News

  • Union Human Resource Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ’Nishank’ chaired the Special Meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held in New Delhi today.The meeting was attended by Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, MoS(Independent Charge) for Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism, Shri KirenRijiju, MoS (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and MoS, Ministry of Minority Affairs, and Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Human Resource Development.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon the private sector to play a bigger role in important nation-building activities such as infrastructure development and improving health and education sectors.

  • Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan visited the Corporate Office of NMDC Limited at Hyderabad today, and reviewed NMDC’s performance. The Minister met CMD, Directors and employees of the company.

  • Today, Kargil to Kohima (K2K) Ultra-Marathon- “Glory Run” was flagged off from Kargil War Memorial, Drass by Air Vice Marshal PM Sinha AVSM VSM, Air Officer Commanding J&K.

    To commemorate 20th year of Kargil Victory and to live up to the true tradition and motto of IAF i.e. “Touch the Sky with Glory”, a unique expedition Kargil to Kohima (K2K) Ultra-Marathon- “Glory Run” is being undertaken by IAF from Kargil War Memorial, Drass (J&K) to Kohima War Cemetery, Kohima (Nagaland).

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy awarded Grants to the awardees of the second round of PACEsetter fund programme in a ceremony organised by the Ministry yesterday. ShriAnand Kumar, Secretary, MNRE and Mr. Kenneth Ian Juster, the U.S. Ambassador to India co-chaired the felicitation ceremony.

  • Election Commission of India today announced the Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra, 2019 as also the Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancy in the Parliamentary Constituency & State Legislative Assemblies of various States/UTs.

  • 1.   Excellency, I warmly welcome you on your State Visit to India. It is a singular honour for me to host you and your esteemed delegation. You have made it even more special for us by accepting my invitation to stay at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, received His Excellency Mr Khaltmaagiin Battulga, the President of Mongolia, at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (September 20, 2019). He also hosted a banquet in his honour.

  • Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM, AVSM, ADC,Chief of the Naval Staff will be visiting Bangladesh from 21 to 24 September 2019. The visit is intended to consolidate and enhance the bilateral maritime relations between India and Bangladesh.

  • The 37thGST Council met in Goa today under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman  . The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur besides Chief Minister of Goa Shri Pramod Sawant,  Finance Ministers of States & UTs and seniors officers of the Ministry of Finance .

    The GST Council, in its meeting recommended the following Law & Procedure related changes :

    Relaxation in filing of annual returns for MSMEsfor FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19 as under:

    waiver of the requirement of filing FORM GSTR-9A for Composition Taxpayers for the said tax periods; and
    filing of FORM GSTR-9 for those taxpayers who (are required to file the said return but) have aggregate turnover up to Rs. 2 crores made optional for the said tax periods.

  • The 37thGST Council met in Goa today under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman  . The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur besides Chief Minister of Goa Shri PramodSawant,  Finance Ministers of States & UTs and seniors officers of the Ministry of Finance .

     

    GST Council took following decisions relating to changes in GST rates, ITC eligibility criteria, exemptions and clarifications on connected issues.

  • The 37thGST Council met in Goa today under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman  . The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur besides Chief Minister of Goa Shri Pramod Sawant,  Finance Ministers of States & UTs and seniors officers of the Ministry of Finance .

    The council   took the following decisions in respect to rates relating to goods.

  • Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah chaired the29th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council was held at Chandigarh (Haryana)today. The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers ofRajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Administrator of UT of Chandigarh, Lt. Governor of NCT of Delhi, andvarious Ministers fromthese States and senior officers from the Central and State Governments including Chief Secretaries and Secretaries to Government of India.

  • Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah launched three citizen centric services of the Chandigarh Police, in Chandigarh today. The services include the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS - Dial 112), ‘E-Beat Book’ System and the ‘E-Saathi App’.

  • Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Piyush Goyalwill visit UAE from 21st to 22nd September 2019 for the meeting of the 7th India-UAE High Level Task Force on Investment (HLTFI). The meeting will see wide-ranging discussions on priority sectors of engagement for channelling investments between the two countries.

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, thanked Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for conferring upon him Global Goalkeepers Goals Award 2019. He also said that, over the last five years India has taken many efforts to improve cleanliness and sanitation, fulfilling Gandhi Ji's dream of a Swachh Bharat.

  • I am visiting the United States of America from 21 to 27 September 2019. I will visit Houston and, thereafter, New York to attend the High Level Segment of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

  •             It has been decided to include all areas, which are notified Planning/ Special Area Development Authority/ Urban Development Authority or any such Authority under State/Central legislations, which is entrusted with the functions of urban planning, regulations and development function akin to Statutory Urban local Bodies for all purposes including sanitation, in Swachh Survekshan - 2020.

  •            

    Inaugurating the National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign 2019 Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Parshottam Rupala highlighted the record production achieved for food grains (285 million tonnes) and also complimented state governments for effective implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes.

  • The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has issued detailed SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for acceptance of Driving Licence, Registration Certificate and other transport related information presented in electronic form.

  • Union IT and Communication Minister Ravishankar Prasad has said that Driving Licence will be linked with Adahar card to check forgery. He was addressing a function in Patna yesterday.

  • Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa has said the forthcoming induction of Rafael fighter jets into the Indian Air Force, IAF will be a game-changer in the South Asian region.

  • A special CBI court in Lucknow has issued summons to former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Kalyan Singh in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case. He has been directed to appear before the court on September 27th.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi met members of the Sikh Community in Houston today. In a series of tweets, Mr Modi said he had an excellent interaction with the Sikh Community and was delighted to see their passion towards India’s development.

  • Ministry of Sports will create 20 National Centres of Excellence to groom athletes for 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

  • The United States has announced that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran.

  • IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said postal accounts will be linked with Aadhaar for greater transparency.

  • Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO, Chairman K Sivan has said the Chandrayaan-2 mission has achieved 98 per cent of its objectives.

