News

  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh is in Thailand’s capital Bangkok to attend the 6thASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). Today, on the sidelines of ADMM-Plus, Raksha Mantri held bilateral meetings with US Secretary of Defence Dr Mark T Esper, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand General Prawit Wongsuwan, Defence Minister of Japan Mr Taro Kono, Defence Minister of Australia Ms Linda Reynolds and Defence Minister of New Zealand Mr Ron Mark.

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, witnessed an exhibition of paintings set up by the Artists-in-Residence at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (November 17, 2019). The President also felicitated the artists after witnessing the exhibition.

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi congratulated President-elect of Sri Lanka Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa over telephone on his electoral victory in the Presidential elections held in Sri Lanka yesterday.

    Conveying the good wishes on behalf of the people of India and on his own behalf, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that under the able leadership of Mr. Rajapaksa the people of Sri Lanka will progress further on the path of peace and prosperity and fraternal, cultural, historical  and civilisational ties between India and Sri Lanka will be further strengthened.

  • The first ever effort by the Rajya Sabha secretariat to quantify and analyse the legislative work done by the Upper House since it came into being in 1952 has revealed that the House has passed 3,817 Bills till the end of the last and the 249th session.

  • Rajya Sabha Chairman Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Upper House, since it’s inception in 1952 has come a long way contributing to the socio-economic transformation of the country but still has ‘miles to go’ towards proper functioning.

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the All Parties Leaders meeting here today. Leaders from all major political parties were present on this occasion and they put forth their views on the upcoming session of Parliament.

  • Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah today launched the the first Winter-Grade Diesel outlet for Ladakh region, which will help to address the problem faced by people due to loss of fluidity in Diesel fuel during extreme winter conditions.

  • Union Home Minister ShriAmit Shah presided over a function to launch a special winter-grade diesel, developed by Indian Oil Corporation (Indian Oil), for the high-altitude regions of Ladakh through a video-link here today.

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the All Parties Leaders meeting here today. Leaders from all major political parties were present on this occasion and they put forth their views on the upcoming session of Parliament.

  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh held a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of Defence Dr Mark T Esper on the sidelines of ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Bangkok today. Expressing happiness on the growing relationship between India and US, Raksha Mantri said, the bilateral cooperation between the two sides has grown across a wide range of sectors including defence and security, economy, energy, counter-terrorism and people-to-people ties.

  • Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah inaugurated the National Tribal Festival 'Aadi Mahotsav', in New Delhi today. Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Shri Arjun Munda also graced the occasion, among other dignitaries.

  • Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah inaugurated the National Tribal Festival “Aadi Mahotsav” at a colorful function at Dilli Haat, INA, today. The 15 days’ festival (16th to 30th November, 2019) is the celebration of the spirit of Tribal Craft, Culture, Cuisine and Commerce.

  • Objective is not to demotivate anyone rather it is to encourage State Governments to ensure quality potable tap water is provided to all – Shri Ram Vilas Paswan

    The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan has always exhorted providing quality products to consumers which includes providing clean & safe drinking water for all. This is also in line with Jal Jeevan Mission, announced by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi which aims to provide tap water to all households by 2024.

  • At about noon on 16 Nov 2019, a MiG-29K twin seater aircraft, on a routine training sortie, encountered a flock of birds after take off from the naval Air Base at Dabolim Goa. The pilot observed that the left engine had flamed out and the right engine had caught fire.

  • To commemorate and celebrate Sh T N Seshan’s special connect with the young and aspiring India, Election Commission of India has decided to establish and fund a Visiting chair on interdisciplinary approach to Electoral Studies in the Centre for Curriculum Development at India international institute of Democracy and Election Management( IIIDEM ), New Delhi from 2020-2025.

  • Central GST Delhi-West Commissionerate has unearthed racket of issuance of fake invoices without actual supply of goods and services by M/s Royal Sales India and 27 other dummy companies.  Two persons have been arrested in this matter and remanded to judicial custody for 14 days by Duty Magistrate, Patiala house Courts, New Delhi.

  • The two-day Regional Conference on ‘Replication of Good Governance Practices in UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh being organised in Jammu concluded today. The Conference was inaugurated yesterday by the Union Minister (PP) Dr Jitendra Singh.

  • The Government of India (GoI)has cleared misgivings over the zerodraftwhich sought a techno-legal suggestions in the Indian Forest Act, 1927. Speaking to media persons at a Press Briefing in New Delhi today, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Shri Prakash Javadekar categorically stated that the Central Government for past 5 years have always worked in the interests of tribals and forest dwellers and as such will not give space to misgivings, “We are completely withdrawing the draft amendment to the Indian Forests Act to remove any misgivings,the tribal rights will be protected fully and they will continue to be the important stakeholder in forest development”, said Shri Javadekar.

  • The Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shri Prakash Javadekar inaugurated All India Radio’s new Broadcast Auditorium and launched a digital version of ‘Gurbani’ of archival value as preserved in PrasarBharati Archives at New Delhi today.

  • Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ addressed education ministers/representatives of of nearly 190 countries at the 40th UNESCO General Conference today in Paris. Speaking on the occasion he said that age-old immortal Indian culture has considered the whole world as family.

  • The Winter Session of Parliament will begin today. The Session will have 20 sittings.

  • Indian women have clinched five gold, while men bagged two silver at Asian Youth Boxing Championship in Mongolia on Sunday.

  • Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas has won the ATP Finals on Sunday beating Austria's Dominic Thiem 6-7, 6-2, 7-6.

  • Gotabaya Rajapakasa will be sworn-in as new President of Sri Lanka at Anuradhapura today.

  • Justice SA Bobde will take over as 47th Chief Justice of India (CJI) today.

  • Home Minister Amit Shah today launched a special winter-grade diesel, developed by Indian Oil Corporation, for use in the high-altitude regions of Ladakh.

  • The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, AIMPLB, will file a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya issue.

  • In Tennis, first-time finalists Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas will meet in the ATP Men's summit clash tonight in London.

