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President Kovind to embark on 4-day visit to Myanmar            Australia need 136 runs with just 3 wickets in hand            Extradition trial of Mallya listed for judgement today in London court            All arrangements in place for counting of votes for Assembly elections in 5 states tomorrow            Govt convenes all-party meet today ahead of Winter session of Parliament           

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Midday News

1400 HRS
15.11.2018
THE HEADLINES,
  • Election Commission appoints Ashish Kundra as Chief Electoral Officer of Mizoram replacing S B Shashank.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends the plenary session of 13th East Asia Summit in Singapore.
  • Cyclone Gaja intensifies into severe cyclonic storm over Bay of Bengal; to make landfall around Nagappattinam in Tamil Nadu this evening.
  • Jammu and Kashmir government to deploy liaison officers in 10 major cities across the country to assist students of the state pursuing higher education.
  • In Sri Lanka, proceedings in Parliament disrupted as clashes breakout between MPs; speaker leaves house without making any announcement.
  • In Cricket, India to clash with Ireland in their third group game of the ICC Women's World Twenty-20 in Guyana tonight.

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The Election Commission has appointed Ashish Kundra as the New Chief Electoral Officer of Mizoram, replacing the present incumbent S. B. Shashank. Mr. Kundra is the principal secretary of General Administration Department of Mizoram. Last week, there were protests in the state under the banner of NGO Coordination Committee demanding removal of CEO Shshank.
Meanwhile, electioneering in the state is gaining momentum. Campaigning by political parties has picked up in the state. The state is going to the polls on 28th of this month to elect 40 members in the state Assembly. More from our Correspondent:
"Addressing poll meetings in several places yesterday, ruling party leaders have expressed confidence of retaining power for a third successive term. However, Congress party spokesperson Lallianchhunga yesterday expressed apprehension of 'Horse-trading' in post-poll scenario. While opposition MNF, BJP and ZPM parties have intensified their voice for a Change of Guard to bring real development in the state. Irene, AIR News, Aizawl."

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now attending the plenary session of 13th East Asia Summit (EAS), which began in Singapore today. Leaders of 18 countries of Asia Pacific region held informal talks during the lunch retreat ahead of the plenary session. In his opening statement, current Chairman, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said  that all leaders had good discussions at the lunch retreat. He said it is a good way for leaders to discuss ways to deepen strategic trust among the member countries. He said that EAS has become an integral part of open and inclusive ASEAN centric regional architecture. Our correspondent has more:-
"On way to the plenary session venue, participating leaders had the smart city walkthrough where in all member countries have set up their pavilions. Prior to this, in the lunch retreat ahead of the summit meeting, leaders exchanged views on future direction for the EAS in response to the complex challenges they face today. Twelve East Asia Summits have been held so far. India has been a part of this process since its inception in 2005 in Kuala Lumpur and the fact that Indian Prime Ministers have participated in all the Summits, stands testimony to the importance India attaches to this process. Tripti Srivastava, AIR NEWS, Singapore."
Earlier today Prime Minister had interaction with ASEAN leaders at the ASEAN-India informal breakfast summit. He expressed happiness over the fact that India's ties with ASEAN are strong and contributing to a peaceful and prosperous world. Mr Modi reaffirmed cooperation in maritime domain and centrality of trade and investment towards prosperity of Indo-Pacific.
Mr Modi also met 20 cadets from NCC of India. These cadets are visiting Singapore as part of an International cadet exchange programme. The Prime Minister also met and felicitated the winning teams of India Singapore Hackathon. He said platforms like these serve as an excellent opportunity for youngsters to showcase their work.

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the country will be free from Naxalism in the next three to five years. Talking to reporters in Raipur today, he said that Naxalism is going through its last phase. This problem has been reduced from ninety districts to only ten or eleven districts of the country. The Home Minister said more security personnel used to get killed in the fight with Maoists earlier but now casualties on the rebel side are more with forces having an upper hand.
Mr Singh appealed to the Maoists, to leave the path of violence and surrender.

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In Chhattisgarh, campaigning for the second phase of assembly elections is at its peak now. 72 constituencies of the state will go to polls on the 20th of this month. Political parties with their senior  leaders are  wooing the electorate. 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath and Delhi state BJP President Manoj Tiwari are addressing election meetings at various places of the state to canvass for BJP candidates today.
As many as one thousand one hundred and forty eight candidates are in the fray in these 72 constituencies. 

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President Ram Nath Kovind has greeted people of Jharkhand on their statehood day. In a tweet, Mr Kovind said, the state is blessed with vast natural resources and a rich culture that everyone is proud of. He hoped that Jharkhand will go from strength to strength in the years to come.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also greeted the people of Jharkhand on their Statehood Day. In a tweet, Mr Modi hoped that the state will scale new heights of growth and glory in the coming years with the blessings of Bhagwan Birsa Munda.

