News

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

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

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

  • Union Home Minister Sh. Amit Shah today reviewed the functioning of CRPF at the Force headquarters in New Delhi. He was given a detailed presentation on CRPF by Sh. Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, DG, CRPF. High ranking officials of the Ministry as well as CRPF were present on the occasion.

  • In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs, being satisfied that it is necessary and expedient so to do, hereby makes the following amendments in the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), No. 36/2001-Customs (N.T.

  • The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu said today that Veer Savarkar was a multidimensional personality - a freedom fighter, social reformer, writer, poet, historian, political leader and philosopher - all combined into one.

    Releasing the book – ‘Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past’, in New Delhi today, the he opined that there are many facets of Veer Savarkar’s personality that remain under appreciated.

  • With a view to increase Tourism & Trade between India and China, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is participating at China International Travel Mart (CITM)organised from 15-17 November 2019 at Kunming, China.

  •               The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation carried out an all-India survey on household consumption expenditure in the 75th round during the period July 2017 to June 2018.

  • Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhanaddressed an Award Ceremony here today to announce the finalists of the ‘Global Cooling Prize’.

  • Rashtrapati Bhavan will host a conference of the Directors of IITs, NITs and IIEST, Shibpur on November 19, 2019. This Conference is part of regular interactions of the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, with such institutions in his capacity as visitor to 152 Central Universities and institutions of higher learning.

  • Taking note of the need to further improve variety, hygiene and quality of food for its passengers, Indian Railways has rationalized the Menus and revised the Tariff for catering services. The tariff of Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto trains has been revised after 6 years since the last revision in 2013 while the tariff of standard meals for Mail/Express trains after 7 years since the last revision in 2012.

  • India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in April-October2019-20* are estimated to be USD 310.23 billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 1.51per cent over the same period last year.

  • Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has announced the opening of online registrations for IndiaSkills 2020, a biennial competition to scout talent from the country, offering them a platform to showcase their skills at national and international competitions.

  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh today called for bolstering the border infrastructure, saying that national security is the top most priority of the Government. He was inaugurating the Sisseri River bridge at Lower Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Union Minority Affairs Minister Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here today that the Ministry of Minority Affairs has been working on war-footing to establish “Hunar Hubs” in every state of the country in the next five years to train and encourage indigenous talent of master artisans, craftsmen according to the need of the markets.

  • Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, has set up a Development Council for Bicycle for vision planning in design, engineering and manufacturing of lighter, smarter, value added, safe and faster premium bicycles which are comparable with global standards for exports and domestic market.

  • The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that this is a first of its kind of a conference being organised at the initiative of the Government of India, since the two UTs of J&K and Ladakh came into existence on 31st October.

  • The Union Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD) and Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, will announce Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh (BPKK) on Monday, 18th November 2019 in New Delhi. The BPKK will be a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones in India for better nutritional outcomes.

  • The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam’ has been the guiding light for the Indian family system since time immemorial and our ethos and socio-cultural fabric are woven around this perceptive phrase.

  • The 8th International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS-VIII) will be organized by the Ministry of Agriculture in New Delhi from 18th to 21st November 2019. Addressing the media here today, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra DG ICAR & Secretary DARE informed that the conference will be inaugurated by the Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and Chief Guest will be Bill Gates.

  • In Sri Lanka, polling for Presidential elections is being held amidst stray incidents of violence and coercion. Police said some unidentified persons blocked and fired on buses carrying voters near Anuradhapura.

  • In the Hong Kong Open badminton tournament, ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth will face Lee Cheuk-Yiu of Hong Kong in the Men's Singles semifinals today.

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah will inaugurate the National Tribal Festival "Aadi Mahotsav" in New Delhi today.

  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has convened an all-party meeting today ahead of the winter session of Parliament beginning Monday.

  • The notification for the third phase of Jharkhand assembly elections will be issued today.

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that All India Radio is a most reliable medium of communication.

