LIVE: Congress burns Yogi's effigy for stopping Rahul en route to Hathras

Noida: Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi with party leaders marches along the Yamuna Expressway to meet the family of the 19-year-old Dalit rape victim in Hathras, after their vehicles were stopped by the authorities, in Noida. (PTI Photo/Ravi C
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will visit Hathras in Uttar Pradesh today to meet the family of the woman who died after being gang raped, and whose cremation in the night by the police has provoked nationwide outrage.

Party sources said the permission for the visit has been sought from the Uttar Pradesh government, and they will leave for Hathras on Thursday. Many leaders of the Congress are going to accompany them.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday unveiled the new Defence Acquisition Procedure of 2020 (DAP 2020), which will govern the procurement of defence equipment from the capital budget. It will supersede the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 from today.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.

2:52 AM IST Hitting out at the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, the CPI(M) on Thursday said that the behaviour of the state police with senior opposition leaders was “draconian”.   A 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on September 14 and referred to the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on Monday with spinal cord injuries, paralysis and cuts in her tongue. She died around 3 am on Tuesday.   Her brutal death and subsequent cremation in the dead of the night in Hathras allegedly under police pressure on Tuesday triggered massive outrage over the law and order situation in UP and over women safety in general.   Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were on Thursday stopped from visiting Hathras.   “The statement from the UP Police that it was not a case of rape makes clear the criminal actions of the state government when they hurriedly and forcibly cremated the victim in the dead of the night.

2:52 AM IST Amid the widespread outrage over the alleged gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras and her forcible cremation subsequently, scores of Ghaziabad lawyers on Thursday demanded imposition of President Rule in Uttar Pradesh.   The lawyers demanded the dismissal of the Yogi Adityanath government and imposition of President Rule, saying that the gang-rape of a Dalit woman and her brutalization amid a spate of crime against women in Uttar Pradesh has tarnished the image of the country and would flatten its progress graph.   The lawyers sought imposition of President Rule in a memorandum addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind that they gave to District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey.   The agitating lawyers reached the district collectorate in a march from Civil Court under the banner of Adhivakta Sangharsh Samiti.   During the march, the lawyers raised anti-government slogans and burnt effigies of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, accusing him of having failed in controlling the “soaring” crime graph against women in the state.

2:50 AM IST Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's campaign said on Thursday it would launch an in-person voter-canvassing operation in several battleground states, shifting tactics in the final weeks of a race upended by the coronavirus pandemic.   Some of Biden's Democratic allies have expressed concern the campaign has been too cautious about getting boots on the ground for in-person voter mobilization in the states that will decide the Nov. 3 election.   The campaign had put safety first in light of the pandemic, choosing to forgo door-knocking in favor of remote contacts even though President Donald Trump's campaign has been running an extensive in-person effort.   But in coming days, the Biden team will send several hundred volunteers to Nevada, Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania to focus on contacting voters who may be difficult to reach by phone or computer, with plans to expand the effort to more states ahead of the election.

9:04 PM IST The Centre on Thursday said it has procured 104,417 tonnes of paddy worth Rs 197 crore in the past five days at minimum support price (MSP) from Punjab and Haryana. With the release of procurement data on a daily basis, the government possibly aims to send a message to farmers protesting against new farm laws that it has no intention of scrapping procurement at MSP.   Farmers of Punjab and Haryana and several other states are protesting against the new farm laws, which they feel will lead to procurement in the hands of corporates and the end of MSP regime.   In a statement, the Union Agriculture Ministry said about 91,005 tonnes of paddy from Punjab and 13,412 tonnes from Haryana has been procured at MSP of Rs 1,888 per quintal in the past five days till September 30.

8:55 PM IST Assam's flood situation improved marginally on Thursday with river waters showing a receding trend and affecting a population of 2.70 lakh in seven districts, a bulletin issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said. Till Wednesday, over 2.83 lakh people were affected in eight districts.   At present, 426 villages are under water and more than 25,307 hectare of crop areas have been damaged in the state, the ASDMA said.   The Brahmaputra was flowing above the danger level at Dhubri and the Kopiliu in Nagaon, the bulletin said.

8:51 PM IST Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik will inaugurate a naturopathy hospital at a tribal hamlet in Maharashtra on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on Friday.   The project will serve as a naturopathy and yoga treatment centre for the tribal community at Gohe Budruk in Pune and also as a training centre for the tribal youth who wish to incorporate the skills of naturopathy and yoga in their health practices, the AYUSH ministry said in a statement.   The unit will also study tribal health practices and develop a repository of the same, it said.   Minister of State (independent charge) Shripad Yesso Naik will inaugurate a naturopathy hospital at tribal hamlet Gohe Budruk in Maharashtra's Pune on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti via video conferencing, the ministry said.  

8:38 PM IST Activist Akhil Gogoi was granted bail on Thursday by a special court here in one of the two cases being probed by the NIA in connection with his alleged role in the violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Assam last year.   Gogoi was granted bail after five days of hearing in the case, which was filed at the Chabua police station and later transferred to the NIA.   NIA special judge Pranjal Das granted bail to Gogoi on a surety of Rs 30,000 and routine conditions, including not tampering with evidence and influencing witnesses.  

