7 SEPT. 2020 FLASH NEWS - MID-DAY
GDP figures should alarm everyone, Centre needs to come out of complacency, warns Raghuram Rajan
23.9% contraction in GDP growth numbers for first quarter of FY 2020-21 “should alarm us all” and government and its bureaucrats need to be “frightened out of their complacency” and into meaningful activity, former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said in a LinkedIn post.With discretionary spending expected to stay low until the virus is contained, government-provided relief becomes all the more important, Rajan said, adding that govt’s reluctance to do more today to conserve resources for a possible future stimulus is a “self-defeating” strategy.“Without relief measures, the growth potential of the economy will be seriously damaged,” he said.Mr. Rajan said that the 23.9% contraction in India, which will probably be worse when estimates of the damage in the informal sector come out, compares with a drop of 12.4% in Italy and 9.5% in US— 2 of the most COVID-19-affected advanced countries.“Yet India is even worse off than these comparisons suggest. The pandemic is still raging in India, so discretionary spending, especially on high-contact services like restaurants, and the associated employment, will stay low until the virus is contained,” he said.
100 days and GDP shrink: Government works on a fresh stimulus
After over 100 days since Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an economic package, 6 weeks after a series of meetings at the highest level underlined the need for a stimulus and official estimates indicating the worst-ever first quarter GDP contraction of 23.9 per cent, the government has finally identified the “non-salaried middle class and small businesses” as the target audience for a second round of stimulus.In mid-May, Sitharaman had announced five tranches of the AtmaNirbhar package, adding up to an economic package of Rs 20 lakh crore. Much of it was liquidity support, with extra fiscal outgo by the Central government just a little over 1 per cent of GDP. While April-June GDP was expected to shrink, there are clear signals the second quarter, too, will contract, with July and August not showing any promise of big recovery.With a more clearer picture now available, the government seems to have zeroed in on who needs financial support the most but is still debating its timing and mode of delivery. “This round of fiscal stimulus will be more for the group which is not completely poor and not rich. This in-between, non-salaried middle class, it is the most affected. The timing of the rollout is crucial in getting the maximum benefit,” a senior government official said.
People’s Liberation Army of China told to return 5 Arunachal boys: Union Minister Rijiju
Guwahati:Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju said that the Indian Army has sent a hotline message to the People’s Liberation Army of China for returning the 5 boys who had apparently strayed beyond LAC. 5 boys, belonging to the Tagin community and hailing from the Nacho area of the Upper Subansiri district, had gone missing on Friday. The district falls under the Arunachal West parliamentary constituency, represented by Rijiju.“Indian Army has already sent a hotline message to the counterpart PLA establishment at the border point in Arunachal. Response is awaited,”the Union Minister tweeted. The district police said they have launched a probe after the families of the missing boys lodged an informal complaint.
Coronavirus: India overtakes Brazil as second worst-affected country with 42.04 lakh cases
India on Monday reported a record daily jump of 90,802 coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 42,04,614. With this India overtook Brazil as the world’s second-most affected country from the pandemic. Brazil has recorded 41.37 lakh cases so far. The health ministry data showed that 1,016 people have died in the last 24 hours, taking the toll in India to 71,642. US is the worst-hit country with 62,75,775 coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University tracker. Globally, 8.82 lakh people have died from the disease, out of a total caseload of 2.70 crore.
Attorney General Venugopal in isolation after colleague tests positive for COVID-19, Supreme Court informed
The Supreme Court was informed on Monday that Attorney General for India KK Venugopal is under self quarantine after his colleague tested positive for COVID-19. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju informed the Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta about Venugopal being in quarantine as he sought adjournment in a case concerning appointments to different tribunals.On being informed of this development, the Bench said that it will take up the case for hearing on Tuesday, Sept.15.
Unplanned localised lockdowns did little to check spread of Covid, led to increased economic uncertainty
Use of haphazard localised lockdowns by states in July and August, which badly impacted economic activity, has had little effect on tempering Covid case count in these locations. State-wise data for states which imposed localised lockdowns during July 10-August 3 shows that the rise in new cases on a 7-day moving average basis, before and after the lockdown, ranged between 37-578 per cent in the seven regions which imposed localised lockdown during that period.These localised lockdowns end up disrupting the supply chains and increase the level of uncertainty in the system, impacting the decisions by entrepreneurs to re-hire workers or scale up operations. West Bengal, UP, Punjab and Haryana announced lockdowns, despite Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) directives to desist from imposition of these lockdowns and seek its clearance.
