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West Bengal

Heavy turnout of voters in first phase of Assembly polls in West Bengal, Assam

More than 80.92 percent of the voters exercised their franchise in the first phase of polling in the elections to the legislative assembly of West Bengal and 78 percent in Assam amidst tight security on Monday.

More than 80.92 percent of the voters exercised their franchise in the first phase of polling in the elections to the legislative assembly of West Bengal and 78 percent in Assam amidst tight security today.
 
Polling was by and large peaceful in both the states, with no major untoward incident reported from anywhere, official osurces said.
 
In West Bengal, voting was held today in 18 constituencies in Phase IA of polling. They include six seats in Paschim Medinipur, nine in Purulia and three in Bankura district.
 
These constituencies have a total electorate of 40,09,171 voters, including 20,47,202 men and 19,57,453 women. There are 4500 service electors in these constituencies.
 
There were a total of 133 candidates in these constituencies, including 11 women.
 
The Election Commission had set up 4945 polling stations and made elaborate arrangements to ensure a smooth poll in these constituencies.
 
As many as 65 constituencies went to the polls in the first phase of voting in Assam. There were 566 candidates in all, including 44 women. Prominent candidates in the fray included Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of the Congress, who is seeking a fourth conseccutive term, and Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, the chief ministerial candidate of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
 
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16 dead, 63 injured as under-construction flyover collapses in Kolkata

At least 16 persons died and 63 others suffered injuries when an under-construction flyover, which has been more than six years in the making, collapsed in the busy and congested Bura Bazaar area of north Kolkata on Thursday.

 
Kolkata: 10 dead in under-construction bridge collapse
 
At least 16 persons died and 63 others suffered injuries when an under-construction flyover, which has been more than six years in the making, collapsed in the busy and congested Bura Bazaar area of north Kolkata today.
 
Police sources told NetIndian that the 16 dead included 14 men and two women, all of whom were crushed under the tonnes of concrete and steel that came crashing on them around 1215 pm today without any warning.
 
They said nearly 60 others had been taken to various hospitals in the city for treatment of injuries.
 
Officials feared the number of casualties could increase as search and rescue teams made their way through the mangled steel and concrete through the night.
 
Army personnel and teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) joined the local police, the fire brigade, other agencies and hundreds of volunteers in a massive rescue effort with specialised equipment, sniffer dogs and so on.
 
Several people were feared trapped below the debris of the bridge and frantic efforts were being made to reach them without loss of time. As people dug through the rubble, they found cars, taxis and other vehicles trapped under the concrete.
 
Hundreds of people of the locality and passers-by rushed to the spot and began trying to remove the debris with their bare hands, using whatever equipment they could lay their hands on, even as the authorities made arrangements to rush cranes, gas cutters and other machinery as well as ambulancesto the scene. 
 
Scores of witnesses told journalists at the scene that they heard a loud rumble and then a massive thud as the huge bridge suddenly came down without any warning.
 
Footage from a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera in the area showed people going about their normal business and traffic moving as usual under the flyover when it suddenly came crashing down.
 
Traffic in the entire area came to a total standstill and there were traffic snarls in several nearby areas as a consequence.
 
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was campaigning for the state assembly elections outside Kolkata, rushed back to the state capital and visited the scene of the tragedy.
 
She said stringent action would be taken against officials of the construction company, the Hyderabad-based IVRCL Limited, or any others found guilty of negligence.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in the United States on an official visit, took stock of the situation and expressed shock and grief over the incident.
 
“Shocked and saddened by collapse of under construction flyover in Kolkata. Took stock of the situation and rescue operations. 
 
"My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in Kolkata. May the injured recover at the earliest," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was touring West Bengal as part of the BJP's election campaign, asked the Director General, NDRF, Mr. O.P.Singh, to rush rescue teams to the spot.
 
An official press release said seven NDRF teams had been deputed to the site and two more teams were being mobilized for the rescue operations.
 
"I am deeply saddened to know that precious lives have been lost in the Kolkata accident," he added.
 
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Modi invokes spirit of Team India; says Centre, states must work together

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday described the Central government and the 29 state governments in the country as "30 pillars of Team India" which would together take the country forward.

 
Delhi alone will not run nation: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today described the Central government and the 29 state governments in the country as "30 pillars of Team India" which would together take the country forward.
 
Addressing a public meeting after dedicating to the nation the 2.5 million tonne modernised and expanded IISCO steel plant at Burnpur in West Bengal, he mentioned various instances of cooperative federalism of recent months, including the setting up of the NITI Aayog, and the devolution of additional revenues to the States through acceptance of the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. 
 
