President addresses both houses of
parliament ahead of budget session
President Ram NathKovind said abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A
related to Jammu and Kashmir, has paved way for equal development of the
regions and people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have got rights on par
with the rest of the country. He was addressing the joint sitting of both
the houses of Parliament at Central Hall today.
The President hailed the Citizenship Amendment Act as historic and said
it has fulfilled the wishes of Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.
Mr.Kovind said, the mutual debate and discussion on any issue strengthen
democracy, while violence during protests weaken it.
Mr Kovind highlighted several work done by the government at the ground
level in the last five years which has helped India's ranking on several
International ranking indices. Lauding the contributions of farmers, the
President said that bringing about a change in their lives is the priority
of the government.
Talking about the health initiatives, Mr.Kovind said, the impact of the
Ayushman Bharat Scheme on the health sector of the country is visible. On
women safety, the President said that the more than 600 One Stop Centres
have been set up in the country and a national database has been created to
identify the perpetrators of crimes against women.
He asserted that the government is working with full strength and
determination to free the country from the scourge of terrorism. He said the
security situation in the North East has also improved significantly due to
the concerted efforts of the government.
Economy survey emphasizes on wealth creation at grass root level
Economic Survey 2019-20 has emphasised on entrepreneurship and Wealth
Creation at the Grassroots. It has suggested that industrial sector
performance is a key to achieve the target of a five trillion dollar
The Economic Survey 2019-20, tabled by the Finance Minister Nirmala
Sitharaman in Parliament today, also suggested sectoral initiatives for
industrial revival. The survey has projected economic growth at 6 to 6.5
percent in the next fiscal. It called for more reforms to make it easier to
do business in the country.
The survey said for India to achieve a five trillion US dollar economy
depends on promoting pro-business policies, strengthening the invisible hand
of the market and ease of doing business.
The Economic Survey gave a detailed analysis of the trends in India’s
infrastructure sector which is necessary for growth. Power shortages,
inadequate transport and poor connectivity affect overall growth
To achieve a GDP of five trillion dollars by 2024 - 25, India needs to
spend about 100 lakh crore rupees on infrastructure. According to the
survey, there is a significant jump of around 2.62 crore new jobs with 1.21
crore in rural areas and 1.39 crore in urban areas. Over 69 lakh candidates
have been trained under PradhanMantriKaushalVikasYojana till November last
The Economic Survey underscores various programmes and legislative
measures that are in place to encourage female participation in the economy.
Talking exclusively to AIR News Chief Economic nAdvisor Krishnamurthy
Subramanian said that India has certainly made substantial progress in
improving ease of doing business.
Centre bans export of all kinds of
India on Friday banned exports of all kinds of personal protection
equipment, including clothing and masks used to protect people from air
The move assumes significance as there could be a spurt in demand for
such products due to the outbreak of deadly coronavirus that has claimed
more than 200 lives in China while the number of confirmed cases reached
Air India's 423-seater jumbo B747 plane took off from the Delhi airport
on Friday to evacuate Indian nationals from Wuhan as China deals with the
novel coronavirus outbreak.
The government has reached out to over 600 Indians living in China's
Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, to ascertain their
willingness to be brought back to India.
In a separate notification, the DGFT has also banned imports of stock
lot papers.These are kind of discarded, improper sized and unused papers.The
move aims at cutting down imports of non-essential items into the country.
WHO declares corona outbreak as global emergency
The World Health Organization declared a global emergency over the new
coronavirus, as China reported Friday the death toll had climbed to 213 with
nearly 10,000 infections.
The UN health agency based in Geneva had initially downplayed the threat
posed by the disease, but revised its risk assessment after crisis talks.
Many countries have already urged their citizens not to visit China,
while some have banned entry for travellers from the central Chinese city of
Wuhan, where the virus first surfaced.
More than 6,000 tourists were temporarily put under lockdown aboard a
cruise ship at an Italian port after two Chinese passengers were isolated
over fears they could be carrying the virus. They later tested negative for
Beijing has taken extreme steps to stop the spread of the virus,
including effectively quarantining more than 50 million people in Wuhan and
surrounding Hubei province.
The virus is similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
pathogen. That outbreak also began in China and eventually killed nearly 800
people worldwide in 2002-03.
UN affirms commitment to resolve
UN chief Antonio Guterres said the global body remains committed to
supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict on the basis of
UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements, a day after US
President Donald Trump unveiled his Middle East peace plan aimed at settling
the longstanding dispute between the two sides.
Standing along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the
White House on Tuesday, Trump proposed a two-state solution and said no
Israelis or Palestinians would be uprooted from their homes.
Describing it as "historic" and a "giant step" towards peace, he said
that under his vision, Jerusalem "will remain Israel's undivided, very
important capital." He proposed Palestinian capital in Eastern Jerusalem and
that US will set up its embassy there.
Asserting that his peace plan will more than double the size of
Palestinian territory, Trump said that Palestinian people "deserve a far
better life" than being trapped in a cycle of terrorism and violence."
No Palestinian official was present at the launch. The ambassadors from
three Arab nations -- Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain -- were at
the White House.
Netanyahu hailed Trump's plan as "historic day" for Israel. He compared
Trump's Plan with the day to May 14, 1948, when the then President Harry
Truman became the first world leader to recognise the State of Israel.
Google to promote news literacy amongst Indians, prepares AI model to study
On January 31, 2020, Google announced a million USD grant to promote
news literacy among Indians. Also, the organization has launched a new
application called Tangi.
The Google News Initiative has announced a 1 million USD grant to
improve news literacy of Indians.
The grant is to be used to build a strong network against fake news
producers in the country. Around 300 workshops, boot camps and sessions are
to be organized to train journalists, academicians and fast-checkers on the
authentication of the published content on the internet. The training is to
be provided in 7 Indian languages.
The Tangi Application of Google focuses on Do It Yourself videos. The
name of the application has been inspired from Teach and Give.
Google has used an AI model that listens to Killer Whales, identifies
the origin of sound and displays its location. The model has been installed
According to the Centre for Whale Research, only 73 Southern Resident
Orcas (a subspecies of Killer Whales) are left in the world.
Supreme court issues notice to centre
regarding dilution of RTI law
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the government on a
petition alleging that it had diluted the law to give itself absolute,
discretionary powers over the tenure, salaries and working conditions of
information commissioners, a fact which it claimed would compromise its
independence and integrity.
The RTI Act came into being in 2005 and had been working well. But the
government has in recent days made several changes through the RTI
(Amendment) Act, 2019, which activists allege would compromise the working
of the institution.
These include a rule that reduces the tenure of information
commissioners to 3 years from 5 and makes it subject to the will of the
government. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has challenged this amendment
through a petition.
It infringes fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 (equality),
19(1)(a) (freedom of speech and expression) and 21 (right to life) of the
Constitution. The petition also alleged that these amendments were based on
extraneous considerations and had been drawn up without due application of
mind contrary to earlier court rulings on the issue.
The Act, Ramesh claimed, had provided for a non-partisan process of
appointing information commissioners and had protected their tenures and
service conditions from being changed adversely to protect their
independence. But the recent amendments had undone all these built in
safeguards, he alleged.