Goa to be developed as cargo hub, says Prabhu

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

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".
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India should set up astronomical observatory in Antarctica: Somak Raychaudhury

India has been an active player globally in polar research, having established research stations in both the Antarctic and the Arctic.
Now it should take steps to set up an astronomical observatory in Antarctic which is an ideal location for making observations.
Leading Indian astrophysicist and director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Professor Somak Raychaudhury, made this suggestion while delivering the Foundation Day lecture at the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research NCAOR) here on Thursday.
“Polar regions are important for astronomy. Many countries already have astronomical observatories in Antarctica and India should also do so. The absence of water vapour and thin atmosphere of Antarctica make it an ideal place for astronomy, especially observing the infrared and microwave radiations,” Raychaudhury said.
At present, America, Australia and China ave astronomical observatories in Antarctica. The US was among the pioneers to begin astronomical observations from an observatory at its Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station. Now it has three 10-meter South Pole Telescope  (SPT) telescopes. The University of Texas and Beijing Astronomical Observatory jointly built the Antarctic Survey Telescopes (AST3) at the Antarctic Kunlun station in 2012. The same year, University of New South Wales, Australia also established High Elevation Antarctic Terahertz telescope in collaboration with University of Arizona.
India began exploring Antarctic with its first expedition in 1981 and since then 37 expeditions have been launched. The country’s first Antarctic base “Dakshin Gangotri” was established in 1983-84 in ice shelf of East Antarctica. At present, India has two permanent research bases - “Maitri” and “Bharati”. In addition, India has a research station called “Himadri” in the Arctic and Himansh in Himalaya. These high latitudes and cold desert regions are considered ideal for astronomical research as well.
Raychaudhury emphasized the importance of mega multi-national astronomy projects like Thirty Meter Telescope, Square Kilometre Array, Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) for Indian astronomers. With collaboration of many Indian institutes, the IndIGO consortium was formed in 2009 to set up advanced experimental facilities of gravitational-wave astronomy.
LIGO, he said, would open a new window on the universe with observation of gravitational waves from colliding black holes. The gravitational wave detector being built in India is likely to be ready by 2025. It will measure waves in the fabric of space and time. Acquiring suitable land in a remote inhabited place was a major challenge as the observatory should be away from all disturbances. Land has already acquired for this in Maharashtra.
India’s participation in various mega projects is a golden opportunity for researchers to carry out international work in astronomy and astrophysics. IUCAA is a forum for promoting astronomy and astrophysics in Indian universities and institutes. “We need young researchers from various fields of science for building the detector and to look at data from different angles for advance studies once the Indian arm of LIGO becomes operational,” said Raychaudhury.
Dr. M. Ravichandran, director, (NCAOR), said the institute has collaborated with dozens of research and academic institutes for polar research in the past and would be open for collaborative studies in the field of astronomy as well. 
(India Science Wire)
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Super Cup: FC Goa down ATK 3-1 to move to quarters

FC Goa proved to be too hot for ATK as they beat them 3-1 to advance to the quarter-finals of the Super Cup here on Tuesday.
Goa drew first blood through Spanish forward Ferran Corominas (45'+1') in the dying moments of the first half.
ATK came back stronger in the second half to equalize via their captain cum manager Robert Keane (50') but a couple of strikes within a span of 10 minutes from Goa through Hugo Boumous (69') and Brandon Fernandes (77') ensured that the Goan team faces their Hero Indian Super League opponent Jamshedpur FC in the quarterfinal encounter.
The first half of the game began on an attacking note, with ATK managing a corner within the first minute but a poor shot ensured they stay eluded from gathering a lead early in the game.
The Keane-led Kolkata outfit went on to show their intent, consistently attacking on the Goan post, twice getting extremely close, but the lack of a good finish denied them from an early lead.
Goa started on their forward move a little late but the story wasn't much different at their end as well, until a pass from Brandon Fernandes to their unmarked Spanish forward Ferran Corominas (45' + 1'), ensured that the Goan team stamp their authority in the game taking a lead during injury time.
The first half of the game came to an end with FC Goa leading 1-0 against ATK.
The second half began with ATK again leading the attack with an equalizer in the 50th minute from their captain. Thereafter ATK kept pressing hard for a lead but the Goan defence did not allow them to break in.
Goa again started slowly but struck early when a brilliant lofted pass from Corominas at the center line to French Hugo Boumous in the 69th minute, saw the French make a beautiful run to the ATK box making no mistakes in finding the back of the net bringing back FC Goa in the lead.
It also struck through Brandon Fernandes in the 77th minute to ensure it finished the game with a 3-1 win.
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Multi Modal Logistic Park at Balli near Madgaon Station in Goa inaugurated

Trade and industry are expected to greatly benefit from the economic transport solutions and state of the art facilities at the newly inaugurated Multi-Modal Logistics Park at Balli Station near here on the Konkan Railway route.
The park was set up with an investment of Rs 43 crore as per the MoU entered between Konkan Railway and Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR). It was inaugurated by Konkan Railway CMD Sanjay Gupta and   Container Corporation Director P K Agarwal on March 28.
The distance between JNPT port of Mumbai and Goa is around 650 km. At present, containers from Goa reach JNPT via road in 30-40 hours. After completion of the Container Depot at Balli, the containers could reach JNPT within 16 to 18 hours which will not only save the time but also cost of transportation, congestion on the road and last but not least save the fuel which in turn would reduce pollution, an official press release said.
The trade and industry in Goa will greatly benefit from the economic transport solutions and state-of-the-art facilities that CONCOR will be provided in partnership with Konkan Railway at this facility. In the first year of operations itself, the facility is likely to generate an additional source of revenue for Konkan Railway, it said.
The facility is initially spread over 81,300 square meters with a scope for expansion as the traffic may grow in future. This Logistics Park will be able to handle both Domestic and Exim Container Traffic. In addition to container traffic, commodities transported by both open and covered wagons can also be handled from here.
About 5,000 square meters of Customs Bonded Warehousing space is also being created and a host of value-added services like stuffing, repackaging etc will be available to its users, the release added.
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Income Tax offices to remain open on March 29, 30 and 31

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) today said Income Tax officers throughout the country will remain open on March 29, 30 and 31 to enable taxpayers to file their belated returns for Assessment Years 2016-17 and 2017-18 by March 31, the last date for filing such returns.
The last date for filing belated returns for Assessment Years 2016-17 and 2017-18 and revised returns for Assessment Year 2016-17 is March 31, 2018.
The Financial Year 2017-18 closes on 31st March, 2018 which is a Saturday, when Income Tax offices are normally closed, while March 29 and 30 are also closed holidays this year.
"Therefore, to facilitate filing of Income Tax Returns and completion of associated work, all Income Tax Offices throughout India shall remain open on 29th, 30th and 31st March, 2018, respectively. The ASK Centers will also be kept open on these days. All efforts will be made to provide assistance to taxpayers and to facilitate filing of returns by them," an official press release added.
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Goa Shipyard delivers second AOPV to Sri Lankan Navy

Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) has delivered the second Sri Lanka Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (SL AOPV) to the Sri Lankan Navy at a ceremony at Vaddem, Vasco da Gama on Thursday, 25 days ahead of schedule.
An official press release GSL had an unparalleled track record of delivering ships ahead of schedule in the last four years.
The vessel will be the largest and most advanced ship in the Sri Lankan Navy fleet, it said. This is the fourth Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) delivered in the current financial year. 
The ceremony was attended by High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Mrs Chitranganee Wagiswara, Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Navy Rear Admiral N B J Rosayro, Chairman & Managing Director of GSL Rear Admiral (Rtd) Shekhar Mital, directors and senior officials of Sri Lankan Navy, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and GSL.
The SLOPV Project for building two large size ships is one of the most significant defence cooperation projects between India and Sri Lanka and one of the largest export contracts being executed by GSL currently for any friendly country. The keel of the vessel was laid on May 9, 2015 and was launched on May 2, 2017.
With this, the shipyard has succeeded in reducing build period of 2,500 Tonnes OPV to nearly three years from over five years taken till about three years ago. Sri Lanka Navy Ship (SLNS) Sayurala, the first AOPV of the series delivered in July 2017 ahead of contractual schedule, is performing exceedingly well and has received positive feedbacks for GSL for the build quality and state-of-the-art machinery.
Rear Admiral (Rtd) Mital said “This state-of–the-art and largest ship in the Sri Lanka Naval fleet will help meet the increasing requirement of the Sri Lanka Navy for undertaking policing and patrolling of its vast Exclusive Economic Zone.” 
“Great care, attention and forethought have gone in ensuring that this vessel is built to highest standards and the same has been validated in the harbour and sea trials, where ship has achieved all design specifications, to the satisfaction of our special friend Sri Lanka Navy," he added.
While thanking GSL for delivering two vessels ahead of schedule to Sri Lankan Navy, Mrs Wagiswara said “The delivery of ships to Sri Lanka Navy ahead of schedule shows the excellent shipbuilding talent of GSL staff and its leadership. These deliveries of warships not only immensely enhance the Naval capabilities of Sri Lanka Navy, but also strengthen the close links between Sri Lanka and India.”
Goa Shipyard has a unique distinction of delivering all the ships ahead of contractual schedule and has been officially adjudged as the ‘Best Performing Shipyard’ by the Ministry of Defence, besides being the largest exporter shipyard of the country. The turnover of GSL has grown nearly three times with profits rising from (-) Rs 60 crore to over Rs 220 crore in the last four years, the release added.
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Parrikar to go to Mumbai for check-up, may travel abroad for treatment

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 hospitalised for a week in a Mumbai hospital in February, will travel to Mumbai again today for a "further medical check-up" and, based on doctor's advice, may also go abroad for treatment, his office said.
"Hon’ble Chief Minister @manoharparrikar will be travelling to Mumbai today for further medical checkup and based on doctor’s advice may travel overseas for further treatment," the Chief Minister's Office said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Mr. Parrikar, 62, was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai on February 22 and discharged from there on February 22. His office had said at that time that he was under monitoring for his inflamed pancreas. During that period, the hospital had issued a statement saying that he was responding well to the treatment.
Soon after beind discharged, Mr. Parrikar had attended a session of the Goa Legislative Assembly on the same day and made a brief speech while presenting the State budget.
"For complete recovery, I have been advised by the doctors some precautions in the immediate short term. During this period, my interaction with the public will be limited. However, I will be discharging my regular duties and obligations as the Chief Minister of the State," he had said in a statment that day, February 22.
On February 26, he was admitted in the Goa Medical College Hospital for mild dehydration and discharged on March 1.
Before leaving for Mumbai, Mr. Parrikar met senior ministers as well as the state chief secretary and director general of police at his private residence here this morning.
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FC Goa co-owner Virat Kohli launches the Forca Goa Foundation

FC Goa today launched the Forca Goa Foundation ahead of the team's last home game of the league stage of the Hero Indian Super League against ATK at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.
Forca Goa Foundation is a multi-programme NGO that provides grassroots training to children and uses football as a vehicle for positive development in the state.
Co-owner of FC Goa and Indian national cricket team captain Virat Kohli attended the match as a show of support for the Gaurs as well as to extend his heartfelt support to the launch of the foundation. On the occasion, he unveiled the special edition FC Goa jersey that the team has chosen to adopt at today’s match against ATK to show their solidarity with the Forca Goa Foundation’s mission of a better future for Goa.
The Gaurs will steer away from their traditional blue home kit and will sport a brand new jersey with the brand colours and logo of its sister organisation for the last home game of the league stage against ATK. The idea behind the change in the jersey colour and design is also to generate awareness about the foundation amongst spectators and fans.
The Forca Goa Foundation aims to use the common culture of Football to bring the community together, and by empowering the community, they aim to bring about positive change in Goa to co-create a more sustainable future. The foundation is working towards positive development of the state.
Speaking  on the occasion, Virat Kohli said, “The change in jersey is a symbolic representation of the whole club showing our solidarity and pledging our continued support to creating a robust ecosystem for football. This is a unique venture for us and I am extremely happy to be a part of this journey. Goa is one of the biggest football hubs in the country. The Forca Goa Foundation’s main aim is to use this sport that we all love, to help the community and society at large to work together, in order to build a better future for the next few generations. Additionally, with the help of the Foundation, we hope to inspire more children, irrespective of gender to take up the sport and train and groom them into thorough professionals.”  
Jill Ferguson, MD, Forca Goa Foundation, said, “The Forca Goa Foundation is incredibly grateful to have a sister organization like FC Goa, a club with a vision for the future that believes in investing in the youth. Currently we have nine home-grown players in the first team squad, and I believe through the efforts of the Foundation’s holistic grassroots programmes we will be able to increase that number over time. I believe that together both FC Goa and the Forca Goa Foundation, with the support of our community, can make a lasting difference in the lives of young Goans.”
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Football: FC Goa looking for first ever win against ATK

