Daily Bulletin: India, Bangladesh set for pink-ball debut; in LS, Prakash Javadekar to speak about air pollution; day's top stories
Here are today's top stories: India, Bangladesh set for pink-ball debut at Eden Gardens; HRD Ministry appointed panel to visit JNU on today for resolution of issues; and more
India, Bangladesh set for pink-ball debut at Eden Gardens
India and Bangladesh face off in the second and final Test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the match being the first-ever pink-ball game for the two South Asian neighbours. Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to be in attendance at the venue along with several other well-known figures, including cricket legends such as Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev. India currently lead the series 1-0 after their resounding innings win at Indore and enter the match as favourites, although both sides face the unknown as far as the behaviour of the pink ball under the lights is concerned. Follow live coverage of the opening day of the landmark Test on Firstpost.
Debate on air pollution to continue in Parliament today,Prakash Javadekar to respond in Lower House
Members cutting across party lines said in Lok Sabha on Thursday that stubble burning alone cannot be blamed for rising levels of air pollution in and around Delhi and urged the government to provide incentives to farmers so that they dispose of stubble in a more scientific manner.
Congress member Shashi Tharoor said the government should follow a legislative approach to implement the national clean air programme.
The discussion on "Air Pollution and Climate Change" continued for the second day and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar would respond on Friday afternoon.
Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to also introduce the Special Financial Assistance to the State of West Bengal Bill, 2019, which seeks to provide special financial assistance to West Bengal for the purpose of promoting the welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Sections of people and for the development, exploitation and proper utilisation of its resources.
Meanwhile in Rajya Sabha, the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 is to be moved by the Minister of Tribal Affairs, Jual Oram, to provide for the constitution and regulation of a new army regiment to be known as the Tribal Regiment for safeguarding the borders.
HRD Ministry appointed panel to visit JNU on today for resolution of issues
The HRD Ministry-appointed committee met JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) members on Wednesday with an assurance to visit the campus on Friday, even as visually-challenged students of the university staged a protest outside the police headquarters here against the alleged lathi-charge by the force on those protesting against a recent hostel fee hike.
"The high-power committee of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry met students from the JNU on Wednesday and took stock of their views at a cordial meeting at Shastri Bhawan.
They agreed to meet the students again on Friday at the JNU campus to find solutions to the current issue," a senior official of the ministry said.
"The committee appealed to the students to restore normalcy on the campus immediately, to which the students responded positively," he added.
When the meeting was underway, visually-challenged students of JNU staged a stir outside the old police headquarters here against the alleged lathi-charge by the force on the differently-abled students of the university taking part in the protest against the hostel fee hike.
"Another meeting between the Congress and the NCP will be held on Thursday and a final meeting with Shiv Sena will take place on Friday in Mumbai. The decision on government formation in Maharashtra will be announced in Mumbai on Friday," the source said.
Maharashtra govt formation: Congress gives 'in-principle' approval to tie up with Shiv Sena, NCP maintains ambiguity; final decision on today
The Congress Working Committee on Thursday granted in-principle approval to the party to form government in Maharashtra along with the NCP and the Shiv Sena, sources said.
In a meeting chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence here, the party's highest decision-making body also deliberated on the Maharashtra political scenario, they said.
After the meeting, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal told the media that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) was briefed about the party's discussions with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday.
Congress sources said the final decision on the government formation in Maharashtra is expected by Friday.
"The CWC has broadly agreed to go ahead with government formation with the Shiv Sena and the NCP," the source said.
IOC, other PSUs will be not allowed to bid for govt stake in BPCL
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday hinted that public sector firms such as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) may not be allowed to bid for buying government stake in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), for which a buyer may have to shell out as much as Rs 90,000 crore.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had on Wednesday decided to sell the government's entire stake in the country's second-largest state refiner BPCL and India's largest shipping company Shipping Corporation of India (SCI).
It also approved privatisation of Container Corporation of India while also giving nod to paring stake below 51 per cent in select public sector undertakings but without losing control.
Since 2014, we have a clear vision that the government has no business to be in business," Pradhan told reporters. "We have examples of two to three sectors such as telecom and aviation where ushering in private participation has led to customers benefiting from price cuts, efficiency, and better service. And yesterday (on Wednesday), several reformist decisions were taken."
BPCL will give buyers ready access to 14 per cent of India's oil refining capacity and about one-fourth of the fuel marketing infrastructure in the world's fastest-growing energy market.
Valve emerges from the grave to release new Half-Life game
The developer of iconic video game franchise Half-Life, Valve, has finally unveiled a new game from the series in virtual reality. Half-Life: Alyx is set between the events of the first game and Half-Life 2. It comes out in March 2020 and owners of the Valve Index will receive a free copy of the game.
In line with the party's symbolic protest, Congress leaders KC Venugopal and Shakti Singh Gohil arrived at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium petrol pump on a horse cart
BJP got largest share of electoral trust funding in 2019-20; TRS, Shiv Sena among other top recipients
The Congress received total donations of Rs 58 crore from electoral trusts, which was less than several regional parties
Before his death, Prasada Sr who had contested and lost against Sonia Gandhi for the leadership of Congress was totally disillusioned with the Congress and Gandhis, in particular