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India

PUMA signs Indian National Football Captain Sunil Chhetri

  • Signs 3-year deal with the country’s best striker and top goal scorer
  • Adds Captain Fantastic to its roster of world class athletes wearing PUMA’s performance footwear and apparel
  • PUMA continues to invest and grow the sport of football in India

Global sports brand PUMA today announced that Sunil Chhetri, captain of the Indian National Football team and Bengaluru FC signed with the brand. A captain, leader and a legend, he is the second-highest after Cristiano Ronaldo on the list of active international scorers in world football. Signing a three-year deal with PUMA, he now joins the brand’s roster of global players like Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, Luis Suárez and Sergio Aguero among others.

One of the greatest footballers India has ever seen, Sunil Chhetri plays as a striker for the national team and Bengaluru FC. A hero for both the club and the country, he is the most-capped player and also the all-time top goal scorer for the Indian team. Named AIFF Player of the Year six times, he was also conferred with the Arjuna award in 2011 and Padma Shri in 2019 among several other coveted sports honors.

“I am excited to join the PUMA family. Over the years, I have closely witnessed and experienced the brand’s football heritage. Now signing with them as a PUMA player is a very natural progression for me,” said Sunil Chhetri. “We share a common goal to accelerate the growth of football in the country. I appreciate their commitment to the sporting ecosystem and look forward to creating a new chapter for Indian football,” he added.

This partnership extends PUMA’s legacy with Indian football. From its longstanding association with Bengaluru Football Club since 2014 to individual agreements with players like Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthe, Nishu Kumar and Rahul Bheke, the brand aims to further its commitment to the sport and talent.

Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, PUMA India said, “Sunil Chhetri is synonymous with football. A living legend and an inspiration for the youth, he has made a huge impact to grow the sport and its following in India. His passion is very much in line with PUMA’s vision. Together, we are invested in growing the culture of football, inspiring and achieving new levels in the game.”

PUMA has teamed up with the country’s best athletes to support their never-ending effort to become faster, stronger, and better every single day. From Indian Cricket Captain, Virat Kohli and boxing champion MC Mary Kom to ace sprinter Dutee Chand, the brand is fueling the growing passion for sports across disciplines.

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India

Corruption in National Register of Citizens process in Assam

The process of preparing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam has been rigged due to corruption, believes the government which now wants to engage senior officers for re-verification of the exercise aimed at identifying illegal immigrants for deportation.

The government is of the view that the re-verification should be administered by officials, who were not involved in the initial process, and also at senior level to enable fair and independent verification.

The Centre is willing to engage Class I officers, who have extensive “knowledge and experience of handling process of investigation/enquiry” specifically for the re-verification.

There have been instances where field level officers have been arrested for taking bribes for entering the names in the NRC list.

The suspicion of corruption in the process was articulated by the Centre in the Supreme Court on Friday, when it sought more time beyond the July 31 deadline for publishing the final list of NRC.

In the draft NRC lists published in July 2018 and June this year, around 41 lakh people have been excluded. Around 36 lakh have filed claims against their exclusion and objections have been filed against two lakh inclusions.

Hearings for these claims and objections are underway at various NRC centres.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and Assam government, told the top court that there was a growing perception that exclusions and inclusions have been made in the list in a wrong manner.

“Apparently, there are more wrong inclusions on the list due to corrupt practices by lower level officers. Therefore, we need re-verification. We have experienced this wrongful inclusion in districts sharing the border with Bangladesh,” Mehta said.

The Assam government intends to conduct verification of the names included in the final draft for certain districts.

This process should take place at “different from the place where the NRC verification had taken place,” the government wants.

The government has contended that it requires a huge number of officials and people to work in tandem at the ground level, “considering the unprecedented large scale complexities involved and the issues coming forward by way of various applications and new reports.”

The government asserts that the exercise of sample re-verification, for both inclusion and exclusion, must necessarily be undertaken before the publication of the final list.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, while hearing the matter on Friday, said NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela’s report claimed that nearly 80 lakh names had already been verified.

“In such a scenario, why is there a need for a sample re-verification? If we are satisfied that verification has been done properly, then there is no need for a sample re-verification, don’t you think,” the CJI said to the Solicitor General.

To this, Mehta replied that re-verification will help the authorities weed out illegal immigrants who have bribed NRC officials to get their names on the list.

Hajela will submit a supplementary list on the inclusion and exclusion of names on the NRC list by July 31.The matter is listed for further hearing on Tuesday.

(IANS)

Categories
India

Punjab National Bank tanks by 10% after another fraud case

Two days after the Punjab National Bank (PNB) said that it had been defrauded by Bhushan Power & Steel Ltd. (BPSL) to the tune of Rs 3,805.15 crore, its scrip fell by over 10 per cent on Monday.

At 10.43 a.m., PNB shares were trading at 73.95 apiece, down 9.54 per cent before hitting an intra-day low of 73.15 a share.

The state-run bank on Saturday informed the exchanges that it has been defrauded by BPSL to the tune of Rs 3,805.15 crore.

“On the basis of Forensic Audit Investigation findings and CBI filing FIR, on suo moto basis, against the Company and its Directors, alleging diversion of funds from banking system, a fraud of Rs 3805.15 core is being reported by Bank to RBI,” PNB said in a regulatory filing.

