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  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj says, all 39 Indians missing in Iraq found dead.
  • Both Houses of Parliament adjourned for the day following uproar by opposition over various issues.
  • Government says it is ready to discuss all the issues including no-Confidence motion; Accuses Congress of deliberately disrupting proceedings in the Parliament.
  • Supreme Court says, there is no bar in granting anticipatory bail in cases lodged against public servants under SC/ST Act; Says, prior sanction of appointing authority required to prosecute them.
  • Maldives government says, it does not intend to extend emergency beyond Thursday evening.
  • A bill to protect call centre jobs in US introduced in American Congress.


External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today informed the Rajya Sabha that all the 39 missing Indians in Iraq  were found killed. Making a suo moto statement in Rajya Sabha, Mrs Swaraj said, her deputy General VK Singh will go to Iraq to bring back the mortal remains of the Indians killed. 

"जनरन वी.के. सिंह जहाज़ लेकर यहां से इराक जाएंगे। उनके पार्थिव शरीर मार्टिएस फाउंडेशन के सर्टिफिकेट के साथ कि इनका डीएनए फलां से मैच हुआ है, ताकि यह वही व्यक्ति है। जहाज़ में उनके पार्थिव शरीर लेकर आयेंगे। जहाज़ पहले अमृतसर उतरेगा, 31 लोग उसमें पंजाब के और चार हिमाचल के, उनको हम वहां बॉडीज़ देंगे। फिर पटना जाएंगे उसी जहाज़ को लेकर। जो बिहार के लोग हैं उनके पार्थिव शरीर वहां के परिवारजन को सौंपेंगे। वहां से कलकत्ता जाएंगे और जो वेस्ट बंगाल के लोग हैं, उनको सौंपेंगे।"

Mrs. Swaraj said, the government had got the information yesterday that DNA samples of 38 people have matched and DNA of the 39th person has matched 70 per cent. 

"हमने सबके डीएनए सैम्पल चार राज्य सरकारें इनवॉल्व थीं, पंजाब,  हिमाचल, वेस्ट बंगाल और बिहार। चारों राज्य सरकारों से सम्पर्क करके सबके डीएनए सैम्पल उनको भेज दिये थे। तो वो डीएनए सैम्पल उनके पास थे। उसके बाद एक के बाद एक डीएनए होता चला गया। राजनयिक खबर देते रहे आज पांच हो गये हैं, आज आठ हो गये हैं, आज दस हो गये हैं। लेकिन कल उन्होंने हमें खबर दी कि 38 लोगों का डीएनए मैच हो गया है और उनतालीसवें का डीएनए सत्तर प्रतिशत मैच हुआ है।"

The Minister said the dreaded terror outfit Islamic State (IS) had killed the missing Indian nationals.


Both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day, amidst opposition uproar. As soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day, members from TRS and AIADMK trooped into the well raising slogans in support of their demands. TRS members were demanding increase in the reservation quota for jobs in Telangana while AIADMK members wanted the setting up of a Cauvery Management Board. Amid noisy scenes, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House within minutes after it met. After the House met after its first adjournment, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj wanted to make a statement about the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq. Amidst noisy scenes, she spoke about matching of DNA samples of 38 persons. However, the agitating opposition members did not yield to her repeated requests. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also appealed to the members to listen to the minister. Later, the speaker adjourned the House to meet again tomorrow.

In the Rajya Sabha, as soon as it met for the day, Mrs Swaraj made a statement about the killing of 39 Indians, who were reportedly missing for the last three years, in Iraq. Soon after her statement, members from AIADMK, TDP and others surged into the well raising slogans forcing Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to adjourn the House for the day.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the opposition wanted to run the House and discuss all issues including bank fraud and Special Status to Andhra Pradesh. He charged the government with not taking any initiative to break the logjam. Responding to it, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Vijay Goel said that the government was ready for discussion on any issue since beginning.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar today accused the Congress of deliberately disrupting the proceedings in both the Houses of Parliament. Talking to media outside Parliament, Mr Kumar said, government has made it clear several times that it is ready to discuss all the issues including the no-Confidence motion moved by Opposition YSR Congress and Telugu Desam Party.


Welcome back, in a significant judgment, the Supreme Court says there is no absolute bar in granting anticipatory bail in cases lodged against public servants under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The Court said that safeguards have been introduced to prevent its misuse.  It has held that prior sanction of appointing authority is required for prosecuting officers for acts done by them with respect to SC/ST Act in their official capacity. The judgment was rendered by a Bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit in an appeal against a judgment of the Bombay High Court, which had refused to quash the prosecution of one Subhash Kashinath Mahajan, who is the Director of Technical Education.


Government has said Indian Railways has come out with a policy to ensure fair, transparent and competitive recruitment process. Addressing a Press conference in New Delhi today, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that his Ministry has already reserved 20 per cent posts for Course Completed Act Apprentices who were engaged in Railway establishments under the Apprenticeship Act. He assured that the recruitment process follows the law and guidelines laid down by Supreme Court.

Mr Goyal said applicants who completed the Apprenticeship course have also been given an age relaxation equal to the period of apprenticeship. He appealed to the youth to apply for these jobs. 