He also mentioned that the decades-old land boundary issue between India and Bangladesh had been successfully resolved through the same spirit of Team India, with all state governments concerned and political parties coming together to support a solution of the problem.
 
He said the nation would move ahead faster when the Centre and the states worked together.
 
"Sadly Centre-State relations were tensed for a long time. I have been Chief Minister for a long time and I know that such behaviour will not be good. We have brought in a change, we focused on co-operative federalism. Delhi alone will not run the nation," he said.
 
"India will not change without a 'Team India'. The Prime Minister and Chief Ministers are one team that will take India ahead. The nation is bigger than any party," he said.
 
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Mr Modi said the time had now come for India to address the issue of "geographical imbalance" along with the economic and social imbalances. He said that eastern India, too, should develop as fast as western India is developing, and for that, development of West Bengal is essential. 
 
"The eastern part of India has immense potential. The people are also skilled," he said.
 
He said District Mineral Foundations would be set up to help speed up progress and welfare of the poor in mineral-rich districts. He said that, within a year, the atmosphere of gloom in the country had lifted, and all global rating agencies were now agreed that India is among the world's fastest growing economies.
 
"A year ago the world had a different perception about India. Now the world says in one voice that India is a fast growing economy," he added.
 
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Modi "deeply concerned", asks for report on Nadia nun's gang-rape, Hisar church attack

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has voiced deep concern about the alleged gangrape of an elderly nun at Nadia in West Bengal recentlyand the attack on a church at Hisar in Haryana and sought an immediate report on the incidents.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has voiced deep concern about the alleged gangrape of an elderly nun at Nadia in West Bengal recentlyand the attack on a church at Hisar in Haryana and sought an immediate report on the incidents.
 
"PM is deeply concerned about the incidents in Hisar, Haryana and Nadia, West Bengal," the Prime MInister's Office (PMO) said on micro-blogging site Twitter today.
 
"PMO has asked for immediate report on facts & action taken regarding the incidents in Haryana and West Bengal," it added.
 
A 71-year-old nun was allegedly gang-raped by dacoits at a convent in Nadia district in the early hours of Saturday. The incident has triggered protests in West Bengal and the state government has ordered a probe by the CID in the case.
 
In the second incident, a church under construction at Kaimri village near Hisar in Haryana was vandalised by a group of people on Sunday.
 
Both the incidents have evoked widespread condemnation across the country, with the Christian community expressing serious concern about the safety of churches and other institutions.
 
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Polling underway for 41 seats in final phase of LS elections

Polling was underway on Monday amidst tight security in 41 constituencies spread over three states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal -- in the ninth and final phase of elections to the 16th Lok Sabha.

 
Ninth phase of 16th LS polls underway
Polling was underway today amidst tight security in 41 constituencies spread over three states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal -- in the ninth and final phase of elections to the 16th Lok Sabha.
 
Thousands of voters turned out to exercise their franchise in these constituencies and long queues of voters  were seen at many polling stations despite the sweltering heat,
 
All eyes were, however, on Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the second constituency from which BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is trying to make his maiden entry into the Lok Sabha. His main rivals in Varanasi are Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal and local Congress leader Ajay Rai.
 
Mr Modi is also in the fray from Vadodara in Gujarat, where polling was held on April 30.
 
Around 1.6 million people are eligible to cast their votes in Varanasi in what is clearly the keenest contest of the 2014 elections. There were long queues of voters outside polling stations in most areas of the city.
 
The authorities have deployed around 45,000 security personnel to ensure free and fair polls in the constituency. More than 12,000 polling booths were put under surveillance with CCTV cameras and proceedings at more than 300 polling stations were being videographed.
 
The Election Commission has deployed Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar as a special observer for the constituency following complaints of bias against the local election officials by the BJP. Several senior police officers of Uttar Pradesh are also camping in the city.
 
The constituencies that voted today included 18 in Uttar Pradesh, 17 in West Bengal and six in Bihar. They have a total of 66.13 million voters and there were 606 candidates in the fray.
 
The first phase of polling in the long drawn out election process was held on April 7. Counting of votes for all constituencies will be taken up on May 16 and all results are expected by that evening. Two members in the 545-member Lok Sabha are nominated by the President from the Anglo-Indian community.
 
Other prominent candidates in the fray in Uttar Pradesh include Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo and former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav from Azamgarh and UP Legislative Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey from Doomariaganj.
 
