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AAP demands resignation of Punjab Chief Minister

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday demanded resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, accusing him of trying to “loot” votes through “violence and booth capturing” by his Congress party workers during the recent civic elections. “The polling day on February 14 was a black day for democracy in Punjab,” AAP legislator Aman Arora said.

They (BJP) are increasing LPG and diesel prices every day. It is a matter of concern. Central govt will only reduce the prices for few days when the elections are around the corner

– Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal

Law will take its own course. It shouldn’t be politicized, neither any political party should be involved. Police will properly investigate the matter. Based on laws, they’ll decide on the issue of country’s protection

– G Kishan Reddy, MoS Home on protest ‘toolkit’

PM to lay foundation stone of King Suheldev’s statue in Bahraich

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a statue of warrior King Suheldev in Bahraich on Tuesday to commemorate his birth anniversary.

Russia’s Putin and Saudi crown prince discuss OPEC+ deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed the implementation of the OPEC+ oil output deal in a telephone call on Monday, the Kremlin said. The Kremlin said Putin backed continued close cooperation between Moscow and Riyadh to support the stability of the global energy market.

Punjab to have nine more fast-track courts under POCSO Act

The decision was taken in an inter-departmental meeting of the state government. The meeting decided on a slew of measures to strengthen investigation and prosecution machinery to handle criminal offences against women and children.

BJP office-bearers’ meet on February 21

A meeting of the BJP’s national office-bearers will be held here on February 21, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi also likely to participate in what will be the first such physical get-together of these leaders since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Vehicles without FASTag to pay double toll fee from Monday

Vehicles without FASTag would have to to pay double the toll fee at electronic toll plazas from Monday midnight across the country. The government has made FASTags mandatory from February 15 midnight and any vehicle not fitted with it will be charged double the toll at electronic toll plazas across the country, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has said.

Quake in the Indian Ocean

An earthquake of magnitude 4.1, occurred at 7:23 pm today 258 km south-southeast of Portblair, Andaman and Nicobar island

I have come across (reports that) people are not following the COVID-19 guidelines which are aimed at checking the spread of the infection. If the situation worsens, we may need to pay heavy cost for this carelessness. The number (of new cases in the state) is alarming. We have seen that lockdown was imposed in many parts of the world again in view of the second wave of the pandemic

– Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra

Total vaccination carried out is of 85,16,385 beneficiaries. 61,54,894 healthcare workers vaccinated. Of which, first dose of vaccine has been given to 60,57,162 while second dose has been given to 97,732 beneficiaries

– Indian Health Ministry

SP expels Sirsaganj MLA Hariom Yadav

“Samajwadi Party National President Akhilesh Yadav has expelled Sirsaganj MLA Hariom Yadav from the party for six years for indulging in anti-party activities and hobnobbing with the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP),” read a statement from the party.

Mamata Banerjee launches Maa Kitchens in Bengal

“A limited number of Maa kitchens are currently opened in the cities and towns in West Bengal on a pilot basis. The kitchens will be increased further. Beneficiaries need to pay Rs 5 only. The state government will provide Rs 15 as a subsidy for every meal to the kitchens. It will also generate employment,” said Banerjee during the launch

Prime Minister Modi to kickstart BJP poll campaign in Coimbatore

Modi will visit Coimbatore and address an election meeting on February 25, BJP Tamil Nadu president L Murugan said on Monday.

Regarding Disha Ravi, Delhi Police’s press briefing spoke volumes about conspiracy behind ‘toolkit’. Those trying to politicise it should answer if country’s sovereignty and integrity isn’t important? Tukde-tukde gang is trying to divide country through ‘toolkit’, has to face law

– Sambit Patra, BJP

Night curfew in Gujarat

Night curfew will be imposed in four metro cities of Gujarat from midnight to 6 am from 16th to 28th February, announced Pankaj Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary of State Home Department

Foreign Secretary Shringla set to go on two-day visit to Russia

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla will pay a two-day visit to Russia beginning Wednesday during which both sides will deliberate on bilateral as well as topical issues of regional and global importance, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday.

Israel decides not to participate in Emirati arms fair

Israel has decided not to send a delegation of defense companies to a prestigious arms fair in the United Arab Emirates next week due to coronavirus restrictions that have forced the closure of Israel’s international airport, the Defense Ministry announced Monday.

Delegation of foreign diplomats likely to visit J&K

The delegation will likely be in Kashmir on February 18 and Jammu on February 19

Uttarakhand: Total number of bodies recovered so far reaches 56

India’s exports up by 6.16% to $27.45 billion in January

Indian IT industry’s revenues to grow 2.3%

Despite a dip in global technology spending amid the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s information technology sector is set to post a 2.3 per cent rise in revenues to USD 194 billion in the current fiscal, Nasscom said on Monday. The industry added 1.38 lakh people to its workforce on a net basis during the year, taking the total number of employees to 44.7 lakh, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) said in its review of the current financial year ending March 31.

