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Last Updated : Nov 17 2019 8:12PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Winter session of Parliament begins tomorrow; Govt convenes all-party meet            All-party meet: PM assures, govt ready to discuss all issues            Rajnath Singh discusses wide range of issues including security and terrorism with his US counterpart            Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be Sri Lanka's new President; swearing-in tomorrow            63rd National Shotgun Shooting Championship kicks off in New Delhi           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
17.10.2019

THE HEADLINES


  • Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman invites global investors saying that India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world to invest.

  • Campaigning for Assembly Elections in Maharashtra and Haryana reaches its peak; Defence Minister Rajnath Singh accuses Congress of internationalising Kashmir issue.

  • Kerala extends maternity leave benefits to teachers and other staff of private educational institutions.

  • Odd-Even scheme to be implemented in Delhi from 4th November for 12 days; private CNG vehicles not to be exempted.

  • Sri Lanka's Jaffna international airport receives its inaugural flight from Chennai.

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Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman has said that investors can find no better place in the world than India. Ms Sitharaman said that India has a democratic environment that respects capitalists. She was speaking at an event hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), in association with the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum, at the IMF headquarters in Washington. 

 

The Finance Minister said that India is one of the fastest growing economies and has the best skilled manpower. She assured international investors that the government is continuously working to bring reforms.

 

Ms Sitharaman asserted that the government is engaging with everyone on a weekly basis and there is no trust deficit with the corporate sector and investors. She said the government is taking steps to address problems in the stressed sectors. The Minister added that in order to boost overall consumption, the Finance Ministry has requested all the building sector banks, together with their partners, non-banking financial companies to reach out to small towns and villages and extend every kind of credit that they would want.

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Campaigning for Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly elections has reached its peak as leaders across political spectrum are criss-crossing the states to reach out to the electorate.

In Maharashtra, Prime Minister and senior BJP leader Narendra Modi addressed public meeting in Parli. Speaking at the rally, Mr Modi said, the bond between Beed and BJP can never be broken. He said, whenever Article 370 will be discussed in history, the decision that was taken in the interest of the country, then the people who opposed and ridiculed it, their comments will be remembered.

"इतिहास में जब भी आर्टिकल 370 की चर्चा होगी तो देशहित में किए निर्णय का विरोध करने वाले लोगों का, मजाक उड़ाने वाले लोगों का उनके बयानों का जिक्र इतिहास में जरूर होने वाला है। 370 का विरोध हमारी पार्टी का जन् हुआ उस दिन से हम करते आएं हैं। हम राजनीति के लिए नहीं करते, हम देश नीति के लिए करते हैं।"

Later today, Mr. Modi is scheduled to adrerss rallies in Satara and Pune.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is holding a rally in Manor while Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is addressing rallies in Bhokar, Latur, Solapur and Pune.

Now, lets go live to our correspondent Prarthana in Mumbai for more s on elections.

Q.1. Prarthana, tell us about the efforts being made for better voter participation this year?

"Well Saira, the election commission has taken substantial efforts for a better voter turnout this year. The Election Commission organized campaigns at college level to motivate youngsters who have completed 18 years of age to enroll themselves as voters. The EC has also roped in goodwill electoral ambassadors for voter awareness campaigns. Famous Bollywood actor Madhuri Dixit is also one of the ambassadors. As the EC has also launched an outreach programme through the Bureau of Outreach of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in which people go to villages, and motivate people to exercise their right to vote…Saira"

 Q.2. Are there any other activities being organized to increase voter awareness, Prarthana.

"Yes Saira…The Mumbai district collectorate has arranged a special flash mob at the Gateway of India in the evening to motivate people to come out and vote in large numbers. A cycle rally was also organized in Mumbai this morning. Similar efforts are also being made at school and college level. Yesterday at Devgad in Sindhudurg district school students and teachers together created sand arts to urge voters to vote. In certain schools, students are being encouraged to make their parents and guardians sign a pledge that they will exercise their right to vote…Saira"

Our Pune correpondent talks to some of the young voters to know their views about  ensuing assembly polls.

Senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh has accused Congress of internationalising the Kashmir issue. He addressed three election rallies at Bawani Khera, Tosham and Mahendragarh assembly constituencies in Haryana today. Speaking at Bawani Khera, Mr. Singh said Congress leaders recently met British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in London and held a discussion on the issue of alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. He said Kashmir is an internal matter of the country. The Minister said human rights violations are taking place due to terrorist activities in Kashmir. 

We have our Chandigarh correspondent Jitendra Diwedi with us for more on elections.

Q.1. Jitendra, what are the main issues dominating the election campaign in Haryana? 

"Saira, political leaders are focusing on Both local and national issues. Nationalism, National Security, Abrogation of Artile 370, economic growth are the main national issues. Like this, providing Drinking and irrigation water, employment to youth, farmer’s loan waiver, law and order,  making corruption-free environment are being mainly discussed in political rallies. "

Q.2. Jitendra, with only a few days left for polling, how is voters' participation in the election campaign?