  • Moody's Investors Service today termed the central government's decision to cut corporate tax rate as a credit positive move.

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has held long discussions on cross-border terrorism with the top Finnish leadership.

  • In Iraq, at least 12 people were killed and several wounded when a bomb exploded in a minibus packed with passengers outside the holy city of Karbala last night.

  • GST Council has slashed tax rates on several items, including hotel room tariffs and cut and polished semi-precious stones.

  • The programme, as part of International Coastal Clean-up (ICC 2019), was held on Saturday at the beaches in Panambur, Tannirbhavi, Suratkal, Sasihithlu, Malpe, Tagore beach, Baithkol and Kodibagh at Karwar, all along the coast. ICC was started by the Ocean Conservancy in 1986 to engage volunteers in collecting marine debris.

    The Coast Guards efforts of coastal clean-up drive was supported, among others, by Indigo Airlines Mangaluru, NMPT, CISF, MRPL, KIOCL, students and volunteers of the Coast Guard wives welfare association, a release here said.

    All the prominent educational institutions in the region also took part in the drive. Coast Guard Karnataka commander DIG S S Dasila, who was present at Panambur beach, said people need to serve as a voice for the ocean and work towards a trash-free ocean. "Let's all be part of smart ocean planning to avoid risk, conflict and crises in the preservations of our vulnerable oceans," he said.

  • He will be meeting high ranking dignitaries of Bangladesh including Security Affairs Advisor to Prime Ministe Sheikh Hasina. Admiral Karambir Singh will call on the Regional Commanders of Bangladesh Navy.

    Visit to Khulna Shipyard, various Bangladesh Naval Stations and operational facilities is also scheduled for this period. Admiral Karambir Singh will visit Bangladesh Naval Academy and interact with trainee officers of Bangladesh Navy.

    The visit is part of the tradition of regular high level exchanges between the armed forces of both countries. The release said the visit will enhance friendship and bilateral co-operation in the domain of maritime defence. The Admiral is accompanied by a two member delegation.

  • A gazette notice appointing the five member commission was issued Saturday night. 

    The commission has been entrusted to carry out an impartial and complete investigation into the attacks and identify persons and organisations directly or indirectly connected to the terrorist attacks.

    It has also been tasked with identifying officers and authorities who failed to anticipate that  terrorist activities of this nature would take place within the country. The commission is required to submit an interim report in three months, a subsequent interim report in the next two months and the final report in six months.

    The Presidential commission has been appointed just weeks ahead of the Presidential election scheduled for November 16.

    President had appointed a three-member committee to investigate the incident following the Easter Sunday attacks and the committee handed over its report to the President in June.

    The report was not made public but was handed over to Attorney General office for action. The country’s police chief and former defence secretary have been charged with criminal negligence for the tacks which killed over 260 people including 45 foreigners.

    Meanwhile, a Parliament Select Committee was also appointed to record statements related to the attacks and the committee will submit its report next month.

  • ED in a statement said, investigation under PMLA was based on multiple FIRs of CBI against the accused Kakkad and others of cheating and causing wrongful loss of over 867crore rupees to various banks. It said, investigation under PMLA reveals that during the year 1992, accused Kakkad had set up a partnership firm.

    Later he made public limited companies and had fraudulently taken loans from the banks with no intention of paying back. The accused fled to Liberia via Dubai but was brought back to India with the help of Interpol.

    The Agency said, though repeated summons was issued to him he was not joining the investigation under PMLA. Investigation so far reveals that the accused has established multiple shell companies to indulge in questionable transactions and prepared forged financial documents of his various group entities.

  • The two sides will deliberate on sectors like petroleum and natural gas, food processing, civil aviation, railways, renewable energy, infrastructure, shipping and construction. India is likely to seek FDI investment from the UAE into India.

    The meeting will see wide-ranging discussions on priority sectors of engagement for channelling investments between the two countries, according to sources. The Union Minister is also scheduled to visit the Expo 2020 site this evening and the India pavilion’s plot to oversee various aspects related to the construction.

    India Pavilion, which will be constructed on an extra-large plot will be environment friendly permanent structure and will represent the country’s rich history and culture. Minister Piyush Goyal will also participate in a function organized by the Dubai Chapter of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with members of Sikh community in Houston Sunday morning. During the interaction they congratulated PM Modi on the decisions taken by the Government of India. The community has also submitted a memorandum to PM Modi. After meeting with Sikh community PM tweeted:

     

     

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with members of Dawoodi Bohra community in Houston. The Dawoodi Bohra community felicitated Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Houston. They recalled PM Modi's visit to Indore last year to attend a programme of their community as well as highlighted PM Modi's association with Syedna Sahib. PM Modi tweeted:

     

     

    The Prime Minister also met little kids of Indian Community in Houston. The Prime Minister also held a meeting with Kashmiri Pandit.

  • After the first match in Dharamsala was washed out without a single ball being bowled, Deepak Chahar and Virat Kohli helped India cruise to a comprehensive win over the Proteas in Mohali, giving them a 1-0 lead in the series. South Africa will be hoping to get their first win under Quinton De Kock's captaincy as they look to level the series but it will be tall task against an Indian team brimming with confidence.

    Having won the 2nd T20 quite comfortably, the action shifts to Bangaluru as Team India look to achieve their first home success ahead of the T20 World Cup next year. South Africa will be hoping to get their first win under Quinton De Kock's captaincy as they look to level the series but it will be tall task against an Indian team brimming with confidence.

    Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will once again be under the scanner after a disappointing performance with the bat in Mohali. The South Africans had no answer to Kohli's batting at Mohali's IS Bindra Stadium in the second T20, and with the next game being hosted at a ground where he is too familiar with, the Indian captain will be eyeing another good outing.

