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Goa

Parrikar quits as Defence Minister, to be sworn in as Goa CM on Tuesday

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manohar Parrikar on Monday resigned as the Defence Minister and will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Goa on Tuesday at the head of a BJP-led coalition government that will be formed by the party with the support of regional outfits and independent legislators.

Manohar Parrikar
Manohar Parrikar
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manohar Parrikar today resigned as the Defence Minister and will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Goa tomorrow at the head of a BJP-led coalition government that will be formed by the party with the support of regional outfits and independent legislators.
 
"The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has accepted the resignation of Shri Manohar Parrikar, from the Council of Ministers, with immediate effect, under clause (2) of Article 75 of the Constitution," a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
 
Further, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee has also assigned the charge of the Ministry of Defence to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in addition to his existing portfolios, the communique added.
 
Mr. Jaitley held the Defence portfolio as an additional charge in the initial months after the Narendra Modi government assumed office at the Centre in May 2014. He relinquished the charge in November 2014 when Mr. Parrikar, who was Chief Minister of Goa, was shifted to the Centre as the Defence Minister.
 
The Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the elections to the Goa Legislative Assembly, polling for which was held on February 4 and votes counted on March 11, with 17 seats in the 40-member house. 
 
The ruling BJP ended up with 13 seats, with Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and many of his Cabinet colleagues losing their seats. However, the BJP has managed to get support from two regional outfits -- the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward Party -- which won three seats each as well as two of the three independents. 
 
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The 13 BJP MLAs and the other eight legislators met Governor Mridula Sinha yesterday evening and she later invited Mr. Parrikar to form the new government.  
 
Mr. Parrikar will have to be elected to the State Assembly within six months in keeping with the Constitutional requirements. He is currently a member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament, from Uttar Pradesh.
 
For Mr. Parrikar, 61, this will be his third time as Chief Minister of Goa, having first served in that position from October 2000 to February 2005 and then from March 9, 2012 till Novemer 9, 2014. He had also served as Leader of the Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly from June 1999 to November 1999 and from June 2005 to March 2012. In all, he was elected six times to the Goa Assembly since 1994. 
 
He has a B.Tech. in Metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai and was the first IIT alumnus to serve as the Chief Minister of a state.
 
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Assembly elections: Counting of votes to be taken up on Saturday

Counting of votes will begin on Saturday morning in the crucial elections to the State Legislative Assemblies of five States -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa -- and most of the results are expected to be out within a few hours after that.

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Counting of votes will begin tomorrow morning in the crucial elections to the State Legislative Assemblies of five States -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa -- and the keenly-awaited results are expected to have far-reaching implications for national politics.
 
The elections in five States have taken place mid-way through the five-year term of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and just weeks after the sudden decision of the government on November 8 to demonetise Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 banknotes.
 
Polling in Uttar Pradesh -- India's most populous state -- was held in seven phases between February 11 and March 8, while Manipur had polling in two phases on March 4 and 8. Punjab and Goa had single-phase polling on February 4 and Uttarakhand had single-phase voting on February 15.
 
The terms of the Goa, Manipur and Punjab assemblies are due to normally expire on March 18, Uttarakhand on March 26 and Uttar Pradesh on May 27.
 
The Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly has 403 seats, including 84 reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and two for Scheduled Tribes. Punjab Assembly has 117 seats (34 SC), Goa 40 (1 SC), Uttarakhand 70 (13 SC, 2 ST) and Manipur 60 (1 SC, 19 ST).
 
The Election Commission will give out counting trends and results of the elections through its website from 8 am tomorrow.
 
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Among other things, the website will give details such as the number of votes secured by the candidates round-wise and constituency-wise and political party-wise and candidate-wise trends.
 
The website can also be accessed through the main website of the Election Commission of India.
 
For the first time, the Commission will also provide analytics through interactive dashboard in the form of clickable infographics. Users can download data, crosstab, PDF and images for analysing the elections further at their end. It will include comparative analytics between 2012 and 2017. 
 
An official press release said users will get constituency analysis with respect to participation of electors (constituencies with more female electors, constituencies by slabs of voter turnout, turnout by poll days) and candidates (gender wise participants, winners and major competitors). To assess performance of political parties, analysis on seats won by them, the percentage vote-share in the State and the profile (age and social category)of candidates fielded by them have been included. Candidates have been mapped to their constituencies and the votes polled in their favour, it said.
 
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Punjab, Goa go to the polls to elect new legislative assemblies

Punjab and Goa went to the polls on Saturday to elect new state legislative assemblies -- the first two of five states holding crucial elections midway through the five-year term of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and two months after the November 8 demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes.

 
Voters queue to cast their votes amidst tight security
Punjab and Goa went to the polls today to elect new state legislative assemblies -- the first two of five states holding crucial elections midway through the five-year term of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and two months after the November 8 demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes.
 
Voters began queueing outside polling stations in both states from early morning and their numbers were steadily increasing as the day progressed. 
 
Voting, which began at 7 am in Goa and at 8 am in Punjab, will end at 5 pm in both states.
 
Polling also took place today for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, which fell vacant after the resignation of Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh.
 
