Evening digest: Historic UN session begins today

GN Bureau | September 28, 2015



Over 150 world leaders will attend the UN General Assembly's annual General Debate that begins today in New York. It will discuss issues like sustainable development, climate change, refugee crisis, terrorism and tackling ISIS would occupy the centrestage.The UN General Assembly session this year will see an unprecedented attendance by global leaders as they will gather to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN. Since prime minister Narendra Modi will leave for India later today, external affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will address the General Debate on October 1, a day after Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif addresses the gathering.

Kerala govt site restored after attack by suspected Pak hackers
The official website of the government of Kerala, www.keralagov.in, which was hacked late on Saturday night by cyber attackers suspected to be from Pakistan, was restored on Monday. The hackers had placed a burning Indian flag on the homepage of the website along with slogans “Pakistan Zindabad” and “security is just an illusion.” The hacked homepage also carried what looked like the identity of the hacker - “Hacked by Faisal 1337” and other messages that read “We are team Pak CyberAttacker”.
The department of information and public relations, which maintains the site, regained access to the website, removed the messages and put up a “website under maintenance” sign on its homepage. They also said the website server was not hacked.

7 MoUs signed to boost startups in India
In a big boost to startups in India, as many as seven MoUs have been signed between various organisations of India and the US. The MoUs were signed as prime pinister Narendra Modi attended the India-US Start-up Konnect 2015 in San Jose.

Sensex ends 247 points down a day ahead of rate review
A day ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's money policy review on Tuesday, the domestic stock market tanked after remaining rangebound through the day. Weakness in European markets in early trade triggered the crash. The S&P BSE Sensex crashed 246 points, or 0.95 per cent, lower at 25,616.84 while the 50-share Nifty50 lost 72.80 points, or 0.95 per cent, to close at 7,795.70. The sentiment, though, was negative with 24 of the 30 Sensex stocks closing the day with losses.

Pay commission on MPs salary
The NDA government plans to set up a pay commission for parliamentarians. The panel, to be reconstituted with the formation of every Lok Sabha, is aimed to put an end to the much criticized current practice of MPs deciding their own salaries.  In 2010, MPs in both houses of parliament passed a bill to give themselves over three times hike in salary from 16,000 to Rs 50,000 and doubled their daily and office allowances, leading to public criticism and a call for a review of the process even among MPs. The proposed Emoluments Commission would be headed by a Chief Commissioner assisted by maximum two commissioners.

Sachin Tendulkar lends voice to Swachh Bharat anthem
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has lent his voice to Swachh Bharat anthem, created under a government initiative to make the "Clean India" campaign a public movement. The anthem, composed by musical trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and sung by Shankar Mahadevan and others, will be released on October 2, marking one year of the launch of Swachh Bharat campaign on Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary.The anthem song written by lyricist Prasoon Joshi will also feature a video being produced by Mukesh Bhatt.

Student enrollment in English-medium schools doubles in 5 years
Recent figures have indicated that more and more parents now want their children to study in English-medium schools. Despite overall student enrolment increasing by 7.5% between 2008-09 and 20013-14, and that of Hindi-medium schools by around 25%, enrolments in English medium schools have almost doubled in the same period. There has been a significant growth in the number of students enrolled in the English medium schools, with over 1.5 crore students in 2008-09 to 2.9 crore by 2013-14.

Death toll of Indians killed in Saudi Arabia rises to 45
The number of Indians killed in a stampede at the Haj rose to 45 Monday as authorities identified 10 more bodies among the victims of the worst tragedy in 25 years to hit the annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. The deceased included three pilgrims from West Bengal and two each from Kerala and Jharkhand and one each from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Earlier, 13 more bodies were identified among the dead yesterday raising the death toll to 35.

Air India to have direct New Delhi-San Francisco flight
Air India’s New Delhi-San Francisco flight will offer a three-class cabin configuration, with eight seats in first class, 35 in business class and 195 seats in economy. San Francisco will become Air India’s fourth destination in the U.S. Air India operates daily non-stop flights to New York, Newark and Chicago, the national carrier said in a statement. Passengers from Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Pune, all IT hubs, will have seamless connections to the flight from New Delhi.

Kin want Chandigarh airport named after Bhagat Singh
As the country marks the 108th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, a close relative of the martyr on Monday urged the Centre to name the new civil air terminal in Chandigarh after the freedom fighter “without further delay”. Singh’s nephew, Abhay Singh Sandhu claimed, “The decision to name the airport after Bhagat Singh was taken by the Punjab government in 2007 during his birth centenary celebrations. Later, the Punjab Assembly also unanimously passed a resolution in this regard.” The Punjab government had been demanding that the airport be named as ‘Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Shaheed Bhagat Singh International airport, Mohali’

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