LIVE: Unlock 5 guidelines out; cinema halls to re-open from October 15

Mumbai: People walk outside CSMT during Unlock 4, at Bhaucha Dhakka in Mumbai, Wedesday, Sept. 30, 2020 (PTI Photo/Kunal Patil)
The central government announced Unlock 5.0 guidelines to further ease coronavirus-related restrictions across the country. It will come into effect from October 1. Cinema halls, swimming pools used for training of sportspersons, entertainment parks to re-open from 15th October.

The family of the 19-year-old Hathras gangrape victim alleged on Wednesday that the UP police forcibly cremated the body in the middle of the night, which created a nationwide uproar.

 
A special court in Lucknow delivered judgment on 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case and aquitted all including L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

 
Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.

10:01 PM IST Congress, Left and Bhim Army activists staged protests near the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan and India Gate in the national capital on Wednesday, demanding justice for a 19-year-old woman who died a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped in Hathras.   Delhi witnessed protests on Tuesday evening as well when the body of the woman, who died at a hospital here earlier in the day, was taken to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh. She was cremated in the dead of the night with family members alleging they were forced by police to hurriedly conduct the last rites, a charge that triggered further outrage.   On Wednesday morning, Congress and Left activists gathered outside the UP Bhawan for protests separately, but were detained by the police. The police have booked the protesters, mostly students and women activists, for assembling in violation of prohibitory orders and COVID-19 guidelines, and detained some of them briefly.   The Left-affiliated All India Students' Association (AISA), which gave the call for a candlelight march at India Gate in the evening, alleged that the police forcibly removed the protesters from the spot and harassed and detained women, a charge denied by the police. Some Bhim Army activists also joined the protest near India Gate.  

10:00 PM IST AAP MLA Ajay Dutt on Wednesday claimed he was "kicked and slapped" by senior Delhi Police officers when he went to meet the family of the Hathras gang rape victim at the Safdarjung hospital here.   Delhi Police refused to comment on the allegation.   Dutt told reporters that he was at the hospital and when he sought to know the whereabouts of the victim's body, he was allegedly taken to a room and assaulted. "They took me to a room by pulling my collar and there I was slapped and kicked by the SHO, ACP and DCP. If this is the treatment given to an elected representative then think about the common man," Dutt, MLA from Delhi's Ambedkar Nagar assembly constituency, said.   He demanded action against the police officials who allegedly assaulted him.   Delhi Cabinet Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam also demanded an FIR against the local SHO, ACP, DCP and other Delhi Police officials who allegedly manhandled and assaulted Dutt for questioning the police action in the Hathras gang rape case.  

9:59 PM IST Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated scientists and engineers after India successfully test fired a new version of the surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos having a range of around 400 km.  "Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missile has achieved yet another milestone with successful test launch showcasing enhanced operational capabilities and additional indigenous technologies. Congratulations to all the scientists and engineers. @DRDO_India @BrahMosMissile," he tweeted.  The missile was fired from an integrated test range at Balasore in Odisha.   The missile, featuring a number of indigenously developed sub-systems, was flight tested from a land based mobile launcher for a designated range at 10:30 am from the integrated test range in Balasore.

9:02 PM IST The RBI has excluded six public sector banks, including OBC and Allahabad Bank, from the Second Schedule of the RBI Act following their merger with other banks.   The six banks are Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), United Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank, and Allahabad Bank.   "We advise that Syndicate Bank has been excluded from the Second Schedule to the RBI Act, 1934 with effect from April 01, 2020 since it has ceased to carry on banking business with effect from April 01, 2020 vide Notification of March 27 which is published in the Gazette of India...dated September 26 October 02, 2020," RBI said in a notification on Wednesday.

8:36 PM IST State/UTs shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City/ village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Govt. No restriction on inter-state & intra-state movement. 

8:32 PM IST Odisha: Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden Odisha issues guidelines for reopening of Zoos and Deer Parks in the State. pic.twitter.com/aOdyPnbp98 — ANI (@ANI) September 30, 2020

8:24 PM IST - Hotels, food courts, restaurants & bars allowed to operate from 5th October with 50% capacity - Dabbawallas in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region to be allowed in the local trains after procuring QR codes from the office of Commissioner of Police Mumbai - Locals trains in Pune region to be resumed: Maharashtra Government  

8:19 PM IST Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations to be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, outside Covid-19 containment zones only.

8:13 PM IST Cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes will be permitted to open with up to 50% of their seating capacity, for which, SOP will be issued by I&B Ministry

LIVE UPDATES

Protests near UP Bhawan, India Gate for justice to woman who died after being gang-raped in Hathras

Congress, Left and Bhim Army activists staged protests near the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan and India Gate in the national capital on Wednesday, demanding justice for a 19-year-old woman who died a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped in Hathras.
 
Delhi witnessed protests on Tuesday evening as well when the body of the woman, who died at a hospital here earlier in the day, was taken to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh. She was cremated in the dead of the night with family members alleging they were forced by police to hurriedly conduct the last rites, a charge that triggered further outrage.
 
On Wednesday morning, Congress and Left activists gathered outside the UP Bhawan for protests separately, but were detained by the police.
The police have booked the protesters, mostly students and women activists, for assembling in violation of prohibitory orders and COVID-19 guidelines, and detained some of them briefly.
 
The Left-affiliated All India Students' Association (AISA), which gave the call for a candlelight march at India Gate in the evening, alleged that the police forcibly removed the protesters from the spot and harassed and detained women, a charge denied by the police.
Some Bhim Army activists also joined the protest near India Gate.
 

Assaulted by Delhi cops when asked about Hathras victim's body at Safdarjung hospital: AAP MLA

AAP MLA Ajay Dutt on Wednesday claimed he was "kicked and slapped" by senior Delhi Police officers when he went to meet the family of the Hathras gang rape victim at the Safdarjung hospital here.
 
Delhi Police refused to comment on the allegation.
 
Dutt told reporters that he was at the hospital and when he sought to know the whereabouts of the victim's body, he was allegedly taken to a room and assaulted.
"They took me to a room by pulling my collar and there I was slapped and kicked by the SHO, ACP and DCP. If this is the treatment given to an elected representative then think about the common man," Dutt, MLA from Delhi's Ambedkar Nagar assembly constituency, said.
 
He demanded action against the police officials who allegedly assaulted him.
 
Delhi Cabinet Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam also demanded an FIR against the local SHO, ACP, DCP and other Delhi Police officials who allegedly manhandled and assaulted Dutt for questioning the police action in the Hathras gang rape case.
 

BrahMos missile launch showcases enhanced operational capabilities: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated scientists and engineers after India successfully test fired a new version of the surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos having a range of around 400 km.  "Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missile has achieved yet another milestone with successful test launch showcasing enhanced operational capabilities and additional indigenous technologies. Congratulations to all the scientists and engineers. @DRDO_India @BrahMosMissile," he tweeted.  The missile was fired from an integrated test range at Balasore in Odisha.
 
The missile, featuring a number of indigenously developed sub-systems, was flight tested from a land based mobile launcher for a designated range at 10:30 am from the integrated test range in Balasore.

RBI excludes 6 PSBs from Second Schedule of RBI Act

The RBI has excluded six public sector banks, including OBC and Allahabad Bank, from the Second Schedule of the RBI Act following their merger with other banks.
 
The six banks are Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), United Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank, and Allahabad Bank.
 
"We advise that Syndicate Bank has been excluded from the Second Schedule to the RBI Act, 1934 with effect from April 01, 2020 since it has ceased to carry on banking business with effect from April 01, 2020 vide Notification of March 27 which is published in the Gazette of India...dated September 26 October 02, 2020," RBI said in a notification on Wednesday.

Unlock 5: No restriction on inter-, intra-state movement

State/UTs shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City/ village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Govt. No restriction on inter-state & intra-state movement. 

Odisha issues guidelines for reopening of Zoos and Deer Parks

Maharashtra unlock guidelines

- Hotels, food courts, restaurants & bars allowed to operate from 5th October with 50% capacity
- Dabbawallas in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region to be allowed in the local trains after procuring QR codes from the office of Commissioner of Police Mumbai
- Locals trains in Pune region to be resumed: Maharashtra Government
 

Unlock 5: Social gathering permitted but conditions apply

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations to be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, outside Covid-19 containment zones only.

Unlock 5: Cinema halls, swimming pools used for training of sportspersons, entertainment parks to re-open from Oct 15

Cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes will be permitted to open with up to 50% of their seating capacity, for which, SOP will be issued by I&B Ministry

India's external debt at $554.5 bn at June-end: RBI

India's external debt stood at USD 554.5 billion at end-June, recording a decrease of USD 3.9 billion over its level at the end of March 2020, the RBI said on Wednesday.
 
Further, the external debt to GDP ratio increased to 21.8 per cent at June-end 2020 from 20.6 per cent as on March 31.
 
Valuation loss due to the depreciation of the US dollar vis-a-vis major currencies such as euro, yen and SDR was at USD 0.7 billion.
 
"Excluding the valuation effect, the decrease in external debt would have been USD 4.5 billion instead of USD 3.9 billion at end-June 2020 over end-March 2020," the central bank said.

NHRC notice to Home Ministry over Amnesty closing operations, alleging 'witch-hunt'

The NHRC has issued notice to the Union Home Secretary over rights organisation Amnesty International winding up its operations in the country after alleging witch-hunt by the government, officials said on Wednesday.
 
According to media reports, after the complete freezing of its bank accounts in India the Amnesty International has reportedly halted all the work in the country, the NHRC said in a statement.
 
