DD/AIR News

  • Union Minister Prakash Javadekar represented India in the 28th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change which was held in Sao Paulo in  Brazil from 14th to 16th of this month.  According to an official release, the Minister said, the BASIC Group could play an important role in making Paris Agreement accepted by all the countries in its true letter and spirit. The Minister added that  BASIC countries would be united and speak in one voice and the joint statement which was issued has highlighted all the issues which are relevant today. In the joint statement, which was issued at the conclusion of the meeting, the BASIC Ministers expressed their concern for climate change and its adverse effects. They reaffirmed their commitment to the successful implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change-UNFCCC, its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement, based on the recognition of the needs and special circumstances of developing countries.  The BASIC countries reiterated their commitment to work together with all parties in an open, transparent, inclusive and Party-driven manner to achieve a balanced and comprehensive outcome on all remaining items of the Paris Agreement Work Programme. The Ministerial meeting was held in the run-up to the UNFCC Conference of Parties (COP-25) meet to be held later in the year from 2nd to 13th December.

  • A bronze plaque will be unveiled in a ceremony starting around 1400 GMT to mark Okjokull which translates to "Ok glacier" in the west of Iceland, in the presence of local researchers and their peers at Rice University in the United States, who initiated the project. Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Environment Minister Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson are also due to attend the event. "This will be the first monument to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world," Cymene Howe, associate professor of anthropology at Rice University, said in July. The plaque bears the inscription "A letter to the future," and is intended to raise awareness about the decline of glaciers and the effects of climate change. "In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it," the plaque reads. It is also labelled "415 ppm CO2," referring to the record level of carbon dioxide measured in the atmosphere last May. "Memorials everywhere stand for either human accomplishments, like the deeds of historic figures, or the losses and deaths we recognise as important," researcher Howe said. "By memorialising a fallen glacier, we want to emphasise what is being lost or dying the world over, and also draw attention to the fact that this is something that humans have 'accomplished', although it is not something we should be proud of." Howe noted that the conversation about climate change can be abstract, with many dire statistics and sophisticated scientific models that can feel incomprehensible. "Perhaps a monument to a lost glacier is a better way to fully grasp what we now face," she said, highlighting "the power of symbols and ceremony to provoke feelings". Iceland loses about 11 billion tonnes of ice per year, and scientists fear all of the island country's 400-plus glaciers will be gone by 2200, according to Howe and her Rice University colleague Dominic Boyer. Glaciologists stripped Okjokull of its glacier status in 2014, a first for Iceland. In 1890, the glacier ice covered 16 square kilometres (6.2 square miles) but by 2012, it measured just 0.7 square kilometres, according to a report from the University of Iceland from 2017. In 2014, "we made the decision that this was no longer a living glacier, it was only dead ice, it was not moving," Oddur Sigurdsson, a glaciologist with the Icelandic Meteorological Office said. To have the status of a glacier, the mass of ice and snow must be thick enough to move by its own weight. For that to happen the mass must be approximately 40 to 50 metres (130 to 165 feet) thick, he said. According to a study published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)in April, nearly half of the world's heritage sites could lose their glaciers by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate. Sigurdsson said he feared "that nothing can be done to stop it." "The inertia of the climate system is such that, even if we could stop introducing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere right now, it will keep on warming for century and a half or two centuries before it reaches equilibrium." Iceland's Vatnajokull National Park, which was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in early July, is home to, and named after, the largest ice cap in Europe.

