Morning digest: TN to take decision on Kerala’s offer of water supply, Centre to invest ₹25 lakh crore in farm sector

Workers collecting water from the Puzhal reservoir on the outskirts of Chennai on Thursday.

Workers collecting water from the Puzhal reservoir on the outskirts of Chennai on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: AFP

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

Centre plans to invest ₹25 lakh crore to boost agricultural productivity: Ram Nath Kovind

The Centre plans to invest ₹25 lakh crore in the farm sector in the coming years to boost agricultural productivity, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Thursday.

Addressing the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, the President said that a committee of Chief Ministers was being set up to look into structural reforms in the field of agriculture. With regards to drought-hit areas, Mr. Kovind said the government was aware of the crisis and was assisting farmers and tackling drinking water shortages with the support of State governments and village sarpanchs.

Kerala offers to send 20 lakh litres of water by rail to Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami will on Friday take a decision on Kerala’s offer to supply 20 lakh litres of water by train from Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai to tide over the water crisis, Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani said on Thursday evening.

The Minister’s response came after the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office posted a statement on Facebook stating that Tamil Nadu had declined its help to supply water (on a one-time basis).

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt to fight for U.K. leadership

Fervent Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt emerged on Thursday as the only two candidates left in the race to become British Prime Minister, with the flamboyant Mr. Johnson odds-on favourite to win next month.

In a fifth and final ballot of Conservative lawmakers, which eliminated Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Mr. Johnson was again way out in front with 160 out of 313 votes, versus Mr. Hunt’s 77. One ballot paper was rejected.

‘One Nation, One Election’ idea totally impractical: AIADMK

A key National Democratic Alliance ally, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), is opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s formula of “One nation, one election”.

Tamil Nadu Minister C.V. Shanmugam and Rajya Sabha member A. Navaneethakrishnan submitted a memorandum on Wednesday on behalf of their party as they were not allowed inside the meeting which was only open to party presidents.

NHRC questions frailty of health infrastructure

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday issued notices to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry (MoHFW), and all States and Union Territories, over what it termed was the “deplorable public health infrastructure in the country”, an NHRC statement said.

The NHRC took suo motu cognisance of several media reports on recent deaths across the country due to “deficiencies and inadequacies in the healthcare system”.

Opinion | Protectors of real news

The role of the reader deserves to be analysed in greater detail. His invisibility hides the fact that he is an informal trustee of a newspaper, tuned to its nuances and style. He sustains his favourite columns and greets them with a kind of enthusiasm which is moving. As a columnist, I can testify that readers’ comments sustain one, and their openness and honesty are moving. I still remember an old reader who complained to me imperiously: “Please do not ruin my morning coffee with your difficult English!”

One faces the paradox that while a particular news might be ephemeral, the newspaper is a commons of memory, and the reader a trustee of news and its integrity.

Hong Kong groups call for fresh rallies

Hong Kong opposition groups called on Thursday for another major demonstration after the pro-Beijing government did not respond to demands of protesters.

A number of protest groups, including student unions, called for supporters to mobilise on Friday, asking people to gather at the city’s main government complex to “hold picnics” outside the legislature starting 7 a.m. on Friday.

Kim gives ally Xi a special welcome

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Pyongyang on Thursday during a historic visit to burnish an uneasy alliance, with the two men each facing challenges of their own with U.S. President Donald Trump.

With the North’s nuclear negotiations with the U.S. at a standstill, Mr. Kim told his country’s key diplomatic supporter that he was “willing to be patient”, Chinese state media reported, but wanted “the parties concerned” to meet him halfway.

Council may consider GST cut on EVs

The GST Council meeting on Friday could see rate reductions for electric vehicles (EVs) and the extension of the term of the National Anti-Profiteering Authority till November 2020, according to officials in the Finance Ministry.

Tax experts say that the Council’s real focus should be on addressing concerns regarding the new return filing system recently introduced, while the start-up community is asking for the Council to further streamline the input tax credit refund system since a large portion of their working capital is locked away.

Warner’s big hundred highlights Australia’s consummate win

Australia moved closer to the semifinals after David Warner, with his second century of the tournament, inspired the defending champion to a comfortable 48-run win over a combative Bangladesh here on Thursday.

The left-handed opener contained his natural aggressive self before swinging his arms freely to score 166, which steered Australia to a mammoth 381 for five, its second highest in the World Cup.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 5:37:17 AM |

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