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Last Updated : Aug 13 2020 11:15AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
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

News at Nine

2100 HRS


  • Parliament passes Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill; also approves  bill for merger of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

  • Government begins implementing nation-wide portability of benefits under National Food Security Act for migratory beneficiaries.

  • Filing of nominations for fifth and final phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections ends.

  • In Karnataka, campaigning concludes for by-election to 15 assembly constituencies.

  • In Sports, India bag ten Gold medals at 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu today.


Parliament has passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with the Rajya Sabha approving it today. The Lok Sabha has already passed the bill.

The proposed amendments in the SPG bill will provide security to the Prime Minister and members of his immediate family residing with him at his official residence. It will also provide security for a period of five years to former Prime Ministers and his immediate family members residing with them at the residence allotted to them. The Bill says that when the proximate security is withdrawn from a former Prime Minister such proximate security will also stand withdrawn from members of their immediate family.

Replying to the discussion, Home Minister Amit Shah said, the question of political vendetta does not arise in bringing the amendment as the SPG cover is meant only for the physical and communication security of the Prime Minister.

"Special protection ग्रुप जो बना है, वो प्रधानमंत्री की सिर्फ सिक्योरिटी के लिए नहीं बना। प्रधानमंत्री की व्यक्तिगत सिक्योरिटी की तो चिंता करता ही करता है। उनके Communication की भी चिंता करता है। उनके पत्राचार की भी चिंता करता है। उनके आरोग् की भी चिंता करता है। उनके कार्यालय के अंदर किसी प्रकार का Bugging हो इसकी भी चिंता करता है।

The Minister said, the SPG cover cannot go on endlessly for a particular family in a democracy. He said, he is not against any specific family but only against any family rule.

Later, not satisfied with the Minister’s reply, the Opposition including the Congress, DMK and Left Parties staged a walk out.

Earlier, initiating the discussion, Vivek Tanka of the Congress criticized the move saying politics is being played in a sensitive matter like security. Manas Ranjan Bhunia of the TMC said, before amending the Act it must be kept in mind that the Nehru-Gandhi family has lost two members in terror attacks. Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party said, any security cover should be based on the threat perception adding it should not be viewed as status symbol.  On the other hand. RCP Singh of the JDU and Prasanna Acharya of BJD also supported the bill.


Parliament has passed the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019 with the Rajya Sabha passing it today. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill. The Bill provides for the merger of the Union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. It is aimed at providing better delivery of services to citizens of both the UTs by improving efficiency and reduction in paperwork and administrative expenditure.

Speaking on the bill, Minister of State for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy said, it was a long standing demand of the people of the region. He clarified that there won’t be any change in the linguistic policy after the merger.


The Government has suspended three security personnel following security breach of Congress General Secretary Priyanka  Vadra. It has also ordered a high level inquiry into the matter. This was informed by Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha today during discussion on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019. He said, the incident occurred last week when a black colour vehicle with some Congress workers barged into the house of Priyanka Vadra in the National Capital. He said, the security breach was seemingly due to some confusion over the colour of the vehicle.


Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan today said the Government has begun implementing the 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, in the country. This would be possible by using the same ration card after biometric or Aadhaar authentication on the Electronic Point of Sale, through ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ Plan.

The system would largely benefit numerous migratory beneficiaries such as labourers, daily wagers and blue-collar workers who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of employment or for other reasons, across the country.


Lok Sabha members today cautioned the government on the environmental and Occupational hazards of the ship breaking industry. Opposition members cautioned that the country is not for dumping. The house was considering the bill on Recycling of Ships. Moving the bill in the house, Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) Mr. Mansukh L. Mandaviya said that the bill is aimed at provide regulation for the  recycling of ships by setting certain standards.


The government has revised the stock limit of onions for retailers and wholesalers in view of its rising prices. Now the stock holding limit for retailers has been reduced to five tonnes and for wholesalers to 25 tonnes. The decision has been taken to augment availability of onion in the open market. In a tweet, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said, the revised stock holding limit will not be applicable for imported onions. Earlier, retailers were allowed to hold onion stock up to 10 tonnes and wholesalers up to 50 tonnes.


India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed surface-to-surface nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile off the Odisha coast. The Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Army conducted the user trial of the 350 km range missile from a mobile launcher at Chandipur. Defence sources said the missile weighs about 4,600 kg and all parameters within the stipulated time period were achieved.


