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President Ram Nath Kovind arrives in Hyderabad for his first southern sojourn

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday arrived here as part of the annual southern sojourn.Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governor E S L Narasimhan, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, his cabinet colleagues and senior officials received the president and his wife Savita Kovind at Hakimpet Air Force Station.”The president, who arrived in the city today as part of the winter sojourn, will stay at the Rashtrapathi Nilayam located in Bollarum in Secunderabad till December 27,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Zone) B Sumathi told PTI.Kovind is scheduled to visit Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday to inaugurate the Indian Economic Association (IEA) summit at the Acharya Nagarjuna University at 10.30 am.He will later visit the Andhra Pradesh government’s Transitional Headquarters (secretariat) at Velagapudi, where he will inaugurate the AP Fibre Grid project.Kovind is also scheduled to inspect the Real-Time Governance Centre at the Andhra Pradesh secretariat.

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PM Narendra Modi wishes Pranab Mukherjee on 82nd birthday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today wished former president Pranab Mukherjee on his birthday and said he prayed for his long and healthy life.The former President turned 82 today.”Spoke to Pranab Da and wished him on his birthday. His impeccable service endears him to every Indian. I pray for Pranab Da’s long and healthy life,” the prime minister tweeted.Mukherjee was born this day in 1935 in Mirati, a village in the Bengal Presidency of British India (now in Birbhum district, West Bengal).Apart from PM Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind also wished his predecessor.”Birthday greetings and best wishes for a long and happy life to former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee, whom we affectionately call “Pranabda”,” President Kovind tweeted.

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Actress Zaira Wasim: I was molested on flight

Indian star Zaira Wasim, 17, says she was touched inappropriately on a flight from Delhi.

India drone crashed near our border, invaded our air space, claims China

Months after the Doklam stand-off resolution, China on Thursday claimed that India ‘invaded’ its airspace.Beijing expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with New Delhi on Thursday after ‘recent crash’ of an Indian drone in what the Chinese military said was Chinese territory.Beijing also said that the ‘incident’ that could cause further friction along the two countries’ disputed border.”This action by India violated China’s territorial sovereignty. We express strong dissatisfaction and opposition,” said Zhang Shuili, a senior military official in China’s western battle zone command, according to a Defence Ministry statement.”China’s border defence forces took a professional and responsible attitude in conducting an inspection of the device,” Zhang said, adding that the military would resolutely defend national sovereignty and security.It said only that the drone crashed in “recent days” and did not give a location.The drone report comes months after the border stand-off near Doklam in Sikkim sector..In June, July and August, Indian and Chinese troops had been confronting each other at the Doklam plateau .The two sides agreed to an “expeditious disengagement” of troops there about a week before Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in an effort to mend ties at a summit hosted by China in September.In November, China again ‘criticised’ a visit by President Ram Nath Kovind to Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims, saying China opposed any activities by Indian leaders in disputed areas.
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Be fair to even those who didn’t vote for you: Prez Kovind urges legislators

President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday urged legislators to be the true representatives of people by being fair to the entire constituency, and not just those who voted for them.Addressing a special session of the Mizoram Assembly, Kovind said a legislator equally represents those who did not vote for him or opposed him.The president said a rival in an election was a political competitor and not an enemy, and ideally, the functioning of the legislature should be marked by dignity and decorum.The political system should not allow differences to become disputes, he said.”After the election, the competitor could become a colleague in the task of ensuring the well-being and development of a constituency, of the state and of the country,” he said.Appealing to legislators to uphold the beauty of a democratic polity, Kovind said, “I am glad to see that this philosophy has such an instinctive acceptance in Mizoram.”
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Indian troops on China border told to delete 42 apps including WeChat, Truecaller

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian troops posted along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) facing China have been asked to delete a number of apps on their smartphones due to data security implications.Troops have been asked to delete 42 mobile applications such as UC Browser, WeChat, Truecaller, ShareIT, and format their smartphones with immediate effect, reported ThePrint.in. The development comes after the recent stand-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers along the border in Doklam.“Use of these apps by our personnel can be detrimental to…national security,” a report said citing sources. The instructions were reportedly sent to troops on 24 November. ALSO READ Doklam stand-off was ‘safely resolved’ after several rounds of talks: PLA official “If some of them are already using any of these apps, then they should be asked to immediately uninstall the app and format their cellphones,” reads the instruction.”The personnel are expected to maintain the security of their phones, whether official or personal, as well as computers. Such alerts and advisories, especially about Chinese-origin mobile apps as well as electronic devices, are issued from time to time,” an official told Times of India.A fortnight ago, India and China held their first meeting on the border consultation and coordination mechanism here after the Dokalam standoff and reviewed the situation in all the sectors of their border and exchanged views on enhancing CBMs and military contacts.The standoff which began in mid-June ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India’s Chicken Neck corridor. India objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns. The road was being built by the Chinese troops in the area also claimed by Bhutan. ALSO READ China objects to Prez Kovind’s visit to Arunachal, says India shouldn’t ‘complicate’ border dispute

Adverse male to female sex ratio major cause for concern: President Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The adverse male to female sex ratio is a major cause for concern, President Ram Nath Kovind said today, and sought support from medical officers to the government’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative. He also asked the medical officers to remain sensitive to the poor and the needy.”Our country is making rapid economic progress. Health and socio-economic indicators must gallop along with it,” Kovind said. He said the disease burden in the country is undergoing change. “We have to tackle communicable diseases such as TB, malaria and dengue, and at the same time deal with the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases,” the president said, addressing General Duty Medical Officers (GDMOS) of the second foundation course conducted by the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare. These GDMOS called on Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.Kovind said that to address these shifting health priorities, the government has after more than a decade come up with a revised national health policy. “The adverse male to female sex ratio is a major cause for concern. Undernutrition and malnutrition remains an area where we have a lot more to do,” he said. Kovind said while health may be a core concern, they have an equally important role to play in the socio-economic progress of the country. “Several key government initiatives such as ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ and ‘Swachh Bharat’ need your support and service,” he said.The president suggested the medical officers to take a preventive approach to health rather than solely a curative one.”In this context, integrating our traditional systems of medicine — AYUSH — into our healthcare system must be a priority,” he said. Kovind said digital technology combined with Aadhar and mobile telephony can work wonders for health care. “Our e-aushadhi programme is on course. Tele-medicine is another effective technology intervention which we must put to greater use,” he said.Kovind said the society places high faith in doctors and their noble profession.”I am sure you will reciprocate their faith with committed service, always being compassionate and sensitive to the poor and the needy,” the president said. He said the country’s disease burden remains high. “Coupled with it we have issues of delivery, access to services and affordability. But with dedication, drive and determination, we can achieve our goals,” Kovind said. The president said that the goal of universal health coverage is a priority for the government. “The implementation of the national health mission critically depends on your commitment. This needs effective governance at the community, village and district levels,” he said, addressing the medical officers.

Remembering 26/11: President Kovind takes pledge to make India safer, pays tribute to victims

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the ninth anniversary of the deadly Mumbai attacks, President Ram Nath Kovind paid his tribute to the victims and took a pledge to fight hard against terrorism more than ever to make India and its citizens safer. President Kovind took to micro-blogging site Twitter to convey his regards. He tweeted that the country is in debt of the soldiers who fought for their motherland. Meanwhile, in a strict warning, White House told Pakistan that there would be repercussions of Hafiz Saeed’s release.The White House said on Saturday there would be repercussions for U.S.-Pakistan relations unless Islamabad took action to detain and charge a newly freed Islamist accused of masterminding a 2008 assault in Mumbai, India.A Pakistani court ordered the release on Wednesday of Hafiz Saeed, who was put under house arrest in January after years of living freely in Pakistan, one of the sore points in its fraying relationship with the United States. His freedom had also infuriated its arch-foe India.
ALSO READ Remembering 26/11: Rahul Gandhi questions Narendra Modi’s ‘hugplomacy’The White House on Saturday urged Pakistan to arrest Saeed, calling for him to be prosecuted over the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including Americans.”If Pakistan does not take action to lawfully detain Saeed and charge him for his crimes, its inaction will have repercussions for bilateral relations and for Pakistan’s global reputation,” the White House said in a statement.
ALSO READ Remembering 26/11: P Chidambaram didn’t allow us to question Central officers, says ex-Union Home SecretaryThis is the first time the United States has acknowledged that the recent decision could have an impact on relations between the two countries, who are allies but view each other with suspicion.Saeed has repeatedly denied involvement in the Mumbai attacks in which 10 gunmen attacked targets in India’s largest city, including two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and a train station in a rampage that lasted several days.
ALSO READ Masterminds of 26/11 attacks must be hanged in public, says Maruti PhadThe violence brought nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India to the brink of war.The United States had offered a $10 million bounty for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Saeed, who heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). Members say the JuD is a charity but the United States says it is a front for the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group.The White House said Pakistan’s failure to charge Saeed sent a “a deeply troubling message about Pakistan’s commitment to (combating) international terrorism.” It added that it also was counter to Pakistan’s claim that it did not provide sanctuary to militants.

Judiciary, executive and legislature need to be careful to not cross into each other’s spaces: President Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday cautioned three organs of the state – the judiciary, executive and legislature – to be careful to “not cross into each other’s finely-defined spaces.” Speaking at the inauguration of two-day National Law Day Conference, the President said, “All three organs of the state – the judiciary, executive and legislature – need to be careful not to cross into each other’s finely-defined spaces. Or give the opportunity to read transgressions even when none is intended.” Sometimes extraneous comments and ‘obiter dicta’ come to dominate public debates, crowding out a substantive understanding and deliberation of a well thought-out judgement, he said.
ALSO READ President Kovind gives nod to ordinance to amend InsolvencyThe conference is being organised by the Law Commission and the Niti Aayog to mark the National Law Day. The National Law Day is celebrated on November 26, the day on which the Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1949. The President also drew attention to non-affordability of legal services by the poor in the country.
ALSO READ Ram Nath Kovind completes 100 days as president”While we take pride in our courts, it is a paradox that the poor often shy away from a legal battle, worried about duration and cost. And the well-off sometimes use the judicial process to delay resolution to issues they simply do not want resolved,” he said. “The time has come to examine the issue of adjournments and whether they are to be limited just to absolute emergencies – or continue to be allowed to be used for tactical delays by one party or the other,” he added. He said steps such as enhancing legal literacy, simplifying legal rules, easier language while delivering judgements, quick availability of certified translated copies of High Court judgements in the local language will take justice closer to ordinary citizens.President Kovind also called for the judiciary “to be judicious in being representative of the diversity of our country.” He highlighted that besides “unacceptably low representation: of OBCs, SCs and STs, of 17,000 judges in the subordinate courts, High Courts and the Supreme Court, only about 4,700 are women.Without in any manner compromising on quality, we need to take measures to remedy this situation, he said.The 2-day conference on National Law Day among other things will see deliberation on collegium system and balancing the separation of power between judiciary and Parliament.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the valedictory address at the conference on Sunday. The conference will also be addressed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

China objects to Prez Kovind’s visit to Arunachal, says India shouldn’t ‘complicate’ border dispute

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China today strongly objected to President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying India should refrain from “complicating” the border dispute when bilateral relations are at a “crucial moment”.President Kovind visited Arunachal Pradesh yesterday.”The Chinese government never acknowledged the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and our position on the border issue is consistent and clear,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told the media when asked about Kovind s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as Southern Tibet. China routinely objects to any senior Indian officials’ visit to the area. India has dismissed Beijing’s objections, maintaining that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country and Indian leaders are as much free to visit the state as they are to any other part of the country.Both countries are “in the process of settling this issue through negotiation and consultation and seek to reach to a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to all”, Lu said. Pending final settlement all parties should work for peace and tranquillity, he said. “China firmly opposes the Indian leader s relevant activities in the relevant region when China-India relations are at a crucial moment,” he said. “We hope India could work in the same direction and maintain general picture of bilateral ties and refrain from complicating border issue and work to create favourable conditions for border negotiations and for the sound and stable development of bilateral ties,” he said.The Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China stretches to 3,488 kms.On November 6, China had raised objection to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh. Both sides held 19 round of talks by the Special Representatives to resolve the boundary dispute. The 20th round is expected to be held next month in New Delhi, though dates have not yet been announced. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi are the designated Special Representatives for the boundary talks.

