Latest News LIVE: Defence Ministry okays Rs 28,000-cr acquisition proposals

Acquisitions worth Rs 27,000 crore is to be sourced from the Indian industry
Latest News live updates: The Ministry of Defence said on Thursday that its Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared proposals worth Rs 28,000 crore, of which acquisitions worth Rs 27,000 crore would be sourced from Indian industries. In a series of tweets, the ministry said that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the meeting of the DAC, in which five more cases valued at Rs 25,000 crore were approved under the indigenous design development and manufacture category.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina held a virtual summit on Thursday to discuss the spectrum of the bilateral relationship, including further strengthening cooperation in the post-Covid-19 era. The summit was held a day after India marked Vijay Divas, celebrating victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

ISRO's trusted polar satellite launch vehicle carrying the space agency's latest communication satellite CMS-01 lifted off from the spaceport here on Thursday. The satellite is envisaged for providing services in Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrum covering India, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands.

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US long-term mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 2.67 per cent

US long-term mortgage rates declined this week to record low levels for the 15th time this year against the backdrop of an economy ravaged by the pandemic.
Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan fell to 2.67 per cent from 2.71 per cent last week. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.73 per cent.
The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans eased to 2.21 per cent from 2.26 per cent.

Trump's move to his Florida estate challenged by neighbour

President Donald Trump's expected move to his Mar-a-Lago club after he leaves office next month is being challenged by a lawyer who says a 1990s agreement allowing Trump to convert the Florida property into a business prohibits anyone from living there, including him.
Attorney Reginald Stambaugh sent a letter this week to the Town of Palm Beach saying he represents a neighbor who doesn't want the president to take up residence at the 17-acre property because it would decrease the area's property values.
He also asserts that a microwave security barrier operated by the Secret Service is harming his client, who he says is exhibiting symptoms of microwave exposure. He did not give the client's name.

Earthquake hits Alwar in Rajasthan; tremors felt in Delhi

A medium-intensity earthquake of magnitude 4.2 hit Alwar district in Rajasthan on Thursday, tremors of which were felt in Delhi-NCR, the National Center for Seismology (NCS) said.
The epicentre of the quake was Alwar in Rajasthan, according to the NCS.
The earthquake of magnitude 4.2 occurred at 11.46 pm at a depth of five kilometres, it said.

PM may flag off Delhi Metro's driverless train soon

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may flag off the country's first driverless metro train later this month in the national capital, official sources said on Thursday.
The train will be flagged off on the Magenta Line (Janakpuri West- Botanical Garden) of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), they said.
"A proposal has been sent to the Prime Minister's Office to flag off the driverless train around December 25," a source said.
"Our driverless metro train, which will be the first in the country, is ready to be flagged off. We have made all preparations on our part," the source said.

Stormy Mamata battles hard ahead of Bengal polls

Mamata Banerjee was Thursday waging a hardy battle with the Modi government that demanded three of her IPS officers on central deputation against her will, and another with mutinous TMC leaders led by a regional satrap seeking to thwart her bid for a third term in office.
As the West Bengal chief minister was busy containing the fallout of an internecine feud in her TMC following a rebellion by a redoubtable Suvendu Adhikari, the Centre shot off a fresh letter to her government to immediately relieve three IPS officers for central deputation.
Suitably provoked, a combative Banerjee dubbed the move "unconstitutional and unacceptable" and a "brazen attempt to control the state machinery by proxy", escalating tensions between the state and the Centre.

'Cold day': Delhi records lowest maximum temperature of the season

Delhi recorded a "cold day" on Thursday as the maximum temperature dropped to 15.2 degrees Celsius, seven notches below normal and the lowest so far this season, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. A "cold day" is when the minimum temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum is 4.4 degrees Celsius below normal.
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a minimum temperature of 4.6 degrees Celsius as frosty winds from the Western Himalayas continued to sweep the national capital. Ayanagar and Ridge weather stations recorded a low of 3.8 degrees Celsius and 3.5 degrees Celsius. The Palam weather station recorded the lowest day temperature of 13.2 degrees Celsius -- nine notches below normal. READ ON...

