News

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Karnataka (Bengaluru) on February 21 and 22, 2020 where he will address the fourth edition of ‘The Huddle’ – annual thought conclave of the Hindu On February 22, 2020.

  • Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav launched HRMS Mobile App today which has been designed and developed by Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS). All employees of Indian Railways can now see data related to their service and communicate with administration for any changes, if required.

  • Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav and Lord Karan Billimoria, Chancellor, University of Birmingham announced the launch of a Joint Masters programme in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration in academic year 2020-2021 by the National Rail Transportation Institute (NRTI).

  • India’s proposal to include Great Indian Bustard, Asian Elephant and Bengal Florican in Appendix I of UN Convention on migratory species was unanimously accepted today at the ongoing thirteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on MigratorySpecies (CMS) in Gandhinagar.

  • EdCIL (India) Limited, a Mini Ratna Category-I CPSE under Ministry of HRD, Government of India, has paid a dividend of Rs 9.5 Crore for the year 2018-19.

    Shri Manoj Kumar, CMD, EdCIL presented the dividend cheque to Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Minister of Human Resource Development, in the presence of Shri Amit Khare, Secretary (MHRD) and Dr. Rakesh Sarwal, Additional Secretary (Technical Education) and senior officials of EdCIL.

  • The 4th Anniversary of the launch of Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) will be observed tomorrow. On 21st February 2016, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the Mission with the vision to deliver catalytic interventions to rural areas on the threshold of growth.

  • On the basis of the result of the written part of the Engineering Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2020 held by the Union Public Service Commission (U.P.S.C.) on 5th January, 2020, the candidates with the under mentioned Roll Numbers have qualified for Engineering Services (Main) Examination, 2020.

  • The Indian Navy Hydrographic Survey Ship, INS Jamuna is on a deployment to carry out Joint Hydrographic Survey off the South – West coast of Sri Lanka wef 06 Feb 20. A team of Sri Lankan Navy hydrographers including officers and sailors have also been embarked onboard for the duration of the survey.

  •           Rear Admiral Antony George assumed charge as the Chief Staff Officer (Training) on 20 Feb 20 at Headquarters, Southern Naval Command.

              A graduate from St. Stephen’s College, the Flag Officer was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 July 1987.

  • Rear Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh AVSM, NM took over as the Commandant of the prestigious Naval War College, Goa on 18 Feb 20. He has held a wide range of operational, training and staff appointments over the past three decades.

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Developmentis celebrating Matribhasha Divas which falls on 21stFebruary every year in a big way. The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu was the Chief Guest at the main event organized today in New Delhi.

  • "People from different states of India have different ways of greeting each other, but only Arunachalis greet each other with 'Jai Hind', which is a shining example of patriotic fervour for the rest of India", said Shri Amit Shah, Union Minister for Home Affairs while presiding over the 34th Statehood Day celebrations of Arunachal Pradesh, in Itanagar today.

  • Highlighting the importance of preserving, protecting and promoting Indian languages, the Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today spoke in 22 languages at an event to mark International Mother Language Day in New Delhi.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today urged the youth to take a firm resolve to shun negativism and join the forces of growth. He asked the youth to take the lead in fighting corruption, terrorism, extremism, religious fundamentalism, casteism, and gender discrimination.

  • In exercise of the powers conferred by section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), and in supersession of the notification of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs No.11/2020-CUSTOMS (N.T.

  • RailMadad, the grievance redressal portal of Indian Railways, has been awarded Silver under Category II of National e-Governance Awards – “Excellence in providing Citizen-centric Delivery”.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has condoled the loss of lives in the bus accident in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppur district

    “Extremely anguished by the bus accident in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppur district.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has greeted the people of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, on their Statehood Day.

    “On the occasion of their Statehood Day, greetings to the wonderful people of Mizoram.

  • External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar inaugurated the India Pavilion at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) 2020 yesterday.

    During the inaugural ceremony Dr Jaishankar said that the medium of cinema has potential to build collaboration and partnerships between India and the world.

  • The Anti Evasion wing of CGST Delhi South Commissionerate has detected a case of Input Tax credit fraud through fake invoices issued by bogus firms. Investigations led to discovering the accused had also been generating bogus e-way bills to back the fake invoices.

  • Finance Minister Piyush Goyal has said that independent asset management companies (AMCs) and steering committees will be set up for faster resolution...

  • Finance Minister Piyush Goyal has said that independent asset management companies (AMCs) and steering committees will be set up for faster resolution...

  • Finance Minister Piyush Goyal has said that independent asset management companies (AMCs) and steering committees will be set up for faster resolution...

  • The US President will begin his maiden visit to India from Ahmedabad on the 24th of this month. The two-day visit is also going to be the first stand alone visit by a US President to India.

