Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.
Lok Sabha Gives Green Signal To Four GST Bills: The Lok Sabha cleared four bills related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Wednesday, setting the stage for 28 states, along with Delhi and Puducherry, to enact state laws over the next three months to roll out the new tax regime from 1 July. GST will replace central excise, service tax and state VAT and several other levies, in addition to subsuming existing cesses and surcharges.
Supreme Court Bans Sale of BS III Vehicles From 1 April: The Supreme Court has ruled that automobile manufacturers cannot sell vehicles that do not comply with Bharat Stage IV emission norms from 1 April, asserting that public health is more important than commercial interests. The top court said that all stakeholders were aware for the last six years that a better emission standard, BS-IV, would come in force from 1 April 2017, and therefore, piling up BS-III stock was a bad call on their part.
Draft New Media Briefing Policy, SC Tells Centre: The Centre was directed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday to frame a fresh media briefing policy for probing agencies. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said the media briefing policy for central investigating agencies were framed in 2010 and it was time to frame them afresh taking into consideration the issues flagged by amicus curiae Gopal Sankaranarayanan who made a detailed presentation before the court.
President Gives Go-Ahead To New Maternity Leave Law: President Pranab Mukherjee has approved the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017, paving the way for women employees to get paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks. The new law has made changes in some of the provisions of over the 55-year-old law entitling certain benefits to women employees. The new law makes it mandatory for every establishment with 50 or more employees to have the facility of creche within a prescribed distance.
Oppo Sacks Chinese Employee Who Tore Indian Flag: After massive protests, mobile phone maker Oppo has sacked a Chinese employee who had torn the Indian flag and threw it in the dustbin. “Oppo India regrets this unfortunate incident and reaffirms that this is an individual’s behaviour that in no way represents our company’s position. We have zero tolerance for such matters and have taken strict action in terminating the individual and continue working very closely with the authorities on the matter,” Oppo India said.
Rajya Sabha Passes Finance Bill With Five Amendments: The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Finance Bill 2017 after adopting five amendments moved by the opposition. Of the five opposition amendments, three were moved by the Congress member Digvijaya Singh and two by Sitaram Yechury of Communist Party of India Marxist. The amendments were adopted with a significant margin, with the difference of votes ranging between 27 and 34 votes.
UP To Introduce Yoga In School Curriculum: Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Secondary Education Minister Dinesh Sharma on Wednesday said yoga would be included in school curriculum. He said a separate board to promote Sanskrit education would also be set up in the state. Speaking about inclusion of yoga in school curriculum under physical education, he said: “The subject will be divided into two parts – yoga and physical education.”
‘No Turning Back’ On Brexit As Article 50 Triggered: Britain's exit from the European Union (EU) is "an historic moment from which there can be no turning back", Prime Minister Theresa May has said. This comes after the UK triggered its departure from the EU, commencing two years of negotiations with its European partners. The letter, signed by May, was handed over to European Council president Donald Tusk in Brussels. The handover will propel both Britain and the EU into a new territory, as the country becomes the first nation in history to trigger Article 50 briefly outlining the process for exiting the union.
MUST READ OP-EDS
GST: The Final Countdown Begins: There is now light at the end of this long tunnel, early release of rules covering valuation, input tax credit and transition, along with rate fixation are now critical for implementation to happen on 1 July 2017.
GST: Pooling Sovereignty, Promoting Federalism: 29 March 2017 must be recorded as one of the most significant days in the history of federalism in India. By passing the four bills relating to different aspects of the GST, the Lok Sabha has, perhaps for the first time put limitations on its own powers, in the interest of federalism.
Intelligent Adoption Of Artificial Intelligence: AI has the potential to disrupt the core of business processes. However, blind adoption of technology and hype-based purchase may not lead to the desired results.
Surviving Digital Disruption: The scale of the digital revolution requires organisations to adopt a “transform or die” mindset, channelling the paranoia about the threat of upstart start-ups into transformative initiatives that can forge a new, connected future for all. Opportunities are abundant, but the winner will take all.
A Prescription For Successfully Managing IoT Data: The Indian IoT market is set to grow to $15 billion by 2020 from the current $5.6 billion, as per a report by Nasscom. More connected devices mean more data and hence a humongous need is arising to systemise and analyse this data.
When Murugan Became Mohan Lazarus: Evangelist hate mongers are thriving in Tamil Nadu with the support of Dravidian and Left-secular parties. Whether such orchestrated divisive practices will lead to a UP-style consolidation of Tamil Hindus is yet to be seen.
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