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Cyclone Gaja over the South West Bay of Bengal has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm this morning. It is gathering speed and is fast approaching the Tamil Nadu coast around Nagappattinam, where it is set to cross the shores this evening.
While the Cyclone Gaja makes a landfall, the wind speed is expected to be about 80 to 90 km, gusting to 100 km an hour. Rainfall at most places in the state and Puducherry is expected with the possibility of isolated heavy rainfall. A few places in Cuddalore, Nagappattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts may experience extremely heavy rain. More from our correspondent:
"As cyclone Gaja fast approaches the shores, the state government has asked the telecom operators to keep sufficient stock of diesel to run their transmission towers in case of power shutdown to ensure unhindered communication services. Hospitals and other vital installations have been asked to keep power generators at sufficient elevation so that they could avoid inundation and keep lifesaving devices running. Educational institutions remain closed in six vulnerable districts today, and examinations have been rescheduled. Fishermen in susceptible regions living in huts close to the shores and other people in low lying areas have been evacuated to safety. MET officials say, in about an hour, the full cyclonic storm would cross the shores in a weakened form and reach Arabian Sea in a day’s time. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai." 

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President Ram Nath Kovind today exhorted students to become agents of change and contribute for welfare of the farming community. He was speaking at the first convocation of Dr.Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University at Pusa in Samastipur in Bihar Mr Kovind said students need to continuously innovate to help farmers increase productivity as there is a relative shortage of land and water resources in proportion to country's population.

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The Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to deploy liaison officers in 10 major cities across the country to assist students of the state pursuing higher education there. The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of State Administrative Council, which was chaired by Governor Satya Pal Malik. An official spokesman said, designated liaison officers will be posted in New Delhi, Noida, Chandigarh, Aligarh, Bhopal, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Jaipur. They will coordinate with the students belonging to Jammu and Kashmir whenever they are faced with the situations related to regional identity. Each location will have a help centre, a temporary office with basic facilities, including telephone and internet.

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Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today issued instructions to start a state wide campaign for arresting over 21,000 absconding accused in various cases. Mr. Rupani has instructed the home department and police to make district-wise teams during the next two months to arrest all the accused. The Chief Minister also instructed for a tri-monthly review of the campaign at the DGP level to evaluate its progress.
Our Ahmedabad correspondent reports that District Superintendent of Police, Local Crime Branch, Range Squad, Anti Terrorist Squad and state crime branch will coordinate among themselves and take help of mobile location and CCTV network to nab the absconding accused in their respective districts.

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In Kerala, an all-party meeting was held in Thiruvananthapuram to reach a  consensus on entry of women of all ages to Sabarimala. The meet was led by chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. After the meeting while briefing the media, the chief minister said the government will give protection to all devotees who come for darshan in the temple.

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In Sri Lanka, proceedings in Parliament were disrupted today when a clash broke out between MPs from the new Government of Mahinda Rajapaksa and ousted government of Ranil Wickremesinghe. The clash erupted after Mr Rajapaksa made a statement saying difficult circumstances prevailing in the country made the President to appoint him as the Prime minister. The other side then demanded a vote on his statement which led to protests from MPs supporting Mr Rajapaksa. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya then left the house amidst the uproar without making any announcement. More from our correspondent:
"The political crisis in Sri Lanka is completely polarized now with President and new government on one side and Parliament speaker alongwith ousted government on other side. Mr Rajapaksa in his statement raised concern over price rise, trade agreements and sale of national assets while calling for general elections. Speaker at the beginning of session refused to recognize any side as government or opposition. President has rejected the no confidence motion passed yesterday saying it violates parliamentary procedures and process. Tension is escalating between the two sides and security has been tightened around parliament and government ministries. Santosh Kumar, AIR NEWS, COLOMBO."

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Back home
In Maharashtra, a large number of children and mothers are reaping the benefits of the National Nutrition Mission which is known as POSHAN Abhiyaan. The programme ensures benefit through the Anganwadi Services under the Integrated Child Development Services scheme. Here is a ground report from our Aurangabad correspondent:
"ICDS scheme is world's largest community based programme. The scheme is targeted at children up to the age of 6 years, pregnant and lactating mothers and women between 16 and 44 years of age. The scheme is aimed at improving the health, nutrition and education of the target community. One of beneficiaries of the scheme at Anganwadi centre of Osmanabad city, Afsana Samir Shaikh told that her son become healthy due to getting nutritious food from the Anganwadi centre.
ICDS is an excellent scheme for mother and child for their nutritious growth and its implementation is impressive in the state of Maharashtra. It has helped reducing the mortality, malnutrition and school dropouts among the school going children in the state. Ramesh Jaibhaye, AIR, NEWS Aurangabad."

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The Benchmark domestic indices today logged modest gains in afternoon trade amid positive Asian stocks. The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange today climbed 213 points to 35,355. The Nifty at National Stock Exchange also added 55 points to 10,631.
The rupee, at the forex market, also appreciated 21 paise to 72 rupees and 10 paise against the US dollar in afternoon deals.

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In Cricket, India will clash with Ireland in their third group game of the ICC Women's World Twenty-20 at the Providence Stadium in Guyana tonight. The match will begin at 8:30 PM (Indian Standard Time). The Indian eves have won both their first two games. They defeated New Zealand by 34 runs in the opener, before beating Pakistan by 7 wickets in the second game.

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