News

  •             The second week of March will witness Andaman & Nicobar Command hosting a multinational mega event MILAN 2018. MILAN is a congregation of littoral navies conducted biennially by Indian Navy at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command.

  • Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Minister of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development; and Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India led the Indian delegation to the 20th Conference of the Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM) held in Nadi, Fiji during 19-23 February 2018.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Gandhiji's thoughts and actions are relevant even today. He was addressing the gathering after giving away the International Gandhi Award 2017 to Dr. M.D. Gupte for his outstanding contribution to the global programme of elimination of leprosy and Dr. Atul Shah for humanitarian services to alleviate the suffering of leprosy - affected persons, organized by the Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation, in Sewagram, Wardha, Maharashtra today.

  • I am happy to be here today on the occasion of the golden jubilee week of Auroville. Sri Aurobindo’s vision of India’s spiritual leadership continues to inspire us, even today.

    Indeed, Auroville is a manifestation of that vision.

  • DRDO  successfully flew its Rustom 2  today at its Aeronautical Test Range(ATR) at Chalakere at Chitradurga. This flight assumes significance due to the fact that this is the first flight in user configuration with higher power engine.

  • The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India, along with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India in association with Government of Telangana is organizing the 21stNational Conference on e-Governance on February 26- 27, 2018 in Hyderabad, Telangana.

  •  

    My dear countrymen, Namaskar.

    Let us begin today’s Mann Ki Baat with a phone call.]

    Phone Call...

    Thank you very much for your phone call. My young friends have asked me many questions related to Science; they keep writing on quite a few points.

  • Prime Miniter Shri Narendra Modi has expressed grief on the sudden demise of film actor Sridevi. 

    PM said, "Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi. She was a veteran of the film industry, whose long career included diverse roles and memorable performances.

  • Continuing its endeavour to promote India’s Heritage, Ministry of Culture is organising a week long diversified cultural carnival ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ in Madhya Pradesh that began at Maan Mandir Fort, Gwalior, today.

  • Ladies and gentlemen,

    On the occasion of the birth anniversary of SelviJayalalithaaji, I pay my tributes to her and extend my greetings and best wishes to all of you.Wherever she is, I am sure, she would be very happy, to see the happiness on your faces.

  • RakshaRajyaMantriDr.SubhashBhamre, visited Ordnance Factory Ambajhari (OFAJ) today. He visited various production facilities especially the shell machine, shell forge, fuze shop and rocket sections. He was accompanied by Shri VidyaSagarVerma, IOFS, Member / M&C, Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata, Shri CS Vishwakarma, IOFS, Sr. DDG (M&C), Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata and Shri Ravindran Viswanathan, IOFS, General Manager, Ordnance Factory Ambajhari.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that industry should increase investments in agriculture as over 58 per cent of the rural households are dependent on agriculture in India.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that industry should increase investments in agriculture as over 58 per cent of the rural households are dependent on agriculture in India.

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  • Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi launched various development projects worth Rs.1000 crores in Daman & Diu today. He distributed certificates to beneficiaries of programs and addressed a public meeting at the Daman college ground.

  • The Presentation of Prime Minister Shram Awards will be held on 26th February 2018 in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi where Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon'ble Vice President will give away the awards to 338 workers in the presence of Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour  & Employment.

  • RakshaMantriSmt Nirmala Sitharamandistributes cheques worth almost 5 crore for 30 households (96 persons) who were rehabilitated under Operation Seabird (Naval Project). She expressed gratitude towards those who have given their land for the development of the strategic Naval Base that shall strengthen the presence of the Navy along the Western Coast of India.

  • Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 22 countries and the European Union to dramatically accelerate global clean energy innovation. As part of the initiative, participating countries have committed to double Clean Energy Research and Development investments over five years.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed the Economic Times Global Business Summit in New Delhi, on the theme: New Economy – New Rules.

    Noting that the Union Government is going to complete four years of assuming office in a few months, he said that a definite change is now visible.

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    ???? ????? ????, ??? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ???? ?? ???????????? ?? ?????  ???? ??, ?? ??? ???? ??, Fragile Five.



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, his government's mission is to build a New India, which is free from politics of caste, communalism and cor...




  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said, ensuring the participation of women in all fields of life is every Indian's fundamental duty.




  • Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO on Sunday successfully flew its Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Rustom 2 at its Aeronautical Test Rang...



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said Maharshi Aurobindo's philosophy of consciousness integrates entire universe.Addressing Golden Jubilee celebrations of Auroville in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu today, Mr Modi said the fact that Auroville has brought together such huge diversity of people and ideas makes dialogue and debate natural.



  • China's ruling Communist Party on Sunday set the stage for President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely, with a proposal to remove a constitutional clause limiting presidential service to just two terms in office.



  • The first sale of Electoral Bonds will commence from the 1st of next month for a period of ten days.



  • In Jammu and Kashmir, two policemen have been killed in two separate terrorist attacks on Sunday.



  • Skipper Virat Kohli along with senior most player Mahendra Singh Dhoni were prominent among the host of players rested for the T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka, starting on the 6th of March.


  • The 'Run for New India marathon was flagged off  from the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium of the city. The Marathon is aimed at creating awareness about social causes and call upon all to resolve to build a New India.

    The Marathon is divided into 4 categories which included 41 KM full marathon. Addressing the huge gathering, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the country is not made by politicians, but is made by the power of its people. PM said a country can only make progress when its people work together towards that direction.

    Remembering Sardar Patel, Prime Minister Modi appealed to the youths to participate in Run for Unity on 31st October.

    Around 1.50 lakh runners participated in the 'Run for New India' marathon which was organized by the Surat Nagrik Samiti. Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani, Memeber of Parliament C.R Patil and many other diginitaries were present on the occasion. 

  •  A release from the varsity said that the polymer-based nanomedicine was developed by a research group led by Pradip Paik, Associate Professor of the School of Engineering Sciences and Technology at the University of Hyderabad.

    Prof Paik said that the new formulation was efficient in killing plasmodium falciparum infection in red blood cells and added that the medicine could now be used for animal trials. Prof Paik is currently on assignment as Associate Professor of the School of Biomedical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi.

    The World Health Organisation estimates that malaria, one of the deadliest scourges of mankind, afflicts about 212 million people every year and causes 4,29,000 deaths annually.

  • Rohit Sharma will lead a second string team comprising the leading performers in domestic (Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 and IPL) tournaments. Shikhar Dhawan will be his deputy in a side that has as many as six changes.

    "MS Dhoni was not available for selection as he had requested for rest," national selector MSK Prasad was quoted as saying in a press release.

    On predicted lines, top fast bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya after they shared enormous workload on the South Africa tour.

    "We've kept in mind the workload and upcoming schedule while finalizing the team for Nidahas Trophy. The high-performance team has suggested that adequate rest should be given to our fast bowlers to help improve athletic performance, maximize rest and prevent injury," Prasad added.

    Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav is also not in the Sri Lanka bound team.

