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Last Updated : Jan 22 2020 10:10AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Scrutiny of nomination papers for Delhi Polls to be held today            Procurement of defence equipment worth over Rs 5,000 cr approved to promote indigenisation            SC asks Parliament to review powers of Lok Sabha Speakers, Assemblies to disqualify members            Impeachment trial of US President Trump opens in Senate            Khelo India Youth Games to conclude in Guwahati today           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
15.12.2019

THE HEADLINES:

  • Stage set for fourth phase of assembly elections in fifteen constituencies of Jharkhand tomorrow.

  • National Electronic Toll Collection System, making FASTag mandatory for all vehicles, functioning smoothly after coming into force today.

  • Assam Chief Minister reiterates his government's commitment to protect the rights of people of the state.

  • China suspends additional tariffs on US goods after two sides announce major breakthrough in trade war.

  • And in Cricket, West Indies win toss and opt to field against India in first ODI at Chennai.

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In Jharkhand, all arrangements are in place for the fourth phase of Assembly elections tomorrow. Fifteen constituencies spread over four districts of Dhanbad, Deoghar, Giridih and Bokaro will go to polls in this phase. Polling in the five Naxal affected constituencies of Bagodar, Jamua, Giridih, Dumri and Tundi will be held between 7 AM and 3 PM, while in the remaining 10 seats, it will continue till 5 in the evening.


Jharkhand Chief electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said, polling parties have been dispatched for their destinations.  AIR correspondent reports, elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polls.


"Jawans of central para military forces have reached their destinations to ensure trouble free elections. Over ten thousand armed security forces of state government have also been deployed. Flag marches are being carried out in sensitive areas to instill confidence among electorates. Helicopters are pressed into service for air patrolling . Borders with Bihar and West Bengal have been sealed to check infiltration of  anti social elements during polling process. Patrolling has been intensified and combing operation is on in naxal infested areas. WITH K K LAL REPORTS FROM RANCHI, SANJEEV JASROTIA, AIR NEWS" 


Campaigning for the fifth and final phase of elections has intensified in 16 constituencies where polling will be held on 20th of this month. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address an election meeting at Dumka this afternoon.


Seeking votes in favour of grand alliance Jharkhand Mukti Morcha President Sibu Soren alleged that BJP has weakened tribal communities. On the other hand, AJSU President Sudesh Kumar Mahto said, if his party is voted to power, rural people will be empowered and interest of tribals will be protected. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha chief Babulal Marandi said, people of state were cheated during five years of BJP rule in Jharkhand. Leaders of RJD, Congress and Left parties are also addressing rallies in different parts of the state to woo voters in support of their party candidates.


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The National Electronic Toll Collection System, making the FASTag device mandatory for all vehicles, is functioning smoothly after coming into effect today.


FASTags or prepaid rechargeable tags for toll collection that allow automatic payment deduction, have become mandatory for all vehicles from today.


The National Electronic Toll Collection System has been launched to provide for collection of user fee through FASTag device to ensure seamless movement of traffic.


Talking to AIR News, Chief General Manager of National Highways Authority of India, Amarendra Kumar said, the system is working very smoothly. He said, now the drivers will not have to stop their vehicles at toll plazas to pay tax.


"For the convenience of the vehicles that has not yet get the FASTags  25% lane has been kept hybrid lane, where they can cross it and it is expected that within 30 days all non FASTags  vehicles will also procure  FASTags  and get the benefits of fast tag in crossing the toll plaza without stoppage."


National Highways Authority of India has equipped all fee plazas with Electronic Toll Collection System. A FASTag uses radio frequency identification technology to enable direct toll payments from a moving vehicle. If anyone goes into an electronic toll collection lane without a FASTag, he or she will have to pay double charges. 


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Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal has again assured that his government is committed to protecting the rights of the people of the state. In an appeal, he said that a section is running propaganda campaign to mislead the people of the state on Citizenship Amendment Act. The Chief Minister said that he would not do anything that would go against the interest of the people of Assam.  Mr. Sonowal said that his government is always ready to find out solutions to this issue through dialogue. Our correspondent reports that a delegation led by Mr. Sonowal will meet the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister soon to appraise them of the situation.


Meanwhile, day curfew has been relaxed today in Guwahati and Dibrugarh following improvement in the situation. Flight operations have also resumed at Dibrugarh airport. The regional office of the Airport Authority of India is providing lunch and dinner packets for next five days for people stranded at Guwahati railway station. The Transport department has deployed buses in Guwahati city to carry stranded passengers. Around 35 short distance trains were cancelled today.


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In Meghalaya, life is limping back to normalcy in capital Shillong after days of  protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. People were seen going to church and doing their routine work amid winter chill. Curfew in Shillong has been relaxed for 13 hours from 6 this morning. No untoward incident was reported from any part of the city barring some minor incidents. Our correspondent reports that State government will convene a special Assembly session to pass a resolution on Inner Line Permit.


