News

  • The Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu urged the MEDIA to effectively function as Means of Empowerment for Development through Informed Actions of people. He also stressed on the need for a positive and constructive public discourse in the country on all major issues and reminded the media of it’s role in the same.

  • The fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held under the chairmanship of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. It was attended by 23 Chief Ministers and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, apart from Union Ministers, who are ex-officio members and special invitees.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today delivered closing remarks at the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of  NITI  Aayog. 

    Welcoming the constructive discussion and suggestions made by various Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister assured the gathering that these suggestions would be seriously considered in the course of decision-making.

  • On 17th May, 2018, Government of India took the decision that Security Forces will not conduct offensive operations in Jammu & Kashmir during the holy month of Ramazan. This decision was taken in the interests of the peace loving people of J&K, in order to provide them a conducive atmosphere to observe Ramazan.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today delivered the opening remarks at the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, in Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre in New Delhi.

    Welcoming the Chief Ministers and other delegates, the Prime Minister reiterated that the Governing Council is a platform that can bring about "historic change.

  • The blue skies of Air Force Academy turned vibrant with a colourful march-past by the passing out Cadets on the ground and amazing aerobatics in the air by various aircraft of Indian Air Force on Saturday, which marked the momentous occasion of the graduation of 113 Flight Cadets as Flying Officers of the Indian Air Force which included 13 women officers.

  • Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal reviewed the performance of three Zonal Railways viz North Central Railways, North Eastern Railways & East Central Railways with the General Managers of each zone along with officials of Zonal Railway in Rail Bhavan today i.e.16th June 2018.

  • Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal reviewed the performance of three Zonal Railways viz North Central Railways, North Eastern Railways & East Central Railways with the General Managers of each zone along with officers in Rail Bhavan here today.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that development and environment need not be antithetical to each other, but must foster a complementary and symbiotic relationship. He was interacting with the research scholars, students and faculty of the North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh today.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that peace, both beyond and within the boundaries is crucial for rapid development of our country. He was addressing the gathering after laying foundation stone for Septage Management System and Storm Water Drainage System for the benefit of the people of Itanagar under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Scheme, in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh today.

  • The Foundation of stone of “Auxiliary Production Unit and State-of-the-Art Artificial Limbs Fitting Centre” of Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment was laid by Shri Manohar Lal, Chief Minister of Haryana and Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment at a function  at village Nawada, Tigaon (Ballabhgarh), Faridabad, Haryana today.

  • In a daring and  complex operation, a  Seaking 42 C helicopter from the   Eastern Naval Command  winched down  one MARCO officer on the ill-fated  merchant vessel SSL KOLKATA which had been on fire since the last two days and abandoned by the 22 crew members on 14 Jun18 off the Sagar Island at the mouth of the Ganges Delta.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has conveyed his greetings on the festival of Eid. 

    "Eid Mubarak! May this day deepen the bonds of unity and harmony in our society", the Prime Minister said.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the people on the joyous occasion of Id-ul-Fitr. In a message, he said that Id-ul-Fitr marks the culmination of the holy month of Ramzan and signifies the traditional expression of brotherhood and understanding between people.

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    I. MERCHANDISE TRADE

    EXPORTS (including re-exports)

    Exports during May 2018 were valued at US $ 28.86 Billion as compared to US $ 24.01 Billion during May 2017 exhibiting a positive growth of 20.18 per cent.

  •         Three Mi 17 helicopters of Indian Air Force undertook flood affected areas of the state of Tripura, particularly in the town of Kailashahar on 15 Jun 18.

     

            The helicopters are operating from Radhanagar helipad located about nine kilometers from Kailashahar and 4.1 tons of food and other essential supplies were delivered to the affected people in the area.

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind has greeted fellow citizens on the eve of Idu’l Fitr.

     

    In his message the President has said, “On the auspicious occasion of Idu’l Fitr, I offer my greetings and good wishes to all fellow citizens, and especially to our Muslim brothers and sisters in India and abroad.

  •  

    Commerce Minister addressing the review meeting of sectoral export promotion strategy

    The Department of Commercewill soonopen10 offices in Indian missions abroad for accelerating export promotion activities.

  • Text of PM’s address during his interaction with the beneficiaries of Digital India

  • On the basis of the result of the written  part of the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination (I) 2018 held by the Union Public Service Commission on 22nd April 2018, candidates with the under mentioned  Roll Nos. have qualified for Interview by the Services Selection Board of the Ministry of Defence for Admission to  Army, Navy and Air Force Wings of the National Defence Academy for the 141th Course and for the 103rd Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) commencing from 2nd January, 2019.



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reiterated the NDA government's commitment to provide universal coverage of seven key schemes to 45,000 additio...




  • Government will resume operation against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir after month long suspension during Ramazan. In a series of tweets, ...




  • President Ram Nath Kovind will meet Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Prime minister Alexis Tsipras and leader of Opposition Kyriakos Mitsotakis i...



  • Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has said, the target of replacing bio-toilets with vacuum bio-toilets in trains will be achieved 100 percent by March next year. In an interview to a news agency in New Delhi, the Minister said, some 500 vacuum bio-toilets have been ordered and once the experiment is successful, all the 2.5 lakh toilets in the trains will be replaced with vacuum bio-toilets.



  • In Afghanistan, 18 people were killed and 49 others injured in a suicide attack in Jalalabad today which targetted a crowd celebrating the Eid holiday.



  • India's exports grew by 20 point 18 per cent to 28 point 86 billion dollars in May this year as compared to the same period of last year.



  • In Jammu & Kashmir, two civilians were injured after unknown gunmen opened fire at Trenz village of south Kashmir's Shopian district this evening.



  • In the Football World Cup, Serbia beat Costa Rica by 1-0 in a group E match at Samara today.


  • Suspected Boko Haram militants carried out the suicide attacks and rocket-propelled grenade explosions in Damboa.

     

  • President Ram Nath Kovind stated that Indian diaspora has an emotional connect with India and they will continue to make their contribution towards the development of India.

    He also lauded the role of Indian community as cultural ambassadors in different countries. He was addressing the people of Indian origin settled in Greece.

    The President earlier on Sunday arrived in Athens on the first leg of his 3 nation tour to Greece, Suriname and Cuba. The President will hold bilateral meetings with the Greek leadership on Monday and will lead the India- Greece delegation level talks.

  • The camp was organised by the Embassy of India on Saturday to celebrate International Yoga Day.First time a Yoga Camp was held at 12,500 feet above the sea level at famous Muktinath temple.

    A large number of local people and monks enthusiastically participated in the camp.

    Tourists and pilgrims from Nepal and India also attended the Yoga camp.

    The United Nations General Assembly had unanimously declared  21st June as International Day for Yoga in 2015. Since then Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21 every year across the globe. A number of programmes are being organised in Nepal to mark the occasion.

  • The social network currently bans advertisements for the sale of weapons and modifications, like magazines. But Facebook took an additional step of adding an age requirement for ads selling things like holsters, belt accessories or mounted flashlights, CNET reported.

    For example, advertisements for gun cases, slings and gun paint are allowed, but only with the new age restriction. But those for firearms, ammunition, paintball guns or BB guns are not allowed, it said. The new policy is set to go into effect June 21, it said.

    The announcement comes as the US has been embroiled in a nationwide debate over gun reform. Mass shootings, including school attacks in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, have intensified the discussion.

    Facebook is not the only Silicon Valley company that's waded into the gun debate by restricting the content on its platforms. In March, YouTube, owned by Google, said it will ban videos that promote or link to websites that sell firearms and accessories. The company had already banned videos that attempted to sell firearms. Facebook's advertising and data collection policies have more broadly been under scrutiny as the company deals with the toughest crises in its 14-year history.

    In March, the social network was criticised for a scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, the British political consulting firm, which improperly accessed personal information on up to 87 million Facebook users.

    Facebook's updated advertisements policy could ruffle conservatives and Second Amendment advocates. Some conservatives are already suspicious of Facebook, accusing the social network of liberal bias and suppression of conservative voices.

    On Friday, Facebook updated its advertising policy page with examples of what kinds of firearm ads are and are not allowed on the platform. Facebook said that in the weeks ahead it will work with businesses and organisations that may be affected by the new age restriction policy.

  • In New York, people gathered at the Governors Island in the backdrop of the iconic Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline to participate in the Yoga Day commemoration organised by the Consulate General of India.

    The two-hour event 'Let Yoga Govern Your Life' organised on Saturday by the Consulate General of India in New York, included meditation and a guided yoga session based on 'Common Yoga Protocol' conducted with the help of yoga demonstrators and teachers. People from various backgrounds, accompanied with their families, participated in the yoga sessions, performing the Surya Namaskar, Pranayama, various yoga asanas and breathing exercises.

    Among the highlights of the event was an impressive Mallakhambh performance by children. Specially designed yoga kits and T-shirts were distributed to those in attendance.

    Addressing the gathering, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the Chief Guest for the event, said yoga is a "unique way” to approach an individual's health and well-being. A yoga practitioner herself, Maloney said she considers the ancient practice one of the best ways to exercise and relax at the same time. "Practicing yoga has been shown to decrease stress, fatigue, and alleviate chronic pains, as well as improving physical fitness. I know first-hand the benefits of practicing yoga. It is an essential part of my life, I practice it as often as I can, and it helps me to find balance and peace," she added.

    She said about 15 per cent Americans, over 36 million people, practice the ancient Indian science today, a testament to both the immense benefits of practicing yoga as well as the convenience and accessibility of the discipline to people of all ages and abilities. She added that the long and productive friendship between India and the US has benefited both countries, lauding the Indian-American community for being a vital part of New York City.

    India's Consul General in New York Ambassador Sandeep Chakravorty highlighted yoga's universal appeal and the role of the ancient Indian practice in bringing together the cultures and people of America and India.

    "Nothing better connects the two countries than yoga because it epitomizes and is a good example of our relationship, that something which originated in India is so popular here. Celebrating the 4th International Yoga Day sends out a big message of the importance of yoga in our daily lives- in both the US and India and across the world, Chakravorty said.

