Here are the day’s biggest stories:

RBI decides to pay Centre interim dividend of Rs 28,000 crore

The Reserve Bank of India said on Monday that it will pay interim dividend of Rs 28,000 crore to the government. The decision to pay the interim dividend was taken at a post-Budget meeting of the central bank’s board of directors in New Delhi. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das chaired the meeting.

SC rejects plea challenging the Centre’s order against the use of the word ‘Dalit’ by media

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea challenging the Centre’s circular advising the media against using the word “Dalit” to refer to members of the Scheduled Caste, PTI reported. The petition was filed by advocate Sriram Parakkat who represented a group of individuals and organisations who are working for Dalit rights.

Aircel-Maxis case: Court extends protection from arrest to P Chidambaram and son Karti till March 8

A Delhi court on Monday extended the interim protection granted to former Union Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti in connection with the Aircel-Maxis scam until March 8.

Pulwama: Centre wants to act against Pakistan only when elections are close, claims Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday wondered why the Centre did not stop Pakistan from carrying out terror attacks in India for the last five years.

FERA case against TTV Dhinakaran: Supreme Court stays trial court’s proceedings

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the proceedings of a Chennai court in connection with the 1996 Foreign Exchange Regulation Act case against Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dinakaran, PTI reported.

Indian markets slip for eighth straight day, Sensex closes below 35,500

Indian indices slipped for the eighth straight day on Monday. The BSE Sensex slid 310.51 points to finish at 35,498.44. The National Stock Exchange Nifty fell 83.45 points to close at 10,640.95. The decline in stock markets over the last week can be attributed to caution ahead of the General Elections.

FERA case against TTV Dhinakaran: Supreme Court stays trial court’s proceedings

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the proceedings of a Chennai court in connection with the 1996 Foreign Exchange Regulation Act case against Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dinakaran.

Pulwama attack: India suspends Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service and cross-LoC trade

The Indian government on Monday suspended the Srinagar to Muzaffarabad “peace bus” service, following the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, which killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel. The Jaish-e-Mohammed extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Narendra Modi and Argentina President Mauricio Macri hold bilateral talks, condemn terrorism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday condemned terrorism, saying it was a threat to global peace and stability. Modi was speaking at a joint press conference with Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri, who is on a three-day visit to India. Macri, while addressing the joint press conference, paid his condolences to the 40 personnel killed in the terror attack in Pulwama, South Kashmir, on February 14.

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Public hearing at ICJ begins, India says Pakistan’s story weak on facts

The International Court of Justice in the Hague on Monday began the four-day public hearings of the former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case. Jadhav is on death row in Islamabad after Pakistan charged him with spying for Indian intelligence agencies in 2016.

India’s counsel Harish Salve at the ICJ says Pakistan has no substantive defence in the matter and that the country has violated the Vienna Convention. India has demanded consular access to Jadhav under the rules of the Vienna Convention, but Pakistan has rejected the request repeatedly.

Hampi: Four men made to re-erect pillars they vandalised at temple complex, pay Rs 70,000-fine

A court in Hospet city of Karnataka fined four men who vandalised pillars at the Vishnu Temple Complex in Hampi Rs 70,000 each last week. The court also asked them to re-erect the pillars.

Punjab Assembly: Akali Dal MLAs demand Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation for his remarks on Pulwama

The Budget speech in the Punjab Assembly was disrupted on Monday as Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Bikram Majithia engaged in a verbal battle. The Opposition party demanded that Sidhu resign for his remarks about the Pulwama attack last week.

Pulwama attack: Amit Shah says BJP government has a zero tolerance policy for terrorism

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Monday said the Narendra Modi government has a zero tolerance policy for terror and that security forces retaliate at an appropriate time. His remarks come four days after 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed in a suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.

“The BJP government has held a strong policy to fight terrorism on all fronts and has been successful in it,” Shah said in Jaipur while addressing the party’s Shakti Kendra Sammelan. “Be it on the diplomatic front or about a bullet for a bullet, the BJP has always adopted a zero tolerance policy for terrorism.”