We want to boost organic farming: Nitish Kumar

Nitish said and listed irrigation, seed management, power supply and connectivity as his focus areas in agro sector. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Welcoming President Ram Nath Kovind to Bihar on Thursday, chief minister Nitish Kumar said the state was trying to promote organic farming, by building an organic farming corridor along both sides of the River Ganga flowing through the state.“Our dream is to have at least one Bihar dish on every platter by 2022,” Nitish said and listed irrigation, seed management, power supply and connectivity as his focus areas in agro sector.“The state has already made huge progress in the production of paddy, wheat, maize and potatoes.

President Kovind on his first Bihar visit today, to launch Krishi Road Map

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President of India, Ram Nath Kovind will unveil Rs 1.54 lakh crore Third Agriculture Road Map, on his daylong visit to Patna on Thursday.This is President’s first visit to Bihar, after moving to Rashtrapati Bhavan. He will land at Patna airport at 11.25am.Kovind’s itinerary also includes a visit to Raj Bhawan roundabout, where he will pay his tribute to Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India. He will then proceed to the newly inaugurated Bapu Sabhagaar at Samrat Ashok International Convention Centre-Patna, where he will launch the Road Map.The Krishi Road Map was approved by the Nitish Kumar led NDA government last month, and the CM said he envisaged having at least one Bihar dish on every platter by 2022, in a bid to boost the agriculture sector in the state. It also aims at ensuring food security, nutrition, inclusive development and increase in farmers’ income, an agriculture department official said.While some of the programmes under the third Agriculture Road Map are a continuation of its previous two editions, as many as 12 departments, including, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Pisciculture, Revenue and Land Reforms, Water Resources, Power, and Food Processing are coordinating to ensure smooth implementation of the third Road Map.Kovind, who will return to Delhi the same day, will also pay tributes to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan at his statue near Gandhi Maidan.On Wednesday evening, CM Nitish himself reviewed the preparations for the President’s visit. It may be mentioned that Nitish shared very cordial relations with Kovind, during the latter’s tenure as the governor of the state, and the JD-U chief was among the very first few people who met Kovind after the BJP announced him as NDA’s Presidential pick earlier this year.

90% of mental health patients deprived of medical care, warns President Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind today warned that India was staring at a possible mental health epidemic and said over 90 per cent of those affected by mental health issues do not receive the required medical care.While inaugurating the World Congress of Mental Health here, the president quoted World Health Organisation (WHO) figures to state that India has one of the highest prevalence of mental illnesses globally. “Our National Mental Health Survey, 2016 found that close to 14 per cent of India’s population required active mental health interventions. About two per cent suffered from severe mental disorders,” Kovind said. Nearly two hundred thousand Indians take their own lives each year and if data for attempted suicide was included the number went up substantially, he added.The president warned that India was staring at a possible mental health epidemic. “These are worrying statistics. It is also a fact that those living in metropolitan cities and those who were young whether in the productive age group, or children and teenagers are most vulnerable to mental illnesses, he said. In India, he said, both these factors were a cause for concern as India had a young population, with 65 per cent of people below the age of 35. “And our society is rapidly urbanising. This leaves us staring at a possible mental health epidemic,” he said.Given the figures, the president said, it was “an irony that 90 per cent of Indians in need simply don’t receive mental healthcare”. “There are several reasons for this and I hope they will be addressed in this conference,” he said.The president said these issues should be treated with a correct approach. “The biggest obstacle that mental health patients have to encounter is stigma and denial. This leads to the issue being ignored or simply not discussed. In some cases it leads to self-diagnosis that is unsuitable or could worsen the situation. It may even lead to other extreme steps,” he said. Kovind added that as a society the country would have to fight this culture of stigma.”We need to talk about mental health issues and treat ailments such as depression and stress as diseases that can be cured -not as guilty secrets that must be pushed under the carpet,” he said.Kovind also highlighted the “scarcity” of doctors and counsellors to treat such instances. “A second major gap in combating the mental health challenge is that of human resources. India is a country with 1.25 billion people but just seven hundred thousand doctors less than one million,” he underlined. In the field of mental health, he said, the scarcity was even more acute. There are only about five thousand psychiatrists and less than two thousand clinical psychologists in the country, Kovind said.”We need to act,” he said, adding that these numbers of doctors and mental health experts were extremely inadequate. “It is vital to tap into our wealth of traditional knowledge and link its learning to modern research on mental health. This will promote a holistic approach to mental healthcare, combining the best of different fields of practice,” he said. The president said India’s mental health challenge was like capturing a society in multiple transitions.”From traditional diseases, it is gradually non- communicable diseases that are emerging as a major threat to our people and their well being. This is part of a worldwide trend. And many non-communicable diseases are either rooted in or associated with mental health issues,” he said. About a thousand delegates, including 300 from across the globe, are participating in the conference.

Would like to re-emphasize that most MP roads are good; US media more biased than India’s: CM Chouhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday hit out at the Congress for politicising his statement where he claimed that roads in Madhya Pradesh were better than those in the United States.Addressing a press conference, the Madhya Pradesh CM said, “It is sad that Congress politicized even this, they sent pictures of bad roads to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding action against me,” he said.Chouhan said that he would like to re-emphasise that some of the state roads are ‘actually very good’. “We will definitely work to improve our bad roads. But not just me, studies say that 92% roads of Washington DC are not in good condition,” he added.The Chief Minister also took a dig at the United States media for being more biased. Our media is better than theirs (US), they are partial but our media is impartial,” he added.Chouhan made quite a tall claim on Tuesday at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum meeting.”When I got down at the Washington airport and travelled on roads, I felt the roads in Madhya Pradesh are better than the United States,” the MP CM said.”Few years back, MP was termed as a diseased state, but when I became the Chief Minister 12 years back then it was in my mind that without basic infrastructure no state can develop. Our first focus was on building the roads. Today, we have constructed around 1.75 lakh kilometer roads in the state and all the villages have been well-connected with roads,” Chouhan said.

President Ram Nath Kovind attends150th birth anniversary celebrations of Sister Nivedita

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian culture and spiritualism have attracted people from other countries for centuries, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday.Speaking at the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Sister Nivedita, organised by the Ramakrishna Mission in New Delhi, Kovind said she was part of this tradition, and came to India and to Swami Vivekananda for enlightenment.He said Buddhist monks from China came to Nalanda in ancient times.On Saturday, the appeal of yoga and vipasanna to people across the world — and the response to International Yoga Day — is another example, he said.”Sister Nivedita was part of this tradition, and came to India and to Swamiji for enlightenment. And yet she was different. She did not come and learn a little and leave. She learnt a lot — and stayed on,” he said.He said she made India her life’s mission and became an Indian nation builder even though she was born in Ireland.”Sister Nivedita’s original name was Margaret Noble. True to her name, she served India with nobility. She was a pioneer in girls’ education in India and in providing health services to the poor,” he said.Kovind said Swami Vivekananda was one of those who shaped our modern national consciousness.”He rediscovered Indian values not only for us but for the world. He was a true cultural ambassador, as became so apparent during his visit to Chicago in 1893 for the Parliament of Religions,” he said.He said his legacy is reflected in the Ramakrishna Mission, which is itself 120 years old and has grown from strength to strength.”The Ramakrishna Mission’s education and health-care initiatives, its schools and hospitals, can be found all over the country. In parts of the Northeast and in our frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh, the Ramakrishna Mission has been a pioneer institution,” he said.Kovind said in “Maoist-troubled” Chhattisgarh, he had seen the dedication with which the Ramakrishna Mission has worked among very poor and underprivileged tribal communities in Narayanpur.

Karnataka: Political slugfest erupts as President Kovind mentions Tipu Sultan in speech

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind’s mention of the 18th century Mysore ruler, Tipu Sultan, in his address to the joint session of Karnataka legislature on Wednesday triggered a political slugfest between the ruling Congress and opposition BJP.The development comes amid a raging controversy over the state government celebrating the birth anniversary of the Mysore ruler on November 10. The move has been opposed tooth and nail by the BJP which sees Tipu Sultan as a “religious bigot” and a “brutal killer”.”Tipu Sultan died a heroic death fighting the British. He was also a pioneer in the development and use of Mysore rockets in warfare. This technology was later adopted by the Europeans,” Kovind said while noting that Karnataka is a land of formidable soldiers.Hitting out at the state government, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council K S Eshwarappa alleged that the government has “misused” the office of the president by getting Tipu’s name mentioned in the speech.”I condemn it….it is an insult done to people of Karnataka by the state government. If we had raised objections when president mentioned Tipu, it would have led to violation of protocol…,” he added.Reacting to the allegations, state Congress working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the BJP should be “ashamed.” He said “by trying to say that president has just read out a speech written by somebody, they are insulting the office of the president and the president.” Suggesting that the speech was prepared by president’s office after collecting inputs from various sources, Rao said “…such allegations show the state of mind the BJP leaders are in.” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah hailed President’s address to the Karnataka legislature. Recently, Union minister Anantkumar Hegde had stirred a hornet’s nest after he requested the Karnataka government not to include his name in programme invitations for Tipu Jayanti celebrations.”(I have) conveyed (to) Karnataka government not to invite me to the shameful event of glorifying a person known as a brutal killer, wretched fanatic, and mass rapist,” Hegde had said in a tweet.The Siddaramaiah-led government is all set to celebrate Tipu Jayanti despite widespread protests and violence that had marred the celebrations in the last two years. (With PTI inputs)

Karnataka lawmakers to get Rs 55,000 gold biscuit during Vidhana Soudha fete?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If the Karnataka legislature secretariat gets its way, the lawmakers will get 13-gram gold biscuits as gifts during the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Vidhana Soudha, reported Deccan Herald.Vidhana Soudha is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka.The secretariat has proposed to give away the expensive gifts to MLAs as well as MLCs during a function scheduled for October 25 and 26.The report said that each gold biscuit will cost about Rs 55,000 and will be embossed with the coat of arms, the state emblem of Karnataka. Legislative Assembly Speaker KB Koliwad said that a proposal has been sent to the government.“If the chief minister (Siddaramaiah) agrees, we will present the gifts,” he said. It has also been proposed silver plates worth about Rs 6,000 each to gift the secretariat staff, from the Upper and Lower Houses.A series of events have been organised on October 25 and 26 to celebrate the occasion. President Ram Nath Kovind will commemorate the diamond jubilee of the Vidhana Soudha by addressing a special joint session of the Karnataka legislature on October 25.The celebrations include a special discussion on the state’s history, its land, water, resources and nature along with cultural programmes.Built in a Neo-Dravidian style of architecture, the Vidhana Soudha is spread over 60 acres and houses the Legislative Assembly and Council chambers, in addition to offices of the chief minister, prominent ministers and senior government officers.