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Union Minister of State for Home Affairs R P N Singh is contesting from Kushinagar and popular Bhojpuri film actor Ravi Kishan from Jaunpur, both on the Congress ticket. Veteran BJP leader Kalraj Mishra is contesting the Deoria seat. Quami Ekta Dal (QED) leader Mukhtar Ansari, who withdrew from the contest in Varanasi and later announced his support for the Congress, is in the contest from Ghosi.
 
In Bihar, the prominent candidates include well-known Hindi filmmaker Prakash Jha, who is trying his luck yet again, this time as a Janata Dal (United) candidate, and former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
 
In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has fielded former Union Ministers Sudip Bandopadhyay, Dinesh Trivedi in Barrackpore and Sougata Roy in Dum Dum and actors Dipak Adhikari (Dev) from Ghatal and Tapas Paul in Krishinagar.
 
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has put up Ms Subhashini Ali against Mr Trivedi in Barrackpore, while the BJP has fielded well-known magician P C Sorcar (Junior) in Barasat. West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury is the party's candidate in Berhampore.
 
The TMC had won 14 of the 17 seats that went to the polls today in West Bengal in the 2009 elections, while the CPI, SUCI and Congress had won one each. The TMC and the Congress were in an alliance then. The CPI (M) had not won a single seat from these in 2009.
 
There are a total of 328 candidates, including 18 women, in the 18 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh, which have a total electorate of 31.6 million voters.
 
In Bihar, more than 8.8 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the six constituences which have a total of 90 candidates in the fray.
 
The 17 constituencies that went to the polls in West Bengal have a total electorate of  25.61 million and 188 candidates in the fray.
 
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Scientists develop natural material for faster blood clotting

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Excessive blood loss due to injury may result in serious medical complications and, in extreme situations, even death. The problem could be severe in case of patients with impaired blood clotting capacity such as in hemophilia. To address this challenge, Indian scientists have developed a nature-inspired biomaterial with enhanced blood clotting efficiency to treat injuries.
 
The new material has been developed by scientists at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata (IISERK) and Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata. Researchers have modified natural biomaterials, peptides, to develop sealants with improved strength, stability and clotting properties.
 
"We have engineered fibrin-inspired peptide-based sealants which have demonstrated superior blood clotting ability than natural fibrin,” explained Dr Rituparna Sinha Roy, a member of the research team.
 
The study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.
 
Computer based analyses was employed, using various approaches, to generate sealant structures with desired properties, explained Prof Dhananjay Bhattacharyya, a senior researcher of the study. These structures were then synthesized and evaluated under laboratory conditions.
 
These tests revealed that the engineered sealant was able to self-assemble, much like the human body’s natural clotting mechanism, to form an interwoven structure resembling a clot but in nearly half the time. This enhanced clotting rate can play an extremely crucial role in treating injuries sustained during accidents or military combat, researchers pointed out.
 
The natural material of the engineered sealant will ensure that it is tolerated by the body with minimal inflammatory response. It is also bio-degradable, similar to the natural clotting factor. “Such sealants might be potentially translated into clinics for handling traumatic coagulopathy and for treating patients suffering from impaired blood clotting", felt Sinha Roy.
 
The researchers claim that the sealant may also find use in treating injuries where surrounding healthy skin tissue is absent and the body is incapable of closing its own wounds. The study also proposes the use of the engineered sealants in suture-free wound closing, such as in deep cuts or after surgical procedure.
 
The research team included Snehasish Ghosh, Sanchita Mukherjee, Chiranjit Dutta, Kasturee Chakraborty, Paramita Gayen, Somnath Jan, Dhananjay Bhattacharyya and Rituparna Sinha Roy. 
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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Rajnath Singh urges GJM leaders to call of hunger strike, withdraw bandh call

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday appealed to the leaders of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and other stakeholders in Darjeeling to call off their hunger strike and also withdraw the "bandh" call so that normalcy could return to the area.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh also West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to initiate a dialogue with the GJM and other stakeholders of Darjeeling, who are on a strike for the past 60 days.
 
The Home Minister made the appeal during a meeting with a delegation of Gorkhaland Movement leaders who called on him here yesterday. The delegation submitted a memorandum on their demands to him.
 
“The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has called for an indefinite strike in Darjeeling hills with effect from 12-06-2017 demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland," Mr. Rajnath Singh said in his appeal.
 
"I am concerned about the developments in Darjeeling and the loss of valuable lives and sufferings of people over the past 60 days which pains me immensely. 
 
