Governor of Manipur, Dr. Najma Heptullah,
Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri N. Biren Singh,
My ministerial colleague, Dr. Harsh Vardhan,
Other distinguished dignitaries on the dais,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by paying my rich tributes to three very distinguished Indian scientists whom we lost in recent times – Padma Vibhushan Prof Yashpal, Padma Vibhushan Prof UR Rao and Padma Shri DrBaldev Raj. They all made out-standing contributions to Indian science and education.
Number of beneficiaries enrolled under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) has increased to 17,66,423. Every day on an average, around 50, 000 new applications are received for enrolment. So far, Rs. 2048.
Ministry of Railways Devises action plan for improvement in passenger experience at Hazrat Nizamuddin station
Ministry of Railways is constantly striving to improve passenger amenities and facilities for making the journey of passengers comfortable and pleasant.
Towards this objective, a committee of senior officers was nominated for identifying the amenities and facilities that could be further provided at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station to make the overall experience of the passengers who visit that station even more pleasant and enjoyable.
Indian Railways has introduced an innovative analytical approach to optimize the deployment of electric and diesel locomotivesrun passenger trains. This involves use of a software based mathematical decision support system to increase the productivity of locomotives.
Bring in greater transparency, ethical corporate behavior and enhanced accountability into our corporate governance system: Vice President
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that bring-in greater transparency, ethical corporate behavior and enhanced accountability into our corporate governance system. He was addressing the inaugural session of the 58th National Cost Convention of Institute of Cost Accountants of India, here today.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will address the annual 'Krishi Unnati Mela' at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, IARI Pusa campus in the capital on March 17. He will address farmers, unveil a portal on organic farming and lay the foundation stone of 25 Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
“Government committed to take people-centric initiatives, generate jobs for socio-economic development of the North Eastern Region’: Dr Harsh Vardhan
Emphasising the Government’s commitment to undertake initiatives that are people-centric and boost the income of farmers, as well as generate jobs for the socio-economic development of the North-Eastern region, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that the North East is a special focus of the Government.
Minister of Commerce & Industry, Suresh Prabhu, Chairs Meeting on Making India USD 5 Trillion Economy in 7 Years
Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce& Industry addressing members of the task force.
Minister of Commerce& Industry, Suresh Prabhu, today chaired a working group on making India a USD 5 trillion economy in 7 years.
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that peace is required for sustained development. He was interacting with the Chief Minister of Nagaland, Shri Neiphiu Rio and the Council of Ministers who called on him, here today.
I. MERCHANDISE TRADE
EXPORTS (including re-exports)
Exports during February 2018 have exhibited positive growth of 4.48 per cent in dollar terms vis-à-vis February2017. Exports have been on a positive trajectory since August 2016 to February 2018except for a temporary setback in October 2017.
MoS (Home) Shri Kiren Rijiju addresses Valedictory Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police
The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju has advocated that law enforcement and security agencies worldwide must collaborate to tackle the threat posed by Cyber Crimes. Addressing the Valedictory Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) here today, he observed that the existing frameworks, programmes and tools are often too slow and bureaucratic to allow for a timely and effective response.
Shri Ram Vilas Paswan inaugurates celebrations of World Consumer Rights Day 2018 with the theme of “Making Digital Markets Fairer”
Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution launched integrated portal for consumer services i.e jagograhakjago.gov.in on the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day. The Union Minister emphasized on the key consumer rights such as safety, information, choice, complaint lodging and grievances redressal.
Ministry of HRD is committed to give full support for completion of Innovation projects under Smart India Hackathon- – Dr. Satyapal Singh.
The future of any country depends on the advancement of Research and innovation and innovation in different fields provide benefit to millions of people, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Dr. Satyapal Singh said today at the review meeting of Smart India Hackathon 2017 via video conferencing held in New Delhi today.
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh, presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for implementation of e-office softwareyesterday.
The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on March 15, 2018 was 51.389 BCM which is 32% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 34 for the week ending on March 08, 2018.
Quarterly Report on Public Debt Management for the Third Quarter (Q3) of the Financial Year (FY) 2017-18 (October-December 2017) released; During Q3 FY 2017-18, the Government issued Dated Securities worth Rs.1,64,000 crore, lower than Rs.1,89,000 crore in Q2 of FY 2016-17, thus leading to cumulative issuance of Rs.5,21,000 crore (87.0% of 2017-18 RE) among others.
Since Apr-Jun (Q1) 2010-11, Public Debt Management Cell (PDMC) (earlier Middle Office), Budget Division, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, has been bringing out a quarterly report on debt management on a regular basis.
In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of Section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC), being satisfied that it is necessary and expedient so to do, hereby makes the following amendment in the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), No. 36/2001-Customs (N.T.
In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), and in supersession of the notification of the Central Board of Excise and Customs(CBEC) No.18/2018-CUSTOMS (N.T.
Inland Waterways Authority of India, IWAI, had invited separate tenders for ferry vessels, fairway development (dredging) and setting up of floating jetties to introduce water taxi services from Wazirabad to FatehpurJat on the 16 km stretch of Yamuna river (National Waterway-110) in the Delhi NCR region.
The Government proposes to augment capacity to develop eco-friendly and economic mode of transportation along inland waterways and coastal shipping routes under the Sagarmala Programme. Sagarmala is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping to promote port-led development in the country by harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways.
The Centre on Friday informed the Supreme Court that it will not damage the mythological Ram Sethu for its Sethusamudram Ship Channel project in the interest of the nation. The Union Ministry of Shipping, in its affidavit submitted in the court on Friday, told the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the PIL filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against the Sethusamudram project can now be disposed off by taking note of government's stand.
At the stock markets, the Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange declined 293 points, or 0.9 percent, to trade at 33,392 in afternoon session, a short while ago, on selling in a few sectors amid weakness in Asian markets over US tariffs on commodities and its impending global impact on world economies.
Nepal's bowlers laid the platform for the comprehensive win, with Sandeep Lamichhane and Dipendra Airee taking four wickets apiece to dismiss their opponents for 114 in just 27.2 overs at Old Hararians Sports Club.
It was another disappointing batting display from PNG, who have now been bowled out for 200 or fewer in four of their five matches in the competition. The defeat confirms they will lose their ODI status.
Paras Khadka's decision to field upon winning the toss was vindicated when Sompal Kami trapped Assad Vala, the PNG skipper, lbw in the third over for 10. Karan KC then got into the act, getting rid of the dangerous Tony Ura for 11, as the scoreboard read 29/2.
Chad Soper and Sese Bau took PNG past the 50-mark, sharing a third-wicket stand of 22, but from then on Nepal's bowlers ran amok.
