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Last Updated : Jan 19 2020 11:11PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi to interact with school students in 'Pariksha Pe Charcha-2020' programme tomorrow            Nine Union Ministers meet people in Jammu division; seek feedback on development initiatives, schemes            Centre to spend over Rs100 lakh cr on infrastructure in next five years: Nirmala Sitharaman            Pirates release 19 Indians kidnapped from commercial vessel off western coast of Africa            3rd ODI: India defeat Australia by 7 wickets; clinch series 2-1           

Text Bulletins Details

News at Nine

2100 HRS
  • President Ram Nath Kovind says, recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh would bring immense benefits to these regions; In his Independence Day eve address, President emphasizes on development of infrastructure for inclusive growth.
  • India to celebrate its 73rd Independence Day tomorrow; Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort.
  • In Jammu and Kashmir, overall situation continues to be calm.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says India needs to keep pace with technological advancements to deal with any eventuality.
  • IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to be conferred with Vir Chakra; 132 Gallantry awards announced for armed forces personnel.
  • And in Cricket: West Indies win the toss and elect to bat against India in the third and final ODI at Port of Spain.


President Ram Nath Kovind said the recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh would bring immense benefits to these regions. The President was addressing the nation on the eve of 73rd Independence day.

"I am confident that the recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh would be of immense benefit to those regions. They will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country."

The President said, these benefits include progressive, egalitarian laws and provisions related to the Right to Education, accessing public information through the Right to Information, reservations in education and employment and other facilities for traditionally deprived communities and justice for our daughters by abolishing unequal practices such as instant triple talaq.
The President said, India is completing 72 years as a free nation at a very special juncture. Mr Kovind said, the illustrious generation that led country to freedom did not perceive independence only in terms of transfer of political power. They considered it a stepping stone in a longer and larger process of nation building and national welding.
Mr Kovind expressed happiness that the recently concluded session of Parliament saw lengthy and productive sittings of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

" I am happy to note that the recently concluded session of Parliament saw lengthy and productive sittings of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Many important Bills were passed, in a spirit of cross-party cooperation and constructive debate. I am confident this is only an indicator of what the coming five years have in store. I also urge that this culture percolates to all our legislative assemblies."

The President highlighted that India has rarely been a judgemental society through the centuries. He said India have always had a live-and-let-live organising principle where people respect each other’s identity, irrespective of region, language or faith, or even the absence of faith. He added that India’s history and destiny, India’s legacy and future, are a function of coexistence and conciliation, of reform and reconciliation.
Speaking about country's youth, Mr Kovind said the greatest gift which can be given to young and coming generations is to encourage and institutionalise a culture of curiosity, especially in the classroom. He said people can achieve a lot given a facilitative and enabling environment by the government. The President emphasized on development of infrastructure for inclusive growth.

"The government can build financial infrastructure in the form of a transparent, inclusive banking system, an online-friendly tax system and easier access to capital for legitimate entrepreneurs."

President Kovind cited that the government can build physical infrastructure in the form of housing for the poorest of the poor, and availability of energy, toilets and water in every home.
Mr Kovind said it is crucial for society to use and nurture this infrastructure for the benefit of themselves and society. Giving examples, he said rural roads and better connectivity have meaning only if farmers use them to reach bigger markets and get better prices for their produce. He added that fiscal reforms and easier regulations have meaning only if entrepreneurs use these to build honest and imaginative enterprises and create sustainable jobs. He stressed that to cherish and safeguard such infrastructure is to secure another aspect of country's hard-won freedom.


The Nation will celebrate 73rd Independence Day tomorrow. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the National Flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort and address the nation. Security has been tightened in the national capital. Our correspondent reports that a multi-layered security ring, including NSG snipers, elite SWAT commandos and kite catchers, have been placed around the Red Fort.
"Special spotters of Delhi Police and the paramilitary force personnel are keeping a hawk eye on parking areas. Sniffer dogs have also been deployed as part of the extensive security deployment. Red Fort, which will see the presence of senior ministers, top bureaucrats, foreign dignitaries and common people, will have multiple CCTV cameras. Delhi Police personnel have been specifically asked to keep an eye on the sky to ensure that no stray kites are seen in the areas around the Red Fort. The general public is very enthused, with tri colour flags and other merchandise selling like hot cakes in the markets. This is the perfect occasion for citizens to reflect on the huge leaps made by the country since Independence and reaffirm their commitment to the nation. Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi."
Delhi Traffic Police has issued an advisory for the Independence Day function at Red Fort. Seven roads including Netaji Subhash Marg, SP Mukherjee Marg, Chandni Chowk Road, Nishad Raj Marg, Esplanade Road, and Ring Road from Rajghat to Y-Point-Hanuman Setu will be closed for general public from tomorrow 4 a.m. to 10 a.m.  and only labeled vehicles will be permitted.


In Jammu and Kashmir, the overall situation is improving with each passing day. Briefing media persons in Srinagar today evening,  J&K Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said that overall situation continues to be calm adding that there has been no report of any untoward incident from any part of the State particularly Kashmir Valley. The Spokesperson said that restrictions were eased in various parts of Kashmir Valley including Srinagar City during which situation remained peaceful.
"The overall security sitaution continues to be calm and there have been no major reports of any untoward incident.  As we had briefed in the morning, other major aspects including civilian flights, national highways,  civil supplies, medical facilities, availability of both normal and emergency medicines, power supply continue to be normal."