    But before Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will be standing up to the Kagiso Rabada-led pace attack with optimism. Pacers Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini put their hands up in the absence of regulars Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

    They may not have years of international experience behind them but the likes of Washington Sundar, Chahar and Saini showed that they can challenge the South Africans. New captain Quinton de Kock will again have to shoulder the bulk of responsibility with the bat and he will hope for support from the likes of David Miller and Reeza Hindricks.

    De Kock might have to change the manner in which he handled his bowlers in the second match, introducing his spinners late in the innings despite the Indians easily tackling his fast bowlers.

  • Amit Panghal settled for silver medal at World Boxing Championships after he lost to Uzbekistan's Shakhobidin Zoirov in the 52kg category final. He became the first Indian male pugilist to win a silver in World Championships.

    The southpaw suffered a defeat via a unanimous decision. The second-seeded Panghal became the first Indian male boxer to finish second in the world event and the country achieved its best ever medal haul of two.

  • Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said “Implementation of the initiative by the Huthis in good faith could send a powerful message of the will to end the war”.

    The Iran-backed Houthis, which control the capital Sanaa and other parts of Yemen, have been fighting against a Saudi-led coalition which supports the country's internationally recognized government in a devastating five-year war.

    Griffiths hailed "the desire for a political solution to end the conflict" in a statement issued from the UN headquarters in New York. On Friday, the Houthis proposed halting attacks on Saudi Arabia as part of a peace initiative.

  • Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir told reporters that the Kingdom will wait for the results of an investigation before responding to Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities, for which it believes Iran is responsible.

    Riyadh has rejected a claim by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement that it carried out the strikes on two oil plants that initially halved Saudi production.

  • Further energising India-USA friendship, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with CEOs from the energy sector in Houston Sunday morning.

    CEO from major US Companies including BP PLC, Tellurian, Exxonmobil, IHS Markit, Schlumberger and Emerson Electric Company attended the meeting with PM modi.

    Tellurian & Indian Company Petronet Signed an MOU for Up to five Million Tonnes of LNG through Equity Investment in Driftwood project in Louisiana.

    Both the companies will endeavor to finalize the transaction agreements by 31 March 2020. The MoUs were signed on the sidelines of PM Modi's Meeting with CEO of Energy Sectors.

  • PM Modi was received by Director, Trade and International Affairs, Christopher Olson and other officials.

    US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster and Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla also present at the airport.

    PM's first engagement in Houston will be a Round Table meeting with top US CEOs from energy sector.

    Later, Prime Minister Modi will address the community event titled as 'Howdy Modi – Shared Dreams, Bright Futures'. While in New York, Prime Minister will address the United Nations General Assembly on September 27.

  • The epicentre of the quake, with a magnitude of 5.6 and a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles), was near Durres, less than 40 kilometres west of the capital Tirana, according to the US Geological Survey. According to early media reports, at least two people were lightly injured and a dozen houses collapsed in the village of Helmes some 10 kilometres from Tirana.

    Windows broke and fissures appeared on buildings in Durres, as well as in the capital, local media reported. Electricity and telephone lines were cut off in Tirana and a number of other towns and villages, media reports said. 

  • He was speaking after inaugurating Bihar's first and the country's tenth Aadhaar Seva Kendra in Patna today. He said on an average, one thousand Aadhaar cards will be made at this centre and other facilities will be also available.He further said 114 such Kendra will soon be  operational in 53 cities in the country.

    The Minister also inaugurated the country's second and Bihar's first women post office in Patna. The first post office is in Mumbai. He announced that women post offices will be opened in every postal division of the country. He said these post offices will be a step forward towards strengthening women empowerment.

  • He defeated his semi-final opponent, Stefan Reichmuth of Switzerland 8-2, today to move into the gold-medal match.The reigning junior world champion Punia will now wrestle against legendary Hassan Yazdani of Iran in the 86-kg category final tomorrow.  

    Earlier, Deepak Punia, who is seeded fourth, defeated Carlos Arturo Izquierdo Mendez of Colombia in the quarter-finals to become the fourth Indian wrestler to secure a berth for the Tokyo Olympics next year. Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar have already made the cut for the 2020 Games and bagged bronze medals in their respective weight categories.

  • Announcing the poll schedule in New Delhi today, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said, the election process in both the states will be completed by 27th of October. He said, special security arrangements have been made in naxal affected areas.

    Maharashtra has 288 seats and Haryana has 90 seats. The five-year term of the legislative assemblies of Haryana will expire on 2nd November. The term of  Maharashtra assembly will be over on  9th November. The Model Code of conduct in these states has come into force with immediate effect.

    Notification will be issued on 27th of this month and the last date for filing nominations will be 4th October.  The scrutiny will be held on 5th October and the last date for withdrawal of the nomination will be 7th of October.

    The Election Commission has also announced by-polls to 64 assembly seats across 18 States and Samastipur Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar. The by-polls will be held on 21st October. Counting will take place on the 24th of October.

    The assembly seats going to polls include 15 in Karnataka and 11 in Uttar Pradesh. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the notification will be issued on 23rd of this month. By-election to the Samastipur Lok Sabha seat was necessitated due to the death of sitting MP Ram Chandra Paswan of Lok Janshakti Party, in July.

  • A short movie made with the financial assistance from Prasar Bharati has been nominated for Oscars. The movie "Moti Bagh" revolving around the life and hard work of an octogenarian farmer from Uttarakhand has been directed by a three time national award winner Nirmal Chandra Dandariyal.

    'Moti Bagh' is the name of farm of the Octogenarian farmer which was set up in 1967. He has been putting in his hard work and efforts in Motibagh since then. It is the first film from Uttarakhand which will be showcased on a prestigious global platform like Oscars. The film was screened at India International Centre in New Delhi on Friday. 

  • Construction of immigration and customs post will also be done on it. On completion this will provide a big boost to trade, travel and tourism between Bangladesh and India. The Haldibari- Chilahati railway track was part of the broad gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri during the British undivided India.

