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RBI's Measure on Paytm's UPI Operation Request

A request from Paytm, also known as One 97 Communications, to continue operating as a third-party application provider (TPAP) for processing payments through India's unified payments interface (UPI) is under review by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Following the RBI's directive for Paytm Payments Bank to wind down its operations by March 15, a new set of banks will need to support the Paytm app to ensure uninterrupted service. The central bank has instructed the National Payments Corporation of India to oversee the migration process for existing users to a new handle, emphasizing the need for a smooth transition. No new users will be added until all existing users are successfully migrated, as per the RBI's guidelines. sources

Published:
Feb 23 2024, 5 pm IST

Kamal Nath Urges People to Join Rahul Gandhi's Yatra

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath has dismissed rumors of joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and instead urged the people and Congress workers to join Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in the state. Emphasizing Gandhi's fight against injustice, Nath called on the people to support the campaign against exploitation and oppression. Speculation arose after a post showing Nath with BJP State Spokesperson Narendra Saluja circulated online, but Nath affirmed his commitment to the Congress ideology. Amidst concerns of weakening opposition and attacks on democracy, Nath highlighted the Congress Party's role in countering dictatorship and building a strong democracy. With no concrete plans to switch sides, Nath's message resonates with the party's history of struggle and service, aiming to create a golden India following the path of Gandhi, Nehru, and Ambedkar. sources

Published:
Feb 23 2024, 5 pm IST

India's space industry open to foreign investment, cautiously optimistic

India's space sector is abuzz with excitement over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government's decision to allow increased foreign direct investment, ranging from 49% to 100% in various subsectors of the space economy. While the move has been largely welcomed by stakeholders, including startups and established players, concerns have been raised about the need for an Indian Space Law and a liability regime to ensure the reforms' stability. The recent liberalisation of FDI policy provisions aims to provide clarity for foreign investment in satellites, launch vehicles, and other space-related components. Experts predict a significant boost to India's space economy, with projections of reaching $40 billion by 2040. However, some caution against potential risks of foreign ownership dominating the sector, echoing fears of a potential privatisation of the Indian Space Research Organisation. sources

Published:
Feb 23 2024, 5 pm IST

Congress and AAP agree on seat sharing in Delhi, Gujarat

The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party have finalized seat-share deals for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Delhi, Gujarat, Goa, and Haryana, following their recent victory in the Chandigarh mayoral poll. The details of the agreement, including a four-three split of Delhi's seven seats, will be announced at a press conference later today. The deal also includes seats in Goa, Chandigarh, Gujarat, and Haryana, with the AAP set to contest two seats in Gujarat, one each in Haryana and Chandigarh, and more. The INDIA bloc, formed to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP, has been actively negotiating with various regional parties and leaders, including Shiv Sena and Akhilesh Yadav, in an effort to strengthen its position ahead of the elections. sources

Published:
Feb 23 2024, 4 pm IST

S Jaishankar Discusses "Mind Games" in India-China Relations

India's External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, highlighted the challenges in maintaining equilibrium in India-China relations during an interactive session at the Raisina Dialogue. He emphasized the need for India to not forfeit its rights in leveraging the international system for better terms. Jaishankar pointed out China's departure from established norms as the immediate issue triggering the border row in eastern Ladakh. He cautioned against falling into China's "mind game" of restricting issues to bilateral frameworks and stressed the importance of considering other global factors. Referring to economic projections by Goldman Sachs, Jaishankar suggested that both India and China could become USD 50 trillion plus economies by 2075. He underscored the complexity of achieving and maintaining equilibrium between the two countries, especially as they navigate their frosty relations and potential advantages. sources

Published:
Feb 23 2024, 4 pm IST

Mysuru family sustains Sanskrit newspaper for decades

In the heart of Mysuru's Agrahara locality lies the unassuming office of _Sudharma_, the world's only daily newspaper published in Sanskrit. Founded in 1970 by Pandit Varadaraja Iyengar, the paper aims to keep the ancient language relevant and alive in the modern world. Following the passing of her husband, K.S. Jayalakshmi took over the reins, continuing the legacy of promoting Sanskrit education and cultural preservation. Despite financial challenges and the digital age's onslaught, _Sudharma_ stands firm, emphasizing cultural contribution over profit. Through printed calendars, books, and community events, the newspaper fosters a sense of belonging and accessibility to Sanskrit wisdom. As Sanskrit experiences a global resurgence, _Sudharma_ remains a beacon of tradition and resilience in a rapidly changing media landscape. sources

Published:
Feb 23 2024, 3 pm IST

Maharashtra Allies Reach Deal for 39 Seats, Nine Remaining: Sources

In Maharashtra, the Congress has made progress in securing seat-sharing deals for the upcoming general election, negotiating with allies for 39 out of the state's 48 seats. Rahul Gandhi has reached out to Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar's faction of the Nationalist Congress Party, while also finalizing agreements with other parties in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Goa. However, challenges remain in Maharashtra, with disagreements over certain seats and demands from Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi boss Prakash Ambedkar. The Congress is facing defections, with former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan joining the BJP, further complicating the party's efforts. Despite these obstacles, all parties involved are aware of the importance of working together to combat Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP in the upcoming elections. sources

Published:
Feb 23 2024, 2 pm IST

Focus on Indian involvement in Russia-Ukraine conflict

The Indian government has acknowledged that some Indian nationals have been forced to fight in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, with reports surfacing of dozens of Indians being deceived into military service in Russia. The Indians were promised support jobs but were ultimately enlisted in the Russian army due to misleading translations of documents and false promises. The Indian Embassy is working with Russian authorities to secure their release, with families seeking intervention from the Centre and External Affairs ministry. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi has called for action against the fraudulent agents responsible for the deception, as nine Indian men are reportedly trapped within Ukrainian borders, facing danger and injuries. The government has urged Indian nationals to exercise caution and stay away from the conflict, emphasizing the need for immediate action to bring back the affected individuals. sources

Published:
Feb 23 2024, 2 pm IST

Court challenges probe agency summons in Tamil Nadu

The Supreme Court has questioned the Tamil Nadu government's opposition to the Enforcement Directorate's investigation into an alleged illegal sand mining scam involving five district collectors. The ED had issued summons to these officials, prompting the state government to challenge the agency's authority. During the proceedings, Justice Bela M Trivedi raised concerns about the state's interference and requested clarification on its stake in the matter. The court has issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government, seeking detailed answers on the issue. The next hearing is scheduled for February 26, where the state is expected to present its arguments and address the court's concerns. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the state, argued that the ED does not have the authority to investigate non-scheduled offenses, but the court remains unconvinced and seeks further information before making a decision. sources

Published:
Feb 23 2024, 1 pm IST

Haryana student shot confronting men harassing family

In Haryana's Palwal, a brave Class 10 student named Lokesh was shot while defending his mother and sister from harassment by three men on motorcycles. The incident occurred as the family was returning home, with Lokesh intervening to protect his loved ones. In the ensuing scuffle, one of the men pulled out a gun and shot Lokesh in the right hand before fleeing the scene. The injured student is currently receiving treatment at a private hospital, with his mother and sister managing to get him to safety. The police have launched an investigation into the incident, with efforts underway to track down the accused shooter identified as Kokan from Badhra. sources

Published:
Feb 23 2024, 1 pm IST