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PM Modi Shares his 11th "Mann Ki Baat" Today with the Nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed the nation through 11th edition of “Mann Ki Baat”. Today he highlighted on the need of amendments in the existing land bill, importance of listening to the woes of farmers, success of Jan Dhan Yojana, and unwanted recent violence in Gujarat. PM Modi congratulated the officials for making Jan Dhan Yojana a success (opening 17.74 lakh bank accounts with accumulated deposits of Rs. 22,000 crore). He also stressed upon carrying forward the cleanliness drive. Modi said he agreed not to issue land ordinance once again, after it lapses tomorrow but stressed on including 13 points for reforming land acquisition law to benefit farmers. However, he also highlighted the need of amendments in the land bill to accelerate construction of rural roads, electrification of villages, and canal construction for irrigation.

Mega Swabhiman Rally by JD(U), RJD, Congress, and SP in Patna Today

The ‘secular’ front in Bihar has taken on BJP-led NDA head on by organizing their first “mahagathbandhan” rally in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan today before the upcoming Bihar assembly election. This mega “Swabhiman rally” has been organized after JD(U), RJD, SP, and Congress came to an understanding on seat sharing. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar challenged PM Modi’s claims and attacked the latter on his DNA remark, promises made before Lok Sabha election, Bihar package, etc. While Congress President Sonia Gandhi made scathed attack on Modi government for curtailing monetary allocation of social security schemes including MGNREGA, RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav forecasted a humiliating defeat of BJP that will be worse than that in last Delhi Assembly election. Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad called the ‘secular’ alliance nothing but opportunist, corrupted, family-oriented, and criminal-oriented politics.

Union Government Discards Land Ordinance Route, Includes 13 Central Acts for Benefiting Farmers under 2013 Act

Sensing the general mood against increasing wrath against the Land Ordinance route, Union Government has decided to avoid issuing Land Ordinance (3rd ordinance lapsing on August 31) for the record 4th time. Instead government has issued statutory order including 13 central acts (Railways Act, National Highway Act, etc.) for extending benefits to the farmers, whose lands were acquired under the existing Land Acquisition Act, 2013. With the issuance of this order, government has removed difficulties clause such as 2013 Act’s Section 113. Now, the government will be able to extend provisions related to determination of resettlement, rehabilitation, and compensation to all the land acquisition cases, done through the 2013 Act, by utilizing 13 central acts.

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan hints at yet another Rate Cut Ahead

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has raised hopes of India Inc as he hinted on another round of rate cut this year by saying India’s apex bank is still under “accommodative mode”. However, he also added that the final decision of any rate cut will be undertaken only after inflation data and other macroeconomic economic factors. While speaking at Jackson Hole economic symposium of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, Rajan said that government of India and RBI have reached a consensus of setting up Monetary Policy Committee, a highly empowered panel for setting rates. However, he also cautioned US Federal Reserves against increasing rates right now because of the slowing global growth rate.

India's Forex Reserve Swells by $920.6 Million

On account of higher foreign currency assets, foreign exchange reserves of India increased to US$355.353 billion, swelling by US$920.6 million, in the week to August 21. This figure is important as it neared $355.46 billion, the all time high achieved in the week to June 19. In the previous week too, India witnessed a healthy increase of its foreign exchange reserve (by US$1.086 billion) to a whooping US$354.433 billion. Latest RBI data show that Foreign Currency Assets also witnessed a healthy increase. RBI has said that special drawing rights of India with IMF have increased by $19.9 million in the week under review to $4.075 billion.

Global cues buoys markets, Sensex provisionally up

Healthy growth in Chinese exchanges and US economy, coupled with attractive valuations, buoyed investor sentiment in Indian equity markets propelling a barometer index to gain 139 points.The positive sentiments propelled the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) to gain the 139 points or 0.53 percent. Source: IANS

Sun Pharma Founder vouches for the need of Strengthening R&D in Indian Pharma Industry

While addressing an audience in Dr Reddy's Institute of Life Sciences organised DRILS Synergy 2015, Dilip Shanghvi (MD and Founder of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited) stressed upon the need of Indian pharmaceutical industries to improve their research and development capabilities along with strengthen clinical development. He also exuded confidence in Indian Pharma companies on the existing potential of discovering couple of new drugs in the coming 10 years. However, Shanghvi also complained about the lack of required expertise in India, especially in the fields of biology and clinical development, that made Sun Pharma set up laboratories in foreign countries.

ISRO-NASA working closely to Launch US NISAR Satellite by using GSLV-Mk II Rocket in 2021

A.S.Kiran Kumar, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has said that ISRO will launch a US NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite in the year 2021 by using GSLV-Mk II rocket, as part of the on-going cooperation between NASA and ISRO. He went on to say that ISRO is in the process of targeting launch of 2 tonne satellites as there is a good international market for it. The announcement comes after the Indian space agency launched its communication satellite GSAT-6 successfully by using GSLV Mk II rocket. Reports say that ISRO will launch 4 nano-satellites from US next month using PSLV.

