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Veteran actor-writer Kader Khan passes away

Veteran actor-writer Kader Khan passed away in Canada yesterday at the age of 81. His son Sarfaraz confirmed the sad demise. Kader Khan made his acting debut in 1973 with Rajesh Khanna’s “Daag” and has featured in over 300 films. He wrote dialogues for over 250 movies.
Before becoming an actor he had written dialogues for Randhir Kapoor-Jaya Bachchan’s “Jawani Diwani”. As a screenwriter, Khan frequently collaborated with Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra. His films include “Dharam Veer”, “Ganga Jamuna Saraswati”, “Coolie”, “Desh Premee”, “Parvarish”, “Amar Akbar Anthony” and “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar”.

25th High Court in the country

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will have separate high courts from today following the issuance of notification to this effect. The Two Telugu States have had a common high court in Hyderabad ever since Telangana state was carved out of Andhra Pradesh.

The High Court for Telangana will be the 25th High Court in the country and will function from the current High Court building in Hyderabad while the High Court for Andhra Pradesh will start functioning from a temporary building at Amaravati till it gets a permanent structure.

As per the Notification, 16 judges have been allocated to Andhra Pradesh High Court while ten have been allocated to Telangana High Court. Arrangements have been made at the Raj Bhavan for the swearing-in ceremony of the Telangana High Court Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan this morning

Lok Sabha passes Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill

The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill yesterday. It amends the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and replaces the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018. The Bill is aimed at revamping medical education regulatory system in the country. The 1956 Act provides for supersession of the MCI and its reconstitution within a period of three years. The Bill amends this provision to provide for the supersession of the MCI for a period of one year.

Sheikh Hasina Wins Bangladesh Elections

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed won a third term in office after the December 30 elections. The ruling coalition led by the Awami League (AL) party won a massive 288 out of the 300 seats that went to polls. 50 seats are reserved for ladies in the 350 Bangladesh National Assembly or ‘Jatiyo Songsod’. There, however, have been strong reactions to the one sided verdict. The Bangladesh opposition, especially the ‘Oikyo Front’ (joint opposition front) led by the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) have denounced the election results.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has headed the AL since 1981, went into the polls on the back of a decade of impressive GDP growth and booming garment exports. Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest exporter of garments after China. The 71-year-old leader is set for a record fourth term in office in the South Asian Muslim-majority nation of 160 million.

GST Revenue collection for December 2018

The total gross GST revenue collected in the month of December, 2018 is Rs. 94,726 crore of which CGST is Rs. 16,442 crore, SGST is Rs. 22,459 crore, IGST is Rs. 47,936 crore (including Rs. 23,635 crore collected on imports) and Cess is Rs. 7,888 crore (including Rs. 838 crore collected on imports). The total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for the month of November up to 31st December, 2018 is 72.44 lakh.
The government has settled Rs. 18,409 crore to CGST and Rs. 14,793 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement. Further, Rs 18,000 crore has been settled from the balance IGST available with the Centre on provisional basis in the ratio of 50:50 between Centre and States. The total revenue earned by Central Government and the State Governments after regular settlement in the month of December, 2018 is Rs. 43,851 crore for CGST and Rs. 46,252 crore for the SGST.

All Level Crossings on National Highways to be replaced by Overbridges and Underbridges  

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has envisaged a plan for replacement of all the level crossing on National Highways by Road Over Bridges (ROBs) or Road Under Bridges (RUBs) and replacement/widening/strengthening of weak and narrow bridges under a scheme Setu Bharatam to ensure safe and smooth flow of traffic and to reduced road fatalities by 50% by 2020. Union Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemical & Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya has said that in this direction, Ministry of Road Transport Highways and Ministry of Railways have signed an MOU on 10th November, 2014 to replace all level crossings on National Highways corridors by ROBs/RUBs which are planned to be completed at a total cost of Rs 50,800 crore. The Minister said, a total of 174 ROBs/RUBs are identified under Setu Bharatam scheme, and out of these 93 ROBs have already sanctioned for Rs 7,121 crore. Works of 57 ROBs have already been awarded. He said, the NHAI is also implementing most of the National Highway Development projects in the country. The ROBs/RUBs are generally constructed as a part of major highways development project. Number of ROBs/RUBs by NHAI is 515.

