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India poised to be more open, less protectionist: Jaitley
London/New Delhi, Feb 25: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that India aspires to be a more open economy and stay away from protectionism."An aspirational India poised to be more open and less protectionist," Jaitley said in his lecture on ‘Transforming India: Vision for the Next Decade' at the London School of Economics, adding that country's "emphasis is on infrastructure and rural sectors."The Finance Minister is on a five-day visit to Britain, during which he will meet his British counterpart, the Chancellor of Exchequer, interaction with over 100 business leaders from the UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) and roundtable with prospective issuers, leading investors and fintech leaders, among others.On Sunday, Jaitley will attend a reception being organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), the British Council and Indian High Commission.On February 27, he will perform market opening ceremony at London Stock...




ABVP has problem with idea of free debate, not me, says Umar Khalid
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,New Delhi, Feb 25: Umar Khalid, whose name in the list of speakers for a seminar at Ramjas College was said to be the main reason behind the violence, has questioned as to why Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) vandalised the seminar and beat up students and teachers even when the invitation to him was already cancelled and he wasn’t at the venue. JNU research scholar Khalid further said that he was not the ‘problem’ but the seminar i.e. platform of debate and discussion which, he said, ABVP has always opposed. “I did not go to Ramjas College on that day (21 Feb – first day of the seminar) as the Delhi Police had refused to provide me protection. Effectively I had to cancel my visit thinking that my presence could jeopardize the situation and put people at risk,” said Khalid. Though he wasn’t at the seminar, a group of ABVP members came up, vandalized the place and beat up students and some teacher...




Kejriwal calls Delhi Police 'agent' of BJP over Ramjas violence
New Delhi, Feb 25: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday slammed Delhi Police for showing alleged laxity in handling the clashes at Delhi University's Ramjas College and alleged that the police force has turned into an "agent" of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)."We strongly criticise the manner in which the Delhi Police has become an agent of the ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) and the BJP," Kejriwal told reporters here.He said that police's duty is to protect the citizens and not allow ABVP "goons" to indulge in violence."We strongly condemn violence in Delhi University and hope that Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), whose responsibility is to maintain law and order in Delhi as police reports to him, will punish the culprits," Kejriwal said.He also appealed to Modi to not act as a "BJP worker" and perform his duty in an impartial way."The Delhi Police reports to the Prime Minister. He is not the Prime Minister ...




Slain Indian engineer's wife seeks answers on rising hate crimes in US
Washington, Feb 25: The wife of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot dead at a US bar two days ago, has publicly sought answers to what she perceived was a spread in American hate crimes."I have a question in my mind: Do we belong here," Sunayana Dumala asked at a news conference on Friday at the headquarters of electronics manufacturer Garmin, where Kuchibhotla worked as an aviation systems engineer."We've read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting happening... And we always wondered, how safe we are?"Of the two of them, she said, she was most concerned, asking her reassuring husband: "Are we doing the right thing of staying in the United States of America?"Kuchibhotla hailed from Hyderabad and his wife is returning to India for Kuchibhotla's funeral. She said she wanted to come back to their home in south Olathe, Kansas state, fulfilling her husband's wishes for an American life and "me being successful in any field I choos...




Maharashtra verdict: Has Modi's demonetisation gamble paid off?
Amulya Ganguli,  The sweeping victories of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra's local elections mean that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won his demonetisation gamble.Earlier, too, the BJP had come out on top in a series of civic elections across the country and returned more recently as a major contender in Odisha.But the Maharashtra victories have confirmed that, first, Modi has retained much of his 2014 magic; and, secondly, the people did not consider demonetisation as either "despotic" or "inane", as the two noted Left-leaning economists, Amartya Sen and Prabhat Patnaik, described it.True, the real test of the Prime Minister's risky scrapping of high-denomination currency will be available on March 11 when the results of the assembly elections in five states will be announced, but the signs from Maharashtra should reassure the BJP that it will cross with relative ease that electoral Rubicon as well.If the BJP has faced considerable resistanc...




