LIVE: Pranab Mukherjee was a towering statesman, says PM Modi

FILE PIC: Former President Pranab Mukherjee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Photo: @narendramodi
Former President Pranab Mukherjee died on Monday in Delhi’s Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) Hospital, where he had been admitted a few days ago for a brain surgery. He was 84. Mukherjee had tested positive for the coronavirus disease before undergoing a successful surgery to remove a brain clot.

Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan said on Monday that he will submit the token fine of Re 1 imposed by the Supreme Court in the contempt case for his tweets against the judiciary, but also indicated he would file a review plea against the order. Bhushan said he has the greatest respect for the institution of the Supreme Court and judiciary and his tweets were not intended to disrespect the apex court.

"While I reserve the right to seek a review of the conviction and sentencing, by way of an appropriate legal remedy, I propose to submit myself to this order and will respectfully pay the fine, just as I would have submitted to any other lawful punishment," he said hours after the top court imposed the fine.

The Chinese troops 'carried out provocative military movements in Eastern Ladakh to change the status quo' but they were blocked by Indian soldiers, the government said today. The incidents took place in the between August 29-30 night.

 
Stay tuned for the latest news of the day

2:36 AM IST Reliance Retail may rationalise the workforce that will be added following the acquisition of the Future group's retail, logistics, warehousing and wholesale assets in a near Rs 25,000-crore transaction. Read more

2:34 AM IST The stress on revenue resources due to Covid-19 continued showing on the Centre’s books. For April-July, the Centre’s fiscal deficit stood at Rs 8.21 trillion, or 103 per cent of 2020-21 budget estimates of 7.96 trillion, compared to 77.8 per cent for the same period last year, official data showed on Monday. In 2019-20, fiscal deficit had crossed 100 per cent of the full year BE by October-end. Read more

2:32 AM IST Biotechnology major Biocon’s subsidiary Biocon Biologics and partner Mylan have launched insulin glargine injection, under the brand name Semglee, in the US market, said the Bengaluru-based company on Monday. Read more

2:31 AM IST In a weak market, the listed stocks of Future Group were the biggest gainers on Monday. The gainers were led by Future Retail (FRL), which was up 20 per cent. Most other stocks hit their upper circuit, gaining 5 per cent each. As part of the deal announced on Saturday, Future Group will be selling its retail assets to Reliance Retail in a deal pegged at Rs 24,713 crore. Read more

2:31 AM IST Zoom Video Communications Inc raised its annual revenue forecast by 30% after comfortably beating quarterly estimates on Monday, as it converts more of its huge free user base to paid subscriptions.   Shares of the company, which have surged almost four-fold this year, rose 5% after the bell. They hit a record high in regular trading.   Video-conferencing platforms, once used mostly as a technological substitute for in-person meetings, became a vital part of day-to-day life this year for people stuck at home under coronavirus restrictions, be it for work, school or socializing.   Zoom, however, has come under fire for its security and privacy shortfalls, prompting many companies and countries to curb the use of the platform. The company said revenue rose 355% to $663.5 million, above analysts' average estimate of $500.5 million.

10:44 PM IST Mumbai: Five persons have been injured after a speeding car ran over them in Crawford Market, earlier today. The injured have been shifted to JJ Hospital. Police team present at the spot. #Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/EGBKD51Hyh — ANI (@ANI) &7

10:42 PM IST The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday predicted heavy to very heavy showers in parts of north, northeast and south India in the next three days, highlighting that the country recorded its highest rainfall in 44 years in the month of August.   Nearly 5,000 people were shifted to safer places in Gujarat's Bharuch and Vadodara districts after flooding in several villages due to rise in level of the Narmada river, while over 3,000 people have been evacuated from Bhandara and Chandrapur districts of Maharashtra's Vidarbha after heavy downpour in neighbouring parts of Madhya Pradesh.   In Delhi the water level of the Yamuna was receding gradually and the river was flowing below the warning mark in Delhi. Light to very light rain and thundershower occurred at isolated places in Uttar Pradesh, and heavy rains were recorded in several parts of Rajasthan.

10:39 PM IST All state government offices in West Bengal will remain closed on Tuesday as a mark of respect to former President Pranab Mukherjee who died in New Delhi, the state Home Department said here.   If his funeral does not take place on Tuesday, the offices will also remain closed on the day when it will happen, the department said on Monday.   The state government also postponed its Police Day programme slated for Tuesday by a week and it will now be held on September 8.   Mukherjee, who hailed from West Bengal, died at Army Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi on Monday at the age of 84.

10:39 PM IST RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday expressed grief over the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee, hailing him as "a great scholar and a patriot" whose loss cannot be compensated.   "India's former President Dr Pranab Mukherjee's passing away is a huge loss for all swayamsevaks who had come in contact with him. I had met him twice when he was President and three to four times afterwards," Bhagwat said in a video message in Hindi.   The very first meeting with him made me forget that I was speaking to President of India due to his humble behaviour.

