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Last Updated : Aug 18 2019 8:40AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
New Delhi and Thimpu to take bilateral co-operation beyond hydro power sector            Restrictions further eased in J&K; Landline phones in valley partially restored, Primary schools to re-open tomorrow            Abrogation of Article 370 aimed at reducing regional disparity and improving administrative efficiency: Vice President            Heavy rain lashed several parts of the country, affecting normal life            India win gold at Under- 12 Asian Tennis Team championship in Kazakhstan           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
22.07.2019

THE HEADLINES:

  • India's lunar Mission Chandrayaan-2 all set for launch from Sriharikotta in less than 45 minutes from now. 

  • Government presents 50-day report card; focus on key areas including infrastructure, education and social justice.

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar says government leaving no stone unturned for welfare of all sections of society.

  • In Karnataka, vote of confidence to be held today.

  • And in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe retains grip in Upper House of Parliament but without mandate to revise Constitution.  

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The stage is set for the launch of India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 in less than 45 minutes from now. The country’s most powerful launch vehicle GSLV Mark-Three will zoom into space carrying the high-stake probe at 2.43 pm from the second launchpad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta.


ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan has said, he is confident of the mission to be flawless as the technical snag that occurred during the previous launch schedule has been fully rectified. Responding to the queries of reporters at Chennai Airport yesterday, while being on his way to Sriharikotta, he said all preparatory works have been put in place for a successful mission. A leakage in the Helium pressure bottle in the cryogenic upper stage is said to have caused an anomaly earlier, that has been plugged.


Initially, the rocket will Chandrayaan-2 in an elliptical orbit around the earth. It will be taken out of the earth’s gravitational pull and out of its sphere of influence to navigate it to the surface of the moon.


Though the reschedule of the launch has led to the loss of seven days from the originally planned schedule for Chandrayaan’2’s journey, the scientists of ISRO have tweaked the travel plan of the prestigious mission in such a way that it touches down near the South Pole of the moon as planned earlier, on September 7th. Dr Sivan said the scientists would perform fifteen crucial manoeuvres to navigate the probe to achieve the feat. More from our correspondent:


"The Chandrayaan-2 mission that consists of the home-grown orbiter, lander and rover is a result of over ten long years of sincere works by the ISRO scientists and engineers. The obstacles on their way only hardened their resolve to make the mission a grand success, as high stakes are involved in it. The lunar South Pole remains an uncharted territory yet, and the exploration of the terrain and study of its exosphere are set to reveal more secrets that are believed to be hidden there. Besides, the mission would serve as a technology demonstrator for the national space agency to go beyond the moon with more ambitious missions in future, as the moon is all set to be a testbed for deep space missions. Above all, it is going to boost the morale of 1.3 billion people of the nation and create scientific temper. Jayasingh, AIR News, Sriharikotta."


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Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar today said that Narendra Modi-led government is leaving no stone unturned for the welfare of all segments of society, including farmers, soldiers, labourers and traders. Briefing media in New Delhi on the completion of 50 days of NDA government-2, Mr Javadekar said people are now assured that the pace of reforms, welfare and justice to all has increased as compared to its first tenure. He said within 50 days, Modi government has taken several historic decisions which show a clear roadmap of faster development in areas like Infrastructure, Education and Social justice.


"Within 50 days, it has done and taken historic decisions. It shows a clear road map of faster development in infrastructure, in social justice, in education, for farmers, small businesses, unemployed youth, middle class. It actually caters to all sections of society."


Mr Javadekar said the government has taken stringent measures against all types of corruption, which is a major achievement in the first fifty days of the government.


Talking about the target to make India a 5-trillion dollar economy, Mr Javadekar said, three major components - speed, scale and skill - are being given high priority in various developmental programmes.


A report on some of the bold decisions taken by Modi government in fifty days.


"As Mr Modi took over as Prime Minister for the second time, he declared  his government's resolve to work with the vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas. In his very first Cabinet meeting he took  bold and historic decisions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated his first decision after taking over to those who protect the country. Mr Modi approved major changes in the Prime Minister's scholarship scheme under the National Defence Fund. The government enhanced rates of scholarship from 2000 to 2500 rupees per month for boys and from 2250 to 3000 rupees per month for girls. The ambit of the Scholarship Scheme is also extended to the wards of State Police officials who are martyred during terror and naxal attacks. The Modi government also in its first Cabinet meeting approved a pension scheme for farmers under which they will get minimum pension of 3,000 rupees per month on attaining the age of 60 years.


In yet another landmark decision the government extended the PM-KISAN Yojana to all the farmers to provide them an income support of six thousand rupees annually. Cabinet also approved a new scheme that offers pension coverage to the trading community.


As Mr. Javdekar said, the country is headed for a five trillion economy. And the positive indicators have already started coming in. Foreign Direct Investment inflow has increased by 79 per cent in last six years. It is the result of the endeavour of the government to put in place the FDI policy which is more investor friendly and remove the policy bottlenecks. Naseem Naqvi, AIR News, New Delhi."


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Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar today said that the floor test will be held today. Talking to media persons in Bengaluru, he said he will abide by the word he gave on Friday to hold the floor test of the coalition government today.

