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President cautions against social, economic disparities
On the eve of the Golden Jubilee of the Indian Republic, the President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, has exhorted the nation to reinforce its democratic spirit, demanded a better deal for women, and warned against any attempt to roll back the reservation regime for the weaker sections of society.

Clinton's message
The U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, today said he was looking forward to his visit to India and find ways to strengthen ties and enhance cooperation between the two countries. He made these remarks in a message sent to the President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, on the eve of Republic Day.

SC notice to Karnataka CM
The Supreme Court today issued a showcause `contempt' notice to the Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. S. M. Krishna, for certain statements attributed to him on ``the river Krishna water dispute - Alamatti dam matter'' in a news report published on January 24 in an English daily.

Padma Vibhushan for R.K. Narayan, Gill
Eminent writer, Mr. R.K. Narayan, the Chief Election Commissioner, Dr. Manohar Singh Gill, the ISRO Chairman, Dr. K. Kasturirangan, noted Hindustani classical musicians, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Jasraj and Ustad Vilayat Ali Khan, were today honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian award, on the occasion of the 51st Republic Day.

Privatisation of IA begins
The Government today began the process of privatising the country's domestic air carrier, Indian Airlines, and also approved the sale of majority equity stake in a public enterprise, Modern Foods India Limited.

Ashok Chakra awarded
A total of 506 gallantry and distinguished service medals including the second batch of awards for Operation Vijay in Kargil were announced on the eve of Republic Day today.

 Nigeria shares India's concern on terrorism
Nigeria today said it shared India's concern over cross-border terrorism and said it would cooperate with New Delhi in articulating these concerns at all international fora.

TRAI ordinance
The Government today issued an ordinance for the reconstitution of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and creation of a telecom dispute settlement and appellate tribunal.

Action against Bibi Jagir Kaur
The Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Puran Singh, today ex-communicated the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president, Bibi Jagir Kaur, accusing her of defying the authority of the top temporal seat on the issue of a controversial Sikh calender.

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