Daily Bulletin: 70th Republic Day celebrations to take place in Delhi amid tight security; President to give out top civilian, military awards; day's top stories

70th Republic Day to be celebrated amid tight security

The iconic Republic Day parade, which will see 22 tableaus of states and central government departments, will begin with the laying of a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. South African president Cyril Ramaphosa will be the chief guest at the event in Delhi.

Massive security arrangements have been put in place in the national capital. The 90-minute parade, which is set to be the highlight of the celebrations, will start from Vijay Chowk and pass through Rajpath, Tilak Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar (BSZ) Marg, Netaji Subhash Marg and proceed for the Red Fort. Multi-layer security arrangements include "female commandos, mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns, and sharpshooters". They have been stationed across strategic locations along the eight kilometre-long stretch of the parade.

Pranab Mukherjee to be awarded the Bharat Ratna

Daily Bulletin: 70th Republic Day celebrations to take place in Delhi amid tight security; President to give out top civilian, military awards; days top stories

Representational image. PTI

"I have got more from the people of our great country than I have given to them," said former president of India, Pranab Mukherjee after the Centre announced that he would be conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award. Mukherjee is likely to address a press conference after the award ceremony.

Mukherjee, Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and singer Bhupen Hazarika will be conferred with the award. The Bharat Ratna will be conferred after a gap of four years. Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and founder of Banaras Hindu University Madan Mohan Malviya were given the award by the Narendra Modi government in 2015.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique, on the eve of the 70th Republic Day, said the President was pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously), Dr Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously) and Pranab Mukherjee.

Mukherjee, fondly known as 'Pranab Da', will be the sixth president to receive this award. He was the president between 2012 and 2017.

The government also announced names of 112 persons, including one transgender person, who have been selected for Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri in the fields of art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service etc.

Supreme Court constitutes new Constitution Bench in the Ayodhya case

A new 5-judge Constitution Bench was constituted by the Supreme Court Friday to hear on 29 January the politically sensitive Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute in Ayodhya. The bench was re-constituted as Justice UU Lalit, who was a member of the original bench, recused himself on 10 January after expressing disinclination to participate in the hearing any further as he had appeared as a lawyer for former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh in a connected matter "sometime in the year 1997".

The new bench comprises of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer. Justice NV Ramana, who was on the bench which last heard the matter on 10 January, is also not a member in the new bench.  Justices Bhushan and Nazeer are the new members in the bench.

A notice sent by the Supreme Court registry to various parties said that the Ayodhya dispute matter will be listed on Thursday, 29 January, 2019, in "Chief Justice's court before the constitution bench comprising the CJI, and Justices Bobde, Chandrachud, Bhushan and Nazeer.

India elects to bat at Bay Oval as hosts New Zealand aim to bounce back in 2nd ODI

India opts to bat in the second ODI against New Zealand at the Bay Oval. Skipper Virat Kohli names unchanged XI, while the Black Caps bring in leg spinner Ish Sodhi and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme in place of Mitchell Santner and fast bowler Tim Southee

Facebook plans to integrate Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp

As per a New York Times report, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg has plans to integrate all of the social network’s messaging services by the end of 2019 or early 2020. The move according to the publication will allow Zuckerberg to exercise better control over services, after the social network was bombarded by scandals. All three services will continue to operate as standalone apps. However, their underlying infrastructure will be combined and will also incorporate end-to-end encryption.

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Updated Date: Jan 26, 2019 08:27:35 IST

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