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Mon, 24 June 2024
Run bulldozers on drugs-linked pubs: Shinde to cops

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23:42   Nagpur airport gets bomb threat email; nothing suspicious found after search
The Nagpur airport was on Monday thoroughly searched by security personnel after authorities received a bomb threat via an email, but nothing suspicious was discovered in the premises, officials said. 

This was the third bomb threat message received at the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport since April. 

When contacted, a senior airport official said that the Airports Authority of India received an email about a pipe bomb being planted in the aerodrome's toilet. 

Content of the email was communicated to Nagpur airport authorities in the morning. Security personnel thoroughly checked the airport complex, but did not discover any suspicious items, he said. 

Security has been stepped up at the airport. -- PTI
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde/File image
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde/File image
23:30   Run bulldozers on drugs-linked pubs: Shinde to cops
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday spoke to Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar and directed him to initiate strict action against illegal pubs and bulldoze all structures flouting building rules. 

A statement from the chief minister's office said Shinde also directed the police to initiate renewed action against peddlers to make Pune a drug-free city. 

Pubs in the state's second largest city came into focus over the past 48 hours after a video, allegedly from Liquid Leisure Lounge or L3 on Fergusson College Road, showed some youths with a drugs- like substance. 

"Strict action should be taken against illegal pubs to make Pune city drug-free. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has given instructions to Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar that bulldozers should be moved on illegal constructions related to drugs," said the CMO statement. -- PTI
President Droupadi Murmu hosts a dinner in honour of the Union Council of Ministers, led by PM Narendra Modi/ANI Photo
President Droupadi Murmu hosts a dinner in honour of the Union Council of Ministers, led by PM Narendra Modi/ANI Photo
22:43   Murmu hosts dinner for Modi-led Union Council of Ministers
President Droupadi Murmu on Monday hosted a dinner for the Union Council of Ministers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Rashrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. 

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and his spouse also attended the dinner. "President Droupadi Murmu hosted a dinner in honour of the Union Council of Ministers, led by Prime Minister @narendramodi, at Rashtrapati Bhavan," the president's office said in a post on X. 

Earlier in the day, Modi and the members of his council of ministers, including Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, took the oath as members of the 18th Lok Sabha as its first session began on Monday. -- PTI
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22:29   Delhi blind school denied fire safety certificate
The Delhi Fire Services has refused the fire safety certificate to a blind school at Sewa Kutir in northern part of the city citing some shortcomings, according to a letter by the department.   

The fire department has requested the Government Senior Secondary Special School for Boys with Blindness to rectify the shortcomings. 

The letter stated that the school building was inspected by an officer of the department on June 6 in the presence of Dr JL Sharma (principal) to check the existing fire safety measures and means of escape. 

The officer found that school building, which comprises the ground and first floor, had only one staircase with a width of 1.25 metre against the requirement of 1.50 metre or and additional staircase 75 cm. 

There was no fire extinguisher in the school building. -- PTI
Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi/ANI Photo
Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi/ANI Photo
21:38   Attempt made to kill me during BJD rule: Odisha CM
Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi on Monday alleged there was an attempt to assassinate him during the regime of the previous Biju Janaa Dal government by hurling bombs. 

Majhi, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, made the remark while addressing a function to felicitate him at Jhumpura in his home district Keonjhar. 

"There was an attempt to kill me in a bomb blast in Keonjhar's Mandua. However, I was saved due to God's blessings and the love of people," he said. 

"I have nothing to fear when Maa Tarini, Maa Durga, Lord Baladev and Lord Jagannath are with me," said the the chief minister. -- PTI
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21:29   Pune bar 'drug' video: 8 remanded in police custody till Jun 29
Eight persons were arrested and four police personnel suspended after a bar in Pune was found operating beyond permissible time limit, an official said on Monday. 

The police had launched a probe after a viral video purportedly showed some persons with a drug-like substance at the bar located on Fergusson College Road in Maharashtra's Pune city. 

The eight persons, identified as Santosh Kamthe, Vitthal Kamthe, Yogendra Girase, Ravi Maheshwari, Akshay Kamthe, Dinesh Mankar, Rohan Gaikwad, Manas Mallick, were remanded in police custody till June 29 by a court in Pune, the official said. 

Citing the viral video, the prosecution told court it has emerged through social media that the accused had given narcotic like substance to its patrons in the hotel and they want to probe the issue further. 

Prima facie, it has been found that the accused used social media to invite patrons to the hotel to consume narcotics substances, alcohol and smoke cigarettes, the prosecution told court, adding police wants to probe further about these customers. -- PTI
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21:14   IB chief Tapan Kumar Deka gets one year extension
Intelligence Bureau chief Tapan Kumar Deka was on Monday given a one-year extension till June 2025, according to a personnel ministry order. 

Deka is a 1988-batch Indian Police Service officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre. 

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the extension in service of Deka as the director, Intelligence Bureau, for a period of one year beyond June 30, 2024, the order said. -- PTI
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21:00   Rupee rises 10 paise against US dollar
The rupee appreciated 10 paise to settle at 83.47 against the US dollar on Monday, supported by a positive trend in domestic equity markets and stable global crude oil prices. 

Forex traders said a weak US dollar against major rivals overseas on Monday also helped the rupee. 

However, weak Asian markets and renewed geopolitical tensions in the Middle East amid foreign fund outflows capped sharp gains. 

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local unit opened at 83.52 and hit the intraday high of 83.44 against the greenback during the session. 

It finally settled at 83.47 against the dollar, registering a gain of 10 paise from its previous close. -- PTI
Photo: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com
Photo: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com
20:31   Ayodhya Ram temple's roof is leaking: Chief priest
The grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, which was inaugurated on January 22 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a leaky roof, claimed its chief priest Acharya Satyendra Das. 

In an interview to PTI, the priest said while care was taken to build a grand temple, not enough care was taken to ensure that the roof did not leak. 

"This, despite there being so many engineers," he said. 

Details soon.
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20:29   Army builds suspension bridge in 48 hours in rain-hit north Sikkim
The Indian army on Monday said the force has constructed a foot suspension bridge in less than 48 hours to reconnect the border villages in the northern part of Sikkim, which have been affected by heavy rain and landslides leading to the death of six people earlier this month. 

A suspension bridge has its roadway suspended from cables usually passing over towers and securely anchored at the ends. 

"The Indian Army engineers of Trishakti Corps have constructed a 150-foot suspension bridge in North Sikkim to re-connect the border villages which got cut off due to continued heavy rains to give respite to the locals," the Indian Army said in a statement. 

The foot suspension bridge built over a stream in less than 48 hours will restore connectivity to the border villages and facilitate movement of the people and relief materials, it said. 

