India cancels all applications for Hajj 2021 over Saudi’s covid-19 restrictions

News Network
June 15, 2021

New Delhi, June 15: The Hajj Committee of India on Tuesday announced that all the applications for the pilgrimage this year stand cancelled as Saudi Arabia has stated that only a limited number of people residing in the Kingdom will be allowed to perform Haj due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a circular, the committee said that the Ministry of Haj and Umrah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has issued a statement informing that due to coronavirus pandemic conditions it has decided to allow citizens and residents inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only to attend Haj this year in limited numbers and international Haj has been cancelled.

"Hence it has been decided by the Haj Committee of India that all the applications for Haj 2021 stands cancelled," the circular signed by Haj Committee of India's Chief Executive Officer Maqsood Ahmed Khan read.

Last year also the government had decided that Muslims from India will not travel to Saudi Arabia for Haj 2020 after the Kingdom conveyed that pilgrims should not be sent in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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News Network
January 25,2023

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Indian hero Mohammed Siraj has capped off a superb 12 months by claiming the No.1 spot on the MRF Tyres ICC Men's ODI Player Rankings for bowlers from New Zealand seamer Trent Boult.

It's a remarkable rise for Siraj, who only returned to India's ODI setup in February last year following a three-year hiatus without playing a 50-over match at the international level.

Since then Siraj has collected 37 wickets from 20 matches to be one of India's most consistent fast bowlers and the accolades have started to pile in for the underrated 28-year-old.

On Tuesday, Siraj was named in the ICC Men's ODI Team of the Year and on Wednesday the right-armer had another reason to celebrate as he went past Boult and Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood to become the top-ranked ODI bowler for the very first time.

Not only has Siraj's form over the last 12 months been imperious, but his efforts in ODI series at home earlier this month against Sri Lanka and New Zealand has shown just how much the right-armer has improved in recent times.

India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey challenged Siraj to work on certain aspects of his game in the middle of last year and the extra training the energetic quick has put in has paid off in spades judged on recent performances.

Siraj took nine wickets against Sri Lanka to be the leading wicket-taker for the three-game series and backed that up by claiming a four-wicket haul in the opening match of the recently-completed series against New Zealand.

It means Siraj jumps to the top of the ODI bowler rankings with 729 rating points, albeit narrowly, with his lead at the top over Hazlewood just two rating points higher than the Australian.

India captain Rohit Sharma was full of praise for Siraj when asked about the emerging quick following the series whitewash over New Zealand.

"He has done really well, he understands what the team is expecting from him," Rohit said.

"To come and take the new ball, swing the ball, get early wickets. In the middle overs too, he's got so much skill. 

"The more he plays, the better he gets."

Fellow India pacer Mohammed Shami jumps 11 places to 32nd overall on the updated list for ODI bowlers, while there is plenty of movement at the top of the batter rankings following the completion of India's home series against the Kiwis.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam still enjoys a healthy lead at the top of the ODI batter rankings, but there is now a total of three India players inside the top 10 and chasing the highest accolade.

In-form opener Shubman Gill is the eye-catcher as the right-hander jumps a whopping 20 places to sixth overall following a brilliant double hundred and a century against New Zealand at home.

Gill rises in front of veteran Virat Kohli in seventh, while Rohit jumps two places to equal eighth after his quickfire hundred against the Kiwis in Indore.

There wasn't too much joy for New Zealand after they lost the series to India 3-0 and relinquished the No.1 ODI team ranking, but Devon Conway improved 13 spots to 37th overall on the list for batters after his superb century in the final game of the series.

The series between Ireland and Zimbabwe was also recently completed and some in-form players were rewarded on the latest rankings update.

Ireland young gun Harry Tector jumps 12 places to 13th overall on the list for batters, while pacer Josh Little improves 27 places to equal 33rd on the bowlers' list to cap off a tremendous 12 months for the left-armer.

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News Network
February 4,2023

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Mangaluru Feb 4: Beary singer and artiste Riyaz Ashraf Kalakar passed away on Saturday February 4, over two weeks after he suffered a cardiac arrest. 

The 50-year-old is survived by his wife, two sons, two daughters and a large number of relatives and well-wishers. 

Riyaz had gained popularity among Beary language and culture lovers through his activities including singing. 

Well versed in Kannada, Hindi, Tulu, Malayalam, Beary languages, he also used to organise events and compere programmes. 

It is said that he was under treatment at a private hospital in Deralakatte following a heart attack on January 22. However, he breathed his last without responding to any treatment.

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News Network
January 27,2023

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Bengaluru, Jan 27: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said the state government-run residential schools, which have completed 10 years, will have colleges offering pre-university courses (PUC) on their premises from the next academic year.

These residential schools will also have to conduct competitive examinations amongst students so that they are prepared for such challenges once they complete their education and go out in search of jobs, Bommai said.

The Chief Minister also asked the social welfare department to give up its "tendency of spending money only constructing school buildings to gratify contractors".

Instead, the focus should be on improving the quality of education. "Start the Pre-University Colleges from next year in those schools which have completed 10 years and the students are in 10th standard,” Bommai said after inaugurating 'Science Expo-2023' of the Karnataka Residential Education Institution Society (KREIS) at the Palace Grounds here.

According to Bommai, the "quality education will not continue" if the students have to go to various other schools after completing 10th standard because the competitive examinations for them start after completing their Pre-University education. Hence, the students have to continue their PUC education from the same residential school, he said.

"Conduct competitive exams in these schools among the children. We have provided them a level playing field to find out the shortcomings among the children so that it can be set right and their capacity is increased," the Chief Minister said. Bommai pointed out that the children studying in the Morarji Desai Residential Schools and similar other residential schools run by the state government are quite sharp who got admission by scoring above 60 per cent to 70 per cent.

He said the target of the government is to ensure that these students score 90 per cent by the time they complete their education.

The Chief Minister took a swipe at the tendency of spending more money on constructing buildings, which benefits contractors. "We spend thousands of crores of rupees on these institutions. We are spending more on buildings and compound walls," Bommai said and insisted that the focus should be on the "requirements" of the students studying in these residential schools.

Bommai said, "Stop giving money to the contractors. Change that model itself." According to him, the spending on building schools had started from Rs five crore, which escalated to Rs 10 crore and Rs 14 crore and now it has reached a stage where the government spends Rs 30 crore on each school. "Spend Rs 30 crore on the arrangements (facilities) for children. On the one hand government money is draining and on the other, the arrangements required for the children are not happening," the Chief Minister said.

Bommai blamed the previous governments which he alleged had been splurging money on building schools, instead of improving quality of education. "This is a legacy that has come from the past from the previous governments to take up 'contractor-based civil works' due to which we have reached this stage," he said. Stating that children belonging to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backwards castes study in these schools, Bommai said it was the duty of the government to make sure about the quality of education.

He instructed officials to give him a list of shortcomings in the schools and assured that the government will give grants. Bommai also directed officials to visit schools instead of "running administration" from Bengaluru. 

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