Morning Digest: Centre to borrow for States to meet GST shortfall; J&K regional parties team up for restoring special status, and more

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

GST shortfall | Centre to borrow ₹1.1 lakh crore on behalf of States

The Centre on October 15 made a departure from its stance that States should undertake market borrowings to bridge the ₹1.1 lakh crore of GST compensation shortfall this year, stating that the Government of India will now undertake the required borrowings in tranches and pass it on to States as a ‘back-to-back loan’ that will reflect on their own books.

Jammu and Kashmir regional parties team up for restoring special status

National Conference (NC) president Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Thursday, chairing a meeting of around six regional political parties, announced a new grouping named ‘Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’, comprising all the parties that signed the Gupkar Declaration on August 4 last year “to fight for J&K’s special status”.

Ladakh standoff | Disengagement talks a work in progress, says Jaishankar

India, China talks on disengagement at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) were a “work in progress”, and “confidential” at present, said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, even as the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) asserted that the two sides now have a “better understanding” of each other’s positions.

No end to violence against women: SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday said crimes against women continued in a “never-ending cycle” in India. In a 151-page judgment, a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan said women in India faced violence and discrimination in one form or the other in their various roles as daughter, sister, wife, mother, partner or single woman.

PM seeks scaling up of sero-surveys, testing

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a review meeting on the research and vaccine deployment ecosystem against COVID-19, including testing technologies, contact tracing, drugs and therapeutics, said a press release by the government.

Biden campaign finds third virus link; Harris suspends travel

At least three people connected to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign have tested positive for the coronavirus, leading the campaign to suspend in-person events for vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris through Monday.

No plan to completely do away with sleeper coaches, says Railway Board chief

Railway Board CEO and Chairman V.K. Yadav on Thursday said while they did not plan to completely do away with sleeper class coaches, only air-conditioned coaches would be used on select routes where trains would run at a speed of 130 kmph or higher.

Shopian encounter: Army to complete recording of statements in 10 days

The Army’s Court of Inquiry (CoI) into Operation Amshipora in Shopian, in which three terrorists were killed and the Army had accepted there were excesses, would complete recording statements within the next 10 days and action taken as per the recommendations, said Maj. Gen. Rashim Bali, General Officer Commanding of the Victor Force covering South Kashmir under 15 Corps, said on Thursday.

Bihar Assembly elections | Mahagathbandhan releases joint list for all seats

Amid reports of differences in the Congress party over candidates for the Bihar Assembly elections, the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) released a joint list of candidates for all 243 seats in the State late on Thursday night.

Naga issue | Only one solution is message from Centre, says Neiphiu Rio

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said on Thursday the message from the government of India is clear that there will be only “one solution” for the Naga political issue. Mr. Rio was addressing over 150 members of the civil society groups in Kohima who had met to discuss the ongoing Naga peace talks and the Naga political issue.

Coronavirus | Centre issues SOPs for cultural events

The Ministry of Culture on Thursday issued detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to facilitate organisation of cultural events during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SOPs are based on the Unlock 5.0 guidelines of the Union Home Ministry and have been finalised after taking into consideration the suggestions received from various stakeholders in the creative industry.

Despite ban, thousands join Thai protest

Thousands of protesters demonstrated in Thailand’s Bangkok on Thursday, defying a ban imposed to end three months of anti-government action that has targeted King Maha Vajiralongkorn as well as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader.

Indian Premier League 2020, RCB vs KXIP | Kings finally win, put a spoke in Royal Challengers’ wheel

Kings XI Punjab nearly made a mess of it once again, but Nicholas Pooran’s six off the last ball ended the team’s losing streak on Thursday. K.L. Rahul’s men beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

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