10:38 PM IST Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday expressed condolences on the demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee and said the country has lost one of its greatest leaders.   Singh said he had learnt a lot from Mukherjee and depended on him a great deal for his wisdom, vast knowledge and experience of public affairs.   "I have learnt with profound sorrow about the passing away of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Former President of India,” he said.   “In his death, our country has lost one of its greatest leaders of Independent India. He and I worked very closely in the government of India and I depended on him a great deal for his wisdom, vast knowledge and experience of public affairs," Singh said in his condolence message.  

10:27 PM IST Raising questions over the accuracy of accounts, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said the budget assumptions of the Assam government were "not realistic" in 2018-19 and various policy initiatives were not fulfilled due to "non-completion" of the preparatory works.   In its audit report on the the state's finances for the year ending March 31, 2019, which was tabled in the Assam Assembly on Monday, the CAG said the government failed to take corrective steps despite the auditor pointing out the lacunae every year.   "Budgetary assumptions of the state government were not realistic during 2018-19 and despite carrying out an elaborate pre-budget exercise to bring about efficiency and transparency in budget formulation and execution, budgetary estimates were off the mark to a considerable extent," it said.   Considering the state's overall budget of Rs 1,08,490 crore, the auditor also said that the control over execution and monitoring was inadequate.   "Significant policy initiatives of the government were not fulfilled during the year due to non-completion of the preparatory activities relating to these initiatives," the CAG said.   On the quality of accounts and financial reporting practices, the CAG said booking of an expenditure of Rs 14,879 crore under omnibus Minor Head 800 - Other Expenditure affected transparency and accuracy in financial reporting.  

10:18 PM IST BJP used drug, cricket betting and other illegal money to destabilise coalition govt in the state. I took strong action against drug mafia when I was CM. I wasn't aware of drug mafia when I was producing movies: HD Kumar Swamy, former Karnataka CM and JDS leader pic.twitter.com/Q7Vqn8b0ZM — ANI (@ANI) &7

LIVE UPDATES

Reliance Retail likely to cut down on back-end staff after Future deal

Reliance Retail may rationalise the workforce that will be added following the acquisition of the Future group's retail, logistics, warehousing and wholesale assets in a near Rs 25,000-crore transaction. Read more


At Rs 8.21 trn, April-July fiscal deficit exceeds FY21 budget estimates

The stress on revenue resources due to Covid-19 continued showing on the Centre’s books. For April-July, the Centre’s fiscal deficit stood at Rs 8.21 trillion, or 103 per cent of 2020-21 budget estimates of 7.96 trillion, compared to 77.8 per cent for the same period last year, official data showed on Monday. In 2019-20, fiscal deficit had crossed 100 per cent of the full year BE by October-end. Read more

Biocon-Mylan launch insulin Glargine at lowest price in US market

Biotechnology major Biocon’s subsidiary Biocon Biologics and partner Mylan have launched insulin glargine injection, under the brand name Semglee, in the US market, said the Bengaluru-based company on Monday. Read more

Ambani-Biyani deal: Retail arm leads Future firms' rally on bourses

In a weak market, the listed stocks of Future Group were the biggest gainers on Monday. The gainers were led by Future Retail (FRL), which was up 20 per cent. Most other stocks hit their upper circuit, gaining 5 per cent each. As part of the deal announced on Saturday, Future Group will be selling its retail assets to Reliance Retail in a deal pegged at Rs 24,713 crore. Read more

Zoom raises annual revenue target on remote work boost

Zoom Video Communications Inc raised its annual revenue forecast by 30% after comfortably beating quarterly estimates on Monday, as it converts more of its huge free user base to paid subscriptions.
 
Shares of the company, which have surged almost four-fold this year, rose 5% after the bell. They hit a record high in regular trading.
 
Video-conferencing platforms, once used mostly as a technological substitute for in-person meetings, became a vital part of day-to-day life this year for people stuck at home under coronavirus restrictions, be it for work, school or socializing.
 
Zoom, however, has come under fire for its security and privacy shortfalls, prompting many companies and countries to curb the use of the platform.
The company said revenue rose 355% to $663.5 million, above analysts' average estimate of $500.5 million.


Five persons injured after speeding car ran over them in Mumbai's Crawford Market

India received 27% more rainfall this August; heavy downpour likely in next 3 days

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday predicted heavy to very heavy showers in parts of north, northeast and south India in the next three days, highlighting that the country recorded its highest rainfall in 44 years in the month of August.
 
Nearly 5,000 people were shifted to safer places in Gujarat's Bharuch and Vadodara districts after flooding in several villages due to rise in level of the Narmada river, while over 3,000 people have been evacuated from Bhandara and Chandrapur districts of Maharashtra's Vidarbha after heavy downpour in neighbouring parts of Madhya Pradesh.
 
In Delhi the water level of the Yamuna was receding gradually and the river was flowing below the warning mark in Delhi. Light to very light rain and thundershower occurred at isolated places in Uttar Pradesh, and heavy rains were recorded in several parts of Rajasthan.


Bengal govt offices will remain closed on Tuesday to show respect to Mukherjee

All state government offices in West Bengal will remain closed on Tuesday as a mark of respect to former President Pranab Mukherjee who died in New Delhi, the state Home Department said here.
 
