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Harassed by teachers, schoolgirls end lives - 3/19/2014


Bangalore, 19 March 2014: Two tenth-standard girl students of a private high school allegedly committed suicide by jumping into the Sankey Tank on Tuesday after they were reportedly punished by their teacher.


The 15-year-old girls were studying at the Mary Immaculate High School in Lakkasandra Extension near Wilson Garden. The police gave their names as Sonali, a resident of Tavarekere and Priyanka, a resident of Jayanagar.


J Priyanka, one of the victims.


According to the police, the two girls, along with seven other students, were made to stand outside the classroom on Tuesday morning as they were not performing well.The teacher is alleged to have threatened them that they would be denied admission ticket for the final examinations.


The two students who were reportedly upset and felt insulted, ran away from the school. Around noon, teachers realised that Priyanka and Sonali were missing and informed their parents, who immediately rushed to the school. The search for their wards went in vain.


The two girls left their school bags with suicide notes in it on the bench near Sankey tank in Bangalore on Tuesday.


The police said the girls had written a one-page note, which was found in the school bag of one of the victims, alleging that their teachers Philomena Emanuel and Maria Laina were harassing them for quite some time over their below-par academic performance. The girls also sought forgiveness from their parents for taking the extreme step and wished their classmates luck for their exams, said a senior police officer.


The two girls, according to police, took a bus to Sankey Tank from near the school. Police suspect that the girls removed their shoes, left their bags on a bench and tied their hands with the school tie before jumping into the water. Around 4 pm, a passerby noticed the bodies floating in the tank. Fire personnel and police fished out the bodies and sent them to M S Ramaiah Hospital for postmortem. The Sadashivanagar police have registered a case. School authorities were not available for comment as the incident came to light after school hours.

Bangalore: Will redeem dad's legacy: Geetha Shivarajkumar - 3/19/2014


Bangalore, Mar 19 2014:  Setting her apart from your typical neta, Geetha Shivarajkumar, trying her luck these Lok Sabha elections as a JD(S) candidate in Shimoga, refuses to talk ill of her opponents in the constituency and claims her only agenda is to complete her father, the late S Bangarappa's unfinished work.At a Meet the Press programme organised by the Press Club of Bangalore and the Bangalore Reporters’ Guild here on Tuesday, Mrs Geetha, who was accompanied by her star husband, refused to go to town on the corruption charges against her main opponent and former chief minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, or take on BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, or even her brother, Kumar Bangarappa.

Beyond referring to Mr Yeddyurappa as a senior leader, she had nothing more to say about him and on her brother, all she said was, He is in another political set-up and has his own way of handling issues. As for herself she said, I am going to people with Mr Bangarappa’s legacy. My father did a lot for the district and had many dreams for it, which remain unfinished. Our family will carry out those dreams and take forward his work.

Her actor husband, Shivarajkumar was equally firm that they were not here to merely run down their opponents to get ahead. But what if politics forced his wife to take some wrong decisions? If she is forced into such a situation, I will ask her to resign before she goes any further. There are thousands of ways to make money. Our family respects people as we owe them what we have. Betraying their trust is unacceptable to us, he shot back.

When reminded that as a politician, his wife would have to face her share of controversies, he remained unflappable, saying, I and my family are ready for such eventualities. It is a part and parcel of the field, we have to face this sort of thing.

Maintaining it was entirely his wifes idea to enter politics, he said she had his full backing, however. When the offer came, I asked her what she wanted and supported her in her decision. Everyone tries to see her only as Dr Rajkumar’s daughter-in-law, but the truth is she is also Mr Bangarappas daughter. Contrary to rumours that our family was opposed to Geethas entry into politics, everyone has supported her, he asserted.

Agreeing that his father , the late Kannada movie icon, Dr Rajkumar, had his reservations about politics and never wanted to enter it himself, he clarified, That does not mean he hated politics or politicians. If that was so he would not have got a daughter-in-law from a political family. As for his own political ambitions, Mr Shivarajkumar said he had none.

I am very short tempered. If I feel some injustice is being done, I may beat up somebody. I will not fit into that field , the film industry is my forte.

I will defeat Narendra Modi in Varanasi, says Arvind Kejriwal - 3/18/2014


AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday asserted that he was determined to defeat BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha election in Varanasi.