    Trains from Bangladesh to Darjeeling via Siliguri operated till 1965 which stopped functioning after the 1965 Indo-Pak war. Indian Railways has already restored the tracks up to international border till Haldibari station. MPs Asaduzzaman Nur and Aftab Uddin Sarkar were also present on the occasion.

  • ISRO Chief K Sivan said that Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is doing very well and there are 8 instruments in the orbiter & each instrument is doing exactly what it meant to do.

    Regarding the lander he said that no communication has been established yet. He also said that ISRO's next priority is Gaganyaan mission. 

  • Chief Election Commission Sunil Arora on Saturday announced polls schedule for Maharashtra & Haryana Assembly elections. Elections in Haryana & Maharashtra in single phase will be on 21st October. The counting will take place on 24th October.

    Special security arrangements will be made. Haryana has 1.82 crore registered voters and Maharashtra has 8.94 crore voters.  The 5-year term of the Legislative Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra will expire on 2nd November and 9th November.

    Announcing the poll schedule in New Delhi today, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said, the election process in both the states will be completed before November. Maharashtra has 288 seats and Haryana 90 seats. Model Code of conduct in these states has come into force with immediate effect.

  • A bomb exploded on a minibus packed with passengers outside the Shiite holy city of Karbala, killing 12 people and wounding five others, Iraqi security officials and the state news agency said.

    This was one of the biggest attacks targeting civilians since the extremist Islamic State group was declared defeated inside Iraq in 2017.

    The group's sleeper cells continue to wage an insurgency and carry out sporadic attacks across the country. The explosion occurred on Friday night as the bus was passing through an Iraqi army checkpoint, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Karbala in the direction of the town of al-Hilla.

    The officials said all of the dead were civilians killed in the explosion and subsequent fire in the bus. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. It took place during a holy period marked by Shiites in Iraq between two important religious events, Ashoura and Arbaeen.

  • India's Permanent envoy to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin said that terrorism is a global threat which need to be addressed distinctively at UN platform.

    The diplomat took a reference where UN condemned Pulwama attack and declared Masood Azhar of JeM as a global terrorist.

    Speaking on Climate Change, Akbaruddin said that climate change is clear and visible, and we need strong reforms in 'climate action’.

    He said climate action should be a priority area for international cooperation and India's climate action will impact the whole world

  • Protests comes ahead of a UN summit next week. Millions of young people flooded the streets of cities around the world on Friday to demand political leaders take urgent steps to stop climate change.

    The protests started in the Pacific islands, where rising sea levels threaten a way of life, and followed the rising sun across Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia and on to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.

    The coordinated student "strike" culminated in New York's Wall Street, where some investors have embraced the fossil fuel industry.

  • According to sources he is a central committee member of Jubo League, the youth wing of ruling Awami league, though its Chairman denied his links with the league.

    The RAB raided Kalabagan club and Dhanmondi Club in Dhaka on Friday for suspected gambling activities. It detained Kalabagan Club President who is reportedly a member of the central executive committee of Krishak League, an affiliate organization of Awami League.

    In a similar action in Chattogram, police raided a club and detained some people on the suspicion of involvement in gambling and drug abuse.

    Reacting to the police action Awami League General Secretary and Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said that no godfathers will be spared if they are linked to criminal and corrupt activities.

    Earlier on Thursday, after meeting the new office bearers of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had warned that no wrong doer will be spared and the entire issue of illegal casinos will be probed thoroughly.

    In the meanwhile opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said on Friday that Awami League leaders themselves are now exposing that they are indulging in 'corruption' and 'plundering' of public money.

  • GST Council has slashed tax rates on several items, including hotel room tariffs and cut and polished semi-precious stones. The Council recommended tax rate increase in some other items. Council has also decided to link Aadhaar with registration of taxpayers under GST and also examined the possibility of making Aadhaar number mandatory for claiming refunds.

    The 37th GST Council meeting was held in Goa on Friday under the chairmanship of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Finance Minister announced that no GST will be charged for hotel rooms having tariffs of upto 1,000 Rupees per night. She said 12 per cent GST will be levied on the hotel room from the existing 18 per cent whose tariff ranges between 1,001 to 7,500 Rupees.

    Hotel room having tariff of 7,500 Rupees and above will be charged 18 per cent from the existing 28 per cent. Minister said that GST Council recommended to lower 12 per cent cess on 1,500 CC diesel and 1,200 CC petrol vehicles with capacity to carry up to 13 persons.

    GST council has also recommended to reduce the GST rates on slide fasteners, marine fuel, wet grinders and dried tamarind.  It decided to exempt the imports of specified defence goods not being manufactured indigenously and supply of goods and services to Food and Agriculture Organisation for specified projects in India.

    Nirmala Sitharam said that caffeinated beverages will be charged with 28 percent tax plus 12 percent compensation cess in place of existing tax rate of 18 percent. GST rates on railway wagon and coaches have been hiked from 5 per cent to 12 per cent.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has departed for a momentous visit to United States Friday night. PM will be on a weeklong visit to the U.S. with an aim to boost bilateral relations and present India as vibrant land of opportunities. PM says the visit would present India as a vibrant land of opportunities, a reliable partner and a global leader.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to United States will have 3 main pillars - bilateral relations, multilateral engagements and plurilateral involvements. The Prime Minister will address the United Nations General Assembly on 27th September. This is for the third time PM Modi will be addressing the UNGA, while his second address at the High Level session at the annual assembly.

    On 23rd of September, Prime Minister Modi will deliver a speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is hosting the summit where world leaders will come together to discuss ways to tackle climate challenges.

    Prime Minister Modi will also hold a meeting with US President Donald Trump. Another key engagement of the Prime Minister will be a dialogue on responses to terrorist and violent extremist narrative. This will be hosted by the King of Jordan, Prime Minister of New Zealand and Prime Minister of France and United Nations Secretary General. PM Modi will be among the few leaders who will address the dialogue.

