DD/AIR News

  • India's biggest democratic exercise that lasted more than 2 months is all set to end. Anxious moments are being witnessed across the country and everyone wants to know who is forming the next government at the centre. The counting of votes on 542 seats will begin Thursday morning at 8. Counting will take place on 1140 centres amidst tight security. This time due to VVPAT tallying exercise that will take place, the results are likely to be known a little late by evening. All preparations are underway in all the states. Special arrangements have been made for counting in U.P. that sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha. For smooth conduct of counting and maintaining law and order situation, 20,000 paramilitary forces and 10,000 of PAC and around 2 lakh district police officers have been deployed. In 51 district headquarters in M.P, 51 counting centres have been made where counting will be held in 292 counting rooms for which all arrangement has been made. All preparations are in place in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh too. Security personnel have been deployed in adequate numbers. In Rajasthan, for 25 seats preparations are in place at 25 centres for counting. Security is tight for the lone seat in Nagaland and all preparations are in place in Assam as well. Security is tight at 63 counting centres for counting in Odisha for 21 Lok Sabha seats and 146 assembly seats. In Gujarat, for 26 lok sabha seats and 4 seats for bypolls, counting will take place at 28 centres. In Andhra Pradesh, 55 counting centres have been made at 35 locations where more than 25000 security personnel have been deployed. In Telangana too, all preparations are in place for the counting. Preparations are in place in states in southern India as well and security personnel have been deployed. Voting took place on 542 Lok Sabha seats. Election in Vellore Lok Sabha seat was cancelled after reports of excess money power came to the fore. More than 8000 candidates are contesting in the elections. Around 67.11% voters exercised their franchise in the seven phased elections. Main leaders contesting elections include PM Modi, Several Union Ministers, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav and SP Patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav are included. Counting will also take place for 4 Assemblies alongwith Lok Sabha Election. DD News & DD India also gear up for the Big counting Day; Our reporters report from the ground; Get all news, views & Analysis; Join our expert panel all through the day.

  • Ministry of Home Affairs has alerted the State Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police regarding possibility of eruption of violence in different parts of the country in connection with the counting of votes on Thursday.  MHA has asked the States and UTs  to  maintain  law  & order, peace  and   public tranquility. States/ UTs have been further asked to take adequate measures for the security of strong rooms and venues of counting of votes. This is in the wake of calls given and statements made in various quarters for inciting violence and causing disruption on the day of counting of votes. I&B Ministry has issued an advisory regarding carrying of news and current affairs content on TV channels. The advisory states that in accordance with the Policy Guidelines for Uplinking of Television Channels From India, 2011, I&B Ministry gives permission for uplinking of TV channels under two categories: (i) Non-News & Current Affairs; and (ii) News & Current Affairs. These two categories are defined as under: Non-News & Current Affairs Channel- A Non-News & Current Affairs TV channel means a channel which does not have any element of news and current affairs in its programme content News & Current Affairs Channel - A News & Current Affairs TV channel means a channel which has any element of news and current affairs in its programme content. The News Channels are mandated to carry news and current affairs content while Non-News and Current Affairs channels are not mandated to carry any news and current affairs content. Also, at the time of applying for a Non-News TV channel, the applicant company gives an undertaking that the proposed channel is purely an entertainment channel and does not have any news or current affairs based programme. In view of the above, it is hereby advised that all TV channels may strictly ensure that there is no violation of the aforementioned conditions of the Guidelines.

