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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for Davos, Switzerland tomorrow to attend the 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. He wi...




  • Bihar Police has detained three suspected persons in connection with a bomb blast and recovery of live bombs near Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya. <...>




  • Delhi Police has arrested the owner of Bawana fire cracker warehouse following a major fire incident in the unit yesterday which claimed at least 17 l...



  • The government has entered into an agreement with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited for the strategic sale of its 51.11 per cent equity share-holding in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation limited for 36,915 crore rupees. The Finance Ministry in a release said, during the review in February 2016, the Prime Minister had underlined the need of efficient management of government investments in Central Public Sector Enterprises.



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted people of Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya on their statehood day.In a series of tweets, Mr Modi said may Manipur continue to scale new growth in the time to come.



  • In Afghanistan, gunmen killed at least six people, including a foreigner in an attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel last night.



  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India today recommended allowing mobile and Internet services for passengers during air travel in the country through both satellite and terrestrial network.



  • Former Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel will be the next Governor of Madhya Pradesh.


  • Rocket Lab, a Silicon Valley-funded space launch company, on Sunday (January 21) successfully completed the second test launch of its electron rocket from New Zealand's remote Mahia Peninsula.

    The mission, titled "Still Testing" is the second successful test for the US aerospace company following an inaugural launch on May 25, 2017.

    The rocket is carrying satellites to track weather and shipping, enabling the US aerospace company to gather data and test systems for the deployment stage of a mission, according to their website.

    Rocket lab CEO Peter Beck says on the website he also hopes to remove financial and logistical barriers for humanity to access space.

  • A special team of the United Nations Security Council will visit the country in February and check upon the progress made on sanctions placed on Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation and other proscribed organisations.Pakistani officials will apprise the visiting UN delegation of the implementation regarding the ban on the organisations.

    An important session was also held at the foreign ministry under Additional Secretary (United Nations and Economic Cooperation) Tasneem Aslam.In the meeting, officials from the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta), Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), Federal Investigation Agency and other institutions were present and briefed the attendees.

    The foreign ministry officials were briefed regarding the financial assistance to proscribed organisations.There are 27 organisations and 35 individuals operating allegedly from Pakistan on the UN list.

  •  Veteran Indian doubles legend Leander Paes and Purav Raja have crashed out of the Australian Open after losing to Juan Cabal and Robert Farah in Men's Double third round.

    The Indian pair lost to the 11th seeded Colombian duo 1-6, 2-6, in an hour-and-nine-minute-long match.

    Rohan Bopanna, along with Hungarian tennis player Timea Babos, will play the Australian duo of Ellen Perez and Andrew Whittington in the first round of Mixed Doubles later today. 

  •  In Maharashtra. Three more persons have been arrested in connection with the deadly fire at two pubs in Kamla Mills compound in Mumbai which claimed 14 lives last month.

    Ravi Bhandari, a partner in Kamla Mills, station fire officer Rajendra Patil, and Utkarsh Pandey, owner of Nirvana Hookah, were arrested last evening.

    The municipal commissioner's report had said the owners of Kamla Mills allowed illegal alterations and usage of terrace by the two pubs. It also said that departmental

    Inquiry will be conducted against some fire brigade officialsfor lapses in duty.Owners of the 1 Above pub and Mojo's Bistro have already arrested and have been booked for `culpable homicide not amounting to murder' and other offences under the Indian Penal Code.Three more arrested in Mumbai pub fire case

  • BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday produced before a Delhi court an Income Tax assessment order against the Young Indian company, in which majority shares are held by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

    The order dated December 27 of last year, served on Young Indian (YI), cancels the tax exemption certificate issued to the firm and declares that it should pay tax for the concealed income gain, amounting to Rs 414 crore.

    Metropolitan Magistrate Ambika Singh directed that the I-T department documents, which were submitted by Swamy, be kept in a sealed cover till further orders. The court posted the matter for further hearing on March 27.

    The BJP MP  accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh, through which YI obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which Associate Journals Ltd owed the Congress.

    The 105-page order contradicts the Congress party's claim of giving Rs 90 crore loan to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the publisher of the National Herald newspaper. The order adds that the transaction was made to take over Rs 2,000 crore worth of land and building assets of AJL, he said.

  •  Three civilians killed while one soldier martyred in a relentless ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the Line of Control  in Jammu and Kashmir’s Krishna Ghati sector on Saturday. The Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms and automatics. While the Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively,” an official report said.

    Eighteen people were injured as Pakistani troops shelled border outposts and civilian areas along the international border and Line of Control  in the Jammu region for the third consecutive day on Saturday.

    The ceasefire violations triggered migration of over 35,000 people from their border hamlets as the authorities sounded a red alert and asked people to move to safer areas. Over 300 educational institutes along the IB and LoC in the Jammu region have been closed for the next three days by the administration in the wake of increased tension due to the shelling.

    As many as 10 persons, including 6 civilians and 4 jawans, were killed and nearly 60 including some jawans were injured in the shelling during the past three days.
    Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief and anguish over the killing  due to shelling by Pakistan.

  • The gunmen attacked Kabul's landmark Intercontinental Hotel in a night-time raid and started shooting at guests and staff.    

    The Attackers were armed with small weapons and rocket-propelled grenades when they blasted their way into the hotel, which often hosts weddings, conferences and political gatherings.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack in the Afghan capital that followed a series of security warnings in recent days to avoid hotels and other locations frequented by foreigners.

  • The fire, which started at the storage unit on the ground floor of a two-storey building, ripped through the structure.

    10 women and seven men were killed, while a man and woman were injured in the incident.

    An FIR has been registered under various sections of IPC relating to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible material.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish at the death of people in the fire.

    Prime Minister said he was "deeply anguished" by the accident. "My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. May those who are injured recover quickly," the PMO tweeted.

    Meanwhile, The Delhi government has ordered an inquiry into the blaze. Police also  apprehended the owner of the factory in connection with fire accident. 

    Delhi Chief Minister visited the spot and announced an ex-gratia of Rs. five lakh to the kin of those killed and Rs one lakh each to the two injured persons.

  • Cultural groups from the 10 member-nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are staging musicals and plays based on the epic at the festival celebrating the India-ASEAN dialogue. The festival seeks to underline the common cultural heritage and India's friendship with ASEAN nations.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted that the festival is "an important part of a series of events to commemorate 25 years of India-ASEAN relations, the Festival is a fitting prelude to the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit on 25th January." 

  • Australian speedster Mitchell Starc and England captain Joe Root are also among the top foreigners who will be under the hammer in the auction.

    Root's entry in the marquee list is an indication that England and Wales Cricket Board has finally understood what their players want.

    Stokes was cleared to play for England again on Wednesday despite being charged with affray. He was earlier suspended by the ECB from international duty for his involvement in an incident outside a nightclub in September that reportedly left a man with a fractured eye socket.