    Chakravorty, who joined those present in performing various yoga and meditation exercises, said the extent to which yoga now permeates people's lives is tremendous. Referring to hour-long yoga sessions organized daily at the World Trade Centre buildings, he said yoga has now become part of the corporate culture. Yoga is a rapidly growing trend in the U.S. with an 80% increase in practitioners between 2012 and 2015, according to estimates.

    In Washington, hundreds of health enthusiasts gathered at the iconic US Capitol Saturday morning to flex their body under the guidance of a trained Indian yoga teacher. This venue at the Capitol Hill where presidential swearing in ceremonies are held every four years, this morning experienced one of the largest gatherings of yoga exercises in Washington DC.

    "It shows that huge enthusiasm that yoga has gathered amongst all of us and all over the world," Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Singh Sarna said in his brief remarks to the participants of the fourth International Day of Yoga who had gathered since early morning with their yoga mats at the Capitol overlooking the National Mall. "I think, the day is not far that you will have the whole space between the monument and the Capitol filled up," Sarna told reporters thereafter.

    Yoga was always a popular discipline, but "qualitative and quantitative change" has come since 2014 when under the guidance and inspiration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the United Nations recognized June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, he said.

    "It recognised it through a resolution which had a record co-sponsorship of 177 countries. This is an endorsement like no other, that the world has accepted as the Prime Minister called it one of the ancient gifts of Indian sages to humanity," Sarna said.

    Welcoming the participants, Sarna noted that Yoga is widely embraced by the American people as a survey conducted in 2016 showed that there were 36.7 million Yoga practitioners in the US. In his special message on the occasion, Senator Tim Kaine said that while the idea of International Yoga day is new, the art is built upon ancient Indian principles born of a desire to maintain inner well-being. "Yoga symbolizes unity of mind, body and spirit," Kaine said.

    Congressman Gerald E Connolly said that this celebration is a "testament to the transformative nature of yoga" and the Indian-American community's indelible mark on the cultural fabric of the United States.

  • Government of India has decided not to extend suspension of the operations in J&K against terrorists announced in the beginning of Ramzan, it said. The announcement comes days after senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead in Srinagar.

    Announcing the decision, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government is committed to working for creating an environment free of terror and violence in Jammu and Kashmir. The central government had on May 17 decided that security forces will not conduct offensive operations in J-K during Ramzan.

    “The government commends the role of security forces for having implemented the decision in letter and spirit, in the face of grave provocation, to enable the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramzan in a peaceful manner,” he said.

    “It was expected that everyone will cooperate in ensuring the success of this initiative. While the security forces have displayed exemplary restraint during this period, the terrorists have continued with their attacks, on civilians and security forces, resulting in deaths and injuries,” the home minister said.

    “The security forces are being directed to take all necessary actions as earlier to prevent terrorists from launching attacks and indulging in violence and killings,” he added. “Government will continue with its endeavour to create an environment free of terror and violence in Jammu and Kashmir. It is important that all sections of peace loving people come together to isolate the terrorists and motivate those who have been misguided to return to the path of peace,” the ministry said, adding that ‘operation against terrorists to resume’ in the state.

  • Both fatty and carbohydrate-rich foods activate the reward system in the brain, albeit via different signalling pathways. When carbohydrates and fats come together in the food, this effect is intensified. In nature, there are no foods that contain a high proportion of fats and carbohydrates: Either they are rich in fats, as in nuts, or rich in carbohydrates, as in the case of potatoes or cereals. An exception is breast milk.

    "Probably we are influenced by breast milk to respond intensively to food rich in carbohydrates and fats and perceive this as particularly rewarding, because this is vital," said Marc Tittgemeyer from the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Germany.

    The scientists wanted to know if people show preferences for foods of different calorie sources. To answer this question, 40 volunteers played a computer for food. The offered foods were high in fat, carbohydrates or both. To earn it, the subjects had to outbid the computer and thereby the willingness to pay was examined.

    Most of the money was offered for the high-fat and high-carbohydrate food indicating that it was apparently the most attractive to the participants of the study. While playing, the researchers recorded the subjects' brain activity in a magnetic resonance tomography. The measurements showed that a combination of fats and carbohydrates activates the brain areas of the reward system more intensively than the other foods on offer.

    This finding is consistent with the results of the game. A reward that has contributed to human survival in evolution is destroying us in today's world of abundance. "We are not meant to say no all the time. That's why we usually do not stop eating, even though we're full," said Tittgemeyer.

    Obviously, the reward signals overshadow satiety - over-saturation and obesity are the consequences. In addition, the estimation of the nutritional value of high-fat and carbohydrate-rich food is difficult: asking the participants of the study to estimate the calorie content of the presented food, they succeeded in the high-fat or carbohydrate food relatively accurately.

    In contrast, they were often wrong by foods high in fats and carbohydrates. However, those kinds of foods do not automatically produce more calories. The findings could play an important role in the treatment of overweight people. Especially when eating becomes an addictive factor, the treatment of consumer behaviour is of great importance and a fundamental step out of addiction. 

  • The study, published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organisation, also found that women's representation in local politics is important too - the likelihood of having to bribe is lower in regions with a greater representation of women in local-level politics in Europe.

    "This research underscores the importance of women empowerment, their presence in leadership roles and their representation in government, said Sudipta Sarangi, an economics professor at Virginia Tech in the US. "This is especially important in light of the fact that women remain under represented in politics in most countries," said Sarangi.

    The researchers, including Chandan Jha of Le Moyne College in the US, speculate that women policymakers are able to have an impact on corruption because they choose different policies from men. An extensive body of prior research shows that women politicians choose policies that are more closely related to the welfare of women, children, and family. The relationship is robust to the inclusion of a number of other control variables including economic, cultural, and institutional factors.

    The study also uses a statistical technique, known as the Instrumental Variable analysis, to account for the confounding factors and to establish causality in the relationship. After all it is possible that it is corruption that drives women's participation in politics and not the other way around. Researchers maintain that while the gender-corruption relationship has been studied before, the previous studies suffered from the critique that the relationship between women's representation in government and corruption was not shown to be causal.

    The research is the most comprehensive study on this topic and looks at the implications of the presence of women in other occupations as including the shares of women in the labour force, clerical positions, and decision making positions such as the CEOs and other managerial positions.

    The study finds that women's presence in these occupations is not significantly associated with corruption, suggesting that it is the policymaking role through which women are able to have an impact on corruption.

    Sometimes it is believed that the relationship between gender and corruption may disappear as women gain similarity in social status. This is presumably because as the status of women improves, they get access to the networks of corruption and at the same time learn the know-how of engaging in corrupt activities.

    The results of this study, however, indicate otherwise: the relationship between women's representation in parliament and corruption is stronger for countries where women enjoy a greater equality of status. 

  • While Manuel Neuer finally won his lengthy fitness battle after more than eight months out, Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan were jeered by Germany fans in recent friendlies after posing for a photograph alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos said what is discussed on talk shows should not concern the players, adding: "We are here to play football." The form of Joachim Loew's side is another concern though, an unconvincing win over a Saudi Arabia outfit thrashed 5-0 in the World Cup opener represents Germany's lone victory since romping through qualifying with maximum points.

    "We need the greed, the fire -- it's part of what makes things go off with a bang sometimes in training and on the playing pitch. We will have to fight for every inch," said defender Jerome Boateng. "I think we're known as a team that starts well," he added, saying he feels "better from day to day" after returning from a groin injury.

    Germany defeated Mexico 4-1 on the way to lifting last year's Confederations Cup trophy but Kroos believes that result is of little significance now. "We shouldn't underestimate them, even if it was a clear win at the Confederations Cup last year. We're taking this very, very seriously and, once more for emphasis, because it's our first game at the World Cup."

    Germany are trying to become the first team in 56 years to successfully defend their title, after Brazil in 1962, but Mexico defender Carlos Salcedo believes their Group F opponents are not invincible.

    "We speak a lot about them and we consider them clearly superior," said Salcedo, who signed a four-year deal with Eintracht Frankfurt in May after spending the past season on loan with the Bundesliga club. "But no one is unbeatable. In football, the difference between levels has decreased and there are lots of other factors. "There are just two or three players who can score two or three goals per game, (Lionel) Messi, (Cristiano) Ronaldo and Neymar, who can shake things up with a stroke of individual genius."

    Like Germany, Mexico qualified with ease for a seventh consecutive World Cup after punching their ticket to the finals with three matches to spare. Rafael Marquez, who will retire after the tournament, is set to become just the third player -- after compatriot Antonio Carbajal and Germany's Lothar Matthaus -- to feature at five World Cups. But a number of Mexico players found themselves embroiled in controversy following a farewell party with about 30 prostitutes ahead of their departure for Europe.

    Nine members of the World Cup squad reportedly partied with the women at a private compound in Mexico City following the team's 1-0 win over Scotland earlier this month. Mexican officials ruled out sanctions against the players involved because they attended the party in their free time, but the incident echoed similar scandals in recent years. 

  • The India Meteorological Department daily report predicted light rainfall today in Delhi, reeling under a haze of dust brought by winds from Rajasthan which has raised the air pollution level to "severe". It said the monsoon was hovering over Maharashtra in the west and parts of Odisha, West Bengal and Assam in east and northeast India. Any further advance of the monsoon is unlikely during next 6-7 days due to the prevalence of a weak pattern, it said.

    The weatherman forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places in Konkan & Goa and heavy rain at some places in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam & Meghalaya, sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim, Madhya Maharashtra and coastal Karnataka today.

    According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority, four people lost their lives in flood and landslide related incidents during the past 24 hours. One person died in Mizoram. The total number of people dead in the northeast has risen to 17, officials said. The IMD said dust storm or thunderstorm is "very likely" at a few places over Rajasthan.

    Dust storms this week in western India have led to a thick haze and increased the presence of ultra-fine pollutants in the air in the Delhi-NCR region. The dust storm in Rajasthan today led to cancellation of a Bikaner-New Delhi flight. In Delhi, the air pollution situation improved when compared to a day before, but it remained "severe". Civil construction activities were ordered suspended until today. The weatherman has forecast light rainfall, which should settle the toxic dust particles in the air.

     Rainfall in parts of Punjab and Haryana, including Chandigarh, cleared the haze blanket, while flight operations hit in the two states due to low-visibility resumed on Saturday. The maximum temperature dropped by a few notches after rainfall in the two states. The rainfall brought cheers to paddy growers, readying their fields for transplanting paddy.

