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0815 HRS




  • Commonwealth countries unanimously agree to take action on cyber security by 2020; In a landmark declaration, CHOGM leaders adopt a six-point agenda to boost trade and investment links.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi discusses several bilateral and global issues with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a brief stop-over in Berlin.
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj leaving for China today to participate in Shanghai Co-operation Organisation meeting.
  • North Korea says, it will not carry out more nuclear tests and shut down its atomic test site.
  • Government decides to roll out an initiative for prevention and control of viral hepatitis.
  • MeT department warns of strong winds and rough seas along West Bengal, Odisha, western coasts and Lakshadweep today.
  • In IPL Cricket, Chennai Super Kings beat Rajasthan Royals by 64 runs at Pune.




The Commonwealth countries have unanimously agreed to take action on cyber security by 2020. In a landmark declaration at the end of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, the leaders of 53 countries agreed to work closely to evaluate and strengthen their cyber security frameworks and response mechanisms. A release issued last night termed the declaration as the world's largest and most geographically diverse inter-governmental commitment on cyber security co-operation. More from our correspondent:

"The leaders of the Commonwealth nations also expressed their strong support for the multilateral trading system and adopted a six-point connectivity agenda to boost trade and investment links across the Commonwealth. The leaders committed themselves to the vision of increasing intra-Commonwealth trade to 2 Trillion dollars by 2030 and expanding intra-Commonwealth investment. The leaders also agreed on a bold, co-ordinated push to protect oceans from the effects of climate change, pollution and over-fishing. The declaration followed an announcement by the UK government pledging upto 15 million pounds to help the Commonwealth nations strengthen their cyber security capabilities. It also aims to tackle criminal groups and hostile state actors who pose a global threat to security. WITH MANAS PRATIM SARMA'S REPORT FROM LONDON, LALIMA ANEJA DANG, AIR NEWS."



Prime Minister Narendra Modi met German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a brief stop-over in Berlin last night, after wrapping up his visit to London, where he attended CHOGM and held a series of bilateral meetings. During the talks, Mr Modi and Ms Merkel discussed multiple aspects relating to bilateral cooperation as well as other global issues. In a tweet, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, Mr Modi's visit demonstrates India's mutual desire to strengthen the strategic partnership. He said, the Prime Minister was warmly welcomed by Ms Merkel at the Chancellery ahead of the talks.

The Prime Minister, in a tweet, termed the meeting with the German Chancellor as wonderful.

Mr Modi returned home this morning after concluding his 2-nation European tour.




External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is leaving for China today on a four-day visit. During her stay, Mrs Swaraj will participate in a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation. She will hold talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi tomorrow. This will be Mrs Swaraj's first meeting with Mr Wang after he was elevated last month to be the State Councillor.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry had said, on Wednesday, that the visit of Mrs Swaraj will further enhance political trust between the two countries and elevate the China-India strategic co-operation partnership.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi will confer the awards for excellence in Public Administration during the valedictory session of the Civil Services Day function in New Delhi today. Our correspondent reports that the awards will be given for effective implementation of identified priority programs and innovation to districts units and other central and state organisations.

"The awards have been instituted with a view to acknowledge, recognize and reward the exemplary work for citizen's welfare. The four priority programs identified for the award are Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Promoting Digital Payments, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana. The Prime Minister will also  release two books on the occasion. The book titled- New Pathways is a compilation of Success stories on implementation of identified Priority Programmes and  Innovations while the other book-  Aspirational Districts: Unlocking Potentials, is an account of evolving strategies for transforming Aspirational Districts. The Prime Minister  will also address the Civil Servants on the occasion. Anand Kumar, AIR NEWS, Delhi."

Inaugurating the event yesterday, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said, there is an urgent need to re-think about the existing governance paradigm of the country.

"There is a need for honest  introspection to effectiveness and efficiency for our administrative structures and processes. It is this introspection and refraction that has made many civil servants, some of who are getting awards  to come up with the alternative strategies for improving the system. I wish and hope that many more civil servants would also think afresh and keep raising the bar through innovative solutions."

President Ram Nath Kovind has greeted all civil servants and their families on the Civil Services Day today. In a tweet, the President expressed confidence that the hard-working and independent civil servants will re-dedicate themselves to the country's development.



Government has decided to roll out the 'Integrated initiative for prevention and control of viral hepatitis'. In a tweet, Health Minister JP Nadda said, the National Health Mission has decided to roll out the initiative with a budget of over 500 crore rupees. More from our correspondent:

"Viral hepatitis is a liver inflammation due to a viral infection and it is recognised as a public health problem worldwide. Under the initiative, health ministry intends to scale up to 100 treatment and 665 testing centres over a period of next three years across the country. Components such as surveillance, awareness generation, immunisation, safe blood injection, safety infection control, diagnosis of viral hepatitis, capacity building, research and monitoring would be addressed under the initiative. It is also proposed to establish 15 model treatment centres, which will function as referral centres for diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C and assist in capacity building. India is committed to eliminate the viral by 2030. Vasundhra, News Desk."




Petrol prices in Delhi have touched 74 rupees 21 paise per litre. According to the price chart of Indian Oil, the price of petrol in Kolkata is 76 rupees 91 paise, it is 82 rupees 6 paise in Mumbai and 76 rupees 99 paise in Chennai.

Diesel prices also touched 65 rupees 46 paise in Delhi. The price of diesel in Kolkata is 68 rupees 16 paise, 69 rupees 70 paise in Mumbai and 69 rupees 6 paise in Chennai.

