- Winter session of Parliament resumes today; Key legislations including the Telangana bill to be taken up during the session.
- BJP opposes Prime Minister's proposal to appoint senior lawyer P P Rao as member of the Lokpal Panel.
- Four more states identified for Aadhar enrollment.
- Microsoft names India-born Satya Nadella as its new CEO.
- Peace talks between Pakistan government and Taliban fail to take off.
The Winter session of Parliament resumes today. This will be the last session of the current Lok Sabha. As many as 39 bills, including the Telangana bill and six anti-corruption legislations, will be taken up during the session.
The 17-day session is the continuation of the Winter session that ended last December. The session, convened mainly for the passage of the Vote-on-Account and interim Railway budget, will have 12 sittings between 5th and 21st of this month. Crucial legislations like Disability Bill, Women's Reservation Bill and other bills passed by one of the two Houses are also listed for passage during this session of Parliament. This session is likely to be stormy in view of differences between Treasury and Opposition benches on bills and issues to be taken up for discussion. While the government wants to push through six anti-corruption bills, the Opposition seems unwilling to cooperate saying that the general elections are round the corner and, therefore, the bills should be left to the new government. With report of Sant Bahadur, this is Meeqat for AIR News.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has said that the government will bring the Telangana bill in Parliament during the resumed Winter session beginning today. Talking to reporters after the floor meeting of leaders of different political parties in New Delhi yesterday, he expressed hope that Parliament will be able to pass the bill and will transact its essential business
There is the important legislation relating to anti-corruption measures. There is important legislation with regard to 'Women's Reservation Bill'. There is important resolution concerning the control of communal violence. I sincerely hope that Parliament in its wisdom will transact the essential business.
The Prime Minister appealed to all concerned to allow peaceful bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
On the other hand Leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj said that they have no objection to any bill if the government ensures smooth functioning of the house.
If they ensure us that order will be maintained, and the session will run smoothly, then all the bills introduced by the government, we have seen the list, and we don't have objections to any of them whether it is the 'Anti-corruption Bill' or the other bills. There will be no interruption from our side.
Meanwhile, Group of Ministers on Telengana approved the cabinet note and finalised the draft Telangana bill to be considered by the Cabinet tomorrow.
BJP has opposed the Prime Minister's proposal to appoint senior lawyer P P Rao as member of the Lokpal Panel. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj refused to back the government nominee in the category of eminent jurist in the Lokpal panel and registered her dissent during the proceedings of the meeting on Monday. Mrs Swaraj has now sought time from the President, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee for a meeting, pleading for his intervention to bring about unanimity in the appointment of the panel member. Mrs Swaraj was outvoted with three votes going in favour of the government nominee in the meeting at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence to select the fifth member of the panel. She had opposed Rao's name, saying he has been a Congress loyalist and demanded that the panel should be free from such people.
The Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India, UIDAI, has identified 4 more states for Aadhar enrollment. The Cabinet Chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh yesterday decided that in four States namely Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand, UIDAI will carry out the enrollment exercise in addition to enrollment carried out by the Registrar General of India. Both the authorities will work out modalities to ensure that there is no duplication in collection of biometrics. The committee also decided that the enrollments will commence immediately and it will separately submit financial proposals to the Ministry of Finance in respect of the additional enrollments. Our Correspondent reports that in January 2012, the Cabinet Committee had allocated 18 States and Union Territories for Aadhaar enrollment along with the National Population Register process.
Most political parties have favoured raising the ceiling for the Lok Sabha election expenditure, arguing that steep inflation has made the current slab of 16 to 40 lakh infeasible. Talking to reporters after an all-party meeting convened by Election Commission in New Delhi, BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, his party wants that rising cost over the years be taken into account while fixing the upper limit of poll expenses. CPI(M), JD(U) and other regional parties also pushed for raising the expenditure cap. However, Aam Aadmi Party leader Pankaj Gupta said his party was happy with the current limits.
Our correspondent reports, representatives of all national parties and 19 state parties took part in the meeting which was convened by the Commission to get feedback from them and other stakeholders ahead of every major election in the country.
India-born Satya Nadella has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer of the 78 billion US dollars tech giant, Microsoft. Forty-six year-old Nadella, takes over as the third CEO of the Redmond-based firm. A native of Hyderabad, Nadella is the first Indian to head the iconic firm in its 38-year history, ending months of speculation as to who would succeed the retiring Steve Balmer.
Nadella had joined Microsoft in 1992 and previously served as the Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise Group. The company said in a statement that Microsoft founder Bill Gates who is the current Chairman, will don a new hat of technology adviser and retain a seat on the board. John Thompson, who is currently lead independent director, will succeed Gates as the Chairman.
