20:12 Cancellation looms over DJ Guetta’s Delhi concert now?: JUST IN: Permission for David Guetta’s concert in Greater Noida on January 15 not granted in view of imposition of section 144 ahead of UP elections, says Sujata Singh, superintendent of police (rural), G B nagar.– ANIPhotograph: Reuters
20:02 ICSE reschedules Class X, XII board exams due to polls: Indian Certificate of Secondary Education and Indian School Certificate examinations for Classes X and XII have been rescheduled in view of assembly elections in five states including Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
The ICSE Class X exam, which was earlier scheduled to begin on February 27 and end on March 31, will now commence on March 10 and conclude on April 21, it said on Friday.
Similarly, the examination for ISC Class XII, which was scheduled to begin on February 6 and conclude on April 5, will now begin on January 30 and conclude on April 26.
‘Consequent to the dates for Assembly elections being announced for the states of Punjab, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, the dates for ICSE and ISC examinations had to be rescheduled,’ said Gerry Arathoon, chief executive and secretary of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, which conducts the examinations.
‘As a result of rescheduling of the examination, the candidates will now have the benefit of added study time. The schedule of entrance examinations for admission to professional courses has been taken cognisance of,’ Arathoon said in a statement.
18:53 ‘Irregularities’ in Air India software purchase: CBI files FIR: The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a first information report in alleged irregularities in procurement of software worth Rs 225 crore by Air India.
The CBI has filed FIR against unknown officials of Air India and private firms SAP AG and IBM.
The FIR has been registered under sections related to criminal conspiracy and misconduct by government servants after receiving complaint from vigilance department.
17:58 Kalmadi, Chautala out, Sports ministry lifts IOA suspension: Just in: Sports Ministry lifts suspension on IOA after it reversed its decision to name Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala Life Presidents.
Facing a severe backlash for appointing scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as life presidents, the Indian Olympic Association has been forced to revoke its controversial decision.
IOA confirmed that the appointments of Kalmadi and Chautala had been declared “null and void” in order to get the recognition of the sports ministry and also to avoid any possible action from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Kalmadi and Chautala were elevated to the honorary position at the IOA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Chennai on December 27, but the Olympic body was forced to reverse its decision after it was opposed by a majority of IOA members.
17:24 Trump’s early morning tweets let rip on ‘sleazebag Dems and Republicans’ : US President elect Donald Trump lets it rip. In a series of tweets today, Trump said, “All of my Cabinet nominee are looking good and doing a great job. I want them to be themselves and express their own thoughts, not mine! It now turns out that the phony allegations against me were put together by my political opponents and a failed spy afraid of being sued…. Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans – FAKE NEWS! Russia says nothing exists. Probably released by “Intelligence” even knowing there is no proof, and never will be. My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days! What are Hillary Clinton’s people complaining about with respect to the F.B.I. Based on the information they had she should never have been allowed to run – guilty as hell. They were VERY nice to her. She lost because she campaigned in the wrong states – no enthusiasm!”
Trump reacted to multiple media reports on Wednesday, that said that Russia cultivated and supported Donald Trump for years and has collected compromising information on his personal life and finances. The US President-elect dismissed the claims as a political witch hunt.
The allegations were presented to Trump and outgoing President Barack Obama last week by the heads of four premier US intelligence agencies, including Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency, and were part of the report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Trump, however, replied with a tweet declaring: Fake news – a total political witch hunt!
16:57 Army Chief Rawat defends operation ‘cold start’, asserts future wars will be short, intense: Newly appointed Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday defended the “cold start” doctrine by saying that offence is the best defence adding that future wars will be short and intense.
“There is a saying that offence is the best defence. We are committed to peace and tranquillity and to keep it there has to be an element of offence in our defence,” he said.
General Rawat also added that weaknesses have to be overcome and this can only happen if the strategy for doing so is accepted.
“Future wars will be short and intense. Here you have to be prepared to move fast. Acknowledging that it is also to communicate to commander’s that in what way they have to be prepared. Also, weaknesses have to be overcome and this can only happen if you accept the strategy,” he added.
Responding to the adoption of surgical strike as part of operational doctrine, General Rawat said, “We(Indian Army) are committed to peace and tranquillity and same has been offered to our adversary. If this offer is not accepted then this (Surgical strike) method of operational execution will continue.
“Cold start doctrine is a part of the army’s effort to develop a useable, conventional retaliatory option that punishes Pakistan for terrorist attacks against India without triggering wider conventional or nuclear escalation.