    A few places in western and eastern Uttar Pradesh are also likely to experience rain or thunderstorm today, the MeT department in Lucknow said. The day temperature was above the normal in Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur and Moradabad divisions.

    In Odisha, the Similipal Tiger Reserve was closed for visitors from Saturday in view of the monsoon. The STR, spread over an area of 2,750 sq km, attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists because of its varied flora and fauna, including the Black Melanistic Royal Bengal Tiger, and breathtaking waterfalls. The Odisha government also extended the summer vacation in schools by three days owing to the intense heat, a state education department official said in Bhubaneswar.

    Odisha is reeling under sweltering heat with nine places including the state capital recording temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, despite the onset of the monsoon in the state. Widespread rainfall lashed parts of Himachal Pradesh, settling the dust particles in the air. The visibility, however, remained poor due to mist but was expected to improve by tomorrow, Manmohan Singh, director, local Met office, said. 

  • As duties hiked by the US on certain steel and aluminium products would have implications of about $241 million on India, the raise in tariffs proposed by New Delhi too would have an equal implication on America.

    Earlier in May, India proposed to raise duties by up to 100 per cent on 20 products such as almonds, apple and specific motorcycles imported from the US. The additional duty proposed to be hiked on these items ranges from 10 per cent to 100 per cent.

    "The revision is being provided to adjust the products and the tariff rates in accordance with India's rights reserved vide its notification to the Council for Trade in Goods contained in the WTO document...of May 18, 2018. "India hereby reiterates its decision to suspend concessions or other obligations notified to the Council for Trade in Goods on May 18, 2018...of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and Article 8.2 of the Agreement on Safeguards, that are substantially equivalent to the amount of trade affected by the measures imposed by the United States," according to a communication by India to WTO.

    It said that the proposed suspension of concessions or other obligations takes the form of an increase in tariffs on selected products originating in the US, based on the measures of the America.

    "India reserves its right to further suspend substantially equivalent concessions and other obligations based on the trade impact resulting from the application of the measures of the US," it added.

    The country has proposed this move under the WTOs Agreement on Safeguards.

    On March 9, US President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, a move that has sparked fears of a global trade war. Trump signed two proclamations that levied a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.

    Earlier India had stated that these suspensions will come into effect earlier than June 21, 2018, in case the US decides to continue the period of application of the measures. It said that the duty imposed by America has affected steel exports by $198.6 million, while the same on aluminium was $42.4 million.

    The other items include chickpeas, fresh apple, walnut, refined palmolein, motor cycle with engine capacity over 800 cc, diagnostic reagents and threaded nuts. India has also dragged the US to the World Trade Organisations dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium.

    India's exports of steel and aluminium products to America stood at about $1.5 billion every year. Its exports to the US in 2016-17 stood at $42.21 billion, while imports were $22.3 billion.

  • Her Italy visit will be the first major political exchange between India and Italy following the swearing in of Giuseppe Conte as Italy's new Prime Minister on 1st June 2018. 

  • President Ashraf Ghani made the announcement in a rare televised address to the nation, in which he also asked the Taliban to extend their three-day ceasefire, which is due to end Sunday night. So far the group has not responded. "I order the security forces to remain on their defensive positions," Ghani said, adding details of the extension would be released later.

    The government's ceasefire was due to end Tuesday. Ghani's comments came on the second day of Eid, the Muslim holiday that caps the fasting month of Ramadan. It has been marked by incredible scenes of Taliban fighters greeting, embracing and even praying with security forces, politicians, and civilians across the war-battered country, including on the outskirts of the capital Kabul, in a mass outpouring of emotion over the first nationwide ceasefire since the 2001 US invasion.

    Saturday's attack in Rodat district in the eastern province of Nangarhar was the first major incident of violence since the start of Eid. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault on a crowd celebrating the ceasefire, which provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said in a statement killed at least 26 people and over 50 were injured.

    In the contested district of Bati Kot in Nangarhar, Taliban fighters carrying assault weapons and rocket-propelled grenade launchers travelled openly by car and motorbike, waving Afghan and Taliban flags. Afghan forces manning checkpoints offered Eid greetings to the fighters, embracing and posing for photos with the same people they are usually trying to kill. Villagers also flocked around the insurgents, hugging them and happily taking selfies with the fighters as they celebrated Eid.

    The Taliban announced their truce for the first three days of Eid, which started on Friday, promising not to attack Afghan security forces for the first time in the nearly 17-year conflict. They said they would continue attacking US-led NATO troops. That came after Ghani announced that police and troops would cease operations against the Taliban for eight days, starting last Tuesday -- though he warned that operations against other militants, including IS, would continue.

    Ghani's extension of the ceasefire drew immediate international support. NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan and US Forces said in a joint statement they would respect the announcement. Extraordinary images posted on social media purportedly showing Taliban, security forces and civilians celebrating together served as powerful propaganda for both sides and fanned hopes among ordinary Afghans for the ceasefire to continue.

    The unusual bonhomie between the two sides also came as Ghani confirmed that Pakistani Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah had been killed in a US drone strike. US forces targeted Fazlullah in a counter-terrorism strike on Thursday in eastern Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, US officials said, without confirming his death.

    Ghani said Pakistani leaders had assured him the strike was a "great step toward building trust between the two nations," while urging them to "bring (the) Afghan Taliban residing in Pakistan to the negotiation table." Pakistan has long been accused of supporting the Afghan Taliban and providing safe haven to its leaders, charges it denies. 

  • The Group of Seven summit gathering of top industrialized democracies finished in disarray after the US president abruptly rejected its joint statement and bitterly attacked Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

    Behind the scenes, Trump's counterparts were dismayed by his verbal jabs on topics ranging from trade to terrorism and migration, the WSJ said, quoting European officials who were present. At one point, he described migration as a big problem for Europe and said to Abe: "Shinzo, you don't have this problem, but I can send you 25 million Mexicans and you'll be out of office very soon," creating a sense of irritation in the room, according to an EU official.

    The source added that when the topic turned to Iran and terrorism, Trump took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron, saying: "You must know about this, Emmanuel, because all the terrorists are in Paris."

    On Saturday, Macron's office denied the report, saying: "It's all untrue." European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also came under fire and was repeatedly described by Trump as a "brutal killer" in reference to the bloc's antitrust and tax fines against US tech companies that have run into billions of dollars.

    Bitter differences over trade dominated the summit hosted by Canada, with leaders lining up against Trump's threats to impose stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. After rejecting the joint statement, Trump and his top aides assailed Trudeau, accusing him of dishonesty and betrayal.

    Trump on Friday rejected reports of discord, blaming the "Fake News Media" on Twitter for portraying his G7 participation as negative while posting several photos of himself appearing to get along well with his fellow leaders.

  • Beijing retaliated immediately to tariffs on tens of billions in Chinese imports imposed by US President Donald Trump yesterday, igniting a trade war that threatens to cut into the pair's massive bilateral trade -- potentially harming exporters and US multinationals keen on China's huge market.

    Top among American products hit with duties by China are agricultural exports, with soybeans, sorghum, oranges, pork, poultry and beef included in the USD 34 billion in goods targeted for higher border taxes starting next month.

    Agricultural trader Cargill, the largest US private company, called for dialogue between Beijing and Washington so businesses, farmers and consumers would not be caught up in an all-out trade war. "Trade conflict... will lead to serious consequences for economic growth and job creation and hurt those that are most vulnerable across the globe," said Devry Boughner Vorwerk, a vice president at Cargill.

    A spokeswoman for grain trader Archer Daniels Midland also said bilateral dialogue should be pursued, adding that China "continues to be an important export market for American food and agriculture". The announcements cap months of sometimes fraught shuttle diplomacy between Washington and Beijing, in which Chinese offers to purchase more US goods failed to assuage Trump's grievances over a soaring trade imbalance and the country's industrial development policies.

    Beijing has left the door open to negotiations, even as it matched Washington with tariffs and bellicose rhetoric. "The Donald Trump administration has once again proved inconsistent and precarious," state-run newspaper China Daily said in an editorial Saturday. It added that given the "frequent flip-flopping" in the US, "it is still too early to conclude that a trade war will start".

    US trade groups also stepped up their criticism, while some large companies such as Boeing said they were beginning to evaluate the tariffs' possible effects. Boeing garnered about 12.8 per cent of its 2017 revenues from China and is frequently seen as among the more vulnerable US multinationals to a full-on trade war. "We are assessing the impact these tariffs and any reciprocal action could have on our supply chain and commercial business," said Boeing spokesman Charles Bickers.

    "We will continue to engage with leaders in both countries to urge a productive dialogue to resolve trade differences, highlighting the mutual economic benefits of a strong and prosperous aerospace industry," he added. The American Apparel & Footwear Association -- while praising the Trump administration for dropping an earlier plan to place levies on key equipment and machinery used by the industry -- said that China's retaliatory measures could harm American farmers and textile manufacturers and add costs to the industry's supply chain.

    "President Trump is fixated with tariffs, which he believes he can wield freely; but there are grave consequences," said AAFA president Rick Helfenbein. "Congress needs to step in now to end this dangerous obsession."

    Other trade groups opposing the US tariffs included the Business Roundtable and the US Chamber of Commerce. US automakers, which have targeted China as a key growth market, are also slated to be hit by the bruising tariffs.

    American auto giant Ford has sold 338,386 cars thus far in China in 2018, about one-third the number in the US, and had welcomed a Chinese plan to lower tariffs on auto imports. It had even planned to cut prices for its imported Lincoln vehicles. That may be in jeopardy as gas-powered and electric vehicles are due to be slapped with the border tax increase.

  • In a television interview, Abe said his government has contacted the North Korean side "through various channels" in a bid to arrange a meeting with Kim. During historic talks with US President Donald Trump in Singapore on Tuesday, Kim reportedly said he was open to a meeting with Abe.

    Japan wants the talks to push the emotive issue of citizens abducted by the North decades ago, which has seen little movement despite a whirlwind of international diplomacy in recent months. "I want to take a step forward and resolve the (abduction) issue after each of us breaks our mutual distrust," Abe said. "I have a strong sense of mission to resolve the issue under my own responsibility," he added.

