In a spirited reply to the charges of opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the world was seeing its prosperity in India's growth story but a few "frustrated" persons were not ready to accept the achievements of the nation.
PM was replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address in Lok Sabha, Modi said the world was looking at India with hope amid instability in some parts of the globe due to the once-in-a-century pandemic and conflicts.
The prime minister said India was emerging as a manufacturing hub and the world now sees its prosperity in the country's growth. "But some people who are neck deep in frustration refuse to accept India's growth story. They cannot see the achievements of 140 crore Indians," Modi said, targeting the Opposition. He said President Droupadi Murmu's address to Parliament was an inspiration for everyone.
PM avoided mentioning Adani even once in his long reply amongst the raising slogans, members of the BRS, Left parties and some members of the Congress walked out of Lok Sabha in protest as the prime minister was speaking seeking discussion on Adani saga after the release of Hindenburg report.
RBI chief says Indian banking system stronger, larger to be impacted by 'case like this' Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday said the strength, size and resilience of the Indian banking system now are much stronger and larger "to be affected by a case like this" in reference to the developments at Adani Group.
Concerns have been raised in various quarters about Adani Group companies, including about the exposure of lenders to the conglomerate, in the wake of an adverse report by US-based short seller Hindenburg Research that also triggered a massive sell-off in the shares of the companies.
To queries related to the Adani Group, Das said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made its own assessment to come out with the statement on Friday, where it termed the banking sector as strong and resilient.
"The strength, size and resilience of the Indian banking system now are much stronger and larger to be affected by a case like this," Das said without directly mentioning about the Adani Group.
He was responding to a query on whether the RBI will be giving any guidance to domestic banks about their exposure to the Adani Group companies in the context of rating agencies' reports related to banks' exposure to the Group.
Briefing reporters after the monetary policy announcement, Das said that when banks do lend, they take their calls on the fundamentals of a company and the expected cash flows from projects.
Gearing up for the battle royal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a poll mantra for BJP leaders to fight anti-incumbency in the 2024 general elections at a meeting of party MPs today. He said if the party lawmakers reach out to the voters, "there will be no anti-incumbency". "Party MPs should go to their constituencies and stay connected with the public," said PM Modi.
He was addressing the first BJP parliamentary party meeting after the Budget announcement on February 1. PM Modi said even though it was the last full-fledged Budget before the next Lok Sabha polls, "no one has the courage to term it a 'chunavi' Budget (Budget influenced by polls)".
The Prime Minister informed the attendees that we should carry confidence in the elections by telling the people that we are working only to keep the comprehensive welfare of all the sections of society.
The US finally took an aggressive posture on the alleged spy balloon by shooting it with a missile. The Biden administration lauded the Pentagon for shooting down an alleged Chinese spy balloon off the US Atlantic coast but China angrily voiced its "strong dissatisfaction" at the move and said it may make "necessary responses."
The ballon spent several days flying over North America before it was targeted off the coast of the southeastern state of South Carolina with a missile fired from an F-22 plane, Pentagon officials said, falling into relatively shallow water just 47 feet (14 meters) deep.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called the operation a "deliberate and lawful action" that came in response to China's "unacceptable violation of our sovereignty."
But China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs blasted the US action in a statement Sunday morning, saying the downing of the "civilian" aircraft was "clearly overreacting and seriously violating international practice." China reiterated that we will act against this hostile act at an appropriate time.
The Shiv Sena faction led Uddhav Thackeray on Monday demanded an SEBI investigation into alleged stock manipulation by the Adani group and "overexposure" of LIC and SBI funds in shares of the group companies.
It also demanded a discussion on the issues related to the Adani group flagged in a report of the US-based short seller Hindenburg Research which has accused it of several wrongdoings such as stock manipulation and fraud. The company has dismissed the allegations as "nothing but a lie".
At an all-party meeting convened by the government on the eve of the Budget Session of Parliament, Shiv Sena deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Priyanka Chaturvedi raised the issue of the overarching role of the Governor being "reduced to politicking" and said it was a concern raised by several parties.
She also raised the issues of India's border standoff with China and reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures.
"Attended the all-party meeting convened by the parliamentary affairs minister, issues raised: Declared projects in Maharashtra taken away from the state. Government projects also being denied to the state like MDP and Drugs Park. Marathi being declared classical language.
"SEBI's investigation into charges of stock over pricing and over exposure of SBI and LIC must be concluded and discussed. Kashmiri Pandits protesting for days and the Government of India turning a blind eye needs to be discussed in the House and 26 patrolling points on LAC being restricted should be addressed," she said after the meeting.
The 74th Republic Day parade began from newly laid Central Vista Kartavya Path in New Delhi after a 21-gun salute was performed. President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this year's chief guest, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi are among the dignitaries present at the venue.
During the grand parade, the major attraction was the Indian forces marching contingents and their military equipment. Notably, this year the marching contingents of the Navy and the Air Force were led by women officers.
