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Midday News

1400 HRS
15.08.2018
THE HEADLINES:
  • Nation celebrates 72nd Independence Day today; Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurls the tri-colour at the ramparts of historic Red Fort.
  • Mr Modi announces Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan to provide affordable health care to the poor; emphasizes on ensuring social justice to all.
  • Prime Minister reiterates Centre's commitment to the development of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Mr Modi declares that women employed in armed forces through short service commission will be given equal chance as men.
  • Prime Minister says, long pending demand of higher MSP for farmers fulfilled.
  • Reports of Independence Day celebrations coming from all over the country and abroad.
  • Torrential rain continues to disrupt normal life in Kerala; Kochi airport closed  till Saturday; Heavy rain predicted in Odisha.

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The nation is celebrating its 72nd Independence Day today. The main function was held in New Delhi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the tri-colour and addressed the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort. The Prime Minister today announced the launch of the world's largest government funded programme - the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan.
The Prime Minister said, India is proud of its scientists, who are excelling in their research and are at the forefront of innovation. Amid applause from people present at the Red Fort, the Prime Minister said, India will send a manned mission Gaganyaan and become the fourth country to send a human being into space. Mr Modi said, an Indian astronaut, be it son or daughter, will go into space in Gaganyaan by the year 2022.
"अब हम मानव सहित गगनयान लेकर के चलेंगे और गगनयान जब अंतरिक्ष में जाएगा हिन्दुस्तानी लेकर के जाएगा। हिन्दुस्तान के वैज्ञानिकों के द्वारा हुआ तब विश् के अंदर हम चौथे देश बन जाएंगे जो मानव को अंतरिक्ष में पहुचाने वाले बन जाएंगे।
Mr Modi also announced that women officers commissioned in short service in the Armed Forces will get the opportunity for permanent commission like their male counterparts.
"मैं आज इस मंच से मेरी कुछ बहादुर बेटियों को एक खुशखबरी देना चाहता हूं। भारतीय सशस्त्र सेना में शार्ट सर्विस कमीशन के माध्यम से नियुक् महिला अधिकारियों को पुरूष संकर अधिकारियों की तरह पारदर्शी चयन प्रक्रिया द्वारा हाई कमीशन का मैं आज घोषणा करता हूं।"
On women safety, Mr Modi said, there is a need to free society and country from the disgusting mentality of rape. The Prime Minister also called for giving wide publicity to the cases in which rapists were awarded the death sentence, saying it would instill fear in people with demonic mindset. On Triple Talaq, Mr Modi said, the government is trying to end the practice but there are some people who do not want it to end. He said, the practice of Triple Talaq has caused great injustice to Muslim women and the Government will ensure that justice is done. Prime Minister Modi said there is a need to ensure social justice for all and create an India that is progressing rapidly. Mr Modi said, the recently concluded Parliament session was devoted to social justice.
"संसद के ये सत्र पूरी तरह सामाजिक न्याय को समर्पित है। हमारी संसद ने संवेदनशीलता और सजागता के साथ सामाजिक न्याय को और अधिक बलवत्तर बना रहा है। ओबीसी आयोग को सालो से संवैधानिक स्थान के लिए मांग उठ रही थी। इस साल संसद ने पिछडे अति पिछडों को उस आयोग को संवैधानिक दर्जा देकर के उनके हकों की रक्षा करने का प्रयास कर रहे हैं।"
Mr Modi said, many parts of the nation witnessed a good monsoon but at the same time parts of India have been affected by floods. He said, his thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives due to floods in various parts of India. The Prime Minister said, the demand for higher MSP was pending for years.  He said, his Government took the decision on increasing MSP.
"इस देश के अर्थशास्त्री मांग कर रहे थे, किसान संगठन मांग कर रहे थे, किसान मांग कर रहा था, राजनीतिक दल मांग कर रहे थे कि किसानों को लाभों का डेढ गुना एमएसपी मिलना चाहिए। सालो से चर्चा चल रही थी। फाइले चलती थी, अटकती थी, लटकती थी लेकिन हमने फैसला लिया। हिम्मत के साथ फैसला लिया कि मेरे देश के किसानों को लागत का डेढ गुना एमएसपी दिया जाएगा।"
The Prime Minister said India will be the engine of growth for the world economy for the next three decades as the sleeping elephant has started to run on the back of structural reforms like GST. Mr Modi said, AFSPA has been completely withdrawn from Tripura, Meghalaya and many parts of Arunachal Pradesh and the states are seeing historic peace. Mr Modi said, there was a time when Delhi was supposed to be too far for the North East but today the government has brought Delhi to the doorsteps of the North East. Turning to Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Modi said, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had shown the path of Insaniyat, Kashmiryat and Jamhuriyat.
"वाजपेयी जी ने कहा था इंसानियत, जमूरियत और कश्मीरियत इन तीन मूल् मुद्दों को लेकर के हम कश्मीर के विकास के लिए चाहे लद्दाख हो, चाहे जम्मू हो, चाहे श्रीनगर वेली हो, संकुलित विकास हो, इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर को बल मिले। इसी भाव के साथ आगे हम बढना चाहते। हम गोली और गाली के रास्ते पर नहीं गले लगाकर के कश्मीर के देशभक्ति से जीने वाले लोगों के साथ आगे बढना चाहते है।
Our correspondent reports that the unfurling of the tri-colour was synchronized with the 21 Gun Salute.
"Seven hundred cadets of the National Cadet Corps drawn from 16 schools of the Delhi Directorate comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force wings participated in the flag hoisting ceremony this year. On this occasion, these school children displayed the formation of ‘Bharat. After concluding his speech, Mr Modi met children present at the Red Fort premises. The ceremony was concluded with the release of Tricolour ballons. With Naseem Naqvi, Anupam Mishra, AIR NEWS, DELHI.

