Train derails in northern India, killing at least 23

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Railway police and local volunteers look for survivors in the upturned coaches of the Kalinga-Utkal Express after an accident near Khatauli, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. (AP Photo)
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Local residents gather next to train carriages after an express train derailed near the town of Khatauli in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, August 19, 2017. (AFP)
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Local residents look for survivors on the wreckage of train carriages after an express train derailed near the town of Khatauli in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, August 19, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 19 August 2017
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Train derails in northern India, killing at least 23

LUCKNOW, India: Six coaches of a passenger train derailed in northern India on Saturday, killing 23 people and injuring at least 81, officials said.
Two of the coaches telescoped into each other, while four others toppled over after going off the track, said Arvind Kumar, a top official in Uttar Pradesh, the state where the derailment occurred.
Neeraj Sharma, a railway spokesman, said the incident took place near the small town of Khatauli.
The cause of the derailment was not immediately known, Sharma said.
Railway police and local volunteers helped pull passengers out of the upturned coaches of the Kalinga-Utkal Express, which connects the Hindu holy city of Haridwar with the temple town of Puri, in the eastern state of Orissa.
The injured were taken to a hospital, where doctors described their condition as stable.
“Ten people have died and dozens have been injured. Most of the injured have been taken to the hospital,” said P S Mishra, chief medical officer for the area, by phone.
Police said the casualties were being rushed to hospital, but they were unable to give numbers.
“There are certainly casualties but right now the focus is on evacuation,” senior police officer Jitender Kumar told AFP by phone from the accident site.
“We are shifting everyone to the hospital. We are trying to take out those trapped inside the coaches.”
Photographs from the scene in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh showed people climbing onto upended carriages to try to pull passengers out.
The accident is the latest disaster to hit India’s most populous state. It comes just a week after dozens of children died at a hospital that had run out of oxygen there.
India’s railway network is still the main form of long-distance travel in the vast country, but it is poorly funded and deadly accidents often occur.
Less than a year ago 146 people died in a similar disaster in Uttar Pradesh.
A 2012 government report said almost 15,000 people were killed every year on India’s railways and described the loss of life as an annual “massacre.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has pledged to invest $137 billion over five years to modernize the crumbling railways, making them safer, faster and more efficient.


With 10-year visa, UAE could be new land of opportunity for Indians

Routine day at Dubai International Airport. AN photo
Updated 23 min 40 sec ago
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With 10-year visa, UAE could be new land of opportunity for Indians

  • The ruler of Dubai changed rules to allow foreign investors to fully own companies
  • The Indian banking sector is far more developed in terms of product, technology and the caliber of professionals

NEW DELHI: Indians are likely to “flood” the UAE once its recently announced residency visa rules for students and highly qualified professionals come into place, experts said Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and the prime minister of the UAE, announced on Sunday a 10-year visa for investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as their families.
 As part of the changes, students will get five-year visas and “exceptional” graduates will be eligible for a 10-year visa.  Students currently have to apply to renew their visa each year.
The ruler of Dubai also changed rules to allow foreign investors to fully own companies. So far companies have been required to have a local partner who would hold the majority stake.
 The changes are expected to kick in during the third quarter of this year.
 “The UAE has always welcomed, and always will, innovators and business leaders,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted as he announced the new rules.
 The UAE, with its proximity to India, high salaries and low taxes, has always been a magnet for Indians. It is home to about 2.6 million Indians who make up roughly 30 percent of the country’s population, according to the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. These numbers are expected to shoot up once the new rules apply.
 “Indians are always looking at new work opportunities anywhere in the world,” said Aradhana Mahna, managing director of Manya Education, a study abroad solutions provider in Delhi.  While the US and the UK have historically been avenues for Indian students looking to study abroad, the number of students applying to those countries have undergone a “sharp decline” since the election of US President Donald Trump — who made protectionist comments during his campaign days and since taking office — and since the UK decided to split with the European Union, Mahna said.
 “Dubai is close to home and that has always made it a preferred destination for Indians. Especially now with the US going down, it will be flooded by Indians,” she added.
Mukesh Bhasin, partner at Career Connect, an executive search firm that focuses on banking, financial services and the insurance sector (BFSI), agreed that the new rules would go a long way in attracting Indian talent.
 “The Indian banking sector is far more developed in terms of product, technology and the caliber of professionals,” he said. “The encouraging visa regime will lead to a lot of interest from Indian BFSI professionals toward Middle East opportunities given the already-existing tax benefits and international-quality lifestyle.”
 Since the collapse in 2008 of Lehman Brothers, most developed markets, including neighboring Singapore and Hong Kong, have cut back on the number of people they are hiring from abroad for their domestic operations. This includes a slowdown in foreign transfers for Indian employees of multinational banks, said Bhasin.