  • The Supreme Court today summoned Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to know about steps taken by them to reduce air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

  • Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari today said that contribution of MSME sector to the country's economy is 29 per cent and the Government aims to increase it to 50 per cent.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described the just-concluded BRICS Summit in Brazil's capital Brasilia as very productive.

  • Delhi Development Authority has provided a major relief to 50 thousand shop owners in Delhi. It dropped conversion charges in 100 top markets and relaxed norms for household industrial units in residential areas.

  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast fresh snowfall and heavy rains in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh over the next two days due to western disturbance.

  • In Karnataka, BJP has announced the names of 13 candidates for the State Assembly by-polls scheduled to be held on 5th December.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Neeraj Singh, Sr. Correspondent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The winter session of Parliament will conclude on December 13.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Government data showed subdued prices of non-food articles and fall in prices of manufactured items on Thursday.

    Annual inflation, based on monthly wholesale price index (WPI), was at 5.54 per cent in October last year.

    For manufactured products, the wholesale inflation was at (-)0.84 per cent in October 2019.

    However, retail inflation for the month hit a 16-month high of 4.62 per cent due to soaring prices of food articles, including fruits and vegetables.

  • Srikanth notched up a win over compatriot Sourabh Verma in the second round. 

    He will face Olympic champion Chen Long of China next. 

    While Prannoy lost to Jonathan Christie of Indonesia, Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei defeated Kashyap. World Champion Sindhu lost to Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan.

  • After the first round of the impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives, the White House made clear its defence outline which will be to discredit the witnesses, dismiss the accusations and shift the focus to the Bidens. 

    Top White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway said that the Democrats have no case against the president and that he was being treated unfairly. Trump had claimed that the impeachment inquiry against him over his dealings with Ukraine was a witch-hunt. 

    Meanwhile, White House budget official Mark Sandy has agreed to provide closed-door testimony in the ongoing impeachment probe against US President Donald Trump. Sandy's lawyer stated that he would appear if subpoenaed by the Congress. 

    In his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump had allegedly asked for an investigation into his potential 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

    The call is at the heart of just the fourth attempt to impeach a president in US history. 

  • While 13 candidates are from among 16 former Congress and JDS MLAs who joined the party on Thursday, disqualified Congress legislator from the constituency, R. Roshan Baig has been denied ticket from Shivaji nagar. 

    Former corporate M. Saravana has been given ticket from Shivaji Nagar. The candidate for the Ranebennur constituency are yet to be announced. 

    On Thursday, 16 disqualified MLAs were inducted in BJP in the presence of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. They were disqualified by the Speaker ahead of trust vote in Assembly. The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the disqualification of the 17 MLAs but allowed them to contest election. 

    Meanwhile on Thursday JD(S) announced a list of 10 candidates. Congress has released the first list of 8 candidates. 

    Fifteen out of the 17 constituencies represented earlier by these MLAs will be going for by-polls. By-election to Maski and R R Nagar constituencies have been withheld, as separate cases with regard to them are pending before the High Court.

    The counting will take place on the 9th of December.

  • He was speaking at the Attestation-cum-Passing Out Parade of State Police Constables at Talwara, Reasi district in Jammu Division on Thursday. 

    The Lt. Governor appreciated the role of Police for bringing peace in Jammu and Kashmir and added that J&K Police has a major role to play during the elections in the Union Territory.

    The Lt. Governor said that J&K Police has given huge sacrifices for maintenance of peace and normalcy in the state.

  • The Matrix evaluates countries under  four parameters which are business interaction with the government, anti-bribery deterrence, transparency and civil society oversight.

    Bangladesh has been placed at 178 position among 200 countries in terms of business bribery risk.  It has been on the high risk country list of Trace Bribery Matrix since 2014 when the first matrix was released. 

    According to the report Bangladesh has a high degree of government interaction in business, a high expectation of bribes and a high regulatory burden which contributes in high bribery risk for business in the country. 

    In South Asia, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries where the bribery risk is 'high'. Bhutan has the lowest risk of bribery on the index in South Asia as it is placed at 52 in the ranking. 

