Here are the top 5 news updates of September 23, 2021:
The PM CARES Fund is not a Government of India fund and the amount collected by it does not go to the Consolidated Fund of India, the Delhi High Court has been informed. An affidavit filed by an Under Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) who is discharging his functions in the PM Cares Trust on honorary basis, has said the trust functions with transparency and its funds are audited by an auditor -- a chartered accountant drawn from the panel prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. The affidavit was filed in response to a petition seeking a direction to declare the PM CARES Fund a 'State' under the Constitution to ensure transparency in its functioning. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Amit Bansal has fixed the matter for further hearing on September 27.
In a significant development, the Supreme Court today observed orally that it will set up a technical expert committee to inquire into the Pegasus snooping matter and pass an interim order next week on a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the entire issue. The apex court's observations on constituting the committee assume significance in view of the Centre's statement that it would set up an expert panel on its own to look into the grievances of the alleged surveillance of certain eminent Indians by hacking their phones using Israeli firm NSO's spyware, Pegasus. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, which was to hear some other matter, addressed senior lawyer C U Singh, one of the counsels in the pleas, that the order will be pronounced next week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the Indian diaspora as the country's "strength" as he landed in Washington on a three-day visit to the United States. Modi who was welcomed at the Joint Base Andrews by members of the Indian American community took to Twitter to express his gratitude. "Grateful to the Indian community in Washington DC for the warm welcome. Our diaspora is our strength. It is commendable how the Indian diaspora has distinguished itself across the world," tweeted PM Modi. He also posted several pictures where he was seen shaking hands and waving to people who had turned up to greet him.
With an eye on the upcoming elections to the BMC and other civic bodies in the state, the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has approved a multiple-member ward system, instead of a single ward, in the municipal corporations and councils. However, the cabinet has retained the single-member ward system in the BMC. However, in other municipal corporations and councils, the cabinet has approved a three-member ward system. Nationalist Congress Party leader and deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was insisting on a two-member ward system elsewhere -- except in Mumbai -- on the plea that a three or four-member ward system may benefit the BJP. After an exhaustive debate, the cabinet unanimously passed a resolution adopting a single-member ward system in the BMC and a three-member ward system in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Kolhapur, Solapur and other municipal corporations.
Equity benchmark Sensex zoomed 958 points to end at a fresh lifetime high today, tracking gains in index majors Reliance Industries, HDFC twins and ICICI Bank amid a positive trend in global markets. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty soared 276.30 points or 1.57 per cent to its new closing peak of 17,822.95. It touched an intra-day record of 17,843.90. After scaling a new peak of 59,957.25 during the day, the 30-share Sensex settled 958.03 points or 1.63 per cent up at an all-time high of 59,885.36.
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