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Last Updated : Dec 15 2019 7:54AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi reviews progress of Namami Gange project at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh            Campaigning for fourth phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections concludes            Situation improves in Assam as no untoward incident reported during last 48 hours            Former Sudanese President Omar-al-Bashir sentenced to two years in jail for corruption            India to take on West Indies in 1st ODI of three match series in Chennai tomorrow           

Text Bulletins Details


News at Nine

2100 HRS
18.11.2019
THE HEADLINES:
  • Rajya Sabha holds historic 250th Session; Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, Upper House essential for checks and balance but distinction needs to be drawn between checking and clogging.
  • Government to intensify crackdown on those violating anti pollution norms.
  • Roadmap for transformation of healthcare system unveiled by NITI Aayog.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh calls upon international community to eliminate terrorist safe havens and curb their cross-border movement.
  • And, Commonwealth Games champion Shreyasi Singh wins gold at 63rd National Shooting Championship in New Delhi.

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The historic 250th session of Rajya Sabha began today with the commencement of Winter Session of Parliament.
Speaking during a special discussion in the Rajya Sabha, marking the 250th session of the Upper House, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, the Rajya Sabha is essential for checks and balance in democracy. He, however, said a distinction needs to be drawn between checking and clogging. Mr Modi stressed on maintaining balance between national vision and regional interest.
   
"दो पहलू खास हैं - एक तो उसका स्थायित्, परमानेंट कहे या इटरनल और दूसरा है विविधता। स्थायित् तो इसलिए है कि लोकसभा तो भंग होती है इसका जन् हुआ अब तक कभी इसका कभी भंग हुई है भंग होना है। लोग आएंगे, जाएंगे, लेकिन ये व्यवस्था इंटरनल  होगी और दूसरा है विविधता क्योंकि यहां राज्यों का प्रतिनिधित् प्राथमिकता है, एक प्रकार से भारत के फेडरल स्ट्रक्चर की आत्मा यहां पर हर पल हमें प्रेरित करती है।"

The Prime Minister said, the Rajya Sabha gives an opportunity to those who are away from electoral politics to contribute to the nation and its development. He stated that it was through the Rajya Sabha that a stalwart like Dr. B.R. Ambedkar could contribute even more to national progress. Mr. Modi said that Rajya Sabha has passed several historic bills related to triple talaq, reservation to economically weaker sections, Goods and Service Tax and abrogation of article 370.
The Prime Minister appreciated NCP chief Sharad Pawar and the Biju Janata Dal for never rushing to the Well of the House to raise their issues.
   
"दोनों दलों का आज मैं उल्लेख करना चाहूंगा। एक एनसीपी और दूसरा बीजेडी। इन दोनों दलों की विशेषता देखिए। उन्होंने खुद ने डिसिप्लिन तय किया है कि हम वैल में नहीं जाएंगे और मैं देख रहा हूं एक बार भी उनके एक सदस् ने नियम को तोड़ा नहीं है। हम सभी राजनीतिक दलों को सीखना होगा कि ये नियम का पालन करने के बावजूद भी  एनसीपी की राजनीतिक विकास यात्रा में कोई रूकावट आई है बीजेडी की राजनीतिक विकास यात्रा को कोई रूकावट आई है।"

Mr Modi recalled former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's words that the Upper House may be the second house but no one should think of it as a secondary house. Participating in the discussion, former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh said the Rajya Sabha must get enough importance in the matter related to restructuring the boundaries of States and dropping crucial articles.
Professor Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party said the Rajya Sabha is not merely for giving assent to whatever passed by the Lok Sabha, adding that it is the duty of Upper House to protect the rights of States. Other members who participated in the debate include Prasana Acharya of BJD, Bhupendra Yadav of BJP, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy of TMC and Praful Patel of NCP.
Earlier, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu appealed to the members to take part in the debate and come out with effective suggestions for better functioning of the House.
     
"Since 1952 during the last 249 sessions, this august house held 5,466 sittings and passed as many as 3817 bills.  These include several pioneering and far reaching legislations that rewrote the socio-economic land scape of our country."

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Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur today moved the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for consideration in the Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to amend the Chit Funds Act, 1982 which regulates chit funds and prohibits a fund from being created without the prior sanction of a state government.

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The Lok Sabha witnessed sloganeering during the Question Hour seeking the release of detained Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah. Opposition MPs chanted slogans protesting against the lack of stability in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier in the day, four newly-elected Members of Parliament took oath in the Lower House.

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Environment Secretary C K Mishra today said, the government will intensify its crackdown on those violating anti-pollution norms. He was addressing at a press conference after a high-level meeting with the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh over the air pollution in the northern states.
 