    Besides, there will be two important plurilateral meetings. Prime Minister will attend the 24th meeting of FIPIC, Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation. He will also be taking part in CARICOM Meet, which is Caribbean Community and Common Market. The Prime Minister will have around 20 bilateral meetings during his US stay.

    The business and investment component of Prime Minister Modi's Visit is evident from the fact that his very first engagement in the US is a round table with energy leaders. Apart from this PM will also address the plenary of the Bloomberg Conference and will interact with CEOs and leaders to top companies to woo investors. Clearly the target is achieving the 5 trillion dollar economy goal by 2024.

    On 24th September, PM Modi will attend an event organized by India to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in the United Nations. This event is titled 'Leadership matters: Relevance of Gandhi in contemporary times’. The Prime Minister will also be awarded the Global Goalkeeper's Goal Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his leadership in India's achievement in sanitation.

  • In a statement, prior to his departure to USA,  Prime Minister has said:

    --- I am visiting the United States of America from 21 to 27 September 2019. 
    --- I will visit Houston and, thereafter, New York to attend the High Level Segment of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
    --- In Houston, I will interact with CEOs of leading energy companies in the US with the aim to enhance India-US energy partnership. 
    --- In Houston, I look forward to my meeting with and address to the Indian-American community. ---- It is a matter of great honour for the Indian diaspora and pleasure for me that President of the United States Mr. Donald Trump will race the occasion with his presence and join me in addressing the community. 
    --- Through my participation in UN events, I will showcase our success in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. 
    --- At the Climate Action Summit on 23rd September, I will highlight India's robust action to address climate change in line with global goals and our international commitments.
    --- India will also host at the UN an event to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, which will underline the continuing relevance of Gandhian thoughts and values in today's world.
    ---I look forward to meeting President Trump in Houston and New York in a span of a few days. 
    ---We will review our bilateral relations in order to bring even more benefits to our two nations and peoples.
    ---I am confident that my visit would present India as a vibrant land of opportunities, a reliable partner and a global leader, and will also help impart new energy to our relations with the US.
     

  • GST council unanimously decided to reduce GST rates on marine fuels, stone grinders, tamarind, cut and polished semi-precious stones, petro products under HELP. This was disclosed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to the media in Goa.

    GST rate hiked on railway wagon, coaches from 5% to 12%. GST hiked on caffeinated beverages to 18% plus 12% cess from current 18%.
     

  • Second seeded Panghal prevailed 3-2 against Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in the last-four stage.

    But Commonwealth Games silver-winner Kaushik, competing in his debut world championship, lost 0-5 to top-seeded Cuban Andy Gomez Cruz, a gold-medallist from the previous edition besides being the reigning Pan-American Games champion.

    “The bout went very well for me although I had to put in more effort than I had thought. It is a huge achievement for Indian boxing and I am thankful for all the support that I have got,” Panghal said after the triumph.

    On Saturday, Panghal will take on Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov, the reigning Olympic champion. Zoirov defeated Frenchman Billal Bennama in his semifinal showdown.

    Before this, India had never won more than one bronze medal in a single edition of the world championships but Panghal and Kaushik changed that by making the semifinals.

    The past Indian medal-winners at the world meet are Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011), Shiva Thapa (2015) and Gaurav Bidhuri (2017).

    “I am going to push hard for a gold,” said Panghal.

    His trademark pace and ability to adapt coming in handy, Panghal outmaneuvered the taller Kazakh, who came into the semis after upstaging reigning European gold-medallist Artur Hovhannisyan of Armenia in the quarterfinals.

    The diminutive Armyman from Rohtak was more accurate, put more power into his punches and was sharp defensively against the Kazakh. This was after Panghal spent most of the first round getting a measure of his rival.

    Bibossinov was no pushover either and tried his level best to cash in on the height advantage but the Indian kept him at a distance to ensure that most of the Kazakh’s attacks either didn’t connect or lacked in impact.

    Panghal’s rise has been nothing short of spectacular in Indian boxing ever since he claimed a 49kg category bronze in the 2017 Asian Championships.

    He was a quarterfinalist at the world championship on debut in the same year, went on to win consecutive gold medals at the prestigious Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria, before becoming the Asian Games champion in 2018.

    This year, he already has the Asian Championships gold to his credit after moving to the 52kg category following the dropping of 49kg from the Olympic roster to accommodate more women’s divisions in the 2020 Tokyo Games.

    In the other semifinal bout featuring an Indian, Kaushik struggled to keep up with the Cuban, whose counter-attacking game was simply outstanding.

    Kaushik did get a few body punches through but couldn’t fend off the counter-strikes that came his way in all the three rounds.

    “I gave it my all but I guess there are a few things lacking in my game, which I will try to improve on. I will work harder and deliver better results in the coming tournaments,” Kaushik said.
     

  • Amit Shah was speaking after launching Chandigarh Police's e-BEAT system and Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) here. Under the system, Chandigarh residents will be able to dial a single number, '112', for all emergency services.

    At the outset Shah, who was in Chandigarh to chair the 29th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council, lauded the initiative of the Chandigarh administration. "Sometimes small experiments take place in small corners of the country which later on give birth to big successes," he said. "As a former home minister of a state and now as the Union home minister, I have been saying that beat system should be strengthened and given importance," he added.

    Shah said some newly recruited IPS officers may not know about the importance of the beat system, but it was the most important tool to maintain law and order effectively. "May be we are from old school of thought but till the time beat system is not active, law and order cannot be in good shape," he said.

    Shah said a police beat system has information about various problems in the area but rued that it is "slowly fading away". He said Chandigarh has not only tried to keep the beat system going, but also gave it a modern touch while equipping it with technological aids. "Now, there is a need to give the police an image makeover and this can be done when we accept technology. Gone are the days when police were identified as a 'lathi' wielding force which talked to citizens in a harsh and angry tone," said Shah.