"The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and directs issuance of the notice to the Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India, calling for their comments on the allegations levelled by the Amnesty International as mentioned in the news report," it said.
 

Vodafone CEO defends brand integration, says network is 5G-ready

Vodafone Idea's chief executive officer Ravinder Takkar on Wednesday said the company's network is 5G-ready and defended the company's rebranding exercise after a shareholder raised concerns about advertising and marketing costs in the wake of its continuous losses.
 
Takkar said the launch of new single brand identity Vi would help the company to effectively communicate its value proposition to subscribers and expand customer base. " We have integrated our brand and that has been well received. The intention is to promote the brand strongly which will allow our customers to understand the proposition we offer and the quality of network we offer," Takkar said in response to a shareholder queries at the company's annual general meeting today. Read more

Aarey protest: Maharashtra govt to withdraw charges against citizens

Himachal CM reviews preparations for PM's arrival to inaugurate Atal Tunnel

Southern Railway to operate more special trains

Southern Railway on Wednesday announced running more special trains, including inter-state service between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The railways would operate trains between Karaikal in neighboring Puducherry and Ernakulam in Kerala, an official press release here said.
 
The Southern Railway announced fully reserved special trains from Chennai-Egmore to Tirunelveli, Madurai (Tejas), Sengottai and Rameswaram and the various services would start between October 2-5.
 

UP govt announces Rs 25 lakh as ex-gratia for kin of Hathras gangrape victim

Uttar Pradesh government announces Rs 25 lakh as ex-gratia for kin of Hathras gang-rape victim to be given and a house along with a governmnet job to one family member. Fastrack court to hear the matter; three-member SIT formed to probe the case.

'Car can overturn anytime in UP': Kailash Vijayvargiya on Hathras gangrape case

Hathras gangrape: Congress, Bhim Army stage protests in UP

Congress and Bhim Army workers held demonstrations in different parts of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday over the gangrape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman a fortnight ago and demanded stern punishment for the culprits.
 
A report from Hathras said tempers ran high in the victim's village when Panchayti Raj Minister Bhupendra Chaudhary, who is also in charge of the district, reached there along with the local MP, MLA and other BJP leaders.
 
Besides justice for the victim and capital punishment to the culprits, the locals also demanded a transfer of district officials.
 
The woman died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday and was cremated in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family members alleging that the local police forced them to perform her last rites at the dead of night.
 

Hathras rape case: PIL in SC demands CBI probe, seeks to transfer case to Delhi

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in Supreme Court seeking investigation by CBI or SIT headed by a sitting or retired into the #Hathras gang-rape. 
 
Plea also seeks direction to transfer the case from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi.

Hathras rape case: NHRC issues notice to UP Chief Secretary, DGP

NHPC shuts 120 MW plant in J-K till March 2021

State-run hydro power giant NHPC on Wednesday said its 120 MW Sewa-II power station in Jammu and Kashmir has been shut till March 31, 2021 due to some damage in its head race tunnel (HRT). The HRT carries water from intake to a power house for electricity generation.
 
"It is to inform that Sewa-II Power Station (120 MW) in UT of Jammu & Kashmir has been under complete shutdown w.e.f. 25.09.2020 to 31.03.2021 for damage of HRT," the company said in a BSE filing.
 
The shutdown will cause tentative loss of 157.4 MUs (million units) in generation (design energy) and 35.61 per cent in NAPAF (Normative Annual Plant Availability Factor), it added.
 

Govt cuts natural gas price by 25% to $1.79

The government on Wednesday slashed the rate at which most of the natural gas produced in India is sold by a steep 25 per cent to USD 1.79.

Gas produced by state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India from areas given to them on nomination basis will cost USD 1.79 per million British thermal unit for six-month period beginning October 1, 2020, an official order said.

The price of new gas from difficult fields such as deepsea has also been cut to USD 4.06 per mmBtu from USD 5.61, the order said.

Rupee jumps 10 paise to 73.76 per US dollar

Snapping a two-session losing streak, the rupee strengthened by 10 paise to close at 73.76 against the US dollar on Wednesday, supported by macroeconomic data and positive domestic equities.
 
At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened strong at 73.81 and shuttled between a high of 73.69 and a low of 73.86 against the greenback.
 
It finally finished at 73.76, registering a gain of 10 paise over its previous close of 73.86.
 
According to Devarsh Vakil, Deputy Head Retail Research - HDFC Securities, better-than-expected current account data helped the rupee outperform amongst its Asian currency peers.

Farmers continue 'rail roko' agitation in Punjab against farm sector laws

Farmers protesting against three recently enacted agriculture laws continued their 'rail roko' stir in Punjab for the seventh day on Wednesday.
 
The farmers have decided to intensify their agitation from next month and extend the 'rail roko' stir for an indefinite period.
 
