The Hindu Morning Digest – May 8, 2024

Police and paramilitary personnel stand guard at the polling station during the third phase of Lok Sabha Polls, in Etah on May 7, 2024.
| Photo Credit: ANI

Three Independent MLAs withdraw support to BJP government in Haryana

Three Independent MLAs supporting the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) government in Haryana on May 7 announced the withdrawal of their support to the government, even as the Congress party demanded the holding of Assembly election under the President’s rule in the State, as the government has been reduced to a “minority”.

Karnataka BJP post on Muslim quota | Election Commission tells X to immediately take down post

The Election Commission of India (ECI) ordered X, formerly Twitter, to take down an animated video posted by BJP Karnataka. The video features caricatures of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, advancing the party’s recent messaging that the Congress is diverting funds and resources away from SC/ST/OBC Hindus towards Muslims. As of May 7 evening, the post had garnered over 90 lakh views, and had not yet been taken down. 

CBI arrests four for pushing Indians into Russia-Ukraine war

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has so far arrested four accused in a case related to trafficking of Indian nationals for combat role in the Russian Army. Arun and Yesudas Junior, both residents of Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, were held on Tuesday in the case registered on March 6. The other two accused, Nijil Jobi Bensam from Kanyakumari and Anthony Michael Elangovan from Mumbai, were earlier arrested on April 24 and are in judicial custody.

Reject proponents of lies, hatred for a brighter future, Sonia Gandhi urges voters

Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s niti (policy) and niyat (intentions)have led to unemployment, crimes against women and discrimination against Dalits, Adivasis and minorities.

SC to think about giving bail to Kejriwal for campaigning; ED calls it a luxury a ‘real aam aadmi’ cannot afford

The Supreme Court on May 7 decided to mull over the question of granting interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to enable him to campaign as an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader for the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

Advertisers to submit self-declarations before promoting products in media, SC orders

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that advertisers should submit self-declarations that they are not misrepresenting or making false claims about products before promoting them in the media.

Gujarat sees 55% turnout; Modi, Shah cast their votes

Over 55% voting turnout was registered till 5 p.m. in the 25 parliamentary constituencies of Gujarat where polling was held in the third phase of the Lok Sabha election on Tuesday. There are 265 candidates in the fray, including three Cabinet ministers Amit Shah, Mansukh Mandaviya and Parshottam Rupala and a Minister of State Devusinh Chauhan.

Fact-check | Misleading posts cast doubt over the credibility of EVMs

Even as the third phase of polling for the Lok Sabha election draws to a close, some on social media have been casting aspersions on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the device used to electronically record and count votes cast in elections.

U.K. court rejects fifth bail plea of PNB scam accused Nirav Modi

The fifth bail application of diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is one of the prime accused in the ₹13,578-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, has been turned down by a United Kingdom court. In April 2021, the Secretary of State of U.K.’s Home Department had ordered his extradition to India, but it has not been implemented so far.

Interpol issues Blue Corner Notice against Prajwal Revanna 

Interpol issued on Tuesday (May 7) a Blue Corner Notice against “absconding” Hassan JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna, accused of multiple instances of sexual abuse. This will help the Special Investigation Team probing the case to locate Prajwal Revanna. He flew to Germany from Bengaluru on April 27 using his diplomatic passport. His whereabouts are currently not known, amid reports that he later flew to Dubai or Hungary.

Foreign Secretary to visit Bangladesh, talks may feature China

China’s planned project along the Teesta in Bangladesh is expected to feature during Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra’s upcoming visit to Bangladesh, a prominent daily in Dhaka has reported.

Want 400 seats to prevent Congress from bringing back Article 370 and locking Ram Temple: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 7 said he needed 400 seats in the Lok Sabha election to prevent the Congress from “bringing back Article 370 [in Kashmir] and putting a lock on Ayodhya Ram Temple”, drawing parallels to the Rajiv Gandhi government overturning the Supreme Court ruling in 1985 in the Shah Bano case, which he characterised as appeasement politics.

Polling ends in Karnataka; month-long, nail-biting wait begins

As the curtains came down on the hard-fought and high-pitched Lok Sabha elections amid the sweltering heat in Karnataka on Tuesday, it will be nearly a month-long tense wait for the electoral fortunes to be known. The counting of votes across the country will take place on June 4.

U.K. court rejects fifth bail plea of PNB scam accused Nirav Modi

The fifth bail application of diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is one of the prime accused in the ₹13,578-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, has been turned down by a United Kingdom court. In April 2021, the Secretary of State of U.K.’s Home Department had ordered his extradition to India, but it has not been implemented so far.

