Current Affairs

Morning Brief: Modi To Open Two Highways, Waterways Project In Varanasi Today; ISRO To Launch Satellite For J&K, Northeast On 14 November; And More

Prime Minster Narendra Modi with Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari. (Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.

PM To Open Two National Highways, Waterways Project In Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate two major national highways (NHs) and an inland waterways project in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency, today. Phase I of the Varanasi Ring Road and the Babatpur-Varanasi Road, which have a combined length of around 34km and were laid at a cost of Rs 1,571 crore, will be opened by Modi, along with the Haldia-Varanasi National Waterway-1. The waterway has been developed for movement of cargo and attracting tourists. The total estimated cost of the project, shared between the government and the World Bank in a 50:50 ratio, is Rs 5,369 crore.

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The Ring Road will reduce traffic on NH 56 (Lucknow-Varanasi), NH 233 (Azamgarh-Varanasi), NH 29 (Gorakhpur-Varanasi) and Ayodhya-Varanasi highway. It will also make Sarnath, a renowned Buddhist pilgrimage site, more accessible. The Babatpur road will reduce travel time from Varanasi to the airport. Modi is also likely to address a rally at Wajidpur village in Varanasi today.

ISRO To Launch Satellite Meant For J&K, Northeast on 14 November

A communication satellite, specifically meant for the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and the Northeast region, will be launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation on 14 November. The launch, part of the ‘Digital India’ mission of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will provide high-speed internet to the region. The satellite, called GSAT29, will also be used as a platform for testing new space technologies. ISRO Chief K Sivan said the “satellite will also carry three demonstration technologies — Q and V bands, optical communication and a high-resolution camera”.

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ISRO will launch its heaviest communication satellite, GSAT 11, on 4 December. The 5.7 tonnes, which was earlier recalled from French Guiana to check for any possible anomalies, will be launched onboard Ariane-5 vehicle. Chandrayaan-II mission (India’s second Moon mission), which involves a soft landing on the lunar surface, is likely to be launched by the space agency on 3 January.

Chhattisgarh Polls: Congress Has Most Candidates With Criminal Cases

In the first phase of the assembly election in Chhattisgarh, Congress candidates have declared the highest number of criminal cases, the Association of Democratic Reforms has revealed, according to reports. 18 seats in the Maoist-hit areas of the state will go to polls in the first phase. Seven or 39 per cent of the 18 candidates fielded by the Congress, which holds eight of the 18 seats going to polls today, have declared criminal cases against them. This revelation comes soon after Congress was found to have fielded the richest candidates in the Karnataka assembly elections earlier this year.

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The data shows that the BJP, which holds the remaining 10 seats going to polls in the first phase, has no candidates with declared criminal cases. Ajit Jogi's Janta Congress Chhattisgarh has three candidates who have declared criminal cases. Chhattisgarh has 90 assembly seats. Polling for the remaining 72 will be held on 20 November and votes will be counted on 11 December.

Union Minister Ananth Kumar Passes Away At 59

Union cabinet minister Ananth Kumar, who was battling pancreatic cancer, passed away in the early hours of Monday in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital in Bengaluru. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and cabinet colleagues, including Sadananda Gowda and Nirmala Sitharaman, took to Twitter to express their condolences. Kumar held the charge of the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers since May 2014 and as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs since July 2016.

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Kumar had joined the Bharatiya Janatha Party in 1987. Before that, he had served in various positions of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, like State Secretary and later National Secretary in 1985. He was elected to Lok Sabha for the first time in 1996 from Bangalore South constituency and served as the Minister for Civil Aviation in the coalition government led by the BJP.

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We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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