Last Updated : Nov 19 2018 11:14PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
49th International Film Festival of India begins in Panaji tomorrow.            Home Minister Rajnath Singh chairs high-level security meeting in New Delhi over Amritsar blast            All arrangements in place for final phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly polls            Deadline for filing of nominations ends in Rajasthan, Telangana            PM Modi launches grand challenge for improving Ease of Doing Business           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
23.10.2018
THE HEADLINES:
  • Supreme Court refuses complete ban on firecrackers; allows green crackers with permissible sound limits on Diwali. 
  • India lodges strong protest with Pakistan over the casualties of Indian soldiers during an attempted cross border infiltration by Pakistani terrorists.
  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reaches Srinagar; Reviewing security situation in the state. 
  • China unveils world's longest sea crossing bridge connecting Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. 
  • And in Sports,
  • French Open Badminton tournament begins in Paris today.

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The Supreme court today refused to impose a blanket ban on sale and manufacture of firecrackers. The court however, permitted sale and manufacture of green crackers with low emissions, across the country. The apex court also fixed the 8 pm to 10 pm time period for bursting of firecrackers on Diwali and other festivals. Here is a report:
"The apex court's order came on a plea seeking a ban on manufacture and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution. Refusing to impose a nationwide blanket ban, the court said, firecrackers with only permissible decibel sound limits would be allowed to be sold in the market. The court also restrained e-commerce websites like Flipkart and Amazon from selling firecrackers which are beyond the permissible limit. The court asked the Centre to encourage community cracker bursting during Diwali and other festivals in Delhi-NCR. Meanwhile, the Environment Ministry has launched the Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali campaign to minimise bursting of crackers. The campaign has been merged with Green Good Deeds, a movement launched to protect environment and promote good living in the country. VALSA WILLIAMS, NEWS DESK."

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The Supreme Court today said that it would hear the petitions challenging its Sabarimala verdict on the13th of next month. A bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul, had noted that there were 19 review petitions pending in the matter, filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association and others seeking a review of its verdict. A five-judge constitution bench by a majority of 4 to 1 had held that women of all age groups should be allowed entry into Kerala's Sabarimala Temple.

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The Supreme Court today referred to a 5-judge constitution bench a plea seeking collegium-like selection process for appointing the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs). A bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and SK Kaul, said the issue of appointment of CEC and ECs has to be taken up by a larger constitution bench. The bench was hearing a PIL seeking a transparent selection process for appointment of Election Commissioners in the poll panel. The Centre, represented by Attorney General KK Venugopal, however, opposed the petition saying so far no case of abuse of official position by the CEC had come forward.

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The Supreme Court today directed the Rajasthan government to stop illegal mining in a 115.34-hectare area in Aravalli hills within 48 hours. A bench, comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, said it was compelled to pass the order because Rajasthan has taken the issue very lightly. The apex court also referred to a central empowered committee report that 31 hills have vanished in the state's Aravalli area. The court said that the disappearance of hills in Rajasthan could be one reason for the rise in pollution levels in Delhi. The bench directed the chief secretary of Rajasthan to file an affidavit regarding compliance of its order. The court was hearing a matter related to illegal mining activities in Aravalli hills.

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President Ram Nath Kovind has said that the Government is taking steps to enhance the quality of education in the country. He was speaking at the 15th convocation of Symbiosis International Deemed University in Pune today. Here is a report from our correspondent. 
"President Ram Nath Kovind has said, Indian Education System is attracting the world from the era of Taxashila and Nalanda Universities. He said, now government is working hard to enhance quality and bring excellence in education.
India has a massive network of 903 universities and 39,050 colleges. But, the fact is there are still gaps in quality education and in attaining world class excellence across the spectrum. In this context, the government has taken a decision to promote and support 20 institutions of higher education as insitutes of imminence.
The President also emphasised that there should be no discrimination in Men and Women in the field of education.  Sonam Wangchuck from Ladkah was honored with D. Lit. for his innovative contribution in the field of education in this convocation. Nitin Kelkar, AIR news, Pune."

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Vice President Venkaiah Naidu today said that great responsibility lies on the youth to combat the present day challenges being faced by the country. He said the nation faces a number of challenges ranging from poverty to violence to discrimination and illiteracy to environmental degradation. He was speaking at the convocation ceremony of Jamia Hamdard in New Delhi. Mr Naidu said this nation needs able, visionary leaders who possess the 4 Cs - Character, Calibre, Capacity and Conduct. Mr Naidu exhorted the youth not to allow technology and gadgets to overtake people and relationships.

