LIVE: Students want NEET, JEE exams to be held, says Education Minister

(FILE PIC) Over 1.7 mn candidates have already downloaded their admit cards for JEE and NEET
Over 1.7 million candidates have downloaded their admit cards for JEE and NEET, and this shows that the students want the exams to be conducted at any cost, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said on Thursday. The minister's comments come against the backdrop of a growing chorus for postponement of the medical and engineering entrance exams in view of spike in Covid-19 cases.

In another major development, the Centre today placed before the GST Council two options for borrowing by states to meet the shortfall in GST revenues, pegged at Rs 2.35 trillion in the current financial year. Briefing reporters after the 41st meeting of the GST Council, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the economy is facing an extraordinary 'Act of God' situation, which may result in economic contraction.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the press conference on 41st Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting which was held today via video conferencing in New Delhi.

 
Stay tuned for the latest news of the day

Making India self-reliant in the defence sector. https://t.co/GDgfmgXzAV

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 27, 2020

3:03 AM IST Following a five-hour-long GST Council meeting on Thursday, states accused the Centre of ‘arm-twisting’ them to borrow, terming it a ‘betrayal of federalism’.   Despite being given seven days to examine the two options offered by the Centre, they turned those down minutes after the meeting concluded. Most states pressed for borrowing by the Centre to compensate them for the shortfall in collections. Read more

3:01 AM IST In an unscheduled appearance at a Ministry of Defence (MoD) webinar that even caught Defence Minister Rajnath Singh by surprise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered an 18-minute speech on Thursday, talking up the government’s “self reliant India” policy in defence and urging private industry to play a larger role.   “For many years, India has been the world’s biggest importer of defence equipment,” said Modi, blaming it on the failure of earlier governments. This, he said, was changing, repeatedly invoking the confidence of a “New India”. Read more

12:57 AM IST Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group, has made provisions of Rs 16,439 crore for its now closed telecom business, according to the annual report of the company for the fiscal ending March 2020. Read more

12:56 AM IST The Union government’s land portal for attracting investors comes at a time when states have adopted land pooling, readjustment and myriad compensation models to acquire the increasingly scarce resource. The latest exercise by the Delhi government, which wants e-commerce, retailers and smaller manufacturing units to invest in the city, is one such example. Read more

12:53 AM IST Walmart said Thursday it may join Microsoft to buy the US business of TikTok, the popular Chinese-owned video app that has come under fire from the Trump administration.   Microsoft and TikTok declined to comment.   TikTok, through its fun, goofy videos, has gained hundreds of millions of users globally. But the White House is pushing TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance to sell its US business if it wants to keep operating in the country, citing security risks.   Walmart said in a statement that a deal with Microsoft and TikTok could help it expand its advertising business and reach more shoppers.   The Trump administration is forcing a sale of TikTok's US operations because of its Chinese ownership and has threatened to ban the app, which TikTok says has 100 million US users.

11:23 PM IST Congress president Sonia Gandhi appointed Gaurav Gogoi as the party's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha and Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu as its whip in the Lower House of Parliament on Thursday.   Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the opposition party in the Lok Sabha, and K Suresh, its chief whip in the Lower House, confirmed the development.   The appointments came ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, which is likely to commence from September 14. It is seen as a move by the Congress to strengthen its team of floor leaders in the Lower House, party leaders said.   The opposition party did not have a deputy leader in the Lok Sabha till now.  

11:22 PM IST The Central Railway (CR) on Thursday introduced a QR code reader at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and 14 suburban railway stations here. It also increased two suburban services on its Harbour line which connects the city with Navi Mumbai.   Shalabh Goel, divisional railway manager of CR's Mumbai division, said scanners have been installed at CSMT and other stations to check QR code based e-passes issued to essential and emergency services staff, who are allowed to travel by train during lockdown.   So far 180,000 out of 340,000 essential and emergency services staff have been issued QR code-based cards and the remaining staff will be issued the cards soon, he said.   The CR has planned to install QR code based automatic gates at CSMT's long distance terminus within 2-3 months, on "pilot basis", he said.   "By scanning the QR code printed on tickets or code received on mobiles, the passengers can enter through the flap gates at the station," he said.   To reduce overcrowding on suburban locals during peak hours, the CR has introduced two suburban services -- one each in up and down directions -- on harbour line from Thursday, he said.  

11:12 PM IST “The entire basket of fruits cannot be given to mighty at the cost of others under the guise of forming a homogeneous class,” the Supreme Court on Thursday observed while favouring re-look of its 2004 verdict that had held that states do not have power to further classify Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to grant quota in jobs and admissions.   “In case benefit which is meant for the emancipation of all the castes, included in the list of Scheduled Castes, is permitted to be usurped by few castes those who are adequately represented, have advanced and belonged to the creamy layer, then it would tantamount to creating inequality whereas in case of hunger every person is required to be fed and provided bread.  "The entire basket of fruits cannot be given to mighty at the cost of others under the guise of forming a homogeneous class,” a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said.   It said that right to quality under the constitution would be defeated if the persons, who have come up among SCs and STs after enjoying the fruits of the quota, are not excluded and the poorest among them are not promoted.  

