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People wanted a “TRS-free” Telangana: Subhash


Hyderabad: Telangana BJP’s official spokesperson N V Suhash on Tuesday alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is planning to visit other states to meet opposition leaders for his political survival as people have decided to make Telangana as a “TRS-free state” in 2024.

He said the BJP would welcome any financial assistance provided to the families of martyred soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. However, he said Chandrashekar Rao in the guise of distributing cheques to families of Galwan martyrs was trying to play politics leaving the state farmers in lurch who have committed suicides.

“The people of the state had a dream and aspiration when the TRS was voted to power after the formation of new state. But now their dream and aspirations have been destroyed in the last eight years by inept and corrupt KCR government and people are awaiting for an opportunity to dethrone it and make Telangana as a “TRS-free state”, said Subhash.
Earlier, the BJP leader said “KCR tried to visit states and meet opposition leaders to pressurise central government. But all his efforts went in vain. Now He wanted to meet again opposition leaders and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar who severed ties with BJP after name of his politician daughter Kavitha surfaced in Delhi liquor scam.”

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Modi to commission India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier on Sept. 2


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will commission the first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, at the Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi on September 2.

The PMO said Modi will be in Karnataka and Kerala on September 1-2 to attend several programmes, including a visit to the birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya at Kalady village near Cochin airport.

He will also inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of projects worth around Rs 3,800 crores in Mangaluru.

The PMO noted that Modi has been a strong proponent of self reliance, especially in strategic sectors, and the commissioning of INS Vikrant will mark a significant step towards this.

It will be the first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier. Designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by the Cochin Shipyard, a public sector shipyard, Vikrant has been built with state-of- the-art automation features and is the largest ship ever built in the maritime history of India.

The aircraft carrier is named after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first, which had played a vital role in the 1971 war, the PMO noted.

It has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, involving major industrial houses in the country as well as over 100 MSMEs. With the commissioning of Vikrant, India will have two operational aircraft carriers, which will bolster the maritime security of the nation, it said.

Modi will also unveil the new naval ensign (Nishaan), doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage, it added.
In Mangaluru, the prime minister will inaugurate the project worth over Rs 280 crore for mechanisation of “Berth No 14” for handling containers and other cargo undertaken by the New Mangalore Port Authority.

The mechanised terminal will increase efficiency and reduce turnaround time, pre-berthing delay and dwell time in the port by around 35 per cent, the PMO said.

The phase I of the project has been successfully completed, thereby adding over 4.2 MTPA to the handling capacity, which would further increase to over 6 MTPA by 2025.

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Special OJEE 2022 admit card released; here’s download link


The admit cards for 2nd/special Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) 2022 have been released. Candidates can download their hall tickets from the official website ojee.nic.in.

The exam is scheduled to be conducted on September 3, 4 and 9, 2022, in four shifts — 9.00 AM to 10.00 AM, 11.30 AM to 12.30 PM, 2.00 PM to 3.00 PM and 4.30 PM to 5.30 PM. The entrance examination will be conducted in Computer Based Test (CBT) mode.

Here’s the examination schedule.

Steps to download the admit card

  1. Visit the official website ojee.nic.in
  2. On the homepage, click on “Download ADMIT CARD for 2nd / Special OJEE, 2022
  3. Key in your login details and submit
  4. Check and download the admit card
  5. Take a printout for future reference

Direct link to download the admit card.

For more details, candidates are advised to visit the official website here.

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Class 12 girl dies after being set ablaze in Jharkhand, NCW asks police to ensure fair probe


The National Commission for Women on Monday urged the Jharkhand Police chief to ensure a fair investigation into the death of a Class 12 girl who was allegedly set ablaze by a man for not responding to his advances.

The women’s panel told the police to submit a action-taken report within seven days.

On August 23, a man named Shahrukh allegedly poured petrol on the student through a window while she was sleeping in her room, according to PTI. He then set her on fire, according to the police.

The girl was admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences at Ranchi, but died in the early hours of August 28.

On Monday, the National Commission for Women said that it has taken cognisance of the matter and was anguished about the crime.

“Chairperson Ms Rekha Sharma has written to Director General of Police, Jharkhand to look into the matter and to ensure that a fair investigation is accomplished in a time-bound manner,” the women’s body said in a statement.

