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Puducherry

Scientists find natural food preservative from bacteria

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Outbreak of food-borne pathogens can cause havoc. Now Indian scientists have found a solution - a bacterial protein isolated from intestine of chicken. They say it can be used as a food preservative since it can prevent growth of agents that cause food poisoning.
 
This research has been conducted at the School of Life Sciences at Pondicherry University.
 
The researchers have obtained the natural food preservative from Enterococcus faecalis CV7 bacteria which were isolated from intestines of country chicken. Researchers cultured these bacteria in the lab under controlled conditions and isolated a short protein named bacteriocinCV7.
 
“BacteriocinCV7 can be used as a natural food preservative, as we have seen that it inhibits the growth of Salmonella, a causal agent of food poisoning”, explained Arul Venkatesan, who conducted the study along with Venkatesh Perumal. “The demand for natural food preservatives has dramatically increased amongst consumers owing to the need for healthy, safe, and fresh products.”
 
The research results have been published in the journal Food Science and Technology.
 
Studies showed that bacteriocinCV7 remained functional even at high temperatures of 90 degree Celsius and killed disease-causing microbes in food in less than 18 hours even at a low concentration of 1 gram per litre. Therefore, using bacteriocinCV7 can reduce use of synthetic preservatives and make food safe for consumers, said Venkatesan.
 
In addition, he said, bacteriocin CV7 can also be used as a probiotic for poultry to control infections in place of synthetic antibiotics. This will make food safe for humans in the long run. The scientists have found that bacteriocinCV7 is non-toxic and safe by testing it on cultured human cell lines.
 
Ashok Pandey, scientist at the Centre of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing in Mohali, who is not connected to the study, commented that bacteriocinCV7 could be used as a preservative in the food industry, but it would require more studies to evaluate the possibility of commercial exploitation. 
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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SpiceJet puts Puducherry back on India’s aviation map

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has brought Puducherry back on India's aviation map by launching from yesterday a flight from Hyderabad to the Union Territory.
 
The Hyderabad-Puducherry flight is the third daily flight to be launched by SpiceJet under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme, a press release from the airline said.
 
Puducherry is one of the four unserved markets the airline will be operating to under the UDAN scheme. With this new flight, Puducherry will be connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Tirupati, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Vijaywada and Varanasi with convenient onward connections on the SpiceJet network, the release said.
 
Ms. Shilpa Bhatia, Senior VP, Commercial SpiceJet said, “SpiceJet is proud to induct Puducherry on to its network. Seen as an education, healthcare and tourism hotspot of the country, Puducherry is also home to several big IT software and hardware giants and has seen remarkable growth in recent years. SpiceJet is excited to contribute to this growth story and our flights will help bring in more leisure and business traffic to the UT.”
 
SpiceJet has been awarded six proposals and 11 routes under the first phase of the UDAN Regional Connectivity Scheme. Out of the six finalised proposals four will cater to unserved markets of Adampur, Kandla, Puducherry and Jaisalmer whereas two will be for underserved markets of Porbandar and Kanpur. 
 
Flight operations have already commenced on Mumbai-Porbandar-Mumbai and Mumbai-Kandla-Mumbai routes from July 10, the release said.
 
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Chennai Port Trust signs MoU with Puducherry for handling exim cargo

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Chennai Port Trust and Puducherry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) here yesterday for handling export and import cargo from and to the Puducherry Port hinterland.
 
The MoU envisages that Chennai Port Trust will assist Puducherry Port in handling its export and import cargo.
 
The cargo originating from Puducherry Port hinterland will be transported through sea mode to Chennai Port for shipping to overseas destinations through mainline and feeder vessels.
 
Similarly, the import cargo destined to Puducherry hinterland will be unloaded at Chennai Port and will be moved in small coastal vessels to Puducherry Port, thus reducing total logistics costs, besides easing road congestion.
 
The MoU was signed by Chairman, Chennai Port Trust and Chief Secretary, Government of Puducherry in the presence of Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Mr. V. Narayansamy , Chief Minister, Puducherry, Mr. Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and other dignitaries.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Gadkari said that this MoU would facilitate the handling of between 5 and 10 lakh tonnes of cargo. He said that, once the arrangement became operational, road congestion will reduce substantially as almost 300 trucks will go off the roads. This move will also bring down pollution levels significantly, he said.
 
The MoU is expected to promote industrial growth in the region, generate substantial employment and attract investment by major industries, he added.
 
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NDMA conducts mock exercise in Puducherry on tsunami, flood preparedness

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The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) yesterday conducted a mock exercise in Puducherry to assess the preparedness and response mechanism of the Union Territory administration in the event of a flood or a tsunami.
 
With a coastline of about 45 kilometres, stretching along the Bay of Bengal, Puducherry is susceptible to both floods and tsunamis. The region was one of the worst affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.
 
The mock exercise was conducted on the principle of Incident Response System (IRS), which identifies stakeholders and clearly attributes roles and responsibilities to each one of them. It helps in systematically responding to an incident by reducing confusion and chaos. 
 
NDMA expert Major General V.K. Datta (Retd.), who led the exercise, said, "Integrating IRS with mock exercises helps in achieving multi-agency coordination under a unified command. It strengthens the capacity and response mechanisms of the local administrations."
 
Once the scenarios were sounded, Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) were activated. Incident Commanders were identified and rescue teams were formed under them. The teams were then dispatched to their respective locations to carry out the search and rescue operations.
 
In the debriefing exercise carried out after the drill, participants discussed the shortcomings and ways to address them.
 