Lamichhane, the 17-year-old leg-spinner, was irrepressible once again, claiming figures of 4/29 to take his wicket tally for the tournament to 11. He took a wicket in each of his first four overs, trapping Soper lbw for 10 and then sneaking one past the defences of Bau (11) before accounting for Mahuru Dai (5) and Kiplin Doriga (10). That left PNG floundering at 78/6.
Charles Amini and Jason Kila tried to rectify the damage by forging a 28-run stand for the seventh wicket, but then it was the turn of the off-spinner Airee to tear into PNG, taking the last four wickets to finish with the impressive figures of 4/14 - the 18-year-old's best in List A cricket.
Amini was the first to fall to Airee, dismissed lbw for an innings top-score of 19, before the spinner saw off Kila (15) and Norman Vanua with successive deliveries. A fantastic reaction catch from keeper Anil Sah removed John Reva, ending the innings in double-quick time.
Two early wickets gave PNG brief hope in Nepal's reply, Gyanendra Malla edging behind off Alei Nao and Sah trapped in front by Vanua to leave the score 13/2.
Khadka, Nepal's captain and talisman, helped to settle the nerves with an 18-ball 20 before he mistimed a pull stroke off Reva and was pouched at mid-on.
Nepal were not to be denied though, as Airee capped a fine individual display with a composed innings of 50* from 58 balls to see his side home. He was ably supported by Aarif Sheikh, who chipped in with a useful 26 before becoming Vanua's second victim, as Nepal reached their target with 27 overs to spare.
Nepal will now take on the Netherlands in the seventh-place play-off in Kwekwe on Saturday, while PNG meet Hong Kong on the same day in Harare to decide who finishes ninth.
The encounter broke out after a failed bid to snatch the weapon of the personal security guard of a BJP leader. The terrorists yesterday tried to snatch the service rifle of constable Bilal Ahmad, who is the PSO of BJP leader Anwar Khan, at Balhama in Pulwama district. The police personnel accompanying Khan foiled the attempt, during which Ahmad received a bullet injury. He's said to be in a stable condition in hospital.The entire area has been cordoned off.and the search operation is underway at the encounter site as there were reports of third terrorist as well at the time of weapon snatching attempt.
In another incident. Three terrorists have been arrested in the Budgam district yesterday..Acting on an intelligence input, the police and the Army conducted a joint raid and arrested three terrorists after recovering incriminating material including arms and ammunition from their possession. Police have also seized the vehicle used by the three terrorists.
Bodies of two terrorists, arms & ammunition among other incriminating materials recovered in Srinagar's Khanmoh area following an encounter between security forces & terrorists yesterday. A case has been registered and the investigation is underway.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the farmers and agri-scientists tomorrow. He will also unveil a portal on organic farming and lay the foundation stone of 25 Krishi Vigyan Kendras. A theme pavilion on doubling of farmers income, organic farming, cooperatives, farm inputs, will be there to further assist farmers with the latest developments in the farming techniques.
During the mela, latest agriculture and allied sector technologies will be displayed at more than 800 stalls.
Earlier, three new Lok Sabha MPs who have recently won by polls took oath in parliament. These three MPs include Sarfaraz Alam, Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, and Praveen Kumar.
Besides, before the House was adjourned, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also extended her greetings on New Vikram Samvat starting on 18th March.
Imphal is the second city in the North-East to host this prestigious event. Prime Minister hailed this as a testimony to the resurgent spirit of the North East.
He said that it is time to redefine 'R&D' as 'Research' for the 'Development' of the nation. The theme of this year's Science Congress is reaching the unreached.
PM Modi listed out the Science initiatives launched recently for the North-East.
He urged scientists to give 100 hours every year to 100 students to fuel scientific temperament amongst the youth.
PM also paid rich tributes to late British scientist Stephen Hawking.
Union Minister for Science & Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan said that science in India is at its highest and we are improving on world ranking in the field of science and technology. Addressing the inaugural session of 105th Indian Science Congress at Manipur University in Imphal, the union minister said that India has the potential to be counted among the top three scientific nations in the world by 2030.
The union minister said present government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has provided conducive environment to the scientists of the country.Hailing the Prime Minister as a great visionary, Dr Harshvardhan said that he has always been motivating his cabinet colleagues and officials to ensure that development reaches the unreached people of the country.
Now in its fourth edition, the "La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel" competition featured 129 runners from five continents, including 40 professional athletes.
One by one, runners braved the tower's 1,665 steps to see who could reach the apex of the 324-meter (1,063-foot) structure in the fastest time possible.
This year, defending champion Piotr Lobodzinski of Poland again won the men's event, reaching the tower's summit in seven minutes 56.67 seconds for his fourth consecutive victory.
In the women's race, Suzy Walsham of Australia also fought off the challengers to retain the title she has now won for four years. She reached the top in 10 mins 02.70 seconds.
For the organisers, this year's event aims to celebrate Paris's designation as the official city of the 2024 Olympics, they said in a press release.
1. Piotr Lobodzinski (Poland) 07 mins 56.67 seconds
2. Christian Riedl (Germany) 8:12.00
3. Jacob Mayer (Austria) 8:19.29
1. Suzy Walsham (Australia) 10:02.70
2. Zuzana Krchova (Czech republic) 10:19.46
3. Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik (Poland) 10:34.18
The winner of the match will play India in the final on Sunday.
Both teams have two points with a victory each in the tri-series so far. Sri Lanka surprised India in the tournament opener while Bangladesh convincingly chased down a target of 215 set by the hosts last week. The home side enjoys a slight advantage as in case of washout, they will proceed to the final owing to a better net run-rate.
Slovak President Andrej Kiska accepted the resignation and asked the Peter Pellegrini, Fico's deputy prime minister, to form a new government.
The move is meant to keep the current three-party coalition in power and avoid the possibility of an early election.
"I'm sure that a decision to create a new government is the right step," Fico said. "An early election would not bring any stability." Fico, who has led three Slovak governments in recent years, said he had no plans to leave politics.
"I'm not going anywhere," Fico said. "I want to be an active chairman of a political party." His resignation came after tens of thousands of Slovaks joined anti-government protests across the country last week to demand the government's resignation and a thorough investigation into the shooting deaths of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova.
Kuciak was writing about ties between the Italian mafia and people close to Fico when he was killed. The reporter also wrote about corruption scandals linked to Fico's leftist Smer Social Democracy party.
The protests were the biggest in Slovakia since the 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution. More demonstrations are scheduled for Friday despite's Fico's move, said organizers who want to see a new election.
"We have a historic chance to start ridding Slovakia of corruption," they said in a statement.
