1. Bullet train route is loss-making: RTI
As the Narendra Modi government proceeds with the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, an RTI query has revealed that over 40% of seats on all the trains on this sector go vacant, causing huge losses to Western Railway.
According to Right to Information replies received by Mumbai activist Anil Galgali, just in the past one quarter, the Western Railway’s losses on this sector stood at nearly ₹30 crore, or around ₹10 crore per month.
2. Speed up trial of politicians, says SC
The Supreme Court has asked the government to frame a central scheme for setting up special courts across the country to exclusively try criminal cases involving ‘political persons.’
In a determined effort to cleanse politics of criminality and corruption, the apex court said it takes years, probably decades, to complete the trial against a politician.
3. India mulls national e-commerce policy
A senior government official said India is considering drafting a comprehensive national e-commerce policy to develop an ecosystem that would support exports and protect consumer interests.
Sudhanshu Pandey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry said “However, the country is of the view that starting negotiations on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules in e-commerce would be premature at this stage as it was still unclear how they would benefit developing nations, including their companies and consumers”
4. NPS-private sector: Entry age limit raised to 65 years
Pension regulator PFRDA has increased the maximum age of joining NPS-private sector to 65 years from 60 years at present.
With this move, any Indian citizen, resident or non-resident, of 60-65 years of age can also join National Pension System (NPS) and continue up to the age of 70 years.
5. RCEP summit: India under pressure to cut tariffs further
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to participate in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit in Manila later in November where the country will face more pressure to improve its commitments for eliminating tariffs in goods and agree to an early conclusion of the mega trade deal.
6. Experimental vaccine may protect against HIV
Scientists have developed a novel vaccine candidate that may prevent HIV infection by stimulating an immune response against sugars that form a protective shield around the virus.
Researchers designed a vaccine candidate using an HIV protein fragment linked to a sugar group. When injected into rabbits, the vaccine candidate stimulated antibody responses against the sugar shield in four different HIV strains.
7. Gender inequality widening after decade of progress: WEF
WEF said in a report that a decade of slow progress towards better parity between the sexes has screeched to a halt, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said today, warning the global gender gap was now widening. But the global trend now seems to have made a U-turn, especially in workplaces, where full gender equality is not expected to materialise until 2234.
8. Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, UrbanClap tie up for job generation
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and UrbanClap, a private online service aggregator, signed a memorandum of understanding, to provide employment opportunities for the urban poor who have been skilled under the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM).
The MoU signed in presence of Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs (Independent Charge), will be effective for five years.
9. Cabinet approves MoU between India, Armenia
The Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratifying an Agreement between India and Armenia on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters.
The Agreement would provide a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries and help in the proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and the facilitation of legitimate trade.
10. India beat NZ by 53 runs in first T20I
India finally tasted success against the team that has been their Achilles heel for long in this format when they outplayed butter-fingered New Zealand by 53 runs in the first Twenty20 International here tonight.
At the end of the lopsided game that was also veteran seamer Ashish Nehra’s last in competitive cricket, hosts India sauntered to a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.