Monthly Archives: September 2020

validity of SEBI observations

SEBI circular dated 29th September, 2020 on the subject.

  1. SEBI vide circular no. SEBI/HO/CFD/DIL1/CIR/P/2020/66 dated April 21, 2020 had given certain relaxations with respect to validity of SEBI Observations and filing of fresh offer document in case of increase or decrease of issue size beyond a particular threshold.
  2. There have been representations that in view of the prevailing conditions due to Covid 19, the relaxations granted in April 2020 be continued for some more time.
  3. After due consideration, it has been decided that the relaxation mentioned at Sr. No. 1(ii) of SEBI Circular no. SEBI/ HO/ CFD/ DIL1/ CIR/ P/ 2020/66 dated April 21, 2020 for revision in issue size upto 50% shall continue till March 31, 2021.
  4. Secondly, the validity of the SEBI observations expiring between October 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 shall be extended upto March 31, 2021, subject to an undertaking from lead manager to the issue confirming compliance with Schedule XVI of the ICDR Regulations, 2018 while submitting the updated offer document to the Board.
  5. This circular shall come into force with effect from October 01, 2020.
  6. This circular is issued in exercise of powers conferred by Section 11(1) read with Section 11A of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 read with Regulations 299 and 300 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018, to protect the interests of investors in securities and to
    promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.

https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/sep-2020/relaxation-with-respect-to-validity-of-sebi-observations-and-revision-in-issue-size_47719.html

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Rebecca

Brilliant psychological drama movie from Alfred Hitchcock “Rebecca” (1940) starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) accidentally meets the beautiful Joan Fontaine when he is rather contemplating jumping down a cliff in Monte Carlo. One thing leads to another and soon both are romantically involved. She then becomes his second wife after his first wife Rebecca accidently drowns herself off the sea coast. Rebecca is never shown in the movie, but her imprint is throughout the movie. Her faithful housekeeper Mrs. Denvers is rather too faithful to her memories and seems to be of the devilish and plotting kind. She was too close to Rebecca and adored her too much to bear her loss too badly. Hitchcock twists the plot towards the end to first implicate Maxim with her murder and then it goes around to another tale of her sickness, or probably that she was pregnant or maybe she committed suicide or murder, the plot keeps swinging about till the end. Joan Fontaine as the girl who does not have a name in the movie looked beautiful throughout the movie and acted brilliantly as well.  Laurence Olivier is passable, The film won a clutch of awards for Alfred Hitchcock. 

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FCRA Amendment bill 2020

https://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/foreign-contribution-regulation-amendment-bill-2020

  • The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha on September 20, 2020.  The Bill amends the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.  The Act regulates the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution by individuals, associations and companies.  Foreign contribution is the donation or transfer of any currency, security or article (of beyond a specified value) by a foreign source.
     
  • Prohibition to accept foreign contribution: Under the Act, certain persons are prohibited to accept any foreign contribution.  These include: election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, government servants, members of any legislature, and political parties, among others.  The Bill adds public servants (as defined under the Indian Penal Code) to this list.  Public servant includes any person who is in service or pay of the government, or remunerated by the government for the performance of any public duty.
     
  • Transfer of foreign contribution: Under the Act, foreign contribution cannot be transferred to any other person unless such person is also registered to accept foreign contribution (or has obtained prior permission under the Act to obtain foreign contribution).  The Bill amends this to prohibit the transfer of foreign contribution to any other person.  The term ‘person’ under the Act includes an individual, an association, or a registered company.
     
  • Aadhaar for registration: The Act states that a person may accept foreign contribution if they have: (i) obtained a certificate of registration from central government, or (ii) not registered, but obtained prior permission from the government to accept foreign contribution.  Any person seeking registration (or renewal of such registration) or prior permission for receiving foreign contribution must make an application to the central government in the prescribed manner.  The Bill adds that any person seeking prior permission, registration or renewal of registration must provide the Aadhaar number of all its office bearers, directors or key functionaries, as an identification document.  In case of a foreigner, they must provide a copy of the passport or the Overseas Citizen of India card for identification.  
     