    As far as connecting police stations with computers and linking them with offices of SP, Commissioner's office goes, a lot of progress has happened in this field in our country, he said.

    Advisor to UT Administrator, Manoj Parida too spoke on the occasion and lauded the role played by the traffic police. "Chandigarh has a population of 12 lakh, but the number of vehicles including two wheeler is 15 lakh, which is the main cause of pollution. It also leads to traffic congestion but our traffic police has great reputation of managing it effectively," said Parida.

  • In a major fiscal booster, the government on Friday slashed effective corporate tax to 25.17 per cent inclusive of all cess and surcharges for domestic companies. 

    Making the announcement, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the changes in the Income Tax Act and Finance Act will be made effective through an ordinance. This is being done to promote investment and growth. In effect, the corporate tax rate will be 22 % for domestic companies, if they do not avail any incentive or concession. The minister also said companies opting for 22 % income tax slab would not have to pay minimum alternative tax.

    Sitharaman further said, new domestic manufacturing companies incorporated after October 1, can pay income tax at a rate of 15 % without any incentives. Meaning, effective tax rate for new manufacturing companies will be 17.01 % inclusive of all surcharge and cess.
     
    The government has also decided to not levy enhanced surcharge introduced in Budget on capital gain arising from sale of equity shares in a company liable for securities transaction tax. Also, the super-rich tax will not to apply on capital gains arising from sale of any security including derivatives in hands of foreign portfolio investors.

    In another relief, the listed companies which have announced buyback of shares prior to July 5, will not be charged with super rich tax. The Finance Minister while talking about the amendments introduced in the Income Tax Act said, with these amendments, tax rate in India will be one of the lowest and will become at par with most of the economically developing Asian and south-east Asian countries.

    Sitharaman expressed confidence that the tax concessions will bring investments in Make in India, boost employment and economic activity, leading to more revenue.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed as historic the cut in corporate tax rates and asserted that economic announcements made in the last few weeks show that his government is leaving no stone unturned to make India a better place to do business. 

    In a Tweet the PM said "The step to cut corporate tax is historic. It will give a great stimulus to #MakeInIndia, attract private investment from across the globe, improve competitiveness of our private sector, create more jobs and result in a win-win for 130 crore Indians".

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Mongolian President on Friday jointly unveiled a statue of Lord Buddha at Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar through video-conferencing in New Delhi. 

    PM Modi had offered prayers at the Gandan Tegchenling Monastery during his visit to Mongolia in 2015 and had announced to gift a statue of Lord Buddha to the monastery, underlining the common Buddhist heritage and civilizational links between the two countries and peoples. The statue is a symbol of India-Mongolia spiritual partnership and shared Buddhist heritage.

    Earlier, Mongolian President held in-depth discussions on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues with Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi. The two countries would review ongoing cooperation in fields of infrastructure, energy, disaster management, defence, security, culture, and capacity building.

    Mongolian President also laid wreath at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. Battulga is on a five-day visit to India with an aim to intensify bilateral ties between the two countries.

    First up in the morning, President Ramnath Kovind extended a grand ceremonial welcome to his Mongolian counterpart. 

  • Ochir started strong, taking two points in the first 15 seconds and then four more with a chest throw. Bajrang responded with a counter and earned two points and at the end of the first period, the score was 6-2 in the Mongolian''s favour.

    However, Bajrang came out all guns blazing in the second period. He managed to get Ochir with a leg shot and collected six successive points to lead 8-6. Ochir got another point for step out but that was all he could manage.

    This is Bajrang''s second consecutive World Championship medal after his silver at Budapest 2018. This is also his third medal at the senior World''s with his first coming in 2013. Bajrang had earlier sealed a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by qualifying for the bronze medal bout.

  • The Supreme Court said it has received a report from the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court and claims that people are unable to access the court there are not supported. 

    The bench had then sought a report from the chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir. During the hearing, the Apex court directed the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to file a report before it within a week on the issue.

  • Former Union Minister Swami Chinmayanand, accused of rape by a law student has been sent to 14 days judicial custody by the court. He was arrested by the special investigation team of Uttar Pradesh police from Shahjahanpur. 

    The woman, who is a postgraduate student at one of the colleges run by Chinmayanand's organisation, has alleged that she was raped and physically exploited for a year by the former Union Minister. 

    The case is being investigated by the SIT set up by Uttar Pradesh police on the directions of the Supreme Court.

    The student had earlier threatened self-immolation if the police do not arrest him. 

    Police has registered a case of criminal intimidation and abduction against Chinmayanand on a complaint lodged by the woman's father. 

    The SIT has also examined the principals of the two colleges where the woman studied in recent years.

  • Near-complete official results today confirmed a deadlock in Israel's general election this week, putting Benny Gantz's party as the largest but without an obvious path to form a majority coalition. 

    The results from Israel's election committee showed Gantz's centrist Blue and White with 33 seats out of 120 and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud with 31. 

    Final results will be published on Wednesday, it said, and there could be changes before then. The committee said the results did not include 14 polling stations where verifications were still ongoing. 

    Israeli media said that meant 99.8 percent of the votes had been counted. 

    The results have put Netanyahu's long tenure in office at risk. 

    On Thursday, he acknowledged the results did not allow him to form a right-wing coalition as he hoped and instead called on Gantz to form a unity government with him.

    Gantz responded by saying he would have to be Prime Minister in a unity government since Blue and White was the largest party.

  • Later in a tweet, Babul Supriyo said  that Governor spoke to the VC of JadavpurUniversity and indicated to him that it was improper for him not to have taken prompt steps in the matter, that can lead to unwholesome results. This is a very serious reflection on the law and order of the state. 

     

  • BMC also said that there was no report of any leakage from Mahanagar Gas.

    BMC further stated that teams have been sent out to locate the source of any gas leak.