If his funeral does not take place on Tuesday, the offices will also remain closed on the day when it will happen, the department said on Monday.
 
The state government also postponed its Police Day programme slated for Tuesday by a week and it will now be held on September 8.
 
Mukherjee, who hailed from West Bengal, died at Army Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi on Monday at the age of 84.

Country has lost one of its greatest leaders: Manmohan Singh on Mukherjee

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday expressed grief over the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee, hailing him as "a great scholar and a patriot" whose loss cannot be compensated.
 
"India's former President Dr Pranab Mukherjee's passing away is a huge loss for all swayamsevaks who had come in contact with him. I had met him twice when he was President and three to four times afterwards," Bhagwat said in a video message in Hindi.
 
The very first meeting with him made me forget that I was speaking to President of India due to his humble behaviour.

Country has lost one of its greatest leaders: Manmohan Singh on Mukherjee

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday expressed condolences on the demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee and said the country has lost one of its greatest leaders.
 
Singh said he had learnt a lot from Mukherjee and depended on him a great deal for his wisdom, vast knowledge and experience of public affairs.
 
"I have learnt with profound sorrow about the passing away of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Former President of India,” he said.
 
“In his death, our country has lost one of its greatest leaders of Independent India. He and I worked very closely in the government of India and I depended on him a great deal for his wisdom, vast knowledge and experience of public affairs," Singh said in his condolence message.



 

CAG questions Assam govt's financial practices, doubts accuracy of accounts

Raising questions over the accuracy of accounts, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said the budget assumptions of the Assam government were "not realistic" in 2018-19 and various policy initiatives were not fulfilled due to "non-completion" of the preparatory works.
 
In its audit report on the the state's finances for the year ending March 31, 2019, which was tabled in the Assam Assembly on Monday, the CAG said the government failed to take corrective steps despite the auditor pointing out the lacunae every year.
 
"Budgetary assumptions of the state government were not realistic during 2018-19 and despite carrying out an elaborate pre-budget exercise to bring about efficiency and transparency in budget formulation and execution, budgetary estimates were off the mark to a considerable extent," it said.
 
Considering the state's overall budget of Rs 1,08,490 crore, the auditor also said that the control over execution and monitoring was inadequate.
 
"Significant policy initiatives of the government were not fulfilled during the year due to non-completion of the preparatory activities relating to these initiatives," the CAG said.
 
On the quality of accounts and financial reporting practices, the CAG said booking of an expenditure of Rs 14,879 crore under omnibus Minor Head 800 - Other Expenditure affected transparency and accuracy in financial reporting.
 

BJP used drug, cricket betting and other illegal money to destabilise coalition govt: HD Kumaraswamy

Pence describes President Trump and PM Modi as 'larger than life figures'

US Vice President Mike Pence on Monday described President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “larger than life figures” and credited the two top leaders for strengthening the strategic bilateral ties.
 
“When you think about the US and India, you think about two strongest democracies in the world, the shared values,” Pence said during a virtual event on the US-India organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), a non-profit organisation.
 
He credited Prime Minister Modi and President Trump for strengthening the bilateral ties and said the relationship between India and the US has never been so strong, but the best is yet to come.
 
"So much of the strong India-US ties is a result of the relationship that President Trump and Prime Minister Modi have forged. They are both larger than life figures. People know where they stand. They have great aspirations,” Pence said.
 

JEE-NEET: Railways allows students, guardians appearing for exams to travel by special suburban services in Mumbai, says Goyal

JEE-NEET exams: Lockdown will not be applicable to students, parents in Rajasthan

Bangladesh President, PM mourn Pranab Mukherjee's demise

Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have expressed sorrow over the demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee, describing him as a "true friend" and recalling his “outstanding and unforgettable” contributions to the country's 1971 Liberation War.
 
Mukherjee, a veteran politician, died on Monday evening following a 21-day battle with multiple ailments. He was 84.
 
"His demise has caused an irreparable loss to the political arena of the sub-continent," Hamid said, describing Mukherjee as a "real and sincere friend" of Bangladesh.
 
He said Mukherjee played a crucial role in mobilising international support for Bangladesh's 1971 independence which "quickened our victory".
Hasina also called Mukherjee a “true friend” of Bangladesh and a guardian-like figure to her family.
 
“The news of Mr Pranab Mukherjee's demise deeply saddened her . . . she became emotional and nostalgic as she reminisced her many memories with him,” state-run BSS reported quoting the premier's press secretary Ihsanul Karim.
 
Hasina, she said, also recalled Mukherjee's “outstanding and unforgettable” contributions to the country's 1971 Liberation War.
 
“I always recall with profound respect his invaluable contributions to our Liberation War,” she said.
 
Hasina said Mukherjee always extended her cooperation to her family while they were in exile in India after the assassination of her father and Bangladesh's founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 along with most of his family members. 

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina | Wikimedia Commons

 

Nitin Gadkari to inaugurate, lay foundation stone of 11 highway projects in UP

Union minister Nitin Gadkari will lay foundation stone of and inaugurate 11 highway projects worth Rs 4,300 crore in Uttar Pradesh on September 1, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry said on Monday.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will preside over the virtual function, to be attended by Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V K Singh, Deputy Chief Minister of UP Keshav Prasad Maurya and Ministers from the State, several MPs, MLAs and senior officers from the Centre and the state.
 