"I was reading in some newspapers that it will be a symbolic fight (in Varanasi) and it is Modi who will win," Kejriwal told a meting of Muslims.

"I want to tell him (Modi) that I am going (to Varanasi) not only to fight but I am going to defeat him," he said.

Kejriwal said the Aam Aadmi Party's "success story" of Delhi would be repeated in the Lok Sabha election.

"In the Delhi (assembly) elections, nobody knew our candidates. But they defeated those who were MLAs for 20 years. I feel this will be repeated in the 2014 general election."

Kejriwal, who was repeatedly cheered, was addressing a meeting of Muslims attended by over 500 professionals and intellectuals.

There was a roaring approval when the former Delhi chief minister demanded to know who from among the audience will go to Varanasi to back him in the election.

Amid cries of "Inquilab Zindabad", scores of hands went up in the hall.

Kejriwal has said that he will hold a rally in Varanasi to decide if people want him to take on Modi, who the BJP has fielded in the Hindu holy town in Uttar Pradesh.

TV channels retrained after skipper Dhoni files Rs 100-crore defamation suit - 3/18/2014

Indian Express

The Madras High Court restrained Zee News and News Nation channels from telecasting any news linking India cricket captain M S Dhoni with the Indian Premier League (IPL) betting/fixing scam.

The interim order, effective for two weeks, was passed by Justice S Tamilvanan on a defamation suit filed by Dhoni claiming Rs 100 crore damages from the Zee Media Corporation for allegedly telecasting “malicious” news that he was involved in betting, spot and match fixing of IPL matches.

“I am of the view that there is a prima facie case and the balance of convenience is also in favour of the plaintiff. Hence interim injection granted for a period of two weeks,” the judge said in his order after perusing Dhoni’s affidavit.

He issued notice to defendants Zee Media Corporation Limited, Zee News Editor and Business Head Sudhir Chaudary, IPS officer G Sampath Kumar (who initially probed the IPL betting scam) and News Nation network private limited.

Dhoni, in his suit, submitted that the defendants had been carrying highly defamatory, scandalous and libellous false reports and statements since February 11, 2014.

The first and second defendants Zee Media Corporation Limited (Zee News) and Sudhir Chaudary, Editor and Business Head of Zee News Channel, Essel Studios, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, in collusion with the third defendant IPS officer G Sampath Kumar have been telecasting and broadcasting and posting in their websites false reports insinuating that Dhoni was involved in illegal activities of betting, match fixing and spot fixing.

Similarly, defendant no.4, News Nation network private limited (News National channel) Noida, UP, joined the tirade against Dhoni and later on went to the extent of stating that Dhoni was summoned by the Tamil Nadu police, which was also utterly false, the affidavit stated.

He charged that actions were done with an intention to project Dhoni as an object of hate and ridicule to the general public. The general public, especially IPL fans of Chennai Superkings in Chennai, have been negatively influenced by the malicious false reports, it claimed.

The sole agenda of the defendants was somehow to malign and destroy the reputation of the plaintiff in the eyes of the millions of his fans and cricket lovers all over the world.

Plaintiff has filed the suit because his fundamental right and personal rights had been breached by the telecast and broadcast of the malicious news.

He sought a permanent injunction restraining the defendants, their associations, sister concerns, agents, officers, correspondents, employees or any other person or entity in print or electronic media or via internet or otherwise from publishing/republishing or in any other manner circulating any news insinuating or denigrating his integrity and honesty as a cricketer except the publication of the news of the exact judicial order if any passed by the court.

Damages are to be paid jointly and severally by all the defendants for an amount of Rs 100 crore, the affidavit said.

Will marry when I find the right girl, says Rahul Gandhi - 3/17/2014


Rahul Gandhi's marriage plans have been a perennial topic of speculation but he  says he would tie the knot only when he finds the "right girl".

This is a question that comes all the time, all the time. Right now I am engaged in fighting the elections.

Unfortunately I have not been focused on private life," he replied when asked during an interview with PTI as to when he intended to get married.

Rahul Gandhi says he would tie the knot only when he finds the 'right girl'.

"Is it two years from now, one year from now?" he was asked.

"When I find the right girl," said the 43-year-old Gandhi scion.

Question: That means you have not found the right girl?

Rahul: When I find the right girl, I will get married.

The Congress vice president, a pet lover, was asked about his other hobbies.