  • The Indian cricket team has left for England early morning on Wednesday to begin their preparations for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019, which gets underway on May 30th.  Here is India's World Cup plan: MAY 23: Rest day / Players to follow team protocol Meeting of team management followed by a full-fledged meeting of entire team. All concerns to be heard and addressed followed by a detailed session of charting out daily activity over the next eight days. MAY 24: First full training session at the Oval followed by media interactions of all captains, anti-corruption and anti-doping workshops with ICC, photo shoots. MAY 25: First warm-up game against New Zealand at the Oval. MAY 26: Departure to Cardiff by road; Rest; Team meeting to take stock of first warm-up game. MAY 27: Training at Sophia Gardens followed by press conference; Meeting of support staff with team management and senior players. MAY 28: Second warm-up game against Bangladesh at Sophia Gardens MAY 29: Team leaves for Southampton while captain Virat Kohli heads to the Buckingham Palace, London; All captains to meet the Queen at High Tea. MAY 30: Rest in Southampton. MAY 31: First pre-World Cup training session begins. India's schedule for ICC World Cup 2019: June 5: South Africa vs India, Southampton June 9: India vs Australia,  London June 13: India vs New Zealand, Nottingham June 16: India vs Pakistan, Manchester June 22: India vs Afghanistan, Southampton June 27: West Indies vs India, Manchester June 30: England vs India, Birmingham July 2 : Bangladesh vs India, Birmingham July 6: Sri Lanka vs India, Leeds Virat Kohli will be leading the Men in Blue for the first time in a World Cup as he eyes his first world title as a captain. Kohli will be playing his third World Cup, he has already been a part of the showpiece event twice in 2011 and 2015.In this edition of World Cup, ICC has made some changes in format as the round-robin league will make a comeback after 1992 Benson & Hedges World Cup. Under the format, each team will contest in nine group games and the top four will advance to the knockouts.

  • The Indians had earlier defeated Korea by identical margin in the opening game of the series. The final match of the series will be played on Friday. On Wednesday, skipper Rani Rampal (37th minute) and Navjot Kaur (50th) scored for India after Lee Seungju gave South Korea the lead in the 19th minute through a field strike. The match started on a fast-paced note with both India and Korea trading penalty corners in the first quarter but goalkeepers of both the teams made some fine saves to keep a clean slate.

  • It’s a major setback for the Opposition. Just a day before results of the Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission has turned down the Opposition's demand, their demand to tally the VVPAT slips before EVMs. The delegation had asked the Commission to conduct the VVPAT verification process before the counting of votes begins. They had also demanded that if any discrepancy is found during VVPAT verification, 100 per cent counting of the paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that particular Assembly segment should be done and compared with the EVM results. The Commission said that the verification of EVM votes with VVPAT slips from five random polling booths in each assembly segment - made mandatory by the Supreme Court -- will be done only after the counting of votes Meanwhile, war of words continues. On Tuesday, a delegation comprising representatives of 22 opposition parties had asked the commission to conduct the VVPAT verification process before the counting of votes begins. In case of discrepancy, they demanded that 100 per cent votes from the assembly segment should be tallied. BJP President Amit Shah slammed the opposition over expressing doubts on EVMs, saying the rival parties are rattled by their likely defeat and are "tarnishing" India and its democracy by raising questions on its electoral process. In a series of tweets, Amit Shah posed five questions to the opposition parties. He said that the majority of these parties questioning the reliability of EVMs, having won elections sometime in the past by this system.  Why did these parties enjoy power after winning elections if they do not believe in EVMs? Meanwhile, the Election Commission has also said that the EVMs are completely safe. The commission clarified some areas of concerns: --- After the close of polls, all polled EVMs and VVPATs are brought under security cover to the designated strongrooms --- The designated strongrooms are sealed with double locks, in the presence of the candidates and in the presence of Observers of EC. --- Entire process of storage and sealing of the strongroom is covered under videography --- Continuous CCTV coverage is done till completion of counting. --- Each strongroom is guarded with round-the-clock security by Central Armed Police Forces. --- Candidates or their designated agents remain present at the strongroom for 24X7 vigil at all times. --- On the counting day, the strongrooms are opened in the presence of the candidates/agents and Observer under videography. --- Before the counting of EVMs commences, the counting agents are shown the address tags, seals and serial number of the EVMs To satisfy themselves to the genuineness and authenticity of the machines used in the actual polls. The Electoral process has already been made more robust after the EC installed VVPAT Machines along with EVMs in all polling booths. Voters can identify whether their votes are being cast for the right candidate.  5 VVPATs from each assembly constituency will be randomly matched with the corresponding EVM. The matching will ensure the complete transparency of the entire electoral process.  

