LIVE news: Central team in Hyderabad assesses damage caused by floods

Central team constituted by Govt of India met Telangana Chief Secretary and discussed the flood situation and relief measures in the state | Photo: @ANI
A five-member inter-ministerial team sent by the Centre to assess the damage caused by the floods in Telangana the state government officials on Thursday.

In another major development, the Centre has decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas, except electronic, tourist and medical categories, Home Ministry said today in a statement.

India today observed the day of the raid in 1947 in Jammu and Kashmir as the 'Black Day' to protest against Pakistan's role in instigating violence and terror in the valley. On this day in 1947, Pakistani invaders illegally entered into Jammu and Kashmir and plundered and committed atrocities.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has released its election manifesto for the Bihar Assembly polls. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharanan released the manifesto in Patna. 'Atmanirbhar Bihar' will be the key feature of the BJP's manifesto, according to a top Bihar BJP leader who said that it promised to open the gates for all-round development of the state by helping the people of the state become self-reliant.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.


Mute buttons and plexiglass: Inside the final presidential debate

While millions of people will be watching on television, only around 200 will be allowed inside the massive college arena in Nashville where President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, meet Thursday night for the final presidential debate of the 2020 election.
One of them will control a mute button.

Huawei outhustles Trump by stockpiling chips needed for China 5G

Huawei Technologies quietly spent months racing to stockpile critical radio chips ahead of Trump administration sanctions, ensuring it can keep supplying Chinese carriers in their $170 billion roll-out of 5G technology through at least 2021.
Partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing began ramping up output in late 2019 of Huawei’s 7-nanometer Tiangang communications chips, the most crucial element in 5G base stations, people familiar with the matter said. The Taiwanese contract manufacturer eventually shipped more than 2 million units at Huawei’s behest ahead of the sanctions cutoff last month, one of the people said, asking not be identified discussing internal matters. The sheer magnitude of orders at one point got TSMC executives wondering whether they had underestimated global demand, the person said.

Northern Railways new service to transport passenger luggage to home

Passengers travelling from Delhi, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon will be the first to avail the soon-to-begin 'Bags on Wheels' service of the Railways through which their luggage will be transported to their homes from the railway station upon their arrival in trains and vice versa.

China, Germany heading for superpower status as US influence wanes: Putin

The era when the United States and Russia decided the world's most important questions is in the past, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, saying China and Germany were now heading for superpower status.
Addressing a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club, Putin suggested that the role of the United States had waned, along with that of Britain and France, while Beijing and Berlin - in terms of political and economic weight -- were heading for superpower status.
If Washington was not prepared to discuss global problems with Moscow, Russia stood ready to have that discussion with other nations, said Putin, who was speaking via video link.

Mehbooba Mufti chairs first meeting with PDP leaders in Srinagar after release from detention

RBI pegs minimum NOF for housing finance companies at Rs 25 crore

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday fixed the minimum Net Owned Fund (NOF) size for housing finance companies at Rs 25 crore.
The housing finance companies (HFCs) holding a Certificate of Registration (CoR) and having an NOF of less than Rs 25 crore will be required to achieve NOF of Rs 15 crore by March 31, 2022 and Rs 25 crore by March 31, 2023, the Reserve Bank said in a notification. The RBI has issued the revised regulatory framework for HFCs.
The RBI further said that it would be incumbent upon such HFCs whose NOF currently stands below Rs 20 crore to submit a statutory auditor's certificate to the central bank within a month evidencing compliance with the prescribed levels.

Jammu and Kashmir's employees can now be retired after completing 22 years of service

Jammu and Kashmir's civil service regulation rules were amended on Thursday to allow the administration to retire government employees at any time after completing 22 years of service or attaining the age of 48 years, an official said.
The employees can be retired after being given three months notice or three months of pay and allowance in lieu of the notice, the official said.
On the orders of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, the administration has introduced certain substitutes in 226(2) Article of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Regulations, the official said. He said a notification was issued by Finance Department in this regard.