The mock exercise was part of a three-day event which began with a Co-ordination Conference on Tuesday followed by a Table-top Exercise on Wednesday. Senior officials from all the important departments such as the Army, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), health, police, education, firefighting, Civil Defense, transport, electricity, public relations, etc. participated in these preparatory meetings as well as in the exercise. A week prior to the exercise, an orientation conference was also held with concerned officials to ensure the smooth facilitation of the exercise.
 
The National Disaster Guidelines significantly focuses on Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness for a disaster situation. In its efforts towards improving the management of a disaster situation, NDMA regularly conducts such mock exercises across the country.  So far, NDMA has conducted 550 mock exercises in different States and Union Territories, which is an ongoing process, an official press release added.
 
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Depression over Bay of Bengal likely to intensify into cyclone, cross TN coast early Friday

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A deep depression over southeast Bay of Bengal is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and cross north Tamil Nadu coast between Vedaranniyam and Chennai, close to Cuddalore, by early hours of December 2, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
 
A bulletin issued by the IMD at 0820 hours today said the depression had moved west-northwesterwards for the past six hours, with a speed about 15 kmph, intensified into a deep depression and lay centred at 0530 hrs of today near latitude 7.8ºN and longitude 85.7ºE, about 830 km southeast of Chennai, 780 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 490 km east-southeast of Trincomalee (Srilanka). 
 
"The system is very likely to continue to move west-northwestward and intensify further into a cyclonic storm during next 12 hrs. It is very likely to cross north Tamil Nadu coast between Vedaranniyam and Chennai, close to Cuddalore by early hours of 2nd December," it said.
 
The IMD warned that, under the influence of the system, light to moderate rainfall was likely to commence at many places over coastal Tamil Nadu from today evening. The intensity of rainfall would increase and heavy to very heavy rainfall was likely at a few places over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over interior Tamil Nadu during the next two days.
 
The bulletin said light to moderate rainfall was very likely at many places in Kerala, with isolated heavy falls, on December 2 and 3.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph, would commence to prevail along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from tomorrow morning, the bulletin said.
 
The sea condition would be rough to very rough along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from tomorrow onwards, it said.
 
The IMD advised fishermen not to venture into sea along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from this evening onwards. Those at sea have been advised to return to the coast.
 
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Bye-elections to be held on November 19 to fill four LS, eight Assembly seats

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The Election Commission (EC) today said it would hold bye-elections to fill casual vacancies in the Lok Sabha from three States and eight seats in the Legislative Assemblies in seven States.
 
The vacancies in the Lok Sabha are from Lakhimpur in Assam, Shahdol (ST) in Madhya Pradesh and Coochbehar (SC) and Tamluk in West Bengal, an official press release said.
 
The Assembly seats vacant are 20-Baithalangso (ST) in Assam, 45 – Hayuliang (ST) in Arunachal Pradesh, 179-Nepanagar (ST) in Madhya Pradesh, 263-Monteswar in West Bengal, 195-Thiruparankundram in Tamil Nadu, 4-Barjala and 25-Khowai in Tripura and 17-Nellithope in Puducherry.
 
The release said the notification for the bye-elections will be issued on October 26 and the last date for making nominations is November 2. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 22.
 
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MoU with Puducherry to promote regional connectivity scheme

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The Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Puducherry government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) yesterday signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the Regional Connectivity Scheme.
 
The MOU was signed in the presence of Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister of Puducherry Malladi Krishna Rao.
 
With this, the State Government has formally agreed to provide the concessions required from the State Governments in the Regional Connectivity Scheme.
 
The MoU was signed by Manoj Parida, Chief Secretary, Puducherry Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and A.K. Dutta, Member, Airports Authority of India.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sinha expressed the hope that subsidies would attract airlines which also needed to find the appropriate aircrafts and pilots to service the regional sector. Mr Narayanaswamy said he was happy to cooperate in promoting the Regional Connectivity Scheme as it would improve the connectivity to Puducherry.
 
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had earlier released the draft Regional Air Connectivity Scheme (RCS) for stakeholder consultation, with the twin objectives of promoting balanced regional growth and making flying affordable for masses,.
 
The RCS is the key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy which was released by the Ministry on June 15. The scheme, which would be in operation for a period of 10 years, envisages providing connectivity to unserved and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports.
 
This would be achieved through a financial stimulus in the form of Central and State government concessions, as well as Viability Gap Funding to the interested airlines to kick off operations from such airports, so that the passenger fares are kept affordable.
 
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The fare for a one-hour journey of approximate 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30-minute journey on a helicopter would now be capped at Rs. 2,500, with proportionate pricing for routes of different lengths and duration.
 
To reduce the cost of operations, the Central Government would be providing concessions in the form of reduced excise on VAT, service tax and flexibility of code sharing at the RCS airports.
 
Similarly, the State governments would have to lower the VAT on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to 1% or less, besides security and fire services free of cost and electricity, water and other utilities at substantially concessional rates. Similarly, landing and parking charges and terminal navigation landing charges will be waived by the airport operator.
 
The Ministry of Civil Aviation is in the process of signing of an MoU with State Governments to ensure their commitment and support to regional air transport operations by providing concessions as required under the RCS for making it successful. 
 
Puducherry is the sixth State with which such an MoU has been signed. The other states are Maharashtra, Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.
 
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Kiran Bedi appointed Lt. Governor of Puducherry

File photo of Kiran Bedi.
File photo of Kiran Bedi.
Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi, who had formally joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in January 2015 and was its chief ministerial nominee for the Delhi Assembly elections later that year, was today appointed as the new Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Puducherry.
 