Not satisfied with work done by Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR: SC

Centre seeks 3 Bengal IPS officers, Mamata Banerjee says move 'unconstitutional'

The Centre Thursday shot off a fresh letter to the West Bengal government to immediately relieve its three IPS officers for central deputation, provoking a combative Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to brand the move as "unconstitutional and unacceptable".
A defiant Banerjee also declared she will not allow the "brazen attempt to control the state machinery by proxy", in escalation of tension between the state and the Centre.
Five days after the West Bengal government said it will not relieve the three IPS officers, the Centre sent a fresh missive on Thursday, asking the state to immediately release them so they could take up their new assignments. READ ON...


SC stays Delhi HC order on Bharti Airtel claiming Rs 923 crore GST refund

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Delhi High Court order, allowing Bharti Airtel Ltd to claim Rs 923 crore in tax refunds by rectifying its goods and services tax (GST) returns for July to September 2017. The refund was denied earlier by the revenue authorities. A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, B. R. Gavai and Krishna Murari said: "The operation of the impugned judgment shall remain stayed."
The top court also sought response from the telecom firm and posted the matter for final disposal in the first week of March 2021.
"Issue notice. Dasti, in addition, is permitted. Rahul Jain, Advocate waives notice for respondent. List the matter in the first week of March, 2021 for final disposal," said the top court in its order, which came on the appeal filed by the Centre challenging the Delhi High Court order.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan writes to PM Narendra Modi regarding investigation in gold smuggling case

SC reserves order in Tata plea against tribunal restoring Mistry as chief

The Supreme Court Thursday reserved its verdict on the cross appeals filed by Tata Sons Pvt Ltd and Cyrus Investments Pvt Ltd against the appellate tribunal NCLAT order which had restored Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the over USD 100 billion salt-to-software Tata conglomerate.
A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian asked the parties to file compiled written submissions and subject index in the matter.
During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group claimed that there was breach of Articles of Association and provisions of the Companies Act in the removal of Cyrus Mistry as the chairman of Tata Sons in October 2016. The Tatas denied the allegations and claimed there was no wrong doing as they were well within their rights to remove Mistry. READ ON...

CBI books Chennai Port Trust official in Rs 97-lakh bribery case: Officials

The CBI has booked a Chennai Port Trust official, who allegedly took a bribe of over Rs 97 lakh from an elderly man on the purported promise of getting his son appointed as an assistant traffic manager in the trust, officials said on Thursday.
It is alleged that K Poopathy, who worked as the personal assistant to the chief engineer of the trust and is currently under suspension, met complainant N Devaraj (63) on a train journey, they said.
During a conversation, Poopathy allegedly told Devaraj that the chief engineer has wide powers to appoint people in the port, PTI reported. He allegedly told Devaraj that by spending Rs one crore, his son Sathyaprakash, a diploma holder in mechanical engineering and shipping logistics, can get a job of assistant traffic manager in the port, which is a gazetted officer's position.

Defence Ministry cleared acquisition proposals worth Rs 28,000 crore: Rajnath Singh

The Ministry of Defence said on Thursday that its Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared proposals worth Rs 28,000 crore, of which acquisitions worth Rs 27,000 crore would be sourced from Indian industries.
In a series of tweets, the ministry said that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the meeting of the DAC, in which five more cases valued at Rs 25,000 crore were approved under the indigenous design development and manufacture category.
"Five cases valued at Rs 25000 Crore are approved under indigenous design development and manufacture category. Particularly note worthy are the Defence Research and Development Organisation designed and developed Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AEW & CS) for the Air Force and modular bridges for the Army," the ministry tweeted.

BSF kills two Pakistani intruders along international border in Punjab

Two Pakistani "armed intruders" were on Thursday shot dead by the Border Security Force along the International Border in Punjab as the force thwarted three bids of drugs smuggling at this front. In the first interception, two men in their 30s were killed near the Rajatal border post in Amritsar around 2:20 am after the troops on guard detected suspicious movement ahead of the border fence in Indian territory, a BSF spokesperson said.
"The Border Security Force (BSF) sentry on duty heard some crawling sound near the fence. He challenged the approaching people in dense fog but he instead heard the sound of cocking the gun by the intruders.
"The BSF jawan fired in self defence and later we recovered two bodies of the armed intruders from the spot," BSF Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Bhupinder Singh told reporters in Amritsar.

