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Last Updated : Feb 21 2020 7:30PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Around 300 rural clusters developed under Shyama Prasad Mukherji National Rurban Mission            Prez Trump says he likes PM Modi & two leaders to hold talks on broad gamut of relations during his upcoming visit            Centre reiterates convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case cannot be released without its approval            FATF decides continuation of Pakistan in 'Grey List'            India beat Australia by 17 runs in ICC Women's T-20 World Cup opener           

Text Bulletins Details

Morning News

0815 HRS

  • CBI arrests senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in connection with INX media corruption case; To be produced in court today.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to embark on a three-nation tour to France, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

  • France says Kashmir bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

  • Government to make FASTag mandatory for all vehicles from December this year.

  • Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba appointed new Cabinet Secretary

  • In Cricket, India to take on West Indies in the opening match of World Test Championship at Antigua today.

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The CBI has arrested senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in connection with the INX media corruption case. He was arrested by the probe agency last night from his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi. Chidambaram, who was kept at the CBI Headquarters after his arrest, will be produced before a court today. Chidambaram was missing since rejection of his anticipatory bail by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday. He, however, appeared at Congress Headquarters and addressed the media yesterday evening. Rejecting reports of his evading the law, he told reporters that he was working with his lawyers through the last night, preparing his papers for his bail application. More from our correspondent.

"The CBI which was looking for Chidambaram since Tuesday after his anticipatory bail application was rejected by the Delhi High Court. The Congress leader moved Supreme Court seeking protection from arrest in the INX media cases. However, he failed to get any immediate relief from the apex court which will hear his plea on Friday. The CBI had been seeking Chidambaram's custodial interrogation in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the grant of foreign investment clearances to INX Media when he was Finance Minister in the UPA-I government. The senior Congress leader's role had come under the scanner of investigating agency in the INX Media case involving 305 crore rupees. In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR in May, 2017 alleging irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds. With Dipendra Kumar, sANJEEV JASROTIA, AIR News, Delhi."

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave on a three-nation visit  to France, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain today. In the first leg of his visit, Mr Modi will meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and hold bilateral talks on trade, security, energy security, counter terrorism and maritime cooperation in Indo-Pacific. He will also meet French Prime Minister Eduard Charles Philippe. Mr Modi will address an event of the Indian Community at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and inaugurate a memorial for the Indian victims in two tragic air crashes of Air India flights in 1950 and 1966. Talking to AIR, Indian Ambassador to France Vinay Mohan Kavatra said that Prime Minister's visit comes at a very crucial time and will boost cooperation between the two countries in various sectors.

"Very strong personal relationship between the Prime Minister of India and the President of France. It is also characterized by a very comprehensive nature of cooperations stretching across all the domains. Whether you take traditional areas of defence, whether you take the  global challenges of counter terrorism in climate change, in all the areas these strategic partnership between India and France has actually grown from strength to strength."

Our correspondent covering the Prime Minister's visit has filed this report:-

"The bilateral discussions between India and France will strengthen the bond that exists between the two countries  in key areas of strategic cooperation such as cyber security, International solar alliance and joint development projects in Information technology and trade. Mr Modi will visit the United Arab Emirates where he will be awarded with the Order of  Zayed, the highest of civil order named behind the founder of the Country. The visit to Bahrain is significant as this will be the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister to the Country. Mr.Modi will inaugurate the renovated Krishna Temple in Manama. He will also hold talks with the Prince of the state of Bahrain. As India has been extended a special invitation for the G7 summit, Mr.Modi will attend the summit held at Biarritz France on 26th. Joy, AIR NEWS, DELHI."

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France has said that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and the two countries should resolve their differences  through dialogue. In a statement, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, his country's constant position on Kashmir is that India and Pakistan should resolve their differences through bilateral dialogue to establish lasting peace. France has also called for restraint, de-escalation, and easing the situation. It is essential to abstain from any measure likely to aggravate tensions, the statement said.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has also said that abrogation of Article 370 by New Delhi is an internal matter of India.

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As many as 774 middle schools out of 3,000 reopened in Kashmir valley yesterday, as restrictions have further eased. Primary schools across the valley reopened from Monday. Information and Public Relations Director Syed Sehrish Asgar said some private schools also started functioning in the valley. She said, hospitals and banks are functioning normally in Kashmir.

State Governor Satya Pal Malik reviewed the security situation in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions and called for constant ness to ensure peace and normalcy. Mr Malik, in a meeting held at the Raj Bhavan yesterday evening, reviewed the status of security and law and order scenario in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

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Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba will be the new Cabinet Secretary. Mr Gauba, a 1982 batch IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre, will replace PK Sinha. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Mr Gauba  as the Cabinet Secretary with a tenure of two years from 30th of this month. The government has also appointed Ajay Kumar as the Defence Secretary. Brij Kumar Agarwal has been appointed as Secretary to the Lokpal and Subash Chandra as Secretary of Department of Defence Production.

