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1400 HRS

17th March, 2018


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, new Minimum Support Price policy will help in doubling farmers' income.
  • Mr Modi gives away Krishi Karman Award and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya Krishi Vigyan Protsahan Puruskar to progressive farmers and various states at Krishi Unnati Mela in New Delhi.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind dedicates to the people Anand Bhawan Museum and Learning Centre in Cuttack.
  • A special CBI court in Ranchi defers pronouncement of judgment in the fourth fodder scam case, involving RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav to Monday.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping re-elected for a second five-year term.
  • And in Badminton, PV Sindhu to face second seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in semi-finals of All England Open tournament.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said, government will fix Minimum Support Price of crops at least 1.5 times of production cost to help in doubling the income of farmers. He said, it is also working with states to ensure farmers get MSP as announced by the government. Addressing farmers at the annual Krishi Unnati Mela in New Delhi today, Mr Modi stressed that farmers should get maximum benefits of their produce. He reiterated his government's commitment to double farmers' income by 2022.

Mr Modi said, several modern apps have been launched for farmers and the latest technologies will help increase productivity. He said, Centre is working closely with the states so that farmers can get loans more easily as it has often been seen that small farmers have trouble getting loans from cooperative societies. He said for this, computerization of all primary agricultural cooperative societies in the country is being done faster.

The Prime Minister said, there was a record production of milk and vegetables in the country last year just because of the hard work of farmers. He said, arrangements are in place so that farmers can easily sell out their produce. He said government has given around 1300 crore rupees for National Bamboo Mission in this year's budget. Mr Modi asked farmers not to burn crop residue, cut urea consumption and boost production of oilseeds to reduce imports of cooking oil. Mr Modi also inaugurated the Jaivik Kheti portal. He said, organic farming will be encouraged throughout the country.

सरकार परंपरागत कृषि विकास योजना के अंतर्गत ऑर्गेनिक फार्मिंग को पूरे देश में प्रोत्साहित करने में जुटी है। उत्तर पूर्व को ऑर्गेनिक खेती के हब के तौर पर विकसित किया जा रहा है। ग्रीन और व्हाइट रिवोल्यूशन के साथ ही जितना ज्यादा हम ऑर्गेनिक रिवोल्यूशन, वॉटर रिवोल्यूशन, ब्लू रिवोल्यूशन, स्वीट रिवोल्यूशन पर बल देंगे, उतना ही किसानों की आय बढ़ेगी।

The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of 25 Krishi Vigyan Kendra in 13 states. He gave away the Krishi Karman Award and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya Krishi Vigyan Protsahan Puruskar to progressive farmers and various state on the occasion.


The Prime Minister has expressed concern on barriers imposed against domestic manufacturers and suppliers in tenders being floated for public procurement. An official statement said, the Prime Minister's observations were made during a review meeting of the implementation of the Public Procurement, Preference to Make in India (PPP-MII) Order 2017.

The government had issued the order on 15th June, last year to promote manufacturing and production of goods and services in India with an aim to enhance income and employment in the country.

During the meeting, specific cases of restrictive and discriminatory conditions against domestic manufacturers pertaining to Ministry of Railways and Metro Rail Coaches were examined. The statement said, directions were given to ensure strict compliance of the PPP-MII Order in letter and spirit.


Union Minister Piyush Goyal today said, cost accountants can be drivers of change and play a revolutionary role in eliminating corruption from the country. Addressing the gathering at National Cost Convention in New Delhi, the Minister said, country has to bear a huge cost due to corruption. He elaborated that nearly two percent of GDP is lost because of corruption in India according to IMF.

Mr Goyal said, tax evaders are depriving children of electricity in their homes. On Goods and Services Tax, he admitted that there will be some teething issues and said, GST is a bold move that people have supported and helped execute it.

The Minister said if India is to become an attractive destination, comparative advantages of working in India will have to be brought out and costing plays an important role in this.


President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Bhubaneswar today on a two-day visit to Odisha. Mr Kovind was given a ceremonial guard of honour at the airport from where he straight drove to Cuttack. President paid tribute to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose at his birth place at Odia Bazar in Cuttack. Mr Kovind also dedicated the Anand  Bhawan Museum and Learning Centre to the people of Odisha. Anand Bhawan is the ancestral house of legendary leader Biju Patnaik. The President will later visit the National Law University to deliver the  third foundation lecture. He will leave for Puri in the evening. Tomorrow, Mr Kovind will visit the 12th century Jagannath  temple  there and will address the centenary celebration of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan.         


Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said, India wants a good relationship with its neighbouring countries but Pakistan does not want to improve it. He accused Pakistan of providing political legitimacy to terrorists like Hafiz Saeed. Speaking at a private TV channel function, Mr. Singh asserted that Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India and no one can take it away. He also said, the youth of Kashmir are children of India and some leaders are misleading them. The Minister said, the government wants lasting solution to Kashmir, and is open to speak to any party.  