"We will over the next 15 days try and completely take over the watering situation so that we are able to really keep the dust down.  There is going to be a huge crack down on any illegal construction.  But we have also taken a decison that over the next 15 days it is going to be very-very intensified action which will have to continue till the 31st of December with the same intensity."
Meanwhile, air quality in the national capital improved, entering the poor category. According to Central Pollution Control Board, the Air Quality Index was recorded at 217 this evening.

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The NITI Aayog today released the report on ‘Health Systems for a New India: Building Blocks-Potential Pathways to Reforms. Through the report, the NITI Aayog unveiled a roadmap for transformation of the health care system of the country. It advocated for a healthcare system for the middle class, which is still not covered under any public health care system.
The report was released by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar in the presence of Bill Gates, the co-chairman of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Rajiv Kamar said, the vision for a Healthy India and quality Health For All requires to holistically transform the delivery of health care services in both the public and the private sectors and across all levels of care.

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The Union Health Ministry signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the areas of immunisation, Tuberculosis and Maternal Health. It was inked in the presence of Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Co-Chair of the Foundation, Bill Gates, in New Delhi today.
Talking to media, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, the Health Ministry also wants to work in collaboration with this foundation in the area of Health and Wellness Centres under Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

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Foreign Minister of Bhutan, Lyonpo Tandi Dorji, called on Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi today. Both the leaders discussed the historically close ties between the two nations and agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relationship. Mr Dorji reached New Delhi yesterday on a week-long visit.

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The Ministry of Human Resource Development constituted a three-member committee today to recommend ways for restoration of normal functioning of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
A Ministry order said, the committee will hold dialogue with all the stakeholders and advise the university administration for resolution of contentious issues. The panel will submit recommendations on actions to be taken.
Scores of JNU students held a protest today and marched towards Parliament from the University. However, Delhi Police stopped them around half a kilometre from the institute's campus in south Delhi. The students have been protesting for nearly three weeks against the draft hostel manual which has provisions for hostel fee hike and dress code, among others. The varsity's Executive Council had announced a partial roll back in the fee only for students belonging to Below Poverty Line category and not availing any scholarships.

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NCP Chief Sharad Pawar met Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi today and briefed her on the political situation in Maharashtra. Addressing media after the meeting, Mr Pawar said Congress and NCP leaders will hold further talks on the future course of action.
Speaking to media, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was decided that in a day or two, representatives from NCP and Congress will meet in Delhi to discuss the way forward for government formation in Maharashtra, after 25 days of deadlock.

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has called upon the international community to eliminate terrorist safe havens, and curb their cross-border movement to ensure sustainable regional security. Mr Singh was addressing the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus at Bangkok in Thailand.
Describing terrorism as the most heinous of cross-border crimes, the Defence Minister said, some States use terror to pursue political goals making regional security vulnerable. Mr Singh also addressed a business seminar ‘India Rising’, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce. He reiterated the government's commitment to achieve 26 billion dollar defence industry by 2025.
     
"The draft defence production policy 2018 had set a target of five billion US Dollars in defence exports by 2025.  India's defence exports grew nearly six times over the past two years.  Government of India is committed to work towards achieving a 26 billion US dollars defence industry by 2025."

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 And now news from the world of Cinema:
   
Less than 48 hours are left before the biggest film festival of Asia begins in Goa. The Golden Jubilee Edition of the International Film Festival of India, IFFI, will start on Wednesday. Indian cinema’s biggest names like Rajnikant and Amitabh Bachchan are set to attend the festival. The opening ceremony, with its theme "Fusion of Music", will also see renowned artist Shankar Mahadevan perform and thrill the  audience!

AIR News spoke exclusively to Festival Director, Chaitanya Prasad, at one of the venues in Panjim.

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 Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Shreyasi Singh won the gold in the Women's Trap competition at the ongoing 63rd National Shooting Championship for shotgun events in New Delhi today. Shreyasi got the better of Rajeshwari Kumari of Punjab, who settled for silver. Pragati Dubey of Madhya Pradesh won bronze.
Rajeshwari also claimed the team gold in Women's Trap along with Punjab teammates Inaya Vijay Singh and Prabsukhman Kaur.
Delhi's Varda Sharma won the Junior Women's Trap competition getting the better of Manisha Keer of MP while  Preeti Rajak won  bronze.  

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And in Women's Cricket, India defeated West Indies by five-runs in the rain-truncated fourth encounter at Providence in Guyana. The Women in Blue now lead the five-match series 4-0 after sealing the series in the third game. The final T20 will be played on Thursday.

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The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” will bring you tonight a discussion 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. Listeners can ask questions to the experts sitting in our studio on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767. Listeners can also ask questions on the telephone number: 011: 2331-4444.

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