News

  • In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today the Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemical & Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya informed that under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWT&T) between India and Bangladesh, the following are existing Ports of Call in the two countries on Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route:

     

    India

    Kolkata

    Haldia

    Pandu

    Karimganj

    Silghat

    Dhubri

    Bangladesh

    Narayanganj

     

    Khulna

     

    Mongla

    Sirajganj

    Ashuganj

     

    Pangaon

     

    He said that the Port of Mongla is declared as Port of Call under PIWT&T and Chattogram port is not part of PIWT&T.

  •  

    In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today the Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemical & Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya informed that an Action Plan for Coastal Shipping has been prepared by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in September, 2019.

  • The HRD Ministry in partnership with MyGov has launched a ‘short essay’ competition for students of classes 9 to 12 for the third edition of Prime Minister’s Interaction Programme with school students "Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020” proposed to be held next month.

  • Fund allocation under POSHAN Abhiyaan has increased in the last 3 years from Rs. 950.00 crore in 2017-18 to Rs. 3061.30 crore in 2018-19 and to Rs. 3400.00 crore in 2019-20.

    There is no provision under the POSHAN Abhiyaan to provide nutritious food.

  • National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has conducted a Study on Education and Vocational Training of Children staying at Observation Homes & Special Homes. The study was conducted in 50 Homes in the 18 States / UTs, covering all the five regions, i.e., East, West, North, South& North-East.

  • The Government of India has legislated various child centric Acts such as the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act (CPCR) 2005, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act) for protection and promotion of child rights.

  • As per provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act), abandoned children are considered as children in need of care and protection.  The implementation of the Act is the responsibility of States/UTs.

  • The National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) is the only Public Sector Undertaking under the administrative control of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The details of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects/activities of NSIC and the areas where CSR were spent during the last two years are given at Annexure-I and Annexure-II, respectively.

  • As reported by Reserve Bank of India, the Scheduled Commercial Banks have outstanding credit of Rs.15,10,650.52 crore to 320.68 lakh MSMEs in the year ending March, 2019. In order to offer the right products and funding at the right time and help the MSMEs to grow, Government has taken various initiatives specifically to ease the access to finance.

  • As on 31.10.2019, 570 fee plazas are operational on the National Highways across the country. The amount of user fee collected from fee plazas of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in Financial Year (FY) 2018-19 is Rs. 24,396.

  • The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 inter alia provides for enhancement of penalties for offences for ensuring greater compliance and enhancing deterrence for violation of traffic rules which is intended to provide for better Road Safety resulting in reduction of accidents and fatalities on roads.

  • The Government of India approved Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I in October, 2017 with an aggregate length of about 34,800 km (including 10,000 km residual NHDP stretches) at an estimated outlay of Rs. 5,35,000.

  • Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the India Gas Infrastructure Conference 2019 organised by FICCI, here today. Theme of the event was ‘Indian Gas Sector- Ushering in an era of growth’.

  •  

    Fit India Plogging Run, which was launched on October 2, 2019, concluded today in Delhi’s Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, having covered 50 cities across the country.

    During the event, Minister of State(I/C) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Kiren Rijiju felicitated Ripu Daman Bevli, popularly known as the Plogman of India and named him the Plogging Ambassador of India.

  • Review of performance of Government employees is a continuous process and the Central Government has since long been reviewing officials on grounds of performance and integrity.

          As per the information/data uploaded by the different Ministries/Departments/Cadre Controlling Authorities (CCAs) on Probity Portal, followed by the rectification requests made by some of them, a total of 32,305 Group ‘A’ and 83,205 Group ‘B’ Officers have been reviewed during the period July 2014 to October 2019.

  • As per the information/data uploaded by the different Ministries/Departments/Cadre Controlling Authorities (CCAs) on Probity Portal followed by the rectification requests made by some Ministries/ Departments/CCAs, during the period from July, 2014 to October, 2019 (as on 25.11.

  • There is no proposal to reduce retirement age of Government official below 60 years.

    This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, DrJitendra Singh in written reply to a question in RajyaSabha today.

  • The National Sports Development Code of India (NSDCI) 2011 has been operational since 2011 and is applicable on National Sports Federations. NSDCI provides for guidelines for granting government recognition to National Sports Federations (NSFs) as also procedure for suspension/derecognition of such NSFs which violates the provisions of NSDCI.

  • The Ministry of Coal, after a long gap of 4 years, has approved the allocation of five Coal Mines. This was the result of the electronic auction conducted by Ministry of Coal in first week of November 2019.

  • The Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, Shri N.K. Singh, Members S/Shri Ajay Narayan Jha,  Ashok Lahiri,  Ramesh Chand, Anoop Singh and Secretary Shri Arvind Mehta today called on the President of  India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind and submitted the report of the Commission for the financial year 2020-21 for further necessary action.

  • In the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal, Indian women's football team defeated Sri Lanka by 6-0 today. Meanwhile, Indian athletes continue their winning streak in the games.

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its fifth bi-monthly Monetary Policy has kept the policy repo rate unchanged at 5.15 per cent.

  • The by-election in 15 assembly constituencies in Karnataka is proceeding peacefully. Apart from a few incidents of technical glitch in the EVMs, the polling is going on smoothly. 33 per cent polling was recorded till 1 pm.

  • Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu has said, the synergy and coordination between Police and Civil Administration is vital for the development of the union territory.

  • President Ramnath Kovind has said, the success of the Ayushman Bharat health scheme will be determined by the contribution of nursing community.

  • The Union Cabinet yesterday approved a proposal to extend reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies for another 10 years.

  • In Disha rape and Murder case, the Telangana High Court has approved setting up of the fast track court and designated the Mahabubnagar Court for the same.

  • The Cabinet approved a proposal to extend reservation for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies for another 10 years.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih jointly inaugurated four key development projects covering a wide range of sectors through video conferencing this evening.

  • Union Minister for Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the process is on for the merger of BSNL and MTNL.

  • Uttar Pradesh government has decided to provide 25 per cent subsidy and 100 per cent stamp duty waiver for setting up defence industry in the state.

  • Government has launched the 4th round of Regional Connectivity Scheme - UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) to further enhance the connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country.

  • India's Karthik Unnikri clinched gold and Mohammed Salahu won silver in men's triple jump. In women's section Bhairabi Roy won bronze. In 400 meters race Priya Habbathan won silver in women's, while Jeevan Priyanth begged bronze in men's category. In hurdles Surendhar Jayak and Aparna Roy won silver each in men and women sections.

    In Table Tennis, India grabbed gold in mixed doubles and silver each in men's doubles and women's doubles. In Wushsu India clinched gold. In women's football India crushed Sri Lanka by 6-0. India is on a top position with 85 medals comprising 38 gold, 32 silver and 15 bronze followed by host Nepal and Sri Lanka.