The new rates came into effect from midnight last night.




North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has announced that Pyongyang will not carry out more nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests and will shut down its atomic test site. This has been reported by the North's state media.

The declaration, long sought by the US, is being seen as a crucial step in the fast diplomatic developments in the Korean peninsula.

It comes less than a week before Kim meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a summit in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula, and ahead of a much-anticipated meeting with US President Donald Trump.

Last year, Pyongyang had carried out its sixth nuclear test, its most powerful till date, and launched missiles capable of reaching mainland US. The tests led to strict sanctions by the UN Security Council, US, European Union, South Korea and others.




Swedish DJ Avicii, one of the world's biggest dance music stars, has died aged 28. His representative said in a statement that Tim Bergling, known as Avicii, breathed his last in Muscat, Oman. The cause of the death is not yet known.

Avicii's club anthems include Wake Me Up, Levels, and recently, Lonely Together with Rita Ora.



In poll-bound Karnataka, Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar has said, the intervention by the Election Commission through Voters Awareness programmes increased voter turnout in the state from 64.9 per cent in 2008 to 71.8 per cent in 2013. The higher turnout by women voters led to the increase. Releasing a survey report in Bengaluru yesterday, Mr Kumar said, awareness programmes under Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation has reached almost two crore people. More from our correspondent:

"In a bid to improve voters turnout, the Chief Electoral Office decided to create Booth Level Awareness groups. The groups comprising booth level Officers, Volunteers and Asha workers will go door to door, seven days before the election begins and hand over photo voters slips and relevant contact numbers. The Groups will also educate the voters about the use of EVMs and VVPAT and encourage them to exercise their franchise. The CEO office is also organising photo exhibition across the state on election process. One such exhibition will be inaugurated in Bengaluru today and a cartoon workshop from renowned cartoonists will also be launched. Sudhindra, AIR News, Bengaluru."



The Indian Air Force showcased its strength and ability yesterday by landing a C130J Super Hercules aircraft on an unused Airstrip abandoned since Second World War near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. An all-encompassing coordinated and composite exercise has been named Gagan-Shakti. The IAF yesterday conducted a mock drill of a rescue operation in a war like or emergency situation.



The MeT department has warned of strong winds and rough seas along the coasts of West Bengal, Odisha, southern parts of the western coast and Lakshadweep today. The department said in New Delhi that the coasts of West Bengal and Odisha are very likely to witness strong winds with speed occasionally reaching 40­ to 50 kilometres per hour. The warning said, waves would first be experienced along the west coast of India and Lakshadweep in the morning.

The fishermen have been advised not to venture out in the sea.




In Jammu and Kashmir, incessant rain, hailstorm and unseasonal fresh snowfall in the hills of Chenab Valley triggered extreme cold wave conditions yesterday. Officials said, the high altitude areas of Chenab Valley experienced unseasonal fresh snowfall after repeated spells of rain with strong winds during the past one week. The officials said, snowfall in the hills and continuous rainfall coupled with hailstorms has marred the prospect of a good yield in the region.



The ceasefire between the Centre and National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Neopao Konyak-Kitovi (NSCN-NK) and NSCN-Reformation has been extended for one year with effect from the 28th this month. It will remain in effect till 27th April next year.




In IPL Cricket, Chennai Super Kings defeated Rajasthan Royals by 64 runs at Pune last night to go at the top of the 8-team points table. Put in to bat, Chennai posted 204 for 5 in the stipulated 20 overs thanks to Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson who smashed his third IPL century. He scored 106 off just 57 balls.

In reply, Rajasthan were bundled out for just 140 in 18.3 overs. Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Dwayne Bravo and Karn Sharma bagged 2 wickets each. Watson was adjudged man of the match.
Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Kings Eleven Punjab in Kolkata at 4 PM, while Royal Challengers Bangalore will meet Delhi Daredevils in Bengaluru at 8 in the evening.



  • Seven opposition parties making the first move ever for Chief Justice Of India Dipak Misra's removal is the story that dominates headlines this morning."Opposition submits impeachment motion against CJI on 5 counts "leads the Tribune adding "Congress divided; Manmohan, Chidambaram's signs missing."
  • The Centre  may today bring an ordinance on death for rape of minors  is the other story that finds prominent place on the front pages of most of the dailies." Cabinet set to clear death for child rape, new law on fugitives.'' says Hindustan Times. "Death for children's rapists: Government to vet ordinance soon." notes the Pioneer.
  • Referring to the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case DNA writes '' Court clears Kodnani in massacre. Gujarat high court upholds ex- Bajrang Dal man Bajrangi's conviction."
  • In another story DNA reports the passing away of former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajinder Singh Sachar who was Chief Justice from August 6,1985 to December 22nd,1985.
  • "9 new Cabinet ministers for Punjab, swearing-in today" reports The Tribune.
  • "CPI (M) factions reach accord on party line. Strategic ties with Congress not ruled out" reports The Hindu.
  • ''Arsenal without Arsene from next season " informs Hindustan Times. The paper says that after 22 years at the helm of one of the great clubs in world football, Arsene Wenger will step down as manager at the end of the ongoing season.
  • And finally, news of actor Aamir Khan's 'shramdaan' initiative. The Hindu reports that the actor who is the founder of Paani Foundation will on May1st, raise an army of 1 lakh 'jalmitras'. They will build water harvesting structures in arid areas of Maharashtra.



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