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Last Updated : Feb 21 2020 2:42PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Around 300 rural clusters developed under Shyama Prasad Mukherji National Rurban Mission            Prez Trump says he likes PM Modi & two leaders to hold talks on broad gamut of relations during his upcoming visit            Centre reiterates convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case cannot be released without its approval            FATF to take a final call on whether to put Pakistan in its Grey list at its meeting in Paris            ICC T20 Women's World Cup: Match between India, Australia underway           

Text Bulletins Details

Morning News

0815 HRS


  • Scrutiny of nomination papers for Delhi Assembly Elections to be held today.

  • Procurement of defence equipment worth over five thousand crore rupees approved to promote indigenisation.

  • Supreme Court asks Parliament to review powers of Speaker of Lok Sabha and Assemblies to disqualify members.

  • Impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump opens in Senate.

  • In Sports, third Khelo India Youth Games to conclude this evening with grand closing ceremony in Guwahati; Maharashtra tops medal tally.


Scrutiny of nomination papers for the Delhi Assembly elections is to be held today. Nominations can be withdrawn by the candidates till Friday. Meanwhile, political activity has gained momentum in the National Capital with the end of filing of nominations yesterday. As per Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi, total 1,029 candidates including 842 men and 187 women filed their nominations. On the last day, 806 nominations were received from 670 male and 136 female candidates. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal filed his nomination from New Delhi seat yesterday. BJP has pitted Sunil Yadav and Congress has fielded Romesh Sabharwal from the same constituency. Polling for the 70-member Assembly will be held on 8th of February, while Counting of votes will be taken up on the 11th.


The Office of the District Election Officer, New Delhi has denied any deliberate delay on part of the Election Machinery in nomination of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The Office said that it was receiving some information on social media that nomination of the AAP candidate was being delayed by the Returning Officer. It said, this is misleading. It added that there is a set procedure to be followed by Returning Officer while receiving nominations from aspiring candidates. This can take 30 to 35 minutes, depending on the number of sets of nomination papers. It also brought to note that Returning Officers must follow all prescribed procedures as per law, without compromising accuracy.


Defence Acquisition Council, DAC has approved procurement of equipment worth over five thousand 100 crore rupees from indigenous sources to promote indigenisation. These include sophisticated Electronic Warfare Systems for the Army designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, and manufactured locally by the Indian industry. In another significant step, the DAC also approved shortlisting of Indian Strategic Partners and the potential Original Equipment Manufacturers that will collaborate with SPs to construct six conventional submarines in India.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the 32nd interaction through PRAGATI in New Delhi today. PRAGATI is the Information and Communications Technology-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation. Here is a report :

"The  multi-purpose and multi-modal governance platform PRAGATI was launched by the Prime minister on the 25th March 2015. It is  an integrating and interactive platform aimed at addressing the common man’s grievances. This platform also helps in simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Centre as well as projects flagged by various State governments. In the last PRAGATI meeting, nine projects worth over 61 thousand crore rupees related to 16 states and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir were taken up for discussion.

SANJAY MUTTOO, News desk".


In a path breaking ruling yesterday, the Supreme Court said, the Parliament should review disqualification powers of the Speakers of Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies. The Court questioned whether disqualification petitions ought to be entrusted to a Speaker as a quasi-judicial authority, when he continues to belong to a particular political party-either de jure or de facto. The Apex Court said, the Parliament may seriously consider amending the Constitution to substitute Speakers as arbiters of disqualification issues.  A bench headed by Justice R F Nariman took note of the role played by Speakers and inordinate delays in deciding pleas for disqualification of lawmakers. It asked the Manipur Assembly Speaker to decide within four weeks a plea seeking disqualification of Manipur Forest Minister TH Shyamkumar.  The top court was hearing appeal of Congress leader Keisham Meghachandra Singh against the Manipur High Court order.


The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a batch of pleas seeking to examine the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde had issued notice to the Centre on 18th of December last year on various related pleas. It is likely to hear a batch of 143 petitions today. These include pleas filed by Indian Union Muslim League and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. Some petitions filed later have also sought a stay on the operation of the legislation, which came into force on 10th of January.


Bhartiya Janta Party is holding two rallies in Uttar Pradesh today as a part of the Party's countrywide campaign in support of Citizenship Amendment Act. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address a public rally in Meerut today to dispel doubts over the Act. The rally will also be addressed by State Unit President  Swatantra Dev Singh. Another Rally is scheduled in Kanpur. Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will take part.


Assam Governor Professor Jagdish Mukhi has said that role of students in any movement is always appreciated, but they should focus on education as well. He was talking to reporters after the 27th Annual Day of Assam University, Silchar yesterday.


The historic impeachment trial of United States President Donald Trump opened last night. Democrats angrily accused Senate Republicans of seeking a cover-up without witnesses or new evidence. Trump's close ally, Mitch McConnell laid out ground rules that would block subpoena of key witnesses or documents, while each side makes its case. This may potentially cripple the prosecutors' arguments. Flexing his majority, the Republican Senate leader also made clear he would summarily block any Democratic attempts to change his rules.

President Trump was impeached in December last year by the House of Representatives.