    Abe has already said publicly that he would be willing to meet Kim in order to resolve the abduction issue. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is considering talks with his North Korean counterpart on the sidelines of a meeting of ASEAN envoys in Singapore starting in late July, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

    During the interview, Abe expressed a readiness to finance denuclearisation costs in North Korea. In the joint statement following Tuesday's talks with Trump, Kim agreed to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula." "It is natural for Japan and other countries which would benefit from easing fears of nuclear weapons to bear the costs," Abe said.

    But Abe warned that Tokyo has no plan to give financial aid to Pyongyang without a resolution of the abduction issue. The issue of Japanese citizens who were abducted in the 1970s and 1980s to help Pyongyang train its spies has long soured already strained relations between Tokyo and Pyongyang.

    The Japanese government has officially listed 17 people as abductees, but suspects dozens more were snatched. Japan has maintained a hardline position on North Korea despite the stepped-up diplomacy with Pyongyang in recent months, and has been left largely on the sidelines as South Korea, China and the United States have held talks with Kim.

  • Sergio Aguero scored an eye-catching opener for the two-time world champions in the 19th minute but it was almost immediately cancelled out by Alfred Finnbogason, whose team then held on in the face of immense pressure. It was a major embarrassment for Argentina and raises questions about their ability to claim football's biggest prize for the first time since 1986.

    As Diego Maradona looked on at Moscow's Spartak stadium, Messi also failed to respond to his rival Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick for Portugal against Spain a day earlier. Messi is yet to win a major international tournament and time is running out with his 31st birthday looming.

    While the result was not on the scale of that Iceland produced to eliminate England from Euro 2016, it was a major boost for the tiny nation, who retain hopes of advancing from a group that also includes Nigeria and Croatia.

    The island nation of 330,000 is the smallest country to ever qualify for the finals but emphatically showed they can mix it with the heavyweights. In front of a raucous crowd at the 45,000-capacity venue, Iceland launched into some early physical challenges and rattled Argentina.

    They hit on the counter and gave Argentina a scare when Bjorn Sigurdarson pounced on a loose ball only to rifle his shot just wide of the post. Aguero settled Argentine nerves in the 19th minute when he latched onto Marcos Rojo's pass in the box, turned and hammered home with his left foot. True to form, Iceland fought back and Finnbogason netted the equaliser four minutes later, pouncing when Argentine keeper Wilfredo Caballero parried away Gylfi Sigurdsson's shot for a classic poacher's goal.

    Argentina continued to press but Messi was subdued in the face of muscular Icelandic defence and the teams went into the break on even terms. Messi looked furious as he led his team out for the second half but the Argentines still struggled to dominate. They appeared to have secured a breakthrough when Polish referee Szymon Marciniak pointed to the spot after Rurik Gislason brought Maximiliano Meza down in the 63rd minute.

    Messi stepped up for the kick but Hannes Halldorsson guessed correctly and palmed away the Argentine skipper's side-footed effort. His free-kick in the final moments of the game was deflected off the Iceland wall and the Barcelona talisman trudged off the pitch dejected. Argentina must regroup before facing Croatia on Nizhny Novgorod on June 21, while Iceland face Nigeria in Volgograd on June 22.

  • The 36-year-old Swiss will resume his place at the top of the ATP rankings for the sixth time in his career on Monday, beginning a record 310th week at the summit of the men's game. His upward move will leave Rafael Nadal on second as the countdown to Wimbledon intensifies with a fortnight left prior to the start of the grasscourt major.

    Top seed Federer will play for the 98th title of his career on Sunday against Milos Raonic. The Canadian hammered 19 aces to eliminate defending champion Lucas Pouille 6-4, 7-6 (7/3). Federer stands 10-3 over Raonic, Wimbledon finalist in 2016 against Andy Murray.

    The Swiss, who owns 20 Grand Slam singles titles, needed to fight all the way against Austraian threat Kyrgios, playing his first event in two months due to injury. Federer dropped the opening set in a tiebreaker but roared back in the second with a pair of breaks to level at a set each. The third set was tight all the way into the tiebreaker, with Federer erasing a 3-1 deficit.

    The heavy crowd favourite at the Weissenhof Club earned a match point with a high overhead backhand winner and finished off the popular victory seconds later to the roar of fans after just under two hours. Raonic, plagued by injury over the past few seasons, is making his Stuttgart debut.

    The Canadian seventh seed feels his game is starting to fire again. "I have nothing to complain about, everything is going positive," he said. "I'm playing better with each match, I'm there at the important moments in the games, that's an important thing."

    The 35th-ranked Raonic beat the second-seeded Pouille for the third time without a loss in the series and said he is not allowing any thoughts of Queen's club next week or Wimbledon enter his mind. "I'm just concentrating on the job to hand, trying to do it well. If I can play well, I'll be having my chances on the grass."

    The Canadian saved the lone break point he faced while breaking Pouille twice. "Reaching the final is an important step for me," he said. "There is a big difference between playing a semi and a final. "I'm making positive progress, I'm happy with it and hope to keep it up tomorrow."

    Raonic played his last final in May, 2017, losing in Istanbul to Marin Cilic. His last grass final came at 2016 Wimbledon in a loss to Andy Murray.

  • Poulsen made amends for conceding a first-half penalty that was awarded after the referee consulted the VAR system, but which Peru midfielder Christian Cueva blasted over the crossbar. With France having beaten Australia 2-1 in Kazan earlier in Group C, RB Leipzig's Poulsen showed great finishing to hit the winner on 59 minutes to the dismay of the overwhelmingly Peruvian crowd in the 40,502-capacity stadium.

    The win extends Denmark's unbeaten run to 16 games without defeat and end Peru's 15-match unbeaten streak. Peru veteran Paolo Guerrero, who only made it to the tournamenbt after late reprieve for a drug ban, came on for the final 30 minutes but his efforts at the Mordovia Arena came to no avail.

    Authorities in Lima estimate around 25,000 fans flew to Russia to see their team's return to the World Cup and Saransk was a sea of Peru shirts. Their chants were near-deafening on occasion, as were the whistles each time Denmark had the ball or dared to attack. As a result, Peru dominated the opening 25 minutes. Edison Flores, Andre Carrillo and Yoshimar Yotun all kept Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel busy.

    After weathering the early storm, the Danes started to push forward. Midfielder Thomas Delaney had their first chance when his long-range effort went over on 27 minutes. Denmark had to bring on Ajax's Lasse Schone with 36 minutes gone when central midfielder William Kvist was stretchered off.

    A yellow card was shown to Peru midfielder Renato Tapia for sending Pione Sisto tumbling just outside the area, but Christian Eriksen drilled the free-kick off the wall. When Poulsen clipped Cueva's boot on 45 minutes, referee Bakary Gassama checked with the Video Assistant Referee and pointed to the spot for the second penalty awarded through the system of the day after France had also benefited against Australia.

    Cueva took the spot-kick himself but his effort ballooned over the bar. Just moments after Peru wasted a clear chance, when Cueva squared to Andre Carrillo who failed to connect, Denmark scored. The ball was quickly moved forward and when Poulsen went one-on-one with Gallese, the darting Dane hit the net on 59 minutes.

    Guerrero was in the thick of Peru's bid to get level and his header fell into Schmeichel's arms five minutes later. Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, who netted 11 goals in qualifying for Denmark, had to busy himself in defence to snuff out Guerrero-inspired attacks. With just over ten minutes left, Guerrero again went agonisingly close when he pushed his shot past the post as Denmark held on. 

  • Roy's 120 and stand-in captain Jos Buttler's 91 not out took England to a total of 342 for eight as the hosts went 2-0 up in this five-match series. Australia opener Shaun Marsh made 131 to became the first Glamorgan batsman to score an international century at the Welsh county's Sophia Gardens headquarters. But their 304 all out meant world champions Australia had suffered a seventh defeat in their last eight ODI matches.

    The Yorkshire duo of fast bowler Liam Plunkett (four for 53) and leg-spinner Adil Rashid (three for 70) shared seven wickets as England won with 17 balls to spare. It was just over a year ago in Cardiff that struggling Surrey opener Roy, 27, was dropped from the England side that suffered an eight-wicket defeat in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy by Pakistan, the eventual tournament winners.

    Roy though regained his place in and on Saturday he scored 120 -- his fifth hundred in 60 ODIs. It was also his first since he made an England record 180 against Australia in Melbourne in January. Wicket-keeper Buttler, captaining 2019 World Cup hosts England after regular ODI skipper Eoin Morgan was ruled out with a back spasm shortly before the toss, followed up with a 70-ball knock that included two extravagant ramped sixes off successive deliveries from paceman Jhye Richardson.

    The most Australia have ever made batting second to win an ODI is the 334 for eight they made against England at Sydney in 2011. Despite Marsh's heroics, an Australia side missing star batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner, both given year-long bans for their roles in the Cape Town ball-tampering fiasco in March, just fell short. Roy and Jonny Bairstow (42) got England off to a brisk start as, Australia, also without their injured Ashes-winning pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, failed to gain the swing captain Tim Paine had hoped for when he won the toss in overcast conditions.

    Roy, completed a 52-ball fifty before launching Marcus Stoinis into the River Taff End with a superb straight six. The first of two rain breaks came when Roy was on 66 not out. But soon after play resumed, Roy pulled Andrew Tye for six. Come a second rain break, Roy was 91 not out. He kept his concentration and pushed left-arm spinner Ashton Agar for two past point to complete a 97-ball century including nine fours and two sixes.

    Roy was eventually dismissed during an eventful 36th over. Wicket-keeper Paine was struck a nasty blow in the face when a legside wide from Tye bounced unexpectedly high just in front of his gloves. Two deliveries later, Roy drove Tye for a majestic four through the covers. But next ball he was out when Tye took the edge and Paine held a superb one-handed catch as he dived to his left.

    Marsh was dropped twice at midwicket by Bairstow and substitute Tom Curran on his way to a 95-ball century, which included 10 fours and three sixes. Agar (46) offered Marsh excellent support in a sixth-wicket stand of 96 before he was stumped by Buttler off Rashid. The wicket England needed came when Plunkett bowled Marsh with a full delivery to leave Australia 293 for eight. England, who beat Australia 4-1 in an ODI series 'Down Under' in January, will take an unassailable 3-0 lead if they win Tuesday's day/night clash in Nottingham.