The Punjab Assembly has 117 seats and the Goa Assembly 40 seats and both states have single-phase polling today.
 
Uttarakhand will have single-phase polling on February 15, Manipur will have polling in two phases on March 4 and 8 and Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state, will have polling in seven phases between February 11 and March 8.
 
Counting of votes in all the five states will be taken up on March 11 and all the results are expected by late evening that day.
 
The terms of the Goa and Punjab assemblies are due to expire on March 18.
 
The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for smooth, free and fair elections in both the states.
 
Punjab has a total of 19879069 voters, including 10503108 males and  9375546 females. There are 1145 candidates in the fray, including 81 women and one of the third gender. The Election Commission has set up 22,615 polling stations across the state.
 
In Goa, there are a total of  1110884 electors, including 546742 men and 564142 women. A total of 251 candidates, including 19 women, are in the fray.  The Commission has set up 1642 polling stations across the state.
 
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is making a determined effort for another term in office in Goa, while the Congress is hoping to come back to power in Goa. The three-party alliance forged by Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Goa Suraksha Manch and Shiv Sena is the other major player in the state.
 
Similarly in Punjab, the Congress is trying to wrest power back from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP combine, which has been in office for a decade.
 
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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the ruling party in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, has gone all out to emerge as the alternative to the established players in both the states.
 
In Punjab, SAD leader and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, 89, is seeking re-election for the sixth time. He will face Capt. Amarinder Singh, the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress, in the Lambi constituency. The Congress leader is also contesting the elections from his traditional seat of Patiala, where his opponent is former Army chief Gen J J Singh, a candidate of the SAD.
 
The Chief Minister's son Sukhbir Singh will face AAP's Bhagwant Mann, MP, who is his party's likely chief ministerial candidate, in Jalalabad.
 
Former Indian Test cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, who joined the Congress weeks ahead of the polls, is contesting from Amritsar East, a part of the Amrtisar Lok Sabha constituency that he represented in Parliament as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for two terms.
 
Prominent candidates in Goa include Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar (BJP) and five former Chief Ministers -- Ravi Naik, Digambar Kamat, Pratapsinh Rane and Luizinho Faleiro (Congress) and Churchill Alemao (NCP). There have been indications that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar might return to Goa as Chief Minister if the BJP retains power.
 
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Seychelles President Danny Faure arrives in Ahmedabad at start of six-day visit to India

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Seychelles President Danny Faure arrived in Ahmedabad on Friday evening at the start of a six-day state visit to India.
 
He is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising two Cabinet Ministers, four Secretaries of State and other senior officials of the Government of Seychelles. A business delegation will also be accompanying him on the visit. 
 
In Ahmedabad, Mr. Faure will visit the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram and the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University before meeting the Governor of the state today.
 
Later in the day, he will reach Goa, where he will have a meeting with the Governor tomorrow before emplaning for Delhi.
 
In Delhi, Mr. Faure will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday morning. This will be followed by a visit to Rajghat to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. 
 
His official engagements include meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind, delegation level talks with the Prime Minister, calls by the Vice-President and the External Affairs Minister, and an address to the India-Seychelles Business Forum.  President Kovind will host a State Banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary. 
 
On Tuesday, Mr. Faure will travel to Dehradun, Uttarakhand, where he will meet the Governor on that day and visit the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy on the next day before returning to Delhi and  then flying back home.
 
"The State Visit of President Faure is part of regular high level exchanges between India and Seychelles, and will accord an opportunity to review our wide-ranging bilateral cooperation including in the fields of defence and security and development partnership," the release added.
 
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IndiGo launches flights from Lucknow to Pune and Goa

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo has announced its maiden flights from Lucknow to Pune and Goa, effective July 2018, becoming the first airline to launch  services on these sectors.
 
A press release from the airline said it would operate daily non-stop flights on the Lucknow-Goa-Lucknow and Lucknow-Pune-Lucknow routes.
 
IndiGo’s average daily departures will now be 25 flights out of Lucknow to 13 destinations, it said.
 
The release said the new flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travellers who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options. 
 
Mr Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to announce the launch of these two sectors from Lucknow, which will further provide more flexibility of choice to our customers. Lucknow continues to hold immense potential for IndiGo and we are indeed happy to be the first airline to operate maiden flights between Lucknow-Goa-Lucknow and Lucknow-Pune-Lucknow. We are providing affordable fares on these new routes for 6E travelers. It is our constant endeavour to provide the best travel experience to our customers, as IndiGo continues to offer them on-time, courteous and hassle-free service and an affordable flying experience always.”
 
IANS
 
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Two Tamil Nadu tourists drown off Goa beaches while clicking selfies

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Two tourists from Tamil Nadu drowned in two separate incidents while clicking selfies at popular Goa beaches, police said on Sunday.
 
According to Police Inspector Jivba Dalvi, Dinesh Kumar Ranganathan, 28, from Vellore in Tamil Nadu drowned when he was clicking selfies along with two other tourists near a rocky stretch located adjoining a creek, which empties into the sea at Baga beach in North Goa.
 
"Two of them managed to come out after a heavy wave pulled all of them into the sea. However, the third, Dinesh, drowned. His body was fished out later," the official said, adding that the incident occurred late on Sunday.
 
