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National News Update

409 gallantry, other defence awards announced

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind has approved 409 gallantry and other defence decorations to armed forces personnel and others on the eve of 71st Republic Day.

These awards include nine Shaurya Chakras, six conferred on army personnel and three on police personnel for their raw courage and valour while fighting terrorists.

Twenty-eight Param Vishisht Seva Medals and four Uttam Yudh Seva Medals will also be conferred.

The President has approved 53 Ati-Vishisht Seva Medals, 10 Yudh Seva Medals, 123 Vishisht Seva Medals, four Bar to Sena Medals (gallantry), 107 Sena Medals (gallantry), five Nao Sena Medals (gallantry), four Vayu Sena Medals (gallantry), four Bar to Sena Medals (devotion to duty), 36 Sena Medals (devotion to duty), eight Nao Sena Medals (devotion to duty), one Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (devotion to duty) and 13 Vayu Sena Medals (devotion to duty).

Ninteen army officers have been awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, including Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh who is heading the northern command. Four Lieutenant Generals have been awarded Uttam Yudh Seva Medals. A total 32 officers have been awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal. Of 31 officers, 32 are Majors General and one Brigadier.

Six army personnel have received six Shaurya Chakras for their raw courage and valour during engagement with terrorists. Eight army officers, six Brigadier and two Colonel, have been awarded Yudh Sena Medal.

While four personnel have been conferred with Bar to Sena Medal for gallantry, 107 army personnel have been conferred with Seva Medal for gallantry. Bar to Sena Medal (distinguished) has been awarded to four.

Sena Medal for Distinguished Services have been conferred on 36 personnel. Vishist Seva Medal has been conferred on 76 army personnel. There will be special mention of army personnel who took part in ‘Operation Rhino’ and ‘Operation Rakshak’.

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International News Update

Giammattei sworn in as new President of Guatemala

Guatemala City, Jan 15  Alejandro Giammattei Falla, a doctor and retired surgeon, was sworn in as new President of Guatemala.

During the ceremony on Tuesday, attended by six heads of state, Giammattei said he would try to straighten the direction the country was moving in, Efe news reported.

Giammattei, 63, received the presidential band at the hands of the outgoing President, Jimmy Morales, at a power transfer ceremony held at the Miguel Angel Asturias National Theatre in Guatemala City.

“Let me speak to the real protagonists of today, those who are not in this big room, but I keep them in mind more today than ever before: thanks to the people of Guatemala,” Giammattei said at the beginning of his inauguration speech.

The new President recounted that throughout his life he has had “to see death head-on” and that this is how he learned to serve others.

“Today, more than ever, I know that I must relentlessly strive to deliver a legacy of prosperity and progress within four years. This includes regaining trust in the institutions of the state, which has been lost to corruption,” he added.

In one of his first measures, Giammattei announced the promotion of a legal initiative to declare criminal gangs as terrorist groups, which he said was terming them “what they are.” In addition, he spoke of education reform.

He also stressed that fighting malnutrition would be a priority for his administration.

He took over the baton from Morales, who has ruled the Central American country for the last four years, and whose government the new president had criticized Monday as “a waste.”

The task is cut out for the new president in a country with one of the worst human development indexes on the continent, according to international organizations: it is among the worst when it comes to chronic child malnutrition, public investment in education and corruption alone.

Guatemala is also among the 10 most violent nations on the planet and nearly 60 per cent of its 16 million inhabitants are poor, most of whom are indigenous. One in four also live in extreme poverty.

The ceremony was attended by the leaders of Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Ecuador.

Giammattei is the 11th President to take office since Guatemala became a democracy in 1986.

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News Update

President nod for Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, turned Act

New Delhi, Dec 13 In a late Thursday night order, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, letting it become an Act allowing Indian citizenship to six non-Muslim minority migrants facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

As per gazette of India, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 of “Parliament received the assent of the President on December 12, 2019, and here by published for general information”.

The Act comes into effect with its publication in the official gazette.

As per the Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and by the Lok Sabha in a midnight sitting little past on Monday.