He replied to say that he read quite a bit, "too much non-fiction" and "too much about things related to my work" --history, geography, political affairs...a lot about the middle east, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China.

Gandhi said he did not watch as many Hindi movies as his sister Priyanka does. But he came away disappointed often with the mainstream movies of Hollywood.

He has no favourite actors or actresses. "I appreciate a good performance."

Bangalore: Four Congress veterans ask Sonia: Why Rizwan - 3/17/2014


Bangalore:Mar 17, 2014:  The Bangalore Central Lok Sabha seat continues to be a point of contention in the Congress with four prominent Muslim leaders including two former ministers, C.M. Ibrahim and Naseer Ahmed and two state ministers, Roshan Baig and Qamarul Islam, reportedly writing a letter to AICC president, Sonia Gandhi requesting her to reconsider the party decision and field a strong candidate from Bangalore Central Lok Sabha seat instead of debutant and KPYCC president, Rizwan Arshad.

The reason for this: Mr Ibrahim is said to have evinced keen interest in contesting from the seat. Rizwan Arshad had pipped veteran leader Jaffer Sharief in the race for the seat leading to an explosive situation with Sharief threatening to quit the party and the JD(S) waiting to welcome him with open hands.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader said, Yes, they have written a letter to Mrs Gandhi, stating that Mr Arshad will be a weak candidat in Bangalore Central, which was once represented by former railway minnister, C.K. Jafer Sharief for a record number of times, when it was part of Bangalore North, prior to delimitation in 2009.

These leaders expect Mr Sharief to contest from Bangalore Central despite being denied the ticket to ensure that he can retain the seat for one of his grandsons later. Mr Sharief may not contest from elsewhere, instead he may opt to contest from Bangalore Central where the Congress has denied him the chance. So the decision to field a fresh face could prove disastrous for the party, the source added.

The leaders are hoping that Mr Siddaramaiah pitches in at the last minute to secure the ticket for his close aide, Mr Ibrahim by placating Mr Arshad.

How to avail tax benefits under Section 10 - 3/16/2014


The Income Tax Act provides multiple tax exemptions to every individual. A lot of such exemptions fall under Section 10 of the Act. Following are the tax exemptions provided under Section 10:

Leave travel allowance (LTA)

LTA is exempt to a certain extent for domestic travel under section 10(5) of income tax. The exemption is subject to the LTA limit specified in the individual's salary.

Agricultural income

Income received from agriculture is totally exempt from tax if it is the only source of income in the financial year. However, if it is accompanied by income from other sources, it is taxable.

Life insurance

The payment proceeds of a life insurance policy are exempt under section 10(10D). This includes maturity amount as well as death claims.


Gratuity amount received by a government employee is totally exempt from tax. For others covered under payment of gratuity act, it is exempt to the least of the following:

1)      15 days salary based on last drawn salary for each year of service.
2)      Rs. 10,00,000
3)      Gratuity received

For those not covered under gratuity act, it is exempt to the least of:

1)      Half month average salary for each year of service completed.
2)      Rs. 10,00,000
3)      Gratuity received

Leave encashment

For a government employee, leave encashment upon retirement or leaving the job is tax free under Section 10. For a non-government employee, it is exempt up to least of the following:

1)      Earned leave (No. of months) multiplied by Average monthly salary
2)      10 multiplied by Average monthly salary
3)      Rs. 3,00,000
4)      Actual leave encashment received

Commuted pension

Commuted pension for government employees is fully exempt. For others, it is exempt to least of the following:

1)      If gratuity is received, up to one-third of the pension received.
2)      If gratuity not received, half of the pension received.

Compensation under VRS

Compensation received under VRS (voluntary retirement scheme) scheme upon voluntary retirement is exempt up to maximum of Rs.5,00,000.

Provident fund

Payments received from Provident Fund (PF) are exempt as part of section 10. However, PF withdrawal is taxable for less than 5 years of service. Also, EPF (Employees' Provident Fund) balance can be withdrawn only subject to few conditions.


House Rent Allowance (HRA) for an employee is exempt to the least of the following:

1)      HRA received
2)      Rent paid - 10% of salary
3)      50% of salary for Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai and 40% elsewhere.

Dividends received

Dividends announced by any company in case of mutual funds or stocks are exempt from tax in the hands of an individual, irrespective of the company paying tax on it.

