India’s Ist Virtual School Was Not Launched By Delhi Govt: NIOS

National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) on Wednesday said that the first virtual school in the country was launched last year by the Centre and not by the Delhi government.

With reference to certain media reports regarding the claims of India’s first virtual school being launched today, NOIS said in a statement, “It is informed that the first virtual school of the country was already launched by Union Education Minister in August last year.”
The statement by NIOS came after the launch of the Delhi Virtual Model School where Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed that it was India’s first such platform.

“At present, there are more than 7,000 study centres affiliated with NIOS which are dedicatedly providing academic support and more than 1,500 study centres providing support in skill-based vocational courses to the learners of NIOS Virtual Open School. Live interactive classes shall be conducted by these study centres accredited by NIOS,” the statement by NIOS further read.

“In the very first session of NIOS Virtual Open School in the academic year 2021, 2.18 lakh assignments/TMAs were uploaded by the learners under the ambit of Virtual Open School,” the open school added.

The NIOS, formerly known as National Open School (NOS) was established in November 1989 as an autonomous organisation in pursuance of the National Policy on Education 1986 by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Government of India. NIOS is providing a number of Vocational, Life Enrichment and community-oriented courses besides General and Academic Courses at the Secondary and Senior Secondary levels. (ANI)

Ganesh Chaturthi: Modi Performs Aarti At Piyush Goyal’s Residence

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday visited the residence of Union minister Piyush Goyal in the national capital and performed ‘aarti’ on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister extended greetings on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.
The Prime Minister shared a shloka in Sanskrit while extending wishes and wrote on Twitter, “Best wishes on Ganesh Chaturthi. May the blessings of Lord Shri Ganesh always remain upon us.”

President Droupadi Murmu also extended greetings on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi and prayed for peace and prosperity in the lives of the citizens.

“Hearty greetings to all the countrymen on Ganesh Chaturthi. Mangalmurti Lord Ganesha is a symbol of knowledge, accomplishment and good fortune. I wish that with the blessings of Shri Ganesh, there should be a spread of happiness, peace and prosperity in everyone’s life,” the President tweeted.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also extended greetings on occasion.

“Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all the countrymen. Ganpati Bappa Morya!” he tweeted.

Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated every year with great fervour in India with thousands of devotees thronging temples and ‘Ganeshotsav pandals’ to offer their prayers.

The festivities began on August 31 and will conclude on September 9. The festivities will end with the final immersion of the Ganesha idols, called the Visarjan. The festival is celebrated with much grandeur in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Gujarat among other states.

The festival is celebrated with much pomp and zeal in several states across the country and 2022 marks the return of its celebration after 2 years of COVID-induced restrictions.

Also known as Ganeshotsav, this auspicious ten-day starts with Chaturthi Tithi and ends on Anantha Chaturdashi. Devotees of Lord Ganesh, the god of wisdom and good fortune, mark his birth during the Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapada month.

People bring Lord Ganesh idols to their homes, observe fasts, prepare mouth-watering delicacies, pray to the Lord and observe rituals during this festival. With 2022 bringing back the Ganesh Chaturthi festivities and only 2 days left for the occasion, preparations are in full swing across the nation.

Earlier today, morning ‘Aarti’ was performed at Shri Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Eco-friendly idols of Lord Ganesh have been prepared for the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur.

Speaking to ANI, Ravi Yadav, an idol artisan said, “This time demand for idols is good. We have made five different types of idols which include pasta, matchsticks and incense sticks idols. (ANI)

Afghanistan Taliban

Afghan Female Student Sexually Assaulted, Beaten By Taliban Official

An Afghan female medical student, Elaha, whose father was a former general in the National Security Directorate said that she was sexually assaulted and beaten by a Taliban official.

Elaha, an Afghan student, published a video message on Twitter claiming that she was forced to marry Qari Saeed Khosti, the former spokesperson of the Taliban’s interior ministry.
Elaha, whose father was a former general in the National Security Directorate, said that she was raped and beaten many times during this period.

New videos of Elaha, a medical student in Kabul were leaked to Aamaj News.

She said that the Taliban’s former interior ministry spokesman, Saeed Khosty, married her forcibly.

The sources say that the life of Elaha is in danger. Elaha told that she might be killed soon for recording this video, reported local media.

Khosti is a senior Haqqani Taliban official.Notably, the Taliban has refused to allow female students to leave the Afghan capital to go to study in Kazakhstan and Qatar, reported Sputnik citing sources.

The Taliban has banned Afghan women from working outside their homes and has introduced gender-based segregation in schools. Girls are not allowed to receive education beyond sixth grade.

