News

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed the Economic Times Global Business Summit in New Delhi, on the theme: New Economy – New Rules.

    Noting that the Union Government is going to complete four years of assuming office in a few months, he said that a definite change is now visible.

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  • The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has been adjudged as the best marching contingent among paramilitary and other auxiliary forces marched at Republic Day Parade 2018 at Rajpath. Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister presented the prestigious trophy to Shri R K Pachnanda, Director General ITBP and Assistant Commandant Shri Akshay Deshmukh, the parade commander of the ITBP contingent in an official function here today.

  • Secretary Textiles, Shri Anant Kumar Singh today inaugurated the 45th edition of IHGF-Delhi Fair at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida. Speaking on the occasion, he said handicrafts sector plays a significant role in the country’s economy and provides employment to a vast segment of craft-persons in rural and semi-urban areas and generates substantial foreign exchange for the country while preserving its cultural heritage.

  • YourExcellency, The Right Honourable Prime Minister Trudeau,

    Distinguished Delegation Members,

    Friends from the Media,

    I am pleased to welcome Prime Minister Trudeau on his official visit to India.

  • The Election Commission of India has decided to hold  biennial election to 16 States (mentioned below) and a bye-election to the Council of States from Kerala in accordance with the following programme: -.

     

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  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is inviting public comments on contents of Request for Proposal (RFP). An RFP is an invitation for resolution plans from prospective resolution applicants who wish to bid for business of a corporate debtor going through Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

  • Heavy Water Board, a constituent industrial unit of DAE, signed a collaborative agreement with M/s Clearsynth, Mumbai yesterday for sale of 20 tonnes of Heavy Water in a year for development of deuterium labeled compounds, NMR Solvents, d-labeled Active Pharma Ingredients (APIs).

  • Strongly emphasizing that continuous efforts will be made to develop the Clean Air for Delhi Campaign into a peoples’ movement across the country, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that this Campaign will be replicated in about 100 non-attainment cities.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that films should become instruments of change and promote social cohesion and they must also promote communal harmony, national integration and patriotism without diminishing their popular appeal.

  • The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation held a two-day national consultative workshop on Solid and Liquid Resource Management on 22nd February and 23rd February 2018 in the national capital. The workshop was organized in association with the Tata Trusts, and covered topics ranging from Gobar-dhan, Biodegradable Waste Management, Menstrual Health Management, Faecal Sludge Management, Plastics and Liquid Waste Management.

  • Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman today presented the Best Marching Contingent Trophies to the Punjab Regiment and the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) who participated at the Republic Day Parade on 26 January 2018 at the historic Rajpath, New Delhi.

  • Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada,  called on the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (February 23, 2018).

     

    Welcoming the Canadian Prime Minister to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President said that India attaches high priority to its partnership with Canada.

  • Director General, National Archives of India (NAI), Shri Pritam Singh, launched a Book Reading Series entitled “Archives Reads” in New Delhi today. This is to inculcate archival awareness among the masses, to bring prominent historians closer to the young readers and to showcase the vast treasure of archives available with NAI for research and reference purposes.

  •           Swachhta Pakhwada was observed with enthusiasm and active participation of the officers and staff of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology from 1st to 15th of February, 2018.

  • Smt. Anupriya Patel, Minister of State (Health & Family Welfare), in a high level meeting, reviewed the activities and achievements of Department of Health Research (DHR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), here today.

  • To celebrate the idea of unity in diversity, Ministry of Culture is organising a Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat matrix in Madhya Pradesh beginning February 24 for a duration of 7 days.

  • Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan here today held a meeting with Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Aramco, H.E. Eng. Khalid A. Al-Falih.

  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the National Standards Body of India, in association with Data Science Foundation organized the 5th international data science summit in New Delhi today. The conference was attended by around 130 delegates from Corporate Officers and executives involved in strategy, Government Policy Planners, Academic institutions, Electrical utilities, Researchers and Developers along with Standards Development Organizations.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will embark on a visit to two states: Gujarat and Tamil Nadu; and two Union Territories: Daman & Diu and Puducherry, over the next two days.

    The Prime Minister will arrive in Daman on Saturday.



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, embezzlement of public money will not be tolerated and his government will continue to take strict action again...




  • The Supreme Court has said, the process of appointing High Court judges needs to be done expeditiously by those entrusted with this obligation to keep...




  • The Election Commission has announced that polls to 59 Rajya Sabha seats will be held on 23rd of next month. In a statement issued by the commission t...



  • India today successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Dhanush ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km from a naval ship off Odisha coast at around 1052 hrs. This naval variant of the indigenously-developed Prithvi-II missile was test-fired from the ship positioned near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal.



  • CBI has registered a case against a Delhi-based diamond jewellery exporter for an alleged bank loan fraud to the tune of around 390 crore rupees towards Oriental Bank of Commerce.Dwarka Das Seth International Private Limited has been booked by the agency for the alleged fraud.



  • The United States has imposed fresh set of sanctions on North Korea, the largest ever.



  • The first sale of Electoral Bonds will commence from the 1st of next month for a period of ten days.



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Chennai today and launch the Tamil Nadu government's Amma Two-wheeler Scheme.



  • In Boxing, MC Mary Kom stormed into the Finals of the Strandja Memorial Tournament at Sofia in Bulgaria yesterday, while Vikas Krishan and two other male boxers entered the semifinals.


  • The surface-to-surface missile, a naval variant of the indigenously-developed ‘Prithvi’ missile, was test-fired from the ship positioned near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal at around 10.52 am, the officials said.

    ‘Dhanush’ missile is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and hitting both land and sea-based targets, the sources said, adding that its trial was carried out by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the defence forces. “The missile launch was part of a training exercise by the SFC of Indian Navy,” one official said.

    Describing the test launch as “a complete success”, the officials said all mission objectives were met during the trial. “The missile launch and its flight performance were monitored from DRDO telemetry and radar facilities in the Odisha coast,” they said.

    The single-stage, liquid-propelled ‘Dhanush’, has already been inducted into the defence services. It is one of the five missiles developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

    The last trial was successfully tested on April 9, 2015, the sources added. 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau today held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to boost trade ties.Following the talks, the two sides inked six pacts. Strengthening old bonds Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to boost trade ties.

    The 2 sides also inked six pacts in the field of Information Communications Technology and Electronics, India-Canada Ministerial Energy Dialogue, Cooperation in the field of sports , Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights, Cooperation in the field of Higher Education, Cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation.

    After their nearly two-hour long meeting PM Modi while addressing joint media event with the Canadian Prime Minister said that they discussed the entire gamut of the bilateral partnership including global issues.
    Asserting that it is important that the two countries work together to fight terrorism, PM Modi said that there should be no place for those who misuse religion for political goals.

    Describing India as a natural partner and a trusted friend for commercial cooperation, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country looks for new opportunities to do business beyond its boundaries.
    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on visiting Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau in New Delhi.

    Earlier, Trudeau was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He also paid a visit to  Gandhi Samadhi where he paid tributes to the father of the nation. The Canadian pm was on 7-day long visit in which he visited Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Amritsar and Delhi.

