LIVE: India a country of political stability, policy continuity, says PM

Narendra Modi during his address at the 3rd USISPF 3rd Annual Leadership Summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that although the coronavirus pandemic was unexpected and was testing the country's resilience, health and economic systems,  it had not affected the ambitions, aspirations of 1,30 billion Indians.

In his key note address at the third leadership summit of US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) via videoconferencing, PM Modi said, "India was among first to advocate face coverings as public health measure and  to create a campaign about social distancing."

Saying that the world believed in India, Modi added,"India has undertaken far-reaching reforms to make business easier and red-tapism lesser." He also said that the India offered a trasparent and predictable tax regime, which  supported honest taxpayers.
"India a country of political stability and policy continuity with commitment to democracy and diversity," he noted.

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed that the bank accounts should not be declared as non-performing asset (NPA) as on 31 August should not be declared as NPAs until the disposal of the pleas seeking an extension of the moratorium period.

In another major development, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told banks in a meeting today to put in place a loan restructuring scheme for rescuing all viable business units affected by the Covid-19 pandemic by September 15. “During her interaction, the Finance Minister focused on lenders immediately putting in place board-approved policy for resolution, identifying eligible borrowers and reaching out to them and quick implementation of a sustained resolution plan by lenders for revival of every viable business,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

India has banned 118 more apps said to be either based in or linked to China. PUBG Mobile, Alipay, and Baidu are among the biggest names on the list. India had earlier banned TikTok, WeChat, and more than 50 other China-based apps in June, suggesting they were a security issue. This comes amid the escalating tensions between India and China over an ongoing border dispute.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day


Trump call for voting twice sparks warning from state official

North Carolina’s top elections official warned voters against trying to vote twice after President Donald Trump encouraged people who mail in their ballots for November’s election to also go to the polls on Election Day.
Karen Brinson Bell, the executive director of North Carolina State Board of Elections, issued a long statement on Thursday warning that “it is illegal to vote twice in an election” and asked mail-in voters to verify their ballot was received without showing up in person on Nov. 3.
Trump, during a Wednesday visit to Wilmington, North Carolina, told supporters, “If you get the unsolicited ballots, send it in and then go make sure it counted and if it doesn’t tabulate, you vote. You just vote, and then if they tabulate it very late, they’ll see you voted and it won’t count.”
“Send it in early and then go and vote,” Trump added. “And if it’s not tabulated, you vote and the vote is going to count.”
The president’s suggestion marks the latest salvo in his denunciation of mail-in voting, an option expected to be used by far more Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. He argues, without substantiation, that voting by mail carries a risk of fraud and would put his Republican Party at a disadvantage.

Sumit Nagal loses to birthday boy Thiem, exits US Open

Sumit Nagal got a taste of top-level tennis during a 3-6 3-6 2-6 defeat at the hands of world number three Dominic Thiem as the young Indian exited the US Open here on Thursday.
Playing against the second seeded Austrian, the Indian lost in straight sets to Thiem, who celebrated his 27th birthday with a commanding performance in the second round at the Athur Ashe stadium.
Thiem, this year's Australian Open finalist, had said that he has seen videos of Nagal's game and knew that he has a ripping forehand. Well prepared, he came out with a clear strategy of not giving many balls on the forehand side of the Indian.
Nagal came into the contest after giving India a rare singles main draw match win at a Grand Slam but it was always going to be a daunting task for him to challenge someone who has made two French Open finals.
Slow off the blocks, Nagal was broken early but the slogger that he is, he kept Thiem under pressure, creating as many as five chances to break back in the fifth game that lasted 10 minutes.
He converted the fifth breakpoint when Thiem made an unforced error and made it 3-3 with an easy hold, riding momentum.
Playing with a lot of energy and stinging strokes, those were the best two games that Nagal played as the gap between him and the top players was on display after that.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Techs lead stock sell-off, dollar edges up