These projects will pave way for faster development of the state ensuring better connectivity, the Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.
 
"These projects for inauguration and foundation laying carry a road length of 363 kilometres, involving construction value of Rs 4,281 crore. Paving the way for development of Uttar Pradesh, these roads will enhance better connectivity, convenience and economic growth in and around the state," the statement said. READ MORE...

Pranab Mukherjee contributed much to the US-India relationship: Ken Juster

Govt announces 7-day state mourning on ex-Prez Pranab Mukherjee's death

The government on Monday announced a seven-day state mourning following the death of former president Pranab Mukherjee.
 
In a statement, the home ministry said that as a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, state mourning will be observed for seven days throughout India from August 31 to September 6, both days inclusive.
 
"During the period of state mourning, the national flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings throughout India, where it is flown regularly, and there will be no official entertainment," the statement said. The date, time and venue of the state funeral will be intimated later, it said. Mukherjee passed away at Army Research and Referral Hospital here on Monday at the age of 84.

Latest News LIVE: Ola, Uber in Delhi-NCR to go on strike from Tuesday

Cab aggregators Ola and Uber in Delhi-NCR will be on a strike from Tuesday demanding extension of the moratorium on loan repayment and a hike in fare in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a PTI report. Around 200,000 drivers of the cab services have given the strike call as their appeals have not led to any action by the government, said Kamaljeet Singh Gill, the president of Sarvodaya Drivers Association of Delhi.
 
"Due to the acute financial crisis caused by lockdown, drivers are unable to pay their EMIs. The moratorium of loan repayment ended today and the banks are already putting pressure on us. Drivers are scared that banks will tow away their vehicles for not paying EMIs," Gill said.
 
The cab drivers have also demanded that fare be hiked and commission increased by Ola and Uber. Gill said the fare should be fixed by the government instead of the cab aggregators.

China's relation with Pakistan goes back to early 60s, says EAM S Jaishankar

Punjab rejects options on GST compensation, seeks rethink

Rejecting the two options offered by the Centre for GST compensation to the states, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal on Monday asked Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to reconsider the decision, according to an IANS report.
 
Terming the decision a "clear breach of the solemn and constitutional assurance", he, in a letter to Sitharaman, said it would be considered a betrayal of the spirit of cooperative federalism that formed the backbone of Goods and Services Tax (GST) journey so far.
 
Punjab would like full clarity on each of these issues and that the matter is once again placed on the agenda in the next meeting of the GST Council, he said. Manpreet Badal also suggested constituting a Group of Ministers to deliberate on the matter and make recommendations in a time-bound period of 10 days.

BKT Tires announces collaboration with six franchises for IPL 2020

Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT Tires), the Indian multinational group and global player in the off-highway tire market, has announced that it will be sponsoring six teams -- Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals -- in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020).
 
"Cricket is a very popular sport in India. Everyone loves the game and we at BKT are unstoppable when it is about sport. We are pleased and excited to be a part of an event that is much followed in our home country," Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director of BKT, said. READ MORE...

Kerala rejects Govt's proposal of borrowing by states to meet GST shortfall

Kerala will reject "lock, stock and barrel" the Centre's proposal of borrowing by states to meet GST revenue shortfall, state finance minister Thomas Isaac said on Monday.
 
The Centre and opposition-ruled states like Punjab, Kerala, Delhi and West Bengal, are at loggerheads over the financing of the Rs 2.35 lakh crore Goods and Services Tax (GST) shortfall in the current fiscal. Of this, about Rs 97,000 crore is on account of GST implementation and rest Rs 1.38 lakh crore is the impact of COVID on states' revenues.
 
The Centre last week gave two options to the states to borrow either from a special window facilitated by the RBI or from market and has also proposed extending the compensation cess levied on luxury, demerit and sin goods beyond 2022. READ MORE...

JEE, NEET exams: IIT students, alumni help candidates hitch ride to centres

With several JEE and NEET aspirants facing difficulty in reaching their exam centres amid the Covid pandemic and heavy rains leading to flooding in certain parts of the country, students and alumni from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have come up with a solution.
 
IIT students and alumni from the likes of IIT Delhi Alumni Association (IITDAA), IIT Bombay and IIT Madras have come together to launch a user-friendly transport portal called www.eduride.in, which offers transportation facility for joint entrance examination (JEE) Main and Advance as well as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2020 candidates. READ MORE...

Delhi govt warns private schools against charging beyond tuition fees till schools reopen

The Delhi government has warned private schools against collecting additional charges other than tuition fee and also asked them not to raise the fees till schools reopen, according to a PTI report. The government has warned that the defaulter schools will be penalized as per Delhi School Education Act and Rules, 1973.
 
in a letter to school principals, Education Department Director Udit Prakash Raj said such act of schools is not only in a clear violation of directions issued earlier but also an inhumane act on their part keeping in view the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic conditions and long closure of schools.
 
