Morning Brief: India May Get World’s First Hyperloop, GST Rules To Be Simplified, Criminals On A Surrender Spree In UP
Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.
India May Get The World’s First Operational Hyperloop
India could be the first country to have an operational Hyperloop. British business tycoon Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra to build a Hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune by 2025, cutting the travel time to 14-25 minutes, from 3-4 hours at present. The company began its preliminary feasibility study in November and is likely to start working on a detailed assessment of environment and engineering requirement soon. According to Branson, the company would take three years to develop the test track and start commercial operations in 6-7 years. To understand how this will work, read out explainer here.
GST Rules To Be Simplified Further
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will soon revamp the return filing process and liberalise rules based on recommendations from a panel led by M Vinod Kumar, GST chief commissioner for Karnataka, to make compliance easier for small businesses and traders. The council, reports say, may do away with the need of filing purchase related tax returns and a comprehensive return on all transactions. The proposal will be given a final shape during the council’s meeting on 27 February and will be taken up for approval on 1 March.
Wanted Criminals On A Surrender Spree In UP
As the Uttar Pradesh Police intensifies its crackdown on criminal elements in the state under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s law and order drive, at least 142 wanted criminals with rewards on their heads have surrendered. Around 26 criminals in the state have not secured their release despite getting bail while 71 have got their bail bond cancelled to go back to jail. Between 20 March 2017 and 14 February 2018, 1,240 encounters have taken place in the state. This has led to 2,956 arrests. At least 40 criminals have been killed in these encounters. To punish absconding criminals, the police has seized 169 properties worth Rs 147 crore.
Tibetan Buddhism’s Most Sacred Shrine Hit By Fire
One of the most important shrines in Tibetan Buddhism, Jokhang Monastery in Lhasa, caught fire on Saturday. Footage posted online showed flames billowing from the roof and at least one gutted pagoda of the 1,300-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to the Chinese state-run media, the fire was quickly extinguished and no injuries or casualties were reported. China has been accused by Tibetans around the world of censoring photos and posts of the incident. The extent of the damage to the monastery is unknown. The Chinese media, however, has reported that there was no damage to cultural relics kept in the monastery.
Centre To Reintroduce Transgender Bill
The government will reintroduce the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill in the budget session of Parliament resuming on 5 March after incorporating some of the suggestions made by a parliamentary committee. In the new draft, the Centre may do away with the need for medical screening committees at the district level. In the draft introduced in 2016, it was proposed that a transgender person will be issued a “certificate of identity” when an application made for the same is forwarded by the district magistrate to a district screening committee. The revised bill would likely allow a certificate to be issued by the district magistrate, sources have said.
Army Chief, NSA And Foreign Secretary Made Secret Visit To Bhutan
As part of the first high-level Indian delegation to Bhutan after the standoff with China in Doklam, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval visited Thimphu and held a secret meeting with the country’s leadership to discuss the situation on the border. The meeting, held on 6 and 7 February, was kept under wraps by the Bhutanese and Indian sides. The visit came three days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay in Guwahati.
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We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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