  • In Russia's sleepy European exclave of Kaliningrad -- perhaps best known for its nuclear missile sites -- the much-hyped youngsters of Nigeria struggled to ignite against Croatia's midfield technicians yesterday. With rivals Argentina and Iceland only managing a 1-1 draw earlier in the day in Saransk, both sides had a chance to take control of Group D.

    Nigeria, knowing they were always likely to struggle for possession against a central one-two of Modric and Ivan Rakitic, were content to sit back and allow Croatia to come to them. But they were rigid and well-organised, and largely restricted Modric's distribution to the flanks, where Croatia's final ball was poor. After 10 minutes, Juventus target man Mario Mandzukic teed up Ivan Perisic at the edge of the area only for the Inter Milan forward to blaze over.

    Croatia, semi-finalists at France '98, have struggled to live up to the lofty expectations borne of an embarrassment of midfield riches, and meekly lost their World Cup opener 3-1 to hosts Brazil four years ago.

    There is a sense of now-or-never for the Balkans nation at this tournament, in stark contrast to Nigeria, who brought the competition's youngest squad to Russia. Coach Gernot Rohr kept faith in 19-year-old keeper Francis Uzoho but the Deportivo stopper's first real action was picking the ball out of the net. Just after the half-hour mark, Mandzukic, industrious in his hold-up play, chested a Andrej Kramaric cross back to Ante Rebic, whose fizzing shot was blocked.

    The resulting corner saw Rebic return the favour with a near-post flick on met by a diving Mandzukic. Etebo was wrong-footed and bundled into his own net. Nigeria responded well, with Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi's shot from a cleared free kick blocked on 45 minutes and his Premier League colleague Victor Moses shooting wide from 30 yards on the stroke of half time.

    The Super Eagles had the best of the start of the second period, forcing Croatia to bat away three corners in succession, before Moses again snatched a shot wide of Danjiel Subasic's left upright. But just as Nigeria showed some signs of life, William Ekong held down Mandzukic from a cross in the area and referee Sandro did not hesitate to point to the spot.

    Modric's gilded right foot guided it to Uzoho's right side. The Real Madrid maestro was not at his best for much of the night, but in truth he did not need to be as Nigeria looked ponderous on the ball and crucially short of big-game experience. Despite fears pre-match, there were no reports of any racist chanting from among the near-capacity crowd. 

  • Referee Andres Cunha from Uruguay did not initially award a spot-kick but after viewing the VAR footage, ruled it was a penalty and Griezmann coolly slotted past Socceroos' goalkeeper Mathew Ryan at the Kazan Arena.

    Australia were quick to respond as Jedinak converted a penalty. Finally Pogba's winner, confirmed by goal-line technology, ensured France started the tournament with three points.

    Lionel Messi-led Argentina opened their FIFA World Cup 2018 campaign against World Cup debutants Iceland on Saturday in Moscow.

    Messi seemed to have a forgetable day as he missed a penalty that would have given Argentina the lead in a tight second half. Sergio Aguero scored for Argentina in the 19th minute, but Iceland levelled quickly through Alfred Finnbogason in the 23rd.

    After that, the match was tight with Iceland defending Argentina's strong attack, making it difficult for them to score. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

  • The festival was marked with feasts and the meeting of families, relatives, and friends, where they exchanged greetings and gifts with each other.

    President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greeting to fellow citizens on the occasion.

    Eid celebrations were also held at BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain's residence in Delhi.

    Senior BJP leader LK Advani, his daughter Pratibha Advani, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi and filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar attended the celebrations.

  • Nearly 1 Lakh people have taken shelter at temporary relief camps. Relief materials are being distributed by the district administrations in the affected areas. Flood waters disrupted road communication at many places.

    In Tripura, normal life is returning after the flood. State Emergency operation center officials said that the rescue operation is going on in Kailashahar subdivision of Unakoti district.

    Meanwhile a mild dust storm on Saturday  brought respite from heat in the National Capital Region (NCR). Several parts of Delhi, Noida and Faridabad witnessed gusty winds accompanied with dust.

  • Speaking on the occasion, the Vice President said urbanisation is on rise and good drainage system, proper water supply and rain water harvesting are crucial for urban transformation and to build smart cities.

    He underlined the importance of development of north east states and said because of frontier areas their development is equally important.

    He also said problems of urban infrastructures  in North East states has to be solved collectively and  said internal resources has to be increased by states too for developmental works.

    The Vice president also interacted with students and faculty at North Eastern Regional Institute of Science & Technology at Nirjuli near Itanagar.

  • Delivering his closing remarks, at the fourth meeting of the NITI Aayog Governing Council, the Prime Minister asked the Aayog to follow up with the States on the actionable points made by them within three months.

    He said that on the lines of the 115 aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog, States can define their own parameters to identify 20 percent of the total blocks in the State as aspirational blocks.

    He reiterated the Union Government's commitment to provide universal coverage of seven key schemes to 45,000 additional villages in 115 Aspirational Districts, by August 15th, 2018.

    Elaborating on the Union Government's guiding principle of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, the Prime Minister said the schemes of the Union Government are no longer limited to certain people, or to certain regions, and are reaching everyone without discrimination, in a balanced way.

    The Prime Minister said that all villages of the country are now electrified, and under Saubhagya Yojana, 4 crore houses are now being provided with electricity connections.

    He said rural sanitation coverage has increased from less than 40 percent to about 85 percent in four years.

    He said that after the implementation of the Jan Dhan Yojana, the entire population of the country will be connected to the banking system.

    Similarly, he said the Ujjwala Yojana is providing access to cooking gas, and Mission Indradhanush is working towards universal immunization. He said the Union Government is working towards providing housing for all by 2022.

    He called upon all Chief Ministers to contribute their efforts towards this objective of 100 percent implementation of schemes for the welfare of the poor.

    The Prime Minister said that the implementation of these welfare schemes is also bringing about a behavioral change in lives of people.

    The Prime Minister said that Swachh Bharat Mission is being discussed around the world. He called upon all present, to work towards 100 percent sanitation coverage by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

    Speaking on the economy, the Prime Minister said that the world expects India to become a five trillion dollar economy soon. He encouraged States to give fresh ideas to the Finance Commission, for incentivizing outcome-based allocations, and expenditure correction.

    The Prime Minister called for widespread debate and consultations on simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas, keeping in view various aspects such as the resulting financial savings and consequent better utilisation of resources.

    Earlier, in the day, the Prime Minister said that the Governing Council of NITI Aayog has approached complex issues of governance as "Team India" in the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism.

    Delivering his opening remarks during the fourth meeting of the council, the Prime Minister described smooth rollout and implementation of GST as a prime example of this.

    The Prime Minister assured the Chief Ministers from flood-affected States that centre would provide all assistance to them, to deal with the situation.

    He added that India has no shortage of capabilities, capacities and resources for achieving the dream of New India.

  • Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of mortars on routine Indian Army patrol, 700 metres inside Indian territory in Naushera sector along the Line of Control on Saturday morning.

    In the exchange of fire, Rifleman Bikas Gurung hailing from Manipur was grievously injured and later he succumbed to his injuries. Army troops guarding the borderline retaliated the firing effectively and exchange of fire lasted for half an hour.

    Meanwhile, Hundreds of mourners joined the last rites of Army jawan Aurangzeb. He was laid to rest with full military honours. The jawan was abducted by terrorists and his body was found in Pulwama's Gusoo, on 14 June. He was proceeding on leave for Eid when was abducted by terrorists.

  • Addressing a function to mark the Birth Anniversary of Maharana Pratap in Udaipur  Col. Rathore said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to unite the country to meet the challenges from external and internal threats.

    He added that fighting corruption is the priority of the government.

    He said that the way Maharana Pratap ji faced challenges by uniting people of every caste and community, citizens of the country should unite in building 'New India,' and that will be a tribute to Maharana Pratap ji.

    He also said that image of India has improved in the past four years with government at the centre making all efforts to hold dialogue with various countries of the world. On the occasion, the minister also released a book- Bemisaal Udaipur- 2014 to 2018.

    He added that fighting corruption is the priority of the government.

  • During his four day tour to the Hellenic Republic of Greece, President Kovind will meet Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras. The leader of opposition, Kyriakos Mitsotakis will also call on him. 

    During his stay in the Greek capital, President will visit many places of historical and archeological importance

    The President is also scheduled to address the Indian community today. Meeting with an Indian business delegation as well as India- Greek business Forum is also on the agenda.

  • Earlier, the first session of the second day remained a mixed bag as Hardik Pandya scored his half century to take up India's total over 400. The tailenders Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma added handy 33-runs at fast pace to take the hosts to 474 before they were bowled out in the first innings. 

  • He returned home on Thursday from the US, where he underwent treatment for a pancreatic ailment for three months.

    The Chief Minister started his day with a visit to the Devki Krishna temple at Khandola village in North Goa and the Mahalaxmi temple in Panaji.

    Thereafter, he went to his office in the state secretariat at Porvorim and chaired a meeting of senior bureaucrats and police officers to take stock of the law and order situation in Goa.

    In a video released later, Parrikar assured the people of Goa that he will "always be there for the welfare and development" of the state and will continue to serve them. He thanked the people for their prayers for his speedy recovery.

  • In Kerala, at least 16 people have been killed in rain related incidents in the past one week. Heavy rains also led to a landslide in Kozhikode killing at least 8 people. NDRF teams were deployed for rescue operations and for locating those missing. Rains have led to floods and landslides in several parts of the state, Northern Kerala in particular.

    In the north east, floods caused by heavy rains have thrown life out of gear in several parts. Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura are worst affected.

    In Assam, thousands of people have been affected due to heavy rains in the past 48 hours, Rains have also disrupted train services due to landslides. NDRF and SDRF teams have been deployed.

    In Tripura, the flood situation deteriorated with the rain-fed Khowai river inundating fresh areas rendering thousands homeless and damaging roads and crops. Administration has shifted those affected to elief camps. Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb undertook an aerial survey of the flood hit areas. Additional NDRF teams have been posted in the state to expedite rescue operations.