From PM Modi to President Kovind, India pays tribute to APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday led the nation in remembering the ‘Missile Man’ of India, A P J Abdul Kalam, on his 86th birth anniversary.In his home state Tamil Nadu, the birth anniversary of the former president was marked by planting of trees and floral tributes.At Kalam’s memorial in Peikarambu near his home town Rameswaram, his family members and people from various walks of life, including students, paid floral tributes.Kovind described the Missile Man as one of the greatest visionaries who ignited young minds, while Modi praised Kalam saying his personality inspired millions.Speaking with a group of children who arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhavan from Rameswaram by the bus ‘Dr Kalam Sandesh Vahini Vision 2020’, Kovind said he saluted Kalam and his monumental achievements as a scientist, a scholar and as the president of India.”One of the best ways of building the character of the youth of any country is to inspire them to read biographies of great personalities,” he said.The president said Kalam was one of India’s greatest visionaries and is fondly remembered as ‘Missile Man of India’ and ‘People’s President’.The Kalam Sandesh Vahini bus presents the life story of the former president in a very interesting manner, he said.Earlier, Kovind paid floral tributes at the portrait of Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.Modi in a tweet said, “Remembering our beloved former president, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary. His endearing personality inspires millions”.The prime minister shared a short video containing glimpses from the life of Kalam and his own (Modi’s) earlier speech praising the late scientist.In Chennai, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit led the state in remembering Kalam.Purohit paid floral tributes to a statue of Kalam at the Raj Bhavan here, an official release said.At Peikarumbu, students, government representatives and public thronged his memorial to pay their respects.The memorial, construction work on which began on his last birth anniversary, was inaugurated by the prime minister in July this year.Family members of Kalam, Tamil Nadu Information Technology Minister M Manikandan, Ramanathapuram District Collector S Natarajan and others paid their tributes at the memorial.Students of the Mandapam Panchayat Union Primary School, where Kalam had studied, remembered him and took a oath to uphold his ideals.In Chennai, at a function held at the Adyar Cancer Institute, its chairperson and Padma Vibhushan awardee V Shanta planted a sapling to mark Kalam’s birth anniversary.”We cannot have a more inspiring leader than what we have had (in the past),” she said.Film actor Vivekh, an ardent supporter of Kalam, took part in various functions where saplings were planted across the city on the occasion.Kalam was born on October 15, 1931. He was a popular head of state between 2002 and 2007. Kalam died on July 27, 2015.

PM Modi urges state governors to make a conscious effort towards national integration

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked governors to make conscious efforts towards national integration.Modi, speaking on the concluding day of the two-day conference of the governors and lieutenant governors, said there was no dearth of ideas, resources, and capabilities in the country.Asking the governors to facilitate better effectiveness of government initiatives, Modi stressed “on making conscious efforts towards national integration”.He also urged governors to involve themselves in initiatives such as ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ (one India, great India) and ‘Run for Unity’, a statement issued by Rashtrapati Bhawan said.The conference, hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind, was attended by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman among others.”Deliberations on both achievements and problems between states, will give a new dimension to cooperative federalism,” Kovind said during the concluding ceremony.”The president said that states and governors should share information about their successful programmes with their counterparts,” according to the statement.In his remarks, president Kovind said that governors can give direction to the younger generation and play an important role in shaping the future of the country by constantly engaging with students and teachers.”They can inspire universities in their states to develop as innovation centres. The role of the governors becomes even more important in ensuring education and development in tribal areas,” the president said.He said that during the course of the conference, useful experiences were shared about issues pertaining to cleanliness, the environment, conservation of energy and cutting down of wasteful expenditure.Kovind said many Raj Bhavans have been accorded the status of heritage buildings.He urged that special features such as ‘green building’ and ‘smart building’ be included while keeping the heritage status of Raj Bhavans intact.The president reiterated that India will emerge as a developed nation only when every state develops.He expressed confidence that governors and lt governors would continue to make important contributions in giving a new direction to development in their respective states.Speaking on the occasion, Naidu said that governors should act as catalysts and facilitators in the change process.”The ultimate aim is to serve common citizens and ensure that the benefits of development reach the people,” he said.Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the governors can act as a bridge between the Centre and the states.The governors can contribute towards strengthening confidence building measures so that peoples’ faith in the democratic system is maintained, he said.Earlier in the day, governors made brief remarks on special issues pertaining to their respective states and union territories.Presentations on the sessions on ‘Infrastructure for New India 2022’, ‘Public Services for New India 2022’ and ‘Higher Education in States and Skill Development’ — which had taken place on October 12, 2017 — were also made today.The conference of governors is a tradition almost as old as Independence. The first conference of governors was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1949 which was presided over by C Rajagopalachari, Governor General of India.Since then, 48 such conferences have been organised in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President Ram Nath Kovind turns 72, birthday wishes pour in on Twitter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind turned 72 on Sunday. Elected as the 14th President of India in July this year, Kovind was born on October 1, 1945, at Kanpur Dehat in Uttar Pradesh. Several political dignitaries extended their best wishes on the occasion including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former President Pranab Mukherjee.Take a look at some of the birthday wishes extended to him on Twitter:

Dussehra 2017: At Delhi’s Red Fort Ground, PM Modi calls festivals a way of social education

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his second ever Dussehra celebrations in Delhi as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi took part in famed Red Fort event on Saturday.President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu also attended the Dussehra celebration.In his brief address to the crowd, PM Modi said that festivals are a way of social education and that even after thousand years, the stories of Lord Ram give new meaning to the society.Later effigies of Ravan, Kumbhakarn and Meghnad were burnt at the historic ground.Meanwhile, BJP President Amit Shah attended the Dussehra celebration at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, where actor John Abraham also attended the celebrations.(With ANI input)

Prez Kovind appoints 5 new Governors; DMK expresses discontent over new Tamil Nadu governor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind, on Saturday, appointed five new Governors – – Brig. (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd.) as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh- Banwarilal Purohit was appointed as the Governor of Tamil Nadu- Satya Pal Malik as the Governor of Bihar.- Professor Jagdish Mukhi was appointed as the Governor of Assam- Ganga Prasad as the Governor of MeghalayaBanwari Lal Purohit was appointed as the new Tamil Nadu governor, since Maharashtra governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao had additional charge of Tamil Nadu. This is the first time that the state has got a full time governor after K Rosaiah retired in August 2016.However, hours after the appointments were announced, Tamil Nadu’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) expressed its dissatisfaction. Speaking to media, DMK Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson TKS Elangovan said, “Governor is going to act according to the wishes of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). I don’t think there will be any change in approach.”Banwari Lal Purohit was earlier appointed as the Governor of Assam by the President on August 17, 2016. He has been a thrice elected member of parliament from Nagpur, twice on the Indian National Congress’s ticket and once as a BJP member.Meanwhile, Satya Pal Malik was appointed as Bihar Governor. The former MP and BJP’s national vice president, took over the post that had been vacant since Ram Nath Kovind was nominated as the BJP’s presidential candidate.Further, Brig. (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd.) was named the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, while Professor Jagdish Mukhi was appointed as the Governor of Assam and Ganga Prasad as the Governor of Meghalaya. (With Agency Inputs)

Festive season, so few want to fly to Africa with Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As President Ram Nath Kovind undertakes his first foreign tour, to East African countries of Djibouti and Ethiopia, from Tuesday, his office at the Rashtrapati Bhavan is struggling to cobble up a delegation to go with him.Normally, the Presidential delegation includes a minister and a group of MPs. Unlike the hectic Prime Ministerial visits, those of the President and the Vice-President are largely ceremonial and protocol-oriented. MPs, officials and mediapersons become part of such delegations to take free foreign trips.But a number of MPs, contacted by Kovind’s office, have opted out, preferring to celebrate festivals in their own constituencies. The President’s press secretary, Ashok Malik, confirmed that there have been difficulties in contacting some of the MPs as they are in their hometowns. He said the delegation is expected to be finalised by Saturday.The President will follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s practice of taking only a small team of mediapersons on board his special flight, unlike his predecessors, who used to have 30-odd journalists to accompany them on foreign visits.This will also mean an end of the usual on-board press interaction by the President while on foreign tours, which used to be an opportunity for mediapersons to meet him in an informal setting.Dr. Neena Malhotra, joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and in-charge of East and South Africa Division, said Africa was chosen as the first destination for President Kovind’s overseas visit to demonstrate importance attached to the continent by the current government.She said Prime Minister Modi has declared Africa a priority for both foreign as well as economic policies. During the past three years, there have been 16 VVIP visits from India to African countries. India hosted some 50 heads of African countries during the India-Africa summit in 2015 in Delhi.Former President Pranab Mukherjee visited the continent thrice, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari undertook seven visits as part of Modi’s African outreach. PM Modi, himself visited Africa six times. Dr. Malhotra said, during the past three years, there is not a single country in Africa not visited by a central minister.President Kvoind will be in Ethiopia during October 4-6 for a business event and an interaction with the Indian community. This is the first visit to Ethiopia by an Indian President in 45 years. The First Lady, wife of President Mulatu Teshome, has studied in India along with nine other ministers.Ethiopia is also the largest recipient of concessions by India. Before reaching Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the President will visit Djibouti on October 3 and stay their overnight. The bilateral trade stood at US$284.54 million in 2016-17. India, within the rubric of South-South Cooperation, has extended lines of credit amounting to US $ 49.13 million to the government of Djibouti for construction of a cement plant.The stopover at Djibouti is significant following China’s new military base in the country. In Africa, as in other parts of the world, China has deployed substantive capital and is in the process of implementing infrastructure projects. India banks on historical connections with some countries, the English language, and the presence of diaspora constitutes important pillars to build robust engagements.