The Indian Army troop of 61 Cavalry was led by Captain Raizada Shaurya Bali. The 61 Cavalry is the only serving active regiment in the world to have a combination of all 'State Horse Units'.
Main Battle Tank Arjun, Nag Missile System (NAMIS), BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicle of SARATH, Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicle, K-9 Vajra-Tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer Gun, BrahMos Missile, 10 Meter Short Mobile Network Center and Aakash (new generation equipment) in Span Bridge, Mobile Microwave Node and Mechanized Column were the main attractions.
A total of six contingents of the army including the Mechanized Infantry Regiment, Punjab Regiment, Maratha Light Infantry Regiment, Dogra Regiment, Bihar Regiment and Gurkha Brigade marched during the parade.
The Navy contingent was led by Lieutenant Commander Disha Amrit. The marching contingent includes three women and six Agniveers for the first time. This was followed by the Navy tableau, which has been designed on the theme 'Indian Navy - Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future Proof'.
The Indian Air Force contingent led by Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy consisted of 144 airmen and four officers. The tableau of the Air Force, designed on the theme 'The Power of the Indian Air Force Beyond Borders', displayed a revolving globe.
In a recently published classified report in almost all the national media, India has lost access to 26 of 65 patrolling points in Eastern Ladakh, a report by a senior police officer in the union territory has said, in a worrying new disclosure amid the country's standoff with China at various flashpoints along their tottery 3,500-km frontier.
"Presently there are 65 PPs (Patrolling Points) starting from Karakoram pass to Chumur which are to be patrolled regularly by the ISFs (Indian Security Forces). Out of 65 PPs, our presence is lost in 26 PPs (i.e. PP no. 5-17, 24-32, 37, due to restrictive or no patrolling by the ISFs," PD Nitya, the Superintendent of Police of Leh, Ladakh's main city, wrote according to the research paper accessed by a national TV Channel. .
The report was filed at last week's annual conference of the country's top police officers in Delhi, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
However, GOI and relevant officers have refused to react on the above report.
India and Egypt today decided to elevate their ties to the level of a strategic partnership with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi vowing to expand ties in areas of defence and security, trade and counter-terror cooperation.
After his wide-ranging talks with Egypt President Sisi, Narendra Modi said the two sides were unanimous in their view that terrorism is the most serious security threat to humanity and that they agreed that concrete measures are needed to end cross-border terrorism.
Both countries inked five agreements providing for cooperation in areas of culture, IT, cyber security, youth matters and broadcasting. In his media statement in the presence of Sisi, Modi also said that both sides have decided to take the bilateral trade to USD 12 billion in the next five years.
"We have decided that under the India-Egypt strategic partnership, we will develop a long-term framework for comprehensive cooperation in political, security, economic and scientific fields," Modi said.
He also noted that it was decided to further strengthen cooperation between the defence industries of the two countries and to increase the exchange of counter-terror-related information and intelligence.
To keep the border strong, the Indian Air Force will carry out a mega exercise covering the Northeastern region early next month to check its combat readiness, amid a fresh spike in tension with China along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh.
The exercise 'Poorvi Aakash' is expected to involve the IAF's frontline fighter jets, including the Rafale and the Su-30MKI aircraft, and other assets deployed in the region, people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.
The Shillong-headquartered Eastern Air Command will carry out the exercise. "Eastern Air Command will be conducting its annual Command-level exercise during the first week of February," said an Indian Air Force (IAF) official.
This exercise is being conducted after a gap of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "The exercise will involve the activation of the command's fighter, helicopter and transport assets towards routine practice of aerial drills, including joint exercises," the official said.
The US has launched new initiatives with an aim to cut delays in visa processing in India, including scheduling special interviews for first-time applicants and increasing the strength of consular staff. As part of the multi-pronged approach to cut the visa backlog, the US embassy in Delhi and the consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad conducted "special Saturday interview days" on January 21.
"On January 21, the US mission in India launched the first in a series of special Saturday interview days, as part of a larger effort to reduce wait times for first-time visa applicants," the US embassy said on Sunday.
"The United States Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad all opened consular operations on Saturday to accommodate applicants who require in-person visa interviews," it said in a statement.
This is likely to give major relief to people traveling to the USA for business, education, professional work, seminars etc.
In a strict measure. Air India has been fined ? 30 lakh and the licence of the pilot-in-charge of its New York-Delhi flight on which a drunk passenger peed on a woman has been suspended for three months by the aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation. "We acknowledge gaps in our reporting and are taking relevant steps to ensure that they are addressed," said the airline after the watchdog's action.
A penalty of ? three lakh has also been imposed on director-in-flight services of Air India for "failing to discharge her duties" by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
This comes a day after the airline imposed a four-month flying ban on the passenger, Shankar Mishra, for the urinating incident on November 26 last year. The ban was in addition to the 30-day ban it had imposed on him earlier.