North Sikkim's Mangan district was lashed by torrential rains on June 13 snapping road links and communication infrastructure. 

As a result, around 1500 tourists had been stranded for almost a week. -- PTI
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19:59   CBI takes over 5 cases of NEET malpractices
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the investigation of five new cases of alleged malpractices in the medical entrance exam NEET-UG that were being probed by police in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Bihar, officials said on Monday.

They said the central agency has re-registered one case each from Gujarat and Bihar and three cases from Rajasthan as its own first information report (FIR), while it is also likely to take up another case from Maharashtra's Latur.

Barring the case from Bihar, the other four appear to be isolated incidents of impersonation and cheating by local officials, invigilators and candidates, the officials said.

The CBI has already registered its own FIR in connection with the case on a reference from the Union education ministry to conduct a comprehensive probe, they said.

After taking over these new cases, the CBI is now probing a total of six cases pertaining to alleged irregularities in NEET-UG, the officials said.

NEET-UG is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country.

The examination was conducted on May 5 at 4,750 centres in 571 cities, including 14 abroad. Over 23 lakh candidates appeared for the test. 

The first CBI FIR was registered on Sunday, a day after the ministry announced it would hand over the probe into the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the exam to the central agency, a demand raised by a section of students protesting in several cities. 

"The ministry of education has requested the CBI to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the entire gamut of alleged irregularities, including conspiracy, cheating, impersonation, breach of trust and destruction of evidence by candidates, institutes and middlemen," a CBI spokesperson said earlier.

The role of public servants, if any, connected with the conduct of the examination and also into the entire gamut of events and the larger conspiracy will also be under the scanner, officials have said.  -- PTI
Elante mall, Chandigarh. Pic: chandigarhtourism.in
Elante mall, Chandigarh. Pic: chandigarhtourism.in
19:43   10 year old killed as toy train topples over in mall
A 10-year-old boy died after the compartment of a toy train in which he was taking a joy ride overturned at a mall in Chandigarh, the police said on Monday.        

The incident took place on Saturday night at Elante Mall, where the boy and his family from Balachaur in Nawanshahr, Punjab, were enjoying an outing, they said.

A purported CCTV footage of the incident has surfaced on social media. 

According to the police, Shahbaz was sitting in the last compartment, which overturned as the toy train made a turn, leaving the boy with severe head injuries.

The victim's cousin, who was also sitting along with Shahbaz in the four-compartment toy train, escaped unhurt, they added.

Shahbaz was rushed to the government medical college and hospital in Sector 32, where he died, a senior police official said.

"A case has been registered against the person who was operating the train and also the management of the mall," the police official said.

A case has been registered under section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Industrial Area Phase-1, he added.

The police have also taken the toy train in their custody. 
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19:29   Jailed Engineer Rashid forced to sit out oath ceremony of 18th Lok Sabha
Abdul Rashid Sheikh could not take oath as a member of the 18th Lok Sabha on Monday despite his name being called as he is lodged in jail since 2019 after being charged by the NIA in a terror-funding case.

Rashid, popularly known as Engineer Rashid, defeated former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah to win the parliamentary polls from the Baramulla seat as an Independent candidate.

He is currently lodged in Tihar jail.

A Delhi court on Saturday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to respond by July 1 to an application filed by Rashid, seeking interim bail to take oath as an MP.

Additional Sessions Judge Kiran Gupta fixed the matter for hearing on July 1 and directed the NIA to file its reply by then.   -- PTI
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19:12   Centre notifies rules under anti-paper leak law
The Centre on Monday made public the rules under the recently-notified anti-paper leak law, mandating the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to prepare norms, standards and guidelines for the computer-based tests among others.

The rules were notified within days of operationalising The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024 -- the first-ever national law against the use of unfair means to rig recruitment exams conducted by various public bodies.

The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024 was passed by Rajya Sabha on February 9 and Lok Sabha passed it on February 6.

President Droupadi Murmu gave approval to the bill on February 12, turning it into a law.

The Act aims to prevent unfair means in the public examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the railways, banking recruitment examinations and the NTA among others.

It has provisions for a minimum of three to five years of imprisonment to curb cheating and those involved in organised crimes of cheating will face five to 10 years of imprisonment and a minimum fine of Rs 1 crore.

The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Rules, 2024, dated June 23 and made public on Monday, has provisions for 'engagement of services of other government agencies by public examination authority', 'preparations of norms, standards and guidelines' and 'reporting of incidents of unfair means or offences' among others.

'The National Recruitment Agency, on behalf of the central government, shall in consultation with the stakeholders, prepare norms, standards and guidelines for the computer-based test mode of examination, which shall be notified by the central government,' read the rules.

These should cover 'standard operating procedure for registration of public examination centres', 'space requirement within the computer based test centres', 'layout of the seating arrangement', 'specifications and layout of computer nodes', 'specifications for the server and network infrastructure' and 'specifications for electronic platform for conduct of computer based test' among others.

Pre-examination activities, such as pre-audit for the examination readiness of the public examination centres, candidate check in, biometric registration, security and screening; seat allocation; question paper setting and loading; invigilation in the examination; post examination activities and guidelines for providing scribes will also be part of the drafted norms.

The NRA is mandated to conduct online exams to screen government job aspirants. India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) Chairman and Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola, who was on Saturday assigned additional charge of the controversy-ridden National Testing Agency (NTA), was in March 2022 appointed the NRA chairman.

The new rules allow the public examination authority to avail services of serving or retired employees of 'the central government, state government, public sector undertakings, public sector banks, government universities, autonomous bodies and other government organisations for assigning duty as centre coordinator or any other public examination related duties'.   -- PTI
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19:00   Britain's Princess Anne in hospital with minor injuries, concussion
Britain's Princess Anne, the sister of King Charles III, is in hospital after sustaining minor injuries and concussion after an incident in Bristol, Buckingham Palace said on Monday.

The Princess Royal, 73, sustained the injuries at the Gatcombe Park estate on Sunday evening and remains in Bristol's Southmead Hospital as a 'precautionary measure'.

It is believed there were horses on the estate and the senior royal is likely to have sustained minor head wounds in an incident involving one of the horses.

'The Princess Royal has sustained minor injuries and concussion following an incident on the Gatcombe Park estate yesterday evening,' the palace statement said.

'Her Royal Highness remains in Southmead Hospital, Bristol, as a precautionary measure for observation and is expected to make a full and swift recovery. The King has been kept closely informed and joins the whole royal family in sending his fondest love and well-wishes to the princess for a speedy recovery,' the statement said.

The palace stressed that Princess Anne, one of the senior-most working royals as the monarch's sister, is 'recovering well' and is in a comfortable condition.

