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New Delhi, Jul 18: She is set to make her debut with "Dhadak", the Hindi adaptation of critically-acclaimed Marathi film "Sairat" that explored the themes of caste divide and honour killing, and Janhvi Kapoor says the movie is a cut above mainstream Bollywood which has mostly "glorified" the conflict.

Janhvi, daughter of late actor Sridevi, says the Shashank Khaitan-directed film, in which she plays a girl belonging to the erstwhile royal family based in Udaipur, is set against the backdrop of class divide.

Janhvi, 21, says "Dhadak" is not a typical Bollywood saga that whitewashes the "harsh reality" that is still relevant.

"... I feel up until this point, a lot of films in mainstream Bollywood have glorified that divide. Because it creates a sort of conflict - that 'I can't live without the love of my life'. I feel they have glorified that divide a little bit.

"But I think, it should be condemned and with 'Dhadak', we have set out to condemn it. That it's a harsh reality. 'Dhadak' is not a Bollywood saga that ends with either the parents agreeing or typical, magnificent ending. It's an ugly truth," she told PTI in an interview.

Janhvi says for some reason, monetary value is often brought into the dynamics of love and emotion.

"We found that very strange," she adds.

The actor remembers discussing the class divide with Khaitan and says going into the film, it was a "pressing issue" to deal with.

"I remember Shashank and I talking about how classism is prevalent not only in the lesser-educated sections of the society but also in the well-educated strata," she says.

Janhvi says her character, Parthavi, is stronger than her real self.

Comparisons with Rinku Rajguru's Archie, the female lead of "Sairat" are unavoidable but the actor is already prepared herself for that.

"Archie's character was so inspiring to a lot of young girls. She didn't have to be saved. I'm fortunate to play Parthavi. She's also assertive like Archie, but a lot of that comes with her sense of pride and responsibility that she belongs to an effluent royal family," she says.

Her co-star Ishaan Khatter is relatively more experienced, having made his debut with Majid Majidi's "Beyond The Clouds" early this year but he never tried to impose.

"I feel one film is worth a number of experiences, not only as an artiste but also as an individual that helps you channel a plethora of emotions. It's only going to be good for me and the film. I know Ishaan has helped me react well on screen but he never tried to impose. I learnt a lot from him." 
 (PTI)

New Delhi, Jul 18: The government today said it is considering a proposal to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 to frame rules on salaries and services of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) .

A notice of intention has been given to introduce 'The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018' in the Rajya Sabha for consideration and passage during the current session of Parliament, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

According to the proposed amendment, the salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the CIC and ICs "shall be such as may be prescribed by the central government". The tenure of information commissioners at the centre and the states is proposed to be amended from "a term of five years" to "terms as may be prescribed by the central government".

"The purport of the amendments proposed is to provide for enabling provisions under the RTI Act to frame rules regarding salaries, allowances and conditions of service for Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners and State Information Commissioners. Presently, there are no such provisions available under the RTI Act," he said.

Many RTI activists have strongly opposed amendments to the RTI Act saying they are aimed at lowering the stature of Information Commissions from equivalent to the Election Commission (EC) and to do away with their five years fixed tenure.

The proposed amendments circulated among Members of Parliament seek to do away with the parity given to information commissions with the EC in terms of salary, allowances and conditions of service.

"The salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the chief information commissioner and the information commissioners shall be such as may be prescribed by the central government...," according to the proposed amendment.

It also aims to amend the tenure of information commissioners at the Centre and the states from "for a term of five years..." to "...terms as may be prescribed by the central government".

In the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the government has said functions carried out by the EC and information commissions are completely different.

The EC is a constitutional body established by clause (1) of Article 324 of the Constitution, while the CIC and state information commissions are statutory bodies established under the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005, it said.
 (PTI)

Washington, Jul 18: Elon Musk has apologised for calling a British caver who helped rescue 12 Thai boys from a cave a "pedo", retracting a comment that had drawn widespread outrage and briefly sent shares in Tesla tumbling.

Tesla CEO Musk issued the apology today to Vernon Unsworth, who worked on the rescue of the "Wild Boars" football team and had ridiculed Musk's plan to recover the trapped group using a miniature submarine.

"(H)is actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologise to Mr Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader," Musk wrote on Twitter. "The fault is mine and mine alone."

"Pedo" is short for paedophile.

Musk's extraordinary tirade against Unsworth was widely condemned, raising concerns over the entrepreneur's leadership following a series of previous social media attacks on Wall Street analysts, journalists and employees.

His spat with Unsworth began after the British caving expert dismissed Musk's plan to rescue the Thai football team from the Tham Luang cave as a "PR stunt".

Unsworth had said the plan to use the device to extract the boys through a narrow series of twisting, flooded tunnels would have had "absolutely no chance of working".

He added that Musk could "stick his submarine where it hurts". Writing on Twitter today, Musk said his words against Unsworth had been "spoken in anger after Mr Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub".

The submarine "had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader", Musk said, before apologising to Unsworth.

Unsworth, who lives part of the year in Thailand, took part in the gargantuan 18-day effort to retrieve the 12 boys and their coach, a mission that ended on July 10 when the last five members were extracted.

The boys are all in good health and expected to be released from hospital later today.

Musk's "pedo" tweet caused Tesla's shares to fall Monday, although they have since recovered the losses. Unsworth told AFP he may take legal action against Musk over the offensive tweet, which was sent to more than 20 million followers of the entrepreneur's official account.
 (AFP)

New Delhi, Jul 18: As many as 225 central government officers have been punished for non-performance, the government said today.

The performance of a total of 25,082 Group 'A' and 54,873 Group 'B' officers has been reviewed up to May 2018, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

Of these, the relevant rules were invoked against 93 Group 'A' and 132 Group 'B' officers, he said.

In reply to another question, the minister said during 2017 and March 2018, vigilance clearance has been denied to 80 officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) on the ground of filing Immovable Property Returns after prescribed time or failing to file it.

He said that from the year 2014 onwards, sanction for prosecution has been granted against three IAS officers on account of having disproportionate assets.
 (PTI)