    In Manipur, with the rain easing off, flood situation has slightly improved in capital Imphal, however, it continues to be grim in the outskirts of the city. In Thoubal and Imphal West districts, flood situation is still worrying.

    With thousands of houses damaged, several thousand people have been moved out of the area and provided shelter at relief camps. Given the seriousness of the situation, state government had declared school holidays on 14 and 15 June.

    In Uttarakhand, several parts of the state also received rainfall. An alert was issued in the state for 14th and 15th June.

    The Delhi NCR region continues to remain enveloped in a blanket of dust. Met department has said that dust storms emerging from Rajasthan were the reason being the dust cover in Delhi NCR and adjoining areas. Delhi's air quality remained severe for the fourth consecutive day on Friday, even as authorities expressed hope that the condition would improve with strong winds expected to clear the stagnant air.

    Government and the met department have said that Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are expected to receive rains in the next 24 hours and they would improve the situation.

    As the national capital region struggled with severe dust pollution, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had on Thursday ordered stoppage of all civil construction activities across the city till Sunday. The move came as part of emergency measures which also include intensifying mechanical road sweeping. 
     

  • One of the four suspects in the murder was taken into custody. The day also saw hundreds of mourners turning out at the late journalist's funeral procession.

    The newspaper Rising Kashmir, people across the political spectrum and the media fraternity paid heart-felt tributes to Bukhari.

    An independent voice and a proponent of peace in Kashmir....who actively worked towards that end.

    On Thursday evening, news broke of the killing of a senior journalist from Kashmir, the Editor of English daily Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari who was gunned down in the heart of Srinagar.

    The attack claimed his life and that of his two security guards.

    Even 24 hours after the editor's murder, the question on everyone's mind was why was a voice of reason silenced?

    On Friday, hundreds of mourners in Kashmir joined Shujaat Bukhari's funeral procession. The funeral took place in his ancestral village Kreeri in Baramulla.

    Despite heavy rain, crowds of villagers, friends and colleagues followed the procession through the streets of the village.

    Among those who took part in the funeral and visited his ancestral home were Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, ministers from the ruling PDP and the BJP and opposition leader Omar Abdullah.

    Srinagar Police released photographs of suspects caught on CCTV footage and termed the attack as a terror incident. He said that an SIT has been formed, which is headed by DIG central Kashmir and the fourth suspect has been taken into custody.

    There was all round condemnation of his killing. People across the political spectrum and the common man unequivocally condemed the dastardly act inside and outside J&K.

    The Editors Guild of India, The Press Club of India, Jammu Press Club....all condemned the editor's killing in strongest terms.

    A day after his killing, newspaper Rising Kashmir paid a heartfelt tribute to its late editor-in-chief with his full-size black-and-white photograph on its front page against a black background.

    The govt has said that it is committed to the freedom of the press

    Thursday was brought the grim news of Indian Army Rifleman Aurangzeb being killed by hi abductors....His bullet-ridden body was found in Pulwama's Gusoo...hours after he was abducted by terrorists.

    The army paid tributes to the martyr in a wreath laying ceremony in

    Union Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted his condolences saying, 'The killing of Shujaat Bukhari, a respected editor, along with the kidnapping and killing of a soldier are highly condemnable acts.  My sympathies for the bereaved families'

    He joined Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Rajyavardhan Rathore and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in condemning the attacks.

    Friday was not bereft of violence. Five persons, including two policemen, were injured as terrorists opened fire on a security forces' party carrying out random vehicle checking in Kak Sarai area of the city.

    Meanwhile the Centre underscored the positive impact of the suspension of operations in the state during Raman.

    He also said that the government would take a call on whether to extend the suspension of operations or not.

    It seems that terrorists frustrated by peace initiatives are not only targeting the common Kashmiri but also peaceniks.

  • Egyptian fans, meanwhile, will hold their breath to see if prolific Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah really has recovered from the shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final as the Pharaohs take on Uruguay.

    But after host nation Russia's rousing 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the tournament opener, the highlight of the day will be Spain's clash with Cristiano Ronaldo's European champions in Sochi. The Spanish team had been tipped as one of the favourites to win the trophy for a second time after a two-year unbeaten run under Lopetegui.

    But Wednesday's snap decision by the Spanish Football Federation to dump Lopetegui, after he announced he would take over at Real Madrid post-tournament, has left the team reeling.

    Former Real Madrid stalwart Fernando Hierro has been thrown into the deep end as head coach, with little coaching experience and huge pressure on his shoulders.

    Captain Sergio Ramos and Hierro put on a united front yesterday as they contemplated the opening Group B meeting against their neighbours and arch-rivals following two days of chaotic upheaval. "There is nobody better than Fernando. He was a great player and has known us for a long time," said Ramos.

    Real's appointment of Lopetegui could, the federation apparently feared, have opened up Spanish football's age-old faultline between the squad's Madrid and Barcelona-based players. Ramos, who also skippers Real Madrid, insisted this week's events had not upset any relationships. "There are no cracks. We are all individuals and we all think differently, but the collective idea is the same -- we are here to go for the World Cup," he said.

    Almost 5,000 kilometres away, Lopetegui was being unveiled as the new Madrid coach. The 51-year-old described the day he was sacked as "the saddest day of my life since the death of my mother".

    Ronaldo and Portugal have enjoyed a calmer build-up but the 33-year-old reigning World Player of the Year knows that Russia is probably on his last chance to win a World Cup. The Real Madrid superstar could play on for years yet, but it is difficult to imagine him leading Portugal to glory in Qatar in 2022.

     

  • Interacting with beneficiaries of Digital India via the namo app, Prime Minister said that Digital India was launched with a simple focus to ensure more people can benefit from the joys of technology, especially in rural areas.

    He also underlined the importance of increased use of home grown Rupay card and appealed to everyone to adopt it for digital transactions.

    Prime Minister Narednra Modi interacted with beneficiaries of the various Digital India programs via the namo app. He told the beneficiaries that the initiative has brought in a huge change in the social order.

    He said that government launched Digital India with a very simple focus - to ensure more people can benefit from the joys of technology, especially in rural areas.

    Prime Minister made a pertinent point when he said that the digital India is a war against corruption and culture of commission and middle men in getting the work done.

    He further warned them that many people with vested interests are spreading false rumours and canards about the efficiency of Digital India. 

    He said that the National knowledge network, which connects 1700 research and educational institutions, is a high speed Gigabite network and provides a strong support to Digital India.

    He also said that the common service centres are providing facilities to the people at their doorsteps.

    Prime Minister's interaction with the beneficiaries was a healthy communication with many beneficiaries recounting their success stories with the help of digital India initiative.

    The Prime Minister has already interacted with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana through the Namo App.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed Digital India initiative as an effective instrument in a decisive war against corruption and touts.

    Interacting with beneficiaries of Digital India via the namo app, PM said that digital India was launched with a simple focus...to ensure more people can benefit from the joys of technology, especially in rural areas...He also underlined the importance of increased use of home grown Rupay card and appealed to everyone to adopt it for digital transactions.

    Prime Minister made a pertinent point when he said that the digital India is a war against corruption and culture of commission and middle men in getting the work done. He added that today the middle men are a worried lot because of digtial India.

    The beneficiaries of Digital India shared their experiences with the Prime Minister. They told him how their lives have been transformed through initiatives like Common Service Centers which are churning out village level entrepreneurs and generating employment at the local level.

  • Dhawan bludgeoned the rookie Afghan bowlers into submission with a power-packed unbeaten 104 (91 balls) while Murali Vijay (41 no off 72 balls) held one end up with the home team setting the foundation for what promises to be a mammoth first innings total.

    Incidentally Dhawan became the first ever Indian batsman to score a century in the first session of a Test match joining the illustrious ranks of Sir Don Bradman, Victor Trumper, Majid Khan, David Warner.

    Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons' statement about "not knowing what it's all about till you get there" seemed prophetic as the talented bunch of cricketers got their introductory lessons in red ball cricket from two openers, who have played 85 Test matches between themselves.

    Rashid Khan (7-0-51-0) the reigning crown prince of 24-ball spells, received a harsh treatment from Dhawan, who smacked him for three boundaries to complete a half-century in 47 balls. Dhawan also hit a flowing cover drive off Rashid to complete his hundred as Vijay also frustrated the minnows with his watertight technique. Call it irony, Dhawan stepped out to hit straight sixes off Afghanistan's three IPL participants, Rashid, Mohammed Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahaman with effortless ease.

    In all, Dhawan hit 19 boundaries and three huge sixes while Vijay had six boundaries and a six to show for his efforts. The 25 boundaries and four sixes in the first session was a testimony that there is a long road that Afghanistan need to travel.

    The hapless bowlers struggled with the 'Test match length', especially the spinners who are used to ball flat and quick. The moment Rashid or Mujeeb (0/32 in 4 overs) tried to flight, Dhawan would step out, if they upped the pace of the deliveries, they were cut forcefully.

    At the onset, opening bowler Yamin Ahmadzai (4-1-18-0) bowled a few sharp outswingers before leaving the field with a muscle pull. He did comeback at the stroke of lunch but leaving the field when he was hitting some kind of rhythm did hamper Afghan skipper Ashgar Stanikzai's plans.

    The other new ball bowler Wafadar was angling it across the left-hander and Vijay faced him more to wear him out and take advantage of the spinners.

  • They are eager to show their breathtakingly beautiful city to the world, befittingly enough, through the 'Beautiful Game's' quadrennial showpiece.

    For some, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, starting Thursday, is President Vladimir Putin's equivalent of China's 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. And the hosts are waiting for their guests as they seek to present their motherland in a different light, without the Soviet era stereotypes, without the haunting stories of the past, told and retold by her adversaries to define the country, whose map was torn apart by history.

    "FIFA World Cup means people from all over the world will converge here. They will stay here and know about Russia and go back with a different image. The perception will change and the spectators will see it in a different light, a local said, two days before the start of the tournament.

    Unfortunately enough, observers say there has been no equivalent of the PR campaign witnessed prior to the Sochi Winter Olympics, what with the local media playing down the World Cup due to the national team's rapid decline in fortunes.