8:31 PM IST As many as 1.65 million Indians have returned from abroad after the government launched the ''Vande Bharat'' evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.   Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said phase six has come to an end and under this phase, 894 international flights and 142 feeder flights have been operated from 24 countries reaching 24 airports across India.   He said under phase six, 1.75 lakh people were repatriated. As on 30 September,  1.65 million Indians have been repatriated through different modes of the Vande Bharat Mission," he said.  

8:24 PM IST Tata Motors on Thursday reported a 5.09 per cent increase in total sales to 1,10,379 units in the second quarter of the current fiscal. The company had sold a total of 1,05,031units in the same period last fiscal, Tata Motors said in a statement.   Total domestic sales were up 13 per cent to 1,06,888 units from 94,454 units in July-September period last year, it added.   Passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market during the period under review stood at 54,794 units as against 25,898 units in the same quarter last fiscal, over two-fold increase.

8:21 PM IST The initial public offer of state-owned defence firm Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders received stellar response from investors and was subscribed a whopping 157.41 times on the last day of bidding on Thursday.   The Rs 444 crore public offer received bids for 4,81,64,59,117 shares against 3,05,99,017 shares on offer, as per NSE data.   The portion reserved for non-institutional investors was subscribed 678.88 times, qualified institutional buyers 89.71 times and retail investors 35.63 times.   The IPO was at a planning stage for the last 2 years and its current closure has been extremely successful, Mazagaon Dock CMD Narayan Prasad said in a statement.  

7:59 PM IST Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Thursday inaugurated and laid foundation stones of projects worth over Rs 119 crore in Haldwani and said providing a corruption-free transparent government was his goal.   Most of the projects are aimed at boosting health, education and tourism infrastructure besides rejuvenating canals in the area.   Rawat also distributed cheques for Rs 4,93,000 among six orphaned poor girls to meet their educational expenses.   In his address, Rawat said, "Providing a corruption-free transparent government is our purpose."  

7:52 PM IST Congress workers burned the Yogi Adityanath government's effigy here on Thursday, questioning the Uttar Pradesh police's move of stopping party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra when they were walking towards Hathras to meet the rape victim's family.   The party workers held a protest and burned the effigy near Lillie Talkies.   Local MLA Arif Masood, who led the protest, said, "Jungle raj is prevailing in Uttar Pradesh, where a Dalit daughter was raped."  

LIVE UPDATES

UP police behaviour with senior oppn leaders 'draconian': CPIM

Hitting out at the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, the CPI(M) on Thursday said that the behaviour of the state police with senior opposition leaders was “draconian”.
 
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on September 14 and referred to the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on Monday with spinal cord injuries, paralysis and cuts in her tongue. She died around 3 am on Tuesday.
 
Her brutal death and subsequent cremation in the dead of the night in Hathras allegedly under police pressure on Tuesday triggered massive outrage over the law and order situation in UP and over women safety in general.
 
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were on Thursday stopped from visiting Hathras.
 
“The statement from the UP Police that it was not a case of rape makes clear the criminal actions of the state government when they hurriedly and forcibly cremated the victim in the dead of the night.

Hathras gang-rape: Lawyers demand President's Rule in UP

Amid the widespread outrage over the alleged gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras and her forcible cremation subsequently, scores of Ghaziabad lawyers on Thursday demanded imposition of President Rule in Uttar Pradesh.
 
The lawyers demanded the dismissal of the Yogi Adityanath government and imposition of President Rule, saying that the gang-rape of a Dalit woman and her brutalization amid a spate of crime against women in Uttar Pradesh has tarnished the image of the country and would flatten its progress graph.
 
The lawyers sought imposition of President Rule in a memorandum addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind that they gave to District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey.
 
The agitating lawyers reached the district collectorate in a march from Civil Court under the banner of Adhivakta Sangharsh Samiti.
 
During the march, the lawyers raised anti-government slogans and burnt effigies of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, accusing him of having failed in controlling the “soaring” crime graph against women in the state.

Biden campaign to start in-person voter outreach as US election nears

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's campaign said on Thursday it would launch an in-person voter-canvassing operation in several battleground states, shifting tactics in the final weeks of a race upended by the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Some of Biden's Democratic allies have expressed concern the campaign has been too cautious about getting boots on the ground for in-person voter mobilization in the states that will decide the Nov. 3 election.
 
The campaign had put safety first in light of the pandemic, choosing to forgo door-knocking in favor of remote contacts even though President Donald Trump's campaign has been running an extensive in-person effort.
 
But in coming days, the Biden team will send several hundred volunteers to Nevada, Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania to focus on contacting voters who may be difficult to reach by phone or computer, with plans to expand the effort to more states ahead of the election.

