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MIDDAY NEWS


1400 HRS

25.07.2017


THE HEADLINES

  • Ram Nath Kovind becomes the 14th President of the Country; Chief Justice J S Khehar administers him the oath of office in a special ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament.
  • The New President says nations are not built by governments alone and it can at best be a facilitator of society’s innate entrepreneurial and creative instincts.
  • Both the Houses of Parliament adjourned till afternoon, in view of the oath taking ceremony of the President.
  • Defence Minister Arun Jaitley assures the Rajya Sabha that the country has made considerable progress in defence related procurements and armed forces are sufficiently equipped.
  • Renowned scientist and educationist Professor Yash Pal passes away.
  • Prime Minister to conduct aerial survey of the flood affected areas of Gujarat.


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Mr Ramnath Kovind has taken over as 14th President of India. He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar at a special function in the Central hall of Parliament this afternoon. After the swearing-in, he was given 21-gun salute.

The ceremony was attended by outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, senior members of the Cabinet, former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda, veteran BJP leader LK Advani, BJP chief Amit Shah, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and leaders of other parties, MPs and other distinguished people from different walks of life.

Addressing the gathering after swearing in, Mr Kovind said India of the 21st century will be one that is in conformity with ancient values as well as compliant with the fourth industrial revolution. He said India must combine tradition and technology, wisdom of an age-old Bharat and the science of a contemporary India.

The President said that nations are not built by governments alone and it can at best be a facilitator and trigger for society’s innate entrepreneurial and creative instincts. Mr Kovind said there is a need to build an India and that is an economic leader as well as a moral exemplar and those two touchstones can never be separate.

The President said India’s success is its diversity, which makes the country unique. He said this land has a mix of states and regions, religions, languages, cultures, lifestyles and much more. Mr Kovind said that India’s voice counts in today’s world. The entire planet is drawn to Indian culture and soft power and the global community looks up to India for solutions to international problems of terrorism, money laundering and climate change. He said in a globalized world, India’s responsibilities are also global.

The President said India has achieved a lot as a country but the effort to do more, to do better and to do faster is relentless. This is especially so as the country approaches the 75th year of its independence in 2022.

Earlier, Mr Kovind along with outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee arrived in the Central Hall of Parliament in a ceremonial procession from Rashtrapati Bhawan. Before the ceremony, Mr Kovind visited Rajghat to pay his respect to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Mr Kovind who served as the 35th Governor of Bihar was born on 1st October 1945 in Paraukh village in the Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh. He did his graduation in law from a Kanpur college. Mr Kovind joined the BJP in 1991. He was President of the BJP Dalit Morcha between 1998 and 2002. He also served as Member of Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 2006.

 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Ram Nath Kovind on taking oath as the President of the country. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, President Kovind's address was very inspiring and beautifully summed up the essence of India’s strengths, democracy and diversity.

 

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Both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned, the Lok Sabha till 3 PM and the Rajya Sabha till 2 PM, to enable members to attend the oath taking ceremony of the President. As soon as the Lok Sabha met for today’s business, Congress members demanded adjournment of question hour seeking discussion on lynching incidents. Adjournment Motion was given by the Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. He tried to read out the contents of his adjournment motion but Speaker did not allow him quoting business rules. 

 

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Opposition leaders today staged a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament House complex protesting against the suspension of six Congress members from the Lok Sabha for five days. They were joined by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and raised slogans against the government. They also attacked the Centre over mob lynching incidents in different parts of the country. Earlier, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded Speaker Sumitra Mahajan should withdraw the suspension order of MPs.

 

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Leader of the House and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today assured the Rajya Sabha that the country has made considerable progress in defence related procurements and preparedness with procedures simplified further and powers centralised. He said Indian armed forces are sufficiently and efficiently equipped now. He was responding to a query by Ramgopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party who quoted a CAG Report which said that there is only 10-day stock of ammunition in the country. The Defence Minister said that the CAG Report of 2013 had a reference to a particular point of time.

 

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Renowned scientist Professor Yash Pal passed away last night at his residence in Noida, in Gautam Buddha Nagar in Uttar Pradesh. He was 90. According to family sources, he will be cremated at the Lodhi Road crematorium in New Delhi this afternoon.

