The LokSabha on Friday approved the extension of President’s
rule in Jammu and Kashmir for another six months, beginning July 3.
Home Minister Amit Shah assured the House that “democratic, free
and fair Assembly elections will be held in the State by the year-end”.Article
370 of the Constitution, which extends special status to Jammu and Kashmir, is
“temporary in nature’’ and “not permanent,” he told the House.
With this, people living along the International Border (IB) in
Jammu and Kashmir will get the benefit of reservation in direct recruitment,
promotion and admission to professional courses on a par with those living along
the Actual Line of Control (ALoC).
Continuing his attack on the Opposition party, he said Article
356 (President’s Rule) had so far been imposed 132 times, of which the Congress
had used it 93 times to dismiss State governments.
He said his government withdrew the security of 919 people in
the State as they faced no threat. During the tenure of President’s rule in J&K,
terrorism had been tackled strongly and the State saw development on a number of
fronts, including the conduct of panchayat elections.
Mr. Shah’s proposal to extend President’s rule in the State drew
sharp remarks from the Opposition benches, including Manish Tewari from the
Congress and N.K. Premachandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP). Both
parliamentarians opposed the proposal saying there was not enough ground for the
Union government to do so.
Countering the industry’s claims that the NITI Aayog’s
proposal for transition to electric vehicles (EVs) was “unrealistic” and
“ill-timed”, the think-tank’s Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said it was a
well-thought-out policy to capitalise on the “sunrise industry” and that
two-wheeler makers should work with the NITI Aayog rather than paint an
Additionally, he pointed out, the figure of Rs. 70,000 crore-Rs.
80,000 crore cited by the industry as investment to move to BS-VI was primarily
by the four-wheeler industry.
“At this point of time, we want to achieve policy clarity.
Rather than going that route [BS VI], they can switch to this route [electric].
And if investments have been made, then they have five years to fully utilise
these investments... Plus they can continue to export ICE [internal combustion
engine] vehicles,” he said.
In a recent meeting between the Aayog and the industry,
“Everyone agreed that the transition to electric is in the national interest.
Some players said 2025 was too short a time-frame, but when we asked them to
give a time-frame, they said they can’t give one and the market should decide.
If you are the dominant player and will continue producing ICE vehicles, how
will the market decide,” Mr. Kumar said.
In the meeting last week, one of the major two-wheeler makers
pointed out that we need to have proof of concept, but in the same meeting there
were start-ups which pointed out that electric vehicles were already on the
roads and there was sufficient proof of concept.
The country’s current account deficit (CAD) for the
January-March period narrowed to 0.7% of the GDP, or $4.6 billion, compared
with 1.8%, or $ 13 billion recorded during the same period of the previous
year. The deficit narrowed due to a lower trade deficit.
While foreign portfolio investments recorded a net inflow of
$9.4 billion, compared with $2.3 billion, on account of net purchases in both
debt and equity markets, foreign direct investment at $6.4 billion during the
January-March period was at the same level of the fourth quarter of the previous
For the full financial year 2018-19, CAD increased to 2.1% of
the GDP in 2018-19 from 1.8% in 2017-18 on the back of a widening trade deficit.
The country’s trade deficit increased to $180.3 billion in 2018-19 from $160
billion in 2017-18.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves hit a record high of
$426.41 billion for the week ended June 21, latest data from Reserve Bank of
India showed.The previous high was attained on April 13, 2018 when it was
During the week ended June 21, foreign exchange reserves swelled
by a whopping $4.2 billion.The increase in foreign currency reserves is due to
an increase in foreign currency assets of similar magnitude.
Prime Minister NarendraModi today held a tri-lateral meeting
with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin and
discussed issues like terrorism and climate change on the sidelines of the
G-20 summit in Osaka.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Modi said terrorism is the biggest
threat to humanity.MrModi said the trilateral meeting in Osaka is a useful
medium of discussion and coordination on major global issues.
Earlier, in the day Prime minister met several world leaders
including US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the
first day of G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
BRICS nation called for the rule-based multilateral trading
system as embodied in the WTO to ensure transparent, non-discriminatory, open
and inclusive international trade, amid growing protectionism.
Speaking to media, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said Mr Modi
also highlighted the need to bring reforms into the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
in order to ensure equal growth for all.
For its next mission in our solar system, NASA plans to fly
a drone copter to Saturn’s largest moon Titan in search of the building
blocks of life, the space agency said on Thursday.
The Dragonfly mission, which will launch in 2026 and land in
2034, will send a rotorcraft to fly to dozens of locations across the icy moon,
which has a substantial atmosphere and is viewed by scientists as an equivalent
of very early-era earth.
It is the only celestial body besides our planet known to have
liquid rivers, lakes and seas on its surface, though these contain hydrocarbons
like methane and ethane, not water. “During its 2.7-year baseline mission,
Dragonfly will explore diverse environments from organic dunes to the floor of
an impact crater where liquid water and complex organic materials key to life
once existed together for possibly tens of thousands of years,” NASA said.
The craft will land first at the equatorial “Shangri-La” dune,
exploring the region in short trips before building up to longer “leapfrog”
flights of 8 km.