  • Addressing the ET Global Business Summit in New Delhi on Friday, the Prime Minister spoke at length about India's growing role in the world economy and how the country's progress is contributing to the global growth. He also spoke in detail about recent policy measures like Ayushman Bharat and measures that led to a correct reflection of India's exports and imports which are ushering in New India.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a clear and stern message to those taking the system for a ride. As Banks continue to grapple with multibillion frauds and scams, Prime Minister Modi minced no words in conveying that government will go all out to bring the culprits to justice. The Prime Minister stressed on the need to maintain ethics and integrity in the financial institutions.

    Addressing the Global Business Summit, the Prime Minister highlighted the achievements of his government and said that the welfare of poor is his government's topmost priority. Talking about his government's decisions regarding bamboo, urea coating and MSP, the Prime Minister said these policies are directly benefiting farmers.

    The Prime Minister underscored his government's commitment to better health services for the people and said Ayushman Bharat scheme is a reflection of this commitment.

    The Prime Minister said that India is undergoing a transformation not just in terms of economy but also in terms of the lives of people that are being uplifted. The Prime Minister highlighted how India's journey from fragile five to a fastest growing economy in the world has brought the country to the focus.

    PM Modi said that his government inherited a twin balance sheet legacy while crony capitalism was entrenched in the system. He said that his government has changed the work culture in the country and the way decisions are taken. He highlighted the progress being made in various sectors including Railways, Roads and highways, MSME, Housing and noted how this progress is paving way for the creation of a 'New India'

    Quoting data from global institutions the Prime Minister said that economic growth in India has also resulted in the growth of world economy. Prime Minister said it was during the past three and half years that India's contribution to world GDP in nominal term has also seen a growth.

    The Prime Minister said historic reforms like GST and those in the banking sector have not only boosted India's economy but also set a new path of growth for the country. The Prime Minister talked about four S - as in how Speed, Scale and Sensitivity lead to success. The Prime Minister once again pitched for simultaneously holding Lok Sabha and assembly elections as it was in the best interest of the country.

  • The seasoned duo of MC Mary Kom (48kg) and L Sarita Devi (60kg) were assured of their third successive international medals after they entered the semi-finals, along with two male boxers, in the 69th Strandja Memorial Boxing tournament on Thursday.

    The 35-year-old Mary Kom defeated old nemesis Steluta Duta of Romania in her quarterfinal contest.Sarita, a bronze and silver winner at the Asian Championships and India Open respectively, got the better of China's Qi Yawen in her last-eight stage bout.In the men's draw.

    India Open gold-medallist Amit Panghal (49kg) also made the semi-final stage along with last edition's silver-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg).Amit defeated China's Zhonglin Wu in a draining contest, while Hussamuddin pulled off a comprehensive triumph over American Raymond Ford during the evening session.

    Mary Kom relied on her sharper reflexes to outwit Steluta, who is a three-time world championships silver-medallist and a four-time gold-winner at the European Championships.

  • The Election Commission has fixed the 26th of this month as the repoll date for some select booths in 6 assembly seats in Tripura.

    Campaigning is on in full swing for the assembly elections in Nagaland and Meghalaya set to be held next week on the 27th of February. Alongwith back to back rallies, candidates were seen going door to door seeking votes as all parties are going all out to woo voters.

    Candidates were also seen slamming each other over issues. In Meghalaya, the BJP has promised to resolve the issue of the halt in mining activities within 180 days of coming to power, the Congress has said that the NPP is fooling the electorate over the matter.

    Meanwhile the EC has fixed 26th February for repolling in selected booths in 6 Tripura constituencies. 1 polling BOOTH each in Sonamura, Dhanpur, Teliamura,Sabroom, Ampinagar, Kadamtala-Kurti assembly constituencies in the state will have repolls due to malfunctioning of EVMs in these booths.

    The biggest challenge for the EC now is to ensure peaceful polling on the 27th. 300 companies of security forces will be deployed for the polls in Nagaland.Both Meghalaya and nagaland are to go to the polls on the 27th of Feb and counting will be held on the 3rd of March.
     

  •  In yet another blow to Pakistan, the White House has said that it is not satisfied with the progress made by Pakistan in its fight against terrorism. Washington has been stepping up pressure on Islamabad.time and again expressing displeasure over Pakistan's lack of seriousness to address the issue.

    Deputy press secretary to the White House Raj Shah said the US for the first time is holding Islamabad accountable for its actions.In its South Asia Policy announced in August last year, the Trump Administration called upon Pakistan to act hard on terror groups.

    At a press conference, Pentagon Chief Press Spokesperson Dana W. White said that South Asia policy offers an opportunity to Pakistan. She also lauded India's constructive and developmental role in war-torn Afghanistan.
    The remarks came as a meeting of Financial Action Task Force has been underway in Paris in which the United States was leading efforts to place Pakistan on an international terror-financing watch list also known as the 'grey list'. Pakistan's inclusion in the list could have severe implications for its fragile economy as it could scare off foreign investors and banks.

    The FATF has 37 member countries that include some of the major players in international diplomacy. Some media reports suggested that there was no major hurdle in Pakistan's greylisting.

    Any adverse outcome of the meeting would be a major blow for Pakistan as it would not only risk international investments and funding but would also force it to take serious and credible measures on the anti-terror front.

    In early January, the Trump administration had announced that it would cut all security aid to Pakistan until the country cracks down on terror groups operating within its borders. Since then, Pakistan has worked to solidify its relationship with other world powers like China and Russia.

  • To celebrate the idea of unity in diversity, Ministry of Culture is organising a Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat matrix in Madhya Pradesh beginning February 24 for a duration of 7 days. The States paired with Madhya Pradesh are Nagaland and Manipur.

    The Mahotsav will cover a profusion of art forms from classical and folk music and dance, theatre to literature and the visual arts and would offer the chance to experience the best in established and emerging virtuosity.

    A handloom and handicrafts-utsav is part of the proposed event. The gastronomic culture of Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and several other partnering states will be showcased through a food festival.
     

  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh said that India is a land of agriculture and If it is adopted as a business, it will not only help farmers live a life of self-esteem but also enable them to double their income in five by 2022.

    Addressing a gathering at North Zone Regional Farmers Fair-2018 in Varanasi the agriculture minister said that said all efforts are directed to double farmer’s income by 2022, the year in when India will celebrate 75 years of Independence.

    The Fair was jointly organized by ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi; Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India; Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers' Rights Authority , India; Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh and Association for Promotion of Innovations in Vegetables (APIV).

    The 3-day North Zone Regional Farmers Fair-2018 saw the participation of farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and New Delhi.

    The Fair will provide detailed information on ways to double farmer’s income through food nutrition and livelihood security. Scientific and technical guidance is also being provided to farmers in order to help them solve the problems related to agriculture sector.

    Radha Mohan Singh said that India is home to 17.6% of world population, 15% livestock, 4.2% water body, 2.4% land and with only 124 million hectares of agriculture land, it is a challenging task to double farmers’ income but the Government is working on it. In order to achieve this objective, several programs are being run at the national level by the Ministry and ICAR. 