The globally renowned physicist and higher education reformer  began his career at Mumbai's Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Here is a brief profile of Prof Yashpal:

"Professor Pal was born in 1926 in Jhang district of British India that is now in Pakistan. He gained recognition due to his contribution in the study of cosmic rays. Professor Yash Pal was appointed as the Chief Consultant of the Planning Commission. He acted as the Secretary of Department of Science and Technology from 1984 to 1986. He was appointed as the Chairman of University Grants Commission where he served a full single-term of five years and also served as the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University. He served as a member of UN Advisory Committee on Science and Technology for Development. He is also known for his appearances on the science programme, Turning Point on Doordarshan and explaining scientific concepts in layman's language. Pal was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 1976 and Padma Vibhushan in 2013 for his contribution to Science. "                                    

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the passing away of Professor Yash Pal. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, India has lost a brilliant scientist and academician who made a lasting contribution to Indian education.

 

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Prime Minister will today undertake an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Gujarat, the Prime Minister's office has said. Torrential rains in north Gujarat have caused flood in Banaskantha and Patan districts. Authorities have declared a state-wide high alert and called out the Army, the Air Force and NDRF teams for assistance. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who reviewed the situation with top officials yesterday, said that the problem has been compounded by heavy rain in neighbouring Rajasthan which has led to surge in water levels of rivers and dams.

 

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In Assam, an inter Ministerial Central team headed by V. Shashanka Sekhar, Joint Secretary, Home Ministry arrived in Guwahati today. The team will assess the recent flood situation and erosion affected areas of the state till 28th July. More from our correspondent:                          

"The Central team comprises of senior officials from various ministries will make on the spot assessment of the situation.The team is holding meeting with state Chief Secretary and other senior officials in Guwahati now. The team will inspect flood and erosion affected areas of Biswanath, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Barpeta, Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi and also meet officials of the respective district administration. Nearly 20 lakh people were affected due to flood in Assam this year. Flood water also damaged infrastructures including roads, embankment, bridges and crops. MANAS PRATIM SARMA, AIR NEWS, GUWAHATI "

 

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At least two persons were killed as four-storeyed building collapsed in Mumbai today. 60 people are feared trapped under the debris. The incident took place in suburban Ghatkopar area this morning. Four people have been successfully rescued from the debris. More from our correspondent:

"The rescue work is going on a war-footing. The civic body control room received a call about the accident around 10.45 am. The MFB has said that this is a Level 4 house collapse and all required agencies along with ambulances and fire engines have been mobilised. The injured have been admitted to Rajawadi Hospital. The collapsed building named, Saidarshan was located near Shreyas cinema on the busy LBS road in Ghatkopar collapsed soon after some smoke was seen coming out of the ground floor. The building houses hospital on the ground floor, which was closed for renovation and the upper three floors had apartments where 20 families resided. SONALI GHADYALPATIL, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI"

 

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Prime Minister today said India has achieved new heights since its independence and it is sure that the country will emerge as a powerful nation in the world by 2022. Addressing BJP Parliamentary party meeting this morning, Mr. Modi asked the MPs to take pledge to extend the benefits of the growth to the last man. Talking to reporters, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said, the Prime Minister also talked about the 70 years of Independence and said a week -long celebration will begin from 9th of August to mark the occasion. 

 

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Madras High Court has asked all educational institutions to sing the National Song Vande Mataram at least once a week. It has also directed Government and private offices and establishments to air the song in their premises once every month to stir up patriotic fervour among the public. However, the court has directed not to force those who find it not possible to recite it.

 

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The first batch of Haj pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir today left for Saudi Arabia to perform the pilgrimage. According to an official release, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Haj and Auqaf Minister Farooq Andrabi were at the Airport to see off the first batch comprising 420 pilgrims on a direct flight from Srinagar to the holy city of Madina. Second flight carrying an equal number of pilgrims is scheduled to take off later in the day.

 

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Sri Lankan Navy has arrested three Indian fishermen along with a boat northwest of Delft Island last night on charges of poaching into their waters. A navy spokesman said they will be handed over to fisheries department for further legal action. With this, the total number of Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody has gone up to 92. However, process is on to release most of the fishermen in coming days. Sri Lanka has been releasing Indian fishermen from time to time on humanitarian grounds has not released boats during last two years. Sri Lanka has agreed to release 42 of around 150 boats in its custody, process for which is being worked out. Fishing issue has been a lingering problem between the two countries and both sides have formed a Joint Working Group to discuss the issue.        

 

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At the stock markets, the Nifty at the National Stock Exchange breached the 10,000 level for the first time ever, to touch an all-time peak of 10,011, in opening trade, today. But the Nifty later lost ground, and had declined 1 point, to 9,965 a short while ago. Similarly, the Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange hit a record high of 32,374 in opening trade, but then retreated, and had gained just 7 points, to 32,253 a short while ago. At the forex market, the rupee had weakened 3 paise, to 64.37 against the dollar in afternoon deals.            

 

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