Moreover, the Taliban has forced all women to cover their faces while in public and women are not allowed to participate in entertainment activities and visit parks at the same time as men.

After the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021 and imposed policies severely restricting basic rights–particularly those of women and girls. Taliban decrees prohibit women from travelling unless accompanied by a male relative and require women’s faces to be covered in public–including women TV newscasters.

Moreover, the Taliban dismantled the system to respond to gender-based violence, created new barriers to women accessing health care, blocked women’s aid workers from doing their jobs, and attacked women’s rights protesters.

Since they took control of the country in August 2021, the Taliban have violated women’s and girls’ rights to education, work and free movement and decimated the system of protection and support for those fleeing domestic violence.

The group has also detained women and girls for minor violations of discriminatory rules and contributed to a surge in the rates of child, early and forced marriage in Afghanistan.

Several rights groups have called out the Taliban to implement major policy changes and measures to uphold the rights of women and girls. The Taliban had previously promised an inclusive society and equality during their first press conference after the takeover of Afghanistan, however, their actions reflect a different picture.

There are restrictions on movement, education and freedom of expression of women posing a threat to their survival.

According to locals, the Taliban has prevented women from using smartphones, and the Women’s Affairs Ministry often extorts money to provide essential protection.

Around 80 per cent of women working in the media have lost their jobs, it said adding that almost 18 million women in the country are struggling for health, education and social rights. (ANI)

Samantha Looks Fierce In Yashoda New Poster

South actor Samantha Prabhu, on Wednesday, unveiled the new poster of her upcoming film ‘Yashoda’.

Taking to Instagram, the ‘Family Man Season 2’ actor shared the poster which she captioned, “The indomitable will!! #YashodaTeaser on Sep 9th @ 5:49PM”

In the poster, Samantha could be seen standing in between a group of women with injury marks on her face.

With the new poster, she also announced the release date of the teaser of the film, September 9, 2022.

Helmed by the director duo Hari and Harish, ‘Yashoda’ is a science fiction thriller film which was earlier slated to release on August 12, 2022, but the makers opted to postpone their film.

The new release date of the film is still awaited.

Soon after she shared the poster, fans swamped the comment section and dropped heart and fire emoticons.

“Shining out in the crowd and how,” a fan commented.

Another fan wrote, “I’ve heard about seven wonders of the world and the 8th just showed up!!.”

Meanwhile, Samantha made her ‘Koffee with Karan’ debut alongside Akshay Kumar. She is now all set to make her Bollywood debut. She has reportedly signed her debut film alongside Ayushmann Khurrana. If reports are to be believed, Samantha has joined Varun Dhawan in a remake of Russo Brothers’ Citadel, which is helmed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK.

Apart from that, she will also be seen in a mythological drama film ‘Shakuntalam’ and in a romantic comedy film ‘Kushi’ alongside Vijay Deverakonda, which is all set to hit the theatres on December 23, 2022. (ANI)

Centre Warns Advertisers, Broadcasters Against Misleading Ads

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Wednesday directed advertising agencies to ensure strict compliance of guidelines on surrogate advertisements.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has directed to Advertising Association of India, Indian Broadcasting Foundation, Broadcasting Content Complaints Council, News Broadcasters and Digital Association, Advertising Standards Council of India, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Indian Industry, ASSOCHAM, International Spirits and Wines Association of India and Indian Society of Advertisers to ensure strict compliance of the guidelines for the prevention of misleading advertisement and endorsement for misleading advertisement, especially the provisions pertaining to surrogate advertisements.
The Department said that it has been noticed that these guidelines are not being strictly complied with by the concerned entities and the prohibited goods are still being advertised through surrogate goods and services. During the recent sports events that were televised globally, many instances of such surrogate advertisements were noticed.

According to the Consumer Affairs Ministry, it has been observed that many alcoholic spirits and beverages are being advertised under the garb of music CDs, club soda and packaged drinking water whereas chewing tobacco and gutkha has taken the veil of fennel and cardamom. Moreover, many such brands are employing major celebrities that accentuate the negative impact on the impressionable youth among others. Several instances of direct advertisement of alcoholic beverages on social media platforms were also observed by the Department.

The Ministry said the guidelines are applicable to a manufacturer, service provider or trader whose goods, product or service is the subject of an advertisement, or to an advertising agency or endorser whose service is availed for the advertisement of such goods, product or service regardless of the form, format or medium of the advertisement.

Pertinent to mention, the guidelines clearly state that no surrogate advertisement or indirect advertisement shall be made for goods or services whose advertising is otherwise prohibited or restricted by law, by circumventing such prohibition or restriction and portraying it to be an advertisement for other goods or services, the advertising of which is not prohibited or restricted by law.

The Department also cautioned the advertisers’ associations that failure to ensure strict compliance of the guidelines by the concerned parties would lead to the CCPA taking the reins and take suitable stern action against the violators. (ANI)

Bhuvneshwar Is Gold For Team India: Varun Aaron

Indian pace veteran Varun Aaron praised star pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, saying that he is gold for Team India.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was a star for India during the India-Pakistan clash at Asia Cup 2022. He took 4 wickets for 26 runs. He has been the leading T20I wicket-taker for India this year with 24 scalps.

“There is no doubt over Bhvuneshwar at all. He just had a period where he was dealing with injuries and he could not wrap his head around it. He was not coming back soon enough. Obviously, when you are injured and out for a while, you are frustrated because you want to play the best level of cricket,” said Aaron in an exclusive interview with ANI.

“He was doing the same thing for us before he was injured. Now he is coming back and is doing the same job for us, two overs in the start and then two later. Bhuvi is gold for the Indian bowling attack. I am not surprised at all at this. When you are injured you need some time to comeback. That is what has happened to him and now he is back in form,” he added.

Aaron praised Indian pacers for their fine performance against Pakistan, who for the first time in the nation’s T20I cricket history took all ten wickets in an innings.

“It was a brilliant performance by pacers. Especially Hardik Pandya coming in as fourth seamer and what he did was unbelievable. His breakthroughs were key. He bowled very bravely and went for wickets. Pacers have been doing well over a long period of time. They have got a lot of experience in these conditions since two IPLs were held here and these same bowlers were playing in it. It is going to be a good tournament for India and the fast bowlers,” he said.

On Virat Kohli’s run of form, Aaron said that everyone is judging the star batter as per mighty standards set by him and he opined that Virat is doing well.

“Even though he is not having a typical Virat run, he is still among the top five batters of the Indian team. Every player goes through this. I feel it is on us to keep patience and back him. It will just a matter of time before he is back in form,” he added.

Since his last international century, Virat has represented India in 69 matches and scored 2,589 runs across 83 innings at an average of 34.06. He has hit 24 half-centuries across all formats since his last international ton.

2022 in particular has been very tough for Virat.

This year, Virat has played only five T20Is for his side, across which he has scored 116 runs at a subpar average of 23.20. His best score in the format this year is 52. Across all formats this year, he has represented India in 17 matches and across 20 innings, he had been able to score only 511 runs at a sub-par average of 25.55. Only four half-centuries have come off his bat, with the best score of 79.

The pace veteran praised star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, saying that he has come out of his time battling injuries really well.

“He has spent a lot of time out of the game. It helped him figure out his bowling action, made it more efficient and puts less pressure on his back. He is bowling better than he did earlier. There was never a question on his batting,” he added.

Aaron said that Pandya led Gujarat Titans from the front. “He was always calm. He was always there for his teammates,” he added.

Pandya returned to his fully fit avatar in 2022 after dealing with fitness issues over the years to lead Gujarat Titans to their maiden India Premier League (IPL) title in their debut season.

Throughout the season, Pandya led his side from the front with his all-round show, scoring 487 runs at an average of 44.27 in 15 games and hitting four fifties. He also took eight wickets for his side, including a match-winning 3/17 in the final.

Since then, he has shown exceptional form for India in T20Is and has played many crucial knocks, be it as an aggressor or an anchor. In T20Is this year, Pandya has scored 314 runs across 13 innings in 14 matches at an average of 34.88.

He has scored one half-century and various other crucial knocks. He has also taken 11 wickets for his side in 14 matches with best bowling figures of 4/33.

In three ODIs as well, he has hit 100 runs in two innings across three matches with an average of 50, with one fifty and the best score of 71. He has also taken six wickets across these three matches, with best figures of 4/24.

The pace veteran praised Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, saying, “He is a seasoned captain. He has taken Mumbai Indians to so many IPLs. He has proved his worth and we all know how good he is as captain. When you have a great team, captain, captain and coach working well, you get the results.”

Aaron feels that India is a strong contender for Asia Cup 2022, though he said that Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also have great T20I teams.

“I feel India is a contender in any tournament we play. There is no question about our dominance in T20Is. The way we have been playing cricket and the kind of talent pool we have, is second to none. India is a favourite by a huge margin. Cricket sometimes boils down to a given day and how well a team plays well. If we play consistent cricket, we should bring the trophy. Though Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka are good teams,” he said.

