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Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
20.02.2019
THE headlines:
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi ArabiaN Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud hold talks in New Delhi; Both sides sign five agreements in various areas, including energy and tourism.
  • Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman invites investments in aero space and other defence sectors; says, India offers big market for manufacturing.
  • Robert Vadra questioned again by Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi in a money laundering case.
  • Supreme Court holds Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani guilty of contempt of court for not paying dues to Telecom equipment maker Ericsson.
  • And, government launches Operation Digital Board to provide better digital education in schools.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in New Delhi today. Both leaders reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and discussed a wide range of issues. Five agreements in various areas, including energy, tourism and housing, were also signed after the delegation-level talks.
Addressing a joint press conference with the Crown Prince, Mr Modi said, India and Saudi Arabia have age old historic social and economic linkages. He said Saudi Arabia is one of the most crucial strategic partners of India. The Prime Minister said India and Saudi Arabia will further increase their cooperation in the defence sector and improve their economic ties.
"आज 21वीं सदी में सऊदी अरब भारत के सबसे मूल्यवान स्ट्रेजेजी पार्टनर्स में हैं। ये हमारे विस्तृत पड़ोस में है। एक करीबी दोस् है और भारत की ऊर्जा सुरक्षा का  महत्वपूर्ण स्रोत भी है
The Crown Prince arrived in New Delhi last evening on a two-day visit to India. He was accorded ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan this morning. Talking to reporters, the Crown Prince said he wants the relationship between India and Saudi Arabia to be  maintained and improved for the sake of both countries.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also called on the Crown Prince. They discussed ways to add momentum to the relationship in various fields including trade, investment, defence, security, and regional co-operation.
The visiting dignitary will call on President Ram Nath Kovind later in the day.
The Crown Prince, who is also the Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Ministers, senior officials and leading Saudi businessmen.
The visit follows the visit of Mr Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016, during which the two countries agreed to further elevate existing strategic partnership.

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The Prime Minister will embark on a two-day visit to South Korea tonight. The visit is part of the growing momentum of high-level exchanges between the two countries. Mr Modi will hold talks with South Korean leadership and other stakeholders in Seoul. He will also be conferred with the Seoul Peace Prize in recognition of his dedication to international cooperation, global growth and human development. Our correspondent, covering the Prime Minister's visit, has filed this report:
" South Korea has become a very important partner in India’s economic modernization. In last two years, bilateral trade has grown from 15 to 21 billion dollars and is targeted to reach 50 billion dollars by 2030. Many big Korean companies are operating in India and joining in national initiatives like Make in India, Smart India and infrastructure projects. Now, the focus is on inviting medium and small Korean businesses also.  Defence and strategic cooperation between India and Korea is also growing after the New Southern Policy of South Korea. Prime Minister’s visit will highlight this synergy and is expected to further consolidate Special Strategic Partnership between the two countries.  With Raj Kumar from Delhi, this is Anshuman Mishra AIR News, Seoul."

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today invited investments in aero space and other defence, sectors saying that India offers a big market for manufacturing. In her inaugural remarks at the Aero India 2019, at the Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, Mrs Sitharaman said, India is transforming itself from being the biggest importer of defence equipment to being one of the main manufacturer of defence products under the Make in India programme.
"Make in India proposition, I am proud to say that contribution to aero space sector is very high from this part of the country.  They contribute world class aero space components, structure, avionic technologies, design skills and innovation. The achievement of the young startup are also making sure that through the innovation they can contribute, startups are making a very big difference to the aero space industry."
The Defence Minister said, during the last four years, 150 contracts worth about one lakh 27 thousand 500 crore rupees have been signed with the Indian vendors for procurement of defence equipment for the armed forces.
Our correspondent reports that the 12th edition of 'Aero India', Asia's premier Air show is showcasing India's air defence prowess, and also acting as a platform for aviation companies, defence sector and government to forge new alliances and the contracts.
"The 12th edition of Aero India took off at Air Force Station by offering tributes to wing commander Sahil Gandhi who died in the Surya Kiran crash yesterday. A missing man formation was flown by Jaguar, Tejas and Sukhoi during the fly past during the inaugural today. Rafale, F-16, Sukhoi, Mirage, Dakota and our very own India’s Advanced Light Helicopter, Light Utility Helicopter, Light Combat Helicopter, HTT 40 training aircraft created a spectacle during the inauguration today. Over 60 Indian and Foreign flying machines are at the show. Over 400 exhibitors are participating in this mega event.  Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru."