Gazipur border (Delhi-UP border) is closed for traffic coming from Ghaziabad to Delhi

First floating ambulance service to begin soon at Dal Lake in Srinagar

Trinamool Congress' Suvendu Adhikari quits as MLA, may join BJP: NDTV

Trinamool Congress's Suvendu Adhikari quit from Bengal's legislative assembly on Thursday, he may join the BJP during Union Minister Amit Shah's visit to the state later this week, reported the NDTV.

PSLV-C50 successfully places communication satellite CMS-01 into orbit, says ISRO

India contributes $1 million to WADA to support anti-doping research

India has pledged a sum of $1 million to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) towards its scientific research budget to ensure an atmosphere of Clean Sport globally, which will allow the global agency to develop innovative anti-doping testing and detection methods.
The money will also be used to further strengthen WADA's independent investigations and intelligence department, a statement from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) read.
India's contribution of $1 million is the highest among contributions made by other world governments, including China, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The total contribution of all member nations will be matched by an equal sum by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to create a corpus of $10 million. The decision to build this corpus was made at WADA's Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport held in Katowice, Poland in 2019. This contribution is over and above the annual contribution made to WADA's core budget by India. READ ON...

Bangla PM Hasina says India is true friend as both countries sign seven pacts

Premier Sheikh Hasina on Thursday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India is Bangladesh's true friend and expressed her gratitude to the country for the support during the 1971 liberation war against Pakistan, as the two countries signed seven agreements to enhance bilateral ties.
Addressing a virtual summit with Modi, Hasina said that she is happy to meet her Indian counterpart again, particularly on this month of victory.
On Wednesday, Bangladesh celebrated the 49th anniversary of its victory against Pakistan. Bangladesh won the war against Pakistan on December 16, 1971 with Indian support. December evokes in all Bangladeshis the spirit of joy, freedom and celebration as we recall with deep gratitude our Father of the Nation' Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Under whose dynamic leadership we earned our great independence, she said. READ ON...

PM Modi will address Farmers' conferences to be held across Madhya Pradesh on Friday: CMO

Coronavirus LIVE: French President Emmanuel Macron tests Covid-19 positive

Defence Ministry cleared acquisition proposals worth Rs 28,000 crore: Rajnath Singh

India-Nepal ties tall as Himalayas, deep as ocean with 'no strings attached': Bipin Rawat

Calling the India- Nepal ties as "tall as the Himalayas and as deep as the Indian Ocean," Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Thursday said India's goodwill towards its neighbour comes with "no strings attached", however, without naming China, CDS Rawat warned Kathmandu to be cautious when signing agreements with "other countries" in the region.
"...the canvas and spread of cooperation, friendship and people to people contact between India and Nepal are deep and extensive. But in the present age, Nepal is also opening to other nations including China based on its independent foreign policy," said General Rawat at the second annual dialogue with the Nepal Institute for International Cooperation and Engagement (NIICE) during the virtual meeting.
Speaking on the theme of "Soft Power Dimension: India-Nepal Relations," CDS Rawat said, "India's goodwill comes with no strings attached. Nepal is free to act independently in international affairs but must be vigilant and learn from Sri Lanka and other nations which have also signed agreements with other countries in the region."
General Bipin Rawat said it is necessary to strengthen the existing relationship further for the peace and prosperity for both countries who are already "inseparable in every way."

Kunal Kamra scandalous tweets: SC order on Friday

The Supreme Court will pass orders on Friday on the contempt petitions against comedian Kunal Kamra for posting scandalous tweets against the top court. Attorney general K.K. Venugopal had already given consent for filing of the contempt pleas against Kamra, IANS reported.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah asked advocate Nishant Katneshwarkar not to read all the tweets before the bench, as it has already gone through the contents of the plea. After a brief hearing in the matter, the bench said it will pass orders on Friday.
The plea has been filed by law students Shrirang Katneshwarkar, Nitika Duhan, and advocates Amey Abhay Sirsikar, Abhishek Sharan Raskar, and Sattyendra Vinayak Muley. "The alleged contemnor (Kamra) has the following of 1.7 million people. The scandalous tweets of the alleged contemnor were seen by his followers and many of them retweeted the same", said the plea. Citing Section 2 (c) (i) of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, the petitioners argued that this section is explicit and the tweets published by Kamra clearly show he allegedly committed gross contempt of the apex court.

