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Last Updated : Jul 14 2020 12:04PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Commander-level talks between India, China begin at Chushul Border post in Eastern Ladakh            Political crisis continues in Rajasthan; Congress calls another legislative party meet in Jaipur today            Govt aims to increase public health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025            COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 63.02% in country            WHO calls upon countries for comprehensive strategies to deal with Covid pandemic           

Text Bulletins Details

News at Nine

2100 HRS


  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserts, Country’s economy is in good shape; says fiscal discipline is well maintained despite spending on all welfare schemes.

  • Parliament passes Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019, with Rajya Sabha giving its approval.

  • Both Houses of Parliament express outrage over the Hyderabad gang rape and murder case; government says, it is ready to explore stringent provisions in law.

  • 221 candidates left in the fray for fourth phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections.

  • China suspends US Navy visits to Hong Kong for supporting pro-democracy protesters.

  • India win four medals in triathlon event at 13th South Asian Games in Nepal.


The Lok Sabha today passed the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019. It will replace an ordinance promulgated in this regard. The bill provides domestic companies with an option to pay tax at the rate of 22 per cent, provided that they do not claim certain deductions under the Income Tax Act.

Replying to a debate on the bill, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Said, the government's decision to cut corporate tax rate for domestic companies, including new manufacturers, was taken in view of the US-China trade war. She said the move will help attract fresh investments, stimulate growth and generate employment. The Finance Minister said the country’s economy is in good shape. Ms Sitharaman said despite spending on all welfare schemes, the country’s fiscal discipline is under control and is well maintained below four per cent. She said the NDA government listens to criticism and responds to it with positivity.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress asked the government to explain what results have been achieved in the last two months after the ordinance on Taxation Laws was promulgated. Members from other political parties, including DMK, AIADMK, CPI and TMC, also participated in the discussion on the bill.


Parliament has passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019, with the Rajya Sabha approving it today after an elaborate discussion. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan told the Upper House that the legislation is aimed at ending the menace of e-cigarettes in the beginning itself. Dr Harsh Vardhan added that 28 per cent of people in India are now using one or other form of tobacco, therefore, an outright ban on all tobacco products at this stage would be challenging. He said controlling the spread of e-cigarettes at this stage is a must since they come in several flavours and appealing manners, to attract vulnerable segments. The Minister also said that the intention of the bill is not to criminalize users but to prevent availability of e-cigarettes and their use in India.

A total of 28 members participated in the discussion on the bill in the Rajya Sabha.

The bill bans production, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisements of e-cigarettes with stringent punishments for any violation. A report:-

"E-cigarettes are the most common form of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems. These are basically devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves. Instead, they vaporise a solution using a battery. This vapour is then inhaled by the user. Recent studies have shown that E- cigarettes are not a safe alternative for tobacco and can cause respiratory complications. The bill has provision of punishment of one year imprisonment and a fine of one lakh rupees or both for the first time offenders. No person will be allowed to store e-cigarettes and if anyone does so will have to face the punishment of six months, or a fine of up to fifty thousand rupees or both. With Diwaker, Bhupendra Singh, AIR News, Delhi."


Both Houses of Parliament  have expressed outrage over the gruesome gang rape and murder case of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad and called for stringent punishment to the perpetrators. Condemning the incident, members from different political parties in the Rajya Sabha demanded a change in the legal and police system to check crime against women.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, the country and society must stand against such a heinous crime. He said, there is need to sensitize people. Ms Jaya Bachchan of Samajwadi Party demanded action against the security officer posted in the area where the  incident happened.  Mr Naresh Gujral of Akali Dal drew the attention of the House towards the pendency of cases in courts and delay in justice in such matters.

The Lok Sabha unanimously condemned the brutal  incident.

Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh said the government is not averse to discuss the issue, and is also ready to frame laws to punish the culprits.  He said that he shared the sentiments of the house that the accused should be given exemplary punishment.

"हैदराबाद की जो यह घटना घटित हुई है मैं समझता हूं कि इससे बड़ा और कोई दूसरा अमानवीय कृत् नहीं हो सकता और अध्यक्ष महोदय सचमुच माननीय सदस्यों ने कहा है कि सारा देश इस घटना को लेकर शर्मसार हुआ है। सभी आहत और मैं देख रहा हूं कि सदन में चाहे किसी भी दल से सम्बन्धित हमारे सदस् हैं, सबने इस घटना की यहां भर्तसना की है वहीं पर यह भी अपेक्षा की है कि इसमें जो भी अपराधी है उसे कठोर से कठोर दंड दिया जाना चाहिये।"


Prime Minister Narendra Modi held delegation level talks with King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden in New Delhi this afternoon. The leaders affirmed the common desire for building greater convergences on bilateral, regional and global matters of mutual interest. The Prime Minister and the King also chaired the India-Sweden High Level Policy Dialogue on Innovation Policy. They emphasised the role of collaborative tech-innovation leadership of the two countries in meeting future challenges.  

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia arrived on a state visit to India this morning at the invitation of President Ram Nath Kovind. They were given a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan. This is His Majesty’s third visit to India. Apart from the official programme in Delhi, the royal couple is scheduled to visit Mumbai and Uttarakhand. 

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on the King and the Queen after their arrival, and held discussions on ways to deepen bilateral ties.

The External Affairs Minister also held a wide-ranging conversation with his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde this evening.


In Jharkhand, 221 candidates are now in the fray for the fourth phase of Assembly elections as the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended today. Of the total 229 candidates with valid nominations, eight nominees withdrew their candidatures.