FC Goa go into their final home league game of the season against defending champions ATK tomorrow with an excellent opportunity to move one step closer to making it to the semi-finals of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL).
Sergio’s charges rallied to take a point from the defending champions away in Kolkata after a series of unfortunate events in January, but their campaign took a disastrous turn following that. 
Irish marquee signing Robbie Keane scored the opener early on and it was cancelled out by Manuel Arana mid-way through the first 45 minutes. For the home side, a win will take them into the top four and give them an advantage going into the final league game of the season against Jamshedpur FC.
Naveen Kumar has been a revelation since making his debut for the club. He kept the team’s first clean sheet of the season in 16 games against an in form FC Pune City and will definitely continue in goal for the side. Bruno Pinheiro has been struggling with injury in the last couple of weeks and looks unlikely to be fit in time to face the Kolkata franchise.
Sergio Juste has stepped into his shoes and has done a good job for the team alongside Ali Mohammad. Seriton Fernandes and Narayan Das will continue to occupy the full back positions.
FC Goa will be without the services of midfield anchor Ahmed Jahouh who is suspended for this match. Pronay Halder deputized for Edu Bedia who was absent in the last match and did a fine job for the team. Edu will be back for Goa against ATK and will most likely partner Pronay in midfield. Brandon Fernandes was also absent from the last fixture through injury and it will be interesting to see if Sergio gives the Goan winger a start against Kolkata. 
Mandar Rao Dessai will start on the left side along with Moroccan attacker Hugo Boumous who has netted twice in two starts so far. Manuel Lanzarote took his goal tally to 9 for the season after his goal against the Stallions and will be looking to increase that number against Kolkata. Up front, Ferran Corominas will resume his attending duties after adding two more goals to his tally in the last match.
The Gaurs have never beaten ATK in the history of the competition and will be looking to change that statistic going into this encounter. With the men in red and white struggling for form, the Goans will hope they can finally get one up on their rivals.
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Indian Arrows confident of signing off in Hero I League on a positive note

Indian Arrows, the developmental side of All India Football Federation, will look to finish their Hero I-League 2017-18 campaign on a high when they take on Mohun Bagan at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Tuesday.
The youngsters are coming into the game on the back of a 0-3 loss, which, incidentally, was their heaviest defeat of the campaign as no team had beaten them by more than two goals until that point.
On the other hand, Mohun Bagan are lying at the fourth spot on the table with 24 points from 15 matches.
However, the general impression is that these under-18 players have punched above their weight, especially with other teams fielding quality foreign players.
“When I analyse the season, I am very satisfied with the performance of the players of the Indian Arrows. Fifteen points with a team with average age of 16.9 is very unique,” Indian Arrows coach Luis Norton De Matos said.
“I never knew a team of 16 years old in the professional league who made 15 points and fight with the same level as the other teams and always fighting for victory," he added.
However, they would look to put in a strong performance against the 2014-15 Hero I-League winners who currently sit fourth in the table. The reverse fixture in December ended in a 1-1 draw where the Kolkata giants failed to beat a 10-man Indian Arrows back in their backyard.
“Indian Arrows are much more talented and the coach is very knowledgeable. We have to fight tomorrow,” Mohan Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakraborty said.
He feels that Arrows have gone from strength to strength, “I found that in the initial stages of I-League, Arrows played counter-attacking football. When the game started, the move started from the back. But now, they play open football. That means the players have that kind of quality to adapt in these couple of months. It is not easy to do that.”
Mohun Bagan have been in excellent form on the road. They are undefeated in all their away matches so far, comprising three wins and three draws.
It remains to be seen if they can maintain their record with all three of their final games being away from home. After the Arrows test, they go up against Churchill Brothers FC and Gokulam FC.
“We have been playing very good football in our last a few matches. In some games, we failed, but we came back in the last couple of matches”, Chakravorty added.
Chakraborty conceded that playing in the inaugural Super Cup would be a motivation for Bagan but he said that they will take it one game at a time.
With the Hero I-League season ending in a few days time, Matos suggested that it was important for the players to recover.
“The principal focus was the development. We proved that it was a very good decision to put these players and plan at this level. The progress is evident. Now it is important for the players to recover,” the Portuguese coach said.
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Football: FC Goa stun FC Pune City 4-0 in Hero India Super League

FC Goa on Sunday put up a stunning display to blank a ten-man FC Pune City 4-0 in the Hero India Super League (ISL) at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune, keeping their first clean sheet of the tournament.
Manuel Lanzarote opened the scoring in the 28th minute from the penalty spot, sending Vishal Kaith the wrong way. The Gaurs did well to keep the home side out in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead into the break. 
The men in white came out all guns blazing in the second period and doubled their lead through Hugo Boumous in the 47th minute. Two became three in the 58th minute when Ferran Corominas ran through on goal and netted a superb goal at the far post. He then stepped up to take the Gaurs’ second penalty, slotting it past Kaith once more after Sarthak Golui handled Mandar Rao Dessai’s 65th minute cross. Pune skipper Marcelinho was sent off for his second yellow after a poor foul on Pronay in the 80th minute.
It was a good start for the Gaurs who pressed from the start in a must-win game. They kept the ball well in midfield and pressurized the home side. Lanzarote had the first chance in the match when he cut back from the right flank on to his left foot and curled an effort at Vishal Kaith’s goal. However, the shot lacked any power and Kaith collected easily. 
Pune had a chance in the 11th minute when Lanzarote fouled Marcelinho near the byline on the left side. The Brazilian stepped up and curled an indirect free kick towards the far post where Sahil Panwar rose highest to head goalwards. However, the ball ricocheted off the upright and deflected out of play.
Lanzarote had another opportunity to give his side the lead in the 19th minute after the Gaurs were awarded a free kick in a promising position. The Spaniard’s curled effort flew inches wide of the near post. The Gaurs were pouring forward at every opportunity in a bid to take the lead but the final ball was lacking. In the 25th minute, neat play between Coro and Seriton Fernandes saw the former play the latter through with a superb ball. The full back charged into the box and hit a low cross towards Boumous who charged into the box but the ball was cleared in time.
Three minutes later though, the Gaurs were ahead. This time Coro was played in down the right and the Spaniard put in another low ball towards the young Moroccan midfielder who was taken out by Adil Khan in his attempt to hit the ball. The referee pointed to the spot immediately. Lanzarote stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to give the men in white an important lead.
The home side began to put pressure on the Goans after going a goal down. Goa were struggling to keep the Stallions in check as Marcelinho troubled the defence on a number of occasions. The Brazilian could have restored parity to proceedings in the 41st minute after Diego Carlos passed the ball to him inside the box. He let the ball come to his preferred left foot and released a superb low shot aimed at the far post. However, Naveen Kumar got down quickly to make the stop. As the half petered to a close, the Gaurs should have had another goal. 
With Pune bombing forward, they were prone to the counter-attack and Coro almost hurt them with the clock running down quickly. Coro received the ball in midfield and charged forward. Boumous made a run along the left flank, received a pass from the Spaniard and then put in a superb low ball. Coro got to the ball and hit a shot goalwards but the shot was blocked by Kaith to keep the deficit down to only one. At the other end, Pune could have had an equalizer from Diego Carlos’ shot from the right side of the box but his shot was blocked. Not long after, the referee called time on a frenetic first period.
Sergio’s men came out firing on all cylinders in the second period and should have doubled their lead within a minute of the restart. The Gaurs charged down the middle, Boumous made a superb run through the lines, took the ball, ran to the byline and then cut back on to his stronger right foot. He then dinked a superb ball towards Lanzarote who was three yards from goal. The Spaniard however, hit his shot straight at Kaith as the chance went begging. It should have been the second and Pune got a massive let off. A few seconds later, Boumous struck the post with a thunderous shot from just outside the box. 
The early pressure finally paid off for the Gaurs. Coro received the ball in the box and kept his calm to square the ball for Boumous who ran into the box. The Moroccan dodged the challenge of a defender and calmly slotted the ball into the net with his left foot from a few yards out.
The Gaurs continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded once more. A superb flowing move saw Boumous flick on a scintillating ball into space for Coro to run on to. The Spaniard showed superb pace to get to the ball, charge into the box and then shoot the ball into the net at the far post. Pune were struggling to keep pace with the Goans and the defence was constantly under pressure. Mandar Rao Dessai should have made it 4-0 in the 61st minute after Coro threaded a stunning through ball for the Goan winger. Vishal Kaith however, came running off his line and the Goan tried to chip him but couldn’t get enough elevation to beat the keeper.
The Gaurs did however, make it 4 not long after when Mandar was played through on the left once again. His attempted cross came off the hand of Sarthak Golui and the referee pointed to the spot once again. This time Coro stepped up and smashed his penalty past Kaith who dived the right way but couldn’t get a hand on the ball. 
The Gaurs had stepped up a level and were attacking with supreme prowess while Ranko Popovic’s men were struggling to contain them.
Things went from bad to worse for the Maharashtrian side after Marcelinho’s poor foul on Pronay in the 80th minute. The referee pulled out a second yellow and sent the Brazilian off without hesitation. The Gaurs exercised caution in a bid to keep their first clean sheet of the tournament and kept possession, moving the ball around well. 
With a man down, the Stallions were not able to get the ball off the Goans and chances were far and few as FC Goa protected their lead vigorously and ended the game with their first clean sheet.
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Football: Frincis saves the day for Churchill Brothers on his debut

