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President's Address on the eve of 68th Republic Day of India

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0815 HRS



  • Polling begins for 51 seats spread over 12 districts in the fifth phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
  • IAS officers in Bihar protest against the arrest of SSC chairman Sudhir Kumar; Bureaucrats not to obey verbal orders from anyone including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
  • Army cancels recruitment exam held yesterday following question paper leak; 18 persons sent to three-day police custody in connection with the case in Maharashtra.
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu says US should take strongest action in the killing of Indian Engineer; Governors of Kansas and Missouri condemn the killing.
  • And in Sports: Kalinga Lancers beat Dabang Mumbai to lift maiden Hockey India League Title in Chandigarh.


Polling is underway for the fifth phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Voting is taking place for 51 constituencies spread over 12 districts of Terai and eastern regions in this phase. These districts are Amethi, Sultanpur, Faizabad, Barabanki, Ambedkarnagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Basti, Siddharthnagar and Sant Kabir Nagar. Polling, which started at 7 AM, will end at 5 PM. A total of 607 candidates including 40 women are in the fray. BJP is contesting 50 seats as it has left one seat for its ally Apna Dal. BSP has fielded its candidates in 51 seats, whereas Samajwadi Party is contesting 43 seats and its ally Congress on 14 seats.

Our correspondent reports that elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polls.

"The election commission has deployed above 2500 micro observers in addition to General Observers to ensure free and fair voting. In view of the sensitivity of the area six police observers have been deployed to keep eyes on security arrangements. Political fate of 9 ministers of state government will be decided in today's voting. Election commission has taken several measures to improve poll percentage as only 57 percent votes were cast in this phase in previous assembly polls. Sunil Shukla, AIR News, Lucknow."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the people of  Uttar Pradesh to participate in the 5th phase of polls. In a tweet, Mr Modi urged them to vote in large numbers and become a partner of this festival of democracy.

Meanwhile, campaigning is in full swing for the remaining two phases of Uttar Pradesh. Polling for the last two phases will be held on the 4th and 8th of next month. A report:-

"Campaigning for sixth and seventh phase heated up in all the constituencies of 14 districts going to poll in these two phases. Several top  leaders including Prime Minister going to address a rally at Mau today. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, BSP supremo Mayawati , BJP president Amit Shah, RLD chief Ajit Singh, Samajwadi party head and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will address rallies, in different areas of Azamgarh, and Gorakhpur divisions today. Sanjay Pratap Singh, AIR News, Allahabad."


The IAS officers in Bihar have protested against the arrest of Senior IAS officer and Chairman of Bihar Staff Selection Commission Sudhir Kumar in connection with question paper leak of clerical examination in the state. Bihar IAS association has also decided not to take verbal orders from anyone including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar unless given in writing. A resolution was passed in this regard at an extra ordinary general meeting of the association in Patna. The association also decided that its members should wear black arm bands to work till arrested IAS Sudhir Kumar is released from jail and the case is transferred to CBI for free and fair probe. This was disclosed by Bihar IAS officer association member Deepak Kumar Singh.

"जो इनकी गिरफ्तारी है, वो बिल्कुल ही गलत है। उन्हें तुरंत रिहा किया जाए और निष्पक्ष जांच के लिये इस पूरे मामले को तुरंत सीबीआई को सौंपा जाए और साथ ही हम लोगों ने भविष्य में इस तरह के मामले किसी भी अन्य पदाधिकारी को साथ नहीं हों, इसकी एक पूरी एक व्यवस्था की जाए सिस्टम में और हम लोगों ने यह भी कहा है कि जो अध्यक्ष पद है कर्मचारी चयन आयोग का, वह एसोसिएशन का कोई भी सदस्य स्वीकार नहीं करेगा आगे से और हम लोग किसी भी मौखिक आदेश को नहीं मानेंगे, जब तक वो लिखित में हो।"

IAS association yesterday met Governor Ram Nath Kovind and submitted a  memorandum listing out their demands. The members of the association also formed a human chain as a mark of solidarity with Sudhir Kumar. It may be noted Sudhir Kumar and his four family members have been arrested in connection with question paper leak case.


All-India examination for recruitment into the army across the country has been cancelled after police busted a recruitment racket in Maharashtra following leak of question papers of an examination conducted by the army recruitment board. The exam will be conducted after one month. More from our correspondent :

"As many as 18 people were sent to three days police custody by the local court in Thane in connection for their alleged involvement in the army recruitment question paper leak. Thane police also detained 350 students for questioning and later let them off. The police officer said following a tip-off about the leak, Thane police, conducted raids at various places in Nashik, Pune and Nagpur in Maharashtra, and some others in Goa. Defence Minister for the state Mr. Subhas Bhamre has ordered internal inquiry into the matter and further action will be taken based on the findings. Radhika Aghor, Air News, Mumbai."


India has demanded the “strongest action” from the US government after Hyderabad’s engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed and his colleague from Warangal wounded in an apparent hate crime in Kansas City. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said, the US should respond to the incident. He said, US President and people of America should come out openly to condemn such actions and then take the strongest action. Mr Naidu and his Cabinet colleague Bandaru Dattatreya met the slain engineer’s family in Hyderabad yesterday.