"The President of India has been pleased to appoint Ms. Kiran Bedi, to be the Lt. Governor of Puducherry with effect from the date she assumes charges of her office," a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
 
Ms. Bedi, 66, who was the first woman to be selected for the IPS in 1972, had lost from her constituency of Krishna Nagar in the Delhi Assembly elections last year.
 
She was a leading member of Anna Hazare's India Against Corruption, which had launched a nationwide campaign against corruption during the tenure of the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre.
 
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, a former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, was also a leading light of that movement, but his decision to float a political party led to a parting of ways between the two. Mr Kejriwal went on to become the Chief Minister of Delhi after the December 4, 2013 Assembly elections but resigned after just 49 days in office. His AAP recaptured power with an overwhelming majority, winning 67 of the 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly last year.
 
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Apart from her career in the IPS, Ms Bedi has also been associated with various NGOs working in the areas of prison reforms, drug abuse prevention and child welfare. She won the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1994 for government service. She was a national-level tennis player in her youth.
 
Her last posting as an IPS officer was as the Director General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development before she took voluntary retirement in November 2007 to pursue new challenges.
 
Ms. Bedi was also an accomplished tennis player and was the national junior champion in 1966 and won several titles at the national level in the eyars that followed. She won the Asian Lawn Tennis Championship held at Pune, Maharashtra in 1972 and the National Women's Lawn Tennis Championship at Chandigarh in
1976.
 
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BJP wins Assam, LDF back in Kerala; Jaya retains power in TN, Mamata in WB

The BJP, the ruling party at the Centre, came to power for the first time in the North-East when the coalition led by it won a historic victory in the Assembly elections in Assam, while the Left Democratic Front returned to power in Kerala, with the Congress ending up on the losing side in both states.

 
My life is dedicated to people of Tamil Nadu: Jayalalithaa
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party at the Centre, came to power for the first time in the North-East when the coalition led by it won a historic victory in the Assembly elections in Assam, while the Left Democratic Front (LDF) eturned to power in Kerala, with the Congress ending up on the losing side in both states.
 
In Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister J Jayalalitha proved exit polls wrong as she won a rare second consecutive term in office while her West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) also won a second term with a massive win as the counting of votes in the Assembly elections to the four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry progressed today.
 
In Assam, the BJP dislodged the 15-year-old Congress regime headed by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who could not quite overcome the anti-incumbency factor. While the BJP won 60 seats in the 126-member assembly, its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) got 14 seats and the Bodoland People's Front picked up 12. The Congress got only 26 seats. The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won 13 seats. One seat was won by an independent candidate.
 
Among the winners were Mr. Gogoi from Titabor and BJP's chief ministerial nominee, Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who won from Majuli.
 
In West Bengal, the TMC won 211 seats in the 294-member assembly, while the Congress, which went into the elections as an ally of the Left Front, won 44. The Left Front got 32 seats, while the BJP won three and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha got three. One seat went to an independent candidate.
 
Ms. Banerjee, whose party had ended the 34-year reign of the Left Front in 2011, won from Bhawanipore.
 
In Tamil Nadu, Ms. Jayalalithaa became the first Chief Minister to get a second consecutive term in office after 1984 as her AIADMK won 134 of the 232 seats for which polling was held. The DMK, led by veteran M. Karunanidhi, a former Chief Minister, got 87 seats, and was leading in two more at the time of writing this report, while its ally, the Congress, could manage only eight. The Indian Union Muslim League got one seat.
 
While Ms. Jayalalithaa won from Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar, while the 93-year-old Mr. Karunanidhi won the Thiruvarur seat. Mr. Karunanidhi's son and DMK Treasurer M K Stalin retained the Kolathur constituency.
 
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In Kerala, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) won 91 seats in the 140-member assembly, while the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) could manage only 47. The BJP won a seat in the Kerala Assembly for the first time, with party veteran O. Rajagopalan winning from Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram.
 
Former Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth, the BJP's candidate in Thiruvananthapuram, also lost.
 
Among prominent winners were Chief Minister and Congress leader Oommen Chandy, his predecessor V S Achuthanandan (LDF), former Finance Minister K M Mani and Government chief whip P C George, who left Kerala Congress (M) to fight from Poonjar as an independent candidate. Film actor Mukesh won from Kollam as a CPI(M) candidate.
 
CPM leader and possible Chief Ministerial candidate Pinarayi Vijayan won from Dharmadam in Kannur district. Mr. Chandy, who has represented Puthupally in Kottayam for more than four decades, won once again from there.
 
In Kollam, well-known Malyalam film actor won as an LDF candidate, while another actor, K B Ganeshkumar, who had switched over to the LDF from the UDF before the elections, won from Pathanapuram, defeating another popular actor Jagadish of the Congress. In the losers' list were Ministers K Babu and PK Jayalakshmi..
 
In Puducherry, the Congress won 15 of the 30 seats and its ally, the DMK, got two to wrest power from the ruling All India NR Congress, which could get only eight seats. The AIADMK won four seats.
 
Polling was held in the four states and one UT between April 4 and May 16. Counting of votes began at 8 am today and all the results are expected by late tonight.
 
Assam went to the polls in two phases on April 4 and 11, while West Bengal saw polling in six phases between April 4 and May 5. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry had single-phase polling on May 16.
 
In Tamil Nadu, polling in two constituencies -- Aravakurichi and Thanjavur -- was deferred by the Election Commision to May 23 and, accordingly, the votes cast there would be counted on May 25.
 
The term of the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu is due to expire on May 22, West Bengal on May 29, Kerala on May 31, Puducherry on June 2 and Assam on June 5.
 
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BJP wins in Assam, Congress ousted in Kerala; Jaya retains power in TN, Mamata in WB

The Bharatiya Janata Party, the ruling party at the Centre, appeared headed for a historic win in Assam to form its first ever government in the North-East, while the Left Democratic Front was all set to return to power in Kerala, with the Congress ending up on the losing side in both states.