    Briefing media this afternoon, External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Raveesh Kumar said, all issues including defence, security and trade are expected to come up during the restricted and delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the US President to be held on the 25th of this month in New Delhi.

    With President Trump claiming that India has not treated his country very well on the trade front, Mr Kumar said the context in which the remarks were made was balance of trade and there have been efforts to address the concerns. He said, it is important to understand the context in which the remarks were made.

    On how many agreements will be signed during the US President's visit to India on the 24th of this month, the Spokesman said, around five MoUs are under discussion. Replying to a question on when Indo-US trade deal will be signed, Mr Kumar said, they do not want to create any artificial deadline.
     

  • Earlier in the day, an audio clip was circulated on social media reportedly having conversation between Mr Baskota and another person. In the reported audio, Mr Baskota is allegedly talking about commission in the process of procuring security printing press. 
     

  • Federal Prosecutors are treating the case in the city of Hanau as terrorism, with authorities saying indications point to an anti-foreigner motive. Some of those killed were believed to be of Turkish origin.

    Police said that the 43-year-old suspect killed himself and was found dead at his home along with the body of his mother.

    The Bild tabloid reports the suspect was a German citizen with a firearms license and that ammunition and gun magazines were found in his car.

    The shootings took place yesterday and the first target was the Midnight shisha bar in the city centre of Hanau. 

  • Speaking at the 34th statehood day celebration in Itanagar today, Amit Shah said that in August 2019 when Article 370 was scrapped there was a rumour that 371 will also be removed. He said that the efforts of those who wants to create difference between India and Northeast by spreading such rumours will never be successful.

    He said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes to make the whole Northeast a problem free region.

    He said that PM Modi is the only Prime Minister who has visited the Northeastern region 30 times in the last 5 years. He said Arunachal Pradesh will play its role in fulfilling the dream of crossing the 5 trillion-dollar economy.

  • The meeting came a day after the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust was set up to oversee the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

    Yesterday, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was elected as the President of the trust whereas Champat Rai was elected General Secretary.

    The 15-member trust was formed in adherence to the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya dispute in November last year. 

  • Over 1000 Artisans, craftsmen flocked to the national capital to showcase their beautiful handmade products at Hunar Haat

  • Authorities were searching for the perpetrators early Thursday, hours after the shootings that police said also wounded about five people. Police said a dark vehicle was spotted leaving the location of the first attack at about 10 p.m. (2100 GMT), and another shooting was reported at a second site.

     Police officers swarmed central Hanau, cordoning off the area of one of the shootings as a helicopter hovered overhead. A car covered in thermal foil also could be seen, with shattered glass next to it. Forensic experts in white overalls collected evidence.  A short police statement gave no information on the victims and said a motive was not immediately known. "This was a terrible evening that will certainly occupy us for a long, long time and we will remember with sadness," Hanau Mayor Claus Kaminsky told the Bild newspaper.

    Regional public broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk said, without citing sources, that the first attack took place in a hookah lounge in the center of the city. It said witnesses reported hearing eight or nine shots and seeing at least one person on the ground. The shooter or shooters then apparently went to another part of the city, where shots were fired inside another hookah lounge, the broadcaster said.

    Hookah lounges are places where people gather to smoke flavored tobacco from Middle Eastern water pipes. Hanau is in southwestern Germany, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Frankfurt. It has about 100,000 inhabitants and is located in Hesse state. Police from neighboring Bavaria were deployed to help their local colleagues, news agency dpa reported. 

  • Tripura is one of the scenic states in India. With its green valleys and hills, Tripura is a traveller's paradise. The cultural land of Tripura has some beautiful tourist attractions to explore.

  • Earlier, Dr Jaishankar held a very good meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas and thanked him for the support his country in expanding cooperation between India and the European Union (EU). The External Affairs Minister, who was in Germany during the weekend for the Munich Security Conference, arrived in Berlin on Monday to prepare the ground for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's planned visit for the India-EU summit in Brussels next month.

    On Tuesday, Jaishankar met German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in Berlin and discussed Afghanistan and policies in the Indo-Pacific region. On Monday, he held discussions with members of the European Parliament, who represented a broad spectrum of politics and member states, over political, economic and social issues.

  • It is also going to be the first standalone visit by a US President to India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will welcome the US President with a 22-kilometre roadshow that will start from the Ahmedabad airport and end at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera. 

    The two leaders will take part in an event christened "Namaste Trump" at the stadium, which is going to be the world's largest cricket stadium with a seating capacity of 1 lakh 10 thousand people according to BCCI. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the stadium and address a gathering of more than 1 lakh people as part of the Namaste Trump event. 

    Preparations for the US President's visit are underway in the state capital with security personnel being deployed along the route of the roadshow and at the stadium. Dances, songs and Cultural performances exhibiting the national heritage and diversity of India are planned along the streets of Ahmedabad to welcome the President.