Mr Kansal said that the stage is all set for the Independence Day Celebrations.

"All arrangements for celebration of Independence Day have been made.  Full dress rehearsals were held in all the districts of Jammu Kashmir and Laddakh and we are now ready for the main function which will be held tomorrow.  The main function will be held at Srinagar where the natinal flag will be hoisted by the Governor."


Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided to implement Accessibility Standards for Persons with Disabilities in television programmes for private TV channels from this Independence Day. This is a major step towards implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that India has to be ready for any eventuality keeping pace with technological advancements in space and cyber space. He reiterated that India's defence policy is for peace and stability at regional, continental and global level. He said that efforts are being made to increase the participation of private sector in defence manufacturing under ‘Make in India’ to boost indigenisation. He was delivering an address to the Armed Forces in New Delhi today, on the eve of Independence Day.    
"बदलती वैश्विक परिदृश् में रणक्षेत्र सिर्फ जल, थल, वायु तक सीमित नहीं रहेंगे, बल्कि स्पेस और साइबरस्पेस में भी इनका विस्तार होगा ही। इसलिए भारत को  technological edge बनाए रखते हुए किसी भी संभावित घटना के लिए तैयार रहना होगा।"
Mr Singh assured the soldiers that the Government will do all that is necessary to keep their morale high and to meet their functional requirements. He said the Armed Forces are being rapidly modernised as they are at the forefront of the nation’s defence.
The Defence Minister listed the measures taken by the government for the welfare of soldiers and their families.


Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of Indian Air Force will be conferred with Vir Chakra on Independence Day. Abhinandan Varthaman had shot down F-16 jet of Pakistan Air Force.
President Ram Nath Kovind has approved 132 Awards to Armed Forces Personnel and members of Paramilitary Forces. The awards include two Kirti Chakras, one Vir Chakra, 14 Shaurya Chakras, eight Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 90 Sena Medals (Gallantry), five Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry), seven Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry) and five Yudh Seva Medals.
Central Reserve Police Force Deputy Commandant Harshpal Singh and Sapper Prakash Jadhav of Indian Army will be presented the Kirti Chakra.
President Ram Nath Kovind has also awarded one President's Tatrakshak Medal (Distinguished Service), five Tatrakshak Medals (Gallantry) and two Tatrakshak Medal (Meritorious Service) to Indian Coast Guard personnel.


A total of 946 police personnel have been awarded medals on the occasion of the Independence Day. President Police Medals for Gallantry have been awarded to three personnel, Police Medals for Gallantry to 177 personnel, and President's Police Medals for Distinguished Service to 89 personnel. Police Medal for Meritorious Service has been awarded to 677 personnel. 


Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today urged all the political parties to act unanimously on issues of national interest, rising above the party politics. He said that the party politics is a part of democratic system and it provides political alternative in democracy but national interest and ideals of society have no alternative. Mr. Naidu was delivering first memorial lecture on Late Balram Ji Das Tandon at Punjab University in Chandigarh.
The Vice President advised all the present days politicians to follow the footprints of such leaders who were selfless, truthful and patriotic.
On developments related to Jammu & Kashmir, he said that Kashmir is a part of India and abolition of Article 370 is a welcome step.


 The Chandrayaan-2 has successfully left the earth-centric orbit and has begun its journey straight to the moon early this morning. Scientists of the national space agency ISRO achieved its trans-lunar ion by firing the engine on-board at 2.21 am today for 20-minutes, three seconds. It is currently on its way towards the moon, whose parameters are all healthy, as said by the ISRO in a release.
The orbiter of the Chandrayaan-2 carrying the lander Vikram and rover Pragyaan is set to reach a moon-centric orbit on the 20th of this month. More from our correspondent:
"Chandrayaan-2 has finally managed to wiggle out of the earth’s gravitational pull, and has begun the much-anticipated journey to its actual destination, the moon. It was made possible by the series of earth-centric manoeuvres that culminated in today’s change of path by the lunar craft. The totally indigenous mission has thirteen instruments in its orbiter, lander and the rover, and a passive experiment by the NASA. ISRO says the mission objective of the prestigious mission is to develop and demonstrate India’s end-to-end moon mission capability involving a safe soft-landing and operating a rover. The second lunar expedition by India is all set to unveil more secrets about the moon as it aims at landing on uncharted territory. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai. "


External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar today said NDA Government has been at the forefront of bringing transparency and accountability across all systems of governance. He said this while launching the performance dashboard of his Ministry. The Minister said government is consistently striving towards expanding the use of different transparency tools across all Ministries. He added that the Prime Minister himself has been leading the initiative for information to be available at the fingertips of citizens. MEA Performance Smartboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve objectives of the Ministry.


In Cricket, the third and final One-Day International match between India and the West Indies in Port of Spain has been disrupted due to rain. West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and opted to bat. Windies were 158 for 2 wickets in 22 overs when the play was stopped. The first ODI was abandoned due to rain while India won second ODI.


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