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Cabinet Secy holds meeting with Municipal Commissioners, DMs to review COVID-19 situation in 13 worst affected cities            Around 30 groups in country trying to develop vaccines to fight novel Coronavirus, says Govt            COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 42.75 percent; 3,266 people cured in last 24 hours            Finance Minister launches free instant e-PAN card facility through Aadhaar            Women peacekeepers from Brazil & India win Military Gender Advocate of the Year 2019 Award           

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Newly elected BJP MPs to meet in New Delhi today to formally elect Prime Minister Narendra Modi as their leader.

  • Congress Working Committee meeting underway to deliberate on the party's debacle in Lok Sabha polls.

  • YS Jagan Mohan Reddy unanimously elected as YSR Congress Legislature party leader in Andhra Pradesh.

  • Owner of the tuition class arrested in connection with Surat fire tragedy in Gujarat.

  • In Cricket, India to play New Zealand in their opening warm-up game of ICC World Cup in London in a short while from now.


Newly elected BJP MPs will meet in New Delhi today to formally elect Prime Minister Narendra Modi as their leader. After the meeting, Mr Modi will be elected leader of the newly elected NDA MPs in a meeting at the Central Hall of Parliament in the evening. The Prime Minister is also expected to address the gathering.

Mr Modi called on President Ram Nath Kovind yesterday and tendered his and his Council of Ministers' resignations. The President accepted the resignation and asked the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers to continue till a new government is formed.

President Ram Nath Kovind has dissolved the 16th Lok Sabha. The Cabinet at its meeting held yesterday, had advised the President to dissolve the House with immediate effect. An official communique from Rashtrapati Bhawan said, the President has accepted the advice of the Cabinet.

After the meeting, Mr Modi participated in a meeting of the Council of Ministers, which expressed its gratitude to the Prime Minister. Mr Modi also appreciated the role of his colleagues and their contribution.

The Prime Minister also met and greeted the officers and staff of the Prime Minister's Office, at South Block. Senior officers of the PMO, including Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Nripendra Misra and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval felicitated Mr Modi on his victory. The Prime Minister appreciated the efforts and dedication of the entire PMO, over the last five years.

Mr Modi also urged everyone to rededicate themselves to work even harder to play a key role in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people of India.

"एक भीतर लीडरशिप डेव्लप होना बहुत जरूरी होताहै। जहां जो है वहां लीडरशिप ले रहा है क्या। यानी एक प्रकार से हमारे सक्सेस में लीडरशिपकी cumulative effect है, हमारे यहां लीडरशिप एक ड्राइविंग फोर्स नहीं रहा वर्किंग मे, पूरे पीएम ओके वर्किंग में, मैनेजमेंट की दुनिया में शायद लीडरशिप को ड्राइविंग फोर्स मानतेहोंगे। आवश्यक भी होगा। लेकिन मेरी जो कार्य शैली रही है, जो सोच रही है वो ये है कि हम मल्टी लेयर, मल्टी डायमेन्शनल, लीडरशिप क्वालिटीज का cumulative effect जितनाज्यादा बढ़ाते हैं, उतनी ज्यादा परिणाम कारिता होती है।"

The Prime Minister will visit Gujarat tomorrow to seek blessings of his mother. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, he will visit Varanasi on Monday to thank the people of his constituency for reposing their faith in him.

Meanwhile, The meeting of the Congress Working Committee is underway in the national capital. At the meeting, top Congress leaders are deliberating on the reasons of the party's loss in the polls and assess them. Party President Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are attending the meeting.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora met the President at Rashtrapati Bhawan today and submitted the list of winners of the Lok Sabha polls. The formation of the new government will take place after the notification by the Commission which will have the names of newly elected members. The process of the constitution of the 17th Lok Sabha will formally begin once the notification gets President's approval.

The term of the present Lok Sabha ends on the 3rd of next month.


The newly elected BJP MPs from Delhi today thanked the people of the national capital city for reposing their faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Talking to reporters, Delhi Unit President Manoj Tiwari termed the mandate given by the public as historic. He said from the 2019 Lok Sabha election result, it is evident that the people across the country are trusting Mr Modi's leadership. Mr Tiwari, who was elected from North-East Delhi, said the party is aiming to win the forthcoming Assembly elections in Delhi. He said his party is committed to make Delhi one of the best cities in the country.

