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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterates government’s commitment for improving sanitation facilities in the country; emphasizes the need to end the practice of open defecation.
  • Swiss parliamentary panel approves automatic information exchange pact with India; The pact to help New Delhi get instant access to details on Indians with Swiss accounts.
  • Election Commission orders probe into a video clip circulating on social media alleged to polarise election campaign in Gujarat.
  • In J&K, national highway connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir valley remains closed for 3rd consecutive day due to heavy snowfall.
  • Goa all set to inaugurate International Film Festival of India tomorrow.
  • Zimbabwe's ruling party sacks President Robert Mugabe as its leader; Appoints former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa as President.
  • In Sports:Women's Youth Boxing Championships gets off to a colourful start in Guwahati.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reaffirmed the government's commitment towards improving sanitation in the country. In a video on Twitter on the occasion of World Toilet Day, Mr Modi stressed the need to end the practice of open defecation. He said, toilet facility is must for the honour of citizens, particularly women and it will be the best gift for them. He said, it is now because of the awareness about toilets that girls check status of toilets in the schools before taking admission.

The Prime Minister complimented the individuals and organizations working towards building more toilets in various parts of the country. He said, their invaluable contribution adds solid momentum to the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Our Correspondent reports that large number of behavioural change and toilet usage activities were undertaken across the country as part of Swachh Bharat Mission on the occasion of World Toilet Day.

"Processions were taken out, discussions were held, and school children joined in large numbers in several innovative activities to highlight the importance of toilet access and usage. While Santa Claus was the flavour of toilet education in Jharkhand, Punjab launched Swachhta Raths. Noted Sand Artist Sudarsan Pattnaik crafted a swachhata message on sand and a group of women from Assam inspired 371 villagers to build toilets.Union Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Parameswaran Iyer led a centre-state team to complete the construction of twin pit toilets in Turkauliya village in East Champaran district of Bihar. The team interacted with villagers including women and students to generate demand for toilets. A national radio campaign for Toilet adoption and usage was also launched on the occasion. With Sant Bahadur, Anupam Mishra, AIR NEWS, DELHI".


A key parliamentary panel in Switzerland has approved a pact for automatic exchange of information with India on financial accounts. The pact will help provide a continuous access to details about alleged black money hoarders in once-all-secret Swiss banks.

The Commission for Economic Affairs and Taxes of the Council of States, a key panel of the Swiss Parliament's Upper House, approved the proposed pact with India as also with 40 other countries. The proposal will now be submitted for approval from the upper chamber of Swiss Parliament.

The exchange of information under this framework will work like this -- If an Indian has a bank account in Switzerland, the bank concerned will disclose the financial account data to authorities there; the Swiss authority will automatically forward the information to its peer in India who can then examine the person's details. The pact proposes automatic information exchange with effect from next year and first exchange of information in 2019. It was approved by the Lower House of Swiss Parliament in September. The issue of black money has been a matter of big debate in India, and Switzerland has been long perceived as one of the safest havens for the illicit wealth allegedly stashed abroad by Indians. Suparna Saikia, News desk.


The Finance Ministry has asked banks to prevent willful defaulters from buying the same stressed assets again. The move will ensure success of bankruptcy process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Sources said, it has been brought to the notice of the Finance Ministry that some of the wilful defaulters are making bid to buy assets of those cases which have been referred under IBC.

As many as 12 accounts each having more than 5,000 crore rupees of outstanding loans and accounting for 25 per cent of total Non Performing Assets of banks are under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code process. The total outstanding of these accounts taken together is 1.75 lakh crore rupees.


The Election Commission has ordered a probe into a video clip circulating on social media believed to be an attempt to polarise election campaign in Gujarat. State Chief Electoral Officer BB Swain said, he has ordered an inquiry by the Cyber Crime Cell of Ahmedabad which will determine the origin of the clip.

A social activist from the state had complained to the Election Commission that the clip appears to promote hatred against a particular community and that it should be banned immediately.

The last day of filing of nominations for the first phase of the Gujarat assembly elections is Tuesday. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will file his nomination from Rajkot tomorrow. On the other side, the Congress and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leaders held a meeting in Ahmedabad today regarding the reservation issue. Earlier, PAAS had given an ultimatum of twenty four hours to Congress to clear its stand on providing reservation to Patidars. Of the 182 seats, 89 in Saurashtra, Kutch and South Gujarat will go to polls in this phase on the 9th of next month. BJP has announced two lists of 106 candidates, while Congress is expected to announce its first list today.

The notification for second phase of 93 Assembly constituencies will be issued tomorrow.


President Ram Nath Kovind today dedicated the newly built Arunachal Pradesh Assembly building to the people of the state in Itanagar. Attending the special assembly session and addressing the members in the house, Mr. Kovind said that in democracy all the decision are taken after discussions and in the house if there is any difference in opinion then there should be debate but not disruption. He said, Arunachal has the potential to become the tourism hub of the country and can be greatly benefited from the Act east policy being a bordering state.

