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NEWS AT NINE

2100 HRS.

24th June, 2017

THE HEADLINES :-

  • India and Portugal sign 11 MoUs for cooperation in various areas including double taxation avoidance, investments, science and technology and space research.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds talks with his Portuguese counterpart in Lisbon.
  • Washington says, Mr Modi's US visit to strengthen fight against terrorism and expand security cooperation in Indo-Pacific region.
  • Government clears proposal to set up a new airport at Jewar in Greater Noida.
  • Maharashtra government announces a mega loan waiver of 34 thousand crore rupees for farmers; All farm loans up to one lakh 50 thousand rupees to be waived off completely.
  • Election Commission to continue proceedings against 21 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit. 
  • Monsoon session of Parliament to begin on the 17th of next month.
  • In Sports: India beat Pakistan 6-1 in Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament in London. 
  • India's Kidambi Srikanth to take on Chen Long of China in Men's Singles final of Australian Open Super Series badminton tournament tomorrow.

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India and Portugal have agreed to set up a joint fund of four million Euros to support bilateral collaboration in cutting edge technology. This was disclosed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi this evening in his press statement at Lisbon after the meeting of the two leaders.

Citing a 17 per cent growth in bilateral trade  and doubling of FDI from Portugal during past one year, the Prime Minister said economic ties between the two countries are on an upward trajectory. He said, Portuguese economic rebound and strong growth in India offer excellent opportunities for the two countries.

Mr Modi said the two countries have expressed determination to deepen cooperation against terrorism and violent extremism. The Prime Minister thanked Portugal for supporting India’s bid to permanent membership of UN Security Council and multi-lateral export control regimes. He also expressed deep condolences for the victims of the devastating fire in Portugal last week.

India and Portugal have signed eleven MOUs for cooperation in areas including double taxation avoidance, investments, science and technology, nanotechnology, space research, administrative reforms and culture. The instruments for cooperation were signed in Lisbon this evening in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portugese counterpart Antonio Costa. Both leaders also launched India-Portugal International Start Up Hub, an online platform enabling collaboration between entrepreneurs of the two countries.

After Portugal, the Prime Minister will depart for the US capital, Washington DC. In facebook post, Mr Modi said, he is looking forward to having an in-depth exchange of views on further consolidating the robust and wide ranging partnership between India and the United States.

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Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to United States, Foreign secretary S Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington to discuss the US-India relationship and the agenda for Prime Minister's meetings at the White House. A US State Department spokesman said, Secretary Tillerson noted that Prime Minister's visit will strengthen ties between the United States and India and advance the common interest in fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and prosperity, and expanding security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The two agreed that India and US have a deep and growing strategic partnership and they hope to work more closely on regional and global issues. Mr Jaishankar also met other senior officials at the state department.

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Indian Ambassador to US Navtej Sarna has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump will exchange views on a wide variety of subjects during their meeting in Washington on Monday. Speaking to AIR Correspondent at Washington, Mr Sarna said, there is a tremendous expectation from both sides for a very fruitful and productive visit. He said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting US at the invitation of President Trump and for the first time, both the leaders will be meeting face to face. He said, both leaders had very good and constructive telephonic conversations thrice. Mr Sarna said, both countries will go through the entire gamut of subjects which make the relationship rich, varied and strategic.

"we will actually be running through the entire gamut of subjects  certainly trade and commerce is one aspect of the relationship, there is also the security aspects, there is science and technnology, educational linkages, there are counter-terrorism and cyber security linkages, so its a very wide    range of subjects that can be disucussed."

The Ambassador said, Trade, Commerce and Investment are important parts of the relationship. He said, Indo-US trade has been growing and at present it is 115 billion dollars. Mr Sarna said, there is tremendous potential for it to grow from both sides. He said, investments also have similar potential to grow both in India and United States.

Replying to a query on Defence collaboration between both countries, Mr Sarna said, India is a major Defence partner of the United States and both countries have a robust defence and security relationship.

"We have a very robust defence and security relationship, We have an extensive array of exercises between our armed forces, so certainly the defence relationship, the security relationship, the maritime security relationship- these will form a very important part of the discussion."