Aaron is extremely happy with India’s massive talent pool, especially in fast bowling. The bowler opines that it is good for Indian cricket.

“The guys who are playing are always on their toes and do not take their place for granted. Now, there are more robust fast bowlers who bowl quick, and bowl different variations. IPL helps a lot, since it was the only tournament happening properly during COVID-19. Domestic cricket had taken a backseat. Having fast bowling pool is always great as due to the nature of what they do, they tend to break down on and off. Arsdheep and Avesh are doing some heavylifting right now in absence of guys like Bumrah and Shami. It is good for Indian cricket,” said the pace veteran.

Aaron has changed his domestic cricket team from Jharkhand to Baroda after 18 years of representing the former.

Asked about his thoughts heading into the new season, Aaron said, “I am looking forward to it. It is going to be a welcome change. I have represented Jharkhand for 18 years and I loved it. It is great to challenge yourself once in a while and go to a new team and culture. I will enjoy the expectations placed on me. The team wants to win trophies, they have a great coach in Dav Whatmore. Obviously, Baroda is taking steps to win trophies. And you want to be part of such set-ups and when you are a part of it, your game goes strength to strength. I think it was the right time for the change.” (ANI)

Jacqueline Consciously Chose To Overlook Sukesh’s Criminal Record: ED Chargesheet

The Enforcement Directorate’s chargesheet filed against Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez clearly stated that ‘she consciously chose to overlook his (Sukesh Chandrashekhar) criminal past and continued to indulge in financial transactions with him. Not only she but also her family members and friends have benefited from the relationship financially.

ED also concluded that the lure of money ensured that the criminal history of the person she was engaging with did not matter.
Further, the accused Jacqueline Fernandez has consistently shifted her stance with regard to the gifts being received by her and her relatives. It was only upon confrontation with evidence and statements on record that she divided the details. Yet, she had been denying certain assets purchased by Sukesh for her and the investigation on that aspect is going on from the collection of evidence.

The chargesheet further stated that “Investigation so far has revealed that the accused actor is directly or indirectly involved in the proceeds of crime and acquired, possessed & used part proceeds of crime – valuable gifts for herself & her family members in India and abroad and thereby committed an offence of money laundering u/s 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, which is punishable u/s 4 of PMLA, 2002.”

It also stated that Section 3 of PMLA, 2002 Accused Jacqueline Fernandez is involved in the process and activity connected with POC as discussed hereinbefore and thereby committed the offence of money laundering as defined under section 3 of PMLA for knowingly using and possessing the proceeds of crime”.

The accused Jacqueline Fernandez, despite knowing that Accused Sukesh Chandrasekhar has committed scheduled offences and out of those proceeds of crime generated through various criminal activities related to the schedule offences, the part proceeds of crime has been directly received in India and abroad as well by accused Jacqueline Fernandez for the use and enjoyment by herself and her family members and thereby projecting as loan amount in the form of transfers made into the accounts of the sister and brother of accused Jacqueline Fernandez and also bought cars for the father and mother of accused Jacqueline Fernandez and thereby acquired and enjoyed POC.

The Trial Court on Wednesday also issued a summon to Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez to appear before it physically on September 26 in Enforcement Directorate (ED) case related to Rs 200 crore money laundering scam involving conman Sukesh Chandrashekar and others.

On August 17, a supplementary charge sheet was filed by the Enforcement Directorate in the Rs 200 crore extortion case against conman Sukesh Chandrashekar in a Delhi Court mentioning the name of Jacqueline Fernandez as an accused.

The Additional Sessions Judge Praveen Singh on Wednesday, after taking cognizance of the supplementary charge sheet, directed the newly made accused Jacqueline Fernandez to appear before it on September 26.

Meanwhile, a lawyer who appeared for Delhi Police EOW which is also probing the same case informed the court that Jacqueline Fernandez was recently asked to appear for it on August 29. Still, she did not appear so we have issued a fresh summons to her to join the investigation.

To this, the lawyer appearing for Jacqueline assured the court that she would join the investigation and co-operate with the probe agency.

Fernandez has been summoned by the ED several times in the matter for an investigation into the matter.

Advocate Prashant Patil, who appeared for Fernandez, stated that she has always cooperated with the investigation agencies and attended all the summons to date. “She has handed over all the information to the best of her ability to the ED,” he said.

According to ED, during the investigation, searches were conducted at various places linked to Sukesh Chandrashekar and his associates. During the search, 16 high-end vehicles were also seized under section 17 of PMLA and these cars are either in the name of firms of Leena Paulose or in the name of third parties.