Afghanistan very close to our hearts: Prez Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India will continue to support Afghanistan in all possible ways, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Thursday. “Afghanistan is not just a strategic partner, but a country very close to our hearts,” he told visiting Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah who called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.The President said that India considers him a very close friend and admires the selfless leadership that he has given Afghanistan through difficult times.He said Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Kabuliwala’ (a short story in Bengali) resonates in the heart of every Indian. “Every Indian instinctively trusts a person from Kabul,” Kovind said.The President said that a new development partnership between India and Afghanistan has been announced earlier this month.“Both sides are embarking on new generation development projects aimed at supporting socio-economic development in Afghanistan. India will continue to support Afghanistan in all possible ways,” he said.The President said that India deeply respects the supreme sacrifice made by the Afghan national defence and security forces to fight the forces of terror.“We are indebted to them for ensuring security of Indians and of our mission and consulates in Afghanistan,” Kovind said.“There is no doubt that the people of Afghanistan have suffered for a long time. Generations have been lost to terrorism. We empathise with their yearning for peace.“We stand with the government and people of Afghanistan in their quest for peace, stability and prosperity,” the President said.PACT SIGNEDIndia and Afghanistan on Thursday signed a pact on technical cooperation in the field of police training and development.
The MoU was exchanged after a meeting between PM Modi and Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
The two leaders also discussed ways to enhance bilateral economic and development cooperation
Both the leaders reaffirmed the strength and closeness of the multifaceted strategic partnership between India and Afghanistan, an official release said.

President Kovind visits Kedarnath, Badrinath; prays for India’s prosperity and well-being

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ramnath Kovind along with family paid obeisance at the famous Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines in Uttarakhand today and prayed for the country’s prosperity and well being.Accompanied by Governor K K Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, the president along with his wife Savita and other family members arrived at Kedarnath in a MI- 17 at around 8 AM.After getting down at the helipad located behind the high altitude temple amid overcast conditions, the president and his family members took a round of the newly built Kedarpuri in all terrain vehicles to have a look at the reconstruction work.The shrine had witnessed massive devastation in the June 2013 flash floods.After taking a round of Kedarpuri, Kovind and his family worshipped Baba Kedarnath, one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’ in the country. He spent around 20 minutes inside the sanctum sanctorum of the famed temple performing ‘rudrabhishek’ of Lord Shiva.Traditional delicacies of Uttarakhand were offered to the president as ‘prasad’, deputy chief executive officer of the temple committee Anil Sharma said.The president then left for Gauchar where he and his family took rest for a while at the ITBP guest house before setting out for Badrinath.Kovind spent around twenty minutes at Badrinath to offer prayers before leaving for the Jollygrant airport.The president’s visit was smooth even as many parts of Uttarakhand received rain today.Before embarking on his journey to the Himalayan shrines, the president and his wife planted sandalwood saplings at the Raj Bhawan here.The president and his family began their two-day visit to the state yesterday with a visit to the ‘Har Ki Pairi’ in Haridwar.It was the Kovind’s first visit to Uttarakhand after assuming office. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat later thanked the President for visiting the famous Himalayan shrines despite bad weather saying it will go a long way in sending the message of a safe ‘Chardham Yatra’ to the outside world.

PM Modi remembers ‘consummate soldier’ Arjan Singh, others pay tribute

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In one of his tweets mourning 98-year-old Singh’s death, Modi remembered how the ageing war hero stood up to salute him despite his illness. “Sometime back I met him, who despite his ill health tried to get up to salute even though I said no. Such was his soldier discipline,” he said.Marshal Singh, the hero of 1965 India-Pakistan war and the only Air Force officer to be promoted to five-star rank, died here this evening at a hospital here after suffering a cardiac arrest. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in mourning the demise of war hero Marshal Arjan Singh and hailed his role in the 1965 India-Pakistan conflict.Ninety-eight-year-old Singh died this evening at a hospital here after suffering a cardiac arrest.”Sad at demise of a great air warrior & Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh. Condolences to his family & IAF community.”Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh was a WW II hero & won our nation’s gratitude for his military leadership in 1965 war,” Kovind said in a series of tweets.Modi said India would never forget his excellent leadership in the 1965 war when the Indian Air Force saw substantial action.”India mourns the unfortunate demise of Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. We remember his outstanding service to the nation,” he tweeted.The prime minister said the determined focus of Singh, who was promoted to the five-star rank of Marshal of the Air Force in 2002, on capacity building in the IAF added great strength to India’s defence capabilities.”India will never forget the excellent leadership of Arjan Singh in 1965, when the IAF saw substantial action,” he said.Modi also recalled how the ageing war hero remained a consummate soldier till the very end.”Sometime back I met him, who despite his ill health tried to get up to salute even though I said no. Such was his soldier discipline,” he said.Modi said his thoughts were with Singh’s family and those mourning the demise of the distinguished air warrior and a fine human being.Besides them, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, BJP chief Amit Shah and chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala were among those who condoled the death of the war veteran.”It is very rare for any country to have a soldier of that kind of credentials. It is a great loss for the country,” Sitharaman said.She too remembered how the war hero would always comport himself like a true soldier.”I have seen him standing up and saluting the president and prime minister in official functions. He would never forget the decorum of a much-acclaimed soldier who knew what it takes to be in the armed forces,” the defence minister said.Rajnath said he was deeply pained at Singh’s demise.”Marshal of the IAF, Arjan Singh lived his life like a soldier. The tales of his courage will remain immortal. Deeply pained at his demise.”My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members of Shri Arjan Singh. May God give them strength to bear this colossal loss,” the home minister said.Jaitley said Singh was one of the country’s greatest soldiers in recent memory.”Condolences on the sad demise of Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh ji. He was one of the greatest soldiers in the recent memory (sic).”My thoughts & prayers are with the family of Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh ji. A grateful nation will miss him,” the finance minister said on Twitter.Shah, meanwhile, hailed Singh’s rich contribution to the motherland.”Pained by the sad demise of Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh ji. I express my deepest condolences to his family and friends.”Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh ji led the Indian Air Force through his exemplary leadership. His rich contribution to motherland is venerable,” Shah said in a series of tweets.Surjewala said the country has lost a great soldier and a fine diplomat.”Deeply saddened by the passing away of @_IndianAirForce Marshall #ArjanSingh ji. India has lost a great soldier and a fine diplomat today,” he tweeted.Goa Chief Minister and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar said the nation has lost a great icon.”As defence minister, I saw him on a number of occasions and always wondered how a man of his age could think of modernisation of the air force and talk about defence, the air force in particular. We have lost a great icon,” Parrikar said.

22 drown as overloaded boat capsizes in Yamuna

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A total of 22 people died when a boat carrying them capsized in the Yamuna near Katha village in Baghpat district, western Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday morning. Soon after the incident, angry villagers indulged in arson and heavy stone-pelting, injuring several policemen and some media persons.District Magistrate Bhawani Singh confirmed the deaths of 22 people. He added that some 20 people who were rescued and referred to Delhi and Meerut were in critical condition.”The boat was small and had the capacity to carry a dozen people, but it was overloaded with 55-60 passengers, a good number of them carrying bags of fertilizer. When it reached midway, it capsized,” Singh said.Boat is the only means for villagers here to reach their fields. Many daily labourers also accompany farmers to earn their livelihood.Villagers claimed that the boat owner had been warned several times in the past about overloading, but he would still take more passengers to make more money. “In complete disregard for the safety of passengers, he would also allow people to carry their heavy luggage and farm equipment. Today, many farmers loaded bags of fertilizer onto the overloaded boat. It could not bear the weight and went down. We saw people shouting for help, but no one dared to jump into the river, which has many huge pits due to illegal mining in the riverbed,” said Raghuram, an eye-witness.Villagers also claimed that the rescue operation started two hours after the boat sank at 7.45 am although they had informed district authorities almost immediately.”Many lives could have been saved if the rescue operation started early,” said Surendra Kumar.Angry villagers held massive demonstration with the bodies of those who died in the tragedy, bringing traffic to a halt. They pelted stones and set several trucks and an ambulance on fire. Some of them also turned their ire on media persons who were covering the arson, damaging their video cameras. Three policemen, one camera person and an ambulance driver sufffered injuries in stone-pelting.Singh said, “rescue operations will continue till we are sure that all the bodies have been recovered. We will make another attempt on Friday morning.”Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was busy with President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Lucknow, expressed condolences and announced Rs 2 lakh compensation to the families of those who died.

Eid al-Adha 2017: Pak rangers and BSF exchange sweets at Wagah border, celebs wish nation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Saturday, the nation celebrated Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha. PM Modi, President Kovind and a host of politicos and non-politicos wished the nation on the occasion. Pak rangers and BSF officials also exchanged sweets at the border.Like Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Zuha or Eid al-Adha begins with a prayer of two rakats, followed by a sermon.Traditionally, the festival of Eid al-Adha is celebrated two days after the beginning of the Hajj pilgrimage. The starting date of this festival depends on the sighting of the new crescent moon. It begins on the 10th day of the one of the holiest months of the Islam calendar.Eid al-Adha, also called the “Sacrifice Feast,” is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year and is considered the holier of the two. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of obedience to God’s command.Officials exchange sweets at Wagah border (PTI)(PTI)Meanwhile, Pakistani rangers exchange sweets with Border Security Force (BSF) officials on the occasion of Bakrid at Indo-Pak Attari-Wagha border on Saturday. On the occasion of holy Id-ul-Zuha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the nation and wished for harmony and brotherhood in the society.He took to Twitter on Saturday to express, ‘Best wishes on Id-ul-Zuha. May the spirit of harmony, brotherhood and togetherness be furthered in our society.’President Ramnath Kovind on Saturday greeted the nation as well as Indian Muslims living abroad, on the occasion of Id-ul-Zuha.‘Greetings to all my fellow citizens, especially to my Muslim brothers and sisters in India and abroad, on Idu’l Zuha,’ he wrote on Twitter.ith Eid-al-Adha being celebrated across the country today, a number of political leaders extended their greetings to the people.Congress President Sonia Gandhi said, ‘Eid is an occasion to remember the spirit of supreme sacrifice by Hazrat Ibrahim. The festival teaches us to be humble, charitable and to work for the greater good of humankind.”She added, ‘I extend my warm wishes and hope that this auspicious occasion will usher peace, harmony and equity amongst all.’Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parikkar also extended his wishes to the people.‘Warm greetings to everyone on the occasion of Id-ul-Zuha,’ he said.Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi and Anupam Kher on Saturday wished their fans on Eid al-Adha, hoping that this year will be filled with love, joy, prosperity and peace.Some of wishes posted on Twitter are:Bollywood mega star, Amitabh Bachchan, wished his fans by tweeting, ‘T 2535 – Eid al Adha Mubarak!!’‘Mubarakan’ actor Anil Kapoor, wrote, ‘Wherever you are in the world, and however you choose to celebrate today, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and peaceful. Eid Al-Adha!’‘Meri taraf se aap Sabhi logon ko. EID MUBARAK !!! Best wishes and lots of love,’ tweeted Emraan Hashmi.Veteran actor Anupam Kher, extended his wishes by writing, ‘Eid Mubarak to all. Love, peace and happiness always.’‘Indu Sarkar’ director Madhur Bhandarkar, wrote, ‘Eid Mubarak. Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Eid. Peace, happiness, prosperity.’Eid al-Adha, also called the “Sacrifice Feast,” is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year and is considered the holier of the two.It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of obedience to God’s command.

PM Modi, President Kovind extend wishes on Id-ul-Zuha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the occasion of holy Id-ul-Zuha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind greeted the nation and wished for harmony and brotherhood in the society. Id-ul-Zuha honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before he sacrificed his son In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is retained by the family.Like Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Zuha or Eid al-Adha begins with a prayer of two rakats, followed by a sermon.Traditionally, the festival of Eid al-Adha is celebrated two days after the beginning of the Hajj pilgrimage. The starting date of this festival depends on the sighting of the new crescent moon. It begins on the 10th day of the one of the holiest months of the Islam calendar.

