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Lucknow: Akhilesh Yadav Releases Manifesto for Assembly Polls

UP Chief Minister and party president Akhilesh Yadav released the Samajwadi Party manifesto for the upcoming elections on Sunday in Lucknow. However, Mulayam Singh Yadav was absent on the event.

As per reports, Akhilesh spoke about various development measures which have been taken by the party in the last five years which included construction of metro and new roads. He also spoke about the positive ties between him and his father.

He further talked about the state government's plan about distributing smartphones to students for their performance in academics, where the chief minister mentioned that they had received positive response.

Akhilesh Yadav release manifesto for UP assembly elections

After sealing the much-anticipated alliance with the Congress on Sunday, Akhilesh Yadav - the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and newly appointed of Samajwadi released the manifesto for the upcoming UP assembly polls.

Yadav went on about the developmental initiatives undertaken by his party in past five years including construction of metro and new roads. He also spoke about Samajwadi Party's government fulfilling all promises made in their 2012 manifesto.

The top highlight of the manifesto released by Akhilesh Yadav included 24-hour power supply. Also, monthly pension of Rs 1,000 to one crore women was a part of it along with 50 percent fare concession for women in public transport.

He spoke about making air ambulance available at Lucknow airport and improving 108, 102 service for emergencies. Apart from free pressure cookers for the poor, Yadav also emphasized on strengthening empowerment schemes including hostels for working women.

Akin to last year’s manifesto, free laptops to meritorious students were also a part of this manifesto, though this time the CM asserted of taking such schemes to next level. Also For transparency and easy connectivity with the people a smart phone will be given and over 1.4 crore people have already registered for the smartphone.

Taking a jibe at opposition he asserted that the elephant statues (installed in Lucknow and Noida) remind him if that party comes into power again, mammoth animals will come up.

He said that People will automatically vote for his party if they travel on the state roads as Lucknow-Agra Expressway project is a testimony to the development in the state.

He added that his party has not only fulfilled all their 2012 election manifesto promises, but also accomplished other major projects, Lucknow metro being one of them. 

UP polls: Congress-SP alliance sealed, Akhilesh Yadav gives up 105 seats

After much of anticipation and confusion, the alliance has been sealed between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress for Uttar Pradesh elections. As per the alliance, the Congress party will be getting 105 seats to the Congress in upcoming polls for the 403-member UP assembly. Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and national president of SP will soon release his party’s manifesto while making an announcement on the alliance.

In words of Congress leader Ahmed Patel, the bipartite discussion took place at the highest level, which indicates that discussion took place between CM of the state, General Secretary, Congress in-charge and Priyanka Gandhi.

On Saturday, the strategist of Congress Prashant Kishor flew to UP capital to meet Akhilesh Yadav. According to Congress sources, a clear message way conveyed to the Chief Minister that the Congress party seeks 110 seats. UP CM was however reluctant to do away with anything more than 100 seats, reason being the party itself wanted to contest over 300 seats.

Uttar Pradesh will have elections in seven phases on February 11, 15, 19, 23, 27,  March 4 and 8. The vote counting will take place on March 11.

New Delhi: RBI Governor says Rs 9.2 Lakh Crore in New Currency Introduced

As per reports, Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel spoke to the Standing Committee on Finance panel members in New Delhi about new currency that have been introduced. He said that around 9.2 lakh crore in new currency have been released. He also spoke about the demonetisation issue and the impact it left on the economy, and even the steps that have been taken by the central bank in regard to deal with the cash crunch.

Reports say that he mentioned to the panel that discussion about demonetisation started between the banks and the government last year.

The RBI Governor will be appearing before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on 20 January.

ATM Withdrawal Limit Increased, Reports from Delhi

Reports from Delhi say that the RBI has increased the withdrawal limit of the daily transaction in ATM to 10,000 from 4,500 on Monday. However, the weekly withdrawal limit will remain the same, 24,000.

The limit on withdrawal from the current accounts has been increased to 1,00,000 from 50,000 per week.

TCS Veteran to take Charge as Executive Chairman in Mumbai

Tata Consultancy Services veteran, Natarajan Chandrasekaran is going to take charge as Executive Chief on 21 February in Mumbai. The 53-year-old Managing Director and CEO of the group’s software unit has been chosen for the position by the Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group on Thursday.