'On doctors' advice, Her Royal Highness's engagements for the week ahead will be postponed. Her Royal Highness sends her apologies to any who may be inconvenienced or disappointed as a result,' it said, which implies a trip to Canada scheduled for the end of this week is now off.

The Princess will also be unable to attend tomorrow's state banquet organised by her brother in honour of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, who will be visiting the UK this week alongside his wife, the Empress Masako.

Princess Anne was accompanied by husband Sir Tim Laurence, daughter Zara Tindall and her brother Peter Phillips on the estate at the time.

Laurence is said to have accompanied his wife to the hospital.   -- PTI
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18:13   HC to decide on staying Kejriwal's bail tomorrow
The Delhi high court will on Tuesday pronounce its verdict on a plea by the Enforcement Directorate seeking a stay on the trial court order granting bail to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering case stemming from the alleged excise scam.

The order is scheduled to be pronounced at 2.30 pm.

A vacation bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain had reserved the order on June 21 after the agency challenged the trial court's decision and put it in abeyance  until the pronouncement.

The Aam Aadmi Party national convenor, who was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), could have walked out of Tihar jail had the high court not granted the interim relief to the central anti-money laundering agency.

The trial court granted bail to Kejriwal on June 20 and ordered his release on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh, and imposed certain conditions, including that he will not try to hamper the investigation or influence the witnesses.

ED has contended that the trial court's order was 'perverse', 'one-sided' and 'wrong-sided' and that the findings were based on irrelevant facts.

The excise policy was scrapped in 2022 after the Delhi lieutenant governor ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into alleged irregularities and corruption involving its formulation and execution.

According to the CBI and ED, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours extended to the licence holders.   -- PTI
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18:05   'Chandu Champion' runs past Rs 50 crore-mark
Kartik Aaryan-starrer Chandu Champion has earned Rs 57.76 crore within 10 days of its release, the makers said on Monday.

Directed by Kabir Khan, the sports drama is inspired by the life of India's first Paralympic gold medallist Murlikant Petkar.

Chandu Champion, produced by Sajid Nadiadwala's banner Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment and Kabir Khan Films, released in theatres on June 14.

In a press note, the makers said the film has been "receiving tremendous love and support from the audience and critics alike and with its steady hold at the box office, the film saw a very good trend over the weekend with nearly 30 per cent hike, and collected Rs 8.01 crore on Sunday. With this, the film is standing with the total of Rs 57.76 crore".               

Chandu Champion also stars Vijay Raaz, Bhuvan Arora, Rajpal Yadav and Bhagyashree Borse in pivotal roles. 
Former PM Indira Gandhi had declared a state of Emergency
Former PM Indira Gandhi had declared a state of Emergency
17:26   BJP to launch programme against 1975 Emergency
The BJP on Monday said it will launch a nationwide programme on the 1975 Emergency to "expose" the Congress' "authoritarianism" and its disregard for the Constitution. 

 BJP president JP Nadda will address the main event, titled "Dark Days of Democracy", at its headquarters on Tuesday, the party's chief spokesperson Anil Baluni said in a statement. 

 According to Article 352 of the Constitution, the president can proclaim an Emergency if there is a grave threat to the security of the country -- whether by war or external aggression or armed rebellion. 

 Baluni said, "The Emergency stands as an unforgettable dark chapter in India's robust democracy. The then-prime minister Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency on the nation on June 25, 1975, marking a severe curtailment of democratic freedoms." 

 Over the next 21 months, the then-Congress government held the country's democracy and the Constitution "captive, unleashing countless atrocities on the people, media and opposition leaders", he said. This period became synonymous with one-sided "Congress-led tyranny" during which civil rights were abolished and dissenting voices unjustly imprisoned, Baluni, who is also an MP, said.

 "Even today, reading this cursed page added to Indian history on June 25, 1975, continues to evoke deep-seated fear." 

 "To expose the Congress' authoritarianism and its disregard for the nation's Constitution, the BJP has launched a nationwide programme," he said. 

 "BJP national president JP Nadda will address the main event 'Dark Days of Democracy' at the party's central office in New Delhi tomorrow at 12:30 pm," he added. 

 Late on June 25, 1975, Gandhi made the announcement of imposition of Emergency in a broadcast on All India Radio, shortly after the Supreme Court granted a conditional stay to a Allahabad High Court verdict declaring her election to the Lok Sabha as null and void. 

 The 21-month period was known for forced mass sterlisations, censorship of the press, suspension of constitutional rights and centralisation of power.
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17:15   'Doubts about longevity of Modi govt'
Political economist Parakala Prabhakar was one of the few commentators in India who had predicted before the elections that the Bharatiya Janata Party would not get more than 240 seats! 

And he was bang on!

In his interview to Rediff.com, Prabhakar -- who is married to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman -- had said, "Modi fatigue has set in, and the BJP is in for huge punishment by the electorate."

"There is no point in pretending that things are what they were before. No, they have changed. The sooner the government and people in power recognise the shift in the ground, the better for them," Prabhakar tells Rediff.com's Shobha Warrier in the concluding segment of a two-part interview. Read it here. 

Read the first part of the interview here. 
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17:13   Prajwal Revanna sent to jail for 14 days
A court in Bengaluru today remanded former MP Prajwal Revanna, who was arrested on charges of rape and sexual abuse against several women, to 14 days judicial custody. 

 As his custody under the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the cases, ended on Monday, he was produced before the court, which remanded him to judicial custody. 

 The 33-year-old grandson of JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda had failed in his bid to retain the Hassan parliamentary constituency in the recent polls. 

 SIT officials arrested Revanna soon after he landed at Bengaluru Airport from Germany on May 31. He had left for Germany on April 27, a day after Hassan went to the polls. 

A 'Blue Corner Notice' seeking information on his whereabouts had earlier been issued by the Interpol, following a request by the SIT via the Central Bureau of Investigation.

 A Special Court for Elected Representatives issued an arrest warrant against Revanna on May 18, following an application moved by the SIT. Revanna has been booked in three cases of sexual assault. There are also charges of rape against him. -- PTI
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16:56   Mom kills newborn daughter to settle scores with husband
A woman allegedly killed her eight-day-old newborn daughter by leaving her in a nearly dry pond under direct sunlight, causing the baby to die from heat, hunger and thirst in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, officials said on Monday. 

 Police received a report on Sunday about an infant's body lying in a nearly dry pond in Kadma Prat village in Sunderbani tehsil and promptly sent a team to recover it, the officials said. During investigation, the victim's mother, Sharifa Begum, accused the father, Mohammad Iqbal, of the crime, they said. 

However, it was found that he had left for Kashmir when the incident took place, the officials added. This led investigators to focus on the mother, who was later detained for questioning, they said.

