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Alia Bhatt opens up on nepotism.

Alia Bhatt is definitely one of the most gifted and talented actresses the Bollywood currently has. Daughter of ace filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, Alia made her debut with Karan Johar’s ‘Student of the Year’. The actress has established herself in the hearts of people with her stunning performances and her off-screen persona. The actress is among the highest paid in the industry and has made a mark for herself in the industry. However, the actress along with many other star kids still finds her name embroiled in the long debate of nepotism in the industry.

Recently, during a media interaction, Alia Bhatt opened up about the subject. The actress acknowledged that nepotism exists in every field, but her thoughts on nepotism don’t come from a negative place. Alia said she is in love with acting and she would be devastated if she never got the opportunity. She further added that it feels terrible if you feel that someone is getting an opportunity because of their family line so there is no way to counter that thought.

However, the ‘Kalank’ actress said that once you come into the foray, the audience chooses you. So if people are working it’s not only because of luck, but there is also hard work that goes into it. Alia also said that you can’t wake up and say sorry for being born in this family, but you can definitely say that I will work as hard as possible to prove that you deserve to be there.

On the professional front, Alia Bhatt will be next seen in Karan Johar’s ‘Kalank’ starring alongside Varun Dhawan, Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, and Aditya Roy Kapur.

Who will decide Ayodhya’s dispute?

The Supreme Court will on Friday decide whether to refer the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, which has been pending for over 60 years, for mediation.

A five-Judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had reserved the verdict on referring the matter for an in-camera, court-monitored mediation process on Wednesday.

The top court had said during the hearing it thinks that primarily the issue is not about 1,500 square feet land, but about religious sentiments, and stressed that it is conscious of the impact of the issue on “public sentiment” and on “body politic”.

The bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, had also underlined that it has no control over what Mughal ruler Babar did and is only concerned with resolving the present situation.

Hindu bodies like Nirmohi Akhara suggested names of Justices (retd) Kurian Joseph, AK Patnaik and GS Singhvi as mediators, while the Hindu Mahasabha faction of Swami Chakrapani proposed the names of former CJIs Justices J S Khehar and Dipak Misra and Justice (retd) A K Patnaik to the bench.

While reserving the order, the court had said that the parties involved in the case may suggest names of mediators for consideration if it orders mediation on the dispute.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Hindu bodies except Nirmohi Akhara opposed the suggestion of the court to refer the issue for mediation, while Muslim bodies supported it.

At the outset, when a counsel appearing for a Hindu body said that the issue should not be referred for mediation as it would fail and public would not agree, the bench said that it is not appropriate to pre-judge.

It said that when the court orders mediation, outcome is not the consideration and it is not assuming that someone will give up its claim.

“You are saying it will be a failure. We are not assuming that somebody will give it up. Primarily, we think this issue is not a property dispute. It is not about the 1500 sq ft but it is about the religious sentiments and faith.

“We are conscious about the gravity of the issue and we are also conscious about its impact on body politic of the country. We understand how it goes and are looking at minds, hearts and healing if possible,” the bench said.

When a lawyer contended about the injustices meted out to the Hindus by invaders in the past, the bench said, “We are not concerned what has happened in the past. Don’t you think we have read the history. We are not concerned what Babar did in the past or who was the king and who invaded. We cannot undo what has happened but we can go into what exists in the present moment”.

Justice Bobde, who appeared inclined to give mediation a chance yet again, emphasised that this is a representative suit, involving people from two communities, and hence, amicable resolution would be as good as a decree of the court.

Justice DY Chandrachud, another judge on the bench, however, expressed his doubts as to how mediation will bind millions of people.

Earlier too, attempts have been made to settle the politically sensitive case amicably.

A three-judge Bench of the Allahabad High Court had tried mediation after arguments concluded on August 3, 2010. The process had collapsed apparently after the ‘Hindu’ side said it was not acceptable.

