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Marking a major milestone towards capacity building and capability enhancement of the Indian Army, Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, dedicated the globally combat proven M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzers, K-9 Vajra-Tracked Self Propelled Guns and 6x6 Field Artillery Tractors to the service of the Nation.

The Dedication Ceremony was held at Devlali Field Firing Ranges and was attended by Minister of State for Defence, Dr Subhash Bhamre, Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat and dignitaries from the Government of USA and South Korea.  Senior Serving Officers of the Indian Army and Ministry of Defence, representatives of Manufacturing Industries were also present.  

The 155mm, 39 Calibre Ultra light Howitzers have been procured from USA under Government to Government Foreign Military Sales and will be assembled in India by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence. The Gun System is versatile, light weight and can be heli-lifted, thereby providing the much needed flexibility in deployment in various terrains. The Howitzer is in service in the US, Canadian, Australian and Some other armies of the world. It has proven its mettle in difficult areas of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The first ten K9 Vajra 155mm/52 calibre guns have been imported from Hanwha Techwin of South Korea in Semi Knocked Down state and have been assemble by L&T in India. The balance 90 Guns will be largely manufactured in India with some major assemblies coming from South Korea. Its induction will give a huge fillip to the firepower capability of Indian Army on our western borders.

The 6x6 Field Artillery Tractor has been indigenously developed by Ashok Leyland and will provide the much awaited replacement for the ageing fleet of artillery gun towing vehicles. Dedication of these equipment to the nation also give a major impetus to ‘Make In India’ initiative of the government.

The event included an impressive display of equipment and firepower by the guns of the indian artillery. Also on display were indigenous Gun Systems/Surveillance & Target Acquisition Systems that have been recently introduced in service.

Fri, 09 Nov 2018 16:01:30 +0530
Global IT Challenge for Y

The Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities, 2018 was inaugurated by the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar.The three day event is being organised by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in association with Rehabilitation International Korea and their associated partner LG Electronics from 9thto 11th November, 2018.

The objective of the event is to leverage IT skills among youth with disabilities and also to spread awareness about the application of Information and Computer Technology (ICT) in enhancing the quality of life of persons with disabilities especially in Asia-Pacific region. The award ceremony of the event will be held on 11th November.

Fri, 09 Nov 2018 15:39:35 +0530
Water storage level remai

The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on  November 08, 2018 was 107.883 BCM which is 67% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at the same level for the week ending on November 01, 2018. The level of water storage in the week ending on November 08, 2018 was 102% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 98% of storage of average of last ten years.

The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM which is about 63% of the total storage capacity of 257.812 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.  

Fri, 09 Nov 2018 15:32:44 +0530
Sarkar creates furore in

The makers of 'Sarkar', a political thriller starring actor Vijay, have reportedly agreed, under immense pressure from the state government, to cut out parts of the movie seen as critical of the ruling AIADMK and former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who died in 2016. The film's director AR Murugadoss went to the Madras High Court today for protection from arrest; in a tweet last night, he had alleged that the police banged on his door when he was not at home.

The AIADMK is furious over a scene in the film in which Mr Murugadoss, playing a cameo, flings a mixer-grinder given as a freebie, into the fire.

"They are showing freebies given by the elected government being burnt. This amounts to indirectly inciting people, and comes under sedition," said state minister CV Shanmugam, comparing the screening of 'Sarkar' to "terrorist activity". Another minister, Kadambur C Raju, had threatened action against the filmmakers unless the scenes were removed.

Fri, 09 Nov 2018 15:02:27 +0530
PM greets the nation on B

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the nation on the auspicious occasion of Bhai Dooj. 

 “भाई दूज के पावन पर्व की सभी देशवासियों को बहुत-बहुत बधाई। Greetings to you all on the special occasion of Bhai Dooj, a festival that celebrates the strong brother-sister bond”, the Prime Minister said.

Fri, 09 Nov 2018 14:12:56 +0530
UAE women entrepreneurs l

In pursuit of establishing socially impactful and innovative businesses, the first group of the 10-month Badiri Social Entrepreneurship Programme, BSEP, has spent a week in India to receive inspiration and guidance from the country’s social entrepreneurship ecosystem on how to align their business interests with a social purpose.

BSEP is the brainchild of Sharjah-based NAMA Women Advancement Establishment’s education and capacity building arm, Badiri Education and Development Academy, and the UK-based School for Social Entrepreneurs, SSE. Through their collaboration on BSEP, the SSE is expanding its reach into the Arab region for the first time.

The programme aims to empower Emirati and UAE-based female entrepreneurs above the age of 20, through knowledge-exchange and expert sessions that will equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to turn their business into profitable social enterprises.

With an emphasis on practical learning, the programme’s customised curriculum took 13 UAE-based businesswomen and entrepreneurs, who were chosen through a series of interviews, to London and Cornwall in August, followed by more hands-on training and expertise-sharing for a week in the UAE, and the final weeklong field visit to New Delhi, India, from 26th October to 3rd November, 2018, where they met with the owners of successful Indian social enterprises through SSE India.

While in India, BSEP participants interacted with SSE India fellows who are creating significant social change through their enterprises in a variety of industries, and met with celebrated names in the subcontinent, such as Sunil Ganesh and Ankit Gupta who engaged them in a discussion on their business and how they started, and how to measure their social impact of their enterprises by devising specific metrics.

They also witnessed an inspiring talk by Sharmila Karve, who is now a driving force for women entrepreneurship in her role as a Director of SSE India and the Global Diversity Leader at PwC. She spoke about her humble beginnings as a young intern at PwC India before she became one of its first female partners.

In another session, the group met with SSE India 2018 Fellow, Yusra Khan, who told them about how a simple question "what is on your bucket list?" posed to street children prompted her and a group of socially-minded youngsters to start their non-profit, Bucket List, to serve street children.

Highlighting the importance of these visits, Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment said, "Project visits and field trips are a central focus of BSEP, as social enterprises thrive on a unique dynamic, which is being socially conscious. Learning from other people’s experiences requires in-depth exploration and placing oneself within the physical context of the social impact of a business.

"For the past three months, the 13 BSEP participants have been working intensely to shape their business model canvases and examine their value propositions. Each one has benefitted immensely from the field visits, first in the United Kingdom, UAE and now in India. These global encounters have introduced them to essential social entrepreneurship concepts, the ‘Theory of Change’ for instance. These valuable real-time interactions and learning on the field have not only helped them recognise how to incorporate profitability within projects that create a positive social impact, but gain practical insights from successful social entrepreneurs in different countries operating in different socioeconomic contexts."

Pitch development, learning about structuring the organisation’s systems, operations and finance, internal change processes for creating desired performance, facilitation and team leadership skills, immersion into social entrepreneurship in India and using that knowledge to build a successful social business in the UAE, were among the practical exercises conducted by Gagan Sethi of Janvikas and other leading experts. Janvikas’ session also touched on the important theme of how to build a social enterprise from within.

Assia Riccio, Founder of Evolvin’ Women, TEDx speaker and one of BSEP’s participants, said, "The learning phase in India has been transformational. I met social entrepreneurs who are breaking stereotypes and changing their community for the better. Through these experiences, I have gained a better understanding of myself as an entrepreneur. BSEP is changing the way I look at my business and at myself and is offering me the guidance I really needed to bring my knowledge, experience and skills together to create a social impact."

Dr. Mariam Ketait, an Emirati family doctor and well-being advocate, said the programme helped her get out of a mindset that was holding her back, and made her trust herself and others more, "I have not only learned the technical aspects of a social business through this intensive course but met many like-minded women and men in different countries who share my purpose. The bonds I have made with these change-makers will remain. The learnings of this trip have not just made me more business ready, but have had a huge impact on my personal journey as well," she noted.

For a third BSEP participant, Ayesha Naseem, the BSEP journey has been equally emotional. She said, "It has been an intense experiential learning programme, fun but also had some tears. BSEP was carefully curated to give us an insight into the different ecosystems that exist to solve key social issues. While the social problems may be unique to a country, at the heart of every solution lies a deeply personal ‘why’." The lessons we learned could be applied to life and business in equal measure."

"It was just amazing to witness the different ways in which so many spirited individuals around the world are working and collaborating to overcome societal challenges innovatively. NAMA and SSE UK and India have worked together to ensure that we felt comfortable in previously unknown environments. From breaking bread together to travelling 300 plus kilometres on a bus to meeting incredible social entrepreneurs, every day has been different."

The India trip brings the BSEP field visits to an end, and November will see the participants attending webinars, while December is slated for the submission and pitch of their business plans and their graduation. After finishing BSEP, participants will have acquired important skills that will help them establish their own social enterprises or enhance the operation of their existing enterprises.

Thu, 08 Nov 2018 17:44:04 +0530
India s sugar export to C

Export of raw sugar from India to China will begin early next year. A contract for exporting 15,000 tonnes of raw sugar has been entered to by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and COFCO, a Government of China run public sector company.

This is due to the initiative taken by the Ministry of Commerce and several rounds of meetings held by officials of both countries the import of raw sugar has materialized now.

India plans to export 2 MT of raw sugar to China beginning from next year. Raw sugar is the second product after non-basmati rice that China will import from India. It is a move to reduce the USD 60 billion trade deficit that China has with India. India’s export to China in 2017-18 amounted to USD 33 billion while imports from China stood at USD 76.2 billion.

India is the largest producer of sugar in the world with 32 MMT production in 2018. India produces sugar of all three grades- raw, refined and white. Indian sugar is also of a high quality and is Dextran free because of the minimum time taken from cut to crush. India is in a position to become a regular and dependable exporter of high quality sugar in significant volumes to China.

Thu, 08 Nov 2018 17:34:28 +0530
The scars and wounds of

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh today shared his scathing assessment of demonetisation as intense political sparring between the government and the opposition marked the second anniversary of the cash ban, reports NDTV.

"It is often said that time is a great healer. But unfortunately, in the case of demonetisation, the scars and wounds of demonetisation are only getting more visible with time," he said in a statement.

"I urge the government to restore certainty and visibility in economic policies. Today is a day to remember how economic misadventures can roil the nation for a long time and understand that economic policymaking should be handled with thought and care," said the former prime minister, NDTV reported.

Thu, 08 Nov 2018 17:27:03 +0530
Maoist attack kills 5 in

Four civilians and a CISF jawan were killed when suspected Maoists blew up a bus with an improvised explosive device (IED) in poll-bound Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, police said.

Two personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were also injured in the incident.

“Seven people including three CISF jawans from Akash Nagar camp were going for routine purchase on a private bus, deployed for election duty, when they were targeted by the Maoists,” IG Bastar Vivekanand said.

Thu, 08 Nov 2018 17:09:36 +0530
PM Modi spends Diwali day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Kedarnath on Wednesday where he offered prayers at the shrine. He also reviewed the Kedarpuri project, the foundation stone for which was laid in October 2017, reports Hindustan TV.

The temple was devastated in the 2013 flash floods that killed thousands.

On Tuesday, 5,100 ‘diyas’ were lit together and arranged in rows around the temple and at all sacred spots close to it, Hindustan Times reported.

Later in the day, he will fly to Punjab border to celebrate Diwali with army jawans.

Wed, 07 Nov 2018 14:03:35 +0530
Democrats take control of

Democrats claimed control of the House late Tuesday and picked up some governorships, but Republicans were poised to expand their majority in the Senate, delivering a split verdict in the first national referendum on Donald Trump's presidency, reports NDTV.

The most expensive and consequential midterm elections in modern times came to a dramatic finish that underscored the nation's deep polarization, but fell short of delivering a sweeping repudiation of Trump that Democrats had hoped would put an exclamation point on the "resistance" movement, NDTV reported.

The president helped Republicans win hotly-contested Senate races in Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, and proclaimed the election's outcome a "tremendous success." Republicans held their grip throughout the South and in rural and exurban areas.

Wed, 07 Nov 2018 13:53:17 +0530
49th International Film F

The 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2018 will be held in Goa from 20th to 28th November, 2018. 49th edition of the festival will showcase 212 films from over 68 countries which reflects diversity of taste. International Competition section has 15 films out of which 3 are Indian. Competition section itself represents films produced and co-produced by 22 countries.

Festival Kaleidoscope section carries 20 critically acclaimed international films that have been to major film festivals and majority of them being multiple award winners. This is one of the most sought after sections of the festival that showcases best and top films of the year.

World Panorama section has 67 films which are specially curated for the festival. This includes 4 World Premiers, 2 International Premiers, 15 Asia Premiers and 60 India Premiers. This year World Panorama section presents 15 films which are Oscar submissions from respective countries.

Wild at Heart Master in His Craft: Retrospective section of Ingmar Bergman: 2018 marks the 100-year anniversary of Ingmar Bergman's birth. On this occasion when 100-Year Jubilee is in full swing across the globe, IFFI showcases best 7 films of his career. A documentary on Bergman titled “Bergman Island” directed by Marie Nyrerod which presents the master behind the camera has also been included in this section. The official opening of this section is scheduled on 21st with Panel discussion followed by the screening of ‘Wild Strawberries’.

The Festival will open with World Premiere of ‘The Aspern Papers’ with international star cast. The Aspern Papers tells a story of obsession, grandeur lost and dreams of Byronic adventures. Delegation: Mr. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (lead actor)- Golden Globe winner Ms. Joely Richardson (lead actress)- Oscar nominated actress Ms. Julia Robins (actress) Ms. Morgane Polanski (actress and daughter of Roman Polanski) Mr. Nicolas Hau (actor) Mr. Julien Landais (director)

Every year IFFI features a Country of Focus that brings out the cinematic excellence and contributions of that particular Country. In its 49th edition of IFFI, the Country of Focus will be Israel. Ten films in collaboration with the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai, have been selected for the country focus package. The opening film for the Country Focus Section is ‘The Other Story’ by Avi Nesher. Important celebrities from Israel including the famous Israeli Actor, Alon Aboutboul, as our special guest from Israel, who has worked in several Hollywood films including, Rambo III, Munich by Steven Spielberg, Body of Lies by Ridley Scott and The Dark Knight Rises to name a few. The Indo-Israeli Co-production Seminar is slated to be held on 22nd November,2018.

A State focus section has been proposed for the 49th IFFI, 2018. This section will focus on the films of one of the Indian States, thus shedding light on the art and culture of that particular state. Jharkhand has been selected as the State of Focus for 49th IFFI 2018 and Jharkhand Day will be celebrated on 24th November,2018 as part of the festival. Movies in the Jharkhand Package include Death in the Gunj, Ranchi Diaries, Begum Jaan with others.

The International Competition jury comprises John Irvin, Adrian Sitaru, Polish Director Robert Glinski, Anna Ferraioli Ravel and Indian member Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

26 feature and 21 non – feature Indian films are selected by the Indian Panorama Jury to be screened as part of this section out of the hundreds of entries sent by filmmakers from various parts of the Country. The Feature film Jury selected the film OLU directed by Shaji N Karun as the Opening feature film of Indian Panorama 2018. The Non-Feature film Jury selected the film Kharvas directed by Aditya Suhas Jambhale as the Opening non-feature film of Indian Panorama 2018. Prominent Feature films are as follows:S No Title of the Film Language Director

1 Olu

(Opening film)

Malayalam Shaji N Karun

2 Nagarkirtan Bengali Kaushik Ganguly

3 Sa Bengali Arijit Singh

4 Uma Bengali Srijit Mukherji

5 Abyakto Bengali Arjun Dutta

6 Uronchondi Bengali Abhishek Saha

The Feature Film Jury of thirteen members was headed by acclaimed film director and screenwriter, Rahul Rawail and the other prominent members included:

1. Major Ravi, Filmmaker & Actor 2. Ahathian, Director 3. Ujjwal Chatterjee, Director, Producer & Screenwriter 4. Imo Singh, Director 5. Utpal Datta, Filmmaker ...and others

The Non Feature Film Jury of seven members was headed by acclaimed film director and editor, Shri Vinod Ganatra. The Jury constituted of the following Members:

1. Uday Shankar Pani, Filmmaker 2. Parvati Menon, Director & Film educationist 3.  Mandar Talaulikar, Filmmaker 4. Padmaraj Nair, Film Journalist 5. Ashok Sharan, Actor & Producer 6. Suneel Puranik, Actor, Director & Producer

Sketch on Screen (Animation Film Package) is a section which has been proposed for the 49th IFFI, 2018. This section will screen around 3 International Feature Length Films done in collaboration with Indian studios.

Open Air Screenings are organized during the festival where a large screen is put up in a vast open area. This year as an extension of the Khelo India Branding, Indian Sports Biopics will be screened at the 49th IFFI.Films included in the section are Gold, Mary Kom, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, 1983, MSD: The untold story and Soorma.

IFFI collaborates with the International Council for Film, Audiovisual Communication (ICFT) Paris, to present a special ICFT prize consisting of the UNESCO Gandhi Medal to a film which reflects the ideals promoted by UNESCO. This year 10 films will be showcased for selection of a film to be presented with this coveted award.

Masterclasses and In-conversation section will feature several renowned celebrities from the Film Industry including Prasoon Joshi, Dan Wolman, Sreekar Prasad, Anil Kapoor, Sumit Israni, Boney Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Jahnvi Kapoor, David Dhawan, Varun Dhawan , Rohit Dhawan, Jairaj, Kaushik Ganguly,Shaji Karun, Srijit Mukhrjee, Sridhar and Sreeram Raghvan, Anupama Chopra, Rajiv masand, Bhawana Somaaya, Jason Hafford, Meghna Gulzar, Leena Yadav, Gauri Shinde.

A retrospective of films of the recipient of the most prestigious film award of the Country, Dadasaheb Phalke Award is showcased during IFFI. This year Vinod Khanna received the award posthumously. IFFI will be showcasing some of his best films including Achanak, Lekin and Amar Akbar Anthony.

Retrospective of the Lifetime Achievement Awardee section recognizes the contribution of our Lifetime Achievement Awardee in the field of Cinema by showcasing some of his/her best films. This year Mr. Dan Wolman from Israel will be honored with LTA.

‘Homages’ section pays tribute to the film personalities of our country who has taken refuge in the abode of God. This year homage will be paid to Late Sh. Shashi Kapoor, Late Smt. Sridevi, Late Sh. M.Karunanidhi and Late Ms. Kalpana Lajmi. in the International Homages this year we will pay tribute to Terence Marsh, Milos Forman, and Anne V Coates.

A Special Package for Visually Impaired Children special screenings with audio description will be organized for the children who are visually impaired. The festival will showcase the movies ‘Sholay’ and ‘Hichki’ under this section. This year there will be a special presentation of Tunisian films.

Tue, 06 Nov 2018 20:00:09 +0530
President wishes Deepawal

The President Ram Nath Kovind has sent his greetings to fellow citizens on the eve of Deepawali.

In his message, the President has said, “On the auspicious occasion of Deepawali, I extend warm greetings and good wishes to all my fellow citizens in India and around the world.

This festival is an opportunity to foster fraternity and unity among all citizens. Deepawali guides us from darkness towards light. On this occasion let us spread and share our happiness with those who are less fortunate than us.

I also urge all citizens to commit themselves to celebrating a pollution-free and safe Deepawali”.

Tue, 06 Nov 2018 19:22:55 +0530
Faizabad district to be k

Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad district will be known as Ayodhya after the temple town that is home to the Ram temple, said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday to loud cheers from the 10,000-strong crowd gathered to hear his big speech on the eve of Diwali, reports Hindustan Times.

Adityanath, who had promised “good news,” to devotees of Lord Ram, also announced a medical college named after King Dashrath, Ram’s father, and an airport to be called Raja Ram, Hindustan Times reported.

“I assure you that no injustice will be done to Ayodhya,” said the saffron-robed Chief Minister, who is also head priest at the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur.

He spoke about his numerous visits to Ayodhya and asked his audience if there was any other chief minister who had travelled to the town as frequently as him.

“You must acknowledge the change Ayodhya is going through,” he said.

Sharing stage with Yogi Adityanath at the ceremony in Ayodhya was South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook, who earlier laid the foundation stone for the Korean queen Heo Hwang-ok memorial park.

Tue, 06 Nov 2018 19:14:18 +0530
Congress JDS sweep Karnat

The ruling Congress-Janata Dal Secular (JDS) alliance in Karnataka has won two assembly seats and two Lok Sabha seats in bypolls that are expected to have an impact on opposition moves to forge a grand coalition to take on the BJP in next year's national election, reports NDTV.

The BJP has won only one parliamentary seat, Shivamogga, vacated by former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa. The Congress has surged ahead in Ballari, a BJP stronghold since 2004. The ruling alliance has won the Mandya Lok Sabha seat and the assembly constituencies of Jamkhandi and Ramanagara, NDTV reported.

An upper hand in these by-elections will be seen as validation for the Congress-JD(S) coalition amid digs about its longevity from the BJP, which is still smarting at its failure to form a government despite winning the most number of seats in the May state elections.

Tue, 06 Nov 2018 18:03:15 +0530
Nagpur witnesses transfor

In last 4 Years, Nagpur has witnessed transformation in urban transport sdctor. Nagpur’s metro is innovative model, which drives 60% power from solar energy. The e-taxi project, methanol bus are other initiative which were started for the first time in country form Nagpur. Such mass rapid transit system based on electricity is need of hour, opined Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Nitin Gadkari in Nagpur.

Gadkari was speaking on the occasion of inaugural session of 11th edition of Urban India Mobility Conference organized by Minister of Housing & Urban affairs, Institute of Urban Transpor & Maha Metro . Union Housing, Urban Affairs (I/C) Hardeep S Puri, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, Guardian minister C. Bawankule, Ambassador of France to India Alexander Ziegler, Ambassador of Germany, Dr.Martin Ney, Chief Managing Director, Maha Metro, Nagpur, Dr. Brijesh Dixit,  Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, D. S. Mishra, were prominently present on this occasion. The conference is being held from 2 to 4 November in Chitnavis Centre, Civil Lines, Nagpur.

Sat, 03 Nov 2018 11:06:23 +0530
Karnataka votes in crucia

Three Lok Sabha and two assembly seats in Karnataka are voting today in a crucial set of by-elections that will test the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition in the state. The two alliance partners have fielded joint candidates in all the seats. The JD(S) is contesting the Mandya and Shivamogga Lok Sabha seats and the Ramanagara assembly constituency. The Congress has put up candidates in the Ballari Lok Sabha seat and Jamkhandi assembly seat.

Sat, 03 Nov 2018 10:57:58 +0530
PM unveils key initiative

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched a historic support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. As part of this programme, the Prime Minister unveiled 12 key initiatives which will help the growth, expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country.

The Prime Minister said that the 12 decisions that he is announcing today, will mark a new chapter for the MSME sector. Noting that MSMEs are one of the principal employment generators in India, the Prime Minister recalled the glorious Indian traditions of small scale industry, including Ludhiana’s hosiery, and Varanasi’s sarees.

The Prime Minister said that the success of economic reforms launched by the Union Government, can be gauged from the rise in India's “Ease of Doing Business Rankings,” from 142 to 77 in four years.

The Prime Minister said that there are five key aspects for facilitating the MSME sector. These include access to credit, access to market, technology upgradation, ease of doing business, and a sense of security for employees. He said that as a Diwali gift for the sector, the 12 announcements he is making, will address each of these five categories.

Sat, 03 Nov 2018 10:42:13 +0530
Aircraft with 189 people

An aircraft with 189 people on board is believed to have sunk after crashing into the sea off Indonesia's island of Java on Monday, shortly after takeoff from the capital on its way to the country's tin-mining hub, officials said, reports NDTV.

A spokesman for Indonesia's search and rescue agency said the Lion Air flight, JT610, lost contact 13 minutes after takeoff, adding that a tug boat leaving the capital's port had seen the craft falling, NDTV reported.

Mon, 29 Oct 2018 10:37:58 +0530
SC orders vigilance enqui

The Supreme Court ordered a Vigilance enquiry  in an unprecedented CBI war after hearing a plea filed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Kumar Verma seeking a stay on the post midnight order divesting of him of duty and sending him on leave. The court also demanded that the enquiry should be completed in two weeks.

As the opposition, particularly the Congress, attacked the Narendra Modi government over the leadership change in the agency, the CBI Thursday clarified that Verma continues to remain the director and Rakesh Asthana special director while joint director Nageshwar Rao will hold interim charge till the time Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) examines the allegations and counter allegations between the top two officials, Hindustan Times reported.

Fri, 26 Oct 2018 14:20:57 +0530
Charge sheet against Chid

The Enforcement Directorate filed charge sheet against former Union minister P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.

The agency has named nine accused in the case including Chidambaram, S Bhaskaraman and four Maxis companies, reports Hindustan Times.

CBI special judge OP Saini fixed November 26 for consideration of the charge sheet.

The Aircel-Maxis cases pertains to grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to firm M/S Global Communication Holding Services Ltd in 2006 for investment in Aircel, Hindustan Times reported.

The ED has charged Chidambaram and others with laundering Rs 1.16 crore for the illegal approval given by the Congress leader for a foreign investment worth Rs 3,560 crore by Global Communication and Holdings, a subsidiary of Maxis Berhad, Malaysia, when he was the finance minister in 2006.

Thu, 25 Oct 2018 18:08:36 +0530
UAE Ambassador meets Indi

Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, met today in New Delhi, Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary of the Indian Department Of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

They discussed the progress made on the implementation of processes agreed during the last meeting, as well as topics of mutual interest.

Thu, 25 Oct 2018 12:30:39 +0530
India Australia discuss

The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha met with the Western Australian Tourism Minister Paul Papalia to receive further commitments from the Western Australian State Government to establish direct non-stop flights between India and Perth.

The Ministers said the discussions were positive, agreeing there would be benefits for both Western Australia and India if a direct service was established. The Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Mr Pradeep Kharola was also present in the meeting.

India is already a fast growing market for Western Australia with the number of visitors increasing by 38 per cent from the year ending December 2015 to the same period in 2017. The Western Australia Government has recently committed funds to market the State to Indian consumers for the first time and has appointed a dedicated marketing representative based in Mumbai.

Air India has agreed to explore the business case for the route.

Jayant Sinha said that “India and Australia share strong trade, investment, sporting and education ties. Direct connectivity between India and Australia has the potential to deepen these relationships.”

He said that “India has a very open air service agreement with Australia. It encourages both Indian and Australian airlines to consider making use of the liberal arrangements to mount more flights between the two countries.” He added that “many Indian carries are now permitted to fly on international routes and we hope to see many new direct flights and increased frequency between the two countries.”

After the meeting, Paul Papalia said that “today’s meeting was extremely productive and significantly progressed our efforts towards establishing direct flights between India and Perth.”  He said that “the Western Australian Government is serious about growing the number of visitors travelling to Western Australia from India, which is why we have committed marketing funds for the first time and appointed a market representative to work with travel trade and Tourism Australia to promote the State.” He added that “our extraordinary State has much to offer Indian travellers, whether they’re visiting for business, education or leisure.” He said that “Perth boasts the best hotels in Australia, with more than 3,000 new rooms opening in the past few years. It is also the perfect launching pad to visit our spectacular regions.”

Thu, 25 Oct 2018 12:20:17 +0530
India Bangladesh discuss

India and Bangladesh discussed various issues pertaining to the protocol arrangements and improvement of inland water transportation between the two countries in the 19th Standing Committee meeting under ‘Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade’ (PIWTT)held at  New Delhi today. The meeting was attended by high level delegations that included representatives of Ministries of  Shipping, External Affairs, Home, Finance, DONER and Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and officials from Bangladesh belonging toMinistry of Shipping, Board of Revenue, DG (Shipping)  and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).

The two sides agreed to consider inclusion of Rupnarayan river (National Waterway-86) from Geonkhali to Kolaghatin West Bengal in the protocol route. They also agreed to declare Kolaghatin West Bengal and Chilmari in Bangladesh as new Ports of Call. The new arrangement  will facilitate movement of flyash, cement, construction materials etc from India to Bangladesh through IWT on Rupnarayan river. Further, both sides agreed to declare Badarpur on river Barak (NW 16)    as an Extended Port of Call of Karimganjin Assam and Ghorasal  of Ashuganj in Bangladesh on reciprocal basis.  The Indian side proposed for extension of the protocol routes from Kolkata uptoSilchar in Assam.

In another critical understanding reached at between the two countries, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for movement of passengers and cruise vessels on Inland Protocol route and coastal shipping routes have been finalised. These river cruise services are likely to commence between Kolkata – Dhaka and Guwahati – Jorhat  and back.

It was  alsoagreed that a Joint Technical Committee will explore the technical feasibility of operationalisation of Dhulian-Rajshahi protocol route uptoAricha and the reconstruction and opening up of Jangipur navigational lock on river Bhagirathi subject to the  provisions of the Treaty between India and  Bangladesh on  Sharing of Ganga Waters at Farakka,1996. This move has the potential to reduce the distance to Assam by more than 450 kms on the protocol routes.

It was also decided that a Project Management Consultant for supervision and monitoring of dredging of Ashuganj-Zakiganj  andSirajganj-Daikhowa stretches of Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route in Bangladesh will be engaged with 80 % financial contribution from India and rest by Bangladesh. A Joint Monitoring Committee has also been constituted for overall monitoring of the dredging works.

To bring about significant reduction in logistics cost and faster delivery of Bangladesh export cargo , Indian side  raised the point regarding permitting ‘Third country’ EXIM Tradeunder Coastal Shipping Agreementand PIWTT  by allowing  Transhipment through Ports  on the East Cost ofIndia.  Bangladesh agreed to hold stakeholder consultations and revert on the matter.

Both sides agreed for development of Jogighopa as a hub/trans-shipment terminal for movement of cargo to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Bhutan and notifying Munsiganj River terminal by Bangladesh Customs for routing third party Exim cargo through Kolkata Port.

The two sides will hold  Shipping Secretary level talks here tomorrowwherein agreements  for the use of Chattogram  and Mongla Ports for movement of goods from  India, Addendum to  PIWTT and Standard Operating Procedure on passengers and cruise movement on the protocol and coastal shipping are  expected to be signed .

Thu, 25 Oct 2018 12:13:05 +0530
PM interacts with IT prof

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched the “Main Nahin Hum” portal and app, in New Delhi.

The portal, which works on the theme “Self4Society”, will enable IT professionals and organizations to bring together their efforts towards social causes, and service to society, on one platform. In doing so, the portal is expected to help catalyse greater collaboration towards the service of the weaker sections of society, especially by leveraging the benefits of technology. It is also expected to generate wider participation of interested people who are motivated to work for the benefit of society.

Interacting with a wide cross-section of IT and electronic manufacturing professionals, captains of industry and technocrats on the occasion, the Prime Minister said he is sure that people want to work for others, serve society and make a positive difference.

 

 

Among those who interacted with the Prime Minister were Anand Mahindra, SudhaMurthy, and a number of young professionals, from India’s top IT companies.

Every effort, however big or small, must be valued, the Prime Minister said, adding that Governments may have schemes and budgets but the success of any initiative lies in public involvement. Let us think about how we can use our strengths to bring a positive difference in the lives of others, the Prime Minister exhorted the gathering.

The Prime Minister noted that he observes India's youngsters leveraging the power of technology very well. He said that they are using technology not only for themselves but also for the welfare of others. He described this as a wonderful sign. Noting that there are many start-ups in the social sector, the Prime Minister wished the young social entrepreneurs well.

Responding to questions in a townhall style interaction, the Prime Minister said that it is essential to step out of our comfort zone. There is so much to learn and discover, he added.

 

IT professionals explained their efforts towards social volunteering, especially in skilling and cleanliness.In response to an observation, the Prime Minister asserted that the symbol of the Swachh Bharat Mission is the spectacles of Bapu, the inspiration is Bapu and we are fulfilling Bapu's vision.

The Prime Minister said that on many occasions, what the “Sarkar” cannot do, “Sanskar” can do. Let us make cleanliness a part of our value systems, he added.

Speaking on the importance of conserving water, the Prime Minister said that in order to learn about water conservation, people should visit Porbandar in Gujarat, and see the home of Mahatma Gandhi. We need to conserve water and recycle water, he added. I appeal to my hardworking farmers to embrace drip irrigation, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said that through volunteering efforts, a lot can be done in the agriculture sector. Youngsters must venture out and work for the welfare of farmers, he added.

The Prime Minister asserted that more people are paying taxes because they have faith that their money is being used properly and for the welfare of people.

He said that India is making a mark in the start-up sector due to the talent of its youth.

Responding to a team that is working to create rural digital entrepreneurs, the Prime Minister said that it is important to create an India where everyone has equal opportunities.

The Prime Minister said doing social work should be a matter of great pride for everyone.

Expressing disagreement with the trend to criticize business and industry, the Prime Minister said that this townhall programme has illustrated how leading corporates are doing excellent social work, and urging their employees to venture out and serve the people.

Thu, 25 Oct 2018 11:32:36 +0530
Students should learn 50

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that all School syllabi in the country should be reduced by fifty percent and Students should learn 50% from their Classrooms and 50% from Playgrounds. He was interacting with the Students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, in Hyderabad. The Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana,  Mohammad Mahmood Ali and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has played a pivotal role in the education scenario of this country since its inception in 1938. He further said that the young Students would soon be called upon to be leaders of India’s journey towards development. You should prepare yourself; equip yourself starting today, so that you will be ready when called upon to be leaders of a resurgent India, he added.

Saying that it is important to learn from books, the Vice President said that it is good to know facts and understand theories, but it is more important to be able to understand concepts and to gauge their practical applications. It is important to learn to do things, to develop practical and pragmatic wisdom, he added.

The Vice President said that whole examinations should be based on measuring the child’s capacity simply to question the things around him or her. This will encourage young people to never be content with the status quo and help to make change a relatively easy process, he said.

The Vice President urged the young students to never let their marks define or restrict them in any way. You are much more than the numbers on your report card, he added.

The President opined that education imparted should be all encompassing, comprehensive and holistic. He further said that only half the school time should be spent in classrooms learning, the other half should be spent in playgrounds and in nature. Some of life’s crucial lessons are learnt by the children from playgrounds, such as sportsmanship, empathy and teamwork, he added.

Along with physical fitness schools should also encourage other extracurricular activities, the Vice President said. Love for the fine arts and interest in literary activities should also be inculcated in children, they teach children the art of living and working together, he added.

Thu, 25 Oct 2018 11:22:49 +0530
Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

Arrangements are in full swing to celebrate the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas on 31st  October, 2018, the birthday of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Several events are scheduled to be held by various Ministries, PSUs and organisations across the country.

In the national capital New Delhi and all over the States, people will take a pledge to protect the unity and integrity of India and participate in the Run for Unity programme. In Delhi, the Run will be organised from Major Dhynachand Stadium on 31st October at 7 AM. It will be flagged off by the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh. The Home Minister will also pay floral tributes at the statue of Sardar Patel in the Parliament Street.

Various Ministries/ Departments will organise Run for Unity, March Past and Ekta Diwas pledge as well as other different activities on the occasion all over the country. These ministries include the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, External Affairs (MEA), Defence, Railways, Power, Housing & Urban Affairs, Shipping, Civil Aviation, Road, Transport & Highways, Tourism, Petroleum & Natural Gas, among others. Senior citizens, women, ex-servicemen, prominent sports personalities and others are expected to join the celebrations.

The MEA will organise pledge taking in Indian Missions. Essay/Quiz Competitions, debates, short films, photo exhibition etc. will be organised in offices of MEA and in the Indian Missions. It will arrange ‘Talks’ on life and contribution of Sardar Patel in cooperation with ‘Friendship Societies’ and ‘Think Tanks’.

The Ministry of Railways will organise pledge and March Past at its Zonal and Divisional HQs. Under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, various events such as Run for Unity, pledge, floral tribute, poetry/painting competitions involving all citizens of Tier-I and Tier-II cities including SMART and AMRUT cities/towns will be organised.

The Ministry of Culture will organise activities including essay, quiz competitions, lectures and symposium at Sahitya Academy and other programmes at Zonal Cultural Centres. The National School of Drama will organize a special play on Sardar Patel.

The Human Resource Development Ministry  is organising essay competitions/debates, Run for Unity, pledge in 2000+ Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas, drawing participation of a huge number of students. The students will also be encouraged to speak simple sentences/words in constitutionally recognised 22 Indian languages for 22 consecutive days – one language every day.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas will organise programmes in oil PSUs. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will telecast the film 'Sardar' on DD, play radio and TV jingles and will run features on life and achievements of Sardar Patel. Talk shows/interviews based programmes/live phone-in programmes on 'Integration of India will also be telecast by the Ministry.

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) will actively participate in State-level and other field level functions and organise March pasts.

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 11:37:51 +0530
Purpose of Science Tech

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the purpose of Science & Technology should be to make common man live comfortably. He was addressing the Maritime Conference SAGAR Discourse 2.0, organized by Forum for Integrated National Security, in Panaji, Goa today.

The Vice President stressed on the need to update technical capabilities, to ensure national security and said that security threats like cross border terrorism, ecological vulnerability and environmental deterioration are not limited to one country and they require a united response from the global community. Such problems have no boundaries and stress the need to use scientific prowess to find solutions, he added.

The Vice President said that India as a responsible power has always collaborated with other nations on space issues. He cautioned the scientific community to beware of the threats to space systems from debris and other irresponsible activities are adding to the complexity. We all need to be concerned with the pursuit of weapons systems capable of destroying satellites in orbit, he added.

Calling for International efforts to focus on the likely global consequences of conflict in space domain, the Vice President said that such conflicts might not be limited to just a few countries but could extend to all spacefarers and the entire globe.

The Vice President said that India must intensify relations with traditional partners and establish new ties with other nations to promote peaceful use of outer space. The activities include carrying out joint activities of mutual interest, sharing expertise in applications of space technology and participating in international events dealing with space, he added.

The Governor of Goa, Smt. Mridula Sinha, the Minister for Panchayat, Goa, Shri Mauvin Godinho, the former Chairman of ISRO, Dr. Kiran Kumar, the Convener of SAGAR Discourse, Dr. Prabhakaran Paleri and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 11:32:43 +0530
Smriti Irani attends Youn

The Government serves not only those citizens who have voted but also those who did not vote; that is the core of policy-making, Union Minister for Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani said in Mumbai today. She was speaking at the Young Thinkers’ Conference, organized by British Deputy High Commission, Mumbai in association with ORF (Observer Research Foundation).

The Minister said that the Government has implemented the Food Security Act successfully in all states and that 34 million tons of food grain has been made available to the people.

The Minister also said that due to PM Ujjwala Yojana, a clean cooking fuel is now available and deforestation has decreased as 11 crore people have been taken away from the activity of deforestation.

She said that the government has, for the first time, leveraged technology to ensure people's participation in policy-making, through the citizen engagement platform, MyGov.

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 11:29:45 +0530
PM Modi awarded Seoul Pea

The Seoul Peace Prize Committee has decided to confer the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in recognition of his dedication to improving international cooperation, raising global economic growth, accelerating the Human Development of the people of India by fostering economic growth in the world's fastest growing large economy and furthering the development of democracy through anti-corruption and social integration efforts.

While awarding the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize, the Award Committee recognized Prime Minister Modi's contributions to the growth of the Indian and global economies, crediting 'Modinomics' for reducing social and economic disparity between the rich and the poor. The Committee lauded PM's initiatives to make the government cleaner through anti-corruption measures and demonetization. The Committee also credited Prime Minister for his contribution towards regional and global peace through a proactive foreign policy with countries around the world under the 'Modi Doctrine' and the 'Act East Policy.' Prime Minister Modi is the fourteenth recipient of this award.

Expressing his gratitude for the prestigious honour and in light of India's deepening partnership with the Republic of Korea, Prime Minister Modi has accepted the award. The award will be presented by the Seoul Peace Prize Foundation at a mutually convenient time.

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 11:24:56 +0530
CBI saga takes new turn

The Narendra Modi government has divested Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Verma of all duties, hours after he did the same to his deputy Rakesh Asthana, following a feud between the two, Hindustan Times reported.

In an order at 2.30 am on Wednesday served at Verma’s residence, the government said he was being divested of all responsibilities, said an official familiar with the development, reports Hindustan Times.

Before being divested of all responsibilities as the CBI chief, Verma too had signed an order at 9pm on Tuesday divesting his deputy Rakesh Asthana of all responsibilities.

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 11:21:05 +0530
Fourth edition of annual

The fourth edition of the annual UAE-India Economic Forum (UIEF), is set to take place on 24th October with the aim of strengthening ties and bilateral trade relations.

The UIEF is supported by the Telangana Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Forum, to be held at Habtoor Grand Resort in Dubai, will bring together over 350 delegates from the UAE and India.

The UIEF represents a new stage in the economic relationship between both the countries that share a vision to project the current US$40 billion bilateral trade to US$100 billion by 2020 according to reports. This can only be achieved with sustained efforts to constantly engage the key stakeholders, government authorities and investors in a dialogue which strengthens their faith in the establishment.

The event will focus on benefits of the increased collaboration in investment, trade, infrastructure, ports, banking, finance, and tourism between the UAE and India. The summit promises to provide exclusive insights into critical topics such as investments, tourism, banking and finance, renewable energy, real estate, and technology.

Commenting on the fourth edition of the UIEF, Alpana Roy, Executive Vice President at UMS Group, said, "We are glad to announce the fourth edition of the UAE India Economic Forum. The Forum is an established platform to discuss new policy framework and explore investment opportunities across industries between the UAE and India. In the recent years both countries have re-energised their bilateral trade relations with the recurring visits of their respective leaders to discuss the future of trade and investments. We are aware that the trading links between the UAE and India has existed since long."

"The UAE enjoys broad and comprehensive economic relationship with India based on mutual interest. Another growing area of economic cooperation between two countries is investments. The UAE has invested over US$5 billion in India through FDI and foreign institutional investors, which makes it one of the leading investors in India. On the other hand, India is the third largest investor in UAE, Indian companies have contributed to the prominent projects in UAE. With both governments showing clarity in their vision to gain the most from this partnership, the ambitious goal of reaching US$100 billion in trade by 2020 now seems achievable," she added.

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 11:53:07 +0530
President inaugurates Vis

The President Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the Vishwashanti Ahimsa Sammelan at Mangi Tungi, Nasik, Maharashtra. The event is being organised by the Bhagwan Shri Rishabhdev 108 Feet Vishalkai Digambar Jain Murti Nirman Committee.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that in the Jain tradition, the principle of ‘Ahimsa Paramodharma’ is distinguished for human welfare and compassion - not just for the absence of physical violence. The President said that Bhagwan Mahavir gave special importance to ‘Apirigraha’ - not taking what is more than essential to live. Humankind is exploiting nature indiscriminately. Ruthless consumption and accumulation of resources is increasing. Due to this, phenomena like climate change are emerging as challenges. Following the Jain tradition shows us a way out.

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 11:04:28 +0530
Environment Ministry init

Air pollution is a serious health issue in the country especially in the northern parts during winter seasons. The air pollution in the northern region is attributed to dust, burning of crops in certain states, burning of garbage construction and prevailing climatic conditions. This air pollution has serious impacts on the health of children, aged people and people suffering from respiratory ailments.

Diwali which is a festival of lights falls during the same period. As a matter of practice people have been celebrating Diwali by bursting crackers.  Crackers contains combustible chemicals that include potassium chlorate powdered aluminum, magnesium, salts of barium, copper, sodium, lithium, strontium etc. and emits smoke on combustion of these chemicals along with sound.  This smoke and sound has health impacts on children, aged people and also animal and birds. Apart from these compounds large amount of waste is also generated after bursting of crackers. Keeping in view the above detrimental effects and also the importance of the festival, Ministry has initiated a “Harit–Diwali” campaign.

This campaign was initiated in 2017-18 wherein large number of school children especially from eco-clubs participated and took pledge to minimize bursting of crackers and also discouraged the neighborhood and their friends from bursting of crackers. During this intensive campaign, the children were advised to celebrate Diwali in an environment-friendly manner by gifting plant sapling to their relatives and friends along with sweets, undertake cleaning of houses, neighbourhoods, schools, collect old books and unused notebooks gift to needy children, donate old warm clothing, blankets to night-shelters and other homeless people. The children were encouraged to light up their houses and their schools with candles and diyas. The above campaign was extremely successful and the air quality had not deteriorated post Diwali in 2017 unlike what was experienced in 2016.

On the above lines, the Ministry has initiated the similar campaign, but this year the campaign has been extended Pan-India. The “Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali” campaign is now merged with “Green Good Deed” movement that has been initiated as a social mobilization for conservation and protection of environment. The Ministry encourages all schools and colleges to be part of this campaign.

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 10:59:01 +0530
Naidu lauds Lal Bahadur S

“Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri was an exemplary leader, his humility, courage, determination, integrity and moral uprightness were legendary”, the Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said. He was addressing the gathering at the presentation ceremony of the 19th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration to Fali S Nariman.

Citing the major mile stones of Shastri Ji’s life, from his active participation in the freedom struggle to his adorning the post of the Prime Minister of the country, the Vice President lauded his leadership style and the great acceptance he had among the people of India. Naidu spoke of the various portfolios held by Shastri Ji in the Union Ministry from Railways to Communication to Industry. He recalled the time when Shastri Ji had resigned from his post as the railway Minister taking moral responsibility for a train accident. He added that this gesture spoke volumes about his integrity and moral standing and set new standards in constitutional propriety.

The Vice President remarked that Shastri Ji had great clarity of his vision and even greater conviction in the capacity of his beloved nation to beat all odds and survive. He observed that Shastri Ji’s 19 Month long Prime Minister-ship was quit eventful and described his various achievements from promoting Green and White Revolution to steering India successfully during the turbulent times of the India-Pak war of 1965.

The Vice President said that beneath a gentle and soft exterior, Shastri Ji carried an iron clad will power and added that Courage and humility are more complementary than contradictory. Shastri Ji made several tough decisions with great conviction when it came to India’s security and national interest.

The Vice President lauded the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Institute of Management for taking forward Shastri Ji’s vision of uplifting the masses and for nurturing moral values and societal responsiveness among its students. He congratulated the recepient of the 19th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Fali Sam Nariman and applauded his significant contributions to the field of jurisprudence.

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 10:47:30 +0530
India China hold first h

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh co-chaired the first India-China High Level Meeting on Bilateral Security Cooperation with Mr. Zhao Kezhi, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China in New Delhi. During the meeting, the two sides discussed issues of mutual interest, including bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation, and welcomed increased cooperation between India and China in the area of security cooperation.

An Agreement on Security Cooperation between the Ministry of Home Affairs of India and the Ministry of Public Security of China was also signed by the two Ministers. The Agreement will further strengthen and consolidate discussions and cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism, organized crimes, drug control and other such relevant areas.

Mr. Zhao Kezhi is on a bilateral visit to India from 21 to 25 October, 2018, during which he will also travel to Mumbai.

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 10:35:08 +0530
Sabarimala Temple closes

The Sabarimala temple’s first period of pilgrimage after the Supreme Court lifted the ban on the entry of women of menstrual age ends Monday with 10 women aged below 50 stopped by angry devotees from praying at the 800-year-old hilltop shrine in Kerala’s Patthanamthitta district since it opened on Wednesday, reports Hindustan Times.

Amid the face-off between the state’s Left Democratic Front government which assured implementation of the September 28 apex court verdict and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress and various Hindu groups which opposed it and demanded a review petition be filed, the Travancore Dewaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, is expected to submit a report to the court on the ground situation. It is also likely seek more time to implement the verdict as the main pilgrimage season begins next month, Hindustan Times reported.

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 11:13:03 +0530
New domestic cruise termiMon, 22 Oct 2018 10:47:31 +0530VP calls on Intl communi

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu led a delegation to participate in the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting that took place on 18-19 October 2018 in Brussels bringing together 51 countries across Asia and Europe, as well as EU and ASEAN Institutions under the title “Global Partners for Global Challenges”.

At the Summit, the Vice President joined the other global leaders in unanimously stressing the role of ASEM as a main platform for Europe and Asia to strengthen dialogue, foster cooperation and tackles global challenges, such as climate change, terrorism, global peace and security, maritime governance, preserving and strengthening rules-based multilateral trading system, and working towards 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.  Chair’s statement was also issued at the Summit.

The Vice President, during his interventions, called on the international community to take concerted action against terrorism, including cross-border terrorism, that threatens peace and stability.  He stated that it is important to uphold principles of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries and to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity.  He stressed on an early adoption of the United Nations Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. Terming economic offences as a serious issue that threatens the financial stability of nations, he asked the ASEM partners to work together for denying shelter and for expeditious and timely exchange of financial information. He also highlighted India’s own ambitious policy measures in actively combating climate change and stressed International Solar Alliance as a shining example of Asia-Europe cooperation. He underlined Government of India’s measure for more inclusive development, including focus on women empowerment.

Earlier on October 18, the Vice President also called on His Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians. On the sidelines of the Summit, the Vice President also met with the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras and Portuguese Prime Minister, Mr. Antonio Costa, Spanish Prime Minister, Mr. Pedro Sanchez and exchanged views on matters of common interest.

During his visit to Belgium, the Vice President also visited Jain Temple Complex in the City of Antwerp and met the members of Indian Community on October 20. He outlined the transformative governance initiatives in India and suggested that the Indian diaspora could be active partners in the current India’s growth story. Underscoring the important of ethics in business, he emphasized the paramount importance of maintaining the link with the mother-tongue, motherland and enhanced respect for mother and the guru or the mentor. He also visited Office of the Governor of Antwerp where he paid floral homage to the bust of Mahatma Gandhi. Later in the day, he exchanged views on further enhancing India-Belgium trade and investment ties with select group of prominent CEOs.

After successfully concluding his visit, Vice President will be returning to Delhi on October 21.

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 10:27:28 +0530
PM Modi visits Shirdi

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, visited Shirdi, in Maharashtra. At a public meeting, he unveiled the plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of various development works of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust. He also released a silver coin to commemorate the Centenary year of Shri Saibaba Samadhi.

Narendra Modi handed over keys to mark the Grihapravesh of Prime Minister Awas Yojana- Grameen (PMAY-G) beneficiaries in Maharashtra. He also interacted with beneficiaries from various districts in Maharashtra like Satara, Latur, Nandurbar, Amaravati, Thane, Solapur, Nagpur through video conference. The beneficiaries, mostly women, thanked the Prime Minister for their new good quality houses, easy availability of credit and corruption free processes associated with PMAY-G scheme. Prime Minister later addressed the gathering.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister extended Dussehra greetings to all Indians. He said that being amongst people during the auspicious occasion of Dussehra gives him energy and renewed vigour to work for the betterment of the country.

Recalling the contributions of Shri Saibaba to the society, Prime Minister said that his teachings give us the mantra to build a strong unified society and to serve humanity with love. He added that Shirdi is always considered as an epitome of public service. He expressed happiness that Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust is following the path laid down by Saibaba. He also complimented the contributions of the trust in empowering the society through education and in transforming thoughts through spiritual teachings.

Expressing happiness in handing over new houses to over 2 lakh beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Grameen (PMAY-G) on occasion of Dussehra, Prime Minister said that it is a big step towards the fight against poverty. Underlining the efforts of Government in ensuring ‘Housing for All’ by 2022, Prime Minister said that in the last four years, Government has built over 1.25 crore houses. He said that the Government is also ensuring that the every house built is not only of good quality but also has a toilet, gas connection and electricity.

Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister congratulated the people of Maharashtra for making the state Open Defecation Free. He also commended the efforts of the Maharashtra Government towards Swacchh Bharat activities. In this context, Prime Minister spoke about Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) and said that around one lakh people have benefited from the scheme so far. He added that under PMJAY, modern medical infrastructure is getting readied.

Prime Minister also underlined the efforts taken by the Government to deal with drought faced by Maharashtra. In this context, he mentioned Krishi Sinchai Yojana and Fazal Bima Yojana and appreciated the Jalyukt Shivir Abhiyan of Maharashtra Government. He also commended the people’s participation in the de-siltation of irrigation canals undertaken by the Maharashtra Government. 

Remembering the teachings of B R Ambedkar, Jyotirao Phule and Chattrapati Shivaji, Prime Minister asked the countrymen to follow their noble ideals and teachings and work towards creating a strong undivided society. He urged the people to work towards attaining Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister visited the Shri Saibaba Samadhi Temple Complex and offered prayers. He also attended the valedictory function of centenary celebration of Shri Saibaba.

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 12:18:56 +0530
Modi calls Lotay Tshering

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation with Dr. Lotay Tshering, President of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa. Prime Minister Modi congratulated Dr. LotayTshering on his party’s victory in the third general election in Bhutan and his own election to the National Assembly. Prime Minister Modi welcomed the successful conduct of general elections, which is an important milestone for consolidation of democracy in Bhutan.

Prime Minister Modi conveyed that India attaches the highest priority to further strengthening unique ties of friendship and cooperation with Bhutan, which is based on shared interests and values, utmost trust, goodwill and mutual understanding.

Recalling the ongoing Golden Jubilee celebrations of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s steadfast commitment to work with the new government in Bhutan in its national efforts for socio-economic transformation, based on the priorities and interests of the people and the government of Bhutan. Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Dr. LotayTshering to visit India.

Dr. Lotay Tshering thanked Prime Minister Modi for his greetings and good wishes, and accepted the invitation to visit India at the earliest opportunity. The two leaders agreed to take forward the unique and multifaceted bilateral co-operation to new heights for the benefit of the people of Bhutan and India.

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:54:52 +0530
PM Modi attends Dussehra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended Dussehra Celebrations at 15 August Park at Lal Qila Maidan in New Delhi.

The Prime Minister watched the Ramleela organized by the Lav-Kush Ramleela committee. He also witnessed the burning of giant effigies of Ravan, Kumbhakarn and Meghnad signifying the triumph of good over evil, during the event.

The event was attended by the President Ram Nath Kovind  and several other dignitaries.

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:44:09 +0530
Terrorism is a major thre

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that terrorism is a major threat to peace and stability, and called for an early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, stressing peace is the prerequisite for progress and peace cannot be achieved without combating terrorism. He was addressing the  plenary and retreat sessions of the 12th ASEM Summit, with the theme "Global Partners for Global Challenges", in Brussels, Belgium today.

During his interventions, the Vice President stated that India valued ASEM as a platform that brings together leadership of Asia and Europe to exchange views and address global challenges.

The Vice President drew attention of the leaders to the challenge that criminal misappropriation of public assets by economic offenders, was posing threats to the integrity of financial systems. He expressed the need for international cooperation to deny shelter to the economic offenders including by enhancing mechanisms for Automatic Exchange of Information.

The Vice President also emphasized the importance of connectivity for enhancing prosperity and referred to the various cross border initiatives on connectivity undertaken by India.

The Vice President elaborated on the various initiatives undertaken by the Government to promote inclusive governance, women's welfare, sustainable development and digitalization. He pointed out that the biggest driver to prevent climate change was the elimination of poverty through sustainable use of resources. He called on ASEM partners to join the International Solar Alliance, which symbolizes Asia-Europe cooperation,  being an initiative launched by India and France.

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:38:36 +0530
PM condoles loss of lives

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has condoled the loss of lives due to train accident in Amritsar.

“Extremely saddened by the train accident in Amritsar. The tragedy is heart-wrenching. My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones and I pray that the injured recover quickly. Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required”, the Prime Minister tweeted.

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:30:51 +0530
50 dead in Amritsar train

Fifty people were killed and many others injured when a train ran into a crowd celebrating Dussehra in Punjab’s Joda Phatak, close to Amritsar, subdivisional magistrate Rajesh Sharma said. The crowd was watching a Ravana effigy burn nearby around 7pm, additional district commissioner of police, city-2, Lakhbir Singh said. Some were standing on the track shooting videos of the effigy burning on their mobile phones when the train hit them. Authorities have rushed to the spot of the accident.

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:23:23 +0530
Vice President calls on B

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu who is presently in Brussels to attend the ASEM Summit 2018, called on His Majesty, King of the Belgians at the Royal City Palace. He recalled the friendly ties between the two countries based on shared commonalities and commitment to rule of law, pluralism and federalism.

The two leaders discussed their expectations from the 2018 Summit which is centered on the theme, "Global Partners for Global Challenges”. His Majesty, King Philippe had hosted the ASEM Summit in 2010 when Belgium had held the rotating Presidency of the European Union.

Vice President elaborated on the priority accorded by India to the urgent need for collective efforts of the global community in addressing the menace of terrorism. He also shared his perspective on the successful flagship initiatives of the Government of India including innovative governance to address the complex challenges faced by India as the world’s largest democracy and to simultaneously put India on a faster, inclusive growth and development trajectory.

India thanked Belgium for its consistent support for India’s candidacies at the UN and other international organizations. India also thanked Belgium for its support to India’s candidacy at the UNSC for the term 2021-22. Both sides expressed their commitment to boost investment, trade and people to people ties.

Vice-President and the King of the Belgians had previously met during the State Visit of Their Majesties The King and Queen of the Belgians to India in November 2017.

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 13:14:23 +0530
Women try to enter Sabari

On day three of the Sabarimala temple opening, devotees continue to throng the hill for completing their pilgrimage to the Ayyappa temple. However, tension remains as women attempt to enter the temple, reports Hindustan Times.

After two women unsuccessfully attempted to trek up to the hill-shrine, a third woman began the long walk on Friday morning under a police guard of 150 personnel.

Devotees have been aggressively protesting a Supreme Court order that allows women of menstrual age to enter the temple, a ban that was followed for decades as a religious practice. With the Kerela government saying it will follow the court order and ensure women are allowed in the temple, protests have swept across the state leading to a state-wide shutdown, Hindustan Times reported.

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 11:59:25 +0530
Rajasthan 4 other states

The Election Commission announced a single phase election in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram, and a two-phase election in Chhattisgarh -- all of which will be held in November. Rajasthan and Telangana will also have a single phase election on December 7. Counting of votes will be held on December 11 for all states, said Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat, reports NDTV.

Elections in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram will be held on November 28.

In Chhattisgarh, 18 seats will go to polls in the first phase on November 12. The majority of the state's seats - 72 - will go to polls on November 20, NDTV reported.

Sat, 06 Oct 2018 15:57:18 +0530
50 young Musicians honou

 

K.A.Viswanathan                                                  

 

The doyen of carnatic music  late Dr. M.S.Subbulakshmi ‘s 102nd birth anniversary celebrations was held at the Sri Shanmukhananda Chandrasekharendra Saraswati auditorium , King’s Circle.

On this occasion 50 young and promising musicians from all over the country were given the fellowship in Music award which carries a cash prize of Rs. One lakh  each  for three years. The Sabha had already given the  fellowships to 103 young artists till date from 18 cities in 13 disciplines of Indian music, said Dr. V.Shankar, president of the Sabha. The disciplines include Carnatic vocal, Violin, Flute, Nadaswaram , Mrudangam , Sarod, Veena and Hindustani vocal music.

 

The list of awardees who received this year include Anirbhan Roy who is 8 years old from Kolkata (Flute), 11-year-old Rahul Vellal ( vocal) from Bengaluru and for the first time, Hindustani Violin has been included and Yadnesh Milind Raikar who is just 18 years old and Danish Khan Altaf on Hindustani Vocal who is 15 yrs old were  honoured.

This fellowship award was set up by the Sabha in the year 2013 in memory of Late Dr. M.S.Subbulakshmi. From this year the award will be known as Shri Shanmukhananda Vijaya Bank Dr M.S. Subbalakshmi Fellowship Awards  since the  bank has donated a sum of Rs. 1.5 crores for  three years for this award. The  programme commenced with Vedic chanting by the young students of  the SIES Vedapatashala, Nerul.

 

In his address the vice -president of India Mr. M.Venkaiah Naidu who was the chief guest said “India is indeed blessed with two distinct systems of classical music, Carnatic and Hindustani which have always enjoyed the status of being highly cultivated art forms”. Thanks to the pioneers like the late Bharat Ratnas Dr. M.SSubbulakshmi, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Indian music has become popular throughout the world, he said.

More and more scholars from both India and the west have studied and mastered these arts and many universities and institutions like Shanmukhananda have kept this alive and added further richness to the grand tradition , the vice president said.

 

The award ceremony was  followed by a thematic dance presentation by the Tharanginee School of Bharatanatyam , Chennai on “ Maithreem Bhajatha” on Universal Harmony. Maithreem Bhajata  is a benediction composed in Sanskrit by Jagadguru Shri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, renowned as the Paramacharya of Kanchi Peetam .It was rendered at the United Nations on Oct. 23, 1966 on the occasion of the UN day, by Bharat Ratna  M. S. Subbulakshmi and her daughter Radha Viswanathan.

Fri, 05 Oct 2018 18:35:26 +0530
India Russia sign S 400

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the much anticipated S-400 Triumf, the $5-billion deal, arguably the world's most lethal surface-to-air missile system, to strengthen India's air defence system.

"Russia has stood by India through time and has played a crucial role In India's growth story," PM Modi said in a joint address after the bilateral meeting with Mr Putin who is on a two-day visit to India. Both the countries signed a list of other agreements as well ranging from nuclear power to space exploration.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for the 19th edition of the Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi. India-Russia cooperation is based on the solid foundations of the 1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation between the Republic of India and the USSR, 1993 Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation, 2000 Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation and 2010 Joint Statement elevating the Partnership to a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.

India and Russia highly evaluated the contemporary relevance and significance of the informal summit in Sochi on May 21, 2018 which was a unique meeting in international diplomacy, reflecting the deep trust and confidence between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin, underlining the desire of both countries to maintain regular contacts and hold frequent consultations on issues of mutual interest, and further enhanced mutual coordination and convergence of views on all major issues. The Sochi Summit manifested the role of interaction and cooperation between India and Russia in building a multi-polar world order. The two Sides agreed to continue the practice of such informal meetings and to maintain strategic communication at all levels on a regular basis.

The Sides reaffirmed their commitment to the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia. They declared that this relationship is an important factor for global peace and stability and appreciated each other’s respective roles as major powers with common responsibilities for maintaining global peace and stability.

Both Sides agreed that their relationship is mature and confident, covering all areas and is marked by deep trust, mutual respect and close understanding of each other’s position. They reaffirmed that being multicultural, multilingual and multireligious societies, India and Russia bring civilizational wisdom to address modern day challenges. Together, they contribute to creating a more interconnected and diverse world.

The Sides called upon all states to work towards the lessening of global tensions and promoting the ideals of tolerance, cooperation, transparency and openness in inter-state relations. They stressed that the primary challenge in large parts of the world remains ensuring rapid and environmentally sustainable economic development, removal of poverty, reducing inequality among and within states, and providing basic health care. India and Russia pledged to cooperate with each other to achieve these goals.

The Sides noted with satisfaction the intensification of contacts between the two countries, in all spheres – more than 50 visits at ministerial level, which have injected new vigour into their relationship. Subsequent to the successful implementation of the Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations for the period 2017-18, the Sides agreed to extend the period of Consultations for five more years (2019-2023) and signed a Protocol to this effect. Russia welcomed the appointment of Honorary Consuls General of India in Ekaterinburg and Astrakhan, which would further facilitate closer interaction amongst people and regions of both Sides.

Fri, 05 Oct 2018 18:12:32 +0530
PM interacts with Mission

A group of about 40 enthusiasts with experience in mountaineering, who are embarking on an expedition to raise awareness on cleaning the River Ganga, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The group includes 8 mountaineers who have successfully climbed Mount Everest, and is led by Ms. Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

The expedition, which has been inspired by the Union Government’s “Namami Gange” campaign, has been named “Mission Gange.” The month long rafting expedition, will see the group travel through the river from Haridwar to Patna, with halts at Bijnor, Narora, Farrukhabad, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, and Buxar. At each of these nine cities, the group will raise awareness about keeping the Ganga clean, and also undertake cleaning activities.

Interacting with the group, the Prime Minister appreciated the group members for undertaking this initiative. He underlined the importance of a clean and vibrant River Ganga. He particularly urged the group to reach out to schoolchildren as part of their awareness activities in the cities they are transiting through.

Fri, 05 Oct 2018 11:44:19 +0530
Education is an instrumen

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that education is an instrument of social transformation adding that it forms the foundation for empowering women, especially in a country like India.

Delivering the Convocation address at the University College for Women in Hyderabad, he said that no country can make progress if women lag behind. Educating a woman would not only empower an individual but an entire family. Expressing his concern over gender inequality, he warned that subordination of women in various spheres would have serious negative consequences.

Calling for breaking down walls and defying stereotypes, he emphasized that women, who constitute more than half the population, need to be given voice and space. “Empowering women is empowering entire humanity”, he asserted.

Education is not only for employment, it leads to enhancement of knowledge, enlightenment and empowerment of individuals, he said.

Observing that we need women at all levels, the Vice President called for strengthening social, economic, political and legal avenues to ensure equal rights for women. Political participation of women was extremely crucial in strengthening the democratic process in the country, he added.

Fri, 05 Oct 2018 11:28:03 +0530
India Russia to sign S 4

India and Russia are expected to sign two major arms deals - for the S-400 Triumf air and missile defence system and four more Kirivak/Talwar class stealth frigates - as President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi hold the annual bilateral summit today, reports Hindustan Times.

President Putin, who arrived in Delhi on Thursday on a two-day visit for the summit, was received by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and met PM Modi shortly after his arrival.

The 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit scheduled to take place on Friday is expected to see the both sides review bilateral defence cooperation in the wake of the US sanctions against Russian defence majors. The key focus will be the $5-billion deal (Rs 39,000 crore) for supply of the S-400 system, which is capable of destroying incoming aerial targets at a range of 400km, Hindustan Times reported.

Fri, 05 Oct 2018 11:10:39 +0530
Ras al Khaimah ruler rece

H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah, received on Monday a delegation from the Indian State of Gujarat.

Sheikh Saud welcomed the delegation members and expressed the hope that their visit would contribute in furthering ties of friendship and cooperation between the UAE and India and in building strategic partnerships with India and Gujarat in particular.

The delegation members lauded the progress witnessed in the UAE and underlined the strong and deep-rooted relations between the UAE and India.

The delegation included Mamta Verma, Industries Commissioner, Government of Gujarat, and Vipul, Indian Consul-General in Dubai.

Thu, 04 Oct 2018 12:55:08 +0530
UAE Minister attends Gand

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, attended a reception hosted by Navdeep Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Indian Ambassador delivered a speech on the occasion, in which he spoke about the struggles of the Indian leader, his life, and ways he served his nation. "He is the spiritual leader of India and was the leader of the resistance against tyranny through the mass civil disobedience that led to the independence of India," Suri said.

The ceremony was held at the Indian Social Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi, and was attended by senior Indian officials, businessmen and members of the Indian community residing in the country.

On Tuesday, special LED screenings on Gandhi were displayed on Burj Khalifa in Dubai, paying tribute to the former leader's values of spreading truth, peace and non-violence in the world.

Thu, 04 Oct 2018 12:49:18 +0530
Modi conferred the Champi

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred the Champions of the Earth Award 2018 for Policy Leadership by UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres at a ceremony at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra.

Executive Director, UN Environment, Mr Erik Solheim, Union Minister for External Affairs, Ms. Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, were present on the occasion.

In his address, the Prime Minister said that the award is for all those unknown faces, who work in far-flung settlements, mountainous regions, tribal areas for years.  He emphasized that the award is an honour for the India’s continual, new, eternal and ancient tradition and is the reflection of our commitment for sustainable energy. He also congratulated the other laureates of the award in other categories. Mr. Modi underlined that climate and calamity have a direct relationship with culture and till the concerns over climate become a part of culture, it will be difficult to escape calamities. Stating that India’s sensitivity towards environment is today being acknowledged the world over, Mr. Modi underlined that in India, nature has been considered a living entity as well as a being that co-exists. He referred to the Clean Air campaign to sensitise ground-level functionaries and general public to enforce the habit of environmental protection.

Thu, 04 Oct 2018 11:58:12 +0530
Suresh Prabhu flags off S

True economic revolution is happening in Indian Villages and the agriculture sector offers huge potential for startups as well, said Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu while flagging off the Startup India Maharashtra Yatra at Raj Bhavan. Organised under the Startup India initiative, ‘Startup India Yatra’ is a Tier 2/3 initiative that travels to small cities of the country in search of entrepreneurial talent, provide them an opportunity to get incubated, and help develop startup ecosystems.

Addressing the gathering, Governor of Maharashtra, Vidyasagar Rao congratulated the Maharashtra State Innovation Society for organizing the Statewide Yatra and boot camps that will identify, groom and incubate the best innovative ideas. He said that the Yatra will give a chance to many young talented university and college students to realize their dream ideas that will eventually benefit the state and the nation.

Rao said that the Government realizes that startups are not just confined to big cities. Smaller towns and villages are also emerging as vibrant startup centres; the Maharashtra Startup Yatra is a journey to discover and nurture this talent.

Letters of Intent were distributed on the occasion, to universities who would be setting up Startup Incubation Centres.

Thu, 04 Oct 2018 11:48:10 +0530
Antonio Guterres calls on

Mr Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of United Nations, called on the President Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Welcoming Mr Guterres on his first visit to India as Secretary General of the United Nations, the President said that India deeply values his participation in the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention and the 4th anniversary of the Swachh Bharat campaign. The President thanked him for all the support has given to spread the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.

The President said that in the past few years, India has witnessed transformative changes powered by digital technology and inclusive development policies, be it in gender empowerment; sanitation; financial inclusion; provision of clean cooking fuel to over 250 million people; making available health insurance to over 500 million people; or giving access to electricity to millions across the country. We remain fully committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And our commitment is not limited to our country. Our development cooperation programmes are helping others to meet these Goals as well.

Thu, 04 Oct 2018 11:38:02 +0530
People want assured power

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has cautioned against the clamour to provide free power saying that people want assured, uninterrupted and quality power. Inaugurating a three-day International Conference on ‘Recent Developments in Clean and Safe Nuclear Power Generation,’ organised by the Institution of Engineers (India), in Hyderabad, he said free power meant low power and finally no power. “There is a misconception among politicians that of you don’t give free power you will lose power,” he added.

Naidu said one should understand that low power would lead to frequent power cuts. Therefore, the focus should be on assured power for which people are willing to pay

The Vice President said that the country is witnessing an increasing demand for energy and the consumption was only bound to go up further by 4.2 per cent per annum.  Rapid urbanization and industrialisation are among the factors that would push energy demand and consumption further, he said.

Keeping the consumption in mind, he said that increasing the share of nuclear energy in the overall energy mix of the country was essential to ensure sustainable development of the nation and also to achieve India’s international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He said that clean and cost-effective energy was the need of the hour.

The Vice President said that nuclear power is a cost effective and commercially viable energy resource. A developing country like India should make good use of such an important energy source that is clean and cost-effective.

Thu, 04 Oct 2018 11:03:32 +0530
VP urges educationl insti

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India is quickly becoming a global leader and lifting millions out of poverty and added that country requires skilled youth to accelerate the growth process.

Addressing the founder’s day celebrations of CHIREC International School in Hyderabad, he stressed on the need to teach students the great culture, heritage of India. He asked Educational institutions in the country to take an active lead and revamp the system to make it more relevant and contemporary and ensure that our institutions churn out ideal citizens.

The Vice President said that the mechanical fashion of memorising the subjects must go and said that such rote method of learning is detrimental to overall personality development of the child. Education must foster creativity, critical thinking, open learning and impart analytical skills. It must help students to become good human beings, he said.

The Vice President suggested educational institutions and policy makers to take steps to reduce the burden on students. First and foremost, the syllabus at the school level has to be drastically cut to reduce the load on students. The time spent by students in school should be divided equally between the classroom and play field, he added.  

The Vice President said that the participation in sports and other extra-curricular activities will help in improving physical and mental health, and fostering active citizenship and social inclusion.

Thu, 04 Oct 2018 10:51:41 +0530
Justice Ranjan Gogoi tak

Justice Ranjan Gogoi takes charge as the 46th Chief Justice of India. Justice Gogoi was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rastrapati Bhavan. Mr. Gogoi becomes the new Chief Justice of India after Justice Dipak Misra completed his term on October 1.

Many dignitaries including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda were present at the Rashtrapati Bhavan's Darbar Hall for the ceremony.

Wed, 03 Oct 2018 14:04:10 +0530
Human rights are for ever

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India has been unequivocal in its commitment to the preservation and protection of human rights globally as well as within the country. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the National Human Rights Conclave being organized as a part of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the National Human Rights Commission.

The Vice President reaffirmed that human rights were the most natural rights, inherent to all human beings without discrimination. He also tasked the state with the primary responsibility of upholding, respecting, protecting and fulfilling these inalienable rights and he applauded India’s robust human rights protection framework comprising of a fiercely independent and fair judiciary, media, civil society and a number of proactive and independent human right bodies, such as the National Human Rights Commission. India is also a signatory to several of the core UN Human Rights and International Labour Organization’s conventions, he added.

The Vice President appreciated the good work done by NHRC as a diligent watchdog of human rights protection and said that the massive rise in the number of complaints received by the NHRC from 496 in 1993 to 79,612 cases in 2018 were a testament to the faith that the people of India placed on the NHRC. He lauded the efforts of NHRC towards eradication of the abhorrent practices of bonded labor child labor and manual scavenging.

The Vice President insisted that special focus should be placed on protecting the rights of the vulnerable sections of the society, especially women and children. He reserved a few proud words to speak of India’s strong track record of affirmative action, especially women’s reservation in Local Self governing bodies. He said that the contribution of women, who are ‘Shaktiswarupinis’, was indispensable to nation building and added that the principle of gender equality was enshrined in the constitution. He placed the onus on parents and teachers to inculcate the principles of gender equality in children. He declared that no civilized society would tolerate or accept any form of violence or discrimination against women and children.

The Vice President highlighted several challenges that lay in the path towards securing human rights. He observed that Indian democracy allows space for everyone to express their opinions. He welcomed ‘dissent’ but warned that ‘disintegration’ would not be tolerated.

The Vice President argued that human rights did not confer unfettered liberty to anyone to speak against the state or nation and added that human rights are best upheld if they are in harmony with the interests of the nation and fellow citizens. He lamented that the misuse of provisions of the human rights emerged as recent phenomenon. He observed that Human Rights are for everyone, in equal measure and therefore the rights of one person could not transgress the rights of another. In this context, he condemned acts of terrorism and said that India had lost several of its luminary leaders including Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Smt. Indira Gandhi and a number of MLAs and MPs to mindless acts of terror.

Tue, 02 Oct 2018 16:10:18 +0530
India to Commemorate Seco

In order to showcase the gallant action of our brave Army in the conduct of Surgical Strikes on 29 September, 2016 and also to remember the sacrifice of soldiers during Uri incident, various events will be held at important military stations to commemorate the second anniversary of Surgical Strikes during September 29 - 30, 2018. 

It may be recalled that 11 days after the Uri attack that claimed 18 soldiers, Indian Army carried out Surgical Strikes on the night of September 28-29, 2016 in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, inflicting heavy casualties on terrorists along with 'those protecting them" and heralding a change of stand on the rules of engagement on the disputed Line of Control.

The various events that have been planned include an exhibition showcasing the valour of armed forces, display of ship/submarine/aircraft/ arms/equipment models, playing of video clippings on the surgical strike and naval videos and establishing of digital /selfie walls, along with a canvas wall for graffiti by children and visitors. In addition, ships will be open to visitors, and school/NCC children visits to ships/submarine/air stations are being planned. School children are also being encouraged to do letter writing and participate in card/poster making competitions in honour of valiant soldiers. A band display and bugle call is planned on 29th September to honour the fallen soldiers at the ballard pier memorial.

The multifarious event is planned by the Navy to be held at Mumbai and Goa over a period of two days in the Western Naval Command. The venue for the exhibition of various stalls and video walls is at ballard pier/cruiser wharf in naval dockyard. The entry to cruiser wharf will be through tiger gate.

Fri, 28 Sep 2018 10:40:25 +0530
Maharashtra Yatra to be l

The Startup India – Maharashtra Yatra will be launched on the 3rd of October, by Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, at Raj Bhawan, Mumbai..

 After a successful run in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana – the Startup India Yatra is making its way to Maharashtra. This leg of the Startup India Yatra is being conducted by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Invest India, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Department, Government of Maharashtra and Maharashtra State Innovation Society.

Startup India Yatra van, equipped with facilities for individuals and Startups to pitch their ideas, is scheduled to travel to 16 Districts, with 23 Van Stops and 14 Boot Camps, and will conclude at a Grand Finale in Nagpur on 3rd of November, 2018. The boot camps will include presentations on Startup India and Maharashtra Startup policy followed by extensive ideation workshops. An idea pitching session will be held to select the foremost ideas and Startups for the Grand Finale. The aspiring entrepreneurs are required to register at www.startupindia.gov.in to participate in the Yatra.

Organised under the Startup India initiative, ‘Startup India Yatra’ is a Tier 2/3 initiative that travels to small cities of the country in search of entrepreneurial talent, provide them an opportunity to get incubated, and help develop startup ecosystem in the State.

Fri, 28 Sep 2018 10:33:31 +0530
SC to deliver verdict on

The Supreme Court is likely to deliver its verdict Friday on whether women aged between 10 and 50 can be barred from entering Kerala’s Sabarimala temple on the grounds that its presiding deity Lord Ayyappa is in the form of “naishtika brahmacharya” (perpetual celibate), reports Hindustan Times.

A five-member constitution bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra began hearing the case on July 17, making it clear that the ban to the over 800-year old hilltop shrine in Kerala’s Pattanamthitta district would be tested on “constitutional ethos”. It also asked the temple board to establish that the restriction was an “essential and integral” part of religious faith. Hindustan Times reported.

During the hearing of the case, the constitution bench, which also comprises justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, observed that the practice was based on the “patriarchal” belief that a man’s dominant status in the society makes him capable of austerity.

Fri, 28 Sep 2018 10:25:48 +0530
SC quashes 158 year old a

The Supreme Court has ruled today that adultery is no longer a criminal offense, bringing an end to the 158-year old law that “treats a husband as the master’, and found it as unconstitutional. “The adultery law is arbitrary and it offends the dignity of a woman,” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who led the five-judge bench said, reports Hindustan Times.

The law punished a man who has an affair with a woman "without the consent or connivance of" her husband, with five years in jail or fine or both. There was no punishment for the woman, who was seen as the victim, NDTV reported.

Thu, 27 Sep 2018 15:57:28 +0530
M S Subbulakshmi s 102n

The doyen of Carnatic Music, Late Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi’s 102nd birth anniversary will be celebrated at the Shanmukhananda Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Auditorium on Friday, September 28.

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will be the Chief Guest and the Governor of Maharashtra C. Vidyasagar Rao will preside over the function, being organized by Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha. Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis will be the Principal Guest of Honour. 

On this occasion, 50 young and promising musicians from all over the country will be given the Fellowship in Music Award which will carry a cash prize of Rs. One lakh each for three years. The Sabha has already given the fellowship to 103 young artists from 18 cities in 13 disciplines of Indian music. The disciplines include Carnatic vocal, Violin, Flute, Nadaswaram, Mrudangam, Sarod, Veena and Hindustani vocal music.

The awardees who will be receiving the award this year include 8-year-old Anirbhan Roy from Kolkata (Flute) and 11-year-old Rahul Vellal (vocal) from Bengaluru. For the first time, Hindustani Violin has been included for which 18-year-old Yadnesh Milind Raikar is being given the award.

This fellowship award was set up by the Sabha in the year 2013 in memory of Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi. The programme will begin with Vedic chanting by the young students of the SIES Vedapatashala, Nerul. It will be followed by a thematic dance presentation by the Tharanhinee School of Dance, Chennai on “Maithreem Bhajatha” on Universal Harmony.

Thu, 27 Sep 2018 10:31:25 +0530
Terrorist soldier killed

A terrorist and a soldier were killed in an encounter in Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday morning, an army spokesperson said. Police said three encounters broke out in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir between militants and security forces, reports Hindustan Times.

An encounter broke out early morning between security forces and terrorists in Dooru Shahabad in Anantnag district. Meanwhile, another encounter began at Noorbagh on the outskirts of Srinagar city where two militants are believed to be holed up, Hindustan Times reported.

A third encounter was underway between security personnel and militants in Budgam’s Chadoora town.

Thu, 27 Sep 2018 10:21:55 +0530
Dubai Attorney General I

Dubai Attorney General, Essam Issa Al Humaidan, discussed with India's Consul-General Vipul, means of cooperation between the two countries in the judicial and legal fields.

The meeting was attended by senior officials.

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 11:09:07 +0530
Abu Dhabi hosts India s T

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, will be hosting the Travel Agents Federation of India’s, TAFI, annual convention from 25th to 27th September.

The 12th edition of the event, which will be held at the Emirates Palace, will gather together key decision-makers from the Indian tourism industry to exchange knowledge and help members navigate this ever-evolving business environment. Themed "Innovation – Transform – Disrupt – Redefining the Offline Travel World", the event will discuss the impact of the digital world on the travel and tourism sectors.

Choosing Abu Dhabi as the official host destination for this annual convention underlines the emirate’s expanding reputation as a leading destination for hosting business events.

Commenting on the announcement, Saif Saeed Ghobash, Under-Secretary at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "Hosting an event of this calibre is testament to Abu Dhabi’s growing reputation as a world-class destination for high-profile conventions and meetings."

"As the UAE continues to further boost its knowledge-based economy, tourism is singled out as one of the leading sectors that guide our vision and strategy for the future. Against this backdrop, we recognise India as one of Abu Dhabi’s top overseas source markets for guests, as it has recorded a remarkable upward trend over the last few years. As such, we are proud to host this prestigious event and invite all attendees to take the time to explore the emirate’s rich offerings and enjoy unique experiences whilst they are here."

The conference will be followed by sightseeing tours around Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions where the 480 delegates will have a chance to experience Abu Dhabi’s tourism offerings. The tour will cover iconic landmarks such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque amongst many others.

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 11:05:20 +0530
Dubai listed as one of th

Dubai has retained its ranking as the fourth most visited city in the world for the fourth straight year, according to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, GDCI, 2018. The city welcomed 15.79 million overnight visitors last year and with a projected growth rate of 5.5 percent, the emirate is expected to witness another year of steady expansion in 2018.

Dubai has also topped the list of global cities with the highest international overnight visitor spend for the third year in a row, with total international visitor spending of US$29.70 billion in 2017.

Abu Dhabi has once again been named the fastest growing city in the Middle East and Africa, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate, CAGR, of 18.21 percent between 2009 and 2017 in overnight visitor arrivals. The UAE’s capital city is also among the top ten global cities that experienced the strongest growth in international arrivals in the Mastercard study.

"Reaffirming its standing as a destination of choice for global travelers, Dubai has once again secured top rankings in Mastercard’s annual Global Destinations Cities Index. With its dynamic range of tourism, leisure, lifestyle, hospitality and business offerings, the emirate continues to attract visitors from across the globe," said Girish Nanda, General Manager, UAE & Oman, Mastercard He added, "Renowned for global firsts and world records, Dubai has never shied away from evolving, and has transformed itself into one of the world’s most prolific tourism and investment hubs. The index offers research and insights into global spending and travel patterns, helping cities to innovate and improve their offerings and enrich the lives of residents and visitors alike."

Commenting on the results, Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, DCTCM, said, "The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2018 confirms Dubai’s retained position as fourth most visited city in the world, cementing the success of joint initiatives we have been working on over the last 12 months in partnership with both government departments and the private sector."

"With a focus on highlighting the depth of Dubai’s offering, encouraging visitors to look beyond the city’s iconic landmarks Dubai has continued to be a must-visit and must-return destination. New attractions and experiences have contributed to this success – from culture and the arts to history and heritage as well as updates to attractions. The retail sector is also further enhancing its offering, presenting visitors with the opportunity to experience an ever-evolving array of shopping districts, activities and offers," he added.

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:59:54 +0530
Jaitley reviews performan

The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley reviewed the performance of the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) with their Chief Executives and other Whole-time Directors in New Delhi. Rajiv Kumar, Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance set the agenda for enhanced credit growth, focus on recovery and financial inclusion among others.

After highlighting the process & systemic reforms under taken, he emphasized the need for structural changes to establish Brand PSB. M.K. Jain, Deputy Governor, RBI also joined the Meeting. While sharing the regulatory concerns, he pledged all support and encouraged bankers to work in cohesion.

The review took note of the continued improvement in banking in terms of highest ever recovery in the last quarter, pick-up in credit growth to 13.5%, growth in MSME lending to 10.5%, the highest Provision Coverage Ratio in over five years, and higher operating profits. 

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:52:16 +0530
Indian culture promotes t

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Indian culture promotes talent and service. He was addressing the gathering at a Programme on Initiatives for Women Empowerment & Farmers Development organized by Rashtriya Seva Samiti, in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

The Vice President complimented the Rashtriya Seva Samiti for organizing programmes by making women and farmers in the welfare programs and development schemes of the government, working hard to promote harmony and national integration. There is a need to change the society's perspective to get women empowerment, he added.

The Vice President said that agriculture is our basic culture and we all have to support it and make it more viable to the farmers. Other activities like poultry and dairy will provide additional income to the farmers, and farmers should consider adopting these activities, he added.

The Vice President complimented the civic authorities for maintaining Tirupati city clean and green. The programmes like Swachh Bharat will be successful with the participation of pubic, he added.

The Vice President said that every man should have service motto in their minds. Share and care is the core of our Indian philosophy, he added.

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:43:33 +0530
Vice President advices st

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that students should develop compassion and service in their minds. He was addressing the gathering after going through the Innovation and Skill Development Activities at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Sri Venkateswara Vidyalaya, in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

The Vice President said that as students of this school they all have to make values in their lives. He further said that students should respect their parents, teachers, and fellow citizens. We need to develop compassion and service in our minds and everybody should work together for the development of the country with a sense of collective responsibility, he added.

The Vice President advised the students to make it a habit to read good books right from a young age. We have many books that build personality and these books have innumerable values that our ancient saints, modern pioneers, and others have given with their experiences, he added.

The Vice President said that education is losing its relevance as it is treated as a means to get certificates and grades. There should be revolutionary changes in our education system which makes future generations of our nation, he added.

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:38:58 +0530
Arun Jaitley launches Fin

The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley launched the Financial Inclusion Index after his Annual Performance Review Meeting with CEOs of the Public Sector Banks in New Delhi.

Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance will release an Annual Financial Inclusion Index (FII) which will be a measure of access and usage of a basket of formal financial products and services that includes savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products. The index will have three measurement dimensions; (i) Access to financial services (ii) Usage of financial services and (3) Quality.