  • Sri Lanka's former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has won the Presidential election.

  • Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari took stock of the damage to crops caused by unseasonal rains in the state during October - November and announced the financial relief to the affected farmers.

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in an interview to French daily Le Monde in Paris this week said that Pakistan does not deny sending terrorists to India.

  • Union Minister of Health Dr. Harsh Vardhan today inaugurated the sixth National Summit on 'Good and Replicable Practice and Innovations in Public Healthcare System in India’ at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

  • In the second phase, 20 Assembly seats will go for polls on December 7.

    Meanwhile, the Congress on Sunday released its fifth list of three candidates, taking the total number of nominees declared so far by the party to 29.

    Elections to the state's 81 Assembly seats will be held in five phases, beginning November 30, and the results will be announced on December 23.

    The Jarkhand Mukti Morcha, the Congress and RJD had recently announced a pre-poll tie-up for the state with former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren as the alliance's CM face.

    The Congress will contest 31 seats out of 81 seats in the Jharkhand assembly.

    The RJD will contest on seven seats, while the largest chunk of the alliance share has gone to the JMM, which will contest elections on 43 seats.
     

  • After appropriate action and assurance by Government Railway Police (GRP) on safe operation of trains in Kashmir Valley, Firozpur division has commenced a limited passenger service of running two pair of trains between Srinagar-Baramulla-Srinagar and will commence a limited passenger service of running three pair of trains between Banihal-Baramulla-Banihal from Monday.

    Last week, train services were resumed in Jammu and Kashmir after they were stopped after the scrapping of provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Justice Bobde succeeds CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

    Justice Bobde will have a tenure of over 17 months as the CJI and is due to retire on April 23, 2021.

    His Warrant of Appointment was signed by President Ram Nath Kovind following which the Law Ministry issued a notification naming the judge as the next head of the Indian judiciary.

  • NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik made the announcement Sunday evening after a meeting of the party's core committee at Pawar's residence in Pune.

    Malik said that the core committee was of the view that the current President's rule in Maharashtra should end, and an "alternative government" should be formed.

    The NCP is in talks with its ally Congress for a possible alliance with the Shiv Sena, after the Sena's alliance with the BJP fell apart over the chief minister's post.

    The Sena reached out to the Congress-NCP combine for support after its alliance with the BJP collapsed.

  • Protests have rocked the global financial hub since June, with many in the city of 7.5 million people venting fury at eroding freedoms under Chinese rule.

    China has repeatedly warned that it will not tolerate the dissent, and there have been concerns that Beijing could send in troops to put an end to the spiralling unrest.

    Several loud blasts were heard around dawn on Monday before a wall of fire lit up an entrance to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). Police said they had fired three live rounds in the early hours of Monday at a protest site near the university but that no one appeared to have been hit.

    Intense clashes throughout Sunday, which saw a police officer struck in the leg by an arrow and protesters meet police tear gas with volleys of petrol bombs, rolled overnight across the Kowloon district, as a call went out to defend the besieged campus. There, protesters had hunkered down under umbrellas from occasional fire from police water cannon and hurled Molotov cocktails at an armoured vehicle, leaving it ablaze on a flyover near the campus.

    Police declared the campus a "riot" scene -- rioting is punishable by up to 10 years in jail -- and blocked exits as spokesman Louis Lau issued a stark warning in a Facebook live broadcast. "I hereby warn rioters not to use petrol bombs, arrows, cars or any deadly weapons to attack police officers," he said. "If they continue such dangerous actions, we would have no choice but to use the minimum force necessary, including live rounds, to fire back."

    Fear gripped protesters still trapped inside the campus -- whose occupation is a twist in tactics by a leaderless movement so far defined by its fluid, unpredictable nature.

    Throughout Sunday, activists parried attempts by police to break through into the campus, firing rocks using a homemade catapult from the university roof. 

    Violence has worsened in recent days, with two men killed in separate incidents linked to the protests this month. Chinese President Xi Jinping this week issued his most strident comments on the crisis, saying it threatened the "one country, two systems" model under which Hong Kong has been ruled since the 1997 handover from Britain. Demonstrators last week engineered a "Blossom Everywhere" campaign of blockades and vandalism, which forced the police to draft in prison officers as reinforcements, shut down large chunks of Hong Kong's transport network and closed schools and shopping malls.

    The protests started against a now-shelved bill to allow extradition to China but have billowed to encompass wider issues such as perceived police brutality and calls for fully free elections in the former British colony.

    The financial hub has been nudged into a recession by the unrelenting turmoil.

    A poster circulating on social media called for the "dawn action" to continue on Monday. 

  • It will end on the December 13. 

    Ahead of the Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, assured at all-party meeting that the government is ready to discuss all issues. During the meeting in New Delhi, PM Modi said the most important job of Parliament is to discuss and debate. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the Prime Minister urged the political parties to make Winter Session of Parliament productive, like the last one. He said PM Modi stated that constructive discussions in Parliament keep the bureaucracy .

    Joshi said the Prime Minister also talked about the Constitution Day to be observed on November 26. PM Modi said the Constitution and the democratic system of the country are unique and this should be branded. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Opposition raised about the detention of Lok Sabha MP Farooq Abdullah and demanded that he be allowed to attend the Session.

    Another Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Opposition demanded that the issues of economic slowdown, job losses and farm distress must be discussed during the Session.

    TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyaya demanded a discussion on unemployment in the country. The meeting was attended by BJP Chief Amit Shah, Derek O'Brien of TMC, Chirag Paswan of the LJP, Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party, Jayadev Galla of Telugu Desam, Satish Chandra Mishra of Bahujan Samaj Party, T . R. Baalu of DMK and Navneetha Krishnan of AIADMK and others.

    Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu also held a meeting of the leaders of several parties in the Upper House on Sunday. A meeting of the ruling NDA allies was also held this afternoon in Parliament House. Earlier, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had appealed to all political parties for cooperation to ensure smooth functioning of the House. 

  • Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several MPs will be present on the occasion as Anuradhapura holds significance as sacred city for Buddhism.

