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  • At least 12 persons killed and many injured due to derailment of Haridwar-bound Uttakal Express in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh; Railway Minister orders probe.
  • Janata Dal (United) decides to join NDA; BJP welcomes the decision; no split in JD(U), says party spokesperson.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley calls for speedy and time-bound resolution of bad loans of banks.
  • Over seven crore youth provided bank loans under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, says Labour Minister.
  • Flood fury continues in Bihar and UP engulfing new areas; rescue and relief operations underway on large scale.


At least 12 persons are killed and several injured after 12 bogies of Haridwar bound Uttakal Express derailed near Khatauli railway station in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh today.  Injured are being admitted at Khatauli, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar hospitals. Quoting Chief Medical Officer of Muzaffarnagar, Dr PS Misra our correspondent reports that 12 bodies have been recovered till now from the bogies. The number of causalities may increase as several passengers have received serious injuries.

 "Rescue and relief operation is underway by local administration and railway personnel with the assistance of local people. Train movement on Ambala- Meerut- Saharanpur rail route has been stopped. In view of any suspect terror module behind the derailment a team of ATS of state police has rushed to the accident spot. Injured are being sent to local hospitals at Khatauli, Muzaffarnagar and Meerut. Several ambulances from Meerut and Muzaffarnagar have been pressed into operation. Accident relief train has also reached. 45 member NDRF teams have also been rushed and 9 companies of PAC have also rushed to the spot. State Government has send two Ministers to look after the rescue and relief operation. SUNIL SHUKLA, AIR NEWS Lucknow.


Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered an inquiry into the accident to ascertain the cause. He said, strict action will be taken against the employee responsible for any lapse.

In a series of tweets, Mr Prabhu said, he is personally monitoring the situation. He said, medical vans have been rushed to the site and all efforts being made to ensure speedy relief and rescue operations.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said Railway Ministry and Uttar Pradesh Government are doing everything and providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment. In a series of tweets, Mr Modi said, he is extremely pained by the derailment of the train and said his thoughts are with the families of the deceased. Mr Modi said Railway Ministry is closely monitoring the situation.


President Ram Nath Kovind has expressed sadness on the train accident. In a tweet, Mr Kovind said, his thoughts are with the deceased and their families. He said, injured are being rescued and  provided relief.


JD(U) today decided to join the BJP-led NDA at the Centre. The decision was taken at the party's national executive meeting in Patna, which was chaired by Party President Nitish Kumar. It may be noted BJP President Amit Shah had offered Nitish Kumar to join the NDA.

"JD(U) becomes part of the NDA after a gap of four years. Participants at the meeting were informed about the circumstances leading to the break up with the RJD and new alliance with the BJP. Loyalists of Sharad Yadav, who opposed joining hands with the BJP, also organised a programme-Jan Adalat in Patna. Mr Yadav said Nitish Kumar insulted the mandate of the people of Bihar by joining hands with BJP. He said he is still with the grand alliance. It seems the battle lines with  JD(U) are drawm and the party is heading for a split. With the report of Parthsarthi Jena, Abhishek Mukhopadhyay, AIR NEWS."


BJP President Amit Shah has welcomed JD(U)'s decision to join National Democratic Alliance. Talking to mediapersons in Bhopal, he said it will not only strengthen the NDA but also begin a new era of development in Bihar.

Amit Shah said the NDA has given an authentic government to the country. He said there is no allegation of corruption against the government and even opponents have not mustered courage to level allegations of corruption against it.


JD(U) General Secretary, K C Tyagi today said there is no split in the party. Talking to reporters in Patna, he said most of its MPs, MLAs and MLCs are with the party President, Nitish Kumar. He said 16 out of 19 office-bearers are with Nitish Kumar.

KC Tyagi said that no decision was made to take action against Sharad Yadav at today's National Executive meeting. He, however, said the party is monitoring the activities of Sharad Yadav. He warned that if Sharad Yadav, attends RJD rally on 27th of August, the party will definitely take action against him.

Meanwhile, Nitish Kumar has said that Sharad Yadav is free to take his decision. Addressing an open session of the office-bearers in Patna, Mr Kumar challenged Sharad Yadav for splitting JD(U). He said if Mr. Yadav has support of two third MLAs, MPs and office-bearers, he could split the party, otherwise, his membership will be cancelled.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today called for speedy and time-bound resolution of the bad loans issue. He expressed hope that the mandated timelines will be adhered to for effective implementation of the Act. Addressing an insolvency summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry in Mumbai, Jaitley explained the rationale for the new insolvency and bankruptcy code. He said, this was necessitated by the failure of debt recovery tribunals to effectively perform their duty after the initial success.

The Minister assured balance-sheet stressed firms that the key objective of NPA resolution is not liquidation of their businesses but to save them. He said, the objective is to make sure that these valuable assets are preserved.

Speaking on the occassion, RBI Governor Urjit Patel called for recapitalisation of state-run banks to help them resolve NPAs issue in a time-bound manner. He said the government and the RBI are working together to comprehensively address the issue through a multi-pronged approach.


Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya today said over seven crore youth were provided bank loans under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana in the last three years. Inaugurating a mega job and loan mela at Nizamabad town in Telangana, he called upon youth to derive benefit from government employment schemes. The minister said job and loan melas are being conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Emloyment across the country to enhance employment opportunities to the youth. Dattatreya said 16 such melas were conducted in Telangana so far. Our correspondent reports that about 3,000 unemployed youth from across Telangana took part in the job mela.

"The Modi government aims to impart skill development training to 2 crore youth and  provide jobs to one crore youth by 2020.  The Ministry of Labour and Employment has been taking a number of initiatives in this direction.  It  conducted 850 job melas  across the country  so far and about one lakh aspirants were given job offer letters. Dattateya called upon unemployed youth to register their names on National Carrier Service Portal to find suitable jobs for their educational qualifications. With Ramagiri Sharma, Suprasanthi, AIR News, Hyderabad."


The flood situation in Bihar continues to be grim with new areas in Darbhanga, Samastipur, Gopalganj and Siwan districts having been engulfed. Breaching of river embankments has further  aggravated the situation. Rail traffic between Darbhanga and Samastipur has been stopped following overtopping of railway tracks. Several rivers, including Bagmati, Kamla Balan and Gandak are flowing above the danger mark. Over one crore people in 19 districts are affected. 172 people have so far died in flood-related incidents. Twenty eight NDRF, 16 SDRF and seven teams of Army are conducting the relief and rescue operations. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today requested all political parties to come forward for mitigating sufferings of the marooned people. He said the floods are unprecedented causing a large scale devastation. He said all roads in the flood-affected areas have been either destroyed or washed away.

Parts of Uttar Pradesh are also bearing the brunt of floods. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today reviewed the situation in flood- affected areas of Gorakhpur, Maharajganj and Kushinagar districts. He made an aerial survey of the affected areas and provided relief materials to flood victims. Rivers such as Rapti, Rohin and Ghaghara are still flowing above the danger level. About 15 lakh people have been affected in 2,000 villages. Thirty eight people have lost their lives due to the floods.


The North East Frontier Railways is restoring train services on a war-footing in all locations affected by floods. It, however, said that full connectivity cannot be restored before 28th of this month.

Kishanganj station in Bihar has been made available for loading of goods and essential commodities which can be transported to parts of North Bengal, Assam and the rest of the Northeast. On the other hand, passengers from the Northeast will be able to travel in or out of the region and North Bengal by availing bus service between Dalkhola and Raiganj.


The National Disaster Response Force, NDRF has rescued more than 2,000 people and evacuated over 66,000 people and 233 livestock so far in worst flood affected areas of Assam, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The disaster response force also provided medical assistance to nearly 5,669 persons during this monsoon season. A NDRF press note issued in New Delhi said, the NDRF personnel are relentlessly engaged in rescuing people in close coordination with other agencies in the affected areas.


The last date for filing returns and payment of taxes under the GST regime has been extended by five days. The returns can now be filed till the 25th of this month. Earlier, the cut-off for filing maiden GST returns for July was scheduled to end tomorrow.

In a statement, the finance ministry said, certain flood-hit states as well as Jammu and Kashmir had sought an extension. There were also reports of GSTN portal facing technical issues because of a huge rush.


A number of exhibitions and photography contests were organised across the country on the occasion of the World Photography Day today. The day aims to inspire photographers across the planet to share a single photo with the world.

"On August 19 in 2010, World Photo Day hosted its first global online gallery. Almost 270 photographers shared their pictures and people from over 100 countries visited the website. On this day, camera persons  also take stock of the different kind of photography that has come to the fore. While long-known genres of photography like architectural, wildlife, fashion and sports have braved the test of time, newer ones like wedding, childbirth and food photography are also claiming a market for themselves. Photography is as much a passion as a profession. To mark the occasion, photographers are sharing their photos with the world on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. With Dipendra Kumar. Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi."


A state funeral has been held in Pakistan for a German doctor and nun who devoted her life to battling leprosy. Ruth Pfau, who lived in Pakistan for more than 50 years, set up 150 leprosy clinics across the country. Her efforts meant that in 1996, the disease was declared to have been brought under control.


The opening One-Day International of the five-match series between India and Sri Lanka will be played at Dambula tomorrow. The match will begin at 2.30 p.m. India will be led by Virat Kohli, and Sri Lanka by Upul Tharanga.

The Men in Blue, who won the recent three-Test series against the hosts by a comfortable 3-0 margin, will be looking to take that momentum into the limited-overs format of the tour as well.


The Indian pair of Soumyajit Ghosh and G Sathiyan has entered the men's doubles final of the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open table tennis competition. At Panagyurishte in Bulgaria today, the pair posted a comfortable

three-game win over compatriots Anthony Amalraj and Sanil Shetty 11-3 12-10 11-8.

The Indian duo will take on top-seeded Japanese duo of Jin Uda and Maharu Yoshimura in the final tomorrow.


In Arunachal Pradesh, the 50-bed Jarung Hospital in Kra Dadi District has become the state’s first hospital to run completely on solar power energy. The solar plant produces enough power to run the hospital and nearby quarters.


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