    Prime Minister Modi and President Trump had shared the stage in front of more than 50,000 members of the Indian Diaspora at an event dubbed Howdy Modi in Houston, Texas in 2019. The next day, on 25th, Prime Minister Modi and US President Trump will hold extensive talks in New Delhi to deepen cooperation in a range of key sectors including defence and trade.

    Briefing media this afternoon, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, the US President will be accompanied by a high-level delegation during his visit. The Foreign Secretary said the visit will have three legs - Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi. After Ahmedabad, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump would then visit Agra, where they would spend about an hour at the Taj Mahal before heading for Delhi on the same day.  

    The Foreign Secretary said the relationship with the US has evolved into one of India's most consequential relationships today. He added that both nations have unprecedented convergence of interests, whether in countering terrorism or in ensuring a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Sources said India and the US do not want to rush in finalizing a trade deal and both sides will take a decision on it considering a long-term view. 

  • A statement called the decision the first phase of France's energy strategy set out in 2018 by President Emmanuel Macron. The plan calls for a re-balancing of nuclear-produced energy and electricity derived from renewable sources.

    The statement said, coal plants will be closed by 2022 to reduce greenhouse gases. It said, Reactor No 1 will be halted on Saturday and the entire complex will come to a halt on 30th June.

    Germany has long called for the plant to be shut down. It is the first nuclear complex to be closed under President Macron's plan.

  • Six countries in the 10-nation bloc have already confirmed cases of the new virus that causes COVID-19.

    ASEAN leaders, in a joint statement earlier this week, had expressed  'serious concerns over the outbreak' and observed that the epidemic poses severe challenges to the well-being of the peoples and the development of their respective countries and the region and the world.

    More than 70,000 have been infected globally, with more than 2,000 deaths being reported mostly in China till date. 
     

  • The program will work towards ensuring that no one is left behind and everyone uses a toilet. The phase-2 of the mission will be implemented in a mission mode with a total estimated budgeted financial implication of 52 thousand 497 crore rupees.

    The ODF Plus programme will also converge with MGNREGA, especially for grey water management and will also complement the newly launched Jal Jeevan Mission. 

  • Addressing the gathering at a function organized on the occasion of a Soil Health Card Day today, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, the government is seriously working on enhancing the oilseed production in the country.

    He said, today the country is self-reliant in foodgrains production due to the hard work of farmers and it is more than the overall requirements of the country. He said, since the launch of the Soil health card scheme in 2015, soil fertility has improved resulting in more crop production. He said, agriculture is the important pillar of the country's economy and its contribution is 14 per cent to the GDP.

    On the occasion, Mr Tomar also announced two major decisions taken today in the Union Cabinet meeting in the interest of farmers. The government has also decided to create 10 thousand Farmers Producer Organisation (FPO) across the country for which an assistance of over 6,000 crore rupees will be provided.

    He also said, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana will not be mandatory for farmers and it will be voluntary for them. 
     

  • A special ceremony was held at the Nepal Army Pavilion Tudikhel in Kathmandu to mark the occasion. President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Assembly Chairperson, Chief Justice, cabinet ministers, members of parliament, senior government officials and people from all walks of life attended the ceremony.

    In his address Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said after resolving conflict Nepal is now moving towards economic and social transformation. He said Nepal has created its identity in the world and increased its prestige at various international fourms. Mr. Oli said his government has completed two years after 2017 historic elections.

    First year was base for laying foundation of the government and now on his government is working for prosperity of the country. Prime Minister Oli also paid tribute to the martyrs who had sacrificed their lives in the struggle for democracy. Every year, Falgun 7 of the Nepali calendar is commemorated as the National Democracy Day in Nepal. In 2007 Bikram Sambat, on this day, democracy was established in the Himalayan nation ending over a century old autocratic Rana regime.

     

  •  Farmers of Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand benefit from Soil Health Card Scheme 

  • Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat: Buddhist heritage of Odisha

     

     

  • However, his closest opponent Abdullah Abdullah has refused to recognize the results and declared himself winner potentially endangering peace negotiations with the Taliban. Abdullah said, he is going to establish an inclusive government.

    The Election Commission yesterday said, Ghani garnered 9,23,592 votes, or 50.64 per cent of votes that took place 28th of September last year. The country's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah received 7,20,841 votes, or 39.52 per cent of votes.

    Ghani and Abdullah head a fragile national unity government that was put together under the US pressure after both leaders claimed victory in Afghanistan's 2014 elections.
     
    Meanwhile, the Taliban has also rejected Ghani's win. It has posed a question to a US Peace Plan that calls for a reduction in violence after an expected agreement to be signed on 29th of this month between Washington and the Taliban. The agreement would pave the way for US troops to return home and it will end America's longest war.