    The swearing-in will take place at 11 am and Rajapaksa is to visit the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi seeking blessings prior to the ceremony. 

    It follows Gotabaya victory at the Presidential elections held on Saturday in which he received over 52 percent of votes defeating his nearest rival Sajith Premadasa.

    Meanwhile, at least half a dozen ministers of current government have resigned in wake of Presidential election results. These ministers had been close to Sajith Premadasa, who also resigned as deputy leader of the United national party.

    A decision on the fate of government is expected after new President takes over.

    Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) has already projected its leader Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister in event of their victory at the elections.

    In a message, former President said in face of unequivocal people’s mandate, they believe the government will abide by parliamentary traditions as appropriate in such circumstances.

  • Speaking at the function in New Delhi, Ayush Minister praised the foundation's efforts for taking care of specially abled-children through the application of AYUSH system. The Minister said the foundation will be supported in this noble cause as it is very much needed to come together for the development and progress of specially-abled children.

    Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, Rama Devi attended the event. Over 200 delegates, including doctors from AYUSH stream, dignitaries as well as representative of various universities and associations also attended. 

  • PM Modi said he had an extensive meeting with the BJP Parliamentary Party. He said the party will utilise the Session to further views on various developmental issues and contribute to transforming people’s lives. 

    The Prime Minister said the NDA represents the country’s diversity and the aspirations of 130 crore Indians. He said no stone will be left unturned in ushering a qualitative change in the lives of farmers, youngsters, Nari Shakti and the poorest of the poor. 
     

  • Ahead of the Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today assured at all-party meeting that the government is ready to discuss all issues. During the meeting in New Delhi, PM Modi said the most important job of Parliament is to discuss and debate. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the Prime Minister urged the political parties to make Winter Session of Parliament productive, like the last one. He said PM Modi stated that constructive discussions in Parliament keep the bureaucracy .

    Joshi said the Prime Minister also talked about the Constitution Day to be observed on 26th of this month. PM Modi said the Constitution and the democratic system of the country are unique and this should be branded. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Opposition raised about the detention of Lok Sabha MP Farooq Abdullah and demanded that he be allowed to attend the Session. Another Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Opposition demanded that the issues of economic slowdown, job losses and farm distress must be discussed during the Session.

    TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyaya demanded a discussion on unemployment in the country. The meeting was attended by BJP Chief Amit Shah, Derek O'Brien of TMC, Chirag Paswan of the LJP, Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party, Jayadev Galla of Telugu Desam, Satish Chandra Mishra of Bahujan Samaj Party, T . R. Baalu of DMK and Navneetha Krishnan of AIADMK and others.

    Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu also held a meeting of the leaders of several parties in the Upper House today. A meeting of the ruling NDA allies was also held this afternoon in Parliament House. Yesterday, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had appealed to all political parties for cooperation to ensure smooth functioning of the House. 
     

  • In a message, former President said in face of unequivocal people’s mandate, they believe the government will abide by parliamentary traditions as appropriate in such circumstances. Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) led by Mr. Rajapaksa, had made it clear before the elections that they expect government under Prime minister Ranil Wickremsinghe to step down in event of their victory.

    The former President has also claimed that the Presidential elections will be seen as referendum ahead of the Parliamentary election next year. Meanwhile, at least four ministers including finance minister Mangala Samarweera have resigned after the defeat of Sajith Premadasa at the elections. PM Wickremsinghe in a message said a decision on next general election will be taken after a discussion with speaker, party leaders and government MPs.

    Gotabaya received around 6.9 million votes against his  main rival Sajith Premadasa who got around 5.56 million votes in the final vote count announced by country’s Election commission this afternoon.  Gotabaya received 52.25 percent of total valid votes.

    Gotabaya is the younger brother of former President Mahinda Rajapksa and served as defence secretary during the end of LTTE war. In a message, he called for a new journey for Sri Lanka adding that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey.  He said he is the President of not only those who voted for him but for all Sri Lankans and is the greatest honour of his life.

    Mr. Rajapaksa got overwhelming support in majority-dominated areas of south and western provinces. Premadasa has received wide support from minority areas in north and east.

     

  • In a tweet Prime Minister of Nepal Oli said "Pleased to meet with @sachin_rt, famous cricket player, and UNICEF goodwill ambassador today. He appreciated the efforts undertaken by Nepal for the promotion of the rights of the children and their welfare". Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket, arrived in Kathmandu on Friday as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) goodwill ambassador.

    He played a friendly cricket match alongside children at Tribhuvan Univeristy Stadium in Kirtipur on Saturday. On this occasion Sachin said "let's try to better understand the strengths of each child, eat, play and laugh with them more and support them in doing what they love.

    Sachin added "Don’t clip their wings, let them fly." The game was organised by UNICEF and European Union Programme to commemorate 30 years of UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. Sachin also visited famous Pashupatinath temple and offered prayers. 

     

  • The Home Minister also expressed gratitude and thanked Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for having maintained their fluidity even in 33 degrees, have succeeded in getting such special grade diesel there. This will help people to get relief from winter troubles.

    Amit Shah said the initiative will give a new beginning to the people of Leh-Ladakh and there will be traffic facility for the tourists which was not there earlier. This will give a lot of boost to the tourism and economy sector in the region.

    Addressing the event, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the launch of special grade diesel in Ladakh region became possible only because of the strong leadership of Prime Minister Modi and this will greatly benefit the people. 
     

  • Earlier in the day, Rajnath Singh and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper held a bilateral meeting in Bangkok today. 

    Expressing happiness on the growing relationship between India and USA, Raksha Mantri conveyed that the bilateral cooperation between the two sides has grown across a wide range of sectors including Defence and Security, Economy, Energy, Counter Terrorism and People to People ties.

    Rajnath Singh is in Thailand to participate in ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus and attend the opening ceremony of Defence & Security 2019 Exhibition. 

    Speaking to news persons, the minister expressed confidence that the discussions would be fruitful and help to build up strategic trust and sustainable security among asian countries.
     