  • Dujovne will be replaced by Hernan Lacunza, economy minister for Buenos Aires province, Argentine media reported. The country's peso ended the week having shed 20 per cent of its value against the US dollar as both Fitch and S&P cut the South American country's long-term credit rating, citing increased uncertainty and a rising risk of default. Dujovne said, in a letter posted on the website of La Nacion newspaper, he was "convinced that, under the circumstances, the management needs significant renewal in the economic arena." He leaves in the middle of a deepening economic crisis following last Sunday's primary elections in which market-friendly Macri was dealt a huge blow in his bid for re-election when he polled 15 points less than center-left Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez. The primaries serve as a bellwether for general elections in October. Dujovne's announcement marks the first change in Macri's cabinet since voters went to the polls. Fitch, which downgraded Argentina's credit rating two notches to "CCC," said the center-right's defeat "increases risks of a break from the policy strategy of the current administration of Mauricio Macri guided by a program with the IMF." Fernandez, now the clear favorite to unseat Macri, has questioned the reform program backed by a USD56 billion rescue package from the International Monetary Fund. Standard & Poor's dropped Argentina's rating a single grade from "B" to "B-." "My resignation is consistent with a government and political space that listens to the people and that acts accordingly," Dujovne said, in a clear message to the Argentine electorate, which still has two months left until voting in the presidential elections. The country is currently in a recession and posted 22 per cent inflation for the first half of the year one of the highest rates in the world but the IMF said Macri's reform program was beginning to yield results. The new economy minister will have the difficult task of trying to instill peace of mind in the markets while simultaneously dealing with the country's recession in the midst of Macri's uphill election battle. In Argentina 32 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. The country has annual inflation of more than 50 per cent.

  • More than 100 MPs have written to Johnson to urge him to reconvene and let them sit permanently until October 31, the date Britain is due to leave the European Union. MPs are not due to return until September 3. "Our country is on the brink of an economic crisis, as we career towards a no-deal Brexit," said the letter, signed by MPs and opposition party leaders who want to halt Britain's departure from the EU. "We face a national emergency, and parliament must be recalled now." Parliament is set to break up again shortly after it returns, with the main parties holding their annual conferences during the September break. Johnson whose government commands a one-seat majority insists Britain must leave the EU on October 31, with or without a divorce deal with Brussels. Labour main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn wants to call a vote of no confidence in Johnson's government after parliament returns. He hopes to take over as a temporary prime minister, seek an extension to Britain's EU departure date to stop a no-deal Brexit, and then call a general election. "What we need is a government that is prepared to negotiate with the European Union so we don't have a crash-out on the 31st," Corbyn said Saturday. "This government clearly doesn't want to do that." However, a YouGov survey found that a majority would rather see a no-deal Brexit than the veteran leftist taking over and staging another referendum. Some 48 per cent said they would rather Britain left the EU without a Brexit deal, with Jeremy Corbyn remaining in opposition. Some 35 per cent said they would prefer Corbyn became prime minister, and held a second referendum on Britain's EU membership. Asked about leaving the EU without a deal, 49 per cent said they would consider it an unacceptable outcome, while 38 per cent said it would be acceptable. Britain could face food, fuel and medicine shortages and chaos at its ports in a no-deal Brexit. There would likely be some form of hard border imposed on the island of Ireland, the document implied. Rather than worst-case scenarios, the leaked document, compiled this month by the Cabinet Office ministry, spells out the likely ramifications of a no-deal Brexit, the broadsheet claimed. The document said logjams could affect fuel distribution, while up to 85 per cent of trucks using the main ports to continental Europe might not be ready for French customs. The availability of fresh food would be diminished and prices would go up, said the newspaper.  Meanwhile Carrie Symonds and PR  expert will accompany British PM when he goes to stay with Queen Elizabeth II at her private Scottish retreat. The monarch traditionally hosts the prime minister for a weekend in September. It is thought Symonds will be the first unmarried partner of a sitting PM to stay at Balmoral.

  • More than a thousand people took part in the two demonstrations in the British capital. Protesters supporting the activists paraded banners reading "Will Britain hold China to its promise on Hong Kong's freedom?", "Power to the people: stand with Hong Kong" and "Will Boris surrender to China?", referring to new Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Others said "The only place I want pepper is in my noodle soup", "SOS: please save Hong Kong" and "No China extradition". The gathering was organised by the StandwithHK and D4HK groups. The old British colonial Hong Kong flag was seen at the demonstration. Britain handed control of Hong Kong back to China in 1997 on the basis of the Joint Declaration it signed with Beijing, which guarantees freedoms in the semi-autonomous city until 2047. Counter-protesters waved Chinese flags and held up signs saying "traitor", "one nation, one China" and "Hong Kong is part of China forever". Meanwhile in Paris, during the weekly "yellow vest" demonstrations, some participants also showed their support for the Hong Kong protesters. In Hong Kong, democracy activists kicked off a weekend of fresh rallies on Saturday in a major test for the movement following criticism over an airport protest earlier this week and as concerns mount over Beijing's next move. Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the international finance hub into crisis, with communist-ruled mainland China taking an increasingly hardline tone.

