LIVE: In last 6 years, India's solar energy capacity up 13 times, says PM

PM Narendra Modi. Photo: ANI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of key projects of power and urban sectors in the poll-bound Kerala today via video conferencing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that a re-look is needed at our consumption patterns to reduce their ecological impact as consumption-oriented economic models have put a great strain on the planet.

"It is just not enough to make our production processes more efficient and less polluting," Modi said at the India-Australia circular Economy Hackathon (I-ACE).

Meanwhile, The Jharkhand High Court to hear bail plea of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad in connection with the fodder scam case today.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to host fellow G7 leaders for a virtual meeting today ahead of its presidency of a summit in June of the Group of Seven countries including the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.


SC directs RBI to frame new bank locker rules in 6 months

No permission for Rakesh Tikait's rally tomorrow in Yavatmal

Yavatmal district administration in Maharashtra on Friday again denied permission for farmer leader Rakesh Tikait's 'Maha Panchayat' rally which was to take place on Saturday. The administration had rejected an earlier application for permission too, and the latest application was also rejected in view of the worsening coronavirus situation in the district, a senior official told PTI. On Thursday, officials had ordered curbs on gatherings and also closure of schools (which had reopened for select classes) for ten days in view of the rising cases of coronavirus. The rally by Tikait, one of the leaders of farmers' agitation on Delhi borders against the Centre's new farm laws, was to take place at Azad Maidan ground in Yavatmal city in eastern Maharashtra.

Over 13.8 mn traffic violations reported last year compared to 10.5 mn in 2019: Police

Despite the Covid-19-induced lockdown, over 1.38 crore traffic violations were reported last year in comparison to 1.05 crore in 2019, the police said on Friday. It also said they collected 30 per cent higher amount from challans last year in comparison to 2019. The police said the amount was higher due to hike in fines for traffic violations under the newly introduced Motor Vehicle Act, according to PTI. The data shared by police showed that total 1,38,02,973 traffic violations were reported last year as compared to 1,05,80,249 in 2019.

The police collected Rs 124.16 crore last year as compared to Rs 94.07 crore in 2019. "We work on two aspects. The first is congestion where we ensure that the traffic moves without any obstruction. The second one is accidents where we ensure that people obey the traffic rules to reduce accidents on roads," Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Taj Hassan said. The areas of focus for enforcement are three people riding on two-wheelers, unauthorised parking, dangerous driving, riding without helmet among others, police said. The fatal accidents have reduced by 19 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019, from 1,433 to 1,163, they said, as PTI report.

Opposition spreading false propaganda about farm laws: FM Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday accused the opposition parties of spreading false propaganda about the contentious farm laws and said they were protesting only to benefit middlemen. Addressing the traders' cell of Tamil Nadu BJP here, she also said those who were causing hindrance to the progress of the growth of Tamil Nadu were now criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government at the Centre. "How can one answer to a false propaganda that through the farmer's law a farmer could lose his land?", she asked, referring to the protests demanding repeal of the laws. Read more

ECI to deploy 125 companies of central forces in West Bengal for assembly polls

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to deploy 125 companies of central forces in West Bengal by February 25 for the ensuing assembly elections, a senior official said on Friday, according to PTI. The central armed police forces for the state will include 60 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 30 companies of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and five companies each of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), he said, as reported by PTI.

"The district-wise list of CAPF coys has been forwarded by the chief electoral officer of West Bengal. "The senior superintendents of police and chief superintendents of police have been advised to take necessary steps for their accommodation, transportation and other logistics," the official said. As part of the deployment plan, 12 companies of the central forces are scheduled to arrive in the metropolis on Saturday, he said, PTI reported.

Dhunseri, Berger may invest Rs 500 cr in Bengal's Panagarh industrial park

Berger Paints and Kolkata-based Dhunseri Group are looking at investing around Rs 500 crore at Panagarh industrial park near the industrial township of Durgapur and already sought land for their respective projects. The paints major is contemplating to invest around Rs 100 crore to manufacture construction chemicals and putty, sources said. Dhunseri Ventures plans to set up a packaging material unit primarily for food processing, cosmetics, personal care and pharmaceuticals industries at an estimated cost of Rs 400 crore, they said. Read more

Tech used heavily to probe northeast Delhi riots cases: Delhi Police chief

Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava on Friday said technology was used extensively to investigate over 750 cases related to the northeast Delhi riots that led to the arrest of over 200 people. Addressing the annual press conference at Delhi Police headquarters, Shrivastava said 755 FIRs were registered in connection with the riots and his force ensured a "free and fair" investigation. Communal violence had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured. Read more

