Use NEET as only basis for admission, SC tells Tamil Nadu medical colleges 

MDMK leader Vaiko, along with his party workers, holding a protest against the Central government on NEET issue, in Chennai (Photo: PTI)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the TamilNadu medical colleges to follow the common National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admissions (NEET).The court observed that NEET will be the only basis for admissions and the counselling will begin on August 24.

The court stated that the counselling should be conducted immediately and the process should end by September 4.On August 16, the medical students from Tamil Nadu moved the Supreme Court seeking directive for the State Government to start medical counselling soon.

This came after the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), which was made mandatory for admission in the MBBS and the BDS courses across India last year, got separate petitions filed at the Madras andGujarat High Courts, where medical aspirants demanded cancellation of the NEET 2017 as theGujarati and Tamil medium paper were allegedly tougher than the English and Hindi medium.

The medical aspirants in the case are being represented by Nalini Chidambaram before the Apex court.Earlier on May 24, the Madras High Court had stayed any proceedings on the NEET result.Keeping the urgency of the result in mind and the starting of counselling sessions for successful candidates in mind, the apex court has stayed the Madras High Court order.

Mumbai braces for mammoth Maratha ‘mook’ morcha

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The Maharashtra government, police, BMC and other agencies are all set for a mammoth Maratha ‘mook’ (silent) procession that will be taken out on Wednesday, officials said. While the authorities anticipate participation of between 500,000-800,000 Marathas from across the state, the organisers are optimistic the figure could be more than three million.

Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane told media persons that the procession, starting at 11 a.m. from Byculla, will be peaceful and orderly, silent, have no political speeches and will end at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai by 5 p.m.a delegation will call on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and submit a memorandum of our demands. The main is reservations for the Maratha community in jobs and education, besides others, he said.

The Marathas have started trooping into Mumbai since early Tuesday from all over Maharashtra to take part in the morcha, 58th in the series of processions being held in different parts of the state since August 9, 2016. They have been reaching the state capital by trains, private vehicles, trucks, tempos and even two-wheelers, while waving Maratha flags and sporting bright orange turbans.

The Mumbai Police has geared up with over 7,000 personnel, including commandos, armed police, plain clothes officers assigned for providing security during the procession.There will massive traffic diversions,important roads either closed or made one-way, arterial roads opened, etc, to ensure smooth passage for the procession participants, said Deputy Commissioner of Police Rashmi Karandkiar..

SUVs to cost more? Luxury car firms lash out at govt on cess flip-flop 

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Shocks and surprises have not abated for the domestic car industry. There was a short-lived euphoria after the goods and services tax (GST) roll-out lowered the levy on passenger vehicles, especially luxury cars and sports utility vehicles. Now the manufacturers are staring at a situation where prices could be higher than those in the pre-GST regime.

The GST Council has recommended an amendment to increase the cess on all passenger vehicles above four metres and with an engine capacity of 1,500 cc and above to a peak of 25 per cent, from 15 per cent now. Such vehicles currently attract a GST of 28 per cent and a 15 per cent cess.

The Centre will have to amend the Schedule to Section 8 of the GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017, for this increase to take effect. The increase in cess would be finalised by the GST Council. The move adversely impacts M&M, Toyota, and luxury carmakers such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and JLR.

The decision has upset the growth plans of the luxury car industry, which had seen a flat performance in the 2016 calendar year, owing to demonetisation and the ban on 2,000-cc diesel cars in the National Capital Region for the first eight months of the year.

Hacker leaks emails of US State Department’s Russian affairs official

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hacker known as ‘Johnnie Walker’ has leaked emails of a senior U.S. State Department intelligence official involved in Russian affairs.

The hacker leaked a batch of private correspondence of a U.S. State Department intelligence official, who has been particularly interested in the Russian media andgovernment affairs and reshuffling, the Russia Today reported. The emails from a hacked non-governmental account over a two-year period were sent to “an unknown number of recipients but there is absolutely no information on who exactly was among the recipients.”

The sender also reportedly claimed that the U.S. State Department official was in contact with various intelligence agencies, including the CIA, as well as “mainstream media, NGOs, and international funds.” The alleged victim holds “a senior position in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research”.

Apart from the name of the hacker’s target, the content of the letters has not been published in the Western media. Russian newspaper Kommersant, however Read More

GST impact: Consumer goods cos to petition govt against MRP sticker rules

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Consumer goods companies are likely to petition the government against the latest directive on affixing stickers to reflect the change in pricing under the GST

The government notification, aimed at stocks lying with companies and distributors, requires companies to advertise in two newspapers about the old and new MRP, besides putting stickers on packages to reflect the change.

Companies producing consumer goods, handsets and appliances are worried affixing stickers may pit them against the metrology department of the government, which monitors the maximum retail price (MRP).

“While a notification by the consumer affairs department says companies are to put stickers to reflect the change in pricing following the GST, we risk harassment from inspectors of the metrology department,” said the chief executive of a consumer goods company.Read More