The Hindu Morning Digest, December 12, 2023

Union Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh dubbed the protests by farmers as “sponsored” by traders and said no onion farmers will face any loss. Representational file image.
| Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Govt. withdraws three criminal codes, to replace them with new Bills 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed members of the Lok Sabha that the three criminal codes that seek to replace the British-era laws will be withdrawn and replaced with three new Bills after incorporating the changes recommended by a parliamentary committee. The three criminal codes — Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) Bill, 2023, and the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) Bill, 2023 — seek to replace the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, Indian Penal Code, 1860, and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, respectively .

Over 30,000 people detected to be foreigners by tribunals in Assam since 1966: Centre

The Union government submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that 32,381 people were “detected to be foreigners” by Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) in Assam since 1966. The top court is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955. 

FBI Director calls on CBI chief, discusses enhanced coordination between two agencies over transnational crimes

A U.S. delegation led by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher A. Wray on December 11 held a meeting with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief, Praveen Sood, and other senior officials for enhanced coordination between the two agencies in combating transnational crimes. During the meeting, both sides also discussed the possibility of exchanging the best practices of FBI Academy (Quantico) and the CBI Academy (Ghaziabad).

SC directs establishment of ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ to address human rights violations in J&K

The Supreme Court has ordered the establishment of a Truth-and-Reconciliation Commission to address human rights violations both by state and non-state actors in Jammu and Kashmir since the 1980s. Pointing out that there is an absence of a ‘commonly accepted narrative of what has happened’, Justice Kaul reasoned that such a Commission will help in the ‘collective telling of the truth’.

COP28 pledges meet only 30% of needed energy emission cuts: IEA

Pledges made so far at the COP28 climate summit will only reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 30% of what is needed by 2030, the International Energy Agency said Sunday. The agency released an assessment of non-binding promises made in Dubai by governments and the oil and gas industry — tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency by 2030, as well as sharp cuts in methane emissions. 

Opposition walks out accusing Union Government of imposing economic blockade on non-BJP States 

Members of Parliament from INDIA bloc parties staged a walkout in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, alleging that the Union government is imposing an “economic blockade” on the Opposition-ruled States by withholding the central funds allocated to different schemes using various excuses. During the Zero Hour, Aam Aadmi Party MP Sandeep Pathak raised the issue of ₹8,000 crores worth of funds under various schemes including the National Health Mission that has been withheld by the centre raising numerous objections.

Centre blames traders for onion price hike, terms farmers’ protests as ‘sponsored’

Even as protests of farmers and traders continued in Maharashtra over the ban on onion exports and MPs from the State urging the Centre to reconsider the decision, the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry said that the steps it had taken are bringing results with the prices of the kitchen staple coming down in both retail and wholesale markets. Union Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh dubbed the protests by farmers as “sponsored” by traders and said no onion farmers will face any loss as the Centre has stepped up procurement of the essential vegetable at various markets in Maharashtra and other States.

Amidst drought, Centre yet to approve increasing man-days under MGNREGA

Stating that ₹895 crore is available with the district administration to undertake drought relief, Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda on Monday said that the Centre has not approved increase of man-days under MGNREGA that could stem rural migration. He also said that the government has directed the State-level bankers committee to restructure the loan and not harass farmers.

Fossils show dismembered young dinosaurs in belly of T. rex cousin

The young Gorgosaurus knew what it liked for dinner. About 75 million years ago in what is now Canada’s Alberta province, this fearsome T. rex cousin set about hunting turkey-sized yearlings of a feathered plant-eating dinosaur called Citipes. Scientists said on Friday they have unearthed fossilized remains of a juvenile Gorgosaurus that was 5 to 7 years old and about 15 feet (4.5 meters) long. Amazingly, it included the animal’s stomach contents, revealing its last meals.

Must raise voices against horrific injustice being perpetrated against Palestinians: Priyanka Gandhi

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra urged people on December 11 to participate in a global strike demanding a ceasefire in Gaza to stop the “massacre” of the Palestinian people and called for raising voices against the “horrific injustice” being perpetrated against them. Noting that the “merciless bombing” of Gaza continues with even more “savagery” than before the truce, Ms. Gandhi had said on Thursday it is the duty of India as a member of the international community to stand up for what is right and do all it can to ensure a ceasefire at the earliest.

SpiceJet to soon list shares on National Stock Exchange

No-frills airline SpiceJet on December 11 said it will soon be listing its securities on the National Stock Exchange. Shares of the carrier, which is navigating financial turbulence, jumped more than 8% in the morning trade on the BSE. In order to reach a wider investor base, “the company shall soon be listing its securities on National Stock Exchange of India Limited”, the airline said in a regulatory filing.

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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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