 
My life is dedicated to people of Tamil Nadu: Jayalalithaa
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party at the Centre, appeared headed for a historic win in Assam to form its first ever government in the North-East, while the Left Democratic Front (LDF) was all set to return to power in Kerala, with the Congress ending up on the losing side in both states.
 
In Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister J Jayalalitha proved exit polls wrong as she headed for a rare second consecutive term in offie while her West Bengal Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) was also poised for another term with a huge win as the counting of votes in the Assembly elections to the four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry was underway today.
 
In Assam, the BJP was set for a huge win, dislodging the 15-year-old Congress regime headed by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
 
In Kerala, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government headed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy appeared to be on its way out as the Left Democratic Front (LDF) built up a huge lead.
 
As early counting trends came in, Ms. Jayalalithaa's ruling AIADMK was ahead in 131 of the 232 seats where polling was held, while the DMK led by veteran M. Karunananidhi, was leading in 90, its ally Congress in 8 and others in three constituencies.
 
In West Bengal, the TMC was leading in 212 of the 294 constituencies, while the Congress was ahead in 45, the CPM in 24, the CPI in 1, the RSP in 3, the Forward Bloc in 2 and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in 3. The BJP was leading in 3 seats.
 
In Assam, the BJP was ahead in 61 of the 126 seats, while the Congress was a distant second with leads in 26. The All India United Demcratic Front (AIUDF) was ahead in 12 seats, while the Asom Gana Parishad was leading in 14 the Bodoland People's Front in 12.
 
In Kerala, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) was leading in 91 of the 140 seats, while the Congress-led UDF was ahead in 47, while the BJP was ahead in one seat.
 
In Puducherry, the Congress was ahead in 15 of the 30 seats and its ally, the DMK, in two and the combine was all set to wrest power form the ruling All India NR Congress, which was ahead in eight seats. The AIADMK was leading in four.
 
Polling was held in the four states and one UT between April 4 and May 16. Counting of votes began at 8 am today and all the results are expected by this evening.
 
Assam went to the polls in two phases on April 4 and 11, while West Bengal saw polling in six phases between April 4 and May 5. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry had single-phase polling on May 16.
 
In Tamil Nadu, polling in two constituencies -- Aravakurichi and Thanjavur -- was deferred by the Election Commision to May 23 and, accordingly, the votes cast there would be counted on May 25.
 
The term of the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu is due to expire on May 22, West Bengal on May 29, Kerala on May 31, Puducherry on June 2 and Assam on June 5.
 
Votes are also being counted today in the bye-elections held on May 16 to fill one vacancy in the Lok Sabha -- Tura in Meghalaya -- and six in legislative assemblies in four states -- Jharkhand, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana.
 
The assembly constituencies where bye-elections were held are Godda and Panki in Jharkhand, Talala in Gujarat, Jangipur and Bilari in Uttar Pradesh, and Palair in Telangana.
 
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The Election Commission has deferred the bye-elections in Ghoradongri (Madhya Pradesh), Anantnag (Jammu & Kashmir) and Kanubari (Arunachal Pradesh).
 
The bye-election in Tura (ST) was necessitated by the death of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma on March 4 in New Delhi.
 
In Assam, the votes are being counted at 51 counting centres across the state amidst tight security. There are 1064 candidates in the fray, including Mr. Gogoi, who is seeking a fourth consecutive term as Chief Minister, the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal and AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal. The state had witnessed 84.72 percent polling.
 
In West Bengal, where Ms. Banerjee is seeking a second term, the polling turnout was around 80 percent. 
 
The Election Commission has set up 80 counting centres for the counting of votes in the elections to the 140-member state assembly in Kerala. The state had registered more than 77 percent polling. There are 1203 candidates in the fray, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, whose Congress-led UDF government is looking for a second consecutive term.
 
In Tamil Nadu, the counting of votes is being held at 68 centres across the state in the elections to the 234-member assembly. Polling was held on May 16 for 232 seats. The polling percentage was 73.76 percent.
 
In Puducherry, about 82 percent of the electorate had exercised their franchise on May 16. There were 344 candidates, including 21 women, in the fray for the 30 seats.
 
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Counting of votes begins in Assembly elections in Assam, WB, Kerala, TN, Puducherry

Counting of votes began on Thursday morning in the crucial elections to elect new legislative assemblies in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, where polling was held between April 4 and May 16.

 
Counting of votes began this morning in the crucial elections to elect new legislative assemblies in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, where polling was held between April 4 and May 16.
 
The counting of the votes, recorded in electronic voting machines, began at 8 am and all the results are expected by this evening, though early counting trends are expected to be available by mid-morning.
 
Assam went to the polls in two phases on April 4 and 11, while West Bengal saw polling in six phases between April 4 and May 5.
 
Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry had single-phase polling on May 16.
 
In Tamil Nadu, polling in two constituencies -- Aravakurichi and Thanjavur -- was deferred by the Election Commision to May 23 and, accordingly, the votes cast there would be counted on May 25.
 
The term of the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu is due to expire on May 22, West Bengal on May 29, Kerala on May 31, Puducherry on June 2 and Assam on June 5.
 
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Votes will also be counted today in the bye-elections held on May 16 to fill one vacancy in the Lok Sabha -- Tura in Meghalaya -- and six in legislative assemblies in four states -- Jharkhand, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana.
 
The assembly constituencies where bye-elections were held are Godda and Panki in Jharkhand, Talala in Gujarat, Jangipur and Bilari in Uttar Pradesh, and Palair in Telangana.
 
