TOI Newsletter for August 14, 2020


Rajasthan meeting session begins; In the Supreme Court: telecom AGR dues listening to, verdict on UGC tips for 2020 closing exams; WPI inflation information; UEFA Champions League quarterfinal: Barcelona vs Bayern Munich (12:30 am, Saturday); England vs Pakistan, 2nd Test, Southampton, Day 2

1. Who will win the numbers recreation in Rajasthan?
  • The session: Amidst the latest political disaster in Rajasthan, the state goes to carry a particular meeting session beginning right now by which the destiny of the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress authorities will likely be determined.
  • The story: Congress chief Sachin Pilot had overtly rebelled in opposition to chief minister Gehlot final month together with 18 different occasion MLAs. He was then sacked as deputy chief minister and the occasion’s Rajasthan chief. However, this week there was a ‘patch-up’ between the 2 leaders after the intervention of the occasion’s prime management. On Thursday, Pilot and Gehlot met for the primary time for the reason that former’s open revolt a month in the past and shook arms.
  • The build-up: The Congress on Thursday additionally revoked the suspension of two MLAs, Bhanwarlal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh, who have been a part of the Pilot camp and whom the occasion had accused of involvement in a “conspiracy” to topple the federal government.
Raj Nos
  • The motion: The BJP, a legislature occasion assembly on Thursday, determined to maneuver a movement of no confidence within the state meeting in opposition to the federal government. If the federal government is ready to show its majority, it can’t be challenged for the subsequent six months, guidelines say.
  • The X-factor: The Rajasthan excessive courtroom will right now hear the petitions filed by a BJP MLA and the BSP difficult the merger of the latter’s six MLAs with the Congress. The Supreme Court on Thursday refused a plea for momentary freeze on the merger and left the choice to the excessive courtroom. This means the six MLAs will be capable of vote in the course of the belief vote. However, the apex courtroom mentioned it’s going to take up the case on Monday, after the excessive courtroom’s choice.
2. Record day by day highs proceed, energetic instances go previous Brazil
India’s depend on Thursday:

  • Deaths: 1,008, 1,000+ fatalities breached for a second time; Previous excessive: 1,007 (August 9).
  • Cases: 66,037; Previous excessive: 65,410 (August 8); Overall: 2.Four million+

  • State alert: While not one of the 4 worst-hit states — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka — reported a report excessive leap in Covid-19 instances on Thursday, probably the most worrisome spike was in Assam (4,593 instances on the day). Before this, its highest depend of day by day instances was lower than 3,000. However, Maharashtra led the surge in deaths, reporting 413 fatalities, its highest day by day toll to date.
  • Active instances: India now has the second-highest depend of energetic Covid instances globally after the US, in line with the most recent information from Johns Hopkins University (see graphic under). The variety of energetic instances India has gone previous the depend in Brazil after the latter confirmed a pointy drop in energetic Covid-19 instances, per Johns Hopkins. FYI: India’s energetic instances proceed to rise, though at a a lot slower tempo in August, in contrast with the second half of July.


