Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.
Karti Chidambaram Grilled By ED For The Second Time In April
Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram, was on Tuesday grilled by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Aircel Maxis money laundering case for the second time this month. He was questioned for the first time on 10 April in the case, which is related to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted in 2006 by his father. It has been alleged that a firm closely linked to him received Rs 26 lakh from Aircel Televentures within days of the FIPB approval. The agency has said that it is looking into “the circumstances of said FIPB approval granted by the then finance minister”. P Chidambaram had the authority to accord approval to project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore and required the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for projects beyond that. The agency has said its probe revealed that the case of the said FDI was “wrongly projected as an investment of Rs 180 crore so that it need not be sent to the CCEA to avoid detailed scrutiny”.
Soon, Single GST Return A Month
To ease the burden on businesses, the government will soon implement a new system for returns under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. The new system will mandate only one monthly filing. On the issue of how the input tax credit will be given and whether it should be linked to actual tax payment, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and Chairman of the GST Network Sushil Modi has said the new return could be a blend of the two proposals. Detailed discussions were held with stakeholders on the issue, who have been given seven days to give feedback before the draft is sent to the council comprising union and state finance ministers. A final decision will be taken by the council chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Apart from bringing down the number of returns from 36 to 12, the plan of simplifying the regime also involves moving away from the computer-based matching of returns.
Over 45,000 Madrasa Board Students Skip Exam In UP
Amid a large-scale crackdown on cheating during exams in Uttar Pdaresh, over 45,000 Madrasa Board students did not take the test on the first day. A total of 2,41,000 students had registered themselves for the exams of munshi, maulvi, aalim, kamil and fajil under the Madrasa Board this year. More than 17,000 seminaries in the state come under the Madrasa Board. Over 5,000 madrasa pulled their shutters down after the state government ordered them to enrol on online portal launched to monitor the institutions. Over 10 lakh students of the 66 lakh-odd who registered for the Uttar Pradesh Board exams had not taken the tests due to strict measures implemented by the board after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced a state-wide crackdown on cheating. Around 1,900 students were caught copying during the exams.
IMF Keeps India’s Growth Forecast Unchanged For FY19
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its biannual World Economic Outlook, kept its growth forecast for India unchanged at 7.4 per cent for 2018-19 and 7.9 per cent for 2019-20. The IMF noted that the fading impact of demonetisation of high-value currencies and implementation of the national goods and services tax, along with strong private consumption, will increase economic activity. The IMF’s projection is close to that of the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, which have projected the Indian economy to grow at 7.3 per cent in 2018-19. Additionally, the IMF said the global growth is projected to pick up to 3.9 per cent this year. China’s growth is expected to slow down to 5.5 per cent from 6.6 per cent in 2018.
Semen-Filled Balloons On Holi? Forensic Report Rejects Claim
Forensic examination could not detect the presence of semen in the exhibit submitted by a college student, who had alleged that a semen-filled balloon was thrown at her ahead of the festival of Holi. In February this year, a girl from Lady Sri Ram College of the Delhi University had narrated an incident on Instagram claiming that she and her friend were hit with semen filled balloons in Delhi's Amar Colony market. The post sparked outrage, and the police had to intervene. The woman's clothes were sent for a forensic examination, reports said.
Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: India Files Reply In ICJ
India on Tuesday filed its second reply in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, an Indian citizen kidnapped by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence from Iran and presented as a ‘spy’ to the world. He was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April last year on charges of espionage and terrorism. The reply filed by India yesterday was in response to the submissions made by Pakistan in the Hague-based international court on 13 December last year. A bench of the court had in May 2017 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav. India had moved the ICJ after Pakistan chose to violate the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, by not granting India counsellor access.
Launch Of NASA’s Planet-Hunting Probe Delayed
National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) newest planet-hunting spacecraft will have to wait for a day before lifting off. SpaceX, which will lift the satellite into orbit atop its Falcon 9 rocket, announced two hours before take off on Tuesday that it needed more time to check spacecraft's guidance and navigation systems. The team is now working toward a targeted launch on Wednesday. The satellite carries four camera-detectors to scan over 200,000 bright stars for signs of planets circling them. NASA expects its planet-hunter to identify some 2,000-3,000 planets in its first two years of operation. After liftoff, SpaceX will attempt to recover the rocket’s first stage booster on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
MUST READ OPINIONS AND COLUMNS
What 1985 Tells Us About A US-China Trade War: Back then, the US felt threatened by Japan - but Trump will find it difficult to emulate Reagan’s tactical success.
Depositor Discipline In A Time Of Bank Frauds: Even though depositor discipline exists, it is invisibly thin, sporadic, driven by shocks, and not preventive.
India’s Commonwealth: Debate on the forum can’t be about its past. It must be about its value for India’s international relations.
The Bureaucrat Who Rules Odisha: Naveen Patnaik’s closest confidante, V Karthikeyan Pandian, keeps a low-profile. Ministers and senior bureaucrats, however, are not happy with the power he wields. This resentment could, sometime in future, blow up on the Chief Minister’s face.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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