The other incident also occurred near a rocky outcrop at Sinquerim beach, also located in North Goa, when a wave pulled Sasikumar Vasan, 33, also a native of Tamil Nadu, into the sea, resulting in his drowning.
 
Post-mortem examinations in both cases have been conducted and the bodies will be handed over to their relatives soon, the police official said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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After three-month absence, Parrikar back in Goa

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at a meeting with senior officials at his residence in Panaji on March 5, 2018.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at a meeting with senior officials at his residence in Panaji on March 5, 2018.
After three months of treatment in a US hospital for advanced pancreatic cancer, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar returned to the state on Thursday.
 
Parrikar, accompanied by members of his family, a medical team and officials of the Chief Minister's Office, flew from US to Mumbai, before arriving in Goa on Thursday evening amid heavy police security.
 
A visibly-thin Parrikar, who walked out of the terminal building at the Dabolim International Airport wearing a blue shirt, was welcomed by Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and Director General of Police Muktesh Chander, among other Goa government officials and state BJP office bearers. 
 
He then headed for his private residence near here.
 
Bharatiya Janata Party sources said, that Parrikar may cancel the meeting of his council of ministers, which was scheduled to be held on Friday.
 
"The Chief Minister is tired after the visit. The cabinet meeting which was scheduled to be held at his private residence, may be rescheduled," a senior BJP functionary said.
 
Parrikar was shifted to the US in March this year, after being diagnosed for advanced pancreatic cancer. He was first admitted to the Lilawati Hospital in Mumbai in February, after he complained of stomach pain.
 
IANS
 
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Parrikar back in India, to reach Goa in evening

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at a meeting with senior officials at his residence in Panaji on March 5, 2018.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at a meeting with senior officials at his residence in Panaji on March 5, 2018.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was being treated in a US hospital for advanced pancreatic cancer since more than three months now, returned to India on Thursday afternoon and is expected to arrive in Goa later this evening, a BJP leader said.
 
Parrikar, accompanied by members of his family, a medical team and officials of the Chief Minister's Office, flew from the US to Mumbai, from where he will be taking a connecting flight to Goa, a party official said.
 
Additional police personnel have been deployed at Dabolim International Airport ahead of the Chief Minister's return.
 
Parrikar is expected to chair a meeting of the state's council of ministers on Friday.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Former Goa Congress chief Shantaram Naik dead at 76

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Shantaram Naik (File photo: IANS)
Shantaram Naik (File photo: IANS)
Former Goa Congress President and two-time Rajya Sabha MP, Shantaram Naik, died of a massive heart attack on Saturday, a party leader said. He was 76.
 
Girish Chodankar, who replaced Naik, as state Congress president in April told IANS from Panaji: "Naik passed away around 6.30 a.m."
 
"He complained of chest pain, after which he was rushed to a private hospital in Margao town," Chodankar said. He was declared brought dead at the Trimurti hospital.
 
Naik's last rites would take place on Sunday at 10.30 a.m. at his native village Cuncolim in south Goa, he added.
 
Congress President Rahul Gandhi condoling the death, said: "I'm sorry to hear about the passing away of Shri Shantaram Naik, former Goa Congress Chief, MP and senior Congress leader, who played an important role in the battle for Goa's statehood. 
 
"My condolences to his family in their time of grief. May his soul rest in peace," Gandhi tweeted.
 
Naik, who headed the Goa Congress until recently, represented the state in Rajya Sabha for two consecutive terms -- from 2005 to 2011 and from 2011 to 2017. 
 
Beginning his political career in 1967, Naik joined the Congress as a party worker and successfully contested the North Goa Lok Sabha seat in 1984.
 
He was also instrumental in the passage of the bill that led to Goa's statehood on May 30, 1987.
 
IANS
 
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Delhi minor dies in Goa hotel swimming pool, management booked

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A nine-year-old boy from Delhi has drowned in a hotel swimming pool at the popular Calangute beach village, a police official said on Thursday.
 
The incident occurred late on Wednesday night, said Jivba Dalvi, the Officer In-charge of the Calangute Police Station, adding that the victim was holidaying in Goa along with his parents.
 
"We have booked and lodged a case against the resort management under Section 304-A (negligence) of the Indian Penal Code for their negligent manner in maintaining the swimming pool by not providing any pool attendant or life guard there," Dalvi told reporters here.
 
The boy had wandered into the pool, without the knowledge of his parents, he said.
 
The body was handed over to the parents on Thursday, after the post-mortem examination was conducted, Dalvi said ruling out any foul play.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Rise likely in levels of rivers in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala due to heavy rainfall

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The Ministry of Water Resources has said there is a likelihood of a rapid rise in water levels in various river basins such as west-flowing rivers between Tapi and Tadri, Godavari and its tributaries near the west coast, Krishna and its tributaries near west coast, Cauvery and its tributaries near west coast as well as in west-flowing rivers between Tadri and Kanyakumari because of the heavy rainfall forecast for the region.
 
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a forecast yesterday saying that heavy to very heavy rainfall was likely at a few places with extremely heavy fall at isolated places over Konkan and Goa, Madhya Maharashtra during June 7 to 12. It said heavy to very heavy rainfall was also likely to occur over Coastal Karnataka today and throughout Karnataka during June 9-11. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is also likely to occur at isolated places over Kerala during June 9-10.
 