TN Oppn meets Prez, seeks floor test in Assembly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu’s Opposition parties led by DMK met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday urging him to direct Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to convene the State Assembly immediately to hold a trust vote to test the strength of Edappadi K Palanisami government, especially after 19 AIADMK MLAs withdrew support.While Opposition leaders were meeting Kovind, CM Palanisami was holding meetings with MLAs from each district who supported him in a bid to prevent them from switching loyalty to ousted deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran.The delegation — comprising of CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI national secretary D Raja, Congress leader Anand Sharma and DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi — accused the Governor of being partisan for refusing to hold a floor test. In a memorandum submitted to Kovind, they said that after the rebellion by 21 AIADMK MLAs, the Palanisami government has the support of only 113 MLAs as opposed to the 117 MLAs it requires for the simple majority in the House of 234 members including a vacant seat.Speaking to reporters, Raja said, “Tamil Nadu politics is in dire situation today, and its foundation has been questioned. The Governor should have acted in accordance with the Constitution by calling for a floor test.”Immediately after the opposition delegation visit, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy called on the President to apprise him about the political scene in Tamil Nadu.

TN Oppn MLAs call on Guv, press for floor test

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A delegation of MLAs belonging to DMK-led Opposition on Sunday called on Governor Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan here and urged him to direct Chief Minister EK Palaniswami to prove his majority on the floor of the House, even as the rebellion in the AIADMK reached new low with sidelined party deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran ‘sacking’ Palaniswami from a party post.Upset over loosening grip over the ruling AIADMK, Dinakaran, nephew of party general secretary VK Sasikala, sought to replace Chief Minister Palaniswami, who has dumped Sasikala loyalists for O Panneerselvam-led faction, with the support of 22 dissident MLAs.The DMK said it would be forced to approach President Ram Nath Kovind, or even move the court if the Governor fails to act in time. The party has been demanding a floor test ever since 19 dissident AIADMK MLAs loyal to Dinakaran met Governor on August 21 withdrawing their support to the government. The number of dissident MLAs has gone up to 22 thereby reducing the Palaniswami government to a minority as it enjoys a support of 113 MLAs which is four short of the magic number of 117 required for the majority.Opposition parties’ delegation comprised of deputy opposition leader Duraimurugan, DMK’s Rajya Sabha MPs Kanimozhi and RS Bharathi, Congress whip S Vijayadharani and IUML MLA KAM Mohammed Abubacker. “We gave the figures showing that the government enjoys the support of only 113 MLAs. The Governor said only 19 MLAs had given letters, but we told him that three more have joined our ranks,” said Duraimurugan. Rao assured them that he would scrutinise the matter and take appropriate action, he told reporters emerging from the Raj Bhavan.Meanwhile, addressing a function near Tiruvarur on Sunday, Stalin said his party might have to approach President Kovind and later the court to “protect democracy” if suitable action was not initiated by Rao. Stalin and Congress legislative party leader K R Ramasamy had written to Governor seeking floor test.Ahead of the crucial meeting of MLAs, MPs and office-bearers called by the ruling AIADMK on Monday to decide on convening the general council to formally oust Sasikala, Dinakaran on Sunday removed Palaniswami from the Salem Suburban district secretary post. However, there was no word on Palaniswami’s headquarters secretary post. Tourism Minister Vellamandi Natarajan dismissed Dinakaran’s action, saying he should be admitted in a mental asylum. “During the RK Nagar by poll, Dinakaran did not use the picture of Sasikala. Now he is talking about Sasikala for sake of power,” he said.

Nepal PM Deuba calls on President Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is currently on a five-day state visit to India, called on President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhwan in New Delhi on Thursday. Welcoming the Nepalese Prime Minister, the President congratulated him on becoming the Prime Minister of Nepal for the 4th time. He expressed happiness that the Prime Minister of Nepal is the first foreign dignitary to stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan during his Presidency, and thanked Prime Minister Deuba for accepting his invitation. The President congratulated the Government and people of Nepal for successfully conducting two phases of local elections. He also conveyed his best wishes for the conduct of the upcoming provincial and federal elections in Nepal. The President of India condoled to the loss of lives and destruction of property during recent floods in Nepal. He said the Government and people of India were committed to stand by Nepal. The President expressed satisfaction on the state of India-Nepal relations which have seen eight high level visits in the past three years. He said that India-Nepal relations derive their strength from a shared history, common culture, trade links and an open border. This is symbolised by the ?national? treatment both countries give to each other?s citizens. India is looking forward to expanding its economic and development cooperation with Nepal, as per Nepal?s national priorities. The President expressed happiness at the large number of Nepalese students studying in India. He emphasised that the Government of India provides several scholarships to Nepalese students, and they are always welcome in India.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prez presents Colours to Ladakh Scouts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind today presented Colours to all five battalions and the regimental centre of the Ladakh Scouts during his first official visit to Leh in Jammu and Kashmir. President Kovind said at the ceremony his Leh visit was also his first outside Delhi since he assumed office last month. “In his capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, he dedicated the visit to the armed forces of the country,” Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Ashok Malik said in a statement. The Presentation of Colours from the President is in recognition of the regimental flag and to commend the regiment for courage displayed during conflicts. The President said it had been 54 years since the Ladakh Scouts became a part of the Indian Army. “This period has been replete with tales of heroism, honour and glory. The genesis of the Regiment was in the invasion by Pakistani raiders in 1947-48 and the resolve with which Ladakhis defended their motherland. This continues to remain a matter of pride for the entire country,” he said. Complimenting the Ladakh Scouts for 605 awards and honours for gallantry and distinguished services, the President said, “This speaks for the exceptional valour and spirit of the Regiment personnel and is a model for all soldiers and officers of our armed forces”. He pointed out it had earned distinction in various wars and operations and excelled in sports, adventure pursuits and professional challenges. The President said at the Colour Presentation Ceremony that he wished to pay homage to the martyrs of the Ladakh Scouts regiment. “Their blood and sacrifice secured our sovereignty, brought glory to our nation and protected our people from harm,” he said. He also congratulated all veterans and serving soldiers of the regiment for their adherence to duty and professional conduct. Ladakh Scouts was an affiliate of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry till 1999. During the Kargil war, the Ladakh Scouts displayed exemplary courage after which the then Army Chief, General V P Malik, moved a proposal for establishing it as a separate regiment. The President also released a documentary film on Colonel Sonam Wangchuk, MVC, produced by Somesh Saha, and interacted with veterans and ‘Veer Naris’, besides gallantry awardees. Later, he laid the foundation stone for the Buddha Park for World Peace at Leh’s Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, the statement said. Among the dignitaries present were Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

President Kovind presents colours to Ladakh Scouts regiment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> President Ram Nath Kovind presented “The President?s Colours” to Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre and all five battalions of the regiment here on Monday. A ceremonial parade was conducted as per the highest military traditions of the Indian Army which was attended by a spectrum of civil and military dignitaries, including Jammu and Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Chief of The Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command, Lt. Gen. Devraj Anbu, General Officer Commanding 14 Corps, Lt. Gen. P. S. Pannu, besides a large number of serving and retired personnel witnessed the grand ceremony.Raised as Nubra Guards in 1948, amalgamated into the Indian Army as regular troops in 1963 and restructured as an infantry regiment in the year 2000 post Operation VIJAY, the Ladakh Scouts have carved a niche for themselves in the annals of history of the Indian Army. President Kovind complimented the Ladakh Scouts personnel for their outstanding performance in all spheres and their exceptional valour and sacrifice while upholding the sovereignty of the nation in the Ladakh region, especially in the Siachen Glacier. He appreciated the exceptional gallantry and indomitable courage displayed by the brave NUNNUS during all major wars and operations since independence which have earned them 605 gallantry and distinguished service awards besides,Battle Honours of Batalik and Turtuk, Theatre Honour Kargil and the coveted Chief of the Army Staff Banner for Valour and Sacrifice, making them one of the most decorated regiments of the Indian Army. President Kovind also released a documentary movie on Col. Sonam Wangchuk (MVC) and also interacted with veterans and Veer Naris, besides the gallantry awardees and complimented them. He exhorted all personnel to continue to striving hard in pursuit of excellence in all spheres and take a solemn vow to defend the sovereignty of the nation against all odds in the true spirit signified by the colours presented to the regiment.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

President Kovind visits Apiary in President’s Estate on Honey Bee Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday visited the Apiary in the President?s Estate today on the occasion of World Honey Bee Day. The Apiary was established as a unique project in the President?s Estate for the first time with the help of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) as the Government is promoting the ?Honey Mission? in the country. At present, 200 bee boxes have been set up which will increase to 500. The Apiary will produce high quality honey, wax, pollen etc as well as help increase flora, fauna in Rashtrapati Bhavan through pollination.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

President to give mines safety awards tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind will confer National Safety Awards (Mines)-2013 & 2014 in the capital tomorrow. The award recognises any notable and exemplary performance for prevention of accidents in mines, a Labour Ministry statement said. In all, 37 winner prizes and 34 runner-up prizes will be given to the winning mines in a function organised by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. The award for each mine is received jointly by one management representative and one workers representative, it said. A variety of safety educational/promotional measures have been conceived, formulated and promoted by the government from time to time for the cause of safety, and National Safety Awards (Mines) is one such measure, the statement said. The awards were given for the first time in 1984 for the contest years 1982 and 1983 and thereafter, regularly every year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ram Nath Kovind’s first ‘At Home’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and A large number of dignitaries attended the ‘At-Home’ hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind to mark the 70th Independence Day of the nation. This was Kovind’s first At Home in the Rashtrapati Bhawan. While Modi was the cynosure of all eyes, United States Chargé d’Affaires in New Delhi MaryKay Carson won hearts by wearing a tassar saree to the event. She had worn a Kanjeevaram saree for the Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort as well. In a series of tweets in the evening, she shared that she was wearing a tassar saree for the ‘At Home’ event at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. She later also shared a picture of her in the saree while she exchanged greetings with President Ram Nath Kovind.Tassar, she said, had finished second on the Twitter saree poll that she has posted earlier.Pakistan’s Acting High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah and wife Palwasha Haider also attended the grand event, as did many other Ambassadors.