  • FCRA account: Under the Act, a registered person must accept foreign contribution only in a single branch of a scheduled bank specified by them.  However, they may open more accounts in other banks for utilisation of the contribution.  The Bill amends this to state that foreign contribution must be received only in an account designated by the bank as “FCRA account” in such branch of the State Bank of India, New Delhi, as notified by the central government.  No funds other than the foreign contribution should be received or deposited in this account.  The person may open another FCRA account in any scheduled bank of their choice for keeping or utilising the received contribution. 
     
  • Restriction in utilisation of foreign contribution:. Under the Act, if a person accepting foreign contribution is found guilty of violating any provisions of the Act or the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976, the unutilised or unreceived foreign contribution may be utilised or received, only with the prior approval of the central government.  The Bill adds that the government may also restrict usage of unutilised foreign contribution for persons who have been granted prior permission to receive such contribution.  This may be done if, based on a summary inquiry, and pending any further inquiry, the government believes that such person has contravened provisions of the Act.     
     
  • Renewal of license: Under the Act, every person who has been given a certificate of registration must renew the certificate within six months of expiration.  The Bill provides that the government may conduct an inquiry before renewing the certificate to ensure that the person making the application: (i) is not fictitious or benami, (ii) has not been prosecuted or convicted for creating communal tension or indulging in activities aimed at religious conversion, and (iii) has not been found guilty of diversion or misutilisation of funds, among others conditions.
     
  • Reduction in use of foreign contribution for administrative purposes: Under the Act, a person who receives foreign contribution must use it only for the purpose for which the contribution is received.  Further, they must not use more than 50% of the contribution for meeting administrative expenses.  The Bill reduces this limit to 20%.
     
  • Surrender of certificate: The Bill adds a provision allowing the central government to permit a person to surrender their registration certificate.  The government may do so if, post an inquiry, it is satisfied that such person has not contravened any provisions of the Act, and the management of its foreign contribution (and related assets) has been vested in an authority prescribed by the government.
     
  • Suspension of registration: Under the Act, the government may suspend the registration of a person for a period not exceeding 180 days.  The Bill adds that such suspension may be extended up to an additional 180 days.

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MCA extension

MCA has vide its circular no. 30/2020 dated 28th September, 2020 extended the Companies Fresh Start Scheme 2020 by 3 months upto 31st December, 2020. This scheme allows companies to file select forms without payment of additional filing fee.

We had blogged about the Companies Fresh Start Scheme here https://vramonline.wordpress.com/2020/03/31/companies-fresh-start-scheme-2020/

MCA has vide its circular no. 31/2020 dated 28th September, 2020 extended the LLP Settlement Scheme by 3 months upto 31st December, 2020. Again just like CFSS, this scheme allows LLPs (limited liability partnerships) to file select back dated forms without incurring any additional filing fee.

MCA has vide its circular no. 32/2020 dated 28th September, 2020 allowed the charge creation or modification forms i.e. form CHG-1 to be filed late without any additional filing fee, upto 31st December, 2020.

Lastly vide its circular no. 33/2020 dated 28th September, 2020 MCA has allowed extra-ordinary general meetings (EGM) to be conducted by video conferencing or any other audio visual means upto 31st December, 2020.

All circulars can be found at the MCA site .i.e. http://www.mca.gov.in

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listed InvIT and REIT – amendments to guidelines

SEBI has issued two circulars, both dated 28th September, 2020 in respect of amendments to guidelines for preferential issue and institutional placement by a listed InvIT and REIT. The amendments are identical in all respects except of course for the clause nos. in the respective guidelines.

The amendments are as follows:

  1. Clause 2.6 of the Guidelines is modified as under:
    “The REIT shall not make any subsequent institutional placement until the expiry of two weeks from the date of the prior institutional placement made pursuant to one or more special resolutions.”
  2. After clause 2.1 and before clause 2.2 of sub-paragraph (A) of paragraph 2 of Annexure-I, the following provisos shall be inserted:
    “Provided that, for any preferential issue made between the date of this circular and December 31, 2020, the REIT may opt for a pricing method where the price of the units to be allotted pursuant to the preferential issue shall not be less than the higher of the following:
    (a) the average of the weekly high and low of the volume weighted average price of the related units quoted on the recognised stock exchange during the twelve weeks preceding the relevant date; or
    (b) the average of the weekly high and low of the volume weighted average prices of the related units quoted on a recognised stock exchange during the two weeks preceding the relevant date.
    Provided further that, units allotted on a preferential basis using the pricing method set out in the first proviso shall be locked-in for a period of three years:
    Provided further that, all allotments arising out of the same unitholders approval shall follow the same pricing method.”
  3. After clause 3.1 of paragraph 3 of Annexure-I, the following explanation shall be inserted:
    Explanation: For the computation of the lock-in requirement, the units held by the sponsor(s) and locked-in for three years, in the past in terms of Regulation 11 (3) of the REIT Regulations shall be taken into account. The units locked-in pursuant to Regulation 11(3) of the REIT Regulations shall not be put under fresh lock-in again, even though they are considered for computing the lock-in requirement, in case the said units are free of lock-in at the time of the preferential issue.