  • The report also said that the Indian economy expanded by 7.2 per cent in 2018. However, GDP growth is a downward revision from the 7.4 per cent estimated in January this year. It says strong domestic consumption and investment will continue to support growth.  And the growth outlook for many developing economies has also weakened, adding that despite downward revisions, growth in India remains strong amid robust domestic demand.    

  • Sameer Verma, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, Pranav Chopra and N Sikki Reddy and Saina Nehwal lost their respective matches to give China victory in Group 1D tie. Sameer Verma suffered a 17-21, 20-22 against Chen Long in men's singles, followed by a 5-21, 11-21 routing of Pranav Chopra and N Sikki Reddy against Wang Yafan and Huang Dongping in mixed doubles. Later in the day, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down fighting 21-18, 15-21, 17-21 to Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong in men's doubles. This is India's second consecutive defeat in the Sudirman Cup 2019 as they lost 2-3 to Malaysia on Tuesday. In the last edition of the Sudirman Cup, in 2017, India had managed to reach quarter-finals where they lost to China.  

  • President Maithripala Sirisena issued an extraordinary gazette notice today extending the emergency regulations which was imposed a month ago after suicide blasts at multiple locations in the country which killed over 250 people including 45 foreigners. The emergency provisions give the military sweeping powers to act against fundamentalist organizations behind the attacks, which was claimed by Islamic state. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe has said his government will establish a new public school system within next two years that is not based on language or religion.  He said that all religious educational institutes will be regulated by education ministry. It was also decided to regulate madarsas by Muslim institute regulation board under education ministry. The government has sought to control the madarsas after the attacks and prohibited foreign national s form religious preaching.

  • Speaking on the occasion, the External Affairs Minister said India's commitment to regional connectivity is evident from our involvement in International North-South Transport Corridor, Chabahar Port, Ashgabat Agreement and India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway. She further added that India have also operationalized air freight corridors between Kabul & Kandahar & New Delhi and Mumbai in 2017. She also said that India welcome regional connectivity initiatives, that are inclusive, sustainable, transparent and respect the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Extending condolences on Sri Lanka Blasts, the External Affairs Minister said our heart goes out to our brothers and sisters of Sri Lanka, who have recently witnessed the ghastly act of terrorism. Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov in Bishkek.  The Ministry of External Affairs tweeted saying, Visible enthusiasm to expand bilateral relations across all sectors, as both countries commit to explore the untapped potential. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also met Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi on the sidelines of SCO Foreign Minister's Meeting in Bishkek. The leaders discussed issues of bilateral interest, including implementation of understanding reached during Wuhan Summit.

  • They announced the elections date  after due consultation with the Supreme Court appointed amicus curiae P S Narsimha. The CoA was appointed by the Supreme Court in January 2017 to oversee the sweeping reforms recommended by the Lodha panel.  The CoA chairman Vinod Rai announced the date of the elections after a meeting held in New Delhi on Tuesday. The new BCCI constitution was registered in August 2018 but no elections could be held because a majority of the state associations had failed to adopt the new constitution for numerous reasons. They also approached the SC regarding the issue. In the meeting attended by all three CoA members, chief Vinod Rai, Diana Edulji and Ravi Thodge,  the deadline to hold state elections was set at September 14.   

  • Currently, rights issue process takes 55-58 days from the time company decides to launch the issue till listing. There is a need to reduce the timelines both in the pre-issue opening phase and after issue closure such that the issuer and shareholders benefit from process efficiencies according to Sebi. The watchdog has proposed reduction in period of notice for companies to set a record date from 7 to 3 working days.  Besides, the regulator proposed to eliminate the requirement of giving newspaper advertisement and replacing it with intimation to the shareholders through the stock exchanges and e-mail. It seeks to make the application and allotment process more efficient by using the banking and depository infrastructure as well as provide issuers with an efficient mechanism for raising funds.  Sebi has also suggested a shift to electronic modes of receiving entitlements, processing, payment and settlement in a rights issue including use of ASBA (Applications Supported by Blocked Amount) as payment mode, among others. 