Pellegrini, who also is from the Smer Social Democracy party, will form the same coalition as the previous government with the Most-Hid party representing ethnic Hungarians and the ultranationalist Slovak National Party.
The coalition has a majority in the 150-seat Parliament, holding 79 seats.
Pellegrini said he planned some changes to the government but gave no details.
Earlier this week, the Most-Hid coalition party called for holding an early election but the party leadership changed its mind after Fico offered his resignation.
Slovakia's next regular general election is due in 2020.
Seven union ministers including Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar were declared elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, while the stage is set for the March 23 contest in six states, including Uttar Pradesh from where Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is in the fray. Law Minister Prasad and HRD Minister Javadekar were elected from their homes states Bihar and Maharashtra.
While Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot made it to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh.
Health Minister J P Nadda got elected unopposed from Himachal Pradesh.
Apart from his engagements in New Delhi, the German President will also visit Varanasi and Chennai. He had visited India several times in his former capacity as the Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany.
The last German President to visit India was Joachim Gauck in February 2014.
Earlier on Thursday, President Ram Nath Kovind has said it is time to revitalise trade relations between India and Madagascar. which go back several centuries.
At a joint address with his Madagascar counterpart to the business community in Anta-nana-rivo, the President said India is on a fast growth trajectory and Madagascar seeks investment and expertise. He said both countries can partner each other and cooperate in various fields including agriculture, food processing, health, gems and jewellery, tourism and infrastructure.
The Madagascar President said that his country is committed to economic, reforms as it will create an investment-friendly climate. During his address to the Indian diaspora, the president called upon the young entrepreneurs to come forward to tap the potential that exists between the two countries.
Organisers, World Vision Germany, said 740 bears represented 7,40,000 refugee children currently being denied an education, many of them in camps near the Syrian border.
One of the young people involved in the protest was 18-year-old Syrian refugee Hussam Alheraky. He said he was happy to be receiving an education in Germany, but wanted to highlight the fate of thousands of young refugees living in poor conditions in Jordanian border camps with no access to schooling.
8-year old Syrian refugee, Hussam Alheraky said, "It's the seventh anniversary of the revolution. This means something big: that the world didn't do anything. The world has no conscience. If they had reacted, it (the war) wouldn't have lasted seven years."
World Vision Germany head, Christoph Waffenschmidt said, "We took those teddy bears, 740, and we placed them on the stairs of the Konzerthaus, the concert hall here at the Gendarmenmarkt...they have not only lost their home when they had to flee from Syria, but without education, they will lose their future."
World Vision Germany said the bears used in the protest would later be donated to refugee children in Berlin and Jordan.
Following a 1-1 draw in the first leg, the visitors fell behind after just 128 seconds as Lionel Messi shot through the legs of Thibaut Courtois from a tight angle. Malonso was then denied a penalty after a challenge by Gerard Pique as Barcelona joined La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Sevilla in Friday's quarter-final draw.
Bayern Munich reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the seventh successive year with a thumping victory over Besiktas. The German champions led 5-0 on aggregate after the first leg, and Thiago's early goal in Istanbul extended their advantage. A Gokhan Gonul own goal immediately after half-time doubled Bayern's lead, before Vagner Love pulled one back. Sandro Wagner wrapped up a comfortable win for Bayern with a tap-in.
The walkway, which connected Florida International University to a student housing area, went up less than a week before.
"We have located up to four victims. Four deceased," Miami-Dade Fire Chief Dave Downey told a news conference.
Maurice Kemp, the area's deputy mayor, said the search for survivors had not yet been abandoned.
"Miami-Dade county and our partner agencies... have been working feverishly in the search and rescue mode to ascertain how many victims there are and rescue as many as we can," Kemp told journalists.
"We will continue in this mode until we are certain there are no more viable victims, and at some point, we will transition into an investigation and recovery mode, but we're not there yet," he said.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Chief Paul Estopinan had earlier said that at least eight cars were trapped when the 950-ton (tonne) concrete bridge suddenly gave way.
The bridge had only installed on Saturday, ahead if its planned opening in 2019.
Isabella Carrasco, who said she arrived on the scene just after the collapse, told CNN that some cars were "completely crushed," and there was "just a lot of debris everywhere."
She said she saw one woman get out of a car that was "just nicked" and rescue personnel performing life-saving CPR on another person in the street.
Another shaken driver, Lynnell Collins, told CNN he was about to make a right turn when "the whole thing really just came down."
'Whole thing broke'
"After the whole thing broke, I was freaking out. I got out of my car and me and a few other people were sprinting over there. We started helping people whose cars were at least half crushed and whoever was easily saved."
He said he saw two trucks that were "completely crushed."
"We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge," Florida International University said in a statement.
"At this time we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information."
FIU had only recently been celebrating the installation of the bridge, which crossed a dangerous, heavily travelled section of highway that students said had been the scene of accidents.
It had been erected using an accelerated modular building method that enabled it to go up in the space of a day.
"We are stunned by today's tragic collapse of a pedestrian bridge," said FIGG Engineering Group, one of the partners involved in the walkway's construction.
"We will fully cooperate with every appropriate authority in reviewing what happened and why," the firm said in a statement.
"In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before."
"Continuing to monitor the heartbreaking bridge collapse at FIU - so tragic," President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter.
"Many brave First Responders rushed in to save lives. Thank you for your courage. Praying this evening for all who are affected," he said.
Bridge collapses in the United States are infrequent despite rising risks associated with ageing infrastructure.
The deadliest this century was the 2007 collapse of an eight-lane bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which killed 13 people.
Parliamentary proceedings saw repeated disruptions for the ninth straight day in the second phase of Budget session.
Unrelenting protests by MPs of Congress and other political parties led to several adjournments before the 2 Houses were adjourned till Friday.
In Lok Sabha, as soon as the House convened for the day, Congress-led opposition stormed the well raising slogans to press their demands.
This led the Speaker to adjourn the house for an hour.
The govt on its part tried in vain both inside and outside Parliament to impress upon the opposition to not obstruct proceedings.
Lok Sabha passed The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill amid din with a voice vote without debate.
The bill seeks to make formal sector workers eligible for tax-free 20 lakh rupees gratuity up from the current ceiling of 10 lakh rupees at the time of leaving a job or superannuation.
The Specific Relief (amendment) Bill was also passed by the House in a similar fashion.
This Bill proposes to grant a party the right to seek damages from the other side in case of a breach of a business contract and reduce the discretion of courts in such matters.
In Rajya Sabha too, uproarious scenes were witnessed and Zero Hour and Question Hour were lost to disruptions.