  • The meeting was called for seeking the support of different political parties to ensure the smooth functioning of both the Houses of Parliament in the Winter Session. 

    Home Minister Amit Shah, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, Trinamool Congress leaders Sudip Bandopadhyaya and Derek O'brien, Satish Chandra Mishra of Bahujan Samaj Party, Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, T.R. Baalu of DMK and Navneetha Krishnan of AIADMK, attended the meeting. 

    Later, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu will also hold a meeting of leaders of various political parties in the evening.

    PM urges political parties to make winter session of Parliament productive

    Briefing reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged political parties to make the winter session of Parliament a productive one like the last session while adding that the government is ready to discuss all issues within the framework.
     

  • Gotabaya is the brother of former President Mahinda Rajapksa and served as defence secretary during the end of LTTE war. 

    In a message, he called for a new journey for Sri Lanka adding that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey. 

    His main rival Sajith Premadasa has conceded defeat and congratulated Rajapaksa on his victory. 

    Premadasa has also resigned from his post of deputy leader of United National party under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe. 

    Rajapaksa has got overwhelming support in majority-dominated areas of south and is expected to get over 52 percent of overall votes. 

    Premadasa has received wide support from minority areas in north and east. 

    The counting of votes is continuing and final results are expected by evening. 

    The trend shows sharp polarization along community lines, unprecedented in Sri Lankan history. 

    The cabinet is scheduled to meet this evening to discuss the latest political situation. 

  • Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) in a statement called upon the people to celebrate the victory peacefully. 

    The statement came as early trends indicated lead for Rajapaksa as he has got overwhelming support in majority-dominated areas of south.  

    Gotabaya has received around 48 percent of votes against 44 percent of his main rival Sajith Premadasa in nearly three million votes counted so far. 

    The latter has received wide support from minority areas in north and east. The counting of votes is continuing and final results are expected by evening. 

    Gotabaya has won most of the electorates in southern provinces including Hambantota, Galle and Matara, results of which have been declared so far. 

    However, Sajith has got over 80 percent votes from minority areas against less than 10 percent for his rival. 

    The trend shows sharp polarization along community lines, unprecedented in Sri Lankan history.  

    A candidate needs to poll over 50 percent of valid votes to be declared winner, else the second preference votes has to be counted. 

    Both candidates have campaigned mainly on the plank of national security and good governance.

  • He said that 21 members of NCP will meet in the evening in Pune today under the chairmanship of Sharad Pawar. 

    Discussion about the strategies on the Maharashtra's current situation will take place in the meeting.

    He added that however, a meeting between Congress and NCP leaders has been decided for Tuesday during which discussion on including congress in the formation of Maharashtra government will be taken up.
     

  • During the meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all parties assured that the Winter Session of Parliament will be smooth and fruitful.

    The Winter Session of Parliament is scheduled to be held between November 18 and December 13. There will be 20 sittings in this session.
     

  • Prime Minister Modi in a tweet said that "Had a wonderful interaction with leaders and MPs across party lines this evening. We look forward to a productive Parliament session, where people-centric and development oriented issues would be discussed.

    Meanwhile, the government will convene a meeting of leaders of various parties in both the house of Parliament. 

    Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu will also hold a meeting of leaders of various parties in the House.

  • The winter session of Parliament will begin from Monday and conclude on 13th of the next month.

    Briefing reporters after the meeting, Om Birla said that leaders of all political parties have assured him to cooperate in ensuring the smooth functioning of the house. He said, whatever the issue, the opposition parties want to raise will be allowed after discussion in the Business Advisory Committee.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Parliament Affairs Minister Prahlad Patel, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, DMK leader T R Balu and TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay among others attended the meeting.  

    Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has also called a meeting of leaders of different parties in the Upper House tomorrow. An all-party meeting has also been convened by the government on the same day ahead of the session.

  • He said, nowadays, business groups and political parties are also starting their own newspapers and channels. Through these, they are promoting their vested interests and compromising the values of journalism.

    Vice President further said that sensationalizing the news, prejudiced coverage and paid news are a big challenge in front of the media today.

    Speaking about the dangers of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), the Vice president called on journalists to come forward to educate people about NCDs. He further said, NCDs are killing our generation, adding that poor lifestyle and food habits are behind NCDs.

    On the occasion, the Vice President also conferred National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019 on journalists for their outstanding contribution in the field of journalism.

    Eminent journalist and Chairman of Rajasthan Patrika Gulab Kothari was awarded Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award for his outstanding contribution in the field of journalism.

  • He further added that if Islamabad is serious about establishing friendlier relations with New Delhi it must hand over wanted criminals and terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed.

    The External Affairs Minister said, the relationship between the two countries is difficult for many years, mainly because Pakistan has developed an important terrorist industry. Jaishankar was in Paris to attend a Peace Forum that counts Canada and New Zealand among its attendees. 

  • Inaugurating the National Tribal Festival - Aadi Mahotsav in New Delhi today, Amit Shah said, whenever the BJP came to power, it always worked for the welfare of tribal communities.

    Hitting out at Congress, Amit Shah accused the party of using the tribal communities for vote banks. He said, Congress neglected the development and welfare of tribals.

    The Home Minister stressed on the need to conserve the nature saying Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is transforming the lives of tribals.

    The theme of the 15-day Mahotsav is a celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Craft, Cuisine and Commerce.

    The Aadi Mahotsav is an effort to take tribal commerce to the next level of digital and electronic transactions. The tribal textiles manufactured by master tribal craftsmen from Jammu and Kashmir in the North to Tamil Nadu in the South and from Gujarat in the West to Nagaland/Sikkim in the East will be the main attractions.

    For the first time, the Aadi Mahotsav is showcasing a wide range of products from the tribal artisans from Leh in Ladakh. 254 stalls have been set up and one thousand tribal artisans and artists are participating in the tribal festival.
     

  • Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of the Hong Kong Open badminton tourament after a straight-game semifinal defeat to host nation player Lee Cheuk Yiu on Saturday.  Kidambi Srikanth threw away seven game points in the 2nd game to suffer 9-21, 23-25 defeat against the lower ranked opponent. It was Srikanth's  first semifinal appearance since making the last four at the India Open Badminton Tournament.

    Kidambi Srikanth had been extremely lucky in the Hong Kong open. He got a first-round bye after World No. 1 Kento Momota withdrew from their early meeting. In round 2, Srikanth defeated compatriot Sourabh Verma in a 3-game battle. In the quarter-finals, Srikanth benefited from reigning Olympic champion Chen Long's retirement after the 1st game that he had won comfortably.

    With Srikanth's defeat, India's campaign at Hong Kong Open comes to an end. Overall,  it was a disappointing campaign for Indian players in Hong Kong open as the likes of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu suffered yet another early exit. In men's singles, the likes of HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma, Parupalli Kashyap and Saurabh Verma were shown the door early. World No. 7 men's doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also disappointed as the duo was knocked out as early as the 1st round after some impressive results in the recent past.

  • India thrashed Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs in the first Test in Indore on Saturday, riding on one of the most hostile fast bowling performances in recent times. This huge victory was along the expected lines. And it was completely dominated by the Indian pacers as they first bundled out Bangladesh for 150 in the first innings and then picked four wickets in the first session of the 2nd innings itself on Saturday.  Umesh Yadav gave India first success when he dismissed Imrul Kayes for 6. In the very next over Ishant Sharma removed opener Shadman Islam for 6. After that Mohammed Shami bowled a fiery spell and picked up two wickets before lunch to leave Bangladesh struggling. The visitors were 60 for four after the first session, trailing India by 283 runs. Shami continued the good work after lunch as he sent back Mahmudullah for 15. Bangladesh had lost half of their side for 72. After that Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das launched a mini-revival of Bangladesh innings as the duo stitched together a 63-run stand for the sixth wicket. But Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Liton  Das for 35, who charged down the track and lofted a straight delivery into the hands of Ashwin. Bangladesh fought back in the post Lunch session, losing just a couple of wickets and scoring over 130 runs. Ashwin wrapped up the innings as he finished with figures of three for 42 in the second innings. The pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav took a total of 14 wickets in the match to demolish the visitors in both the innings. With the bat, Mayank Agarwal was the star for the home side as he brought up his second double hundred in the longest format of the game. In terms of performance, there was a  huge gap between the two sides and it could only get worse for Bangladesh from here onwards as the Indian pace attack, in the upcoming Day/Night Test with the pink ball at Eden Gardens, is expected to hit more hard to their already damaged batting mindset.

  • Speaking on the occasion of National Press Day in New Delhi on Saturday, Javadekar said press freedom is the essence of a vibrant democracy, and the government is ensuring full freedom to the press. The Minister said media can criticise but should guard against fake news and desist from disinformation and misinformation. He said freedom of media was trampled upon by the Congress during the Emergency in 1975.

    On the occasion, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu conferred awards to journalists for their outstanding contribution in the field of journalism.

  • In a statement released on Friday, the commerce ministry said that onion will be flown in from Turkey and Egypt to ensure adequate supply in the market soon. Pointing to the cyclonic storm Bulbul that hit Bangladesh this week, the statement said that it affected the arrival of onions but a  big shipment of onion will arrive soon through the sea route.

    Onion prices in Bangladesh have gone beyond 200 Taka per kg in recent days. In some areas, the local variety of onion is selling at even higher prices.

    Bangladesh has a demand of about 24 lakh tonnes of onion per year out of which 7 lakh to 11 lakh tonne is imported.

    Government had tried to bring down prices of onion by easing onion import, sale through government outlets at fixed prices and drive against hoarders. But these efforts failed due to global volatility, cyclonic storm and suspected hoarding of onions by some traders.

    Market experts consider hoarding as one of the main factors causing sharp rise in onion prices. Government agencies have fined and jailed more than 2,000 traders in past two months for hoarding onion to create an artificial crisis in the market.

  • The Press Council of India has announced the names of the winners of National Awards for Excellence in Journalism for the year 2019. Eminent journalist and Chairman of Rajasthan Patrika Gulab Kothari has been selected for Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award for his outstanding contribution in the field of journalism.

    The Press Council of India (PCI) had on November 6 announced other winners of the National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019. Sanjay Saini, Correspondent, Dainik Bhaskar, Mandi, and Raj Chengappa, Group Editorial Director, India Today, have been jointly named as winners of the award in the category of 'Rural Journalism'.

    Shiva Swarup Awasthi, Senior Reporter of Dainik Jagran, and Anu Abrahim, sub-editor of Matrubhumi, Calicut, have been selected under the award category of Developmental Reporting, the PCI said in a statement. Krishn Kaushik and Sandeep Singh of Indian Express have been selected as winners under the award category of 'Financial Reporting'.

    P G Unnikrishnan, Senior Photographer, The Matrubhumi, and Akhil E S, News Photographer, Matrubhumi, were named as winners of the award in the 'Photo Journalism-Single News Picture' category. Sipra Das, Consulting Editor (Photography), India Empire Magazine and Parliamentarian Magazine, has been selected in the category of 'Photo Journalism-Photo Feature', the statement said.

    Under the 'Sports Reporting' category, Saurabh Duggal from the Hindustan Times has been named the winner. Ruby Sarkar, Special Correspondent, Deshbandhu, Bhopal, has been selected for the award category of 'gender based reporting'. The selection of awardees was carried out by a jury comprising eminent members of the PCI such as Jai Shankar Gupta, Balwinder Singh and Ashok Upadhyaya among others.

    The awards will be conferred by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.

  • Police said some unidentified persons blocked and fired on buses carrying voters near Anuradhapura. There were no casualties reported and police is investigating the matter. An election monitor agency reported that there were some attempts to coerce voters to vote for a particular candidate.