Prez Nath Kovind, three Service Chiefs pay tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> President of India Ram Nath Kovind and the three Service Chiefs paid tribute at the Amar Jawan Jyoti on Tuesday, on the occasion of India?s 71st Independence Day. Along with Army chief General Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and IAF Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley also accompanied the PM Kovind for the event. On Monday, in his maiden address to the nation, President Ram Nath Kovind, while congratulating the nation on the eve of its 71st Independence Day, urged the people to pledge to achieve important goals to make a ‘New India’. “It is our national pledge to achieve important goals to make a ‘New India’. There is no place for poverty in ‘New India’,” President Kovind said. Praising the freedom fighters of India, President Kovind said the nation is indebted to those who laid down their lives for achieving this independence. “It is time that we must take inspiration from those who gave their lives for the nation and move forward,” he said. He even lauded the Centre’s Swachch Bharat campaign and said that it is not just the Government’s duty to keep the nation clean but every citizen should strive to make India clean and pollution free. “Government can make, implement and strengthen laws but it is everyone’s duty to abide by them,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Independence Day 2017: Inclusion of everyone necessary in building new India, says President Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind today pitched for a partnership between citizens and the government to create a New India by 2022 that is a “compassionate society” and includes the “humanist component integral to the nation’s DNA”.In his maiden address to the Nation on the eve of 71st Independence Day, Kovind remembered the role of leaders of Independence struggle including Jawaharlal Nehru.He said the generation that brought us to freedom was diverse which included men and women from all parts of the country and a variety of “political and social thought”.
ALSO READ Independence Day 2017: Donald Trump calls PM Modi to wish India Asking people to draw inspiration from freedom fighters, Kovind said there was a need to invoke the same spirit today for nation building.”The stress on the moral basis of policy and action, belief in unity and discipline, faith in a synthesis of heritage and science, and promotion of the rule of law and of education all of it is located in a partnership between citizen and government,” he said.
ALSO READ Independence Day 2017: Full text of President Ram Nath Kovind’s speech to the nationKovind said that is how India has been built–by a partnership between citizen and government, between individual and society, between a family and the wider community.”Today, in big cities we may not even know our neighbours. Whether in cities or villages, it is important to renew that sense of caring and sharing. This will make us a gentler and happier society and help us understand each other with greater empathy,” he said.Kovind said this spirit of empathy and of social service and volunteerism is very much alive in India.”There are so many people and organisations that work quietly and diligently for the poor and the disadvantaged.We should also work with unity and purpose to ensure that the benefits of government policies reach all sections of society,” he said.He said partnership between citizens with government remains crucial to the success of several flagship announcements of the Narendra Modi government like voluntarily giving up LPG subsidy, demonetisation, introduction of GST besides schemes like ‘beti bacaho beti padhao’, ‘Swachh Bharat’ among others.”I am happy that the transition to the GST system has been smooth. It should be a matter of pride for all of us that the taxes we pay are used for nation building–to help the poor and the marginalised, to build rural and urban infrastructure, and to strengthen our border defences,” he said.The President said in the year 2022, the country will complete 75 years of Independence and “it is our national resolve to attain certain desired milestones for a New India by then”.He said a New India means some obvious parameters like a house for every family, power on demand, better roads and telecom, a modern railway network, rapid and sustained growth.”And yet there is more. New India must include that integral humanist component that is in our DNA, and which has defined our country and our civilisation. New India must be a society rushing towards the future, but also a compassionate society,” Kovind said.He said it is only with all this that we will build the New India we can cherish where every Indian is equipped to fulfil his or her potential and do so in a manner that leaves each one of us content and happy.”I am confident that a strong partnership between citizens and the government will allow us to meet the goals of New India,” he said.Kovind lauded “immense patience and understanding” of the citizens in the days following demonetisation and “whole- hearted support” in the battle against corruption and black money. He said it reflected a responsible and enlightened society.”Demonetisation has boosted our efforts to build an honest society. We must sustain this spirit and this momentum,” he said.Appreciating the families which gave away LPG subsidy, Kovind said, “Each of us must find a way to give back to society. Each of us must choose one thing we can do to help another, less fortunate Indian”.The single most critical factor for building our nation is to equip our coming generation. We need to ensure that not one child is left behind. As such I would urge you, as fellow nation builders, to help educate underprivileged children in our society, he said.The President urged people to help at least one child other than their own get educated by enrolling in school, paying their fees and buying them books.

Venkaiah Naidu sworn in as vice president

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>M Venkaiah Naidu was today sworn in as the 15th vice president of India. President Ramnath Kovind administered the oath of office to Naidu, 68, at a brief ceremony in the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan attended by political leaders cutting across party lines. Wearing his trademark white panche (lungi) and white shirt, Naidu took oath in Hindi in the name of god. While he is the 15th vice president, he is the 13th person to hold the constitutional post. His predecessor Hamid Ansari and the first vice president S Radhakrishnan had held the post for two consecutive terms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ex vice president Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, BJP veteran L K Advani, several union ministers, governors and chief ministers attended the ceremony. SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, NCP’s Tariq Anwar, CPI leader D Raja, TMC leaders Sudip Bandhopadhyay and Derek O’ Brien and AIADMK’s O Panneerselvam were also seen. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar — who has joined hands with the BJP in his state — also attended the ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan. After the ceremony, President Kovind, Prime Minister Modi, ex vice president Ansari, vice presdent Naidu, and Advani were seen seated together. Naidu’s wife M Usha was also present. Born in a humble agricultural family in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, Naidu has served as BJP president, minister in various portfolios and a long-time Rajya Sabha member. This remarkable career in politics has been more than four decades in the making. It began in the 1970s when BJP’s precursor Jana Sangh was a marginal player with little clout in the south and a young party worker kept himself busy putting up posters of stalwarts such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani. Naidu has come a long way since those days of political obscurity.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Uttarakhand CM meets President Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat today met President Ram Nath Kovind and invited him to visit Badrinath-Kedarnath pilgrimage sites. Speaking to reporters after meeting the president, Rawat said that Kovind has accepted his invitation and is expected to visit Uttarakhand in September. To a query over the issue of Chinese incursion in Uttarakhand, Rawat said it is the “issue of the country” and any decision regarding it will be taken by the Centre. He also met Union Minister Uma Bharti and discussed various projects related to the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mamata calls on Prez Kovind, says it was wonderful meeting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called on President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan this evening and said it was “wonderful” meeting. “Today I called on the Hon’ble President of India to pay my courtesies. It was a wonderful meeting,” she wrote on Facebook. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo said she also invited Kovind to visit Kolkata. “I have extended a hearty invitation to the Hon’ble President to visit Kolkata,” she said. Banerjee is in the national capital to attend a meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi tomorrow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

President Kovind felicitates freedom fighters at first ‘At Home’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday felicitated 93 freedom fighters from across the country at his first ‘At Home’, presenting each of them with a gift that carried a personalised message from him, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesman said.The President of the country hosts a function today on the anniversary of the Quit India Movement. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the movement, which called for an end to British rule in India. The President’s press secretary, Ashok Malik, said in a statement that each of the freedom fighters was gifted an electric kettle with a personalised message from Kovind. “I extend warm greetings to you on the 75th Anniversary of the Quit India Movement. The nation is proud of our freedom fighters and salutes them. This small token is our people s appreciation of your successful struggle against colonialism.I wish you happiness, good health and a long life,” was the President’s message on each gift. The function was attended by outgoing Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other dignitaries. The President also released a set of eight commemorative postage stamps to mark the occasion.

From PM to Prez, how netas celebrated Rakshabandhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rakshabandhan was celebrated with great fanfare throughout India on Monday, with brothers and sister rejoicing the special day together.Sharbati Devi, 103, tied rakhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in New Delhi’s Lok Kalyan Marg. A few months ago her son had written to the PM, informing about his mother’s wish. Obliging his request, PM invited Devi to his home and celebrated the festival. A Pakistani-origin woman also tied rakhi to Modi. She has been tying rakhi to ‘Narendra Bhai’ for more than two decades now. The woman, who was married to a painter in India, felt lonely when she settled in Ahmedabad after marriage, and often missed her family. Qamar Mohsin Shaikh met PM Modi, a RSS karyakarta then, through her husband. After knowing him for quite some time, it was on the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan, Shaikh approached ‘Narendra Bhai’ with a rakhi, and he readily put his hand forward. Since then she has been tying rakhi to her ‘brother’ for last 22-23 years.Modi celebrated the festival with widows from Vrindavan who came to Delhi to tie rakhi on his wrist. The PM also met schoolchildren to celebrate Rakshabandhan.Members of Gujarat’s Koli community met and greeted President Ramnath Kovind and his wife on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan on Monday. President Kovind hails from the same community.A delegation of 116 women and 27 men, representing the Koli Samaj in Gujarat, tied the traditional rakhi on the hands of both President Kovind and his wife, Savita Kovind. The Koli community refers to a section of people belonging to OBC, a huge chunk of which lives in Gujarat.In Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu celebrated Raksha Bandhan with TDP women cadre.Members of BJP’s minority cell joined Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to celebrate Rakshabandhan.In a symbolic gesture of extending gratitude to PM Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for their efforts towards ending the practice of triple talaq, Muslim women from Lucknow sent rakhis to the two leaders, wishing them to continue the good work they initiated.

With new Prez in office, heritage experts draw up wish list

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As President Ram Nath Kovind settles down in the grand sandstone complex that is now his home, conservationists hope that the present occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan, like his predecessors, will usher in change that renews the old. From restoration of the Bhavan’s main building to allowing greater accessibility through open house sessions, heritage experts have a wish list drawn up for Kovind. The nearly 90-year-old Raj-era landmark in the heart of New Delhi was given a makeover in select areas by earlier presidents, they pointed out. While Pranab Mukherjee focused on enhancing its architectural grandeur during his term, A P J Abdul Kalam added a herb garden in the complex to add to the horticultural splendour of the President’s Estate spread over 330 acres. Conservationist Swapna Liddle expressed the hope that the new president would consider restoring the main building, proposed by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). “INTACH has worked on the restoration of the President’s Estate through various projects, some completed, some still underway. And now we have proposed the restoration of the main building of the Bhavan,” Liddle, INTACH’s Delhi Chapter convener, said. At the last function of outgoing president Mukherjee at the Bhavan, a voluminous ‘Conservation Management Plan’ prepared by the INTACH was presented to him, she said. “He in turn handed it over to the then President-elect,” Liddle told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

From Mamata-Modi bonhomie to chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai: Highlights of President Kovind’s swearing-in ceremony