Adding that in the accounts of the company (BPSL), the bank had already made provisions amounting to Rs 1,932.47 crore, as per prescribed prudential norms.

PNB added that BPSL has misappropriated bank funds, manipulated books of accounts to raise funds from consortium lender banks.

On the present status the bank informed that the case is at NCLT which is in advance stage.

This case comes nearly a year after the bank was hit by one of the biggest fraud in the banking history, when the diamantaire Nirav Modi defrauded the bank which cost India’s second largest state run bank a massive Rs 14,000 crore.

(IANS)

Categories
India World

Punjab National Bank fraud; Choksi cites risk to life, moves court

One of the key accused in the PNB fraud case, Mehul Choksi, on Friday moved a fresh application in a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai seeking cancellation of a non-bailable warrant against him.

His application came three days after his nephew Nirav Modi, another key accused in the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank loan default case, was arrested in London.

In his application, Choksi, who had fled India in January 2018 months before the scam surfaced, has cited ailment and risk to his life. Choksi’s lawyer Sanjay Abbot in the application said the jeweller has a long history of heart ailments and a blood clot in the brain.

He also mentioned in the application about Choksi’s apprehension over his safety.

On May 22, 2018, after taking cognisance of the second chargesheet filed in the PNB case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the special court had issued the non-bailable warrant against Choksi, owner of Gitanjali Group.

His move comes two days after the investigation agencies said that Choksi’s extradition process has begun in Antigua where he has taken citizenship.

The court has adjourned the matter for April 9 for arguments.

Choksi’s counsel submitted his detailed medical history citing his ailments constraining him from travelling and hence leading to his inability to return to India.

His counsel also placed 38 documents on record, including a latest prescriptions in which doctors recommend that Choksi should remain under continuous medical supervision in Antigua and should avoid travelling as his medical condition may deteriorate.

Choksi, along with his nephew and diamantaire Nirav Modi are accused of colluding with bankers to secure credit from overseas banks using fraudulent guarantees. Both have denied the allegations and have moved abroad.

Nirav Modi was taken into custody in London on March 19.

However, Choksi had secured a passport from Antigua and Barbuda, where wealthy foreigners can become citizens in exchange for investing in the country. He was granted citizenship on January 15, 2018.

He then deposited his cancelled Indian Passport No. Z3396732 and a mandatory fee of $177 for other formalities.

IANS

Categories
India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Corbett National Park

Taking time off from his busy schedule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand to see the wildlife that included tigers and elephants.

Amid a drizzle, Modi took a motorboat from Kalagarh area to visit the Dhikala Range of the National Park in the Kumaon region, top police officers said. After reaching the Dhikala Range, Modi took a round of the jungle.

The police officers said the Prime Minister’s visit to the Corbett Park was not scheduled. “He was supposed to address a rally at Rudrapur, but took time off to visit the Corbett Park,” an officer said.

IANS

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India

INC accuses BJP national leadership of horse trading to destablise Karnataka Govt

Citing purported audio tape conversations allegedly involving former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, the Congress on Saturday accused the BJP of attempting to destabilise the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka through corruption and horse trading and sought to link its national leadership – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah – in the episode.

Addressing a press conference, AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal and party chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Yeddyurappa tapes now establish a “new low” in the politics of corruption, bribery and “sinister attempt to misuse the entire judiciary up to the Supreme Court to bring down an elected government in Karnataka”.

A scandalous claim has been made by naming Modi and Shah that the Supreme Court judges would be approached to fix the cases of the MLAs who will defect in violation of the anti-defection law, they said.

The audio clip relates to a purported discussion between Yeddyurappa and Shan Gowda, son of JD(S) legislator Nagana Gowda from Gurmitkal constituency, a few days ago.

“In this audio clip, it is said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah will approach Supreme Court judges and take care of any conflict that will arise from this,” Surjewala said.

He asked whether the Chief Justice of India would take action and issue notice against BJP for such practices.

The two leaders said another “sensational revelation” from the audio clip was that the Governor was being treated as a “puppet” and was being used to destabilise an elected government in Karnataka and the BJP has “offered” Rs 50 Crore to the Vidhan Sabha Speaker.

“We witnessed the newest low in politics when not only BJP Karnataka’s senior leaders were involved in horse trading and corruption but also revealed the role of Modi and Shah in it,” Surjewala said.

He said that the audio clippings were making clear that Yeddyurappa was offering Rs 10 crore to each MLA and 12 people were offered ministerial positions and six were offered the position chairman of various boards.

“Where did this money come from? Is this black money or white money?” he asked.

Venugopal said that the Karnataka government will continue, irrespective of whatever the BJP may be trying.

“We are 100 per cent sure about it. BJP’s type of politics should be condemned,” he said.

“From day one, since H.D. Kumaraswamy became the Chief Minister, BJP’s national leadership is trying to destabilise the government through horse-trading.”

IANS

Categories
Science & Technology

Government to launch National Artificial Intelligence Portal

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday announced that the government will soon launch the National Artificial Intelligence Portal.

Presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha, Goyal also said that nine priority areas had been identified for the development of the Artificial Intelligence sector.

Government to launch National Artificial Intelligence Portal

IANS