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All-party meeting held in New Delhi ahead of Parliament session            Election Commission announces by-polls to six Rajya Sabha seats            Maharashtra Cabinet expanded with induction of 13 new ministers            Death toll mounts to 83 due to Encephalitis in Bihar            ICC World Cup: India set victory target of 337 runs for Pakistan at Manchester           

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Morning News

0815 HRS
14.12.2018
THE HEADLINES,
  • Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath to be the new Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Congress party yet to finalise the names of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh Chief Ministers.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi stresses on streamlining procedures to improve ease of doing business.
  • New Governor of Reserve Bank of India Shaktikanta Das to hold Central Board meeting today. 
  • Sri Lankan Supreme Court rules dissolution of Parliament unconstitutional; Efforts on to form the new government. 
  • In Cricket, Australia win the toss and elect to bat in the second test against India at Perth.

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Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath will be the new Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Party observer AK Antony announced his name in Bhopal last night. Speaking to media, after the announcement of his name, Mr Kamal Nath said Chief Ministerial post is a milestone for him. Thanking Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia, another contender for the top post, for supporting him in this endevour, Mr Nath said he has worked with his father. He assured people that he will fulfil the party promise and a new beginning will be made. Replying to a question on the loan waiver, he said, it is a challenging time and they will fulfill the promises made in the Vachan Patra
The Chief Minister-elect said he will meet Governor Anandiben Patel this morning to discuss swearing-in ceremony and government formation in the state. Our correspondent looks at the life of Mr Kamal Nath:

"As one of the longest serving and most senior members of the Lok Sabha, Kamal Nath has so far taken over the responsibility of several important ministries in the Central Government including road transport, parliamentary affairs and commerce. He has been elected nine times from the Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency of Madhya Pradesh. Nath was elected president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee in May this year and leading the party’s successful campaign in the recent assembly elections.  Kamal Nath was born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. 72 years old Kamal Nath is an alumnus of The Doon School, and earned a Bachelor degree from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."

The Congress has secured support of a total of 121 MLAs, including SP and BSP legislators as also of four independents, to cross the majority mark of 116 seats in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
However, Congress Party is yet to finalise the names of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh Chief Ministers. Marathon meetings were held yesterday at the residence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi in this regard. Mr Gandhi held one-on-one meetings with the top contenders in Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot. The Congress chief is likely to take decision in this regard today. A report:

"Suspense is still on regarding the name of next  Chief Minister of the state. Supporters of both Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot were waiting to get news of their leader to become chief minister. On the other hand, annoyed of delay in decision, youngsters blocked the roads yesterday in Tonk, Dausa, Sawai madhopur and Karauli districts. Sachin Pilot made an appeal to remain calm. With Jitendra Dwivedi/Sudarshan Nahar, AIR News, Jaipur."

It is worth to recall that newly elected Congress legislators of the three states had passed a resolution urging Mr Gandhi to take a final call on the Chief Minister names .

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 In Telangana, Mohammad Mahmood Ali will be the new Home Minister of the state. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, allocated the key portfolio to the lone  elected member inducted into the Cabinet. 
The Chief Minister is likely to form his full- fledged Cabinet in the next few days.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed on the need to improve last mile delivery and focus on streamlining procedures to improve ease of doing business.He said it would improve not just the "Doing Business" rankings, but also increase the "Ease of Living" for small businesses. Chairing a high-level meeting to review progress with regard to "Ease of Doing Business in New Delhi yesterday, Mr Modi said, as an emerging and vibrant economy, it is extremely important for India.
During the meeting, Mr Modi was briefed on progress being made on various parameters related to Ease of Doing Business. India’s rise in the World Bank “Doing Business” rankings over the last four years, was also taken note of. 

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The central board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will meet  today under new Governor Shaktikanta Das. Our correspondent reports, the meeting is likely to review the progress made on some of the decisions taken on 19th of the last meeting.

"One of the key agenda for the upcoming board meeting is likely to be the governance issue -- the role of central board in the decision making of the RBI. Given the current structure, the central board plays advisory role but there is growing clamour to make it operational and have greater participation in key decisions of the central bank. Among other things, the crucial board meeting is expected to take a stock of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises. This schedule meeting comes in the backdrop of surprise resignation by Urjit Patel earlier this week citing personal reasons.  SONALI GHADYALPATIL, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."

Soon after taking reins of the RBI, Mr Shaktikanta Das had said, he will try to uphold the autonomy, credibility and the integrity of the great institution.

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Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has said that government is making every effort to stop stubble burning by farmers. Speaking at an event in New Delhi yesterday, Mr Singh said, financial assistance is being provided to the farmers for management of crop residues. He said, as a new initiative, promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for in-situ Management of Crop Residue in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and National Capital Territory of Delhi is being undertaken.

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In Sri Lanka, the Supreme Court has ruled that dissolution of Parliament on 9th of last month by President Sirisena was unconstitutional. The seven-member judge bench unanimously in a verdict yesterday said that it was illegal to dissolve Parliament before its four and a half year term limit.
Following the verdict, efforts are being taken to form the new government. President Maithripala Sirisena in a meeting with his MPs last evening is reported to have said that a new Cabinet would be sworn in and a new government will be formed by next Monday. It is not immediately clear whether ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe will regain his post. We have a report from our correspondent:

"Sri Lanka is without a functioning cabinet since last Monday and the wait for a legitimate government is expected to end soon. In this regard  Supreme Court hearing today in appeal filed by Mr. Rajapaksa and his ministers will be crucial. Mr. Rajpaksa has challenged a lower court order which had restrained them from functioning last week. President Sirisena, who has been opposed to reappointment of Ranil Wickremsinghe, looks to be reconsidering his position in wake of limited options he has after Supreme Court struck down his order to dissolve parliament. However, stability of any government will remain in question in wake of divided polity in the country. Santosh Kumar, AIR News, Colombo."