    Earlier, Hawa Alam Nuristani, head of the Election Commission, said that 1.8 million Afghan citizens voted in the election out of some 9.6 million eligible voters.

  • The scheme aims at issuing soil health cards to farmers every two years so as to provide a basis to address nutritional deficiencies in soil. The scheme ensures additional income to farmers by increase in yields and it also promotes sustainable farming.

    Launching the scheme, Prime Minister Modi said, the farmers should know the health status of soil. He said, if soil will not be healthy, the farm production will not increase.
     
    Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal termed it a very important scheme and said that in the last five years crop production is continuously increasing due to this initiative.
     
    The scheme has been introduced to assist State Governments to issue Soil Health Cards to all farmers in the country. It provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on the appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.

    During Cycle-I (2015 to 17), 10.74 crore Soil Health Cards and during Cycle-II (2017 to 19), 11.74 crore Soil Health Cards have been distributed to farmers. The Government has spent more than 700 crore rupees on the SHC scheme.

    Nagaland will be observing Soil Health Card Day ON Wednesday in all the 11 districts of the state in coordination with Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The day is being celebrated to create awareness, importance, values and benefits of the scheme.

    Joint Director and State Nodal Officer of Soil Health Card and Management, Directorate of Soil and Water Conservation K. Khekiho Shohe said, the department has adopted one village each from 74 blocks of the 11 districts as a Pilot Village Project where the soil of each farmland will be analyzed and provided with Soil Health Card to every farmer of the pilot villages. He said, besides providing Soil Health Cards, organizing Kisan Mela and demonstration exercises in all the 74 villages will be followed in the coming months in order to familiarize the scheme with the stakeholders.

    A regional workshop is being organized at ICAR Research Complex for North Eastern Hill Region in Umiam, Meghalaya with Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare Parshottam Rupala as the chief guest. The programme includes overview of Soil Health Cards, Integrated Nutrient Management, presentation and experience sharing by representatives from line departments and farmers from all the eight North Eastern states.

  • The 70th edition of the Berlin film festival "Berlinale" presents a new management duo, new series and competitions. Beginning on February 20, the German capital is caught up in 10 days of film fever. External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar will inaugurate Indian Pavilion of 70th Berlinale on Thursday.This year three Indian feature films and one short documentary film have been selected for Berlin film festival.

    The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is participating in the 70th Berlin International Film Festival starts from 20 february till 1st march. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will inaugurate Indian Pavilion at 70th edition of Berlinale.Indian Pavilian will provide a platform to popularise Indian cinema in the overseas market and facilitate new business opportunities.

    This year in Berlin, three Indian feature films as well as one short documentary film have been selected, namely Pushpendra Singh's 'Laila Aur Satt Geet', Prateek Vats 'Eeb Allay Ooo'!, Akshay Indikar's 'Sthalpuran - Chronicle of Space'are part of  Panorama section and Ekta Mittal's short documentary Gumnaam Din.

    India seeks to promote its films across linguistic, cultural and regional diversity. It aims to establish multiple international collaborations in the space of distribution, production, filming in India and script development technology through its participation at Berlinale-2020.

    The Indian delegation through charchaon ke zariye will promote and provide the ease of shooting films in India through the Office of Film Facilitation (FFO), which facilitates single window clearance for filmmakers and a platform for 'cinematic tourism' in India.

    The delegation will showcase India as a post-production hub and promote collaboration for films with international production houses.The Audio-Visual Services sector has been recognized as one of the Champion Services Sectors by the Government of India with an aim to promote India as a leading destination source for Media and Entertainment.

    The government delegation to Berlinale will facilitate international participation for the 51st edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2020, Goa.Apart from this, the delegation and several countries will hold meetings with the officials of the countries.

  • He said the policy is also driven by the principle of non seeking reciprocity. Ambassador Chinoy was  delivering key note address at a talk programme on "Nepal-India Ties and India's Neighbourhood First Policy" in Kathmandu on Tuesday evening. He said neighbouring countries should also be mindful of India's key concerns and sensitivities of security, economic future and prosperity.

    Ambassador Chinoy said India would like to see prosperity in a broader context in terms of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas" motto. He said India and Nepal has age old friendship and bilateral relations have made significant progress in recent years.

    Ambassador Chinoy said India is doing quite well in project delivery and many important projects including Motihari- Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline and post earthquake housing reconstruction in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts have been completed much ahead of scheduled time. He also said future is bright and India and Nepal should work together to further strengthen bilateral relationship.

    Eminent scholars, thinkers, former diplomats and security experts and journalists also participated in the programme.

    The event was organised by Neeti Anusandhan Pratishthan, Nepal.

  • Bangladesh has also agreed to allow Nepal to use it Saidpur airport located in its northernmost district of Nilphamari close to Nepal.

