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Sri Lanka: Death toll in serial blasts rises to 290            All arrangements in place for tomorrow's polling for 3rd phase of LS elections            Congress releases its candidates for six of seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi            Rahul Gandhi expresses regret over his remarks on Rafale verdict in SC            IPL: Rajasthan Royals takes on Delhi Capitals this evening           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
21.03.2019

THE HEADLINES

  • Social Media platforms to create a dedicated reporting mechanism to prevent any violation of Code of Ethics.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticises opposition for questioning IAF airstrike at Balakot terrorist camps in Pakistan.

  • Special Ahmedabad court awards life sentence to one more accused in 2002 Godhra train carnage case.

  • Festival of colours - Holi being celebrated across the country today.

  • And in Sports; India bags more than 350 medals at Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

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Social Media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google and ShareChat will create a high priority dedicated reporting mechanism and appoint dedicated teams during the General Elections for taking expeditious action on any reported violations of Code of Ethics. In a voluntary Code of Ethics prepared by them after a meeting with the Election Commission, the Social Media platforms have also agreed to provide a mechanism for political advertisers to submit pre-certified advertisements issued by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee.

The Social Media Platforms and Internet and Mobile Association of India yesterday presented a Voluntary Code of Ethics for the General Election to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora in New Delhi. More from our correspondent:

"This is the first time internet - based firms have adopted the norms for online campaign. The code has been developed to ensure free, fair and ethical usage of Social Media Platforms to maintain the integrity of the electoral process. Internet and Mobile Association of India will act as the liaison between the social media firms and the Commission. The Code of Ethics also promises to facilitate transparency in paid political advertisements. The social media companies will take action on content reported by the nodal officer, expeditiously, in accordance with the law. With Dipendra Kumar, Gaurav, AIR News Delhi."

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Chief Electoral Officer of Meghalaya, FR Kharkongor has issued a new guideline asking every candidate to furnish their social media accounts while filling thier nominations for the Lok Sabha election. This is in addition to a candidate furnishing financial and criminal records.

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The BJP's Central Election Committee met for a third time yesterday to deliberate on the names of its candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP Chief Amit Shah, Senior party leaders and Union Ministers including Sushma Swaraj attended the meeting in New Delhi.

The party has so far not released any list of candidates for the seven-phase polls starting from the 11th of April. Party sources said, names of candidates for a large number of seats have been finalised and could be announced soon.

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In Bihar, Congress and its allies have finalized seat sharing arrangements for the Lok Sabha elections after talks between Congress President Rahul Gandhi and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. Bihar State Congress President Madan Mohan Jha said Tejashwi Yadav has been authorised to announce the seat-sharing details. The seat sharing deal will be announced in Patna tomorrow in the presence of leaders of the constituent partners.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hit out at the opposition for questioning the Indian Air Force strike at Balakot terrorist camps in Pakistan. Interacting  with security guards across the country, through an audio bridge yesterday evening, Mr Modi said, it is surprising that the air strike was carried out at Balakot but the pain is being felt by some people in India. 

"हर भारतीय को गर्व है, उसका सीना आत्मविश्वास से चौड़ा है क्योंकि बम तो गिरे पाकिस्तान में चोट लगी पाकिस्तान में  लेकिन चीख रहे हैं हिन्दुस्तान में गर्व हो रहा है हिन्दुस्तान में ये देश को समझना होगा, ऐसे लोगों को पहचानना होगा।"

The Prime Minister said, every person of the country should be proud of the armed forces as they have shown valour by putting their lives at stake. Mr Modi said, some people in the last few months have run a disinformation campaign against chowkidaars for their vested interests. The Prime Minister also listed out different schemes initiated by the NDA government for the welfare of the poor and farmers.

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India has welcomed the arrest of fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi by British authorities in London, pursuant to the arrest warrant issued by the Westminster Magistrate Court. Responding to a question, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, India continues to actively follow up this matter with the authorities concerned in the United Kingdom, with a view to have Nirav Modi extradited to India at the earliest.

Nirav is the main accused in the 13,500-crore rupees Punjab National Bank scam case. He was arrested yesterday in a response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition in a money laundering case.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said that all those who fled the country after committing financial frauds will be brought back and money will be recovered from them.