Due to the forecast of very heavy rains in and around Mumbai and advance of Southwest monsoon causing tidal waves, there is likelihood of inundation in some of the heavy rainfall affected urban areas of Mumbai city, a press release from the Ministry said.
 
Rivers having source in the Western Ghats and flowing into the Arabian Sea may witness flash floods in association with the forecasted rainfall. Since most of the rivers are dry, necessary precautions to control the activities along the river bed may be taken as flow may increase suddenly, drowning men and materials, it said.
 
Due to the expected rainfall, River Damanganga and its tributaries are expected to rise in Nasik district of Maharashtra, Valsad district of Gujarat and Daman district in the  Union Territory of Daman and Diu, it said.
 
River Godavari is likely to rise in upstream reaches in the district of Nasik, Ahmednagar and Aurangabad. River Krishna and its tributaries are likely to rise in upstream districts of Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Pune, Sholapur in Maharashtra as well as in Bagalkote, Vijayapura and Kalaburagi districts on Krishna and in Chikmagaluru, Shivamogga and Bellari districts on river Tungabhadra in Karnataka. 
 
Since almost all the dams are in very low level, this rain may give inflows into various upstream reservoirs, the release said.
 
Rivers flowing west into the Arabian Sea south of Tapi in Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka are also likely to rise and inundate areas in Raigad, Thane, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra and in Uttara Kannada, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts in Karnataka. Traffic along the old road and rail bridges in Konkan Railway along these river reaches have to be regulated accordingly, it said.
 
River Cauvery and its tributaries in upstream reaches in Kodagu, Chikmagaluru, Hassan and Mysuru districts of Karnataka and Wayanad district of Kerala are likely to rise in association with the rainfall. 
 
However, as the dams in the basins have sufficient storage, the expected rainfall may give some inflows into these reservoirs depending on the severity of the rainfall, the release added.
 
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Goa Minister Madkaikar suffers brain stroke, undergoes surgery in Mumbai

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Goa Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar underwent a surgery on Tuesday in Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital after he suffered a brain stroke, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said.
 
"Madkaikar has suffered a brain stroke. I am going to see him accompanied by the Medical Superintendent of the Goa Medical College so he can co-ordinate. His surgery was conducted today morning," Rane told IANS.
 
Madkaikar had been in the firing line over the last few weeks over massive power cuts across the coastal state.
 
On Sunday, Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress leaders had complained that several areas in North Goa had suffered blackouts for hours after the power department shut off electricity to relocate high tension transmission lines from near a real estate plot to favour a builder.
 
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar spoke to Madkaikar late Monday, asking the Minister to ensure that power failures should be curtailed to less than one hour.
 
IANS
 
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Goa minister suffers stroke, admitted to Mumbai hospital

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Goa Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar has been admitted to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital in Mumbai after he suffered a stroke on Tuesday, a BJP official said here.
 
"The minister, who was in Mumbai since Monday, has suffered a stroke and he has shifted to the Kokilaben hospital for treatment," the official said.
 
The party is expected to issue an official statement soon.
 
Madkaikar had been in the firing line over the last few weeks over massive power cuts across the state. 
 
On Sunday, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress leaders had protested, complaining that several areas in North Goa had suffered blackouts for hours after the power department shut off electricity to relocate high tension transmission lines from near a real estate plot to favour a builder.
 
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had spoken to Madkaikar late Monday, asking the minister to ensure that power failures should be curtailed to less than one hour.
 
IANS
 
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Governor an important link in the federal structure, says Kovind

 
Kovind, Naidu, Modi attend Governors' Conference
 
 
President Ram Nath Kovind today said as per the Constitution, the Governor occupies an exalted place in the scheme of governance as a mentor and guide to the state government and an important link in the federal structure.
 
Delivering the inaugural address at the two-day Conference of Governors and Lt. Governors at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mr Kovind said, “The people of the state view the office of the Governor and the Raj Bhavan as a fount of ideas and values.
 
He said in the previous conference, various issues related to infrastructure, public services, higher education in the States and skill development were discussed and extremely useful and valuable suggestions were received.
 
A Committee of Governors constituted at that meeting had submitted its report in January. The report envisages the role of Governors as “Change Agents” in society, he added.
 
Mr Kovind said that, while drafting the agenda for the Conference, the central focus has been to sensitise the participants to the programmes being implemented for the benefit of those citizens who have been left behind in the development journey.
 
“As many as 115 Aspirational Districts, across various states, have committed themselves to speedy development. There will be a presentation and discussion on the schemes being implemented in these districts. Understanding this background will help you guide a spectrum of stakeholders in their efforts to work for the welfare of the poor, women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, farmers and young people.
 
“There are approximately 100 million people in our country who belong to the Scheduled Tribes. A majority of this population lives in regions that are covered under the Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. As Governors, you can help in the shaping of a roadmap for the betterment of lives of our fellow citizens, who have not benefited as much as expected from our development journey,” Mr Kovind said.
 
