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Mann ki Baat - 27
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1400 HRS

24th January,2017


  • Cabinet approves IIM amendment bill to give powers to the institutes to award Degrees instead of Diplomas.
  • Supreme Court agrees to hear on 3rd February a plea of consortium of banks in Aircel-Maxis 2G spectrum case.
  • Apex court asks states to file affidavits on vacancies in police services at all levels.
  • Filing of nominations for first phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections ends today; Notification issued for third phase.
  • National Girl Child Day being observed today; Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, it is imperative to reject discrimination against girl child and ensure equal opportunities.
  • US warns China over South China Sea dispute; Says, Washington will protect international interests from being taken over by one country.
  • And in Australian Open Tennis, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, with their team-mates, set up Mixed Doubles quarterfinal clash.


The Union Cabinet has decided to declare Indian Institutes of Management as institutions of national importance. It gave its nod to IIM Bill, 2017 to facilitate this. The bill will enable IIMs to grant degrees instead of diplomas to their students and give the institutes complete autonomy, combined with accountability. The management will be Board-driven and Chairperson and Director of the Institution will be selected by the Board.
The Cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval for interest waiver for November and December 2016 for farmers' short-term crop loans from co-operative banks. The decision also provides for interest subvention to NABARD on additional refinance by NABARD to Cooperative Banks. It will ensure resources with Cooperative Banks to help farmers with crop loans in view of reduction in cash for Rabi operations.

The Cabinet also cleared ratification of the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol on containing emission of Green House Gases.


The Cabinet has given its nod for a new scheme for promotion of Rural Housing in the country. The Government will provide interest subsidy under the scheme. Interest subsidy will be available to every rural household which is not covered under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Grameen). The scheme will enable people in rural areas to construct new houses or add to their existing pucca houses to improve their dwelling units. The beneficiary who takes a loan under the scheme would be provided interest subsidy for loan amount up to 2 Lakhs rupees. National Housing Bank would implement the scheme.


The Cabinet has also given its approval to transfer 11.35 acres of land to Airports Authority of India, AAI by way of exchanging equivalent land of AAI at Anisabad in Patna. The proposed land at Patna Airport will be used for expansion of the airport and construction of new terminal building along-with other associated infrastructures. The State Government has also agreed in principle for transfer of the land.


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved setting up of a World Class Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre at Pragati Maidan in Delhi. The total cost of the project, by India Trade Promotion Organisation, will be around 2,250 crore rupees.


The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on 3rd February, a plea filed by a consortium of banks, led by State Bank of India, that it be heard in the Aircel-Maxis 2G spectrum case as it has got financial exposure in the firm concerned. A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar today said, it will hear the plea on the date fixed in the case when Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for banks, sought urgent hearing on the ground that the PSU financial institutions had lent money to Aircel.

The apex court had, earlier, taken a tough stand and restrained transfer of 2G licenses from Malaysia's Maxis, which was originally allotted to Aircel, to any other telecom firms. It had said that the Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan, the owner of Maxis Group, and Ralph Marshall, an officer of the company, will have to make appearance before it on 3rd February otherwise the 2G licenses granted to Aircel shall be seized.


The Supreme Court has directed Home Secretaries of all states to file affidavits giving details of vacancies in police services at all levels. A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar observed that vacancy in police services was an important issue and asked all the states to file the affidavits within four weeks.  The apex court said, if any of the states do not file the affidavit, it will ensure the presence of Home Secretaries along with necessary records to assist the court in disposal of the matter.
The court was hearing a petition which claimed that law and order situation in the country is deteriorating due to a large number of vacancies in police services at all levels across all states. The petitioner claimed before the bench that there were more than 5 lakh vacancies in police services across the country.


In Jammu and Kashmir, two unidentified terrorists were killed in an encounter in Hadoora village of Ganderbal district in the outskirts of Srinagar city today. Sources said, the terrorists are believed to be members of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The sources said, security forces launched cordon and search operation on the basis of a tip off about the presence of terrorists in the village in the wee hours today. As the security forces zeroed in on the suspected place, the hiding terrorists fired upon the forces triggering a gunfight.
Meanwhile, Army deployed along the LoC in Sunderbani sector foiled an infiltration attempt in the early hours today. Defence sources told AIR that the troops detected the movement of terrorists along the LoC. One of the terrorists was killed in the operation while others fled towards Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.


The Central team to review the drought situation in Tamil Nadu is making an on-the-spot assessment of the damages in various districts today. The 10-member team has been divided into five different panels to cover as many districts as possible before winding up the tour tomorrow. Our correspondent reports that All districts of the state have been declared to be affected by severe drought by the state government.
"Tamil Nadu is reeling under an unprecedented drought situation in the last 140 years. The failure of both the North East and the South West Monsoon has resulted in heavy loss of crops in all agrarian districts, while urban areas are under the grip of drinking water shortage. The Central team met the Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam yesterday in Chennai and is expected to meet senior officials tomorrow before finalizing their report that will be submitted to the Union Agriculture Ministry. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."


