Two cousins are fighting it out as the candidates of rivals Congress and BJP on Rajasthan’s Bikaner Lok Sabha seat. Both the candidates have served the government as civil servants in the past, while the elder one is at present a Union Minister. The younger cousin has made a debut in politics after taking voluntary retirement from the Indian Police Service.Union Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal is contesting as the BJP candidate for the third time, while his cousin Madan Gopal Meghwal is a Congress candidate for the first time. Mr. Arjun Ram had entered politics in 2009 after resigning from the Indian Administrative Service and won the Bikaner Lok Sabha seat.Mr. Madan Gopal, who left IPS before the 2018 Assembly election and unsuccessfully tried for a Congress ticket from Bikaner’s Khajuwala seat, has received support from an unexpected quarter in the Lok Sabha poll. Veteran Rajput leader of the BJP, Devi Singh Bhati, who has quit the party in protest against the ticket being given to Mr. Arjun Ram, has extended his support to the Congress.BJP State president Madan Lal Saini accepted Mr. Bhati’s resignation on Friday. Mr. Bhati, a seven-time MLA from Kolayat, had alleged that Mr. Arjun Ram’s political activities had harmed the party and led to its defeat in the Assembly election.While Mr. Madan Gopal affirms that he respects Mr. Arjun Ram as his elder cousin despite differences in their political ideologies, Mr. Bhati’s supporters have disrupted the latter’s public meetings several times during the ongoing election campaign. On Thursday, Mr. Bhati’s supporters showed black flags and raised slogans at a meeting, after which they reportedly clashed with the BJP workers in Bikaner city.The Bikaner seat has been a stronghold of the BJP since 2004, when film actor Dharmendra won it on the party’s ticket. It was reserved for the Scheduled Castes in the 2009 delimitation exercise, after which the caste equations changed and the Dalits and the OBCs shifted towards the Congress.The upper castes, which are in a sizeable number in the constituency, are reportedly unhappy with Mr. Arjun Ram following his support to the April 2, 2018, agitation of Dalits against the Supreme Court’s ruling on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Mr. Arjun Ram was accused of inciting violence in Bikaner district during the protest.
Xiaomi launched the successor to its 6.44-inch super-sized Mi Max phablet on Thursday, calling it simply the Mi Max 2. The Mi Max 2 — although it comes with the same 6.44-inch 1080p display as the original Mi Max — is a complete overhaul in almost all the other departments including the design making it a thorough upgrade to last year’s model. The phone is exclusive to China for now though.The Mi Max 2 boasts of a full-metal body design, just like the Mi Max, but comes with repositioned antenna lines to enhance looks and rounded edges to enhance ergonomics. The Mi Max 2 also comes with smaller bezels as opposed to the Mi Max. It comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, an IR blaster and stereo speakers. Contrary to reports, the Mi Max 2 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor – the same processor that powers the Redmi Note 4 – clubbed with 4 gigs of RAM and up to 128GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a micro-SD card slot. Price starts at 1699 RMB (roughly Rs 15,953) for the base 4GB RAM/64GB memory model and goes all the way to 1999 RMB (roughly Rs 18,765) for the top-end 4GB RAM/128GB memory model.The most surprising – read, fantastic – bits come in the camera and battery department however. The Mi Max 2 sports the same IMX 386 image sensor as the company’s flagship Mi 6. The phone comes with a 12-megapixel camera on the rear with Phase Detection Autofocus, alongside a 5-megapixel camera on the front. The Mi Max 2, furthermore, is backed by a massive 5,300Mah battery rated to deliver up to 2 days of battery life on regular usage. The Mi Max 2 also supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 (can charge by up to 68 per cent in 1 hour according to Xiaomi) and Parallel Charging which means that you can continue to use the device while charging.advertisementLast year’s Mi Max came in two processor variants: one with Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 and 3GB RAM and another with Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 and 4GB RAM. There were speculations that Xiaomi may do something similar with the Mi Max 2 with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 626 and Snapdragon 660 to make the cut. Xiaomi, however, decided to launch the Mi Max 2 in just the one processor variant.The Mi Max 2, just like the Mi Max, still belongs to a select niche of super-sized phones which is likely to attract buyers who are into considerable multimedia consumption, but don’t want to shell out on tablets, that on most occasions lack voice calling.Also Read: Xiaomi Mi Max review: A giant that’s surprisingly light on its feet
New Delhi: The Defence Ministry on Saturday categorically said that there is no plan to privatise the Ordnance Factory Board and efforts are being made to enhance the functioning of the ammunition manufacturer.”Discussions are continuously being held by a committee of very senior officials of the Defence Ministry with employees federations of OFB and engage with them positively and constructively on all aspects relating to the corporatisation of OFB. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”It was also clarified that the government is not proposing to privatise OFB and any apprehension in this regard is misplaced,” said Ajay Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production. State-run OFB is a leading producer of ammunition for the defence forces and has over one lakh employees. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to “stall and reverse the process of corporatisation and privatisation” of ordnance factories. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe corporatisation of OFB will bring it at par with other Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), it said. “This is in the interest of OFB as it will provide operational freedom and flexibility to OFB which it presently lacks. Besides, the interests of the workers will be adequately safeguarded in any decision taken on the subject,” the statement said. The committee also pointed out that the government has been trying to strengthen the functioning of OFB, including having taken several steps to modernise the factories, re-skill OFB employees at government cost, enable the development of products and components with indigenous technology, the ministry said on Friday. “The committee urged the employee organisations to recognise government’s efforts to make OFB into a competitive, productive and efficient organisation with higher turnover and enhanced profitability, which would also be in the interest of the employees. Therefore, the committee once again urged the employee organisations to withdraw their proposed strike,” it said. Indian Ordnance Factories is the oldest and largest industrial setup which functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence.