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Shiv Pratap Shukla takes oath as Himachal Pradesh Governor Former Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla on Saturday took oath as the 29th Governor of Himachal Pradesh at Raj Bhawan here. Adani fraud row; Supreme Court 'No' To Centre's Sealed Cover Suggestion, reserves order on appointment of committee The Supreme Court on Friday said that it will not accept the sealed cover suggestion by the Centre on the appointment of the committee related to regulatory mechanisms to protect the investors in the backdrop of the Adani-Hindenburg case and said that it wants to maintain full transparency. Massive fire at Assam market; Over 300 shops gutted More than 300 shops have been gutted in a devastating fire that engulfed a British-era bazaar in Assam's Jorhat district, officials said on Friday. Prisons are correctional institutions; should be known as such: Delhi High Court The Delhi High Court said the plight of prisoners in a democracy sheds light on the State as to how should it care for them since very few are bothered about those in jail, and added that prisons are correctional institutions and they should be known as such. 'Bow and arrow' symbol of Shiv Sena stolen, thief needs to be taught lesson: Uddhav slams Maharashtra CM Shinde Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday told his supporters that the party's 'bow and arrow' symbol has been stolen and the thief needs to be taught a lesson, a remark aimed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. Thackeray was addressing his supporters outside 'Matoshree', his residence at Bandra here before chairing a meeting of party leaders. 4 dead, 16 injured after bus overturns in MP's Sagar Four people died and 16 were injured after a sleeper bus going from Indore to Chhatarpur overturned, said Banda SDOP Shikha Soni."Out of 16 injured people, 7 people are in serious condition," added SDOP Soni. NDRF rescues girls aged 6 and 8 buried under debris in Turkey After the devastating earthquake in Turkey, a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), involved in the relief and rescue operation, pulled out two girls, aged 6 and 8, safely from the debris. Speaking to ANI, Atul Karwal, DG, NDRF said, "The most important task in the rescue operation after the earthquake in Turkey was retrieving the bodies of those who lost their lives in the debris and handing them over to their families." 2 dead, 19 injured as bus carrying devotees plunges into gorge in J&K’s Reasi Two people were killed and 19 others injured when a bus carrying pilgrims to Shiv Khori temple skidded off the road and plunged into a gorge in Reasi district here on Sunday, officials said. Chidambaram slams George Soros over 'revival of democracy' remark Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday reacted sharply to George Soros's "revival of democracy" remark. Nitish has a word of advice for Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said the Congress must not rest on its laurels and make use of the momentum gained during Rahul Gandhi’s 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in forging a coalition of parties opposed to the BJP. India is the Mother of Democracy, but Modi is the Father of Hypocrisy; Congress steps up attack Escalating its offensive on the Centre over Income Tax survey at BBC’s offices in Delhi & Mumbai, the Congress party launched a frontal attack on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. IOC contradicts Adani after TMC's Mahua Moitra raises stink of corruption in LPG deal Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Thursday took to Twitter to clarify on its initial pact for hiring Adani Group's port at Gangavaram in Andhra Pradesh for LPG imports in addition to existing pacts with nearby ports, saying there is no take-or-pay agreement. Congress seeks probe into Israeli firm's 'use' in elections in India The Congress on Thursday demanded a probe into the the alleged use of an Israeli team of contractors to interfere in Indian elections and asked the government to break its silence on the matter. Adani-Hindenburg row; One more PIL filed in Supreme Court A fresh PIL was filed on Thursday in the Supreme Court seeking a probe by multiple central government agencies under the supervision of a panel or a former apex court judge against the Adani Group of companies following allegations of fraud and share price manipulation made by the US-based Hindenburg Research. Armed robbers loot Rs 22 lakh cash from bank in Amritsar Two armed robbers looted Rs 22 lakh cash from the Punjab National Bank branch at Macleod Road here on Thursday, police said. DMK councillor among seven arrested in Tamil Nadu for murder of army man A DMK councillor of the Nagojanahalli town panchayat in Krishnagiri district was arrested on Wednesday, for the murder of a 29-year-old  Indian army soldier, who succumbed to injuries inflicted by the councillor and nine of his supporters.  Section 144 imposed after clash betweem two communities in Palamu, Jharkhand; Internet Services Suspended Section 144 imposed in Panki after a clash erupted between two communities over installation of a 'Toran gate' (entry gate) in a market in Jharkhand's Palamu district on Wednesday. Over 100 personnel have been deployed to maintain peace. Apart from them, the police officials from Tarhasi, Pipratand and Lesliganj are also present at the scene.  In Rajasthan, groundwater 'over-exploited' in 219 blocks About 219 of Rajasthan's 302 blocks, including seven urban areas, fall under the 'over-exploited' category in terms of groundwater usage, the Assembly was informed on Wednesday. Centre working hard to provide best possible infrastructure: PM Modi  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said his government will always work hard to provide the best possible infrastructure as he retweeted Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s tweet on Bengaluru-Mysuru Express Corridor. As a video taken from a drone showing next-gen Vande Bharat Express chugging beneath the flyover of the 10-lane highway corridor between Bengaluru and Mysuru presented a breathtaking view, an awestruck Karnataka Chief Minister exclaimed ‘What a view!’ as he shared the video on his Twitter handle. “What a view! 10-lane Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway alongside Vande Bharat Express, a visual depicting the story of world class infrastructure & unprecedented growth in Karnataka. Under Hon’ble PM @narendramodi Ji, our Double Engine government is working wonders in the state,” Bommai tweeted. “Act as per constitution”: Mallikarjun Kharge lashes out at PM Modi, Shah in Jharkhand Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday lashed out at the BJP-led central government and described their leaders as “a bunch of liars”, adding further, “whenever they had raised voice for poor people, it was stifled by the governing party”. Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of making fake promises and telling lies to the people of this country, Kharge on Saturday described the leaders of the saffron party as a “gang of liars”. While referring to the deletion of a part of the speech of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Kharge said, “whenever we raise our voice, it is being stifled”. Mhadei row: Various organisations in Goa allege water diversion by K’taka, plan protests  Various organisations in Goa have planned protests against the alleged diversion of Mhadei river water by the neighbouring Karnataka in the coming days. The NGOs under the aegis of ‘Save Mhadei Save Goa Front’ on Saturday appealed to people to light diyas (earthen lamps) on Sunday at 7.30 pm. Activist Prajal Sakhardande said various programmes, including corner meetings, will be held in the coastal state over the issue. 3.8 magnitude tremor hits Gujarat's Surat; no one hurt; epicentre in sea, says ISR A tremor of 3.8 magnitude was recorded in the early hours of Saturday in Surat district in Gujarat, an Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) official said. LIC Chairman Says, Will meet Adani Group to seek clarification on crisis LIC chairman M R Kumar on Thursday said the officials of the public sector insurer will soon meet top management of the Adani Group and seek clarification on the crisis being faced by the diversified conglomerate. Air power to play critical role in deciding outcome of any future conflict: IAF Chief VR Chaudhari Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari has said air power will play a critical role in deciding the outcome of any conflict in future and stressed the need for maintaining a high state of readiness. Who 'moo-ted' idea in the first place, Jairam Ramesh's dig after withdrawal of 'Cow Hug Day' appeal Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday took a swipe over the Animal Welfare Board of India withdrawing its appeal to celebrate February 14 as 'Cow Hug Day' following directions from the government, asking who had "moo-ted" the idea in the first place. FM rejects 'green Budget for Adani' charge; says allocation not with anyone in mind Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday rejected Opposition charges of the Budget allocations for green and clean energy being made keeping the Adani Group in mind, saying it might be Congress culture to give benefits to 'jijas' and 'bhatijas' but not of the Modi government. Act against erring headmasters for delaying teachers' retirement dues: Calcutta HC A single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court, on Friday, directed the state education department to initiate departmental proceedings against the erring headmasters in state-run schools if there are lapses in delaying the retirement benefits of the teachers. Supreme Court grants interim bail to suspended Jharkhand IAS officer in money laundering case The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim bail for a period of two months to suspended Jharkhand cadre IAS officer Pooja Singhal in a money laundering case to enable her to look after her ailing daughter. Congress hits back at PM Modi over Nehru surname remark in Rajya Sabha Asking who in India uses their maternal grandfather's surname, the Congress on Friday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks on the Gandhis not using the Nehru name and said he doesn't have the basic understanding of Indian culture. Congress never tried to solve permanent problems of country: PM Modi in Rajya Sabha Congress never tried to find solutions to the permanent problems, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said attacking the Congress while replying to the Motion of Thanks in the President’s address. Addressing the Rajya Sabha, PM Modi said, “Mallikarjun Kharge said that Congress built a strong foundation in 60 years. In 2014, when I saw minute details, I saw that in 60 years, the Congress family has only built potholes on the path.” “Despite being in power from the Panchayat level to the Parliament they never, “thought or tried” to being solutions to permanent problems,” he said. He said that BJP’s priority remains the common public, under which they made LPG connections available to 25 crore families in the country. Bihar Lynchings: Second victim succumbs to injuries, 13 arrested Second of the three victims in the Bihar lynching case, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, informed the police. The case pertains to February 5, when three people were allegedly tied and beaten in Bihar's Mubarakpur village in Manjhi. Earlier, one victim named Amitesh died during treatment, and now Rahul has also succumbed to his injuries. The third victim is still undergoing treatment in the hospital. Earlier the Bihar Police informed that 13 people have been arrested in connection with the case. Tripura polls: BJP manifesto promises rubber units, rise in farmers' aid, more autonomy for tribals The BJP on Thursday promised greater autonomy for tribal areas, an increase in farmers' monetary assistance and industry-specific manufacturing zones based on rubber if it returns to power for the second time in a row in Tripura. Releasing the party's manifesto for the February 16 assembly election in the state, BJP president JP Nadda also announced a Rs 5 meal scheme for all, named after religious guru Anukul Chandra, and setting up a Regional Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Agartala. "We will take Tripura on the path of DTH - development, transformation and harmony," Nadda said at a press conference here. Congress objects to Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar 'expunging portions' from Kharge's speech Opposition Congress on Thursday raised an objection to Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar deleting some portions of Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge's speech from official records, saying he used no unparliamentary words and some of the expressions he employed were earlier used even by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Dhankar however ruled out a review saying he has already taken a call. At the start of the day's proceedings in Rajya Sabha, Congress MPs were up on their feet questioning the rationale behind the expunging of remarks made on Wednesday, when similar ones were made by former prime ministers Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh in the House and which continue to be part of the proceedings. Nearly 60 lakh cases pending in 25 HCs, over 69,000 in SC: Centre Over 69,000 cases are pending in the Supreme Court while there is a backlog of over 59 lakh cases in the country's 25 high courts, Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday. Citing details available on the SC website, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply that 69,511 cases were pending in the top court as on February 1. No provision for reservation in judiciary: Rijiju The government on Thursday informed the Parliament that the existing policy does not provide for reservation in the judiciary but judges, especially collegium members, have been told to keep in mind sections of people who are not represented adequately while making their recommendations for appointments of judges. During Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, DMK leader Tiruchi Siva asked if the government would consider the possibility of introducing a reservation policy in the appointment of judges. Application process for CUET-UG to start from February 9, go on till March 12 The application process for second edition of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET)-UG will begin on Thursday night and will remain open till March 12, UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar said. The exam is scheduled to be conducted from May 21-31. "Online submission of application form for CUET-UG for admission to undergraduate programmes will start tonight. Last date for submission of applications is March 12, 2023. "Announcement of the city of examination is on April 30. Downloading of Admit cards from the NTA website from second week of May, 2023," Kumar said on Thursday. The University Grants Commission (UGC) in March last year announced that undergraduate admissions will be conducted in all central universities through a common entrance test and not on the basis of class 12 marks. Aspersions should not be cast on appointment of Victoria Gowri as Madras HC judge: Centre Differences of opinion are a part of democracy and there are ways to find solutions to that, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Thursday in Rajya Sabha on whether there exist differences between the judiciary and the executive on the issue of appointment of judges. The government also said aspersions should not be cast on the appointment of Victoria Gowri as a judge of the high court, asserting that she has been appointed through a process. Asked by TMC member Jawhar Sircar whether the appointment of Gowri was right even when she has been accused in public of making casteist remarks, of remarks against minorities, Leader of the House Piyush Goyal sought the indulgence of the chair. "I think there should be some decorum. An honourable judge has been duly appointed through a process. I don't think we, as honourable members here, should be casting aspersions of this nature. I seek your indulgence," Goyal said. India’s technical textile exports grew 28.4 pc in 2021-22: Centre to Lok Sabha India’s exports of 207 technical textile products have grown from USD 2.21 billion in 2020-21 to USD 2.85 billion in 2021-22, registering a growth rate of 28.4 per cent, Union Minister of State for Textiles Darshana Jardosh told Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Two held for killing caterer in scuffle over plates in Delhi’s Rohini Two people were arrested for allegedly attacking a caterer after a scuffle broke out over plates at an anniversary function in Rohini area on Thursday, said the police. Rahul Gandhi has hit right spot, commotion in BJP: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury slams govt over Adani row Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday targetted the Centre over the ongoing Adani row and said that there is "commotion" in the Bharatiya Janata Party, adding that Rahul Gandhi has "hit the right spot". The Congress leader alleged that the BJP is "advocating" for an industrialist. "Shouldn't look like action is against one particular community": Maulana Madani on Assam child marriage crackdown   President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Maulana Mahmood Madani on Wednesday reacted to the recent crackdown on child marriages by Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Assam government. "The action being taken against parents of children in assam">Assam should not happen and the crackdown against child marriage shouldn't look as if the action is only being taken against one particular community. If something is being done against a particular community, then people will raise their voices," said Madani while talking to ANI. Madani further said that with the kind of atmosphere created in the country, efforts are being made to create distance among people in the name of religion, which is worrying. Rajya Sabha sees verbal skirmishes as Oppn presses for JPC probe Verbal skirmishes between treasury and opposition benches that forced frequent interventions by the Chair marked the proceedings in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday as the opposition parties targeted the government on the Adani issue pressing for a JPC probe. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the House during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address, opposition members referred to allegations against the Adani group made by Hindenburg Research and made several insinuations, prompting Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar to repeatedly ask them to authenticate the charges by end of the day. Dhankhar urged the members to maintain dignity and not make wild allegations unless authenticated with evidence. Members of the treasury benches also asked the opposition MPs to authenticate the charges made in the House. NSE phone tapping: Delhi HC grants bail to Chitra Ramkrishna in money laundering case The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted bail to Chitra Ramkrishna in the money laundering case related to alleged illegal phone tapping and snooping of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) employees. "The application is allowed. The applicant is granted bail," said Justice Jasmeet Singh. The former NSE managing director, who was earlier arrested by the CBI in the alleged NSE co-location scam, was arrested in the present case by the Enforcement Directorate on July 14 last year. She was granted bail in the CBI case by the high court in September last year. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had opposed her bail plea in the present case on grounds that she was the "mastermind" behind the conspiracy. Gaganyaan mission: ISRO, Navy carry out crew module recovery trials The Indian Space Research Organisation, along with Indian Navy, carried out initial recovery trials of Crew Module in the Water Survival Test Facility (WSTF) as part of preparations for the Gaganyaan mission. A Crew Module Recovery Model (CMRM) that simulates the mass, center of gravity, outer dimensions, and externals of the actual Crew Module at touchdown was used for the trials at WSTF of Navy at Kochi in Kerala, the space agency said. The trials were part of the preparation for crew module recovery operations for the Gaganyaan mission that will be carried out in Indian waters with the participation of Indian Government agencies, the overall recovery operations being led by Indian Navy. The sequence of operations required for the recovery of the Crew Module were carried out as part of the trials. It's clear Modi govt is protecting Adani : Rahul Gandhi Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was protecting industrialist Gautam Adani, adding that he wasn't satisfied with the former's reply to the Motion of Thanks to the President's address in Parliament. Speaking to reporters after PM Modi concluded his address at the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Rahul said, "I am not satisfied with the PM's speech. However, it has revealed the truth. His speech had nothing about an inquiry (into the Adani Group in the wake of the Hindenburg report). It's clear that the PM is protecting him (Gautam Adani)." Compulsive criticism has replaced constructive criticism now: PM Modi in Lok Sabha NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on the offensive in the Loka Sabha on Wednesday saying the trust reposed by crores of people was his protective shield and cannot be breached by abuse and allegations from his detractors. Replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address in Lok Sabha, Modi said the world was looking at India with hope amid instability in some parts of the globe due to the once-in-a-century pandemic and conflicts. Modi govt bringing back ‘Indira Gandhi era’: Asaduddin Owaisi AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said the Narendra Modi government is bringing back the “Indira Gandhi era” as he referred to a tug of war over the process of appointment of judges and raised concerns over those holding constitutional posts commenting on the “basic structure” of the Constitution. Participating in a debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address, Owaisi also accused the government of not doing enough for the minorities and raised concerns over the India-China border situation. Need a central act to regulate online gaming, gambling: Ashwini Vaishnaw Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed the Lok Sabha that nine States and UTs have passed laws on online gaming adding that there is a need for a central act to regulate it. Replying to questions of DMK MP T Sumathy Thamizhachi Thangapandian on issues related to online gaming during Question Hour in Lok Sabha, the Union Minister said, “19 States and UTs have passed their own laws in this regard. 17 States have amended Public Gambling Act and introduced sections against online gambling within it. If there is something which is happening in a particular state, I don’t think that this house should be commenting on that.” 'Hum Adani Ke Hain Kaun': Congress poses 4th set of questions to Centre amid row over Hindenburg report Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his alleged silence on the Hindenburg-Adani row, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday posed fresh questions to the PM on the 'MahaMegaScam'. The Congress MP raised the fresh questions during the party's ongoing nationwide 'Hum Adani Ke Hain Kaun' campaign. Leopard strays into Ghaziabad court, injures at least five people A leopard wounded at least five people on Wednesday when it strayed into a courthouse on the outskirts of New Delhi, police said. Footage of the incident circulated on social media showed several men injured in the attack, including one man who was carried away from the courthouse in Ghaziabad while watched by onlookers. Body-armour-clad police were waving flaming sticks and laying out nets inside the courthouse in an effort to corral the creature, video seen by AFP showed. "The leopard jumped around in the court complex in panic and five to six people were injured. Efforts are on to capture it," an officer in the local police station said, declining to give his name. SC decision on rebel Sena MLAs' disqualification should come first: Uddhav  Uddhav Thackeray, who heads a faction of the Shiv Sena, on Wednesday said that the decision by the Supreme Court on the disqualification of the party's rebel MLAs should come first and then by the Election Commission on whom the original party belongs to. Addressing a press conference, Thackeray also asked why the EC froze the 'Shiv Sena' name and its 'bow and arrow' symbol when it has not been used by the rival Eknath Shinde faction yet. The decision on disqualification should come first and then by the Election Commission (which faction is the original Shiv Sena), Thackerya said, adding that the apex court will start hearing the matter related to the disqualification of rebel MLAs on a daily basis from February 14. The Shiv Sena was split after Shinde broke away last year, triggering the collapse of the Maha Vikash Aghadi government 'an alliance of Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party' led by Thackeray. Kharge invokes Vajpayee's 'raj dharma' remark in Rajya Sabha, BJP members protest Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday invoked Atal Bihari Vajpayee's 'raj dharma' remark post the 2002 Gujarat riots, sparking a heated exchange with ruling party members in Rajya Sabha who accused him of quoting the former prime minister "partly to suit their convenience". Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman opposed Kharge's remarks made during his speech in the Upper House on Wednesday. Kharge in his speech said, "I will quote Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. He said in Ahmedabad that India's image has been tarnished overseas due to the communal riots. I didn't say this. Atal Bihari ji said this. With what face will I go abroad? Raj dharma has not been followed." Leader of the House and Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal immediately responded to Kharge's remark, saying Vajpayee agonised with communal riots during the Congress rule, be it in Maharashtra, Bhagalpur or in Gujarat. J-K anti-encroachment drive: Police stop Mehbooba's protest march to Parliament NEW DELHI: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday took to the streets in the national capital to protest against the ongoing anti-encroachment drive being carried out by the administration in Jammu and Kashmir. Carrying placards reading 'Stop Bullying, Stop Bulldozing', Mufti, along with scores of supporters, gathered at the busy Boat Club area with an aim to march towards Parliament in a bid to inform the opposition parties about the ongoing 'Bulldozer policy' being followed in the Union Territory. However, police detained the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, and took her and her party workers to Jantar Mantar. The protesters dispersed from Jantar Mantar. Don't make allegations without evidence: Speaker Birla tells Cong MP  Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday warned members against making allegations without evidence after a Congress MP accused the government of favouring industrialist Gautam Adani. The Speaker also said the debate on the President's address should not be centred around one individual. As the Lok Sabha debated the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address, Congress MP from Nalgonda, Telangana, N Uttam Kumar Reddy mentioned Adani and reiterated the Opposition's demand for a probe following the Hindenburg report on the Adani Group. "In the last 10 days, 10 lakh crore of market capitalisation has collapsed. Government should agree to our demand for a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) or a Supreme Court-monitored probe," Reddy said. He charged that the government favoured Adani, prompting the Speaker to say that the MP should not make allegations without evidence. "You are speaking without facts and evidence. You should maintain the decorum of the House," Birla said. Reddy, however, said he has evidence and will present it to the House. "We are discussing the President's address but we are talking about only one person here. Maybe you like it, but the country does not," Birla said. "There is a difference between criticism and making allegations. You should criticise, but if you are making an allegation there should be evidence," he said. Raise women's representation in police force to 33 per cent: Govt to States NEW DELHI: The Centre has issued multiple advisories to states to increase the representation of women in the police force to 33 per cent, but their actual strength as on January 1, 2022, stood at 11.75 per cent, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday. Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued advisories dated April 22, 2013, May 21, 2014, May 12, 2015, June 21, 2019, June 22, 2021, and April 13, 2022, to all the state governments to increase the representation of women police to 33 per cent of the total strength. Eight banks participated in digital currency project: RBI Deputy Governor Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor T Sankar Rabi on Wednesday said eight banks have participated in the central bank digital currencies project, which was launched by the central bank today. Addressing queries of media persons after the announcement of the Monetary Policy Committee today, the deputy governor said the pilot project currently covers the five cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar and Chandigarh. RSS, Ajit Doval coerced Agniveer scheme on the Army: Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged that the Agniveer scheme didn’t come from the Army but was “coerced” by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Home Ministry and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Written to president, CJI to reconsider appointment of Victoria Gowri as Madras HC judge: Vaiko Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary and MP Vaiko on Tuesday said he has written to the President and the Chief Justice of India to reconsider the appointment of Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri as an additional judge of the Madras High Court. India to send two more IAF planes with rescue personnel, relief materials to quake-hit Turkey India will send two more C-17 Indian Air Force planes to Turkey later this evening with 60 Para Field Hospital and personnel to assist in rescue and relief operations. Delhi Police moves HC against discharge of Sharjeel Imam in 2019 Jamia violence case Delhi Police has moved to the High court against the discharge granted to Sharjeel Imam and other accused in the Jamia violence case. Lawyer moves SC to gag media from carrying reports on Adani firms unless filed with & verified by SEBI A plea was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a gag order to prevent media from carrying statements or allegations related to the Adani group firms unless they are filed with and verified by market regulator SEBI. AgustaWestland chopper scam: SC denies bail to alleged middleman Christian Michel James The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied bail to Christian Michel James, an alleged middlemen in AgustaWestland chopper scam cases, who is being probed by both the CBI and Enforcement Directorate. SC dismisses plea to restrain Gowri from taking oath as HC judge The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a plea seeking to restrain lawyer Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri from taking oath as an additional judge of the Madras High Court. Gowri took oath of office as the additional judge of the high court while the hearing was underway in the apex court, “We are not entertaining the writ petition. Reasons will follow,” said a special bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai, which assembled at 10.25 am to hear the plea, five minutes before the scheduled time of the court. The oath to Gowri was administered by Madras High Court Acting Chief Justice T Raja at around 10:48 AM, while the top court was hearing arguments on why Gowri should not be elevated. Rahul Gandhi made baseless, shameless allegations against PM Modi: Ravi Shankar Prasad Accusing Rahul Gandhi of making baseless, shameless and reckless allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Congress itself was involved in “big scams” which “tarnished” the image of the country. Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address in Lok Sabh, Gandhi linked the massive rise in the business fortunes and personal wealth of businessman Gautam Adani to the Modi government coming to power in 2014, as he launched a sharp attack on the BJP dispensation over the Adani issue. Ruckus in Lok Sabha as Opposition alleges BJP member glorified 'Sati' practice Lok Sabha was adjourned briefly on Tuesday due to protests by opposition members who alleged that BJP member C P Joshi had glorified 'Sati' in his speech. Joshi, however, clarified that he did not support the banned practice and that his remarks were on the tradition of 'Jauhar'. He said he did not mention 'Sati' and perhaps due to an error in translation from Hindi, the word was mixed with his reference to 'Satitva' (chastity). Joshi, a BJP member from Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, had initiated the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address when he referred to Padmavati, the queen of Mewar who is believed to have self-immolated when invader Allaudin Khilji laid a siege at the Chittor fort. TMC only party that can oust double engine govt, provide alternative to BJP: Mamata in Tripura West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday asserted that hers is the only party that can oust the double engine government of the BJP, and provide the people of the country with an alternative to the saffron camp. Addressing a public rally here, she claimed that democracy has taken a backseat in Tripura under the BJP rule, as “parties were not allowed to organise political meetings, and journalists lost their right to gather news”. “Two years ago, our party leaders and activists were attacked, their vehicles vandalized. Some of them were illegally put behind the bars. Democracy is in a bad shape in the state, and our leaders and members became subjects of torture for protesting against misdeeds,” she stated. No. of medical colleges in India has gone up to 654 from 387 since 2014: Govt There has been a 69-per cent increase in the number of medical colleges in the country, from 387 before 2014 to 654 as of now, the government informed Parliament on Tuesday. Further, there has been a 94-per cent rise in the number of MBBS seats, from 51,348 to 99,763, and a 107-per cent increase in the number of postgraduate (PG) seats, from 31,185 before 2014 to 64,559 as of now, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha. Allegations against Adani group: Chhattisgarh Cong protests in front of LIC, SBI offices The ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh on Monday staged protests in front of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and State Bank of India (SBI) offices in all the district headquarters across the state in connection with the allegations against the Gautam Adani group and the resultant stock market upheaval. Adani group stocks have taken a massive hit after US-based activist short-seller Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation. The group has dismissed the charges as lies. Opposition parties have alleged the value of shares held in Adani group firms by LIC and leading lender SBI had eroded massively, which they claimed was a setback to taxpayers. WhatsApp rolls outs new features including 'Voice Status' & 'Status Reactions' Meta-owned messaging platform WhatsApp on Tuesday announced new features coming to its status, including 'Voice Status,' and 'Status Reactions.' The new features have started rolling out to users globally and will be available to everyone in the coming weeks, the company said in a statement. The 'Voice Status' feature allows users to record and share voice messages for up to 30 seconds on WhatsApp status. “BJP is running away from discussions…” Mallikarjun Kharge reiterates JPC probe demand in Adani issue Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday the centre demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) or Chief Justice of India (CJI) monitored probe into the Adani issue. He said that it needs to be found out whether the fundamentals of the Gautam Adani Group are strong or weak. Gold recovers on softer dollar as traders await economic cues Gold rose for a second consecutive session on Tuesday helped by a softer dollar after recent sharp losses while traders awaited more economic data to gauge its likely influence on U.S. interest rates. Spot gold was up 0.4% to $1,875.36 per ounce by 0940 GMT, after hitting its lowest level since Jan. 6 on Monday. U.S. gold futures edged 0.3% higher to $1,874.30. JEE-Main January edition: 20 candidates score perfect 100 NEW DELHI: Twenty candidates have scored perfect 100 in engineering entrance exam JEE-Main's January edition, the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced on Tuesday. All the candidates with 100 NTA score are males. "The NTA scores of 50 candidates have been withheld as they are under scrutiny," a senior NTA official said. NTA score is not the same as percentage of marks obtained but normalised scores. The second edition of the crucial exam will be held in April. Budget Session: Rahul Gandhi questions surge in Adani's fortunes under Modi govt; Rijiju warns against 'wild allegations' Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday linked the massive rise in the business fortunes and personal wealth of businessman Gautam Adani to the Modi government coming to power in 2014, as he launched a sharp attack on the BJP dispensation over the Adani issue. His charges in Lok Sabha drew a sharp response from the treasury benches, with Law Minister Kiren Rijiju asking him to not level "wild allegations" and furnish proof of his claims. Supreme Court assures Bilkis Bano of early hearing of her plea against remission to convicts The Supreme Court on Tuesday assured Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped and seven members of her family killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots, that her plea against the remission of the sentence of 11 convicts will be heard soon after the constitution of a new bench. A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala assured Bano, represented through her lawyer Shobha Gupta, that the new bench will be formed at the earliest. Interests of poor at centre of every budget presented by BJP government: PM Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Tuesday that the interests of the poor have been at the centre of every budget presented by his government. Addressing the first BJP parliamentary party meeting after the Union Budget was presented on February 1, he said no one is calling it a "chunavi budget" (budget influenced by polls) even though it was the last full-fledged one before the next Lok Sabha polls. Overall development and the interests of every section of society have driven its proposals, he said. Even those who have been ideologically opposed to the BJP have welcomed the budget, Union minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters quoting Modi's speech to the MPs. Amid Maharashtra CM's appeal for unopposed contest, NCP announces candidate for Assembly bypoll in Pune The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday said Nana Kate will be its candidate for the upcoming bypoll to Chinchwad Assembly seat in Pune district. The announcement comes days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said he had requested NCP president Sharad Pawar and leaders of the Congress (both constituents of Maha Vikas Aghadi along with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena) to honour the political tradition in the state to ensure unopposed bypolls to seats falling vacant due to the death of sitting lawmakers. The byelections to Pune's Chinchwad and Kasba Peth constituencies, scheduled for February 26, have been necessitated due to the death of sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs Laxman Jagtap and Mukta Tilak. NEET PG aspirants protest at Jantar Mantar demanding postponement of exam by a couple of weeks The NEET PG aspirants under the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) on Tuesday staged a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding the postponement of the postgraduate medical entrance test, scheduled for March 5. The results for the NEET PG 2023 will be declared around March 31, and the counselling process will start in July 2023. The doctors' body sought the exam to be postponed by two or three weeks to reduce the gap between the declaration of the result and the counselling process. "At present with the ex No scope for hate crimes on basis of religion in secular country such as India: Supreme Court The Supreme Court on Monday observed that there is a growing consensus around hate speech and stressed there is no scope for hate crimes on the basis of religion in a secular country such as India. "There cannot be any compromise on hate speech at all," the top court said and added that it is only if the State acknowledges the problem of hate speech that a solution can be found. It also said that it is the primary duty of the State to protect its citizens from any such hate crimes. A bench of justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna said, "When action is not taken against hate crimes then an atmosphere is fostered which is very dangerous and it has to be rooted out from our lives. There cannot be any compromise on hate speech at all." BJP has turned J-K into Afghanistan: Mehbooba Mufti on anti-encroachment drive Jammu and Kashmir has been turned into Afghanistan by the BJP which is using bulldozers to demolish the homes of poor and marginalised under the ongoing anti-encroachment drive, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti alleged Monday. Addressing a press conference here, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief appealed to Opposition leaders in the country not to be a mute spectator to the "atrocities being committed by the BJP". She alleged the BJP is using its brute majority to weaponize everything and "bulldoze" the Constitution. "Palestine is still better. At least people talk. Kashmir is becoming worse than Afghanistan the way bulldozers are being used to demolish the homes of people. What is the purpose of demolishing small houses of people," she said. Hajj to cost lesser this year: Sources Hajj pilgrims from India will have to pay less as compared to the previous year as the central government is considering to reduce the cost of the pilgrimage by Rs 50,000 per person, sources said on Monday. Tripura poll manifesto: TMC promises ‘Bengal model of development’, 2 lakh jobs in five years With a key promise to provide two lakh jobs in five years, Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday released the party’s election manifesto for the upcoming Tripura Assembly elections a fortnight before the polls. Will raise Adani row in Parliament: Congress prez Mallikarjun Kharge Congress President and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said that the opposition would raise the Adani issue in Parliament as the government especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi is silent on the issue. 'Against the spirit of the Constitution': AIMPLB passes resolution against Uniform Civil Code After an emergency meeting on Sunday, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) expressed concern over ‘rising hatred’ in the society and issued an appeal to the Government of India not to pursue the ‘agenda of introducing a Uniform Civil Code (UCC). It said it would deprive citizens of the privileges provided to them by Personal Laws and that was against the spirit of the Constitution. G20 members agree on joint efforts to achieve energy efficiency and security The G20 member countries participating in the first Energy Transitions Working Group (ETWG) meeting in Bengaluru have agreed on collective efforts in priority areas to achieve energy security and diversified supply chains of new energy sources, the Ministry of Power said on Sunday. Bank of India employee thrashed by two customers in Gujarat, both held The police have arrested two persons for assaulting an employee at Bank of India's (BOI) Nadiad branch. There are no big or small cases for court, every matter is important: CJI Chandrachud Maintaining that the Supreme Court has made a constant endeavour to ensure access to justice for everyone, Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud on Saturday said there are no big or small cases for the court and that every matter is important. Speaking at the 73rd anniversary of the establishment of the Supreme Court, he said every day, the Supreme Court has hundreds of cases on its docket and the judges and the staff of the Registry put up tremendous hard work to ensure their speedy disposal. CJI Chandrachud said the top court disposed of 12,471 cases in the last three months. Rs 9.4 lakh worth ‘counterfeit’ coins seized from car in Mumbai, one arrested Delhi and Mumbai police, in a joint operation, seized coins worth Rs 9.4 lakh from a car owned by a Malad resident and arrested one person. The accused person has been identified as Jignesh Gala and was arrested in connection with distributing the coins. According to the police, the Government Mint will verify if the coins are authentic which are suspected to be counterfeit. The special cell of Delhi Police had been investigating a case of counterfeit currency and had arrested five accused persons. During technical analysis, the Delhi police got leads that a person connected to their case was in Malad (E). Delhi Police came down to Mumbai and on February 1, they approached Mumbai’s Dindoshi Police for assistance. After a green signal from senior officers, the teams picked up Gala. Police have learnt that Gala worked for a commission. 