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High alert in Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh ahead of court verdict on Ram Rahim


Security has been beefed up in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh ahead of the verdict to be pronounced by the Panchkula CBI Court on Friday, on Sirsa Dera Chief Baba Ram Rahim Singh in Sadhvi sexual exploitation case.



Section 144 of (CrPC) has been imposed in all districts of Haryana. Additional Chief Secretary in Home department of Haryana Mr Ram Niwas said that the 8 companies of paramilitary force has reached Panchkula and 2500 police personnel would be deployed to keep law and order situation in control.

He has appealed to Dera followers to cooperate with government to keep peace and harmony in the state. Paramiliary forces including Rapid Action Force, CRPF etc are staging flag march in various districts alongwith local police.

All schools, colleges and Universities in Chandigarh will remain closed tomorrow and day after as precautionary measures. The work has been suspended in Panchkula court till the day of verdict on August 25 and a special route is allowed for Advocates to enter the court.

Meanwhile Punjab Director General of Police (law and order) Hardeep Dhillon has issued an alert to all DIGs, IGs and SSPs. DGP said he has received information that if the CBI court’s verdict goes against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief his followers may foment trouble.


No phasing out of Rs 2000 notes: Jaitley

fake note

AMN / New Delhi

UNION Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Thursday dismissed reports that government was considering of phasing out of Rs 2000 notes.

On being asked about whether the government is considering phasing out Rs 2000 notes, he said, “No, there was no such discussion.” On release of Rs 200 notes, the minister said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will decide on the timing of the release of the new Rs 200 note.

“The whole process regarding by when the notes will be printed, RBI will take care of that issue. Thus, it would be appropriate for the RBI to announce about dates and related matters to the note printing,” Mr Jaitley told reporters here. Rs 2000 notes were introduced after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November.

Ashwani Lohani appointed Chairman of Railway Board


Ashwani Lohani will be the new Chairman of Railway Board, the appointment of Mr Lohani, an officer of the Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers, IRSME, was cleared by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet today.

He is presently serving as the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India. He has previously served as DRM, Delhi Division, Director of National Rail Museum and Chief Administrative Officer of Rail Alternate Fuel.

Incumbent Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal today resigned owning moral responsibility for Muzzafarnagar train accident which had claimed over 20 lives.

Earlier, the Rail Ministry had suspended four officers and transferred one and sent on leave its three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board official on the basis of prima facie evidence in connection with derailment of Utkal Express.

Indian, Pakistan troops hold flag meeting in cordial atmosphere

Our Correspondent / New Delhi

india-pakAmid the incident of numerous ceasefire violations and civilian casualties in recent months, Indian and Pakistan Army today held a Battalion Commander Level Flag Meeting at Chakan– Da – Bagh in Poonch Sector in cordial atmosphere.

The Indian delegation highlighted abetment and support of Pakistan Army, to cross border terrorism, sniping actions on Line of Control and deliberate targeting of civil population during cease fire violations, an Army sources said.

The resumption of trade and transit through Chakan -Da- Bagh was also discussed during the Flag Meeting.
The meeting lasted for 50 minutes in a cordial atmosphere.

Both sides mutually agreed to the importance of exercising restraint on the Line of Control and keeping the channels of communication open between local commanders.

INX Media case : CBI questions Karti Chidambaram

CBICBI is questioning Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, in New Delhi following the Supreme Court directions in a matter relating to alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media in the year 2007. On August 18, the Supreme Court had directed Karti to appear before the CBI and to carry with him all the necessary documents in his defence keeping in mind the allegations in the FIR.

On May 15, an FIR was registered by CBI against Karti and INX Media along with eight others for alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the media house for receiving foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2007 when his father was the finance minister.

Cong demands SC-monitored probe into Srijan Scam

Asks resignation of Nitish Kumar, Sushil Modi

AMN / New Delhi

SIRJAN SCAM HT - CopyThe Congress today urged the Supreme court to take suo moto cognizance of the matter for a probe into Bihar multi crore Srijan scam. It also demanded the resignation of chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi to ensure an impartial probe in the matter.

Party said that Srijan scam, which pertained to “shadow investments” by the Srijan NGO of the amount meant to be distributed to the underprivileged,

Talking to media persons here, AICC spokesperson Manish Tewari said that the Supreme Court should also probe the mysterious deaths of the main accused in the various scams in the BJP ruled states like the Vyapam Scam and the Srijan scam.

Alleging the involvement of several leaders of the BJP and the JD-U in Bihar in the scam, Mr Tewari, who addressed the press conference along with AICC spokesperson Ajoy Kumar, said,’it just a coincidence that most people involved are either close to BJP or JDU? If Nitish-Kumar-Sushil Modi Govt didn’t know anything about it how were people from BJP and JDU background involved? ‘ Terming the CBI probe ordered by the Bihar Government as a ‘sham’, Mr Tewari demanded a probe monitored by the Supreme court and resignation of Mr Nitish Kumar and Mr Sushil Modi to ensure an impartial probe into the matter.