11:11 PM IST Lionel Messi's surprise decision to leave Barcelona has dealt a blow to the club's restructuring project even before it began.   Shortly after the humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Barcelona said it wanted to make “profound changes to the first team.” Barcelona was basing its revamp on Messi, hoping he would help the team rebuild with new players and a new coach. But the type of changes the team began implementing may have actually turned him away.   Messi hasn't been happy with club directors all season, and he apparently also didn't like when incoming coach Ronald Koeman began telling some key players they were not in his plans.   What might have upset him the most was the decision to get rid of Luis Suárez, Messi's longtime teammate and friend. Messi's and Suárez's families are close and often spend vacation time together. This year, they were seen on a boat off the coast of Ibiza enjoying the Balearic Islands.   Other players reportedly not wanted by Koeman include Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti. Spanish media said the coach intended to keep Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets, but there were still doubts about the future of other players who had been with Messi for a long time. Lionel Messi. Photo: Barcelona twitter handle

11:09 PM IST For the last many decades, we don't have elected bodies in the party. Maybe we should have pushed for it 10-15 yrs ago. Now we are losing elections after elections, and if we have to come back we need to strengthen our party by holding elections: Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress pic.twitter.com/SWeF53DFBK — ANI (@ANI) August 27, 2020

11:08 PM IST Earthquake of magnitude 3.4 on the Richter scale occurred at 2213 hours near Tezpur, Assam: National Centre for Seismology — ANI (@ANI) August 27, 2020

11:06 PM IST We have recorded statements of the woman (who accused BJP MLA Mahesh Negi of sexual harassment), the MLA, his wife & son. Husband of the woman has also been summoned: Anuj Kumar, Dehradun DSP (Sadar) & Investigating Officer in the case https://t.co/mQ6GnMXFy9 pic.twitter.com/P516IPMLMk — ANI (@ANI) August 27, 2020

LIVE UPDATES

GST Council meet: States accuse Centre of 'arm-twisting' them to borrow

Following a five-hour-long GST Council meeting on Thursday, states accused the Centre of ‘arm-twisting’ them to borrow, terming it a ‘betrayal of federalism’.
 
Despite being given seven days to examine the two options offered by the Centre, they turned those down minutes after the meeting concluded. Most states pressed for borrowing by the Centre to compensate them for the shortfall in collections. Read more

PM Narendra Modi urges industry to play a larger role in defence

In an unscheduled appearance at a Ministry of Defence (MoD) webinar that even caught Defence Minister Rajnath Singh by surprise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered an 18-minute speech on Thursday, talking up the government’s “self reliant India” policy in defence and urging private industry to play a larger role.
 
“For many years, India has been the world’s biggest importer of defence equipment,” said Modi, blaming it on the failure of earlier governments. This, he said, was changing, repeatedly invoking the confidence of a “New India”. Read more

Tata Sons makes provision of Rs 16,439 cr for telecom biz: Annual report

Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group, has made provisions of Rs 16,439 crore for its now closed telecom business, according to the annual report of the company for the fiscal ending March 2020. Read more

Govt's portal with data on land banks launched, but experts wary

The Union government’s land portal for attracting investors comes at a time when states have adopted land pooling, readjustment and myriad compensation models to acquire the increasingly scarce resource. The latest exercise by the Delhi government, which wants e-commerce, retailers and smaller manufacturing units to invest in the city, is one such example. Read more

Walmart may join Microsoft in bid for video app TikTok

Walmart said Thursday it may join Microsoft to buy the US business of TikTok, the popular Chinese-owned video app that has come under fire from the Trump administration.
 
Microsoft and TikTok declined to comment.
 
TikTok, through its fun, goofy videos, has gained hundreds of millions of users globally. But the White House is pushing TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance to sell its US business if it wants to keep operating in the country, citing security risks.
 
Walmart said in a statement that a deal with Microsoft and TikTok could help it expand its advertising business and reach more shoppers.
 
The Trump administration is forcing a sale of TikTok's US operations because of its Chinese ownership and has threatened to ban the app, which TikTok says has 100 million US users.


Cong appoints Gaurav Gogoi as deputy leader, Ravneet Bittu as whip in Lok Sabha

Congress president Sonia Gandhi appointed Gaurav Gogoi as the party's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha and Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu as its whip in the Lower House of Parliament on Thursday.
 
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the opposition party in the Lok Sabha, and K Suresh, its chief whip in the Lower House, confirmed the development.
 
The appointments came ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, which is likely to commence from September 14. It is seen as a move by the Congress to strengthen its team of floor leaders in the Lower House, party leaders said.
 
The opposition party did not have a deputy leader in the Lok Sabha till now.
 

Mumbai: QR code reader installed at CSMT local terminus, 14 stations

The Central Railway (CR) on Thursday introduced a QR code reader at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and 14 suburban railway stations here.
It also increased two suburban services on its Harbour line which connects the city with Navi Mumbai.
 
Shalabh Goel, divisional railway manager of CR's Mumbai division, said scanners have been installed at CSMT and other stations to check QR code based e-passes issued to essential and emergency services staff, who are allowed to travel by train during lockdown.
 
So far 180,000 out of 340,000 essential and emergency services staff have been issued QR code-based cards and the remaining staff will be issued the cards soon, he said.
 
The CR has planned to install QR code based automatic gates at CSMT's long distance terminus within 2-3 months, on "pilot basis", he said.
 
"By scanning the QR code printed on tickets or code received on mobiles, the passengers can enter through the flap gates at the station," he said.
 
To reduce overcrowding on suburban locals during peak hours, the CR has introduced two suburban services -- one each in up and down directions -- on harbour line from Thursday, he said.
 