  • Kammuri's fierce winds toppled trees and flattened flimsy homes across a swathe of the nation's north on Tuesday, and forced a rare 12-hour shutdown of Manila's international airport. Authorities said on Wednesday one person had drowned while three died after being hit by trees and flying objects. Disaster officials did not offer details on how the other victims died, but local police reports indicated some may have drowned or been crushed by trees.

    Mark Timbal, spokesman for the national disaster agency, said no new bodies have been found but the death toll could rise as reports on the ground are verified. "There is the possibility of an increase in the number, but we are hoping against it," Timbal said. Hundreds of thousands of people living in exposed or low-lying areas were evacuated from their homes before Kammuri made landfall late Monday, which authorities said had saved lives. Still the storm damaged 135 schools and destroyed nearly 1,200 homes, with crop damage in the hardest hit areas estimated to reach nearly USD 16 million.

    The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year, killing hundreds and putting people in disaster-prone areas in a state of constant poverty. President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to visit on Thursday the Bicol region, a peninsula south of Manila which was hit hard by the typhoon. Ninoy Aquino International Airport was closed half of Tuesday as a precaution, affecting over 500 flights, while roughly half the day's programme at the Southeast Asian Games, hosted by Manila and nearby cities, had to be postponed.

  • Twenty assembly constituencies spread over seven districts will go to polls in this phase on Saturday.  Voting would take place in East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Saraikela-Kharsawan, Ranchi, Khunti, Gumla and Simdega districts.
    On the last day of campaigning, Chief Minister Raghubar Das, BJP working President Jagat Prakash Nadda and senior party leader and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, will hold public meetings.

    Jharkhand Mukti Morcha working President Hemant Soren, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha President Babulal Marandi, All Jharkhand Students' Union Chief Sudesh Kumar Mahto and RJD leader Tejaswi Prasad Yadav are also scheduled to address election rallies. Commitment towards protection of rights of tribal people over water, forest and land, issues of reservation and employment are the main poll planks of almost all political parties in this phase.

    In the ongoing campaigning, BJP leaders are focussed on development initiatives of Centre and State governments phrasing it as achievements of  Double Engine government. Senior BJP leader and union minister Nitin Gadkari claimed in a public meeting at Dakra that incumbent government has launched many initiatives to boost MSME sector in the state. Senior Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha said that BJP claim about development is just an eyewash.

    Senior leader of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Hemant  Soren is promising to voters that if voted to power his alliance will  ensure pride and self-respect of tribal people. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha President Babulal Marandi said his party would work on enactment for job guarantee to youths. All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) party chief Sudesh Mahto alleged that Congress and JMM have forged alliance to grab power in the state. 

    Excluding Jamshedpur East, Jamshedpur West and Baharagora, sixteen constituencies are reserved for tribal candidates whereas Jugsalai seat is reserved for Scheduled Caste community. 260 candidates, including 29 women, are in the fray. In poll-bound 20 assembly seats, 18 constituencies are naxal- affected. Elaborate security arrangements will be made at polling stations. Out of 5,784 polling booths, 1,844 are critical.

    The polling process for 81-member Jharkhand Assembly will be completed in five phases between the 30th of November and the 20th of December. Counting of votes will be held on the 23rd of this month.
     

  • A spokesman for the US base would only say that security forces had responded to reports of a shooting at around 2.30 pm local time on Wednesday and that the base was on lockdown for several hours. One witness told local media he was sitting at his computer when he heard shots fired and saw three victims on the ground.

    The witness, who did not want to be identified, said he then saw the gunman who was wearing what appeared to be a navy or sailor's uniform shoot himself in the head. Hawaii News Now said several civilians were among the gunshot victims. The shooting reportedly took place near the south entrance to the sprawling base.

  • The central bank also revised GDP growth downwards to 5 per cent for 2019-20 from 6.1 per cent projected in its October policy. "The Monetary Policy Committee recognises that there is monetary policy space for future action. However, given the evolving growth-inflation dynamics, the MPC felt it appropriate to take a pause at this juncture," the RBI said in its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy for this fiscal.

    The panel decided to continue with the accommodative stance as long as it is necessary to revive growth, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target. All the six members of the MPC voted in favour of a rate pause. The CPI inflation projection is revised upwards to 5.1-4.7 per cent for H2 FY20 and 4-3.8 per cent for H1 FY21. Between February and October 2019, the RBI has reduced repo rate by 135 basis points.

  • The by-elections were necessitated due to the disqualification of 14 Congress and three JD(S) party rebel legislators, leading to the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state. BJP has fielded 13 of the 15 disqualified MLAs after the Supreme Court allowed them to contest the by-elections. R Shankar from Ranebennur and Roshan Baig from Shivajinagar are two of the disqualified MLAs who are not contesting. 

    Out of 224 seats in the Karnataka assembly, 17 are vacant and the by-election is now being held for 15 seats. Maski in Raichur district and R R Nagar in Bengaluru south-west are two assembly segments where elections were not announced as there is a litigation against the candidates who had won the May 2018 Assembly election.

    Hence in the House strength of 222, the magic number is 112. BJP has the strength of 105 members including the Speaker and a lone Independent MLA support it. So it has to win at least six more seats to gain a simple majority. There are 165 candidates in fray seeking a mandate from 37 lakh 82 thousand 681 registered voters in 4185 polling booths. The counting of votes will be on December 9th

  • Nine others who were injured in the incident have been admitted to the hospital for treatment.

    Indian Ambassador to Sudan Ravindra Prasad Jaiswal told that the Indian Embassy officials have visited the Hospital and met the injured Indians.

    He said, the Embassy has assured all possible assistance and best treatment to them.

    16 Indians were missing after the incident that occurred in Khartoum. Some of the missing may be in the list of dead as identification is not possible because of the bodies being burnt.

    The embassy today issued a detailed list of Indians who were hospitalised, went missing or survived the tragedy. Thirty-four Indians who survived have been accommodated at the Saloomi Ceramics Factory residence.

    External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that the embassy representative has rushed to the site. A 24-hour emergency hotline 249-921917471 has been set up at embassy of India in Khartoum. 

    Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has expressed his anguish over the blast.

    In a tweet, Mr Modi said, his thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured. He said, Indian embassy is providing all possible assistance to those affected.

  • The legislation has already been cleared by the Lok Sabha.The bill provides for a legal framework to grant ownership rights of land to more than 40 lakh people living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi.

    It envisages offering them the rights of transferring or mortgage rights also. They would be able to claim the rights on the basis of holding documents like Power of Attorney, Agreement of Sale, Will or Possession letters. It will provide relief to the residents of 1731 unauthorised colonies in the National Capital Region.

