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Daily briefing: Rajnath, French defence minister to attend Rafale induction today; 26% absent in JEE, up from 6% in Jan test

From the latest point of friction within the Maharashtra coalition to no reversal of the ban on PUBG, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 10, 2020 8:37:02 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india news briefing today, india latest news, nirmala sitharaman, ipl, asif bagra, bihar elections congressMarch 30, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning Readers,

We are covering the changes to the EPFO’s interest payout, drop in students who sat for the JEE exam and cracks in the Maharashtra coalition government. 

The Big Story

With the border situation on a tinderbox, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi will meet over lunch in Moscow to try and dial down the tensions. As things stand, 5000-7000 Chinese troops, backed by tanks and artillery, are in a faceoff with Indian troops who took key heights last month. 

From The Front Page

At 8.5%, the EPF interest rate is at a seven-year low. Now, the EPFO will only credit 8.15% and give the remaining 0.35%, which is linked to its equity investments, before December 31.  This effectively means that the retirement fund body is in a position to make only part payment of interest.

Even as the cap on FDI through the automatic approval route in the defence sector has been raised to 74%, there is now a  ‘National Security’ clause as a condition. This means the Government reserves the right to review any foreign investment in the Defence Sector that may affect national security,

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court referred to a Constitution Bench the question whether states have the power to exceed the 50 per cent reservation limit. This means the matter will be heard by at least an 11-judge bench as the 50 per cent ceiling was set by a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court in its landmark 1992 ruling.

The Pandemic

While AstraZeneca announced a temporary halt late to the global trials of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford due to a serious adverse event in the United Kingdom, recruitment of participants in India had already been put on hold last week after the first 100 participants were administered the shot.

At a Rajkot hospital, the job of handling Covid bodies has grown at least three-fold since July. “Over the past two weeks, it is around 15 to 20. We are operating our furnaces round-the-clock,” says Dinesh Rathod, a furnace operator.

Beyond Covid-19

The Shiv Sena-Kangana Ranaut faceoff appears to be the latest point of friction within the Maharashtra coalition government with both the NCP and the Congress saying that “undue importance” had been given to the actor’s recent remarks against Mumbai and the police.

Ground reports from Madhya Pradesh, India’s largest soyabean and urad (black gram) producer, suggest significant damage to kharif crops — first from an extended dry spell in July and then too much rain towards the last week of August.

Despite the Centre and Supreme Court’s ruling to go ahead with JEE, several students have decided to skip the entrance this year over fears of Covid spread. While 94.32 per cent of registered students appeared for the exam held in January 2019, attendance fell to 74 per cent for the exam held earlier this month.


  • The Election Commission has proposed a 10 per cent increase in the campaign expenditure limit for all future elections given the constraints posed by Covid, The Indian Express has learnt.
  • Three persons, including two journalists with Republic Media Network, were arrested for allegedly trespassing on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s farmhouse in Raigad district.
  • More than a month after the first five Rafale fighter jets arrived in India on July 29, they will be formally inducted as part of the 17 Squadron, nicknamed Golden Arrows, on Thursday. 
  • The High Court of Bombay bench in Goa suspended a bailable warrant issued against the victim by the Mapusa fast-track court, which is hearing the rape case against Tarun Tejpal.
  • The BJP has asked its members in America to take part in the electioneering in their individual capacity, and not use the party’s name officially for campaigning for either parties.

And finally

A change in the ownership of the PUBG app would not lead to reversal of the ban anytime in near future, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has hinted. “There are about 70 issues to be dealt with…,” the ministry added.

Delhi Confidential: A key Supreme Court ruling, holding that Bangalore Club is not liable to pay wealth tax under the Wealth Tax Act, noted that one Lt. W.L.S. Churchill who “went on to become Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain” owed the club dues of Rs 13.

🎧 In our latest episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss the allegations of sexual harassment against two fames gurus of Hindustani classical musical – brothers Ramakant Gundecha and Akhilesh Gundecha.

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