  • Three years since Britain voted to leave the EU and almost two months after the planned departure date, May is mounting a last bid to try to get the deeply divided parliament's backing for a divorce deal and leave office with some kind of legacy. Theresa May offered the prospect of a possible second referendum on the agreement and closer trading arrangements with the EU as incentives.  UK MPs will get a vote on whether to hold another referendum if they back the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill. The bill also contains new guarantees on workers' rights, environmental protections and the Northern Irish border, as well a customs "compromise". UK MPs have rejected the withdrawal agreement negotiated with the EU three times and attempts to find a formal compromise with Labour have also failed.

  • Protesters hurled fireworks and other objects at officers in riot gear on a few streets in the capital as police retaliate with teargas and water canon. Protests broke out after General Election Commission confirmed unofficial counts, giving Widodo a 55.5 per cent share of votes. Joko Widodo won more than 85 million votes of a total of 154 million cast in the world's third-largest democracy, but his rival Prabowo told reporters he believed there had been widespread cheating.

  • The deal is likely to see ShopClues investors get one Snapdeal share if the merger goes through in this planned structure, and will likely give them a 10% stake in the combined entity. If the deal materializes, it will herald a big consolidation move in the long-tail ecommerce market, which has largely catered to small town customers, away from the core audience of established ecommerce companies Amazon and Flipkart. Products sold on long-tail marketplaces are low-priced, typically in Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 range.  

  • The bravery awards presented to BSF officials. On the occasion, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval presented bravery awards to BSF officials for their outstanding work. Addressing the gathering, NSA Ajit Doval said that modernisation of BSF will prove to be highly beneficial in dealing with challenges that future holds. NSA Ajit Doval, also mentions that technology will play a pivotal role in guarding the borders in days to come as security challenges are increasing day by day. He was addressing 17th Investiture Ceremony of Border Security Force, BSF in New Delhi on Wednesday. Lauding the BSF, the National Security Advisor said, it is not only the biggest border guarding force of the world but has also left its mark on standards of high professionalism. BSF DG Rajni Kant Misra also hailed the role played by force in providing assistance in not just guarding out borders but also dealing with terrorism and naxalism related situations.

  • The Earth is the only terrestrial planet with a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilises the Earth's axis. Both were essential for Earth to develop life. The Moon was formed when Earth was hit by a body about the size of Mars, also called Theia.  Until now, scientists had assumed that Theia originated in the inner solar system near the Earth. The study, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, showed that Theia comes from the outer solar system, and it delivered large quantities of water to Earth.  "Our approach is unique because, for the first time, it allows us to associate the origin of water on Earth with the formation of the Moon. To put it simply, without the Moon there probably would be no life on Earth," said Thorsten Kleine, Professor of Planetology at the University of Munster in Germany. The Earth formed in the 'dry' inner solar system, and so it is somewhat surprising that there is water on Earth. From earlier studies, it is known that the solar system became structured such that the 'dry' materials were separated from the 'wet' materials. The 'carbonaceous' meteorites, which are relatively rich in water, come from the outer solar system, whereas the drier 'non-carbonaceous' meteorites come from the inner solar system.  While previous studies have shown that carbonaceous materials were likely responsible for delivering the water to Earth, it was unknown when and how this carbonaceous material -- and thus the water, came to Earth. "We have used molybdenum isotopes to answer this question. The molybdenum isotopes allow us to clearly distinguish carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous material, and as such represent a 'genetic fingerprint' of material from the outer and inner solar system," said Gerrit Budde, from University of Munster. The measurements show that the molybdenum isotopic composition of the Earth lies between those of the carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous meteorites, demonstrating that some of Earth's molybdenum originated in the outer solar system. The chemical properties of molybdenum play a key role because, as it is an iron-loving element, most of the Earth's molybdenum is located in the core. "The molybdenum which is accessible today in the Earth's mantle, therefore, originates from the late stages of Earth's formation, while the molybdenum from earlier phases is entirely in the core," said Christoph Burkhardt, second author of the study.  The results show, for the first time, that carbonaceous material from the outer solar system arrived on Earth late. Researchers found that most of the molybdenum in Earth's mantle was supplied by the protoplanet Theia, whose collision with Earth 4.4 billion years ago led to the formation of the Moon. However, since a large part of the molybdenum in Earth's mantle originates from the outer solar system, this means that Theia itself also originated from the outer solar system. According to the scientists, the collision provided sufficient carbonaceous material to account for the entire amount of water on Earth.

