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Polling in final phase of municipal elections concludes peacefully in J&K            Govt hikes GPF interest rate to 8% for Oct-Dec quarter            Government committed to achieving goal of zero hunger by 2030: Agriculture Minister           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
23.09.2018
THE HEADLINES:
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch world’s largest health care program Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana in Ranchi today; Scheme to benefit 50 crore people.
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh says urban local body and Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be held as per schedule.
  • French Government clarifies that Dassault Aviation selected Reliance Defence as Indian partner to fulfill offset obligations of Rafale deal and Paris had no role in it. 
  • Heavy rains lash several parts of north India; Higher reaches  of Himachal Pradesh experience heavy snowfall.
  • Maldives goes to the polls today to elect a new President.
  • Indian women win third T20 International cricket against Sri Lanka.
  • Indian grappler Deepak Punia to fight Turkey's Arif Ozen for gold at Junior Wrestling World Championship in Slovakia.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana today from Ranchi in Jharkhand. Under the scheme, over 10 crore families will be provided health assurance worth five lakh rupees each, every year. The Health Ministry in a release said, this is the world’s largest government funded health care program targeting more than 50 crore beneficiaries. The scheme will provide cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service. The beneficiaries will be able to move across borders and access services across the country.
The Ministry said, the objectives of the Yojana are to reduce out of pocket hospitalisation expenses, fulfill unmet needs and improve access of identified families to quality inpatient care and day care surgeries. The Health Ministry said, the services will include 1350 procedures covering pre and post hospitalization, diagnostics and medicines. Talking exclusively to AIR, CEO of Ayushman Bharat, Indu Bhushan said the scheme is the most ambitious health assurance scheme which will change the face of the health sector in the country. Mr Bhushan said, so far 31 states and Union territories have signed MoUs to roll out the scheme.
"अब तक हमारी 31 राज्यों और यू.टी के साथ एम.यू. हो चुका है करार हो चुका है और थर्टी वन स्टेट्स और यू.टीज में 26 राज्यों और यूटीज में ये योजना प्रारम्भ हो जाएगी बाकी जगह कुछ हफ्तों में ही यह योजना प्रारम्भ हो जाएगी।"
We Have a report from our correspondent:    
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch Ayushman Bharat today from Ranchi.  Prime Minister will also lay Foundation stones, online, for two new medical colleges - at Koderma and Chaibasa, with attached hospitals of 300 beds in each of these two.  Jharkhand government has already signed a memorandum of understanding with National Insurance Company Limited under Chief Minister Health Insurance Scheme to provide additional facilities to 57 lakhs family of state.  Rajesh Sinha, AIR News, Ranchi."

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that urban local body and Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be held as per schedule. He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a BJP party workers' meet at Vadodara yesterday. He said that these polls would give all parties an opportunity to interact with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The State's chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra announced on Friday that a four-phase election to urban local bodies will be held from October 8. The Panchayat elections will be held in nine-phases on a non-party basis beginning November 17.

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The Centenary celebrations to commemorate hundred years of liberation of Haifa in Israel by Indian troops in 1918 culminates with a grand function in New Delhi today. The Battle of Haifa is being commemorated in Israel, Delhi and Jaipur. The Indian Army commemorates September 23 every year as Haifa Day to pay its respects to the two brave Indian Cavalry Regiments, Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers, that helped liberate the city following a dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.
Taking part in the centenary celebrations to commemorate Haifa Day in Jaipur yesterday, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat said that the Indian Army is capable of dealing with any situation. Interacting with Media Persons after the programme, General Rawat said they are of the view that talks and terror cannot go hand in hand.

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The BJP's Delhi unit has organised a Purvanchal Mahakumbh meet at the Ramlila ground in Delhi today for people from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar settled in the city. BJP President Amit Shah and many other senior leaders including Cabinet ministers of the Modi government will address the rally.

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The French government has said that Dassault Aviation had selected Reliance Defence as an Indian partner to fulfill offset obligations of the Rafale deal. In a statement, the French government said, it was not involved in any manner in the choice of the Indian partner for the Rafale fighter deal. The statement said, French companies had full freedom to select Indian firms for the contract. The French government said, the inter-governmental agreement, signed with India for supplying 36 Rafale fighter jets, concerns its obligations solely with regard to ensuring the delivery and quality of the aircraft.
Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale has also said that it was the company that decided to partner with Reliance Defence. Dassault said, the Anil Ambani-led company was selected as the Indian partner in accordance with the policy of Make in India. 

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The Maldives will go to the polls today to elect a new President. The election is being held amidst fears by opposition and foreign monitors of rigging of the polls. President Abdullah Yameen is in a straight contest with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih who is the candidate for the Joint opposition, comprising of four parties. Around 2.6 lakh people are eligible to vote during the elections which will be the  third in the country’s history after it switched over to full-fledged democracy in 2008. We have a report from our correspondent.
"The democratic credentials of Maldives will be under close scrutiny as the country begins voting to elect its President a short while from now. Election Commission has set up 472 ballot boxes including four polling stations abroad in India, Sri lanka, Malaysia and Britain. The commission has assured of free and fair elections but opposition has charge it of bias and fixing it in favour of incumbent President. The election results are expected by tomorrow but there is fear of prolonged political instability in the country. SANTOSH KUMAR, AIR NEWS, COLOMBO."

