DD/AIR News

  • The Speaker, for the first time in Sri Lanka’s history entered the floor of the House protected behind dozens of police officials as MPs from Rajapaksa side disrupted the house and delayed the proceedings.  The session was delayed for over 30 minutes as government MPs  had begun a protest surrounding the Speaker’s chair and a MP occupying the Speaker’s seat.  They had begun the protest, calling for the immediate arrest of two MPs from the United National Party (UNP) , for bringing in knives into the Parliament a day earlier. President Maithripala Sirisena, issuing a statement on his official Twitter account urged all parliamentarians to uphold the principles of democracy and parliamentary traditions at all times.He also said he will not prorogue Parliament under any circumstances. Ousted Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said they have the majority and can form government. He also termed Friday’s events as not merely a disruption of the House, but an attempt to destroy parliamentary democracy.   

  • He conferred the National awards for excellence in journalism for 2018 including the prestigious Raja Ram Mohan Roy award to eminent journalist N Ram and journalist Rubi Sarkar.  While addressing, the Minister said that there are challanges in Media industry. He stressed on the need of retaining credibility in the media sector.  The minister added that the the media is free to express its views to the viewers.  

  • Section 144 has been in place from Nov 15 midnight for 7 days in Sanni-dhanam Pampa and Ilavunkal Nilackal. 

  • Prime Minister is the highest ranking leader attending the ceremony and will be accompanied by a high level delegation including National security adviser and Foreign secretary.  He will also have bilateral talks with Solih after the swearing in ceremony and return to New Delhi late evening.  This is the first visit of PM Modi to Maldives and marks the beginning of a new chapter in Indo- Maldives relations.  The ties between the two countries were strained during the regime of outgoing President Abdulla Yameen and this will be the first high level visit in last three years.  The visit is expected to give a new momentum to bilateral relations under the new government and Solih is likely to visit India in near future.  The smooth transfer of power will mark the restoration of democracy in Maldives as well as a major diplomatic boost for India. An understanding may be reached during Modi’s visit to expedite the existing Indian projects and bring new investments in the country.   The outgoing government had delayed a number of Indian projects, including a training academy for the Maldivian police and setting up of a coastal radar surveillance system. Indo-Maldivian defence partnership is  likely to be expanded to cover various areas in the maritime sector .

  • Chasing a modest 146-run target, Ireland, who lost wickets at regular intervals, could all manage 93/8 in the stipulated 20 overs as Deepti Sharma got 2 fo 15 in 3 overs. Radha Yadav picked 3/25 in 4 overs. Earlier, batting first, India scored 145 for six with Mithali Raj scoring 51 off 56 balls and Smriti Mandhana supporting with 33 off 29 balls.

  • Overall imports in April-October 2018-19* are estimated to be USD 374.88 Billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 18.88 per cent over the same period last year. Exports in merchandise trade in October 2018 were US $ 26.98 Billion, as compared to US $ 22.89 Billion in October 2017, exhibiting a positive growth of 17.86 per cent. Exports in Trade in services for September 2018 were US $ 16.38 Billion registering a negative growth of 0.88%.

  • Earlier the opposition parties had demanded putting off the implementation of the apex court order till January 22, when review petitions against the verdict are slated to come up for hearing. Rejecting that demand, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan pointed out that since the court had not stayed its September 28 verdict, there was no other option but to allow women in the age group of 10-50 years to enter during the upcoming pilgrim season. No consensus emerged at the nearly three-hour long meeting. Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front and the BJP staged a walkout at the fag end of the crucial parleys, convened two days ahead of the temple's opening on November 17 for the two-month long pilgrim season. Frenzied protests by devotees and various outfit activists had prevented women in the 10-50 age group from entering the temple, when it had opened twice since last month after the apex court order.  

  • The meeting took place at the Presidential Secretariat late in the evening on Thursday. United National Party (UNP) Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake said that an agreement was reached to resolve the crisis by holding vote of confidence on Friday.  The President reportedly assured at the meeting that he will address the issue in Parliament and resolve it over the next few days. Earlier, Parliament was disrupted today due to clashes between two sides led by new Prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and ousted PM Ranil Wickremsinghe. 

  • With campaigning in full swing in the five poll bound states, leaders across party lines are addressing rallies across the length and breadth of the political battleground. Campaigning for the second phase of Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh is reaching a crescendo. On Thursday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed rallies for BJP candidates in Chhattisgarh. In Madhya Pradesh senior leaders of both the BJP and the Congress have been addressing rallies across the state, urging the voters to support them. In Madhya Pradesh 536 candidates have withdrawn from the race leaving a total of 2,932 candidates in the fray for the 230 assembly seats. In Rajasthan, Parties are still finalising candidates names before the deadline of November 19. BJP released the second list of 31 candidates on Wednesday, following the 131 names released in the first list, making a total of 162 candidates so far. But the Congress has been slow off the blocks, having not released a list of any candidate so far. The party says the list will be released soon. Elections to the 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan will be hld on December 7. In Mizoram, Election Commission has appointed IAS Officer Ashish Kundra as the Chief Electoral Officer of the state in place of SB Shashank. Kundra has been appointed with immediate effect on the advice of Mizoram Government. Filing of nominations also continues in full swing for the Telangana polls which will take place on December 7 along with Rajasthan. PM Modi will also join the campaign on the electoral battlefield, by addressing rallies in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh on Friday.