The single composite index gives a snap shot of level of financial inclusion that would guide Macro Policy perspective. The various components of the index will also help to measure financial services for use of internal policy making. Financial Inclusion Index can be used directly as a composite measure in development indicators. It enables fulfilment of G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators requirements. It will also facilitate researchers to study the impact of financial inclusion and other macro-economic variables.

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:30:50 +0530
SPG officer clears air on

It has been reported in a section of the media that Rahul Gandhi, during an interaction at New Delhi on Saturday, had commented that “The SPG Chief appointed by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had to quit because he refused to accept a list of SPG officers handpicked by the RSS”.

The matter has been verified. The officer in question, Vivek Srivastava, former Director, Special Protection Group (SPG), has specifically averred that he did not have any such conversation with Rahul Gandhi at any point of time. The officer has stated that as part of his professional duties he interacted with SPG protectees; however, he has categorically stated that during his interaction with Gandhi, there was no talk whatsoever regarding the appointment of a new Director, or the reasons for his leaving SPG.

SPG is a professional organisation which takes its task of protecting serving Prime Ministers, former Prime Ministers and their families entrusted to its security, very seriously and in the highest professional spirit.

Tue, 25 Sep 2018 11:31:11 +0530
Filing of Income Tax Retu

The due date for filing of Income Tax Returns and Audit Reports for Assessment Year 2018-19 is 30th September, 2018 for certain categories of taxpayers. Upon consideration of representations from various stakeholders, the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) extends the ‘due date’ for filing of Income Tax Returns as well as reports of Audit (which were required to be filed by the said specified date) from 30th September, 2018 to 15th October, 2018 in respect of the said categories of taxpayers.

However, there shall be no extension of the due date for the purpose of section 234A (Explanation 1) of the I.T. Act, 1961 pertaining to Interest for defaults in furnishing return, and the assessee shall remain liable for payment of interest as per provisions of section 234A of the Act.

Tue, 25 Sep 2018 11:20:48 +0530
Commander Abhilash Tomy r

Golden Globe Race # GGR 2018 Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy, representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018(GGR) on an indigenously built sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’ was dismasted and suffered a back injury on 21. On 24 Sep, at about 1130 hrs Indian Time, French Fishing Vessel (FV) Osiris reached in vicinity of ‘Thuriya’ and carried out a successful rescue operation. Indian Navy’s P8I aircraft was also maintaining in the area providing close support and monitoring the rescue operations.

Cdr Abhilash Tomy was rescued by a boat and rescue team from FV Osiris. The rescue team shifted Cdr Abhilash in a stretcher from ‘Thuriya’ to Osiris using their Gemini boat. Cdr Abhilash has been reported to be conscious and has been provided with initial medical care. He is presently safe onboard Osiris. Osiris is proceeding to rescue the second sailor from his damaged boat Hanley. Thereafter, Osiris will be moving to take shelter at Ile Amsterdam/ Ile S. Paul about 100 nautical miles north of the rescue position. Indian Naval Ship Satpura is closing the islands to take Cdr Abhilash onboard and bring him back to India safely. 

The Indian Navy is truly indebted to all the agencies involved in this rescue operation, especially Royal Australian Navy and FV Osiris for their timely and proactive help.

Tue, 25 Sep 2018 11:02:55 +0530
Indian food heritage is a

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Indian food heritage is a mixture of art and science and is exceptionally vast and diverse. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Indian Culinary Institute, Tirupati and two projects in Nellore and East Godavari Districts of Andhra Pradesh, implemented under the Coastal Circuit theme of Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

The Vice President said that the rich cultural diversity, native ethnicity, unique flavor of each region and different customs are best encapsulated by the Indian cuisine, which became enriched over thousands of years due to the intermingling of people belonging to different religions, languages and eating habits. ‘Annam Parabrahma Swaroopam’, loosely translated as ‘Food is like God’ is a part of our collective conscience and our ethos, he added.

The Vice President said that a painter appeals to visual sense, while a musician plays to auditory senses; an actor performs to engage both, the eyes and ears of the audience. However, a culinary artist has a much more complex role to play, he said. He is said to be successful with his creation if he is able to satisfy all five senses of the recipient; the eyes, ears, touch, smell and taste, he added.

The Vice President said that Indian cuisine reflects the culture and tradition of the country which includes varied landscapes, linguistic diversity, colorful festivals, and multi-ethnicity. He further said that he looks at Chefs as not only the practitioners of their art but also as the protectors and flag bearers of our great culinary heritage and legacy.

Tue, 25 Sep 2018 10:53:07 +0530
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih sto

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and congratulated him on his victory in the Presidential elections held in Maldives yesterday.The Prime Minister also conveyed his good wishes for the strengthening of democracy, peace and prosperity in Maldives under the leadership of Mr Solih. Mr Solih thanked the Prime Minister for his greetings and good wishes.

The two leaders agreed to work closely together to further strengthen the close, friendly and good neighbourly relations between the two countries.

Tue, 25 Sep 2018 10:41:22 +0530
PM launches Ayushman Bhar

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched the health assurance scheme: Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana - at Ranchi, Jharkhand.

The Prime Minister visited an exhibition on the scheme, before arriving on the dais to launch PMJAY at a huge public gathering.

At the same event, the Prime Minister unveiled plaques to lay the Foundation Stone for medical colleges at Chaibasa and Koderma. He also inaugurated 10 Health and Wellness Centres.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that this launch has been done with a vision to provide the poorest of the poor, and the underprivileged sections of society, with better healthcare and treatment. He said this scheme, which envisions health assurance of 5 lakh rupees per family per year, will benefit over 50 crore people, and is the world's biggest health assurance scheme. He said the number of beneficiaries of this scheme is roughly equal to the population of the European Union, or the population of America, Canada and Mexico, taken together.

He said the first part of Ayushman Bharat - the health and wellness centres, was launched on BabasahebAmbedkar's birth anniversary, and the second part - the health assurance scheme, is being launched two days before DeendayalUpadhyay's birth anniversary.

Explaining how comprehensive the PMJAY is, the Prime Minister said it would cover 1300 illnesses, including serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. He said private hospitals too would be part of this scheme.

The Prime Minister said that the amount of 5 lakhs would cover all investigations, medicine, pre-hospitalization expenses etc. He said it would also cover pre-existing illnesses. He said that people can learn more about the scheme by dialling 14555, or through their Common Service Centre.

The Prime Minister said that for the States that are a part of PMJAY, people can get the benefit of the scheme in whichever of these States they go to. He said more than 13,000 hospitals across the country have joined the scheme so far.

Mon, 24 Sep 2018 16:13:00 +0530
Modi inaugurates new airp

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim. This is the first airport in the Himalayan State, and the 100th airport in the country.

Addressing a large public gathering on the occasion, the Prime Minister described the day as a historic one for Sikkim, and an important one for India. He said that with Pakyong Airport, the country has hit a century of airports. The Prime Minister also mentioned the young cricketer from Sikkim, Nilesh Lamichanay, who recently became the first cricketer from the State to score a century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

The Prime Minister said that Pakyong Airport would greatly ease connectivity to Sikkim. He said that in order to ensure that it is useful to the common man, this airport is part of the UDAN scheme.

The Prime Minister said that emphasis is being given to enhance both infrastructural and emotional connectivity in the entire North Eastern region, at a rapid rate. He said he has personally visited the North Eastern States several times to review development work. Besides this, he added, Union Ministers also regularly visit the region. He said the results of this are visible on the ground. He mentioned enhanced air and rail connectivity, better roads, big bridges etc.

The Prime Minister said that out of 100 airports in the country today, 35 have been operationalized in the last four years.

The Prime Minister mentioned Sikkim's progress in organic farming. He mentioned that the Union Government has initiated the "Mission Organic Value Development for North Eastern Region." 

Mon, 24 Sep 2018 16:05:50 +0530
Andhra Odisha Madhya Pr

Andhra Pradesh has topped the charts among States in terms of “Ease of Living Index” rankings launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).  It was followed by Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.  The three States were awarded the three best performing States under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) at the National Dissemination Workshop on Ease of Living Index, 2018, here today. 

While presenting the awards to the States, the Union Minister of State (I/C)) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri said that the Ease of Living Index is a transformative initiative of the Ministry to help the cities assess their liveability vis-à-vis national and global benchmarks.

He exuded confidence that the Ease of Living Index will encourage all cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management and promote healthy competition among cities. 

Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:46:27 +0530
Centre launches web porta

Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh launched two separate portals to strengthen Women Safety. The portal “cybercrime.gov.in” will receive complaints from citizens on objectionable online content related to child pornography, child sexual abuse material, sexually explicit material such as rape and gang rape.

The National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO), which is accessible only to law enforcement agencies, will assist in effectively tracking and investigating cases of sexual offences.

Addressing the Officers from the States through a video conference, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Government has taken several measures to check crime against Women and Children, including provision of stringent punishment and creation of modern forensics facilities to improve investigation, creation of the Women’s Safety Division in the Ministry of Home Affairs and launching of Safe City projects for Women’s Safety.

He added that the two portals launched today are part of efforts in the direction of strengthening security of women and children. However, he said that the field level challenges have to be overcome by the Police at the ground level to ensure speedy justice to the victims. He urged them to fully utilize potential of the two portals and update the database regularly for greater effectiveness.

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 11:29:03 +0530
Health ministry partners

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, here today exchanged the MoUs with the Tata Trusts and Dell to provide a technological platform fornationwide prevention, control, screening and management program of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare presided over the ceremony and also released the user manual for NCD application under Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC) IT Solutions.

Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health) , ShriBurzisTaraporewala, Senior Adviser, Tata Trusts and ShriSarvSaravanan, Senior Vice President, Dell EMC COEand Mr Jeremy Ford, Director, Dell Giving were also present at the MoU exchange ceremony.

Speaking at the occasion, Anupriya Patel stated that theNational Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) stresses on the preventive and promotive aspects of healthcare, which is also impressed upon in the National Health Policy 2017. She further stated that the government has now decided to go ahead with the population based screening under NHM for diabetes, Hypertension and three types of common cancers. “Under Ayushman Bharat we have decided to transform 1.5 Lakh Sub Centre and Public Health Centres into Health and Wellness Centres to provide a bouquet of 12 different kinds of services of which Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) form an important part,” She added.

Anupriya Patel further said that this ambitious program of reaching out to such large target group cannot be successfully implemented without a strong IT backbone. She lauded Dell for the development of the technology platform and Tata Trusts for the implementation support of the NCD programme and added that this software application will help in plugging gaps at the field level.

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 11:20:02 +0530
PM Modi lays foundation s

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC) at Dwarka, New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister said that the IICC will reflect India’s economic progress, rich cultural heritage and its consciousness towards protection of the environment. He said it is a part of the Government’s vision to give importance to world class infrastructure, and ease of doing business.

The Prime Minister stated that smaller countries have world class conference facilities due to which they have become conference tourist hubs. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said that with the construction of IICC, India is moving in the director of developing eco-system of conference tourism in the country. This convention centre will be a mini city within Delhi with expo, meetings, markets, offices and recreation centres at a single place. Prime Minister further stated that the IICC will give a new identity to India in the sphere of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) which is a multibillion business.

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said that the country has witnessed all round development during the last 4 years as the government kept the national interest as the top priority. He said a country develops only when decisions are taken at the right time and they are implemented without any delay. He also said that the NDA Government took tough decisions during last 50 months in the national interest and this trend will continue. The Government is moving ahead with a target to make India a 5 trillion  Dollar economy in next 7 years.

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 11:14:10 +0530
Nation celebrates Paryata

The celebration of ParyatanParv (16th to 27th September 2018) organized by the Ministry of Tourism reached a high note on its 4th and 5th day, with a series of activities and events being held across the country. The events with an aim to sensitize people about Sustainable Tourism,  Swachhta, and to promote tourism were organized in collaboration with the India Tourism domestic offices, Central / State Government organizations and other Stakeholders.

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 11:04:09 +0530
Vice President winds up s

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu was on an official Visit to Serbia, Malta and Romania from September 14-20, 2018 and returned home after a successful official visit.

The visit was characterised by extremely cordial discussions with Heads of Governments, PMs and other senior political leaders. The visit helped in deepening bilateral ties with each of these three countries.

Some key outcomes:

  1. Support for India’s aspiration to be on UNSC and for taking forward UN reforms.
  2. Endorsement of India’s stand on terror and support for early adoption of United Nation’s Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
  3. Strong support for resuming EU-India trade agreement after Romania assumes Presidency of EU.
  4. Business Forums generated a good deal of enthusiasm among the industrialists and businessmen in every country as they got to listen to the Vice President about India’s transformative initiatives.  The growth story and the reports from World Bank, IMF quoted by Vice President enhanced awareness.
  5. The leaders in all the countries expressed unequivocal admiration for India’s economic growth and were eager to engage and partner with India politically, economically and culturally. In Romania, there was a special interest in Space and Aerospace. Malta expressed its desire to join the International Solar Alliance.
  6. There was a clear demand for Parliamentary friendship groups and frequent visits by Parliamentarians.
  7. The visit gave an opportunity for the members of India Diaspora to listen to the Vice President about the transformative agenda of the government and encouraged them to think of various ways in which they can contribute to the country’s development. The vice President underscored the growing importance of India on the world stage and drew attention to four key features that need to be recognised. He called them 4Ds – Democracy, Demographic dividend, Demand and Diaspora.
  8. The visit evoked a lot of interest among the top political leadership and there was an air of bonhomie in all the meetings. The banquets hosted by the President of Serbia and Malta as well as by the President of Senate of Romania provided an opportunity for sharing views on bilateral and multilateral issues with rare candour.
  9. The address to the Serbian Parliament was very well received and the admiration for India as the largest democracy and a vibrant, well functioning polity was more than evident in the standing ovation the Vice President received at the end of his address.
  10. MOUs entered into related to plant protection, tourism, air services, oil research, diplomatic training and maritime cooperation.
  11. In all the three countries, there was considerable interest in Yoga and Ayurveda and in Romania, the Vice President launched two books on Ayurveda and inaugurated an Ayurveda Information Centre.

The Vice President was accompanied by Shiv Pratap Shukla, the Minister of State in Ministry of Finance, three Members of Parliament from Rajya Sabha - Prasanna Acharya, Vijila Sathyananth, Saroj Pandey and one Member of Parliament from Lok Sabha -  Raghav Lakhanpal and other officials.

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 10:59:30 +0530
VP urges Romanian Busines

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked the Romanian Businessmen to create a genuine, multifaceted Indo-Romanian partnership. He was addressing the India-Romania Business Forum Meeting, in Bucharest, Romania. The President of the Senate of Romania, Mr. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, the Vice Prime Minister of Romania, Dr. Ana Birchall, the Minister of State for Finance, Shiv Pratap Shukla and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President invited Romanian businessmen to partner with India in its exciting and transformative journey.  He further said that India-Romania annual bilateral trade has risen to US $ 810 million in 2017-18, a 40% increase over last year (USD 575 million). This is a huge development in our bilateral economic relations and we need to sustain this momentum to scale it up even higher GFX out, he added.

Saying that India’s economic transformation in recent past presents fresh opportunities in multiple sectors for Romanian entrepreneurs, the Vice President invited them to invest in India. With a growth rate over 8%, India is one of the fastest growth rates in the world for a large economy, he added.

The Vice President said that India has managed a positive swing in stock market indices, foreign exchange reserves, and public investment in infrastructure and welfare measures. Government investment in infrastructure development has increased exponentially and it is already visible in the improved railways, roads, airports and shipping infrastructure in our country, he added.

Saying that India has one of the best regulated financial systems in the world, the Vice President highlighted how India became the most attractive FDI destinations in the world. He further said that demonetisation and the GST have been successfully implemented for India to emerge as a transparent, modern and unified market. Greater ease of doing business is being reported from different corners of the country and tax rates are harmonised across the country, he noted. More than 320 million bank accounts have been opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana for the first time enabling direct cash benefit transfers and millions of LPG connections have been given to rural women, he added.

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 10:53:18 +0530
It was Dassault Aviation

It was Dassault Aviation’s choice to partner with the Reliance group, the French company has clarified as a political firestorm raged in India after former president Francois Hollande’s reported remarks on the multi-billion dollar Rafale jet deal on Friday, reports Hindustan Times.

Hollande was quoted by French website ‘Mediapart’ as saying that the Indian government proposed the name of Anil Ambani’s Reliance group as Dassault Aviation’s offset partner and that France didn’t have a choice. The defence ministry said soon after that neither the Indian nor the French government was involved in the commercial decision. The French government said it was in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners for the Rafale fighter jet deal, asserting that French companies have the full freedom to select Indian firms for contracts, Hindustan Times reported.

Dassault Aviation said in a statement: “This offsets contract is delivered in compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 regulations. In this framework, and in accordance with the policy of Make in India, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group. This is Dassault Aviation’s choice, as CEO Eric Trappier had explained in an interview published in MINT newspaper on April 17, 2018.”

France said in its statement late on Friday night, “The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies. In accordance with India’s acquisition procedure, French companies have the full freedom to choose the Indian partner companies that they consider to be the most relevant, then present for the Indian government’s approval the offsets projects that they wish to execute in India with these local partners so as to fulfil their obligations in this regard”, Hindustan Times reported.

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 10:30:39 +0530
Tourism minister organise

The Ministry of Tourism is organizing the ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ campaign at various important tourist sites across the country from 15th September to 2nd October 2018. On these days, cleanliness and awareness activities are being conducted through Regional offices of the Tourism Ministry with active participation from local communities, Institutes of the Ministry, State Governments and Stakeholders. The campaigns are being popularized at 47 tourism sites in the country including all tourism Iconic sites.

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 13:57:01 +0530
Anganwadi workers call on

A group of over 100 Anganwadi workers from across the country, called on the Prime Minister to express their happiness, and thank the Prime Minister for the recent announcement of increase in honorarium and other incentives. 

Acknowledging the greetings of the Anganwadi workers, the Prime Minister expressed his happiness that they had assembled from all parts of the country to meet him. 

The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of nutrition in a child's physical and cognitive development. He said the Anganwadi workers have a key role to play in this regard. Referring to the ongoing Poshan Maah (nutrition month), the Prime Minister said that the momentum that has been built up during this campaign should not flag. He said nutrition requires constant focus and development of good habits, which can be provided by Anganwadi workers. He exhorted them to ensure that the nutritional assistance being made available to beneficiaries is used judiciously.  

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 13:47:37 +0530
Afghanistan President vis

President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani paid a visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  

The two leaders reviewed and positively assessed the progress of the multi-faceted India-Afghanistan strategic partnership. They expressed satisfaction at the increase in bilateral trade that has crossed the US $ 1 billion mark.

The two leaders also appreciated the successful conclusion of the India-Afghanistan trade and investment show in Mumbai from September 12-15, 2018 and expressed determination to strengthen connectivity, including through Chabahar port and Air-Freight Corridor. It was agreed to deepen the New Development Partnership in the areas of high impact projects in this field of infrastructure, human resources development and other capacity building projects in Afghanistan.

President Ghani briefed the Prime Minister on initiatives by his government towards peace & reconciliation and also in confronting the challenges of terrorism and extremism imposed on Afghanistan and its people.

 The Prime Minister reiterated India's support to an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace and reconciliation process that would enable Afghanistan to continue as a united,  peaceful, inclusive and democratic nation and emerge as an economically vibrant country. The Prime Minister emphasized India's unwavering commitment to support the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan to this end, as also for the security and sovereignty of Afghanistan. He unequivocally condemned terrorist attacks and violence in Afghanistan which have caused immense loss of precious human lives and expressed solidarity with the people and national defence forces of Afghanistan in their fight against terrorism.

While expressing satisfaction at the coordination and consultation on activities at various international fora, the two sides agreed to strengthen this cooperation and also to work even more closely with their regional and international partners for prosperity, peace, stability and progress.

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:13:55 +0530
Passengers feel dizzy su

For petrifying moments on a Jet Airways flight that took off from Mumbai this morning, oxygen masks came down, passengers felt dizzy and some suffered nose and ear-bleed. The flight, with 166 passengers, had to turn back shortly after taking off for Jaipur, allegedly after a bizarre error led to a drop in cabin pressure, reports NDTV.

Over 30 passengers complained of nose-bleed and many suffered headaches as the cabin pressure plunged mid-air. Reports suggest the crew on flight 9W 697 forgot to select a switch that helps maintain cabin air pressure during take-off.

In a statement, Jet Airways expressed regret and said its cockpit crew had been "taken off scheduled duties pending investigations", NDTV reported.

After the Boeing 737 aircraft landed, the affected passengers were taken to the airport terminal where doctors administered first aid.

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:00:21 +0530
PM inaugurates developmen

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the Foundation Stone for several important development projects, at a public gathering in Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

Among the projects inaugurated are the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) for Puraani Kashi; and an Atal Incubation Centre at BHU. Among the projects for which the Foundation Stone was laid, is the Regional Ophthalmology Centre at BHU.

The cumulative value of all projects which were inaugurated, or for which foundation stone was laid today, is over Rs. 550 crore.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the efforts to bring about change in Varanasi, are also attempting to preserve the city’s rich heritage. He said the city is being modernized, while protecting its ancient identity. He said the change that has been brought about through four years of resolve of the people of Kashi, is now visible.

Narendra Modi referred to the various projects in the power, road and other infrastructure sectors, which have progressed significantly, and brought about an improvement in the lives of the people in the city of Varanasi, and nearby areas. The Prime Minister said he feels very happy when he sees citizens post pictures of Varanasi Cantt Station online. He mentioned the work being done towards modernization of transport infrastructure. He also spoke of the work being done towards cleanliness and enhancing the visual appeal of the city. He said this move, which will transform tourism is a continuing effort. In this context, he also mentioned the work being done in Sarnath.

The Prime Minister said that basic facilities such as roads, electricity and water, are being extended to the rural areas surrounding Varanasi as well. He said Kashi is now emerging as a health hub. Mentioning the Atal Incubation Centre that was inaugurated today, he said that startups are already beginning to get connected with this. He said Varanasi is among the select cities in the country where Piped Cooking Gas is being made available.

The Prime Minister called upon the people of Varanasi to dedicate themselves towards fulfilment of this common resolve for the transformation of the city.

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:13:48 +0530
President launches logo

The President Ram Nath Kovind launched the logo and the web portal (http://gandhi.gov.in/) for commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The logo has been obtained through crowd sourcing. Logo Branding will be done in Trains, Metro Rail, Air India Aircrafts, State Roadways Buses, Government websites, E-mails, Government stationery, calendar and diary, Government advertisements & publicity material, digital signature etc. The logo will also be used by Public Sector Undertakings, subordinate/ attached   offices, autonomous bodies etc. under Ministry/ Department of Government of India.

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:05:49 +0530
Suresh Prabhu urges G 20

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu led the Indian delegation for the G-20 Trade Ministers Meeting (TMM) held at Mar del Plata, Argentina. The G-20 TMM was represented by Ministers/Vice Ministers of G20 countries, 8 guest countries and 7 Heads/Deputy Heads of International Organisations such as WTO, ITC, OECD, World Bank, IMF, CAF and IADB.

As Argentina is the President of G-20 this year, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, Jorge Faurie and Minister for Production and Labour, Dante Sica jointly chaired the Sessions. The overall objective of the Argentine Presidency of G-20 is ‘Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development’.

The programme of the G-20 TMM included a breakfast meeting to facilitate free exchange of views on the current global trade developments and three plenary sessions on specific topics of the agenda on current international trade developments, trade and investment aspects of Agro Food Global Value Chains (GVCs) and trade and investment aspects of the New Industrial Revolution (NIR).

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:53:34 +0530
India s ambitious transf

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the ambitious, transformative vision that is making India one of the most favourite investment destinations in the word. He was addressing the India-Malta Business Forum in the presence of the President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, organized by the Malta Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of Indian Industry, at Valletta, Malta. The Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that Indian economy is growing at around 8%, currently is one of the fastest growing major economies of the world. He further said that growth and development are vital to implement social reform and Government is taking all the measures to bring in change, transformation in every sense is the motto of this government.

The Vice President said that India is committed to build a five trillion-dollar economy by 2025, making India the 3rd largest consumer market in the world. He further said that India has climbed 30 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index this year and IMF has forecast that India will grow at more than 7 percent in 2018 and 2019, ahead of other major economies.

The Vice President said that a number of economic reforms have been undertaken by Indian Government including digitization of the economy, financial inclusion, tax reforms like Goods and Services Tax (GST). He further said that more than 326 million persons have opened bank accounts in the last four years making financial inclusion a reality. Tax base has been widened and tax compliance has increased, he added.

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:42:31 +0530
Modi Bangladesh PM joint

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, jointly unveiled e-plaques for the ground-breaking ceremony of two projects, via video conference. External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj, and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, also joined the proceedings.

The projects include: (a) India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (b) Dhaka-Tongi-Joydebpur Railway Project

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister described the cooperation between the two countries as an example for the world. He said that the two countries are neighbours, geographically; and family, emotionally. He said the proposed pipeline will further energize, not just Bangladesh’s economy, but also the relationship between the two countries. He expressed confidence that the proposed railway project will contribute to the process of strengthening national and urban transport in Bangladesh.

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:30:09 +0530
UAE Ambassador meets Syed

Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, has met with Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, at the headquarters of the Indian Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

During the meeting, the UAE Ambassador and Indian Permanent Representative to the UN discussed ways to further develop bilateral relations and means to coordinate stances vis-a-vis issues of common concern.

The meeting also touched on the ties of cooperation between the two countries as well as the agenda of the UN General Assembly meetings.

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 19:21:00 +0530
India UAE Partnership Sum

The two-day India-UAE Partnership Summit, IUPS, will kick off at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai on 30th October, 2018. The Indian economy, which registered 8.2 percent growth in the first quarter of the 2018-19 fiscal year the highest in recent history is expected to attract large-scale investment from the GCC to India.

"We are delighted to support the second IUPS being organised by the Business Leaders Forum, BLF. Its objectives and agenda fit perfectly into efforts to promote the strategic partnership between India and the UAE," said Navdeep Singh Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE.

"I am confident that this summit will be an important step in encouraging investments into specific sectors and projects being promoted by the participating states," he added.

Vipul, Consul General of India, said, "I am happy that the second edition of the IUPS is being organised by the BLF this year in partnership with the consulate. The BLF did a good job in not treating the IUPS as a standalone meeting but following up on the discussions at the first IUPS in the past 12 months."

Sudesh Aggarwal, Board Member of the BLF and Chairman of the IUPS Organising Committee and Chairman of the India Trade and Exhibition Centre, ITEC, said, "Last year, we announced the creation of an Emirati Investors’ Group to generate funds for investing in state-sponsored big-ticket projects that will be offered to us by invitation only."

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 19:14:00 +0530
Indo US joint military ex

Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 a joint military exercise of Indian and US armies, commenced at Chaubattia, Uttarakhand with a short yet impressive opening ceremony that saw the unfurling of the national flags of both countries to the strains of "Jana Gana Mana” and “The Star Spangled Banner". Indian and US soldiers stood side by side, and gave a ceremonial salute to the two senior most officers of the US and Indian side reviewing the ceremony.

The US contingent was represented by 1st Infantry Battalion, 23 Infantry Regiment, US Army while Indian side is represented by an Infantry Battalion. General Officer Commanding, 6 Mountain Division welcomed the US soldiers and in his inaugural remarks highlighted the common shared beliefs of democracy, freedom, equality and justice that are precious to both nations.

Battalion strength army personnel from USA and an equal number of Indian soldiers are taking part in the two week long event that will see them hone their tactical and technical skills in countering insurgency and terrorism in a UN peace keeping scenario involving a combined deployment at a brigade level. State of the art equipment for surveillance and tracking, specialist weapons for close quarter battle with terrorists, explosive and improvised explosive device detectors, as well as the latest communication equipment are being fielded by both sides. Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peace keeping operations during division level command post exercise. The experts from both sides will also hold discussions to share each others’ experience in varied topics for mutual benefit.

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 18:50:37 +0530
ISRO successfully launche

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C42) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched two satellites -- NovaSAR and S1-4-- from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota today.

The PSLV-C42 lifted off from the First Launch Pad of SHAR at 10.08 pm (IST). Both satellites were injected into the Sun Synchronous Orbit, about 17 minutes later, at an altitude of 583 km.

The satellites belong to UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), which has a contract with Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm of ISRO. NovaSAR carries S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and an Automatic Identification Receiver payloads. The satellite applications include forestry mapping, land use and ice cover monitoring, flood and disaster monitoring and maritime missions. It will be operated from SSTL’s Spacecraft Operations Centre in Guildford, UK.

S1-4 is a high resolution earth observation satellite meant for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management and disaster monitoring.

This was the 44th flight of PSLV and the 12th flight of the Core Alone version of the vehicle. Core Alone is its lightest version without the six strap-on motors. It is used for launching smaller payloads.

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 18:42:43 +0530
PM to visit Varanasi

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will be on a visit to his Parliamentary Constituency, Varanasi, on September 17 and 18,2018.

He will arrive in the city on the afternoon of 17th September. He will head directly for Narur village, where he will interact with children of a primary school who are being aided by the non-profit organisation "Room to Read." Later, at DLW campus, the Prime Minister will interact with students of Kashi Vidyapeeth, and children assisted by them.

On the 18th, at BHU Amphitheatre, the Prime Minister will inaugurate or lay the Foundation Stone for various development projects, cumulatively worth more than Rs. 500 crore. Among the projects to be inaugurated are: Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) for Puraani Kashi; and an Atal Incubation Centre at BHU. Among the projects for which the Foundation Stone will be laid, is the Regional Ophthalmology Centre at BHU. The Prime Minister will also address the gathering. 

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 18:35:44 +0530
Naidu invited to address

Marking the revival of the spirit of warmth and cooperation of Marshal Tito-Pandit Nehru years, the Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu was extended the rare honour of addressing the special session of the  Parliament of the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade last night. It was in the same hallowed hall of the National Assembly of Serbia that former Prime Minister,Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the world leaders while launching the Non-Alignment Movement along with the veteran leader of Yugoslavia Marshal Tito.

In his hour long address to the laws makers of the host country, Naidu fondly recalled the close affinity and shared vision with which leaders of both the countries played a key role in launching the Non Aligned Movement (NAM). He said “Relations between the two countries are deeply rooted in history. From the early days of Independent India, both countries laid great emphasis on NAM and contributed much to creation of a new and democratic world order, particularly for the post-colonial third world that challenged the concept of bipolar world. The changes in global geo-politics now again give us an opportunity to work together for mutual benefit and for sharing prosperity with others”.

Referring to the International Day of Democracy yesterday, Naidu gave a detailed account of the steady growth and consolidation of parliamentary democracy in India. He said “Over the years, Indian Parliament has evolved as a democratic forum that attentively listens to fascinatingly complex voices from different parts of the vast country and responds to diverse concerns with agility.”

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 18:27:53 +0530
Congress makes shock move

With chief minister Manohar Parrikar in New Delhi for treatment at the capital’s AIIMS hospital and the ruling BJP in a huddle over the way forward, the Congress has staked claim to form government in Goa as the single largest party. It has urged Governor Mridula Sinha to dismiss the BJP-led government arguing that it is “not functioning”, reports Hindustan Times.

“The government should be dismissed and we should be given an opportunity,” Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar of the Congress said today, adding that his party delivered two letters, signed by all 16 of its MLAs at Goa’s Raj Bhawan, but were unable to meet the Governor. They will attempt to meet her again tomorrow, he said, Hindustan  Times reported.

The BJP has, however, asserted that its government is stable and that no demand has been made for change in leadership. Senior BJP leader Ram Lal asserted that the party’s allies have reiterated their support, reports Hindustan Times.

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 18:19:06 +0530
Manohar Parrikar to be ad

Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar be admitted to the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi today for treatment at a time when the BJP is exploring options in the state, reports NDTV.

Mr Parrikar, who returned from the US after a medical check-up last week, was admitted to a hospital in Goa Thursday evening. Mr Parrikar is expected to reach Delhi on a special flight this afternoon, reported NDTV.

Mr Parrikar being shifted to Delhi for treatment for a pancreatic ailment comes after intervention from the BJP high command, sources said. "He will be flying to Delhi around 10.30 am today by a special flight and would be admitted to AIIMS for his follow-up treatment," a senior official from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said. At AIIMS, Mr Parrikar will be under the care of Dr Pramod Garg of the gastroenterology department, NDTV reported.

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 11:16:33 +0530
Vice President departs to

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu embarked on a three-nation visit to Serbia, Malta and Romania on a weeklong trip from September 14 -21. He is scheduled to interact with the heads of states of all the three countries and witness the signing of MOUs. As the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, he scheduled to hold delegation level talks with his counterparts and address their respective Parliaments.

The Vice President's visit is expected to strengthen India’s bilateral relations with these three countries. This visit will help the countries to exchange expertise and share knowledge in the fields of economy, environment, trade and culture.

The Vice President departed from New Delhi and will reach Belgrade, Serbia and will address the Indian Diaspora the same evening.

The Vice President will attend the official Welcome Ceremony hosted by Serbia on Saturday and proceed to Serbia Palace to hold Tête-à-tête meeting with the President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Aleksander Vucic. Both the leaders will witness signing of MOUs and release commemorative stamps on Nikola Tesla and Swami Vivekananda. A joint press statement will follow the event.

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 11:06:31 +0530
PM to launch Swachhata Hi

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will launch the Swachhata Hi Seva movement from September 15th.

As part of an elaborate launch event for this fortnight long movement, the Prime Minister will interact with a cross-section of people from 18 locations across the country, via video conferencing. The people with whom PM will interact include school-children, jawans, spiritual leaders, members of milk and agricultural cooperatives, media persons, local government representatives, railway employees, Self Help Groups, and Swachhagrahis, among others.

The Swachhata Hi Seva movement, which aims at generating greater public participation towards Swachhta, is being organized in the run up to the fourth anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission, on October 2nd, 2018, which will also mark the commencement of the 150th year celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.

Earlier, describing this movement as “a great way to pay tributes to Bapu,” the Prime Minister, in a video message to the people, had exhorted people to be “part of this movement and strengthen the efforts to create a Swachh Bharat.”

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 10:50:36 +0530
Brett Lee visits King s C

Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee paid a visit to the King’s Circle GSB Seva Mandal Ganesha on Thursday to take the Lord’s  blessings. He came in a traditional attire wearing light yellow kurta and white pyjama with a  smile on his face and thilak on his forehead. This is the Mandal’s 64th Ganeshotsav celebrations. On the five day festival , on an average last year  more than 66000 pujas were performed including around 8000 tulabharas. This pujas are done after fulfillment of one’s prayers as Ganesha is known to fulfill devotees wishes.

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 10:41:44 +0530
Mumbai Odia community cel

Ritesh Misra IRS

 

Mumbai Odia community celebrated Ganpati festival on 13th September with enthusiasm. Prominent members of the community including Arup Patnaik, former CP Mumbai, cardio thoracic surgeon Dr Ramakanta Panda, top private sector professional Shrijeet Mishra and others celebrated the festival with well over 2000 members.

Traditional Puja was performed, traditional odia food was served and a cultural program with Odia songs and Odissi dance was organised. Cooks from Jagannath temple, Puri had come all the way from Odisha to prepare traditional Odia food which was relished by the members in the traditional way of sitting down and serving one another.

Participation of Noted film and TV personalities such as Mona Singh (Jassi jaisi koi nahin and 3 idiots) Shivangi Atre ( Bhabhiji Ghar pe hain) Manav Gohil ( Kahaani ghar ghar ki, nach baliye, CID , tenali rama), Pankaj Berry ( crime patrol , peshwa baji rao) and Dilip Joshi ( Jethalal of taarak mehta ka ooltah chasmah) enriched the function.

The community felicitated noted neuro surgeon Dr BK Mishra who has been recently named for BC Roy National award which is the highest award in the country for medical professionals. Dr Harish Mohanty , one of Mumbai's seniormost odia Doctors, Bank of India Chairman Dinanandhu Mahapatra , Chairman Odisha Cultural Association Mumbai, Dr Srikrushna Patnaik and Arup Patnaik felicitated Dr BK Mishra for being named for the BC Roy award which will be awarded to him by President of India Ram Nath Kovind on July 1, 2019. Dr BK Mishra is the eldest son of famous economist of Odisha Professor Baidyanath Mishra. As a leading neurosurgeon, he has treated thousands of patients. Superstars Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan have been treated by him. Despite his name and fame he remains a simple and humble person for which the Odia community took pride in felicitating him.

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 10:30:49 +0530
Supreme Court ordered com

A former ISRO scientist who has alleged mental cruelty and torture by the Kerala police after his arrest in 1994 in a spy scandal must be given Rs. 50 lakh compensation, the Supreme Court ordered today. Nambi Narayanan was "arrested unnecessarily, harassed and subjected to mental cruelty," said a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra ruling on the ISRO spy case, reports NDTV.

The court has asked a former Supreme Court judge DK Jain to investigate his allegations against Kerala police officers.

The former ISRO or Indian Space Research Organisation scientist, now in his seventies, had petitioned the court saying he had been illegally detained and tortured, NDTV reported.

He was in charge of the cryogenics division when he was charged with spying and arrested. The CBI, which took over the probe from the Kerala police in 1996, said the case against Nambi Narayanan was baseless, and closed it. The CBI report also listed several lapses committed by the police officers and recommended action against them, reports NDTV.

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 13:57:50 +0530
Vice President greets pub

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Ganesh Chaturthi is a symbol of our national and cultural unity. He was addressing the gathering at the Ganesh Chaturthi puja, performed along with the other family members at his residence.

The Vice President extended his warm greetings and good wishes to the people of the country on this auspicious occasion of ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’. May this festival bring peace, prosperity and harmony in our country, he added.

The Vice President said that Lord Ganesh is revered as an embodiment of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune in our country. Starting a good work in the auspicious name of Lord Ganesh is always considered lucky and propitious by people of our country, he added. 

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 11:36:02 +0530
Justice Ranjan Gogoi as n

The President of India has appointed Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the next Chief Justice of India. He will assume the office of Chief Justice on 3rd October, 2018 after the retirement of the current Chief Justice, Justice Dipak Misra.

Born on 18th November, 1954, Justice Gogoi was enrolled as an advocate in 1978. He practised in the Gauhati High Court on constitutional, taxation and company matters. He was appointed as a Permanent Judge of the Gauhati High Court on 28th February, 2001. On 9th September, 2010, he was transferred to the Punjab & Haryana High Court. He was appointed as Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court on 12th February, 2011. He was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India on 23rd April, 2012.

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 11:04:10 +0530
Test flight from Mumbai t

A familiarization flight from Mumbai to Sindhudurg landed today at Parule Chipi Greenfield airport in Sindhudurg district of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. With this successful test flight access to the Konkan coast of Maharashtra will become easier and some of Maharashtra’s top tourist attractions will become accessible to visitors from all over India. Commercial flights will become operational from December this year.

The airport is located between Malvan and Vengurla, the Tarkarli beach and Sindhudurg fort are 20 kms away. The commissioning of this airport also improves accessibility to North Goa. The beaches of Tiracol, Arambol and Mandrem are equidistant from Goa’s Dabolim airport.

The 2,500 meters runway will be able to handle aircrafts like the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. The terminal building has the capacity to handle 400 passengers at its peak.

Civil Aviation Minister, Suresh Prabhu, has asked the airport management company and Maharashtra State Government to resolve the pending issues related to ILS installation and VOR installation so that regular operations may begin on schedule.

The co-pilot of the flight was a local girl from Devgad in Sindhudurg district.

Thu, 13 Sep 2018 12:11:38 +0530
PM calls upon everyone to

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called upon everyone to become a part of ‘Swachhata Hi Seva Movement’.

The Prime Minister said, “On 2nd October we mark the start of Gandhi Ji’s 150th birth anniversary. It is also the day Swachh Bharat Mission completes 4 years of being a historic mass movement aimed at fulfilling Bapu’s dream of a Clean India.

I salute all those working towards a Swachh Bharat!

The ‘Swachhata Hi Seva Movement’ commences on 15th September. This is a great way to pay tributes to Bapu.

Come, be a part of this movement and strengthen the efforts to create a Swachh Bharat!

At 9:30 AM on 15th, we shall come together and mark the commencement of the ‘Swachhata Hi Seva Movement.’ I look forward to interacting with those who have worked assiduously on the ground to strengthen the Swachh Bharat Mission after which Swachhata activities will begin”.

Thu, 13 Sep 2018 11:59:24 +0530
Opposition parties lashes

Opposition parties, latched on to Vijay Mallya's statement in which he claimed that he had met Arun Jaitley before leaving India, and demanded a probe into the fugitive liquor baron's statement, which was rubbished by the finance minister as "factually false", reports NDTV.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi should immediately order an independent probe into Vijay Mallya's "extremely serious allegations" and Arun Jaitley should step down while the investigation will be carried out.

The claim made by Vijay Mallya, who is facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs. 9,000 crore, has triggered a political storm, with the Congress is saying that the government must explain how and why Mr Mallya was allowed to leave India, NDTV reported.

Arun Jaitley, however, said he never gave Vijay Mallya an appointment after becoming a minister in 2014, but the liquor baron misused his position as a member of parliament to approach him once in Parliament, reports NDTV.

Thu, 13 Sep 2018 11:48:34 +0530
George rechecks his comme

A controversial legislator in Kerala has said that he should not have made derogatory remarks about the nun who has accused a senior Roman Catholic priest of raping her, reports NDTV. 

Independent legislator PC George had abused the nun last week, called her a "prostitute". "Is there any doubt that the nun is a prostitute? 12 times it was pleasure, 13th time it became a rape? Where was she when it happened 12 times? Whom is she telling this to? Why did she not complain on the first time it happened? Let the three sisters be examined. Let us see if they are holy," said the lawmaker from Poonjar, while speaking on the charges against Bishop Mulakkal, NDTV reported.

"I shouldn't have called any woman a prostitute. That wasn't the right thing to do," PC George told NDTV on phone. However, the lawmaker said he will not apologise to anyone for his comments.

Many outraged social media users started the #VaayaMoodalCampaign ("mouth shut" campaign) and couriered duct-tapes to silence the politician.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 17:48:39 +0530
Nawaz Sharif daughter re

Pakistani authorities temporarily released former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter from prison to attend funeral services for his wife, Kulsoom, who died of cancer the day before in London, reports Gulf Times.

Video footage from Geo TV showed Sharif walking through Islamabad's airport amid tight security to be flown to the eastern city of Lahore, near the family home.

The former premier and his daughter have been given parole for 12 hours but the government of Punjab province is considering an extension so they can attend the funeral on Friday. The body is due to be flown back from London on Thursday, Gulf Times reported.

‘Initially, we released them on parole for 12 hours but the application they have given to the Punjab government is for five days and we are considering it,’ provincial law minister Muhammad Raja Basharat told Reuters.

Ousted as prime minister last year by the Supreme Court over some undeclared income, Nawaz Sharif was in London with Kulsoom this year when a separate anti-graft court handed him a 10-year jail term in absentia over the ownership of luxury flats in London in the 1990s, reports Gulf Times.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 13:18:43 +0530
Arab quartet deny Qatar s

Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE at the United Nations, UN, in Geneva, delivered a statement on behalf of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, before the UN Human Rights Council, as part of the right of reply to the allegations stated in the Qatari statement during the 39th regular session of the council in regards to the debate of the oral briefing of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 12:35:20 +0530
UAE s Culture Tourism d

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, is embarking on a three-city roadshow to India, along with partners and stakeholders, to help promote the emirate and encourage even more Indian visitors to explore Abu Dhabi.

The delegation, which includes the UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways, Jet Airways, Yas Experiences, Dusit Thani, Royal Arabian, Air Travel Enterprise, Sofitel and Rotana, will be in India from 17th – 21st September, 2018. The roadshow will commence in New Delhi in northern India before moving on to Chennai and ending in Bengaluru in the southern part of the country.

Commenting on the announcement, Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director Promotions and Overseas Offices at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "India is a vital tier one source market for us, which is providing more and more hotel guests for us each year. In 2017 we recorded spectacular double-digit growth from India and we are already recording further progress from the Indian market since the turn of the year.

In turn, Bejan Dinshaw, Country Manager for India at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "Our persistent efforts have managed to reinforce India as one of the leading overseas source markets for Abu Dhabi. Our year-on-year performance has witnessed stupendous growth and this has been possible because of the impressive work done by our trade partners. These roadshows have helped our stakeholders to connect with the regional trade partners, further boosting tourism to the Emirate."

India is currently the second-largest overseas market for Abu Dhabi after China. Last year saw more than 360,000 Indians staying in Abu Dhabi’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments, an increase of more than 11 percent compared to 2016. Up until July 2018, more than 227,000 Indian travellers have already visited the emirate. With the opening of Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, it is expected that there will be a dramatic surge in the growth of Indian visitors travelling to the UAE capital.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 12:28:50 +0530
UAE President wishes Musl

UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent congratulatory cables to the Kings, Presidents and princes of Muslim countries, on the occasion of the New Hijri Year.

Shaikh Khalifa wished them all good health, and more progress and prosperity to Arab and Muslim countries.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, dispatched similar cables to the Presidents, Kings and Princes of the Arab and Muslim countries on the occasion.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 12:09:25 +0530
Intl community join hand

There will be some for whom the drive to repair the historic fabric of Mosul, torn apart in the struggle against Daesh, might appear premature at a time when bodies are still being recovered from beneath the rubble of this once vibrant city, more than a year after it was liberated. But nothing could be further from the truth. Iraq’s second city, once the capital of the Assyrian empire, stands at the very nexus of human ­endeavour, reports WAM.

"Here on the banks of the Tigris rose the mighty city of Nineveh, one of the first expressions of modern civilisation. Every handful of the soil of Mosul is enriched with the legacy of 8,000 years of history," said an editorial in today's edition of The National.

In an interview with The National at a UNESCO conference in Paris focused on the reconstruction of the city, Iraq’s culture minister Fariyaad Rawandizi made the convincing case that the international community should come to Iraq’s aid and shoulder some of the cost. Mosul, as he rightly says, is not only a living symbol for the very identity of Iraqis but also a unique touchstone of culture and civilisation for the entire world, WAM reported.

With 40,000 houses destroyed and 700,000 people displaced, there is much to be done. Encouragingly, international donors are stepping forward to follow the example of the UAE, which in April committed itself to the US$50.4 million (AED185.1 million) restoration of the 800-year-old Al Nuri Great Mosque and Al Hadba minaret, destroyed by Daesh extremists as they were driven from the city in June last year.

Teams masterminding the reconstruction work will meet in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. People cannot live in ancient ruins but the reconstruction of Iraq is a multifaceted challenge, in which the rebuilding of homes and historical and cultural sites must proceed side by side with the reintroduction of security and political stability. As plans are laid for reconstruction in Mosul, Iraq’s continuing parliamentary crisis demands a swift resolution. The nation has been through a terrible period of darkness from which many of its people are still emerging, blinking, into the light.

The people of Mosul, returning to their shattered lives and homes, have had their faith in all they once took for granted badly shaken. Rebuilding their city and the globally significant symbols of its past will help to redefine their place in the world, reports WAM.

"By destroying ancient monuments, Daesh sought to erase entire cultural identities, bulldozing the past to clear the way for the foundations of its own warped ideology. To reverse that mindless vandalism is an act of defiance that will see hope rise from the rubble of Mosul, because to keep faith with the past is to restore faith in the future," concluded the Abu Dhabi-based daily.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 12:04:54 +0530
Indian Railways launches

Indian Railways, with its vast network and presence across the length and breadth of the country, has always been at the forefront to serve the society. Inspired by the vision of Prime Minister for a New India by 2022, Railways is taking various initiatives for upgrading its infrastructure, technology, hygiene among host of other things for an enhanced passenger experience.

The Indian Railways has identified opportunities in areas wherein corporate collaborations can be fostered which can positively impact the entire ecosystem under Railways. In this regard, the Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal launched a web portal www.railsahyog.in.

The web portal will provide a platform for the Corporates and PSUs to contribute to creation of amenities at/near Railway Stations through Corporate Social Responsibility funds. Chairman, Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani with other Railway Board Members, Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Dr Inder Jit Singh and  Senior Officials of Railways and Coal were present on the occasion.

The companies desirous of contributing can show willingness on the portal by registering their requests. The requests will be processed by Railway officials. Based on the principle of first come first serve, the requests will be shortlisted and selected applicants will be intimated to deposit the funds with Railways/nominated agencies like RITES/RAILTEL etc.  The nominated agency will get the work executed thereafter.

Speaking on the occasion, Piyush Goyal said that the “Rail Sahyog” portal is an example of changing times & speedy execution of projects in Railways. Salient feature of this portal is its simplicity & transparency. This portal will provide an opportunity for Industry/ Companies/ Associations to collaborate with Railways. This portal will not only be beneficial for passengers but also for neighbourhood of Railway vicinity.” The Minister emphasised that the cost indicated against each of the activities identified to be undertaken in this initiative are only indicative in nature but the main focus would be on ensuring creation of good quality assets through this collaboration. The Minister further added that the portal has been envisaged as a platform for all including individuals as also private & public organisation to contribute towards CSR activities in association with Indian Railways.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:42:13 +0530
Indo US joint military tr

As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, a joint military training Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 is scheduled to be conducted in the foothills of Himalayas at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand from 16 September to 29 September 2018.  This will be the 14th edition of the joint military exercise hosted alternately by both countries.

The joint exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 will simulate a scenario where both nations will work together in counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment in mountainous terrain under United Nation charter. The two week exercise will witness participation of about 350 personnel of the US Army and similar strength of the Indian Army.

The exercise curriculum is progressively planned where the participants are initially made to get familiar with each other’s organizational structure, weapons, equipment, confidence training and tactical drills. Subsequently, the training advances to joint tactical exercises wherein the battle drills of both the armies are coherently unleashed. The training will culminate with a final validation exercise in which troops of both countries will jointly carry out an operation against terrorists in a fictitious but realistic setting.

Over the years the two countries have decided to progressively increase the scope and content of this joint exercise. Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 will witness a Division Headquarter based Command Post Exercise, an Infantry Battalion carrying out Field Training Exercise and discussions on issues of mutual interest by experts of both countries.

Both armies have vast experience in active counter insurgency & counter terrorism operations and sharing each other’s tactics & drills in such diverse environment is of immense value. The exercise is a great step for the armies of the two democratic countries to train together and gain together from each other’s rich operational experiences. The latest exercise will help further build interoperability between the forces of both the nations.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:25:03 +0530
70 waste in India uses i

Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh has said hundreds of millions of waste produced in India comes from agriculture and agricultural enterprises. According to statistics, 70% of the waste is used in industrial sector and as domestic fuel. The remaining waste can be converted into bio-components and bio fuels and can also be used in the generation of energy.

While addressing National Conference on “Potential of Waste in Energy Generation and its Challenges” organized by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and Indian Federation of Green Energy (IFGE) he emphasized the need to eliminate pollution caused by the burning of crop residues and said that the poisonous gas generated by it affects human health and destroys soil nutrients. He informed that the government is providing subsidy @50-80% for crop residue management machinery. These machines help farmers in mixing crop residue with soil to make it more productive. Farmer groups are being provided financial assistance @80% of the project cost for establishing Farm Machinery Banks for Custom Hiring of crop residue management machinery. A provision of Rs 1151.80 crores for two years has been made under this scheme for states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCR.

He further informed that the management of crop residue in the field will help the soil become more fertile thereby resulting in savings of Rs 2000 per hectare from the farmer’s manure cost. By making palette from crop residue, it can be used for power generation. Under the sub mission on agricultural mechanization, 40% subsidy is given on straw rake, straw baler, loader etc. Through this, crop residue is collected and bales are made out of it so that it’s easy to carry to crop residue palette to power generation plants.

The Minister said that the Agricultural Engineering Division of the ICAR has done remarkable works in the area of bio-energy for biogas production from paddy straw biomass.

He appealed to the farmers not to burn crop residue thereby helping protect human health and environment.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:14:56 +0530
Apsara U becomes operatio

“Research reactors are the back bone of Nuclear Programme” said Dr. Homi J. Bhabha, the father of Indian Nuclear programme, in early fifties.  Subsequently “Apsara”, the first research reactor in Asia became operational in Trombay campus of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in August 1956.  After providing more than five decades of dedicated service to the researchers, the reactor was shut down in 2009.

Nearly sixty-two years after Apsara came into existence, a swimming pool type research reactor “Apsara-upgraded”, of higher capacity was born at Trombay on 10th September 2018 at 18:41 hrs. The reactor, made indigenously, uses plate type dispersion fuel elements made of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU).  By virtue of higher neutron flux, this reactor will increase indigenous production or radio-isotopes for medical application by about fifty percent and would also be extensively used for research in nuclear physics, material science and radiation shielding.

This development has re-emphasised the capability of Indian scientists and Engineers to build, complex facilities for health care, science education and research.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:07:10 +0530
PM addresses 125th Annive

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today addressed via Video Conference, the Valedictory Function of the 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekanand’s Chicago speech, organized by Sri Ramakrishna Math at Coimbatore.

In his address, the Prime Minister said that this celebration, “shows the impact of Swami ji's address - how it changed the way the west saw India and how Indian thought and philosophy found its rightful place.”

The Prime Minister said that Swami Vivekanand introduced the world to the grandeur of Vedic philosophy.“In Chicago, he taught the world about the Vedic philosophy, but he also reminded the country of its rich past and immense potential.He gave us back our confidence, our pride, our roots,” the Prime Minister said.

Narendra Modi said that with this vision of Swami Vivekanand, “India is going forward with full self-confidence.” He also spoke of various initiatives and schemes of the Government of India.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:56:47 +0530
ASHA Anganwadi workers g

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced a landmark increase in remuneration for ASHA and Anganwadi workers. The announcement which will be effective from next month was made during a video bridge interaction with lakhs of ASHA, Anganwadi and ANM workers.

The Prime Minister announced the doubling of routine incentives given by the Union Government to ASHA workers. In addition, all ASHA workers and their helperswould be provided free insurance cover under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana.

Prime Minister also announced significant increase in the honorarium given to Anganwadi workers. Those receiving Rs. 3000 so far, would now receive Rs. 4500. Similarly those receiving Rs. 2200, would now get Rs. 3500. The honorarium for Anganwadi helpers has also been increased from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2250.

Prime Minister also announced that Anganwadi workers and helpers using techniques such as Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS), would get additional incentives. The incentives ranging from Rs. 250 to Rs. 500, would be based on performance.

The Prime Minister interacted with teams of three As - the ASHA worker, Anganwadi worker and ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) from across the country. He appreciated their efforts to work together, to use innovative means and technology, to improve the delivery of health and nutrition services and achieve the goal of the POSHAN Abhiyan - reduction of malnutrition in the country.

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:33:00 +0530
India wants a trade deal

US President Donald Trump has said India wants a trade deal with the US despite the tough stance taken by his administration on the issue.

Donald Trump wants to stop the subsidies that growing economies like India and China have been receiving as he wants the US, which he considers as a developing nation, to grow faster than any other nation.

He often accuses India of imposing 100 per cent tariffs on American products.

"Frankly, I'll tell you, India called us the other day. They said they would like to start doing a trade deal, first time," President Trump said without mentioning who called up whom.

"They wouldn't talk about it with previous administrations. They were very happy with the way it was," Donald Trump told his supporters on Friday at a Joint Fundraising Committee Reception, in Sioux Falls in South Dakota.

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:58:04 +0530
BIMSTEC nations commence

The Inaugural Military Field Training Exercise for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technological and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) nations named MILEX-18 scheduled from 10 September  to 16 September  started with a Grand Opening Ceremony at Aundh Military Station.  Contingents of the member nations came together for the Opening Ceremony.

The Parade was Commanded by Captain Gaurav Sharma, who is part of the participating Indian contingent. The Contingents marched together smartly at the Drill Ground of Aundh Military Station.  Major General Sanjeev Sharma, General Officer Commanding, Golden Katar Division, Chief Guest for the Opening Ceremony, reviewed the Parade, in presence of number of Officers and officials of participating nations.

During the parade there was also a fly past of Army Aviation helicopters who carried the National flags of the member nations. The General Officer Commanding interacted with the Contingents after the completion of the Parade. The members of all participating nations also interacted and familiarised with each other after the Opening Ceremony.

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:52:30 +0530
Centre flags off DSNG Van

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore flagged off 9 DSNG Vans of Doordarshan.

Speaking on the occasion Rajyavardhan Rathore said that his Government stresses on Act East Policy and a lot of development efforts are taking place in North East India in this regard. Deployment of more DSNG vans in North East will help in making the development stories from North East reach the people.

As a part of  fleet augmentation programme to enhance the capacity of Doordarshan for live broadcasting, 9 new C-Band DSNG vans has been inducted, which are capable of uplinking HD signals. These vans have been procured at a cost of Rs.22.83 Cr (at Rs.2.54 Cr each) through a Global Tender.

These DSNG Units would enable Doordarshan to enhance its live telecast capability from the North-East as 4 of these DSNGs are meant for Gangtok, Kohima, Imphal and Agartala. Since North-East is the focus area of the Government of India, these would provide a boost to the news gathering as well as programming initiatives from the hitherto uncovered areas in the North East. Apart from this, new DSNG units are also being deployed at Allahabad, Visakhapatnam, Chandigarh, Jagdalpur and Pune

Doordarshan has a fleet of 34 DSNGs which are deployed across the country.   16 of these DSNGs operate in C Band while 18 operate in Ku Band. However, out of 34 DSNGs only 2 are capable of uplinking HD signals, at present. DSNGs are Mobile Earth Stations which enable broadcasting from any remote place through a satellite system.

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:46:02 +0530
LCA Tejas successfully pe

In a significant achievement and a major step towards Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of LCA Tejas, the mid-air refuelling of ‘wet contact’ trial for LCA Tejas MK-1 was successfully carried out from an Indian Air Force base. The trial was a part of the Air-to-Air refuelling flight tests conducted by IAF.

Before this ‘wet contact’ trial, the ‘dry contact trials’ were successfully conducted on September 04 & 06, 2018 where the Drogue (basket) extended from the IAF tanker aircraft by a fuel hose, was tracked and plugged into using the aircraft refuelling probe without taking fuel. IAF provided all required support to DRDO including the tanker aircraft for the successful test flight.

The Air-to-Air refuelling capability for LCA is a ‘force multiplier’ for the IAF, giving the aircraft the potential to stay airborne for much longer periods of time.

The enhanced range and endurance in air is expected to provide IAF a host of options in exploiting the operational potential of the LCA as well as to participate in international exercises without having to stage through several locations enroute.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has complimented DRDO-ADA, IAF, HAL and other agencies involved in the mission.

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:37:17 +0530
ITBP Director General pre

Director General, Indo Tibetan Border Police Force, R K Pachnanda, called on Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today, and presented a cheque of Rs. 8.5 crore towards the Prime Minister`s National Relief Fund. The amount was raised through the contribution from ITBP personnel. 

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:17:30 +0530
Naidu urges Indian diaspo

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked the Indian diasporas in the USA to convey the timeless, harmonious vision of India to the world and bring the best ideas and practices from the world to India. He was addressing the Indian Community at the Historic Art Institute of Chicago, the place where Swami Vivekananda delivered his speech in 1893, in Chicago, USA.

The Vice President said that Indians living abroad, have become the spiritual and cultural ambassadors for India. The friendship between India and the United States is based on our shared values of individual liberty, freedom, democracy, pluralism, rule of law, and justice, he added.

The Vice President said that the Indian diasporas also represent one of the strongest and most vibrant Indian diasporas anywhere in the world. Your excellence in various fields including medicine, engineering, business, academia, are a matter of pride to us, he added.

The Vice President said continued connect with India and sharing of best practices, expertise and advice will be extremely helpful in shaping our youth and making them better skilled thus contributing to the overall growth and development.

The Vice President said that India is undergoing transformation at an unprecedented pace and scale. He further said that inclusive development and good governance are essential elements of this endeavour towards imparting a new energy to the country and the economy. You all can be a part of this growth story, he added.

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:09:38 +0530
Swami Vivekananda was an

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Swami Vivekananda was an embodiment of Hindu Culture and his messages that are relevant till today reverberate across India. He was addressing the valedictory session of the 2nd World Hindu Conference 2018, in Chicago, USA, in commemoration of 125th year of Swami Vivekananda’s address at Parliament of the World's Religions in 1893 held in Chicago.

The Vice President said that preserving the invaluable heritage of India is true nationalism and said that with its knowledge and wisdom India could provide honey of wisdom in the bitter world.

The Vice President said that the extraordinary vision of ancient India encapsulates a message that is timeless and eternally relevant because it is holistic, integrated and universal. Whenever the world is faced with the threats of fragmentation, conflict, hatred and irrational prejudices, the Indian voice brings to the world the soothing, inclusive perspectives that have pervaded its cultural world for more than two millennia, he added.

The Vice President said that the Parliament of the World's Religions emerged as a celebration of the rich diversity in religious and cultural beliefs around the world and brought the world together to understand different world views. He further said that it deepened our appreciation of the common quest for peace and harmony that human beings have been engaged in from time immemorial. Swami Vivekananda’s addresses at this Parliament have had an incredibly influential, he added.

The Vice President said that the unequivocal messages of tolerance, acceptance, unity and plurality of love, compassion, service, charity, gender equality, poverty alleviation and protection of the environment that exponents like Swami Vivekananda had spread across the world embody timeless values that are more relevant today than ever before. We should ensure that these values are further reinforced through behavior and action, as Swamiji said, by ‘being’ and ‘becoming’, he added.

Saying that India is also moving on an ambitious reform agenda that seeks to transform people’s lives, the Vice President said that at this juncture, the values we all cherish, as Indians, can be the guideposts for our individual growth and collective advancement.

We have inherited a treasure house of ideas, values and attitudes. In a world of unprecedented changes, we need a sheet anchor and a spiritual compass. India could offer those to the world. In a world that is filled with bitterness, India could provide the honey of wisdom gathered from different flowers by different bees.

The Vice President held a bilateral meeting with the Vice President of Surinam, Mr. Adhin Ashwin on the sidelines of the World Hindu Congress and discussed issues of mutual interest. The Congressmen Mr. Mr. Bill Foster and Mr. Peter Roskam called on the Vice President and shared their appreciation of the progress in Indo-US relationship as well as the common understanding on many issues of contemporary relevance.  

Twelve CEOs of various companies in Chicago met the Vice President and shared their experiences. The Vice President gave an overview of the policies and administrative reforms in India, especially those facilitating ease of doing business.

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:03:25 +0530
Sri Lankan Parliament mem

A delegation of Members of the Parliament of Sri Lanka called on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Karu Jayasurya, Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament, led the multi-party delegation.

The Parliamentarians noted the historical ties and shared spiritual & cultural heritage of India and Sri Lanka and expressed appreciation for the deepening of relations between the two countries in recent years. They also noted the benefits from a number of people-centric development cooperation projects being carried out with India’s assistance in Sri Lanka. They agreed that speedy implementation of joint economic projects will bring benefits to the economies and the people of both the countries.

The Prime Minister welcomed the delegation and stressed the importance of such linkages. He stated that the new initiatives for enhancing relations between provincial assemblies and local bodies of the two countries would further deepen significantly the close people-to-people ties and trust between the two countries.

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 10:51:46 +0530
Parliamentary Delegation

A Parliamentary Delegation from Sri Lanka led by Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, called on President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Welcoming the delegation to India, the President said that India’s growth and the prosperity of the South Asian region are interlinked. For India, Sri Lanka is a special and an important part of its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

The President said that India is the fastest growing major economy in the world. It holds tremendous potential for development and progress for Sri Lanka as well. Sri Lanka can benefit from the huge market that India offers.

The President said that India is honoured to have a strong developmental partnership with Sri Lanka. This spans across all sectors, including education, culture, skill development, livelihood assistance and sanitation.

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 10:48:10 +0530
PM Modi Bangladesh PM jo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, Chief Minister of West Bengal - Mamata Banerjee, and the Chief Minister of Tripura - Biplab Kumar Deb, jointly inaugurated three projects in Bangladesh, via video conference. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, also joined the video conference from Delhi and Dhaka respectively.

These include: (a) 500 MW additional power supply from India to Bangladesh, through the existing Bheramara (Bangladesh) - Baharampur (India) interconnection. (b) Akhaura – Agartala Rail Link (c) Rehabilitation of the Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railways. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister began by recalling that he had met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina several times in the recent past, including at the BIMSTEC meeting in Kathmandu, in Shanti Niketan, and during the Commonwealth Summit in London.

He reiterated his view that leaders of neighbouring countries should have a relationship like neighbours, talking and visiting frequently, without getting bogged down by protocol. He said this closeness is evident in the frequent interactions between him and the Bangladesh Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Modi recalled Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s vision of restoring connectivity to the way it was before 1965. He said that he is happy that in the last few years, there has been steady progress towards this goal. He said that today, we have increased our power connectivity, and started two projects to increase our railway connectivity. He recalled that during his visit to Bangladesh in 2015, it had been decided to supply an additional 500 MW power to Bangladesh. He said this is being done using the transmission link between West Bengal and Bangladesh, and thanked the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms. Mamata Banerjee for her facilitation in completion of this work. He said that with the completion of this project, 1.16 Gigawatts of power is now being supplied from India to Bangladesh. He said this journey from Megawatts to Gigawatts is symbolic of a golden era in the relations between India and Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister said that Akhaura-Agartala rail connectivity will provide another link in the cross-border connectivity between the two countries. He thanked the Chief Minister of Tripura, Shri Biplab Kumar Deb, for his facilitation in completion of this work.

Prime Minister Modi appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s development goals of transforming Bangladesh into a middle income country by 2021, and a developed country by 2041. He said that closer relations and people to people links between the two countries would take our development and prosperity to new heights.

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 10:35:23 +0530
Daniel Zhang to succeed J

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) announced that one year from today, September 10, 2019, chief executive officer Daniel Zhang will succeed Jack Ma as chairman of the board of Alibaba Group. Mr. Ma will continue as executive chairman of the company over the next 12 months to ensure a smooth transition of the chairmanship to Mr. Zhang.

Mr. Ma will complete his current term as a member of Alibaba Group's board of directors until its annual general meeting of shareholders in 2020.

Mr. Ma is a lifetime partner in the Alibaba Partnership and is a member of its partnership committee. The Alibaba Partnership is currently comprised of 36 partners who are also members of senior management of Alibaba Group or its affiliates. Pursuant to the articles of association of Alibaba Group, the Alibaba Partnership has the right to nominate a majority of the directors to the board of the company.

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 13:04:06 +0530
Sharjah Chamber of Commer

Abdulla Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SCCI, held discussions with a delegation from India's Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FKCCI, headed by Sudhakar S. Shetty, President of FKCCI, where they reviewed ways to enhance economic and trade relations between Sharjah and Karnataka.

The discussions took place during a meeting at the headquarters of the SCCI on Wednesday, in the presence of Mohamed Ahmed Amin, Acting Director-General of the SCCI. The two sides discussed the prospects of joint cooperation between the chamber and the federation, which would contribute to empowering the private sectors of both countries to take advantage of the available investment opportunities.

The meeting also included a discussion on the possibility of the SCCI’s participation in the activities of the "ASEAN plus three economic framework" conference, which will be held in the 4th quarter of 2019 in Bengaluru. The chamber has affirmed that it will cooperate in introducing this conference to those members wishing to participate in the event.

Al Owais emphasised the importance of the relationship between the UAE and India, which has resulted in remarkable developments in various fields. He remarked that Sharjah is keen to enhance these ties and develop them even further through a mutual pursuit to enhance communication and cooperation, as well as implementing investment projects between the Emirati and the Indian business communities that help to serve the interests of both friendly countries and lead them to further success and prosperity.

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 12:53:17 +0530
Rising fuel price Opposi

At least 21 opposition parties, led by the Congress, are participating in the 'Bharat Bandh' or shutdown to protest the rise in fuel prices in the country and depreciation of the rupee.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who joined protests in Delhi, questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the rising fuel prices. Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had refused to join the bandh, also sent its leader Sanjay Singh. Top opposition leaders like Sharad Pawar, MK Stalin and Left leaders have supported the bandh, while Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has decided to stay away. The effect of the shutdown is especially evident in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Bihar.

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 12:33:37 +0530
Rupee reaches new low ToMon, 10 Sep 2018 11:45:08 +0530President holds roundtabl

The President Ram Nath Kovind, attended a roundtable discussion of Indologists at Charles University in Prague.  

Speaking on the occasion, the President said Indology has a very old tradition in Prague, starting with the establishment of a Chair in Sanskrit at Charles University in 1850. Professor Lesny was among the founding fathers of the Czech school of Indology. He was the first European Indologist who translated Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry directly from Bengali into Czech, instead of using English as an intermediary. The President said Indology has not just brought India and the Czech Republic together. It has had an enormous role in the making of modern India and rediscovering India’s rich past.  

Later in the day, the President visited ELI Beamlines International Laser Research Centre in Prague. He received detailed briefings at this cutting-edge institution, one of the world’s centres of laser technology and research. Coinciding with President Kovind’s visit, ELI Beamlines has signed an agreement with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai. Technologists from TIFR also met the President and briefed him on the implications of their work in a variety of fields, including healthcare, energy, and security. 

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 11:33:57 +0530
Former PM Prachanda calls

Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, former Prime Minister of Nepal and Co-Chairman, Nepal Communist Party, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two leaders discussed the progress in India-Nepal relations, as well as other issues of mutual interest.

The Prime Minister fondly recalled their previous interactions, and thanked Dahal for his valuable contributions in strengthening India-Nepal relations.

Recalling his two visits to Nepal this year, the Prime Minister said that India-Nepal relations have received a boost in momentum with frequent high-level interactions. 

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 10:55:14 +0530
Vice President advices In

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has advised the Indian diaspora not to forget their spiritual and cultural roots and contribute their mite towards building a new and resurgent India. He was addressing the members of 21 Telugu Associations based in Chicago, USA. The Ambassador of India to USA, Navtej Sarna and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President asked them to uphold India’s core values and beliefs of sharing, caring and treating the entire world as ‘One Family’ - Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Pointing out that India is the spiritual capital of the world, he said India was one of the oldest surviving civilizations and recalled the invaluable contribution made by Indians over the centuries in different fields from zero to Yoga.

The Vice President said that never forget or neglect your mother tongue, native village, motherland, parents and the Guru, who is responsible for your success, he told them. Those who want to move ahead in life should never forget their past, he added.

While complimenting the Telugu community for their contribution to the progress of America, the Vice President observed that it was a matter of pride that many Telugus are occupying high positions in different fields.

While accepting and assimilating the best practices from elsewhere in the world, he asked them to always remain rooted to India’s rich cultural heritage and traditions. We need to celebrate our festivals and uphold our customs, he said. At the same time, the Telugus and other Indians in the USA served as a bridge in strengthening the ties between India and America. People-to-people contacts were essential to strengthen the bonds of friendship, he added.

Referring to India’s emergence as the fastest growing economy, he said the world was looking towards India which is moving on the trajectory to become one of the top global economies in the next 10-15 years. “I would like all of you to join in fast-tracking India’s growth story,” he said.

Observing that about 32 million Indians and Persons of Indian Origin were living across the globe, he told the overseas Telugus to always strive to enhance the image of India and Indians. He also appealed to them to adopt villages in their native districts and help in developing them into model villages.

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 10:45:36 +0530
Centre urges automobile c

The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has called the urgent attention of automobile companies towards the need for an efficient public transport system in the country, run on electricity or alternate fuels.   

Addressing CEOs of Indian and global automobile companies as part of MOVE: Global Mobility Summit 2018 in New Delhi, Gadkari urged them to actively think about diversifying into the public transport sector, and focus their research   and innovation efforts in this direction.

Private vehicles are proliferating rapidly on Indian roads he said, and highways expansion cannot feasibly keep pace with this growth.  We therefore need to encourage people to shift to public transport, and for this we have to put in place systems that are efficient and convenient, comfortable and safe. 

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 19:16:42 +0530
Online nominations rise f

The last date for online nominations/recommendations for the Padma Awards to be announced on the occasion of Republic Day, 2019 is September 15, 2018. Already more than 28,260 Registrations have been made on the website, out of which 28,212 nominations/recommendations completed since the nominations opened on 1st May, 2018.

Nominations have been invited from Central Ministries/Departments, States/UT Governments, Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees, Institutes of Excellence as also from several other sources to enable broadbased consideration. The MHA communication dated April 25, 2018 requested them to make concerted efforts in identifying talented persons whose excellence and achievements really deserve to be recognized, and make suitable nominations in their favour.

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 18:57:09 +0530
USIBC members call on PM

Board members of United States India Business Council (USIBC) called on  Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They briefed the Prime Minister on the outcomes of the India Idea Forum held in Mumbai earlier this week.

The business leaders expressed their desire to prepare a roadmap to achieve the target of $ 500 billion in bilateral trade and expand meaningfully their CSR activities in India.

Interacting with the members, the Prime Minister mentioned various reforms undertaken by the Government of India. He also spoke of the enormous investment potential in India, and encouraged the American investor community to step up investment in the country. Mentioning the shared values between India and the US, he also called for greater people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 18:41:44 +0530
Modi inaugurates Global M

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Global Mobility Summit in New Delhi.  

Addressing the summit, Prime Minister said that India is on the move, in terms of its economy, infrastructure, youth and many other areas. He said that mobility is a key driver of the economy; it can boost economic growth and create employment opportunities. 

Prime Minister also outlined the vision for the future of mobility in India based on 7 C’s. The 7 C’s are Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting-edge. 

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 18:19:35 +0530
India France sign agreem

India and France have signed an implementation agreement on “MOBILISE YOUR CITY” (MYC) in the presence of Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Hardeep Singh Puri and Alexander Ziegler, Ambassador of France in India. The agreement was signed by Mukund Kumar Sinha, OSD & Ex-Officio Joint Secretary, M/o Housing and Urban Affairs for India while Regional Director, Agence Française de Développement (AfD), Nicolas Fornage, signed the agreement on behalf of AfD.

Mobilise Your City (MYC) is part of an international initiative which is supported by the French and the German Governments and was launched at 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) meeting in December, 2015. Based on a proposal made by AFD in 2015, the European Union has agreed to provide funds of Euro 3.5 million through the AFD to contribute to specific investments and technical assistance components within the Mobilise Your City (MYC) programme in India.

The MYC aims at supporting three pilot cities viz. Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad in their efforts to reduce their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions related to urban transport by implementing urban mobility plans at local level and to help India at national level to improve their sustainable transport policy.

 

The three pilot cities selected under the programme as well as MoHUA will benefit from the Technical Assistance activities. The main components of the proposed assistance are:

(1) to support planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport projects,

(2) support to strengthening institutional capacity for regulating, steering and planning urban mobility, and

(3) learning and exchange formats with other cities across India for exchanges on best practices.

 

The details of the project activities will be worked out by AFD in consultation with MoHUA and the three partner cities including institutions such as the respective Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for Smart Cities, the Municipal Corporations and any transport authority or transport related SPV.

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 18:10:11 +0530
BJP to fight 2019 polls u

At the national executive meeting in Delhi, the BJP has strategised a point by point rebuttal of the combined opposition's attack on the government on several issues including steep rise in oil prices and farmers' distress. The BJP has decided fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections under the leadership of Amit Shah, reports NDTV.

The Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh has confirmed to NDTV that the party's internal polls, to select a new leader, will be deferred as Amit Shah's term as president ends in January 2019. The party will also formulate its strategy for the state assembly polls and the Lok Sabha elections. The two-day meeting is being attended by its national leadership, key leaders from all states and union territories and office bearers, NDTV reported.

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 16:45:10 +0530
Petrol price touches Rs 8

Petrol price in the national capital on Saturday crossed the Rs 80 mark for the first time ever as rupee depreciation made imports costlier. Petrol price was Saturday raised by 39 paise a litre and diesel by 44 paise per litre, according to price notification issued by state fuel retailers.

The increase pushed the petrol price in Delhi to Rs 80.38 per litre. Diesel rate touched its highest level of Rs 72.51 a litre.

In Mumbai, a litre of petrol costs Rs 87.77 and diesel comes for Rs 76.98, the notification said.

Fuel prices in Delhi are the cheapest among all metros and most state capitals due to lower taxes. Mumbai has the highest tax rates among the metros.

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 16:39:25 +0530
Yogendra Yadav allegedly

Yogendra Yadav, psephologist-turned-politician, was detained in Tamil Nadu's Tiruvannamalai district today while on his way to meet farmers protesting against a proposed Rs. 10,000 crore eight-lane Salem-Chennai expressway. In tweets, Mr Yadav, 55, alleged that the police stopped him from meeting farmers, accusing the cops of manhandling.

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 16:33:20 +0530
Vice President to address

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu emplaned today for United States of America on a two-day visit on September 8-9, 2018. During this visit he will address the 2nd World Hindu Congress being held in Chicago on the occasion of 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Historic Speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions in 1893.

The Vice President will arrive Chicago on September 8th and on the same day he will participate in a programme organized by 14 Telugu Associations of the US at the Community Christian Church, Plainfield of Greater Chicago. NRIs from different parts of US are expected to attend this programme.

On September 9th at 10.30 am, the Vice President will meet the Organizers of World Hindu Congress. At 11 am he will meet different leaders from other countries attending this programme. At 12 noon he will address the World Hindu Congress.

 On the same day evening, the Vice President will address a programme organised by Indian diaspora.

 On September 11th, the Vice President will return to India.

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 14:56:02 +0530
Aero India to be held in

Aero India - Asia's largest military aviation exhibition - will be held in Bengaluru in February next year, the government said today. The announcement comes weeks after controversy over reports that the prestigious air show hosted by Bengaluru for over two decades might be shifted out of the city, reports NDTV.

"The Government has decided to hold the Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru from 20 - 24 February 2019. This five-day event will combine a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with public air shows," a government release said. 

Sat, 08 Sep 2018 12:43:52 +0530
Afridi trolled for chewin

Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi has found himself amid a controversy after he was caught on live television chewing tobacco during the country's Defence Day celebrations, reports Khaleej Times

The event was held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Afridi, also known as 'Mr. Boom Boom' was reportedly chewing naswar when TV cameras focused on him and captured him in the act, Khaleej Times reported.

Ever since the video was shared on Twitter, people haven't stopped trolling him.

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 19:30:29 +0530
UAE set to host Asia Cup

The eyes of the cricketing world will be fixed on the UAE from 15th to 28th September as Dubai and Abu Dhabi prepare to host the 2018 Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Asia Cup.

Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is hosting the Asia Cup 2018 on behalf of the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) and Dubai International Stadium and Zayed Cricket Stadium will be hosting the matches as per the schedule.

In Group A, India, the defending champions, will face Pakistan, while in Group B Sri Lanka will play Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The games will be played over a 50 over format starting from 3.30pm onwards.

The teams will start arriving in the UAE from 10th September. The first game will see Bangladesh take on Sri Lanka in front of what is sure to be a full-house at Dubai International Stadium.

Khalid Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman, Emirates Cricket Board, said, "We are proud to host the 2018 Asia Cup in the UAE, which promises to be a thrilling festival of cricket with some of the world’s best players battling it out on the field.

"The game of cricket is hugely popular here in the UAE, and we are sure there will be a fantastic atmosphere in the stands as well as great entertainment on the field throughout the tournament."

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 19:16:35 +0530
India UAE deepen economi

Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, received the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Suri, to discuss ways of intensifying cooperation channels, along with an array of issues of common interest.

Al Bowardi commended the growing ties of friendship between the UAE and India, particularly at the defence levels.

The meeting, which was held at the premises of the Ministry of Defence here, was attended by Matar Salim Ali Al Dhaheri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, and a number of senior ranking military officers.

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 19:09:55 +0530
Dilbagh Singh appointed h

IPS officer Dilbagh Singh has been given additional charge of heading the police force in Jammu and Kashmir after SP Vaid was removed as the police chief of the state on Thursday. Mr Vaid's transfer comes after differences between him and the centre cropped up in recent days, reports NDTV.

Dilbagh Singh, the Director General of Prisons, was made the Director General of Police in Jammu and Kashmir. Mr Singh is a 1987-batch officer.

Mr Singh has held important positions in Jammu and Kashmir Police including serving as the intelligence chief of the state. He started his carrier as the Additional Superintendent of Police in Kupwara district.

But Mr Singh has had a brush with controversy nearly two decades ago. In 2000, Dilbagh Singh was suspended as the Deputy Inspector General of south Kashmir's Anantnag after he was allegedly found involved in a major recruitment scam, NDTV reported.

He was made the head of the prison department in March this year after the daring escape of a Pakistani terrorist from a Srinagar hospital in February.Twenty -year-old Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Naveed Jatt, who was brought to the hospital from the Srinagar Central Jail for treatment. Gunmen killed two policemen before  they whisked away Naveed Jatt, reports NDTV.

Dibagh Singh was a top trend on Twitter on Friday morning with many people sharing the news of his appointment.

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 18:54:53 +0530
India US welcome 2 2 Dia

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman welcomed Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis, for the inaugural India-U.S. Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue. They welcomed the launch of the 2+2 Dialogue as a reflection of the shared commitment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump to provide a positive, forward-looking vision for the India-U.S. strategic partnership and to promote synergy in their diplomatic and security efforts. They resolved to continue meetings in this format on an annual basis.

Celebrating over 70 years of diplomatic cooperation, the Ministers reaffirmed their view that India and the United States, as sovereign democracies founded on the values of freedom, justice and commitment to the rule of law, must continue to lead global efforts to promote peace, prosperity and security.

Recognizing their two countries are strategic partners, major and independent stakeholders in world affairs, the Ministers committed to work together on regional and global issues, including in bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral formats. The two sides further decided to establish secure communication between the Minister of External Affairs of India and the U.S. Secretary of State and between the Minister of Defence of India and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, to help maintain regular high-level communication on emerging developments.

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 13:25:22 +0530
PM to launch Swachhata H

‘Swachhata Hi Seva 2018’ a jan andolan for Swachhata to be observed in the run-up to the 4th anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), i.e. from September 15th to October 2nd 2018, as the sanitation movement enters its final leg.

SHS 2018 follows the success of the SHS 2017 last year, PM. SHS 2018 will culminate with the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention (MGISC) from September 29th to October 2nd 2018, which also marks the start of 150th birth year celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.

SHS aims at accelerating the Jan-Andolan for realizing the vision of a Clean India, further reinforcing the belief that ‘Sanitation is everyone’s business’. 

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 13:19:10 +0530
Modi meets US State Secre

U.S Secretary of State Mr. Michael Pompeo and U.S Secretary of Defence Mr. James Mattis, called on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

They conveyed greetings of President Trump to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister fondly recalled his interactions with President Trump and requested Secretaries to convey his greetings to him.

The Secretaries briefed the Prime Minister on the fruitful and productive 2+2 dialogue held earlier today. Prime Minister congratulated both the Secretaries and their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister, for holding of the first 2+2 dialogue between the two countries.

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 11:53:43 +0530
Modi meets US State Secre

U.S Secretary of State Mr. Michael Pompeo and U.S Secretary of Defence Mr. James Mattis, called on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

They conveyed greetings of President Trump to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister fondly recalled his interactions with President Trump and requested Secretaries to convey his greetings to him.

The Secretaries briefed the Prime Minister on the fruitful and productive 2+2 dialogue held earlier today. Prime Minister congratulated both the Secretaries and their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister, for holding of the first 2+2 dialogue between the two countries.

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 11:53:31 +0530
Vice President to visit U

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu to visit United States of America on September 8-9, 2018 to address the 2nd World Hindu Congress being held in Chicago on the occasion of 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Historic Speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions in 1893.

The Vice President will also participate in a programme organized by 14 Telugu Associations of the US at Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago. He will also participate in bilateral discussions with several world leaders, who are attending this event, on the sidelines of this Congress.

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 11:50:56 +0530
Vice President visits for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has visited former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s residence today. Deepa Venkat, daughter of the Vice President also accompanied him.

The Vice President interacted with the family members of Vajpayee and enquired about their well-being and also the post-ritual activities. He spent there about an hour at Vajpayee’s residence. 

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 10:39:03 +0530
President Kovind meets Bu

The President Ram NathKovind, met the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Mr Boyko Borissov in Sofia. During the discussions, the President said that under his leadership Bulgaria has made appreciable progress as a nation. He also complimented him for successfully conducting the rotating Presidency of the European Union from January to June 2018.

The President said India is keen to substantially upgrade its economic relations with Bulgaria. Bulgaria is doing well in the fields of IT, pharma, technology, food processing, among other sectors. These are areas where there is strong interest among Indian companies to forge joint ventures and invest in Bulgaria.

The President said that our defence collaboration has been going on for long. India is keen to leverage Bulgarian know-how and technology. India invites Bulgarian companies to come and manufacture in India as part of our Make in India programme.

Later in the day, the President, jointly with the President of Bulgaria, unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at South Park, Sofia. In his remarks on the occasion, the President said that he was grateful to the people of Bulgaria for giving Mahatma Gandhi an eternal home in Bulgaria on their special day – the National Unification Day. This is a meaningful tribute to a man who dedicated his entire life to the service of humanity. In these times of strife, reckless violence and wanton destruction, his thoughts and values are ever more relevant.

Following the conclusion of his visit to Bulgaria, the President left for the Czech Republic – the last leg of his journey to three European nations – Cyprus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 10:31:41 +0530
Supreme Court decriminali

Homosexuality is not a crime in India anymore and it is not a mental disorder, five Supreme Court judges declared today in a spectacular leap for gay rights in the country and a rainbow moment in its history, reports NDTV.

The Supreme Court overruled its own 2013 decision and partially struck down Section 377, a controversial British-era law that banned consensual gay sex. The ban is irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary, the judges said. "Take me as I am," said Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, toasting gay pride, NDTV reported.

 

Thu, 06 Sep 2018 16:07:26 +0530
IAF French Air Force par

Indian Air Force (IAF) recently participated in Exercise Pitch Black 2018 at Darwin, Australia.  Sixteen different nations from across the globe, including French Air Force (FAF) participated in this exercise.  On the return leg, Rafale fighter aircraft and transport aircraft of FAF staged through Air Force Station, Gwalior and Air Force Station, Agra from 01 – 04 Sep 18.