    There were also reports of army putting up roadblocks in minority-dominated Northern Province which has been removed with police intervention. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called on the public to peacefully vote and maintain law and order for a free and fair election. Polling has begun this morning to elect a new President with a total of 35 candidates in fray.

    The main contest is between former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajpaksa and Minister Sajith Premadasa. Both candidates have campaigned mainly on the plank of national security and good governance. Gotabaya has popular support of majority Sinhala community while Sajith is banking on his support amongst minority Tamil and Muslim communities.

    Around 1.6 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise and over 12 thousand polling stations have been set up all over the country. Counting of votes will be held after polling is over and results are expected by tomorrow. A candidate needs to poll over 50 percent of valid votes to be declared winner, else the second preference votes has to be counted. This is the first time in country’s history that neither of sitting President or Prime minister are contesting the elections.

  • The Air Quality Index in the national capital was recorded 414, this morning. Friday, the Supreme Court has taken a serious view on the steps taken by the Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to reduce air pollution.

    The apex court directed the Chief Secretaries of these four states to personally appear before it on November 25. The Supreme Court also raised questions on the implementation of the odd-even scheme in Delhi.

  • In a WhatsApp message to reporters, the Israeli Army said the Israeli Defence Force, IDF is currently striking Islamic Jihad terror targets in the Gaza strip. Counter-attack by Israel began after Islamic Jihad fired a number of rockets into Israel.

    The ceasefire had been agreed between Israel and the Palestinian armed group after two days of fighting in Gaza that began after Israel killed a top Islamic Jihad commander in an air raid. The announcement by the Israeli military suggested that the ceasefire, reportedly brokered by Egypt, was breaking down.

    Gaza medical officials have put the death toll from the two days of fighting at 34, almost half of them Palestinians civilians and including eight children and three women.

  • A total of 35 candidates are in the fray and around 1.6 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise. Over 12 thousand polling stations have been set up and over 68 thousand security personnel deployed to ensure free and fair polls. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe issuing a special statement called on the public to peacefully vote and maintain law and order for a free and fair election.

    The main fight is between former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Minister Sajith Premadasa. Both the candidates have campaigned mainly on the plank of national security and good governance. This is the first time in the country’s history that neither of sitting President or Prime minister is contesting the elections.

    The counting of votes will begin after the end of polling and results are expected by Sunday. A candidate needs to poll over 50 per cent of valid votes to be declared winner, else the second preference votes have to be counted. Meanwhile, social media was abuzz with rumours and fake news today even as the campaign has come to an end on Wednesday midnight.

    A news channel reported a hike in the price of wheat flour following which government had to announce a clarification to deny it.

  • In a tweet, PM Modi said, during the Summit, BRICS leaders had fruitful dialogues on cementing ties in trade, innovation, technology and culture. Prime Minister said, the focus on futuristic subjects will lead to deeper cooperation that will benefit the people of our respective nations.

    The Prime Minister has since left for New Delhi. He reached Brasilia on Wednesday to take part in the BRICS Summit.. BRICS comprises five countries namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

    Earlier in Brasilia, addressing the BRICS Business Council, the Prime Minister urged BRICS countries and New Development Bank (NDB) to join the global Coalition for Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure. Participating in the Dialogue with BRICS Business Council and NDB, PM Modi offered India's full backing to the multilateral financial institutions in promoting global growth.

    He called for an early opening of the Regional branch of New Development Bank in India. He urged the BRICS Business Council to create a roadmap to achieve the 500 billion dollar intra-BRICS trade target by the next summit.
     

  • Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the new state-of-the-art Auditorium of All India Radio, Rang Bhavan in New Delhi today, the Minister said, the All India Radio has a very wide reach.

    On this occasion, Digital Version of Gurbani and Shabad Kirtan from Prasar Bharti's archives was also launched.  

    Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kau Badal praised All India Radio's live broadcast on the occasion of Guru Nanak Dev Ji's  550th Birth Anniversary from Sultanpur Lodhi.

    Union Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo also lauded the role of All India Radio. He recalled his association with All India Radio, Kolkata from his childhood days. He sang Kishore Kumar's song " Pyar Bantate Chalo" in dedication to human values of communal harmony.

  • During the visit they will interact with elected representatives of Bhuj and Gujarat Government executives and observe practices of owner driven reconstruction adopted after Bhuj earthquake. The delegation will also interact with National Disaster Management Authority of India in New Delhi to get a comprehensive overview of India’s disaster preparedness, recovery set up and experiences.
     
    The visit is part of Government of India’s post-earthquake-reconstruction efforts in Nepal. It is organised by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Government of India is collaborating with Government of Nepal on post-earthquake reconstruction of 26,912 houses in Gorkha district of Nepal. To complement the Government of Nepal’s owner driven reconstruction approach, UNDP is providing socio-technical facilitation to home owners to rebuild their resilient homes.

    It will provide an avenue for building capacities of key local stakeholders for ensuring earthquake resilient reconstruction by raising community awareness about disaster management, recovery and resilience. The visit was started on Tuesday and it will conclude on Saturday. Mayors/Deputy Mayors of two Municipalities and Ward Chairs/Vice-Chairs of six Gaunpalikas are participating in the visit.

  • A thick layer of toxic smog engulfed the city as the pollution level continued to remain in the 'severe' category for the fourth consecutive day on Friday.

    Addressing a press conference here, Union Environment Minister said it was not the time for different agencies to blame each other. "Delhi pollution is not the problem of this city, Delhi's air has been worsening since 1990s. There are new challenges everyday as circumstances change. We have worked towards reducing industrial pollution, construction waste and dust etc. There is continuous work. But everyone should work together. Cooperation of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi government, all three MCDs and NDMC, DDA, and all other agencies is required to fix this. Everyone has to work together," the minister said.

    Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said the government was "very serious about the issue of air pollution. "Air pollution is an issue to be tackled collectively by agencies. It is not the time to blame each other. We are very serious about the issue of pollution," the minister said.

    The high pollution can be attributed to low wind speed, which has led to stagnation of pollutants in the air and slowed down the dispersion process, authorities said.

