Anupam Kher to head FTII, replaces Gajendra Chauhan: All you need to know

Anupam Kher


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Actor Anupam Kher was today appointed chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India, Information and Broadcasting ministry officials said.


Kher replaces Gajendra Chauhan, who had a controversial tenure as head of the Pune-based institute. His term had ended in March.


A notification regarding Kher’s appointment has been issued, officials said.


Anupam Kher has previously held the post of chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and the National School of Drama.


He is a recipient of the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016. Anupam Kher is currently gearing up for the release of his upcoming film, Ranchi Diaries.


Anupam Kher, a staunch supporter of the government


Anupam Kher is undoubtedly considered as the biggest follower of Modi’s ideologies and his schemes. He has always been vocal over the schemes of Modi government. He had once even called himself “Chamcha” of Modi, and he takes pride in it.


His wife Kirron Kher is a BJP MP.


FTII, an autonomous body, was in the past headed by legendary film personalities including Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Saeed Mirza, Mahesh Bhatt, Mrinal Sen, Vinod Khanna and Girish Karnad.


Many popular film personalities have come out of FTII, including Naseeruddin Shah, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Shatrughan Sinha, Raza Murad, Resul Pookutty and the late Smita Patil and Om Puri.



In proposing Ram statue, Yogi follows in Gujarat, Maharashtra’s footsteps



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Iconic statues, among other monuments and edifices, have always drawn a crowd, take the Statue of Liberty for example. The Uttar Pradesh government is hoping to draw a crowd too, of tourists, even though their project is not reported to be nearly as ambitious as the aforementioned structure, with a religious statue in the city of Ayodhya.


The Yogi Adityanath government plans to install a statue of Lord Rama on the banks of the River Saryu in Uttar Pradesh. According to media reports, the statue will be 100-metre long.


The statue is proposed to be built in Ayodhya, close to the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site, according to an NDTV report.


While sources cited by the article refused to confirm that it would be 100-metre long, they said that the height of the statue would be imposing. According to the report, the proposal, which has been sent to the state’s Governor, is meant to boost religious tourism in the state.


The statue will be installed only after clearance from the National Green Tribunal, Principal Secretary Tourism Awanish Awasthi told news agency PTI on Tuesday. Earlier, while speaking to NDTV, Awasthi had confirmed the existence of such a proposal, saying that it was in the “conceptual stage” and that it was one among many proposals for the state’s various tourist destinations. Awasthi pointed to similar statues he said could be found in Bali in Indonesia.


The proposed statue is part of a larger integrated development plan for Ayodhya, for which the Yogi Adityanath government has sent a detailed project report of Rs 195.89 crore to the Union Tourism Ministry, which has provided Rs 133.70 crore to the state so far, according to Indian Express.


The state and its people are no strangers to public projects to build statues. Former chief minister Mayawati’s administration was a prolific statue builder too.


When she was UP’s chief minister, Mayawati had been on a memorial-building spree.

On January 15, 2003, Mayawati had inaugurated the Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal, a memorial for the Dalit leader and architect of the Indian Constitution spread over 125 acres on the banks of the Gomti.


The memorial houses a statue of Ambedkar and, since its opening, the park has received several makeovers.



PM greets nation on Valmiki Jayanti

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday greeted the nation on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti.


“Greetings on Valmiki Jayanti. A great sage and master litterateur, his rich ideals and works guide generations…,” Modi tweeted on the birth anniversary of Sanskrit poet Maharishi Valmiki.


Valmiki is the author of the epic Ramayana. The original texts written by the sage consists of 24,000 shlokas and seven cantos (kandas) including Uttara Kanda.



I am not frustrated’: Yashwant Sinha sticks to his guns, finds support from Shatrughan

Yashwant Sinha


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A defiant Yashwant Sinha on Thursday stuck to his stand on his criticism of the government, saying he had to go public with his views on the state of economy because the doors of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP were shut for him.


Sinha also felt that if his son and Union Minister Jayant Sinha was asked to write an article rebutting his views as published in a newspaper, then it was a “cheap trick” of pitting a son against the father.


If Jayant was competent to answer the questions raised by him, why was he removed from the Finance Ministry, the senior Sinha asked.


Talking to TV channels a day after his stinging critique of the government’s management of the economy created a storm, the veteran BJP leader said the previous Congress-led UPA regime could no longer be held responsible for the mess Indian economy was in today.


He had a word of advice to the government: If people like former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram speak on the economy, the government should listen to them.


Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha, without naming his father, claimed on Thursday in an article in the Times of India that his father had missed the fundamental structural reforms initiated by Modi that were transforming the economy.