    While more than 1000 players had registered for the auctions, the BCCI has pruned the list to 578 players. The players have been bracketed into eight distinct slabs as per their profiles.

    The slabs for internationals (Indian and foreign) are Rs 2 crore, Rs 1.5 crore, Rs 1 crore, Rs 75 lakh and Rs 50 lakh respectively while uncapped players are base-priced at Rs 40, 30 and 20 lakh respectively.

    "A lot of strategizing and number-crunching is involved before a cricketer is picked at the IPL Player Auction. The dynamic nature of the auction makes it unpredictable and exciting," IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla said in a release.

    "The eight franchises have given us an indication of what their core would be with their Player Retentions and IPL 2018 Player Auction will be an important step towards the creation of a successful team. The marquee list is full of star players, but I am also looking forward to the uncapped Indian players who have proved their mettle in the earlier editions of the IPL and are sure to attract high bids."

    Among the 16 marquee players bracketed into M1 and M2 categories, current India players Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane are in the top marquee list along with Stokes, who is again expected to trigger a bidding war.

    Currently the world's premier fast bowler Mitchell Starc and T20 match-winner Chris Gayle are also in the M1 category. Some of the veteran internationals in the second tier of the marquee list (M2) are Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh.

    With 13 Indian players in the Rs 2 crore bracket, after a long time franchises will get to choose from current India players. Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, KL Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal, Dinesh Karthik are in the top wishlist of the franchises along with Afghan sensation Rashid Khan Arman.

    South African pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada is in the Rs 1.5 crore bracket while Brandon McCullum and Faf du Plessis are priced at Rs 2 crore and Chennai Super Kings have their Right to Match Cards (RTM).

    Australian dasher Chris Lynn is also in the Rs 2 crore bracket. As per the list provided, 36 players are in all in Rs 2 crore bracket while 32 have priced themselves in the Rs 1.5 crore zone.

    There are 31 in the Rs 1 crore category followed by 23 in the Rs 75 lakh and a whopping 122 in the Rs 50 lakh base price bracket respectively. There are 62 capped Indian players in the auction while the number of uncapped local players is 288.

    Compared to Indians, the number of capped foreign internationals is 92 while 36 uncapped overseas talents have thrown their hat in the ring. Some of the big uncapped names include Krunal Pandya, Prithvi Shaw and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

  • The six-time champion advanced with a clear-cut 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win over Spanish 21st seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in 2hr 21min on Margaret Court Arena.

    But there was concern in his camp when the former world No.1 sought a medical timeout early in the second set for treatment to his lower back. Djokovic later played down the extent of the problem, saying “it’s okay, nothing major”.

    The Serb, looking for matches after a six-month lay-off with right elbow trouble, will face South Korea’s Chung Hyeon in Sunday’s fourth round after he shocked fourth seed Alexander Zverev.

    The injury was a fresh worry for the 12-time Grand Slam champion, whose ranking has slipped to 14 after an inactive second half of 2017.

    Djokovic, who was upset by Denis Istomin in the second round of last year’s tournament, was workmanlike as he broke the Spaniard’s serve five times, although his errors outnumbered his winners 40-37. It took his record against Ramos-Vinolas to 5-0 with two of the wins at Slams.

    Should Djokovic beat Chung he is facing a potential quarter-final against Austria’s fifth seed Dominic Thiem, who must first get past American surprise packet Tennys Sandgren on Monday.

  • The Swiss star beat the Frenchman 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 in just under two hours in a night match on Rod Laver Arena.

    Federer has unheralded Hungarian and one-time training partner Marton Fucsovics up next and a potential quarter-final with Tomas Berdych, who upset Juan Martin Del Porto in straight sets earlier Saturday.

    Federer, rated the favourite to win his 20th major even at the venerable age of 36, progressed to the fourth round at the Australian Open for the 16th time.

    The Swiss has only lost twice to the stylish Frenchman in their 19 meetings, winning all their four Grand Slam encounters. Significantly, Gasquet hasn’t won a set against Federer since 2011, a run of 22 sets to the Swiss.

    Federer, who did not face a break point in 26 games, lost his only serve in the match late in the third set on his second break point, such was his dominance.

    The Swiss legend broke Gasquet’s serve five times and hit 42 winners with 30 unforced errors. He improved his Australian Open record to 90-13.

    Federer is coming off an extraordinary 2017, when he won a fifth Australian Open title and a record eighth at Wimbledon, after returning from an injury lay-off.

    It was in Melbourne a year ago where he lit the fuse on his late-life tennis renaissance, beating Berdych, Kei Nishikori, Mischa Zverev and Stan Wawrinka before downing great rival Rafael Nadal in a five-set final classic.

  • It was alleged by the bank in its complaint that certain officials of the Bank fraudulently sanctioned and disbursed loans to private persons dealing in the business of Coal during the period from 2011 to 2016. It was alleged that the loans were sanctioned against inflated valuation of the collateral securities

    In another case, the CBI arrested three people for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs. 1.80 lakh, allegedly on behalf of SDM Saraswati Vihar, from the owner of a club in Delhi's Pitampura, after his club, was sealed by the SDM.

     

  • South Korea had hoped that the Games which begin in Pyeongchang on February 9 could help ease the crisis on the peninsula plagued by months of rising tensions over the North's nuclear and missile and programme.

    In a surprise New Year's announcement, the leader of Stalinist North Korea Kim Jong-un said he was open to sending a delegation to Pyeongchang.

    Before this week's meeting at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, the two Koreas had already agreed on a set of momentous compromises, including delegations from both countries marching together at the opening ceremony and the formation of a unified women's hockey team.

    But the two Koreas still needed approval from the IOC, as the pact required the suspension of some basic Olympic rules.

    IOC president Thomas Bach gave that approval Saturday, announcing that 22 athletes had been cleared to compete in three sports and a total of five disciplines.

    Those include figure skating, short-track speed skating, cross-country skiing and Alpine skiing, as well as hockey, with the IOC having approved the entry of the joint team, despite concerns voiced by some hockey federations over fairness.  

    At the opening ceremony, the joint delegation "will be led into the Olympic stadium by the Korean unification flag" carried together by athlete from each country, the IOC said.

    A special unity uniform will be created for the event. No North Korean athlete had technically qualified for Pyeongchang, so Saturday's announcement required extending qualification deadlines in the sports concerned.

    -MILESTONE-

    "Today marks a milestone on a long journey," Bach said after the closed-door meeting with the leaders of the Olympic committees from both Koreas as well Pyeongchang 2018 organisers, and senior government officials from the two countries.

    "The Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future on the Korean peninsula, and inviting the world to join in a celebration of hope," Bach said.

    North Korea has taken part in seven of the last 12 Winter Olympics, most recently in Vancouver 2010.

    But its presence in Pyeongchang -- just 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the demilitarised zone that divides the Koreas -- is a significant diplomatic coup. 

    North and South Korea remain technically at war since the Korean war ended with armistice, not a peace treaty, in 1953.