"Violence can never be a solution to any problem. In a democracy, solutions are always found through restraint, mutual dialogue and within the legal ambit," he said.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh said the Government was aware of the strategic importance of the region and the challenges faced in the region. He said he was kept informed on the developments in the region on a regular basis by his ministerial colleague, Mr. S S Ahluwalia, the Lok Sabha member from Darjeeling.
 
"Keeping in mind the national interest, as well as in the interest of our Gorkha brothers and sisters, who are brave and large hearted people and have contributed immensely to nation building, I appeal to GJM and all other stakeholders to call off the hunger strike, and also to withdraw the bandh call, allowing normalcy to return to the area. It is a move that will help to create an atmosphere for finding a solution to the current crisis. 
 
"I also appeal to West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee to initiate a dialogue with the GJM and other stakeholders of Darjeeling, who are on a strike for last 60 days. In the meantime, the state government should restore all civil supplies and also restore internet services, Cable TV & local channels. 
 
"I also appeal to the people of Darjeeling to display sensitivity, and also keep in mind their civic responsibilities. No grievances & problems can be resolved without any dialogue," he added.
 
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Kolkata East-West Metro Corridor's underwater tunnel by December 2019

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The underwater tunnel in Kolkata East-West Metro corridor, an Indian Railways project, is expected to be completed by December 2019, the Lok Sabha was informed yesterday.
 
The twin tunnel, being constructed below the Hooghly river, between Howrah and Mahakaran stations, is the first underwater transportation tunnel in the country, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said in a written reply during Question Hour.
 
The length of the river crossing is 520 meters and the internal diameter of each tunnel is 5.55 meters, he added.
 
The total estimated cost of the Kolkata East West Metro Corridor Project is Rs 8996.96 crore. Construction of the underwater tunnel below is completed. The work of construction of tunnel (total 10.81 Km) in this project is targeted for completion by December 2019, he added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes West Bengal on Monday afternoon

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale, was recorded in West Bengal this afternoon.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 26.8°N and longitude 89.2°E, occurred at 1517 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
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Mukherjee distributes free LPG connections under PMUY at Jangipur, West Bengal

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President Pranab Mukherjee today distributed free LPG connections to 11 women under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) at Jangipur in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
 
With this, the Central Government has distributed 2.5 crore LPG connections under PMUY among the poor and marginalised households across the country since its launch. The PMUY was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1, 2016.
 
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Abhijit Mukherjee, MP and Ranjan Mahapatra, Executive Director, Indian Oil, Kolkata were also present on the occasion.
 
The LPG connections granted under PMUY crossed the 25 million mark with the one given to Ms Gouri Sarkar of Raghunathgunj by Mr Mukherjee.
 
On the occasion, Mr Pradhan said more than 600 distributorships will be commissioned in the state out of which more than 50 will be in Murshidabad district.
 
The scheme aims to provide LPG connections to 50 million BPL households by 2019 and is a part of a larger program of adding 100 million new LPG connections by 2019 to achieve full coverage.
 
This is the first time in the history of the country that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is implementing a welfare scheme benefiting millions of women belonging to the BPL households. The identification of BPL families has been made on Social Economic Caste Census (SECC)- 2011 data.
 
The scheme of providing clean cooking fuel has also reduced drudgery, the time spent on cooking and also provides employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas. 
 
PMUY scheme provides assistance of Rs. 1600 to the woman beneficiary, comprising security deposit of 14.2 Kg cylinder and domestic pressure regulator; Suraksha hose; domestic gas consumer card and installation charges.
 
In the financial year 2016-17, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have given 32.5 million new connections across the country. This is the highest ever LPG connections released in any given year. In the current fiscal PMUY connections have been presented so far to women beneficiaries from across the country, taking the total number of active LPG consumers to 207 million.
 
LPG demand in the country has registered a growth rate of more than 33% during last three years. More than 5000 new distributors have been added in the last 3 years which have come up primarily in rural areas to cater to the enhanced LPG demand generated by PMUY.
 
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Mukherjee inaugurates Satya Bharti School in Kanidighi, West Bengal

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President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a new school of the Satya Bharti Foundation at Kanidighi in Murshidabad district of West Bengal yesterday.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mukherjee said that Satya Bharti schools are providing quality education to students with main focus on girls belonging to weaker sections of society. He appreciated the Satya Bharti Foundation for establishing schools in rural areas to cater to educational needs of local children. 
 
On the occasion, the President also launched a special compendium capturing the dreams and aspirations of an ideal schooling experience as expressed by the students under various education programs being run by the Bharti Foundation across the country. 
 