    A close look will indicate that selectors maintained consistency by selecting all those players, who were part of the home T20s against Sri Lanka in December.

    Coming back in the team are prolific keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, after a solid season in white-ball cricket including centuries in both national T20s and One-dayers.

    Off spinner Washington Sundar, pacer Mohammed Siraj and all rounder Deepak Hooda are back in the side after the home series against Sri Lanka.

    All rounder Vijay Shankar is the like for like replacement for Pandya.

    Dinesh Karthik is the first keeper while Pant may play as pure batsman.

    The prominent performer to miss out was Mayank Agarwal who scored 2000 plus runs in the season.

    Squad:Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj, Rishabh Pant (wk).

  • Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap has won Men's Singles title at the Austrian Open International Challenge badminton tournament. 
    Kashyap, a former National champion and second seed, saw off Cheam 23-21 21-14 in a 37-minute clash on Saturday night.

    "Happy to win the title here in #Vienna . First title for me this year . Thank you @IndianOilcl @OGQ_India #Gopichandacademy and all my well wishers for the continuous support," tweeted Kashyap, who had reached the finals of US Open Grand Prix Gold last year.

    The Indian looked in good touch throughout the tournament as he didn't drop a single game en route to his title win. The final, however, was not a cakewalk as world number 126 Cheam matched Kashyap in the first game, which went down to the wires.

    In the end, the Indian had to save three game points before pocketing the first game.Kashyap looked in better control in the second game and eventually sealed the contest in 37 minutes.

    A former world no 6, Kashyap had been wrecked by a calf muscle tear, went under the knife for a knee injury, suffered a dislocation of his right shoulder, a hamstring pull and an abdominal strain - all within the last few years.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi amongst the future of India.....Strains of Vande Mataram resounding. This after he paid tributes to Sri Aurobindo at his Samadhi at the Ashram in Puducherry. Prime Minister Modi was introduced to the principals of the Ashram. The discipline of Yoga and community service are core to the Sadhna that the Ashramites practice, each in their own way.

    He then interacted with students of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. An integral part of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, it serves as a field of experiment and research in education. 

    His next stop was the Auroville International Township that is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year. Prime Minister once again paid floral tributes at the statue of Sri Aurobindo.  Envisaged by Mirra Alfassa, better known as the Mother, Auroville aims to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony.  The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity.

    At the very centre of Auroville is the 'soul of the city', the Matrimandir or the Temple of the Mother. Prime Minister Modi spent some time meditating in this space. When the site for Auroville was identified, all that stood there was a Banyan tree. Nearly hundred years old this Banyan tree is an integral part of the soul of the city.

    As part of golden jubilee celebrations, Prime Minister released a commemorative stamp. He said that Sri Aurobindo's vision continues to inspire the country and the world.

    He also released a practical guide book for parents and educators, published by Sri Aurobindo International Institute of educational research. PM highlighted Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's contribution to the field of education. He also released a monograph of 50 years of work of two of the earliest architects of Auroville and handed over the keys of a housing cluster developed by the Auroville society as a contribution to the Housing for all mission. Prime Minister's message was simple....the harmonious co-existence of the material and the spiritual in Auroville is an example that the world can emulate.

    PM will flag off Run for New India marathon later in the day in Surat.

     

  • The Democratic minority on the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Saturday  released a response to Republican charges that the FBI and Justice Department have abused the law in their investigation of possible ties between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

    The Democrats' 10-page memo, released on Saturday in partially-redacted form, calls an earlier Republican version "a transparent effort to undermine" the FBI, the Justice Department, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and congressional probes into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

    The Republican memo, the Democrats allege, "also risks public exposure of sensitive sources and methods for no legitimate purpose."

    The Democratic memo and a Republican counterattack that included a point-by-point refutation of the minority Democrats' conclusions, are an escalation of the partisan feuding that Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, and other members of his party have said is sabotaging the House committee's investigation.

    The latest duel on Capitol Hill comes as Mueller's investigation gathers steam, including a guilty plea on Friday from Richard Gates, Trump's deputy campaign manager.

    Trump, calling into the Fox News program "Justice with Judge Jeanine" on Saturday evening, said the Democrats' memo was "a nothing."

    "A lot of bad things happened on the other side," Trump told host Jeanine Pirro. "Somebody should look into it, because what they did is really fraudulent."

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited Puducherry where he visited the Aurobindo Ashram and paid homage to its founder, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. He also visited the room of Shri Aurobindo where his personal belongings have been preserved.

    Later PM Modi sat in meditation at the Aurobindo memorial and interacted with the children of the International School of Education run by the ashram. Children played various instruments for the Prime Minister.

    He will participate in the Golden Jubilee celebrations at Auroville International Township in neighbouring Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. This project was envisioned by the Mother of Aurobindo Ashram, Mirra Alfassa, is dedicated to the ideal of human unity.

    He will also visit Auroville where he will release a commemorative postage stamp on the golden jubilee celebrations of Auroville. Last on his agenda is addressing a public meeting in Puducherry. 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today stressed that science and technology should be used for welfare of humanity and to reach the highest peaks of human life. Addressing the 41st edition of monthly Mann Ki Baat programme, the PM also said that spirit of inquiry is the real inspiration behind scientific discoveries. He also said that all the renowned names in the field of science have successfully converted failures into strengths. 

    Among other topics that PM Modi talked about in his 'Mann ki Baat' programme was  the need for women-led develoment, 'Gobar Dhan Yojana', safety values and beginning of a new era of development.

     PM Modi appreciated the wmen power leading the develoment in India in his 'Mann ki baat' programme, and said that it is the responsibility of everyone of us to ensure gender equality in social, economic & every other sector. PM Modi said that women have taken the country & society to a new height.

    PM said the dream of 'New India' includes women who are empowered, strong and equal contributor to country's comprehensive development.Prime Minister spoke about India leading the BIMSTEC nations' joint exercise on Disaster Management. and said that India needs to become a risk-conscious society.

     In 41st edition of Mann ki Baat, PM talked about 'Gobar Dhan Yojana' under which villagers and farmers will be encouraged to see dung & garbage not only as waste, but also as a source of income. He said the scheme will help in keeping the villages clean, animals healthy & increasing the productivity.

    PM expressed happiness overpower reaching three villages of Elephanta island, 70 years after independence. Congratulating the administration and public, PM said that it's not only about the electrification of Elephanta villages & caves, but beginning of a new era of development.

    PM greeted the people of country for Holi - the festival of colour. and said that Holika Dahan holds equal significance as colours as it is the day to destroy evils in fire.

    Lauding the role of women power for assuming leadership roles in development of the country, Prime Minister Modi said dream of a 'New India' includes women who is empowered as well as equal partners in development process.

    PM Modi also highlighted that impetus is being given on turning 'waste into wealth' and 'waste into energy' for benefits to rural India. He also said that, 'Gobar Dhan Yojana' announced in the Budget is aimed at making villages clean and generate income and energy through compost.

  • The International Olympic Committee  dashed Russian athletes' hopes of marching behind their national flag at the Winter Games on Sunday, eciding against immediately lifting Russia's Olympic suspension after fresh doping violations.