During the staging period, FAF and IAF carried out basic joint training, which included fighter sorties by pilots in their respective aircraft with observers onboard each other’s transport aircraft supporting the missions.  This interaction with FAF provided a unique opportunity for exchange of experience and sharing of best practices during cooperative deployment.

Thu, 06 Sep 2018 11:46:31 +0530
PM interacts with Asian G

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, interacted with the medal winners of the recently concluded 18th Asian Games, at his residence, today.

The Prime Minister congratulated the medal winners and complimented them for their exemplary performance in the best ever medal tally for India in Asian Games. He told the medal winners that their sporting feats have raised India’s stature and pride. He expressed hope that the medal winners will remain grounded and would not lose focus due to fame and accolades.

During the interaction, Prime Minister urged the sports persons to use technology as an aid to improve their performance. He added that sports persons should continue their self-improvement by using technology aided critical analysisof their performance as well as those of top players in the world.

Prime Minister expressed happiness in seeing young talents rise from the small towns, rural areas and from poor background and win medals for the nation. He said that there is real potential in the rural areas and we should continue nurturing those talents.He added that the outside world is unaware of the day-to-day struggles, a sports person has to go through.

Prime Minister got emotional while mentioning the names of some sports persons who had to go through immense hardships to be a medal winner for the nation. He saluted their grit and dedication to their disciplines and hoped that the rest of the country would get inspired from their efforts.

PM Modi urged the sports persons not to rest based on the laurels achieved and asked them to strive harder for greater glory. He said that the biggest challenge for the medal winners will start now and they should never lose their goal of being in the Olympic Games podium.

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, was present on the occasion. In his opening remarks, Rajyavardhan Rathore said that Prime Minister’s vision and government’s initiatives played a vital role in the improved medal tally and in inspiring young sports persons.

India had garnered a record medal haul at the 18thAsian Games held at Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, by bagging 69 medals, beating the previous best of 65 medals won at Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010.

Thu, 06 Sep 2018 11:39:42 +0530
PM writes letter to lakhs

Greeting the Teachers' community, and paying tribute to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan on Teachers' Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that teachers inspire as well as inform, educate and enlighten.

In an email sent to lakhs of teachers, the Prime Minister mentioned their tremendous influence on the lives of children, and added that the values inculcated by teachers stay with the students for a lifetime.

The Prime Minister quoted former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who had said: "Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, calibre and future of an individual."

Narendra Modi said that the 21st century will be shaped by societies that accord topmost importance to education, research, and innovation. "Needless to say, this makes the role of our teachers extremely vital," he added.

"I am sure you are keeping up-to-date with the latest advances in technology and further connecting your students with the technological trends," the Prime Minister wrote in his letter to teachers. He also mentioned some of the efforts that the Government of India is undertaking to bring about a paradigm shift in the education sector.

"Thanks to the monumental efforts of teachers like you, the focus has successfully shifted from outlays to outcomes, from teaching to learning. The emphasis on skill development has received a significant push due to the Atal Tinkering Labs. Numerous universities are being set up across India so that no youngster is denied the joys of quality education," the Prime Minister said.

Noting that on 2nd October, we mark the start of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, the Prime Minister exhorted the teaching community to take the lead in furthering the thoughts and noble ideals of Bapu in an innovative manner, among the students. He appreciated the "stupendous role of the teaching community in strengthening the Swachh Bharat Mission."

Reiterating his vision of a New India by 2022, when we mark 75 years of freedom, the Prime Minister urged the teaching community to devote the coming four years towards fulfilling the dreams and vision of those who gave their lives for our freedom.

"I urge you to focus on any issue close to your heart, mobilise local communities and make a positive difference in the lives of those around you. This would be a fitting tribute to our freedom fighters and further the resolve to build a New India," the Prime Minister said.

Thu, 06 Sep 2018 11:20:54 +0530
Our constitution strength

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that we should salute the constitution-framers for giving us a constitution that strengthened parliamentary democracy and stood the test of times, even as it evolved through several amendments. He was addressing the gathering after releasing the Book ‘Constitutionalizing India: an Ideational Project’ authored by Bidyut Chakrabarty.

The Vice President said that providing a glimpse of the fierce debates that took place between liberalism, enlightenment and the Gandhian idea of Swaraj, the author challenges the notion that it is merely a mindless borrowing of constitutional provisions and practices prevalent elsewhere. The book reveals how the ideas with completely different socio-economic roots competed with each other in the making of a Constitution which was acceptable to all, he added.

The Vice President said that even 68 years after it came into force, the Constitution continues to be the guiding light on all matters connected with governance and jurisprudence. He further said that Sardar Patel, who played a key role in drafting the Constitution, wanted a strong centre and a robust, homogenous administration to maintain the unity and integrity of India. He had presented reports on rights of minorities, tribals and Directive principles, among others, to the Constituent Assembly.

Thu, 06 Sep 2018 11:13:43 +0530
President delivers addres

The President Ram Nath Kovind, reached Bulgaria on the second leg of his state visit to three European nations – Cyprus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

The President delivered an address at Sofia University on the theme “Education as an Instrument of Change and Shared Prosperity”. The address coincided with Teachers’ Day in India, commemorating the birth anniversary of Dr S. Radhakrishnan, India’s second President.

Speaking on the occasion, the President paid tributes to India’s teachers, scholars and academics. He said they have drawn from India’s age-old traditions of learning and wisdom - and they have contributed to India’s reputation as a knowledge power. Across continents, Indian scholarship and academic excellence is recognised. It adds to the global economy and knowledge structures – and it earns India goodwill.

The President said the 21st century is an era of dramatic technological change. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Artificial Intelligence, and the maturing of robotics and of 3D and precision manufacture are changing how we live and work. Digital technologies are allowing us to make jumps that were hitherto not possible.

The President said that the technology and digital revolution is being led by young people from campuses. The university campuses of the 21st century are not just providers of degrees but also hubs of innovation and entrepreneurship and incubators of start-ups and small businesses driven by technology – and by creative minds buzzing with ideas and designing game-changing apps.

The President said that this is a revolution playing out in real time in India. It has made India the world’s third-largest innovation and start-up hub. The start-up universe in India is creating not just jobs and wealth – but also intellectual property. India’s R&D investments are expected to touch US dollars 83 billion this year. This is an exciting ecosystem. He invited young Bulgarians to become a part of it. Bulgarians, he said, are among students from 166 countries studying in Indian universities and institutions of higher learning.

Earlier the President visited the Saint Alexander Nevski Square where he was received by President Rumen Radev of Bulgaria and accorded a ceremonial welcome. He also paid respects at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier.  

During the subsequent one-to-one discussions with President Radev, the President thanked him for his warmth and hospitality. The President said his visit is aimed at further strengthening India-Bulgaria political relations and building an economic partnership. Subsequently, the President led delegation-level talks between the two sides. Speaking on the occasion, he said the all-round progress achieved by Bulgaria deserves recognition and admiration. India is also on a strong growth path. There is potential for us to enhance economic cooperation. We could collaborate in the fields of IT, defence, pharma, food processing, entertainment and tourism, among others.

Thu, 06 Sep 2018 11:05:39 +0530
Supreme Court to pronounc

Will the Supreme Court of India decriminalize homosexuality? This question, which will have a bearing on rights of LGBTs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgenders)  in the country will be decided by a constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday, reports Hindustan Times.

A five judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra had concluded hearing in this contentious issue and reserved its verdict 49 days back, Hindustan Times reported.

Thu, 06 Sep 2018 10:58:18 +0530
When media turns a haysta

Fishermen have created history in Kerala, leading the largest flood rescue operation in the state’s history. Now, it seems, the media too don’t want to be left behind in doing their bit.

In the aftermath of a devastating flood and landslides that claimed hundreds of lives and displaced over a million people in the southern peninsular state, help flowed in from several quarters.

The central government, states across the country and corporates have all come out to help the flood-ravaged state rebuild its lost infrastructure. Malayalees from every corner of the world are also using this opportunity to emphasize their brotherhood by helping their home state in its hour of need as well. Such expressions of solidarity does go a long way in infusing confidence among those affected by this disaster.

Among such efforts, this one stood out. Mumbai-based Media Eye News channel and Malanadu Television have come together to organise relief camps in Kerala, which is a kind of rarity by itself in the dog-fight-dog world of media. But these two organisations, run by Malayalees, have also co-opted other organisations, such as the Yashoda Charitable Trust Mumbai and the Business Network International (BNI) Trissur chapter, to add heft and reach to their relief efforts.

 

Sasi Nair, founder and managing trustee of Yasoda Charitable Trust , sees nothing unusual in this. Rather he thinks distress-reporters should also play the role of distress-relievers.

“They need to go beyond their usual role of reporting,” Mr Nair said in an event organised by the cluster of organisations last week in Annamada in Trissur district. “In fact, they are the people who have first-hand information about any such disasters and the consequent distress of the people. They know the depth of it. So it becomes their responsibility more than anyone else’s to come to the fore and participate in the relief works.”

“Like other institutions that come forward to help in such situations, media houses too should come forward,” Mr Nair added. 

The event, which was attended by Malanadu TV managing director R Jayesh, Elite Group chairman TR Vijayakumar,  and BNI representatives, was inaugurated by Jyotish Kumar IRS.

Dr. Bijoy Kutty, Director of Platinum Hospital Group in Mumbai offered more help in kind as medicine and money for such events in the coming weeks.

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 13:37:05 +0530
UAE names India as guest

Building on the UAE’s longstanding historical ties and robust bilateral relations with India, Dubai FDI -the investment development agency of Dubai Economy (DED) - announced that the South Asian country will be the guest nation of the upcoming fourth edition of the premier Dubai Investment Week (DIW), set to take place on October 7-11, 2018 in the emirate.

In 2017 alone, 28 Indian projects worth USD127.73 million were launched in the UAE, focused on retail and wholesale trade (25.0 percent); accommodation and food services (14.3 percent); software publishers (10.7 percent); educational services (7.1 percent); and administration and support services (7.1 percent).

Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, DIW 2018 will discuss the major role of India and other key foreign investors in Dubai’s future growth as well as their impact on the emirate’s efforts to promote innovation across key sectors. This year’s theme is ‘Investing in Future Transformation.’ Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said: "With its steadily growing reputation as a worldwide business hub and a preferred global destination for foreign direct investments (FDIs), the emirate continues to attract investors’ interest thanks mainly to its strategic location, modern infrastructure, enabling business environment, and fully developed international business services value chain. We aim to further highlight Dubai’s advantages and edge via our DIW initiative, with the 2018 edition focusing particularly on the relations of Dubai and the UAE with India as our guest nation. DIW is part and parcel of our commitment to realize the goals of Dubai Plan 2021 to transform the city into a pivotal hub in the global economy and a city of happy, creative and empowered people."

Additionally, DIW 2018 will highlight Dubai’s strategic importance as a global business center, a gateway for business in the region, and a city driving future growth for investors through a series of dialogue forums and interactive sessions. The event will gather speakers and delegates from around the world to gain insights and inspiration as to the emirate’s future growth plans.

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 11:13:22 +0530
PM interacts with awardee

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the awardees of National Teachers’ Awards, 2017 at Lok Kalyan Marg, on the eve of Teachers' Day. The Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar, was also present on the occasion.

Prime Minister congratulated the awardees for their efforts towards improving the quality of education in the country. He commended their dedication towards education and for making it their life mantra. He said that a teacher remains a teacher throughout life.

During the interaction, Prime Minister urged the awardees to mobilize the community and to make them an integral part of school development. He also exhorted the teachers to work towards bringing out the inherent strength of students, especially those from poor and rural background.

Prime Minister said that the educators should work towards removing the disconnect between the teachers and the students, so that teachers are remembered by the students throughout their life. He also encouraged the teachers to digitally transform their schools and its neighbourhood.

Interacting with the Prime Minister, the awardees narrated their inspirational stories in transforming their schools into centres of learning and excellence. They also thanked the Prime Minister for the new online nomination process and for schemes like Digital India, which is bringing a big qualitative change in school education throughout the country.

This year, the Ministry of Human Resource Development had revised the guidelines for the selection of Teachers for National Awards. The new scheme envisages self-nomination and was inspired by recent innovations in major national awards. The scheme is transparent, fair, and rewards demonstrated excellence and performance.

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 11:04:44 +0530
President Kovind addresse

The President Ram Nath Kovind, delivered an address at the University of Cyprus. The theme of the address was “Youth, Technology and Ideas: Shaping the Contours of the 21st Century”. 

Addressing the gathering, the President said we live in a rapidly evolving world. The scale of change we are likely to see in a decade or so will be unprecedented in human history. The world of technology, start-ups, innovations, new ideas, digital assistants, clean energy and pasta straws would reorient our daily lives in an unbelievable manner. What is of deeper import is that perhaps for the first time in history, youth are directly involved in bringing about sweeping changes and on such a massive scale.

The President said that technology has opened a whole new world of learning. And it has also made it easier to accomplish our tasks. One should, however, not get carried away by the instant nature of technology. The pursuit of excellence should be the key factor that dominates the minds of future generations. 

The President said the changing world demands greater collaboration among the global community. We must create open source platforms for communities and countries to access the fruits of science and technology. Access, equity and inclusion should remain key to developing and deploying technologies. The Indian experience is of relevance. Empowerment through digital access is an objective that the Government of India is committed to.

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 10:58:24 +0530
Suresh Prabhu leads India

In the 6th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting held  in Singapore, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu, led the Indian delegation. The Ministers attending the meeting took stock of the state of negotiations across the various negotiating Groups and Sub-Working Groups.

The Chair of the Trade Negotiating Committee, Mr. Pak Iman Pambagyo, made a detailed presentation on the state of play of RCEP negotiations and sought ministerial guidance and direction on pending issues.

The Ministers acknowledged the good progress made in the negotiations so far with successful conclusion of 4 chapters, namely (i) Economic and Technical Cooperation; (ii) Small and Medium Enterprises; (iii) Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation; and (iv) Government Procurement.

The Ministers endorsed ‘The Package of Year End Deliverables’ and urged the negotiators to intensify their work with a view to narrowing gaps and finding balanced outcomes in the negotiations as it moves forward. On key pillars of the negotiations, the Commerce Minister defended India’s interests effectively and secured maximum flexibilities.

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 10:53:06 +0530
President begins European

The President Ram Nath Kovind, reached Cyprus on the first leg of his State Visit to three European nations – Cyprus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. He addressed the members of the House of Representatives of Cyprus in Nicosia.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that relations between Cyprus and India are old, deep and have multiple facets. As ancient civilisations, our first priority is our people. The strong connection between the citizens of Cyprus and India is the most important source of our bilateral energy. From people-to-people contacts, we build economic and trade links, educational and intellectual connections, and a fruitful bilateral partnership. Then of course are issues of common concern and our mutual commitment to peace, security and sovereignty. This takes us to the multilateral sphere and to global matters, where inevitably we find ourselves on the same side.  

The President said that India’s overriding mission is its economic growth and modernisation, with the fruits of development reaching all sections of our people. Cyprus, as a trusted partner and as one of the largest investors in India, is critical to this process. India is at an exciting juncture and offers appealing business opportunities. India’s GDP had grown at a scorching 8.2 per cent in the previous quarter. This is part of a trend of high growth over the past few years. It has made India the world’s fastest-growing large economy. The President invited Cyprus to partner in various initiatives of the Government of India. He said that India is open for business – and India is open for Cyprus.

The President said that earlier this year India co-founded and hosted the inaugural conference of the International Solar Alliance. The ISA is central to our effort to mobilise international resources and technologies to combat climate change. The scope for renewable energy is immense and will be crucial to checking rising temperatures and rising seas. As geographies marked by long coastlines as well as being blessed by sunshine, there is much Cyprus and India can do together. He invited Cyprus to become part of the ISA family.

The President said that as responsible nation-states, both Cyprus and India are alive to challenges in the international system. The continued relevance of a rules-based international order, for trade, for our sea lanes and the global maritime commons, and in other domains is an article of faith for us. The salience of national sovereignty and the essential need to defeat radicalism and terrorism unites us. In this regard, India has called for finalising the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations and we count on Cyprus’s support.

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 10:48:52 +0530
PM to interact with recip

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be interacting with the recipients of the National Teachers’ Awards on 4th September (i.e the eve of National Teachers’ Day), and the Vice President will be conferring the awards on them at a function on 5th September i.e. Teachers’ Day.

This year, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has revised the guidelines for the selection of Teachers for National Awards (2017).The basic premise now is that the new scheme should be transparent, fair, and reward demonstrated excellence and performance and has been inspired by recent innovations in major national awards.

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 10:35:35 +0530
Kerala flood IMD counter

India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued all necessary severe weather warnings through its office in Thiruvananthapuram. As per the regular practice, warnings are uploaded in the local website (www.imdtvm.gov.in) every day. District wise rainfall forecast along with warnings are also uploaded and updated thrice daily in the website. Nowcasts for next 3 hours are also issued through SMS to SDMA, SEOC, District collectors using Doppler Weather Radar Data.

Weather Forecasts for 5 days and outlook for subsequent two days, which also include heavy rainfall warning and wind warning, are sent through e-mail to Chief Secretary, Addl. Chief Secretary (Revenue & Disaster Management), SDMA, Navy, Special Marine enforcement, Print and electronic media.

High level officials of Kerala Government were briefed in a meeting convened by Chief Minister on 9th August about the strong monsoon conditions with heavy rainfall activity. Also the Addl. Chief Secretary (Revenue & Disaster Management) was briefed orally over phone on all occasions. Member Secretary, SDMA was briefed on 10th August. District Collectors of Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram were briefed on 14th August. Briefings were sent to media also during this period.

Extended range forecasts (issued 2 weeks in advance) issued from Delhi

In a press release issued on 2nd August 2018, it was indicated that the rainfall over ‘extreme south peninsula’ shall be above normal during 9th – 15th August 2018. In the subsequent press release issued on 9th August also, the same statement was repeated, along with a date-wise indication of likely widespread rainfall with isolated heavy rainfall over Kerala re-starting from 13th August. The above press releases had been communicated to the Chief Secretaries of all the States via E-Mail and also posted on the IMD website.

Short & medium range forecasts (5 days in advance) issued from IMD Thiruvanthapuram

Orange alerts (prepare for action) were issued w.e.f 6th applicable for 8th August onwards and Red alert (for action) were issued w.e.f 9th August. Further, for showing the severity of rainfall intensity expected, heavy (7-11 cm in 24 hrs) to very heavy (12-20 cm in 24 hrs) rainfall warning for Kerala state was issued w.e.f 10th August for 14th August with Orange Alert to

Idukki and Alappuzha, Red alert to Wayanad district. On 11th heavy to very heavy rainfall warning extended for 15th August also with orange alert to Idukki and Wayanad districts.

On 12th August Red alert was issued for Idukki effective from 14th August. On 14th August, again heavy to very heavy rainfall warning was issued for 14th and 15th with red alert and orange alerts for most of the districts. On 15th, extremely heavy (>20 cm in 24 hrs) rainfall warning was issued for Kerala state with red alert to all districts for 16th August and red for 7 districts and orange for the remaining 7 districts for 17th August. It may be noted that the Red alert is the highest alert for issuing heavy rainfall warning and no other alerting criteria than this is adopted by IMD.

The weather Bulletins issued from Delhi office also carried warnings for Kerala in ‘Orange’ and ‘Red’ colours about 2-3 days in advance of the event, advising the Disaster managers to be alert and initiate action respectively.

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 10:29:42 +0530
Decomposed body of IIT st

The Amboli police on Monday found the decomposed body of a 22-year-old in a hotel room in Jogeshwari, reports Hindustan Times.

The deceased was later identified as Jaideep Swain, a student of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Powai.

Swain was pursuing his Masters in technology (MTech) at the computer science department of IIT, and had joined the institute in July this year, Hindustan Times reported.

His father works as a porter in the Food Corporation of India and his sister is in Chennai.

According to the police, Swain checked in to the hotel in Jogeshwari on August 31. His last contact with the hotel staff was on September 1, reports Hindustan Times.

Tue, 04 Sep 2018 11:25:34 +0530
Petrol diesel prices ris

Petrol and diesel prices rose for the 10th consecutive day on Tuesday, pinching people’s pockets across India and providing ammunition to opponents of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, reports Hindustan Times.

Petrol is priced at Rs 79.31 per litre and Rs 86.72 per litre in Delhi and Mumbai. Petrol prices in Kolkata and Chennai are Rs 82.22 per litre and Rs 82.41 per litre.

Diesel is priced at Rs 71.34 in Delhi, Rs 74.19 in Kolkata, Rs 75.74 in Mumbai and Rs 75.39 in Chennai, reports Hindustan Times.

Petrol and diesel prices in Delhi have increased by 13% and 19% this calendar year so far. With expectations of further tightening in oil prices due to a mix of factors such as declining inventories in the US, and Iran sanctions coming into place, the trend of rising petroleum prices is likely to continue.

Tue, 04 Sep 2018 10:59:17 +0530
Mass shooting in US Atle

Multiple people were shot at a teen party at WorldPlay in downtown Birmingham on late Sunday night, reports Khaleej Times.

At least seven people were injured at the shooting and one person is in critical condition, Daily Mail reported.

Sergeant Timothy Gardiner told Daily Mail that at least six teenagers were wounded and a seventh suffered another injury as a result of the violent incident. One of the victims has life-threatening injuries, Khaleej Times reported.

Mon, 03 Sep 2018 15:46:58 +0530
PM launches India Post Pa

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, today launched the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. The function was witnessed at over 3000 locations across the country, which were connected to the main event in Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that through the India Post Payments Bank, banking services will conveniently reach the remotest places in the country, and the people living there.

He recalled that the Union Government had earlier rolled out the Jan Dhan Yojana to establish financial inclusion. He said that today’s launch of IPPB is one more step to achieve this objective. He said IPPB branches have opened across 650 districts today.

The Prime Minister said that the postman has long been a respected and accepted person in the villages. He said the trust on the postman remains, despite the advent of modern technology. He said that the Government’s approach is to reform existing frameworks and structures, and hence, transform them in accordance with the changing times. He said that there are over 1.5 lakh post offices and over three lakh postmen or “grameen dak sevaks” who are connected to the people of the country. Now they shall be empowered with smartphones and digital devices to provide financial services.

Mon, 03 Sep 2018 12:37:02 +0530
PM releases book to mark

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, released the book “Moving On, Moving Forward – A Year in Office” to mark one year in office of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. He also presented the first copy of the book to the Vice President of India.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that he had the opportunity to work with Shri Venkaiah Naidu for several years. He said that Naidu laid emphasis on responsibility (Karyabhaar), above all else.

The Prime Minister said that Venkaiah Naidu always performed whatever duty he had, with utmost diligence, and adapted into that role with ease. He has been in public life for 50 years- 10 years in student politics and 40 years in state as well as national politics, the Prime Minister added.

Narendra Modi said that Venkaiah Naidu has the ability to endear himself to people across all sections, while also being a disciplinarian.He provides visionary leadership whenever he gets a responsibility. He gets the best experts to ensure justice is done to the work assigned, the Prime Minister added.

Mon, 03 Sep 2018 12:17:54 +0530
VP urges all political pa

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today urged all the political parties to evolve a code of conduct for MPs and MLAs both within and outside the Houses for effective functioning of legislatures to restore the confidence of the people in parliamentary institutions. He also urged the parties to come together, transcending political considerations, on issues of national importance.

Naidu voiced concern about the functioning of legislators in the country after release of a book titled “Moving On…Moving Forward: A Year in Office” on his first year as Vice President, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Naidu described the book as a report to the people on his mission and it’s outcomes during the year since he was sworn in as Vice President on August 11 last year.

Naidu said “While there is cause for a great deal of celebration in the way Indian economy is shaping up and how India’s standing in the comity of nations has been steadily going up, I am a little unhappy that our Parliament Is not functioning as it should”.

He suggested five reforms to improve the functioning of Parliament and State legislatures. These include; Code of conduct for legislators both within and outside the Houses, Legislators to resign before changing party and Anti-defection cases to be decided in three months time, Election petitions and criminal cases against political leaders to be decided quickly by special benches of higher courts, A national policy to ensure consistency in having upper houses in States and Cleansing of polity.

Naidu also urged political parties to consider issues concerning women dispassionately to ensure their safety and dignity and by ending discrimination against women on the basis of religion and other factors. He called for reservation for women in all spheres including in legislatures.

Stressing that agriculture is the basic culture of the country, the Vice President called for a clear bias towards farmers in resource allocation to ensure remunerative farming and a robust food security.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Naidu as a person ‘’ driven by a holistic vision aimed at improving the lot of common man”. He recalled that when former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was keen to offer to Naidu an important portfolio, Naidu,  unusually requested to be given the Ministry of Rural Development. Modi noted that the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) launched by Naidu became hugely popular among the MPs, given the importance of rural roads.

Mon, 03 Sep 2018 11:51:46 +0530
President greets citizens

The President Ram Nath Kovind in his message on the eve of Janmashtami has said:-

“On the joyous occasion of Janmashtami, I convey greetings and best wishes to all my fellow citizens in India and abroad.

The life and teachings of Lord Krishna have a universal message- Nishkam Karma. Lord Krishna in his message has preached duty without thought of reward. May this festival inspire us to follow the path of virtue and righteousness in thought, word and deed”.

Mon, 03 Sep 2018 11:40:25 +0530
Myanmar Court sentences t

A Myanmar court sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in prison Monday for illegal possession of official documents, a ruling that comes as international criticism mounts over the military's alleged human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims, reports Khaleej Times.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had pleaded not guilty to violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, punishable by up to 14 years in prison. They contended they were framed by police. The verdict was postponed from a week ago because the presiding judge was ill.

The case has drawn worldwide attention as an example of how press freedom is suffering under the government of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Her taking power in 2016 had raised hopes for an accelerated transition to full democracy from military rule, but she has since disappointed many former admirers, Khaleej Times reported. 

"What happened today threatens to undermine the rule of law and freedom of press that democracy requires," said Kevin Krolicki, Reuters' regional editor for Asia. He called the verdict "heartbreaking. 

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, both testified they suffered from harsh treatment during their initial interrogations. Their several appeals for release on bail were rejected. Wa Lone's wife, Pan Ei Mon, gave birth to the couple's first child in Yangon on Aug. 10, but Wa Lone has not yet seen his daughter, reports Khaleej Times.

Mon, 03 Sep 2018 11:31:37 +0530
FICCI honours Dr Azad Mo

Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at 10th edition of The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) Healthcare Excellence Awards in recognition of his valuable contribution and efforts in the field of healthcare.

Under his leadership, Aster DM Healthcare in the last 31 years has become one of the few entities across the globe providing the complete circle of care from primary, secondary, tertiary to quaternary medical care. Starting with a single doctor clinic in Dubai in 1987, when healthcare was still in its primitive stages in the region, Dr. Moopen has played a significant role in shaping the healthcare industry in UAE and GCC. Today Aster DM Healthcare has grown into an integrated healthcare conglomerate of over 300 establishments, including hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and diagnostic centres spread across nine countries.

Accepting the award at a ceremony in New Delhi, Dr. Moopen paid tribute to Aster DM Healthcare’s 17,000+ staff members for their efforts in providing "compassionate care to millions of patients" and hard work to keep pushing the boundaries of healthcare excellence.

Sat, 01 Sep 2018 12:10:38 +0530
Trade Promotion Council s

Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) is setting up India Pavilion at the Food and Drink Technology Africa 2018 trade show being organized at Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa from 4-6 September, 2018. The India Pavilion is part of TPCI’s efforts to promote India’s trade related to food and beverages industry globally and with special focus on Africa.

Food & Drink Technology Africa (FDT-Africa) - held biennially in Johannesburg - is the premier beverage and food event in Southern Africa, tailored to promote the specific needs of the market. The trade show covers the entire value chain related to food and beverages industry and offers solutions to the challenges and demands of the market in Southern Africa.

TPCI is taking a business delegation of 42 Indian businessmen related to food and beverages industry to showcase their products and services in FDT-Africa. High Commission of India in Pretoria and Consulate General of India in Johannesburg are providing their support and cooperation to ensure that the India Pavilion is a success and the Indian businessmen participating in the show get good business. 

Sat, 01 Sep 2018 12:01:05 +0530
Fourth BIMSTEC Summit dec

We, the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Chief Advisor of the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Prime Minister of Nepal, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, met in Kathmandu on 30-31 August 2018 for the Fourth BIMSTEC Summit; and


Reaffirming the firm commitment to the principles and purposes of BIMSTEC as enshrined in the 1997 Bangkok Declaration;

Recalling the Third BIMSTEC Summit Declaration (Nay Pyi Taw, 4 March 2014) and the BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat Outcome Document (Goa, 16 October 2016);

Affirming the solemn commitment to making the Bay of Bengal Region peaceful, prosperous and sustainable by building on our common strengths through our collective efforts;



Being convinced that geographical contiguity, abundant natural and human resources, rich historical linkages and cultural heritage present great potentials for promoting deeper cooperation in identified core areas in the region;

Recognizing that eradication of poverty is the greatest regional challenge in realization of development objectives and expressing firm commitment to working together for the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development;Acknowledging that enhanced inter-linkages and inter-dependence within the economies and societies in the BIMSTEC Member States provide greater opportunity to advance regional cooperation;

Underlining the importance of multidimensional connectivity, which promotes synergy among connectivity frameworks in our region, as a key enabler to economic integration for shared prosperity;



Taking into consideration the importance of trade and investment as one of the major contributing factors for fostering economic and social development in the region.

Recognizing the special needs and circumstances of the least developed and land-locked developing countries in the region and underlining the necessity to provide meaningful support to their development process;

Recognizing that terrorism and transnational organized crimes continue to pose a great threat to international peace and security including in the BIMSTEC countries and stressing that combating terrorism and transnational organized crimes require sustained efforts and cooperation and comprehensive approach involving active participation and collaboration of the Member States;

Reaffirming strong commitment to making BIMSTEC a dynamic, effective and result-oriented regional organization for promoting a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal Region through meaningful cooperation and deeper integration;



Stressing the need for a fair, just, rule-based, equitable and transparent international order and reaffirming faith in the multilateralism with the United Nations at the centre and the rule-based international trading system;

Underscoring the importance of robust institutional arrangements to effectively steering the process of regional cooperation under BIMSTEC;

Taking Note of the participation and concurrence by the Chief Advisor of the Interim Government of Bhutan to the Summit decisions and its outcome documents on an ad referendum basis, as these are subject to endorsement by the next elected government;

Sat, 01 Sep 2018 11:49:49 +0530
Widows get new home at Vr

The Minister for Women & Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, alongwith Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath Yogi inaugurated the widows’ home ‘Krishna Kutir’ at a function at Vrindavan, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Krishna Kutir is a special home for 1000 widows set up by the Ministry of Women & Child Development under Swadhar Greh scheme of the Ministry and is the largest ever facility of its kind created by a government organization.

Speaking on the occasion, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that the Vrindavan home will offer shelter and protection to the large number of helpless widows of Vrindavan. An area of 4 acres has now been allocated near the home by the district administration which will be developed into a park and which can be used by the widows of the home, she disclosed.  The WCD Minister further added that widows will be a part of various committees which will be formed to manage the widows’ home.

Maneka Gandhi requested the Chief Minister of UP to provide land in Varanasi for a similar facility to be setup by WCD Ministry. Maneka Gandhi offered that WCD is willing to create a large facility in or around Lucknow where all orphaned children, helpless/abandoned  women in need of care and protection can be located in a community atmosphere. She also urged that the Government should inspect the condition of women in jails as well as those living in mental asylums.

Sat, 01 Sep 2018 11:12:30 +0530
Indian economy grows 8 2

The Indian economy grew 8.2 percent in April-June this year, the highest in two years, amid signs that households are buying more and companies are adding capacities, shrugging off the disorderly effects of the twin shocks of demonetisation and the goods and services tax (GST), reports Money Control

India also cemented its status as the world’s fastest growing major economy, ahead of China, which grew 6.7 percent in April-June 2018. At the current pace, India looks set to become the world’s fifth largest economy, ahead of the United Kingdom, Money Control reported.

Sat, 01 Sep 2018 10:54:17 +0530
PM to launch India Post P

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will launch the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on September 1st, 2018.

IPPB has been envisioned as an accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man, to help speedily achieve the financial inclusion objectives of the Union Government. It will leverage the vast network of the Department of Posts, which covers every corner of the country with more than 300,000 Postmen and Grameen Dak Sewaks. IPPB will hence significantly augment the reach of the banking sector in India.

The launch of IPPB marks another significant milestone in the Union Government’s endeavour to take the benefits of a rapidly developing India to the remotest corners of our country.

On the day of the launch, IPPB will have 650 Branches and 3250 Access Points spread across the country. Simultaneous launch events will be held at these branches and access points.

All the 1.55 lakh Post Offices in the country will be linked to the IPPB system by December 31, 2018.

IPPB will offer a range of products such as savings and current accounts, money transfer, direct benefit transfers, bill and utility payments, and enterprise and merchant payments. These products, and related services, will be offered across multiple channels (counter services, micro-ATM, mobile banking app, SMS and IVR), using the bank’s state-of-the-art technology platform.

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 12:32:38 +0530
Centre nears target of cl

The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari has said that it is feasible to achieve the target of cleaning almost 70%-80% of river Ganga by March 2019 and the whole river by March 2020. He said that private sector support and funding through Hybrid Annuity Model are two instruments which would be pivotal in facilitating this.

Elaborating further on National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Shri Gadkari said that the focus is on ten major towns which discharge almost 64% of total sewage.Focus is also on the tributaries of Ganges discharging dirty water into the river.

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 12:29:06 +0530
Centre would provide all

Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping, P. Radhakrishnan  has said that the Centre would provide all necessary assistance to flood ravaged Kerala. Inaugurating the State Level Bankers’ Committee meeting in Thiruvananthapuramhe said all public and private Insurance Companies have been instructed to quickly process and expedite settlement of all claims arising out of floods.

P.  Radhakrishnan  pointed out that with the allocation of Rs.214 crore during 2018-19 to Kerala, the state government has a total amount of Rs.562.45 crore in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) under its disposal. The Minister said further fund requirement will be decided after the submission of memorandum by the state.  

Mr.Radhakrishnan said that as the banking services were severely hit by the floods immediate measures were taken by the Finance Ministry and nearly 191 bank branches and 179 ATMs were made functional. Measures are being taken to make the remaining functional as early as possible. The Minister said to give relief to the people in this hour of crisis the government has waived off the charges for issuing duplicate passbook, deposit receipt and charges for not maintaining minimum balance and issuing fresh debit etc. Soiled and defective notes will be exchanged at all bank branches. He pointed out that the government has also extended fresh consumption loan up to Rs. 10,000 on need basis and moratorium on agricultural and MSME loans for one year.

Later replying to queries from media, the minister said the demand of Kerala for enhancing 3% to 4.5 % of GSDP will be looked into by the Central government. He pointed out that under Prime  Minister’s direction, the Centre has given all possible given all possible assistance to Kerala. It has provided the necessary food grains and medicines.

The Minister said the Centre is totally sympathetic to Kerala and the Prime Minister has asked, Ministries to consider various demands of the state.

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 12:14:44 +0530
Jaitley opens upon demone

The Reserve Bank has twice released its reports stating that the demonetised Notes of `500 and `1000 have been substantially deposited in the Banks.  A widely stated comment has been that just because most of the currency came back into the Banks, the object of Demonetisation has not succeeded.  Was the invalidation of the Non-deposited currency the only object of demonetisation?  Certainly Not.  The larger purpose of demonetisation was to move INDIA from a Tax Non-compliant society to a compliant society.  This necessarily involved the formalisation of the Economy and a blow to the black money.  How has this been achieved?

  • WHEN cash is deposited in the Banks, the anonymity about the owner of the cash disappears.  The deposited cash is now identified with its owner giving rise to an inquiry, whether the amount deposited is in consonance with the depositor’s income.  Accordingly, post demonetisation about 1.8 million depositors have been identified for this enquiry.  Many of them are being fastened with Tax and Penalties.  Mere deposit of cash in a bank does not lead to a presumption that it is Tax paid Money.

 

  • In March 2014, the number of Income Tax returns filed was 3.8 crores.  In 2017-18, this figure has grown to 6.86 crores.  In the last two years, when the impact of demonetisation and other steps is analysed, the Income Tax returns have increased by 19% and 25%.  This is a phenomenal increase.

 

  • The number of New Returns filed post demonetisation increased in the past two years by 85.51 Lakhs and 1.07 crores.

 

  • For 2018-19, advance Tax in the first quarter has increased for personal Income Tax Assesses by 44.1% and in the Corporate Tax category by 17.4%. 

 

  • The Income Tax collections have increased from the 2013-14 figure of `6.38 Lakh crores to the 2017-18 figure of `10.02 Lakh crores.

 

  • The growth of Income Tax collections in the Pre-demonetisation two years was 6.6% and 9%.  Post-demonetisation, the collections increased by 15% and 18% in the next two years.  The same trend is visible in the third year.

 

  • The GST was implemented from 1st July, 2017 i.e. Post demonetisation.  In the very first year, the number of registered assesses has increased by 72.5%.  The original 66.17 Lakh assesses has increased to 114.17 Lakhs.

 

          This is the positive impact of the Demonetisation.  More formalisation  of the Economy, More Money in the System, Higher Tax Revenue, Higher Expenditure, Higher Growth after the first two quarters.

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 12:06:12 +0530
VP calls for rural bias

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon Planners, Parliamentarians and Press to have a pronounced rural bias and a reservation mentality in allocation of funds for villages to bridge the urban-rural divide and ensure an integrated development of the country. The Banks must also give priority to rural innovations, he said.

He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Rural Innovators Startup Conclave at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, in Hyderabad.

The Vice President expressed anguish that the country had not followed the call of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi to “go back to villages”.  Although, successive governments had focused on rural development, adequate attention was not paid and this led to “two Indias”, he added. 

The Vice President pointed out that there was massive migration from villages to cities due to 5 Es - Education, Employment, Entertainment, Enhanced medical facilities and Economic opportunities. At the earliest, we need to bridge the urban-rural divide by providing all the amenities and facilities in villages on par with urban areas, he added.

Calling for transforming rural economy with particular emphasis on five Is - Irrigation, infrastructure, reduced interest rates, insurance and innovation, the Vice President said ‘If you have electricity, roads, hospitals medical institutions and connectivity it will bring integration’.

The Vice President said that Technology and innovation can change the economy of rural India and added that this is the best time to demonstrate our rural capabilities and showcase innovative technologies and products that can transform rural life.

The Vice President also said that self help groups should be involved in the development as it not only brings down the income gap but also encourages Women Empowerment. He has also said that the focus of providing electricity should shift from villages to every house.

Emphasizing the need to remove bottlenecks with regard to infrastructure, funds, connectivity and certification mechanism to encourage rural innovators, the Vice President appreciated NIRDPR for acting as a bridge between rural youth and various institutions and helping the innovators to transform their innovations into technology start-ups. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, National Skill Development Mission and schemes like Deen Daya Upadhyay Grameen Kaushal Yojana are extending support to the rural innovators, there is a huge scope to create the right ecosystem for rural innovators to flourish, he added.   

 

Saying that employment generation is crucial for overall growth of our economy and government alone or only the large industries cannot create all the employmen, the Vice President asked Micro & Small Enterprises to embrace the start-up eco system and use technology to increase their reach and efficiency so that they can play a leading role in employment generation.

 

The Vice President said that innovation-led economic development is mostly limited to software or IT in spite of the efforts by the government agencies and host of institutions. Of late, start-ups are extensively being spoken about and have received a boost with the MAKE IN INDIA INITIATIVE, he added.

The Vice President said that in a bid to give fillip to incubation and R&D efforts in the country, the Government is also setting up the centres of innovation and entrepreneurship at national institutes as also new research parks at various IITs. He further said that building world class incubators is the need of the hour. Besides the initiatives taken by the Government, the private sector must come forward in a big way to promote innovative rural technologies and transform the rural economy, he added. 

The Vice President said that India, with its youth potential must strive to become a make India a technology power house and emphasized the need to create innovation labs with the focus on ‘Design for Tomorrow’s India’.

 Later the Vice President inaugurated an exhibition put up by rural innovators, went around the stalls and interacted with the young entrepreneurs and innovators. Around 150 startup innovators along with experts, professionals and others were attending the two-day conclave.

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 11:47:57 +0530
Cabinet apprises MoU betw

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Kingdom (UK) and Northern Ireland for cooperation in the fields of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.  The MoU was signed on 17.04.2018.

The MoU aims to develop bilateral cooperation in the field of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries for the purpose of increasing production and productivity of Indian livestock and fisheries.

 

Impact:

         

The partnership is expected to improve livestock health, livestock breeding and Fisheries aiming at enhancing Dairy, Fisheries and Animal Products for domestic consumption and export.The MoU would promote consultation and cooperation on livestock husbandry, fisheries and dairy through:

 

  • Matters of mutual concern or interest in relation to livestock husbandry, fisheries and related matters
  • Collaboration in livestock health and husbandry, breeding dairying and fisheries
  • Management and mechanism to enrich feed & fodder nutritionally and its bulk transportation in deficit areas to realise higher productivity and production in livestock
  • Sanitary issues concerning trade in livestock, animal husbandry and animal products
  • Development of high tech fodder tree species nurseries with fodder crops and promotion of agro-forestry tor planting fodder tree species under integrated farming system including soil moisture conservation in drought prone areas
  • Areas of exchange of scientific personnel for study tour/training in mutually agreed areas
  • Collaboration for joint research for cross-learning with regard to innovative Agriculture Extension approaches including the use of information and communication technology (ICT)
  • Any other matter of joint interest

 

 A Joint Working Group (]WG) consisting of representatives of each party shall be created to formulate joint programs and to facilitate cooperation & consultation.

 

Background:

 

MoU was signed between India, represented by Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and United Kingdom & Northern Ireland, represented by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in April, 2018 for cooperation in the fields of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.

Thu, 30 Aug 2018 19:18:42 +0530
Vajpayee The crown jewe


The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today paid glowing tributes to former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and described him as crown jewel of Indian politics.

At a memorial lecture organised by Pragna Bharati in Hyderabad, the Vice President said that Vajpayee’s Parliamentary contribution, administrative acumen and oratory skills have left an indelible impact on millions of Indians. He was India’s most loving leader, a true patriot and nationalist, he added. The Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana, Mohammed Mahmood Ali and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.  

The Vice President said that Vajpayeeji practiced politics of principles and infused values into politics. He further said that he propagated and promoted an alternative political thought and had succeeded in providing a real alternative to the ruling party. He sowed the seeds of coalition by heading a government of 23 parties and he proved to be an able leader who provided a stable government, he added.

The Vice President said that Vajpayeeji was a consensus builder and an Ajata shatru who had no enemies. The fact that he united the entire political spectrum in his death showed why he was called Ajata Shatru. What made Vajpayeeji endearing to all countrymen was the way he related to different sections of the society, he added.

The Vice President said that India had not seen a great leader like Vajpayee who used to accept defeat with dignity and equanimity. He was a great orator and always held the audience spellbound and he used to employ pause with telling effect, he added.

The Vice President said that Vajpayeeji was a path-finder who ushered in the connectivity revolution in the country and implemented far reaching reforms in Governance. Some of the transformational changes he introduced had strengthened Indian economy and unleashed the forces of growth, he added.

The Vice President said that Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Golden Quadrilateral project and political reforms of limiting the cabinet size to 15% of the legislature strength were among the game-changing initiatives taken during his regime.

The Vice President said that Vajpayeeji was a steadfast leader in his resolve and could not be cowed down by any internal or external pressures. He further said that he enhanced India’s self-esteem through nuclear program. He had larger vision on the foreign policy and pursued multi-alignment in multi-polar world, he added.

The Vice President said that Shri Vajpayeeji after Pokhran-II, added Jai Vigyan to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ to encourage research and development and emphasize scientific development.

The Vice President said that he was a unique person with a rare blend of diverse talents and he was a complete man. He further said that his qualities of Vyakthithva (personality), Vakruthva (oratory), karthruthva (devotion to duty), mithruthva (camaraderie) combined in Nethruthva (leadership) will be remembered forever. He will be a source of tremendous inspiration for many generations to come, he added.

Thu, 30 Aug 2018 13:11:42 +0530
PM chairs his twenty eigh

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, today chaired his twenty-eighth interaction through PRAGATI - the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

The Prime Minister reviewed the progress in resolution of grievances related to income tax. Finance Ministry officials briefed him on the progress made in this regard. The Prime Minister reiterated that all systems should be made technology-driven, and human interface should be reduced to the minimum. Noting the progress made in bringing corrupt officials to book, the Prime Minister said that the various initiatives and measures taken by the Income Tax Department to facilitate the people, should be communicated to all taxpayers suitably.

The 27 PRAGATI meetings so far have seen a cumulative review of projects with a total investment of over Rs. 11.5 lakh crore. Resolution of Public Grievances has also been reviewed across a range of sectors.

Today, in the twenty-eighth meeting, the Prime Minister reviewed the progress of nine important infrastructure projects in the railway, road, and petroleum sectors. These projects are spread over several states including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Delhi, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The Prime Minister reviewed the progress made towards rollout of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, under Ayushman Bharat. He also reviewed the progress of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana.

Thu, 30 Aug 2018 12:57:34 +0530
Modi congratulates Arpind

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has congratulated Arpinder Singh on winning Gold in Men’s Triple Jump event at the 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta - Palembang, Indonesia.

“Talented and hardworking, Arpinder Singh has secured the Gold in the Men's Triple Jump event. His performance has made every Indian happy”, the Prime Minister said.

Thu, 30 Aug 2018 12:51:00 +0530
PM heads to Nepal for BIM

Following is the text of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's departure statement prior to his visit to Nepal.

PM heads to “I will be in Kathmandu on a two-day visit on 30-31 August, to participate in the Fourth BIMSTEC Summit.

My participation in the Summit symbolises India's highest priority to our neighbourhood and our strong commitment to continue deepening our relationship with the extended neighbourhood in South-East Asia.

During the Summit, I will have interactions with all the leaders of BIMSTEC to further enrich our regional cooperation, enhance our trade ties and advance our collective efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous Bay of Bengal region.

The Summit theme, “Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous and Sustainable Bay of Bengal Region” will enable us to shape a collective response to our common aspirations and challenges.

I am confident that the Fourth BISMTEC Summit will further consolidate the progress made thus far under BIMSTEC, and will chart the course for building a peaceful and prosperous Bay of Bengal Region.

On the margins of the BIMSTEC Summit, I will have the opportunity to interact with the leaders of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

I also look forward to meeting Prime Minister of Nepal, Rt. Hon. K.P. Sharma Oli and reviewing the progress we have made in our bilateral ties since my last visit to Nepal in May 2018.

Prime Minister Oli and I will have the honour and privilege to inaugurate the Nepal Bharat Maitri Dharmashala at the Pashupatinath temple complex.”

Thu, 30 Aug 2018 12:01:00 +0530
PM greets sports enthusia

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted sports enthusiasts on National Sports Day.

"Greetings to all sports enthusiasts on National Sports Day. Tributes to the phenomenal hockey player, Major Dhyan Chand Ji on his birth anniversary. I urge people to give priority to sports and fitness related activities, which will contribute towards a healthier India.

I salute all those who have represented India in various sporting events. Their hardwork and resolve has led to several milestones. This year has been great for our sporting fraternity, with the Indian athletes excelling in various tournaments including Asian Games 2018 and Commonwealth Games", the Prime Minister said.

Wed, 29 Aug 2018 13:24:46 +0530
India to send its first h

As announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address, India’s first Indian human mission will be launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by 2022. This was stated by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh while addressing a press conference here today.

The ISRO Chairman, Dr. K. Sivan said that ISRO has the capabilities to accomplish this task by the given timeframe. He said that this is a huge responsibility and a challenging task for ISRO, but it will succeed. The programme will make India the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission. So far, only the USA, Russia and China have launched human spaceflight missions.

It may be recalled that the Prime Minister during his Independence Day address had announced `Gaganyaan — India's maiden human spaceflight programme'. He had declared that 'a son or a daughter of India will go to Space from Indian soil by an Indian vehicle by 2022 (75th year of Indian independence) or sooner'. This is the most ambitious space programme undertaken by ISRO till date and is essential as it will give a big boost to the Science and Technology development within the country, said Dr Sivan. This will also inspire the youth of the country to take up bigger challenges and enhance the prestige of the country.

ISRO has developed some critical technologies like re-entry mission capability, crew escape system, crew module configuration, thermal protection system, deceleration and floatation system, sub-systems of life support system etc. required for this programme. Some of these technologies have been demonstrated successfully through the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-2007), Crew module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment (CARE-2014) and Pad Abort Test (2018). These technologies will enable ISRO in accomplishing the programme objectives in a short span of 4 years.

Wed, 29 Aug 2018 13:01:49 +0530
Onam celebrations in low

K.A.Viswanathan

 

On the occasion of the Kerala Onam festival, Malayalee devotees gathered at the Matunga Asthika Samaj to pray to Lord Guruvayoorappan  to help flood affected  people in Kerala and also for Kerala's prosperity. As mark of austerity the Malayalees associations in Mumbai have stopped all Onam feasts and also not putting Rangoli with flowers in front of the temples and houses.

The popular Mani's Lunch home at Chembur which generally attract more than 600 people for their Onam feasts, have cancelled this year and in turn sending rices and pulses to Kerala said Mr. K. Narayanaswami of Mani's lunch home.

The Malayalam association of the SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce have cancelled their yearly Onam festival of dances and music and planning to hold it later part of the year.

The Malayalam students of the SIES college are going to the villages in Kerala with the goods collected by the college and the college Past Students' association and  distributing them to the villagers with the help of their relatives in Kerala to help them to celebrate Onam.

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 14:04:11 +0530
MoE s donation brings cle

Thanks to a donation by the Ministry of Economy, MoE, local populations in Albania, Kyrgyzstan and India have gained access to clean and safe drinking water.

Employees at the ministry donated funds to the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, which used to implement water projects in these countries.

Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign Trade, said the ERC had dug four wells two in India, one each in Albania and Kyrgyzstan to provide clean and safe drinking water to local populations there.

He stated that the humanitarian gesture reflected the active contribution of the ministry's employees to efforts aimed at promoting the values of charitable work and corporate social responsibility.

The project, he indicated, was launched last year in celebration of the ''Year of Giving."

He added that helping local populations in these countries to have access to clean water supports the sustainable development goals.

''The initiative underscores the continuation of the legacy of the late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, of digging water wells in as many countries as possible to benefit thousands of people,'' he further added.

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 11:12:24 +0530
Biofuel in aviation Indi

A historic flight powered by indigenously produced aviation biofuel based on patented technology of CSIR-IIP Dehradun was flagged off from Dehradun airport by Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat. The Spicejet flight, featuring a latest generation Q400 aircraft powered by ,was received at Delhi airport by Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Harsh Vardhan, Dharmendra Pradhan, Suresh Prabhu and Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.

Dr Harsh Vardhan on the occasion said that it is a historic day and the biofuel technology is going to be a game changer as the Biojet fuel is greenhouse gas neutral, carbon neutral, reduces air pollution and to cap it ,it would bring down import bill on crude oil.“Commercialization of biofuel promises large-scale employment avenues both in formal and informal sector”, said Dr. Vardhan.

The genesis of this development goes back several years to an Indo-Canadian consortium project from 2010 to 2013 involving CSIR-IIP, Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum, IIT Kanpur and IISc Bangalore, in which research was directed towards the production of Bio-aviation fuel by CSIR-IIP from jatropha oil and its evaluation under various conditions, culminating in a detailed engine test by Pratt and Whitney in Canada that showed fitness for purpose.

Spicejet - as the lead organization for the demonstration flight - and Chhattisgarh Biofuel Development Authority- the supplier of the jatropha oil for the flight, sourced from over 500 farmers, received considerable policy and regulatory support from the MOPNG Working Group on Biofuels and the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) in making this flight happen.

With this maiden flight India joins the exclusive club of nations using biofuel in aviation.The use of bio jet fuel, apart from reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 15 percent and sulfur oxides (SOx) emissions by over 99 percent, is expected to provide indigenous jet fuel supply security, possible cost savings as feedstock availability at farm level scales up, superior engine performance and reduced maintenance cost for the airline operators.

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 10:46:36 +0530
PM Modi congratulates Nee

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has Congratulated Neeraj Chopra on winning Gold in the Men’s Javelin Throw Final  at the 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta - Palembang, Indonesia.

The Prime Minister said, “When Neeraj Chopra is on the field, expect the very best from him. This youngster makes India happier by winning a Gold in the Men’s Javelin Throw Final. We also congratulate him for setting a new national record”.

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 10:38:21 +0530
Raksha Bandan is a symbol

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Raksha Bandan is a symbol of care and protection. He was addressing more than 100 School Children from various Schools in Delhi who came to his residence to tie Rakhi on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

The Vice President said that it is an ancient Bharatheeya tradition and the festival of Raksha Bandhan, traditionally a celebration of human bonding between sisters and brothers, has a larger significance for contemporary times and probably for all times. It is celebration of solidarity, a celebration of unity and a celebration of humanism, he added.

The Vice President said that let us tie that Rakhi that binds us all together. Let us forget all the differences that tend to fragment our social fabric, he added.

The Vice President said that Raksha Bandhan signifies the invisible bond between brother and sister and it also reflects inherent implication of protection of a sister by the brother. He further said that let us all uphold the tradition of Raksha Bandhan by ensuring protection and respecting dignity of all women. Beti bachao, Beti Padhao and Beti Badaao should be the mantra of every Indian, he added.

The Minister for External  Affairs, Sushma Swaraj visited the Vice President's residence and tied the Rakhi to him. The spouse of the Vice President, Usha Naidu was present on the occasion and exchanged warm greetings on Raksha Bandhan.

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 10:27:42 +0530
Be aware of cyber warfare

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the era of New Age cyber warfare, and the new enemy can be combated only through the power of knowledge. He was addressing the gathering on the occasion of 48th Foundation Day of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).

The Vice President cautioned against the cyber attacks by hackers working over the Internet thousands of miles away and asked police to be equipped to handle attacks that jeopardize national security. He further asked the BPR&D to evolve best practices, policies and procedures in policing to combat emerging new age National Security threats.

The Vice President said that Indian Government has taken various measures to prevent cyber attacks and stressed on the need to augment police response capacities. He further said that the set up for combating the new enemy in Cyber Space can no longer be housed within the walls of a seemingly secure single government agency.

The Vice President said that the Government & private sector must establish joint mechanisms to protect the police against the future challenges, including, the threats of modern warfare. All police forces of the country have to equip themselves with the cyber forensic techniques and knowledge to counter a cyber-attack or investigate a cyber-crime, he added.

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 10:10:49 +0530
FM stresses the role of b

The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jailtley has said that India may probably become the fifth largest economy next year. Given the kind of economic activity happening in India, he said that the role of the banking industry is going to be vital in strengthening the economy itself.

He said that the sector should do this by upholding professionalism, credibility and expansion. He said that the industry needs to use the occasion of AGM to introspect and prepare a blueprint for the long term. The Minister was speaking via video conference, addressing the 71st Annual General Meeting of the Indian Banks Association, held in Mumbai.

The Finance Minister said that the desire to have a high growth rate must be accompanied by strong macroeconomic fundamentals. He said that sacrificing the fundamentals for temporary spurt in growth is not desirable. The Minister said that growth with fiscal prudence is necessary.

Jaitley said that indiscriminate lending done in the past created funding of projects which were not able to service those debts. He observed that this was followed by the subsequent error of dressing up the bad loans. He noted that excessive fear of consequences in the old regime led to a situation where this problem could not be resolved.

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 10:01:22 +0530
Kuldip Nayar dies at 95

Senior journalist and author Kuldip Nayar, widely respected for his columns and reportage, died at a Delhi hospital early this morning, his family said. He was 95, reports NDTV.

Born at Sialkot (now in Pakistan), he graduated with a law degree from Lahore before moving to India after Partition. He served as high commissioner to Britain in 1990 and was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha, NDTV reported.

Mr Nayar is survived by his wife and two sons. He will be cremated today at Lodhi crematorium in south Delhi.

Thu, 23 Aug 2018 10:46:23 +0530
PM condoles the passing a

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has condoled the passing away of veteran journalist and former Rajya Sabha member, Kuldip Nayar.

“Kuldip Nayar was an intellectual giant of our times. Frank and fearless in his views, his work spanned across many decades. His strong stand against the Emergency, public service and commitment to a better India will always be remembered. Saddened by his demise. My condolences”, the Prime Minister said.

Thu, 23 Aug 2018 10:42:14 +0530
Vice President urges stud

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked the Students to take active part in the process of nation building. He was interacting with the fresh Students from different centres of Jawaharlal Nehru University, here today. With more than 65% of the population below the age of 35, it is essential for a country like India to realize its demographic dividend to become an economic superpower, he added.

The Vice President explained the students about the parliamentary system and the role and functioning of both the houses of Parliament. He also stressed on the importance of committees such as Parliamentary Standing Committee and informed them about crucial Parliamentary procedures. Indian Parliamentary system is the best and our three-tier structure of governance help the governments implements programmes, he added.

The Vice President asked the Students to develop the habit of living with nature. We need to protect nature and culture for a better future, he added.

Saying that ‘Share and Care’ are the core values of Indian Philosophy, the Vice President also asked them to develop the feeling of oneness and be empathetic to needs and sufferings of fellow citizens.  

The Vice President asked them to take active role in welfare of their native places adding that one should never forget their Janmabhoomi. He also asked the students to remember the Mother, Mother tongue, Guru.

The Vice President advocated that a leader should possess four C’s – Character, Calibre, Capacity and Conduct. Four D’s for the youth – Discipline, Determination, Dedication and Devotion to the cause are vital for national development, he added.

Be proud to be called as Bharateeya and live as Bharateeya, the Vice President advised. He also asked students to aim and dream high and also work hard to realize the dreams.

More than 250 Students from JNU have participated in the interaction and the Vice President has personally shown the Uparashtrapati residence to the Students. 

Thu, 23 Aug 2018 10:36:55 +0530
Centre extends last date

The last date for Filing of Return in FORM GSTR-3B for the month of July, 2018 has been extended till 24th August, 2018 for all class of taxpayers by the Competent Authority. The relevant Notification for the same shall be issued shortly.

Thu, 23 Aug 2018 10:30:05 +0530
Centre releases Rs 600 c

Central assistance of Rs.500 crore, as announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Rs.100 crore, announced by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, for flood affected Kerala has been released to the Government of Kerala today. 

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) met for the sixth time in a row today to review the rescue & relief operations in the state. Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, chaired the meeting. The Chief Secretary of Kerala participated in the meeting via video conference and informed that the situation is now improving by and large though there are some isolated pockets still with water. Water levels are receding fast.

The Department of Food & Public Distribution has made additional allocation of 89,540 MT of rice as per State Government’s request.

The Department of Consumer Affairs, in addition to 100 MT of pulses supplied earlier, is sending additional quantities of green gram and Tur dal.

Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies have contributed Rs.25 crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in Kerala. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has opened special points in the flood affected areas of the state for LPG distribution. Permission has also been granted, in coordination with the State Government, for non-certified vehicles to carry LPG cylinders. The Ministry has also made available 3.2 lakh LPG cylinders and 2.2 lakh regulators.

Railways have so far supplied 24 lakh litres of drinking water in addition to 2.7 lakh water bottles. Another 14 lakh litres water is currently available at Ernakulam. Railways has also made arrangements for supply of bed sheets and blankets. Trains on all sections have resumed. It is also transporting relief materials from various states to Kerala free of cost.

An Action Plan has been prepared for restoration of power supply in all the affected areas. 94% of telecom towers have been made functional. Power supply to telephone exchanges is being restored on priority.

The Health Ministry will supply 3 crore Chlorine tablets in addition to one crore tablets supplied earlier. 30 tonnes of bleaching powder and 1.76 lakh sanitary pads have also been sent. Additional quantities will also be sent in the next few days. No major outbreak of disease has been reported so far.

As per the State Government’s requirement, essential spices, salt, tea and coffee are also being supplied by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

The Finance Ministry has decided to waive off Customs Duty & IGST on the relief materials being imported to aid the people in the flood-affected areas in Kerala.

As the rescue operations wind down, State Administration has started de-requisitioning the teams of Defence Forces and NDRF.

The NCMC meeting was attended by Secretaries of Central Ministries including Health, Telecom, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Power, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Commerce and Textiles and Senior Officers of Defence Forces, MHA and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Thu, 23 Aug 2018 10:19:17 +0530
PM Modi greets citizens o

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has greeted fellow citizens on  Idu’lZuha. “Best wishes on Id-ul-Zuha. May this day deepen the spirit of compassion and brotherhood in our society,” the PM says.

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 18:45:26 +0530
Rail transportation backs

Due to unprecedented intense rain during south west monsoon during the last one week, and consequent opening of about 36 dams in  state of Kerala, 3 Divisions of Southern Railway were severely affected with heavy flash floods, land slips, boulder falling on track etc from 16.08.2018 as detailed below:-

a)      In Thiruvananthapuram Division, Water level rose above danger level across 11 bridges, track got submerged at 3 locations, embankment washed away at 3 locations, Earth slips occurred at 7 locations over various sections.

b)      In Palakkad Division, Water level rose above danger level across 10 bridges and track got submerged at one location.

c)      In Madurai Division, earth slip and falling of boulders occurred at 6 locations.

d)      Railway team worked with dedication round the clock to clear the hurdles in the flood hit sections and all sections in the main route of Kerala were opened 20th August 2018 as below:

Ø  Thiruvananthapuram(TVC) to Nagarcoil(NCJ) section was suspended from 0700 hrs of 15.8.2018 and was given fit from 09.30 hrs of 16.8.2018.

Ø  Ernakulam(ERS) – Kottayam(KTYM) suspended from 1600 hrs of 16.8.18, and given  fit from 20 hrs of  19.08.2018.

Ø  Ernakulam(ERS) – Shoranur(SRR) suspended from 1200 hrs of 16.8.18, and  was given fit from 2315 hrs of 19.08.2018.

Ø  Palakkad(PGT) – Shoranur(SRR) suspended from 1600hrs of 16.8.18 and was given fit at 0815hrs of 18.08.2018.

Ø  Shoranur(SRR) – Kozhikkode(CLT) suspended from 1600hrs of 16.8.18 and  was given fit at  0845 hrs of 19.8.18.

Ø  Kollam(QLN) –Punalur(PUU) section was  given fit on 20.08.2018.

Ø   Punalur(PUU)-Senkottai(SCT) and Thrissur(TCR)- Gururvayur(GUV) branch lines with heavy damages and falling of large amounts of boulders are also being attended on war foot basis, likely to be ready  within  two three days.

e)      A total number of 9 track machines were deployed round the clock to repair the tracks.

f)       7 special trains carrying boulders, sand and ballast were sent for the restoration of affected track and embankment portions.

g)      HQ and Divisional team of about 30 Officers, 45 Supervisors and about 450 Railway Staff worked round the clock braving rain and water at adverse conditions with dedication and sincerity to restore the tracks on priority to give connectivity to state of Kerala at this critical time.

h)      Almost All the train services  except for few for want of pairing rakes are restored from today.

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 18:33:53 +0530
President greets on the e

The President Ram Nath Kovind has greeted fellow citizens on the eve of Idu’l Zuha.

In his message the President has said, “On the occasion of Idu’l Zuha, I extend my greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens and, especially to our Muslim brothers and sisters in India and abroad.

On this special day, we celebrate the spirit of sacrifice. Let us resolve to work together for unity and fraternity in our shared society”.

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 17:39:23 +0530
SIES College students hel

K.A.Viswanathan

 

The students and staff of the SIES College of Arts, Science & Commerce  Sion  along with the Past Students’ Association of the College started a fund raising drive to help the people who are affected due to devastating floods in Kerala.

The first batch of materials consists of provisions like rice, dals ,dresses, biscuits, blankets  and medicines left for Munnar in Kerala on Tuesday accompanied by the ex-students of the college. The students will be distributing the materials with the help of their friends and relatives in Kerala mainly to poor and middle class people.

The second set of materials consist of medicines, blankets, house hold cooking materials, soaps, washing powders, floor cleaners, buckets will leave by Wednesday to Trichur. The third batch will leave by next week end.

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 16:23:38 +0530
Kerala flood NSS volunte

National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers in Kerala have taken up the relief and rescue operations on war-footing basis. About 1200 NSS units across the state are fully involved in the relief activities. The NSS volunteers are sanitising the affected area, preparing food packets for the flood victims, running common kitchen and distributing medicines.   

The Volunteers and other functionaries are distributing food packets to the affected people at various places and are also involved in rescue operations. They are collecting items of daily uses like Dry  ration, clothes, soaps, sanitary napkins,  medicines of regular use, Milk Powder, bleaching powders, Hand wash, sanitizers etc. Collection of  money for the PM Relief Fund and CM Relief Fund of Kerala is also going on in all the NSS units. Volunteers from other states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat ,Karnataka and West Bengal are also participating actively in the relief measures.

NSS volunteers always take up relief and rescue operations on priority whenever a natural disaster occurs in any part of the country. These volunteers work tirelessly to mobilise relief materials and work for the smooth distribution of the collected materials in the affected area in close coordination with the District Administration.

 NSS, the flagship programme of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, is one of the major  programmes for the student youth  across the country. At present about  41 lakh volunteers are enrolled in this programme in 426 Universities covering about 32000 institutions. Volunteerism is the key component of the activities undertaken by these volunteers. While studying, these student volunteers undertake community development activities which help to build their personality as well as develop the belongingness towards the society. Whenever there is  a need, the NSS volunteers are coming on their own to serve the nation.  Be it the issue of environment enrichment, malnutrition, immunisation or the issue of natural disaster, these volunteers  are becoming the saviours for the victims.

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 15:19:42 +0530
Four dead 16 injured in

Four people, including an elderly woman, died and sixteen were injured in a fire that broke out at a high-rise residential building in central Mumbai this morning. Many residents who were trapped in the top floor of Crystal Tower in the busy Parel area were evacuated using a crane. The fire has been brought under control, reports NDTV.

Fire and huge plumes of smoke were seen from the building. The fire brigade control room got a message about the blaze on twelfth floor of the building at 8.32 am, an official said.

Crystal Tower is located near Hindmata Cinema in Parel and has over 100 residents, NDTV reported.

The fire that broke out on the twelfth floor of 17-storey building quickly spread to the other upper floors and adjacent flats.The smoke spread rapidly and residents were trapped on the building's staircases, news agency PTI quoted Mumbai Fire Brigade chief PS Rahangdale as saying, reports NDTV.

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 14:16:57 +0530
Shipping ministry takes i

In the calamity hit state of Kerala, the Ministry of Shipping  has taken the initiative to reach  relief material  from various parts of the country to Cochin Port  through  coastal shipping.  The Cochin Port Trust has earmarked two berths at Mattancherry and Ernakulam wharfs for priority berthing of vessels bringing flood relief material to Kerala. Two warehouses have been especially earmarked for storage of relief materials and medicines.

The relief material from the major ports at Tuticorin (V.O. Chidambaranar Port), Cochin, New Mangalore, Chennai and Kamaraj, is being aggregated  at VOC Port in Tuticorin before being sent to Cochin Port  via coastal shipping.

Naval Ship INS Deepak from Mumbai  has brought in about 800 tonnes of fresh water and 18 tonnes of provisions to  Cochin. Fresh water is being discharged to two barges for supply to the affected areas. INS Deepak will make another call at Cochin Port with relief material tomorrow. A coastal crude oil vessel Swarna Godavari from Mumbai with 50000 MT Crude oil by BPCL has been received at Cochin Port to meet the fuel requirement in the state . Earlier, five containers of relief material comprising clothes, eatables, and other basic requirements were received at Cochin Port.

Various port stakeholders have joined hands to provide help in the relief operations in the state. Trade bodies have offered special coastal shipping services between Cochin and ports at Hazira, Mundra, Kattupalli, Tuticorin, Pipavav, Kandla for carrying relief material from different parts of the country.

A relief camp for a group of affected people has been set up by Cochin Port at Sir Robert Bristow Memorial School, Willingdon Island & KV Port Trust School. About 50 people from different areas near Cochin have been accommodated in the camp. Doctors from Port Trust hospital are providing medical services. Volunteer teams comprising staff and family members of Cochin Port, Customs and CISF and medical team are assisting in the camp and extending necessary support.

The Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari hails the role of shipping fraternity in reaching out to the people in time of the calamity.

The employees from Cochin Port trust have decided to contribute their one day’s salary amounting to Rs. 31 lakh and an equal amount from Cochin Port Trust fund to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 13:33:09 +0530
Chinese Defence Minister

Gen. Wei Fenghe, State Councillor and Defence Minister of China, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. 

Prime Minister Modi appreciated the increased momentum of high-level contacts between India and China in all spheres, including in the areas of defence and military exchanges. 

Terming India-China relations as a factor of stability in the world, the Prime Minister said that maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas is indicative of the sensitivity and maturity with which India and China handle their differences, not allowing them to become disputes. 

Prime Minister Modi also warmly recalled his recent meetings with President Xi Jinping in Wuhan, Qingdao and Johannesburg. 

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 13:15:40 +0530
Union minister Nadda revi

J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare held a high level meeting to review the relief measures in Kerala. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State from Health and Family Welfare and Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health) along with other senior officers from NCDC and DGHS participated in the meeting.

Nadda stated that the outbreak situation is being monitored on a daily basis and the strategic Health Operation Centre has been activated. He further said that no outbreak of communicable disease has been reported yet. He stated that he is in regular communication with K K Shailaja, Health Minister, Kerala and is personally monitoring the situation. Secretary (Health) is also indaily communication with the State health functionaries and monitoring the situation daily.

To meet with the situation, 65 metric tonnes of essential emergency drugs for flood situation have been airlifted today by IAF and have reached Trivandrum. 1 cr chlorine tablets have been sent today and another 1 crore in transit. The total request for 4 crchlorine tablets will be sent in phases. The Health Ministry has further mobilized20 MT of bleaching powder which is being sent by road of which10 MT will reach today and another 10 MT tomorrow.Additional 40 MT of bleaching powder are being procured and shall reach Kerala soon.

In addition, 12 public health teams have already been constituted,one each for all 12 worst affected districts and ready for deployment on request of the State. Also, 10 specialist medical teams have also been constituted (30 specialists and 20 GDMOs). Besides, psycho-social teams from NIMHANS to be deployed as and when requested by the State government.

National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has issued several health advisories to support the State in meeting with post-flood public health management when the threat of water borne, vector borne and viral hepatitis diseases shall become potent. NCDC teams are ready for deployment to support the State.

As the flood situation in Kodagu in Karnataka is also worsening, one medical team from Bangalore to Kodagu district has also been dispatched there to provide necessary support.

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 13:02:34 +0530
Union minister Badal spea

Union Minister for Food Processing Industries met with food processing industry leaders late evening yesterday to plan a strategy for assistance to be provided to people of Kerala. The meeting was attended by representatives from companies like ITC, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Hindustan Unilever, Dabur, MTR, Nestle, Britannia, Maricoamong others. The Minister said “It is time to work as a cohesive unit and make a coordinatedeffort to help the people of Kerala, instead of separate entities making individual efforts.” Badal said that her Ministry was in regular contact with the State Government and district officials to gather their requirements.

Badal spoke with Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinari Vijayan to express her concern on the calamity and assured the State Government of all assistance from Ministry of Food Processing Industries. The Minister sought Vijayan’s inputs on what assistance was immediately required, to which the Chief Minister informed that lakhs of infants in Relief Camps were in requirement of baby food. The requirement was conveyed to food processing companies by the Union Minister.

The meeting was in pursuance of an appeal by Badal on 19th August, 2018 to food processing companies across India to contribute generously to the Kerala relief operations. Consequently, the companies have pledged full support to the endeavour by Ministry of Food Processing Industries to reach out to the affected population.

Tue, 21 Aug 2018 13:45:22 +0530
PM addresses prayer meeti

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressed a prayer meeting in New Delhi, organized in memory of the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away recently.

He said that how long our life is, is not in our hands, but we can determine ‘how’ our life will be. He said that Atal ji showed through his life, how life should be, and what its purpose should be. He said Atal ji lived each moment for the common man. Right from youth till the time the physical body supported him, he lived for the country, the Prime Minister added. He said Atal ji lived for the countrymen, for his principles, and for the aspirations of the common man.

The Prime Minister noted that Vajpayee ji spent most of his political life at a time when there was virtually no alternative to the dominant political ideology. He said that despite facing isolation, he remained committed to his ideals. He stayed in opposition for so long, yet his ideals remained untouched, the Prime Minister said. Shri Narendra Modi said that Vajpayee ji respected Parliamentary traditions; and when the opportunity came, he implemented his vision for the benefit of the people.

In each moment you could feel the "Atal" in him, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister recalled that on May 11, 1998, he surprised the world through the nuclear tests. He attributed the success of these tests, to the skill of our scientists. And despite the widespread adverse reaction globally, Atal ji did not buckle under pressure, and showed the world that India is "Atal," the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said that three new states were formed, under Vajpayee ji's leadership, without any trace of bitterness. He said Vajpayee ji showed how to take everyone together in decision making.

The Prime Minister recalled that when Atal ji first formed the Government at the Centre, no one was willing to offer support, and the Government fell in 13 days. But Atal ji did not lose hope and remained committed to serving the people. He showed the way when it came to coalition politics, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said that Vajpayee ji changed the global narrative on Kashmir. He highlighted the issue of terrorism, and brought it to the centrestage, globally.

The Prime Minister said that Atal ji shall remain an inspiration. He was away from public life and politics for over a decade; and yet there was such an outpouring of emotion at his passing. This shows his greatness, the Prime Minister said. He noted that the young Indian wrestler, Bajrang Punia, who may never have met Atal ji, dedicated his gold medal at the Asian Games yesterday, to Atal ji. What greater heights, and what greater success can a man achieve, the Prime Minister remarked.

Tue, 21 Aug 2018 13:39:20 +0530
Centre offers food medic

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) met for the fifth time in five days to review the rescue & relief operations in the flood affected areas in Kerala. Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, chaired the meeting. The Chief Secretary of Kerala participated in the meeting via video conference. He informed that there has been less rainfall and floodwater has started receding.

The department of Consumer Affairs has dispatched 100 MT of pulses today. The Ministry of Health has airlifted 52 MT of emergency medicines. Another 20 MT of medicines will reach Kerala by tonight. 20MT of bleaching powder and one crore Chlorine tablets will be dispatched by tomorrow. 12 medical teams have also been put on standby. No outbreak of disease has been reported so far.

The Ministry of Power has moved power equipment like electricity meters, coils, transformers etc. to restore the distribution network. Power generation has reached 2600 MW and no difficulty is envisaged on this score.

The department of Telecom has made operational 77000 [towers out of total 85000 towers in the State. Out of 1407 telephone exchanges, except 13 all are made functional. DoT has operationalised a helpline with number 1948 to help trace missing persons.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has made available 12000 KL of Kerosene. Adequate arrangements have been made for distribution of LPG cylinders. Adequate aviation fuel is also made available.

With regard to cattle fodder, 450 MT has been dispatched. Two lots of veterinary medicines have also been dispatched.

Railways have offered to supply required amounts of water and also transport relief material free of cost. Adequate quantities of milk and milk power have been made available by Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

The NCMC meeting was attended by Secretaries of Central Ministries including Health, Telecom, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Power, Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Senior Officers of Defence Forces, MHA and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Tue, 21 Aug 2018 13:22:09 +0530
Defence Minister of Japan

Mr. Itsunori Onodera, Defence Minister of Japan, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

Prime Minister Modi recalled his long association with Japan, since before assuming office as Prime Minister, and welcomed the broadening and deepening of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan in recent years.

Prime Minister Modi said that Defence Cooperation is a key pillar of the relationship between India and Japan. He welcomed the strengthening of various defence dialogue mechanisms between the two countries, and the enhanced linkages between the armed forces of India and Japan. The Prime Minister also appreciated the progress in defence technology cooperation between the two countries.

Prime Minister Modi warmly recalled the successful visit of Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, to India last year, and said that he is looking forward to visiting Japan later this year.

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 14:12:37 +0530
President pays floral tri

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, paid floral tributes to Dr Shanker Dayal Sharma, former President of India on his birth anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday. Officers and staff of Rashtrapati Bhavan along with the family members of Dr Shanker Dayal Sharma also paid their respects on the occasion.

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 14:04:15 +0530
PM reviews flood situatio

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has spoken to Chief Minister of Karnataka H D Kumaraswamy regarding the flood situation in parts of the state.

“Spoke to Karnataka CM Shri H D Kumaraswamy Ji regarding the flood situation in parts of the state. Extended all possible support in the rescue and relief operations. I pray for the safety and well-being of those in the flood affected areas”, the Prime Minister said.

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 13:57:32 +0530
India successfully flight

Indigenously designed and developed guided bombs Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) were successfully flight tested from IAF aircraft at Chandan  range.  The weapon system was integrated with live warhead and has destroyed the targets with high precision. The telemetry and tracking systems captured all the mission events. This weapon is capable of destroying variety of ground targets using precision navigation. A total of three tests with different release conditions were conducted during 16 to 18 August 2018 and all the mission objectives have been achieved.

The weapon has undergone eight developmental trials till date and performance of system for different ranges under multiple launch conditions has been demonstrated. Senior officials from DRDO, HAL and Indian Air Force participated and witnessed the flight tests.

Defence minister Nirmala  Sitharaman  congratulated  the DRDO, IAF and HAL on the successful flight tests for further boosting the defence capabilities of the country. 

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 13:53:00 +0530
Centre extends all suppor

“Under the guidance of the Prime Minister, the Health Ministry is extending all support for the flood relief measures in Kerala. We are monitoring the flood situation in Kerala on a regular basis. Secretary (Health) is in Regular communication with the State health functionaries and monitoring the situation daily through the disease surveillance network”. This was stated by J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare. He further stated that he has spoken to K K Shailaja, Health Minister, Kerala and is personally monitoring the situation.

To meet with this situation, 3757 medical relief camps have been set up. As requested by the State Government, 90 types of medicines, in the requested quantity are being sent to the State. The first tranche of medicines shall reach tomorrow. The Health Ministry is also coordinating with other States which have committed to providing medicines so as to augment supplies.

Health advisories on infectious disease prevention and control, safe drinking water, hygiene measures, vector control, etc., have been prepared and shared with the State Government. While no outbreak of communicable disease has been reported, health experts opine that once the flood water starts receding, the environment would be conducive for epidemic prone diseases. The State has been given instructions to switch to daily surveillance and monitoring for epidemic prone diseases for detecting early warning signs of an outbreak.

In consultation with the State Government, Government of India will deploy teams for rapid health assessment and for taking appropriate public health measures to prevent and control outbreak of epidemic prone diseases. Considering the additional burden of disease in the aftermath of the floods, quick response medical teams will also be sent to Kerala to provide emergency medical care. Support under National Health Mission will be provided to make the damaged primary health care infrastructure functional.

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 13:35:11 +0530
Aviation ministry resumes

The update on relief operations from Ministry of Civil Aviation is as follows:

 

• Scheduled domestic airlines have mounted additional flights to/from Trivandrum, Calicut and Coimbatore airports to minimize passenger inconvenience. Airlines are also displaying status of rescheduled and additional flights on their respective websites along with waiver of cancellation/change ticket charges. Eight foreign carriers have also rescheduled their flights to/from Trivandrum.

• Based on satisfactory safety risk assessment, SOP of M/s Alliance Air for operation of ATR72 aircraft to/from INS Garuda, Cochin has been approved.

• Schedule submitted by M/s Alliance Air for Bengaluru-Cochin-Bengaluru (02 flights) and Bengaluru-Coimbatore-Cochin-Coimbatore-Bengaluru (01 flight) on daily basis with ATR 72 aircraft has been approved for operation from INS Garuda, Cochin airport with effect from 20 Aug 2018.

• Monitoring of airfare carried out on 19 Aug 2018 has revealed that maximum fares on various domestic non-stop direct routes to/from Kerala and nearby airports on ranging from INR 3395/- to INR 6999/- for shorter routes and from INR 6017/- to around INR 10000/- on longer routes.

• It is clarified that high airfares shown on some social media tweets are for hopping and very long duration flights.

• Control Room set up by DGCA continues to work round the clock to aid stranded/affected passengers due to flight cancellations in Cochin. More than 3980 queries have been addressed by the control room till date.

• Based upon request received from Kerala Government to facilitate them in air dropping of relief material, DGCA has permitted two helicopter operators M/s Ghodawat and M/s Devengere for carrying out aerial dropping of flood relief material.

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 13:16:19 +0530
Union minister appeals to

Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal appealed to all food processing industries to come to the aid of the flood ravaged people of Kerala by generously donating processed food products for this noble cause.

In a statement, Mrs Badal said the flood affected people of Kerala, thousands of whom were rendered homeless, needed processed food goods urgently. She said the food processing ministry had nominated two officers to coordinate this effort and that the industries could contact them to make desired donations.-

  1. Joint Secretary Parag Gupta (9650872875) and
  2. Deputy Sectetary Atyanand (9891614895)

Badal said three lakh biscuit packets had already been delivered to the Kerala government by ITC and Britannia after a request made by her. She said the packets were delivered to officials at Trivandrum. Kochi and Malapuram for further distribution to the affected people of the state. “We will make efforts to ensure more donation coming to us following this fresh appeal is despatched to Kerala at the earliest”, she added.

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:18:11 +0530
Rescue relief ops conti

The Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, during the review meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) today, has directed that focus should now be on provision of emergency supplies of food, water, medicines and restoration of essential services such as power, fuel, telecom and transport links as flood water recedes in Kerala. NCMC met for the fourth time in four days to coordinate rescue and relief operations among the Defence Forces, NDRF, MHA and other Central Ministries and Kerala Government.

Rescue and Relief Operations are continuing in full swing. Thousands of personnel of Indian Navy, Air Force, Army, NDRF and CAPFs are engaged in the rescue, relief and evacuation operations in Kerala with the support of dozens of helicopters, aircrafts, hundreds of motorboats. The Operations will continue till the situation becomes normal.

So far they have rescued and evacuated more than 38,000 people from the flood-affected areas. Medical aid has been provided to more than 23,000 people. 3,00,000 food packets have been supplied by the Food Processing Ministry.

Railways are running two special trains tomorrow to Kolkata originating from Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam. Train services are expected to be restored on all lines by Monday evening. A special train with 14,00,000 litres of water and a Navy ship with 8,00,000 litres of water will reach Kerala by tomorrow.

Commercial flights will start operating from Kochi Naval Base from Monday, 20th August. All logistic arrangements for this have been put in place.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution has made available 50,000 MT of food grains (rice and wheat) to meet the immediate requirements with additional quantities in the pipeline. The Department of Consumer Affairs has made arrangements to airlift 100 metric tonnes of pulses by tomorrow with additional quantities to be sent by train.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has made available 9,300 kilolitres of kerosene to Kerala. Additional 12,000 kilolitres of kerosene will be allocated. LPG bottling plant in Kochi has been reopened.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is airlifting 60 tonnes of emergency medicines on Monday. It has put six specialised medical teams on standby.

The Railways will provide blankets and bedsheets to meet the immediate requirements of State Government. Air India has offered to airlift relief material without any cost.

The NCMC, which has commenced its meetings on the directions of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, will meet again tomorrow to review the situation. Today’s meeting was attended by Secretaries of Central Ministries including Home, Defence, Health, Civil Aviation, Food Processing and Power, Chairman, Railway Board and Senior Officers of Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, NDRF, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Chief Secretary, Kerala participated through video conference. He informed that the situation is gradually improving. India Meteorological Department has forecast less rainfall from tomorrow onwards for Kerala.

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:03:33 +0530
Kerala flood PM grants R

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi took an aerial survey of flood hit areas in Kerala and sanctioned an immediate relief of Rs. 500 crore. The PM announced, the relief measures in a special meeting held at the Naval headquarters in Kochi.

The Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the governor P. Sadasivam, the chief secretary and other ministers as well attended the meeting. The PM, along with CM, the governor and Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam took the aerial route to have a surveillance of the flood hit areas.

Meanwhile the water level in the Aluva region has come down, which is a boon to the rescue operations in the region. Road transportation has commenced in some areas and food supply has started as well.

Sat, 18 Aug 2018 13:03:54 +0530
Vajpayee a connoisseur of

 

K.A.Viswanathan

Mumbai :

When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was conferred the 8 th SIES Sri. Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi National Eminence Award in February 2006, due to health problem , he had  requested that the function be held at New Delhi at his residence so that while recuperating he could receive the award.  A connoisseur of good food, he requested the president of South Indian Education Society Mr. V.Shankar,  to organise the best south Indian dishes for the evening. The choicest south Indian delicacies were ordered from Saravana Bhavan, Connaught Place in Delhi. He relished the food and that evening he had more than his normal intake.

Mr. Vajapyee wondered where in New Delhi was such delicious south Indian food was available and he was not aware of it. He wanted to know how many boys had come from the Hotel to serve for the evening. He assembled all the eight of them on the lawns for a group photo with him and had individual photos also done. He called for Rs. 100/- currency notes, signed each of them and handed over to all the servers.

Their joy knew no bounds when he decided to have one more cup of South Indian filter coffee with all of them. Of the several mementos that were given to him as part of the award, a portrait of Vajpayee as drawn by a first standard student of the SIES school was also given. He was highly appreciative of the caricature and wanted to know who did it. When it was told by Mr. Shankar  that it was a young boy Master Nirman Olwe of  the SIES High School had penned the portrait, he requested that he be brought along with his parents to New Delhi.

After a few days the boy was accompanied by his grandmother who was a teacher in the school , his mother and Mr. Shankar. The ex PM  returned the portrait back and said he would  take it only at the hands of the artist. In return he gave several mementos to the boy. The young child’s delight more than answered the care and compassion that Vajpayee had for people young ,old , high and low

Sat, 18 Aug 2018 12:04:50 +0530
War widows India s only

K.A.Viswanathan

 

With the recitation of “Sarva Dharma” prayer followed by the singing of the full five stanzas of Indian National Anthem by 72  Shanmukhananda music school students , the 72nd independence day celebration was held at the  Shanmukhananda hall , Mumbai on August 15.

