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The Indian Awaaz (theindianawaaz.com) is a fast growing English news website based in New Delhi. Website covers Politics, Economy/Business, Entertainment, Health, Education, Technology, Fashion, Lifestyle, Stock Market, Commercial issues and much more. It has separate sections in Hindi and Urdu too.

38th India International Trade Fair to begin at Pragati Maidan

 

 

Onkar Singh / New Delhi

The 38th India International Trade Fair (IITF) began at Pragati Maidan here today. The 14-day annual event will continue till 27th of this month. This year the theme of the fair is Rural Enterprises in India.

Afghanistan is the Partner Country, while Nepal will be the Focus Country. Jharkhand is participating as a Partner State in the event. Around 800 participants from States and government departments, domestic and international companies are taking part to showcase their product.
With a view to provide a hassle-free visit of the fair, 50 per cent of the tickets will be sold in advance, while rest of the tickets can be purchased by the visitors on the same day from 66 metro stations.
For general public, the trade fair will open from 18th to 27th of November. During public holiday, the price of the ticket will be 120 rupees for adult and 60 rupees for child. While during working days, the ticket charges will be 60 rupees for adult and 40 rupees for child.

Technology is creating boundless opportunities: says PM Modi in Singapore

AMN / SINGAPORE

INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that technology was creating boundless opportunities to transform lives of the people.

Delivering the keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Festival, Mr Modi said, it was defining competitiveness and power in the new world.

“It is a great honour for him to be the first Head of Government to deliver his address at the event. He said, it is an acknowledgment of the financial revolution sweeping through India and transforming the lives of 1.3 billion people. He said the Fintech is a celebration of belief in the spirit of innovation and power of imagination. It is also a celebration of belief in making the world a better place” said PM.

The Prime Minister said, his government came to office in 2014 with a mission of inclusive development that would change the life of every citizen and that mission needed a solid foundation of financial inclusion for all-a task. He said, with the power of fintech and the reach of digital connectivity, the government has started a revolution of unprecedented scale and pace.

He said, today more than a billion biometric identities, bank accounts and cell phones give India by far the biggest public infrastructure in the world. He said, India is a nation of diverse circumstances and challenges and its solutions must also be diverse. Mr Modi said, India’s digitisation is a success because our payment products cater to everyone. He said, every digital payment saves time and it is increasing the productivity of individuals and the economy. He said, digital technology is also introducing transparency and eliminating corruption through innovation.

The Prime Minister said, there was an explosion of fintech innovation and enterprise in India. It has turned the country into a leading fintech and Startup nation in the world. He said, India is the best destinations for all the fintech companies and startups. Mr Modi said, Indian story shows six great benefits which are access, inclusion, connectivity, ease of living, opportunity and accountability. The Prime Minister also stressed on the need for using fintech tools to combat money laundering and other financial crimes. He said, the emerging world of finance will succeed in our inter- connected world when our data and systems are trusted and secure. He said, we must ensure that the pace and push of fintech work to the advantage of the people and not to their disadvantage.

Later, Mr Modi launched APIX or Application Programming Interface Exchange which is a global fintech platform with Deputy PM of Singapore T. Shanmugaratnam. APIX will eventually connect Indian companies to financial institutions globally. About 30 thousand people attended the keynote address of Mr. Modi at this Festival.

Prime Minister arrived in Singapore today on a two-day visit to attend the East Asia Summit, ASEAN-India informal meet and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit.

Mr Modi will also attend the RCEP Summit to review the progress made on the negotiations to finalise the proposed free trade agreement. It is being negotiated amongst sixteen countries including ten ASEAN Member States and India, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and Republic of Korea. Later, Mr. Modi visited Indian Pavillion at the Fintech Festival and interacted with exhibitors.

California wildfire: Death toll goes up to 50

Thousand of Firefighters continue to battle blazes

wildfire-

Representative image

WEB DESK

Thousand of Firefighters continue to battle blazes at California wildfire even as death tol due devastating faire has gone up to 50. According to media reports the toll is likely to rise.

The dead have been found in burned-out cars, in the smouldering ruins of their homes, or next to their vehicles, apparently overcome by smoke and flames before they could jump in behind the wheel and escape.

The Butte County sheriff, Kory L. Honea said more than 200 people remain missing in and around the town. It has razed a staggering 6,453 homes.

Most of the fatalities have been caused by the so-called “Camp Fire” in and around the town of Paradise, population 26,000, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains about 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Sacramento.

“Today an additional six human remains were recovered, which brings the total to 48. All six of those remains were located in Paradise, and they were located within homes,” Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference.

Another two deaths have been reported from the “Woolsey Fire,” north of Los Angeles.

Paradise, which is home to many retirees and has experienced an unusually dry fall, was virtually razed to the ground by the fast-moving “Camp Fire” blaze.

