AN 11-YEAR OLD GIRL IN JHARKHAND STRAVED TO DEATH AFTER HER FAMILY DENIED RATION FOR NON-LINKING TO AADHAAR :

An 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand’s Simdega starved to death after her family was allegedly refused ration under public distribution system because of non-linking to Aadhaar. “I went to get rice but I was told that no ration will be given to me. My daughter died saying bhaat-bhaat (rice-rice),” Koyli Devi, the girl’s mother said. However, Saryu Rai, minister in-charge of food and civil supplies in Jharkhand said there are clear instructions that ration shouldn’t be denied to those who haven’t linked their ration card with Aadhaar. “We will look into this and will also send a reminder of my orders on distribution of ration,” Rai said. According to a report in Hindustan Times, the girl, Santoshi Kumari, died on September 28 after starving for four days, her mother told activists. The family had not received any ration since February but subsisted on doles from villagers and the mid-day meal Santoshi would get at her school, the report said. However, during Durga Puja vacations, she was deprived of mid-day meal. As the food stock at home ran out, Santoshi, after not eating for four days, complained of severe stomachache and died. Rediff.com : 17th. Oct,17I

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ROMANIAN TENNIS PLAYER SIMONA HALEP RANKED FIRST IN WOMEN’s TENNIS ASSOCIATION (WTA) :

Romanian tennis player Simona Halep continued to lead the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings released on 16th. October. The 26-year-old Romanian star reached the number one for the first time in her career last week to put an end to the four-week reign of Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza, who came in second, reports Efe.  There were no changes in this week’s rankings, as Czech Karolina Pliskova held the third position, followed by Ukrainian Elina Svitolina. American Venus Williams came in fifth, followed by Danish Caroline Wozniacki. The current WTA rankings and point scores are : 1. Simona Halep (Romania) 6,175 points 2. Garbiñe Muguruza (Spain) 6,135 3. Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) 5,605 4. Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) 5,465 5. Venus Williams (United States) 4,642 6. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) 4,640 7. Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia) 4,510 8. Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) 3,950 9. Caroline Garcia (France) 3,860 10. Johanna Konta (Britain) 3,795. IANS : 16th. Oct,17

ACE DEFENDER SUSHILA CHANU PUKHRAMBAM RETURNED TO WOMEN’s HOCKEY SQUAD FOR ASIA CUP:

Ace defender Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam made her comeback after recovering from a knee injury as she was on Monday named in the Indian women’s hockey squad for the ninth Women’s Asia Cup which starts from October 28 in Kakamigahara City, Japan. Sushila underwent a surgical procedure to repair ligament damage to the knee. Later she was part of the national camp for the Asia Cup.  Also making a comeback were forwards Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur and Sonika after not being part of the squad for the Europe Tour of Netherlands and Belgium last month. Among the big names missing out on the list is former captain and midfielder Ritu Rani.  The team will be captained by striker Rani Rampal, while goalkeeper Savita will be vice-captain. Apart from Sushila, defensive duties will be given to Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Suman Devi Thoudam and Gurjit Kaur. The midfield will feature Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz and Neha Goyal. Rani, Vandana Katariya and Lalremsiami will feature in the forward line. India have been placed in Pool A alongside China, Malaysia and Singapore. This tournament will be the first assignment of new head coach Harendra Singh as he looks towards a strong performance in Japan with qualification for next year’s Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 being his top priority. “We have a very good blend of youth and experience within our team which will help us in negating the tasks ahead of us at the Women’s Asia Cup. The team has played against higher ranked teams in the build-up to the tournament which has helped us in improving our game. “We have made several minor adjustments and improvements in our game so that we don’t repeat unforced errors in our play. We will be aiming to win the Women’s Asia Cup 2017 in order to qualify for next year’s World Cup,” said Harendra. Meanwhile Captain Rani is confident that the team can perform well at the Women’s Asia Cup. She said, “We have made improvements in our game wherever it was necessary. I feel the team is playing well as a unit and there is a good sense of cohesion in our squad. “We are looking forward to performing well in Japan so that we can qualify for the World Cup.” Ahead of their departure for Japan, the squad will continue to train at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru until October 23. IANS : 16th. Oct,17

NATIONAL CARRIER AIR INDIA TENDERED FOR $555 MN LOAN TO BUY THREE BOEING AIRCRAFT :

