Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena today removed Justice minister Wijedasa Rajapakse from his post following recommendations from latter’s party. United National Party (UNP) led by Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had urged the President to remove the Minister following unanimous resolution of the party. Wijedasa Rajapakse had publicly opposed the Hambantota port deal signed with a Chinese company. UNP had said that Wijedasa continues to violate collective responsibility of the party and the cabinet.
He had also come under sharp criticism for his failure to expedite corruption cases against former President Mahinda Rajapakse and his family. With his removal, Wijedasa has become the first minister to be sacked of his portfolio in the Unity Government. Earlier, country’s foreign minister Ravi Karunanayke had resigned this month following his relations with main accused in bonds scam.
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Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal has resigned owning moral responsibility for Muzzafarnagar train accident which had claimed over 20 lives.
Earlier, the Rail Ministry had suspended four officers and transferred one and sent on leave its three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board official on the basis of prima facie evidence in connection with derailment of Utkal Express.
Fourteen coaches of the Utkal Express derailed in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh on the 19th of this month. The train was coming from Puri in Odisha and going to Haridwar in Uttarakhand when it jumped rails near Khatauli town.
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Highest number of entries with participation from top national players like Joshna Chinappa, Saurav Ghosal and several others
August 22, 2017, Delhi, India: HCL, a leading global conglomerate, today announced the launch of HCL 74th National Squash Championship. The main draws will be held fromAugust 23 – 26, 2017 at the Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida. The Championship is part of HCL’s efforts to promote Squash in the country and create platforms that allow the country’s talented players to hone their skills. The Championship will witness participation from over 550 players across categories, which is the highest number for any squash tournament in the country, till date.
This seven-star Championship, which is considered as the highest rated tournament, will be organised under the aegis of the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) and the U.P. Squash Rackets Association. The Championship will be open to both, Men and Women in separate categories. Matches will also take place in other categories including Professional Coach, and over/35, over/40, over/45, over/50, over/55, over/60 for men only. The Championship will follow a knock-out format where top 8 players will get the prize money in Men, Women and Professional Coach Categories; while only winners and runners-up will be awarded in the six other categories. The top players will receive ranking points and will be included in the National ranking list in the relevant age group.
Arjuna Awardee Saurav Ghosal, India Rank No 1 and World Rank No. 27 said, “SRFI has been supporting players like me for many year now and I am glad corporates like HCL are also coming forward towards a common goal. Partnerships such as these build a sense of confidence that the future of the sport looks bright in our country. I am sure serious Squash players will be able to benefit immensely from such platforms.”
Joshna Chinappa, India Rank No 1 and World Rank No. 14 and also an Arjuna Awardee said, “It is a real pleasure to be part of HCL 74th National Squash Championship, which is being organised under the aegis of SRFI. Over the past few years now, the sport has started getting recognized at a national level and that has led to a greater support system being created for players to pursue the sport seriously.  Indian players have now started making their presence felt at an international level too which is a significant achievement for this otherwise niche sport. At a personal level, I am looking forward to play my best game and give a tough fight to my talented co-players at this prestigious platform.”
Speaking on the initiative, Sundar Mahalingam, Chief Strategy Officer, HCL Corporationsaid, “With our philosophy of touching people’s lives, we at HCL believe in creating a sustainable ecosystem to promote a variety of sports in the country. Squash is one such sport that we have been supporting and we launched our first Junior Squash tournament in December 2016, which was well received by the players. To scale-up our efforts towards the game, we have partnered with SRFI to organize the HCL 74th National Squash Championship this year and have received over 550 entries, the highest till date for this tournament.”
Harish Prasad, National Squash Development Officer at ‎Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) said, “It is our pleasure to partner with HCL for the National Squash Championship and I am happy to say that we have found common synergies in this partnership to promote this niche sport in the country. We hope to continue our association with HCL to nurture the talented squash players of our country and provide them with competitive platforms at both national and international level.”
Besides the 74th National Squash Championship, HCL will be hosting the second edition of the HCL Junior Squash Championship in December this year.
About HCL
Founded in 1976 as one of India’s original IT garage start-ups, HCL is a pioneer of modern computing with many firsts to its credit, including the introduction of the 8-bit microprocessor-based computer in 1978 well before its global peers. Today, the HCL enterprise has a presence across varied sectors that include technology, healthcare and talent management solutions and comprises four companies – HCL Infosystems, HCL Technologies, HCL Healthcare and HCL TalentCare. The enterprise generates annual revenues of over US $7.5 billion with more than 120,000 employees from 140 nationalities operating across 32 countries, including over 500 points of presence in India. For further information, visit


