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Morning News

0815 HRS
20.02.2019
THE HEADLINES:-

  • Union Cabinet approves continuation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana to build nearly two crore houses for rural poor; Also  gives nod to construction of Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System to ease traffic congestion in National Capital Region.
  • Government clears National Policy on Electronics to make India a global hub in this sector.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in New Delhi today; Several agreements likely to be signed.
  • Asia's premier Air show 'Aero-India' to take off in Bengaluru.
  • France backs India's efforts to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist.

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Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of Phase-2 of the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana - Gramin beyond March, 2019. Under this, government has set a target to construct one crore 95 lakh houses by 2022. Briefing reporters after the meeting in New Delhi yesterday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, in this phase, the scheme will continue as per the existing norms, with a target of 60 lakh houses till 2019-20. It involves financial implication of 76,500 crore rupees.
The Cabinet also approved construction of Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System covering a distance of over 82 kilometers. The cost of the project will be  more than 30 thousand crore rupees. It will help in traffic decongestion in the  National Capital Region. Mr. Jaitley said,
"एक रैपिड ट्रांसपोर्ट सिस्टम रीजनल रैपिड ट्रांजिट सिस्टम ये दिल्ली गाजियाबाद मेरठ रैपिड रेल सिस्टम होगा जो 82.15  किमी ओवरग्राउंड होगा 14.12 किमी अंडरग्राउंड होगा और ये एनसीआर में रैपिड कनेक्टिविटी प्रोवाइड करेगा।"
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the revision of norms under Mid-Day Meal Scheme with an outlay of over 12 thousand crore rupees for 2019-20. The revised norms and inclusion of new components will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the scheme.

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Government has cleared the National Policy on Electronics 2019. It envisions positioning India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing. This will also create an enabling environment for the industry to compete globally.Giving further details of the Policy, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said :
"इलेक्टॉनिक पॉलिसी में एक ट्रस्टर को चेंज कर रहे हैं। जब इंडव्यूजवल कंपनी नहीं पूरा वैल्यू चेन कलस्टर बनाएंगे जिसमें एक बड़ी इंडस्ट्री होगी और उसकी स्पोर्टिंग इंडस्ट्री होगी। we aim to target 4 hundred billion turnover by 20-25 आने वाले पांच वर्षों में। Electronic Manufacturing sector alone in the expansion new policy will give jobs to about 1 crore people."
Some of the other important decisions taken by the Cabinet include re-promulgation of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, and additional DA of  three percent  to Central government  employees and pensioners.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman in New Delhi today on a wide range of issues of mutual interest. Several agreements are expected to be signed following the talks. The Crown Prince will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind. Mr Modi received the visiting leader at the airport last evening.
The Crown Prince is accompanied by a high-level delegation. We have a report:
"India and Saudi Arabia have historically enjoyed close and friendly relations anchored in mutually beneficial partnership and extensive people to people contacts. In recent years, there has been significant progress in bilateral cooperation in key areas of mutual interest, including energy security, trade and investment, infrastructure, defence and security. The bilateral trade was 27.48 billion dollars during 2017-18, making Saudi Arabia, India’s 4th largest trading partner. Saudi Arabia contributes significantly to India’s energy security needs by supplying about 20 per cent of crude requirements to India. About 27 Lakh strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia. With Dipendra, Ankush Vats, AIR News, Delhi."

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that narcotics trade is one of the biggest sources of income for terrorists and anti-national elements. In a video message to the Campaign for Drugs Free India, organized by the Art of Living Foundation, Mr Modi said, the money sourced by these elements through drugs trade is used to destabilize the nation. The message was played at an event at Guru Jambeshwar University in Hisar yesterday. Mr Modi urged the young generation to say 'No to Drugs' for a healthy life, a better future and for the safety and security of the nation.
"It is particulary alarming to see so many youngsters take to substance abuse. I want to tell young friends drugs are not cool. Don't make addiction, your attraction."

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The 12th edition of Asia's premier Air show 'Aero India-2019' will begin at Yelahanka air force station in Bengaluru today. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will inaugurate the 5-day biennial event. Our correspondent reports that over 60 aircrafts, are all set to roar in the city skies.
"Each day is devoted to a theme during the Aero India show. First day today will be CEO’s Round table Conference. Second day is Start up day and finale of the Drone Olympics, third day will be Technology Day, fourth day will be Women’s Day when Women achievers in the field of Aviation will be felicitated. Aviation buffs will be treated to a fly past and aerobatics by LCA Tejas, Rafale, Dakota, Saras, Sarang and Yakovlevs. The engineering students and start ups are given special focus this time in the Aero India show. Sudhindra, AIR News, Bengaluru."