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Back home, 
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana has changed the lives of those people who never even dreamed of owning a house. In Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand, the scheme has provided roofs to economically backward people. We have a Ground Report from our Dehradun correspondent:
Now they are living in their own house happily. According to Sapna and Namita, owning a house under PM Aawas Yojana has saved them from many miseries.
Another beneficiary Namita has also expressed her view like this.
There are many beneficiaries including Shiv Shankar Giri,  of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna in Udham Singh Nagar for which they are very thankful to Prime minister Shree Narendra Modi.
Not just the houses, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna is giving employment and boosting swachta by including MNREGA to it and making toilets in the house to stop open defecation respectively.  Raghwesh Pandey, AIR News, Dehradun."

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Heavy rains lash several parts of North India, while the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh are experiencing heavy snowfall. The Met Department has forecast more rain and snowfall during the next 24 hours. Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh, the gateway to Lahaul Valley, received more than four inches of snowfall yesterday. Following  the snowfall, the Kunzum Pass was closed.
The surrounding areas of Manali have been receiving heavy rainfall since yesterday morning.The Leh-Manali Road has been closed for traffic for the next 48 hours as a precautionary measure.
According to the weather advisory, Jammu and Kashmir is likely to receive moderate to heavy rain or snow during the next 48 hours.
Rains lashed Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh yesterday, plummeting the maximum temperatures in the region by up to 11 degrees below normal. According to agriculture experts, while the rainfall is damaging to paddy crop, it will have an  adverse effect on the cotton crop. Here is a report from our correspondent:-
 "Continues Rainfall in Punjab is damaging to paddy crop and  has adverse effect on cotton crop also. Punjab Agriculture University Vice Chanceller said rain at this stage is not good for paddy ,cotton and maize crops as it can lead to adverse impact on thier yield. Paddy and cotton are almost ready for harvesting. According to  Director Punjab Agriculture Jasbir Singh Bains if rainfall continues it will have very bad effect on cotton crops.  Increased moisture will effect its procurement. Agriculture  department is taking review of the situation after every four hours . GAGANDEEP KAUR, AIR NEWS, JALANDHAR."
The Met Department has forecast widespread rains in North India.

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The 10-day Ganesh festival will conclude today with the immersion of idols at various immersion spots. Our correspondent reports that all arrangements have been made for the immersion procession that will take place across Mumbai.
"The idols will be immersed at various beaches including the famous Girgaum Chowpatty, Dadar Chowpatty, Juhu Chowpatty and Bandra Promenade to name a few. Elaborate security arrangements have been made by police for smooth and peaceful immersion. The chanting of Ganpati Bappa Morya, will engulf the atmosphere signifying how much the devotees will miss their favourite god and the curiosity with which they will wait for his arrival next year.  Kunal Shinde, AIR News, Mumbai."

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An international rescue team is trying to reach a seriously injured Indian sailor who is taking part in the Golden Globe round-the-world race. Solo yachtsman Abhilash Tomy is stranded 3,200km off the coast of Western Australia. His yacht Thuriya had its mast broken during a severe storm in the Indian Ocean. He managed to send a message saying he has a severe back injury and is immobilised, unable to eat or drink.

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Indian women have won the third T20 International against Sri Lanka by five wickets. In Colombo yesterday, after restricting the hosts to 131 for 8, India achieved the target in 18.2 overs, by scoring 132 for 5. Rain washed out the second encounter between the two teams. India now enjoy an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five match series with two matches yet to be played.

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In Asia Cup Cricket, India will take on Pakistan in the Super Four matches today in Dubai. In another match, Bangladesh will face Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi.

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In Junior Wrestling World Championship, Indian grappler Deepak Punia is to fight Turkey's Arif Ozen for gold at Trnava in Slovakia. In a dominating semifinals, Punia defeated Moldova's Ivan Nedealco 6-2 yesterday. In previous bouts, Deepak Punia beat Patrik Szurovszki 7-0 and Jayong Jin 11- nil.

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NEWSPAPERS HeadLINES
  • The political war of words over former French President Francois Hollande's remark that the Indian government had suggested the name of Anil Ambani led Reliance Defence as the offset partner for the Rafale deal dominates front page headlines. The Hindu quotes Congress President Rahul Gandhi as saying "PM link to Ambani deal undeniable". Highlighting Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's rebuttal, the DNA reports "His kin looted nation and he is accusing us : Union Minister counters Rahul's 'thief PM' charge". The Pioneer writes "France says Rafale maker given free hand; unnecessary row, says Indian Defence Ministry".
  • Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's reaction to India cancelling a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries in the US is widely covered on the front pages of most papers. The Hindustan Times lead says "Imran calls India's cancellation of US meeting 'arrogant' ". The Times of India writes "In one tweet, Imran closes all diplomatic doors, for now".
  • Army Chief General Bipin Rawat's comments in the backdrop of the recent mutilation of a BSF jawan by Pakistani forces are keenly tracked by the press. The Indian Express quotes the Army Chief as saying "Must avenge Pak Army's barbaric acts, pay back in same coin".
  • In the aftermath of the abduction and killing of three cops by the Hizbul Mujahideen in Jammu and Kashmir, the Tribune reports "Quit, Hizb warns 24 J&K policemen; releases pictures on social media". Taking note of an advisory issued by the J&K administration, the Hindustan Times reports on its front page "Don't go back home, officials tell cops from South Kashmir".
  • In what is worrying news for many Indians working in the US, the Asian Age reports "Indian techies' kin to lose US work permits".
  • And finally....a National Award winning Assamese feature film has been selected as India's official entry for the Oscar Awards next year. The Asian Age reports "Rima Das' Village Rockstars is India's official entry to Oscars".

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