Maharashtra Monsoon Session from today: 2 MLAs, 37 govt staffers test positive
At least two MLAs and 37 govt staffers who were to attend the Monsoon Session of the Maharashtra legislature from Monday have tested positive for Covid-19. Sources said that while around 2,200 people, including legislators and government officials, have been tested since Saturday, the reports of some are yet to come in. Maharashtra’s legislators are set to converge at the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai for a two-day Monsoon Session – the first since the pandemic – amid strict safety measures place by the Legislative Secretariat.
Delhi: Metro resumes services with strict safety measures after 169-day Covid hiatus
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) resumed its services on Monday over five months after they were suspended as part of measures to ensure social distancing to check the spread of Covid-19.The services began at 7 am on Monday on the 49-km-long Yellow Line (HUDA City Centre and Samaypur Badli), the first corridor opened as per the Centre’s guidelines easing the measures put in place in view of the pandemic.
Russia shares data on vaccine with India, one option is Phase 3 trials here
Even as Lancet published the results of Phase-1 and Phase-2 clinical trial data of the Sputnik V vaccine — cleared by Moscow regulators for public use —Russian research institute has now submitted “comprehensive data” on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy to Indian authorities, Indian Express has learnt. Senior officials said India had sought this from the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. The vaccine candidate triggered a “strong” immune response in Phases 1 & 2 of the clinical trials on 76 people.
UNICEF to lead global procurement, supply of COVID-19 vaccines
In what could possibly be the world's largest and fastest ever operation of its kind, UNICEF has announced that it will be leading the procurement and supply of coronavirus vaccines to ensure that all countries have safe, fast and equitable access to initial doses when they are available.
"Govt Intervention Should Be Minimal": PM On Education Policy NEP
"Education policy and education system are important means of fulfilling the aspirations of the country. Centre, state government, local bodies, all are attached to the responsibility of education system. But it is also true that the government, its interference in education policy, its impact, should be minimal. As foreign policy, defence policy are of the country, not government, so is education policy. It belongs to everyone," PM Modi said, urging the people to take the "collective responsibility" to implement the policy in "Letter and Spirit". In the new education policy (NEP), first since 1986, the pressure on students for taking specific streams have been removed, he said. NEP, PM Modi said, focuses on "learning instead of studying" and is based on "critical thinking rather than curriculum" with a special focus on "passion, practicality, and performance".
NEP-2020 is silent on minorities’ educational issues: Webinar
New Delhi:Various participants at a webinar on the “Impact of NEP-2020 on Minority Educational Institutions” organized by Federation of Muslim Educational Institutions-India (FMEII) on Sunday expressed concern over the status of minority educational institutions under Article 30 of the Constitution as the final draft of the New Education Police-2020 is silent on this issue as also on ‘madrasas’ (Muslim religious seminaries) and reservation in admission to educational institutions, a policy that also benefitted a large section of minority communities besides members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled tribes.FMEII’s vice president Mr Nusrat Ali said that while the new policy talked of creating a central authority for education in the country, it maintained total silence on Article 30 of the Constitution that allowed minorities to establish and manage educational institutions that not only helped in providing education but promotion of their own language and culture. Drawing attention towards merging of smaller schools under NEP2020, he said that it did not make clear as to what would happen to minority schools as large number of schools run by minorities, particularly Muslims, were small. He demanded that the authorities should have made all these things clear, instead of keeping them vague.
Non-personal data rules draft has ‘grey areas’, data privacy bill architect BN Srikrishna says
New Delhi: Justice B.N. Srikrishna (Retd), one of the architects of the first draft of India’s personal data protection bill, has raised concerns about the draft Non-Personal Data (NPD) Governance Framework, which is currently open for feedback.In its current form, the framework leaves “the fundamental right of privacy of persons vulnerable to infringement by the state”, Justice Srikrishna said in an email interview to ThePrint. NPD Governance Framework has been devised by an expert committee led by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, which was formed in September 2019 to “study various issues relating to non-personal data” and to make suggestions about its regulation.
Govt suspends FCRA clearance of 4 Christian groups
Of the 6 NGOs whose license under FCRA was suspended by Union Home Ministry this year, four are Christian associations. An FCRA licence is mandatory for a non-profit organisation to receive foreign funds.At least two U.S.-based Christian donors are also under the Ministry’s scanner for funding NGOs and groups here, a senior government official said.“Concerns have been raised regarding the impact of U.S.-based evangelical donors including Seventh Day Adventist Church and Baptist Church in regard to Indian associations; a probe is on,” the official said.