Entire basket of fruits can't be given to mighty in guise of forming homogeneous class: SC

“The entire basket of fruits cannot be given to mighty at the cost of others under the guise of forming a homogeneous class,” the Supreme Court on Thursday observed while favouring re-look of its 2004 verdict that had held that states do not have power to further classify Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to grant quota in jobs and admissions.
 
“In case benefit which is meant for the emancipation of all the castes, included in the list of Scheduled Castes, is permitted to be usurped by few castes those who are adequately represented, have advanced and belonged to the creamy layer, then it would tantamount to creating inequality whereas in case of hunger every person is required to be fed and provided bread.  "The entire basket of fruits cannot be given to mighty at the cost of others under the guise of forming a homogeneous class,” a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said.
 
It said that right to quality under the constitution would be defeated if the persons, who have come up among SCs and STs after enjoying the fruits of the quota, are not excluded and the poorest among them are not promoted.
 

Messi's departure jeopardizes Barcelona's restructuring plan

Lionel Messi's surprise decision to leave Barcelona has dealt a blow to the club's restructuring project even before it began.
 
Shortly after the humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Barcelona said it wanted to make “profound changes to the first team.” Barcelona was basing its revamp on Messi, hoping he would help the team rebuild with new players and a new coach. But the type of changes the team began implementing may have actually turned him away.
 
Messi hasn't been happy with club directors all season, and he apparently also didn't like when incoming coach Ronald Koeman began telling some key players they were not in his plans.
 
What might have upset him the most was the decision to get rid of Luis Suárez, Messi's longtime teammate and friend. Messi's and Suárez's families are close and often spend vacation time together. This year, they were seen on a boat off the coast of Ibiza enjoying the Balearic Islands.
 
Other players reportedly not wanted by Koeman include Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti. Spanish media said the coach intended to keep Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets, but there were still doubts about the future of other players who had been with Messi for a long time.

Lionel Messi. Photo: Barcelona twitter handle

Ghulam Nabi Azad on what Congress should have done in the past, what they should do now

Earthquake measuring 3.4 strikes Tezpur, Assam

Police records statement of woman who accused Uttarakhand BJP MLA of sexual harassment

Congress forms a group of 10 MPs in Parliament

Farmer outfit stages protest over milk procurement prices

A farmer organisation led by former Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetti staged a protest near here on Thursday in support of its various demands, including a hike in milk procurement prices.
 
Members of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana staged the protest in Baramati, the home turf of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
 
Shetti said his organisation has, among other things, has demanded that the Maharashtra government withdraw its decision to purchase 10 lakh litres of milk every day from dairy farmers.
 
"We are of the opinion that there is no use the state procuring 1 million litres of milk everyday. Instead, the government can use the same money to credit Rs 5 per litre into the bank accounts of milk producers," he said.
 
He said to protest against the government's decision, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana members will pour milk on ministers.
 
Alleging government funds are not reaching real milk producers, Shetti appealed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to "come out of his bungalow" and see the situation for himself.
 

SBI chief hopes for lesser number of debt recast requests from corporates

State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar on Thursday said he hopes for lessser number of requests for one-time restructuring of loans from corporates.
 
Earlier this month, RBI allowed one-time restructuring of both corporate and retail loans that are being affected by the Covid-19 related stress.
 
"Currently, for corporates, I can say that because of a lot of deleveraging and resolution, clean up has already happened and a lot of accounts got dealt with under the existing June 7 framework of RBI. As of now, there are not many requests (restructuring) and I hope that there are not many requests coming forward," Kumar said.
 
Speaking at the 'Unlock BFSI 2.0' event organised by Business Standard newspaper, he said there will be some requests for restructuring from the personal loan segment and "we are readying ourselves for dealing with the volumes as far as the P-segment (personal loan segment) is concerned".
 
Restructuring benefit can be availed by those whose account was standard on March 1 and defaults should not be over 30 days.
 
A committee headed by K V Kamath has been set up to give recommendations on various parameters to be factored into each resolution plan for corporate loans. The five-member panel's recommendations will be out by September 6.

Read more stories from the 'Unlock BFSI 2.0' here

Read what SBI's Rajnish Kumar and HDFC's Aditya Puri said on their careers


 

Students wants JEE, NEET to be conducted; over 1.7 million have downloaded admit cards: Pokhriyal

Over 1.7 million candidates have already downloaded their admit cards for JEE and NEET, and this shows that the students want the exams to be conducted at any cost, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal "Nishank" said on Thursday.
 
His comments came amid a growing chorus for postponement of the medical and engineering entrance exams in view of a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
 
"National Testing Agency (NTA) officials told me that over seven lakh candidates have downloaded the JEE-Main admit cards while over 1 million aspirants have downloaded the NEET admit cards. This shows that the students want the exams be held at any cost," Pokhriyal said.
 
"We have received mails from students and parents who are in favour of holding the exams, as they have been preparing for the exams for at least two to three years. The Supreme Court too opined that a full academic year cannot be wasted. After two deferments, the exam dates have been finalised," he added.
 
While the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is scheduled to be held on September 13, engineering entrance exam JEE-Main has been planned from September 1-6. Around 858,000 candidates have registered for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Main and 15.97 lakh have registered for the NEET.
 