  • "On August 22, the MHRD will launch the world's biggest project for teacher training called NISHTHA (National Initiative on School Teachers Head Holistic Advancement), under which more than 42 lakh teachers will be trained," Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, MHRD, said. At an event organised here, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said, "India has traditionally been known for leadership in education and teacher preparation. For thousands of years, Indian teachers were considered as vishwa guru." The achievements of the ancient Indian education system were legendary, he said, adding that schools were the foundation of any progressive nation and teachers were the powerhouse of the society, who molded and shaped the future of students to become productive citizens of tomorrow. Reena Ray said around 19,000 teacher-training institutes across the country were mapped and put on Google Earth. "Users can go online not only to see the geographical location of these institutes around the country, but also to check their report cards and give their feedback," she added. Yaduvendra Mathur, Special Secretary, NITI Aayog, was also present on the occasion. "Teachers are the pillars of the society, but it is important to upgrade their skills and ensure that they are trained in the best way. This is only possible in collaboration with teacher education institutions, which play a key role in their actual transformation," he said.

  • The fire broke out at the teaching block of the hospital forcing evacuation and affecting the emergency department, though no one was injured in the incident. The building was emptied when the blaze started at around 5pm on Saturday. The incident took place due to a short circuit. The fire broke out at the teaching block of the AIIMS, destroying samples and medical reports and forcing evacuation of some patients, though no one was injured. Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is undergoing treatment at the AIIMS hospital, but he is admitted in a different building. Dark plumes of smoke were seen billowing out from top of the premier health institute. A Delhi Fire Services official said that they received a call of fire in the PC and Teaching Block of the hospital at around 5 PM and 34 fire tenders were immediately dispatched to contain it. Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Delhi has tweeted, "The fire in AIIMS building will be brought under control at the earliest. Fire service trying it's best to extinguish the fire. I appeal to everyone to maintain calm and allow the fire services personnel to do their work." 

  • They also inaugurated the Ground Earth Station of South Asian Satellite, developed by Indian Space Research Organization. The first phase of Rupay card was also launched. E-plaque of the interconnection between India's National Knowledge Network E and Druk REN of Bhutan was also unveiled on this occasion.  India and Bhutan also signed 10 Memorandum of Understanding in science, technology, engineering and maths and judicial sectors. Three MoUs were inked between Royal University of Bhutan and IITs of Mumbai, Kanpur, Delhi and NIIT, Silchar. In the judicial sector, the MoUs were signed between National Law University, Bengaluru and Jigney Singhey School of Law and another between National Judicial Academy of Bhopal and National Legal Institute of Bhutan.  An MoU was also signed on aircraft accident and incident investigation between the two countries. For the cooperation in the space sector, ISRO signed an MoU with the Department of IT and Telecommunications of Bhutan. Prime Minister Modi also released a commemorative stamp to mark the 50 years of hydropower cooperation.

  • Mr. Wickremesinghe in his address mentioned the substantial opportunities that exist for industrial collaboration between Indian and Sri Lankan companies given the complementarities. He also thanked the Indian leadership for continued confidence in and support to Sri Lanka. High Commissioner in his address noted that the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant set up by the India-Sri Lanka joint venture is a reflection of what India and Sri Lanka can achieve together collectively.  He added that the Plant symbolises the promotion of ‘Make in Sri Lanka’ alongside ‘Make in India.’ High Commissioner pointed out that it also demonstrated the commitment of Indian companies to stand with Sri Lanka during difficult times. The Plant primarily caters to the local market and is a joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra of India and Ideal Motors of Sri Lanka. It will create local jobs, bring in investments as well as technology innovation and skill sets. It will contribute to the overall growth of the Sri Lankan economy.  