In his reaction to the apex court verdict, Mr. Wickremsinghe  said he hopes the President will accept the judgment. On the other hand, Mr. Rajapaksa side said that they will continue their fight for holding early elections.
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India has requested  Saudi Arabia  to increase India’s annual Hajj quota in 2019. Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi made this request to Saudi Arabia Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten in Jeddah yesterday. Both the leaders also signed the bilateral annual Haj 2019 agreement.

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President Ram Nath Kovind will return to New Delhi this afternoon after his successful state visit to Myanmar. During his stay, India and Myanmar discussed all major aspects of bilateral relations. This visit assumes importance as a peaceful and prosperous Myanmar is important for the development of India's North Eastern states and security of the larger region.
Connectivity and people to people contact remained high on agenda as Myanmar extended visa on arrival facility for Indian travellers to Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandlay airports. 
During his address 5th Enterprise India, President exhorted the Myanmar business community to Look West and utilize the opportunities present in the world's fastest growing economy of India. India and Myanmar also signed two agreements. One for training of Myanmar judicial officers in India and the other in the field of science and technology.

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 US Senate has passed a resolution naming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as "responsible" for US -based journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death. The resolution was passed in the Senate by voice vote yesterday. It will now go to the House of Representatives.  The bipartisan vote came two months after the journalist's death at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2nd of  October.

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The International Monetary Fund said that global debt has reached an all-time high of 184 trillion US dollars with the United States, China and Japan accounting for more than half of it.
According to the IMF report, the amount in nominal terms, is the equivalent of 225 per cent of the world GDP in 2017.
On average, the world's debt now exceeds 86,000 dollars per person, which is more than two and half times the average income per-capita. 
Since the beginning of the millennium, China's share in global debt has gone up from less than three per cent to over 15 per cent.  

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The Information and Broadcasting Ministry yesterday nominated Brijendra Pal Singh as the new president of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Society and Chairman of Governing Council. Mr Singh is at present the Vice Chairman of the FTII Governing Council. The position was vacant after actor Anupam Kher stepped down in October this year.

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Australia  were 27 for no loss against India on the first day of second  Cricket Test Match  of the four- match series at Perth, a short while ago. Earlier, Australia won the toss and elected to bat.
India is leading the series 1-0 defeating Australia in the first Test at the Adelaide.

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In the  Men's Hockey World Cup semifinals tomorrow, Netherlands will take on Australia while Belgium will clash with England  in Bhubaneswar.
Yesterday, India lost to the Netherlands 2-1 while Belgium defeated Germany 2-1 in their quarter final encounters. 

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In Badminton, Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu will face Zhang Beiwen of the United States today in Group A match of the World Tour Finals in China. Sindhu yesterday secured second win by defeating world number one, Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan.
India's Sameer Verma will face Thailand's Kantaphon in a Men's category match today to keep his hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage alive. Sameer in Group B clash defeated Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto in straight games 21-16 21-7

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Mauritius Acting President Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory announced today that his country would organise a Gita festival next February.
 Speaking at the inauguration of a three-day international seminar organised as part of the international Gita festival in Kurukshetra, Haryana yesterday,Vyapoory said a delegation from India has also been invited for the event.
The international Gita festival, which began on December 7, was formally inaugurated yesterday.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES
  • All the dailies cover Kamal Nath being declared the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and Supreme Court's verdict on Rafale probe are some of the dominating stories.
  • Vowing relief for farmers in 10 days, the Mail Today quotes the CM-designate of MP, Kamal Nath, "Loan waiver my top priority"  while the DNA writes, "Nath is Madhya Pradesh CM, others wait for luck."
  • On the apex court's verdict today, into Rafale probe, The Pioneer says, "Supreme Court verdict on pleas seeking CBI probe into Rafale today."
  • Interpol's Red Corner Notice issued to Mehul Choksi is also widely noticed. The Asian Age headlines, "Interpol issued to arrest Mehul Choksi."
  • Papers also notice Theresa May winning the no-confidence vote. The Financial Express reports, "May wins no-confidence vote but vows to quit after Brexit".
  • Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley clears the air that there's no tiff between the government and RBI. The Economic Times quotes him in its headline, "No confrontation between government & RBI, only difference in views."
  • The #MeToo movement has prompted the Home Ministry to take action. The Indian Express writes, "MeToo: Home tells states to set up panels for complaints."
  • In some other stories:
  • The Hindu notes, "Come June, ground-water extraction will invite a fee."
  • The Indian Express writes, "As Glut hits Prices in Maharastra Onion Hub, Farmers lose hope, Brace for bleak New Year."
  • The Times of India quotes the Supreme Court "Pension for elderly same since 2007, raise it."
  • The Statesman writes, "Rain clears capital air but respite may not last long."
  • And finally, If you're tired of the cacophony shown on television in the garb of news, with anchors and panelists yelling at each others, then there's good news for you with the launch of Zee Hindustan which will be unique. The DNA headlines, "India's first anchor-less news channel."

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