    Russians have been competing as neutral athletes at the Games, their Olympic status suspended, as IOC punishment for years of drug scandals involving allegations that Russia ran a systematic, state-backed drug-cheating programme.

    The IOC said two Russian doping violations during the Pyeongchang Games had marred an otherwise clean report card for the Russian delegation at the Games.

    Competition at the Winter Games concludes on Sunday and final drug testing results might not be known for several days or even weeks.

    Russia's Olympic delegation chief and its figure skating silver medallist, Evgenia Medvedeva, had made a last appeal to the IOC on Saturday for their suspension to be lifted, apologising for the two doping violations during the Games.

    Medal-winning curler Alexander Krushelnitsky and bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva failed doping tests, angering a team that had been through extensive testing before and during the first days of Games competition without returning any positive results.

    At the Games, the Russians have been unable to wear national uniforms or have their anthem played at medal presentations.

     

  • The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire in Syria to allow aid deliveries and medical evacuations.However, some of the biggest jihadist rebel groups, and their associates, are not covered by the truce, raising questions about its real impact.

    The Eastern Ghouta rebel enclave near Damascus has been bombarded by government forces for the past week.After the vote in New York, activists said air strikes were continuing.

    The vote had been delayed several times since Thursday as members struggled to come to an agreement.Russia, an ally of Syria's government, wanted changes, while Western diplomats accused Moscow of stalling for time.

    Some 500 people are said to have been killed by government forces in the enclave since last Sunday while rebels fire on Damascus has reportedly killed at least 16 civilians.
     

  • The government revoked the passport of disgraced diamond czar Nirav Modi even as his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi wrote to his employees telling them that he would not be able to pay their dues.

    On the advice of the Enforcement Directorate, the ministry of extrenal affiars  had suspended the validity of their passports with immediate effect for a period of four weeks on February 16 and given one week's time to them to respond as to why their passports should not be impounded or revoked. 

    "Since they have not responded so far, their passports have been revoked," a senior ministry source said, noting that in its notice to Modi and Choksi, the ministry had made it clear that their passports would be cancelled if they failed to respond. 

    Ministry sources said that future course of action will be taken on the advice of the investigation agencies. 

    Section 10 of the Act says that a passport can be revoked in the interests of the sovereignty, integrity, security of the country or friendly relations of India with any foreign country, or in the interests of the general public.

    Revoking the passport of an accused is aimed at stopping the person from travelling from one country to another to avoid arrest.
     

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Puducherry today on a one day visit to the city and will address a public meeting at Lawspet.

    The BJP cadre is in upbeat mood and hope that this visit by the prime minister will be a turning point for Pudducherry. The failures of the state government led by CM V Narayanswamy will be highlighted by the BJP.

    PM Modi will also participate in the Golden Jubilee celebrations at Auroville International Township in neighbouring Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu.

    This project was envisioned by the Mother of Aurobindo Ashram, Mirra Alfassa, is dedicated to the ideal of human unity.

     Very little has been done to boost the tourism industry, attract investments and generate employment in Pudducherry.

    Even the Smart City project is progressing at snail's pace.

    Prime Minister will also visit the Aurobindo Ashram and pay homage to its founder, Sri Aurobindo. He will sit in meditation for a few minutes at the Aurobindo memorial and would interact with the children of the International School of Education run by the ashram.

  • Tributes are pouring in from across the film industry and Sridevi's legions of fans. Several members of film fraternity and general public took to social media to express shock and grief, terming it no less than a personal loss.

    Actress Priyanka Chopra said, "I have no words. Condolences to everyone who loved #Sridevi. A dark day. RIP"

    Actress Neha Dhupia said "So heartbreaking to hear about #Sridevi ma'am. we just lost our finest. gone way too soon.

    Singer Adnan Sami said "I am at a loss for words & jolted as if struck by lightening at this late hour of the night to learn about the shocking & tragic news & untimely demise of #Sridevi ji. Heartbroken. She was India's sweetheart, an incredible artiste & a beautiful human being. Gone too soon. RIP."

    Actor Jaaved Jaaferi said "Shocked and devastated. An amazing talent and my favourite performer passes on. A tremendous loss to the industry. RIP dear #Sridevi."

    Director Madhur Bhandarkar said "Unbelievable Shocking & Heartbreaking to hear about the demise of #Sridevi, one of the talented Actress of Indian Cinema. Prayers and strength to the family. #OmShanti"

    Actress Preity Zinta "Heartbroken & shocked to hear that my all time favourite #Sridevi is no more. May god give peace to her soul & strength to the family #RIP"

  • Bollywood's own Hawa Hawai first women superstar of the silver screen Sridevi is no more. The legendary actress breathed her last in Dubai after suffering a heart attack.

    Born on 13th February, 1963, Sridevi enthralled Indian cinema viewers of all ages with her charm, innocuous acting and appealing screen presence. She worked in a number of Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malyalam and Kannada movies.

    Her immaculate performance on silver screen won her prestigious filmfare awards a number of times. Her performance in movie 'sadma', as a child-woman suffering from amnesia won her accolades even from her critics.

    In later part of eighties, Sridevi became heart-throbe of the nation with movies such as Chaalbaaz and Chandani with roles of a girl with a cool and carefree girl. She instantly became a superstar and most sought-after bollywood actress overnight.

    In nineties, her reputation as a guarantee for success at the box office grew with grand success of movies like 'nagina' and 'khuda Gawah'.

    For her contribution to the Indian cinema, in many languages, Sridevi was honored with coveted Padma Shree award in 2013.

    Sridevi made her come back to the silver screen with a movie 'english vinglish' and after that mom in 2017. Both the movies won hearts of millions of cine fans with her transformed performance as a senior actress in changed roles.

    Today, Bollywood has lost one of its most entertaining and complete superstars, and the vacuum Sridevi's shocking and untimely demise has left, would be impossible to fill.

    President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi  expressed shock over death of the veteran actress and offered condolences over the demise.

    Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani  also expressed grief over the demise of the veteran actress.

  • NK Singh also spoke on the key recommendations of the FRBM committee accepted by the committee. NK Singh was the Chairman of the FRBM committee that made recommendations on macro-economic stability to the Centre.

    On the govt's decision to use 2011 census, instead of 1971 census as a factor to determine tax devolution to states, Singh sought to allay concerns of states that have done well on population control.

    Singh also said that the commission would work to reduce economic disparities between states in a bid to ensure balanced development.

  • Seasoned Mithali Raj scored 62 off 50 balls while teenager Jemimah Rodrigues smashed 44 off 34 balls as Indian women scored a competitive 166 for 4 in 20 overs.

    Shikha Pandey and Rumeli Dhar the took three wickets apiece as India bowled out South Africa for 112 in 18 overs.

    Brief Scores:

    India women: 166/4 in 20 overs (Mithali Raj 62 off 50 balls, Jemimah Rodrigues 44 off 34 balls, Harmanpreet Kaur 27 off 17 balls) vs South Africa.