    Earlier, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen had a meeting with his Nepalese counter part. Both the ministers discussed ways to enhance trade, investment and connectivity including use of seaports of Bangladesh.

    Bangladesh exports commodities worth $38 million to Nepal and imports goods worth around 18 million dollars.

    Talking to media persons The Nepal Foreign Minister expressed the hope that Nepal will be able to provide 500 MW of hydroelectric power to Bangladesh once the Indian Company GMR completes its project in Nepal.

    Foreign Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali arrived in Dhaka on Monday on a three day long official visit to Bangladesh.

  • The death toll from China's coronavirus epidemic climbed to 1,868 on Tuesday morning as 98 more people died while the total number of confirmed cases jumped to 72,436.  

    Of the new deaths, 93 were reported from Hubei Province, the epicentre of the virus, three from Henan, and one each from Hebei and Hunan.

    Hubei reported 1,807 new confirmed cases, taking the total number of such cases to 59,989 in the province. Another 1,432 new suspected cases were reported from the rest of China.

    A total of 358 people of 406 who were housed at an ITBP quarantine facility in Chhawla after being brought back from Wuhan have been released. All 406 have tested negative for novel Coronavirus in the latest sample examination and are being discharged in a phased manner . It is likely that all 406 will be released by Wednesday early morning from the ITBP Chhawla Centre. 

    All released persons are advised to remain self isolated for the next 14 days at their respective places. They are also advised for do's and dont's during the period. 

    Many of the people who were told that they would be allowed to go from the centre celebrated the moment with an impromptu dance and music show.

    A total of 650 people were brought back from Wuhan in China on February 1 and 2 in two 747 Boeing Air India aircraft after the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in China. While 406 of these are being looked after at the ITBP facility, rest are at an Army centre at Manesar in Haryana.
     

  • Delhi Police has filed a chargesheet in the December 15 violence that took place in Jamia Milia Islamia and new Friends Colony area. 

    The Police have named JNU student Sharjeel Imam in the chargesheet as an instigator. The police filed the chargesheet on February 13. 

    According to the chargesheet, the police found empty bullet cartridges belonging to 3.2 mm pistol on the spot. 

    No Jamia student has been named in the chargesheet. 

    Police has also revealed that it is still investigating the CCTV, call detail records and statements of over 100 witnesses attached as evidence. 

    Police are also examining the role of political party Popular Front of India in instigating the violence.

  • WHO also said that - with a mortality rate of around two percent, COVID-19 was "less deadly" than other Coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

    WHO officials rejected the suggestion that all cruises should be halted to avoid risking a new nest of infection like the one on the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess off Japan.
     

  • Ministry of External Affairs has issued an Advisory for Indian Nationals travelling to Iraq. The Advisory says that :

    i) Indian nationals may now consider travelling to the country except to the five Provinces of Iraq, namely Nineveh; Salahuddin ; Diyala, Anbar and Kirkuk.

    ii) Indian nationals are advised not to travel to the above listed five Provinces in Iraq as these remain unsafe 

    iii) Those Indian nationals wishing to travel for employment may return to their jobs in the safe areas in Iraq other than those listed above as unsafe areas, and inform the Embassy of India in Baghdad or Consulate General of India in Erbil prior to travelling to Iraq.

    iv) Those Indian nationals wishing to travel for religious purposes may also travel for pilgrimage to the holy places of Najaf and Karbala. They should not extend their religious pilgrimage to the neighbouring Syria and not travel by road from Iraq to Syria.

  • Allies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have ensured hardliners dominate the February 21 vote, removing moderates and leading conservatives and permitting voters a choice mostly between hardline and low-key conservative candidates loyal to him.

    It is to be noted that the elections come at a crucial time for the country, as it seeks to resist and negotiate intense pressure and sanctions from the administration of United States President Donald Trump over its nuclear programme. 
     

  • In an Instagram post, the e-commerce tycoon said the Bezos Earth Fund would "fund scientists, activists, NGOs - any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world." 

    Bezos, said his new foundation would begin issuing grants this summer. 

    Last September, Bezos said Amazon would pledge to become carbon neutral by 2040 and said the company would order one lakh electric delivery trucks.
     

  • The team, which arrived in Jaipur on Monday, will assess the damage in Bikaner and Jodhpur divisions in three parts. 

    The central team will meet public representatives in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jalore and Barmer. The team will also hold discussions with district collectors and representatives of Jodhpur, Barmer, Bikaner and other districts.

    The state has witnessed the biggest ever locust attack in which almost 3.71 lakh hectares was damaged by locusts since May 2019. in some districts, the state government has already completed the crop assessment and distributed ex-gratia.
     

  • The tournament is set to commence on March 29 with a game between the four-time and defending champions Mumbai and Chennai at the Wankhede Stadium. 