    - UN SANCTIONS-

    North Korea will also send 24 officials and 21 media representatives to Pyeongchang, Bach said. 

    Seoul and the IOC will have to ensure that while accommodating the North and ensuring that the so-called "peace Olympics" pass off smoothly, they do not violate United Nations sanctions.

    Security Council measures currently prohibit cash transfers to the North, while the UN has also drawn up a blacklist of officials tied to the Stalinist Pyongyang regime, individuals whose presence at the Games will create potential stumbling blocks.

  • Workers from 1736 booths of Varanasi Lok Sabha are taking part in the programme with a minimum representation of 10 young workers from each booth.

    Addressing the programme, Amit Shah said that there is no place for communalism in the party.

     

  • Batting first, Pakistan amassed 308 runs, courtesy some useful contribution by Badar Munir (57), Riasat Khan (48) and captain Nisar Ali (47).

    Ramesh then led the run chase as India overhauled the target with eight balls to spare to retain the trophy that they had won in 2014 after beating the same opponents at Cape Town, South Africa.

    India struggled in the final stages of their run chase as Pakistan claimed three successive wickets to gain an upper hand over their arch-rivals.

    However, a wide delivery rolled on to the boundary and the pendulum swung back in India's favour.

    India had beaten Pakistan on January 13 in the group stage. The defending champions had beaten Bangladesh by seven wickets in the semi-final.

    Accolades poured in for the Indian team with Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulating the team for their achievement.

    "Congratulations to our cricket team for winning the 2018 Blind Cricket World Cup! They make the nation proud and inspire every Indian with their game as well as phenomenal attitude. True champions!," he wrote on his twitter handle.

    Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also heaped praise on the team. "What a win by #TeamIndia. Congratulations on winning #BlindCricketWorldCup," he wrote.

  • Over 100 women were selected after an extensive research process by the Women and Child Development Ministry.

    The women, who have been felicitated, are those who have been the first in any field like the first woman judge, first woman porter, first woman to head a missile project, first para-trooper and first Olympian.

     President Kovind advised the women achievers to contribute towards empowering rural women.

    On the occasion Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi said that women can do anything and women across all avenues can bring positive change in the society.

    Maneka Gandhi said that India has achieved a miracle in sex ratio after the launch of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme which was conceived by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    A list of 227 women was compiled from various sources, including Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Sports, Limca Book of Records, press clippings, internet etc.To do the selection, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, along with an esteemed panel of judges, finalised the names of 112 extraordinary women who busted stereotypes and broke the glass ceiling to become the Number One.

  • The results are consistent with prior research indicating that 100 percent fruit juice is not associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

    A comprehensive data analysis quantitatively assessed the relationship between drinking 100 percent juice and blood glucose control.

    Using fasting blood glucose and fasting blood insulin levels as biomarkers for diabetes risk, the systematic review and meta-analysis included 18 randomised controlled trials (RCT) to evaluate the impact of 100 percent juice from fruits, such as apple, berry, citrus, grape, and pomegranate.

    Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the body is unable to respond to insulin.

    The first line of defense for preventing and treating Type 2 Diabetes is following a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, exercising regularly and staying at a healthy weight are encouraged.

    According to the research, published in the Journal of Nutritional Science, a 118 ml glass of 100 percent juice counts as one serving (1/2 cup) of fruit and can complement whole fruit to help individuals add more produce to their diets.

  • The North had initially planned to send a seven-member advance team headed by the leader of a popular all-female Western-style band for a two-day visit from Saturday to inspect venues for proposed performances in Seoul and the eastern city of Gangneung.

    Hyon Song-Wol, reportedly an ex-girlfriend of leader Kim Jong-Un, would be the first North Korean official to visit the South in four years. But Pyongyang said late Friday it had suspended the plan, giving no reason.

    “The North informed us that it will send the arts delegation on Sunday”, a day later than initially planned, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

    Hyon was the subject of lurid 2013 reports in the South that she and around a dozen other state musicians had been executed for appearing in porn movies. Pyongyang angrily denied the claims and Hyon later appeared on state television.

    The two Koreas have agreed to march together under a unification flag—a pale blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula—at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on February 9, and to form a unified women’s ice hockey team.

    But critics in the South have said a unified team would disrupt the side and deprive some Southern squad members of the chance to play on the Olympic stage. The conservative opposition Liberty Korea Party has strongly objected to the agreement, arguing the North is seeking to exploit the South’s Olympics for its own propaganda.

    “The Pyeongchang Olympics is becoming like a Pyongyang Olympics”, its leader Hong Jun-Pyo said on Friday.

    A Realmeter poll released Thursday showed only 40.5 percent of South Koreans supported the joint march under a unification flag.

    A larger share -- 49.4 percent—were in favour of the neighbours holding their own national flags.

    In 2015, the Moranbong Band led by Hyon cancelled a series of concerts in Beijing just hours before they were due on stage, reportedly because of disputes over stage backdrop footage showing a North Korean missile being launched.

  • The iconic black cabs are out once again carrying slogans "Free Balochistan from Human Rights Abuses" in attempt to highlight the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan, where the Pakistani military has been involved in gross human rights violations including enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and torture.

    This comes two months after the government of Pakistan demanded that the British government and Transport for London remove “#FreeBalochistan ", "Stop Enforced disappearances" adverts from UK taxis.

    In response to Pakistan government's request, Transport for London within 24 hours had ordered the adverts to be pulled from taxis on the grounds that they violated its advertising policy but it had not stated how the policy had been violated.

    The WBO maintained that it had not violated any policy and vowed to challenge the decision. The WBO has also been running an advertising campaign in New York City where several billboards at the iconic Times Square displayed similar slogans during the New Years Eve celebrations.

    The billboards gained attention of the international media and millions watching the event from around the world.

  • Indian Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin told the Security Council it is India's vision that Afghanistan regain its place and New Delhi remain committed to work closely with its regional and international partners to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.

    "There is a common Afghan saying that roughly translates as "If water is muddied downstream, don't waste your time filtering it; better to go upstream to clean it," Akbaruddin said during a special ministerial meeting on Afghanistan.

    Underlining that support for voices of peace in Afghanistan alone is not enough, Akbaruddin said, "We must focus on addressing the challenges posed by cross border terrorism emanating from safe havens and sanctuaries to our region and especially to Afghanistan".

    "If we do so, the decay, which has been inflicted on Afghanistan, can be made reversible," he added.

    It is India's vision that Afghanistan regain its place and New Delhi remain committed to work closely with its regional and international partners to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.

    "It is with this in mind that our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Afghanistan on December 24, 2015 to inaugurate the Parliament building, stopped over in Lahore, Pakistan," he said.

    "Unfortunately, these visits were followed by a heinous and barbaric terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase on January 1, 2016, perpetrated and planned by the very same mindsets which attack the spirit of Afghanistan every day," he added.

