Latest News LIVE updates: TMC MLA Arindam Bhattacharya joins BJP

Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi today
Latest LIVE News Updates: Another Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Arindam Bhattacharya joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi on Wednesday ahead of West Bengal Assembly polls this year.

Madrid's emergency services say rescue teams, firefighters and police are working in a central area of the Spanish capital following an explosion that witnesses described as extremely loud. 

Earlier in the day, PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday released financial assistance of Rs 2,691 crore to 6.1 lakh beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Modi released the assistance via video conference.Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were present on the occasion.

The Union Cabinet today approved an investment proposal of Rs 5,281.94 crore for the 850 MW Ratle hydro power project on river Chenab in Kishtwar district of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

In another news, the Supreme Court today dismissed a batch of pleas seeking review of its 2018 verdict upholding the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but striking down some of its provisions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.

Bhutan and Maldives today became the first two countries to receive Covid-19 vaccines sent by India in sync with its 'neighbourhood first' policy.

 
Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.

LIVE UPDATES

Indian Railway Finance Corporation IPO subscribed 3.49 times on final day

The initial public offer of Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited was subscribed 3.49 times on the final day of bidding on Wednesday. The offer received bids for 4,35,22,57,225 shares against 1,24,75,05,993 shares on offer.
 
Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) category was subscribed 3.78 times, non institutional investors 2.67 times and retail individual investors (RIIs) 3.66 times.
 
The initial public offer of up to 178.20 crore shares, comprises a fresh issue of up to 118.80 crore shares and an offer for sale of up to 59.40 crore shares. Price range for the offer was fixed at Rs 25-26 per share. IRFC had on Friday raised a little over Rs 1,398 crore from anchor investors. READ ON...

Loud explosion rocks central Madrid; rescue teams to site

Madrid's emergency services say rescue teams, firefighters and police are working in a central area of the Spanish capital following an explosion that witnesses described as extremely loud. Videos and images shared on social media showed a tower of smoke coming out from a building and rubble scattered in a central street of Madrid. Spanish public broadcaster TVE said the explosion took place in a building near a nursing home.
 
Leire Reparaz, who lives near the Puerto de Toledo, a local landmark, told The Associated Press that she heard a loud explosion.
 
We didn't know where the sound came from. We all thought it was from the school. We went up the stairs to the top of our building and we could see the structure of the building and lots of grey smoke, the 24-year-old Madrid resident said.

Cabinet approves Rs 5,000 crore investment for 850 MW Ratle hydro power project in Kishtwar

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an investment proposal of Rs 5,281.94 crore for the 850 MW Ratle hydro power project on river Chenab in Kishtwar district of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, an official statement said.
 
The project will be constructed by a joint venture company (JVC) to be incorporated between National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Ltd (JKSPDC) with equity contribution of 51 per cent and 49 per cent, respectively.
 
The Government of India is also supporting the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir by providing grant of Rs 776.44 crore for equity contribution of JKSPDC in the JVC, the statement added.
 
NHPC shall invest Rs 808.14 crore from its internal resources. The Ratle hydro electric project shall be commissioned within 60 months.

Nasdaq hits record high at open as Netflix soars; Joe Biden takes office

US stocks opened near record highs on Wednesday, as Joe Biden prepared to take charge as US President, while Netflix jumped after saying it will no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its TV shows and movies.
 
The Nasdaq Composite rose 145.4 points, or 1.10%, to an all-time high of 13342.548 at the opening bell.
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 87.00 points, or 0.28%, at the open to 31017.54. The S&P 500 rose 17.30 points, or 0.46%, at the open to 3816.22.

SC rejects pleas seeking review of 2018 Aadhaar verdict

The Supreme Court has dismissed a batch of pleas seeking review of its 2018 verdict upholding the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but striking down some of its provisions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.
 
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar, by a majority of 4:1, rejected the review pleas against the apex court's September 26, 2018 verdict. Justice D Y Chandrachud, one of the five-judges of the bench, dissented with the majority verdict and said that the review petitions be kept pending until a larger bench decides the question related to certification of a bill as a money bill.
 
The Aadhaar Bill was certified as a money bill which enabled the government to get it cleared without getting the assent of a majority in Rajya Sabha.

NCB arrests Dawood Ibrahim's aide in drugs case

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Wednesday arrested gangster Parvez Khan alias Chinku Pathan, a henchman of fugitive Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, in connection with a drugs case from neighbouring Navi Mumbai, an official said, adding some drugs were also seized.
 
Khan is also a relative of late Karim Lala- a mafia don in Mumbai who remained active for more than two decades from the sixties to the early eighties. On a specific information, a team of NCB sleuths led by Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede picked up Parvez Khan from his hideout, he said.
 
Khan, a notorious drugs supplier, has several cases pending against him under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, the official said. Khan also has links with some drug peddlers, who were arrested earlier by the NCB for Mephedrone (MD) trade.

TMC MLA Arindam Bhattacharya joins BJP

Mamata Banerjee inaugurates development projects ahead of assembly polls

Ahead of the assembly polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday inaugurated a slew of development projects in four districts from here and took a veiled dig at those who unveil a single project on a day and keep talking about it.
 
The chief minister inaugurated 40 development projects in Purulia, Jhargram, Paschim Medinipur and Murshidabad districts from here through virtual mode.
 