Residents have recounted harrowing tales of fleeing the fires on foot with little more than the clothes on their backs.

A 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles killed 29 people, and a series of wildfires in Northern California’s wine country last fall killed 44 people.

 

UN urges Bangladesh to halt Rohingya repatriation plan

 

 

WEB DESK

Michelle BacheletUN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has urged Bangladesh to halt plans for the repatriation of more than 2,200 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.

In a statement, the UN Human Rights Office has said that forcibly returning them to their home country would be in violation of international law and put their lives and freedom at serious risk.

Bachelet said, the refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar are the victims of human rights violations committed in the midst of the violence that erupted in August 2017 and are unwilling to return under current conditions.

She appealed to the Government of Bangladesh to ensure scrupulously that any repatriation takes place in line with international standards of voluntariness, safety and dignity, with full transparency, and only when the conditions are right.

Bachelet also called on the Government of Myanmar to show its seriousness in creating the conditions for return by addressing the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine state, in particular, the systematic discrimination against and persecution of Rohingyas.

ISRO to launch GSAT-29 communication satellite today

Bisheshwar Mishra / New Delhi

The countdown for the launch of GSLV Mark III rocket carrying the modern communication satellite GSAT-29 began on Tuesday at 14:50 hrs.

The launch is scheduled at 17:08 hrs today from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, some 90 km off Chennai.

This would be the second test flight for the Indian Space Research Organization ISRO’s heaviest rocket ever. This class of launch vehicles can inject four-tonne class satellites like communication payloads into a geostationary transfer orbit.

The satellite GSAT-29 that is to be launched by the rocket carries high throughput communication transponders in the Ka and Ku bands. It can augment high-speed data transfer in India’s far-flung and remote areas.

It weighs 3423 kg during lift off and has an operational life of over ten years. Overall, tomorrow’s mission would be the ISRO’s fifth launch this year.

Govt extends ban on 8 extremist groups of Manipur for 5 years

Onkar Singh / New Delhi

cabinetThe government has extended the ban on eight extremist groups in Manipur for five more years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The organizations banned are Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA), Revolutionary Peoples’ Front (RPF), United National Liberation Front (UNLF), Manipur Peoples’ Army (MPA), the Peoples’ Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), Kanglei Yaol Kanba Lup (KYKL) and the Alliance for Socialist Unity Kangleipak (ASUK).

In a gazette notification, Home Ministry said, the activities of these Extremist Organisations are considered detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of the country and they are unlawful associations.

The Ministry said, these organisations were involved in 756 violent incidents for the last five years.

SC agrees to hear Sabarimala review petitions on January 22

sc

AMN / NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear in open court review petitions challenging its verdict which allowed entry of women of all age groups into Sabarimala Temple.

A five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra will hear the 49 review petitions on January 22 next year. However, the Apex Court has not ordered any stay on its earlier verdict allowing women entry into the hill shrine.

Earlier in the day, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi referred the bunch of review petitions before the five-judge bench.

The Bench said that the writ petitions will be heard subject to the decision of the review petitions filed against the Sabarimala verdict.

The writ petitions and review petitions were filed after the 28th September judgement of the Supreme Court which held that women irrespective of their age, have the right to enter the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala.

SC to hear plea challenging Gujarat riots clean chit to Modi on Monday

zakia Jafri

AGENCIES / New Delhi

The Supreme Court has decided to hear on November 19 a plea by Zakia Jafri challenging the Gujarat High court order upholding the clean chit to the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others for the alleged larger conspiracy in the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

Zakia Ahsan Jafri is the widow of late Congress leader Ahsan Jafri who was killed in mob violence on Gulberg Housing Society during 2002 Gujarat riots. Jafri was former member of parliament.

The bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Deepak Gupta said they would hear the plea by Zakia Jafri on Monday after it came up for hearing Tuesday.

Jafri has challenged the October 5, 2017 order of Gujarat High Court upholding the Magistrate court order rejecting Jafri’s protest petition challenging the SIT report giving clean chit to top political leaders and state functionaries for the alleged larger conspiracy.

The SIT was set up by the top court, and it had come to the conclusion that no case was made out and the same was accepted by the Magistrate and the finding was “erroneously” reiterated by the High Court, says the petition by Jafri.

The petition further says that the High Court refused to interfere with the Magistrate court order “despite large amount of documentation and contemporaneous evidence that existed which made out a triable case against all the accused.”

The petition by Jafri says she in her case had levelled allegations against various bureaucrats, police officers and political leaders for alleged “conspiracy, abetment and hate speech” culminating in 2002 violence.

Petitioner Jafri referred to the burning of the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002 resulting in the death of 59 kar sevaks at Godhra railway station. She said this was “presumed to be communal attack against the Hindus and this culminated into a reprisal against the Muslim community leading to orchestrated violence and targeted killings.”