The much-anticipated peace talks between Pakistan government-appointed negotiators and Pakistani Taliban panel failed to take off yesterday. The four-member government committee, which was set up by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif refused to meet the Taliban-named intermediaries on grounds that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan team did not have a clear agenda for the meeting. The Pakistan Taliban negotiators have criticised the Government for failing to meet them in Islamabad. A Government negotiator and journalist Rahimllah Yusufzai said that clarification regarding the composition of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has been sorted out and the government has no objection to meeting the representatives. He hoped the talks could take place in a day or two.
New Delhi has asked its High Commission in Islamabad to find out the details about the death of an Indian fisherman in a Karachi jail. Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin yesterday said that the Commission has been asked to seek confirmation from Pakistani authorities on the local media reports about the incident. According to media reports, the fisherman named Kishore Bhagwan, was found dead in Landhi jail in Karachi.
German President Joachim Gauck has arrived in New Delhi last night on a six day state visit to India. He will inspect a guard of honour at Rashtrapati Bhawan today. After that he will visit Rajghat to pay homage to the father of the nation. The President of Germany will meet his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Vice President, Leader of the Opposition and UPA Chairperson. The two countries are strategic partners from 2000 and are working closely in the International Arena. Germany continues to be India's largest trading partner in Europe.
In a major administrative reshuffle in Uttar Pradesh, the state government yesterday transferred 53 IAS officers. The list comprises the rank of officers of principal secretary, secretary, district magistrates, special secretary and other equivalent posts. Sanjay Prasad, Commissioner Faizabad Division has been made new Secretary in Home Department. Our Lucknow correspondent reports that the state government, in a bid to reshuffle senior administrative machinery before the Lok Sabha elections, has transferred the District Magistrates of 28 districts.
The chief priest of the Badrinath shrine, Keshavan Namboodiri has been arrested for allegedly molesting a pregnant woman in a hotel in New Delhi. According to PTI, his associate Vishnu Prasad was also arrested. They were produced in a court yesterday and sent to 14 days of judicial custody. The police said the men were drunk at the time of arrest. They have been charged with wrongful confinement and outraging the modesty of a woman. The Badrinath-Kedarnath temple committee has suspended Namboodiri
In Chhattisgarh, eight people were killed and three others injured when a cave collapsed in Pratappur region in Sarguja division yesterday. This cave is a prominent religious tourism spot located on Pratappur road of North Chhattisgarh. Police said, the incident took place when a portion of the cave collapsed, trapping several people inside. Local villagers joined the rescue operations and retrieved eight bodies and rescued three injured persons. It is suspected that the cave collapsed due to the impact of blasting in a nearby coal mine .
- The Business Standard reports that BJP earns 25 lakh rupees from the rally their Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will address today in West Bengal where the entry fee for a seat is 100 rupees.
- Hindustan Times reports that BJP is set to reach out to 20 million people over 'Chai-Pe-Charcha' to canvas for Narendra Modi. Share, ask and suggest will be the 3 segments of the two hour sessions.
- 'Plan to shield Babus', under that headline, the Asian Age reports that a Parliamentary standing Committee has suggested that it should be made mandatory for an investigating agency to seek permission from the government before questioning even retired bureaucrats.
- The Indian Express reports that Attorney General of India Vahanvati has suggested removal of the death penalty clause in the still-to-be filed - chargesheet for the Italian Marines to break the logjam between various ministries.
- While, Hindustan Times reports of yet another brutal rape of a 9 year old girl, who is now critical, the Indian Express mentions that NCERT is currently looking into text books to weed out gender bias.
- Karnataka has the highest number of tigers in the country. Now the state forest department has evolved a mobile android based indigenous application called HEJJE to track tigers in the wild and to keep vigil on poachers, reports the Pioneer.
- A 12 year old Yemeni girl shedding tiny stones instead of tears when she cries is baffling the medics, reports the Asian Age.
- Delhi is all set to host fairs and festivals. While, Delhi International Arts festival begins on the 8th of February, the World Book Fair begins on 15th February and a week long international theatre festival for children begins on 17th February - reports the Hindu.
Libya has destroyed all its chemical arsenal. While making the announcement, country's Foreign Minister, Mohammed Abdelaziz said the arsenal includes, bombs and artillery shells filled with mustard gas. Speaking at a news conference with Ahmet Uzumcu, head of the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, OPCW, he said, Libya has become totally free of usable chemical weapons that might present a potential threat to the security of local communities, the environment and neighbouring countries.