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Last Updated : Aug 13 2020 11:15AM     Screen Reader Access
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PM Modi to launch platform for Transparent Taxation 'Honoring the Honest' through video conferencing today            COVID-19 recovery rate in country crosses 70 pct            Better road engineering and increased public awareness will reduce road accidents by about 50 pct: Nitin Gadkari            Electric mobility gets a boost; Govt allows registration of electric vehicles without pre-fitted batteries            Assam govt to roll out Arunodoi scheme to provide financial assistance to around 17 lakh families from Oct 2           

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, government is open to further reforms to make India a preferred investment destination.

  • BJP's Parliamentary Party meets; issue of greater participation in Parliament figures prominently.

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu says, government is committed to an inclusive society for Divyangjan; awards 65 people on International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

  • Navy foiled 44 piracy attempts and apprehended 120 pirates during its anti-piracy operations, says Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh.

  • In South Asian Games - Indian men's volleyball team face Pakistan in the final; Women's team to play host Nepal, shortly. 


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said, the government is open to further reforms for making India a more attractive investment destination. Speaking at the India-Sweden Business Summit in New Delhi today, Ms Sitharaman said, the government has taken various steps, including reduction of corporate tax, in this regard.

"Fiscal measures so as to attract investments, stimulate growth and also to create job opportunities. It was also noticed that many countries particularly in our neighbourhood and in the south east Asian regions had reduced their corporate tax as a result of which they were able to attract a lot of investment and create job opportunities."

The Minister stated that the government is committed to further reforms in various sectors, including banking, mining and insurance. The Finance Minister invited Swedish firms to invest in infrastructure development projects. Ms Sitharaman also held trade and business consultations with Swedish Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation, Ibrahim Baylan.


The BJP Parliamentary Party meeting was held in New Delhi today. The issue of absenteeism among BJP MPs from Parliament figured in the meeting. Sources said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dissatisfaction at the lack of adequate presence of BJP MPs on many occasions. Mr. Singh asked the MPs to be present in large numbers during passing of bills. He said the Prime Minister had, time and again, spoken against absenteeism, but the issue persists.

Addressing the meeting, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani highlighted the efforts of her ministry in fighting malnutrition among pregnant women and infants.


Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan today said the Government has begun implementing nation-wide portability of the benefits under the National Food Security Act, 2013, NFSA. He was speaking during the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha today. Mr Paswan said eligible households or beneficiaries covered under NFSA would be able to lift their entitled food grains from any Fair Price Shop, FPS, in the country. This would be possible by using the same ration card after biometric or Aadhaar authentication on Electronic Point of Sale, device at an FPS of Destination or Sale State through ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ Plan.

"हमारा लक्ष् है कि सभी राज्यों में जो है पॉश मशीन लगवा करके 100पर्सेंट और एक जून से पूरे देश में वन नेशन वन कार्ड जो है शुरू हो जायेगा।"


Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said the government is committed to building an inclusive society for the betterment of Divyangjan. He called upon all stakeholders to contribute to empowering this vulnerable section of society. Mr Naidu was speaking after confering National Awards to outstanding persons with disabilities and organizations working towards their empowerment on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities in New Delhi today. He said education is the key to empowerment of every person, including Persons with Disabilities. There should be a special focus on inclusive schools so that each differently-abled child gets good quality education.

"I would suggest all schools to consider adopting this it would be a good way to inculcate sensitivity towards the disability among the children early in their lives. So as to change the social attitude towards disability with the need to create general greater awareness about people who have scaled greater heights in different spheres like music, mathematics, science, sports, and mountaineering. I am happy that the mainstream Indian cinema has come up with many appreciable movies on the topic of disability such as Taare Zameen Par, Black and Paa to name a few. It is a good trend and need to further encourage it will go a long way in shaping people's perception about disability."

Addressing the gathering, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said the government has taken several initiatives for the empowerment of Divyangjan in the last five and a half years. He said special Universal Identity Cards for Divyangjan are being made, which will help them avail facilities meant for them.

"इनकी ठीक से पहचान हो सके इसलिए हमने यूनीवर्सल आई.डी. कार्ड बनाकर देने का निर्णय लिया है। ये कार्ड सारे देश में चलेगा। जहां जाओगे, राज् सरकार की या भारत सरकार की जो योजनाएं हैं उन सबका लाभ इनको मिलेगा।"

A total of 65 awards in 14 various categories were presented to Divyangjan. The national awards have been instituted with the objective of focusing public attention on issues concerning Divyangjan. The aim is also to promote their participation in mainstream society.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reaffirmed the government's commitment to keep working towards an inclusive, accessible and equitable future for Divyangs. In a tweet, Mr Modi said their fortitude and accomplishments in various fields inspire everybody.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is being observed today. This day is observed on the 3rd of December every year to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development and to increase awareness. The theme this year is - Promoting the Participation of Persons with Disabilities and their leadership: Taking Action on the 2030 Development Agenda.


Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh, has said the Indian Navy thwarted 44 piracy attempts and apprehended 120 pirates during its anti-piracy operations. Briefing media in New Delhi, ahead of the Navy Day tomorrow, Admiral Singh assured the nation that the Navy is fully prepared to deal with national security challenges. He said the Navy's long-term plan is to have three aircraft carriers and added that it is procuring 41 ships. On challenges in the neighbourhood, he said no action of any other player in the region should impact the Indian Navy.


In Jharkhand, today is the last day for filing of nominations for the fifth and last phase of State Assembly elections. Polling for this phase would be held on the 20th of this month in 16 constituencies spread over six districts. Scrutiny of nomination papers would be undertaken tomorrow and the last date for withdrawal of candidature will be the 6th of December.

Meanwhile, campaigning is in full swing in the poll-bound constituencies for the second and third phase.

Senior BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that an atmosphere of development has been created by the BJP by eradicating naxalism in Jharkhand. Addressing a public meeting at Birsa College Stadium in Khunti today, he said it is essential to bring the BJP back to power in the State for further development.

"जिस प्रकार भाजपा सरकार ने नक्सलवाद की कमर तोड़ी है, उसे बहुत ही छोटे इलाके तक समेट दिया है उससे डर का माहौल कम हुआ है। विकास का माहौल बना है।"

Star campaigners of all major parties including Congress, JMM, AJSU, RJD, JVM have also intensified campaigning in support of their party candidates.


In Karnataka, campaigning for the 5th December by-election to 15 Assembly constituencies will end this evening. There are 165 candidates in the fray, with a triangular fight among the BJP, Congress and JD(S).

The by-election was necessitated due to the resignation of 15 MLAs from Congress and JD(S), who are now fighting the by-poll on a BJP ticket. The survival of the B Y Yediyurappa government depends on the by-poll results scheduled on December the 9th. More from our Correspondent:-

"The battle for the of the BJP government in the state has become intense, reaching the feverish pitch, as the public campaign comes to an end today evening. BJP at present has the strength of 105 members in the legislative assembly and need to reach 113 for a simple majority in a House of 224 members. The 15 rebels from Congress and JD(S) quit their party to contest from BJP. Congress and JD(S) are using all their might to defeat them by calling on voters to defeat the turncoats. BJP on its side has no considerable presence in many of these 15 constituencies. It is dependent on the personal clout of the candidates. Sudhindra, AIR News, Bengaluru."


In Tamil Nadu, incessant rain in coastal as well as hilly districts has led to suspension of road traffic in various parts of the state. Huge boulders have fallen in at least twelve spots on the Coonoor- Mettupalayam road, on the way to Ooty. Efforts are continuing to blast off the rocks and restore traffic. More from our correspondent -

"Traffic to Kolli Hills tourism hot spot has been seriously hit by multiple landslides. Efforts are on to restore traffic. In Tuticorin city, water logging has affected traffic. Pumps and out board motors with enhanced capacity, are being used to drain out water from motorable roads. High capacity machines have been brought from Nagapattinam for the purpose. K PARMESWARAN, AIR NEWS, TRICHY."


In Madhya Pradesh, people are paying tributes to those who lost their lives in the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984. Today marks the 35th year of the tragedy which is known as one of the worst industrial disasters of the world. Millions of people still remain affected. Our correspondent has filed this report:-

"In the presence of Governor Lalji Tandon, an all-religion prayer meeting has been organized in bhopal. Several ministers including Gas Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Arif Aqeel paid tribute during the prayer meeting. The state government has declared a holiday today in all government offices and institutions of Bhopal. Chief Minister Kamal Nath has also paid tribute to those who lost their lives in this tragedy. Organizations expressed anger by creating a human chain and taking out a candle march in addition to organizing rallies. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."


In Nepal, Indian men's volleyball team are facing Pakistan in the finals of the 13th South Asian Games. The much awaited match is currently underway at Dasaratha Rangshala in Kathmandu. 

Two sets have already been played. After losing the 1st set, India bounced back and defeated Pakistan in the second set 25-15.

In the women's section, India will clash with host Nepal, shortly.


In Telangana, protests continue over the gang rape and murder of a veterinary doctor. Protesters are seeking speedy justice and stringent punishment for the culprits. Several organisations, women and students have been holding demonstrations across the state. Women members from the Congress held a protest at Pathancheru this morning, seeking a ban on the sale of liquor and fast trial of the culprits.


Domestic stocks logged losses in afternoon trade. The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange declined 152 points to 40,650. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange also fell 60 points to 11,989.


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