    Overall, according to this year's TRACE Matrix data, Somalia, South Sudan, North Korea, Yemen and Venezuela presented the highest risk of bribe demands. New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland presented the lowest bribery risk. 

    TRACE is a US based organisation which provides ranking to various countries in terms of the risk of bribery companies face in doing business in those countries.

  • Addressing the Leaders Dialogue with BRICS Business Council and New Development Bank at Brasilia, PM Modi invited business leaders to invest in India.

    PM said that BRICS economic cooperation will be strengthened only by the full cooperation of the Council and NDB for which a partnership agreement between the two will be very useful. 

    Earlier addressing the plenary session of the 11th BRICS Summit, the Prime Minister lauded successful 10 years of establishment of BRICS. Prime Minister said that BRICS nations should think of more effective cooperation for the next 10 years and called for an efficient and outcome-driven BRICS mechanism for this. PM Modi said that the BRICS nations need to focus more on intra BRICS trade and investment as it is only 15 per cent of the world trade.

    Prime Minister expressed hope that MOU between trade promotion agencies of BRICS will help achieving the target of 500 billion US dollars intra BRICS trade.

    The Prime Minister said that the menace of terrorism has resulted in the loss of one trillion dollars to the world economy. Prime Minister appreciated the first seminar on BRICS Strategies for Countering Terrorism and expressed hope that such activities along with five working groups on terrorism will boost the BRICS Security Cooperation.

    After concluding his visit to Brazil last night, the Prime Minister said in a tweet that BRICS Summit in Brazil was a very productive one and the leaders had fruitful dialogues on cementing ties in trade, innovation, technology and culture.

    The Prime Minister said the focus on futuristic subjects will surely lead to deeper cooperation that will benefit the people of our respective nations. 

    Prime Minister suggested the identification of at least five areas for a joint venture between the BRICS nations before the next BRICS Summit. PM also suggested that a roadmap for Intra-BRICS trade to the tune of 500 billion dollars may be made by BRICS business council by identifying the economic complementarities. 

    PM also proposed to share best practices from small and medium enterprises, Harnessing the agro-tech start-up network and a Hackathon in India on Apps working in healthcare. PM urged the BRICS countries and NDB to join and strengthen the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. 

    PM Modi also proposed to hold first BRICS water minister meet in India to find solutions for sustainable water management and sanitation issues. Prime Minister said that visa and mutual recognition of social security agreements and qualification will create a conducive environment for trade and tourism between the people.

  • She said, it will be prepared by early next year for better implementation of all the Central and States policies and programmes for women and children.The Minister was speaking at the two-day National Conference organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in New Delhi today.

    Ms Irani also suggested that a protocol may be developed for ranking of States and UTs doing commendable work for women and children and also ranking of childcare institutions in the States and UTs.

    The conference was attended by Secretary Ministry of WCD and all senior officials of the Ministry and Secretaries and representatives working with the Departments of Women and Children in States and UTs. Various presentations were made on Anganwadi Services, Skill Gaps and Entrepreneurship Issues for Women and Children, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Mission and Child Protection Services and Safety and Security of Women and Children in India. Discussions were held on various issues like non-utilization of funds, Child Care Institutions, implementation of Central Schemes like Mid-Day Meal, Aganwadi, POSHAN, lack of gender-specific data, feedback regarding implementation of Central Schemes for women and children and various constraints faced by WCD Departments in States and UTs. State Secretaries and officials also raised issues concerning their states and districts which require urgent attention of the WCD Ministry.

    During a presentation by Adviser, Health and Nutrition in NITI Aayog regarding strategy of New India at 75-Status of Women and Children, it was decided that the issues being faced by women and children cannot be contained only within the Ministry of WCD but other Ministries like food and public distribution, health, urban development, law and justice and home may also be actively involved. The Minister urged State Governments to ensure and involve officers from all departments for better implementation of legislation and Central and State Schemes related to women and children.

