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MEA selects lotus for BRICS logo

The BJP government at the Centre has chosen a lotus as the logo for India's presidency of the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) economic group this year.

While the lotus is the national flower, it is also the BJP's election symbol.

The logo was unveiled on Tuesday by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. It was designed by Sudeep Gandhi, a Mumbai-based calligraphy artist, whose entry was picked from among hundreds in a crowd-sourcing contest announced by the foreign office last year, according to The Telegraph.

Ludhiana court summons Amarinder's son for lying in IT probe

Raninder Singh, son of former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, has been summoned by the Ludhiana court on 26 July on the charge that he lied to Income Tax authorities when he was asked about transactions through offshore companies and a trust based in the British Virgin Islands.

The issue revolves around a document attached to a complaint by the Income Tax authorities that a company linked with Raninder Singh had bought a house in Knightsbridge, London, for 1.8 million pounds, says The Indian Express.

Kejriwal summoned by Delhi court over false info in 2013 election affidavit

Delhi metropolitan magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria on Tuesday summoned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to appear in court on 30 July for allegedly giving false information in an affidavit for the 2013 Delhi assembly elections. The magistrate said he wilfully concealed and suppressed details and there are sufficient grounds to prosecute him.

An NGO has said that in his 2013 election affidavit, Kejriwal had said he was a resident of Delhi, though he actually resided in Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh, beyond Delhi.

The AAP has described this summons as a legal issue, according to the Hindustan Times.

Lapses in JNU inquiry panel investigation: former high court CJ

Former chief justice of the Delhi and Madras high courts AP Shah pointed out several lapses in the JNU high-level panel's probe into the 9 February Afzal Guru event that led to the arrest of three students on sedition charges.

The JNU authorities had issued showcause notices to 21 students after the inquiry panel submitted its report, according to The Telegraph.

Shah said at a public hearing on Tuesday: "Students have every right to cross-examine the witness and evidence should have been recorded in front of them. The charges were never briefed out to them in showcause notices."

Families of murdered cattle traders refuse CM's compensation cheques

The families of the murdered cattle traders in Latehar, Jharkhand, have refused Chief Minister Raghubar Das's cheques of Rs 1 lakh each as compensation. This was confirmed by Latehar district commissioner Ravi Shankar Shukla on Tuesday.

The bodies of cattle traders Mazloom Ansari (35) and Imtiyaz Khan alias Chhotu (14) had been found hanging from a tree on 16 March in Latehar, after they were caught by a mob at 2 am and beaten to death.

So far, eight people have been arrested in the case, two of whom are active in the hardline Hindutva group Bajrang Dal, according to The Telegraph.

Pathankot: Pak team's India visit has 'no legal basis'

The visit of a Joint Investigation Team from Pakistan to India to look into the terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base has no legal basis, say government sources.

This is because Pakistan has not sent India a Letter Rogatory, which is a formal request from a court to a court in a foreign country, asking for judicial assistance. Without an LR, even if the Pakistani team did gather evidence, it would not be admissible in court.

The Pakistani JIT is scheduled to arrive in India on 27 March, says The Indian Express.

Uttarakhand: 5 more Congress MLAs join BJP

The BJP on Wednesday claimed that they had the support of at least five more MLAs from the Congress-led alliance in Uttarakhand. "There are at least five more MLAs in the Congress led alliance including some occupying ministerial positions only biding their time to switch over to our side," Chief Spokesman of the Pradesh BJP Munna Singh Chauhan told PTI. "They are in touch with us and will happily jump over to our side in case the arithmetic of the state Assembly veers towards a tie during voting in the House on 28 March," he said. While the names of the five MLAs has not yet been disclosed, the news comes on the heels of nine Congress MLAs having joined hands with the BJP.

Anurag Thakur slams Shahid Afridi for Kashmir remark

BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur on 23 March criticised embattled Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi for saying that "a lot of people from Kashmir" had come to support his team during the World Twenty20 match against New Zealand in Mohali. "To give a statement like that is not politically correct. A player should stay away from all this. That's the reason why he was criticised in Pakistan," Thakur said referring to the controversy triggered by his previous remark on getting "more love in India than back home".

Bomb scare at Delhi airport

Authorities at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi inspected 10 IndiGo flights after receiving a bomb threat on Wednesday, 23 March. The Indig 6E 853 flight (Srinagar-Delhi) was earlier taken to the isolation bay for examination following the threat. However, it has been reported that as many as 10 flights are being inspected by authorities at the airport. Airport officials have revealed that threats were received for two separate Indigo flights. However, no specific flight number was mentioned by the caller.

Brussels attack: Suspect still on the run

Belgian police are still on the look out for Najim Laachraoui, a suspect in the 22 March attack on Brussels bombings. While Belgian media reported that he had been arrested on Wednesday, the reports were later rectified to read that Laachraoui is still on the run. Laachraoui is also believed to have been involved in the November 2015 terror strike on Paris. Reuters reported that he also goes by the name of Soufiane Kayal. The news agency also reported that his DNA had been found in the Belgium residences used by the Paris attackers.

Classes suspended at Hyderabad Central University

Jawaharlal Nehru University students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is on a visit to Hyderabad Central University (HCU), on 23 March said that the Centre should pass the Rohith Vemula Act as soon as possible. Kanhaiya was denied permission to address a gathering in HCU. University authorities also bared political leaders and media personnel for entering the campus. Classes have been suspended for the next few days. "In view of the situation, classes are suspended from March 23 to 26. We have taken a decision not to allow any outsider, including mediapersons and political parties, on the campus," PTI quoted Registrar M Sudhakar as saying.

Eat less meat to avoid dangerous global warming, scientists say

A widespread switch to vegetarianism would cut emissions by nearly two-thirds, researchers at Oxford Martin School have said. The researchers believe that widespread adoption of vegetarian diet would cut food-related emissions by 63 percent and make people healthier too. Growing food for the world's burgeoning population is likely to send greenhouse gas emissions over the threshold of safety, unless more is done to cut meat consumption. Adhering to health guidelines on meat consumption could cut global food-related emissions by nearly a third by 2050, the study found, while widespread adoption of a vegetarian diet would bring down emissions.

England stalls plans for HIV prevention drug

Charities and campaigners have reacted with anger and disbelief that plans to roll out a widely anticipated HIV prevention drug have been stalled by NHS England. The sector had been waiting for the announcement of the first ever public consultation on the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the UK, now overdue by a month. Instead today NHS England announced it was not their responsibility to commission the drug, a report in the Guardian said. The HIV treatment pill Truvada containing PrEP can be taken on a daily basis - in a similar way that women take the contraceptive pill - by men who have sex with men to dramatically reduce the risk of HIV transmission. In February 2015, a Proud (pre-exposure option for reducing HIV in the UK: immediate or deferred) study reported that PrEP had effectively reduced the risk of HIV infection by 86 per cent.