'BJP govt fighting with everyone': Delhi CM Kejriwal asks Centre not to interfere in other's work Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday accused the BJP government at the Centre of "fighting with everyone", including states, judges, farmers as well as traders. Citing a news report on the Collegium system of appointment of judges becoming a major flashpoint between the Supreme Court and the Centre, Kejriwal advised the Narendra Modi government not to meddle in others' work. "Why does the central government fight with everyone? With judges, Supreme Court, state governments, farmers and traders? The country will not progress by quarrelling with everyone. Do your job and let others do theirs. Don't interfere in other's work," Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi. The AAP government in Delhi is involved in a running battle with the Centre-appointed Lt Governor over a range of governance and jurisdiction-related matters. Last month, Kejriwal along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and AAP MLAs marched to Raj Niwas over an alleged delay in approving his government's proposal to send school teachers to Finland for training. Delhi court discharges Sharjeel Imam in 2019 Jamia violence case A court here on Saturday discharged student activists Sharjeel Imam and Asif Iqbal Tanha in the Jamia violence case. Additional Sessions Judge Arul Verma discharged them in a case registered at the Jamia Nagar police station in 2019. A detailed order in the matter is awaited. Adani's FPO pullout has not impacted India's image: FM Sitharaman India's economic image is not affected due to Adani Group's recent decision to pull out Rs 20,000 crore FPO amid allegations of financial wrongdoings, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday. The finance minister said there has been an accretion of USD 8 billion to the forex reserves in the last two days alone. No one will call BRS ‘vote cutters’ in Maharashtra: AIMIM MP Jaleel Political parties are free to go to any part of the country but AIMIM is called “voter cutter” wherever it goes, said party MP Imtiaz Jaleel, referring to the Bharat Rashtra Samithi’s plan to enter Maharashtra. No one will call BRS ‘vote cutters’ in Maharashtra, said Jaleel, the Lok Sabha MP from Aurangabad. BRS, earlier known as Telangana Rashtra Samithi, is the second political party after the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) that will make a foray into the western state. India, France, UAE discuss cooperation in trilateral framework, to promote compatibility and co-production in defence sector Noting that defence is an area of close cooperation, Foreign Ministers of India, France and UAE have decided that efforts will be undertaken to further promote compatibility, joint development and co-production while seeking out avenues for further collaboration and training defence forces of the three countries. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, France Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a phone call in which they discussed collaboration in areas such as education, business, maritime and green energy. “Discussed convergences and further collaboration in education, business, maritime, culture and green energy for a stable peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Jaishankar said in a tweet. Aaditya Thackeray dares CM Shinde to contest election against him in Worli Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray has challenged “unconstitutional” Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to contest election against him in the Worli Assembly seat in Mumbai. Speaking at a party program on Friday, Thackeray, MLA from Worli, also dared other Sena MLAs and MPs who rebelled against his father Uddhav Thackeray to resign and face the voters afresh. “I have challenged this unconstitutional chief minister that I would resign as MLA from Worli and you contest election against me. Let me see how you win from Worli,” Aaditya said. Locals, environmentalists concerned over depleting snow cover, rising temperatures in Shimla Harsh winters with heavy snowfalls beginning in December itself, covering Shimla in a white mantle of snow till March-end or even early April have become a thing of the past now. The Himachal Pradesh capital, which used to be draped in white and attract tourists from all over, now mostly presents a brownish look with dry grass covering the hills. There is growing conce Child marriage: AIUDF claims crackdown without framing rules; Cong questions failure of other govt bodies The AIUDF on Saturday alleged that the Assam government is carrying out a crackdown on child marriage under provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) without framing the requisite rules. The Congress too questioned the BJP-led government for failing to act against agencies which are mandated to protect child rights. In a crackdown on child marriage since Friday, police have arrested 2,258 people so far based on 4,074 FIRs registered against such cases with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asserting on Saturday that the drive will continue till 2026 Assembly election. Committed to ensuring market integrity, measures in place to address excess volatility: Sebi on Adani crisis Amid a raging controversy over a meltdown in Adani group stocks, regulator Sebi on Saturday said it is committed to ensuring the stock market’s integrity and all necessary surveillance measures are in place to address any excessive volatility in individual shares. Without naming Adani group specifically, the capital markets watchdog said in a statement that unusual price movement in the stocks of a business conglomerate has been observed in the past week. Officials confirmed that the statement has been issued in the wake of the Adani matter only. Adani group stocks have taken a beating on the bourses after US-based activist short-seller Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation at the Gautam Adani-led group.