India and China
agree to take steps to realize bilateral trade target of one hundred billion
dollars in next two years.
UP Lokayukta indicts 199 including BSP general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui
and former minister Babu Singh Kushwaha for financial irregularities in
construction of parks and memorials during Mayawati regime.
At least 95 people killed and over 200 injured in a series of bomb attacks
Tornado claims 51 lives in Oklahoma City
suburbs in United States.
Heat wave intensifies across the country; Met Department predicts early onset
of Monsoon in Kerala.
Indian boxers win record haul of 10 medals, including four gold in the
International Boxing Cup in Cyprus.
India and China have agreed to take steps to realize the bilateral trade turn-over target of one hundred billion Dollars in the next two years. A Joint Statement issued after the delegation-level talks between the visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi yesterday, identified the areas for cooperation particularly in pharmaceuticals and Information Technology. Our Correspondent reports that India's exports to China were only 13.52 billion dollars in 2012-13 while the imports aggregated to over 54.3 billion dollars, leaving a trade deficit of 40.78 billion dollars.
Dr Singh said he discussed infrastructure development of the North East region with his Chinese counterpart.
We have discussed the possibility of infrastructure development to link India's North-Eastern regions with Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and other countries in the South-East Asian regions. The Chinese Premier stressed that both sides have more common interests than differences.
China and India are friendly neighbours. So neither side will do anything that damages the interests of the other side without getting benefits himself.
India and China have also agreed for an early settlement of differences on border perceptions, expand cooperation on trans-border rivers and increase bilateral trade. The two countries signed eight pacts including an MOU on sharing of information on the water flow in the river Brahmaputra.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram has favoured mergers in the banking industry so that India can have two to three global sized banks. Addressing the Annual Day function of the Competition Commission of India in New Delhi yesterday, he said, bank mergers could lead to too-big-to-fail entities. In its annual monetary policy, the RBI had said that it will release a discussion paper on banking structure in India by the end of next month which will cover issues such as consolidation of large-sized banks.
Talking to reporters after the function, the Finance Minister said that India deserves a rating upgrade in view of the improvement in the macro-economic situation. Mr Chidambaram said there is nothing to worry as the country's macro-economic position now is much better than what it was in August 2012.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Lokayukta Justice NK Mehrotra indicted 199 persons including the BSP general secretary and ex minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui and former minister Babu Singh Kushwaha. They have been charged with financial irregularities to the tune of 1410 crore rupees in the construction of parks and memorials built during the Mayawati regime. The report named Naseemuddin Siddiqui, the then PWD Minister and Babu Singh Kushwaha, the then Mining minister, indicting them to be at the center of the scam. More from our correspondent.
Where two stalwart ministers of BSP regime - Nasimuddin Siddiqui and Babu Singh Kushwaha have been indicted in the report as main culprits, Lokayukta left the ex Chief Minister Mayawati, as there was no evidence found against her. The 1346 page report details about the misdeeds of two ministers, one sitting MLA, 62 state government engineers, two advocates, 40 other employees of state and 60 representatives of the supply firms. Where main accused Siddiqui is facing several cases of disproportionate assets , Babu Singh Kushwaha, already expelled from BSP, is languishing in the jail in NRHM case. Merajuddin AIR News, Lucknow.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai will hold talks with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi today. Mr Karzai arrived yesterday on a 3-day visit to India. Security, infrastructure development and the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan are likely to figure prominently during their talks.
President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday, conferred an Honorary doctorate to Mr. Karzai at Phagwara in Punjab. Mr. Karzai will also meet Mr. Mukherjee and discuss issues of mutual interest.
Cooperation in counter-terrorism tops the agenda of Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari’s visit to Uzbekistan beginning today. Issues related to Afghanistan and the development projects in the region will also come up during Mr. Ansari's interactions with President Islam Karimov and other leaders during his four-day visit. Ajay Bisaria, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, said that both India and Uzbekistan are deeply concerned about terrorism.
We have very common and pressing concern on terrorism. Both India and Uzbekistan are deeply concerned about the terrorism, which comes from the epicentre between us in our neighbourhood. We have a very robust ongoing dialogue with Uzbekistan on counter-terrorism issues.
Our Correspondent reports that the Vice President’s visit assumes significance against the backdrop of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan next year and the economic reconstruction projects undertaken by New Delhi in the region.
At least 95 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in a series of bomb attacks across Iraq. Baghdad was the worst hit, with several explosions at bus stations and markets in the mainly Shia Muslim districts yesterday. Attacks also occurred in Samarra, north of the capital, and Basra and Hilla further south. It was one of the worst days of violence in recent months as Iraq has seen a rise in attacks linked to growing political and sectarian tension.