    Replying to the discussions on the bill, Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, a 2008-notification has identified 1797 unauthorized colonies in the national capital, of which 66 have been excluded from the purview of the bill for now.

    He cited reasons for the exclusion as the colonies falling under forest lands, ‘O’ zone or under the high tension power lines and those land parcels identified in the master plan for roads.

    He said, the title of the land after regularization will be made either in the name of the women in the beneficiary-family or jointly with women. He said, a mechanism will be established for looking into the case of those 66 excluded colonies.

    Mr Puri said, the scheme is much more than a regularization as it confers the rights of the land and is not just regularizing unapproved structures. He added, the stamp duty and registration charges would be very minimal and the task of conferring land title would be over in a short span of time to all beneficiaries.

    He said, the DDA will launch a portal for applying for the regularization after uploading the maps of the delineated colonies which will be completed in a few days.

    He said fifty or more help centres will also be established by the DDA to help the beneficiaries to complete the process of applying for the conferment of titles in their names. He assured that all the beneficiaries would be conferred with the land title without leaving anyone.

    He said, the Delhi Government kept on seeking more time to provide the survey details of the unauthorized colonies despite reminders from the Union Government, causing a delay.

  • Athletics contributed maximum 10 honours, comprising 5 Gold, 3 silver and two bronze. In shooting, Annu Raj, Gauri Sheoran and Neeraj Kaur won gold in 25 meter sports pistol team event. In individual competition of same event, Annu won gold while Gauri claimed silver.
     
    In Tennis, India clinched men's and women's team title. Indian men defeated Pakistan while women beat Sri Lanka in the finals. In Kho Kho, Indian men's and women's teams won gold each.  In Triathlon, India won gold in 4 by 4 mixed relay.

    In Taekwondo events, India clinched six medals, including 3 Gold. In Table Tennis, Indian paddlers bagged gold and silver in both the men's and women's doubles events.

    In Badminton, 8 Indian shuttlers entered the semi-finals in singles and doubles events assuring themselves of as many medals. All the semi-final matches in badminton will be played tomorrow.

     

  • Indian players dominated in track and field and shooting events. India clinched 10 medals including 5 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze in track and field events. 

    Indian shooters brought double delight by winning gold in 25 meter sports pistol. While Annu Raj Singh, Gauri Sheron and Neeraj Kaur clinched gold in team event, Annu and Gauri also grabbed gold and silver in individual category. 

    In Kho Kho Indian women and men teams won gold. Women's team defeated host Nepal by 17-5 and men beat Bangladesh by 16-9 in the finals. 

    On the final day of Triathlon India won gold medal in the 4 by 4 mixed relay.  In men's Wushu events Sajan Lama and Gyandash Singh won silver medals. 

    India has so far won a total 61 medals including 27 gold, 22 silver and 12 bronze.

     

  • Addressing a ceremony this afternoon to launch several projects in Maldives being implemented through Indian assistance, PM Modi underscored that the convergence of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ and Maldives’s ‘India First’ policies have strengthened bilateral cooperation in all sectors.

    He spoke through a digital video conference while Maldives President Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih participated from Male and launched some of the important initiatives that were announced during last one year. These include the gifting of a ‘Made in India’ Patrol Vessel named "KAAMIYAAB” to the Maldives National Defence Forces, exchange of MoUs for setting up neighbourhood fish plants in Addu,  MoU to launch the RuPay Card in Maldives and installation of LED streetlights in Male.

    Maldives President expressed his deep appreciation to India for its support to the development aspirations and security of Maldives and  also conveyed his commitment to deepen cooperation and partnership with India. Both leaders agreed to work closely together to enhance cooperation for peace, prosperity and mutual security of India and Maldives and for the wider Indian Ocean region.

    India has extended a line of credit worth 1.4 billion US dcollars to Maldives after President Solih was sworn in last November.

  • India won gold and silver medals in men's and women's discus throw events. Kirpal Singh won gold in men's category with new meet record of 57.88 meters. Gagandeep Singh grabbed silver. In women's section Navjeet Kaur clinch gold and Suravi Biswas got silver.

    In men's long jump Lokesh Sathyana won gold and Swaminnathan Rav silver. In women's long jump Sandra Babu begged bronze. In women's 200 meter Archana Susneent clinched gold and Chandralekha got bronze. In men's 10000 meters Suresh Kumar clinched gold. In men's Sajan Lama and Gyandash Singh won silver medals.

  • It approved an MoU between Election Commission of India and Election Commission of Maldives on cooperation in the field of Electoral Management and Administration.

    This includes the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of organizational and technical development of the electoral process, support in exchanging information, institutional strengthening and capacity building and training of personnel.

    In other significant decisions today the cabinet cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

    Briefing media in New Delhi after the meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, the bill takes care of India's interest and it will be introduced in Parliament as soon as possible.

    The Union Cabinet approved the launch of Bharat Bond Exchange Traded Fund to provide additional money for CPSUs, CPSEs and other Government organizations.

    The government also approved the Central Sanskrit Universities Bill to be introduced in the Parliament. The bill has provision for conversion of three Sanskrit Deemed to be Universities into Central Universities.  

    The Cabinet also approved the withdrawal of Jammu And Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019. 
     

  • Last day for withdrawal of candidatures is Friday.  A total of 289 candidates have filed nominations for this phase. 119 candidates filed their nominations on the last day yesterday. Polling for this phase will be held on the 20th of this month in 16 constituencies spread over six districts of Santhal Paragana region.

    Meanwhile, campaigning is in full swing in poll-bound constituencies for the second phase. Twenty constituencies spread over seven districts will go to polls in this phase on Saturday. Campaigning for the second phase of elections in 20 constituencies will conclude tomorrow. Leaders of all major political parties including BJP, Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) have intensified canvassing in support of their candidates. RJD, LJP, JD(U), BSP and leaders of Left parties also holding public meetings to garner support of voters.

    Senior leaders like JP Nadda, Raghubar Das, Shibu Soren, Hemant Soren, Babu Lal Marandi and Sudesh Mahto will hold political rallies in support of their party candidates.

  • The top court said, Chidambaram could not leave the country without prior permission of the court and neither try to influence the witnesses nor tamper with evidence.

    The apex court set aside the Delhi High Court's November 15 verdict denying bail to the former Union Finance Minister, who has been in custody for 105 days since 21st of August when he was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the INX Media corruption case.

    A three-judge bench, headed by Justice R Banumathi, granted the relief to the Congress leader on a personal bond of  two lakh rupees with two sureties of the like amount. The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, restrained Chidambaram from giving any press interview or making any statements with regard to the case.