 "She broke down during interrogation and confessed to the crime," an official said. According to the officials, Sharifa had a confrontation with Iqbal and to settle scores with him, she murdered the infant by leaving her alone in a dry pond under direct sunlight and later put the blame on him. 

 A case of murder and other offences have been registered against Sharifa at the Sunderbani police station and further investigations are going on, they said. PTI
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16:50   Kangana Ranaut takes oath
BJP MP Kangana Ranaut takes oath as a member of the 18th Lok Sabha.
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16:49   Nadda named Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha
BJP president and Union minister JP Nadda named leader of House in Rajya Sabha. 

In a show of strength, the opposition INDIA bloc members on Monday waved copies of the Constitution in Parliament as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath as a member of the 18th Lok Sabha. Home Minister Amit Shah was also greeted in a similar manner.

 Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took oath as Lok Sabha member amid chants of NEET-NET by the opposition members even as a controversy is raging on the entrance examinations that has put the government in the dock. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Trinamool leader Kalyan Banerjee, and Samajwadi Party leaders Akhilesh Yadav and Awadhesh Prasad were seated in the first row in the opposition benches.
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16:22   Day 4: Docs advise fasting Atishi to eat
Water Minister Atishi got her daily medical check-up earlier today. The medical bulletin of Delhi Water Minister Atishi reads: "A medical team from Lok Nayak Hospital came for medical examination of Atishi at Bhogal. Patient has been counselled for admission and oral intake, but the patient denied getting admitted." 

As Delhi Water Minister Atishi's indefinite hunger strike entered its fourth day, she said it would continue until 28 lakh Delhiites got water. 

Delhi Water Minister Atishi said, "The Haryana government has been giving 100 MGD less water to Delhi for the last 3 weeks. And until 28 lakh Delhiites get water, my indefinite fast will continue." 

 She stated that for the last three weeks, Haryana has reduced the supply of water to Delhi. 

 She said, "Today is the fourth day of my indefinite fast. I am on a fast because there is a huge shortage of water in Delhi. Delhi does not have its own water. All the water comes from neighbouring states. For the last 3 weeks, Haryana has reduced the supply of water to Delhiites." 

 She said that 100 MGD water means 46 crore litres of water and these 46 crore litres of water are used by 28 lakh Delhiites every day.
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15:57   Toddler falls from hotel window in Ajmer, dies
A toddler died after allegedly falling from the window of a second-floor room of a hotel in Rajasthan's Ajmer, police said on Monday. The incident occurred on Sunday at the Galaxy Palace in Diggi Bazaar. 

 Hansmukh Bhai and his wife Afreen had come on a pilgrimage to the Ajmer Sharif dargah from Surat in Gujarat and checked into the hotel with their four children, including one-and-a-half-year-old Kartik, Clock Tower SHO Dinesh Chaudhary said. 

 In the afternoon, Kartik was playing in front of the open window, which did not have any iron mesh or grille, when he fell. The family took him to JLN Hospital where he was put on ventilator support. He died in the morning, the police said. The family has not lodged any complaint, Chaudhary said. PTI
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15:27   Modi busy saving his govt: Rahul flags 10 issues
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday targeted the central government and listed ten issues that took place during the first fifteen days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

The issues listed by Rahul Gandhi included alleged NEET irregularities, UGC NET paper leak, a train accident, water crisis, and more.

Rahul Gandhi in a post on X, alleged that PM Modi is busy in saving his government and said, "First 15 days of NDA! 1. Horrific train accident; 2. Terrorist attacks in Kashmir 3. The plight of passengers in trains 4. NEET scam; 5. NEET PG cancelled 6. UGC NET paper leak 7. Milk, pulses, gas, tolls and expensive 8. Forests blazing with fire; 9. Water crisis; 10. Deaths due to lack of arrangements during the heat wave."

"Psychologically on the backfoot, Narendra Modi is busy saving his government," the Rae Bareli MP added.

He further said that "INDIA's strong opposition" will continue to raise the voice of the people, and not allow the Prime Minister to escape without accountability.

"The attack on the Constitution by Narendra Modi and his government is not acceptable to us - and we will not allow this to happen under any circumstances. INDIA's strong opposition will continue its pressure, raise the voice of the people, and not allow the Prime Minister to escape without accountability," the Congress leader posted.

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi alleged that PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were "attacking" the Constitution and said that such attacks are not acceptable by the Opposition INDIA bloc.

Opposition leaders, including Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, staged a protest in Parliament premises holding copies of the Constitution in their hands.

"The attack that the PM and Amit Shah are launching on the Constitution is not acceptable to us, we will not let this happen. So, we held the Constitution while taking the oath...Our message is going across, no power can touch the Constitution of India," the Rae Bareli MP told reporters ahead of the beginning of the 18th Lok Sabha session today. -- ANI
Gautam Adani's son shares this image on the billionaire's birthday
Gautam Adani's son shares this image on the billionaire's birthday
15:08   Best is yet to come: Adani on robust earnings
Billionaire Gautam Adani on Monday cited record earnings, robust cash positions and the lowest debt ratios to state that his ports-to-energy conglomerate was stronger than ever and its best is yet to come. 

 With India marching towards becoming a USD 10 trillion economy by 2032 and infrastructure expected to grow at 20-25 per cent to reach USD 2.5 trillion, Adani group being an infrastructure company "at the very core", is "well positioned to capitalise on the upcoming opportunities", he said.

 Speaking at the annual shareholders meeting of his group's flagship firm, Adani Enterprises Ltd, India's second richest person reflected upon the unprecedented crisis his conglomerate faced last year following a damning report by a US short seller. 

 "We were faced with baseless accusations made by a foreign short seller that questioned our decades of hard work. In the face of an unprecedented attack on our integrity and reputation, we fought back and proved that no challenge could weaken the foundations on which your Group has been established," said Adani, who turned 62 on Monday.

 Hindenburg Research came out with a litany of findings, accusing the Adani group of stock manipulation, accounting fraud, inflating valuations, siphoning out money and creating a complex web of shell companies that invested in group entities, flouting regulatory norms. 

The Adani Group denied all allegations but this did not prevent its market values from dropping by USD 150 billion at its lowest point. 

 "Typical short sellers target gains from financial markets. This was different. It was a two-sided attack - a vague criticism of our financial standing and, at the same time, an information distortion campaign, dragging us into a political battlefield," he said. The report came two days before AEL's Rs 20,000 crore follow-on public offer - the largest ever in India - closed in January 2023. 

 "Amplified by a segment of vested media, it was designed to defame us, do maximum damage and erode our hard-earned market value," he said, adding that "given the noise," the group returned proceeds from the offering after successfully raising Rs 20,000 crore. 