    The final is set to be played on May 24 as the cash-rich league will span for a duration of 57 days this year. 

    Unlike previous seasons, the BCCI has decided to reduce the number of doubleheaders this year. This time around, two matches will be played only on Sundays and the number of doubleheaders have come down to only six. 
     

  • The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, that supports the business community towards achieving sustainability has certified DIAL for its successful voluntary implementation of single-use plastic-free airport measures within IGI Airport's operations. 

    In a statement, DIAL said our objective to make Delhi Airport free from single-use plastic is in line with Prime Minister's vision to abolish all single-use plastic from India by 2022. DIAL said it is committed to preserve the environment and do its bit.
     

  • The duo received the same number of votes, a first in the 20-year history of the awards with the jury unable to split Hamilton and Messi. Messi, the six-time FIFA World Player of the year, is the first team-player to bag the award. He though was not present to receive the award on Monday and sent a video message. They pipped golfing great Tiger Woods, Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge, tennis legend Rafael Nadal and MotoGP champion Marc Marquez.

    American gymnast Simone Biles, who won five gold medals at the 2019 World Championships, grabbed the World Sportswoman of the year award, her third in four years after winning it in 2017 and 2019. She beat a strong challenge from Jamaican sprinting great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who missed out on the honour for the fifth time. She was nominated in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016 also but did not win it. The most decorated gymnast also beat competition from American footballer Megan Rapinoe, Japanese tennis sensation Naomi Osaka, American track and field athlete Allyson Felix and skier Mikaela Shiffrin.

    The awards ceremony was hosted by actor Hugh Grant. A tribute was paid to American basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who recently died in a helicopter crash. Snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim won the World Action Sportsperson honour, her second straight in the same category. In the Sportsperson of the year with a disability category, Oksana Masters, born with limb impairments caused by radiation from Chernobyl and adopted by an American single parent, was recognised for an outstanding year in 2019. She won five gold medals and a silver at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships.

    South Bronx United (SBU), a football programme based in New York, was honoured with the Sport for Good Award. The programme uses football to achieve educational outcomes for young people from underserved communities. The 2019 Rugby World Cup winners South Africa won their second Laureus World Team of the Year Award, beating Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool and the US Women's Football Team, among others.

    For the 2020 Laureus World Comeback of the Year, Germany's gritty F3 driver Sophia Florsch was the winner. Travelling at 276km per hour, she had lost control of her car at the Macau circuit, crashing through safety barriers and leaving her with a spinal fracture which required an 11-hour surgery and months of rehabilitation. In November 2019, a year on from her accident, the 18-year-old Sophia was back in the cockpit, racing once again in the Macau Grand Prix.

    Egan Bernal, who became the youngest rider to win the Tour de France at 22, grabbed the World Breakthrough of the Year award. German basketball great Dirk Nowitzki was recognised at the Ceremony with the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the sport of basketball. Spanish Basketball Federation got the Exceptional Achievement Award.

  • With the backing of Indian cricket fans, Tendulkar got the maximum number of votes to emerge winner on Monday. Tendulkar, competing in his sixth and last World Cup, finally realised his long-cherished dream when skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smacked Sri Lankan pacer Nuwan Kulasekara out of the park for a winning six. The charged-up Indian cricketers rushed to the ground at the Wankhede Stadium and soon they lifted Tendulkar on their shoulders and made a lap of honour, a moment etched in the minds of the fans. Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh handed the trophy to Tendulkar after tennis legend Bros Becker announced the winner at a glittering ceremony.

     "It's incredible. The feeling of winning the world cup was beyond what words can express. How many times you get an event happening where there are no mixed opinions. Very rarely the entire country celebrates," Tendulkar said after receiving the trophy.  "And this is a reminder of how powerful a sport is and what magic it does to our lives. Even now when I watch that it has stayed with me."

    Becker then asked Tendulkar to share the emotions he felt at that time and the Indian legend put in perspective how important it was for him to hold that trophy. "My journey started in 1983 when I was 10 years old. India had won the World Cup. I did not understand the significance and just because everybody was celebrating, I also joined the party. "But somewhere I knew something special has happened to the country and I wanted to experience it one day and that's how my journey began.  "It was the proudest moment of my life, holding that trophy which I chased for 22 years but I never lost hope. I was merely lifting that trophy on behalf of my countrymen."

    The 46-year-old Tendulkar, the highest run-getter in the cricket world, said holding the Laureus trophy has also given him great honour. He also shared the impact the revolutionary South African leader Nelson Mandela had on him. Tendulkar met him when he was just 19 years old.  "His hardship did not affect his leadership. Out of many messages he left, the most important I felt was that sport has got the power to unite everyone. "Today sitting in this room with so many athletes, some of them did not have everything but they made the best of everything they had. I thank them for inspiring youngsters to pick a sport of their choice and chase their dreams. This trophy belongs to all of us, it's not just about me."