    The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was in the severe category at 467 at 10 am.

    All the monitoring stations recorded severe air quality, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.

  • The newly specialized Unit will collect, collate and disseminate information regarding publication, transmission, creation, collection, seeking, browsing, downloading, advertising, promoting, exchanging, distribution of  information relating to On-line child sexual abuse and exploitation; and investigation of such offences covered under provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 (32 of 2012) and the Information Technology Act 2000 (21 of 2000) and under various Laws of the land, as applicable.

    It may be noted that the rapid growth of the Internet and Information & Communication tools over the past two decades has created unparalleled opportunities for children and adults alike to learn and explore the world around them.

    Today, in many countries, these technologies are ubiquitous, permeating every aspect of our lives personal and professional, individual and social.

    These technologies have simultaneously created a new dimension, wherein the sexual exploitation of children can multiply, if unchecked. Children, every day, all around the world are prone to suffer On-line sexual abuse and exploitation. 

    Numerous references related to dissemination of CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) are received from INTERPOL and other National / International Organizations, etc.

    The incidence of On-Line Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation generally transcends International borders. Victims are mostly helpless innocent children. 

    The territorial jurisdiction of the On-line Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (OCSAE) Prevention/Investigation Unit of CBI will be throughout India.

     

    Neeraj Singh, Sr. Correspondent

  • "It is the resolve of the government that all get uninterrupted and adequate power at reasonable rates for which payment of bills is a must. This drive will help us fulfil this resolve and it has been started from a government accommodation," the minister said.

    He said power theft is a major impediment in making electricity available at reasonable rates. Several government departments, politicians and officials owed the energy department Rs 13,000 crore, he said adding that Irrigation and Urban Development departments are major defaulters.

    Out of the 75 districts in the state, special police stations had been opened in 68 districts to deal with cases of power theft.

    To launch the drive, minister installed a prepaid meter at his Kalidas marg residence here and appealed to all MPs, MLAs, other representatives of people, party office-bearers and the general public to be a part of the drive, under which smart prepaid meters will be installed in the premises of government departments and residences.

    Last month, the government had decided to install pre-paid electric meters at the residences of politicians and officers in view of complaints that they do not pay the bill on time. The government has placed orders for purchasing one lakh such meters. 

  • Justice Suresh Kait had reserved the order on November 8 on the bail petition after hearing the arguments of counsel for Chidambaram and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

    The ED had arrested him in the money laundering case on October 16. He was arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case and was granted bail by the Supreme Court in the CBI case on October 22.

    The case was registered by the CBI on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister.

    Thereafter, the ED had lodged a money-laundering case in this regard in 2017.

  • Mayank Agarwal reached the three-digit mark with the help of 15 boundaries.

    Earlier, India wrapped up the visitors at 150 in their first innings. Bangladesh won the toss and chose to bat first. Mushfiqur Rahim was the top scorer with 43 and Mominul Haque contributed 37. 

    For India, Mohammed Shami took three wickets and Ishant Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Umesh Yadav claimed two each.

  • In Jammu and Kashmir, highways were closed as a precautionary measure after the higher reaches of Kashmir received fresh snowfall today.

    The snowfall and rains have led to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu national highway, Srinagar-Leh national highway and the Mughal Road. 

    The famous ski-resort in Gulmarg in north Kashmir's Baramulla district recorded about six inches of fresh snowfall. Areas in the higher reaches of the valley and Ladakh received fresh snowfall overnight which continued in the morning.

    Drass in Ladakh's Kargil district recorded around one-inch snowfall while Zojilla Pass on the Srinagar-Leh national highway received five inches of snow.

    Rains lashed areas falling in the valley's plains, including, Srinagar.

  • During the meeting, Lok Sabha Speaker will seek the support of political parties to ensure smooth functioning of the House. 

    Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has also called a meeting of leaders of different parties in the Upper House on Sunday. An all-party meeting has also been convened by the government on the same day ahead of the session. 

    The winter session of Parliament will conclude on December 13.

  • The new "specialised unit" under the special crime investigation wing of the agency will collect intelligence not only on those who are allegedly creating and transmitting such material on the Internet but also those who are browsing and downloading such material, they said.

    It seems to be a proactive step of the agency to counter child porn, officials said.

    The perpetrators will be booked under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, and the Information Technology Act, 2000, they said.

  • "We do not want people to undergo unnecessary inconvenience," Delhi CM said at a press conference on Friday. "Air quality is predicted to improve over the next two-three days. A final call on extending the odd even scheme will be taken on Monday," he said.

    The road-rationing scheme, rolled out on November 4, ends on Friday. "The residents cooperated very much in implementation of the scheme. There were 250-300 challans every day, which are very less considering the population," he said.

    On Friday, the air quality index remained in the 'severe' category at 466 at 11.30 am as a thick layer of toxic smog enveloped Delhi for the fourth consecutive day, leaving scores of people with a soar throat, itchy eyes, breathing problems and dry cough.

    On Thursday, a number of children had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his urgent intervention to mitigate the air-pollution crisis, which has led to a health emergency-like situation.

    The Chief Minister also blamed stubble burning in neighbouring states as the reason behind increased levels of pollution.

  • I&B Minister will also launch digital version of Gurbani and Shabad Kirtan from Prasar Bharati's archives.

    Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hardeep Singh Puri, Prasar Bharati Chairman A Suryaprakash, Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Amit Khare, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati, and Member (Finance) Rajeev Singh will also grace the occasion. 

    A programme of recital of Shabad Kirtan is also being organised by the External Services Division of All India Radio to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. 

  • More than 200 artistes from 6 countries are be performing in the largest folk festival of Asia.

    The event began with performance by artistes of Bhabna Nrityadal, a prominent dance troupe from Bangladesh.  

    Daler Mehendi from India, Shah Alam Sarkar from Bangladesh and Georgian folk band Chveneburebi performed on the first day of the programme.

    During the three-day festival a large number of popular and renowned artistes from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Russia and other countries will perform in Dhaka.

