National News

Congress has fought the BJP over Water, Border (read land) and now they are the battle has gone aerial, both figuratively and literally!

The bone of contention this time around is the Aero India 2019. The biennial event has been held in Yelahanka Air Station for the last 22 years. But several media outlets have reported that the Defence Ministry is mulling over the idea of shifting the location of this show. Sources suggest Lucknow’s Bakshi Ka Talab Airforce Station could be the next destination for this Aero Show. This has infuriated the Congress who are reportedly extremely upset with the development.

Karnataka Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao wrote a letter to the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman claiming that the move was akin to the other ‘ill-guided policies’ of the Central Government and could hurt the state’s Defence and Aviation sector. He also questioned Nirmala Sitharaman’s contribution to the state given she was a representative of the state in the Upper House. Surprisingly local leaders of the opposition have not taken a stand on this issue.

Couple of days back on her visit to the state of Karnataka, the Defence Minister had stated the final call on this issue would be taken soon as her ministry was yet to take the final call.

On the other hand several defence experts are of the opinion that Lucknow Air Base is not capable of holding a show of this caliber. The air base is reportedly smaller than that in Bengaluru.

But most Bengalureans are upset by this news. Aero India has been associated with this cities culture. If the show is shift it could hurt the sentiments of many & several are now crossing their fingers hoping this doesn’t happen.



National News

In less than 3 hours after the death of Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi , AIADMK Government found itself in the midst of a massive controversy. The Tamil Nadu Government rejected DMK’s request for a burial of the Tamil politics stalwart at the Marina Beach.

Several DMK leaders and Karunanidhi’s children MK Stalin, MK Alagiri along with Kanimozhi paid a visit to the Chief Minister E Palaniswami requesting for Karunanidhi’s burial next to his mentor Annadurai’s memorial.

However the Chief Minister chose to go by the rule book, he reasoned that no former Chief Minister was buried along Marina Beach. While incumbent Chief Ministers Annadurai, M G Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa have memorials at Marina Beach, Former Chief Ministers K Kamaraj and Rajaji were buried in Gandhi Mandapam.

Also the other reason cited by AIADMK was that there were at least 7 petitions filed in the Madras High Court which were against constructing memorials and burial of dead bodies along the beach as they violated the rules of Coastal Regulation Zones.

While the Chief Minister is right in stating that the memorial could violate CRZ rules, the same diligence was not followed when ‘Amma’ Jayalalithaa passed away, laws were tweaked to ensure Jaya was buried at the Marina Beach.

Section 319(3) of Chennai City Municipality Cooperation Act was altered following which ‘eastern side of the MGR memorial’ became a burial ground. Many wondered if the same would happen this time around. But the AIADMK stuck to their stand, forcing DMK to seek justice via judicial means.

In what can only be described as an unprecedented move, DMK moved a petition forcing a two judge bench to hear the case at the Chief Justice’s residence.

This incident will most certainly have massive ramifications. This will lead to intense political battles between the two parties, this can also swing the public sympathy in the favour of DMK.

While AIADMK grapples to contain its flock, this avoidable controversy could embolden DMK leadership to unleash a political storm. May be showing magnanimity in this hour could have earned brownie points for EPS and OPS.

Chop Chop Chop: Fate of 253 Trees in Mumbai Hangs in balance

Environment, Wildlife

Google the word ‘Development’ and this is what the website says: the process of being developed. Sounds vague? Precisely the point.

Development is a vague term. But nonetheless an over used phrase. A word used every time a government launches a new scheme. Linking rivers- development! Building bridges- development! So on and so forth.

So when the living conditions of the 9680 residents of the BDD Chawl in Worli grew from worse to pathetic, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority came up with a- you guessed it- ‘Development’ plan. Plan was simple: build 87 buildings. The only catch was this 11,744 crore project will impact 625 trees in the chawl complex. MHADA proposes to cut down 253 trees and transplant 372 trees to another area.

NewsCaravan visited the Chawl Complex located in Mumbai’s Worli area to see the living conditions in the region. Sadly, the chawl is filthy and the houses are dilapidated. Many need urgent repair or evacuation of its occupants.

People belong to the lower income strata and many houses were crammed. People had no place to stay let alone have furniture or other amenities.

Worli, Mumbai

Dilapidated Houses at the Chawl

However, what really got the attention of our team were the trees that could be chopped. Now these trees are massive, some clearly over 60-70 feet and may easily be in the age group of 15-25 years or above (rough estimate). If the government aims to cut down these trees, then it will purely be a disaster.