"हमारी पॉजिटीविटी नरेन्द्र मोदी जी से आती है। नरेन्द्र मोदी जी ने देश में जितना मेहनत किया और जो सकारात्मकता हमें नरेन्द्र मोदी जी ने सिखाई है। हम उसी को लेकर के चुनाव में गए। हमने अपनी भाषा का, अपने व्यवहार का और अपनी बॉडी लैंग्वेज का हमेशा ध्यान रखा और आज दिल्ली ने जो हमें सात की सात सीटें वापस ऐतिहासिक मतों से दी हैं उसके लिए हम दिल्ली की जनता का शत शत वन्दन करते हैं। यह हम कर्ज मान कर चल रहे हैं। कर्ज की पाई पाई चुकाएंगे।"


Results of the Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan have given a huge setback to the five-month old Congress government in the state. BJP has got about 20 percent more votes in this election than assembly elections. At the same time, most of the ministers of the state government were not even able to retain the lead for the party in their constituencies. More from our correspondent:

"The Ruling Congress party, which won 100 out of 200 seats in the recent assembly polls, was hardly able to put up a fight. The party could maintain a lead in only 9 assembly segments. Only Two ministers in the Gehlot Cabinet able to save their faces to retain the lead for the party from their assembly seats. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 23 ministers of the council of ministers could not able to retain lead from their assembly seats for the party in this election. In local bodies elections to be held in November this year, there may be a tough challenge for the Congress to compete with the BJP. - Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR News, Jaipur."


Odisha Governor Prof. Ganeshi Lal has accepted the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Council of Ministers to pave the way for the formation of the new government in the state. The Governor has requested the Chief Minister to continue till the new Council of Ministers is sworn in. Mr Patnaik is all set to take oath as Chief Minister for a record fifth term in a row.

The Odisha government's move to reserve 33 per cent seats for women in the Lok Sabha has brought huge dividends to BJD in the recently concluded polls. Of the 21 Lok Sabha seats, the BJD had fielded seven women candidates and five of them have emerged victorious in the polls. More from our correspondent:

"Pramila Bisoi, the 70-year-old village leader of a Self Help Group has been elected from Aska Lok Sabha seat by a margin of over 2 lakh 4 thousand votes. Chandrani Murmu from Keonjhar, Rajashree Mallick from Jagatsinghpur, Sarmistha Sethy from Jajpur and Manjulata Mandal from Bhadrak have been elected to the lower house of the Parliament.  However, party’s women candidate in Sundargarh and Koraput seat could not succeed in their efforts. Sunita Biswal in Sundergarh seat lost to Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram; while  Koushalya Hikaka put up a tough fight against Congress’ Saptagiri Ulka in Koraput seat and lost it by a margin of over 3 thousand votes. BJD has secured 12 Lok Sabha seats while BJP won eight and Congress managed to get one seat in Odisha. S.N.Pattnaik, AIR News, Sambalpur."


In Karnataka, senior Congress leader HK Patil has resigned as President of state Congress Campaign Committee, taking responsibility for the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha polls. In a letter to the Congress President, Mr Patil said the results shocked all Congressmen and the outcome in Karnataka is contrary to their expectations.


In Tamil Nadu, the DMK has convened a meeting of its newly elected Lok Sabha members at the party headquarters in Chennai this evening. The meeting, chaired by party President MK Stalin, will be attended by senior party leaders.

Earlier, the party's newly elected MPs and the 13 MLAs met Mr Stalin and placed their Election Certificates before the mausoleum of the party’s founder Annadurai and its patriarchal leader M. Karunanidhi at Marina. The leaders of the party’s coalition partners and their MPs met Mr Stalin yesterday in Chennai, which has been described as a courtesy call. More from our correspondent:

"In the DMK MPs meet today, its parliamentary party leader, Lok Sabha team leader and the whip may possibly be decided. Its floor strategy to be followed in Parliament is also expected to be discussed in the meeting. Party sources said, familiarisation with the Parliamentary procedures for its newly elected members would also be organised. In terms of the party strength in Lok Sabha, the DMK has emerged as the third biggest party and the second largest opposition after Congress. Mr Stalin armed with tailor-made campaign programmes like rural interpersonal interactions, road shows and mega rallies crisscrossed the whole state during the campaign period to galvanise support for his party and the coalition partner. Political commentators say the election results in the state further consolidates Mr Stalin’s position in his party, as the electoral battle has been fought in the absence of charismatic leaders like AIADMK’s J Jayalalithaa or DMK’s M Karunanidhi. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

Meanwhile, the AIADMK Coordinator and state Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and the party's senior leaders, Rajya Sabha members and the party's newly elected lone MP Ravindranath Kumar have left for Delhi to attend the NDA meetings.


In Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress Chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has unanimously been elected as leader of party Legislature. The newly elected 151 MLAs of the YSR Congress met at state Party office in Amaravathi today and formally passed a resolution declaring  Mr Reddy as their leader. The meeting was also attended by senior party leaders and party MLCs from the Legislative Council.

Mr Reddy has left for Hyderabad to meet Governor ESL Narasimhan in the evening. He will submit the list of party MLAs to the governor and stake claim to form the government. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"While the formation of new government is underway, the CM- in-Waiting Jagan Mohan Reddy is now focussing on choosing senior  officers to fill the top slots for his administrative set up. Sources said that he  has already taken a decision to appoint two retired IAS officers as his advisors on finance, administration and other issues. Now the  search is on for top officials to be roped in to run the Chief Minister’s Office. A  major  reshuffling of top bureaucrats is on the cards  with the change of guard in Andhra Pradesh.  Suprsanthi for AIR News Vijayawada."


In Gujarat, police has arrested the owner of the tuition class in connection with yesterday's Surat fire tragedy. At least 22 children, mostly teenage girls, died and many were injured in a major fire at Takshshila complex where the students were taking drawing and art tuition classes in the Smart design Studio. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"After the death of children- mostly teenage girls in gruesome fire tragedy in Surat, the entire state machinery swung in to quick action. FIR has been registered against the builders and operator of tuition class. Families of the deceased children are in deep shock as some of them have scored good numbers in general stream 12th board results declared today. All tuition classes in Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Rajkot have been closed for the checking of fire safety measures and other norms. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said, action would be taken against whoever was found guilty for violation of norms after the detailed probe.The state government has announced 4 lakh rupees cash assistance to the family of each victim.


The Union government has banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh and its manifestations with immediate effect. In its notifications, Home Ministry said, the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh and its formations like Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Hindustan and their manifestations have committed acts and promoted acts of terrorism and have been engaged in radicalisation and recruitment of youth for terrorist activities in India.


International News:-

The Sri Lankan government has termed as prejudiced, the statements made by UN special advisors expressing alarm on the growing acts of violence in the country. In a statement, the government said it is quite ill-conceived that the advisors did not share their concerns with it before going public. Our Colombo correspondent has filed this report:

" UN advisors had said that the violence against Muslims has the potential to escalate even further if not adequately dealt with. Sri Lankan government said the statement sought to sensationalise the issue and connect Easter Sunday attacks to domestic scuffle between religious bigots, which is far from reality. It said that the attacks were influenced and inspired by Islamic state and were not a result of any local conditions. Meanwhile, search and cordon operations against suspects continue and five people were arrested yesterday. Police have also suspended 41 ban accounts of suspects containing over 13 crore rupees. Police had earlier said that assets over 7 billion rupees have been been identified and measure are on to confiscate them. SANTOSH KUMAR FOR AIR NEWS FROM COLOMBO."


BJP leader Narendra Modi will call on President Ram Nath Kovind this evening to stake claim to form the new government. Prior to this, NDA leaders are also likely to call on the President.


In the UK, the race for the next Conservative Party leader has begun, following Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement that she will step down next month over Brexit deal. Ms May failed to win over her Ministers with a revised strategy to withdraw Britain from the European Union.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey have confirmed their intention to stand for the post.

Conservative MPs have until the week commencing 10th of next month to put their name forward and any of them can stand as long as they have the backing of two parliamentary colleagues.

The contest will not only result in a new party leader, but also in the next Prime Minister of the UK. Party bosses expect a new leader to be chosen by the end of July.