Average selling price of used cars falls first time in five years: Report

The average selling price (ASP) of used cars and scooters dropped in 2020 from a year ago even as prices for motorbikes and luxury cars rose during the period, according to Droom’s Automobile Trend Report for pre-owned vehicles. Based on a sample of over 1.1 billion visitors, 20,000 auto dealers in 1,086 cities and three million listings, the report shows that ASP of used cars in the mass segment fell to Rs 8,38,827 from Rs 9,16,831 in 2019. Read more

Toolkit case: Some media coverage of FIR against Disha sensational, prejudicial, says HC

The Delhi High Court Friday said certain media coverage of investigation into the FIR against climate activist Disha Ravi for her alleged involvement in sharing a toolkit backing farmers' protest indicates "sensationalism and prejudicial reporting", but declined to order removal of any such content at this stage. "Recent coverage by the media definitely shows that there is sensationalism," Justice Prathiba M Singh said and added that the issue of removal of content which was already in public domain shall be considered at a later stage, according to PTI.

Later in the day, a trial court sent Ravi to judicial custodyfor three days after her five-day police custody expired on Friday. The high court heard Ravi's plea to restrain police from leaking to the media any probe material in relation to the FIR lodged against her. The petition also sought to restrain the media from publishing the content or extract of any private chats, including those on WhatsApp, between her and third parties, PTI reported.

Forex reserves down by $249 million to $583.697 billion

The country's foreign exchange reserves fell by USD 249 million to USD 583.697 billion in the week ended February 12, RBI data showed on Friday. In the previous week, the reserves had declined by USD 6.24 billion to stand at USD 583.945 billion. It had touched a record high of USD 590.185 billion in the week ended January 29, 2021. In the reporting week, the decrease in reserves was mainly due to a fall in the foreign currency assets (FCAs), a major component of the overall reserves. Read more

BJP yuva leader Pamela Goswami arrested allegedly with 100 gm of cocaine in Kolkata

BJP's youth wing leader Pamela Goswami arrested allegedly with 100 gm of cocaine from south Kolkata's New Alipore area, PTI reports quoting Police.

400 personnel suspended, 1,325 punished for misconduct in 2020: Delhi Police

Delhi Police says over 400 of its personnel were placed under suspension and another 1,325 punished for misconduct in 2020, according to PTI.

Consumer confidence among urban Indians improves in February

Consumer confidence among urban Indians has moved up slightly, by 0.9 percentage point, in February so far, according to a monthly Refinitiv-Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI) survey. The PCSI, which is driven by the aggregation of the four weighted sub-indices is a mixed bag this month, the survey said.

The PCSI Employment Confidence (Jobs) sub-index moved up 1.5 percentage points, the PCSI Current Personal Financial Conditions (Current Conditions) sub-index increased by 2.8 percentage points, and the PCSI Investment Climate (Investment) sub-index is up by 2.1 percentage points. Read more

Ikea arm to set up first shopping mall in India for Rs 5,500 cr

Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka group, which also owns most Ikea stores worldwide, on Friday said that it was setting up its first shopping centre in India for an investment of Rs 5,500 crore. This will mark a significant step-up for the group's big-box retail plans in the country.

The group already has two flagship Ikea stores in India, one in Hyderabad, the other in Navi Mumbai, measuring over 400,000 sq ft each.

The proposed mall, to be launched in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, will add to Ingka Centres' growing list of properties across the world. The company has 45 shopping centres across Europe, Russia and China. It plans to enter the United States this year and is looking to foray deeper into existing markets of operation. Read more

United States officially rejoins the Paris Agreement: US Embassy in India

Petrol crosses Rs 90 mark in Delhi, diesel at Rs 80.60

Petrol price on Friday crossed the Rs 90-per-litre mark in the national capital, and diesel soared to Rs 80.60 after rates were increased for the 11th consecutive day in a row. Petrol price on Friday was hiked by 31 paise per litre and diesel by 33 paise, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. This pushed the petrol price to Rs 90.19 a litre in Delhi and to Rs 96.62 in Mumbai. Diesel now comes for Rs 80.60 a litre in the national capital and for Rs 87.62 in Mumbai, according to PTI.

Pragya Singh Thakur admitted to AIIMS, Delhi

Pragya Singh Thakur, BJP MP from Bhopal, has been admitted to AIIMS, Delhi on doctors' advice, according to her office. (ANI reported)

BJP MP Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur | PTI photo

Agri ministry permitted to use drones for remote sensing data collection

The agriculture ministry has been permitted to use drones for remote sensing data collection under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). "The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Directorate General of Civil Aviation have granted conditional exemption for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) usage to Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW)," an official statement said on Friday, as per PTI report.