IDFC reports net loss of Rs 26.5 cr in Q1

IDFC Ltd on Thursday reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 26.46 crore for the quarter ended June 2020.
 
The company had posted a net profit of Rs 5.18 crore during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
 
However sequentially, the loss narrowed compared to Rs 242.92 crore net loss reported in the preceding quarter ended March 2020.
 
Total income (consolidated) fell to Rs 103.99 crore during April-June period, as against Rs 133.04 crore in the same quarter of 2019-20, it said in a regulatory filing.
 
IDFC First Bank Limited in June 2020 raised equity capital by way of issue of shares on preferential basis amounting to Rs 2,000 crore to augment its capital base.
 

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar asks for white paper on Bengal govt's expenditure on various events

Punjab to collectively move apex court for NEET, JEE exams deferment

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked his Advocate General Atul Nanda to coordinate with his counterparts in opposition-ruled states for filing a collective review petition in the Supreme Court, seeking a deferment of the NEET and JEE exams being conducted amid the Covid-19 pandemic. A directive on this was issued on Wednesday by Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi in a meeting with Chief Ministers of seven opposition-ruled states.
 
There was no time to take up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the issue of deferment of exams, said Amarinder Singh in response to a suggestion to this effect. "Let us all get together to move the Supreme Court for postponement of the exams, which are threatening the lives of lakhs of students," he said.

With exams being held online around the world, the Chief Minister suggested that the JEE and NEET and other professional exams like medical and law could also be held online and there was no need to put the students at risk. READ MORE...

Conducting JEE Main, NEET crucial for admission to premier institutes: IIT Kharagpur director

Amid concerns over holding JEE and NEET exams in September despite the pandemic situation, IIT Kharagpur Director Virendra Kumar Tewari has said conducting these exams is crucial since admissions to premier institutes like IITs and top medical colleges will not be possible otherwise.
 
Urging students to put their faith in the organising bodies who have been working tirelessly to offer a safe environment to hold the exams in the current situation, Tewari said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, "Necessary facilities have been arranged for the students to ensure social distancing, hygiene protocols and even facilitation for probable asymptomatic cases."
 
Mentioning that he was aware of the apprehensions of aspiring students, he said, "I urge the aspirants to take it up as a challenge and show their mettle and sincerity to the world....to take it as an opportunity to adapt to the new normal and strive for a brighter future."

Gujarat govt seeks Rs 12,000-crore GST compensation from Centre

The Gujarat government on Thursday said the state is supposed to get a compensation of Rs 12,000 crore from the Centre under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act. Though the state is in dire need of "financial assistance" in the form of GST compensation, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the Centre's hands are also tied due to its dwindling cess revenue, news agency PTI reported.
 
Patel, who holds the finance portfolio, took part in the crucial GST Council meet via video conference on Thursday.
 
"The main agenda of this meeting, attended by finance ministers of all states, was to find out a way to compensate states for the revenue shortfall due to coronavirus. "Gujarat is supposed to get Rs 12,000 crore towards GST compensation," Patel said in a statement.

We are not happy with outcome: Congress after GST Council meeting

The Congress Thursday said it was "dissatisfied" with the outcome of the GST Council meeting and accused the Centre of adopting a majoritarian approach and thrusting "solutions" on states, according to a PTI report. The finance ministers of Congress-ruled states are not happy with the outcome of GST Council meeting as decisions were thrust upon them by the Centre, Punjab's FM Manpreet Badal said at a virtual press conference after the GST Council meeting.
 
"We are not happy at the outcome. But, we have no choice," he said.
 
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who represented the Union Territory at the meeting as he also holds the finance portfolio, said it is unfortunate the Centre was not helping the revenue-starved states by honouring its commitment to pay them GST compensation at 14 per cent.

IPL Sponsors: RR ropes in TV9 Network, RCB gets Max Insurance on board

Rajasthan Royals has roped in TV9 Bharatvarsh as their principal partner for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League, to be held in UAE from September 19, according to a PTI report. The channel replaces EXPO 2020 Dubai as Rajasthan Royals' front of jersey brand after the much awaited mega-event was postponed to 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Meanwhile, the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore will have Max Life Insurance as their official life insurance partner and also apparel partners for upcoming edition.

Don't privatise Nagarnar steel plant, Baghel writes to PM Narendra Modi

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has urged the Centre not to privatize a steel plant which the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) is seting up in Bastar district.
 
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Baghel said that as per media reports, the Centre is planning to hand over the Nagarnar steel plant, being constructed at a cost of over Rs 20,000 crore, to private firms.
 
"The state was very enthusiastic that the commissioning of the steel plant in Bastar will not only ensure utilization of minerals but also provide thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities in the area," he said in the letter.

With collaborative, cooperative efforts we will achieve 'Make for World' in defence sector: Rajnath Singh

With collaborative and cooperation efforts India will achieve not just 'Make in India' but also 'Make for World' in the defence sector, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday.
 
Singh along with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and others took part in the Defence Industry Outreach Webinar organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Defence Ministry, cnews agency ANI reported.
 
"I am confident that through our collaborative and cooperative efforts, we will not only achieve 'Make in India' but also 'Make for World'... We want to become self-reliant to contribute to the world in a better way. In this direction, some bold policy reforms have been taken like the ban on import of 101 defence items," Singh said.