"Saira, large gathering is being witnessed in political rallies. Even, women and farmers are also taking part in large numbers. "

One thousand one hundred and 69 candidates are contesting the upcoming Assemby elections in Haryana. Out of these candidates, more than 480 are holding assets of one crore rupees or more. Our correspondent reports that in this election, the  number of candidates having assets over 1 crore are three percent higher than the previous assembly polls.

" On analysis of affidavits filed by candidates, it emerged that 79 candidates of BJP and Congress each, 62 of Jannayak Janta Party, 50 of INLD and 34 of BSP are having assets worth over one crore rupees. 182 candidates have assets of more than Rs. 5 crore. Jannayak Janta Party candidate Rohtas Singh contesting from Sohna is the richest candidate having wealth of worth more than 325 crore rupees. Captain Abhimanyu of BJP is at second number with 170 crore rupees and Sukhbir Kataria of Congress is at third place with wealth of 106 crore rupees.  Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR News, Chandigarh".

The two states will go to polls on the 21st of this month. Counting will be taken up on the 24th October.

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In Uttar Pradesh, electioneering has intensified, with political parties trying to woo voters through rallies and gatherings in 11 assembly seats where by-elections will be held on 21st of this month. More from our correspondent:

"BJP Leader and former film actress Jaya Prada is campaigning in Rampur assembly seat in favour of the BJP Candidate. Tanzeem Fatima, Wife of senior Samajwadi Party leader and MP from Rampur, Azam Khan’s is contesting on Rampur seat. Chief Minister of Chattisgarh Bhoopesh Baghel is also scheduled to hold rallies and gatherings at BaraBanki, Pratapgarh and Chitrakut in favour of Congress candidates. The 11 seats on which by election will be held on 21st October include seats which became vacant after election of many stalwarts like Azam Khan, Rita Bahuguna Joshi and satyadev pachauri to the Loksabha in recent general elections. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW"

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Senior Congress leader and former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has hit out at the BJP over economic situation in the country and Maharashtra. He attacked the BJP-led Maharashtra  government over farmer suicides. He alleged that a lot of problems  being faced by  Maharashtra today are man-made. Dr Singh was interacting with business community leaders and media persons in Mumbai today.

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In a path-breaking development, Kerala is extending maternity leave benefits to teachers and other staff of private educational institutions, including those in the unaided sector. The Central Government has approved the Kerala Government’s decision to bring these teachers and employees under the Maternity Benefit Act. When the amendment to the Act comes into force, Kerala would become the first state in the country to provide maternity benefits in the private educational sector.

Employees covered under the law can avail 26 weeks’ maternity leave with salary. Moreover, an employer has to provide an amount of 1,000 rupees as  medical allowance.

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The odd-even road rationing scheme will be implemented in Delhi from 4th November to 15th November. The move is aimed at combating high levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR. Briefing reporters in New Delhi today, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, restrictions will be not be applicable on two-wheelers, vehicles being used for medical emergencies, for womendrivers and vehicles carrying school children. He said, the scheme will be applicable from 8 AM to 8 PM, except on Sundays.  

Violating the rule will incur a fine of four thousand rupees.

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Jammu and Kashmir administration has shifted Ladakh Affairs Department along with its Administrative Secretary, Rigzin Samphel to Leh to oversee the transition of Ladakh region as a Union Territory. Our Leh Correspondent has filed this report:

"As the time nearing for the formal notification to make Ladakh a Union Territory, the state Administration is making right moves.  To see the transition seamless, the Ladakh Affairs Department is being shifted along with it's Secretary Rigzin Samphel. Popular senior serving bureaucrat Mr. Rigzin Samphel hails from Ladakh region, is a 2003 UP cadre IAS Officer. He  will headquarter in Leh Ladakh to see the establishment of UT Ladakh.  In a separate order, 495 posts are distributed among various departments and offices  in Leh and Kargil districts in Ladakh division, to facilitate the administration in newly born UT. Ladakh region will become the new Union Territory as per the JK Reorganisation Act 2019, after a formal notification making Ladakh as UT, on 31st October. Ramesh Chandra for AIR news Leh" 

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Home Minister Amit Shah has appealed to historian and scholars to rewrite  History from the Indian perspective to tell the new generation about the great heroes of the nation. He said History is written by victors and the responsibility of rewriting it lies with society and historians. He was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day International seminar at  Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi. The Home Minister said History has done injustice to Skandgupt and ignored his contribution to the country's history, culture and politics.

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President Ram Nath Kovind embarked on a week-long visit to the Philippines and Japan this morning. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, Mr Kovind is visiting Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony of the Emperor of Japan Naruhito. MEA Secretary (East) Vijay Thakur Singh said, the President will be in the Philippines from 17th to 21st of this month and in Japan from 21st to 23rd October.

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In Sri Lanka, Jaffna International Airport  received its inaugural flight from Chennai today in presence of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe. The Alliance Air flight, carrying Air India CMD Ashwini Lohani and its CEO C.S.Subbiah among invitees from the aviation sector, made its inaugural landing this morning. There will be three flights a week to Chennai. Connectivity to Tiruchirapalli and Kochi is also planned in coming months.

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In Saudi Arabia, 35 people were killed and four injured in a bus accident in Medina province. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet, conveyed his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and prayed for the quick recovery of the injured.  

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