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News Highlights
India conducts highest ever single day COVID-19 tests; recovery rate improves to over 70 pct            National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 deliberates on strategy to ensure availability of vaccines & its delivery mechanism            Nitin Gadkari calls for increased international investment in Indian Highways & MSME sectors            PM Modi to launch platform for 'Transparent Taxation-Honoring the Honest' tomorrow            121 Police personnel awarded Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation for 2020           

Text Bulletins Details

News at Nine

2100 HRS

2100 HRS

05th December, 2019


  • Reserve Bank keeps Repo rate unchanged at 5.15 per cent; Revises GDP growth forecast to 5 per cent for 2019-20.

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says slashing Corporate Tax is an effective reform to attract more investments. 

  • Over 66 Per cent polling recorded for 15 Karnataka Assembly by elections.

  • Campaigning for second phase of Jharkhand Assembly election ended this evening; Elaborate security arrangements in place for voting on Saturday.

  • Rajya Sabha condemns setting on fire Unnao rape survivor in Uttar Pradesh; Calls for stringent action against culprits.

  • US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi orders drafting of impeachment articles against President Trump.

  • In South Asian Games, India continues its winning streak; Bags 118 medals, including 58 gold.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its fifth bi-monthly Monetary Policy has kept the policy repo rate unchanged at 5.15 per cent. The six-member Monetary Policy Commiittee headed by Governor Shaktikanta Das unanimously voted for a status quo policy. The reverse credit policy has also maintained the reverse repo rate at 4.90 per cent and the marginal standing facility rate and Bank Rate at 5.40 per cent.  Real GDP growth for 2019-20 has been revised downwards from 6.1 per cent to 5 per cent.

Interacting with Media, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the decisions are in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index inflation of 4 per cent while supporting growth. 

"It is also likely that the government may initiate some more countercyclical fiscal and other measures to arrest the slowdown. The forthcoming Union Budget will provide greater clarity on all these aspects. At this critical juncture, it is of paramount importance that monetary policy and fiscal policy continue to work in coordination to achieve the best results in the national endeavor to revive growth."

Meanwhile, the equity benchmarks today closed lower in volatile trade after the Reserve Bank left interest rates unchanged. However, the rupee appreciated 24 paise to 71 rupees and 29 paise against the US dollar.

Sensex at Bombay stock exchange settled 71 points down at 40,780. Nifty at National Stock Exchange also slipped 25 points to close at 12,018. 


The Rajya Sabha has returned the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, after approving it as passed by the Lok Sabha.

Replying to the discussion in the Upper House, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, slashing the Corporate Tax remains an effective reform measure to attract more investments. She said, the amendments in the taxation laws as envisaged in the Bill have more provisions and clarifications than the Ordinance that was promulgated earlier.

The Minister rebutted allegations that the amendments are aimed at helping big corporate and said the Corporate Tax rebates as provided for are applicable to all the companies registered under the Companies Act including the MSMEs. Ms Sitharaman clarified that the new tax rebate is extended to only new companies so as to attract fresh investments to the country.


In Karnataka, the polling for by-election to 15 Assembly segments completed peacefully. However a few cases of EVM malfunction and voters not finding their names in the electoral rolls were reported during the voting process.

As per the latest figures on the voters’ turnout, an average of over 66.25 per cent was reported in all the 15 constituencies. Chickballapur Assembly segment recorded the highest of 79.80 poll percentage and Shivajinagar in Bengaluru recorded the lowest of 41.13 per cent. Counting of votes will be taken up on 9th December.

"The fortune of 165 candidates is locked inside EVMs kept in 4185 polling booths. The EVMs and VVPATs are moved to strong rooms near 11 counting centres. During the election today BJP has filed a complaint with State Electoral Office against Jewargi Congress MLA Ajai Singh for influencing voters in Shivajinagar today. Congress has filed another complaint against Yellapur, K R Pura and Yeshwanthpur BJP candidates for their supporters allegedly distributing cash among the voters. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru."


In Jharkhand, campaigning for the second phase of Assembly elections ended this evening. Twenty Assembly constituencies spread over seven districts will go to the polls in this phase on Saturday. 260 candidates including 29 women are in the fray in this phase. The Chief Electoral Officer of Jharkhand, Vinay Kumar Choubey has said that elaborate security arrangements are being made as these areas are extremist infested.

"ये चरण भी हम लोगों के लिए चैलेंजिंग चरण है क्योंकि इसमें भी लेफ्ट विंग एक्सट्रिमिज्म से काफी अफेक्टेड जिले जैसे कि चाईबासा, खूंटी, सरायकेला, इवेन रांची का भी जो पार्ट हो रहा है तमाड तो ये सब भी लेफ्ट विंग एक्सट्रिमिज्म से काफी अफेक्टेड हैं, तो इसके लिए हम लोगों ने व्यापक सुरक्षा के इंतजाम किये हैं और सभी मतदान केन्द्रों पर पर्याप्त संख्या में केन्द्रीय सुरक्षा बल अथवा जिला बल उपलब्ध रहेंगे। 155 मतदान केंद्रों के अपने जो मतदानकर्मी हैं, उनको हम लोग हेलीकाप्टर के माध्यम से उनके मतदान केंद्रों तक पहुंचा रहे हैं। इसमे से 125 तो चाईबासा में ही शेष जो है वो सरायकेला औऱ खूंटी जिला में है।"

Chief Minister Raghubar Das, state cabinet ministers Neelkanth Singh Munda, State BJP Chief Laxman Gilua, rebel BJP leader Saryu Roy, JD(U) State President  Salkhan Murmu, and National spokesperson of Congress Gaurav Ballabh are prominent candidates in this phase. Our correspondent takes a look at the election scenario :-

"Commitment towards protection of rights of tribal people over water, forest and land, issues of reservations and employment remain dominated during this phase in election campaigns of all political parties. Senior leaders of BJP prominently raised the issue of development, National Citizenship Register, Ram Janmbhoomi Ayodhya case, Article 370, Triple Talaque during their poll campaigns. On the other hand issues of tribal rights, education, unemployment, reservation in private sector reflected in election rallies of Congress and other regional parties. Dharmendra Kumar Rai, AIR News, Ranchi."


