rewarded for their hard work as they added 106 runs without losing any wicket. 
 
Australian spin duo debutant Glenn Maxwell and Xavier Doherty hardly troubled the Indian batsmen. 
 
Vijay was the first to get to his half-century, hitting a six off Doherty while Pujara got his in style with a cover-drive for four off Maxwell.
 
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Australia make India grind hard on second day

Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay

India reached 54 for one in the first innings at lunch on the second day of the second cricket Test against Australia at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here today.

Resuming at five for no loss, India could add just 49 runs in the first session losing the wicket of Virender Sehwag (6).
 
Murali Vijay was batting on 29 and Chesteshwar Pujara 15 at the lunch break.
 
Australian pacers were bang on target in the morning session as they gave away nothing to the Indian batsmen, who played a waiting game.
 
Sehwag was the first to go after Peter Siddle banged it short and the opening batsman got a healthy edge to Matthew Wade.
 
Vijay and Pujara added 37 runs for their unfinished second wicket stand before lunch was called.
 
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Clarke shines on an embarrassing day for Australia

Australia captain Michael Clarke
Australia captain Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke struck a captain's knock of 91 as Australia lead by 232 runs after the first day's play of the second cricket Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here Saturday.

It was an interesting day of cricket as Clarke made a surprising declaration at 237 for nine and allowed his fast bowlers to go all out against India in the last three overs.
 
Openers Murali Vijay and Virender (4) made sure that India, who are 1-0 up in the four-match series, ended the day at five for no loss.
 
For Australia, however, things went from bad to worse after they won the toss and opted to bat first.
 
They failed to negotiate pace in the morning and an initial burst from pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/53) left them reeling at 58/3. 
 
Clarke and Matthew Wade (62) fought back with their 145-run stand as no wickets fell in the second phase. But the Indian spinners Ravindra Jadeja (3/33) and Harbhajan Singh (2/52) kept chipping away with the wickets in the last session to put Australia on the mat.
 
It was another embarrassing performance by the Australian top-order. Cowan's mark is 31.48 after 25 Test innings, Watson (36.41) has now gone 36 Test innings without a ton and Hughes (34.10) has played two innings of substance at No.3 since his Test recall in December. 
 
It was also the umpteenth time and second consecutive occasion in the series when Clarke rescued Australia with his never-say-die attitude.
 
Clarke and Wade, who is battling a cheek fracture, helped Australia recover from a poor start and put a respectable score on board. If it was debutant Moises Henriques in Chennai, Clarke found an able partner in Wade today.
 
Earlier, David Warner (6) became Kumar's maiden Test wicket after the opening batsman was done in by a ball that came in sharply and he got an inside edge that crashed on to his stumps. 
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Kumar struck again in the next over trapping Ed Cowan (4) lbw.
 
Shane Watson, who showed signs of taking the attack to the Indians, became Kumar's third victim after he was foxed by a short-of-a-length delivery that kept low and trapped him in front. Watson struck four fours in his 31-ball 23.
 
Ashwin picked up Phil Hughes (19) with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni taking a good catch behind the stumps.
 
Once again, it was a familiar script. Clarke picked up Australia off the canvas and along with Wade was left to mop up the top-order mess.
 
Both Clarke and Wade got to their half-centuries as Australia reached 187 for four at tea. Australia added 104 runs in the second session after the triple strikes by Kumar. 
 
Clarke appeared headed for his 10th Test ton as captain, only to fall nine agonising runs short after being clean-bowled attempting to slog-sweep Jadeja. The 31-year-old has now amassed 2544 runs from 23 Tests at 70.66 since replacing Ricky Ponting.
 
Scoreboard:
Australia (1st innings)
David Warner b Kumar 6
Ed Cowan lbw Kumar 4
Phil Hughes c Dhoni b Ashwin 19
Shane Watson lbw Kumar 23
Michael Clarke b Jadeja 91
Matthew Wade c Kumar b Harbhajan 62
Moises Henriques b Jadeja 5
Glenn Maxwell c Dhoni b Jadeja 13
Peter Siddle lbw b Harbhajan Singh 0
James Pattinson not out 1
Xavier Doherty not out 0
Extras (b 9, lb 4) 13
Total (Nine wickets declared in 85 overs) 237
Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Warner, 2.2 overs), 2-15 (Cowan, 4.2), 3-57 (Watson, 14.6), 4-63 (Hughes, 21.2), 5-208 (Wade, 68.3), 6-217 (Henriques, 73.5), 7-233 (Maxwell, 79.4), 8-236 (Siddle, 82.4), 9-236 (Clarke, 83.1)
Bowling:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 15-2-53-3
Ishant Sharma 17-5-45-0
Ravichandran Ashwin 15-6-41-1
Harbhajan Singh 22-2-52-2
Ravindra Jadeja 16-4-33-3
 
India (1st innings)
Murali Vijay batting 0
Virender Sehwag batting 4
Extras (w 1) 1
Total (0 wickets in 3 overs) 5
Bowling
James Pattinson 2-1-1-0
Peter Siddle 1-0-4-0
 
Match details:
Toss: Australia chose to bat
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Marias Erasmus (South Africa)
TV umpire: S. Ravi (India)
Match referee: Chris Broad (England)
 
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Clarke, Wade lead fightback as Australia reach 187/4 at tea

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar

Australia reached 187 for four at tea in the first innings on the first day of the second cricket Test against India at the at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here today.