It was further submitted that it has emerged that Chandrashekar had knowingly created the structure for layering and transferring proceeds of crime and thus, actively participated in the process of money laundering. (ANI)

Partha Bengal SSC Scam

Judicial Custody Of Partha Chatterjee, Arpita Mukherjee Extended Till Sept 14

A special court in Kolkata on Wednesday extended the judicial custody of former West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee and his close associate, Arpita Mukherjee, till September 14 in connection with the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam case.

A Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Kolkata had earlier extended the judicial custody of the due till August 31.
Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee were arrested last month by Enforcement Directorate in connection with the recruitment scam. The ED had raided several premises allegedly linked to Arpita Mukherjee in the scam.

The probe agency recovered cash worth about Rs 50 crore, foreign currency, jewellery and gold biscuits in connection with its raids into the scam.

Chatterjee was education minister from 2014 to 2021 in the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal.

Following Chatterjee’s arrest, he was removed as a minister and suspended from the Trinamool Congress. (ANI)

Kunal To Mark Directorial Debut Madgaon Express

Bollywood actor Kunal Kemmu is all set to mark his big directorial debut with Excel Entertainment’s upcoming film ‘Madgaon Express’.

Taking to Instagram, the ‘Dhol’ actor shared a poster of the film which he captioned, “Ganpati Bappa Moriya! As all good things begin with his name I can’t think of a better day to share this with all of you. It started with a thought in my head, which grew into a dream which flowed out through my fingers into words on my laptop, and now it is becoming a reality on its way to the silver screen. A big thank you to @ritesh_sid @faroutakhtar and @roo_cha at @excelmovies for believing in my script and my vision and partnering with me on this exciting journey in the world of cinema. With folded hands and a bowed head, I seek all of your blessings and the blessings of Ganpati Bappa. Introducing “Madgaon Express”.#Madgaonexpress..”

Produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, the official announcement of the star cast of the film is still awaited.

Soon after Kunal shared the news of his directorial debut, b-town celebs wished the actor on his new journey as a director.

Meanwhile, Kunal was last seen in a comedy film ‘Lootcase’ which streamed exclusively on Disney+ Hotstar and gathered decent responses from the audience.

He will be next seen in Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming web series ‘Gulkanda Tales’ alongside Pankaj Tripathi and Patralekhaa.

The official release date of the film is still awaited. (ANI)

Stop Bulldozer Drive In Madrassas: AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal

All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) Chief and Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal on Wednesday said that the Assam government should stop its bulldozer drive against Madrasas in the state adding that if needed it will go the Supreme Court.

“We can’t accept the Assam government’s bulldozer drive against the Madrasas in the state. It should be stopped. If necessary we will move to the Supreme Court or any other against it,” Ajmal told ANI.
AIUDF supremo further said that the BJP-RSS are “targeting” Muslims.

“There may be some anti-social people in the Muslim community and the government should take action against the bad elements. We have no issue with it. But use a bulldozer in Madrasa can’t be accepted,” Ajmal added.

Meanwhile, authorities in Assam on Wednesday demolished a madrassa in the Bongaigaon district after allegations that its premises were being used for terror activities.

This is the third madrasa to be razed by the Assam government following the arrests of 37 persons including the Imam and madrasa teachers on charges of being linked to terror outfits Al Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).

There were reports that some militants disguised as religious teachers had sneaked into the state and silently gone ahead with their subversive and anti-state activities.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that some madrassa managements were not running the institution but were running a terrorist hub.

“This is the second madrasa we evicted as they were not running as an institution but were running as a terrorist hub. I don’t want to generalise, but we investigate and take appropriate action when a complaint of fundamentalism comes,” Sarma had said.

Recently, Chief Minister Sarma said in a press conference that, six Bangladeshi nationals who are members of Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) / Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), entered Assam in 2016-17 and Assam police had arrested one among them and five are still absconding.

For better surveillance, Assam Chief Minister reiterated that Islamic teachers coming into the state will be closely monitored and moreover the state was developing a portal where their details will be captured.

“We have laid down standard operating procedures. Locals must inform police if any religious teacher (Imam) coming outside of the state and are not known to them,” Sarma told reporters.

“Police will verify the person and then he can carry out his religious teaching in the Madrassas,” he said, adding that Muslims of Assam have been cooperating with the government in this process.

Assam currently doesn’t have any government-run madrassas as they have recently been converted into regular schools.

However, individual or privately-run madrassas continue to exist. (ANI)