Equities held for more than 1 year

Any equity instrument, share or mutual fund held for more than 1 year is free from tax at the time of sale. This is also known as long term capital gains.

Superannuation fund

Any amount received from an approved superannuation fund is exempt from tax in the hands of an individual.

Transport allowance

Transport allowance is exempt up to Rs. 800 per month i.e. Rs. 9,600 per annum. Transport allowance here means expenditure incurred for travel between place of residence and place of work.

Education and hostel allowances for children

Education allowance is exempt up to Rs. 100 per month per child for a maximum of 2 children. Hostel allowance is exempt for hostel expenditure up to Rs. 300 per month per child for a maximum of 2 children.

Interest on securities

Income from securities in the form of interest, premium, etc from certificates, bonds and deposits is exempt from tax.

It's official: Modi picked for Varanasi, Jaitley for Amritsar - 3/15/2014

TOI NEW DELHI: BJP on Saturday formally announced the candidature of its PM candidate Narendra Modi for Varanasi, potentially setting the stage for a battle royale with AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal who has vowed to challenge him in any constituency outside Gujarat.

AAP sources said Kejriwal's candidature from Varanasi is on the cards, though there was no formal announcement.

Modi was quick to launch his campaign by seeking to establish a connect with Varanasi. He tweeted to say that it was an honour for him to fight from the holy city.

The sitting MP from Varanasi and party veteran Murli Manohar Joshi has been shifted to Kanpur in apparent disregard of his resistance.

Those whose nominations were cleared include party chief Rajnath Singh who will contest from Lucknow : a decision which has been taken in defiance of the desire of sitting MP Lalji Tandon to stay put. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley has replaced former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu in Amritsar to contest his first direct election.

The party also cleared candidates for all 7 Delhi seats, fielding new faces as well as sitting MLAs. The nominees are state unit chief Harsh Vardhan( Chandni Chowk), party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi (New Delhi), Tughlaqabad MLA Ramesh Bidhuri (South Delhi), Mehrauli MLA Pravesh Varma ( West Delhi), Art of Living activist Mahesh Giri (East Delhi) and new entrant and Dalit leader Udit Raj ( Delhi Northwest) and Bhojpuri singer and actor Manoj Tewari ( Delhi Northeast).

Rao Inderjit Singh, who had won the Gurgaon seat on Congress ticket, will contest as BJP nominee. He will be pitted against AAP leader Yogendra Yadav. The party has selected Dr Mahesh Sharma, a sitting MLA, for Gautam Buddh Nagar seat which covers Noida.

Other important candidates includes actor Kiron Kher who will be taking on AAP's Gul Panang and Congress's Pawan Bansal in Chandigarh, Shatrughan Sinha who has been retained at Patna despite strong resistance from Bihar unit and Uma Bharti who will be fighting the Jhansi seat.

Uma's fellow Lodh leader and former UP chief minister Kalayan Singh's Etah seat has been given to his son Rajveer Singh, while Varun Gandhi will be contesting from Sultanpur as his mother returns to the family stronghold of Pilibhit.

The decision on which seat Modi will contest from in Gujarat will be taken on the Wednesday

The leadership was keen that he contested from a seat in UP, reckoning that this will be a boost for the prospects of party's candidates in the key battleground state which contributes 80 members to Lok Sabha. Varanasi is the nerve centre for east UP which accounts for 32 seats. The proximity of the city, which occupies a special significance in Sangh Parivar's scheme of things because being one of the 12 top holy spots for devotees of Lord Shiva, to Bihar only enhances its political criticality.

It is significant that Modi chose to stick to it as his second constituency outside Gujarat despite Kejriwal's declared intent to take him on, and a belated effort by Congress to the shift of Joshi as an affront to Brhamins who constitute an influential chunk of the electorate.

Although there was no immediate response from AAP to BJP's late night decision to field Modi from Varanasi, sources in the party said there was a strong likelihood of Kejriwal taking the field against BJP's PM candidate. However, sources said that the final call will be that of political affairs committee of the rookie outfit. They said the body had earlier decided that no sitting MLA will be given the LS ticket, and that it alone was competent to reverse the stand.

The announcement after a marathon meeting which cleared 58 seats for UP, also marks a belated assertion by the leadership against the much publicized rumblings of discontent over the selection of nominees by the Modi- led party. Joshi's acquiescence to the diktat to shift to Kanpur stood in stark contrast to the resistance he showed when he questioned Rajnath Singh about the reports saying that he was set to be replaced by Modi.