States lost 60-70% tax revenue in GST regime: Telangana Finance Minister

States have lost 60-70 per cent of their tax revenues after joining the GST regime while the Centres loss was pegged at 31 per cent only, Telangana Finance Minister Harish Rao who participated in the GST Council meeting said on Thursday.
 
According to an official release, Telangana demanded that the Group of Ministers headed by the Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on the Integrated GST to finalise the modalities and release Telanganas due share of Rs 2700 crore towards IGST.
 
"All the states have joined the GST as the Centre had assured them that joining the GST will not cause any loss to the revenue of the states. The responsibility for paying GST compensation lies entirely with the Central government, news agency PTI reported.

LIVE: Students want NEET, JEE exams to be held, says Education Minister

Over 1.7 million candidates have already downloaded their admit cards for JEE and NEET, and this shows that the students want the exams to be conducted at any cost, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said on Thursday. The minister's comments come against the backdrop of a growing chorus for postponement of the medical and engineering entrance exams in view of spike in COVID-19 cases, according to a PTI report.
 
"National Testing Agency (NTA) officials told me that over 7 lakh candidates have downloaded JEE-Main admit cards while over 10 lakh aspirants have downloaded NEET admit cards. This shows that students want the exams be held at any cost," Pokhriyal said.
 
"We have received mails from students and parents who are in favour of holding exams as they have been preparing for the exams from at least two three years," he added.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman hits out at opposition for politicising GST compensation issue

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday hit back at the opposition for "unnecessarily trying to politicise" the GST compensation issue when their previous government was to be blamed for "building an environment of mistrust" between the Centre and states.
 
Reacting to charges that several states, particularly those ruled by the opposition, were blaming the Centre on going back on its commitment to pay GST compensation to states, she contended that it was the former government, which did not keep its promise on Central Sales Tax (CST) compensation issue that created an atmosphere of mistrust. This mistrust, she said, initially even affected GST implementation.
 
"But I am grateful to states that there was no attempt to politicise the compensation issue at the Council's meeting today. There were just worries about the current situation and an anxiety to find a solution to the compensation problem," Sitharaman said, after coming out from five-hour-long meeting of the GST Council on the sole issue of GST compensation, according to an IANS report.

Complete disengagement needs troops redeployment by India, China: MEA

States stare at Rs 2.35 trillion GST revenue shortfall; Centre gives two options to borrow via RBI

Amid a chorus by non-NDA ruled states for compensation of GST revenue shortfall, the Centre on Thursday presented two options to states under which they can borrow from the market to make up for the estimated deficit of Rs 2.35 lakh crore this fiscal, according to a PTI report.
 
At the end of a five-hour long meeting of the GST Council, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said there was no proposal to raise tax rates to make up for the shortfall that has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Citing a legal opinion from the Attorney General, she ruled out the Centre making good the shortfall from either its coffers or borrowing against its balance sheet. The deficit can be made good by states borrowing using a special window, she said, adding this loan can be repaid after five years from the collection of GST cess.

India's self-reliance in defence sector to boost global standing: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that his government's resolve for 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' is not inward-looking, but aimed at boosting India's capabilities and global peace, and also for helping the world economy become more stable.
 
Speaking at a defence industry outreach seminar, Modi said India's self-reliance on defence capabilities will boost its standing of being a net security provider in the Indian Ocean and make it a defence supplier for many friendly countries, depending on strategic ties.
 
Wooing private players, he asserted that the import embargo on a number of defence equipment is not only aimed at curbing imports but also giving a boost to the domestic industry. He said more items will be added to this import embargo list later. READ MORE...

LIVE: M K Stalin urges CMs of four states to approach SC on NEET, JEE exams

Welcoming the decision of the Chief Ministers of seven states to approach the Supreme Court against the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), DMK President M.K. Stalin has urged Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Kerala to also approach the apex court with a similar plea.
 
In a letter to the Chief Ministers of the four states, Stalin on Thursday said the candidates of NEET and JEE 2020 are facing difficulties in writing the exams.
 
"The decision to postpone the June 2020 examination was mainly because the conditions were not conducive to conduct exams and with the hope that normality returns in a few months," Stalin told the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Kerala.

Pakistan must ensure that listed individuals are prosecuted: MEA on Islamabad's U-turn on presence of Dawood Ibrahim

Torrential rains claim 18 lives in Karachi, paralyse life in Pakistan's biggest city

Heavy rainfall has played havoc in Karachi, inundating main roads, paralysing business activities and leaving at least 18 people dead since Tuesday when the monsoon showers first lashed the biggest city and financial hub of Pakistan. The met office said on Thursday that the rainfall in the month of August had broken a 90-year-old record, news agency PTI reported.
 
"The monsoon rainfall has been prolonged and abnormal this year and this pattern will continue for a few more days," said a spokesman for the Met office.
 
Incessant rains in Karachi since early morning left life and all business activities paralysed in the metropolitan city as people found themselves stuck on flooded roads and scampered to reach the safety of their homes.

We have shared enough evidence with Pakistan but it continues to evade response: MEA on probe into Pulwama terror attack

Decision to permit up to 74% FDI in defence manufacturing through automatic route: PM Modi

States seek 7 days on options as Centre says GST collection impacted

The coronavirus pandemic was an "act of God" that may even lead to contraction in the economy and has "severely impacted" goods and services (GST) collection, said the central government on Thursday as it offered states two options to meet their revenue shortfall.
 
