DD/AIR News

  • In a statement, prior to his departure to USA,  Prime Minister has said: --- I am visiting the United States of America from 21 to 27 September 2019.  --- I will visit Houston and, thereafter, New York to attend the High Level Segment of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. --- In Houston, I will interact with CEOs of leading energy companies in the US with the aim to enhance India-US energy partnership.  --- In Houston, I look forward to my meeting with and address to the Indian-American community. ---- It is a matter of great honour for the Indian diaspora and pleasure for me that President of the United States Mr. Donald Trump will race the occasion with his presence and join me in addressing the community.  --- Through my participation in UN events, I will showcase our success in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.  --- At the Climate Action Summit on 23rd September, I will highlight India's robust action to address climate change in line with global goals and our international commitments. --- India will also host at the UN an event to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, which will underline the continuing relevance of Gandhian thoughts and values in today's world. ---I look forward to meeting President Trump in Houston and New York in a span of a few days.  ---We will review our bilateral relations in order to bring even more benefits to our two nations and peoples. ---I am confident that my visit would present India as a vibrant land of opportunities, a reliable partner and a global leader, and will also help impart new energy to our relations with the US.  

  • GST council unanimously decided to reduce GST rates on marine fuels, stone grinders, tamarind, cut and polished semi-precious stones, petro products under HELP. This was disclosed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to the media in Goa. GST rate hiked on railway wagon, coaches from 5% to 12%. GST hiked on caffeinated beverages to 18% plus 12% cess from current 18%.  

  • Second seeded Panghal prevailed 3-2 against Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in the last-four stage. But Commonwealth Games silver-winner Kaushik, competing in his debut world championship, lost 0-5 to top-seeded Cuban Andy Gomez Cruz, a gold-medallist from the previous edition besides being the reigning Pan-American Games champion. “The bout went very well for me although I had to put in more effort than I had thought. It is a huge achievement for Indian boxing and I am thankful for all the support that I have got,” Panghal said after the triumph. On Saturday, Panghal will take on Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov, the reigning Olympic champion. Zoirov defeated Frenchman Billal Bennama in his semifinal showdown. Before this, India had never won more than one bronze medal in a single edition of the world championships but Panghal and Kaushik changed that by making the semifinals. The past Indian medal-winners at the world meet are Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011), Shiva Thapa (2015) and Gaurav Bidhuri (2017). “I am going to push hard for a gold,” said Panghal. His trademark pace and ability to adapt coming in handy, Panghal outmaneuvered the taller Kazakh, who came into the semis after upstaging reigning European gold-medallist Artur Hovhannisyan of Armenia in the quarterfinals. The diminutive Armyman from Rohtak was more accurate, put more power into his punches and was sharp defensively against the Kazakh. This was after Panghal spent most of the first round getting a measure of his rival. Bibossinov was no pushover either and tried his level best to cash in on the height advantage but the Indian kept him at a distance to ensure that most of the Kazakh’s attacks either didn’t connect or lacked in impact. Panghal’s rise has been nothing short of spectacular in Indian boxing ever since he claimed a 49kg category bronze in the 2017 Asian Championships. He was a quarterfinalist at the world championship on debut in the same year, went on to win consecutive gold medals at the prestigious Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria, before becoming the Asian Games champion in 2018. This year, he already has the Asian Championships gold to his credit after moving to the 52kg category following the dropping of 49kg from the Olympic roster to accommodate more women’s divisions in the 2020 Tokyo Games. In the other semifinal bout featuring an Indian, Kaushik struggled to keep up with the Cuban, whose counter-attacking game was simply outstanding. Kaushik did get a few body punches through but couldn’t fend off the counter-strikes that came his way in all the three rounds. “I gave it my all but I guess there are a few things lacking in my game, which I will try to improve on. I will work harder and deliver better results in the coming tournaments,” Kaushik said.  