This will allow MoAFW to use drones for remote sensing data collection in agricultural areas of 100 districts of the country for gram panchayat level yield estimation, under PMFBY. The conditional exemption will be valid for one year from the date of issue of the permission letter or until the operationalisation of the Digital Sky Platform, whichever is earlier, the statement by the civil aviation ministry said. This exemption shall be valid only if all conditions and limitations are strictly adhered to, it said, according to PTI.

While conditional exemption has been given to MoAFW, it still needs to obtain necessary clearances from the local administration, the defence ministry, home ministry, Indian Air Force and Airports Authority of India, the statement added.

Seek Kerala's support to realise vision of togetherness, development: Modi

7-member panel formed to make action plan on dust pollution in Delhi: Gopal Rai

Seven-member committee including Delhi Pollution Control Committee, IIT Delhi, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to make action plan on dust pollution in Delhi. Round table conference on March 4 to discuss over anti-pollution campaign till September. Connaught Place's smog tower completion expected in June. Public Works Department and MCD have been directed to fasten the sprinkling work. Delhi government is also looking into strengthening 'Green War Room' monitoring, Gopal Rai, Delhi Environment Minister said as reported by ANI.

Govt working towards connecting farmers to solar sector: PM Modi

India is devoting great importance to solar energy. Our gains in solar energy ensure a stronger fight against climate change & a boost to our entrepreneurs. Work is also underway to connect our hard-working farmers with solar sector & make our 'annadata' 'urzadata' also, said PM Modi (ANI reported)

PM Modi virtually inaugurates several development projects in Kerala

4.0 magnitude earthquake hits Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand

Magnitude 4 earthquake hit Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand at 4:38 pm today, according to ANI.

Jharkhand HC rejects Lalu Prasad Yadav's bail plea in the Dumka treasury case

Jharkhand High Court rejects RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav's bail plea in the Dumka treasury case, asks him to file a fresh petition after two months, according to ANI. 

Latest News: Punjab assembly session from March 1

The budget session of the Punjab assembly will be convened from March 1.
The decision to hold the budget session of the state assembly from March 1 to 10 was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday.
The state budget for fiscal 2021-22 is proposed to be tabled on March 8, said an official spokesperson.

LIVE: Delhi court sends Disha Ravi to three-day judicial custody

Delhi Court sends Disha Ravi to three-day judicial custody in connection with the Toolkit case, Bar and Bench reported. 

DRDO conducts successful trials of anti-tank guided missile systems

The joint user trials for anti-tank guided missile systems, developed indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), have been carried out successfully in desert ranges on Friday.
The trials of Helina (Army Version) and Dhruvastra (Air Force Version) missile systems have been carried out from Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) platform. Read here

Latest LIVE: Conveyed to Indian govt our commitment to protect privacy, says WhatsApp

Hours after announcing the decision to go ahead with its controversial privacy policy update, WhatsApp on Friday said it has conveyed to the Indian government that it remains committed to protection of privacy of personal conversations across the country.
Last month, the messaging app had faced a volley of questions from the Indian government after it informed users that it was updating its privacy policy under which it could share limited user data with Facebook and its group firms.
The backlash and users opting for rival apps Telegram and Signal, prompted WhatsApp to delay the rollout to May but on Friday, the company said the policy will be rolled out but the platform will allow users to read it at "their own pace".
Whatsapp will also provide a banner offering additional information on the update.

Latest LIVE: MP Congress calls for half-day 'bandh' in state tomorrow against rising fuel prices

Madhya Pradesh Congress gives call for half-day 'bandh' in state tomorrow against rising fuel prices

Latest News LIVE: 62 bodies, 28 parts recovered from project sites in Uttarakhand

62 dead bodies and 28 body parts recovered. Rescue and search operation underway at five places in Chamoli, Uttarakhand: DGP Ashok Kumar

Latest News LIVE: Disha Ravi produced before Patiala House Court in Toolkit case

Latest News: Biden to debut at G7 with vaccines, economy and China in focus

US President Joe Biden will attend his first meeting with Group of Seven leaders on Friday to discuss plans to defeat the coronavirus, reopen the battered world economy and counter challenges posed by China.
The Covid-19 pandemic has killed 2.4 million people, tipped the global economy into its worst peacetime slump since the Great Depression and upended normal life for billions.
Biden “will focus on the global response to the pandemic, including vaccine production, distribution of supplies” and efforts to fight emerging infections, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Thursday.
He “will also discuss the global economic recovery, including the importance of all industrial countries maintaining economic support for the recovery” and “the importance of updating global roles to tackle economic challenges such as those posed by China,” Psaki said.