"जैसे मिशेल आया है बाकी गैंगेस्टर्स आए हैं, उसके साथ-साथ तलवार आए हैं, सक्सेना आए हैं, प्रत्यर्पण इनका भी हुआ है। विजय माल्या का वह भी आने ही वाला है और ऐसा गिरफ्तार किया है नीरव मोदी को यह सबको आना ही पड़ेगा और देश का लूटा हुआ संपत्ति वापस देना ही पड़ेगा।"

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In Gujarat, a special SIT court in Ahmedabad has awarded life sentence to one more accused in the 2002 Godhra train carnage case. Special SIT court Judge SH Vora convicted Yakub Pataliya holding him guilty of murder and criminal conspiracy. More from our correspondent :

"62 year old Yakub was arrested by a police from his home-town Godhara in Panchmahal district in last January after 16 years of the incident. 59 people, most of them kar sevaks were burnt alive on 27th February 2002, when S 6 coach of Sabarmati Express train was set on fire. This incident had triggered wide spread riots in the state. Special SIT court had already convicted 31 accused and acquitted 63 others in this case in 2011. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."

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The festival of colours - Holi is being celebrated across the country today. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring.

In Uttar Pradesh, Holi celebrations started with traditional Holika Dahan yesterday evening. People are applying colours and greeting each other in different parts of the state. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"Historic Ram Barat procession carried out in Bareily district where hundreds of people from all walks of life took part in it. The extravaganza of colours is being celebrated in a unique way in Mathura and Vrindavan. With chants of bhajans, dance, colours, water, flowers and sweets,  different sections of society taking part in festivity. Sushil Chandra Tiwari, AIR News, Lucknow."

Holi is being celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra. More from our correspondent:

"To celebrate the day many residential societies across the suburban areas have arranged special get-together in their vicinities. Besides many malls and resorts have made special arrangements for holi parties. Hindi film industry would also cheer up together in big star studded holi bashes.  Meanwhile, Mumbai transport police and railways have made special security arrangements to avoid any untowart incident. Nivedita Bhorkar, AIR News, Mumbai."

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted the people on this occasion.

Delhi Metro services will not be available till 2.30 in the afternoon on the occasion of Holi festival today. 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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India has bagged more than 350 medals at the Special Olympics World Games 2019 at Abu Dhabi in UAE, making history for the country. The current tally stands at 85 Gold, 153 Silver and 124  Bronze medals. More from our correspondent:

"As the curtain draws this evening at the Special Olympics Games , India has had a dream run with Team Bharat winning 362 medals so far with 85 Gold. With the message that 'We are the determined, we can do anything' , Team Bharat has by far given one of their best performance at the Special Olympics. 292 athletes with their exceptional performance competed in 13 sporting event at the ongoing Special Olympics being held at Abu Dhabi. The specially abled boys and girls have overcome their physical limitation to win medals for India. Ranvir Saini won silver in Golf on Wednesday. Jitendra Kumar Mantra won the Gold in backstroke swimming event while ,Surya Mohan won the silver. The closing ceremony of the  Special Olympics will be held this evening. Kanchan Prasad, AIR News,  Abu Dhabi."

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Defending champions India will play Nepal for the title clash in the final of the 5th South Asian Football Federation, SAFF Women's Championship tomorrow.

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Newspapers Headlines

  • The arrest in London of Nirav Modi, the main accused in the 2 billion dollar Punjab National Bank scam case dominates front page headlines. The Times of India reports "NiMo arrested from London bank while trying to open account". The Pioneer adds "Remanded in custody till March 29, India seeks early extradition".

  • The decision of a NIA Special Court hearing the Samjhauta Train bombing case of 2007 is prominently covered on the front pages in most papers. The Tribune notes "All 4, including Aseemanand, held not guilty of 2007 Samjhauta blasts". The Hindu reports "National Investigation Agency set to seek legal advice on challenging the acquittal".

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interaction with 2.5 million security guards or chowkidaars across the country through an audio bridge gets wide traction in the press. "We hurt Pak, people back in India cried : Modi to chowkidaars" reports the Hindustan Times. The Indian Express quotes Mr Modi as saying "Chowkidaar is now synonymous with patriotism, honesty".

  • Ahead of the forthcoming polls, Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP chief Mayawati's message to her cadres is keenly tracked by the press. The Tribune writes "Mayawati won't fight Lok Sabha poll, but still in PM race".

  • In other election related news, two stories are prominently covered in the press. On the seat sharing pact between the Congress and the National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, the Hindustan Times writes "Congress, NC friends on 3 J&K seats, but will fight on the other 3". On Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's visit to Varanasi, The Pioneer quotes her as saying "This election is India's new freedom struggle".

  • The Hindu's Business Line cites a United Nations report to state "Finland ranked happiest country for second year ; India drops from 133 to 140". So cheer up everyone....Hope Holi brings a smile to all your faces!!

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