Former CJI JS Khehar had in 2017 also called for mediation and described the Ayodhya dispute as a matter of “sentiments and religion”.

“Give a bit, take a bit. Make an effort to sort it out. These are issues best decided jointly. If the parties want me to sit with mediators chosen by both the sides for negotiations, I am ready to take up the task,” the then Chief Justice ha said. This attempt by the court, however, not formal, and did not go anywhere.

Daily News, Today’s News Headlines | 8 March

Women in India earn a median gross salary of ₹196 per hour, 19% lower than ₹242 for men, according to the latest Monster Salary Index. Wage inequalities are the highest in IT/ITES (26%) and manufacturing (24%), but even women-intensive sectors such as healthcare and social work show a steep pay gap (21%). BFSI fares the best, with men making just 2% more. The survey also finds that the earnings gap widens with higher skill level – from zero for semi-skilled work to 30% for highly skilled jobs. It also worsens with experience, peaking at 15% after 10 years.

Hyundai is in talks to invest up to $300 million in Ola at a valuation of over $6 billion, Entrackr reports, citing undisclosed sources. The investment is strategic rather than a pure-play one, similar to the $250 million Hyundai pumped into ride-hailing firm Grab last November, the sources added. Times of India says the South Korean carmaker could pick up a 4% stake in Ola, which is looking to raise another $400-500 million as part of its Series J round. Earlier, Mahindra and Ford backed self-ride firm Zoomcar while Toyota cut a fat $1 billion cheque for Grab.

Cognizant is the latest in a series of IT firms sued for racial discrimination in the US. Economic Times reports that an American staffer has dragged the company to court over preferential treatment to Indian employees, claiming he was denied promotions and plum assignments despite winning large clients such as Papa John’s and Pepsi. The lawsuit alleges that ‘diversity candidates’ – a term used internally for American staffers – were only given roles when it was advantageous for the company due to “cultural fitment reasons.” Late last year, TCS was cleared of anti-American bias even as Infosys and Wipro have faced similar charges.

Singapore is bankrolling Bharti Airtel in its fight against Reliance Jio. The country’s sovereign wealth fund GIC will invest ₹5,000 crore and get a 4.4% stake in Bharti Airtel as part of a ₹25,000 crore rights issue. The money raised will be used to pare debt, pay for spectrum and compete for supremacy in the world’s cheapest market for mobile internet. VCCircle reports this would be GIC’s third-largest India investment after its bets on HDFC and DLF last year. Bharti Airtel’s promoters will also participate in the rights issue.

Bengaluru is India’s most forgetful city for the third consecutive year, according to Uber’s Lost and Found Index. India’s tech capital is followed by Delhi and Mumbai with phones and backpacks topping the list of things left behind in Uber cabs. People have also forgotten “outrageous” items such as live fish, kneepads and gold chains, the taxi aggregator’s data shows. Riders seem to be most careless on weekends: most left-behinds were reported during 1-3PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

Resource: Linkedin India Editorial

Kylie Jenner takes Mark Zuckerberg’s place on Forbes’ youngest billionaire list

Step aside, Mark Zuckerberg. There’s a new record-breaking billionaire in town.

Forbes on Tuesday named Kylie Jenner the “youngest self-made billionaire ever” in its annual list of the world’s richest people. The 21-year-old cosmetics mogul reached the milestone at an age younger than Facebook’s Zuckerberg, who was 23 when he earned the ranking.

Other newcomers on Forbes’ list include Spotify co-founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, who are worth $2.3 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively. Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel, 28, was listed among the top eight billionaires under 30, with a net worth of more than $2 billion.
Jenner is worth $1 billion, according to Forbes, thanks in part to her company Kylie Cosmetics signing an exclusive deal with Ulta Beauty last year. Kylie Cosmetics is worth around $900 million, Forbes estimates, and Jenner owns 100 percent of it. The money she’s made from the business has helped push her into billionaire status. Bloomberg on Tuesday also named Jenner the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, citing its daily ranking of the richest people.