     

  • The Air Quality Index of the adjoining areas of Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, Gurugram and others have also shown a deteriorating air quality as most of them fall under the severe category. Air quality in the city was severe yesterday as well.

    With the onset of winter, a dip in the minimum temperature is making the air cold and heavy leading to accumulation of pollutants close to the ground. The Odd-Even rule has been enforced in Delhi to combat air pollution.

    The situation is likely to improve with an increase in wind speed due to a fresh western disturbance and a dip in farm fires.

  • The Prime Minister said that the theme of the Summit- Economic Growth for and Innovative Future is very accurate. He said, innovation has become the basis of development. Therefore, it is necessary that member nations strengthen cooperation in the field.

    Raising the issue of terrorism, the Prime Minister said that the menace has resulted in the loss of one trillion dollars to the world economy. He said terrorism is the biggest threat to development, peace and prosperity.
     
    PM Modi said sustainable water management and sanitation are important challenges in the urban areas. So, he proposed to hold the first meeting of BRICS water ministers in India.

    Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa today opened the 11th BRICS Summit where deliberations are taking place on key areas such as trade, investment and counter-terrorism. Prime Minister spoke on wide-ranging subjects and made very innovative proposals at the session. He said that we need to make BRICS mechanism outcome-driven and efficient. PM Modi expressed satisfaction that MOU between trade promotion agencies of BRICS will help to achieve the target of 500 billion intra-BRICS trade target.

    The Prime Minister proposed to sign an MoU for mutual acceptance of health standards of BRICS countries. He mentioned about India's programme of Fit India. He also proposed for a BRICS Youth Summit to promote start-ups and Hackathons. PM Modi expressed happiness that BRICS efforts towards reformed multilateralism will find a mention in the joint statement.

  • Legendary Coach Arsene Wenger has been appointed FIFA's new chief of global football development. According to FIFA Wenger would be responsible for the growth of the game "for both men and women around the world", and would also be the "leading authority on technical matters", including potential changes to the sport's laws.

    Wenger made the English Club Arsenal one of the strongest football club in Europe, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups and taking his team to the 2006 Champions League final. His also won the French league in 1987 with Monaco, adding the French Cup four years later before departing for Japan in 1995.

    New FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger commented: "I very much look forward to taking on this extremely important challenge, not only because I have always been interested in analysing football from a broader perspective but also because FIFA's mission as world football's governing body is truly global. I believe that the new FIFA we have seen emerging in recent years has the sport itself at the very heart of its objectives and is determined to develop the game in its many different components. I know I can contribute to this objective and will put all my energy into this."

  • It was looking like that Nadal will lost to 23-year-old debutant Medvedev broke serve twice in the decider to stand on the brink of a first career victory over the Spaniard. The Spaniard must beat Tsitsipas on Friday to have a chance of advancing. Nadal is also looking to keep hold of the world number one ranking.

    Meanwhile Stefanos Tsitsipas crushed defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-2 to book his place in the last four of the ATP Finals with a match to spare. Tsitsipas is the first Greek player to qualify for the elite eight-man season-ender, backed up his opening win over Daniil Medvedev with a flamboyant performance in London.

    His straight-sets victory secured a top-two place in the group and left Zverev, world number one Rafael Nadal and Medvedev scrapping to join him in Saturday's semi-finals

  • A three-judge bench also rejected the contention that there was a need for registration of FIR in connection with the deal. The pleas had sought re-examination of Apex Court's  14th December 2018 verdict which said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process.  

    A batch of petitions, including those filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, and lawyer Prashant Bhushan had sought a review, alleging that material facts were suppressed and a criminal investigation should be filed in the case.

  • The Court referred all review pleas to a larger seven-judge bench. The Apex Court said, the larger bench will decide all such religious issues relating to Sabarimala, entry of women in mosques and practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.

    Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi read the verdict on behalf of himself and Justices A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra. The CJI said, the endeavour of the petitioners was to revive the debate on religion and faith. The apex court, by a majority verdict of 4:1, in September 2018, had lifted the ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 and 50 from entering the famous Ayyappa shrine in Kerala.

