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President's Address to the Nation on the eve of Republic Day

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0815 HRS



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the UP Investors Summit in Lucknow this morning.
  • CBI detains Rotomac pen promoter Vikram Kothari in a loan default case; Agency  arrests Vipul Ambani and four senior executives of Nirav Modi's Firestar International in the PNB fraud case.
  • Police detains AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal for assaulting Delhi Chief secretary.
  • Cabinet gives approval for creation of National Urban Housing Fund of 60 thousand crore rupees.
  • In Sports, Saweety Boora  and Meena Kumar Devi enter semifinals of Strandja Memorial Boxing in Sofia Bulgaria.
  • And, In a crucial T-20 International, Indian women face South Africa in Centurion today.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the UP Investors Summit in Lucknow today. The mega event, organised by the Yogi Adityanath government, is aimed at showcasing investment opportunities and potential across various sectors in Uttar Pradesh. The Summit will bring together head of states and governments, ministers, leaders from the corporate world, senior policy makers, heads of international institutions and academicians from around the world. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that more than 700 MoUs have already been finalised ahead of the Summit.

"सात सौ से अधिक एमओयूएस अब तक फाइनलाइज हो चुके हैं। व्यापक पैमाने पर यहां पर निवेश होने जा रहा है। 22 के बाद हमारे दो टीमे काम करेंगे। एक वन डिस्टिक वन प्रोडक्ट की योजना को बेहतर तरीके से उसका प्रस्तुतिकरण उसको ले जाना है और दूसरा, जो यहां पर एमओयूएस होंगे इनवेस्टर समिट में उसको फॉलोअप करना और उसके माध्यम से निवेश को सत-प्रतिशत प्रदेश के अंदर लागू करना।"

Our correspondent has filed this report:

"More than 7,000 delegates are scheduled to attend the summit and over 100 speakers will be addressing gatherings. Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitaraman, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Zubin Irani, Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan, among others, will attend the two-day event. President Ram Nath Kovind will address the valedictory function on the second day. Representatives from Mauritius, Japan, the Netherlands, Finland, Czech Republic, Thailand and Slovakia will also participate in the event. Uttar Pradesh government has formulated industrial policy to attract investment after reviewing policies of various states. The focus of the summit will be on the key sectors like farming, dairy, information technology, civil aviation, tourism, electronics, MSME, and renewable energy that will get investment, apart from that sectors like logistics, textiles and garments will also get investment. The goal is to create 10 lakh jobs in next five years and to develop under-developed regions. Sushil Chand Tiwari, AIR NEWS, Lucknow."


 The Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI has detained Kanpur based Rotomac pen promoter Vikram Kothari in connection with an over 3600 crore rupee loan default case. The agency has lodged a case on a complaint from Bank of Baroda against Kothari, his family members and three Directors from the company.

We have a detailed report:-

"Kothari families’ bank details, property documents, pen drives, laptops have been seized by the investigative agency along with their passports. Searches were conducted for two days at the residential and official premises of the accused at Kanpur. Investigation is still continuing and investigating agency opened lockers at different banks of Kothari family in the presence of his wife yesterday. Enforcement Directorate has also lodged a case of money laundering against Kothari. A team of ED has also assessed documents and records seized from his Tilak Nagar residence. Sunil Shukla, AIR News, Gorakhpur."

 In an another development the Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI, has arrested Vipul Ambani and four other senior executives of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi's companies in Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. On Monday, agency had questioned Vipul Ambani who is the chief financial officer of Nirav Modi's Firestar International. The other arrested persons are Kavita Mankikar, who is the authorised signatory of three accused persons, senior executive of firestar Arjun Patil, CFO of Nakshatra and Gitanjali group Kapil Khandelwal and Manager of Gitanjali group Niten Shahi.

Meanwhile, a special CBI court in Mumbai has sent three officials of the PNB to police custody till 3rd of next month. The officials, Bechhu Tiwari, Yashwant Joshi and Praful Sawant, working with Brady House branch of the bank in Mumbai, were arrested on Monday in connection with over 11 thousand crore rupee PNB scam.

The Reserve Bank of India, RBI, has set up a committee to look into the factors leading to increasing incidents of bank frauds. It will be headed by RBI board member Y H Malegam, who is also a former president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. The committee will also look into reasons for high divergence in NPA classification and provisioning by banks.

The move comes a week after Punjab National Bank said it has fallen victim to over 11 thousand crore rupee fraud, at the centre of which is billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi.

In a statement, RBI said it had alerted banks thrice on potential malicious use of SWIFT infrastructure since August 2016, advising them to implement the safeguards detailed in the RBI’s communications, for pre-empting such occurrences. The statement further said that banks have, however, been at varying levels in implementation of such measures. SWIFT (Society For Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is an infrastructure to provide secure financial messaging services across the globe.


Delhi Police last night detained AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal for allegedly assaulting Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence. Police said, Jarwal was sitting on the left of the chief secretary while MLA Amanatullah Khan was on the other side. Two had started the attack by raining blows on Mr Prakash. More from our correspondent.

"Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash yesterday filed an FIR against Amanatullah Khan and others for manhandling him, during a meeting at the chief minister's home on Monday night. Delhi Police registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to wrongful restraint, criminal intimidation, causing hurt, criminal conspiracy, insult and obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty. Jarwal was not named in the FIR and was identified through a photograph shown to the chief secretary. Police said, Amanatullah has gone underground and a hunt is on to nab him. Meanwhile, Home Ministry yesterday sought a report from Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on the issue. With Shashank Kumar, Report, Sanjeev Jasrotia, AIR News Delhi."


The Cabinet has given its approval for creation of National Urban Housing Fund of 60 thousand crore rupees. The fund will be situated in the Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The approval will facilitate raising requisite funds in the next four years so that flow of Central Assistance under different verticals is sustained and construction of houses to address the gap in the Urban Sector progresses smoothly. The Ministry has so far sanctioned 39.4 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

There has been a very good response from the States and nearly 2 to 3 lakh houses are being sanctioned every month.


Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu has emphasised that special and differential treatment remain a critical aspect of the WTO's framework and that this is non-negotiable for India. Addressing a brainstorming meeting on WTO in New Delhi, Mr Prabhu said, while some of the new issues being raised by other countries may also be of relevance to India but existing issues such as agriculture and livelihood issues areextremely important for the country. He emphasised the critical importance of the WTO and drew attention to the Prime Minister's remarks at Davos on the importance of multilateralism.


In Uttar Pradesh, ruling BJP MLA from Noorpur in Bijnore district Lokendra Chauhan died this morning in a road accident. Police sources told AIR that two of his security personnel were also killed in the accident. The accident happened when his car was hit by a speeding truck on national highway 24 in Sitapur district. He was on the way to Bijnore from Lucknow.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Mumbai said that ties between his country and India will not move ahead only on the political front and that there there are so many different ways both nations can engage themselves. On a day-long visit to Mumbai yesterday, he said the close ties between India and Canada and the incredible opportunities is what this trip is about. He said it is not a trip for handshakes and photo-ops.


Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said that his government will finalize a new economic program for the country by next week. Chairing a meeting of the National Economic Council, Mr. Sirisena had detailed discussions on the rapid changes required in the country and the short term and long term programmes needed to speed up economic development. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, senior ministers and officials were present at the meeting.

The Council was appointed by President Sirisena last year to take policy decisions for economic development.

"The decision to formulate a new economic program is a sequel to ongoing tensions between the two constitutional authorities in Sri Lanka. Earlier, Prime minister Ranil was chairing cabinet committee on economic management which took all crucial economic decisions. President Sirisena former NEC few months back to take over economic decision-making. The rivalry has further intensified after local body polls this month where parties of both leaders fared badly. President Sirisena suggested Ranil to take responsibility for the defeat and step down but latter refused. Sri Lankan President has sought Supreme court opinion on whether he can remove a government or not. Santosh Kumar, AIR News, Colombo."


And now news from the world of sports:-

Former world silver-medallist Saweety Boora and Meena Kumar Devi assured themselves of medals by entering the semifinals at the 69th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. Meena defeated Italian Giulia Lamagna in 54 kg category to make the last-four stage and Saweety, outpunched American Leah Cooper in her quarterfinal bout in 75 kg category. In women's cricket, Indian eves are on the brink of history when they face South Africa in the fourth Twenty20 International match at SuperSport Park in Centurion today. A win in Centurion would give India an unassailable 3-1 series lead, making it the first time that India women have won two series on a single tour of South Africa. India had clinched the three-match ODI series 2-1, and will now look to wrap up the T20 International series. And in Men's cricket, the second Twenty20 International of 3-match series between India and South Africa will be played at SuperSport Park in Centurion today. The match will start at 9:30 PM Indian time. India lead the series 1-0 after they won at Johannesburg by 28 runs. Abhishek Kumar, Sports Desk."



  • The flash point in the Delhi Government after state Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was assaulted by a few AAP MLAs during a meeting at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence, is the prominent headline in today's newspaper.  The Indian Express headline reads "Crisis in Delhi: Chief Secretary alleges assault by AAP MLAs at midnight meeting, party files complaint against him".  Hindustan Times reports that the incident occurred as he refused to comply with their demands of releasing certain TV adds.  The Times of India headlines "Secretariat turns into battlefield".
  • Breaking his silence over the 11,400 crore rupee PNB-Nirav Modi fraud, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday blamed lack of ethics in a section of business, auditors and bank management for the challenge being faced by the banking system, writes The Tribune.  Hindustan Times reports that Nirav Modi has written to his staff "Look for jobs, I can't pay you".
  • The Times of India writes "Nobody knows whether Nirav Modi will ever repay the multi-million rupee loan he took from PNB, but a car loan of 5,000 rupees taken by former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri from the same bank - was repaid after his sudden death by his widow Lalita from her pension, according to son Anil Shastri".
  • "Maldives on a collusion course with India" is a Hindu headline.  The Maldives Parliament or Majlis has cleared an extension of the current state of emergency by 30 days, defying India's message asking it not to extend the state of emergency.
  • "Unique numbers to track children" writes Hindustan Times on its front-page.  The government plans to give children born India unique numbers, which will be used to track the holistic development of children in education, health and jobs without biometric capture involved.  The database will track the child from birth till the child gets employment.


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