Latest News LIVE updates: Six killed in mine accident in Meghalaya

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Latest LIVE news updates: At least six peple were killed in an accident at a mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said that whether the fire at the Serum Institute of India (SII) was an accident or sabotage will be known only after the probe gets over. Five men died in the fire that broke out in a five- storeyed under-construction building in the SII's Manjari premises in Pune on Thursday.

The Congress party will have an elected president by June 2021, with the party's working committee on Friday approving holding the internal election after the assembly polls. The CWC passed three resolutions demanding a repeal of the three agriculture laws, a time-bound JPC probe into the alleged violations of national security and Official Secrets Act and another to ensure that the government ensures free time-bound Covid-19 vaccination for the poor and oppressed sections.

An explosion of a truckload of explosives, suspected to be meant for mining, killed at least eight people in Karnataka's Shivamogga district on Thursday night and sent shockwaves in neighbouring areas, police said. The massive explosion took place near a gravels and boulders crushing facility around 10.30 pm, sending shockwaves not only in Shivamogga, but also in neighbouring Chikkamagaluru and Davangere districts.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.

LIVE UPDATES

Reliance Retail Q3 revenue declines 9.7% to Rs 33,018 crore; profit surges

Reliance Retail, the retail arm of Reliance Industries (RIL), reported a 9.7 per cent sequential decline in its revenue from operations which stood at Rs 33,018 crore in the December quarter (Q3), but profit surged on the back of strong operational performance, it said on Friday.
 
Yearly numbers are not comparable, RIL said, since the petro retail business, which makes up 40 per cent of the company’s retail revenues, has been demerged.
 
Gross sales decreased 8 per cent sequentially to Rs 37,845 crore in Q3.
 
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 53.9 per cent sequentially in Q3 to touch Rs 3,087 crore, while Ebitda margins expanded 380 basis points to 9.3 per cent. RIL does not report net profit numbers for its retail business.
 
The firm said all stores were operational during the quarter, with the company adding 327 new stores in Q3. Total store count now stands at 12,201 outlets spread over 31.2 million sq ft.
 
Analysts expect the retail business to pick up as the economy recovers. The company is also beginning to consolidate backend operations of the Future business into it. Read more

Texas sues Biden administration over halt to deportations

Texas has moved to stop President Joe Biden from allowing a 100-day moratorium on deportations, bringing one of the first lawsuits against his new administration.
 
In rushing to court not even a week after Biden was sworn in, America's biggest red state signaled that it was ready to resume the role of chief antagonist to a Democratic president's immigration agenda, after four years of cheering on Donald Trump's hardline policies along the southern border.
 
The federal lawsuit seeks a halt to the deportation moratorium “for certain noncitizens" that was to begin Friday. Biden has already signed a raft of executive orders, including one revoking Trump's mandate that made anyone in the US illegally a priority for deportation.
 
Texas claims the moratorium violates an agreement, signed in the waning weeks of Trump's presidency, that required the federal government to run changes to immigration enforcement past the state first.
 
Legal scholars, however, have questioned whether the agreement could allow states to stop Biden administration policies.
 

Biden administration to discuss stimulus with lawmakers on Sunday

The Biden administration plans to discuss the need for economic stimulus with a group of senators on Sunday, White House national economic council director Brian Deese said on Friday, as it seeks to build support for what it sees as a critical round of new coronavirus relief.
 
"We're at a precarious moment for the virus and the economy. Without decisive action, we risk falling into a very serious economic hole, even more serious than the crisis we find ourselves," Deese told reporters at a White House briefing.
 
Democratic President Joe Biden, who took office on Wednesday, has proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. But some key moderate Republicans have said it is too soon to move additional relief legislation following passage in December of a $900 billion stimulus package.
 
The pandemic recession has hit Americans hard. Some 16 million are now receiving some type of unemployment benefit, and an estimated 29 million don't have enough to eat. Women, minorities and low-income service workers have been disproportionately impacted, with Black and Hispanic workers facing higher jobless rates than white workers.

Reliance Jio net profit rises 15.5% to Rs 3,489 crore in December quarter

Jio Platforms recorded 15.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter rise in net profit to Rs 3,489 crore for October-December 2020, its parent firm Reliance Industries Limited said on Friday.

