REPORT ON PAGE 5
yoga in Kashmir
Singaporean Roxanne Gan (right) guiding youths in Srinagar.
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
OCT 14, 2022
MCI (P) 047/10/2022
'EVENING DETOX' TO
CURB DIGITAL CLUTTER
India-UK trade deal on verge of
collapse over visa comments
The India-UK free trade agreement is
reportedly on the “verge of collapse”
after the Indian government was
angered by comments made by UK
Home Secretary Suella Braverman
questioning action over visa
overstayers from India.
The Times said ministers in
New Delhi were “shocked and
disappointed” by the “disrespectful”
remarks made by Ms Braverman, who
expressed concerns about an “open
borders” offer to India.
12 dead, over 30 injured in bus
fire in Maharashtra
At least 12 people died and two others
were in critical condition after a bus
caught fire in Nashik city in
Maharashtra on Saturday.
More than 30 people were injured
and were being treated at Civil
Hospital while the cause of the
accident was being investigated.
The bus caught fire after hitting a
diesel tanker. Videos on social media
show the bus engulfed in a massive
ball of fire.
Diamond tycoon fights extradition,
citing suicide risk
Nirav Modi, a former diamond tycoon
accused of a US$2 billion ($2.87
billion) loan fraud in India, urged a
London court to block his extradition
to his home country, claiming it could
push him to suicide.
Modi suffers “long-standing
depressive condition” and sending him
to a “hostile environment”, where
people burn his effigies, could worsen
his situation, his lawyer Edward
Fitzgerald said in court on Wednesday.
Modi is fighting his extradition to
face charges of allegedly
masterminding the largest bank fraud
case in India.
Two women killed in suspected
Police in Kerala arrested three people
for allegedly murdering two women in
a suspected case of human sacrifice.
The remains of the women, who
were allegedly murdered months apart,
were found on Tuesday.
Police said the accused – ayurvedic
“healer” Bhagaval Singh, his wife
Laila and “occult practitioner”
Mohammed Shafi from Idukki district
– “severely tortured” the victims
before killing them. Police added that
the trio confessed to the crime and an
investigation was under way.
On Wednesday, a court in Kochi
sent them to judicial custody for three
Authorities arrest six Pakistani
nationals with heroin
Indian authorities arrested six
Pakistani nationals and seized heroin
worth tens of millions of dollars from a
Pakistani fishing boat in the Arabian
Sea, near Gujarat, on Saturday.
“The heroin seized was smuggled
from Afghanistan and the Pakistani
men arrested are being questioned to
help us understand the modus
operandi,” said Senior Anti-Terrorist
Squad officer Deepan Bhadran.
Officials estimated the street value
of the 50kg of heroin at Rs3.5 billion
Production halted at factory linked
to Gambia deaths
Authorities in Haryana halted
production at a factory of Maiden
Pharmaceuticals, a state minister said
on Wednesday, after a World Health
Organization (WHO) report said the
medicine produced by the company
could be linked to the deaths of
dozens of children in Gambia.
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij
said the authorities inspected a Maiden
factory near the town of Sonepat and
found 12 violations of good practices.
“Keeping this in view, the entire
production of the company has been
banned and notice has also been
issued,” said Mr Vij.
The WHO issued an alert last week
asking regulators to remove Maiden
Pharma goods from the market.
Parties cry foul over rule change in
Jammu and Kashmir
A new rule that allows new residents
of Jammu and Kashmir region to
register as voters has angered
opposition political parties who say it
is an attempt by the Central
government to change the
demographics of the Muslim-majority
The new rule, introduced by
electoral authorities in one of the
region’s 20 districts on Tuesday, allows
those who have been living in Kashmir
for a year or more to register as voters.
The earlier rule enfranchised only
people who resided in the region in
1947 and their descendants.
Former Uttar Pradesh chief
Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, a veteran
politician and three-time chief minister
of the country’s most populous state,
died on Monday after over six weeks
in hospital. He was 82.
Mr Yadav entered politics in his 20s,
rising to become chief minister of
Uttar Pradesh in 1989. He assumed
the post for the second time in 1993
and subsequently from 2003 to 2007.
He also served as India’s defence
minister in a coalition government
between 1996 and 1998.
Hero unveils first electric scooter
Hero MotoCorp has unveiled its first
electric scooter as the world’s largest
manufacturer of motorcycles and
scooters pivots toward clean energy.
Vida will cost Rs145,000 ($2,529)
and deliveries will begin in December.
Its two variants will have a range of
either 143km or 165km.
