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Last Updated : Jan 18 2020 11:15PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Govt says post abrogation of Article 370 J&K has seen a new dawn and is to see exemplary transformation in coming years            Pre-paid mobile connections restored in J&K            Home Minister Amit Shah accuses Congress of dividing country on religion            NSA Ajit Doval meets Lankan President Rajapaksa to discuss strategic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka            India to take on Australia in 3rd & final ODI tomorrow; AIR to broadcast live commentary           

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Winter Session of Parliament begins; Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for quality debate and open discussion.

  • Lok Sabha witnesses uproar over detention of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah; Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 P.M.

  • Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde takes oath as 47th Chief Justice of India.

  • Centre announces Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh with an aim  to reduce malnutrition.

  • In Rajasthan, 11 killed and 22 injured in a vehicle collision in Bikaner district. 

  • Gotabhaya Rajapaksa sworn in as Sri Lanka's new President.


The Winter Session of Parliament began this morning. The Session will have 20 sittings. It will end on the 13th of next month.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, Parliament should witness quality debates and open discussions. Addressing media ahead of the Winter Session, Mr Modi said what makes the session special is that it is the last one in 2019 and the 250th Rajya Sabha session. Mr. Modi said, in the past few days, he had the opportunity to meet leaders of almost all political parties. The Prime Minister said, the last session was phenomenal due to the support and active participation of all MPs. Mr. Modi said, everyone should contribute to enrich the discussions in Parliament.

"आशा करता हूं दुनिया जिस तेजी से आगे बढ़ रही है, उसके साथ कदम मिलाने का सामर्थ हम हमारी संसद में भी प्रकट करें। हम सभी मुद्दों पर खुलकर चर्चा चाहते हैं। बहस हो ये आवश्यक है वाद हो, विवाद हो, संवाद हो। हर एक कोई अपनी बुद्धिशक्ति का प्रचुर मात्रा में उपयोग करें और संसद की चर्चा को समृद्ध बनाने में योगदान दें, और उससे जो अमृ निकलता है वो देश के उज्ज्वल भविष् के लिए काम आता है।"

Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, it is incumbent upon the government to run the House smoothly.


Lok Sabha witnessed sloganeering during the Question Hour today seeking the release of detained Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah. Opposition MPs continued chanting of slogans protesting against the lack of stability in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Prince Raj from the Samastipur Parliamentary constituency in Bihar, Himadri Singh from Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh, Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil from Satara in Maharashtra and D M Kathir Anand from Vellore in Tamil Nadu took oath in the Lok Sabha.


The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 P.M. after paying tributes to the sitting and former members of the House who passed away recently. The house offered condolences to former Union Ministers and sitting members Arun Jaitly and Ram Jethmalani as well as former MPs Dr Jagannath Mishra, Gurudas Dasgupta and Sukh Dev Singh Libra. In his obituary reference,  Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said, with the passing away of Arun Jaitley, the country has lost an outstanding Parliamentarian, a legal luminary and eloquent speaker. Mr Naidu also recalled the contribution of Ram Jethmalani, Gurudas Dasgupta and Jagannath Mishra in public life.


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Lok Sabha that the Government has been taking steps to increase the country’s GDP growth rate.Corporate tax has been cut to 15 per cent for new domestic manufacturing companies which is amongst the lowest in the world. This complements a cut in the repo rate by a 135 basis points during 2019 by the Reserve Bank of India. Banks have been mandated to link their lending rates with external benchmarks to reduce the cost of capital for investors.

The Minister said, as per the National Statistical Office, the country’s GDP growth was 7.5 per cent in 2014-19. This is the highest amongst the G-20 countries.


Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan informed that the Government has not finalized any disinvestment plan for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, and so is the case of Numaligarh Refinery Limited, NRL. In a written reply, he told the Lok Sabha that certain representations have been received in this connection. He said, actions are being taken in the light of the Government’s disinvestment policy.


Shivsena leaders today protested near the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Parliament premises, demanding to declare non-seasonal rains in Maharashtra as a natural calamity. Party MPs led by its leader Sanjay Raut displayed posters and raised slogans demanding relief for farmers.

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi protested in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament premises against rising air pollution levels. Wearing a mask, Mr. Gogoi demanded that the government must act and bring a new Air Act.


Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde took oath as the 47th Chief Justice of India today. President Ram Nath Kovind administered him the oath of office at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Justice Bobde succeeds Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who retired on Sunday. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP Veteran L K Advani among others were present on the occasion.

Justice Bobde will have a tenure of around 18 months till his retirement on 23rd April 2021. Justice Bobde was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on the 12th of April 2013. He was part of the five-judge constitution bench which delivered the landmark Ayodhya verdict.


In Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistani Rangers again violated ceasefire at Border Outposts in Kathua District of Jammu division last night. The Border Security Force Jawans retaliated effectively. There was no report of any loss or damage from the Indian side.