The visitors added 104 runs in the second seesion after triple strikes by pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar left them struggling at 83/4 at lunch. 
 
Skipper Michael Clarke and Matthew Wade were batting at 68 and 55, respectively. 
 
Kumar was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he bagged three for 46 while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin got one for 41. 
 
David Warner (6) became Kumar's maiden Test wicket after the opening batsman was done in by a ball that came in sharply and he got an inside edge that crashed on to his stumps. 
 
Kumar struck again in the next over trapping Ed Cowan (4) lbw.
 
Shane Watson, who showed signs of taking the attack to the Indians, became Kumar's third victim after he was foxed by a short-of-a-length delivery that kept low and trapped him in front. Watson struck four fours in his 31-ball 23.
 
Ashwin picked up Phil Hughes (19) with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni taking a good catch behind the stumps.
 
Earlier, Clarke won the toss and elected to bat first. The visitors made two changes, with Nathan Lyon and Mtchell Starc making way for Xavier Doherty and Glen Maxwell.
 
Harbhajan Singh retained his place in the Indian team while left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha remained out.
 
India are 1-0 up in the four-match series, having won the first Test at Chennai earlier this week by eight wickets.
 
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Kumar strikes to leave Australia struggling at 83/4 at lunch

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar

Three quick strikes by pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar left Australia struggling at 83 for four in the first innings at lunch on the first day of the second cricket Test against India at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, here today.

Australian skipper Michael Clarke was batting on 20 and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade on 2.
 
Kumar was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he bagged three for 36 while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin got one for 10. 
 
David Warner (6) became Kumar's maiden Test wicket after the opening batsman was done in by a ball that came in sharply and he got an inside edge that crashed on to his stumps. Kumar struck again in the next over trapping Ed Cowan (4) lbw.
 
Shane Watson, who showed signs of taking the attack to the Indians, became Kumar's third victim after he was foxed by a short-of-a-length delivery that kept low and trapped him in front. Watson struck four fours in his 31-ball 23.
 
Ashwin picked up Phil Hughes (19) with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni taking a good catch behind the stumps.
 
Earlier, Clarke won the toss and elected to bat first. The visitors made two changes, with Nathan Lyon and Mtchell Starc making way for Xavier Doherty and Glen Maxwell.
 
Harbhajan Singh retained his place in the Indian team while left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha remained out.
 
India are 1-0 up in the four-match series, having won the first Test at Chennai earlier this week by eight wickets.
 
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India in dilemma about including Harbhajan for Hyderabad Test

File photo of MS Dhoni. UNI PHOTO
File photo of MS Dhoni. UNI PHOTO

Having taken a 1-0 lead in the four-match Border Gavaskar Trophy series, the Indian team is in a great dilemma about whether to persist with Harbhajan Singh or bring back left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha for the second Test against Australia starting here tomorrow.

While Australia are tipped to field an unchanged line-up at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium despite an eight-wicket defeat in Chennai, India have a serious predicament over Harbhajan's place in the side.
 
For Harbhajan, the Chennai Test was a landmark since it was his 100th Test appearance, but the fiesty off-spinner struggled to pick up three wickets in the match. He did no't get the backing of his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who preferred all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja more than the off-spinner. 
 
It was unfortunate for local boy Ojha as he had to sit out of the first Test in Chennai despite being in great form in the last two Test series against England and New Zealand. 
 
Against England, Ojha picked up 20 wickets from four Tests and 13 from the two Tests against New Zealand. 
 
In fact, Ojha picked up six wickets in the last Test here that India won by an innings and 115 runs against the Kiwis. 
 
Though Ravichandran Ashwin was the Man of the Match with 12 wickets, Ojha played a key role and picked up six wickets. The match finished inside four days despite weather playing spoilsport as second day's play was curtailed.
 
But how to accomodate Ojha in the team still remains a tricky task for the team management.  
 
In the batting, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is unlikely to make any changes despite both the openers Virender Sehwag and Murali Vijay failing to make an impact in Chennai. 
 
Australian captain Michael Clarke hopes that words of wisdom from Shane Warne will help his frontline spinner Nathan Lyon to bounce back.
 
Lyon, who took the key wickets of Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag, came under some harsh treatment, conceding 215 runs in the hosts' first innings alone.
 
After the Chennai Test, Lyon had a word with Warne, who is a part of the commentary team. 
 
"Lyon had a really good chat to Warney and we spent a bit of time, the three of us together," Clarke said. 
 