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pomp and grandeur characterised the oath-taking ceremony of Ram Nath Kovind who took office of the President of India today.The ceremony at the Central Hall of Parliament had its share of interesting moments as Kovind, the first leader from the BJP and only the second Dalit occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan, began his stint as the 14th President of the republic.Following are the sidelights of the event:BJP leaders greet PM with thumping of deskAs Prime Minister Narendra Modi entered the hall before the start of the function, he was welcomed by BJP MPs, chief ministers and Union ministers with thumping of desk.Modi, Mamata exchange pleasantriesWhen Modi was about to leave the venue after the function got over, he spotted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee among the attendees. Modi waved to her and the feisty TMC leader promptly responded with a ‘Namaste’. Putting their political acrimony behind, the two moved forward and chatted briefly.However, there were frosty vibes between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, who lost the presidential race to Kovind. Though the two Bihar leaders sat next to each other, there was hardly any talk between the two. Nitish had supported Kovind, a former Bihar governor against Meira Kumar.Rahul has four suspended Congress MPs as company: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was seen occupying his place in one of the rear rows with four party MPs who were among the six to have been suspended for their “highly unbecoming” conduct in Parliament over recent mob lynchings yesterday. These included M K Raghavan, Gaurav Gogoi, Sushmita Dev and Ranjeet Ranjan.Mamata Banerjee was seen seated with her party MPs in the rear rows of the hall while most other chief ministers were in the front rows. As soon as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal entered the hall, Banerjee’s close confidant Derek O’Brien invited him to be seated with her. The two leaders, bitter critics of the prime minister, were seen chatting animatedly for a long time.Modi was seated with former president pratibha Patil and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda in the front row. Many were surprised at the arrival of Patil after Kovind had already taken oath.BJP president Amit Shah was seen seated with veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, both members of the party’s ‘Marg Darshak Mandal’, the panel constituted to advise the party. Giving them company was M Venkaiah Naidu, the NDA’s vice presidential nominee.Naidu was seen engaged in conversation with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who occupied the seat beside him.The new president’s wife Savita Kovind, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party MP Satish Chandra Mishra were seen seated in the front row.(Source: PIB)Judges of the Supreme Court were seated in the second and third rows. Modi exchanged pleasantries with them after the ceremony.Three service chiefs – General Bipin Rawat, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and Admiral Sunil Lanba – were seated in one of the middle rows.Among the governors who attended the function were C Vidyasagar Rao (Maharashtra), N N Vohra (Jammu and Kashmir, S C Jamir (Odisha), P Sathasivam (Kerala), Keshri Nath Tripathi (West Bengal), Najma Heptullah (Manipur), Banwarilal Purohit (Assam), P B Acharya (Nagaland) and Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi among others.Among the chief ministers in attendance were: Devendra Fadnavis (Maharashtra), E K Palaniswami (Tamil Nadu), Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan), Sarbananda Sonowal (Assam), K Chandrashekar Rao (Telangana), Vijay Rupani (Gujarat), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), P K Chamling (Sikkim), Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh) and N Biren Singh (Manipur).Yogi Adityanath is the toast of BJP MPs:Notwithstanding the presence of a galaxy of frontline leaders, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was the toast of BJP MPs. As the function got over, he was virtually mobbed by BJP lawmakers, many of whom touched his feet while others had a warm handshake. Adityanath sat beside Rajasthan Governor and former BJP stalwart Kalyan Singh.BJP MPs chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’:As has become quite common these days, some BJP MPs chanted “Jai Shree Ram” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, slogans that many see as reflective of divisive politics, after the formalities of swearing-in Kovind had concluded.

Former CM Panneerselvam calls on Kovind, Venkaiah Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rebel AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Monday called on President Ramnath Kovind and NDA’s Vice Presidential nominee, M Venkaiah Naidu. Panneerselvam greeted Kovind on his victory during their meeting in Delhi yesterday, a release from his AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) camp here said today. Kovind, who defeated opposition candidate Meira Kumar in the election last week, was sworn-in as President today. Panneerselvam, accompanied by senior colleagues and MPs owing allegiance to him, later met Naidu and wished him success in the August 5 election to be held for the post of the Vice-President. The faction, which has 12 MPs, has already extended support to Naidu. The Panneerselvam camp had earlier supported Kovind.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jharkhand CM congratulates Kovind on being sworn in as Prez

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das today congratulated Ram Nath Kovind on being sworn in as the 14th President of the country. Das congratulated the president on behalf of the people of the state, an official release said here. Kovind was administered the oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the constitution and law” by Chief Justice of India J S Kehar in an impressive ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

FULL TEXT: President Ram Nath Kovind’s first speech after taking oath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ram Nath Kovind was on Tuesday sworn in as India’s 14th president, the first BJP leader and the second Dalit in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Kovind was administered the oath by Chief Justice of India JS Kehar in an impressive ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament.Here’s the full text of Kovind’s maiden speech as president.Respected Shri Pranab Mukherjee ji, Shri Hamid Ansari ji, Shri Narendra Modi ji, Shrimati Sumitra Mahajan ji, Shri Justice J. S. Khehar ji, Excellencies, Hon’ble Members of Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Fellow Citizens I thank you for electing me to the responsibility of the President of India, and I enter this office with all humility. Coming here to Central Hall has brought back so many memories. I have been a Member of Parliament and here, in this very Central Hall, have had discussions with many of you. Often we agreed, sometimes we disagreed. But we learnt to respect each other. And that is the beauty of democracy. I grew up in a mud house, in a small village. My journey has been a long one, and yet this journey is hardly mine alone. It is so telling of our nation and our society also. For all its problems, it follows that basic mantra given to us in the Preamble to the Constitution – of ensuring Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and I will always continue to follow this basic mantra. I bow to the 125 crore citizens of this great nation and promise to stay true to the trust they have bestowed on me. I am conscious I am following in the footsteps of stalwarts such as Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, and my immediate predecessor, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, whom we address out of affection as ‘Pranab Da’. Our Independence was the result of efforts by thousands of patriotic freedom fighters led by Mahatma Gandhi. Later, Sardar Patel integrated our nation. Principal architect of our Constitution Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar instilled in us the value of human dignity and of the republican ethic. These leaders did not believe that simply political freedom was enough. For them, it was crucial to also achieve economic and social freedom for millions of our people. We would be completing 70 years of our Independence soon. We are also well into the second decade of the 21st century, a century that so many of us intuitively believe will be an Indian century, guided and shaped by India and its accomplishments. We need to build an India that is an economic leader as well as a moral exemplar. For us, those two touchstones can never be separate. They are and must forever be linked. The key to India’s success is its diversity. Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique. In this land we find a mix of states and regions, religions, languages, cultures, lifestyles and much more. We are so different and yet so similar and united. The India of the 21st century will be one that is in conformity with our ancient values as well as compliant with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There is no dichotomy there, no question of choice. We must combine tradition and technology, the wisdom of an age-old Bharat and the science of a contemporary India. As the gram panchayat must determine our consultative and community based problem solving, the Digital Republic must help us leapfrog developmental milestones. These are the twin pillars of our national endeavour. Nations are not built by governments alone. The government can at best be a facilitator, and a trigger for society’s innate entrepreneurial and creative instincts. Nation building requires national pride: — We take pride in the soil and water of India; — We take pride in the diversity, religious harmony and inclusive ethos of India; — We take pride in the culture, heritage and spirituality of India; — We take pride in our fellow citizens; — We take pride in our work; and — We take pride in the little things we do every day. Each citizen of India is a nation builder. Each one of us is a custodian of India’s well-being and of the legacy that we will pass on to coming generations. — The armed forces that protect our borders and keep us safe are nation builders. — Those police and paramilitary forces that fight terrorism and crime are nation builders. — That farmer toiling in the blazing sun to feed fellow citizens is a nation builder. And we must never forget that so much of our farm labour comprises women. — That scientist concentrating tirelessly and 24 x 7 to send an Indian space mission to Mars, or invent a vaccine, is a nation builder. — That nurse or doctor helping the sick to recover and fighting disease in a remote village, is a nation builder. — That young person who founds a start-up and becomes a job creator is a nation builder. The start-up could be on a small farm, converting mangoes to pickles. Or in an artisans’ village, weaving carpets. Or at a laboratory lit up by giant screens. — That tribal and ordinary citizen striving to preserve our ecology, our forests, our wildlife, to push back climate change and to advance the cause of renewable energy, is a nation builder. — That committed and driven public servant who works beyond the call of duty, whether on a flooded road, directing traffic; or in a quiet room, poring over detailed files, is a nation builder. — That self-less teacher who equips young children and shapes their destinies, is a nation builder. — Those countless women who take care of families with so many other responsibilities, at home and work, and raise children to become ideal citizens, are nation builders. People elect their representatives from the Gram Panchayat to Parliament. They vest their will and hopes in these representatives. In turn, the people’s representatives devote their lives to the service of nation. But, our endeavours are not for ourselves alone. Down the ages, India has believed in the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (वसुधैव कुटुंबकम) – the World is My Family. It is appropriate that the land of Lord Buddha should lead the world in its search for peace, tranquility and ecological balance. India’s voice counts in today’s world. The entire planet is drawn to Indian culture and soft power. The global community looks to us for solutions to international problems – whether terrorism, money laundering or climate change. In a globalised world, our responsibilities are also global. This links us to our global family, our friends and partners abroad, and our diaspora, that contributes in so many ways across the world. It brings us to the support of other nations, whether by extending the umbrella of the International Solar Alliance or being first responders following natural disasters. We have achieved a lot as a nation, but the effort to do more, to do better and to do faster should be relentless. This is especially so as we approach the 75th Year of our independence in 2022. What must also bother us is our ability to enhance access and opportunity for the last person and the last girl-child from an under-privileged family if I may put it so, in the last house in the last village. This must include a quick and affordable justice delivery system in all judicial forums. The citizens of this country are the real source of strength to me. I am confident that they will continue to give me the energy to serve the nation. We need to sculpt a robust, high growth economy, an educated, ethical and shared community, and an egalitarian society, as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deen Dayal Upadhyay ji. These are integral to our sense of humanism. This is the India of our dreams, an India that will provide equality of opportunities. This will be the India of the 21st century. Thank you very much! Jai Hind Vande Mataram

Soul of India resides in pluralism: Pranab Mukherjee pitches for tolerance in farewell speech

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday pooh ‘ poohed all forms of violence and batted for pluralism and tolerance. Addressing the nation on the eve of demitting office as the 13th President of India, President Mukherjee said the soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance. ‘We must free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal. The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance. We derive our strength from tolerance,’ he said. The outgoing President said that non-violent society ensures participation of all section of people.‘Only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people, especially the marginalized and the dispossessed in the democratic process. Power of non-violence has to be resurrected to build a compassionate and caring society.’He also exhorted the people to protect the environment and termed it essential for the survival of mankind. ‘Protection of the environment is essential for our survival. Nature has been kind to us in its bounty. But, when greed exceeds need, nature lets loose its fury,’ President Mukherjee said. Earlier on Saturday, President Mukherjee attended a farewell dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The Prime Minister hosted the ceremony at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, where president-elect Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, senior ministers and Opposition leaders were also present.The president, who is also Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was also given a farewell by the chiefs of the armed forces.He called for upgradation of higher educational institutions to world-class levels and said education is the alchemy that could take India to its next golden age.Delivering his farewell speech on the eve of demitting office as the 13th President of India, he said, ‘Education is the alchemy that can take India to its next golden age. A reordering of society is possible through the transformative power of education. For that, we have to upgrade our higher institutions of learning to world-class levels.’Stressing that the universities should not be a place for rote- memorising but an assembly of inquisitive minds, he said, ‘Our education system must accept disruption as a norm and prepare our students to manage and build upon the disruptions.’ He further said that the institutes of higher learning must promote ‘creative thinking, innovation and scientific temper’.‘It calls for the application of logic through discussion, argument and analysis. These qualities have to be cultivated and the autonomy of the mind has to be encouraged,’ he added.In his farewell speech, Mukherjee also said that everyone has the basic right to lead a healthy and happy life ‘which could be achieved through good governance, social inclusion and poverty eradication’.‘To lead healthy, happy and productive lives is the basic right of our citizens. Happiness is fundamental to the human experience of life. Happiness is equally the outcome of economic and non-economic parameters. The quest for happiness is closely tied to the quest for sustainable development, which is the combination of human well-being, social inclusion and environmental stability,’ he said.The President also emphasized on empowering the poorest of the poor and ensuring that the fruits of our policies reach the last person in the line‘Eradication of poverty would provide a strong boost to happiness. A sustainable environment would prevent damage to planetary resources. Social inclusion would ensure access to the fruits of progress to all,’ he said.Good governance would enable the people to shape their own lives through transparent, accountable and participatory political institutions, the President said.President Mukherjee addressed the nation today on the eve of demitting office of the President.President-elect Ram Nath Kovind will take oath as the 14th President of India on Tuesday (July 25).