"These schools are run by trust and charitable societies, hence, as per their Memorandum of Article, are supposed always to keep in mind the charity and providing of education to the students without indulging in profiteering, he said.

Defence Ministry inks Rs 2,580-crore deal to procure Pinaka rocket launchers

The defence ministry on Monday sealed a deal with two leading domestic defence majors to procure Pinaka rocket launchers for six Army regiments at a cost of Rs 2,580 crore, news agency PTI reported. They said the Pinaka regiments will be deployed along India's border with China and Pakistan to further enhance operational preparedness of the armed forces.
 
The contract has been signed with Tata Power Company Ltd (TPCL) and engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) while defence public sector undertaking Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) will also be part of the project.
 
The BEML will supply the vehicles on which the rocket launchers will be mounted.

Chinese military says it strongly demands India withdraw its troops from China-India border to avoid escalation of tension

Rahul Gandhi grieves the passing away of former president Pranab Mukherjee

Security forces bust plan of Lashkar-e-Taiba to revive its network in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district

Pranab Mukherjee: A man for all seasons

It was hot, that evening of May 22, 2004, a day before the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was to be sworn in. This was the first major tryst of the Congress with coalition politics in New Delhi. As television channels were going wild speculating about portfolios, Pranab Mukherjee was sitting quietly in his small study in his Talkatora Road residence, going through various reports on the functioning of the Union home ministry; a few friends had told him that in a few hours he would be India’s Union home minister. Kashmir had seen a terror attack and some news channels —confident that they were interviewing the next home minister — even aired some comments from Mukherjee on the attack.
 
Late in the evening, as those channels flashed the portfolios of the new ministers in Manmohan Singh’s council, against Mukherjee’s name the legend said: Defence minister. There was an air of disbelief at Talkatora Road. His close aides, under the mistaken impression that the defence ministry was a notch lower than the home ministry, were both shocked and indignant. READ MORE...

 

Core sector output shrinks for fifth straight month in July, down 9.6%

The fall in the output of the eight core sectors of the economy further slowed in July as the economy reopened, but the year-on-year decline was still 9.6 per cent as industry battled demand slump, an acute liquidity crisis and labour shortages in the aftermath of the nationwide lockdown. In June, the core sector output had plunged 12.9 per cent.
 
Pace of contraction had reduced during the previous three months after crashing by 36 per cent in April. However, the updated figures released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry on Monday showed seven of the eight core sectors continued to contract in July, the third straight month of such a development. READ MORE...

India grieves the passing away of Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee: PM Narendra Modi

President Ram Nath Kovind condoles death of former President Pranab Mukherjee

Former President Pranab Mukherjee passes away at 84

Former President Pranab Mukherjee died on Monday in Delhi’s Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) Hospital, where he had been admitted a few days ago for a brain surgery. He was 84. Mukherjee had tested positive for the coronavirus disease before undergoing a successful surgery to remove a brain clot.
 
Mukherjee, President of India from 2012 to 2017, had kept his public interactions minimal since the coronavirus pandemic struck the country in January. He had undergone an angioplasty, a procedure to open blocked or narrowed coronary arteries, at the same hospital in 2014, according to a Hindustan Times report. He had not contested the 2017 Presidential election citing “advanced age and failing health”.
 
Mukherjee was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, last year. READ MORE...

First economic contraction in 4 decades: India's GDP shrinks 23.9% in Q1, FY21

India’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 23.9 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2020-21 from that in the same quarter last financial year, showed official data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) on Monday. This was mainly on account of limited economic activity in the country during the quarter amid lockdowns to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
This is the first instance of an economic contraction for the country in at least four decades, and also the first GDP decline since India began publishing quarterly numbers in 1996. In the January-March quarter of this year, the economy had grown by 3.1 per cent year-on-year — the lowest rate in over 17 years — and by 5.2 per cent in the June quarter of 2019-20. The rate of India's GDP growth had declined from 6.1 per cent in FY19 to 4.2 per cent in FY20, the slowest in 11 years. READ MORE...

Home Minister Amit Shah condoles death of former President Pranab Mukherjee

BREAKING: Former President Pranab Mukherjee passes away, announces his son Abhijit Mukherjee

Will pay fine to SC, reserve right to file review plea against judgement in contempt case: Prashant Bhushan

Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan said on Monday that he will submit the token fine of Re 1 imposed by the Supreme Court in the contempt case for his tweets against the judiciary, but also indicated he would file a review plea against the order. Bhushan said he has the greatest respect for the institution of the Supreme Court and judiciary and his tweets were not intended to disrespect the apex court, according to a PTI report.
 
"While I reserve the right to seek a review of the conviction and sentencing, by way of an appropriate legal remedy, I propose to submit myself to this order and will respectfully pay the fine, just as I would have submitted to any other lawful punishment," he said hours after the top court imposed the fine.
 
"I have had the greatest respect for the institution of the Supreme Court. I have always believed it to be the last bastion of hope, particularly for the weak and the oppressed who knock at its door for the protection of their rights, often against a powerful executive," Bhushan said at a press conference by CJAR (Campaign for Judicial Accountability & Reforms) and Swaraj Abhiyan.
 