"If you can't learn from guys who have been here before and experienced it you will never learn. He's been fine. He's working hard every day to try and get better. On grounds in India it's very easy to go for a lot more runs because they're smaller and have fast outfields."
 
Spinners will come into effect right from the day one if Clarke's read of the pitch prepared in Hyderabad is any indication. 
 
"Like Chennai, I haven't seen a wicket like that in Australia. I don't think this wicket will be any tougher than Chennai, that was a really tough wicket so I think we have seen the toughest of conditions.
 
"(But) the wicket will certainly deteriorate as the Test goes on, so it's a positive for our fast bowlers that there will be a little bit up and down. But spin from day one will play a huge part in this Test."
 
Selectors were leaning towards sticking by the bowling attack from five days ago, meaning left-arm quick Mitchell Starc would edge out Mitchell Johnson and remain in the XI alongside James Pattinson and Peter Siddle.
 
Pattinson's devastation of the Indian top order in Chennai left selectors with no option but to keep him in the side despite the fact he is returning from a rib injury here. 
 
"He just has to execute his skills in whatever situations he faces. He managed to do that in the Australian summer (against India) and he managed to do that in Chennai but there are three more Test matches to go so we'll wait and see.
 
"I think what Patto did really well was we bowled him in shorter spells so he could use his speed through the air. You have to hit the wicket really hard here. If you just put the ball there you get nothing out of the conditions, even if the ball is reverse swinging.
 
"He ran in hard, hit the wicket really hard and he got more out of the pitch, and more out of the ball than Sidds and Starcy. We've certainly spoken about that," said Clarke.
 
Australia (likely): Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (captain), Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Moises Henriques, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon.
 
India (likely): Virender Sehwag, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma.
 
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Biennial election to AP Legislative Council by MLAs to be held on March 21

Biennial elections to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council will be held on March 21 to fill 10 vacancies that will arise on the retirement of ten members elected by members of the state legislative assembly.

The ten members, whose terms of office will end on March 29, are Cherupally Seetha Ramulu, Jalli Wilson, Laxmi Durgesh Prasad Kandula, S. Indrasain Reddy, Bharathi Dhiravat, P. Yadagiri, Sidda Raghava Rao, Ibrahim Bin Abdullah Masquati, Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy and Pulla Padmavathi.
 
A press release from the Election Commission said the notification for the elections will be issued on March 4 and the last date for making nominations will be March 11.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up after polling hours, at 5 pm, on March 21, it added.
 
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PM visits scene of Hyderabad blasts, meets injured in hospitals

 
I share the grief and sorrow of the people of Hyderabad: PM

Three days after twin bomb blasts rocked the crowded commercial area of Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad and left 16 people killed and 117 others injured, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the scene of the attacks and also met several of the injured in hospitals in the city.

Dr Singh spent about 10 minutes at the scene of the two blasts, which occurred within a few minutes and 150 metres of each other, and enquired about the devastation caused by them.
 
He drove first to near Konarak theatre, the scene of the first blast, and then walked across to near Venkatadri theatre, where the second explosion took place.
 
Later, he visited the Yashoda Hospital at Malakpet and the Omni Hospital at Kothapet and met the injured and enquired about the treatment being given to them. He assured them that the Government would take all possible measures to provide relief to them.
 
Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and several State ministers accompanied Dr Singh on the visit. He later met them for some time to discuss the incident and its fall-out.
 
The Prime Minister told them that a mechanism had to be found to provide jobs to those grievously hurt and disabled in the blasts.
 
"I express condolence for the families of the bereaved and wish speedy recovery for the injured," he said.
 
He also expressed happiness that the people of Hyderabad had refused to be provoked by the horrific incident.
 
"I am here to stand in solidarity with the people of the city. We should maintain peace and calm," he said.
 
"The staff will take all possible care of your son," Dr Singh told the mother of one of the injured at Omni hospital.
 
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"We will provide all possible medical help to you and others," he said to another injured.
 
"I am here to share your pain and grief. We will take care of you," he told an injured woman in Yashoda hospital.
 
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who had visited the scene of the blasts on February 22, told Parliament later that day that preliminary investigations had revealed that the blasts were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) placed on bicycles.
 
Dilsukhnagar, in east Hyderabad, is an education and commercial hub, with scores of coaching institutions and some of the victims were students.
 
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had, on the day of the attack, strongly condemned the blasts and said those found guilty of the attacks would not go unpunished.
 
"This is a dastardly attack, the guilty will not go unpunished," the Prime Minister had added. 
 
Dr Singh had also sanctioned ex-gratia payments from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund to the tune of Rs. 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased persons and Rs.50,000 each to those who have suffered serious injuries.
 
The Andhra Pradesh government has offered to meet the entire expenses of medical treatment of those injured in the blasts. The State government has also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 6 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed in the blasts and between Rs 50,000 and Rs 100,000 for those who suffered injuries.
 
