Evening digest: Cherish awards, don't let emotions overrun reason: Prez Pranab

GN Bureau | November 16, 2015



President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday reminded the literary icons and artists who are returning their awards in protest against growing intolerance, that they should not let their emotions overrun reason and that disagreement must be expressed through 'debate and discussion'. President Mukherjee made his address after inaugurating the National Press Day celebrations organized by the Press Council of India. He also gave away National Awards for excellence in journalism on the occasion. Speaking at the function, the President said prestigious awards are a public recognition, of talent, merit and hard work, by peers and leaders in the profession. "Such awards should be cherished and valued by those who receive them. Sensitive minds sometimes get disturbed by some incidents in society. Emotions should not overrun reason and disagreement should be expressed through debate and discussion. We must, as proud Indians, have confidence in the idea of India and the values and principles enshrined in our Constitution. India has always been able to self-correct whenever such a need has arisen," President Mukherjee said.

Rains pound Tamil Nadu, forecast of heavy downpour for next 3 days
Several parts of Tamil Nadu on Monday received heavy rainfall due to the influence of north east monsoon, with the weather office predicting heavy downpour in the next three days. In Tamil Nadu, educational institutions remained closed and in Chennai, office-goers faced a harrowing time due to water-logging and delay in train services. Several areas, including Mylapore (South Chennai), Vysarpadi and Perambur (North Chennai) have remained inundated since Sunday due to flooding. The city has been experiencing continuous rains since Saturday night with the spell reduced to a drizzle on Monday. India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rains in the next three days in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Russian acid attack victim returns; India to pay medical bills
The 23-year-old Russian woman who was attacked with acid in Varanasi and was undergoing treatment here has been flown to Moscow with Indian government assuring her that all medical expenses will be borne by it.  "The acid victim has been flown to Moscow. Our Ambassador has met the mother of the victim," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted. The minister further tweeted that "we have assured her that India will bear all expenses on her treatment in Russia." The woman had suffered 46 per cent burn injuries after a local youth threw acid on her on November 13 in Nand Nagar area of Varanasi.

Paris attacks mastermind identified
French officials on Monday said that they have identified the mastermind of Paris terror attacks in which over 130 people were killed and over 200 injured on Friday.

The suspected mastermind is Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud. He is believed linked to thwarted attacks on a Paris-bound high-speed train and Paris area church. The official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, was not authorized to be publicly identified as speaking about the ongoing probe. Seven people are in custody in Belgium suspected of links to the attacks and an international arrest warrant has been issued for a Belgian-born Frenchman believed involved in the attacks and who is still at large. French police raided more than 160 locations overnight as authorities released the names of two more potential suicide bombers involved in the Paris attacks- one born in Syria, the other a Frenchman wanted as part of a terrorism investigation.

Strip Rahul Gandhi of Indian citizenship, demands Subramanian Swamy
Alleging that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had declared himself as a British citizen (2003-2009) for purpose of floating a private company in London leader Subramanian Swamy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding the government to strip Gandhi of his citizenship. "As you can see from the company (BLACKOPS LIMITED) Annual Record that Mr Rahul Gandhi has given his date of birth correctly but has declared himself to be of British nationality with an United Kingdom address ... this is, prima facie, a violation of the law and the constitutional position in the country ... I urge you to treat this matter with great urgency and immediately take necessary steps to see if this prima facie evidence is rebuttable, and if not, order than Mr Rahul Gandhi be stripped of his citizenship, and his membership of the Lok Sabha, forthwith," Swamy said releasing the copy of his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a press conference today.

Mutual Funds see Rs 1.35 lakh crore inflow in October
Investors pumped in Rs 1.35 lakh crore into various mutual fund (MF) schemes in October, with 'liquid' segment contributing the most to the inflow. It follows an outflow of over Rs 77,000 crore into mutual fund products in the preceding month. It was the highest outflow in a single month since March, when the industry had seen a withdrawal to the tune of Rs 1,09,897 crore. According to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India ( Amfi), investors have poured in a net of Rs 1,34,564 crore in MF schemes last month.

81 cities to invest over Rs 5,700 cr in urban services
Eighty-one cities in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Mizoram will invest over Rs 5700 crore to enhance basic infrastructure including water supply and sewerage connections. The investments will be made under Atal Mission for Rejuventation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) action plans for the current year. An inter-ministerial apex committee headed by Urban Development Secretary Madhusudan Prasad has approved state annual action plans (SAAP) of these five states which account for 81 mission cities to undertake investment of Rs 5,748 cr for improving drinking water supply and sewerage system.

SC blasts UP govt over roads near Taj
The Mughals built the Taj Mahal with hammer and chisel but even with all the modern tools, the Uttar Pradesh government has failed to build a proper road around the world-famous monument, the supreme court said today. The sharp rebuke came as the top court was hearing a petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government seeking permission to build a cobbled stone road instead of a bitumen road near the monument. "Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century by hands, hammer and chisel.  But your government can't build a proper road with modern tools," the court said.

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