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Text Bulletins Details


News at Nine

2100 HRS
14.12.2018

2100 HRS.



14th December, 2018



THE HEADLINES:-

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defends Rafale deal; Says, it protects country's security and commercial interests; Also rules out Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the deal.

  • Supreme court dismisses petitions seeking probe into alleged irregularities in Rafale deal; Says, no reason to doubt its decision-making process.

  • Both Houses of Parliament adjourned for the day after ruckus over Rafale and other issues.

  • Ashok Gehlot named Rajasthan Chief Minister, Sachin Pilot to be Deputy Chief Minister.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, his government launched several connectivity projects for development of southern India.

  • Noted English writer Amitav Ghosh to get this year's Jnanpith Award.

  • In Sports : Shuttlers PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma enter semifinals of World Tour Finals in China.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said Rafale deal has protected both the security and commercial interest of the country. Mr Jaitley was briefing media in New Delhi after the Supreme court dismissed all the petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the alleged irregularities in the Rafale aircraft deal. 


"Security interest because it increases the combat ability of our forces and commercial interest because as the sealed envelope indicated we have not given the details but we have indicated publicly on more than one occasion that the final price was significantly lower, both for the aircraft and the weaponised  aircraft what was being negotiated between 2007 and 2012."


The Minister also ruled out the possibility of a Joint Parliamentary Committee on Rafale deal. He said, investigations and reviews of this kind cannot be done when allegations are made by a body capable of partisan divisions. He said, it has to be done by a judicial body.


Mr Jaitley said, a lot of fiction was spread about the deal but falsehood has a very short life and the disrupters have lost on all counts.


Speaking on the occasion, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, there is no need for a probe into the deal. Quoting the judgement, she said that India cannot afford to be under-prepared.


"All the three heads on which concern was expressed in the writ, the court has come out clearly. The verdict is  absolutely, therefore, all of us to see the matter on Rafale deal has throughly been through the court laid to the rest."


The BJP hit out at Congress President Rahul Gandhi saying Supreme Court's decision on Rafale deal has exposed his falsehood. Briefing media in New Delhi this evening, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Rahul Gandhi behaved very irresponsibly by commenting on the Supreme Court verdict.


Earlier, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said as per the government's statement in the Supreme Court, pricing details have been shared with Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and with the Public Accounts Committee. Briefing media in New Delhi, Mr Gandhi said no such report regarding pricing was submitted.


"खड़गे जी पीएसी के चेयरमेन हैं पार्लियामेंट में और आप लोग खड़गे जी से सीधा पूछ लीजिए कि क्या सीएजी रिपोर्ट पीएसी कमेटी में आई, नहीं आई। पार्लियामेंट कमेटी में रखी गई और इन्होंने जो पीएसी के चेयरमेन हैं इन्होंने सीएजी रिपोर्ट अपनी जिंदगी में देखी है हां या पूछ लीजिए।"


Dismissing the petitions, the Supreme Court today said, there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the multi-billion dollar deal. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, no reasons were found to interfere in the procurement process for the fighter jets, pricing and offset partner. The bench also said, there was no substantial evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity. It said, there has been a necessity for fighter aircraft and the country cannot remain without jets.

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Proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were marred for the third straight today over Rafale fighter jet deal and other issues. In the Lok Sabha, ruling BJP members raised slogans against Congress party and its President Rahul Gandhi for leveling allegations against the government over the Rafale matter. The Opposition benches reacted with counter-slogans, demanding a JPC probe in the matter.


AIADMK and DMK members were in the Well, opposing construction of a dam across Cauvery river while TDP MPs demanded financial benefits to Andhra Pradesh under the State Reorganisation Act of 2014.


As the pandemonium continued, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House for the day.


Speaking in the House, Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanded that Rahul Gandhi should apologise both to the Lok Sabha and the nation for misleading public on issue.


Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha. Leader of the House, Arun Jaitley asked the Chair to suspend the Question Hour and allow a discussion on Rafale.Amidst continued uproar, Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House for the day. Both the Houses will now meet on Monday. 

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Ashok Gehlot will be the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan and Sachin Pilot will be his Deputy. Briefing media in New Delhi, All India Congress Committee general secretary K C Venugopal said party President Rahul Gandhi has taken this decision after consultations with various leaders.


"Congress President already decided  Mr. Ashok Gehlot as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. Alongwith Mr. Ashok Gehlot, Mr. Sachin Pilot will be the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan."


Talking to media, Mr Gehlot thanked everyone for giving him the opportunity to serve the people of Rajasthan.  Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot met with Governor Kalyan Singh at Raj Bhawan in Jaipur this evening.

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Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath will take oath as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on 17th of this month. The 72-year-old Congress veteran was declared as Chief Minister after hours of hectic parleys held by the party chief Rahul Gandhi with senior party leaders.