Earlier today, the president attended the valedictory function of the completion of 40 years of Vivikananda Kendra in Arunachal Pradesh at IG Park in Itanagar. He is on a four day tour to the North East starting from today.


In Jammu & Kashmir, the Meteorological Department has forecast partially cloudy sky in the state during the next 24 hours. The traffic on 300-km-long Srinagar Jammu national highway linking Kashmir with the rest of the world, is plying normal. However, due to heavy snowfall at Zojila Pass the national highway connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir valley remained closed for 3rd consecutive day. Similarly, the historic Mughal road in Shopian district connecting Jammu region through Rajouri and Pir Panjal areas also remained closed for the third consecutive day today due to slippery road conditions following snowfall. Ski resort Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district was the coldest place in the Kashmir Valley with a minus 4.6 degrees Celsius while night temperature in Ladakh dropped to below freezing point at minus 7.9 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in Kargil was recorded at minus 5.8, minus 2.9 in Srinagar and minus 0.5 degree Celsius in Pahalgam.


In Uttarakhand, the portals of Badrinath temple were closed for winter this evening signaling the end of the Chardham Yatra. Our correspondent reports that devotees in large number were present to have darshan of Lord Vishnu on the occasion, despite sub zero temperature in Badrinath Dham.

"The portals of Badrinath shrine were closed for winter season this evening amid chanting of vedic hymns and other rituals. With this, the Char Dham yatra for this year concluded in the State as the portals of Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri have already been closed. It is after 17 years that the portals of Badrinath shrine were closed for winter in the evening hours. The winter puja of the presiding deity of Badrinath will now take place in Pandukeshwer. About 22 lakh devotees visited Char Dhams this year. Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News, Dehradun."


48th ​International Film Festival of India​ (IFFI) will begin tomorrow at Panaji in Goa. Around 200 films from over 82 countries will be screened during the nine-day extravaganza. The festival will be inaugurated by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani will be present at the inaugural function to be held at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Bambolim. Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured with personality of the year award at the festival. This year,​ Canada is the focus country and will be presenting a package of its 8 best recent films. Our correspondent reports that the festival will open with the much-talked about Beyond the Clouds by legendary Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi.

 “The International Competition section of the festival will showcase 15 finest films. IFFI 2017 will present the Indian film personality of the year award on legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan and lifetime achievement to celebrated Canadian director Atom Egoyan.The city of Panaji is wearing an elegant look and is prepared to host India’s most prestigious film festival over the next eight days. IFFI 2017 will conclude on November 28.”Saikat Sarkar from Panaji for AIR


Zimbabwe's ruling party has sacked President Robert Mugabe as its leader. Officials say, ruling party Zanu-PF has instead appointed ex-Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa as President. Mr Mnangagwa had been fired by Mr Mugabe two weeks ago. The sacking of Mr Mnangagwa had prompted an extraordinary chain of events as the military intervened to block 93 year old Mr Mugabe from installing his wife, Grace, in his place. The first lady has been expelled from the party altogether. Mr Mugabe is set to meet military leaders today. Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans attended street protests yesterday, demonstrating against the Mugabes.


In Morocco, at least 15 people have been killed and five others injured in a stampede while food aid was being handed out. The incident happened in the village of Sidi Boualem, about 150 kms south-west of Casablanca. It is not yet clear who was distributing the aid but it is reported to have been donated by a charity. Some reports indicate that up to 40 people may have been injured in the stampede.


The AIBA Women's Youth Boxing Championships got off to a colourful start in Guwahati today in the presence of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.  No Indian featured in the opening day's bouts. While Mr Sonowal was the chief guest, singer Shaan performed the tournament's official anthem at the Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor stadium.

The first day of the Championships witnessed some upset results with fancied Waikai Shylah of New Zealand and England's Chloe Watson crashing out of in the first round.


In the first Cricket Test against Sri Lanka at Kolkata, India held an overall lead of 49 runs with nine second innings in hand at close of play on the fourth and penultimate day today. The hosts who conceded a first innings lead of 122 runs, were 171 for one with Lokesh Rahul on 73 and Cheteshwar Pujara on Two at the crease.  Opener Shikhar Dhawan was out for 94.

Earlier, resuming the day at their overnight 165 for four, the visitors were all out for 294, in reply to India's first innings score of 172 all out.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” tomorrow  (20.11.2017) will bring you a discussion on “प्रदूषण नियंत्रण में जन-भागीदारी।।” (“Pradushan Niyantran Mein Jan-Bhagidari”.)  This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 p.m. Listeners can ask questions to the experts sitting in our Studio on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767 (Repeat 1800-115767).


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