The United States has confirmed approval of 8.1 billion US dollars in arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates amid hostilities with Iran. According to news agency Sputnik, the equipment includes aircraft support maintenance; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; munitions; and other supplies.

The development comes hours after a US Senator Bob Menendez said that the Trump administration has invoked a provision in US Sales arms legislation that would allow the White House to sell arms to Saudi Arabia by bypassing Congress. Mr Trump last month vetoed Congress resolution to end US involvement in the Yemen War.


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said, the US decision to deploy 1,500 additional troops to the West Asia is a threat to international peace.

Talking to official IRNA news agency, Mr Zarif said, the increased US presence in the region is dangerous and a threat to international peace and security and must be confronted.

Washington has said, the reinforcements, are in response to campaign of recent attacks approved by Iran's top leadership. These come after the deployment of an aircraft carrier task force, B-52 bombers, an amphibious assault ship and a missile defence system earlier this month.

The United States this month ended the last exemptions it had granted from sweeping unilateral sanctions it reimposed after abandoning a landmark 2015 nuclear between major powers and Iran in May last year.

The move dealt a heavy new blow to Iran's already reeling economy as even vocal critics of the renewed sanctions, like Turkey, announced they had stopped buying Iranian oil.


A US federal judge has temporarily blocked the use of defence department funds to build a border wall between the US and Mexico. The judge granted the injunction to block the use of 1 billion dollars in Arizona and Texas because it had not been approved by Congress.

President Donald Trump declared an emergency earlier this year, saying he needed 6.7 billion dollars to build the wall as a matter of national security. The border wall was Mr Trump's major campaign promise during the 2016 elections.

About 20 states, along with groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, have filed lawsuits to try to stop the President from using the emergency declaration to bypass Congress. Construction was due to begin as early as this weekend in the two states.


US President Donald Trump reached Japan today for a four-day visit. Japanese and US officials hail the relationship between Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as unprecedented.

The visual highlight is likely to be Trump's visit tomorrow to the final day of the sumo tournament where he is expected to present the cup to the winner.

On Monday, President Trump will meet Japan's new Emperor Naruhito, who ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne at the beginning of the month following his father's historic abdication for health reasons.

The formal diplomatic part of the trip is limited to a short bilateral meeting and a working lunch on Monday, after which the two leaders will brief the media. They are also poised to meet families of people abducted by North Korea during the Cold War era to train Pyongyang's spies.

President Trump will also address troops at a US base in Japan, highlighting the military alliance between the two allies at a time when tensions are running higher with North Korea after the failure of the Hanoi summit in February. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is expected to hold talks with his Japanese counterpart on the sidelines of the visit.


In Indonesia, Bali airport has returned to normal operations after some flights were cancelled last night following an eruption of the Mount Agung volcano that spread ash over the south of the island. The national disaster agency said, the eruption lasted 4 minutes and 30 seconds and spread lava and incandescent rocks about 3 kilometers from the crater. The agency, however, said it wasn't raising the level for the volcano. No evacuation was necessary. Agung became active in 2017 after more than half a century of slumber following a major eruption in 1963.


In Venezuela, at least 29 inmates were killed after clashes broke out at a jail inside a police station in the town of Acarigua. Authorities said, at least 19 police officers were wounded. Police said, the incident took place when police special forces tried to stop a massive prison break. Venezuela has had a number of violent prison clashes in recent years. In March last year, 68 inmates died in a fire at a police jail.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed gratitude for India's contribution to the United Nations and its peacekeeping missions. He stressed on the inspiring role Indian women have played for the world body to help maintain international peace and security.

Mr Guterres was speaking in New York at a special tea reception hosted by India's Permanent Mission to the UN to commemorate the International Day of UN Peacekeepers and “pay homage to those who couldn't return” after their service in the missions.

He said, India at present contributes about 6,400 peacekeepers to various missions across the world. The UN Secretary-General said, India has been an example of commitment to the United Nations Charter, to the values of the UN and with the sacrifice of their women and men through peacekeeping. He said, India has the largest percentage of women in police force, at around 32 per cent, which is remarkable and is an extraordinary contribution to the future of peacekeeping.