 

The highlights of the programme includeed honouring of six war widows and mother of a martyr from Maharashtra  and also felicitating the first and only woman Commando trainer . These seven are the wives and mother of the army soldiers who had laid down their lives in the year 2017 while fighting for the nation. Each one of them were presented with a cheque of Rs. Two lakhs in addition to mementos worth Rs. 50,000/- by the Sabha who are jointly organizing this event along with the Indian Army. Brigadier Medical Pradeep Kumar Hasija of M & G area and Col. Neelam Chhabra  presented the awards.

 

Dr. Seema Rao, also known as “India's Wonder Woman” and India’s first and the only Commando trainer who has trained more than 15,000 commandos from every elite Indian force including NSG Black Cats, Air force GARUD, ITBP, BSF, Navy MARCOS marine commandos  besides training 15 state and city police force for nearly two decades  with out receiving any compensation was presented with Sri Shanmukha Shaurya Ratna award  along with a gold coated medallion, a gold polished bronze  lamp and a citation. She is a pioneer in “close quarter battle” and the “art of fighting in tight proximity”.  Rao is a 7th degree Black belt in military martial arts and one of a handful of instructors in the world authorised to teach Bruce Lee’s art of Jeet Kune Do. She is a Ph.d in Martial science and MD in Medicine, MBA in crisis  Management from UK.

“The Sabha has been in the forefront of manifesting the gratitude to armed forces this manner “said Dr. V. Shankar, president of the Sabha. In 2017, the Sabha had honoured  25  wounded  soldiers and six wives of soldiers who laid down their lives in the year 2016, he said. The honouring the war widows is the small beginning . One human life  is heavier than earth. The civilian society should care for the war heros family. We are doing our bit and others should follow.=, Shankar said.

Some of the widows said they would send their children to the Army despite the grief they suffered. One widow Poonam Bhandane , who is doing her final year B.A. said she is planning to join the Army after her graduation.

In her felicitation reply Seema Rao said  “Our jawans give their life to ensure peace and well being of our citizens, so I also wanted to do something for my country’s forces”.   Today I ended up training thousands of commandos in close quarter battles along with my husband Major Deepak Rao and daughter Dr. Komal Rao , she said

Fri, 17 Aug 2018 20:09:52 +0530
India Pak hold DGMO leve

DGMO level talks at behest of Pakistan DGMO was held on 16 August 18. Pleasantries were exchanged between the DGsMO on the occasion of Independence Day of both countries. Pakistan DGMO expressed satisfaction on the measures being taken along the Line of Control by troops to maintain peace and tranquility. The quantum of cease fire violations has drastically reduced and augers well for the future.

Pakistan DGMO made an assurance that Pakistan Army would take prompt actions against move of inimical elements in proximity to the Line of Control and respond to information shared by the Indian side thereby facilitating conduct of anti-terrorist operations.

Indian DGMO emphatically stated that infiltration attempts by terrorists were a major cause of concern. He also informed the Pakistan DGMO that ‘these activities have increased in the areas North of Pir Panjal Mountain Ranges. Pakistan must institute measures to prevent infiltration from the launch pads located on its side of the Line of Control’.

Indian DGMO assured that the Indian Army will abide by its commitment to uphold the Ceasefire Understanding of 2003 provided Pakistan Army initiates positive steps to control infiltration and abetment of terrorism in J&K.

Fri, 17 Aug 2018 19:19:54 +0530
Cochin airport shuts oper

As per the latest NOTAM issued, Cochin airport is closed for operations upto 26th August.

All the flights to Trivandrum and Calicut have operated till now except one Indigoflight from Doha to Calicut, which was diverted to Bangalore.

Lots of passenger queries are being received in the Control Room regardingtheir journey fromCochin to various places. Such passengers are being advisedto travel to Trivandrum or Calicut fortheir onward journey. Accordingly, matter isbeing taken with respective airlines for rescheduling of their flights without anyadditional cost.

Go Air has cancelled its 06 flights to/from Cochin upto 18 Aug 2018 and notrescheduled theseflights. COO of Go Air has confirmed that their customershave been notified via phone calls, SMS and/or email by the Call Centre and fullrefund process has been initiated depending on mode of payment. Go Air is alsogiving option to its customers who wish to change their travel to future flights.

Rescheduled flights of Air Arabia (from Sharjah), Emirates (from Dubai), FlyDubai (from Dubai), Oman Air (from Muscat), Qatar Airways (from Doha), SaudiArabian Airlines (from Jeddah) and Srilankan Airlines (from Colombo) toTrivandrum have been approved by DGCA.

Airfare on 18 domestic routes (10 direct flights to/from Trivandrum and 08 direct flights to/fromCalicut) are being monitored. Spike in airfare on few routes havebeen observed. Concerned airlines have been advised to cap the airfare onthese flights.

Fri, 17 Aug 2018 19:11:56 +0530
National Crisis Managemen

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) met for the second time in two days here to review the rescue & relief operations in the flood affected areas in Kerala. Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, who chaired the meeting, held a video conference with the Chief Secretaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It was decided to mobilise additional resources of all agencies including Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to provide the required assistance to Kerala.

Cabinet Secretary directed these organisations to provide boats, helicopters, life jackets, life buoys, raincoats, gumboots, inflatable tower lights etc. Kerala Chief Secretary requested for motorised boats so as to reach people marooned in flood affected areas.

So far, the Centre has mobilised deployment of 339 motorised boats, 2,800 life jackets, 1,400 life buoys, 27 light towers and 1,000 raincoats. Further, 72 motor boats, 5,000 life jackets, 2,000 life buoys, 13 light towers and 1,000 raincoats are being deployed. 1,00,000 food packets have been distributed and arrangements are being made to supply another 1,00,000 food packets. Provision has been made for supply of milk powder as well.

Indian Navy has deployed 51 boats along with diving teams, 1,000 life jackets and 1,300 gumboots are being rushed to Kerala today. It flew 16 sorties in 48 hours in rescue operations. It will airdrop 1,600 food packets today.

Coast Guard has deployed 30 boats along with rescue teams, 300 life jackets, seven life rafts and 144 life buoys.

The IAF deployed 23 helicopters and 11 transport aircraft. Some of the aircraft are being flown in from Yelahanka and Nagpur.

Army pressed into service 10 columns, 10 Engineering Task Forces (ETFs), 60 boats and 100 life jackets.

NDRF has mobilised 43 rescue teams and 163 boats along with other equipment.

Cabinet Secretary directed these organisations to mobilise additional boats and equipment including from CAPFs such as CRPF, BSF and SSB.

Railways has provided 1,20,000 water bottles. Another 1,20,000 bottles are ready to be despatched. It is also running a special train carrying 2.9 lakh litres of drinking water that will reach Kayakulam tomorrow.

Use of Naval airstrip at Kochi for use by civilian airlines has been offered to the Kerala Government as the civilian airport remained closed.

Kerala Government has been advised to explore use of V-SAT communication links in areas where telephone connectivity has been disrupted.

Cabinet Secretary also directed that emergency medicines may be put on standby.

The NCMC will meet again tomorrow to review the situation.

Fri, 17 Aug 2018 19:05:11 +0530
Kerala flood 324 dead 2

Kerala's most savage monsoon in a century has killed 324 people over the last nine days, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said, issuing a fresh rain alert for the battered state. Nearly 2 lakh people have been displaced. The state, battling floods and landslides, plunged deeper into crisis today, with hospitals facing shortage of oxygen and fuel stations running dry. Rescue efforts have been progressing on a war footing and Mr Vijayan said he has spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will reach Kerala this evening, reports NDTV

Fri, 17 Aug 2018 18:55:27 +0530
Pollution level declines

The government has executed the projects of waste water management, solid waste management and development of ghats & crematoria for cleaning Ganga River under Namami Gange Programme. Till date, 105 projects of wastewater management, 3 projects of ghat cleaning (SWM) and 37 projects of ghat & crematoria development have been taken up.

No information is available with respect to level of pollution due to cremation of dead bodies on small and big ghats of river Ganga. However, as per the Water Quality data of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Dissolved Oxygen which is an indicator of river health has been found to be within acceptable limits of notified primary bathing water quality criteria and satisfactory to support the ecosystem of river across all season and also for almost entire stretch of river Ganga.

Further, the river water quality assessment carried out in 2017 indicates improvement in water quality trends as compared to 2016.  The Dissolved Oxygen levels have improved at 33 locations and is above the primary bathing water quality requirements of 5 mg/l, Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels and Faecal coliforms have improved at 26 locations and at 30 locations, respectively.

 

Some stretches, where improvement has been observed are:

 

  1. Ganga at Rishikesh U/S
  2. Ganga at Haridwar D/S
  3. Ganga at Allahabad D/S (Sangam),
  4. Ganga at Kanpur D/S (Jajmau Pumping Station)
  5. Ganga at Varanasi U/S (Assighat)
  6. Ganga at Buxar, Ramrekhaghat
  7. Ganga at Punpun, Patna
  8. Ganga at Diamond Harbour
  9. Ganga at Garden Reach
  10. Ganga at Baharampur
  11. Ganga at Howrah Shivpur
Fri, 10 Aug 2018 12:28:24 +0530
India to observe World Bi

World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th August to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and to highlight the various efforts made by the Government in the biofuel sector.  The World Biofuel Day is being observed by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for the last three years.

This year, it is proposed to hold the World Biofuel Day programme at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 10th August, 2018.  Prime Minister will be the Chief Guest for the inaugural session that day, and he will be joined by a galaxy of Central Ministers.

The proposed participants in the programme are sugarcane and other farmers, scientists, entrepreneurs in biofuels, students of agriculture, science and engineering streams, Members of Parliament, Ambassadors, officers of Central & State Governments and companies involved in bio-energy sector, national and international media, and others. There will be separate interactive sessions on ethanol, bio-diesel, bio-CNG and 2nd Generation biofuels after the inaugural session.

Biofuels have the benefits of reducing import dependency on crude oil, cleaner environment, additional income to farmers and employment generation in rural areas.  The biofuels programme is also in synergy with the Government of India initiatives for Make in India, Swachh Bharat and enhancing farmers’ income. 

Since 2014, the Government of India has taken a number of initiatives to increase blending of biofuels. The major interventions include administrative price mechanism for ethanol, simplifying the procurement procedures of OMCs, amending the provisions of Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951 and enabling lignocellulosic route for ethanol procurement.

These interventions of the Government of India have shown positive results. Ethanol blending in petrol has increased from 38 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2013-14 to an estimated 141 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2017-18.  Bio-diesel blending in the country started from 10th August, 2015 and in the year 2018-19, Oil Marketing Companies have allocated 7.6 crore litres of biodiesel.  Oil PSUs are also planning to set up 12 Second Generation (2G) Bio-refineries to augment ethanol supply and address environmental issues arising out of burning of agricultural biomass. 

The Government approved the National Policy on Biofuels-2018 in June 2018.  The policy has the objective of reaching 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by the year 2030.  Among other things, the policy expands the scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for production of advanced biofuels.

Recently, the Government has increased the price of C-heavy molasses-based ethanol to Rs. 43.70 from Rs. 40.85 to give a boost to EBP Programme.  Price of B-heavy molasses-based ethanol and sugarcane juice-based ethanol has been fixed for the first time at Rs. 47.40. The Government has reduced GST on ethanol for blending in fuel from 18% to 5%.  The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is making all efforts to increase ethanol supply for petrol and has taken several steps in this direction.

Fri, 10 Aug 2018 11:14:12 +0530
India have launched more

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh has said that India have launched more than 200 foreign customer satellites in the last four years. He was replying to a question in Rajya Sabha.

"The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been launching national satellites meant for meeting the earth observation, communication and navigational requirements of the country to cater to various societal needs. The spare capacity available in these missions are being utilized for launching satellites of other countries on commercial basis through Antrix corporation limited, the commercial arm of ISRO, said Dr Jitendra Singh

"Over the years there has been increase in the number of international satellites that have been launched as co-passengers to the national missions.  In the last four years more than 200 foreign customer satellites have been launched. Considering the future launch demand for increased number of nano and small satellites, there are plans to increase the number of PSLV launches and also develop dedicated small launcher to cater to this high market demand", the minister added.

As on date, 237 foreign satellites belonging to international customers from 29 countries have been successfully launched using PSLV.

Starting from 1993 till date, PSLV has completed 43 launches, of which 2 launches failed. Overall success rate of PSLV has been 95%.

In September 2018, ISRO would launch a PSLV rocket solely for foreign satellites.

Fri, 10 Aug 2018 11:08:41 +0530
PM congratulates Rajya Sa

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Harivansh, on his election as Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Speaking in the Upper House, shortly after the election, the Prime Minister also expressed happiness that the Leader of the House, Shri Arun Jaitley, is back in the House, after recovering from illness.

The Prime Minister noted that we are marking the anniversary of the Quit India Movement today. He said that Harivansh ji hails from Ballia, a land which has been linked with the freedom struggle, right from the 1857 war of independence. The Prime Minister added that Shri Harivansh has been inspired by Loknayak Jaya Prakash Narayan.

The Prime Minister recalled that Harivansh ji had also worked with former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar ji.

The Prime Minister said that working closely with Chandra Shekhar ji, Harivansh ji knew in advance that Chandra Shekhar ji would resign. However, he did not let his own newspaper have access to this news, the Prime Minister observed, adding that this shows his commitment to ethics and public service.

The Prime Minister said that Harivansh ji is well read and has written a lot. He added that Harivansh ji has served society for years.

Narendra Modi also congratulated B.K. Hariprasad for being a part of the election for Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. He thanked the Chairman and all the members, for the smooth conduct of the election.

Fri, 10 Aug 2018 10:56:33 +0530
Heavy rain kills 26 in Ke

Heavy rain stays on in many parts of Kerala as the Meteorological department anticipates high intensity rain for the next 48 hours in Central Kerala and northern districts. The heavy rain wreaked havoc in the state, biggest in "50 years", killed 26 people while red alert was issued for the Idukki water reservoir, the gates of which was opened yesterday after 26 years.

The army, navy and the NDRF teams have been working extensively in the river bank regions to avert any further damage and they are working on a war basis as more amount of water opened from the Idukki dam. Many places were affected in landslides yesterday along with the heavy rain, which doubled the devastating rain effects.

A 15-member team of the NDRF team has brought in Wayanad yesterday in a helicopter. Another team of 48 men arrived at Wayanad today morning while two teams of 28-men each have started working in Malappuram and Kozhikode respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan yesterday and offered all assistance to the state. Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswamy announced a financial assistance of five crore rupees to rain affected Kerala.

Fri, 10 Aug 2018 10:46:48 +0530
Speculations rise over Su

Suhana Khan, daughter of  Shahrukh Khan will make her large screen debut soon. Now both Shahrukh Khan as well as Gauri feels Suhana is ready for a film career.

Karan Johar is an obvious name but still Shahrukh Khan and Gauri is looking for other filmmakers while Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Sujay Gosh have shown interest in launching Suhana. Many in the Bollywood industry rates Suhana as a natural born actress including Shabana Azmi who saw her in a play and immediately recognised an accomplished actress in the debutante. It is not yet decided who will launch Suhana whereas She has been doing theatres regularly.

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 20:00:02 +0530
Maratha Bandh Adivasi b

Sandra Jose

 

Marathi communities have begun their bandh in Maharashtra to press their demand for reservation in jobs and education. The organisers behind the protest have been conducting a rally at Vasai along with a strong slogan "Adivasi bachao Adivasi padhao "

The Navi Mumbai region gets a concession this time as the city was affected mostly in the band organized on the 25th of last month.

Amol Jadhav Rao, leader of the Sakaal Maratha Samaj comprising various Maratha unions, has said that the protest will be held in a peaceful manner  from 8 am to 6 pm and all essential services, schools and colleges have been excluded from the protest, but many schools have announced holiday today citing violence.

The Maratha organisations have been standing in two roads since the assurance made by the Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis that final decision regarding reservation will come out within November. One section of the Maratha organsiation stays with CM's promise while the other section goes ahead with their protest as they demand that the CM should pen his promise instead of his verbal assurance.

Many educational institutions in Pune will remain shut today as the city had suffered the heat of protest during the bandh on July 25.

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 12:57:06 +0530
Man attempted to rape wom

Poornima Parameswaran

 

A man found dead after he attempted to rape a woman doctor in Malad in Mumbai, later jumped from the building of a mall to escape from the police. The incident took place on Sunday when the woman doctor was at her residence on the second floor of the Saiprasad building in Malad.

A man identified as 60 years old, entered the house of the lady doctor and tried to rape her. When she shouted asking for help, he ran away immediately.The doctor approached the Goregaon police station to complain about the incident. While searching for the accused information came out that the alleged was a man who lived on the first floor of the same building.

The lady doctor also stated that the man followed her from ground floor to her residence and forced himself into the house. The  investigation report later revealed that the man was found dead due to injuries sustained after jumping from the building.

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 11:48:34 +0530
Huge explosion followed b

A huge explosion followed by fire broke out at a refinery of the BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) at Mahul Road in Chembur. After the explosion in Gavan Goan at 2.45 pm, the level-III fire then broke out at the hydrocracker plant of BPCL refinery. To settle down the fire nine fire tenders, two foam tenders, and two tankers were rushed to the spot.

 In this mishap 21 people were injured. The residents near the BPCL refineries in Chembur had claimed that they knew that such mishap could occur anytime. They had also filed a case regarding shifting the residents to another place due to the unsafe surroundings. While explosion the building was all shaken, the doors and the windows were all cracked. All the people ran from the building in a hurry to secure them from any other mishap. The residents also complain of being unsafe to stay and asking the responsible authorities to take the needful actions.

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 11:27:46 +0530
Central agencies take act

Appropriate action by the Income-tax Department (ITD) and other Law Enforcement Agencies has been taken against those involved in the misuse of the Scheme of Demonetization.

Such actions by the Income-tax Department included among others, conducting search and survey actions in relevant cases. During the period November 2016 to March, 2017, ITD conducted searches in 900 groups, involved in various activities and business, leading to seizure of Rs. 900 crores, including cash seizure of Rs. 636 crores. During the same period, 8239 surveys were conducted leading to detection of undisclosed income of Rs. 6745 crores.

Further, a dedicated campaign was launched to take focused action against non-filers who had deposited large value of cash during demonetisation period. Notices u/s 142(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 were issued to 3.04 lakh persons who had deposited cash of more than Rs.10 Lakh but had not filed their return of income till the due date of filing. As a result, returns were filed by 2.09 lakh of such identified non-filers who have paid self-assessment tax of Rs. 6,416 Crore. Because of sustained non-intrusive campaign during F.Y. 2017-18, the net collection of direct taxes increased by 18% at 10.03 lakh crore. There has also been exceptional growth in Personal Advance Tax of 23.4% and Personal Self-Assessment Tax of 29.9% in comparison to previous year.

Further, the Enforcement Directorate has registered 37 cases under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 in connection with the irregularities relating to the demonetization. Investigations in these cases resulted in attachment of properties worth Rs. 144.71 crores and seizure of gold weighing 7.538 kg. Moreover, 18 persons were arrested under the provisions of PMLA, 2002 in connection with irregularities relating to demonetization.

Moreover, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered 35 cases relating to demonetization during the period w.e.f. 8.11.2016 to 31.12.2016.

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 11:20:59 +0530
Basic Education in the co

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the basic Education in the country should be taught in Indian languages only. He was addressing the 7th Convocation of O.P. Jindal Global University

The Vice President said that education should also inculcate humane values, tolerance, promote ethical and compassionate behaviour in children and added that it must not only equip the students with skills and knowledge to face the contemporary and future challenges.

Highlighting the role of education in one’s life, the Vice President said that it must bring out the best in man and enable holistic development of an individual. He further said that a person with a strong moral compass will not get swayed or compromise on integrity. Education is the bedrock on which depends the progress of a nation and its people, he added.

The Vice President said that education system must not only set new benchmarks of excellence but fosters a caring and sharing attitude. He further said that it cultivates an inclusive outlook and promotes the need to become one with nature. We need such education in the present era of globalisation and materialism, he added.

The Vice President said that the time has come for India to rediscover its potential to become once again the global hub of knowledge and innovation. We need to build the right ecosystem for academic excellence to thrive by revamping our education system, he added.

The Vice President said that we have to reorient the education system in accordance with the changing needs and enable the students to fearlessly face and overcome unexpected and new challenges, he added.

Stressing on the need to raise standards relating to the quality of teaching, faculty, research, and capacity building in our universities, the Vice President said that such improvements would raise India’s stature as a knowledge-producing rising power and also provide opportunities to our youth to build careers that are meaningful and rewarding

Vice President also called for strong, non-profit, philanthropic private universities, aimed at providing quality education and promoting academic freedom need to emerge at the earliest. This process needs to go hand-in hand with the development of existing public universities that suffer from inadequate funding for faculty and infrastructure, he added.

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 11:11:28 +0530
PM mourns at Karunanidhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the passing away of Kalaignar Karunanidhi.

“Deeply saddened by the passing away of Kalaignar Karunanidhi. He was one of the senior most leaders of India. We have lost a deep-rooted mass leader, prolific thinker, accomplished writer and a stalwart whose life was devoted to the welfare of the poor and the marginalised.

Kalaignar Karunanidhi stood for regional aspirations as well as national progress. He was steadfastly committed to the welfare of Tamils and ensured that Tamil Nadu’s voice was effectively heard.

I have had the opportunity of interacting with Karunanidhi Ji on several occasions. His understanding of policy and emphasis on social welfare stood out. Firmly committed to democratic ideals, his strong opposition to the Emergency will always be remembered.

My thoughts are with the family and the countless supporters of Karunanidhi Ji in this hour of grief. India and particularly Tamil Nadu will miss him immensely. May his soul rest in peace”, the Prime Minister said.

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 11:05:34 +0530
PM reviews key infra proj

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed progress of key infrastructure sectors of power, renewable energy, petroleum and natural gas, coal, and mining. The review meeting, which lasted for over two hours, was attended by top officials from  infrastructure-related Ministries, NITI Aayog, and PMO. 

In course of the presentation made by CEO NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, it was noted that the installed power generation capacity in India has risen to 344 GigaWatts. India's energy deficit, which stood at over 4 per cent in 2014, has shrunk to less than 1 per cent in 2018. Significant capacity additions have been made in transmission lines, transformer capacity, and inter-regional transmission. India now ranks 26th in the World Bank's "Ease of Getting Electricity" Index, up from 99th in 2014. Progress in household electrification under the SAUBHAGYA initiative, was reviewed. Discussions also focused on last mile connectivity and distribution, in both urban and rural areas. In the new and renewable energy sector, cumulative installed capacity has nearly doubled, from 35.5 GigaWatts in 2013-14, to about 70 GigaWatts in 2017-18. In solar energy, installed capacity has increased from 2.6 GigaWatts to 22 GigaWatts in the same period. Officials expressed confidence that India is on track to comfortably achieve the Prime Minister's target of 175 GigaWatts renewable energy capacity by 2022. 

The Prime Minister urged the officials to work towards ensuring that the benefits from increase in solar energy capacity, reach the farmers, through appropriate interventions such as solar pumps, and user-friendly solar cooking solutions. In the petroleum and natural gas sector, it was noted that targets set under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana will be comfortably achieved in the current financial year. In the coal sector, discussions focused on further augmentation of production capacity. 

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 11:01:40 +0530
Maratha Bandh Tight secu

The Maratha community in Maharashtra  has called for a bandh to press their demand for reservation in jobs and education. The Navi Mumbai region gets a concession this time as the city was affected mostly in the band organized on the 25th of last month.

Amol Jadhav Rao, leader of the Sakaal Maratha Samaj comprising various Maratha unions, has said that the protest will be held in a peaceful manner  from 8 am to 6 pm and all essential services, schools and colleges have been excluded from the protest, but many schools have announced holiday today citing violence.

The Maratha organisations have been standing in two roads since the assurance made by the Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis that final decision regarding reservation will come out within November. One section of the Maratha organsiation stays with CM's promise while the other section goes ahead with their protest as they demand that the CM should pen his promise instead of his verbal assurance.

Many educational institutions in Pune will remain shut today as the city had suffered the heat of protest during the bandh on July 25.

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 10:55:43 +0530
BEST Day 2018 SNEHASAMM

The Mumbai BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport) (BEST) organised Snehasammelan for the BEST workers as it has successfully completed 71 years in Mumbai. The Snehasammelan program gives opportunity for the BEST workers to watch various plays in Ravindra Natya Mandir (Dadar). The BEST Arts and Cultural Committee organised the event from 6p.m. onwards on 7th August 2018.

Wed, 08 Aug 2018 11:31:03 +0530
Tourism takes a step forw

Poornima Parameswaran

 

Malad MLA Aslam Shaikh took a step forward for Malad Tourism as he has upgraded facilities for beautification of Malad. LED Lights are now available for beautification of Marve, Aksa, Erangal-Bhati, Danapani, Mash Silver Sand Beaches. This facility was started on 2nd August 2018 to promote Malad Tourism.

Wed, 08 Aug 2018 11:13:30 +0530
Old road over bridge foun

Sandra TM

 

The road overbridge at Vasai was declared unstable after inspection. Due to which the road has been since then closed till date. This road over bridge was inspected by the railway survey. It connects Vasai east to west.

The mishap in Andheri overbridge collapse led to this inspection till then there were no safety measures taken before. Since then the vehicles are diverted to the new highway. The new highway was then converted to two ways which led to traffic blocks and frequent accidents.

“After the survey, no authorities have yet turned up for the betterment”, said a traffic official, who did not wish to be named.

Wed, 08 Aug 2018 10:58:10 +0530
President inaugurates cen

The President Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the centenary celebrations of St. Thomas’ college, in Thrissur, Kerala.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the Christian community in Kerala is one of the oldest not only in India but anywhere in the world. Its heritage and history are a matter of immense pride for the entire country – and a symbol of India’s non-negotiable commitment to its diversity and pluralism.

The President said that the motto of St Thomas’ College – Veritas vos Liberabit or Truth will set you Free – is extremely appropriate. It reminds us that the real value of education lies not in examinations and in degrees – but in how we learn to help fellow human beings and care for those who are less well-off or in need of what we have and can share with them. It is this mission that must continue to guide us as we strive to educate and build our society, and fashion the Kerala and India of our dreams. Educational institutions like St Thomas’ College are critical to that journey.

Wed, 08 Aug 2018 10:41:55 +0530
Karunanidhi passes away a

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President M Karunanidhi passed away at 94 on Tuesday. Due to dip in his blood pressure Karunanidhi was shifted from his Gopalapuram residence to Kauvery Hospital.

The Tamil Nadu government rejected proposal to bury Karunanidhi at Marina Beach citing legal issues. DMK moved to Madras High Court over Karunanidhi's memorial at Marina Beach. The Madras High Court acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh reportedly agreed to hear case at 10:30pm.

Wed, 08 Aug 2018 10:28:55 +0530
President lauds Kerala s

The President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the ‘Festival of Democracy’ in Thiruvananthapuram to mark the conclusion of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Kerala legislative assembly.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that politics, public life and the quality of democracy are a reflection of the essential ethos of a society. As such, the Kerala assembly and its debates and discussions, the humanistic values that it has historically advocated and legislated on, are a mirror to the traditions of this state.

The President said that even in previous centuries, Kerala’s social framework has encouraged debate and dialogue. This was the way of farsighted reformers such as Adi Shankaracharya, Sri Narayana Guru and Ayyankali. This was the motivation for the discourse between people of so many great faiths and spiritual traditions – Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and others that have counted Kerala as among their earliest homes. The President said that a person may believe in one faith or the other – or he or she may not believe in any faith at all. That is not important. What is important is that the culture of educated and informed debate and of mutual accommodation that has been part of Kerala’s DNA continues to be preserved.

Praising the civil and learned conduct of the Kerala legislative assembly over the past 60 years, the President said that nevertheless there remains the paradox of political violence in Kerala, especially in some regions of the state. This is unfortunate and does little justice to the glorious traditions of the state and its people. It is important for all political groups and all enlightened citizens to do their utmost to curb the development of such tendencies. Debate, dissent and disagreement are perfectly acceptable and should be welcomed in our polity. But violence has no place in our Constitution.

Tue, 07 Aug 2018 10:36:31 +0530
Bhagavathi Seva pooja per

K.A.Viswanathan

 

Bhagavati Seva puja is conducted in all temples and houses during the Tamil month of Aadi. It is  a divine Devi pooja for protection from miseries, fulfillment of wishes, and spiritual benefits. It is performed in the evenings, preferably on Fridays by the Malayalees and Tamil Brahmins. This was conducted at Sri Shankara Mattham, and Sri Marubai temple at Matunga.

Before starting the pooja the priest draws a special kolam design (Sri Chakram) drawn on a clean floor using rice powder, turmeric powder, Kumkum and other colour powders. This is named as Padmam, which is the main kolam. On either side of the Padmam two smaller Kolams are  made and filled with color powders. The Pooja starts with lighting of the three brass lamps  by the priest. The priest recites Devi Mahatmyam describing the Goddess as the supreme power and creator of the universe.

He then recites the Lalitha Sahasranamam and does archana using varieties of fragrant flowers. Arali is the preferred flower. This follows with Kumkum archana reciting the Lalitha Astothram and then later on he recites the Lalitha Trishathi which is also called sarva poorthikara stotram. The lamp looks beautiful at the end of the pooja with all the flowers heaped around it.

The eleventh chapter of the Devi Mahatmyam is recited at the end  the Bagavathi Seva. While reciting the priest and all those present do Namaskaram at the end of each verse ending with Narayani Namosthudhe. Thus it is also called Namaskara Japam.

After the pooja devotees are given nei payasam, the traditional sweet offering as prasadam , vada and panchamruda made out of fruits and honey.

 

Mon, 06 Aug 2018 16:11:37 +0530
Farmers laud Vice Preside

Several farmers from rural Delhi and Haryana met the Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu and thanked him for his efforts to make agriculture sustainable and profitable through convening the National Consultation Meetings across the country. The farmers came to the residence of Vice President of India, here today, and greeted him on the occasion of one year of his election as the Vice President.

The farmers also thanked him for taking keen interest in issues related farmers. They expressed their happiness at the consistent support the Vice President has been giving to improve farmers’ lives.  Focusing government’s attention on these concerns and seeking practical solutions, the Vice President’s pro-active actions were appreciated by all of them. They were enthused at way in which the son of a farmer has been making the institution of the Vice President more vibrant and responsive to people’s concerns. They requested him to continue his efforts to bring different stakeholders and experts together in an effort to meaningfully connect the research being conducted in labs with the farmers’ problems.

Earlier in the day, forty young children from the tribal areas of Orissa met the Vice President and greeted him and sought his blessings. Four of these students, Dutee Chand, Purnima Hembram, Jauna Murmu and Rutuparna Panda, belonging to the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, established by eminent educationist and social activist, Prof. Achyuta Samanta, have been selected to participate in the Asian Games, 2018. The Vice President congratulated the students on their selection and hoped that they would be able to come out with flying colours in the Games and bring laurels to the country. In his message on the occasion, the Vice President highlighted the crucial importance of sports in national development. Sports, he said, helps us to be physically fit, enhance our personality, equanimity as well as foster friendship and social cohesion. He urged the government, educational institutions and the private sector to promote sports and nurture sporting talent. He complimented Prof Samanta for his visionary perspective and untiring efforts to provide the much needed fillip to sports as a part of the curriculum in his educational institutions.

Mon, 06 Aug 2018 10:39:29 +0530
Scientific institutions s

The Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that scientific institutions to nurture talent and foster path-breaking innovations to transform the socio-economic landscape of the country. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of CSIR-IICT (Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, in Hyderabad.

The Vice President said though we are progressing on various fronts, incremental progress was not enough. He further said that Scientific organizations have to set ambitious goals and strategically position themselves to become leading institutions in the world. The government must facilitate this quest for excellence by providing funds, freedom and flexibility and the private sector also needs to come forward to liberally support research, he added.

The Vice President emphasized the need to hugely step up investments in R & D to promote the culture of innovation and discovery. He further said that reducing procedural bottlenecks, removing hierarchical barriers and resetting priorities is also crucial and the leadership in scientific institutions should encourage bright young scientists to come up with new and unconventional ideas and projects. “Opportunities must be provided for undertaking path-breaking research that answers one or more of current societal challenges”, he added.

Referring to UN’s 17 sustainable development goals which include ending poverty in all its forms, promoting sustainable agriculture and good health, the Vice President cautioned that all these ambitious goals cannot be achieved if we adopt “business-as-usual approach”. He further said that there is no dearth of talent in India and stressed on the need to create the right ecosystem for innovation to thrive. India, with 65 per cent of the population below the age of 35 years must equip the young people with scientific and technological knowledge and skills, he added.

The Vice President said that science is the key lever for sustainable development and a country’s prosperity and security are directly dependent on its scientific and technological progress. He further said that historically India has been a lighthouse of knowledge. Our Ayurveda system of medicine can be traced back to 5,000 B C, Indus Valley Civilization had irrigation and sewerage systems as far back as 2,500 BC, he added.

Referring to the contributions made by great Indian scientists like Aryabhatta, Varahamira, Charaka, Sushruta, Rishi Kanad and sage Patanjali, the Vice President said that there were innumerable legendary scientists of ancient India, who have enriched the world’s scientific treasure. We need to take pride in their achievements and share the knowledge we had inherited from them with the entire world, he added.

The Vice President said that the spirit of enquiry and the scientific temper, the spirit of asking relevant questions and seeking practical answers must become an integral part of our school and college education systems. The quality of teaching and research in our Universities and scientific institutions must be considerably improved, he added.

The Vice President said that Science has the greatest impact on people’s lives and institutions and asked institutions like IICT to focus on research on key areas such as agriculture and environment. An agriculture dependent country like India cannot progress unless the farmers’ lives are improved, he added.

Mon, 06 Aug 2018 10:31:39 +0530
10 000 plus nominations s

The last date for online nominations/recommendations for the Padma Awards to be announced on the occasion of Republic Day, 2019 is September 15, 2018. Already 11,475 Registrations have been made on the website, out of which 10,453 nominations/recommendations completed since the nominations   opened on 1st May, 2018.

Nominations have been invited from Central Ministries/Departments, States/UT Governments, Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees, Institutes of Excellence as also from several other sources to enable broadbased consideration. The MHA communication dated April 25, 2018 requested them to make concerted efforts in identifying talented persons whose excellence and achievements really deserve to be recognized, and make suitable nominations in their favour.

The nominations/recommendations for the Padma Awards are being received online only on the Padma portal www.padmaawards.gov.in. All citizens can make nominations/recommendation including self-nomination. The nominations/recommendations should contain all relevant details specified in the format available on the above said website, including a citation in narrative form (maximum 800 words), clearly bringing out the distinguished and exceptional achievements/service of the person recommended in her/his respective field/discipline. While recommending a person online, it should be ensured that all the necessary details are filled properly.

The Padma Awards, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, are amongst the highest civilian awards of the country.  Instituted in 1954, these Awards are announced on the occasion of the Republic Day every year. The award seeks to recognize ‘work of distinction’ and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in all fields/disciplines, such as, Art, Literature and Education, Sports, Medicine, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Public Affairs, Civil Service, Trade and Industry etc.

All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these Awards. Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field.

The MHA communication requested that efforts may be made to identify talented persons from amongst women, weaker sections of the society, SCs & STs, divyang persons, etc., who deserve to be considered for the award. Government servants including those working with PSUs, except Doctors   and Scientists, are not eligible for Padma Awards.

Sat, 04 Aug 2018 11:11:12 +0530
PM reviews key infra proj

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed progress of key infrastructure sectors of roads, PMGSY, rural housing, urban housing, railways, airports and ports. The review meeting, which lasted for nearly two hours, was attended by top officials from  infrastructure-related Ministries, NITI Aayog, and PMO.

In course of the presentation made by CEO NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, it was noted that the pace of road construction has picked up significantly. The average road length constructed per day in FY 17-18 was 26.93 km, as compared to 11.67 km in FY 13-14.

The Prime Minister was informed about progress made in digitisation of the transport sector. Over 24 lakh RFID tags have been issued so far, and over 22 percent of toll revenue now comes from electronic toll collection. The "Sukhad Yatra" App, which provides information about road conditions, and facilitates lodging of complaints, has seen over one lakh downloads so far. The Prime Minister called for faster progress in electronic toll collection.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, rural roads have now connected 88 percent of all eligible habitations. Over 44,000 villages have been connected in the period from 2014 to 2018, as compared to about 35,000 in the preceding four year period. The "MeriSadak" App has been launched in 10 regional languages, and has seen 9.76 lakh downloads so far. GIS Mapping of roads is underway, and 20 States have so far been hosted on the Geospatial Rural Road Information System (GRRIS). Green technologies, and non-conventional materials such as waste plastic and fly ash, are being used in rural road construction.

In the railways sector, there has been significant addition in capacity and rolling stock. Additions in "new lines, doubling and gauge conversion" between 2014 and 2018, was to the extent of 9528 kilometres, which is 56 percent higher than the preceding four year period.

Similarly, in the aviation sector, passenger traffic has grown by over 62 percent in the four year period between 2014 and 2018, as against 18 percent in the preceding four year period. Under the UDAN scheme, 27 airports are now operational in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

In the ports sector, traffic volume in major ports increased by 17 percent in the period between 2014 and 2018.

In the rural housing sector, the Prime Minister was informed that over one crore houses have been constructed in the period from 2014 to 2018, as compared to about 25 lakh houses in the preceding four year period. This has boosted employment in the housing sector and related construction industries. According to an independent study, the average construction completion time has dropped sharply, from 314 days in 2015-16, to 114 days in 2017-18. Stress is also being given to disaster resilience, and low cost housing design typologies.

In urban housing, emphasis is being laid on new construction technologies. 54 lakh houses have been sanctioned under Pradhan MantriAwaas Yojana (Urban), since the inception of the scheme.

Sat, 04 Aug 2018 11:05:24 +0530
US adds India to STA 1 li

India has become the first south Asian country to be added to the Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) list after the US issued a federal notification to this effect, paving the way for high-technology product sales to New Delhi, particularly in civil space and defense sectors, reports NDTV.

It is also only the third Asian country after Japan and South Korea to be given that status by the United States. Overall, India has become the 37th country to be designated the STA-1 status, which is generally given by the US to NATO allies, NDTV reported.

The federal notification, issued yesterday, gains significance as the Trump Administration made an exception for India, which is yet to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG.

Traditionally, the US has placed only those countries in the STA-1 list who are members of the four export control regimes: Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)Wassenaar Arrangement (WA)Australia Group (AG) and the NSG.

Sat, 04 Aug 2018 11:00:09 +0530
VP reminds legislators of

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that mitigating people’s grief is the primary duty of the legislators. Interacting with newly elected Members of Legislative Assembly of the Meghalaya, in here the Vice President gave them an overview of the structure and functioning of Rajya Sabha in the overall framework of India’s parliamentary democracy and informed them some of the new initiatives taken in the Rajya Sabha.  

The Vice President has also asked them to use forums like state assemblies to highlight the issues concerning the common man and make their lives better. Work hard and use the assembly to raise people’s concerns, he added.

The Vice President asked the Legislators to keep the aspirations of people in mind and live up to their expectations during their tenure as Public representatives.

These MLAs have come to the National Capital to attend the workshop organised by the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training of Lok Sabha Secretariat.

The Vice President explained the role of Parliament, especially the upper house and made the newly elected MLAs aware of the crucial parliamentary functions. He also informed them about the role of important parliamentary committees such as Standing Committees, Select Committees and the work done by members during non session days.

The Vice President asked legislators to be prepared before attending a session and asked them to make good use of the time allotted to them. He has advised them not to disrupt the house with shouting and sloganeering. Assemblies and Parliament are platforms for discussion and debate but not for disruptions, he added.

Informing the members about Rajya Sabha’s recent initiative to allow its members to speak in their mother tongue, the Vice President has asked members of legislatures to speak in the House in their respective mother tongues and said that they would be able to express their feelings, better and people concern would understand it.

Sat, 04 Aug 2018 10:53:14 +0530
President to visit Telang

The President of India Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala from August 4 to 7, 2018.

The President will land in Telangana on the evening of August 4, 2018. On August 5, 2018, the President will grace and address the 7th convocation of IIT Hyderabad.  On the same day, the President will visit Tamil Nadu to meet Dr M Karunanidhi in the Kauvery Hospital, Chennai. 

On August 6, 2018, the President will inaugurate the ‘Festival of Democracy’ in Thiruvananthapuram to mark the conclusion of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Kerala Legislative Assembly.

On August 7, 2018, the President will inaugurate the centenary celebrations of St. Thomas’ College, Thrissur, before returning to Delhi. 

Sat, 04 Aug 2018 10:45:31 +0530
Centre clears Justice KM

The elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph as a Supreme Court judge has been cleared by the centre, which had objected to the move and sent back his file to a panel of senior judges, reports NDTV.

The law ministry has started the process of appointing Justice Joseph as a Supreme Court judge, along with Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Orissa High Court Chief Justice Vineer Saran, NDTV reported.

The government's questioning of Justice Joseph's elevation -- citing inadequate representation in the top court from other states -- had set the stage for its face-off with the country's highest court.

The Supreme Court collegium had reiterated its choice of Justice Joseph for a second time. The court's decision, made last month before one of its members, Justice Jasti Chelameshwar, retired, has been conveyed to the government, NDTV reported.

 

Fri, 03 Aug 2018 10:54:05 +0530
Attaches highest importan

The Central Government claims that the government attaches highest importance to the safety and security to every citizen of the country including journalists. The existing laws for protection of citizens also cover journalists.  ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.

Also the Press Council of India takes appropriate action on receipt of specific complaints from affected journalists. An advisory on safety of journalists has been issued to States/UTs on 20th October 2017, which is available at the Ministry of Home Affairs’ website viz. www.mha.gov.in.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

Thu, 02 Aug 2018 10:56:29 +0530
Poor looks upon their rep

The President Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the years 2013-2017 in New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated all those being conferred with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award – Najma Heptulla, Hukmdev Narayan Yadav, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Dinesh Trivedi and Bhartruhari Mahtab.   He said that as parliamentarians, each of them has added value to the proceedings of the House. They have done so while maintaining the dignity of Parliament, using their knowledge and wisdom. They have conducted themselves in a manner that is a model for other members.

The President said that the soul of Indian democracy lies in Parliament. MPs are not just representatives of a particular party or constituency. They are the trustees of our constitutional ideals. All MPs are accountable for the hopes and aspirations of millions of our citizens. This is a very big responsibility.

The President said that the people of India, especially the poor and the underprivileged, look upon their representatives with great expectations. They nurture the expectation that their representatives will make every effort to improve their lives and those of their children. And for this reason they want to see their representatives busy and relentlessly at work for the welfare of common citizens. In Parliament, people expect discussions on their problems and suggestions on the resolution of these problems. To meet the expectations of the people of India is the touchstone we must use to judge the efficacy of the parliamentary system.

Thu, 02 Aug 2018 10:47:30 +0530
PM lauds Parliamentarian

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards at the function organized by the Indian Parliamentary Group in New Delhi. The President Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards at the Central Hall of Parliament. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan were also present on the occasion.

Congratulating the award winners, Prime Minister said that their contributions to Parliament and the country would always be remembered. He added that it is an honour to work with and learn from these outstanding parliamentarians.

Prime Minister said that Parliament represents the dreams and voice of 125 crore Indians. He added that everything said in Parliament is of immense value and provides an opportunity for policy makers and Government to resolve important issues.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister said that disruptions in Parliament usually affect common-man and the parliamentarians who represent them the most. He added that the disruptions are a loss to the nation than to the government.

Prime Minister said that it is the responsibility of the parliamentarians to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament so that every parliamentarian gets a chance to speak and thereby become part of history.

Thu, 02 Aug 2018 10:39:50 +0530
Kamal hints of an allianc

Before he launched his party Makkal Needhi Maiam earlier this year, Kamal Haasan, 63 had a "secret" meeting with Tamil cinema's other mega star and politician-in-waiting, Rajinikanth, 67. At this meeting, they decided to "maintain dignity" if they politically find themselves in opposite camps. But if they end up on the same side, wouldn't they be unbeatable, like fictional superhero group, Avengers?, reports NDTV

"That is an easy epiphany but it has to happen... Yes, if we do come together, it can happen," Kamal Haasan told NDTV in an exclusive interview. "We will have to work carefully on that."

But he pointed that the two of them hadn't really worked together in many movies as a conscious decision.

The two superstars, contemporaries in Tamil cinema and now politics, have shared screen space in some iconic films, mostly in the 1970s, often with Kamal Haasan playing the straight-laced hero and Rajinikanth the stylish villain with shades of grey.

But the Tamil film industry's highest-paid actors stopped when they realised that they could both earn a lot more money if the producer didn't have to pay two stars, but only one, NDTV reported.

Their last film together was the Hindi movie "Geraftaar" in 1985, also starring Amitabh Bachchan.

Last year, Kamal Haasan told reporters that they could act together. But he pointed that their joint appearance would push up the film's costs so much that it would become a very risky proposition. "...who could afford us?" he had then asked.

"There might be similar reasons in politics too. We don't know," Kamal Haasan told NDTV, without elaborating on the reasons.

Wed, 01 Aug 2018 15:28:25 +0530
Tourism ministry provides

The Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance to State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations under the schemes of Swadesh Darshan, National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) and Assistance to Central Agencies for the development of tourism related infrastructure in the country.

Under the PRASHAD Scheme, 26 religious cities/sites in 19 States have been identified for development which inter-alia include Amaravati and Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh), Kamakhya (Assam), Patna and Gaya (Bihar), Dwarka and Somnath (Gujarat), Gurudwara Nada Saheb (Haryana), Hazratbal and Katra (Jammu & Kashmir), Deogarh (Jharkhand), Chamundeshwari Devi (Karnataka), Guruvayoor (Kerala), Una (Himachal Pradesh), Omkareshwar (Madhya Pradesh), Trimbakeshwar (Maharashtra), Puri (Odisha), Amritsar (Punjab), Ajmer (Rajasthan), Kanchipuram and Vellankani (Tamil Nadu), Varanasi and Mathura (Uttar Pradesh), Badrinath and Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) and Belur (West Bengal).

The Scheme of Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development aims at developing tourism related infrastructure through central financial assistance to the Central Agencies who own the assets.

Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:39:46 +0530
Rajnath Singh s statement

Below is the full transcript of Home Minister Rajnath Singh's NRC Draft List

 

Today NRC Draft List has been published in Assam. I want to emphatically say that this is only a draft and not the Final NRC.

Everyone will have full opportunity to file Claims / Objections as per provision in law. Only after the disposal of claims and objections, the Final NRC will be published.

Some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear. I want to assure all that there is no need for any apprehension or fear. Some misinformation is also being spread. NRC process has been done impartially. Some people may not have been able to submit necessary documents. They will get full opportunity through Claims and Objections process.

I want to clarify that even after the Final NRC, every person will get an opportunity to approach the Foreigners Tribunal.

This means that even those whose names do not figure in the Final NRC will get an opportunity to approach the Tribunal. There is no question of any coercive action against anyone.

NRC process is being carried out with complete fairness and transparency. It has been monitored by the Honourable Supreme Court.

Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:29:53 +0530
Defence ministry releases

Two contracts were signed between IAF & Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for procurement of (i) 20 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standard aircraft on 31st March 2006 to be completed by December 2011 and (ii) 20 Final Operational Clearance (FOC) standard aircraft on 23rd December 2010 to be completed by 2016.

Out of total 20 IOC aircraft (16 fighters and 4 trainers), 9 fighters have been delivered by HAL to IAF till date.  The production of remaining 11 IOC aircraft  (7 fighter + 4 trainer) are taken up at HAL.  The aircraft is currently capable of undertaking Air Defence Operations and conventional ground attack with heavy bombs is feasible.

Production for 20 FOC aircraft, will be taken up after FOC clearance by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for which current target is December, 2018.

Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:23:11 +0530
VP Naidu says Literacy gi

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Literacy gives greater freedom to participate in society more actively and access better learning and earning opportunities. He was addressing the gathering after conferring the Nehru and Tagore Literacy Awards instituted by the Indian Adult Education Association.

The Vice President said that it is indeed a glaring gap in world development that one third population of the world is illiterate. He further said that India has made rapid progress over the last seven decades and the country has tried to ensure universal primary education and literacy. Quoting the 2011 census report, he said that the literacy rate of the country was 73%, with male literacy at 80.9% and female literacy at 64.6%.

Stressing on the need to remove gender gaps in literacy and education, the Vice President said the one must recognize that there is a persisting gender gap of 16.3 percent and analyze the outcome of the literacy programmes implemented in this country such as Saakshar Bharat so that all the stakeholders can take-up the remaining task in the days to come in a sustainable way, he said. He asked the government, the civil society, the private sector and the media to work together to create a literate society, a knowledge society & a learning society.

The Vice President said that he is saddened by reports that reflect the predominance of rote memorization, lack of learning materials and inadequate attention to different dimensions of learning. He highlighted on the need to rethink education system and schools to review what is taught and how it is taught. Schools and colleges must get transformed into active, vibrant places of learning where students experience the joy of learning, he added.

The Vice President said that the country must move on from universal functional literacy to skill development and lifelong learning. He further said that learning is a continual process and we need to develop an efficient programme involving all the stakeholders to achieve the goal of building a learning society.

The Vice President said that 65% of the country’s population is 35 years of age or under and by 2020 and it is forecasted to become the youngest country in the world, with a median age of 29 years. He further said that this is a crucial moment in India’s developmental journey. We must realize the demographic dividend. We must focus on the youth and ensure that they have the requisite skills to shape their futures in the knowledge economy of the 21st century, he added.

Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:17:42 +0530
PM interacts with Table T

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, interacted with the Commonwealth Games 2018 medal winners in Table Tennis.  The sportspersons had called on the Prime Minister at Parliament House, New Delhi.         

The Prime Minister congratulated the medal winners for their exemplary performance in the international arena. He added that their performance have made the entire nation proud.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the rise of sporting talents from the small towns in India and emphasized the need for continuously nurturing them.

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore, were present on the occasion.

Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:13:02 +0530
Modi speaks to Imran Cal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to former Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan, whose Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has emerged as the largest party on the country's general elections last week, and called for peace and development in the South Asian neighbourhood, reports Khaleej Times.

"Prime Minister spoke to Imran Khan, Chairperson of PTI and congratulated him for his party emerging as the largest political party in the National Assembly of Pakistan in the recently conducted general elections," the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement, Khaleej Times reported.

"Prime Minister expressed hope that democracy will take deeper roots in Pakistan," the statement said, adding Modi "also reiterated his vision of peace and development in the entire neighbourhood".

Imran Khan has said that he will take oath as Prime Minister on August 11, the media reported on Monday.

Although PTI has emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly in the July 25 polls, it is short of numbers to form its government independently.

To meet the required number of votes, the PTI leadership has reportedly approached the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, the Grand Democratic Alliance, PML-Quaid and the Balochistan Awami Party, as well as Independents.

Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:07:27 +0530
Congress SP BSP RLD wo

A broad agreement has been worked out between the Congress, Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, Dalit powerhouse Mayawati and RLD leader Ajit Singh to take on the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the state that sends the maximum number of parliamentarians to the Lok Sabha, reports NDTV.

Sources said the parties have decided to work out the details of sharing the state's 80 seats later, NDTV  reported.

The understanding between the parties in the nation's largest state is crucial to the building of an opposition front to take on the BJP in next year's general elections. The idea of a common front in Uttar Pradesh paid dividends in by-elections held in the state earlier this year - delivering to the opposition the high-profile seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur, and later Kairana and Noorpur, NDTV reported.

Tue, 31 Jul 2018 10:38:34 +0530
40 lakh left out of Assam

Around 40 lakh people in Assam have been left out of a draft list of citizens released today, and face deportation if they cannot prove their citizenship, reports NDTV.

The state's National Register of Citizens or NRC has been updated for the first time since 1951 to account for illegal migration from neighbouring Bangladesh. Releasing the updated list, officials underscored that no one would be deported or arrested as this is only a draft. The recount is seen by critics as a move to target Assam's Muslim population on the pretext of weeding out Bangladeshi migrants, NDTV reported.

Mon, 30 Jul 2018 14:25:30 +0530
Let us be lovers of natu

Below is the full transcript of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Mann Ki Baat

 

My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Of late, News of abundant rainfall has been steadily coming in. At places, we are hearing of rising concerns on account of excessive showers; at some places, people are anxiously waiting for the rains to begin. The vastness and diversity of India, in fact, at times even rains play hide & seek through partiality laced likes & dislikes. But why should we blame the rains! After all it was humankind that chose the path of conflict with Nature and consequently earnt her periodic wrath. And that is why it becomes our collective responsibility… Let us be lovers of nature, protectors of Nature, conservers of Nature… and thus, ensure spontaneous balance in her myriad bounty.

Come to think of it, recently an incident pertaining to a natural disaster attracted global attention, leaving every heart & mind perturbed. All of you must have watched it on T.V… in Thailand a team of 12 teenaged football players and their coach went on an excursion to a cave. Usually it takes a few hours to enter and exit that cave. But destiny had different plans that day. Barely had they entered deep into the cave that a sudden heavy downpour caused water logging at the inlet of the cave. Their exit was completely blocked. Not able to find a way out, they perched themselves a top a mound inside the cave; not for a day or two, but an entire 18 days. One can only imagine the predicament of these teenagers in the face of death, where every second was fraught with danger.  On the one hand they were struggling against all odds; on the other, the world over, humanity joined hands in expressing the noblest & the most righteous of human virtues. The world over, people prayed for the safe & secure exit of these children. No stone was left unturned to trace their where abouts, their well-being and their rescue. Their timely evacuation was of a prime concern, since the heavy monsoon would have delayed rescue-attempts by a few months. Anyway, the good news of their safe exit spread a sigh of relief, a sense of inner calm. But I feel like viewing the entire sequence of events from another perspective, i.e, how the operation was conducted! The sense of responsibility & commitment, prevailing at every level was astonishing. The government, their parents, family members, media, citizens of that country, each one of them displayed an awe-inspiring sense of peace and patience. All of them came together as a team to accomplish their mission. I feel the self-control exercised by each one of them in conduct is worth understanding and emulating. It is not that the parents were not aggrieved, it is not that the mothers’ eyes had ceased to be moist. Their patience, their restraint, in fact the calm composure exercised by the entire society is commendable & worth following. During the operation, a sailor from Thailand Navy sacrificed his life. The whole world is be wildered at the way they held on with courage and patience, without losing hope, despite the odds against them in the water-logged dark cave. This proves that when humanity stands together, it creates wonders. What is certainly required is focusing on your goal with a calm & steady demeanour and the will to strive.

A few days ago, the country’s beloved poet Neeraj Ji left us forever. Neeraj ji was blessed with a special quality… it was a combination of hope, faith, a firm resolve and self-confidence. Every word of Neeraj ji’s work can instill a lot of strength & inspiration in us Indians. He wrote

अंधियार ढलकर ही रहेगा

आंधियाँ चाहे उठाओ

बिजलियाँ चाहे गिराओ

जल गया है दीप तो अंधियार ढलकर ही रहेगा

The darkness shall be dispelled

Whether you brew up storms

Or make lightening strike

Now that the lamp has been lit

The darkness shall be dispelled

My heartfelt respectful tributes to Neeraj ji.

 

Usually, the months of July and August are very important for farmers and the youth. This is the time which is Peak season for colleges. Like Satyam, Hundreds of thousands of youth leave schools to join colleges. Whereas February and March get consumed in exams, papers and answers, April & May are meant for enjoying vacations, followed by results and thereafter, shaping a course for one’s life through career choices. July is the month when the youth step into a new phase of life, where the focus shifts from questions and veers towards cut-offs.

The attention of students steers from home to hostel. Students submit themselves to the tutelage of Professors vis a vis the shadow of their parents. I firmly believe that my young friends must be enthusiastic & happy on the commencement of their college life. Leaving home for the first time, moving out of one’s village, coming out of a protective environment amounts to taking charge of the course of one’s life. This multitude of young people leave their homes for the first time to chart a new direction for their lives. Some students might have joined their respective colleges and some must be about to join. All I would like to say to you is ‘Be calm, enjoy life, seek inner happiness in life. There is no alternative to books, one has to study, yet one’s bent of mind should be towards discovering new things. Old friends are invaluable. Childhood friends are precious, but selecting, making & maintaining new friendships is a task that requires immense prudence. Keep learning something new, such as newer skills and languages. Young people who leave their homes for the sake of studies should discover their new places, know more about the people, language, culture & tourism facets related to them. My best wishes to all the young people about to begin a new innings. Referring to the college season reminds me of someone I saw in the News recently… how Asharam Choudhury a student from an extremely poor family in Madhya Pradesh overcame life’s many challenges to achieve success. In his maiden attempt, he cracked the Entrance exam for MBBS at AIIMS, Jodhpur. His father earns his daily bread by waste-picking. I congratulate him on his success. There are many such instances of students from deprived families who, through sheer determination & perseverance overcame all odds and stood out to be beacons of inspiration to others. Examples such as Prince Kumar of Delhi, whose father is a DTC bus driver, Abhay Gupta of Kolkata who studied on foothpaths under street lights, Bitiya Afreen Sheikh of Ahmedabad, whose father drives an auto rickshaw, Nagpur’s daughter Khushi, whose father is a school bus driver, Karthik of Haryana, whose father is a watchman or Ramesh Sahu of Jharkhand, whose father is a brick-kiln labourer… or Gurgaon’s divyang angel Anushka Panda, who suffers from a hereditary disorder called spinal muscular atrophy… all of them overcame each & every obstacle through their firm resolve and Zeal, attaining success for the world to see. If we look around, we can see many such examples.

Any commendable incident from any part of the country infuses my heart with energy and inspires me. And when I mention the glorious journey of these youth, I am reminded of Neeraj ji’s line which sum up the raison d’etre of life. Neeraj ji has said

गीत आकाश को धरती का सुनाना है मुझे

हर अंधेरे को उजाले में बुलाना है मुझे

फूल की गंध से तलवार को सर करना है

और गा-गा के पहाडों को जगाना है मुझे

How I wish to make the sky listen to

the song of the earth

How I wish to inspire every strand of darkness

to come to the radiance of light

And I wish to conquer the might of the sword

With the fragrance of flowers

And to awaken the mountains

with the Sweetness of songs.

My dear countrymen, a few days ago I happened to glance through a news item, it said- “Two youths make Modi’s dream come true”. On reading further, I came to know how our youngsters put in efforts to transform the lives of the common man by making smart and creative use of technology.

It so happened that once I was interacting with Indian youth in San Jose town of America hailed as a Technology Hub. I had appealed to those young people to think over how could they use their talent to India’s benefit and do something in that direction whenever they found time. I had made an appeal to change brain-drain into brain-gain. Two IT Professionals from Rae Bareilly Yogesh Sahu ji and Rajneesh Bajpayee ji accepted my challenge and made a unique attempt. With their joint efforts, Yogesh ji and Rajneesh ji have developed a SmartGaonApp by utilizing their professional skills. This App is not only connecting the villagers with the whole world but now they can obtain any information on their own mobile phones. Residents of the village Taudhakpur in Rae Bareilly, village chief, District Magistrate, CDO and every one joined in to create awareness amongst the masses. This App is actually bringing in a Digital Revolution in the village, with the help of this App, it has since become easier to record, track and monitor developmental work being done in the village. This App contains phone directory, News section, events list, health centre and information centre of the village. This App is very useful for the farmers and the grammar feature of the App and FACT rate among the farmers functions like a market place for their products. If you look into this incident minutely, one thing will strike you and that is the young man living in America adhering to that country’s life-style and ideology, who left India many years ago but, knows the finer details about his village, knows about the challenges and still is emotionally attached to his village. This seems to be the reason as to how he could develop this App which is most suited to needs of the village.      

A sense of belonging towards the village and towards one’s roots and also a spirit to show and do something is naturally there in each and every Indian.

 But, sometimes because of time, sometimes because of distance and at times because of situations that spirit gets faded but just with a touch of a tiny spark, everything re-emerges which takes one back to old memories. We should also check if such a thing has happened in our case too whether circumstances, situations, distances have made us alien, whether dust has gathered over our determinations.

Do think.

Santoshji, many - many thanks for your phone call. Actually, Pandharpur Wari is an amazing journey in itself. Friends, Ashadhi Ekadashi, which fell on 23rd July, is celebrated as a day of grand transformation of Pandharpur Wari. Pandharpur is a holy town in Solapur district in Maharashtra. About 15-20 days before Ashadhi Ekadashi warkari or pilgrims start the Pandharpur Yatra on foot. This yatra (journey) is known as Wari and lakhs of warkaris join this. Wooden foot wear or padukas of great saints like Saint Gyaneshwar and Saint Tukaram are placed in a palki and pilgrims begin their pilgrimage chanting “Vitthal-Vitthal”. Pilgrims go to have a darshan of Vitthal who is also known as Vithoba or Pandurang. Lord Vitthal safeguards the interests of the poor, the deprived ones and the ones who are suffering. People from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana have deep devotion and respect for Vitthal.

Visiting Vithoba temple in Pandharpur and its grandeur, beauty and spiritual bliss is a unique experience in itself. I request the listeners of “Mann Ki Baat” to visit Pandharpur Wari at least once, whenever they get a chance. Innumerable saints like Gyaneshwar, Namdev, Eknath, Ram Dass, Tukaram are relevant even today in educating the masses. They are imparting energy to fight against superstition in each and every corner across the country. May they be compositions like Bharud (Hkk:M) or Abhang (vHkax), we get a great message of amity, love and brotherhood. We get the mantra to enable the society to fight against blind-faith through devotion and bhakti. These were the people who, at times restrained and corrected the society, even showed a mirror and ensured that old evil traditions get eradicated from the society and that people inculcated a culture of compassion, equality and righteousness. Our mother India is a land full of gems and treasures and the tradition of these great saints that adorned our land are at the same level as the great men who dedicated and sacrificed their lives for our Mother India. One such great man has been Lok Manya Tilak who has left a very deep impression on the hearts of a large number of Indians. We remember and pay our homage to Tilak ji on his birth anniversary on 23rd July and his death anniversary on 1st August.

Lokmanya Tilak was full of courage and self-confidence. He had the courage to show a mirror to the British about their wrong doings. The British were so afraid of Lok Manya Tilak that they tried to charge him of sedition thrice in two decades; this is no small thing. I want to narrate an interesting incident to the countrymen which is connected with Lok Manya Tilak and his statue in Ahmedabad. When in October 1916, Lok Manya Tilak ji came to Ahmedabad, more than 40,000 people that time gave him a welcome and during that very visit, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel had a chance to talk to him. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was greatly impressed by Lok Manya Tilakji. When on August 1 1920, Lok Manya Tilakji passed away, Patel ji had decided then itself that he would build his statue in Ahmedabad. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was elected the Mayor of Ahmedabad municipal corporation and he immediately selected Victoria Garden as a venue for Lok Manya Tilak’s memorial and this was the very Victoria Garden which was named after the British Queen. The British were naturally not happy with this and the collector continually kept denying permission. But Sardar Saheb was also Sardar Saheb after all, he was persistent and had remarked that he might have to give up on his post but Lok Manya Tilakji’s statue would certainly be built there. Finally, the statue got built and Sardar Saheb got it unveiled by none other than Mahatma Gandhi on 28th February, 1929; and the most interesting point is that during that inaugural ceremony revered Bapuji said that with the coming of Sardar Patel, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has not only got a man but it has got the strength on the basis of which, building the statue of Tilakji has become possible. And my dear countrymen, the speciality about this statue is that this is a rare statue of Tilakji in which he is sitting in a chair and in this “Swaraj is our birthright” (“Swaraj Hamara Janma Sidhha Adhikar Hai”) is inscribed right below Tilakji’s statue. And this all happened during the period of British rule. Tradition of publicly celebrating Ganesh Utsav was also initiated with the efforts of Lok Manya Tilakji. The celebration of Ganesh Utsav publicly had become an effective medium in promoting a spirit of social awakening, integration, amity and equality among the masses besides projecting a sense of dedication and festivity in them. This was the period when there was a need for people to get united in the fight against the British; these festivals, by breaking the barriers of casteism and communalism served the purpose of uniting all. Such events gained more popularity with the passage of time. Thus, it becomes clear that our younger generations still care for the brave heroes of our ancient past, its heritage and history. Today, you can see Ganesh pandals in almost every street of various cities. All families in that street collectively organize these pandals. This is an excellent chance for our youth wherein they can learn qualities of leadership and organization and inculcate these in themselves.

My dear countrymen! I had requested last time too and now, while remembering Lokmanya Tilak, I will once again urge all of you to celebrate Ganesh Utsav with great enthusiasm and fervour whole heartedly but insist on keeping these celebrations eco-friendly. Right from Ganesh idol to all decorative material everything ought to be eco friendly and I will appreciate that separate competitions be organized in each city, prizes be awarded for these; and I will like that eco friendly items related to Ganesh Utsav are displayed for wider publicity on My Gov and Narendra Modi App.

I will surely send your ideas and efforts to the people. Lokmanya Tilak evoked self- confidence amongst our countrymen and gave the slogan “Swaraj is our birth right and I shall have it.” Today is the time to say that Good Governance is our birth right and we will have it.

Every Indian should have access to good governance and positive results of development. It is the factoring in of this outreach that will create a new India. After 50 years of Tilak's birth, on the same day i.e. on July 23, another son of Mother India was born, who sacrificed his life so that his countrymen could breathe freely in an atomsphere of freedom. I am talking about none other than Chandrasekhar Azad. Where will you find a young man in India who will not be inspired listening to these lines -

Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai

Dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-qaatil mein hai

(The desire for martyrdom is now in our hearts

Let us see the strength in the arms of my executioner)

These lines inspired many young people like Ashfaq Ullah Khan, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and many others. Azad’s courage and passion for freedom inspired the youth of the day. Chandrashekhar Azad put his life on the stake, but he never bowed in front of the foreign rule. It was my privilege and good fortune that I had the opportunity of going to Chandrasekhar Azad’s native village of Alirajpur in Madhya Pradesh. I had the opportunity to pay homage in Chandrashekhar Azad Park in Allahabad, Chandrasekhar Azad Ji was a brave man who did not wish to die by the bullet of foreigners - he wished to fight for independence as a free man and if he had to die, he wished to remain a free man! This is what was so special about him. Once again, I bow and pay tributes to the two great sons of Bharat Mata – Lokmanya Tilakji and Chandrasekhar Azad ji.

Just a few days ago, in the Junior Under-20 World Athletics Championship in Finland, India's brave daughter and a farmer daughter Hima Das made history by winning the gold medal in the 400-meter race event. Ekta Bhyan, another daughter of the country, in response to my letter, has emailed me from Indonesia, where she is now preparing for the Asian Games. Ekta in her e-mail writes - 'The most important moment in the life of any athlete is that when he or she holds the tricolor and I am proud that I could do that.' Ekta, we all are proud of you. You have brought glory to the Nation. Ekta has won the gold and bronze medals in World Para Athletics Grand Prix 2018 held in Tunisia. Her achievement is all the more special because she has made the imposing challenges in her life the key to her success.

 Daughter Ekta Bhyan in 2003, lost the use of half of her lower body due to road accident, but this daughter did not lose courage and made herself all the more stronger to perform this grand feat. Another Divyang, Yogesh Qathuniaji, has won the gold medal in the discus throw in Para Athletics Grand Prix in Berlin and in the process bettered the world record, along with Sundar Singh Gurjar who also won the gold medal in javelin. I salute Ekta Bhyanji, Yogesh Qathuniaji and Sundar Singh Ji, all of you for your fortitude and passion, and congratulate you! May you go further than these successes, keep on playing and keep on blooming.

My dear countrymen, the month of August is significant because it is filled with historically important dates and festivals, but due to the weather sometimes sickness also enters the house. I wish all of you best wishes for good health, for this month of August imbued with the spirit of patriotism and for many festivals that have continued over centuries. We will meet once again for ‘Mann Ki Baat' next time.

Many Many Thanks.

Mon, 30 Jul 2018 14:01:00 +0530
PM attends groundbreaking

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the groundbreaking ceremony of 81 projects in Uttar Pradesh, with a total investment of over 60,000 crore rupees.

These projects have materialised within a few months after the UP Investors Summit, which was organized in February 2018, in an effort to attract investments and promote industrialisation in the State. 

The Prime Minister referred to the heavy rain in some parts of the country. He said the Union Government is monitoring the situation and working with the State Governments to provide assistance to all affected people.

He said that as a caring government, the objective is to ease the difficulty in the lives of people, and improve ease of living. He said that the gathering today is part of the effort to transform the State of Uttar Pradesh. He said the speed with which these projects have moved (from proposal to groundbreaking) within five months, is outstanding.

He congratulated the State Government for this achievement. He noted that these projects are not restricted to certain parts of the State, but will enable balanced development.

He praised the new work culture of the State Government. He said the changed investment climate in the State is bringing opportunities for employment, trade, good roads, adequate power supply, and a bright future. He said these projects would provide many new employment opportunities, and benefit various sections of society. He said that flagship programmes such as Digital India and Make in India, would receive a big boost through these projects.

The Prime Minister said that three lakh Common Service Centres spread across the rural areas today, are transforming lives in the villages, by enabling efficient and transparent service delivery.

The Prime Minister said that the Union Government is ending silos, and focusing on solutions and synchronization.

He said India has become the world's second largest producer of mobile phones, and Uttar Pradesh is leading this manufacturing revolution.

The Prime Minister said that as infrastructure projects get completed, it will become even easier to do business in India, and expenditure incurred on logistics will reduce. He urged entrepreneurs and traders to move towards digital transactions.

The Prime Minister outlined the steps taken to improve electricity supply in the country. He said the country is moving from conventional energy to green energy, and Uttar Pradesh will become a hub of solar energy. He said India's energy deficit has reduced from 4.2 percent in 2013-14, to less than one percent today.

The Prime Minister said that the roadmap for New India, is the fulfillment of the aspirations of its people, through Jan Bhagidaari (people's participation).

Mon, 30 Jul 2018 13:40:26 +0530
VP stresses on donating e

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Eye donation is the noblest act after death and such voluntary effort can alleviate blindness and restore vision in those with corneal blindness. He was addressing the OSKON 2018 (Ocular Surface and Keratoprosthesis Conference), organised by Shankara Netralaya, in Chennai. 

The Vice President said that main cause of blindness include cataract (62.6%) refractive error (19.70%) corneal blindness (0.90%) and glaucoma (5.80%), among others and added that blindness from glaucoma can be prevented if diagnosed and treated early. He called for affordable eye care facilities to treat cataract, glaucoma and other ophthalmological problems. The need of the hour is to ensure that these services are available in rural areas, particularly the remote parts of the country, he added. 

The Vice President appreciated the Mobile Eye Surgical Unit, a brain child of Dr. Badrinath, the founder of Sankara Netralaya, and IIT Madras and said that such systems would take operation theatre to the doorstep of remote rural India. This concept should be replicated in other parts of the country and private eye care services should take a lead in this regard, he added.

The Vice President said it was painful for him to learn about a lot of freak accidents with the chuna used in Pan. It is unfortunate that chemical injuries to the eye form an important cause of severe corneal blindness, he added.

The Vice President also stressed on the need to take up promotional campaigns in every nook and corner of the country to make sure that chuna is no longer packed in flimsy polythene packets. Ensuring the safety of our country’s children should be our utmost priority and all measures will have to be taken to ensure safer packaging of the chunambu, he added.

The Vice President said that the psycho-socio-economic burden is unimaginable as also the burden on the ophthalmic fraternity in rehabilitation which he was given to understand is enormous with the need for multiple ocular surgeries. He further said that the worse still is the social stigma – which is even more horrendous when these youngsters have endured the ordeal of vitriolage (acid attack), the cruelest crime that can be committed. I salute the bravery of the girls and boys who have decided to fight against all odds and the advancements in technology have made it possible to give them back some semblance of normalcy, he added.

Mon, 30 Jul 2018 13:29:34 +0530
VP Naidu urges all to tak

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that government, civil society, scientists and researchers must share knowledge and expertise with farmers to make agriculture sustainable and nutrition-rich. Addressing the National Consultation on Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition organised by MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, in Chennai, he called on institutions like Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Krishi Vigyan Kendras to take the lead in educating our farmers.

The Vice President said that a considerable section of the population in our country suffers from malnutrition consisting of under nutrition, hidden hunger caused by micronutrient deficiencies and obesity. He further said that it is quite distressing that in spite of the efforts taken by successive governments at the Centre and in various States, the problem of malnutrition persists in India at unacceptable levels. There is a need to address this problem on war footing for the country’s population to remain healthy and productive in future, he added. 

The Vice President said that the Government of India has adopted The National Nutrition Strategy in September 2017 to address the problem.  He further said that this policy recognises the imperative need to have a relook at our agriculture policy. We must make agriculture nutrition-sensitive and it is critical that we explicitly make this vital connection between agriculture and nutrition, he added.

The Vice President said that Indian agriculture must diversify our food production by moving away from mono cropping of major cereals to a system that integrates a variety of food items including small millets, pulses, fruits and vegetables. He further said that pulses cultivation will not only help in improving nutrient rich food production but also in restoring nutrient value to the soil. On the economic side, it will reduce our import burden as nearly six million tones of pulses are being imported, he added.

The Vice President said that millets like Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and little millets like Kutki, Kodo, Sawa, Kangni and Cheena are known to be nutrient-rich. Since cultivation of millets requires less water, efforts must be to promote their cultivation as part of crop rotation, he added.

Stressing on the need to create a market for nutritionally-rich crops, such as millets, the Vice President said that promoting or supplying them through the Public Distribution System can be a good option. He called on scientists and people researching on agriculture to create more awareness among the people, about the nutritional value of different foods so that they are able to make informed decisions. Regular monitoring of dietary consumption data of our population could help the government to initiate suitable modifications in policies from time to time, he added.

The Vice President lauded the efforts of Prof. M.S. Swaminathan for conceptualising and promoting the Farming System for Nutrition (FSN) to tackle household food and nutrition insecurity in rural India. He further said that the concept of FSN is a sustainable framework of farming and it involves crops, farm animals and fish. It calls for the integration of interventions in non-farm factors like hygiene and sanitation to improve nutrition and it addresses different human nutritional needs across gender and age groups through the life cycle, he added.

The Vice President said that in accordance with the suggestion given by Prof M S Swaminathan for a synergetic approach to integrate agriculture, nutrition and health, the National Nutrition Strategy, 2017 of Government of India, recognises the importance of a multi-dimensional approach to address malnutrition.

Mon, 30 Jul 2018 13:18:17 +0530
Pakistan opposition deman

A multi-party conference (MPC) and Pakistan Peoples Party late on Friday rejected the just-concluded Pakistan election results, demanding a transparent and free and fair re-election, reports Khaleej Times

A multi-party conference (MPC), called to devise a joint strategy over alleged rigging in the 2018 general elections of Pakistan, demanded a "transparent" re-election and said the polls were "rigged massively" and the results were manipulated, Khaleej Times reported.

Attended by leaders of various parties, the MPC was chaired by PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman. It was held at the Islamabad residence of MMA leader Mian Aslam, Dawn reported.

"The APC (all parties conference) has completely rejected the July 25 elections with consensus," announced Rehman while addressing the media after the conference concluded, reports Khaleej Times.

"We do not consider this election to be the mandate of the public."

Sat, 28 Jul 2018 10:41:45 +0530
Centre reiterates need to

Pointing to the possibility of an increase in the number of tigers according to the preliminary indications from the on-going countrywide Tiger estimation/Census, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has reiterated the need to build a social movement for tiger conservation.   

Addressing the week-long Global Tiger Day celebrations, Dr. Harsh Vardhan underlined that social movements to create awareness in our country have often been built up with the help of children.  In this context, the Minister quoted the example of spreading awareness on the spread of dengue some years ago and the movement for polio eradication. “Similarly, children must play a leading role on creating awareness for tiger conservation”, Dr. Harsh Vardhan averred. 

The Minister emphasised that tiger conservation must become a part of the Green Good Deeds movement.  He added that though major steps need to be taken, the importance of small, green deeds to protect the environment must never be forgotten.   

Sat, 28 Jul 2018 10:32:12 +0530
VP Naidu urges IT sector

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Information Technology must also focus on Agri-Business and Agri-Markets to improve the farmer's income because they are un-remunerative. He was addressing the gathering after giving away IT/ITES Industry Summit Awards at the 26th Annual HYSEA Summit 2018, organized by the Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association.

The Vice President said that we must ensure that the skill deficit is addressed and rural youth should become active stakeholders in India’s inclusive growth endeavor. He further said that the software engineers should think of ways to bridge the digital divide in the country and asked them to ensure that the skill deficit is addressed and rural youth should become active stakeholders in India’s inclusive growth endeavor.

The Vice President said that the only way to stay on top of the tech wave is to constantly innovate and develop new technologies and solve business problems in multiple verticals using these newer technologies. This requires regular upgradation of skills, he added.

The Vice President said that the IT knowledge should ultimately help the poorest of the poor, promote literacy, digitally literacy and skill the skilled in our country. He further said that the IT industry to increase its focus on innovation and developing new technologies, apart from skilling the youth to provide gainful employment.

Saying that innovation and Intellectual Property are the main reasons for the success of global IT giants, the Vice President asked companies to stay invested in Intellectual property and continue focus on innovation.

The Vice President appreciated the government of Telangana’s initiative T-Hub for promoting entrepreneurship and complemented the government for implementing industry-friendly policies and creating the necessary eco-system and infrastructure in the state. 

The Vice President said that India can become a leader in innovation and developing cutting edge technology. He called for collective and coordinated efforts from all the stakeholders, including the government and IT companies for creating the ecosystem and the environment for the IT sector to flourish.

The Vice President expressed concern over the increasing lifestyle diseases in youth, including those in the IT sector and said that it is not uncommon to hear about heart related and orthopedic problems. He further said that depression is also becoming common among youngsters, which is not a good sign. This calls for a huge focus on ensuring the physical and mental wellness of employees and I am sure, the corporate sector will accord top priority to this aspect, he added.

The Vice President said that the atrocities against women must be stopped and for this, there should be a change in the mindset. He further said that the another challenge the country is facing is the urban rural divide and this gap has to be bridged. The Government alone cannot do it, even the society should also pitch in, he added.

Sat, 28 Jul 2018 10:26:03 +0530
Union govt implements hi

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore has said that Government has been implementing through Sports Authority of India (SAI), the Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations (NSFs) for high level support to the national teams at Senior, Junior and Sub-junior levels.

State-of-the-Art indigenous as well as imported sports equipments are procured under the Scheme to enhance the performance of sportspersons. The Scheme covers various aspects of training of elite sportspersons including their boarding/ lodging, supplements, travel, participation in international competitions, equipments etc. There is no separate allocation for equipments. These are purchased as per the requirements of sportspersons as indicated by the National Sports Federations. 11 Regional Centres, 10 National Sports Academies, 05 Regional Sports Academies and 02 Academic Institutes of SAI are equipped with modern training facilities and have equipments which are being upgraded to international standards as per requirement.

In a written reply in Lok Sabha, the Minister said that the expenditure on these equipments is met from the grant received by SAI from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Rs. 32.80 crore have been spent by SAI during the last three years for this purpose.

He said in addition to the Scheme of Assistance to NSFs, the Government has made provision for state-of-the-art sports equipments for the individual athletes identified as probable for Tokyo Olympics 2020 from the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme through which 132 sportspersons have been provided financial assistance for tailor made state-of-the-art equipments costing Rs. 1.10 crore since November, 2017.

Fri, 27 Jul 2018 12:59:40 +0530
Centre takes steps to red

The Government has taken various initiatives to reduce the curriculum load and the burden of school bags.  Some of the initiatives taken in this regard are as under:

 

(i)             The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has recommended only two books (Language and Mathematics) for classes I & II and three books for Classes III to V (Language, Environmental Studies and Mathematics). NCERT has also made available all their textbooks for free access through the web (epathshala.nic.in) and mobile devices.

(ii)            The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has directed schools affiliated to it to ensure that students do not carry school bags till Class II. In its latest circular dated 12th September, 2016, it has advised all its affiliated schools to take all possible measures to keep the weight of school bag under control.

(iii)           Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan implemented a Pilot project e-Prajna with the distribution of 5000 Tablets to all the students of class-VII in 25 Kendriya Vidyalayas (One KV from each region ) to reduce the burden of bag. Teachers will use the tablets in classroom to teach science and mathematics for enhancing core skills in the subject.

Fri, 27 Jul 2018 12:48:05 +0530
CBDT extends Income Tax r

 

The due date for filing of Income Tax Returns for Assessment Year 2018-19 is 31.07.2018 for certain categories of taxpayers. Upon consideration of the matter, the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) extends the ‘due date’ for filing of Income Tax Returns from 31st July, 2018 to 31st August, 2018 in respect of the said categories of taxpayers.

Fri, 27 Jul 2018 12:41:11 +0530
Nation celebrates Kargil

On the occasion Kargil Diwas-2018 Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with three Service Chiefs paid their homage to the courage, valour, and sacrifices of the heroes of Operation Vijay at Amar JawanJyoti. Sitharaman extended her heartiest greetings and best wishes to all the ranks of Indian Armed Forces, Veterans and their families on the occasion.

The Indo-Pak Kargil conflict, known as Operation Vijay, was fought between May and July 1999, in the most inhospitable and rugged terrain along the Line of Control (LoC) from ZojiLa in the West to Turtok in the East. The conflict was engineered by Pakistan, infiltrating its troops and occupying vacated dominating heights across the LoC overlooking and threatening National Highway besides violating territorial integrity of the Nation.

Indian Army soldiers, displaying utmost fortitude and resilience, fought legendary battles in Dras, Kaksar, Batalik and Turtok sectors at heights above 12,000 feet and evicted Pakistani intruders. Indian Air Force also contributed significantly and supported the Army operations.

Sitharaman also expressed confidence that the Indian Armed Forces would continue to serve the country with unwavering dedication and discipline keeping with their glorious traditions.

Fri, 27 Jul 2018 12:34:39 +0530
Suresh Prabhu lauds Vietn

Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies among the ASEAN countries said Union Minister of Commerce& Industry and Civil Aviation. He was speaking at an international conference on India-Vietnam economic ties.

The Minister said that India values the cultural and religious similarities between the two countries but it is the “Act East Policy” initiated by the Prime Minister of India which has opened the doors to realize the tremendous potential for mutual growth.

The Minister further said that India and Vietnam hold key positions in this region in both trade, and commerce, political and security issues. As a member of ASEAN, Vietnam is an enabler for India’s growing ties with rest of ASEAN, which is the focus of India’s Act East Policy. Both counties have extensive economic ties in oil exploration, agriculture, manufacturing and defence and are now looking at the services sector which is the new growth engine in global trade.

India granted “Most Favoured Nation” status to Vietnam in 1975.  Bilateral trade has grown tremendously since then and both nations have agreed on a target of USD 15 billion by 2020.

Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Ton Sinh Thanh was present at the inauguration of the international conference.

Fri, 27 Jul 2018 12:26:40 +0530
President urges citizens

The President Ram Nath Kovind, dedicated a medical college and hospital to the nation and addressed a public gathering at the Baliram Kashyap Memorial College Campus, Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the essence of our country lies in regions such as Bastar. If one wants to experience the soul of India, one must come here. And in the development of rural and tribal areas lies the development of India.

The President said that this is a moment of dramatic changes in India. Great efforts are being made for the welfare and development of rural and tribal communities. Housing for all, especially for the poor, with facilities for a toilet, drinking water and electricity, are a national endeavour. New schools and educational institutions, including IITs and AIIMS, are being established. Skills-based training is being imparted to young people. Fellow citizens from smaller locations and with moderate incomes are experiencing air travel at affordable rates. Gradually, the gap between the well-off and the not-so-well-off is becoming smaller.

The President said that ordinary citizens too are taking initiatives to achieve such goals. He shared the story of the late Kunwar Bai, a remarkable lady from the Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh. He said that she became an ambassador for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Devoted to the cause of cleanliness and hygiene, she sold the few goats she had to pay for a toilet in her house. This inspired many others in the district and Dhamtari began to do well on Swachh Bharat benchmarks.

The President said that it is unfortunate that some of our people have been misled by Naxalism and have tried to foment violence and create an environment of fear. Violence is not part of India’s culture and traditions. It has no place in our Constitution. He was happy to note that dedicated people in society and in the administration have tried to win the confidence of such young people and sought to wean them off conflict. He stated that this is a welcome step and will strengthen the effort for peace and development.

Fri, 27 Jul 2018 12:08:26 +0530
Modi pays homage to soldi

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has paid homage to soldiers on Kargil Vijay Diwas.

“On Kargil Vijay Diwas, a grateful nation pays homage to all those who served the nation during Operation Vijay. Our brave soldiers ensured that India remains protected and gave a befitting answer to those who tried to vitiate the atmosphere of peace.

India will always remember with pride, the outstanding political leadership provided by Atal Ji during Operation Vijay. He led from the front, supported our armed forces and clearly articulated India’s stand at the world stage", the Prime Minister said.

Fri, 27 Jul 2018 11:56:59 +0530
Decks cleared for Delhi M

The perspective plan for the overall Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor(DMIC) Region has been prepared and 24 investment regions and industrial areas have been identified for development.  As part of Phase-1 of the DMIC project, following eight investment regions are being taken up for development:

 

  1. Dholera Special Investment Region in Gujarat (920 sqkms)
  2. Shendra-Bidkin Industrial Area in Maharashtra (84 sqkms)
  3. Dighi Port Industrial Area in Maharashtra (253 sqkms)
  4. Manesar-Bawal Investment Region in Haryana (402 sqkms)
  5. Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana Investment Region in Rajasthan (165 sqkms)
  6. Jodhpur PaliMarwar Industrial Area in Rajasthan (154 sqkms)
  7. Pithampur-Dhar-Mhow Investment Region in Madhya Pradesh (372 sqkms)
  8. Dadri-Noida-Ghaziabad Investment Region in Uttar Pradesh (200 sqkms)

 

All industrial units, except those industries falling under the highly polluting red category zone, are permitted to set up their manufacturing plants. Some of the sectors identified are general manufacturing, auto and auto components, defence manufacturing, Research and Development (R&D), IT and ITES, high tech industries, agro and food processing.