The way CBI is being misused by the BJP Government, only a Supreme Court monitored investigation can bring out the truth in the case.

Govt approves mechanism for mergers of Public Sector Banks


cabinetThe Union cabinet today approved a mechanism to oversee consolidation in the state-run banking sector, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.  Minister said that a ministerial panel will be set up to supervise merger proposals from banks’ boards, adding that the objective of the planned consolidation was to create strong banks.

The decision is aimed at creating strong and competitive banks in public sector to meet the credit needs of a growing economy, absorb shocks and have capacity to raise resources without depending unduly on the State exchequer.

Jaitley said that the final scheme will be notified by the Central government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India.

“The Union Cabinet has given in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism (AM). The decision would facilitate consolidation among the Nationalised Banks to create strong and competitive banks” said an official statement.

The salient features of the approval Framework for Consolidation of Public Sector Banks are as follows:

· The decision regarding creating strong and competitive banks would be solely based on commercial considerations.

· The proposal must start from the Boards of Banks.

· The proposals received from Banks for in-principle approval to formulate schemes of amalgamation shall be placed before the Alternative Mechanism (AM).

· After in-principle approval, the Banks will take steps in accordance with law and SEBI’s requirements.

· The final scheme will be notified by Central Government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India.


In 1991, it was suggested that India should have fewer but stronger Public Sector Banks. However, it was only in May 2016 that effective action to consolidate public sector banks began to be taken by announcing amalgamation of six banks into the State bank of India. The merger was completed in record time, unlike earlier mergers of State Banks of Indore and Saurashtra.

SBI is now a single bank with about 24000 branches, over 59000 ATMs, 6 lakh POS machines and over 50,000 business correspondents, which serve all parts of the country, including far flung areas. Indeed 70% of SBI’s network lies in rural and semi urban areas. In that sense, the bank serves to unite India through a uniform banking culture. It also has a significant international presence, and is one of the largest global banks. Its size, financial strength and outreach have made it possible for customers to access a worldwide network of branches across all time zones, as well as to a very wide variety of banking products and superior technology. Loans to the small business man or woman and to the Krishak have become cheaper as SBI offers the lowest lending rates. More than 8.6 lakh merchants have been on board on BHIM Aadhaar, Bharat QR and POS, increasing the digital banking footprint. SBI has successfully raised Rs.15,000 crore QIP.

There are now 20 PSBs other than SBI. The banking scenario has changed since 1970/80 when banks were nationalised, with an increased banking presence from Private Sector Banks, non-banking Financial Companies, Regional Rural Banks, Payment Banks and Small Finance Banks. The decision is expected to facilitate the creation of strong and competitive banks in public sector space to meet the credit needs of a growing economy, absorb shocks and have the capacity to raise resources without depending unduly on the state exchequer.


Cabinet approves “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana”


New Delhi /AMN

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the renaming of the new Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) as “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) ” for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle.

Earlier, CCEA in its meeting held in May, 2017 approved the new Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) with same allocation and period .

The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste.
PMKSY with an allocation of Rs 6,000 crore is expected to leverage investment of Rs.31,400 crore, handling of 334 lakh MT agro-produce valuing Rs 1,04,125 crore, benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20.

Govt to set up commission to examine sub-categorization of OBCs

Our Correspondent / New Delhi

jaitelyUnion Cabinet has approved setting up of a Commission to examine sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Briefing media here today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, the decision is based on the recommendation of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

Mr Jaitley said, Parliamentary Standing Committee had also made similar recommendations. The sub-categorization will apply for reservation in Central government jobs. The Commission will submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of Chairperson.

Our correspondent reports as per proposed terms of reference, the Commission will examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among caste and communities included in the OBC central list.

It will also work out a mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters through a scientific approach for sub-categorization. The Commission will take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes, sub-castes, communities and synonyms in the Central list of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.

Income Ceiling for creamy layer among OBCs has been increased to eight lakh rupees from six lakh.

Govt clarify GST on selling of space for ad in print media


Query has been raised regarding GST applicable on selling of space for advertisement in print media. Selling of space for advertisement in print media is leviable to GST @ 5%.If the advertisement agency works on principal to principal basis, that is, buys space from the newspaper and sells such space for advertisement to clients on its own account, that is, as a principal, it would be liable to pay GST @5% on the full amount charged by advertisement agency from the client.

On the other hand, if the advertisement agency sells space for advertisement as an agent of the newspaper on commission basis, it would be liable to pay GST@ 18% on the sale commission it receives from the Newspaper. ITC of GST paid on such sale commission would be available to Newspaper.

However, if the advertisement agency supplies any service other than selling of space for