External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou jointly inaugurated the first convention centre established in Africa by India to honour Mahatma Gandhi's memory. External Affairs Ministry stated that establishment of Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre is a landmark for India-Niger friendship. It added that it is also a symbol of India's firm commitment towards Africa.


Uttar Pradesh Government has launched Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana. The scheme will provide financial assistance to families of farmers who die or become handicapped while working in fields. UP Government  Spokesman and Power Minister Shrikant Sharma informed this to the media after a Cabinet meeting in Lucknow yesterday. The government has also decided to implement Mukhyamantri Paryatan Samvardhan Yojana to boost tourism in the state. A report:

"Under the ''Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana'', if a farmer or any member of his family dies while working in a field then they will be given Rs 5 lakh. For the first time, the scheme will also include the BATAIDARs  who work in the field of other persons, and share the crop after it is harvested. The scheme will cover farmers and their family members in the age group of 18 to 70 years. Under Mukhyamantri Paryatan Samvardhan Yojna  one tourist point will also be developed with a fund of 50 lakh rupees in each and every assembly area of state. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."


The Centre is implementing Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme with an objective to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio. The main objective of the scheme is to prevent gender-biased sex selective elimination. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this day in 2015 at Panipat, Haryana. He had said that there is an urgent need to reduce the increasing imbalance between girls and boys for the betterment of society.

"हमारे देश में एक हजार बालक पैदा हों, तो उसके सामने एक हजार बालिकाएं भी पैदा होनी चाहिए। वरना संसार चक्र नहीं चल सकता। आज पूरे देश में ये चिंता का विषय है।

After the launch of the scheme, sex ratio at birth has improved from 923 to 931.


Preparations are in full swing for the 71st Republic Day celebrations this year. The day is observed to remember when the Constitution of India officially came into force on 26th January 1950. This historic day formally transitioned India to be an independent Republic. Our correspondent takes a look at some of the major highlights of India's first Republic Day function.

"The first Republic Day was celebrated on 26th January, 1950 at Irwin Amphi Theatre in Delhi which is currently known as Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. Indonesian President Sukarno was the chief guest during the function. A large number of people were awaiting to catch the glimpse of Republic Day parade which marched from Irwin Amphi Theatre to Red Fort. India's first  President  Dr. Rajenda Prasad took salute of the troops of armed forces and unfurled the national flag. On that day, four Param Vir Chakras were awarded to the soldiers for gallantry. More than 100 aircraft from the Indian Air Force  participated in the parade. Unlike today, where  tableaus are the main attraction of the parade, only armed forces marched in honour of the first Republic Day function at that time. With Diwaker, Bhupendra Singh, AIR NEWS, Delhi."


The third Khelo India Youth Games will conclude this evening with a gala closing ceremony at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati. The final matches of boxing, football and tennis will be played today. Swimming and weightlifting events will also be held. In the medal tally, Maharashtra continues on top with 234 medals including 74 golds. Haryana is second with 57 golds, while Delhi follows with 35 gold medals.  More from our correspondent:

"Finding of  talent for the future is one of the key component of the  Khelo India youth Games . Member of the Talent Identification and Development Committee Poonam Beniwal said,  the talent search process is going on in the boxing.

हम खेलों इंडिया यूथ गेम् के दौरान हम कमेटी मेंबर यहां पूरा bout देख रहे हैं। जो भी हमें टेलेंटिड बॉक्सर लग रहा है, Like we are the boxing experts. हम उसको रिकमेंड करते हैं फिर खेलों इंडिया की टीम के लिए और फिर एकॉर्डिंगली उनको इंडेक् किया जाता है। इफ दे पास ऐवेटी टेस् दन दे आर इनडक्टटिड इन खेलो इंडिया स्कीम।

Ms. Beniwal  said those player who have been short-listed are eligible for the government grant.

खेलो इंडिया स्कीम के अंतर्गत उनको पूरा रहने का, खाने का ट्रेनिंग का फेसेलिटी दिया जाता है। उनके स्कूल के लिए फीस दी जाती है। Everything is provided to them to just excel in the sports.

One of the aims of the Khelo India programme is to use the Youth Games as a resource base. With Shashank , Manas  Pratim Sarma, AIR News Guwahati."


Newspapers Headlines

  • A front page headline in Hindustan Times says, "Corona-virus sets off alarm across world". The paper adds "US declares first case near Seattle".

  • Almost all the dailies have reported about Supreme Court asking for curbs on powers of speaker. The Times of India writes "SC cites'partisan' speakers, moots panel in defections.

  • "Disclosure of NPR info is not mandatory, clarifies minister", reports The Tribune.

  • The Hindu writes about the facility of the population enumeration phase of the Census, "Respondents can fill in Census data online".

  • Economic Times headline reports, "Lower PF contribution may be allowed for select class of workers" adding women, Professionals with disabilities, may be eligible.

  • Another Hindustan Times headline says, "Two Indian, 5 foreign yards cleared for submarine project", giving a fillip to Make in India initiative.

  • In a major step to prevent road accidents The Pioneer states, "Crash barriers planned to slash National Highways fatalities", making it mandatory for all future highway projects.


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