In his written written submission to the Senate Armed Services Committee ahead of his confirmation hearing yesterday, Mattis noted that “conditioning our security assistance” to Pakistan has a mixed history, “but I will review all option.”
16:37 NO rule that Gandhiji’s picture has to be on calendar: KVIC: Confronting opposition anger over images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi spinning the charkha instead of Mahatma Gandhi on the 2017 calendars and diaries of the state-run Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC), top government sources today alleged a “baseless and unnecessary controversy”.
“There are several instances when Gandhi’s picture was not on KVIC material. In 1996, 2002, 2005, 2011, 2013, 2013 and 2016, Gandhiji was not there on the calendar and diary. There is no rule that only Gandhi’s picture has to be on the calendar,” KVIC sources told ANI. It is wrong to say that the Prime Minister replaced Gandhi’s image, sources said.
Mahatma Gandhis great grandson Tushar Gandhi said that the governments decision to replace the picture of Father of the Nation on Khadi Udyogs calendar was a well-planned strategy to gain credibility.
This government is very prone in making mistakes, but this doesnt seem to be a mistake. This seems to be like very thought out and well-planned strategy to gain credibility, Tushar told media.
He further appealed to Prime Minister Modi to disband the KVIC while terming it as an inefficient and incapable organisation. I appeal to the Prime Minister as he has become the mascot of most inefficient, incapable and insincere organisation to disband the KVIC, he added.
“Modi ji is a youth icon and the increasing popularity of Khadi products among youths is an example of this,” the sources said, stating that the Khadi body’s sales, “restricted to 2-7 percent for 50 years under Congress”, rose to 34 per cent in the last two years.
Leaders like Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reacted sharply on Twitter.
“Becoming Gandhi requires years of austerities. One cannot become Gandhi by acting to spin the Charkha, this would only ridicule them,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted.
Mamata Banerjee commented: “Gandhiji is the Father of the Nation. Modi ji what???”
“The entire party is behind our national president Akhilesh Yadav, who was elected unanimously. We are finalising our list of candidates and it will be out soon,” said Naresh Uttam, SP state president appointed by Akhilesh replacing his warring uncle Shivpal Yadav.
“We are confident of retaining the ‘cycle’ symbol,” he said. He said SP will get “absolute majority” as the chief minister’s development agenda is well known to people and they have made up their mind to vote for him. “Our main agenda for polls will be development. We are ahead of rival parties due to works done by our government in past five years,” he said.
While Bangladesh had long replaced the word ‘Ramdhenu’ with ‘Rongdhenu’, the towing of line by neighbouring West Bengal has created a huge hue and cry among the academia and on social media circles, while some calling it ‘language terror’ and others saying it is in line with alleged appeasement policies of Mamata Banerjee. Read the report here.
15:57 ‘Mayawati will be ruined if she loses UP 2nd time in a row’: The BJP has a problem because it has no well known face apart from Rajnath Singh in UP — and Rajnath Singh will not come to UP (as CM). There is no face in the state BJP that can compete with Akhilesh or Mayawati.
Badri Narayan, a leading social historian, a chronicler of Dalit issues and the author of Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram’s political biography, speaks to Archana Masih/Rediff.com on the early political trends in Uttar Pradesh. Do read.
What was that about kanoon ke haat…
15:35 Whoever bids to oust us from BMC would ‘Dig its Own Grave’, says Sena: Hinting that it is prepared to go solo in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation polls, the Shiv Sena, in a veiled threat to senior ally BJP, said whosoever tries to oust it from the Mumbai and Thane civic bodies would “dig its own grave”.
Dubbing the use of state machinery and money power in the run-up to the polls as “unfortunate for democracy”, it asserted that no one has been able to root out Sena’s influence on the masses.
The election to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is ruled by the Shiv Sena for 20 years, is likely to be the highlight of the next month’s civic polls. The Sena and BJP together rule the Mumbai, Thane and Akola civic bodies, which are going to polls on February 21.
“Politics today is devoid of principles and the feeling of serving people, and has become selfish. People of the state are ready to eliminate these selfish people and ensure the hoisting of the saffron (Sena) flag in Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
“Whoever tries to bring down the saffron flag in Mumbai, will dig its own grave. History bears testimony to that,” it asserted.
The Sena also said that while campaigning for states like Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Modi does not merely address the people as a BJP leader but as the Prime Minister, rolling out freebies and promises to people.