Not one death reported due to Covid-19 vaccination. If there’s death after vaccination, it’s being investigated. Even routine side effects have a negligible number. Relevant stakeholders working on post-Covid symptoms

– Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister

Both state governments and central government are quite happy to tax fuel and raise revenues for their various activities. I was, of course, expecting that the increase in tax, which was imposed by the central government in months of March and May, when the crude prices had come down, would be removed once things are normalised. Now that the crude prices have gone up to the earlier position of USD 60 per barrel, the government would have given a relief of Rs 12 per litre on petrol and Rs 14 per litre on diesel

– SC Mishra, former Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

They were given a new name ‘aandolanjivi’ and ‘parijivi’. All of you know the meaning of ‘parijivi’. Your ministers called the farmers traitors

– Priyanka Gandhi, on the BJP’s treatment of farmers

80-85% frontline workers vaccinated, 20-25 countries to be availed with vaccine. At least 18-20 vaccines are in preclinical, clinical & advanced stages. Expect them in the coming months

– Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister

Bangladesh sends more Rohingya refugees to new island

The roughly 2,000 Rohingya who had been living in the sprawling refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar were sent to Bhasan Char, an island specifically developed to accommodate 100,000 of the 1 million Rohingya who have fled from neighboring Myanmar, M. Mozammel Haque, a commander of the Bangladesh navy, told reporters.

Zimbabwe receives first vaccines from Sinopharm in China

Zimbabwe has received its first COVID-19 vaccines with the arrival early Monday of an Air Zimbabwe jet carrying 200,000 Sinopharm doses from China. It is one of China’s first shipments of vaccines to Africa, after deliveries to Egypt and Equatorial Guinea.

Sensex soars past 52K; Nifty tops 15,300

After touching a record high of 52,235.97 during the day, the 30-share BSE index ended 609.83 points or 1.18 per cent up at 52,154.13. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty soared 151.40 points or 1 per cent to finish at a record high of 15,314.70. It touched an intra-day peak of 15,340.15.

J&J’s vaccine to get green light in Europe soon

French vaccination chief Alain Fischer reiterated on Monday that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson should be approved in Europe soon.

Japan shuts oil refinery after quake

Japanese refiner Fuji Oil Co Ltd has shut the 143,000 barrels-per-day crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Sodegaura oil refinery in Chiba, east of Tokyo, after it was hit by an earthquake on Saturday, a company spokesman said.

IND vs ENG 2nd Test, Day 3: Ravichandran Ashwin hits a century

Ravichandran Ashwin hits a century against England at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai; India at 268/9 in second innings. This is his fifth Test century.

Election to 12 Municipal Corporations and 75 Municipalities/Nagar Panchayats in Andhra Pradesh to be held on 10th March, counting of votes on 14th March

Uttarakhand: State Disaster Response Force has put an alarm system to detect the rise in the level of water and alert about it, in Raini village of Chamoli district

Maharashtra: Jalgaon road accident

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announces ex gratia of Rs 2 lakhs each to the kin of 15 persons who died in Jalgaon accident earlier today: State CMO

Assam’s all-round development is central to success of Act East Policy: EAM S Jaishankar in Guwahati

Rs 50,000 cr over 5 yrs allocated for National Research Foundation: Dr Harsh Vardhan

Rs 50,000 cr over 5 yrs allocated for National Research Foundation. A Deep Ocean Mission to be launched with a budget outlay of more than Rs 4,000 cr. For better synergies among R&D institutions, umbrella structures to be set up in 9 cities: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan

Centre announces changes in mapping policy, PM Modi says reforms will unlock tremendous opportunities

  • “What is readily available globally does not need to be restricted in India and therefore geospatial data that used to be restricted will now be freely available in India,” the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a release.
  • Furthermore, the country’s corporations and innovators are no longer subject to restrictions nor do they require prior approvals before they collect, generate, prepare, disseminate, store, publish, update digital Geospatial Data and Maps within the territory of India, the release said.

This year, we have increased the budget by 30% of Department of Science & Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences put together for 2021-22 as compared to the revised estimate of 2020-21

– Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan

IND vs ENG 2nd test, Day 3: India 329 & 221/8 against England at tea, lead by 416 runs

Ravichandran Ashwin 68*, Virat Kohli 62, Moeen Ali 4-71, Jack Leach 3-74

NCLAT rules that management of Delhi Gymkhana Club to be conducted by an Administrator to be nominated by the Union of India.

Also directs that acceptance of new membership or fee or any enhancement thereof till disposal of waitlist applications be kept on hold.