The farmers under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee have been squatting on rail tracks at various places in the state since September 24.
 
The farmers have decided to intensify their protest against the Centre and will continue to block rail tracks in Tanda, Mukerian, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ferozepur.
 

House price index rises 2.8% on annual basis: RBI

The all-India House Price Index (HPI) rose 2.8 per cent in the first quarter of the current financial year on an annual basis, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of India.
 
The quarterly HPI for the April-June 2020 period is based on transaction-level data received from housing registration authorities in 10 major cities.
 
The cities are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai.

India's AI spending to grow at 30.8% CAGR to $880.5mn in 2023: IDC

India's AI (artificial intelligence) spending is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30.8 per cent to touch $880.5 million (around Rs 6,490.6 cr) in 2023, research firm IDC said on Wednesday.
 
"Enterprises are relying on AI to maintain business continuity, transform how businesses operate and gain competitive advantage. India's AI spending will grow from USD 300.7 million in 2019 to USD 880.5 million in 2023 at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 30.8 per cent," as per IDC's Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide Forecast.

Delhi: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju unveils new logo of SAI

Delhi to use agri tech to curb stubble burning

UK GDP collapsed nearly 20% in second quarter in historic Covid hit

Britain suffered a record collapse in economic output in the second quarter of 2020 when Covid-19 lockdown measures were in full force, though the decline was slightly smaller than first estimated.
 
Gross domestic product shrank by 19.8% in the three months to June, the Office for National Statistics said, slightly less than the initial estimate of a quarterly 20.4% crash but still more than for any other major advanced economy.
 
The fall was the biggest since the ONS records began in 1955. Other data has suggested Britain is on course for its biggest annual fall since the 1920s. Britain's economy had already shrunk by 2.5% in the January-March period as the country entered lockdown in late March.

Babri mosque verdict will be challenged in high court: Jilani

Senior lawyer and member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Zafaryab Jilani on Wednesday said the verdict of a special court acquitting all the 32 accused in the Babri mosque demolition case would be challenged in the high court.
 
There were hundreds of statements by the witnesses and in criminal cases these are very important, Jilani said, adding that among those who gave their statements were IPS officers and journalists who had said that the accused persons were sitting on the dias and inflammatory speeches were being given.
 
The special CBI court has given its verdict ignoring the evidence and so Muslims will challenge it in the high court, he said. He also indicated that the board might also be a party.

BJP appoints ex-Maharashtra CM Fadnavis as Bihar poll in-charge

The BJP on Wednesday appointed former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis as its in-charge for the Bihar assembly elections, the party said in a statement.
 
The announcement came on a day party president J P Nadda is holding talks with state BJP leaders here to discuss the three-phase polls to the 243-member state assembly, including seat-sharing arrangements with allies like the JD(U) and the LJP.
 
The LJP has been blowing hot and cold over the issue as it is said to be unhappy over the offer being made to it by the BJP. For the last few weeks, Fadnavis had been participating in the party's internal meetings over the Bihar polls and has even visited the state a few times.
 

NDA 'gathbandhan' to fight Bihar elections: Bhupendra Yadav

NGT denies nod to Delhi Police for construction on Yamuna floodplains

The National Green TribunalWednesday junked a plea by the Delhi Police seeking permission to raise construction for accommodation of the trainees in the flood plains of river Yamuna.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the project is located right on the flood plains and thus cannot be allowed.

It refused to agree with the submission of the Delhi police that the Principal Committee, formed to oversee Yamuna rejuvenation, made recommendations in favour of the Delhi Police.

I-T refunds worth Rs 1.18 trn issued to 3.35 mn taxpayers till Sep 29

The Income Tax department on Wednesday said it has issued refunds worth over Rs 1.18 trillion to over 3.3 million taxpayers in 6 months till September 29.
 
This include personal income tax (PIT) refunds amounting to Rs 32,230 crore issued to 3.17 million taxpayers, and corporate tax refunds amounting to Rs 86,094 crore to over 1.78 lakh taxpayers during this period.
 
"CBDT issues refunds of over Rs 1,18,324 crore to more than 33.54 lakh taxpayers between 1st April, 2020 to 29th September,2020. Income tax refunds of Rs 32,230 crore have been issued in 31,75,358 cases & corporate tax refunds of Rs 86,094 crore have been issued in 1,78,540 cases," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) tweeted.
 

SBI to raise up to Rs 5,000 cr through debt instruments in FY21

State Bank of India on Wednesday said it will raise up to Rs 5,000 crore through debt instruments in the current financial year.
 
The central board of the bank in a meeting held on Wednesday accorded the approval for raising of capital by way of issuance of Basel-III compliant debt instruments in Indian rupees during FY21, SBI said in a regulatory filing.
 