In the United States, at least 51 people have been killed after a huge tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburbs. The Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner's Office said, the death toll is likely to rise. About 120 people, including 70 children, are being treated for injuries in hospitals around Moore. The tornado sparked fires, flattened houses and destroyed schools yesterday. Search and rescue efforts are still continuing.
The heat wave sweeping several parts of the country has further intensified with the maximum temperature crossing 45 degree celsius at many places. The Met Department says heat wave conditions are likely to continue for the next few days.
In Rajasthan, Churu remained the hottest place with a sizzling 48.2 degrees Celsius, six notches above normal.
In Madhya Pradesh, most parts of the state continue to reel under a heat wave. Our correspondent reports that the heat wave has claimed three lives in the state so far.
Almost entire state is reeling under heat wave as maximum temperatures are being recorded over 45 degrees mark. In places of north Madhya Pradesh, temperatures have jumped even 46 degrees Khajuraho remained the hottest place in the state as the maximum temperature remained 46.7 degrees. One death each has been reported from Sagar, Tikamgarh and Gwalior due to heat wave. The Met Department has predicted that the heat wave will persist for at least next two days. Shariq Noor, AIR News, Bhopal.
Meanwhile, the Met Department has predicted an early onset of the monsoon over Kerala. It said, the south-west monsoon has covered the entire Andaman Sea and parts of Bay of Bengal.
Sharif Dada Parkar and Zebunisa Kazi, whose convictions in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case have been upheld by the Supreme Court, surrendered before the special TADA court in Mumbai yesterday. Parkar, who is over 80, was brought to the court on a stretcher from a hospital, while 75-year-old Zebunisa, suffering from cancer, came on a wheel-chair. They were slated to surrender on May 17, but failed to give themselves up because of ill-health.
Traders from various districts of Maharashtra have finally agreed to call off their strike against the Local Body Tax. The announcement which was made after a meeting between traders and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in Mumbai last night came as a relief to people. Speaking to media persons, a spokesperson of the traders said that they are satisfied with the assurances given by the government.
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that massive investments by the government in the National Rural Health Mission have resulted in a remarkable reduction in Maternal Mortality Rate, Infant Mortality Rate and Total Fertility Rate in the country. He said, the number of beneficiaries under the innovative Safe Motherhood Scheme has risen from 7 lakh in 2005-2006 to 1.1 crore annually during the last 3 years. Mr Azad was addressing the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva yesterday.
The 22nd Anniversary of the Martyrdom of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is being observed today. It was on this day in 1991 that Rajiv Gandhi fell to the designs of terrorists. President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and other dignitaries paid homage to Rajiv Gandhi at his memorial Vir Bhumi in the national capital. The Martyrdom Day of Rajiv Gandhi is also observed as Anti Terrorism Day.
Today is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The day is observed every year to raise awareness about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion. The theme this year is, 'Do one thing for diversity and inclusion'.
Indian boxers have created history by winning a record haul of 10 medals, including four gold, in the International Boxing Cup held in Limassol, Cyprus. Pugilists, Madan Lal in the 52kg, V. Durga Rao in the 56kg, Mandeep Jangra in the 69kg and Praveen Kumar in the +91kg division won Gold for India, while Manoj Kumar, Dinesh Kumar and Sukhdeep Singh had to be content with Silver medals.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's ongoing India visit and the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta indicting two Ministers of former Chief Minister Mayawati's cabinet for siphoning off funds are lead stories in most papers.
The Times of India writes that the Centre plans to incorporate match fixing and spot fixing as specific criminal offences under the IPC as the current provisions of the IPC are inadequate in the area.
"NRI teen invents 20 sec. phone charger", says the Times of India. The paper adds that the 18 year old Eesha Khare received the Intel foundation young scientist award of 50,000 dollars for developing a fast charging super capacitor that fits inside a cell phone, charges the battery quickly and holds it for long.
In worrying news for life style choices made by us, the Times of India writes "Premature aging of kids sets alarm bells ringing" - Toddlers with greying hair, an eight year old with high blood cholesterol and a pre-adolescent who has the physique of a 20 year old - the signs are ominous and adds that doctors blame obesity and a sedentary life style for this.
"Registration may be must for high end rent deeds", writes Hindustan Times, adding that registration would become mandatory irrespective of the length of the deed. This may force tenants to bear the additional burden of the fees, but they would also benefit as the deed would have evidential value in a court of law, says the paper.
And finally, after a long wait, fans of Ruskin Bond have something to cheer about as the famous author has given his readers another lovely collection of essays titled "A garland of memories", reports the Pioneer.