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The Ordnance Factory Board has received a bulk production clearance from the Indian Army and the Defence Ministry for production of 114 'Dhanush' artillery guns. 'Dhanush' is the first long-range artillery gun to be produced in the country and is a major success story of the 'Make in India' initiative.

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President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the three-day International Conference and Exhibition On Energy and Environment in New Delhi today. Around one thousand delegates from India and abroad will participate in the conference representing policy makers, regulators, entrepreneurs, administrators, researchers and technocrats.

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Noted Hindi writer and critic Namvar Singh passed away in New Delhi last night. He was 92. Prof. Namvar Singh was ill for sometime and was being treated at All India Institute of Medical Sciences. His last rites will be performed in Delhi today. Born on 28th of July, 1926 in a village in Varanasi, Singh was the first chairman of JNU's Centre of Indian Languages. He has authored over dozen books including 'Kavita Ke Naye Pratiman', 'Chhayavad' and 'Dusri Parampara Ki Khoj' among others. He received Sahitya Academy Award for literary criticism in 1971 for 'Kavita Ke Naye Pratiman'.

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Arunachal Pradesh is celebrating its 33rd Statehood Day today. As part of the celebration, a three day Horse Show and Regional Equestrian Meet has been organised. Participants from all the North-Eastern states are taking part in the event. Arunachal Pradesh was granted statehood on this day in 1987.

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France will move a proposal at the UN to ban the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. The proposal will be a boost to New Delhi's efforts to designate Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations. Pakistan-based outfit JeM has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead.
The French moves comes after the discussion between Philippe Etienne, Diplomatic Advisor to the French President and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in New Delhi yesterday. The proposal, when moved, will be fourth such bid at the UN in the past ten years.

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US President Donald Trump has described the Pulwama terrorist attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed group as a horrible situation and said he will issue a statement on it soon. At a press conference, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino expressed strong support for India. He asked Pakistan to punish anyone responsible for the February 14 attack.

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The International Court of Justice has refused to entertain Pakistan's request to adjourn the hearing in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav to appoint a new ad-hoc judge. The four-day hearing in the Jadhav case opened Monday at the ICJ headquarters in The Hague. Pakistan yesterday asked the judge to adjourn the case, citing the illness of its ad-hoc judge. However, the world court declined Pakistan's plea and asked it to continue argument in the absence of an ad-hoc judge.

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MeT department has  forecast a fresh spell of scattered light rain and snowfall in several parts of Kashmir Valley and elsewhere in the State till Friday.
The Divisional Administration of Kashmir has issued a fresh avalanche warning for avalanche-prone areas in Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES:-
  • All dailies lead with India's scathing rebuttal to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan asking for proof of Pakistan's involvement in the Pulwama terror attack.
  • The Hindustan Times leads with, "Imran asks for proof of role in attack, its sitting in Pakistan, says India" while The Pioneer writes, "JeM in Pakistan enough proof says MEA to Imran". The Hindu reports, "Pakistan will hit back if India strike, says, Imran".
  • All papers have covered the tragic collision of planes rehearsing for the upcoming Aero India show in Bengaluru. The Times of India writes "1 pilot dies as 2 IAF planes collide." The Tribune headlines, "Wing Commander dies in Surya Kiran Collision", adding "tragedy hits air force's aerobatic team a day ahead of Aero India show".
  • India gets it 911! The Tribune writes, "112 helpline for all emergencies", as India gets its first national emergency response number.
  • "Angel tax norms for start-ups relaxed" writes The Business Standard adding, "investment limit for tax exemption raised to 25 crore rupees".
  • The Pioneer carries a heart-rending story on mindless deforestation. "Skewed development gobbles up 2 lakh 39 thousand hectares forest".
  • The Indian Express has a section devoted to different stories linked with the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
  • Some of the story headlines are:
  • "If BJP wins 100 seats less than last time, the NDA will decide who should be PM, says Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut".
  • "Not Rafale or Ram temple, youth needs jobs, skills".
  • "Couples creating art together may bond more", writes The Times of India about couples who play board games or take a painting class together produce more oxytocin or 'Love hormone' which is associated with bonding and family cohesiveness.

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