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2100 HRS.

22nd April, 2017


  • India says, terror attack at Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan reminds of urgent need to dismantle safe havens and sanctuaries supporting terrorism from outside its borders.
  • Medical Council of India warns physicians of action if they fail to prescribe medicines by generic names.
  • In Jammu and Kashmir, two terrorists killed in an encounter with security forces in Budgam district.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says, India's economic growth remains resilient with low inflation and low Current Account Deficit.
  • Al-Qaeda Chief Ayman al-Zawahiri hiding in Karachi under the protection of ISI, says a US media report.
  • China's first cargo spacecraft successfully completes automated docking with orbiting space lab Tiangong-2. 
  • In IPL, Rising Pune Supergiant win by 6 wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Pune.


In Afghanistan, the death toll from the terrorist attack by Taliban militants at Mazar-e-Sharif army base has crossed 130. Most of them are government soldiers. At least 10 militants were killed in the fighting and one attacker was detained. The army said, the militants targeted those leaving Friday prayers at the mosque of the base and others in a canteen.

India has strongly condemned the terrorist attack. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed the attack as cowardly. He said, India prays and offers condolences to the families who lost their loved ones.

External Affairs Ministry in a release said, the Government and the people of India stand with Afghan Government and it citizens at this difficult moment. It said, the terrorist attack is a stark reminder of the need to immediately dismantle the safe havens and sanctuaries that support and sustain terrorism in Afghanistan from outside its borders.


The Medical Council of India, MCI, has issued a public notice to all physicians to prescribe drugs only by generic names. MCI warned them of action if they fail to adhere to its guideline. It has also asked the medical practitioners to ensure that there is rational preion and use of drugs, failing which strict disciplinary action will be taken. The MCI reiterated its 2016 directive, in which it had amended the clause of the Indian Medical Council Regulations mandating the doctors to prescribe medicines by generic names in place of brand names.

Health Minister J P Nadda said, the government has taken all steps in the hospitals that doctors prescribe generic medicines for the benefit of the people.

Recently, while inaugurating a multi-speciality hospital in Surat,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stressed on putting in place a legal framework to ensure that doctors prescribe low cost generic medicines to patients. We spoke to senior consultant Dr. Mohsin Wali on the MCI directive to physicians.


Union Minister for Information Broadcasting and Urban Development, M. Venkaiah Naidu invited NGOs and Corporate entities to have partnership with Central government in setting up medical institutions across the country. He was speaking after inaugurating a free health camp in Vijayawada today. Mr. Naidu said the poor are not able to get better health facilities due to scarcity of doctors and lack of health infrastructure. Mr Naidu said, the Centre is planning to set up medical educational institutes in every district with the support of State governments and other stakeholders to produce more doctors.


In Jammu and Kashmir, two unidentified terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Budgam district this evening. A Defence spokesman told AIR that the anti-militancy operation was launched in Chadoora area of the district. As the security forces reached the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists opened indiscriminate fire triggering a gunfight. In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were killed. There was no report of any casualty on the side of forces.  


AIADMK-Amma leader TTV Dhinakaran was today questioned by the police in New Delhi over an alleged attempt to bribe an Election Commission official for retaining the 'two leaves' party symbol and the related money trail.

PTI reports quoting a senior police official that the nephew of jailed AIADMK chief Sasikala was asked about the money trail, and whether he has met any Election Commission official or not. Dhinakaran's lawyers were not allowed to accompany him during the questioning by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police.


Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has said, the states will be given powers to restrict weaker students in fifth and eighth classes. However, the central government will put a condition that students who fail in regular exams for these classes, must be given another chance after three months.  He said, if a student again fails in re-examination, he or she will be restricted to the same class for a whole year.

Inaugurating a workshop on "innovative practices in School Education" in Raipur today, he said, the Centre is spending 70 thousand crore rupees on education every year, which translates into 4.5 percent of the GDP. He said that parents should be guided to change their attitude that English medium education is of better quality than that in vernacular languages.


In Uttar Pradesh, a lower court in Lucknow sent two of the four persons arrested by Anti Terrorist Squad to police custody for eight days. They were arrested for their alleged involvement in terror activities. The two accused were produced in court by the ATS seeking their police remand for further interrogation. 


Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore today said that in the Mudhra scheme, government will distribute loans of Rs 2.5 lakh crore rupees in the current financial year. He said that around  1.25 lakh crore of the loans were distributed in the last financial year. Taking part in the several functions under Sansad Aapke Dwar programmes in a few of the villages of his constituency Jaipur Rural , Mr. Rathore said that government is working on skill development of the youths through which they can get self employment.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said, India has been a major driver of global economic growth. He said, the country expects growth of 7.5 percent for 2017-18 as against 7.1 percent in 2016-17. The Finance Minister is currently on an official tour to Washington to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated meetings. The Minister said, India’s growth remains resilient, with low inflation, fiscal prudence and low Current Account Deficit. He said, India has also undertaken robust structural reform measures.