A gauge of global stocks fell on Thursday from a record high in its biggest one-day decline in nearly three months as the technology sector sold off, while the dollar continued its bounce from more than two-year lows.
The S&P technology sector, up more than 35% on the year as the best-performing of the 11 major sectors through Wednesday, dropped 5.83% as investors fled expensive stocks that have pushed major averages higher. The group contains some of the world's largest publicly traded companies.
Investors have been concerned about the narrowing leadership of the market rally that pushed the S&P 500 up 60% from its March 23 low through Wednesday, with gains on Wall Street largely driven by names such as Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp.
"There was this chase to get long and people are jealous of the gains that they were missing out on and they just poured in," said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management in New York. "And eventually that behavior exhausts itself and what we're seeing is the exhaustion today." Signs the U.S. economy's rebound from coronavirus-driven lockdowns could be stalling in the absence of another round of fiscal stimulus also weighed.
While weekly initial jobless claims fell more than anticipated, they remained extremely high. In addition, the methodology used in the weekly report to address seasonal fluctuations has changed, which analysts said led to fewer claims than over the past two months.
Investors will closely watch Friday's August employment report for further signs of labor market stagnation.
Other data showed slower growth in the services sector last month, as the boost from fiscal stimulus and business reopenings faded, although it remained above the level signifying growth.

Bt brinjal approval rekindles debate on inadequate protocols and rules

The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)'s green signal to additional field trials to two new varieties of Bt brinjal a few months back has rekindled the debate on genetically modified crops and whether India has sufficient bio-safety standards to allow commercial cultivation of such produce.
GEAC had, in a meeting held a few months back, approved additional field trials of two new indigenously developed varieties of Bt brinjal called Janak and BSS-793 containing Bt Cry1Fa1 gene (Event 142). Read more

Infosys to acquire US-based firm Kaleidoscope Innovation for $42 million

IT services firm Infosys is set to acquire Kaleidoscope Innovation, a product design and development firm that operates in medical, consumer and industrial markets.
Infosys will pay $42 million for acquiring 100 per cent stake in the Cincinnati-headquartered company and the amount includes earn-out, management incentives and bonuses, according to the exchange filing. The acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter of fiscal 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Read more

ED probe 'finds diversion' of Rs 310 cr from MIAL through shell companies

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has found close to a dozen shell companies and non-functional entities were being used for allegedly siphoning off Rs 310 crore from Mumbai International Airport (MIAL). A portion of this was routed back to the promoters of the GVK Group in the joint venture company through multiple complex transactions. Read more

FASTag may be made mandatory for buying third-party insurance from April

Come April 1, car owners might not be able to obtain a third-party insurance cover if they do not have FASTags for their cars.
Though the proposal is still in the works, a release issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has sought to amend Form 51 (certificate of insurance) for capturing the details of FASTag ID. The draft notification has been sent to various stakeholders for feedback. Read more

Aatmanirbhar Bharat ensures India's strengths act as a global force multiplier: PM Modi

'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' merges the local with the global. It ensures India's strengths act as a global force multiplier: PM Modi at US-India Strategic Partnership Forum

Govt constructs 3,181 km national highways in Apr-Aug, surpasses target

The government on Thursday said it constructed 3,181 km of national highways in April-August, surpassing the construction target of 2,771 km. The length of national highway (NH) works awarded during this fiscal also more than doubled as compared to last fiscal, according to a PTI report.
"Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has surpassed its target for construction of National Highways in the country till the past weekend. During April to August this year, 3,181 kilometre NH length was constructed against the target of 2,771 km for this period," MoRTH said in a statement.
This includes 2,104 km constructed by State Public Works Department (PWDs), 879 km by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), and 198 km by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), the statement said.

Uttar Pradesh follows Centre, will set up single hiring agency for all govt jobs

The Uttar Pradesh government is constituting a singular recruitment agency, along the lines of the one set up by the Union Government, for all government jobs.
Chief Minister Adityanath made this announcement at a meeting with senior officials on Thursday. He said a proposal in this regard would be prepared and tabled before the state cabinet soon. All recruitment examinations would be conducted by this one proposed agency. According to officials, UP will be first state in the country to have such a system of recruitment.
At present, there are various recruiting agencies in the state for government jobs. These include UP Public Service Commission, Police Service Commission, Higher Grade Services Selection Board, and three separate agencies for teaching jobs. Besides, various departments conduct tests and interviews for recruitment. The state-run corporations and councils have their own system of hiring. READ MORE...