Reports say that he was selected on the basis of three decades he spent with the Tatas and proved his potential with the growth of TCS.

The other candidates for the position were UK industrialist George Buckley, Unilever Chief Operating Officer Harish Manwani and Trent Chairman Noel Tata.

Jaipur Literature Festival: Amitabh Kant predicts death of ATMs in India

Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has asserted that soon the nation will become a significantly cashless economy and even cash dispensing machines will become irrelevant in years to come, given the exponential growth of mobile phones based transactions.

Kant was a panelist for session on the virtual economy and beyond, during the thirds day of Jaipur Literature Festival. However, other co-panelists were dubious of the timeframe and the availability of the required infrastructure.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy of demopnetisation, Kant said that this step was necessary to enable the push towards a digital economy in a quicker manner.

In words of Kant, the nation is in the middle of a major disruption. At present, 85 percent of the transactions are in cash, thereby creating space for ‘black money’. But given the extraordinary growth in mobile phones, has set the base for a cashless economy.

Those from academia and business were skeptical of this possibility. Columnist and author Mihir Sharma said that mobile phone usage has grown as landlines didn’t work.

In words of Sharma, it all happened naturally, without the government pushing for it. Ambit Holdings CEO Ashok Wadhwa also has similar concerns. According to him, the transition from a cash major economy to a cashless one will take far more time.

Similar were the reactions of John Elliott who has authored several books on India.

Xiaomi to Bring Flagship Phone One per Year in India

As per reports, though Xiaomi has indicated that they want to add more ecosystem products to the market in India, they will keep the limit of flagship smartphones one per year in the country, at least for 2017.

The global director of product management of the company, Donovan Sung said that as of now the company is focussing on the Redmi Note 4 and they will also have an upgrade to the Redmi series very soon.

The flagship devices are Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi Note 2.

Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Launched in Bhubaneswar

Samsung India has launched its new smartphone ‘Galaxy C9 Pro’ in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. The price of the smartphone is Rs 36,900. Customers will be able to pre-book the phone from selected stores and online platforms from 27 January onwards. Customers can find the phone at offline retail stores by February.

On pre-booking, customers will be able to get one-time screen replacement for a period of 12 months. The phone is going to be available in two colours, black and gold.

The other cities where this smartphone will be available are Jaipur, Chandigarh and Pune.

Saina Nehwal's triumph at Malaysia Masters Final

Days after recovering from knee injury during Rio Olympics, Saina Nehwal is back with a bang as this Indian badminton ace thrashes Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand by 22-20, 22-20, thereby claiming the Malaysia Masters Grand title.

Quashing the air about her ability to win titles, the world No 10 Nehwal clinched her first Masters within five months since knee injury. Nehwal had to undergo surgery after an early exit from the Rio Olympics where her fellow citizen PV Sindhu created history by claiming the first silver medal for Indian badminton.

Silencing the critiques, Saina returned to action within a quarter of the surgery setback. Once the absolute queen of Indian badminton, she faced early exists and missed he qualification mark for Dubai World Superseries Finals. Also, she lost to Sindhu in the Premier Badminton League. However, Malaysia Masters Grand title has been her winning start to 2017.

The hyderabadi had to battle to claim the first game. With her opponent just five points away from winning the first game, Saina let out a series of cross court smashes to come back into the game. After leveling in the game for the first time at 19-19, she went on to nail it. 

ODI Series against England: BCCI Announces India U-19 Team

The team for Under 19 One-day series has been announced by The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The upcoming Under 19 One-day series against England is going to be held in India in the months of January-February at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It will start from 30 January and end on 8 February.

The team for four-day matches is yet to be announced.

Ranji Trophy: Gujarat lions beat 41-time winner Mumbai at Indore Stadium

In one of the most beautiful and memorable Ranji matches ever, Gujarat has beaten up its opponent and 41-times winner Mumbai at the finals held at Holkar Stadium, Indore. While the credit goes to selfless performance by Parthiv Patel, no one can rule out the contribution of coach Vijay Patel who has lost a Ranji trophy to the same opponent, at the same Stadium 14 winters ago. And now was the time when his boys were taking home that finely crafted piece of silverware.