100 acres of land in Shendra Industrial Area in Maharashtra have been allotted to a foreign company for setting up manufacturing unit of Spandex.   

Estimated employment of direct & indirectlikely to be generated during the next three decades is 2.46 million.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, C. R. Chaudhary, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

Thu, 26 Jul 2018 11:00:40 +0530
Railway ministry UAE sig

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Ministry of Railways and the Federal Transport Authority-Land & Maritime of the United Arab Emirates on technical cooperation in Rail Sector for cooperation in the following areas:-

·         Regulation, safety and technical investigation of accidents ;

·         Station redevelopment ;

·         Locomotives, coaches and wagons ; and

Any other area jointly identified by the Participants.

 Discussion was also held with the Federal Transport Authority and Ethihad Rail regarding the ongoing infrastructure and rolling stock projects of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the possibility of association of Indian companies in these projects.

 

This information was given by the Minister of State of Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

Thu, 26 Jul 2018 10:55:04 +0530
Centre gives clarificatio

Government of India vide a Notification S.O. 3460 (E) dated 17th November, 2016, declared Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) as an unlawful association under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, as IRF and its members, particularly, the founder and President of the said Association,  Dr. Zakir Naik,  had been encouraging and aiding its followers to promote or attempt to promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious communities and groups. 

A request for issuance of Red Corner Notice was sent to the INTERPOL on 19.05.2017.  Clarifications sought by the INTERPOL on 10th August, 2017 and 06th October, 2017 were also provided.  However, during 102nd session of the INTERPOL Commission from 24-27 December, 2017, the INTERPOL opined that at that stage of the proceedings, the issuance of Red Corner Notice for Zakir Abdul Karim Naik’s arrest with a view to his extradition was pre-mature, since the charge sheet has not been filed till the sending of the original request for Red Corner Notice to INTERPOL.  In view of the above INTERPOL opinion, a fresh warrant was issued by the Ld. Court against Zakir Abdul Karim Naik on 24th November, 2017 and a fresh request of Red Corner Notice was sent to the INTERPOL on 03.01.2018.  No further communication has been received so far from the INTERPOL.

The Provisional Arrest Request and Extradition request in respect of Zakir Abdul Karim Naik was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Malaysia on 19th January, 2018.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

Thu, 26 Jul 2018 10:48:28 +0530
PM Modi addresses Uganda

 

Your Excellency President Yoweri Museveni,
Your Excellency Vice President
Right Honourable Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament,
Honourable Ministers,
Honourable Members of the Parliament,
Excellencies,
Brothers and Sisters,
Namaskar.
BalaMusija. 


I am deeply honoured by the invitation to address this august House. I have had similar privilege in other Parliaments. This is, however, special. This honour has come to a Prime Minister of India for the first time. It is a great honour for the 1.25 billion people of India. I carry their greetings and warm wishes of friendship with me to this House and for all the people of Uganda. Your presence, Madam Speaker, reminds me of my Lok Sabha, which also has a lady Speaker. I also see a large number of young Members of Parliament here. This is good news for democracy. Every time I come to Uganda, I am enchanted by this "Pearl of Africa”. It is a land of immense beauty, great wealth of resources and rich heritage. Its rivers and lakes have nurtured civilisations across this large region. I am conscious of the history that brings us to this point, when the Prime Minister of the largest democracy is speaking to elected Members of the Parliament of another sovereign nation. Our ancient maritime links, the dark ages of colonial rule, the shared struggle for freedom, the uncertain paths as independent countries in a divided world, the dawn of the new opportunities and the unity of aspirations of our young population. All of these connect us.

Mr. President, 

Our people are among the many threads that connect Uganda and India together. Over a century ago, the heroic labour connected Uganda to the shores of the Indian Ocean through railway. Your gracious presence today speaks of the precious bonds of friendship and solidarity between our people. You have brought peace and stability to your nation and to the region. You have put it on the path of growth and progress amidst many challenges. You have empowered women and made your nation more inclusive. Your visionary leadership has enabled Ugandan people of Indian origin to return to their cherished home, regain their lives and help rebuild the nation that they deeply love. In opening the State House to the celebration of Deepawali, you have lit up the many strands of ties that connect India and Uganda. Among these, the most sacred is the site at Jinja, at the source of River Nile, where a portion of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed. In his life and beyond, he is one with Africa and Africans. And, at the sacred site in Jinja, where a statue of Gandhiji now stands, we will build a Gandhi Heritage Centre. As we approach the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, there can be no better homage than a Centre to remind us of Africa’s role in shaping his mission that even inspired Africa to freedom and justice; and the universal and timeless values of his life and message.

Excellencies,

The story of India’s own freedom struggle is closely linked to Africa. It is not just the 21 years that Gandhiji spent in Africa, or the First Non- Cooperation Movement he led. For India, the moral principles of independence movement, or the peaceful means to pursue it, were not just confined to the boundaries of India or to the future of Indians. It was a universal quest for liberty, dignity, equality and opportunity for every human being. Nowhere did it apply more than in Africa. Twenty years before our independence, the leaders of our National Movement had linked India’s freedom struggle to the fight against colonial rule around the world, especially Africa. Even as India stood on the threshold of independence, the fate of Africa was not far from our minds. Mahatma Gandhi firmly believed that India’s freedom will remain incomplete so long as Africa remains in bondage. Free India did not forget his words. India pursued Afro-Asian solidarity in Bandung. We stood firm in opposition to apartheid in South Africa. We took leading and bold positions in former Rhodesia – which is now known as Zimbabwe, in Guinea Bassau, Angola and Namibia. Gandhiji’s peaceful resistance inspired leaders like Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Albert Luthuli, Julius Nyrere and Kwame Nkrumah. History is witness to the success of the ancient wisdom of India and Africa and the enduring strength of peaceful resistance. Some of the most profound changes in Africa came through Gandhian methods. India's principled support to Africa's liberation movements often came at a cost to our nation’s trade. But, nothing mattered in comparison to Africa's freedom.

Excellencies, 

Our economic and international partnerships over the past seven decades have been prompted as much by economic impulse as by the moral principles and emotional bonds. We sought a fair and equitable access to markets and resources. We fought together to make development the foundation of global trade. And, we worked to diversify economic partnership between countries of the South. Our doctors and teachers went to Africa not just to seek professional opportunities, but in solidarity with a common cause of development as free nations. As President Museveni said at the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit in Delhi in 2015 and I quote - "We fought against colonial rule together. Let us fight for mutual prosperity together.” Excellencies,

Today, India and Africa stand on the threshold of a future of great promise: as confident, secure, youthful, innovative, and dynamic people. Uganda is an example of Africa on the move. It is witnessing increasing gender parity, rising educational and health standards, and expanding infrastructure and connectivity. It is a region with growing trade and investment. We are seeing a surge of innovation. We in India rejoice in every African success, because of our deep bonds of friendships.

Excellencies, 

India is proud to be Africa’s partner. And, Uganda is central to our commitment to the continent. Yesterday, I announced two Lines of Credit for Uganda. The first, of 141 million US dollars for electricity lines. And the second, of 64 million US dollars for agriculture and dairy production. As in the past, we will continue to support the aspirations of the people of Uganda – in agriculture and healthcare, education and training, infrastructure and energy, capacity building in government and training in defence. I compliment President Museveni and this House on the decision to join the International Solar Alliance.

Excellencies, 

As with Uganda, we have deepened our partnership and engagement across the vast expanse of Africa. In the past four years, our President, Vice President and I have collectively visited no less than 25 countries in Africa. Our Ministers have covered virtually all African nations. We were honoured to host all 54 countries - over 40 at Heads of State and Government level - at the third Africa-India Forum Summit in October 2015. We were also privileged to host many African leaders for the inaugural summit of the International Solar Alliance. Other than all these, 32 Heads of State or Government from Africa have visited India in the last four years. My home state Gujarat was proud to be the host of the first ever meeting of the African Development Bank in India last year. And we are also opening 18 new embassies in Africa. 

Excellencies, 

Our development partnership currently includes implementation of 180 Lines of Credit worth about USD 11 billion in over 40 African countries. At the last India Africa Forum Summit, we had committed a concessional Line of Credit of 10 billion U.S. dollars and 600 million dollars in grant assistance. Every year, over 8000 African youth are trained in a diverse set of programmes. As always, our efforts will be driven by your priorities. Indian companies have invested over US$ 54 billion in Africa. Our trade with Africa is now over US$ 62 billion. This is over 21 per cent more than in the previous year. Africa's exports to India are growing. And, our economic ties are now increasingly driven by new partnerships of innovation in the digital economy. The Pan Africa E-Network links 48 African countries to India, and to one another. It can become the new backbone for digital innovation in Africa. With several coastal nations, our partnership now increasingly seeks to harness the benefits of Blue Economy in a sustainable manner. And, India’s medicines turned the tide on diseases that were once a threat to Africa’s future. They also continue to make healthcare affordable and accessible to many.

Excellencies, 

As we work together for prosperity, we have stood together for peace. Indian soldiers have served in blue helmets so that Africa’s children can look to a future of peace. We are proud of the work of Indian peacekeepers in over a dozen UN peacekeeping missions in Africa, since our first mission in Congo in 1960. In all the UN peacekeeping Missions in the world, 163 Indians have made the supreme sacrifice. This is among the highest number for any country. Almost 70 per cent of these embraced martyrdom just in Africa. Today, over 6,000 Indians serve in five peacekeeping operations in Africa. Indian women established a landmark with the first all-female Police Unit of the United Nations in Liberia. Our defence and security cooperation is growing with nations in Africa, as we work together to counter terrorism and piracy, and keep our seas secure. 

Excellencies, 

India's engagement with Africa will continue to be guided by 10 principles. 

One, Africa will be at the top of our priorities. We will continue to intensify and deepen our engagement with Africa. As we have shown, it will be sustained and regular.

Two, our development partnership will be guided by your priorities. It will be on terms that will be comfortable for you, that will liberate your potential and not constrain your future. We will rely on African talent and skills. We will build as much local capacity and create as many local opportunities as possible. 

Three, we will keep our markets open and make it easier and more attractive to trade with India. We will support our industry to invest in Africa.

Four, we will harness India’s experience with digital revolution to support Africa’s development; improve delivery of public services; extend education and health; spread digital literacy; expand financial inclusion; and mainstream the marginalised.

This will not just be our partnership to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but also to equip the youth of Africa for their place in the digital age.

Five, Africa has 60 per cent of the world’s arable land, but produces just 10 per cent of the global output. We will work with you to improve Africa’s agriculture.

Six, our partnership will address the challenges of climate change. We will work with Africa to ensure a just international climate order; to preserve our biodiversity; and, adopt clean and efficient energy sources.

Seven, we will strengthen our cooperation and mutual capabilities in combating terrorism and extremism; keeping our cyberspace safe and secure; and, supporting the UN in advancing and keeping peace;.

Eight, we will work with African nations to keep the oceans open and free for the benefit of all nations. The world needs cooperation and not competition in the eastern shores of Africa and the eastern Indian Ocean. That is why India’s vision of Indian Ocean Security is cooperative and inclusive, rooted in security and growth for all in the region.

Nine, and, this is especially important to me: as global engagement in Africa increases, we must all work together to ensure that Africa does not once again turn into a theatre of rival ambitions, but becomes a nursery for the aspirations of Africa’s youth.

Ten, Just as India and Africa fought colonial rule together, we will work together for a just, representative and democratic global order that has a voice and a role for one-third of humanity that lives in Africa and India. India's own quest for reforms in the global institutions is incomplete without an equal place for Africa. That will be a key purpose of our foreign policy.

Excellencies, 
Below is the full transcript of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the Ugandan Parliament

 

If this is to be a century of nations, rising together in freedom and equality; if this is to be an age when the light of opportunity dawns on all humans; if this is a time when our planet has a more hopeful future; then all of this magnificent continent of Africa must walk in step with the rest of the world. India will work with you and for you. Our partnership will build instruments of empowerment in Africa. We will stand in solidarity with your endeavours, in transparency, with respect and on the principle of equality. We will speak for you, and with you. Two-thirds of India and two-thirds of Africa is under the age of 35 years. And, if the future belongs to the youth, then this century is ours to shape and build. And, let us be guided by the Ugandan saying that is - "Anayejitahidihufaidi” which means "one who makes the extra effort will benefit”. India has made that extra effort for Africa. And will always do so. For Africa's benefit.

Thank you. Thank you very much.
Asante Sana

Thu, 26 Jul 2018 10:30:08 +0530
Women Child ministry la

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched a contest, #Childline1098, inviting people to share images of the Childline 1098 logo that they spot at unique locations and send it with a tagline, to mark World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30.

CHILDLINE is India's first 24-hour, free, emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance. At present, it is operational at 450 locations. As Railways often act as carriers of trafficked children, the Ministry signed an MoU with the Ministry of Railways to rescue and rehabilitate runaway, abandoned, kidnapped and trafficked children via Railways. The Ministry launched an awareness campaign via posters in railway coaches in November, 2015, and around 2 lakh posters have been put in trains which caution passengers about children around them who may need protection.

Details of #Childline1098 contest are available on the Facebook & Twitter accounts of Ministry WCD (@MinistryWCD). Last date to submit entries on creativecorner.mwcd@gmail.com or on MyGov is 30th July, 2018.

Wed, 25 Jul 2018 19:58:12 +0530
Union govt sanctions fin

Union Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore has sanctioned financial assistance of Rs. 5 Lakh (Five Lakh) to Former Archer Ashok Soren.

The financial assistance has been given from Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS).

Soren currently living in Jamshedpur in indigent conditions.

Wed, 25 Jul 2018 19:39:49 +0530
Govt clears air on cash

RBI has informed that the increase in demand for currency recently, which led to high ATM usage, can be attributed to seasonal and structural issues. Seasonal issues include demand for cash in the agriculture sector, and Schemes such as Investment Assistance Schemes for Farmers and Pension Schemes announced by a few State Governments. Structural issues include economic growth, high currency deposit (CD) ratio in some states, etc.

Regular monitoring of cash availability and ATM functionality has been done by the Government to ensure that sufficient currency notes are made available so that ATMs do not run dry in any eventuality and people do not face any problems.

RBI has further informed that as on 18.07.2018, the total stock of issuable currency in the country, including RBI vaults and currency chests of all banks across the country, was 2.93 lakh crores. Further, the position of fresh / re-issuable notes in currency chests of banks and in RBI vaults are being monitored on a regular basis and adequate supply of cash is being ensured.

This was stated by Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

Wed, 25 Jul 2018 19:35:33 +0530
PM addresses Indian commu

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Indian Community in Uganda. The  event in Kampala was also attended by President Museveni of Uganda.

In his address, the Prime Minister said he felt a sense of belonging with the Indian Community in Uganda. He said the presence of President Museveni at the event shows his love for the people of India, and the Indian Community in Uganda. He also thanked President Museveni and the people of Uganda, for the honour to address the Parliament of Uganda on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister said that the relationship between India and Uganda is centuries old. He recalled the historical links between the two countries, including the struggle against colonialism, and the railway construction work in Uganda. He said several Indians have played a key role in Uganda's politics as well.

He complimented the Indian Community for retaining its sense of Indian-ness, as reflected in the cultural performances on this occasion.

The Prime Minister asserted that all countries of Africa, including Uganda, are important for India. He said that a shared history of struggle against colonialism, a large Indian diaspora, and common development challenges, are all reasons for this.

He said today India is among the fastest growing economies in the world. He said India is now exporting cars and smartphones. He said digital technology is becoming a means of empowerment for the people of India; and the country is emerging as an important centre for Startups.

The Prime Minister spoke of the importance of Africa in India's foreign policy. In this context, he mentioned the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in 2015. He also mentioned other high level bilateral engagements between India and other African nations.

The Prime Minister mentioned other initiatives taken, such as projects with lines of credit worth more than 3 billion dollars; scholarships; and e-visa arrangements. He said about half of all member nations of the International Solar Alliance are from Africa.

The Prime Minister said nations from Asia and Africa are playing a stronger role in the new world order.

Wed, 25 Jul 2018 19:25:54 +0530
Vice President bats for f

The Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that a mega Bio-Diverse Country like India should preserve and protect its forest cover and pass the treasure to next generation duly protecting and developing it. He was interacting with the Indian Forest Service (IFS) Probationers (2017-19).

The Vice President asked the Officers to be aware of the imbalances in the global life support systems caused by depleting forest cover, environmental degradation, global warming, pollution of air and water, etc. Stressing on the importance of forests in maintaining ecological balance, the Vice President has asked Forest Officers to act as facilitator in providing the benefits of the forests to the community and nation, besides providing leadership.

The Vice President said that Forest Management has no longer limited to the management of forests and wildlife alone but is also an activity for maintaining the health of land, water and air. He further said that we now need to depart from the age old concepts of forest management and adopt a more open, cooperative, ecological functional and environmental angle. Keep social, economic and cultural ramifications in mind while taking decisions on the management of forests, he added.

The Vice President asked the officers to carefully address the problems of forest protection and human sustenance and advised them to apply their knowledge and skill with a human face while dealing issues of the hungry and deprived people living in the around forest areas.

The Vice President asked Indian Forest Service Probationers and Officers to take up concrete action plans of ecological restoration and conservation by involving people living near forest areas. He also stressed on the need to create additional opportunities for employment for them through forestry-based programmes.

Wed, 25 Jul 2018 19:17:44 +0530
Maratha groups call off M

The Maratha Kranthi Morcha, a Maratha group that enforces a bandh in Mumbai in order to press its demand for reservation in jobs and education, called off its strike in the city a after a day-long protest and violence.

The protesters had blocked the road and rail services in many parts of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Raigad districts, including the Mumbai-Pune highway and the Eastern Expressway. The protesters even forced shops to shut it. Violence was started in many parts of the state after a protester committed suicide by jumping into a river in Aurangabad

Wed, 25 Jul 2018 17:24:58 +0530
Modi gifts 200 cows to Rw

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today gifted 200 cows to villagers who do not yet own a cow, under the Rwandan Government's Girinka Programme. The function to mark the handing over of cows was held at Rweru Model Village, in the presence of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister appreciated the Girinka Programme, and President Paul Kagame's initiative in this regard. He said people in India too would be pleasantly surprised to see the cow being given such importance as a means of economic empowerment in villages, in faraway Rwanda. He spoke of the similarity in rural life in the two countries. He said that the Girinka Programme will help transform villages in Rwanda. 

 

Background

The word Girinka can be translated as ‘may you have a cow’ and describes a centuries-old cultural practice in Rwanda whereby a cow was given by one person to another, as a sign of respect and gratitude.

Girinka was initiated by President Paul Kagame in response to the alarmingly high rate of childhood malnutrition and as a way to accelerate poverty reduction and integrate livestock and crop farming. The program is based on the premise that providing a dairy cow to poor Girinka Programme transforms livelihoods, reconciles communities improving agricultural productivity through the use of manure as fertilizers which would lead to improving soil quality and reducing erosion through the planting of grasses and trees. 

Since its introduction in 2006 hundreds of thousands have received cows through the Girinka program. By June 2016, a total of 248,566 cows had been distributed to poor households. 

The program has contributed to an increase in agricultural production in Rwanda - especially milk production and products, reduced malnutrition and increased incomes. The program also aimed at promoting unity and reconciliation among Rwandans based on the cultural principle that if a cow is given from one person to another, it establishes trust and respect between the giver and beneficiary. While this was not an original goal of Girinka, it has evolved to become a significant aspect of the program. The program also follows a certain criteria in choosing who the beneficiaries should be. As per a Govt. of Rwanda official, they mainly look at those very poor vulnerable families that don’t own a cow but do have land that can be used to grow grass for feeding the cows. The beneficiary should be in position to construct an animal shed or willing to join others in community to construct a communal cow shed to be jointly used with the rest.

Tue, 24 Jul 2018 18:07:49 +0530
Mass shooting in Toronto

One person was killed and 14 others injured in a mass shooting in Toronto, Canada after a gunman opened fire in Greektown district, reports NDTV.

Local media reports suggest that the shooting took place outside a restaurant. Police said that one young girl was in critical condition. According to reports, the gunman shot himself and died soon after the incident. Police also appealed to eyewitnesses to provide any information about the shooting, NDTV reported.

Mon, 23 Jul 2018 12:19:05 +0530
Indian team shine at Inte

The Indian team performed well in the 29th International Biology Olympiad (IBO 2018) held in Tehran, Iran from July 15 to 21, 2018. 271 of the brightest students from across the world, from 71 countries participated in this edition of IBO. The Indian team comprised four students, namely, Kunjal Parnami from Bangalore, Shaswat Jain from Yamunanagar, Stuti Khandwala from Surat and Vishwesh Bharadiya from Nasik. All four of them secured Silver medals.

The team was accompanied by two Leaders: (1) Dr. Sasikumar Menon, TDM Lab, Mumbai (2) Prof. Kauresh Vacchrajani, M. S. University, Baroda; and two Scientific Observers (3) Prof. Pradeep Burma, Delhi University (4) Mr. Vikrant Ghanekar, HBCSE, Mumbai.

The IBO competition consists of a theoretical and an experimental examination, each of six hours duration. These examinations are exceptionally challenging and innovative and this year was no different.

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), a national centre of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is the nodal centre in the country for all the Science Olympiads (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy and Astrophysics and Junior Science) as well as the Mathematical Olympiad. The centre is responsible for the selection and training of the teams representing India at the international olympiads. The selection of the team for IBO was carried out through a three-stage procedure. The first stage consisted of a nationwide examination in Biology in which over 34,000 students appeared. This examination was conducted by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) in nearly 1,400 centres across the country. The remaining two stages consisted of a series of difficult selection tests, both theoretical and practical. A similarly rigorous selection procedure is adopted for the other olympiads as well. The Olympiad effort is supported by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) of the Government of India.

Mon, 23 Jul 2018 12:11:28 +0530
PM Modi to visit Rwanda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will pay a State Visit Rwanda (23-24 July),Uganda (24-25 July) and South Africa (25-27 July). This will be the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Rwanda and the first visit by our Prime Minister to Uganda in over 20 years. The visit to South Africa is in the context of BRICS Summit.

Prime Minister’s official engagement in Rwanda and Uganda include bilateral meetings with the Presidents, delegation level talks and meetings with the business and the Indian communities. In Rwanda, Prime Minister will visit the Genocide Memorial and participate in an event on "Girinka” (one cow per family), a national social protection scheme of Rwanda personally initiated by President Paul Kagame. In Uganda, Prime Minister will deliver a Keynote address at the Parliament of Uganda – the first Indian Prime Minister to address the Ugandan Parliament.

In South Africa, the Prime Minister will have bilateral meeting with the South African President and will attend the BRICS Summit and other BRICS related meetings. Bilateral meetings with participating countries on the sidelines of BRICS meetings are also planned.

India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Africa which are cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian Diaspora. A number of agreements and MoUs in the areas of Defence, trade, culture, Agriculture and Dairy cooperation are scheduled to be signed during the visit.

Over the last few years, there has been a significant intensification of our engagement in various fields with African countries and there have been as many as 23 outgoing visits to Africa at the level of President, Vice President and Prime Minister in the last four years. Africa has been the top priority of India’s Foreign Policy. The visit of Prime Minister to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa will further strengthen our relations with the African continent.

Mon, 23 Jul 2018 11:59:50 +0530
SAI clears 734 players fo

Following the successful conduct of the Khelo India School Games, Sports Authority of India took another significant step towards the development of sports, cleared 734 players for a scholarship programme under Khelo India Talent IdentificationDevelopment scheme.

The Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that “transformational changes have been introduced into Indiansports. Catch them young is no longer a slogan but is visible in our action. We are developing a sports system that connects local potential to global podiums, that encourages every Indian to have sports as a part of their lives for    entertain ment, education or excellence.”   

Mon, 23 Jul 2018 11:51:49 +0530
Vice President urges to t

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked the young officers to take the benefits of government schemes to the poorest of the poor in the society. He was addressing the gathering at Guru Puja, Samkalp, a Project by Jan Kalyan Shiksha Samiti.

The Vice President said that the importance of Guru in our system cannot be over-emphasized. He further said that we all know Lord Krishna himself is the Guru of all living entities. Yet, in order to teach us the importance of Guru and how to serve the Guru, Lord Krishna accepted Sandipani Muni as his spiritual master. Such is the exalted position of Guru in our tradition, he added.

The Vice President said that the Teachers at Samkalp precisely helped aspirants of Civil Service Examination, especially those, who come from a poor background and guided them to pursue their goals with grit and determination and they deserve our admiration.

The Vice President said that the challenge is to touch every section of the society and make them part of developmental process. He further said that India faces any challenges in the fields of illiteracy, ill health, poor quality of education, lack of clean drinking water and other social evils. An effective implementation of government schemes at grass root level will bring in change, he added.

The Vice President said that it is true that government has stared several programmes to address these challenges, but often we falter at the implementation level. We have to fast track the process so that intended benefits reach the people on time, he added. 

The Vice President said that ever since the Independence, India has made several strides and brought in reforms to make peoples lives well, yet the country has miles to go to translate the nation for Swarajya to Surajya.    

Stressing on the role of officers in the governance, the Vice President asked the young officers to make public governance systems more people-centric. Inclusive development should be a sacred goal, he added. 

The Vice President honoured Baba Yogendra, Founder of Sanskar Bharti with Rushi Samman and Vinay Shankar, former IAS, Bhushan Lal Vohra, former IPS and Gajanan Wakankar, former IFS with Guru Samman, for their excellent service.

Mon, 23 Jul 2018 11:26:08 +0530
Culture is a way of life

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Culture is a way of life and Religion is a way of worship. He was interacting with the members of ‘Youth For Bharat’, who called on him.

The Vice President said that one should remember five things in their life – Mother, Mother tongue, Birth place, Motherland and Teacher who gave knowledge. One should try to talk in mother tongue at home. A public leader should be familiar with as many languages as possible, he added.

The Vice President advised the Students to dream high, aim high and work hard to achieve them. He further said that to achieve those dreams, you can afford to do some sacrifices. Everyone must have some aim in their lives, he added.

The Vice President said that India was once known as “Vishwa Guru” with all those seeking knowledge from across the globe flocking to our ancient seats of learning like Nalanda and Takshashila Universities. Following various invasions and colonisation, India lost its pre-eminent position. Now the time has come for India to regain its position as a “Vishwa Guru”, the centre of educational excellence, he added.

The Vice President said that people should be judged, should be selected, and should be elected on the basis of character, calibre, capacity and conduct but not on the basis of caste, cash, community and criminality. He advised the students to spare some of their time towards social activities, particularly towards downtrodden and underprivileged sections of the society. Sharing and caring should be the core philosophy of our life, he added.

Mon, 23 Jul 2018 11:01:38 +0530
Injured Yemenis return ho

Thirteen injured Yemenis, who received treatment at the expense of the UAE in India, returned safely to Aden.

The group is part of the sixth batch of 74 injured Yemenis, who left Aden in early June to receive treatment in Indian hospitals. The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC is supervising their treatment under the directives of the UAE’s leadership.

The injured Yemenis were welcomed at the Aden Airport by Tayeb Al Shamsi, Deputy Chairman of the ERC in Aden, Dr. Eshraqa Al Subaie, Under-Secretary of the Health Ministry, and a number of officials.

The patients and their escorts expressed gratitude to the leadership, the government and the people of the UAE, as well as the ERC, the UAE humanitarian arm, for assisting them through their delicate circumstances.

The ERC is implementing several humanitarian, health, educational and service projects to increase the resilience of Yemeni people to overcome their dire humanitarian and living conditions and restore life to normal. The UAE is keen to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, caused by the destructive policies of the Iran-aligned Houthi militia.

Sun, 22 Jul 2018 14:38:20 +0530
Union govt unveils state

Science & Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan unveiled a state-of-the-art Air Quality and Weather Forecast System– SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting)at ChandniChowk in Delhi. The giant true colour LED display gives out real-time air quality index on 24x7 basis with colour coding alongwith 72-hour advance forecast.

The system, first of its kind in the country, was developed indigenously in record time by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune and operationalized by India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The minister said based on the Air Quality Index on a particular day, Health advisory and related precaution will be notified to prepare citizens well in advance. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, further added that in addition to monitoring and forecasting of regular air quality and weather parameters, the ChandniChowk air quality station will also measure sun’s UV-Index and will provide measurement of online automatic ultrafine particles PM1 and Mercury, both of which have direct relevance to human health. Based on UVI, skin advisories will be issued on display.

“Our mission model project SAFAR is implemented in four cities of India – Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad as an operational service. Accordingto a preliminary economic assessment of the benefits of the system, if 5% of people suffering from air-pollution related diseases take advantage of the advisories and precautionsin Delhi alone, it would result in a saving of nearly Rs. 2,500 crores in terms of health-related cost benefit,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan, addressing a large gathering at Town Hall in ChandniChowk.

The system will be an integral part of India’s first Air Quality Early Warning System operational in Delhi and will strengthen the existing air quality network of SAFAR, Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Committee.

SAFAR will accelerate public awareness and preparedness of air pollution and weather extremes. It will also lead to better understanding of linkages among emissions, weather, pollution and climate. It will monitor all weather parameters like temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed and wind direction.

In addition to regular air quality parameters like PM2.5, PM10, Sulfur Dioxide, Ozone, Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, the system will also monitor the existence of Benzene, Toluene and Xylene.

Besides health, SAFAR system would benefit cost savings to several other sectors like agriculture, aviation, infrastructure, disaster management skill, tourism and many others, which directly or indirectly get affected by air quality and weather.

Sun, 22 Jul 2018 13:15:12 +0530
Centre launches Student P

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched the Student Police Cadet (SPC) programme for nationwide implementation at a ceremony in Gurugram, Haryana. In his address on the occasion, the Home Minister expressed hope that the SPC would lead to a silent revolution over the years by focusing on character building by imparting moral values to budding minds. He expressed concern that education these days stressed more on mere book reading with little attention being paid towards character building of students, which shows negative effects on society in terms of increased crime.

Rajnath Singh said that coping with rapid modernization and cut-throat competition, schools have focused all their attention towards building careers and rising incomes, creating tremendous pressure among the young minds, he said. While the dawn of new technologies, internet and social media have helped our children keep pace with the changing times, it has adversely impacted our society as we witness the breakdown of the traditional family system and worrying rise in incidents of crimes and rapes, he added.

Rajnath Singh said the SPC programme would help in making students responsible citizens by inculcating values of respect to the elderly, discipline, social responsibility and through police-student interaction. The Home Minister said the SPC programme will provide a healthy interface between schools and police peace and inculcate in the students aspects of public safety, discipline, patience, tolerance, empathy, respect of senior citizens, social harmony, traffic sense and a corruption-free environment. The youth of tomorrow who emerge out of such programme would bear ethical values of social commitment and be aware of social evils such as drugs, alcohol abuse, intolerance and vandalism. He expressed confidence that this programme would result in overall development of a student’s personality and bring big change in society.

The Home Minister appealed to all stakeholders- teachers, parents, students, police and officials- to participate with enthusiasm and execute the SPC as a Mission Mode project. The SPC project will also help the police assess their image in the public eye and strive for improving confidence and winning trust of the people. SPC initially will be launched as pilot programme in all States and Union Territories.

Earlier the Home Minister launched the theme song and training manual of SPC prepared by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D). He also presented cash awards to winners of Logo and motto competition. He also handed over the SPC flag to Haryana Platoon Commander.

The SPC programme focuses on students of Classes 8 & 9 and special care has been taken to ensure that it does not lead to increase in the workload of the students. The programme does not have any prescribed textbook nor is any exam envisaged. Only one class in a month is proposed. The programme seeks to cover broadly two kinds of topics, - crime prevention and control; and values and ethics.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar said SPC is a very good initiative which will be launched initially in Government schools and later expanded to cover all schools. He said talent alone is not sufficient for success. Students need discipline and hardwork which will be imparted through SPC. He said SPC will cover around 4 crore students.

Sun, 22 Jul 2018 13:03:36 +0530
GST Council recommends ne

The GST Council in its 28th meeting held under the Chairmanship of Union Minister Piyush Goyal took following decisions on GST Rate on Goods .

  1. GST rates reduction on 28% items:
  1. 28% to 18%
  • Paints and varnishes (including enamels and lacquers)
  • Glaziers’ putty, grafting putty, resin cements
  • Refrigerators, freezers and other refrigerating or freezing equipment including water cooler, milk coolers, refrigerating equipment for leather industry, ice cream freezer etc.
  • Washing machines.
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Domestic electrical appliances such as food grinders and mixers & food or vegetable juice extractor, shaver, hair clippers etc
  • Storage water heaters and immersion heaters, hair dryers,  hand dryers, electric smoothing irons etc
  • Televisions upto the size of 68 cm
  • Special purpose motor vehicles. e.g., crane lorries, fire fighting vehicle, concrete mixer lorries, spraying lorries
  • Works trucks [self-propelled, not fitted with lifting or handling equipment] of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for short transport of goods.
  • Trailers and semi-trailers.
  • Miscellaneous articles such as scent sprays and similar toilet sprays, powder-puffs and pads for the application of cosmetics or toilet preparations.

 

  1. 28% to 12%

 

  • Fuel Cell Vehicle. Further, Compensation cess shall also be exempted on fuel cell vehicle.

 

  1. Refund of accumulated credit on account of inverted duty structure to fabric manufacturers:Fabrics attract GST at the rate of 5% subject to the condition that refund of accumulated ITC on account of inversion will not be allowed. However, considering the difficulty faced by the Fabric sector on account of this condition, the GST Council has recommended for allowing refund to fabrics on account of inverted duty structure. The refund of accumulated ITC shall be allowed only with the prospective effect on the purchases made after the notification is issued.
  • III. GST rates have been recommended to be brought down from,-

 

  1. 18%12%/5% to Nil:

 

  • Stone/Marble/Wood Deities
  • Rakhi [other than that of precious or semi-precious material of chapter 71]
  • Sanitary Napkins,
  • Coir pith compost
  • Sal Leaves siali leaves and their products and Sabai Rope
  • PhoolBhariJhadoo [Raw material for Jhadoo]
  • Khali dona.
  • Circulation and commemorative coins, sold by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd [SPMCIL] to Ministry of Finance.
  1. 12% to 5%:

 

  • Chenille fabrics and other fabrics under heading 5801
  • Handloom dari
  • Phosphoric acid (fertilizer grade only).
  • Knitted cap/topi having retail sale value not exceeding Rs 1000
  1. 18% to 12%:

 

  • Bamboo flooring
  • Brass Kerosene Pressure Stove.
  • Hand Operated Rubber Roller
  • Zip and Slide Fasteners

 

  1. 18% to 5%:
  • Ethanol for sale to Oil Marketing Companies for blending with fuel
  • Solid bio fuel pellets

 

  • IV. Rate change made in respect of footwear

 

  • 5% GST is being extended to footwear having a retail sale price up to Rs. 1000 per pair
  • Footwear having a retail sale price exceeding Rs. 1000 per pair will continue to attract 18%

 

  1. GST rates have been recommended to be brought down for specified handicraft items [as per the definition of handicraft, as approved by the GST council] from,-

 

  1. 18% to 12%:

 

  • Handbags including pouches and purses; jewellery box
  • Wooden frames for painting, photographs, mirrors etc
  • Art ware of cork [including articles of sholapith]
  • Stone art ware, stone inlay work
  • Ornamental framed mirrors
  • Glass statues [other than those of crystal]
  • Glass art ware [ incl. pots, jars, votive, cask, cake cover, tulip bottle, vase ]
  • Art ware of iron
  • Art ware of brass, copper/ copper alloys, electro plated with nickel/silver
  • Aluminium art ware
  • Handcrafted  lamps (including panchloga lamp)
  • Worked vegetable or mineral carving, articles thereof, articles of wax, of stearin, of natural gums or natural resins or of modelling pastes etc, (including articles of lac, shellac)
  • Ganjifa card

 

  1. 12% to 5%:

 

  • Handmade carpets and other handmade textile floor coverings (including namda/gabba)
  • Handmade lace
  • Hand-woven tapestries
  • Hand-made braids and ornamental trimming in the piece
  • Toran

 

  1. Miscellaneous Change relating to valuation of a supply:

 

  • IGST @5% on Pool Issue Price (PIP) of Urea imported on Govt. account for direct agriculture use, instead of assessable value plus custom duty.
  • Exemption from Compensation cess to Coal rejects from washery [arising out of cess paid coal on which ITC has not been taken]. 

 

  1. Clarifications/amendments as regards applicability of GST rate in respect of certain goods recommended by GST Council which inter-alia includes:

 

  1. Milk enriched with vitamins or minerals salt (fortified milk) is classifiable under HS code 0401 as milk and exempt from GST.
  2. 5% GST on both treated (modified) tamarind kernel powder and plain (unmodified) tamarind kernel powder.
  3. Beet and cane sugar, including refined beet and cane sugar, (falling under heading 1701) attracts 5% GST rate.
  4. Water supplied for public purposes (other than in sealed containers) does not attract GST.
  5. Marine engine (falling under sub-heading 8408 10 93) attracts 5% GST rate.
  6. Kota stone and similar stones [ other than marble and granite] other than polished will attracts 5% GST, while ready to use polished Kota stoneand similar stones will attracts 18%.
  7. Certain other miscellaneous clarification as regards classification/rate have been recommended
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 12:49:30 +0530
India reiterates commitme

“India affirms strong support for TB cooperation plan in every aspect as agreed upon in the 6th BRICS Health Ministers’ meeting held in Delhi in 2016 and in the first High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on Ending Tuberculosis.” This was stated by J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare during his address at the ‘8th BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting at Durban, South Africa.

J P Nadda further said that to improve healthcare, there is a need for increasing accessibility of affordable, quality, effective and safe drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for TB patients. “I would like to state that India is committed to eliminating TB by 2025,” the Union Health Minister further emphasized.

In his address, Nadda said that India today is more firmly committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as articulated in its National Health Policy. “India has fast-tracked many initiatives aimed at achieving all the core tenets of Universal Health Coverage i.e, strengthening health systems, improving access to free medicines and diagnostics and reducing catastrophic healthcare spending,” he added. 

Highlighting the accomplishments of India in the health sector, Nadda stated that India’s achievement in reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by 77%, from 556 per 100000 live births in 1990 to 130 per 100 000 live births in 2016 was commended by Regional Director, WHO SEARO. 

Sat, 21 Jul 2018 11:34:33 +0530
Union govt to implement

The Student Police Cadet (SPC) Programme, a widely appreciated model implemented by Kerala, is scheduled to be launched nationally by the Union Home Minister.

The programme seeks to build a bridge between the Police and the larger community through school students by inculcating values and ethics in them through classes in school and outside. The programme focuses on students of class 8 & 9 and special care has been taken to ensure that it does not lead to increase in the workload of the students. The programme does not have any prescribed text book nor is any exam envisaged. Only one class in a month is proposed. The programme seeks to cover broadly two kinds of topics:

 

      i.        Crime prevention and control; and

     ii.        Values and ethics

Under the first part, the topics covered are – Community Policing, Road Safety, Fight against Social Evils, Safety of Women & Children, Fight against Corruption and Disaster Management. The topics covered under the second part are – Values & Ethics, Respect for Elders, Empathy & Sympathy, Tolerance, Patience, Attitude, Team Spirit and Discipline.

A Handbook has been prepared by BPR&D for imparting instructions with the support of NCERT. There is greater emphasis on field demonstrations and hands on learning of the functioning of the Police through visits to Women Police stations, Child Protection Homes including NGOs, Traffic Police and Fire Brigade Stations. There will also be learning through group discussions, audio-visual mediums etc.

The programme shall be steered by a State level committee to be headed by the Principal Secretary, Home Department with the Principal Secretary, Education and Director General of Police as members. There shall be a similar committee at the district level headed by the District Magistrate with the District Inspector of Schools and Superintendent of Police as members.

An amount of Rs.67 crores has been released to the States for implementation of the programme. An amount of Rs.50,000 shall be earmarked for each school to be spent on educational aids, training and contingency. The Programme shall be at first implemented in Government schools in both urban and rural areas.

Sat, 21 Jul 2018 11:19:43 +0530
Multi Modal Terminal at V

The Rs 169.59 Crore Multi Modal Terminal (MMT) being built at Varanasi by Inland Waterways Authority of India under Jal Marg Vikas project is set to be completed by November this year. This would be a major landmark for the project.

The construction of the Rs 280. 90 Crore MMT at Sahibganj is to be completed by May, 2019, and the one at Haldia, being constructed at a cost of Rs 517.36 Crore, is scheduled to  be completed by December 2019. In addition to this the work on the Rs 359.20 Crore state-of-the-art navigational lock at Farakka is to  be completed By June, 2019.  Contract for maintenance dredging in the Farakka-Kahalgaon stretch of the river  was awarded in April, 2018, for Rs 150 Crore,  and work on this has started.

The work for construction of two Inter-Modal Terminals (IMT)on NW-1, at Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh and Kalughat in Bihar will be awarded this year.

Sat, 21 Jul 2018 10:56:48 +0530
Centre tightens grip on W

The Central government on 3rd July 2018 had written to Whatsapp exhorting them to take immediate steps to tackle the menace of misuse of their platform wherein inflammatory messages were circulated that led to unfortunate incidents. On the same day Whatsapp responded indicating their initiative to mark forwarded messages and to step up efforts to detect fake news.

Subsequently, an unfortunate incident has occurred in Bidar where a 32 year old software engineer Mohammed Azam was killed and this was preceded by viral circulation of rumours on Whatsapp about child lifters. It is regretted that the enormity of the challenge and the rampant abuse happening in the country leading to repeated commissioning of crimes pursuant to rampant circulation of irresponsible messages in large volumes on their platform have not been addressed adequately by Whatsapp.

Reports in the media resonate the general sentiment that there is much more that needs to be done by Whatsapp.There is a need for bringing in traceability and accountability when a provocative / inflammatory message is detected and a request is made by law enforcement agencies.  When rumours and fake news get propagated by mischief mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability. If they remain mute spectators they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action.

In light of the above, Whatsapp has been requested today to come out with more effective solutions that can bring in accountability and facilitate enforcement of law in addition to their efforts towards labeling forwards and identifying fake news. It has been conveyed to them in unmistakable terms that it is a very serious issue which deserves a more sensitive response.

Sat, 21 Jul 2018 10:44:04 +0530
Central govt to give pen

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore has said that government gives lifelong pension under the Scheme of ‘Pension to Meritorious Sportspersons’, sportspersons who have won medals for the country in the international competitions only and have retired from active sports.

In a written reply in Lok Sabha today, the Minister said at present, 588 Sportspersons are getting pension.  The rate of pension has been revised with effect from 1.4.2018.   The rate of pension has been doubled of the rates of pension existing earlier.

Fri, 20 Jul 2018 11:16:30 +0530
Centre setsup ten nuclear

The Government accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for setting up ten indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) of 700 MW each in fleet mode. These reactors of indigenous technology are being set up by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a wholly owned PSU of Government of India under the administrative control of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

Pre-project activities comprising of Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement, Environmental Clearance, etc are in progress at various stages at these sites. Land is available at Kaiga and Gorakhpur sites and land acquisition is at an advanced stage at Chutka and Mahi Banswara sites. Environmental Clearance is accorded for Chutka 1&2 and GHAVP 3&4 projects. For other sites, the process of Environmental Clearance is in various stages. In addition, procurement of long manufacturing cycle equipment, human resource planning etc. have been initiated.

With the progressive completion of projects under construction (including 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), being implemented by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited [BHAVINI] and projects sanctioned (including these ten PHWRs), the total nuclear power capacity will reach 22480 MW by the year 2031.

Fri, 20 Jul 2018 11:09:43 +0530
Modi interacts with benef

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with citizens from villages across the country which has been electrified since 2014. The interaction covered the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana - 'Saubhagya' scheme, through video bridge. This is the tenth interaction in the series by the Prime Minister through video conference with the beneficiaries of various Government schemes.

Expressing delight in interacting with the villagers from the recently electrified 18000 villages, Prime Minister said “People who have not seen darkness, don't understand the meaning of illumination. Those who have not spent their lives in the darkness don't realise the value of light.”

Prime Minister during the interaction said that thousands of villages have been electrified since NDA government has taken over. He added that unlike the false promises given by the previous government, the present government has walked the talk of electrifying every village. The Government not only focused on electrification, but also reformed the distribution systems across the country, Prime Minister added.

These 18000 villages which were not electrified even after 70 years of independence were electrified in the last four years.The last one electrified was Leisang village of Manipur in the North east Sector on April 28, 2018. Narendra Modi said that it was difficult to electrify the last 18000 villages, as most were in remote areas, hilly areas and areas with poor connectivity. He added that despite all the difficulties, a dedicated team of people worked hard to ensure that the dream of electrifying every village is achieved.

Prime Minister pointed out that the government has changed the situation in Eastern India which had 14,582non- electrified villages out of 18,000 and out of which 5790 villages were in the North East. He added that the Government accords priority to the development of Eastern India and with complete electrification, now Eastern India can play an even bigger role in India's development journey.

Prime Minister said that Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana has been started with the objective of electrifying each and every house in the country. More than 86 lakh household has been electrified through theYojana so far. The Yojana is in mission mode and will ensure electric connection to around four crore households.

Interacting with the Prime Minister, beneficiaries from far away villages explained electricity has transformed their lives forever. From completing work before the sunset and forcing children to study with kerosene lamps, electrification has made life very easily. Most beneficiaries said that the there has been an overall improvement in the quality of life. Beneficiaries also thanked the Prime Minister for bringing light into their houses.

Fri, 20 Jul 2018 10:45:03 +0530
Heavy rain in Kerala Dea

The death toll in Kerala in the heaviest rains in five years and floods has touched 16, with unabated rains badly affecting life in the central districts of Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Idukki, reports Khaleej Times.

The toll went up on Wednesday following the death of a Subramanion after his canoe overturned and another man, Bejoy, died when he fell into a overflowing paddy field near Thrissur, Khaleej Times reported.

The Met office has predicted more rains in the next four-five days and it may advance towards the northern parts of the state.

Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:29:36 +0530
UAE Ambassador meets Indu

Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, today met at the embassy in New Delhi with Mamta Verma, Industries Commissioner of the Gujarat State Government.

During the meeting, Verma stated that the "Vibrant Gujarat Summit," which was launched by the then Chief Minister of Gujarat State and the current Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in 2003, to make Gujarat a preferred investment destination in India, has become a key platform for exchanging ideas and opinions on international social and economic development agendas, as well as for exchanging knowledge and establishing effective partnerships.

She added that the summit, which was last held in January 2017, witnessed the participation of over 25,000 representatives of over 100 countries, including heads of states, Nobel Prize winners, industry leaders and opinion-makers.

Verma praised the participation of the UAE as a "partner country," which has offered many relevant opportunities while pointing out that the ninth summit, which will be held from 18th to 20th January at the Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gujarat, will provide ideas on how to strengthen the livelihoods of smart cities.

Dr. Al Banna said that the relations between the UAE and India have reached an advanced level of friendship while pointing out that both sides are working to establish a strong strategic partnership, through the regular exchange of visits and promoting bilateral trade and investments.

He explained that the UAE’s participation in last year’s summit as a partner country created more opportunities to discuss their overall cooperation and mutual investments, most notably in manufacturing, innovation, technology, small and medium-sized enterprises, renewable energy and tourism.

Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:23:03 +0530
UN pays tributes to Nelso

Paying tribute to the first democratically-elected President of South Africa and iconic civil rights leader, the United Nations on Wednesday celebrated Nelson Mandela’s legacy for humanity and reflected on the lessons he left behind.

"He stands today as a beacon for universal values -- peace, forgiveness, humility, integrity, passion, respect and service," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. "Madiba showed us that these are not just words or vague ideals, but concrete actions that we can all take."

In his tribute, the UN Chief quoted the anti-Apartheid leader’s declaration that "overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life."

"Let us act on Madiba’s words," said Mr. Guterres. "Let us recall all the promises we have made – in the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 2030 Agenda – and let us commit to honour our pledges. Let us work for the better world we know can exist," he added, calling on the world to "persevere with commitment and conviction".

The President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Laj??k, focused on the lessons that Madiba taught the world on the importance of dialogue, peace and tolerance. "He showed us that dialogue and negotiation should be pursued relentlessly – no matter how deep the divides, or strong the hurt," he said, regretting that "too often we have let peace slip through our fingers. And we have waited until it was gone, to act."

A centennial stamp was unveiled during the event, with another quote from Nelson Mandela: "It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:18:30 +0530
MiG 21 crashes in Kangra

An Indian Air Force MiG-21 aircraft, crashed at 1321 h in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on Yesterday. Squadron Leader Meet Kumar, a Fully Operational pilot had got airborne from Air Force Station Pathankot at 1220 h. The pilot sustained fatal injuries during the accident. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to establish the cause of the accident.

Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:13:48 +0530
India US hold defence le

As part of Indo-US Bilateral Defence Cooperation, the 7th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) meeting was held between India and the US delegation. The meeting was co-chaired by, Secretary (Defence Production), Dr Ajay Kumar and Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment, DoD, US Government Ms Ellen M Lord. The meetings are held twice a year, alternately in India and the USA with the aim to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defence trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defence equipment.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ajay Kumar brought out that Indian government has taken a number of steps to give an impetus to Indian defence industry and its flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative.  He said, given the large defence outlay planned for India’s defence requirements in the future, the contribution of our defence industry, in partnership with foreign OEMs to begin with, is expected to be significant. This would also contribute to overall growth of the economy and will also have several opportunity benefits and downstream effects.

Ms Ellen Lord brought out that India-US defence cooperation is one of the core pillars of the defence relationship between the two countries and is continuing apace. She said the US has designated India as a ‘Major Defence Partner’ and expected the defence relationship between the two countries to be further strengthened. She also stated that DTTI is an important forum leading to the 2+2 dialogue between the two countries.

A number of Joint Working Groups have been established under DTTI to progress mutually agreed projects for the benefit of the Armed Forces. Discussions on the formulation of a Standard Operating Procedure and the Industrial Security Annex to take forward projects under DTTI are proceeding as planned.

The joint working group under the Air Force handling the surveillance platform has made considerable progress.  The Indian Navy joint working group is constructively engaged with US Navy for aircraft carrier technology cooperation for the ongoing program.  On the land systems front and on projects under the DRDO, both sides have identified projects where scope of co-production/co-development of systems exists.

The DTTI meeting has great significance for defence cooperation in trade and technology.

Thu, 19 Jul 2018 11:23:48 +0530
Kudankulam site turns to

Nuclear Power Park refers to a site with a number of large capacity reactors with a total capacity of 6000 MW or more. The Kudankulam site, presently has two reactors – KKNPP 1&2 (2X1000 MW) in operation and two reactors, KKNPP 3&4 (2X1000 MW) under construction. In addition, work for setting up two more units - KKNPP 5&6 (2X1000 MW) at this site has commenced. On progressive completion of Units 3 to 6, the Kudankulam site having a total capacity of 6000 MW will be a nuclear power park.

The total completion cost of the six units at Kudankulam is Rs 111932 crore. The units at the site are expected to be completed progressively by 2025-26.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

Thu, 19 Jul 2018 11:08:20 +0530
ISRO plans to develop its

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to deploy a rover on the lunar surface through Chandrayaan-2 mission.  The instruments on Rover will conduct in-situ analysis of elements such as  Na,  Mg, Al, Si, etc; in the vicinity of landing site.   Mining and extracting Helium-3 deposits is not planned.   Total approved cost of the Chandrayaan-2 Mission is Rs.603.00 crores.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

Thu, 19 Jul 2018 11:02:38 +0530
Centre ensures water in d

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of Centrally Sponsored-Scheme for completion of 83 Minor Irrigation projects and 8 major/medium irrigation projects of Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of the rest of Maharashtra.

Impact:

Completion of these projects will ensure assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects. This will increase yield of their crops and thereby increase the income of the farmers.

Details:

The special package shall help in creation of additional potential of 3.77 L Hectares. In Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of rest of Maharashtra.

The projects included under special package are over and above the 26 major/ medium projects of Maharashtra having ultimate potential of 8.501 Ha being funded under PMKSY-AIBP, which are planned to be completed by December,2019.

Progress of the projects would be monitored by State as well as Central Water Commission.

Financial Implications:

The overall balance cost of the projects as on 01.04.2018 is estimated to be Rs. 13,651.61 crore.

This amounts @ 25% of the balance cost of these 91 projects as on 01.04.18 as well as 25% reimbursement for the expenditure incurred during 2017-18, keeping in view that funding of these projects is under consideration since 2017-18, would be provided. Total Central Assistance to be provided for implementation of these projects is Rs. 3,831.41 crore.   Rest is to be provided by Government of Maharashtra. It is also envisaged that State Share may be arranged through NABARD.

Benefits and Employment Generation:

On completion of the projects, the utilization of irrigation potential of about 3.77 lakh ha will transform the agriculture scenario of the region resulting in generation of substantially more employment opportunities through increase in cropping intensity, change in cropping pattern, agro processing and other ancillary activities.

Moreover, implementation of scheme will generate employment of approximately 341 lakh man-days for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers.

Background:

Maharashtra has experienced hydrological and agricultural drought during the years 2012 to 2016. The situation has been worst in Vidharbha and Marathawada region with unfortunate incidence of suicides by farmers been reported there. Also Drought Prone Areas (DPA) in rest of Maharashtra have experienced distress in the recent years. These projects are ongoing, yet, they are languishing due to fund constraints as informed by the State Government. The completion of balance works of these projects will help in creation of additional 3.77 lakh hectare of irrigation potential and assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects. This will increase yield of their crops and thereby increase the income of the farmers.

Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:48:12 +0530
Tourism Sector alone has

The Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism K J Alphons said that the Tourism Sector alone has created 14.62 million job opportunities in the country in the last four years.  Addressing the media in New Delhi, the Minister further elaborated that the Tourism sector provides opportunities to skilled as well as unskilled job seekers thereby providing employment to all sections of the society.

The Minister added that Tourism Ministry is now focusing on promotional activities to bring attention of the tourists about the unexplored areas of North Eastern states of India, like the largest cave network of Asia which is in Meghalaya. Refuting the recent reports in the media on ‘Safety of women in India’, the Minister ascertained that India is safe for tourists and added that Ministry also has taken various initiatives to ensure safety and security of tourists. In view of this, the Minister said that guidelines on Safety and Security of Tourists have been issued for States/UTs and 14 states already have Tourist Police in one form or other.

The Tourism Minister added that inorder to promote the country abroad, the Ministry has conducted several ‘Incredible India road shows’ in the US, Europe and few upcoming ones in China and Nordic countries. He further added that three theme based 60 seconds Incredible India videos has been released till date and it has received huge viewership in social media platforms. 

The Minister also added that more focus is given to the Cruise Tourism sector with the Tourism Ministry investing Rs. 100 crore and the Shipping Ministry contributing a corpus of Rs. 250 crore to the sector. The cruise ports are being developed at Mumbai where it is along with an entertainment complex, and also Cruise jetties in Goa, Cochin, Chennai and Visakhapatnam.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:43:17 +0530
Sharjah Univ receives del

The University of Sharjah has received a delegation from the University of Science and Technology in Meghalaya, India, to strengthen academic cooperation between both parties in research areas across the health sciences, business administration, engineering, fine arts, literature and social sciences.

This academic cooperation will support the exchange of expertise and training of students, while encouraging collaborative research between faculty members and students.

Dr. Salah Taher, Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs at the University of Sharjah, welcomed the delegation, stressing the significance of providing cooperative opportunities by sharing new ideas that encourage innovation and development of the academic cadres that serve the community and the job market.

He added that the University of Sharjah is home to a number of research groups that work in collaboration with specialised institutions and international universities. The university also organises international conferences, forums, and activities during the academic year that seek to strengthen relations with national and international entities.

At the end of the meeting, the delegation toured the University Medical Campus, the Colleges of Fine Arts and Design, Engineering, and Business Administration, and met a number of faculty members to review possible methods of collaboration. They were also introduced to the programmes and facilities available at the University of Sharjah.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:10:42 +0530
India ensures presence at

Preparations have taken a leap in India for its active participation in the Dubai Expo 2020, Dilip Chenoy, Secretary-General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FICCI, has told Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to India, reports WAM.

This came about at a meeting between the Secretary-General and the Ambassador to review India’s preparations for taking part in the landmark event following an agreement between the two sides.

FICCI is India’s leading industry association, and it has been tasked "for helping the government" in preparing the Indian presence at Expo 2020. The Indian pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 will be on a one-acre plot in the "opportunity" segment, reports WAM.

"This is tune with the great opportunity for economic activity that India provides today on the way to becoming a five-trillion-dollar economy by 2025," Chenoy said. He added that the Indian pavilion will aim to connect with the UAE’s priorities by showcasing India's strength in innovation and start-ups. These are pushing the barriers in high technology areas like artificial intelligence, fintech, space and green energy, according to a press release issued by the UAE Embassy in New Delhi after the meeting, reports WAM.

The Ambassador responded that "the pavilion will focus on connecting minds through sustainable and futuristic technologies integrated with rich traditions which have been nurtured in 5,000 years old Indian civilisation," according to the press release.

He hoped that it will be a fine blend of modern outlook and of a billion dreams and millions of opportunities with a focus on building a happy world. The expectation was that the immense cultural diversity of India will also be on display at the pavilion.

The meeting agreed that India's participation in Dubai Expo 2020 is reflective of the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the UAE. "The relations between both countries have particularly strengthened and expanded with regular exchange of visits at highest levels in recent years. Apart from the traditional people-to-people and business ties, trade and investment add further vibrancy to the relationship," the press release noted.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:58:15 +0530
VP conveys his concerns o

Expressing serious concern over declining confidence of the people in the Parliament, the Vice President and the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, M. Venkaiah Naidu today asserted that smooth functioning of the House is not the responsibility of the Government alone and it is a joint responsibility of all sections of the House. Conveying his anguish over the last two sessions of the Upper House ending in a ‘loose-loose’ situation for all sections of the House and the people, he urged all parties and leaders to ensure a ‘win-win’ monsoon session and sought their cooperation.

Eight Ministers and 23 leaders belonging to 20 parties today attended the meeting convened by Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, a day ahead of the start of monsoon session tomorrow. 

Referring to the happenings in the Rajya Sabha during the last session, Naidu said ‘No party can bring the House to a standstill insisting on Government’s response even as the members and parties have a right to seek such a response. The better way would be to talk it out, walk out or vote out. If the Government of the day is found to be unresponsive to genuine issues, it should be taken to the people instead of forcing adjournment of the House through persistent disruptions”.

Referring to feedback from the people during his tours across the country during the last eleven months, Shri Naidu stated that people are distressed over non-functional Parliament. He also referred to a recent survey in which people have expressed their lack of trust and confidence in the Parliament and political parties.

Naidu urged both the ruling and opposition parties to stop the ‘mutual blame game’ holding each other responsible for persistent disruptions and dysfunctional House. He stressed that it was time to recalibrate the conventional position that it was the responsibility of the Government to run the House and it should be seen as a shared responsibility.

Referring to news reports about the meeting of opposition parties yesterday, Shri Naidu said his hopes of a productive session were rekindled by their assertion of keenness for an effective monsoon session.

Noting that the Parliament is a part of the political system, Shri Naidu urged the leaders not to allow the coming election season in the country derail the House. He said that Parliament is the best forum for articulating different viewpoints and should be made effective use of instead of allowing political considerations play out in the House. He assured the leaders that all issues would be allowed to be discussed as per the Rules of the House.

Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh observed that all the leaders endorsed the concerns and sentiments expressed by the Chairman Naidu.

Leader of the Opposition Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad said that over 90% of the parties in the House always desired smooth functioning of the House and those who are agitated over issues of concern to their States need to be appropriately reached out by the Government. He said the opposition has about ten issues for discussion in the House and some of them could be taken up during the monsoon session. He suggested that the Government should start with Bills that have wider acceptance instead of taking up contentious issues.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:44:29 +0530
PM urges all parties to c

Addressing floor leaders of parties in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, ahead of the Monsoon Session 2018 of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Government gives huge importance to the issues raised by all Political Parties and urged all Political Parties to collectively strive to create a constructive atmosphere in Monsoon Session to achieve National Good. Modi expressed confidence that all political parties would cooperate on smooth running of the Parliament and undertake constructive discussion on issues of national importance.

A host of issues were brought up by the leaders of parties during the meeting. There was a consensus across party lines on ensuring smooth functioning of the Parliament without disruptions and deadlocks to be resolved through constructive discussions in both the Houses.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ananthkumar, later briefing media persons said that the Government has requested all parties, especially the opposition, for their co-operation for the smooth functioning of the House. “The people of India want the Parliament to function. Government calls for cooperation from all parties in country's interest”, he said. The Minister informed that all parties were in favour of a productive Monsoon session. The Government is always ready to discuss on the floor of the House, any issue as permitted under Rules of Procedure. The Government will leave no stone unturned to facilitate smooth functioning of the Parliament during the ensuing Monsoon Session, he added.

Ananthkumar further informed that the Monsoon Session, 2018 of Parliament is scheduled to be held from Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, and subject to exigencies of Government Business, the Session may conclude on Friday, 10th August, 2018. The Minister said that the Session will provide a total of 18 sittings spread over a period of 24 days and 48* items have been identified for being taken up during the Monsoon Session, 2018. (*Includes 46 Bills and 02 financial item)

Six Bills replacing ordinances namely (i) The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018; (ii) The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; (iii) The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; (iv)  The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; (v) The National Sports University Ordinance, 2018; and  (iv) The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 are required to be passed during the ensuing Monsoon Session.

Further, some important pending legislations in the Houses required to be considered and passed during the Session are (i) The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018; (iiThe New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018; (iii The Transgender Persons (Protection of RightsBill, 2016; (iv)  The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third AmendmentBill, 2017; (v) The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017; (viThe Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on MarriageBill, 2017; (vii)  The Motor Vehicles (AmendmentBill, 2017; and (viii)  The Prevention of Corruption (AmendmentBill, 2013.

Some important new bills likely to be introduced, considered and passed  during this session apart from the 6 Bills replacing Ordinances are (i) The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2018; (ii) The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018; (iii)  The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2018;  (iv) The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill, 2018; (v) The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities (Amendment) Bill, 2018; (vi) The Dam Safety Bill, 2018; and (vii) Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018.

The all-Party meeting was attended by Union Minister for Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics & Programme Implementation, Vijay Goel, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, River development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Arjun Ram Meghwal, along with other Ministers.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:33:06 +0530
Indians bag top titles at

Four UAE-based expatriate Indian nationals have bagged the top titles at the 2018 NRI of the Year Awards, fighting off more than 11,500 global nominees, reports Khaleej Times.

Dubbed as heroes who have made their mark on foreign shores, Amiteash Paul, Jogiraj Sikidar, Vardaraj Shetty, and Prasanth Manghat live true to the phrase 'make India proud', and have been recognised for their significant contributions in keeping their Indian heritage alive, despite living away from home, Khaleej Times reported. 

Now in its fifth year, the NRI of the Year Awards, presented by Times Now, ICICI Bank and Global Indian International School, has so far awarded 15 Indian expatriates living in the UAE, with this year's accolades adding four more winning titles to the list, taking that number to 19, reports Khaleej Times.

A total of 22 NRIs were crowned for the 2018 edition Award. Of the five winners based in the Middle East, four of which are living in the UAE. Here, Khaleej Times speaks to the winners.

Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:34:12 +0530
Putin rejects Russian med

In an extraordinary embrace of a longtime US enemy, President Donald Trump on Monday openly questioned his own intelligence agencies' firm finding that Russia meddled in the 2016 US election to his benefit, seeming to accept Russian President Vladimir Putin's insistence that Moscow's hands were clean, reports Khaleej Times. 

The reaction back home was immediate and visceral, among fellow Republicans as well as usual Trump critics. "Shameful," ''disgraceful," ''weak," were a few of the comments. Makes the US "look like a pushover," said GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Khaleej Times reported.

Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki was his first time sharing the international stage with a man he has described as an important US competitor - but whom he has also praised a strong, effective leader. 

His remarks, siding with a foe on foreign soil over his own government, was a stark illustration of Trump's willingness to upend decades of US foreign policy and rattle Western allies in service of his political concerns. A wary and robust stance toward Russia has been a bedrock of his party's world view. But Trump made clear he feels that any firm acknowledgement of Russia's involvement would undermine the legitimacy of his election, reports Khaleej Times.

Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:25:21 +0530
VP stresses on the need o

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that empowerment of women is central to achieving the objective of inclusive, equitable and sustainable development and it is not only a national goal but also a global agenda. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the International Conference on ‘Empowering Women: Fostering Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainability’ organized by the NITI Aayog and Shri Ram College of Commerce.

The Vice President said that it is beyond doubt that given the right opportunities and proper environment, women have excelled in different spheres of life. He also stressed on the need to create suitable conditions to facilitate and encourage women to have full, active and unhindered participation in social, economic, political and public life so that their potential is realized fully for the benefit of the society.

The Vice President that women face discrimination and exploitation in varying degree and occupy limited space in social, economic and political realms, despite the significant progress made towards the gender equality and empowerment of women through national policies. Mass media like cinema should play a critical role in empowering women and women should be given equal property rights, he added.

The Vice President said that lack of equal access to education & employment, inequalities in the labour market, rising sexual violence and unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work remain the key barriers to their advancement.

Saying that gender disparity hinders women’s empowerment and their integration in mainstream, the Vice President argued for a major shift in our mindset which would lead to a positive attitude towards women and their role in society.

The Vice President said that women's active participation in decision-making has a positive impact on education, health, nutrition, employment and social protection. Women’s empowerment has a multiplier effect not only on their own lives but also on the family and the society, he added.

Stressing on the need to educate the girl child, the Vice President said that rise in female education levels have a positive impact such as reduction in infant and child mortality rates and improvement in family health. If women had the same access as men to productive assets, agricultural output would rise, reducing the number of undernourished people, he added.

Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:08:41 +0530
France becomes new world

France won the World Cup Russia in a thrilling final with Croatia at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium on Sunday. France overwhelmed Croatia 4-2 to be FIFA World Cup 2018 champion for the second time. Croatia was playing in its first World Cup final. For France, it was a first World Cup crown since winning on home soil in 1998.

Mon, 16 Jul 2018 10:48:39 +0530
Injured Yemenis to receiv

Seventy-four injured Yemenis and their companions have left to India to receive medical treatment at its hospitals. All costs will be paid by the UAE.

Their injuries were the result of attacks by the Houthi militia.

The gesture is in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE .

The humanitarian initiative comes within the framework of the attention paid by the leadership to the Yemeni people, which seeks to alleviate their suffering, improve their humanitarian conditions and support them against the crimes committed by the militia.

It also reflects the strong bonds between the two peoples and a continuation of the Emirati humanitarian efforts to put an end for the suffering of the fraternal Yemeni people.

The UAE Embassy in India has taken the necessary preparations to receive the wounded and to transfer them to hospitals for treatment. The embassy also has formed a number of committees for follow-up, supervision and communication with the patients and to provide them with amenities.

The injured Yemenis praised the stance of the UAE's leadership and people and expressed their wishes that the UAE enjoys permanent security and stability.

They expressed their confidence that the UAE's support will be beneficial for their recovery, so that they may return home safe and in good health.

The UAE has launched a number of similar initiatives, including paying the expenses of medical treatment for 1500 injured Yemenis and their companions in Jordan, Sudan and India, under the supervision of the Emirates Red Crescent. The UAE has also sent medical and relief convoys to support the people of Yemen.

The UAE's humanitarian and relief programme seeks to provide basic food, medicine and medical supplies to improve the humanitarian and health conditions of the Yemenis, in coordination and cooperation with regional and international humanitarian organisations, so as to alleviate the effects of the crisis in Yemen.

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:57:57 +0530
Rajnath Singh holds talks

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called on the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka. The meeting took place in a cordial and friendly atmosphere in the presence of senior officials from both sides.

The Home Minister conveyed the greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Home Minister complimented the Prime Minister for the excellent growth registered by Bangladesh’s economy under her leadership with a growth rate of 7.78% last year. 

​The two leaders noted that much has been achieved by India and Bangladesh by working together to counter the menace of terrorism and radicalization. They agreed that all countries in the region that are afflicted by this menace should proactively join hands to effectively tackle it. The Home Minister also thanked the Prime Minister for the cooperation extended by Bangladesh in addressing India’s security concerns. 

​They also discussed the influx of displaced persons from the Rakhine State of Myanmar over the past year. The Home Minister conveyed that India is committed to helping in the safe, speedy and sustainable return of these persons to their homes. In this context, India is working on a project to construct prefabricated housing in Rakhine State so as to meet the needs of the displaced persons. India will also continue to provide relief material and supplies to help Government of Bangladesh deal with the needs of those in the relief camps.

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:50:02 +0530
PM unveils new developmen

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated, or laid  the foundation stone of important projects, cumulatively worth over Rs. 900 crore, in Varanasi. Among the projects inaugurated are the Varanasi City Gas Distribution Project, and the Varanasi-Ballia MEMU train. The foundation stone was laid for the PanchkoshiParikrama Marg, and several projects under the Smart City Mission and NamaamiGange. The Prime Minister also laid the Foundation Stone for an International Convention Centre in Varanasi.

Addressing a public meeting on the occasion, the Prime Minister began by congratulating the young athlete Hima Das for winning the gold medal in the 400 meters event in the Under 20 World Athletics Championship.

The Prime Minister said that for the last four years, efforts are being made to develop the city of Kashi in accordance with the requirements of the 21st century, keeping its ancient identity intact. He said a New Banaras - a blend of spirituality and modernity - is being developed, for a New India.

He said a glimpse of this new Banaras is now visible all around. He said significant investment has been made in Varanasi over the last four years. He said that the projects worth nearly 1000 crore that were either inaugurated, or for which the Foundation Stone was laid today, is a part of this ongoing exercise.

The Prime Minister elaborated upon his vision of Transfornation through Transportation, and said the Foundation Stone of the Poorvanchal Expressway at Azamgarh today was part of the same exercise.

The Prime Minister said that Varanasi is emerging as a centre for medical science in the region. He said BHU will work with AIIMS to develop a world class health institute.

The Prime Minister spoke of initiatives taken for better connectivity in Varanasi and the region. He said Kashi is emerging as an important international tourist destination. In this context he mentioned the International Convention Centre, the Foundation Stone for which was laid today. He thanked the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe, for this gift from Japan to the people of Varanasi. He appreciated the initiatives taken by the people and the State Government of Uttar Pradesh for tourism, and under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

The Prime Minister mentioned the poor condition of roads and other infrastructure in Varanasi, four years ago. He said the waste of the city was going unchecked into the River Ganga. Today, he said, by contrast, efforts are underway to clean the Ganga from Gangotri till the ocean. He spoke of the various projects for sewage treatment. He said the fruits of all these efforts would become apparent in the future. He asserted that work is in full swing for an Integrated Command and Control Centre, that would make Varanasi a Smart City. He said the Smart City Initiative is not just a mission to improve infrastructure in cities, but also a mission to give India a new identity. He complimented the State Government for its Industrial Policy, and investment climate, and said the results of this have started to become evident. He mentioned the mobile manufacturing unit of Samsung, inaugurated recently in Noida. He said mobile manufacturing units are creating lakhs of jobs.

Speaking of the city gas distribution project, the Prime Minister said that 8000 houses in Varanasi have already received piped cooking gas connections. He also mentioned the use of CNG as fuel for public transport in the city.

The Prime Minister recalled how the city of Varanasi had welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and French President Emmanuel Macron. He said another occasion for Varanasi to showcase its hospitality was coming soon, with the PravasiBharatiya Divas in January 2019.

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:41:37 +0530
President nominates four

The President of India make the following four nominations to the Rajya Sabha:

Ram Shakal: He is an eminent people’s leader and public representative from Uttar Pradesh, who has devoted his life for the welfare and well-being of the Dalit community. A farmer leader, he is widely respected for championing the cause of farmers, labourers and migrants. He has also been a three-time Member of Parliament, representing Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.

Rakesh Sinha: A respected and widely read author, Rakesh Sinha is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Delhi-based think-tank “India Policy Foundation.” A Professor of Motilal Nehu College of Delhi University, he is also currently a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. He is a regular columnist in a range of newspapers.

Raghunath Mohapatra: He is an internationally renowned authority on stone carving. Practicing since 1959, he has trained over 2000 students. He has contributed to the preservation of traditional sculpture and ancient monuments, and has worked on the beautification of the Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri. His famous works include a 6 feet high statue of the Sun God carved in grey sandstone, in the Central Hall of Parliament; and the Wooden Buddha, Buddha Temple, Paris.

Sonal Mansingh: She is among India’s foremost exponents of Indian Classical Dance. She has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for over six decades. She is also a well-known choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist. She founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances, in Delhi in 1977.

Background

Article 80(1)(a) read with Article 80(3) of the Constitution of India provides that the President can nominate to Rajya Sabha, 12 persons having special knowledge, or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service. There were, currently, eight nominated members in the Rajya Sabha, and hence, four vacancies.

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:35:17 +0530
Naidu urges educational

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked educational institutions to encourage students to visit rural areas to have a firsthand understanding of the problems faced by people living in villages and said that understanding the rural India will enable them to come out with innovative solutions to the problems faced by people. He was addressing the convocation of The ICFAI University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

The Vice President asked the students to take active part in social activities like Swachh Bharat and develop a national outlook and students should develop social consciousness. He described nationalism as serving the poorest of the poor, the depressed and oppressed.

The Vice President said that India has now become the sixth largest economy in the world and is an attractive destination for foreign investments. There will be enormous opportunities for the youth and the country should take full advantage of the demographic potential, he added. 

The Vice President said that education is the single most important element in converting our young population into national assets. If the young generation of our nation is empowered, it will constitute a very strong and productive workforce to tackle the challenges like global warming, urban migration, shortage of drinking water, polluted air and fuel inefficient transportation, he added.

Expressing his concern over the decline in moral values and ethics, the Vice President advised students to always abide by the rules. He asked the students to aim for excellence and efficiency and not settle for mediocrity and ordinary approach. Use the knowledge and skills you acquire to go further, transform your world and the world of people around you, he added.

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:16:13 +0530
Maneka Gandhi urges state

To provide immediate protection and relief to women facing violence within families, Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, wrote to all Chief Ministers to ensure that the provisions of the ‘Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005’ are effectively implemented.

Maneka Gandhi has particularly urged the States that sufficient number of Protection Officers (POs) be appointed with independent charge of the Act and that their details be made available in public domain so that they were accessible to any aggrieved woman. “It has come to my notice that in most states, Officers of other departments are given this responsibility as an additional charge. Considering the practical situation of how feasible it is for a woman to come out of her home to register a complaint, it is important that we appoint more POs.”

The Minister has also requested that a separate budget be allocated for the smooth functioning of POs, providing support to survivors, capacity building for staff and for generating awareness.

Sat, 14 Jul 2018 09:30:37 +0530
PM congratulates Hima Das

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has congratulated athlete Hima Das on winning Gold in 400m of World U20 Championships.

“India is delighted and proud of athlete Hima Das, who won a historic Gold in the 400m of World U20 Championships. Congratulations to her! This accomplishment will certainly inspire young athletes in the coming years”, the Prime Minister said.

Sat, 14 Jul 2018 09:24:00 +0530
Suresh Prabhu meets World

Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, met with the World Bank team in New Delhi on Thursday. The team was led by Ms. Caroline Freund, Director of Trade, Regional Integration and Investment Climate and Junaid Ahmad, Country Director for the World Bank in India. Discussions were held to explore ways to strengthen World Bank support towards India's development with collaboration in specific areas of trade, logistics and investment.

 

The Minister highlighted the work being done by the Ministry for developing a National Integrated Logistic Policy (NILP). The Policy will focus on increasing the capacity of storage and warehousing and other value added services. Multimodal logistics parks, integrating various transportation modes, are also being developed right up to the district level. The Minister also highlighted the work being done by the Ministry towards identifying specific products and markets to increase India's exports by USD 100 bn. He underlined the need for understanding product specific supply chains for India to integrate effectively into global supply chains. The (NILP) will reduced the cost of goods and make Indian product more competitive.

In the meeting it was agreed   that a workshop will be conducted with World Bank and concerned Ministries in order to identify specific interventions required to streamline logistics in the country with an aim to integrate Indian products into Global value chains.

Sat, 14 Jul 2018 09:20:14 +0530
Nawaz Sharif Maryam arre

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam, sentenced to jail in absentia for corruption, were arrested within minutes of their Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi touching down at Lahore airport, reports NDTV.

The three-time prime minister and his daughter were later handcuffed and flown to Islamabad in a smaller aircraft. More than 10,000 security personnel have been deployed in Lahore, prohibitory orders imposed and mobile phone services blocked to check against any trouble, NDTV reported.

Nawaz Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, or PML-N, had planned a huge show of strength near the city's Allama Iqbal Airport airport for Sharif's homecoming but weren't allowed to reach anywhere close.

Sat, 14 Jul 2018 08:50:59 +0530
Special attention is give

Prime Minister said that special attention is given to skill development of rural youth through Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana. Training is given for employment as well as self-employment to meet the aspirations of youth for a better life. He added that about 28 lakh youth have been trained in skill development through 600 Rural Self-Employment Training Institute and around 19 lakh have been employed.  

During the interaction, Prime Minister talked about the importance of value addition and value chain approach. He urged the Self Help Groups to register in the Government e-Market Place (GeM) to sell their produce.

Interacting with the Prime Minister, the members shared their experiences and success stories associated with Self Help Groups. Prime Minister appreciated how poor women with their self-confidence and strength fought against all adversities. Women beneficiaries also explained how Self Help Groups have ushered in a positive change in their lives. Prime Minister asked the beneficiaries to send their success stories with photos along with their ideas through Narendra Modi App.

Fri, 13 Jul 2018 17:24:27 +0530
VP Urges children to prac

The Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu has asked the children to be disciplined and stressed on the need to practice the right values of helping others. He was interacting with students represented India at “The International Movement of Children & Their Friends” at the Brave Kids International Festival held in Ukraine and Poland under the patronage of UNESCO.

The Vice President said that many of the current challenges emanate from the lack of proper understanding of various cultures. Cultural exchanges of students will help in fostering ties, building bridges and promoting peace between nations, he added.

The Vice President said that understanding of cultures of different countries enables children to become good global citizens with tolerance and respect for various viewpoints, customs and traditions. He also cautioned children to be conscious of the negative impact of the technology and always use it for gaining knowledge.

The Vice President advised the students to set a goal and work hard with great passion until they achieve the goal. He recalled the words of Swami Vivekananda on this occasion: “Arise, awake, stop not until the goal is reached”.

Saying that culture of a region represents its civilization, ethos, wisdom, morals, customs and social norms, the Vice President said that mutual understanding and respect for each other’s culture will enable the children to develop a broader world view and understand the concept of universal brotherhood.

The Vice President has advised the children to learn as many languages, but asked them not neglect mother tongue. Language embodies the culture, values, mores and traditional knowledge and that’s why preservation of language is essential to conserve the broader cultural aspects of a civilization, he added.

The Vice President witnessed the performance given by the Students on our cultures and traditions.

Fri, 13 Jul 2018 11:10:52 +0530
Transparency accountabi

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that transparency and accountability must become guiding principles for organizations that are working for larger public good. He was addressing the 164th Central Public Works Department Day celebrations, here.

The Vice President said that the CPWD has a greater role in urban development and any construction in our cities must keep the nature in mind and must be environmental friendly. He further said that CPWD must make sincere efforts to take up more infrastructure projects and continue to be a major player in the development of the nation. Protect Nature, Culture and Architecture for better Future, he added.

Saying that India is witnessing urban renaissance, the Vice President said that the entire world is impressed by the transformation of our country because of the reforms undertaken by the Government of India. It is indeed a matter of satisfaction for all of us that our country at present has the distinction of being the fastest growing economy in the world, he added.

The Vice President stressed on the need to use natural energy sources like Solar and said that every building must have provisions for rainwater harvesting. Climate change is a reality and we must keep the impact of it in mind, he added.

The Vice President said that CPWD, as an engineering organization, must also focus on innovation and modernization in the infrastructure sector to ensure accelerated economic growth of the country. He further said that the most important aspect is to maintain timelines in the execution of projects. You must continually strive to innovate and improvise your work methodology and be a credible leader in the area of your activities, he added.

The Vice President asked the employees of CPWD to keep abreast of the latest trends and adopt modern technologies and also adopt the best practices and management tools to make CPWD one of the best and most efficient organizations. He further said that success can be achieved only through hard work, discipline, adopting the right strategy and planning. You should never compromise on quality and always strive to meet the expectations of your clients, he added.

Fri, 13 Jul 2018 10:59:48 +0530
PM to interact with benef

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact directly with the members of Self Help Groups under DeendayalAntyodayaYojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission(DAY-NRLM) and beneficiaries of DDU-GKY and RSETIs, through video conferencing, tomorrow on 12th July at 9.30 am. The interaction is expected to provide an opportunity to the Prime Minister to get to know, directly from the SHG members, about the various activities being undertaken by them under DAY-NRLM and how it has impacted their lives.It will be telecast live by Doordarshan and NIC will be webcasting it through their network. 

The select beneficiaries include - Self Help Groups working on Anti-alcohol movement, maize value chain and marketing from Bihar, Brick making unit from Chhattisgarh, Business correspondent Sakhi and tamarind value chain and marketing and one beneficiary from Jharkhand Manufacturing and marketing of sanitary napkins and DDU-GKY from Madhya Pradesh. Manufacturing and marketing of solar panels and lamps from Rajasthan,PashuSakhi (animal para vet) and DDU-GKY beneficiary from Maharashtra will take part in the direct Samvaad. In addition, interventions for welfare of disabled persons from Tamil Nadu, External community resource person for the formation of SHGs from Telangana, Dairy farm from J&K and Collection and marketing of neem seeds from Gujarat will be a part of the interaction.

DAY-NRLM has emerged as the largest institutional platform for women’s empowerment. The Mission has now initiated implementation in 4884 blocks spread across 600 districts in 29 States and 5 Union Territories. More than 5 crore women have been mobilized into 45 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) by May 2018. In addition, 2.48 lakh Village Organizations and 20,000 Cluster Level Federations have also been promoted.

Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:47:50 +0530
Naidu urges IAS officers

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked the IAS officers to look upon people as active agents of transforming India, not merely as ‘target groups’ or ‘beneficiaries’ as we used to call them. He was addressing IAS Officers of 2016 batch posted as Assistant Secretaries in Government of India, in New Delhi.

The Vice President said that unless this approach becomes an integral part of our planning and implementation process, the programmes will not succeed. He further asked the young officers to make good use of the opportunity and understand the role of Union government in formulation of policies and programs. You belong to a civil service that was conceived of as a steel frame of our country by the great visionary unifier and the first Home Minister of independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, he added.

Saying that streamlining service delivery and effective, transparent, people-centred good governance are the need of the hour, the Vice President stressed on the need to address challenges in delivering basic services to the common man. Aim at greater ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ and build a culture of ‘evaluation’ and constant ‘learning’ in our governance systems, he added.

The Vice President asked officers to adopt a more empathetic, responsive and inclusive approach of administration. It should be an approach that cares for women, differently abled, the marginalized and those who have been left out of developmental process, he added. 

The Vice President asked officers to view every programme as a “societal mission” and implement them with dedication. There has to be a genuine commitment at all levels of administration to spread the benefits of democratic governance to all sections in society without any discrimination in the spirit of the principle “Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikaas,” he added.

Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:33:23 +0530
Kovind lauds Korea s role

The President Ram Nath Kovind, received  Mr Moon Jae-in, the President of the Republic of Korea, at Rashtrapati Bhavan He also hosted a banquet in his honour.

Welcoming the South Korean President to India, the President said that India and South Korea share democratic values and historical and cultural links.  The economic partnership between the two countries is strong and vibrant.  He expressed confidence that the visit of the South Korean President will infuse a new momentum.

The President congratulated the South Korean President for his efforts and determination in turning the security situation prevailing in the Korean Peninsula into a stable and peaceful one. The President stated that his mediation efforts are commendable and India fully supports them. 

The President said that India-South Korea economic ties are strengthening.  He was happy to note that bilateral trade crossed US $ 20 billion in 2017, posing an impressive 25% annual growth.  He stated that we can do lot more together.  The Indian economy, with an annual growth rate of 7% plus, provides diverse market opportunities.  As Korean investors look to diversify investments, India is poised to provide both a business-friendly environment as well as good returns. This is a win-win situation as India is going to benefit from South Korea’s investments and technology, whereas South Korea will benefit from our skilled and cost-effective manpower and huge market. 

Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Kovind said that India’s Act East policy harmonises neatly with South Korean “New Southern Community”. As democracies, as countries that seek ethical market practices, and as countries with respect for an inclusive, equitable, stable, secure and rules-based international order, it is logical for us to work together.

The President said that as global partners, we have much to do together. South Korea’s green growth initiatives and the International Solar Alliance can and must complement each other.  We can help build a climate-smart world. We must get our young minds to compete and collaborate in artificial intelligence and robotics as well as in Korean traditional medicine and Ayurveda.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:23:06 +0530
Deadly flood claims 179 l

Rescue workers carried out house-to-house searches in the increasingly unlikely hope of finding survivors after days of deadly floods and landslides that have claimed 179 lives in Japan's worst weather-related disaster for decades, Gulf News reported.

The record downpours that began last week have stopped and receding flood waters have laid bare the destruction that has cut a swathe through the west of the country.

In the city of Kurashiki, the flooding engulfed entire districts at one point, forcing some people to their rooftops to wait for rescue, reports Gulf News.

By Tuesday morning, rescue workers were going door-to-door, looking for survivors - or victims - of the disaster.

"It's what we call a grid operation, where we are checking every single house to see if there are people still trapped inside them," an official with the local Okayama prefecture government told AFP.

"We know it's a race against time, we are trying as hard as we can."

Hideto Yamanaka was leading a team of around 60 firefighters dispatched from outside the prefecture searching homes, Gulf News reported.

"I'm afraid elderly people who were living alone may have failed to escape," said Yamanaka, 53.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:02:31 +0530
Centre formulates action

Union minister Nitin Gadkari chaired an interactive  session of various stakeholders of the travel and tourism trade in Mumbai last week, to formulate  an action plan for realizing the full potential of Cruise Tourism in the country. Union Minister of State for Tourism K.J.Alphonswas also present at the session. Officials of  Mumbai Port Trust,Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and Tourism Department of Maharashtra Government held detailed deliberations with representatives from the tourism and  travel industry.

