Vodafone wins Rs. 3,700 cr. income tax demand case – (Economics)
- In a major relief to British telecom major Vodafone in the transfer pricing case, the Bombay High Court on Thursday ruled in its favour, setting aside a tax demand of Rs. 3,700 crore imposed on Vodafone India by the income tax authorities.
- The ruling is likely to benefit multinational companies such as IBM, Royal Dutch Shell and Nokia that face similar tax demands.
SC asks Delhi, Centre to help kids breathe better – (Environment)
- Moved by a compelling picture drawn by three toddlers about children’s everyday struggle to survive Delhi’s poisonous air, the Supreme Court on Thursday stepped in to help them.
- A bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu asked the Centre and the Delhi government to respond to the infants’ plea to help them breathe better by ordering a ban on firecrackers this Diwali.
ISRO eyes a global role in satellite navigation – (Science And Technology)
- The Indian Space Research Organisation has unveiled plans to gradually make its regional satellite navigation system global — akin to powerful position-telling systems such as the U.S.’ GPS and the Russian GLONASS.
- ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said four of the seven Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) satellites are in orbit and the last three spacecraft would be added in orbit by March 2016. The IRNSS would provide self-reliance in the strategically important area of position-related information.
IAF to have women fighter pilots – (Social Issues)
- The Army does not allow women into infantry, armoured corps and the artillery, while the Navy does not post them on warships and the Air Force is yet to let them fly fighter planes. The key argument put forth in support of the discrimination is the fear of women being taken prisoners of war, and the physically demanding nature of those jobs.
- While announcing the dramatic shift away from the Indian military’s traditional opposition to women in combat duties, Air Chief Marshal Raha did not spell out how soon the historic step would be reflected in the Air Force.
Govt. for social media checks – (Security)
- The government will soon ask social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to remove objectionable contents, hate messages and those having communal overtones on their own accord, a senior government official said.
- The government is planning to convene a meeting of all stake-holders for this.
‘Involve farmers in fight against climate change’ – (Environment)
- A regional consultation on agro forestry on Thursday underscored the need for enabling policies to ensure that farmers get technology and financial incentives to integrate trees and shrubs on farmland for developing resilience to climate change.
- “India has the most progressive agro forestry policy in the world,’’ Director-General of Kenya-headquartered ICRAF (World Agro forestry Centre) Tony Simons told The Hindu on the sidelines of the conference here. “This needs to be followed up with investments and better coordination between States.’’
Pakistan outraged at presence of Baloch activist in India – (International Relation)
- Indicating the changing policy towards extending support to separatist movements in Pakistan, India on Thursday confirmed the presence of the representative of Baloch leader Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri in New Delhi.
- Confirming the report published in The Hindu , Vikas Swarup, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said the presence of the Baloch representative proves again that “India has always been home to the persecuted people from all over the world.”
Beefed-up curbs, feeble resistance – (Indian Polity)
- As we desperately look for explanations following the brutal killing of Mohammad Akhlaq, we have to start by acknowledging that we have given up too much, questioned too little and stayed silent for far too long.
- The restrictions on beef consumption are part of the same narrative that legitimises ‘offence’ as a tool to curtail rights and freedoms. The legislatures, the courts as well as the public are all guilty of giving credence to such narratives.
Security concerns trump diplomacy – (International Relation)
- New Delhi’s decision to highlight the atrocities by Pakistani forces in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and in Balochistan, as reported by this newspaper, is a clear departure from past practice.
- The difference can be gauged by comparing the strong reactions six years ago to the previous Indian government’s acceptance of Balochistan in the Sharm el-Sheikh statement, with how the Ministry of External Affairs now openly accepts in the context of Balochistan that India “is home to persecuted people everywhere”.
Journalist wins literature Nobel – (International Relation)
- vetlana Alexievich, a Belarusian journalist and prose writer, won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time,” the Swedish Academy announced.
- Alexievich, 67, is the 14th woman to win the literature prize. Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said she had created “a history of emotions — a history of the soul, if you wish.”
Nepal’s crisis is an outcome of its internal discord: India – (International Relation)
- India on Thursday tore into Nepal’s promise to provide security to Indian truckers, and said the blockade on the border and the resultant fuel crisis are prompted by a section of the Nepalis.
- “Indian Oil Corporation was unable to transport fuel on October 7 due to border obstruction on the Nepali side. The obstruction is due to the fact that a part of the population is not happy with the Constitution that Nepal has passed recently and they are asking for changes in that Constitution,” said Vikas Swarup, Spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry.
Tax sops on molasses – (Economics)
- Sugar mills supplying ethanol to oil public sector undertakings (PSUs) in 2015-16 season starting this month, will be eligible to avail input credit on the excise duty paid on the raw material molasses, a move aimed at promoting 10 per cent ethanol blending with petrol.
- Currently, there is a fixed excise duty of Rs.750 per tonne on molasses, a by-product of sugarcane used for manufacturing ethanol, alcohol and other products.
Gadkari extends blame for road construction bubble to previous govt. – (Economics)
- Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday backed Road Secretary Vijay Chhibber’s assertion that banks were wrong to give road developers loans without doing due diligence. However, Mr. Gadkari also extended the blame for this to the previous government.
- “He (Chhibber) asked the right question. He said that the banks did not do their due diligence. That is right. But it is also the government of the time’s fault. If land acquisition and environmental clearance was not yet done for the projects, why did the government give tenders for those projects in the first place,”
Reserve Bank of India hopes banks will pass on rate cut benefit – (Economics)
- The Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor H. R. Khan on Thursday expressed hope that banks would pass on the entire benefit of the cut in the key interest rate.
- “Different banks are looking at different ways. I think (monetary) transmission will happen and it will happen over time,” he said at National Financial Inclusion Conference.