Contribution-based pension accounts for new EPFO subscribers soon

Formal sector workers will soon have their own pension accounts with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) with benefits linked to their own share of contribution, rather than from a pool of funds.
The move will help higher income group workers to get higher pensions and is aimed at making the pension fund of the EPFO, which is in deficit, more sustainable.
“…amendments in the EPS 1995 [Employees Pension Scheme, 1995] has been formulated and recommended to the government for grant of pension on the basis of accumulations in individual pension accounts of the members,” a document reviewed by Business Standard said. READ MORE...

India faces the threat of a two-front war: Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat

India faces the threat of coordinated action along its northern and western fronts, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said on Thursday amid the ongoing border standoff with China.
Talking about China, General Rawat said that despite China's aggressive misadventures, India has adopted adequate measures to control and stop these misadventures. "We want peace and tranquillity across our borders. Of late, we have been seeing some aggressive actions by China but we are capable of handling these. Our tri-services are capable of dealing with threats along our frontiers," General Rawat said at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.
General Rawat said the Indian armed forces will have to be prepared to meet the immediate crisis and concurrently prepare for future.
He also said that China's economic cooperation with Pakistan in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir along with continued military and diplomatic support mandates high levels of preparedness by India, according to an IANS report.

Delhi riots: Court sends Sharjeel Imam to 14-days judicial custody in UAPA case

A Delhi court sent JNU student Sharjeel Imam, arrested under the stringent anti terror law -- Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, to judicial custody for 14 days in a case related to communal violence in north east Delhi in February, according to a PTI report.
Imam was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on August 25 for allegedly being part of a premeditated conspiracy in connection to the riots during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat sent him to jail after he was produced before the court through video conferencing.
The court had earlier sent him to police custody for three days. Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

Power of contempt of court misused to stifle free speech: Prashant Bhushan

Delhi Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, convicted and fined by the Supreme Court for contempt of court, said this power is sometimes misused or abused in an attempt to stifle free speech or discussion about the judiciary. He called the contempt of court jurisdiction "very dangerous" and said it should be abolished.
"Every citizen in a democracy, those who are familiar with the working of the judicial system and the Supreme Court, should be able to speak freely but unfortunately that has also been treated as contempt of court by scandalising," he said.
"In this the judge acts as accuser prosecutor and as a judge," Bhushan said at a webinar, 'Freedom of Speech and The Indian Judiciary', organised by Foreign Correspondents' Club of South Asia. Court sends JNU student Sharjeel Imam, arrested under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, to 14-days judicial custody. READ MORE...

Govt taking all steps to ensure safety of Kulbhushan Jadhav: MEA

India is in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels and government is taking all steps to ensure the safety of Kulbhushan Jadhav, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday, according to an ANI report.
"We are in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels. Our government is taking all possible steps to ensure the safety of Kulbhushan Jadhav," MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said during the virtual weekly briefing.
This comes after Pakistani media reported that the Islamabad High Court on Thursday gave India "another opportunity" to appoint a counsel for Kulbhushan Jadhav. The Islamabad High Court adjourned the matter till October 6. Last month, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India had said that it has asked Pakistan for Jadhav to be represented by an Indian lawyer for filing a review petition against his death sentence.

Maharashtra to revise policy on govt jobs for sportspersons

The sports policy of the Maharashtra government will be revised to streamline the process of giving government jobs to award-winning sportspersons, an official statement said on Thursday. The revised policy will also ensure that sportspersons inducted in the government service can focus on their sports, mentor new players and develop the state's sports culture, it said.
The decision to revise was taken during a meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. Minister of State for Sports Aditi Tatkare and Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar were also present.
The revised policy will also mull giving government jobs to mountaineers who have climbed Everest, those whose records have been recognized by Guinness and Limca books of records, winners of Shiv Chhatrapati Award and Maharashtra Kesari championship-winning wrestlers.