Govt buys over 100,000 tonnes of kharif paddy at MSP from Punjab, Haryana in 5 days

The Centre on Thursday said it has procured 104,417 tonnes of paddy worth Rs 197 crore in the past five days at minimum support price (MSP) from Punjab and Haryana. With the release of procurement data on a daily basis, the government possibly aims to send a message to farmers protesting against new farm laws that it has no intention of scrapping procurement at MSP.
 
Farmers of Punjab and Haryana and several other states are protesting against the new farm laws, which they feel will lead to procurement in the hands of corporates and the end of MSP regime.
 
In a statement, the Union Agriculture Ministry said about 91,005 tonnes of paddy from Punjab and 13,412 tonnes from Haryana has been procured at MSP of Rs 1,888 per quintal in the past five days till September 30.

Assam flood situation improves marginally; 270,000 still affected

Assam's flood situation improved marginally on Thursday with river waters showing a receding trend and affecting a population of 2.70 lakh in seven districts, a bulletin issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said. Till Wednesday, over 2.83 lakh people were affected in eight districts.
 
At present, 426 villages are under water and more than 25,307 hectare of crop areas have been damaged in the state, the ASDMA said.
 
The Brahmaputra was flowing above the danger level at Dhubri and the Kopiliu in Nagaon, the bulletin said.

AYUSH minister to inaugurate naturopathy hospital for tribals in Pune

Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik will inaugurate a naturopathy hospital at a tribal hamlet in Maharashtra on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on Friday.
 
The project will serve as a naturopathy and yoga treatment centre for the tribal community at Gohe Budruk in Pune and also as a training centre for the tribal youth who wish to incorporate the skills of naturopathy and yoga in their health practices, the AYUSH ministry said in a statement.
 
The unit will also study tribal health practices and develop a repository of the same, it said.
 
Minister of State (independent charge) Shripad Yesso Naik will inaugurate a naturopathy hospital at tribal hamlet Gohe Budruk in Maharashtra's Pune on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti via video conferencing, the ministry said.
 

Akhil Gogoi gets bail in NIA case related to protests over CAA

Activist Akhil Gogoi was granted bail on Thursday by a special court here in one of the two cases being probed by the NIA in connection with his alleged role in the violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Assam last year.
 
Gogoi was granted bail after five days of hearing in the case, which was filed at the Chabua police station and later transferred to the NIA.
 
NIA special judge Pranjal Das granted bail to Gogoi on a surety of Rs 30,000 and routine conditions, including not tampering with evidence and influencing witnesses.
 

1.65 mn Indians have returned from abroad under 'Vande Bharat' mission: MEA

As many as 1.65 million Indians have returned from abroad after the government launched the ''Vande Bharat'' evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
 
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said phase six has come to an end and under this phase, 894 international flights and 142 feeder flights have been operated from 24 countries reaching 24 airports across India.
 
He said under phase six, 1.75 lakh people were repatriated. As on 30 September,  1.65 million Indians have been repatriated through different modes of the Vande Bharat Mission," he said.
 

Tata Motors reports 5% increase in total sales in July-Sep quarter

Tata Motors on Thursday reported a 5.09 per cent increase in total sales to 1,10,379 units in the second quarter of the current fiscal. The company had sold a total of 1,05,031units in the same period last fiscal, Tata Motors said in a statement.
 
Total domestic sales were up 13 per cent to 1,06,888 units from 94,454 units in July-September period last year, it added.
 
Passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market during the period under review stood at 54,794 units as against 25,898 units in the same quarter last fiscal, over two-fold increase.

Mazagon Dock IPO huge hit; subscribed whopping 157.41 times

The initial public offer of state-owned defence firm Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders received stellar response from investors and was subscribed a whopping 157.41 times on the last day of bidding on Thursday.
 
The Rs 444 crore public offer received bids for 4,81,64,59,117 shares against 3,05,99,017 shares on offer, as per NSE data.
 
The portion reserved for non-institutional investors was subscribed 678.88 times, qualified institutional buyers 89.71 times and retail investors 35.63 times.
 
The IPO was at a planning stage for the last 2 years and its current closure has been extremely successful, Mazagaon Dock CMD Narayan Prasad said in a statement.
 

Uttarakhand CM inaugurates projects worth over Rs 119 cr in Haldwani

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Thursday inaugurated and laid foundation stones of projects worth over Rs 119 crore in Haldwani and said providing a corruption-free transparent government was his goal.
 
Most of the projects are aimed at boosting health, education and tourism infrastructure besides rejuvenating canals in the area.
 
Rawat also distributed cheques for Rs 4,93,000 among six orphaned poor girls to meet their educational expenses.
 
In his address, Rawat said, "Providing a corruption-free transparent government is our purpose."
 

In MP, Congress burns UP govt's effigy for stopping Rahul, Priyanka

Congress workers burned the Yogi Adityanath government's effigy here on Thursday, questioning the Uttar Pradesh police's move of stopping party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra when they were walking towards Hathras to meet the rape victim's family.
 
The party workers held a protest and burned the effigy near Lillie Talkies.
 