    The ED had arrested Chidambaram on 16th of October in the money-laundering case. The top court had on 22nd of October granted bail to him in the INX Media corruption case lodged by the CBI.

  • Page and Brin are stepping down as CEO and president, respectively, of Alphabet, the company announced on Tuesday. Pichai, 47, the current CEO of Google and a longtime executive at the company, will take over as CEO of Alphabet in addition to his current role. Considered as a significant shakeup in the Silicon Valley company, the shuffle comes at a time when Google is facing mounting scrutiny over its size, data privacy practices and potential impact on society.

    With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and 'Other Bets' operating effectively as independent companies, it's the natural time to simplify our management structure, the two Google co-founders wrote in a public letter. "We've never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there's a better way to run the company," they said. "And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet's investment in our portfolio of Other Bets," said Page and Brin.

    The co-founders will continue to serve on Alphabet's board of directors. "We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we're passionate about!" they wrote. Page and Brin, who founded the internet giant over two decades ago, took lesser roles in day-to-day operations in the company in 2015 when they turned Google into Alphabet.

    In his statement, Pichai made it clear that the transition will not affect the Alphabet structure or the work they do day to day. "I will continue to be very focused on Google and the deep work we're doing to push the boundaries of computing and build a more helpful Google for everyone," he wrote. "At the same time, I'm excited about Alphabet and its long term focus on tackling big challenges through technology," he said in his email. Pichai took over as CEO of Google in 2015 as part of the company's broader corporate restructuring to create Alphabet.

    Prior that, Pichai had held a variety of roles at the company, including overseeing Chrome, product chief of Google and head of the Android operating system. Endorsing the leadership role played by Pichai ever since he was made Google CEO, Page and Sergey said the Indian-American brings humility and a deep passion for technology to their users, partners, and employees every day. "He's worked closely with us for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Alphabet Board of Directors.

    He shares our confidence in the value of the Alphabet structure, and the ability it provides us to tackle big challenges through technology," they wrote. "There is no one that we have relied on more since Alphabet was founded, and no better person to lead Google and Alphabet into the future," they said. Pichai was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He is an alumnus of Wharton business school, Stanford University and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.

  • The Day is also celebrated to highlight the achievements and role the Navy plays in securing the country's marine borders. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday greeted Navy personnel on Navy Day, saying their service and sacrifice has made India safer. "On Navy Day, we salute our courageous Navy personnel. Their valuable service and sacrifice have made our nation stronger and safer," Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

    He also posted a short video on Indian Naval history. 

  • Continuing the efforts to curb rising onion prices, the government has reduced the stock holding limit for retailers and wholesalers to 5 tonnes and 25 tonnes, respectively.

    Earlier, retailers were allowed to hold onion stock up to 10 tonnes and wholesalers up to 50 tonnes. Now, they can hold half of it, as per an order issued by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.

    The revised stock holding limit would not be applicable for imported onions.

    Retailers and wholesalers have also been directed to provide details of onion stock procured and sold on a daily basis to the Ministry

  • Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh has assured the nation that the Navy is fully prepared to deal with national security challenges.

    Speaking at the annual Navy Day press conference in Delhi, Admiral Singh answered queries on the challenges in the neighbourhood and said that no action of any other player in the region should impact us.

    Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh  said that Navy is procuring 41 ships and its long-term plan is to have three aircraft carriers to turn into a true blue water force.

    The first indigenous aircraft carrier IAC-1 should be fully operational by 2022 and it will operate with the MiG-29K.
    He further said that Letter of Acceptance from the US for 24 MH-60R multi-role helicopters is here and the deal is expected to be signed soon. 

    He added that Indian Navy has thwarted 44 piracy attempts and apprehended 120 pirates during its anti-piracy operations.

    Navy day is observed on December 4 every year to mark the achievements and role of the naval force to the country. 

    On December 4 in 1971, during Operation Trident, the Indian Navy sank Pakistani vessels including PNS Khaibar, killing hundreds of Pakistani Navy personnel. On the day, those killed in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 are also remembered.
     

  • The Colombo Chief Magistrate delivered the order today imposing the travel ban until the staffer records a statement with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

    Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara said the Ambassador of the Swiss Embassy, through the Foreign Ministry, has lodged a complaint with the police regarding the incident, alleging that the said local staffer was abducted by a group of unidentified persons last Monday. He said the CID officers have reportedly visited the Swiss Embassy to record a statement from the said victim but its employees have refused to divulge information on her.

    The issue has gained controversy as Swiss government has termed the incident serious while Sri Lankan government said the details of incident don’t match with circumstantial evidence found through their investigation. The latter has requested access to the victim to record her statement.

    A Swiss government statement said that Switzerland supports measures to investigate and settle this matter by due process of law but the employee concerned still cannot be questioned on health grounds.

  • In a nail biting competition Indian girl made good start and won first set by 25-17. But in next two sets amid huge support from the home crowd Nepali team played better. In close contests Nepal won second and third set by 25-23 and 25-21. In next two sets Indian team took early lead and grabbed the title winning fourth and fifth sets by 25-20 and 15-6.

    Thousands of volleyball lovers cheered their team through out the game.

    Vice President of Nepal Nanda Bahadur Pun also witnessed one of the most thrilling contests of the games. Pun gave away medals to the wining Indian team.

  • The powerful storm, which blew in windows and sheared off roofs, roared ashore and was due to pass south of Manila - home to some 13 million people. 

    Forecasters said Kammuri remained strong, with sustained winds of up to 155 kilometres per hour, and maximum gusts of 235 kmph as it tracked northwest. 

    Over 3 lakh people had been evacuated from their homes in the central Bicol region. 

    The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year, killing hundreds and putting people in disaster-prone areas in a state of constant poverty.
     

  • The tragedy claimed several innocent lives and left lakhs with serious health complications. 

    The poisonous gas 'methyl isocyanate' started to leak from one of the tank in the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh around midnight and spread to the rest of the Bhopal city, killing people both awake and asleep. 

    The severity of the situation intensified because the alarm system the UCIL did not work for several hours. Next day, people complained of breathing disorder, rashes and sudden blindness. The gas also caused internal hemorrhages, pneumonia and death.  

    Activists on Monday flagged the neglect of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre set up especially for the survivors. 
     

  • India became the last major cricket nation to embrace Day-Night Tests when they hosted neighbours Bangladesh in front of a sellout crowd at Kolkata's Eden Gardens last month. 

    Virat Kohli has welcomed the innovation but said pink-ball Tests should be an exception and not the rule.
     

  • Upper House on Tuesday passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

    The Bill has already been approved by the Lok Ssabha. With this amendment the S{G cover is officially only for the Prime Minister.