Railway Board Chairman New chairman

General Manager of South Central Railway, Vinod Kumar Yadav, has been appointed as Chairman of Railway Board and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Government of India. Commencing his career on Indian Railways as Assistant Electrical Engineer in February 1982, he held several important executive and managerial positions in Indian Railways.
Extending his gratitude to the government for his appointment, Vinod Kumar Yadav said that the Railways under his guidance is looking forward to revise the amenities and utilities in the Railways for serving the travellers better.
CM’s important decision to simplify Ease of Doing Business
Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Vijay Rupani took an important decision for the units registered under Shop and Establishment act (Ghumasta Dhara) in the state to simplify Ease of Doing Business. After exempting the petrol pump holders from license renewal, this is one more important decision taken by him.
From per the decision made by Mr. Rupani, the units registered under the shop and establishment act in the state will be exempted from the license permission renewal and it will be easy to continue the permission by paying just one-time fee.

Cabinet approves first-ever three way merger in Indian Banking with amalgamation of Vijaya, Dena and Bank of Baroda

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the scheme of amalgamation for amalgamating Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, with Bank of Baroda as the transferee bank and Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank as transferor banks.
The amalgamation will be the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India, with the amalgamated bank being India's second largest Public Sector Bank.
The amalgamation will help create a strong globally competitive bank with economies of scale and enable realisation of wide-ranging synergies. Leveraging of networks, low-cost deposits and subsidiaries of the three banks has the potential of yielding significant synergies for positioning the consolidated entity for substantial rise in customer base, market reach, operational efficiency, wider bouquet of products and services, and improved access for customers.

Key points of the Scheme of amalgamation:
(a)        Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank are transferor banks and BoB is transferee bank.
(b)        The scheme shall come into force on 1.4.2019.
(c)        Upon commencement of the scheme, the undertakings of the transferor banks as a going concern shall be transferred to and shall vest in the transferee bank, including, inter alia, all business, assets, rights, titles, claims, licenses, approvals and other privileges and all property, all bor­rowings, liabilities and obligations.
(d)       Every permanent and regular officer or employee of the transferor banks shall become an officer or employee and shall hold his office or service therein in the transferee bank such that the pay and allowance offered to the employees/officers of transferor banks shall not be less favourable as compared to what they would have drawn in the respective transferor bank.
(e)        The Board of the transferee bank shall ensure that the interests of all transferring employees and officers of the transferor bank are protected.
(f)        The transferee bank shall issue shares to the shareholders of transferor banks as per share exchange ratio. Shareholders of the transferee bank and transferor banks shall be entitled to raise their grievances, if any, in relation to the share exchange ratio, through an expert committee.

Some of the strengths of the envisaged amalgamated entity are-
  • The amalgamated bank will be better equipped in the changing environment to meet the credit needs of a growing economy, absorb shocks and capacity to raise resources. Economies of scale and wider scope would position it for improved profitability, wider product offerings, and adoption of technology and best practices across amalgamating entities for cost efficiency and improved risk management, and financial inclusion through wider reach.
  • It would also enable creation of a bank with scale comparable to global banks and capable of competing effectively in India and globally.
  • Strengths of individual banks - such as Dena Bank's relatively higher access to low-cost CASA deposits, Vijaya Bank's profitability and availability of capital for growth, and the extensive and global network and offerings of BoB will translate into advantages in terms of market reach, operational efficiencies and the ability to support a wider offering of product and services.
  • The amalgamated banks will have access to a wider talent pool, and a large database that may be leveraged through analytics for competitive advantage in a rapidly digitalising banking context. Benefits would also flow as a result of wider reach and distribution network and reduction in distribution costs for the products and services through subsidiaries.
  • Public at large shall benefit in terms of enhanced access to banking services through a stronger network, the ability to support a wider offering of product and services, and easy access to credit.

Cabinet approves restructuring of National Health Agency as the National Health Authority

Union Cabinet has approved the restructuring of National Health Agency as the National Health Authority for better implementation of Pradhan Mantri - Jan Arogya Yojana. Briefing reporters in New Delhi yesterday, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Said, National Health Authority will be chaired by Union Health Minister to enable the decision making at a faster pace, required for smooth implementation of the scheme. He said, the National Health Authority will have full accountability, authority and mandate to implement the Pradhan Mantri - Jan Arogya Yojana through an efficient, effective and transparent decision-making process.