He said the tweets were not intended in any way to disrespect the Supreme Court or the judiciary as a whole, but were merely meant to express his anguish which he felt, "was a deviation from its sterling past record".
 
The issue was never about "me versus the Judges, much less about me versus the Supreme Court", he said.

Will pay fine; reserve right to file review plea against judgment: Prashant Bhushan

Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan said on Monday that he will submit the token fine of Re 1 imposed by the Supreme Court in the contempt case for his tweets against the judiciary, but also indicated he would file a review plea against the order.
 
Bhushan said he has the greatest respect for judiciary and the tweets were not intended to disrespect the apex court or the judiciary.
 
"I reserve my right to file review, I propose to submit and pay fine as directed by the court," Bhushan said in a press conference. 

Several low lying areas of Gujarat's Bharuch flooded after release of water from Sardar Sarovar Dam

Around 5,500 candidates will be appearing in NEET and JEE examinations in Goa: CM Promod Sawant

Centre staff make preparations for JEE Main in Ranchi, Jharkhand

Staff made preparations to ensure the necessary Covid-19 protection protocols for conducting Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Main 2020 from September 1 to 6 at an exam centre in Ranchi, Jharkhand, according to an ANI report.
 
The centre staff ensured measures such as maintaining social distancing norms, use of hand sanitisers and thermal screening. The centre staff also made white marks on the paths outside the exam centres to ensure that students maintain social distancing at all times. Posters were put across the centre listing health measures such as washing hands, use of masks, and social distancing, according to an ANI report.

Terrorists hurled a grenade on Army Convoy moving from Baramulla towards Srinagar: Indian Army

LIVE: My tweets were not intended to disrespect Supreme Court, says Prashant Bhushan

What to expect from Q1 GDP data today? Here's what key indicators suggest

Months after the coronavirus induced lockdown and the follow up unlock, GDP data likely to be released later today will paint the extent of damage to the economy and give an idea of the critical course correction required. High labour migration, job losses, and poor investment atmosphere is likely to push the already slowed economy into a tight corner.
 
Economists project GDP might contract 19.2 per cent in the April-June quarter from a year ago, the sharpest decline since the nation started publishing quarterly figures in 1996. The rate of India's FY20 GDP growth had declined to 4.2 per cent from 6.1 per cent in FY19, the slowest in the past 11 years.

SC seeks Tamil Nadu govt's response on plea seeking to reopen Sterlite plant

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu Government on an appeal filed by mining giant Vedanta Limited against the Madras High Court order refusing to allow reopening of Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi, according to an ANI report.
 
A bench, headed by Justice Rohinton Nariman, sought the response of Tamil Nadu Government on the matter and posted the matter for hearing after four weeks.
 
The Madras High Court had, on August 18, refused to allow the reopening of Sterlite copper smelting plant in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi, which has remained closed since April 2018 and disposed of the plea filed by Vedanta challenging the closure of the plant.

Indian Army jawans rescued 39 people from Gondpipari and Ambhora village of Nagpur today

Heavy rains continue in Gujarat's Bharuch and Vadodara districts, 5,000 shifted to safer places

Nearly 5,000 people were shifted to safer places in Gujarat's Bharuch and Vadodara districts after flooding in several villages there due to rise in level of the Narmada river as heavy rains continued in various parts of the state, according to a PTI report on Monday.
 
Due to continuous inflow of water from upstream in the Sardar Sarovar Dam over the Narmada near Kevadia village, 9.86 lakh cusec (cubic foot per second) water is being released in the river by opening 23 out of its 30 radial gates, an official release said.
 
The water level of the dam has reached 132.63 metres as against its full reservoir level of 138.68 metres, it said.

Eight core industries' output contracts 9.6% in July

Contracting for the fifth consecutive month, the output of eight core infrastructure sectors dropped by 9.6 per cent in July due to decline mostly in production of steel, refinery products and cement. The production of eight core sectors had expanded by 2.6 per cent in July 2019, data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry on Monday showed.
 
Barring fertiliser, all seven sectors -- coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement and electricity -- recorded negative growth in July. The output of steel, refinery products, cement, natural gas, coal, crude oil and electricity declined by 16.5 per cent, 13.9 per cent, 13.5 per cent, 10.2 per cent, 5.7 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively.

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan met flood-affected people in Hoshangabad; distributed relief material

Enforcement Directorate questions suspended AAP leader Tahir Hussain in Delhi riots case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday brought suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain for questioning from Tihar jail in connection with its probe into the northeast Delhi riots and the Tablighi Jamaat case, according to an IANS report. According to top ED officials, Hussain was brought from Tihar jail to the agency's headquarters in south Delhi's Khan Market area for questioning in connection with its ongoing money laundering probe into the northeast Delhi riots in February this year.
 
The official said that Hussain will also be questioned about funding for the Delhi riots. The official added that he is also being questioned about which hawala operators he was in touch with to collect the money for the riots. He will also be interrogated about his relations with Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad.