The board said it has approved "raising of additional tier-I (AT1) bonds to the extent of Rs 5,000 crore by way of issuance of Basel-III compliant debt instruments in INR, within the overall capital plan earlier approved by the board for raising equity during FY21," SBI said.

Punjab: Farmers burn stubble, says 'we are helpless'

India's media, entertainment segment to reach Rs 1.86 trillion revenue in FY22: Report

The media and entertainment sector, which was badly hit due to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, is expected to rebound to touch a revenue of Rs 1,86,600 crore in 2021-22, due to acceleration of digital adoption among users across geographies, according to a report.

The sector should recover and post a 33 per cent growth in 2021-22, following a contraction of 20 per cent in 2020-21, which still implies a loss of around two years of growth, said KPMG in India Partner and Head (Media and Entertainment) Girish Menon.

He was quoting the KPMG Media and Entertainment (M&E) report, 'A year off script: Time for resilience', which examines the performance of the M&E sector during a particularly challenging period.

 

Retail inflation for industrial workers eases to 5.63% in August

Retail inflation for industrial workers eased to 5.63 per cent in August as compared to 6.31 per cent in the same month a year ago, mainly due to lower prices of certain food items.

Retail inflation measured in terms of the Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) is the benchmark for working out dearness allowance for central government employees and dearness relief for pensioners.

"Year-on-year inflation (CPI-IW) based on all-items stood at 5.63 per cent for August 2020 as compared to 5.33 per cent for the previous month (July 2020) and 6.31 per cent during the corresponding month (August 2019) of the previous year," a labour ministry statement said.

 

Hathras case: DCW chief writes to CJI demanding action against those involved in cover up

Delhi Commission For Women chairperson Swati Maliwal on Wednesday wrote to the Chief Justice of India demanding action against those officials who were allegedly involved in covering up the brutal Hathras gangrape and murder incident.

Maliwal also demanded a high court-monitored investigation and a trial to ensure the strictest and swiftest possible punishment to the accused in the letter which was also addressed to the Supreme Court's judges.

"Immediate suspension and punitive action against all erring police and administrative officials including the senior-most officials who tried to coverup the incident. Setting in place definite mechanisms to ensure that no other daughter has to suffer the same fate," the letter said, listing out her demands.

India posts current account surplus of $19.8 bn as trade deficit narrows

India’s current account balance (CAB) recorded a surplus of $19.8 billion (3.9 per cent of GDP) in Q1 of 2020-21. This contrasts with a deficit of $ 15 billion (2.1 per cent of GDP) in April-June 2019 (Q1Fy20).
 
The surplus in April-June 2020 (Q1Fy21) comes on top of a surplus of $0.6 billion (0.1 per cent of GDP) in the preceding quarter (Q4 Fy20), said the Reserve Bank of India in a statement. The surplus was due to a sharp contraction in the trade deficit to $10 billion, as the country’s merchandise imports declined sharply relative to exports on a year-on-year basis. Read more

Hathras rape case: Congress demands UP CM's resignation

The Congress Wednesday slammed the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over the Hathras gang-rape victim's family being allegedly denied the right to properly perform her last rites, demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi ask for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's resignation.

"The way she was cremated is a gross violation of her human rights, a Congress spokesperson said in Delhi.

The 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died in a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras, was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.

 

NTPC eyes Rs 98,000 cr revenue in FY21

NTPC is eyeing Rs 98,000 crore revenue from operations and about 15 million metric tonne of coal output from its mines in the current fiscal year.

The state-owned power giant is also aiming 340 BU (billion units) of electricity generation in 2020-21 as part of its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Power, a company statement said.

As per the MoU, NTPC will aim to achieve capital expenditure of Rs 21,000 crore and coal production of 15 million metric tonne in the current fiscal year.

 

BrahMos supersonic cruise missile test-fired off Odisha coast

Govt extends BPCL bid deadline to Nov 16

The government has for the fourth time extended the deadline for bidding for privatisation of India's second-biggest oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) by one and a half months to November 16.

While the Cabinet, in November last year, had approved the sale of the government's entire 52.98 per cent stake in BPCL, offers seeking expression of interest (EoI) or bids showing interest in buying its stake were invited only on March 7.

Initially, the EoI submission deadline was May 2, but it was first was extended up to June 13, then to July 31 and later to September 30.

 

Jai Shri Ram: Advani on being acquitted from Babri demolition case

Veteran BJP leader LK Advani, who was acquitted by a special CBI court on Wednesday in the Babri mosque demolition case, welcomed the court verdict by chanting 'Jai Shri Ram', and said it came in "footsteps of another order which paved the way for my dream of seeing a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya".
 
Advani, who was the face of the Ram Janambhoomi Movement in 1992, was acquitted along with all other 31 accused in the case.
 
"It is a very important decision and a matter of happiness for us. When we heard the news of the court's order, we welcomed it by chanting Jai Shri Ram, Advani said in a video message.

