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Last Updated : Dec 10 2019 7:09AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
BJP govt gains majority as party wins 12 of 15 seats in K'taka by-polls            Parliament passes Recycling of Ships Bill; Lok Sabha clears Arms (Amendment) Bill            Discussion on Citizenship Amendment Bill underway in Lok Sabha            UP govt to set up 218 fast-track courts for crimes against women and children            WADA bans Russia from international sporting events for four years           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
21.11.2019
THE HEADLINES:
  • Union Cabinet approves sale of government stake in five Central Public Sector Enterprises.
  • Cabinet clears import of 1.2 lakh metric tonnes of onions to improve domestic availability and check prices.
  • Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena leaders say a stable government will be formed in Maharashtra soon.
  • Single window system introduced by government will attract more international filmmakers to India, says, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar. 
  • In Sri Lanka, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to be sworn in as new Prime Minister today.

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The government has approved sale of its stake in five Central Public Sector Enterprises, CPSEs. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA, gave its nod to strategic disinvestment in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Limited (THDCIL). The resources unlocked by the strategic disinvestment of these CPSEs would be used to finance the social sector and developmental programmes of the Government, benefiting the public. In 2015, the Government re-initiated the policy of strategic disinvestment in order to open up sectors for private enterprise to bring efficiency in management.
Briefing media after the CCEA meeting yesterday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will sell its 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL after taking out Numaligarh Refinery from its portfolio.
"The  Cabinet  Committee on Economic Affairs has given the clearance or in principle approval for enabling reduction of Government of India paid up share capital  in select Central Public Sector Enterprises, CPSEs to be at  51 per cent while retaining the management control."
The Minister said Numaligarh Refinery in Assam will be carved out of BPCL before privatisation and taken over by another PSU. 
Ms Sitharaman said the CCEA approved strategic disinvestment of Government's shareholding of 63.75 per cent in SCI, 30.8 per cent in CONCOR along with transfer of management control to a strategic buyer, 74.23 per cent in THDCIL and 100 per cent in NEEPCO along with transfer of management control to National Thermal Power Corporation. The CCEA also approved reduction of the government's stake in select PSUs below 51 per cent, while retaining the management control. The Finance Minister said, this is intended to widen the bandwidth of the disinvestment window in select CPSEs.
The CCEA, also gave its nod to the amendments proposed in the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) Model by National Highways Authority of India. The Model would facilitate efficient toll realization through private sector.
In other important decisions, the Cabinet has approved import of 1.2 lakh metric tonnes of onions to improve the domestic availability of the key kitchen staple and check prices.  On the 16th of November, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had announced that the government would import 1 lakhs tonnes of onions through state-run MMTC, which has already floated a tender for buying 4,000 tonnes of the commodity from the global market.
The Cabinet also approved a bill which provides for a legal framework to grant ownership rights to nearly 40 lakh people living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi. The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019 will allow registration of properties and provide certain relief to the residents of 1731 unauthorised colonies in the city from registration charges and stamp duty.

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With all the three parties - Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena giving a categorical indication about joining hands to form a government in Maharashtra, the stand-off  seems likely to be resolved soon. Talking to reporters last evening, Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has expressed confidence to form a stable government soon.
"महाराष्ट्र में चुनाव के बाद जो अस्थिर परिस्थिति है उसे तुरंत समाप् करने के लिए कांग्रेस और एनसीपी के बीच देर तक चर्चा हुई। चर्चा सकारात्मक थी, अभी और कुछ बातें होनी है।"
While Chavan hoped that the political uncertainty will end soon, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik, too, was unambiguous about the need to join hands with the Sena. He asserted that a government cannot be formed in the state without the three parties coming together.
"Congress, NCP leaders sat together, Principally decided, we must provide an alternate government in the state of Maharastra. Without coming together of three parties, it is not possible."
This is being viewed as the most emphatic public statement by the Congress-NCP combine about their intent to join hands with the Sena to form a government.
Addressing media, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the NCP and the Congress have clearly said that the three parties will come together. More from our Mumbai correspondent:
"Speaking to reporters after the nearly four-hour-long meeting at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar's residence, both Prithviraj Chavan and Nawab Malik said the current spell of President's rule in Maharashtra has brought administration to a standstill, and the two parties are confident of ending this. Chavan added that they will soon be able to give a stable government in Maharashtra. Later, the Congress leaders met party president Sonia Gandhi too. Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the NCP and the Congress have clearly stated that the three parties will come together and make a Common Minimum Programme. SONALI GHADYALPATIL, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."

