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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Daily briefing: Sting on corruption by BS Yediyurappa’s family; NCB says Rhea bought drugs for Sushant

From the changes to the defence acquisition policy to the emergence of startups using AI for instant quality check of farm produce, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | September 29, 2020 8:55:28 am
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Good morning, 

We are covering the changes to the defence acquisition policy, the police action against a channel that aired a sting on members of  B S Yediyurappa’s family, the emergence of startups using AI for instant quality check of farm produce.

The Big Story 

The government has done away with the offset clause in three types of contracts in its new defence acquisition policy. This would likely bring down the costs in defence contracts as foreign vendors reportedly add around 10 per cent to balance offset costs. 

From the Front Page 

The Congress leadership asked four states ruled by the party to explore ways to bypass the new farm laws. While a state can make changes to a central legislation on a subject in the concurrent list, it is unlikely President Ram Nath Kovid would give his assent.

Amid protests against the new farm laws, and days after it advanced procurement of kharif paddy in Punjab and Haryana, the Centre on Monday cleared early procurement in all the remaining states. The usual procurement date is October 1.

For the first time in recent history, the RBI had to postpone its monetary policy review meeting after the government failed to nominate its three members to the six-member panel on time,  The Indian Express has learnt.

Bengaluru Police carried out searches at the offices of a TV channel and the home of its managing director-editor Rakesh Shetty after it aired a sting alleging the involvement of members of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s family in acts of corruption.

The Pandemic 

Maharashtra, which contributes 22 per cent of India’s Covid-19 load, has witnessed a gradual decline in daily new cases of Covid-19 and the positivity rate over the last two weeks. Last week, the state had recorded 1.3 lakh new infections – a 12.7 per cent drop from the week before.

The situation in Tripura, which has the highest Covid mortality rate in the Northeast, could be said to be worrying as a three-member central team has made some observations which shows there are unutilised ventilators, dysfunctional X-ray and CT scan machines, no audit of deaths and non-existent waste management at the lone designated Covid hospital in the state.

Beyond Covid

With the aim to create women leaders, the Department of Science and Technology will develop a framework to rate and rank science institutes depending on the proportion of women employed. Expected to be unveiled by December, this will cover government and private institutes.

A legacy of the ‘Amul model’ is that dairy farmers today are paid not just for quantity, but also for quality of the milk they supply. This benefit isn’t available to other farmers, more so in crops that are sold through APMC mandis. This is where new artificial intelligence technologies hold promise.

ICYMI

And Finally…

Interview: From Covid, health, and economics to ED and Delhi riot politics, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks to The Indian Express.

Delhi Confidential: Veteran BJP leader Uma Bharti, who could not find a place in the party’s newly constituted team of office-bearers, has written an emotional letter to BJP president J P Nadda.

In today’s podcast episode we’re looking at a probe in which top Bollywood stars were questioned, then we’re looking at the impact of the SAD leaving the BJP. And finally, we’re looking at the latest changes to the defence acquisition policy.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G and Shreyasi Jha

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