    South Africa women: 112 all out in 18 overs. (M Kapp 27, C Tryon 25; S Pandey 3/16, R Dhar 3/26)
     

  • The Minister said that the peace in Nagaland will lead to prosperity.

    Meghalaya and Nagaland are to go to the polls on the 27th of Feb and counting will be held on the 3rd of March.

  • Various bilateral issues including 1950 Peace and Friendship treaty, trade, environment, border and hydropower were discussed during two-day meeting.

    Addressing a press conference after the meeting Nepal coordinator of EPG Dr Bhekh Bahadur Thapa and India's coordinator Bhagat Singh Koshiyari said that a report is being prepared to take bilateral relations to a new height. Dr Thapa said that issues from 1950 treaty to current border-related concerns were addressed and a positive report on it would be submitted within few months.

    Indian coordinator Koshiyari expressed confidence that no side will be disappointed with the report. EPG is a joint mechanism consisting experts and intellectuals from India and Nepal.

    It was set up in February 2016 to provide suggestions for updating all existing bilateral treaties and agreements between both the countries.

    Next meeting of the group will be held in New Delhi.

  • Addressing the Global Business Summit in New Delhi, the minister also said that Cases of willful default are those which are much more than a business failure.

    Advocating for simultaneous polls in the country, the finance minister said that simultaneous polls will  improve the quality of governance.

  • The Group of Ministers for GST has recommended implementation of E-Way bill for Inter-state movement of goods from 1st April 2018.

    Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and GST Convenor,  Sushil Kumar Modi,  said that 26 to 30 Lakh E-Way bills are expected to be generated when E-Way bills will be implemented by 1st April 2018.

    Addressing media persons after 7th meeting of Group of Ministers on GST in New Delhi, he also said that 9.5 Lakh taxpayers are registered on E-Way bills portal, and 6.5 Lakh E-Way bills are generated per day.

  • The government revoked the passport of disgraced diamond czar Nirav Modi even as his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi wrote to his employees telling them that he would not be able to pay their dues.

    Nirav Modi and Choksi are facing multiple investigations into one of the biggest frauds in the country's banking history and are accused of defrauding India's second biggest lender, Punjab National Bank, of an estimated Rs 11400 crore with the help of a couple of bank employees.

    Section 10 (3) (C) of the Act says that a passport can be revoked in the interests of the sovereignty, integrity, security of the country or friendly relations of India with any foreign country, or in the interests of the general public. Revoking the passport of an accused is aimed at stopping the person from travelling from one country to another to avoid arrest.

    Meanwhile, the Special CBI Court on Saturday sent Rotomac Pens owner Vikram Kothari and his son Rahul Kothari sent to 11 days CBI remand in Lucknow.

    CBI had registered a case against Rotomac pen promoter Vikram Kothari and his family in connection with a case related to the alleged swindling of 3,695 crore rupees of bank loan. The case against three directors of the company including Kothari and others was filed on a complaint received from Bank of Baroda. It is alleged that Directors in criminal conspiracy with themselves and other unknown bank officials, cheated the bank to the tune of over 616 crore rupees. They were arrested by CBI on Thursday. 

  • Primary school children who have been raised in homes surrounded by more green space tend to present with larger volumes of white and grey matter in certain areas of the brain, said researchers. “This is the first study that evaluates the association between long-term exposure to green space and brain structure,” said Payam Dadvand from Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain.

    “Our findings suggest that exposure to green space early in life could result in beneficial structural changes in the brain,” Dadvand said. For the study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers examined 253 schoolchildren.

    Lifelong exposure to residential green space was estimated using satellite-based information on the children’s addresses from birth up through to the time of the study. Brain anatomy was studied using high-resolution 3D magnetic resonance images (MRI). Working memory and inattentiveness were evaluated with computerised tests.

    The data analysis showed that long-term exposure to greenness was positively associated with white and grey matter volume in some parts of the brain that partly overlapped with those associated with higher scores on cognitive tests. Peak volumes of white and grey matter in the regions associated with green space exposure predicted better working memory and reduced inattentiveness.

    Furthermore, greener areas often have lower levels of air pollution and noise and may enrich microbial inputs from the environment, all of which could translate into indirect benefits for brain development.

     

  • At least 23 people were killed and more than a dozen wounded in multiple suicide bombings and attacks in Afghanistan today, the latest in a series of assaults in the war-torn country. In the biggest attack, Taliban militants stormed an army base in the western province of Farah overnight, killing at least 18 soldiers.

    The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Deputy provincial governor Younus Rasooli said the authorities had sent a fact-finding delegation to Bala Buluk to investigate the assault.

    In another attack, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near the diplomatic area of Kabul during the morning rush hour, killing at least three people and wounding five others.

  • The Germans, who knocked out Sweden in the quarters, relied on a scrappy defence and opportunistic offence to squeeze past a Canadian team who had looked on course for a third straight Olympic final appearance even without their NHL players.

    The win set up a gold medal game against the mighty Russians, who beat the Czech Republic 3-0 in Friday's first semi-final.

    Germany built a 4-1 lead through the first two periods only to face a withering Canadian comeback in the third as they scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the period.

    But Canada fell one goal short despite peppering German goaltender Danny Aus den Birken with a barrage of shots until time ran out.

  • The three blasts at separate locations around Sittwe included one at the home of a high ranking official, police said. Besides the bloody campaign against the Rohingya, Rakhine has been struggling with a decade-long rebellion fought by ethnic Rakhine Buddhist insurgents but bombings in the state capital are rare. "Three bombs exploded and three other unexploded bombs were found. A police officer was injured but not seriously," a senior officer said on condition of anonymity.

    One was detonated in the compound of the state government secretary's home, while the two others exploded in front of an office in the city and on a road leading to a beach. A local official from the state government confirmed the explosions. Photos of the sites showed shattered windows and scattered debris. "Some streets are being blocked by police already because of the bomb blasts," Zaw Zaw, a resident of Sittwe, said.

    In recent months, unrest in Rakhine has been concentrated in the state's northern wedge, where a sweeping military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim community last August pushed nearly 700,000 refugees across the border to Bangladesh.

    But the restive state also hosts a simmering insurgency waged by a Rakhine Buddhist rebel group called the Arakan Army, which clashes with Myanmar troops. Unlike the Rohingya Muslims, the Rakhine are recognised by the government as an ethnic minority but are still marginalised in a country historically dominated by the Bamar (Burmese) majority.

    Tensions between the community and local authorities shot through since after a police crackdown on an ethnic Rakhine mob left seven dead last month. That violence in Mrauk U Township prompted the Arakan Army's political wing to warn of a "serious" retaliation for the deaths of the protesters.

    Around two weeks later the town's administrator was found murdered on the side of the road. David Mathieson, an independent analyst based in Myanmar, said Saturday's Sittwe blasts were more likely tied to ethnic Rakhine tensions than the Rohingya crisis, whose epicentre is further north.