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Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced that FASTags will become mandatory for all vehicles from December this year. Launching the new website of his Ministry in New Delhi, Mr Gadkari said, over 52 lakh FASTags have been issued till date. FASTags are being issued by 22 certified banks through various channels such as Point-of-Sale at NH toll plazas and selected bank branches.

A FASTag is a reloadable tag that automatically deducts toll charges and allows a vehicle to pass through a toll gate without stopping for the payment. It uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to make cashless payments through a prepaid account linked to it.

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Union Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has said that the government is working on a priority basis to ensure that India’s share of water as per the Indus Water Treaty does not flow into Pakistan. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Mr. Shekhawat said that the government is working on various hydrological and techno feasibility studies to ensure that this excess water can be diverted for use by Indian farmers, industries and public at large.

These comments assume importance as Indo-Pak relations are at a new low after the government scrapped Article 370 provisions that gave special rights to Jammu and Kashmir.

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The Centre has put on a fast track all the development projects of the North East to complete them within the stipulated time. This was conveyed by Dr Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, DoNER, to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio who along with a delegation of senior officers met him in New Delhi yesterday. Mr Rio discussed with him the proposal for setting up an airport at Ciethu in Kohima. He also informed the Chief Minister that a proposal has been sent by his Ministry for sanction of 1,000 crore rupees towards the project. 

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Union Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar has said the government is planning to set up ESI hospital at each district in the country. He said, currently there are over 450 ESI hospitals across the country and plans are afoot to set up in the remaining districts too. He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a new OPD building and dedicating the ESI Medical College and Hospital to the nation, in Hyderabad yesterday.  He further said, the government has initiated several measures to provide monthly pension to the workers in unorganized sector.

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The tourism industry has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth among the services sector in India. Odisha has more potential for its cultural richness and diversified land of heritage and tradition which attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 73rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India has much to offer if domestic tourism increases.

"हमारा देश टूरिस्ट डेस्टिनेशन के लिए दुनिया के लिए अजूबा हो सकता है। लेकिन किसी किसी कारण से जितनी तेजी से हमने वह करना चाहिए हम नहीं कर पाए। आइ हम सभी देशवासी तय करें कि हमें देश के टूरिज्म को बल देना है। कम से कम पूंजी निवेश से ज्यादा से ज्यादा रोजगार मिलता है। देश की इकोनॉमी को बल मिलता है। और दुनिया भर के लोग आज भारत को नए सिरे से देखने के लिए तैयार है।"

A report from our correspondent:-

"Odisha tourism is imbibed with a long stretch of coastline, museums, temples, biosphere reserves, wildlife, nature and much more that actually makes it one of the worthy and must-see destinations of the country. A domestic tourist Supriya who is on tour to Odisha said:-

Odisha is rich in natural beauty, beautiful beaches, fantabulous architectural artwork, temples and many adventure places to see it. The places like chilika, Bhitarkanika, Sunderbana, Konark, Puri temple, Hirakud dam, HariShankar attracts large number of domestic tourists as well as foreigners.

Undoubtedly, domestic tourism will have a multiple effect on job creation, skill development and boost allied sectors like aviation and hospitality. Tapan Maharana, AIR News, Cuttack".

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The Election Commission of India is intorducing a programme for the electors to crosscheck their details registered in the voters' list. A release issued by the Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu, Satyabrata Sahoo says, the move is to ensure a cent per cent error-free electoral roll. It is in connection with the special summary revision of the roll with the first of January next year as the qualifying date. The month-long verification programme would be from the first to the 30th of next month.

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Centre has notified new sets of health warnings for all tobacco products by making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008. In a statement, Union Health Ministry said, the new warnings will come into effect from 1st of next month. The text messages that will be printed on the packs are - tobacco causes painful death. A national toll-free number - 1800-11-2356 will also be printed on packs to assist the users to quit.

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India will  take on West Indies in their inaugural World Test Championship opener at North Sound in Antigua today. The match will start at 7 pm Indian time.

All India Radio will broadcast bilingual commentary on the match alternately in Hindi and English.

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Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and former India football captain Baichung Bhutia flagged off the Delhi leg of Op-Blue Freedom yesterday. This is an initiative in which a group of armed forces veterans train sports enthusiasts in survival training and self-defence. Op-Blue Freedom is a nation-wide adaptive scuba diving programme for people with disabilities as well as the able bodied.

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  • The CBI arresting Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram after a cat and mouse game has been covered by all the dailies today. "Chidambaram arrested in INX media case after high drama" headlines The Hindu.

  • The Indian Express reports on the latest Trumpism on India-Pakistan. The daily adds quoting the US president as saying  "Will do best I can to mediate. " on Kashmir issue.

  •   With new motor vehicles act in place, be ready to maintain road and traffic discipline. The Pioneer reports "Behave yourself on road or pay through nose from September 1st"

  • The Times of India cites the recent ruling of the Supreme Court, "Not rape if woman has sex knowing marriage unsure."

  • On individuals not making to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list, The Asian Age reports, "200 hundred new foreigners' tribunals in Assam to tackle NRC rush."

  • And finally, a report in The Times of India says "In 15 yrs, surgeries for weight loss expand 100-fold" , with Delhi Punjab and Maharastra leading the rush.

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