Coronavirus 4.0 unlocking
Metro rail services will resume from September 7; Announcing guidelines for unlocking 4.0 on Saturday, the Center said the metro railway could resume service from September 7, while Social, cultural, religious, academic, sports or political meetings will be held with a maximum of 100 people as of September 21.
- The guidelines further stipulated that state governments will not impose any local closures outside of containment areas without prior consultation.
- The Home ministry said: “After extensive consultations with states and UTs, it was decided that schools, universities, education and training institutions would continue to be closed to students’ regular activity classes, Cinemas, swimming pools, amusement parks, theaters (except open-air theater) and similar venues closed until September 30, 2020.
Congress reiterates demand for parliamentary panel to investigate Facebook issue:
Congress reiterated on Saturday its demand that the government form a joint parliamentary commission to investigate what it called “the ungodly privacy” between the operations of Facebook in India and the BJP.
- Congress pointed to a Time magazine article which it said not only confirmed a Wall Street Journal article, but also noted that WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, also has similar ties to BJP.
- WhatsApp, which was used by 40 Indian crores, had been “indirectly compromised and controlled” by the BJP, Congress said.
- The Time article claimed that current WhatsApp public policy director Shivnath Thukral in 2013 operated websites and Facebook pages for the BJP.
- He claimed that WhatsApp was slow with hate speech on its platform because it wanted to launch its own payment platform soon.
- The party demanded that WhatsApp not receive approval for its payment transactions until an investigation is completed.
Kerala rejects GST compensation options
Kerala rejected the two Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation options offered by the Center and requested the Center to take out a loan and provide compensation of GST to states.
- The first option was a special window for states, in consultation with RBI, to borrow rupees 97,000 crore at a reasonable interest rate.
- The second option was to borrow the total of Rs. Deficit of Rs 2.35 million lakh under special window.
- According to the Constitution, the state needs the authorization of the Center to take out a loan, and the interest will be 1-2% more if the state uses the loan.
- Only 3% of state revenue can be used as a loan even if the permit is granted.
- Even if the tax cap is increased by 0.5% as suggested by the Center, it will not be suitable for Kerala as it will not cover the required amount of GST compensation.
The Ministry of Health is developing SOPs (standard operating procedures) for sessions of Parliament and the Legislature that include Covid protocols and preventative measures, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said as ‘he chaired the 20th meeting of the High Level Group of Ministers (GoM) on Covid-19, here Saturday.
- The Maximum government has also expressed concern about the upcoming festival seasons and recommended that everyone adopt safe and appropriate behavior for Covid.
- Meanwhile, for every million people, cases and deaths of coronavirus in India are one of the lowest compared to global averages, the Meximum government has reported.
- The meeting was further informed that as of Saturday eight states (Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana) were contributing around 73% of the number of active cases.
- Seven states (Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) account for 81% of total deaths from coronavirus infection.
- The number of coronavirus cases reported in India stood at 35.33,939 at the time of this news summary, with a death toll of 63,631.
Chess Olympiad – Humpy wins Armageddon and helps India reach the final
India made a magnificent comeback to defeat Poland and advance to the final of the online chess Olympiad on Saturday. Once the teams were at the same level at the end of the two matches, in which there were six matches each, the winner had to be decided by Armageddon (tiebreaker).
- Koneru Humpy, the world’s number one for women. 2 of Vijayawada, had black pieces against Monika Socko. This meant that she had four minutes to make her moves against her rival’s five.
- But the player with black pieces only needed to draw, while the opponent had to win.
- Humpy did more than necessary, winning in 73 moves. After losing the first game 2-4, the Indians had to win the second.
- They did it in some style, with a 4.5-1.5 win. In Sunday’s final, India will face the winner of the second semi-final to be played between Russia and the United States.
Actor Chadwick Boseman, who played black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before rising to fame as the Real Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, died of cancer on Friday, his representative said. He was 43 years old. Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, his family said in a statement.