Hangzhou Asian Games | All that glitters is gold for India

An hour for two points and a minute – that sums up the men’s kabaddi final between India and Iran at the Asian Games here on Saturday that started on a tense note, built up to a nail-biting climax and then, out of nowhere, descended into a chaotic, confusing farce that left both teams and their managements furious and amazed and critical of the refereeing before it was finally settled 33-29 in India’s favour.

India regained both the golds it lost five years ago to be crowned men’s and women’s champions but the tension around the women’s final in the morning that India won by a single point 26-25 against Chinese Taipei was nothing compared to what came in the evening. On a golden day for Indian sports that saw the country cross the 100-medal milestone and made history with a first-ever badminton gold, it was the bizarre drama at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre that became the talking point.

The scores were level at 28-28 when India captain Pawan Sehrawat stepped up for a raid. He tried to tag an Iranian defender but was unable to do so and instead stepped out in the lobby with the Iranians in pursuit. One of the Iranian players lost his balance and stepped out of bounds at the back. And that’s when everything went downhill and into the chasm of confusion around the rules as both teams read them.

The rules as mentioned by the international federation say that unless a raider has touched a defender initiating a struggle, no defender can enter the lobby in pursuit. And if anyone does that or holds the raider in that area, then all the defenders in lobby with a touch on the raider will be declared out. But in the updated Pro Kabaddi League rules, if a raider steps out into the lobby without a touch, the raid immediately ends and only the raider is out, irrespective of who steps out after him. The referee announced a point each to both teams, as per the new PKL rules, something India challenged.

The referral was held up and the decision was changed to 4-1 in India’s favour. And then something happened that has as many versions as people. While Iran coach Gholamreza Mazandarani felt India pressed on despite a jury decision to hold up the game, India claimed the decision was changed back to 1-1 on a signal from the stands. With the entire top brass of International and Asian Kabaddi Federations in attendance – headed by India’s Vinod Kumar Tiwari and Iran’s Abbas Khajeh Avarseji respectively – it seemed to become a power struggle on the sidelines more than a contest on it.

The jury then changed the decision back to 1-1, India refused to accept it and the players sat in protest, further consultations led to the decision becoming 3-1 and another protest, this time by Iran and finally a suspension of the match as officials tried to work out a solution. They finally went in for discussion after making a public mockery for more than an hour and returned, stuck to the international rules and awarded 3-1 in India’s favour to make it 31-29. By then, it was just a formality as Iran had been reduced to two men and just 60 seconds left, India wrapping it up to take gold.

There was no indication of a usually 45-minute long kabaddi match stretching for almost two hours when the teams took to the mat. Tentative and cautious, probing the opposition before going for the big points, Iran took a 4-2 lead early on before Vishal Bhardwaj managed to get his leg over the line to make it 4-4. Amirmohammed Zafar and Nabibaksh kept nipping away bonus points to stay ahead while Mohammedreza Shadlou on the right corner and captain Fazel Atrachali on the left kept a lid on Indian raiders’ bonus attempts.

But with the difference never more than three points at any point, India stayed close and took lead for the first time with less than three minutes in the first half, reeling off five straight points to go 14-12 up and then get an all-out to go into the break 17-13 ahead. The second half was more of the same, neither team relenting in either pace or intensity. Shadlou, primarily a defender, returned with two points at 21-16 and then again at 24-22, leaving Arjun Deshwal the lone man standing and duly tackling him for an all-out and 25-25. It stayed level till 28-28 with 90 seconds to go when Pawan stepped up. And then the clock remained stuck.

61-year wait ends

While all this went on, at the Binjiang Gymnasium 30km away, a pair in their twenties was writing their own story into the history books, ending a 61-year wait for India’s first badminton gold at the Asian Games but the momentous occasion – finishing on top of the podium in a sport China considers its own, much like India does with kabaddi – was a comparatively sedate and straight-forward affair.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty knew they had achieved something special even before they entered the court and 57 minutes later, they had taken another step to being deservedly called the best India pair ever. Assured of being World No. 1s in men’s doubles after their semifinal win, the Indians let out a roar, Chirag made his trademark jump onto Satwik and danced around after a 21-18, 21-16 win against the Korean pair of Solgyu Choi and Wonho Kim.

Attacking with abandon with a series of smashes to take control, the Indians looked comfortable in front of packed stands even while trailing. Like the kabaddi team, the difference was never more than a couple of points and there was no cause for worry. The Koreans sped to 8-4 that soon became 18-15 before the Indians switched gears to take six straight points and take the first game.

The second game was similar as the Indians seized control from the middle, relying mostly on flat smashes and the occasional drops. A slow court and no drift helped, as did coaches Mathias Boe and Pullela Gopichand from the sidelines. At 13-12 the Indians reeled off four straight points and even though the Koreans fought back, they only delayed the inevitable that finally came when Kim returned long and the Indians knew it was over.

In the morning, the women’s team became the proud herald of India’s 100th medal in the edition and bringing that up with a gold made it special as the girls shouted ‘Veer bhogya swarna padak’, their war-cry, team motto and motivational slogan rolled into one.

The women started well and led 14-9 at the end of the first period with a super raid for both sides but Chinese Taipei, the only team to hold India to a draw in the opening match of the competition, fought back in the second refusing to go down without a fight, scoring 16 points to India’s 12 including a super tackle and effecting an all out. But the eight bonus points India won proved to be the difference.

Archers’ day out

On a rainy morning here at the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Center, the Indian archers made it rain medals. And the duo – Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Ojas Pravin Deotale – which kickstarted the gold rush in archery as a mixed team, completed an unprecedented full set in the Asian Games on October 7. Jyothi defeated South Korea’s So Chae-won 149-145 to claim individual gold to go with her women’s team gold and Ojas overcame compatriot Abhishek Verma 149-147 to complete his treble, including the men’s team gold he won alongside Abhishek.

And both Jyothi and Ojas dropped one 9 in their respective finals, displaying their ruthless precision. It’s quite remarkable how India’s successful Asiad campaign has been built around these two archers who are at differing points in their careers.

Jyothi, who began shooting bows at the age of 11 and who is competing in her third Asian Games, is finally putting her demons to rest and is enjoying the best year of her career.

The Indian compound team coach Sergio Pagni was chuffed for Jyothi. “For Jyothi, this is a very cathartic moment because she has lost so many gold medals in the final during her career. She has deserved [the gold medal] so much,” said Pagni.

Until June last year, Jyothi has always come so close without ever being able to get past the finish line. She had four silver and three bronze medals in the World Championships, and one silver and six bronze in the World Cups. She was also dropped from the Indian team after failing to make the trials and there was also ‘the queen of compound archery’, Sara Lopez, who has been a constant thorn in her side. The Colombian beat Jyothi to three golds in the 2021 World Championships.

But since then, she has won a World Cup gold, a World Championship gold and beaten Lopez twice this year.