Remember trees are the lungs of the nature. Cutting down 253 trees will not just act as a disaster for the air purification, but will also impact the water logging crisis in Worli as the roots of these trees help in prevention of soil erosion. This will also reduce the green cover in the city.

Transplanting trees is no easy task, firstly trees have deep roots so uprooting over 300 trees will not be simple. Secondly, where do to the authorities plan to transplant these trees given the fact that Mumbai has no space. Thirdly transplanting trees have low success rate, many doubt if all the trees will survive the operation.

We spoke to a few residents of the city, who quite naturally were enraged about this move.

However Mumbai Board’s Chief Officer Depeendra Khushwaha while speaking to media clarified that no tree would be cut unnecessarily. There was no clarification from his end on how trees could be classified as necessary or unnecessary.

MHADA aims at ‘development’ of the chawl. But, the real problem at hand is fairly simple: will nature have to pay the price of this ill conceived development or will MHADA scrap this plan and opt for a sustainable idea?

Blog by Isheeta Bali


National News

Given this age of breaking news and whatsapp forwards, there are high chances that one must have heard, read or watched those cringe worthy episodes of crime specials on a TV channel about the Burari Suicide.

Few days ago, 11 members of the same family were found dead in one house in Delhi’s Burari Suburb. As insensitive as this may sound, this news was a pot of gold for media outlets.

One old woman was murdered, 2 of her sons, daughters in law, 6 grand children found hanging under mysterious circumstances. The dead bodies were reportedly discovered by a neighbour after he found the door ajar.

Now under given circumstances police should have conducted a thorough investigation. But probably the media interest in the case made them share the investigation reports prematurely.

Police happily shared the details of an under investigation crime to media. A diary and a few notes which indicated that this could have been a ritualistic suicide pact now became the focus. The diary was unverified by police and handwriting not sent to forensics for investigation. Yet the diary was taken at face value. Not one person questioned the veracity of this diary. Not one person wondered why the door was left open during a suicide pact. No one bothered to investigate if this was a murder staged as suicide.

On the other hand, media sensationalised this case. Panelists debated over this, despite their being no two sides to this case . Scenes of this gruesome death re-enacted without viewer discretion. Death trivialised for TRPs.

While the police investigates this mysterious case, what needs to be spoken of is the hype around it. If this case was murder, then media needs to respect the investigating authorities and give them time to solve the case. Editors must learn to take a step back from their breaking news syndrome. And police must look beyond the diary and hunt for real clues.

Secondly if this were indeed the first case of mass shared psychosis suicide, then making a joke out of it will only act as a setback for mental health care. When a person decides to end their life regardless of the reason, it shows their fragile state of mind. If one decides to trivialise it, then many others will refuse to seek help and will be trapped in the vicious circle. Mental health is ignored in India. Many mental health care believe that if the family sought professional help then the suicide could have been prevented.

11 lives with a bright future ahead of them would still be with us.


National News


June 30th, 2018:

Union Minister for Ministry of External Affairs in India, Sushma Swaraj posted a poll on Twitter. Sushma is among a handful of female cabinet ministers in the PM Modi led cabinet and had been subject to online harassment. Her question was simple, ‘DO YOU APPROVE OF SUCH TWEETS?’

124,305 votes were cast, a vast majority said no, but sadly 53,451 said yes. They approved of the harassment.

But why was the union minister subject to vicious trolling?

Well, the drama began at an RPO office in Lucknow, where a woman named Tanvi Seth was supposed to be interviewed by Regional Passport Officer named Vikas Mishra.

The RPO in question noted two discrepancies in Tanvi’s application. Firstly the marriage document shown by her revealed that her name was Shadia Anas (a name mentioned in her nikahnama as she married a muslim man Mohammed Anas Siddiqui) and that her permanent address was different from the address mentioned in the application. Tanvi who is resident of Noida had applied for a passport from Lucknow. However during the interview, Vikas Mishra allegedly chided Tanvi for her inter-religious marriage. Tanvi then took to twitter to air her grievances and all hell broke loose after media channels picked up the story. The issue polarised the online community.

Subsequently the RPO was transferred and later Tanvi was issued a passport. This too however did not go down too well with many.

Soon they trained guns against the head of the external affairs minister: Sushma Swaraj. Sushma’s integrity was questioned. Her health issues were made fun of and not just that, her family was not spared too.

