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MIDDAY NEWS

1400 Hrs

23rd January, 2018

THE HEADLINES:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the plenary session of the 48th World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland this afternoon.
  • Shiv Sena passes resolution to contest next year's Lok Sabha and Assembly elections on its own.
  • Supreme Court rejects plea of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments against the release of movie 'Padmaavat'.
  • NIA can continue to probe the alleged love jihad case of Kerala but cannot investigate the marital status of the man and the woman, says Apex Court.
  • Uttar Pradesh and Bihar witness very dense fog; Punjab, Haryana and Delhi experience light rain.
  • Domestic stock markets hit lifetime highs, with the Sensex breaching the 36,000 level for the first time, and the Nifty hitting the historic 11,000 mark.
  • In Australian open Tennis tournament, Indian-Hungarian  duo Rohan Bopanna and Timea Babos enter quarter-finals of Mixed-doubles.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the plenary session of the 48th World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos in Switzerland this afternoon. The session will be moderated by WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab. Mr Modi will showcase ‘New India’ to the global chief executives at the meeting.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to deliver the opening keynote address at 3:45 Indian time at the World Economic forum annual meeting at the Congress hall in Davos. The atmosphere at the Congress hall is very warm as leaders across the globe are eagerly waiting for the Prime Minister's address. Despite heavy snowfall, delegates across the globe have gathered here to see a new India, the transformed India. In his 24 hours visit, the prime minister will showcase India as one of the main drivers of global economic growth. Seven co-chairs women including IMF chief Christine Legarde and India's Chetna Gala Sinha also interacting with the media today. During the summit, The World's top industry leaders and more than 50 heads of states and government will brainstorm on this year's theme creating a shared future in a fractured world. With Rajesh Jha, Vasundhra for AIR News, Switzerland, Davos."

Several round table conferences, organised by Invest India, on finance, promoting digital payments, clean energy solutions, development of railway industry in India, will also be held.

Mr Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the summit in two decades, had reached Davos last evening. He held bilateral talks with the President of Swiss Confederation Alain Berset. The two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and discussed ways to deepen them further. In a tweet after the meeting, Mr Modi said, India and Switzerland, the oldest democracies in the world, will continue to strengthen their relationship.

The Prime Minister also met global CEOs and presented exciting opportunities for global businesses in India. Under the tagline, 'India means business', the round-table was attended by 40 CEOs of global companies and 20 from India.

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Shiv Sena today passed a resolution to contest the next year's Lok Sabha and Assembly elections on its own, hinting to break away from the BJP-led coalition government. The resolution was passed at the party's national executive meeting held in Mumbai today which coincides with the birth anniversary of party founder Balasaheb Thackeray.

Uddhav Thackeray was also re-elected as the Party President at the meeting. Youth Wing Chief Aditya Thackeray was elevated as leader in the party hierarchy.

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The Supreme Court today refused to modify its earlier order that had cleared the decks for the nationwide release of film 'Padmaavat' on the 25th of this month. A bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, rejected the pleas filed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments against the release of the film in the two states. It said, people must understand that orders of the top court have to be abided with. The bench, also comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said, it is the obligation of the states to maintain law and order. It asked the states to follow its order and gave them the liberty to approach it again if the situation arises.

The bench also dismissed the applications filed by Shree Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena and Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha seeking to stall the exhibition of the movie.

The apex court had earlier restrained other states from issuing any ban orders on the film.

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The Supreme Court has said, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) can continue with its probe into the alleged love jihad case of Kerala, but cannot investigate the marital status of the man and the woman. A bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said this after the NIA told the court today that it had made substantial progress in the investigation which was conducted following the apex court's direction. The court also said, the Kerala-based woman Hadiya had appeared before it and had specifically said she married Shafin Jahan on her own. The bench said, it would examine whether the Kerala High Court was correct in annulling the marriage while hearing a Habeas Corpus petition. Saying that it is only concerned with the choice of an adult to marry someone, the court posted the matter for hearing on the 22nd of next month.

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The CBI has begun a probe into a 487 crore rupee scam related to over valuation of inferior quality of coal imported from Indonesia, which was passed on to NTPC and other power generation companies in collusion with officials. The action of the agency came on the basis of a Directorate of Revenue Intelligence investigation which had shown over invoicing in the imports between 2011-12 and 2014-15. The agency's FIR is against promoter of Coastal Energy Private Limited, Channi and unidentified officials of NTPC, Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation, Aravali Power Company Private limited. CBI has booked them under the charges of criminal conspiracy cheating and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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Former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel was sworn-in as the Madhya Pradesh Governor this morning. Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, Justice Hemant Gupta administered the oath of office to Ms Patel at a ceremony held at Raj Bhavan in Bhopal. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan were among those present at the function.

"Anandi ben patel as a Governor is the successor of Mr. Om Prakash Kohli, who, besides being Gujarat’s Governor, was also given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh. She is the 2nd Women Governor of Madhya Pradesh after Sarla Grewal. Mrs. Patel was the first women chief minister of Gujarat and was famously known as the Iron lady. She Joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1987, Mrs. Patel had handled number of major portfolios in the Gujarat cabinet from 2007 to 2014, when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state. Samir Verma, AIR News, Bhopal."