Sharma also said that a fact-finding team of the women’s panel will meet the victim’s family and also speak to police authorities on Tuesday. “…It will see to it that family gets all the required help,” she said.

The police arrested Shahrukh on August 23, and arrested another accused person, Naeem alias Chhotu Khan, on Monday, according to ANI. Dumka Superintendent of Police Amber Lakra said that the police will demand that the trial in the case be conducted in a fast-track court.

“People are co-operating with us,” Lakra said. “We appeal to people to maintain peace. The situation is under control and Section 144 [of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which bans the assembly of four or more persons] has been imposed.”

On Monday, shops, schools and colleges remained closed in Dumka after Hindutva groups Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal called for a shutdown, according to PTI. The movement of long-distance buses was also adversely affected.

Protestors also gathered at the Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi and shouted slogans against the state government.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday told the district administration to provide financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the girl, and directed that the legal proceedings be carried out in a fast-track court.

The girl was a minor, says child rights panel

Meanwhile, the Dumka Child Welfare Committee has said that the girl who died was around 16-years- old according to her Class 10 marksheet, PTI reported.

The panel’s chairperson Amarendra Kumar said that the girl was not an adult, as the police had been claiming.

“We recommend that sections of the POCSO [Protection of Children from Sexual Offences] Act be added to the FIR as the girl was a minor as per our probe,” he said.

The police had claimed that the girl was 19 years old, based on a statement that she had given to a magistrate.

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The American who made a fortune while Indian kingdoms fought among themselves


The 1790s were a period of profound political upheaval in India. The Mughal Empire was in decline, the emperor Shah Alam II under the “protection” of the Marathas. Between the Holkars in Indore, Scindias in Gwalior and the Peshwa in Pune, the Marathas were a divided house. The French East India Company had lately lost battles to the British, but retained a presence in some kingdoms. Among the remaining powerful states were Mysore and Hyderabad.

With things in flux and states vying for power, a space opened up for adventurers and mercenaries. These men for hire had no community loyalties, no kinship networks to guarantee affiliation. Money was their primary consideration and princely kingdoms and trading companies were only too happy to avail of their services.

One such adventurer was a young American named John Parker Boyd.

A former soldier, Boyd had arrived in India in 1789. He was tall, well-formed, handsome and known to be courteous and generous. With funds from the Nizam of Hyderabad, he raised two battalions (“kausolars”) of 500 infantrymen each. Over the next few years, he would hire his forces out to the Holkars and the Peshwas, before seeking a return to the Nizam’s service.

During his time in India, Boyd was witness to, or a participant in, court intrigues, shifting political fortunes of kingdoms, and military mobilisations, all of which played a crucial role in shaping events in the country in the following decades.

Military service

James Parker Boyd was born to James and Susannah Boyd on December 21, 1764, in Newburyport, Massachusetts, a seaport 45 miles north of Boston. His father James was from Scotland, while his mother’s forbears immigrated from England in the mid-17th century. With his brothers, Boyd worked in a store to pick up “mercantile skills”. In 1786, he signed up as an ensign in the military, seeing limited action during the “Shays’ rebellion” in western Massachusetts, when farmer and citizen groups rebelled over higher taxes.

In 1789, he travelled to India, reaching Madras via the Isle of France (Mauritius). A year later, in June, the English consul at Hyderabad introduced him to Nizam Ali Khan, Asaf Jah II – a significant event in Boyd’s life. He wrote about the meeting in detail in a letter to his father. The opulence of the Nizam’s court mesmerised him. The Nizam’s army included 150,000 infantry, 60,000 cavalry and 500 elephants. The elephant brigade especially impressed him: the equipage was elegant and the “castle” atop the elephant that could hold a nawab and four attendants was the “noblest sight he had ever seen”. The Nawab, he said, travelled in luxury, accompanied by 50 servants, including 16 palanquin bearers as well as runners to carry messages.

Nizam Ali Khan, Asaf Jah II. Credit: Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain].

The Nizam granted Boyd a commission of Rs 500, along with another Rs 1,500 in emoluments. This enabled the American to raise two small battalions of infantrymen, a number that would rise impressively during his stay in the country.