Brazil's Bolsonaro takes oath as President

Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as Brazil's President on Tuesday in a ceremony at Brazil's National Congress Building.
Addressing a joint session of Congress minutes after taking the oath of office, Bolsonaro, a former Army captain and admirer of the country's 1964-1985 military dictatorship, vowed to adhere to democratic norms.
He said his government would be guided by the promises he made to Brazilian voters fed up with graft, high levels of violent crime and a still-sputtering economy.
Bolsonaro, 63, was a seven-term fringe congressman who rode a wave of anti-establishment anger to became Brazil's first far-right president since a military dictatorship gave way to civilian rule three decades ago.
Bolsonaro plans to realign Brazil internationally, moving away from developing nation allies and closer to the policies of Western leaders, particularly U.S. President Donald Trump, who sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to his inauguration.
As a clear sign of that diplomatic shift, Bolsonaro plans to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, breaking with Brazil's traditional support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue.
Crowds of supporters, many with the Brazilian flag draped around their shoulders and with faces painted yellow and green, the national colors, gathered before the Planalto palace, where later Tuesday the presidential sash will be draped on Bolsonaro.
Backed massively by conservative sectors of Brazil, including Christian evangelical churches, Bolsonaro would block moves to legalize abortion beyond even the current limited exceptions and remove sex education from public schools, opposing what he calls "cultural Marxism" introduced by recent leftist governments.
CM marks his presence at the valedictory ceremony of Khel Mahakumbh-2018
Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Vijay Rupani marked his presence at the Valedictory ceremony of Khel Mahakumbh-2018 held at Bhavnagar. The CM also dedicated a New Sports Complex built and a Multipurpose Hall built at the cost of Rs.25.50 crores during the same.
Mr. Rupani said that Khel Mahakumbh has been effective in creating an ambient sports environment across the length and breadth of the state thereby uplifting the enthusiasm of the people in this direction. The CM appreciated the contributions of the renowned players of Bhavnagar Mr. Kiritbhai Oza, Mr. Ashok Patel, Mr. Pathik Mehta, and Mr. Harpalsinh Vaghela.
This Mega Event, which was the brainchild of the current Prime Minister of India and the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Mr. Narendra Modi in the year 2010, has been instrumental in creating International players such as Sarita Gaekwad, Harmit Desai and Ankita Raina.
The CM launched a Special Edition titled ‘Khel Darpan Gujarat’ during the event and distributed cheques and letter of appreciation to various outstanding players at the state level and the beneficiaries of Shaktidoot players. The book was made by Sports Authority of Gujarat. He also added that the slogan ‘Ramshe Gujarat Jeetshe Gujarat’ has been effective in igniting a sportsman spirit in the players.
Chairman of Senior Basketball National Championship Mr. Jitubhai Vaghani said,
‘As many as 630 players from 30 different states have taken part in the basketball championship.’
Minister of State for Sports Mr. Ishwarsinh Patel expressed immense pride in stating that the state received as many as 35 lakh participants in over 952 sports events in the year 2018. Cash prizes worth Rs. 40 crores was handed over to the winners in the events. The state government made special provisions for ‘divyang players’ too.  Gujarat has ensured the best facilities to its players in order to enable them to participate in various tournaments at the National and International level.
Minister of State for Education Mrs. Vibhavariben Dave said that Khel Mahakumbh has become a leading identity for players to express their skills and talents in various games. The event has provided a platform to a number of players across the length and breadth of the state.
Secretary of Ministry of Sports of the Central Government Mr. Rahul Bhatnagar said that Khel Mahakumbh has enabled the development of working together in proper synchronisation not just in the field of sports but across various sectors and levels of work.
CM lays foundation stone of a museum worth Rs.84.96 crores at Bhuj
Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Vijay Rupani laid the foundation stone of Regional Science Museum at Bhuj today. The museum is going to be built at a cost of Rs.84.96 crores on a 10 acre land. The museum will be spread in an area of 6100 sq.mtrs.
    The museum will have a theme based science gallery, energy education gallery, marine navigation gallery, nano-technology gallery and field medal gallery along with various other attractions.
    Minister of State Mr. Vasanbhai Ahir, Principal Secretary of Revenue Department Mr. Pankaj Kumar, Secretary of Department of Science and Technology Mr. Dhananjay Dwivedi, and various government officials along with officials of science city were present on the occasion.
Secretary of Sports Department for Government of Gujarat Mr. P.P Patel said ,’ As many as 42 lakh players registered for Khel Mahakumbh-2018 and 38 lakh players participated in the event.’
Chief Secretary Dr. J.N Singh, Collector Mr. Harshad Patel, Commissioner Mr. M.A Gandhi, and a large number of people were present on the occasion.