The GST collection shortfall is Rs 2.35 trillion for fiscal 2021, the government after a meeting of the GST Council. The centre has released over Rs 1.65 trillion as GST compensation to states for fiscal 2020, including Rs 13,806 crore for March, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
 
Sitharaman said states have two options on GST compensation: borrowing from the market or tapping the central bank. The states will "come back after seven working days" when another meeting of the council may be held. The coronavirus pandemic is an "act of God that may even lead to contraction in the economy", she said. READ MORE...

Nirav Modi UK extradition judgment to be delivered after Dec 1

The judgment in the extradition trial of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi over the nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case will be handed down in the UK after December 1, according to a PTI report.
 
At a scheduled hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Thursday, District Judge Samuel Goozee agreed the timetable for the second leg of Modi's extradition trial scheduled between September 7 and 11.
 
The hearings next month will complete arguments on establishing a prima facie case against 49-year-old Modi and also deal with the additional extradition request, made by the Indian authorities and certified by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel earlier this year, which add on the charges of "causing the disappearance of evidence" and intimidating witnesses or criminal intimidation to cause death against him.

Just 24% of Indian households have internet to access e-education: UNICEF

Just 24 per cent of Indian households have internet connections to access e-education, and there is a large rural-urban and gender divide that is likely to widen the learning gap across high, middle and low-income families, according to a new UNICEF report.
 
The Remote Learning Reachability report, issued by UNICEF on Thursday, expressed concerns over children from economically disadvantaged families struggling with access to remote learning.
 
"Available data indicates that approximately a quarter of households (24 per cent) in India have access to the internet and there is a large rural-urban and gender divide. The learning gap is likely to widen across high, middle and low-income families, as children from economically disadvantaged families cannot access remote learning," it said. READ MORE...

Flood situation improves in Uttar Pradesh; 17 districts affected now

The flood situation in Uttar Pradesh improved on Thursday and the number of districts affected by the deluge came down to 17 from 19 on the previous day, according to a PTI report. Pilibhit and Sant Kabir Nagar are no longer on the list of affected districts, they said.
 
"The flood situation is improving in the state. There are 17 flood-affected districts, where 893 villages are affected, of which 562 are marooned," state Relief Commissioner Sanjay Goel said.
 
Till Wednesday, 19 districts with 922 villages were affected by the flood.

Import embargo on certain defence equipment aimed at giving boost to Indian defence industry: Modi


Our work for 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' will also boost India's ability of being net security provider in Indian Ocean: PM Modi


Centre places before states two options for borrowing to meet GST revenue shortfall

The Centre on Thursday placed before the GST Council two options for borrowing by states to meet the shortfall in GST revenues, pegged at Rs 2.35 lakh crore in the current fiscal. Briefing reporters after the 41st meeting of the GST Council, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the economy is facing an extraordinary 'Act of God' situation, which may result in economic contraction, according to a PTI report.
 
As per the Centre's calculation, the compensation requirement by the states in the current fiscal would be Rs 3 lakh crore, of which Rs 65,000 crore is expected to be met from the cess levied in the GST regime. Hence, the total shortfall is estimated at Rs 2.35 lakh crore. Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said of this, Rs 97,000 crore is on account of GST shortfall, while the rest is due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
 
Pandey said a special window can be provided to the states, in consultation with the RBI, at a reasonable interest rate for borrowing of Rs 97,000 crore. The amount can be repaid after five years (of GST implementation) ending 2022 from cess collection. The second option before the states is to borrow the entire Rs 2.35 lakh crore shortfall under the special window. "States have been given seven days' time to think over the proposal," Pandey said.

Govt will give a further relaxation of 0.5% in states' borrowing limit under FRBM Act: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

We aim to increase defence manufacturing in India: PM Narendra Modi

To provide Rs 97,000 crore, this money can then be repaid after 5 years from collection of cess: FInance Ministry

To provide a special window to states, in consultation with RBI, to provide the Rs 97,000 crore at a reasonable rate of interest, this money can then be repaid after 5 years from collection of cess: FInance Ministry

PM Narendra Modi addresses 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Defence Industry Outreach Webinar' through video conference

Two-wheelers may merit to go to the GST council for a consideration: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Two-wheelers may merit to go to the GST council for a consideration: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on being asked about GST cut for two-wheelers during the media briefing of 41st GST Council meet

We told states that we will facilitate talking with RBI and help getting G-security linked interest rates: FM

LIVE updates: GST Council meeting may be held again, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

States have requested us to lay down both options in detail, and give them seven full working days to deliberate on it and get back, a brief GST Council meeting may be held again, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after 41st GST Council Meeting. 

LIVE: Once the arrangement is agreed upon by GST Council, we can proceed fast and clear dues, says FM

Once the arrangement is agreed upon by the GST Council, we can proceed fast and clear these dues and also take care of the rest of the financial year, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman,

Coronavirus pandemic an 'act of God that may even lead to contraction in the economy', says FM Nirmala Sitharaman after GST council meeting


GST compensation gap of Rs 2,35,000 crore can be met by the states in consultation with RBI: Finance Secretary

Entire GST compensation gap of Rs 2,35,000 crore of this year can be met by the states, in consultation with the RBI, said Finance Secretary

Shortfall in compensation due to implementation of GST estimated to be Rs 97,000 crore: Finance Secretary

The shortfall in compensation due to the implementation of GST has been estimated to be Rs 97,000 crore: Finance Secretary on 41st GST Council Meet