    "These mind sets differentiate between good and bad terrorists. These mindsets refuse to see reason in peace. They are mindsets that are reluctant to join hands in moving the region forward to build a shared future for our people and our youth. These mindsets, Mr. President, need to change," Akbaruddin said. 

  • The Klotho proteins bind to a family of hormones, named as endocrine Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), which regulate critical metabolic processes in the kidneys, liver, and brain, among other organs.

    The United States' Yale University researchers found that beta-Klotho is the primary receptor that binds to FGF21, a key hormone produced by starvation.

    The FGF21 hormone stimulates insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, causing weight loss. This new understanding of beta-Klotho and FGF21 can guide the development of therapies for conditions such as type 2 diabetes in obese patients, the researchers stated.

    "Like insulin, FGF21 stimulates metabolism including glucose uptake," said Joseph Schlessinger, from Yale University.

    "In animals and in some clinical trials of FGF21, it shows that you can increase burning of calories without changing food intake, and we now understand how to improve the biological activity of FGF21," Schlessinger added.

    In the research, published in the journal Nature, the researchers also described a new variant of FGF21 that has 10 times higher potency and cellular action.

    By developing drugs that enhance the pathway, Schlessinger said, researchers can target diabetes and obesity.

    Conversely, using agents that block the pathway, they hope to explore therapies for conditions such as liver cancer and bone diseases, among others.

    "The next step will be to make better hormones, make new potent blockers, do animal studies, and move forward," Schlessinger asserted.

  • Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively. However, in the exchange of fire, Sepoy Mandeep Singh was grievously injured and succumbed to his injuries. Nine persons have been killed so far in ceasefire violations over three days.

    Union Minister Jitendra Singh visited the affected areas and met with the injured at the hospital. He said that whatever Pakistan is doing is not hidden from anyone, but this time the kind of retaliating action Indian army has taken, has not been seen in decades.

    Deputy CM of Jammu and Kashmir said BSF, civil administration & police are working with synergy.

  • The change comes as the online giant seeks to address charges that it has failed—along with Google and Twitter—to prevent the spread of bogus news, most strikingly ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.

    In a Facebook post, co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the network would seek to “prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local.”

    “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today,” Zuckerberg said. “Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don’t specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them.”

    The new “trusted sources” ranking, which starts next week, would aim to “make sure the news you see is high quality” and “helps build a sense of common ground” rather than sow division, Zuckerberg said. To do so, he said, Facebook decided to rely on member surveys as the most “objective” way to rank trust in news sources.

    “We could try to make that decision ourselves, but that’s not something we’re comfortable with,” Zuckerberg said. “We considered asking outside experts, which would take the decision out of our hands but would likely not solve the objectivity problem.”

    The new ranking system, he said, would hopefully separate news organizations that are only trusted by their readers or watchers, from ones that are broadly trusted across society.

    “This update will not change the amount of news you see on Facebook,” he said. “It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community.”

    FRIENDS GET PRIORITY

    The latest move comes a week after Facebook announced a major update to its user feed that highlights what friends and family share on the network, over advertisements, celebrity and media posts.

    The company cast the change as part of a refocus on “community”—prioritizing social interactions and relationships—while acknowledging it would likely result in people spending less time on the platform.

    “For some time, we have argued that Facebook should give priority to news from trusted sources,” David Chavern, head of industry group News Media Alliance, said in a statement.

    “This would be positive for consumers, as well as help to address ‘fake news’ issues.”

    The group will watch how the Facebook ranking changes are implemented and whether they deliver on the social network’s stated goals, according to Chavern.

    “My hope is that this update about trusted news and last week’s update about meaningful interactions will help make time on Facebook time well spent,” Zuckerberg said.

    Known for annual personal goals ranging from killing his own food to learning Chinese, Zuckerberg’s stated mission for this year is to “fix” the social network.

    He plans to target abuse and hate, and interference by nation states.

    BREXIT VOTE

    Meanwhile, British lawmakers probing possible Russian interference in the Brexit referendum revealed this week that Facebook agreed to broaden its own  investigation into fake news around the vote, after the social media platform’s initial efforts drew criticism.

    The House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said Simon Milner, the tech titan’s head of policy in Britain, had vowed the company would now search for “clusters engaged in coordinated activity around the Brexit referendum” that appeared to have originated in Russia.

    Milner said it may take several weeks to produce results.

    The commitment follows demands from MPs for Facebook and Twitter to provide further information on alleged Russian social media meddling in the run-up to the June 2016 referendum.

    Executives from the platforms, as well as from Google, are due to give evidence to the parliamentary inquiry in February, when MPs will visit America for the occasion.

  • The unseeded Indians overcame the Brazilian-Briton team 7-6(3) 5-7 7-6(6) after battling hard for close to three hours.

    Left-handed Murray, world number 9 in doubles and Soares, number 10, were one of the most consistent performers in the 2017 season but it was Raja who stood out with his superlative net play.

    It was a tight contest from the beginning and after splitting the first two sets, the third set was locked 5-5 in the tie-breaker when Murray earned his side a match point on his second serve. Raja, though came serving extremely well to not only save that match point but also earned a match point for the Indians with excellent hands at the net.

    Soares served down a match point and Raja delivered a stunning backhand return winner to seal the issue. Paes and Raja, who won two Challenger level titles to close the 2017 season, are playing their second Grand Slam together.

    At the 2017 US Open, they fell in the second round. Now they will fight it out with Colombian 11th seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah for a place in the quarterfinals.

    The last time 44-year-old Paes played a quarterfinal at a Grand Slam was in 2016 at French Open where he and Marcin Matkowski had lost to Mike and Bob Bryan.

    Earlier, Divij Sharan equalled his best Grand Slam performance by reaching the men's doubles third round at the Australian Open, while Rohan Bopanna also entered the pre-quarterfinals with his partner.

    Sharan and American Ram faced stiff resistance from Fabio Fognini and Marcel Granollers before winning 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in the second round which lasted for two hours and eight minutes.

    The left-handed Sharan's serve came under pressure in the tight second set but he was excellent at the net, producing some quality volleys.

    Last year Sharan had made the third round at the French Open with Purav Raja. He had also reched the US Open third round in 2013.

    Also making progress was the 10th seeded Indo-French team of Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who knocked out Portugal's Joao Sousa and Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-2 7-6 (3).

    They are now up against seventh seeds Mate Pavic of Croatia and Austria's Oliver Marach who edged out Artem Sitak and Wesley Koolhof 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4.

  • "The importance of engaging local communities in fighting poaching, and of enhancing their alternative livelihoods, has now been widely recognised across various national, regional and global fora," said Bianca Notarbartolo of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

    "But such commitments have yet to be matched by enough effective implementation," Notarbartolo said.

    The UNEP's warning comes in the wake of the release last month by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Traffic of a report reflecting the grim reality the negative impact of armed groups on wildlife in Central Africa region.

    As recently as 30-years-ago, thousands of elephants strode majestically across the wildlife conservation areas of Central Africa. Presently, their population has been decimated, according to the 2017 report.