Govt eases entry restrictions for overseas Indians, business visitors

The government has eased restrictions to allow Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card holders from all countries to enter India.
The move ahead of the festive season would enable persons of Indian origin to visit India and meet their friends and relatives. But the move will not have much impact on flight and hotel occupancies as restrictions continue on leisure travel.
The government clamped down on overseas air travel in March to curb the spread of Covid-19 but from subsequent months it has been gradually opening up entry for certain categories of OCI card holders and foreign nationals including business visitors, healthcare professionals, engineers and technical specialists among others. The purpose and urgency of travel had been crucial factor in issuance of visa.
Now the government has decided to ease the restrictions further to help contribute to economic growth. READ MORE...

Himalayan arc poised for a sequence of great earthquakes, says study

The entire Himalayan arc is poised to produce a sequence of great earthquakes, and the next big quake -- of the magnitude of 8 or above -- may occur during our lifetimes, according to a study reviewing geological, historical, and geophysical data. The human toll of such an event in the densely populated countries across the arc is likely to be unprecedented, the researchers said.
The study notes that the sequence of future Himalayan earthquakes could be similar to the great earthquakes that occurred in the twentieth century along the Aleutian subduction zone, which extends from the Gulf of Alaska to Kamchatka in Russian Far East.
The review, which appeared in the journal Seismological Research Letters in August, used basic geological principles --stratigraphic analysis, structural analysis, soils analysis, and radiocarbon analysis -- to estimate the size and timing of prehistoric earthquakes and evaluate future risk. READ MORE...

Delhi violence: Court denies bail to former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain

The riots in north east Delhi in February this year was the worst communal riots since partition in the national capital and that it was a gaping wound in the conscience of a nation aspiring to be a major global power, observed a Delhi Court on Thursday.
The remarks by the court came while dismissing the bail pleas in three cases of former AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain, who allegedly abused his muscle power and political clout to foment communal violence.
It is common knowledge that the dreary day of February 24, 2020 saw parts of north-east Delhi gripped by a communal frenzy, reminiscent of carnage during the days of partition. Soon, the riots spread like wildfire across the smoke-grey skyline of Capital, engulfing new areas and snuffing out more and more innocent lives. READ MORE...

Navy Chief Admiral today reviewed combat readiness and operational preparedness of Indian Navy

AstraZeneca Covid volunteer dies, trials to continue: Report

Clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and Oxford University will continue in Brazil despite the death of a volunteer, Brazilian health regulator Anvisa said recently.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Oxford University said it had carried out a careful assessment of the case in Brazil and found that there were no concerns about the safety of the trial. An independent assessment of the case did not present any concerns, AstraZeneca said. The volunteer was a man in his 20s from Rio de Janeiro. It was not immediately clear if the man received the vaccine or had been part of a placebo group.

Bihar polls: Chhattisgarh CM Baghel hits out BJP over free vaccine promise

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday accused the BJP of politicising public health by promising free COVID-19 vaccine in its manifesto for the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections.
Baghel also said the poll promise implies that citizens of the states where elections are not being held will have to pay for the vaccine. Chhattisgarh Health Minister T S Singh Deo also slammed the BJP for its pollpromise and demanded that the Election Commission of India (ECI) take cognisance of the matter. READ MORE...

Will act on corruption done by present govt, if voted to power: Tejashwi Yadav

Yogi Adityanath government working on permanent solution to flood problem in UP

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is working on an action plan for a permanent solution to the problem of floods in the state.
The Chief Minister on Thursday said until a permanent solution to the problem is found, the standard flood control procedures will be in place at flood-sensitive points in the state.
"It is because of the proactive approach of the government towards the problem that no serious flood-related issues came up despite the fact that the rainfall was two to three times more than the average this year in the Terai regions," he said while distributing compensation to the tune of Rs 113.21 crore to 3,48,511 farmers in 19 flood-affected districts.

LIVE news: Central team in Hyderabad assesses damage caused by floods

A five-member inter-ministerial team sent by the Centre to assess the damage caused by the floods in Telangana the state government officials on Thursday.
The team, led by Joint Secretary Praveen Vashista, met Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar at the state Secretariat and discussed the flood situation and relief measures in the state.
Somesh Kumar informed the Central team that the state government has taken all measures to minimise loss of lives and property arising out of the recent floods. He gave a powerpoint presentation and briefed about the extent of damage caused due to the floods in the state. A photo exhibition was arranged to depict the damages caused by the floods.

