YK MYK INDIA NEEDS SPECIAL PLAN FOR PUTTING STUDENTS BACK ON TRACK OPINION Rs. 5 RANCHI THURSDAY, 25 MARCH, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—10, ISSUE—319 (RNI NO: JHAENG / 2012 / 44137) WEATHER TODAY MAX 33 C MIN 18 C Sky will be partly cloudy. AT A GLANCE PARLIAMENT PASSES FINANCE BILL 2021 NEW DELHI: The Parliament on Wednesday passed Finance Bill 2021, which gives effect to the financial proposals of the central government for the financial year 2021-22. The bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, a day after it was approved by the Lok Sabha. Replying to the debate on the bill, Finance Minister Nirmala accused the Congressled UPA government of having "mismanaged the economy". She noted that the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) have declined to Rs 8.99 lakh crore as of March 2020. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,17,37,572 TOTAL DEATH: 1,60,498 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 124,947,741 TOTAL DEATH: 2,748,877 SCREEN & CINEMA Morning India Power generators can exit loss making contracts with states NEW DELHI: The government has given freedom to the central sector power producers such as NTPC, NHPC and SJVN to sell power relinquished by state discoms to new buyers under long or short term contracts or place the surplus power on exchanges for discovery of price in the day ahead, term ahead and real time markets. The move is expected to provide new avenues to central generating stations (CGS) who could now find buyers with better paying capacity for power relinquished by state discoms that have often been found to delay payment to power generators. Total dues owed by electricity distribution companies to power producers have risen sharply to reach closer to Rs 1.40 lakh crore now, reflecting deep stress in the sector. In a set of guidelines on distribution of power after the termination of power purchase agreements (PPAs), the Power Ministry has said relinquished power (the capacity that comes out of the PPAs existing with state discoms) could be sold by CGS under various avenues including tie up with another buyer willing to go in for long term, medium term (up to 5 years) or short term PPAs through competitive bidding route. This power could also be sold through power exchanges PFIZER BEGINS EARLY STAGE TRIAL FOR ORAL COVID-19 DRUG NEW YORK: Pfizer has said that it has begun early-stage clinical trials of an investigational, oral antiviral drug for Covid-19. The company on Tuesday (local time) said that the candidate "has demonstrated potent in vitro antiviral activity" against the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as activity against other coronaviruses, suggesting the potential for use to address future threats. This Phase 1 trial is being conducted in the United States. MORE ON PG 5 ARJUN: PEOPLE WOKE UP TO ME POST EMMY NOMINATION The move is expected to provide new avenues to central generating stations (CGS) who could now find buyers with better paying capacity for power relinquished by state discoms that have often been found to delay payment to power generators. and also reallocated to willing buyers. However, the new guidelines, which have been framed after extensive discussions with the state governments and stakeholders, has accorded first right to refusal to state/discoms with which CGS had PPA earlier. Willing discoms have to be allocated desired quantity of power by generators even after the term of a PPA ends (about 25 years in most cases) on priority. Outside sale could only be done after an original PPA holders for the quantity of power gives a no objection certificate (NoC). The guidelines further states that either party would have to give six months notice indicating their decision to exit from a PPA. This would mean that in cases where PPA is set to expire in near future, a six month advance notice will have to be given by the state or discoms and where a 25 year PPA has already expired, again state will have to give six months notice to CGS indicating their decision to exit. LS PASSES BILL TO STRENGTHEN NORMS RELATING TO PROTECTION AND ADOPTION OF CHILDREN NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill to strengthen the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 to ensure better protection and adoption of children. Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani, while addressing the House, said that the amended bill would address various issues flagged by a panel that had looked into the working of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. PAGE 5 PM MODI: INDIA EXPANDING CONNECTIVITIES WITH NEIGHBOURS, EAST ASIAN NATIONS JOYFUL A College student plays with colours ahead of the Holi festival, in Bhopal on Wednesday. ANI ‘Surge in cases in Maha, Punjab of grave concern’ NEW DELHI: The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday expressed concern over the surge of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra and Punjab. Two states which have shown surge in cases -Maharashtra and Punjab -are of grave concern, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press conference. Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai, Thane, and Nashik are the worrisome districts in Maharashtra, while Jalandhar, SAS Nagar, Ludhiana, Patiala, and Hoshiarpur are showing massive surge in Punjab. "Punjab is worrisome because new cases are more in comparison to the population," Bhushan said. Coronavirus cases have been increasing drastically in India in the last two weeks. On Wednesday, India reported 47,262 coronavirus cases 771 CASES OF COVID-19 VARIANTS DETECTED Dawoodi Bohra Community members wait to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Bhopal, Wednesday. in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike since November 11, 2020, taking the total tally to 1,17,34,058. Six states cumulatively account for 81.65 per cent of the new cases reported in the past 24 hours. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 28,699. INSIDE PUNJAB HAS MAXIMUM CASES OF CORONAVIRUS VARIANTS: GOVT DATA NEW DELHI: Amid the surge of COVID-19 cases in India, the Health Ministry on Wednesday informed that a total of 771 cases of coronavirus variants detected across 18 states in the country. The Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr SK Singh while addressing a joint press conference said, "A total of 771 cases of coronavirus variants detected across 18 states in the country. Out of which 736 cases are of UK variant. PAGE 5 GUWAHATI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the NDA government has been extending and improving connectivities not only within India but also with the neighbouring countries including Myanmar and Bangladesh. Addressing his second election rally on Wednesday at Sipajhar under Darrang district in northwestern Assam, the Prime Minister said that waterway connectivities with the neighbouring countries including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal besides East Asian nations are being further developed and extended. Modi said that in the long railway history of Assam, during this month for the first time, electric train services have been launched in between the Bongaigaon and Sarupeta stations. He said that Assam's several airports are being further modernised while rail,.road and waterway connectivities are being extended and improved facilitating the trade, tourism and easier movement of people in the northeastern states. "During the decades' long rule, the previous Congress govt had constructed three bridges, but during the five year rule, the BJP government has built six big bridges," the Prime Minister added. Twitter announces measures CJI recommends Justice to protect assembly elections NV Ramana as his successor NEW DELHI: As the assembly polls in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry inch closer, Twitter on Wednesday said it is implementing significant product, policy, and enforcement updates to keep the service safe from attempts to manipulate the platform. While a global cross-functional team with local, cultural, and language expertise will run the election integrity work, Twitter said it is taking proactive measures to prevent prohibited political advertising through comprehensive and nuanced enforcement mechanisms. "These include identifying Artists perform during Union Home Minister Amit Shah's Election campaign rally for the Assembly election in, Thripunithura on Wednesday. ANI and blocking ads from referenced candidates, parties, and other election-related content," the company said in a statement. Twitter said it will label synthetic and manipulated media and link it to a Twitter Moment to give people additional context and surfacerelated conversations "so they can make more informed decisions on the content they want to engage with or amplify". When people attempt to retweet tweets with a synthetic and manipulated media label, they will see a prompt pointing them to credible information. "These Tweets won't be algorithmically recommended by Twitter, which further reduces the visibility of misleading information," the company announced. NEW DELHI: Chief Justice S.A. Bobde has recommended to the Centre to appoint Justice N.V. Ramana as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Bobde will retire on April 23. Justice Ramana was appointed to the Supreme Court on February 17, 2014. Justice Ramana will take over as the Chief Justice on April 24. According to a source familiar with the development, Chief Justice Bobde sent a letter to the Centre confirming Justice Ramana as the next Chief Justice. Justice Ramana will have a tenure of over 16 months as the Chief Justice. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had sent a letter to Justice Bobde seeking his recommendation. The government had asked the incumbent Chief Justice to recommend his successor. As per the Memorandum of Procedure governing the appointment of members of the higher judiciary, "appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of India should be of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office". WHY CAN'T PETROL, DIESEL BE BROUGHT UNDER GST? NEW DELHI: While debating the Finance Bill 2021 in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sushil Modi explained the reason behind not bringing petrol and diesel prices under the GST. He said for the next eight to 10 years at least, petrol and diesel cannot be brought under the GST. The Bihar BJP leader alleged that opposition leaders strongly oppose GST on the streets but when the GST Council meeting takes place, not a single Chief Minister or Finance Minister has ever opposed the GST structure? "If the income generated from diesel and petrol is being spent in the development of the country, then what is the problem?" asked Modi. Modi said if the petrol or diesel costs Rs 100, a tax of Rs 60 is levied. Of this Rs 35 is received by the Central government and Rs 25 by the states. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Modi said, "One thing which repeatedly comes up is that petrol and diesel prices be brought under the GST slab. If petroleum products are brought under GST, where will the states go to compensate for the loss of more than Rs 2 lakh crore to Rs 2.5 lakh crore every year? The Centre and the states get nearly 60 per cent of the revenue from petrol and diesel and receive Rs five lakh crore per year." He said the highest tariff BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi answered this question in Rajya Sabha during the budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo/RSTV) under the GST is 28 per cent, while at present 60 per cent tax is being levied on petrol and diesel. In such a situation, if petrol and diesel were brought under the GST, then from where will Rs 2 to 2.5 lakh crore be compensated? Modi further said,"Whether it is the Congress or the BJP , no government is willing to compensate for a loss of Rs 2.5 lakh crore. It is not possible that in the incoming 8-10 years, petrol and diesel can be brought under the GST." Modi also targeted the opposition parties for opposing the GST. He said,"Some people ridicule GST as 'Gabbar Singh Tax'. If you have the courage, then oppose it in the GST Council meeting where ‘If petroleum products are brought under GST, where will the states go to compensate for the loss of more than Rs 2 lakh crore to Rs 2.5 lakh crore every year? The Centre and the states get nearly 60 per cent of the revenue from petrol and diesel and receive Rs five lakh crore per year.’ leaders from all states are present. So far no Chief Minister and Finance Minister has opposed the GST structure in the GST Council meeting." Higlighting the benefits of the GST, Sushil Modi said in the Rajya Sabha that there are no check posts on the borders today which has helped in saving a lot of time. During the implementation of GST, the opposition parties had staunchly opposed it. Citing the example of Canada, one of the opposition parties had said that there was a lot of opposition to the introduction of GST in 1992 there and the ruling party lost when elections were held. It was said that the Narendra Modi government would have to suffer the same fate. But during the state Assembly elections held after GST implementation, the Modi government was re-elected to power with a massive majority. In Surat, where GST was opposed the most, the Congress could not win even a single seat during the Gujarat Assembly elections.