In 1795, historian Ronald Rosner says, Boyd and his unit saw military action for the first time when, as part of the combined Maratha forces, they fought against the Nizam in the battle of Kharda in present-day Ahmednagar. The Nizam’s defeat in this battle – in which the British East India Company adopted a non-interventionist policy – led the Hyderabad ruler to move closer to the French. Michel Joachim Marie Raymond, a Frenchman in the Nizam’s service, was appointed Comptroller of Ordnance. To the British, this posed a challenge. Raymond was a popular man, whose kindness and charitable acts had earned him the epithets “Musa Rahim” and “Musa Ram”.

After Kharda, Boyd’s pay increased to Rs 3,000 a month, which allowed him to raise an “independent body of troops”. With these soldiers, Boyd was seemingly free of political control, yet his loyalties evidently lay with the British. This became clear on the night of August 9, 1797, when his forces were hastily summoned to Hyderabad by the British Resident James Kirkpatrick. There were credible rumours that Raymond intended to make a military move to dislodge the English detachment in Hyderabad. Boyd stepped up to the occasion. His surprising manoeuvres and the parade of his troops, as a show of strength, forced Raymond to discreetly reposition his forces. By dawn the next day the threat was over and Boyd had earned the gratitude of the East India Company. In a letter, the Resident promised him a reward, one that Boyd would claim years later, after his return to the US.

Michel Joachim Marie Raymond. Credit: Credit: Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain].

It was Raymond, however, who prevailed in this high-stakes game of political one-upmanship as the Nizam ultimately chose not to engage Boyd’s services. Soon his hopes of reentering the Peshwa’s service were dashed as well. It was a time of toxic intrigue in the Peshwa’s court. Baji Rao II, installed as Peshwa in 1795, and Daulat Rao Scindia were determined to cut the former royal advisor, Nana Phadnavis, to size. Meanwhile, Boyd’s former employers, the Holkars, were viewed as a threat to others in the confederacy.

What happened next to Boyd is a matter of contention. It is agreed that he received veiled warnings from Scindia for his suspect loyalties. But there are other versions. One says that the court intrigues disgusted him, another that his intervention following the murder of a fellow adventurer earned him the Peshwa’s ire.

Alarmed by Baji Rao II’s penchant for having enemies trampled to death, Boyd sought refuge with the British in Bombay. He was compelled to flee after hurriedly selling his forces of “two battalions, four pieces of cannon, a troop of horsemen, and a small body of Rohillas – warriors of Pashtun descent – amounting to 2,000 effective men” to Jean-Baptiste Filose, a soldier born of a Neapolitan father and Indian mother. In return he received Rs 35,000.

Baji Rao II. Credit: Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 4.0]

Life in the US

Boyd returned to Boston in 1798. According to some accounts, he had married a woman named Housina Begum in 1795 while he was part of the Peshwa’s forces and they had a daughter, Frances, in 1797. With his immense wealth, he bought acres of land around the town of Orneville in Maine (several old landmarks such as the post office, lake and a plantation were once named after the Boyd family). More land was bought later in the township of Medford, Connecticut.

In 1806, Boyd wrote to the East India Company in London, securing permission to import 300 tonnes of saltpetre (used in gunpowder) from India. He hoped that selling the shipment to the US government would earn him a sizable profit. But the ship Martha was seized by another Company vessel at the Cape of Good Hope. Boyd tried hard to secure his goods, pulling strings in London and Calcutta, but the saltpetre was sold at a nominal sum. Making things worse for him was the belief that the consignment was bought by rival traders in Boston. It would take him another decade to recover his losses. In the meantime, a career in the military beckoned him.

In 1808, following a Congressional act, Boyd became a colonel in the newly raised 4th Infantry. Three years later, his forces saw action in Indiana, where a Native American confederacy led by brothers Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa of the Shawnee tribe had gathered force, rousing other tribes to unite against the American government that was taking their land.

Boyd gave a credible account of himself holding back the enemy at Vincennes in Indiana. But the very next year, he failed to prove his mettle in a battle in Canada. His forces sailed up the St. Lawrence River towards Montreal, closely followed overland by the British, who had strategically allied with the Native American cause. Sustaining heavy losses in the “Battle of Chrysler’s farm”, his forces had to make a quick retreat. Though Boyd vigorously defended his role in the fight, he did not see another military engagement in his lifetime. He was described as “vacillating” by a fellow officer, especially when called to command situations on his own.