  • After two weeks of negotiations, Russia has told the UN Security Council that there was still no agreement on a 30-day ceasefire in Syria. The Russian envoy to the UN told an emergency meeting of the security council that Russia would not support the ceasefire resolution put forward by Sweden and Kuwait in its present form, calling it unrealistic.

    The Russian Envoy cited concerns over enforcing the ceasefire and questioned the feasibility of quickly launching a major aid operation to reach civilians and lift sieges.

    The draft, put forward by Kuwait and Sweden, calls for a 30-day nationwide truce to go into effect 72 hours after the resolution is passed. Medical evacuations and aid deliveries would start 48 hours after that.

    The draft says 5.6 million people in 1,244 communities across the country are in acute need.

    More than 400 people have been killed in the five-day assault by the Syrian government on Eastern Ghouta, which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described as "hell on earth" for civilians.
    Moscow has vetoed 10 previous UN resolutions on Syria.

    In November, Russia used its veto to block a resumption of UN investigations into the use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces.

  • Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India today ceremonially broke ground on the Afghan section of an ambitious, multi-billion dollar gas pipeline expected to help ease energy deficits in South Asia.

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov joined Pakistani premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India's External Affairs Minister M. J. Akbar for the ceremony at gas-rich Turkmenistan's border with Afghanistan.

    Dignitaries including diplomats from the foreign missions in Turkmenistan were greeted by Turkmen national songs and traditional nomadic tents serving up food on an overcast day at the border post of Serkhetabat, once the southernmost tip of the Soviet Union.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Ghani said the pipeline would "unite (the) countries" in quotes translated into Russian for reporters at the ceremony.

    "There were pessimistic voices, but now we are witnessing the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline," said Ghani, using the acronym for the conduit which takes its name from the four countries.

    The quartet aims to complete the 1,840-kilometre (1,143-mile) pipeline and begin pumping natural gas from Turkmenistan's giant Galkynysh gas field by the beginning of 2020.

    While the pipeline will traverse war-wracked Afghanistan, raising security concerns, the bulk of the 33 billion cubic metres of gas to be pumped annually through the conduit will be purchased by South Asian rivals Pakistan and India.

    Turkmen strongman Berdymukhamedov, whose country currently depends heavily on China as a market for its natural gas exports, called diversification of gas deliveries an "important part of the politics" of the isolated Central Asian country.

    And he said work on the Turkmen section of the pipeline was still ongoing

  •  There has been no relief to Karti Chidamabaram in Enforcement Directorate case in INX media.The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on March 6 a plea of Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union minister P Chidambaram, seeking anticipatory bail in the INX Media money laundering case.

    However, the top court refused to stay the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate  asking Karti Chidambaram to appear before it on March 1, and said he can make a request in this regard to the competent authority.

    A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices Amitava Roy and D Y Chandrachud said it will hear the matter on March 6 after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Karti Chidambaram, sought time to file a proper application to challenge the ED proceedings.

    An FIR, filed on May 15 last year, had alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Karti .Meanwhile, CBI  has opposed plea of interim relief sought by Karti Chidambram. CBI said  that the plea of Karti is an abuse of process of law. SC adjourns the plea for March 6.

  • The Health Ministry has clarified that Indian candidates intending to obtain medical qualifications from abroad on or after May 2018 would have to mandatorily qualify the national eligibility-cum-entrance test, NEET.

    Thus, students who have already taken admission under current regulations to pursue the primary medical course by taking Eligibility Certificate from MCI are exempted from qualifying NEET.

    The Official statement informed that the regulations prescribe that the Indian citizens or Overseas Citizen of India intending to obtain the primary medical qualification from any medical institution outside India, on or after May 2018, shall have to mandatorily qualify the NEET for admission to MBBS course abroad.The decision will be implemented prospectively from May-2018.

    The clarification came after the ministry received grievances urging it to exempt students who have already gone abroad from the requirement of qualifying the NEET.

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, today graced the occasion of signing of MoU between Department of Economic Affairs and National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd for construction of housing project for Indian Economic Service Officers. Ministry of Urban Development has allotted 3519 square metre of land on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi, for construction of 90 dwelling units for IES Officers.

    Driving force behind undertaking the housing project is acute shortage of houses under Government General Pool Accommodation, particularly for junior-level officers. Project Management Consultancy for the project has been awarded to NBCC, for which the MOU has been signed.

    The Finance Minister also conferred awards to IES officers, winners under the Research Promotion Scheme. Speaking on the occasion the finance minister said that it was a joyous opportunity that the MoU was seeing the light of the day.

    Congratulating the winners under the Research Promotion Scheme, the Finance Minister said that he hoped this continues every year so that the interest in scholarship is alive and going.

  • A delegation of IAS officers working under the Delhi government met Union minister Jitendra Singh on Friday and put forward their grievances following the alleged attack on Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash.

    The chief secretary of Delhi was allegedly assaulted by a few AAP MLAs on Monday night during an official meeting in the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia. Kejriwal's office has dismissed the accusation as "bizarre and baseless".

    He said the officers wanted to officially register their grievances with the personnel ministry, which is the cadre controlling authority of the Indian Administrative Service.

    The Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office said that the officers have submitted a memorandum mentioning some of their demands and necessary action will be taken on it.

    He said, "the common objective of all of us is that we should be able to get the best out of our officers and we must enable them to perform their work to the best of their potential in the interest of the nation."

  • The Jharkhand High Court today rejected the bail plea of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav in connection with the second case related to the Rs 950 crore fodder scam of the 1990s. Lalu was sentenced to three and a half years in the case by a special CBI court in Ranchi on January 6. He had appealed for bail a week after his conviction.

    This is one of the six cases lodged against Lalu in connection with the scam.Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh rejected the bail petition of Lalu Prasad, saying he was the chief minister and finance minister during the scam period.

     
    The Public Accounts Committee kept the file for years, but no action was taken.Dismissing Lalu Prasad's defence, the judge said all the scam cases seemed to be done in his knowledge. Hence, the court is not inclined to release him on bail, the bench observed. 
     

  • The Enforcement Directorate today said it has frozen bank deposits and shares worth about Rs 44 crore of the Nirav Modi group and seized a huge collection of imported watches from locations linked to the billionaire diamantaire. 

    Officials said they have put freeze orders on bank accounts containing Rs 30 crore and shares worth Rs 13.86 crore of the group under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. 

    A huge collection of imported watches, 176 steel almirahs, 158 boxes and 60 other containers have been seized during ED searches at multiple locations linked to the billionaire diamond jewellery designer over last week, they said. 

    Nirav Modi was summoned by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Nirav Modi has now been asked to join the investigation and appear before the central probe agency in Mumbai on 26th February.

    Meanwhile, Scam-hit PNB says it has transferred over 1,400 employees since February 19. Earlier. the Income Tax department sent a notice to jeweller Nirav Modi to appear before it for questioning on the 27th of February. The notice has been sent under the anti-black money act.