We want peace and tranquillity across our borders: CDS General Bipin Rawat

Bank shouldn't declare accounts as NPAs until disposal of pleas seeking moratorium extension: SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed that the bank accounts should not be declared as non-performing asset (NPA) as on 31 August should not be declared as NPAs until the disposal of the pleas seeking an extension of the moratorium period, news agency ANI reported.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, was hearing two petitions seeking an extension of the moratorium period on repayment of loans and to waive off the interest on the repayment of the loan amount in view of the cOVID-19 pandemic. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central government, said that the banking sector is the backbone of India's economy and that the government cannot take any decision which can weaken the economy.
"We have decided not to waive interest, but reduce payment pressure," Mehta said. Advocate Vishal Tiwari, who is one of the petitioners, asked whether three months time period till November 1 will be given to borrowers to approach the banks for rescheduling or restructuring after August 31.

Latest News LIVE update: China deploys five militia squads in Eastern Ladkah

China has deployed five militia squads for rapid response at the disputed Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh. It has done so to "consolidate the border" and "stabilise Tibet region", sources said, according to an ANI report.

"Militia is basically a reserve force of the Chinese's People Liberation Army. They are deployed during war time situations and help the PLA in its military operations," said a senior government officer.
The officer also explained that Chinese militia conducts independent operations and provides combat support and manpower to replenish the PLA. "It is an irregular mix of mountaineers, boxers, members of local fight clubs and others. Most of the members are raised from the local population," said the officer.
It was after their deployments across the LAC that China started making incursion attempts into Indian territories. China had made provocative military movements to change the status quo at Pangong Tso. However, Indian soldiers were already present at those heights to thwart the PLA's land-grabbing bid.

Border situation in eastern Ladakh 'direct result' of Chinese action to effect unilateral change in status quo

India on Thursday said the situation witnessed in the border areas in eastern Ladakh over the past four months is a "direct result" of actions taken by China aimed at effecting unilateral change in the status quo of the region. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India is committed to resolve all issues through dialogue, noting the way ahead to address the issue is negotiations, according to a PTI report.
"It is clear that the situation we witnessed(in eastern Ladakh) over the past four months is a direct result of actions by Chinese side aimed at effecting unilateral change in status quo.
"We strongly urge China to sincerely engage with the Indian side with the objective of expeditiously restoring peace in border areas through complete disengagement," he said at an online media briefing.

RBL Bank launches cardless cash withdrawal facility through ATMs

RBL Bank on Thursday said it has launched cardless cash withdrawal facility from ATMs, leveraging the Instant Money Transfer (IMT) system.
The private sector lender said it has tied-up with Empays Payment Systems, a global financial technology provider, to offer this service.
RBL Bank customers can withdraw cash without their debit cards from 389 IMT-enabled automated teller machines (ATMs) of the bank or more than 40,000 other bank ATMs across the country, it said in a release.
To avail the service a customer has to log into RBL Bank's MoBank app to locate an ATM that supports the IMT function and initiate cash withdrawal by either using his or her mobile number linked to the account or by following a few easy steps on the app. The customer selects the IMT button on the mobile app, gets a code, and uses it to withdraw money from the ATM. READ MORE...

China sought to unilaterally change status quo: MEA on border row with China

SC protects loans not declared NPAs till Aug 31 from such action for now

The Supreme Court on Thursday said those accounts that had not been declared non-performing assets (NPAs) as on August 31 should not be declared bad loans until the case was disposed of, the Live Law reported. The decision was taken by a Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy, and M R Shah, who were hearing pleas seeking an extension of the moratorium on loan repayments in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Court will continue its hearing in the case on September 10.
The decision came two days after the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) informed the Court that the moratorium on repayment of loans could be extendable to up to two years under certain conditions, and that sectors most distressed by the economic slowdown were being identified.
The RBI had announced a moratorium on repayment of loans on March 27 to provide some relief to people as Covid-induced nationwide lockdown forced many companies to close down or effect major pay cuts. Announced for a three-month period initially, the moratorium was extended for another three months on May 23. The order had permitted lending institutions to grant a moratorium on payment of all term-loan instalments, including interest, falling due between March 1 and August 31. READ MORE...

