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DA hike: The Narendra Modi government has increased DA by 4 percentage points in accordance with the formula recommended by 7th central pay commission. (AFP File Photo)

Govt raises DA to 38% ahead of Diwali and assembly elections in HP, Gujarat

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Diwali festival and assembly elections in Gujarat the Union Cabinet on Wednesday raised the dearness allowance (DA) by four percentage points to 38% for 4.77 million central government employees along with a similar increase in the dearness relief for 6.86 million pensioners. The decision to raise DA has been taken in the light of surging prices of essential commodities, especially during the festive season, two officials said requesting anonymity.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI)

In no hurry to hold Wayanad bypoll: CEC

CEC Rajiv Kumar said the ECI is in no hurry to hold a bypoll in Wayanad, Kerala, after Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from Lok Sabha. Gandhi has 30 days to appeal his conviction of criminal defamation and the ECI will take a call after that. If term is less than a year, no election will be held.

**EDS: VIDEO GRAB VIA SANSAD TV** New Delhi: Members raise hands for the passage of a bill in the Lok Sabha during Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 29, 2023. (PTI Photo) (PTI03_29_2023_000085B) (PTI)

Lok Sabha passes Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022

The Lok Sabha passed amendments to the competition law which will empower the antitrust regulator to impose penalties on global turnovers of erring firms. It also expands the scope of penalties to entities collaborating in cartelisation. The amendments also allow the Competition Commission of India to regulate mergers and acquisitions based on the value of transactions and introduce a commitment and settlement regime to address anti-competitive vertical restraints and abuse of dominance. Penalties based on global turnover of an entity may lead to 'unfair and punitive' outcomes.

NCP MP Supriya Sule with party MP from Lakshadweep Mohammad Faizal PP, at Parliament House complex in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)

Mohammad Faizal’s disqualification from Lok Sabha revoked, but Supreme Court adds a new twist

Lok Sabha Secretariat restored the membership of Lakshadweep's MP Mohammad Faizal, whose conviction in a criminal case was stayed by the Kerala High Court. However, the Supreme Court decided to examine the correctness of the stay order, raising questions about the evidence and nature of injuries. The court also questioned if different rules should be applied to lawmakers. Faizal's petition was eventually disposed of by the court.

IPS officer Balveer Singh, accused of custodial torture in a Tamil Nadu police station, has been placed on suspension (Agencies/Representative use)

TN IPS officer accused of custodial torture suspended, one of the ‘victims’ backtracks

IPS officer Balveer Singh, accused of custodial torture in a Tamil Nadu police station, was placed on suspension by chief minister MK Stalin after one of the victims retracted his earlier statement. Stalin said an investigation is underway and swift action would be taken against those involved. 30 people have come forward with similar complaints against Singh. Stalin also said caste-based crimes have gone down in the state under the DMK government.

The Rajasthan high court on Wednesday acquitted all the accused in the 2008 serial Jaipur blast case (HT File)

Raj HC acquits all accused in 2008 Jaipur serial blast case

Rajasthan high court acquitted all 4 accused in 2008 Jaipur serial blast case, citing lack of evidence and "shoddy investigation" by ATS. 71 people were killed and 185 injured in the 9 ammonium nitrate bombs strapped to bicycles. The court directed DGP to take action against guilty officials and asked the chief secretary to monitor.

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Democracy not a system, but a spirit: PM Modi

At the US-led Summit for Democracy, PM Modi described democracy as a spirit and not just a structure. India, despite global challenges, is the fastest growing major economy due to its democratic framework and guiding philosophy of 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas'. He also highlighted India's initiatives such as 'Vaccine Maitri' and its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The US has said it is watching the case of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who was disqualified as a Parliamentarian.

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Bill to amend Forests Act skip key Parl body headed by Cong MP

Lok Sabha on Wednesday decided to refer the Forest Conservation Amendment Bill, 2023 to a select committee instead of the parliamentary standing committee on science, technology, environment and forests headed by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, prompting a protest from him. The bill seeks to clarify what constitutes a forest and exempt certain forest land from obtaining prior forest clearance permission. Activists and environmentalists fear it will dilute the impact of a 1996 Supreme Court order.