    Union Minister Amit Shah replied to the debate and allayed all concerns about the decision being against a particular family and a part of vendetta politics.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday addressed a BJP rally in Jharkhand. He said that an atmosphere of development has been created by the BJP by eradicating naxalism in Jharkhand. 

    Addressing a public meeting at Birsa College Stadium in Khunti, he said it is essential to bring the BJP back to power in the State for further development. 

    PM said the people are getting the benefits of both the schemes of the Centre and the State due to presence of a double-engine government. He added that the voter turnout in the first phase of Assembly polls in Jharkhand was remarkable. 

    He said the people exhibited that they are aware about their duty towards strengthening democracy. This shows their enormous faith in democracy.

    PM further added that JMM-Congress alliance's politics is that of deception, while BJP's is of service. He said that People of Jharkhand have faith in BJP and it alone can ensure state's development.

  • On the occasion, the Vice President said that he believed that ROTAVAC is an example of a true social innovation that was realized through a partnership between scientists from India and the USA. 

    He added that India is committed to the goal of protecting the health of each and every  one of its children. Vicepresident added that India is firmly committed to ending morbidity and mortality in children caused due to diarrhoea by 2022.

    The first generation, Rotavirus vaccine, ROTAVAC developed under a Public-Private Partnership with the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, has put India on the global map for setting new standards in pharmaceutical Research and Development.
     

  • Vice President M. Venkiah Naidu on Tuesday conferred the National Awards on Individuals, Institutions, Organizations, State & District for their outstanding achievements and work done towards empowerment of Divyangs. The National Awards for the empowerment of Persons with Disabilities were given on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. Speaking on the ocassion vice president said that the nation needs to study and analyse various dimensions of disability comprehensively. He added that we need to identify the causes of disability and find ways to deal with them so that each individual is empowered to live a life of dignity. He said that it is this feeling of respect that is reflected in the nomenclature given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he called the disabled as Divyangs.

    Vice President further said that education is the key to empowerment of every person, including Persons with Disabilities. He said that there should be a special focus on inclusive schools and special schools so that each differently abled child gets good quality education. He stressed on the need to harmonize the immunization and disease prevention programmes with appropriate rehabilitation. He said eradication of polio is an excellent example of  coordinated efforts. He also presented the role model 2019 awards to the winners.

    Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot  presided over the function. Ministers of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar, Ramdas Athawale and Rattan Lal Kataria were also present on the occasion. Gehlot also lauded divyangs who have contributed to bring larels to the country on international platforms.

    On International Day of People with Disabilities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his government is committed to keep working towards an inclusive future of differently-abled people. He said that their fortitude and accomplishments in various fields inspire all. PM Modi tweeted and i quote,
    "We reaffirm our commitment to keep working towards an inclusive, accessible and equitable future for our Divyang sisters and brothers. Their fortitude and accomplishments in various fields inspire all of us."

  • India lost first set to Pakistan by 20-25. But Indian players bounced back and won second and third set by 25-15 and 25-17.There was neck to neck fight in fourth set till the end. Both teams were moving one by one point. Finally India won by 29-27 and lifted the title.

    In women's section India will clash with host Nepal in a short while from now. India had defeated Nepal in group stage but Nepali girls had given them tough fight.

    Keeping in view the popularity of volleyball in Nepal and a huge numbers of supporters cheering up home team during past matches the women's final is also expected to be an exciting one.

  • Despite Barcelona's collapse at the end of last season and Argentina losing to Brazil in the semi-finals of the Copa America, Messi's genius was ever-present in 2019, for which he now stands alone in the history of the game's most prestigious individual prize. Four years after his last Ballon d'Or, Messi pulled clear of the five next to the name of Cristiano Ronaldo, and now owns twice as many as Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten. In 54 appearances this year, Messi has managed an astonishing 46 goals and 17 assists while for Barca alone he hit 41 goals and 15 assists in 44 matches, which included seven doubles and three hat-tricks. "It's like he is extra-terrestrial," said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde in March.

    "Every time he gets the ball something extraordinary seems to happen." Messi's first season as club captain brought a third consecutive La Liga title and he scored the winner in the game that clinched it, a 1-0 victory over Levante. He also claimed his sixth Pichichi Trophy as the division's top scorer, with 36 goals in 34 matches. But Barcelona unravelled as their 3-0 advantage over Liverpool to which Messi contributed a brace went up in smoke at Anfield and the club crashed out in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

    They were then beaten by Valencia in the final of the Copa del Rey, when Messi's tap-in proved a consolation, but it was his voice that spoke loudest in defence of coach Valverde, whose survival owed much to the support of his captain. Messi had led the way on the pitch too, particularly during the run-in when he scored 16 goals in 12 games as Barcelona put together a relentless winning streak. "This league has one person's name on it," wrote Diario Sport. - 50th career hat-trick. He scored his 50th career hat-trick in a 4-2 win at Sevilla and in April, another hat-trick began with a free-kick into the top corner and ended with a sweeping chip from the edge of the area that was so good even the Real Betis fans felt compelled to applaud.

    When asked about their reaction, Messi said: "To be honest I don't remember anything like that." His goal was nominated in the FIFA Puskas Award's 10-long shortlist. "I have not seen any player like Messi in the history of football," said Betis coach Quique Setien. "His goal was something you do playing Playstation." After finishing the Champions League as top scorer with 12 goals and collecting his sixth Golden Shoe for a record third consecutive year, Messi joined up with Argentina for the Copa America, a tournament that kickstarted a frustrating three months for the 32-year-old. Messi was sent off against Chile in the third-place play-off and his comments about the refereeing drew him a three-month suspension from international football.

    A return to Barcelona should have offered some respite but Messi suffered a calf injury on the first day of pre-season before a thigh strain meant he would not begin playing regularly again until October. Yet he made up for lost time by scoring six goals in five games and then a hat-trick against Celta Vigo, this time a treble made up of set-pieces, two from free-kicks and one a penalty. It was his 34th hat-trick in La Liga, equalling Ronaldo's record in the Spanish top flight. Free-kicks have become an increasingly potent weapon for Messi and his improvement is more evidence of a player still adding to his skill-set in what can be assumed will be his twilight years. "It's clear that when games are close we have the advantage of having the best player in the world and the best free-kick taker in the world," said Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets.

    Another milestone came at the end of November when his goal and two assists in a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund coincided with his 700th appearance for Barcelona. On Sunday, he scored the winner in a 1-0 victory at Atletico Madrid. Barcelona insist they have plans for coping with Messi's dreaded retirement but the truth is their number 10 will be irreplaceable. He has unfulfilled ambitions too, including another Champions League crown, not to mention an elusive major trophy with Argentina. Despite it all, Messi is not finished yet.