Health Minister Harsha Vardhan inaugurates Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences in Karnataka

Eight infrastructure sectors' output contracts 9.6 per cent in July: Govt data

Department of Telecommunications nod for Rs 25,000-crore RJio-Brookfield tower deal

The Department of Telecommunications has approved the Rs 25,215 crore deal between Reliance Jio and Brookfield Infrastructure. A SEBI filing said: "The DoT through its letter dated August 11, 2020 has approved Rs 1,053.50 million downstream foreign investment for acquisition of the remaining 49 per cent of the paid-up equity share capital of Tower Co. from RIL by the Trust."
 
Further, the department has also approved the increase in foreign investment in Tower Co. to 100 per cent of the paid-up equity share capital, according to an IANS report.
 
In December last year, Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) entered into an agreement under which it will receive Rs 25,215 crore investment by Canadian entity Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners in its tower infrastructure trust. As per the deal at the closing of the transaction, the trust will own 100 per cent of the issued and paid up equity share capital of Reliance Jio lnfratel Private Limited (RJIPL).

Latest News LIVE: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan surveys flood-affected areas

US to provide military assistance if China attacks in South China Sea: Philippines

In a strong message to China, the Philippines have made it clear that it would turn to the US for military help during ongoing flare-ups between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea, news agency ANI reported.
 
Philippines Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said Manila would invoke its defence agreement with the US if China attacks its naval vessels in the disputed waters. "If something happens that is beyond incursion but is, in fact, an attack on say a Filipino naval vessel.....means then I call up Washington DC," he added.
 
Since 1951, the US and the Philippines have had a Mutual Defence Treaty that commits them to support each other in the event if either is attacked.

Latest News LIVE update: Sensex, Nifty slide on border tensions with China

Indian shares fell sharply on Monday afternoon, as a fresh flare-up on the disputed border between India and China wiped all gains that stemmed from optimism around the latest government directives to open up the country's economy further, news agency Reuters reported. The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index dropped 2.03% to 11,411.05 by 0815 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex slid 1.92% to 38,710.37. Both indexes had climbed more than 1% earlier in the session.
 
India said it had foiled an attempt by Chinese troops to change the status quo on the ill-defined border between the two nuclear-armed countries.
 

Days before fresh transgression attempt, China redeployed J-20 fighter jets near Ladakh

Days before the Chinese Army tried to carry out fresh transgressions near the Southern bank of Pangong Tso lake, the People's Liberation Army's Air Force (PLAAF) redeployed its J-20 fifth-generation fighter aircraft near Ladakh for operational deployment and they are still carrying out extensive flying there.
 
On the intervening night of August 29-30, the Indian Army noticed the movement of Chinese troops and thwarted an attempt by them to transgress into new areas near the southern bank of the Pangong Tso lake east of Chushul in Ladakh area.
 
"The J-20 has been deployed by the PLAAF at the Hotan air base and they have been flying close to the Indian territory near Ladakh and adjoining areas. The deployment of strategic bomber aircraft is also still on by the Chinese," government sources told ANI.
 

Landslides block Jammu and Kashmir highway, 300 vehicles stranded

Landslides and mudslides triggered by heavy rains blocked the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway at several places in Ramban district on Monday, officials said. Over 300 vehicles were stranded at several places on the highway, the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, according to a PTI report.
 
The men and machines of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) have started clearance of the landslides to restore the traffic on the highway, they said. However, the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh road, which connects UTs of J-K and Ladakh, is open for traffic.

Supreme Court slaps Re 1 fine on Prashant Bhushan for committing contempt

The Supreme Court on Monday slapped Re 1 fine on senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan in connection with a suo motu criminal contempt of court case over his tweets. A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, said that Bhushan should be barred from practicing law for a period of three years and imprisoned for three months if he defaults on paying the fine, according to an ANI report.
 
The bench said that the court's decisions cannot be influenced by the publications or opinions in the media and noted that Bhushan's statements to the press even before they were considered by this court was to influence the proceedings. Freedom of expression is there but the rights of others should also be respected, the bench said.
 
Also noting that the press conference by four Supreme Court judges in January 2018 was wrong, the bench said, "judges are not supposed to hold a press conference".

Japan mulls picking new Prime Minister on September 17 to succeed Abe

Japan is considering to hold an extraordinary parliamentary session on September 17 to pick the country's new Prime Minister to succeed Shinzo Abe, local media reported on Sunday.
 
According to public broadcaster NHK, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is expected to decide when and how to choose its next leader in a General Council meeting on September 1.
 
Meanwhile, LDP top officials are making final arrangements to have its members in both houses of the Diet meet around September 13-15 to choose the party's president. Then, the party plans to call an extraordinary parliamentary session to elect the new prime minister on September 17, according to the report. Read on...

Another MLA in Odisha tests positive for coronavirus; total reaches 13

BJD MLA Byomakesh Ray on Monday tested positive for Covid-19, raising the number of lawmakers infected with coronavirus in Odisha to 13.
 
Taking to Facebook, the Chandbali MLA expressed regret for not being able to serve the flood-hit people of his constituency.
 