Govt extends FY19 GST annual return filing deadline by 1 month

The government has extended the deadline for filing GST annual return and audit report for 2018-19 fiscal year by a month till October 31.
 
After obtaining due clearances from the Election Commission in view of the Model Code of Conduct, Government has extended due date for furnishing Annual Return in GSTR-9 and GSTR 9C for 2018-19 from 30.09.2020 to 31.10.2020, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) tweeted.
 
In May, the government had extended thelast date for filing annual GST return for 2018-19 by three months till September 2020.
 
GSTR-9 is an annual return to be filed by taxpayers registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. It consists of details regarding the outward and inward supplies made or received under different tax heads.

Amazon creates over 100,000 jobs ahead of festive season

Amazon India on Wednesday said that it has created more than 1 lakh seasonal job opportunities across its operations network in the country ahead of the festive season.

The new associates will join Amazon's existing network of associates and support them to pick, pack, ship and deliver customers' orders safely and efficiently, the company said in a statement.

"The new seasonal positions will help elevate its delivery experience and boost the company's fulfilment and delivery capabilities to meet the surge in customer demand this festive season," it said.

 

UPSC Prelims 2020: Summary of SC directions

1. No postponement of UPSC Prelims 2020
2. UPSC asked to consider granting an extra attempt to candidates who miss the exam due to coronavirus but without extending the upper age limit.

Not impressed with the suggestion of merging UPSC Prelims 2020 and 2021, says SC

It was suggested that merging of 2020 prelims and 2021 prelims be done. We are not impressed by this. Resorting to this will lead to cascading effect on other exams as stated in Affidavit. UPSC should make available all facilities and follow all protocol. 

UPSC may issue directions to States to ensure that candidates with admit cards will be admitted in local hotels near sub-centres, says SC

SC Bench: UPSC may issue directions to States to ensure that candidates with admit cards will be admitted in local hotels near sub-centres. 

UPSC Prelims 2020: On Covid patients, SC says separate arrangements cannot be made for individuals

 Regarding appearance of COVID patients being allowed to appear in the exam with separate arrangement - It is not possible to entertain such general prayers. SOP requires that COVID positive ones are to be in isolation and quarantine

An extra attempt is sought for the ones who are taking the last attempt as they might not able to appear due to the pandemic, says SC

Court: An extra attempt is sought for the ones who are taking the last attempt as they might not able to appear due to the pandemic.  In this regard, we have impressed upon ASG to explore possibility for giving them one more attempt to such exams without extending age limit.

SG has informed us it will be considered and a formal decision will be taken expeditiously. Different States have different SOP including not permitting admission of persons coming from other States.

UPSC Prelims 2020 postponement case: UPSC has also allowed the students to change their centres, says SC

Court: UPSC has also allowed the students to change their centres. Coming to the issue of lack of study material and access to libraries, we disagree as online material was available for the students. 

Considering the fact that exams have been conducted in the recent passed, it is a testimony to the fact that SOP is followed by MHA to conduct such exams, says SC on UPSC Prelims 2020

Considering the fact that exams have been conducted in the recent passed, it is a testimony to the fact that SOP is followed by MHA to conduct such exams. Lack of transport facilities across all centres have not been substantiated by the Petitioners.

UPSC Prelims 2020 postponement case: Advocate Kapadia submits to the Bench that her client is a Covid warrior and couldn’t take leave for studying

Kapadia submits to the Bench that her client is a Covid warrior and couldn’t take leave for studying. 
 
Bench: Did he make an application asking for leave ?
 
Kapadia: No. He is a COVID warrior. He couldn’t go on leave. The duty was imposed.
 

UPSC Prelims 2020: Not just the last attempt, but take care of the age limit, SC tells ASG SV Raju

SC Bench: Not just the last attempt, but take care of the age limit
 
Raju: If the pandemic goes next year, well, it is wishful thinking...
 
Bench: Not wishful thinking ! We all want the pandemic to go. Vaccine is being developed. 

UPSC candidates get 6 chances. A candidate might have his 6th attempt. But, he might get typhoid or heart attack, says ASG SV Raju

Raju: A candidate might have his 6th attempt. But, he might get typhoid or heart attack. 
 
Justice Gavai: You can’t equate a heart attack with a pandemic !
 
Raju: I understand. I will put the suggestion forward. 

Bench now asks ASG SV Raju whether a candidate can get another chance if he is unable to take up their attempt now

Raju submits that there are 6 attempts available to a candidate. 
 
Raju: Today it is Covid. Next time it might be typhoid or some illness. These attempts are given taking into account these possibilities. 

Bench asks the Counsel for UPSC: Is UPSC aware of the grievances for the officers who are not being given leave for the exams from Covid duty, specially Covid warriors?