WhatsApp Image 2017-08-22 at 21.42.59 

Spanish defender Rafael López Gómez joins FC Pune City

Pune, August 23, 2017: Spanish defender Rafael López Gómez will ply his trade for The Rajesh Wadhawan Group-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City in the 2017-18 season. The Spanish central defender who played top-flight football in Spain and Germany will fortify the defence line of the Antonio Habas-managed side.
Announcing the signing of the central defender, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwelsaid, “Rafa has played a decade of top-flight football in Spain against some of the best players in the world. As a captain of Real Valladolid, his leadership and experience as a defender will add strength to our line-up. I am excited to see Rafa in Orange & Purple.”

Rafa, a product of the Real Valladolid’s youth system, represented club’s main team as well as B team before moving on to SD Eibar in the second division. In 2008, the defender joined Getafe CF where finishing sixth to qualify for the UEFA Europa League in 2009-10 season was the highlight of his stint there. The Spaniard joined newly-promoted German club SC Paderborn in 2014 to ply his trade in Bundesliga before reuniting with Valladolid in 2016.
“I am happy and very excited about my move to FC Pune City. The good work of ISL has come to this side of the world and, after speaking with some Spanish players and knowing the management of FC Pune City, I am prepared to take on this new challenge,” expressed Rafael.

About FC Pune City:
FC Pune City is an Indian Super League football team based out of Pune, Maharashtra. The club is owned by The Rajesh Wadhawan Group. The club was founded in 2014 and its home ground is the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune. The club is committed to making a difference not just at the senior level but also at the grassroots level of football in India.
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Amole Gupte’s upcoming, all set to spells magic with tiny tots in this mystery/thriller children film.
Sniff, an upcoming 2017 Indian Bollywood first kid’s action adventure film, written and directed by Amole Gupte, under the banner of Trinity Pictures. The film revolves around a spy-in the-making. Amole Gupte’s upcoming film is packed with innocence, mystery, and heroism. Recently, the director and producer Ajit Thakur along with the little superhero Khushmeet Gill were recently in the Royal Plaza, Delhi for the promotions.
While interacting with media Amole shared his thoughts and views for the same, he stated “Sniff is the story regarding nose. It took me approx 1 year to complete this film. This movie is about heroism. It was a great experience working with kids in the movie, they taught me a lot, and actually, I feel secure being with kids.” On asking about the lesson this movie is portraying, he said “There is a big lesson in this movie, Sniff is a very clean film, not only kids but adults will also connect themselves with the same. It’s a full family film.”
On the other hand, the kiddo and lead of the movie Khushmeet graced the press conference with his cuteness, he seemed extremely excited for the same. Khushmmet also shared his experience with media, he said “I did work in several ads and serials, but this is a very first time I am in a movie and as a lead. I am thankful to Amole Sir for giving me this chance.” While asking him about the superpower have in the film, very innocently he added, “I wish God has given me same powers in real life, which I am having in the movie.”
Sniff is touted to be India’s first kids’ action adventure franchise film”. This film will throw light on the origin of Sunny Gill as a child spy. The Stanley Ka Dabba director’s film is based on the adventures of an eight-year-old detective Sunny Gill who has special olfactory superpowers.
The movie all about an eight-year-old Sunny Gill who had a problem with a blocked nose, and therefore, no sense of smell. A freak accident gives Sunny the most refined sense of smell ever. The entire dog squad of the country’s police force cannot sniff what he can.
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23.08.2017 09:38:04 – Session on
The ‘Trump Doctrine’ for West Asia: Implications for India 
( – Friday, September 1, 2017
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM (Registration: 04:30 PM )
WWF Auditorium, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi
SPEAKERS Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad, Adviser, West Asia & North Africa, Ananta Centre and Former Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia, Oman & UAE
Ambassador Ranjit Gupta, Former Ambassador of India to Yemen and Oman
Dr Meena Singh 
Roy, Research Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, IDSA
Ambassador Sanjay Singh, Former Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India
MODERATOR Ms Indrani Bagchi, Diplomatic Editor, The Times of India
