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0815 HRS



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, India has become the centre of attraction to the world and International rating agencies acknowledge the progress; Pitches for holding simultaneous Lok Sabha, Assembly and Local body polls.
  • No plans of bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart at Davos, says Government.
  • Pakistani troops continue heavy mortar shelling and firing along International Border in Jammu; Four persons including two civilians killed.
  • Mrs. Anandiben Patel to be next Governor of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Government announces names of nine more smart cities taking the total to ninety-nine.
  • Surgical strike, building toilets and  DBT  are examples of Rashtra-niti, says Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani.
  • And in Blind Cricket World Cup finals, India  to take on Pakistan at Sharjah today.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India has become the center of attraction to the world and International Ratings Agencies have acknowledged its progress. In an interview to a TV Channel yesterday, Mr. Modi said massive Foreign Direct Investment is coming into the country and India never witnessed such a jump in FDI in the past.


"भारत एक बहुत बड़ा मार्केट तो है ही है, लेकिन भारत एक बहुत बड़ा डेमोग्राफिक डिविडेंट वाला स्ट्रैंथ है। तो विश्व का आकर्षण होना बहुत स्वाभाविक है। हम देख रहे हैं कि एफडीआई का इतना बड़ा इंतज़ाम पहले कभी नहीं हुआ है। जब विश्व का भारत के प्रति इतना बड़ा आकर्षण है तो स्वाभाविक है विश्व भारत से सीधा संवाद करना चाहता है।"

The Prime Minister said the country's democratic values are a great attraction to the world. He said his government's performance should not be assessed only on GST and Demonetisation as it has taken several steps for the development of the country. Mr Modi also strongly pitched for holding simultaneous Lok Sabha, assembly and local body polls.

"चुनाव उत्सव की तरह निश्चित समय काल में होने चाहिये। लोकसभा और विधानसभा के साथ होने चाहिये। उसके एक महीने के भीतर-भीतर स्थानीय निकायों के चुनाव हो जाएं। तीस, चालीस, पचास दिन के अंदर पांच साल में सारे चुनाव हो जाएं और फिर अगली डेट भी अभी से फिक्स होनी चाहिये।"


The IMF and World Bank have commended the Reserve Bank of India for the remarkable progress in strengthening banking supervision system. The multilateral agencies have released two Detailed Assessment Reports relating to the 2017 India Financial Sector Assessment Programme. The Report providing ‘Detailed Assessment of Observance-Basel Core Principles noted that the  supervision and regulation by the Reserve Bank remain strong and have improved in recent years.


The External Affairs Ministry has said that there is no plan of a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos next week. Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry Vijay Gokhale was responding to a query on whether Mr Modi would be meeting his Pakistani counterpart as Mr Abbasi would also be at the WEF on the same day. Mr Modi will address the plenary session of the World Economic Forum on the 23rd during his visit. Mr Gokhale said the focus will be on the Prime Minister's vision about India's economy at the domestic as well as global level.


"Our Finance Minister, Minister of commerce  and Industry also minister of petroleum and Natural gas will be part of it. This interactive session is meant to understand the current market developments and policy priorities for India, provides  views and perspectives identifies opportunities for PPP."


India has urged the UN Security Council to focus on eliminating terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and accused Islamabad of differentiating between good and bad terrorists. Indian Ambassador to the UN, Syed 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. Mr Akbaruddin was addressing the UN Security Council during a special ministerial meeting on Afghanistan. 


In Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistani troops continued heavy mortar shelling along International Border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts and along Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri and Poonch districts last night. Four persons - an Army jawan, a BSF Head Constable and two civilians - have been martyred in the incident during the past 24 hours. 35 people - two BSF jawans and 33 civilians - have also been injured, some of them seriously. Army and BSF troops are giving a befitting reply to Pak shelling.

More from Our Correspondent: 

"Heavy mortar shelling and firing is still continuing at most of the areas along the International border in Jammu, while exchange of fire has stopped along the LoC. Panic has been triggered among the people as entire IB and LoC in Jammu region is virtually facing the warlike situation. Large number of people in RS Pura, Arnia, Ramgarh, Hiranagar, Kanachak and Pargwal sectors left their houses for safer locations including the relief camps set up for them by the administration while educational institutions, falling within shelling and firing range, have been closed till the next order. YOGESH SHARMA, AIR NEWS, JAMMU."


In Bihar, four bombs were recovered near Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya late last night. Gaya SP, Garima Malik said, police are trying to diffuse the bombs. She said, a high alert has been issued and security has been intensified. Spiritual leader Dalai Lalma is in Bodhgaya for a special prayer.


Former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel will be the next Governor of Madhya Pradesh. Rashtrapati Bhavan announced her appointment in a tweet yesterday evening. Currently, Gujarat Governor OP Kohli is holding the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh Governor.


Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri yesterday announced the name of nine more smart cities, taking the total to 99. Silvassa in Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli has topped the list of winning cities in this round of competition. The other cities include Erode in Tamil Nadu, Diu in Union Territory of Daman and Diu, Biharsharif in Bihar, Bareilly, Saharanpur and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Kavaratti in Lakshadweep.

Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Mr Puri said, with the selection of these nine cities, the total proposed investment in 99 Smart Cities will be two lakh three thousand 979 crore rupees.

Giving details of the progress made in Smart Cities scheme, Mr Puri said, 189 projects have been completed so far.


Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani has said that building toilets for girls, transfer of subsidies into bank accounts of the poor through DBT and the surgical strike across the LoC are examples of Rashtra-niti and not Rajniti. Mrs Irani was addressing the 8th Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad organised by MIT World Peace University in Pune yesterday. She was speaking on the topic Indian Democracy - Black or White.  Mrs Irani  said democracy in India is not black or white or grey, but it has all the colours of rainbow.


"लोकतंत्र का तकाज़ा है, लोकतंत्र की ताकत है कि राजनीतिक पार्टी आपकी चाहे कोई भी हो, राजनीतिक दृष्टिकोण आपका चाहे कोई भी हो, लेकिन आपका धर्म संविधान है और संविधान कहता है कि बेटी को भी पढ़ने का उतना ही अधिकार है। इसलिये इस देश में, इस लोकतंत्र में यह साबित होता है कि जो साठ साल में हो सका, एक साल में सरकारी स्कूल में बेटियों के लिये अलग से टॉयलेट की व्यवस्था की गयी थी।"

Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar encouraged youth to join politics. He said, the beauty of Indian democracy is such that even a tea seller could become the Prime Minister and likewise, a Dalit boy from a middle class family could become the President.


In Kerala, an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activist was hacked to death in Kannur district yesterday. Police said, Shyam Prasad, an ITI student, was going to his house on his motorcycle when 3 unidentified persons attacked him in the evening. No arrests have been made in connection with the incident so far.

The ABVP has alleged that Popular Front of India (PFI) is behind the killing and demanded that the outfit be banned. BJP has called for a hartal in Kannur district today to protest against the murder of the ABVP activist.


President Ram Nath Kovind will felicitate exceptional women achievers who are the first to set a milestone in their respective fields at Rashtrapati Bhawan today. The women being 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. More from our Correspondent:


"Keeping up with the solemn spirit of Empowered Women, the Ministry conceptualized 'First Ladies' to honour the women who rose through barriers, standards and oppressive notions to excel in the fields which were thought to be beyond them. A list of 227 women was compiled through various sources, including Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Sports, Limca Book of Records, press clippings and internet. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, along with an esteemed panel of judges, finalized the names of these extraordinary women who busted stereotypes and broke the glass ceiling to become the number one. ANUPAM MISHRA, AIR NEWS, DELHI."


President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated dynamic facade lighting system at Rashtrapati Bhavan this evening. With this the whole of the Central Vista of the national capital has famed with special lighting. Last October, North Block and South Block were illuminated in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The lighting presents an amazing 16 million colour combinations, displaying a wide range of patterns and themes during the night time with colours changing every few seconds.


Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended allowing mobile and Internet services for passengers during air travel in the country through both satellite and terrestrial network. TRAI said, for mobile services, there should be flexibility to IFC service providers in terms of use of technology and frequencies inside the aircraft cabin that should be consistent with international standards.


Team India will face arch rival Pakistan in the 5th edition of the Blind Cricket World Cup Final at Sharjah in UAE this morning. Defending champions India beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets in the semi-final to enter the final while Pakistan qualified for the final after defeating Sri Lanka on Wednesday. India have remained unbeaten throughout this tournament and are considered the favourites to retain their title.



  • The AAP MLA's facing disqualification dominates front pages in almost all newspapers today.
  • "Office of profit: sack 20 AAP MLA's, says EC" is the Hindustan Times headlines. If EC's recommendation to disqualify AAP MLA's sets Presidents' nod, by elections to 20 constituents unit have to be hold in six months.
  • "Hold Lok Sabha and state polls together" is the DNA headline. Referring to PM Narendra Modi's interview with Zee TV. In his first interview of 2018 the Prime Minister speaks on various issues ranging from GDP to DAVOS to incessant election in democratic India.
  • A step closer to NSG, India joins Australian  group is a Pioneer headline.
  • The Hindu Business Line says that GST may be cut on handicrafts such as carpets, shawls and Bamboo furniture.
  • The Asian Age reports that now Scientists have developed a single blood test that can diagnose 8 types of cancer.
  • And now good news for highway travellers- NHAI will soon have mini highway nests at all 372 NH run toll plazas. They will have tea, water and packaged food and toilet facilities - reports Financial Express.
  • Some other stories covered by newspapers are
  • Lance Naik SAM ABRAHAM, Martyred in Pakistan firing/
  • 421st death anniversary of Maharaj Maharana Pratap in Udaipur marked by a musical program writes the DNA.
  • 2018 to be the year of millets or coarse cereals to promote nutrient-rich Ragi and Foxtail- The Hindu Business Line.
  • EVMs in Rajasthan to have photographs of candidates in the by-elections- The Tribune.
  • Flowers offering at Vaishno Devi to be recycled into incense sticks-The Tribune.
  • A ten day laser show to begin on Friday at the magh mela in Allahabad telling stories about Ram and Ganga- The Pioneer.
  • All women Indian Navy crew circumnavigating crossed the notorious drake passage- The Hindu.
















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