Daily Bulletin: Modi leads Yoga Day celebrations in Ranchi; Sitharaman to chair first GST council meet as finance minister; day's top stories

International Yoga Day today

The world is celebrating the fourth international yoga day on Friday (21 June) which is also the day when the Northern Hemisphere gets its longest day of the year. To mark the occasion, top government functionaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, and other senior BJP leaders will attend events across the country.

 Daily Bulletin: Modi leads Yoga Day celebrations in Ranchi; Sitharaman to chair first GST council meet as finance minister; days top stories

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs yoga at Prabhat Tara ground in Ranchi on International Yoga Day 2019. Twitter @BJP4India

While the prime minister is leading the nation in celebrating the occasion by participating in a mega event in Ranchi, Shah is in Rohtak and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the national capital. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) working president JP Nadda is performing yoga, along with other party leaders and workers, at a park opposite the headquarters of the saffron party on Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) Marg in New Delhi. Besides, newly-elected Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla is participating in an event to be held on the premises of the Parliament House complex, officials said on Thursday.

Besides this, the Ministry of External Affairs has directed Indian missions across the world to celebrate the International Day of Yoga in a grand manner and a video message of Prime Minister Modi has been sent to all embassies for screening at the beginning of the yoga protocol.

Triple talaq bill to come up in Lok Sabha today

The Lok Sabha, which in its first ever session will take up legislative business, is set to debate on the contentious The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019.  The bill, which has been listed in the Lok Sabha's agenda for Friday, will replace an Ordinance issued in February by the previous BJP-led NDA government.

With the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month, the previous bill had lapsed as it was pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The Bill, which proposes to make the practice of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) a penal offence, had faced objections from the opposition parties which claimed that jail term for a man for divorcing his wife was legally untenable. The new bill is a copy of the ordinance in force.

The government had promulgated the ordinance on triple talaq twice — in September 2018 and in February 2019 — as the contentious bill remained pending in the Rajya Sabha, though it was passed by the Lok Sabha. Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq is illegal, void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband. Seeking to allay fears that the proposed law could be misused, the government has included certain safeguards in it such as adding a provision for bail for the accused during trial. These amendments were cleared by the Cabinet on 29 August, 2018.

Nirmala Sitharaman to chair first GST Council meet today

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will chair her first meeting of the GST Council on Friday, which among other things would consider extending the tenure of the anti-profiteering authority by a year, setting up a single point refund system and a mechanism for businesses to issue e-invoices.

Sitharaman, who took over the reigns of Finance Ministry from Arun Jaitley last month, will preside over the 35th meeting of the GST Council, which is a federal decision-making body comprising of state finance ministers. The agenda of the meeting will also include the integration of GST e-way bill system with NHAI's FASTag mechanism from 1 April, 2020, to help track movement of goods and check GST evasion.

AES claims 136 lives in Bihar, spreads across 16 districts

Brain fever has afflicted more than 600 children across 16 districts of Bihar of which 136 have lost their lives since the beginning of this month.

According to statistics released by the department, the total number of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) cases registered across the state since 1 June was 626, and the total number of deaths caused by the same has mounted to 136.

Muzaffarpur district has bore the maximum brunt, accounting for 117 deaths so far. Besides, deaths have been reported from districts like Bhagalpur, East Champaran, Vaishali, Sitamarhi and Samastipur.

The state health department also said that among the various complications that are covered under the umbrella term AES, hypoglycemia or very low blood sugar level was the most prevalent as it has afflicted 520 children and accounted for 110 deaths. Experts have blamed the high incidence of hypoglycemia on a toxin found in unripe litchi fruit, which is believed to be consumed by malnourished children from underprivileged backgrounds. There have been a few instances of Japanese Encephalitis and herpes, too, which are caused by viral infections, the health department said.

44 dead, 34 injured as overloaded bus falls in drain in Kullu

At least 44 people were killed and 34 others injured when an overloaded bus fell into a deep drain in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday, officials said. The private bus (bearing registration number HP 66-7065) fell into the over 300-metre-deep nullah near the Dhoth Morh in Banjar tehsil of the district, Kullu Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri said, adding the vehicle was en route Gada Gushaini. Prima facie, it seems that overloading and negligent driving may have caused the accident, Banjar Patwari Sheetal Kumar said.

The chief minister has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, a government official said, adding that Jai Ram Thakur also asked the administration to provide best possible medicare to the injured passengers. The Kullu district administration announced an immediate relief of Rs 50,000 to the kin of each of the deceased and the injured.

Kerala says Tamil Nadu 'rejected' its offer of 20 lakh litres drinking water

The Kerala government Thursday said it expressed willingness to provide 20 lakh litres drinking water to Tamil Nadu, which is facing a water crisis, but the latter has declined it as there was "no need for the help at present."

However, Tamil Nadu government denied it has turned down the offer and said Chief Minister K Palaniswami will discuss it at a review meeting being held Friday and announce "an appropriate decision" even as DMK chief MK Stalin urged it to work with Kerala to help the people.

Tamil Nadu Municipal Administration minister SP Velumani said, "The information that Tamil Nadu chief minister has refused the water offered by Kerala CM is not true." Velumani said Kerala government had made a one time offer of providing 2 million litres of water but Chennai's daily requirement itself was 525 million litres a day.

Several parts of Tamil Nadu, particularly the state capital and its suburbs, have been reeling under water scarcity following depletion of ground water level and poor storage in many lakes that cater to the needs of the city.

Apple issues voluntary recall of certain 15-inch MacBook Pro models

Apple has issued a voluntary recall of 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops shipped between September 2015 and February 2017 over concerns of overheating batteries. The recall only affects a select batch of models and users can check their device serial number at Apple’s new support page that’s been set up to deal with the issue. Affected users will receive free replacements.

Hosts England take on Sri Lanka in Leeds

Sri Lanka will face a tough battle for survival when they lock horns with a dominant England in their World Cup on Friday. England will aim to jump on top of the table as they square up against sixth placed Lankan side, who have managed just a solitary win in five games in the tournament so far.

Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman join Denzel Washington's next

Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman are set to star in Denzel Washington's next production, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. According to Variety, Washington will be producing the Netflix movie along with Todd Black and Dany Wolf. The feature is an adaptation of August Wilson's award-winning play of the same name.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2019 07:57:33 IST