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Hyderabad blasts: 16 killed, 117 hurt; Shinde says perpetrators will be punished

At least 16 people were killed and 117 others have suffered injuries in the twin bomb blasts that ripped through the crowded Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad within minutes of each other on Thursday evening.

 
UPA Govt committed to combat terror: Shinde on Hyderabad blasts
At least 16 people were killed and 117 others have suffered injuries in the twin bomb blasts that ripped through the crowded Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad within minutes of each other yesterday evening.
 
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who visited the scene of the attacks early this morning, told Parliament that four of the injured were in a critical state.
 
He said the Government is committed to combat such cowardly terror attacks and it would  make all possible efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds behind the blasts and ensure that they are punished as per the law
 
In identical statements to both Houses of Parliament, Mr Shinde said the first blast occurred at 6.58 pm at a local bus stop and the second near a canteen at 7.01 pm. The two spots are within 150 metres of each other.
 
"Preliminary investigations reveal that the IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were placed on bicycles causing explosions at both the places," he said.
 
He said the Andhra Pradesh government had immediately deployed emergency medical response teams along with 25 ambulances to take the injured to the hospital. 
 
The State Police and a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) branch office at Hyderabad immediately reached the place of occurrence and cordoned off the area and collected evidence. State forensic teams were also pressed into service to collect the evidence from the crime scene, he said.
 
A team of NIA lead by an Inspector General and a Post Blast Investigative Team (PBIT) of the National Security Guard (NSG) were sent from Delhi at 9.30 pm yesterday by a special plane and they reached Hyderabad by 11.30 pm.
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Mr Shinde said two cases had been registered at Saroor Nagar Police Station, Cyberabad and Malkpet Police Station, Hyderabad City. The NIA will investigate the case in conjunction with Andhra Pradesh Police, he said.
 
The Minister said he was accompanied on the trip to Hyderabad by the Union Home Secretary and the Director General of the NSG. He said he had reviewed the situation with Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, the state Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, the Commissioner of Police of Hyderabad and other senior officers.
 
He said he had visited the scene of the blasts and later visited the hospitals where the injured are undergoing treatment. "The situation is under control," he said.
 
"I extend my heartfelt condolences for the bereaved families who lost their near and dear ones in the blasts. The Government is committed to combat such cowardly terror attack and it 
shall make all possible efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds behind the blasts and ensure that they are punished as per the law
 
Dilsukhnagar, in east Hyderabad, is an education and commercial hub, with scores of coaching institutions and some of the victims were said to be students.
 
The injured are being treated in the Osmania hospital, the Omni hospital and Yashoda hospital nearby.
 
Mr Shinde said the Andhra Pradesh government had set up an investigation team to probe the blasts. He had said yesterday that the Centre had received information over the past two days that such attacks could take place anywhere in the country and it had accordingly alerted all the States and some cities. He, however, refused to blame anybody at this stage for failing to prevent the blasts.
 
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Asked about the information the Home Ministry had received about the possibility of such blasts, Mr Shinde said this morning in Hyderabad that it was not specific intelligence.
 
He also said it was too early to fix responsibility for the blasts on any particular organization, saying that investigations were still on. 
 
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has strongly condemned the blasts and said those found guilty of the attacks would not go unpunished.
 
Expressing shock and grief over the loss of lives in the blasts, Dr Singh appealed to the public to remain calm and maintain peace. He has also directed the Central agencies to extend all possible help to the Andhra Pradesh government in relief operations.
 
"This is a dastardly attack, the guilty will not go unpunished," the Prime Minister added. 
 
Dr Singh has also sanctioned ex-gratia payments from the Prime Minister`s National Relief Fund to the tune of Rs. 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased persons and Rs.50,000 each to those who have suffered serious injuries.
 
Mr Shinde said the Andhra Pradesh government had offered to meet the entire expenses of medical treatment of those injured in the blasts. The State government has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 6 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed in the blasts and between Rs 50,000 and Rs 100,000 for those who suffered injuries.
 
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US condemns Hyderabad blasts, backs India in fight against terrorism

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The United States has condemned yesterday's twin blasts in Hyderabad in which at least 14 people were killed and another 119 suffered injuries and expressed its support for India in the fight against terrorism.

"We condemn the cowardly attack in Hyderabad, India in the strongest possible terms, and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected and to the people of India," US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at her daily briefing on Thursday.
 
She noted that Secretary of State John Kerry was due to meet Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai later yesterday when he would convey his sympathies in person and affirm US support for India during this difficult time.
 
"The United States stands with India in combating the scourge of terrorism, and we are also prepared to offer any and all assistance that Indian authorities may need," she said.
 
Ms Nuland said the US did not have any information about who was behind the atacks and the Indian authorities were still investigating all angles.
 
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Death toll in Hyderabad blasts rises to 14, Shinde visits scene of attacks

At least 14 people were killed and 119 others suffered injuries in the twin bomb blasts that ripped through the crowded Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad within minutes of each other on Thursday evening.

