- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says, he will resign if Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed; Congress and BJP term it a tactic to run away from responsibility.
- Delhi Police constitutes Special Investigation Team to probe the rape of a 14-year-old Manipuri girl.
- Death toll in Odisha boat tragedy rises to 13; 20 still missing.
- Iran agrees to address IAEA concerns over its nuclear program.
- Bangladesh’s 90-minute documentary, ‘Are You Listening’, bags Golden Conch Award for Best Documentary at the Mumbai International Film Festival.
- And, fifteen-year-old figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya of Russia becomes the youngest athlete to win a Gold at the Winter Olympics.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that he will resign if the anti-graft legislation, the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed by the state Assembly. Talking to reporters in New Delhi last night, Mr Kejriwal said, he does not have the right to stay in office if this legislation does not get the approval of the Assembly. He said that bringing the Jan Lokpal Bill to contain corruption was a key election promise made to voters by his Aam Aadmi Party.
"To remove corruption from the country , I can sacrifice the Chief Minister's post a hundred times. I am not here to become a Chief Minister. I am here to rid the nation of corruption. "
Kejriwal's comments came after he sent a letter to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung urging him to protect the Constitution and not the interest of the Congress and the Union Home Ministry.
Meanwhile, Anna Hazare has also said that Kejriwal should resign if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed. Hazare said this after Kejriwal met him in Delhi, and informed him about the AAP government's plan to introduce Jan Lokpal and Swaraj bills in the assembly.
The Congress has termed Kejriwal's statement, a tactic to run away from responsibility. The party said it will support the proposed legislation provided laid down procedures are followed.
BJP leader Vijay Goel said, Arvind Kejriwal is using the bill to run away from key issues.
"He is using Jan Lokpal Bill as a political tool. He is running from the key issues of governance and his responsibility."
The Jan Lokpal Bill and Swaraj Bill will be tabled on the floor of the Delhi Assembly on Thursday.
The Delhi Police has constituted a Special Investigation Team, SIT to probe the rape of a 14-year-old Manipuri girl allegedly by her landlord's son two days ago. The SIT, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) BS Jaiswal, recorded the girl's statement before a magistrate yesterday. Police said that the SIT will thoroughly investigate the case, collect scientific evidence and file a charge sheet as soon as possible.The accused in the case has already been arrested.
The bill to create Telangana is likely to be introduced in Parliament tomorrow. Talking to AIR, the Home Ministry spokesperson said, the file recommending the introduction of the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Bill in Parliament has been sent to the President through the Prime Minister's Office. The spokesperson added that the approval of the President is expected today and the bill will be introduced tomorrow.
The Union Cabinet had on Friday approved the draft bill for the creation of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh, notwithstanding the state Assembly's rejection of the legislation.
The death toll in the Odisha boat tragedy has risen to 13, with 20 people still missing. A motor boat, carrying over 110 passengers, had capsized in Hirakud Reservoir in Sambalpur district last evening. Our correspondent reports that the rescue operations are underway.
"The Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and other volunteers are engaged in retrieving the bodies from the Hirakud Reservoir. The bodies have been taken to Hospital at Burla and Sambalpur. They have been successful in rescuing about 80 passengers so far. Chief Minister of Odisha has expressed deep grief over the incident. The state government has also announced to bear treatment expenses of all the injured persons. Prakash Das, AIR News, Bhuwaneshwar."
Iran has agreed to address the concerns of the UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA over its nuclear program. The two sides met in Tehran over the past two days to discuss bilateral nuclear co-operation. They signed a seven point agreement to make Tehran’s nuclear program more transparent. Under the seven-point deal, which will be implemented by May 15th this year, Iran will provide access to additional information about its nuclear sites and documents related to its nuclear program.
The second round of Geneva-II peace conference between the Syrian Government and the rebel opposition gets underway in Geneva today. The Syrian Government delegation has reached Geneva and the rebel opposition has agreed to join the talks. Our West Asia correspondent reports that UN Special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi would be mediating the talks to find a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Syria.
"The second round of Geneva-II peace talks comes in the backdrop of agreement to allow the evacuation of civilians from the besieged old city of Homs and the access to aid for trapped civilians. Despite divergent views the two sides would once again face each other in Geneva which in itself is significant. They sat on the negotiating table for the first time at the International conference on Syria in Montreaux in Geneva. Both sides agreed on Geneva-I Communique as the basis for talks but with varied interpretations. It is expected that the second round of talks would see more serious negotiations. Atul Tiwary, AIR News."
