FPJ Evening Brief
FPJ Evening Brief

Here are the top 5 news of January 1, 2021:

1. Highest GST collections in December at Rs 1.15 lakh crore

GST collections touched a record-high of over Rs 1.15 lakh crore in December, in signs that the economy continues to reflate after a strict lockdown. The Finance Ministry said that the continued rise in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) mop up, which has crossed the psychological Rs 1 lakh crore-mark for the third straight month in the current fiscal, is due to the combined effect of rapid economic recovery post-pandemic and the drive against GST evaders.

The gross GST revenue collected in the month of December 2020 was Rs 1,15,174 crore, 12 per cent higher than over Rs 1.03 lakh crore collected in December 2019. "This is the highest growth in monthly revenues for the last 21 months. This has been due to the combined effect of the rapid economic recovery post-pandemic and the nation-wide drive against GST evaders and fake bills along with many systemic changes introduced recently, which have led to improved compliance," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

2. India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear installations under bilateral agreement

Continuing a 30-year practice, India and Pakistan today exchanged a list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral arrangement that prohibits the two countries from attacking each other's atomic facilities. The two countries exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between India and Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. This was done simultaneously through diplomatic channels in New Delhi and Islamabad.

The exchange of the list came amid frosty ties between the two countries over the Kashmir issue as well as cross-border terrorism. The agreement was signed on December 31, 1988 and it came into force on January 27, 1991. The pact mandates the two countries to inform each other of the nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the agreement on the first of January of every calendar year.

3. Delhi's temp drops to 1.1 degrees Celsius on New Year's Day, lowest in 15 years

A severe cold wave swept through Delhi on New Year's Day as the mercury plummeted to 1.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in 15 years, and "very dense" fog lowered visibility to "zero" metres, affecting traffic movement. On January 8, 2006, the city had recorded a minimum of 0.2 degree Celsius.

The all-time record is minus 0.6 degrees Celsius registered in January, 1935. The lowest minimum temperature recorded in January last year was 2.4 degrees Celsius, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a minimum of 1.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in January in 15 years.

4. Deepika Padukone returns to social media with 'audio diary'

Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone left social media baffled on the last day of 2020 when she wiped out her social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter. Padukone, who has 27.7 million followers on Twitter and 52.5 million followers on Instagram, began the New Year by sharing an introduction to her audio diary.

"Hi everyone, welcome to my audio diary, a record of my thoughts and feelings. You know, I'm sure all of you will agree with me, but 2020 was a year of uncertainty for everybody, but for me it was also about gratitude and being present. As for 2021, all I can wish for, for myself and for everyone around me is a good health and peace of mind. Happy New Year," Padukone said in the voice clip. Meanwhile, the reason behind her deleting all the posts isn't known yet.

5. IND vs AUS: T Natarajan replaces injured Umesh Yadav in Test squad

India fast bowler T Natarajan has been added to the Test squad for the remaining two Test matches against Australia. The left-arm pacer has replaced Umesh Yadav, who sustained a strain in his left calf muscle on Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named T Natarajan as Yadav's replacement. Ahead of the Boxing Day Test, Shardul Thakur was added to the Test squad as Mohd. Shami's replacement after the senior fast bowler suffered a hairline fracture in his right forearm. Both Shami and Umesh Yadav will head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for further rehabilitation of their injuries," the BCCI said in an official statement. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma has been named as the vice-captain for the remaining two Test matches against Australia. Rohit, who joined his teammates after completing his 14-day quarantine period on Wednesday, will take over the reins from Cheteshwar Pujara. Ajinkya Rahane continues to lead the Test side in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, who is on a paternity leave.

(With input from agencies)

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