National Nuggets

5 allies of J&K terrorists held, blast bid foiled
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police claimed to have foiled a blast attempt by arresting five accomplices of a terrorist in the Shopian district on Wednesday. Based on a tip-off, the police arrested the terrorist’s accomplices identified as Aqib Nazir Rathar, Amir Majeed Wani, Sameer Ahmed Bhat, Faisal Farooq Ahanger and Rayees Ahmed Ganai. A terrorist of banned Hizbul Mujahideen, along with accomplices, was planning to target the police and security forces by planting IED in the area, according to a police statement. A sophisticated IED was recovered from their possession. (IANS)

Goa govt to provide financial assistance to new taxi operators
Panaji: Amidst a tussle between traditional tourist taxi operators and app-based service providers in Goa, the state government Wednesday announced a scheme which proposes to provide a financial assistance to the locals for buying vehicles for operating a taxi service. Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) chairman Dayanand Sopte told reporters the financial scheme was aimed at providing employment to the Goans who can now buy vehicles with the government assistance. He said the vehicle purchased could be converted into taxis. Traditional taxi operators in Goa, which attracts lakhs of domestic and foreign tourists throughout the year, have been opposing ‘Goa Miles’, the app-based taxi service introduced by the GTDC in August last year. Amidst protests, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had asked the tourist taxi operators to join the app-based service on a trial basis for a month before forming their opinion about it. (PTI)

Three Indian varsities among top 200 globally
New Delhi: Three Indian universities — IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi and Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (IISc) — have found a place among the top 200 in the 2020 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, which were declared in London on Wednesday. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has emerged as the top Indian university for the second time in a row, rising from 162nd position to 152 this year. However, the IISc, which was the second best Indian University last year, has dropped to the third position. IIT Delhi has clinched the second spot among the Indian universities. Among the total 23 Indian universities that feature in the world ranking of 1,000 universities, OP Jindal Global University is the only new entrant. According to higher education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), IIT Bombay’s ranking has jumped 10 spots due to improvement in its research performance. Overall, the Indian universities have witnessed an average decline of 12 ranks due to Faculty/Student Ratio and International Student Ratio. (IANS)

Giraffe-less Delhi Zoo hopes to acquire animal from Thailand
New Delhi: The Delhi Zoo has written to authorities in Thailand to acquire five giraffes through an animal exchange programme. The National Zoological Park (NZP), also known as the Delhi Zoo, lost its last giraffe, eight-year-old Ankit, in June 2015 due to heart attack and kidney failure. Since then, NZP authorities have written to a number of zoos to acquire giraffes. “In my two years here, I have written to many zoos, including those in Mysuru, Patna and Kolkata. We have been making continuous efforts in this direction,” NZP director Renu Singh said. “We talked to the directors of those zoos. The authorities in Patna and Mysuru told us they would consider the request once their giraffes reproduce,” she said. Singh has now written to authorities in Thailand, which has 24 giraffes in seven zoos. “We have written to three zoos, Chiangmay Night Safari, khao kheow zoo, in Thailand to acquire five giraffes through an exchange programme. We are hopeful our efforts will be successful,” she said. (PTI)

Punjab CM sees dear friend Rajiv Gandhi in Rahul
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh greeted Congress President Rahul Gandhi on his 49th birthday on Wednesday, saying he sees his dear friend Rajiv Gandhi in him. “Wish you a very happy birthday, dear @RahulGandhi. Proud of who you have become over the years; I see my dear friend Rajiv in you. May God bless you with a long, healthy and prosperous life,” the Chief Minister tweeted. Congress leaders, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and scores of party activists turned up at the Congress headquarters in the national capital to greet Rahul Gandhi on his birthday. (IANS)

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