15:26 NO David Guetta concert in Mumbai: After Bengaluru, David Guetta’s Mumbai concert cancelled.
A day after French DJ David Guetta’s Bengaluru’s concert was cancelled, Mumbai followed suit, with the Mumbai police saying requisite permissions have not been taken and declined permission to the organisers of India’s electronic music festival, Sunburn.
Earlier, the BMC had denied permission for the Sunburn Arena event that was to be organised at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse. The organisers then shifted the venue to Reliance Jio Garden at BKC.
The 49-year-old DJs concert in Bengaluru was cancelled yesterday over concerns of law and order.
The organisers cited “law and order situation” following the molestation incident during New Year’s Eve as the reason.
14:53 Chinese tabloid says US needs to ‘wage war’ to block off South China Sea islands: Blocking Chinese access to islands in the South China Sea would require the US to “wage war”, an influential Chinese state-run tabloid said on Friday, after US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson suggested the strategy on Wednesday.
Tillerson told his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he wanted to send a signal to China that their access to islands in the disputed South China Sea “is not going to be allowed”. He did not elaborate.
The United States would have to “wage a large-scale war” in the South China sea to prevent Chinese access to the islands, the Global Times said in an English language editorial.
The paper, which is known for writing strongly-worded, hawkish and nationalist editorials, is published by the ruling Communist Party’s flagship paper. It does not reflect Chinese policy.
“Tillerson had better bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories,” the paper added.
14:41 Tell me directly, don’t use social media: Army chief tells rank and file : Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has reacted to the video posted by a Lance Naik complaining about harassment by senior officers. A major part of the briefing was spent on the need to address complaints directly to the senior leadership on the Army and not use social media. The Lance Naik in his video has said that the senior officers treat jawans as servants and force them to polish their shoes. He alleged that when he protested, action was taken against him.
On the use of social media to address grievances: Complaint and Suggestion boxes available to address soldiers grievances.
Whoever wants to complain can use it and it will be addressed. Whoever has any complaints can also address me directly.
Should anyone have any grievances of whatever nature, rather than indirectly communicating grievances, we have an excellent system of reaching out to the senior staff in the Army.
I will have a Chief of Army staff suggestion and complaints box redressal system at the Command HQ and anyone, irrespective of rank can use it so that grievances reach me directly.
If he (army rank and file) addresses his grievances directly penning his name, it will be placed in a sealed envelope and the name of the complainant will be deleted before his complaint is acted upon.
People should come directly and not through the social media or other means. Let troops have the confidence in the senior leadership of the Army that their grievances will be addressed and will get the requisite response.
Social media is a two sided weapon. Direct communication with senior leadership is the best possible communication. If someone feels things are going wrong, communicate. It is the best way to maintain efficiency.
14:05 RSS chief’s allowed to hold rally in Kolkata : Just in: The Kolkata HC grants permission to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to hold a rally on January 14th at Central Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground, but with certain certain conditions. No outsiders to be allowed except for invitees which will be around 4000 people. rally Rally to be held between 2 pm and 6 pm and a huge police deployment should be made.
13:56 Right time to move on: Dhoni in 1st presser since stepping down: M S Dhoni, who stepped down as captain of India XI in the limited overs version of the game, addressed his first press conference on Friday since stepping down.
On why he quit: “I have always believed that split captaincy doesn’t work. In India one captain formula works. Virat was always ready to take over. I thought it was the right time to give Virat the job.
On Virat Kohli: “Virat and I have always been close. Virat always wants to contribute. Virat always wanted to improve and that is why he is so successful. Will share my inputs with Virat. Virat has the clarity to refuse advice. “With so many games I feel Virat is right there,” he said about his successor. “It is the right time.”
“It’s been a journey of ups and downs for me. Overall it has been a journey that I really enjoyed. Brings a smile to my face. I don’t have any regrets,” he said.
On why he did not address too many press conferences he said he always believed that the captain should address the post-match conferences. The captain at times had too much exposure,” he said. “Captains briefing pre and post matches is a waste of time,” he said.
On his own game: “As captain I have tried to finish the game. I always look at the bigger picture. “Captain’s foremost job is to get 100 per cent out of all the players. You need to know each player’s strengths. I adapted my game according to the team’s needs.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down as India’s limited-overs captain on January 4, but will still be available for selection. Dhoni who guided India to victory in the 2007 World T20 and 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup has captained the men in blue in 199 ODis and 72 T20s.