"I appeal to my young friends to apply for these large number of jobs  for which the last date of application in March21, 2018 and join the process of recruitment so that all applicants get a fair ad equal opportunity to serve the country."

Meanwhile, agitating students in Mumbai called off their protest and train services resumed between Matunga and CSMT stations around 10.30 AM. Our correspondent has filed this report:

" Around 400 to 500 students from several states, who have done apprenticeship with the Indian Railways and want permanent jobs now, came out and sat on railway tracks at about 6.45 am. The disruption forced the Central Railway to stop the suburban as well as express train services on the affected section - between Matunga and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in south Mumbai. Thousands of commuters, who were stranded for hours in trains , alighted from the coaches and were seen walking along the railway tracks. The sudden agitation also affected the delivery services of 'Dabbawalas', the famed tiffin-carriers of Mumbai. MADHURI PANGE, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."


Union minister for road transport and highway, shipping and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari inaugurated this morning ferry services and a new jetty at Baina beach, Vasco in South Goa. The first-of-its-kind service in Goa will connect the Airport Ferry Terminal at Baina to Panjim and Sinquerim. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gadkari called for an integrated approach for development and environment while taking care of the poor. He said that the country’s approximately 7,700 km coastline can significantly contribute to development and tourism. He said that 111 rivers across India will be converted into inland waterways.  


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed deep sorrow on the demise of Jnanpith awardee and renowned Hindi poet Kedarnath Singh. In his message, Mr Modi said, sensibilities of public life found place in his poems. Mr. Modi said Singh's poems will always inspire the literary world and people in general. Kedarnath Singh passed away in New Delhi yesterday after a prolonged illness. He was 84. Kedarnath won the Sahitya Akademi Award in Hindi in 1989 for his poetry collection Akaal Mein Saras and the Jnanpith Award in 2013.


The budget session of Uttarakhand assembly began at Gairsain in Chamoli district today. This is the State’s first budget session at Gairsain after its formation. More from our Correspondent:-

"As soon as Governor addresses the session, the opposition created uproar in the house on the issue of permanent capital in Gairsain. During the ruckus, the Governor read out his address. In his address, the Governor said that the Government is constantly making efforts to solve the basic challenges and progressive development of the state. He stated that an effort has been made by the government to give clean, transparent and corruption-free rule to the people of the state. On the other hand Uttarakhand Kranti Dal along with other organization protests outside Vidhansabha for declaring Gairsain as a state capital.  Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News, Dehradun."

The budget session of Punjab Assembly also began today with governor's address in the house. In his address Governor V P Singh Badnore highlighted various schemes launched by the government to improve the condition of farmers. More from our correspondent:

"Governor in his address said that government has proposed to the Union Government to compensate the farmers for additional cost incurred on management of crop residue by adding rupees 100 per quintal in the MSP for paddy. He also told that over 3 crore residents of Punjab have been issued Aadhar number and various welfare schemes including PDS, social security, pension and state health insurance schemes, ICDS, farmers debt relief and subsidies of 17 government departments have been linked with the Aadhar for Direct Benefit Transfer. Ashwini Kumar Sharma, AIR News, Chandigarh."


Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik has been given additional charge of Odisha. Odisha Governor SC Jamir completes his tenure today. The budget session of Odisha Assembly also began today with Governor's address.


Maldives government has said that it does not intend to extend the emergency beyond Thursday evening, the day on which it expires. Emergency was imposed in the country on 5th of last month for initial 15 days and further extended by 30 days. Maldives ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mohamed Hussain Shareef said the government has decided not to extend emergency except for unforeseen circumstances . More from our correspondent:

"Maldivian government seems to have achieved the objectives behind emergency in the country. The February 1st judgment of Supreme court has been reversed by remaining judges while bureaucracy and security forces have been purged of anti-government elements. However, emergency did affect tourist arrival in the country and this has prevented any urge of further extension. Meanwhile, criminal charges have been pressed against two judges of Supreme Court and were produced in court yesterday. They have been charged with bribery and corruption cases while attempting to overthrow the government.  Santosh Kumar, Colombo, AIR NEWS."


A Legislation  has been introduced in US Congress aimed at protecting call centre jobs. The bill requires call centre employees overseas to disclose their location and give customers a right to transfer their call to a service agent in the United States. Introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown, the legislation proposes to create a public list of companies that would outsource call centre jobs and give preference in federal contracts to companies that have not outsourced these jobs overseas. According to a study, the largest communications and media labour union in the US, India and the Philippines are the top two destinations for US companies off-shoring call center jobs. 


At the Stock markets, the Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange had gained 28 points, or 0.1 percent, to trade at 32951, in afternoon session, a short while ago. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange rose 17 points, or 0.2 percent, to 10.111.

At the forex market, the rupee fell 3 paise, to 65.20 against the dollar, in intra-day deals.  


Minister for Communications Manoj Sinha today presented scholarships to students under Deendayal Sparsh Yojana in New Delhi. Mr Sinha also released commemorative postage stamp on solar system and a special cover on eminent cosmologist Prof Stephen Hawking who passed away recently.


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