Morning Brief: War On Financial Cyber Crime; 4,000 Special Trains For Festive Season; Trump Threat To Destroy North Korea

Morning Brief: War
On Financial Cyber Crime; 4,000 Special Trains For Festive Season; Trump Threat To Destroy North KoreaHome Minister Rajnath Singh during a visit to Kashmir. (Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)

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

New War On Financial Cyber Crime: Home Minister Rajnath Singh has ordered strengthening of the surveillance and legal frameworks to check financial cyber crimes. This comes amid growing incidents of financial cyber crimes, including frauds using cards and e-wallets. The Home Minister directed all agencies concerned to undertake required measures in a time bound manner and expedite the implementation of cyber crime prevention initiatives. Capacity building of various stakeholders such as police officers, judicial officers, forensic scientists as well as officials in the banking sector has been identified as a key measure. As many as 144,496 cyber security attacks were observed in the country in last three years.

4,000 Special Trains For Festival Season: Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha, said on Tuesday that the Indian Railways would run 4,000 special trains for the upcoming festival season. “In the next 40 days, we will celebrate the Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Chhath. So, we are introducing additional trains to facilitate holiday travelling between 15 October and 30 October,” he said. Last year, the railways had run 3,800 special trains during the festival season. Sinha said the ministry was also considering cancelling the leave of all the staff to deal with the holiday rush. “Extra security teams will be deployed at the stations to keep a check on the illegal agents and vendors,” he added. Last year, the railways had registered 1,654 such cases during the festive season and taken disciplinary action against 693 of its staffers.

India-US To Boost Defence Ties: Developing "a strong political connect" to further bolster the expansive India-US defence cooperation will be a key focus area when Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman meets US Secretary of Defence James Mattis later this month. This comes as the two nations discuss maritime security, counter-terrorism and joint defence production projects as well as challenges in terms of the security situation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and an aggressive China. "Continued, intensive engagement with the US is central to our security concerns in our neighbourhood as well as the larger Asia Pacific region. Mattis will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national security advisor Ajit Doval on 26 September," said a Defence Ministry source.

New UP Clamp On Spurious Liquor Trade: In a stern message to those running spurious liquor trade in Uttar Pradesh, the state government has decided to introduce capital punishment in case of death or permanent disability to those who consume their produce. Government sources said that the state cabinet on Tuesday gave green light to an important proposal seeking amendment to the Excise Act in this regard. The state’s governor will soon promulgate an ordinance giving effect to the proposed amendments. The new section seeks to provide punishing the guilty with life imprisonment or Rs 10 lakh penalty or both or capital punishment in case of a death or a permanent disability caused to a person/persons after consuming illicit liquor. The authorities feel that the provision for life imprisonment and death penalty may act as some deterrent in the state where hooch tragedies take place frequently.

India Needs Rs 4 Lakh Crore Investment In Aviation Infrastructure: Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on Tuesday that India would need Rs 3-4 lakh crore investment in aviation infrastructure in the next 10-15 years to reach 50 crore passenger trips. “We will need Rs 3-4 lakh crore investment in airports in the next 10-15 years. China today has got 50 crore passenger trips even if they have a high speed rail network. The US too has 90 crore passenger trips,” said Sinha. In India, Sinha said in the fiscal year 2014-15, 10 crore passengers travelled in planes, which increased to 16 crore in 2015-16. He said during the previous governments, only one airport was added because of which India in its 70 years of independence had only 75 airports. However, the current government has started 30 airports in the current year under the UDAN initiative, he added.

Mobile Phone Bills Set To Decrease: India’s telecom watchdog on Tuesday slashed mobile termination charges (MTC) by 57 per cent to six paise per minute with effect from 1 October, in a move that is likely to lead to a reduction in call rates. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India added that these charges would be completely done away with 1 January 2020 onwards. MTC, currently 14 paise, are payable by the operator whose subscriber makes a call to the operator whose subscriber receives the call, and directly impact the tariff. The development comes on the back of a prolonged battle between the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio and the top three telcos – Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, over the issue. While the top operators had pitched for doubling the MTC “to recover their cost,” the newer rival had suggested zero charges and shifting to the bill-and-keep regime, under which operators bill their own subscribers for outgoing calls and retain revenue received.

SC Order On Chakma And Hajong Refugees Not Implementable: Rijiju: The Supreme Court order directing the government to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees in Arunachal Pradesh is not implementable, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said on Tuesday. Rijiju’s comment came a week after Union Home Ministry cleared the decks for citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees of East Pakistan origin on the basis of the Supreme Court directive. Rijiju had earlier said that the Centre will urge the Supreme Court to modify its order of granting citizenship to the Hajong and Chakma refugees and ensure that the rights of the native Arunachal people are not undermined. Chakmas and Hajongs were originally inhabitants of Chittagong Hill Tracts, which at present is in Bangladesh, who migrated to India through the Lushai Hill district of Assam, an area that is presently in Mizoram.

Trump Threatens To ‘Totally Destroy’ North Korea: President Donald Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, in a combative first address to the United Nations General Assembly. “If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,” the President said. He singled out North Korea, recounting its history of kidnapping, oppression, and missile and nuclear tests. “The US has great strength and patience,” Trump said. But he added: “If it is forced to defend ourselves or our allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” To North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Trump said: “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime”. The American leader also attacked Iran, saying it was a "corrupt dictatorship" intent on destabilising the Middle East.

MUST READ OPINIONS AND COLUMNS

Fiscal Push Is Needed Now, Not Later: Fixed capital formation as a share of the GDP has been declining for five years. The GDP decline cannot be explained only by temporary disruptive factors like demonetisation or destocking prior to the roll-out of the goods and services tax.

India’s Creative Economy Needs Creative Solutions: A vice-like grip of regulators and regulations governs the creativity of the private television industry in India. It is time to either upgrade TRAI’s capacity or to even start thinking again of an independent and separate broadcasting regulator.

New Delhi And Tokyo: Asia’s New Leaders: There is unmatched intent and willingness in the India-Japan relationship to collaborate on new areas and across the region. Instead of competing with China’s ambitious commercial activities backed by unrivalled capital, India and Japan are creating an alternative narrative.

What Uttar Pradesh Tells Us About Health Infrastructure: The focus must urgently shift to staffing of doctors, nurses, technicians, availability and maintenance of equipment and supply of drugs. Healthcare cannot be about real estate and construction alone; human resources, equipment and drug availability are equally important.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

SC Bench Hearing Rohingya Case Must Read Verdict Of 2005, When It Was All For Deporting Illegals: If the Supreme Court is not convinced with the government’s arguments about deporting illegal Rohingya immigrants, it should read its strongly worded judgment of 2005 in the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, 1983 case.

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

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