Soon MEA issued a clarification over this issue. MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “I will clarify these two points. On the marriage certificate, under the revised passport application rules, there is no requirement for submission of a marriage certificate at the time of application of passport. Therefore, the name in the marriage certificate is not relevant to the issue of passport. Second, on the address, Tanvi Seth had submitted her Adhaar Card and a joint bank account as a proof for her name and address which was the same as mentioned in the application form. Therefore, the issue of passport to Tanvi Seth was found in order based on the existing rules.”


However in the midst of all this drama , what has really caught the attention of many is the ‘shrill pitch’ silence of PM Modi and his cabinet. PM and several top leaders from the cabinet refused to comment on the issue. Till date only Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Ram Madhav and Ram Vilas Paswan have backed Sushma. PM and top BJP leaders have spoken in length of women empowerment and safety, however when their very own leader was in distress, they maintained a not so golden silence.

Many say it is unfair to drag in PM into this controversy as he had no role to play in it. But doesn’t the same logic apply to Sushma as well? As far as transferring Vikas Mishra was concerned, it was a decision by the Lucknow Passport Office, secondly the passport was only issued after necessary verification. Thirdly Sushma was not present in India when the episode took place.

Criticism is a part and parcel of public life and work space, however unfair and unjust criticism can only demotivate a person. We must learn to criticise in a constructive manner and not criticise only for the sake of criticism. Also let’s not forget the good work Sushma’s ministry has done in the past.

Secondly harassment of any kind, be it in workplace or public or private or on social media must be condemned. BJP must learn that silence by their leaders on such a vital issue, will only be in detrimental in the long run for the party.

15 deaths already, What you need to know about the Nipah Virus Infection

Earlier this month, the southern state of Kerala was in news after doctors in the state discovered that a rather mysterious and a relatively unknown virus had surfaced in the southern coastal region.

Yes, we are talking about the Nipah Virus Infection, a medical condition that is contagious and has baffled several medical experts who continue to work towards eradicating this virus.

But what exactly is the Nipah Virus and why has the infection claimed so many lives despite a robust healthcare system in Kerala?
Nipah Virus Infection can be called as rather new discovery. Infection in human beings was discovered for the first time just 19 years ago in 1999. The first human infection was seen in Malaysian farmers who were in close contact with pigs.

This however is not first outbreak in India, in 2001 Nipah Virus infection claimed 45 lives in West Bengal’s Siliguri Region.
Now, viral infections are pretty common, but makes Nipah Virus so deadly? Just like any viral infection, common symptoms such as headache, fever, muscle pain and nausea are seen initially, but the symptoms can progress to delirium (mental confusion) and ultimately coma or death in a quick span of 2-5 days. The short time span can make it tough for detection and effective treatment of this infection.
Nipah Virus can be detected by a test called as ‘ELISA’ and this is conducted in National Institute of Virology in Pune.

Is there any antidote or vaccine for this vaccine? Sadly, no. There is no vaccination or anti-viral therapy against Nipah. The age old saying of ‘Prevention is better than cure’ holds true for Nipah. Fruit bats are the natural hosts of this infection. Hence fruits and vegetables must be washed thoroughly with water, or boiled before consumption. If possible avoid consumption of raw fruits until the outbreak is contained.

Pigs are also the carriers of this virus, hence it is best to avoid contact with these animals. It is also best to avoid consumption of pig meat.

The infection can be spread if a person comes in contact with a patient, hence maintaining personal hygiene is of utmost importance. Wash your hands regularly and maintain hygiene. Face masks particularly the N95 variant must be used in the areas of outbreak.

Another cause of worry has been the rumours associated with this infection. Always remember self medication is never advised for any medical condition and also always consult a doctor if you notice any symptoms associated with this infection.

Foul play suspected in Sridevi’s death?


One could call it sixth sense, but this tweet by Amitabh Bachchan seem like an eerie forecast of what Bollywood was about to witness.

@SrBachchan T 2625 – न जाने क्यूँ , एक अजीब सी घबराहट हो रही है !!

In the next 58 minutes of Amitabh’s tweet, what was feared was confirmed, Bollywood had lost a supernova. India had lost an actor par excellence… Sridevi.

@Filmfare Breaking news! Bollywood legend @SrideviBKapoor passes away.

The 54 year old actress began her journey as a child star at the age of 4 and leaves behind her husband Producer Boney Kapoor & daughters Jhanvi and Khushi Kapoor. The actress was at Ras Al Khaimah in United Arab Emirates to attend a wedding when she passed away. While the timeline of her final hours are unknown, many sources close to Kapoor family reveal that she may have died following a cardiac arrest. The actress was in the Emirates to attend the wedding of her nephew Mohit Marwah to stylist Antara Motiwala. The actress who is active on social media had posted several photos of the the wedding online. Actress was at her graceful best & looked hale and hearty in the photos, making several wonder if this death was natural or if there was something more.