States will come back to centre after seven working days. There may be a briefing meeting GST council again: FM Nirmala Sitharaman


Attorney General said protected revenue has to be protected but (GST) compensation gap to be met from cess fund: Finance Secretary

The Attorney General of India said that protected revenue has to be protected but (GST) compensation gap to be met from cess fund, which in turn has to be funded from levy of cess: ANI quotes Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey as saying

Attorney General said can extend GST compensation (for states) period. Special window by RBI an option for compensation: Finance Secretary

Attorney General said can extend GST compensation (for states) period. Special window by RBI an option for compensation: Finance Secretary
 

Central govt released more than Rs 1.65 trillion as GST compensation to states for FY 2019-20

Central govt released more than Rs 1.65 trillion as GST compensation to states for FY 2019-20, including Rs 13,806 crore for March. Total amount of compensation released for 2019-20 is Rs 1.65 trillion, whereas cess amount collected was Rs 95,444 crore: News agency quotes Finance Secretary as saying.

Centre released over Rs 1.65 trillion as GST compensation to states for FY 2019-20: Finance Secretary

As per GST Compensation Law, states need to be given compensation: Finance Secretary on meeting of GST Council

GST collection has been severely impacted this year, due to Covid-19 pandemic. As per GST Compensation Law, states need to be given compensation: Finance Secretary on meeting of GST Council
 

LIVE updates: FM Sitharaman is addressing media about GST Council meeting

Punjab to collectively move apex court for NEET, JEE exams deferment

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked his Advocate General Atul Nanda to coordinate with his counterparts in opposition-ruled states for filing a collective review petition in the Supreme Court, seeking a deferment of the NEET and JEE exams being conducted amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
A directive on this was issued on Wednesday by Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi in a meeting with Chief Ministers of seven opposition-ruled states. There was no time to take up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the issue of deferment of exams, said Amarinder Singh in response to a suggestion to this effect. "Let us all get together to move the Supreme Court for postponement of the exams, which are threatening the lives of lakhs of students," he said. READ MORE...

LIVE updates: FM Nirmala Sitharaman to address media about GST Council meeting shortly. Stay tuned

Indian state refiners halt oil imports from Chinese companies

Indian state refiners have stopped buying crude oil from China-linked companies, three sources said, after New Delhi's recent regulation aimed at restricting imports from countries that it shares a border with, news agency Reuters reported.
 
The new regulation, put in place on July 23, comes after a border clash between India and China that killed 20 Indians and soured relations between the two neighbours. Last week, Indian state refiners decided to stop sending crude import tenders to Chinese trading firm like CNOOC Ltd, Unipec and PetroChina, among others, one of the sources said, according to Reuters.

India wants to become self-reliant to contribute to the world in a better way: Rajnath Singh at defence industry outreach webinar

Ministry of Defence addressing the webinar on ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat – Defence Industry Outreach’

Supreme Court declines to pass orders allowing mourning processions during Muharram

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to pass orders to allow mourning processions across the country during Muharram while observing that it will lead to chaos and the targeting of a particular community for spreading Covid-19, according to an ANI report.
 
A Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said it will not pass orders that could risk the health of many people. The plea had sought a direction to take out Muharram processions by the Shia community.

NEET and JEE essential, should not be made an issue: Madhya Pradesh Home Minister

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra on Thursday said that NEET and JEE are essential examinations, therefore, this should not be made an issue.
 
"NEET and JEE examinations are not examinations of class third or fourth. People passing these examinations contribute to nation-building. These examinations are essential. Therefore, this should not be made an issue," said Mishra during a press conference.
 
Taking a jibe at the Congress, Mishra on Thursday said that Congress who could not save its own democracy talks about saving the country's democracy.

Media briefing by FM Sitharaman will commence after the GST Council meeting gets over: FinMin

LIVE updates: FM Sitharaman to address media about GST Council meeting shortly. Stay tuned

Latest News LIVE: GST Council meeting debates revenue shortfall of states

A crucial meeting of the GST Council on compensating states for revenue shortfall began on Thursday with the states ruled by non-NDA parties opposing the Centre's move to ask states to borrow to meet the deficit, according to a PTI report.
 
The 41st meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council headed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising representatives of all states, held deliberations via video conferencing on ways to make up for the shortfall in states' revenues, sources said.
 
While Congress and the states ruled by non-NDA parties pushed for the Centre meeting its statutory obligation of covering the deficit, the Union government cited a legal opinion to say it had no such obligation if there was a shortfall in tax collections.

LIVE updates: FM Sitharaman to address media about GST Council meeting today at 3 pm. Stay tuned

Latest News LIVE: 41st GST Council meeting underway

The 41st Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting is currently underway in the national capital on Thursday.
 
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is chairing the meeting, which is also attended by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State (MoS) for Finance, finance ministers of various states and Union Territories (UT) and senior officers from the Union Government and states. The meeting is conducted through video conferencing.

In the last meeting held on June 12, the GST Council decided to waive off fees for late filing returns between July 2017 to January this year in a bid to minimise the impact of COVID-19 crisis on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
 
On Wednesday, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi held a meeting with Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states and their counterparts of West Bengal, Maharashtra and Jharkhand on the issues related to GST dues of states and said the refusal to pay GST compensation to states is nothing short of betrayal on the part of the Narendra Modi government.