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News Update

President Kovind recognises old friend, meets after 12 years

Bhubaneswar, Dec 9: President Ram Nath Kovind met his old MP friend from Odisha after a long gap of 12 years during the valedictory ceremony of the platinum jubilee celebration of Utkal University on Sunday.

The President recognized Birabhadra Singh, a former Rajya Sabha member from Odisha, who was seating among the audience. He recognised Singh from his white turban and immediately wanted to meet him. With the direction of the President, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan called out for Singh. Both exchanged pleasantries.

Apart from inviting him to Rashtrapati Bhawan, he got some photographs clicked with him as well. Kovind and Singh were Rajya Sabha members between 2000 and 2006. Singh said he would definitely honour the invitation and go to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

“I wanted to meet the President and had even asked the organising committee of the platinum jubilee. I wanted to present a rose to Kovind, but the request was rejected due to security protocol. I had never thought that the President will meet me,” said an elated Singh. “Both of us were members of the ST/SC committee and we have worked together at least for two years,” he added.

Singh also revealed that: “Though he had wished to offer a rose to the President at the event, he wasn’t allowed to do so due to security protocol. The President also invited me to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.” The former MP, who has also served as a minister in the state, is an alumni of Utkal University from 1965 to 1967.

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Photo News

President witnessing the President’s Polo Cup Exhibition Match

NEW DELHI, DEC 1(UNI):- President Ram Nath Kovind, witnessing the President’s Polo Cup Exhibition Match at PBG Parade Ground, New Delhi on Sunday UNI PHOTO-27U

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News Update

President to attend Utkal University platinum jubilee event

Bhubaneswar, Nov 24 President Ram Nath Kovind will attend a special event to mark the platinum jubilee of the Utkal University in Odisha on December 8. It was announced by Higher Education Minister Arun Sahu at a function, organised by the university, here on Sunday.

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan suggested creating an alumni association fund to foster innovation in higher education and research, and pledged to donate his one-year salary to it. Pradhan, an alumnus, said the alumni should play a greater role in making the Utkal University a world-class varsity.

Inaugurating the five-day celebration of the varsity on Saturday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said Rs 100 crore had been sanctioned for setting up six centres of excellence at the varsity.

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News Update

UP Bar Council president Darvesh Yadav shot dead in Agra: Police

) Newly-elected Uttar Pradesh Bar Council president Ms Darvesh Singh Yadav was shot dead by her colleague in a civil court premises here in broad daylight on Wednesday, police said.

Her colleague, Manish Sharma, opened fire when Ms Yadav was in senior lawyer Arvind Kumar Mishra’s chamber after attending her felicitation programme.

Sharma later tried to commit suicide by shooting himself from his licensed pistol.

Police said Darvesh died on the spot after being hit by three bullets while Manish was admitted to a private hospital.

Additional Director General of Police Ajay Anand, along with senior policemen, rushed to the spot. The reason behind the crime was yet to be ascertained, police said.

On Sunday, Darvesh along with Harishanker Singh of Varanasi were jointly elected president of the UP Bar Council in Prayagraj. Both of them received 12 votes each. As per an agreement, Darvesh was given the post for the first six months while Harishanker supposed to be the president for the next six months.

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News Update

Odisha Women Congress president resigns, slams PCC chief on distribution of party tickets

The Congress party in Odisha received a jolt two days before the first phase of election as state Mahila Congress president Sumitra Jena today resigned expressing her displeasure over the distribution of party tickets for the 2019 election.

Jena told news persons here that she was resigning from her post as well as the primary membership of Congress Party as she was fed up with the monopoly attitude of the OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik.

She said though she had recommended names of 52 women, including eight for Lok Sabha seats, even two per cent of them were not given tickets.

She said injustice has been done to the women in the party and she would not tolerate it.

Ms Jena criticized Odisha Pradesh Congress president Niranjan Patnaik for ignoring the women and promoting dynasty politics.

The women Congress president said though she was an aspirant for the Bhadrak Assembly seat she was denied ticket to contest the election and instead the ticket was given to a person who is not even a primary member of the party.