  • Amit Shah was speaking after launching Chandigarh Police's e-BEAT system and Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) here. Under the system, Chandigarh residents will be able to dial a single number, '112', for all emergency services. At the outset Shah, who was in Chandigarh to chair the 29th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council, lauded the initiative of the Chandigarh administration. "Sometimes small experiments take place in small corners of the country which later on give birth to big successes," he said. "As a former home minister of a state and now as the Union home minister, I have been saying that beat system should be strengthened and given importance," he added. Shah said some newly recruited IPS officers may not know about the importance of the beat system, but it was the most important tool to maintain law and order effectively. "May be we are from old school of thought but till the time beat system is not active, law and order cannot be in good shape," he said. Shah said a police beat system has information about various problems in the area but rued that it is "slowly fading away". He said Chandigarh has not only tried to keep the beat system going, but also gave it a modern touch while equipping it with technological aids. "Now, there is a need to give the police an image makeover and this can be done when we accept technology. Gone are the days when police were identified as a 'lathi' wielding force which talked to citizens in a harsh and angry tone," said Shah. As far as connecting police stations with computers and linking them with offices of SP, Commissioner's office goes, a lot of progress has happened in this field in our country, he said. Advisor to UT Administrator, Manoj Parida too spoke on the occasion and lauded the role played by the traffic police. "Chandigarh has a population of 12 lakh, but the number of vehicles including two wheeler is 15 lakh, which is the main cause of pollution. It also leads to traffic congestion but our traffic police has great reputation of managing it effectively," said Parida.

  • In a major fiscal booster, the government on Friday slashed effective corporate tax to 25.17 per cent inclusive of all cess and surcharges for domestic companies.  Making the announcement, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the changes in the Income Tax Act and Finance Act will be made effective through an ordinance. This is being done to promote investment and growth. In effect, the corporate tax rate will be 22 % for domestic companies, if they do not avail any incentive or concession. The minister also said companies opting for 22 % income tax slab would not have to pay minimum alternative tax. Sitharaman further said, new domestic manufacturing companies incorporated after October 1, can pay income tax at a rate of 15 % without any incentives. Meaning, effective tax rate for new manufacturing companies will be 17.01 % inclusive of all surcharge and cess.   The government has also decided to not levy enhanced surcharge introduced in Budget on capital gain arising from sale of equity shares in a company liable for securities transaction tax. Also, the super-rich tax will not to apply on capital gains arising from sale of any security including derivatives in hands of foreign portfolio investors. In another relief, the listed companies which have announced buyback of shares prior to July 5, will not be charged with super rich tax. The Finance Minister while talking about the amendments introduced in the Income Tax Act said, with these amendments, tax rate in India will be one of the lowest and will become at par with most of the economically developing Asian and south-east Asian countries. Sitharaman expressed confidence that the tax concessions will bring investments in Make in India, boost employment and economic activity, leading to more revenue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed as historic the cut in corporate tax rates and asserted that economic announcements made in the last few weeks show that his government is leaving no stone unturned to make India a better place to do business.  In a Tweet the PM said "The step to cut corporate tax is historic. It will give a great stimulus to #MakeInIndia, attract private investment from across the globe, improve competitiveness of our private sector, create more jobs and result in a win-win for 130 crore Indians".

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Mongolian President on Friday jointly unveiled a statue of Lord Buddha at Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar through video-conferencing in New Delhi.  PM Modi had offered prayers at the Gandan Tegchenling Monastery during his visit to Mongolia in 2015 and had announced to gift a statue of Lord Buddha to the monastery, underlining the common Buddhist heritage and civilizational links between the two countries and peoples. The statue is a symbol of India-Mongolia spiritual partnership and shared Buddhist heritage. Earlier, Mongolian President held in-depth discussions on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues with Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi. The two countries would review ongoing cooperation in fields of infrastructure, energy, disaster management, defence, security, culture, and capacity building. Mongolian President also laid wreath at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. Battulga is on a five-day visit to India with an aim to intensify bilateral ties between the two countries. First up in the morning, President Ramnath Kovind extended a grand ceremonial welcome to his Mongolian counterpart. 