Mr. Abhijit Mukherjee, MP (Lok Sabha), Mr. Subrata Saha, MLA, Sagardighi, Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation and Mr. Vijay Chadda, CEO, Bharti Foundation were also present on the occasion. 
 
The school is the tenth in West Bengal under Bharti Foundation's flagship "Satya Bharti School" programme, which currently provides quality education to more than 1900 students across 10 schools in the State, 57% of them girls. Bharti Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises.
 
"With this new school at Kanidighi, we aim to continue delivering on our promise of quality education to every underprivileged child in the school’s vicinity. The new school marks the beginning of a new chapter for us and further strengthens our resolve to continue our journey in the State," Mr. Mittal said.
 
The Kanidighi School is proposed to be an elementary school with classes from Pre-Primary up to Class VIII. Currently, the school has classes up to Class II, with one class to be added every subsequent year. In addition to local students, this school will also cater to students from neighbouring Satya Bharti Schools.
 
The Satya Bharti School program currently operates 249 primary / elementary schools and five senior secondary schools across six states ( Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal) reaching out to 43,664 children employing 1,667 teachers. With a focus on the girl child [49% girl students] and the weaker sections of society [75% of children from SC/ST/OBC communities], the program is one of the largest end-to-end education initiatives by a corporate in the country. 
 
It also enhances the schooling experience in Government Schools under its Satya Bharti Quality Support Program and Satya Bharti Learning Centre Program. Overall, Bharti Foundation’s education initiatives are reaching out to close to 2,00,000 underprivileged children in 13 states, the release added.
 
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Mukherjee to visit West Bengal from July 14-15

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President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a two-day visit to West Bengal from tomorrow, an official press release said here today.
 
Tomorrow, Mr. Mukherjee will inaugurate the Satya Bharti School at Kanidighi. On the same day, he will also inaugurate the 7th Edition of KKM Memorial Gold Cup- Rural Football Tournament -2017 at Mackenzie Park Football Ground.
 
On July 15, the President will distribute LPG connections at Jangipur Bhawan. He will also address an ex-servicemen's rally at Nabagram Military Station before returning to Delhi, the release added.
 
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CBI registers case against Principal Commissioner of IT, Ranchi, recovers Rs. 3.5 crore in cash, 5 kgs of gold

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had registered a case against the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Ranchi and others on the allegations of criminal conspiracy, illegal gratification and criminal misconduct.
 
Sleuths of the agency conducted searches at the premises of the accused persons at 23 locations, including 18 in Kolkata and five at Ranchi, today, a press release from the CBI said.
 
During the search at the residence of Principal Commissioner at Kolkata, cash of approximately Rs. 3.5 crore and about five kg of gold, along with some incriminating documents, were recovered, it said.
 
Searches at various locations are in progress and further investigations are continuing, it said.
 
Apart from the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, the case has also been filed against the Additional CIT, Ranchi; ITO (Tech), Ranchi; another officer of Income Tax, Ranchi; six private persons and other unknown public servants/private persons/companies under sections 120-B of Indian Penal Code (IPC), read with sections 7, 12, 13(2) r/w 13 (1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
 
It was alleged that the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Ranchi, while functioning as such during the years 2016 and 2017, had entered into a criminal conspiracy with Additional CIT, Ranchi, ITO (Tech.), another officer, Income Tax Department and five private persons, all Kolkata based businessmen and entry operators and a CA of Kolkata for getting Income Tax assessment files of their different assessee companies transferred from Kolkata/ Hazaribagh to Ranchi for providing undue favour to those assesses, who have been charged with heavy tax liability, in lieu of huge bribe. 
 
It was further alleged that the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Ranchi had already issued favourable orders in the case of private companies, who already paid huge bribe, which has allegedly been stashed with a private person, the release added.
 
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Cabinet approves creation of posts of Directors for new AIIMS in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra

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The Union Cabinet today approved the creation of three posts of Directors in the pre-revised scale of Rs. 80,000 (fixed) {plus NPA Ceiling limit Rs. 85,000} for the three new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Mangalagiri near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Kalyani in West Bengal and Nagpur in Maharashtra. 
 
An official press release said that, as per the AIIMS Act 1956 amended vide AIIMS (Amendment) Act, 2012, there shall be a Chief Executive Officer of the Institute. He shall be designated as the Director of the Institute and shall be appointed by the Institute provided that the first Director of the Institute shall be appointed by the Central Government. 
 
The Director shall act as the Secretary to the Institute as well as the Governing Body and support proper functioning and governance of the three AIIMS. 
 
The post will be immediately filled up following due procedures. The annual financial implication for each of the post of the Director will be around Rs. 25 Lakhs, as per the 6th Central Pay Commission.
 