Referring to the youth, he pointed out that 69% of all universities were under the purview of state governments. About 94% of students enrolled for higher education study in these universities. Governors are the Chancellors of most of these universities.
 
In their capacity as Chancellors of state universities, it is for them to provide the necessary impetus and inspiration to these institutions and to enhance the level of scholarship. With the instruments of their office and with their rich experience in public life, Governors are ideally equipped for this responsibility, he said.
 
The President said the Governors can help ensure that admissions of students and appointments of teachers in state universities are completed well in time and in a transparent manner. They can also help ensure that examinations, declaration of results and convocations take place as scheduled. It is for them to inspire state universities to maintain this discipline and integrity.
 
The Conference will discuss important thematic issues in various sessions which include briefings and presentations on flagship programmes of the Government and on internal security; higher education in state universities and skill development for employability; steps taken on the report of Committee of Governors, constituted during the 48th Conference of Governors; and commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
 
A special session on Union Territories will also be held on June 5 at which Lt. Governors/Administrators of Union Territories will discuss the status of implementation of various flagship programmes.
 
Apart from the Governors and Lt. Governors of all States and Union Territories, the Vice-President, Prime Minister, Union Ministers of Home Affairs, External Affairs, Human Resource Development, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Minister of State for Culture and the Vice-Chairman and CEO of NITI Aayog and other senior officials from various Ministries are participating in the Conference.
 
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Election defeats have hit BJP, may look for new allies: Naqvi

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Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi admitted on Sunday that recent electoral reverses have affected the BJP and that it will look for new allies if needed ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
 
Asked whether the Bharatiya Janata Party would need the support of allies, especially regional outfits, for the general elections, Naqvi said the BJP was committed to alliance partners right from the tenure of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
 
"We are completely committed to the federal system. Therefore we would like our allies to stay with us. If we need more allies, we will look for new allies. We have not put up a 'no entry' sign," Naqvi said.
 
He said that the allies who had left the ruling National Democratic Alliance in recent times could also return to the fold.
 
On the defeat of BJP candidates in recently by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states, Naqvi said: "If I say that the by-election defeat has not impacted us, it would be wrong."
 
But the losses would help the BJP to deal with the "unholy and anarchist" alliances more strongly and effectively, he added.
 
"When you are on the battlefield and you understand the tactics and strategy of your opponents, it is easier to contest. We have the experience (of bypolls) now and it will make it easier for us (to strategise and win)."
 
The Union Minister, who was in Goa for the 'Transforming India' campaign, also expressed concern about the farmers' agitations across the country, saying there were issues related to the agriculture sector which needed to be addressed.
 
"We have to address and solve the issues. Therefore, we cannot say that in four years we will solve all the past problems. Yes, still some challenges are there. But we will correct the challenges and solve the problems," Naqvi said.
 
IANS
 
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Air India Goa flight makes emergency landing in Mumbai

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An Air India flight from Goa made an emergency landing at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport here on Monday following a hydraulic failure, official sources said.
 
The flight AI-662 managed to land safely at 9.18 p.m. on the main runway which was closed for all other operations.
 
All flight operations were diverted to the secondary runway for around half an hour as the passengers were evacuated from the aircraft.
 
There are no reports any injuries to the passengers or the crew on board.
 
Normal flight operations resumed on the main runway by 9.40 p.m.
 
IANS
 
 
 
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INSV Tarini, with all women-crew, completes historic circumnavigation

 
INSV Tarini withh all-women crew completes global circumnavigation
 
 
Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Tarini, with an all-women crew, entered Goa harbour and came alongside the INS Mandovi jetty today to complete a historic global circumnavigation voyage.
 
This was the first ever attempt to circumnavigate the globe by an Indian all-women crew.
 
The crew was received at the jetty by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who had also flagged them off on the journey on September 10, 2017.
 
Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral A R Karve, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, senior officers and enthusiastic members from the naval community both serving and retired, as well as civilians were present at the Naval Boat Pool to welcome INSV Tarini.
 
It was a poignant moment for the “Navika Sagar Parikrama” team which included a number of naval personnel who worked behind the scenes from the time of origination of the idea of circumnavigation by an all- women crew, right through the planning, implementation and training till the successful execution of the voyage. 
 
The women crew themselves were ecstatic on completion of the voyage. Speaking at the occasion, the skipper, Lt Commander Vartika Joshi said, “We knew at the very start of this voyage that we had a daunting task ahead. However, the many challenges we encountered brought in a new found strength from within, which we ourselves never knew we were capable of. Our close bonding helped us overcome those difficult times.”
 
It was also a time for happy reunion of the crew with their families after a period of over eight and a half months.
 
Apart from Lt Cdr Joshi, the crew comprised Lieutenant Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Sitharaman said she felt humbled by the achievement of the crew.
 
"It’s not the girls achieving, it’s the youngsters from India achieving. The women of this country have shown that it is possible for the youngsters, if they want to do something, that they can indeed do it, by showing commitment, grit and dedication," she said.
 
Admiral Lanba said, “The grit and determination displayed by these young women officers would definitely encourage future generations to take on daunting challenges and strive for success."
 