Latest News LIVE: China opposes India's move to ban 118 mobile apps

The Chinese government on Thursday objected and expressed concerns over India's decision to ban 118 mobile applications. Speaking at a press briefing, Gao Feng, the spokesperson of Chinese Commerce Ministry, said India has abused national security by imposing "discriminate restrictions" on Chinese companies, according to an ANI report. Urging India to reconsider its move, Gao said, "China-India economic and trade cooperation yields mutual benefits."
He asserted that China has always asked its companies to comply with international and local rules and regulations in their overseas operations.
"We hope that the Indian side will work with the Chinese side to maintain hard-won bilateral cooperation and development so as to build an open and fair business environment for international investors and services providers including Chinese companies," he was quoted as saying.

Sushant Singh Rajput case probe: Bombay High Court asks media to exercise restraint

The Bombay High Court on Thursday said it expects media organisations to exercise restraint while publishing or reporting any details about investigation in the case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death. A division bench of Justices A A Sayed and S P Tavade said the media should report in such a manner that it does not hamper the investigation.
The court was hearing two petitions which claimed a "media trial" was going on in the case of Rajput's death and sought for it to be stopped. One of the petitions was filed by eight former IPS officers against the "unfair, malicious and false media campaign" against Mumbai Police.

FM tells banks to frame loan recast scheme for all viable units by Sept 15

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told banks in a meeting on Thursday to put in place a loan restructuring scheme for rescuing all viable business units affected by the Covid-19 pandemic by September 15.
“During her interaction, the Finance Minister focused on lenders immediately putting in place board-approved policy for resolution, identifying eligible borrowers and reaching out to them and quick implementation of a sustained resolution plan by lenders for revival of every viable business,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
The meeting was held with the chief executives of all scheduled commercial banks and non-banking financial companies to “review their state of preparedness for implementation of the loans resolution framework for Covid-19 related stress.”
The FM stressed that banks should keep in mind the Covid-19 related distress of borrowers which should not come in the way of assessing their credit-worthiness at the time of giving loans. READ MORE...

Give India another chance to appoint lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav: Pakistan court to govt

A high court in Pakistan on Thursday directed the federal government to give India another chance to appoint a lawyer to represent death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav as it adjourned hearing for a month, news agency PTI reported. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) took up the case of appointment of lawyer for Jadhav to hear the review of the death sentence given to him by a Pakistani military court.
Jadhav, the 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" in April 2017.
Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan told the court that to comply with the orders of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan granted consular access to India, however, it has not replied to Pakistan's offer to appoint a lawyer for him.

Latest News LIVE: SC says banks will not declare accounts as NPA for two months

Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the bank accounts which were not termed as Non-Performing Asset (NPA) till August 31 will not be declared as NPA till disposal of this case and defers the hearing to September 10.

Working on protocols for smooth functioning of Delhi Metro: Satyendar Jain

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday said that protocols are being formulated to ensure smooth functioning of the Delhi Metro services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
While speaking to media, the Minister said that "Protocols are being formulated. Dry run is also being done so that it can be ensured that social distancing is maintained, people wear masks and clean their hands and they follow a COVID appropriate behaviour."
Union Home Ministry, in its Unlock 4 guidelines issued recently allowed resumption of metro services. The Delhi Metro is planning to start operating Yellow Line as it resumes its functioning from September 7 after over five months and three more lines - Blue, Pink and Gurgaon - would be added in the second phase on September 9. READ MORE...

