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Last Updated : Sep 21 2019 1:09AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Many pressing challenges before international community require stronger global commitment: PM            PM Modi embarks on seven-day US visit tonight            Govt cuts corporate tax rate for domestic investors            World Wrestling C'ships: Bajrang Punia wins bronze medal            Boxing: Amit Panghal becomes first Indian to enter World Men's C'ship finals           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
17.08.2019

THE HEADLINES:-

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches Paro on a two-day visit to Bhutan; says his visit will further strengthen relations between two countries.

  • Pakistan's attempts at cornering India on Kashmir issue at the United Nations fail miserably.

  • Situation improves significantly in Jammu and Kashmir with re-opening of government offices in the Valley; mobile internet services restored in five districts of Jammu Division.

  • President Ramnath Kovind says Centre is committed to tackling health problems of people through Ayushman Bharat programme.

  • Nine-day national tribal festival Adi Mahotsav begins in Leh today.

  • In Hockey, Indian women's team registers 2-1 victory over Japan in Olympic Test event in Tokyo. 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Paro on a two day visit to Bhutan. He was received at the Paro airport by the Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, and other officials. Prime Minister Modi also inspected the Guard of Honour. Children and youth queued up with Indian and Bhutanese flags at most places along the 50 kilometer road from Paro to Thimphu to greet Mr. Modi. More from our correspondent :


"In his short visit of about 27 hours Mr Modi will have a packed schedule. He will receive audiences with the King of Bhutan, hold delegation level talks with his counterpart, meet the Leader of Opposition, inaugurate 720 megawatt Mangdechhu hydro-power project and release a commemorative stamp to mark the 50 years of Indo-Bhutan hydropower relations. He will inaugurate the Ground Station for South Asian Satellite and launch the first phase of RuPay Card and address address the students of Royal University of Bhutan. Naseem Naqvi, AIR News, Thimphu."


In his departure statement, Mr. Modi expressed confidence that his visit will promote India's time-tested and valued friendship with Bhutan. He said, the two countries enjoy excellent bilateral ties exemplified by our extensive development partnership, mutually beneficial hydro-power co-operation and strong trade and economic linkages.

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Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has embarked on a three-nation visit to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia today. He is accompanied by a high-level delegation. The visit will be the first ever high level visit to the three Baltic countries. It takes place in the context of increasing political engagement, as well as intensified trade and commercial ties.

This visit will provide an opportunity to brief the Baltic countries and get their views on enhanced opportunities for cooperation, thus further strengthening our existing friendly ties.

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Pakistan's attempts at cornering India on Kashmir issue at the United Nations failed miserably yesterday when most of the permanent members of United Nations Security Council backed India at an informal closed door meeting. India  categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter. The informal meeting of UNSC was requested by China to discuss revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Only China favours Pakistan. The other permanent UNSC members - Britain, France, Russia and the US - want the Kashmir issue to be addressed bilaterally. 

India has expressed gratification that the informal meeting of the UN Security Council appreciated and acknowledged Indian government's recent decisions to ensure good governance and socio economic development in Jammu and Kashmir. Briefing media after the meeting, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said India's position was and remains the same.


"Matters related to article 370 of the Indian constitution are entirely an internal matter of India. These have no external ramifications. The recent decisions taken by the Government of India and our legislative bodies are intended to ensure that good governance is promoted, social economic development is enhanced for our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh."  


Mr Akbaruddin asserted that there are normal diplomatic ways when countries deal with each other and that no democracy will acknowledge or accept talks when terror thrives.

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In Jammu and Kashmir, the situation has shown significant improvement , particularly in Kashmir valley with  State Government offices re-opening there. Educational institutions are also set to re-open on Monday. Meanwhile, mobile internet services have been restored in five districts of Jammu, Reasi, Samba, Kathua and Udhampur in Jammu Division from today. Landline phones have also started functioning in several areas of Srinagar City and Badgam district. 

Earlier, Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam had said telecom connectivity will be gradually restored in a phase-wise manner. Yesterday, Governor Satya Pal Malik, had directed all government offices to resume normal functioning. More from our correspondent:


"Baramulla District Administration has started a dedicated bus service for government employees to ferry them to their offices and  later drop them back in the evening. The Deputy Commissioner directed the officials concerned to make all necessary arrangements for the employees to attend work. Meanwhile, Srinagar administration yesterday received 1313 oil tankers which include petrol and diesel, 391 gas tankers and 105 gas trucks. In addition to fuel stocks the supplies received include 62 truckloads of food grains, 53 trucks of sheep, 71 trucks of poultry and 125 truckloads of vegetables. R K RAINA, AIR NEWS, JAMMU"


J&K Principal Secretary and Government Spokesperson, Rohit Kansal has also said that the situation in Kashmir Valley is improving with each passing day. Briefing media persons in Srinagar today, he said public transport services have started and that there are reports of normal movement from a lot of rural areas. 


"We are looking forward to opening of schools beginning with primary school all over and as we mentioned yesterday there will be full functionality of government offices beginning Monday."