Pagni said it was important for Jyothi to get over her mental block without getting fixated on her opponents. “Jyothi focused a lot on herself and she was very good about it. I do not need to convince her that Sara Lopez can be beaten. You have to convince the athlete that there is no opponent in front of you. Just there is you and your target. It is impossible to manage your level to that of another athlete. What is possible is to manage your own level. You can manage yourself, not another athlete,” said the Italian.

That crossing over the bridge moment came for Jyothi when she beat Lopez in the first stage of the World Cup this year in Antalya, where she beat her rival to win gold.

After having gone through all the tough times, Jyothi is now happy to have ended her drought. “The waiting period is always tough for everyone and it was the same for me. Now that the good time has come, I just want want to live in this moment,” she said. “I started to think more positively [this year]. I focussed more on the positive side and not on the negative side. If you think about negatives, it may begin to affect your performance and mental health also.”

While Jyothi has had to wait so long to taste gold, Ojas, at just 21, and in his second year with the senior Indian team, is already a world champion and a triple gold medallist in his maiden Asiad.

“It was like a friendly,” said Ojas of the final. “In my head, I thought, even if I lose to bhaiyya, I should give a good fight.” Ojas gave Abhishek more than a fight as he shot all 10s with his first 10 arrows to set the tone for the final, which left Abhishek with little room for errors. Ojas shot a nine with his 11th shot, but followed it up with four more 10s to clinch gold.

And for Ojas and his coach Pravin Sawant, it’s the result of all the training hours put into fine-tuning the former’s skills at the latter’s training ground in Satara. Sawant has created an academy, where he trains his wards, including Aditi Swami, who won an individual bronze on Saturday.

Ojas, who hails from Nagpur, turned to Pravin for advanced-level coaching. “In Satara, we were totally cut off from the rest of the world. It’s a place surrounded by mountains and is peaceful. We stay at the ground, sleep there, train there. Our hostel is on the ground. We are connected to archery 24/7,” said the youngster, who tried his hand at rollerskating and gymnastics before switching to archery.

According to Pravin, Ojas’ dedication to the sport became apparent to him, when he chose to spend Diwali at the academy instead of going home to his family. “He was the only one there. That’s when I realised how dedicated he is. That’s when we bonded properly,” said Pravin.

Ojas added, “Whenever we need anything if we need guidance during, say, night practice. he’s there with us. I have stayed there continuously all these years. I don’t go back home. My first home is the archery ground. The second home is where my parents live.”

And it is Pravin, who is now insisting that Ojas goes back home for a few days at the end of the Asian Games. Ojas knows it’s not going to be straightforward since he is going to be the toast of his hometown. “All I want to do is shut the doors of my house and stay at home with my parents,” Ojas said with a smile.

Higher seeding does it

The local volunteers did their best to keep the crowd entertained through the light rains for over 20 minutes, but when it picked up in intensity, the supporters started to make their way inside to find cover.

An hour later, the men’s cricket final here at the Pingfeng Cricket Campus on Saturday was called off, robbing the fans of a finish and Afghanistan a chance to fight for a rare Asian Games gold medal. India, which didn’t have a bat in the game, was awarded the win and the gold as a result of their higher seeding in the tournament.

The Indian team then came out and celebrated in the rain in what was a unique experience for everyone involved. India barely put a foot wrong in the three matches it took part in and Ruturaj Gaikwad’s men looked primed for the top prize.

“We are not used to winning medals. We are all very emotional,” said Ruturaj after the medal ceremony. “It was disappointing not to have the full game, but that’s something we can’t control.”

Afghanistan, which has had a solid outing itself, would feel hard done after it recovered from an early collapse to post 112/5 in 18.2 overs.

“I am very proud of the silver, it’s our first silver for Afghanistan. This is everything for me,” said Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib.

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#Hangzhou #Asian #Games #glitters #gold #India

Hangzhou Asian Games | All that glitters is gold indeed for India!

An hour for two points and a minute – that sums up the men’s kabaddi final between India and Iran at the Asian Games here on Saturday that started on a tense note, built up to a nail-biting climax and then, out of nowhere, descended into a chaotic, confusing farce that left both teams and their managements furious and amazed and critical of the refereeing before it was finally settled 33-29 in India’s favour.

India regained both the golds it lost five years ago to be crowned men’s and women’s champions but the tension around the women’s final in the morning that India won by a single point 26-25 against Chinese Taipei was nothing compared to what came in the evening. On a golden day for Indian sports that saw the country cross the 100-medal milestone and made history with a first-ever badminton gold, it was the bizarre drama at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre that became the talking point.

The scores were level at 28-28 when India captain Pawan Sehrawat stepped up for a raid. He tried to tag an Iranian defender but was unable to do so and instead stepped out in the lobby with the Iranians in pursuit. One of the Iranian players lost his balance and stepped out of bounds at the back. And that’s when everything went downhill and into the chasm of confusion around the rules as both teams read them.

The rules as mentioned by the international federation say that unless a raider has touched a defender initiating a struggle, no defender can enter the lobby in pursuit. And if anyone does that or holds the raider in that area, then all the defenders in lobby with a touch on the raider will be declared out. But in the updated Pro Kabaddi League rules, if a raider steps out into the lobby without a touch, the raid immediately ends and only the raider is out, irrespective of who steps out after him. The referee announced a point each to both teams, as per the new PKL rules, something India challenged.

The referral was held up and the decision was changed to 4-1 in India’s favour. And then something happened that has as many versions as people. While Iran coach Gholamreza Mazandarani felt India pressed on despite a jury decision to hold up the game, India claimed the decision was changed back to 1-1 on a signal from the stands. With the entire top brass of International and Asian Kabaddi Federations in attendance – headed by India’s Vinod Kumar Tiwari and Iran’s Abbas Khajeh Avarseji respectively – it seemed to become a power struggle on the sidelines more than a contest on it.

The jury then changed the decision back to 1-1, India refused to accept it and the players sat in protest, further consultations led to the decision becoming 3-1 and another protest, this time by Iran and finally a suspension of the match as officials tried to work out a solution. They finally went in for discussion after making a public mockery for more than an hour and returned, stuck to the international rules and awarded 3-1 in India’s favour to make it 31-29. By then, it was just a formality as Iran had been reduced to two men and just 60 seconds left, India wrapping it up to take gold.

There was no indication of a usually 45-minute long kabaddi match stretching for almost two hours when the teams took to the mat. Tentative and cautious, probing the opposition before going for the big points, Iran took a 4-2 lead early on before Vishal Bhardwaj managed to get his leg over the line to make it 4-4. Amirmohammed Zafar and Nabibaksh kept nipping away bonus points to stay ahead while Mohammedreza Shadlou on the right corner and captain Fazel Atrachali on the left kept a lid on Indian raiders’ bonus attempts.