  • Ochir started strong, taking two points in the first 15 seconds and then four more with a chest throw. Bajrang responded with a counter and earned two points and at the end of the first period, the score was 6-2 in the Mongolian''s favour. However, Bajrang came out all guns blazing in the second period. He managed to get Ochir with a leg shot and collected six successive points to lead 8-6. Ochir got another point for step out but that was all he could manage. This is Bajrang''s second consecutive World Championship medal after his silver at Budapest 2018. This is also his third medal at the senior World''s with his first coming in 2013. Bajrang had earlier sealed a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by qualifying for the bronze medal bout.

  • The Supreme Court said it has received a report from the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court and claims that people are unable to access the court there are not supported.  The bench had then sought a report from the chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir. During the hearing, the Apex court directed the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to file a report before it within a week on the issue.

  • Former Union Minister Swami Chinmayanand, accused of rape by a law student has been sent to 14 days judicial custody by the court. He was arrested by the special investigation team of Uttar Pradesh police from Shahjahanpur.  The woman, who is a postgraduate student at one of the colleges run by Chinmayanand's organisation, has alleged that she was raped and physically exploited for a year by the former Union Minister.  The case is being investigated by the SIT set up by Uttar Pradesh police on the directions of the Supreme Court. The student had earlier threatened self-immolation if the police do not arrest him.  Police has registered a case of criminal intimidation and abduction against Chinmayanand on a complaint lodged by the woman's father.  The SIT has also examined the principals of the two colleges where the woman studied in recent years.

  • Near-complete official results today confirmed a deadlock in Israel's general election this week, putting Benny Gantz's party as the largest but without an obvious path to form a majority coalition.  The results from Israel's election committee showed Gantz's centrist Blue and White with 33 seats out of 120 and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud with 31.  Final results will be published on Wednesday, it said, and there could be changes before then. The committee said the results did not include 14 polling stations where verifications were still ongoing.  Israeli media said that meant 99.8 percent of the votes had been counted.  The results have put Netanyahu's long tenure in office at risk.  On Thursday, he acknowledged the results did not allow him to form a right-wing coalition as he hoped and instead called on Gantz to form a unity government with him. Gantz responded by saying he would have to be Prime Minister in a unity government since Blue and White was the largest party.

  • Later in a tweet, Babul Supriyo said  that Governor spoke to the VC of JadavpurUniversity and indicated to him that it was improper for him not to have taken prompt steps in the matter, that can lead to unwholesome results. This is a very serious reflection on the law and order of the state.   

  • BMC also said that there was no report of any leakage from Mahanagar Gas. BMC further stated that teams have been sent out to locate the source of any gas leak. There are no reports of any injury or casualty.

  • At a press conference after meeting PSU bank heads, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that banks have been asked not to declare any stressed MSME loan as non-performing assets till March 31. Idea behind holding the meetings  is to ensure maximum credit disbursal during the festive season. Diwali, which falls in October this year, is considered as the biggest shopping season of the country. During the public meetings, credit will be provided for retail, agriculture, MSME and housing sector, among others.

  • He gave important information about the agenda of UNGA and Prime Minister's address at UNGA. He said that India's stand on J&K is very clear. Entire world is with India on this issue and Pakistan would face major embarrassment if it raises the issue. India would also stress on joint efforts to fight against terrorism at global level.Akbaruddin also gave details about major issues to be highlighted at UNGA.

  • This came even when Pakistan had claimed support of more than 50 countries, badly exposing Pakistan's isolation in international community.India's first secretary in the permanent mission at the UNHRC, Kumam Mini Devi lashed out at Pakistan over its human rights record. She said all the decisions of India on Jammu and Kashmir are totally internal issues and Pakistan is trying to mis-represent the fact. She also said that Pakistan has a dismal record of Human Rights against its own people of Balochistan, Sindh and its occupied Kashmir.