Churchill Brothers secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw over Gokulam FC in their Hero I-League encounter at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Saturday which helped the Red Machines find some breathing space after three frustrating losses on the trot.
Henry Kisekka (72?) opened the scoring for Gokulam Kerala FC before an injury-time strike from Frincis Onyeama Okechukwu (90’+2?) salvaged a point for Churchill Brothers at their home ground.
With 17 points, Churchill Brothers now move to the eighth place over Chennai City FC who drop down to ninth after suffering a heavy defeat to Kingfisher East Bengal this afternoon.
With relegation staring at them, Churchill Brothers introduced new foreign signings Jeancy Zunapio Siyo and Frincis Onyeama Okechukwu straight into the team.
In this crucial lower-half of the table clash, both teams started strong with no hesitation in taking each other on.
Gokulam defender Daniel Addo lost possession near the half-way line while Onyeama picked it up and ran down the flank before squaring it to Zunapio but the forward ended up missing a sitter In the 10th minute.
In the first half hour of play, Gokulam were the side dictating the tempo as they had the bulk of possession and stretched the home side. Churchill suffered a massive blow when Osagie Monday went down with an injury.
The Churchill captain was soldiering on until that point but he could not carry on and had to be replaced by Pawan Kumar.
Churchill kept fending off Gokulam forays and Provat Lakra had a go at goal which was saved by James Kithan. It turned out to be a 0-0 stalemate at half-time.
Churchill Brothers started the second half with a serve. The likes of Ceesay, Frincis and others were clicking better as the game opened up. However, it was Gokulam again who created a goal-scoring chance.
Their under-22 player Arjun Jayaraj ran clear on the left but his chip was met with a close-range save by Kithan.
In a bid to force the issue, Alfred Fernandes introduced Nicholas Fernandes and Bektur Talgat.
However, Bino George also made a crucial change as he took off Kivi Zhimomi and introduced Mahmood Alajmi. It turned out to be an inspired substitution as the silky skills of Alajmi was on full display.
After gliding around the field and looking for openings in the Churchill defence, the Bahrain man finally found one.
Arjun Jayaraj engaged in a brilliant one-two with striker Henry Kisekka where the youngster laid it off for Kisekka to do the final damage work and the visitors were 1-0 up in the 72nd minute.
They came close to scoring again when Jayaraj’s thumping header hit the crossbar much to the respite of the Red Machines.
However, Churchill did not give up and Onyeama salvaged a point in the added minutes. The fresh recruit did not let Alajmi overshadow him as he struck a solo goal.
Oneayama weaved his way through the Gokulam defence and rounded up Bilal twice to slam home the equaliser.
Gokulam will next face defending champions Aizawl on March 2 away from home and Churchill Brothers will host Mohun Bagan on the next day.
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Football: Gaurs looking for win to keep semi final hopes alive

The Gaurs will travel to Pune to take on FC Pune City in the  Hero India Super League (ISL) at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune as their hopes of qualification to the next round of the competition hang by a thread. 
Sergio Lobera’s men will be hoping to turn their luck around and win the next three games and qualify for the playoffs after being winless in their last five encounters. 
They have also scored only one goal in their last three games, with Spanish striker Ferran Corominas on a mini goal drought. The Stallions took all three points from the Gaurs when they visited two days before Christmas and will be hoping to secure their qualification by doing the double over the Gaurs.
Naveen Kumar has established himself between the sticks after replacing Laxmikant Kattimani and has put in some good performances, despite the team not winning. He looks set to continue in goal behind a central defensive pairing of 
Ali Mohammad and Bruno Pinheiro. Sergio Juste started the match against Chennaiyin FC and could make an appearance if needed. Seriton Fernandes and Narayan Das will continue on either side of the central defenders.
In midfield, Ahmed Jahouh has been at the heart of everything for the Gaurs and he will start against Pune alongside Hugo Boumous who scored a superb solo goal in the Gaurs’ last encounter. He will take the place of Edu Bedia who is suspended from this match. Manuel Lanzarote returns to the squad after serving his one match suspension and will be flanked by Mandar Rao Dessai and Brandon Fernandes. Manvir Singh is also an option from the bench.
Coro will want to cement his place at the top of the scoring charts and pull ahead of second placed Miku, breaking his goal drought in the process. Mark Sifneos is an option should he be needed.
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New-look Churchill positive about ending Kerala's fairy-tale run