Soon after it met for the day, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu allowed TDP MP YS Chowdhury to make a statement specifying the reasons for his resignation from the Union Council of Ministers. Soon the Chair adjourned the House till 2 pm amid protests by Congress members over Chowdhury's remarks.
When it reassembled at 2 PM, opposition members trooped into the Well raising slogans forcing Deputy Chairman Kurien to adjourn the House till 3 PM.
With the logjam continuing even at 3 PM, the house was adjourned for the day.
There has been a near washout of the second part of the Budget Session...with the opposition refusing to relent on its demands.
This has hampered transaction of legislative business. Many bills are pending and some like the Finance and Appropriation bills have had to be passed without debate.
These include Union Minister for Communications & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad from BJP, Vashishth Narain Singh and King Mahendra from Janata Dal United, Asfaq Kareem and Manoj Jha from Rashtriya Janata Dal and Akhilesh Prasad Singh from Congress.
Thursday was the last date of withdrawal of nomination papers after which these candidates were declared unopposed.
In a marathon match, the fourth seed shuttler took more than a hour to beat Jindapol 21-13, 13-21, 21-18.
After winning the first game easily, Sindhu found it difficult in the second game as she surrendered the game without giving much fight.
In the decider game, it was neck and neck till the end but at 18-18 Sindhu took three straight points to wrap up the issue.
In a joint operation by the J&K police and the Army, a raid was carried out at the hideout of the terrorists after receiving information that they were planning some attack.
Incriminating material including arms and ammunition was seized from the 2 terrorists.
In another incident, a gunfight between terrorists and security forces was triggered after they attacked BJP leader Anwar Khan in the Khanmoh area of Pulwama district.
The leader escaped unhurt but his PSO was injured. He's said to be in a stable condition in hospital. The area remains cordoned off.
March 15th is celebrated every year as World Consumer Rights Day to spread awareness about consumer rights and quick redressal of their grievances.
The theme for this year is "Making Digital Markets Fairer".
Minister for Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan inaugurated an event in New Delhi to mark the occasion where he said that the new Consumer Protection Bill which is under govt's consideration would replace the 30 year old Consumer Protection Act of 1986 once enacted.
The bill makes substantial changes to the 1986 law and provides for meeting the challenges thrown up by the digitization of trade and business for effective consumer protection.
He said that the bill will adequately address the issues of jurisdiction, scope of liability, executive action against unfair trade practices as well as alternate dispute resolution.
He assured that under the new system, there would be hallmarking for jewellery to convey its quality to consumers.
Greeting consumers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: 'Government of India is not only focusing on consumer protection but also consumer prosperity'.
With the growth of the e-commerce sector, it has become pertinent to put in place adequate safeguards against risks associated with the electronic world.
The consumer movement thus needs to expand its focus to include digital marketplaces with the objective of making them fair and secure.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi tours Manipur on Friday, he will not only inaugurate the Indian Science Congress but he will also shower several developmental gifts on the state. The PM will either inaugurate or lay foundation stones of over a dozen projects at Luwangsangbam Multi Sports Complex in Imphal which will also be inaugurated during the event.
-- Prominent among the projects being initiated by the PM is the first of its kind in the North-East, the National Sports University
-- He will also launch an ecotourism project
-- Sadbhavana Mandaps
-- A thousand Anganwadi Centres
-- 19 residential complexes for teachers, doctors & nurses
Minister of State for Development of North East Region Dr Jitendra Singh and Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore will also be part of the occasion. Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and several state ministers will be there as well.
The PM will also honour world renowned boxing champion and Rajya Sabha member Mary Kom at the event and address the gathering.
The Modi govt has put added emphasis on the development of the North-East region since it has been in office. Several infrastructure and development boosting works have been started and completed during its tenure & more are being added to the list on Friday.
The 5-day Congress which is being held in the Manipur University, will see the participation of over 5000 delegates comprising of scientists, scholars and corporate officials from different parts of the country and abroad.
Notable among those addressing the congress is Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus. Union Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harshvardhan will also address the Congress.
This is 2nd time the Science Congress is being held in the north east. Earlier it was held at Shillong in 2009.
This year the theme is Reaching the Unreached through Science & Technology. Scientists from across the world will look at bridging the Gap through Innovations. The thrust will be on science disciplines which impact society and sustainable development.
The recurring theme of every session of the Indian Science Congress, since 2014 has been development. The theme in 2017 was Science & Technology for National Development, the year before that it was Science & Technology for Indigenous Development, in 2015 it was Science and Technology for Human Development and in 2014 it was Innovations in Science for Inclusive Development.
Late Stephen Hawking the world renowned Physicist who passed away earlier this week, had once said, 'The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.' And events like the Indian Science Congress act as catalysts in busting the illusion of knowledge.
India has refused to be drawn into any controversy about the decision by Pakistan to call its High Commissioner to Islamabad for consultations. On the contrary, Ministry for External Affairs has said that many issues faced by Indian staff at the High Commission in Islamabad have not been addressed in a satisfactory way, adding that India does not raise issues via the media.
India also downplayed the statements of visiting foreign dignitaries in Islamabad related to Kashmir, adding that if there is any place on earth that is a den of terrorism it is Pakistan.
The Indian football team has re-entered the top-100 of the FIFA world rankings and is now placed at the 99th spot in the latest chart released on Thursday.
It has 339 points now and shares the 99th spot with Libya.
The Indian team broke into the top 100 thrice last year, with the highest rank being 96. It's best record has been the 94th spot which it bagged in February 1996.
Among Asian countries, the Indian team is now at 13th spot above the likes of Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Bahrain and North Korea.
World champions Germany remain on the top of the overall chart, followed by Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, France and Chile.
Disruptions and adjournments continue unabated in both the houses of parliament as a united and adamant opposition remains unmoved by repeated calls by chair and ministers to allow the proceedings to carry on. Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day amid noisy protests by various parties on issues including PNB scam.
Amid protests by Opposition MPs Payment of Gratuity Amendment Bill 2017 was passed in Lok Sabha, which will make formal sector workers eligible for tax-free Rs 20 lakh gratuity. At present formal sector workers with five or more years of service are eligible for Rs 10 lakh tax-free gratuity after leaving a job or at time of superannuation. The lower house also passed the specific relief (amendment) bill 2017.
Speaking in the lower house, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said that millions of workers will be benefited through Gratuity Amendment Bill 2018. He urged opposition members to participate in the legislation.
Ananth Kumar expressed concern over repeated adjournments of both the houses and said that the government is ready to discuss all issues in parliament. He also appealed to the opposition to let the house function.