  • Economic affect: Retail inflation rose an annual 6.93% in July, accelerating increased than expectations on the again of hardening meals costs. Higher than the upwardly revised 6.2% within the earlier month, it dashes hopes of any rate of interest cuts for now. Food inflation soared to an annual 9.6% in July from 8.7% within the earlier month as provide disruptions continued to take toll.
  • Finally: More than every week after he shared the stage with PM Narendra Modi in the course of the bhoomi pujan of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Ram Janmabhoomi Trust chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Das examined constructive for Covid on Thursday. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and governor Anandiben Patel have been additionally among the many prime leaders who have been current on the occasion on August 5.
3. Will the brand new tax system assist increase tax income?
  • No identification: “Seamless, painless and faceless” would be the new mantra for the revenue tax division, in line with PM Narendra Modi, who unveiled a ‘clear taxation’ platform for “sincere taxpayers”. This will entail the evaluation of a taxpayer’s returns by a tax division in one other metropolis or state, which will likely be reviewed by one other state’s tax division after which finalised in one other metropolis or state — to make sure that the taxpayer and the tax officer aren’t in the identical geographical jurisdiction.
  • No interplay: The new system is designed to remove person-to-person interplay between the taxpayer and the officer because the instances for each evaluation and appeals will likely be assigned randomly by a computerised system. Moreover, as a substitute of a single officer assessing or scrutinising a case, it’s going to now be performed by a crew — which ought to hopefully result in larger transparency and honesty. It could also be recalled that the federal government has since final yr compulsorily retired 85 officers for costs associated to corruption and bribery.
  • No harassment: A taxpayer’s constitution additionally got here into impact alongwith faceless evaluation from Thursday — which mainly says that taxpayers will likely be thought-about sincere “until there’s cause to consider in any other case”. The transfer is geared toward decreasing the harassment from revenue tax division, which gained tragic infamy with the suicide of Cafe Coffe Day founder V G Siddhartha, who dedicated suicide in July 2019, alleging harassment by tax officers. Appeals too, shall be equally faceless — coming into impact from September 25.
  • No revenues? The new coverage is predicted to spice up the tally of taxpayers, who presently quantity round 1.5 crore in a rustic with a inhabitants of 130 crore, in line with Modi. Added to that’s the quantity in disputed tax arrears, which as of November 2019 stood at Rs 9.32 lakh crore. For comparability, in 2018-19, complete tax assortment was Rs 11.37 lakh crore. As per a report by the CAG final yr, 98% of tax arrears could by no means be recovered for causes starting from no or insufficient belongings for restoration, untraceable assessees to mismatch in TDS.
4. India is propping up the Maldivian economic system
  • A serving to hand: India desires to restrict the injury to the Maldivian economic system brought on by the pandemic. On Thursday, exterior affairs minister S Jaishankar mentioned New Delhi will fund a serious connectivity challenge within the Maldives by a $400 million line of credit score and $100m grant. Jaishankar made the announcement after holding talks together with his Maldivian counterpart Abdullah Shahid.
  • An infra challenge: The Greater Male Connectivity Project will join Male with the islands of Villingili, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. Villingili is a resort island of Addu Atoll, Gulhifalhu is a rising industrial hub and likewise the location of an upcoming port being constructed by a mortgage from India, and Thilafushi is a man-made island that homes industries (and generally derided for the piles of rubbish). The connectivity challenge will increase the tourism and industrial economic system of the nation.
  • Tourism increase: India has additionally signed an air bubble settlement with the Maldives in order that flights can function between the 2 nations regardless of the pandemic. India has comparable agreements with the US, UK, Germany, France and Kuwait. The air bubble will guarantee Indian vacationers, shut out from a lot of the world, can head to the atolls of Maldives.
  • An eye on China: New Delhi’s help to Male is a hedge in opposition to China, which beneath its ‘String of Pearls’ technique had tried to coerce the Maldives into its sphere of affect in the course of the time period of Abdulla Yameen. But since Ibrahim Mohamed Solih got here to energy within the Maldives, the island nation has rekindled its ties with India, and New Delhi has reciprocated. Since Solih grew to become President, India’s help to the Maldives has topped $2 billion.
  • One-upmanship: The Greater Male Connectivity Project embodies the strategic battle between India and China probably the most. The proposed 6.7km challenge would dwarf the Maldives-China Friendship Bridge, a 2km sea bridge connecting Male with Hulhule island constructed by a Chinese firm.
5. Prahlad, Soma, Pankaj & Amrit are the brothers of which well-known Indian?
  • Clue 1: In 2018, he obtained the UN’s highest environmental award, the ‘Champions of the Earth’. He’s additionally the one Indian to win the Seoul Peace Prize.
  • Clue 2: Count Social Harmony, Jyotipunj and Exam Warriors among the many books he is authored.
  • Clue 3: Born in 1950, he is the primary Indian prime minister to be born after Independence.

Scroll under for reply

6. Expressways would be the new highways
  • The challenge: India may have 23 new expressways prepared by March 2025. These expressways, with a mixed size of about to 7,800 km, would require an funding of Rs 3.Three lakh crore, which will likely be recovered from toll collections.
  • The timeline: Four expressways, together with Delhi-Mumbai, Ahmedabad-Dholera and Amritsar-Jamnagar, are scheduled for completion by March 2023, 9 extra will likely be prepared by March 2024 and one other 9 new ones by March 2025, in line with the National Highways Authority of India.
  • The connections: The community of expressways will likely be unfold throughout the nation connecting cities like Surat, Solapur, Lucknow, Vizag, Chennai, Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Raipur, Kota, Kharagpur and Siliguri.
  • The novelty: The large growth of recent expressways is a departure from the standard mode of widening the prevailing highways. The transfer is geared toward guaranteeing seamless motion of individuals and cargo, together with heavy autos. Cargo autos in India cowl about 400 km per day now, which is not less than 50% lower than the worldwide commonplace. More particulars right here
7. From the apex courtroom…
  • UGC: The UGC advised the Supreme Court on Thursday that the selections of the Maharashtra and Delhi governments to cancel closing yr faculty exams citing the pandemic was void ab initio (invalid on the outset) they usually couldn’t override the fee’s instructions to universities to conduct closing yr exams by September 30 by on-line or offline modes. “Neither the Disaster Management Act, 2005, nor the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, empower the state… to take such choices,” the panel mentioned, including that beneath the UGC Act, solely it might accomplish that.
  • Sushant Singh: The Bihar authorities, in its closing submission to the SC, mentioned it was effectively inside its rights and is following the legislation in transferring the case of Sushant Singh Rajput’s loss of life to the CBI. “Simultaneously, non-registration of a FIR by Mumbai Police will not be solely fully inexplicable however can also be opposite to legislation,” it added. Rhea Chakraborty, who additionally filed her written petition on the day, requested the highest courtroom to switch the FIR from Patna to Mumbai. She mentioned the Bihar Police’s FIR is “fully unlawful” and the state didn’t have jurisdiction to ship the case to the CBI. However, she had no objection if the SC transferred the case to the CBI.
  • According to a Times Now report, the Maharashtra Government too filed its submission within the apex courtroom, saying the Patna FIR is malafide and unlawful and a single-judge bench cannot order for a CBI probe. Note: The CBI can’t begin its investigation till the SC provides its nod.
  • Finally: Clearing the uncertainty over BS-IV autos which have been bought earlier than lockdown however couldn’t get registered earlier than the March 31 deadline, the SC allowed registration for autos whose gross sales particulars have been uploaded on Vahan or these which got momentary registration.
8. PSG’s nice escape
The clock ticked previous 89 minutes and a bit membership from the pandemic-hit Bergamo had one foot in and plenty of goals of the semifinals of the Champions League, of their first ever look at UEFA’s flagship occasion. But fairytales seldom come to cross in the true world. Over the subsequent jiffy, Atalanta have been jolted to actuality when Paris-Saint Germain of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and the like struck two targets in fast succession to script a come-from-behind 2-1 win within the quarterfinals in Lisbon late on Wednesday.