https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/sep-2020/amendments-to-guidelines-for-preferential-issue-and-institutional-placement-of-units-by-a-listed-reit_47696.html

https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/sep-2020/amendments-to-guidelines-for-preferential-issue-and-institutional-placement-of-units-by-a-listed-invit_47697.html

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recovery of assets of defaulter member

SEBI circular dated 28th September, 2020 on the subject of recovery of assets of a defaulter member in the stock exchange from the debit balance clients of the defaulting member.

  1. SEBI vide circular SEBI/HO/MIRSD/DOP/CIR/P/2018/153 dated December 17, 2018 had specified Early Warning Mechanism to prevent diversion of client’s securities and consequential action(s) to be initiated by the Stock Exchanges (“SEs”), Clearing Corporations (“CCs”) and Depositories were also specified in the said Circular.
  2. Further, SEBI vide circular SEBI/HO/MIRSD/DPIEA/CIR/P/2020/115 dated July 01, 2020 (“SOP Circular”) had specified Standard Operating Procedure in the cases of Trading Member (“TM”) / Clearing Member (“CM”) leading to default. SEBI circular CIR/ HO/ MIRSD/ MIRSD2/ CIR/ P/ 2017/64 dated June 22, 2017 and the SOP Circular have inter alia specified that all SE/CC shall initiate the process to settle debit balance client accounts by selling their securities if such clients fail to clear
    their debit balance after giving notice period for 5 days.
  3. As per Section 2(j) of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 (“SCRA”) a stock exchange is an entity which is established for the purposes of assisting, regulating or controlling the business of buying, selling or dealing in securities. A Stock Exchange is recognised by SEBI in terms of Section 4 of SCRA. In terms of provisions of SCRA, a recognised stock exchange acts as a first level regulator in the securities market, in so far as trading on its platform by its members. In terms of Section 9 of SCRA, a recognised stock exchange has been empowered to frame bye laws for the regulation and control of contracts in securities entered into by its members. Sub-section (2) of Section 9, lays down a list of matters relating to different aspects of contract in securities, for which Stock Exchanges can make bye laws. These bye laws inter alia provide for admission of members, listing of securities, declaring a member defaulter, resolution of disputes between member and client through arbitration and annulment of trade, etc. These provisions also
    apply to a Clearing Corporation in terms of Section 8A of SCRA.
  4. In the case of default by TM/CM, it has been noted that in certain cases there is shortfall of funds/securities with defaulter member to meet the obligation of clients / SE / CC. The bye-laws of SE/CC provide for the procedure for declaring a member as defaulter when, amongst other reasons, the member is not able to fulfil its obligations and also provide for initiation of proceedings in a court of law whenever a member is declared as a defaulter and there is a shortfall of funds/securities with
    the defaulter member.
  5. The SE/CC are advised to initiate suitable actions for liquidating the assets (movable and immovable) of defaulter member including that of debit balance clients (to the extent of debit balance), within six months of declaration of defaulter, for recovery of the assets not in possession of the SE/CC, before appropriate court of law.
  6. Stock Exchanges and Clearing Corporations are further advised to:
    a) draw attention of the provisions of this circular to the notice of their members and participants, as the case may be, and disseminate the same on their websites;
    b) make amendments to their bye-laws, rules, regulations wherever necessary;
    c) communicate to SEBI, the status of the implementation of the provisions of this circular in their monthly development report.
  7. This circular is being issued in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 11 (1) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 read with Section 10 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.

https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/sep-2020/recovery-of-assets-of-defaulter-member-and-recovery-of-funds-from-debit-balance-clients-of-defaulter-member-for-meeting-the-obligations-of-clients-stock-exchange-clearing-corporation_47695.html