  • Addressing the 25th World Congress of Savings and Retail Banks in New Delhi, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reiterated that financial inclusion remians at the very core of NDA government policies since 2014. He stressed that an aspirational society cannot wait indefinitely for the benefits of growth to improve the quality of life of the poor and added that a high rate of growth is necessary to alleviate poverty and ensure that benefits of development reach the poor. He admitted that the penetration effect of growth will certainly take place but it will be a slow process. He said the ultimate objective was to bank the unbanked, secure the unsecured, fund the unfunded and service the unserviced areas Finance Minister Jailtey said that centre started a massive drive and opened 33 crore accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana in a few months. Centre opened zero balance accounts. To further incentivise operational accounts an overdraft facility was also provided. Further the government offered insurance at very affordable premium as part of the social security. A total of 14.1 crore people are enrolled under accident insurance while 5.5 crore have availed life insurance under the scheme. For funding the unfunded, the government introduced the Mudra scheme where women account for 54 per cent of the beneficiaries. The Finance Minister said a new taxation regime is in place for the informal sector to ensure a better life for the marginalised sections of society. He said that to formalise the economy, the government demonetised high value currency. He also talked about the tax reforms adding that the tax system became completely online and brought many activities into the formal system. He said the goal of financial inclusion of every Indian citizen will be achieved by this year-end.   

  • Cyclonic storm Gaja has led to heavy and heavy rainfall with gale force winds in the Southern coasts of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry , Kerala, Rayalseema, South Karnataka,and South coastal Andhra Pradesh. The administration here is on high alert. Four teams each of the National and state Disaster Response forces have been kept on standby along the Nagappattinam coast. The Indian Navy is also on alert with two ships Ranveeer and Khanjar for rescue work. The Navy is in constant touch with the state authorities for any emergency. In Himachal Pradesh, temperatures fell as fresh snowfall was recorded in Lahaul Spitti, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kullu. Rainfall in many areas caused temperatures to dip below zero in other areas. Tourist spots Manali and Kalpa experienced the first snow of the season making even farmers happy as the weather is conducive to sowing of the Rabi crop in hilly areas. The Met department has forecast dry weather for the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, a cold wave is sweeping across Jammu and Kashmir, Fresh snowfall in the Pir Panjal has led to a cold weather in the plains. The Mughal Road is blocked causing severe problems to commuters. Delhi-NCR experienced heavy rains during the night reducing pollution levels. In Delhi, only two areas recorded 'very poor' pollution levels while 26 spots in the city recorded pollution levels one notch lower of 'very poor'. Air Quality was recorded as 237 on Thursday which falls in the 'poor' category.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterating India's vision of a peaceful, open and inclusive Indo Pacific region at the 13th East Asia Summit in Singapore. Prime Minister called for strengthening of maritime cooperation and a commitment to a balanced RCEP. East Asia Summit has been formed to further the objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity. India, Russia, USA, Japan, Australia, China and Republic of Korea are among the 18 members. As a result, the forum plays an important role in the regional architecture. The 13th summit had a special focus on cooperation in Cyber security and smart cities. The Leaders pledged to Promote an open, secure, stable, accessible, and peaceful ICT environment while upholding States' sovereignty and protecting human rights.   East Asia Member countries agreed to promote sustainable economic growth and prosperity and address the digital divide and development gap, by supporting digital economy initiatives Addressing the Singapore Fintech Festival on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken of the challenges in the field that could be overcome only by concerted co-operation. “The emerging world of finance will succeed in our inter-connected world when our data and systems are trusted and secure.  Finally, we must invest in creating skills for the future. And, be prepared to back ideas and invest for the long term,” Prime Minister said. This thought found a relection in the outcome of the East Asia Summit. The Leaders statement laid emphasis on investment and innovation, entrepreneurship, assisting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to utilise ICTs and participate in the digital economy and building synergies to complement the ASEAN Smart Cities Network Initiative The last day of Prime Minister Modi's visit began with an informal India- ASEAN breakfast meeting. Prime Minister Modi said that it is necessary that India and ASEAN move forward to cement old bonds and move towards a glorious future. Prime Minister reiterated that ties of India with ASEAN countries are growing strong and are contributing to a peaceful and prosperous planet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also met & felicitated the winning teams of India Singapore Hackathon and NCC cadets in Singapore. The Hackathon was agreed to during in June when PM Modi visited Singapore. NTU in Singapore & AICTE in India conducted the hackathon that included solving 8 problem statements  

  • On the occasion, Indian Ambassador Puri said handicrafts binds India and Nepal and their societies together. He also said handicraft is developing in Nepal not only by keeping traditional ethos and values but also going to new areas.   The five-day fair is organised by the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN) and Government of Nepal.  Various handicraft products, arts & crafts, gift and decorative articles and potteries have been showcased on more than 200 stalls.  The main objective of the fair is to promote handicrafts and provide a common platform to local exporters and producers and foreign buyers and sellers of handicrafts. 