    Among the notable ones  Chandana Majumdar, Kajol Dewan  from Bangladesh, Daler Mehndi from India, Junoon and Hina Nasrullah from Pakistan and Sattuma from Russia will be performing in the three day long event between November 14-16.

  • The high pollution can be attributed to low wind speed, which has led to stagnation of pollutants in the air and slowed down the dispersion process, authorities said.

    The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was in the severe category at 467 at 10 am. All the monitoring stations recorded severe air quality, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. Levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 were nearly eight times higher than normal at several locations.

    Schools remained closed on Friday as the thick smog enveloped Delhi and neighbouring cities.

    In the National Capital Region, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Gurgaon also recorded severe air quality, the CPCB said. Ghaziabad recorded the highest pollution level at 480, remaining points away from going off charts, the CPCB data showed.

    An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'. The Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor, SAFAR, said flushing of pollutants was almost insignificant due to stagnation and very low mixing height.

    Scattered rainfall is expected over Punjab due to the western disturbance. It is likely to lead to very low stubble burning incidents over the next two days, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research said.

    "Also, transport-level wind direction is not favourable for intrusion. Hence, stubble contribution is estimated to reduce significantly by tomorrow to around 5 per cent," it said.

    However, an increase in wind speed is forecasted by Saturday and it will likely to slightly improve the air quality, but it will still remain in the very poor category. "Further improvement is expected by Sunday," the SAFAR said.

  • A total of 35 candidates are in fray as around 1.6 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise.

    The main contest is between former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajpaksa and Minister Sajith Premadasa. Both candidates have campaigned mainly on the plank of national security and good governance. 

    This is the first time in country’s history that neither of sitting President or Prime minister are contesting the elections. The counting of votes will begin after end of polling and results are expected by Sunday.

    A candidate needs to poll over 50 percent of valid votes to be declared winner, else the second preference votes has to be counted. 

    Over 60 thousand police personnel and eight thousand civil defence personnel have been deployed island-wide to ensure free and fair polls.

    The election campaign stretching over a month has remained largely peaceful except for incidents of fake news and misinformation.

    Meanwhile, chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya has said that the commission continues to receive complaints regarding the spread of misinformation, hate speech, posts and images promoting candidates on social media.

    He warned social media users that if this situation continues to persist, they would have to resort to blocking social media in the country. 

  • The two studies, published in the journal Cell on Thursday, found that the diversity of microscopic organisms habiting the Earth's oceans are the least at the higher latitudes nearer to the poles and increase in a gradient towards the equator.

    The two studies analysed the diversity of these organisms in samples collected from ocean water currents to predict how these communities might adapt to changing environmental conditions.

    The researchers, including Chris Bowler from Institut de Biologie de l'Ecole Normale Superieure (IBENS) in France, said one of the studies focused on the diversity of groups of microscopic marine organisms called plankton, and the other assessed the activity patterns of genes among microbial communities across the Earth's oceans.

    "Our study focused on plankton because it's a major contributor to marine ecosystems in terms of biomass, abundance, and diversity," said Lucie Zinger of IBENS, co-senior author of the plankton study. "All types of life have representatives in the plankton bacteria, archaea, protists, animals and plants, as well as viruses. But the large majority of this diversity is invisible to the naked eye," he said.

    The findings of the study revealed that plankton groups across the planet follow a gradient of diversity along the latitudes with the lowest level of their diversity closest to the poles, and the diversity increasing towards the equator. "Ocean temperature is mainly responsible for this pattern. Ocean warming due to climate change is likely to lead to a 'tropicalization,' or increase, of plankton diversity in temperate and polar waters," Zinger said.

    The other study assessed ocean microbial communities to see what genes they had, and which ones were actively involved in their cellular processes, across gradients of both depth and latitude. "Looking at transcriptomes is important for determining not just which microbes are present, but what those microbes are actually doing with regard to activities like photosynthesis and nutrient uptake," said Shinichi Sunagawa, senior author of the microbe genome analysis study from ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

    "One of our goals was to learn whether microbial communities adjust to environmental and temperature variations with changes in their composition relative to each other or with changes in the gene expression patterns within these communities," he said. The species of bacteria, the genes present, and the activities of genes varied distinctly in the waters with boundaries separating them both across surface water to deep water, and across poles towards the equator, the study said.

    "We did not expect to find biogeographic patterns for the underlying mechanisms of metatranscriptomic composition variation. Specifically, we found differences in polar communities to be dominated by changes in organismal composition, while in nonpolar waters, the differences were dominated by changes in the expression of genes," Sunagawa said. He added that the researchers were surprised to find evidence for a nitrogen-fixing bacterium commonly present in the soil or in plant roots on land in the deep Arctic waters.

    "And what this means, together with the results of the diversity study, our findings suggest that microbial communities to warmer waters have a larger gene pool, which may allow them to be quite flexible and responsive temperature changes by the cold counterpart and colder waters seem to be more hardwired to them," Sunagawa explained in a press briefing. While the studies did not probe into the diversity changes that may result in communities of larger organisms like fishes, they said the changes in microbial composition in the Arctic might lead to cascading effects related to nutrition on the larger eukaryotic organisms in the food chain.

    "In the Arctic one one thing that is very prominent in in high latitudes like the Arctic, is the importance of lipids and fats in the diet," Bowler said. He explained that the higher organisms in the food web of Arctic ecosystems need to nourish themselves with organisms rich in fat in order to build fat reserves that can help them withstand the extreme cold conditions of the region.

    "So if the food sources that these organisms are eating or less rich in fats, then we could perhaps imagine that these these large organizations will struggle to survive," Bowler said. Sunagawa said due to climate change cold water microbial communities may experience displacement of some species, possibly by those with better adaptive capacity.

    Sunagawa said in a press briefing that it is critical is to continue to monitor the state of the oceans by certain interdisciplinary efforts, and to try and capture temporal trends in microbial community changes. "Every drop of marine water is full of microbes, which play a central role in many processes relevant to life on Earth," he said.