But with the difference never more than three points at any point, India stayed close and took lead for the first time with less than three minutes in the first half, reeling off five straight points to go 14-12 up and then get an all-out to go into the break 17-13 ahead. The second half was more of the same, neither team relenting in either pace or intensity. Shadlou, primarily a defender, returned with two points at 21-16 and then again at 24-22, leaving Arjun Deshwal the lone man standing and duly tackling him for an all-out and 25-25. It stayed level till 28-28 with 90 seconds to go when Pawan stepped up. And then the clock remained stuck.

61-year wait ends

While all this went on, at the Binjiang Gymnasium 30km away, a pair in their twenties was writing their own story into the history books, ending a 61-year wait for India’s first badminton gold at the Asian Games but the momentous occasion – finishing on top of the podium in a sport China considers its own, much like India does with kabaddi – was a comparatively sedate and straight-forward affair.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty knew they had achieved something special even before they entered the court and 57 minutes later, they had taken another step to being deservedly called the best India pair ever. Assured of being World No. 1s in men’s doubles after their semifinal win, the Indians let out a roar, Chirag made his trademark jump onto Satwik and danced around after a 21-18, 21-16 win against the Korean pair of Solgyu Choi and Wonho Kim.

Attacking with abandon with a series of smashes to take control, the Indians looked comfortable in front of packed stands even while trailing. Like the kabaddi team, the difference was never more than a couple of points and there was no cause for worry. The Koreans sped to 8-4 that soon became 18-15 before the Indians switched gears to take six straight points and take the first game.

The second game was similar as the Indians seized control from the middle, relying mostly on flat smashes and the occasional drops. A slow court and no drift helped, as did coaches Mathias Boe and Pullela Gopichand from the sidelines. At 13-12 the Indians reeled off four straight points and even though the Koreans fought back, they only delayed the inevitable that finally came when Kim returned long and the Indians knew it was over.

In the morning, the women’s team became the proud herald of India’s 100th medal in the edition and bringing that up with a gold made it special as the girls shouted ‘Veer bhogya swarna padak’, their war-cry, team motto and motivational slogan rolled into one.

The women started well and led 14-9 at the end of the first period with a super raid for both sides but Chinese Taipei, the only team to hold India to a draw in the opening match of the competition, fought back in the second refusing to go down without a fight, scoring 16 points to India’s 12 including a super tackle and effecting an all out. But the eight bonus points India won proved to be the difference.

Archers’ day out

On a rainy morning here at the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Center, the Indian archers made it rain medals. And the duo – Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Ojas Pravin Deotale – which kickstarted the gold rush in archery as a mixed team, completed an unprecedented full set in the Asian Games on October 7. Jyothi defeated South Korea’s So Chae-won 149-145 to claim individual gold to go with her women’s team gold and Ojas overcame compatriot Abhishek Verma 149-147 to complete his treble, including the men’s team gold he won alongside Abhishek.

And both Jyothi and Ojas dropped one 9 in their respective finals, displaying their ruthless precision. It’s quite remarkable how India’s successful Asiad campaign has been built around these two archers who are at differing points in their careers.

Jyothi, who began shooting bows at the age of 11 and who is competing in her third Asian Games, is finally putting her demons to rest and is enjoying the best year of her career.

The Indian compound team coach Sergio Pagni was chuffed for Jyothi. “For Jyothi, this is a very cathartic moment because she has lost so many gold medals in the final during her career. She has deserved [the gold medal] so much,” said Pagni.

Until June last year, Jyothi has always come so close without ever being able to get past the finish line. She had four silver and three bronze medals in the World Championships, and one silver and six bronze in the World Cups. She was also dropped from the Indian team after failing to make the trials and there was also ‘the queen of compound archery’, Sara Lopez, who has been a constant thorn in her side. The Colombian beat Jyothi to three golds in the 2021 World Championships.

But since then, she has won a World Cup gold, a World Championship gold and beaten Lopez twice this year.

Pagni said it was important for Jyothi to get over her mental block without getting fixated on her opponents. “Jyothi focused a lot on herself and she was very good about it. I do not need to convince her that Sara Lopez can be beaten. You have to convince the athlete that there is no opponent in front of you. Just there is you and your target. It is impossible to manage your level to that of another athlete. What is possible is to manage your own level. You can manage yourself, not another athlete,” said the Italian.

That crossing over the bridge moment came for Jyothi when she beat Lopez in the first stage of the World Cup this year in Antalya, where she beat her rival to win gold.

After having gone through all the tough times, Jyothi is now happy to have ended her drought. “The waiting period is always tough for everyone and it was the same for me. Now that the good time has come, I just want want to live in this moment,” she said. “I started to think more positively [this year]. I focussed more on the positive side and not on the negative side. If you think about negatives, it may begin to affect your performance and mental health also.”

While Jyothi has had to wait so long to taste gold, Ojas, at just 21, and in his second year with the senior Indian team, is already a world champion and a triple gold medallist in his maiden Asiad.

“It was like a friendly,” said Ojas of the final. “In my head, I thought, even if I lose to bhaiyya, I should give a good fight.” Ojas gave Abhishek more than a fight as he shot all 10s with his first 10 arrows to set the tone for the final, which left Abhishek with little room for errors. Ojas shot a nine with his 11th shot, but followed it up with four more 10s to clinch gold.

And for Ojas and his coach Pravin Sawant, it’s the result of all the training hours put into fine-tuning the former’s skills at the latter’s training ground in Satara. Sawant has created an academy, where he trains his wards, including Aditi Swami, who won an individual bronze on Saturday.

Ojas, who hails from Nagpur, turned to Pravin for advanced-level coaching. “In Satara, we were totally cut off from the rest of the world. It’s a place surrounded by mountains and is peaceful. We stay at the ground, sleep there, train there. Our hostel is on the ground. We are connected to archery 24/7,” said the youngster, who tried his hand at rollerskating and gymnastics before switching to archery.

According to Pravin, Ojas’ dedication to the sport became apparent to him, when he chose to spend Diwali at the academy instead of going home to his family. “He was the only one there. That’s when I realised how dedicated he is. That’s when we bonded properly,” said Pravin.

Ojas added, “Whenever we need anything if we need guidance during, say, night practice. he’s there with us. I have stayed there continuously all these years. I don’t go back home. My first home is the archery ground. The second home is where my parents live.”

And it is Pravin, who is now insisting that Ojas goes back home for a few days at the end of the Asian Games. Ojas knows it’s not going to be straightforward since he is going to be the toast of his hometown. “All I want to do is shut the doors of my house and stay at home with my parents,” Ojas said with a smile.

Higher seeding does it

The local volunteers did their best to keep the crowd entertained through the light rains for over 20 minutes, but when it picked up in intensity, the supporters started to make their way inside to find cover.

An hour later, the men’s cricket final here at the Pingfeng Cricket Campus on Saturday was called off, robbing the fans of a finish and Afghanistan a chance to fight for a rare Asian Games gold medal. India, which didn’t have a bat in the game, was awarded the win and the gold as a result of their higher seeding in the tournament.

The Indian team then came out and celebrated in the rain in what was a unique experience for everyone involved. India barely put a foot wrong in the three matches it took part in and Ruturaj Gaikwad’s men looked primed for the top prize.