India's consumer confidence weakens in October

With no signs of reprieve from the pandemic in near future and economy yet to show major indications of a revival, India's consumer confidence has declined by 0.3 percentage points in October 2020, as per the monthly Refinitiv-Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI).
The monthly PCSI, which is driven by the aggregation of the four weighted sub-indices, is a mixed bag for October 2020, Ipsos said in a statement.
The PCSI Employment Confidence Sub-Index is down by 1.2 percentage points and the Economic Expectations Sub-Index, has dropped by 2.4 percentage points.

Central team discussed flood situation with Telangana Chief Secretary

Defer any protest, rallies till Oct 31: Delhi Police appeals to people

With status quo in respect of prohibition on gatherings and large congregations at public places up to October 31, the Delhi Police on Thursday appealed to people to defer any protests, dharnas or rallies in the city till the time these orders issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) are in force. Police also warned of action against those violating these orders.
"All individuals and groups are requested to defer any plans for organising any protests, dharnas, rallies till such time the DDMA's prohibitory orders are in force. Violations of the prohibitory orders of the DDMA would invite action as per law," DCP, New Delhi, Eish Singhal said.
He appealed to public, including members of political, social, religious, NGOs, and civil society groups, to adhere to the prohibitory orders and guidelines issued by the DDMA.

First batch of Indian Navy’s women pilots operationalised for maritime missions on Dornier aircraft

Navy's first batch of three women pilots ready for maritime reconnaissance mission on Dornier aircraft

Scripting a new chapter, the Indian Navy has got ready its first batch of three women pilots for Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) missions on Dornier aircraft. Lieutenant Divya Sharma, Lt Shubhangi Swaroop and Lt Shivangi are now ready to take on all MR missions on Dornier aircraft, a Defence spokesman said on Thursday.
They have been "operationalised on Dornier aircraft" by the Southern Naval Command (SNC) here today, he said.
The spokesman said the three women pilots were part of the six pilots of the 27th Dornier Operational Flying Training (DOFT) Course, who graduated as Fully operational Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) Pilots at a passing out ceremony held at INS Garuda on Thursday.

Eight more arrested by Maharashtra CID in Palghar mob lynching case

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Maharashtra Police on Thursday arrested eight more people in connection with thelynching of three persons by a mob in Palghar district in April this year, a police official said. With this, 186 people have so far been arrested and 11 juveniles detained in connection with the incident.
After the arrest of 24 people on Wednesday, the police nabbed eight more persons on Thursday, the official said. He said these accused were present at the incident spot amid the COVID-19 pandemic and also did not stop the assault on the three victims. Some of these people were also recording videos of the incident and some were involved in the clamour at that time. The accused also had sticks in their hands, the official said.

Flood situation in state this year severe, more relief to be given to the affected: Karnataka CM

A day after conducting an aerial survey of four flood-hit disricts, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Thursday the flood situation this year was more severe than the previous year and the Centre has been apprised about it. The Chief Minister was speaking to reporters before attending the cabinet meeting at the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat.
"The flood situation this year has been severest compared to the previous year. Houses and crops were damaged.
We have apprised the Centre about it.There is a need to give more relief," Yediyurappa said. He said a decision to give more relief to the flood affected people will be taken in the cabinet meeting.

JD(U) releases manifesto for Bihar Elections 2020

LIVE news: Court to hear bail pleas of Palghar lynching accused on Nov 3

Thane district on Thursday decided to hear on November 3 the bail applications filed by 101 accused in the Palghar mob lynching case, in which three persons were killed. Special court judge P P Jadhav adjourned the hearing due to the absence of investigating officers in the case.
Special public prosecutor Satish Maneshinde opposed the bail applications filed by the accused and submitted to the court the details of the role of each accused and their call data records (CDRs). Advocate Amrut Adhikari, who appeared on behalf of the applicants, argued that the FIR does not mention their names as assailants and hence their involvement in the crime appears to be suspicious.
"The custodial interrogation of these applicants has been over and the investigation is also complete. Charge sheets have also been filed in the JMFC court at Dahanu by the CID. In such circumstances, their further detention is not required," the bail application said. Advocate Pramod Oza appeared on behalf of the families of the two sadhus, who were killed in the incident.