Local MLA Arif Masood, who led the protest, said, "Jungle raj is prevailing in Uttar Pradesh, where a Dalit daughter was raped."
 

President Ram Nath Kovind turns 75; VP, PM greet him

President Ram Nath Kovind turned 75 on Thursday, with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi among others wishing him good health and long life on his birthday.
 
The president said he was deeply touched by the birthday wishes and kind words he received from fellow citizens and friends, which gives him strength to serve the nation with deep gratitude and humility.
 
Deeply touched by the birthday wishes and kind words I have received today from so many fellow citizens and friends. Your love and affection gives me strength to serve our people and our nation with deep gratitude and great humility. Thank you very much!, the president tweeted.

Telangana seeks Rs 500 cr from Centre for Hyderabad-Vijayawada Highway works

The Telangana government sought Rs 500 crore from the Centre to resolve infrastructure related problems on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada section of national highway 65.
 
In a letter to Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, TelanganaIT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao stated that about 25 kilometers on the Highway has several problems like inadequate land capacity and absence of service roads for local traffic and hence funds were needed.

Mubadala picks up 1.4 pc stake in Reliance Retail for Rs 6,247.5 cr

Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co will invest Rs 6,247.5 crore for a 1.4 per cent stake in Reliance Retail, the Indian firm said on Thursday.
 
This is the second investment by Mubadala in a subsidiary of Reliance Industries. It had previously invested Rs 9,093.60 crore for a 1.85 per cent stake in Jio Platforms.
 
"The investment values Reliance Retail at a pre-money equity value of Rs 4.285 lakh crore," Reliance said in a statement.

Govt to soon unveil new National Textile Policy: Secy

The government will soon announce the much-awaited new National Textile Policy entailing a "futuristic" strategy and action plan for India to unleash its full potential and become globally competitive in the sector, a top official has said.
 
Addressing the annual general meeting of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), Textiles Secretary Ravi Capoor said, "Hopefully, in the next month or so, we should be able to announce the new textiles policy. It is a futuristic looking policy."
 
The secretary said the government is in the "last stages of finalising the textile policy", which got delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be unveiled after the final round of consultation between the textiles ministry and the industry players, he added.
 
At the AGM that took place virtually earlier this week, Capoor also said the government is also working on a Focus Product Scheme, wherein it has analysed the export data of top-40 manmade fibre (MMF) products and found that India has a miniscule share of just 0.7 per cent in the total global market of USD 150 billion.
 

Bajaj Auto shares jump 4% after Sept sales data

Shares of Bajaj Auto on Thursday jumped 4 per cent after the company reported a 10 per cent increase in its total vehicle sales for September. The stock gained 3.69 per cent to close at Rs 2,985.75 on the BSE. During the day, it jumped 8 per cent to Rs 3,111.75.
 
On the NSE, it rose by 4.09 per cent to settle at Rs 2,999. Bajaj Auto on Thursday reported a 10 per cent increase in its total vehicle sales at 4,41,306 units in September.
 
The automaker had sold a total of 4,02,035 vehicles in September 2019.

Exporters facing shortage of shipping containers: EEPC

Engineering Export Promotion Council of India on Thursday said exporters are facing shortages of containers and alleged that shipping lines have raised freight charges, which are impacting their competitiveness in global markets.
 
The council has approached the commerce ministry, seeking its intervention to resolve the issues and set up a regulator to deal with the "monopolistic" practices being indulged in by the shipping companies.
 
EEPC India claimed shipping lines are demanding high freight charges as inward traffic from different countries, particularly from China, has declined for which the exporters are required to pay a higher amount for outbound consignments.
 

Bhim Army chief says UP CM unable to handle govt, demands President's Rule

Azad Samaj Party chief and Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad on Thursday demanded President's Rule in Uttar Pradesh, alleging failure of constitutional machinery in the state over crimes against Dalits.
 
Azad said he has started a dharna at his home in Saharanpur where he is put under a house arrest, which was ordered by the local police on Wednesday.
 
The Dalit activist was accompanying the family of the 19-year-old woman, who died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday, a fortnight after she was allegedly gang raped in UP's Hathras, to their home but was detained midway.

Coal India production up 32% at 40.51 MT in Sept

State-owned CIL on Thursday said it produced 40.51 million tonnes (MT) of coal in September, registering a growth of 31.6 per cent over the same month last year.
 
Coal India (CIL), which accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output, had produced 30.78 MT of the dry fuel in September 2019.
 
"Coal production at 40.51 MT in September'20, surged ahead by a robust 9.73 MT increase in absolute terms, compared to 30.78 MT in September'19, the growth being 31.6 per cent," CIL said in a statement.
 
For the first time in the current fiscal, growth was in double digits, with all CIL subsidiaries showing an increase.
 

Railways to introduce 200 more trains during festive season: Board Chairman

The Railways is planning to introduce 200 special trains between October 15 and November 30 to cater to passengers travelling during the festive season, Railway Board Chairman and CEO V K Yadav said on Thursday.
 
The Railways has currently suspended all regular passenger trains indefinitely. Regular trains have remained suspended since March 22.
 