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During her 254-day voyage, the vessel covered over 22,000 nautical miles, visiting five countries – Australia, New Zealand, Falkland Islands (UK), South Africa and Mauritius. In each of these countries the crew received a rousing welcome both from the Indian diaspora as also from the local community. 
 
During the course of her voyage, the vessel has met all criteria of circumnavigation -- crossing the Equator twice, crossing all longitudes, as also the three great capes (Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope). The expedition was covered in six legs, with halts at five ports: Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), Cape Town (South Africa) and Port Louis (Mauritius).
 
The crew and the vessel encountered rough seas on numerous occasions during the voyage. The extremely cold climate coupled with stormy weather conditions especially in the Southern Ocean made their highly daunting and challenging. The vessel also witnessed winds in excess of 60 knots and waves up to 7 meters high, whilst crossing the Pacific Ocean. 
 
The indigenously-built INSV Tarini is a 56-foot sailing vessel, which was inducted in the Indian Navy in February 2017, and has showcased the ‘Make in India’ initiative on the international forum.
 
The crew also collated and updated meteorological, ocean and wave data on a regular basis for accurate weather forecast by India Meteorological Department (IMD), as also monitored and reported marine pollution on the high seas. They interacted extensively with the local populace, especially children, during the port halts to promote ocean sailing and the spirit of adventure.
 
The women officers will be proceeding to New Delhi shortly, where they will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
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Invite us to form government, Congress tells Goa Governor

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The Congress in Goa on Thursday demanded that Governor Mridula Sinha follow in the footsteps of her Karnataka couterpart Vajubhai Vala and invite the Congress, which emerged as the single largest party in the Assembly after the 2017 elections, to form the government in the coastal state.
 
"If the Karnataka Governor can invite the Bharatiya Janata Party, the single largest party to form the government, why can't the Goa Governor invite the Congress, the single largest party in Goa, to form the government here? Why two critieria for two states? Why double standards?
 
"We request Her Excellency to follow big brother Karnataka Governor and invite the Congress to form the Goa government to recitfy a wrong," Congress state President Girish Chodankar told reporters.
 
The BJP's Goa unit dismissed the Congress demand as an "act of frustration".
 
"The BJP alliance in Goa has an absolute majority. The Congress is frustrated because the party is being wiped out in India. Therefore, they are making wild allegations," BJP state General Secretary Sadanand Shet Tanavade told reporters here.
 
The BJP won 13 seats in 2017, compared with 17 of the Congress.
 
However, after swift political manoeuvering, the BJP staked claim to power with two regional parties and independent MlAs and formed a coalition government after getting the nod from Sinha.
 
In Karnataka, BJP's B.S. Yeddyurappa was sworn in as Chief Minister by Governor Vala on Thursday morning, despite protests from the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular, which formed a post-poll coalition to bid for power in the southern state.
 
IANS
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Cargo hubs to be developed at new airport in Mopa, Goa

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A joint team of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Commerce Logistics Department will visit Goa on May 7-8 to facilitate the development of cargo hubs at the new airport to be constructed at Mopa in Goa. 
 
The team will meet Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industries to work together in order to leverage the advantages the State offers in terms of connectivity to the coastal belt of Western India, an official press release said.
 
The four coastal states in the western part of the country -- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Goa -- will benefit greatly from the biggest airport, after Mumbai,to be constructed in Mopa.
 
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu had announced last week that Goa will become a logistics hub of India after a second airport becomes functional in 2020 in the state. 
 
The two airports in Goa, at Dabolim and Mopa, will help position the State as a logistic hub, he said.
 
Mopa airport will have  capacity to handle 30 million passengers annually as well as cargo. The Minister stated that the cargo policy to be announced by the Government of India will help to contribute 40 % of India’s GDP from global trading. 
 
Dabolim airport will also be upgraded with an investment of about 600 crores, the release added.
 
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India, US hold third round of Maritime Security Dialogue in Goa

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India  and the United Stated discussed developments in the maritime domain in the Indo-Pacific Region and exchanged views on ways to further strengthen bilateral maritime security cooperation at the third round of their Maritime Security Dialogue held on April 30-May 1 in Goa.
 
The two sides also reviewed the implementation of the decisions taken during the previous Maritime Security Dialogues, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
The Indian delegation to the dialogue was led jointly by Dr. Pankaj Sharma, Joint Secretary (D&ISA), Mr. Munu Mahawar, Joint Secretary (AMS), Ministry of External Affairs and Ms. Richa Misra, Joint Secretary (Navy), Ministry of Defence.
 
Mr. David Helvey, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs and Mr. Daniel Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs led the US side. 
 
The next round of the Dialogue will be held in the US on mutually convenient dates, the release added.
 
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Girish Chodankar appointed as president of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi today appointed Mr. Girish Chodankar as the new president of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect.
 
"The part appreciates the hard work and contribution of Shri Shantaram Naik, who will be stepping down from his responsibility of PCC President of Goa," a press release issued by AICC General Secretary Ashok Gehlot said.
 
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Cabinet approves MoU on cooperation in regulation of medical products for human use in BRICS countries

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The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of regulation of medical products for human use among the medicine regulatory agencies of the BRICS countries.
 
The MoU would facilitate better understanding about the regulatory aspects between the parties and could help in increasing India’s export of medical products to BRICS countries, an official press release said.
 