Meanwhile, campaigning for the second and third phase has intensified. Twenty constituencies will go to the polls in the second phase on the 7th of this month.

Polling for seventeen constituencies spread over eight districts, will be held in the third phase on 12th of this month.

Star campaigner of different political parties are holding election rallies and public meetings in support of their candidates.

Addressing a public meeting at Chakradharpur today, BJP President Amit Shah said, JMM has joined hands with the Congress which had opposed the formation of a separate Jharkhand state. The BJP President said, the Government will implement NRC in the whole country before 2024. He said, the Government has eradicated Naxalism in the state.

"नरेन्द्र मोदी सरकार और रघुवर सरकार ने झारखंड के अन्दर से नकसलवाद को उखाड़ कर फैंक कर यहां विकास का रास्ता प्रशस् करने का काम, यह भारतीय जनता पार्टी की सरकार ने किया है।"

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressed a public meeting in Simdega. He alleged that tribals and poor people of the state were not getting the benefits of government schemes despite availability of sufficient funds. The Congress leader said, if voted to power, the UPA alliance would return land to people, which had been taken unnecessarily, and will also waive farm loans.

जहां भी कांग्रेस पार्टी की सरकार आई, चाहे वो कर्नाटक, चाहे वो पंजाब, छत्तीसगढ़, मध्यप्रदेश, राजस्थान हमने वायदा किया था कि सही दाम मिलेगा और किसान कर्जा माफ करके हम दिखा देंगे और वही वायदा मैं आपको करने जा रहा हूं।"


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has expressed confidence that the corporate sector will contribute generously for the welfare of ex-servicemen. Addressing the Armed Forces Flag Day-CSR Conclave in New Delhi today, Mr Singh said he is confident that the corporate sector and wealth creators in the country will contribute to the corpus of the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare. He said common people had contributed generously to Bharat ke Veer Fund for the bereaved families of soldiers who laid down their lives in the line of duty.

"मै पूरी तरह से आश्वस् हूं क्योंकि मैने देखा है एक गृहमंत्री के रूप में मैने एक बार अपील की थी, भरपूर सहयोग, उद्योग जगत से और कारपोरेट जगत से हमको प्राप् हुआ। किसी व्यक्ति विशेष से आग्रह करने की जरूरत नहीं पड़ी थी और जो कुछ भी था सैल् इंस्पिरेशन से था। देश के उद्योग जगत और कारपोरेट जगत पर मुझे पूरी विश्वास है और िजतने भी वैल् क्रिएटर्स हैं सब पर विश्वास है। जहां पर देश के मान-सम्मान, स्वाभिमान का प्रश् होता है तो बिलकुल अपनी झोली खोल देते हैं।"


In Tamil Nadu, normal to heavy rain continued to batter various parts of the State. The upper air circulation along with the depression in the Arabian Sea threw normal life out of gear in more than ten districts. Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy is scheduled to visit the rain-hit western districts tomorrow. More from our correspondent :-

"Educational Institutions in the rain hit districts remained closed for the day and University examinations have been postponed. Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy instructed the district authorities to take necessary steps for immediate support to the farmers who had insured their crops and also appealed to the authorities to include those who had not registered for the insurance. Revenue Minister R.B.Udayakumar said that the State Disaster Management authority has been put on high to immediately rise to the occasion. People living in low lying areas of Cuddalore and Tirunelveli have been housed in relief camps. The health department has issued advisory to maintain vigil on the outbreak of diseases. A general appeal has been given to the people to consume boiled water. Control rooms have been set up in rain hit districts in case of emergency. Public works department officials are maintaining round the clock vigil in water bodies and reservoirs. Joy, AIR News, Chennai."


The Centre today launched a nationwide vaccination drive to prevent eight diseases under the Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 across the country. The government's flagship scheme is aimed at immunizing children under the age of two years and pregnant women against eight vaccine preventable diseases. The mission was also launched in Madhya Pradesh today. A report:-

"During the next four months, under Mission Indradhanush, a target has been set to vaccinate around one lakh children and more than thirty thousand pregnant women. The campaign will be carried out in 260 development blocks of 43 districts of the state including the capital Bhopal and Indore. In addition , the mission will be running in four-phases in state. Children will be vaccinated under the National Mission Indradhanush in the months of January, February and March next year. Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Tulsiram  inaugurated this campaign in Indore district today. The Project Officers of the District Urban Development Agency has been made the nodal officer for the successful operation of the mission Indradhanush. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."


Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba today chaired a meeting of the Committee of Secretaries to review the issue of rising prices of onions across the country. In a video conference with the Chief Secretaries of the 11 major onion producing States, the Cabinet Secretary was briefed about the various steps being taken by States to tackle the price rise. He directed the States to utilise their Food and Civil Supply Departments to procure and distribute onions at reasonable prices.


China has suspended visits by US Navy ships and aircraft to Hong Kong after Washington passed a legislation last week backing pro-democracy protesters. Beijing also unveiled sanctions against a number of US human rights groups. It comes after President Donald Trump signed the Human Rights and Democracy Act into law. The act orders an annual review to check if Hong Kong has enough autonomy to justify special trading status with the US.


India won 14 medals, including three gold, eight silver and three bronze on the first day of 13th South Asian Games. Adarsha M N Sinimol gave India the first gold medal by winning the men's individual triathlon event at Pokhara in Nepal today. Sinimol compatriot Bishworjit Srikhom took the silver in a 1-2 finish. Thoudam Sorojini Devi and Mohan Pragnya added a silver and a bronze in the women's individual event.


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