  • It will be held at the KD Jadhav Hall of Indira Gandhi Stadium till 23rd of this month. The event will have a total of 30 weight classes, 10 each in Freestyle Men, Women, and Greco Roman.

    The Championship will begin with Greco-Roman events, followed by women wrestling and men's freestyle. On day 1 of the tournament, 55, 63, 77, 87 and 130 kg wrestlers will take to the mat to prove their mettle.

    The preliminary and qualification matches will be played in the morning sessions while the semis and finals will be conducted from 6 PM to 9 PM. India will be among the favourites to bag gold on Day 1 itself. 

  • Without naming Pakistan, the FATF said that terrorists use various methods to gain financing, including using social media to identify new followers and to solicit financial or other forms of material support. The FATF said it is monitoring terrorist financing risks and works to help authorities trace funding to strengthen prosecutions.

    The week-long Financial Action Task Force plenary, currently underway in Paris, will decide Pakistan's fate, whether it will continue in the FATF's 'Grey List', or put in the 'Black List' or spared from listing. India has maintained that Pakistan extends regular support to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, whose prime target is India and urged FATF to take action against Islamabad. 

  • Ajanta & Ellora Caves: Epitome of art, architecture and culture of ancient India

     

  • A Delhi court Monday issued fresh death warrants for March 3 at 6 am against the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

    Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana issued fresh warrants against death row convicts -- Mukesh Kumar Singh , Pawan Gupta , Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar. This is the third time that death warrants have been issued against them.

    Nirbhaya's parents have welcomed the verdict.

    The first date of execution, January 22, was postponed to February 1 by a January 17 court order. Then the trial court, on January 31, stayed, "till further orders" the execution of the four convicts as they had not exhausted all their legal remedies. 

    The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' was gang-raped and savagely assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.

    Six people including the four convicts, Ram Singh and a juvenile -- were named as accused.

    Ram Singh, the prime accused, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar jail days after the trial began.

    The juvenile, who was said to be the most brutal of the attackers, was put in a correctional home for three years.

    Pawan is the only one among the four convicts who has not yet filed the curative petition -- the last legal remedy available to a person, which is decided in-chamber. He has not filed the mercy plea either.

    His counsel informed the court that he wanted to move curative petition before the Supreme Court and the mercy plea against the death sentence before the President.

  • Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing on Shaheen Bagh issue till Monday. Before adjourning Monday's hearing, The Apex Court appointed advocate Sanjay Hegde and Sadhna Ramchandran as interlocutors in the case.

    While hearing, the top court expressed concern over people taking roads for protest.  Apex court has also acknowledged people's right to protest in the democracy and at the same time it should not trouble others said the SC.

    Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government is ready to talk to Shaheen Bagh protesters to clear their doubts but, they need to come.

  • President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered oath of office and secrecy to Tumbahangphe in Kathmandu on Monday afternoon.

    Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and other dignitaries were also attended the swearing in ceremony.

    The post of Law Minister was lying vacant since 24 December 2019 when Samajwadi Party Nepal had quit Oli government.

  • The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to grant permanent commission to all women officers in the Army within three months and said there will not be any absolute bar on giving them command postings.

    A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud rejected the Centre's argument of physiological limitations and social norms for denying them permanent commission and command postings.

    The bench said it is disturbing and against the concept of equality and that Women officers in the past have brought laurels to the country and change of mindset is required on the part of the government to put an end to gender bias in armed forces.

    The top court said despite there being no stay on the 2010 Delhi High Court verdict allowing grant of permanent commission to women officers, the Centre showed scant regard in implementing the directive in past one decade.

    Women officers from Indian Army were overjoyed with the verdict and called it as a progressive and historical judgement.

    Senior BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi termed the decision of the court as excellent and said that all the rights which are held by male officers will now be given to women officers aswell.

  • District Judge Ambar Raj Poudel acquitted Mahara from all the charges on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

    After the court verdict Mahara was released from Dillibazaar central prison in Kathmandu this afternoon.

    He was arrested on October 6 last year after a woman employee of the Parliament Secretariat had lodged police complaint accusing Mahara of attempting to rape her.

  • Storm prompted flooding alerts for many parts of the country and disrupted flights and train services. Whereas in central England, streets and local businesses were also flooded after heavy rainfall.

    Country's Environment Agency issued a total of 30 warnings of severe flooding across united kingdom and 238 alerts at different part of England.

    A total of 75 military personnel were helping to build barriers and repair flood defences in northern England while emergency workers also evacuated hundereds of people in Wales.
     

  • Australian Industry Minister Karen Andrews said it was a very disappointing outcome and it was the end of an era.