13:11 BSF jawan’s food video: Case comes up for hearing on Jan 16: The Delhi High Court today fixed January 16 for hearing a plea seeking a status report from the Ministry of Home Affairs following a BSF soldier’s allegation that troopers were being served poor quality food along LoC.
A bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini fixed the matter for January 16 as it did not assemble today. The plea was filed by Puran Chand Arya, a former central government employee, in the wake of a video posted on Facebook by BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav, claiming corruption among officers and poor working conditions.
The public interest litigation sought direction to the MHA to submit a status report with respect to all paramilitary forces in India over allegations of the BSF jawan in his video, which went viral on social media.
Citing the fundamental Right to Equality (Article 14) and Life (Article 21), the PIL filed through advocate Abhishek Kumar Choudhary highlights the allegations about insufficient and bad quality of food provided to jawans.
It seeks action on the incident so that the morale of the force is not affected and also asks for clarity on ration procurement, food preparation and servings to various categories of officers.
On 9 January, Yadav posted a video on Facebook which showed a meal box comprising a watery soup-like dal, which he said had only turmeric and salt and a burnt chapatti. He said this is what jawans were served at mealtime on duty. He said jawans often went to bed on an empty stomach.
The Union home ministry has now taken cognisance of the video and ordered an immediate investigation into the matter. The PIL has sought direction to depute higher officers to supervise cooking of proper healthy food and its distribution.
12:58 SpiceJet announces deal with Boeing for 205 aircraft worth Rs 1,50,000 crore.
12:30 Varun Gandhi, Sakshi Maharaj, Adityanath branded BJP dissidents: Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath, Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj and Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi have all been told not to speak out of turn about the internal politics of the BJP.
All the three leaders have been branded dissidents and while all three could have been likely chief ministerial candidates, party president Amit Shah’s dictat (which is expected to work) says these leaders have to be sidelined during the poll campaign. The reason ostensibly is that that BJP has found powerful leaders to rival the three in their respective assemblies and Parliament constituencies.
Gandhi has been out of favour of the party after a former partner of arms dealer Abhishek Verma, in a letter to the Prime Minister, alleged that Verma honey trapped and compromised Gandhi into leaking information about defence matters, and blackmailed him with photographs taken with foreign escorts.
11:57 Sasikala, Jaya jostle for space in AIADMK cadre’s pockets : In a dramatic, yet expected development in the post-Jayalalithaa era of the AIADMK, most of party leaders have now begun keeping a picture of VK Sasikala, the party general secretary, along with J Jayalalitha’s photograph in their shirt pockets.
Sycophants are now embracing the new order and exhibiting their loyalty to the Sasikala-led party by keeping her photo, Jaya’s and the Governor’s picture. Conspicuous by its absence is a photograph of CM O Pannerrselvam. Many Tamil Nadu public sector undertakings have now appointed AIADMK leaders as chairpersons.
After Jayalalithaa died, the party had announced that Natarajan would replace her as the chief of her party even though she was not technically qualified. Jayalalithaa who passed away on December 5 evening after suffering cardiac arrest was the party’s general secretary from 1989 to 2016.
Image: Supporters of Sasikala wear T-shirts in her support. The text on the T-shirts loosely translate to: Even if we have to give up our lives Chinamma, we will never abandon you. This is not a dress, but our promise.
11:50 BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar invests in Arnab Goswamis Republic: Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a member of the Rajya Sabha and vice-chairman of the NDA in Kerala, is one of the largest investors and a director in journalist Arnab Goswami’s upcoming media venture. The venture, named Republic, applied for uplinking and downlinking of a news channel in late November. Read more
11:30 Delhi LG Anil Baijal returns file on slashing DTC fares to government: The file on the Delhi government’s proposal to slash DTC bus fares by 75% has been returned by the new lieutenant governor, Anil Baijal.
The decision to bring down the fare to Rs 5 for non AC buses and Rs 10 for AC buses had been announced by Delhi transport minister Satyendar Jain in December and the file sent to the LG for approval earlier last week.
It was returned on Wednesday -the first major proposal of the AAP government to be sent back by Baijal -for reconsideration. He sent a note asking the government to have a second look at the proposal, reports the Times of India. Read more
11:27 CBI files final report in coal scam case against Naveen Jindal: The CBI today filed the final report in further probe directed by special court in the coal scam case against Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, ex-Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and others. Special Judge Bharat Parashar, however, took strong objection to the IO not filing the report in a proper format and asked him to do so by January 23. The report filed before the court today contains CFSL reports, list of witnesses and their statements recorded by the CBI.