Jio Platforms, which provides digital and telecom services, had posted a net profit of Rs 3,020 crore in the previous quarter. The revenue of the company stood at Rs 22,858 crore in the October-December 2020 period.

Jio Platforms reported a total customer base of 41 crore as of December 31, 2020. The company reported monthly average revenue per user of Rs 151 as against Rs 145 in the trailing quarter.

Work restarts at Ram temple site in Ayodhya

The work restarted at the Ram temple site in Ayodhya, two months after it stopped due to a problem caused by the groundwater. A member of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra, the trust overseeing the temple construction, said they have finalised the design of its foundation after discussions with engineers from the Larsen and Toubro and Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd.
 
A two-day puja was also performed at the temple site to mark the restarting of construction activity.
 
Temple trust member Dr Anil Mishra said after the puja, digging has started and it will take almost 70 days to remove the debris. In the puja, Ram temple construction panel chairman Nripendra Mishra took part.

R-Day parade: Navy tableau to showcase INS Vikrant model, operations conducted during 1971 war

The Indian Navy's tableau at the Republic Day parade this year will showcase models of INS Vikrant and naval operations that were conducted during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, said its spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal on Friday.
 
"This year's tableau being paraded is in pursuance of tri-services theme 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh' and showcases Indian Navy's stellar role during the 1971 Indo-Pak war," he said at a press conference here.
 
The forward part of the tableau depicts the attack on Karachi harbour by the missile boats undertaken as part of Operation Trident and Python, Madhwal mentioned.
 
"The rear section shows the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant conducting flying operations. These operations led to a sizable damage to ships and shore installations of east Pakistan and contributed immensely to the victory at sea," he said.
 
The tableau commanders would be Lieutenant Commander C S Ruben and Lieutenant Commander Surbhi Sharma, he mentioned.

SII fire accident or sabotage to be known after probe: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said that whether the fire at the Serum Institute of India (SII) was an accident or sabotage will be known only after the probe gets over. Five men died in the fire that broke out in a five- storeyed under-construction building in the SII's Manjari premises in Pune on Thursday.
 
Addressing a press conference after visiting the site of the fire, Thackeray said, "Let the investigation get completed. It is not correct to say anything now. After the probe gets over, we will know whether it was an accident or sabotage."
 
Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII said there was no damage to the Covishield vaccine production, but other facilities involved in the production of Rotavirus and BCG vaccines were damaged.

Beti Bachao campaign led to improvement in sex ratio at birth: Smriti Irani

The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao movement has made a lasting impression on people resulting in 16 points improvement in sex ratio at birth, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said on Friday.
 
She said that while the increase in sex ratio at birth and enrolment ratio of girls in school at the secondary level is encouraging, the government continues to strive towards making further improvement through BBBP along with health and education ministries and the citizens of the country.
 
The BBBP scheme is one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet projects and was launched by him in January, 2015 in Panipat, Haryana. It focuses on districts with the worst child sex ratio (CSR) as per the 2011 Census. READ ON...

CWC demands repealing of farm laws, JPC probe into chat leak

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Friday passed three resolutions, including a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe over the alleged chat leak endangering the national security. A resolution demanding withdrawal of three farm laws was also passed while the CWC also appreciated the scientist and appealed to the people to come forward for the Covid vaccination.
 
The virtual CWC meeting chaired by Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi was attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former party chief Rahul Gandhi and several other senior leaders.
 
Addressing the media after the CWC, Congress General Secretary (Organisation) K. C. Venugopal said, "The CWC expressed its concern at the recent revelations exposing in the sordid conversations that have undoubtedly compromised national security. It is clear that among those involved are persons in the highest echelons of government and there has been a breach of secrecy concerning vital and sensitive military operations."

Fire had no impact on production of Covishield vaccine: Serum Institute CEO

IRCTC to resume e-catering services from next month

In a big relief to passengers, IRCTC will resume its e-catering services from next month, a statement from the railways' catering arm said on Friday. Due to onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent unprecedented lockdown, e-catering services were suspended on March 22, 2020.
 
IRCTC, the catering and tourism arm of the Indian Railways, is going to restart its e-catering services for passengers travelling in the special trains that are currently operating.
 