Supreme Court provides relief to nearly 24,000 Bengal teachers

The Supreme Court on May 7 gave relief to the West Bengal government by protecting nearly 24,000 teaching and non-teaching staff members from immediate termination from their jobs in schools across the State.

Militant commander Basit Dar, wanted in 18 cases, among two killed in Kulgam operation: J&K police

Two militants, including a ‘commander’ of The Resistance Front (TRF), were killed in a two-day anti-militancy operation in south Kashmir’s Kulgam on Tuesday. 

More than 63% polling in third phase, sporadic violence in West Bengal

At least 63.27% of the electorate in 93 constituencies cast their votes on May 7 in the third phase of the Lok Sabha election, which has now crossed the halfway mark, with voting complete in 282 out of 543 seats. Apart from sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal, the voting was largely peaceful. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were among the voters in this phase, with the latter also in the fray.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 30, 2024

Indian Navy ships free hijacked Iranian fishing vessel off Somalia, rescue 23 Pakistani nationals

Indian Naval Ships Sumedha and Trishul intercepted and freed hijacked Iranian Fishing Vessel Al-Kambar off Somalia after forcing the pirates to surrender over the course of 12 hours and safely rescued the crew consisting of 23 Pakistani nationals. “After more than 12 hours of intense coercive tactical measures as per the Standard Operating Procedures, the pirates on board hijacked FV were forced to surrender. The crew, comprising 23 Pakistani nationals, have been safely rescued,” a Navy spokesperson said in an update on March 29 midnight. “Indian Naval specialist teams are presently undertaking thorough sanitisation and seaworthiness checks of the FV in order to escort her to a safe area for resuming normal fishing activities.”

Netanyahu approves new Gaza ceasefire talks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved new talks on a Gaza ceasefire, a day after the world’s top court ordered Israel to ensure urgent humanitarian aid reaches people in the Palestinian territory .But despite a binding United Nations Security Council resolution this week demanding an “immediate ceasefire”, fighting continued Friday, including around hospitals.

National parties often ignore regional aspirations, says AIADMK general secretary Edappadi Palaniswami

Criticising national parties for “ignoring” regional aspirations “many times”, AIADMK general secretary and Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Friday said that regional parties, such as his own, were better equipped to represent the people and expedite development initiatives in the States. In an interview to The Hindu at his official residence, Sevanthi, on Greenways Salai in Chennai, Mr. Palaniswami, who took time off his busy Lok Sabha election campaign schedule, said that “In a country such as ours with much diversity”, regional parties fulfilled the regional aspirations.

AAP pulls out all stops for mega Oppn. rally in Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is pulling out all the stops to ensure a large turnout at the Opposition’s ‘maha rally’ at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on Sunday. Several senior leaders of the Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc are likely to attend the event to express solidarity with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, who is in ED custody on corruption charges.

IPL-17: RCB vs KKR | Venkatesh Iyer’s 50, Narine’s cameo carry KKR to seven-wicket win over RCB

A ruthless fifty by Venkatesh Iyer worked as the catalyst for Kolkata Knight Riders’ smooth seven-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bengaluru in their IPL match here on Friday. Venkatesh’s 50 of 30 balls (3×4, 4×6) and stunning blitzes by openers Sunil Narine (47, 22b, 2×4, 5×6) and Phil Salt (30, 20b, 2×4, 2×6) propelled the Knight Riders past the 183-run target that the RCB set for them, which was built around Virat Kohli’s skilful unbeaten 83. The KKR batters never got bogged down either by a slow pitch or RCB bowlers as they hunted down the target in just 16.5 overs.

Pappu Yadav hints at rebellion; Congress deeply unhappy with seat sharing in Bihar

With a formal stamp on the seat division in Bihar and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) keeping Purnia for itself, the Congress is left with a Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav-size headache and also has to contend with enraged State leaders who find the principal opposition party settling for too little. The Congress has got nine out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the State and in majority of these seats, the party leadership claims, it has nominal presence, with a caste arithmetic leaning in favour of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case: NIA announces ₹10 lakh reward on each of the two absconding prime accused

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has released the photographs and details of the two absconding prime accused in The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case — Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, 30, and Mussavir Hussain Shazib, 30 — and announced a reward of ₹10 lakh on each of them. The NIA had on Thursday identified Mussavir Hussain as the alleged bomber at the restaurant and Abdul Matheen Taaha as the key conspirator behind the attack. NIA has said the informant’s identities will be kept confidential.