Rhea Chakraborty asks Mumbai police for protection, claims threat to her life and family

Actor Rhea Chakraborty on Thursday said there was a threat to her and her family's life and requested the Mumbai police for protection, news agency PTI reported.
 
Rhea took to Instagram and shared a video where her father was seen being hounded by the media outside her building compound. She said they have been trying to get out of the house to cooperate with various investigating agencies probing actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.
 
"The man in this video is my father Indrajit chakraborty (retd. army officer). We have been trying to get out of our house to co-operate with ED, CBI and various investigation authorities to cooperate. "There is a threat to my life and my family's life. We have informed the local police station and even gone there, no help provided. We have informed the investigation authorities to help us get to them, no help arrived. How is this family going to live?" the 28-year-old actor wrote.

CBI today called Sushant Singh Rajput's flat-mate Siddharth Pithani for the seventh consecutive day for questioning in the actor's death case: police official


Former President Pranab Mukherjee continues to be in deep coma and on ventilator support


44,000 people registered as missing in Africa amid coronavirus curbs

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it has registered nearly 44,000 people as missing in Africa with nearly half of them children, amid the restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
In a statement on Wednesday, the ICRC said Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cameroon make up for 82 per cent of the agency's missing caseload in the continent, reports Xinhua news agency. Read on...

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik requests PM Modi to postpone NEET, JEE exams

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the telephone today and requested him for postponement of NEET and JEE exams, in view of COVID19 situation and also because many parts of the state are in the grip of flood: CMO, Odisha. 

Himachal Pradesh: Fields and roads damaged in Thela village of Gadsa valley of Kullu district

America needs four more years of Trump: Pence

Portraying President Donald Trump as a protector of the nation, his deputy and running mate Vice President Mike Pence has said the US needs four more years of his administration in these challenging times.
 
Pence, 61, formally accepted the Republican Party's vice-presidential nomination on the third night of the National Republican Convention on Wednesday.
 
In these challenging times our country needs a president who believes in America. Who believes in the boundless capacity of the American people to meet any challenge, defeat any foe, and defend the freedoms we all hold dear," he said.

US Second Lady highlights significant support by Trump to US military personnel, families

US Second Lady Karen Pence highlighted the "significant" support extended by the Trump administration to military personnel, their families and veterans, urging Americans to honour their "heroes" by re-electing President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for four more years.
 
"This evening, we look at heroes in our land. As Second Lady of the United States for the past three-and-a-half years, I have had the honour of meeting many heroes across this great country," 63-year-old Pence said as she addressed the third night of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday.
 
She stressed that one of her key initiatives is to elevate and encourage military spouses.

Odisha: Water-level of Baitarani River rises at Bhadrak, flooding several areas of the district.

US will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapon, says Kamala Harris

The United States will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapon, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris said on Wednesday, asserting that if voted to power, a Biden Administration will work with allies to strengthen the Obama-era nuclear deal with Tehran and push back its other destabilizing actions.
 
Training her gun at the Trump Administration on the matter, the Indian-origin Senator said, "That nuclear deal, as we all know, blocked Iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon and it was working, as was verified by international inspectors and the US intelligence community. But Donald Trump withdrew from it...promising a better deal and a cowed Iran, but instead Iran is revving up its nuclear activity and becoming more provocative."

Typhoon knocks out power in South Korean homes, barrels North Korea

A typhoon that grazed South Korea, ripping off roofs and knocking out power to more than 1,600 households, made landfall in North Korea early Thursday.
 
South Korean authorities said there were no immediate reports of casualties, and North Korea has not reported any damage.
 
Packing maximum winds of 133 kilometers (83 miles) per hour, Typhon Bavi was barreling north and just 70 kilometers (43 miles) southwest of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, South Korea's weather agency said. Read on...

7 Bangladeshis apprehended by BSF troops in West Bengal's Nadia district

Seven Bangladeshi nationals were apprehended by troops of Border Out Post- Mahendra, 08 Battalion of BSF, in Nadia district of West Bengal on Wednesday, according to Border Security Force (BSF).
 
"On August 26, 2020, acting on specific information passed by villagers of Gajna village, about presence of some unknown persons on the outskirts of village Gajna, Bishnu Singh , Assistant Commandant, BOP Mahendra, prepared a Quick Reaction Team and proceeded towards the outskirts of the border village Gajna and at about 1130 hrs troops observed seven persons including two female and one kid (03 yrs) at Gajna-Tarakpur road waiting for vehicle," said a release.

GST Council meet: States to push for borrowing by Centre today

Ahead of the crucial single-agenda GST Council meeting on Thursday, most states — including those governed by the BJP — reached a consensus that the Centre should borrow to compensate states for the revenue shortfall owing to inadequate cess collection.
 
States have objected to borrowing from the market themselves, and will seek an extension to the compensation period beyond the promised FY22. Read on...

Pence to make case for Trump's reelection at GOP convention's third night

US Vice President Mike Pence will make the case for a second term for President Donald Trump in a speech to be delivered from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.
 
The speech on Wednesday night will be part of the Republican National Convention's third night, which has the theme "Land of Heroes", Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Tata Sons to outline group's digital strategy at AGM today

The shareholders of Tata Sons — the unlisted holding company of Tata Group — will get a glimpse of the group’s digital strategy today during the company’s annual general meeting (AGM).
 
The e-AGM comes at a time when the group is facing significant challenges in each of its businesses, barring its software exporter firm, Tata Consultancy Services. Read on...

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