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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has condemned yesterday's violent protests in which several buses and trains were set on fire and government properties damaged at different parts of the State. She has warned of action against those who were involved in these incidents. Reiterating that National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act will not be implemented in the State, Ms. Banerjee appealed to people to maintain calm and urged the agitators to follow the path of democratic movement instead of violent activities.


Our Kolkata correspondent understands, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to take stock of the situation during his brief stop over at Andal airport in Durgapur on his way to Jharkhand for the election campaign. State BJP leadership is likely to apprise the Prime Minister on the situation in West Bengal following passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act.


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China suspended additional tariffs on American products today, after Washington and Beijing announced a major thaw in their trade war on Friday.


China's Finance Ministry announced that it will suspend the planned addition of 10 percent and 5 percent tariffs on some US imports. The Ministry also said that Beijing will continue to suspend additional tariffs on US-made autos and spare parts.


The move follows US President Donald Trump's cancellation of new tariffs on Chinese products as part of a phase one trade deal.


On Friday, China's commerce ministry said, it had agreed with the US on a mini-deal that includes a progressive rollback of tariffs and protection of intellectual property rights. The two sides have yet to sign the agreement, which represents a major breakthrough in the 21-month standoff between the world's two largest economies.


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The Impasse persists at the UN climate summit as the talks dragged on beyond the official deadline. Chile's Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt, who is chairing the two-week talks in Madrid, urged officials from almost 200 countries to recognize the overall balance of the latest draft agreements. She said we must show the outside world that we can deliver. Diplomats from rich nations, emerging giants and the world's poorest countries for different reasons found fault in the draft agreement put forward by Chile. The United States, which is leaving the landmark Paris climate deal next year, was accused of acting as a spoiler on a number of issues vital to climate-vulnerable nations.


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In Nepal, at least 14 people were killed and 18 others injured in a road accident in Sindhupalchowk district this morning. The mishap took place, when a bus skidded off the road and plunged around 500 meters below the road in Sunkoshi Rural Municipality area.  The ill fated bus was ferrying pilgrims from Kalinchowk temple to Bhaktapur.


Senior Superintendent of Police, Kishor Kumar Dahal told our Kathmandu correspondent that 10 injured have been admitted in nearby hospitals while 6 others have been rushed to Kathmandu.


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A strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao today. People rushed from homes and restaurants set swaying by the strong jolt south of the populous city of Davao. The Philippine Institue of Volcanology and Seismology said, it was expecting damage. The US Geological Survey said, the epicentre was south of the populous city of Davao. It said, there was no threat of a tsunami.


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Back Home,


The Corporate Affairs Ministry has taken several initiatives for providing Ease of Doing Business to law abiding corporates. This is in pursuance of the objective of providing greater Ease of Doing Business, bring about greater transparency in corporate structure and fostering better corporate compliance to enhance the efficiency of the process under the Companies Act of 2013. They include creation of a robust Insolvency and Bankruptcy framework. India has improved its ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report moving up 14 places to 63rd position as compared to 77th position in 2018.


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Coal Ministry has decided to establish a Sustainable Development Cell (SDC) to promote environmentally sustainable coal mining in the country. It will address environmental concerns during the decommissioning or closure of mines. The move gains significance as the new private entities are now going to form a significant part of the future. The Cell will advise, mentor, plan and monitor the mitigation measures taken by the coal companies for maximizing the utilization of available resources in a sustainable way, minimizing the adverse impact of mining and mitigating it for further eco-system services.


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The Nation remembers Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his death anniversary today. Sardar Patel passed away on this day in 1950.


In his message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, people remain eternally inspired by Sardar Patel's exceptional service to the nation.


In a series of tweets, Home Minister said, Patel was truly a Bharat Ratna, who not only played an important role during independence but also pioneered the integration of the country. Information and broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has also paid rich tributes to Sardar Patel.


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Prasar Bharti Chief Executive Officer, Shashi Sekhar Vempati today stressed on the need for leveraging advancements in technologies for disseminating right information. He was speaking at a conference held by the Broadcast Engineering Society in Hyderabad on Future Broadcasting-Direct to Mobile. Mr Vempati said, information having national importance should reach people fast and direct to mobile will help in giving people right information in a right perspective. He asked broadcasters to focus on reaching people direct on mobiles in this view.


"It is very important from our national critical infrastructure stand  point that we should have the ability to deliver broadcast messages directly to the people's mobile phones when its matter and where its matter. So apart from every other scenario for entertainment or sports there is public a reason wide this ability,this technology needs to be developed. It needs to be developed urgently because consumer is in a fast embracing new innovations so we have to get ahead of the consumers. Today we have legging the consumer significance. "


Telangana IT and Industries Principle Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said, the state government has initiated several measures to utilize advance technology for the benefit of common people.


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In Cricket, India were  29 for 2 in 8.3 overs against West Indies in the first One Day International at Chennai when reports last came in.  Earlier, West Indies won the toss and elected to field against India. All India Radio is broadcasting live commentary on the match alternately in Hindi and English. It can be heard on Rajdhani, FM Rainbow and additional frequencies.


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