Modi re-tweeted Jayant Sinha’s published article.


The government also rubbished Yashwant Sinha’s criticism, citing that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and UN bodies were hailing India as one of the fastest growing economies.


Stepping up his attack against the government, Yashwant Sinha, who was Finance Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and is still in the BJP, reiterated that the Finance Ministry failed to address the problem of reviving stalled



BJP on Manish Tewari’s Modi tweet: Congress has lost its mental balance

Manish Tewari

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Congress leader Manish Tewari on Sunday triggered a row with a twitter post using abusive language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, evoking sharp reactions from the BJP and the twitterati with both demanding an apology from Sonia Gandhi.


Tewari is the second Congress leader after party general secretary Digvijaya Singh to come under fire for using foul language against Modi. Singh had recently retweeted a post which contained expletives against the prime minister.


In his post, Tewari used abusive words and wrote in Hindi, using the Roman script, about how Modi “befooled” people and that “Even Mahatma cannot teach MODI Deshbhakti (patriotism)”.


He was responding to a remark made by a person on the micro-blogging website that patriotism is in the DNA of Modi and even Mahatma Gandhi cannot teach him that. It was made in response to a short video clip put out by Tewari about a gaffe purportedly committed by Modi abroad when he had started walking even as the national anthem was being played.


Reacting sharply, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said a desperate Congress and its leaders have “lost their mental balance” after being rejected by people. He said they are using foul language against the prime minister as they have run out of logic to counter him.

“A depressed Congress has become an expired bubble of abuses. When they do not have logic they take to such cheap language. The Congress has been rejected by the people and since then its leaders have lost their mental balance. They are in need of urgent psychiatric treatment,” Naqvi told PTI.


He said it is unfortunate that they have forgotten the dignity and decorum politics requires while targeting the BJP and the prime minister.


“It shows the mental state of the Congress and its leaders and the Congress leadership under Sonia Gandhi should apologise for this,” he said.


By using such language, leaders like Tewari will destroy whatever little support base the Congress has been left with, he said.


Tewari later said he was willing to apologise for a “colloquial” Hindi phrase and meant no offence to the prime minister or Mahatma Gandhi.


“No offence meant to PM or the Mahatma both of whom were invoked in response not my original tweet. In between flights saw the brouhaha on Twitter therefore context if brouhaha is over Hindi phrase in colloquial – used to describe idiocity and nothing more. In this case of person who put PM over Mahatma.



PM Narendra Modi to receive Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Gujarat, for annual bilateral summit meeting

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At the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, will undertake an official visit to India on September 13 and 14, 2017.

Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Abe will hold the 12th India-Japan Annual Summit, at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on the 14th of September. The two leaders will deliver statements to the media.

An India Japan Business Plenary is scheduled the same day.

This will be the fourth Annual Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Abe.

The two leaders will review the recent progress in the multifaceted cooperation between India and Japan under the framework of their ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’ and will set its future direction.

The two leaders will attend a public function to mark the commencement of work of India’s first high-speed rail project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, on 14th of September.

The train is expected to significantly reduce travel time between the two cities.

Japan is a pioneer in high-speed rail networks, and its Shinkansen bullet train is among the fastest in the world.

The city of Ahmedabad will greet Prime Minister Abe with an elaborate civic reception on 13th of September, showcasing the cultural diversity of India, through a series of performances.

The two Prime Ministers will visit Sabarmati Ashram, established by Mahatma Gandhi on the banks of the Sabarmati River. They will then visit the “Sidi Saiyyed Mosque” – a famous 16th century mosque in Ahmedabad. The two leaders will also visit Dandi Kutir, the museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, at the Mahatma Mandir.


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BRICS Summit kicks off: Xi, Modi display bonhomie ahead of restricted meet

Modi at 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen


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The BRICS Summit began here on Monday with a group photograph of leaders of the five countries and was preceded by a warm handshake between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who received the leaders of Brazil, Russia, and South Africa ahead of the restricted meeting of the grouping.

Modi was the third leader to reach the convention centre, which is the venue of the 9th BRICS Summit in this Chinese port city, followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Modi is also scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Xi on Tuesday.

The Summit will be the first gathering when the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will meet after New Delhi and Beijing decided on “expeditious disengagement” of their border troops in the disputed Dokalam area on August 28 after more than a two month-long standoff between them.

Apart from the restricted meeting, the leaders will participate in the plenary during which they will explore ways to enhance cooperation within the members of the grouping in key areas. They will also deliberate on international issues of significance, including global economy and challenges