Indian engineer's killing: Where are Hindutva outfits that celebrated Trump's win?
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, Feb 25: Hate is blind and once accepted and celebrated it expands its target and territory. This is exactly what the world is witnessing in the United States these days. Donald Trump was targeting Muslims in his presidential election campaign last year but now when he is sitting in the White House as President of the world's largest democracy, not only Muslims, others are also falling to bullets of hate in America.   The latest victim is a son of our Indian soil -- Srinivas Kuchibhotla who was shot dead by a white man in Kansas City of Missouri state couple of days ago. Alok Madasani, another Indian, was wounded in the shooting. Besides them, an American man identified as Ian Grillot also received bullet injuries when he intervened.   Soon after signing executive order banning nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries in January, President Trump targeted H1B visa policy that reports say would affect jobs of thousands of professionals f...




Mamata saddened, shocked over Indian engineer's killing
Kolkata, Feb 25: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday expressed grief over the killing of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot dead in an apparent hate crime in the US.The Trinamool Congress supremo said she does not support the "politics of hate.""Saddened and shocked at the incident of Indian engineer in Kansas USA, who was an unfortunate victim. We don't support the politics of hate," she said on Twitter.She said: "The world is one big family. People from different countries live in different nations. We must all understand this."Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani was injured when Adam W. Purinton, a white who earlier served in the US Navy, shot them at the Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kansas state, on Wednesday night.Purinton reportedly got into an argument with the victims and hurled racial slurs. He yelled "get out of my country", "terrorist" before shooting them. (IANS)




White House blocks certain news organisations from press briefing
Washington, Feb 25: The White House ramped up its war against the press by barring multiple "anti-Trump" media outlets -- The New York Times, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, BBC, BuzzFeed News, Politico, The Huffington Post and The Guardian -- from a briefing by Press Secretary Sean Spicer.Hours before Spicer's briefing at the White House on Friday, President Trump launched a scathing attack on journalists by calling them "enemy of the people".The press secretary, during his briefing, said that the White House would relentlessly counter coverage it considered inaccurate. "We're just not going to sit back and let, you know, false narratives, false stories, inaccurate facts get out there," he said, according to reports.In a brief statement defending the move, administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the White House "had the pool there so everyone would be represented and get an update from us today".Conservative media organisations...




Press US for action in Indian engineer's killing: Yechury
New Delhi, Feb 25: Deploring the killing of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in the US, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Saturday called for pressurising the Donald Trump administration for quick action."We urge our government to put the strongest pressure on the authorities in the US to act upon this at the earliest, to ensure this is never repeated," said Yechury.Kuchibhotla, and two others were shot at by US Navy veteran Adam W. Purinton in a bar in Olathe in Kansas on Wednesday night.While the 32-year-old engineer was killed, his friend Alok Madasani, also 32, and an American Ian Grillot, 24, who tried to save them, were injured.Purinton mistook them for "Middle Easterners" and yelled "Get out of my country" before shooting them.Referring to the 2015 lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh's Dadri over rumours of beef eating, Yechury warned about jingoistic politics causing the tragedy.He also referred to the hanging of two cattle tr...




Muhammad Ali Jr. detained by immigration at Florida airport
Miami, Feb 25: Muhammad Ali Jr., son of the late legendary boxer, was reportedly detained for several hours by immigration officials at an airport in Florida, a media report said.According to the report on Friday by the Courier-Journal daily, Ali Jr. and his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali were arriving at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport from a Black History Month event in Jamaica on February 7 when they were pulled aside by customs and asked if they were Muslims.Ali's lawyer Chris Mancini told the Courier-Journal that while Camacho-Ali was let go, her son was questioned for almost two hours about his origin, where he was born and his religion.Ali is a Muslim born in Philadelphia and holds a US passport."To the Ali family, it's crystal clear that this is directly linked to Trump's efforts to ban Muslims from the United States," Mancini said, referring to President Donald Trump's executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from enterin...