"Some people are in the habit of inaugurating a single project on a day. But we are working on so many projects that we don't have time to spare like them. "Before leaving for Kolkata today, I am inaugurating all these projects which may appear to be small but will create great impact," Banerjee said. READ MORE...

BJP supporters raise slogan 'desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalo ko" during a party rally in West Bengal

Arindam Bhattacharya, TMC MLA from Shantipur to join BJP in Delhi today

NGT directs SPCBs to follow CPCB guidelines to check pollution caused due to gold testing

The National Green Tribunal has directed all the state pollution control boards (SPCBs) to follow Guidelines for Gold Assaying Hallmarking Centres issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to check pollution caused due to testing of gold. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel asked the CPCB to monitor that all the states ans UTs strictly adhere to the guidelines so that environmental norms are met.
 
The tribunal's direction came while disposing of a plea filed by James Jose, Managing Director, CGR Hallmarkers Pvt. Ltd, seeking regulatory regime to check acidic activities in testing of gold in Kerala.
 
The plea alleged that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) released acids in the environment while testing gold.
 

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan launches Rozgar Utsav under 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' initiative

Kerala Assembly polls likely in April: CEO

Kerala's Chief Electoral Officer Tikkaram Meena has submitted a report to the Election Commission, recommending that the Kerala Assembly election be held by early or middle of April. Meena while speaking to IANS said "The conduct of elections before middle of April will be ideal as the holy Ramzan month commences by mid-April till May. Also CBSE board exams are on May 4 and we will have shortage of schools which are used as polling stations".
 
A team of EC officials will reach the state shortly and hold meetings with representatives of political parties, officials and others regarding the conduct of polls.
 
There are possibilities of a two-phase poll and EC officials will be seeking extensive feedback from the stakeholders including political parties and arrive at a decision, a senior official said.

Cabinet approves MoU with Uzbekistan for cooperation in solar energy

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave ex-post facto approval to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Uzbekistan for cooperation in the field of solar energy.
 
"The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised of signing of Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) between India and Uzbekistan for cooperation in the field of solar energy," an official statement said.
 
According to statement, the main area of work under the MoU is to identify research/demonstration/pilot projects between the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, India and the International Solar Energy Institute (ISEI), Uzbekistan in the mutually identified areas.
 
These areas are solar photovoltaic, storage technologies and transfer of technology. Based on mutual agreement, both parties would work for implementation and deployment of pilot projects in International Solar Alliance (ISA) member countries.

PM Modi releases Rs 2,691 crore for 6.1 lakh PMAY-G beneficiaries in UP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday released financial assistance of Rs 2,691 crore to 6.1 lakh beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Modi released the assistance via video conference.Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were present on the occasion.
 
The assistance includes release of first installment to 5.30 lakh beneficiaries and second installment to 80,000 beneficiaries who have already availed of the first installment of assistance under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G).
 
Modi had given a call of Housing for All by 2022, for which a flagship programme of PMAY-G was launched on November 20, 2016. So far 1.26 crore houses have already been built across the country under the scheme, an official release said.
 

PMAY-G: PM Modi releases financial assistance of around Rs 2,691 crores to 610,000 beneficiaries in UP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi releases financial assistance of around Rs 2691 crores to 610,000 beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh, under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) via video conferencing.

ICC Test rankings: Pant becomes top-ranked wicket-keeper in batting list

ICC Test rankings: Rishabh Pant becomes top-ranked wicket-keeper in batting list

Donald Trump pardons ex-strategist Steve Bannon, dozens of others

President Donald Trump has pardoned former chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of a late flurry of clemency action benefiting nearly 150 people, including rap stars and former members of Congress.
 
The pardons and commutations for 143 people, including Bannon, were announced after midnight Wednesday in the final hours of Trump's White House term.
 
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations, stressed that Trump has flip-flopped repeatedly as he mulls his final actions, and warned the decision could be reversed until it's formally unveiled. Read on...

Troops of Indian Navy rehearse at Rajpath ahead of Republic Day parade

ITBP's crack K9 commandos to secure Rajpath on Republic Day

ITBP's crack K9 commandos to secure Rajpath on Republic Day
 

Income Tax raids underway at 28 premises of evangelist Paul Dhinakaran in Tamil Nadu

Income Tax raids underway at 28 premises of evangelist Paul Dhinakaran in Tamil Nadu, over alleged tax evasion. The premises include Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences, and Jesus Calls ministry. More details awaited.

Long shot? Capitol rioters hold out hope for a Trump pardon

In what could be the longest of legal longshots, several of those arrested for storming the U.S. Capitol are holding out hope that President Donald Trump will use some of his last hours in office to grant the rioters a full and complete pardon.
 
Longtime advisers to Trump are urging him against such a move but the rioters contend their argument is compelling: They went to the Capitol to support Trump, and now that they are facing charges carrying up to 20 years in prison, it's time for Trump to support them.
 
I feel like I was basically following my president. I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there. So I was doing what he asked us to do, said Jenna Ryan, a Dallas-area real-estate agent who took a private jet to the Jan. 6 rally and ensuing riot to disrupt the certification of the election of President-elect Joe Biden.

J-K: Sajad Lone's People's Conference pulls out of Gupkar alliance

Peoples Conference, which is headed by Sajad Gani Lone, has pulled out of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Tuesday.
 
Several parties, including the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference and CPI(M), formed the PAGD to contest District Development Council (DDC) elections together and for the restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Read on...

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