Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.
India’s Heaviest Rocket Set For Launch: The countdown for India’s heaviest rocket – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) – is well under way. It is set for its maiden flight into space along with a communications satellite GSAT-19 on Monday evening. The rocket, weighing 640 tonnes and standing 43.43 metres tall, will blast off from the second launch pad at India’s rocket port at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the mission’s success will enable India to launch four-tonne satellites on its own rocket instead of paying huge amounts of money to foreign space agencies to execute the operation.
Army Rejects Pakistani Video Of Attacks On Indian Posts: The Indian Army has rejected Pakistan's claim that five Indian soldiers were killed and bunkers were destroyed along the Line of Control. A purported video of the incident, circulated by Pakistani army, is "false and fabricated", the army said and added that there has been no casualty except a woman, who had been injured in the firing. This was the second such video released by Pakistan Army in two weeks amidst a flare-up in border tensions. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh warned Pakistan over its repeated attempts to disturb peace, saying the Indian forces won’t count bullets if Pakistan fires even once.
Aadhaar Mandatory For Kerosene Subsidy: The government has made Aadhaar card mandatory for receiving subsidy on purchase of kerosene and benefits of Atal Pension Yojana. The last date to get the Aadhaar or enrolment for getting it will be 30 September, in case of kerosene subsidy. For the Atal Pension Yojana, the deadline for getting the Aadhaar is 15 June. “Those availing kerosene subsidy or contributing for the pension scheme will now be required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo the enrolment process to get the benefits,” officials said.
Centre Set To Appoint 44 High Court Judges: The Union government is reported to have started the process of appointing 44 high court judges. This comes after it initially returned their names to the Supreme Court collegium for reconsideration on two occasions. As per an established practice, the government usually appoints a person as a judge once the collegium reiterates its recommendation. But in the recent past, the government had expressed its disapproval of the collegium's recommendations by returning them more than once. The approved strength of the 24 high courts is 1,079 judges, but they are functioning with a strength of 629 – a shortage of 450 judges. Over three crore cases are pending in courts across India.
Banks Not Ready For GST, Says IBA: The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), a representative body of management of banks operating in the country, has informed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance that all banks are not yet ready for the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST). “Since the GST will be operational from 1 July 2017, banks have to make a lot of changes in their systems and other procedures. The preparedness of all banks for implementation of GST on 1 July 2017, is a question mark,” IBA told the panel.
DeMo Will Help Boost Revenues In Long Run: World Bank: A World Bank report has given a thumbs up to the government’s demonetisation (DeMo) efforts claiming its successful implementation will help in raising revenues on a sustained basis as more and more people will come under the tax net. "Going forward revenues may increase permanently if demonetisation is successful in raising the amount of income reported to tax authorities," World Bank said in a chapter titled 'India's Great Currency Exchange' in its latest 'India Development Update'. The report also pointed out that demonetisation has the potential to accelerate the formalisation of the economy.
India Trounce Pakistan: India started their defence of the ICC Champions Trophy with a top class performance beating Pakistan by 124 runs (Duckworth/Lewis method) in their opening match at Edgbaston, Birmingham. India put on 319 for three despite two rain interruptions in 48 overs and managed to bundle out Pakistan for 164 in 33.4 overs. India's top four registered fifties and the man of the match award went to Yuvraj Singh for a blistering knock of 53 off just 32 deliveries. With the ball, Umesh Yadav led from the front scalping three wickets while Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja took two apiece.
London Terror Attacks: IS Claims Responsibility, May Vows Tough Response: The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for London terror attacks, saying it was carried out by “a detachment of Islamic State fighters.” Declaring “enough is enough”, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed a sweeping review of Britain’s counterterrorism strategy after three knife-wielding assailants unleashed an assault, the third major terrorist attack in the country in three months. At least seven people were killed and dozens more wounded, including 21 who remained in critical condition.
MUST READ OPINIONS AND COLUMNS
India, Israel, And A Natural Ideological Affinity: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Israel has occasioned much fine commentary on what India may learn from Israel, especially on matters of internal, external security. That there is a natural strategic and burgeoning economic relationship between India and Israel is now becoming clear to everyone.
Expect A Less Hawkish RBI, But The Monetary Policy Stance May Not Change: As long as the liquidity is not posing a threat to inflation, RBI will not be in a hurry to raise the policy rate. To drain excess liquidity, it can always sell bonds under the market stabilisation scheme or MSS.
Currency Ban: The Politics Vs The Economics: For a country reeling under the impact of unbridled corruption in public life and the visible spurt in ostentatious consumption, Narendra Modi’s rhetoric connecting the dots was too compelling. By championing the politics of demonetisation, Modi has also assumed the mantle of an anti-corruption crusader.
Customers Don’t Need Bank Account Number Portability: The only outright winners from implementing this would be information technology majors with banks as captive clients. Hence, bank account number portability doesn’t solve an expressed or implicit inconvenience, clears no known barriers to exit or improve choice, while inviting indeterminate upheaval expense.
Remains Of Our Crumbling History: The Decaying Mandapams Of Kanyakumari: Mandapams are where travellers stopped to rest and, despite the neglect, still serve as a treasure trove of our rich past. But today, the mandapams of the Kanyakumari district suffer a neglect that is symbolic of our attitude towards our heritage at large.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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