Morning
Brief: Modi To Flag Off First UDAN Flight; Farm Income Tax Ruled Out;
Trump Unveils Biggest Tax CutsAir India planes prepare for take-off at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/GettyImages)

Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.

Modi To Flag Off First UDAN Flight: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today inaugurate the first flight from Shimla to Delhi under government’s subsidy-led Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) regional connectivity scheme with fares starting at about Rs 2,000. The regional connectivity scheme is intended to connect small towns by air. Air India said it has opened bookings for the first UDAN flight from Shimla to Delhi with all inclusive fares starting at Rs 2,036.

Jaitley Rejects Tax On Farm Income: The central government has no plans to tax agricultural income, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday. According to constitutional allocation of powers, the central government has no jurisdiction to impose tax on farm income. “I have read the paragraph in NITI Aayog report titled ‘Income Tax on agriculture income’. To obviate any confusion on the subject, I categorically state that the central government has no plan to impose any tax on agriculture income,” said Jaitley.

CRPF Gets New Boss: Two days after an attack by naxalites that killed 25 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans and left seven more seriously injured, the government appointed Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, a 1983-batch Indian Police Service officer and former director general (DG) of the Narcotics Control Bureau as the new DG of the CRPF. The paramilitary force had been without a chief for two months. In another key appointment, R K Pachnanda was appointed DG of the Indo Tibetan Border Police.

Another Milestone; Sensex Hits All-Time High: Indian stock markets extended their record run on Wednesday with benchmark Sensex at Bombay Stock Exchange rising over 200 points to hit an all-time high of 30,146.54 and Nifty moving above 9,350 levels amid a global rally. The rupee also strengthened against the dollar as a string of strong quarterly results including from Reliance Industries Ltd and positive global cues boosted the sentiment.

Regulating NGO Funding: Government Told To Draft New Law: The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday asked the government to consider making a law to regulate non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as the funds given to them, saying that existing guidelines are not sufficient. "Whatever be the method, we are clear that NGOs and voluntary organisations must give audited accounts of utilisation of funds received from governments. After all, it is taxpayers' money," a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said.

Adityanath In Major Administrative Rejig: The Yogi Adityanath government on Wednesday transferred 84 Indian Administrative Services and 54 Indian Police Services officers, including district magistrates and police chiefs, in the biggest administrative reshuffle since it assumed power in Uttar Pradesh. Among the district magistrates shifted out include those of Lucknow, Mainpuri, Etawah, Kannauj, Ghaziabad and Mathura. Eleven officials of the secretary and principal secretary ranks have also been rejigged.

CBSE To Conduct NET, Says UGC: Ending uncertainty over the National Eligibility Test (NET), the University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will continue to conduct the exam even as the board had earlier expressed its inability to do so. NET qualification is a must for recruitment of teachers at colleges and universities. The CBSE had last year approached the Human Resources and Development Ministry expressing its inability to conduct the exam due to capacity crunch.

Trump Proposes Biggest Tax Cuts: US President Donald Trump is proposing “the biggest tax cut” ever in an effort to fulfil his promises to stimulate job creation and middle class prosperity. The top tax rate for individuals would drop by a few percentage points, from 39.6 per cent to the “mid-30s”. Small businesses would see their top tax rate go from 39.6 per cent to the proposed corporate tax rate of 15 per cent. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the proposed overhaul would amount to “the biggest tax cut” and the “largest tax reform” in US history.

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Economically Responsible Justice: The judiciary is increasingly dealing with issues with economic and commercial impact. Judges need to understand the complex linkages between various areas of governance and economic and legal activity today.

Indian Heritage’s Economic Potential: Only a limited number of heritage buildings are tourist attractions; for the rest, new functions need to be incentivised and planned. Our built heritage can be leveraged for economic gain through tourism dollars as well as opportunities for craftsmen and local communities.

Manage The Source To Manage The Destination: The initiative to create mental accounts on the income side will help organisations ensure that the salaries that are paid to employees are utilised in an effective way. If we can orchestrate the perception of where the money comes from, we can better manage where the money will go to.

How To Avoid A Tech Counter-Revolution: The Silicon Valley mode of operation is to hype up technologies to the general public, which doesn’t really need most of them. Google Glass was one example: While the tech can be useful in business environments and derivatives have other interesting applications, it turned out to be socially unacceptable.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

Sukma Again: There Is No Option But To Train Better And Lead Better: India’s security forces must learn to shed their ego and train together more often for better institutional training. This is perhaps the only way to avoid a repeat of the Sukma ambush.

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

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