 
Hyderabad blasts: Shinde visits site, hospitals

At least 14 people were killed and 119 others suffered injuries in the twin bomb blasts that ripped through the crowded Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad within minutes of each other yesterday evening.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde who flew into the city early this morning, visited the scene of the blasts, which occurred within a radius of about 150 metres, and later met the injured in hospitals.
 
He told newspersons later that six of the injured were in a critical condition.
 
Mr Shinde was accompanied on the visit to the scene of the blasts by Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, State Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy, Director General of Police Dinesh Reddy and other senior officials.
 
The first explosion took place around 6.58 pm in front of Anand Tiffin Centre near the Konarak cinema hall in the area, and the second a few minutes later close to a foot overbridge near the Venkatadri theatre. The explosives were placed on two bicycles.
 
Dilsukhnagar, in east Hyderabad, is an education and commercial hub, with scores of coaching institutions and many of the victims were said to be young officegoers and students.
 
The injured are being treated in the Osmania hospital, the Omni hospital and Yashoda hospital nearby.
 
Mr Shinde said the Andhra Pradesh government had set up an investigation team to probe the blasts. He had said yesterday that the Centre had received information over the past two days that such attacks could take place anywhere in the country and it had accordingly alerted all the States and some cities. He, however, refused to blame anybody at this stage for failing to prevent the blasts.
 
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Asked about the information the Home Ministry had received about the possibility of such blasts, Mr Shinde said this morning that it was not specific intelligence.
 
He also said it was too early to fix responsibility for the blasts on any particular organization, saying that investigations were still on. 
 
The Home Minister declined to say anything more on the blasts because Parliament is in session and he would have to first make a statement there.
 
Union Home Secretary R K Singh told mediapersons last night that the Hyderabad police and Central agencies had launched investigations into the incidents. He said the fact that there were two blasts indicated that it was a terrorist attack.
 
Apart from officials from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) branch in Hyderabad, another NIA team led by an inspector-general and the post-blast investigation team of the National Security Guard (NSG) had joined the investigations.
 
Police sources said the blasts appeared to have been caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
 
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has strongly condemned the blasts and said those found guilty of the attacks would not go unpunished.
 
Expressing shock and grief over the loss of lives in the blasts, Dr Singh appealed to the public to remain calm and maintain peace. He has also directed the Central agencies to extend all possible help to the Andhra Pradesh government in relief operations.
 
"This is a dastardly attack, the guilty will not go unpunished," the Prime Minister added. 
 
Dr Singh has also sanctioned ex-gratia payments from the Prime Minister`s National Relief Fund to the tune of Rs. 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased persons and Rs.50,000 each to those who have suffered serious injuries.
 
Mr Shinde said the Andhra Pradesh government had offered to meet the entire expenses of medical treatment of those injured in the blasts. The State government has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 6 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed in the blasts and between Rs 50,000 and Rs 100,000 for those who suffered injuries.
 
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At least 11 killed, 78 injured in twin blasts in Hyderabad

Terror struck Hyderabad again on Thursday evening as two explosions rocked the crowded Dilsukhnagar area of the city within minutes of each other, killing at least 11 people and injuring another 78.

 
Twin blasts rock Hyderabad, 11 feared dead

Terror struck Hyderabad again this evening as two explosions rocked the crowded Dilsukhnagar area of the city within minutes of each other, killing at least 11 people and injuring another 78.

The explosions took place near two cinemas -- Konarak and Venkatadhri - in the busy commercial area, sources said.
 
The first blast occurred near a bus stop in the area around 6.58 pm and the other within a few minutes within a radius of about 150 metres.
 
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told mediapersons that he had learnt about the blasts while he was attending a meeting of the Union Cabinet and had promptly informed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about them.
 
He said he had talked to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who had visited the scene, and was told the explosives appeared to have been placed on two bikes.
 
He said eight persons had died in the first incident and three in the second. He said the death toll could rise further as more information became available.
 
Mr Shinde, who had initially put the number of injured at around 50, appeared before journalists again around 10 pm to say that the number had gone up to 78.
 
He said the Government had received information over the past two days that such attacks could take place anywhere in the country and it had accordingly alerted all the States and some cities. He, however, refused to blame anybody at this stage for failing to prevent the blasts.
 
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He also said it was too early to fix responsibility for the blasts on any particular organization, saying that investigations were still on.
 
Mr Shinde indicated that he might leave for Hyderabad later in the night.
 
Union Home Secretary R K Singh told mediapersons that the Hyderabad police and Central agencies had launched investigations into the incidents. He said the fact that there were two blasts indicated that it was a terrorist attack.
 
He said he had been in touch with the Governor and the Chief Secretary of the state. He said officials from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) branch in Hyderabad had already reached the spot.
 
Another team led by an NIA inspector-general and the post-blast investigation team of the National Security Guard (NSG) would leave here for Hyderabad tonight, he said.
 
The scene of the blasts had been cordoned off so as to preserve evidence, Mr Singh said.
 
Police officials in Hyderabad told mediapersons that details about the casualties were still being collected.
 