Jafri says in her petition that “as contemporaneous official data began to be released, including the intelligence collected by the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), it transpired that the SIB had information about systematic movements of kar sevaks and accumulation of arms, which was ignored and facilitated by inaction.”

Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal resigns over misconduct probe

                                                                                          Photo from Binny Bansal twitter

WEB DESK

American multinational retail corporation Walmart, which acquired a majority stake in Flipkart for $16 billion in August, told the US SEC on Tuesday that the Indian e-commerce major’s co-founder and CEO Binny Bansal has resigned over misconduct allegations.

“His decision follows an independent investigation done on behalf of Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of serious personal misconduct,” Walmart said in a statement, adding that Bansal has strongly denied the allegation.

It is not yet clear what the nature of the allegation is, but news agency Reuters says the Bansal’s resignation stemmed from an allegation of sexual assault that dates back a few years.

The US-based retailer, however, added that the investigation found no evidence to corroborate the allegation against Binny but it did reveal “other lapses in judgment” on his part.

“While the investigation did not find evidence to corroborate the complainant’s assertions against Binny, it did reveal other lapses in judgement, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation. Because of this, we have accepted his decision to resign,” Walmart said.

The US brand said Binny has been contemplating a “transition” for some time and they have been working on a “succession plan”, which has now been accelerated.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy will continue to be CEO of Flipkart, Walmart said. “Ananth Narayanan will continue providing great leadership as CEO of Myntra and Jabong, and will report into Kalyan. Sameer Nigam will continue leading PhonePe as CEO. Both Kalyan and Sameer will report directly into the board,” it said.

Binny Bansal denies allegations of personal misconduct

Late evening, Binny Bansal released a letter to the employees of the company, in which he strongly denied the allegations against him. “My decision to step down has been accelerated by certain personal events that have taken place in the recent past,” his letter said.

“These have been challenging times for my family and me. I am concerned that this may become a distraction for the company and the team. In light of these circumstances, I feel, it is best to step away as Chairman and Group CEO,” he reportedly wrote in the email to employees

PPFA urges PM Modi to defuse tension in Assam

Assam map

By T Navajyoti / Guwahati

Expressing serious concern over mounting tensions between two valleys of Assam, the Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA), today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take personal initiative to defuse worries among the residents.

The forum of nationalist citizens asserted that few anti-national elements were working against the social harmony where the State government in Dispur shockingly remains silent.

It may be noted that on the backdrop of Centre’s citizenship amendment initiative in favour of religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the State witnessed an uproarious situation, where most of the Assamese speaking residents in Brahmaputra valley opposed it and those of Barak valley supported the move.

Lately a section of authors, editor-journalists, former militants and social activists have explained the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 in a biased manner for repeated times that the bill would be applicable for Assam only and once it is passed in the Parliament millions of Hindu Bangladeshi families would arrive in the State demanding Indian citizenship and the process would continue until India is made a land of Hindus.

“A protester has the right to own point of view according to put his/her game plan and that also may be published in newspapers or telecast through news channels. But the authority should promptly
respond to any biased views and clarify the government position. Otherwise, the common people would be misinformed and they might get confused,” said a PPFA statement.

The forum expresses unhappiness that the State government was yet to make effective arrangements to enlighten the locals about the citizenship bill. The debates around the bill continue revolving with half truths and motivated facts, which had only increased the anxiety of Assamese people in the last few months, claimed the statement.

“We donot know what has prevented the State government (read chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal) from clarifying to the people that most of the agitators in Brahmaputra valley were debating with imaginary facts. Sonowal should (could) have taken some initiatives to counter the campaign with disinformation and finally educate the people about actual contents of the bill,” added the statement. Taking advantage of the chief minister’s silence over the citizenship bill, many started raising voices in full public view that Sonowal must clarify his stand (whether he is with the locals or Bangladeshi people). Even the separatist elements like United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) has reportedly stepped into the trouble water to get advantage of the situation, where the rift between the Assamese and Bengali communities turn more visible.

The banned militant outfit may even try to mislead the Assamese community in Brahmaputra valley with the argument that the said bill is an imposition of New Delhi over Assam following the diktat of Bengali elements.

Hence the forum appealed to Prime Minister to clarify that the concerned bill is not at all Assam centric and there is no provision for inviting more Bangladeshi citizens after 31 December 2014. Public meetings, media advertisements and putting hoardings in responsive localities may be some affective ways for disseminating the information, stated the forum adding that PM Modi should somehow address growing anxieties of the Assamese community.

“We prefer a healthy debate over the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 across the country. As Assam is boiling over the issue, the people here should get enlightened first about the bill so that they can participate in the debate with facts avoiding unnecessary emotions. Otherwise the discourses might affect the existing communal harmony among various linguistic, religious and ethnic groups, for which Assam is recognized since time immemorial,” concluded the statement.

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