Today is the last date for filing of nominations for the first phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. 73 constituencies, spread across 15 districts in the  western part of the state, will go to polls in the first phase on the 11th of next month. A total of 469 candidates had filed their papers till yesterday. For the second phase, polling for which will take place on 15th of February, 130 people have filed their nominations. Filing of nominations for the third phase started today after issuance of notification. Polling in the third phase will be held on the 19th of next month. Seven-phase polling was announced for the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

"CM and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav will initiate his election campaign from Sultanpur today. Sources say that a joint campaigning of Akhilesh Yadav with Rahul Gandhi will follow soon. Chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary of Samajwadi Party said that Mulayam Singh Yadav will join the Party campaign in the coming days. All the other parties including BSP, BJP and Congress are also about to start their intensive campaigning very soon. Merajuddin, AIR News, Lucknow."


In Punjab, election campaign has started picking up as all the parties in fray are now in the field to woo the voters. A report:

"Although many parties and 304 independents are in the fray main contest is considered triangular at all the seats. Shiromani Akai Dal-BJP combine, Congress and Aam Admi Party are the main contestants. Many Non Resident Indians are campaigning for their favorite candidates in the state. All contesting parties have released their manifestos to woo the voters. Various local issues are being raised by the voters at different places.Voters of some villages are saying openly that they would not vote in favour of anybody due to non development of their area.  Tight security is being maintained along the Punjab border with the neighbouring states and on the international border to keep a check on the smuggling of contrabands. With report of Jaswinder Singh Randhawa from Chandigarh, Swati Rakheja for AIR news."


Still in Punjab in poll-bound Punjab, more than 400 unlicensed weapons have been seized by police after the enforcement of model code of conduct. Additional Director General of Police, VK Bhawra, who is a nodal officer with the Election Commission said, around 52 crore rupees in cash and gold, worth 25 crores, have also been seized so far. Sources said, 392 cases have been registered under that Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and 394 persons have been arrested. For paid news, 16 notices have been served till now.


Chief Election Commissioner Dr Naseem Zaidi today said as per 2011 census, every year 20 million persons become eligible as the first time voters under country's electoral laws. Speaking at a seminar in New Delhi, he termed 62 million youths of the country who are now in the age group of 15 to 17 as future voters.

"We have a sizeable population of young and future voters. According to Census 2011, in India every year, 20 million persons turn 18 to become eligible as the first time voters under our laws. We are working to ensure that the voter should become eligible as and when he or she turns 18. According to our laws, he or she can enroll only as on 1st January of that year. Therefore, this law-making is under the process."


Today is National Girl Child Day. The government had, in 2008, declared the 24th of January each year to be observed as the National Girl Child Day. The objective is to raise the consciousness of society towards the girl child so that she can be valued and respected. In the national capital, a special function has been organised by the Women and Child Development Ministry to mark the occasion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, it is a day to celebrate the exceptional achievements of the girl child, whose excellence in many fields makes the country proud. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, it is imperative to reject discrimination against the girl child and ensure equal opportunities. The Prime Minister appealed to the people to reaffirm their commitment to challenging stereotypes based on gender and promote gender sensitisation as well as gender equality.


Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has said, his ministry is focusing on health security, job security and social security. Inaugurating the Regional Labour Conference of North and Central Region in Bhopal today, Mr Dattatreya said, the Centre is continuously working for labour reforms. He said, new laws are being brought keeping the interests of labourers in mind. The Minister said, efforts are also being made to connect more and more states with the Shram Suvidha Portal for better coordination. More from our correspondent:
"Region-wise Labour Conferences are being held to discuss topical policy challenges and find amenable solutions on critical issues. Representatives of nine states and union territories including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are taking part in the North and Central Region labour conference. Topics like rationalization of labour laws, harmonious industrial relations, effective implementation of Labour Laws and Job Creation are being discussed. The Conference is likely to bring out issues for possible coordination and dialogue between Center and the States. Shariq Noor, AIR News, Bhopal."


Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is arriving in Delhi today on a 3-day visit. He will be the Chief Guest at this year's Republic Day parade. The visiting dignitary will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow. India and UAE are expected to ink a strategic agreement to elevate their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.


The United States has warned China that it will prevent Beijing from taking over territory in international waters in the South China Sea. In a press briefing, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, Washington will defend American and international interests in the South China Sea and that trade must be a two-way street. He said, if those islands are, in fact, in international waters and not part of China, the US will make sure to protect international interests from being taken over by one country.


China has urged the United States to act and speak cautiously on the South China Sea. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said, Beijing has irrefutable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands.


In Australia Open Tennis, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, with their team-mates, today stormed into the Mixed Doubles quarter-finals. In the second round this morning, while second seeds Sania and her Croatian team-mate Ivan Dodig defeated the Aussie-Chinese pair of Alexander Peya and Saisai Zheng 2-6, 6-3, 10-6, Bopanna and his Canadian team-mate Gabriela Dabrowski beat Poland's Lukasz Kubot and Yung-Jan Chan of Chinese Taipei, 6-4, 5-7, 10-3. Sania and Bopanna will now face each other for a place in the semi-finals.



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