The Union Finance Minister in his Budget speech for the year 2014-15 had announced for setting up of four new AIIMS in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The Cabinet had approved establishment of new AIIMS at Mangalagiri near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Kalyani in West Bengal and Nagpur in Maharashtra at a cost of Rs. 4949 crore on 07.10.2015. 
 
The three AIIMS are being set up as a part of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) launched in 2003 with objectives of correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country.
 
PMSSY has two components: (i) Setting up of AIIMS like institutions (ii) Upgradation of Government Medical Colleges/Institutions. Under this scheme AIIMS have been established in Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Raipur, Jodhpur, Rishikesh and Patna while work of AIIMS Rae Bareli is in progress. Also, three AIIMS in Nagpur(Maharashtra), Kalyani (West Bengal) and Mangalagiri in Guntur (A.P) have been sanctioned in 2015 and two AIIMS have been sanctioned in Bathinda and Gorakhpur in 2016 and Assam in 2017. All necessary steps are being taken for creation of the physical infrastructure and creation of faculty and non-faculty position required for operationalization of these three new AIIMS in Nagpur(Maharashtra), Kalyani(West Bengal) and Mangalagiri in Guntur (A.P). 
 
Design consultants have been appointed for all the three AIIMS on the basis of global bid as per mandate of the Cabinet. The master plans for these AIIMS have also been finalized. Detailed designs are under preparation. Proposals for creation of faculty and non-faculty positions are under consideration/discussion with Department of Expenditure, the release added.
 
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Rajnath Singh assures Sikkim CM of all assistance from Centre

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling today regarding the security situation in Sikkim and areas neighbouring West Bengal. 
 
In a telephonic conversation, Mr. Chamling apprised Mr. Rajnath Singh that Sikkim is facing an acute shortage of supplies specially essential commodities such as medicines, baby milk powder, vegetables and petrol and diesel due to closure of the national highway, the critical road link to Sikkim. 
 
The Home Minister assured him that the Centre would ensure the safety and security of National Highway (NH) 10 and do everything possible to save the people of the state from any misery and ensure essential supplies to the State of Sikkim. 
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh has asked Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi to coordinate with West Bengal administration and ensure the safety, security and smooth traffic on NH 10. 
 
The West Bengal Government is being requested to ensure that the road link to Sikkim remained open, an official press release added.
 
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SpiceJet to operate special flight for stranded passengers in Bagdogra

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet will operate a special flight on the Kolkata – Bagdogra – Kolkata route on June 10 to help tourists stranded in West Bengal's hill town of Darjeeling.
 
A press release from the airline said it would be operating its Q400 aircraft for this special flight. 
 
The special flight SG9371 will fly from Kolkata at 16.55 hrs on 10 June and will arrive at 18:15 hrs at Bagdogra. The return flight would depart Bagdogra at 18.35 and arrive in Kolkata at 19.55 hrs.
 
The flight will be in addition to the daily direct flight which SpiceJet operates on this route, the release added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Jalpaiguri region of West Bengal

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale, shook the Jalpaiguri region of Bangladesh tonight, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 26.7 N and longitude 88.8 E, occurred at 2013 hours a focal depth of 30 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Mukherjee to pay two-day visit to West Bengal on May 18-19

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President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a two-day visit to West Bengal on May 18-19, during which he will inaugurate the Indian Institute of Liver and Digestive Sciences at Sonarpur, South 24 Parganas, tomorrow.
 
Also tomorrow, he will receive the first copy of the book 'Metaphysics, Morals and Politics’ from Prof. Amal Kumar Mukhopadhyay in Kolkata, an official press release said.
 
On May 19, the President will pay floral tributes to late Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, former President of India, on his birth snniversary at Raj Bhavan, Kolkata. Later in the day, he will present Dr. Malati Allen Noble Award, Dr. Sarkar Allen Mahatma Hahnemann Award and Dr. Sankar Allen Swamiji Award instituted by the Dr. Malati Allen Charitable Trust in Kolkata and inaugurate the Integrated Renewable Energy Smart Microgrid Centre and Centre for Water and Environmental Research at the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology at Shibpur, Howrah.  
 
Before returning to Delhi, he will also receive the books ‘Jnan, A-Jnan O Bijnan’ and ‘Samudra Banijjer Prekshite Sthala Banijjya, Bharat Mahasagar Anchal, 1500-1800’ from Dr. Sushil Chaudhury and Dr. Mahasweta Chaudhury in Kolkata, the release added.
 