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President Ram Nath Kovind today urged policy makers to come up with actionable ideas on environment issues. The President was addressing the International Conference and Exhibition on Energy and Environment in New Delhi. He said, energy and environment are the areas of concern in today's era of rapid technological development. Mr Kovind added that India made a number of commitments at the Paris Climate conference including lowering the emissions intensity by 2030.
The President said, the government is committed to provide power to citizens at affordable rates.
Speaking on the occasion, Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, the government is according the highest importance to clean energy as it is the precursor of sustainable energy. He said, India is growing at a faster pace therefore access to clean energy and water is a must.

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The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting is underway in New Delhi. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is chairing the 33rd meeting of the Council via Video conferencing. Rationalisation of rates of GST on real estate and lottery are on the agenda of the meet.

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Robert Vadra is again being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in New Delhi today in a money laundering case. Vadra, husband of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, reached the ED office this morning for questioning. The case against Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property worth 1.9 million pounds. He was questioned by the ED in the same case earlier this month. He has been asked by a Delhi court to cooperate in the probe.

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The Supreme Court today held Reliance Communications  (RCom) chairman Anil Ambani guilty of contempt of court for wilfully violating its order and not paying its dues of 550 crore rupees to Telecom equipment maker Ericsson. The court held that  RCom chairman Anil Ambani,  Reliance Telecom chairman Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani breached the undertaking given to the court and the related orders. The court said, the RCom chairman and others will have to purge the contempt by paying 453 crore rupees to Ericsson in 4 weeks. A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran said, if they failed to make the payment within the specified period, they will undergo a jail term of three months.

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The Government today launched Operation Digital Board on the lines of Operation Blackboard to provide better digital education in schools. Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said, under the initiative, seven lakh classrooms of 9th, 10th and 11th standards and two lakh class rooms of colleges and Universities will be equipped with digital boards in the next three years. He said, it will improve the quality of education and offer new opportunities and new ways of teaching and learning. The Minister said, it will convert the monologue class rooms into interactive ones. He said, the move will revolutionize the education system in the country with different kinds of digital teaching materials, quality lectures and other facilities.

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The recruitment drive in Railways will provide ten percent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections. In a tweet, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said, this will not impact the existing quota.
The government has released advertisement for fresh recruitment to 1 lakh 30,000 vacancies in Railways. The advertisement issued by Railway Recruitment Board will be published in the edition of Employment News dated 23rd February to 1st March.
As per the advertisement, around one lakh people will be  recruited for level one posts. Thirty thousand vacancies will be for Non-Technical Popular Category, Para-medical staff, ministerial and isolated categories.

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In Jammu and Kashmir, curfew relaxation in Jammu city has been extended up to 3 this afternoon. Earlier today, the curfew was relaxed from 8 am to 11 am and later till 1 PM in most areas of the city and its outskirts. However, prohibitory orders will remain in force to maintain law and order.
The authorities have once again appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony.
Curfew was imposed after protests rocked the city over the Pulwama terror attack.

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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 UN. Pakistan-based outfit JeM has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead.
The French decision was discussed between Philippe Etienne, Diplomatic Advisor to the French President and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in New Delhi yesterday.

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President Ram Nath Kovind has greeted the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram on their statehood day today. In a tweet, Mr Kovind said, Arunachal Pradesh is a jewel of the Northeast and is blessed with spectacular natural beauty and a rich culture. He extended his best wishes to Arunachal Pradesh for a bright future.
The President also extended his wishes to Mizoram in its development journey.

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Domestic share markets today logged gains in afternoon trade, snapping losing streak of nine sessions. Sensex and Nifty, both, climbed more than 0.6 percent amid positive cues from global stocks.

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