Top news of the day: Schools, colleges shut and death toll climbs to 57 in Himachal rain fury; Cabinet approves ₹14,903-crore for extension of Digital India project, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

August 16, 2023 07:19 pm | Updated 07:19 pm IST

Rescue operations underway after a massive landslide triggered by a cloudburst hit a temple at Summer Hill area, in Shimla on August 16.

Rescue operations underway after a massive landslide triggered by a cloudburst hit a temple at Summer Hill area, in Shimla on August 16. | Photo Credit: ANI

Himachal rain fury | Schools, colleges shut, death toll climbs to 57

The death toll in the rain fury in Himachal Pradesh rose to 57 on August 16 with the body of a woman being pulled out of the debris of a collapsed Shiv temple near Summer Hill area in Shimla, officials said. Heavy rains battered Himachal Pradesh since August 13, triggering landslides in Shimla’s Summer Hill, Krishna Nagar and Fagli. The Education department had ordered closure of all schools and colleges in the state on August 16 due to inclement weather and the Himachal Pradesh University has suspended teaching activities till August 19. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that the State will take a year to rebuild the infrastructure wrecked but his government was up to the“mountain-like challenge”.

Yamuna recedes after crossing danger mark in Delhi

The Yamuna’s water level in Delhi followed a downward trend on August 16 morning after it crossed the danger mark of 205.33m for a brief period on August 15 following torrential rains in the river’s upper catchment areas over the past two days. According to the Central Water Commission’s (CWC) website, the water level at the Old Railway Bridge stood at 205.14 metres at 8 am on the day.

Cabinet approves extension of Digital India project with outlay of ₹14,903 crore

The Union Cabinet on August 16 approved extension of Digital India project with an outlay of ₹14,903 crore, Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said. He said that the extended Digital India project will add on to the work done under the previous version of the scheme. He said that under the project 5.25 lakh IT professionals will be reskilled and upskilled and 2.65 lakh persons will be trained in IT.

Cabinet approves ₹13,000 crore PM Vishwakarma scheme

The Union Cabinet on August 16 approved a ₹13,000 crore PM Vishwakarma scheme that will benefit about 30 lakh traditional artisans and craftsmen, including weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, and barbers. Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said under the scheme in the first tranche, the government will extend basic and advanced skilling programmes with a stipend of ₹500 per day during training, up to ₹15,000 support for buying modern tools, and up to ₹1 lakh loan with a maximum 5% interest rate.

Cabinet approves 7 new railway projects with an outlay of ₹32,500 crore

The Union Cabinet on August 16 approved seven new railway projects with an outlay of ₹32,500 crore. Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the proposed projects will help increase the existing line capacity, smoothen train operations, reduce congestion and facilitate ease of travelling and transportation. The project covers 35 districts in nine states— Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Supreme Court hearing on Article 370 abrogation | CJI requests petitioners to complete arguments by August 22

Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, hearing petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370, requested the petitioners to complete their arguments by August 22. “We were hoping that we can finish by tomorrow for petitioners. So that next week, respondents could open,“ the CJI said. He also instructed the counsels for the petitioners to sit and divide time among themselves so that all petitioners can complete arguments by August 22.

Six more held in connection with death of Jadavpur University student

The Kolkata Police on August 16 arrested six more persons in connection with the death of a first-year student of Jadavpur University. Those arrested include students and former students who were present in the hostel when Swapnadeep Kundu fell to death from the second floor of the main hostel building of the university in the early hours of August 10. With this, the number of those arrested in connection with the incident has gone up to nine. So far five students and four alumni of the university have been arrested in the case.

Chandrayaan-3 | Fifth and final orbit reduction manoeuvre completed; lander to separate on August 17

With just a week left for Chandrayaan-3’s Moon landing, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on August 16 successfully carried out the fifth and final orbit reduction manoeuvre. he manoeuvre which commenced at 8.30 a.m. was performed from ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru. “Today’s successful firing, needed for a short duration, has put Chandrayaan-3 into an orbit of 153 km x 163 km, as intended.With this, the lunar bound manoeuvre are completed,” ISRO said.

Supreme Court launches handbook to combat gender-based stereotypes

Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on August 16 announced in open court that the Supreme Court has published a ‘gender stereotype handbook’ flagging words, phrases which judges, lawyers should avoid using in orders, judgments, pleadings, submissions, etc, and the alternatives to be used in place. The Chief Justice said the handbook is not meant as a criticism of the work so far done by judges and lawyers.

Congress lashes out at government over border issue with China

The Congress on August 16 targeted the Modi government over the border situation with China, asking when will it travel beyond the rhetoric to protect ‘Bharat Mata’ and when will status quo ante be restored at the border. Citing media reports, Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala said, “19 round of talks with China fail, talks fail every time for last 3 Years”. In two-day military talks, India and China agreed to resolve the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh in an expeditious manner besides maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas, a joint statement said on August 15.

Pakistan court allows Imran Khan’s aides to go home; to indict key police officers for contempt

The Islamabad High Court on August 16 allowed two aides of jailed former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to go home as it heard their pleas against prolonged detentions under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance, a media report said. Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar, the two leaders of Mr. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, were held by the police in connection with the May 9 violence that erupted following the former Prime Minister’s arrest in a corruption case.

Russia hits Ukrainian grain depots again as a foreign ship tries out Kyiv’s new Black Sea corridor

Russia resumed its targeting of grain infrastructure in Ukraine’s southern Odesa region, local officials said on August 16, using drones in overnight strikes on storage facilities and ports along the Danube River that Kyiv has increasingly used for grain transport to Europe after Moscow broke off a key wartime export deal through the Black Sea. At the same time, a loaded container ship stuck at the port of Odesa since Russia’s full-scale invasion more than 17 months ago set sail and was heading through the Black Sea to the Bosporus along a temporary corridor established by Ukraine for merchant shipping.

United Nations envoy says ICC should prosecute Taliban for crimes against humanity denying girls education

The International Criminal Court (ICC) should prosecute Taliban leaders for a crime against humanity for denying education and employment to Afghan girls and women, the United Nations (UN) special envoy for global education said. Gordon Brown told a virtual UN press conference on the second anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan on August 15 that its rulers are responsible for “the most egregious, vicious and indefensible violation of women’s rights and girls’ rights in the world today.”

England reach first World Cup final despite Kerr stunner

England reached their first Women’s World Cup final after a 3-1 victory over Australia on August 16 despite a wonder goal from Matildas striker Sam Kerr as the co-hosts’ fairytale run came to an end. Attacking midfielder Ella Toone had given England a first-half lead but a stunning strike from captain Kerr, making her first start of the tournament, squared things up after halftime as Stadium Australia erupted in euphoria.

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