The Rajya Sabha also faced repeated disruption. The upper house was adjourned twice in the day and finally the deputy chairman adjourned the house for the day following Congress uproar over various issues including former minister Y S Choudhary's statement on division of Andhra Pradesh.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that parliamentary proceedings should not be obstructed in any situation. He said that the Govt is ready to discuss any issue on which the opposition wants debate.
The over 20 km-long Maj-lis Park-Durga-bai Deshmukh South Campus section of the much-awaited Delhi Metro's Pink Line was inaugurated on Wednesday.taking the operational span of the rapid transit network to 252 kms.
Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ceremonially flagged it off from the Metro Bhawan during a function.
The end-to-end travel time of the Majlis Park-Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus stretch is 34 minutes and will cost Rs 40.
The new corridor has, for the first time, also connected the north and south campuses of the Delhi University, on the metro network, which can be commuted in 40 minutes.
With the opening of the 21.56 km-long section, the Delhi Metro's operational network will expand to 252 km.
A Special CBI court in Ranchi will pronounce its judgment today in the fourth fodder scam case involving former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav.
The hearing in the fodder case -- relating to fraudulent withdrawals of 3.13 crore rupees from December 1995 to January 1996 from the Dumka treasury -- was completed on March 5.
Besides Lalu Prasad, another former Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and 30 others are accused in this case.
The multi-million-rupee fodder scam surfaced in the 1990s when Lalu Yadav was Chief Minister of undivided Bihar.
Lalu Prasad Yadav was convicted in the first fodder scam case in 2013 He was convicted by a special CBI court in the second case in December last year and awarded three-and-half years' imprisonment.
He was also convicted in the third case on January 24, related to fraudulent withdrawals from the Chaibasa treasury, and awarded a five-year jail term.
Special CBI court in Ranchi to pronounce its judgment in fourth fodder scam case involving Lalu Prasad Yadav
India has offered Madagascar 80 million US dollars Line of Credit for agriculture and mechanization. President Ram Nath Kovind, who is in Madagascar on the second leg of his two-nation, said, India is keen to bring in expertise, and replicate infrastructure success stories in other African countries through India's LOC financing. He further added that India is also keen to enhance and strengthen its partnership with Madagascar.
India and Madagascar have signed an umbrella agreement in the field of defence. Under the agreement, both the countries will explore various ways of co-operation in the field of defence. An amended air service agreement was also signed to support efforts towards improving connectivity between the two countries. Both the countries will have co-sharing agreement with Air Seychelles through Air India and Air Madagascar.
President Ram Nath Kovind held delegation level talks with his Madagascar counterpart in Antananarivo. President Kovind announced a donation of 1000 tonnes of rice and a cash grant of 2 million dollars towards multiple calamities relief in Madagascar.
Madagascar President thanked India for its continued support. The Madagascar President decorated President Ramnath Kovind with second highest civilian honour Grand Cross.
RBI Governor Urjit Patel has sought more powers to deal with frauds at public sector banks (PSBs) such as PNB scam. Speaking at Gujarat National Law University Gandhinagar on Wednesday, he said RBI's power over public sector banks are weaker than the private sector banks.
Referring to the very limited authority of the central bank,the RBI Governor said the RBI cannot remove PSB directors and management, it cannot enforce mergers in PSBs nor it can trigger liquidation of state-owned banks.
The RBI governor said the exemptions in the Banking Regulation Act prevent the regulator from taking effective action in case of irregularities at PSBs. He said the current enforcement mechanism is not perceived to be a major deterrent for fraudsters to gains from such activities.
Urjit Patel urged the government to make banking regulatory powers neutral to bank ownership and levelling the playing field between the public sector and private sector banks. He said RBI data on banking frauds suggests that only a handful of cases over the past five years have had closure, and cases of substantive economic significance remain open.
Oklahoma plans to start using nitrogen gas for executions, officials said on Wednesday, in what would be the first such method of capital punishment in the United States.
The state is turning to nitrogen after it and other states became unable to acquire drugs required for lethal injections because of opposition from manufacturers to their products being used for capital punishment.
Nitrogen is an odorless and tasteless gas that makes up about 78 per cent of the air humans breathe but causes death when inhaled without any oxygen.
Oklahoma has not carried out an execution since 2015 after a series of mishaps, including a botched lethal injection where an inmate was seen writhing in pain and another inmate who was executed using a drug not approved by the state.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said in a statement that the state would use nitrogen hypoxia – asphyxiation by breathing in the inert gas – as its primary means of execution once a protocol had been finalized for the process.
“Using an inert gas will be effective, simple to administer, easy to obtain and requires no complex medical procedures,” Hunter said in the statement.
Under state law, if lethal injection is unavailable, executions must be carried out by nitrogen gas inhalation, the statement added. A spokeswoman for Hunter declined to comment on when executions might resume.
Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a capital punishment monitor, said it would be some time before the state could seek a death warrant for an execution using nitrogen.
He said it faced a court order requiring it to wait 150 days until after a use protocol was published and would likely face litigation.
Dunham was not aware nitrogen hypoxia had ever been used anywhere in the world to execute a person. He said the American Veterinary Medical Association deemed the process inappropriate for euthanizing mammals and said it would take more than seven minutes to bring about the death of a 70-pound (32-kg) pig.
“This is another execution process that is untested, untried and experimental” Dunham said.
Hunter’s statement cited unnamed studies that said nitrogen hypoxia would lead to death in “just a few minutes.”
Dale Baich, one of the attorneys for the 20 Oklahoma death row inmates challenging the state’s method of execution, said the state needed to show what scientific research it had to prove the safety and legality of this new process.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called upon the Police Forces and Security Agencies of various countries to collaborate and defeat the threats posed by cyber crimes.
Inaugurating. the two-day Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in New Delhi, the home minister said social media poses a serious challenge to law enforcement agencies, and the areas of concern include terrorism, financial frauds and victimisation of women and children.
He further said that serious crimes take place because the police and citizens do not work together to prevent decay of social norms and social disorder. He added that community policing faces a huge trust deficit.and the level of trust is particularly very low amongst socially weaker sections, the poor, minorities, women, elderly and children.
In another event, the Home Minister said that Pakistan sponsored terror groups are a challenge and that they are being dealt effectively. He also counted the dangers of providing safe havens and sponsorships to terrorists, particularly Pakistan.
In Chhattisgarh. maoists set at least seven machines and vehicles engaged in a road construction project ablaze in Bijapur district on Wednesday.
The incident came a day after Maoists blew up an anti- landmine vehicle, killing nine CRPF personnel and injuring two others, in the neighbouring Sukma district.
A road construction project is underway at the stretch between Bijapur and Gangaloor, considered a strategically important route.