The Election Commission has deferred the bye-elections in Ghoradongri (Madhya Pradesh), Anantnag (Jammu & Kashmir) and Kanubari (Arunachal Pradesh).
 
The bye-election in Tura (ST) was necessitated by the death of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma on March 4 in New Delhi.
 
In Assam, the votes will be counted at 51 counting centres across the state amidst tight security. There are 1064 candidates in the fray, including Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of the Congress, who is seeking a fourth consecutive term, the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal and AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal. The state had witnessed 84.72 percent polling.
 
In West Bengal, where the Trinamool Congress (TMC) led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is seeking a second term, the polling turnout was around 80 percent. 
 
The Election Commission has set up 80 counting centres for the counting of votes in the elections to the 140-member state assembly in Kerala. The state had registered more than 77 percent polling. There are 1203 candidates in the fray, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, whose Congress-led UDF government is looking for a second consecutive term.
 
In Tamil Nadu, the counting of votes is being held at 68 centres across the state in the elections to the 234-member assembly. Polling was held on May 16 for 232 seats. The polling percentage was 73.76 percent.
 
In Puducherry, about 82 percent of the electorate had exercised their franchise on May 16. There were 344 candidates, including 21 women, in the fray for the 30 seats.
 
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IMD issues cyclone alert for Andhra Pradesh, Odisha coasts

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The deep depression over westcentral and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal is likely to move north-northeastwards along and off the Andhra Pradesh coasts and intensify into a cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
 
Thereafter it is likely to move northeastwards along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts during the subsequent 48 hours, a bulletin from the IMD said.
 
The bulletin said that the depression had moved nearly northwards at a speed of 10 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 1130 hours IST of today near latitude 13.8º N and longitude 81.0 ºE, about 130 km south-southeast of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.
 
Under the influence of the system, rainfall is likely at many places over northTamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 24 hours, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls.
 
Rainfall is also likely at most places over coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next 48 hours, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls.
 
The bulletin said rainfall was also likely at many places over coastal Odisha on May 19 and 20, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places.
 
Rainfall is also likely at many places over Rayalaseema during the next 24 hours, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls.
 
The bulletin said squally winds, with speed reaching 55-65 kmph, gusting to 75 kmph, are very likely to prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 24 hours.
 
Wind speed reaching 55-65 kmph, gusting to 75 kmph, is very likely to prevail along and off Andhra Pradesh coast during the next 12 hours and speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph is very likely to prevail over the same region during the subsequent 24 hours.
 
Sea conditions along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts are very likely to be rough to very rough during the next 24 hours. They are likely to be high to very high along and off the Andhra Pradesh coast during the next 48 hours. They are very likely to be high to very high along and off Odisha coast on May 19 and 20.
 
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 24 hours, along and off Andhra Pradesh coast during the next 48 hours and along and off Odisha coast on May 19 and 20.
 
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Heavy polling as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry vote to elect new assemblies

Voters turned out in large numbers on Monday in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the crucial single-phase elections to elect new legislative assemblies in the two Southern states and one Union Territory.

 
Kerala, Puducherry, TN vote to elect new Assemblies
Voters turned out in large numbers today in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the crucial single-phase elections to elect new legislative assemblies in the two Southern states and one Union Territory.
 
Voting began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm and initial figures said that 71.5 percent of the electors had exercised their franchise in Kerala.
 
In Tamil Nadu, 69.19 percent polling had been recorded by 5 pm and 81.94 percent in Puducherry, and the final figures were expected to be higher.
 
Campaigning for the elections in the three states had come to a close on Saturday evening.
 
Polling was by and large peaceful in all three states, with no major untoward incident reported from any constituency. Rains in the morning played a dampener for a while in some parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala but voters did not allow this to affect their enthusiasm and brisk polling was seen in these places later in the day.
 
In Kerala, there are a total of  2,61,06,422 electors, including 1,35,08,693 women, in the 140 constituencies that went to the polls. There are 1203 candidates, including 109 women, in the fray. The Election Commission had set up 21646 polling stations in the state.
 
In Tamil Nadu, a total of 5,82,59,801 voters, including  2,93,33,954 women, were eligible to exercise their franchise in the 234 constituencies.
 
However, voting was held today for 232 seats, with polling in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies having been deferred by the Election Commission to May 23. There were a total of 3728 candidates in the 232 constituencies and voting took place at 65,486 polling stations.
 
In Puducherry, there are a total of  9,41,935 voters, including 4,94,238 women. There were 344 candidates, including 21 women, in the fray for the 30 seats. As many as 930 polling stations were set up by the Election Commission across the Union Territory.
 
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Counting of votes in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, as well as in Assam, which went to the polls in two phases on April 4 and 11, and in West Bengal, where polling was held in six phases between April 4 and May 5, will be taken up on May 19 and all the results are expected by that evening. In Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies of Tamil Nadu, counting of votes will be taken up on May 25.
 
The term of the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu is due to expire on May 22, West Bengal on May 29, Kerala on May 31, Puducherry on June 2 and Assam on June 5.
 
Polling was also held today in bye-elections to fill one vacancy in the Lok Sabha -- Tura in Meghalaya -- and six in legislative assemblies in four states -- Jharkhand, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana.
 
The assembly constituencies where bye-elections were held are Godda and Panki in Jharkhand, Talala in Gujarat, Jangipur and Bilari in Uttar Pradesh, and Palair in Telangana.
 
The Election Commission has deferred the bye-elections in Ghoradongri (Madhya Pradesh), Anantnag (Jammu & Kashmir) and Kanubari (Arunachal Pradesh).
 