Yusuf Pathan removes photograph of World Cup-winning squad after Congress complains to EC

Former cricketer and Trinamool Congress candidate from Baharampur Yusuf Pathan on Friday began removing photographs of the Cricket World Cup-winning moment used by his supporters as campaign material in the Lok Sabha seat. The development comes after West Bengal Congress lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India (EC) accusing the former cricketer of violating the model code of conduct (MCC) by using posters of India’s World Cup-winning moments in 2011.

Stalin questions the ‘mysterious’ PMK-BJP tie-up

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday questioned the “mystery” behind the alliance between the PMK and the BJP, when the former speaks of social justice and the latter “tolls the death knell for social justice”. At an election meeting to canvass for the INDIA bloc’s Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri candidates R. Mani (DMK) and K. Gopinath (Congress) respectively, Mr. Stalin asked whether “the venerable Dr. Ramadoss (PMK founder), who champions the call for caste census, secured a guarantee from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on the same? Did he ask Mr. Modi why did he not initiate the census during his term now,” Mr. Stalin asked.

Uncontrolled celebratory firing is recipe for disaster: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, in a judgment, has highlighted the often disastrous consequences of “uncontrolled and unwarranted” celebratory firing at weddings, including the maiming or loss of innocent lives. This is the second time in as many years the court has raised its voice against the culture of gun-toting bravado. In February 2023, the court had condemned the easy availability and possession of guns, mostly country-made or unlicensed, in States like Uttar Pradesh as a feudal practice that cocks a snook at a very basic fundamental right — the right to life — guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

After veto, Russia says big powers need to stop ‘strangling’ North Korea

Russia said on March 29 that major powers needed a new approach to North Korea, accusing the United States and its allies of ratcheting up military tensions in Asia and seeking to “strangle” the reclusive state. Russia vetoed the annual renewal of a panel of experts monitoring enforcement of longstanding United Nations sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar takes a swipe at Opposition for rallying behind Kejriwal

In an apparent swipe at the Opposition for rallying behind the beleaguered Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday pointed out how one breaking the law was playing the victim card. Mr. Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in a money laundering case linked to Delhi’s scrapped excise policy.  Without naming the U.S. and Germany, who have reacted strongly to Mr. Kejriwal’s arrest, Mr. Dhankhar said “India does not need lessons from any country on rule of law.”

Moscow concert hall attack: Nine detained in Tajikistan, Russian state media reports

Nine persons have been detained by Tajikistan’s state security service over suspected contact with the perpetrators of last week’s attack by gunmen on a suburban Moscow concert hall that killed 144 people, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said on March 29. “Nine residents of the Vakhdat district were detained for contact with the persons who committed the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall on March 22,” the agency reported, citing information from an unnamed source in Tajikistan’s special services, who said that Russian security forces were also involved in the operation to detain the suspects.

Wives on the driving seat, Bihar’s bahubalis keep poll clout intact

Having weathered allegations, criminal cases and even long prison stints, Bihar’s bahubalis (strongmen) are back in action in Bihar’s politics. Like previous elections, their wives are in the fray, but voters clearly understand who’s calling the shots. Lovely Anand, wife of strongman Anand Mohan Singh; Bima Bharti, wife of Awadhesh Mandal; and Anita Mahto, wife of Ashok Mahto, are better known as Mrs. Bahubalis. Their husbands hold sway in their respective constituencies and beyond but cannot contest the poll directly owing to rules that prohibit convicts jailed for over two years from contesting elections “until six years after release”. This is not too different from mukhiapatis (village head’s husband) in Bihar reigning supreme at village panchayats with their elected wives (mukhias) watching from the sidelines.

‘Writers, journalists, social activists being jailed for merely criticising Indian government’

Expressing concern over the “prolonged incarceration” of a large number of writers, journalists, and social activists for criticising the Indian government, a group of eminent personalities have sought to draw the world’s attention on how India’s “democratic tradition is being fundamentally undermined.”

Lok Sabha polls: Trinamool alleges BJP leaders using NIA to target its party leaders

Trinamool Congress on Friday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls are conspiring with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to have certain leaders of the State’s ruling party arrested ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that two BJP candidates have held a meeting with the NIA officer in Kolkata regarding summon and arrest of Trinamool Congress leaders in the State’s Purba Medinipur district. Referring to an NIA official, Mr. Ghosh asked whether two BJP leaders met the official and “handed over a list of @AITCofficial leaders and workers for immediate summon and arrest, or not”.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 28, 2024

Arvind Kejriwal arrest | After India summons envoy, U.S. stresses it encourages fair, transparent legal proceedings

After India summoned a senior U.S. diplomat to lodge a protest over remarks on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Washington on Wednesday stressed that it encourages fair, transparent, timely legal processes and “we don’t think anyone should object to that”. “We continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal,” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

Two killed after anti-CAA meeting in Meghalaya

Two persons were killed in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district on Wednesday following a meeting organised by a local organisation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) of 2019. Police said the bodies of the two persons — both non-tribals — were found at Ichamati and Dalda under the Shella Assembly constituency. Both places are close to the State’s border with Bangladesh. The district’s Superintendent of Police, Rituraj Ravi, told journalists that the post-mortem was yet to be done. “Additional police teams from Shillong have been sent to the site,” he said.