It started operations of 15 pairs of premium Rajdhani special trains connecting Delhi with different parts of the country on May 12, and 100 pairs of long-distance trains on June 1. It also started 80 trains additionally on September 12.
 

Fiscal deficit of 18 states at 40.7% in Q1, revenue deficit soars to 285%: Ind-Ra

Steeply falling revenues and central grants amidst rising expenditure to fight the coronavirus pandemic led to 18 of the largest states reporting a collective revenue deficit of 285 per cent of Budget Estimates in April-June as against 12.9 per cent a year ago, as per a report by India Ratings (Ind-Ra).
 
The collective fiscal deficit of the 18 states stood at 40.7 per cent of Budget Estimates (BE) in Q1 as against 13.4 per cent a year ago, the report said.
 
The pandemic-induced lockdowns, resultant loss of business and fall in tax collections have forced states to borrow at almost 10 per cent. While their revenues have plunged, expenses have only gone up. The Centre's refusal to pay GST dues on time further aggravated the pain of the states.
 
The collective revenue expenditure of the 18 states grew 11.7 per cent in Q1, the report said.
 

Govt hikes air navigation charges by 4%, airlines demand roll back

Air Navigation Service (ANS) charges or fees for radar and air traffic control services have been hiked by 3.5-4 per cent bringing relief to Airport Authority of India (AAI). Airlines will have to absorb the higher cost as there is no room for increasing fares at present.
 
On Wednesday, Director General of Civil Aviation Arun Kumar notified the decision after the government approved AAI's long pending demand for an increase in the levy. The navigation charges collected at present were approved in early 2000. A hike in charges in 2017 was rolled back because of opposition from airlines. Read more

Replace UP Chief Minister or impose president's rule, demands Mayawati

Raising questions over the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh, BSP chief Mayawati on Thursday demanded that either the state's chief minister be replaced or the president's rule imposed.
 
Referring to deaths of two women in Hathras and Balrampur regions of the state, she said the incidents are reminiscent of the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder in Delhi.
 
"In the wake of the law and order situation in the state and a flood of crimes against women, the Union government should replace Yogi Adityanath with some 'kaabil' (capable) person and if this is not possible, the president's rule should be imposed in the state," Mayawati said. Read more

Environment ministry makes action plan for tackling winter pollution

The Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Moefcc) has devised an action plan with five states to tackle the air pollution that engulfs the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) during winters.
 
During discussions, the ministry asked Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to focus on hotspots, construction activity, and waste management, apart from curbing stubble burning. During the meeting, Punjab said it would create awareness in the regions where stubble burning is rampant.The Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Moefcc) has devised an action plan with five states to tackle the air pollution that engulfs the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) during winters.

During discussions, the ministry asked Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to focus on hotspots, construction activity, and waste management, apart from curbing stubble burning. During the meeting, Punjab said it would create awareness in the regions where stubble burning is rampant. Read more

TVS Motor reports 4% increase in sales in September at 327,692 units

TVS Motor Company on Thursday reported a 3.76 per cent increase in total sales in September at 3,27,692 units.
 
The company, which primarily makes two-wheelers and three-wheelers, had sold 3,15,796 units in September 2019, TVS Motor Company said in a statement.
 
Total two-wheeler sales during the month stood at 3,13,332 units as against 3,00,793 units in September 2019, up 4.16 per cent.
 

Congress has space for people to express concerns, BJP has none: Kapil Sibal

Taking a dig at the BJP over its oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal breaking ties with it on the farm bills issue, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Thursday said the saffron party's alliance politics was "falling apart" over legislations and the ruling NDA has turned into a "non-democratic alliance".
 
Sibal, who was among the 23 leaders who wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi calling for organisational reforms, also slammed Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman for recently alluding to the letter writers and their alleged undermining of the party, saying, "The Congress still has space for people to express concerns, while the BJP has no such space".
 
Sibal alleged that the BJP got the farm bills passed while riding "roughshod over the Opposition and (its own) allies".

Multiplex operators zoom up to 7% as cinemas to reopen from Oct 15

Stocks of multiplex operators PVR and INOX Leisure on Thursday closed with up to 7.3 per cent gains after the Union Home Ministry issued new guidelines for opening of cinemas, theatres and multiplexes with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15.

Shares of PVR zoomed 7.30 per cent to close at Rs 1,301.55 on the BSE. During the day, it jumped 14.99 per cent to Rs 1,395.

INOX Leisure shares rose by 6.12 per cent to settle at Rs 287.05 on the BSE. During the day, it gained 17.63 per cent to Rs 318.20.

 

Air India One VVIP aircraft arrives at Delhi Airport from US

GST collection in September stands at Rs 95,480 crore

WATCH: Indigenous ATGM successfully test-fired

Gold rises marginally by Rs 37, silver declines Rs 915

Gold prices rose marginally by Rs 37 to Rs 51,389 per 10 gram in the national capital on Thursday in line with a positive global trend, according to HDFC Securities. Stronger rupee, however, kept upside limited in the precious metal.
 
