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  • President Ram Nath Kovind felicitates women achievers at Rashtrapati Bhavan; Asks them to become an inspiration for others; Describes violence against women as a major concern.
  • An army jawan martyred and three civilians killed as Pakistani forces continue intermittent heavy shelling along International Border and Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • India urges UN Security Council to focus on challenges posed by terrorism emanating from safe havens in Pakistan.
  • Seventeen Indian fishermen, arrested for allegedly fishing in Pakistani waters, remanded to custody by a Karachi court.
  • Ten people killed in a cracker factory fire in Bawana, Delhi.
  • CBI registers 22 cases against officials of Punjab National Bank on allegation of fraudulently disbursing loans to private persons.
  • In Sports; India beat Pakistan by two wickets to retain Blind Cricket World Cup.


President Ram Nath Kovind today felicitated exceptional women achievers who are the first to set a milestone in their respective fields at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi

Speaking on the occasion, President said, women of the country can strengthen and develop rural India. He said, women in India are breaking traditional barriers and growing day-by-day. Mr Kovind said, women have to become an inspiration for the rest of the world. He said, in India, women are now flying fighter planes and they are progressing despite several challenges.

जब अवसर मिलता है वन्स यू गेट दी ऑपॉर्चुनिटी। महिलाएं असाधारण उपलब्धियां हासिल करने में सबसे आगे होती हैं।

The President said, development of females will only decide the fate of India. He said, several schemes have been started by the government including Jan Dhan Yojana for the empowerment of women.

Mr Kovind said, violence against women is a major concern and the government and society should find ways to deal with this. Advocating equal rights for women, he said, they have to be empowered for overall development of the country.

मैं समझता हूं कि जिस रफ्तार से महिलाएं सशक्त होंगी और विभिन्न क्षेत्रों में आगे बढ़ेंगी। उसी गति से हम एक अति संवेदनशील और न्यायपूर्ण समाज की ओर आगे बढ़ेंगे।

Over 100 women were selected after an extensive research process by the Women and Child Development Ministry.

The women, who have been felicitated, are those who have been the first in any field like the first woman judge, first woman porter, first woman to head a missile project, first para-trooper and first Olympian.

Earlier, Women and Child Development Minister  Maneka Gandhi said, her ministry is ensuring empowerment of country's women.  She said, safety and security of women and child is the priority of the government. She also said, several schemes have been launched to encourage the women.


In Jammu and Kashmir, an Army jawan was martyred and three civilians, including a minor boy were killed as Pakistani forces continued heavy mortar shelling along the International Border and Line of Control in Jammu region for the third consecutive day today. Sixteen persons including two security personnel have been injured in the firing.

Intermittent exchange of mortar shelling is still continuing  at some places along the International Border in Jammu district and Mankote sector along the LoC in Poonch. Quoting sources, our correspondent reports that Army and BSF troops are giving a befitting reply to the shelling from across the border.


Jammu and Kashmir Government today said, the hostility between India and Pakistan has a direct bearing on the people of the state. Parliamentary Affairs Minister A R Veeri told the Legislative Assembly that they want the resumption of the process initiated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He said, the forward areas in five districts of the Jammu division were affected by the sudden spurt in cross-border firing, even as administration was taking all possible steps to avoid further loss of lives and damage to properties.

Later, talking to reporters outside the House, Mr. Veeri said, an ex-gratia of one lakh rupees has been sanctioned for the family of each of the deceased in Jammu district while an amount of 5,000 rupees each has been sanctioned for those injured as immediate assistance.


India has urged the United Nation Security Council to focus on challenges posed by terrorism emanating from the safe havens in Pakistan.

Indian Ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin said, Pakistan needs to change its mindset of differentiating between good and bad terrorists. He was addressing the UN Security Council during a special ministerial meeting on Afghanistan.

Mr Akbaruddin said, support for voices of peace in Afghanistan alone is not enough, the United Nations must focus on addressing the challenges posed by cross border terrorism emanating from safe havens and sanctuaries to our region and especially to Afghanistan.

"Terrorism and externally-induced instability pose the gravest threat to Afghanistan's peace, stability and prosperity. And, the growing arch of terrorist violence endangers our entire region. We must focus on addressing the challenges posed by cross-border terrorism emanating from safe havens and sanctuaries to our region and especially to Afghanistan."

Pakistan raked up the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav in the UN Security Council after it was accused of providing safe havens to terrorists.

None of the more than two dozen speakers came out in support of the Pakistani argument in this regard.


Seventeen Indian fishermen have been arrested for allegedly fishing in Pakistani waters. A court in Karachi today remanded them into custody. A police official at the docks police station said, most of the fishermen belonged to Gujarat.  The arrests come after the release of 145 Indian fishermen on the 28th of last month.


Ten people were killed after a fire broke out in a cracker factory in Bawana in New Delhi this evening. According to Fire Department, the incident was reported around 6:30 in the evening and more than 30 fire tenders have been rushed to the spot to douse the flames.


The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered 22 cases against certain officials including Chief Managers of Punjab National Bank and others on a complaint from the Bank. The agency said, the bank in its complaint alleged that certain officials of the Bank fraudulently sanctioned and disbursed loans to private persons dealing in the business of coal during the period from 2011 to 2016. It was also alleged that the loans were sanctioned against inflated valuation of the collateral securities, causing alleged loss of around 80 crore rupees to the Bank.