What really happened ?

Sridevi was at a hotel when she fainted inside the bathroom. It is also unclear as to who found Sridevi unconscious in the bathroom. Reports further reveal that the paramedics rushed Sridevi to the hospital, however she was already dead. Cardiac Arrest is rarely seen in women, but these days post menopausal women are prone to cardiac arrest. Secondly many reports have emerged that Sridevi may have been alone at the time of her death. Boney and daughter Khushi had returned to Mumbai on February 22. However there is no clarity if they flew back to UAE or if they were in Mumbai that day.

No postmortem request?

The authorities at Dubai refused to handover the body without a post-mortem making several wonder if a request was made to repatriate the body without a post mortem. Sridevi’s death of a celebrity ‘fainting in a toilet’ only to be declared dead later is similar to several other Hollywood stars who passed away following an overdose of drugs. Well the preliminary post-mortem report could be out in the near future and hopefully it resolves the mysterious death of the 80s heart-throb.


National News

It was an oh-so-perfect plan, but like they say- you can run, but you can’t hide from law. When businessman Nirav Modi hatched a plan to loot the second largest public sector bank in India, the plan was simple- bypass the core banking system and exploit a loophole.

Duplicitous ‘Letters of Undertakings’ (type of guarantee issued for overseas import payments) were issued by two bank officials in favour of Nirav Modi’s firms such Diamond R Us, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds. The employees also relayed SWIFT instructions to overseas branches of Indian Banks to raise Buyer Credit without making any formal entry.

Ni-Mo is on the run and only time will reveal if he evades law like Mallya. But, not just Nirav, there are several who conned Indians and here is list of these scamsters.


Suresh Kalmadi, Randhir Singh

When India was to host Commonwealth Games in 2010, there was a massive buzz around it, but this excitement soon gave way to embarrassment. Suresh Kalmadi, the organizing chairman of the games was accused of corruption. Bills of common items were inflated, the cost of the games overshot the mandated budget. If that wasn’t enough, 10000 volunteers walked out just one week of the games . All in all, the scam ruined India’s image around the world.



In April 1992, there was blood bath on Dalal Street, courtesy the ‘Raging Bull’ Harshad Mehta who managed to con the banking system. Due to operational restrictions Indian Banks were prohibited from investing in equity market directly. But investment into Fixed Interest Bond was allowed up to a certain ratio. Harshad was aware of this loophole. He then tricked banks to invest their money into share market and promised banks higher returns. In the meantime, Harshad use the money invested by banks into his account to again buy shares. Creating an ‘inflation bubble’. He would then resell these shares and return the money to banks and the pocket the profit.



Another Dalal Street slayer, Ketan Parekh perfected the art of con. His methodology?Simple: Parekh would purchase large stakes in small market capitalization companies and would inflate their prices by trading with larger companies or traders (called circular trading). These shares were traded in a set of 10s and was colloquially knowsn as K10. Later it was learnt that several businessmen would pay Parekh to ensure the prices were inflated. This scam was busted only after Govt set up an inquiry to find out why markets tumbled in March 2001.

HeliTaxii Service now in Bengaluru

National News, TRAVEL


The heavy traffic en route the Kempegowda International Airport is something every passenger dreads. But all thanks to the HeliTaxii Service introduced by Kochi based Thumby Aviation, relief is in store for passengers.

The helicopter taxi services aim to ferry passengers between Kempegowda International Airport and the Electronic City within 15 minutes, a fry cry from the previous 3 hour ride to the Airport.

The HeliTaxii service due to be launched on February 21 will initially have only 2 Bell 407 choppers. These choppers are capable of carrying either 6 or 13 passenger. While one chopper ferries passengers, the second will remain on standby.

The HeliTaxii service is linked to 90 helipads across the silicon city, but as of now, clearance for operational purpose has been given to one helipad on Residency Road.

Passengers will be chauffeured from the Airport terminal to the helipad or vice-versa in a car.

The prices however could be a major factor in determining the success of this initiative. The services of this 15 minute ride have been priced at Rs 3500 + taxes for each passenger travelling between Electronic City and Kempegowda International Airport.

Not just within Bengaluru, Helicopter services will be extended to other parts of Karnataka.