Adelaide Test: How Ponting 'exactly' predicted Shaw's dismissal

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Thursday predicted the exact way Prithvi Shaw would be dismissed, just seconds before the Indian opener got out for a duck in the first session of the first Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval. Ponting, who was in the commentary box for 7 cricket when play began in the pink-ball Test, explained how Shaw has a tendency to leave a gap between his bat and pad while playing in-coming deliveries.

"If he (Shaw) does have a chink in his armour it's the ball which does come back into him," Ponting, who has been working with Shaw at Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals, said after Shaw defended left-arm Mitchell Starc's first ball. "He's very comfortable playing the ball away from his body. He does get his head in line with the ball but he doesn't commit his front foot to the line of the ball and quite often leaves a big gap between bat and pad and that's where the Aussies will target. Starc will try and swing one back in the gate," he added as Starc started his run-up for the second ball.

BJP hits back on Rahul Gandhi over storming against standing committee

Rahul Gandhi attended 2 of 14 meetings of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence in the last year & a half.  He's himself absent & then blames govt & all procedure & walks out of meeting in protest. Standing Committee isn't a protest site. Being absent, not disclosing their desired agenda of discussion, & then making insinuations of non-discussion of 'important issues' is an insult to all parliamentary procedures & constitutional institutions. We condemn this attitude: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

SC refuses to interfere with HC order quashing detention of Kafeel Khan under NSA

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with the Allahabad High Court verdict which had quashed the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA) and ordered his immediate release. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, which was hearing the Uttar Pradesh government's plea challenging the high court's September 1 verdict, said it is a good judgement. We will not interfere in the judgement. However, the observation will not impact any other proceedings, said the bench, also comprising justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state, told the bench that observation made by the high court exonerates Khan in the criminal proceedings.

Coal India aims at substituting 80-85 mt of imported fuel in FY'21

State-run Coal India is aiming at substituting imported dry fuel of 80-85 million tonne with more domestic supplies in the current fiscal, an official said on Thursday. The miner has asked power plants in the coastal areas to submit proposals for a gradual increase of its supplies to these units to reduce foreign exchange outgo, the Coal India official said. "We are expecting to substitute 80-85 million tonne of imported coal this year and have asked the coastal power plants to submit proposals to us and the Railways for domestic supplies," Coal India director marketing S N Tiwari said at an event organised by mjunction.


US has stood with India as it faced Chinese aggression: White House official

Expressing concern over China's increasing aggression across the globe from Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea and along the India-China border, a senior White House official said the US has stood with New Delhi during its military standoff with Beijing. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official asserted that US President Donald Trump, during his presidency, has really strengthened all aspects of the US-India security and defence cooperation to build a comprehensive, enduring and mutually beneficial defence partnership. We have been very concerned with China's increasing aggression really across the globe, whether it be Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea and of course along the India-China border, the senior administration official from the White House told PTI in an exclusive interview.

Cold winds persist in Delhi

Despite clear skies and lots of sunshine, the minimum temperature remained close to four degrees Celsius in most parts of the national capital on Thursday, according to the India Meteorological Department. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a minimum temperature of 4.6 degrees Celsius as frosty winds from the western Himalayas continued to sweep across Delhi. The Ayanagar and Ridge weather stations recorded minimum temperatures of 3.8 degrees Celsius and 3.5 degrees Celsius, respectively.


