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- The Afghan government has announced that at least 19 Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed and eight others wounded in the airstrikes in Dangam district of eastern Kunar province bordering Pakistan. The statement, however, did not provide the details of the air strikes and was silent on whether international coalition was involved in the operation.
- Amid tension on the border with Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the valour of the armed forces and lauded their sacrifice while dedicating the festival of Diwali to them. He hailed the people including celebrities for sending overwhelming messages to his “Sandesh2Soldiers” campaign. In his monthly “Mann ki Baat” programme on All India Radio, Mr. Modi also urged all citizens and State governments to find ways of forging unity across the country and working to defeat separatist tendencies and mentalities.
- The Union Government has reconstituted the Inter State Council (ISC). The ISC is a constitutional body to facilitate coordination between states and the centre. It will be headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The Supreme Court has sought the Centre’s response on a plea that government should take measures to ensure that the National Anthem is respected, including that it should be sung only in front of persons who either understand it or are instructed about its meaning. A Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra sought the Centre’s stand on a PIL petition filed by Shyam Narayan Chouskey seeking a set of parameters on what amounts to abuse of the Anthem. The Supreme Court’s decision to consider this PIL follows shortly after a wheel chair-bound man was assaulted by a couple at a cinema hall in Panaji for not standing up during the rendition of the Anthem.
- Diwali was commemorated for the first time at the United Nations, with the world body’s imposing headquarters in New York lit up especially on the occasion of the Indian festival of lights. The facade of the U.N. headquarters was lit in bright hues and the words ‘Happy Diwali’, along with the image of a traditional diya, projected onto the building.
- The Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises Sunil Bharti Mittal was appointed as Chairman of GSM Association. He succeeds Jon Fredrik Baksaas who will step down at the end of 2016. In his new role, Mittal will oversee the strategic direction of the organisation. Sunil Mittal is Indian telecom tycoon, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder, chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises, which has interests in telecom, financial services, retail and agri business. He is listed as the eight richest person in India by Forbes with a Net worth of 7 billion dollars. In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour.
- The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has recognized Boxing Federation of India (BFI) as the National Sports Federation (NSF) for Boxing. This decision will give a massive push to the recently-formed BFI and also give a boost to the sport of boxing which had suffered due to absence of an NSF in the discipline since 2012.
- Technology giant Microsoft has launched its first full-scale Cybersecurity Engagement Center (CSEC) in Delhi. It is the first-of-its-kind Cybersecurity Centre in India and overall 7th in the world, including in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Singapore, Berlin and Washington DC.
- Indian cricketers wore jerseys bearing their mother’s names instead of their own in the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam. This initiative — Nayi Soch — is part of a new campaign started by Star India in collaboration with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to highlight the importance of mothers in our lives.
- India defeated Pakistan to win the Asian Champions trophy in hockey this year. This was the first time the teams were meeting in the final of a continental tournament since India dethroned Pakistan as the Asian Games champions in Incheon, South Korea in 2014.
- India’s tennis star Sania Mirza retained her Number 1 ranking status in women’s doubles for the second consecutive year, despite failing to defend the WTA Finals Singapore title with partner Martina Hingis. Defending champions Sania and Hingis had lost to Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the semifinals of the WTA Finals Singapore this week.