Kerala to examine impact of port
construction on coastline
The Kerala state government will set
up a committee to examine whether
there was coastal erosion during the
construction of a port by Asia’s richest
man Gautam Adani.
The construction of the port, which
began in 2015 in the town of
Vizhinjam, has faced opposition from
local residents and fishermen, who say
it is causing coastal erosion.
Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur
banned for three years
Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur has
been handed a three-year ban for the
use of the prohibited substance,
anabolic steroid Stanozolol.
According to an Athletics Integrity
Unity statement, the 26-year-old
Indian athlete’s ban will be in effect
from March 29, 2022.
Kamalpreet became an overnight
sensation after finishing sixth at the
Tokyo Olympics and is the only Indian
woman to break the 65m barrier.
She was provisionally suspended
after testing positive for Stanozolol in
Indian workers rescued from
digital job scams
India’s government rescued about 130
Indians who were forced to work in
Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia after
they were lured by agents who had
offered well-paying job opportunities
in the information technology sector
that turned out to be fake.
Ministry of External Affairs
spokesman Arindam Bagchi said the
rescued workers had been held captive
and forced to commit cyber-fraud for
companies engaged in digital
scamming and forged cryptocurrencies.
Fans of Bollywood actor
Amitabh Bachchan at his
residence in Mumbai, dressed
like characters from his famous
From early on Tuesday, fans
from various parts of India
crowded outside his house
Jalsa to greet him on his 80th
Amitabh was born on Oct
11 in Allahabad, Uttar
While the fans sang birthday
songs, the superstar surprised
them by coming out of Jalsa’s
gate and interacting with them.
The actor, accompanied by
daughter Shweta, thanked
them with folded hands.
In videos posted by fans and
paparazzi, fans can be seen
creating a carnival-like
atmosphere with banners,
birthday cakes, caps and all
sorts of memorabilia.
Amitabh surprises fans with meet on birthday
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A village in Maharashtra recently
started an innovative “digital detox”
experiment, which became a success
and is now adopted by five other
villages in the district.
According to Indian media reports,
around 3,000 people living in Mo-
hityanche Vadgaon in Sangli district,
mostly farmers and sugar mill workers,
switch off their hand-
phone and television at
7pm every day for 90
A siren wails from the
village temple at 7pm to
remind residents to switch
off their handphone and
TV. A second siren goes
off at 8.30pm to signal the
end of the digital detox.
After initial resistance,
the new system got ac-
cepted and worked well,
village officials told Indian
A committee monitors the imple-
mentation of the project in the village
and volunteers visit the homes to
The idea was mooted by head of
the village council, Mr Vijay Mohite,
when he noticed there were no casual
gatherings in the village after 7pm.
“People go into their homes, shut
the door and stare at the phone or TV.
We decided this was not good for
social cohesion,” he said, adding that
children spent more time on their
phone during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
“When physical classes resumed,
teachers realised children had become
lazy, did not want to read and write,
and were mostly engrossed in their
phones outside of school hours.
“There weren’t separate study
rooms in the homes of the villagers. So
I put forth the idea of a digital detox.
“I proposed a 90-minute period.
There was an initial hesitance as peo-
ple wondered if it was possible to keep
away from handphone and TV screens.
“On India’s Independence Day
(Aug 15), we held a gram sabha
(meeting) of women and decided to
purchase a siren.
“Then social workers, gram pan-
chayat employees and retired teachers
went home to home to create aware-
ness about the digital detox.”
Mr Mohite proposed
the idea to Mr Jitender
Dudi, who oversees the
“Children weren’t do-
ing their homework. They
were watching videos on
their phone and not really
focusing,” Mr Dudi told
that during the pandemic
and school closures, chil-
dren had not only fallen
behind in studies but also
got used to spending much more time
on their phone.”
Now the residents have widely ac-
cepted the digital detox system and
are participating in this novel exercise
A villager told BBC Hindi: “Now,
from 7pm to 8.30pm, children study
while parents read and write. There is
no disturbance as everyone undertakes
such productive activities.”
Ms Vandana Mohite (not related to
Mr Mohite) said she was finding it
difficult to supervise her two children
“because they would be completely
focused on playing with the phone or
“Since this new norm, it is far easier
for my husband to help them study
after he gets home from work and I
can peacefully do my work in the
kitchen,” she said.
Earlier this month, the Jain commu-
nity in Raisen in Madhya Pradesh
observed a “digital fast” for 24 hours.
Indo-Asian News Service
Villager Anil Nikam and his family members observing 90 minutes of digital detox in
the door and
stare at the
phone or TV. We
decided this was
not good for
– Mr Vijay Mohite
‘digital detox’ to curb
October 14, 2022
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