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Martin's Corner: The little store that became a local legend

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(This is the second of two exclusive extracts from "Secret Sauce", an in-depth look at 40 of India's most iconic and successful restaurants, not just as landmarks and must-visit destinations but also as businesses that have stood the test of time and upheld their standards of dining and culinary excellence. From a 100-year-old no-frills eatery in Bengaluru to an award-winning dine-out venue in Delhi, from inventive cafes to nationwide chains that have scaled admirably, this book is a sumptuous treat for aspiring food entrepreneurs, foodies, and anyone interested in the success secrets and inner workings of the restaurant business in India. The extracts are reproduced with permission from the publisher, Harper Business.)
 
The parking attendants at Martin's Corner usually have an extra duty to perform. Often they are summoned by diners who want to be photographed at the entrance to the restaurant, ensuring the signage is very much in the frame. To "check in to" Martin's Instagram images of its famous prawn balchao or post photos clicked outside this restaurant is to announce that you have dined at one of south Goa's most famous landmarks.
 
Martin's didn't begin life as the large 280-seater that it now is, occupying the ancestral home of the owners and spreading out as a stylishly designed expansion into what was originally the front yard. It was, as the name suggests, a humble grocery store at the corner of a home in the sleepy village of Betalbatim, lazing amidst coconut groves and jack trees. The home belonged to Martin Pereira who, in 1986, retired from the Mormugao Port Trust and wanted to find an avenue of income which would also keep him occupied. His wife, Carafina, who still heads the kitchen at the restaurant, told us: "He gave me Rs 5,000 and asked me to do something with it. That was our entire initial investment."
 
She opened a little grocery store and, being a keen cook, started serving a few Goan dishes like sausage bread and sorpotel. "There was just one table," remembers Carafina Pereira. The taste of the food won the locals over and slowly, customers began to trickle in. Also, fortuitously for the Pereiras, the Majorda Beach Resort opened nearby and their staff came to Martin's Corner for their meals after their shifts, compelling the owners to keep the place open till 2 a.m. Word of mouth saw even the taxi drivers come by and, later, they began bringing over tourists for an authentic taste of Goan food at great prices.
 
As the business grew, the Pereiras decided to convert their sprawling home into a proper restaurant, moving across the road, where they now live in three swank bungalows, and also start a hotel. Carafina still keeps a room in the ancestral home for herself and rests there in between her kitchen duties.
 
The conversion of the home to the restaurant has been done most tastefully, with the use of wood and earth, reflecting the earthiness of the locale and the cuisine.
 
Carafina's home-style food, created with stone-ground masalas, fresh seafood, beef and pork may have brought in the crowds, but Martin's Corner's big boom was yet to come.
 
Some time in 1990, Sachin Tendulkar mentioned on a TV programme that Martin's Corner was one of his favourite restaurants anywhere in the world. While big brands paid crores to India's much idolised cricketers to endorse them, one statement had done the trick for Martin's. The trickle of customers that had become a steady flow suddenly became a deluge. Celebrities came by the hordes -- Aishwarya Rai, Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Ravi Shastri and a host of others.
 
Sachin Tendulkar's appreciation of Martin's Corner was not a fleeting thing. He so loved the food that when he launched the now-defunct Tendulkar's restaurant in partnership with Sanjay Narang in Mumbai, he introduced the Martin's Corner king crab masala fry on the menu and gave credit to the original. His chefs trained at Martin's Corner as well. Even now, whenever Tendulkar -- whose in-laws have a holiday home in Goa -- comes to dine, he carries away masalas for Goan classics.
 
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Martin's Corner may attract celebrity clientele and a huge number of tourists -- most travel guides list it as a must-visit in Goa -- but it also ensures locals are catered to. Therefore, the restaurant is protected from the vagaries that businesses dependent only on in-season tourists are. Martin's, in fact, is shut only on one day of the year, Good Friday. On other days, there are waiting crowds to fill the 280 seats in this huge restaurant. Customers spend an average of Rs 700-800 per head. So, do the math.
 
Keeping the business that their parents built intact and growing it are the three brothers, Pobre, Bonny and Jose. They tell us the expansions have been funded mostly from revenues and the occasional bank loan. All decisions regarding expansions and operations are taken by the three brothers in consultation with their mother. She is the axis around which the business of Martin's Corner revolves.
 
She asks nothing more of them than that they remain together always. In fact, the three brothers almost always have lunch together at the restaurant. They say they have refused various offers to start branches in Goa and outside mainly because it would mean one of them would have to go away and manage the new restaurant -- and their mother doesn't want them ever to be separated. Obedient sons that they are, they have complied.
 
From this tightly-knit family has come one of Goa's most popular restaurants and a business that's a big revenue earner. But in their shorts and tees and with their unassuming air, Bonny, Jose and Pobre look nothing like suave restaurateurs. One of them goes to the market every day to choose the fish that will go into the shark ambotik, the prawn curry and the mussels masala rava fry -- all star dishes on the menu. They themselves source the toddy that is allowed to ferment in massive vats to become vinegar, a key ingredient in Goan cuisine. Carafina is finicky when she buys chillies from the same supplier in Margao market season after season.
 