Apart from the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, the state Home Minister and the Director General of Police had rushed to the area.
 
The injured had been removed to nearby hospitals, including the Osmania Hospital. Television pictures from the scenes showed huge crowds of onlookers. Ambulances were seen rushing the injured to hospital. Police officials and forensic experts were scouring the area for evidence.
 
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PM condemns bomb blasts in Hyderabad, appeals for calm

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today strongly condemned the bomb blasts in Hyderabad earlier in the evening, in which at least 11 people were killed and 50 others suffered injuries, and said those found guilty of the attacks would not go unpunished.

Expressing shock and grief over the loss of lives in the blasts, Dr Singh appealed to the public to remain calm and maintain peace. He has also directed the Central agencies to extend all possible help to the Andhra Pradesh government in relief operations.
 
"This is a dastardly attack, the guilty will not go unpunished," the Prime Minister added. 
 
Dr Singh has also sanctioned ex-gratia payments from the Prime Minister`s National Relief Fund to the tune of Rs.2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased persons and Rs.50,000 each to those who have suffered serious injuries.
 
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At least 11 killed, 50 injured in twin blasts in Hyderabad

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At least 11 people were killed and 50 others suffered injuries in two explosions that rocked the crowded Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad this evening.

The explosions took place near two cinemas -- Konarak and Venkatadhri - in the busy commercial area, sources said.
 
The first blast occurred near a bus stop in the area around 6.58 pm and the other within five minutes within a radius of about 150 metres.
 
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told mediapersons that he had learnt about the blasts while he was attending a meeting of the Union Cabinet and had promptly informed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about them.
 
He said he had talked to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who had visited the scene, and was told the explosives appeared to have been placed on two bikes.
 
He said eight persons had died in the first incident and three in the second.
 
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Mr Shinde said the Government had received information over the past two days that such attacks could take place anywhere in the country and it had accordingly alerted all the States.
 
Union Home Secretary R K Singh told mediapersons that the Hyderabad police and Central agencies had launched investigations into the incidents.
 
He said he had been in touch with the Governor and the Chief Secretary of the state. He said officials from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) branch in Hyderabad had already reached the spot.
 
Another team led by an NIA inspector-general and the post-blast investigation team of the National Security Guard (NSG) would leave here for Hyderabad tonight, he said.
 
The scene of the blasts had been cordoned off so as to preserve evidence, Mr Singh said.
 
Police officials in Hyderabad told mediapersons that details about the casualties were still being collected.
 
Apart from the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, the state Home Minister and the Director General of Police had rushed to the area.
 
The injured had been removed to nearby hospitals, including the Osmania Hospital. Television pictures from the scenes showed huge crowds of onlookers. Ambulances were seen rushing the injured to hospital. Police officials and forensic experts were scouring the area for evidence.
 
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At least 10 killed, 50 injured in twin blasts in Hyderabad

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At least ten people were killed and 50 others suffered injuries in two explosions that rocked the crowded Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad this evening.

The explosions took place near two cinemas in the busy commercial area, sources said.
 
Union Home Secretary R K Singh told mediapersons here that there were two blasts and the police and other agencies were investigating the incidents.
 
He said he had been in touch with the Governor and the Chief Secretary of the state. He said officials from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) branch in Hyderabad had already reached the spot.
 
Another team led by an NIA inspector-general and the post-blast investigation team of the National Security Guard (NSG) would leave here for Hyderabad shortly.
 
The scene of the blasts had been cordoned off so as to preserve evidence, Mr Singh said.
 
Police officials in Hyderabad told mediapersons that details about the casualties were still being collected.
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, the state Home Minister and the Director General of Police had rushed to the area.
 
The injured had been removed to nearby hospitals, including the Osmania Hospital. Television pictures from the scenes showed huge crowds of onlookers. Ambulances were seen rushing the injured to hospital.
 
The authorities have sounded an alert in Delhi and other major cities of the country.
 
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Regional consultation on National Plan of Action for Improving Child Sex Ratio at Hyderabad

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Union Minister for Women & Child Development Krishna Tirath will inaugurate the second regional consultation on formulating a national Plan of Action for Improving Child Sex Ratio in the country at Hyderabad tomorrow.

The first consultation was held in New Delhi by the National Mission for Empowerment of Women under the Ministry for Women and Child Development on January 8.
 
According to an official press release, the issue of declining child sex ratio has emerged as a major cause of concern and is being addressed at the highest level in the country.
 
Realising the immediate need for identifying actionable points and putting up a national level Action Plan for Improving Child Sex Ratio, a series of national consultations are being held by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. They provide the platform to engage with regional stakeholders to deliberate on the issue, and to understand the regional perspectives. 
 
The outcomes from the discussions and deliberations will be utilized by the Working Group for drawing up the national-level Action Plan by the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
 
At the first consultation, the participants including Government officials and experts shared their experiences on various issues like Government initiatives taken at the national, state and district levels, challenges in the implementation of the Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) (PC&PNDT) Act, 1994, societal attitude and effectiveness of media in communicating messages to the community. 
 
