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India reports 35,871 fresh cases; Maharashtra contributes nearly 65% of new infections

-The Indian Express Maharashtra repoRTEd this year’s record high of 23,179 Covid-19 cases, accounting for over 60 per cent of new cases diagnosed in India. This is close to the peak of 24,886 that the state recorded in September last year. India detected 35,871 cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, of which 23,179 cases (close to 65 per cent) were from Maharashtra. The number of active cases in the country has...

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Tax exemptions and incentives for the corporate sector continue despite reduction in corporate tax rates

Quite often it is argued by mainstream economists that a sizeable chunk of the Union Budget every year is wasted because the Government spends that on food and fertiliser subsidies. The burgeoning size of these two subsidies relative to the entire budget as well as the gross domestic product (GDP) is often used to build the argument that economic as well as environmental sustainability of the country is at stake...

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Are We Staring at Another Phase of Dilution of PDS in India? -Shinzani Jain The NITI Aayog recommendations to reduce coverage under the NFSA are in tandem with liberalisation of agriculture pushed forward by the government with the passage of three farm laws. On February 28, 2020, it was repoRTEd that the central government’s think tank, NITI Aayog, in a discussion paper recommended a revision in the coverage of urban and rural populations under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 to generate annual savings...

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Increase in notified MGNREGA wages for 2021-22 is negligible in comparison to the pandemic year, state Right to Work activists

-Press release by NREGA Sangharsh Morcha dated 18th March, 2021 The notified MGNREGA wages for various states/ UTs in 2021-22, released by the Centre on 15th March, 2021, has faced criticism from civil society activists. According to the press release by NREGA Sangharsh Morcha dated 18 March, 2021, the increase in MGNREGA wage rates for 2021-22 is extremely meagre. There is no increase in Kerala’s MGNREGA wage rate in comparison to...

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Aadhaar as a hurdle: On authentication failures and welfare delivery

-The Hindu Inefficiencies in the Aadhaar project should not come in the way of welfare delivery The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, did the right thing by terming as serious the allegation by a petitioner that three crore ration cards were cancelled for not being linked with the Aadhaar database and that these were connected to repoRTEd starvation deaths in some States. The unique identification scheme has been in existence for more than...

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