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investment advisors in IFSC

SEBI circular dated 28th September, 2020 amending the Operating Guidelines for Investment Advisors in International Financial Services Centres. Gist follows:

i. Clause 3 of the operating guidelines read with para 3 of circular dated February 28, 2020 is amended as follows-
“3. The following persons shall be eligible to apply to the Board for registration as an Investment Adviser in IFSC:
a. Any entity, being a company or a limited liability partnership (LLP) or any other similar structure recognised under the laws of its parent jurisdiction, desirous of operating in IFSC as an Investment Adviser (IA), may form a company or LLP to provide investment advisory services.
b. The formation of a separate company or LLP shall not be applicable in case the applicant is already a company or LLP in IFSC.”

The earlier clause stipulated net worth criteria which has been removed. Net worth stipulation is appearing in another clause 8.

“Clause 4 is amended as follows – 4. Persons seeking registration under the Investment Adviser Regulations read with these Guidelines shall provide investment advisory services only to those persons referred in Clause 9 (3) of the IFSC Guidelines. Further, IAs shall ensure to comply with the applicable guidelines issued by the relevant overseas regulator/ authority, while dealing with persons resident outside India and non-resident Indians seeking investment advisory services from them.”

Earlier the onus to comply with the IA guidelines in case of persons being resident outside India and non-resident Indians were on the non residents themselves. Now it has been changed to ensure that the IAs have to comply with the applicable guidelines issued by the relevant overseas regulatory/ authority while dealing with non resident clients.

Clause 8(c) of the operating guidelines is amended as follows-
“c. The IA/ parent entity shall fulfil the aforesaid net worth requirement, separately and independently for each activity undertaken by it under the relevant regulations.”

Clause 8(c) should be read with Clause 8(a) and (b) to understand it better.

  1. Net Worth Requirement [Corresponding Regulation in Investment Adviser Regulations-
    In case of applicants referred to in para 3, the net worth requirement shall be as under:
    a. An applicant shall have a net worth of not less than USD 1.5 million.
    b. In case the IA is set up as a subsidiary, the net worth requirement is to be met by the subsidiary itself. However, if the subsidiary does not meet the criteria, the net worth of the parent can be considered.

The earlier 8(c) said that the IAs shall fulfill the aforesaid net worth requirement. Now the amended 8(c) stipulates that either the IA or its parent entity shall fulfill the aforesaid net worth requirement.

Clause 9 of the operating guidelines is amended as follows-
“9. An IA shall ensure to conduct annual audit in respect of compliance with
Investment Adviser Regulations and these guidelines from a chartered accountant or a company secretary.”

The earlier clause 9 stipulated as follows:

  1. An IA shall ensure to conduct annual audit in respect of compliance with Investment Adviser Regulations and these guidelines from a chartered accountant or a company secretary or its equivalent under the laws in force of the country in which the applicant is registered or
    incorporated.

The earlier clause was little confusing, it was not clear the last part of the paragraph referred to the auditors or the regulations. The amended clause is much more satisfactory.

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EPS certificate in umang app

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1659774

The Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) has been a big hit among EPF subscribers enabling them to access services during COVID-19 pandemic from the comfort of their homes in a hassle free manner. Adding to the 16 services already on the Umang App, EPFO has now started another facility enablinng EPS members to apply for Scheme Certificate under Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995.

Scheme certificate is issued to members who withdraw their EPF contribution but wish to retain their membership with EPFO, to avail pension benefits on attainment of retirement age. A member becomes eligible for pension only if he has been, cumulately, a member of the Employees’ Pension Scheme,1995 for at least 10 years. Upon joining a new job, Scheme Certificate ensures that previous pensionable service is added to pensionable service rendered with the new employer thereby, increasing the amount of pension benefits. Further, Scheme Certificate is also useful for family members to avail family pension, in case of untimely death of the eligible member.

The ease of applying for Scheme Certificate through UMANG App will now help members avoid unnecessary hardship of physically applying for it, especially during pandemic times and will also eliminate unnecessary paperwork.  The facility shall benefit over 5.89 crore subscribers. For availing the service on Umang App, an active Universal Account Number (UAN) and a mobile number registered with the EPFO is required.

By successfully bringing state-of-the-art technology to the doorstep of its subscribers, EPFO has remained to be most popular service provider on UMANG App. Out of the 47.3 crore hits clocked by the app since August 2019, 41.6 crore or 88% of them were meant for EPFO services. With India witnessing massive growth in digital connectivity through mobile phones, EPFO is making more and more services digitally accessible to members even in remotest locations through UMANG App.

