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1400 HRS

20th July,2017


  • External Affairs Minister informs Rajya Sabha that all countries support India's stand on the Doklam issue; Says, if China unilaterally changes status-quo of tri-junction point between India, China and Bhutan, it poses a challenge to India's security.
  • Lok Sabha adjourned for the day over the issue of farmers’ plight.
  • Counting of votes for Presidential election underway at Parliament House complex; NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind leading over Opposition's Meira Kumar after the first round.
  • At least 28 people killed in Himachal Pradesh as a bus falls into a gorge in Shimla district; Magisterial inquiry ordered.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to share his thoughts in his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio on the 30th of this month.
  • A key US Congressional panel votes for tougher conditions on Pakistan in order to receive Washington's assistance.
  • And in Cricket, India to play Australia in the second semi-final of ICC Women's World Cup at Derby this afternoon.


External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said all countries support India's stand on the Doklam issue. Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, she said, if China unilaterally changes status-quo of the tri-junction point between India, China and Bhutan, it poses a challenge to India's security.
The Minister said China is developing ports and other infrastructure facilities in the littoral countries in the region, including in the vicinity of India’s maritime boundary as part of its objective to become a maritime power. She said under One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, China is undertaking projects for developing of infrastructure facilities in several countries in the region. Mrs Swaraj said the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which passes through the Indian Territory under illegal occupation of Pakistan, has been identified as a flagship project of OBOR. She said government’s consistent position is that Pakistan has been in illegal occupation of parts of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir since 1947.

The Minister said, New Delhi has conveyed to the Chinese side including at the highest level, its concern about their activities in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and asked them to cease these activities. She said the government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard it.

On the H1B visa issue, Mrs Swaraj said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was able to convince US President Donald Trump that Indian skilled professionals are contributing greatly to the American economy.


The Lok Sabha was today adjourned for the day following Opposition uproar over the issue of farmers’ plight. As soon as the House met for the day, the Opposition led by the Congress and the Left raised the issue of the agrarian crisis in the country and trooped into the well shouting slogans. 

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar questioned the opposition and said only two Congress members were present yesterday when discussion on the issue was taking place in the Lok Sabha.

The Congress and Left members also raised the issue of alleged bribe taken by a BJP leader in Kerala to ensure Medical Council of India’s recognition for a private medical college in the state and demanded a probe into it.

When the House met at noon following two adjournments, the situation was no different as Opposition members continued the sloganeering. Amidst the din, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

Meanwhile, in the Rajya Sabha, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh asked the government to look into the demands being raised by farmers across the country seeking Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for their produce. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Mr Singh said the BJP government had assured farmers of providing MSP in its election manifesto.


The Government has said, Indigo airlines has submitted an expression of interest regarding disinvestment of Air India. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said, no response needs to be communicated to Indigo airlines at this stage as disinvestment of any Central Public Sector Enterprise is done in accordance with the laid down procedures. Mr Raju said, suggestions are being received regarding disinvestment of Air India and these would be kept in mind while arriving at the final decision regarding contours of disinvestment.


Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal today asked the government to take a serious note of the issue of some airlines banning MPs from flying in the country. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, he questioned as to how airlines can take action against MPs. Deputy Chairman, Prof. PJ Kurian, said Parliamentarians are also citizens of the country and they are bound by the law.


The counting of votes for the Presidential election is underway at the Parliament House complex. The counting, which began at 11 AM, will continue till 5 PM. NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind is leading over Opposition's Meira Kumar by 37,742 votes after the first round of 8-round counting. Lok Sabha Secretary General and Returing officer Anoop Mishra said, Mr Kovind has, so far, bagged 60,683 votes, while Ms Kumar has got 22,941 votes. More from our correspondent:

The votes cast into the ballot box in Parliament House have been taken up for counting first followed by the boxes received from state assemblies in an alphabetical order. The votes are being counted on four separate tables and there will be eight rounds of counting. The election was held on 17th of this month and around 99 per cent voting was recorded. 768 MPs cast their votes out of 771 Members of Parliament of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Out of 4,100 MLAs in state Assemblies, 4,075 exercised their franchise. The numbers are in favour of the ruling coalition's nominee Ram Nath Kovind, who is the former Bihar Governor, over the Opposition candidate Meira Kumar. With Anupam Mishra, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi.