  • Pakistan on Thursday faced a major embarrassment over its stand on Jammu and Kashmir; It’s attempts at pushing through a resolution in UNHRC against India with regards to alleged human rights violation in Kashmir fell flat with Pakistan did not getting support of even one country. This when Pakistan had claimed support of more than 50 countries. This has badly exposed Pakistan's isolation in international community. India's first secretary in the permanent mission at the UNHRC, Kumam Mini Devi lashed out at Pakistan over its human rights record. She said all the decisions of India on Jammu and Kashmir are totally internal issues and Pakistan is trying to misrepresent the fact. She also said that Pakistan has a dismal record of Human Rights against its own people of Balochistan, Sindh and its occupied Kashmir.  

  • While addressing the media in New Delhi Foreign Secretary outlined the key pillars of PM Narendra Modi's Visit to United States and his itinerary there. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale  said that Bill  and Melinda Gates Foundation's 'Global Goalkeeper's Award' is given every year to a world leader for achievement in a specific sustainable development goal. He said that Gates Foundation is honouring PM for his leadership in field of sanitation through Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Foreign Secretary said that trade issue will figure in the talks of PM Modi and President Trump. He said that India expects positive movement as far as trade is concerned.

  • Hasan Mahmud, Minister for Information, Government of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest of the event. Speaking at the occasion, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh  Riva Ganguly Das said such programmes contributed in strengthening the capacity of officials of Bangladesh working in various Ministries and Departments. Over 4,000 young Bangladeshi professionals have undergone specialized short and medium term courses in India under the ITEC programme since 2007. ITEC offers opportunities to participants to avail of short and medium term courses in premier institutions like IITs and IISCs in India. It was instituted in 1964 as part of India’s Development Assistance offering for developing countries. Every year more than 10,000 training slots are offered to 161 partner countries for training courses in various areas like Accounts, Audit, Management, SME, Rural Development, Parliamentary Affairs, etc.

  • The trials, held between Monday and Thursday, were conducted by Indian Air Force (IAF), simulating all possible threat scenarios, an official statement said on Thursday. "The five trials conducted during this period tested missiles in different configurations. During the campaign, three missiles were launched in combat configuration, with warhead and manoeuvring targets being neutralised to establish the end game capability of the missile," it said. "The trial campaign also included a direct hit of the target by the telemetered missile at maximum range. All subsystems performed accurately, meeting all the mission parameters and objectives," the statement said. Astra BVRAAM has a strike range of more than 100 km with modern guidance and navigation techniques. The missile, developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has midcourse guidance and radio frequency seeker- based terminal guidance to achieve target destruction with pin point accuracy, it said. "The effort for building a state-of-the-art BVRAAM by DRDO, together with IAF has completed the user trial phase of the weapon system successfully," it said. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration. More than 50 public and private industries have contributed in building the Astra weapon system. "The present flight trials have proved the end-to-end performance of the missile system in various combat scenarios, giving greater confidence to users. "The five successful trials of Astra will culminate into induction of the missile system into Indian Air Force, which will certainly be a force multiplier considering its accuracy and effectiveness in neutralising aerial threats," the statement maintained. G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO, congratulated team 'Astra' for developing and flight testing such a formidable class of weapon system. The technologies developed under the programme will be the building blocks for development of future variants of Air-to-Air and Surface-to-Air Missiles. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has also congratulated the DRDO and IAF teams for the successful trials, the statement added. 

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri attended the meeting. "I am not in a position to make any announcement. Please allow the process to move forward. However, it was a productive meeting where all issues concerned were discussed. The process will commence now," Puri told reporters after the hour-long meeting. In 2018-19, Air India incurred losses of around Rs 7,600 crore. By the end of 2018-19, it had a debt burden of around Rs 58,300 crore. In its first term, the Modi government invited bids from investors in 2018 to buy out the government's 76 per cent stake in Air India, along with the management control. However, the process failed as investors did not put in bids. Following that, a report was prepared by a private entity citing probable reasons that led to failure of the sale process. The reasons cited include the government retaining 24 per cent stake and corresponding rights, high debt, volatile crude oil prices, fluctuations in exchange rate, changes in macro environment and restriction on bidding by individuals. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has already prepared a fresh proposal for the Air India sale, incorporating issues like crude oil prices and exchange rate volatility, and other issues. 

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