  • On September 7, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) attempted a soft landing of Vikram on the Moon. However, ISRO lost contact with Vikram shortly before the scheduled touchdown. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Camera team released the first mosaic, acquired on September 17, of the site on September 26.

    Indian Engineer Shanmuga Subramanian contacted NASA's project after which, the US space agency confirmed the identification of debris by comparing before and after images. "After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images. When the images for the first mosaic were acquired the impact point was poorly illuminated and thus not easily identifiable," NASA said in a statement. The two subsequent image sequences were acquired on October 14 and 15, and on November 11, NASA said.

    The LROC team scoured the surrounding area in these new mosaics and found the impact site (70.8810 degrees South, 22.7840 degrees East) and associated debris field. According to NASA, the November mosaic had the best pixel scale (0.7 metre) and lighting conditions (72 degrees incidence angle). "The debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site and was a single bright pixel identification in that first mosaic," NASA said in a statement.

    The November mosaic shows best the impact crater, ray and extensive debris field, NASA said, adding that the three largest pieces of debris are each about 2x2 pixels and cast a one-pixel shadow. Ever since ISRO lost contact with Vikram, NASA has made several attempts to locate the Chandrayaan-2 lander with the help of its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The LRO flew over Vikram's landing site once on September 17 and next on October 14. The ambitious Chandrayaan-2 mission to the Moon was launched in July. If the spacecraft had reached the surface in one piece on September 7, India would have been only the fourth country to successfully put a lander on the Moon.

  • Senior leaders of all parties are holding public meetings to woo voters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold rallies in Khunti and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. Twenty constituencies will go to polls in second phase on the 7th of December while polling in seventeen constituencies spread over eight districts, will be held in third phase on 12th of this month.

    Monday was the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers for fourth phase of assembly elections to be held on 16th of December.  230 candidates are left in the fray after scrutiny of papers. Filing of nomination papers continue for the fifth and final phase.

    Voting for the first phase of assembly elections was held on Saturday during which an estimated 64.44 per cent polling was recorded. Counting votes will be taken up together on 23rd of December.

  • The much awaited encounter of the games will be played at Dasaratha Rangshala in Kathmandu in the afternoon. Expressing confidence Indian captain Jerome Vinith said team is fully geared up and India will continue its winning streak. Coach G E Sridharan said India has outstanding record in South Asian Games and his team will beat Pakistan in the finals. In women's section India will clash with host Nepal in the evening.

    Though India had defeated Nepal at group stage but Nepali girls had given them tough fight. Keeping in view the popularity of volleyball in Nepal and a huge numbers of supporters cheering up home team during past matches the India-Nepal finals is also expected to be a thrilling one.
     
    In badminton Indian men's and women's teams clinched gold medals in the team event. India defeated Sri in the finals of both the sections at Pokhara last evening. Indian men's team beat Sri Lankan by 3-1 while women defeated their Sri Lankan opponents by 3-0. On the first day of the games India was at second place in medals tally winning 16 medals including 5 gold, 8 silver and 3 bronze. Host Nepal was at number one winning 15 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze and Sri Lanka was third with 3 gold, 7 silver and 14 bronze.

  • King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia are  on  five-day state visit to India. Trade and investment, renewable energy, environment and climate change figured prominently in bilateral talks between PM Modi and Carl XVI Gustaf. The bigger take away of day  was exchange of dialogue on  innovation policy between India and Sweden.  

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia at Hyderabad House on a five-day state visit to India. 

    The Prime Minister warmly received the Royal couple and then held delegation-level talks with them. The two leaders discussed in detail all issues of mutual interest and importance, including trade and investment, renewable energy, environment and climate change. 

    PM Modi and Carl XVI Gustaf agreed to increase cooperation on issues of bilateral, regional and global importance. There was also a high-level dialogue on innovation policy between the two countries. PM Modi shared India's progress in the field of innovation, having gained worldwide acclaim in the last few years.

    The PM said that the start up India initative has become a powerful engine for creating Unicorns in the country.

    The two countries had signed a joint innovation partnership during PM Modi's visit to Sweden on 17 April last year. The India-Sweden High Level Innovation Policy Dialogue, a high level platform for exchange of ideas, began on Monday. 

    The Royal Couple met President Ram Nath Kovind in the evening. Three agreements in the fields of polar research, science and technology, and sea faring were exchanged in the presence of the President and the King of Sweden.  

    Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind received the royal couple at Rashtrapati Bhavan. They were given a ceremonial Guard of Honor. 

    First thing in the morning, the royal couple went to Rajghat to pay homage to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi. The King of Sweden shared his thoughts in the visitor's book. 

    External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also called on King Gustaf and Queen Silvia and discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. 

    The Royal Couple also visited Jama Masjid and Gandhi Smriti. 

    This is King Gustaf's third visit to India. Relations between the two countries have strengthened over the years.

  • Soon after the first phase of Jharkhand elections got over, political parties have started campaigning for the rest of the phases of elections.

    Leaders of various political parties are holding rallies and seeking votes for their candidates.

    BJP National President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah held two rallies in the state and appealed to voters to vote for the incumbent Raghubar Das government.

    He addressed a public meeting at Chakradharpur and said..previous govts failed to provide stability because they lacked a clear mandate. He also said people have to choose between option of Naxalism or development adding that the Raghubar Das-led Government has eradicated Naxalism in the state.

    Amit Shah took a dig at the opposition camp. He said parties that exploit tribals, indulge in graft worth crores, and buy and sell poll tickets could never work for Jharkhand's development.

    Addessing his second rally in Jamshedpur, Amit Shah challenged Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asking for an account of his party's work in 10 years and what the Cong has done for Jharkhand. He said Modi govt is giving houses and electricity to people.

    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi held a rally in Simdega. He attacked the Jharkhand government and appealed to voters to vote for Congress. He also promised to waive farm loans if voted to power in the state.

    Campaigning by JMM and JVM has also gained momentum. The first phase of the five-phased elections in Jharkhand took place on 30th Nov. The second phase will be on 7th Dec and counting will take place on 23rd December.
     

  • In a moving message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Moshe, the Israeli boy who survived the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, on his coming of age ceremony. 

    Prime Minister wrote “As you make this important transition and cross a significant landmark in the journey of your life, the courage of Sandra and prayers of the people of India will continue to bless you for a long, healthy and successful life.” 

    Bar Mitzvah is a ceremony performed for Jewish boys at the age of 13. The youngster turned 13 on November 28. Prime Minister's message was read out by Sanjeev Singla, India's Ambassador to Israel.  The PM said that the perpetrators of the "cowardly terrorist attack" in Mumbai "clearly failed" in their intent.