    The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case. Both Modi and Choski are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them. 

    Meanwhile, Punjab National Bank reiterated that it has enough assets and capital to meet any liability.

    In a regulatory filing, PNB added that it has followed all lawful avenues to recover its dues from Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

    This filing comes days after media reports quoted Nirav Modi saying that by going public, the bank had closed all options to recover money. PNB had disclosed about the scam on 14th February, also through a regulatory filing.

     

  • The Delhi High Court today rejected the bail plea of AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal who were arrested on an alleged assault on chief secretary Anshu Prakash. Prakash alleged that the lawmakers physically attacked him in the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

    Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash had alleged on Monday that he was beaten and abused by AAP MLAs after being called for a midnight meeting at chief minister's residence. Prakash's medical report confirmed assault.

    On Thursday, the chief minister's adviser V.K. Jain told police that he saw Khan and Jarwal "physically assault" the chief secretary.Khan and Jarwal were sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a Delhi court yesterday.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau today held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to boost trade ties.Following the talks, the two sides inked six pacts. Strengthening old bonds Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to boost trade ties.

    The 2 sides also inked six pacts in the field of Information Communications Technology and Electronics, India-Canada Ministerial Energy Dialogue, Cooperation in the field of sports , Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights, Cooperation in the field of Higher Education, Cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation.

    After their nearly two-hour long meeting PM Modi while addressing joint media event with the Canadian Prime Minister said that they discussed the entire gamut of the bilateral partnership including global issues.
    Asserting that it is important that the two countries work together to fight terrorism, PM Modi said that there should be no place for those who misuse religion for political goals.

    Describing India as a natural partner and a trusted friend for commercial cooperation, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country looks for new opportunities to do business beyond its boundaries.
    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on visiting Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau in New Delhi.

    Earlier, Trudeau was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He also paid a visit to  Gandhi Samadhi where he paid tributes to the father of the nation. The Canadian pm was on 7-day long visit in which he visited Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Amritsar and Delhi.

  • A statement issued by President’s office quoted election commission’s decision to hold elections during early September and asked all stakeholders to offer their support. It may be noted that Maldives government has put all main opposition leaders either in jail or exile, on different charges. A Supreme Court order early this month to release the opposition leaders and begin fresh retrial led to the imposition of emergency and arrest of judges of Supreme Court. The order was later revoked by remaining judges.

    Meanwhile, an opposition spokesman and MP Ahmed Mahloof was taken into custody last night during a protest march. Police also entered the headquarters of a main opposition party and pepper sprayed the participants. Several people including a journalist had to be admitted to hospital for injuries.

  • ICAI has said that it has summoned a deputy general manager of PNB seeking details about the fraud at the public sector lender.

    The Institute has also written to the Reserve Bank of India requesting it to provide the list of the corporate borrowers of public sector banks having outstanding loan amount of 2,000 crore rupees and above.

  •  

    The case has been registered under sections 120 B, 121, 302 and 307 of Ranbir Penal Code, sections 7 and 27 of the Arms Act and sections 16 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities Act, 1967.

    Six jawans and one army officer attained martyrdom on February 10 terrorist attack on Sunjuwan army camp. One civilian was also killed in the attack.

    All three terrorists were neutralized in the retaliatory attack by the army.

  • Canada took a serious view of dinner invitation sent to Khalistan terrorist Jaspal Atwal. Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau has said the matter of invitation extended to Atwal for a dinner hosted by Canadian High Commissioner is being taken extremely seriously.

    Speaking to media on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi, the visiting PM said, the administration has rescinded Atwal's invitation for dinner reception. He said the Member of Parliament who gave the invitation will be taking full responsibility for his actions. The Canadian Prime Minister said the invitation should not have been sent to Atwal.

  • Many key agreements likely to be inked to boost strategic ties between the two nations with a focus on defence and counter-terror cooperation.

    The visiting prime minister will call on President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the evening.

    Earlier the Prime Minister in a tweet, said. I look forward to meeting PM @JustinTrudeau and holding talks on further strengthening India-Canada relations in all spheres. I appreciate his deep commitment to ties between our two countries.

    PM further tweeted saying: "I hope PM @JustinTrudeau and his family had a very enjoyable stay so far. I particularly look forward to meeting his children Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien. Here is a picture from my 2015 Canada visit, when I'd met PM Trudeau and Ella-Grace."

  • Parrikar, who was undergoing treatment at a Mumbai hospital for a pancreatic ailment, returned Thursday afternoon.

  • The CBI has now arrested Rotomac owner Vikram Kothari his son Rahul in connection with bungling.

    Earlier the agency had carried out searches in the offices and residence of Kothari in Kanpur.

    Vikram Kothari is accused of not repaying loans taken from 7 public sector banks and instead diverted the loan amount towards purposes other than what they were meant for.

    The Income Tax Department has already attached four immovable assets of the Rotomac group and its promoters. 

    Three Properties in Kanpur and one in Ahmedabad, were provisionally attached on Tuesday.

    The department has also attached 14 bank accounts that were in various bank branches in Uttar Pradesh.

  • Efforts are underway to put together 121 projects, which can be signed in two phases - about 50 on March 11 and another 71 on April 20. The summit will be held in Delhi.

  • The ministers discussed issues of mutual interest during the meet.

  • A Delhi Court has reserved order on the bail petition by the duo till Friday. For now, they have been sent on 14-day judicial custody.

    Meanwhile, protests continue over the issue. BJP workers staged a massive protest outside Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's residence. BJP has demanded that action must be taken against the chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as well.

    Congress has also targeted AAP over its alleged conduct. 

    On the other hand, AAP continues to call the allegations fabricated. Party members held a demonstration over the issue.

    Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash had alleged on Monday that he was beaten and abused by AAP MLAs after being called for a midnight meeting at chief minister's residence. Prakash's medical report confirmed assault.

  • After the successful first day of the summit, the second day also registered attendance of illustrious persons from the industry and politics. The deliberations focused on how to put Uttar Pradesh on the growth trajectory.

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that UP govt has improved the law and order situation in that has in turn facilitated ease of doing business. This is going to benefit not just the state but the entire nation.

    Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the vision of defence corridor in Uttar Pradesh will be realised soon.

    Meanwhile, Union Rail minister Piyush Goyal announced many ambitious plans of ministry for UP including a rail factory in Jhansi

    Speaking on the first of its kind summit in the state, chief minister Yogi Adityanath said more than a thousand MoUs have been signed during the summit that will open up newer avenues of employment.

    UP Governor Ram Naik addressed on the last day of the summit that saw participation of experts from diverse field and sectors in various sessions. 

  • Political temperatures have soared in poll-bound Meghalaya and Nagaland after Thursday's rallies. While leaders of all parties in the fray are going all out to woo voters, people want the day to day challenges that they face to be addressed by those who come to power.

    These challenges range from lack of clean drinking water to poor condition of roads and from lack of power connections to unemployment. Lack of adequate infrastructure is visible in the two states and people want the gap to be filled by the new governments.