    There are no reports of any injury or casualty.

  • At a press conference after meeting PSU bank heads, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that banks have been asked not to declare any stressed MSME loan as non-performing assets till March 31.

    Idea behind holding the meetings  is to ensure maximum credit disbursal during the festive season.

    Diwali, which falls in October this year, is considered as the biggest shopping season of the country.

    During the public meetings, credit will be provided for retail, agriculture, MSME and housing sector, among others.

  • He gave important information about the agenda of UNGA and Prime Minister's address at UNGA.

    He said that India's stand on J&K is very clear. Entire world is with India on this issue and Pakistan would face major embarrassment if it raises the issue.

    India would also stress on joint efforts to fight against terrorism at global level.Akbaruddin also gave details about major issues to be highlighted at UNGA.

  • This came even when Pakistan had claimed support of more than 50 countries, badly exposing Pakistan's isolation in international community.India's first secretary in the permanent mission at the UNHRC, Kumam Mini Devi lashed out at Pakistan over its human rights record.

    She said all the decisions of India on Jammu and Kashmir are totally internal issues and Pakistan is trying to mis-represent the fact.

    She also said that Pakistan has a dismal record of Human Rights against its own people of Balochistan, Sindh and its occupied Kashmir.

  • Pakistan on Thursday faced a major embarrassment over its stand on Jammu and Kashmir; It’s attempts at pushing through a resolution in UNHRC against India with regards to alleged human rights violation in Kashmir fell flat with Pakistan did not getting support of even one country. This when Pakistan had claimed support of more than 50 countries. This has badly exposed Pakistan's isolation in international community.

    India's first secretary in the permanent mission at the UNHRC, Kumam Mini Devi lashed out at Pakistan over its human rights record. She said all the decisions of India on Jammu and Kashmir are totally internal issues and Pakistan is trying to misrepresent the fact. She also said that Pakistan has a dismal record of Human Rights against its own people of Balochistan, Sindh and its occupied Kashmir.

     

  • While addressing the media in New Delhi Foreign Secretary outlined the key pillars of PM Narendra Modi's Visit to United States and his itinerary there.

    Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale  said that Bill  and Melinda Gates Foundation's 'Global Goalkeeper's Award' is given every year to a world leader for achievement in a specific sustainable development goal. He said that Gates Foundation is honouring PM for his leadership in field of sanitation through Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

    Foreign Secretary said that trade issue will figure in the talks of PM Modi and President Trump. He said that India expects positive movement as far as trade is concerned.

  • Hasan Mahmud, Minister for Information, Government of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest of the event.

    Speaking at the occasion, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh  Riva Ganguly Das said such programmes contributed in strengthening the capacity of officials of Bangladesh working in various Ministries and Departments.

    Over 4,000 young Bangladeshi professionals have undergone specialized short and medium term courses in India under the ITEC programme since 2007.

    ITEC offers opportunities to participants to avail of short and medium term courses in premier institutions like IITs and IISCs in India. It was instituted in 1964 as part of India’s Development Assistance offering for developing countries.

    Every year more than 10,000 training slots are offered to 161 partner countries for training courses in various areas like Accounts, Audit, Management, SME, Rural Development, Parliamentary Affairs, etc.

  • The trials, held between Monday and Thursday, were conducted by Indian Air Force (IAF), simulating all possible threat scenarios, an official statement said on Thursday.

    "The five trials conducted during this period tested missiles in different configurations. During the campaign, three missiles were launched in combat configuration, with warhead and manoeuvring targets being neutralised to establish the end game capability of the missile," it said.

    "The trial campaign also included a direct hit of the target by the telemetered missile at maximum range. All subsystems performed accurately, meeting all the mission parameters and objectives," the statement said.

    Astra BVRAAM has a strike range of more than 100 km with modern guidance and navigation techniques. The missile, developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has midcourse guidance and radio frequency seeker- based terminal guidance to achieve target destruction with pin point accuracy, it said.

    "The effort for building a state-of-the-art BVRAAM by DRDO, together with IAF has completed the user trial phase of the weapon system successfully," it said.

    Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration. More than 50 public and private industries have contributed in building the Astra weapon system.

    "The present flight trials have proved the end-to-end performance of the missile system in various combat scenarios, giving greater confidence to users.

    "The five successful trials of Astra will culminate into induction of the missile system into Indian Air Force, which will certainly be a force multiplier considering its accuracy and effectiveness in neutralising aerial threats," the statement maintained.

    G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO, congratulated team 'Astra' for developing and flight testing such a formidable class of weapon system.

    The technologies developed under the programme will be the building blocks for development of future variants of Air-to-Air and Surface-to-Air Missiles. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has also congratulated the DRDO and IAF teams for the successful trials, the statement added. 

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri attended the meeting. "I am not in a position to make any announcement. Please allow the process to move forward. However, it was a productive meeting where all issues concerned were discussed. The process will commence now," Puri told reporters after the hour-long meeting.

    In 2018-19, Air India incurred losses of around Rs 7,600 crore. By the end of 2018-19, it had a debt burden of around Rs 58,300 crore.

    In its first term, the Modi government invited bids from investors in 2018 to buy out the government's 76 per cent stake in Air India, along with the management control. However, the process failed as investors did not put in bids. Following that, a report was prepared by a private entity citing probable reasons that led to failure of the sale process. The reasons cited include the government retaining 24 per cent stake and corresponding rights, high debt, volatile crude oil prices, fluctuations in exchange rate, changes in macro environment and restriction on bidding by individuals.

    The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has already prepared a fresh proposal for the Air India sale, incorporating issues like crude oil prices and exchange rate volatility, and other issues. 

  • The Board in a statement on Thursday evening said government of Pakistan in a letter sent to the board has assured that Pakistan Army will coordinate the security arrangements and security protocol will be compatible to a Head of State.