Acording to Bijapur SP, A group of armed maoists stormed the construction site and threatened the workers to stop the work.
Before fleeing the spot, they set ablaze two road-rollers, two mixer machines, two water tankers and a JCB machine, all belonging to a private construction company.
Close on World Bank report, another report by an institution of repute has put a stamp of approval on India's economic growth trajectory.
Ratings agency Fitch has projected India's economic growth to rise to 7.3 per cent next fiscal and further to 7.5 per cent in 2019-20.
In its Global Economic Outlook report, the US-based agency forecast Indian economy to clock a growth rate of 6.5 per cent this fiscal. According to Fitch the money supply recovered to its pre-demonetisation level in mid-2017 and is now increasing steadily, similar to the previous trend. Also, disruptions related to rollout of the goods and services tax in July 2017 have gradually diminished.
Fitch said the Budget for 2018-19 fiscal, beginning April, envisages a slower pace of fiscal consolidation and, therefore, should support the near-term growth outlook.
Agency concluded that substantial road construction plans and a bank recapitalisation plan announced late last year will provide some support to growth in the medium term.
On inflation, Fitch said, accelerating food prices were the main cause of the pick-up in headline inflation. By contrast, fuel price increases have been contained by the government's decision to roll back excise duties to keep pump prices stable in the face of rising oil prices.
The Cabinet on Wednesday approved two MoUs inked between India and Iran on cooperation in the field of health, medicine and traditional systems of medicine.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex post facto approval for the MoU in the field of health and medicine which was signed on February 17 during the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to India, an official statement said.
The main areas of cooperation include exchanging experience and training of doctors, and other health professionals, assistance in development of human resource, setting up healthcare facilities and regulating pharmaceutical, medical devices and cosmetics, it said.
It also includes cooperation in the field of medical research, new technologies and knowledge-based initiatives, public health and sustainable development goals among others.
A working group will be set up to elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.
The other MoU signed in the field of traditional systems of medicine will enhance bilateral cooperation and will be of immense importance to both the countries considering their shared cultural heritage, the statement said.
It said India is blessed with well-developed systems of traditional medicine including medicinal plants, which hold tremendous potential in global health scenario.
India and Iran share several common features in their language, culture and traditions, and also share a common legacy of using herbal medicines, the statement said.
Both countries have huge biodiversity and are home to rare medicinal plants which are frequently used in traditional systems of medicine.
Moreover, Iran has endorsed the status of India as a true leader in the field of traditional systems of medicine backed by strong infrastructure and state of the art production units, the statement said.
The Ministry of AYUSH, having the mandate to promote, propagate and globalise traditional systems of medicine, including Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy, has inked MoUs with China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Mongolia among others for cooperation in the field traditional medicine.
Another MoU is proposed to be signed with Sri Lanka.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Department of Fertilizers to continue Urea Subsidy Scheme upto 2019-20 at a total estimated cost of Rs. 1,64,935 crore and for disbursement of fertilizer subsidy.
This decision implies that there will be no increase in price of urea, till 2020.
Urea Subsidy is a part of Central Sector Scheme of Department of Fertilizers with effect from 1st April, 2017 and is wholly financed by the Government of India through Budgetary Support.
The continuation of Urea Subsidy Scheme will ensure the timely payment of subsidy to the urea manufacturers resulting in timely availability of urea to farmers.
Urea subsidy also includes Imported Urea subsidy which is directed towards import to bridge the gap between assessed demand and indigenous production of urea in the country. It also includes freight subsidy for movement of urea across the country.
This is in continuation to farmer-friendly policies of the Central Government. Earlier, 100% Neem Coated Urea was made mandatory in 2015.
Neem Coating also had an additional positive impact – plugging the diversion of the subsidized Urea towards non-agricultural purposes.
In light of the increased efficiency of Urea due to Neem Coating, Government had recently decided to bag Urea in 45kg bags. This will effectively help reduce the cost of fertilizers to the farmers.
Government had earlier notified New Urea Policy, 2015, with the objectives of maximizing indigenous urea production; promoting energy efficiency in urea production; and rationalizing subsidy burden on the government.
This led to the highest ever production of 245 LMT during 2015-16. In effect, 20 LMT of Urea during was additionally produced without adding additional any capacity.
These steps have ensured continued easy availability of Urea to the farmers at an affordable price. Today's decision reiterates the commitment of the present Government towards the welfare of the farmers.
After the results of bye-elections for the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, UP CM Yogi Adityanath said of analysing the results. Samajwadi Party has won Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats in the bypolls.
In Bihar, RJD bagged the Araria Lok Sabha seat. The party also retained the Jehanabad Assembly seat while the Bharatiya Janata Party won the Bhabhua Assembly constituency in the bypolls.
Yet another global financial institution has given its stamp of approval to the galloping India growth story.
World Bank's publication 'India Development Update' has noted credible signs of a further uptick in Indian economic growth.
The rebound in industrial activity including manufacturing sector is critical for job creation in the years to come.
The report says that the Indian economy is set to revert to its trend growth rate of 7.5% as it bottoms out from the impact of GST and demonetisation.
The World Bank Report points to macroeconomic stability of the Indian economy.
The report expects the Indian economy to clock a growth rate of 6.7 per cent in the current fiscal, rise to 7.3 per cent for the next financial year and accelerate further to 7.5 per cent in 2019-20.
Besides pointing to enhanced macroeconomic stability on sectoral growth, the report says that services will continue to be the main driver of economic growth; agricultural growth has become more stable with slow acceleration and industrial growth has seen some acceleration.
World Bank report has lauded India's recent record in controlling inflation; fiscal discipline despite revised budget estimates, declining debt to GDP ratio even after accounting for recapitalisation of banks, stable balance of payment situation and higher macroeconomic stability as compared to recent years.
The report refers to the impact of reforms on the Indian economy from composition of deficit, energy subsidy reforms, GST, ease of doing business, FDI liberalisation, infrastructure generation, inflation targeting framework, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, to access to financial services and digital payments leading to better governance, and delivery of services and benefits.
The report says that oil prices could impact the Indian economy as India is increasingly integrated with the global economy.
It appreciated the impact of GST on formalisation of the economy and for making economic growth sustainable.
As one of the fastest growing emerging and open economies global growth impacts the Indian economy.
With global growth picking up, it is expected to infuse further momentum into the Indian growth story
The World Bank Report is an endorsement of economic reforms undertaken by the Modi govt and India's growth is expected to have a salutory impact on the global growth scenario as well.
May said Britain would also introduce new measures to strengthen defences against hostile state activities, freeze Russian state assets wherever there was evidence of a threat and downgrade its attendance at the soccer World Cup in Russia this summer.