The leadership has also shrugged off the resistance from the sitting Lucknow MP Tandon who publicly declared that he would vacate the seat only for Modi.

Jaitley's presence in the Amritsar arena is significant for the important leader who was often taunted by his detractors for not having faced the electorate. A win will take care of a deficiency in an otherwise imprsssive CV against the backdrop of a perceived groundswell for BJP.

The next meeting of the election committee will also take up Gandhinagar seat which party stalwart L K Advani has represented since 1991. Although a strong section in the Sangh Parivar had earlier felt that it was time the former deputy PM bowed out of the LS arena, the idea was given up in view of his disinclination.

Although the shift of Joshi to Kanpur suggests that the leadership is finally getting into the assertive mode, the re-nomination of Shatrughan for Patna Saheb signals that it may not like to press its luck too far at Gandhinagar.

Security tightened at airports in major cities ahead of Lok Sabha polls 2014 - 3/15/2014

IT This has never happened before. Yes there was always tight vigil and security at the airports but not to the extent that agencies would deliberate for hours and then come out with more than 2 page long directives and assign specific duties to keep minute to minute vigil and leave no scope for any slip ups.

Neither there is a terror threat nor any specific intelligence input. Still there is a big reason for the agencies to be on top most alert and make sure directives are followed to the T. Yes, General Elections are round the corner and it is the responsibility of the airport and administrative staff to ensure that our netas do not exploit the air route to their advantage. Airports then across the country have become focus points of the security and administrative agencies. Responsibilities have been set.

Chief Nodal Officer in Delhi told Headlines Today that agencies would leave no stone unturned to ensure that there is tight security and vigil at the airports. "All the entry and exit points, cargo area, checking area, passenger movement area, landing area, hanger area, engineering section and every possible place will be under the hawk eye " he said.

It is perhaps for the first time that so many directives have been put into place. Delhi International Airport and Mumbai International Airport have had a dubious distinction of being the smuggling hub and sources at the Delhi and Mumbai Airport tell Headlines Today that specific instructions to keep vigil at many recognised points have been already given. Cargo section is one area where the agencies will keep a thorough tab realising that on many occasions the insiders have played a major role with the unscrupulous elements to airlift the smuggle.

Airport sources also say that passenger luggage will be thoroughly checked with an eye on suspicious elements. "Chartered planes would need special permission from DGCA and would also need to inform the ATC half an hour in advance before take off," said an airport official.

Let's now have a look at some of the directives that have been put into place:

1. Barring those who are exempted under the rules every passenger will have to go through the mandated security and baggage check without any exception at the operational airports. Even those travelling in charter planes and helicopters will have to go through the security and baggage check in without any exception.

2. The ATC at commercial airports will inform the Chief Electoral Officer and the District Election Officer of the travel plan of chartered aircrafts or helicopters preferably half an hour in advance.

3. ATC will keep a record of all the chartered aircrafts and helicopters flying from commercial airports. ATC will keep specifics on takeoff, landing, passenger manifest, route plan etc. ATC will prepare a copy of the details and make it available to the Chief Electoral Officer of the state and District Election Officer within three days after the day of landing and take off and the same shall then be given to the Expenditure Observer for making necessary verification during inspection. Whenever required by Expenditure Officer for necessary inspection the ATC will be ready with all the details.

4. Even those passengers (not exempted under the rules) who avail the facility of taking a vehicle near the aircraft will be screened by CISF, state, UT police without relaxation.
5. The CISF or police authorities of the state or UT on detection of cash exceeding Rs. 10 lakh or bullion weighing 1 kg or more in the baggage flying to or the poll bound states shall instantaneously inform of the same to the Income Tax Department.

6. The law enforcement agencies like the CISF, state police and the Income Tax Department shall have their own internal Standard Operating Procedures in place in such a way that the entire procedure right from detection to seizure or release at the airport is captured by Circuit TVs/ Video Cameras. For this purpose CCTVs shall be placed at all commercial airports in place where the cash or bullion is detected, counted, seized and also in the interrogation chamber of the Law Enforcement Agencies including the Income Tax Department. Such recording will be preserved by the airport operator/ Authority for a period of 3 months and be made available when required by the Election Commission/CEO.

