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0815 HRS



  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says, a resolution is being worked out with the RBI to put enough pressure on borrowers to settle dues.
  • Unique Identification Authority of India assures citizens that centralised data base of Aadhar card is fully secure.
  • Medical services in Delhi and Maharashtra affected following strike by resident doctors.
  • United Nations Human Rights Council grants Sri Lanka a two-year extension to fulfill obligation relating to reconciliation and accountability on war crimes.
  • Over 250 African migrants feared drowned in the Mediterranean after two partially submerged rubber dinghies found off the Libyan coast.
  • And in Football, West Bengal to clash with Goa for the coveted Santosh Trophy on Sunday.


Promising a solution to the growing Non Performing Assets problem in the next few days, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said, the resolution, being worked out with the RBI, will put enough pressure on borrowers to settle dues. Speaking at a function in New Delhi, he said, the problem of big NPA is confined essentially to 30-40 companies and accounts of these will have to be fixed to solve the issue.  

"The problem of big NPAs is confined to essentially 30-40 or at best 50 companies. There is some policy decision between the RBI and the government which we have taken, which we will implement, which will certainly have to put adequate pressure on people to settle. There are enough instruments available for settlement, as far as the banking system in concerned, the RBI circulars. You have different legislation where action can be taken."                    

Referring to  the Goods and Services Tax, Mr Jaitley said supporting legislations for its implementation will be introduced in Parliament next week. He maintained that the GST is likely to be rolled out from the 1st of July. Mr. Jaitley said there is a long procedure before the Bills are introduced in Parliament and the GST Council cleared those four bills only last week.

"The council cleared those bills only last weekend. The entire exercise of division of work administratively between the centre and the states has been done. We need to form nine different regulations, four have already been approved by the council, some marginal changes may be required, the other five, the drafts are being prepared and they are going to be circulated to the states. We are meeting on 31st and hopefully those regulations will be approved on 31st."


The Unique Identification Authority of India, UIDAI, has assured citizens that the centralised database of Aadhar card is fully secured. In an interview to the All India Radio yesterday, CEO of UIDAI Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that the authority has employed multiple levels of security to guard against any possible theft or mischief. He said that a very complex process of encryption and upgraded cyber security norms are used to safeguard the data.

Dr. Pandey said Aadhar has proved to be very useful in plugging leakages in the government subsidy schemes. It has already saved about 49,000 crores rupees in the last two years through direct benefit transfer to the beneficiaries and savings are expected to rise further.

The UIDAI CEO said, the Aadhar card was launched in 2010 and since then nearly 99 per cent of the adult population in the country has been brought under its coverage.


Medical services in Delhi and Maharashtra have been affected following the strike by resident doctors. In Maharashtra, the resident doctors in government hospitals continue to abstain from duty even after an assurance from the High Court and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis yesterday, on providing ample security in hospitals. The Four day long strike has affected the state’s healthcare system. In the absence of adequate medical staff at government hospitals, families of ailing patients are relying on Private hospitals. Meanwhile the association of doctors have stated that they will joint work only after getting a printed copy of High Court’s order. More From our Correspondent:

"The mass bunk of nearly 4,000 resident doctors in Maharashtra still continues affecting the health care system of the state. The resident doctors have been striking since Monday, demanding enhanced security in the wake of a string of attacks on doctors by patients' relatives at government hospitals across the state.  The protests have been hampering the services of Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) in various hospitals. Yesterday, the Bombay High court too asked doctors to resolve their issues amicably with the government. The court  had assured the doctors that it will hear the matter every fortnight and supervise whether the government fulfill its promise of deploying additional 1100 armed police personnel across all government hospitals by the end of this month. WITH THE REPORT OF Nivedita FROM MUMBAI, SWATI RAKHEJA FOR Air News."

In Delhi, over 20,000 resident doctors yesterday went on mass casual leave in solidarity with their Maharashtra counterparts, leading to postponement of over 800 surgeries across Delhi government and civic body-run hospitals.A report:

"Resident doctors from around 40 government hospitals, including RML, Lady Hardinge, Safdarjung stayed away from work, while those at AIIMS continued with their protest against assaults on doctors by wearing helmets at work for the second day. Though emergency services at hospitals were not affected due to strike, the functioning of out patient departments and other services were hit with doctors abstaining from work. A number of private hospitals, including Sir Ganga Ram hospital said they have decided to extend support to agitating doctors in Maharashtra and their OPD services will not be available today. The Indian Medical Association which has around 2.7 lakh members across the country, has also supported the strike. ANUPAM MISHRA, AIR NEWS, DELHI."

Union Health Minister J P Nadda has expressed deep concern about security issues relating to doctors. In a tweet, Mr Nadda requested state Govts to take proactive measure to ensure their security.


The Government is considering bringing back import duty on wheat to protect farmers' interest after a bumper harvest in the country. Responding to concerns expressed by the opposition in the Rajya Sabha on farmers being forced to sell wheat below the minimum price, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said, raising import duty is under consideration and the government will take a decision soon. Mr Paswan said, the crop production this year has been at a record 96.64 million tonnes and 6.5 million tonnes of wheat is already in stock.

The Minister said, in 2015, a customs duty of 25 per cent was levied on wheat which was subsequently cut to 10 per cent and it was totally removed in December last year.


Uttrakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has announced the portfolios of the new ministers in his cabinet. He retained key ministries with himself. More from our Correspondents:

"Chief Minister has kept as many as 40 departments including Home, Health, general administration and others. Satpal Maharaj gets irrigation, tourism, flood control and culture, while Prakash Pant gets finance, excise, commercial and entertainment tax. Harak Singh Rawat has been allotted forest and wild life. Uttrakhand government has nine ministers, seven of cabinet rank and two minister of state. The Uttrakhand Assembly session is starting from today. During the six-day session the newly formed BJP government would table a vote of account followed by budget for next financial year. SANJEEV SUNDRIYAL,AIR NEWS, DEHRADUN."


The first session of the newly elected Punjab Vidhan Sabha will begin this afternoon at Chandigarh. Newly elected MLAs will be sworn in by the Pro-tem speaker Rana K.P.Singh. On Monday, the remaining members will take oath, the speaker and deputy speaker will also be elected and the Governor will address the assembly on Tuesday. The session will conclude on Wednesday with a vote of thanks on the Governor's address and passing of the vote on account.


For RK Nagar Assembly by poll in Chennai, 127 nominations have been received on the last day yesterday. In a single day yesterday, 72 people filed their nominations. The processing of the nomination papers will be held today and nominations can be withdrawn till Monday. Polling will be held on April 12 and votes will be counted on April 15.


The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, NCST has approved the proposal for five additional seats for tribals in the Sikkim Assembly. In its full meeting held in New Delhi yesterday, the Commission gave its approval to the proposal of increasing reserve seats for Scheduled Tribes from 12 to 17 in Sikkim Assembly. At present there are 32 members in the Sikkim assembly and now it would be increased to 40. The Tribal Affairs Minister in a release said, out of the proposed additional eight seats, five seats would be reserved for Limbu and Tamang tribes.


President Pranab Mukherjee has called upon all stakeholders to redouble their efforts for an early achievement of the goal of TB elimination. In his message on World Tuberculosis Day, Mr Mukherjee said, TB continues to be one of the major health challenges of India. He said, India today is better prepared to fight TB than ever before and it is capable of effective intervention and possesses advanced technologies for diagnosis, treatment and care of TB. World Tuberculosis Day is observed on 24th March to commemorate the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch discovered the TB bacillus.


United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC, has granted Sri Lanka a two-year extension to fulfill obligation relating to reconciliation and accountability on war crimes during the civil war which ended in 2009. The resolution granting the extension was sponsored by forty countries including United States and United Kingdom and adopted without a vote last night.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Dr. Harsha de Silva in his statement said the island nation is committed to the reconciliation agenda including truth, reparations, justice and non-recurrence with a victim-centered approach. A Report

"The initial UNHRC resolution was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in October 2015 after new government under President Sirisena agreed to probe war crimes during three decades long LTTE war. The government was supposed to set up truth and justice mechanism as part of the resolution but the progress has been very slow since then owing to political opposition led by former President Malinda Rajapakse. The resolution also called for setting up hybrid courts by including foreign judges but Sri Lankan leadership has flatly denied such possibility saying the constitution does not allow for it. SANTOSH KUMAR,AIR NEWS,COLOMBO"


Around 250 African migrants are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean sea after a rescue boat found two partially submerged rubber dinghies off Libya. Laura Lanuza of the Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms said in Rome that its boat Golfo Azzuro had recovered five floating corpses close to the dinghies, about 15 miles off the Libyan coast.  She told news agency AFP that these dinghies would have been full of people.


Former champions West Bengal and Goa will clash in the finals of the coveted Santosh Trophy football tournament on Sunday. In the Semifinals yesterday West Bengal prevailed over Mizoram 6-5 via sudden death while hosts Goa beat Kerala 2-1 in the second semi-final. Bengal and Mizoram failed to break the deadlock in the regulation and extra time and the match went into penalty shootout, which also locked the teams at 4-4.



  • The assault of an Air India official by a Shiv Sena MP grabs front page headlines in most papers. The Times of India writes "Denied business class seat, Sena MP beats Air India official with sandal". Highlighting the national carrier's response, the Asian Age says "Air India files FIRs against Sena MP for hitting its staffer 25 times". The paper adds that he may be put on a 'no-fly' list.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's response to the reported remark by the Supreme Court on pensions to former lawmakers is widely reported. The Pioneer writes "Right of Parliament to decide who is entitled to government pension, says Jaitley".
  • The impact of the sealing of 36 slaughterhouses and retail meat shops in Uttar Pradesh is prominently noticed in the press. "Meat traders shut shop across western UP : Protest follows government's sealing of slaughter houses, shops" reports the Hindu on its front page. The Hindustan Times writes "No meat for animals at Kanpur zoo". The Tribune observes "Meat ban spoils Tunday kebabs' flavour".
  • Here's an interesting situation in a political party. "1 party, 2 factions, 3 symbols" writes the DNA on the AIADMK. The paper adds "In Tamil Nadu, Sasikala's group to contest as AIADMK Amma while Paneerselvam camp will call itself AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi)". On the symbols alloted to them, the Pioneer says "Hat for Sasikala, OPS gets power pole".
  • The Indian Express, in its front page lead story on appointments of judges to the Supreme Court writes "SC puts its foot down, rejects government's plan to veto postings on national security grounds".
  • And finally....some encouraging news regarding the development of prothetic limbs with a sense of touch. The DNA states "Scientists use graphene to power 'electronic skin' that can feel".


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