*About UMANG* :

UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is developed by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and National e-Governance Division (NeGD) to drive Mobile Governance in India.

UMANG provides a single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies and other citizen centric services.

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Fund Raising for 9 causes

Hi folks, i am an admin with Mumbai Road Runners a running community in India. This year we are raising funds for 9 different NGOs in 9 different sectors coinciding with the Navratri Festival in India next month. As you are aware, the NGOs are all facing severe funds crunch during this covid pandemic with the result that many of their projects are starved for resources. This is an attempt by us to fill in that gap, to augment the resources of these NGOs so that their programs are carried on successfully, thereby benefiting the poor and marginal people to whom the NGOs serve. Therefore requesting one and all to contribute generously to one or more than one of these NGOs. The fund raising link for each NGOs is given below. You can click on any link, which will take you directly to the payment page. All these NGOs are on the United Way platform so they are vetted properly by the United Way team. All contributions to these NGOs are tax exempt under the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the tax receipts for your donations, will be furnished directly by the respective NGO.

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15409

St. Jude India Childcare Centres. St Jude India ChildCare Centres provide free, safe, hygienic accommodation and holistic support to needy cancer affected children travelling with their parents from rural and semi-urban areas to big cities to seek the best cancer treatment. We bridge the gap between free medical treatment provided by the hospital, and physical and emotional support needed by families to complete cancer treatment.

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15407

Animedh Charitable Trust – The objectives of ANIMEDH CHARITABLE TRUST (ACT) are to provide support and social services to needy women and children. ACT empowers women to transform their lives by providing vocational training and facilitating income generation opportunities. ACT also promotes basic and higher education for the children, especially the girl-child.

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-11843

MOHAN (Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network) Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every Indian suffering from end stage organ failure be provided with the ‘gift of life’ through life-saving organ. Its main objectives include creating public awareness about organ donation, training healthcare professionals in transplant coordination, counselling bereaved families to donate their loved ones’ organs.

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15411

Light of Life Trust – Light of Life Trust is an NGO registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950, works towards realising untapped potential of India’s rural communities and empower them through its 2 verticals – Project Anando (Education) and Project Jagruti (Community Development).

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15412

MENTAID a parents driven initiative, ensures early intervention, education, vocational training, respite care. It promotes Self Advocacy and Independence for children and young adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Through intensive training it empowers their families, 50% of whom come from the economically disadvantaged section of society.

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15413

Dignity Foundation’s mission is to create an enlightened society in which senior citizens feel secure, confident and valued, and can live with dignity. We help empower senior citizens with an enriching set of opportunities & programmes so as to lead a more dignified, secure, joyful and fulfilling life.

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15414

Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. Bhumi as a platform will enable over 12,000 volunteers in more than 12 cities across India for causes like education, environment, animals and community welfare. Bhumi is the recipient of the ‘Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award’ conferred by iVolunteer.

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15408

Population First is a communications and advocacy initiative for health and population issues from a gender and social development perspective. Our key objectives are to help reduce gender imbalances in the population and work towards gender sensitive and social development oriented health and population programs.

https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/tmm-fundraiser-15410

Habitat India beneficiaries are economically poor, low income, marginalized groups considered non-bankable, disaster affected families that includes historically disadvantaged communities. Till date, we have served over 62,025 families comprising of 297,720 individuals through our interventions in Housing, Sanitation, Access to Water and Disaster Response. We are head quartered in Mumbai.

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Pygmalion

 George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion being adapted into a film in 1938 directed by Anthony Asquith and starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller among others. The film stays true to the play, well almost. Professor Higgins (Leslie Howard) is a professor of phonetics & linguistics, and while wandering about in lowly Convent Garden, gets into a scrap with a flower girl Eliza Dolittle (Wendy Hiller). Just then Colonel Pickering comes by, he is an expert of linguistics and dialects himself and wants to meet Higgins, having returned from India. Pickering challenges Higgins to improve the flower girl in a few weeks. Eliza lands up on his doorstep the next morning to learn from him. Then follows the most exacting phase of her life while she tries to throw away her Welsh cockney accent and to adapt a proper British accent with pronunciation, grammar, manners, etiquette etc. Higgins accepts an invitation to an embassy reception with trepidation as to how Eliza would perform. It became his obsession and luckily Eliza goes through with flying colours. Higgins thinks he has won the battle but what has to become of Eliza, where will she go back now that she has become a proper lady, she won’t be able to go back to selling flowers. Higgins is unfortunately not able to make that connection.  Higgins comes across as a self centred egomaniac and for him every girl is like a subject to him, like his triumph. Wendy Hiller got nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars. Superb acting by both Wendy Miller and Leslie Howard, both stayed true to script. 

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Meshes of the Afternoon

Meshes of the Afternoon, (1943) a short film created by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid. Its again a surrealist film just like Luis Bunuel’s “Un Chien Andalou”. A woman is seen as walking down a path, she goes to a door, finds it locked, finds the hidden key, the key falls down onto the stairs, then she goes inside the room, which is in disarray, the phone is off the hook, she finds a knife on a bread, a record player playing and then somebody is chasing her, she in turn is chasing a lady without a face but not able to catch her. The images and visuals keep repeating like in a dream. There is no meaning to the movie, its a dream sequence, and one can interpret it the way one wants. Later a man comes into the house, the same sequence keeps repeating, with the key and the knife and the lady. One can sum it as the character’s thought patterns in a time of crisis. 

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liquid medical oxygen

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1659266

1. The present situation of COVID-19 has resulted in increased demand of Medical Oxygen (MO) in the country and hence its availability is of utmost importance. Many of the States/UTs are dependent on the medical oxygen supply from other States/UTs.

2. The government is committed to uninterrupted supply of Medical Oxygen especially in the times of pandemic. Oxygen Inhalation (Medicinal Gas) is a scheduled formulation, covered under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). Its existing Ceiling Price fixed by NPPA is Rs. 17.49/CUM. However, due to absence of price cap on liquid medical oxygen, manufacturers have hiked prices to fillers. During COVID, supply of medical oxygen through cylinders has increased . Price regulation at this end is imperative for continued availability of medical oxygen across the country.

 3. The issue related to availability, including pricing of oxygen has been under the continued consideration of Empowered Group 2, GOI. The Empowered Group 2 has recommended NPPA to consider capping the ex-factory price of liquid oxygen in order to ensure its supply to fillers at reasonable prices. It has also requested NPPA to consider a cap for ex-factory price of oxygen in cylinders in order to ensure supply of oxygen cylinders from filler at reasonable prices.

 4. To deal effectively with the situation, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOH&FW), GOI has vide its letter dated 23.09.2020 conferred the delegation of powers under Section 10(2) (l) of Disaster Management Act, 2005 to NPPA to take all necessary steps to immediately regulate the availability and pricing of LMO and Medical Oxygen in cylinder. 

5. The Authority deliberated upon the matter in its extra ordinary meeting held on 25.09.2020. It has been decided to invoke extra-ordinary powers in public interest, under Para 19 of DPCO, 13 and under Section 10(20) (l) of Disaster Management Act, 2005 to deal with the emergent situation arising due to the pandemic. Accordingly it has been decided:

To cap the ex- factory price of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) at manufacturers end at Rs. 15.22/CUM exclusive of GST; and

To further cap the ex-factory cost of Medical Oxygen Cylinder at filler end at Rs. 25.71/CUM exclusive of GST in suppression of the existing Ceiling Price of Rs. 17.49/CUM, subject to transportation cost fixation at state level, for six months. 

6. The existing rate contracts of state governments for oxygen purchase, as applicable, shall continue, in consumer interest. 

The ex-factory price cap of LMO and oxygen gas cylinders will be applicable to domestic production.

The above measures will ensure availability of medical oxygen at consumer end at reasonable price both at hospital level and through oxygen cylinders, especially to distant and interior districts.

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digitisation of central motor vehicle rules

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1659408

Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has recently issued notifications regarding various amendments in Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 requiring implementation of enforcement, Maintenance of Vehicular Documents and E-Challans through portal w.e.f 1.10.2020 for better monitoring and enforcement of MV Rules

Use of IT services and electronic monitoring will result in better enforcement of Traffic Rules in the country and will lead to removing harassment of drivers and would facilitate the citizen.

This was required after Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 was passed and was published on 9th August, 2019. 

