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  • India's strength lies in pluralism and tolerance, says President Pranab Mukherjee in his farewell address; calls for violence-free public discourse and financially inclusive society.
  • President-elect Ram Nath Kovind to be sworn in as 14th President tomorrow.
  • Speaker suspends six Lok Sabha Congress MPs for five days for unruly behaviour in the House.
  • National Investigation Agency arrests seven Kashmiri separatist leaders for alleged terror funding.
  • Government to ensure transparency and simplicity in taxation process, says Finance Minister.
  • Flood alert sounded in several districts of Gujarat and Odisha following heavy rains.
  • In Pakistan, 26 killed and over 50 injured in a suicide blast near Punjab Chief Minister's office in Lahore.
  • And, International Cricket Council appoints Indian skipper Mithali Raj as captain of ICC 2017 Women's World Cup team.  


President Pranab Mukherjee today said India's soul resides in pluralism and tolerance. In his farewell address to the nation, he said the nation derives its strength from tolerance.

The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance. India is not just a geographical entity. It carries a history of ideas, philosophy, intellect, industrial genius, craft, innovation and experience. Plurality of our society has come about through assimilation of ideas over centuries. The multiplicity in culture, faith and language is what makes India special.

The President said there are divergent strands in public discourse, but the essential prevalence of multiplicity of opinion cannot be denied. He expressed concern over the increasing violence in society.

There are divergent strands in public discourse. We may argue, we may agree or we may not agree. But we cannot deny the essential prevalence of multiplicity of opinion. Otherwise, a fundamental character of our thought process will wither away. The capacity for compassion and empathy is the true foundation of our civilization. But every day, we see increased violence around us. At the heart of this violence is darkness, fear and mistrust. We must free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal.

Mr Mukherjee said only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people, especially the marginalized and the dispossessed, in the democratic process.

The President stressed on the importance of creating an inclusive society, saying that financial inclusion is at the core of an equitable society. Mr Mukherjee said it must be ensured that fruits of government policies reach the poorest of the poor and the last person in the line. He said social inclusion would ensure access to the fruits of progress to all and good governance provide the ability to people to shape their own lives through transparent, accountable and participatory political institutions.

Recalling his words on assuming the Office of the President, he said re-ordering of society is possible only through the transformative power of education. He said universities should be an assembly of inquisitive minds.


A reordering of society is possible through the transformative power of education. For that, we have to upgrade our higher institutions of learning to world-class levels. Our education system must accept disruption as a norm and prepare our students to manage and build upon the disruptions.

The President extended a warm welcome to his successor Ram Nath Kovind, and wished him success and happiness in the years to come.

Mr Mukherjee concluded his address by saying that from tomorrow, he will be an ordinary citizen like any other Indian in country's onward march towards glory.

Earlier, at a book release function at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mr Pranab Mukherjee said that his sacred text during the past fifty years of his public life has been the Constitution of India. The book titled- Selected Speeches of President Pranab Mukherjee was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in presence of President-elect Ramnath Kovind and other dignitaries. Mr Mukherjee said, his temple has been the Parliament and his passion service of the people.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari highlighted Mr Mukherjee's interests in innovation, learning and research.

Pranab Da has not only taken intense interest but generated interest, galvanized interest, propelled people not only people around him but people around the county to do something more than what had been done in the routine course.        

In his address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Mr Mukherjee as a very simple person but extremely knowledgeable. Mr Modi said the President guided him in official matters and offered constructive feedback which would help him immensely in future.


Mr Ramnath Kovind will take over as the 14th President of India tomorrow. He will be administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India, Justice JS Khehar at a special function in the Central hall of Parliament.

Mr Kovind was elected the President on Thursday as a ruling NDA candidate. He defeated the Opposition nominee, Meira Kumar by a huge margin.


Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has suspended six Congress MPs for five days for causing grave disorder by storming into the well. They tore papers and threw them towards the Chair during their protests over the lynching issue.  The MPs are, Gaurav Gogoi, K. Suresh, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, Ranjeet Ranjan, Sushmita Dev and M K Raghavan.

Ordering their suspension amid noisy scenes, the Speaker  termed the members' conduct as highly unbecoming and undermining the Chair's dignity. She said all this had

happened despite her agreeing to a discussion on the issue of atrocities against Dalits and Muslims which was raised by the Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, and  others.

Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai asked the suspended members to leave the House but Opposition MPs trooped into the well raising slogans. Later, he adjourned the House for the day.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar throwing papers at the Chair is condemnable.

Congress has termed the suspension of its MPs as inappropriate. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the party will raise the issue tomorrow.


The National Investigation Agency, NIA, today arrested seven people, including the son-in-law of Kashmiri separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The arrests are in connection with NIA's probe into terror funding and subversive activities in Kashmir Valley. Geelani's son-in-law, Altaf Ahmed Shah, popularly known as Altaf Fantoosh, was in the custody of Jammu and Kashmir Police who had put him in preventive detention immediately after Eid.

Officials engaged in the operation said, besides Altaf, Geelani's close aides, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar and Peer Saifullah, were arrested.

Shahid-ul-Islam, spokesman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Nayeem Khan of Hurriyat's Geelani faction and Farooq Ahmed Dar alias 'Bitta Karate' have also been arrested. Their houses had been raided by NIA sleuths last month.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that Government will ensure transparency and simplicity in taxation process and minimum possible direct interface between assesses and Income Tax Officers. Addressing the officers and staff of Income Tax Department on the occasion of Income Tax Day in New Delhi today, Mr Jaitley said,  Government has taken a series of steps to widen the tax base, eliminate corruption and incentivise honest tax payers.

Technology has now provided such an option it has reduced substantially it self infect we can enable technology more to substantially reduce this will cut down on compliances this will cut down compliance cost, this will cut down it not eliminate corruption and harassment and therefore, incentivise honest tax payers who is sitting at home have the benefit of filing his returns and then getting his assessment orders.


Heavy rain has led to a flood-like situation in North and Central Gujarat. Banaskantha and Patan districts are the worst-affected. About two thousand people have been shifted to safer places from low lying areas of the two districts. Our correspondent reports that 37 dams have been put on high alert following overflowing of water.


Fresh spell of heavy rain has put the admiration on high alert in entire state. Additional NDRF teams have been sent to Banaskantha, following heavy to very heavy rainfall in entire district. Local authorities in rain hit areas have closed the school in a precautionary measure. About two thousand people in Banaskantha and Patan districts have been shifted to the safer places from low lying areas. 37 dams have been put on high alert following overflowing of waters. Yogesh Pandya/ AIR News/Ahmedabad.

 In Odisha, the Met office has warned that many parts are likely to experience heavy rain for the next three days under the influence of an upper air cyclonic circulation over Gangetic West Bengal. The State government has alerted collectors of six districts.


The overall flood situation in Assam improved considerably today with rivers Brahmaputra, Barak and their tributaries showing a receding trend. According to State Disaster Management Authority, around 29,000 people are bearing the brunt of floods in 157 villages across 10 districts of the state.


In Pakistan, a powerful suicide blast near residence-cum-office of Pakistan's Punjab province Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Lahore today killed at least 26 people, including policemen, and wounded over 50. The condition of injured persons is stated to be critical. Emergency has been  declared in city hospitals. Lahore police chief said the target of the blast was police.


At least 35 people were killed and several others injured in a suicide car bomb blast in Afghan capital, Kabul today. Afghan Interior Ministry said, a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb in the western part of Kabul where many Shia Hazara community live. Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly condemned the terrorist attack. He said India stands in solidarity with people and government of Afghanistan in their fight against terrorism.


At the stock markets, both the Sensex and the Nifty scaled record highs, today, but the rupee weakened slightly against the dollar. A report:


The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange surged 217 points, or 0.7 percent, to a new record closing high of 32,246. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange jumped 51 points, to a lifetime peak of 9,966. Stocks rose after better-than-expected quarterly corporate results. But at the forex market, the rupee depreciated 2 paise, to 64.34 against the dollar. Gold gained 160 rupees, to  29,310 rupees per ten grams in Delhi.

And Brent crude oil futures climbed 53 cents, to 48.59 dollars a barrel. Pradeep Kumar, AIR News)


India skipper Mithali Raj was today chosen as the captain of the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 team by the International Cricket Council.  The 34-year-old Indian was selected after she led India to the final of the just-concluded ICC Women's World Cup.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” will bring you a discussion tonight on  बारिश के मौसम में होने वाली बीमारियां और उनसे बचाव।” (Prevention and Cure from Diseases During Monsoon)”.

  This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9:30 PM.


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