IRCTC had started this unique service in the year 2014 whereby passengers could order an array of food of their choice from reputed brands as well as popular regional and local delicacies on phone or online while travelling on trains and get the same delivered to their seats at the railway station. During the pre-COVID period, IRCTC had started clocking 20,000 e-catering orders per day.

Long road for Tesla in India with infrastructure, supply chain woes

Tesla Inc is gearing up for an India launch but the U.S. electric carmaker is likely to remain a niche player for years, catering only to the rich and affluent in the world's second-most populous nation.
 
India's fledgling electric vehicle (EV) market accounted for only 5,000 out of a total 2.4 million cars sold in the country last year. A lack of local production of components and batteries, negligible charging infrastructure and the high cost of EVs mean there have been few takers in the price-conscious market.
 
It's also difficult to see how Tesla's sought-after and expensive autonomous driving features will work on India's congested roads. Ammar Master, a forecaster at consultancy LMC Automotive, said he expects Tesla to annually sell only 50-100 of its Model 3 electric sedans in India, at least in the first five years. READ ON...

Six killed in mine accident in Meghalaya

At least six peple were killed in an accident at a mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district, a senior official said on Friday. Deputy Commissioner E Kharmalki said the incident took place late on Thursday at a mining site near Dienshalalu, Sarkari and Rymbai villages.
 
"Altogether, six persons were killed. While the workers were digging a hole in the mine, suddenly the mechanical structure dismantled following which they fell into a pit and died," he said.
 
Five of the six deceased have been identified, the official said, adding, most of them are from neighbouring Assam. Kharmalki said it was not clear yet whether the workers were engaged in coal mining or stone mining activities. Police has lodged a case against the employer and investigation is underway. In December 2018, 15 people were killed in a similar mine accident in the state.

Congress to elect party president by June 2021, says CWC

The Congress party will have an elected president by June 2021, with the party's working committee on Friday approving holding the internal election after the assembly polls. The committee after a three and a half hour meeting authorised incumbent party chief Sonia Gandhi to schedule the internal election after the conclusion of assembly polls in five states.
 
Addressing a joint press conference, Congress leaders K C Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala said elections to the CWC will also be held but it remains to be seen whether they can be scheduled before or after the election to the Congress chief's post.
 
Sources said the Central Election Authority has proposed the holding of polls for electing the party president and AICC session on May 29 and the working committee discussed the dates, but authorised Sonia Gandhi to schedule them after the assembly polls.
 
The CWC passed three resolutions demanding a repeal of the three agriculture laws, a time-bound JPC probe into the alleged violations of national security and Official Secrets Act and another to ensure that the government ensures free time-bound COVID-19 vaccination for the poor and oppressed sections.

CWC demands JPC probe in violation of Official Secrets Act over leaked WhatsApp chat of Arnab Goswami

CWC demands JPC probe on alleged breach of national security, violation of Official Secrets Act over leaked WhatsApp chat of Arnab Goswami. CWC has decided that there will be new elected Congress president in June 2021: Party leader K C Venugopal.

Forensic team visits Serum Institute's Manjari plant to probe fire incident

A day after a fire broke out at the Manjari plant of Serum Institute of India in Pune, a forensic team of the state government on Friday visited the incident site to collect samples for investigation.
 
On Thursday, five people lost their lives in the fire incident.
 
The fire broke out at about 2:45 pm yesterday at an under-construction building where vaccine production was supposed to start after a month. The fire broke out at the 4th and 5th floors of the SEZ3 building. Hours later, another fire broke out again in one of the compartments of the building at SII. The SII has announced a compensation of Rs 25 lakhs each to the families of deceased. READ ON...

Govt not in favor of extra chance to UPSC aspirants who missed last attempt

The Centre Friday told the Supreme Court that it was not in favour of granting one extra opportunity to those civil services aspirants who could not appear in their last attempt in the exams conducted by the UPSC last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar took note of the submissions of Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing on behalf of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
 
"We are not ready to give one more chance. Give me the time to file an affidavit... last night I received instruction that we are not agreeable," Raju told the bench, which also comprised justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murai. READ ON...