  • A strong advocate for women empowerment, Neelum Sharma was known was her programmes like ‘Tejaswini’ and ‘Badi Charcha’ and had been awarded the Nari Shakti Puruskar by President Ram Nath Kovind in 2018. As part of her ‘Tejasvini’ programme, Sharma highlighted the achievements of woman achievers from the remotest parts of India who went on to become role models for the society. DD News mourns passing away of our dear Colleague Neelum Sharma and stands with the family of Neelum Sharma in this hour of grief  

  • The martyred jawan has been identified as Lance Naik Sandeep Thapa. Defence spokesperson told that Pakistani troops started firing using small arms and shelling with Mortars at about 6.30 am. Alert Indian troops retaliated and started giving a befitting reply.  However, during the exchange of  fire  between Indo-Pak troops, Lance Naik Sandeep Thapa fell to the bullets of Pak troops.  The exchange of firing between the Indo-Pak armies was still going on when the reports last came in

  • The Smart Dragon-1 (SD-1), developed by the China Rocket Company affiliated to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALVT), blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China at 12:11 pm local time. The three satellites, developed by three separate Beijing-based companies, will be used for remote sensing services, communication and Internet of Things (IoT), state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Different from the previous carrier rockets of the Long March family, the new Dragon series is developed in a commercial mode to meet the market demand of launching small commercial satellites, CALVT chief Wang Xiaojun said. The SD-1 with a total length of 19.5 metres, a diameter of 1.2 metres and a take-off weight of about 23.1 tonnes is a small-scale solid-propellant carrier rocket capable of sending 200 kg payloads to the solar synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km. "It has the highest carrying efficiency among China's current commercial solid-propellant rockets," Gong Min, technical manager of the SD-1 project, said. It took less than 18 months to develop SD-1, which is the shortest period to develop a new type of carrier rocket in China, the report said. The designers of SD-1 have made efforts to lower the costs and improve the efficiency and reliability of the rocket, China Rocket Company Ltd president Tang Yagang said. One such rocket can be produced in six months after business agreements are signed with customers. After the rocket is transported to the launching centre, the launch can be realized within 24 hours. The rocket can be used for launching either single satellite or multiple satellites at a time, according to Tang. Tang said the company mainly relies on social financing to develop SD-1 to lower its cost through competition. "Commercial launching will have a vast market in the fields such as low-Earth orbit Internet mobile communication and remote sensing," Tang said.

  • "Our bank has reviewed the marginal cost of fund based lending rate (MCLR) for different tenors and the same will be effective from 16.08.2019," Punjab & Sind Bank (PSB) said in a regulatory filing. The public sector bank has lowered the benchmark one-year MCLR to 8.50 per cent from 8.70 per cent earlier. Most of the consumer loans such as personal, auto and home are priced on the basis of the one-year MCLR. PSB has lowered MCLR on overnight, one-month, three-month and six-month duration loans by 0.15 per cent to 8.20 per cent, 8.30 per cent, 8.40 per cent and 8.50 per cent, respectively. It also reduced MCLR on three-year tenor loans by 0.5 per cent to 9.20 per cent. The rate cut follows an MCLR cut by the country's largest lender SBI post the RBI's decision to reduce the key interest rate (repo) by 0.35 percentage point to a nine-year low of 5.40 per cent. Oriental Bank of Commerce and IDBI Bank on Thursday announced a cut in the range of 0.05 to 0.15 percentage point in MCLR for various tenors.