73 'green' supercomputers coming soon to India

India plans to install 73 'green supercomputers' in the next three years to enable high-performance computing with reduced power consumption, a scientist at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) said."Around five to 10 supercomputers will be installed this year and the rest in the next three years in phases. Through optimization, power consumption of the machines will be reduced as less as possible," Sanjay Wandhekar, associate director and head, High Performance Computing, C-DAC, Pune. Source: IANS

Jaisha Orchatteri breaks Indian National Record at 2015 World Athletics Championships

Indian woman marathoner Jaisha Orchatteri today broke Indian national record in this year’s World Athletics Championships, held at Beijing National Stadium, by finishing the marathon in 2:34:43 time. While Jaisha finished 18th, Sudha Singh finished at 19th spot by clocking 2:35:35 (better than earlier national record of 2:37:29, set by Jaisha during Mumbai marathon earlier this year). Both Jaisha Orchatteri and Sudha Singh secured their respective berths in 2016 Rio Olympics after these commendable performances. In this women's marathon competition, the first three positions are secured by Ethiopa’s Mare Dibaba (2:27:35),Kenya's Helah Kiprop (2:27:36), and Bahrain’s Eunice Kirwa (2:27:39).

Indian Women's Hockey Team secures Olympics berth for the 2nd Time since Independence

Women hockey team of India sealed their berth for 2016 Rio Olympics on National Sports Day, which is also the birthday of Major Dhyan Chand. It is a historic achievement for the team because since independence it is only the second instance that they have qualified for the Olympics, first time being during 1980 Olympic Games. India’s women hockey team achieved the feat this time after Spain lost to England EuroHockey Championships’ semi-final. The other teams who have qualified for Rio Olympics are USA, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, China, Great Britain, Argentina, and South Korea.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tribute on 110th birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand’s birthday.

Rain mars first day's play in third India-Sri Lanka Test

Rain forced an early end of the first day's play of the third cricket Test between India and Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) here on Friday, with just about one hour's play possible. India were 50/2 against Sri Lanka when rain interrupted play before lunch. Opening batsman Cheteshwar Pujara (19 not out) and captain Virat Kohli (14 not out) were at the crease after 15 overs of play. The game didn't resume after that. Earlier, India lost opener Lokesh Rahul (2) and Ajinkya Rahane (8). Source: IANS

India to host 2018 Theatre Olympics

India will host the 2018 edition of the Theatre Olympics, an official announced on 24 August 2015. "India has been given the right to host the 2018 edition," said National School of Drama (NSD) director Waman Kendre during the inauguration of a five-day festival of northeastern plays, "Poorvotta Rashtriya Rang Manch". NSD chairman Ratan Thiyam returned to India on Sunday after attending a meeting in the Netherlands where the decision was taken. Source: IANS

Malayalam actor Paravoor Bharathan is dead

Malayalam actor Paravoor Bharathan, who acted in nearly 300 regional films, died on 18 August 2015 at his home near here in Kerala, family sources said. He was 86 and was ailing for a while. Although he began his career in the late 1940s in drama, he first appeared in films in 1951 and till 2009 was an integral part of the film industry. He had been suffering from age-related ailments since 2009. Source: IANS

Indians win World of Dance trophy in US

Desihoppers, an Indian dance troupe, emerged victorious at the World of Dance competition in Los Angeles beating 34 competitors from 14 countries. Indian classical dance moves on fast-paced western music became a hit here when the Desihoppers group of dancers from different parts of India took to the stage. Cries of "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" and "Ganpati Bappa Morya" rent the air and the Indian tricolour was waved at the venue, the Los Angeles Convention Center, as the group was announced the winners on Sunday evening. They received a trophy along with a cheque of $5,000. Source: IANS

Jaitley reiterates Government's Commitment towards OROP, Hints at reaching an Understanding with War Veterans

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that his government is committed to implement One Rank One Pension (OROP) and also hinted at reaching an understanding with ex-servicemen. He went on to add that the only issue to be resolved is “arithmetical translation of the phrase OROP”. Jaitley said that implementation of OROP should be based upon certain principles and the gap of disagreement is getting narrowed down. The response comes after Chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), Major General (Retired) Satbir Singh, said that responsibility of any untoward health issues of the hospitalized protesting army veterans Colonel Pushpendra Singh and Havaldar Major Abhilekh Singh rests with the government.

Central Bureaucracy witnesses Major Reshuffle as 16 Top Officials Shifted

A major bureaucratic reshuffle was carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After the reshuffle, new secretaries have been appointed for 16 ministries and departments. One of the most glaring inclusions is that of Hasmukh Adhia (a Gujarat cadre officer), who has been brought to Revenue secretary's office from the post of banking secretary (under Finance Ministry). Sources say Adhia came to PM Modi’s good books after he successfully spearheaded the implementation of Jan Dhan Yojana plan (a grand financial inclusion plan for poor), a pet project of Modi. Another noteworthy reshuffle is that of Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das, who is now being appointed as the Economic Affairs secretary.

Haryana gets 21 all-women police stations

Promising a better policing environment to make women feel secure in approaching police, the Haryana government has launched all-women police stations in all 21 districts of the state. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated the first all-women police station at Mansa Devi complex in Haryana's Panchkula town, adjoining Chandigarh. "The all women police stations are a gift for women of Haryana on the eve of the festival of Raksha Bandhan," Khattar said. Source: IANS