 Dwelling upon the strategy, he said the group raised Rs 40,000 crore to cover for debt repayments of the next two years, pre-paid Rs 17,500 crore of margin-linked financing, cut down debt and improved business focus. -- PTI
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14:50   Arrogance remains: Kharge on PM's silence on issues
Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday criticized the central government, questioning how long they intend to govern by constantly bringing up the issue of the Emergency. Kharge was responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks to media persons ahead of the beginning of the 18th session of Lok Sabha.

"He will repeat this 100 times. Without declaring an emergency, you are acting this way. How long do you plan to rule by bringing this up?" Kharge said.

He also took to social media platform X to target the PM for not mentioning issues like the alleged irregularities on the NEET exam, Manipur violence and West Bengal train accident while addressing media persons outside the new Parliament building before taking oath as as a Lok Sabha MP.

The Congress national president Kharge said PM had used "customary words" more than necessary, while country was expecting his words on relevant issues.

Kharge said the "arrogance" remains despite a defeat. Listing the issues in detail in a post on X Kharge wrote, "He will show some sympathy towards youth regarding paper leak in NEET and other entrance exams, but he will not take any responsibility for the rigging and corruption of his government.

"Modi ji also remained silent about the recent train accident in West Bengal. Manipur has been in the grip of violence for the last 13 months, but Modiji neither went there nor did he express any concern about the recent violence in his speech today," said Kharge.

In his post Kharge also raised issue of flood situation Assam and the issue of the long pending census.

"There are floods in Assam and the North-East, backbreaking inflation, falling rupee, Exit Poll-Stock Market scam; The Modi government has kept the next census pending for a long time; Modi ji was completely silent on the caste census as well," Kharge highlighted issues in his post.

Kharge further singled out the PM, questioning him for giving advice to the opposition but forgetting about 10 years of undeclared emergency.

"Sir, you are giving advice to the opposition. You are reminding us of the 50 year old Emergency, but have forgotten the last 10 years of undeclared Emergency which was ended by the people," said Kharge.

"People have given their mandate against Modiji. Despite this, if he has become the Prime Minister, then he should work. "People need substance, not slogans" - remember this yourself," he added. Notably, PM Modi took an indirect jibe at the Congress party over the emergency while addressing media persons outside the new Parliament building.

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14:24   PM should have spoken on NEET issue: Omar
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have spoken over the NEET row instead of attacking the opposition on the first day of Parliament session. 

 "While attacking the opposition is the prerogative of the Hon PM & we wouldn't expect BJP being humbled in the recent polls to change that, it would have been in the fitness of things for the Hon PM to spare a few words for the young men & women for whom the #NEET scandal is the only issue that matters," he said on X. 

 "Exam pe charcha isn't a one off but a long term commitment to the interests & concerns of students," Abdullah said. 

 He was responding to the prime minister's remarks in Parliament premises on the first day of the 18th Lok Sabha. 

 "People expect good steps from the opposition but it has been disappointing so far," the prime minister had said in Parliament premises.

 "India needs a responsible opposition and people want substance not slogans. They want debate, diligence not disturbance in Parliament," Modi said. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti also hoped that Parliamentarians will rise above party lines and raise the NEET issue in the House. 

 "While hundreds of elected Member Parliamentarians will take oath today after their well earned victories, lacs of students across India who toiled day & night to take multiple competitive exams will watch helplessly as their hard work goes down the drain. Parliament - India's temple of democracy will stand stark in contrast to the despair & despondency these youngsters have been pushed into. Hope every parliamentarian will rise above party affiliation & raise their voice for our younger generation whose future looks very bleak," she posted on X.

 The CBI has filed an FIR in connection with alleged irregularities in the conduct of the medical entrance exam NEET-UG held on May 5. 

The agency is also taking steps to bring under its ambit cases registered in various states by police. Abdullah congratulated all the members of Parliament who are taking oath today and demanded that MP-elect from north Kashmir Lok Sabha seat Sheikh Abdul Rashid alias Engineer be released.
Varsha Gaikwad. File pic
Varsha Gaikwad. File pic
14:14   Cong leaders want Mumbai unit chief Gaikwad sacked
As many as 16 senior leaders of the Mumbai Congress have demanded that its city unit chief Varsha Gaikwad be replaced so as to strengthen the organisation ahead of the Maharashtra assembly polls due in October this year. 

 They feel that Gaikwad, who recently won the Mumbai North Central Lok Sabha seat, will not have time to work at the organisational level and have objected to her style of functioning, sources said on Monday. 

 These leaders, in a letter dated June 16, have sought time from the Congress leadership to discuss rejuvenation of the party in Mumbai ahead of the assembly elections, and the Mumbai civic polls which are overdue.

 Signatories of the letter include Rajya Sabha MP and Congress Working Committee member Chandrakant Handore, former city party chiefs Janardhan Chandurkar and Bhai Jagtap, senior leaders Naseem Khan, Suresh Shetty, Madhu Chavan, Charansingh Sapra, Zakir Ahmed and Maharashtra Congress treasurer Amarjit Manhas. 

 Most of these leaders have reached Delhi to meet Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leaders KC Venugopal and Rahul Gandhi to discuss how to strengthen the party in the city, the sources said. A meeting related to Maharashtra is scheduled tomorrow. "Recently, at a protest in connection with the UGC-NET exam chaos, Gaikwad did not call all party leaders at the city unit office. Hence they had to stage a separate protest in suburbs," a source claimed. 

 "It is now 13 months she is the city unit head, but she has not spearheaded any substantial activity to galvanize the party cadre," the source further claimed. Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat's Congress candidate Bhushan Patil has also claimed he received no help from the city party unit.
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13:31   And from today...
Mahua Moitra's Parliament vibe from today.
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13:31   More power to them...
TMC MP Mahua Moitra shares this picture in Parliament with fellow women MPs in 2019: K Kanimozhi, Supriya Sule, Dimple Yadav, Jothimani and T. Thangapandian. She writes, "The warriors are back! 2024 vs 2019."
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13:20   HC: Streets cleared for PM, why not for all?
The Bombay High Court on Monday said when streets and footpaths are cleared for the prime minister and other VVIPs for one day, why can't it be done on a daily basis for everyone else too. 

"Having a clear footpath and a safe place to walk was every person's fundamental right and the state authorities were obligated to provide the same," a division bench of Justices M S Sonak and Kamal Khata. 

"The state cannot perpetually just wonder what can be done to work out the problem of unauthorised hawkers encroaching upon footpaths in the city and has to now do something drastically," the bench said. 

 The high court last year took suo motu (on its own) cognizance of the issue of illegal and unauthorised hawkers and vendors in the city. On Monday, the bench said while it knows the problem is large, the state and other authorities, including the civic body, cannot just leave it at that and called for some drastic action. 