    The states may be different but issues that people face in the two states are quite similar. Meanwhile, the Congress too is reaching out to voters for support in the elections.

    A look at the political scenario in Nagaland shows that out of 60 seats in the state assembly, Naga People's Front or NPF is contesting on 59 seats.

    Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) has put candidates on 40 seats, BJP is fighting in 20 constituencies and Congress on 19 seats.

    In the 60 seat Meghalaya assembly, BJP is contesting on 47 seats, Congress on 59 seats and NPP on 53 seats. The two states will go to polls on 27th February and results would be announced on 3rd March.

  • These cars include one Rolls Royce, two Mercedes Benz, one Porsche Panamera, 3 Honda cars, one Toyota Fortuner and one Toyota Innova.

    The ED also froze mutual funds and shares worth Rs 7.80 Crore of Nirav Modi and worth Rs 86.72 crore of those belonging to Mehul Choksi Group.

    Earlier, the Income Tax department has sent a notice to jeweller Nirav Modi to appear before it for questioning on the 27th of February. The notice has been sent under the anti-black money act.

    Meanwhile, the centre has opposed a plea demanding a probe into the PNB scam. Attorney General KK Venugopal deemed the plea unnecessary as investigations are already on. The next hearing in the matter is slated for 16th March.

  • There seem to be no letting up in the Pakistani tactics of resorting to unprovoked ceasefire violation at the LoC to aid and abet infiltration of terrorists. 

    Pakistani troops on Thursday fired at Indian posts along the Line of Control in the Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting Indian soldiers to retaliate.

    The Pakistani troops opened unprovoked firing at Indian posts in the Hajipeer area of the Uri sector in Baramulla district at around 8 AM.

    Indian soldiers retaliated the aggression effectively and in equal measure.

    Unprovoked firing from Pakistan has damaged many homes near the LoC. This is not the first time that the civilians have been purposely targetted by the Pakistani army.

    On Monday, Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire, targeting civilian areas in which three villagers, including a woman, were injured.

    A Border Security Force jawan was martyred when Pakistani troops fired from a sniper rifle from across the LoC on February 20 at Tangdhar.

    BSF believes that there are 175 terrorists waiting at the launch pads across the LoC, waiting to infiltrate.

    Meanwhile, an Army commando was injured in a gunfight with militants in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir. The terrorists managed to escape from the site.

    Security forces launched a counter-insurgency operation in the Hajin area of Bandipora Thursday morning following information about the presence of four militants there.

    As the troops were laying a cordon in the area, the militants opened indiscriminate fire at them and fled the spot.

     

  • BSF IG Sonali Mishra said there was a ceasefire violation yesterday too to which BSF & Army gave a be-fitting reply. She added that as per reliable sources there were 2 casualties on Pakistani side.

  • These students are on a national integration tour organised by the Assam Rifles.

    After the meeting sports minister said that Centre would establish a world class football academy in Manipur to promote games and sports activities in the North East.

  • Government said, Canadian side has already clarified that the invitation has been withdrawn; Canadian Minister said, Atwal should not have been invited and the invitation has been rescinded.

    Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that information would be sought from the Indian High Commission in Canada.

    Meanwhile, Canadian officials on Thursday cancelled an invitation to Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal for a dinner event with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in New Delhi.

    A statement confirming Jaspal Atwal's invitation to Thursday's official event had been cancelled comes less than a day after Trudeau sought to quash perceptions his administration was soft on Sikh extremists.

    Atwal was convicted for a botched assassination attempt on an Indian minister in Canada in 1986, and was sentenced to 20 years by a Canadian court.

  • A report in The Guardian has said that the former prime minister, who was sacked by the Supreme Court last year, had managed to retain power by driving through a law that allowed disqualified politicians to lead political parties.

    Twice-deposed in coups during the 1990s, the 68-year-old has long claimed his most recent eviction as prime minister is the result of a shadowy, anti-democratic conspiracy concocted between the judiciary and  behind the scenes the army.

    “This is only going to add to the wave of support for the PML-N (Sharif’s party),” Daniyal Aziz, a cabinet minister, told the Guardian. “The public think the party is being victimised.”

    It was not unexpected that the supreme court would debar Sharif as party head. The same five judges originally ordered his dismissal as prime minister on the grounds that, in failing to declare a foreign bank account, he fell short of the vague constitutional requirement that politicians be “honest” and “righteous”.

    But the verdict goes further. In a five-page judgement, the chief justice, Saqib Nisar, ruled that all “orders passed, directions given and documents issued” by him as party chairman since then “have never been passed, issued or given.”

    Most immediately, this nullifies all of the tickets given out by Sharif to PML-N candidates for senate elections, on which his career partly hinges. If the party win enough seats to cobble together a majority in the 102-seat senate, Sharif would be able to remove the clause in the constitution which prevents his return as prime minister.

    The Election Commission of Pakistan is expected to delay the vote planned for 3 March. This will give time for a new PML-N head to reappoint the party’s candidates.

    The most likely replacement for Sharif as PML-N chief is his wife, Kusloom, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer in London, analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi told the Guardian. “Through his wife,” Rizvi said, “ Sharif would still be able to control the party.”

    Even if a shortly expected verdict in Sharif’s trial on corruption charges linked to the Panama Papers delivers a guilty verdict, the party appears unlikely to slip from his grasp. A surprise byelection victory earlier this month in a stronghold of the major opposition party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has quietened rumours of a split.

    And the victimhood narrative binds the party together, said the columnist Mosharraf Zaidi. “Nobody would want to seem to be abandoning him at this moment.”

    Critics accuse the Sharif family of maligning Pakistan’s institutions in an attempt to save his political career. He “should accept the decision rather than planning new conspiracies”, said a spokesman for PTI.

    As Sharif fights on “confrontation in the system will increase, and uncertainty will increase,” said Rizvi, “which could mean problems for democracy as a whole.”

  • Set a challenging target of 189, South Africa rode on local boy Klaasen’s 69 off 30 deliveries and skipper Duminy’s unbeaten 64 off 40 balls to chase down the score in 18.4 overs. The Indian bowlers, especially leg-spinner spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, found it difficult to grip the bowl with constant drizzle pouring in for most part of the South African innings. South Africa made a modest start to their chase with openers Reeza Hendricks (26) and Jon-Jon Smuts (2) sharing 24 runs for the opening wicket.

    But left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat (2/42) broke the partnership when he induced a leading edge in the fourth over from Smuts and it was gleefully accepted by Suresh Raina. To make matters worse for the hosts, Hendricks departed in the final ball off the next over when he was holed out by Hardik Pandya at deep square leg off Shardul Thakur.

    However, credit should go to Klaasen and Duminy who brought South Africa back into the match with a blazing 93-run stand for the third wicket which came off just 49 balls after they were down to 38 for 2 at one stage. Klaasen used the crease to perfection and struck three boundaries and as many as seven sixes during his fiery knock in front of his home crowd. Duminy played the second fiddle and gave Klaasen the perfect support from the other end as the wicket-keeper batsman went hammer and tongs.

