Morning Digest | Finance Ministry says wrong to assess economic activity on GDP alone, number of Nipah virus cases rises to six in Kozhikode, and more

Nipah outbreak | Number of cases rises to six in Kozhikode

One more person tested positive for the Nipah infection in Kozhikode district of Kerala on Friday, taking the total number of infected persons to six now. Meanwhile, lab tests have proved that E. Mohammedali, the first patient who died on August 30, too was infected with Nipah. His body fluid samples could not be sent earlier. However, the throat swab stored at a private hospital where he had been admitted was later recovered and sent. The results were made available on Friday. The spread of the infection is reported to have happened at this private hospital. Thirty samples of healthcare workers here have tested negative for the virus. So far, 100 samples have been sent for lab tests.

Supreme Court has prepared a ‘platform’ to assess ‘top’ 50 judges before appointment in the apex court: CJI

Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on Friday said the apex court with a young team of distinguished scholars, interns and law researchers had prepared a “broad platform” to assess every one of the “top 50 judges” in the country who would be considered for appointment as judges of the Supreme Court. “One of the criticisms about the collegium system is that we have no factual data to evaluate people whom we are considering for appointment to the Supreme Court,” Chief Justice Chandrachud noted. The Chief Justice was speaking at the Ram Jethmalani Memorial Lecture’s centenary edition when he unravelled the “work in progress” to make the collegium system “more transparent”.

Wrong to assess economic activity on GDP alone: Finance Ministry

The Finance Ministry on September 15 scotched aspersions cast by “certain sections” on the credibility of Indian GDP data, which showed a 7.8% uptick in the first quarter of this year, stressing that Indian GDP data is not seasonally adjusted and is finalised three years later so “it is wrong to look at the underlying economic activity based on GDP indicators alone”. “Ideally, critics would have done well to look at several other growth indicators to see if other data match their conclusions. Purchasing Managers’ Indices indicate that the manufacturing and services sectors are growing. Bank credit growth is in double digits. Consumption is improving, and the government has vigorously ramped up capital expenditure,” the Ministry said in a long post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Retrieving bodies of slain officers was the toughest part of Anantnag operation

The toughest task for the troops during the 60-hour long anti-militancy operation in Anantnag’s Kokernag was retrieval of the bodies of the three slain officers, including a Colonel and Major from the Army and a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) from the J&K Police, amid enemy fire. Official sources said DSP Himayun Bhat, posted with the police Special Operations Group (SOG) that is in charge of counter-insurgency operations, was alive and in touch with police officers for “six hours after being hit by bullets on Wednesday afternoon”. DSP Bhat also spoke to his family after he was hit. He was a father of a month-old son.

IND vs BAN | Shubman Gill’s classy ton, Axar Patel’s final dash not enough as India goes down narrowly

Shubman Gill’s classy century (121, 133b, 8×4, 5×6) and Axar Patel’s final flourish (42, 34b, 3×4, 2×6) were not enough for India as Rohit’s men went down to Bangladesh by six runs in the final Super 4s fixture, a dead rubber, of the Asia Cup Super 4s at the R. Premadasa Stadium here. Mustafizur Rahman took three wickets, including two in the penultimate over including the crucial one of Axar to derail India’s victory march.

Government notifies 31 Benches of GST Appellate Tribunal

The Finance Ministry notified the constitution of 31 Appellate Tribunals across 28 States and eight Union Territories for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) late on Thursday night, setting the stage to resolve a growing number of taxpayer disputes with the Revenue Department. The establishment of these tribunals — envisaged at the time of the implementation of the GST regime from July 1, 2017 — got a final clearance from the GST Council this July, and was a much-awaited move for industry players, who had been approaching the High Courts and Supreme Court during the past six years.

North Korea’s Kim gets a close look at Russian fighter jets as his tour narrows its focus to weapons

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un peered into the cockpit of Russia’s most advanced fighter jet as he toured an aircraft factory Friday on an extended trip that has raised concerns about banned weapons transfer deals between the increasingly isolated countries. Since entering Russia aboard his armored train on Tuesday, Mr. Kim has met President Vladimir Putin and visited weapons and technology sites, underscoring deepening ties between the two nations locked in separate confrontations with the West. Foreign governments and experts speculate Mr. Kim will likely supply ammunition to Russia for its war efforts in Ukraine in exchange for receiving advanced weapons or technology from Russia.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra writes to PM Modi urging him to declare Himachal floods as national calamity

The damage and destruction caused by the recent record-breaking rains in Himachal Pradesh should be declared a “national disaster” just like the Kedarnath tragedy of 2013, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. Ms. Vadra also sought financial assistance for providing relief to the victims and their families as well as for rebuilding the State.

Stray dog menace a serious issue, must be dealt with urgently: HC

The stray dog menace is a serious issue and needs to be addressed urgently by the city authorities, the High Court observed in an order last month. The court asked the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to take appropriate action to deal with the issue of attacks by stray dogs. Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma made the remarks while quashing two FIRs against a woman, a philanthropist and an animal lover, for alegedly feeding some dogs that attacked her neighbour and his father in 2014.

Govt. hikes windfall tax on domestic crude, cuts levy on export of diesel, ATF

The government on Friday hiked special additional excise duty (SAED) on crude petroleum to ₹10,000 per tonne with effect from September 16. In the last fortnightly review on September 1, windfall tax on domestically produced crude oil was set at ₹6,700/tonne. Besides, the SAED or duty on export of diesel will be cut to ₹5.50/litre, from ₹6/litre currently.

J&K High Court issues notice to administration over house arrest of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

The Jammu & Kashmir High Court on Friday sought reply from the Lieutenant Governor’s (L-G) administration over the house detention of Hurriyat chairman and the valley’s Mirwaiz (chief preacher) Umar Farooq. “The Court has asked the administration to file a reply within four weeks,” Advocate Nazir Ronga, who is Mr. Farooq’s legal representative, said. Mr. Farooq had served a legal notice to the LG’s administration two weeks ago over his house detention and denial to visit historic Jamia Masjid since 2019, where he leads the prayers and delivers Friday sermons as part of Mr. Farooq’s family tradition.

Ukraine’s Kyiv, Lviv placed on heritage ‘in danger’ list: UNESCO

The UN’s cultural organisation on Friday placed World Heritage Sites in the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Lviv on its “in danger” list, saying they are at risk from the war sparked by Russia’s invasion. The decision, taken at UNESCO’s annual world heritage committee meeting in Riyadh, is a step towards better protection of the historic sites, the UN’s cultural organisation said . Their inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger “also opens the door to additional financial and technical aid in order to implement new emergency measures”, it said in a statement.

Myanmar to offer visa on arrival to Chinese, Indian tourists

Myanmar will offer visas on arrival to Chinese and Indian tourists, state media reported, as the ruling junta seeks to lure back foreign visitors and their cash .A start date for the one-year trial scheme “will be announced soon”, the Global New Light of Myanmar reported, citing the junta’s immigration ministry. Holders of the visas will be “allowed to visit all sites apart from restricted areas for security concerns”, said the report in Thursday’s newspaper. Currently citizens of both countries must apply for a tourist visa online, or at a Myanmar embassy.

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