Uttarakhand disaster: Death toll rises to 54

A total of 54 bodies recovered so far. 29 of these bodies have been identified while 25 are yet to be identified. 150 more bodies to be found: Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority

Act East Policy is an approach to create connectivity within Assam, to the NorthEast then to Myanmar & Bangladesh but eventually push by road, sea, air to Vietnam & Japan. It won’t just be an economic activity but make Assam more connected, energetic, contributing & employed.

– S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister

EAM S Jaishankar extends greetings to Serbia on National Day

Toolkit case: Nikita Jacob moves HC for transit bail

  • Advocate Nikita Jacob, accused in a case registered by Delhi police in connection with the “toolkit” shared by climate activist Greta Thunberg over farmers’ protest, approached the Bombay High Court on Monday seeking transit anticipatory bail.
  • A Delhi court has issued a non-bailable warrant against Jacob and another accused in the case.
  • Jacob’s plea seeking urgent hearing was mentioned before the Bombay High Court’s single bench of Justice P D Naik on Monday. The high court said it would hear the plea on Tuesday.
  • Jacob in her plea sought transit anticipatory bail for a period of four weeks so that she can approach the court concerned in Delhi to apply for a pre-arrest bail.

SC grants five-day interim bail to journalist Siddique Kappan to visit only his ailing mother in Kerala.

  • CJI SA Bobde says that the UP police will take him to his mother’s house in Kerala, guard the house and not remain present when he meets his ailing mother.
  • Supreme Court in its order restrained Siddique Kappan from giving any interview to media, (not even social media) and ordered that he shall not meet the public except relatives, doctors and close family members.

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani tested Covid-19 positive

Yesterday he had fainted on stage in Vadodara during the campaign.

Toolkit document case: Non-bailable warrants issued against 2

  • Non-bailable warrants have been issued against Nikita Jacob and Shantanu for allegedly sharing the “toolkit” related to the farmer’s protest on social media, the Delhi Police said on Monday, two days after it arrested climate activist Disha Ravi in connection with the case.
  • Police said, the duo was allegedly involved in preparing the document and was in direct touch with “pro-Khalistani elements”.

SC notice to Centre, WhatsApp on plea alleging lower standards of privacy for Indian users

  • The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from the Centre and WhatsApp within four weeks on a fresh plea alleging lower standards of privacy for Indians in comparison to European users of the messaging app.
  • A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde issued notice to the government and the Facebook-owned app on an interim application filed by Karmanya Singh Sareen in a pending petition of 2017.
  • WhatsApp told the top court that Europe has a special law on privacy and it will also follow if India has a similar statute.

Wholesale price-based inflation at 2.03% in January 2021, against 1.22% in December 2020: Govt data

People have grave apprehension that they will lose their privacy, and it is our duty to protect them: SC

People value their privacy more than the value of company which might be in trillions: SC to WhatsApp

SC issues notices to Centre, WhatsApp on plea alleging lower standards of privacy for Indians in comparison to European users.

Telecom tariff hikes to ring in revenue growth in FY22: ICRA

  • Telecom service providers (telcos) are expected to dial in next round of tariff hikes over the next one or two quarters which is likely to drive revenue growth in new financial year (2021-22) beginning April 1, according to investment information firm ICRA.
  • Tariff hikes and upgradation of subscribers from 2G to 4G is expected to result in improvement in average revenue per user to around Rs 220 in the medium term which will lead to growth in industry revenue by 11 to 13 per cent over the next two years with operating margins expanding to nearly 38 per cent for FY22.

Union Cabinet meeting to be held on Wednesday, 17th February.

Non-bailable warrants issued against Nikita Jacob and Shantanu. The two are involved in the toolkit matter: Delhi Police

Uttarakhand disaster: Death toll rises to 54

Three bodies were retrieved today from the Tapovan tunnel, taking the body count to 54 so far. Cases of 179 missing people have been registered at Joshimath Police Station till now. Relief and rescue operation continues: Chamoli Police

Delhi University reopens 4 more libraries for research scholars, faculty members

  • As part of its phased reopening amid COVID-19 outbreak, the Delhi University will allow research scholars and faculty members to access four more libraries across its campuses.
  • After allowing access to the central library last week, the varsity reopened the Central Science Library, Ratan Tata Library, South Delhi Campus Library, and Faculty of Law Library for PhD/MPhil scholars and faculty members on Monday.
  • It announced that users will have to make prior registration to use the library facilities from 10 am to 4 pm on week days.

Rupee rises 14 paise to 72.61 against US dollar in early trade.

Tamil Nadu: Death toll rises to 20 in fire incident that took place in Virudhunagar firecracker factory on 12th Feb.

PM & CM announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 Lakhs & Rs 3 Lakhs each respectively to kin of deceased; Rs 50,000 & Rs 1 Lakh each respectively for critically injured.