SC dealing with stubble burning, Centre and states must do theirs: Delhi HC

The Supreme Court is already doing its part to deal with stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana and now the Centre and the state governments have to do their bit, the Delhi High Court said on Thursday.
The court made this observation while declining to entertain a plea seeking immediate steps to prevent stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana on the grounds that it would aggravate COVID-19 related problems.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said the apex court on October 16 constituted a committee headed by its former judge, Justice M B Lokur, to monitor the steps taken by these states to prevent stubble burning. The high court further said that if it too hears the same issue, then there would be a danger of contradictory orders being passed. READ MORE...

India allows graded relaxation in visa, travel restrictions

As Indian government has almost lifted all restrictions imposed earlier to contain Covid-19 pandemic, it has now decided to make a "graded relaxation in the visa and travel restrictions". Under the relief, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will now extend these relaxations for more categories of foreign nationals and Indian nationals who wish to enter or leave India, according to an IANS report.
This graded relaxation will restore with "immediate effect" all existing visas except electronic visa, tourist visa and medical visa. Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can now apply for a medical visa, including for their medical attendants.
This decision will enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research and medical purposes -- a move to kick start the economy and other sectors affected due to pandemic as restrictions were imposed on the visit of foreigners.

Unlock guidelines: All OCI and PIO card-holders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a Tourist Visa, are permitted to enter by air or water routes

Under this graded relaxation, government to restore with immediate effect all existing visas (except electronic visa, Tourist Visa & Medical Visa). Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can apply for a Medical Visa including for medical attendants: MHA

Regulators, experts take up thorny vaccine study issues

The US regulators who will decide the fate of COVID-19 vaccines are taking an unusual step: Asking outside scientists if their standards are high enough.
The Food and Drug Administration may have to decide by year's end whether to allow use of the first vaccines against the virus. Thursday, a federal advisory committee pulls back the curtain on that decision process, debating whether the guidelines FDA has set for vaccine developers are rigorous enough.
We will not cut corners, and we will only use science and data to make that determination, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn pledged at a meeting of the Milken Institute Wednesday.

PM Modi addresses the people of West Bengal on commencement of Durga Puja

US economy's rebound sets up test of US Federal Reserve's new pledge

The stronger-than-expected US economic rebound from coronavirus lows could set up an early test for the Federal Reserve's new pledge to keep interest rates near zero and its increased tolerance for inflation.
A compilation of surveys and interviews conducted in September and early October by the Fed's 12 regional banks shows the economy recovering at a "slight to modest pace" as consumers bought homes and increased spending.
Indeed the US economy probably grew by more than 30% on an annualized basis last quarter, economists say, making up most of the 31.4% drop in the second quarter. Read on...

Bihar election 2020: Bihar BJP to release vision document today

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, state minister Bhupendra Yadav to be present

US elections: Officials link Iran to emails meant to intimidate voters

US officials accused Iran on Wednesday of being behind a flurry of emails sent to Democratic voters in multiple battleground states that appeared to be aimed at intimidating them into voting for President Donald Trump.
The officials did not lay out specific evidence for how they came to pinpoint Iran, but the activities attributed to Tehran would mark a significant escalation for a country some cybersecurity experts regard as a second-rate player in online espionage.
The announcement was made at a hastily called news conference 13 days before the election. Read on...

Chhattisgarh CM Baghel gives nod to set up new steel plants in Bastar

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has given his consent for setting up of new steel plants in the state's tribal-dominated Bastar region.
Baghel gave his approval on Wednesday after a delegation of panchayat representatives from Dantewada district, which falls under the Bastar region, paid a visit to him and put forth their demand in this connection, a public relations department official said. Read on...

INS Kavaratti, last of the 4 indigenously built Anti-Submarine Warfare stealth corvettes, is all set to join Indian Navy.