"Tested Covid positive. Requesting all those who have got close contact with me to be cautious and isolate themselves. With the blessings of God I am stable now. Feeling Very sad not to be able to serve the flood affected people of Chandabali," he posted on Facebook. Read on...

Telangana coronavirus update: State reports 1,873 new cases; toll at 827

Telangana reported 1,873 new Covid-19 cases, taking the overall tally to 1,24,963 while nine more deaths pushed the toll to 827.
 
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 360, followed by Karimnagar (180), Rangareddy (129) and Khammam (103) districts, a government bulletin said on Monday, providing data as of 8 pm on August 30. Read on...

Nepal reports record high single-day coronavirus cases, deaths

Nepal has reported a record high increase in the number of single-day coronavirus cases and deaths, according to the Health Ministry.
 
"A total of 14 persons died in the last 24 hours taking the total number of deaths from the pandemic to 221," Xinhua news agency quoted Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Population, as saying at a press conference on Sunday.
 
The last highest fatality was observed on Saturday and Friday when the Nepali government reported 12 deaths each day.
 
On May 16, Nepal reported the first coronavirus death -- a 29-year-old woman.
 
Until July 21 since the first death, Nepal reported a total of 40 fatalities.

Arunachal Pradesh coronvirus update: Biggest one-day spike of 157 cases

Arunachal Pradesh reported its highest single-day spike of 157 Covid-19 cases, which pushed the tally in the northeastern state to 4,034 on Monday, a senior official here said.
 
Barring 13, all new patients are asymptomatic.
 
"Eight army men, 25 paramilitary personnel, 52 state police personnel and 23 firefighters are among the new patients," State Surveillance Officer Dr L Jampa said. Read on...

BengaluruL Congress workers protest against Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over India's current state of the economy

Srinagar-Leh highway closed for civilians after fresh India-China face-off in Ladakh

The Srinagar-Leh highway has been closed for the civilians in view of the fresh "provocative" military movements by the Chinese troops on the intervening night of August 29-30 in eastern Ladakh. The Srinagar-Leh highway has been closed for the civilians with immediate effect. The road will remain open only for the defence forces and vehicles.
In the matter also, we not only have an opportunity but also directly and indirectly persuaded the contemnor to express regret. This was not heeded to by the contemnor and he gave wide publicity to his statments, says SC according to Live Law

Prashant Bhushan Contempt case: We have considered the sane advise given by the Attorney General, says SC

"We have considered the sane advise given by the Attorney General, and have concluded that the conduct of present contemnor also needs to be taken into consideration" : SC

Prashant Bhushan Contempt case: Judges are not supposed to go to press, says Justice Misra

Judges are not supposed to go to press. Therefore it is not permissible to rely on what is said by judges outside the court : Justice Arun Mishra.

Adani Group acquires 74 per cent stake in Mumbai International Airport

Gautam Adani-led Adani Group has acquired 74 per cent stake in Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) that operates India’s second largest airport in Mumbai.
 
Under the transaction Adani Group will acquire 50.5 per cent stake of GVK group. Additionally, Adani will also acquire 23.5 per cent stake of minority partners Airport Company of South Africa (ACSA) and Bidvest. ACSA and Bidvest hold 10 and 13.5 per cent stake respectively in MIAL. Read on...

Goa coronavirus update: State reports 451 new Covid cases; tally at 17,004

A total of 451 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Goa on Saturday taking the total count of cases in the state to 17,004.
 
The total count includes 3,635 active COVID-19 cases, 13,186 cases of recoveries from the viral infection, and 183 deaths due to Coronavirus.
 
 
Meanwhile, India's COVID-19 case tally crossed the 35-lakh mark with a spike of 78,761 new cases and 948 deaths in the last 24 hours, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.

Prashant Bhushan contempt case: 122 law students appeal SC to reconsider judgment

Around 122 law students from across the country have written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and other judges of the Supreme Court to reconsider the judgment on senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan in the contempt of court case.
 
The Supreme Court had earlier this month held Bhushan guilty of contempt of court over his tweets and reserved its order on the quantum of punishment. The apex court is scheduled to pronounce the sentence today.

Coronavirus fallout: Once fastest-growing large economy, India faces steepest quarterly slump

Once the world’s fastest-growing major economy, India is set to post the steepest quarterly decline in gross domestic product in Asia as it quickly becomes the global hotspot for coronavirus infections.
 
With more than 65,000 new infections a day and total cases topping 3 million in a country of 1.3 billion, India’s road to recovery appears a long and hard one. A mix of monetary and fiscal measures to prop up the economy have fallen short, leaving millions jobless and destitute, and businesses on the brink of bankruptcy. Read on...

SC to issue order today in Vijay Mallya's plea seeking review of 2017 order holding him guilty of contempt

The Supreme Court on Monday will pronounce its verdict on a plea filed by fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya seeking a review of its May 2017 order holding him guilty of contempt for transferring USD 40 million to his children in violation of the court's order.
 
A bench of Justice UU Lalit and Justice Ashok Bhushan will pronounce the order judgment on August 31.
 
It had reserved the order in the case on August 27 after hearing parties in the case. Mallya is an accused in a bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines and is presently in the United Kingdom.

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