‘Attempt to hound him’: Alt News dismisses allegations against co-founder Mohammed Zubair
Alt News has released a statement in support of the organisation’s co-founder Mohammed Zubair, who has been accused of “stalking a minor girl” on Twitter, and said the first information report against him was an attempt to hound him through the “misuse of legal apparatus”. 2 FIRs have been lodged against Zubair, one in Delhi and another in Raipur. Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha dismissed the allegations. “An attempt is being made to hound co-founder of Alt News, Mohammed Zubair, through misuse of legal apparatus,” Sinha said. “Alt News stands by Mohammed Zubair. Zubair has been in the forefront of fighting fake narratives, and his work hurts those who have weaponized misinformation to subvert the Indian democracy.”
Bhima Koregaon: NIA calls Dalit scholar K Satyanarayana, academic Partho Sarothi Ray for questioning
NIA has summoned Dalit scholar and activist K Satyanarayana to appear before it for questioning in connection with Bhima Koregaon case on Sept.9. Satyanarayana is the son-in-law of Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao, who is imprisoned in Mumbai’s Taloja Jail after being arrested in the Elgar Parishad cases on August 31, 2018. Satyanarayana’s brother and senior journalist KV Kumarnath was also summoned to appear on the same day. Both of them have been asked to come to the central agency’s Mumbai office for questioning.
Modi’s name dropped by Gujarat court in suit seeking damages for deaths in 2002 riots
A civil court in Gujarat has struck off the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the first defendant in a civil suit seeking damages for the killing of 3 British citizens during 2002 riots, LiveLaw.in reported.Principal Civil Judge of Prantij in Sabarkantha district allowed the application filed by lawyer S S Shah on behalf of Modi to strike off his name, after noting that he was neither a "necessary or proper party" in the case. 3 suits were filed in 2004 by a few British citizens in the local court against Modi, then minister of State for Home Gordhan Zadaphia and 12 others, seeking Rs 20 crores as damages for the death of their 3 relatives - Saeed Dawood, Shakeel Dawood and Mohammed Aswat - who were killed by a mob on National Highway 8 on Feb.28, 2002 while they were returning from Rajasthan.
UP Police Arrests Muslim Odisha Villager for Sedition After VHP Member's 'Threat Calls' Plaint
Bhubaneswar: A team of UP police has arrested and taken on transit remand a 42-year-old Muslim man from a Cuttack village, based on a Vishwa Hindu Parishad member’s complaint that alleged that he had received threats from a number appearing to belong to the man.Sayed Hasan Ahmed, a resident of Kusambi village near Salepur in Cuttack, about 60 kms from here, has been booked under sections 507, 153 A, 124 A and 504 of the Indian Penal Code.Of these, Section 124A deals with sedition.
Congress sends message: 7 panels announced 2 years before UP polls, big names left out
Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are two years away, but Congress Sunday wasted no time in announcing seven committees for the polls—an attempt to send a message, particularly to its rank and file, that the party was serious about the key heartland state and the uphill electoral challenge it faces there.Big name leaders from Uttar Pradesh, such as former Union minister Jitin Prasada, ex-UP Congress chief Raj Babbar and AICC Jharkhand in-charge R P N Singh, were excluded from the committees, one of which was tasked with drawing up a manifesto.The Congress has been striving—without much success—to effect a revival in the politically-significant state after more than three decades in the political wilderness there.
‘Rise above family affinity’: 9 expelled Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders write to Sonia Gandhi
9 expelled Congress leaders in Uttar Pradesh have written to party president Sonia Gandhi, asking her to “rise above affinity for the family” and lead by establishing mutual trust and restoring the constitutional and democratic values. “If you deviate from your responsibility, then Congress will become a thing of the past,” they said. The signatories of the letter include former MP Santosh Singh and former minister Satyadev Tripathi. Singh and Tripathi were among 10 senior leaders, who were expelled from the primary membership of Congress in November last year for six years.
UP: Mahapanchayat against ‘love jihad’ postponed
Noida :A mahapanchayat against ‘love jihad’ schedule to be held on Monday in Baghpat was postponed. Fringe outfits in Baghpat had called for a public gathering after a Hindu woman allegedly eloped with a Muslim man in Baghpat’s Khekra area earlier this year. A demonstration was held on August 26 by the members of these outfits and local residents.“This case happened in February when a man brainwashed a Hindu woman and took her with him. Our demand is straightforward and we want the police to recover the woman. We have been staging a protest and were supposed to hold the meeting tomorrow. Due to corona cases and assurance we are delaying it and it might be held after 10 days,” said Nitin, district in-charge of Hindu Jagran Manch.
Gauhati HC Clears Telecast of Assamese Serial Banned Over 'Love Jihad' Bogey
Guwahati: Assamese television serial on syncretic culture that had been banned after rightwing groups cried ‘love jihad’ can now be screened again, thanks to an order by Gauhati high court. Guwahati Commissioner of Police had prohibited Begum Jaan from being telecast for 60 days, after right wing groups amped pressure, saying that the serial was “affecting the secular ethos of Constitution of India”.