7. At remote airports/helipads the flying squads or the state authority of state or UT police in coordination with the pilot of the aircraft shall carry out the screening/ physical checking of the baggage coming out of the aircraft (except the hand held purses by ladies). Any unauthorised arms, contraband goods, cash exceeding Rs. 50,000 belonging to any candidate, agent or party functionary shall be investigated and considered for seizure as per the orders of the Supreme Court. However it is clarified that the body frisking of the passenger will not be done at the time of disembarkation at remote airports and airfields unless there is specific information about unauthorised arms or contraband goods, etc being carried by the person.

8. At remote airports and helipads applications will have to be made by the candidate himself or by the political party to the District Election Officer at least 24 hours before landing mentioning the details of travel, place of landing in the district and names of passengers in the aircraft and helicopter so that the DEO can make adequate arrangement for the security, law and order issue and also to make available the coordinates of the helipad. On receipt of such application the DEO shall issue permission on the same on priority basis.

9. Every candidate shall also inform the Returning Office concerned in writing within five days after the landing of aircraft or helicopter in his constituency about the hiring charges paid/ payable to the company owing/leasing the aircraft/helicopter, the names of passengers and political party (if the party has borne the expense for hiring)

10. Passengers, crew, baggage transported in General Aviation/chartered/private aircrafts and aircrafts owned or hired by state governments shall be emplaned through the normal pre embarkation security check procedure as is applicable to the scheduled flight. Similarly normal disembarkation channel shall be followed and exit of such passengers and baggage shall not be allowed through any other gate of the airport. Movement of exempted category passengers is to be coordinated in advance for the smooth passage but their hold baggage will be screened.

11. Baggage (except the handheld purse or pouch by any passenger), crew in respect of General Aviation/chartered/Private Aircrafts and aircraft owned or hired by state governments shall be screened/ physically checked randomly by the CISF/ASG shall arrange to deploy additional manpower, if necessary for the duty.

Sources tell Headlines Today that this time round special emphasis has been put in the cargo section and the loaders at the airports would be minutely watched. As has happened in the past smuggle often goes out from the cargo area. Sources also say that extra vigil has also been put into place for without specific information extra checking and frisking also leads to human rights violation. Custom officials have also been apprised of this aspect as well.

With CCTVs in place, CISF and police on highest alert, checks at every stage and point of the airports you can expect the airports to be safest zones. One can only hope that our netas and their associates will not indulge in any unscrupulous activity or bring disrepute to the electorate as such. Let this massive exercise of democracy be a huge success in its truest sense.

UK 2013: Almost 21 per cent drop in study visas issued to Indians - 3/12/2014


United Kingdom witnesses a 21 per cent drop in number of study visas issued to Indian students in 2013 with only 13,608 Indian nationals having been issued study visas. Reasons for the decrease in number of students applying for United Kingdom study visas vary from stringent policies, depreciating currency and a surge in number of high quality institutes within India. 
Replying to a query on the reasons for the dip in the visas granted, British High Commissioner to India James Bevan said. "I don't think anyone has one single answer to that. Some of it may be to do with myths. They think that there is a limit on the number of Indians who can come to Britain to study, they think it is difficult to get a student visa, they think that they cannot work after study,"

In 2013, Britain received 14,762 applications across all education sectors, which was 27 per cent lower than the same received in 2012, with the university sponsored applications which constitute a bulk of the category, falling by 7 per cent to 12,832.

Notably, the dip in numbers came after Anuj Bidve, a native of Maharashtra's Pune, was shot dead by a local factory worker near Manchester on December 26, 2011.

"Such instances are very, very rare. Britain is a very safe country for everybody including students, specially Indian students," Bevan said, assuaging any concerns.

According to PTI, Bevan gave a slew of statistics which show the country's importance when it comes to granting of visas by the UK, including occupying the top rank among all the countries in the visas issued.

In 2013, Britain issued a total of 400,000 visas to Indians, which is 5 per cent higher than previous year and Bevan said he expects the growth to continue.

Over 90 per cent of the applications get the visas, he said, clarifying that Britain does not look at India as a high risk country as some reports had stated.

"We look at each country on its merit. In each country, there might be some category of high risk individuals, but that would apply worldwide. India is not seen as a high risk country," he said.

On the controversy over having a visa bond, Bevan said that the proposal has been junked. "There will not be a visa bond," he said.

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