Latest News LIVE: British pound hits near 3-year high above $1.40, reports AFP

Latest News LIVE updates: Militants kill two policemen in Srinagar

Two policemen were killed by militants in the Baghat area on high security airport road here on Friday, police said.
The terrorists shot the two policemen from close range, a police official said, adding they were taken to a hospital where both of them succumbed.
He identified the slain policemen as constables Sohail and Mohammad Yousuf.
Security forces have launched an operation to track down the assailants, the official said. (PTI)

Latest News: 80% Indian corporate banks to leverage Cloud by 2024, says report

Nearly 80 per cent of corporate banks in India are forecast to run their trade finance and treasury workloads on Cloud by 2024, said a new IDC report on Friday.
By 2023, to counter the uncertainty of the pandemic, 60 per cent of corporate banks will be revisiting credit scoring models and prioritising an open data strategy to improve loan portfolio health, according to the report.
Compared with developed economies, India's corporate banking sector is still in its nascent stage in terms of product and service offerings.
However, this is being tested on twin counts of increasing digitalisation of the Indian economy and globalisation of Indian companies, which are bringing in rapid sophistication in operations and engagement.

India, China complete disengagement in Pangong lake area: Report

After completing the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the north and south banks of Pangong lake, India and China will hold a fresh round of high-level military talks on Saturday to take forward the disengagement process in Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang in eastern Ladakh, PTI reported on Friday quoting said official sources.
The tenth round of Corps Commander-level talks are scheduled to start at 10 am at the Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control, and will be the first engagement between the two sides at a senior level after conclusion of the disengagement process in Pangong lake areas, they said.
Sources said pulling back of troops, weapons and other military hardware as well as dismantling of bunkers, tents and temporary structures in north and south banks of Pangong lake were completed on Thursday and both sides have carried out a verification of the same.

Latest news LIVE updates: Open to chief ministership if BJP comes to power: E Sreedharan

'Metroman' E Sreedharan says open to chief ministership if BJP comes to power in Kerala.
"Entering political fray with aim to bring BJP to power in Kerala, work for state's benefit", he says.

"If BJP wins Kerala assembly polls, focus will be to bring state out of debt trap, develop infrastructure," he added ahead of joining the party.

Latest LIVE: 152 arrested in probe related to farmers protest: Delhi Police Commissioner

152 people have been arrested in a probe in connection with farmers' protest, says Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava

"Some may not want to join the probe but it is not up to their will. Farmer leaders have responded to the notices served to them," he said. 

Latest Live News: Prime Minister to visit Puducherry on February 25

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a one-day visit to poll-bound Puducherry on February 25, the BJP's Puducherry unit said on Friday.
Modi will address a public meeting at AFT mill Thildal here during his visit, the party's Puducherry president V Saminathan, MLA, said, adding, other programmes were not finalised.
This would be the Prime Minister's second visit to the Union Territory since February 2018 when he participated in the golden jubilee celebrations of Auroville International township.

Latest LIVE updates: West Bengal minister Jakir Hossain, injured in bomb blast, is stable now: Official

West Bengal minister Jakir Hossain, who was seriously injured in bomb blast, is stable now: Official

SC refuses to entertain plea against MP law on religious conversions

The Supreme Court Friday refused to entertain a plea challenging the validity of controversial Madhya Pradesh ordinance regulating conversions due to inter-faith marriages.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked petitioner lawyer Vishal Thakre to go to the Madhya Pradesh High Court in the proceedings conducted through video conferencing.
"Approach the Madhya Pradesh High Court. We would like to have the views of the high court. We have sent similar matters back to the high court," said the bench which also comprised Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

Unnao case: AISA members hold protest outside UP Bhawan in Delhi, detained

The Delhi Police on Friday detained members of the Left-affiliated All India Students' Association (AISA) protesting outside the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan here against the deaths of two girls whose bodies were found in a field in Unnao.
Three girls, aged 16, 15 and 14, were found in the field by the villagers when they did not return after leaving their house to take fodder for cattle, according to the UP police.
The villagers rushed the teenagers, who are related, to a hospital, where two of them were declared brought dead. The third girl, who is on ventilator support at a Kanpur hospital, is being treated for suspected poisoning, the police said on Thursday, adding they have registered a murder case in connection with the deaths.