The yellow metal had closed at Rs 51,352 per 10 gram in the previous trade.
 
Silver prices, however, declined Rs 915 to Rs 61,423 per kilogram from Rs 62,338 per kilogram in the previous trade.
 

Final semester UG, PG exams begin in Bengal universities

Final semester undergraduate and postgraduate examinations began on digital mode in state universities of West Bengal on Thursday with the authorities saying it was going on smoothly.
 
The exams for 104 subjects under 152 colleges at the undergraduate level of Calcutta University started at 10 am with candidates answering papers from their home, Vice Chancellor Sonali Chakraborty Banerjee told PTI.
 
The tests, of a two-hour duration, kicked off in three different time slots from 10 am, 12 noon and 2 pm and the students were given the questions 15 minutes before the exams began, she explained. Each candidate was given another half an hour to mail the answers in pdf attachment to the college authorities, she said.
 

Corporate credit profiles suffer in H1, may remain under pressure in H2: Rating agencies

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to corporate India's credit profiles hitting the lowest in a decade, and the stress is likely to continue in the rest of the fiscal as well, two domestic rating agencies said on Thursday.
 
Rating agency Crisil said the credit ratio, or the proportion of upgrades to downgrades reached 0.54 times, with 161 upgrades as against 296 downgrades in the first half of the fiscal year, and the debt-rated credit ratio that goes by the quantum of loans was also at a similar level of 0.55 times.
 
The moratorium helped the liquidity profiles of the companies and saved them from downgrades, Crisil said adding that over 2,000 of the 9,000 companies rated by it have availed of the benefit.
 
The agency said the number of upgrades is unlikely to outpace the downgrades in the remainder of the fiscal year as well and pointed out that 60 per cent of the overall rated debt is in sectors with low resilience while 40 per cent is in highly resilient ones.
 

Jio Platforms receives Rs 2,624 cr from Intel Capital, Qualcomm Ventures

Reliance Industries' subsidiary Jio Platforms has received subscription amount of Rs 2,624.5 crore from Intel Capital and Qualcomm Ventures, according to a regulatory filing.
 
The subscription amount of Rs 1,894.5 crore has come in from Intel Capital for 0.39 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, and Rs 730 crore came from Qualcomm Asia Pacific for 0.15 per cent stake.
 
The fund infusion by Intel Capital and Qualcomm Ventures into Jio Platforms was announced in July this year.
 
"We hereby inform that, Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of the company, received the subscription amounts today from the following investors and allotted equity shares to them," RIL said in a late evening filing on Wednesday.

TN launches "One Nation, One Ration Card" plan, joins nation-wide portability

Facilitating inter and intra state portability, Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Thursday launched the "One Nation One Ration Card Scheme" allowing beneficiaries to receive essential commodities from Public Distribution Outlets anywhere in Tamil Nadu and in other states that have already been integrated under the plan.
 
Marking the launch of the scheme, which is operational effective Thursday in as many as 32 districts including Chennai, Kancheepuram, Chengelpet and Tiruvallur, Palaniswami gave away commodities to three card holders at the state secretariat.
 

Rahul Gandhi arrested by UP police on way to Hathras

Rahul Gandhi roughed up by Uttar Pradesh police at Yamuna Expressway


Samajwadi Party workers stage a protest demonstration in Hathras

Mahindra sales dip 17% to 35,920 units in September

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) on Thursday reported a 17 per cent decline in total sales to 35,920 units in September. The company had sold 43,343 units in the same month last year, M&M said in a statement.
 
In the domestic market, sales were down 16 per cent to 34,351 units last month compared to 40,692 units in September 2019. Exports dropped by 41 per cent to 1,569 units as against 2,651 units in the year-ago month.
 
In the passenger vehicles segment -- which includes UVs, cars and vans -- it sold 14,857 vehicles in September against 14,333 units in the same month last year, up 4 per cent.

Power consumption grows by 5.6 pc in Sep, recovers after six months of slump

Researchers have demonstrated that an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm could be trained to classify Covid-19 pneumonia in computed tomography (CT) scans with up to 90 per cent accuracy. Also, it correctly identifies positive cases 84 per cent of the time and negative cases 93 per cent of the time.
 
The study, recently published in Nature Communications, shows the new technique can also overcome some of the challenges of current testing.
 
"We demonstrated that a deep learning-based AI approach can serve as a standardized and objective tool to assist healthcare systems as well as patients," said study author Ulas Bagci from the University of Central Florida in the US

Crisil expects bank credit to grow by up to 1% in FY21

The banking system's credit growth will plummet to a multi-decadal low of up to 1 per cent in FY21, domestic credit ratings agency Crisil said on Thursday.
 
For non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), the shock will be more pronounced and assets under management (AUM) may decline by up to 3 per cent during the fiscal, impacted majorly by wholesale segment, it said. It can be noted that non-food credit growth was at 5.5 per cent as of August 28 as compared to the year-ago period.
 
Lenders have been undertaking targeted measures to increase the growth and are pinning hopes on festive season for growth to go up.