This was perhaps the most beautiful backdrop of Gujarat’s historic triumph. Gujarat’s Skipper Parthiv Patel scored 143, scoring a century under tremendous pressure and being on the crease for most of the time. Gujarat lions chased the target of 313 at a loss of 5 wickets while beating their rivals, or the arch rivals, by five wickets on Day 5 of the final.

This is the first Ranji Trophy title claimed by Gujarat lions.41 times champions, Mumbai managed 412 in their second innings, credits to half centuries by Abhishek Nayar and skipper Aditya Tare. Post the tea session, Rujul Bhatt and Parthiv Patel started dealing in boundaries when they were just 13 runs short from victory.

It was when Gujarat needed 11 runs to win, Patel was knocked out and Chirag Gandhi took over. What followed was back to back boundaries by Bhatt and Gandhi that made Gujarat lift its maiden Ranji trophy. 

Jackie Chan gets Traditional Welcome at Mumbai International Airport

Jackie Chan arrived at Mumbai International airport on Monday where he received a traditional welcome. He was greeted with tilak and a garland. He waved out to the crowd.

The mega star is in India for promoting his action-adventure comedy, starring Disha Patani and Amyra Dastur in key roles.

As per reports, he will be staying at a suburban five-star hotel. An extensive Indian menu along with a choreographed dance number have been planned for him.

Salman Khan Acquitted, Jodhpur Court gives him Benefit of Doubt

Salman Khan has been acquitted by a court in Jodhpur in the 18-year-old Arms Act case, and gave him benefit of doubt. As per reports, CJM Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit in the 102-page judgment said that the prosecution could not prove charges framed against Salman under sections 3/25 and 3/27 of the Indian Arms Act.

The prosecution lawyer said that the order will be analysed and a call on the appeal will be taken by the government.

Shahid Kapoor Confirms at an Interview in Mumbai no Tiff with Kangana Ranaut

Stories were doing the rounds about tiff between Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut, and hinted that they will not be promoting their upcoming film Rangoon together. However, Shahid clarified the reports at an interview in Mumbai and confirmed that there are no issues between the two actors and he will be glad to promote the film anywhere and anytime with Kangana and Saif Ali Khan.

Talking about Rangoon, he said that this is his third film with Vishal Bhardwaj and expressed his respect for Bhardwaj. He also mentioned that Rangoon is a different film from Haider and Kaminey and based on a true story.

Jallikattu row: Tamil Nadu govt moves to SC, files caveat in defence of its ordinance

Anticipating the possibilities of opposition on its ordinance allowing Jallikattu in the state, the government of Tamil Nadu government has filed for a caveat in the Supreme Court.

The development has been confirmed by Tamil Nadu government’s standing counsel Yogesh Kanna. Kanna said that the state has requested the Supreme Court that to hear if anyone challenges the newly promulgated ordinance.

The Governor of Tamil Nadu, Ch Vidyasagar Rao together with with Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had yesterday approved the ordinance for bull-taming sport jallikattu. The dup has announced that jallikattu will be held at Alaganallur in Madurai and other parts of the state tomorrow.

The apex court had on Friday agreed to not to pass a ruling for a week on the Jallikattu issue after considering the Centre’s suggestion that they were in talks with Tamil Nadu to find a way out.

The Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on December 7, 2015 on a batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s notification allowing the sport. Next, the Centre issued a notification on January 7, 2016 to lift the ban on the sport in Tamil Nadu while imposing certain restrictions. This was later opposed in the apex court by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals India (PETA), Animal Welfare Board of India, and others.

Etah: Bus-truck collision Killed over 20 School Children and Injured Many

As per reports, more than 20 school children died and many others were injured after a bus collided with a truck in Etah, Uttar Pradesh. Reports say that the authorities had ordered the schools in the region to close for the day due to a dip in temperatures, but this school was running despite of the orders. The mishap occurred in Aliganj.

The reason of the accident is still not known.

Prime minister Narendra Modi expressed his sorrow on the death of the children.

Barkha Dutt Quits NDTV, Delhi

Senior journalist Barkha Dutt has resigned from her position of Consulting Editor of NDTV, Delhi. Reports say that she may start her own venture. She was associated with the channel for 21 years, and for which NDTV has appreciated her long-time association with them.

Dutt received much recognition in journalism for her fearless coverage in Kargil war, 1999. With NDTV’s programme We The People, she became the face of the channel. She won Padma Shri and many other national and international awards.