    The Arakan Army is "the only armed group operating in central Rakhine that would have the sophistication to do something like this", he said. Coordinated strikes in an urban area would however mark a "significant escalation" of that rebellion, which typically sees clashes outside the capital. He said it was unlikely that the bombs were linked to the Rohingya - who also have a militant wing - as very few Muslims have mobility in the capital.

    Sittwe was once home to a sizeable Rohingya population but most were forced to abandon their homes by deadly communal violence in 2012. Today a small community of Rohingya are confined to a Muslim enclave in the city while more than 100,000 others are still trapped in squalid displacement camps outside the capital. Over the past six months, the vast majority of Myanmar's 1.1-million Rohingya population have emptied out of northern Rakhine in the mass exodus to Bangladesh.

    Refugees said they were fleeing a brutal army assault that saw troops team up with ethnic Rakhine mobs to torch homes, murder civilians and commit mass rape. The UN has accused Myanmar troops of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya. Myanmar authorities deny committing any atrocities and say they were targeting Rohingya rebels who raided police posts in August, killing at least a dozen officers.

    The government has blocked UN staff from investigating the conflict zone in northern Rakhine, where thousands of Rohingya are believed to have been killed.

  • Nineteen pictures are vying for awards at the 68th edition from a jury led by German director Tom Tykwer ("Run Lola Run", Netflix series "Babylon Berlin").

    Last year's winner, Hungary's "On Body and Soul", a tender love story set in a slaughterhouse, is now nominated for an Oscar as best foreign-language film.

    Here is the complete list of contenders:

    "3 Days in Quiberon", Emily Atef, Germany/Austria/France

    "Ang Panahon ng Halimaw" (Season of the Devil), Lav Diaz, Philippines

    "Damsel", David and Nathan Zellner and starring Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska, US

    "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot", Gus Van Sant and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara and Jonah Hill, US

    "Dovlatov", Alexey German Jr., Russia/Poland/Serbia 

    "Eva", Benoit Jacquot and starring Isabelle Huppert, France/Belgium

    "Figlia Mia" (Daughter of Mine), Laura Bispuri, Italy/Germany/Switzerland

    "Las Herederas" (The Heiresses), Marcelo Martinessi,Paraguay/Germany/Uruguay/Norway/ Brazil/France (debut film)

    "In den Gaengen" (In the Aisles), Thomas Stuber, Germany

    "Isle of Dogs", animated feature by Wes Anderson and voiced by stars including Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig and Liev Schreiber, Britain/Germany (opening film)

    "Khook" (The Pig), Mani Haghighi, Iran

    "Mein Bruder heisst Robert und ist ein Idiot" (My Brother's Name Is Robert and He Is an Idiot), Philip Groening, Germany/France/Switzerland

    "Museum", Alonso Ruizpalacios and starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Mexico

    "La Priere" (The Prayer), Cedric Kahn, France

    "Toppen av ingenting" (The Real Estate), Mans Mansson and Axel Petersen, Sweden/Britain

    "Touch Me Not", Adina Pintilie, Romania/Germany/Czech Republic/Bulgaria/France (debut film)

    "Transit", Christian Petzold, Germany/France

    "Twarz" (Mug), Malgorzata Szumowska, Poland

    "Utoya 22. juli" (U - July 22), Erik Poppe, Norway

  • The folds of flesh on Juan Pedro Franco's back sway heavily as he cranks the pedals of a modified bicycle with his arms, exercising to boost his already jaw-dropping weight-loss total of 250 kilos (550 pounds).

    At the time, he was completely bed-ridden, suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure, and had a severely obstructed lung. Doctors warned his life was at risk if he didn't lose weight. That's when Franco decided to undergo double gastric surgery.

    He and his mother moved from his home state, Aguascalientes, to Guadalajara in the west, the city where his bariatric surgeon, Jose Antonio Castaneda, has his clinic. Castaneda put Franco, who suffers from hypothyroidism, on a "very severe" diet of Mediterranean cuisine for six months.

    Then, in May 2017, came the first surgery: a gastric sleeve operation, which involves removing part of the stomach to reduce its volume by up to 80 percent.

    Six months later, he underwent a gastric bypass, in which Castaneda halved what remained of his stomach, and then connected one of the smaller pouches to the intestines. The intestines themselves were also divided, to reduce his absorption of nutrients.

    Since Franco could barely move at the time, burning off calories would never have been enough, doctors said. The only option was to radically reduce the size of his stomach.

    Now 33 years old, Franco currently weighs in at 345 kilos (760 pounds). Castaneda expects him to lose about 100 kilos more in the next year and a half. He is still connected to an oxygen tube 24 hours a day, but he spends less and less time lying in bed.

    Using a walker, he has managed to take his first steps in years. Now, he says, he has one big dream: "I want to walk again."

    Franco's skin is pale white from lack of exposure to the sun. He spends his days knitting scarves and making sweets for his family to sell -- his way of contributing to the household budget.

    In his free time, he likes to sing and play guitar. But a large part of his day is devoted to his exercises. These include lifting weights, pulling resistance cords and pedaling his hand-cranked stationary bike. "I'm very happy because everything is going very well," he told AFP from his bed, which is outfitted with a custom-built metal structure that enables him to lift himself to his feet.

    "He's doing more exercise each day," said Castaneda, at his side. "He is making an effort to stand up by himself, to get his life on track. He has a very positive attitude."

    According to the clinic, a lot now depends on how well he progresses and how he responds to treatment for the lymphedema in his legs accumulated fluid caused by the blockage of his lymphatic system.

    "He remains a complex patient and will be at risk until he no longer suffers from extreme obesity," his medical team said in a statement. "We are trying to save a life, and we will remain vigilant until he is out of danger."

    According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, 58 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean are overweight. Mexico is one of the countries worst affected by the problem, along with the Bahamas and Chile.

    Franco is not the only Mexican to have been the world's fattest man. His compatriot Manuel Uribe claimed the title in 2007 after weighing in at 597 kilos. He later went on a diet that brought him down to 394 kilos. Uribe got married in 2008, after being lifted to the ceremony by a crane. He died in May 2014 at age 48.

  • “The scheme will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs covered under the Scheme,” the central bank said. The offices of the NBFC ombudsmen will function at four metro centres—Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. They will handle complaints of customers in the respective zones.

    “To begin with, the Scheme will cover all deposit-taking NBFCs. Based on the experience gained, the RBI would extend the scheme to cover NBFCs having asset size of Rs 100 crore and above with customer interface,” the RBI said.

    The Scheme provides for an Appellate mechanism under which the complainant/ NBFC has the option to appeal against the decision of the Ombudsman before the Appellate Authority.

    In a frequently asked questions (FAQ) released by the RBI on the Ombudsman Scheme, the RBI said that for redressal of grievance, the complainant must first approach the concerned NBFC.

    “If the NBFC does not reply within a period of one month after receipt of the complaint, or the NBFC rejects the complaint, or if the complainant is not satisfied with the reply given by the NBFC, the complainant can file the complaint with the NBFC Ombudsman under whose jurisdiction the branch/ registered office of the NBFC falls,” it said.