Latest LIVE: Electric vehicles should be made mandatory for all govt officials, says Gadkari

Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday made a case for making it mandatory to use electric vehicles for all officials in government ministries and department.
He also suggested that government should give subsidy to buy electric cooking appliances instead of giving support for buying cooking gas to households.
Addressing at the launch Go Electric campaign, Gadkari said, "Why don't we provide subsidy on electric cooking appliances. We already provide subsidy on cooking gas. "

Bank unions plan march towards Parliament in protest against privatisation

Opposing government's privatisation plans, bank unions on Friday staged protest in all the state capitals and plan to march towards Parliament next month if their demands are not met, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her Budget speech earlier this month announced plans to privatise two public sector banks.
About 10 lakh bank employees and officers under the banner of United Forum of Unions consisting of nine unions AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, INBOC, NOBW, NOBO are agitating against government's proposal, AIBEA said in a statement.
The bank unions, after Friday's dharna, will stage protests across the country in the next 15 days. "On 10th March, we will hold a protest demonstration before Parliament during the Budget session," AIBEA said.

Deadly winter weather brings record-busting cold to southern and central United States

LIVE: We'll harvest as well as protest, says BKU's Rakesh Tikait

Centre should not be under any misconception that farmers will go back for crop harvesting, said Rakesh Tikait in Haryana

"If they insisted, then we will burn our crops. They shouldn't think that protest will end in 2 months. We'll harvest as well as protest"

Farmers Protest LIVE: Ready to sacrifice crop, agitation will not be weakened, says Rakesh Tikait

Farmers have been indulging in agri loss for the past 70 years. They'll have to sacrifice one crop and they're ready, said BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait 

"Even if they have to take help of more workers to harvest crops, they'll do it. They'll keep it at their home but agitation will not be weakened"

Indian Bank signs MOU with SID of IISc, for funding Start-ups and MSMEs

State-owned Indian Bank on Friday said it has entered into an MOU with Society for Innovation and Development (SID), an initiative of Indian Institute of Science, for extending exclusive credit facility to Start-ups and MSMEs.
This initiative is a part of the Banks scheme Ind Spring Board for financing Start-ups and will empower Start-ups and MSMEs to realise their research efforts powered by financial support from the Bank and backed by incubation facilities offered by SID, it said in a release.
The Bank will extend loans of up to Rs 50 crore to these start-ups for their working capital requirements or for purchase of machinery, equipment etc, it added.

Efforts were made so that Netaji is forgotten: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday said efforts were made to ensure Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is forgotten but his legacy of courage, patriotism and selfless service to the nation will endure till eternity and continue to inspire future generations.
Shah, while inaugurating the "Shauryanjali Programme" - a tribute to the Bengali revolutionaries, urged the youth of the nation to draw inspiration from the life and struggles of the freedom fighters.
"Efforts were made to ensure Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is forgotten but failed. His legacy of courage, patriotism, sacrifice and selfless service to the nation will continue to inspire generations to come," he told a gathering at the National Library.

Netaji still loved and respected by people like he was many, many years ago: Amit Shah

Netaji still loved and respected by people like he was many, many years ago: Amit Shah

Uttarakhand: Meeting over 2021 Haridwar Kumbh Mela underway

Uttarakhand: Meeting over 2021 Haridwar Kumbh Mela underway at Police HQ in Dehradun with UP, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh, NIA & others. State DGP Ashok Kumar discussing crowd control, transportation & police deployment with State officials

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released a notification for recruitment to the post of non-CSG

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released a notification for recruitment to the post of non-CSG

Toolkit case: HC asks media not to broadcast leaked investigation material as it could affect probe

Toolkit case: HC says some media coverage of the matter indicates sensationalism, prejudicial reporting related to FIR against Disha Ravi

Toolkit case: HC says police can hold press briefings in accordance with the law

Toolkit case: HC says police can hold press briefings in accordance with the law

J&K encounter: Three unidentified militants and policeman killed in two separate encounters

Three unidentified militants and policeman killed in two separate encounters in Budgam and Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir: Officials

India and China to hold 10th round of Corps Commander level talks at 10am tomorrow, reports ANI

India and China to hold 10th round of Corps Commander level talks at 10am tomorrow on the Chinese side of the LAC in Moldo. The two sides will discuss disengagement from other friction points after disengagement from both Northern & Southern banks of Pangong Lake: Reports ANI quoting army sources.

Strong India-Australia partnership will play important role in shaping post-Covid world: PM Modi

Strong India-Australia partnership will play important role in shaping post-Covid world: PM Modi at India-Australia economy hackathon

Latest news LIVE: China admits 5 PLA soldiers killed in 2020 Galwan clash

Latest news LIVE: China admits 5 PLA soldiers killed in 2020 Galwan clash

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