1. Minimum qualification for MLAs/MPs
The SC has dismissed a petition that sought to fix “minimum qualifications for becoming an MP or MLA”. The court has said that the parliament has to take a call on these issues.
The petition by KC Agrawal had requewsted directions on the matter to ensure only qualified persons become lawmakers.
2. Govt raises tax on cigarettes
Due to an anomaly, taxes on cigarettes had dropped in the new GST regime. Manufacturers had the choice to either pass on the benefit to consumers or pocket the margin.
The government then found that producers were opting for the latter.
To correct the situation and to save itself from losing Rs. 5,000cr in revenue, the government has increased cess per stick by 48-79p.
3. India warns Pakistan over ceasefire violations
While holding DGMO- level talks on Monday, Lt General AK Bhatt issued a strict warning to Pakistan over ceasefire violation along the LoC.
Bhatt told his counterpart Major General Mirza that India will continue retaliatory firing if Pakistani Army targeted Indian troops or tried to send terrorists gradually.
Both the DGMOs spoke over the hotline, clearing the air that India reserved the right to hit back.
4. Centre refuses fresh currency exchange window
The Centre firmly ruled out any fresh window for exchange of demonetized notes, saying “going by the extent of malpractices observed during the post-demonetization period”, such a chance could be misused.
“The very object of demonetization…will be defeated…as persons in possession of scrapped currency would have had sufficient time to plan excuses for not depositing them (earlier),” the finance ministry submitted in an affidavit.
5. Flipkart revises Snapdeal buyout offer
Online retailing major Flipkart is believed to have sent a revised offer of $900-950 million to buy smaller rival, Snapdeal.
The sources did not wish to be identified as the deal is still under discussion and yet to be finalised. The board of Snapdeal (run by Jasper Infotech) will now meet to consider the offer and is most likely to accept it, one of the persons said.
Snapdeal’s valuations have also plummeted from about $6.5 billion in February 2016.
6. The Next Vice-President of India
The BJP’s parliamentary board picked Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu as the party’s nominee for the post of Vice-President, and his name has been endorsed by the NDA as well.
Mr. Naidu resigned from the Cabinet later on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, was fulsome in his praise of Mr. Naidu, tweeting: “I know Venkaiah Naidu garu for years. Have always admired him for his hard work and tenacity.”
7. China begins commercial production of drone
China has started commercial production of its CH—5 Rainbow drone, touted to be a rival to the US unmanned aerial vehicle MQ—9 Reaper, which could attack targets on the ground.
He said the drones equals that of the US General Atomics MQ—9 Reaper, but at around half the cost.
The Reaper can climb to a height of between 12,000 and 15,000 metres.
8. Internet shutdown 29 times in 2017
As per Brookings Institution report, India lost over Rs. 6,548 crore in business due to Internet shutdowns in the past 3 years.
Keeping business losses aside, in a democracy like India, frequent Internet shutdowns make one wonder if India has indeed become intolerant.
9. Indian banks need extra provisioning for bankruptcy cases:
Indian banks taking 12 of the country’s largest defaulters to bankruptcy court under a central bank directive, the banks need to make additional provisioning of at least 18,000 crore rupees , India Ratings and Research said on Tuesday.
The 12 companies account for 1.78 Lakh Crore rupees in non-performing bank loans, according to RBI data.
10. UK to introduce new banknote
The Bank of England is introducing a new polymer £10 note featuring the 19th century novelist Jane Austen.
The move will make Austen the only woman, besides Queen Elizabeth, to be featured on a British banknote.
The note’s introduction marks the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death.
This is a part of Britain’s attempt at replacing paper £5, £10 and £20 with secure plastic notes.