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President's Address on the eve of 68th Republic Day of India

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0815 HRS




  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges US to have a balanced and far-sighted perspective on the movement of skilled professionals.
  • India and China to hold their first Strategic Dialogue in Beijing today; To discuss all issues of mutual concern including friction points.
  • RBI Deputy Governor Viral V Acharya says restructuring of banking sector needed to resolve the problem of Non Performing Assets; Cautions against use of RBI reserves to recapitalise state run banks.
  • Nagaland People's Front President Shurhozelie Liezitsu to be sworn in as the new Chief Minister in Kohima today.
  • Elaborate security arrangements in place for tomorrow's fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections; Central Para Military forces conduct flag march in sensitive areas.
  • Trump Administration issues tough guidelines for deporting illegal immigrants from the US.
  • And in Shooting, the first stage of ISSF World Cup Series to kick off in New Delhi today.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the US to have a balanced and far-sighted perspective on the movement of skilled professionals. Mr. Modi made the comment while receiving a 26-member bi-partisan US Congressional delegation in New Delhi yesterday.

Prime Minister shared his perspective on areas where both countries can work even more closely, including facilitating greater people-to-people linkages. In this context, Mr. Modi referred to the role of skilled Indian talent in enriching the American economy and society and urged for developing a reflective, balanced and far-sighted perspective on movement of skilled professionals.

The Prime Minister recalled his positive conversation with President Donald Trump and the shared commitment to further strengthen ties that have grown deeper in the last two and a half years. In this regard, Mr. Modi recognized Congress’ strong bipartisan support for the India-US partnership. He said, the Congress Representatives' visit indicates a good start to bilateral exchanges after the change in the US Administration and Congress.


India and China will hold their first Strategic Dialogue in Beijing today. The two sides are expected to discuss all issues of mutual concern and interest including friction points. External Affairs spokesman Vikas Swarup said the two countries will discuss all issues of mutual interest in bilateral, regional and international domain. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Executive Vice Foreign minister Zhang Yesui will co-chair the meeting. This dialogue mechanism was agreed to during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to India in August last year.

Saying that there are friction points in India-China ties, Mr Swarup said, the dialogue will strive to take a holistic view of the relations between the two countries. Here's a report.

"India-China ties witnessed strain following Beijing’s rigid stand on issues crucial to India such as membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and designation of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief and Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar as global terrorist by the United Nations. China not only scuttled India’s membership bid at the meeting of NSG last year, it also opposed banning of Azhar by the UN, apparently at the behest of Pakistan. Mr Jaishankar yesterday held talks with China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi ahead of the strategic dialogue. Mr Yang, besides being the State Councillor, is Beijing's Special Representative for border talks between India and China. Swati Rakheja, AIR NEWS, Delhi.


Newly-appointed Reserve Bank deputy governor Viral V Acharya has called for some urgent steps to resolve Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of banks. Addressing a function in Mumbai, he said none of the piece-by-piece approach offered so far has worked simply because of many discretions given to banks and their skewed incentive system. Mr Acharya said, even the December 2015 asset quality review (AQR) by the central bank has not helped resolve the issue, except in turning public attention to the same.

Asking bankers to take NPA resolution with a certain sense of urgency, he said timely resolution of NPAs is essential to restore corporate investment and create jobs.

Mr Acharya also suggested that using a part of the RBI reserves to recapitalise state-run banks may not be a good idea. Suggesting a new model for dealing with the threats of capital constraints and rising NPAs, he said a restructuring of the banking sector is needed.


Nagaland People's Front president Shurhozelie Liezitsu will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the state today. He will be administered the oath of office and secrecy by the Governor P B Acharya at a ceremony in Kohima. Mr Liezitsu will succeed TR Zeliang, who resigned as Chief Minister of Nagaland after widespread protests over reservation to women in local body elections. 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. Here's more from our Correspondent.

"All arrangements are made for the swearing in of the 81-year-old Shurhozelie for the top post in the State Government. Dr Leizietsu who has been a member of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly eight times will be the oldest to take oath as the Chief Minister of the State. Speculations are on as to who would be making it to the new list of the council of ministers. Dr Shurhozelie is said to have implied that status quo will be maintained as far as possible. Some new faces are expected to be named today in the list of council of Ministers. ANENLA JAMIR, AIR NEWS, KOHIMA."

Meanwhile, Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) has called off its statewide bandh following the resignation of Mr Zeliang as the Chief Minister.


National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has asked hospitals to display revised price list of cardiac stents. In a notification, the authority said that state drug controllers have also been sensitised on this issue and will inspect more hospitals to check the compliance with its price cap order issued last week. The authority has cut prices of life-saving coronary stents by up to 85 per cent by capping them at 7,260 rupees for bare metal and 29,600 rupees for drug eluting variety.

NPPA has said the companies were under legal obligation to maintain smooth production and supply of the stents. 


Polling parties are being rushed to their respective polling centres for fourth phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Voting will be held tomorrow in 52 constituencies spread over 12 districts. These are Allahabad, Chitrakoot, Banda, Fatehpur, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Jhansi, Kaushambi, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Pratapgarh and Raebareli in Bundelkhand and Eastern regions of the state. A total of 680 candidates including 61 women are in the fray in this phase. Campaigning for this phase ended yesterday evening. Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place for tomorrow's assembly elections.