SC to decide on Friday whether to initiate contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will pronounce its order on Friday on a batch of petitions seeking initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against stand-up comic artist Kunal Kamra for his alleged scandalous tweets against the apex court. The pleas came up for hearing before a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan which heard the submissions of advocate Nishant R Katneshwarkar, who appeared for one of the petitioners and claimed that Kamra had posted several tweets scandalous to the judiciary. "All these tweets are scandalous and we had sought consent from the attorney general," Katneshwarkar told the bench, which also comprised justices R S Reddy and M R Shah. He read out the letter of Attorney General K K Venugopal, who had granted consent for initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against Kamra.

EC starts preparations for assembly polls due mid 2021

The Election Commission (EC) has startedpreparing for thefive assembly polls due some time in April-May next year with two if its senior officials set to visit West Bengal and Tamil Nadu in the next few days. While EC Secretary General Umesh Sinha would be visiting Tamil Nadu next week, Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain would be in West Bengal in the coming days, sources said. The terms of the legislative assemblies of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry is coming to an end between May and June next year. A high stake political battle is expected in most of the states.

Political heat takes over West Bengal

Deputy Election Commissioner to hold a meeting in #Kolkata today with DMs and SPs from East, West Midnapore, Burdwan, Siliguri and Jalpaiguri DM and SPs.  BJP delegation comprising of Pratap Banerjee, Bharati Ghosh & Sabyasachi Dutta will meet Deputy Election Commissioner over law & order issues & early deployment of Central Police Forces in the state.

PM Modi to visit Bangladesh in 2021

Bangladesh is on the verge of celebrating 50 years as an independent nation. Your (PM Modi) visit to Dhaka on 26th March 2021 will be the crowning glory of our joint commemoration of Bangladesh's Liberation War 1971, said PM Hasina. The two prime ministers releases a commemorative stamp on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. They also inaugurated the Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Exhibition.

'Israel aims to attract 100,000 tourists from UAE annually'

Israel is aiming to attract around 100,000 tourists from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) annually, Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen said during a virtual press conference here. Addressing the conference here, the Minister said: "Tourism is key to building a lasting peace between countries, and Israel looks forward to welcoming travellers from the UAE." Direct flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv have already been launched, Xinhua news agency reported. Dubai-based budget carrier flydubai has started operating 14 flights a week offering a double daily service between Dubai International Airport and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport.

PM Modi, Hasina inaugurate Chilahati-Haldibari rail link

I must commend you for the manner in which your government has countered #COVID19. I pay deep homage to the 3 million martyrs who laid their lives. I pay tribute to the members of the Indian armed forces martyred in the 1971 war. I pay my gratitude to the govt and people of India who extended wholehearted support for the cause of our liberation: Bangladesh PM

Watch | PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina hold virtual talks

Tapering of Covid-19 relief lowers risk of decline in asset quality: Moody's

As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, regulators in ASEAN and India are facing a need to strike a balance between continuing to support some borrowers and weaning others off debt relief measures introduced at the onset of outbreak, according to Moody's Investors Service. Authorities in the region are opting to rollback support for borrowers in phases instead of immediately. This will help prevent a spike in non-performing loans (NPLs) by giving both borrowers and banks more time to cope with the impact of the pandemic. "Regulators are gradually scaling back various support measures for borrowers to ease them back into loan repayment," said Moody's in a sector in-depth report. The most common among programmes introduced at the outset of the pandemic to support borrowers are loan moratorium, and they have or will soon be phased out in most countries in the region.


Fuel filling for second stage of PSLV-C50 completed, says ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday announced that the fuel filling and oxidizer process for the second stage of PSLV-C50 has been completed "Filling of fuel and oxidizer for the second stage(PS2) of #PSLVC50 completed," ISRO tweeted. Communication satellite CMS-01 onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C50) is scheduled from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR in Sriharikota today, ISRO said on Friday.

India ranks 131 in the UNDP Human Development Index

India ranks 131 in the United Nations Development  Programme's (UNDP)) Human Development Index. Norway tops the index.  Sri Lanka ranks 72, China at 85 and Bangladesh at 133 and Pakistan at 154.