  • Jokha Alharthi, the first Arabic-language writer to take the prize, will split the 50,000 pound (USD 64,000) purse with her UK-based translator, Marilyn Booth. Historian Bettany Hughes, who led the judging panel, said Tuesday that the winning novel was "a book to win over the head and the heart in equal measure." "Celestial Bodies" beat five other finalists from Europe and South America, including last year's winner, Poland's Olga Tokarczuk. The prize is a counterpart to the Man Booker Prize for English-language novels and is open to books in any language that have been translated into English. 

  • Prime Minister Modi was also present in the meeting. Leaders of NDA allies including Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) President Nitish Kumar, Shiromani Akali Dal Chief Parkash Singh Badal, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray, Lok Janshakti Party head Ram Vilas Paswan and AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami attended the meeting. NDA passed a resolution and exuded confidence in PM Modi's leadership. They resolved that he will continue as the next Prime Minister. The resolution further stated that it is our endeavour to fulfill the dreams of our great freedom fighters and give shape to the strong, prosperous, developed and inclusive India that they dreamt of. Addressing media following dinner meeting of NDA partners in New Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India no more a soft state in the matter of diplomacy and security. NDA has further resolved for future capital investment of Rs 100 lakh crores in the infrastructure sector and Rs 25 lakh crores devoted to farm and rural sectors, and was hopeful that India is poised to be five trillion dollar economy. NDA also hit out at opposition on EVM issue and said that the 2019 General elections historic in changing the political discourse of the country.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi said NDA is an alliance of dreams and aspirations of the people of the country.

  • Security sources said that a joint team of army and Jammu&Kashmir police launched a cordon-and-search operation on the basis of specific input about presence of some terrorists in the area. As the forces zeroed in on the suspected place, the terrorists hiding inside opened fire triggering gunfight. The counter terror operation is still underway.

  • The theme for 2019 is “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health” emphasising the diversity provided by our natural systems for human existence and wellbeing on earth, while contributing to other Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change mitigation and adaptation and ecosystems restoration. When first created by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in late 1993, 29 December (the date of entry into force of the Convention of Biological Diversity), was designated The International Day for Biological Diversity. In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This year's International Day for Biological Diversity, on 22 May 2019, focus on biodiversity as the foundation for our food and health and a key catalyst to transforming food systems and improving human health. The theme aims to leverage knowledge and spread awareness of the dependency of our food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. The theme also celebrates the diversity provided by our natural systems for human existence and well-being on Earth, while contributing to other Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, ecosystems restoration, cleaner water and zero hunger, among others. In the last 100 years, more than 90 percent of crop varieties have disappeared from farmers' fields. Half of the breeds of many domestic animals have been lost, and all of the world's 17 main fishing grounds are now being fished at or above their sustainable limits. Locally-varied food production systems are under threat, including related indigenous, traditional and local knowledge. With this decline, agrobiodiversity is disappearing, and also essential knowledge of traditional medicine and local foods. The loss of diverse diets is directly linked to diseases or health risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity and malnutrition, and has a direct impact on the availability of traditional medicines. Biodiversity and ecosystems have a direct impact on human health. They are pivot for sustainable development. This focus on the nexus of biodiversity, food systems and health provides an opportunity to generate discussions on ways to support the post-2020 process for a global biodiversity framework and to help "bend the curve of biodiversity loss by 2030". In this regard, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity together with a range of partners, including the WHO, FAO, UNICEF, UNESCO, as well as other entities like EAT Foundation and the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) are working together to identify transformative actions, through global food systems, to advance progress in support of biodiversity, climate, health and other related Sustainable Development Goals.  

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