The event, attended by UN ambassadors and diplomats, police and military personnel from peacekeeping, has become an annual tradition along with other solemn ceremonies conducted at the world body's headquarters.

Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare were also present during the event.

India's UN envoy Syed Akbaruddin said that the country pays homage to those who couldn't return after their service in the UN peacekeeping. Mr Akbaruddin said, Peacekeeping has been a difficult endeavour but it has not deterred them from working together for international peace and security.

Marking the day, Guterres laid a wreath to honour the fallen peacekeepers and honoured 119 brave men and women with the prestigious Dag Hammarskjold medal for their courage and sacrifice in the line of duty.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed a decorated Indian Army officer as the new Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar will succeed Lieutenant General Frank Kamanzi of Rwanda who completes his assignment tomorrow. The announcement was made by the UN chief yesterday. A statement by the UN Spokesperson said, the decorated Indian Army officer "has had a long and distinguished career with the Indian Armed Forces spanning over 34 years.


The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired an indigenously-developed 500 kg class guided bomb from a Sukhoi combat jet at Pokhran in Rajasthan. The Defence Ministry said in New Delhi that the guided bomb achieved the desired range and hit the target with high precision. The ministry said, all the mission objectives have been met during the test firing of the bomb, adding it is capable of carrying different warheads.

The test firing of the guided bomb came two days after the Indian Air Force successfully test fired the aerial version of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from a Sukhoi jet at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The 2.5 tonne air-to-surface missile has a range of around 300 km, and it will significantly enhance the IAF's combat capability.


The Indian Air Force's formidable workhorse, the Russian made AN-32 aircraft has been formally fleet certified to fly on blended aviation fuel containing up to ten per cent  of indigenous bio-jet fuel. The approval certificate was received at the aero-engine test facilities at Chandigarh by Air Commodore Sanjiv Ghuratia yesterday. An official release said, the IAF has undertaken a series of evaluation tests and trials with this green aviation fuel for the last one year. The scope of these checks was in consonance with the international aviation standards. The approval is an acknowledgement of the meticulous testing using the indigenous bio-jet fuel by the IAF.


The task force set up to draft a new direct tax law to replace the existing Income Tax Act has been given 2-month extension till July 31 to submit its report. The task force was scheduled to submit the report by May 31. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the annual conference of tax officers in September 2017, had observed that the Income-tax Act, 1961, was drafted more than 50 years ago and it needs to be redrafted. The task force was assigned to draft direct tax laws in line with the norms prevalent in other countries, incorporating international best practices, and keeping in mind the economic needs of the country.


Delhi experienced an unusually  cool morning today  as the minimum temperature settled at 24.5 degrees Celsius, two notches below the average. The MeT department said the day will be marked by mainly clear sky. The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 36 degrees Celsius. 


In Cricket, India will take on New Zealand in their opening warm-up game of the ICC World Cup in London in a short while from now. The match will begin at 3 pm (Indian Standard Time). In the other warm-up game, hosts England will face defending champions Australia at Southampton. This match will also start at 3 PM.

In yesterday's matches, Afghanistan defeated Pakistan by 3 wickets, while South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs. Team India, second behind England in the ODI rankings, will start the tournament among the favourites alongside England and Australia. The Men in Blue, who had won the tournament in 1983 and 2011, will begin their campaign in tournament proper against South Africa in Southampton on the 5th of next month. The opening game will be played between England and South Africa in London on Thursday.


India has bagged a total of 57 medals - 12 Gold, 18 Silver and 27 Bronze at India Open International Boxing tournament in Guwahati. MC Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa, L Sarita Devi and Naman Tanwar won gold in their respective finals. Mary Kom, the London Olympic bronze medallist, blew away the challenge of Vanlal Duati in a 5-0 win. This was Mary's second gold in the tournament, having won in 48 kg last year in the capital. On the other hand, Deepak defeated Govind Kumar in 49 kg final while in 52 kg category - Amit Panghal defeated Sachin.


Scientists from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea have developed flexible wearable sensors that stick to the skin, paving the way for novel health trackers that could monitor a variety of human activities. They said the device could monitor an array of human activities, including electrocardiogram signals, pulse and speech patterns, demonstrating its potential use in medical applications.


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