 In the US, governors of Kansas and Missouri states have strongly condemned the shooting incident that resulted in the tragic death of an Indian engineer last week. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said that this sort of senseless violence is never acceptable. Law enforcement will continue to thoroughly investigate this crime.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens thanked his state law enforcement official for arresting the shooter who had fled the Kansas city after shooting the two Indian men.


Government will accept applications from today to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17(Series IV). The application for the bonds will be accepted till 3rd of next month. The bonds will be issued on 17th of next month. More from our correspondent:

"The issue price of the Gold Bonds will be 50 rupees per gram less than the nominal value. In order to move towards the digital payments, the cash payments for the Bond will be acceptable up to 20,000 rupees. Minimum investment in the bonds shall be one gram with a maximum limit of subion of five hundred grams per person per fiscal year. The Gold Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited, designated post offices and recognized stock exchanges. The bonds' tenure will be eight years with an exit option from the fifth year to be exercised on the interest payment dates. With Shashank Kumar, Vasundhra, AIR NEWS DELHI."


In Tamil Nadu, nine persons drowned when a fibre-reinforced plastic boat they were travelling in capsized in the sea near Thiruchendur in Thoothukudi  district yesterday. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister expressed his condolence over loss of lives in the tragic accident and announced two lakh rupees compensation to the kin of each deceased. More from our correspondent:

"The death toll is feared to rise as Coast Guard and local fishermen are still continuing the search for missing persons.The accident occurred because of rough sea as 38 persons from Tiruchendur and Tiruchirapalli hired fishing fiber boats for ride in sea near Manapad. The boat capsized and local fishermen saved 11 persons. Nine persons mostly children drowned to tragic death. The injured persons have been admitted to government hospitals in Tiruchendur . No safety guidelines were followed including wearing life jackets and case has been registered against the boat owner. K Devi Padmanabhan AIR news Tiruchirapalli."


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy will meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi this evening. During his meeting with Mr Modi, Mr Palaniswamy is expected to stress his demand to get early Presidential nod for the State Bill seeking exemption from the entrance test NEET for medical examinations.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid tribute to Chandrashekhar Azad on his martyrdom day today. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, we can never forget his valour and ultimate sacrifice for our nation.


Kalinga Lancers have lifted their maiden Hockey India League title. In the final in Chandigarh yesterday, they defeated Dabang Mumbai by four goals to one. Uttar Pradesh Wizards claimed the bronze medal in the fifth edition of the tournament. In the encounter between the two losing semi-finalists, UP Wizards beat Delhi Waveriders 5-4.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” will today bring you a discussion on “Videshon main Surakshit aur Kaanuni Pravaas” (विदेशों में सुरक्षित और कानूनी प्रवास). This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM. Listeners can ask questions to the experts sitting in our Studio on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767 (Repeat 1800-115767).  You can also ask questions on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444 (Repeat 011: 2331-4444) you can also post queries on our Twitter handle @airnews alerts by using the #tag Askair. This programme is also available on Doordarshan DTH.




  • Most newspapers have noticed the Army recruitment board's question paper leak prominently on their front page.
  • "Police bust Army recruitment racket" is the DNA headline.
  • "Questions rise as White House stays silent on Indian's killing" is the Hindustan Times headline. The paper adds that the White House's silence against the "race crime" has irked many in India.
  • Spiritual sects, squatters and slums are eating away the remainder of Delhi's green lungs reports the Mail Today. The paper quotes from the Delhi forest department's affidavit before the National Green Tribunal.
  • The DNA front page story is headlined "Ramjas violence: Professor suffers internal injuries". The Asian Age report on the same story writes that fearing violence, Ambedkar University has postponed an upcoming event on Kashmir.
  • The Economic Times lead reports that India is lobbying the WTO to ease the flow of services and allowing IT professionals to work across borders with great ease. The government has suggested multiple entry visas on cross border movement of services, writes the paper.
  • The Times of India leads with a report about the proposed razing of Delhi's Iconic Centaur Hotel to make way for aircraft parking.
  • Govt eases norms for senior citizens to boot heirs out of their property reports the Hindustan Times. Elderly parents can now throw out their abusive and greedy children from a self acquired home by simply complaining to the deputy commissioner, says the report.
  • And finally, standing travel in buses and metros is routine for most commuters, but the Indian Express reports that 7 Pakistan International Airlines passengers travelled standing from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. The paper adds that the airlines has denied the report and launched a probe.


A man from Kerala who allegedly joined Islamic State terror group, has been killed in a drone attack in Afghanistan. Twenty-four-year-old Hafeesudheen TK hailed from Padne village in Kasargod district of north Kerala. The family members of Hafeesudheen received a message yesterday about his death on mobile app Telegram. The information was sent by an accomplice of Hafeesudheen, who went missing from north Kerala in June 2016. Hafees was among the 21 persons from Kerala, who allegedly left to join the terror group. Intelligence agencies believe the message originated in Afghanistan. There were reports that the group was living in a remote area of Afghanistan.


NITI Aayog is organizing a two-day high level workshop on advancing passenger mobility and transportation in New Delhi  today. Several ministers including Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu will be attending the meet.


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