    After bringing South Africa in sight of victory, Klaasen finally departed when he top-edged a Unadkat delivery straight to Dhoni behind the stumps in the 14th over. Thereafter Duminy took the onus on himself to guide South Africa home and together with Farhaan Behardien (16 not out) shared unconquered 48 runs for the fifth wicket to seal the series-levelling victory.

    Duminy was cool as cucumber as he never panicked after Klaasen’s dismissal and finished off the chase in style with two consecutive sixes of Unadkat. Earlier, Manish Pandey and Mahendra Singh Dhoni slammed quickfire half-centuries to guide India to a challenging 188 for four. While Pandey remained unbeaten on 79 off 48 balls, veteran Dhoni made 52 off 28 deliveries. The duo shared 98 runs for the fifth wicket in just 9.2 overs to take India to the commanding total.

    Sent into bat, India were dealt a severe blow in the first ball of the second over when Rohit Sharma was caught plumb in front of the wicket for a duck by Junior Dala (2/28). But thereafter, Shikhar Dhawan (24 off 14) came to the party and clobbered Chris Morris for two fours and as many sixes in the third over over to up the ante. Raina (31 off 24) matched his partner stroke for stroke and hit right-arm pacer Dane Peterson for three boundaries in the next over to take India to 40 for one after four overs.

    With his pacers going for runs, skipper Duminy brought himself on to the attack in the next over but was welcomed by Dhawan with an exquisite pull to the midwicket boundary. Duminy, however, got his man in the next ball as Dhawan hit a full toss straight to Farhaan Behardien at mid-on.

    India received a big blow in the next over when skipper Virat Kohli gloved a rising Dala delivery straight to Klaasen behind the stumps. Thereafter, Raina and Pandey added quick 45 runs off 31 balls for the fourth wicket to take India forward.

    But the dangerous-looking partnership was broken by Andile Phehlukwayo in the 11th over when he had Raina LBW. After Raina’s dismissal, Pandey and Dhoni mixed caution with aggression to take India forward. The duo took time to settle down but once they got their eyes set, they clobbered the South African bowlers to all around the park. While Pandey struck six boundaries and three sixes during his knock, Dhoni was not far behind his younger partner as he found the fence four times and over it thrice.

  • Two AAP MLAs were arrested and were sent to judicial custody. Delhi Chief Secretary had accused that he was assaulted by AAP legislators at the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal when he was called for a meeting.

     

     

     

  • The Prime Minister said that those who ruled the state for decades have done nothing for the welfare of Meghalaya and if BJP wins, it will do all that has not been done so far.

    The rally at Phulbari town was Prime Minister Modi's second campaign meeting in the state.

    BJP has fielded candidates on 47 seats out of a total of 60 in Meghalaya.

    Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally at Tuensang district in the eastern part of Nagaland. He took with him his govt's special North East push.

    Prime Minister said the large gathering at the rally ground has sent a strong message to people who indulge in divisive politics and politics of vote bank.

    He also stressed on the need for a stable and corruption-free government in the state and called on the people to vote for the BJP.

    It was under Prime Minister Modi's leadership that this pact was inked in August 2015. Prime Minister reiterated that his government is committed to resolution of the long standing Naga issue and the smooth implementation of the historic framework Agreement.

    East Nagaland lags behind in development. Prime Minister Modi promised that the BJP would pay special attention to this region if voted to power.

    He said that his government's Act East policy views North East as a gateway to ASEAN nations. The vision of building a New India cannot be fulfilled without the creation of a New Nagaland.

    Prime Minister highlighted his government's development initiatives for the state. In less than 4 years, more than 500 kms of National Highways have been added.

    An investment of more than Rs 10,000 crore for construction of roads is in the pipeline. Power for all is also high on the agenda. More than 10 lakh LED bulbs have been distributed in Nagaland, reducing consumption of power.

    Rs. 1800 crore will be spent for making Kohima a Smart City. Construction of 8,500 houses in Nagaland has been approved by the Centre.

    Rs. 160 crore to Nagaland is being provided to achieve this. Under National Health Mission, Nagaland has been provided Rs 400 crore. Prime Minister's message was very clear. Fast tracking development in Nagaland and the North East is a key priority for his government.

    Nagaland goes to polls on 27th of February. Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned for the BJP in the state addressing a rally at Tuensang district in the eastern part of Nagaland. There are six assembly seats in this district.

    BJP is in alliance with the NDPP. Prime Minister Modi appealed to voters to bring the alliance to power to ensure a stable and corruption free govt in the state.

    He said the twin engines of the BJP-NDPP government in the state and the NDA government in the Centre will fast track development in the state.

  • The medicine, called larotrectinib, is made by Loxo Oncology of Stamford, Connecticut and was granted breakthrough therapy designation by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2016. Taken orally once or twice a day, it interferes with an on-switch for cancer growth caused by an acquired genetic defect, known as tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) fusions.

    "This is truly a magic bullet for our patients with TRK-positive cancer," said co-author Leo Mascarenhas, deputy director of the Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

    Infants, children, adolescents and adults with a range of cancers -- including salivary gland, infantile fibrosarcoma, thyroid, colon, lung, gastrointestinal, melanoma and other cancers -- were included in the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    The 55 patients ranged in age from four months to 76 years, and entered the trial from 2015 to 2017. They suffered from either locally advanced cancers or tumors that had spread to other parts of the body. Three quarters of patients enrolled responded to the therapy, typically within two months of starting the regimen.

    "A total of 13 percent of the patients (seven patients) had a complete response, 62 percent (34) had a partial response," said the report. Another 13 percent (seven) had stable disease. Nine percent (five) had progressive disease, and four percent (2) could not be evaluated because their conditions deteriorated or they withdrew from the study. "No patients discontinued treatment due to drug-related side effects," said the report.

    An initial analysis of the trial -- carried out at more than two dozen sites around the world -- was released at a major US cancer conference in June 2017. If larotrectinib gains approval for wider use, it could treat thousands of patients with these forms of cancer around the world.

    Researchers don't know exactly how many people could be helped by the treatment globally, since current screening practices often do not test for this particular genetic flaw. "Screening strategies that include assays with the ability to detect TRK fusions will be needed in order to identify patients who may benefit from larotrectinib," said the report.

    TRK fusions are found in a range of cancer types but tend to be unusual in common cancers, occurring in between 0.2 percent and three percent of cases. However, in some rare cancers, the fusions are present in nearly every case, researchers say.

    "In this series of studies, larotrectinib had rapid, potent and durable anti-tumor activity in children and adults who had solid tumors with TRK fusions without regard to patient age, tumor tissue and fusion status," said co-principal investigator David Hong, professor of investigational cancer therapeutics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

  • It also seized nine high-end luxury cars of Modi as part of its investigation against him under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Officials of the agency said frozen mutual funds and shares worth Rs 86.72 crore belonging to Choksi and his group, and the rest are owned by the Modi group.

    Choksi is Nirav Modi’s uncle and promoter of the Gitanjali Gems group and other jewellery brands. The central probe agency also seized nine costly cars of Modi, recovered by it during raids last week.

