22nd February, 2017
plan to introduce 1,000 rupee notes, says government; Focus on production and
supply of 500 and lower denomination notes.
- Cabinet approves capacity hike for
solar parks and projects for long term energy security of the country.
- Shurhozelie Liezitsu sworn-in as
Nagaland Chief Minister.
- Elaborate arrangements in place
for tomorrow's fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
- DMK stages statewide fast against
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami's Trust vote; Ruling AIADMK faction
says, no one can intervene in Assembly Speaker's decision.
- India and China hold first
strategic dialogue in Beijing; Foreign Secretary says, relations between the
two countries have great global and regional significance.
Government today said, there is no plan to
introduce 1,000 rupee notes. In a tweet, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta
Das said, the focus is on production and supply of 500 rupees and lower
denomination notes. He said, complaints of cash-out in ATMs are being
addressed. Mr Das also requested people to draw the amount of cash that they
actually require. He said, the over withdrawal by some people deprives others.
Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley had, last week, said that the remonetisation situation with regard to
replenishing the scrapped currency is almost normal now and the Reserve Bank is
monitoring the supply on a daily basis.
government had announced withdrawal of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in
November last year, with an aim to check black money, counterfeit notes and
The Union Cabinet today decided to enhance
solar power capacity from 20,000 Mega Watt to 40,000 Mega Watt for development
of solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects. Briefing media in New Delhi
after the Cabinet meeting, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said, the enhanced
capacity will ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks each with a capacity
of 500 Mega Watt and above in various parts of country. He said, solar parks
and ultra mega solar power projects will be set up by 2019-2020 with
government's support of 8,100 crore rupees. This will lead to abatement of
around 55 million tonnes of CO2 per year over its life cycle.
Mr Goyal said, the
decision will contribute to long-term energy security of the country and
generate large direct and indirect employment.
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved investment proposal for
generation component of Arun-3 Hydro Electric Project in Nepal by SJVN Limited.
Mr Goyal said, the decision demonstrates government's commitment to promote
clean and green energy in India and the sub continent. This project will
generate 900 Megawatt of hydro power at an estimated cost of more than 5,700
crore rupees. The project is expected to achieve financial closure by September
this year and be implemented in five years thereafter.
The Cabinet also approved an MoU between India and
Australia for cooperation in civil aviation security. Government also approved
signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in agriculture
and allied sectors. Signing of the Air Services Agreement between India and
Greece was also given the nod today.
Shurhozelie Liezitsu has been sworn-in as the
17th Chief Minister of Nagaland. The 81-year old Naga People's Front party
President was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor PB
Acharya at a ceremony in Kohima today. He succeeded TR Zeliang, who resigned as
the Chief Minister following widespread protests over reservation to women in
local body elections.
10 other members of the Council also took
Mr Liezitsu was invited by the Governor to
form a new government on Monday after he emerged as the unanimous choice for
the post and formally staked his claim.
Following the resignation of Mr Zeliang, the
agitating groups, including Nagaland Tribes Action Committee, called off its
Elaborate arrangements have been put in place
for tomorrow's fourth phase of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. 53
constituencies, spread over 12 districts in Bundelkhand and the eastern part of
the state, will go to polls in this phase. The districts include Allahabad,
Raebareli, Amethi, Chitrakoot, Fatehpur, Jhansi, Lalitpur and Pratapgarh. A
total of 680 candidates, including 61 women, are in the fray in this phase.
Over one crore 84 lakh electorates are eligible to exercise their franchise.
More from our correspondent:
"Political fate of
Akhilesh Yadav government ministers including Manoj Pandey, Shiva Kant Ojha and
Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya will be decided in this phase of
polling. Prestige of Samajwadi Party is also on stake as party has won maximum
24 seats from this region during previous assembly elections but failed to win
even single seat from Kaushambi, Hamirpur, Mahoba and Lalitpur districts. BJP
has won all Lok sabha seats except Raebareli in last parliamentary elections
and party has not left any stone unturned to repeat the previous performance.
Central Para Military forces have conducted flag march in sensitive areas. Most
of the polling centres are manned by the Central Para Military forces. All
major political parties have intensified their campaigning for the remaining
phases of elections. Sunil Shukla, AIR News, Lucknow."
In Jhansi district, over 1,500 poll booths
have been set up. Our correspondent gives an overview of the election scenario
"All the seats are facing
multi-cornered fight but main contest on most seats is between BJP, BPS and
SP-Congress coalition. SP had bagged two seats while BJP and Congress one each
in the last assembly elections. Development, lack of irrigation facilities,
migration of labourers, and law and order are major issues. More than 14 lakh
50 thousands voters are eligible to decide the political fate of 53 candidates
on Jhansi, Babina, Mauranipur and Garotha segments. The district administration
said that strict vigil will be maintained on sensitive polling booths. Border
with Madhya Pradesh has also been sealed. SHARIQ NOOR AIR NEWS,JHANSI."
In Manipur, electioneering is in full swing
and the Election Commission is making all efforts for the smooth conduct of
ensuing Assembly elections. The full team of the Commission is in Imphal
reviewing preparedness of the polls with officials. Our correspondent reports
that the first phase of polls in the state will be held on the 4th of next
month, while the second phase is scheduled for the 8th.