“We are not used to winning medals. We are all very emotional,” said Ruturaj after the medal ceremony. “It was disappointing not to have the full game, but that’s something we can’t control.”

Afghanistan, which has had a solid outing itself, would feel hard done after it recovered from an early collapse to post 112/5 in 18.2 overs.

“I am very proud of the silver, it’s our first silver for Afghanistan. This is everything for me,” said Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib.

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#Hangzhou #Asian #Games #glitters #gold #India

Hangzhou Asian Games kabaddi | Indian men and women regain gold

Indian men and women kabaddi team pose after winning the gold medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games, on October 7, 2023.
| Photo Credit: PTI

An hour for two points and a minute — that sums up the men’s kabaddi final between India and Iran at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on October 7 that started on a tense note, built up to a nail-biting climax and then, out of nowhere, descended into a chaotic, confusing farce that left both teams and their managements furious and amazed and critical of the refereeing before it was finally settled 33-29 in India’s favour.

India regained both the golds it lost five years ago to be crowned men’s and women’s champions but the tension around the women’s final in the morning that India won by a single point 26-25 against Chinese Taipei was nothing compared to what came in the evening. On a golden day for Indian sports that saw the country cross the 100-medal milestone and made history with a first-ever badminton gold, it was the bizarre drama at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre that became the talking point.

The scores were level at 28-28 when India captain Pawan Sehrawat stepped up for a raid. He tried to tag an Iranian defender but was unable to do so and instead stepped out in the lobby with the Iranians in pursuit. One of the Iranian players lost his balance and stepped out of bounds at the back. And that’s when everything went downhill and into the chasm of confusion around the rules as both teams read them.

The rules as mentioned by the international federation say that unless a raider has touched a defender initiating a struggle, no defender can enter the lobby in pursuit. And if anyone does that or holds the raider in that area, then all the defenders in lobby with a touch on the raider will be declared out. But in the updated Pro Kabaddi League rules, if a raider steps out into the lobby without a touch, the raid immediately ends and only the raider is out, irrespective of who steps out after him. The referee announced a point each to both teams, as per the new PKL rules, something India challenged.

The referral was held up and the decision was changed to 4-1 in India’s favour. And then something happened that has as many versions as people. While Iran coach Gholamreza Mazandarani felt India pressed on despite a jury decision to hold up the game, India claimed the decision was changed back to 1-1 on a signal from the stands. With the entire top brass of International and Asian Kabaddi Federations in attendance – headed by India’s Vinod Kumar Tiwari and Iran’s Abbas Khajeh Avarseji respectively – it seemed to become a power struggle on the sidelines more than a contest on it.

The jury then changed the decision back to 1-1, India refused to accept it and the players sat in protest, further consultations led to the decision becoming 3-1 and another protest, this time by Iran and finally a suspension of the match as officials tried to work out a solution. They finally went in for discussion after making a public mockery for more than an hour and returned, stuck to the international rules and awarded 3-1 in India’s favour to make it 31-29. By then, it was just a formality as Iran had been reduced to two men and just 60 seconds left, India wrapping it up to take gold.

There was no indication of a usually 45-minute long kabaddi match stretching for almost two hours when the teams took to the mat. Tentative and cautious, probing the opposition before going for the big points, Iran took a 4-2 lead early on before Vishal Bhardwaj managed to get his leg over the line to make it 4-4. Amirmohammed Zafar and Nabibaksh kept nipping away bonus points to stay ahead while Mohammedreza Shadlou on the right corner and captain Fazel Atrachali on the left kept a lid on Indian raiders’ bonus attempts.

But with the difference never more than three points at any point, India stayed close and took lead for the first time with less than three minutes in the first half, reeling off five straight points to go 14-12 up and then get an all-out to go into the break 17-13 ahead. The second half was more of the same, neither team relenting in either pace or intensity. Shadlou, primarily a defender, returned with two points at 21-16 and then again at 24-22, leaving Arjun Deshwal the lone man standing and duly tackling him for an all-out and 25-25. It stayed level till 28-28 with 90 seconds to go when Pawan stepped up. And then the clock remained stuck.

While all this went on, at the Binjiang Gymnasium 30km away, a pair in their twenties was writing their own story into the history books, ending a 61-year old wait for India’s first badminton gold at the Asian Games but the momentous occasion – finishing on top of the podium in a sport China considers its own, much like India does with kabaddi – was a comparatively sedate and straight-forward affair.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty knew they had achieved something special even before they entered the court and 57 minutes later, they had taken another step to being deservedly called the best India pair ever. Assured of being World No. 1s in men’s doubles after their semifinal win, the Indians let out a roar, Chirag made his trademark jump onto Satwik and danced around after a 21-18, 21-16 win against the Korean pair of Solgyu Choi and Wonho Kim.

Attacking with abandon with a series of smashes to take control, the Indians looked comfortable in front of packed stands even while trailing. Like the kabaddi team, the difference was never more than a couple of points and there was no cause for worry. The Koreans sped to 8-4 that soon became 18-15 before the Indians switched gears to take six straight points and take the first game.

The second game was similar as the Indians seized control from the middle, relying mostly on flat smashes and the occasional drops. A slow court and no drift helped, as did coaches Mathias Boe and Pullela Gopichand from the sidelines. At 13-12 the Indians reeled off four straight points and even though the Koreans fought back, they only delayed the inevitable that finally came when Kim returned long and the Indians knew it was over.

In the morning, the women’s team became the proud herald of India’s 100th medal in the edition and bringing that up with a gold made it special as the girls shouted ‘Veer bhogya swarna padak’, their war-cry, team motto and motivational slogan rolled into one.

The women started well and led 14-9 at the end of the first period with a super raid for both sides but Chinese Taipei, the only team to hold India to a draw in the opening match of the competition, fought back in the second refusing to go down without a fight, scoring 16 points to India’s 12 including a super tackle and effecting an all out. But the eight bonus points India won proved to be the difference.

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#Hangzhou #Asian #Games #kabaddi #Indian #men #women #regain #gold

Morning Digest | Army officer injured in ‘grenade accident’ at a post in J&K’s Rajouri; supply copy of FIR to NewsClick founder, court tells Delhi Police, and more

Army says officer injured in ‘grenade accident’ at a post in J&K’s Rajouri

The Army on October 5 evening said one officer has been injured in a likely grenade accident at a post in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri sector. “The officer was evacuated and stable post initial treatment. Further investigation of the incident in progress,” the Army said in an official statement. 

Sikkim flash floods death toll mounts to 18; searches on for 98 missing people

The toll in the flash flood in Sikkim mounted to 18 on Thursday as Army and NDRF teams worked their way through slushy earth and fast flowing water in the Teesta river basin and downstream north Bengal for the second day in search of those who were swept away and are still missing, officials said. Ninety eight people, including 22 army personnel, remained missing after a cloudburst over Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim in the early hours of Wednesday triggered the flash flood, Chief Secretary V.B. Pathak said.

Supply copy of FIR to NewsClick founder, court tells Delhi Police

The Patiala House Court on Thursday allowed news portal NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and its human resource head Amit Chakraborty to get a copy of the First Information Report (FIR) in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case filed against them by the Delhi Police. The police had opposed the application earlier in the day. Additional sessions judge Hardeep Kaur passed the order after hearing the counsel of the accused, Arshdeep Singh, and Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava.

Amit Shah suggests uniform anti-terrorism structure under NIA for all States 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday that along with a ruthless approach, an uniform anti-terrorism structure should be established under the purview of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in all the States. Mr. Shah made the remarks at the inauguration of the two-day anti-terror conference organised by the NIA.

INDIA parties speak up for arrested AAP MP Sanjay Singh; Congress gives qualified support

The Congress has extended qualified support to Aam Aadmi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who was arrested on Wednesday by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its money laundering probe linked to the Delhi excise policy case. Equating Mr. Singh’s arrest with that of Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira in Punjab, the party’s general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal said, “We cannot become those we oppose”. The remark was also a swipe at the AAP government in Punjab over the arrest of Mr. Khaira. 

IIT-Bombay ‘veg. table’ row | Dean says policy made by elected body, calls protest ‘provocative, insensitive’

As voices against the policy of a hostel canteen of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), segregating certain tables for vegetarian food begin to grow louder within the campus, the Dean of Student Affairs (SA) on October 5 sent an email to all students and staff on the issue, the first from the administration on the controversy.

India, Canada in conversation on parity of diplomatic staff: MEA

India and Canada are in conversation about attaining “parity” in the diplomatic staff posted in each other’s missions, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday. During his weekly press briefing, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi reiterated India’s charge of Canadian “interference” in India’s internal affairs and indicated that India expects Canada to reduce the total number of its diplomats stationed here. 

India conveys concerns to U.S. over American envoy to Pakistan’s visit to Gilgit-Baltistan

India on Thursday said it raised its concerns with the U.S. over American envoy to Islamabad Donald Blome’s recent visit to Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and called on the world community to respect the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi asserted that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

Reports say dozens have been killed and wounded as drone strikes hit a Syrian military ceremony

A drone attack struck a packed graduation ceremony for military officers in the Syrian city of Homs on Thursday, killing and wounding dozens, including civilians and military personnel, reports said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack and the reports could not be independently confirmed.

EU Parliament decries ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Nagorno-Karabakh

EU lawmakers on Thursday accused Azerbaijan of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” against the Armenian residents of Nagorno-Karabakh, and urged the bloc to impose sanctions on Baku. Almost all of the 120,000-strong ethnic Armenia population has fled the breakaway region since Azerbaijan seized it back in a lightning offensive last month.

Chinese firm sold satellites for intelligence to Russia’s Wagner: contract

Russian mercenary group Wagner in 2022 signed a contract with a Chinese firm to acquire two satellites and use their images, aiding its intelligence work as the organisation sought to push Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a document seen by AFP. The contract was signed in November 2022, over half a year into Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in which the Wagner group under its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin was playing a key role on the battlefield.

Musk’s X strips headlines from news links

Elon Musk’s social media platform X has stripped headlines from news articles shared by users, in a move likely to further worsen relations with media groups. The tycoon has long railed against the “legacy media” and claims X, formerly Twitter, is a better source of information. However, he said the latest change was for “aesthetic” reasons — news and other links now appear only as pictures with no accompanying text.

Political stability, policy consistency needed to ensure Indian economy’s growth to world’s third-largest: FM

Taking on critics who argue that India will become the world’s third largest economy in a few years with or without government intervention, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that political stability and policy consistency was essential for the prospect to turn into a reality, especially in a world marred by unprecedented volatility. 

Lower prices for tomatoes, chillis and LPG may have pulled food inflation down last month

Retail food inflation may have eased in September, thanks to cooling tomato prices and a reduction in LPG cylinder prices, even as onion prices rose further during the month, a CRISIL study on food plate costs suggested. Retail inflation had eased to 6.83% in August from a 15-month high of 7.44% in July, but food price inflation stood at about 10%.

SEBI to tell court Adani inquiry began 2014, but hit dead end: sources

Markets regulator SEBI will tell the Supreme Court why it paused, then restarted investigations into the Adani Group after a tip in 2014 amid questions around regulatory delays, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. SEBI will say for the first time that India’s customs authority alerted it to an alleged misuse of offshore funds by Adani Group companies in 2014 but that the initial investigation did not yield anything and was paused in 2017, the sources said.

Asian Games | Indian compound archery teams’ domination complete

With the scores tied at 200 each, Indian archers needed to hit three perfect 10s in a row to stay alive in the compound women’s team final at the Fuyang Arena. First, Parneet Kaur hit a 10 before Aditi Swami and Jyothi Surekha followed suit with 10s to put the pressure back on Chinese Taipei. Taipei slipped up with the first arrow which assured India’s gold medal and it won 230-229 Later, the trio of Abhishek Verma, Ojas Pravin Deotale and Prathamaesh Jawkar won the men’s team gold by beating South Korea 235-230 in the final.

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Morning Digest | 10 civilians dead, 22 army men still missing in Sikkim, rescue operations on; Media bodies write to CJI, call for norms on interrogation of journalists and more

A flood affected locality at Singtam, in Gangtok district, Wednesday, October. 4, 2023.
| Photo Credit: PTI

10 dead, 22 army men among 82 missing as flash flood wreaks havoc in Sikkim; PM Modi dials CM

At least ten people died and 80 others, including 22 army personnel, went missing on Wednesday after a cloudburst over Lhonak Lake in north Sikkim triggered a flash flood in the Teesta River basin, officials said. All 10 who died have been identified as civilians including 3 of the dead who were washed up in north Bengal, they said adding that one of the 23 army men who had gone missing in the morning was rescued later.

UAPA case against NewsClick for plot to disrupt sovereignty of India: police

A day after the Delhi Police arrested Prabir Purkayastha, founder and Editor-in-Chief of NewsClick, and Amit Chakraborty, Human Resources head of the news portal, a government source told The Hindu that the police were investigating a “terror case that has Chinese links.” The foreign remittances received by the news portal are already being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) since 2021. The source said that the fresh terror case registered by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police was being investigated by multiple agencies.

NewsClick raids | Media bodies write to CJI, call for norms on interrogation of journalists

Over a dozen media bodies on Wednesday sought Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud’s intervention on the issue of raids against those linked to NewsClick, a digital news platform. Media persons and activists also turned up in large numbers at the Press Club of India to protest the police action. In a letter to the Chief Justice, the media organisations urged the courts to consider framing norms to discourage the seizure of journalists’ phones and laptops on a “whim”; and to develop guidelines for the interrogation of journalists and for seizures from them, to ensure that “these are not undertaken as fishing expeditions with no bearing to an actual offence”.