The bye-election in Tura (ST) was necessitated by the death of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma on March 4 in New Delhi.
 
Counting of votes in all these constituencies will also be taken up on May 19.
 
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Polling begins in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry to elect new assemblies

Polling began on Monday morning in the crucial single-phase elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to choose new legislative assemblies in the two southern States and one Union Territory.

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Polling began this morning in the crucial single-phase elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to choose new legislative assemblies in the two southern States and one Union Territory.
 
Voting began at 7 am and will end at 6 pm.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to come out and exercise their franchise.
 
"Urging all voters in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry to vote in record numbers today & be a part of this festival of democracy," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Campaigning for the elections had come to a close on Saturday evening.
 
In Kerala, there are a total of  2,61,06,422 electors, including 1,35,08,693 women, in the 140 constituencies that went to the polls. There are 1203 candidates, including 109 women, in the fray. The Election Commission has set up 21646 polling stations in the state.
 
In Tamil Nadu, a total of 5,82,59,801 voters, including  2,93,33,954 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the 234 constituencies.
 
However, voting is being held today for 232 seats, with polling in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies having been deferred by the Election Commission to May 23. There are a total of 3728 candidates in the 232 constituencies and voting is taking place at 65,486 polling stations.
 
In Puducherry, there are a total of  9,41,935 voters, including 4,94,238 women. There are 344 candidates, including 21 women, in the fray for the 30 seats. As many as 930 polling stations have been up by the Election Commission across the Union Territory.
 
Counting of votes in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, as well as in Assam, which went to the polls in two phases on April 4 and 11, and in West Bengal, where polling was held in six phases between April 4 and May 5, will be taken up on May 19 and all the results are expected by that evening. In Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies of Tamil Nadu, counting of votes will be taken up on May 25.
 
The term of the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu is due to expire on May 22, West Bengal on May 29, Kerala on May 31, Puducherry on June 2 and Assam on June 5.
 
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Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry to go to the polls on Monday

People in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will vote on Monday in crucial single-phase elections to elect new legislative assemblies in the three states.

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People in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will vote tomorrow in crucial single-phase elections to elect new legislative assemblies in the three states.
 
Campaigning for the elections closed yesterday and candidates in the three states spent a busy Sunday today approaching voters in their constituencies personally.
 
In Kerala, there are a total of  2,61,06,422 electors, including 1,35,08,693 women, in the 140 constituencies going to the polls. There are 1203 candidates, including 109 women, in the fray. The Election Commission has set up 21646 polling stations in the state.
 
In Tamil Nadu, a total of 5,82,59,801 voters, including  2,93,33,954 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise.There are a total of 3776 candidates, including 320 women, in the fray in the 234 constituencies. As many as 66007 polling stations have been set up in the state.
 
In Puducherry, there are a total of  9,41,935 voters, including 4,94,238 women. There are 344 candidates, including 21 women, in the fray for the 30 seats. As many as 930 polling stations have been up by the Election Commission across the Union Territory.
 
Counting of votes in the three states, as well as in Assam, which went to the polls in two-phases on April 4 and 11, and in West Bengal, where polling was held in six phases between April 4 and May 5, will be taken up on May 19 and all the results are expected by that evening.
 
The term of the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu is due to expire on May 22, West Bengal on May 29, Kerala on May 31, Puducherry on June 2 and Assam on June 5.
 
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Campaigning for assembly elections in TN, Kerala, Puducherry draws to a close

Campaigning for the crucial May 16 elections to the state legislative assemblies in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry drew to a close on Saturday evening.

Campaigning for the crucial May 16 elections to the state legislative assemblies in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry drew to a close this evening.
 
Counting of votes in the three states, as well as in Assam, which went to the polls in two-phases on April 4 and 11, and in West Bengal, where polling was held in six phases between April 4 and May 5, will be taken up on May 19 and all the results are expected by that evening.
 
Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will have single-phase polling on May 16.
 
The term of the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu is due to expire on May 22, West Bengal on May 29, Kerala on May 31, Puducherry on June 2 and Assam on June 5.
 
In Kerala, there are a total of  2,61,06,422 electors, including 1,35,08,693 women, in the 140 constituencies going to the polls. There are 1203 candidates, including 109 women, in the fray. The Election Commission has set up 21646 polling stations in the state.
 
In Tamil Nadu, a total of 5,82,59,801 voters, including  2,93,33,954 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise.There are a total of 3776 candidates, including 320 women, in the fray in the 234 constituencies. As many as 66007 polling stations have been set up in the state.
 
In Puducherry, there are a total of  9,41,935 voters, including 4,94,238 women. There are 344 candidates, including 21 women, in the fray for the 30 seats. As many as 930 polling stations have been up by the Election Commission across the Union Territory.
 
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UIDAI launches exercise to cover leftover population

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The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched an initiative to enrol leftover population for Aadhaar (unique identification numbers) in four States and Union Territories -- Haryana, Goa, Chandigarh and Puducherry.
 
Aadhaar saturation levels are more than 100% in these four places (as per projected population figure of 2015). Aadhaar saturation can cross 100% when the migrant population also enrolls in that particular state. As on May 12, 2016, over 101.26 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated across the country.
 
As part of the initiative, people who have not yet enrolled in Haryana, Goa, Chandigarh and Puducherry are being asked to register themselves at https://wenrol.uidai.gov.in.
 
On completing the simple registration formality, such people would be enrolled for the Aadhaar number on a priority basis.
 
