- Cabinet approves IIM
amendment bill to give powers to the institutes to award Degrees instead of
- Supreme Court agrees to
hear on 3rd February a plea of consortium of banks in Aircel-Maxis 2G spectrum
- 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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
"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
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
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
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
"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,
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
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.