Air India plans to raise $555 million through bridge loans to buy three Boeing aircraft scheduled for delivery early next year, as per a tender document floated by the national carrier. The bids for the bridge financing, to be guaranteed by the government, close on November 1. “Air India invites offers from banks/financial institutions to arrange a bridge financing up to $555 million for financing the acquisition of three B777-300 ER aircraft to be drawn equally at the time of taking delivery of the aircraft,” said the document issued this week. Air India has agreed with US major Boeing to buy 15 B777-300 ER aircraft and has already taken delivery of 12 planes. Two of the remaining aircraft are to be delivered in January and the last in February.  “The government of India has indicated that they will issue guarantee for the bridge financing of B777-300 ER aircraft for a period of 12 months or till the date the loan is refinanced, whichever is earlier,” the document said. “Pre-payment/short closure of the bridge loan should be allowed without any extra cost to Air India,” it said. The financing facility would be a direct loan without the requirement of formation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) structure, which requires title transfer, it added. Air India placed orders for 68 Boeing aircraft in 2006, including these 15 B777-300 ERs and 27 Dreamliners, of which the airline has already taken delivery of 65 planes. IANS : 17th. Oct,17

SERVICES OF THE HERITAGE TOY TRAIN IN DARJEELING HILLS WILL BE RESUMED FROM 25TH. OCTOBER :

Services of the heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), popularly known as ‘toy train’, is all set to resume in the hills from October 25, after its suspension for 125 days due to the strike called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). The indefinite strike in the Darjeeling hills, called by the GJM for a separate state of Gorkhaland on June 15, was lifted after 104 days ahead of Durga Puja. But the train service was restarted partially up to Sukna from October 15.  “We have partially started the narrow-guage passenger train service up to Sukna from Siliguri in the plains,” North Frontier Railway (NFR) spokesperson Pranav Jyoti Sharma said. As the service remained suspended for 125 days, repairs and maintenance jobs are required to be done, he told PTI over phone from Guwahati.  The 88-km journey from Siliguri to the Darjeeling hills through forests, tea gardens and numerous bridges and tunnels will recommence from October 25, Sharma said. He said works relating to maintenance of engines, coaches, tracks, stations and signalling systems would be completed soon and trains would again run the full distance. The ‘toy train’ service, which earned UNESCO World Heritage tag in 1999, is a big attraction to tourists who flock to this eastern hill town from all over the world. The hill town, however, is yet to get back to normalcy and arrival of tourists in good numbers may take some time. “Though tourist inflow at present is negligible, but recommencement of services like the toy train will certainly send a positive message to the tourists,” Raj Basu, convener of Association for Conservation of Tourism, said, a dding this would boost tourism in the Darjeeling hills. PTI : 17th. Oct,17

WHERE IS DEVELOPMENT IN ODISHA AS 98 BONDED LABOURERS RESCUED AT KANTABANJHI RAILWAY STATION ?

Where is development in Odisha as 98  bonded labourers, including 18 children  rescued by police  at Kantabanji railway station in Bolangir. Eleven persons working as middlemen were also detained by the police. “50 male, 20 female and 18 children being trafficked to brick kilns in Hyderabad, Chirlapalli, Kunoor in Andhra Pradesh were rescued,” said Kantabanji SDPO, Prafulla Mishra.  Earlier on Sunday, police had also rescued 25 labourers waiting at Lathore railway station to be taken to Hyderabad and 19 others staying at the house of an agent in Barbahal village. “Some persons including children were being trafficked to Hyderabad to work in a brick kiln. They had been provided Rs 20,000 per head. However, the person taking them did not possess the adequate license for such work,” said Bargarh’s Rural Labour Inspector Manabhanjan Pradhan.  Even though the government is yet to release official data, sources said 11 out of 14 blocks in Bolangir are staring at drought. Crop loss due to lack of adequate irrigation facilities have broken the backbone of farmers forcing them to migrate in search of work outside the state. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi during his visit to the district a week back had reviewed the crop yield status and accepted the drought situation. However, Sethi had denied that anyone has migrated outside the State to work as bonded labourer. “Migration has not started yet. More employment opportunities will be provided in the regions showing distress signals,” Sethi had said. The Odisha TV : 16th. Oct,17