The Action Plan that has emerged from these deliberations focusses on developing identified sites as attractive tourist destinations and generating awareness about them both within the country and abroad; ensuring cleanliness and operational efficiency.

As Mumbai would be the hub of Cruise Tourism in the country, it was decided in the meeting that areas like Sassoon Dock and Sewree Fort in the city, and nearby areas like KanhojiAngre Island, Mandwa, Alibaug and Vijaydurg, would be developed as attractive tourist destinations.

In order to attract tourists, water sports activities are being planned around the Marine Drive area. Events like   Ferrari Formula 1 and Grand Prix are also on the anvil.  Mandwa is to be developed as a Wellness Destinations with facilities for activities like Yoga and Meditation to be developed in land belonging to Mumbai Port. Restuarants and other tourist attractions will be developed in the Mumbai Port area in and around the DCT. The State Tourism Department will arrange reception activities like cultural shows for cruise arrivals.

The Action Plan lays a lot of emphasis on publicizing the tourist destinations within the country and abroad through regular interactive sessions with all stakeholders. In case of Mumbai, this would involve Mumbai Port Trust’s participation in Overseas Travel Mart to showcase its tourism projects.

Bollywood will be allowed to shoot in the ICT/DCT/ Water Front of Mumbai Port. Travel agencies will publicize Mumbai-Goa cruise and the Floating Restaurant at Gateway of India and GirgaumChowpatty as tourist attractions for people of Mumbai and outside. Mumbai will also be highlighted among foreigners as an attractive wedding destination. Tourist Information Stands will be set up to provide information to tourists about the various attractions and amenities at the destination. The staff providing information should be professional, have good knowledge about the destination, be proficient in English and other languages. Training will be organized for interpreters to handle foreign tourists.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 10:05:48 +0530
Road to New India throu

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said the road to ‘New India’ will go through a developed and peaceful ‘New North East’. Addressing the concluding session during the 67th Plenary Session of the NEC in Shillong, he said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a dream of New India by 2022. The dream of ‘New India’ will be realised with the vision of a ‘New North East’, he added.

The Home Minister said the ‘New North East’ will emerge with better Road Connectivity and Information Technology. “The North East needs better Road Connectivity and it has recently made some progress in this area. The economic potential of the region will be realised with better connectivity,” said Rajnath Singh. “If we can provide quality broadband services in the region the youth of the North East will find the employment opportunities closer to their home. It would also stop the migration of local youth to distant areas of the country,” he added.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:54:30 +0530
Naidu becomes first Chiar

Rajya Sabha has, for the first time in 76 years since it came into being, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a foreign counterpart for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue.

 

2.       Venkaiah Naidu, has, in the process, become the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign such an agreement when he inked an MOU with the visiting President of the Senate of the Republic of Rwanda, Mr. Bernard Makuza.

 

3.       The MOU with 6 articles of cooperation seeks to promote Inter-Parliamentary dialogue, Capacity building of parliamentary staff, Organisation of conferences, forums, seminars, staff attachment programmes, workshops and exchanges, Collaboration in mutual interest in regional and international multilateral parliamentary bodies in furtherance of bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries.

 

4.      Naidu and Makuza discussed issues of bilateral interest and the opportunities for cooperation for mutual benefit. He complimented the people and the Parliament of Rwanda for having 60% of women legislatures.

 

5.       Naidu complimented Rwanda for being elected as the Chair of the African Union in January this year and for successfully hosting in capital Kigali of the Assembly of the African Union in March that resulted in the signing of the African Continent Free Trade Agreement.

 

6.       Mr. Makuza explained the special role of the Senate of Rwanda in monitoring and punishing those responsible for the genocide policy in the country that resulted in the killing of about one million people and also overseeing implementation of the social justice programmes.

 

7.       The three Senator delegation from Rwanda led by Makuza is the first such a delegation exclusively from the Upper House of any country to visit India. The members of the delegation include Senators Ms. Gertrude Kazarwa, Deputy Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Political Affairs and Good Governance and Ms. Therese Kagoyire Vishagara, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security. The delegation is visiting India during 09 to 11, July 2018.

 

8.       Desh Deepak Verma, Secretary General and other senior officials of Rajya Sabha were present during the discussion and signing of MOU.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:36:52 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for promoting zero-budget natural in agriculture to make farming viable and sustainable. He was interacting, with the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Acharya Devvrat, the agricultural expert, Subhash Palekar and the Advisor (Agriculture) to Government of Andhra Pradesh, Vijay Kumar as part of National Consultations to make to double the farmers’ incomes and make agriculture profitable and sustainable.

Acharya Devvrat briefed the Vice President on the best agri-practices adopted in Himachal Pradesh to improve the income of farmers. Subhash Palekar and Vijay Kumar briefed the Vice President on the role Zero-budget farming in bringing down the input costs and promoting natural farming.

The Vice President held extensive discussions on various issues relating to agriculture and also shared the outcomes of National Consultation on Agriculture held in Pune, Maharashtra recently. He said that a series of National Consultations were being held across to seek realistic solutions to make agriculture sustainable and profitable. The Vice President called for innovative solutions to make farming profitable and the scaling up of such solutions.

Unlike in the past, the farmers were facing the problem of plenty and there is a need to streamline the procurement methods. Expressing his concern over increasing input costs and the lack of remunerative prices to farmers, he complimented the Union Government for steeply increasing the MSP for paddy and other kharif crops.

During the interaction, the Vice President complimented the Himachal Pradesh Government for promoting natural farming. He said that other States should emulate Himachal Pradesh as part of mitigating agrarian crisis.

Naidu said farming should be climate-resilient in the wake increasing problems due to climate change. He also stressed the need for eliminating the role of middlemen burden in agriculture and allied activities. Referring to the exorbitant cost of fertilizers and pesticides, he advised the state governments to come out with farmer-friendly policies. There is a greater need for all stakeholders to adopt a balanced approach in protecting the interests of farmers and consumers. 

While commending NITI Aayog for consultation on ‘Zero- Budgeting Natural Farming’, the Vice President said that NITI Aayog must play a bigger role in disseminating research outcomes to farmers.

The Vice President said that he would again hold discussions with them after receiving the recommendations of the national consultations to be held at Chennai and Delhi.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:27:39 +0530
Heavy rain disrupts norma

Heavy rain has been continuing for the third day in Mumbai as it affected the normal life in the city. Non-stop rain has affected the rail transportation in the city as many trains have been running late for almost 30 minutes.

Places like Matunga, Sion, Kurla, Antop Hill, GTB Nagar and Dadar have mostly affected as these places have been experiencing water logging for several hours now.

Tue, 10 Jul 2018 14:33:14 +0530
India Korea inaugurate S

The Prime Minister,Narendra Modi, and the President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in, today jointly inaugurated a large mobile manufacturing facility of Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd, at Noida.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister described the occasion as a special one, in the journey to make India a global manufacturing hub. He said the investment of about Rs. 5000 crore, would not only strengthen Samsung’s business links with India, but is also significant in the context of the relationship between India and Korea.

The Prime Minister noted that digital technology is playing a key role in making the lives of the common man simpler, including through faster and more transparent service delivery. He spoke of the expansion of smartphones, broadband and data connectivity, which he described as signs of a digital revolution in India. In this context, he also spoke of the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), growth of digital transactions, BHIM App, and RuPay cards.

He said the ‘Make in India’ initiative is not just an economic policy measure, but also a resolve of better ties with friendly nations such as South Korea. He said that there is an open invitation for businesses across the world, who want to take advantage of the transparent business culture of New India. He said India’s growing economy, and rising neo middle class, create immense investment possibilities.

The Prime Minister noted that India now ranks second, globally, in the manufacture of mobile phones, with the number of mobile phone manufacturing factories rising from just 2, to 120, in about four years’ time. He said this has created lakhs of employment opportunities.

The Prime Minister asserted that through this new mobile manufacturing facility, the combination of Korean technology, and Indian manufacturing and software support would provide excellent products for the world. He described this as the strength, and the shared vision of both countries.

Tue, 10 Jul 2018 11:19:52 +0530
Nirbhaya case SC uphelds

The men convicted of raping and torturing a medical student on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012 will hang, the Supreme Court ruled today, confirming its earlier decision and rejecting the request of three of four convicts for their sentence to be reduced to a life term, reports NDTV

The top court was asked to reconsider its own ruling in a review plea; the convicts are left with one more legal option of challenging their sentence before they appeal to the President for mercy.

 "There is no new material to review our order", said three judges led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, on the review petition of Mukesh, 29, Pawan Gupta, 22 and Vinay Sharma, 23, NDTV reported.

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 16:29:13 +0530
Heavy rain lashes Mumbai

K.A.Viswanathan

 

King’s circle in Matunga was heavily flooded as heavy rain disrupts normalcy in Mumbai for the second day. A very old Pipal tree fell across the road and on the compound wall of the Jain temple near the King’s Circle police station damaging an Addnl Commissioner of Police’s car parked there.

Fire brigade personnel and police were clearing the debris. People are wading through the water. Fearing heavy rains today most people preferred to stay home and the trains were not much crowded as one passenger coming from Dombivili in the morning said “ surprisingly I could sit and come in the train in the peak hour today.” Most of the roads were waterlogged.

 

 

 

 

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 15:31:22 +0530
PM expresses grief over M

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the demise of former Meghalaya Governor Mr. M.M. Jacob.

“Saddened by the demise of former Meghalaya Governor Mr. M.M. Jacob. He made notable contributions to the nation as a Parliamentarian, Minister and Governor. He worked extensively for the development of Kerala. My thoughts are with his family and well-wishers in this sad hour”, the Prime Minister said.

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 09:02:26 +0530
Vice President urges doct

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that quality of education in our medical colleges is the life blood of India’s healthy future and asked the medical professionals to be empathetic towards patients while giving treatment. He was addressing the 30th convocation of Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University, in Chennai.

The Vice President said that universities must offer the best learning environment to our students and stressed on the need to learn from the best minds in the world and we cannot grow if we are insulated and isolated. We cannot contribute to the world of knowledge if we are unaware of the state-of-the-art in any discipline, he added.

The Vice President asked faculty to encourage the students to delve deeper. This will be possible only if the faculty members are themselves good listeners and good lifelong learners, he added.

The Vice President said that quality of healthcare depends mainly on the quality of health care professionals and asked medical professionals and Doctors to have deep understanding and empathy. Young Doctors must work in rural area before getting their first promotion, he added.

The Vice President said that Doctors have a number of emerging opportunities in the present Indian context. He further said that they must be agile to adopt and adapt the best global practices for the benefit of our population. They must constantly set more ambitious goals and strive to achieve them, he added.

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 08:54:05 +0530
Heavy rain disrupts Mumba

K.A.Viswanathan

 

Heavy rains disrupted Mumbai traffic flooding King's Circle and other low lying areas but thanks to Sunday holiday the inconvenience was not felt by commuters as most prefer to stay at home rather than venturing out.

Police were well managing the movements so that no untoward incident happens. All the traffic at King's circle were diverted either over the flyover or via Bhaudaji Road. With the result heavy traffic jam on the King's circle flyover.

 

 

 

 

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 08:37:12 +0530
PM kicks off election cam

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressed a public meeting in Jaipur.

He unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of 13 Urban Infrastructure projects for the State of Rajasthan.

He then witnessed an audio-visual presentation of experience sharing by select beneficiaries of schemes of the Government of India and Government of Rajasthan. This presentation was moderated by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje. The schemes included Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, among many others.

Addressing the large and enthusiastic gathering, the Prime Minister said he is witnessing first-hand, how Rajasthan welcomes visitors. He said visitors can see the true picture of the progress the State has made in the last few years. He described Rajasthan as a land of courage. Be it living in harmony with nature or defending our nation, Rajasthan has shown the way, he added.

Praising the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, the Prime Minister said she had changed the work culture in the State. The Union Government and the State Government are working together for the progress of Rajasthan, he said. He said that the happiness of the beneficiaries who featured in the presentation today, was evident to everyone present at the gathering.

The Prime Minister spoke at length about how the Union Government is working for the welfare of the farmers. He talked about the increase in Minimum Support Price for various crops, announced for the current Kharif season.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the progress made by various schemes of the Union Government in the State of Rajasthan, including Swachh Bharat Mission, Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, Mudra Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, and Saubhagya Yojana.

Noting that Rajasthan completes 70 years next year, the Prime Minister gave a call to reaffirm the commitment of creating a developed Rajasthan, which will play a pivotal role in the building of a New India.

Sun, 08 Jul 2018 11:08:50 +0530
US Virology Institute hon

The renowned Institute of Human Virology in United States has honoured the chief minister of Kerala Mr Pinarayi Vijayan as the institute appreciated the measures taken by the Kerala government  in order to safeguard people from the devastating effects of Nipah Virus. The rare viral disease had targeted Kerala in the month of May, took the lives of 18 people as well as spreading much fear and alarm in the state.

Dr Robert Gelow, the Co-founder of the institute and also a world famous medical researcher, delivered the honour to the Kerala CM and the state health minister K K Shylaja as well. Mr Gelow was one of the members of the team that detected HIV Virus, which is the prime reason for AIDS.

Earlier, the government officials and the scientists, heads of various academic departments of the institute had discussed many matters, especially about the future of the International Virology Institute, to be built in Thiruvananthapuram.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 15:50:46 +0530
Summer rain dust storm h

Summer rain and dust storm hit parts of Dubai, Al Ain and the northern emirates while it was hot and humid in the capital on Friday, reports Khaleej Times.

Heavy downpour was reported over Al Khawaneej area in Dubai and Habshan Al Dhafrah in Al Ain while light to moderate rain was experienced over Al Awir in Dubai and Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain. There were also light showers over Al Dhahir and Umm Ghafa, east of Al Ain city and rain showers over some parts of Sharjah, Khaleej Times reported.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 14:05:46 +0530
95 year old releases her

K.A. Viswanathan

 

When the heart is pure and is filled with divinity, when the urge to attain to the Lord is utmost, the surge of devotion comes out as divine nectar-like songs. Mrs. Parvathy Seshanandan, 95-year-old, a native of Kerala and a resident of Matunga in Mumbai, has composed several devotional songs over the years and eight of them were released at  the Matunga Mysore Association hall amidst a gathering of over 150 people.

 

  

 

The songs written by Mrs.Parvathy includes on Lord Siddhivinayaka, Muruga, Ayyappa, Kanchi Mahaswami and on Bhagawat Gita. She is a devotee of  Lord Ayyappa and has been making a pilgrimage since 35 years. The writer was born in Thiruppanithura in Kerala, in May 1923 and moved to then Bombay after her marriage in 1940.

 

 

She has composed more than 30 songs till now. Eight of the songs were recorded in Bahrain and were played here accompanied by commentary and anecdotes related to her compositions. Her daughter Kalyani Tripurasundari who lives in Bahrain hosted the show. 

Her son S. Sivasubramanian said these lyrics were written 30 years ago and today we are pleased to see so much response to hear her songs. Even at this age, she regularly visits Sri Shankara Mattam, he said.

 

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:33:12 +0530
SIES College gets autonom

K. A. Viswanathan

 

The Governor of Maharashtra and Chancellor of Mumbai University C. Vidyasagar Rao, awarded the autonomous college certificate to the SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce  principal Dr. Uma Shankar at a function held at the college campus, Sion. The vice Chancellor of Mumbai University Mr. Suhas Pednekar and the president of SIES Dr. V. Shankar were also present on the occasion.

The governor lauded the college for its contribution to the State and the country by adopting a tribal village in Karjat  in Raighad district and brought about an integrated development of the village.

The college secured autonomous status from the University Grants Commission from 2018-19 to 2027-28.

“As a Governor, I have special responsibility for the welfare of scheduled areas and therefore I welcome this initiative of the college wholeheartedly.” he said. Through such initiative, we also sensitize students about the socio-economic problems of society. This initiative is worth replicating by other colleges, he added.

“The Hon’ble Prime Minister has promised Rs.10,000 crore and autonomy to 20 universities – 10 public and 10 private to compete globally and emerge as the world’s

best institutions”, the governor said.

"The governor lauded the proposal of the government to set up the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) which has the potential to reform drastically higher

education in India. A huge focus will be there on academic quality with emphasis on improving learning outcomes, evaluation of academic performance by institutions,

mentoring of institutions, training of teachers, use of technology and so on" , Mr.Vidyasagar Rao said.

Earlier, the governor inaugurated a renovated library named after the former principal Late Prof. S. Ramanathan.

Dr. V.Shankar, president of SIES in his welcome address said the autonomy may be a certification of the potential for excellence, but it brings along with it added responsibility to meet the greater expectations of the students.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:17:15 +0530
Zuckerberg jumps third in

Facebook Cofounder Mark Zuckerberg has leapfrogged Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett and jumps into third position in the list of world's wealthiest people. Zuckerberg now sits behind technology giant Microsoft's owner Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Zuckerberg now worth $81.6 billion (Rs. 5.61 lakh crore), $373 million more than Buffet.

Facebook has shown an amazing turnaround after the social networking community giant had suffered a setback in the form of data-privacy crisis that hammered its shares as well. Meanwhile, Warren Buffett's shares have shown a steady decline, mainly due to his charity giving. Buffett has already donated about 290 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to charities. Buffett was once the world's wealthiest person.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 11:55:36 +0530
Shashi Tharoor granted ba

Delhi's Patila House Court has granted bail to the Congress leader Sashi Tharoor in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The Court allowed regular bail to Tharoor as the court observed that there is no requirement for a formal  bail application since he had already furnished a bail bond of Rs one lakh.

A Delhi court had earlier asked Tharoor to appear before the court on July 7, took cognisance of the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police which alleges Tharoor's role in abetment of suicide and cruelty towards his wife. The Delhi Police had filed the chargesheet on May 14 and put Tharoor as main accused under sections of IPC 306 and 498A.

Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel in Delhi on January 17, 2014.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 11:13:41 +0530
Saudi Forces intercept Ba

The spokesman for the coalition forces "coalition to support the legitimacy in Yemen," Colonel Turki al-Maliki said that, the air defense forces of the alliance spotted the launch of a ballistic missile by the Iran-backed Houthi militia within the territory of Yemen from Imran, towards the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Colonel al-Maliki was quoted by Saudi Press Agency (SPA) as saying that the missile was in the direction of the city Jazan and was deliberately launched to target civilian and populated areas, but the Saudi Royal Air Defense forces intercepted and destroyed it, and the missile interception resulted in no casualties.

This hostile act by the Houthi terrorist militia of Iran proves that the Iranian regime continued involvement in supporting the Houthi militia with qualitative capabilities in clear and explicit defiance of UN resolution 2216 and resolution 2231, as such acts aimed at threatening the security of Saudi Arabia and threatening regional as well as international security, al-Malki stated, concluding that the firing of ballistic missiles at populated cities and villages is contrary to both international law and international humanitarian law.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 10:44:04 +0530
Nawaz Sharif gets 10 year

Pakistan's accountability court found former prime minister Nawaz Sharif guilty in the Avenfield case, awarding him 10 years rigorous imprisonment for owning assets beyond his means and one additional year for not cooperating with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), reports Khaleej Times.

His daughter Maryam Nawaz, found guilty of abetment in obtaining high-end properties in London, has been given a seven-year sentence, in addition to disqualification from holding public office for ten years. Son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar has also been given one year for not cooperating in the probe, Khaleej Times reported.

In addition to the sentencing, Sharif and Maryam have been fined 8 million British pounds and 2 million pounds respectively.

The court has also ordered the federal government to confiscate the London apartments.

The Avenfield case was one of three references filed by NAB on orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the landmark Panama Case verdict on July 28, 2017. The other two are in their final stages and expected to conclude in the coming days, reports Khaleej Times.

The PML-N immediately rejected the verdict, calling it legally flawed. Addressing a hurriedly called press conference after the verdict, party president Shahbaz Sharif said he would "take all legal action possible so that justice may be served".

But the only legal option open to the party is appealing against the verdict at the Islamabad High Court.

"They can appeal for suspension of the sentence at the High Court," said Saif ul Mulook, a constitutional expert and former vice president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, Khaleej Times reported.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 10:34:23 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has appealed all the Universities in the country to teach various subjects including Science and Technology in their respective mother tongues. He was addressing the Faculty and Students of Pondicherry University, in Puducherry.

The Vice President called for reorientation of teaching methods at educational institutions to bring out the latent talents of the students and stressed on the need to turn universities into global centres of excellence in innovation and research. He further said that higher educational institutions must look closely into its own functioning and identify areas that require reform and those that require transformation. We must also raise the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness and make our processes more transparent, people-friendly and responsive to the needs of our people we are serving, he added.

The Vice President highlighted on the need to fully tap the potential of the human capital by ensuring that they have the knowledge and skills required for the 21st century world.  We must ensure that there are enough opportunities for them to start new enterprises and generate new jobs, he added.

The Vice President asked universities to have an onerous responsibility to create new courses and improve the teaching learning processes to make the students ready to take on these challenges. It is important that students passing out of the portals of our higher educational institutions must possess employable skills, he added.

Saying that education is an instrument for socio-economic transformation of the individuals and the society at large, the Vice President said that it should bring out the best in man and lead to his enlightenment and empowerment. He further said that the Education is the process of continuous learning and does not end with the acquisition of a degree. It must inculcate strong moral and ethical values and facilitate the holistic development of an individual. Education must build character, competence and capacity besides promoting good conduct, he added.   

The Vice President said that the love for learning and quest for solutions needs to be an integral part of every school and University system. He further said that there is a need to vastly improve the quality of education in the Indian universities. The faculty must be constantly learning and help students to access new resources and update the knowledge base, he added.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 10:19:51 +0530
Chief Justice master of

The Supreme Court of India has underlined in its statement that the Chief Justice is undoubtedly the "master of roster" and has the power to assign cases. The top court was delivering a ruling in a petition that seeks to remove the power of the Chief Justice to assign cases to the bench and demanded the same to the Collegium.

The former law minister and senior lawyer Shanti Bhushan had filed a petition seeking clarification over the power of the Chief Justice in assigning cases to the bench and his role as "master of roster".

"The Chief Justice (CJI) has the role of first among equals and is empowered to exercise leadership in administration of the court which includes assignment of cases," said Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, confirming the verdict by two previous benches.

Justice AK Sikri has delivered the verdict in the petition filed by Shanti Bhushan through his son Prashant Bhushan. The four senior most judges in the Supreme court had earlier publicly protested against the Chief Justice Dipak Misra in January over the issue of splitting of cases.

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 14:32:03 +0530
Vice President visits Cel

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has visited the infamous Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, where valiant freedom fighters were meted out most cruel and inhuman treatment by the British. He also paid tributes to the heroes of the freedom moment.

The Vice President also visited solitary confinement cell of Veer Savarkar at the Cellular Jail and paid tributes to great freedom fighter. The purpose of solitary confinement was to demoralise freedom fighters, keep them in small, solitary cells without any scope to interact with fellow prisoners and local people, he said.

The Vice President was received by the Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Admiral D.K. Joshi and other dignitaries, on his arrival, in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He was also given the Guard-of-Honour jointly by the Army, Navy and Airforce.

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 13:34:15 +0530
Vice President lauds pict

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the picturesque Andaman & Nicobar Islands not only represent the nature’s splendor but are also a microcosm of India’s multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-linguistic social mosaic.

He was addressing the gathering at the ceremonial Civic Reception given by the Port Blair Municipal Corporation on his maiden visit to the islands of Andaman & Nicobar.

Calling islands an integral part of the national freedom struggle, the Vice President said that the place evokes a sense of reverence and inspiration because of their unique historical legacy as these islands were an integral part of the national freedom struggle. These islands are already attracting a lot of tourists and there is still a tremendous potential that can be tapped if connectivity can be further improved, he added

The Vice President has urged Centre and State Governments to sponsor visits of school and college students from different parts of the country to the Cellular Jail so that they get acquainted with the sacrifices made by our valiant freedom fighters. While the islands have become one of the favorite destinations for tourists, their connection with India’s freedom struggle needs to be highlighted so that the people in the rest of the country, particularly the younger generation become aware of the infamous Cellular Jail at Port Blair, where many of India’s freedom fighters were tortured by the British in the most cruel and brutal manner, he added.

The Vice President called the islands a precious jewel given by the Mother Nature and said that they must be preserved in their pristine purity. Let us add more lustre to them by making them hubs of sustainable socio-economic development. Let us make them the inspirational lighthouses of historical legacy, he added.

The Vice President emphasized on the importance of protecting the environment, pristine natural wealth of these islands. While complimenting the administration for taking up various developmental and welfare measures, we must ensure that the nature and the indigenous tribes who have been living here for thousands of years are protected, he added.

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 13:26:02 +0530
ISRO demonstrates Crew Es

ISRO carried out a major technology demonstration today, the first in a series of tests to qualify a Crew Escape System, which is a critical technology relevant for human spaceflight. The Crew Escape System is an emergency escape measure designed to quickly pull the crew module along with the astronauts to a safe distance from the launch vehicle in the event of a launch abort. The first test (Pad Abort Test) demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad.

After a smooth countdown of 5 hours, the Crew Escape System along with the simulated crew module with a mass of 12.6 tonnes, lifted off at 07.00 AM (IST) at the opening of the launch window from its pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota today. The test was over in 259 seconds, during which the Crew Escape System along with crew module soared skyward, then arced out over the Bay of Bengal and floated back to Earth under its parachutes about 2.9 km from Sriharikota. 

The crew module reached an altitude of nearly 2.7 km under the power of its seven specifically designed quick acting solid motors to take away the crew module to a safe distance without exceeding the safe g-levels. Nearly 300 sensors recorded various mission performance parameters during the test flight. Three recovery boats are being exercised to retrieve the module as part of the recovery protocol.

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 12:09:04 +0530
Rajnath Singh reviews sec

During his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the security situation and developmental issues in the State at a high-level meeting in Srinagar. State Governor NN Vohra, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and senior officers of MHA and State Government were present.

The Union Home Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to take all possible measures that would bring accountability, transparency and good governance in the system. With renewed focus on Good Governance and development, the Centre is looking forward to kindle new aspirations and hopes amongst the people of the State, he added.

Rajnath Singh said development and Good Governance had remained elusive for the common people of J&K. The solution to problems lies in empowerment of the people and strengthening the institutions of local self-governance.

The Union Home Minister said the dream of a developed and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir would be realised when there is peace and normalcy in the state. It is the Government’s firm resolve to bring peace, stability and prosperity through an honest, effective and efficient administration for the problems facing the state, he added.

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 11:31:06 +0530
Education is the most im

The Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu has said that Education is the most important tool for transformation of the society through enlightenment and empowerment. Addressing the gathering at the Dr.B.R. Ambedkar Institute of Technology in Port Blai, he said that Indian higher education system needs to reinvent itself to respond to the emerging challenges of a rapidly changing knowledge economy.

The Vice President said that the ‘real education’ must foster all-round development of students. It should lay equal emphasis on academic excellence and skills for self-employment or gainful employment, he added.

Talking on the need to reorient teaching methods, syllabi and the learning processes to meet the challenges of the globalized 21st century knowledge society, he called for revamping the education system from KG to PG to make it more rigorous, effective and quality- oriented. Emphasis should be there on developing a holistic personality and not merely producing certificate holders, he added.

Stressing that students coming out of higher educational institutions must have empathy, compassion and respect for elders and teachers, he said that they should not only be tech-savvy and scholarly but more importantly, they should have unshakeable integrity and honesty with strong ethical and moral values.

The Vice President said that there is a need to inculcate scientific temper and cultivate a scientific outlook right from early childhood. Children should be made to learn through hands-on experiments rather than focusing on rote-learning, he added.

The Vice President has advised students to become job creators rather than becoming job seekers. He further advised the students to be creative, innovative and try to explore unchartered territories and don’t be afraid of setbacks. Dedication, passion, commitment, hard work, discipline and perseverance will make realize your dreams and achieve your goals, he added.

Thu, 05 Jul 2018 16:37:33 +0530
UAE clears air on expulsi

The UAE has affirmed that since the announcement of the severing of relations with Qatar was made by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on June 5th, 2017, in support of the same decisions of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the UAE has not issued any legal or administrative laws or orders relating to the expulsion of Qatari citizens from UAE territory, nor did it take any action to expel Qatari citizens and nationals who remained in the UAE following the expiry of the 14 day period referred to in the announcement.

This came in a statement released today by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Below is the full text of the statement: "Since its announcement on June 5th, 2017, pursuant to which the United Arab Emirates took certain measures against Qatar for national security reasons, the UAE has instituted a requirement for all Qatari citizens overseas to obtain prior permission for entry into the UAE. Permission may be granted for a limited-duration period, at the discretion of the UAE Government.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation wishes to confirm that Qatari citizens already resident in the UAE need not apply for permission to continue residence in the UAE. However, all Qatari citizens resident in the UAE are encouraged to obtain prior permission for re-entry into UAE territory.

All applications for entry clearance may be made through the telephone hotline announced on June 11th, 2017 (+9718002626).

As a result of the false accusations made by the State of Qatar against the UAE, the UAE deems it necessary to affirm its long-standing policy on the entry and residence conditions applicable to persons of Qatari citizenship. Since the announcement severing relations with Qatar was made by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on June 5th , 2017 in support of the same decisions of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE has not issued any legal or administrative laws or orders relating to the expulsion of Qatari citizens from UAE territory. The UAE took no action to expel Qatari citizens and national who remained in the UAE following the expiry of the 14 day period referred to in the June 5th, 2017 announcement.

The UAE regrets that Qatar continues to misrepresent the UAE’s policy on the entry and residence conditions applicable to Qatari citizens. The UAE affirms its full respect and appreciation for the people of Qatar.

The UAE will continue to maintain all measures instituted against the Qatari government to address the threat it poses to regional security and the people of the UAE.

The UAE calls upon Qatar to respect its international commitments and to cease its policies of sponsoring and harbouring terrorist organisations and individuals, interfering in the affairs of its neighbours and giving a platform to extremists through its religious institutions and its government controlled media networks."

Thu, 05 Jul 2018 11:34:29 +0530
Modi interacts with young

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, interacted with over 170 young IAS officers who have recently been appointed Assistant Secretaries in the Government of India. 

The Prime Minister encouraged them to share their experiences of field training. He discussed with them, some of the elements of good governance, including Jan Bhagidaari, information flows, optimal utilisation of resources, and people's trust in governance. 

Recent governance initiatives such as Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, and Ayushman Bharat, also came up for discussion. 

Minister of State in PMO, Dr. Jitendra Singh and senior officials from the Department of Personnel and Training were present on the occasion.

Thu, 05 Jul 2018 11:00:16 +0530
Abdullah bin Zayed visits

As part of his official visit to India, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of UAE, took part in a round-table meeting, which was held in Mumbai.

The meeting, attended by CEOs of leading companies in India, discussed means of boosting cooperation between the UAE and India, especially in economic, investment and commercial fields.

Sheikh Abdullah said he was pleased with his meeting with the Indian CEOs, adding that the meeting had contributed in enriching the ongoing dialogue, exploring opportunities for joint ventures and exchanging ideas and expertise on mutual cooperation.

The meeting was attended by Mohammed Sharaf Al Hashemi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Economic and Commercial Affairs, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, and Mohammed Saleh Al Tenaiji, UAE Consul-General in Mumbai.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 17:57:44 +0530
AAP wins power battle in

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi gets a major relief in the form of Supreme Court ruling as the top court ruled that the real power must lie with the elected government in the national capital.

The Supreme Court's five member constitution bench led by chief justice Dipak Mishra pronounced a significant verdict in a case filed by the AAP against a High court's ruling which states that the Lieutenant Governor has the independent decision-making power.

"Lieutenant Governor's power is not equivalent to Governor. Not every activity required Governor's permission. The Governor must also act accordingly to the cabinet decision", the court said.

The Supreme Court's landmark ruling will come as a major boost for the AAP government who is always in a power battle with the Lieutenant Governor as well as with the centre.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 12:32:33 +0530
India to create two more

Encouraged by the recently expanded cooperation in energy with the UAE, India’s cabinet has decided to create two more strategic petroleum reserves, the Finance Minister, Piyush Goyal announced.

The two new strategic petroleum reserves will have a combined capacity of 6.5 million tonnes, Goyal said after a meeting of the cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said India will soon approach potential investors, notably in the Gulf countries to operate the new reserves on a public-private-partnership basis.

When Modi was in Abu Dhabi in February, the two sides signed an agreement to fill two existing strategic reserves in Mangalore with oil supplied by Abu Dhabi. In May, the first shipment of crude of approximately two million tonnes meant for the Mangalore reserve was loaded in Abu Dhabi.

Its arrival in India was subsequently celebrated with great fanfare by India’s oil industry. The new strategic petroleum reserves will be in Chandikhol in Odisha with a four-million-tonnes capacity and at Padur in Karnataka with a 2.5-million-tonnes capacity.

India currently has strategic reserves to meet 10 days requirement of crude. The two new facilities will be provide additional supplies for about 12 more days.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:53:07 +0530
Centre warns WhatsApp for

Instances of lynching of innocent people have been noticed recently because of large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation are being circulated on WhatsApp. The unfortunate killing in many states such as Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura and west Bengals are deeply painful and regretable.

While the Law and order machinery is taking steps to apprehend the culprits, the abuse of platform like WhatsApp for repeated circulation of such provocative content are equally a matter of deep concern.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has taken serious note of these irresponsible messages and their circulation in such platforms. Deep disapproval of such developments has been conveyed to the senior management of the WhatsApp and they have been advised that necessary remedial measures should be taken to prevent proliferation of  these  fake  and at times motivated/sensational messages. The Government has also directed that spread of such messages should be immediately contained through the application of appropriate technology.

It has also been pointed out that such platform cannot evade accountability and responsibility specially when good technological inventions are abused by some miscreants who resort to provocative messages which lead to spread of violence.

The Government has also conveyed in no uncertain terms that WhatsApp must take immediate action to end this menace and ensure that their platform is not used for such malafide activities.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:28:03 +0530
Abdullah bin Zayed visits

As part of his official visit to India, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in UAE, and his delegation visited the headquarters of Ashok Leyland, one of largest subsidiaries of the Hinduja Group.

Sheikh Abdullah and his delegation were received by Ashok Hinduja, Chairman of the Hinduja Group of Companies, who also manages the group's sustainability and renewable energy initiatives.

Officials conducted interactive and 3D presentations on the group’s services and facilities, as well as its activities and achievements in various sectors, such as motor vehicles, information technology, IT, foundries, media, entertainment, telecommunications, banking and financial services, infrastructure, oil and gas, properties and healthcare.

Sheikh Abdullah was also briefed about Ashok Leyland and its technical centre. The Chennai-based company is the second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in India and is one of the largest global manufacturers of trucks.

He praised the group’s capabilities and the skills of its staff and wished them success.

Sheikh Abdullah was accompanied by Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:14:43 +0530
Election Commission launc

The Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat, along with the Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok  Lavasa launched a mobile app, called ‘Cvigil,’ for citizens to report any violation of the model code of conduct during elections.

“cVIGIL" is a user-friendly and easy to operate Android application. It will be operational only where elections are announced. However, the beta version of the app will be made available for the public and election staff to download so that they can acquaint themselves with its features and also try sending dummy data. Upon successful completion of the trial that is underway, the application will be made available for general use by all, right from the forthcoming Assembly elections in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan. The practical use of the app during the four-state Assembly polls will also serve as a pilot initiative before it is put to extensive use during the next Lok Sabha General Elections.

The app requires an Android smartphone equipped with a camera, good internet connection and GPS access. The operating system should be Android Jellybean and above. The application supports all the latest Android smartphones.

 “cVIGIL” will allow anyone in the election-bound state to report violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) that comes into effect from the date of announcement of elections and goes on till a day after the polls. By using this app, citizens can immediately report on incidents of misconduct within minutes of having witnessed them and without having to rush to the office of the returning officer to lodge a complaint.

The vigilant citizen has to click a picture or record a video of upto two minutes’ duration of the scene of violations of the model code. The photo or video is to be uploaded on the app. The automated location mapping will be done by the app using the Geographic Information System. After its successful submission through the app, the vigilant citizen gets a Unique ID to track and receive the follow up updates on her or his mobile. A citizen can report many incidents in this manner and will get a unique id for each report for follow up updates. The identity of the complainant will be kept confidential.

Once the complaint is lodged, the information beeps in the District Control Room from where it is assigned to a Field Unit. A field unit consists of Flying Squads, Static Surveillance Teams, Reserve teams etc. Each Field Unit will have a GIS-based mobile application called ‘cVIGIL Dispatcher’, which allows the unit to directly reach the location through navigation technology and take action.

After a Field Unit has taken action, it messages and uploads the relevant document as ‘action taken report’ via the ‘cVIGIL Dispatcher’ to the returning officer concerned for his decision and disposal. If the incident is found correct, the information is sent to the National Grievance Portal of the Election Commission of India for further action and the vigilant citizen is informed about the action taken within a hundred minutes.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 10:56:30 +0530
Former Kenyan PM Odinga m

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Mr. Raila Odinga, Former Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition in Kenya, in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Modi fondly recalled their long association, going back over a decade when he had visited Kenya as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Mr. Odinga also warmly recalled his earlier visits to India in 2009 and 2012.

The two leaders discussed the progress in India-Kenya relations in recent years, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 10:37:36 +0530
Naidu s tips to make agri

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that we need to adopt a multi-pronged strategy to make Agriculture viable and profitable and the farm income must be supplemented by non-farm occupations and value addition through food processing. He was addressing Scientists, Farm Experts and Farmers at the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), in Hyderabad.

Observing that agriculture is the backbone of our economy, The Vice President said unless this sector performs well consistently, the trajectory of the country’s progress will not be smooth. He further said that change is required in Agriculture as there is a change in climate, change in market conditions, change in world order and change in food habits. Allied services like fisheries, poultry, horticulture, food processing and packaging need to promoted to improve farmers’ income, he added. 

The Vice President said that the need of the hour is to make agriculture profitable and sustainable with consistent increase in its growth rate. All the stakeholders involved in agriculture must come to the rescue of the Annadata or else we will be failing in our moral duty, he added.

The Vice President said that vagaries of weather - from high intensity rainfall events to prolonged dry spells have drastically impacted agriculture. He further said that hailstorms, heat waves and perennial droughts are some of the causes for agrarian distress. The uncertainties are driving farmers’ into debt traps and also leading to their suicides, he added.

The Vice President stressed on the need to address the agrarian crisis in a systematic way so that the farmers become prosperous. He further said that creating awareness among the farmers on traditional and modern methods of water conservation will help in effective water budgeting for agricultural activities. Protection of cattle health is important to increase farmers' income, he added.

Highlighting the need to have homegrown food security, he said that no country which was dependent on others for its food security has been successful. Let us rise to occasion and pledge to sustain famers’ livelihoods so that they can live with their heads held high, he added.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 10:22:39 +0530
Lulu Group launches new h

LuLu Group launched a new hypermarket concept and revamped store design at The Mall in World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, reports Khaleej Times.

LuLu's 148th store was inaugurated by Aldar Properties chief executive officer Talal Al Dhiyebi along with LuLu Group chairman and managing director Yusuff Ali M.A., executive director Ashraf Ali M.A. and CEO Saifee Rupawala, Khaleej Times reported.

Situated within Abu Dhabi's central business district, the store has more than 100,000 square feet area.

Yusuff Ali said the newly launched hypermarket significantly adds to the portfolio of LuLu Hypermarket chains. "LuLu has been the shopping partner of different nationalities and we will continue to preserve this identity with our new store. This new hypermarket introduces a newly improved design and space, which will further strengthen the world-class shopping experience", reports Khaleej Times.

Talal Al Dhiyebi welcomed the opening of LuLu Hypermarket. "Aldar has an enviable portfolio of retail assets including malls and retail community centres throughout Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. We constantly review our retail mix to ensure we provide residents and visitors alike with the right balance of brands. This hypermarket, along with the nine other new brands that have opened at The Mall so far this year, expands the existing mix of retailers and will drive further footfall while responding to local resident demand."

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 16:20:29 +0530
Indian expat wins Dh7 mil

An Indian expat, who lives in Abu Dhabi, has won Dh7 million in a raffle in Abu Dhabi. Indians again won big at the lottery this month taking away most prizes, reports Khaleej Times.

Tojo Mathew, who had purchased ticket no. 075171 at Big Ticket Abu Dhabi, was announced as the winner of the bumper prize on Tuesday.  Nine other winners won Dh100,000 at the lottery today. The winners included five Indians, one Pakistani, and one from Kuwait, Khaleej Times reported.

Indian expat Eqlaqh Kamil Qureshi won the BMW series 02. 

The dream Dh7 million prize was announced at the Abu Dhabi International Airport's arrivals hall at 10am.

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 13:06:38 +0530
Sheikh Abdullah meets IIS

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has visited the Centre for Nanoscience and Engineering, at IISc in Bangalore, Karnataka State, India.

Sheikh Abdullah and his accompanying delegation were briefed by the centre's officials about its activities, researches, technical sciences and 13 laboratories. He also learned about the centre's current research topics including, but not limited to nanoelectronics, MEMS/NEMS, nanomaterials and devices, photonics, nano-biotechnology, solar cells and computational nano-engineering.

Sheikh Abdullah hailed the research facilities and advanced laboratory equipment for nanotechnology and science. He also praised the great efforts of the staff of the centre and wished them success.

The officials and the working team of the centre welcomed the visit of Sheikh Abdullah and expressed their aspirations to strengthen relations between the two friendly countries and its people.

Sheikh Abdullah was accompanied by Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of India, and Jamal Hussein Al Zaabi, Consul-General of UAE in Kerala.

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:51:35 +0530
Sheikh Abdullah meets Kar

As part of his official visit to India, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and his delegation met H. D. Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister of Karnataka.

The meeting saw discussions on friendship and cooperation ties in the areas of the economy, commerce, investment, culture, education, healthcare, space and energy between the UAE and Karnataka.

Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the UAE's keenness to enhance its bilateral relations and cooperation with the State of Karnataka, in light of the excellent ties with India.

Kumaraswamy welcomed Sheikh Abdullah and expressed his country's desire to further strengthen its ties with the UAE.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, and Jamal Hussain Al Zaabi, UAE Consul-General in Kerala.

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:47:31 +0530
Mass suicide in Delhi

11 members in a family, including seven ladies, residing in Burari area of Delhi found mysteriously dead in their home. They hanged themselves in their home which turned into a "mass suicide".

Among the 11 people dead, 10 were hanged with eyes tied while one body was lying on the floor.

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:10:19 +0530
Railway bridge collapsed

The railway bridge in Andheri, connecting the Eastern Andheri and Western Andheri, collapsed due to heavy rain, leaving six persons injured.  A portion of the Gokhale bridge which connects both western and eastern parts of Andheri was collapsed around 7.30am in the morning.

The train services in the western suburban lines have been halted as the bridge fell over to the railway track.

Fire and rescue force as well as police rushed on to the spot immediately and led the rescue operations. The police informed that they have rescued two men and a lady who were trapped under the debris. 

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 11:40:02 +0530
Sheikh Al Nahyan visits I

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of UAE,visited the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO, in Bengaluru, Karnataka, which maintains one of the largest fleets of communication satellites, INSAT, and remote sensing, IRS, satellites.

Sheikh Abdullah was briefed by the ISRO officials on the programmes of the agency, which was launched in the 1960s, and its notable achievements, including the launching of the first indigenously developed satellite, Aryabhata, on 19th April, 1975, and the successful placing of Rohini satellite in orbit in 1980 onboard the Satellite Launch Vehicle, SLV-3.

Sheikh Abdullah emphasised the importance of cooperation on space programmes between the UAE and India, especially after the signing of an MoU between the UAE Space Agency and ISRO for cooperation on peaceful exploration of space. The MoU was signed during the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India on 11th February, 2016.

Sheikh Abdullah was accompanied by Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, and Jamal Hussain Al Zaabi, UAE Consul-General in Kerala.

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 16:29:15 +0530
President PM greet Naidu

The President Ramnath Kovind, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, several Governors, Chief Ministers and several prominent persons extended greetings and good wishes to the Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu, on his 69th Birthday.

The President tweeted wishing Naidu long years of healthy life in the service of the Nation.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet said: “Venkaiah ji has an exceptional record of public service. He is widely respected as an administrator and for his knowledge of Parliamentary procedures. I wish him a long and healthy life ahead.”

The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh and other Ministers called on Venkaiah Naidu and conveyed their greetings.

Several Governors, Chief Ministers and leaders from various political parties including the former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh have extended greetings to Naidu over phone. Spiritual teacher Jaggi Vasudev was among the other prominent persons who greeted the Vice President.

Naidu kept a busy schedule on his birthday hosting a farewell for the outgoing Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Prof. P.J. Kurien besides addressing a large number of Heads of Missions of India in various countries in the presence of the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and the Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar.

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 14:04:56 +0530
Abhilash Tomy to particip

Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy is all set to head off on a unique voyage. The officer is the only invitee from Asia to participate in the prestigious Golden Globe Race (GGR) that commences from Les Sables d’Olonne harbour in France. The participants are required to sail around the world, single-handed and non-stop. The uniqueness of the race is that boat designs and technology newer than 1968 is not permitted, hence use of Global Positioning System (GPS), satellite communication, navigational aids, etc is forbidden.

The Golden Globe Race is being conducted by Sir Robin Knox Johnston of UK to commemorate 50 years since the world’s first solo non-stop circumnavigation undertaken by him in 1968 onboard the Indian built boat, Suhaili.

Commander Abhilash Tomy is one of India’s most prominent sailors. He has covered 53,000 nautical miles under sail, including a solo non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in 2012-13 onboard Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Mhadei. He is also a recipient of the Kirti Chakra, Mac Gregor and Tenzing Norgay awards.

Commander Abhilash Tomy is representing India, sailing on a replica of Suhaili. The indigenously built sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’ has been built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Ltd at Goa. The boat showcases India’s boat building capability on the world forum and promotes the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Thuriya stands for pure consciousness and is the background that transcends the three common states of consciousness, namely waking consciousness, dreaming and dreamless sleep.

The race is expected to complete at Les Sables d’Olonne in April 2019. Progress of the race can be viewed on the official GGR website (http://www.goldengloberace.com)

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:55:02 +0530
PM condemns terror attack

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has strongly condemned the terror attacks in Afghanistan yesterday.

“We strongly condemn the terror attacks in Afghanistan yesterday. They are an attack on Afghanistan's multicultural fabric. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray that the injured recover soon. India stands ready to assist the Afghanistan government in this sad hour”, the Prime Minister said.

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:42:14 +0530
Vice President urges Indi

Expressing concern over “clear signs of turbulence in the present world order’, the Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today urged the Heads of Indian Missions across the world to be agile and careful and defend the country’s interests, leveraging India’s moral and material strengths to influence the global discourse through carefully strategised diplomatic response.

Naidu addressed over 125 Indian Ambassadors and High Commissioners at his official residence for 45 minutes in the presence of the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of State for External Affairs, M.J. Akbar, the Foreign Secretary, Vijay Gokhale and the Secretary to the Vice President, I.V. Subba Rao were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said “Despite the acknowledged need for an Integrated World Order, new ‘walls’ are being erected to the free flow of goods and services and movement of people as well. This return to protectionism has the potential to adversely impact the global effort for collective advancement. There are clear signs of turbulence in the present world order. As the representatives of India in various capitals of the world, you should be alert, agile and quick in grasping the causes and consequences of such disturbances.”

Referring to the enhanced global interest in India story further to the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s energetic efforts during the last four years to present a New India to the world, Shri Naidu urged the diplomats to convert this global enthusiasm about India into investments.

Naidu stressed the need “to weave the narrative of India by deftly drawing upon the country’s unique treasures and the timeless values as well as bring alive the excitement of the current phase of economic growth and transformative momentum in contemporary India”.

The Vice President urged the diplomats to be proactive in shaping global position against terrorism, black money and the fugitives.

Referring to the scope of inspired campaign against the rising India, Shri Naidu stressed the need to quickly address perceptions like ‘Women are not safe in India’.

The Vice President observed that with the country’s core civilisational principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, the world’s largest flourishing democracy, firm commitment to negotiated resolution of disputes and the rising economic and other strengths, India has the necessary moral and material strength to influence global discourse in the interest of humanity.

Naidu urged the Heads of Missions saying “As you carefully sift the ‘negotiables’ from the ‘non-negotiables’, I would urge you to test each of your statements and stance you take in various forums from two essential standpoints. Does it advance world peace and prosperity? and Does it protect our national interests?”.

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 11:22:28 +0530
Bus falls in Gorge in Utt

20 people have died and many others injured after a bus plunged into gorge in Uttarakhand's Pauri Garwal district.

20 bodies have been recovered so far and 12 people have been critically injured. The injured people have been referred to the hospital.

 ANI reports that the number of casualties is expected to rise.  

Sun, 01 Jul 2018 13:01:54 +0530
Girl commits suicide in M

A 14-year old girl, residing in Mumbai's Kandivali East, committed suicide after she jumped off a high rise building in the area's Thakur village. The entire incident was captured in a mobile camera.

The girl jumped off from the 8th floor of Orchid Tower, adjacent to the building where she resided. Many people who were watching the horrible scene had tried to change her mind but she soon jumped before any help could reach her.

The girl was studying in 9th std in a private hospital in Kandivali and she is survived by her parents and her younger sister. The reason behind victim's suicide is yet to be confirmed.

Sat, 30 Jun 2018 11:40:53 +0530
UAE Minister visits Sabar

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has visited the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati, India, the residence of Mahatma Gandhi at Ahmedabad, as part of his official visit to India.

Sheikh Abdullah toured the place and the Ashram Guest House, which receives millions of visitors, as well as the family rooms that tell the history of Gandhi. He was also briefed about the ancient manuscripts of Mahatma Gandhi.

Sheikh Abdullah tried out the charkha, spinning wheel used by Gandhi for spinning thread or yarn from natural or synthetic fibres H.H. also toured the museum, which includes historical paintings and pictures about the life of Gandhi.

At the end of the tour, he placed a wreath of wool on the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Ashram.

Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of India, accompanied Sheikh Abdullah during the tour.

Sat, 30 Jun 2018 09:56:51 +0530
India UAE celebrate birt

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj announced the first of its kind joint UAE-India exhibition celebrating the late visionary leaders Sheikh Zayed and Mahatma Gandhi.

The initiative allows people to gain insight into the lives and legacies of exceptional leaders, commemorating the 100th birth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The interactive content showcases rare photos, videos and objects representing the life works and philosophies of both renowned leaders using cutting-edge technologies.

The Zayed-Gandhi Digital Museum would be launched in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates aligning with the 'Year of Zayed' programmes and perpetuating the legacy and honourable memory of the nation's Founding Father and India’s Father of Nation. It also reaffirms the historical ties and shared values of peace, tolerance and sustainability between the UAE and India.

Sat, 30 Jun 2018 09:52:30 +0530
Fire catches commercial b

Major fire engulfed the Shalimar building in the Lawrence Compound near Khira Industrial Estate, at Santacruz West in Mumbai.

The mobile tower of the building was totally damaged and burned though the firefighters had rushed on to the spot immediately. No casualties have been reported so far.

Sat, 30 Jun 2018 08:46:32 +0530
Vice President urges all

The Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said that every citizen must play an active role in nation building. People are not merely recipients or beneficiaries, but active agents of change, he said while addressing the gathering on the occasion of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Prof. Mahalanobis in Kolkata, today.

Vice President called Prof. Mahalanobis an iconic visionary who introduced the Indian sub-continent to the field of statistics. His vision, focus, and his application-driven research in the field of statistics, is the bedrock of the modern official statistical system in practice in our country today, he said.

The Vice President said that over 65% of our population are under 35 years of age and it is crucial to turn this ‘potential’ asset in and ‘actual’ asset. If we fail to tap into this reservoir of human resources and turn it into human capital, it will be a missed opportunity and the country would have to cope with a number of socio-economic consequences including poverty inequality, social unrest and unsustainable growth, he said.

We need to equip this young population with the skills, knowledge and attitude required for the knowledge economy of the twenty first century to realize the demographic dividend, he said.

The Vice President said that statistics is truly the backbone of good governance. It is absolutely essential for planning and indispensable for monitoring and evaluation. We need data to improve the quality of life and to make informed choices, we need statistics, we need tools to analyze and synthesize, he said.

The Vice President said that India has a tradition that was built by numerous mathematical geniuses like Bhaskaracharya, Aryabhata and Srinivasa Ramanujan. There is a need to continue this tradition of excellence and strengthen the quality of mathematics teaching at school, college and University level, he added.

Fri, 29 Jun 2018 18:23:21 +0530
PM Modi meets members of

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today met a group of ten tribal students from Maharashtra. The students were a part of a team of the “Mission Shaurya” initiative of the Adivasi Vikas Vibhag of the Maharashtra State Government. Five students out of this group successfully scaled Mt. Everest in May 2018.

The students shared their experiences during the training and ascent of Mt. Everest. The Prime Minister congratulated the students on their achievements. He exhorted them to take up a sport, and pursue it regularly. He felicitated all the members of the group.

Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, and Union MoS for Home Affairs, Hansraj Ahir, were present on the occasion.

Fri, 29 Jun 2018 18:13:07 +0530
Details of Indians who de

Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said that full details of the Indians who deposited money in the Swiss banks will be made public by the end of fiscal 2019. The minister was reacting to the latest data released by Switzerland that money deposited by the Indians jumped over 50 per cent to 1.01 billion Swiss francs in 2017.

“If anybody is found guilty, strict action will be taken against them”, said Railways minister Piyush Goyal who is also the interim Finance minister. The minister added that nobody now has the guts to deposit money outside the country and it is due to the hard measures taken by the government.

“Agreement between India and Switzerland has this. From January 1, 2018 till the end of the accounting year (ends March 31, 2019), all data will be made available. Why assume this is black money or illegal transactions?" Piyush Goyal said.

Fri, 29 Jun 2018 18:01:08 +0530
PM interacts through PRAG

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, chaired his twenty-seventh interaction through PRAGATI - the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

The 26 PRAGATI meetings so far have seen a cumulative review of projects with a total investment of over Rs. 11 lakh crore. Resolution of Public Grievances has also been reviewed across a range of sectors.

Today, in the twenty-seventh meeting, the Prime Minister reviewed the progress of eight infrastructure projects in the railway, road, and power sectors. These projects are spread over several states including Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Prime Minister reviewed the progress in implementation of the scheme for establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals. Mentioning that the Union Government is taking many initiatives in the health sector, he called for expeditious upgradation of health infrastructure.

The Prime Minister said that the first phase of the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, which ran from April 14th to May 5th 2018, had achieved great success in the implementation of seven key schemes of the Union Government in over 16,000 villages. He said that the second phase of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan is now underway in over 40,000 villages in the Aspirational Districts. He called upon all officers, both from the State Governments and Union Government, involved with this effort to work towards achieving the best possible outcomes in this context, by the 15th of August.

The Prime Minister appreciated the progress made so far under the Saubhagya Yojana, and said that all efforts must be made to complete the ambitious target of providing 4 crore families an electricity connection within the stipulated timeline.

Thu, 28 Jun 2018 10:44:51 +0530
Nikki Haley calls on PM M

Ambassador Ms. Nikki Haley, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations called on Prime Minister Modi.

Ambassador Haley conveyed greetings from President Trump. Prime Minister requested her to convey his best wishes to President Trump and warmly recalled their earlier meetings and interactions.

Ambassador Haley noted the deepening relations between India and the US particularly in strategic and defence sectors. Both the dignitaries discussed ways to enhance India- US cooperation including on counter-terrorism and in multilateral fora. They expressed confidence that strong India-US partnership will continue to be an important factor for global peace and prosperity.

PM expressed appreciation for President Trump’s South Asia and Indo-Pacific strategies and commended his initiative for denuclearization of Korean Peninsula.

Thu, 28 Jun 2018 10:38:31 +0530
Vice President releases b

On the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of ‘Emergency‘ that shook the nation, Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu asserted that intolerant citizens violating the freedoms of fellow citizens have no right to be ‘Indians’ as it goes against the core values and ethos of India.

He spoke at length on the fallacious causes and the consequences of Emergency after releasing Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and Gujarati versions of ‘Emergency: Indian Democracy’s Darkest Hour’ authored by Chairman of Prasar Bharti A. Surya Prakash.

 Stating that no sensible Government would dare to resort to Emergency after the resounding pro-democracy verdict of the people in 1977, Shri Naidu said that now the threat to individual freedoms is from some misguided citizens.

He said “I am confident that no sensible government would repeat what was done during the fateful night of June 25, 1975. That was clearly a State sponsored ‘Intolerance’ to democracy and individual freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. But we need to guard against intolerance on the part of certain misguided citizens. We have been occasionally witnessing some such words and deeds of intolerance by some citizens in the name of so called cow protection, Love Jihad, eating habits, watching films, etc. Such incidents lead us to the point that individual freedoms can be in full play only when every citizen respects such freedoms of fellow citizens. Post emergency, the State apparatus would think twice before riding roughshod over the liberties and freedoms of citizens. But it is enlightened citizens who would enable fuller manifestation of such liberties and freedoms. ”

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:45:51 +0530
President Kovind receives

The President Ram Nath Kovind, received  Mr Danny Antoine Rollen Faure, the President of the Republic of Seychelles, at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also hosted a banquet in his honour.

Welcoming President Danny Faure to India, the President said that India recognises the leadership role of Seychelles in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and on climate change and maritime security issues.  Seychelles has also emerged as the top African country in the Human Development Index.  It has consistently figured among the top five ranking countries in Africa for overall governance.  He complimented the Government of Seychelles for these extraordinary achievements. 

The President said that India and Seychelles have a very special relationship, built on the foundation of mutual trust, enormous goodwill and shared values.  The two countries are happy to share the same geostrategic vision of maintaining peace, security and stability in the Indian Ocean. Our countries need to work together as partners in strengthening the regional architecture of the Indian Ocean. 

The President said that the vast natural resources provide limitless opportunities for the growth and prosperity of our future generations. Our common goal should be to harness the full potential of the ocean based Blue Economy in sustainable manner. He stated that India is happy that Seychelles is partnering it in the International Solar Alliance initiative as a founding member.  India looks forward to working with Seychelles to develop solar energy projects in Seychelles. 

The President assured the President of Seychelles India’s continued commitment for extending development assistance to Seychelles in all the areas which the Government of Seychelles considers critical and of direct benefit to its people.    

Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Kovind said that close bonds of friendship between India and Seychelles have stood the test of time. For the past four decades, since the independence of Seychelles, our countries have been working together as partners in tackling common challenges, addressing critical issues, and strengthening regional and global cooperation frameworks.

The President said that India has a robust defence, security and strategic cooperation with Seychelles. India-Seychelles strategic convergence has reinforced the resolve to secure their oceanic space, in the region and beyond. India views the Indian Ocean and the Pacific as a contiguous construct sharing similar economic opportunities and security challenges. Our vision is for a free, open, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, based on a rules-based order and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:40:37 +0530
UAE Minister visits Humay

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has visited the Humayun's tomb, in Delhi.

Sheikh Abdullah also toured parts of the 30-acre garden surrounding the tomb, the first of its kind to be established in the Indian subcontinent.

The Humayun's tomb is considered to be one of the most prominent archaeological sites of the Mughal Empire and was added to the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1993.

Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, UAE Ambassador to India, accompanied Sheikh Abdullah during the visit.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:35:42 +0530
India UAE reiterate deep

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have expressed support for the on-going strategic dialogue, aimed at expanding energy partnerships between the two countries.

This came during a meeting between the two sides following a joint workshop organised by ADNOC and the Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on expanding investments and partnerships in the oil and gas industry, in both the UAE and India.

Sheikh Abdullah and Modi reiterated their governments’ wish to see deeper and stronger partnerships between the UAE and India in the energy sector, particularly in the fields of exploration, refining, petrochemicals and petroleum products marketing.

Sheikh Abdullah said: "The UAE is unwavering in its commitment to the strategic multi-lateral relationship with India and being a reliable partner in India’s energy security. We look forward to exploring further opportunities to expand our existing ties and to collaborating on new opportunities that will strengthen and deepen the rich and long-standing strategic relationship between our two countries."

The New Delhi meeting between Sheikh Abdullah and Prime Minister Modi was also attended by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, and ADNOC Group CEO, and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:17:20 +0530
UAE Minister Abdullah bin

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, now on a state visit to India, has recognised renowned Indian Dr. Zulekha Daud, in the presence of her family members and Dr. Ahmed Abdulrahman Al Banna, the UAE Ambassador to India.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah presented a letter of thanks and appreciation to Dr. Zulekha in recognition of her five decades of valuable contributions to the healthcare sector in the UAE and her tireless efforts to boost welfare levels for UAE citizens and residents.

Dr. Zulekha's significant services fructified into the establishment of world-class specialty hospitals, medical centes, educational facilities and pharmacies in both India and UAE.

The recognition coincides with the "Year of Zayed" Initiative during which the country is commemorating the indelible legacy of the Founding Father. It also comes to reaffirm the deeply-rooted relations between the two countries across different domains.

Zulekha Daud is an Indian pioneer who first arrived in the UAE in 1964. She is believed to be the first female practicing doctor in the country and her colossal efforts since then have contributed to advancing healthcare services in the country to enviable levels.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:05:27 +0530
UAE Minister Sheikh Al Na

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and his accompanying delegation met with Sushma Swaraj, India's Minister of External Affairs.

The meeting, held as part of Sheikh Abdullah's official visit to India, discussed bilateral ties and ways to enhance cooperation, particularly in political, economic, commercial, educational and energy fields, as well as means of enhancing the exchange of visits and expertise and strengthening of diplomatic relations.

It also touched on current regional and international developments and other issues of mutual interest.

Sheikh Abdullah emphasised UAE's keenness to enhance its ties of friendship and cooperation with India, in the light of the special and strategic bonds between the two countries. He referred to the importance of this visit and its role in deepening relations between the two friendly countries.

Sheikh Abdullah and Swaraj attended the exchange of the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of diplomatic training between the Emirates Diplomatic Academy and the Foreign Service Institute of India.

The MoU was exchanged by Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, UAE Ambassador to India, and Nagendra Prasad, Joint Secretary of Gulf Affairs at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Present were Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, and Ambassador Al Banna.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:02:03 +0530
Modi welcomes UAE Ministe

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received in New Delhi H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and his companying delegation, now on a state visit to India.

The two parties discussed cooperation ties between the two countries in different fields and means of advancing the privileged bilateral relations to a higher level.

They also addressed prospects of widening the distinguished strategic ties between the UAE and India in the energy field, with a special focus on the partnerships and investments provided by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, particularly in the fields of exploration, refining, petrochemicals and petroleum products marketing.

The latest developments in the region and international scene were also discussed during the meeting.

Modi welcomed Sheikh Abdullah's visit to New Delhi, wishing it will further bolster cooperation and friendly relationships between the two countries.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the strategic relationship between the two countries has witnessed a qualitative leap across different domains over the past few years, thanks to the political will of their leadership.

He also commended the significant contribution of the Indian community to the development drive in UAE and stressed that Indian residents in the county enjoy government and popular support and respect, and represent a bridge for bolstering ties between the two countries.

The Indian Prime Minister reaffirmed his country's keenness to strengthening the friendly and cooperation ties with the UAE for the benefit of the two peoples.

Modi also lauded the UAE's policy of tolerance, peaceful coexistence, cooperation and respect for all communities living in its territories.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, CEO of ADNOC Group, Dr. Abdulrahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, and Mohamed bin Ali Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 07:58:04 +0530
UN to celebrate MSME Day

The Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), will organize a National Conclave (UdyamSangam) on 27th June 2018 on the occasion of UN MSME Day. The purpose of the Conclave is to encourage dialogue and partnership among various stakeholders of the MSME ecosystem and for promoting innovation and knowledge sharing on MSME related issues.

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will inaugurate the Conclave in Vigyan Bhawan. On this occasion the Solar Charkha Mission of the Ministry will be launched by the President. The Mission will cover 50 clusters and every cluster will employ 400 to 2000 artisans. The Mission has been approved by the Government of India for which the MSME Ministry will disburse subsidy of Rs. 550 crores to the artisans. A Website of the Ministry will also be launched which will act as a bridge between the talent pool and those enterprises seeking trained man power. Nearly one lakh fifty thousand persons have received training in the 18 State-of-the-art Technology Centres of the MSME Ministry last year.

During the day long conclave there will be parallel, break-out sessions on various subjects. Stakeholders from grass root level, associations and other experts on the subject will deliberate upon a range of issues which include strategy to build a financial ecosystem of seed and growth capital of micro and small ventures, role of SMEs in Make-in-India programme, role of women led enterprises for gender parity, role of GST in helping micro and small ventures, research and development of SMEs, role of infrastructure in the development of MSMEs, MSME knowledge services, MSME in health services and traditional medicines and market access development for MSMEs with special focus on Public Procurement Policy. In order to develop a system for creating awareness about Government schemes, a session on communication and media will also be held.

The need for convergences of all government initiatives relating to MSME sector has always been emphasized. UdyamSangam is a step forward towards consolidating that process. UdyamSangam will be followed by a fortnight long MSME Pakhwada called Udyam Lehar.

The UN General Assembly in its 74th Plenary held on the 6th April, 2017 declared 27thJune as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, recognizing the importance of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in achieving sustainable development goals and in promoting innovation, creativity and sustainable work for all.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:50:24 +0530
Indian healthcare profess

Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gulf Indian Leadership Summit and Awards 2018, in recognition of his outstanding contribution in shaping the healthcare industry in UAE and the Gulf.

Starting from a single clinic in Dubai in 1987 to a global healthcare conglomerate of more than 323 facilities spread across nine countries, Aster DM Healthcare established by Dr. Moopen, has been driven by his mission of providing quality healthcare that is affordable and accessible to everyone.

The award was presented by Shri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, and Union Minister of State at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India, accompanied by Arnab Goswami, Managing Director of Republic TV during the prestigious felicitation ceremony held at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Dubai.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:43:37 +0530
UAE to hold first ever W

The International Institute for Tolerance part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has announced the launch of the 'World Tolerance Summit', a two-day conference to be held at the Armani Hotel, Dubai, from November 15th-16th, 2018, to coincide with the International Day of Tolerance on November 16th.

With its theme, "Prospering From Pluralism: Embracing Diversity through Innovation and Collaboration", the summit will host the biggest gathering of 1,000 government leaders, key personalities from the private and public sectors, youth representatives, social leaders, social influencers, and the international diplomatic community in a platform that seeks innovative solutions and to forge fruitful partnerships that will help promote respect for diversity and productive pluralism.

Day one of the summit will be attended by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute for Tolerance. In conveying UAE's message of love and tolerance to the world, he said, "Tolerance is not simply enduring the existence of opinions, ideas, behaviours or practices that do not concur with your own. It is about recognising, respecting and embracing diversity. It is about being secure in your own culture and beliefs, so that you respond to what is different with curiosity and compassion rather than with fear and intolerance. To be tolerant one needs to be concerned genuinely for the welfare of one’s fellow human beings, and to take action based on those concerns."

The first day of the summit will also have several forums to promote the global culture of tolerance through its high-profile speakers and through the perspectives of world leaders on better governance, and cooperative engagement of stakeholders such as global tolerance advocates, international and local associations, organisations and private corporations.

The summit will also explore the use of social media and digital networking in advocating the significance of tolerance with respect to its societal and economic benefits.

There will also be a strong effort focusing on the youth through the involvement of educational institutions in inculcating the values of tolerance as well as efforts to include women empowerment and their capacity to promote and advocate the value of tolerance.

Day one of the event concludes with the Tolerance Awards that will give recognition to political and business leaders, change-makers, cultural figures, artists, and influencers for their contribution in the advancement of the culture of tolerance, harmony, and peaceful co-existence through their works.

World Tolerance Summit will have on its second day a series of workshops inculcating the values of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Topics covered include Zayed Values; The Youth of Today, The Leaders of Tomorrow; Women Empowerment in the Development of Country; A Tolerant Country, Happy Society; Understanding and Learning the Science Behind Tolerance; and Using Arts and Sports in Promoting Tolerance.

The Tolerance Library will give access to a wide range of books from all over the world to give readers a deeper perspective on tolerance. WTS will also utilise the digital media via Tolerance Tube to enhance offsite participants with different opinions on and the value of tolerance through interviews which will be broadcasted on YouTube. The event will also have its own official page on YouTube where people can participate by sending questions addressed to speakers and participants.

WTS Art and Photography Exhibition will be held exclusively during the event. Artists and photographers are welcome to join and showcase their work with Tolerance as their theme. A winner will be selected each for best art and best photograph category and will be given recognition on social media and coverage on traditional media.

World Tolerance Summit is the world’s first-of-its-kind event that tackles tolerance, peace and cultural understanding among mankind. It will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Inspired by the values of the founder of UAE, the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, WTS seeks to create a world where every person of any colour or race is treated equally and without prejudice.

H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, stated that, "UAE is based on firm and strong values that seek to strengthen its relations on the basis of mutual respect, dialogue, and cooperation, and the abandonment of all forms of terrorism, violence, and intolerance."

In 2016, the appointments of the Ministers for Happiness, Tolerance, and the Future was made to focus on the capability of the government in ensuring the quality of life in UAE as reflected in all its sectors and tiers in society. This initiative inspired the creation of the International Institute for Tolerance through the patronage of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives. IIT acts as a think tank providing solutions to the challenges of extremism and sectarianism through promotion of the culture of tolerance. Since its inception, efforts have been initiated by the Dubai government to ensure UAE will be at the forefront in the advocacy on peace, harmony and tolerance globally as well as locally, and be the finest example to its neighbouring countries.

Dr. Hamad Al Shaikh Ahmad Al Shaibani, Managing Director of the International Institute for Tolerance and Chairman of the Higher Committee of the World Tolerance Summit, said, "This is the idea we want to share with today’s youth. The past had deprived the younger generation of better opportunities and a happier world. Looking forward to the future, we are focusing on achieving happiness by embracing and practicing tolerance now."

"The world has seen atrocities. Even in the eyes of the young could be seen the effects of intolerant behaviours. In the spirit of tolerance, we teach not only the world but ourselves, not to discriminate and disrespect. We teach ourselves to see other human beings with respect, so they would do the same to others. "

Khalifa Mohammed Al Suwaidi, General Coordinator of the World Tolerance Summit, said, "We trust that this government initiative under the International Institute for Tolerance and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives will completely break the barrier of cultural, political, and religious differences and in its place a bridge for better understanding, cooperation, and mutual respect."

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:40:23 +0530
Saudi Aramco ADNOC sign

Saudi Aramco and ADNOC signed an MoU today to jointly develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. The project will be implemented by Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL). 

The MoU was signed between Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin H. Nasser and Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State & ADNOC Group CEO. The signing was witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who is on an official visit to India, and Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India.

Earlier, Saudi Aramco had joined the project by signing an MoU with the Indian consortium on 11th April 2018 on the sidelines of the16 International Energy Forum Ministerial. Saudi Aramco also sought to include another strategic partner to co-invest in the project as an overseas investor.

RRPCL which is promoted by a consortium of India PSUs consisting of IOCL, BPCL and HPCLwill now have Saudi Aramco & ADNOC as overseas strategic partners. The project will be set up as a 50:50 joint partnership (50:50) between the consortium from India and Saudi Aramco and ADNOC. This will be single largest overseas investment in the Indian refining sector.

The strategic partnership brings together crude supply, resources, technologies, experience and expertise of these multiple oil companies with an established commercial presence around the world.

The mega refinery will be capable of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day (60 million metric tonnes per annum). It will produce a range of refined petroleum products, including petrol and diesel meeting BS-VI fuel efficiency norms. The Refinery will also provide feedstock for the integrated petrochemicals complex, which will have the capacity of producing approx. 18 million tonnes per annum of petrochemical products.

RRPCL will rank among the world’s largest refining & petrochemicals projects and will be designed to meet India’s fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand. The project cost is estimated at around Rs.3 lakh crore (USD 44 billion).

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:37:35 +0530
Parliament s monsoon sess

The Monsoon Session of Parliament 2018 would be held from 18th July till 10th August, informed Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Ananthkumar. The Minister was briefing the media after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Union Minister for Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh.

Ananthkumar further informed that the session would have a period of 18 working days and appealed to all political parties to constructively cooperate with the Government to make this session a productive one. The legislative business would include passing of six Ordinances promulgated during the inter-session period before the Monsoon Session, 2018.

The Minister said that the Government would bring other important bills, including the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, Rights of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017, inter alia, for consideration and passing in both the Houses of Parliament.

Ananthkumar also informed that the election to the post of Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha would also be held during the session as the term of P. J. Kurien is ending this month.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:25:52 +0530
Suresh Prabhu meets Austr

Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation of India, Suresh Prabhu co-chaired the 15th Session of the India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission with the Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, in Canberra today. Both Ministers emphasized the need for growth in two-way trade and investment. They discussed about how mutual strengths could contribute to economic modernization.

Suresh Prabhu shared the experiences of India’s reform journey, including GST implementation, competition policy, insolvency and bankruptcy acts, and ease of doing business initiatives. Minister Ciobo highlighted the positive impact of growing people-to-people links, pointing to the contribution of the Indian origin community to Australia’s economy and multicultural fabric. Both Ministers noted that the Indian diaspora offers a window into each other’s country.

The Ministers underscored the critical role of the private sector. They discussed the importance of Australian and Indian businesses engaging directly to identify practical solutions and communicating them to the Government. Ministers reflected on the success of Australian Business Week in India (ABWI) in connecting Australian businesses with contacts in India and noted that the Australia-India CEO Forum provided a useful vehicle for government to hear from business leaders. Ministers agreed to increase two-way business delegation activity, including Australia bringing a high level business delegation to India focusing on infrastructure, industrial corridors, logistics and aviation.

The Ministers further discussed about mutual market access issues in certain products of interest to both countries. Ministers acknowledged progress had been made in this regard, and agreed to continue work on outstanding issues. Both Ministers agreed that shared prosperity and growth prospects are best served by an open, global trading system and a rules-based international order embodied in the WTO. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to a high quality and balanced Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between the two countries.

Prabhu also met the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcom Turnbull. They discussed transfer of technology and expertise related to solar power generation and storage and utilization of power. Prabhu briefed him on India’s reforms programme led by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. Detailed discussion took place on India’s experience in implementing the Goods and Services Tax and JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile connectivity) trinity.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:20:25 +0530
PM to visit Mumbai tomorr

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Mumbai tomorrow. He will inaugurate the third annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration.”  Leaders from varied organizations and levels of government will be sharing ideas and experiences for creating a sustainable future through sound infrastructure investment.

This year will also see the launch of the inaugural Asian Infrastructure Forum, which will gather infrastructure practitioners in a practical and project-driven discourse, focused on matching innovative finance to critical infrastructure needs.

Later, the Prime Minister will meet business leaders and captains of industry, for a discussion on issues such as economic growth, infrastructure development, policy initiatives, investment, innovation and job creation.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:15:26 +0530
Heavy rain disrupts norma

The devastating rain that started since yesterday night wreaked havoc in the Mumbai city as four people killed in the resultant flood of the severe rain. Train services disrupted in the heavy rain as local train are running late.

Malabar Hill, Dharavi and Hindmata have been affected with water logging. BMC officials have been relentlessly trying to pump the water out from roads using motor.

Meanwhile the compound wall of a residential complex in south Mumbai's Wadala collapsed, taking along 15 parked cars. Dramatic pictures showed five other cars covered in debris. The civic body and the fire department have vacated an entire wing of the Lloyds Estate which houses many bankers. No casualties have been reported, reports NDTV.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:06:49 +0530
Heavy rain disrupts norma

The devastating rain that started since yesterday night wreaked havoc in the Mumbai city as three people killed in the resultant flood of the severe rain. Train services disrupted in the heavy rain as local train are running late.

Malabar Hill, Dharavi and Hindmata have been affected with water logging. BMC officials have been relentlessly trying to pump the water out from roads using motor.

Meanwhile the compound wall of a residential complex in south Mumbai's Wadala collapsed, taking along 15 parked cars. Dramatic pictures showed five other cars covered in debris. The civic body and the fire department have vacated an entire wing of the Lloyds Estate which houses many bankers. No casualties have been reported, reports NDTV.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 13:58:58 +0530
Erdogan wins tightly cont

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won tightly-contested presidential polls, the election authority said Monday, extending his 15-year grip on power as the opposition complained bitterly about the conduct of the vote count, reports Khaleej Times.

Turkish voters had for the first time cast ballots for both president and parliament in the snap elections, with Erdogan looking for a first round knockout and an overall majority for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Khaleej Times reported. 

The stakes were particularly high as the new president will be the first to enjoy enhanced powers, without even a prime minister, under a new constitution agreed in an April 2017 referendum strongly backed by Erdogan but which opponents say grants autocratic powers.

Erdogan defeated his nearest rival Muharrem Ince with an "absolute majority" of more than half the vote without needing a second round, said the chief of Turkey's election authority, Sadi Guven.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 13:09:29 +0530
Gulf press lauds Saudi s

A UAE newspaper has commented editorially on Saudi women legally taking the wheel, calling the decision "a bright new future for the country."

In an editorial on Monday, The Gulf Today said the landmark decision of the Saudi leadership will not only reduce reliance on foreign workers, but also accelerate job growth in the Kingdom.

"The move, ordered last September by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, as part of sweeping reforms pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, is bound to steer the nation on the path to peace, progress and prosperity," it said, adding that Saudi families can now save huge amounts of money as many families presently employ at least one driver to transport female members.

It continued, "Retailers, insurers and car hire companies will be among the potential winners, as the decision will boost industries from car sales to insurance.

"The decision will also encourage more women to enter the workforce and raise productivity in the economy. According to a Bloomberg estimate, this will help add US$90 billion to economic output by 2030.

"The impact could be gauged by the fact that some three million women in Saudi Arabia could receive licences and actively begin driving by 2020, as per consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"A handful of female driving schools have already cropped up in several cities, training women to drive cars as well as Harley Davidson motorbikes, scenes unimaginable even a year ago."

The paper went on to say that Saudi authorities deserve praise for "pre-emptively addressing concerns of abuse by outlawing sexual harassment, with a prison term of up to five years and a maximum penalty of 300,000 riyals ($80,000), and sternly warning people against stalking women drivers."

"Incidentally, women were recently allowed for the first time into a sports stadium to mark national day, another momentous move that came as part of Mohammed Bin Salman’s Saudi Vision 2030. The vision aims at a strong, thriving and stable Saudi Arabia that provides opportunity for all," it added.

The editorial further stated that "June 24th has turned out to be a historic day for Saudi Arabia and the end of the driving ban is undoubtedly a crowning achievement of the country’s leadership and Saudi Vision 2030. The jubilation on the social media is not surprising considering that the decision is momentous."

"Official statistics show that women make up the overwhelming majority of job seekers in Saudi Arabia. Women play an important part in Vision 2030. They now have a major reason to smile as the decision has helped them change the course of their lives," it added.

"Way to go, Saudi Arabia," concluded the Sharjah-based daily.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 12:08:39 +0530
Union Minister Piyush Goy

The Union Minister of Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Piyush Goyal inagurated the India Infrastructure Expo 2018 in Mumbai. Two day expo is being organised by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) on the sidelines of the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at NCPA, Mumbai from 25th to 26th June 2018.

Expressing delight at hosting the Third Annual Meeting of the AIIB, tyyGoyal said, “The Asian Infrastructure Investment bank has really matured in a short period of time and is rapidly progressing to become one of the most important infrastructure financiers across the world. A very strong management team with robust management practices, some of which have never been seen in the global stage have been put in place. India is the 2nd largest shareholder of the AIIB and is the largest recipient of concessionaire finance for various infrastructure projects with nearly 25% of the total funds committed to projects in India, both in the government sector and the private sector”, he said.

He further said “Earlier today, I had an opening meeting with the President of AIIB, and he was expressing satisfaction that India has shown a lot of enthusiasm, and put up very good proposals before AIIB. It truly is a very happy occasion for India, and particularly for Mumbai to host this very important engagement. There are 86 countries which are members of AIIB who are participating. Over 3,000 delegates have already come on board, and I am told the number is growing by the minute”.

The Exposition offers companies from the Public and Private Sector to showcase their latest solutions, technologies and offerings in the realm of infrastructure project development and delivery. Participating companies will also highlight their capabilities and key projects delivered over time for information of all delegates. Several State Governments and Central Ministries will also be showcasing investment opportunities for financial investors from across the world.

 The Exposition is having state of the art digital display and offers participants ample avenues to network and have business meetings with potential partners and investors.

 The highlight of the Exposition is the Oil & Gas Pavilion which has participation of leading Public Sector Companies who are showcasing the upcoming projects in their respective areas of operation.

Some of the key flagship programs that are showcased at this Exposition include Smart Cities, Sagarmala, Bharatmala, Ganga Rejuvenation Plan and the River Linking project. Details on the modernisation plans of the Railways sector in India will also be of interest to the delegates.

 The Government of Chhattisgarh & Government of Gujarat are the partner States to the Exposition while the Government of Maharashtra is the host State to the Exposition.

 Over 50 organisations are participating in the Exposition including leading entities such as IL&FS, Essel Infrastructure, GAIL, JSPL, Wapcos, HPCL, BPCL, NHAI, MMRDA, MIDC, CIDCO, IREDA, ONGC, Indian Oil, EIL and IIFCL.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 12:03:02 +0530
Home Minister Rajnath Sin

The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, paid an official visit to Mongolia from June 21-24, 2018.  During the visit, Home Minister called on the President of Mongolia, Mr. K. Battulga and held talks with Prime Minister, Mr. U. Khurelsukh, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. U. Enkhtuvshin, and Minister of Justice & Home Affairs, Mr. Ts. Nyamdorj on wide-ranging issues of bilateral interest, including cooperation between India and Mongolia in disaster risk reduction, border management, and capacity building programmes in security domain.

During the visit, Home Minister along with the Prime Minister of Mongolia presided over the ground-breaking ceremony of Mongolia’s first petrochemical refinery project. The refinery will be built with a Line of Credit of US$ 1 billion extended by India, which was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mongolia in 2015. The Mongolian side expressed appreciation for India’s support for this project. Both sides agreed that the refinery project will contribute to Mongolia’s economic development and long-term energy security.

Home Minister also visited the headquarters of the Mongolian General Authority for Border Protection (GABP) and announced GOI’s decision to provide a high capacity server for the GABP’s main control centre in order to assist them in more efficient border management. GABP and India’s Border Security Force have ongoing exchanges and cooperation under an MoU signed in 2015. 

During the bilateral talks Home Minister held with the Mongolian leadership, both sides agreed on the need to step up cooperation in a number of areas such as air connectivity, trade and economic cooperation, energy security, mining, traditional medicine, animal husbandry, capacity building, education, people-to-people contacts, media exchanges and cooperation in films.

India and Mongolia, joined by the common thread of Buddhism, are spiritual neighbours. The relationship was upgraded to a Strategic Partnership in 2015 during the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, which coincided with the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Home Minister’s visit to Mongolia comes as a part of sustained high-level exchanges between the two countries.  Most recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the President of Mongolia, Mr. K. Battulga on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Qingdao, China, on June 10, 2018. Earlier, the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj paid an official visit to Mongolia on April 25-26, 2018.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 11:40:13 +0530
Naval Chief visits Bangla

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff will be proceeding on a goodwill visit to Bangladesh from 24 to 29 Jun 18. The visit is aimed at consolidating bilateral defence relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.

During the visit, the Chief of the Naval Staff, will hold bilateral discussions with the Chiefs of the three Armed Forces of Bangladesh and other senior officials of the Bangladesh Government and Military. The Chief of the Naval Staff is also scheduled to call on the President H E Mr Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister H E Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh as part of his official meetings during the visit.

In addition to Dhaka, the Admiral is also scheduled to proceed to Chittagong and Khulna where he will be visiting various Bangladesh Naval establishments. The Chief of the Naval Staff is also scheduled to inaugurate the first edition of Indian Navy - Bangladesh Navy Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) which is being instituted as an annual feature between the navies of both countries. The commencement of CORPAT is major step towards enhanced operational interaction between both navies.

Naval cooperation between India and Bangladesh has been traditionally strong, encompassing a wide span which includes operational interactions through Port Calls, Passage Exercises along with Capacity Building, Capability Enhancement and Training initiatives. Bangladesh Navy was also the Chair of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) from 2016 to 2018. IONS is a Multilateral Maritime Cooperation platform launched by the Indian Navy in 2008. The Goodwill visit of Chief of the Naval Staff will further strengthen the strong bonds of friendship between the navies of both countries.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 11:22:54 +0530
PM lauds India s spirit o

Namaskar. My dear countrymen, I’m fortunate once again to be face to face with you in the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme. Just a few days ago, a historic Cricket match took place in Bengaluru. Of course you must have realized that I am referring to the test match between India and Afghanistan. It was Afghanistan’s first international match and it’s a matter of honour for us that this historic match for Afghanistan was played with India. Both teams performed par excellence. Besides, bowler Rashid Khan had performed exceedingly well in the IPL earlier this year. I remember Afghanistan President Shriman Ashraf Ghani’s words on Twitter tagging me along “The people of Afghanistan are extremely, proud of our hero Rashid Khan. I’m also thankful to our Indian friends who created a platform for our players to showcase their skills”. Rashid represents what constitutes the best of Afghanistan. He is an asset to the world of cricket. Then he quipped “No, we are not giving him to anyone!” This match will remain etched in our memories for a long time. Anyway, being the first match, it is naturally memorable, but I will cherish it for a special reason. The Indian team did something that is exemplary to the whole world. What does a winning team do while receiving the trophy? The Indian team, while receiving the trophy, warmly invited the Afghanistan team which had played its first international match to pose together for photographs. This incident exemplifies the very spirit of sportsmanship. Sports is an excellent route to unite society and to showcase the talents & skills of our youth. I felicitate both the teams of India & Afghanistan. I sincerely hope, that in future too, we’ll play with each other with the best sportsman spirit & shine together.