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Om Prakash Rawat today took over as the Chief Election Commissioner. He succeeded Achal Kumar Joti who retired yesterday. Mr Rawat's tenure will end in December this year. He was appointed Election Commissioner in August 2015. Mr Rawat is a former Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer.

Former Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa also took charge as Election Commissioner. Sunil Arora is the other Election Commissioner in the three-member panel body.

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The full dress rehearsal of the Republic Day Parade was held at Rajpath in New Delhi. The parade began at 9:50 in the morning from Vijay Chowk and culminated at Red Fort. Traffic Police had made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the Parade. All the offices in the vicinity of Rajpath remained closed till 1 PM.

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For the first time, All India Radio will be part of the Republic Day parade, showcasing its journey of more than eight decades in the domain of public service, promotion and preservation of socio-cultural and linguistic heritage. AlR will be leading a series of 23 tableaux during the Parade and will feature Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly address Mann Ki Baat. The tableau will have various scenes depicting its journey like Mahatma Gandhi's maiden and only broadcast in the wake of communal riots after partition. It will also showcase how AIR plays an integrating role with the diverse population of India.

A newly-raised all-woman bikers contingent of the Border Security Force will also make its debut on Rajpath. The 27-member BSF women daredevils are expected to draw cheers as they showcase their stunts and acrobatics on their Bullet motorcycles.

The External Affairs Ministry will also have two tableaux representing India's relationship with ASEAN countries.

Our correspondent reports that fourteen States and Union Territories and nine Central Ministries will participate in the Republic Day Parade this year.

"The tableaux will showcase varied themes starting from country’s rich cultural heritage, flora and fauna and socio-economic development to progress of the nation. Operation Clean Money, Khelo India and ASEAN-India are some of the themes of the tableaux. The Gujarat tableau will have a diorama on various activities of Sabarmati Ashram and a mural on Gandhiji's departure for Dandi March. Traditional masks of Assam will feature in state's tableau while Kettukazhcha of Kerala will draw the attention. Maharashtra will display the Coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Himachal Pradesh tableau will showcase Buddhist Monastery Kye Gompa. A tableau of Union Territory of Lakshadweep will portray unique culture of the island. With Dipendra Kumar, sanjeev jasrotia, AIR News, Delhi."

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Uttar Pradesh and Bihar witnessed very dense fog in the wee hours today, with Punjab, Haryana and Delhi experiencing light rain. In the national capital, fog, humid weather and light drizzle played a little spoilsport on the day of the full dress rehearsal for Republic Day celebrations. Poor visibility also hit train services. The MeT department said, foggy conditions were observed at isolated places over Sub­ Himalayan regions, West Bengal and moderate fog over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and in Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura. It said, the western disturbance now lies as a low pressure area over West Rajasthan. It is likely to cause scattered to widespread rainfall over northern plains and rain or snow over western Himalayan region during the next 48 hours.

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Textiles Minister Smriti Irani today said, India has the potential to be the one-stop sourcing destination in the area of textile. Addressing India-ASEAN: Weaving Textile Relations in New Delhi, Ms Irani said, India and the ASEAN nations can join hands and further encourage textile manufacturing. She said, India has a good value chain in textiles adding that there is a need to increase more opportunities for the weavers.

"With ability to produce diverse range of products. India has the potential to be become the once stop sourcing destination for brands and retailers of ASEAN nations. Their exists and opportunity for India to attract textile manufacturer of ASEAN nations to invest in manufacturing in India to cater both domestic market with in country and exports market across the world."

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The two-day international conference on dam safety began in Thiruvananthapuram today. The conference, which aims to address some of the major issues plaguing dam safety management, was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Meghwal said, there is a need to adopt latest technology from other countries when it comes to dam safety. More from our correspondent:

"Challenges in dam safety management across the globe, an overview of centrally funded Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project - DRIP and world bank initiatives are some of the issues that would be discussed in the two day conference. 550 delegates from over 20 countries are attending the conference which will have talks and debates on subjects focusing on the security and sustainable management of dams. Seven dam safety guidelines and manuals developed under the World bank aided Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project- DRIP - would be released for implementation during the conference. Shamila K.Y, AIR News, Thiruvananthapuram"

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The Jammu and Kashmir government has announced various initiatives for inclusive development of the tribal population in the state. The initiatives include special ration cards, setting up of tribal research institutes and Eklavya Mode Residential Schools among others. Speaking in the Assembly yesterday, State Tribal Affairs Minister Choudhary Zulfkar Ali said, multiple steps have been taken in education, agriculture, dairy and animal husbandry sectors to uplift the tribals.

<><><> 

The domestic stock markets hit lifetime highs today, with the the Sensex breaching the 36,000 level for the first time, and the Nifty hitting the historic 11,000 mark. The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange was trading 286 points in the positive territory at a record high of 36,084, when reports last came in. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange was trading 94 points in the green at an all-time high of 11,060.

At the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged up 5 paise to trade at 63 rupees 82 paise against the dollar in early trade.

<><><> 

In Tennis, Rohan Bopanna and his Hungarian team-mate Timea Babos today stormed into the Mixed Doubles quarterfinals of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, at Melbourne. The fifth placed pair defeated the unseeded Croatian-American team of Franko Skugor and Vania King, in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. Bopanna in Mixed Doubles is the only Indian challenge left in the tournament. For a place in the semi-finals, Bopanna and Timea will play against the Colombian-American pair of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Abigail Spears tomorrow.

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