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Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
19.12.2018

THE HEADLINES

  • Opposition uproar over Rafale deal and other issues again rocks Parliament; Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day; Lok Sabha till 2 PM.

  • NITI Aayog releases Strategy Document for New India; Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says, reforms and entrepreneurship have to be accompanied by social consciousness.

  • Congress leader P Chidambaram appears before Enforcement Directorate in connection with INX Media case.

  • A Delhi court reserves for Saturday its order on bail plea of Christian Michel in AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper scam.

  • Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel resigns amidst migration row.

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The uproar by the Opposition over the Rafale aircraft deal and other issues again rocked Parliament today. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day, and the Lok Sabha till 2 PM.
As soon as the Rajya Sabha met for the day, Congress members raked up Rafale yet again and rushed to the well, displaying placards in support of their demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the deal. AIADMK, DMK and TDP MPs also rushed to the well to draw government's attention towards their various demands.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel accused Congress of disrupting proceedings adding that the government is ready for a discussion on Rafale. He said, he had not taken Congress President Rahul Gandhi's name in the House yesterday as pointed out by party leader Anand Sharma.
Congress members took exception to mentioning of Mr Gandhi's name as he is not a member of the Upper House.
Responding to this, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said, he will go through the record.
As pandemonium continued, the Chairman adjourned the House till tomorrow.
There were similar scenes in the Lok Sabha. As soon as the House re-assembled at noon after the first adjournment, Congress members again trooped into the well demanding a JPC probe into the Rafale deal. Party leader Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that there were irregularities in the deal leading to loss of public exchequer. He alleged that the government has given false information in the Supreme Court on the deal.
"The decision has been arbitrary. Again it is the security of the nation. The matter needs to be investigated by joint parliamentary committee to fix accountability and this is very important matter."
Mohammad Salim of CPI(M) echoed the same views demanding discussion on the issue.
TMC member Sudip Bandopadhyay urged the Chair to listen to the demands of the parties to ensure the smooth functioning of the House.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar rejected the demand of JPC probe. He however, assured that the government is ready for a detailed discussion on the issue. He said the Apex court has cleared all the air over the deal.
"पूरा देश इस बात का साक्षी है कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने जो निर्णय दिया है उससे दूध का दूध और पानी का पानी हो गया है। पूरे देश में कोई शंका नहीं है, कोई शुभा नहीं है। JPC की कोई जरूरत नहीं है। जो नोटिस दिए गए, पक्ष की तरफ से भी विपक्ष की तरफ से भी, उस पर चर्चा करने के लिए सरकार पूरी तरह तैयार है।"
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said the government is ready for discussion. Meanwhile, AIADMK members sought to withdraw permission for Detailed Project Report for the proposed Mekedatu dam across River Cauvery. TDP members were also in the well seeking financial benefits for Andhra Pradesh.
Amidst continued noisy scenes, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tried to run the Zero Hour but in vain. Later, she adjourned the House till 2 PM.

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Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today said, Congress President Rahul Gandhi is playing politics on the issue of farmers. Talking to media outside Parliament, Mr Tomar said, farmers are suffering because of the wrong policies of the previous Congress governments. He said, the Congress is in the habit of not taking things seriously and wondered why all of a sudden Mr Gandhi is shedding crocodile tears on the issue.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said, reforms and entrepreneurship have to be accompanied by social consciousness. Releasing NITI Aayog's Strategy Document for New India @75 in New Delhi, Mr Jaitley said, aspirations of people are growing and the Strategy encompasses growth in all areas including infrastructure and health.
"We have evolved this model where you allow India to grow, you allow entrepreneurship , you allow private sector to play a very important role. You get the government into supplement where private sectors are not available and you utilise this increased resources of the government , of the state towards a better infrastructure, better townships, better healthcare facilities, better education opportunities and you put large part of it as a resource in order to service the poor."
The Finance Minister pointed out that slogans have a transient life, if not implemented. He stressed on sound policies to get the economy on track. Mr Jaitley said, determining the strategy for New India will give an idea of where India stands. He added that India stands at a very important era where country can make up for the lost opportunities of the past. The Minister said, it was about time that the agenda for India for the years and decades to come was laid down.
"Agenda for India for the years and decades to come also is laid down. Atleast we know what the targets are. And obviously there is no better organization other than Niti Ayog which could have done this job for the reason that one of the functions of Niti Ayog , now also is to act as a think tank. And with the kind of human resource the Ayog has, we abviously have the intellectual facility also to think ahead."
Speaking on the occasion, NITI Ayog Vice Chairman Rajeev Kumar said, extensive consultations were done while preparation of this document.
Segments in the Strategy Document include governance, infrastructure and inclusion. Agriculture is a major focus area with strategies to double farmers income.