Mr. Singh added that the government will protect India's borders from inside, and if need arises it will go out of its border to protect the country. He said terrorism is a global phenomenon and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has achieved huge success in getting international organisations to side with India to fight terrorism. 


A special CBI court in Ranchi today deferred its judgment in the fourth fodder scam case involving RJD Chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. The case relates to fraudulent withdrawal of over 3 crore rupees from the Dumka treasury between December 1995 and January 1996. The multi-million-rupee fodder scam surfaced in the 1990s when Lalu Yadav was the Chief Minister of undivided Bihar. The probe was handed over to the CBI on Patna High Court's order. Our Correspondent has filed a report:

"The special CBI court of Ranchi could not deliver its judgement today also. This is the fourth case of fodder scam in which RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is also an accused along with 30 others which include formal Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra. Hearing in this case of illegal withdrawal of 3 crore 76 lakhs in Dumka treasury concluded on 5th March and the judgement was reserved for 15th March but now, one would have to wait till Monday, 19th March for the judgement. RAJESH SINHA, AIRNEWS, RANCHI."


The BJP today hit out at Congress President Rahul Gandhi for accusing the NDA government of dividing the country and alleged that it is the politics of the grand old party which always led to the division. Talking to AIR, party spokesperson Nalin Kohli said, the Congress should introspect why the country still has so many problems. 

"For the first time ,there is a government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi which follows a policy of Sab Ka Sath Sabka Vikas which is development for all and carrying everyone along. It's only under Modiji that over 30 crore bank accounts have been opened and financial inclusion has taken place for the poorest of the poor, MUDRA loan to more than 11 crore people have been given so that youth can stand up self-employed. So these schemes could have been done even under 55 years of Congress rule, So, they have to introspect instead of leveling allegations."  

Earlier, addressing the plenary session of Congress in New Delhi,  Rahul Gandhi accused the NDA government of spreading hatred and said the Congress is  the only party that will take the country forward by fostering an environment of amity and love.

मेरा काम सीनियर्स को और युवाओं को जोड़ने का काम है, एक नई दिशा दिखाने का काम है। देश एक प्रकार से थका हुआ है, रास्ता ढूंढ़ रहा है। देश को सिर्फ कांग्रेस पार्टी रास्ता दिखा सकती है। 


Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has stressed on teaching professional degree courses like MBBS in Indian languages while batting for an educational system with greater emphasis on Indian history, heritage and culture.

Speaking at a function in Chennai yesterday, Mr Naidu said, he has always been impressing upon the need for children to be taught in their mother tongues to underscore the importance of language. The Vice President said, the education system must inculcate strong ethical, moral and humanistic values. He said, India was once known as 'Viswaguru' and knowledge seekers from all corners of the world flocked to centres of learning in the country, including Takshashila and Nalanda. Mr Naidu said, the time has come for India to once again emerge as the global knowledge hub which is possible only through proper education system with greater emphasis on Indian history, heritage and culture.


Xi Jinping was today re-elected as president of China for a second five-year tenure by the country's rubber-stamp Parliament.  The move comes after country's Parliament scrapped the two-term rule for the presidency and allowed Xi Jinping to have a life-long tenure.

Technically, Xi's second-term would last till 2023. But after the constitutional amendments removed the term limit he is expected to have a limitless tenure.

Xi's loyalist and close confidant Wang Qishan has been elected as Vice President, who like Xi is set for a lifelong tenure. Another of Xi's close aides Li Zhanshu who was chief of staff was elected chairman of NPC. The parliament also ratified a new plan to revamp the government.


In Afghanistan, at least two civilians and several others were wounded after a suicide attacker blew up a bomb-laden vehicle in Kabul today. An Interior Ministry spokesman said, the target of the attack is not clear. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack as the group comes under growing pressure to take up the Afghan government's offer of peace talks. The attack comes days after the top US general in Afghanistan said protecting the capital is their main effort.


In Badminton, PV Sindhu will face second seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the semi-finals of the All England Open tournament in Birmingham today. Yesterday, the Rio Olympics Silver medalist, who is seeded 4th, defeated another Japanese, seventh placed Nozomi Okuhara, 20-22, 21-18, 21-18 to make a place in the semi-finals of the Women's Singles.

Sindhu leads the head-to-head record against Yamaguchi, 6-3.

She is the only Indian shuttler left in the tournament as HS Prannoy missed by a whisker from making it to the last-4. He lost his quarterfinal match against China's Yuxiang Huang, 22-20, 16-21, 21-23, to bow out.


In Cricket, India will take on Bangladesh in the final of  tri-nation Twenty-20 series at R Premdasa Stadium in Colombo tomorrow. Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by two wickets last night to enter the final. Chasing a target of 160, the visitors pulled off a sensational victory over Hosts with just 1 ball to spare, riding on Mahmudullah's stunning six in the penultimate delivery.
On the other hand, India, who have won their last three T-20s easily will be confident to take on a side they have defeated twice before in the tournament.


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