In 1816, Boyd travelled to London to secure compensation for his lost shipment. A parliamentary committee headed by William Wilberforce deliberated for several months, taking depositions from Boyd’s former associates in the East India Company, insurers and lawyers. In the end, it awarded him a compensation of £30,000, a sum far short of his expectations.

Boyd’s return to political favour took another decade and a half. In 1830, US President Andrew Jackson appointed him Naval Officer of Boston seaport, making him responsible for checking ship manifests (register of passengers), tabulating customs and other duties. In return he was given an allowance. But Boyd died a few months later in October 1830. Of his fortune, he left a quarter to his daughter Frances in India and another quarter to his son Wallace, born in 1814 from Marie Ruppel. Frances’ whereabouts could never be ascertained.

This article is part of a series on notable Americans who visited India before mid-20th century. Read the rest of the series here.

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Watch: Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Jagdish Devda shows off sword-fighting skills at village fair


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UPSC Geo-Scientist Mains 2022 DAF released; submit by September 9


Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released the Detailed Application Form (DAF) for Combined Geo-Scientist (Mains) Exam 2022. Candidates who have been declared qualified in the Main examination can fill up the DAF at upsconline.nic.in by September 9, 2022.

The UPSC Geoscientist Main exam 2022 was conducted on June 25 and 26 in two shifts — 9.00 AM to 12 noon and 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM.

The information earlier given by candidates in the Application Form for the Examination through online will be cross-checked with the information given by them in this Detailed Application Form online. If there will be any serious discrepancies, their candidature is liable to be rejected/cancelled.

“A candidate must upload along with his/her online Detailed Application Form, a scanned copy of certificate of age (indicating his/her date of birth). The date of birth accepted by the Commission is that entered in the Matriculation or Secondary School Leaving Certificate or in a certificate recognised by an Indian University as equivalent to Matriculation or in an extract from a Register of Matriculates maintained by a University which extract must be certified by the proper authority of the University. A candidate who has passed the Higher Secondary Examination or an equivalent Examination may submit a scanned copy of the Higher Secondary Examination certificate or an equivalent certificate,” reads the notification.

The recruitment drive is being conducted to fill up a total of 192 vacancies.

Steps to fill the UPSC Geo-Scientist Main DAF

  1. Visit the official website upsconline.in
  3. Click on the login link, enter Roll No and Password to login
  4. Proceed with filling the DAF and submit
  5. Download and take a printout for future reference

Direct link to Geo-Scientist Main DAF.

For more details, candidates are advised to visit the official website here.

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Amitabh Bachchan fans install life-size statue of actor outside their home in the US


👆🏻👆🏻On Saturday august 27th we have placed @SrBachchan statue 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻at outside in the front of our new home in edison NJ USA . Lots of Mr Bachchan’s fan’s participated on Mr Bachchan’s staue inoguration ceremony. pic.twitter.com/O3RklFS5eZ

— Gopi EFamily (@GopiSheth) August 28, 2022

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BPSC Auditor Main 2020 registration window reopens; check details here


The Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) has re-opened the online application window for Auditor (Mains) Competitive Exam 2020 today, August 30. Candidates can apply for the main examination on the official website bpsc.bih.nic.in till September 15.

The last date for the application hard copy to reach the Commission’s office is September 21, 2022, upto 5.00 PM. In total, 4259 candidates have qualified for the Auditor Main exam.

The BPSC recruitment drive is being conducted to fill a total of 373 Auditor vacancies. The selection of the candidates for Auditor posts will be done on the basis of the preliminary exam, main exam, and interview round.

Steps to apply for Auditor Main 2020 exam

  1. Visit the official website bpsc.bih.nic.in
  2. On the homepage, click on “Apply Online”
  3. Login to the portal using your Username and Password
  4. Pay the fee and apply for the main examination
  5. Submit the form and take a printout for future reference

For more details, candidates are advised to visit the official website here.

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Watch: Students made to clean toilets at government school in Bihar’s Arrah


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