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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Q8India - Q8India: Amit Shah all set to be BJP chief, party debates timing

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Amit Shah all set to be BJP chief, party debates timing

BJP general secretary Amit Shah is set to take over as the next president of the Bharatiya Janata Party from home minister Rajnath Singh, with party and RSS leaders deliberating on the timing of the formal decision.

?The odds are stacked in his favour. Most of the senior leaders are in his favour,? a BJP leader told HT.

BJP general secretary JP Nadda was also a strong contender for the post but lost out since the BJP is looking to utilise Shah?s organisational skills in the upcoming assembly elections.

Shah headed the BJP election campaign in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha polls. The party won 71 of the state?s 80 seats.

The party is now looking for an appropriate time for the announcement so that it doesn?t overshadow the Narendra Modi government?s first Budget, likely in the second week of July.

Hindustan Times

 

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Q8India - Q8India: Lavish Wedding Alert in Karnataka. Luxury Tax Could Apply

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Lavish Wedding Alert in Karnataka. Luxury Tax Could Apply

Anand G, a businessman in Bangalore, is determined to give his 22-year-old daughter the fairytale wedding she grew up dreaming of.

It's an AmEx black-card version of a fairytale, judging from the sangeet that was held on Monday in Bangalore. Designated de rigeuer by his princess was a five-star venue, guests and chefs from at least 10 countries, and a phalanx of brand-name DJs.

Big fat weddings like these across Karnataka could soon be crashed by a new luxury tax the government wants to impose. Weddings that cost more than Rs. five lakhs or have 1,000 invitees will have to pay the price, according to a proposal that the state's law-makers will discuss later this month.

The amount of tax has not yet been decided.

"Lavishly they spend money on one side, so much food is wasted. And those in rural areas are imitating this by selling their available property to afford such unnecessary expenditure." said TB Jayachandra, the Law Minister of Karnataka.

He added, "People spend up to Rs. 7,000 for each invitation card, while there are those who do not have a guaranteed meal a day".

Special officials will be assigned to visit weddings for surprise checks; vendors hired will also be quizzed about cash payments. The government says the taxes collected from top-end weddings will be used, Robin Hood-like, to sponsor the marriages of young women from poor families.

"See, we pay already such high taxes like 23 per cent and all. Above that we pay tax separately for the hotel bill, the taxi bill, the food bill. Everything is paid in cheque. How much more tax can we pay?" laments Mr Anand, the father of the bride with a very expensive vision.

For the recent Bangalore wedding of the grand-daughter of a veteran politician, close to 50,000 people were invited for each event. The celebrations lasted three days. There are those who question whether those in power will be exempted from the new rules of engagement.

NDTV

 

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Q8India - Q8India: India’s Mars spacecraft 100 days from destination

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India?s Mars spacecraft 100 days from destination

India?s Mars spacecraft is scheduled for a rendezvous with the red planet exactly after 100 days as it is coasting towards its target having covered almost 70 per cent of its journey.

On September 24, a very significant technological milestone of the Mars Orbiter Mission called Mars Orbit Insertion is planned, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which is headquartered in Bengaluru said on Monday.

The spacecraft, which is racing towards its target in its 300-day voyage in deep space, is at a radio distance of 108 million km from earth. A signal takes six minutes to reach Earth from the probe.

The spacecraft and its five payloads are in good health, Isro said in a post on its Mars Orbit Mission Facebook page.

In a crucial milestone, Isro performed the second Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (TCM-2) on the spacecraft on June 11 by firing onboard thrusters. Mid-course corrections are done to keep the spacecraft on course.

Another trajectory correction manoeuvre has been planned in August before the space agency performs the Mars Orbit Insertion in September.

The ambitious Mars mission was launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on November 5 last year with the aim of reaching the red planet?s atmosphere by September 24 this year.

The Rs4.5 billion (Dh276.50 million) project is expected to provide the scientific community better opportunities in planetary research.

The spacecraft with five payloads has been configured to carry out observation of physical features of Mars and a limited study of the Martian atmosphere. Isro has incorporated autonomous features in the spacecraft to handle contingencies.

Source : Gulf News