    In the 1980s, the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Garamba National Park was home to 20,000 elephants, that number has dwindled to an estimated 1,100, which is 1,400 today.

    The circumstance appears even gloomier for the giraffes. In many African societies, the flywhisk, usually made from the animal's tail, is a symbol of authority. The flywhisk from the Kordofan giraffe is particularly prized, putting this species in danger from poachers and other armed groups. Consequently, only about 40 giraffes remain in the Garamba Park.

    Some of the armed non-State groups and militia operating in the restive region include Sudan's Janjaweed militia, Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army, Central African Republic's rival Anti-Balaka and Seleka fighters, as well as Sudan's People's Liberation-In Opposition and poachers, making conservation a dangerous undertaking.

    Chimpanzees have also not been spared from the onslaught. The population of eastern chimpanzees in eastern the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) has declined by 80 to 98 percent, mainly because of poaching for bushmeat, attributed to demand for protein, particularly intense around artisanal mining and logging camps.

    The dual effect of insufficient nutrition, coupled with mining pollution is likely to exacerbate the threat to the region's biodiversity, resulting in a downward spiral that could jeopardize future livelihoods of numerous local communities.

    In May 2016, UNEP and other UN partners launched the Wild For Life campaign, which has been raising awareness, promoting the enactment and enforcement of laws, and increasing support for efforts by local communities to halt the illegal trade in wildlife. Elephants and Rhinos are among the species targeted by the campaign.

    "Strengthening the role of local communities in wildlife management should be at the centre of any strategy to combat illegal trade in wildlife and to secure wildlife and biodiversity for the future," Notarbartolo stressed.

  • With the temperatures a manageable 26 Celsius (79 Farenheit) at Melbourne Park after two days of oven-like conditions, the Russian was no match for the German, flopping 6-1, 6-3 in a battle of the former champions.

    Fourth seed Alexander Zverev was another high-profile casualty on day six, beaten in five sets by South Korea’s Chung Hyeon to continue his miserable Grand Slam form.

    Sharapova and Kerber are both 30, former world number ones and the only two Australian Open winners left in the women’s draw, but there was only one player in it. Kerber is in scintillating form, having won the lead-up Sydney International, and will face either Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska or Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei for a place in the quarter-finals.

    For Sharapova, who is looking to rediscover her best on her way back from a 15-month drugs ban, it is back to the drawing board. The same can be said for Zverev, who has been hailed as the leader of the tennis new guard but has now failed to go beyond the fourth round in 11 Grand Slams.

    Halep earlier looked out for the count against 76th-ranked American Lauren Davis. But she finally got over the line 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 in a gruelling 3hr 44min epic in a contest that took its toll.

    Halep, a former quarter-finalist, will next play Naomi Osaka in her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title after the Japanese star beat Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.

    Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova also had a tough test, beating fellow Czech Lucie Safarova 7-6 (8/6), 7-5.

    BIG MOMENTS

    In contrast, US Open finalist Madison Keys was in fine touch as she benefits from the guidance of former great Lindsay Davenport.

    Flying under the radar, the 17th seed has surrendered just 16 games on her way to the fourth round after beating Romania’s Ana Bogdan 6-3, 6-4. She will next test herself against French eighth seed Caroline Garcia, who was too strong for Belarussian Alaksandra Sasnovich.

    Among men through was Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem who beat France’s Adrian Mannarino in straight sets, and veteran Tomas Berdych who saw off Juan Martin Del Potro.

    American Tennys Sandgren, who had never won a Grand Slam match before this year’s Australian Open, also progressed. Another Melbourne Park debutant Marton Fucsovics of Hungary is also enjoying his best ever Grand Slam, seeing off Argentine Nicolas Kicker.

    He could play Roger Federer next with the 19-time Grand Slam winner holding court in an evening match, as does Novak Djokovic.

    The two greats of the game—who have won 11 Australian Opens between them—could meet in the last four if they maintain their winning ways. The Swiss defending champion plays France’s Richard Gasquet while Djokovic takes on 21st seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

  • India will play the final on Sunday against Belgium, who beat Japan 4-1.

    It was India’s young brigade Harmanpreet Singh (2), Dilpreet Singh (12) and Mandeep Singh (47) who scored after the team had suffered a 0-2 loss against Belgium in their previous match. India’s mantra was to play aggressive and that’s exactly what they did right from the start. Their first breakthrough came as early as the second minute of the match when a circle entry fetched them a PC created by Mandeep Singh.

    It was Harmanpreet Singh who stepped up for the drag flick and he was impeccable and fierce as he improvised the injection to flick the ball past New Zealand goal keeper Richard Joyce. The early goal undoubtedly put the Black Sticks on the backfoot.

    The next few minutes saw India hold their defence with Rupinder Pal Singh, who was rested for the match against Belgium, leading the charge of defenders as their man-to-man marking was spot on, not allowing New Zealand to make easy forays into India’s circle.

    India colt Dilpreet Singh, who had scored two goals in his first outing for the national side, was impressive when he picked up the assist to put the ball past the New Zealand goal post in the 21st minute, taking India’s lead to a comfortable 2-0.

    India held on to the lead with a well-rounded performance. Though India conceded a PC in the 42nd minute which was well-executed by New Zealand's Kane Russell, India didn’t drop their momentum and continued their attack swiftly and tactically.

    In the 47th minute, Mandeep Singh was excellent in the circle to score an impressive goal to earn India a 3-1 score- line.

  • Silver also climbed by Rs 50 to Rs 39,900 per kg on increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers.

    Traders said besides a firm trend overseas, pick-up in buying by local jewellers to meet wedding season demand at the domestic spot market, mainly led to the rise in gold prices.

    Globally, gold rose 0.32 percent to USD 1,330.60 announce and silver by 0.38 percent to USD 17.00 an ounce in New York in yesterday's trade supported by a weaker dollar.

    In the national capital, gold of 99.9 percent and 99.5 percent purity traded higher by Rs 20 each to Rs 30,850 and Rs 30,700 per 10 grams, respectively. The precious metal had lost Rs 270 over the last two days.

    Sovereign, however, remained unchanged at Rs 24,800 per piece of eight grams.

    In sync with gold, silver ready prices went higher by Rs 50 to Rs 39,900 per kg on the back of the pick-up in demand from consuming industries, while weekly-based delivery slipped Rs 120 to Rs 38,870 per kg.

    Silver coins, however, continued to be traded at the previous level of Rs 74,000 for buying and Rs 75,000 for selling of 100 pieces.  