Latest News LIVE: SC says banks will not declare accounts as NPA for two months

LIVE | SC says banks will not declare accounts as NPA for two months: Report

Facebook responds to Congress' charge of political bias, says it is non-partisan and denounces hate

Amid a raging controversy over Facebook's alleged political bias and interference in India's democratic process, the social media giant has told the Congress that it is non-partisan, denounces hate and bigotry in all forms and strives to ensure that its platforms remain a space where people can express themselves freely, according to a PTI report.
Responding to concerns raised by the opposition Congress, Facebook's Public Policy, Trust and Safety Director Neil Potts has said that it has taken the party's allegation of bias very seriously and will ensure that it remains non-partisan and is committed to maintaining the highest levels of integrity.
The Congress accused Facebook of interfering in India's democratic process and social harmony and being soft on members of the ruling BJP on applying its hate-speech rules.

Indian and Chinese Army hold talks at Brigadier-level in Eastern Ladakh

India and China continued to hold talks at Brigadier-level for the fifth day as well after the Indian Army thwarted Chinese Army's attempts to transgress in new areas. However, in an unusual manner, the talks are being held in an open area in Chushul rather than the usual meetings inside the Border Personnel Meeting huts built for the purpose there in both sides of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), according to an ANI report.
The meeting of Indian Army's Brigadier with his Chinese counterpart is currently underway in Chushul in eastern Ladakh to the ongoing issues between the two nations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Indian Army sources said.
The talks are being held after Indian troops have thwarted the Chinese Army's attempts to transgress into areas in Ladakh.

India-China border tension: RKS Bhadauria visits eastern air bases, Gen Naravane in Ladakh

In the view of the ongoing conflict with China, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief RKS Bhadauria is visiting air bases in the eastern sector while Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane is in Leh to review operational preparedness of the troops along LAC in eastern Ladakh where armies of the two nations are in a standoff position for over three months, according to an ANI report.
The Air Force chief is visiting premier air bases in the eastern sector to review the level of operational preparedness and capability enhancement. He also interacted with air warriors serving at these bases. Meanwhile, General Naravane is also visiting Leh to review the ongoing security situation there. He will be briefed by the senior field commanders on the ground situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The visits of Bhadauria and Naravane come at a time when Indian troops have thwarted the Chinese Army's attempts to transgress into areas in Ladakh.

Market LIVE update: Rupee settles 44 paise lower at 73.47 (provisional) against US dollar

The rupee depreciated 44 paise and closed at 73.47 (provisional) against the US dollar on Thursday tracking muted domestic equities and strengthening American currency, according to a PTI report. At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened on a weak note at 73.23, lost further ground during the session and finally settled for the day at 73.47 against the greenback, registering a fall of 44 paise over its last close.
The rupee had closed at 73.03 against the US dollar on Wednesday. During the session, the domestic unit witnessed an intra-day high of 73.23 and a low of 73.48 against the American currency.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.04 per cent to 92.88.

Anti-CAA protests: Sharjeel Usmani granted bail, released from jail

Former AMU student leader Sharjeel Usmani, who was lodged in jail in connection with anti-CAA protests, has been released after a district court granted him bail, official sources said on Thursday. Usmani, who was released on Wednedsay, is the son of a senior faculty member at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
The bail order states that Usmani has a very good academic record and was not arrested from the scene of the crime and no incriminating evidence was found on him at the time of arrest, according to a PTI report.
Usmani was arrested on July 10 by the ATS in Azamgarh.He was wanted in different cases under various sections of the IPCin connection with the anti-CAA protests at AMU in December last.

Banking sector is the backbone of economy: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta tells Supreme Court

PM Modi's donations to public causes from his savings, auction of gifts exceed Rs 103 crore: Sources

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's donations to a number of public causes, ranging from girl child education to the cleaning of Ganga, from his savings and the proceeds of auctions of the gifts he received exceed Rs 103 crore, news agency PTI reported.
The latest among his donations was the initial corpus of Rs 2.25 lakh to the PM CARES Fund, which was set up in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak to support relief of any kind relating to a public health emergency or any other kind of emergency, calamity or distress. The Fund, set up in March, received Rs 3,076.62 crore in just five days of its formation, as per an account statement made public on Wednesday.
Highlighting Modi's donations to public causes, sources noted that he gave Rs 21 lakh in 2019 from his personal savings to the corpus fund set up for the welfare of sanitation workers of Kumbh Mela.
After receiving the Seoul Peace Prize in South Korea in 2019, the prime minister had announced that the entire prize money of Rs 1.30 crore would be given to the Namami Gange project, aimed at cleaning Ganga river, they added. PM Modi has contributed to many public causes. These donations have now exceeded Rs 103 crores, the sources said, according to a PTI report.