    These include a Rolls Royce Ghost, a Mercedes Benz, a Porsche Panamera, three Honda variants, a Toyota Fortuner and an Innova. Nirav Modi, Choksi and others are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after it recently came to light, following a complaint by the PNB, that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 11,400 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

    The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case. Both Nirav Modi and Choski are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them.

  • The human rights group said in its annual report covering 159 countries that "hate-filled rhetoric" by leaders was normalizing discrimination against minorities.

    "Peddling hatred and fear against whole groups of people based on who they are ultimate leads only in one direction. When leaders foster it or turn a blind eye the end game is horrific and literally fatal," said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty.

    Last week, the United States urged the U.N Security Council to hold Mynamar's military accountable for what it said was the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.

    More than 6,500 Rohingya Muslims are currently trapped on a strip of unclaimed land between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

    Amnesty said the international community had failed to respond robustly to "crimes against humanity and war crimes from Myanmar to Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen".

    "2018 needs leaders prepared to tackle the big challenges - from refugees to protecting human rights defenders to the precarious nature of many peoples' access to basic services instead of simply deflecting responsibility through blame," Shetty said.

    It said that leaders in countries such as the United States, Russia and China were not standing up for civil liberties and instead were "callously undermining the rights of millions".

    Amnesty said President Donald Trump had taken backward steps on human rights that were setting a dangerous precedent. Shetty described his move to ban people from several Muslim-majority countries in January last year as "transparently hateful".

    Last year's report accused Trump of "poisonous" rhetoric. Free speech will be a key issue for those concerned about human rights this year, the report said.

    Amnesty said its staff were arrested at an unprecedented rate in Turkey in 2017, which along with Egypt and China was also among the biggest jailers of journalists.

     

  • But the Security Council resolution would exempt attacks directed at extremists from the Islamic State group, al-Qaida and the Nusra Front targets the Syrian government and its Russian allies say they are pursuing.

    The proposed resolution, put in a final form Wednesday, expresses “outrage at the unacceptable levels of violence” and attacks on civilians in several parts of Syria, particularly in Idlib governorate and the rebel-held Damascus suburbs of eastern Ghouta.

    Whether Russia uses its veto or abstains in a vote on the resolution remains to be seen. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia called a 30-day cease-fire unrealistic, and diplomats said during negotiations on the text he argued that it couldn’t be enforced. Instead, he proposed a change that would have the parties agree to a cease-fire themselves which was rejected by the sponsors, the diplomats said.

    “We cannot simply decide that there is a cease-fire,” Nebenzia said yesterday in an audio recording from Russia’s U.N. Mission. “That’s a long and complex process to achieve. Cessations cannot be established by putting a word in the resolution.”

    Soon after the final draft of the resolution was circulated, Nebenzia called for an open Security Council meeting Thursday on eastern Ghouta. Some diplomats complained privately that Russia was trying to delay action on the 30-day cease-fire resolution.

    The UN human rights office said yesterday that at least 346 people have been killed in eastern Ghouta since the Syrian government and its allies escalated an offensive on Feb. 4. Nebenzia told the council it’s important that all sides in the conflict present their understanding of the situation in eastern Ghouta “and come up the ways of getting out of the situation there.”

    Russia understands “there are terrorists there who the Syrian army is fighting and the terrorists are shelling heavily Damascus and that has been neglected,” he said. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier urged an immediate suspension of “all war activities” in eastern Ghouta, where he said 400,000 people are living “in hell on earth.”

    The UN chief said a suspension of fighting must allow for humanitarian aid to reach all in need and the evacuation of some 700 people needing urgent medical treatment. “This is a human tragedy that is unfolding in front of our eyes and I don’t think we can let things go on in this horrendous way,” he said.

    US Ambassador Nikki Haley supported the U.N. chief saying “it is time for us to realize that we can’t continue to look away.” Later, she accused “the barbaric Assad regime” of attacking men, women and children.

  • Play ran exceptionally late at the event, with lengthy, slow-moving matches to blame. Svitolina took two and a quarter hours to overcome stubborn resistance from China’s Wang Qiang 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.

    Muguruza, the runner-up in Qatar last weekend, had to wait out a three-hour epic as Daria Kasatkina beat British seventh seed Johanna Konta 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 before the Spanish second seed got on court in the early hours of Thursday.

    But Muguruza at least then picked up the pace to defeat American CiCi Bellis 6-3, 7-5, a match which took one and three-quarter hours and ended just before 2 a.m. Svitolina had to save nine of 11 break points against world number 46 Wang who entered the field after the withdrawal of Petra Kvitova, the Qatar champion.

    “I was a little bit angry at myself that I didn’t bring my best game in the end of the second set. I had to accept and bounce back,” Svitolina said. “But I was very happy the way I was playing. In the end, the win is the win.”    Konta, the first ever British woman to win a round in Dubai, was unable to get past Russian Kasatkina. “I can only really look back on this match, and take the good things. I did do a lot of good things, (and I can) then learn from the things and try to do better,” Konta said.

    Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber advanced to set up a battle of ex-world number ones in the last eight. Czech Pliskova, the third seed, beat Carla Suarez Navarro 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, while Germany’s Kerber dispatched Italian qualifier Sara Errani 6-4, 6-2. Sixth seed Kerber, who won the Sydney title in January before reaching the Australian Open semi-finals, leads the series with her Czech opponent 6-3, winning their last two matches.

    “It was a tricky match, especially because she was playing well,” Kerber said after taking the win over Errani on a secondary showcourt at the Aviation Club.

    “I don’t care which court I play on. It’s always important now to win the matches and focus more on my opponent, on my game, on the next round.”    Japan’s Naomi Osaka, the next opponent for Svitolina, beat Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-2, 7-6 (7/5), while French fifth seed Caroline Garcia put out Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-2.

    Russian Elena Vesnina upset Roland Garros champion and fourth seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-1, 7-6 (8/6).

    “It was a weird match. At the beginning, everything was going my way. I was playing very clean. Jelena was missing a lot of shots,” Vesnina said. “In the second set, she got back. She is a top 10 player, she is a Grand Slam champion. Of course, she will rebound, she will change something in her game.”

    Pliskova, who headed the rankings from mid-July to mid-September, needed a fightback against Suarez Navarro after losing the opening set to her 27th-ranked opponent. “I was not playing the best tennis today, we were both a little bit struggling,” Pliskova said after finishing with 11 aces, six double-faults and losing her serve five times.

  • Accepting President Abdulla Yameen's recommendation, the Maldivian Parliament (Majlis) on Tuesday extended the state of emergency by another 30 days; hours after India had asserted that it was important that the island nation quickly returns to the path of democracy and the rule of law, expecting that there will be no extension.

    "We are deeply dismayed that the government of Maldives has extended the State of Emergency for a further 30 days.  The manner in which the extension of the State of Emergency was approved by the Majlis in contravention of the Constitution of Maldives is also a matter of concern," the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

    It further said that the consequent delay in the resumption of the political process and the continuing suspension of the functioning of democratic institutions including the judiciary is likely to further delay restoration of normalcy in Maldives.