  • 1) January 26 was earlier celebrated as India's Independence Day or Purna Swaraj Day, when the Declaration of Independence was officially promulgated in 1930

     

    2) However, in 1947, since August 15 became the official Independence Day, the Indian Constitution was adopted on this day in 1950, to mark the 1930 declaration

    3) The Assembly met for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution

    4) Dr BR Ambedkar – the then Chairman of the Constitution Committee – completed the first draft of India’s Constitution in about two years and 11 months

    5) Among other influences, five-year plans were taken from the Constitution of USSR and concepts of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity from the French Constitution

    6) India has the longest written Constitution in the world with 448 articles in 22 Parts, 12 Schedules and 97 Amendments

    7) There are two hand-written copies of the Constitution — in Hindi and in English which are kept in helium-filled cases in the Parliament’s library

    8) The original Constitution of India is hand-written with beautiful calligraphy, each page beautified and decorated by artists from Shantiniketan

    9) Illustrations on the cover and pages represent styles from different civilizations of the subcontinent, ranging from the prehistoric Mohenjodaro civilization to the present

    10) The calligraphy inside the book was done by Prem Behari Narain Raizda and published in Dehradun 

    11) Indonesia’s President Sukarno was the first chief guest at the R-Day celebrations held on 26 January, 1950

    12) On the same day, the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad took oath at Durbar Hall

    13) India adopted the Lion Head from the Ashoka Pillar in Sarnath, on Republic Day in 1950

    14) During 1950–1954, the celebrations were organised at different venues, until Rajpath became the permanent location

    15) Republic Day celebrations span over 3 days and end with the Beating Retreat Ceremony on January 29

     

     

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    A team of doctors successfully performed robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (surgical removal of a part of the diseased kidney) on a patient suffering from renal cancer on Thursday.

    The urology department of the institute tops the list for performing the highest number of robotic surgeries (24) followed by the departments of surgical oncology and surgical gastroenterology with 10 surgeries each and the department of obstetrics and gynaecology with six surgeries.

    Soon, other departments including paediatric surgery, cardiac thoracic and vascular surgery and ENT (eyes, nose and throat) and head and neck surgery will start performing robotic surgery, said director, S C Parija.

    The institute charges Rs 30,000 for patients in general ward and Rs 50,000 for patients in the special ward for performing a robotic surgery. "The user charges are much less when compared to corporate hospitals where this facility will be charged roughly between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3 lakh per procedure," Parija said.

    The maiden robot-assisted minimal access surgery was performed in JIPMER in July last year. 

  • The first happened on December 3, 2017. A supermoon is a full moon at its closest point to the Earth on its orbit – known as perigee.

    The January 31 full moon is special for three reasons:

    1) It’s the third in a series of ‘supermoons’

    2) About 14% brighter than usual 

    3) It’s the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a ‘blue moon’, which happens every two and a half years, on an average 

    The super blue moon will pass through earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse.

    While the moon is in the earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a ‘blood moon’, Gordon Johnston, programme executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington, NASA said in a statement. It will feature a total lunar eclipse, with totality viewable from western North America across the Pacific to Eastern Asia.

    For those living in North America, Alaska, or Hawaii, the eclipse will be visible before sunrise on January 31.

    However, for those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the ‘super blue blood moon’ can be seen during moonrise in the morning on the 31st.

    If you miss the January 31 lunar eclipse, you’ll have to wait almost another year for the next opportunity in North America. So, “set your alarm early and go out and take a look”, Johnston said.

    “I have always been fascinated by the night sky. Most of what we can see without a telescope are points of light, but the moon is close enough that we can see it and the features on it, and notice what changes and what stays the same each night,” he stated.

    December’s full moon, traditionally known as the ‘cold moon’, marked the first and only supermoon of 2017. It appeared about seven per cent larger and 15 per cent brighter.

  • India aims to showcase its potential as a driver of global economic growth, as well as its soft power, reflected in the popularity of yoga as well as its cuisine.

    Desi cuisine and yoga will mark the start of the five-day annual event in the snow-laden Swiss ski resort town of Davos. This is the first time India will host the welcome reception at the summit.

    Two yoga teachers from India will hold daily classes next week at the summit, which has attracted 70 heads of state and government, including US President Donald Trump as well as celebrities, chief executives and top bankers.

    "We will showcase India’s progress while also giving a taste of our exquisite cuisine and Indian culture and heritage,” Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) secretary Ramesh Abhishek said.

     

    PM Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the WEF in 21 years, since when the economy has more than doubled to $2.3 trillion and become the world's seventh largest.

  • Strong winds carried dust from Syria and Iraq which turned the sky over Diyarbakir a shade of yellow, local media reported.

    According to Turkey's regional meteorological authorities, windy conditions and heavy dust reduced visibility and air quality in southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Mardin, Şanlıurfa and Batman.

    Dust clouds accompanied by muddy rain engulfed the area into darkness, even during the day. The weather is expected to continue into the evening.

    In Mardin province, which was the most affected from the storm, the differently-abled, unwell, and pregnant women in public offices were given a day's leave from work.

    Some flights were cancelled due to poor visibility cause by the dust clouds.

  • Shyam Prasad, an ITI student, was going to his house at Koothuparamba on his motorcycle when the unidentified gang came in a car and attacked him at Kommeri Friday evening.

    Though locals rushed him to the government hospital at Koothuparamba, he died on the way. 

    No arrests have been made in connection with the incident. Meanwhile, ABVP alleged that Popular Front of India was behind the killing and demanded that the outfit be banned.

    BJP has called for a dawn to dusk hartal in Kannur distrtict from 6 am to 6 pm on Saturday (January 20).

  • Military will still go to work, the border will still be patrolled, fire folks will be fighting the fires and the parks will be open. But in each of these cases people will not be paid, Director of Office of Management of Budget Mick Mulvaney said.

    The shutdown began at 12:01 am (local time) after a few Republicans joined Democrats in blocking the crucial measure would have provided short-term funding for the Pentagon and other federal agencies.

    Trump blamed the Democrats for the shutdown which comes exactly a year after he was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

    "Dems want a shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the tax cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy," he said. "This is the one year anniversary of my presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present," Trump said.

    "DemocratShutdown. Democrats are holding our military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration. Can't let that happen!" he said in another tweet indicating that he has toughened his position against the Opposition Democratic party.

    "For those asking, the Republicans only have 51 votes in the Senate, and they need 60. That is why we need to win more Republicans in 2018 election! We can then be even tougher on crime (and border), and even better to our military and veterans!" Trump said.

    Despite last minute bipartisan meetings, the bill to fund the government until February 16 did not receive the required 60 votes. The Senate voted 50-48 to block the stopgap funding measure.

    While the Republcian party enjoys a majority of 51 votes in the 100-member Senate, a procedural issue that requires 60 votes for legislations to move forward prevented the shirt- term spending bill pass through the Senate.

    The short-term spending bill was passed by the House on Thursday. This is part of the Democrats strategy to force President Trump and the Republicans to negotiate with them on illegal immigrants who are facing deportation.

    The effect of the shutdown would be felt most from Monday when the federal government employees would not be able to join for their work and be forced to stay at home without pay.

    It is estimated that more than 800,000 federal employees would be furloughed. Only the essential services would be open. The last time that a government shutdown happened was in 2013.