In another political development, Telangana Rastra Samithi  President K Chandrasekhar Rao has appointed his son, KT Ramarao as party Working President. Mr Rao took over as Telangana Chief Minister for the second consecutive term yesterday.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his government initiated a number of connectivity projects in Southern part of the country in the last four and half years with the objective to ensure development in the region. Mr Modi was interacting with BJP Karyakartas from Kerala through video conferencing today. He said, 19 National Highway projects costing 3500 crore rupees were sanctioned in Kerala alone in 2018-19. The Prime Minister said, the BJP model of governance is fast-paced, inclusive and all round development.

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Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has said, energy conservation and use of clean energy resources are the priority areas for the government as well as the people of the country. Ms Mahajan was addressing the National Energy Conservation Awards function in New Delhi today.  On the occasion, Ms Mahajan also launched Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Building to push for energy efficiency in residential sector. She presented awards to 26 industrial units from various sectors for their excellent performance in energy efficiency. Power Minister RK Singh was also present on the occasion.

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With only a day left for the International climate conference to end at Katowice in Poland, Ministers from 200 nations are now working to finalise the rules to make Paris climate deal operational.  The Paris Agreement of 2015, which comes into force in 2020, aims to limit the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial revolution levels.


"Signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement agreed to hold the increasing global average temperature to well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree celsius. To hit the breaks at 1.5 degrees, global carbon emissions would need to immediately begin plunging. But if we fail to do this sea level would rise, inundating large low-lying areas across the world. Among the other effects of the temperature rise are shortage of fresh water availability around the Mediterranean and also in West Africa, South East Asia, and central and northern South America, resulting in fall in crop production. With Dilip Ghosh, Anuja Bhardwajan for AIR News."

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In Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to resign from the post of Prime Minister tomorrow paving way for formation of new government under ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe. His son Namal Rajapaksa said, the resignation will follow an address to the nation and has been done to ensure stability of the nation.


Earlier, the Supreme Court had refused to vacate interim order of lower court restraining Rajapaksa and his cabinet from functioning.  The top court yesterday ruled that dissolution of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirsiena is unconstitutional.

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Back Home, noted English writer Amitav Ghosh has been honoured with this year's Jnanpith Award. In a statement  Bharatiya Jnanpith said Amitav Ghosh is a path- breaking novelist.  In his novels, Ghosh treads through historical settings to the modern era and weaves a space where the past connects with the present in relevant ways


Ghosh, one of the most prominent contemporary Indian writers, is known for a series of novels such as Shadow Lines, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide and Ibis Trilogy "Sea of Poppies.

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A meeting of the Central Board of Reserve Bank of India was held in Mumbai today. The meeting was chaired by the newly appointed governor, Shaktikanta Das. While no decisions were made as such, the board today discussed issues like RBI’s governance framework and decided that the issue needed further examination. The board also reviewed the prevailing economic situation and examined global and domestic challenges.

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In Business News, the benchmark stocks, Sensex and Nifty, today closed with gains for the fourth day in a row. The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange appreciated 33 points to settle at 35,963. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange also added 14 points to end at 10,805.

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In Karnataka  ten people died due to suspected food poisoning at Sulvadi village in Hanur taluk of Chamrajanagar district today. Police said the deceased were devotees of Maramma temple and had eaten 'prasad' after attending a special Pooja. At least 80 persons were indisposed and were admitted to a hospital after complaining sickness.

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In Meghalaya, at least 13 miners are feared dead in a coal mine accident in East Jaintia Hills district. District police officials said, the miners were trapped inside the coal mine at Ksan near Lytein river after they accidentally cut through an adjoining abandoned mine filled with water. The rescue operation is on in full swing.


Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma today said that the Government will take appropriate legal action against the people who are indulging in illegal mining in the state.

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Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Col Rajyavardhan Rathore today said the sports environment in the country has vastly changed for the better. Speaking at the closing ceremony of All India Police Athletics Championship in New Delhi, the Minister said the NDA government's Khelo India scheme has brought a revolution of sorts in the nation. He added that 1000 young sports persons will be chosen under the Khelo India scheme every year and scholarships given for their training.


"इस खेलो इंडिया कार्यक्रम में हर साल हम एक हजार खिलाड़ियों को चुनेंगे। और उनको उसी तरह से पांच लाख रुपये की स्कॉलरशिप हर साल आठ साल तक देते रहेंगे। "

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In Badminton, PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma today advanced to the semifinals of World Tour Finals being held at Guangzhou in China. The Rio Olympics silver medallist, Sindhu defeated Beiwen Zhang of the United States 21-9, 21-15 in her third Group A match of the tournament.  After winning all three of her group matches, Sindhu also finished at the top of her group. She will next face Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon in the semi-final tomorrow.


In the men's singles, Sameer Verma sailed into the last four after defeating World No. 17 Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 21-9, 21-18 in Group-B match. Sameer finished Group B engagements with two wins and one loss. He will take on All England champion Shi Yuqi of China in the semis.

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 Onto Cricket, Australia were 277 for six at stumps against India on day one of the second Cricket Test at Perth today. Tim Paine on 16 and Pat Cummins 11 were at the crease when stumps were drawn.  For India, while Ishant Sharma and Hanuma Vihari claimed two wickets each, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav one each. Earlier, the hosts opted to bat after winning the toss.

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