    Moshe was a two-year-old toddler when his parents were killed in the terror attacks at Nariman House by Pakistani terrorists.  The boy, standing and crying between his dead parents' bodies, was saved in a daring move by his nanny, Sandra Samuels. The PM said 'Your story continues to inspire everyone. It is one of miracle and hope overcoming tragedy and immeasurable loss' 

    The Prime Minister recalled his meeting with Moshe during his trip to Israel in July 2017. He expressed hope that his wish to return to Mumbai as the director of the Chabad House "comes true".

    Moshe had said in July, 2017 in Jerusalem while hugging the Prime Minister, "I hope I will be able to visit Mumbai, and when I get older, live there. I will be the director of our Chabad House...I love you and your people in India" 

    The Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists who carried out Mumbai 26/11 attacks in 2008 also targeted the Chabad House where six Jews, including Moshe's parents Rabbi Gabriel and Rivka Holtzberg, were killed. 

  • Several parts of Tamil Nadu battled heavy rains for the third day on Monday, leading to flood like situation. Chennai, Coimbatore, neighbouring Pudducherry as  well as Bengaluru are badly affected. 

    So far at least 25 rain related deaths have been reported in Tamil Nadu. Out of this, 17 people, including ten women, were killed when a wall collapsed on a row of houses in Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy has announced an ex gratia of four lakh rupees to the family of those deceased in the incident.

    Several places in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Thoothukkudi districts have been waterlogged due to the heavy rain. In Cuddalore, around 5000 houses in low lying areas of the coastal town have been inundated. About 500 people have been forced to leave their home due to the situations. The heavy rain have also left  several suburban areas of Chennai water logged including Sholinganallur, Pallavaram, Tambaram, Selaiyur and Koratur. 

    Chief Minister took a review of the heavy rain situation in the state with senior Ministers of the Cabinet earlier and he has asked the District Administrations of the rain affected districts to immediately release the insurance amount for the farmers whose agricultural lands are flooded. 

    The Regional Met Department has predicted moderate to heavy rains for another two days. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea at Cape Comorin, Gulf of Mannar and Lakshadweep areas. 

    Meanwhile, a flood alert have been issued to people living on the banks of river Bhavani in  western  Tamil Nadu as a dam built across it has surplussed in the wake of  rains in catchment areas. The water level in the Lower Bhavani Project reservoir reached its maximum of 105 feet and the storage crossed 32 tmc feet against maximum of 32.8 tmc ft.
     

  • The short films and documentaries shown during the festival were selected through a global competition for which 600 entries were received. The jury selected 30 best films out of which 15 were screened in Dhaka. 

    Speaking on the occasion of the festival inauguration, the Ambassador of the European Union to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink praised the German chancellor Angela Merkel for allowing more than one million migrants from Syria into Germany. She said European countries wish to promote migration through aspiration and not based on desperation. 

    The Chief of International Organisation of Migrants (IOM) in Bangladesh Giorgi Gigouri said that the Global Migration Film Festival is a global initiative simultaneously being run in many countries of the world to draw attention to the issues of internal migration, forced migration and climate change related migration to engage people in a conversation on the issue of migration. 

    The festival was organised by the International Organisation of Migrants (IOM) and Dhaka University Film Society with the support of European Union.  

    IOM is the UN migration agency established in 1951. It works to ensure orderly and humane management of the migration issue. 

    ‘Gifts from Babylon’, ‘Just another memory’, ‘Dying for Europe’ and ‘ The power of passport’ among the other films of the festival powerfully depicted the suffering and dilemma of the migrants in various parts of the world. 

  • Adarsha M N Sinimol gave India the first gold medal by winning the men's individual triathlon event at Pokhara in Nepal on Monday. Sinimol compatriot Bishworjit Srikhom took the silver in a 1-2 finish. Thoudam Sorojini Devi and Mohan Pragnya added a silver and a bronze in the women's individual event.

    In Taekwondo India clinched two gold, six silver and two bronze medals.

    At the conclusion of day one host Nepal was on top winning 15 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze, India remained at number two while Sri Lanka was third with 3 gold, 7 silver and 14 bronze.

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moved the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for consideration and passage in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to replace the Ordinance which was promulgated by the President in September. The government through the ordinance reduced the corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 22 per cent, and for new manufacturing companies to 15 per cent. Sitharaman said the government's decision to reduce corporate tax rate was aimed at attracting investment and creating jobs. The companies opting for lower tax rates, however, will not be entitled to claim any rebate or deductions.

    The government said there is no proposal to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha that no where in the world do the prices of petrol and diesel remain steady for a particular period of time She said there is an increase of 5 per cent in the gross direct tax collection till November this fiscal, adding that the govt has maintained tight fiscal discipline.

    In the Lok Sabha, BJP demanded Cong leader Adhir Rajnan Chaudhary take back his controversial remarks on PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

    BJP also sought unconditional apology from him. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the remarks hurt the soul of the constitution. The Minister said, Congress leader termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah as infiltrators and this was an insult to voters as PM Modi is not just the leader of a party but he is the Prime Minister of the country.

    Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019 was passed in the Rajya Sabha. It has already been passed by the Lok Sabha. The members supported the bill but also expressed concern at the rising cases of deaths due to consumption of tobacco and deemanded more measures to be taken by the government.

    Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said there is a need to take steps to prohibit tobacco altogether.

    Leaders of various parties raised many issues in the Rajya Sabha including expensive treatment in private hospitals, adverse impact of chemicals and fertilisers on manure and other issues of public importance.

    Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Rajya Sabha that the strike by trade unions of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd was in the process of being called off following meetings between the management and labour unions and a pact in this regard is likely to be signed on December 5. The minister informed the workers had gone on a strike from October 14 to October 22 to press for their demand of 15 per cent fitment benefit and 35 per cent perks with effect from January 1, 2017 on par with executives and that they had resumed work on the direction of the High Court.

  • In a video conference held with the Chief Secretaries of the 11 major onion producing states, the Cabinet Secretary was briefed about the various steps being taken by the States to tackle the rising prices of Onions.

    Chief Secretaries from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana participated in the video conference.

    The Cabinet Secretary directed the States that the overall availability of the Onions has to be beefed up, considering the temporary shortage, to stabilise the prices.The Centre has already taken a decision on not allowing the export of Onions during the current season.

    The States were further directed to maintain considerable buffer stocks, impose stock limits on traders and to ensure strict action against hoarding.

    Rajiv Gauba said that the Union Government has approved the import of 11000 Metric Tonnes of onions from the 29th November to tide over the situation. The deliveries are expected from the last week of December, 2019.

    This is in addition to the decision of the Government to import 6090 Metric Tonnes of Onions from Egypt on the 22nd November 2019. The deliveries are expected from 2nd Week of December.