    The clarification came as the board had received threats for the tour and requested Sri Lankan government for security assessment but the board today said no information has been received by the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Pakistan, indicating a threat to the Sri Lanka team.

    Earlier, 10 players of Sri Lankan team including veterans like Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga had opted out of the tour in view of security threats.

    Sri Lankan cricket team had faced terrorist attack during its Pakistan tour in 2009 and has since refrained from a full-fledged tour.

    Sri Lanka team is expected to leave on 23rd September to play three ODIs and three T20 games.

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation also said the orbiter of the India's secondlunar mission continued to perform scheduled scienceexperiments to "complete satisfaction" and performance of all its payloads were "satisfactory".

    "All Payloads of orbiter are powered. Initial trials for orbiter payloads are completed successfully. Performanceof all orbiter Payloads is satisfactory. Orbiter continues to perform scheduled science experiments to complete satisfaction," the city-headquartered ISRO said in an update on its website.

    "National-level committee consisting of academiciansand ISRO experts are analysing the cause of communication loss with lander," it added.

    Lander Vikram, with rover Pragyan housed inside it,lost communication with ground station on September7 during its final descent, just 2.1 kms above the lunarsurface, minutes before the planned touch-down on the Moon.

    Efforts to reestablish the link were on sincethen, but hopes of a positive result appear to be fading away.

    The lander, designed to execute a soft-landing on the lunar surface, and rover, have a mission life of one Lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 earth days.

    On September 8, ISRO said the lander was spotted on the lunar surface by camera on-board of the Chandrayaan-2orbiter.

    Vikram had a hard-landing.

    However, ISRO from the day of losing contact with the lander had been upbeat about the performance of the orbiter.

    Till date 90 to 95 per cent of the Chandrayaan-2mission objectives have been accomplished and it will continue contributing to Lunar science, not withstanding the loss of communication with the Lander, ISRO had said on September 7.

    It had also noted that the precise launch and mission management has ensured a long life of almost seven years instead of the planned one year for the orbiter.

    The orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon.

    The Chandrayaan-2 is a Rs 978 crore unmanned moon mission with the satellite alone costing Rs 603 crore while the launch vehicle Rs 375 crore.

    India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV MkIII-M1 successfully launched the 3,840-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into the Earth's orbit on July 22.

    The spacecraft successfully entered the lunar orbit on August 20 by performing Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre, and on September 2, 'Vikram' successfully separated fromthe orbiter. 
     

  • Two reports by several United Nations' agencies showed clear global progress in reducing the number of pregnant women or new mothers and young children who die each year, pointing to improved access to affordable, quality health services. "In countries that provide everyone with safe, affordable, high-quality health services, women and babies survive and thrive," World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

    Since the turn of the century, the number of deaths among children under the age of five has been cut almost in half to some 5.3 million worldwide last year. Almost half of those deaths occurred during the first month of life, meaning that around 7,000 newborns still died every single day last year.

    At the same time, the number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth dropped by more than a third to around 295,000 in 2017, compared to 451,000 in 2000. While this marks a huge improvement, some 800 women still died each day from complications in pregnancy and childbirth in 2017, the UN numbers showed.

    In all, the statistics reveal that an estimated 2.8 million women and newborns die every year, mostly from preventable causes. "Around the world, birth is a joyous occasion. Yet, every 11 seconds, a birth is a family tragedy," head of the UN children's agency Henrietta Fore said in the statement.

    "A skilled pair of hands to help mothers and newborns around the time of birth, along with clean water, adequate nutrition, basic medicines and vaccines, can make the difference between life and death," she insisted. "We must do all it takes to invest in universal health coverage to save these precious lives."

    The reports showed that stark inequalities persist around the world in accessing the services and care needed to ensure safe childbirth. Sub-Saharan Africa has the most dire situation, with levels of maternal deaths nearly 50 times higher than in high-income countries, and with babies there 10 times more likely to die than in wealthier parts of the world. In 2018, one out of every 13 children in the region died before their fifth birthday, compared to one in 196 children in Europe, the UN numbers showed.

    At the same time, one out of every 37 women in sub-Saharan Africa dies in childbirth. By comparison, only one out every 6,500 women in Europe have a lifetime chance of dying in childbirth.

    Under the Sustainable Development Goals, the world has committed to trying to bring the global maternal mortality ratio to below 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. But the UN warned that at the current pace, the world will miss that target by more than one million lives.

    While rates have generally trended downwards, the UN figures showed that the maternal mortality ratios actually increased in 13 countries between 2000 and 2017. A number of those countries were places facing conflict or crisis, such as Syria and Venezuela. But the United States actually showed the greatest increase, with the ratio soaring by 58 per cent over the 17-year-period to 19 deaths for every 100,000 live births. The world's countries have also committed to reducing neonatal mortality to no more than 12 per 1,000 live births and under-five mortality to no more than 25 per 1,000 live births by 2030. Many countries have already reached that target, but more than 50 nations are lagging far behind.

    "Unless we really accelerate, we are going to lose 50 million kids unnecessarily," Stefan Peterson, UNICEF's health chief told reporters in Geneva. 

  • "The first ever international film festival in Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, will commence from September 26", said writer-producer and festival director Rakesh Roshan Bhat. 

    Rakesh and his brother Rohit, who run one of biggest theatre groups of the state, Vomedh, have curated the two-day-long festival. 

    "This film festival represents the aspirations of the art and cinema loving people of this beautiful city of temples," Rohit said. Rakesh added that the region has contributed a lot to cinema. "Jammu in specific has great talent but a disconnect exists in terms of formal training avenues or platforms to showcase talent. Also, there is a need to put Jammu on the world map for it's potential with regards to Arts in general and films in particular," he said. 

    Rakesh said in its first year, the film extravaganza will showcase only short films. The festival will also present an annual 'Inspiring Icon Award', which will be given to a person, who hails from the region and has made it big in the film industry.