    It had also held that this centuries-old Hindu religious practice was illegal and unconstitutional. 

  • Prime Minister Modi said, India is the world's most open and investment-friendly economy due to political stability, predictable policy and business-friendly reforms.

    Prime Minister Modi was addressing the closing ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, last night. Prime Minister Modi said, the BRICS has led to economic development despite the global economic slowdown.
     
    Prime Minister said, BRICS accounts for 50 per cent of the world's economic growth. Prime Minister Modi called upon BRICS business leaders to exploit the opportunities among member countries.

    The meeting of working groups of BRICS Business Council concluded on the first day of BRICS 2019. In this meeting, leaders of working groups have agreed on 30 important proposals related to different areas.

    Out of which, 10 proposals have been placed on priority and all these proposals will be submitted to BRICS leaders tomorrow. Secretary-General of FICCI Dilip Chinoy told AIR that working groups have come up with the proposals to remove regulatory difficulties in bilateral trade, normalise phytosanitary measures for agriculture exports and to increase mutual cooperation in digital literacy.

    President of New Development Bank, K V Kamath told AIR that the bank has decided to open a new regional branch in India which will facilitate Indian businesses. He also said that the bank has opened the funding for non-government project also.

  • The theme for this edition of the fair is 'Ease of Doing Business'. The fair will be inaugurated by Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari. First five days will be reserved for business and the Fair will be open to the general public from the 19th of this month. Entry tickets for business days will be available for 500 rupees per person and season ticket for 1,800 rupees.

    For all visitors during public days, ticket charges will be Rs. 60 for adults and Rs. 40 for children on working days. On Saturday, Sunday and any public holiday, the tickets will be 120 rupees for adult and Rs. 60 for children.

    Entry tickets are available at 66 metro stations, excluding Pragati Maidan metro station and entry gates of trade fair. People can visit the Fair from 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Several countries, including Australia, Iran, the UK, Vietnam, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia are participating in the 14-day Trade Fair.

    This year the status of 'Partner Country' has been accorded to Afghanistan and South Korea will be the Focus Country. Bihar and Jharkhand will be the focus states.

  • Polling will be held on Saturday. Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) contender Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressed confidence of his election victory and  urged his supporters to be respectful when celebrating the victory once the results are officially declared. Mr. Rajpaksa said they expect to establish a quality and efficient government and request the people to celebrate the victory in a dignified manner without inconveniencing others. New Democratic Front’s candidate Sajith Premadasa said  he is  an original Sri Lankan and citizenship issues are not his concern. Mr. Premadasa said no one else can match his energy, abilities, talent and creativity adding the real hero of the majority of the country is none other than Sajith Premadasa.

    Meanwhile, opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa has said the incumbent government failed to resolve its internal issues owing to the lack of understanding between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The former President and brother of Gotabaya said the future SLPP government will not suffer the ills of the current government due to the sibling bond shared with SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The former President is aspiring to be Prime minister if Gotabaya wins the Presidency.

  • The Delhi government's decision follows an order from Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority as the air quality hovered close to emergency levels.

    The Authority has also extended the ban on hot-mix plants and stone-crushers in Delhi-NCR till Friday.

    All coal and other fuel-based industries, which have not shifted to natural gas or agro-residue, will remain shut in Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bahadurgarh, Bhiwadi, Greater Noida, Sonepat and Panipat till tomorrow.

    In Delhi, industries which have not yet shifted to piped natural gas, will not operate during the period. 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Brasilia for the 11th BRICS Summit. The Prime Minister held bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the summit. 

    During the meeting, the leaders discussed flourishing relations between the country, the growth in trade and investment.

    PM said Indo-Russia relations are progressing in the right direction courtsey frequent top-level meets. This was their fourth meeting of the year, they last met in Vladivostok. PM Modi expressed happiness over the invitiation he received to visit Russia in May, 2020.