Different states and Union Territories such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, and Andhra Pradesh will make presentation on their initiatives in tackling falling child sex ratios, and the associated issues and challenges. In the technical sessions, issues related to policies and programmes, laws and legislations, community participation, and advocacy and social mobilization will be deliberated upon, the release added.
 
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GMR Highways commissions Hyderabad-Vijayawada, Hungund-Hospet sections

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GMR Infrastructure Limited today said it had commenced commercial operations on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada section of National Highway (NH)-9 and the Hungund-Hospet section of NH-13, taking its portfolio of operating highways to eight.

The two new projects are expected to generate revenue in the range of Rs. 75 to 80 lakhs per day for the former and Rs. 18 to 20 lakhs per day for the latter, a press release from the company said.
 
The Hyderabad – Vijayawada project was awarded through an international competitive bidding by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on a DBFOT basis with a concession period of 25 years including a construction period of 2.5 years.  
 
The four laning of the 181.5 km stretch has been completed as per requirements and also opened for traffic, the release said.
 
With the completion of four laning of the section, the distance of 260 km will be covered in less than 5 hours compared to 6 to 8 hours prior to the construction. Six new bypasses are developed around the towns of Narketpally, Nakrekal, Kodad, Akupamula, Sher Mohammed Peta and Navabpet which aid in decongesting the towns.
 
Other facilities include service roads on urban stretches of Chittyala, Choutapal, and Suryapet, truck lay bys, bus bays with shelters and rest areas for road users.  Also, 24-hour ambulance and emergency support services are provided for road users, the release said.
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The project highway is part of the NH-9 connecting Mumbai/Pune in Maharashtra with Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, enroute connecting the two major economic hubs of Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada and Hyderabad.
 
It is also a vital link, facilitating east-west traffic movement, connecting the Mumbai – Chennai and Chennai – Kolkata segments of  the Golden Quadrilateral.
 
The Hungund-Hospet highway is part of the NH-13 connecting Sholapur in Maharashtra and Mangalore in Karnataka and provides connectivity between mineral rich and highly industrialized districts of Karnataka and the rest of India . It also links the local industry with Mangalore and Karwar ports for export. 
 
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L&T appoints Thales for systems on Hyderabad Metro Rail

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said it had signed an agreement with Thales, India for providing Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) and Integrated Communications and Supervision (ICS) systems for the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project. 

The CBTC advanced signalling and ICS systems will be implemented for the Hyderabad Metro Rail Lines 1, 2 and 3, covering 72 km of rail and comprising 66 stations, a press release from the company said.
 
“We are delighted to have secured the first CBTC project in India, as this is a landmark contract being the first of its kind in India,” said Mr Eric Lenseigne, Vice President, Thales India.
 
“To also have been chosen for the supervision systems, already present for 10 years in the country, proving our strength in delivering complete and fully-integrated high-tech solutions for all aspects of urban railway projects. These key contracts reinforce Thales’ strong presence in high potential growth markets.” he said.
 
The Thales’ advanced signalling solution, SelTrac CBTC, has been chosen for the L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad project. Thales will design, build, deliver and manage the installation of the SelTrac Communications-Based Train Control solution. More than 30 of the world's largest cities' metro systems use Thales SelTrac CBTC, transporting 3 billion passengers each year.
 
The L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad project will include around 18.5 million sq.ft. of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) in the earmarked P&C areas and depots.. This project is expected to trigger robust economic activity in and around the city and will generate substantial employment.
 
The integrated communications and supervision systems supplied will build on the success of previous supervision projects in India in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Jaipur. Thales will deliver its comprehensive ICS package, composed by Data Transmission, Public Address, Passenger Information Display, Fault Reporting Facilities, Office Automation and Information Technology, CCTV, Access Control and Intrusion Detection, Master Clock, Telephony, Voice Recording and Radio Tetra systems.
 
The greenfield project will be deployed in six stages and will cover three key corridors: Miyapur to LB Nagar; Jubilee Bus Stand to Falaknuma; and Nagole to Shilparaman. Under the integrated coordination of a central control operations facility, trains will operate automatically, with an attendant on board.
 
The Hyderabad Metro Rail Project is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project. Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Limited was awarded the project by Government of Andhra Pradesh. L&T incorporated a special purpose vehicle, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited to implement the project on a design, built, finance, operate and transfer basis.
 
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Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose appointed CJ of AP High Court

Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose

The President has appointed Mr Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, a Judge of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, as the Chief Justice of the same of High Court.

An official press release said the appointment would be with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.
 
Mr Justice Ghose, 60, obtained his B.Com. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Calcutta and enrolled as an advocate on November 30, 1976. He practised in civil, commercial, constitutional and company matters in the Calcutta High Court from 1976.
 
He was appointd as a permanent judge of the High Court at Calcutta on July 17, 1997. He has served as Executive Chairan of the West Bengal State Legal Services Authority and the Andaman & Nicobar State Legal Services Authority as well as a member of the Central Authority of National Legal Services Authority.
 