Indian Air Force to hold recruitment rally for Karnataka candidates on Sept 23

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will hold a recruitment rally for Karnataka candidates in the city from September 23 to October 4 to select airmen in technical trades, according to an IANS report on Thursday.
"Unmarried candidates born between January 17, 2000 and January 31, 2003 from the state are eligible for the recruitment rally conducted without fee," said an official of the airmen selection centre in a statement here.
Candidates who passed Intermediate or 12th standard or pre-university certificate with minimum 50 per cent marks in mathematics, physics and English from recognised educational boards are eligible to apply for the rally.

Los Angeles declares fiscal emergency, 15,000 jobs at risk

The Los Angeles City Council has declared a fiscal emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic, paving the way to furlough about 15,000 employees.
Wednesday's declaration comes as the city looks at a tax shortfall this year of up to $400 million.
Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected to approve the measure.

Delhi HC allows breath analyser test through tube process for air traffic controllers

Delhi HC allows breath analyser test through tube process for air traffic controllers; it was suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic

Demonetisation was attack on India's unorganised economy: Rahul Gandhi

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga officially declares that he will run for the leadership of the ruling party

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga officially declares that he will run for the leadership of the ruling party, making him the top contender to take over from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: Reuters

By abolishing question hour in Parliament, govt is running scared of answering relevant questions: RS Surjewala, Congress

By abolishing question hour in Parliament, govt is running scared of answering relevant questions. Modi govt doesn't want to answer on brazen transgression by China onto Indian territory, blunder of Indian economy, falling GDP & over 12 crore job losses: RS Surjewala, Congress

US gives first-ever OK for small commercial nuclear reactor

US officials have for the first time approved a design for a small commercial nuclear reactor, and a Utah energy cooperative wants to build 12 of them in Idaho.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday approved Portland-based NuScale Power's application for the small modular reactor that Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems plans to build at a US Department of Energy site in eastern Idaho.
The small reactors can produce about 60 megawatts of energy, or enough to power more than 50,000 homes.
The proposed project includes 12 small modular reactors. The first would be built in 2029, with the rest in 2030.

Suspected maoist killed in "encounter" with police in Telangana

A suspected maoist was killed in an "encounter" with police in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district in the early hours of Thursday, police said.
The incident occurred during vehicle check inGundala mandal at around 4.15 am, they said.
According to Bhadradri-Kothagudem District Superintendent of Police Sunil Dutt they had intensified surveillance over the past few days in the district following inputs on maoists movement.

Coronavirus impact: Gita Gopinath confirms India's GDP most affected among G-20 countries

International Monetary Fund's chief economist Gita Gopinath on Wednesday tweeted a graph suggesting India's gross domestic product (GDP) may have shrunk the most among G-20 countries in the April-June quarter, at 25.6%, when compared with the previous quarter.

Aug services PMI jumps to 41.8 vs 34.2 in July; still in contraction zone

Activity in India's crippled services industry fell for a sixth straight month in August as coronavirus restrictions continued to hurt business operations and demand, causing the longest streak of job losses on record, an industry survey showed.
Thursday's survey adds to the gloom in the service sector, an engine of economic growth and jobs, suggesting a long and painful road to recovery after the economy shrank nearly a quarter in April-June.
Although the Nikkei/IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers' Index increased to 41.8 in August from July's 34.2, it remained well below the 50-mark separating growth from contraction. Read on...