The Rajya Sabha has condemned the incident of setting on fire the rape survivor in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh and called for stringent action against the culprits. In the post-lunch session, Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said, he has talked to the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to get details of the incident. He said, there is need to send out a signal that such heinous crimes against women will not be accepted and there should be swift action against the perpetrators.

"The entire House condemns the incident. Needed is not arrest in one case, as everyone said, we must send out a signal to the entire country, to the society that in such incidents the action should be taken promptly, swiftly, adequately, so that the things cannot be repeated once again. Also appealed to the society to isolate such people and stand by the victim."

The rape survivor has been airlifted to Delhi for better treatment. All 5 persons accused of setting ablaze the rape victim have been arrested by the police. The incident took place in Bihar area of the district this morning when the accused, out on bail, attempted to burn the woman by dousing her with kerosene in the fields outside the village. The Victim had filed a complaint of rape in March this year. Briefing media in Lucknow, IG law Parveen Kumar said, strict action will be ensured through fast track investigation and prosecution.

"पांच व्यक्तियों का नाम बताया गया था। उन पांचों व्यक्तियों की तत्परता से पुलिस के द्वारा गिरफ्तारी की गई है और इस प्रकरण में जो भी वैज्ञानिक परिस्थिति जन सांक्ष् हैं उनको संकलन किया जा रहा है।"


The Union Government today said a total 31 thousand 696 Mega- Watts of grid connected solar power has been set up by the end of October this year in the country. A target of eight thousand MW solar power capacity has been set for 2019-20.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, New and Renewable Energy Minister R.K. Singh said, Central Government had set a target for deploying twenty thousand MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 which was later revised to one lakh MW in 2015.


Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad today said, over 16 lakh cases are pending in the High Courts while around 66 lakh cases are pending for five years or more in the District and Subordinate Courts in the country.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Prasad said, over Four lakh 19 thousand cases are pending in the Allahabad High Court which is the highest among the High Courts.


In the United States, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi today announced that the house is drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

In her announcement Ms Pelosi said, The President has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections. She said, our democracy is what is at stake. She said that the President has left them with no choice but to act.

Democrats are charging toward a Christmas time vote on removing the 45th President, a situation Ms Pelosi hoped to avoid but which now seems inevitable. President Trump is alleged to have abused the power of his office by putting personal political gain over national security interests.


The BJP has criticized the former Prime Minister and Congress leader Dr Manmohan Singh for his remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Speaking at an event to mark the 100th Birth Anniversary of former Prime Minister I K Gujral, Dr Singh said that 1984 anti-Sikh riots could have been avoided if the then Home Minister P V Narasimha Rao had heeded the suggestion of Mr Gujral of calling in the Army.

Union Minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar while talking to reporters in New Delhi today, questioned that if Narasimha Rao was not an efficient Home Minister, why did Dr Singh choose to become the Finance Minister in his government in 1991.


Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar today accused Congress leader P. Chidambaram of violating the Supreme Court’s direction by making comments on the ongoing corruption case against him. Briefing reporters outside  Parliament, Mr. Javadekar hit out at the Congress leader for criticizing the government over the economic situation saying, during the UPA rule, inflation was high and growth rate was low.

"भ्रष्टाचार के आरोप में उन पर पिछले 105 दिन केस के चलते जेल में रहना पड़ा। बेल देते समय कोर्ट ने कहा था कि आप केस पर कोई पब्लिक स्टेटमेंट नहीं देंगे, लेकिन चिदम्बरम जी ने आज स्टेटमेंट दिया कि माई रिकॉर्ड एज मिनिस्टर इज वैरी क्लियर यही तो आरोप है कि मंत्री पद का कर्तव् निभाते हुए आपने भ्रष्टाचार किया, यही तो केस है।" 

Earlier, briefing media in New Delhi, Mr Chidambaram expressed grave concern over the slowdown in country's economy.


A special court in Mumbai today declared Nirav Modi a fugitive economic offender. The key accused in the Punjab National Bank fraud case was declared fugitive on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are the prime accused in the PNB fraud case, related to alleged fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking that caused a loss of over 2 billion dollar to the public sector bank.


Fifteenth Finance Commission has submitted its report for 2020-21 to President Ram Nath Kovind. Chairman of the Commission N K Singh, Members Ajay Narayan Jha, Ashok Lahiri, Ramesh Chand, Anoop Singh and Secretary Arvind Mehta today called on the President and submitted the report for further necessary action. 


Indian athletes excelled at the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal and grabbed 48 medals comprising 24 gold, 18 silver and six bronze today. Indian women displayed their power and clinched 16 gold, 6 silver and 2 bronze for the country. India dominated in Wushu, Weightlifting, Swimming, Shooting and Taekwondo. On the fifth day of games, India further consolidated its top position in medal tally with a total 118 medals comprising 58 gold, 41 silver and 19 bronze.


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