  • The underdogs took the lead within the 26th minute when Mario Pasalic curved one into the far submit.
  • They held onto that lead going into the half-time break, having saved Neymar at bay. Then PSG unleashed World Cup-winner Mbappe; David now needed to battle two Goliaths.
  • 30 seconds to the 90th minute, Neymar deftly managed a cross and laid it throughout the objective. Fellow Brazilian Marquinhos dispatched it to the again of the online, taking a deflection en route.
  • In the third minute of the damage time, Neymar and Mbappe mixed to serve the profitable objective in a platter for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. 2-1. Inequality restored. PSG within the semis.

Note, the late levels of this pandemic-hit Champions League is condensed into back-to-back, one-legged quarter-finals, with no residence and away legs, all performed at Lisbon.

Making the semis for the primary time, nonetheless, have been RB Leipzig — a younger and technical crew owned by Red Bull — who beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Thursday. They will face PSG subsequent week.

9. Israel to droop West Bank annexation, set up ties with UAE
Israel and the United Arab Emirates will set up diplomatic relations as a part of a deal to droop plans to annex occupied Palestine territories within the West Bank, the US President Donald Trump mentioned.

  • A joint assertion put out by the White House mentioned delegations from Israel and the UAE will “meet within the coming weeks to signal bilateral agreements concerning funding, tourism, direct flights, safety, telecommunications, expertise, vitality, healthcare, tradition, the atmosphere, the institution of reciprocal embassies, and different areas of mutual profit”.
  • UAE would be the first Gulf state and third Arab nation (after Egypt and Jordan) to ascertain formal relations with Israel. The growth comes practically two months after Israel and UAE introduced a partnership to combat the pandemic.
  • Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had, previous to the elections, introduced plans to annex practically one-third of the West Bank starting July. The controversial plan, denounced by the UN, main European powers and the Arab League, nonetheless, was not put into movement regardless of Netanyahu returning to energy by a coalition.
  • The White House assertion Thursday mentioned these plans will now be suspended. “Israel will droop declaring sovereignty over areas outlined within the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on increasing ties with different nations within the Arab and Muslim world,” it mentioned. More right here

Also: Israel mentioned it has thwarted a cyberattack on its defence corporations by a gaggle linked to North Korea. Israeli officers advised the New York Times that the delicate info may very well be shared with Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy.

10. Serena’s 19th win over Venus
In the 31st assembly of their profession, 22 years after the primary, Serena Williams got here from a set all the way down to beat Venus Williams 3-6, 6-3, 6-Four within the second spherical of the Lexington WTA (official title: the Top Seed Open) late on Thursday. The head-to-head report now reads 19-12 in favour of Serena. The two sisters then approached the online and tapped their racquets. Empty chairs stood witness. The Williams sisters — one 38 and the opposite 40 — but once more exhibited their outstanding means to defy time, but lurking round have been indicators of the occasions we dwell in.

Yet the competition was becoming: Few different athletes embody grit and perseverance just like the Williams sisters do. And sure, greatness — between them they’ve gained 30 Grand Slams. Also, behind the baseline, offering the backdrop for 2 of the best athletes on the earth was a canvas that learn ‘Black Lives Matter’. The WTA couldn’t have introduced their return to the US from a pandemic-forced hiatus any higher.

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Narendra Modi. On Thursday, the 69-year-old grew to become the longest serving non-Congress prime minister and the fourth longest serving general — after Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh — the BJP famous. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had served for two,268 days, with all his phrases put collectively. Modi was sworn in as India’s 14th PM of India on May 26, 2014. He was once more sworn in as India’s Prime Minister on May 30, 2019, marking the beginning of his second time period in workplace.

Written by: Rakesh Rai, Judhajit Basu, Sumil Sudhakaran, Tejeesh N.S. Behl
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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