India's goodwill comes with no strings attached: CDS Bipin Rawat to Nepal

India's goodwill comes with no strings attached. Nepal is free to act independently in international affairs but must be vigilant & learn from Sri Lanka & other nations which have also signed agreements with other countries in the region: CDS General Bipin Rawat

Indian entrepreneur named among 'Young Champions of the Earth' winners by UN environment agency

A 29-year-old Indian entrepreneur is among the seven winners of the prestigious "Young Champions of the Earth" 2020 prize given by the UN environment agency to global change-makers using innovative ideas and ambitious action to help solve some of the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Vidyut Mohan, an engineer, is the co-founder of "Takachar", a social enterprise enabling farmers to prevent open burning of their waste farm residues and earn extra income by converting them into value-added chemicals like activated carbon on-site, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a statement on Tuesday. I've always been passionate about energy access and creating income opportunities for poor communities," Mohan was quoted as saying in the statement.

Foundation stone for Ayodhya mosque to be laid on R-Day; blueprint this week

The blueprint of the mosque to replace the Babri Masjid will be unveiled this Saturday and its foundation laid on Republic Day on the five-acre land allotted for it here, members of the Trust formed for its construction said. "The Trust chose January 26, 2021 for laying the foundation stone of the Ayodhya mosque as on this day our Constitution came into effect over seven decades ago. Our Constitution is based on pluralism, which is the leitmotif of our mosque project," said Athar Hussain, secretary of the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF). The IICF was set up by the Sunni Waqf Board six months ago to build the mosque.

JP Nadda thanks Kerala for improved mandate

I thank the people of Kerala for giving an improved mandate to BJP in Local Body Elections. BJP Kerala President Surendran Ji & Karyakartas worked tirelessly & with this mandate, we will continue to expose the corrupt, communal & hypocrite politics of both LDF & UDF fronts: JP Nadda

MARKET LIVE: Sensex, Nifty trade flat; IndusInd Bank, RIL top gainers

The domestic equity markets were trading flat with a positive bias on Thursday amid mixed global cues. Among the headline indices, the S&P BSE Sensex gained 47 points to 46,710 levels and the broader Nifty50 index was testing the 13,700-mark. IndusInd Bank rose 2 per cent after the Sebi granted one-month extension for the bank's promoters to infuse residual capital in lieu of conversion of warrants, issued to them last year, into equity. Besides, Reliance Industries, Sun Pharma, and Ultratech Cement (all up 1%) were the other top gainers. Follow Market LIVE Updates Here

Encounter in J-K's Anantnag, militant arrested

A militant was arrested in an injured condition during an encounter with security forces in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, police said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Baba Gund Khaleel area in Anantnag district following information about presence of militants there, a police official said. He said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants opened fire on the security forces. One militant was arrested by the security forces in an injured condition and rushed to SMHS hospital here, the official said.


How a US lawsuit claims Google, Facebook cooperated to undermine ad competition

Facebook Inc and Alphabet's Google, the two biggest players in online advertising, used a series of deals to consolidate their market power illegally, Texas and nine other states alleged in a lawsuit against Google on Wednesday. Google and Facebook compete heavily in internet ad sales, together capturing over half of the market globally. The two players agreed in a publicized deal in 2018 to start giving Facebook's advertiser clients the option to place ads within Google's network of publishing partners, the complaint alleged. Executives at the highest level of the companies signed off on the deal, according to the complaint. For example, a sneaker blog that uses software from Google to sell ads could end up generating revenue from a footwear retailer that bought ads on Facebook.

India vs Australia 1st Test: Kohli wins toss, elects to bat

In the first Test of the four-match bilateral series, the Indian cricket team will take on hosts Australia at the Adelaide Oval today. This will be Virat Kohli and company’s first pink ball Test overseas and that too against the most experienced side in day-night Tests. Australia has played and won 7 matches under lights, four of them at the Adelaide Oval. India, on the other hand, played its first and only win late last year against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens. Follow LIVE Scores Here


Cold waves to continue in north India

Cold wave conditions very likely in some pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh Rajasthan, Delhi & West Uttar Pradesh during next 2 days. Dense fog in isolated pockets very likely over Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh during the morning on 17th December. Under the influence of an easterly wave, scattered to fairly widespread rain/thundershowers are very likely over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry & Karaikal, Kerala & Mahe and Lakshadweep area during next 4 days.