  • Issues like cooperation in financial technology, enhanced connectivity and regional economic integration, came up for discussion during the meeting. Both leaders discussed the recent review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between India and Singapore. The Prime Minister also met Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The two leaders discussed ways to deepen ties in trade & investment, defence & security and other areas of bilateral cooperation. Furthering India's Act East policy, Prime Minister Modi also held deliberations with Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha.  

  • He said that Market Access Negotiations on goods are on track but same negotiations need to be done on services as well. Prime Minister Modi pitched for Early Conclusion by fast tracking the meetings. He added that RCEP should be modern, comprehensive, mutually beneficial and balanced. Earlier, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong in his opening remark in Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summit reaffirmed the commitment of ASEAN leaders in creating a multilateral trading system. Prime Minster of Singapore said that substanial progress in negotiations have been made this year and the conclusion of RCEP will send a clear signal of commitment to multilateral trade.

  • It will run till the 27th of November. The main theme is - Rural Enterprises in India. Eight hundred domestic and foreign companies are participating in the trade fair which will showcase their products. Entrepreneurs from South Africa, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Iran, and Myanmar are participating in the fair. Afghanistan is the partner country, while Nepal is the focus country. The fair was inaugurated by Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma. Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, CR Chaudhary, was present on the occasion.  

  • The 3423 kg satellite carries Ka and Ku band high throughput transponders, which will provide communication services to remote places in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir. Congratulating ISRO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted... 'My heartiest congratulations to our scientists on the successful launch of GSLV MK III-D2 carrying GSAT-29 satellite. The double success sets a new record of putting the heaviest satellite in orbit by an Indian launch vehicle. @isro' ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Sivan said that the successful launch would further strengthen the Digital India initiative. The launch vehicle GSLV Mark III D2 placed the satellite  in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, a little over 16 minutes after the lift off  at 1708 hrs on Wednesday. The satellite will be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit using the onboard propulsion system within the next few days after separation from launcher to reach the orbital slot. The satellite is equipped with a high resolution camera and optical communication payloads. The launch marked the second successful developmental flight for GSLV Mark III, designed to carry 4 ton class satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The first developmental flight of the launch vehicle was on 5th June last year, when it successfully placed GSAT 19 in orbit. The success will enable the launch vehicle to be deployed for Chandrayan 2 and India's first manned mission to space.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs has recommended convening of the Winter Session from December 11 to January 8 and would have 20 working days. The centre has sought support and cooperation of all parties for the smooth functioning of Parliament during the session. Triple Talaq bill among other legislations to be on government's agenda in the session.  

  • He said EPG has prepared report according to needs of the two countries and to redesign and redefine bilateral relations. Talking to media persons in Kathmandu Wednesday evening, Gyawali said it is a personal initiation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepalese Prime Minister K.P.Sharma Oli. He said, EPG report is not made public due to busy schedule of both the prime ministers. EPG was a joint mechanism consisting experts and intellectuals from India and Nepal. It was set up in February 2016 to make suggestions for updating all existing bilateral treaties and agreements between both the countries. The group completed its two year term in July this year.

  • President Maithripala Sirsena met MPs and group supporting Rajapaksa in the evening and will meet minority parties to discuss the situation.  Speaker earlier sent a copy of the no-confidence motion and its decision along with signatures of 122 MPs to President requesting him to take appropriate action. The motion declared that the appointment of the new Prime Minister and cabinet by the President was against the constitution.  Ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe addressing a press conference called upon government servants and police not to carry out illegal government not recognized by Parliament. His party has called for a mass protest in capital Colombo tomorrow saying it will send a message to President to stop his arbitrary and unconstitutional act.   However, the MPs belonging to new government termed the vote as illegal claiming that speaker is biased and demanded for President's intervention. A spokesman for Rajapaksa government admitted they lacked a majority in parliament but claimed their opponents also did not have the numbers. He asserted that the government will continue. Sri Lanka has been facing political crisis since President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as new Prime minister replacing Ranil Wickremsinghe last month. He followed it with prorogation of Parliament and finally with dissolution. However, Supreme Court stayed the dissolution making way for parliament to be convened. 

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