Public Sector Banks, PSBs, have disbursed four lakh 91 thousand crore rupees as loans during the month of October and November this year under the customer outreach initiative.  The Finance Ministry said in a statement that these banks disbursed 2.52 lakh crore rupees in October and 2.39 lakh crore rupees in November under this outreach initiative. In these two months, around 73 thousand crore rupees were disbursed to MSMEs and over 78 thousand crore rupees to the agriculture sector. 


In Jharkhand, today was the last day for filing of nominations for the fifth and final phase of Assembly elections.  Polling for this phase would be held on the 20th of this month in 16 constituencies spread over six districts. Scrutiny of papers would be undertaken tomorrow and last date for withdrawal of names is the 6th of December. Meanwhile, campaigning is in full swing in poll-bound constituencies for the second and third phase.  More from our correspondent:

"Intensive public meetings and rallies are being organized by all national and regional parties seeking votes for their candidates. Besides allegations and counter allegations against each other leaders of political parties are promising voters employment, scholarship to students, reservations for women in government jobs and protection of land rights of tribal population. Whereas Election Commission is busy in giving final touch to preparedness of polling to be held on Saturday.  Dharmendra Kumar Rai, AIR News Ranchi."


In Karnataka, campaigning for the by elections to 15 constituencies ended this evening. Voting will be held on Thursday.  . Over 37 lakh 82 thousand voters are eligible to cast their vote in 4,185 polling stations. The by-election was necessitated due to the resignation of 15 MLAs from the Congress and the JD(S), who are now fighting the by-poll on a the BJP ticket. More from our correspondent:

"The voters in 15 constituencies will decide whether B S Yediyurappa will continue as Chief Minister of Karnataka. There are also talks that Congress and JD(S) may again form the coalition government if BJP fails to garner necessary seats to retain a simple majority. The BJP leaders promised ministerial berths if their candidates win, thereby assuring development to voters. Congress and JD(S) told voters that the rebel candidates who left their parties to join BJP cannot be trusted.  Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru."

The 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.


Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has stressed on the need to focus on ensuring good quality, easily accessible and affordable maternal healthcare services for all women. Launching the Bharatiya Poshan Anthem in New Delhi, Mr Naidu said, people’s participation is essential to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.


Union Housing and Urban affairs Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra said, the decision of the government to give land title rights to property owners of 1,731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi will benefit at least 40 lakh people. He said this in an exclusive  to All India Radio News.  He added the land titles will be accorded within 180 days from the date of the land owners submitting their applications.

Tune into the FM Gold Channel of All India Radio at 9.30 tonight to listen to the complete programme.


National Federation of the Blind today expressed gratitude towards the NDA government and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for doing justice to all categories of persons with disabilities and for undertaking the present railway Group D recruitment in a transparent and fair manner. Briefing the media in New Delhi, General Secretary of the Federation, SK Rungta said this recruitment is unparalleled in which such a large number of vacancies have been reserved for different categories of Divyangjan.

"They issued an office memorandum saying that we will reserve one per cent each for each category of disability, four categories of disabilities in accordance with statute and they specifically reserved 609 vacancies for each of the four categories that making it a total of 2436 vacancies."


Rating Agency S&P in its report released today has reaffirmed the Sovereign Credit Rating of India  at BBB with the outlook as stable. In their Summary publication on India they have stated that  India’s economy continues to achieve impressive long term growth rates despite a recent deceleration. The report said that it is believed that the economic slowdown is cyclical rather than structural. They expect the economy to continue to outperform its peers on the back of rising domestic demand and strong demographics.


India dominated the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal today by clinching 10 Gold in Athletics, Volleyball, Shooting and Table Tennis.

In the track and field events India won four gold, four silver and two bronze on the opening day today.

In Volleyball, the Indian men's and women's team won gold. the Men's team defeated Pakistan 3-1 and the Women's team beat hosts Nepal 3-2 in a thrilling final.  

In Shooting, India swept all the medals on offer in the women's 10 metres air rifle event with Mehuli Ghosh winning the gold. India also won the team gold in the 10 metres air rifle event.

In Table Tennis, the Indian men's and women's teams claimed gold medals defeating Nepal and Sri Lanka respectively in the finals.


Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel today unveiled the Kalash containing soil from Jalianwala Bagh, the soil of martyr at the National Museum in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Patel said the main idea behind displaying the Kalash in the National Museum is to inspire the youth of the country specially children and pay tribute to the martyrs of the freedom struggle. 


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