    As per the FAQ, the NBFC Ombudsman does not charge any fee for filing and resolving customers’ complaints. 

     

  • Following the elections, the BJP’s strength in the Upper House is expected to rise. Fifty-eight Rajya Sabha seats will be falling vacant in April while a by-poll for a seat from Kerala will also be held on the same day. M P Veerendra Kumar had resigned in December last year, though his term was to end in April 2022.

    The elections will take place on March 23 and the counting of votes will be held the same evening, the commission said in a statement.

    The members, whose terms are ending, include Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan, J P Nadda, Thaawar Chand Gehlot and Ramdas Athawale.

    In August 2017, the BJP had overtaken the Congress to become the largest political party in Rajya Sabha with 58 members against 57 of the main opposition party.

    In Uttar Pradesh, where ten seats are up for grabs, the BJP was likely to gain the most.

    While nine members, including Jaya Bachchan (SP) and Pramod Tiwari (Cong) from Uttar Pradesh, are retiring on April 2, the election for one seat vacated by BSP supremo Mayawati last year will also be held.

    The states from where members are retiring are Uttar Pradesh (10), Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Rajasthan (three each), Bihar and Maharashtra (six each), West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh (five each), Karnataka and Gujarat (four each), Jharkhand (two), and Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand (one each).

  • The Prime Minister arrived in Chennai on Saturday, where he launched the Amma Two Wheeler Scheme of the state government, coinciding with the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa.  The scheme, with the objective of enhancing the livelihood of working women, aims to provide subsidised two wheelers to women, transgenders and differently-abled persons. The scheme was initially announced by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the AIADMK's election manifesto in 2016.

    Giving the keys and Registration documents of the two wheelers to 5 women, at the function, PM said I am glad to be able to launch one of Jayalalitha dream projects.

    The PM also planted a sapling, kicking off a tree plantation drive that will see 70 lakh plants to be planted across Tamil Nadu. He also recounted how his government has increased the overall funds allocated for the state of Tamil Nadu.

    He also highlighted how central schemes like the PM Awaas Yojana and PM Fasal Bhima Yojna had benefited the people of Tamil Nadu.

    Expressing their joy at receiving the two wheelers, the beneficiaries thanked the PM.

    Nearly 23,000 beneficiaries have registered for the scheme, which provides subsidies ranging up to 50 per cent of the cost of the vehicle.

     

  • The surface-to-surface missile, a naval variant of the indigenously-developed ‘Prithvi’ missile, was test-fired from the ship positioned near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal at around 10.52 am, the officials said.

    ‘Dhanush’ missile is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and hitting both land and sea-based targets, the sources said, adding that its trial was carried out by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the defence forces. “The missile launch was part of a training exercise by the SFC of Indian Navy,” one official said.

    Describing the test launch as “a complete success”, the officials said all mission objectives were met during the trial. “The missile launch and its flight performance were monitored from DRDO telemetry and radar facilities in the Odisha coast,” they said.

    The single-stage, liquid-propelled ‘Dhanush’, has already been inducted into the defence services. It is one of the five missiles developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

    The last trial was successfully tested on April 9, 2015, the sources added. 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau today held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to boost trade ties.Following the talks, the two sides inked six pacts. Strengthening old bonds Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to boost trade ties.

    The 2 sides also inked six pacts in the field of Information Communications Technology and Electronics, India-Canada Ministerial Energy Dialogue, Cooperation in the field of sports , Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights, Cooperation in the field of Higher Education, Cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation.

    After their nearly two-hour long meeting PM Modi while addressing joint media event with the Canadian Prime Minister said that they discussed the entire gamut of the bilateral partnership including global issues.
    Asserting that it is important that the two countries work together to fight terrorism, PM Modi said that there should be no place for those who misuse religion for political goals.

    Describing India as a natural partner and a trusted friend for commercial cooperation, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country looks for new opportunities to do business beyond its boundaries.
    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on visiting Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau in New Delhi.

    Earlier, Trudeau was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He also paid a visit to  Gandhi Samadhi where he paid tributes to the father of the nation. The Canadian pm was on 7-day long visit in which he visited Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Amritsar and Delhi.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stones for projects worth 1000 crore rupees in Daman in union territory of Daman and Diu. On his arrival in Daman, he was given a warm welcome by the people who were standing in long queues along the roadside to get a glimpse of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Prime Minster distributed keys for scooters to differently-abled beneficiaries, 'SWABHIMAN' cards to  pregnant and Lactating Women, 'Badhai Kit' to the newly born girl children under 'beti Bachao, Beti padhao'. PM also distributed cycles to school going girls under Saraswati Cycle Yojna, extended loans under 'Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojna and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana to beneficiaries.  The PM also distributed permits for CNG driven public transport vehicles for a cleaner environment in Daman.

    Besides, Prime Minister also flagged off of Pawan Hans Helicopter services from Daman to Diu through a video link. PM  flagged off of 'Pehli Savari' and Ambulances to take patients to hospitals in emergency like situations. Besides, PM also flagged off a fight service between Diu and Ahmedabad under UDAN Scheme also via video link. PM said regional air connectivity will boost the economy in the region.

    While flagging off E-Rikshaw services in Daman, Prime Minister said that, E-rikshwas driven by women, will not only help in creating a cleaner environment but also increase respect for women.

    PM said that Government is taking several steps for the welfare of fishermen. He added that the emphasis on the 'Blue Revolution' is inspired by the commitment to bring a positive difference in the lives of fishermen.

    PM also said that LED bulb movement has helped in saving of seven core rupees among middle class families in Daman.

  • Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom, targetting her third successive international gold medal, quite literally toyed with China’s Ye Jiali to make the summit clash.

    In the men’s draw, former Asian Games gold-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg), Asian Games bronze medallist Satish Kumar (+91kg) and the unheralded Gaurav Solanki (52kg) advanced to the semi-finals to assure themselves of medals.

    While Gaurav pummelled Kyrgyzstan’s Azat Usenaliev, Vikas edged past Kazakhstan’s Tursynbay Kulakhmet in a split verdict to make the last-four stage.

    It was a significant victory for Vikas, who is returning to action after recovering from a hand injury, which forced him out of the national championships as well as the India Open last month.

    In the evening session, Satish hardly broke a sweat against Iran’s Iman Ramezanpoudelavar in his quarterfinal victory.

    Their victories took the total number of male boxers in the semi-finals to five.

    Earlier, India Open gold-medallist Amit Panghal (49kg) also made the semi-final stage along with last edition’s silver-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg).

    Bowing out today in the quarterfinal stage was Manish Panwar (81kg), losing to Russia’s Ilyas Mutaev in a unanimous verdict.

    India is now assured of 10 medals in the tournament, five of them courtesy women boxers—Mary Kom, L Sarita Devi (60kg), Seema Punia (+81kg), Saweety Boora (75kg), Mena Kumari Devi (54kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg). Seema and Bhagyabati got byes into the medal rounds. 