Facebook bans BJP politician Raja Singh

Under pressure for weeks over its handling of hate speech, Facebook on Thursday banned BJP politician T Raja Singh from its platform and Instagram for violating its policy around content promoting violence and hate.
"We have banned Raja Singh from Facebook for violating our policy prohibiting those that promote or engage in violence and hate from having a presence on our platform, a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to Facebook's decision to remove his account, according to the statement.
Facebook - which counts India among its largest markets with over 300 million users - has been in the eye of a storm after a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report alleged that Facebook's content policies favoured the ruling party in India.
The report had alleged that Facebook had ignored posts containing hate speech by BJP MLA Raja Singh

India-China standoff: During the two day visit, the Army Chief will review the operational preparedness of the troops

During the two day visit, the Army Chief will review the operational preparedness of the troops who are locked in a stand off with Chinese troops for over three months now, reports ANI.

General Naravane has arrived in Ladakh for 2-day visit

He will be briefed by senior field commanders on the ground situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC): ANI quotes Army sources

United Airlines to axe 16,370 workers, many more going without pay

United Airlines said on Wednesday it is preparing to furlough 16,370 workers when federal aid expires on Oct. 1 as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the airline industry, though one union said many more people will be without pay.
United's cuts include 6,920 flight attendants, but the union representing them said 14,000 will not have a paycheck in October unless Congress acts to extend $25 billion in aid. Read on...

Account linked to PM Narendra Modi's personal website hacked, later restored: Twitter

Twitter on Thursday said that the account linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal website was hacked, and was later restored.
"We're aware of this activity and have taken steps to secure the compromised account. We are actively investigating the situation. At this time, we are not aware of additional accounts being impacted. Advice on keeping your account secure can be found," a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
According to reports, the hacker put out messages seeking donations to the Prime Minister's relief fund for COVID-19 using bitcoins.

Twitter account of PM Modi's personal website hacked

66% year-on-year spike in household demand for MGNREGA work in August

Demand for MGNREGA work has dropped by almost 24 per cent in August 2020 as compared to the previous month, maintaining a trend that started in July, as labourers begin sowing operations while some who migrated from cities return to their original work places. Read more

Credit-to-deposit ratio fell to 73.1% in Q1, from 76% in Q4FY20

The credit to deposit ratio fell to 73.1 per cent in the June quarter, from 76 per cent in the preceding quarter as the nationwide lockdown imposed in March-end brought economic activity to a near standstill.
While for private banks, credit growth moderated to 7.2 per cent in Q1FY21, from 9.3 per cent in Q4FY20, public sector banks (PSBs) and regional rural banks saw a rise. Read more

Four pairs of trains between Sept 4 -15 in Rajasthan for NEET, JEE students

The Indian Railways will run four pairs of special trains in Rajasthan between September 4 and September 15 to help students appearing in the JEE Mains and NEET examinations.
According to a tweet by Union Minister, Piyush Goyal, the North-Western Railways have decided to run these trains for the convenience of the students.
"Indian Railways have decided to run 4 pairs of special trains between 4th and 15th September for the convenience of students taking JEE Mains, NEET, NDA and other examinations in Rajasthan," Goyal's tweet read. Read on...

Twitter spokesperson on Twitter account of PM Modi’s personal website hacked

We are aware of this activity and have taken steps to secure the compromised account. We are actively investigating the situation. At this time, we are not aware of additional accounts being impacted: Twitter spokesperson on Twitter account of PM Modi’s personal website hacked

Ladakh intrusions: Special Frontier Force takes first casualties

The failure of three months of military and diplomatic dialogue in persuading Beijing to withdraw its troops from Eastern Ladakh was underlined on Sunday when hundreds of soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) crossed into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) south of Pangong Tso lake, occupied a mountain called Helmet Top and began building fortifications. Read on...

China taking advantage of Covid-19, India one such example: US Diplomat

India is among the countries that China has taken advantage of since the outbreak of the COVID-19 from Wuhan, US diplomat David Stilwell said on Wednesday.
"What we have seen since the corona outbreak from Wuhan is it seems the PRC (People's Republic of China) is trying to take advantage of the situation, and India, I think, is one of those examples of that. So to our friends in Beijing, I would ask them to follow their commitment to resolve these things through peaceful means and dialogue," Stilwell said at a press briefing here. Read on....

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