Morning Digest | Resources for States raised sharply in Budget, says Sitharaman; U.S. shoots down unknown object flying off Alaska coast, and more

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February 11, 2023 07:30 am | Updated 07:30 am IST

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: ANI

Resources for States raised sharply in Budget, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserted that resources for States have been raised sharply in the Union Budget 2023-24, called out Opposition-ruled States like Kerala, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh for hiking taxes on petroleum products, and red-flagged irregularities in West Bengal’s implementation of schemes such as PM Awas Yojana. Ms. Sitharaman said the Narendra Modi government “doesn’t keep just one person, but everybody and the country, in mind, while taking decisions.”

U.S. jet shoots down unknown object flying off Alaska coast

A U.S. military fighter jet shot down an unknown object flying off the northern coast of Alaska on orders from President Joe Biden, White House officials said. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the object was downed because it was flying at about 40,000 feet (13,000 meters) and posed a “reasonable threat” to the safety of civilian flights. Officials said the object was far smaller than the previous balloon, did not appear to be maneuverable and was travelling at a much lower altitude.

IMF, Pakistan fail to strike deal on bailout package

Cash-strapped Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have failed to reach a staff-level agreement on a much-needed $1.1 billion bailout package aimed at preventing the country from going bankrupt. Pakistan, whose foreign exchange has dropped below $3 billion, is in desperate need of financial assistance and a bailout package from the IMF in order to avoid an economic collapse.

Delhi court convicts four under UAPA for being part of al-Qaeda

A Delhi court convicted four men, who the Delhi police alleged, were part of a first group that was formed in India for expanding the network of the al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). The matter pertains to a First Information Report lodged by the Delhi police special cell in December 2015 who received information that the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda was trying to set up its base in India under the banner of the AQIS and had declared Asim Umar as its ‘Amir’ (head).

New Vande Bharat trains to connect financial hubs to pilgrim towns, says PM Modi

New Vande Bharat trains will provide a high-speed rail connection between the economic centres of Mumbai and Pune and centres of faith in other parts of Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, as he flagged off two Vande Bharat trains set to ply between Mumbai and the pilgrim towns of Shirdi and Solapur. Up to 108 districts in 17 States have been connected by Vande Bharat trains, said Mr. Modi, emphasising the need to improve public transport systems to elevate the ease of living for citizens.

Indians to pay monthly ₹900 for Twitter’s blue tick on mobile, ₹6,800 per year for web

India-based users who want to subscribe to Twitter Blue for additional features such as the verified blue tick will have to pay ₹900 per month for iOS and Android access, and ₹650 per month for web access, according to Twitter’s website. For now, users can still see whether verified users received their check marks for free or as part of the Twitter Blue service. However, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has clarified that the check marks of legacy verified accounts will “sunset” in coming months due to alleged corruption in the system.

PM Modi inaugurates Uttar Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023

Uttar Pradesh is playing an important role in driving India’s growth story, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lucknow, while inaugurating the State’s flagship Global Investors’ Summit-2023. The three-day summit aimed at acting as a catalyst in bringing investment in the State amid its ambitious $1 trillion economy target in the next five years will have 34 sessions with 10 sessions on day one, 13 on day two and 11 sessions on the last day.

Centre notifies the appointment of two new judges to the Supreme Court, top court will have full strength

After a gap of nine months, the Supreme Court of India will function with its full strength of 34 judges as the Centre on Friday notified the appointment of two new judges to the top court. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju took to Twitter to announce the fresh appointments to the top court and extended his best wishes to them. Once they take oath, the top court will achieve its full strength of 34 judges including the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

82% Indian organisations witnessed email-borne attacks over the last 12 months: Report

82% of Indian organisations experienced email-borne attacks in the last 12 months, research from Vanson Bourne, commissioned by Barracuda found. Financial organisations were found to be particularly affected by the loss of data and money. Loss of data was reported by 59% while loss of money affected 51% of the surveyed organisations. The report is based on a survey of 1,350 participants from industries, including agriculture, biotechnology, construction, energy, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications, wholesale and others.

Cracks noticed in 868 buildings of Joshimath so far, says Chamoli DM

Chamoli District Magistrate (DM) Himanshu Khurana said various cracks had been noticed in 868 buildings of Joshimath. Mr. Khurana also said that 878 members of 243 disaster-affected families are in relief camps and basic facilities are being provided to them. ”Relief amount of 515.80 lakhs has been distributed to the families hit by subsidence in Joshimath.”

Govt to borrow ₹13,879 crore to strengthen health infra from international agencies

The Indian government has signed loan agreements to borrow up to ₹13,879 crore to strengthen health infrastructure from international agencies. Loan agreements have been signed with Asian Development Bank for $300 million (₹2,474 crore) and with Japan International Cooperation Agency for 50 billion Japanese Yen (₹3,162 crore). In addition, the World Bank has approved $1 billion (₹8,243 crore) IBRD loans for Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM).

‘I’m your family member’, says PM Modi after inaugurating Dawoodi Bohra community’s Arabic Academy in Mumbai

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Dawoodi Bohra community’s Arabic Academy at Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah (The Saifee Academy) in Mumbai. “I’m not here as Prime Minister, but as part of the family. Visiting you is like visiting my family. Please don’t refer to me as PM or CM. I’m your family member,” he said while addressing the community members. Hailing the contribution of the community to social welfare initiatives, Mr. Modi said that from fighting malnutrition to the cause of water in Gujarat their contribution is unforgettable.

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