    The White House said it has taken measures so that there is less impact of the government shutdown, but hundreds and thousands of federal government employees are now forced to stay at home till the time the Congress passes the short-term spending bill. For this to happen, the Republican, the Democrats and the White House need to agree on a deal.

    US Vice President Mike Pence, who is on a trip to the Middle East, said that his administration worked in good faith to put a bipartisan deal on the table that would strengthen our borders, end chain migration, eliminate the visa lottery, and deal compassionately with DACA.

    "But rather than solve problems, Democratic leadership preferred a shutdown that has dangerous consequences for our national defence. Their action tonight or lack thereof is unconscionable," he said.

    "Our administration will do everything within our power to support the brave men and women in uniform who stand on the frontlines of freedom. But as of tonight, due to a completely avoidable government shutdown, they'll stand their post without pay," Pence said.

    But the Democrats blamed Trump for the shutdown. "Tonight, on the eve of the first anniversary of his inauguration, President Trump earned an 'F' for failure in leadership," said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

    "President Trump and Congressional Republicans' obsession with passing a tax scam to benefit the wealthiest and corporations has blinded them to their responsibilities to the American people.

    "Despite controlling the House, Senate and White House, the Republicans are so incompetent, so negligent that they couldn't get it together to keep government open," she said.

    In a memorandum to the Department of Defence, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis reassured the nation of taking all necessary steps to protect the nation during the time of government shutdown.

    The White House said that the military will be working without pay.

    "We will continue to execute daily operations around the world - ships and submarines will remain at sea, our aircraft will continue to fly and our warfighters will continue to pursue terrorists throughout the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. "While training for reservists must be curtailed, active forces will stay at their posts adapting their training to achieve the least negative impact on our readiness to fight, Mattis said.

    "I recognize the consequences of a government shutdown. You have my personal commitment that the Department's leadership will do our best to mitigate the impacts of the disruptions and any financial burdens to you and your families," Mattis said.

    Earlier, the Office of Management of Budget said it was preparing for "what we're calling the Schumer Shutdown".

    Mulvaney said that Fanny and Freddy will be open, the post office will be open, the TSA will be open, but again all of these people will be working for nothing, which is simply not fair, he said.

    The last government shutdown lasted for 16 days in October 2013. The previous shutdown before that was for 21 days that ended on January 6, 1996.

    However, this is for the first time in recent history that a shutdown has taken place when both the House and the Senate and the White House is controlled by the same party.

    Trump has cancelled his scheduled weekend trip to Mar-a- Lago in Florida. However, he would continue with his trip to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum meeting next week.

    "Democrats can't shut down the booming Trump economy. Are they now so desperate they'll shut down the government instead?" said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and described it as a "Schumer shutdown".

    Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is the Senate Minority Leader.

  • PM Modi will encapsulate making of 'a new, young and innovative India' in his address.

    He will be accompanied by several ministers and business leaders.  The theme of the WEF Annual Meeting this year is 'Creating a shared future in a fractured world'.

    On 22 January, PM Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Swiss President Berset. PM is expected to have other bilaterals and pull aside meetings including with global CEOs. 

    This will be the first time that India will host the welcome reception, where yoga will also be showcased along with cuisine from across the country. 

    As many as six union ministers, two chief ministers, over 100 CEOs and several other high-profile attendees from India will be are a part of the India contingent at WEF.

    Adding star power, Hindi film actor Shahrukh Khan will talk about creating a change in India through women empowerment.  

    Apart from PM Modi and President Donald Trump, UK's Theresa May, Canada's Justin Trudeau, France's Emmanuel Macron, Brazil's Michel Temer and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu are among the several heads of nations who will be participating in gathering.

    Earlier this month Klaus Schwab the founder and Chairman of WEF described India as an image of optimism and promise. He also hailed PM Modi's 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas' approach. 

    He said India's unique demographic dividend, rising tide of entrepreneurial spirit, breakthrough innovations across sectors, and remarkable pace of bold and structural reforms have boosted the macroeconomic fundamentals and enhanced the country's long-term economic outlook.

    Schwab said India will soon become a force to be reckoned with and will have a great role and influence in shaping a common future.  

    WEF 2018 will also see the largest proportion of women leaders till now, including all co-chairs being women this time. 

     

     

  • In an interview to a private TV channel, he said that India is the world's biggest financial forum and  the world economy is focussed on India. 

    Stating that India's economy is growing rapidly and it has been recognised by the world, including all rating agencies, PM Modi said Davos is a "good opportunity" for the country as it is a big market with the strength of demographic dividend.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that that his government's focus will remain on development and that will be the only agenda for the Budget. PM also said that the quality of life and the benefits of economic development have started reaching the downtrodden and the weaker sections of the society.

    Quality of life, he said, is slowly improving and more spending power has created a huge market of more than a billion. 

    The Prime Minister said his government's achievements can't be measured based on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation and the achievements are far and wide that have impacted the economy as a whole. 

    The PM also supported the pitch for simultaneous general and assembly elections in the country, adding that the repeated and scattered elections are a huge drain on the economy of the nation. When asked about criticism whenever GDP growth slows, PM Modi said it is a good thing since the country's focus has shifted towards economy and growth and added that criticism should not be seen as bad and this is the strength of democracy.

    He added that he will feel proud to tell the success story of 125 crore Indians in Davos. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the world has finally started to take note of India and its immense potential as a market.

    He said that India as a market is an attraction destination for global companies and world now wants to engage directly with India.

    Stating that India's economy is growing rapidly and it has been recognised by the world, including all rating agencies, PM Modi said Davos is a "good opportunity" for the country as it is a big market with the strength of demographic dividend.

     

  • After dismissing Zimbabwe for 154, with left-arm spinner Anukul Roy picking up 4/20, openers Shubman Gill and Harvik Desai chased down the target in 21.4 overs and ensured India went to quarterfinal undefeated. 

    On a bright and sunny day, Zimbabwe captain Liam Roche no hesitation to bat first after winning the toss but as it turned out, their batsmen found the Indian bowling line-up, once again led by the fast bowling duo ShivamMavi and KamleshNagarkoti, tough to overcomes.

    The scoring rate always remained a concern for Zimbabwe. Three of their batsmen - Wesley Madhavere, Milton Shumba and captain Roche - got into the 30s but none could capitalise.

    Every time a partnership looked like getting threatening, the Indian bowlers struck. Zimbabwe batsmen seemed clueless against left-arm spinners Anukul Roy who picked up 4 wickets, and Abhishek Sharma and folded up for 154 in 48.1 overs. They were 110 for three at one stage but lost their last seven wickets for 44 runs.

    India tried a new opening combination in Shubman Gill and Harvik Desai and the move worked wonders. Desai played the perfect second-fiddle role while Gill motored along.

    In all three games, India have lost just seven wickets and have taken all 30 in the tournament so far, which bodes well for the Rahul Dravid-coached side ahead of the knockouts.