In Himachal Pradesh, at least 28 people were killed and 9 injured in a bus accident in Shimla district today. Our correspondent reports that the incident occurred near Khaneri of Rampur sub division around 9:30 AM when a bus fell into a deep gorge.

The ill-fated bus was on its way to Solan from Recong Peo. The State Transport Minister GS Bali has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has directed the administration to provide all the necessary relief to the kin of deceased and to the injured. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the loss of lives due to the accident. Mr Modi in a tweet said that his thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. He wished for a speedy recovery of the injured. With Shishu Sharma's report from Shimla, Meeqat for AIR News.


In Jammu and Kashmir, at least six people have been killed and some are missing following a cloud burst in Thathri area of Doda district today. The rescue operation is being carried out as some houses and buildings have been damaged in the flash floods. Police sources told AIR that five people have been rescued, so far.


Nagaland Governor PB Acharya has summoned a special session of the State Legislative Assembly tomorrow. In a press communiqué, the Commissioner and Secretary of Nagaland Assembly Secretariat N Benjamin Newmai said that the session is called to proceed with the floor test for the newly sworn Chief Minister TR Zeliang to prove his majority in the House.

The Governor had invited Mr Zeliang to the swearing-in ceremony yesterday with the condition that he prove his majority on the Floor of the Assembly on or before Saturday.


The Delhi High Court today asked the city police to file a status report on the ongoing probe into the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. The court directed the police to place the report within three days during the hearing of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's plea for a court-monitored probe by the CBI-led SIT into the matter.

Sunanada Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel in South Delhi on 17th of January, 2014.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his thoughts with the people of the country and those living abroad in his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio on 30th of this month. In a tweet, Mr Modi asked people to share their ideas and suggestions on the Narendra Modi App. People can share their views, ideas and suggestions on the My Gov Open Forum and can also dial the toll free number 1XXX-XX-7800 to record their message for the Prime Minister in Hindi or English. People can also give a missed call on the number 1922 and follow the link received in SMS to directly give the suggestions to the Prime Minister.

The programme will be broadcast on the entire network of AIR and Doordarshan at 11 AM.


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected India's growth rate of 7.4 per cent this year and 7.6 per cent next year on strong consumption demand. ADB said in a supplement report that South Asia will be the fastest growing of all sub-regions in Asia and the Pacific, with growth on track to meet original projections of 7 per cent in 2017 and 7.2 per cent in 2018.


A key US Congressional panel has voted to impose tougher conditions on Pakistan to receive Washington assistance. The House Appropriations Committee yesterday approved the 2018 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill by voice vote. The legislation seeks certification from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for disbursement of US aid to Pakistan. Under the bill, Mr Tillerson is asked to certify that Pakistan is cooperating with the US in counter-terrorism efforts against the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Al-Qaeda.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.


The glory of the first armed farmer-warriors' uprising in Odisha against the East India Company in 1817 known as Paika Rebellion is being celebrated today. The rebellion originated under the leadership of Bakshi Jagabandhu.

The Ministry of Culture is organising a function in New Delhi this evening to pay tribute to the martyrs on the occasion of Bicentenary Celebration of the rebellion. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the function.


In Cricket, India will take on Australia in the second semi-final of the ICC Women's World Cup at Derby in England today. The match will begin at 3 PM Indian Standard Time. Record six-time winners Australia had finished the round-robin stage on the second spot, behind England, in the 8-team points table, while India was third. In their robin-robin match, Australia had defeated India by 8 wickets.

India had played the Final of the World Cup only once in the 2005 edition, when they lost to the Aussies.


Top Indian shot putter Manpreet Kaur has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Federation of India after she tested positive for banned substances for the second time.

The suspension means Manpreet will miss out next month's IAAF World Athletics Championships hosted by London.


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