1. Wrinkle in Xi’s Red Carpet: China and Pakistan Raise Kashmir, India ObjectsHours after New Delhi and Beijing officially announced Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India for the second informal summit in Mahabalipuram on 11-12 October, India took strong exception to a reference to Kashmir in a meeting between Xi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. India said it is “not for other countries to comment” on its internal affairs.While government sources said Delhi will not raise Jammu and Kashmir unless Xi brings it up, the Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “India’s position has been consistent and clear that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India. China is well aware of our position. It is not for other countries to comment on the internal affairs of India.”(Source: The Indian Express)2. Dearness Allowance Increased in Early Diwali Gift for Government EmployeesThe Centre announced on Wednesday, 9 October, an increase of 5 percentage points in the dearness allowance (DA) of five million central government employees and an equal increase in the pensions of 6.5 million retired employees, with retrospective effect from July, in a move that will cost it around Rs 10,600 crore this year, and which is expected to boost consumption in the ongoing festive season.“This is a Diwali gift from the Centre to the employees,” said information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar at a press conference in Delhi, announcing the decision taken by the Union Cabinet at its Wednesday meeting. “This is the highest ever 5 percentage points increase in DA in one go by the central government,” he said.The current rate of DA is 12 per cent and it will now become 17 per cent. The DA is usually raised to help employees cope with inflation.(Source: Hindustan Times)Not for Other Nations to Discuss: MEA on Xi-Imran’s Kashmir Talks3. Sedition Case Against Celebs to Be DroppedDays after 49 celebrities were booked for sedition for writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing anguish over rising incidents of mob lynching, the Muzaffarpur police on Wednesday, 9 October, recommended closure of the case against them.The FIR, filed last week on the orders of Muzaffarpur chief judicial magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari, had led to widespread outrage with eminent personalities expressing anguish. Film personalities Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Aparna Sen, Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap and Soumitra Chatterjee and authors Amit Chaudhuri and Ramachandra Guha were among those booked by the Muzaffarpur police.On Tuesday, 185 other other personalities, including Naseeruddin Shah, Nayantara Sahgal, Mallika Sarabhai and Romila Thapar, issued a statement endorsing the letter.(Source: The Times of India)Open Letter to PM: Cops to Drop Sedition Charges, Book Petitioner4. Several Red Flags Fluttered Right Under RBI’s NoseThe last time Reserve Bank of India was forced to issue a statement on the robustness of India’s banking system was back in October 2008 in the wake of the global financial crisis. So, on 4 October, after the implosion at the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank, when the RBI reiterated that the banking system was “safe and sound”, quite a few eyebrows were raised.Not just because this was seen as an over-reaction, disproportionate to the rumblings at a mid-sized, Maharashtra-based cooperative bank with a deposit base of just Rs 11,000 crore, but also because the RBI itself has a few questions to answer.For, the PMC scam went undetected for around 11 years despite the RBI requiring all regulated entities — including cooperative banks — to submit details of transactions and accounts to it since February 2016.(Source: The Indian Express)PMC Scam: HDIL Directors, Bank Chairman Sent to Judicial Custody5. Effect of Global Economic Slowdown ‘More Pronounced’ in India: IMF ChiefKristalina Georgieva, the new chief of International Monetary Fund, has said the global economy is witnessing “synchronized slowdown” and its effect is “more pronounced” in emerging markets like India.In her speech, ahead of the IMF-World Bank autumn meetings next week, Georgieva said slower growth is expected this year in nearly 90 per cent of world economies.The IMF boss said growth in 2019-2020 will fall to its lowest rate since the beginning of the decade due to widespread deceleration. “In the United States and Germany, unemployment is at historic lows…In some of the largest emerging market economies, such as India and Brazil, the slowdown is even more pronounced this year,” she said.Georgieva took over from Christine Lagarde as the head of the IMF earlier this month.(Source: Hindustan Times)Effects of Economic Slowdown ‘More Pronounced’ in India: IMF Chief6. Nobel for Breakthrough on Batteries That Power Mobiles, Laptops, EVsThree researchers won the Nobel Chemistry Prize on Wednesday, 9 October, for the development of lithium-ion batteries, paving the way for smartphones and a fossil fuel-free society.John Goodenough of the United States — at 97 the oldest person to be awarded a Nobel prize — Britain’s Stanley Whittingham, and Japan’s Akira Yoshino will share the nine million Swedish kronor (about $914,000 or 833,000 euros) prize equally, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.“This lightweight, rechargeable and powerful battery is now used in everything from mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles... (and) can also store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind power, making possible a fossil fuel-free society,” the jury said.“Lithium batteries have revolutionised our lives since they first entered the market in 1991”, and were “of the greatest benefit to humankind”.(Source: Hindustan Times)3 Win Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Work on Lithium-Ion Batteries7. Slain Qaida Boss’ Ancestors Included DM, Village HeadAnger is palpable in Mohalla Deepa Sarai of Sambhal in UP, which is back in the news after four years. The residents of the locality have been in the public glare ever since former resident Sanaul Haque was unmasked as Maulana Asim Umar, the head of al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and one of the most wanted men on the security forces’ list, in 2015.According to local residents, Sanaul’s family was once a prominent one in the area as his grandfather was a village head, another ancestor was a freedom fighter and his great grandfather was a district magistrate under the British rule.TOI spoke with Haque’s brother, Rizwan, a teacher. “We were told about his death by intelligence sleuths on Tuesday. It didn’t come as a shock for us since he left us in 1998 when he was just 18 and we never heard from him since,” Rizwan said.(Source: The Times of India)8. Congress to Boycott Block Development Council Election in J&KAccusing the BJP of bulldozing democratic institutions and gagging dissent, the Congress on Wednesday, 9 October, changed its earlier decision and announced to boycott the Block Development Council (BDC) elections to be held on 24 October.The Congress had earlier said it would participate in the polls as a responsible opposition party.“We have no other option but to withdraw from the BDC elections due to oppressive measures being adopted by the administration on the directions of the Centre to deprive opposition of its democratic rights,” Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir said.(Source: The Tribune)9. Rafale Engine Manufacturer Tells Rajnath: Don’t Terrorise Us on TaxThe CEO of the French engine manufacturer behind the Rafale fighter jet told Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday, 9 October, that India should provide an attractive business environment and not “terrorise us” with its tax and customs rules. He made the remarks while announcing that the company plans to invest nearly USD 150 million in the country.French multinational Safran, the manufacturer of the M88 engines fitted in the Rafale jets acquired by India, gave a presentation of its facility to the defence minister who took a tour of the assembly line of the company, PTI reported.Singh responded by assuring him that India was committed to providing the “right climate” for investments under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.(Source: The Indian Express)‘Don’t Terrorise Us on Tax’: Rafale Engine Manufacturer to Rajnath We'll get through this! 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