Current Affairs

Morning Brief: Former Chief Bimal Jalan To Head Panel On Deciding Size Of RBI Reserve; Train 18 Gets Approval To Run At 160 Km Per Hour; And More

INDIA - OCTOBER 23: Bimal Jalan, former Governor of RBI and Member of the Rajya Sabha. sitting, talking, action, Potrait (Photo by Sanjay Pandya/The India Today Group/Getty Images) 

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.

Former Chief Bimal Jalan To Head Panel On Deciding Size Of RBI Reserves

The six-member expert panel constituted to decide on the appropriate size of the Reserve Bank of India's reserves will be headed by former Governor Bimal Jalan with former secretary Rakesh Mohan as the vice chairman. The central bank has said that the panel will include Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg and RBI Deputy Governor N S Vishwanathan. Two members of the central board of the RBI, Bharat Doshi and Sudhir Mankad, will be other two members of the expert committee on Economic Capital Framework. Jalan had served as the Governor between 1997 to 2003.

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Jalan’s appointment comes just days after former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said in a paper he co-authored with three other economists that the “RBI’s excess capital is 13 percentage points, or about Rs 4.5 lakh crore”. He has argued that the money should be used for fixing the financial system.

Train 18 Gets Approval To Run At 160 Km Per Hour

Train 18 has officially become the fastest train in India after getting an approval from the Chief Commissioner of Railways Safety (CCRS) to run at a speed of 160 km per hour, the Times of India has reported. According to the daily, the CCRS has given it an approval with certain conditions. One of these conditions is providing a “sturdy fencing” all along the track to avoid any mishap.

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In its note, the CCRS has said that the railways will need to provide fencing at vulnerable points if the train operates at 130 km per hour and all along the track if it is run at the top speed of 160 km per hour. It has imposed 21 other conditions which the Indian Railways must fulfil to run the train at the top speed.

Triple Talaq Bill To Face Lok Sabha Test

The Triple Talaq bill is likely to be put to vote after a discussion in the Lok Sabha today, Hindustan Times has reported. According to the daily’s report, the Bharatiya Janata Party has issued a whip to its Lok Sabha members to be present in Parliament on the day. A bill to replace the ordinance issued in September this year had been introduced in the Lok Sabha on 17 December.

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The bill will make the practice of instant triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence. It is likely to attract a jail term of three years for the husband. The new bill will also supercede an earlier bill passed in the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha. If the bill fails to get through Parliament, the government can re-promulgate the ordinance.

Government Tightens E-Commerce Norms

Tightening e-commerce norms, the government has barred platforms such as Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart Group from selling products from companies in which they have an equity interest. The move may hit Amazon in particular, given that it has several such joint ventures, including Cloudtail and Appario. These firms may not be able to sell their products on the marketplace.

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The new e-commerce norms, which will be applicable from 1 February, are also likely to prevent companies from entering into exclusive agreements with sellers. A cap of 25 per cent has been put on the inventory that a marketplace entity or its group companies can purchase from one vendor. Indian retailers have been complaining that giant e-commerce companies use their control over inventory to create an unfair marketplace and sell some products at low prices.

Pakistan Begins Work On Kartarpur Road

Pakistan has started the construction of a road from its border with India to link Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak on Indian side. Work on the 85-feet wide four-km road, which involves the construction of two bridges, is likely to be completed by June 2019. At least 500 Sikh devotees will be allowed to visit the gurdwara daily through the corridor, says the Federal Investigation Agency, which oversees immigration matters in Pakistan.

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor on 28 November in presence of the Army Chief. The foundation stone for the corridor on the Indian side was laid down by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on 26 November.

After Namaz Order, Hindu Event Disallowed By Noida Administration

Just days after its 'no namaz in Noida parks' order, Greater Noida Authority officials, along with Noida police, on Wednesday removed a tent placed for a Hindu religious event on land owned by the government. According to the police, the organisers of the event did not have the permission required from the administration. Tents had been put up for a nine-day ‘Bhagwat Katha’ event on Greater Noida Authority’s land.

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From Swarajya

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Why Entrance Exams And SC/ST Quotas In Lower Judiciary Are Ideas Worth Trying: It is a good idea, if the government can get other parties on board. But in election season, one cannot bet on any such healthy development.

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Dilution Of US Military Presence In The Middle East And Afghanistan: Is US Abdicating Its Responsibility? The 17-year US presence in Afghanistan may be looked at negatively by many, yet, nobody can deny that its presence has secured the region against extremism to a great extent.

How India’s Space Programme Can Help Shape Its Digital Governance Plans: India’s space programme must help install a comprehensive Internet infrastructure that will help realise goals of digital governance.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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