Accordingly, the rules for amendment to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 for certain provisions of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019  were published through GSR 584 (E)  dated 25 September 2020. The  amendment inter-alia provides for the definition for Challan, Portal inserted as requirement for  providing the services through IT and further the enforcement of electronic monitoring and enforcement. 

Details of driving licences disqualified or revoked by the licensing authority shall be recorded chronologically in the portal and such record shall be reflected on a regular basis on the portal has been provided for.  Thus the record shall be maintained electronically and further the driver behavior would be monitored. 

Provisions have been made for the  procedure for Production and Obtaining Certificates in physical as well as electronic form, the validity, issuance of such documents and further the date and time stamping of inspection and identity of the Officer to be recorded.  It has been provided that if the details of the documents are found validated through the electronic means by the enforcement officer then physical forms of such documents shall not be demanded for inspection, including in cases where there is an offence made out necessitating seizure of any such documents.

Further upon demanding or inspecting any documents, the date and time stamp of inspection and identity of the police officer in uniform or any other officer authorized by the State Government, shall be recorded on the Portal. This would help in unnecessary re-checking or inspection of vehicles and further would remove harassment to the drivers. 

It has been provided that the use of handheld communications devices while driving shall solely be used for route navigation in such a manner that shall not disturb the concentration of the driver while driving.

Further through notification GSR 586  (E) dated 25 September 2020 certain amendments in the Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations 2017 have been made to align to the Amendment in the Act and the CMVR 1989 like use of handheld device, inspection of documents in electronic form etc.

The S.O. (E) 3311 dated  25; Sep 2020 notification provides for enforcing certain provision of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 w.e.f. 1st Oct 2020 for which the aforesaid rules are being published.

The S.O. (E) 3310 dated  25 September 2020 provides for the conditions for the State Government to consider for specifying a multiplier to the amount of the penalties

The S.O. (E) dated 25 Sept 2020 provides for the order that the penalties for violation of The Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations, 2017 shall be in accordance with Section 177A to the extent that the penalties for such violations are not specifically provided for otherwise under the Act.

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family pension for divorced daughters

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1659364

Rules have been relaxed for divorced daughters to receive Family Pension and now a daughter will be entitled to receive the Family Pension even if the divorce had not finally taken place but the divorce petition had been filed by her during the lifetime of her deceased parent employee/pensioner.

Disclosing this while briefing the media about some of the important reforms brought in by the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the earlier Rule provided for payment of Family Pension to a divorced daughter only if the divorce had taken place during the lifetime of deceased parent pensioner or his spouse. The new circular will not only bring ease in the life of pension receiving individuals but also ensure respectable and equitable rights for the divorced daughters in the society.

Orders have also been issued for grant of Family Pension to a Divyang child or sibling even if the Disability Certificate is produced after the death of the pensioner parent but the disability had occurred before the death of the parents. Similarly, to bring ease of living for the Divyang pensioners, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Attendant Allowance for the helper has been increased from Rs. 4,500 per month to Rs..6,700 per month.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, one of the most noteworthy initiatives taken by the Pension Department is with regard to the Digital Life Certificate. Keeping in view the difficulty faced by the senior citizens who have gone and settled abroad with their children after retirement, he said, circular has been brought out on Consolidated Instructions on Life Certificate and commencement of Family Pension for those living abroad vide which the concerned Bank Branch abroad and the Indian Embassy/ Consulate/High Commission have been instructed to provide Life Certificate and commencement of Family Pension there itself.

At the same time, Dr Jitendra Singh said, all Pension Disbursing Banks have been instructed to provide doorstep Life Certificate to those pensioners who are unable to visit the bank.

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Strange Happenings at Landings Castle & Other Humorous Stories

A collection of uproariously humorous stories by Gopal Ramanan, third in his series of short stories books. Starts off with a brilliant spoof on Sherlock Holmes with some strange happenings going in Landings Castle with Lord Landings himself perplexed and requesting for Sholmes’ help along with Dr. Dotson. Then there is a take on the venerable James Bond getting old, well, actually old instead of being perpetually young and handsome. Partha is then fretting with his unusually long name in the US and wonders whether he could change it to something short and sweet. Then there are a series of short essays on the author’s crisp observations on life’s inanities all laced with sweet humour. Written in a very simple style with narrative reminiscent of the great RK Narayan, this is a highly recommended book for light reading. Goodreads 5/5 

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