WATCH: Police pushed, lathicharged me, threw me to ground, says Rahul Gandhi

Rupee zooms 63 paise to close at 73.13 against US dollar

The rupee strengthened by 63 paise and closed for the day at 73.13 (provisional) against the US dollar on Thursday, as positive domestic equities and weak American currency buoyed investor sentiments.
 
At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened at 73.60 against the US dollar, then gained further ground and finally settled at 73.13, registering a rise of 63 paise over its previous close.
 
On Wednesday, the rupee closed at 73.76 against the US dollar.
 
During the session, the domestic unit witnessed an intra-day high of 73.07 and a low of 73.60 against the greenback.

UPI transactions at Rs 3.29 trillionin September

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions stood at Rs 3.29 trillion in September with number of transactions at 180 crore, NPCI data showed on Thursday.
 
The transactions were higher by over 10 per cent from Rs 2.98 trillion in August. Volume wise, it grew nearly 12 per cent month-on-month.
 
In the past few years, person-to-person and person-to-merchant money transfer have become simpler and safer due to BHIM UPI, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said in a tweet showing the monthly data transactions.
 

Sri Lanka looking forward to $1bn currency swap with India to boost forex

Sri Lanka is looking forward to a $1 billion currency swap with India to boost its foreign reserves and attract more investment into the island nation after its economy was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Issuing a government reaction to the downgrading of Sri Lanka's credit rating by Moody's investor services, country's state minister of capital markets Ajith Nivard Cabraal on Wednesday said that the latest negotiations with India for $1 billion swap was in addition to the 400 million Sri Lanka received under swap with the RBI in July.
 
Sri Lanka looks forward to a $1 billion currency swap with India's Reserve Bank to boost its foreign reserves with action to attract more investment in to the island as measures to boost the island's reserves, he said. The Reserve Bank of India in July this year signed necessary documents for extending a USD 400 million currency swap facility to Sri Lanka to boost the island nation's draining foreign exchange reserves due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 

Petrol demand returns to pre-Covid-19 levels, diesel sales inching up

India's petrol sales rose 2 per cent in September - the first increase since the country's lockdown in late March - signalling demand returning to pre-COVID-19 levels.
 
Diesel sales continue to be below normal but have shown a month-on-month increase, according to provisional data from state-owned fuel retailers who control 90 per cent of the market. Petrol sales in September rose 2 per cent year-on-year and were up 10.5 per cent over the previous month.
 
Diesel sales continue to be in the negative territory, with demand falling 7 per cent year-on-year. But the demand was 22 per cent higher over August 2020.
 
This is the first time that petrol sales in the world's third-largest oil importer have risen since the March 25 nationwide lockdown crippled economic activity and sent demand plummeting.
 

SBI sees govt overshooting fiscal deficit numbers, pegs combined deficit at 13%

The union government is likely to overshoot the fiscal deficit numbers and the consolidated fiscal deficit of the Centre and the states is expected to touch 13 per cent of GDP during the current fiscal, says a report.
 
According to the SBI Research report, the country's nominal GDP growth is expected to decline below the FY19 levels this year.
 
"We are expecting a consolidated fiscal deficit of the Centre and the states to touch 13 per cent of GDP going by the current trends," the report said.
 
According to the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), fiscal deficit, the gap between expenditure and revenue, during April-August was at 109.3 per cent of the annual target estimated in the Budget. In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit was at Rs 8,70,347 crore.

SBI, HUL tie up for providing easy access to credit to small retailers

The country's largest bank SBI and FMCG major HUL on Thursday announced a partnership to enable easy access to credit to small retailers and also help them join the digitisation bandwagon in order to "survive in the new world".
 
Under the partnership, HUL's retailers who use the company's Shikhar app will be able to avail of credit facility for payments to distributors through an integration with State Bank of India's (SBI) Yono app.
 
Hindustan Unilever (HUL) Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Mehta said while there are around ten million retailers in India, they have faced constraints in access to credit as they have always operated in an informal environment, while they have also been reluctant to adopt digital technology.
 

Bhushan files fresh plea in SC seeking review of punishment in contempt case

Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan moved the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking review of the August 31 sentencing order to either pay nominal fine of Re 1 or face a three-month jail term and debarment from law practice for three years in the contempt case for his two tweets against the judiciary.

Bhushan, who has already deposited Re 1 as fine with the apex court's registry on September 14, has filed two separate review petitions in the contempt case.

The first review plea on September 14 had challenged the August 14 verdict convicting him for the contempt of court, while the second plea has been filed against the August 31 sentencing order which imposed the fine. In the second review plea, filed through lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, Bhushan has sought an oral hearing in an open court on the matter.

 

UP: Teenage girl in Baghpat tries to commit suicide after she was allegedly raped and blackmailed by a neighbour

Uttar Pradesh: Teenage girl in Baghpat tries to commit suicide after she was allegedly raped and blackmailed by a neighbour, who has been arrested by police.