In Rajasthan, 11 people were killed and 22 others injured in a collision between a bus and a truck in Bikaner this morning. The accident took place on Jaipur-Bikaner Highway. Additional District Magistrate of Bikaner A.S. Gauri said, the injured have been admitted to Bikaner Medical College Hospital.


Union Environment Secretary C K Mishra will hold meeting with Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in New Delhi today on the issue of air pollution. Senior officials of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Power and Ministry of Agriculture will also attend the meeting.


Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar arrived at Parliament in an electric car today. Speaking to reporters, he said, government is gradually switching to electric cars as they are pollution-free. The Minister also appealed to people to contribute to fight pollution and start using public transport and electric vehicles.

"पर्यावरण का संकट सबके लिए है और सबको मिलकर काम करना है और इसलिए ये इलैक्ट्रीकल व्हीकल की मोदी सरकार की पहल बहुत महत्वपूर्ण है। उसमें सरकार सबसिडी देती है। अप्रैल से बी.एस.-6 कंप्लाइट व्हीकल्स आयेंगे। ये जो इलैक्ट्रीकल व्हीकल्स है 450 किलोमीटर जाती है, एक चार्ज में। और बहुत अच्छी है, जीरो प्रदूषण होता है। सरकार धीरे-धीरे सभी वाहन री-प्लेस करेगी इलैक्ट्रीकल व्हीकल से।"


The Union Government today announced Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh for better nutritional outcomes. The Kosh aims at reducing malnutrition among women and children through a multi-sectoral results-based framework, including agriculture.

Speaking at a function in New Delhi, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani stressed the need for convergence between agriculture and nutrition to address the challenge of malnutrition. She said, the government has done commendable job to address the challenges of malnutrition, availability of drinking water and sanitation. She said, with high focus on toilet construction and menstrual hygiene, the government is providing health security to women and children.

"The toilets and menstrual hygiene which were not a part of political and administrative conversation,  today are no longer taboo. I celebrate the fact that during the past five years our country has seen the construction of over one hundred and ten million toilets, thereby, providing health security to women and children across the country."


Delivering the special address, noted philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said, not only India, but the whole world is facing the challenge of malnutrition. He said, in many cases, deaths of children below five is result of malnutrition. He said, National Nutrition Mission in India has brought a new energy needed to eliminate Malnutrition.

"Our Foundation is very grateful after the work. We are here to help partners in any way we can. Today is a great milestone for that because with the support of the partners, we have launched a poshan atlas and  showing different crops and how they fit into a fully nutritious diet. We think that is a fantastic step. "

Through a video message, Father of Green Revolution in the country, Dr M S Swaminathan underscored  an action plan to make India nutrition secure.

Ministry of Women and Child Development has collaborated with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for this project.


The Golden Jubilee edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) gets underway on Wednesday. IFFI is counted amongst one of the earliest film festivals of Asia. To commemorate this special event, IFFI will be presenting the Soul of Asia section this year. A report from our IFFI Desk -

"The Soul of Asia Retrospective at IFFI this year showcases some  of the new and dynamic movies from the continent. Films and filmmakers from China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and Sri Lanka will be screened in this section.

Among these, Ten Years Japan and Ten Years Taiwan are omnibus films, which started with the Ten Years series in 2015. They reflect how young directors from respective countries envision their immediate surroundings in a decade’s time.

Chinese films-Feelings to Tell, Summer is the Coldest Season and The Fourth Wall are among the films to be screened.

The Other Half directed by Lalith Rathnayake from Srilanka is a drama set in the countryside.

Wet Season directed by Anthony Chen rounds off the list.  Co-produced by Singapore and Taiwan, it talks about the discomfort of a monsoon season

The Soul of Asia Section celebrates the dynamic and bold efforts in filmmaking from the Asian countries.

50th IFFI will honor these filmmakers on the platform which serves as the bridge between films and audiences from around the world.

The Asian retrospective is out to enhance the popularity and recognition of the film makers from the continent at the Golden Jubilee edition. IFFI Desk, AIR NEWS."


Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was sworn in as the seventh President of Sri Lanka at a ceremony in Anuradhapura this morning. Speaking after the ceremony, 

Mr. Rajapaksa said that he will follow a neutral foreign policy and stay out of any conflict with world powers. The President said, he knew that the response to his request to the Tamil and Muslim community to join in his victory was less than expected. However, as new President, he invited all to work together with him for the future prosperity of the country as true Sri Lankans.


In Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party today officially pulled out of the ruling alliance and also decided not to contest the Brihanmumbai Mayor elections. The 27 municipal bodies in the state  including Mumbai will go to polls on 22nd of November. The BJP Mayoral candidate Advocate Ashish Shelar tweeted today that since the BJP does not have the numbers in the civic body, they will not contest polls as the party does not want to have an unholy alliance with any Opposition party.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” will bring you a discussion tonight on “Adoption in India - initiatives on finding family for every child.” This can be heard on FM Gold channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM.


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