With Bihar caste survey, Nitish Kumar has set the national agenda, says JD(U) chief

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has set the national agenda ahead of the 2024 general election with the caste survey conducted in the State, Janata Dal (United)‘s Rajiv Ranjan Singh said on Wednesday. In an interview with The Hindu, he also criticised the BJP for alleging large-scale irregularities in the survey’s data collection process during an all-party meeting in Patna on Tuesday. 

Batches of India-manufactured syrups for cough, allergic rhinitis found contaminated: CDSCO

At least five batches of syrups for cough and allergic rhinitis of two Indian manufacturers — one Gujarat-based and one Tamil Nadu-based — have been found to contain higher than permissible levels of contaminants — diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, as per a recent report released by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). Previously the World Health Organisation (WHO) too had issued alerts on contamination in cold-cough syrups exported by India and said these two contaminants were found in the drug.

Activists call for defeat of BJP to save MGNREGA from neglect

MGNREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a collective of workers, activists and academics have called for the defeat of the BJP government in the 2024 general elections to save the MGNREGS scheme. The various groups had just concluded their two-day national convention where the state of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was discussed.

New defence indigenisation list has futuristic weapons, systems

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday released the fifth Positive Indigenisation List (PIL) of 98 items which will be procured by the three armed services from indigenous suppliers in a staggered manner as per specified timelines. He also released the Indian Navy’s updated indigenisation roadmap, named Swavlamban 2.0.

Akshata Murty makes U.K. political stage debut for ‘best friend’ PM Sunak

Britain’s Indian First Lady, Akshata Murty, made a surprise debut on the political stage on October 4 when she stepped out to introduce “best friend” Rishi Sunak for his maiden speech as U.K. Prime Minister to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Former Russian journalist sentenced in absentia for Ukraine war criticism

A court in Moscow on Wednesday handed a former state TV journalist an 8 1/2-year prison term in absentia for protesting Russia’s war in Ukraine, the latest in a months-long crackdown against dissent that has intensified since Moscow’s invasion 20 months ago. Marina Ovsyannikova was charged with spreading false information about the Russian army, a criminal offense under a law adopted shortly after the Kremlin sent troops to Ukraine. 

Nepal town imposes lockdown and beefs up security to prevent clashes between Hindus and Muslims

Despite quickly escalating tensions between Hindus and Muslims, the night passed peacefully after a lockdown was imposed and security heightened in a city in southwest Nepal, officials said. Trouble began in the regional hub city of Nepalgunj over the weekend after a Hindu boy posted a status about Muslims on social media. Muslims protested the status inside the region’s main government administrator’s office building, burned tires on the streets and blocked traffic.

Lawyers of Imran Khan in Pakistan oppose his closed-door trial over revealing official secrets

Lawyers for Pakistan’s imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday opposed his closed-door trial in a case in which he is accused of revealing state secrets after his 2022 ouster, saying it’s aimed at convicting the popular opposition leader quickly.

Moratorium under IBC to exempt aircraft and engines, govt. notifies

In a big relief for aircraft lessors, the government has notified that the protection offered to a corporate debtor from recovery of dues under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 will not cover aircraft, helicopters and engines. If implemented retrospectively, the move may impact Go First’s insolvency resolution proceedings under which the National Company Law Tribunal had granted it a blanket moratorium in May to shield it from lessors and creditors and also restrained the DGCA from accepting any applications for de-registration of aircraft from any lessors.

Tata Group to focus on coffee as core business category for future

Tata Group plans to intensify its focus on branded coffee as part of its strategy of “building core categories for the future.” Tea and salts have so far been Tata’s core categories and the company said it was currently in the process of building more core categories for the future and coffee was clearly a prominent one.

Asian Games | Why did so many decisions go wrong, questions Neeraj

Never before has Neeraj Chopra questioned officiating in any meet at any level. The Olympic and World Champion has preferred to let his performance do the talking so when he says “gadbad to hai” it speaks volumes about the level of officiating in athletics at the Asian Games.

Asian Games | Neeraj defends title, quartermilers take gold as India manages best-ever medal haul in athletics

Neeraj Chopra defended his Asian Games title with a season’s best throw of 88.88m and Kishore Kumar Jena managed a personal best of 87.54m as India completed a one-two in javelin but not before both got the short end of dodgy officiating as India finished the track & field assignments here with a best-ever haul of 29 medals including six on Wednesday – two golds and four silvers – for second spot on the table by numbers.

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Morning Digest | EAM Jaishankar meets Blinken amid India-Canada diplomatic row; three killed in Rotterdam twin shootings, and more

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar say a few words to the news media as they meet at the State Department in Washington, U.S. on September 28, 2023.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Jaishankar meets Blinken, Sullivan in Washington

Kicking off the Washington segment of his U.S. trip, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. As The Hindu went to press, Mr. Jaishankar was also in talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The meetings are routine but also particularly significant given the recent and serious diplomatic challenges in the India-Canada relationship following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation that the Indian Government was linked to the assassination of a Khalistani separatist leader in British Columbia.

Two killed in Rotterdam twin shootings

Two people have been killed and a teenager is fighting for her life after a 32-year-old gunman opened fire at a house and a hospital in Rotterdam on Thursday. Dutch police said they were still investigating the motive for the twin attacks by the man dressed in combat gear, who also set fire to the hospital.

Mob tries to storm Manipur CM’s home

A mob tried to storm the personal residence of Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh at Heingang in Imphal East on Thursday evening, amid simmering anger over the murder of two Meitei students who went missing in July. The photos of their bodies surfaced on social media earlier this week, leading to agitations and demonstrations by students.

Centre extends deadline for Manipur to record details of illegal migrants

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has extended its deadline for the Manipur government to record details of illegal migrants in the State, including biometric details. Although the State was due to complete the exercise by September 30, it has now been granted an additional six months till March 31, 2024.

Canadian police say probe into killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar ‘active and ongoing’

The killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar remains an “active and ongoing investigation”, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have said. Nijjar, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), was killed in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.

Afghanistan embassy announces shutdown citing lack of MEA support

Two years after the Taliban took over Kabul, the Afghanistan Embassy to India informed the government that it was being forced to close down, given the lack of resources with the Taliban regime and blamed the Indian Government for not supporting it despite several requests.

RS Chairman Dhankhar signs women‘s reservation Bill; to be placed before President for her assent

Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar on September 28 signed the women’s reservation Bill as passed by Parliament before it was presented to President Droupadi Murmu for her assent. The Constitution Amendment Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha with near unanimity and the Rajya Sabha with unanimity during a special session of Parliament earlier this month.

Elderly have low awareness about welfare schemes, says India Ageing Report 2023

The awareness among the elderly population among the social welfare schemes in the country remains low, the recently published India Ageing Report 2023 has pointed out. The report, produced by the United Nations Population Fund, India, in collaboration with the International Institute for Population Sciences, throws light on the challenges, opportunities, and institutional responses surrounding elderly care in India as the country’s elderly are likely to make up 20% of the country’s population by 2050. 