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Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh today said, for the first time ever, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises - MSMEs - are seen competing on the global level. He was addressing the 15th Global Small and Medium Enterprises Business Summit in New Delhi today. The Minister said:
"देश के प्रधानमंत्री नरेन्‍द्र मोदी ने MSMEs को उन सारी चीजों, सारी बाधाओं को दूर करने का उन्‍होंने प्रयास किया। हमने MSMEsके लिए पहले 20 प्रतिशत procurement था, जिसको हमने compulsory, mandatory किया और उसको प्रधानमंत्री ने हमने 5 percent और बढ़ाया 25 percent, जिसमें 3 percent महिलओं के लिए। ये एक बड़ा achievement है।"

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Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at its headquarters in New Delhi today. He was summoned by the agency in connection with the 305 crore rupees INX Media case. Mr Chidambaram and his son Karti are under scanner in connection with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted to INX Media in 2007 when Mr Chidambaram was the Finance Minister.
The Delhi High Court has provided interim protection from arrest to Mr Chidambaram in the case till 15th of next month.

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A Delhi court today reserved its order for Saturday on a bail plea of Christian Michel arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case. The 57-year-old British national told the court that he is not required for custodial interrogation and no purpose will be served by keeping him in custody further. The court heard the plea and reserved its order till Saturday.
Michel has been in CBI custody for the last 15 days. He was arrested in the UAE and extradited to India on the 4th of this month. Michel was produced in the court, which allowed his five-day custodial interrogation by the CBI which was later extended by five more days. Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI. Other two are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

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The Delhi High Court today quashed summons issued against Union Minister Smriti Irani in a defamation case. The defamation complaint was filed against her by Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam. The court also dismissed a similar plea by Mr Nirupam seeking to set aside the summons issued against him in a cross-defamation complaint filed by Ms Irani.

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch GSAT 7A, onboard GSLV F11, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 4:10 PM today. ISRO officials said, the 26-hour countdown for the launch is progressing smoothly. GSAT-7A is the 35th Indian Communication satellite built by ISRO and is built to provide communication capability to the users in Ku-band over the Indian region. Our correspondent reports that GSLV F11, which will take the satellite into the geostationary orbit, is ISRO's fourth generation launch vehicle.
"GSLV F 11 is a three stage engine rocket with four strap on motors filled by liquid fuel. The third and final cryogenic engine is more efficient as it provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant burnt. GSAT 7A, a 2250 kg satellite designed by ISRO will be the 35th communication satellite in India's space department. With a life span of eight years, the satellite will be used in collecting data over the Indian region.  The satellite is said to enable the Indian Airforce to link its ground radar stations, its airbases and airborne early warning and control system airplanes. This is the second communication satellite for the defence forces. The first one was Rukmini which was launched in 2013 for use by Indian Navy. Joy, AIR NEWS, Sriharikota."

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Indian national Hamid Nehal Ansari, who returned to India yesterday after languishing in Pakistani jails for over six years, met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi today. Hamid's mother thanked the Government of India and Ms Swaraj for rescuing her son. 
33 year old Ansari was arrested for illegally entering Pakistan from Afghanistan, reportedly to meet a girl he met online.
In 2015, a Pakistani military court had sentenced him to three years in prison for possessing a fake Pakistani ID card.

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha in New Delhi today. They co-chaired the 9th India-Republic of Korea Joint Commission Meeting.Range of bilateral issues were discussed including cooperation in economy, trade and investment, energy, defence, maritime, space & culture.

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Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has resigned amid pressure on his government over his support for the UN global pact on migration. The pressure rose after Mr Michel lost the backing of coalition partner nationalist New Flemish Alliance over his support for a UN migration deal signed in Marrakech last week. His move follows angry demonstrations in Brussels against the UN pact.
Mr Michel announced his resignation following a debate in Parliament in which opposition parties refused calls to support his minority government.
While Belgium was due to go to the polls next May, his decision now raises the possibility of early elections.
Mr Michel took office in October 2014 after forming a right-wing coalition, becoming the country's youngest Prime Minister since 1841, at the age of just 38.

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Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras have been nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. They have been nominated for signing the Prespa Agreement between the two countries.
The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Tunisian economist Ouided Bouchamaoui announced the nomination in Skopje yesterday. In June, Macedonia and Greece came up with a final deal after a long process of negotiations to solve the name dispute.

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Benchmark indices, Sensex and Nifty, logged gains in afternoon trade today amid mixed global cues. The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange jumped 176 points to trade at 36,523. The Nifty at National Stock Exchange also gained 69 points to trade at 10,978, a short while ago.
At the foreign exchange market, the rupee strengthened by 27 paise and was trading at 71 rupees and 17 paise against the US dollar in afternoon deals.

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