    Cabinet Secretary directed the States to utilise their Food and Civil Supply Departments to procure and distribute Onions at reasonable prices.

    Secretary Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Secretary Food & Public Distribution along with other senior officials of Government of India also attended the meeting.

  • The party has retained high profile Kaski-2 parliamentary Constituency. NCP candidate Bidya Bhattarai won from Kaski-2 defeating Khem Raj Paudel of Nepali Congress. The seat had fallen vacant after then Tourisim Minister and husband of Bidya Bhattarai, Rabindra Adhikari lost his life in a helicopter crash in February this year.

    Ruling NCP has also begged one provincial assembly seat and 28 seats in local bodies. Main opposition Nepali Congress could manage one provincial assembly and 12 seats in local bodies. Rashtriya Janmorcha has got one seat of provincial assembly. Samajwadi Party begged 4, Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal got 3 while one independent candidate elected for local bodies.  

    The by poll was held on Saturday in 37 districts to elect 52 people’s representatives including one member of House of Representatives (Lower House of the parliament), three provincial assembly members and 48 chiefs, deputy chiefs and ward chairs of local bodies.

    A total 337 candidates were in fray in the first elections held after 2017 historic three tier elections.

    The election was seen as a popularity test of K.P. Sharma Oli government.

    The left alliance had registered landslide victory in 2017 elections with almost two third majority in the House of Representatives.

    NCP had also formed governments in six out of seven provinces and grabbed most of the local bodies.

  • Candidates can apply for NEET (UG)-2020 through "Online" mode only. Submission of Online Application Form may be done by accessing NTA website ntaneet.nic.in. 

    The Application Form in any other mode will not be accepted. 

    The last date to apply online for the NEET (UG) 2020 examination is December 31, 2019.

    The National Testing Agency will conduct the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Under Graduate) - 2020 on May 3 next year from 02:00 pm to 05:00 pm. 

  • The Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 has been launched to focus on 272 districts of 27 states and 652 blocks of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar among hard-to-reach and tribal populations. 

    The program aims to escalate efforts to achieve the goal of attaining 90% national immunization coverage across India. The Intensified Mission Indradhanush immunization drive will consist of four rounds of immunization. The program will be completed by March 2020.

    The salient features of IMI 2.0 are immunization activity will be in four rounds over seven working days. excluding the RI days, Sundays     and holidays. Enhanced immunization session with flexible timing, mobile session and mobilization by other departments," an official statement said.

    Mission Indradhanush 2.0 Highlights:

    - Immunization activity will be in 4 rounds 
    - Enhanced immunization session with flexible timing, mobile session & mobilization by other departments
    - Enhanced focus on left outs, dropouts, and resistant families & hard to reach areas
    - Focus on urban, underserved population and tribal areas
    - Intensified Mission Indradhanush to be conducted till March 2020
     

  • This is a special tailor-made course designed at the request of Government of Nepal for a total of 60 officers.

    It is an example of Government of India’s commitment to enhance the capacities of various agencies of the Government of Nepal.

    The course is fully supported by the Government of India under the Ministry of External Affairs’ Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme.

    The training will enhance the capabilities of participating officers to effectively deal with the matters pertaining to Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism.

    Two batches of Nepali officers had already successfully completed their training modules in India.

    The NACIN is a premier training institute of Government of India in the field of financial investigations and anti-money laundering matters with state of-the-art learning facilities. It is an accredited Regional Training Centre of World Customs Organization for Asia/Pacific Region and also works in collaboration with other international organizations like UNEP, UNODC, SASEC etc.

  • The official news agency of Bangladesh BSS quoted the minister that home ministry has scrutinized the documents of several hundred online news portals. 

    He said in future, online media outlets will have to go through a proper registration process before launching operations. 

    Hasan Mehmud said that action will be taken against news portals who don’t follow the registration process. 

    Responding to a query the minister said that some of the news portals are showing video content on their website which is not permissible. 

  • On 17th April 2018, India and Sweden signed a joint innovation partnership to deepen the collaboration between the two countries and contribute to sustainable growth and new job opportunities. The partnership was signed during the visit of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to Sweden.

    It was agreed in the Joint Declaration on India-Sweden Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future, that both countries will explore optimizing the formal bilateral collaboration mechanisms, increase synergies between policy areas and enable exchange of experiences and best practice regarding innovation policies for the creation of vibrant joint innovation ecosystems.

    The India-Sweden High-Level Dialogue on Innovation Policy aims to create a platform with key stakeholders in a triple helix format from government, private sector and academia to provide overall strategic direction for joint innovation policy.

    The dialogue will aim to jointly formulate and implement short- and long-term projects in strategic areas such as, but not limited to, circular economy, digital health, artificial intelligence, sustainable energy, and future mobility.

    The dialogue was inaugurated in New Delhi on Monday by PM Narendra Modi and His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf, the King of Sweden.

     

  • Hong Kong Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters on Sunday, ending a rare lull in violence.

    The protest in the busy shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui followed a march by hundreds of people to the U.S. consulate to show "gratitude" for U.S. support for the demonstrations that have agitated the Chinese-ruled city for six months.

    Reacting on which, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet called for an investigation into alleged excessive use of force by police. China however dismissed her call as inappropriate interference in the country's affairs. 

    Meanwhile, nearly six month long protest is pushing residents to seek new lives abroad, with many turning to nearby democratic Taiwan to escape the uncertainty at home. Taiwan has long attracted Hong Kongers seeking an alternative to their city's frenetic pace and sky-high rents. 
     

  • Rajya Sabha discussed Hyderabad Gang rape case. Expressing anguish over the incident, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said that what is required is not a new bill but political will, administrative skill and change of mindset to rout out the social evil.

    Speaking in Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh assured that the govt is open to making changes in exisiting laws to make them more stringent, if necessary.

    MPs cutting across party lines unanimously condemned the Hyderabad gang rape and murder case in Lok Sabha. Speaker Om Birla said that such heinous crimes leave the members of the House hurt and concerned and said that stringent laws can be framed and the House can work on it, if needed.

    Minister of State for Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy said that he met with senior officials who are investigating the sexual assault-murder case in Hyderabad. He said that a fast track court will ensure swift justice.
     

  • Telangana State Government meanwhile has decided to set up a fast track court to deal with the Veterinary Doctor's gang rape and murder case.

    Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has directed officials to take measures to set up a fast track court. Expressing anguish and terming the incident as inhuman, he announced that the Government will extend all the necessary support to the victim's family.
        
    In another development, the district bar association has decided not to represent the four accused in the rape and murder of the woman veterinary doctor.

    Meanwhile, in capital Delhi,  Women's  and  Students Organisations protested at Jantar Mantar on the issue of crimes against women.