"Briefing mediapersons at
Imphal today, Chief Election Commission Dr. Nasim Zaidi said that 18 Assembly
Constituencies have been identified as sensitive while 352 localities have been
identified as vulnerable and 837 polling stations have been identified as critical.
Dr. Zaidi further said that special security arrangements have been made in
these areas to enable voters to cast their votes in a peaceful manner. That
special arrangement have been made by the Commission for Persons with
Disabilities such as providing wheel chair for effective participation in the
electoral process. For the first time in Manipur, the Commission has introduced
Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System for all service voters in two
Assembly constituencies of Thangmeiband and Yaiskaul. With Ibomcha Sharma, Gin
Gangte, AIR News, Imphal."
In Tamil Nadu, opposition DMK is staging a
statewide fast against Chief Minister EK Palaniswami's Trust vote in the
Assembly on Saturday. Party working president MK Stalin is participating in the
demonstration in Trichy against the manner in which the trust vote was held.
DMK's alliance partner Congress is also
lending its support to the protests. DMK has already given notice for a
no-confidence motion against the Assembly Speaker Dhanapal.
The ruling AIADMK faction has said, no one can
intervene in the decision of the Assembly Speaker. Talking to media in Chennai,
party leader Pantrutti Ramachandran said, there is no provision in the House
Rules for holding a secret ballot during trust vote. He said, the DMK is trying
to topple the Government.
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court has asked DMK
to submit video footage of the ruckus in the Assembly during the trust vote.
More from our correspondent:
"The principal opposition
DMK is the petitioner against the trust vote that seeks nullifying it. The
First Bench headed by acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh has posted the
case for further hearing on Monday. The trust vote proved the majority of chief
minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy of the ruling AIADMK’s VK Sasikala faction by a
slender margin, that was preceded by huge ruckus, eviction of the DMK members
and walk out by the Congress. The DMK claims the House special session was held
in contravention of rules and procedures. The party has launched its opposition
to the Government both legally and politically. It has also planned to meet the
President of India against the trust vote. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."
Tension prevailed in Hyderabad today following
the detention of Telangana Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) Chairman Prof M.
Kodandaram in the wake of proposed rally of unemployed youth. The T-JAC has
proposed the rally asking the state government to fulfill the poll promise of
providing one lakh jobs.
Opposition parties, including Congress and
Telugu Desam and several student organisations, have extended their support for
Police has imposed a ban on the conduct of the
rally suspecting violence. It said, there was no permission to take out the
rally in the midst of the city.
Police has also detained some other T-JAC
leaders in Hyderabad and other districts.
The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to
frame guidelines for rehabilitation of persons who have been cured of their
mental illness. A bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, observed that after
mentally ill persons are cured, not even their family members are willing to
take them back home. Saying that the issue is very sensitive, the court gave
the Centre eight weeks time to frame the guidelines. A report:
"The apex court told Solicitor
General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, that the government cannot allow
a person to be kept in a mental asylum or a nursing home after he or she is
fully cured of the ailment. It said, they have to be brought back to civil
society. The Solicitor General told the bench that they needed some time as two
ministries -- Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Justice - were involved
in this process. The court was hearing a PIL filed by an advocate who has
raised the issue of release of about 300 persons from various mental hospitals
in Uttar Pradesh. The PIL said, the persons were still languishing despite
being cured of their ailments and most of them belonged to poorer sections.
Vasundhra, News Desk."
India and China today held their first
strategic dialogue in Beijing to shore up bilateral ties. In his opening
remarks at the dialogue, Foreign
Secretary S. Jaishankar said, the relations between the two
countries have really acquired a very steady momentum over many years. He said,
India have truly transcended the bilateral dimension of relations and what
happens between both the nations has great global and regional significance. Mr
Jaishankar said, the leadership level meetings of India and China have been
taking place regularly and economic engagement is growing. He said, border
areas of both the countries have maintained peace and tranquility.
Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari is
meeting prominent Ugandan leaders in Kampala today. Mr Ansari is in the East
African country on the final leg of his 2-nation visit to the region. He had
visited Rwanda in the first leg. Mr Ansari will first meet his Ugandan
counterpart Edward Ssekandi in a short while from now and also attend a banquet
hosted by him. Our correspondent, covering the Vice President's visit, reports
that Mr Ansari's tour is part of the broadening of India's diplomatic footprint
in the East African region.
"Mr Ansari will meet
the President of Uganda and discuss various issues of mutual interest. The Vice
President will also address the business forum meet. India’s engagement with
Uganda is at three levels, including at the African Union, the Regional
Economic communities and the bilateral level. Apart from a number of Indian
investments in Uganda, the Indian community presents the strongest and most
durable economic and cultural link with Uganda. Presently, there are around 30
thousand Indians living in Uganda and play a leading role in the Ugandan
economy specially in the manufacturing, trade, and information technology.
‘India Day’, an annual event is also a vital link and serves to bring together
the Indian and Ugandan community. With Sanjeev Sharma's report from Kampala, Uganda, Pradeep Kumar, AIR
The 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu national
highway was reopened for one-way traffic today after remaining closed for two
days. The light snowfall in Jawahar Tunnel area and heavy rains in Ramban
sector during past around three days had triggered massive landslides forcing
authorities to suspend traffic on the highway.