    Gill and Desai remained unbeaten on 90 and 56 respectively as the former finished the match in style with a boundary down the ground. This was Gill's second half-century of the tournament, an effort for which he was named Man of the Match.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi all set to make his debut at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He will deliver the opening plenary address on 23rd of January. Prime Minister Modi will encapsulate making of 'a new, young and innovative India' in his address. He will be accompanied by several ministers and business leaders. 

    The theme of the WEF Annual Meeting this year is 'Creating a shared future in a fractured world'. Prime Minister Modi is expected to talk about the recent reforms undertaken by his govt and India's rising economic heft which make India an investment destination for the entire world.

    On 22nd of January, Prime Minister Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Swiss President Berset. Prime Minister Modi is expected to have other bilaterals and pull aside meetings including with global CEOs. This will be the first time that India will host the welcome reception, where yoga will also be showcased along with cuisine from across the country.

    As many as six union ministers, two chief ministers, over 100 CEOs and several other high-profile attendees from India will be are a part of the India contingent at WEF.

    Adding star power, Bollywood king Shahrukh Khan will talk about creating a change in India through women empowerment. 

    Talking of global leaders, apart from Prime Minister Modi and President Trump, UK's Theresa May, Canada's Justin Trudeau, France's Emmanuel Macron, Brazil's Michel Temer and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu are among the several heads of nations who will be participating in gathering.

    Earlier this month Klaus Schwab the founder and Chairman of WEF described India as an image of optimism and promise. He also hailed Prime Minister Modi'sSabkaSaathSabkaVikas approach.

    He said India's unique demographic dividend, rising tide of entrepreneurial spirit, breakthrough innovations across sectors, and remarkable pace of bold and structural reforms have boosted the macroeconomic fundamentals and enhanced the country's long-term economic outlook. Schwab said India will soon become a force to be reckoned with and will have a great role and influence in shaping a common future. 

    WEF 2018 will also see the largest ever proportion of women leaders including all co-chairs being women this time.

  • In a press meet at Kathmandu Friday evening Director of the show Sohail Khan said that 'Da-Bangg"the tour with Salman Khan will have number of other celebrities including Sonakshi Sinha, Prabhu Deva, Kriti Sanon and Maniesh Paul.

    He said that Salman and Sonakshi will be the main entertainers, performing to some of their most popular songs. 

    According to the organizers total 50,000 people including 10,000 foreigners mostly from India are expected to watch the show. 

    The main objective of the event is to promote tourism in Nepal after 2015 earthquake.

  • These nine cities are, Silvassa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Erode in Tamil Nadu, Diu in Daman and Diu, Bihar Sharif in Bihar, Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Kavaratti in Lakshadweep.

  • Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli and other dignitaries were also present in the swearing-in ceremony. 

    Prof Dr Govinda Bahadur Tumbahang sworn in as the Chief of Province 1, Ratneshwar Lal Kayastha of Province 2, Ms Anuradha Koirala Province 3, Baburam Kunwar Province 4, Umakanta Jha Province  5, Durga Keshar Khanal Province 6 and Mohan Raj Malla as governor of Province 7. 

    On Wednesday the cabinet had approved names of temporary capitals and chiefs of all seven provinces of the country.

    Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Nepal has submitted results of state assemblies election to newly appointed Provincial Chiefs. After the promulgation of new constitution in September 2015 Nepal has adopted federalism. 

    First time in the history of the country elections for provincial assemblies were held in two phases on 26 November and 7 December 2017. 

    CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist Center) left alliance registered landslide victory in all states except Province 2. 

    The two major parties of Madhes, Sanghiya Samjawadi Forum Nepal and Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal got majority in Province 2.

    Now newly appointed Governors will administer oath to recently elected members of their respective provincial assemblies. 

     

  • Following Pakistan Prime Minister's 'exoneration' of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, US state department has said that he is a terrorist and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    It also said that US has raised concerns with Pakistan government in this regard.

  • In an unparalleled achievement, the tri-colour was hoisted with great pride by the all-women crew of the Indian Navy who rounded Cape of Horn on Friday. 

    Considered the 'Mount Everest' of sailing, the 'Team Tarini' crossed the roughest passage in the wee hours on Friday. All Woman Crew tweeted pictures of the great achievement.

    Prime Minister NarendraModi congratulated the team. He tweeted "Wonderful news! Delighted that INSV Tarini has rounded Cape Horn in the last few hours. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments."
     

  • Ministry of External Affairs said that India's entry into the group would be mutually beneficial.

  • Two civilians were killed and one BSF jawan martyred while two others got  injured in the  Firing  along International Border in Jammu.

    All border schools have been closed which are falling upto 4 kms from the international border in R S Pura and Arnia sectors.

    Border security force personnel are retaliating effectively.

    Heavy shelling is also being reported from Hira Nagar sector.

    Nirmal Singh condemns firing by Pak in civilian areas

    Condemning the firing by Pakistan in civilian areas, in J&K, the Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Nirmal Singh today extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their dear ones in Pakistan firing.

  • In its recommendation to the President, election commission has said 20 legislators of Aam Aadmi Party be disqualified for holding offices of profit as parliamentary secretaries.

    The President is bound to go by the recommendation of the commission. Petitioners in the case argue that they have sufficient evidence for the disqualification of the MLAs.

    Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party approached the High Court but got no relief from there. Both BJP and congress have sharpened attack on AAP demanding Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's resignation.

    After assuming office in Delhi, the AAP government in March 2015 appointed 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries to its ministers. a petition was filed demanding disqualification of these MLAs for holding office of profit.

     

  • With the focus on creating state-of-the-art sea ports, airports and super highways to connect manufacturing centres to ports with best supporting ecosystem, the exports should pick up faster and maintain a steady growth, he said.

    The Vice President said that Government is giving greater thrust on development of infrastructure, agriculture sector and health sector. These efforts will certainly help Indian economy grow further. The “Make in India” initiative to support India’s Manufacturing sector together with a focus on infrastructure growth and multiple initiatives for boosting domestic demand will further strengthen our economy, he said.

    The Vice President further said that the decisions of the Government including demonetization and GST are expected to have a positive impact in the coming years.  “I am aware of the initial difficulties that the exporters have been facing due to these steps. However, I am sure that the GST Council and the Government have been quite responsive to such teething troubles and have been taking prompt action to address these concerns,” he said.

     

  • Both the Ministers of State for Finance were also present. The Meeting was attended among others by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry, the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Manipur and Tamil Nadu,14 Finance Ministers / Ministers representing their States and Senior Officers from States.

    Representatives from the State Governments presented their views and offered number of suggestions on various fiscal policy and budgetary measures that the Union Government may consider.

    Jaitley stated that the suggestions made by the States / UTs in the meeting and the memorandam submitted by them would be duly examined and suitably considered while formulating the Budget proposals of 2018-19, keeping in consideration with the spirit of cooperative federalism.