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Government has cleared a proposal for setting up a new airport at Jewar in Greater Noida. Briefing media in New Delhi, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said, in-principle approval for a greenfield airport at Jewar has been granted to cater to the growing flying requirements of National Capital Region. He said, the Noida International Airport will cater to 30 to 50 million passengers per year over the next 10 to 15 years.  The Minister also said the area notified for Noida Airport is three thousand hectares and the first phase will be developed for one thousand hectares. He said they are expecting 15 to 20 thousand crore rupees of investment. Mr Raju said his Ministry will continue to add significant airport capacity all over the country.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today announced a mega farm loan waiver package of 34,000 crore rupees for farmers in distress in the state since 2012 due to continuous drought. Named after Maratha warrior king Shivaji Maharaj, the programme will benefit 89 lakh farmers and make 40 lakh agriculturists debt-free.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that farmers who have taken loan upto 1 lakh 50 thousand will be waived off completely and those farmers who have paid back their loans regularly, will get 25 per cent loan return benefit. CM said that the decision will reflect upon 7/12 extract of agricultural land records of 40 lakhs farmers. Fadnavis further said that this scheme is not applicable to the government employees except class IV staff, ministers , ex-ministers and taxpayers. He also said that this will surely increase the financial burden on state but the government will tie up with banks and look for the solution.

The cut off date for the loan waiver scheme is June 30, 2016. PARNIKA HEDAVKAR, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI

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The monsoon session of Parliament will commence on 17th of next month, and will continue till 11th of August. The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh met yesterday and recommended the dates to President Pranab Mukherjee. Voting for Presidential elections will also take place on 17th July, the first day of the session.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his Mann Ki Baat on All India Radio with the people in the country and abroad tomorrow. The 33rd episode of the monthly radio programme will be broadcast on the entire network of AIR and Doordarshan at 11 AM.  It  will also be broadcast live on www.allindiaradio.gov.in. Besides, the programme will be streamed on the You Tube channels of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and DD News. Akashwani will broadcast the programme in regional languages immediately after the Hindi broadcast. Regional language versions of the programme will also be repeated at 8 PM.

Mann Ki Baat is a political and interactive broadcast focussing on welfare and well-being of the people.

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Election Commission will continue hearing a plea against 21 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit, despite the Delhi High Court setting aside their appointment as parliamentary secretaries. The office of profit petition was filed against 21 MLAs. Later, proceedings were dropped against Jarnail Singh after he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to contest Assembly polls in Punjab. The EC order stated that the commission was of the considered opinion that the AAP MLAs did hold de facto the office of parliamentary secretaries from March 2015 to September 2016.

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Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting   Venkaiah Naidu today said  emergency is a bad part of Indian history and there is a need for systematic documentation of the emergency to make younger generation aware of its ill effects on our country. Mr. Naidu said this after launching a book titled ‘The Emergency-Indian Democracy’s Darkest Hour’ written by A. Surya Prakash,  Chairman Prasar Bharati Board. The book launch was organised  as part of the day-long convention organized to mark the anniversary of the Emergency by Megh Nirghosh Media today in Ahmedabad.

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Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Col Rajyavardhan Rathore today inaugurated a Kedriya Vidyalaya in CISF campus at Amer Kunda in Jaipur district. On the occasion, Col Rathore said that the education is the way to develop the overall personality. He said that through the education a person can achieve whatever he or she wants.

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In their opening match of the ICC Women's World Cup against India at Derby,  chasing a target of 282 runs,  England were 189 for 5 in 39 overs, a short while ago.  Earlier,  put in to bat,  the Indian women made 281 for three in the stipulated overs.   Smriti Mandhana was the top scorer with 90 while her opening partner Punam Raut  made 86.  Skipper Mithali Raj, who was out for 71, completed an unprecedented seventh consecutive half century in One-Dayers.     

In another match at Bristol, New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by nine wickets. The Kiwis achieved the victory target of 189, with 74 balls remaining.  

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Indian men's team beat arch-rivals Pakistan 6-1 in a 5th to 8th Classification match of the Hockey World League Semi-Final in London today.  India will next play against Canada in another classification encounter which will decide the  5th and 6th places in the tournament.   

Today's defeat dented Pakistan's hopes of booking a berth to participate at the Hockey World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar next year.

As hosts, India are assured of their place in this year's Hockey World League Final as well as next year's Hockey World Cup. 

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India's Kidambi Srikanth will take on Chen Long of China tomorrow in the Men's Singles final of the Australian Open Super Series badminton tournament.  In the semi-final played in Sydney today, former World No. 3 Srikanth outclassed All England finalist Shi Yuqi of China in straight games 21-10, 21-14 in only 37 minutes.

 In the  second semi-final, reigning Olympic champion and two-time World Champion and All England champion Chen Long prevailed over Korea's Lee Hyun II in three games 26-24,  15-21, 21-17. 

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