Our Correspondent reports all major political parties have conducted intensive campaigning for this phase of elections.

"Central Para Military forces conducted flag march in sensitive areas. Above one crore 84 lakhs electorates will exercise their franchise in this phase of polling. Campaigning has been intensified for remaining phases of elections. BJP President Amit Shah will be addressing rallies today at Sultanpur, Azamgarh and Gorakhpur districts. Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav will be at Baharaich, Shrawasti and Gonda districts. Samajwadi Party has expelled its women wing national president Dr Ranjana Vajpayee from the party for her alleged anti party activities. Her son is a BJP candidate in Allahabad district. Sunil Shukla AIR News Lucknow."


Full Election Commission began reviewing preparations for assembly polls in Manipur. The full Election Commission arrived in Imphal yesterday to take stock of the preparations. The two-phased assembly elections will be held in the state on the fourth and eighth of the next month. More from our Correspondent:

"Election Commission led by Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi met representatives of different political parties last afternoon at Imphal. The political parties' representatives urged the Commission to check proxy voting as much as possible and to create a conducive atmosphere wherein polling officials can perform their duty peacefully without fear from any quarter. The Commission also met state excise officials and reviewed preparedness to help peaceful poll. The full Election Commission is meeting state Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and media persons today. Ibomcha Sharma, AIR News, Imphal."


The Trump Administration has issued tough guidelines to widen the net for deporting illegal immigrants from the US, and speed up their removal. The new guidelines issued last night, expand deportations to undocumented immigrants who have been charged with a crime, misrepresented themselves, pose a risk to public safety, or have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits. The  enforcement memo issued by Homeland Security Department do not alter US immigration laws, but take a much tougher approach towards enforcing existing measures.

The new guidelines allow Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport people immediately. Local and state law-enforcement officials will also be allowed to arrest unauthorised immigrants.


Vice President Hamid Ansari has arrived in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, in the second leg of his five-day tour to two east African countries Rwanda and Uganda. He was given warm and friendly welcome on the Entebbe international airport. Mr Ansari was received by his Ugandan counterpart Edward Ssekandi. Here's more from our Correspondent:

"The Vice President will hold discussions with leaders of Uganda on issues of bilateral interest. He is accompanied by Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Vijay Sampla, four Members of Parliament and officials. In Uganda, Mr. Ansari will also interact with the Indian community in Kampala. The Vice President will also address India-Uganda Business Forum. Relations between India and Uganda are defined by historical cultural linkages, extensive economic and trade interest and a convergence on major bilateral and international issues. With Sanjeev Sharma from Uganda, V Ravi Kumar for AIR News."


The first stage of the International Shooting Sport Federation, ISSF World Cup Series kicks off at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi today. The World cup series is slated to take place in 5 stages in five different countries. Besides India, Mexico, Cyprus, Germany and Azerbaijan will play the host to the other four stages. The ISSF World Cup Final at the end of the season will also be held in New Delhi

452 athletes representing 50 National Olympic Committees are taking part in the competition.

For India, Olympic bronze-medallist Gagan Narang, Olympians Jeetu Rai, Heena Sidhu and Kynan Chenai, will be spearheading the challenge in the competitions.




  • "If not for family feud, I may not have allied with Congress" is a Hindustan Times headline quoting UP-CM Akhilesh Yadav. It's an unconventional alliance, considering that Samajwadi Party has a tradtion of opposing the Congress says the report.
  • "Modi urges US to re-think on H-1B visa" is an Asian Age headline, The Prime Minister met a 26 member bipartisan US congressional  delegation and spoke about the role of  skilled Indian talent in enriching American economy and society.
  • The Times of India reports that Prime Minister office has sought details of ordinance factory products manufactured in the last 3 fiscals and the cost involved after many failed to meet standards.
  • The Pioneer reports of the proximity between Meat exporter Moin Qureshi and former CBI director A.P Singh, as has been found through BBM conversations.
  • The Times of India writes 'Poachers in Corbett to be shot at sight' adding that the Corbett Tiger Reserve authorities have issued shoot-at-sight orders if suspected armed poachers are seen in the critical tiger habitat zone.
  • The paper also reports of a wasteful expenditure of 2000 crore rupees over 22 years for River yamuna. On the other hand 1 crore has been cleared for Naini lake development in North Delhi.
  • "Big fat kashmiri wedding told to go on a  crash diet" says a DNA headline  pointing   to J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's orders at both government & private functions in a bid to control wastage. The reports add that Mutton worth 1800 crores is consumed every year in the valley.
  • 10 devotees being injured in a wooden temple car in KOTTUR at the Sri Kotturesh Wara fair.
  • Products from Tihar jail to find space in Khadi outlets.
  • 65 % voting, highest even in 25 years in BMC polls.
  • Chandrasekaran taking over as CEO and MD of 103 billion dollar Tata Group.
  • And, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella meeting Prime Minister are some of the other stories.  


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