SC refuses to entertain plea for fixing accountability of WHO officials over COVID-19

The Supreme Court Thursday refused to entertain a plea seeking direction to fix accountability of WHO officials for their alleged failure in preventing the COVID-19 pandemic in the world.
 
A bench headed by Justice S K Kaul said that the plea, which had also said that China may be made to pay appropriate compensation to India for the losses incurred due to the pandemic, was not maintainable.
 
"We do not have the jurisdiction to summon the Government of China," the bench, also comprising Justice Hrishikesh Roy, said.
 
"How can this court say what the WHO and China should do? This court is not the government," the bench told Raman Kakar, who had filed the petition.
 
"The petition is not maintainable," the apex court said.
 

Airlines will have to pay interest to passengers on credit shell amount: SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered airlines to pay a 0.5 percent interest per month on delayed refunds of tickets which were cancelled due to restrictions imposed to counter Covid-19 pandemic.
 
The court said that the credit shell will be valid till 31 March 2021 and if the passenger hasn’t used the amount after that, airlines have to refund the amount with additional interest. Read on...

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi leave for Hathras in Uttar Pradesh where a 19-year-old woman was gang-raped

UP CM Yogi Adityanath should resign if he can't ensure safety to women, says Mayawati

Manufacturing activity expands at fastest pace in 8 years in September: PMI

India's factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in over eight years in September as a relaxation in coronavirus lockdown restrictions drove a surge in demand and output, a private survey showed on Thursday, though layoffs continued.
 
Signs of recovery are welcome news for Asia's third-largest economy, which is widely expected to mark its first full-year contraction since 1979 this year. The pandemic is spreading in India at the fastest pace in the world. Read on...

Anurag Kashyap reaches Versova Police station in Mumbai to appear before the police in connection with the alleged sexual assault against actor Payal Ghosh.

Maharashtra: Film director Anurag Kashyap reaches Versova Police station in Mumbai to appear before the police in connection with the alleged sexual assault against actor Payal Ghosh.

Soldier killed in Pakistan firing in Jammu and Kashmir's Krishna Ghati sector

A soldier was killed in action in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the Krishna Ghati sector along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district.
 
Pakistan violated the ceasefire on Wednesday night, officials said.
 
The soldier has been identified as Lance Naik Karnail Singh.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu greets President Ram Nath Kovind on his 75th birthday

ice President M Venkaiah Naidu greets President Ram Nath Kovind on his 75th birthday, saying he is known for his simplicity, warmth and concern for the poor.

Kisan March will go to Punjab Raj Bhawan, says Sukhbir Singh Badal on farm bills

Kisan March will go to Punjab Raj Bhawan. We'll give a memorandum to the Governor with a request to centre and President that sessions of both Houses be convened once again & the laws (Farm laws) be taken back. Farmers are protesting against those black laws: Sukhbir Singh Badal

Recovery rate of coronavirus patients rises to 92.74 per cent in Bihar

The recovery rate of Covid-19 patients in Bihar climbed to 92.74 per cent on Wednesday, while 1435 fresh cases took the tally of positive cases to 1,82,905 lakh in the state, health department bulletin said.
 
Bihar reported 10 fresh casualties from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll from Covid to 904.
 
Keeping up the momentum of higher number of tests for the virus, the state examined a total of 1,31,383 samples in the last 24 hours, the bulletin said.

India, China agree to hold 7th meet of commanders at earliest

India on Wednesday raised with China its refusal to recognise the status the Union Territory of Ladakh. The matter was raised at Wednesday’s meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs. India stated it has never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 Line of Actual Control.
 

PM Modi extends birthday wishes to President Ram Nath Kovind

Kerala Congress ask CBI to appeal against Babri demolition case verdict

The leaders of Congress party from Kerala asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to appeal against special court's verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case in which it acquitted all the accused in the case.
 
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has said that the court's verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case is a "severe blow to the secular base of the nation".
 
"The Supreme Court has ruled that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was a criminal offense and violation of law and order. Yet the prosecution's failure to prove it is a serious lapse. The verdict is as tragic as the demolition of the mosque," Chennithala said in a press statement. Read on...

Another Hathras: 22-Year-Old Drugged, Gang-Raped In UP; Dies Of Injuries

Amid outrage in the country over the brutalisation and gangrape of a young woman in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras, another similar case has been reported from the state. A little more than 500 km from Hathras, a 22-year-old Dalit woman died after gang-rape and severe beating last evening. The young woman in Balrampur had died while being taken to a hospital in Lucknow.

Sonia Gandhi says Hathras gangrape victim 'killed by ruthless govt'

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday attacked the Yogi Adityanath government over the death of Hathras gangrape victim, saying she "did not die but was murdered by ruthless government" and "her body was consigned to flames forcibly".
 
"Crores of people in this country are sad and angry over the brutal incident of Hathras, which is a blot on our society. I want to ask, being a girl is a crime? Being a poor girl is a crime? What was UP government doing that they could not hear the voice of the family seeking justice? They tried to suppress the matter. Right medical facilities were not provided to the victim on time," Sonia Gandhi said in a video statement. Read on...

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