The use of the word “self-made” has some people up in arms, given that Jenner comes from a wealthy family (the Kardashian-Jenner clan, for those not familiar)., for one, wasn’t having it.

Forbes explained that it defines “self-made” as “someone who built a company or established a fortune on her own, rather than inheriting some or all of it.”

In 2014, the publication came up with a scoring system that ranks people on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans on a scale of 1 to 10, based on “how self-made” they are. Someone who inherited everything they have gets a 1, whereas someone who didn’t grow up with money and experienced hardships gets a 10, Forbes says. Jenner got a 7.

“I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future,” Jenner told Forbes about the ranking. “But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.”

We bet it is.

Bezos, Gates and Buffett still top the world’s ultra rich list

Jeff Bezos remains the world’s richest person, ahead of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, according to the latest Forbes list of the ultra wealthy, while far behind President Donald Trump jumped 51 spots in the ranking.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg dropped three spots and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg rose by two.

According to the list announced on Tuesday by Forbes, the riches of Bezos, 55, have swelled by $19 billion in one year and he is now worth $131 billion.

Bezos, who holds 16 per cent of Amazon and whose wealth now makes him a target of the left wing of the US Democratic Party, has widened the money gap between himself and Gates, the philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft.

Gates, 63, has seen his wealth grow to $96.5 billion, up from 90 billion last year, said Forbes.
Third place is held by Buffett, 88 and long considered an investment guru, although he did get stung in late February by a deep plunge in shares of US processed food maker Kraft Heinz, in which he had a large stake.

The CEO of French luxury good company LVMH, Bernard Arnault, held on to fourth place. But Zuckerberg lost $9 billion in net worth and slipped from fifth to eighth.

Americans still dominate the list with 14 of the top 20 billionaires from the US.

Non-Americans among the top 20 include India’s Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, in 13th place, and China’s Ma Huateng, head of the Chinese internet giant Tencent, who rounds out the top 20.
Forbes estimates Trump’s wealth at $3.1 billion, unchanged from last year.

Trump’s nine New York skyscrapers, including the famous Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, account for nearly half of his wealth, while his clubs and golf courses are valued at $550 million.

But do you know?

Trump is not the richest US elected official: that honor goes to J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat who took office as governor of Illinois in January. Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, was estimated to be worth $3.2 billion.

Govt May Bring New Law to Give Preference to Locals in Jobs

Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said locals should get preference in jobs, adding a strong legislation will be enacted for this purpose if needed.

He was speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the permanent campus of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Nagpur.

“Bhumiputras (sons of soil) should get employment in the projects here at MIHAN (Multi-modal International Hub Airport),” the Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping said.

Gadkari said at least 1.25 lakh jobs will be created through the development of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) near Mumbai in the next few years.
“I have given directions (to authorities) to ensure that at least 80 per cent of these jobs in the JNPT be given to locals from the coastal Konkan region,” he said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, speaking at the event, said during the Congress-NCP Democratic Front government, projects used to commence 10 years after their announcement.

Fadnavis said the Maharashtra Airport Development Company Ltd under which MIHAN falls, has done an important job for the project-affected persons.

“Many a time, people whose land we acquire are left out of the development process. This is not the case here (in MIHAN) and all development is being done by taking along sons of the soil here.

“This is our model of inclusive growth in which the last man standing is the part of development,” he said.

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Arjun Kapoor and Malaika Arora decide to marry each other

With Bollywood actors Arjun Kapoor and Malaika Arora’s relationship getting more visible by the day courtesy paparazzi and social media, speculation about cold vibes that Malaika reportedly shares with Arjun’s cousin Sonam Kapoor Ahuja have resurfaced.