Goan food is at the heart of this menu, but it's also scattered, somewhat incongruously from a purists' point of view, with chicken manchurian, harabara kebab and beef stroganoff. It was only 10 years ago that the menu went multi-cuisine, mainly to cater to the swelling throng of tourists. But Carafina is clear that Goan food is their signature. Sitting there, in a niche -- she is apparently not too fond of the attention -- this tough woman, now sixty-nine, who has helmed a restaurant for nearly three decades, has a serenity about her. Her day begins at 7.30 a.m. and ends at 11 p.m. "I love it," she says.
 
Outside, there's live music, a group of tourists celebrating a birthday with lobster and towers of beer, locals drinking coco loco, a feni cocktail, and tucking into their beef assad and the happy buzz that is unique to successful restaurants. It's easy to tell why Sachin Tendulkar loves this place and its king crab masala fry.
 
(Jayanth Narayanan is an entrepreneur and restaurateur. Priya Bala is a food writer and critic with several years of experience in studying restaurants. In 2016, they co-authored "Start Up Your Restaurant: The Definitive Guide for Anyone Who Dreams of Running Their Own Restaurant".)IA
 
IANS

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Goa to be developed as cargo hub, says Prabhu

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The Central government, in collaboration with the state government and private partners, is working on promoting Goa as a tourism destination as well as a cargo hub, according to Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu.
 
Addressing mediapersons at Dabolim Airport yesterday after the inspection of ongoing renovation work, Mr Prabhu said that, with Mopa airport scheduled to commence operations by September 2020, the state will have two airports capable of handling passenger traffic up to 30 million.
 
Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik, State Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte and Transport Minister Sudin Dhavalikar were also present on the occasion.
 
Mr. Prabhu said renovation work worth Rs 300 crore is going on at Dabolim airport. He said that, by July, a new multi-layer parking complex will become operational. At Dabolim airport, one counter will be allocated to Goa Tourism Department to operate taxi services and another to the state government for sale of local products, souvenirs, and vegetables.
 
Cargo transportation facility will help farmers access the international market, he said.
 
Under the Skill Development and Startup India initiative, Civil Aviation Ministry is in talks with the representatives of World Bank and other major institutions to promote Goa as a market destination, he added.
 
Major airlines including Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa are interested to be part of such efforts in India. There is a huge job requirement in civil aviation ministry and other sectors also. These initiatives are imperative for the overall development of the State.
 
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East Bengal pip FC Goa to reach Super Cup final

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East Bengal rode on a late strike from Dudu Omagbemi to defeat FC Goa 1-0 to reach the final of the inaugural edition of the Hero Super Cup football tournament here on Monday.
 
Nigerian striker Dudu scored the winner in the 78th minute. East Bengal now await the winners of the second semi-final between arch-rivals Mohun Bagan and JSW Bengaluru FC which is to be played on Tuesday.
 
In the first semi-final, the first half ended goalless. East Bengal had better chances with Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna missing the first real chance of the half in the 19th minute but he failed to tap in a cross from inside the box by teammate and Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa.
 
A minute later Dudu broke free from an Al Amna flicked header but with just the goalkeeper and Hero of the Match Laxmikant Kattimani to beat, he hit straight at him.
 
A lot of the Goan attack came down the right wing through Mandar Rao Dessai but the Goans were unable to find any joy.
 
Katsumi Yusa then missed two gilt-edged chances in the 33rd and 35th minutes. 
 
FC Goa also had a chance in added time but Ferran Corominas' shot hit the post from an acute angle after his solo run. Corominas tricked his way into the opposition box and released a left footed effort at goal. However, the goalkeeper got a touch to his shot to keep it out. But the tenacious striker got to the ball and attempted to curl it in from a tight angle from the left but the ball ricocheted back into play off the post.
 
It was Goa who started slightly better in the second period. Edu Bedia found Corominas with a sublime lobbed pass in the 49th minute. The striker ran on to the ball but his run was cut off well by an East Bengal defender.
 
East Bengal continued to press hard for a goal in the second half and Dudu and Katsumi again missed golden opportunities to score between them -- the Nigerian being the more profligate. Dudu couldn't get his head on to a superb cross in from the left despite diving forward.
 
Goa's best chance of the match came in the 59th minute when Edu displayed spectacular vision to find the run of Amey Ranawade. The diminutive full back beat the offside trap and found himself one on one with the goalkeeper who reacted beautifully to make the save from the full back. 
 
The deadlock was finally broken in the 78th minute when another quality cross from the left flank by Katsumi found Dudu who tapped in past Kattimani.
 
Meanwhile, FC Goa captain Eduardo Bedia was sent off in the second half after receiving his second yellow card of the match.
 
Afterwards, it was easier for East Bengal to control the game and see off the match.
 
East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil admitted that he was a bit worried about his team not being able to "capitalise on the early chances in the match".
 
"I was very worried about this match. FC Goa had five players suspended and I was very much hoping that we convert early. We had our chances but weren't able to put it in," he said. "But we won it and it's a nice feeling to make it to the final."
 
Meanwhile, FC Goa Coach Derrick Pereira certified that his "players combined well".
 
IANS
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