  • The of the Chief Justice of India would now fall within the ambit of the Right to Information Act. In a significant judgment..the Supreme Court itself said on Wednesday that the CJI's office is a public authority under the RTI Act. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi upheld the 2010 Delhi High Court verdict and dismissed the appeals filed by Secretary General of the Supreme Court and the Central Public Information officer of the apex court.

    SC CONDITIONS ON RTI USE

    -- RTI cannot be used as a tool of surveillance
    -- Judicial independence has to be kept in mind while dealing with transparency
    -- and only names of judges recommended by the Collegium for appointment can be disclosed not the reasons

    Apart from the CJI, those comprising the constitution bench delivering the judgment included Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna. The CJI & Justices Deepak Gupta & Sanjeev Khanna wrote one judgment..while Justices N V Ramana & D Y Chandrachud penned separate verdicts. The top court held that-
     
    -- the Right to Privacy is an important aspect and it has to be balanced with transparency while deciding to give out information from the office of the Chief Justice
    -- Justice Sanjiv Khanna said independence of judiciary and transparency go hand in hand
    -- Justice Ramana, who concurred with Justice Khanna, said there should be a balancing formula for Right to Privacy and Right to transparency and independence of judiciary should be protected from breach

    It was RTI Activist S C Agrawal who first raised the issue of CJI's office falling within RTI ambit. When the Central Information Commission directed the Supreme Court to provide the informtion sought in 2008, the matter reached the Delhi High Court. 

    Several RTI activists have welcomed the Supreme Court's verdict. It was on the 10th of January, 2010 that the High Court decreed that the CJI's office comes within RTI's ambit, saying judicial independence was not a judge's privilege but a responsibility cast upon him. The matter then went to a 3-judge divisional bench which dismissed  the Supreme Court's contention that bringing the CJI's office within the RTI Act would "hamper" judicial independence..

    Clearly, the top court's decision will not only strengthen the right to information but will also enhance transparency in the country.
     

  • Amid power tussle in Maharashtra, BJP President Amit Shah slammed estrange ally Shiv Sena over new demand of chief ministerial post. Speaking on collapse of alliance with Shiv Sena, he said that during assembly campaign PM Modi and he himself said many a times that Devendra Fadnavis will be the CM if the alliance secured majority.

    Over the Maharashtra governor's role in recommending President rule in the state, Amit Shah said that no party was denied chance to form the government.

    Hectic parleys continued on Wednesday to forge new alliance in Maharashtra. Shiv-Sena chief Udhav Thakrey held meeting with the Maharashtra Congress leaders where he said that the talks is going in right direction and decision will be taken at an appropriate time. However Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat described the meeting with Thackeray as only a courtesy call.

    Actually, problem lies in the Congress-NCP camp as they have not yet decided on forging alliance with the Shiv Sena on government formation. NCP leader Ajit Pawar added fuel to the fire saying that bone of contention is distribution of post and portfolios among allies...Shiv-Sen is adamant on chief ministerial post as the party leader once again reiterated that cm will be from his party only.

    President's rule was imposed in Maharashtra on Tuesday evening after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in a report to the Centre stated that formation of a stable government was impossible in the current situation despite all his efforts, drawing flak from non-BJP parties.  

  • Entire North India including Delhi/NCR is reeling under the wave of severe pollution. The air has become toxic. The air quality index, which remained in the very severe category for the last three days reached 500 mark in many areas on Wednesday.

    The Air Quality Index at Anand Vihar in Delhi stood at 463, while it reached 486 in Jahangirpuri and 489 in Rohini. At the same time, the Air Quality Index in Indirapuram of Ghaziabad was 457 and in Vasundhara it was 476. In Noida Sector1, this index reached 483.

    Taking the pollution issue suo moto, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to explore the feasibility of a hydrogen-based Japanese technology as a permanent solution to the air pollution in the NCR region and other parts of north India.

    With an aim to curb the menace of pollution in Delhi, the New Delhi Municipal Council on Wednesday began sprinkling water on Feroz Shah Road to settle the dust. Union government also engaged in solving the problem with the representatives of five states.
     