The grapevine is abuzz that Malaika and Arjun may take their relationship to the next level soon by getting married.

malika and arjun kapoor decide to marry

In 2016, there were murmurs of an unsavoury incident between Malaika and Sonam at fashion designer Manish Malhotra’s birthday party. When Malaika had reportedly got too drunk, Sonam, Arjun’s paternal cousin, came forward and tried to help her. But Malaika asked her to stay away, leaving the Khoobsurat actress embarrassed – so ran the rumours.

This has led to speculation that The Zoya Factor actress Sonam may not after all be happy with Arjun and Malaika’s upcoming nuptials.

Malaika was married to actor-producer Arbaaz Khan for 18 years, before they announced their split in 2016. Together, they have a 16-year-old son named Arhaan.

While Arbaaz is dating Italian model Giorgia Adriani, Malaika is often seen at outings with Arjun. They were also seen together at the pre-wedding celebrations of Akash Ambani and Shloka Mehta in Switzerland last month.

Malaika and Arjun’s relationship has also been mentioned more than once by filmmaker Karan Johar on his chat show Koffee With Karan. In fact, on the controversial episode featuring cricketers Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul, Karan had asked Rahul about his crush in Bollywood.

When the cricketer said he had none at the moment, but that he had a crush on Malaika once, Karan asked if it was “because she was dating Arjun Kapoor?”

On an episode featuring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Malaika’s close friend, Karan asked her if she would like to say anything about Malaika’s wedding. He even asked Kareena if she was going to be a bridesmaid to Malaika. And Kareena only responded with a smile.

Bollywood cashing the Phulwama Attack and Balakot Air Strikes

Just days after the Pulwama terrorist attacks of 14th February and the resultant air strikes on Balakot by the IAF on 26th February, there were reports of Bollywood producers scurrying to register titles such as Balakot, Surgical Stikes 2.0, Pulwama Attacks and Abhinandan. Many of these titles were registered without any scripts in place or even plans to eventually make a film or web series. These were attempts to hold the copyright over a much sought after title, which could be sold and made a quick buck out of in the future.

While we imagined it might take a while for any of these projects to be announced, grapevine has it that Sanjay Leela Bhansali along with T-Series have already bankrolled a film on the Balakot air strike to be directed by Abhishek Kapoor. According to a report, the casting of the film is currently in process and the project is already in its research and development phase.

Initially, there were unverified reports from “sources” about the strikes having killed 300 terrorists belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group, but the Defence Ministry is yet to make an official statement regarding this.

The international media has highlighted that there is no clarity whether anything significant had been struck by the IAF or if there were any mass casualties as an aftermath of the retaliation.

On the other hand, on 3 March, Amit Shah declared that over 250 terrorists were killed in the air strikes by IAF in Balakot. However, on the same day, Union Minister SS Ahluwalia asserted that the main aim of the air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Forces across the Line of Control (LoC) was to send out a message that India can hit within Pakistan if the situation arises. On the question of if the IAF was able to inflict any causality, Ahluwalia said that neither the Prime Minister nor any BJP spokesperson or any defence official had given any figures and there were only “unconfirmed” reports of around 300 terrorists being eliminated.

The latest information on the air strikes came in today, 4 March, when for the first time after the aerial strikes by the IAF in Pakistan’s Balakot, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa addressed the media in Coimbatore. Dhanoa said that the IAF had conducted “successful raids”, however he refused to comment on the number of casualties inflicted, calling it “the government’s prerogative.”

So, when a source close to the makers of the reportedly under production film on the Balakot air strike states, that the film will show the surgical strike as being a “100 percent successful operation which hit the enemy targets with precision”, you know that the makers largely have an eye on the box-office, even if they declare that their intention is to pay a tribute to India’s bravehearts.

With the makers of Uri: The Surgical Strike having made over Rs 200 crore at the ticket windows, the josh is definitely high in Bollywood right now. Why else would they act like they know more about the Balakot air strikes than the government?