Churchill Brothers  face a tough challenge against giant-killers Gokulam FC who are one of the most in-form teams in the Hero I-League right now.
The two come face-to-face at Churchill’s home turf, the Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Saturday.
The 2-3 victory that Churchill Brothers recorded in the reverse fixture in January had helped them turn around their season. The Goan club was beginning to climb up the ladder with a string of wins before hitting a rough patch which saw them lose three straight games.
“We are in such a position that the reputation of the club and the players are at stake. We are in a hole which we ourselves have created. All the remaining three matches are literally like final for us,” Churchill Brothers coach Alfred Fernandes said on the eve of the match.  
The deflating defeat against Indian Arrows was followed by losses against Neroca FC and Chennai City.
"The three games were a lesson to us and we know what we have to do now, starting tomorrow,” Churchill captain Osagie Monday said.
The former I-League champions are just one point above tenth-placed placed Indian Arrows who suffered a defeat to reigning champions Aizawl FC today.
Meanwhile, Gokulam FC has hit the right chord at the right time and their five wins out of six in the last six rounds are one of the best in the division.
In their last three matches against the top guns, they have beaten Mohun Bagan (1-2), East Bengal (2-1) and Minerva Punjab (0-1).
“Our first aim is to play a very good game here. We don’t have any pressure so we can play freely. We can put hundred percent in the matches,” Gokulam FC coach Bino George reflected.
The Kerala side have rocketed to the seventh place in the table with 19 points from 15 matches.
“My target is that we badly need to play the Super Cup. I saw that in the last two-three matches, the boys have been giving their full effort. We came here, we will work hard and fight for the points. Churchill have always been a good side,” he added.
There is still a lot left to play for Churchill as they are only three points adrift of Gokulam in the points table.
“Gokulam have been playing very good football. No wonder they have beaten all the big teams. It is very tough playing a team who are on song. But the boys are motivated,” Alfred suggested.
Gokulam coach conceded that his team is highly motivated. “We badly need a team from Kerala. Now people have started following us. For the last six years, there has been no team from Kerala in the I-League. Kerala have a lot of good talented boys and this is a platform for them,” he said.
Fernandes said that the club have roped in two new foreigners to stem the rot."Yes, we have got two new strikers to strengthen our attacking options. Siyo Zuniappo (Congo) and Francis Oneyama (Nigeria) have joined the team to replace Koffi Mechac and Kalu Ogba, respectively."
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Centre sanctions new project to control pollution of River Sal at Navelin, Goa

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has sanctioned a new project to control pollution in River Sal at Navelim town in Goa.
The project, to be implemented under the National River Conservation Plan, will cost Rs. 61.74 crore, with the Centre and the State sharing the cost on a 60:40 basis, an official press release said.
Under the project, around 32 kms of sewers will be laid and a sewage treatment plant of 3 million litres per day (MLD) constructed. The project is scheduled for completion by January, 2021, it said.
The project will help in reduction of pollution load in the river and improvement in its water quality, besides improving the environment and sanitation in the town, the release added.
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Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban launches smart star-rating for Garbage Free Cities

Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, along with Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, launched the ‘Protocol for Star-Rating of Garbage-Free Cities’ here yesterday.
The initiative, developed by the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban will be rating cities on a 7-star rating system based on multiple cleanliness indicators for solid waste management, which will include door to door collection, bulk generator compliance, source segregation, sweeping, scientific processing of waste, scientific landfilling, plastic waste management, construction and demolition management, dump remediation & citizen grievance redressal system, and so on.
Cities would be rated as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 star based on their compliance with the protocol conditions specified for each of the ratings. The city should be ODF (Open Defecation Free) before it could be given the rating of 3 stars or above.
While cities may self-declare themselves as 1-star, 2-star or 4-star, MoHUA will carry out an additional verification through an independent third party to certify cities as 3-star, 5-star or 7-star. Cities will need to get recertified themselves every year to retain their star-status.
The most significant feature of the rating protocol is that it provides stakeholders with a single metric to rate a city’s cleanliness, rather than separately evaluating multiple factors which contribute to a city’s overall cleanliness and garbage free status.
The SMART rating (Single metric, Measurable, Achievable, Rigorous verification, Targeted towards outcomes) is characterized by trust and verify model and sustainability (progressive and to be recertified every year). 
The protocol will involve the participation of all stakeholders and common people to aspire for higher grading in cleanliness. The Swachh Survekshan survey run by the SBM Urban for the past three years has successfully built up a spirit of healthy competition among cities, vying with each other every year to improve their ranking as compared to other cities.
The distinctive feature of Star Rating System will be that many cities can have higher stars as compared to only one city can be “Cleanest city” under Swachh Survekshan.
SBM-Urban’s objective of achieving a ‘clean India’ is encapsulated in the vision statement of the star-rating protocol, stating that “All cities achieve “Garbage Free” status wherein at any point of time in the day, no garbage or litter is found in any public, commercial or residential locations (including storm drains and water bodies) in the city (except in litter bins or transfer stations); 100 % of waste generated is scientifically managed; all legacy waste has been remediated and city is scientifically managing its municipal solid waste, plastic waste and construction & demolition waste.
Additionally, there must be a steady reduction in the waste generated by the city and visible beautification. It is expected that the Star-rating initiative will be another effective tool for achieving the objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission of “Open Defecation Free and Garbage Free India”
Mr. Puri pointed out that Goa, being a young and a vibrant state given its socio-economic profile, had immense potential in the affordable housing sector. Therefore, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Urban (PMAY-U) is an important mission to cater to the overall demand for affordable housing in the state.
The housing demand statistics registered in the PMAY-MIS indicates that there is housing demand for about 5,000 houses across the entire State in all 14 Urban Statutory towns included in the PMAY (U) Mission.
Demand for about 1000 houses has been already registered in the CLSS component of PMAY (U) in Goa. Due to its vast tourism-led economic activities, the facility of CLSS can be widely availed by the Aspirational class in EWS, MIG and LIG categories in the State of Goa.
As of now, 61 beneficiaries have already availed an interest subsidy of Rs 1.28 crore in their home loan accounts under CLSS of PMAY (U). The state has been requested to focus on MIG category for availing subsidy under CLSS due to its large working population.
The 2011 Census has also reported 4,846 slum households in three towns (Ponda, Mormugao and Margao). The State Government has been requested to take up projects under In-Situ Slum Redevelopment projects (ISSR) component of PMAY (U) for making the cities clean and providing a dignified living to slum households.
The State government has assured to bring project proposals under BLC component during the coming CSMC scheduled to be held on January 31. Goa has been requested to ensure budgetary provision matching with the Proposals/ AIP and to ensure availability of encumbrance free land for meeting the demand for houses.
The State has also been requested to opt for a technology-neutral bidding process for adopting modern, innovative and green technologies and building materials, an official press release said.
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Indian Navy's Mig29K aircraft crashes at Goa airport, pilot ejects safely