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On the occasion of the 72nd Independence Day, President Ram Nath Kovind today paid tributes to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate in New Delhi. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa were present on the occasion.

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Reports of celebrations of Independence Day are pouring in from all over the country and abroad. Independence Day is being celebrated with patriotic fervor and gaiety in Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Portblair.In Uttar Pradesh, on Independence day, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appealed to the people of the state to join the Prime Minister’s new India mission. Our correspondent has filed this report:-
"After unfurling the National flag at Vidhan Bhawan in state capital Lucknow Chief Minister Adityanath addressed people and said that India is one of the oldest nations in the world with a rich heritage and culture. State government has also ordered the release of 72 prisoners from different jails to mark the country's 72nd Independence Day. Whole state machinery along with general public is taking part in the historical plantation drive in different parts of the state in which the target is to plant over 9 crore sapling today."SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."
In Himachal Pradesh, the state level function was held at Indora in Kangra district where Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur unfurled the national flag. A Report:-
"Chief Minister Jairam Thakur paid tribute to the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the country. Jai Ram Thakur said despite being the small state, Himachal has emerged as the leading state in terms of development and the credit goes to the hard-working people of the state. The Chief Minister asserted that the 8-month tenure of the State Government is full of achievements. On this occasion, Chief Minister also paid tribute to 16 people of the state who died due to heavy rain. SANJEEV SUNDRIYAL, AIR NEWS, SHIMLA."
In Assam, a local club in Goreswar today took out a rally with a 3.5 km long national flag to celebrate the Independence Day. State Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal unfurled the tri colour at Khanapara in Guwahati. More from our correspondent:-
"Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal in his Independence Day speech said, the state government is committed to ensure that no genuine citizens would be left out from the NRC. He further said, government is also to keep an eye so that no illegal citizens would be included in the NRC list. Meanwhile, various programs are being organized to mark the day. Socio- cultural organization Drishyam to stage Kushal Konwar drama this evening in Guwahati. as a part of Independence Day celebration. MANAS PRATIM SARMA, AIR NEWS, GUWAHATI."
In Odisha, all the Ministers of the State hoisted National flag in different districts on the occasion of Independence Day.
A special film festival on the theme “Freedom Struggle and Freedom Fighters” began today in Mumbai.

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Nearly five lakh people joined hands to form a 700 km-long human chain along the India-Pakistan border in Rajasthan to honour martyrs and boost morale of soldiers on the eve of Independence Day.

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Indians in Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, China, Australia, Singapore and many other countries marked the Independence Day with hoisting of the national flag and singing of patriotic songs.
In Dubai, amidst chanting of Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai , the Acting Consul General of India Mrs Sumathi Vasudev led the Indian expats in celebrating the 72nd  Independence Day by unfurling the national flag at the Consulate. A report:-
"Patriotism was in the air today in UAE. Hundreds of Indian expats from different walks of life gathered in the back lawns of the Indian Consulate celebrate the 72nd  anniversary of India’s Independence. The tri colour was also unfurled in the other Emirates of UAE. In Abu Dhabi, Ambassador Navdeep Suri unfurled the tricolor. Similar celebrations were held in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In Doha , it was Ambassador P Kumaran who hoisted the  national flag while in Riyadh Ambassador Ahmed Javed unfurled the tri colour. KANCHAN PRASAD MANDLAUS, AIR NEWS, DUBAI."

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In his message on behalf of the US government on the occasion of India's 72nd Independence Day, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo  said India is taking its rightful place as a leading global power and continuing America's shared efforts to sustain the rules-based order.

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For the third successive day, heavy rains lashed Kerala triggering fresh landslides and adding to the woes of a state battling the worst flooding in 94 years. Operations in Kochi airport have been suspended till Saturday since the inflow of water is still on a rising trend. A Kochi Airport spokesperson said flights are being diverted to other airports as the state has been battered by torrential rains. Here is a report:-
"Landslides hit several places in Malabar including Wayanad, , Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. Six people were killed today in rain fury. Taking the total death toll to 44 since 8th of this month. Thirty-three Dams out of 39 Dams have been opened. Red have been issued in 12 districts and  orange in Thirunanthapuram and Kollam. WITH SHAMILA, THIRUVANATHAPURAM, G. SUBRAMANINAM, AIR NEWS,"
Meanwhile, Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan called a high level meeting to assess the rain situation.

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The Met Department has predicted heavy rain in eleven coastal and interior districts of Odisha during the next 24 hours. Special Secretary of Home Department has asked all Collectors to restrict the ceremonial parade of Independence Day within Police and Para Military contingents only. Instructions have been given not to include children in the official ceremonial parade and to ensure the safety of guests. 

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Local body and Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir have been scheduled in September this year. This was stated by state Governor N N Vohra during his Independence Day speech at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Srinagar. The last panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2011.

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Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh today resigned from the party citing personal reason.

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