Mr Justice Ghose was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh with effect from June 25 this year.
 
He is associated with several associations and institutions, and is the Chancellor of the NALSAR Law University, Hyderabad.
 
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Former President A P J Abdul Kalam joins GVK EMRI as Chairman Emeritus

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Former President A P J Abdul Kalam has joined the Governing Board of GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (GVK EMRI), a non-profit organisation that provides integrated emergency response services through the toll-free number 108 in many parts of India, as Chairman Emeritus.

“GVK EMRI 108 is a 'mission of partnership of every human being to remove the pain and give happiness'.  The 108 service should transform into a beautiful life saving mission throughout the nation," Dr Kalam said.
 
Dr. G V K Reddy, Chairman GVK EMRI said the visionary guidance of Dr. Kalam would help the organization add to its capabilities and become a premier provider of reponse services in all kinds of emergencies – medical, police, fire or disasters.  
 
GVK EMRI was started in 2005 with its headquarters in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Its services are being provided in public-private partnership (PPP) with the respective State Governments and is free to citizens.
 
The organisation currently operates over 3700 state-of-theart ambulances in 12 States and 2 Union Territories: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and Daman & Diu, to provide pre-hospital care covering a population of nearly 600 million. 
 
GVK EMRI attends to an average of 12,500 emergencies per day (over 17 million emergencies attended inception) and cumulatively has saved more than 5,50,000 lives since the launch of the services. It provides direct employment to over 19,000 associates.  
 
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AP High Court sets aside life ban on former cricket captain Azharuddin

 
Will not take legal action against BCCI: Azharuddin

The Andhra Pradesh High Court today held as "illegal" and "unsustainable" the life ban imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin twelve years ago after he was accused of match-fixing.

The court set aside the ban imposed on Azharuddin, one of most stylish batsmen and amongst the most successful of Indian captains, as a sequel to the episode involving South African star Hansie Cronje, who was also accused of being involved in match-fixing.
 
A bench consisting of Justices Ashutosh Mohanta and Krishna Mohan Reddy allowed Azharuddin's appeal challenging the order of a local court, which had upheld BCCI's decision.
 
The ban had followed an inquiry by a three-member BCCI committee which had found him guilty of match-fixing charges.
 
Azharuddin, 49, now a Congress Member of Parliament (MP) from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, told newspersons in New Delhi that he was ready to work with BCCI for the development of the game.
 
He said he was happy that his name had been cleared, and made it clear that he was in no mood to pursue legal action or blame anyone for what had happened.
 
"Whatever had to happen has happened. I don't have any complaints", he said, adding that his conscience had always been clear.
 
The BCCI, on its part, said it would study the verdict before deciding on a future course of action.
 
Azharuddin's counsel K Ramakant Reddy had argued before the court that there was no evidence against the cricketer. He also said the BCCI had proceeded against Azharuddin unilaterally and the constitution of the inquiry committee was improper.
 
He said he had no regrets that his career had ended with 99 Test appearances. "Maybe I was destined to play 99 Tests and that is what the Almighty wanted," he remarked.
 
Azharuddin said he wanted to focus on the development of his Parliamentary constituency.
 
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PM calls up Andhra Pradesh CM to offer Central help for flood-affected areas

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday called up Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and offered Central help for the flood-affected areas in the state.

Relief material being dropped by a Navy helicopter in the flood affected-area of North and Central Andhra Pradesh after cyclone ‘Neelam’ on November 6, 2012
Relief material being dropped by a Navy helicopter in the flood affected-area of North and Central Andhra Pradesh after cyclone ‘Neelam’ on November 6, 2012

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called up Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and offered Central help for the flood-affected areas in the state.

Dr Singh directed the Chief Minister to constantly monitor the situation and extend all possible assistance for relief and rehabilitation.
 
He also extended sympathies to those who had lost members of their families in the floods in Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna districts, an official press release said.
 
Meanwhile, Mr Reddy was due to visit the flood-hit areas of the state today, along with Pradesh Congress Committee chief and Transport Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, Civil Supplied Minister Sridhar Babu, other Ministers and officials.
 
Yesterday, Mr Reddy had held a detailed two-hour review meeting with 10 Ministers and top officials on the flood situation, relief measures and related issues at the Secretariat in Hyderabad.
 
The state government has announced an immediate compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh to the families of those killed in the Neelam cyclone and heavy rains.
 
District Collectors have been authorised to sanction houses and expenses for the reconstruction of the damaged houses under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), which would be ratified later. 
 
The Chief Minister also decided that compensation will be paid for the loss of animals to a family without any restriction on the numbers. He directed the officials to take up enumeration immediately of the damages to agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, handloom weavers, roads and bridges and so on, which should be pasted in the gram sabha and verified.
 
As of yesterday, the number of people who died has been put at 24. As many as 1274 houses were damaged and huge tracts of agricultural land inundated.
 
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