Bangladesh’s film maker Kamar Ahmad Simon’s 90-minute documentary, ‘Are You Listening’, has bagged the Golden Conch Award for the Best Documentary Film at the Mumbai International Film Festival, for Documentary, Short and Animation Films. The Golden Conch for Best Documentary Film up to 60 minutes went to Germany’s Maria Stodtmeier’s “In Between : Isang Yun in North and South Korea’. While, FTII production ‘Black Rock’ directed by Vikrant Janardhan Pawar was adjudged the Best Short Fiction film in International Competition, Kashmiri film ‘Tamaash” won the Golden Conch award for the Best Short Fiction Film in the National Competition. The festival concluded in Mumbai yesterday.
In Assam, the adult vaccination drive against Japanese Encephalitis, JE gets underway in 9 districts from today. State Immunisation Officer BK Choudhury said that more than 47 lakh people in the age group between 15 to 70 are being covered under the drive. Our correspondent reports that with this, Assam has become the first state to start adult vaccination to wipe out Japanese Encephalitis.
"Vaccination will be given in 9 working days at 62 health blocks. This drive is likely to cover around 54 percent of total population in 9 districts. But pregnant women and persons infected with HIV will not be given the vaccination. More than 3 thousand Japanese Encephalitis cases have been registered in the state during last 3 years. With Manas Pratim Sarma, This is Suparna Saikia, AIR NEWS, Delhi."
Decks have been cleared for India's return to the Olympic fold, with the Indian Olympic Association conducting its polls, and N. Ramachandran being elected as the President. After being elected unopposed yesterday, Ramachandran said that the IOC observer team is satisfied with the elections.
"As far as the IOC observer team is concerned, they are completely satisfied with the conduct and the fairness of the election. The House has urged the IOC team to take this report back to the IOC E. board to try to ensure that the Indian athlete walks beneath the Indian tri-colour once again at the earliest."
Kho-Kho Federation of India President Rajeev Mehta and All India Tennis Association Chief Anil Khanna were elected unopposed as the Secretary General and the Treasurer respectively.
The Indian body was suspended by the IOC last December after it elected Secretary-General Lalit Bhanot, who spent 10 months in jail on corruption charges related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
Fifteen-year-old Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya has become the youngest athlete in the world to win a Gold medal at the Winter Olympics. Making her debut at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Lipnitskaya recorded the best result ever in women's free skating yesterday, scoring 141.51 points and earning a combined total of 214.41.
Out of contention for a medal, India's Shiva Keshavan remained at 37th spot after third and penultimate round of men's singles luge competitions.
The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly Live Phone-in programme, 'PUBLIC SPEAK', will bring you a discussion tonight, on 'Unity in Diversity and Citizen's Tolerance'. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 to 10.05 pm. Listeners can pose questions to experts sitting in our Studio on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444. This programme will also be available on Doordarshan DTH.
Arvind Kejriwal threatening to quit over the Jan Lok Pal Bill makes front page news in most dailies today. 'Kejriwal declares start of end-game' is the Mail Today headline. 'Government teeters as congress rules out support for bill' writes the Times of India. 'Ministry of Home Affairs to consider Kejriwal's request' says The Tribune, referring to the 2002 order that makes it mandatory for all bills to be sent to the Centre before being tabled in the Delhi Assembly.
Many papers show Narendra Modi addressing scheduled caste organizations in Kochi. The Hindustan Times, quoting him as saying. 'I'm still untouchable for many'.
The Indian Express has a picture of Prakash Karat addressing the left front rally yesterday in Kolkata which drew 3 lakh people.
Be prepared to shell out more if you are planning to buy a house in Delhi. 'Over 30 per cent hike in circle rates likely in Delhi' is the Pioneer headline.
If you enjoy eating chaat in Chandni Chowk, you can do so without worrying about the hygiene. In a special report, Hindustan Times writes, 'From May eat street food without any fear' - as eight safe zones are identified in the city where vendors will be required to maintain high standards of cleanliness.
And finally, the Hindustan Times has an interesting item which says that a Japanese company has developed a device, which looks like a badge, and can track the employees activities throughout office hours - from how long you are sitting idle, to whom you speak, and even your visits to the washroom!