    For a city gearing up to host one of the world's biggest sporting events, the initial build-up had been a bit subdued, but it gathered steam as the tournament's dates approached. Thousands of foreign journalists are set to descend on the country for the one-month extravaganza. Many writers and photographers from countries, which are not even part of the tournament, are already at work. But that's how it has always been such is the allure of FIFA World Cup.

    The lure is not lost on Russia and even the recent failures of Sbornaya, as the national team is called, have failed to dampen its spirit as far as successfully organising the tournament is concerned. Be it from hospitality to organising the games.

    The hulking security guard on every corner can be a put-off but the helpful locals more than make up for the stare with their smiles. Known to house some of the world's costliest hotels, the enigmatic city has opened itself for travellers, the frugal ones included -- from across the world.

    But the picture turns grim when the focus shifts to the national team's pre-tournament results and prospects. By chance (or whatever), Russia have been drawn into a group that has been called by many as the weakest in the history of Worlds Cup.

    While Uruguay are the frontrunners by some distance to top the group, teams such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia give the host nation a chance, but still people here don't seem to be too optimistic of their side shining. But they seem to care that the organisational aspect is important.

    Authorities are leaving no stone unturned to draw attention to the World Cup, Russia's first ever in the tournament's 88-year-old existence. As part of the build-up, a light show is organised everyday near the famous Red Square, there are football and World Cup-themed hoardings on buildings, a tournament branding is seen in front of Manege museum. The Russian capital has dressed itself in a colourful World Cup look.

    With 12 matches, including the opening and the final on July 15, Moscow leads the host venues. The famous Luzhniki Stadium will host the opening game, as well as round-of-16 matches, one semifinal and the final. The city's Spartak Stadium will host four group-stage matches and a round-of-16 game.

  • The striker and Egyptian superstar, who is nursing an injured shoulder, is crucial to the north African side's hopes of making it out of a weak-looking Group A also featuring the hosts and Saudi Arabia.

    Egypt play Uruguay -- tipped by some to be dark horses -- in Yekaterinburg in just the second game of the tournament, following Russia against Saudi Arabia in the opening match.

    Salah, who turns 26 on the day of the game, gave 100 million frantic Egyptians a massive boost on Wednesday when he joined a squad training session at their Grozny base.

    He had been sidelined since suffering a shoulder injury in Liverpool's Champions League final loss to Real Madrid on May 26, casting severe doubt on his World Cup participation. He went through a range of warm-up exercises with his team-mates, but Egyptian team officials are giving little away.

    "There's a good degree of progress but no definitive decision on whether he takes part, as we are following his case day by day," team director Ihab Lahita told reporters.

    Egypt's 62-year-old Argentine coach Hector Cuper will conduct a pre-match press conference on Thursday, but there are suggestions that he wants to see Salah train again before making any decision on whether the player is fit to face a Uruguay side boasting the twin attacking threat of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

    The most likely outcome is that Salah, one of the outstanding players in the world this season as he helped propel Liverpool to the Champions League final, will be on the bench on Friday.

    Salah's World Cup dream was left on the brink when he exited the final in tears after Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos wrestled him to the ground. Cuper has attempted to dismiss the notion that Egypt are a one-man side, but with 44 goals in all competitions this season for Liverpool, Salah's badly timed injury has become a national obsession back home.

    Salah is regarded as a contender for the Ballon d'Or for his spectacular debut season at Anfield, alongside Argentina's Lionel Messi, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar of Brazil.

    The tournament in Russia will be the poorer for Salah missing out and Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera has expressed hope that Salah will play against the South Americans. "I like the best players to play, I train with the best and I want the best players to play," said Muslera. Egypt, a no-frills side who play on the counterattack under the wily Cuper, face hosts Russia on Tuesday and the Saudis on June 25 in their last group game. 

  • Two-fifths of that ice loss occurred in the last five years, a three-fold increase in the pace at which Antarctica is shedding its kilometres-thick casing, a consortium of 84 scientists reported in the journal Nature.

    The findings should dispel any lingering doubts that the continent's ice mass is shrinking, the authors said. They also highlight the existential threat facing low-lying coastal cities and communities home to hundreds of millions of people.

    "We now have an unequivocal picture of what's happening in Antarctica," said co-lead author Eric Rignot, a scientist at NASA's Jet propulsion Laboratory who has been tracking Earth's ice sheets for two decades. "We view these results as another ringing alarm for action to slow the warming of our planet."

    Up to now, scientists have struggled in determining whether Antarctica has accumulated more mass through snowfall than it loses in meltwater run-off and ice flows into the ocean. But more than two decades of satellite data -- the new findings draw from 24 separate space-based surveys -- have finally yielded a more complete picture.

    Covering twice the area of the continental United States, Antarctica is blanketed by enough ice pack to lift global oceans by nearly 60 metres (210 feet). More than 90 per cent of that frozen water sits atop East Antarctica, which has remained mostly stable even as climate change has driven up Earth's average surface temperature by a full degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

    Some studies had suggested a net gain in mass over recent decades. West Antarctica, however, has proven far more vulnerable to global warming, especially the Antarctic Peninsula, where more than 6,500 sq km of ice shelves have sheared off into the sea since 1995.

    Already floating, ice shelves breaking off into icebergs do not add to sea level. But massive glaciers on West Antarctica slowly gliding seaward hold enough water to push oceans up by 3.5 metres (11 feet). Two of these glaciers -- Pine Island and Thwaites -- have accelerated and are today seen as unstable. Together, they act as corks holding back ice mass further inland from falling into the ocean.

    Nearly all of the mass shed over the last quarter century has come from West Antarctica, the study found. Ice loss of 2.7 trillion tonnes since 1992 added about eight millimetres to sea level. "Whilst there's still considerable uncertainty about East Antarctica mass balance, it is increasingly clear that ice loss from West Antarctica has accelerated," said Kate Hendry, a researcher at the University of Bristol, commenting on the findings.

    On current trends, Antarctica could become the single largest source of sea level rise, ahead of runoff from the Greenland ice sheet and mountain glaciers, and the expansion of ocean water as it warms, the study found. Oceans are currently rising by 3.4 millimetres (0.13 inches) per year.

    Since 1993, the global ocean watermark has gone up by 84.8 mm (3.3 inches). By century's end, sea level -- compared to a pre-industrial benchmark -- could increase from a few dozen centimetres to a metre or more, depending in part on efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

    Under any scenario, oceans will continue to rise for several centuries, scientists say.

    In the two decades prior to 2012, Antarctica lost about 76 billion tonnes annually, according to the new findings. Since then, that figure has jumped, on average, to 219 billion tonnes. "There has been a step increase in ice losses from Antarctica during the past decade," said Leeds University professor Andrew Shepherd, co-leader of the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Exercise (ISMBE).

    "The continent is causing sea levels to rise faster today than at any time in the past 25 years." Scientists not involved with the study lauded its methodology. "The power of this research is that it brings together independent methods and results from a collection of different teams throughout the world," noted Twila Moon, a scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado. They also said governments should take note.

    "The outcome is deeply concerning," commented Imperial College London professor Martin Siegert, who did not take part in the study. "We appear to be on a pathway to substantial ice-sheet loss in the decades ahead, with longer term consequences for enhanced sea level rise. "If we aren't already alert to the dangers posed by climate change, this should be an enormous wake-up call," he added.

     

  • Almost two-thirds of the world's children under one year old, nearly 90 million, live in countries where their fathers are not entitled by law to a single day of paid paternity leave, the UNICEF analysis said.

    India and Nigeria, which have high infant populations, are among the 92 countries do not have national policies in place that ensure new fathers get adequate paid time off with their newborn babies.

    The UN agency noted that around the world, momentum for family-friendly policies was growing. It cited the example of India, where officials are proposing a Paternity Benefit Bill for consideration in the next session of Parliament which would allow fathers up to three months of paid paternity leave.

    Noting that much work remains to be done, UNICEF said in eight countries across the world, including the United States which is home to nearly four million infants, there was no paid maternity or paternity leave policy. Other countries with high infant populations, including Brazil and Congo, all have national paid paternity leave policies, albeit offering relatively short-term entitlements.

    "Positive and meaningful interaction with mothers and fathers from the very beginning helps shape children's brain growth and development for life, making them healthier and happier, and increasing their ability to learn. It's all of our responsibility to enable them to fill this role," UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.

    Evidence suggests that when fathers bond with their babies from the beginning of life, they are more likely to play a more active role in the child's development.

    Research also suggests that when children positively interact with their fathers, they have better psychological health, self-esteem and life-satisfaction in the long-term, the UNICEF said. UNICEF urged governments to implement national family-friendly policies that support early childhood development, including paid paternity leave, to help provide parents with the time, resources and information they need to care for their children.

    Earlier this year, UNICEF modernised its approach to parental leave provisions, with up to 16 weeks of paid leave for paternity across all of its offices worldwide, the first United Nations agency to extend such leave beyond the standard four weeks.

    "We cannot be 'For Every Child', if we are not also 'For Every Parent'. We have to ask more of governments and more of employers if we're going to give fathers and mothers the time and resources they need to nurture their children, particularly during the earliest years of a child's life," Fore said.

    The new analysis forms part of UNICEF's 'Super Dads' campaign, now in its second year, which aims to break down barriers preventing fathers from playing an active role in their young children's development. The campaign celebrates Father's Day, recognised in more than 80 countries in June, and focuses on the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of young children's brains. 

  • High pollution levels in Delhi are mainly due to the dust storms from the desert state, the ministry said after air quality in the national capital deteriorated beyond "severe" level.

    It has also alerted major construction agencies, municipal corporations and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to ensure water sprinkling, and asked Delhi's Chief Secretary to issue appropriate instructions in the matter to the agencies concerned.

    The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) also convened an urgent meeting of the Task Force regarding implementation of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and issued necessary directions to contain local dust sources.

    The air quality in Delhi deteriorated beyond the "severe" level because of a ground-level dust storm in western India which increased coarser particles in the air, the Central Pollution Control Board data showed. The CPCB data showed that the PM10 (particles with diameter less than 10mm) level was beyond "severe" at 778 in Delhi-NCR area and 824 in Delhi particularly, leading to hazy conditions and limiting visibility.

    The CPCB said the pollution of this season was very different from that of last year.

    In November last year, both PM2.5 and PM10 had spiked which was posing serious health hazard.