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The Golden Jubilee Edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) got off to a mesmeric start at Panaji in Goa last evening. A galaxy of stars from the Indian and world film industry were present at the grand opening ceremony which was hosted by the master of entertainment Karan Johar.  
Mega star Amitabh Bachchan and renowned Super star Rajinikanth announced the festival open, in the presence of Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mr Javadekar said, the government is now preparing for single window arrangement through which all the permissions required to shoot a film in the country will be granted. The Minister said, the single window system introduced by the government will attract more international filmmakers to shoot their films in India. At the event, actor Rajinikanth was bestowed with the Icon of the Jubilee Award.
From today, the Golden Peacock Retrospective section will showcase eight movies from eight different countries. Here is a report.
"Gamperaliya, At Five in the Afternoon, Moner Manush, Leviathan - are among the best films in the International competition section at IFFI over the past 49 years. These are the films which won the Golden Peacock Awards in the previous years. Introduced in its 3rd edition, Golden Peacock is the most prestigious award by  IFFI for the best film in the international competition section. Sri Lankan film Gamperaliya was awarded for the very first time in 1965 for it's style and content. The  Golden Peacock Retrospective will open with with Gamperaliya directed by Lester James Peries.
At Five in the Afternoon, directed by Samira Makhmalbaf is a drama telling the story of a girl's pursuit for education in post Taliban Afghanistan. Moner Manush by Goutam Ghose has Bangla film Star Prosenjit who will also make an appearance at IFFI. He stars as a Baul singer in the film. Respect, Rememberance, Review is the hallmark of this section.
Keep enjoying the magic of cinema with us in IFFI@50. WITH ANKITA'S REPORT FROM GOA, TANVI KHURANA FOR AIR NEWS."

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the conclave of Accountants General in New Delhi today. Mr Modi will unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, before his address to Accountants General and Deputy Accountants General from across the country at the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

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On the second day of its Jharkhand visit, the Election Commission team led by its chief Sunil Arora will review poll preparations in Ranchi today with the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and other Enforcement Agencies of the state. Our correspondent reports that the EC team yesterday, held a series of meetings with various political parties and civil administration.

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In Sri Lanka, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the brother of newly elected President Gotabaya will be sworn in as  Prime Minister today.  The development comes following the  incumbent Ranil Wickremsinghe's decision to resign from his post to pave way for a caretaker government after his party suffered a defeat in the presidential elections held on Saturday. The swearing-in will take place in the afternoon after Mr Wickremsinghe formally tenders his resignation. Earlier, he said that while his government still has majority in Parliament, it was decided to respect the mandate given to Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Presidential polls, and step down. We have a report:
"Mahinda Rajapaksa served as two-term President during which 2005 to 2015 and is elder brother of current President Gotabaya Rajapksa. He was barred from contesting Presidential elections because of two-term limit and will be staging a political comeback as Prime Minister. A caretaker cabinet of 15 ministers is also expected to be sworn in. The caretaker government may not have majority in Parliament and will carry routine work till parliamentary elections are held early next year. SANTOSH KUMAR, AIR NEWS, COLOMBO."

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US Ambasaador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland has told the impeachment inquiry that he followed President Donald Trump's orders to put pressure on Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden. Ambassador Sondland said the instruction came from the President's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The inquiry is assessing if Donald Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine as a precondition. He denies any wrongdoing.
If found guilty in a majority vote in the House, Mr Trump will face an impeachment trial in the Senate. But two-thirds of members of that Republican-controlled chamber would then need to vote for Mr Trump to be removed from office.  

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In Badminton, Indian shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma will play the second round matches of the Men's Singles event at the Korea Open today. The sixth seeded Srikanth will face Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the second round at Gwangju.  He defeated Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki Vincent in the opening round.
Sameer Verma also reached the second round after his opponent Japan's Kazumasa Sakai retired midway. He will take on local favourite Kim Donghun in the next round.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES:
  • Home Minister Amit Shah announcing a pan-India NRC, and a 2-year relief to Telcos on spectrum payments, receive prominent attention in the newspapers this morning.
  • "Assam rejects NRC, Shah says will do it afresh across nation" is the lead in the Indian Express.
  • "Government hands 42000 crore rupee lifeline to struggling telecom firms" headlines the Times of India.
  • "In big bang move, Cabinet clears strategic sale in 5 PSUs" writes the Hindu Business Line.
  • On Government formation in Maharashtra, the Asian Age states "Sena, NCP, Congress government in Maharashtra by December". "NCP for 50:50 on Maharashtra CM post" observes the Pioneer.
  • "Pollution worsens in Capital as wind speed slows down" highlights the Hindustan Times.
  • And finally, "Raisina Hill Goes Blue for Child Rights", the Times of India captions a photograph of North & South Block and Rashtrapati Bhavan, lit blue on Wednesday evening in solidarity with disadvantaged and vulnerable children, as part of the 'Go Blue' campaign.

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