AAP volunteers detained for protest near Goa CM's house

Goa Police detained volunteers of the Aam Aadmi Party who staged a protest near Chief Minister Pramod Sawant's residence while alleging that his government was trying to convert the coastal state into a coal hub.
Nearly 50 AAP volunteers took part in the protest near the chief minister's house on Wednesday afternoon.
They demanded that they be allowed to meet the CM to seek a clarification over projects planned to allow the import and transport of coal to allegedly benefit some companies.

US proposes not to issue business visa for H-1B speciality occupations

The State Department has proposed not to issue temporary business visas for H-1B speciality occupations which allowed several companies to send their technology professionals for a short stay to complete jobs on site in the US, a move which could affect hundreds of Indians.
The proposal, if finalised, will eliminate any misconception that the "B-1 in lieu of H policy" provides an alternative avenue for foreign professionals to enter the US to perform skilled labour that allows, and potentially even encourages them and their employers to circumvent the restrictions and requirements relating to the H non-immigrant classification established by Congress to protect the US workers, the State Department said.
The move, made public on Wednesday, less than two weeks ahead of the November 3 presidential election, is likely to impact several Indian companies which send their technology professionals on B-1 visas for a short stay to complete jobs on site in the US.
On December 17, 2019, the Attorney General of California announced a USD 800,000 settlement against Infosys Limited to resolve allegations that approximately 500 Infosys employees worked in the state on Infosys-sponsored B-1 visas rather than H-1B visas, the State Department said.

Raghuram Rajan warns against import substitution under Aatmanirbhar Bharat

Former Reserve Bank governor Raghuram Rajan on Wednesday cautioned against import substitution under the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' initiative of the government, saying the country has gone down this route earlier but could not succeed.
"If the focus (under Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative) is on import substitution by erecting tariffs, which we have done lot of in the last few years, then I think it is a direction we have tried before and it has failed. I would caution against going in that direction," Rajan said.
He was addressing a webinar organised by the Centre for Financial Studies at Bhavan's SPJIMR. Read on...

Onion prices shoot up in Pune amid supply crunch due to damaged crop

Onion prices surged in Pune after crops were damaged due to rainfall in various parts of the country following which consumers are forced to buy onions in less quantity.
"Price has increased as supply from farms is affected due to rain. The price of onion that was around Rs 70/kg last week increased to Rs 120/kg today," a trader told ANI.
Speaking to ANI, a buyer said that his weekly budget has been affected due to a surge in onions' price. Read on...

Asia defies dire predictions of a massive spike in corporate bankruptcies

A feared wave of corporate bankruptcies has yet to materialize in Asia, due to a lot of help from policy makers.
If anything, the number of companies going out of business has decreased from last year in countries such as Japan and Singapore. That suggests that official measures to prevent corporate failures, in tandem with global stimulus of some $12 trillion, may be bearing fruit.

Cyber security firm McAfee raises $620 million in US IPO

Cyber security firm McAfee Corp sold shares in its initial public offering (IPO) on Wednesday at $20 a piece, within its target range, to raise $620 million.
The IPO valued McAfee, which is backed by U.S. private equity firms TPG and Thoma Bravo, at $8.6 billion based on total outstanding shares. The company also had $4.8 billion in debt as of the end of June.
McAfee had aimed to sell 37 million shares at a target price range of $19-$22 per share. McAfee declined to comment.

India to observe Black Day today to mark 1947 Pak-backed raid on J&K

centre will hold a special event to showcase how Pakistani actions led to the spate of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and how the country is responsible for the suffering of the people in the erstwhile state.
October 22 will be observed as "Black Day" to mark the day of the raid in 1947 when Pakistan-backed militia invaded Jammu and Kashmir and settled down on what today is known as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the government said.
"We are organising an exhibition in which old videos, collages, photographs and documents are there which clearly establish that Kashmiris were unwilling to go with Pakistan. Even the then leader of National Conference Sheikh Abdullah was reluctant," Raghavendra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture said.

Decoded: What Punjab Assembly intends by bringing its own farm Bills

The Punjab State Assembly yesterday passed three Bills that seek to limit the power and scope of the Centre’s farm laws, which were enacted last month. Punjab’s farm amendment Bills also intend to ensure that farmers are not compelled to sell wheat and paddy below the minimum support price (MSP) in the state. Click here to take a look at what the Punjab government has done and how it has interpreted its role and powers.

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