Auto driver arrested in Ujjain rape case

An autorickshaw driver, who was arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl he found on the streets of Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain, sustained injuries while attempting to escape from police custody on September 28, investigators said. Earlier this week, the girl, who was left semi-clad and bleeding after the sexual assault, was found wandering the streets of the holy town. 

Karnataka bandh call likely to affect normal life in Bengaluru today

Bengaluru is gearing up for yet another bandh scheduled for Friday, as Kannada organisations have declared a day-long shutdown across the state opposing releasing Cauvery water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu. This bandh is expected to disrupt the daily lives of residents, with the possibility of private and public transport going off roads, shops, eateries and theatres shutting down, even as schools and colleges have been declared a holiday, as a precautionary measure.

Cricket World Cup 2023 | R. Ashwin replaces injured Axar Patel in India’s final World Cup squad

India have predictably named veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as a replacement for injured spin bowling all-rounder Axar Patel in their 15-member squad for the upcoming ODI World Cup, ICC announced on Thursday.

Sena Split | Cross-examination set for November 23, Sena (UBT) criticises delay

Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar has announced that the cross-examination process, related to disqualification petitions filed by Shiv Sena MLAs, will commence on November 23. According to the schedule issued by Mr. Narwekar, cross-examination will be held twice a week. 

Indian, French Army Chiefs exchange lessons from war in Ukraine

Pointing to the strategic partnership between India and France and the close cooperation between the two Navies and Air Forces, French Army Chief General Pierre Schill said the two Armies were also looking to deepen cooperation with more exercises and sharing best practices among others.

Heavy rain likely in West Bengal, Odisha over weekend

A low-pressure area brewing over the Bay of Bengal is likely to bring heavy rain across Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha this weekend, the IMD said on September 28. It said that a low-pressure area is likely to form over eastcentral and adjoining northeast Bay of Bengal by Friday and intensify thereafter into a well-marked low-pressure area, moving northwestwards in the direction of north Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal.

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Morning Digest | India says no specific information shared by Canada on Nijjar killing; Kovind-led panel to seek political parties’ views on simultaneous elections, and more

A photograph of Hardeep Singh Nijjar is seen on a banner outside the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib in Surrey, British Columbia. File.
| Photo Credit: AP

Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing | No specific information shared by Canada, says India

“No specific information has been shared by Canada on the [Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing case], either then or before or after… We have, you know, as we have said, or I think we have made very clear, we are willing to look at any specific information,” the Ministry of External Affairs said on September 23.

Kovind-led panel to invite political parties for their views on simultaneous elections

The high-level committee, headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind, to examine the possibility of simultaneous elections held its first meeting and decided to invite national and regional political parties to submit their views and suggestions on the issue. The first meeting of the committee was to prepare an action plan and discuss holding consultations with stakeholders. Preparation of working papers and research on the subject for an in-depth discussion were also on the agenda of the meeting.

Congress irked at CPI MP’s suggestion to not repeat Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad

A suggestion made during internal discussions at the recent national executive meeting of INDIA bloc member CPI that senior leader Rahul Gandhi not seek re-election from Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in 2024 has annoyed the Congress, especially its Kerala unit.

Bidhuri was instigated by ‘unsavoury remarks’ about PM, BJP MP tells Speaker

A day after Opposition parties’ floor leaders in Parliament flooded Speaker Om Birla with letters supporting Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Danish Ali’s demand that BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri’s communal slurs against him be referred to the privileges committee, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, in turn, wrote to the Speaker, asking that the “unsavoury conduct” of Mr. Ali also be probed.

In Tamil Nadu, yet another sand storm

On March 17, 2021, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court passed an order directing the State authorities to ensure that river sand for construction purposes was supplied only when the buyer produced an approved building plan. The court issued the guidelines while disposing of a couple of writ petitions accusing officials of colluding with lorry owners in the sale of sand and seeking directions to enable members of the public to buy sand through the Tamil Nadu Sand Web Service Portal.

No justification for delay in implementing Women’s Quota Bill: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said there was no justification for a delay in the implementation of the women’s reservation Bill, for which the BJP government at the Centre was trying to find excuses such as the new Census and delimitation of constituencies. On the other hand, the Central government was not willing to conduct a caste census, he said.

PSU engineers who build equipment for ISRO go without salary for 20 months

Around 3,000 employees of Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC), including technicians and engineers, who helped produce many a equipment for the Indian Space Research Organisation, including the launch pad of Chandrayaan-3, are now forced to sell edibles and garments. These HEC employees, forced to engage as part-time daily wage workers, including driving autorickshaws, have not been paid their rightful salaries for the last 20 months.

423 acres decluttered in Union government offices in two years, data shows

Central government office space of the size of around 320 football fields has been cleared of clutter and junk in the past two years as part of two special drives, data shows. Now, the Centre has decided to scale-up efforts to reach a “saturation level” in all offices as part of its upcoming ‘Special Campaign 3.0’.

Political parties in Punjab adopt contrasting strategies amid India-Canada conflict 

As diplomatic relations between India and Canada take a nosedive, political parties in Punjab are treading cautiously. Mindful of the need to cultivate their vote banks ahead of the parliamentary election due in 2024, major parties are adopting starkly different strategies in the State, which has strong connections to a substantial diaspora population in Canada.

Kamala Harris tasked with new role fighting U.S. gun violence

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris took on a new role Friday fighting gun violence, a job likely to give her more visibility ahead of the 2024 election. The 58-year-old Democrat will head up the new White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which will provide coordination on the issue but largely lacks any kind of enforceable power to tackle the scourge in a country that has more firearms than people.

Muslim bodies seek Bidhuri’s disqualification for remarks against BSP MP Danish Ali

The leading Muslim bodies of the country have called for the disqualification of the BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri who indulged in a slur-laden diatribe against Kunwar Danish Ali, the Bahujan Samaj Party MP on the concluding day of the special session of Parliament.

Is the TDP heading towards a leadership crisis in Andhra Pradesh?

After the arrest of Telugu Desam Party national president N. Chandrababu Naidu by the A.P. CID in the alleged skill development scam case, there seems to be a void on the leadership front in the four-decade-old party.

India-Australia ODI series | Men in Blue looking to seal the deal against visiting Aussies

The Men in Blue landed in this historical city on Saturday as the No. 1 team across formats. They had made history when they beat Australia in the first ODI at Mohali; only South Africa had achieved the feat of being the ICC’s top-ranking team for men in Tests, ODIs and T20Is at the same time, back in 2012.

Cancel Group-I preliminary test held on June 11, reconduct it: HC to TSPSC

Justice P. Madhavi Devi of Telangana High Court on Saturday allowed a writ petition seeking cancellation and re-conduct of the preliminary examination held June 11 for recruitment of Group-I cadre officers.