    Like Britain, Australia and New Zealand are right-hand drive markets. With sales of GM's Australian Holden brand plummeting, the company could not justify the investment to continue building right-hand drive vehicles.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the COP 13 to the convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. CMS provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. India holds the presidency of COP for the three years. PM announced that India has prepared a national action plan for conservation of migratory birds along Central Asia flyway. He emphasised that India championed the challenges of climate change, through conservation, sustainable lifestyle and green development mode.

    Prime Minister Modi also highlighted India's efforts in conservation of tigers. The population of tigers in India has grown significantly, and achieved its target of doubling the number of tigers  before the committed date. Adding another feather to its hat, PM mentioned that India is among the few countries whose actions are compliant with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping rise in temperature to below 2° Celsius.

    PM Modi asserted that his government is committed to sustainable development and are taking all the measures ensure a better environment for the future generations.

    While addressing the inaugural session of 13th Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that Nature is strength of India and added that to conserve planet people's voluntarily participate is necessary.

  • In response to a media query on comments made by the President of Turkey on India's internal matters during his recent visit to Pakistan, the Official Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said,

    "India has made a strong demarche with the Turkish Government on the remarks made by President Erdogan on the Indian Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir during his recent visit to Islamabad. These remarks reflect neither an understanding of history nor of the conduct of diplomacy. They distort events of the past to advance a narrow minded view of the present. India made a strong demarche with the Turkish Government.

    This recent episode is but one more example of a pattern of Turkey interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. India finds that completely unacceptable. We particularly reject the repeated attempts by Turkey to justify the cross border terrorism practiced so blatantly by Pakistan.

    These developments have strong implications for our bilateral relationship.

    The demarche was made by Secretary (West) to the Ambassador of Turkey in New Delhi earlier today."

  • World Rapid Chess Champion Koneru Humpy re-asserted her supremacy in style by winning the Cairns cup title with 6 points from nine rounds and bag the 45,000 dollar winner's purse in St. Louis.

    Interestingly, in the final round, Humpy drew with GM Dronavalli Harika, who finished sixth with 4.5 points.

    The icing on the cake is that Humpy would be gaining five ELO rating points  and moving to no.2 in the world list. Reflecting on her game, Koneru Humpy is happy with the way things are going and is looking forward to the Grand Prix in Italy.

     

  • Addressing a programme on 72nd Anniversary celebrations of Nepal Council of World Affairs (NCWA) in Kathmandu last evening, he said these relations are nurtured by extensive people to people contacts and socio-cultural bonds shared by the two countries for centuries.

    Gyawali said the exchange of visits by the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India in April and May 2018 has contributed to further enhance mutual trust and consolidate bilateral relations. Gyawali said these high level visits have provided major push for the implementation of ongoing development projects. Some of the flagship projects, such as, Motihari-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Pipeline and Integrated Check Posts in Birgunj and Biratnagar have been completed.

    Similarly, reconstruction of over 45,000 housing units in Nuwakot and Gorkha districts under the assistance of India have been completed and they were handed over to the residents last month. Construction of remaining housing units is undergoing.

    Gyawali also said construction of Jay Nagar-Kurtha section of the rail project has been completed. This will ultimately link Bardibas with Jaynagar upon completion of another 34 Km section of the rail line. Detailed project report of Birgunj-Kathmandu electric railway is being prepared this year. He also said Arun III hydro-electricity project under Indian investment is progressing well after the foundation stone of the project was jointly laid by the two Prime Ministers. More projects enhancing production, trade and connectivity are in focus for the future, he added.

    Gyawali said India and Nepal are committed to take forward cooperation and partnership on the basis of equality, mutual trust, respect and mutual benefit. He said the leaders on both sides have displayed clear vision, commitment and required political will to take the relationship to a higher plane of trust, cooperation and friendship.

  • The theme of CMS COP13 in India is 'Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home'.

    Meanwhile, a High Level Dialogue was held between ministers and senior officials governments, executives of international organisations and other biodiversity leaders on the eve of the conference.

    Addressing the dialogue, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said its time we should also learn from the experiences and success stories of other countries which will benefit us in keeping the biodiversity alive.

    Key messages from the High-Level dialogue will be incorporated into the Gandhinagar Declaration, which will be proposed by the Government of India for adoption during Conservation of Migratory Species COP13.

     

  • Responding to a question, the MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said:

    "India's position has not changed. Jammu & Kashmir has been, is and will continue to be an integral part of India. The issue that needs to be addressed is that of vacation of the territories illegally and forcibly occupied by Pakistan. Further issues, if any, would be discussed bilaterally. There is no role or scope for third party mediation.

    We hope the UN Secretary General would emphasize on the imperative for Pakistan to take credible, sustained and irreversible action to put an end to cross-border terrorism against India, which threatens the most fundamental human right - the right to life, of the people of India, including in J&K."