Russia, which denies any involvement in the attack, called the measures announced by May “unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted” and warned Britain to expect retaliation.
Unlike when the United States and European Union imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea and other actions in Ukraine, May did not name Russian individuals or companies that would be specifically targeted by sanctions.
Former double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in the genteel city of Salisbury on March 4 and remain in hospital in a critical condition. A police officer was also harmed and remains in a serious condition.
Skripal betrayed dozens of Russian agents to Britain before being arrested in Moscow and later jailed in 2006. He was freed under a spy swap deal in 2010 and took refuge in Britain.
May has said the Skripals were attacked with Novichok, a Soviet-era military-grade nerve agent. She had asked Moscow to explain whether it was responsible for the attack or had lost control of stocks of the highly dangerous substance.
“Their response demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of these events,” May said in a statement to parliament.
“They have treated the use of a military-grade nerve agent in Europe with sarcasm, contempt and defiance.
“There is no alternative conclusion, other than that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter, and for threatening the lives of other British citizens in Salisbury, including Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.
“This represents an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom.”
For sustained agricultural growth, the availability of fertilizers to farmers at affordable prices is an absolute must. With urea being the only controlled fertilizer,it is sold at statutory notified uniform sale price.
In another move that reiterates the firm commitment of the Narendra Modi government to farmers' welfare, centre has decided to continue with the urea subsidy upto 2020. The decision will cost the exchequer a sum of Rs 164935 crores. A crucial aspect of the scheme is that the subsidy is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the Fertilizer companies under the Direct Benefit Transfer.
This saves the burden on the farmers to first buy costly urea upfront and then have subsidy transferred to his account.
The impact will be felt far and wide as the continuation of the urea subsidy scheme will ensure that adequate quantity of urea is made available to the farmers at statutory controlled price.
The implementation of DBT in Fertilizer sector will reduce diversion and plug the leakages.
Urea Subsidy is a part of Central Sector Scheme of Department of Fertilizers and is wholly financed by the Centre. The continuation of Urea Subsidy Scheme will ensure timely payment of subsidy to the urea manufacturers resulting in timely availability of urea to farmers.
The Union Agriculture Minister said that PM Modi will also inaugurate the Jaivik Kheti Portal and confer Krishi Karman Award and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Krishi Vigyan protsahan awards. The Minister said, lakhs of farmers and agriculture scientists will participate in the mela.
The Minister said, during the mela latest agriculture and allied sector technologies will be displayed at more than 600 stalls.
The main theme pavilion will be based on Doubling of farmers income by 2022. The theme area will display different kinds of organic farming techniques like natural farming and eco farming.
The Lok Sabha today gave its seal of approval to the Union Budget 2018-19 with the passage of the Finance Bill, 2018 and Appropriation Bills by a voice vote.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved the bills amidst opposition uproar and sloganeering.
Later, the House was adjourned for the day. Proceedings in the Rajya Sabha were washed out for the eighth straight day today, amid uproar by the opposition and NDA partner TDP on multiple issues ranging from India's biggest Rs 12,700 crore banking fraud, special package to Andhra Pradesh and Cauvery water dispute.
The House was adjourned till 2 PM soon after it had assembled for the day. The Chair called it a day soon after it reassembled at 2 PM as uproarious scenes continued.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh today inaugurated the two-day Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, IACP in New Delhi.
The theme of the conference is "Challenges to Policing in 2020 - How is Cyber Space shaping our approach to Cybercrime and Terrorism, how do we perform within it and take advantage of it".
Speaking on the occasion the Home Minister said that Social Media has brought a big challenge for Law enforcement agencies. He said Radicalization through Internet is a matter of concern huge and there is a need to stop this.
The Conference is mainly focused on holding discussions about the growing interest of various terrorist or organized groups and radical elements in exploiting the Cyberspace and its advanced technologies for their various heinous crimes and nefarious designs.
The IACP is the world's largest organization of Police and law enforcement executives that is highly regarded for its role in identifying and responding to changing needs of the law enforcement community.
British Scientist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, a spokesman for his family has said.Professor Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement: "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.
"He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years."His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.
"He once said, 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.'"We will miss him forever."The world famous physicist and cosmologist was the subject of the 2014 film The Theory Of Everything, which starred Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.
He also performed several cameos in the US comedy series The Big Bang Theory.Hawking contracted motor neurone disease in 1963 and was given two years to live but he went on to study at Cambridge and became one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein.
Tensions flared in the streets of Colon, Panama on Tuesday (March 13) as trade unions called their members onto the streets to protest infrastructure and insecurity deficiencies in the city.
According to local media, four officers were injured and over a dozen people arrested for vandalism and looting during the heated protesters.
Protesters are angry at authorities for their reported slow pace in fixing the city's sewer system and water supply. Trade unions behind the march have called on their strike to continue for another 24 hours to ramp up pressure on authorities.
The strike has affected public transport in Panama's no.2 city and many stored were shuttered.
Colon sits on the northern end of the Panama canal and is a key port area for the country. Yet residents argue that money coming into the city is not invested back into adequate infrastructure and public works programmes.
The government purports that its $1.2-billion revitalisation project for the city is more than 50 percent complete.
The C 17 Globemaster of the Indian Air Force carried out a historic landing at Tuting advanced landing ground amidst the hills of Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday.
The crew included Group Captain K Rama Rao, Wing Commander Amiya Kant Patnaik, Wing Commander K Trivedi and Sqn Ldr L Nayak.
The challenging airfield is in the midst of high hills in a narrow valley. The mammoth C17 Globemaster could execute this mission flawlessly owing to its agile manoeuvrability Superlative performance and the excellent flying skills of the pilots.
The giant aircraft is capable of carrying a payload of 40-70 tonnes up to a distance of 4,200-9,000 km in a single hop.After completion of the trial landing the C17 carried out an operational mission airlifting op load into the austere airfield.
The mission carried out today demonstrated C 17 aircraft's operational performance and capability of tactical air mobility of IAF.
The BJP has approached the Election Commission demanding that the nomination of Congress leader Naranbhai Rathwa for the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat be quashed because of several irregularities in his form.
The BJP's complaint followed its whip Suresh Angadi's complaint to the Lok Sabha Speaker, alleging "gross irregularities" in granting several no objection certificates given to Rathwa.
In a letter seeking an investigation, Angadi said he was given seven NOCs within 40-50 minutes and wondered if any verification was carried out. Speaker's office has reportedly ordered an enquiry into the matter.
A delegation of senior party leaders, including Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Piyush Goyal, went to the Commission, seeking action against Rathwa and P K Valera, a Congress-backed independent candidate.
