Last Updated : Jun 16 2019 11:05AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM announces high-level task force on structural reforms in agriculture            Govt convenes all-party meet today ahead of Parliament session            Efforts on to end West Bengal doctors' agitation            Heat stroke claims 43 lives in Bihar during past 24 hours            ICC World Cup: India to clash with arch-rivals Pakistan today           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
20.03.2019
THE HEADLINES:-
  • Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose  appointed country's first Lokpal.
  • New Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to face floor test in the Assembly this morning.
  • Political activities gaining momentum across the country ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
  • Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigns after nearly 30 years in power.
  • SAAF Women's championship, India to take on Bangladesh and Nepal face Sri Lanka the Semifinals in Nepal.

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Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose has been appointed as the country's first Lokpal. According to a communique issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan, President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed the Chairman of the Lokpal along with other members of the anti-corruption watchdog. More from our correspondent:-
"66-year old Justice Ghose retired as Supreme Court judge in May, 2017. He is a member of the National Human Rights Commission since 29th June, 2017. The Lokpal will have four judicial and four non-judicial members. Former Chief Justices - Dilip B. Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, and Abhilasha Kumari and sitting Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court Ajay Kumar Tripathi - have been appointed as judicial members. The non-judicial members are: former first woman Chief of Sashastra Seema Bal Archana Ramasundaram, Former-Maharashtra Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, former IRS officer Mahender Singh and ex-IAS officer Indrajeet Prasad Gautam. ANUPAM MISHRA, AIR NEWS, DELHI."
The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, which envisages appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants, was passed in 2013.

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Newly-appointed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will face a floor test in the Assembly today. Governor Mridula Sinha has convened a special session of the Assembly at 11:30 this morning for the government to prove its strength. Talking to AIR news, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said,
"हमारे पास पूरे 21 विधायक है जिनकी चिट्ठी हमने राज्यपाल महोदय को दे दी है और हमें पूरा कॉन्फिडेंस  है कि हम जीत रहे हैं। जीतने के बाद प्रायोरिटी तो रहेगी पहला एडमिन्सेशन, सेकेंड जो इऩकम्पलीट प्रोजेक्ट है वो पूरे कर देना।"
Mr Sawant was sworn-in as Goa Chief Minister late Monday night along with 11 cabinet ministers. He succeeded Manohar Parrikar who passed away on Sunday following prolonged illness. More from our correspondent:
"In the 40-member Goa assembly, four seats are now vacant. Panaji was the latest seat to be vacated following the demise of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Currently, Congress has 14 MLAs, BJP has 12 MLAs, and Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party have three MLAs each in the house. The assembly also includes one Nationalist Congress Party member and three independent legislators. The main opposition Congress had staked claim to form the government as the single largest party in the house. Byepolls to three of the four vacant assembly seats are scheduled on 23rd April. With Mukesh Thali, Saikat Sarkar from Goa for AIR."

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Political activities are gaining momentum across the country ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The Central Election Committee of the BJP met in New Delhi last night to discuss the names of candidates for the polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP Chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari, and other senior party leaders were among those who attended the meeting. This was the second meeting of the committee to finalise the names. The party is yet to announce its first list of candidates.
In Chhattisgarh, BJP has decided to drop all its ten sitting MPs in the elections and field new candidates in all the 11 seats. This was disclosed by party general secretary in-charge of the state Anil Jain while talking to a news agency in New Delhi yesterday. Talking to AIR news, BJP General Secretary Anil Jain said,
"छत्तीसगढ़ यूनिट ने केन्द्रीय चुनाव समिति से आग्रह किया कि हम सर्वसहमति से, स्वेच्छा से यह चाहते हैं कि सारे कैंडिडेट बदले जाएं और नये चेहरे, नये उत्साह, नये कलेवर के साथ पार्टी चुनाव में जाना चाहती है, जिसके अनुमति हमें केन्द्रीय चुनाव समिति ने दे दी है। अब हम तैयारी के साथ चुनाव समिति के साथ जाएंगे। इसमें जो 2018 में जो हारे लोगों पर विचार नहीं होगा। सभी नये चेहरे आएंगे।"
The Congress has released its sixth list of nine candidates. It has seven candidates for Maharashtra and two for Kerala. With this, the party has, so far, released names of 146 candidates.
Aam Aadmi Party national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, the Congress has refused to form an alliance with AAP in Delhi. He told reporters that the two parties are not in talks with each other.
In Jammu and Kashmir, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti has dismissed reports of an alliance with the Congress. She told reporters in Jammu that her party is preparing to contest all the six Lok Sabha seats in the state.
The CPI(M)-led Left Front has announced candidates for 13 more Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, taking the total number of its contestants to 38.
Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have announced a pre-poll alliance in Maharashtra. Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, SP MLA Abu Asim Azmi said, the two parties together provide a third front for people let down by the BJP and Congress. He said, the alliance will contest all the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has nominated special expenditure observers for Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra for the elections. They have been mandated to monitor the works on preventing distribution of cash, liquor or other freebies to voters to vitiate the poll process.
Social media platforms and Internet and Mobile Association of India will come up with a Code of Ethics by this evening for the parliamentary elections. The Election Commission met the representatives of these organisations in New Delhi yesterday on the use of social media ahead of the polls. During the meeting, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora asked the social media organisations to come with a similar code of conduct like the model code of conduct.
Representatives of Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Google among others attended the meeting.
Elections to 543 parliamentary seats will be held in seven phases from 11th of next month till 19th May. Counting of votes will be taken up on 23rd of May.