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Mukherjee says there could be debate, disagreement, dissension but not intolerance

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President Pranab Mukherjee has said that India is a land of tolerance and that there could be debate, disagreement and dissension but not intolerance.
 
"We adopt, embrace and absorb but never reject," he said in his address at the 52nd annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIMC) here yesterday.
 
Mr. Mukherjee said he had been repeatedly emphasizing that institutions of higher learning in the country should find hteir place in the top global rankings as per rating agencies. He said he was happy that now a couple of institutions were finding their rightful place in this regard.
 
He said he was glad to observe that the IIMC had retained its distinctive charm. "Yet, the initiatives underway to expand the facilities and enhance the infrastructure of the campus are visible," he said.
 
Mr. Mukherjee recalled that IIM Calcutta was established on November 14, 1961 to give shape to the vision of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He said the IITs and IIMs were envisaged by Nehru as national institutions of excellence in engineering and management education that would mould high calibre of human capital. Over the years, IIM Calcutta has endeavoured to walk this path of excellence, he said.
 
The President said that the atmosphere in institutions should be free from both physical as well as mental violence. 
 
"Indians could be described as argumentative but never intolerant.  In ancient India, seats of higher learning such as Nalanda, Vikramshila and Taxila attracted mighty minds from all over the world and truly became a confluence of civilizational thoughts and ideas. 
 
He quoted Gandhiji and said “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any”.  
 
"If our feet are firmly on the ground, we will not be blown off by ideas from outside," Mr. Mukherjee added.
 
The President also laid the foundation stone of Rabindra Bhawan and Haj House in Ranchi, Jharkhand today.
 
"It is indeed a matter of pleasure that Gurudev (Rabindranath Tagore) and his family who left a long lasting impression in the state will be commemorated through the construction of Rabindra Bhavan," he said.
 
He said his association with Jharkhand, as indeed the entire Eastern region, goes back many a decades with the neighbouring West Bengal being his home state. Indeed Bihar, undivided Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa and Assam were part of the same Bengal Presidency for a long period in the earlier part of the last century. The area has a shared past and heritage and its shaping in the post Independence era has also been similar. 
 
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The President said that for Muslims a travel to Mecca for Haj is a lifetime dream. It is indeed commendable that the Government of Jharkhand has come up with the project of establishing a “Haj House” to facilitate Haj pilgrimage, he said, expressing confidence that this would provide much needed relief to the pilgrims from the State and the area. 
 
Mr. Mukherjee also inaugurated the 44 km Deoghar - Basukinath Solar Street Light Project and laid the foundation stone of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) Centre; Employees State Insurance Corporation Hospital and Driver's Training Centres at Deoghar, Jharkhand today.
 
He said that Jharkhand played a key role in India’s freedom struggle. The pain and sacrifices of Sidho Murmu, Kanho Murmu, Tilka Manjhi and Birsa Munda are always remembered. The state has made progress on many fronts since attaining statehood in 2000. Its rich deposits of mineral resources, forests and industrial infrastructure have laid down the foundation for all-round development. 
 
The President said that the problem of job creation cannot be solved unless people are imparted skills to increase their employability. India has a huge workforce and skill development can help in economic development of this vast country. 
 
The President said that he believed that the initiatives launched today would transform the employment landscape of the region.
 
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Mukherjee to visit West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar from April 1-3

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President Pranab Mukherjee will visit West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar from April 1-3 during which he will, among other engagements, attend the 52nd annual convocation of Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC) in Kolkata as the chief guest.  
 
On April 2, the President will lay the foundation stone of Rabindra Bhawan and Haj House at Ranchi in Jharkhand. On the same day, he will also inaugurate the 44 km Deoghar-Basukinath Solar Street Light Project and lay the foundation stone of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) Centre; Employees State Insurance Corporation Hospital and Driver's Training Centres at Deoghar in that state.
 
On April 3, Mr. Mukherjee will visit Vikramshila University Monuments and Museum at Vikramshila in Bihar.  He will also visit Guru Shyama Charan Lahiri Peeth, Gurudham-Bounsi before returning to Delhi, an official press release added.
 
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Ernakulam-Howrah Antyodaya Express, Sri Ganganagar-Tiruchirappalli Humsafar Express flagged off

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Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu today flagged off two trains -- the first Antyodaya Express between Ernakulam in Kerala and Howrah in West Bengal and the fourth Humsafar Express between Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan and Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu.
 