The party ticket, she further alleged was given to big businessmen, liquor traders who have enough money and to women with beautiful faces but not on the winnability criteria of the candidates.

She strongly denied the OPCC president ‘s statement that the party did not field a good number of women candidates in the absence eligible women candidates.

Earlier, Ms.Jena sat on dharna before the PCC office here with her supporters in protest against the distribution of party tickets.

When asked by the newsmen about her future plan, Ms Jena said she has not thought of her future plan.

“ I had no alternative but to leave the party as the party had become a laughing stock under the leadership of PCC president Niranjan Patnaik” she said.

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News Update

Zuzana becomes Slovakia’s first female president

Anti-corruption candidate Zuzana Caputova has won Slovakia’s presidential election, making her the country’s first female head of state.

Caputova, who has almost no political experience, defeated high-profile diplomat Maros Sefcovic, nominated by the governing party, in a second round run-off vote, said a BBC News report.

She framed the election as a struggle between good and evil.

The election follows the murder of an investigative journalist last year.
Jan Kuciak was looking into links between politicians and organised crime when he was shot alongside his fiancée in February 2018.

Caputova cited Mr Kuciak’s death as one of the reasons she decided to run for president, which is a largely ceremonial role. With almost all votes counted, she has won about 58% to Mr Sefcovic’s 42pc. She gained prominence as a lawyer, when she led a case against an illegal landfill lasting 14 years.

Image caption   Caputova’s campaign posters read: “Stand up against evil, together we can do it.”

Aged 45, a divorcee and mother of two, she is a member of the liberal Progressive Slovakia Party, which has no seats in parliament. In a country where same-sex marriage and adoption is not yet legal, her liberal views promote LGBTQ+ rights.

The opponent she defeated,   Sefcovic, is vice president of the European Commission.
He was nominated by the ruling Smer-SD party, which is led by Robert Fico, who was forced to resign as prime minister following the Kuciak murder.

In the first voting round,   Caputova won 40 pc of the vote, with   Sefcovic gaining less than 19pc.

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News Update

Hillary speaks not running for 2020 presidency

US Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday declared,  “I’m not running” in the 2020 presidential election, defying rumours that she might go for a 2016 rematch against President Donald Trump. “I’m not running, but I’m going to keep working and speaking and standing up for what I believe,” she said in an interview with New York-based cable news network News 12. “I’m not going anywhere.” On Twitter and in public appearances, Hillary has spoken out on issues ranging from migration to gun control and voter suppression.

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News Update

Cleanliness be included in curriculum, says Prez as Indore wins swacchta award yet again

President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday urged educational institutions to include cleanliness in their curriculum and spread awareness about the importance of sanitation.
He was speaking here after presenting Swachh Survekshan Awards for 2019, an initiative of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Indore city of Madhya Pradesh won first prize in all the four surveys done so far and received a special mention from the President.

”By winning the first prize in all the four surveys so far, Indore has set an example for other urban centres,” he said.
Observing that the country had made remarkable progress towards achieving goals of rural and urban sanitation, Mr Kovind said, ”Today, a city or village is identified by its emphasis on cleanliness. This is an important change.”
Emphasising that cleanliness be integral to the behaviour of every citizen to make it effective and sustainable, Mr Kovind said that several people pay attention to personal hygiene but were apathetic to public and community cleanliness.
”Change in this mentality is important for achieving the goals of Swachh Bharat,” he said. (UNI)

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News Update

If need arise, India will use its might to protect sovereignty : Prez

Asserting that the Armed forces reflect the
country’s firm resolve to defend the Nation, President Ram Nath Kovind
on Monday said India would use its might to protect its sovereignty if
the need arose.
Speaking after presenting the Presidential Colours to to Air Force
Station, Hakimpet, and 5 Base Repair Depot at the Air Force Sation,
Sulur, near here, Mr Kovind, referring to the Pulwama terror attack
in which 40 CRPF soldiers were martyred and the subsequent IAF
strikes to demolish JeM terror base in Pakistan, said, India was firmly
committed to peace.
”But if the need arises, it will use its might to protect the country’s
sovereignty”, he added.