Navy's Mig-29K aircraft goes off runway, catches fire in Goa
A Mig29K aircraft of the Indian Navy, with a trainee pilot, veered off the runway while taking off, crashed and burst into flames at the Goa airport around noon today, but the pilot managed to eject to safety, official sources said.
"External fire extinguished. Efforts in hand to localise & extinguish internal fire onboard the MiG29k  aircraft," the spokesperson of the Navy said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
He said flight operations at the Dabolim airport were affected for some time, but had since resumed. Some flights were diverted to other airports in between.
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Coast Guard commissions Offshore Patrol Vessel ICGS Sujay

Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) “Sujay”, the last in the series of six 105m Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) was commissioned by ICG Director General Rajendra Singh in Goa today in the presence of senior officers from the Coast Guard, the chairman and managing director of Goa Shipyard Limited and other senior dignitaries of the Central and State Government.
The ship will be based at Paradip, Odisha under the operational and administrative control of Commander, Coast Guard Region (North-East).
The OPV has been designed and built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Ltd and is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries. The features include 30mm CRN 91 Naval Gun, Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS), Power Management System (PMS) and High Power External Fire Fighting System. The ship is designed to carry one twin engine Light Helicopter and five high speed boats including two Quick Reaction Inflatable Boats for swift boarding operations, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol. The ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea, an official press release said.
The ship draws 2350 tons (GRT) propelled by two 9100 KW diesel engines to attain a maximum speed of 23 knots and has an endurance of 6000 NM at economical speed. The sustenance and reach coupled with the latest and modern equipment and systems provide her the capability to perform the role of a command platform to accomplish all Coast Guard charter of duties, it said.
The ship, on joining Coast Guard fleet at Paradip, will be deployed extensively for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard Charter, to safeguard the maritime interests of India. Presently, Indian Coast Guard has a fleet of 134 ships and boats and 66 ships and boats are at various stages of construction at different shipyards in India.
ICGS Sujay is commanded by Deputy Inspector General Yoginder Dhaka and manned by 12 officers and 94 men.
"The commissioning of ICGS Sujay will enhance the Indian Coast Guard’s operational capability to discharge the multifarious maritime tasks. The induction of a sophisticated and state-of-the-art OPV will give a fillip to the maritime protection of our vast coastline of Eastern Seaboard in general and the maritime state of Odisha and West Bengal in particular," the release added.

Rear Admiral Sandeep Beecha takes over as Commandant, Naval War College

Rear Admiral Sandeep Beecha took over the reins of the Naval War College from Rear Admiral Monty Khanna, as its third Commandant, at a ceremonial parade held at INS Mandovi, Goa on Wednesday.
The Naval War College is an iconic institution facilitating higher education, war gaming and cutting-edge research on maritime security and warfare at strategic and operational level.
Rear Admiral Beecha is an alumnus of Naval Academy and commissioned in the Indian Navy on July 21, 1986. He is a Navigation and Direction Specialist. He has commanded CGS C-05, INS Ajay, INS Vindhyagiri, INS Rajput and has earlier served as Commanding Officer of INS Mandovi.
His staff appointments include Joint Director Staff Requirements, Naval Assistant to the Vice Chief of the Naval Staff and Principal Director Foreign Cooperation, all at Naval Headquarters, New Delhi.
The officer has undergone the Principal Warfare Officers (PWO Basic) Course at HMS Dryad (UK), the Staff Course at the Defence Services Staff  College, Wellington and the Naval Higher Command Course at Mumbai. 
He is a post graduate in Defence Studies and holds the degree of MSc in Strategic Studies, an official press release said.
He has also served in the capacity of Naval Adviser at the High Commission in London from September 2012 to March 2016. On promotion to Flag Rank, the officer was appointed as the Flag Officer Gujarat Naval Area from March 30, 2016, to November 28, 2017.

'120 Beats Per Minute' wins Golden Peacock at IFFI 2017, Parvathy is Best Actress

Minister of Tourism, Uttar Pradesh, Rita Bahuguna Joshi presenting the Silver Peacock Award for the Best Actor (Female) to Parvathy Thiruvoth for the Malayalam film TAKE OFF, at the closing ceremony of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2017), in Panaji, Goa on November 28, 2017.
Minister of Tourism, Uttar Pradesh, Rita Bahuguna Joshi presenting the Silver Peacock Award for the Best Actor (Female) to Parvathy Thiruvoth for the Malayalam film TAKE OFF, at the closing ceremony of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2017), in Panaji, Goa on November 28, 2017.
Morocco-born French director Robin Campillo’s drama film ‘ 120 BPM’ or ‘120 Beats Per Minute’ won the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded here today.
The film, set in France in the 1990s deals with homosexuality and the AIDS epidemic. The film, starring Nahuel Perez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois and Adele Haenel, had its world premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. It had its India premiere at the IFFI 2017. 
The Indian Film Personality of the Year Award was presented to Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan amidst thunderous applause at the closing ceremony. 
The Golden Peacock Award carries a cash prize of Rs 4 million to be shared equally between the producer and the director, a trophy and the citation. 
Chinese director Vivian Qu won the Best Director Award for her 2017 film ‘Angels Wear White’. The film is about the travails of two teenage girls who are assaulted by a middle aged man in a seaside town in China. Vivian’s hard hitting social drama provides a social context for violence against women. 
The Best Director got the Silver Peacock Award and a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million.
The Best Actor (Male) Award went to Nahuel Perez Biscaryat for his portrayal of AIDS activist Sean Dalmazo, an effective member of ACT UP to represent all the horror of the epidemic in the French film ‘120 BPM’ . A caring lover and firm in his beliefs, Sean isn’t simply an ideologue, but someone who binds his activism to the strongest will to live. 
The Best Actor (Female) went to Parvathy Thiruvoth for her portrayal of a nurse who wages a battle for the release of her husband held hostage by the rebel army in war-torn Iraq in Mahesh Narayanan’s Malayalam film ‘Take Off’. Parvathy, who made her Bollywood debut with Qarib Qarib Singlle, has won many awards and accolades including the Kerala State Film Award and Filmfare award. 
Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Smriti Irani presenting the Indian Film Personality of the Year Award to Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, at the closing ceremony of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2017), in Panaji, Goa on November 28, 2017.
Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Smriti Irani presenting the Indian Film Personality of the Year Award to Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, at the closing ceremony of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2017), in Panaji, Goa on November 28, 2017.
Both Best Actor Male and Female were honoured with the Silver Peacock Trophy and a cash prize of Rs 1 million each.
Mahesh Narayan also walked away with the Special Jury Award for Take Off, which was his directorial debut, which focused on the dramatic rescue of Indians trapped in Tikrit. Survival films is a genre of cinema in which one or more characters find themselves pitted against seemingly insurmountable odds and have to look within themselves to find the strength to escape/survive. 
The Special Jury Award carried a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million, a Silver Peacock Award and a citation. 
Bolivian director Kiro Russo won the Silver Peacock for the Best Feature Film. Russo’s debut film ‘Dark Skull’ offers a darkly beautiful subterranean study in atmosphere and mourning. 
Manouj Kadaamh’s Marathi film ‘Kshitij’ won the ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal. The criteria for the Gandhi Medal reflect UNESCO’s fundamental mandate of building peace in the mind of men and women, particularly human rights, intercultural dialogue, promotion and safeguard of diversity of cultural expressions. 
One of Canada’s most celebrated art house directors, Atom Egoyan was honoured with the IFFI 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, consisting of a cash prize of Rs 1 million, certificate, shawl and a scroll is conferred upon a master film maker for his /her outstanding contribution to cinema. 
Egyptian born French Canadian filmmaker Egoyan’s work often explores themes of alienation and isolation, featuring characters whose interactions are mediated through technology, bureaucracy or other power structures. Egoyan's films often follow non-linear plot structures, in which events are placed out of sequence in order to elicit specific emotional reactions from the audience by withholding key information. His films have been presented in several retrospectives across the globe. ‘Exotica (1994) ’, ‘The Sweet Hereafter (1997)’ and ‘Remember (2015) were screened at IFFI 2017. 

