Morning digest: Air India flight evacuating 324 Indians from China’s Wuhan lands in Delhi, National Statistical Office revises growth down to 6.1% for 2018-19, and more

Passengers on board the flight leaving Wuhan on February 1, 2020. Photo: Special arrangement

Passengers on board the flight leaving Wuhan on February 1, 2020. Photo: Special arrangement  

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

Coronavirus outbreak: Air India flight evacuating 324 Indians from China’s Wuhan lands in Delhi

Air India’s jumbo B747 plane, evacuating 324 Indian nationals from the coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China, landed here on Saturday morning, officials said. The plane reached Delhi around 7.30 a.m., they said.

National Statistical Office revises growth down to 6.1% for 2018-19

The National Statistics Office (NSO) on Friday released revised estimates for economic growth in the last three years, pegging actual GDP growth in 2018-19 at 6.1% instead of the 6.8% provisional estimates reported earlier in May 2019.

Economic Survey 2019-20: ‘No evidence of wrong estimation of growth’

In an effort to put to rest all speculation over the accuracy and reliability of India’s GDP data, India’s Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Krishnamurthy Subramanian on Friday asserted that there is “no evidence” of mis-estimation of growth of the Indian economy. The debates on the issue were kicked off last year after Mr. Subramanian’s predecessor, Arvind Subramanian — in a research paper published by Harvard University last year — had said India’s GDP growth in the period 2011-12 to 2016-17 is likely to have been over-estimated.

Coronavirus | Death toll rises to 259, nearly 12,000 confirmed infections in China

The death toll from China’s new coronavirus outbreak has risen to 259 and the tally of confirmed infections has surged to nearly 12,000, the government said on February 1.

The National Health Commission said in its daily update that 46 more people had succumbed to the respiratory disease.

Foreign Secretary unveils major MEA revamp

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has undertaken a major overhaul of departments and reporting structure that will effectively empower seven different Additional Secretaries and re-organise their tasks along themes like culture, trade and development, and consolidated geographical divisions for better coordination.

Citizenship Amendment Act fulfils wish of Mahatma Gandhi, President Ram Nath Kovind tells Parliament

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday kick-started the Budget session of Parliament with an address to both Houses. He lauded the enactment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) that, he said, fulfilled the wish of Mahatma Gandhi who had said that Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan who didn’t want to stay there could come to India.

Essential Commodities Act is outdated, must go, says Economic Survey

The Centre’s imposition of stock limits in a bid to control the soaring prices of onions over the last few months actually increased price volatility, according to the Economic Survey 2019-20 tabled in Parliament on Friday. The finding came in a hard-hitting attack in the report against the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) and other “anachronistic legislations” and interventionist government policies, including drug price control, grain procurement and farm loan waivers.

Election Commission joins plea to disclose criminal cases against candidates

The Election Commission of India on Friday filed a proposal jointly with petitioner-advocate A.K. Upadhyay for making election candidates as well as political parties fielding them, equally liable for disclosing their criminal antecedents. A Bench led by Justice Rohinton Nariman reserved orders on a contempt petition filed by Mr. Upadhyay against authorities and parties for not complying fully with a Constitution Bench judgment in 2018, which had directed political parties to publish online the pending criminal cases of their election candidates.

Economic Survey 2019-20: Food inflation higher in urban areas

There has been a sudden change in trend so far as food inflation is concerned, in the current financial year, for urban and rural areas, the Economic Survey said, highlighting higher food inflation in urban areas.

T.M. Krishna did not tell us about the scope of his book: Palghat Mani Iyer’s family

As vocalist T.M. Krishna’s book, Sebastian and Sons, on Dalit Christian mridangam makers, is to be released on Sunday, the family of mridangam maestro Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer said they felt that the author had ‘deceived’ them by not revealing the scope of the book. “While gathering information about Mani Iyer and his relationship with the mridangam makers, their family and his approach towards maintenance of the instrument, he did not tell us that the book was about caste, religion, and politics. We actually feel cheated and deceived,” vocalist Palghat R. Ramprasad, grandson of Mani Iyer, said.

Brexit Day: Britain bids farewell to the European Union after nearly 50 years

Britain on Friday ends almost half a century of integration with Europe, finally making its historic departure from the EU to begin a new — uncertain — future, with emotions running high following years of wrangling and several false starts. As the clocks strike 11:00 p.m. (2300 GMT) in Britain, the bloc’s often reluctant member becomes the first to leave an organisation set up to forge unity among nations after the horrors of World War II.

Economic Survey 2019-20: India can chart China-like export trajectory

The Economic Survey says India has an unprecedented opportunity to chart a China-like, labour-intensive, export trajectory by integrating “Assemble in India for the world” into Make-in-India policy and thus can raise its export market share to 3.5 % by 2025 and 6% by 2030.

Trump impeachment verdict next week after Senate rejects call for new witnesses

The U.S. Senate on Friday rejected Democratic calls for new witnesses at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, paving the way for the president to be acquitted next week of the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Following the 51-49 vote, Republican senators said a vote for acquittal is expected at 4.00 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Wednesday. That would mean the trial will not have concluded before Mr. Trump is scheduled to give his nationally televised annual “State of the Union” speech on Tuesday to a joint session of Congress.

NZ vs IND T20I series | It shows character of the team, says Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli, on Friday, said he has learnt an important lesson in the back-to-back Super Over finishes against New Zealand. “There’s something new I’ve learnt in the last couple of games: when the opposition is playing well, you stay calm till the end and try to come back,” Kohli said. The India skipper said, having come out victorious in two consecutive Super Overs for the first time proves the character of the team.

Economic Survey 2019-20: High fees push poor out of education system

High fees at the institutes of higher education push the poor and underprivileged out of the education system, the Economic Survey notes.

The comment comes at a time when a faction of students at Jawarharlal Nehru University have been opposing the fee increase arguing that it will force many poor students to quit studies.

National table tennis | Sathiyan and Sharath present a picture in contrast

Ranked 30th in the world and favourite for a maiden National title this weekend, Sathiyan is keen to put aside the poor showings in the recent World Team Qualification tournament, for the 2020 Olympic Games,and ensure the crown that eluded him last year. Sharath, ranked 33rd and the most successful men’s National champion, gives the impression of not being motivated enough to win a 10th title. Last year, he was lucky to beat Sathiyan and break Kamlesh Mehta’s record - set in 1995 - of eight titles.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:53:16 PM |

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