Bench asks the Counsel for UPSC: Is UPSC aware of the grievances for the officers who are not being given leave for the exams from Covid duty, specially Covid warriors? What arrangements have been made for them ?

UPSC Prelims 2020 case in SC: Transport hasn’t resumed effectively in rural areas, says advocate

Kapadia informs the Court that transport hasn’t resumed effectively in rural areas. 
 
“In fact, they (UPSC) hasn’t done anything new. It’s the same number of centres.”
Advocate Anushree Kapadia for an Intervnor now makes her submissions on behalf of a father of a Civil Services aspirant who is also a central government officer. 
 

SC says all UPSC candidates are placed equally today. They are facing problems


UPSC Prelims 2020 case in SC: This Covid situation will not come again. This is an unprecedented and extraordinary situation, says petitioners' advocate

Shukla: This COVID situation will not come again. This is an unprecedented and extraordinary situation. 
 
SC Bench: The Affidavit of UPSC states that the difference between aspirants and actual participation always has a 50% difference.

UPSC Prelims 2020 postponement case: In case of NEET, those who weren’t able to attempt it, they were given a second chance

Petitioner: There are students who study in libraries. They’re completely shut. In case of NEET, those who weren’t able to attempt it, they were given a second chance. 

UPSC Prelims 2020 postponement case hearing: All libraries, coaching institutions have been closed. And most candidates have been deprived of reading material

Shukla: All libraries, coaching institutions have been closed. And most candidates have been deprived of reading material. They’re totally handicapped. They should get equal opportunities to appear.

SC Bench: Bench: Then there will be equal opportunity everywhere. They’ll all face the same disabilities. All the study material is available online. You are thinking of the situation in 1960s !

UPSC Prelims 2020: Use this opportunity for constructive suggestions, SC to petitioners' lawyer

SC Bench: Please use this opportunity for constructive suggestions. They have given comprehensive solutions. There are 72 centre and 2000-ish sub-centres. Social distancing will be observed with 2 metres of distance within two candidates. 

UPSC Prelims 2020 postponement case: Petitioners cannot ask for postponement on the basis of the fact that some will not be able to give it, says SC

Bench: We have seen the comprehensive Affidavit. They have submitted what arrangements have been made. If you want more security, argue on that. But, you cannot ask for postponement on the basis of the fact that some will not be able to give it. 

UPSC Prelims 2020 postponement case: The exam cannot be customised area-wise or individual-wise for 1 million candidates

Shukla: There are doctors who are Corona-warriors. They are aspirants. We have raised this issue

SC Bench: There are 1 million aspirants. The exam cannot be customised area-wise or individual-wise. Everyone should get adjusted to it. 

UPSC Prelims 2020 postponement case: SC hearing begins

If you want UPSC to do something, be persuasive, not degrading: SC tells advocate Shukla, who is representing petitioners.

SC asks UPSC to apprise of arrangements for civil services prelims amid COVID-19

The Supreme Court Monday asked the UPSC to apprise it by tomorrow the "logistical arrangements" made for conducting civil services preliminary exams on October 4 in view of alarming spurt of COVID-19 cases as also floods in various parts of the country.
 
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) opposed in the top Court a plea seeking postponement of the prelims amid the pandemic and the floods.
 
In a hearing conducted through video conferencing, a bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari asked the UPSC to file an affidavit by Tuesday.
 
The bench will take up the plea for hearing on Wednesday

Can UPSC prelims scheduled for October 4 be postponed due to coronavirus

Supreme Court to shortly take up plea urging court to postpone UPSC prelims

UPSC Prelims 2020 Exam: South Central Railway to run special trains for UPSC candidates

The South Central Railway (SCR) zone's Vijayawada division will operate two special trains between Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam to facilitate civil services examination candidates to appear for the exam.
 
"In order to facilitate the candidates attending Union Public Service Examination (UPSC), SCR will run two special trains between Vijayawada - Visakhapatnam - Vijayawada," said a railway zone spokesperson.

Hathras gangrape: PM called for strictest action against UP rape accused, says Yogi Adityanath

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for the strictest action against the accused in the gang-rape and torture of a 20-year-old woman in UP's Hathras, chief minister Yogi Adityanath said today.

Hathras gangrape: Victim cremated in dead of night 'forcibly' by police

The body of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died in a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras, was cremated here in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.
 
Local police officers, however, told PTI that the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family". Read on...

General Atlantic to invest Rs 3,675 cr in Reliance Retail for 0.84% stake

General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm will invest Rs 3,675 cr in Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, RIL said in a BSE filing on Wednesday.
 
General Atlantic's investment will translate into a 0.84% equity stake in RRVL. The deal values Reliance Retail at a pre-money equity value of Rs 4.285 trillion, said RIL in a media release. Read on...

US Presidential debate live: Law enforcement and racism

Trump accused Biden of not supporting law enforcement.
 