Egyptian-born Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, one of the world's most wanted terrorists, is most likely hiding in Karachi under the protection of Pakistan's spy agency ISI. A US media report said, ISI has been protecting al-Zawahiri since US forces evicted Al-Qaeda from Afghanistan in late 2001. Newsweek has claimed that its information is based on several authoritative sources. This is for the first time in several years a news report has surfaced about the hiding location of the Al-Qaeda chief, who is Osama bin Laden's mentor and successor.


In Iraq, hundreds of people fled Mosul today after government forces re-took two more districts in the west of the city from Islamic State. Reports say, families fleeing Mosul were taken by bus from a government checkpoint in the south of the city to camps. 

Iraqi forces have taken much of Mosul from the militants who overran the city in June 2014. The military now controls the eastern districts and are making advances in the west.


China's first cargo spacecraft docked successfully with the Tiangong-2 space lab today. This marks a major step towards Beijing's goal of establishing a permanently manned space station by 2022. The Tianzhou-1 cargo resupply spacecraft made the automated docking process with the orbiting space lab after it had taken off on Thursday evening from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre in the southern island province of Hainan.

The Tiangong-2 space laboratory was home to two astronauts for a month last October in China's longest ever manned space mission.

The cargo spacecraft mission provides an important technological basis to build a Chinese space station. It can carry 6 tonnes of goods, 2 tonnes of fuel and can fly unmanned for three months.


A western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir today gave respite to people of North India from scorching heat wave bringing down temperatures. The Head of Regional Weather Forecasting Centre of IMD, Ravinder Vishan said, a fall in temperatures will continue for the next 4 to 5 days.

The MeT Department said, a thunderstorm accompanied by squall and hail occurred at a few places in Jammu and Kashmir,  isolated places in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Similar thunderstorm conditions also prevailed at isolated places in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and the Delhi-NCR.


In Himachal Pradesh, the maximum temperature has decreased by about eight degree Celsius after fresh rains, snowfall and thunderstorms. The Met Department has predicted more rains and snowfall during the next 24 hours.

The intermittent rains and snowfall on higher reaches continued in Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti districts. The authorities have advised people not to cross over the Rohtang Pass on foot due to fresh snowfall and inclement weather in the area. The thunderstorm has caused severe damage to private as well as government property in Banjar and Aani areas of Kullu and Balh valley in Mandi.Shishu Sharma Shantal, AIR News, Shimla.


In Meghalaya, heavy rain has led to a flood-like situation in at least seven villages of South West Garo Hills district. However, there has been no report of any loss of life. The incessant rain since Friday has submerged houses, agricultural land besides damaging roads in seven low-lying areas of the district.


Severe heat wave conditions continued to prevail in various districts of Vidarbha region with the mercury hovering around 44 degrees Celsius. Chandrapur city topped today with a record maximum temperature of 45.2 degrees Celsius in Vidarbha while Brahmapuri city recorded 44.8.


Polling for three Municipal Corporations of Delhi will be held  tomorrow.  Voting will be held in 272 wards from 8 A.M to 5.30 P.M. Over 2,500 candidates are in fray. Our correspondent reports that BJP, Aam Aadmi Party and Congress are the main contenders.


Earth Day was celebrated today across the globe to demonstrate support for environment protection.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his message, said Earth Day is a day of gratitude to Mother Earth and a day to reiterate firm resolve to keep the planet clean and green. He said, it is the duty of the people to live in harmony with the plants, animals and birds they share the Earth with. Mr Modi hoped that this year’s theme of 'Environmental and Climate Literacy’ helps create awareness on protecting nature and natural resources.


Leading oncologists from over 100 cancer hospitals have favoured inclusion of bidi in the list of demerit goods under the GST regime, saying this low-cost tobacco product is the single largest cause of smoking-related deaths in the country. The demand comes ahead of the GST Council meeting on Monday that is likely to fix GST rates, including those on demerit goods.

Oncologists from 108 cancer centres have pleaded to end the serious anomaly of low tax on bidis in the Goods and Services Tax, as bidi smoking alone kills as many as 6 lakh people or 60 per cent of all cancer-related deaths annually.


In IPL, Rising Pune Supergiant beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 6 wickets in a match at Pune today. Chasing a victory target of 177 runs, Pune scored  179 runs for 4 wickets  in their stipulated 20 overs.  The match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils is underway in Wankhede Stadium. Mumbai were 84 for 5 in 13 overs when reports last came in. Earlier, Delhi Daredevils won the toss and opted to field.


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