1. Need Rs 21,000 Crore; Cess: Kerala Finance Minister
The Kerala government will need at least Rs 21,000 crore to reconstruct basic infrastructure following the unprecedented floods that have claimed at least 216 lives since August 8, and will look at various options to meet the burden, including approaching the GST Council to allow the state to levy a cess, State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told The Indian Express.
The state will also approach the central government, multilateral agencies and soft-loan providers, Isaac said. “The social cost is unimaginable, the trauma is heavy,” he said.
The Finance Minister, who is overseeing relief work in Alappuzha district, said the state will also have to make “corrections in the development trajectory” in the future and “focus on the toll that development takes on the environment”.
(Source: The Indian Express)
2. Nirav Modi in UK, CBI Moves Extradition Request
Authorities in the UK have confirmed that jewellery designer Nirav Modi is in that country, setting in motion the process to try him in India over his alleged role in the nearly Rs 14,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud, officials familiar with the matter said on Monday.
Modi’s uncle and co-accused in the case Mehul Choksi was tracked down in Antigua and Barbuda last month and India has formally moved for his extradition as well. The two have evaded the law for eight months.
“We were informed by the UK authorities about Nirav’s presence at the weekend. We immediately moved for his detention by forwarding the Interpol Red Notice issued against him through the ministries of home and external affairs. A formal request for his extradition too has been moved,” CBI spokesman Abhishek Dayal said.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
3. In a Letter to Imran, Modi Seeks Meaningful Engagement with Pakistan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a letter to his new Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, has called for bilateral engagement, sources confirmed on Monday. In the first official communication with the new administration in Islamabad, Mr Modi called for building good neighbourly ties for security and prosperity in the region.
“The Prime Minister expressed India’s commitment to building good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan and pursuing meaningful and constructive engagement for the benefit of the people of the region,” said an official source.
The Indian response came soon after the newly-appointed Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Mr. Modi had mentioned dialogue in his letter. However, the official source said India had not called for dialogue so far.
(Source: The Hindu)
4. At Two Events, Message for One
Two events to condole a former Prime Minister and commemorate another at different venues were bound together by thinly veiled lessons to their successor on how to be a model Prime Minister.
If Union home minister Rajnath Singh marked an all-party meeting to mourn Atal Bihari Vajpayee by extolling the late leader's "art of taking everybody along", Sonia Gandhi paid homage to Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary by reaffirming a resolve to fight "the forces of divisiveness, hate and bigotry".
The venues were around 5km apart but a common thread did run through both the events.
(Source: The Telegraph)
5. Why Yogi Shouldn’t Be Prosecuted for ‘Hate Speech’?: SC Notice to UP Govt
The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking its response as to why Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, should not be prosecuted for his alleged hate speech made at Gorakhpur in 2007.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud issued notice returnable in four weeks on a special leave petition against Allahabad High Court order rejecting the plea for action for hate speech.
The high court had upheld a decision by the Uttar Pradesh government to deny sanction to prosecute Yogi Adityanath in the case. The apex court has now sought a response to the notice within four weeks.
(Source: Deccan Chronicle)
6. Shelter Home Rape Case: NGOs Offer to Surrender Contracts
In the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case and Aasra short-stay home case in Patna, Non-Government Organisations managing the government-funded 110 such homes in Bihar are offering to surrender their contract with the State’s Social Welfare Department.
The CBI, investigating the Muzaffarpur sexual abuse case, has speeded up the investigation.
Earlier, in its 100-page report, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) had raised fingers at several NGOs running shelter and short-stay homes in different districts of Bihar where instances of sexual and physical abuse with the inmates were reported.
(Source: The Hindu)
7. Defence Ministers of India & China to Meet Today
Chinese defence minister Lt Gen Wei Fenghe will be on a four-day visit to New Delhi beginning Tuesday as relations between the two countries are back on track after the Doklam standoff was resolved last year.
The meeting between the defence ministers aims at a better communication between the armies of both countries to avoid Doklam-like situations.
A hotline facility between military headquarters is also likely to be discussed, sources said.
This will be the second meeting between them this year after Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman met him during her visit to Beijing in April to take part in the defence ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
8. War on Drugs Moves Beyond Punjab
With the drug menace extending its tentacles beyond Punjab in northern India, the four states of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, along with the Union territory of Chandigarh, announced a first-of-its-kind initiative on Monday to wage a joint battle against drugs.
Among several measures, the drive will see a common secretariat being set up in Panchkula while the group will formulate a joint strategy to tackle the issue.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and his counterparts – Amarinder Singh from Punjab and Trivendra Singh Rawat from Uttarakhand – attended the first 'Regional Conference on Drugs: Challenges and Strategies' – in Chandigarh along with top police and administration officials of Rajasthan, Delhi and Chandigarh. Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur participated via video conferencing.
(Source: The Times of India)
9. Uttar Pradesh Encounters: 21 Deaths, 20 Similar Firs, Same Keywords
Since the Uttar Pradesh government took charge in March 2017, there have been 2,351 shootouts and 63 encounter deaths, spread across 24 districts, until 4 August this year. The government has cited this as evidence of its resolve to clean up the state of crime and criminals.
In May, the NHRC directed the state to constitute a five-member team to investigate 17 of these cases. Last month, the Supreme Court issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the encounters.
(Source: The Indian Express)
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