“This exercise has been initiated to ensure that no one is left without an Aadhaar number in these four States/UTs which has more than 100% Aadhaar saturation, statistically speaking. It is part of our overall effort to ensure complete Aadhaar coverage across the country,” said Director General & Mission Director of UIDAI, Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
 
This pilot exercise in the four States/Union Territories will be conducted between May 13 and June 15. Enrolment request of only persons over the age of 18 years will be accepted on the portal mentioned above.
 
Providing a mobile number as well as other demographic details is also mandatory as a mobile OTP-based verification will be conducted once the person submits the enrolment request. The person will be then contacted and enrolled on a priority basis through special camps or at the enrolment stations located near him/her. Based on the experience of this pilot, the special drive will be extended to other states too.
 
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Rahul Gandhi down with fever, puts off trip to Puducherry, TN, Kerala

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Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today put off a planned trip to Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where Assembly eletions are scheduled on May 16, because he has come down with high fever.
 
"Unfortunately I have been down with high fever since Sunday and the doctor has advised rest for the next two days," Mr. Gandhi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"My apologies to the ppl of Puducherry, Tamil Nadu & Kerala for missing this opportunity of being with them on 10th &11th May as planned. Shall keep everyone updated about the rescheduled visits," he added.
 
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EC announces dates for Assembly polls in Assam, West Bengal, TN, Kerala, Puducherry

Assam will go to the polls in two phases on April 4 and 11, West Bengal in six phases between April 4 and May 5 and Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will have a single-day poll on May 16 to elect new State Legislative Assemblies, the Election Commission announced in New Delhi on Friday.

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Assam will go to the polls in two phases on April 4 and 11, West Bengal in six phases between April 4 and May 5 and Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will have a single-day poll on May 16 to elect new State Legislative Assemblies, the Election Commission announced here today.
 
In Assam, as many as 65 constituencies will go to the polls in the first phase on April 4 and 61 in the second phase on April 11.
 
The notification for the first phase will be issued on March 11 and for the second phase on March 14.
 
In West Bengal, Phase 1A of the polling (18 constituencies) will be held on April 4, Phase IB (31 constituencies) on April 11, Phase 2 (56 constituencies) on April 17, Phase 3 (62 constituencies) on April 21, Phase 4 (49 constituencies) on April 25, Phase 5 (53 constituencies) on April 30 and Phase 6 (25 constituencies) on May 5.
 
The notifications for Phase IA will be issued on March 11, 1B on March 14, Phase 2 on March 22, Phase 3 on March 28, Phase 4 on April 1, Phase 5 on April 4 and Phase 6 on April 11.
 
Notifications for the single-phase polling on May 16 in Kerala, TAmil Nadu and Puducherry will be issued on April 22. 
 
Counting of votes will be taken up in all four states and UT on May 19 and all the results are expected to be in by that evening.
 
The terms of the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu is due to expire on May 22, West Bengal on May 29, Kerala on May 31, Puducherry on June 2 and Assam on June 5.
 
The Kerala Assembly has a total of 140 seats, including 14 reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and two for Scheduled Tribes (STs); Tamil Nadu 234 (44 SC, 2 ST); West Bengal 294 (68 SC, 16 ST); Puducherry 30 (5 SC); and Assam 126 (8 SC, 16 ST).
 
The electoral rolls of all the existing Assembly constituencies in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry have been revised, with reference to 01.01.2016 as the qualifying date, and have been finally published.
 
The total number of electors in Assam is 1,98,66,496; Kerala 2,56,08,720; Tamil Nadu 5,79,15,075; West Bengal 6,55,46,101; and Puducherry 9,27,034.
 
Briefing mediapersons about the election schedule, Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi said the Commission had directed the States concerned to conduct a time-bound and systematic drive for the improvement in the quality and health of their respective electoral rolls, so as to enhance their fidelity for the conduct of free and fair elections. 
 
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The Commission will set up 24,888 polling stations in Assam, 21,498 in Kerala, 65,616 in Tamil Nadu, 77,247 in West Bengal and 913 in Puducherry to ensure a free and fair poll.
 
Dr. Zaidi said that, for the first time, the Commission has provided a new symbol for the None of the Above (NOTA) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
 
The Model Code of Conduct has come into effect immediately from now onwards. All the provisions of the Model Code will apply to the whole of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry and will be applicable to all candidates, political parties and, the State Governments of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Pudducherry. The Model Code of Conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government insofar as announcements/policy decisions pertaining. for these States/UT is concerned.
 
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NPCI collaborates with CSC eGov to launch Aadhaar Enabled Payment System

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National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for retail payment systems in the country, has collaborated with CSC e-Governance Services India Limited to launch Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) at locations where CSC eGov has been acting as business correspondent of banks.  
 
The service was inaugurated at Ariyankuppam Grama Panchayat, Puducherry by Mr. V. Sabapathy, Speaker of Puducherry Legislative Assembly, in the presence of Mr. Balachandran M., Chairman, NPCI and Mr. A. P. Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI. 
 
Mr. Balachandran said the CSC service outlets, which were hitherto providing citizen services of various types, would now be able to offer financial services, too, on digital platform by partnering with banks in a much bigger way. 
 
The thrust would be on under-banked and unbanked locations in the country. "CSC eGov can play a crucial role in combining the financial inclusion programme with Digital India programme and NPCI is proud to be associated with CSC eGov," Mr. Hota said.
 
Mr. R. R. Singh, Head, Operations of CSC EGov, said that it had been envisaged to cover all of Puducherry with more than 60 CSC locations by the end of March 2016. 
 
The model will be replicated in all 1,40,000 CSC EGov locations the country in a phased manner, he said.
 
He said the plan was to increase the number of CSCs to 2,50,000 in a year to ensure that each gram panchayat was covered and customers of banks get the service in their vicinity.
 