 "When the prime minister or some VVIPs come, the streets and footpaths are immediately cleared...and it stays so till they are here. How is it done then? Why can't it be done for everyone else? Citizens are ratepayers...they need to have a clear footpath and safe place to walk," the court said.

 "Footpath and a safe place to walk is a fundamental right. We tell our children to walk on footpaths but if there is no footpath left to walk on, what do we tell our children?" the court asked. 

 For years together, the authorities have been saying they are working on the issue, it said. 

 "The state has to do something drastically. It cannot be that the authorities are perpetually just wondering what to do and working on it. There seems to be a lack of will, because where there is a will there is always a way," the HC said. 

 Senior counsel S U Kamdar, appearing for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said periodic action is taken against such vendors and hawkers but they keep coming back. 

 He said the BMC was also considering the option of underground markets. The court then remarked in jest that the corporation was literally trying to bury the problem underground. -- PTI
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12:58   How long will PM talk about Emergency: Kharge
Countering Prime Minister Narendra Modi's emergency remark, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge singled out the centre, questioning how long they want to rule by talking about the Emergency. "He will say this 100 times. Without declaring an Emergency, you are doing this. How long do you want to rule by talking about this?" said Kharge.

"...Modi Ji tried to break the Constitution, that's why today leaders of all parties have come together and are protesting. There was a Gandhi statue here. They are breaking all democratic norms, That's why today we want to show that Modi Ji, you should move ahead according to the Constitution..." he added.

Slamming PM Modi over the 'Emergency' remark, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh took to social media platform X and wrote, "The non-biological PM is telling the opposition: substance, not slogans. INDIA is telling him: consensus, not confrontation. The non-biological PM is telling the opposition: discussion, not disruption. INDIA is telling him: Attendance, not absence."

Notably, PM Modi lashed out at the opposition over the emergency while addressing media persons outside the new Parliament building before taking oath as a Member of Parliament.

Recalling the 21-month period of emergency that was implemented in the country on June 25, 1975, PM Modi said the new generation of India will never forget that time when the country was turned into a prison, adding that they will take a resolution of a vibrant democracy so that no one will dare to do such a thing in India again.

The Prime Minister concluded his address by stating that the country hopes and expects the opposition to maintain the dignity of democracy, adding that the people want substance, not slogans. 
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12:53   Kejriwal's plea against bail stay to be heard on June 26
The Supreme Court on Monday fixed June 26 for hearing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea against the Delhi High Court order putting interim stay on his bail in the money laundering case linked to the alleged excise scam. 

 A vacation bench of Justices Manoj Misra and SVN Bhatti said it would like to wait for the pronouncement of the high court order on the issue. Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, sought vacating of the interim stay on the bail order. 

 ASG SV Raju, appearing for the ED, opposed the plea of Kejriwal, and said the high court is about to pronounce the verdict on its stay application. 

 The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21, could have walked out of Tihar jail on Friday last had the high court not granted the interim stay relief to the federal anti-money laundering agency. PTI
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12:51   Will not allow attack on Constitution: Rahul
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah of attacking the Constitution, and said it was not acceptable to them. 

 "We would not allow the attack on the Constitution that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are doing," he told reporters in Parliament complex.

 "This attack is not acceptable to us," Gandhi said. 

 Holding copies of the Constitution in their hands, leaders of the INDIA bloc marched to the Lok Sabha chamber on the first day of the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha. Asked whether the message of the opposition was reaching out to the people, the former Congress president said, "Our message is reaching the public and no power can touch the Constitution of India and we will protect it." PTI
INDIA bloc leaders protest holding copy of Constitution
INDIA bloc leaders protest holding copy of Constitution
12:44   No signs PM understands people's verdict: Cong
The Congress on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had nothing new to offer in his remarks ahead of the start of the 18th Lok Sabha resorted and as usual resorted to diversion". 

 Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh also said the prime minister has shown no evidence that he understood the true meaning of the people's verdict which saw him eking out only a narrow and dubious win in Varanasi. 

 "The non-biological PM who suffered a resounding personal, political, and moral defeat in the Lok Sabha elections has just given his usual 'desh ke naam sandesh' outside the Parliament as the 18th Lok Sabha prepares to commence its tenure He has said nothing new and as usual resorted to diversion," Ramesh said in a post on X. 

 "Let him be under no doubt: the INDIA Janbandhan will hold him to account for every minute. He stands brutally exposed," Ramesh added. 

 He put out another post about the opposition's stance versus that of the prime minister. 

 "The non-biological PM is telling the Opposition: substance, not slogans." "INDIA is telling him: consensus, not confrontation. The non-biological PM is telling the Opposition: discussion, not disruption. INDIA is telling him: attendance, not absence," he went on to add. 

 In his customary remarks ahead of the start of the 18th Lok Sabha, Modi said India needs a responsible opposition as people want substance not slogans. He said people want debate, diligence and not disturbance in Parliament. 

 Modi said people expect good steps from the opposition, but it has been disappointing so far and expressed the hope that it will fulfil its role and maintain democracy's decorum. 

 Taking a swipe at the Congress without naming it, he said the Emergency's anniversary falls on June 25 and termed it a black spot on India's parliamentary history when the Constitution was discarded and the country turned into a prison. PTI
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12:31   A mini INDIA bloc meeting
Rajya Sabha LoP Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and party MP KC Venugopal had a brief conversation with Akhilesh Yadav, Dimple Yadav and other Samajwadi Party MPs who demonstrated at the Samvidhan Sadan with copies of the Constitution.
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12:26   Scindia takes oath as a member of Lok Sabha
Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia takes oath as a member of the 18th Lok Sabha.
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12:02   Centre amends rules to allow 6 months maternity leave for staff in case of surrogacy
Women government employees can take 180 days of maternity leave in case they have children through surrogacy after amendments were announced to a 50-year-old rule by the Centre.
   
It has also allowed the "commissioning mother" (the intending mother of the child born through surrogacy) with child care leave besides paternity leave of 15 days to the "commissioning father", according to the changes made in the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972.
 
"In case of surrogacy, the surrogate, as well as the commissioning mother with less than two surviving children, may be granted maternity leave of 180 days, in case either or both of them are government servants," read the amended rules notified by the Personnel Ministry.
 
Till now, there were no rules to grant maternity leaves to women government employees in case a child was born through surrogacy.
 
"In case of a child begotten through surrogacy, the commissioning father who is a male government servant with less than two surviving children may be granted paternity leave of 15 days within the period of 6 months from the date of delivery of the child," the new rules said.
 
In case of surrogacy, the commissioning mother with less than two surviving children, may be granted child care leave, reads the Central Civil Services (Leave) (Amendment) Rules, 2024, notified on June 18.
 