“If he ever got to run this country and they ran it the way he would want to run it … Our suburbs would be gone,” Trump said, noting that law enforcement unions have been endorsing him.Biden pushed backed accusing Trump of racism.
 
“I was raised in the suburbs. This is not the 1950s. All these dog whistles and racism don’t work anymore. The suburbs are by and large integrated,” Biden said. Trump wants to “rile everybody up. He doesn’t want to calm things down. I’m saying let’s get everybody together, figure out how to deal with this. What he’s doing, he just pours gasoline on the fire constantly at every single solitary time,” Biden said.

US Presidential debate live: Coronavirus and the economy

Trump accused Biden of wanting to shut down the country to deal with the pandemic and said states should reopen. “People know what to do, they can social distance they can wear masks they can do whatever they want. We have got to open these states,” Trump said. “This guy will shut down the whole country,” Trump said.
 
“He’s going to be the first president of the United States to leave office having fewer jobs than when he first got elected,” Biden said. “You can’t fix the economy until you fix the COVID crisis,” Biden said.
 
As Trump interrupted Biden shot back: “You’re the worst president the country has ever had.”

Joe wants to shut down this Country. I want to keep it OPEN!, tweets Trump

US Presidential debate live: Trump says COVID response would have been worse under Biden

Biden cites the stats, slams Trump for saying “It is what is.”
 
“It is what it is because you are who you are. That’s why it is. The president has no plan.”
 
Trump responds: “If we would have listened to you the country would have been left wide open. Millions of people would have died not 200 thousand. One is too many.”

US Presidential debate live: Trump questioned the effectiveness of masks as a means of mitigating the spread of coronavirus

Biden noted health experts have said 100,000 lives could be saved over the next few months, if Americans consistently wear masks and practice social distancing.

“There’s nothing smart about you, Joe,” Trump said during Presidential debate

After Biden criticized Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the president replied by insulting his opponent’s intelligence.
 
“There’s nothing smart about you, Joe,” Trump said.

US Presidential debate live: Moderator Wallace stands up to Trump

As Trump attempted to cut off the debate’s moderator, Chris Wallace, Wallace said: “I am the moderator of this debate and I would like to ask my question.”
 
Trump shot back, “I guess I’m debating you not him.”

US election 2020 LIVE updates: First question to Trump is on the supreme court

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked about the supreme court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett.

Trump justified advancing the nomination by saying “elections have consequences,” referring to his White House victory in 2016, and by pledging Barrett would be “as good as anybody that has served on that court.”
 
“We won the election, and therefore we have the right to choose her,” Trump said.
 
Biden responded by saying the results of the upcoming election should determine who nominates the justice to fill the seat of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
 
“We should wait and see what the outcome of this election is,” Biden said.

Market update: Asian markets dip as investors brace for US presidential debate

Asian shares slipped and the dollar was under pressure on Wednesday in the lead up to the first U.S. presidential debate, as financial markets looked to take a measure of both candidates.
 
The first face-off between Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, set to begin at 0100 GMT, is seen by some political analysts as Trump's best chance to upend a race where he has consistently lagged in opinion polls.
 
Gains for Trump in the debate could lift otherwise cautious market sentiment, said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at broker CMC Markets in Sydney.
 
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> edged down 0.1% in early trade. It is headed for a monthly drop of 3.3%, the largest fall since March.
 
Japan's Nikkei <.N225> was down 0.2% and Australia's ASX 200 <.AXJO> fell 1.3%, while markets in Seoul <.KS11> rose 0.8%.

US election 2020 LIVE updates: Trump and Biden take stage in first presidential debate

The first 2020 presidential debate has started. The candidates will not have opening statements, and President Trump will receive the first question from the moderator.
 

US election 2020 LIVE updates: Trump family members, including Ivanka Trump, and Jill Biden have now taken their seats in the Samson Pavilion

Trump family members, including Ivanka Trump, and Jill Biden have now taken their seats in the Samson Pavilion, with the first question just moments away.
 

Amid late night cremation, Hathras rape victim’s family says cops didn’t let them bring body home

The body of the 19-year-old Dalit woman who was raped and murdered, allegedly by four upper caste men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, was cremated a little after 3 am Wednesday — with her family saying police had forcibly performed the last rites late at night even though they wanted to bring her body home one last time.
 
“It appears that my sister has been cremated; the police are not telling us anything. We begged them to let us bring her body inside the house one last time, but they didn’t listen to us,” the woman’s brother told The Indian Express at 3.30 am Wednesday.

US election 2020: Trump and Biden to face-off in first presidential debate

 US President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are set to square off today (local time) in Cleveland for their first of three debates -- a socially distanced affair in which the candidates won't shake hands.
 
Both the candidates will debate over several topics such as the Supreme Court, coronavirus, economy, race and violence, records of Trump and Biden, and the election's integrity.

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