The US administration led by President Donald Trump has expressed its interest to support the “Sunni Alliance” led by Saudi Arabia. The present Qatar blockade is the first clear fallout. The seminar will focus on the implications of the policy of the United States for India and the West Asian region.
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Talmiz Ahmad 24-11-16
Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad, Adviser, West Asia & North Africa, Ananta Centre and Former Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia, Oman & UAE
Talmiz Ahmad joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1974. Early in his career, he was posted in a number of West Asian countries such as Kuwait, Iraq and Yemen and later, between 1987 and 1990, he was Consul General in Jeddah. He also held positions in the Indian missions in New York, London and Pretoria. He served as Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (2000-03; 2010-11); Oman (2003-04), and the UAE (2007-10). He was also Additional Secretary for International Cooperation in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in 2004-06. In July 2011, the Saudi Government conferred on him the King Abdul Aziz Medal First Class for his contribution to the promotion of Indo – Saudi relations.
After retirement from the Foreign Service in 2011, he worked in the corporate sector for three years.He is now an independent consultant based in Dubai and advises Indian and local companies on business expansion and diversification. He has published three books: Reform in the Arab World: External Influences and Regional Debates (2005), Children of Abraham at War: the Clash of Messianic Militarisms (2010) and The Islamist Challenge in West Asia: Doctrinal and Political Competitions after the Arab Spring (2013). He writes and lectures frequently on Political Islam, the politics of West Asia and energy security issues.
Ranjit Gupta 24-11-16
Ambassador Ranjit Gupta, Former Ambassador of India to Yemen and Oman
Ranjit Gupta is a retired Indian Foreign Service officer. He was a member of the Prime Minister’s National Security Advisory Board for the term 2009-2010. He is currently Adjunct Faculty in the International Strategic and Security Studies Programme at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru; a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies.
Earlier he has been Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses; Visiting Professor at the Academy of Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia; and Ambassador-in-Residence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
He has been delivering lectures at think tanks, universities and other academic institutions in India and abroad and participating in conferences, seminars and workshops in India and abroad relating to India’s relations with West Asia and, in particular, the Gulf region thereof; Southeast Asia and East Asia with emphasis on Asean, China, Myanmar, Taiwan, Tibet and India’s ‘Look East’ Policy. Sponsored by MEA, he led an Indian team for a series of interactions with Gulf academics in Dubai, New Delhi and Riyadh, on India GCC Relations, 2008-2010. Funded by MEA, he participated in three Workshops at the annual Gulf Research Meeting at the University of Cambridge – in 2012 and 2013 as Workshop Co Director and in 2014 as a participant advocating an Asian role in the future security architecture of the Gulf Region. Chaired MEA Task Force in 2011 and 2014 on the Arab Spring and its Implications for India: Policy Recommendations. He has co-edited three books – India and the Gulf: What Next? Gulf Research Centre Cambridge, 2013; GCC – INDIA Relations: Gulf Research Foundation, Geneva, 2013; A New Gulf Security Architecture. Prospects and Challenges for an Asian Role – Gerlach Press, Berlin & London: 2014. During his first posting in Cairo, though only a Third Secretary probationer, he was hand picked by the National Liberation Front of South Yemen to be their Advisor for their Independence Talks with the British in Geneva in November 1967; when the entire world believed that the Royalists would succeed in overthrowing the Republican regime in Yemen in 1967/68 he persuaded his influential Ambassador Apasahab Pant that the Republican regime will not fall and consequently in January 1968 he was deputed to Sana’a as Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to express India’s support for the beseiged Republican regime in Yemen. During his 39 year career with India’s Ministry of External Affairs he had served successively in Cairo, New York (at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN), Gangtok (at the time of Sikkim’s merger with India), Jeddah (Deputy Chief of Mission), Frankfurt (Consul-General) and Kathmandu (Deputy Chief of Mission). He was the first desk Officer dealing with Bangladesh in MEA from Feb 1972 to May 1974. Another of his postings at Headquarters had been as the last Head of the undivided West Asia and North Africa Division dealing with Arab countries and Israel. Later he was successively India’s Ambassador to Yemen (North), Venezuela (concurrently Consul General in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba), Oman, Thailand (also Permanent Representative to ESCAP) and Spain (concurrently Ambassador to the Principality of Andorra) and finally was Head of India’s Representation in Taiwan from May 2000 to May 2003.