     

  • The Election Commission has fixed the 26th of this month as the repoll date for some select booths in 6 assembly seats in Tripura.

    Campaigning is on in full swing for the assembly elections in Nagaland and Meghalaya set to be held next week on the 27th of February. Alongwith back to back rallies, candidates were seen going door to door seeking votes as all parties are going all out to woo voters.

    Candidates were also seen slamming each other over issues. In Meghalaya, the BJP has promised to resolve the issue of the halt in mining activities within 180 days of coming to power, the Congress has said that the NPP is fooling the electorate over the matter.

    Meanwhile the EC has fixed 26th February for repolling in selected booths in 6 Tripura constituencies. 1 polling BOOTH each in Sonamura, Dhanpur, Teliamura,Sabroom, Ampinagar, Kadamtala-Kurti assembly constituencies in the state will have repolls due to malfunctioning of EVMs in these booths.

    The biggest challenge for the EC now is to ensure peaceful polling on the 27th. 300 companies of security forces will be deployed for the polls in Nagaland.Both Meghalaya and nagaland are to go to the polls on the 27th of Feb and counting will be held on the 3rd of March.
     

  •  In yet another blow to Pakistan, the White House has said that it is not satisfied with the progress made by Pakistan in its fight against terrorism. Washington has been stepping up pressure on Islamabad.time and again expressing displeasure over Pakistan's lack of seriousness to address the issue.

    Deputy press secretary to the White House Raj Shah said the US for the first time is holding Islamabad accountable for its actions.In its South Asia Policy announced in August last year, the Trump Administration called upon Pakistan to act hard on terror groups.

    At a press conference, Pentagon Chief Press Spokesperson Dana W. White said that South Asia policy offers an opportunity to Pakistan. She also lauded India's constructive and developmental role in war-torn Afghanistan.
    The remarks came as a meeting of Financial Action Task Force has been underway in Paris in which the United States was leading efforts to place Pakistan on an international terror-financing watch list also known as the 'grey list'. Pakistan's inclusion in the list could have severe implications for its fragile economy as it could scare off foreign investors and banks.

    The FATF has 37 member countries that include some of the major players in international diplomacy. Some media reports suggested that there was no major hurdle in Pakistan's greylisting.

    Any adverse outcome of the meeting would be a major blow for Pakistan as it would not only risk international investments and funding but would also force it to take serious and credible measures on the anti-terror front.

    In early January, the Trump administration had announced that it would cut all security aid to Pakistan until the country cracks down on terror groups operating within its borders. Since then, Pakistan has worked to solidify its relationship with other world powers like China and Russia.

  • To celebrate the idea of unity in diversity, Ministry of Culture is organising a Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat matrix in Madhya Pradesh beginning February 24 for a duration of 7 days. The States paired with Madhya Pradesh are Nagaland and Manipur.

    The Mahotsav will cover a profusion of art forms from classical and folk music and dance, theatre to literature and the visual arts and would offer the chance to experience the best in established and emerging virtuosity.

    A handloom and handicrafts-utsav is part of the proposed event. The gastronomic culture of Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and several other partnering states will be showcased through a food festival.
     

  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh said that India is a land of agriculture and If it is adopted as a business, it will not only help farmers live a life of self-esteem but also enable them to double their income in five by 2022.

    Addressing a gathering at North Zone Regional Farmers Fair-2018 in Varanasi the agriculture minister said that said all efforts are directed to double farmer’s income by 2022, the year in when India will celebrate 75 years of Independence.

    The Fair was jointly organized by ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi; Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India; Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers' Rights Authority , India; Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh and Association for Promotion of Innovations in Vegetables (APIV).

    The 3-day North Zone Regional Farmers Fair-2018 saw the participation of farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and New Delhi.

    The Fair will provide detailed information on ways to double farmer’s income through food nutrition and livelihood security. Scientific and technical guidance is also being provided to farmers in order to help them solve the problems related to agriculture sector.

    Radha Mohan Singh said that India is home to 17.6% of world population, 15% livestock, 4.2% water body, 2.4% land and with only 124 million hectares of agriculture land, it is a challenging task to double farmers’ income but the Government is working on it. In order to achieve this objective, several programs are being run at the national level by the Ministry and ICAR. 

  • After two weeks of negotiations, Russia has told the UN Security Council that there was still no agreement on a 30-day ceasefire in Syria. The Russian envoy to the UN told an emergency meeting of the security council that Russia would not support the ceasefire resolution put forward by Sweden and Kuwait in its present form, calling it unrealistic.

    The Russian Envoy cited concerns over enforcing the ceasefire and questioned the feasibility of quickly launching a major aid operation to reach civilians and lift sieges.

    The draft, put forward by Kuwait and Sweden, calls for a 30-day nationwide truce to go into effect 72 hours after the resolution is passed. Medical evacuations and aid deliveries would start 48 hours after that.

    The draft says 5.6 million people in 1,244 communities across the country are in acute need.

    More than 400 people have been killed in the five-day assault by the Syrian government on Eastern Ghouta, which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described as "hell on earth" for civilians.
    Moscow has vetoed 10 previous UN resolutions on Syria.

    In November, Russia used its veto to block a resumption of UN investigations into the use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces.

  • Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India today ceremonially broke ground on the Afghan section of an ambitious, multi-billion dollar gas pipeline expected to help ease energy deficits in South Asia.

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov joined Pakistani premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India's External Affairs Minister M. J. Akbar for the ceremony at gas-rich Turkmenistan's border with Afghanistan.

    Dignitaries including diplomats from the foreign missions in Turkmenistan were greeted by Turkmen national songs and traditional nomadic tents serving up food on an overcast day at the border post of Serkhetabat, once the southernmost tip of the Soviet Union.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Ghani said the pipeline would "unite (the) countries" in quotes translated into Russian for reporters at the ceremony.

    "There were pessimistic voices, but now we are witnessing the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline," said Ghani, using the acronym for the conduit which takes its name from the four countries.

    The quartet aims to complete the 1,840-kilometre (1,143-mile) pipeline and begin pumping natural gas from Turkmenistan's giant Galkynysh gas field by the beginning of 2020.

    While the pipeline will traverse war-wracked Afghanistan, raising security concerns, the bulk of the 33 billion cubic metres of gas to be pumped annually through the conduit will be purchased by South Asian rivals Pakistan and India.

    Turkmen strongman Berdymukhamedov, whose country currently depends heavily on China as a market for its natural gas exports, called diversification of gas deliveries an "important part of the politics" of the isolated Central Asian country.

    And he said work on the Turkmen section of the pipeline was still ongoing

  •  There has been no relief to Karti Chidamabaram in Enforcement Directorate case in INX media.The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on March 6 a plea of Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union minister P Chidambaram, seeking anticipatory bail in the INX Media money laundering case.

    However, the top court refused to stay the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate  asking Karti Chidambaram to appear before it on March 1, and said he can make a request in this regard to the competent authority.

