India Celebrates 66th Republic Day, Obama Is Honored Guest at India’s Grand Parade

India Celebrates 66th Republic Day, Obama Is Honored Guest at India’s Grand Parade
India’s military might was on display on Monday as it celebrated the 66th Republic Day with a grand parade attended by US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee, former PM Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh were among the many dignitaries present.

President Barack Obama on Monday took in a grand display of Indian military hardware, marching bands and elaborately dressed camels, becoming the first American leader to be honored as chief guest at India’s annual Republic Day festivities.

The crowd erupted in cheers as Obama, along with first lady Michelle Obama, emerged from his armored limousine and took his place on the rain-soaked parade route in the capital of New Delhi. The parade was the centerpiece of Obama’s three-day visit to India, which is aimed at strengthening the relationship between the world’s largest democracies that has at times been fraught with tension and suspicion.

Obama’s attendance at the Republic Day celebrations was unlike any other event he has participated in during his overseas travel as president. He spent about two hours on an outdoor viewing platform, an unusual amount of time given Secret Service security concerns. Obama nodded in approval as Indian tanks and rocket launchers, some of them Russian-made, rolled down the parade route and air force jets sped by overhead.
Border Security Force (BSF) “Daredevils” motorcycle riders perform in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Jan. 26.

Army soldiers march in formation down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Jan. 26.

Jan Dhan Yojna makes it to Guinness World Records, 11.5 cr bank accounts opened

NEW DELHI: As many as 11.5 crore bank accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, exceeding the enhanced target of 10 crore and covering 99.74 per cent of households, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
Jan Dhan Yojna makes it to Guinness World Records, 11.5 cr bank accounts opened
“Most of India today is included in the banking system,” he said, adding that more than Rs 9,000 crore has been deposited in the Jan Dhan accounts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the financial inclusion scheme in his first Independence Day speech last year. It was launched in August with a target to open bank accounts for 7.5 crore poor persons by January 26, 2015. The target was later increased to 10 crore accounts.

In its citation, the Guinness Book said: “Most bank accounts opened in one week as part of the Financial Inclusion Campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Department of Financial Services, Government of India from August 23 to 29, 2014.”

Source: Economictimes

Kiran Bedi declared as BJP’s CM candidate for upcoming Delhi Assembly polls.

It’s #BedivsKejriwal for Delhi polls.
Kiran Bedi declared as BJP's CM candidate for upcoming Delhi Assembly polls.
Kiran Bedi declared as BJP’s CM candidate for upcoming Delhi Assembly polls.
Kiran Bedi was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India. She was awarded a BA degree by the Government College for Women, Amritsar in 1968. She then earned a Master’s degree in Social Science from Punjab University, Chandigarh, graduating top of her class in 1970. She later obtained Bachelor of Laws in 1988 from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. In 1993, she obtained a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Department of Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi where the topic of her thesis was ‘Drug Abuse and Domestic Violence’.

Former Top Cop IPS Kiran Bedi officially joins BJP, Will Contest Delhi Election

NEW DELHI: Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi on Thursday was officially inducted into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “Kiran Bedi’s entry will strengthen the party,” said party president Amit Shah.
Delhi’s best known former cop and activist Kiran Bedi has joined the BJP. Party chief Amit Shah confirmed that she will contest the assembly elections from Delhi next month. (Highlights)

Ms Bedi, 65, drove up to the BJP headquarters in Delhi with Mr Shah this evening and shared stage with him and other top leaders like Arun Jaitley and Dr Harshvardhan as she was formally inducted into the party.

Mr Shah welcomed Ms Bedi to the party and said her joining would strengthen the Delhi unit of the BJP. He did not comment when asked whether she would be fielded in next month’s election against Aam Aadmi Party president Arvind Kejriwal or whether she would be the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate.

Ms Bedi thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said she has joined the BJP “due to the PM’s inspirational leadership.”

Mr Jaitley said Ms Bedi has been a crusader and that the “BJP has strived to get experienced and reliable people join the party. For the last few years we have tried to get people who work beyond the political sphere, have earned a name and reliability.

Ms Bedi was a prominent member of what was called Team Anna, a core group of activists who worked closely with Gandhian activist Anna Hazare when he launched his campaign to demand a bill to appoint a Lokpal or national ombudsman against graft.

Mr Kejriwal too was a member of Team Anna, but he later fell out with Mr Hazare over his decision to launch a political party. Ms Bedi has since been a stern critic of Mr Kejriwal.

Elections will be held on February 7 in Delhi, which has not had an elected government since Arvind Kejriwal resigned as chief minister last February after 49 days.

He is the AAP’s candidate again for the post. The BJP is reportedly looking for someone to contest against him in his New Delhi constituency, which he wrested from former chief minister of the Congress Sheila Dikshit, who had won it thrice in a row before being soundly defeated by Mr Kejriwal in December 2013.

On being asked if Kiran Bedi would contest against Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi polls, Shah said, “We have not taken any decision in this regard.”

Congratulating Bedi for joining the party, senior leader Arun Jaitley said, “We hope that the party will benefit from Kiran Bedi joining it.”

Speculation is also rife about Jaya Prada and Shazia Ilmi joining BJP ahead of Delhi assembly elections.

While Jaya Prada in an interview to Times Now confirmed that she is in talks with the party, Shazia Ilmi sought time before taking a final decision.

Shazia Ilmi, however, made it clear that she will campaign against AAP and will work “to expose AAP for what it is.”
Source: LINK