Formally, the meet was to stretch over four days, ending Friday. However, the valedictory functions were staged on Thursday itself; Friday will see only business-to-business and business-to-government meetings.
Day 3 at the ‘Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit’, saw the signing of 1,193 memorandums of understanding (MoUs), taking the total count to 25,578 of these, of which 52 were of Rs 4,000 crore or above.
Of these 52 MoUs, around 50 were signed by the second day. Which meant the state government claimed to have attracted investments of at least Rs 2 lakh crore during the eighth edition of the event (it began in 2003).
On Wednesday, it had said 133 MoUs were in the range of Rs 1,000-4,000 crore. In all, investment commitments of Rs 4-5 lakh crore could be easily accounted for. The seventh edition, under then chief minister Anandiben Patel in 2013, had seen a commitment of Rs 25 lakh crore.
Sohini Das & Vinay Umarji/Business Standard
SC to hear plea seeking postponement of Union Budget.
SC to hear plea seeking nationwide ban on ‘manja’ for flying kites.
SC to hear Common Cause’s plea seeking SIT probe into Sahara-Birla papers .
SC to hear Sonu Sardar’s appeal in Chhattisgarh murder case.
11:04 BoB declares 200 borrowers as wilful defaulters: The government-owned Bank of Baroda (BoB) has issued a list of 200 entities it has declared ‘wilful defaulters’, with dues totalling Rs 2,212 crore.
Among these are Surya Vinayak and Sai InfoSystem. This list is for the period up to September 2016. Legal action for recovery remains a priority, said executives. Punjab National Bank (PNB), also government-owned, had earlier put out its list of wilful defaulters. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), wilful default is deemed to have occurred when a borrower has not repaid despite capacity to do so. Also, there could be an element of diversion of funds for other purposes.
PNB’s list had 934 entities, owing a combined Rs 11,000-odd crore, as of June 2016. Among these are defunct Kingfisher Airlines and its guarantors, United Breweries Holdings and United Spirits Chairman Vijay Mallya. Kingfisher owes Rs 1,500 crore to PNB.
Abhijit Lele/Business Standard
10:50 Protests against Jallikattu ban in TN: In Tamil Nadu, a day after the SC turned down a plea to allow jallikattu this weekend for Pongal, in southern districts of the state protests against the ban have intensified with agitators declaring that they are ready to defy the ban and face criminal charges. DMK’s Stalin is leading the protests in Chennai.
10:46 Smriti Irani trolls Rahul Gandhi for saying ‘PM is being ridiculed’ : Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani is at war again. A Twitter war with her bete noire Rahul Gandhi. Irani took on the Congress vice president for his January 11 speech during which he spoke at length against Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticising the demonetisation move.
Rahul said ‘acche din’ will only come after Congress comes back in power in 2019. Parts of his speech also went viral on social media in which he said that Bhartiya Janata Party did in two-and-a-half years which Congress couldn’t do in 70 years. Rahul meant that under the BJP, institutions like the Reserve Bank of India and judiciary had weakened.Irani took to Twitter and quote tweeted the leader on three of his tweets.
“Sly tweet for Shri Manmohan Singh,’ she wrote sharing his post on Modi that read, “For the first time in our history a Prime Minister of India is being ridiculed the world over’. In another tweet, Gandhi hit out at the PM saying that he the demonetisation move is an incompetent one and never before any PM has taken such a step, to which, Irani said, “2G, Coal Scam, Common Wealth Games Scam, Augusta ‘” Your definition of competence???’ Gandhi’s most talked about statement during the speech, “cche Din will come only when Congress comes to power in 2019′ was also picked up by the minister and she took a jibe at him by saying, “Is this an admission that decades of Congress rule in our country were not Acche Din???’
This is not the first time that Smriti Irani has trolled Gandhi. In May last year, she dragged Rahul into her Twitter spat. Read that here.
00:44 Graphic on Industrial Production .
00:30 Air Force chief flies solo in MiG-21: Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa on Thursday flew MiG-21 Type-96 aircraft solo, which is the oldest fighter fleet in the IAF inventory, in Barmer, Rajasthan.
The Air Chief flew the same type of aircraft during Kargil Operations and carried out many night strike missions in the mountainous terrain. He was awarded Yudh Sewa Medal for these gallant acts.
Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa is on a visit to Air Force Station, Utarlai from January 12 to 14. This is his first visit to a forward operational base as the Chief of the Air Staff.