Later, the Speaker allowed the members in the House to speak on the confidence motion, asking them to act with responsibility and not force him to intervene on the time taken for discussion. Seeking more clarity, BJP members  -- Madhuswamy and Jagadish Shetter -- asked the Speaker to fix time for the discussion and take up the trust vote. In response, the Speaker said that he has indicated the same. More from our Correspondent:


"Speaker Ramesh Kumar began the Assembly session today by giving a ruling on the point of Order raised by Congress legislative party leader Siddaramaiah. He ruled that legislative party leader can perform his role of issuing whip to all his MLAs and that cannot be curtailed. In another development, Speaker Ramesh Kumar has asked rebel MLAs to be present in his office tomorrow morning for hearing the petition filed by Congress Legislative party leader Siddaramaiah to disqualify rebels for anti-party activities. A notice was issued by the Speaker on July 18 under rule 7 of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly (Disqualification of members on the ground of defection) rules. The sources say that Speaker is yet to receive replies to the notice issued on July 18. Sudhindra, AIR News, Bengaluru."


Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to urgently list a plea of two Independent Karnataka MLAs seeking holding of floor test forthwith, but said it may consider listing of the petition tomorrow. Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the two legislators -- R Shankar and H Nagesh, said the floor test is being delayed on one pretext or the other. He said when the Congress-JD(S) coalition can take orders for holding of floor test earlier, then same order can be issued now.


To this, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, they will see it tomorrow.


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Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 PM following ruckus by Opposition members on Karnataka political crisis and Sonbhadra firing incident in Uttar Pradesh. When the House reassembled at 12 noon, members from Congress, TMC, AAP, BSP, SP, NCP, DMK and CPI raised these issues and trooped into the well. The Deputy Chairman Harivansh tried to conduct Question Hour amid noisy scenes but the members were unrelenting. He appealed to the members to go back to their seats and allow the House to function. As the pandemonium continued, he had to adjourn the House till 2 PM.


Earlier in the morning, the House adjourned till noon following protest on different issues. Congress members tried to raise the Karnataka issue but Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu denied the permission saying the matter is subjudice in the Supreme Court. The House observed two minutes silence in the memory of former Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit who passed away on Saturday.


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Congress MPs today staged a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Parliament premises over Sonbhadra firing incident. The members raised slogans against the government over the incident. They also questioned the arrest of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Vadra when she was on her way to Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh to meet the victim’s families.


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Lok Sabha was adjourned till 2 PM following the death of LJP leader and sitting MP Ram Chandra Paswan. Paswan passed away yesterday at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi. When the House met, Speaker Om Birla informed the members and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s death. Mr. Birla said Ram Chandra Paswan, as a social worker, worked for the upliftment of SCs and OBCs.


Mr. Paswan was an MP from Samastipur Lok Sabha seat in Bihar. Sheila Dikshit had represented Kannauj Lok Sabha seat of UP. The House also observed two minutes silence as mark of respect to the departed souls.


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High has been sounded in Kerala as heavy rain continues to lash the state. A report:


"Northern and central Kerala are the worst  hit with red being sounded in Kasaragod, Idukki, Kozhikode. Wayanad and Kannur districts till Tuesday. The met dept also issued orange in Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram districts till Thursday. Four people have reportedly  died in various rain related incidents and three, including two fishermen are still missing, Coastal areas of the state continue to bore the brunt of the rough sea. Fishermen are warned against venturing into the sea and advised  to follow safety measures. Thousands of people has been shifted to various relief camps across the state. This is Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."


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In International News;


Japan's ruling coalition has retained its grip on the country's upper house, but failed to secure a "super majority" that would ease the path to constitutional reform. The outcome of yesterday's election means Prime Minister Shinzo Abe remains on track to become the country's longest-serving prime minister later this year, and shores up his mandate ahead of a tax hike in October. He fell short, however, of achieving a "super majority" of two-thirds of the seats in the upper house, a result that could have helped him achieve a long-running goal of amending the country's pacifist constitution.


Abe's LDP and its coalition partner Komeito took 71 of the 124 seats up for grabs in yesterday's vote, accounting for about half of the upper chamber. The two parties already control 70 seats in the other half of the 245-seat chamber that was not being contested.


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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to hold talks with US President Donald Trump today to reboot bilateral ties. The relations between the two nations were hit after the US President publicly criticised Islamabad, cancelled military aid and asked it to do more to fight terrorism.


During the meet at the White House, the American leadership is likely to press Imran Khan to take "decisive and irreversible" action against terrorists and militant groups operating from Pakistani soil and facilitate peace talks with the Taliban.

The cricketer-turned-politician arrived in Washington on Saturday afternoon.


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Back Home;


In  Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan troops yet again violated ceasefire in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district in Jammu division today. According to Defence Spokesperson, Pakistani troops started unprovoked firing using small arms and shelling with mortars along Line of Control in the wee hours today. However, Indian troops retaliated effectively. No loss of life or damage to property was reported from Indian side.


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The Bombay High Court has quashed proceedings initiated by a local court against Tata Sons' former chairman Ratan Tata, its current chairman N Chandrasekaran and eight directors of the firm in a criminal defamation case. In December 2018, a magistrate court issued notices to Ratan Tata and the others in the criminal defamation case filed by Nusli Wadia. Wadia filed the case in 2016 after he was voted out of the boards of some Tata Group companies.


Tata and others then approached the high court seeking to quash and set aside the proceedings initiated against them. The Court today quashed and set aside the proceedings.


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In Gujarat, Acharya Devvrat took the oath as a new Governor of the state today. Acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court administered him the oath in presence of outgoing Governor O.P. Kohli, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, and Speaker of the state Assembly Rajendra Trivedi along with other dignitaries.


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Benchmarks Domestic indices today plunged for third session in a row in afternoon trade. Sensex and Nifty, both, logged losses amid foreign fund outflow and weak cues from global equity markets.


Sensex at Bombay Stock Exchange declined 355 points or 0.93 per cent to trade below 38,000 mark at 37,982. Nifty at National Stock Exchange also fell 93 points or 0.81 per cent to trade under 11,400 level at 11,327.


The rupee, at forex market, also depreciated 16 paise.


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