    A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices Amitava Roy and D Y Chandrachud said it will hear the matter on March 6 after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Karti Chidambaram, sought time to file a proper application to challenge the ED proceedings.

    An FIR, filed on May 15 last year, had alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Karti .Meanwhile, CBI  has opposed plea of interim relief sought by Karti Chidambram. CBI said  that the plea of Karti is an abuse of process of law. SC adjourns the plea for March 6.

  • The Health Ministry has clarified that Indian candidates intending to obtain medical qualifications from abroad on or after May 2018 would have to mandatorily qualify the national eligibility-cum-entrance test, NEET.

    Thus, students who have already taken admission under current regulations to pursue the primary medical course by taking Eligibility Certificate from MCI are exempted from qualifying NEET.

    The Official statement informed that the regulations prescribe that the Indian citizens or Overseas Citizen of India intending to obtain the primary medical qualification from any medical institution outside India, on or after May 2018, shall have to mandatorily qualify the NEET for admission to MBBS course abroad.The decision will be implemented prospectively from May-2018.

    The clarification came after the ministry received grievances urging it to exempt students who have already gone abroad from the requirement of qualifying the NEET.

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, today graced the occasion of signing of MoU between Department of Economic Affairs and National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd for construction of housing project for Indian Economic Service Officers. Ministry of Urban Development has allotted 3519 square metre of land on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi, for construction of 90 dwelling units for IES Officers.

    Driving force behind undertaking the housing project is acute shortage of houses under Government General Pool Accommodation, particularly for junior-level officers. Project Management Consultancy for the project has been awarded to NBCC, for which the MOU has been signed.

    The Finance Minister also conferred awards to IES officers, winners under the Research Promotion Scheme. Speaking on the occasion the finance minister said that it was a joyous opportunity that the MoU was seeing the light of the day.

    Congratulating the winners under the Research Promotion Scheme, the Finance Minister said that he hoped this continues every year so that the interest in scholarship is alive and going.

  • A delegation of IAS officers working under the Delhi government met Union minister Jitendra Singh on Friday and put forward their grievances following the alleged attack on Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash.

    The chief secretary of Delhi was allegedly assaulted by a few AAP MLAs on Monday night during an official meeting in the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia. Kejriwal's office has dismissed the accusation as "bizarre and baseless".

    He said the officers wanted to officially register their grievances with the personnel ministry, which is the cadre controlling authority of the Indian Administrative Service.

    The Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office said that the officers have submitted a memorandum mentioning some of their demands and necessary action will be taken on it.

    He said, "the common objective of all of us is that we should be able to get the best out of our officers and we must enable them to perform their work to the best of their potential in the interest of the nation."

  • The Jharkhand High Court today rejected the bail plea of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav in connection with the second case related to the Rs 950 crore fodder scam of the 1990s. Lalu was sentenced to three and a half years in the case by a special CBI court in Ranchi on January 6. He had appealed for bail a week after his conviction.

    This is one of the six cases lodged against Lalu in connection with the scam.Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh rejected the bail petition of Lalu Prasad, saying he was the chief minister and finance minister during the scam period.

     
    The Public Accounts Committee kept the file for years, but no action was taken.Dismissing Lalu Prasad's defence, the judge said all the scam cases seemed to be done in his knowledge. Hence, the court is not inclined to release him on bail, the bench observed. 
     

  • The Enforcement Directorate today said it has frozen bank deposits and shares worth about Rs 44 crore of the Nirav Modi group and seized a huge collection of imported watches from locations linked to the billionaire diamantaire. 

    Officials said they have put freeze orders on bank accounts containing Rs 30 crore and shares worth Rs 13.86 crore of the group under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. 

    A huge collection of imported watches, 176 steel almirahs, 158 boxes and 60 other containers have been seized during ED searches at multiple locations linked to the billionaire diamond jewellery designer over last week, they said. 

    Nirav Modi was summoned by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Nirav Modi has now been asked to join the investigation and appear before the central probe agency in Mumbai on 26th February.

    Meanwhile, Scam-hit PNB says it has transferred over 1,400 employees since February 19. Earlier. the Income Tax department sent a notice to jeweller Nirav Modi to appear before it for questioning on the 27th of February. The notice has been sent under the anti-black money act.

    The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case. Both Modi and Choski are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them. 

    Meanwhile, Punjab National Bank reiterated that it has enough assets and capital to meet any liability.

    In a regulatory filing, PNB added that it has followed all lawful avenues to recover its dues from Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

    This filing comes days after media reports quoted Nirav Modi saying that by going public, the bank had closed all options to recover money. PNB had disclosed about the scam on 14th February, also through a regulatory filing.

     

  • The Delhi High Court today rejected the bail plea of AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal who were arrested on an alleged assault on chief secretary Anshu Prakash. Prakash alleged that the lawmakers physically attacked him in the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

    Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash had alleged on Monday that he was beaten and abused by AAP MLAs after being called for a midnight meeting at chief minister's residence. Prakash's medical report confirmed assault.

    On Thursday, the chief minister's adviser V.K. Jain told police that he saw Khan and Jarwal "physically assault" the chief secretary.Khan and Jarwal were sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a Delhi court yesterday.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau today held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to boost trade ties.Following the talks, the two sides inked six pacts. Strengthening old bonds Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to boost trade ties.

    The 2 sides also inked six pacts in the field of Information Communications Technology and Electronics, India-Canada Ministerial Energy Dialogue, Cooperation in the field of sports , Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights, Cooperation in the field of Higher Education, Cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation.

    After their nearly two-hour long meeting PM Modi while addressing joint media event with the Canadian Prime Minister said that they discussed the entire gamut of the bilateral partnership including global issues.
    Asserting that it is important that the two countries work together to fight terrorism, PM Modi said that there should be no place for those who misuse religion for political goals.

    Describing India as a natural partner and a trusted friend for commercial cooperation, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country looks for new opportunities to do business beyond its boundaries.
    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on visiting Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau in New Delhi.

    Earlier, Trudeau was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He also paid a visit to  Gandhi Samadhi where he paid tributes to the father of the nation. The Canadian pm was on 7-day long visit in which he visited Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Amritsar and Delhi.

  • A statement issued by President’s office quoted election commission’s decision to hold elections during early September and asked all stakeholders to offer their support. It may be noted that Maldives government has put all main opposition leaders either in jail or exile, on different charges. A Supreme Court order early this month to release the opposition leaders and begin fresh retrial led to the imposition of emergency and arrest of judges of Supreme Court. The order was later revoked by remaining judges.

    Meanwhile, an opposition spokesman and MP Ahmed Mahloof was taken into custody last night during a protest march. Police also entered the headquarters of a main opposition party and pepper sprayed the participants. Several people including a journalist had to be admitted to hospital for injuries.

  • ICAI has said that it has summoned a deputy general manager of PNB seeking details about the fraud at the public sector lender.

    The Institute has also written to the Reserve Bank of India requesting it to provide the list of the corporate borrowers of public sector banks having outstanding loan amount of 2,000 crore rupees and above.