Congress Working Committee passes a resolution on farmers

Over 750 poultry birds to be culled in Hingoli district of Maharashtra on Saturday

As many as 764 poultry birds will be culled in Hingoli district of Maharashtra on Saturday to check the spread of bird flu, an official said on Friday. The decision has been taken by the animal husbandry department after samples of dead poultry birds sent from Pimpri Khurd, a village located 50km from Hingoli city, to a lab in Bhopal tested positive for avian influenza, he said.
 
The administration has declared a prohibited zone in the village and poultry birds, raised in backyard by households, in the area will be culled, the animal husbandry department official told PTI. Twenty four hens in Pimpri Khurd died on January 16 followed by five more later, he said. Their samples were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, for analysis.
 
"Reports of birds which died in Pimpri Khurd are positive for the bird flu infection. A total of 764 birds were found in the infected zone in our survey.

Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi gets Z+ security for movement across India

Budget 2021 must redirect govt focus on resolving demand-side issue: Ind-Ra

The budget must redirect the government focus in resolving demand-side issues by moving away from fixing supply side problem which has been the focus since March when the pandemic began to pummel the economy, says a report.
 
The pandemic induced lockdowns resulted in the economy tanking 23.9 per cent in the June quarter but made a dramatic recovery with the contraction improving to just 7.5 per cent in Q2 and is likely to re-enter the green zone in the second half which may help the economy close FY21 with a contraction of 7.5-8 per cent.
 
"It is high time to change gears and focus on the demand side as well, lest the ongoing recovery begins to lose steam. There is nothing wrong in addressing the supply-side issues, as it was necessary to restore/augment the broken supply chains. But, lack of adequate demand may jeopardise the recovery and may even lead to a second-round impact," Sunil Kumar Sinha of India Ratings warned in a note on Friday. READ ON...

Indian Navy P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft will supply 100,000 dosages of Covid-19 vaccine to Mauritius

Karnataka blast: Police & district admin are taking care of rescue operations, says state home minister

Police & District Administration are taking care of rescue operations. Compensation & other such factors will be decided by the CM. Preliminary information says there're 7 deaths. But further information only after full clearing of area: Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka Home Minister

National security thoroughly compromised, govt's silence is deafening: Sonia on Arnab Goswami WhatsApp chats

National security thoroughly compromised, govt's silence is deafening: Sonia on Arnab Goswami WhatsApp chats

National security thoroughly compromised, govt's silence is deafening: Sonia Gandhi on Arnab leaks

National security thoroughly compromised, govt's silence is deafening: Sonia Gandhi on Arnab leaks

Congress organisational election likely to be held in May, reports ANI

Congress organisational election likely to be held in May, reports ANI

Fire breaks out at the Institution of Engineers building at ITO in Delhi

A fire broke out at the Institution of Engineers building at ITO in Delhi on Friday . No injuries were reported, and the blaze has been brought under control, the Fire Department said.

CBI books Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research for illegally harvesting data of FB users: Officials

CBI books Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research for illegally harvesting data of FB users: Officials

PM Modi addresses 18th Convocation of Tezpur University, Assam

PM Modi addresses 18th Convocation of Tezpur University, Assam

Shivamogga blast: CM BS Yediyurappas has ordered a high-level probe into the incident

Karnataka: Police and officials inspect the site in Hunasodu village of Shivamogga district where a blast occurred last night. CM BS Yediyurappas has ordered a high-level probe into the incident.

Maharashtra: At least 7 workers hospitalised after gas leak at chemical company in's Raigad district: police

Maharashtra: At least 7 workers hospitalised after gas leak at chemical company in's Raigad district: police

Pained by the loss of lives in Shivamogga, says PM Modi

Karnataka: Major explosion kills at least 8, jolts Shivamogga, neighbouring districts

An explosion of a truckload of explosives, suspected to be meant for mining, killed at least eight people in Karnataka's Shivamogga district on Thursday night and sent shockwaves in neighbouring areas, police said.
 
The massive explosion took place near a gravels and boulders crushing facility around 10.30 pm, sending shockwaves not only in Shivamogga, but also in neighbouring Chikkamagaluru and Davangere districts.
 
So strong was the blast that window panes shattered while many houses and even roads developed cracks, said an eye-witnesses.
 

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