Pakistan’s PM says manipulation of coming elections by military is ‘absolutely absurd’

Pakistan’s interim Prime Minister said he expects parliamentary elections to take place in the new year, dismissing the possibility that the country’s powerful military would manipulate the results to ensure that jailed former premier Imran Khan’s party doesn’t win.

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Morning Digest | African Union to join G-20 as Sherpas reach a deal; Delhi may turn venue for dialogue on reviving the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and more

African Union to join G-20, as Sherpas reach a deal

The African Union (AU) is set to join the G-20 as negotiators agreed on clearing its membership, according to sources privy to the discussions at the Sherpa meeting at a resort on the outskirts of Delhi. This will mean the 55-member AU will join the European Union as the only two regional bodies in the G-20. While it still unclear whether the G-20 will be renamed as the “G-21” after the induction of the AU, Indian officials said the announcement would help “leave a lasting imprint” of the work the Indian Presidency has done in bringing in the Global South’s ambitions to the economic grouping.

Delhi may turn venue for dialogue on reviving the Black Sea Grain Initiative

As world leaders gather in Delhi on Friday ahead of the G-20 summit, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is on a mission to revive the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI or BSI), in talks on the sidelines of the summit hosted by India. The deal that facilitates export of grain from Russia and Ukraine lapsed in July. Among those in Delhi, Turkiye President Recep Erdogan, who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as leaders of European Union and UN officials will be trying to work a compromise that would give assurances to Russia, for an exchange that would allow grain export from blockaded Ukrainian ports to restart at the earliest, sources told The Hindu. 

At G-20, Japan backs India, not China, as bridge to Global South: Japanese experts

Beyond the immediate outcomes of the G-20 Summit, one key takeaway with longer term implications is the positioning of India as a key bridge to the “Global South” for Japan and the West, in the view of Japanese experts. “Japan sees a rivalry over the leadership of the ‘Global South’ between India and China, and it is in the interest of Japan and the G-7 that India plays a leading role in the ‘Global South’, not China,” said Hiroyuki Akita, Tokyo-based strategic affairs commentator at Nikkei, in an interview with The Hindu.

Modi, Biden to discuss trade issues, jet engine, drone deals during meet

Progress on the deal to jointly manufacture jet engines in India, purchase of MQ-9B armed drones, agreement on civil nuclear liability and trade are expected to be the top issues on the agenda as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden hold bilateral talks late on Friday, a day before the G-20 summit. Further discussions as well as some of the deals are expected in January when Mr. Biden is likely to visit India and officials said India is looking to have the Quad leaders summit on January 26 or a day before possibly with the leaders as chief guests.

Bharat Jodo Yatra was a people’s movement: Congress

Calling the Bharat Jodo Yatra a people’s movement “unequalled” in history, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on September 7 said the Yatra seeks to bring real issues like economic inequalities, price rise, unemployment, social injustice and subversion of the Constitution to the fore. Mr. Kharge also slammed the trend of “manufacturing headlines” to divert attention from the real issues of the people.

Assets worth over $1.8 billion recovered under Fugitive Economic Offenders Act in four years: Union Minister Jitendra Singh

Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Thursday said assets worth more than $12 billion had been attached since 2014 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), while in the past about four years, assets worth over $1.8 billion had been recovered under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA). In his inaugural address at the first-ever International Day of Police Cooperation, after conferring police medals to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials at an investiture ceremony at the agency headquarters, Dr. Singh said the FEOA was brought in by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government.

U.N. chief says ‘systematic repression’ crushing Myanmar democracy hopes

Hopes of a return to democracy in junta-ruled Myanmar are being crushed by “systematic repression”, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on September 7 at a summit in Indonesia with the United States, China and regional leaders. Myanmar has been ravaged by deadly violence since a 2021 military coup ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, unleashing a bloody crackdown on dissent.

Indonesia warns against new conflicts as U.S., China, Russia attend ASEAN summit

Indonesia warned leaders including U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov against sharpening rivalries as they wrapped up an East Asia summit in Jakarta on Thursday. The meeting brought Washington and Beijing into contact a day after Mr. Li warned major powers must manage differences to avoid a “new Cold War”, and ahead of the G20 summit in New Delhi this week that Chinese President Xi Jinping will miss. Interactions between the officials from the world’s top two economies are being closely watched as they seek to control tensions that risk flaring anew over issues ranging from Taiwan to ties with Moscow and the competition for influence in the Pacific.

India keen on having Quad leaders as Chief Guests for 2024 Republic Day parade

India is discussing the possibility of inviting leaders of the Quad grouping, comprising of India, Australia, Japan and the U.S., to the Republic Day parade on January 26, diplomatic sources confirmed. The possibility of U.S. President Joe Biden being the Chief Guest for the parade, with the Quad summit held a day prior, on January 25, is also being looked into, but given that January 26 is observed as Australia Day, it would be extremely difficult for their Prime Minister to be in India on that day, an official source said.

Caste discrimination survey in IIT-Delhi commenced and withdrawn

After two Dalit students allegedly committed suicide at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi in the past two months, a campus-wide survey on caste discrimination circulated by the institute’s Board of Student Publications (BSP) was been suspended within hours of commencing. As soon as the survey was shared, complaints said the survey’s design was “biased, insensitive, and problematic”, with the institute’s official Scheduled Caste (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST) Cell stating that it had not been consulted on the survey.

Authorities forced us off the streets in the name of G-20 security, say city vendors

While the city is all set to host the G-20 Summit, street vendors say the authorities have forced thousands of them to vacate public space over the past month. Shri Ram, a member of the town vending committee (TVC) of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), told The Hindu that around 50,000 people have been displaced. The TVC, which comprises representatives from the civic body, police, and street vendors, is responsible for assigning designated zones to the vendors.

Kings Cup 2023 | India lose to Iraq in penalty shootout after conceding debatable penalty, face Lebanon in bronze medal playoff

A Sunil Chhetri-less India conceded a late goal off a debatable penalty to miss out on their first ever win over higher-ranked Iraq, who won the King’s Cup semifinal clash via penalty shootout here on Thursday. India will take on Lebanon in the bronze-medal playoff, which will be followed by the summit clash between Iraq and Thailand on Sunday. In the other semifinal at the 700th Anniversary Stadium, Thailand defeated Lebanon 2-1.

Gukesh excited about the Asian Games, feels India has a fair chance

He was the undoubted star of last year’s Chess Olympiad in Chennai, and now D. Gukesh is excited about the Asian Games, beginning at Hangzhou later this month. Chess is making a comeback to the Asian Games after a gap of 13 years, just in time for the massively talented young Indians like Gukesh. “I am very excited about my first ever Asian Games,” he said at a media interaction here on Thursday. “It is a prestigious event and I look forward to watching athletes in other sports. I love badminton, and I would like to watch it if I could.” Gukesh, who recently broke into the World top 10, believes India has fair chances on the chessboard. “But there are other strong teams,” he said. “And we had a camp here with Boris Gelfand. It went off very well. It was very tiring, which is usually good. The camp was brilliant.”

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