meena (2)
Dr Meena Singh Roy, Research Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, IDSA
Dr. Meena Singh Roy is a Research Fellow and Coordinator West Asia Centre at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Her area of specialisation is West Asia and Central Asia. She completed her Ph.D. from University of Delhi in 1994. She has been senior research scholar in the Department of African Studies, Delhi University. She has also been associated with Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies and London School of Economics for her research work. Has been a visiting Research Fellow with German Institute of Global and Area Studies Institute of Asian Studies (GIGA). She has presented papers in various national and international seminars and has published various research papers and articles in referred Journals and Books.
She has been involved in net assessment reports on Central Asia. She has published a books titled, International and Regional Security Dynamics: Indian and Iranian Perspectives (ed.), July 2009, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi; Emerging Trends in West Asia: Regional and Global Implications (ed.), Pentagon Press, 2014 and a monograph titled “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: India Seeking New Role in the Eurasian Regional Mechanism”, 2014, IDSA Publication. Has completed the joint Delhi Policy Group and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses Task Force report on West Asia in Transition. Her Forthcoming book is titled Linking South and Central Asia in the New Strategic Environment: Envisioning India’s Future Partnership with the Eurasian Region.
She is currently working on India-Iran Relations in the 21st Century: Adapting to New Realities in the West Asian Region. She is also a member of Professional Institutes and Societies; Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi; Central Eurasian Studies Society, United States; Member of the Advisory Board of Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Member of Board of Studies in Defence and Strategic Studies, Punjab University, Chandigarh; Member of the International Editorial Board of the Central Asian Affairs, Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Sanjay Singh 24-11-16
Ambassador Sanjay Singh, Former Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India
Sanjay Singh is an alumnus of Delhi University, from where he obtained a Masters in Physics. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1976 and served in Indian Missions in Mexico, Germany, Ghana and France and in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi. He was Director in the Office of the External Affairs Minister and Joint Secretary and Head of Division dealing with Latin American Countries. From October 1997 to June 2001, he was India’s Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City and from July 2001 to August 2004, Deputy Chief of Mission in Paris. He held charge in the Ministry as Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary (Gulf) from March 2005 to March 2009. He was India’s Ambassador to Iran from March 2009 to March 2011. He took over as Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs in March 2011 and retired in end April 2013.
INDRANI BAGCHI 11-05-16 Ms Indrani Bagchi, Diplomatic Editor, The Times of India
Indrani Bagchi is senior diplomatic editor with The Times of India, where she has been reporting and analyzing foreign policy issues for the newspaper since 2004. Indrani covers daily news on foreign affairs in the foreign office, as well as interpreting and analyzing global trends with an Indian perspective. She writes news stories; opinion articles; news features and a blog, “Globespotting”. She covers Indian foreign and security policy, terrorism, nuclear weapons, and national security issues, among others. Earlier, Indrani worked as associate editor for India Today, a premier news magazine. Indrani started her journalism career at The Statesman, where she was the weekend editor, before moving to The Economic Times in Calcutta to edit the Metro Magazine.
Having graduated from Loreto College, Calcutta University with English honours, Indrani has been a Reuters Fellow at Oxford University. In 2010, India was awarded the Chang Lin-Tien fellowship by the Asia Foundation to study US-China relations at Brookings Institution, Washington DC. She tweets @horror06 and @IBagchiTOI.
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Addressing the media on 22 August 2017 in New Delhi, Lion Dr Naresh Aggarwal, the newly electedInternational President of Lions Clubs International gave highlights of the projects being undertaken by the Lions of India in the country and programs planned for future for the benefit of people belonging to the poor sections of our society.