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Amritpal calls for Sikh conclave from hideout

Radical pro-Khalistan preacher Amritpal Singh issued a video message calling for sweeping protests led by Sikhism's highest priest, confirming he is still on the run and not in police custody. He called on the Sikh community to protest against the government and appealed to the Akal Takht Jathedar to lead the Sarbat Khalsa. The government, police and Akal Takht have yet to issue responses.

Siyaya was among the eight cheetahs that were translocated to India on September 17 in 2022. (Twitter | Bhupender Yadav)

Four cheetahs born in India after seven decades

A cheetah translocated from Namibia last September gave birth to four cubs in the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, the first of the big cats to be born in India in decades. Union environment minister Bhupendra Yadav tweeted pictures of the cubs and lauded PM Narendra Modi's leadership. The birth of the cubs is a positive sign for the intercontinental translocation of cheetahs and a special team is taking care of them. Another female cheetah, Asha, may also be pregnant.

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Vivan Sundaram: Pioneer who welded sculptures, art, photos

Vivan Sundaram, a renowned Indian artist, passed away after a prolonged illness, with his latest works on display at two biennales. He used elaborate photos of his scars to fuse the idea of art with the pain of the artist. Despite his illness, he was bursting with ideas for his next show. He used diverse materials and collaborated with photographers, and was greatly influenced by his grandfather and aunt's works. He was remembered fondly by his friends, and actor Naseeruddin Shah named his son after him.

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Voting set for May 10 as K’taka poll drill begins

Fifty-two million voters in Karnataka will go to the polls on May 10 and the results will be announced three days later. The ruling BJP, Congress and JD(S) are in a three-cornered contest with the BJP hoping to win back the state, Congress aiming for their first major victory in five years, and the JD(S) hoping to retain its traditional base. The election will be the first large battleground state to go to the polls this year, and the poll watchdog will focus on new voters, women, transgender people, persons with disabilities and vulnerable tribal groups.

Screenshot of the undated video of Amritpal Singh which surfaced on Wednesday.

Nothing can harm me: 10 things Amritpal Singh said in surprise video amid surrender speculation

After evading police for 10 days, Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh released a video claiming to have escaped the police, urging Sikhs to unite and calling for a Sarbat Khalsa on the occasion of Baisakhi. He also challenged Akal Takht Jathedar to take a strong stand and said his arrest is in the hands of God.

Union health and family welfare minister Mansukh Mandaviya. (PTI File Photo)

ICMR's study to assess link of heart attack deaths, Covid underway: Mandaviya

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said a study by the ICMR is underway to assess the link between sudden cardiac deaths and Covid, with results expected in two months. He also mentioned a review of data by AIIMS Delhi, and praised India's successful Covid management and vaccination drive, which has been globally recognised.

The 3.75 km long ropeway will connect Varanasi Cantt. Railway Station to Godowlia chowk.

‘Amazing confluence of faith and technology’: PM Modi on India’s first urban ropeway system in Varanasi. Top points

PM Modi praised the upcoming ropeway in Varanasi connecting the city?s cantonment railway station to Godowlia chowk, calling it an "amazing confluence of faith and technology". The 3.85 km long public transport ropeway, costing Rs 644 crore, will reduce travel time from 45-50 mins to 15 mins and provide a fast and secure mode of transportation to over 1 lakh people per day.

Union home minister Amit Shah (HT FILE PHOTO)

‘Rahul not the only politician to lose membership after conviction’: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was not the only politician to lose membership of the legislature after being convicted by a court. He said 17 politicians, including former Chief Ministers, have been convicted and lost their membership. He claimed Gandhi hasn't appealed to take stay on his conviction and accused him of trying to blame Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He added that it was Gandhi who tore an ordinance during the previous UPA government which could have helped him now.

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