Gurugram is World’s Most Polluted City

Seven of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world are in India, according to a new study showing South Asia’s battle with deteriorating air quality and the economic toll it’s expected to take worldwide. India’s national capital region (NCR) emerged as the most polluted region in the world in 2018, a new pollution report says, with Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities.

Gurugram, located southwest of India’s capital New Delhi, led all cities in pollution levels in 2018, even as its score improved from the previous year, according to data released by IQAir AirVisual and Greenpeace. Three other Indian cities joined Faisalabad, Pakistan, in the top five.

The index measures the presence of fine particulate matter known as PM2.5, a pollutant that can fester deep in the lungs and bloodstream of human beings.

“This has enormous impacts, on our health and on our wallets,” Yeb Sano, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said in a statement released with the figures. “In addition to human lives lost, there’s an estimated cost of $225 billion in lost labor, and trillions in medical costs.”

India, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, makes up 22 of the top 30 most polluted cities, with five in China, two in Pakistan and one in Bangladesh. India racks up health-care costs and productivity losses from pollution of as much as 8.5 percent of gross domestic product, according to the World Bank.

China made marked progress in its usually dismal pollution levels, with average concentrations falling by 12 percent in 2018 from the previous year, according to the data. That should help the message President Xi Jinping will share with political party leaders on progress across three so-called ” critical battles” during the National People’s Congress meetings that start this week.

“China’s skies remain gray but progress is impressive,” the report said.

“Average concentrations in the cities in China fell by 12% from 2017 to 2018. Beijing ranks now as the 122nd most polluted city in the world, according to the AirVisual dataset, with PM2.5 levels falling more than 40% since 2013. If Beijing’s PM2.5 concentration had stayed at 2013 level, the city would rank as the 21st on the list in 2018,” it added.

There are only two Chinese cities now in the top 20 most polluted, Hotan and Kashgar, both in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China.

“Out of the over 3000 cities included, 64% exceeded the WHO’s annual exposure guideline (10μg/m3) for fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5. Every single one of measured cities with data in the Middle East and Africa exceeded this guideline, while 99% of cities in South Asia, 95% of cities in Southeast Asia and 89% of cities in East Asia also exceed this level. As many areas lack up-to-date public air quality information and are for this reason not represented in this report, the total number of cities exceeding the WHO PM2.5 threshold is expected to be far higher,” the report said.

“The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) recently launched by Ministry of Environment and Forest in India seems to be improving on the data availability and transparency among other things which is another key aspect which helped Beijing fight the battle to reduce air pollution levels,” said Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner, Climate & Energy, Greenpeace India.

India should also set pollution/emission reduction targets and consumption caps on polluting fuels such as coal, diesel in polluted geographies aiming at emission load reduction, Dahiya added.

“Adopt a regional and air-shed approach while targeting aggressive pollution reduction for polluted cities.”

The NCAP is a programme in the form of a report launched by the ministry of environment and forest (MOEF&CC) on January 10, 2019.

“This NCAP aims to reduce pollution levels by 20-30% till 2024 compared to 2017 levels in 102 non-attainment cities (identified by CPCB, Central Pollution Control Board based on older data till 2015),” Dahiya said.

The report identified some of the major sources or causes of ambient air pollution.

“Industries, households, cars, and trucks emit complex mixtures of air pollutants, many of which are harmful to health. Of all of these pollutants, fine particulate matter has the greatest effect on human health,” it said.

“Most fine particulate matter comes from fuel combustion, both from mobile sources such as vehicles and from stationary sources such as power plants, industry, households, agriculture or biomass burning,” the report added.

“Air pollution steals our livelihoods and our futures, but we can change that. In addition to human lives lost, there’s an estimated global cost of 225 billion dollars in lost labour, and trillions in medical costs. This has enormous impacts, on our health and on our wallets,” executive director of Greenpeace South East Asia, Yeb Sano, said

“We want this report to make people think about the air we breathe because when we understand the impacts of air quality on our lives, we will act to protect what’s most important.”