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A 9 - Day National Tribal Festival, Aadi Mahotsav will be inaugurated by Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda at the Polo Grounds of Leh this evening. Adi Mahotsav is jointly organized by Tribal Affairs Ministry and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India from 17th to 25th  August in Leh- Ladakh. The theme of the festival is “A celebration of the spirit of Tribal Craft, Culture and Commerce”. Our Leh Correspondent Ramesh Chandra reports:


"The Tribal exotic handicrafts will be sold through 70-100 Stalls under the Tribes Banner by tribal artisans in Adi Mahotsav. With the help of State Bank of India for the first time in Adi Mahotsav, the Tribal artisans also going to show case the electronic and digital skills with cashless transactions through major credit and debit cards by using Point of Sale (POS) machines. Home Minister Amit Shah in a special message wished that the Adi Mahotsav would publicize the exhibits of Tribal artisans to reach across the country and help the Tribals to benefit financially. Trifed MD Pravir Krishna said,

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In yet another incident of ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in Nowshehra Sector of border district of Rajouri, one Indian Army jawan was martyred. The martyred jawan has been identified as Lance Naik Sandeep Thapa. Defence spokesperson told AIR News that Pakistani troops started firing using small arms and shelling mortars at about 6.30 am. Alert Indian troops retaliated and started giving a befitting reply.  However, during the exchange of  fire , Lance Naik Thapa fell to the bullets of Pakistani troops. Firing between the two armies was still going on when reports last came in.

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President Ram Nath Kovind has said that the Government remains committed to tackling the health problems of the people through the flagship Ayushmaan Bharat programme and other health missions.


"Health remains a key development challenge for India. As a country with 18 per cent of world population, we carry 20 per cent of the prevalence of global diseases. Our Government remains committed to tackle these through the flagship Ayushmaan Bharat programme and other health missions."


The President was addressing students at the Golden Jubilee program of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences at Sewagram, Wardha. Governor of Maharashtra, C. Vidysagar Rao and Chief Minister of Maharshtra Devendra Fadnavis were also present on the occasion. The President also called upon students to learn about the life of Mahatma Gandhi that encompasses ethics, empathy, dignity of labour and of serving humanity. Earlier today, the President visited Mahatma Gandhi Ashram at Sewagram, and paid tributes at the Bapu Kuti.

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In Madhya Pradesh, about 80 lakh eligible farmer families will benefit from Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana in the state. Under the scheme, a total of six thousand rupees, or two thousand each in three installments is being deposited every year directly into the accounts of eligible farmer families. The scheme has been envisioned to improve the life of small and marginal farmers. A report :


More than 35 lakh beneficiaries have been selected so for in Madhya Pradesh for Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. Out of them, over 29 lakh 70 thousand farmers have got the first installment of scheme. The second installment of this scheme has also been deposited in the bank accounts of more than 9 thousand farmers of the state till 15 August. A farmer from Satna district called this scheme a boon for farmers and said:


To prevent any type of corruption in the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, list of farmer families is being prepared by the Patwaris in collaboration with the Gram Sabha. Only after the approval of the Gram Sabha, the benefit of the scheme will be given to the farmer families. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the setting up of a Committee under the Chairmanship of Director General (Acquisition) to review the Defence Procurement Procedure 2016 and Defence Procurement Manual 2009. The Committee will revise and align the procedures with the aim of ensuring seamless flow from asset acquisition to life cycle support.

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has emphasized on a mindset change in tax officials while advocating a technology-driven approach. She was addressing the first meeting of senior officials of Income tax and GST wings in Gujarat at Ahmedabad yesterday. She said that tax administrators have a very delicate role to perform. Recalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resolve to ensure that honest taxpayers have not been harassed, Mrs. Sitharaman called for curtailing the interface of taxpayers with authorities. She said that the use of technology and faceless assessment is the need of the hour in tax administration.

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China's paramilitary People's Armed Police marched and practiced crowd control tactics at a sports complex in Shenzhen, the city that links Hong Kong to the mainland. The move is interpreted as a threat against pro-democracy protesters in the semi-autonomous territory.

Chinese state media said that the Shenzhen exercises were planned earlier and not directly related to the unrest.

Weeks of protests in Hong Kong have been marked by increasing violence and a shut down of the Hong Kong airport earlier this week.

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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that Sri Lanka has to take a critical look at what happened on the day of the Easter Sunday attacks otherwise the country can never be ready for this type of situation again. Addressing a programme in Colombo today, he said a critical examination is really required to look at how the information regarding the attacks was handled.

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In Hockey, the Indian women's team registered a comfortable 2-1 victory over hosts Japan in the Olympic Test event in Tokyo today. The men's team will open its campaign against Malaysia later today.

Both the Indian teams have secured their places in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, to be held later this year by winning their FIH Series Finals.

Indian women will next face their toughest test in World No. 2 Australia, before facing China.

World No. 5 and the top-ranked side in the tournament , the Indian men will play World No. 8 New Zealand tomorrow and World No. 16 Japan in their last round-robin match.

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