Existing rules allow "a female government servant and single male government servant" child care leave for a maximum period of 730 days during entire service "for taking care of two eldest surviving children, whether for rearing or for looking after any of their needs, such as education, sickness and the like".
 
The "surrogate mother" shall mean the woman who bears the child on behalf of the commissioning mother and the expression "commissioning father" would mean the intending father of the child born through surrogacy, the Personnel Ministry clarified in the amended rules. -- PTI 
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11:57   Dharmendra Pradhan takes oath amid 'NEET' slogans
Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took oath as a member of the Lok Sabha amid slogans of 'NEET' by the Opposition in the House.

Huge protests across the country are taking place over alleged irregularities in the medical exam NEET-UG and the recent postponement of NEET-PG.
Amit Shah
Amit Shah
11:34   Shah, Rajnath, Gadkari take oath
Home Minister Amit Sha, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari took oath as member of the 18th Lok Sabha.
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11:29   Modi takes oath as member of 18th Lok Sabha
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took oath as member of the 18th Lok Sabha.

As Leader of the House, he was the first one to take oath.

Modi returned to power for a third consecutive term earlier this month. Modi and his Council of Ministers took oath on June 9.

This is the third term of Modi as a member of the Lok Sabha. He retained the Varanasi seat, which he has been winning since 2014. 


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11:16   People want substance not slogans: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said people have given his government mandate for a third consecutive term and have put a stamp of approval on its policies and intentions.
He also said that the 18th Lok Sabha begins on Monday with a resolve of building a 'Shreshtha Bharat' and 'Viksit Bharat'.
 
Addressing the media in Parliament complex at the beginning of the first session of the new Lok Sabha, Modi asserted that his government will take everyone along in fulfilling the aspirations of the people.  
 
Modi also noted that Emergency's 50th anniversary falls on June 25, and described it as a "black spot" on India's democracy when Constitution was discarded.
 
Welcoming new MPs, he said the 18th Lok Sabha commences with a dream of building a developed India by 2047.
 
People expect good steps from the opposition but it has been disappointing so far, he said while expressing hope that it will fulfil its role and maintain democracy's decorum.
 
India needs a responsible opposition and people want substance not slogans. They want debate, diligence not disturbance in Parliament, he said in a jibe at the opposition.
 
The prime minister noted that 65 crore voters participated in the just-held parliamentary elections and it was for the second time since independence that a government was chosen for a third consecutive term. The occasion came after 60 years, he said. -- PTI 
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com
10:48   S&P retains India's FY'25 GDP growth estimate at 6.8%
S&P Global Ratings on Monday retained India's GDP growth forecast for the current financial year at 6.8 per cent and said high interest rates and lower fiscal spur would temper demand.
   
In its economic outlook for Asia Pacific, S&P Global Ratings said India's economic growth continues to surprise on the upside with the economy growing 8.2 per cent in fiscal year 2023-24.
 
"We expect growth to moderate to 6.8 per cent this fiscal year, with high interest rates and lower fiscal spur tempering demand in the non-agricultural sectors," it said.
 
For the fiscal years 2025-26 and 2026-27, S&P projected growth rates of 6.9 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.
 
S&P's estimates for FY'25 is lower than that of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which earlier this month projected the Indian economy to expand at 7.2 per cent in the current fiscal, on the back of improving rural demand and moderating inflation.
 
While another rating agency Fitch estimates India's growth at 7.2 per cent in FY'25, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates India's GDP to grow at 7 per cent. Moody's Ratings and Deloitte India estimates India's GDP to grow at 6.6 per cent in 2024-25 fiscal, while Morgan Stanley projects growth rate of 6.8 per cent.
 
For China, S&P raised its 2024 GDP growth forecast to 4.8 per cent, from 4.6 per cent but sees a sequential slowdown in the second quarter. The combination of subdued consumption and robust manufacturing investment will weigh on prices and profit margins, it said. -- PTI
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10:21   BJP's Mahtab takes oath as pro-tem Speaker
BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab takes oath as pro-tem Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha President Droupadi Murmu administers the oath.

The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, beginning on Monday, will witness "Observance of silence," marking the solemn occasion of the first sitting of the Eighteenth Lok Sabha.

After this, parliament will hold the oath-taking ceremony of newly-elected Members of Parliament, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

An official letter marking list of business for the day in parliament mentioned, "Observance of silence for a short while to mark the solemn occasion of the first sitting of the Eighteenth Lok Sabha."

"Secretary-General to lay on the Table a list (Hindi and English versions), containing the names of Members elected to the Eighteenth Lok Sabha at the General Elections of 2024, submitted by the Election Commission of India," added the list of business.

Further, the list mentioned "members to take the oath or make the affirmation, sign the Roll of Members and take their seats in the House.

"The first session is expected to be stormy as the opposition is likely to corner the BJP-led NDA government on the election of the Speaker on June 26, discussions regarding allegations of paper leaks in NEET-UG and UGC-NET, and row over the appointment of the pro-tem Speaker.

Mahtab will then call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Leader of the Lok Sabha, to take oath as a member of the House.On June 26, the Lok Sabha Speaker will be elected. 

On June 27, President Droupadi Murmu is scheduled to address the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament.

This is the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha after the general elections, which saw the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) secure 293 seats and the INDIA bloc win 234, with the Congress holding 100 of them. Meanwhile, the Newly Elected Congress MPs meeting is called at 10 am at the CPP office in Parliament today. 
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10:09   Markets tumble in early trade on weak trends
Benchmark equity indices tumbled in early trade on Monday amid weak trends from global markets and fresh foreign fund outflows. Profit-taking after a record-breaking rally also put pressure on the benchmark indices.

The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 463.96 points to 76,745.94. The Nifty dropped 149.6 points to 23,351.50. 

 Among the 30 Sensex companies, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, Adani Ports, State Bank of India, Bajaj Finance and JSW Steel were the biggest laggards. Sun Pharma, ITC, ICICI Bank and Tata Consultancy Services were among the gainers.
BJP MP Bhratruhari Mehtab
BJP MP Bhratruhari Mehtab
09:46   Pro-tem Speaker row: Cong to do this in Parl today
After seventh-term BJP MP Bhratruhari Mehtab was appointed as pro-tem Speaker, instead of Congress leader K Suresh, who is an eighth-term MP, the MPs of the India bloc have decided not to assist the pro-tem Speaker during the oath-taking ceremony of MPs, sources said.

According to the sources, Congress and India Bloc parties are upset with the fact that tradition has been broken as Mehtab was made the Protem Speaker instead of the 8-time Congress MP K Suresh.