BSF guns down two terrorists along Pak border in Punjab

The Border Security Force (BSF) gunned down two terrorists along the India-Pakistan International Border in Punjab in the early hours of Thursday, official sources said. The armed infiltrators were shot dead close to the Attari front around 2:30 am, they said. More details will be known once the troops conduct a search operation, but a dense fog has engulfed the area, the sources said.

India wants a V-shaped recovery at any cost. But what will RBI do?

A collapse in imports during the coronavirus lockdown has left India awash with dollars. Now a further influx of greenbacks is expected as an embryonic economic recovery draws investors back. To banks, this means one thing: The local currency is a sitting duck for appreciation against a weakening dollar. Policy makers won’t want a stronger rupee to become a one-way bet, but the market doesn’t believe them to have many other options. What the authorities have done so far — scoop up the dollars by giving banks rupees — has left the financial system swimming in money and threatens to fuel inflation that’s already above the central bank’s target. It’s a mirror image of China, where a spate of corporate defaults has squeezed interbank liquidity. Read More

Isro to launch CMS-01 onboard PSLV-C50 today

PSLV-C50 will launch CMS-01 from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota today. The launch is tentatively scheduled at 1541 Hrs IST. CMS-01 is a communication satellite envisaged for providing services in Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrum. The Extended-C Band coverage will include Indian mainland, Andaman-Nicobar & Lakshadweep Islands. CMS-01 is the 42nd Communication Satellite of India.

Chinese spacecraft returns to Earth carrying rocks, debris from Moon

A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth Thursday with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. The capsule of the Chang'e 5 probe landed in the Siziwang district of the Inner Mongolia region, state media reported shortly after 2:00 am (1800 GMT). The capsule earlier separated from its orbiter module and performed a bounce off the Earth's atmosphere to reduce its speed before passing through and floating to the ground on parachutes. READ MORE HERE

Canada signs deal with US to send astronaut around moon

Canada has signed an agreement with the US to send a Canadian astronaut around the moon in 2023, Navdeep Bains, Canada's minister of innovation, science and industry, has said. At a video news conference on Wednesday, Bains unveiled the Gateway Treaty, which formalises Canada's involvement in the US-led effort to build a new international space station above the moon surface to allow for exploration and future missions to Mars, Xinhua reported. The treaty includes a commitment to having a Canadian on board when the US conducts a flyby of the moon in 2023, as well as a second flight to the future station. It will not include a moon landing.

First Australia Open in post-Covid era from Feb 8-21

The 2021 ATP Tour calendar outlining a revised schedule for the first seven weeks of the season announced; Australian Open men’s qualifying will take place from 10-13 January in Doha. Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, will follow from 8-21 February.

Boeing hires pilots for airlines to help relaunch 737 MAX: Report

Boeing Co is hiring up to 160 pilots to be embedded at airlines in its latest bid to ensure its 737 MAX has a smooth comeback after a 20-month safety ban, according to a recruitment document seen by Reuters and people familiar with the move. The new "Global Engagement Pilots" will act as instructors or cockpit observers on 35-day assignments at an equivalent annual salary that could reach $200,000, for a total potential cost of $32 million, one of the people said. Read More Here

Chips manufacturing unit demolished as part of anti-adulteration drive in MP's Indore

A chips manufacturing unit was demolished by the Indore administration on Wednesday as part of an anti-adulteration drive, an official said. "Chips were being made from rotten potatoes. They used to wash these potatoes in a hydro powder, which is dangerous for health, to remove blackness over it. Thus, we have demolished their factory," District Collector Manish Singh said. On Monday, the factory was raided by the team of Additional Collector, and action was initiated after they saw the condition of the potatoes lying in the factory's godown.

PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina to hold virtual summit today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina will be holding a virtual summit on Thursday and have comprehensive discussions on the entire spectrum of the bilateral relationship, including further strengthening cooperation in the post COVID era. The summit is being held a day after Vijay Divas, which marks India's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh. India and Bangladesh have continued to maintain regular exchanges at the highest level with Bangladesh Prime Minister paying an official visit to India in October 2019.

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