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In Tamil Nadu, twenty candidates have submitted their nomination papers on the first day of filing nominations for the April 18 Lok Sabha Elections. Barring BJP and Congress, all other major parties of the AIADMK and DMK-led camps have announced their candidates for the General Elections.

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Senior Congress leader from Telangana and former Minister DK Aruna joined BJP last night. In another development, TDP polit bureau member and former MP Nama Nageswar Rao has resigned from the party's primary membership.

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The Income Tax Department of North East Region has prepared itself to deal with any reported movement of unaccounted money ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The Investigation Directorate of the Income Tax Department has deployed Surveillance Teams in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.

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In Bihar, 55 companies of central para military forces have been deployed in different parts of the state to ensure free and fair polls. Strict vigil is being maintained in Naxal-affected districts of Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui where the first phase of elections will be held on the 11th of next month.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address over 25 lakh Chowkidars through audio bridge medium today and share the colours of Holi with them. Party's media head and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni said, this is a part of a series of initiatives under the 'Main Bhi Chowkidaar' outreach programme.

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In Karnataka, two people were killed and many injured after an under-construction multi-story building collapsed at Kumareshwar Nagar in Dharwad district yesterday. NDRF teams from Lucknow and Ghaziabad have joined the rescue operations which are still on. 56 people have been rescued, so far.

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A technical meeting at the level of experts, including engineers and surveyors, was held yesterday on Kartarpur Corridor at the proposed zero points in follow up to decision reached on 14th of this month. Official sources said, the experts have done the site survey and also discussed the alignment of the corridor, the coordinates and engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points.

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Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has announced his resignation after nearly 30 years in power. The 78-year old leader had ruled the country since it emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. In a televised address last night, Mr Nazarbayev said, the decision was not easy but he wanted to help a new generation of leaders. He said, the Chairman of the Kazakh Senate would take over.

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In New Zealand, hundreds of mourners gathered in a Christchurch cemetery today for the first funerals of those killed in the twin mosque massacre. A gunman shot down 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch last Friday in a killing spree he broadcast live. Council officials did not release the names of who was being buried.

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India will take on Bangladesh in the semi-finals of the 5th South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Women's Championship at Biratnagar in Nepal today. The match will kick off at 2:45 pm (Indian Time). The Indian eves had topped the group stage by defeating the Maldives, 6-nil, and Sri Lanka, 5-zero. In today's other semi-final, hosts Nepal will face Sri Lanka at 10:45 am. The final will be played on Friday. A report:-
"To keep winning streak Team India will try to maintain its unbeaten record in the championship. Since beginning of the tournament in 2010, India has never lost any game and clinched all four editions of the event. In the last edition of the championship in 2016, India had defeated Bangladesh 3-1 to lift the trophy. In November last year, India had thrashed Bangladesh by 7-1 at the 2020 Olympic Qualifiers Round 1 in Myanmar. Raj Kumar AIR News, Kathmandu."

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Delhi Metro services will not be available till 2.30 pm tomorrow on the occasion of Holi festival. The services will continue normally thereafter. Metro feeder bus services will also not be available till 2 PM and will run as per schedule thereafter.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES:-

  • All the papers lead with different stories on their front pages this morning.
  • "Congress in a huddle to clinch alliances in Delhi, Bihar, Maharashtra" reports Hindustan Times. "Fresh efforts for AAP-Congress pact in Delhi, Pawar steps in" notes the Tribune.
  • "Bihar grand alliance sealed" leads the Pioneer adding "RJD 20, Congress 9, RLSP 4, HAM 3, Sharad 2; formal announcement today".
  • "Wary BJP drops all 10 sitting MPs in Chhattisgarh" says the Asian Age. The paper writes that Advani, Joshi, Kalraj Mishra may be axed.
  • "Appointment of former Supreme Court ex-judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as first Lokpal of the country is prominently covered by the dailies.
  • "Sawant government to face floor test today" writes the Hindu adding "2 Deputy CMs in 11-member cabinet".
  • Referring to the fresh trouble for cash strapped Jet Airways the Tribune writes "More turbulence for debt-hit Jet. Pilots set March 31st deadline for payment of dues, government keeping close watch". "Jet down to 41 planes; pilots threaten strike from April 1st", says the Financial Express. "Jet on a Wing and a Prayer as Etihad seeks to Fly Out" leads Economic Times.
  • "In Pulwama backdrop, Pakistan finds firm support in China" notes Hindustan Times. "Germany backs move to ban Azhar" says the Times of India.
  • "Protests after J&K teacher dies in custody" writes the Hindu. "Teacher dies in custody, Valley tense. Magisterial probe ordered. Separatists call for shutdown today" reports the Tribune.
  • And finally, 142 years later, Test Cricket may play a new number! Well, Hindustan Times reports that Test Cricket, the last bastion of the colour white (along with Wimbledon) will soon see players sporting their names and numbers-on uniforms that are still thankfully white.

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And in some more news,
US President Donald Trump today accused social media companies of discriminating against Republicans. Trump at a joint news conference with visiting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the President said, the situation on social media was different that it used to be.

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