    The MEA said that it was important to ensure that all democratic institutions are allowed to function in a fair and transparent manner in accordance with the Constitution. President Yameen declared the emergency on February 5 after the Supreme Court ordered the release of a group of Opposition leaders, who had been convicted in widely criticised trials. Among them was exiled ex-president Mohamed Nasheed. The court said his 2015 trial had been unconstitutional.

    Tuesday, the MEA statement also said that the Maldivian government should implement its Supreme Court order of February 1, regarding the release of exiled former leader Mohamed Nasheed and eight others, in "letter and spirit". There has been an international condemnation of the Maldivian government's moves, including the imposition of the emergency.

    The US also expressed disappointment over the development in Maldives and asked President Yameen to uphold the rule of law in the troubled Indian Ocean island nation.

     

  • The eNAM website is now available in Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Odia besides Hindi and English, while the eNAM trading facility is available in six languages.

    The eNAM has been strengthened with features like MIS dashboard for better analysis, BHIM and other mobile payment facilities, enhanced features on mobile app such as gate entry and payment via mobiles, integration of farmer’s database and e-learning module.

    “We are gradually adding more features to eNAM to make it robust and convenient for farmers to trade online. eNAM is a new initiative and will take some time to take off smoothly and without any hiccups,” Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said unveiling the new features.

    As many as 479 regulated wholesale mandis have been integrated with eNAM across 14 states and one union territory. And the target is to link 585 mandis by next month, he added.

    To ensure timely payment to farmers after auctioning of commodities on the platform, the government has introduced Unified Payment Interface (UPI) facility through BHIM. Currently e-NAM portal provides for online payment to farmers through RTGS/NEFT, debit card and internet banking.

    Besides making the eNAM mobile app multilingual, the government has introduced a facility for mandi operators to carry out one of the critical operations of ‘Gate Entry’ directly from the app. Farmers can also see the real-time bidding progress and assaying certificates through app.

    Even buyers on eNAM can do online payment from the app through debit card and net banking. SMS alert will be sent to farmers on receiving payment in their bank account. That apart, a grievance redressal management system is being set up at mandis to flag technology issues related to portal/ software and its operation and also track the status of redressal online.

    Moreover, the website has been improved with more informative features like live status of markets of e-NAM based on gate entry, latest information on events, dynamic training calendar etc. E-Learning module in Hindi has also been incorporated in the website so that various stakeholders can learn about how to operate the system and continuously get trained at their convenience. The MIS dashboard has been introduced to provide a greater insight into the performance of each mandi in terms of arrival and trade.

    This will help the Mandi Board officials and APMC Secretary to compare the performance of each mandi on daily, weekly, monthly/quarterly and year-on-year basis. Currently, 90 commodities are allowed for trading on eNAM and 11 more commodities will be added soon.

     

  • Women entrepreneurs in India are bringing about a lot of development in the public and private sectors, NITI Aayog member Anna Roy told a Washington DC audience on Tuesday. More than two dozen Indian women entrepreneurs are currently in the US on a business trip.

    The visit is a result of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) co-hosted by India and the US in Hyderabad in November which was also attended by Ivanka Trump, the advisor and daughter of US President Donald Trump. “What is required is to create awareness, bring visibility to the existing initiatives, bring departments together, enable partner connect, consolidate and leverage from all these efforts,” she said.

    This is what the women entrepreneurs’ cell proposes to do, Roy said at a reception hosted in the honour of a delegation of women entrepreneurs from India by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

    The dedicated women cell will handhold and facilitate promotion of women entrepreneurs in India, Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) had said. The women delegation will also travel to Boston, Pittsburg and San Francisco.

    In Washington, the delegation met officials at the State Department and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), in addition to interacting with members of the US Chambers of Commerce. The delegation comprises women entrepreneurs focused on cutting-edge areas of India’s economic development.

    “The GES was a crucial event. It gave a strong impetus to what NITI Aayog was planning and had in the pipeline,” said India’s Ambassador to the US Navtej Singh Sarna.

    “Women have held a very important social, political and economic role in India. And today when you modernise that role and you give it the kind of shape of entrepreneurship and give it the facilitation, I think you’re gonna see frankly, a far more focused work than men can do,” Sarna said.

    Today there is a high level of confidence in the structural and transformational reforms that are taking place in India, he said.

    Seema Prem, CEO of FIA Technologies, and a member of the delegation said that the Indian government has come out with policies that support women entrepreneurs.

    “What I have seen is that the government is very, very pro-women. We have seen that in all aspects. I work in the financial inclusion space... what I have seen is that a woman entrepreneur has a lot more leverage and has a lot of acceptance,” Prem said.

    The cell, to be called Women Entrepreneurial and Innovation Cell of Niti Aayog, will be headed by Niti Aayog advisor Anna Roy, and will offer women financial support through the Rs 10,000 crore Fund of Funds and Mudra micro-loan scheme apart from mentorship in scaling up, Kant told ET on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad on Thursday.

     

  • It is being organized by Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) with the support of Union Ministry of Textiles & Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

    Inaugurating the event, Sri Lankan minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that Sri Lanka sourcing of textile material from India and transforming it into apparel and garments for rest of the world, could lead to win-win situation for both the countries.  

    He cited the rich textile traditions in both countries and  stellar contribution of textile sector to Sri Lanka’s economy.  

    Arindam Bagchi, Acting High Commissioner of India noted that India would encourage Sri Lankan companies to be part of the supply and value chains of large Indian companies.

    He also urged Sri Lanka to make use of fully-funded training opportunities in India, under Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, in which a number of slots is earmarked for textile related subjects.

    At the event, about 45 exhibitors from various textile clusters of India are displaying variety of fabrics, home textiles, traditional items etc. suitable for apparel, industrial, technical application and general consumers.

  • Special and privilege ties require special events. To mark the 38th birthday of king of Bhutan and 50 year of India Bhutan diplomatic ties a special event was organised at the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Delhi.

    The event was lead by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Bhutanese FM. Special stamps were released to mark the event.EAM said proud of special ties between the 2 countries.

    Bhutan FM says firm foundation between India & Bhutan have blossomed. A ceremonial cake was also cut. Bhutan has opened its consulate in Assam this year.

    The Bhutanese Foreign Minister is on a 3 day visit to India. As a close friend and neighbour, Bhutan enjoys diplomatic and military support from India.

    In November last the King of Bhutan along with the queen and the prince had visited India.

  • A statement issued by Ministry of External Affairs says - We are deeply dismayed that the Government of Maldives has extended the State of Emergency for a further 30 days.

    The manner in which the extension of the State of Emergency was approved by the Majlis in contravention of the Constitution of Maldives is also a matter of concern.

    The statement says - the consequent delay in the resumption of the political process and the continuing suspension of the functioning of democratic institutions including the judiciary is likely to further delay restoration of normalcy in Maldives.

    It is important to ensure that all democratic institutions are allowed to function in a fair and transparent manner in accordance with the Constitution.