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0815 HRS



  • Winter Session of Parliament begins today; Muslim Women Right on Marriage bill and Constitutional status to Backward Class Commission to be taken up for discussion and passage.
  • Supreme Court to pronounce interim order on mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various welfare schemes today .
  • Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, transparency and speeding up acquisition her priority; Defence Acquisition Council to clear procurement backlog by 31st December this year.
  • External Affairs Ministry says India is open to looking at any suggestion on One Belt One Road project if its sensitivities are taken into account. 
  • US Federal Communications Commission votes to rollback net neutrality rules.
  • And in Dubai World Super Series Final Badminton tournament, ace shuttler P V Sindhu advances to knockout stage of Women's Singles.


The Winter Session of Parliament will begin today. The session will have 14 sittings of both Houses. During the session, the Muslim Women Right on Marriage Bill related to  triple talaq and legislation on granting Constitutional status to the Backward Class Commission are among the important bills which will  be taken up for discussion and passage. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said  the  Supplementary Demand for Grants and three  ordinances including GST compensation to states  will be taken up. Our Correspondent reports, that the session will conclude on the 5th of January next year.

"On the first day today, both the houses will pay tributes  to its sitting and former members who passed away after the Monsoon Session. In Lok Sabha, The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, The Dentists (Amendment) Bill and The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill is scheduled to be introduced in the house. The Repealing and Amending Bill and The Central Road Fund (Amendment) Bill will be taken up for consideration and passage. In the Rajya Sabha, no government business is scheduled for today and it will take up private members business being Friday. In a message, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has appealed  to the government to give opportunity to the opposition to raise their issues. He also asked the opposition to co-operate with the ruling bench so that Parliament can fulfill the aspirations of the  people. With SANT BAHADUR, ANUPAM MISHRA, AIR NEWS, DELHI."


The Government has sought cooperation from all political parties to ensure the smooth functioning of both Houses of Parliament. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after an all party meeting yesterday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested for cooperation by all to make the session fruitful.

"प्रधानमंत्री जी ने इस सत्र को सार्थक बनाने के लिए सबका सहयोग के लिए निवेदन किया .प्रधानमंत्री जी ने उनका जो एक विचार है हम सबके और सभी विधानसभाओं के एक साथ चुनाव होना चाहिए.इसका भी उन्होने जिक्र किया.उन्होने कहा  इन्हें पांच साल में एक बार देश में सभी चुनाव खास कर के संसद के विधानसभाओं के चुनाव एक साथ हो जाए.उससे विकास के और जनहित के काम करने के लिए पूरा अवसर मिलेगा. "

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, the opposition will raise the issue of curtailing the duration of the session, Mr Modi's remarks against former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and others. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also held a meeting of floor leaders of various political parties yesterday. Talking to reporters after the meeting, she said she would strive to ensure that a healthy discussion is held on all issues. Opposition parties also had a separate meeting to chalk out their strategy to counter the government on various issues.


The Delhi High Court will today hear a plea of former Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav challenging his disqualification from the Rajya Sabha. He has made a plea for an interim order permitting him to attend the Winter Session which begins today. However, the court enquired how the Rajya Sabha Chairman was made a party in the case by the petitioner. The query was posed by Justice Vibhu Bakhru.


In Gujarat, over 68 per cent voter turnout has been recorded in polling for the second and final phase of  Gujarat assembly elections in 93 constituencies yesterday. Briefing reporters in New Delhi last evening, Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said, polling was peaceful barring a few incidents. Polling for the first phase of elections in the state was held on the 9th of this month. Counting of votes will be taken up on Monday, alongwith the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, which went to polls on the 9th of last month.  Exit polls for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections have predicted a victory for the BJP with a clear majority in both the states.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that strengthening public sector banks is the most important agenda for the next year. Addressing FICCI's Annual General Meeting in New Delhi yesterday, Mr Jaitley said,  there are important tasks for the next year and strengthening the public sector banks is unquestionably one of the most important agendas on the table.                           

"We already announce the detailed recapitalisation plan and the idea behind this plan is to ensure that the ability of the banks to support growth. Their lending capacity more particularly. Their lending capacity as far as the MSME sector's is concern because if want to formalise the economy we want this sector also to be strengthen."
Mr Jaitley said, the Railway and urban infrastructures need improvement. He said, India has had one of the highest spending on infrastructure in the world but the momentum needs to be sustained. He further said, the country has witnessed more structural changes this year compared to previous years  and the process will continue.


The Supreme Court is set to pronounce its interim order this morning on the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various welfare schemes. The Court yesterday reserved its interim order on a batch of pleas seeking a stay on the government's decision on the issue. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, the final hearing on the petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme itself will commence from January 17th next year.


Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said, her biggest priority is to ensure one hundred per cent transparency in defence procurement while speeding up implementation of the long-pending acquisition process. She said, a shake up is being given to the Ministry to speed up various acquisition projects and clear backlogs for key programmes. Addressing a function in New Delhi yesterday, the Minister also said efforts are on to ensure that the Defence Acquisition Council clears all the backlog relating to various procurements by the 31st of December this year.

Ms Sitharaman said the government is seriously examining the functioning of around 39 ordnance factories and possible ways to boost their productivity including through joining hands with the private sector. She said the government has been encouraging the private sector to produce defence platforms for the armed forces. Ms Sitharaman further said, the ministry is going to support start ups in the defence sector.


President Ramnath Kovind will visit Lucknow today on his two-day official tour of Uttar Pradesh. He will be the Chief Guest at Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow. Later, Mr Kovind will arrive in Allahabad to address the 14th convocation of the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his death anniversary. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, the nation remembers Sardar Patel on his Punya Tithi and every Indian is indebted to him for his monumental service to the nation.


External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has announced the grant of visa to five Pakistani children for medical treatment in India. In a tweet, she said, India is granting visa for their treatment after receiving a request from the neighbouring country.


India has congratulated the newly-elected alliance in Nepal and said it looks forward to working with the democratically-elected government to advance close and multifaceted partnership. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar yesterday welcomed the conduct of parliamentary polls and first ever provincial elections in the Himalayan nation.


The External Affairs Ministry has said, India is willing to look at any suggestion on the One-Belt One-Road, OBOR project, if its sensitivities are taken into account. Reacting to a media query on the Russian Foreign Minister's call asking New Delhi to find a way out to join China's OBOR connectivity initiative, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, India's position on OBOR is very clear.

 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday had pitched for India joining the project, hoping that New Delhi will find a way out to benefit from the mega project without sacrificing its position over it.


United States's top media regulator has voted to rollback net neutrality rules that require internet providers to treat all traffic equally without blocking or showing content. The US Federal Communications Commission in Washington, adopted the proposal of Republican appointed FCC Chairman Indian-American Ajit Pai by a 3-2 vote. Mr Pai said, his plan will end heavy-handed rules which discourage investment and innovation.

By doing so, the Republican-majority commission has reversed the 2015 net-neutrality rules of the previous Obama Administration.


Back home; Delhiites woke up to a foggy morning today. The visibility in the city is low due to fog. 25 trains have been delayed, two are rescheduled and twelve cancelled due to the fog. The weatherman has predicted that dense to very dense fog is expected today at isolated places in all north eastern states, Jammu division of Jammu  and Kashmir, lower regions of Himachal Pradesh and over Punjab, Haryana, north Rajasthan and West Uttar Pradesh.


And in sports; Ace shuttler PV Sindhu has advanced to the knockout stage of the Women's Singles at the Dubai World Super Series Final badminton tournament with two consecutive wins.

 Olympic silver medallist Sindhu took just 36 minutes to outplay Sayaka Sato of Japan 21-13 21-12 to register her second straight win in the one million US Dollar event in Dubai last night. The 22-year-old Indian on Thursday had defeated World No. 9 He Bingjiao of China in her campaign opener. In her last and final Group A match today, Sindhu will face World Japanese Akane Yamaguchi.           



  • The Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Exit Polls predicting the state election results make up the lead headline across papers today. "BJP Home and Dry - writing on the wall in Gujarat and Himachal is saffron with RaGa's spirited run falling short", says the Mail Today, while The Tribune headlines "BJP the clear winner in Gujarat, HP: Exit polls"
  • "Supreme Court clears 12 special courts to try cases against politicians" writes the Hindu, adding that the Fast track courts across the country will dispose off 1,581 cases in a year.
  • In its page one anchor story, the Indian Express says "Amnesty for first time stone pelters warms homes in the valley" writing that the identification process will begin soon and that the court will look at individual cases.
  • The Times of India reports that Indian cricketers are set for a huge pay hike, with the salaries of top players as well as domestic ones likely to double in the coming season.
  • The Asian Age reports that British Prime Minister Theresa May's government suffered its first major legislative defeat on Wednesday when MP's forced through changes to her Brexit blueprint that ministers said could endanger Britain's departure from the European Union.
  • In an interesting nugget, The Times of India writes that Norway has completed its transition to digital India, becoming the first country in the world to shut down national broadcasts of its FM radio network.
  • And finally, the DNA writes that astronomers have selected a new set of shapes for constellations representing stars from sports, entertainment and politics. The paper adds that the new constellations  were created after research showed that the traditional star formations were failing to inspire children. 


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