Antyodaya Express is a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes. It will have facilities like  cushioned luggage racks which can serve as seats additional hand holds in doorway area, J-Hook near longitudinal luggage racks, multiple unit cables at both ends of the coach, vestibuled ends for internal movement of the passengers, drinking water dispenser, mobile phone charging points, fire extinguisher with anti-theft lock, FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) modular toilets, toilet occupation indication display board, LED lights, anti-graffiti coating for exterior painting, and so on.
 
Humsafar Express is a fully air-conditioned 3-AC service with facilities like GPS-based Passenger Information System, Passenger announcement System, fire and smoke detection and suppression system, CCTVs, comfortable seats, mobile and laptop charging points, integrated Braille display, LCD display above compartment doors in the aisle, fire retardant curtains, and so on.
 
Mr. Prabhu said the Railways would soon launch Tejas and Uday Express trains also.
 
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Netaji great son of motherland, says Mukherjee

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President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated here yesterday the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Netaji Research Bureau founded by Dr. Sisir Kumar Bose in 1957 at Kolkata, West Bengal.
 
He also unveiled and sat in the restored Wanderer car used by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his ‘Mahanishkraman’ in January 1941.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mukherjee described Dr. Sisir Kumar Bose as a close personal friend of many years. He remembered how Netaji had asked Dr. Bose in December 1940: “Amaar ekta kaj korte parbe?” (Can you do some work for me?) 
 
The President said Dr Bose never stopped doing Netaji’s work until he passed away. He built the Netaji Research Bureau with singular determination and devoted his entire life to the work of Netaji. 
 
The President pointed out that Netaji's birthday falls a few days from now, on January 23 and paid homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as a great son of the motherland who dedicated his life to the nation and the people. 
 
He congratulated the Netaji Research Bureau for having refurbished the 'Wanderer' which was a mute witness to the 'Great Escape' of this extraordinary personality serving the nation over the last 60 years. He called upon the Research Bureau to continue its important work in the days to come. 
 
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Mukherjee to unveil Netaji's restored Wanderer car in Kolkata

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President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a three-day visit to Jharkhand and West Bengal from tomorrow during which he will, among other engagements, inaugurate the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Netaji Research Bureau in Kolkata.
 
He will also unveil the restored Wanderer car used by Netaji Subash Chandra Bose on his "Mahanishkraman" in January 1941.
 
Also tomorrow, Mr. Mukherjee will inaugurate the centenary Year Celebrations of Jhalda Satyabhama Vidyapith at Jhalda, Purulia, an official press release said. 
 
On January 19, the President will inaugurate the 28th Dantan Gramin Mela-2017 at Dantan, Paschim Medinipur. He will also attend the 35th Anniversary celebrations of Aajkaal at Kolkata on the same day.
 
On January 20, the President will inaugurate the Bengal Global Business Summit-2017. On the same day, he will inaugurate the Bicentenary Celebrations of the Hindu School. The President will also inaugurate the Bicentenary Celebrations of Presidency University at Kolkata before returning to Delhi, the release added.
 
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BHEL commissions 500 MW thermal unit in West Bengal

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The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had successfully commissioned another 500 MW thermal unit in West Bengal.  
 
The unit is the second 500 MW set to be commissioned at Sagardighi Thermal Power Station (TPS) Phase II project in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. 
 
The first unit of the 1,000 MW project was commissioned earlier by BHEL in December, 2015. 
 
The project has been set up by the state-owned West Bengal Power Development Corporation (WBPDCL).
 
A press release from the company said BHEL’s scope of work in the contract envisaged design, engineering, manufacture, supply and erection & commissioning of Steam Generators, Steam Turbine Generators and auxiliaries, electrical equipment, switchyard and state-of-the-art Controls & Instrumentation (C&I), along with associated civil works.
 
The equipment for the project was manufactured at BHEL’s Trichy, Ranipet, Haridwar, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Bhopal plants, while the company’s Power Sector - Eastern Region undertook erection and commissioning of the equipment.
 
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Six women die in stampede during Ganga Sagar Mela in West Bengal

 
Six women dead in stampede during Ganga Sagar Mela in West Bengal
As many as six elderly women died when they were caught in a rush of pilgrims at Kochuberia in South Parganas district of West Bengal on Sunday evening during the annual Ganga Sagar Mela, a religious fair held during the Makar Sankranti festival.
 
The incident occurred near a jetty when a part of the crowd surged forward to get on to a boat.
 
The victims were rushed to a nearby hospital but could not be revived, sources said.
 
There were conflicting versions about details of the tragedy but some sources said people had been waiting for a long time for a boat and had become restless, leading to a stampede-like situation.
 
The West Bengal government announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the incident.
 
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