Three dead, 10 injured as Vasco da Gama-Patna Express derails near Manikpur in UP

3 dead, 10 injured as Vasco da Gama-Patna Express derails in UP
Three people died and ten others suffered injuries as 13 coaches of the 12741 Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express derailed near Manikpur railway station in Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh early this morning.
The accident occurred at around 0418 hours when the train was passing through Manikpur railway station in Allahabad division of North-Central Railway, about 250 km from here, after passing the starter signal, railway sources said.
The injured were admitted to hospitals at Manikpur and Chitrakoot, they said.
All the stranded passengers were moved to Allahabad in the unaffected coaches of the train, which left at 0725 hours from the spot. 
A special train will be arranged from Allahabad for the passengers of the affected coaches to travel to Patna, the sources said.
The derailed coaches were the ninth to the 22nd coaches -- S3 to S11, two general coaches and two extra coaches, the sources said.
Uttar Pradesh Police identified two of the deceased passengers as Deepak Patel and his father Ram Swaroop of Betiya, Bihar. Both of them died on the spot, while a third passenger succumbed to his injuries in hospital, they said.
An accident relief train from Allahabad was rushed to the spot and senior railway officers had reached there to oversee rescue and relief operations.
Movement of trains on the Patna-Allahabad section was affected for some time as a consequence of the accident. The Railways said normal traffic had been restored on the route, with the first Up train passing through Manikpur at 0810 hours and Dn train at 0835 hours.
The Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 5 lakh for the next-of-kin of those who died in the accident, Rs. 1 lakh for those with  grievous injuries and Rs. 50,000 for those with simple injuries.
The Railways have set up the following helplines for passengers and their relatives:
Allahabad 0532-2408149/2408128/2407353
Patna  0612-2206967
Mirzapur 05442-220095/ 220096
Jabalpur 0761-2677746
Mughalsarai 05412 - 254148
Satna 07672 - 228510
Katni 07622-297468

Shah Rukh Khan to attend IFFI opening, Salman Khan to grace closing ceremony

Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh and Salman Khan will grace the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively, of the  will be the special guest at the inauguration of the 48th International Film Festival of India, 2017, to be held in Goa from November 20-28.
As many as 195 films from 82 countries will be screened at the festival, which has been accorded Grade "A" status by the International Federation of Producers' Associations (FIAPF).
These will include 10 world premieres, 10 Asian and international premieres and 64 Indian premieres, an official press release said here today.
The festival will open with the much talked about new feature, “Beyond The Clouds” from acclaimed filmmaker Majid Majidi and presented by Namah Pictures and Zee Studios and close with the world premiere of the Indo Argentinian co-production “Thinking of Film” directed by Pablo Cesar. 
A galaxy of noted industry professionals, international guests, dignitaries and film celebrities will attend the opening and closing ceremonies and other events at the festival, the release said.
The press and delegate screenings that will kick off on November 21 will also see the opening of the Indian Panaroma section, which will be inaugurated by renowned actress Sridevi. 
The same day will also see the IFFI 2017 Country Focus on Canada being celebrated with a grand red carpet opening and amidst the presence of noted Canadian actors and celebrities. The Country Focus on Canada  has been organized in association with the government of Canada with the collaboration of Telefilm Canada and curated by the Toronto International Film Festival.
The International Competition section of IFFI 2017, which carries a cumulative cash prize of over Rs. 1 crore, will showcase 15 of the finest films of this year, competing for the Golden and Silver Peacock awards.  The International Competition jury will be headed by renowned filmmaker Muzaffar Ali and include Festival director Maxine Williamson from Australia, actor-director Tzahi Grad from Israel, Russian cinematographer Vladislav Opelyants, director and production designer Roger Christian from the United Kingdom.
This edition of the festival will also be presenting films from a record number of women filmmakers (more than 30) in addition to a carefully curated section of restored classics from across the globe, which include the recently completed restorations of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Tarkovsky’s Sacrifice.
Among many other firsts, IFFI 2017 will present a specially curated section celebrating the most loved spy in films, James Bond. The section will showcase films featuring the various leading actors who have essayed the iconic character, through a package of nine films. Additionally, the festival will present four films from young filmmakers of the Biennale College as a first of its kind collaboration with the the Venice International Film Festival. 
Venice International Film Festival Director Alberto Barbera said, “I am particularly grateful to IFFI for the collaboration that gives the Venice Film Festival the opportunity to present four films produced in the frame of the Biennale College Cinema, a project we are greatly proud of for the results obtained in supporting young filmmakers from all over the world.  I am sure that the audience of the prestigious IFFI will appreciate the quality of these micro-budget films, and combined efforts of our two institutions to offer them a larger visibility. I wish that we will be able to continue our collaboration, which is based on shared feelings of love for good cinema and passion for young talented film directors."
The 2017 edition of the festival will also host a Mixed Reality Sidebar featuring Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality activities in addition to a series of master classes and panel discussions featuring the who’s who of the entertainment industry, including noted filmmakers Atom Egoyam, Shekhar Kapur, Nitesh Tiwari and Farah Khan, as well as Oscar winning sound designer Craig Mann.
IFFI 2017 will present the coveted Indian Film Personality of the Year award to acclaimed actor Amitabh Bachcchan and the Lifetime Achievement award to celebrated Canadian director Atom Egoyan.

