Vice President addresses CHIRAG concert of south Asian symphony
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that music
has the power to overcome the tribulations of war and terrorism and sends
the message of oneness.
Speaking at the “CHIRAGH” concert of the South Asian Symphony Orchestra
at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), in Mumbai today, Shri
Naidu said that music speaks a universal language and transcends
geographical boundaries and unites people.
Shri Naidu appreciated Dr. Ahmad Sarmast for training the young children
from Afghanistan who performed at the concert overcoming such barriers. He
said that the young performers have proved that their music symbolizes the
best of the human spirit and speaks the universal language of peace and
The Vice President called upon organisations such as the South Asian
Symphony Orchestra to carry the message of peace and non-violence and dispel
the dark clouds of misguided minds that were unleashing sporadic spurts of
Shri Naidu said that events such as the Concert organised by CHIARGH
showcase India and its people’s commitment towards cooperation and
co-existence among all nations.\
The Vice President wanted the members of the orchestra and musicians at
large to become ambassadors for a new and resurgent South Asia. He asked
them to re-capture the essence of ancient civilizational ethos such as -
peace, compassion and co-existence and re-connect with the common cultural
well springs that unite the region.
The South Asian Symphony Foundation established by Smt. Nirupama and
ShriSudhakarRao, retired senior civil servants, has built a unique project a
Symphony Orchestra to unite the people of South Asia region, through the
divine medium of music.
Saying that Music was a powerful art form that could transform the
quality of our lives, Shri Naidu asked the South Asian Symphony Foundation
to build a repertoire of indigenous music from the region and continue to
spread the universal message of peace and brotherhood around the world.
Tropical depression over Indian ocean intensifies
The depression over Equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining Bay of Bengal
has intensified into a deep depression and is currently moving in a
In a weather bulletin, the Met Department said in the last six hours, it
lay centred at 1180 km southeast of Chennai and 1460 km south-southeast of
Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
It is very likely to intensify into a Cyclonic Storm during the next six
hours and further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during subsequent 24 hours.
It is expected to reach north Tamilnadu and south Andhra Pradesh coast on
Light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy falls at isolated
places is very likely over Kerala on Monday and Tuesday. North coastal Tamil
Nadu and coastal Andhra Pradesh may receive light to moderate rainfall at a
few places on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea till the warning is
withdrawn and those in the sea have been asked to return to the shores by
SC gives ultimatum to RBI over its disclosure policy
The Supreme Court on Friday gave the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) “a last
opportunity” to withdraw a November 2016 Disclosure Policy to the extent to
which it stonewalls revelation of every other kind of information under the
Right to Information Act, including the list of wilful defaulters and annual
A Bench of Justices L. NageswaraRao and M.R. Shah found the policy of
the central bank to be directly contrary to the court’s judgment of December
2015 that the Reserve Bank could not withhold information sought under the
The Bench was hearing contempt petitions filed against the RBI for not
complying with the 2015 judgment.
“We give them a last opportunity to withdraw the disclosure policy
insofar as it contains exemptions which are contrary to the directions
issued by this court,” Justice Rao said, giving an ultimatum in the 12-page
The 2015 judgment had rejected the RBI’s argument that it could refuse
information sought under the RTI on the grounds of economic interest,
commercial confidence, fiduciary relationship or public interest.
The court had observed that there was “no fiduciary relationship between
the RBI and the financial institutions”.
The court, in 2015, reminded the RBI that it had the statutory duty to
uphold the interests of the public at large, the depositors, the economy and
the banking sector.
“This court was also of the opinion that the RBI should act with
transparency and not hide information that might embarrass the individual
banks,” Justice Rao wrote.
Finance commission meets ministry of Panhcayathi Raj
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj including its Secretary, Shri Rahul
Bhatnagar and senior officials made a presentation to the Chairman of 15th
Finance Commission, Shri N.K. Singh, its Members and senior officials of the
It may be noted that Article 280 (3) (bb) of the Constitution specifies
that the measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of a State to
supplement the resources of the Panchayats in the State should be on the
basis of the recommendations made by the Finance Commission.
Amongst several proposals to the Finance Commission, the Ministry has
proposed an allocation of Rs. 10,00,000crores to Panchayats by the 15th
Finance Commission which is a hike of 399 per cent from that given by the
14th Finance Commission.
Both the Ministry and the Commission agreed to the view that all three
tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions should receive fund devolution, and the
proportionality should be within a specified band.
The Commission will go through all the proposals which shall also be
part of the Memorandum of the Central Government to the Commission – for the
purpose of making its final recommendations.
US President Donald Trump has announced that his country will not abide
by a UN treaty aimed at regulating the global arms trade. He described the
treaty as misguided and encroachment on US sovereignty.
Mr Trump said, the US Senate never ratified the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty
despite his predecessor Barack Obama having endorsed it.
US President also made it clear that he will never ratify it. The
treaty, which came into effect in December 2014, seeks to regulate the flow
of weapons into conflict zones.
It requires member countries to keep records of international transfers
of weapons and to prohibit cross-border shipments that can be used in human
rights violations or attacks on civilians. While 130 countries originally
signed the treaty, only 101 have ratified and joined it.
US imposes sanctions on Pakistan, closely watches China
The US has imposed sanctions on Pakistan after Islamabad refused to take
back its citizen deportees and visa over-stayers from America. It warned
that it may withhold visas of Pakistanis beginning from its senior
Sanctions have been imposed under a US law according to which countries
refusing to take back deportees and visa over-stayers will be denied
American visas. A State Department Spokesperson said Consular operations in
Pakistan remain unchanged as of now.
Meanwhile the U.S Trade Representative said it was keeping China on a
‘priority watch list’ of countries that are of significant concern to the
U.S. in terms of their inadequate protection of IP. China’s IP laws are a
contentious topic and have featured in the trade talks between the two
The U.S. is also aggressively working with allies in trying to keep
China out of dominating the building of global 5G network infrastructure
such as by taking action against Chinese tech giant Huawei.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
UN report warns of ecological threat due to human influences
Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence,
according to a draft UN report that painstakingly catalogues how humanity
has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends.
The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, forests,
pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves — to
name but a few of the dwindling services rendered by Nature — poses no less
of a threat than climate change, says the report, set to be unveiled on May
Indeed, biodiversity loss and global warming are closely linked,
according to the 44-page summary for policymakers, which distils a
1,800-page UN assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature.
Delegates from 130 nations meeting in Paris from April 29 will vet the
executive summary line-by-line. Wording may change, but figures lifted from
the underlying report cannot be altered.
“We need to recognise that climate change and loss of Nature are equally
important, not just for the environment, but as development and economic
issues as well,” said Robert Watson, chair of the UN-mandated body that
compiled the report.
The direct causes of species loss, in order of importance, are shrinking
habitat and land-use change, hunting for food or illicit trade in wildlife
body parts, climate change and pollution, the report finds.
India finishes with 13 medals in Asian Boxing Championship
India bagged a gold and two silver medals at the Asian Boxing
Championships in Bangkok today.
With this, India has won 13 medals, including two gold, four silver and
Boxer AmitPanghal picked up his second successive gold medal of the
year, claiming the top honours in the 52-kilogram category. Panghal defeated
Korea's Kim Inkyu Korea.