 My dear countrymen, this 21st of June, the fourth Yoga Day presented the rarest of sights. The whole world appeared as one entity. In the European Parliament in Brussels, at the UN headquarters in New York, on Japanese naval warships, there were sights of people performing yoga. Saudi Arabia witnessed its first, historic yoga programme and I am told many aasans were demonstrated by women. On the snow capped mountain peaks of Ladakh, Indian and Chinese soldiers performed yoga in unison. Yoga breaks all barriers of borders and unites people. Zealous citizens of hundreds of lands overlooked divisions of caste, religion, region, colour and gender to transform this occasion into a massive festival. If people from the entire world ardently participated in programmes on Yoga Day, why should India not feel elated many times over?

 It is a matter of great pride for a hundred & twenty five crore people to witness members of our armed forces perform yoga on land, sea & sky. A section of our brave soldiers did yoga in submarines; some of them chose the snow clad mountainous terrain of Siachen for the same. Our air warriors astounded everyone by performing yogasans in mid sky, some 15 thousand feet above the earth. Spectacular was the fact that they achieved this feat not inside an airplane but while floating mid air. Schools, colleges, offices, parks, skyscrapers, playgrounds came alive- as yoga venues. Heartwarming was an instance in Ahmedabad. Around 750 divyang brothers and sisters assembled at one place to do yoga and thus created a world record.Yogahas broken barriers of caste, creed and geography to unite the people of the entire world, which is the very essence of the real sentiment innate to Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam that we have followed in letter and spirit over centuries. Our Rishis, sages and saints have laid emphasis on certain tenets; yoga has proved them in a concrete manner. I believe that the concept of wellness today is bringing about a revolution. I hope the campaign of wellness through yoga will gain further momentum. More and more people will come forward to make it a part of their lives.

My dear countrymen, many of you have urged me on My gov and Narendra Modi app to mention Doctor’s Day, the 1st of July. You are absolutely right. We think of doctors only during times of distress. But this is a day when the nation celebrates the achievements of our doctors and expresses gratitude for their spirit of service and commitment towards society. We are a people who, by nature, revere the Mother as the equivalent of god since she is the source of our very existence, our life. On the other hand, there are times when it is the Doctor who gives us re-birth. The role of a doctor is not limited to mere treatment of ailments. Often a doctor plays the role of a family friend, a lifestyle guide. They not only cure but also heal. Today, doctors possess not just medical expertise; they have a vast experience on the co- relation between general lifestyle trends and their effect on our health. Indian doctors have carved a niche for themselves in the entire world through their capabilities and skills. Our doctors have gained recognition for their expertise in the medical field, hardworking attitude and the ability to solve complex medical problems. Through Mann Ki Baat I extend my warmest felicitations on behalf of the countrymen to all our doctors, ahead of Doctor’s Day on the 1st of July.

My dear countrymen, as a people, we are truly blessed to be born in this land, bhoomi of Bharat, India. India has had a rich historical canvas. Every single month, every single day in fact, is a marker of one historical event or the other. Every place in India is replete with signposts of heritage. Every place has been blessed with a saint, a luminary or a great, famous personality who has contributed through his sagacity.

 Thank you very much for your phone call. It is correct that I am reaching Maghar on the 28th. I am sure you know about Kabirwad in Gujarat when I used to work there, I had organized a National session of people belonging to the tradition of saint Kabir. Once again I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit this Samadhi sthal, this shrine. You must be aware that in eastern Uttar Pradesh, there is a place called Maghar. It is here that Sant Kabir Das ji attained Samadhi. Do you know why Kabir Das ji chose to go to Maghar? In those days it was believed that death in Maghar was a roadblock in one’s pathway to heaven.  On the contrary, breathing one’s last in Kaashi was a guarantee for entry into heaven. Maghar was considered unholy but Sant Kabirdas never subscribed to that view. He toiled relentlessly to quell many such superstitions and evil social customs of his times. That is why he went to Maghar and chose to attain Samadhi there. Sant Kabir Das ji, through his verses ‘Saakhis’ and ‘Dohas’ stressed upon the virtues of social equality, peace and brotherhood. These were his ideals. We can feel the essence of these ideals in his compositions. They are relevant & inspiring even in modern times. I quote a doha

 

कबीरसोईपीरहै, जोजानेपरपीर |

जोपरपीरनजानही , सोकापीरमेंपीर ||

 

          The true saint is the one who recognizes & understands the sufferings of others. Those who do not feel the pain of others are insensitive, uncompassionate. Kabir Das ji laid great emphasis on social cohesion. He was a thinker way ahead of his times. In those days, when the whole world was undergoing strife and degradation of moral values, he spread the message of peace & harmony. He worked towards uniting the populace, bridging their differences.

“जगमेंबैरीकोईनहीं, जोमनशीतलहोय

यहआपातोडालदे, दयाकरेसबकोय”         

There will be no enmity in the world if the inner being is at peace.

Compassion should be the universal way of life.

In another doha, Kabir has written.

जहांदयातहंधर्म, जहांलोभतहंपाप

जहांक्रोधतहंकालहै, जहांक्षमातहंआप         

Compassion leads to righteousness,

Greed leads to sin.

Anger is sure to devour you,

Forgiveness is a great virtue.

He said

 

जातिनपूछोसाधूकी, पूछलिजियज्ञान

Never ask a saint his caste or creed;

Ask him about his repository of knowledge.         

He appealed to the people to rise above divisions of religion & caste and make knowledge & wisdom the sole basis of recognition. His principles are relevant even after several centuries have gone by.Since we are referring to Sant Kabir Das ji, I am reminded of a doha couplet in which he says,

"गुरुगोविन्ददोऊखड़ेकाकेलागूंपांय|

बलिहारीगुरुआपने, गोविन्ददियोबताय"||

  Such is the exalted status accorded to the guru, the teacher. And one such guru is Jagatguru, Guru Nanak Dev. He showed the righteous path of life to millions, inspiring them for centuries. Guru Nanak Dev’s teachings endeavoured to eradicate caste based discrimination prevalent in society. He perceived humankind as one & urged everyone to embrace humanity.

Guru Nanak Devji said that the service to the poor and the needy is service to God. Wherever he went, he took many initiatives for the welfare of the society. The establishment of a kitchen free of social discrimination where a person of any caste, sect, religion or community could eat or what we know as the langarsystem was initiated solely by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The 550th Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak Dev Ji will be celebrated in 2019. I want all of us to join this great festival with enthusiasm and fervour. To celebrate this festival in the entire Indian society and around the world I also urge you to suggest new ideas, new concepts, and innovations on which we can ponder and make preparations and thus we can also celebrate the Prakash parv as Prerna Parv with great pride .

My dear countrymen! The history of India's struggle for independence is very long, very vast and is filled with countless sacrifices. There is another chapter of history associated with Punjab. In the year 2019, 100 years of the horrific incident of Jallianwala Bagh will come to a full circle, it was an incident that embarrassed the entire humanity. Who can forget that dark day of April 13, 1919, when abusing all limits of power, crossing all the boundaries of cruelty; theguiltless, unarmed and innocent people were fired upon. How can we remember the completion of 100 years of this horrific event is something we canall give a thought to, but we must also remember the everlasting message that this incident has imparted that is - violence and cruelty can never solve any problem. It is peace and non-violence, renunciation and martyrdom that are triumphant in the end!

My dear countrymen! Mr. Raman Kumar of Rohini, Delhi, has written on 'Narendra Modi Mobile App' that oncoming July 6 happens to be Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s birthday and he wants me to talk about Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in this episode of Mann Ki Baat. Thank you very much, Raman ji. It feels great to see your interest in India's history. You know, yesterdayjune 23, was the death anniversary of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was associated with many fields, but the areas which were closest to his heart were education, administration and parliamentary affairs, very few people would know that he was the youngest vice-chancellor of the University of Calcutta at merely 33 years of age.

Very few people would also be knowing that in 1937, on the invitation of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore addressed the convocation in Kolkata University in Bangla. This was the first time under British rule that the convocation in Kolkata University had been addressed to in Bangla. From 1947 to 1950, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was the first Industries minister of India and, in a sense, helaid a strong foundation for India’s industrial development, he had prepared a solid base, it was he who had prepared a stout platform. The first industrial policy of Independent India, which came in 1948, was stamped with his ideas and vision. Dr. Mukherjee's dream was for India to be industrially self-reliant, competent and prosperous in every sphere.

He had wanted India to develop heavy industries and also pay full attention to MSME, handloom, textiles and cottage industry. For the proper development of cottage and small industries with finance availability and organizational setup- All India Handicrafts Board, All India Handloom Board and Khadi & Village Industries Board were established between 1948 and 1950. There was also a special emphasis by Dr. Mukherjee on indigenization of India's defence production, in the establishment of four most successful mega projects- Chittaranjan locomotive works factory, Hindustan aircraft factory, Sindri fertilizer factory and Damodar Valley Corporation and other river valley projects, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee contributed significantly. He was very passionate about the development of West Bengal. It was the result of his understanding, prudence and activism that a part of Bengal could be saved and it is still a part of India.

For Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the most important thing was the integrity and unity of India - and for this, at the young age of 52, he also sacrificed his life. Come! Let us forever remember Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s message of unity imbued with the spirit of goodwill and brotherhood and remain proactive with all our might for the progress of India.

My dear countrymen! During the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to interact with the beneficiaries of different schemes of government through video call. I got an opportunity to know beyond the confines of the files the changes which are being ushered in the lives of people directly from them. People spoke about their determination, their happiness and their achievements. I believe that this was not a mere governmental programme for me, but it was a unique learning experience and during this time the joy of seeing people's faces lit with happiness, can be the moment of greatest satisfaction in anyone's life? When I would listen to the stories of a common man, his guileless words narrating his experience would touch my heart.

In far-distant villages, daughters are providing services ranging from pension to issuance of passport to senior citizens through the aegis of common service centers. Asister from Chhattisgarh collects custard apple and does business by making its ice cream. Like Anjan Prakash in Jharkhand, many lakhs of young besides running the Yuva – Jan Aushidhi kendras in the country are providing affordable medicines in the nearby villages. At the same time a young man from West Bengal desperately seeking a job two to three years ago is now a successful entrepreneur ; And not only this he is providing employment to ten to fifteen people. Whereas young school students from Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Goa are working on an important topic like waste management in their school’s tinkering lab. I just do not know how many such stories were shared with me, there wasn’t a single corner of the country where people did not have a success story of theirs to share with me. I am glad that in this entire programme I witnessed the accomplishments of the common man more than the achievements of the government, of the country's power, the power of New India’s dreams, the power of the resolve of the new India – this is what I experienced!

There are certain people in society, who find no solace till they do not express their frustrated views, their depressed views and seek ways to divide rather than unite. In such an environment, when the common man comes to you talking about emerging hope, new zeal and events that have taken place in his life, it is not to the government's credit. An incident regarding a small girl from a remote village too can inspire the hundred and twenty five crore people. With the help of technology, through the video bridge even a single moment spentwith the beneficiaries was very enjoyable, very motivational and provided satisfaction to work more. There is a renewed joy in dedicating your life for the upliftment, and you’re left with renewed fervour and inspiration.

I am very grateful to the countrymen. 40-50 lakh people participated in this video bridge program and imparted me with a new strength. I again want to express my gratitude to you all.

My dear countrymen! I always feel that if we look around us, somewhere or something good always happens. Many good people out there are involved in beneficial work. We can also smell the fragrance of righteousness. In the past, one thing came to my attention and it happens to be a very unique combination. On one hand, where we have professionals and engineers, on the other hand, there exist farmers tilling the fields, our brethren-sisters associated with agriculture. Now you must be wondering that these are two completely different occupations - what is the relation between these professions? But there exists a link, in Bangalore, corporate professionals and IT engineers came along and created an effortless ‘Samridhi trust’ with which they have doubled the income of the farmers by successful activation of this trust. This trust remained associated with farmers, drew plans and made successful efforts to increase the income of farmers. The training to inculcate organic farming while teaching latest agricultural techniques and how to grow more crops along with a single cash crop in the fields was imparted through the professional, engineers and technocrats associated with this trust started giving training to the farmers. The farmers who initially used to depend on the same single cash crop in their fields and that too the yield was also not good begetting lesser profits, today are not only growing vegetables but also marketing their own vegetables and getting good prices through the trust. Farmers producing grains have also become associated with this trust.

On one hand, farmers have a major role in the entire chain from cultivation till the marketing of crops, whereas on the other hand, to make certain the farmers' participation in reaping profits is an attempt to guarantee their right. A separate seed bank has been created to make good agricultural strains available for reaping a bumper harvest. Women have also been added in this activity and they supervise the work of this seed-bank. I congratulate these young people for this innovative experiment and I am happy that these young professionals, technocrats and others associated with the world of  engineering, got out of their comfort zone to make a connect with the farmer, the village, fields and barns.

Friends! Your youth-power is really inspiring for any young person. Many other young people of our country will definitely visit your website and look closely at your work and will also be inspired by how they can be of use in different areas of the social milieu in their area. I once again felicitate the youth of my country for their innovative experiments, some of which I might have got to know, some might have escaped me, some people might or may not be aware of but nonetheless I wish countless people involved in doing beneficial work ,very good luck from my side.

My dear countrymen! It’s been an year when GST was implemented. 'One Nation, One Tax' was the dream of the people of this country that has become a reality today. If I’ve to give credit to anyone for successful implementation of ‘One Nation One Tax reform’, then I credit the states of our nation. GST is a great example of Cooperative federalism, where all the states decided to take a unanimous decision in the interest of the nation, and then such a huge tax reform could be implemented in the country. So far, there have been 27 meetings of the GST Council and we can all feel proud that people from different political ideologies have been involved in these meetings. These meetings involve representatives of different states; states which have different priorities, but in spite of all this, all the decisions that have been taken in the GST Council so far have been taken with absolute consensus. Before the onset of GST scheme, there were 17 different types of taxes prevailing in the country, but now only one tax is applicable in the entire country. GST is not only the victory of integrity but it is also a celebration of honesty. Earlier, in the case of taxation and allied affairs in the country, there were rampant complaints of Inspector Raj.

In the GST scheme,information technology has replaced the inspector. Everything from return to refund is done through online information technology. The check post has become extinct after the arrival of the GST scheme and the movement of goods has become faster, which not only saves time but is also accruing benefits in the areaof logistics. GST is probably be the biggest tax reform in the world. The successful implementation of such a huge tax reform in India was successful only because the people of the country adopted it and through the power of the masses, fuelled the success of the GST scheme. It is generally believed that such a big tax reform, in a huge country like ours with such a large population takes 5 to 7 years for effective adoption. However within a year, the enthusiasm of the honest people of this nation, the celebration of integrity in the country and the participation of people resulted in this new tax system managing to create a space for itself, has achieved stability and according to the need, it will bring reform through its inbuilt arrangement. This is a huge success in itself which 125 crore Indians have earned for themselves.

My dear countrymen! Once again, while concluding this episode, I wait most eagerly for the next chapter of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, of meeting you and talking to you. I wish you many felicitations.

Thank you very much.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 09:33:27 +0530
President Kovind delivers

The President Ram Nath Kovind, delivered a lecture at Havana University in Cuba on the subject - “India and the Global South”.  

The President said that the subject - “India and the Global South” - he has chosen to speak on happens to be central to both Cuban and Indian foreign policy. And it is an area of multilateral engagement, where we have seen real and robust impact of India-Cuba close cooperation, with both countries playing a stellar role in powering South-South Cooperation and standing up for a stronger voice for the Global South or Developing Countries. The solidarity of the Global South lay at the heart of the international vision of great leader and statesman of Cuba, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. He said, his talk was a tribute to Fidel Castro’s contribution and vision to make the world a better place for the citizens of the developing world.

The President said that the values of South-South Cooperation have stood us in good stead. Mutual respect and solidarity among developing countries form the core of it. The success of South-South Cooperation must encourage our developed country partners to see how best these modalities can be utilized by them as well. The decision of the United Nations for hosting the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation in Buenos Aires in 2019 is a welcome move.     

The President said that development partnership secures the interests of the Global South, but only partially. We have to work together to push for greater space for developing countries in global governance structures. In this context, we must give a greater push for reform of the United Nations including the Security Council. Similarly, the Bretton Woods Institutions must factor in the growing weight of the countries of the South in their decision making. Alongside our reform agenda, we must counter any move to weaken multilateralism. Preserving a rules-based global trading order remains critical to promote the interests of developing countries. At the World Trade Organization Doha Round of Negotiations, it is essential that issues of food security and livelihoods are given utmost sanctity.

The President said that globalization may have lifted millions out of poverty but the unmet needs in developing countries still remain. The growth agenda centered on poverty eradication, therefore, must be at the heart of the global development discourse. We must also push for greater availability of finance and technology to help developing countries combat Climate Change and meet their development needs.

The President said that the Global South has come a long way in its journey since the 1960’s. Today, the Group stands stronger and taller. It is a diverse Group with countries at various levels of development. But it is important that the unity of the Group be preserved. That’s how we can strengthen multilateralism and promote Right to Development for all.

Earlier in the day (22.06.2018), the President was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Revolution Palace. Subsequently, he led the delegation level talks with the Cuban side led by President Diaz-Canel. Both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and exchanged views on global issues of mutual concern.

Sun, 24 Jun 2018 11:49:31 +0530
PM lauds citizens active

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the success and milestones achieved by the Swachh Bharat Mission has been possible due to the efforts and participation by the citizens across the country. He said that there is now a perceptible positive change in the mindset of the people towards Swachhata. He emphasized on the efforts of cities of Madhya Pradesh especially Indore and Bhopal which have consistently performed exceedingly well in Swachhata rankings year after year and are setting good examples for the other towns and cities of the country. He said that the country is now closer to realize the dream of Clean India by 150thbirth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented awards to the top states, cities and Organizations of the Swachh Survekshan 2018 in Indore.

Jharkhand was awarded as the best performing state while Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh bagged 2nd and 3rdposition.  Indore, Bhopal and Chandigarh emerged as the top 3 cleanest cities of the country while Greater Mumbai was awarded the cleanest capital city in the country. Vijayawada, Mysuru and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) were awarded as cleanest cities in population categories of greater than 10 lakh, 3-10 lakh and 1-3 lakh, respectively while Delhi Cantt was awarded as the cleanest Cantonment Board in the country.  In the organizations category, Bakeys Foods Private Limited, Hyderabad was awarded for ‘Swachh Innovation’, Bengaluru based Saahas Waste Management Private Limited was awarded under Swachh Best Practice category and the Swachh Entrepreneur award was given to Daily Dump , Bengaluru.   

Sun, 24 Jun 2018 10:11:09 +0530
Food security is the key

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said that making agriculture sustainable and profitable should top the agenda of both central and state governments as food security is the key foundation of national security.

Addressing the concluding session of the two-day National Consultation on Agriculture at Vaikunth Mehta National Cooperative Institute of Management, he said that a multi-pronged strategy needs to be adopted to make agriculture viable and ensure that the interests of the farmers are protected.

The Vice President said that the recommendations of the two-day deliberations on six themes will be shared with a wider audience and key stake holders including the union and the state governments and farmers’ organisations. He further said that the outcomes of the national consultation along with inputs received from the wider cross section of people will be placed before the nation. This is expected to generate informed debate on critical issues in this sector and lead to tangible action touching the lives of farmers across the country, he added.

Expressing his concern that the system was in favour of the articulate and organised urban sector, the Vice President said that the time has come for a sharper focus on rural, agrarian population and a positive bias towards farmers. Interests of both farmers and consumers need to be balanced, he added.

One of the new challenges in the agricultural sector is the problem of plenty. ‘We have become self sufficient in food grains. However, this has not translated into higher incomes for the farmers. Unless agriculture is made profitable, we cannot attract more people, especially youth, to take up farming,’ the Vice President emphasised. 

The Vice President said that farmers have contributed immensely in transforming our nation into an exporter of food grains and we owe a lot to them. He further said that food security is central to national security and our kisans are continuously ensuring it.  That's why our nation salutes the farmers and says ‘Jai Kisan!’, he added.

While farmers are ensuring food security, our armed forces guarding our country are ensuring national security. They have demonstrated highest standards of professional excellence and are among the best in the world. We salute their sense of dedication and say ‘Jai Jawan!’, the Vice President added.

The Vice President said that the nation owes a great deal not only to farmers and to the defence forces but also to the eminent scientists who are extending the frontiers of knowledge and contributing to the development of our nation continuing in the same vein he lauded the great heights reached by Indian scientists and said ‘Jai Vigyan’.

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 13:20:01 +0530
President pays tributes a

The President RamNath Kovind, reached Santiago de Cuba, Cuba on the last leg of his 3 - nation State Visit to – Greece, Suriname and Cuba. In Santiago de Cuba, he visited the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery to pay his tributes to national heroes of Cuba – Jose Marti, Fidel Castro, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes and Mariana Grajales. Subsequently, the President landed in Havana on the same day.

The President commenced his engagements with paying his tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Havana.  Later in the day, the President will be accorded ceremonial welcome at the Revolution Palace.  Thereafter, he will meet his counterpart President Miguel Díaz-Canel and lead the delegation level talks with Cuba.  The two sides are expected to sign two MoUs – one on Traditional Medicine and Homeopathy and second on Biotechnology.

Later today, the President will address the students of Havana University before leaving for New Delhi.

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 11:54:00 +0530
Rajnath Singh attends gro

During the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Oil Refinery at 'Stantsiin Hooloi' in Altanshiree Soum, Mongolia today, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh observed that this Ceremony was an important milestone in the bilateral ties between India and Mongolia. The Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr. Ukhnaagin Khurelsukh and other dignitaries were present.

The Home Minister while recalling the statement made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his historical visit to Mongolia in 2015 where he had announced Line of Credit of US$ 1 billion for this project, expressed confidence that with the start of this refinery, Mongolia would derive rich benefits. Rajnath Singh was of the opinion that this will further strengthen the relationship between both the countries and averred that it was India which first established Diplomatic relations with Mongolia after it came out of Communist Bloc.

The Home Minister lauded the efforts made by His Holiness Kushak Bakula, who during his life called upon the youth to lead life with human values. He himself, the Home Minister observed, was a symbol of peace and love.

Rajnath Singh further stated that both India and Mongolia should work in close coordination not only for progress and development of Asia but to usher peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Home Minister is on a 3-day visit to Mongolia to further strengthen India’s relations with Mongolia and security cooperation. Mongolia is seen as an important strategic partner of India and New Delhi wants to realise the huge potential of bilateral relations with Mongolia.

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 11:48:12 +0530
India is set to host thir

The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will jointly host the third Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on June 25-26 at Hotel Trident/Oberoi and NCPA, Mumbai.

The theme for this year’s meeting is *“Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration”* that will see leaders from varied organizations and levels of government to share ideas and experiences for creating a sustainable future through sound infrastructure investment. 

This year will also see the launch of the inaugural Asian Infrastructure Forum, which will gather infrastructure practitioners in a practical and project-driven discourse, focused on matching innovative finance to critical infrastructure needs.

The two-day meeting will witness the presence of top policy makers, Ministers from AIIB members, participants from partner institutions, the private sector and civil society organizations. Moreover, leading experts from a range of fields will be present to lead discussions and share insights on addressing Asia’s infrastructure gap in an environmentally and socially friendly way.

Apart from several high-ranking government officials gracing the occasion, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi will inaugurate the third Annual Meeting of AIIB on June 26, 2018. Furthermore, Mr. Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Finance Minister, and Mr. Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance will also be present during the course of the meeting, to discuss the environmental landscape of investing in infrastructure plans in India and also share an overview about the third Annual Meeting.

Industries Department, Government of Maharastra is the nodal Department, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Government of Maharashtra is the nodal agency, Confedartion of Indian Industry (CII) is the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO), Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS) is the knowledge partner, for the third Annual Meeting of AIIB.

In the run up to the Annual Meeting 2018, the Government of India has organised a number of lead up events in different cities in India from February to June 2018, aimed to stimulate debates on several important themes of infrastructure.

During the Annual Meeting, there will be several seminars that focus on topics including mobilizing finance for infrastructure, gender and infrastructure and connectivity within and beyond Asia.  There will also be Host Country Seminars on topics including the sources and instruments of financing and new technology choices and alternatives, and a panel discussion with Chief Ministers on the vision of infrastructure development in India.

The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), is also organising an exhibition “India Infrastructure Expo 2018. The objective of the exhibition is to offer companies from the public and private sector to showcase their latest solutions, technologies and offerings in the realm of infrastructure project development and delivery.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 19:00:53 +0530
PM speaks about India s l

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, today laid the foundation stone for Vanijya Bhawan, a new office complex for the Union Government’s Department of Commerce, at New Delhi. 

The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the building will be completed well within the stipulated time. He emphasized that this would be in keeping with the spirit of New India, and moving away from old practices, under which important building projects, even in the Capital, had been inordinately delayed. In this context, he mentioned the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, the Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial, the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra and the new office building for the Central Information Commission. 

He said that this is also the result of breaking silos within the working of the Government. He hoped that the new office building – Vanijya Bhawan – would further facilitate elimination of silos in India’s commerce sector. Speaking about the country’s demographic dividend, the Prime Minister said that it is our collective responsibility to fulfil the aspirations of our youth.

Talking of adoption of digital technology, the Prime Minister remarked that the land on which the new building is being constructed, was earlier occupied by the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal. This has now been replaced by the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), which has seen transactions worth Rs. 8700 crore in a short time, he added. He urged the Department of Commerce to work towards further expansion of GeM, and leverage it for the benefit of the country’s MSME sector. He also spoke of the benefits of GST, and said the Union Government is making constant efforts to create a people-friendly, development-friendly and investment-friendly environment. 

The Prime Minister mentioned various macro-economic parameters, and other indicators to explain how the India is now playing an important role in the global economy. He said India is now among the top five fin-tech countries, globally. He said subjects such as “Ease of Trading,” and “Ease of Doing Business,” are all related to “Ease of Living” in an interconnected world. 

The Prime Minister emphasized the need for an increase in exports, and said that States must be made active partners in this effort. He said the Department of Commerce must resolve to raise India’s share in total global exports to at least 3.4 percent, from the current 1.6 percent. Similarly he said, efforts must be made to raise domestic manufacturing output, to reduce imports. In this context, he gave the example of electronics manufacturing. He said the Union Government has taken a number of steps to boost domestic manufacturing.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 18:24:03 +0530
UAE Minister attends Yoga

The Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, celebrated the 4th International Yoga Day at the Umm AL Emarat park on 21st June 2018. Nearly 5,000 yoga enthusiasts including prominent personalities, diplomats from various countries, Emirati citizens, students and members from the Indian community took part in the Yoga day celebration.

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Nahyan said, "Yoga encourages us to discover additional interests and values that we might share with strangers. Yoga leads us to an understanding of others and an informed appreciation of our differences. The ministry supports and applauds events that embrace the spirit of tolerance. Tonight’s celebration of yoga is just such an event."

Welcoming the gathering of Yoga enthusiasts to 4th Yoga Day, Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri, said that the increasing popularity of Yoga throughout the world, was a testimony to its proven health benefits and yoga was a wonderful technology for holistic life and well being.. He thanked the Government of UAE for their kind support in organizing the fourth edition of Yoga Day as in all previous years.

The event had performers do Yoga postures on Arabic music as a tribute to India UAE cultural ties, a talk on the benefits of yoga by a Abu Dhabi based Russian instructor having learnt yoga in India, Desktop Yoga- a gentle and series of exercises based on yoga and designed specifically for officer goers, Power Yoga - an intense form of yoga, Integrative Yoga focusing on postures to increase integration between the left and right brain, mediation and laughter yoga.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 18:07:26 +0530
Arab coalition prepared t

The full, peaceful and unconditional withdrawal of the Houthi militia from the city and port of Hodeidah is the only route to avert worsening the situation in and around the city, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has said.

In a statement, Gargash reaffirmed that the Arab Coalition is prepared to increase pressure on the Houthis to achieve this goal.

"With the Hodeida airport now securely in the hands of the Yemeni Government, the Coalition is ready to begin the next phase of its military and humanitarian operations to liberate Hodeida and to protect the already fragile civilian population and the overall humanitarian situation," he added.

Dr. Gargash went on to say that there is now an "increased urgency" to removing the Houthis from Hodeidah city and port. "According to the UN, international aid groups, the media, civilian reports from the city and our own information, the Houthis are purposefully and deliberately seeking to create a humanitarian crisis and to exacerbate the overall conflict," he continued.

These actions include blocking the unloading of humanitarian aid from ships at Hodeida port; removing surveillance cameras in warehouses that have prevented Houthi theft and diversion of food supplies; destroying the water and sewage systems by deep digging to build berms for tanks and artillery; indiscriminately placing landmines and IEDs along roads and in civilian neighbourhoods; pre-positioning sea mines and explosive devices around the port to destroy infrastructure; and placing snipers and heavy weaponry in residential neighbourhoods, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs explained.

"The Arab Coalition will not -- and the International community should not -- allow the Houthis to hide behind, mistreat and manipulate the civilian population. We cannot allow the Houthis to divert us from the strategic goals of the operation and our collective efforts to accelerate a peaceful settlement for Yemen and all of the Yemeni people," Dr. Gargash concluded.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:31:28 +0530
Maneka Gandhi performs Yo

The Ministry of Women and Child Development celebrated 4th International Day of Yoga through various activities. The Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi attended a yoga session with pregnant women in New Delhi. The Minister interacted with the expecting mothers who shared their experiences of practising pre-natal yoga.

The Minister performed Asanas along with the pregnant women under guidance of yoga trainer so as to encourage the practice of pre-natal yoga. She emphasised on the importance of yoga for pregnant women. However, the prenatal yoga must be practised only under qualified instructors, the Minister stressed.

The Minister said that making Yoga an integral part of life has holistic benefits and it can help especially the pregnant mothers by giving the ability to stay calm and eases most physical problems during the nine months. She also added that Pranayama has been found to have exceptional benefits during pregnancy and it must be incorporated in the daily regime through all the three trimesters as it helps release negative emotions.

Speaking on the occasion after participating in the Prenatal Yoga session on the occasion of 4th International Day of Yoga, the Minister also said that regularly practising prenatal yoga can help in preparing the women’s body for normal delivery.

The Minister shared her own daily yoga routine and urged people to perform yoga for staying healthy and happy.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:12:16 +0530
India Tajikistan reaffir

India and Tajikistan have reaffirmed their commitment to promote bilateral relations and agreed to enhance economic cooperation, particularly in sustainable water development.

Nitin Gadkari, the Union   Minister for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, currently on a two-day official visit to the central Asian republic, held wide-ranging talks with Sirodjidin Muhridin, Foreign Minister of Tajikistan in Dushanbe yesterday.

The two leaders underlined the need to give further impetus to the ongoing bilateral cooperation in various fields and agreed to enhance mutual cooperation in the area of sustainable water development.

Gadkari also conveyed to the Tajikistan leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment towards expanding economic cooperation between the two countries, and said that potential for trade in commodities like sugar and milk powder may be explored.

Gadkari gave him an update on the progress of Chabahar Port which India is helping to develop in Iran and said that New Delhi would be willing to share with Tajikistan, Indian expertise in building quality infrastructure.

Sirodjidin Muhridin said India was one of Tajikistan’s reliable political and strategic partners and would also like to expand its economic ties with New Delhi.

Gadkari is in Dushanbe to represent India at the high level global conference on “International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development”.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:02:22 +0530
Indian agencies to look i

The fresh release made in the media today under ‘Panama Paper Leaks’ is being promptly looked into by the law enforcement agencies under the aegis of the Multi Agency Group (MAG) already constituted for facilitating coordinated and speedy investigation. As per the standard operating procedures in place for  investigating such cases, examining the information revealed in the media release with the disclosures made by the alleged persons in the annual returns of income filed, particularly in the foreign assets (FA) schedule, foreign remittance details etc. will be undertaken expeditiously, followed by raising of relevant queries. Subsequently, investigations in appropriate cases would be carried out to bring them to a logical conclusion.

The Panama Paper leaks were originally revealed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), on 4thApril 2016. On the same day, the Government constituted the MAG, headed by Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) as its convener, comprising representatives of the Income Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The Panama Paper leaks involving 426 persons have been investigated by the Income Tax Department and other member agencies of MAG. Since the database released by ICIJ did not contain any financial details or details of beneficial ownership, these had to be sought from foreign jurisdictions under tax treaties in most cases. After thorough investigation, involving examination of the disclosures made in the ITRs particularly the FA schedule, residential status, responses to questionnaires issued, responses received from foreign jurisdictions and details of foreign remittances made, 352 cases were found to be non-actionable.

In the 74 cases found actionable, invasive actions were taken in 62 cases with searches conducted in 50 cases, and surveys in 12 cases leading to detection of undisclosed foreign investments of about Rs.1140 crore (approx). In 16 cases criminal prosecution complaints have been filed in jurisdictional courts which are at various stages of hearing. In 32 cases notices under section 10 of the Black Money Act have been issued.

The investigations conducted in Panama Paper cases reflect the Government’s continued focus in dealing with Black Money stashed abroad.  The promptness in action is more than evident as most of the actionable cases have been effectively addressed. Though the investigating agencies faced problems of incomplete data and absence of financial information as well as not very prompt cooperation from other countries, the overall outcome has been very satisfactory. Government would like to assure that the fresh series of Panama Papers information would also be effectively addressed within a reasonable time frame. 

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:56:46 +0530
Indian scientists discove

A Team of scientists and engineers led by Prof. Abhijit Chakraborty of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, discovered a sub-Saturn or super-neputune size planet (mass of about 27 Earth Mass and size of 6 Earth Radii) around a Sun-like star. The planet will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

The Research work has appeared online in Astronomical Journal of the American Astronomical Society and published by IOP publishing (the DOI of the article is 10.3847/1538-3881 /aac436).

The discovery was made by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed “PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search” (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with 1.2m Telescope at PRL's Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India. Only 23 such planetary systems (including this discovery) are known to this date with masses between 10 and 70 Earth mass and size of 4 to 8 Earth radii with such precise measurement of mass This discovery is very important for understanding the formation mechanism of such super-Neptune or sub-Saturn kind of planets, that are too close to the host star and as well as planet formations around Sun-like stars.

With this discovery, India has joined a handful of countries, which have discovered planets around stars beyond our solar system. Further, PARAS is the first of its kind spectrograph in Asia, which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star. Very few spectrographs exist around the world that can do such precise measurements.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:43:18 +0530
Citizens must be at the c

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that local bodies should always place citizens at the centre of civic governance, adding that people’s participation in formulating and planning projects and services will improve execution and delivery of the services. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the new building of Pune Municipal Corporation, in Pune, Maharashtra.

The Vice President said that Pune has the chance to become a trailblazer in urban governance by adopting a futuristic and people-centric approach. He complimented the Municipal Corporation for issuing municipal bonds for augmenting resources to take up developmental projects in the city. He has also asked the local body to improve its credit worthiness to borrow finances from lending agencies. 

Highlighting the importance of healthy lifestyle, the Vice President suggested authorities to create non-motorized zones. Every city must have dedicated bicycle tracks, pedestrian lanes and parks, he added.

The Vice President said that local body representatives must work collectively, irrespective of political affiliations, to protect water bodies and prevent their encroachment. While expressing his appreciation at the progress made in the implementation of projects under the Smart City mission, he cautioned against cost and time overruns while executing various projects. To improve the governance in urban local bodies, a bottom up approach has to be implemented with zero tolerance towards corruption, he added.

The Vice President said that local bodies need to be provided with the three 3 Fs - Funds, Functions and Functionaries - for effective governance. He said that 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments should be implemented in letter and spirit.

The Vice President said that authorities must ensure that people get better and quality services. It should be noted that in the present digital age, citizens are seeking prompt and quick action on every complaint or petition submitted by them to the municipal authorities, he added.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:31:28 +0530
President Kovind attends

The President Ram Nath Kovind, participated in the 4th International Yoga Day celebrations in Paramaribo, Suriname along with the President of Suriname, Mr Desiré Delano Bouterse, the Vice President of Suriname, Mr Michael Ashwin Adhin and other dignitaries.

Addressing the gathering, the President said that yoga is an ancient Indian tradition, but it does not belong to India alone. It is part of humanity’s intangible heritage. Millions across the world, in every continent and among all communities, have embraced yoga and interpreted yoga in their own way. The practice of yoga has had a beneficial impact on their bodies as well as their minds. Particularly in today’s world of stresses and lifestyle diseases, yoga can help all of us.

The President said that yoga embodies the symbiotic relationship of mind and body; and of thought and action. It promotes harmony between human beings and nature, a sentiment that is so much at home in the culture of Suriname. It promotes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. The benefits of yoga must also spur us, in different countries and cultures, to explore traditional wisdom and consider how this could be useful for the modern age – or simply repackaged for our times. Many societies, including Suriname and India, have a wealth of traditional knowledge to offer.

The President said that along with Suriname and India, the fourth International Day of Yoga is being celebrated in practically every country in the world. Yoga is the ultimate expression of Indian soft power. It has won us love and affection among yoga practitioners in all corners of the planet, including in Suriname.

Later today, the President also laid the foundation stone of an Indian Cultural Centre in Paramaribo. The Indian Cultural Centre in Suriname will be dedicated to the promotion of Hindustani music and culture. Later, he will be leave for Cuba - the last leg of his visit to three nations.

The President attended a luncheon banquet hosted in his honour by the President of Suriname yesterday. He also addressed a community reception in Paramaribo.

Speaking at the banquet, the President said that Suriname is part of the “New World’’. People and ideas from far and wide have mingled in Suriname. Whoever came to these shores soon became its own. He paid his deepest respects to the people of Suriname for this togetherness. He stated that he found it a truly humbling experience to have set foot in Suriname among the celebration of the 145th Anniversary of the arrival of Indians to Suriname.

The President said that India and Suriname have an engaging relationship. There is high potential to enhance trade and investment relations between the two countries. Agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, energy and health are areas which we need to explore.

At the community reception yesterday (20.06.2018), the President said that the Hindustani community is a colourful part of the Surinamese fabric. He was happy to note that the Hindustani community has beautifully assimilated in the Surinamese society and yet, has preserved and kept their traditions and culture alive.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:26:03 +0530
Tourism ministry conducts

The Ministry of Tourism celebrated the International Day of Yoga today, with a plethora of events across the country. In New Delhi, a Yoga session has been conducted from 6:30 AM to 8:30 AM at the Qutub Minar Complex, along with a cycle rally from 6:00 AM starting from the Purana Quila.

The event was inaugurated by Meenakshi Sharma, ADG (Tourism), at the Sun Dial Lawn, Qutub Minar which saw a wide participation from public including more than 30 foreign hospitality guests.

In addition,  the Ministry through its India Tourism offices, organized Yoga sessions and Live demonstrations, across the country, at Major Tourist destinations and iconic locations like, Taj Mahal, Besant Nagar Beach Chennai, Ellora Caves Aurangabad, Sun Temple Konark, Bodhgaya, Sun Temple Konark, Ellora Caves Aurangabad, Assam, Shillong, Somnath Temple Gujarat and many more.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 17:03:56 +0530
India repatriates Pakista

India's External Affairs Ministry said that they have repatriated six Pakistani prisoners back to their country, reports Khaleej Times.

"Six Pakistani prisoners were repatriated today via Attari/Wagah border," the ministry said in a statement.

"In addition, four Pakistani prisoners have already been released and repatriated in 2018, so far," it stated.

"India attaches high priority to addressing all humanitarian issues, including early release and repatriation of Indian fishermen and prisoners in Pakistan's custody," the statement said, adding that India has secured the release of 147 Indian prisoners, including 146 fishermen, from Pakistan in 2018 so far, Khaleej Times reported.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:54:41 +0530
Fire at DRDO s HEMRL Comp

A fire broke out in one of the buildings at High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) in Pune. Immediately, the fire fighting vehicles were called and the fire was contained.

In the incident, one contractual worker was found unconscious, who was working in the building when the incident occured. He was immediately taken to HEMRL’s Medical Inspection Room, where doctor declared him dead. The body was sent to Sassoon General Hospital, Pune. An FIR has been lodged in this regard.  

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:29:46 +0530
Yoga has nothing to do w

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Yoga is a holistic approach towards health and well-being with physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions to it. Addressing the gathering while participating in the International Day of Yoga 2018 celebrations, in Mumbai today, he said that the ancient science of Yoga is India’s invaluable gift to the modern world. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Quoting Sage Patanjali who compiled the first yoga philosophy, the Vice President said that Yoga helps a person to control his or her own random thoughts and allows achieving stillness, a calmness that creates inner harmony.

The Vice President said that Yoga has nothing to do with religion and it is a holistic science embodying the basic principle of organic, interconnectedness of different facets of life. It is unfortunate that some people attribute religious overtones to this ancient scientific system, he added.

The Vice President called on people to make Yoga a part of daily routine to combat modern day health problems. He said that the time has come to introduce yoga as part of school curriculum so that India becomes a nation of healthy and happy people in the coming years.

The Vice President Yoga promotes concentration and focused attention. Apart from enhancing physical and mental agility, Yoga practice makes a person to adopt a balanced attitude towards life at all times, he added.

Outlining the importance of Yoga in daily life, the Vice President said that the worrisome trend of youngsters resorting to extreme steps like ending their lives can be curbed if they develop sense of equanimity and calmness of mind, which can be developed through yoga and meditation.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:24:12 +0530
PM performs Yoga Deliver

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that Yoga has become one of the most powerful ‘Unifying Forces’ in the world. He was addressing a huge gathering on the 4th International Yoga Day held at the Forest Research Institute campus in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Prime Minister performed Yogasan, Pranayama and Dhyan with about 50,000 yoga enthusiasts and volunteers at the Forest Research Institute campus.

“It's a proud moment for everyone that today, all over the world; people are welcoming the brightness and warmth of the sun with Yoga. From Dehradun to Dublin, from Shanghai to Chicago, and from Jakarta to Johannesburg, yoga is now spread everywhere”, Prime Minister said

Giving a clear-cut message to the Yoga enthusiasts all over the world, Prime Minister said that the entire world has embraced Yoga and the glimpses of this can be seen in the way International Day of Yoga is celebrated every year.  He further added that Yoga Day has become one of the biggest mass movements in the quest for good health and well-being.

Prime Minister said that we should not hesitate to honour our own legacy and heritage if we want the rest of the world to respect us. He said that Yoga is beautiful because it is ancient and yet modern, it is constant and yet evolving; it has the best of our past and present and provides a ray of hope for our future. 

Talking about the potential of Yoga, Prime Minister said that Yoga has a solution to most of the problems faced by people, as individuals as well as a society. He said that Yoga could lead to a calm, creative and content life, removing tensions and needless anxiety. “Instead of dividing, Yoga unites. Instead of further animosity, Yoga assimilates. Instead of increasing suffering, Yoga heals”, he added.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:00:07 +0530
Abu Dhabi Airport opens n

Abu Dhabi Airports announced the opening of Aerotel’s new airport transit sleeping facility at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. The latest addition marks the airport’s second facility that is operated by Aerotel of Plaza Premium Group.

Open 24 hours a day, the hotel offers flexible hourly booking slots which gives easy access for transit passengers seeking a quick power rest. Its offers include a 2-hour day package between 09:00 to 20:00 and a 4-hour night package available from 20:00 to 9:00.

Saoud Al Shamsi, Acting Chief Commercial Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said, "Abu Dhabi Airports’ utmost priority is to ensure a convenient, seamless journey for passengers travelling through the Abu Dhabi International Airport. With more than 20 million people transiting through the airport, the establishment of Aerotel’s new hotel facility cements Abu Dhabi Airports’ position in providing world-class solutions to best accommodate such demand."

"We look forward to strengthening our efforts with Plaza Premium Group and the rest of our partners to continuously create innovative airport services that redefines travel experiences with Abu Dhabi International Airport," Al Shamsi added.

Aerotel can also be found in Terminal 1, which presents 38 spacious rooms divided into three categories: solo room, double plus and double squared that is ideal for solo to family travelers respectively.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:27:06 +0530
Surat gets award under In

Nine awards in three categories, i.e., Project Award, Innovative Idea Award and City Award have been announced under the India Smart Cities Awards, which was launched Housing and Urban Affairs Minister.

The city award is being given to Surat for showing great momentum in implementation of projects especially in the categories of urban environment, transport and mobility and sustainable integrated development.

The Innovative Idea award is being given to a project/idea particularly remarkable for its innovative, bottom-up and transformative approach towards achievement of sustainable integrated development. Joint winners in this category are Bhopal for their Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) and Ahmedabad for Safe and Secure Ahmedabad (SASA) Project.

The Project awards are being given to most innovative and successful projects in seven categories that have been completed by April 1, 2018.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:22:14 +0530
Three day National Yoga O

Three day National Yoga Olympiad concluded at All India Council for Technical Education, VasantKunj in New Delhi. Prizes to the children of winner states were distributed by the Chief Guest on the occasion Mr. Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Eric Falt lauded the efforts of the children in performing Yoga.  He said that Yoga reaches beyond gender, culture and language. If understood correctly, it even reaches beyond age and ability and socially, it is also a great equalizer.

He said that the International Yoga Day is a great initiative of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UNESCO is proud to support it. He informed that Yoga is also inscribed since 2016 on UNESCO’s Representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. He also shared his concern around the world on education systems which are becoming overly competitive, stress-fuelled and exam-oriented. He shared anxiety on rising trends of intolerance and violent extremism on one hand and increasing levels of angst and depression among the youth on the other hand and felt that this is where Yoga comes into being.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:16:57 +0530
Shillong elected as India

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya has been selected as 100th Smart City after evaluating the proposal submitted by it. Till now, 99 smart cities had been selected in four rounds of competition and with today’s announcement, selection of 100 cities has been completed under the Smart Cities Mission.

Previously, 20 cities were selected in January 2016, 13 cities in May 2016, 27 cities in September 2016, 30 cities in June 2017 and 9 cities in January 2018.  With the selection of Shillong, the total proposed investment in the finally selected 100 cities under the Smart Cities Mission would be Rs.2,05,018 crores.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:08:46 +0530
Indian Army honours soldi

To commemorate the 'Year of  Disabled Soldier in  Line of Duty', Indian Army honoured the soldiers who have been disabled while serving the nation in a seminar on 'Physical & Mental Issues of Disabled Soldiers' organised at Manekshaw Centre. The event was attended by disabled soldiers and veterans, along with serving soldiers, officers and ladies. This event was used as an opportunity to connect with injured Indian Army bravehearts and acknowledge their service to the Nation.

DGAFMS, Lt Gen Bipin Puri delivered the welcome address for the event which was presided over by Chief of Army Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat. The COAS emphasized on the need to recognize both the physical and mental aspects of the disability and providing comprehensive care to the disabled soldiers to help them reintegrate into the society. He also highlighted various disabled-friendly initiatives that have been taken in Armed Forces Hospitals.

On the occasion, Maj DP Singh (Retd), a Kargil war veteran and celebrity blade runner also shared his experiences with the audience. Other speakers included Col Sachin Saxena, Psychiatrist from Base Hospital Delhi and Col AS Kalra, Prosthetic Surgeon from Artificial Limb Centre, Pune. They spoke about the challenges faced by disabled soldiers and discussed the very pertinent issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) that afflicts a large proportion of disabled soldiers.      

The aim of the Seminar was to provide an educative experience about the various stresses faced by the soldiers and their families, especially when a family member suffers from an injury leading to a devastating disability. A detailed account of various problems with special emphasis on effective solutions to combat them, was deliberated upon. This Seminar is one of the events which focuses to establish 'feel good' connect between disabled soldiers and the organisation and also aims to galvanise support for them.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:04:59 +0530
Air Force builds airbridg

For three months, starting 18 Jun 2018, the Indian Air Force would create an airbridge between Pithoragarh and Gunji, in an effort to airlift 1080 registered passengers to Gunji to enable them to continue their journey for the coveted annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

The requirement for the IAF to pitch in arose, when the MEA approached the MoD for air effort between the places where the connectivity was envisaged to be poor. “The IAF is ever ready to take over any task assigned by the Govt and thereafter ensures that it is executed in a most professional manner” said Air Cmde Pendse of Western Air Command, who is overlooking the operations.

The command had been chosen by Air HQ for this task, especially due to the experience its heptr pilots have in flying in mountainous terrain and landing at high altitudes, given the fact that Gunji is at an altitude of 3100 mts above the sea level.

We have deployed three MLH class of heptrs at Pithoragarh which would be carrying approximately 60-80 passengers per day said the task force commander positioned at Pithoragarh. The heptrs, from the Kirpan and Nubra Warrior units of the IAF, would be deployed for about three months catering for the return journey as well and would fly about 300 hrs in the duration of the operations.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:57:23 +0530
Modi interacts with farme

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with farmers across the country, through video bridge. Over 2 lakh Common Service Centres (CSC) and 600 Krishim Vigyan Kendras (KVK) were connected through the video dialogue. This is the seventh interaction in the series by the Prime Minister through video conference with various beneficiaries of Government schemes.

Expressing happiness in interacting with farmers from over 600 districts, Prime Minister said that farmers are the ‘Annadatas’ (food providers) of our nation. He said that the entire credit for nation’s food security should go to the farmers.

Prime Minister’s interaction with the farmers covered wide range of agricultural and allied sectors like Organic Farming, Blue Revolution, Animal Husbandry, Horticulture, Floriculture etc.

Outlining his vision for farmers overall welfare  in the country, Prime Minister said that government is working towards doubling the farmer’s income by 2022 and to provide farmers maximum price of their produce. He added that the effort is to ensure that farmers receive help during all steps of farming, from preparation of crops to its sales. He emphasized that Government is keen on ensuring minimal cost of raw material, providing fair value for the produce, stopping wastage of the produce and ensuring alternate sources of income for the farmers.

He said that the Government is committed that farmers should feel that from ‘Beej Se Bazaar’ (Seed to Market), how various initiatives helped the farmers to improve traditional farming.

During the interaction, Prime Minister expressed delight in the collective strength displayed by the farmers through the formation of Farmer Producer Group and FPO (Farmer Producer Organisation), enabling them to get agricultural inputs at  low cost and marketing their produce effectively.  In the past 4 years, 517 Farmer Producer Organizations have been created and income tax exemption has been granted to Farmer Producer Companies, to encourage cooperatives amongst farmers.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:51:17 +0530
Vice President to attend

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will participate as Chief Guest at the International Yoga Day 2018 Celebrations being held at Bandra Reclamation Sealink Promenade, Mumbai.

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis will also attend the event which is being organized by a voluntary organization from Mumbai.

Recognizing that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being, the United Nations has proclaimed June 21 as International Day of Yoga. Since the first International Day of Yoga held on June 21, 2015, the event is being celebrated in many countries across the world every year to raise awareness on the benefits of practicing Yoga.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:46:00 +0530
President arrives in Suri

The President Ram Nath Kovind, reached Suriname on the second leg of his State Visit to three countries – Greece, Suriname and Cuba. This is the first ever visit of an Indian President to Suriname. The President was received at the Johan Adolf Pengel International airport, Paramaribo by Mr Desire Delano Bouterse, the President of the Republic of Suriname, along with other dignitaries and accorded a ceremonial welcome. Subsequently, the President paid his tributes at the Gandhi statue in the city. 

The President addressed the National Assembly of Suriname. He became the first foreign Head of State to address the National Assembly of Suriname.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Suriname is an obvious partner for India as we seek to build on our already considerable trade, investment and cultural relations with Latin America and the Caribbean region.

The President stated that climate change is an international concern and a foreign policy issue. He commended Suriname for its enlightened approach on climate change. He said that India is proud to have Suriname as a co-partner in the International Solar Alliance. He thanked Suriname for ratifying its entry into the ISA. He stated that this will allow us to collaborate on solar energy projects that will be of benefit to Surinamese people and our planet.

The President said that it is not just in the field of renewable energy that India would want to partner Suriname. India is happy to share its developmental experiences with Suriname, as per Suriname’s needs, desires and priorities.

The President was happy to note that young people in Suriname are making increasing use of facilities available under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme. He stated that we have also signed an agreement on the formal linkage of the Suriname Diplomatic Institute and the Foreign Service Institute of India. This will facilitate the training of Surinamese diplomats in Information and Communication Technology, in e-diplomacy and in diaspora diplomacy.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:42:16 +0530
Yoga unifies world say

Yoga became a force that unifies the world, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi while he was speaking on the sidelines of the fourth International Yoga Day.

"The link between the brain, body and the soul of a human being in this rapidly changing world happens through Yoga. Thus the feeling of peace passes through us", says Modi.

Modi, along with 50000 people, demonstrated Yoga at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun. The first Yoga day was conducted on 2015 June 21 at the Rajpath in New Delhi with an attendance of 30000 people.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:32:43 +0530
Governor to take charge i

The Jammu & Kashmir state turns into Governor's rule once again as the President signed in the recommendation of union home ministry to impose governor's rule in the state. The Governor will take charge in Kashmir after three years.

The state was placed under Governor's rule a day after the BJP decided to ended its partnership with chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party (PDP).

BJP's decision to stay away from the PDP alliance is a determined move to make gains from the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The BJP alleges that the lack of peace in the state is due to the unnecessary actions of PDP.

The centre had grudgingly gone along with Mehbooba Mufti's idea of a unilateral ceasefire for the month of Ramzan as a peace initiative. The union Home Ministry assesses that instead of letting up, terrorists backed by Pakistan, seized the chance to intensify attacks, reports NDTV.

The centre's refusal to extend the ceasefire was seen as the straw that broke an alliance already weighed down by the conflicting ideologies of alliance partners BJP and PDP.Over the past three years of the BJP-PDP rule, the rift widened amid disagreements over the handling of the aftermath of Hizbul-Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani's killing, the gang-rape and killing of an eight-year-old in Kathua and the Ramzan ceasefire, NDTV reported.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:46:53 +0530
Kuwait oil price declines

The price of Kuwait oil went down by US$3.09 on Monday and settled at US$69.95 per barrel (pb), compared to US$73.04 pb last Thursday, said Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

According to the Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, the price of Brent Blend went up by 1.5 percent to US$74.53 pb, while future contracts of the West Texas Intermediate were up 0.3 percent to US$65.08 pb.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:32:11 +0530
Arab Coalition Forces Ye

The Saudi-led Arab Coalition Forces, with the Joint Yemeni Resistance Forces, have successfully gained control of large parts of Hodeidah Airport in a qualitative and surprising military operation that destroyed the defences of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias, amid the escape of a large number of militias, and the killing of dozens under a barrage of fire.

The Joint Resistance Forces succeeded in taking full control of the village of al-Manzar, west of Hodeidah airport - where the Houthi militias were holed up - in precise and decisive strikes that confused their ranks and exhausted their military capabilities.

The Joint Yemeni Resistance Forces captured dozens of Houthi gunmen who were holed up behind walls of Hodeidah airport and inside buildings in severe and painful blow to Houthi militias and their leaders. Dozens of Houthi gunmen were killed, including field commanders during the raid of the Yemeni Resistance Forces on the Hodeidah Airport.

The engineering teams affiliated with the Arab Coalition and the Joint Resistance began clearing Hodeidah airport and its surrounding from mines and improvised explosive devices planted by the Houthis indiscriminately in attempts to delay the advance of troops inside the airport.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:27:16 +0530
SAIL supplies steel for W

Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has supplied around 60,000 tonnes of steel material for the 111-km-long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway project in Manipur. SAIL has supplied TMT rebars and structural along with HR Plates and Sheets, Plate Mill Plates for this project. SAIL has been supplying the materials produced in its state-of-the-art new mills at Durgapur, IISCO, Rourkela and Bokaro  plants.

The project was taken up in 2008 and was declared a National Project.

It involves the construction of 111-km long broad gauge railway line which includes 9 stations at Dolakhal, Kaimai Road, Kambiron, Thingou, Khongsang, Noney Tupul, Haochang Road and Imphal, 148 bridges & 45 tunnels, of which tunnel No. 12 is 11.55-km long, making it India’s longest tunnel.

The project is being developed in two sections. The first section involves the construction of 84 kms of railway line connecting Jiribam to Tupul which is on the verge of completion. The second section of 27 kms connecting Tupul to Imphal is expected to be completed by 2019. Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is undertaking the construction of the project.

In addition to this, a bridge is being constructed near Noney which will become the tallest girder rail bridge in the world. At 141 metres, the bridge over river Iring  will be as high as two Qutub Minar’s stacked on top of each other.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:11:44 +0530
India s learning institut

The Union Human Resource Development Minister, Prakash Javadekar launched the new digital initiative of HRD Ministry ‘National Digital Library of India’ on the occasion of National Reading Day in New Delhi. This National Digital Library of India (NDLI) is a project of the Ministry of Human Resource Development under the aegis of National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT). The objective of NDL is to make digital educational resources available to all citizens of the country to empower, inspire and encourage learning. National Digital Library of India is developed by IIT Kharagpur.

NDL is the Single Window Platform that collects and collates metadata from premier learning institutions in India and abroad, as well as other relevant sources. It is a digital repository containing textbooks, articles, videos, audio books, lectures, simulations, fiction and all other kinds of learning media.

Speaking on the occasion Minister said that a new era of Digital India has begun as we dedicate this Digital Library to the Nation. He said that the National Digital Library is a 24x7 ubiquitous knowledge resource that is accessible to anyone with internet access and it is built to enable the rise of Digital India. The Minister said that anybody can access the digital library anytime and anywhere absolutely free of cost and will contribute greatly to the Government’s commitment towards “Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat”.

NDLI can be accessed through www.ndl.gov.in

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:05:14 +0530
India s National Health P

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare released the National Health Profile (NHP)-2018 prepared by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI). The E-book (digital version) of the annual document was also released.

The National Health Profile covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators, along with comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health. At the function, J P Nadda also launched the National Health Resource Repository (NHRR) - Country’s first ever national healthcare facility registry of authentic, standardized and updated geo-spatial data of all public and private healthcare establishments. 

Speaking at the function, Nadda stated that the Health Profile is a very important tool as it has helped in designing various programmes. He cited the examples of initiatives like Free Drugs and Diagnostics and Mission Parivar Vikas that have benefitted from the Health Profiles.

Nadda further said that  India has made substantial progress on several indicators in the recent years and stated that its national health indicators like Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Maternity Rate (MMR) and Total Fertility Rate (TFR) are declining faster a than the world pace. The Union Health Minister added that India has shown impressive gains with 22% reduction in Maternal Mortality since 2013. “We must also appreciate that Uttar Pradesh with 30% decline has topped the chart in the reduction of Maternal Deaths,” he said.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:59:19 +0530
India s quest for provid

India’s quest for providing best quality begins with identifying standards, stated Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry. He was speaking at the 5th National Standards Conclave - Implementing the Indian National Strategy for Standardization, being held in New Delhi, organized by Department of Commerce and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Speaking at the event, the Minister said that unless products are standardised it becomes difficult to market them. Standardisation boosts both exports as well as domestic economic growth by enabling realisation of value of product and services and consumers will be the biggest beneficiary.

Two reports were also released by the Minister, Indian National Strategy for Standardization (INSS) and CII-ASL Study on TBT/SPS Notifications. INSS is the result of the combined efforts of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and industry stakeholders. It provides a vision for the country to achieve the highest quality standards in production and distribution of goods and services in an attempt to reclaim Brand India. The INSS report addresses four broad pillars of Quality Ecosystem: (i) Standards Development (ii) Conformity Assessment and Accreditation (iii) Technical Regulations and SPS Measures (iv) Awareness and Education.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:54:27 +0530
India assures support to

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh met his Nepalese counterpart Mr. Chakra Pani Khanal, Minister for Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives in New Delhi and assured him of India’s support to further Nepal’s agriculture sector.

Singh said both countries are largely agrarian and agriculture has been identified by the two sides as an important area of bilateral cooperation for which we are committed to support Nepal.

In the inaugural Ministerial meeting of India-Nepal “New Partnership in Agriculture”, the two Ministers discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in the agriculture sector such as agricultural research and education, arrangement for supply of fertilizers, mutual recognition of inspection, testing and certification system, trade facilitation measures, strengthening livestock services, veterinary research and development facilities, and promoting exchanges between the India Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC).

The Agriculture Minister also expressed happiness that a pilot project on organic farming and soil health for implementation by India in Nepal has also been finalized.

Singh further added that India will be happy to share with Nepal its experiences in implementing new initiatives for enhancing agricultural productivity and welfare of farmers. Initiatives like Soil Health Card, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, eNAM, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna etc. have been yielding positive results, he said, expressing hope that the visiting delegation gained fruitful knowledge that will help improve the respective areas of agriculture and allied sectors in Nepal.

Mr. Chakra Pani Khanal, Minister for Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives, Nepal, who is on a five day visit from June 19-23, 2018, will visit Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa and National Centre of Organic Farming, Ghaziabad.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:50:29 +0530
Modi to interact with far

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact directly with farmers across the country through video bridge at 9.30am tomorrow. The interaction will provide an opportunity to hear directly from the farmers.

 Initiatives related to doubling the farmer’s income will also be discussed. It will be broadcast directly by Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s, Common Service Centres (CSC), Doordarshan, DD Kissan and Aakashvaani from all over the country. About 2 lakh Common Service Centres and 600 Krishi Vigyan Kendras will be connected through the video bridge. People will also be able to interact with the Prime Minister through “Narendra Modi App”.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:44:21 +0530
India is committed to wo

The President Ram Nath Kovind addressed a gathering of diplomats, policymakers and academics in Athens on the subject “India and Europe in a Changing World”. The event was organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) – a leading foreign policy think tank in Greece and in Europe.

The President said that India is committed to world peace. He said that India sees peace not just as the absence of conflict but as a reflection of sustainable development and indeed of any effort that anticipates and prevents strife and suffering. When we work for combating climate change, we contribute to world peace. When we assist other developing countries, as per their priorities, and strive for a less unequal world we contribute to world peace. When we rescue and evacuate not just our own citizens from troubled regions, but those of 40 other countries – as we did during the Yemen crisis of 2015 – we contribute to world peace. When we put considerable troops and resources at the disposal of United Nations peacekeeping operations, we contribute to world peace.

President said that radicalisation and terrorism are pressing global concerns. Pockets of instability and extremism can be found in the region to Europe’s east and India’s west. They are a worry for both Europe and India. Promotion of terrorism by state and non-state actors; extremism in a variety of forms and rooted in senseless hate; the proliferation of sensitive weapons; the use of regular communication and financial channels by terror groups – these pose a challenge to not one nation or the other but to all humanity.

The President said that India and the EU must persuade the world to not distinguish between so-called “good” and “bad” terrorists, to shame and sanction state sponsors of terrorism, and to strengthen multilateral platforms such as the Financial Action Task Force and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. He expressed India’s willingness to share its domestic experiences and success stories in a manner that may be useful to EU.

On clean energy and climate change, the President said that India and the EU are united in their commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement. India is scaling up the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix. This will go up from the current 31 per cent to 53 per cent by 2027. We are targeting 175 gigawatts of renewable energy, of which 100 gigawatts will be solar energy, he said. The President invited Greece to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA). He also expressed happiness at the European Investment Bank’s willingness to mobilise finance for affordable solar energy projects in ISA member countries.

The EU is among India’s largest trading partners. President said that EU is a critical source of investment and technology, especially for sustainability programmes. Indian companies are significant investors in the EU, in industries as far apart as pharmaceuticals and automobile components. President Kovind said that India remains committed to an India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), to be achieved in a generous spirit of mutual accommodation and of pragmatism.

Earlier in the day, the President addressed the India – Greek Business Forum meeting in Athens.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India-Greek bilateral trade at US Dollars 530 million is way below its potential. With some efforts this can easily be made to cross US Dollars 1 billion in the next few years and India is keen to take lead in this effort.

The President said that there are clear complementarities between the Indian and Greek economies. He urged Greek shipping, agriculture, food processing, tourism, infrastructure, technology, defence and Start-up companies to look at investment and technology tie-up openings in India. He stated that there are lucrative opportunities for the Greek Shipping Industry in India's ambitious Sagarmala project. He also touched upon the opportunities to collaborate in defence manufacturing, pharma, tourism, real-estate, entertainment, infrastructure and technology sectors as well.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:39:56 +0530
India hosts European Unio

Minister of State (I/C) for Information & Broadcasting and Sports & Youth Affairs, Rajyavardhan Rathore inaugurated the European Union Film Festival dfd. Amit Khare, Secretary Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India; Mr. Raimund Magis, Deputy head of Delegation of the European Union to India; Ms. Katarina Tomkova, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Slovak Republic; Producer of the opening Slovakian film Little Harbour Ms. Katarina Krnacova, Additional Director General, Directorate of Film Festival  Chaitanya Prasad and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. The opening ceremony was followed by the screening of Slovakian movie “Little Harbour”.

Speaking on the occasion, Rajyavardhan Rathore said that the charm in watching the film is in seeing the story as well as meeting people and that is the essence of film festival. Though people across the border vary by skin color, culture they are one people. He also said that watching films breaks these barriers and story gets communicated to people of any country. He said that even if language of the film is not understood the emotion in the film is understood through the body language.

Background:

The European Union Film Festival 2018 brings to the city a selection of some of the finest and most riveting films coming out of Europe today. With a selection of 24 latest European films from 23 EU Member States, this years' film festival brings some unusual stories for the world cinema enthusiasts. The European Union Film Festival is organized by Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India partnering with the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in various city film clubs.

The festival will traverse through 11 cities in India including New Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair, Pune, Puducherry, Kolkata, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Thrissur, Hyderabad and Goa from 18th June till 31st August. Celebrating diversity, the EUFF will screen movies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

As a special attraction this year, audience, students and filmmakers will get an opportunity to interact with Katarína Krnáčová (Slovakian producer), Paula Ortiz (Spanish Director), Salvatore Alloca (Italian Director), Yannis Korris (Greek Director), Douglas Boswell (Belgium Director) and Ádám Fekete (Hungarian Actor) who are travelling to India for the festival. Indian actress Neena Kulkarni who has worked in the Luxembourg movie being screened at the film festival will be attending the festival in Goa.

23rd European Film Festival has some unusual stories to tell: the lines of reality are blurred when the cyber world comes to life; a play done by a motley cast of antiheroes provides an opportunity for redemption; a man stuck in an unhappy marriage practices unusual ways to assert his freedom; a music critic finds his father irksome when they both begin to compete for the attention of an attractive psychotherapist; and three Kurdish siblings come together unexpectedly in a hair-raising journey during which they are pursued by angry relatives. These are just some of the curious themes of the European Union Film Festival of 2018.

Paula Ortiz (Spanish Director), Salvatore Alloca (Italian Director) will be present during their respective movie screenings. 

The award winning film Little Harbour is inspired by true events about two children whose innocent play changes their lives forever. It's a story of children who feel safer in the streets than at home, about children seeking out sturdy lifeboats that cross between the world of fantasy and the harsh reality of life. The ten year old Jarka lives with her mother, who is not yet ready to be a Mum. She spends most of her time alone. Pushed by her desire for love and to form a fully functional family, she finds herself substituting as a mother to two babies.

Film will be with English subtitles. Entry will be allowed for 18+ and will be on a first come, first served basis.

The films to be screened at the EUFF are - The Magic of Children (Austria); Labyrinthus (Belgium) Viktoria (Bulgaria); Cowboys (Croatia); Boy on the Bridge (Cyprus); Tiger Theory / Teorie Tygra (Czech Republic); Walk with me / De Standhaftige  (Denmark);  Land of Mine / Under Sandet (Denmark) The Man Who Looks Like Me / Minu Näoga Onu (Estonia); Unexpected Journey (Finland); 9 Month Stretch / 9 Mois Ferme (France); House without Roof / Haus ohne Dach (Germany); Kissing? / Ontos Filiounte? (Greece); Kills on Wheels (Hungary); Taranta on the Road (Italy); The Lesson / Izlaiduma Gads (Latvia); When You Wake Up (Lithuania); A Wedding / Noces (Luxembourg); Letter for the King (Netherlands)A Brave Bunch (Poland); Mother Knows Best (Portugal); Little Harbour / Piata loď (Slovakia); The Bride / La Novia(Spain) and Eternal Summer (Sweden).

Synopsis of the movies to be screened

Schedule of the movies in New Delhi

Profiles of the visiting Directors / Producers / Actors

About the European Union (EU):

The EU, which consists of 28 countries, has the world's largest economy and its third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are all committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They have set up common institutions so that decisions on matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level. By creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro) which has been adopted by 19 Member States, the EU has given a significant boost to trade and employment. It is also at the forefront of policies on sustainability.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:26:50 +0530
Govt to team up with Goog

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari has expressed hope that collaboration with Google will help in effective flood management in India. Central Water Commission (CWC), India’s apex technical organization in the field of Water Resources, has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Google.

CWC would use state-of-the-art advances made by Google in the in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and geo spatial mapping for effective management of water resources particularly in the field of flood forecasting and dissemination of flood related information to the masses widely using the dissemination platforms developed by Google. This initiative is likely to help crisis management agencies to deal extreme hydrological events   in a better manner.

Under this Agreement, CWC and Google will share technical expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, geospatial mapping and analysis of hydrological observation data to collaborate on (i) improving flood prediction systems, which will help provide location-targeted, actionable flood warnings,  (ii)  high priority research project utilizing Google Earth Engine to help visualize and improve flood management and (iii) a cultural project to build online exhibitions on the Rivers of India .

The Ministry had earlier launched an ambitious programme ‘National Hydrology Project’ (NHP) during the year 2016-17. NHP is a World Bank assisted central sector scheme with pan India coverage. The objective of National Hydrology Project is to improve the extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources information, decision support system for floods and basin level resource assessment/planning and to strengthen the capacity of targeted water resources professionals and management institutions in India.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:14:17 +0530
Union Home Minister calls

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh cautioned against the new challenges being posed by crimes in the cyberspace and called for effective measures to improve cyber security. In a review meeting in the Ministry of Home Affairs, he expressed concern over the misuse of social media for illegal activities and directed to strengthen the capabilities of law enforcement agencies to be able to meet the challenges posed by it.

Rajnath Singh appreciated the efforts made in expediting security clearance for proposals in sensitive sectors and noted with satisfaction that the average duration for the clearance of a proposal has come down to 53 days compared to 120 days four years ago. He directed to further reduce the clearance time by making use of online systems in coordination with administrative Ministries for processing the proposals. This would further improve efficiency and monitoring.

While expressing concern over rising misuse of internet for circulating child pornography and other obscene material, the Home Minister directed to expedite the launch of online cybercrime reporting portal. This will enable affected people in States/Union Territories to lodge complaints which will be investigated by the respective law enforcement agencies and action taken for removal of such content.

 

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:11:16 +0530
Modi to attend Yoga demon

On the occasion of 4th International Yoga Day, 2000 CAPFs personnel will participate in the function which will be held at Forest Research Institute (FRI) Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also participate in this event. In Lucknow, 2,000 CAPFs personnel (SSB/CRPF/ITBP) will participate in Yoga Demonstration in which the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will participate.

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has been designated as the Nodal Force for coordination among CAPFs for Mass Yoga Demonstration at Dehradun. The ITBP troops will also participate in Yoga sessions at various locations across the country. Border Out Posts (BOPs) of the Force across the Himalayan border will also observe the day with active participation of Himveers at high altitude areas. Apart from this, ITBP jawans will take part in Yogabhyas being organised in different cities of J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. 

In Delhi, Yoga demonstration is being organised by NDMC at Rajpath and CISF being the Nodal force for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) of said function will coordinate with concerned authorities of NDMC for participation of 1,000 CAPF personnel. About 2,000 CAPF’s women personnel (700 CRPF, 600 CISF, 300 BSF, 200 ITBP, 150 SSB and 50 Assam Rifles) will do Yoga at Red Fort on 21st June 2018. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has been designated as Nodal Force to conduct Yoga demonstrations in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.  Also, in-situ Yoga will be performed at all CISF Units, Reserve Battalions, Training Institutions & Office establishments by following the Common Yoga Protocol. The Mobile App. Named ‘Yoga Locator’, launched by Ministry of AYUSH, which provides ongoing details of Yoga activities in surrounding areas, is being downloaded by all CISF Units/field formations for availing the facility.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:03:18 +0530
IAF MI 17 uses Bambi Buck

A Mi-17 V5 Helicopter of the Indian Air force was requisitioned on 17 Jun 2018 for dousing the flames on a merchant vessel MV SSL on the shores of Sunderbans. The Helicopter carried out Bambi bucket operations from Franzergunj Harbour helipad in West Bengal.

The Helicopter flew offshore and located the ship engulfed in flames. After ascertaining the wind pattern and point of impact of water, the fire was doused with
15000 litres of water carried in 6 shuttles with a Bambi bucket. The crew displayed great professionalism and dropped the water with pin-point accuracy over the exact location of fire. The operations by IAF Mi-17 V5 Helicopter controlled the massive fire and fully doused it within a short period of time.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:56:30 +0530
Global trading system mus

Services trade is growing faster than merchandise and such dynamic changes need to be captured in the global trading system, stated Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation. He was speaking at the 6th Growth Net Summit, being held in New Delhi, organized by Ananta Center and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with Smadja&Smadja.

Services trade requires movement of people, unlike merchandise trade, said the Minister. He stated that India is aiming at a $5 trillion economy by year 2026-27 and goods and services exports are targeted at $1 trillion of this. Over the last year, goods and services exports grew by over 12%, he noted.

The government is working on a comprehensive strategy to boost services exports and $1 billion will be spent to promote 12 champion services sectors. For the first time, a strategy of products in new markets is being developed. Exports are also being promoted in regions like Africa, Latin America and Central Asia, added the Minister.

Noting that the World Trade Organisation was created as part of a rules-based, multilateral, democratic and participatory institution for expanding global trade, he said that countries have recognized the value of global trade for fostering growth and creating jobs. India is working with other countries to ensure that WTO remains relevant, he said.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:48:47 +0530
President cements India G

The President Ram Nath Kovind, who is on a State visit to Greece began his formal engagements. He met his counterpart, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos at the Presidential Mansion where he was accorded a ceremonial welcome prior to the meeting.

During his meeting with the Greek President and the delegation level talks, President Kovind emphasized the age-old civilizational ties between the two nations. The President said that India and Greece shared values of democracy, rule of law and multi-cultural ethos, and these have added depth to our bilateral and multilateral engagements. The President expressed that India was keen to deepen the ongoing co-operation with Greece especially in political and economic fields.

President Kovind highlighted India’s commitment to promote trade and investment engagement between the two nations. He stated that bilateral trade between the two countries of US dollar 530 million was below potential and more efforts must be made to expand and diversify trade between the two countries. He informed the Greek delegation that India had accepted the invitation to participate in the prestigious Thessaloniki International Fair, 2019 as the “Honoured Country”.

He also apprised the Greek delegation of the steps taken by India to improve business climate in the country and said that India wished to collaborate with the Greek companies to become partners in the growth story of India. In particular, India could benefit from expertise of Greece in areas such as Shipping, Food and Dairy, and Tourism. On the other hand Indian companies especially in the areas of pharma, IT, agriculture, real estate, infrastructure and start-ups are keen to establish presence in Greece.

India also thanked Greece for its support for India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council and for membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

On the subject of India-Greece cultural ties, the President said that as two ancient civilizations that have interacted with each other for centuries, we have a deep cultural understanding of each other. He also said that the two countries should work together to develop Greek and Indian traditional medicinal practices as healthcare options for people.

After the delegation level talks, the President also met the Prime Minister of Greece Mr Alexis Tsipras and the two leaders discussed different issues of mutual interest to both nations. Later, Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Leader of Opposition of the Hellenic Republic also called on the President.

During the day, three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed- (i) the MoU between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and National Quality Infrastructure System/Hellenic Organization for Standardization on Cooperation in the Fields of Standardization; (ii) MoU between Foreign Service Institute (FSI), India and Diplomatic Academy, Greece on Cooperation in Diplomatic Training and (iii) the Programme of Cultural Cooperation for the year 2018-2020.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:38:00 +0530
Govt sanctions special f

Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore has sanctioned a special financial assistance of Rs.5 lakhs to former International Archer & Arjun Awardee Limba Ram. 

Limba Ram, who is suffering from neuro generative disease or neurological illness is undergoing treatment at Jaipur. He is working for the State Government of Rajasthan and is in receipt of salary beyond the ceiling of Rs.4 lakhs fixed under the scheme of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons.

The Minister in his capacity as Chairperson of the Fund, has relaxed the condition and by invoking the discretionary clause sanctioned Rs.5 Lakhs considering that his widowed mother, widowed sister and her children, widowed mother-in-law and unemployed brother are dependent on him. 

Earlier, on getting the news of Limba Ram’s admission in a hospital, the Minister had deputed a team of officers to visit and enquire if any assistance is required.  The sanctioned amount is based on the report of this Committee.  The Minister has also asked his officers to regularly visit him and update on his health.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 18:29:33 +0530
Indian Army observes 2018

To honour soldiers who have been disabled in line of duty, while serving the Nation and to celebrate the undying spirit of ‘Soldiering’, Indian Army is observing the year 2018 as the ‘Year of Disabled Soldiers in Line of Duty’. The primary focus is towards alleviating the sufferings of these soldiers, who have done their duty with utmost dedication to the Nation and have been disabled for the life.

The endeavour this year is to provide a onetime financial assistance to disabled soldiers who have been boarded out from service on medical grounds and are rendered non-employable due to their medical or physical conditions.

Indian Army recognizes the inherent stress and strain on such soldiers & their dependents and has well established rehabilitation programmes and beneficiary schemes but these require to be reinforced. The Government is considering proposal of major grant to establish a separate fund which can be further enhanced by contributions from individuals, establishments and corporate sector thus facilitating meaningful initiatives for disabled soldiers. 

Indian Army plans to create awareness on organizational support available to soldiers and their dependents with respect to medical, rehabilitation, various beneficiary schemes of Central and State Governments, vocational opportunities and assistance for their placement. Indian Army also plans to showcase talent of disabled soldiers by organizing sports and physical activities, cultural events and their art exhibitions. These disabled soldiers have inspiring deeds behind them, hence, it is planned to felicitate them along with selected organizations which dedicate in their rehabilitation.

Management of disabled soldiers is an onerous responsibility. Indian Army plans to galvanise due support for the unemployable disabled soldier, his wife and his family with initial financial support to ensure a life of dignity through partially-funded entrepreneurship venture.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 18:24:22 +0530
PM to interact with farme

For the first time, Prime Minister is going to have a direct dialogue with farmers across the country, in which various initiatives related to doubling the income of farmers by 2022 will also be discussed. This was stated by Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the farmers of the country on June 20, 2018, at 9:30 am. It will be broadcast directly by Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s, Common Service Centers (CSC), Doordarshan, DD Kissan and Aakashvaani from all over the country. People will also be able to interact with Prime Minister through “Narendra Modi App”.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 17:51:54 +0530
Vice President visits Vaj

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, along with his family members, visited the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and enquired about the health condition of former Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, who is undergoing treatment there.

The Vice President spoke to the family members of Vajpayee at the hospital. He was also briefed by the doctors on the condition of the former Prime Minister.

The doctors informed the Vice President that Vajpayee’s condition was stable and that he was improving. He was admitted to AIIMS on June 11 with urinary tract infection.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 17:44:39 +0530
Air Chief Marshal confers

The blue skies of Air Force Academy turned vibrant with a colourful march-past by the passing out Cadets on the ground and amazing aerobatics in the air by various aircraft of Indian Air Force, which marked the momentous occasion of the graduation of 113 Flight Cadets as Flying Officers of the Indian Air Force which included 13 women officers.

The ceremony also marked commissioning of another woman fighter pilot, Flying Officer Meghana Shanbough, in the IAF. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) graced the solemn ceremony as the Chief Guest and reviewed the Combined Graduation Parade.   

A total number of 113 Flight Cadets including 13 women cadets were commissioned as Flying Officers, at their alma-mater, the Air Force Academy, the ‘Cradle of IAF Leadership’ that has moulded generations of prodigious aviation leaders.  It was also indeed a proud moment for 80 young pilots, 06 navigators and 27 ground duty officers who earned their coveted ‘Wings and Brevets’, along with 06 officers of Indian Navy and 05 officers of Indian Coast Guard on successful completion of their flying training.  

The CAS gave away various awards to the Flying Officers who had excelled in their training.  Flying Officer Tarun Nair from the Flying branch was awarded President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff ‘Sword of Honour’ for standing first in Overall Merit in Pilot Course. Flying Officer Abhishek Bajpai and Flying Officer Banti were awarded President’s Plaque for being first in overall merit in Navigation and Ground Duty branches respectively.

The grand event was witnessed by esteemed guests who included proud parents of the graduating trainees, various military and civilian dignitaries and few foreign Defence Attaches. The ceremony began with the sky diving by the ‘Akash Ganga’ Team, enthralling the spectators by dotting the skies of Dundigal with tri- colours and precise landing right in front of them in the parade square. Spectators were held spellbound by the spectacular movements of the Air Warriors Drill Team, the ‘Nishan Toli’ marching-past with the ‘President’s Colours’ of the Academy and impressive Parade by the graduating trainees. The spectators were awestruck by the breath-taking aerobatics of highly experienced and skilled pilots of Suryakiran Aerobatic team, ‘Sarang’ the Helicopter Aerobatics Team, and PC 7 MK-II of the IAF.

The Reviewing Officer was accorded ceremonial salute by the Cadets followed by an impressive march past.  The highpoint of the parade was the ‘Pipping Ceremony’. The Flight Cadets were awarded their ‘Stripes’ (Air Force rank) by the Chief Guest, the AOC-in-C Training Command and Commandant, Air Force Academy.  They were then administered the ‘Oath of Service’ (the Pledge) by the Commandant of the Academy in the presence of the Chief Guest, Parents and other dignitaries.

Later, addressing the Parade, the Chief of Air Staff complimented the newly Commissioned ‘Flying Officers’ for an exceptional standard of parade.  Congratulating the passing-out Cadets the Air Chief said, “It is a matter of pride and honour to review the Combined Graduation Parade and welcome the fine men and women into the Indian Air Force as Military Aviation leaders”. Keeping in view the changing geo-political and strategic environment and varied security challenges faced by India, he urged the young officers to remain in heightened state of preparedness by dynamically adapting to the continuously changing environment. While bringing out that our country is going through a transformational shift to continuously modernise its forces, he told them to widen their horizon and keep pace with the swiftly advancing technology to exploit the true potential of the Aerospace Power. He advised the Cadets to focus on the core values of the IAF- Mission, Integrity and Excellence and to be an inspiration for today’s young generation through selfless service and devotion to duty.He also reminded the Cadets that the task cut out for the Defence forces is painstakingly challenging one and the task of IAF is to defend our aerospace in addition to supporting the people by providing them succor in times of natural calamities. He told the newly commissioned officers that they must serve as role models to the men under their command and hence they must keep themselves mentally agile, physically fit and professionally updated. In conclusion, he exhorted the newly Commissioned Officers to constantly strive to improve their professional qualifications and expand skill levels failing which they will become outdated.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 09:03:28 +0530
Indian Navy Anchors Burni

In a daring and complex operation, a Seaking 42 C helicopter from the   Eastern Naval Command winched down  one MARCO officer on the ill-fated  merchant vessel SSL KOLKATA which had been on fire since the last two days and abandoned by the 22 crew members on 14 Jun18 off the Sagar Island at the mouth of the Ganges Delta.

The Marine Commando Officer ascertained the conditions in the forward part of the ship and later called in the helicopter to lower onbord three crew members of the ship.   The team managed to drop the starboard anchor from the ship to prevent her from drifting any further.

Thereafter the team prepared the seamanship gear for the ship to be towed if required.

The LIVE nature of the threat was evident from the explosion onboard in the forenoon which restarted the fire.

The helo skillfully recovered all four members of the team and is returning base for turnaround.

Earlier, VAdm Karambir Singh , Flag Officer Commanding- in-Chief Eastern Naval Command had directed that the ship drift towards the Sundarbans delta had to be stopped at all costs notwithstanding the high temperatures onboard to avoid an ecological disaster should the ship capsize on the sandbanks causing pollution from oil on board.

Accordingly, a Seaking 42C helicopter and a Dornier aircraft weredespatched from Visakhapanam  with a core  team comprising divers, Marcos, shipwrights and seamanship specialists to stage through the IAF airbase at Kalaikonda.

Simultaneously, the Naval Officer-in-charge West Bengal laised with the officials of the DG Shipping, ICG, KOPT, the ship owners, Agents and Salvage specialists at Kolkata and kept them informed of the plans.

INS Kadmat which was exercising in the Bay of Bengal on 15 Jun 18 was   directed to proceed at best speed and arrived on site at first light this morning ie 16 Jun 18 to augment the on site support wherein the ICG ships were also standing by.

The operation this morning has successfully managed to arrest further drift of the ship to enable salvage operations by the company.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:58:19 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that development and environment need not be antithetical to each other, but must foster a complementary and symbiotic relationship. He was interacting with the research scholars, students and faculty of the North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh today. 

The Vice President said that institutes like NERIST have a special responsibility to take the lead in developing environment-friendly technologies in the wake of climate change and its adverse impact. He further said that all scientific endeavors must aim at finding solutions to the problems faced by the society. Science has no meaning if it does not the touch the lives of the people. Scientists and technocrats cannot remain in ivory towers, he added.

The Vice President said that teachers have a major role to play in helping the students strike a healthy balance - while making proper use of technology. Their collective energies have to be channelized towards making technology a potent tool for intervention in bridging the developmental gaps, he added.

Complementing the NERIST for adopting a modular pattern of education, the Vice President said that employability ratio of our engineering and management graduates remains a cause of concern.

The Vice President advised the young graduates and youth of the state to make full use of the skill development programme run by the government. He called on institutions like NERIST to play an active role in imparting skill-based education at various levels. Give your best with all honesty and be proud of all your ventures in life and contribute significantly towards the avowed task of nation building, he added.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:53:19 +0530
Fourth Governing Council

The fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhavan. It was attended by 23 Chief Ministers and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, apart from Union Ministers, who are ex-officio members and special invitees.

At the end of the day-long deliberations, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog as a platform to inspire cooperative federalism, stressing the need for effective center-state cooperation to advance development outcomes and achieve double-digit growth for India. He called upon States to fix growth targets for their economies as the world looks towards India soon becoming a USD 5 trillion economy. He advised the States to pay special attention to expanding their exports and attracting export oriented investment while organizing their investments summits and events.