  • The informal consultations, requested for by China, lasted over an hour on Friday after which Beijing's Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun and Pakistan's UN envoy Maleeha Lodhi made remarks to the media at the UN Security Council stakeout one by one. The two left without taking any question from the reporters. Sources familiar with the consultations said that China was pushing for an outcome or a press statement to be delivered after the consultations by Poland, the President of the Security Council for the month of August. The UK also sided with China in calling for a statement to the press. "Pakistan raising Kashmir at the UN doesn't have any traction. This time also it did not get any traction at all. There was no outcome, no statement from Poland, as UNSC President, after the consultations," the sources added. Majority of the 15 members said there should not be any statement or outcome issued after the consultations and their will prevailed, leaving China to come out and make a statement in its national capacity followed by Pakistan. India's Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin in his remarks to the media said that he will present New Delhi's national position too "if national statements try to masquerade as the will of the international community," a reference to statements by China and Pakistan. Further, an "overwhelming" number of Council members maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan that they need to address themselves, a rebuff to Islamabad's intention to internationalize Kashmir, according to sources privy to the internal discussions. China, a permanent member with veto, had asked for a meeting in the Council. As per UNSC procedures, Council members can ask to bring up any issue for discussion. "Everybody will ask for something or the other." There will be no record nor any minutes of the closed consultations. Sources with knowledge of the proceedings said that in its discussions with UNSC members, India was able to break down "piece by piece" each of the arguments. India's approach was that how can a constitutional matter become a threat to peace and security, as claimed by Pakistan in reference to Article 370. "How does a federal arrangement create an implication for beyond the border," the sources said. Further, India has been repeatedly stressing that it is committed to the Simla Agreement on the issue of Kashmir. On the issue of gross violation of human rights, sources said, "Pakistan lost that battle also because China is talking about human rights." Sources familiar with the development also said that if Pakistan feels Article 370 is a material change of a situation, "what is CPEC", a reference to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). "How many material changes have they done?" Sources said that China could have stopped at the first step of calling the meeting "but by trying to get the Council to react to it they overplayed their hand" and by "pushing their hand, they lost everything." African nations in the Council - Cote d'Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea, Dominican Republic, Germany, US, France and Russia supported India, sources said. A UN diplomatic source said that while France was paying close attention to the situation in the region, for it the priority was "bilateral dialogue" between India and Pakistan, a position shared by the US and Germany. Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy, before heading into the Security Council Consultations Room, told reporters that Moscow favours a bilateral track between India and Pakistan." Indonesia is also concerned by the increasing tension and urges both countries to return to dialogue and diplomacy. A UK Government spokesperson said, "Today the UNSC discussed the situation in Kashmir. We continue to follow the situation closely. Events in Kashmir can have regional and international relevance, we continue to urge calm and caution from all." Pakistan suffered several setbacks on various fronts in the run up to the closed consultations. It sought an open meeting on the matter, following a letter by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi calling for the Security Council to discuss India's move to revoke the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Instead, the Council conducted consultations in an informal, closed format. It is significant that the discussions were not held at the horse-shoe table in the Security Council Chamber, which is a more formal and official format for meetings. Qureshi had also requested that a representative of the Government of Pakistan be allowed to attend the meeting. That request was also not allowed as the consultations were held only among the 15 Council members. Closed meetings are not open to the public and no verbatim record of statements is kept. Consultations are informal meetings of the Security Council members and are not covered in the Repertoire. The Repertoire, mandated by the UN General Assembly, provides comprehensive coverage of the Security Council's interpretation and application of the UN Charter and its own Provisional Rules of Procedure since 1946.

  • The kit is a set of cards, posters, short animation clips and games, which can be used by teachers or an NGO to conduct an interactive workshop for children about sexual-abuse awareness, according to the minutes of the 38th statutory meeting of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Noting that an unaware child may easily fall trap to sexual abuse without realising that he or she is wronged, the commission said the kit would help in spreading awareness as any kind of physical or psychological abuse could scar a child's life forever. "Through the workshop, children learn about personal safety, respecting their body and overcoming guilt," it said. "It also gets children to talk about this issue with their peers and understand that they need to speak up, which many kids don't." The kit also features game cards as an intervention to assess the learning acquired by children. It can be used in classrooms for kids aged between 8-12 and in a group of 30-35 students in one session. It has manuals, reading and video material for the teacher or workshop facilitator to read and understand how to conduct the workshop. The workshop kit has been vetted by the psychologists at Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, and a revised version will be developed based on their feedback. 