‘Not unusual to overlook seniority in appointment of judges’, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi tells NDTV

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it was not unusual for the Supreme Court Collegium to make changes in the recommendation of judges to the top court and to overlook seniority in the appointment of judges.

India needs ‘fewer and mega banks that are strong’, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

India needs “fewer and mega banks” that are strong, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after meeting the board of the Reserve Bank of India on Monday. Jaitley said specific details of the interim dividend that the central bank will pay the government were not discussed in the meeting.

Pulwama attack: Pakistan recalls its ambassador in India for consultations

Pakistan on Monday recalled its ambassador in India for consultations as escalating tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad, said Dr Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson for Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Kamal Haasan calls for plebiscite in J&K, refers to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir as ‘Azad Kashmir’

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Sunday asked why India was scared to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir, and referred to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir as “Azad Kashmir” while speaking at an event in Chennai.

Suspended BJP leader Kirti Azad joins Congress

Former Darbhanga MP and cricketer Kirti Azad on Monday joined the Congress after he was suspended from the Bharatiya Janata Party in December 2015. Azad was set to join the Congress on Friday but postponed it after the Pulwama attack.

Puducherry: CM Narayanasamy’s dharna continues; Arvind Kejriwal to join protest today

The stand-off between the Puducherry government and Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi entered the sixth day on Monday as talks scheduled for Sunday were cancelled.

Sterlite: Supreme Court sets aside NGT order allowing Thoothukudi plant to reopen

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to allow the reopening of Vedanta’s Sterlite plant at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu, setting aside an order of the National Green Tribunal. The top court asked the Tamil Nadu government and Vedanta to approach the Madras High Court on the matter.

Vande Bharat: Piyush Goyal responds to Rahul Gandhi’s remarks, says he insulted India’s intelligence

Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on Sunday hit back at Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s “Make in India” policy after the Vande Bharat Express broke down twice in its first journey. Goyal said the Congress chief had “insulted India’s intelligence and hard work by mocking Make in India”.

Minister seeks action against those who shared his photo at CRPF jawan’s funeral as a ‘selfie’

Union minister KJ Alphons on Sunday wrote to Kerala’s police chief, alleging that some people were spreading false news online about a photo of his taken at the funeral of a Central Reserve Police Force jawan who was killed in last week’s militant strike in Jammu and Kashmir. It was being called a “selfie” even though it was not, he claimed.

Jammu and Kashmir: Four Army personnel killed in encounter in Pulwama, say reports

Four Army personnel, including a Major, were killed in an encounter with suspected militants in Pinglan area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday. One soldier was injured. At least three militants are believed to be trapped at the site.

Pulwama attack: Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal likens terror strike to ‘attacks of Mughals’

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday said the terror attack on personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama showed that the “attack of Mughals is not over yet”. Forty personnel were killed in the attack on Thursday.

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: International Court of Justice to commence public hearings today

The International Court of Justice will commence public hearings of the former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case on Monday. Jadhav is on death row in Islamabad after Pakistan charged him with spying for Indian intelligence agencies in 2016.

Kerala: Two Youth Congress workers hacked to death in Kasargod, party blames CPI(M)

Two Youth Congress workers were hacked to death in Kerala’s Kasaragod district on Sunday night, The Indian Express reported. The Congress blamed the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) for the deaths and called for a shutdown in the district on Monday.

Pulwama attack: Air transit can only supplement road convoys, not replace them, clarifies CRPF

The Central Reserve Police Force has clarified that air support can only supplement convoys and not replace them. The paramilitary force was responding to news reports that have claimed it was denied the air transit it wanted for the convoy that was attacked in Pulwama last Thursday.

Pulwama attack: Former RAW chief Vikram Sood points at security lapse behind terror strike

Former chief of Research and Analysis Wing, Vikram Sood, on Sunday said terror attacks like the one in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama do not take place without a lapse in security. He made the observation on the sidelines of a seminar in Hyderabad.

Former PM Manmohan Singh says jobless growth has slipped into job-loss growth

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said jobless growth, rural indebtedness and urban chaos has left the aspirational youth of the country restless, PTI reported. He made the remark at the convocation address at the Delhi School of Management.