Centre responds to downturn with steps to boost growth
The government came out on the front foot to try to boost private sector sentiments, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing a slew of measures to reduce the burden on the sector, including withdrawing the controversial surcharge on Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) and reiterating the Prime Minister’s statement that the government “respects all wealth creators”.
Ms. Sitharaman told a press conference that the government will not treat corporate social responsibility violations as criminal offences, as it had earlier said.
Coimbatore under security blanket after terror threat
A massive surveillance has been mounted across Tamil Nadu, especially in Coimbatore, following an intelligence input that six suspected terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), including five Tamil Muslims from Sri Lanka and a possible Pakistan national, have intruded into Tamil Nadu.
Coastal areas, too, came under heightened surveillance with the police asking fishermen to tip them off on the movement of suspicious persons.
Capital ranks last in Niti Aayog’s assessment of water management- Jacob Koshy
Delhi has finished at the bottom of the Composite Water Management Index, an assessment by the Niti Aayog on how States and Union Territories manage their water.
The assessment pans nine themes, each having an attached weight, and assesses how well States have done on criteria such as groundwater and surface water restoration, implementing major and medium irrigation projects, watershed development, participatory irrigation management, on-farm water use, rural and urban water supply, and policy and governance. These indicators were broken down into 28 objective indicators.
Centre takes steps to control onion prices in national capital
With heavy rain in key onion-growing States, such as Maharashtra and Karnataka, fanning fears of a price rise, the Centre has taken steps to control onion rates in Delhi and warned of strict action against hoarders and profiteers.
Safal, which owns about 400 outlets in the National Capital Region, is already being provided onions for sale from the government stock built under the Price Stabilisation Fund.
First-ever World Youth Conference for Kindness held
President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the first-ever World Youth Conference for Kindness organised by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) at Vigyan Bhavan.
The theme of the conference was ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: Gandhi for the Contemporary World: Celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.’ In attendance were Union Ministers, prominent artists, nobel laureates and over 1,000 youth representing 27 countries.
Police facial recognition software glitchy: Centre
The version of the facial recognition software (FRS) procured by the Delhi Police is not up to the mark and gives poor matching results, the Centre told the High Court.
The Bench has asked the Delhi Police to ascertain whether the software can be upgraded. The direction came after the Ministry of Woman and Child Development, represented by the Centre’s Standing counsel Ripudaman Singh Bhardwaj told the court that the current version of the FRS was so poor it sometimes matched pictures of missing boys with that of girls.
13 States, UTs improve their water management practices
Thirteen of the 27 States and Union Territories have improved their water management practices from last year, an analysis by the NITI Aayog has revealed. Gujarat, though it dropped a point, topped the rankings for the second year in a row with a score of 75 out of a maximum possible 100.
Six States did worse than last year — with Delhi, which was evaluated for the first time this year garnering the lowest score — and three maintained their position from last year, according to the Composite Water Management Index, a ranking tool developed by the NITI Aayog and unveiled last year.
Citizens left out of NRC will not go to jail at once
None of the persons excluded from Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be published on August 31 will be immediately put in detention centres. The official clarified that any decision would be taken only after the excluded applicants have exhausted all legal options, like the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs), the High Court and the Supreme Court.
He said a section of the foreign press has created unnecessary hype around the NRC through incorrect reports that millions would lose citizenship in Assam once the final list is published on August 31.
Terror funding watchdog FATF Asia-Pacific Group ‘blacklists’ Pakistan
Pakistan has been placed on the lowest rung, or “blacklist”, of the Financial Action Task Force’s Asia Pacific Group (APG) for non-compliance and non-enforcement of safeguards against terror financing and money laundering.
The APG, one of nine regional affiliates of the FATF, met in Canberra from August 18 to 23 to discuss a five-year review of the Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) for Pakistan, and decided to place it among countries requiring “enhanced, expedited follow-up”.
With Amazon Rain Forest Ablaze, Brazil Faces Global Backlash
As dozens of fires scorched large swaths of the Amazon, the Brazilian government on Thursday struggled to contain growing global outrage over its environmental policies, which have paved the way for runaway deforestation of the world’s largest rain forest.
The fires, many intentionally set, are spreading as Germany and Norway appear to be on the brink of shutting down a $1.2 billion conservation initiative for the Amazon.
FM announces steps to revive economic growth
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced a slew of measures, including the rollback of enhanced super-rich tax on foreign and domestic equity investors, exemption of start-ups from ‘angel tax’, a package to address distress in the auto sector and upfront infusion of Rs 70,000 crore to public sector banks, in efforts to boost economic growth from a five-year low.
Government takes steps to ease plight of startups, MSMEs, and borrowers
The government on Friday announced several decisions to ease doing business in India, including scrapping the ‘angel tax’ for registered startups, expediting GST refunds for the MSME sector, as well as setting a time-bound window for the payment of delayed dues by public sector companies.
In order to mitigate genuine difficulties of startups and their investors, it has been decided that the relevant provisions of Section 56 of the Income Tax Act, which is commonly called the ‘angel tax’, shall not be applicable to a startup registered with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
India, France to cooperate on cyber security, digital technology
From hate speech to fake news, India and France decided to cooperate on a detailed roadmap on cyber security and digital technology. The two sides also said they “intend to work together on the risks associated with the deployment of 5G technologies and the technical solutions adopted to deal with them”.
Chernobyl On Ice”: Russia Launches First-Ever Floating Nuclear Reactor
Russia launched the world’s first floating nuclear reactor, sending it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of a “Chernobyl on ice.”
Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov left the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to Pevek in northeastern Siberia.
Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad. But environmental groups have long warned of the dangers of the project, dubbing it a potential “Chernobyl on ice” and a “nuclear Titanic.”