    However, the current increase in levels of pollution is mainly due to drastic increase in coarse particles in air which has caused a spike in PM10 level but PM2.5 is not as high as that of last year. "The high pollution levels during this time of the year in Delhi are unusual and primarily due to dust storms from Rajasthan. Rajasthan is facing extremely dry weather conditions, with high temperatures and wind speeds," a ministry statement said.

    It said the wind direction in Delhi since June 10 has changed to West and North West and then since June 12 to West and South West, due to which hot air, along with dust from Rajasthan has started moving into Delhi. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the current surface winds in Delhi are in the range of 5-6 m/sec and wind direction is West to South West, which is likely to continue over the next three days.

    "Therefore, it is expected that dusty conditions will prevail in Delhi over the next three days. Major construction agencies, municipal corporations and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) have been alerted to ensure water sprinkling, as required," it said.

    The Environment Ministry has requested the Chief Secretary, Delhi to issue appropriate instructions in the matter to the agencies concerned, it said. "CPCB convened an urgent meeting of the Task Force regarding implementation of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and issued necessary directions to contain local dust sources.

    The Task Force has also recommended that public should avoid prolonged exposure," the Ministry said. Gufran Beig, a scientist at the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research institute, said the dust storm deteriorated the air quality in Delhi-NCR.

    "There was a ground-level dust storm in the western part of the country that increased drastically coarser particles in the air, causing a spike in pollution levels in Delhi," he said.

    According to CPCB, the air quality index at several places in Delhi crossed the 500-mark, with east Delhi's Anand Vihar area recording an AQI of 891. An AQI between 0-50 is considered Good, 51-100 Satisfactory, 101-200 Moderate, 201-300 Poor, 301-400 Very Poor, and 401-500 Severe.

  • He will also take part in programmes in Naya Raipur - the upcoming capital city of the state.

    This is PM Modi's second visit to the poll-bound state in the last two months.

    The PM will inaugurate Integrated Command and Control Centre at Naya Raipur. Thereafter, in Bhilai, he will inaugurate Raipur-Jagdalpur air service, lay foundation stone for the new building of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bhilai, besides dedicating to the nation the expanded and modernised Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) of SAIL.

    PM Modi will also address a public meeting at Jayanti Stadium in Bhilai.

    Soon after reaching, he will proceed to Naya Raipur by road and dedicate to the nation Naya Raipur smart city's Integrated Command and Control Centre. Through this centre, water supply, power supply, sanitation, traffic movement, integrated building management, city connectivity and internet infrastructure (data centre) and monitoring of complete Naya Raipur will be carried out.

    The Command and Control Centre will be managed through GIS platform, where the residents can register their complaints regarding service dysfunction through helpline numbers. Subsequently, he will proceed to Bhilai, where he will dedicate the expanded and modernised project of Bhilai Steel Plant.

    Meanwhile, he will lay the foundation stone for the new building of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bhilai and inaugurate air connectivity betweenRaipurand Jagdalpur under the Centre's 'Udaan' scheme, he said. With the launch of this air-connectivity, Bastar will be put into the country's aviation map.

    On the occasion, the PM will distribute laptops under Suchna Kranti Yojana scheme to five students apart from distribution of citations, cheques and materials to select beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandana Yojana, Standup and Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Scheme, Mukhya Mantri Aabadi Patta Vitaran Yojana.

    Massive security arrangements have been made in the capital and Bhilai for the PM's visit.

  • Prolonged sittings and wrong posture may lead to many health problems, like neck pain or backache. Doctors suggest that one should avoid sitting in one posture for a longer duration and keep the back straight while sitting. Doing desk jobs and long periods of sitting day-in and day-out can impact your health and cause many problems.

    PROBLEMS OF PROLONGED SITTING:-

    - Stiffness in Joints

    - More wear and tear in joints

    - Muscle stiffness

    - Affect on soft tissues

    - Weight gain and obesity

     

    PRECAUTIONS:-

    - Do not sit in one posture for long duration

    - Keep your back straight while sitting

    - Avoid prolonged sitting

    - Take a break after every 45 minutes of  sitting

    - Walk, stretch and exercise

    WRONG SITTING POSTURE MAY CAUSE:- 

    - Backache

    - Neck pain

    - Joint pain

    - Increased Risk of degenerative conditions

    - Pain in upper back or shoulders

    - Numbness in fingers

    - Pain in wrist and arms
     

    While sitting for long duration don't forget to take short breaks in between to move and be cautious about the proper posture.

     

     

  • A 32-year-old, giving up a good job, and taking off for some remote land, may sound like he's had enough of the world. But not Mangesh Jha.

    He gave up a lucrative job in 2014 to distribute sanitary pads to tribal women living in remote villages of Jharkhand, and his mission has transformed the way people live.

    Mangesh Jha would visit several remote villages of the state, and teach tribal women, who were initially skeptical of him about menstrual hygiene.

    He also distributes sanitary pads to them. But how effective has his campaign been?

    Mangesh who worked with a leading 5-star hotel chain, gave up the comfort of that job to travel to distant places without proper roads, just to spread the word about menstrual hygiene, among women who normally wouldn't discuss these issues, and would not address them due to poverty. Mangesh was recognized by film star Akshay Kumar for this unique work.

    Well, there has been plenty of change due to Mangesh's efforts.

    The rural communities are now discussing this matter and taboos associated with menstrual cycles, health and hygiene have gone away. Women have taken it upon themselves to change their habits and the men folk too are in agreement.
    Mangesh's efforts have borne fruit, and it is catching on in other parts too.

  • Saweety Boora was the lone Indian boxer to clinch a gold, while two others signed off with silver medals in the Umakhanov Memorial Tournament in Kaspiysk, Russia.

    Saweety, who is also a former world championships silver-medallist, prevailed over home favourite Anna Anfinogenova in a unanimous verdict to finish on top in the middleweight (75kg) category.

    However, in the men’s draw, Brijesh Yadav (81kg) and Virender Kumar (91kg) lost their respective summit clashes to end with silver medals.

    While Yadav lost to Russia’s Murad Rabadanov, Kumar was beaten by Sweden’s Alexandr Mvalbale.

    Earlier, world youth champion Shashi Chopra (57kg), former Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Pinki Jangra (51kg) and Pavitra (60kg) had lost their respective semifinal bouts to settle for bronze medals.

    Among the men, world bronze-medallist Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) had finished with a bronze after going down in his semifinal bout.

  • In a major decision to boost affordable housing, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has approved the revision of the carpet area of houses eligible for interest subsidy.

    The carpet area for MIG I category houses has been raised from 120 square metre to 160 square metre while that of MIG II category houses has been increased from 150 square metre to 200 square metre.

    The initiative is aimed at fast-track the slow-moving ‘Housing for All’ scheme. Officials said people from the middle income group (MIG) will get benefits due to this initiative of the ministry under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS).

    These enhancements will now enable more people under MIG category to qualify for subsidy and avail the benefits provided under the flagship Mission of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

    Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said that the decision to increase the carpet area was taken after inputs from various stakeholders.

    “One of key issues was denial of CLSS benefits to potential beneficiaries, because they were buying/constructing flats or houses where the carpet area exceeded the limit, thus rendering them ineligible for the interest subsidy under MIG,” he added.

    During review meetings by the Central Nodal Agencies—Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) and National Housing Bank (NHB)—there had been requests for increasing the carpet areas specified for the MIG I and MIG II categories, added the official.

    Apart from increasing the number of beneficiaries, the step is expected to improve the construction activity.

    Officials said it also augured well with the Reserve Bank of India policy to revise the housing loan limits for Priority Sector lending (PSL) eligibility where it has been decided to revise the housing loan limits for PSL eligibility from existing Rs 28 lakh to 35 lakh in metropolitan centres (with population of 10 lakh and above), and from existing rs 20 lakh to 25 lakh in other centres, provided the overall cost of the dwelling units does not exceed Rs 45 lakh and 30 lakh, respectively.

  • Greece and Macedonia on Tuesday reached a historic accord to resolve a dispute over the former Yugoslav republic's name that has troubled relations between the two neighbours for decades.

    Under the deal, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said his country would officially be called the "Republic of Northern Macedonia".

    It is currently known formally at the United Nations under the interim name "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".

    Zaev said the deal would open the way for the tiny Balkan nation's eventual membership of the European Union and NATO, currently blocked by Greece's objections to its use of the name Macedonia.

    Athens says that the name implies territorial claims on a northern Greek province of the same name.

    The accord still requires ratification by the two national parliaments and a referendum in Macedonia, a tough test for the leaders of both the countries.

  • A special court in Mumbai has issued a non-bailable warrant against diamantaire Nirav Modi and his family members in the over Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam case, after taking cognizance of a charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate last month.

    The ED had last week moved the special court, seeking warrants against the accused.

    The non-bailable warrants were issued by Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act judge Salman Azmee against Nirav Modi and 10 others, including his family members.

    The ED had last month filed a 12,000-page chargesheet in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank cheating and fraud case against Nirav Modi and 23 others.

  • The Enforcement Directorate is expected to file a fresh charge sheet against former finance minister P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram in connection with Karti's alleged involvement in the Aircel-Maxis Case.

    He allegedly took service charges for getting the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving funds from abroad worth Rs 305 crore in 2007, when his father was the finance minister.

    Meanwhile, P Chidambaram appeared before the Enforcement Directorate for the second round of questioning in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case on Tuesday.

    He was summoned after he was first questioned on June 5 by the agency.

    Chidambaram, also a former home minister, had earlier approached the court of Special Judge O P Saini seeking relief from arrest by the ED in the case.

    The court then directed the ED not to take any coercive action or arrest him till July 10 in connection with the case.

     

  • Congress President Rahul Gandhi will face trial in a defamation case filed against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker after a magistrate court in Bhiwandi framed charges against him.

    Rahul Gandhi has pleaded not guilty in the case.

    Rahul arrived at the magistrate's court in Bhiwandi and appeared before a civil judge, who read out the charge leveled against him and also the statement of the complainant Rajesh Kunte.

    The court then proceeded to frame charges against the Congress leader under IPC Sections 499 (Defamation) and 500 (Punishment for Defamation). Next hearing in the case is on 10th August.