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0815 HRS



  • Ram Nath Kovind to take over as the country's 14th President today.
  • Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee calls for violence-free public discourse and financially inclusive society.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, soft economic policy decisions taken with an eye on electoral gain will not benefit the nation.
  • Supreme Court issues notice to Centre, Madhya Pradesh government and CBI on a plea seeking court-monitored probe into encounter of 8 SIMI activists in Bhopal.
  • Iraq government says, it does not have any substantial evidence about the fate of 39 missing Indians.
  • A Central team to visit Assam today to review the flood situation.
  • And in Sports, India's Konsam Devi wins Gold at Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championships in Nepal.


Mr Ramnath Kovind will take over as the country's 14th President today. He will be administered the oath of office by the Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar at a special function in the Central Hall of Parliament. Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union Ministers, Governors, Chief Ministers and other dignitaries will be present in the ceremony. Our correspondent has more:
"Before the ceremony Mr Kovind is scheduled to visit Rajghat to pay his respect to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Then, President Pranab Mukherjee and President-elect Mr Kovind will have a one-on-one at  Rashtrapati Bhavan. At the Parliament both will be received by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. After the oath the new President will be honored with a 21-gun salute followed by the acceptance speech of Mr Kovind. After the event the new president and Mr Mukherjee will proceed towards Rashtrapati Bhavan where outgoing President will give Mr Kovind a tour of the official residence. After an inter-services guard of honour, Mr Mukherjee will proceed to his new residence - 10, Rajaji Marg. ANUPAM MISHRA, AIR NEWS, DELHI."
All India Radio will broadcast the swearing-in ceremony live from 11:35 AM.
Mr Kovind, who was the ruling NDA candidate, was elected the President last week. He had defeated Opposition's Meira Kumar by a huge margin. Here is a profile of the new President.
"Ram Nath Kovind, a former Governor of Bihar, was born on 1st October 1945 in Paraukh village in the Kanpur Dehat district of  Uttar Pradesh. Only the 2nd Dalit leader ever to be elected to the post, Mr Kovind did his graduation in law from a college in Kanpur. Before starting his career as a lawyer, Mr Kovind cleared the civil services examination but did not join as he was selected for an allied service. Mr Kovind joined the BJP in 1991. He was the President of the BJP Dalit Morcha between 1998 to 2002. He also served as Member of Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 2006. This is Tanvi Taneja, News Desk."
Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee delivered a farewell address to the nation last evening. He called for violence-free public discourse and financially inclusive society. Mr Mukherjee said, only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of people in the democratic process. He said, India's strength lies in pluralism and tolerance.
"The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance. India is not just a geographical entity. It carries a history of ideas, philosophy, intellect, industrial genius, craft, innovation and experience. Plurality of our society has come about through assimilation of ideas over centuries. The multiplicity in culture, faith and language is what makes India special."


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, soft economic policy decisions taken with an eye on electoral gain, will not benefit the country and 125 crore people know it very well. In a meeting with BJP MPs from Rajasthan, the Prime Minister said people want honest government and they have full faith in government's intention. He said, the successful decision of demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax and work done for the villages, poor and farmers have increased peoples' confidence in the NDA government. He asked the MPs to publicize the works of water conservation, mid day meal, MUDRA yojana, Fasal Bima Yojana and other pro- poor initiatives.
The Prime Minister meets BJP MPs from different states during the Parliament session to discuss governance and political issues.


The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre, Madhya Pradesh government and CBI on a plea seeking a probe into the alleged encounter of 8 SIMI activists in Bhopal in 2015. The plea, filed by one of those killed, has sought a court-monitored probe by an independent agency like Special Investigation Team or the CBI.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court had refused to entertain a similar plea. The court did not consider the fact that a one-member commission had not permitted the petitioner and other relatives of the under-trial prisoners to participate in the proceedings.

Eight SIMI activists were killed in an alleged police encounter after they escaped from the Central Jail in Bhopal in October, 2015 and killed a security guard.


Army gunned down a terrorist in a Joint Operation with Assam Police at Kokrajhar in the early hours today. Arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain terrorist. Details are awaited.


NDA Vice President nominee M. Venkaiah Naidu has refuted the allegations of irregularities leveled by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh in a land deal. In a statement, Mr Naidu said the allegations are false and politically motivated. He said, the issue of around 5 acres of land in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh was raised by the local Congressmen in 2002 and they even moved the courts. He said, the charges of land grabbing were dismissed.


Niti Aayog has pitched for making Aadhaar programme universal in a time-bound manner for enabling better governance. In its appraisal of the Twelfth Five Year Plan, 2012 to 17, the Aayog said the Aadhaar platform needs to be broad-based and linked with beneficiary database of various government programmes for effective delivery and targeting of welfare services.


An inter-ministerial Central team will be on a 4-day visit to Assam from today to take stock of the recent flood situation in the state. Our correspondent reports that the visit comes within a week of Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

"The Central team comprises of officials from different Ministries including Home Affairs, Water Resources will make on the spot assessment of the situation.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 19 lakh people affected in recent wave of flood at 23 districts. Over 70 persons died due to flood related incident in Assam. Flood water also submerged huge crop areas and damaged infrastructures. MANAS PRATIM SARMA, AIR NEWS, GUWAHATI."