Hindi film Pihu to be opening film of Indian Panorama at IFFI 2017

Hindi film Pihu, directed by Vinod Kapri, will be  the opening film of the feature film section of Indian Panorama of the 48th International Film Festival of India, 2017 to be held in Goa from November 20-28.
The opening film of the non-feature film section will be Pushkar Puran in Hindi, directed by Kamal Swaroop.
The final selection of feature and non-feature films of the Indian Panorama was announced today. Five mainstream films have also been selected under Panorama section.
Five Mainstream films have also been selected under Indian Panorama Section -- Telugu blockbuster Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, directed by S. Rajamouli;  Jolly LLB 2,  Hindi, Subhash Kapoor; Ventilator - Marathi - Rajesh Mapuskar; Poorna - Hindi - Rahul Bose; and Meghnad Bodh Rahasya - Bengali - Anik Datta.
Following is the list of 26 feature films selected for the Indian Panorama:
1.       Pihu - Hindi - Vinod Kapri
2.       Kshitij A Horizon - Marathi - Manouj Kadaamh
3.       Kachcha Limbu - Marathi - Prasad Oak
4.       Manusangada - Tamil - Amshan Kumar
5.       Muramba - Marathi - Varun Narvekar
6.       Railway Children - Kannada - Prithvi Konanur
7.       Juze - Konkani - Miransha Naik
8.       Newton - Hindi - Amit Masurkar
9.       Pimpal - Marathi - Gajendra Ahire
10.   Village Rockstars - Assamese - Rima Das
11.   Maza Bhirbhira - Marathi - Yogesh Soman & Vivek Wagh
12.   Maacher Jhol - Bengali - Pratim D. Gupta
13.   Bisorjon - Bengali - Kaushik Ganguly
14.   Take Off - Malayalam - Mahesh Narayanan
15.   Redu - Marathi - Sagar ChhayaVanjari
16.   Rukh - Hindi - Atanu Mukherjee
17.   Kadvi Hawa - Hindi - Nila Madhab Panda
18.   Idak - Marathi - Deepak Gawade
19.   Xhoixobote Dhemalite - Assamese - Bidyut Kotoky
20.   Khyanikaa - Oriya - Amartya Bhattacharya
21.   Kaasav (Best Feature – 64th NFA) - Marathi - Sumitra Bhave & Sunil Sukthankar
The Best Feature Film of the National Film Awards is included as a direct entry in the Indian Panorama under the regulations of the event.
Mainstream Cinema selections
22.   Jolly LLB 2  -  Hindi - Subhash Kapoor
23.   Baahubali 2: The Conclusion - Telugu - S Rajamouli
24.   Ventilator - Marathi - Rajesh Mapuskar
25.   Poorna - Hindi - Rahul Bose
26.   Meghnad Bodh Rahasya - Bengali - Anik Datta
The Jury for Feature Films was headed by acclaimed film director, actor and screenwriter Sujoy Ghosh. The jury previewed 153 eligible entries. Other members of the jury are: Suresh Heblikar, Filmmaker, Director & Actor; Rahul Rawail, Film Director; Satarupa Sanyal, Film Director, Producer, Actress, Poet & Social Activist; Gopi Desai, Film Director & Actress; Nishikant Kamat, Filmmaker; Gyan Correa, Film Director;  Merlvin Mukhim, Actor & Producer;  Nikkhil Advani, Film Producer, Director & Screenwriter; Apurva Asrani, Film Maker, Film Editor & Screenwriter; Hari Viswanath, Film Director, Screenwriter & Producer; Sachin Chatte, Film Critic; and Ruchi Narain, Film Director & Screenwriter.
The list of 16 Non-Feature Films selected for Indian Panorama are:
Pushkar Puran - Hindi - Kamal Swaroop
Aaba - Apatani - Amar Kaushik
Dugga - Bengali - Chandrasish Ray
Our Grandparents Home - Bengali - Supriyo Sen
Palash - Bengali - Vaibhav Hiwase
A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings - English - Prateek Vats
The Waterfall - English - Lipika Singh Darai
Amma Meri - Haryanvi - Tarun Jain
 Name|Place|Animal|Thing - Hindi - Nithin R
Chutney - Hindi - Jyoti Kapur Das
8½ Intercuts- Life And Films Of KG George - Malayalam - Lijin Jose
Gi - Malayalam - Kunjila (Akhila Henry)
Baluta - Marathi - Ajay Kurane
Khidkee - Marathi - Rohan Parshuram Kanawade
Epil - Santali - R K Soren
Fireflies in the Abyss (64th NFA – Best Non Feature) - English - Chandrasekhar Reddy
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IRCTC suspends two officials after 26 passengers complain of food poisoning on Tejas Express

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has placed two of its officials under suspension after 26 passengers suffered from symptoms of food poisoning after consuming food served to them on the 22120 Karmali-Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSTM) Tejas Express yesterday.
"Area officer of IRCTC at Madgaon and On Board Manager are placed under suspension pending fact finding report and food test report," IRCTC, which overseas catering operations on Indian Railways, said on micro-blogging site Twitter yesterday.
IRCTC also said that a show cause notice had been served on the catering contractor and strict action would be taken against him if found guilty.
The Konkan Railway Corporation said all 26 passengers had been treated at the Life Care Hospital at Chhplun where all of them were stated to be out of danger. Konkan Railway is providing all necessary assistance to them and also arranged for their onward transport to Mumbai by train, it said.
A press release from IRCTC yesterday said the train had departed at 0900 hours yesterday from Karmali in Goa to Mumbai and 230 passengers were served breakfast on board.
A group of seven passengers complained of nausea and were attended to by the on-board supervisor. Meanwhile, two other groups of passengers, numbering 15 in all, also complained of nausea. A doctor travelling on the train attended to the passengers.
Meanwhile, the train was given an out of course halt at Chiplun, where a railway doctor attended to them. Ambulances were requisitioned and passengers complaining of nausea were taken to a local hospital.
"Enquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause. The kitchen where food was prepared was inspected by area officer, Madgaon after the incident and samples lifted for testing, including soup sachets. Group General Manager IRCTC has proceeded to Chiplun for coordination at the hospital for all arrangements for ensuring their comfort and onward movement," the release added.
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