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Srinagar this morning to review the security situation in the state. He is also taking stock of the overall situation following recently held Municipal elections and the deteriorating ground situation in Kashmir. He will also review the status of implementation  of various developmental schemes in the State. More from our correspondent.
"The high level security review meeting under the chairmanship of Rajnath Singh is underway at SKICC in Srinagar. The meeting is being attended by Governor Satya Pal Malik and top officials from police, army and other security forces agencies besides civil administration. The meeting is discussing and reviewing the prevailing situation in Kashmir particularly in view of the latest civilian killings in south Kashmir. Home Minister is also taking review of the situation along LoC and borders with Pakistan and the operational preparedness of the armed forces. Home Minister is also taking review of the implementation of various developmental programmes including PM’s Development Package and centrally sponsored schemes. TARIQ RATHER, AIR NEWS, SRINAGAR."

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India has lodged strong protest with Pakistan over the casualties of Indian soldiers during an attempted cross border infiltration by Pakistani terrorists on Sunday. The incident occured in the Sunderbani Sector in Jammu and Kashmir. Ministry of External Affairs summoned a senior official in the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi and  it served a demarche protesting over the incident. In a statement, the External Affairs Ministry condemned the provocative action of Pakistan revealing its complicity in aiding and abetting terrorism. The Ministry said, Pakistan was asked  to abide by its bilateral commitment not to allow any territory under its control to be used to support terrorism against India in any manner.

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In Chhattisgarh, today is the last day for filing of nominations for the first phase of elections in 18 constituencies. The main contestants filing nominations today include Chief Minister Raman Singh who is contesting as a BJP Candidate from Rajnandgaon seat and Karuna Shukla, niece of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, contesting as a Congress candidate from the same seat. A total of 84 nominations had been filed till yesterday.
Scrutiny of nomination papers will take place tomorrow. The last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is October 26th.
The 18 assembly segments include 12 constituencies of Bastar division and 6 constituencies of Rajnandgaon district. There are about 31 lakh 80 thousand voters in these 18 assembly constituencies.
Chhattisgarh has 90 constituencies and  assembly elections are scheduled to be held in two phases on November 12th and 20th.
The notification for the elections in the remaining 72 constituencies in the second phase would be issued on October 26th.

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As part of government's effort for funding small businessmen and entrepreneurs, the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, launched in 2015, has brought a positive change in the lives of people. Under the scheme loans of up to 10 lakh rupees were provided to more than 11 crore people in the country, thus bringing them into the formal financial system and generated employment. Here is a ground report on it from our Sambalpur correspondent:
"In Odisha, the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana has proved very effective in making the youths self employed. Under the scheme, more than 11,115 crores rupees have been disbursed in last financial year. Over 67,000 beneficiaries have been granted loan by various financial institutions. Ashok Kumar Mehto, a small-scale business man, who runs a hotel in Rourkela said that Mudra Yojana is the best scheme for financially deprived youths.
Loans given by commercial banks, regional rural banks, small finance banks, cooperative banks, micro finance institutions and non-banking financial companies are extremely encouraging in Odisha. As a partner with State, financial institutions are encouraging small entrepreneurs, manufacturing units, shopkeepers, fruits and vegetable vendors, truck operators, hawkers, artisans in rural and urban areas to avail benefit of the scheme. SN Pattnaik, AIR News, Sambalpur."

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Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot inaugurated a national workshop on physical and mental disabilities in New Delhi today. Addressing the workshop, the Minister called upon the participants to help the disabled. The government has given them necessary implements to live better. He added that the scheme to issue special identity cards to them will be completed next year. The  objective of the workshop  is to share the experiences related to the care and rehabilitation of the disabled.

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Foreigners applying for Indian visa will now have to declare their criminal records as part of the new visa format. The move aims to check child sexual abuse and a range of other crimes by travellers. In a series of tweets, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said her request to revise the Visa Application process for foreign nationals travelling to India by requiring them to declare any criminal record, has been accepted. The Minister said that an appropriate questionnaire and a declaration will be incorporated in the visa application form to be filled up by visa applicants. She added that this step will certainly be a strong deterrent for perpetrators of such heinous crimes against children.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has officially opened the world's longest sea crossing bridge. The bridge connects Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. Mr Xi attended the opening ceremony of the bridge in Zhuhai along with the leaders of Hong Kong and Macau today.
The bridge spans 55 kms including its access roads and has cost about 20 billion dollars. About 30 kms of its total length crosses the sea of the Pearl River delta. To allow ships through, a 6.7 km section in the middle dips into an undersea tunnel that runs between two artificial islands.

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French Open Badminton tournament begins in Paris today. Ace Indian shuttlers, including defending champion Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will be eying their first major title of the year. Sindhu, seeded third, will play her first round match today. She will take on unseeded American Beiwen Zhang. Zhang had stunned Sindhu in the opening round of the Denmark Open last week. Srikanth and Saina along with B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma are scheduled to begin their Singles campaign tomorrow.
The Men's Doubles pair of Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok will play their opening round match today.

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Benchmark Domestic stocks today plunged for fourth straight session amid negative global markets. Sensex at Bombay Stock Exchange declined 325 points or 0.97 percent to trade below 34,000 mark at 33809. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange also tumbled 120 points or 1.19 percent to 10,125.   

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