The Congress has reacted sharply to the central government's decision to appoint Mahtab as Pro-tem Speaker of Lok Sabha over senior-most Dalit MP Kodikkunnil Suresh of Congress, saying that the appointment by the BJP deviates from the traditional practice of appointing the senior member.

Congress leader K Suresh said that there is an eighth-term MP in the House, but a seventh-term MP has been appointed as pro-tem Speaker.

"We are claiming that an eighth-term MP should be the pro-tem Speaker...They have done wrong, and now the whole country is criticising the decision of the BJP government," K Suresh said.

Congress MP Hibi Eden said that the NDA government has violated all the traditions and customs.

"There are certain customs related to the Parliament of India, and it is always the senior-most member, irrespective of the party, who is given the opportunity to become the pro-tem speaker. It is merely a matter of two days, but it is the respect given to the member, whichever party he/she is from. Unfortunately, a Dalit member, who is an 8-time MP from Kerala has been denied the right to become the pro-tem speaker. This shows the attitude of the NDA government towards the Dalit and the oppressed community of this country. They have violated all the traditions and customs... Even though this session is hardly for 8 days, it should have been in consensus with the opposition because we are representing almost 45 per cent of the country," he said.
Representational image
Representational image
09:37   Indian man shot dead during robbery in US
In a tragic incident, a 32-year-old Indian man, who came to the US less than a year ago, was fatally shot during a robbery at a convenience store in the US state of Texas. 

 Dasari Gopikrishna sustained critical injuries during a robbery incident at a gas station convenience store in Pleasant Grove, Dallas, on June 21. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Saturday while undergoing treatment. 

 He hailed from the Yajali village of the Bapatla district in Andhra Pradesh and came to the US only eight months ago. India's Consul General in Houston, D C Manjunath, who was in Dallas for a Yoga Day event on Sunday, confirmed to PTI that the incident was unrelated to a shooting in Arkansas, as previously reported by various sources. 

 Expressing condolences to Gopikrishna's family, Manjunath said, "We are deeply saddened to learn about the tragic demise of Indian national Gopi Krishna Dasari in a robbery shooting incident at Pleasant Grove, Dallas, TX, and are in touch with local family members." 

 The Consulate, along with support from Indian associations, is providing all possible assistance to facilitate the repatriation of Gopikrishna's body to India following local formalities, including autopsy and death certificates. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday promised to help bring back Gopikrishna's body.

 Expressing condolences to the victim's family, the chief minister promised every possible help from the state government to the family based in the Bapatla district. 

 "Deeply saddened to learn that a young Dasari Gopikrishna from Bapatla has succumbed to injuries sustained in a shooting incident in Texas, USA. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family and assure themevery possible support to help bring him home, Naidu said in a post on social media platform X. 

 A video of the incident has gone viral in which a masked man wearing shorts and a cap is seen shooting multiple times at Gopikrishna and then stealing some items and cash from the retail outlet where the victim worked. The incident has deeply affected the Indian community in Dallas and surrounding areas. Gopikrishna is survived by his wife and son. PTI
PM Modi outside Parliament. File pic
PM Modi outside Parliament. File pic
09:18   Modi 3.0: Parliament session to begin today
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday said he was positively looking forward to coordination to run Parliament, as the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha gets underway. 

 In a post on X, Rijiju said he shall always be available to assist the members of Parliament as the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. 

 "The First Session of the 18th Lok Sabha begins today, the 24th June, 2024. I welcome all the newly elected Hon'ble members. I shall be always available to assist the members as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. I'm positively looking forward to co-ordination to run the house," Rijiju said.

 The newly elected members of the Lok Sabha are set to take oath or make affirmation over the next two days before the Pro-tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab and the panel of chairpersons. 

 The new Lok Sabha will elect its Speaker on Wednesday. President Droupadi Murmu is scheduled to address the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, setting out the agenda of the NDA government for the next five years.

 Both the Houses will take up the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address, which will be replied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 2-3. PTI
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09:03   74% Indians support taxing super-rich: Survey
As G20 finance ministers prepare to consider a wealth tax on the super-rich next month, a survey has revealed that 68 per cent of people in these countries, including 74 per cent in India, support the idea to address global hunger, inequality and climate crisis.
 
The survey by the Earth4All initiative and Global Commons Alliance covered 22,000 citizens in the world's largest economies.

The proposal for a levy on the super-rich has been under discussion since at least 2013 with international support on the issue growing over the years. 

Brazil, the current president of the G20, aims to build consensus on the taxation of wealth and is likely to push for a joint declaration at a meeting of G20 finance ministers in July.

Gabriel Zucman, a French economist and a key influencer behind Brazil's G20 proposal for progressive international taxation to promote tax justice, will release a report on Tuesday, outlining how "a global minimum tax on the ultra-rich" could work and how much it could raise.

According to Zucman, the super-rich pay significantly less tax than the ordinary people. The proposal aims to establish a new international standard: billionaires in every country would be required to pay at least 2 per cent of their wealth in taxes annually.

Owen Gaffney, co-lead of Earth4All, said, "Indians want a giant leap on climate and nature -- 68 per cent demand dramatic reforms across all economic sectors within the next decade. This is a strong mandate for planetary stewardship that cannot be ignored."

Seventy-four per cent of Indians support taxing wealth. Tax on high incomes and corporations to fund climate initiatives alongside a 'polluter pays' approach with income redistribution are also strongly supported, he said.

Seventy-one per cent of Indians endorse universal basic income, 74 per cent support policies that encourage healthy diets to cut emissions, and 76 per cent seek a better work-life balance. -- PTI
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08:23   15 people killed in 'terrorist acts' in Russia
At least 15 people including police officers and Orthodox priest, were killed after armed militants opened fire on two Orthodox churches, a synagogue and a police post in two Russian cities in Monday.

The simultaneous attacks occurred in Dagestan's largest city of Makhachkala and in the coastal city of Derbent.

Officials said that the police personnel had killed four gunmen in Makhachkala and two in Derbent.

Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee described the attacks in the predominantly Muslim region with a history of armed insurgency as terrorist acts.

Dagestan's Interior Ministry said a group of armed men shot at a synagogue and a church in the city of Derbent, located on the Caspian Sea. Both the church and the synagogue caught fire, according to state media. Almost simultaneously, reports appeared about an attack on a church and a traffic police post in the Dagestan capital, Makhachkala. 

"This evening in Derbent and Makhachkala unknown (attackers) made attempts to destabilise the situation in society," Dagestan Governor Sergei Melikov wrote on Telegram.

"We know who is behind these terrorist attacks and what objective they are pursuing," he added later, without specifying but referring to the Russia-Ukraine war.

"We must understand that war comes to our homes too. We felt it, but today we face it," he said.

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