Daily Bulletin: Monday is last day for Sabarimala darshan in October; Delhi's air pollution spikes to season's highest; day's top stories
Monday is the last day of this month's darshan at the Sabarimala temple; Delhi's deteriorating air quality; Deepika-Ranveer announce marriage in November and other top stories for 22 October, 2018
Sabarimala news update
Monday is the last day of this month's darshan at the Sabarimala temple. With all seven women, who tried to enter he shrine after the Supreme Court order, turned away, the Travancore Devaswom Board is to submit a detailed report on the situation to the apex court. At the end of the fifth day (Sunday) of the Sabarimala gates being opened for the first time since the historic Supreme Court verdict allowing all women entry into the temple, the situation in the areas around Pamba continued to be tense. On Sunday – like the four preceding days – women aged between 10 and 50 years, or believed to be in this age bracket, were spotted and sent away by Ayyappa devotees. According to reports, a writ petition has been submitted in the Supreme Court on action taken by the Kerala government on devotees who did not allow women enter the shrine despite the SC order. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that stern action will be taken against those preventing women devotees from going to Sabarimala temple.
Delhi air quality to worsen in coming weeks
Delhi's air quality remained in the "very poor" category for the second consecutive day Sunday even as authorities warned that it may further deteriorate in the next couple of days. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded at 301, which falls in the 'very poor' category, said the data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). On Saturday, a haze engulfed the national capital and the worst air quality of this season was recorded at AQI 324. CPCB officials identified Anand Vihar, Mundaka, Narela, Dwarka Sector-8, Nehru Nagar and Rohini as the worst-affected areas, warning that it won't be long before the air quality levels there turn severe. An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe. Every November, air pollution in north India reaches levels unimaginable in most parts of the world -- forcing schools shut and filling hospital wards with wheezing patients.
Shimla to be renamed as Shyamala: No harm, says Himachal Pradesh minister
Days after Allahabad was officially renamed Prayagraj, Shimla could be next in line to get its name changed. The BJP-led government in Himachal Pradesh is considering a proposal to rename the popular hill station to ‘Shyamala’, according to news agency PTI. The city purportedly derives its name from Shyamala Devi, an avatar of goddess Kali, but was changed by the Britishers to Shimla. The state’s health minister Vipin Singh Parmar said that many cities across the country which had historic names were renamed and that there is no harm in going back to using their old names again. “If the people want Shimla to be rechristened as Shyamala, the proposal can be considered,” Parmar told PTI.
Petrol pumps to remain shut in Delhi today (22 October, 2018)
All 400-odd petrol pumps along with linked CNG dispensing units in the national capital will remain shut on Monday in protest against Delhi government's refusal to reduce VAT on fuels, the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA) said in a statement. There are about 400 petrol pumps in Delhi which also have linked compressed natural gas (CNG) stations and all of them will remain closed for nearly 24 hours in protest from 6 am onwards on October 22 and remain closed till 5 am on 23 October, it said.
Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh are getting married in November
After years of speculation regarding their marriage, actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh announced their wedding date on Sunday, 21 October. The Padmaavat actors are set to get married on 14 and 15 November, 2018. Padukone took to Instagram to share the note on their wedding. It read, "With the blessings of our families, it gives us immense joy in sharing that our wedding is set to take place on 14 November and 15." "We thank you for all the love you have showered upon us over the years and seek your blessings as we embark on this incredible journey of love, loyalty, friendship and togetherness," read their joint statement.
'I am 78-yrs-old, please expedite matter': Pachauri after Delhi court frames molestation charges
A Delhi court on Saturday framed molestation charges against former Teri chief R K Pachauri in a case of alleged sexual harassment lodged by his former colleague. Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta put Pachauri on trial for the offence punishable under sections 354 (outraging modesty), 354 A (making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually coloured remarks) and 509 (teasing and using vulgar gesture and actions) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The charges were framed after Pachauri, who was present in the courtroom, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. Advocate Ashish Dixit, appearing for the accused, sought a speedy trial after which the court put up the matter for further proceedings on 4 January, 2019. ANI reported that Pachauri sought a speedy trial saying, "my age is 78 years, please expedite matter". On 13 February, 2015, an FIR was registered against Pachauri and he was granted anticipatory bail in the case on 21 March, 2015.
Rajinikanth extends support to #MeToo, says it shouldn't be misused
Speaking to reporters at Chennai airport on Sunday, Rajinikanth extended support to the #MeToo movement but said it should not be misused. "MeToo is a good movement, but women should not misuse it... MeToo should be used correctly," Rajinikanth said. The Kaala actor was returning to Chennai from Varanasi where he has been shooting for an upcoming film.
World Wrestling Championship 2018
India's Bajrang Punia will face Japan's Takuto Otoguro in the final of the men's 65kg freestyle wrestling event. Bajrang ensured himself a second medal at the Worlds, having won a bronze at the 2013 edition. Should he win on Monday, Bajrang will become the second Indian wrestler to win a gold medal at the World Championship after Sushil Kumar who won in 2010.
HTC to launch Exodus, the world’s first major blockchain phone
HTC may be running on heavy losses which has forced the company to shorten its staff, but its plan on making the "world’s first major blockchain phone” is certainly up and running and may see the light of day on 22 October. The team working on the Exodus, has created a dedicated Instagram account named “htc.exodus” and posted two teasers of the smartphone. The teasers don’t reveal any specifications of the phone yet but the latest post does give away the launch date and a glimpse of how the phone looks. While the company has steered clear from revealing anything about Exodus, there’s also very little information around as to what to expect from a “blockchain smartphone”. That’s because this will be the first smartphone of its kind and the way we see it, it could be wrong to treat it like every other smartphone. From whatever speculative information we do have of the Exodus from an older report, the phone is expected to feature a universal wallet and a secure hardware enclave within the phone to support cryptocurrencies and decentralised applications. We’re not quite sure as to what the “secure hardware enclave” is expected to do, but we will find out soon enough.
The court also expressed its displeasure over the Delhi government making incorrect statement on 10 May that 250 beds in the new dedicated COVID facility in Dwarka were already operational
Rajasthan’s Sri Ganganagar district had the costliest petrol and diesel in the country at Rs 102.96 per litre and Rs 95.33 a litre respectively
This is the second time this year that fuel rates in some parts of the country have crossed the Rs 100 per litre mark