  • The strikes, which came after Palestinians fired a rocket from the territory at southern Israel late Friday, hit a Hamas observation post in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, an unidentified target near Gaza City and open ground near Deir El Balah in the central part of the territory, the source said. An Israeli army statement mentioned only two strikes, against "underground targets belonging to the Hamas terror organisation in the northern and central Gaza Strip." It did not elaborate. The army said that Friday night's rocket launch at southern Israel was the first since July 12. A military statement said the rocket was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defence system, after air raid sirens sounded in the southern town of Sderot and its surroundings. Earlier Friday, the Palestinian health ministry said that 32 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli live fire during weekly protests along the Gaza border. An Israeli army spokeswoman said that about 5,600 people demonstrated along the border, some throwing hand grenades and explosive devices toward soldiers and attempting to reach the border fence. She said that troops responded with "riot dispersal means" but she was unaware of any live fire. Regular protests along the border began in March 2018. At least 302 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza or the border area since then, the majority during demonstrations or associated clashes. Seven Israelis have been killed in Gaza-related violence over the same period. The protests have declined in intensity in recent months after UN and Egyptian officials brokered an informal truce between Israel and Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas. Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, have fought three wars since 2008

  • Satyarthi made the comments on Saturday during a conference, IIMPACT 2019, organised by PAN-IIM Alumni Singapore. IIMPACT is a forum created by the PAN- IIM (Indian Institutes of Management) alumni in Singapore. What I am working on and demand (that) a legally binding UN Convention to stop digital abuse of children and child trafficking, Satyarthi said. Satyarthi said he was also in talks with the Indian government to lead in proposing a UN convention to stop the use of technology for child abuse. We need strong champions who can bring this issue, not in this General Assembly in September because it is too short, but next year. We have to build it with strong demand,he said.  The Nobel Peace Prize Winner lamented that technology is being misused by traffickers as well as organized criminals to use children in pornography and other kinds of sexual abuses. Blocking the network is not going to be enough, he said, calling for a UN convention that would hold these tech-savvy child abusers accountable for the crime. Highlighting the possibility of a successful UN Convention, he said success has been achieved in getting the International Labour Organisation law on child labour by massive mobilization campaign across 103 countries in 1998. Satyarthi said he has held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of Norway, Sweden and Qatar over the issue of digital child abuse. It is possible and achievable, he said of the UN convention. 

  • 50 people have so far lost their lives in Malappuram and 12 in Wayanad, the two northern districts, where 28 people are still missing. Search operations are continuing at Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Wayanad, the two areas which were the worst hit in the second spell of South West Monsoon rains since August 8, where massives landslides had wiped out two villages. A team of experts from Hyderabad are expected to arrive at Kavalappara on Saturday with Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR) which would help in detection of bodies buried under mounds of earth. In Malappuram, 21 are missing, 7 in Wayanad and one person in Kottayam, the update said. Seventeen deaths have been reported from Kozhikode, nine each from Kannur and Thrissur and five from Idukki. As rains receded, people have started returning to their homes after cleaning the accumulated mud and filth. Good samaritans from neighbouring districts are also lending a helping hand in the clean up operations. At least 12,761 houses were partially and 1,186 were fully destroyed in the rains and in the 805 camps, 1,29,517 people are still residing.

  • The men's team will  open its campaign against Malaysia later today.  Both the Indian teams have secured their places in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, to be held later this year, by winning their FIH Series Finals. Being World No. 5 and the top-ranked side in the tournament among men, India start as favourites against World No.12 Malaysia.  The Indian men will play World No. 8 New Zealand tomorrow and World No. 16 Japan in their last round-robin match. Indian women will next face their toughest test in World No. 2 Australia, before facing World No.11 China.

  • His name was finalised by a 12-member selection committee on the opening day of a two-day meeting today. The panel comprises the likes of Bhaichung Bhutia and MC Mary Kom among others and is headed by Justice Mukundakam Sharma. Bajrang had last year won the gold medal in the 65-kg freestyle event at the Asian Games held in Jakarta. He had also won the gold medal in the same category at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Bajrang is only the fourth wrestler to be finalised for the Khel Ratna award after Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sakshi Malik.

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