CBI said, searches were conducted at the office and residential premises of accused at 47 places in Madya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi.


Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar launched the Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-free Cities in Panaji today. The initiative under Swachh Bharat Mission - Urban, will rate Indian cities on a 7-star rating system based on multiple cleanliness indicators for solid waste management. The rating protocol provides a single metric to rate a city’s cleanliness rather than separately evaluating multiple factors that contribute to its overall cleanliness and garbage-free status.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Puri said, the initiative was launched from Goa because the state has made impressive strides under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

"Goa is one state, which had made very impressive strides in solid waste management and I thought it only approprite that this star rating  protocol is launched from Goa."


The rural sanitation coverage has reached up to 76 per cent from 39 per cent in October 2014 when the Swachh Bharat Mission was launched. Secretary in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer said this at a workshop on Swachh Bharat Mission at Gurugram in Haryana. He said, three lakh villages, 300 districts and 10 States and Union Territories have been declared Open Defecation Free so far. Mr Iyer also expressed confidence that, with the sustained and focussed implementation, the Prime Minister's vision of a Swachh Bharat by 2nd of October 2019 would be realized. He said, in the workshop, the States shared their plans on achieving an Open Defecation Free status this year, with a strong focus on behaviour change communication.

Aam Aadmi Party has appealed President Ram Nath Kovind to hear its views on the issue of office of profit. Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the legislators were not given a chance to present their views on the matter. He said, despite holding the office as Parliamentary Secretaries, these 20 MLAs did not take any salary or perks. Mr Sisodia said, they have sought time to meet the President and will present evidence to support their case. He said, the Election Commission's recommendation to the President regarding the disqualification of 20 MLAs, was unconstitutional and undemocratic because the legislators were not given an opportunity to defend.

Meanwhile, BJP's Delhi unit has begun serious parleys on the possibility of by-polls to 20 assembly segments in the city. Quoting party sources, news agency PTI reports that the BJP leaders discussed the issue in a meeting of the party's core committee members last night.

Earlier, the Election Commission requested President Ram Nath Kovind yesterday to disqualify 20 of AAP MLAs for holding offices of profit. The poll panel in its opinion sent to the President said, the MLAs, by occupying the post of Parliamentary Secretaries between March 13, 2015 and September 8, 2016, held offices of profit, and were liable to be disqualified as legislators.


Failure to deposit the tax deducted by a company will lead to criminal prosecution with imprisonment from three months to seven years. In a statement, the Principle Chief Commissioner of Income Tax of Delhi, S S Rathore said, the department is very serious about timely depositing of the TDS deducted by the employers. He reiterated that the TDS is government money which has to be deposited in treasury on timely basis. Mr Rathore said, the Principal Chief Commissionerate, New Delhi has sanctioned prosecution in approximately 240 cases this year which show the strict attitude of Income Tax Department towards the defaulters.


The printing of union budget documents 2018-19 started today with the traditional annual Halwa ceremony. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley performed the symbolic ceremony along with Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla and other senior officials at North Block in New Delhi. Our correspondent reports that after the Halwa ceremony, officials of Finance Ministry will stay in Budget printing press until the Budget is presented in Parliament. Mr Jaitley will present the Union Budget in Parliament on the 1st of next month.


The  International Monetary Fund and World Bank have commended the Reserve Bank of India for its remarkable progress in strengthening banking supervision. The IMF and World Bank released two separate Reports of the 2017 India Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) in December last year in which they said, the regulation by the Central bank has improved in recent years. In continuation, the IMF and the World Bank yesterday released two detailed assessment reports relating to the 2017 India FSAP. Market regulator SEBI, in a statement noted that the report on the observance of Basel Core Principles commends the Reserve Bank for the remarkable progress in strengthening banking supervision since the last programme.


The US government has begun shutting down many of its services after the Senate failed to agree on a new budget. Despite last minute bipartisan meetings, the bill to fund the federal government until 16 February did not receive the required 60 votes in the Senate amid a bitter dispute over immigration and border security. The last government shutdown was in 2013, and lasted for 16 days. President Donald Trump has blamed the Democrats for the shutdown which comes exactly a year after he was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.


India retained their Blind Cricket World Cup trophy today after thrashing Pakistan by two wickets in the final at Sharjah in UAE. Sunil Ramesh scored a notable 93-run knock for India.

Team India achieved the victory target of 309 runs by losing 8 wickets with one over to spare.

Earlier, put into bat, Pakistan rode on Badar Munir's fifty to give India a competitive target of 308 runs for 8 wickets in 40 overs.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the Indian cricket team for the win. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, they inspired every Indian with their game as well as phenomenal attitude.


The International Olympic Committee said, North Korea will send 22 athletes to next month's Winter Games in the South. It also confirmed that the athletes from the North and South will march together under a Korean unification flag at the opening ceremony for the Games in Pyeongchang, which begin on 9th of next month.

The IOC has further approved a plan for North and South to field a unified women's hockey team. This was informed by Olympic Chief, Thomas Bach following a meeting in Lausanne with sport and government officials from the two countries.


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