Dr Aggarwal, a highly successful businessman from Delhi is only the third person from India to reach the highest position of the world’s largest NGO serving the communities since 1917 and presently having a team of more than 1.4 million members across over 200 countries of the world.
India is the second largest country, after USA, in number of members as well as the number of service activities and the growth has been tremendous.
Some of the leading service projects initiated by Dr Aggarwal are detailed below. In January 2017 Lions of India launched measles/rubella (M/R) vaccination programme in partnership with GAVI (Global Vaccine Alliance, funded by Bill Gates).
In the first phase during February-March the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Pondicherry and Lakshadweep have been covered and 35 million children have been vaccinated against the diseases.The second phase (August-September) will cover Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Daman & Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli to vaccinate 34 million children. The programme to be concluded in 2018 is spread over seven phases with a projected target of 408 million children. Feeding the hungry is being recognised as the best community service.
Lions of India have gone a step forward by collaborating with Akshaya Patra Foundation, world’s largest NGO providing meals to school children, to arrange quality foods for 15000 children from lower strata which will help in growth and development of healthy nation at a cost of Rs.750 p.a. per student.
Similarly, the Lions of India have partnered with World Vision India, a child-focussed NGO, aimed atproviding quality education particularly students in Government schools to adopt 10000 students. The cost of student is Rs.6000 p.a. The initiative would change the life of the students as well as their families. Another important program taken by the Lions of India has been developing of public parks with installation of exercising equipment for children as well as grown up people most suitable for diabetics. During the first year 6 parks have been developed and about 50 projects are in the process.
Under the stewardship of Dr Aggarwal an MoU was signed with State Bank of India Foundation for providing funding assistance to lions hospitals to purchase equipment for benefiting the patients of weaker sections of our society. The Foundation during the first year disbursed Rs.3.65 crores under this partnership. Lakhs of poor people have been benefited under this program. Controlling diabetes has been one of the focus areas of the Centennial President Dr Aggarwal.

War against Diabetes Lions International

India is the diabetes capital of the world. In the last 15 years there has been 100% growth in patients of diabetes in India. The total number of diabetes in India is expected to reach about 8 crores by the year 2030. The disease results in various complications on parts and functioning systems. It is planned to commemorate the World Diabetes Day (14 November) in a big way especially in Delhi. The proposal is for observing it as Diabetes Week during which the Lions intend to organise health camps in partnership with hospitals and create awareness about the causes, precautions, etc. For creation of awareness various initiatives including organisation of walk “walk for life” is being chalked out. It has also been planned to install exercising equipment in public parks for which we in touch with the local municipal bodies for getting permission for establishment of equipment. The proposal also includes establishment of 6/7 Diabetes Centres in hospitals in Delhi for which identification is being carried out.

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