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Ariyankuppam CSC is the business correspondent of IndusInd Bank. CSC EGov outlets provide banking services as agents of banks.
 
"Aadhaar enabled Payment System is safe, secure and an easy to use payment platform. The customers can avail the benefit by using Aadhaar number and finger prints. This system is based on the demographic and biometric/iris information of an individual, which eliminates the threat of any fraud and non-genuine activity. Aadhaar will facilitate ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ authentication to its beneficiary," a press release from NPCI said.
 
The system facilitates disbursement of government entitlements like NREGA, Social Security pension, Handicapped Old Age Pension and so on of any Central or State Government bodies, using Aadhaar and authentication thereof as supported by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
 
Customer Service Centre is an outfit of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), It has so far set up over 1,40,000 CSCs, which provide various services like Aadhaar enrolment, Death, Birth & Domicile certificate, PAN application, and so on.
 
The scope of activities will now be extended to provide banking services, which in addition to customer convenience will also increase CSCs' income as banks will pay remuneration to them for the purpose. 
 
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Heavy rains likely over south coastal AP, Rayalaseema, TN, Puducherry, Kerala over next four days

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today said a low pressure area was expected to form over southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood by tomorrow and heavy rains were likely at isolated places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala today. 
 
An official press release said heavy rains would occur tomorrow at isolated places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
 
Heavy to very heavy rains are expected on Sunday at a few places over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and heavy rains at isolated places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. 
 
The IMD said that heavy to very heavy rains would occur at a few places over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Monday, with extremely heavy falls at isolated places.
 
Heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places are also expected over coastal Andhra Pradesh and heavy rains over Rayalaseema, south interior Karnataka and Kerala, it said.
 
On November 17, too, heavy to very heavy rain could occur at a few places over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and coastal Andhra Pradesh, with extremely heavy falls at isolated places, it said.
 
Heavy to very heavy rains are expected at isolated places over Rayalaseema and heavy rains over south interior Karnataka and Kerala, the release added.
 
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Deep depresession over Bay of Bengal to cross TN coast on Monday afternoon: IMD

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The deep depression over southwest Bay of Bengal was expected to cross the north Tamil Nadu coast, to the south of Puducherry, close to Cuddalore, around noon today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
A bulletin issued by IMD at noon today said the deep depression had moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 18 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 0830 hours IST of today near latitude 11.6°N and longitude 80.3°E, about 60 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 150 km southeast of Chennai. 
 
"It would move west-northwestwards and cross north Tamil  Nadu coast to the south of Puducherry, close to Cuddalore around noon of today, the 9 th November," it said.
 
The bulletin said rainfall would occur at most places over north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 24 hours, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (25 cm or more).
 
It said rainfall would occur at many places over south Tamil Nadu, Rayalseema and south coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next 24 hours, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls, and over coastal  coastal and south interior Karnataka and Kerala during the next 48 hours.
 
Squally wind speed reaching 55-65 kmph, gusting to 75 kmph, would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 24 hours.
 
The bulletin said the state of sea would be very rough along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 24 hours.
 
Fishermen were advised not to venture into sea along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 24 hours.
 
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Depression over Bay of Bengal likely to intensify, cross TN coast on Nov 9

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A depression over southwest Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and cross the Tamil Nadu coast between Karaikal and Chennai, close to Puducherry, around November 9 night, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
 
In a pre-cyclone watch for north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts issued tonight, the IMD said the depression had moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 15 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 1730 hours IST of today near latitude 11.2° N and longitude 82.5° E, about 320 km southeast of Chennai, 300 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 320 km east-northeast of Jaffna (Sri Lanka). 
 
"It would move west-northwestwards, intensify into a deep depression during next 12 hours and subsequently into a cyclonic storm. It would cross north Tamil Nadu coast between Karaikal and Chennai close to Puducherry around 9th night," the bulletin said.
 
The bulletin said rainfall would occur at most places over north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 12 hours and north Tamil Nadu andPuducherry during the subsequent 36 hours, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (25 cm or more).
 
It said rainfall would occur at many places, with isolated heavy falls, over south and north interior Tamil Nadu during the next 24 hours and over south Tamil Nadu, Rayalseema, south coastal Andhra Pradesh, south interior Karnataka and Kerala during the subsequent 24 hours.
 
The IMD said squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph, would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 24 hrs. It would increase gradually, becoming 60-70 kmph, gusting to 80 kmph, along and off above coasts from tomorrow afternoon.
 
The state of sea would be rough to very rough along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 48 hours.
 
The bulletin advised fishermen not to venture into the sea along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 48 hours.
 
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Biennial election to Rajya Sabha from Puducherry on September 28

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The Election Commission today said it would hold a biennial election to the Rajya Sabha on September 28 from Puducherry to fill a vacancy that will be caused by the expiry of the term of office of sitting member P. Kannan.
 
An official press release said the notification for the election would be issued on September 10 and the last date for making nominations will be September 18.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up at 5 pm on September 28 after the end of polling, it added.
 
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Air India to introduce flight between Bengaluru, Puducherry

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National carrier Air India will introduce a new flight between Bengaluru and Puducherry with an ATR aircraft from April 14.
 
A press release from the airline said flight 9I 509 will leave Bengaluru at 15.35 hrs on all days of the week except Wednesdays to reach Puducherry at 16.35 hrs.  The return flight 9I 510 will leave Puducherry at 16.55 hrs on the same days to reach Bengaluru at 17.55 hrs.
 
Besides providing convenient connection for passengers from Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, the new flight will save the Bengaluru air passengers of the time consuming and arduous journey by surface to Puducherry, the release added.
 
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