Here are the top 5 news updates of August 16, 2021:
Former Assam MP Sushmita Dev, shortly after quitting the Congress, joined the TMC in Kolkata today, in the presence of the party's national general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee. Dev had been serving as the national spokesperson of the Congress and its women's wing chief. Taking to Twitter, the TMC welcomed the former parliamentarian to its camp. Dev, who sent her resignation letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Sunday, has offered no reason for quitting the grand old party. In her letter to Gandhi, Dev said she was beginning a "new chapter in my life of public service".
At least five people have been killed at the Kabul airport and three stowaways were reported to have fallen to their deaths from an airborne plane as thousands of Afghans are desperately trying to get on flights out of the country amid increasingly chaotic scenes, the Daily Mail reported today. US troops fired shots in the air at the Hamid Karzai International Airport to prevent hundreds of civilians from running onto the tarmac after they took over Afghanistan's air traffic control. Witnesses said it was not clear whether the victims were killed by gunshots or in a stampede. Footage published by Asvaka showed three stowaways falling to the deaths after clinging on to the wheels of a military plane as it took off from Kabul airport.
NCP president Sharad Pawar today asked the Centre to undertake a caste-based census and relax the 50 per cent cap on reservations to ensure social justice. Addressing a press conference, Pawar said his party will build public opinion against the Central government on the issue. The former Union minister also claimed that the Narendra Modi-led Central government misled people on the quota issue. "The constitutional amendment of restoring the right of the states to prepare a list of OBCs, taken away two years ago, is a mere eyewash," he said. "Unless the 50 per cent cap is relaxed, the Maratha quota cannot be restored. Similarly, the empirical data on OBCs should be shared with the states. Unless the data is available, it cannot be known how much representation needs to be given to smaller castes," he added.
All public gardens, playgrounds, chowpatties and beaches in Mumbai will now remain open from 6 am to 10 pm as part of fresh relaxations in COVID-19 restrictions, municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said today. Earlier, on June 4 this year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had allowed these places to open for the public from 5 am to 9 am. The BMC on Sunday issued fresh guidelines under 'Break the Chain' programme, using powers conferred by the Maharashtra government to decide the timings. All other guidelines issued by the state government on August 11 will be effective till the next order, the BMC said.
Equity benchmark Sensex jumped 145 points to end at a fresh high today tracking gains in index majors Reliance Industries, Bajaj Finance and Tata Steel. Despite opening on a choppy note, the 30-share index ended 145.29 points or 0.26 per cent higher at a new peak of 55,582.58. It touched a record intra-day high of 55,680.75. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty advanced 33.95 points or 0.21 per cent to a fresh high of 16,563.05. During the day, it rose to new intra-day peak of 16,589.40.
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