    The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Delhi government on a petition challenging the road rationing odd-even scheme. The court also directed the government to present data before it. Meanwhile, Delhi government  clarified that odd even Scheme may extended if needed. The BJP, in Delhi assembly described the scheme failure, calling it a political stunt by Delhi cm Arvind Kejriwal.
     
     According to weather experts, a fall in the temperature and wind speed led to the accumulation of pollutants. The problems were compounded by a cloud cover that blocked sunlight. Air quality in the national capital is only likely to improve on Friday with an increase in wind speed due to a fresh western disturbance and a dip in farm fires. 
     

  • According to a press release issued by the Nepal President's office, matters relating to friendly relations existing between the two countries, mutual interest and matters of concern were discussed in the meeting. They also discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations between Nepal and Bangladesh. President Bhandari also hosted State Banquet in honour of her Bangladeshi counterpart.

    Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, Chairperson of National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina and Former Prime Minister and President of Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba called on President Hamid. In a tweet Prime Minister Oli said he had a fruitful meeting with President of Bangladesh. During his four-day Nepal visit, which concludes on Friday, President Hamid will also visit Pokhara and the historical, archaeological and cultural sites in the Kathmandu Valley.

  • In an exclusive conversation with DD India, there won't be any adverse impact and the interest of employees will also be safeguarded.
     

  • The Information and Broadcasting ministry on Wednesday launched the official anthem and radio jingle for the golden jubilee edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), scheduled to take place in Goa from November 20 to 28.

    The anthem, inspired by the nine 'rasas' (emotions) of the Natya Shashtra and an amalgamation of scenes from prominent movies and dance 'mudras', has been developed by noted dancer Geeta Chandran and Grammy Award-winning composer Ricky Cage. 

    The audio-visuals of the anthem have been directed and produced by National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) under the guidance of I&B Ministry and the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF).

    The 50th International Film Festival of India, 2019 will witness over 200 films from 76 countries. With the screening of 26 feature films and 15 non feature films in Indian panorama section, around 10,000 people and film lovers are expected to attend and participate in the golden jubilee edition. 

    Interestingly IFFI, in its 50th year dedicates a section for Films, released in 1969, that turns 50 this year. These include National Award winning Films from all parts of India and bring in its fold, all the Indian Film Industry. The package includes Films in Odiya, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Assamese and Malayalam.
        
    This edition will also see the launch of a number of new categories of awards. Rajinikanth, legendary actor will be honoured with a special award, 'Icon of Golden Jubilee of IFFI' while French actress Isabelle Hupert will be conferred the lifetime achievement award.

    The 50th edition will also showcase 50 films by women directors and 200 foreign films of which 24 are in the race for Oscar nominations.
     

  • In a press release issued today the High Commission said that it has come to its notice that a letter said to have been written by  Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chief Justice of India is being circulated in the local media. It clarified that the letter is completely fake and malicious. It said that the fake letter is intended to mislead people in Bangladesh and create social disharmony.

    The press release of the High Commission said that the act of circulating this fake letter is motivated by the desire to create misunderstanding about India in the public domain.

  • Tamil National Alliance (TNA) spokesperson MA Sumanthiran was quoted saying that Tamil people should vote for Sajith Premadasa in order to defeat the Sinhalese people in the South.

    MP Sumanthiran said that the reports are blatant falsehood and requested through legal counsel to open a criminal investigation of an offence under International Covenant on Civil and Political rights (ICCPR).

    He said these false reports are a propagation of racial hatred, which amounts to an offence under the ICCPR Act. Meanwhile, election commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has criticized the media behavior during the campaign for Presidential elections saying it is worst in history of the country.

    He said the commission  would seriously consider taking legal action against a number of media institutions for deliberately violating the election law and media guidelines issued by the commission.

    Presidential elections are scheduled for Saturday where former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajpaksa and minister Sajith Premadasa are frontrunners among 35 candidates.