Naqvi said they have demanded that the Congress candidate's nomination be quashed.
The first section of Delhi Metro's Pink Line between Majlis Park and Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus will be open for public today. The 21.56 km corridor will be flagged off by the Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal from Metro Bhawan.
It would prove a big boon for commuters, especially students, who till now have to travel either by road from the North Campus or take the Airport Line metro till Dhaula Kuan and commute again on road. The new corridor, connects the north and south campuses of the Delhi University, on the metro network, which can be commuted in 40 minutes.
Passenger services on the stretch will begin from 6 pm onwards.On the same day from both Majlis Park and Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus stations simultaneously, the official said, adding that "the end-to-end travel time on this section of the Pink Line would be 34 minutes".
It would prove a big boon for commuters, especially students, who till now have to travel either by road from the North Campus or take the Airport Line metro till Dhaula Kuan and commute again on road.
The North Campus area of Delhi University already has a metro station -- Vishwavidyalaya, which falls on the Yellow Line that connects Samaypur Badli to Huda City Centre in Gurgaon.
"The ticket from Vishwavidyalaya station to Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus station will cost Rs 50. And, from Majlis Park station to South Campus station, it will cost Rs 40. On Sundays and national holidays anyway, the fare is less than the regular cost," the senior official said.
Azadpur Station is one of the three interchange stations on the Pink Line stretch that opens on March 14, the other two being, Netaji Subhash Place and Rajouri Garden.
The Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety , which inspected the stretch from February 26-28, has given the clearance for the project.
This section, which has 12 stations, is part of the 59 km-long Majlis Park - Shiv Vihar corridor of Delhi Metro's Phase 3. All the stations have platform-screen doors.
The stations are -- Majlis Park, Azadpur, Shalimar Bagh, Netaji Subhash Place, Shakurpur, Punjabi Bagh West, ESI Hospital, Rajouri Garden, Mayapuri, Naraina Vihar, Delhi Cantt and Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus.
Out of the 12 stations, eight are elevated and the rest underground. As with the recently-opened Magenta Line, broad-sized coaches from the new rolling stock, will ply on the standard gauge Pink line.
Metro's new generation trains, which can run without drivers, will also run on this section where an advanced Communication Based Train Control signalling technology that will facilitate the movement of trains with a frequency of 90 to 100 seconds will also be pressed into service.
However, for an initial period of two-three years the trains will have drivers."For the first time travelators have been installed at the foot over bridges to facilitate interchange at Rajouri Garden and South Campus stations," the official said.
The 21.56 km-long corridor, once opened, will also reduce metro travel time between Dwarka 21 and Rithala by over 16 minutes; and Rajouri Garden and Azadpur by nearly 23 minutes, the DMRC said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated The Delhi End TB Summit in New Delhi on Tuesday. PM Modi launched the National Strategic Plan for elimination of tuberculosis. He called for the End TB programme to be completed in Mission mode by 2025. The Prime Minister also hailed the efforts of foot soldiers who are working on the ground as well as patients who have beaten the disease.
Creating a Swastha Bharat is part of Prime Minister's vision of New India and the launch of the new strategic plan is another step in this direction.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarion call to achieve the Sustainable Development goal of ending TB by 2025, 5 years, before the deadline set by the UN. He also launched the National Strategic Plan for TB elimination. This plan is backed by a historic funding of over 12,000 crore rupees for the next three years.
It aims at ensuring access to quality diagnosis, treatment, and support for every TB patient
Prime Minister Modi stressed on the co-operative federalism mantra to tackle the menace of TB. He also hailed the foot soldiers who are working on the ground as well as patients who have beaten the disease.
Prime Minister quoted several government schemes and programmes that have left their imprint over the last 3 and a half years like Ujjwala mission, National Nutrition Mission, the Ayushman Bharat Mission and the National Immunisation Mission.
The Delhi end TB Summit is being co-hosted by the Ministry of Health, WHO South East Asia Regional Office and Stop TB Partnership. Ministers of Health and high-level dignitaries from the ASEAN and African countries, Health Ministers of Indian states, the WHO Director-General, heads of other global agencies, as well as officers, volunteers and the private sector involved in eradicating TB are participating. Health Minister JP Nadda spelt out the efforts being made by the government of India including cash incentives and nutrition support announced in this year's budget.
The new strategic plan launched adopts a multi-pronged approach. The aim is to 'Detect' all TB patients, 'Treat' all patient irrespective of where they seek care, 'Prevent' emergence of TB in susceptible population groups and 'Build' empowered institutions and human resources to streamline implementation.
Tributes were paid today to the nine CRPF personnel with full military honours in Raipur in Chhattisgarh. The CRPF personnel were martyred on Tuesday when a landmine blast blew up their patrolling vehicle in Sukma district.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir paid homage to the brave soldiers. Ahir said that Naxals have been carrying out attacks in frustration. Ahir visited the state to review the ground situation of the incident.
Yesterday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh who briefed him about the incident, steps taken for the jawans' treatment and operations to nab those involved.
Chief Minister Raman Singh also visited the hospital in Raipur last evening and met the injured CRPF personnel and prayed for their speedy recovery.
On Tuesday, Nine Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred after suspected Naxals blew up their mine-protected vehicle in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, around a year after a dozen jawans were killed in a similar ambush in the district.
Officials said the incident took place around 12:30 pm along the Kistaram-Palodi road of the district when the troops of the 212th battalion of the CRPF were out on an operation.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday has extended the March 31 deadline for linking bank accounts and mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar till a final decision by the Apex court is taken in the matter.
It, however, said the government may continue to seek the 12-digit national biometric identifier number of beneficiaries for transfer of benefits of schemes funded from the consolidated fund of India.
The Unique Identification Authority of India has said that the requirement of Aadhaar for opening new bank accounts or applying for Tatkal passports will continue.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the interim order passed on December 15, 2017 shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment is pronounced.
During the hearing, Attorney General K K Venugopal requested the court that the extension of the deadline should not disturb the benefits, subsidies and services covered under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016.
The provision says that Centre or state governments may seek Aadhaar for establishing the identity of beneficiaries of their schemes.
In a major decision, the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday barred banks from issuing guarantees in the form of letters of undertaking and letters of comfort which, are used by importers to fund their overseas purchases.
However, letters of credit and bank guarantees will continue upon meeting certain conditions.
The move comes as the central bank clamped down on the import financing route used by fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi for allegedly committing multi-billion banking fraud.
Companies belonging to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi allegedly colluded with employees of Punjab National Bank's Brady House branch in Mumbai to obtain fraudulent Letter of Understandings, without providing any margin money as security. They did not have any pre-approved credit limit either.