Nagaland Guv to attend swearing in ceremony of new President

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nagaland Governor P B Acharya today left for Delhi to attend the swearing in of new President, Ram Nath Kovind, while Chief Minister T R Zeliang will be not be able to attend the function. The swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Ram Nath Kovind will be held tomorrow in Delhi. Raj Bhavan sources said the swearing in ceremony of new Nagaland minister E E Pangteang was held early this morning as the Governor had to leave for Delhi. Zeliang, interacting with reporters on the sidelines of the swearing in function at Raj Bhavan, said “I have to do some ‘home works’ and so will not be able to attend Kovind s swearing in.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

President Mukherjee to address nation today on eve of demitting office

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> President Pranab Mukherjee will address the nation today on the eve of demitting office. In a grand ceremony yesterday, Parliamentarians from both the Houses – Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha – gathered at the Central Hall to bid farewell to the outgoing Raisina Hill occupant. Overwhelmed with the ceremony, President Mukherjee thanked everybody present in the Hall, most particularly the Parliament for ‘creating’ him and spoke about his warm association with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while also lauding him for various “transformational changes.” “If I claim I am the creation of this Parliament, perhaps it will not be treated as immodesty. The Parliament gave a direction to my political vision as I got to learn a lot from the serious discussions held in both Houses of the Parliament,” he said, adding, he attended the first session of the Parliament on July 22, 1969. “For the last 37 years, I have been a part of five Rajya Sabhas, four times from Bengal and once from Gujarat. It’s a tinge of sadness and a rainbow of memories that I will be leaving this magnificent building today.” “As the President, I have tried to protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution, not just in letter but in spirit as well.” “I will carry with me fond memories of our (President Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi) association and his (Prime Minister Modi’s) warm and courteous behaviour towards me,” he said. President Mukherjee remembered the former prime ministers of India, including late Indira Gandhi. “My career was mentored by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who was a towering personality. She had the courage to call a spade a spade,” he said. President Mukherjee expressed happiness over the fact that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime was launched during his tenure and disappointment over the constant downfall of the Parliament’s stature. “The recent passage of the GST and its launch on July 1 is a shining example of cooperative federalism and speaks volumes of the maturity of India’s Parliament,” he said. “It is unfortunate that the Parliamentary time devoted to legislations has been declining. The Parliament stands for debate and discussion. However, dissent and disruption have hurt the Opposition more,” he added. President Mukherjee also said the government should avoid the ordinance route and it should be reserved only for compelling circumstances. Concluding his address as he shouted “Jai Hind”, President Mukherjee thanked the gathering again for the farewell given to him, adding, “I leave with a sense of fulfilment and happiness of having served the country.” Earlier, Lok Sabha Speaker presented a book signed by the members of Parliament. The book includes signatures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha Thambidurai, and deputy chair of Rajya Sabha P.J. Kurien. “President Mukherjee brought a presidential focus and centrality to human development,” Mahajan said in her address. Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President Hamid Ansari, while addressing the Central Hall, spoke of the “long and distinguished” career of President Mukherjee, adding he has been an erudite scholar, along with being an excellent statesman. Earlier on Saturday, President Mukherjee attended a farewell dinner hosted by Prime Minister Modi. The Prime Minister hosted the ceremony at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, where president-elect Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, senior ministers and Opposition leaders were also present. The president, who is also Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was also given a farewell by the chiefs of the armed forces. The function was held at the Manekshaw Centre. President-elect Ram Nath Kovind will take oath as the 14th President of India on Tuesday (July 25).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pranab leaves very high benchmark for Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As President Mukherjee’s tenure comes to an end, parliamentarians across political parties agree that he has left a very high benchmark for incoming President Ram Nath Kovind to follow.Describing that hallmark, a BJP MP said despite tenuous relationship between the President’s Office and the NDA Government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had great respect for him.”It was for no reason that PM Modi became emotional recently when he compared his relationship with President Mukherjee as between father and son. This seldom happens in a polity and the credit goes to both Pranab Da and Modiji,” he said.Mukherjee’s journey to country’s highest office was very eventful. After tiding through a humble beginning from Mirati village in West Bengal, he first became a college teacher and then ventured into journalism before joining politics. He entered the Parliament first time in 1969, and went on to serve five terms as Rajya Sabha member and was elected twice to the Lok Sabha.Before being elected as the President, Mukehrjee had served as union defence minister from 2004 to 08 and as finance minister from 2009 to 2012.CPI leader D Raja said several qualities like tremendous capacity to work, excellent knowledge, great calibre and resoluteness in dealing with tough situation make Mukherjee an outstanding politician.”The Congress depended on him a lot to run the government. He played a huge role in shaping up country’s policies and was an active President who would speak his mind,” said Raja.According to outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari, Mukherjee was a consummate diplomat. His expertise in economic and financial matters have been much sought after.”He was rated one of the best five finance ministers of the world in 1984 and was declared finance minister of the year for Asia in 2010. In his long career, he has been as astute administrator and consensus builder,” said Ansari.

Pranab Mukherjee’s advice must be implemented- Cabinet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister of Steel Choudhary Birendra Singh on Sunday said that what outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee shared in the Parliament during his farewell was based on his experience and must be implemented in the democracy to make the Parliament stronger. ?Today whatever outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee has shared was based on his experience. Things that he discussed must be implemented in the democracy to make the Parliament stronger. He also appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his work in last three years,? he told ANI. Union Minister M.N. Pandey hailed President Mukherjee, saying he has always maintained the dignity of the Parliament. ?He has always maintained the dignity of the Parliament. We will send our good wishes to him for his future. We got to learn so much from him,? he said. President Mukherjee, the 13th president of India, will vacate the Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow, making way for his successor President-elect Ram Nath Kovind. Parliamentarians from both the Houses – Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha – gathered at the Central Hall to bid farewell to the outgoing Raisina Hill occupant earlier in the day. President Mukherjee expressed happiness over the fact that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime was launched during his tenure and disappointment over the constant downfall of the Parliament’s stature. “The recent passage of the GST and its launch on July 1 is a shining example of cooperative federalism and speaks volumes of the maturity of India’s Parliament,” he said. “It is unfortunate that the Parliamentary time devoted to legislations has been declining. The Parliament stands for debate and discussion. However, dissent and disruption have hurt the Opposition more,” he added. President Mukherjee also said the government should avoid the ordinance route and it should be reserved only for compelling circumstances. Concluding his address as he shouted “Jai Hind”, President Mukherjee thanked the gathering again for the farewell given to him, adding, “I leave with a sense of fulfilment and happiness of having served the country.” Earlier on Saturday, President Mukherjee attended a farewell dinner hosted by Prime Minister Modi. The president, who is also Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was also given a farewell by the chiefs of the armed forces. The function was held at the Manekshaw Centre. President Mukherjee will address a farewell speech to the nation at 7.30 p.m. on Monday (July 24). President-elect Ram Nath Kovind will take oath as the 14th President of India on Tuesday (July 25).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prez voting boosts BJP in Bengal, Tripura, not so in Kerala

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The voting pattern in West Bengal and Tripura, two states high on the BJP’s expansion plans, in the presidential poll has gladdened the party’s strategists. That the BJP-led NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind got the support of 11 MLAs against its strength of six in Bengal and seven from Tripura, where the BJP had not won a single seat in the last assembly polls, is being seen as a good omen by the party. “West Bengal is undergoing a political change. Leaders from other parties also sense that the BJP has emerged as the main challenger to Mamata Banerjee and her party,” West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ram Nath Kovind’s core team formed in major rejig

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has appointed 35 senior officials as Secretaries and Additional Secretaries in various central government departments. It has also cleared the appointment of three officers to form a team of new President Ram Nath Kovind, who will be sworn in on Tuesday.Haryana-cadre 1978-batch IAS officer Sanjay Kothari, at present the Chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), has been appointed as Secretary, and Gujarat-cadre Indian Forest Service officer Bharat Lal as Joint Secretary, to the President. Lal was the Resident Commissioner of Gujarat in New Delhi and is considered close to the PM. Journalist-turned-academic Ashok Malik, currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, was appointed as the Press Secretary to the President.Other officers concerned were working either as Joint or Additional Secretaries. Usha Sharma, a 1985-batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, has been appointed as Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on Saturday. At present, she is the Additional Secretary in the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). Telangana-cadre IAS officer Vasudha Mishra will be the new Additional Secretary in DARPG, in place of Sharma. Chief Vigilance Officer of the Delhi Development Authority, Manoj Kumar, will be Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. New rolesHaryana-cadre 1978-batch IAS officer Sanjay Kothari, at present the Chairman of PESB, has been appointed as SecretaryGujarat-cadre IFS officer Bharat Lal is now Joint Secretary to Kovind.

Check out pics of PM Modi’s farewell dinner for outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight hosted a farewell here for outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee.The function at Hyderabad House was also attended by President-elect Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Hamid Ansari.On the occasion, the prime minister presented a memento to the outgoing president, the PMO said.Mukherjee also signed the visitors’ book. Check out the pictures below: (All pics from PMO’s handle)

Jharkhand CM to attend swearing-in ceremony of new president

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Ram Nath Kovind as the 14th President of India on July 25. The President-elect invited Das to attend the programme when the chief minister spoke to him on phone today, an official release said here. The chief minister had called up Kovind to congratulate him on his victory in the presidential polls, the release said. The chief minister will attend the programme, the release said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sanjay Kothari appointed as Secy to President, Ashok Malik as Press Secy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Haryana IAS officer and Chairman Public Enterprises Selection Board Sanjay Kothari has been appointed as the Secretary to the new President.Ram Nath Kovind, former Bihar Governor, was on Thursday elected as the new head of state to succeed incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee, who completes his five-year term on Monday.According to an order issued on Friday night, Gujarat cadre IAS and state Resident Commissioner in Delhi Bharat Lal will be Joint Secretary in Rashtrapati Bhawan.Senior journalist Ashok Malik has been appointed as Press Secretary to the new President.The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the appointment to the post for the initial period of two years.NDA candidate Kovind defeated the joint opposition’s nominee Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker, garnering more than 65% of the votes in the electoral college.

Nepal expresses willingness to working closely with Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba congratulated president-elect Ram Nath Kovind on his electoral victory and expressed willingness to working closely with him to further strengthening the “cordial” relations with India. Kovind, a low-key lawyer-turned-politician, was yesterday elected as India’s 14th President, the first BJP member and the second Dalit to occupy the country’s highest office. Bhandari and Deuba, in their messages of congratulations sent to the president-elect yesterday, expressed willingness to working closely with him in the days ahead to further strengthening the cordial relations between Nepal and India, The Himalayan Times quoted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying. A former Bihar governor, Kovind, 71, defeated the joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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