NITI Aayog will soon invite States for consultations on how to improve the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India and also to improve the ‘Ease of Living’ for the common man. The Prime Minister also emphasized that States may set up their own Committees to look into ‘Ease of Living’ for the common citizen, which is the need of the hour.

The Prime Minister expressed the hope that all Government buildings and street lighting across the country should be replaced with energy-efficient, economical LED lighting as soon as possible and also urged States to work towards the goal of a TB-Free India by 2025, five years prior to the global target of 2030.

The Prime Minister also took into consideration States’ concerns over the Terms of Reference of the Fifteenth Finance Commission and encouraged States to think of new ideas or a new formula, which incentivizes states for their performance. For instance, good practices such as reducing wasteful expenditure and increasing technology use. He emphasized that the Finance Commission devolution formula has to take cognizance of the relative backwardness and low per capita incomes of some states.

The Chief Ministers of the various States highlighted issues such as adaptation to climate change, the need to design and implement State-specific schemes to suit local needs. They also presented the work done by the various states in implementing the Ayushman Bharat and the Aspirational Districts Programme.

All Chief Ministers expressed their commitment to celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in a befitting manner. The Prime Minister in his closing remarks said the best manner of showing respect to the Father of the Nation would be to not only achieve a 100% Open Defecation Free (ODF) status for the country but also to make India free from dirt and squalor by October 2, 2019.

The Prime Minister called for exploring the possibility of holding simultaneous and the advantages of a common voter list for each State.

The Prime Minister thanked the Chief Ministers for their suggestions and reassured all present that the Union Government will work towards resolving all issues pending with the States.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:38:00 +0530
Govt not to extend suspe

On 17th May, 2018, Government of India took the decision that Security Forces will not conduct offensive operations in Jammu & Kashmir during the holy month of Ramazan. This decision was taken in the interests of the peace loving people of J&K, in order to provide them a conducive atmosphere to observe Ramazan.

Government commends the role of Security Forces for having implemented the decision in letter and spirit in the face of grave provocation, to enable the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramazan in a peaceful manner. This has been widely appreciated by the people all over the country, including J&K, and has brought relief to the common citizens.

It was expected that everyone will cooperate in ensuring the success of this initiative. While the Security Forces have displayed exemplary restraint during this period, the terrorists have continued with their attacks, on civilians and Security Forces, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Security Forces are being directed to take all necessary actions as earlier to prevent terrorists from launching attacks and indulging in violence and killings. Government will continue with its endeavour to create an environment free of terror and violence in Jammu & Kashmir. It is important that all sections of peace loving people come together to isolate the terrorists and motivate those who have been misguided to return to the path of peace.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:30:24 +0530
PM assures states to take

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, delivered closing remarks at the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of  NITI  Aayog. 

Welcoming the constructive discussion and suggestions made by various Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister assured the gathering that these suggestions would be seriously considered in the course of decision-making. He asked NITI Aayog to follow up with the States on the actionable points made by them within three months.  

He said that on the lines of the 115 aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog, States can define their own parameters to identify 20 percent of the total blocks in the State as aspirational blocks. 

Speaking on the issue of environment, raised by Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister urged all States to use LED bulbs in their government buildings, official residences and streetlights. He suggested that this could be implemented within a definite timeframe.

He appreciated several other suggestions made by various Chief Ministers, on matters such as water conservation, agriculture, MNREGA etc. 

He called upon Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, to work together to make recommendations on a coordinated policy approach to the two subjects of "agriculture and MNREGA," including both pre-sowing, and post-harvest phases.  

The Prime Minister said that it is vital to identify the "last people in the line" so that benefits of governance can reach them. Similarly, he said, social justice is an important governance objective. He said that these noble causes require close coordination and constant monitoring. 

He reiterated the Union Government's commitment to provide universal coverage of seven key schemes to 45,000 additional villages in 115 Aspirational Districts, by August 15th, 2018. 

Elaborating on the Union Government's guiding principle of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, the Prime Minister said the schemes of the Union Government are no longer limited to certain people, or to certain regions, and are reaching everyone without discrimination, in a balanced way. 

The Prime Minister said that all villages of the country are now electrified, and under Saubhagya Yojana, 4 crore houses are now being provided with electricity connections. He said rural sanitation coverage has increased from less than 40 percent to about 85 percent in four years. He said that after the implementation of the Jan Dhan Yojana, the entire population of the country will be connected to the banking system. Similarly, he said the Ujjwala Yojana is providing access to cooking gas, and Mission Indradhanush is working towards universal immunization. He said the Union Government is working towards providing housing for all by 2022. 

He called upon all Chief Ministers to contribute their efforts towards this objective of 100 percent implementation of schemes for the welfare of the poor. 

The Prime Minister said that the implementation of these welfare schemes is also bringing about a behavioural change in lives of people. In this context, he mentioned neem coating of urea, Ujjwala Yojana, Jan Dhan Accounts, and RuPay debit cards. He explained how these schemes are improving the lives of the people. 

The Prime Minister said that Swachh Bharat Mission is being discussed around the world. In the last four years, 7.70 crore toilets have been constructed. He called upon all present, to work towards 100 percent sanitation coverage by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of  Mahatma Gandhi. 

The Prime Minister called for efforts towards water conservation and water management on a war footing. 

Speaking on the economy, the Prime Minister said that the world expects India to become a five trillion dollar economy soon. He encouraged States to give fresh ideas to the Finance Commission, for incentivizing outcome-based allocations, and expenditure correction.

He expressed happiness that States are now organising investor summits. He suggested that States should focus on exports. He encouraged States to boost "Ease of Doing Business." He said NITI Aayog should call a meeting with all States to provide a further impetus to ease of doing business. He said "ease of living" for the common man is also the need of the hour, and States should now take initiatives in this regard. 

On agriculture, the Prime Minister said that corporate investment in this sector is very low in India. He said States should formulate policies that promote corporate investment in areas such as warehousing, transportation, value addition and food processing etc. 

The Prime Minister said that mining blocks which have been successfully auctioned, should start production at the earliest. He urged States to take steps in this regard. He said District Mineral Foundations will help the poor and the tribals in a big way. 

The Prime Minister called for widespread debate and consultations on simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas, keeping in view various aspects such as the resulting financial savings and consequent better utilisation of resources. 

In conclusion, the Prime Minister thanked the Chief Ministers once again for their suggestions.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:26:19 +0530
Vice President urges medi

The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu urged the media to effectively function as Means of Empowerment for Development through Informed Actions of people. He also stressed on the need for a positive and constructive public discourse in the country on all major issues and reminded the media of it's role in the same.

Addressing the professionals of Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) Naidu said “Public discourse should not be negative, acrimonious and divisive. It should unite the people and should not seek to divide them”. Naidu hosted High Tea for about 100 RSTV professionals on the occasion of the channel one million YouTube subscriber base this month.

Naidu complimented RSTV for gaining 5,74,378 new subscribers during the last ten months as against 4,25,622 subscribers acquired during the earlier six years since the launch of the channel in August, 2011.

Naidu said “A nation’s forward march is impacted by the public discourse in the country. Such a discourse needs to be positive and constructive aimed at collectively addressing the challenges being faced by the nation”.

The Vice President further said “Media, as the fourth pillar of democracy has an important role in facilitating such a positive discourse. It needs to highlight the problems, deficiencies in policy and governance at various levels and present different perspectives so that people can make informed decisions. Media can be and in fact needs to be critical without, however, being motivated”.

Stating that RSTV is an institution of Parliament, Naidu said that the editorial policy and coverage of the channel should be guided by the mandate of the Parliament which is catalysing the cause of socio-economic development by addressing the contemporary and future challenges.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:17:48 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that peace, both beyond and within the boundaries is crucial for rapid development of our country. He was addressing the gathering after laying foundation stone for Septage Management System and Storm Water Drainage System for the benefit of the people of Itanagar under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Scheme, in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

The Vice President said that India believes in resolving differences through negotiations in an atmosphere of trust and good will and added that no problem or issue is beyond solution if the intentions are right. Our country has all along demonstrated right intentions and we don’t set our eyes on other’s properties and would never allow others target ours, he added.

The Vice President called for determined efforts to address the few unresolved issues so that this cradle of nature would prove to be a real heaven for its people. It is only in an atmosphere of peace that the full potential of this region could be realized, he added.

 The Vice President said that Atal Mission will help Arunachal address infrastructure issues relating to water supply, septage management and sewer networks, storm water drains, non-motorised urban transport and open spaces and parks.

The Vice President also recalled the launch of the AMRUT Mission in June, 2015 as the then Minister of Urban Development.

The Vice President has said that winds of change are sweeping across the country driving the much needed transformation. He further said that new energy, new resolve, new hope, new approaches and new thinking are driving this change. North-Eastern Region is an important vehicle of this change and can lead the march of our country on the path of progress by reaching new horizons, he added.

The Vice President said that the fight against corruption must become people’s movement. Reaching out to the people, delivering system are important in the context of North-East and the Digital, Online, DBT, JAM are the way forward. Transparency and accountability are very important for the success of development and for speedy development, he added.

Sun, 17 Jun 2018 13:08:17 +0530
PM speaks about New India

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi delivered the opening remarks at the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, in Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre in New Delhi.

Welcoming the Chief Ministers and other delegates, the Prime Minister reiterated that the Governing Council is a platform that can bring about "historic change." He assured the Chief Ministers from flood-affected States that the Union Government would provide all assistance to them, to deal with the flood situation currently affecting parts of the country.

He said that the Governing Council has approached complex issues of governance as "Team India", in the spirit of cooperative, competitive federalism. He described the smooth rollout and implementation of GST as a prime example of this.

The Prime Minister said that Chief Ministers of States had played a key role in policy formulation, through sub-groups and committees on issues such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Digital Transactions, and Skill Development. The recommendations of these sub-groups have been incorporated by various Ministries of the Union Government, he added.

The Prime Minister said that the Indian Economy has grown at a healthy rate of 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017-18. He added that the challenge now is to take this growth rate to double digits, for which many more important steps have to be taken. He said that the vision of a New India by 2022, is now a resolve of the people of our country. In this context, he mentioned the issues on the agenda today, including doubling of farmers income, development of aspirational districts, Ayushman Bharat, Mission Indradhanush, Nutrition Mission and celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Prime Minister said that 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres are being constructed under Ayushman Bharat. He said about 10 crore families will be provided health assurance worth Rs. 5 lakhs every year. He said a comprehensive approach is being adopted for education, under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.  

The Prime Minister said that schemes such as Mudra Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana and Stand Up India, are helping in greater financial inclusion. He emphasized the need for tackling economic imbalances on priority.

He said that all aspects and parameters of human development need to be addressed and improved upon in the 115 aspirational districts.

Narendra Modi said that the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan has emerged as a new model for implementation of schemes. He said that this has so far been extended to 45,000 villages in the Aspirational Districts. He said that the target is universal coverage in seven important welfare schemes: Ujjwala, Saubhagya, Ujala, Jan Dhan, Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Suraksha Bima Yojana, and Mission Indradhanush. He said this target was recently accomplished in about 17,000 villages.

The Prime Minister said that India has no shortage of capabilities, capacities and resources. He said that in the current financial year, States are receiving over 11 lakh crore rupees from the Centre, which represents an increase of about 6 lakh crore rupees, from the last year of the previous government.

The Prime Minister said that this gathering today represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of India. He said it is also the responsibility of this gathering to make all efforts to fulfill them.

Earlier, the Chief  Ministers and other delegates were welcomed to the meeting by Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog, Rajiv Kumar. The discussions are being moderated by Home Minister, Rajnath Singh.

Sun, 17 Jun 2018 12:13:39 +0530
OPEC basket price stands

The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at US$73.35 a barrel on Wednesday, 13th June 2018, compared with $74.11 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

The fourteen crudes, from separate OPEC member countries, includes a mix of blends and light and heavy crudes, including the UAE’s Murban.

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 09:25:22 +0530
Yemeni forces gain contro

With support of the UAE armed forces operating as part of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition, the Joint Yemeni Resistance forces have gained fire control over Hodeidah Airport, imposing a tight besiege on the Houthi militias fighters' collapsing defences within the airport perimeters and in the southern entries of the city.

The joint forces captured numbers of the Houthi terrorist fighters. Dozens of the Houthi militia fighters were also killed in confrontations with joint resistance forces and as result of the airstrikes, launched by the Arab Coalition against their entrenchments.

The joint resistance forces also took control of new strategic areas on the southern outskirts of Hodeidah, as well as the main roundabout leading to the airport. The resistance forces are currently tightening the noose on the remnants of the Houthi terrorist militias at Al Khamseen road and approaching the western gates of the airport.

The resistance's engineering units dismantled a network of Iranian-made land mines which was laid by the terrorist militias in a desperate attempt to delay the advancement of the resistance forces from the southern entries of the city. They also foiled an attempt by the Houthis to infiltrate Al Faza area.

The Arab Coalition's fighter jets launched airstrikes that targeted Houthi military vehicles carrying reinforcements from Ebb to the district of Hayes, killing dozens of the Houthi terrorist fighters.

The Iranian-backed Houthi militias set up armed checkpoints around Al Duraihami district to arrest members fleeing from the front because of successive collapses in their ranks, following the major military cooperation to regain the Governorate of Hodeidah and its strategic port from the grip of the terrorist militias.

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 09:11:44 +0530
PM greets people on Eid

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has conveyed his greetings on the festival of Eid. 

"Eid Mubarak! May this day deepen the bonds of unity and harmony in our society", the Prime Minister said.

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 09:05:11 +0530
Indian Air Force undertak

Three Mi 17 helicopters of Indian Air Force undertook flood affected areas of the state of Tripura, particularly in the town of Kailashahar on 15 Jun 18.

The helicopters are operating from Radhanagar helipad located about nine kilometers from Kailashahar and 4.1 tons of food and other essential supplies were delivered to the affected people in the area.

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 09:01:20 +0530
Vice President greets peo

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the people on the joyous occasion of Id-ul-Fitr.

In a message, he said that Id-ul-Fitr marks the culmination of the holy month of Ramzan and signifies the traditional expression of brotherhood and understanding between people. May this festival bring peace, harmony and prosperity in our country, he added. 

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 08:55:43 +0530
President greets on the e

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind has greeted fellow citizens on the eve of Idu’l Fitr.

In his message the President has said, “On the auspicious occasion of Idu’l Fitr, I offer my greetings and good wishes to all fellow citizens, and especially to our Muslim brothers and sisters in India and abroad.

The culmination of the holy month of Ramzan is a moment of celebration. May it promote fraternity and understanding in our shared society”.

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 08:52:20 +0530
Tourism Minister to run

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, K. J. Alphons will attend a series of ‘Incredible India road shows’ in the United States of America, from 18th to 22nd June 2018. The road shows will be held in several major cities of US including New York, Chicago & Houston.

The Incredible India road shows will hold B2B interactions, presentations & press briefings by the Indian delegation. The key note addresses will be delivered by the Tourism Minister and Incredible India presentation will be made by Joint Secretary Ministry of Tourism Suman Billa, with an aim to project India as a ‘must visit’ tourist destination.

The road shows will include Cultural performances also. The USA is one among the top three source countries in the percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India. During April 2018, the USA was the second highest source country with 11.21% share of total FTAs.

In addition, the Minister will also be attending the Federation of Malayalee Associations of Americas (FOMAA) Convention 2018 in Chicago on 22nd June 2018.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:43:55 +0530
India to host European Un

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Putting a spotlight on the latest European cinema, the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) will premiere in New Delhi on 18th June, 2018 at the Siri Fort Auditorium. With a selection of 24 latest European films from 23 EU Member States, this years' film festival brings some unusual stories for the world cinema enthusiasts. The European Union Film Festival is organized by Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India partnering with the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in various city film clubs.

The festival will traverse through 11 cities in India including New Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair, Pune, Puducherry, Kolkata, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Thrissur, Hyderabad and Goa from 18th June till 31st August. Celebrating diversity, the EUFF will screen movies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

As a special attraction this year, audience, students and filmmakers will get an opportunity to interact with Katarína Krnáčová (Slovakian producer), Paula Ortiz (Spanish Director), Salvatore Alloca (Italian Director), Yannis Korris (Greek Director), Douglas Boswell (Belgium Director) and Ádám Fekete (Hungarian Actor) who are travelling to India for the festival. Indian actress Neena Kulkarni who has worked in the Luxembourg movie being screened at the film festival will be attending the festival in Goa.

23rd European Film Festival has some unusual stories to tell: the lines of reality are blurred when the cyber world comes to life; a play done by a motley cast of antiheroes provides an opportunity for redemption; a man stuck in an unhappy marriage practices unusual ways to assert his freedom; a music critic finds his father irksome when they both begin to compete for the attention of an attractive psychotherapist; and three Kurdish siblings come together unexpectedly in a hair-raising journey during which they are pursued by angry relatives. These are just some of the curious themes of the European Union Film Festival of 2018.

The EU Film Festival 2018 to be held from 18 - 24 June in Delhi, brings to the city a selection of some of the finest and most riveting films coming out of Europe today.  The European Union Film Festival, organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, and European Union will be hosted at the Sirifort Auditorium Complex.

The award winning film Little Harbour is inspired by true events about two children whose innocent play changes their lives forever. It's a story of children who feel safer in the streets than at home, about children seeking out sturdy lifeboats that cross between the world of fantasy and the harsh reality of life. The ten year old Jarka lives with her mother, who is not yet ready to be a Mum. She spends most of her time alone. Pushed by her desire for love and to form a fully functional family, she finds herself substituting as a mother to two babies.

Film will be with English subtitles. Entry will be allowed for 18+ and will be on a first come, first served basis.

The films to be screened at the EUFF are - The Magic of Children (Austria); Labyrinthus(Belgium);  Viktoria (Bulgaria); Cowboys (Croatia); Boy on the Bridge (Cyprus); Tiger Theory / Teorie Tygra (Czech Republic); Walk with me / De Standhaftige  (Denmark);  Land of Mine / Under Sandet (Denmark);  The Man Who Looks Like Me / Minu Näoga Onu (Estonia); Unexpected Journey (Finland); 9 Month Stretch / 9 Mois Ferme (France); House without Roof / Haus ohne Dach (Germany); Kissing? / Ontos Filiounte? (Greece); Kills on Wheels (Hungary); Taranta on the Road (Italy); The Lesson / Izlaiduma Gads (Latvia); When You Wake Up (Lithuania); A Wedding / Noces (Luxembourg); Letter for the King (Netherlands); A Brave Bunch (Poland); Mother Knows Best (Portugal); Little Harbour / Piata loď (Slovakia); The Bride / La Novia (Spain) and Eternal Summer (Sweden).

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:39:19 +0530
Suresh Prabhu visits US

To take forward the robust commercial ties with the United States and to resolve outstanding bilateral trade issues, a delegation led by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu visited USA for meetings with his US interlocutors.

During the visit, he held series of discussions with key officials including the US Trade Representative, Robert E. Lighthizer, Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Wilbur L. Ross and Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Sonny Perdue. The Minister also had a joint meeting with the India Caucus Co-chairs Senator Mark Robert Warner and Senator John Cornyn.

The meetings were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, with appreciation for each other's points of view. Discussions centered around bilateral trade and commercial relations between the two countries and focused on finding the way forward to address concerns of both sides so as to result in a win-win situation. Both the sides agreed for high level official talks at an early date to discuss various issues of interest to both sides and carry forward the discussions in a positive, constructive and result oriented manner.

During the visit, Commerce Minister also interacted with the business community and addressed industry leaders in meetings organized by US-India Business Council (USIBC) and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). The Minister informed the industry leaders about the aggressive economic reforms undertaken by India such as GST, Make-in-India, Startup India and ‘Fund of Funds for Startups’ (FFS), Digital India programme, e-commerce, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and how they have made the business climate much easier in India.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:34:35 +0530
PM interacts with benefic

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, today interacted with the beneficiaries of various Digital India Mission schemes from across the country, through video bridge. The video bridge connected over 50 lakh beneficiaries, including those from Common Service Centres, NIC centres, National Knowledge Network, BPOs, Mobile Manufacturing Units and MyGov volunteers. This is the sixth interaction in the series by the Prime Minister through video bridge with various beneficiaries of Government schemes. 

Interacting with the beneficiaries, Prime Minister said that Digital India was launched to ensure that people from all walks of life, especially those from rural areas, are digitally empowered. He added that to make this possible, Government has worked on a holistic policy consisting of connecting villages through fibre optic, digitally educating citizens, providing service delivery through mobiles and promoting electronic manufacturing. 

Talking about technology, Prime Minister said that technology has brought about ease of living and Government’s efforts are to ensure that the advantages of technology was available to all sections of the society. Various provisions like online payment of bills including BHIM APP, online booking of railway tickets, and electronic delivery of scholarships and pensions to bank accounts have greatly reduced the burden on common people, Shri Narendra Modi added. 

Describing the importance of Common Service Centers (CSC), Prime Minister said that CSC’s across India are providing digital services to rural India. CSCs have successfully developed Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE) in rural areas and created job opportunities for more than 10 Lakh people. There are 2.92 Lakh CSCs in rural India providing opportunities to access various government and other services across 2.15 Lakh Gram Panchayats. 

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:29:15 +0530
Police intensifies search

The police officials have found the CCTV visuals of three terrorists who were supposed to be the culprits in the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, a senior journalist and the Editor-in-chief of "Rising Kashmir".

Mr.Bukari was killed by three men riding on a bike while he was going outside in his car from his Press Enclave office in Sri Nagar along with his bodyguards. His two security men were also killed in the attack.

The police released the CCTV images of the killers who covered their faces by a hidden mask and helmets. Meanwhile the police appealed all to help police to identify them. The government deployed security men for Bukhari after he faced a similar attack in 2000.

Mr Bukhari was a known face in Kashmir as he initiated many steps in resolving the strained relations between India and Pakistan and was also a part of several peace talks. He started his career as a journalist in Kashmir and then worked as a reporter for 15 years in The Hindu. He found "Rising Kashmir" in the later part of his life along with an Urdu daily as well.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:13:14 +0530
Kerala celebrates Eid ul

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Kerala began celebrations for Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramzan, as the moon was sighted in Kozhikode. But the rest of the country awaits for another day as the moon was not sighted yesterday. Remaining parts of the country along with some other country will celebrate Eid on Saturday.

Kerala will be joined by Saudi Arabia and Middle East as those part of the world celebrate the festival today itself.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 09:24:36 +0530
Putin receives Saudi Crow

President Vladimir Putin of the Federal Republic of Russia received at the Kremlin in Moscow today HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense.

During the meeting, they reviewed the aspects of the Saudi Russian relations in a number of fields.

They also reviewed the Saudi Russian cooperation in the field of oil and the two sides reiterated their confirmation of the continuation of the bilateral cooperation to preserve the stability of oil market and growth of the international economy.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:28:48 +0530
Hodeidah liberation proce

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has said the commencement of operations to liberate Hodeidah port opens the way for a successful political process that will bring peace in Yemen.

The minister added that Houthis are a militia who represent a tiny fraction of the people of Yemen. "They overthrew the country’s constitutional government and have oppressed and plundered the country since," Dr. Gargash said in a statement on commencement of operations to liberate Hodeidah port.

For three years, the Houthis have resisted multiple opportunities to engage in serious peace talks, and in the meantime, the humanitarian situation has worsened on the ground, he added.

"The security threat posed by the Houthis not only to Yemenis but to Yemen’s neighbours has grown," he said, adding that the Houthis have used this time to extort money from vital supplies entering Yemen via Hodeidah port. "They have used their positions on Yemen’s west coast to threaten international shipping," the minister went on to say.

According to Dr. Gargash, the Houthis continued to defy UN Security Council resolutions and the Yemeni people’s demand for constitutional government. "If they keep Hodeidah and its revenues and its strategic location, the war will last a long time and the suffering of the Yemeni people will continue," the minister warned.

"This deadlock must end," the UAE minister said, adding that it is clear that for the UN-led political process to succeed, the situation on the ground must change.

"Depriving the Houthis of their control of Hodeidah port, at the Yemeni government’s request, answers the call of the people of Hodeidah for freedom from the Houthi rule. It means that the Houthis will no longer be able to impose their will at the barrel of a gun. They will be one Yemeni group among others, jointly negotiating to decide the future of their country, in a political process under United Nations auspices. That is the goal of our operations in Hodeidah," the minister concluded.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:26:01 +0530
States sign MoU for imple

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding with the State Health Ministers of 20 States marking their commitment towards the launch of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) at a Health Ministers conclave.

J P Nadda said that the initiative will change the landscape of healthcare in the country and we would be remembered forever for our work. “We shall work together, learn together, so that we work with the spirit of cooperative federalism, to perfect this largest health assurance scheme of the world,” Nadda said.

J.P. Nadda emphasized that the success of the scheme hinges upon the active participation of the States. States need to own the scheme while Centre will design the policy framework with all possible flexibility and support. “Exchanging of Memorandum of Understanding is an important step in formalizing the partnership between Centre and States,” he added.

J P Nadda further stated that AB-NHPM will protect around 50 crore people (from about 10 crore families). “It will be cashless and paperless access to services upto Rs. 5 lakhs per year will be available for the beneficiary families at the point of service in both public and private empanelled hospitals across India,” Nadda added. He further said that the beneficiaries under the scheme can avail services anywhere in India and it is expected to bring a visible relief to the target families by mitigating the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.

A web portal for initiating the empanelment of hospitals under the mission was also launched. This marks the commencement of the implementation of AB-NHPM and takes the Mission closer to launch. Training / Demo of empanelment software will be conducted in next two weeks and States can operationalize empanelment of hospitals by 1st of July.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:19:19 +0530
All women Naval mountaine

An all women Naval mountaineering team led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan  summited Mount Deotibba. The expedition was flagged off by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Chief Of Personnel on 28 May 18 from New Delhi laying foundation for a team, which would attempt to scale many more challenging peaks in the near future. Mount Deotibba provided excellent opportunity to the team in honing their mountaineering skills.

Mt Deotibba is the second highest peak (6001M) in the Pir-Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh. It is considered to be a difficult peak to summit.

The team was led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan and includes Lt Cdr Nanadini Dam Roy, Lt Cdr Seema Chaudhary, Lt Cdr Pooja Sharma, Lt Cdr Rekha Shree, Lt Cdr Rashu Tyagi, Lt Saino Wilson, Lt Chamm Kumari, Surg Lt Himwant Kaur, Lt Surbhi Sharma, Lt Shristi Thakur, Lt Vipasha Sharma, Lt Kritika Sharma as other team members.

The team started the trek from the road head (Bara Hazari) to the base camp at an altitude of 4250 mtrs through Chikka and Seri. They advanced towards the Summit through advance base camp at 4700 mtrs and the Summit camp at 5250 mtrs.

Displaying exemplary courage and esprit de corps, the team battled         extreme weather conditions including white outs and heavy snowfall                 accompanied by strong winds. After a strenuous push of about 12 hrs of climbing, the team summited the peak at 1300 hrs on 10 Jun 2018.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:11:11 +0530
Dr Inder Jit Singh takes

Dr. Inder Jit Singh, (KL:1985) assumed charge as  Secretary, Ministry of Coal  at  Shastri Bhawan office, New Delhi.  Senior Officials  of Coal Ministry were also present  on this occasion.

Dr. Inder Jit Singh took over the charge of  Secretary which fell vacant after superannuation of Susheel Kumar (IAS:1982:UP) on April 30 this year. In the interim, Secretary Mines, Anil G Mukhim (IAS:1985:GJ) had been holding additional charge as Secretary, Coal. 

Prior to this appointment as Coal Secretary,  Dr. Inder Jit Singh was posted  as Secretary (Coordination) in Cabinet Secretariat. Dr. Singh is a  Ph.D in Economics from Punjab University. In the past he has also held positions in Ministry of Commerce, MNRE at the Centre and other significant portfolios in the State cadre.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:07:49 +0530
PM dedicates modernized B

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Chhattisgarh and inaugurated the Integrated Command and Control Centre at Naya Raipur Smart City. He was briefed on various aspects of the Command and Control Centre.

He later visited Blast Furnace-8 at the Bhilai Steel Plant, and was briefed on various aspects of the Plant. People lined the streets of Bhilai to greet the Prime Minister.

At a large public meeting, the Prime Minister dedicated the modernized and expanded Bhilai Steel Plant, to the nation. He laid the foundation stone for IIT Bhilai. He also unveiled a plaque to mark the commencement of phase-2 of BharatNet. The Prime Minister inaugurated air services between Jagdalpur and Raipur. He also distributed laptops, certificates and cheques etc. to beneficiaries under various schemes.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister asserted that development is the best answer to all kinds of violence.

He said that the Bhilai Steel Plant has contributed in a big way to nation-building. He said the modernized and expanded plant would be instrumental in building a strong foundation for New India. He also spoke of the benefits that the other development projects launched today would bring about.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:02:34 +0530
Football fever begins wit

What a way to start the biggest sporting fest in the globe!!! The FIFA World Cup 2018 started with a bang in Russia as the host nation thrashed hopes of Asian challenge Saudi Arabia 5-0 at the Lushnikki Stadium in Moscow.

Russia treated the tens of thousands of home crowd with a goal fest as they controlled the game from the word go. The Asian minnows felt the pressure on the opening night as they were unable to control the ball and lags behind the pace of their opponents.

Saudi's poor defending also made the situation worse for them while Russia's clinical finishing in the final third sealed the match for the hosts.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 07:55:18 +0530
Air quality in Delhi reac

The air quality in Delhi reached beyond the "severe" level due to the sand storm in western part of the country. The Central Pollution Control Board has said that the situation will remain unchanged for the next two days.

The level of PM 10 particles- the indicator at which the level of pollution is identified- in Delhi and at the National Capital Region currently records 778. An Air Quality Index reading up to 50 is considered “good” and up to 100 is considered “satisfactory”. A reading between 401 and 500 is ranked “severe” on the index, which means the air is dangerously filled with pollutants.

A massive dust storm hit Delhi on Saturday evening. Rain showers were reported in several parts of the national capital immediately afterwards. Wind speeds of between 70 and 80 km per hour were recorded.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 17:28:31 +0530
Several opposition leader

Several prominent leaders from the opposition side stayed away from the first iftar party hosted by Rahul Gandhi as the Congress President. Thrinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, BSP chief Mayawati, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and SP's Akhilesh Yadav were among leaders who were found missing.

Manmohan Singh, former President Pratibha Patil, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari and former President Pranab Mukherjee were the key figures who attended the iftar. Pranab's presence was widely noticed as the former president and Rahul Gandhi met for the first time after the latter delivered a speech at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur despite few days back despite strong objections from the Congress party.

A lot was expected from Rahul's iftar party as it hoped for an another case of showcase event for opposition's unity. But the absence of many leaders cast doubts over the future alliance that would take on Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the 2019 elections.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 17:17:42 +0530
18 MLAs remain disqualifi

Eighteen MLAs of the ruling AIADMK remained disqualified in Tamil Nadu as the Madras High Court delivered a split verdict. The MLAs were disqualified ahead of a floor test in the state assembly last year where the AIADMK was divided into two as Panneerselvam group and Palaniswamy group.

The chief minister Edappadi Palaniswmay will be a relieved man after the high court's verdict as the rebel lawmakers are loyal to jailed party chief VK Sasikala and her TTV Dhinakaran. Dhinakaran recently won the election from RK Nagar, a seat which fell vacant after the death of party supremo J Jayalalithaa.

If the disqualification of 18 MLAs are cancelled, the government faces a stern test as they already one short of majority - ruling AIADMK has currently 116 MLAS out of the 234-member assembly.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 16:52:47 +0530
Heavy rain wreaks havoc i

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Heavy rain coupled with landslides and flash floods caused serious damages in the northern part of Kerala, especially in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad districts, leaving five people dead and many others worried.

Three people, including two children, in a family were killed in landslide in Thamarassery in Kozhikode. Dilna Sherin (7), her brother Muhammed Shabaz (3), and their neighbour Jaffer's sever-year old son were identified as dead.

Suresh (55), a Thrissur resident was killed after an uprooted tree fell over him and five houses were washed away in the same region.

Meanwhile the Meteorological department has predicted severe rain in the next 48 hours in the state. The Union government has sent disaster rescue force to Kozhikode amid unprecedented rain in the district as well as in the Malappuram district.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 13:28:51 +0530
UAE Armed Forces Yemeni

With land, sea and air support by the UAE Armed Forces, the Arab Coalition and the Joint Yemeni Resistance forces began today a decisive military operation to liberate Hodeidah city and its strategic port from the grip of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias, who rejected peaceful solutions, reports WAM.

The forces managed to liberate new strategic areas in Al Duraihimi district and areas adjacent to Hodeidah airport after penetrating the Houthi militias frontlines. Following the collapse of their defences, the Houthi fighters abandoned their positions, while their commanders fled the areas after the defeat, reports WAM.

In a statement made to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Colonel Sadiq Al Duwaid, Spokesman of the Yemeni National Resistance, said the joint resistance forces made a huge advance towards the city of Al Hodeidah, closing in 8 kilomteres within the city's airport and controlling the districts of Al Nekhailah and Al Taif, south of Hodeidah, amid major collapse in the Houthi militias ranks. The Arab Coalition's fighter jets pounded the Houthis reinforcements, while the resistance forces killed and captured dozens of Houthi fighters.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 12:45:51 +0530
UAE introduces new visa r

The Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adopted a number of strategic decisions with regards to foreign workers' insurance in the private sector, as well as a legislative package of visa facilitations, reports Khaleej Times

A new insurance scheme for workers' guarantees has been introduced. The previous mandatory deposit of Dh3,000 per worker is now replaced by a new insurance that cost only Dh60 annually per worker.

The newly created scheme secures workers' rights in the private sector and reduces the burdens on employers. It allows businesses to recover approximately Dh14 billion, representing the value of current guarantees paid by employers, which will enable them to further invest in the development of their business. The system also enhances the ease of doing business in the UAE, which effectively contributes to market prosperity and growth, Khaleej Times reported.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 12:38:45 +0530
Russia gears up to host F

FIFA World Cup 2018 will kick off at 8.30 pm IST today at the historical Luschniki Stadium in Russian capital Moscow. 32 teams, thousands watching from the gallery and crores of viewers in television will run behind a ball for the next one month.

Host Russia will take on the Asian pride Saudi Arabia in the first match followed by many high voltage matches at the group stages itself. Former champions Spain will play against Euro champions Portugal tomorrow.

There are many superstars who will be itching to put their signature at the global stage and no better opportunity than Russia World Cup to do that.

Lionel Messi might have five Ballon d'Or awards, five European Golden Shoes, nine La Liga titles and many more at the club level but still finds it short at the international competitions. Despite Messi's brilliant achievements, it is quite obvious that the Argentine is yet to win any major trophy for his nation. Messi's failure at international level has been a stubborn stain on his reputation and a serious threat to his fantastic legacies. This time Messi definitely want to add the most coveted trophy in the world of football to his endless list of achievements in what could be his final international competition for Argentina.

Messi's rival Christiano Ronaldo has to prove that 2016 Euro victory was not a onetime wonder. Messi and Ronaldo always compete each other but falls short at the international level.

Neymar is no more a shadow behind Messi and Ronaldo as he already proved his worth during his short stint at Barcelona while he was playing alongside Messi. Messi, Neymar and Luie Suarez formed a deadly combination upfront and tear apart the opposition defence with ease.

So many things in store for the Russian carnival and hopes that this biggest game of football will pave way for another revolution in the country where lot of rebellions and revolutions occured that change the course of the world.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 09:23:42 +0530
India receives Britain s

India has received a reply from Britain in response to a "diffusion notice" issued against Nirav Modi, who is accused in the Rs. 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case being investigated here but it remained unclear whether it contained any reference to the specific location of the fugitive diamantaire, reports NDTV.

Sources said the British reply came in an email to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is investigating the case of fraud against Nirav Modi since January and it had issued the diffusion notice in February against the billionaire, his wife Ami, a US citizen, brother Nishal, a Belgium national, and uncle Mehul Choksi, promoter of Gitanjali Group, for locating their whereabouts, reports NDTV.

A diffusion notice is issued directly by an international entity to the countries of their choice to take their help in identifying location, physical description, photograph and fingerprints of an accused wanted in offence with which he or she is charged. The notice is issued through the Interpol, an International criminal police organization that facilitates international police cooperation, NDTV reported.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:47:52 +0530
Mamata backs Kejriwal s s

As the sit-in protest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and three of his cabinet colleagues at Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal's house entered the third day, several regional parties, including the Trinamool Congress backed the protest, reports NDTV.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appealed to the centre to resolve the problem "immediately", NDTV reported.

"Elected Chief Minister must get due respect. May I appeal to the government of India and the LG to resolve the problem immediately so that people do not suffer", tweeted Ms Banerjee. 

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:32:37 +0530
Sikh Welfare Society in U

The Sikh Welfare Society UK celebrated its 10th anniversary. The Society is a registered charity that organises medical assistance including cancer awareness/diagnostic camps and eye camps in remote areas of Punjab and Haryana in India. In the U.K., the organization has contributed by way of support to the homeless, to children admitted in hospitals, among other charitable causes.

High Commissioner of India to the UK, Mr. Y.K. Sinha attended the anniversary celebrations and congratulated members of the Society on the charity work done in India and in the UK. He said that the activities of the Society were symbolic of the contributions of Sikhs in all walks of life.

He said that he was proud of his personal connection with Patna - the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh ji, and said that the ancient city of Pataliputra was a confluence of many faiths- Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam and Hinduism, that flourished in the city through the ages. He also spoke of the year-long grand celebrations of the 350th Birth Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singhji organised by the High Commission and thanked Sikhs all over the U.K. in making these celebrations a great success.

High Commissioner Sinha concluded his keynote address by reminding all people of Indian origin in the UK of their critical role as a ‘Living Bridge’ between India and the UK, and urged them to continue to promote bilateral relations as well as to be true ambassadors of the land of their origin.

Mr. Harjinder Johal, Chairman, and Mr. Satnam Singh, General Secretary of the Sikh Welfare Society, Mr Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, MP and Ms Debbie Kaur Thiara, Mayor, Redbridge were among the other prominent personalities attending the celebrations.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:25:26 +0530
Indian High Commissioner

Continuing with the tradition, Indian High Commissioner in UK Mr Y. K. Sinha attended the Chhatri Memorial Ceremony at Brighton where he paid homage to the 53 soldiers of the Indian Army who laid down their lives during World War 1 and were later cremated at the site.

This year the ceremony also commemorated the centenary of the end of the First World War in which 1.4 million Indian soldiers and officers fought in the Allied forces at the western front in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Palestine, East Africa and Gallipoli.

The ceremony was also attended by the Lord Lieutenant, officers of the British Armed Forces, Metropolitan Police, prominent members of the local community and members of the Indian diaspora.

An interesting fact: The Chhatri was designed by E. C. Henriques from Mumbai and was unveiled by The Prince of Wales in 1921.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:21:58 +0530
Saudi underscores importa

Saudi Arabia has underscored the importance of finding mechanisms to tighten control on military nuclear sites in Iran and enhance inspections in this regard.

This demand was made by Ambassador Nabil Al-Ashri , Acting Charge d'Affaires at the Saudi Embassy in Austria, while addressing a meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency at the United Nations office in Vienna, under the chairmanship of Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA.

Al-Ashri said inspections must cover nuclear sites that Iran is likely to use to carry out undeclared nuclear activities and target the security of the region.

The ambassador also refuted the allegations made by the Iranian ambassador against the Kingdom during the meeting.

"The Kingdom will continue in its efforts to counter and combat terrorism in the region, which Iran has generously supported through terrorist militias," Al-Ashri said while expressing the Kingdom’s confidence over the ability and efficiency of the IAEA and its inspectors to carry out the verification and monitoring of Iran’s declared and undeclared nuclear military programmes.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:15:34 +0530
Centre withdraws Nalanda

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for withdrawal of Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The Nalanda University was established on the basis of a Joint Press Statement at the 4th East Asia Summit held in Thailand in October, 2009, which supported its establishment as a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution. Subsequently, the Nalanda University Act, 2010 was passed by the Parliament and came into effect from 25thNovember 2010.

The present proposal is for moving a motion in Rajya Sabha withdrawing the Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 26, 2013 to amend certain existing provisions of the Nalanda University Act, 2010 and add some new provisions.

The Governing Board of Nalanda University has since been constituted as per section 7 of Nalanda University Act, 2010 with effect from 21.11.2016 with, the approval of President of India. The Amendment Bill will need to be discussed with the current Governing Board of Nalanda University before a final decision could be taken on going ahead with the proposed amendments. Further, the current Governing Board may also look into the entire Nalanda University Act, 2010 afresh and suggest amendments/additions wherever necessary.

Teaching in the University was inaugurated by SushmaSwaraj, External Affairs Minister in September 2014. At present, the University has 116 students in three schools of studies namely School of Historical Studies, School of Ecology and Environment Studies and School of Buddhist Studies. This includes 35 international students from 21 foreign countries.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 07:50:37 +0530
Indian Railways develops

Continuing towards digitalization and moving towards becoming a cashless economy, the initiative of faster and more techno-advanced transactions in Indian Railways is being taken up, the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) has developed a mobile based application ‘utsonmobile'. This application has the following features:

 

1. The ‘utsonmobile’ application enables booking and cancellation of unreserved tickets, issue and renewal of season and platform tickets, check and load R-wallet balance and helps maintain user profile management and booking history.

 

2. The 'utsonmobile' application is very handy, free and is available for both Android and Windows smart phone. Users can download this app from Google Play Store or Windows store free of cost.

 

3. First the passenger will get registered by providing his/her mobile number, name, city, default booking train type, class, ticket type, number of passenger and frequently travelling routes.

 

4. Upon successful registration, Railway Wallet (R-Wallet) will be created automatically with zero balance to the passenger. There will be no extra cost for creating R-Wallet.

 

5. The R-Wallet can be recharged either at any of the UTS counter or through recharge option available in the https://www.utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in website.

 

6. In case internet connection of the mobile is not up, then ticket booking is not allowed.

 

7. No advance ticket booking is allowed. (i.e.) the journey date will always be current date.

 

8. Paperless Ticket: The passenger can travel without taking hardcopy of the ticket. Whenever Ticket Checking Staff asks for ticket, the passenger will use 'Show Ticket' option in the app.

· The smart phone should be GPS enabled to book paperless ticket.

· The paperless tickets are not allowed for cancellation.

· The journey should commence within one hour after booking paperless ticket.

· The Season ticket can be issued/renewed from mobile application and it will be valid from the next day of booking the ticket. No need of GPS for issue/renewal of Season Ticket.

· Platform Ticket can also be booked from mobile application.

· In case passenger is not able to show the ticket on mobile then it is considered as ticketless travel.

 

9.         Paper Ticket: The passenger can book ticket through the mobile app. On booking of ticket, he/she will get Booking ID along with other ticket details. The booking details will also be available in booking history. The booking ID will also be conveyed through an SMS.

· After booking Paper ticket, Passenger can go to the journey originating (source) station to take ticket print out from any of the ATVM there, by entering his/her registered mobile number and booking ID. The Journey is valid only with printed ticket.

· The  cancellation of Paper ticket is allowed either at the counter after printing the ticket or through the app before printing the ticket. However, in both the cases, cancellation fee is applicable.

· The  journey should commence within one hour after printing paper ticket in the kiosk.

 

10.       For detailed help, visit website "https://www.utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in".

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 07:44:10 +0530
WHO lauds India s effort

Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) chaired the 27th Meeting of the Polio India Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) to review the country programme activities and make recommendations. The expert member group concluded that ‘the country is on the right track’.

The experts commended the strong leadership of the Government of India, as well as the ownership of the state governments to for maintaining polio-free status for more than seven years and ensuring that every child is vaccinated against the disease. The last case of polio in India was reported in January 2011.  The programme has ensured adequate protection of children through both mass polio vaccination campaigns and childhood immunization. 

Speaking at the meeting, Preeti Sudan said that there are two types of polio vaccine - oral polio vaccine and injectable polio vaccine, which are both used in India to provide enhanced protection.  “We need to ensure that every child in India must receive at least three doses of OPV and two doses of IPV during infancy. This in an invaluable investment for child health in India” Preeti Sudan added.

She further said that the nationwide polio campaigns should continue along with routine immunization strengthening initiatives such as Mission Indradhanush, Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, and Extended-Gram SwarajAbhiyan.

Dr. Michel Zaffran – Head of Polio Eradication, WHO stated that globally the world is closer to polio eradication than ever before.  Eleven cases have been registered in 2018 in only two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan.  “The experts appreciate the example that India sets for the rest of the world. By eliminating polio in India, the country has demonstrated that global polio eradication is feasible and within reach,” he added.

The group of experts appreciated the efforts of India in using both oral and injectable polio vaccines and recommends that this be continued so that no child in India gets paralyzed ever again. Community participation remains an integral part of polio vaccination efforts in the country. The expert group noted that more than 23 lakh vaccinators are mobilized to support every polio mass campaign during which 17 crores children get the oral polio drops.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 07:38:11 +0530
PM throws up fitness chal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accepting the Fitness Challenge given by Virat Kohli, shared his fitness video. 

The Prime Minister said, “Here are moments from my morning exercises. Apart from Yoga, I walk on a track inspired by the Panchtatvas or 5 elements of nature - Prithvi, Jal, Agni, Vayu, Aakash. This is extremely refreshing and rejuvenating. I also practice breathing exercises. #HumFitTohIndiaFit. 

I appeal to every Indian to devote some part of the day towards fitness. 

Practice any set of exercises you are comfortable with and you will see the positive difference it will make in your life! #FitnessChallenge #HumFitTohIndiaFit.”

Furthering the momentum of Fitness Challenge, the Prime Minister nominated Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy, Table Tennis Player Ms. Manika Batra and the entire IPS fraternity, especially those above 40 for the Fitness Challenge. 

“I am delighted to nominate the following for the #FitnessChallenge:

Karnataka’s CM Shri H D Kumaraswamy

India’s pride and among the highest medal winners for India in the 2018 CWG, Manika Batra

The entire fraternity of brave IPS officers, especially those above 40”, the Prime Minister said.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 07:29:59 +0530
Fire on top of Mumbai s h

A fire has broken out on the top floor of a high rise in Mumbai's Worli area, where actor Deepika Padukone lives, reports NDTV.

Reports suggest no one has been injured. Over 90 residents of the building have been rescued safely say police sources, NDTV reported.

The Mumbai Police have said its staff and firefighting personnel are at the spot. "They are trying to do their best and douse the fire," the Mumbai Police said on Twitter. 

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 15:42:09 +0530
A salute to a never say

 Sunitha Anand

 

I was 17 when she was born. And as all teens I just knew she was different because everyone in the family spoke about her in hushed tones. So, when I saw her for the first time, she looked like all babies do! I wondered what the problem was with Arti.

As she grew up we didn’t see much of her except on annual visits to various Army cantonments as her dad moved. One vacation, we stayed with her family in Ambala. And that’s when I realised she was a baby with special needs. We didn’t have easy access to the internet then, to catch up on the who, what or why …which may come as a surprise to some of you. We took cues from her parents and played with her as best we could.

She was a baby with Down’s syndrome – it is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disability.

I am sure Arti’s parents went through a lot of turmoil on why this had happened, especially since they had a normal first child. But once she reached schooling age is when they realised they had more in store. There wasn’t any mainstream school that would accept Arti. Her parents were told that she would not live beyond eight years, and that she was “mentally retarded”. They were told that helping her was pointless!

Little did the detractors know that the parents were made of sterner stuff. And the maternal grandfather was a rock-solid supporter in the era of ‘people who loved to point and comment’.After a lot of angst and research, Arti’s mother, Sandhya found a centre for people with Down’s syndrome. Her coach Veerabhadra, took special interest in her as he felt she had a spark. He’s her godfather, completely devoted to her progress, never gave up on her and put every effort in helping to overcome her fears.

Her elder brother, Anish never questioned why his mum was spending more time with Arti. He understood why it was important and now he reminds his mum not to give up and to keep trying. He is married now and his wife also has embraced Arti with open arms.

Today at 28, Arti is a STAR in the world of para swimming. She has won bronze and silver medals in the 2013 Special Olympics. She won her first gold medal in 1998 at the Special Olympics in Chandigarh. Arti Krishnamurthy has taken to water like a fish and this is commendable given that she feared it as a child.

She is a strong contender for the 2019 World Games as well. She will go through rigorous practice and training against the best in India for a spot in the Special Olympics team. At preparatorycamps,she will be around strangers and learn independent self-management - none of this bothers her. She’s super confident all thanks to her parents and people who love her. All the other parents see her as a role model as she can stay on her own, cook a meal, and travel by herself.

I have seen how caring she is – she will make sure her mother doesn’t forget her medicines, father takes enough rest and so on. For those of us who have had the privilege to live with her, one can learn lessons on how to be punctual, disciplined and plan everything to the last detail. Her one indulgence is non-stop ‘Sun TV’ serials Wed, 13 Jun 2018 10:08:32 +0530Kohli receives Polly Umri

India cricket captain Virat Kohli  received the Polly Umrigar Award (Best International Cricketer) for his stupendous performances in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) bestowed the award on the skipper at their annual BCCI awards ceremony in Bengaluru, reports NDTV.

"POLLY UMRIGAR AWARD for 2016-17 season goes to #TeamIndia Skipper @imVkohli at #NAMAN. The Skipper also receives the Polly Umrigar Award for his stupendous performances in the 2017-18 season too", BCCI captioned on Twitter.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:29:47 +0530
Intl Atomic Energy Agenc

The International Atomic Energy Agency welcomed the joint statement of US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday and said it was prepared to undertake verification activities.

Trump and Kim pledged to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and Washington committed to provide security guarantees.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency stands ready to undertake any verification activities in the DPRK (North Korea) that it may be requested to conduct by the countries concerned, subject to authorisation by the IAEA’s Board of Governors," Director General Yukiya Amano said in a statement.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:17:47 +0530
Top spiritual leader Bhai

Bhaiyyu Maharaj, a popular spiritual leader who counted some of the country's top politicians and celebrities among his followers, committed suicide on Tuesday by shooting himself in the head at his ashram in Madhya Pradesh's Indore, reports NDTV.

Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, born Uday Sinh Deshmukh, allegedly shot himself over "domestic issues". The police have reportedly found a suicide note that indicated that the 50-year-old was "depressed". He was declared dead at the Bombay hospital in Indore, reports NDTV.

"The country has lost a person who was a confluence of culture, knowledge and selfless service," said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who had provoked opposition anger earlier this year by appointing Bhaiyyu Maharaj and four other "sadhus" as ministers, NDTV reported.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:12:36 +0530
Pakistan violates ceasefi

Four personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) have died in Pakistani firing in Chambliyal sector of Jammu and Kashmir's Samba district. One among the four is BSF assistant commandant, reports NDTV.

The major ceasefire violation by Pakistan comes nearly a week after top level military officers of both countries  agreed to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in "letter and spirit".

"Pakistan Rangers initiated cross border firing along the International Border in Ramgarh last night. We have lost four of our personnel, including an assistant commandant rank officer, while other 3 of our personnel suffered injuries," Inspector General, BSF, Ram Awtar told news agency PTI. The police chief of Jammu and Kashmir, SP Vaid, in a tweet expressed his condolences, NDTV reported

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 08:56:12 +0530
UP bus accident 16 peopl

Sixteen people have died and twelve others injured in a bus accident in Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri district this morning, reports NDTV.

Initial investigation suggests that the driver of the bus was speeding when the vehicle hit the road divider. The collision led to the bus being overturned, NDTV reported.

Those injured have been taken to hospitals nearby. Three of the twelve injured are in critical condition. The driver of the bus was also injured and currently being treated at a hospital. The police is waiting to record his statement.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 08:42:51 +0530
Trump Kim agree for denu

US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un concluded an extraordinary summit Tuesday with lofty promises by the American president to take care of a "very dangerous problem" and Kim forecasting "major change for the world", reports Khaleej Times

They signed a document that Trump described as "pretty comprehensive," but he declined to describe it, saying the details would be revealed later.

The document signing followed a series of meetings at a luxury Singapore resort, reports Khaleej Times.

Trump said that the process of denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula will begin "very soon" as he wrapped up a landmark summit with Kim Jong Un.

"We're starting that process," Trump said in response to a question about denuclearisation, adding that it would start "very quickly."

Earlier, Kim and Trump shook hands and smiled cautiously as they met at their summit, in which the two men will look for ways to end a nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula, added Khaleej Times.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 14:12:29 +0530
Sharjah Shurooq Nine yea

Over the past nine years, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has accrued a portfolio of completed and ongoing projects worth AED 7.6 billion extending across a total area of 11.74 million square metres.

Following the Emiri decree No.2 to establish Shurooq, issued by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the authority has not only confirmed its pivotal role in driving the emirate’s prospects, it has established Sharjah as a major international business hub.

Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Shurooq Executive Chairman, said: "The policies and vision of His Highness have strengthened the investment environment, paving the way for a strong economy and immense future growth. Sharjah’s economic strategy is based on diversification, understanding the basic needs of investors and the desire to improve the style and quality of life for all residents. Thanks to Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi’s foresight, Sharjah has built an outstanding investment development model for other economies to emulate.

He added: "Shurooq was launched under the leadership and vision of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi and despite being a relatively new entity, the authority has established a global reputation."

He attributed much of Shurooq’s success to the far-reaching approach it has adopted in planning and management as well as in the continuous development of its human resources as part of ongoing efforts to enhance the emirate’s competitiveness as an ideal place to work, invest and live.

"Shurooq focused on constructive cooperation and integration with various state departments and agencies across the UAE for the benefit of all emirates, inspired by vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the nation," he said.

Shurooq’s portfolio includes several large-scale projects including Al Qasba, Al Majaz Waterfront and Al Montazah Amusement and Waterpark, as well as the iconic Al Noor Island, which sits on the shores of Khalid Lagoon, combining nature, entertainment, culture and art. Other destinations include The Flag Island and other Flag Squares across the emirate which are among the most prominent national monuments in the UAE.

Other projects currently under construction include the ‘Heart of Sharjah’, the largest historical preservation and restoration project in the region. Planned over five phases, to be completed by 2025, the Heart of Sharjah is home to a variety of tourist facilities such as Souq Al Shanasiyah and Al Bait Hotel.

Shurooq also boasts the Maraya Art Centre and the 1971-Design Space, the ‘I Love Sharjah’ brand and City Sightseeing Sharjah tour buses. The emirate is also home to major events like Sharjah Food Festival and Sharjah World Music Festival, among many others.

In its relentless endeavour to promote the value of services and products it offers to the public, Shurooq entered the eco-tourism sector, launching the Kalba Eco-Tourism project in May 2012 with a view to providing a number of nature reserves and diverse tourist facilities in collaboration with the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah.

Pressing ahead with its strategy to implement sustainable projects, Shurooq began the development of the Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-Tourism Project in early 2016. In its first phase, the project saw the construction of the Mleiha Archeological Centre, which offers visitors a glimpse into Sharjah’s rich legacy and historical treasures, and a diverse set of desert adventures.

Sharjah Collection Hospitality Brand Shurooq’s strategy for expansion and growth has continued with the launch of the ‘Sharjah Collection’ hospitality brand, which was announced in April 2017 during the authority’s participation in the Arabian Travel Market.

The Sharjah Collection includes a number of luxurious lodge and B&B-style properties, along with environmentally-conscious hotels to offer its guests unique living experiences with an authentic taste of Arabian hospitality, rich in Emirati culture.

Shurooq appointed Mantis Collection, the owner of some of the world’s finest boutique hotels and eco-escapes, to manage all hospitality facilities that fall under the Sharjah Collection brand.

The first phase of the Sharjah Collection’s portfolio includes three projects: Al Badayer Lodge in the Al Badayer Desert; Bait Khalid Bin Ibrahim in the Heart of Sharjah; and the Kingfisher Lodge nestled within the Kalba Eco-Tourism project. Recently, Shurooq announced the addition of the Fossil Rock Lodge to the Sharjah Collection.

The Kingfisher Lodge, a five-star hospitality project, features a tented camp within a stunning mangrove nature reserve in the heart of Kalba. Construction work on the project began in March 2017, and is expected to open soon.

Shurooq announced that 80% of Fossil Rock Lodge within the Mleiha project is complete, which will serve as a modern luxury hospitality facility offering a unique experience for desert adventurers and nature lovers.

The authority has been actively involved in developing a range of projects, some of which are near completion and will be opened over the next few months. During 2018, other large-scale projects will be delivered, including Al Bait Hotel, a boutique five-star hospitality facility and the first of its kind heritage hotel in the UAE, and Al Badayer Lodge.

Al Bait, part of the ‘Heart of Sharjah’, has transformed authentic Emirati houses through renovation and expansion. Singaporean General Hotel Management (GHM), a leading operator of luxury hotels in the world, has been appointed to operate the AED 100 million luxury resort.

Another project, Al Badayer Oasis, is a retreat overlooking the golden sand dunes of Sharjah’s central region. In July 2017, Shurooq added 10 dormitory rooms for individuals and groups as well as a cinema and a gym, increasing the project’s total investment from AED 45 million to AED 60 million.

Regarding Shurooq’s projects, Al Sarkal said: "Sharjah’s phenomenal growth cemented the emirate's image as a preferred investment destination for investors from across the world and prompted Shurooq to adopt an integrated plan and a new vision to cope with economic changes, resulting in the formation of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah)."

He continued: "Invest in Sharjah is tasked with leading the emirate’s efforts for investment promotion, with a focus on developing leading real estate and tourism projects and bringing about a positive transformation in the developmental landscape."

He added: "According to figures released by the Sharjah Department of Economic Development, in 2016 the real estate and business service sector achieved growth of 4% and with the launch of new, innovative projects I am confident that we are on the threshold of a big jump for this sector in the near future.

"Sharjah’s sophisticated infrastructure and legislative frameworks encourage the sector to flourish, especially with the introduction of the usufruct right that allows non-UAE citizens to own properties on a 100-year leasehold basis," noted the Executive Chairman of Shurooq.

Al Sarkal also indicated that the previous lack of real estate projects with integrated services and facilities have prompted Shurooq to announce a series of strategic partnerships and joint ventures with world-class local companies such as Eagle Hills, Nakheel, Diamond Developers and Emaar Hospitality.

The ‘Invest in Sharjah’ office is adopting an ambitious strategy that focuses on six main sectors: tourism and leisure; environment and renewable energy; healthcare; transport and logistics; education; and light industries Shurooq is collaborating with relevant bodies and agencies in Sharjah to identify potential opportunities and provide facilities that help attract investments and capital to these sectors, ensuring the free circulation of data between legal, economic and tourist bodies, enhance transparency and objectivity.

According to a statistical study by Shurooq, the tourism and leisure sector in Sharjah has a wealth of opportunities, especially in luxurious accommodation, with four-and five-star hotels accounting for 70% of emirate’s total hotel revenues. This is apart from potential opportunities in leisure destinations in Sharjah, particularly in the food and beverage sector, which is expected to reach $1.4 billion (AED 5.15 billion) in 2019.

The size of the environment sector is expected to reach $281 million (AED1.03 billion) in Sharjah by the end of this year. With Sharjah placing a high premium on preservation and environmentally sustainable practices, the sector is likely to grow to $314 million (AED1.15 billion) by the end of 2020.

Sharjah’s healthcare sector also offers many investment opportunities. With imports accounting for 90% of medicines, there is investment potential to establish pharmaceutical plants to meet a large portion of domestic demand. The number of beds in local hospitals account for 0.6 beds per 1000 people at a time the healthcare sector is expected to grow by 9.3% annually. These figures show the investment appeal and revenue potential in the local health sector through establishing more medical facilities.

In education, Sharjah is home to an impressive array of prestigious and world-class educational establishments, with educated people constituting 92% of the emirate’s total population. The education sector is still very promising for investment, particularly in schools, universities and specialised institutes.

For light industries, Sharjah is home to 65,000 small and medium-size enterprises that find the emirate an ideal place for their growth and expansion. The SMEs provide the domestic market and foreign markets with many light industries such as food, packaging, and light metal industries, among others. Sharjah has 22 industrial zones offering world-class facilities, opening the doors to investors from all over the world.

Sharjah’s GDP hit AED152 billion in 2016 according to the Department of Economic Development, partly attributable to the emirate’s strategic location between Asia, Europe and Africa. Sharjah is home to world-class seaports on the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean, as well as its international airport and the sophisticated infrastructure of roads and integrated transport networks. The transport and logistics sector in the emirate is expected to achieve a total value of $1.7 billion (AED 6.25 billion) by the end of 2018 and projected to rise steadily to $1.9 billion (AED 7 billion) by the end of 2019.

Invest in Sharjah is the official entity with a mandate to introduce investment opportunities to business owners, managers and investors in various sectors and helping them to make the most of the emirate’s offerings.

The office implements an overall strategy based on providing a range of advantages and incentives in cooperation with a number of relevant government agencies and departments, to enhance the business environment in Sharjah and make it more attractive.

Shurooq continues to make achievements in 2018, during which it revealed the establishment of a new company ‘Eagle Hills Sharjah’ in a strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi-based leading developer Eagle Hills. Under this new joint venture, Shurooq launched three large-scale projects worth AED 2.7 billion to be developed by the new company.

The three projects include Maryam Island, Palace Al Khan and Kalba Waterfront, all of which are focused on promoting Sharjah's tourism sector and celebrating the emirate's heritage. The large-scale projects, including high-end hospitality facilities, will give a strong boost to the emirate’s flourishing property sector, setting new benchmarks for housing, hospitality and retail offerings, as well as lifestyle communities in Sharjah and Kalba. The projects are scheduled for completion between 2019 and 2020.

The largest of the three projects in term of both value and area is the AED 2.4-billion Maryam Island, a mixed-use development located between Al Khan Lagoon and Al Mamzar in Downtown Sharjah. Maryam Island spans 460,000 sqm, of which 310,000 sqm are designated for commercial and residential compounds, hotel units, restaurants and cafes, shops, leisure facilities and green parks.

The $43.5 million (AED 160 million) Kalba Waterfront is a master-planned retail mall spanning 17,000 sqm with 11,200 sqm of gross leasable area. The shopping centre will be located within the Kalba Eco-Tourism Project adjacent to a lagoon, and house 86 retail outlets, indoor and outdoor dining outlets, local and international brands, a supermarket and entertainment area. The unconventional design of the mall includes internal public streets with outlets and shops on both sides, offering a unique outdoor dining space and breathtaking views.

Palace Al Khan is designed to be Sharjah city’s first five-star luxury waterfront resort. The seaside hotel, extending over 66,200 sqm along the city’s coast in Al Khan area overlooking the Arabian Gulf, will offer 87 hotel keys.

In April, Shurooq signed an agreement with master developer Nakheel to develop a new community retail centre at a total cost of AED75 million.

Under the agreement, Nakheel will develop a high-class community retail and leisure centre in Sharjah’s rapidly-expanding Al Rahmaniya district.

In alignment with its vision to strengthen strategic partnerships with the private sector and boost the emirate’s drive of economic diversification, Shurooq signed a partnership agreement with Diamond Developers to develop a large mixed-used project in Sharjah.

The green project enhances the quality of real estate projects in Sharjah, meeting the highest standards of environmental sustainability, allowing new and innovative options for investments in the green sector.

Parallel to Shurooq’s strategic growth in its portfolio of investments and its plans to strengthen Sharjah’s economic presence by diversifying its sectors, Shurooq established a total of 7 companies that operate under the authority, each with a different function to support the emirate’s economic expansion.

Some of these companies function as transport and logistics, while others function marketing agencies, entertainment houses and trade services. Among these companies are: Sharjah Transport Solutions, Absolute Adventures, Tasweeq, Poltrona Frau, Qatra, Mazare’a and TACA Emirates.

Over the past nine years, Shurooq has bolstered its global commercial and economic ties through overseas business visits and receptions, participation in exhibitions, conferences, forums and international investment and economic events. It also entrenched its position through a continuous presence in many specialised economy and investment events, whether as a participant or an organiser, including the Arabian Travel Market and the Annual Investment Meeting, which are held in Dubai.

On the local level, Shurooq organised economic forums such as Euromoney Emirates Conference, and the Sharjah FDI Forum for three consecutive editions as of 2015. It also organises the UAE-Indian Economic Forum and the Sharjah-Arab Business Roundtable. In another move, Shurooq organised the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters, which received a widespread international attention and coverage.

Shurooq has also enjoyed an impressive presence in the World Investment Forum in Shanghai, the Korean Investment Fair, China’s Trade Week and the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong. The authority organised ‘Sharjah Day’ in London and Milan, and took part in the FDI Expo in London, the World Travel Market London and ITB Berlin.

To reinforce Sharjah’s business and investment status, Shurooq organised tours, roadshows and visits along with its participation in events across the world, including the GCC countries, Arab League, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, India, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Portugal, France, Spain, the United States and Australia.

Shurooq has signed a number of agreements with local and international entities, including Air Arabia, the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, the US Chamber of Commerce, Emirates Transport and Careem, and the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences, among many others.

In recognition of its overall accomplishments, Shurooq secured a large number of local, regional and international awards and accolades. It has won the title Top Investment Promotion Agency in Middle East three times, and was named FDI Agency 2013 as part of the Banking Awards, and FDI MENA Agency of the Year 2014 by the European Global Banking and Finance Awards. Shurooq’s other accolades include the Arab Organisation of Social Responsibility Award and Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2015 and 2017.

Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal was awarded with the Golden Friends of India Award, and was also named the Middle East CEO of the Year by the prestigious Burj CEO Awards, as well as the Best Official Spokesperson as part of the Sharjah Government Communication Award 2017.

Shurooq’s destinations have also won a host of prestigious local and international awards. Al Noor Island won the 2016 WAN Metal in Architecture Award and the Iconic Award in the Best Architectural Design category. Also in the same year, it was named Best Leisure Architecture in Africa and Arabia 2016 as part of the International Property Awards, and was the recipient of the IF Design Award 2017 and German Design Award 2017.

The Mleiha Archaeological Centre within the Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-Tourism Project won the prestigious Cityscape Global – Best Community, Culture & Tourism Project Award in the Middle East, and the Community and Culture Award as part of the Middle East Architect Awards 2016, in addition to other awards from the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 10:15:20 +0530
Trump Kim meet ends on a

The much-anticipated negotiation talk between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which commenced at 6 30 am at Capella Hotel in Sendosa, ended up on a winning note.

The US President Donald Trump said that the first one-on-one meeting with Kim was a very good one and he had no doubt in the good future relations with North Korea while Kim said that past experiences and thoughts stood as an obstacle before them for negotiation and now he arrived here after overcoming all those issues.

 The United States and the North Korea have been engaged in a war of words from years long back and this is for the first time that the top leaders of US as well as Korea sit around a table for a negotiation talk. The first meeting involved only both the leaders and their translators in a closed door.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 10:06:24 +0530
UAE India landmark agre

A landmark agreement signed in February between the UAE and India expanding their bilateral energy relationship has started bearing fruit.

India’s state-owned oil exploration company, ONGC Videsh Ltd., OVL, has announced receipt of the first tranche of equity oil cargo from Abu Dhabi's Lower Zakum oilfield.

A shipload of Das blend crude oil has reached New Mangalore port, the company said in a statement.

An agreement signed in February between Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO on the UAE side and Shashi Shekhar, Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC on the Indian side, granted a 10 percent concession in the Lower Zakum field to an Indian consortium, led by OVL.

The consortium includes state-run Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat PetroResources Ltd. The agreement coincided with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE.

The concession commenced on March 9th and is for a period of 40 years. "This first equity cargo of 690,000 barrels was loaded onto the vessel MT Wafrah on June 2nd," the OVL statement said.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, which will pick up the consignment from Mangalore port is an ONGC Group company in the downstream business which operates one of India's most modern and complex refineries, according to the statement.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:57:58 +0530
Indian Railways completel

In line with digital initiatives, Indian Railways has for the first time completely digitized the Complaint management system.

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal today launched a new App “Rail Madad” – An App to expedite &  streamline passenger grievance redressal. RPGRAMS (Railway Passenger Grievance Redressal and Management System),which has been developed by Northern Railway (Delhi Division) and comprises many novel features including ‘Rail Madad’ – a  mobile App  to register complaints by passengers through mobile phone/web. 

It relays real time feedback to passengers on the status of redressal of their complaints- the passenger gets an instant ID through SMS on registration of complaint followed by a customized SMS communicating the action taken thereon by Railway. RPGRAMS integrates all the passenger complaints received from multiple modes (14 offline/online modes currently) on a single platform, analyzes them holistically and generates various types of management reports which enable the top management to continuously monitor the pace of grievance redressal as well as evaluate the performance of field units/ trains/ stations on various parameters viz cleanliness, catering, amenities etc. It also identifies weak/deficient areas and laggard trains/stations for undertaking focussed corrective actions.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:38:25 +0530
UK Minister Baroness Will

A delegation from the United Kingdom led by the Minister of State for Countering Extremism and Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams of Trafford, held talks with the Indian delegation led by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju.

The discussions covered variety of important issues ranging from cooperation in matters of migration, tackling extremism, extradition, sharing of criminal records etc. During the meeting, Rijiju also called for implementation of the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to check money laundering and terrorist financing.

While underlining the need for cooperation in fighting international terrorism, Rijiju said terrorism cannot be viewed with a prismatic view and urged the UK Minister to check anti-India activities on its soil. Baroness Williams assured cooperation of the highest level on this issue.

Raising the issue of fugitive tycoons wanted by New Delhi for frauds and financial misappropriations, Rijiju said Britain should not be viewed as a safe haven for men wanted by the law of the other country for various offences. He said while India respects the courts and will pursue the legal procedures in Britain to bring back wanted men, New Delhi expects the cooperation of the UK Government. Allaying concerns over prison conditions in India, Rijiju said there are absolute safeguards against Human Rights violations in Indian prisons.

In response to the UK Minister’s request for facilitating repatriation of illegal migrants, Rijiju said that while the issue of timeframes is important, Government would like to reassure itself about the completion of verification before repatriation process begins. Rijiju also lauded the cooperation of the UK Government on various international forums.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:23:20 +0530
PM meets Vajpayee at AIIM

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, visited former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at AIIMS today. 

The Prime Minister interacted with family members of Vajpayee. He also spoke to Doctors and inquired about the health of Vajpayee.

Narendra Modi was at AIIMS for about 50 minutes.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:17:36 +0530
BSF to put laser rays in

Border security force (BSF) plans to use laser rays for tightening security in borders covering Bangladesh in Tripura. BSF officials said that they are considering putting laser based invisible borders at areas where fences are not possible in wetlands and rivers.

The new laser plan is also due in consideration to use in Assam's international border Dhubri to restrict border infiltration. Lasers had already deployed in Punjab and Jammu where the borders touching Pakistan and it was analysed that the laser method yielded success.

The union government had shown a green signal to install iron fence along the 856 km long Bangladesh border in Tripura. Now the new laser rays will add more security in Indian borders.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:11:34 +0530
AAP leaders continue sit

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his colleagues' sit-in protest at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal's house continued late into evening as they stick on to their demands. Recent images have shown that Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia in sofas at the Lt. Governor's house while many party workers camped outside.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders demand that the governor should approve the proposal of doorstep delivery of rations and also take actions on IAS officers who have been boycotting work for the last four months.

Meanwhile the Lt. Governor's office released a communique accusing CM of "threatening him" and denied any strike or suspension of work by IAS officers.

The impression from interaction with the officers is that "no sincere efforts have been made to assure the officers that their respect and dignity will be protected and they will not be intimidated, physically or verbally assaulted and threatened," the Lieutenant Governor said. His advice to build an atmosphere of trust  has been disregarded, the communique said.

Mr. Kejriwal tweeted as a response to Lt. Governor's comments said that many officers had told him that they have been threatened by Raj Niwas of dire consequences if they withdraw strike. LG promoting active rebellion against elected government at PMO's instance. People of Del will not tolerate this.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 08:38:15 +0530
Trump Kim launch histori

With a smiling face each other and a hug from both sides, US President Donald Trump and North Korean supremo Kim Jong Un met for the first time in Singapore. The two leaders began the meeting at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa where the whole world closely watches for the final result of the meeting.

Donald Trump said that there will be a good relationship with North Korea and no need for a doubt on that while Kim said that past experiences and thoughts stood as an obstacle before them for negotiation and now he arrived here after overcoming all those issues.

 The United States and the North Korea have been engaged in a war of words from years long back and this is for the first time that the top leaders of US as well as Korea sit around a table for a negotiation talk. The first meeting involved only both the leaders and their translators in a closed door.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 08:10:37 +0530
Modi works for some peop

Prime Minister Narendra Modi completely avoided the poor and weaker sections of the society, says Congress President Rahul Gandhi while attending the OBC convention in New Delhi.

"The government ruled by Modi, Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat stand for only some people in the country. Backward people, Dalits and poor ones are devoid of government benefits. Modi says that Indians lag behind in the skills. But he is telling lies. Indians are skilled people, but not getting opportunities", said Rahul.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 19:21:20 +0530
Qauntico controversy Pri

Actress Priyanka Chopra tendered an apology for the latest controversial episode in her American TV series 'Quantico'.  The series portrayed a US university Professor as an Indian who tries to destroy New York with a bomb attack.

Priyanka' s apology  came soon after the ABC channel tendered their apology. She took to twitter and said that her intention was not to hurt the sentiment of the people and that she was a proud Indian.

I’m extremely saddened and sorry that some sentiments have been hurt by a recent episode of Quantico. That was not and would never be my intention. I sincerely apologise. I’m a proud Indian and that will never change, she tweeted

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:51:41 +0530
China to import rice sug

China will make a new deal to import rice and sugar from India as Chinese president Xi Jinping suggested for a new trade deal which targets $ 10000 crore within two years, during the Shanghai Co-operative Organisation (SCO) summit.

The previous year's trade between India and China reached to $8444 crore after rising to 18.63%. India will host the next year's summit of SCO which is a union of 8 nations where India and the neighbouring country Pakistan joined the organisation last year as a full time member.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:34:58 +0530
Govt recruits from privat

The central government's decision to recruit people from private sector to appoint them at the joint secretary level has invited objections from bureaucratic society as they allege that this is purely against the civil service system and its reservation norms while modifying the bureaucracy in the country by satisfying the requirements of business organisations.

The personal department has issued advertisement inviting people those who have skill, dedication and also having interest in the national development.

The appointments will be in 10 ministries including Revenue, financial services, economic affairs, agriculture, road transportation, Shipping, environment, aviation and trade. The appointments will be on contract basis from 3 to 5 years.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:22:17 +0530
Heavy rain wreaks havoc i

Severe rain as part of the south west monsoon causes miseries in Kerala as many people, especially in Idukki and Wayanad districts, feel the sufferings. Alert system has been given to the people on the banks of Thodupuzha river and Moovattupuzha river as there is a probability to open the shutter of the Malankara dam.

Extended rain has raised the water level in the Neyyar dam to its maximum capacity in a situation where its shutter might be opened at any time. So the officials have given strict alert to people and restricted them going to the Karamana river, Neyyar and Killiyar river.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:35:34 +0530
Nirav Modi seeks politica

Nirav Modi, a jewellery businessman who left India after having a $2 billion fraud case in Punjab National Bank (PNB), seeks political asylum in UK.  International news agency Reuters has reported this latest development citing Indian and British officials.

Meanwhile the British Home department has informed that they won't exchange data in private cases.

Punjab National Bank said earlier in 2018 that two jewellery groups headed by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it of about $2.2 billion by raising credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff at a Mumbai branch over several years.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 11:24:24 +0530
Heavy rain disrupts Mumba

Mumbai, the city which already tasted the initial part of the much long rain rich monsoon, will receive a further amount of rain in the coming hours. The southwest monsoon had hit the state yesterday and more rain has been forecast in Mumbai and South Maharashtra today.

Heavy rain lashed out in Mumbai as the city received 7595 cm rain in the last 12 hours. The city has been under high alert as there will be more rain in the next 48 hours.

The monsoon becomes stronger in Maharashtra and Goa and most of the low-lying areas are waterlogged. Parel, Kurla, Hindmata, Mahim are the areas in Mumbai that are worsely affected by the heavy rain.

Transportation services are also highly disrupted as the rain affected the suburban train services. Train services are not cancelled yet, but most of the trains are late by 15-20 minutes. Two flights cancelled its services due to heavy rain and 32 flights have been delayed.

Three units of the DIsaster Management Force have been deployed in the city to initiate rescue operations in case of any emergency requirements.

Sun, 10 Jun 2018 10:55:20 +0530
Heavy rain in Mumbai Cit

Heavy rain lashes out in Mumbai as the city received 7595 cm rain in the last 12 hours. The city has been under high alert as there will be more rain in the next 48 hours.

The monsoon becomes stronger in Maharashtra and Goa and most of the low-lying areas are waterlogged. Parel, Kurla, Hindmata, Mahim are the areas in Mumbai that are worsely affected by the heavy rain.

Transportation services are also highly disrupted as the rain affected the suburban train services. Train services are not cancelled yet, but most of the trains are late by 15-20 minutes. Two flights cancelled its services due to heavy rain and 32 flights have been delayed.

Three units of the DIsaster Management Force have been deployed in the city to initiate rescue operations in case of any emergency requirements.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 19:21:35 +0530
World Cup gift FIFA rele

With just seven days to go until the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, FIFA can confirm that 2,403,116 tickets have been allocated to football fans all around the world since sales started in September 2017.

In accordance with the ticket sales structure and in line with FIFA’s efforts to make as many tickets as possible available directly to football fans, more than 100,000 tickets, which were previously reserved for other FIFA constituent groups, will be made available at FIFA.com/tickets on a first-come, first-served basis on 8th June, 23:00 Moscow time (22:00 Central European Time)

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 11:58:10 +0530
UN Myanmar agreement pave

Two United Nations agencies signed a landmark agreement with the government of Myanmar on Wednesday, which they hope will provide hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees with a pathway to return home, from overcrowded camps across the border in Bangladesh.

Ahead of the signing, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, Knut Ostby, said in an exclusive interview with UN News that the two most important conditions for their safe and voluntary return are citizenship rights and an end to violence.

"People need to have an identity, they need to be able to exist as normal people in society, they need to be able to move around so they can enjoy services and livelihoods," he said.

"And there needs to be an absence of violence. People need to be able to return in peace," he added.

This is a first, and very important step, but it is now that the really important work starts - Knut Ostby, Humanitarian Coordinator The Memorandum of Understanding, which was officially signed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the Government of Myanmar, will give these two UN agencies access to Rakhine State, including to refugees’ places of origin and potential new settlement areas that the UN has so far been unable to access since the violence escalated at the end of last August.

"This is a first, and very important step, but it is now that the really important work starts," said Ostby. "It was a major crisis last year. Hundreds of thousands, (are) living in really horrible conditions today, and we really need to do our best to help them, so they can return home," he added.

The access, once verified, will allow UNHCR to assess local conditions and help the refugees to make informed decisions on voluntary return.

The agreement will also allow UNHCR and UNDP to carry out needs assessments in affected communities and strengthen the capacity of local authorities to support the voluntary repatriation process.

The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State – a neutral and impartial body composed of six local experts and three international experts, chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan – has proposed concrete measures for improving the welfare of all people in Rakhine State.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 11:53:37 +0530
Massive fire in Mumbai s

A level-4 fire broke out in one of the buildings in Mumbai's Fort area around 4.30 am today. The Patel Chambers in Fort caught with massive fire which led to the collapse of the building later, leaving two firefighters got injured.

The news agency ANI reported that the situation is under control now and rescue operations are still going on.

South Mumbai witnessed a fire for the second time in the last 10 days as a major fire had broke out in the Income Tax office in South Mumbai's Scindia House on last Friday. But no casualties reported there as fire tenders rescued people who were trapped inside.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 10:17:38 +0530
Heavy rainfall predicted

Southwest Monsoon has further advanced into some more parts of the Central Arabian Sea, remaining parts of Goa, Karnataka and Rayalaseema, some parts of south Konkan, south Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Vidarbha, south Chhattisgarh and South Odisha, entire Telangana, most parts of Coastal Andhra Pradesh, remaining parts of West Central Bay of Bengal and most parts of North Bay of Bengal. The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) passes through Lat. 17°N/ Long. 60°E, Lat. 17°N/ Long. 70°E, Ratnagiri. Solapur, Nanded, Adilabad, Bailadila, Malkangiri, Kalingapatnam, Lat. 21°N/ Long. 90°E, Agartala, Lumding, North Lakhimpur and Lat. 29°N/ Long. 95°E. (Figure 1)

Conditions are favorable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into some more parts of the Central Arabian Sea, Maharashtra (including Mumbai), Chhattisgarh  & Odisha  and remaining  parts of Coastal Andhra Pradesh during next 24 hours.

Conditions are very likely to become favorable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into most parts of the Arabian Sea,  remaining parts of Maharashtra,   some parts of   the South Gujarat region, southern parts  of Madhya Pradesh, some more parts  of Chhattisgarh and Odisha, some  parts of West Bengal & Sikkim, remaining parts of Northeastern States and Bay of Bengal during the subsequent 48 hours.

Increased rainfall activity over coastal Karnataka, Goa and south Maharashtra is likely to continue till 10th June. It is very likely to extend to north coastal Maharashtra, including Mumbai from tomorrow. Extremely heavy rainfall in isolated places in these regions is also very likely during this period. The rainfall activity over these regions is likely to reduce from 12th June.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:42:59 +0530
India s Swachh Bharat Mis

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the largest behavior change programme in the world, the rural sanitation coverage of India has now risen to 85%. Through the mobilization of rural communities, 7.4 crore toilets have been built across rural India, and as an outcome, over 3.8 lakh villages and 391 districts have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

This is significant because, under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), sanitation coverage has increased to more than double the coverage at the time of the launch of the Mission.

A recent survey conducted by an Independent Verification Agency across 90,000 households in over 6000 villages has found the usage of toilets in rural India to be 93.4%. Two independent surveys conducted in the past by the Quality Council of India in 2017, and National Sample Survey Organization in 2016, have pegged the usage of these toilets at 91% and 95% respectively. This success has been achieved due to the difference in approach to sanitation adopted by the Swachh Bharat Mission in comparison to previous sanitation programmes in the country.

The Swachh Bharat Mission is the first sanitation programme in the country to measure outcomes (ODF) instead of output (toilets) alone. The SBM's emphasis on behavior change in rural sanitation at the grassroots also leads to rigorous verification and sustainability of the benefits accrued to rural communities under the progress made. The SBM is a people's movement, a true jan andolan, and it is this people's participation that has led to the success being witnessed under the Mission. The Mission is on track to achieve an ODF India by October 2019.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:34:27 +0530
Election commission recei

During the bye-election to 2-Kairana and 11-Bhandara-Gondiya Parliamentary Constituencies on 28th May 2018, malfunctioning of a few VVPAT machines was reported during the mock poll and actual poll. To ascertain the causes of failure, the Commission deputed two Special Teams. The preliminary fact finding reports submitted to the Commission, have indicated two major technical reasons for the malfunctioning, namely: -

  1. Failure of Contrast Sensor (error 2.2)
  2. Failure of length sensor (error 2.4)

The above errors are mainly caused by excessive exposure to illumination in the Polling Station.

The Commission has asked the manufacturers and the Technical Expert Committee to suggest additional design improvements as well as suggestions on any layout changes in the polling stations to prevent any excessive exposure to illumination in the future. Manufacturers have also been asked to do a detailed technical analysis once the VVPATs are free from Election Petition (as these cannot be currently accessed in Strong Rooms till 45 days Election Petition period is over).

The Commission has decided to reiterate its SOPs regarding Do’s and Don’t’s and have also formed a Committee to examine further strengthening of the SOPs. The Commission has also decided to make the First Level Checking process stricter. The Commission has also adopted the hardware improvement recommended by TEC to prevent auto shutdown of VVPATs due to excessive light. The Commission has directed that the training of the polling officials be further strengthened and streamlined, so that failures due to human errors are minimized.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:26:14 +0530
PM leaves for China for a

Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s departure statement prior to his visit to Qingdao in China.

“I will be visiting Qingdao in China for the annual meeting of the Council of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

I am excited to lead the Indian delegation for our first-ever meeting of the Council as a full member. The SCO has a rich agenda for cooperation, ranging from fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism to promoting cooperation in connectivity, commerce, customs, law, health and agriculture; protecting the environment and mitigating disaster risk; and fostering people-to-people relations. In the last one year since India became a full member of the SCO, our interaction with the Organization and its member States has grown considerably in these areas. I believe that the Qingdao Summit will further enrich the SCO agenda, while heralding a new beginning for India’s engagement with the SCO.

India enjoys deep friendship and multi-dimensional ties with the Member States of the SCO. On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, I will have the opportunity of meeting and sharing views with several other leaders, including the Heads of States of many SCO Member States.”

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:18:45 +0530
Arab Coalition destroys m

With the participation and support of the UAE Armed Forces, the fighter jets and artillery of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition in Yemen have launched air strikes on the Iranian-backed Houthi militias' locations and assemblies in Bait Al Faqih and Al Duraihami Districts in the south of Hodeidah, which resulted in the destruction of their military reinforcements and equipment.

The coalition forces also targeted the locations and reinforcements of the Houthis militias in the east of Al Mashrai'e, Al-Jarrahi Districts’ outskirts and western Hussainiya amid the escape of the militia elements towards the mountains and a state of confusion and panic among their ranks.

Eighty-six Houthis were killed in air raids launched by the Arab Coalition fighters in confrontation with the Joint Yemeni Resistance forces at the Hodeidah battlefront, while the forces carried out an operation to clear out the Houthi pockets in Al Taif and Al Nukhaila farms in preparation for the battle of liberating Hodeidah.

The Joint Yemeni Resistance continues to mobilise its trained forces and stabilise its positions in preparation for a major battle to liberate Hodeidah from the Iranian Houthi militias and separate the forces from Hodeidah Airport.

The Yemeni Resistance forces have gone a long way in liberating more than 90 kilometres of area from Al Hima Port to Al Duraihmi District, south of Hodeidah, in a short period of time amid the continuation of qualitative military operations to clean the centres of Tahita, Zubaid, and Bait Al Faqih districts from the members of the Iranian Houthi militias and the eastern areas adjacent to the coastal strip, as part of the intensive preparations for the liberation of Al Hodeidah city.

Fri, 08 Jun 2