In Gujarat, the flood situation continues to be grim. More than 20,000 people have been shifted to safer places following heavy rain and floods. Heavy rain and water inflow coming from Rajasthan have flooded many areas of Banaskantha and Patan districts. More from our correspondent:

"Army and Airforce have joined NDRF and SDRF teams in relief and rescue works. After reviewing the flood situation Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has said that situation in Saurashtra has improved, however situation in Banaskantha and Patan district in North Gujarat remains serious. More than 9 thousand people have been evacuated from the low lying areas in Banaskantha. Authorities have arranged the distribution of food packets to the affected people. According to district collector Dilip Rana- about 39 villages are still remained disconnected. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."


In Rajasthan, heavy rain in several districts has affected normal life. Mount Abu Tehsil in Sirohi district recorded the highest ever rain of 77 cm yesterday. Our correspondent reports that four people have lost their lives, with over 2,000 rescued from flooded regions in Jalore and Sirohi.

"The Rescue and relief operation is on in the flooded districts Sirohi and Jalore. The Indian Air force pressed two helicopters for rescue and relief operations in the both districts. So far, eight districts including Jodhpur, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jalore, Pali, Udaipur, Sirohi and Pratapgarh have received more than expected rainfall. Till Monday the state received average rainfall of 269 mm which is 33 percent higher compared to 2016. Murari gupta, AIR news, Jaipur."


Iraq Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari has said, they do not have any substantial evidence about the fate of 39 Indians who are missing in Mosul since 2014. Mr Al-Jaafari, who is on a visit to India, told this to reporters in New Delhi yesterday. He said, he is not hundred percent sure whether the Indians are alive or dead. The visiting Foreign Minister, however, said, his country will do its best to find them.

39 Indians were taken hostage by the Islamic State terror group in Mosul in 2014.


Israel has decided to remove metal detectors it had placed at the entrance to a holy site in Jerusalem's Old City with other less obtrusive surveillance means. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet voted to remove the metal detector gates after a meeting lasting several hours. More from our correspondent:

"Israeli authorities had installed the metal detectors at the entrance of the holy site which includes Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock after an attack on 14th July that had killed two police officials. The Arab World including UAE had denounced of this move by Israel and had warned of serious consequences in the regional and international efforts to revive the peace process stating that the region would slip into a new crisis. Palestinians viewed the new security measures as Israel asserting further control over the site. They refused to enter the compound in protest and prayed in the streets outside instead. KANCHAN PRASAD, AIR NEWS, DUBAI."


In Sports,

India's Konsam Ormila Devi has bagged a Gold medal at the Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championships at Kathmandu in Nepal. The Indian Weightlifting Federation said, the Manipur weightlifter lifted a total effort of 126 kgs in the 44 kg weight category, to finish on the top of the podium. She lifted 56 kgs in snatch and 70 kgs in clean and jerk to claim the coveted yellow metal.


India has finished the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas at the seventh spot with 11 medals - 4 Gold, 1 silver and 6 Bronze. The six-day multi-sporting event concluded at Nassau yesterday.



  • NIA arresting seven Hurriyat leaders for creating unrest in the Kashmir Valley, is noticed prominently by many papers.
  • "Geelani's son-in-law, 6 others held for funding Valley unrest" is the lead in The Times of India. The Pioneer calls it  "Assault on terror funding".
  • "Iraq offers no hope for missing Indians" is another story highlighted by The Pioneer, of 39 Indians taken captive in Mosul in June 2014.
  • "China hints at Doval-Yang bilateral on BRICS sidelines" reports The Tribune. On the standoff at the Tri-junction The Indian Express cites China's army as saying 'Have taken measures, pull out or we step up deployment.'
  • 'Free public discourse from violence' The Hindu Business Line quotes Pranab Mukherjee in his last address as President. The Asian Age cites him as saying 'Soul of India lies in pluralism.'
  • "Pandher, Koli get death penalty for rape and murder" in the gory Nithari case, is the lead in The Hindustan Times. "Duo charge-sheeted in 16 of 19 Nithari cases" writes The Hindu.
  • "Government panel for sops to ease Telecom stress" is the lead in the Business Standard. DNA reports "Telcos set to get 70 thousand crore rupee relief ".
  • "Markets end at record close" highlights The Financial Express, with the Sensex at an all-time closing high above 32,000 points, and the Nifty at spitting distance of the 10,000-point mark.
  • The Times of India notes "Tomatoes selling at 100 rupees per kg, no respite in next few weeks".
  • The Hindustan Times has a box item on an Army Colonel sending legal notice over scrapping  of free  rations to Army Officers in non-conflict areas and giving a 'paltry sum' of 96 rupees a day instead. DNA notes "Forces at peace posts wanted food, not money".
  • DNA also notices "In a first, NCC training at JNU", in a bid to promote nationalism among students.
  • And finally, "Brands set out to open an innings with Mithali Raj" says The Hindu Business Line, as even movie houses are looking to cash in on the women's cricket captain's popularity and poise.


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