1,500 manuscripts being scanned and digitised in Deoband
Arare letter from Prophet Mohammed addressed to the Egyptian King, the holy Quran hand-written by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, handwritten copies of the Torah (Hebrew Bible in writing), Vedas, Geeta, Mahabharat and are among the rare manuscripts being digitized for the first time at Darool Ulum, Deoband. Many of these manuscripts, handwritten in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Sanskrit, have not been opened for half a century or more because of their fragile state. The exercise to preserve the 1,563 rare manuscripts and other books began during the lockdown earlier this year. One lakh pages have been digitized so far, informs the librarian Maulana Shafique. But 50 lakh pages remain to be digitised.
Hezbollah, Hamas chiefs meet to discuss Israel-Arab ties
Leaders of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and the Palestinian Hamas group met to discuss diplomatic normalisation between Israel and Arab countries, the movement said.On Sunday, Hamas chief Ismail Haniya was given a hero's welcome at Ain al-Helweh, Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp.Hezbollah-run Al-Manar television reported earlier that Hassan Nasrallah, head of Iran-backed Shia Hezbollah movement, and Haniya stressed the "stability" of the "axis of resistance" against Israel. They discussed "political and military developments in Palestine, Lebanon and the region" and "the dangers to the Palestinian cause", including "Arab plans for normalisation" with Israel, Al-Manar said.The meeting comes after an August 13 announcement that Israel and UAE have agreed to normalise ties. Haniya arrived in Lebanon on Wednesday, on his first visit to the country in nearly 30 years, for direct and video-conference talks with other Palestinian groups that oppose Israel's diplomatic initiative.
Saudi tells US it wants fair solution for Palestinians
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz told US President Donald Trump that Gulf country wanted to see a fair and permanent solution for the Palestinians, which was the starting point for its 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, the kingdom's state news agency reported on Monday.The 2 men spoke by phone following a US-brokered accord last month under which UAE agreed to become the third Arab state after Egypt and Jordan to normalise ties with Israel.King Salman told Trump that he appreciated US efforts to support peace and that Saudi Arabia wanted to see a fair and permanent solution to the Palestinian issue based on its Arab Peace Initiative.
Israeli business delegations led by banks Hapoalim, Leumi to visit UAE
The heads of Israel’s two biggest banks will travel to UAE this month, the first such visits since the two countries agreed to normalise relations, reports Reuters.One delegation led by Bank Hapoalim will leave on September 8 and visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where it will meet with government and trade officials as well as the heads of the largest banks in the UAE.Hapoalim CEO Dov Kotler on Sunday called it “a unique opportunity to establish economic relations and cooperation between our countries and their financial systems, which will yield economic growth for both parties.”
Turkey urges Kosovo against opening Jerusalem embassy
Turkey on Sunday urged Kosovo against opening an embassy in Jerusalem, saying doing so would undermine UN resolutions and hurt the Palestinian cause, reports Anadolu Agency.“We call on the leadership of Kosovo to abide by these [UN] decisions to refrain from such steps that would undermine the historical and legal status of Jerusalem and may also prevent Kosovo from being recognised by other states in the future,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
Turkey begins military exercises in northern Cyprus
Turkey's armed forces on Sunday began annual exercises in the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus - an entity recognised only by Ankara - as tensions continue to rise with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean.Turkey's hunt for gas and oil reserves in waters claimed by Greece has put a huge strain on the relationship between 2 NATO members. As tensions run high, Turkish military began its exercises called "Mediterranean Storm" with the Turkish Cypriot Security Command, Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter.
Rival Libyan administrations hold talks in Morocco
Delegates from Libya's rival administrations met for talks in Morocco more than 2 weeks after the two sides announced a surprise ceasefire.The meeting, held on Sunday at the initiative of Morocco, which hosted peace talks in 2015 that led to the creation of a United Nations-recognised government for Libya, kicked off in the coastal town of Bouznika, south of Rabat.Dubbed "Libyan Dialogue", the talks brought together five members of Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and 5 from a parliament in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk.The discussions were a prelude to a major meeting in Montreux, Switzerland, on Monday and Tuesday that brings together the leaders of rival Libyan groups.
Nearly 300 Rohingya come ashore in Aceh after months at sea
Nearly 300 Rohingya have come ashore in Aceh, on the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island, authorities said, in one of the biggest such landings by the persecuted Myanmar minority in years.The group, including more than a dozen children, were spotted at sea by locals who helped them land near Lhokseumawe early on Monday, according to Munir Cut Ali, head of Ujong Blang village."We saw a boat coming ashore in Ujong Blang and so then we helped them land safely," Ali told AFP.
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*Media Dept. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind: Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq*