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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Daily briefing: Default will not result in NPA, says Supreme Court; UP to spend Rs 2,000 crore to speed up Ayodhya work

From the 18 per cent coronavirus positivity rate among health workers in Telangana to the issuance of 83 lakh new MGNREGA job cards, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 4, 2020 8:27:16 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india top news today, express investigation, fincen files, what are fincen files, rajya sabha chaos, farm bills, gauri lankesh, anurag kashyap sexual harassment caseSeptember 21, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning Readers,

We are tracking the four Sahara-run credit cooperatives that are under probe for fraud, high Covid positivity rate among health workers and the meeting between Defence Ministers of China and India in Moscow. 

The Big Story

Outmaneuvered by the Indian troops in the Chushul sector, China has sought a meeting with India on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation gathering of Defence Ministers in Moscow today.

Also read: Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat warned of the two-front threat from China and Pakistan, saying the two countries have been collaborating militarily, economically and diplomatically.

From The Front Page

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was speaking at the US India Strategic Partnership Forum virtually, said the pandemic has not impacted the aspirations and ambitions of 1.3 billion Indians and that the road ahead is full of opportunities in the public and private sector.

In a move that could catalyse a significant scale-up in financial services in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (Gift City), the government has eased regulatory norms to a proposed special purpose vehicle that will bring onshore trading activity on SGX NIFTY, a derivative of the NSE’s NIFTY index traded officially on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Authorities have received thousands of complaints against the four cooperative societies run by Subrata Roy-led Sahara Group over non-payment of matured deposits. The complainants also include Sahara agents who alleged the management transferred deposits to another scheme whenever investigating agencies tighten the leash on them.

The Pandemic

Telangana has reported 18 per cent coronavirus positivity rate among health workers—the highest in the country. Maharashtra has the second highest rate at 16 per cent. States with a high positivity rate among health workers were pulled up by the Centre and were asked to evaluate the situation.

From germicidal ultra violet lights inside Maharashtra Assembly to a special disinfectant coating that can keep objects sterilised for hours, the state legislature has put in place elaborate safety measures to shield legislators from Covid-19 as they convene for a two-day Monsoon Session from Monday.

Beyond Covid-19

In a clear sign that MGNREGA has emerged as a safety net for lakhs amid the economic distress triggered by Covid-19, over 83 lakh new households have been issued job cards under the scheme during the first five months of the current financial year.

At the same time, in a relief for borrowers, the Supreme Court has said that accounts that were not declared Non Performing Assets until August 31, shall not be declared so until further orders, and also sought to know the steps taken by the Centre and RBI for further relief. 

Five Islamic State Khorasan Province members, who were arrested earlier this year, were “planning mass killings” and had even conducted reconnaissance of “sensitive locations” in Maharashtra that are frequented by foreigners, the National Investigation Agency has said.

ICYMI

  • Despite the government’s claims that mainstream political leaders in Kashmir Valley are not under house detention, PDP leaders said they had to cancel a party meeting because police did not let them leave their homes.
  • Facebook has told the Congress that its public policy is driven by a “diverse team” representing a “varied political spectrum” who have either served in many administrations or have “political experience”.
  • Two psychiatrists have told Mumbai Police that actor Sushant Singh Rajput was irregular with the medicines prescribed to him and from what they knew, had stopped taking them in the first week of June.
  • Going by his academic records, a local court has granted Aligarh Muslim University student Sharjeel Usmani bail in connection with an anti-CAA violence case in the city last year.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to spend more than Rs 2,000 crore to restore Ayodhya’s “lost glory” and develop it as a major destination for religious tourism.

And finally

Vidit Gujrathi is still reeling from the highs of leading India to its first Online Chess Olympiad gold, shared with Russia. The 25-year-old from Nasik tells The Indian Express that India showed it can win, and will work to win the title outright next time around.

Delhi Confidential: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has been having a tough time as chairman of the Standing Committee on Information Technology, with BJP MPs objecting to steps he has taken. Now that the committee’s term is ending on September 12, members from opposition parties feel the “build-up” was only to see that Tharoor does not get renominated as panel head.

🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss the AGR crisis in the telecom sector and why this week’s judgment by the Supreme Court has come as a relief to Airtel and Vodafone.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad and Liu Chuen Chen

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