Manoj Kumar beats London bronze medallist Evaldas Petrauskas, enters pre-quarters
- India finished day five of Rio 2016 Olympics on a positive note as boxer Manoj Kumar won his first round bout against 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist (60kg) Evaldas Petrauskas in the men’s light welter weight 64kg category on Wednesday.
- In a intensely contested bout, Manoj won 2-1 despite an aggressive play from Petrauskas in all three rounds.
- Post the win, Manoj became the second Indian to advance to the next round of Rio Olympics after Vikas Krishan had made it to the next round in the middle weight category.
- For his next fight, Manoj will have to take on fifth seed Uzbek Fazliddin Gaibnazarov in the pre-quarters. Gaibnazarov is a 2015 World Championship silver medallist and also a silver medallist at the Asian Championships last year.
- During the first round, Manoj used his long range to counter Petrauskas’s aggressive style of boxing. The close range tactic didn’t help Petrauskas as the judges ruled round one in Manoj’s favour.
- Manoj used the same technique in the second round and hit less but clean punches while Petrauskas once again tried being aggressive which did not turn in his favour.
- The third and final round was closest of all and though the techniques were the same, Manoj could not perform as good as he would have liked and Petrauskas won it but it was not enough for him to overturn the bout in his favour.
Modi to discuss Kashmir with all parties
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Rajya Sabha that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is willing to hold talks with all political parties on the Kashmir unrest.
- The House also passed a undisputed resolution appealing to the people of the Kashmir Valley to reinstate peace and harmony, adding that there “cannot be any compromise on national security”.
- Asserting that security forces were asked to show “maximum restraint” in using pellet guns against protesters, Mr. Singh was non-committal on their instant withdrawal as demanded by several members during the eight-hour discussion on Kashmir.
- Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad wanted to know from the Home Minister whether the government was going to hand over administration of the Valley to the Army after the conclusion of the Amarnath Yatra. Singh said there was no question of handing over Kashmir to the Army and rumours were being spread “deliberately”. Azad also criticised the PM for his “delayed” comments on Kashmir and making those at a rally in M.P. rather than in Parliament.
- In response to the demands for initiating a political process in Kashmir, Singh said the government was prepared to have talks with mainstream parties, moderates and others.
- He praised J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and said that she and her government had done a commendable job in this difficult situation.
Gadkari to lay foundation stone of multi-modal terminal at Varanasi
- Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari will lay the foundation stone for a multi-modal terminal at Varanasi and start off the trial run of two vessels carrying Maruti Suzuki cars and construction material, as a part of National Waterway-1 development.
- The phase-I of the multi-modal terminal will be built by AFCONS Infrastructure at an estimated cost of Rs.170 crore and is believed to be complete by August 2018.
- The Union Minister said in his statement that the terminal will have road and rail connectivity with proposed links on NH-7 and Jeonathpur railway station respectively.
- The two vessels — MV Joy Basudev with a capacity of 1,400 tonnes and MV VV Giri with a capacity of 300 tonnes — containing newly-assembled cars of Maruti Suzuki and construction material, respectively, will be flagged off from the Aghoreshwar Bhagwan Ram Ghat at Varanasi on August 12.
- The cargo handling ability of the multi-modal terminal is likely to be 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum and it will handle cement and food grains among others.
PM Modi, President Putin dedicate Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to nation
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa mutually dedicated to the nation Unit 1 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant VIA a video conference.
- Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan joined the video conference from New Delhi, while Putin addressed it from his office in Moscow. Jayalalithaa took part in the video conference from the state secretariat in Chennai.
- PM Narendra Modi said the nuclear plant, built in collaboration with Russia, is a commemoration of the friendly ties between the two countries.
- Jayalalithaa demanded speedy commissioning of Unit 2 of the plant to meet growing power needs.
- The Unit 1 of the plant attained criticality in July 2013, but started regular power generation only early this year. It has so far generated more than 10,000 million units of power.
- The much-delayed project was the outcome of an inter-governmental agreement between the erstwhile Soviet Union and India in 1988.
- The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy intensified protests against the plant in 2009. During the agitation, more than 8,000 cases were registered, mostly against fishermen, under Section 121 (waging war against the government) and Section 124A (sedition) of the IPC.