Top news of the day: PM Modi releases ₹20,000 crore under PM KISAN; Supreme Court says negligence in conduct of NEET should be ‘thoroughly dealt with’, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

Published - June 18, 2024 07:26 pm IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the gathering at the Kisan Samman Sammelan, in Varanasi, on June 18, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the gathering at the Kisan Samman Sammelan, in Varanasi, on June 18, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Modi in Varanasi: PM releases ₹20,000 crore under PM KISAN scheme

The mandate given by the people in this Lok Sabha election is truly unprecedented and has created history, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on June 18 on his first visit to his Varanasi constituency after the polls. He was addressing a PM Kisan Samman Sammelan, where he released the ₹20,000 crore 17th instalment of the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi for more than 9.26 crore farmers. Mr. Modi said the first decision of the new government related to farmers and the poor.

Even .001% negligence by anyone in conduct of NEET should be ‘thoroughly dealt with’: Supreme Court tells NTA

The Supreme Court on June 18 made it clear to the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) that it did not want “even .001% negligence” on the part of anyone in the conduct of the undergraduate National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET-UG) 2024 to be spared. “Even if there is .001% negligence on the part of anyone, it should be thoroughly dealt with,” Justice S.V. Bhatti, part of a Vacation Bench headed by Justice Vikram Nath, addressed the lawyers appearing for the Centre and NTA.

Kanchenjunga Express train accident: 26-km diversion for 22 passenger trains

The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), headquartered in Guwahati’s Maligaon, has diverted 22 passenger trains from the stretch where a goods train hit the Sealdah-bound Kanchanjungha Express, killing nine people. The accident on June 17 happened in the Rangapani-Chattarhat section of NFR’s Katihar Division. NFR spokesperson Sabyasachi De said the diversion of these trains, including the New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express and the Silchar-Sealdah Kanchanjungha Express, would entail covering 26 km more than the normal route via Rangapani and Chattarhat in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.

U.S., India must remain at forefront of technology, says National Security Advisor Ajit Doval

India and the U.S. must remain at the forefront of developing critical technologies as part of a larger strategic interest, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said on June 18 in presence of his American counterpart Jake Sullivan. Mr. Doval’s comments came a day after he and Mr. Sullivan unveiled a raft of transformative initiatives to deepen India-U.S. cooperation in areas of artificial intelligence, semiconductor, critical minerals, advanced telecommunication and defence space.

Congress accuses government of ‘destroying’ railways, demands Ashwini Vaishnaw’s resignation

Accusing the government of “destroying” Indian Railways, the Congress on June 18 demanded Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s resignation in the wake of the Kanchanjunga Express accident and said that he has no moral right to remain in the position. The opposition party also took a swipe at Mr. Vaishnaw for reaching the accident site riding pillion on a motorcycle, asking whether he is a rail minister or a “reel minister”.

Swati Maliwal writes to INDIA Bloc leaders, seeks time to discuss assault case

Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal on June 18 sought time from INDIA bloc leaders to discuss the alleged assault against her by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s aid Bibhav Kumar. In a letter to INDIA bloc leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar, the Aam Aadmi Party member complained she was subjected to “victim shaming and character assassination” for speaking up against the abuse.

Supreme Court to organise special Lok Adalat

The Supreme Court will organise a special Lok Adalat from July 29 to August 3 to facilitate amicable settlement of suitable pending cases. The special Lok Adalat will be organised in the 75th year of the establishment of the apex court, which came into existence on January 26, 1950, with the coming into force of the Constitution. In a statement, the apex court said Lok Adalats are an integral component of judicial system in the country, enhancing alternative dispute resolution as a means of expediting and fostering amicable settlements.

NEET-UG 2024 paper leak row: Rahul Gandhi questions PM Modi ‘silence’

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on June 18 hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for maintaining “silence” on the NEET exam issue and asserted that his party is committed to strongly raising the voice of the youth from the streets to the Parliament for ensuring strong policies against paper leaks. The former Congress president said the arrests made in Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana clearly show that there has been organised corruption in the examination in a planned manner and added these BJP-ruled States have become the “epicentre” of paper leaks.

Seoul fires warning shots as North Korean soldiers cross border again

Dozens of North Korean soldiers briefly crossed the heavily fortified border on June 18 but retreated after warning shots were fired, Seoul said, the second such incident in two weeks as Pyongyang reinforces its frontiers with the South. Landmine explosions near the border also injured multiple North Korean soldiers, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, adding that Pyongyang had recently deployed troops in the area to clear scrub and lay mines, as relations between the two Koreas plummet.

Thailand passes marriage equality bill, a first in Southeast Asia

Thailand’s Senate passed the final reading of a marriage equality law on June 18 , paving the way for it to become the first country in Southeast Asia to recognise same-sex couples. The bill comes after more than two decades of effort from activists and politicians, after previous drafts did not reach parliament.

China lodges stern representations to EU over China-related content in human rights report

China said on June 18 it lodged stern representations to the European Union over China-related content in its 2023 annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World. China opposes politicisation and double standards on human rights issues, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said. The EU said on June 17 after an EU delegation visited Tibet and met with Chinese officials last week that it was concerned about what it called the “very serious” human rights situation in China, in particular in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.

T20 World Cup 2024 Super 8: Focus on South African batters in clash against U.S.

South Africa will have no room for error as their world-class batters will be keen to flex their muscles against a spirited USA in their opening Super Eight match of the T20 World Cup in North Sound on June 19. The Proteas have remained unbeaten in the tournament so far with their bowlers doing the heavy lifting in all four games. Playing three games on the challenging New York tracks, and one in Kingstown, South Africa have not crossed the 120-run mark even once.

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