IPL-17 : MI vs SRH | Records go for a six as SRH outshines MI in run fest

Travis Head played a gem of an innings, Abhishek Sharma was stunning and Heinrich Klaasen flamboyant as the trio fashioned Sunrisers Hyderabad’s impressive 31-run win against Mumbai Indians in a high-scoring IPL league match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Wednesday night.

Priest can give CAA eligibility certificate, says government helpline

A local priest may issue an “eligibility certificate” under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 to validate the religion of an applicant, according to a response received by The Hindu through the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ CAA helpline. The certificate, a mandatory document, is to be enclosed along with an affidavit and other documents that the applicants are to upload on the CAA portal. “The reasons for which applicant wishes to acquire Indian citizenship” must also be stated.

Congress announces 14 more candidates for Lok Sabha polls

The Congress on Wednesday brought out a fresh list of 14 candidates from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections. Some of these were cleared by the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the party earlier in the evening. Sources said the CEC had discussed around 18 names and most had been cleared. In Uttar Pradesh, the party named Dolly Sharma from Ghaziabad, Virendra Chowdhury from Maharajganj, Nakul Dubey from Sitapur and Shivram Valmiki from Bulandshahr.

₹50 lakh stolen from van carrying cash to ATM in Kerala

In a brazen daylight theft, ₹50 lakh was stolen from a van that was taking the money to fill cash vending machines, at Uppala in Kasaragod in Kerala on Wednesday .The incident occurred outside an ATM of the Axis Bank around 2 p.m. The van involved in the incident belongs to a private agency, Secure Valley. Notably, it arrived at the location without security personnel. The police apprehended the driver and seized the van.

Nirmala Sitharaman decides against contesting Lok Sabha polls

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has decided against contesting the Lok Sabha election, she said on Wednesday, citing the lack of “money to contest” the poll and her inability to meet the “winnability criteria” in southern States such as Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu that she could have considered battling from. The Minister, in her second term in the Rajya Sabha, had been sounded out by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s top brass to consider a Lok Sabha candidature in the upcoming election, along with some of her Upper House cabinet colleagues such as Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Environment and Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav.

Government notifies revised wages under the MGNREGS

The Union government on Wednesday notified the revised wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), with several States reporting a hike in wages by 8 to 10%. The hike ranged from ₹7 in Uttar Pradesh (2023- ₹230 – to 2024 rate of ₹237) to ₹34 hike in Goa (2023 wages ₹322 to 2024 wages ₹356). Significant jump in wages have been reported by Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Goa, where the hikes varied from 8% to 10.5%. Bihar follows closely behind, where the wages have been revised by ₹17. 

Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt convicted in false drug seizure case

A court in Gujarat on Wednesday convicted former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in a drugs seizure case dating back to 1996. The court is expected to pronounce the quantum of punishment on Thursday. The sessions court in Palanpur held Bhatt guilty of falsely implicating a Rajasthan-based lawyer, Sumer Singh Rajpurohit, by claiming that police had seized drugs from a hotel room in Palanpur where the lawyer was staying. The case was lodged when Bhatt was the district Superintendent of Police.

‘Close your eyes, feel my presence’: Arvind Kejriwal’s wife reads out his message to people

Sunita Kejriwal, the wife of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, posted a video message on the CM’s X account on Wednesday, where she relayed a message from her husband: “While my body is in jail, my spirit is with the people of Delhi.” “Close your eyes, and you will feel my presence around you,” Ms. Kejriwal said, relaying her husband’s message with her eyes closed and hands folded. While remanding Mr. Kejriwal in Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody, a court in New Delhi had allowed him to meet his wife and lawyers between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily.

Solution cannot be found on battlefield, says Jaishankar on Russia-Ukraine conflict

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on March 27 said India’s position in the Russia-Ukraine conflict has been that a solution cannot be found on the battlefield and New Delhi wants to find a way of bringing this conflict to an end. Responding to a question on India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict during his interaction with the Indian diaspora in the Malaysian capital, Mr. Jaishankar said that there are “no winners of a conflict”. “We took the position from the start, that you’re not going to get a solution to this conflict on the battlefield,” he said.

In its seventh list, BJP announces Navneet Rana’s candidature for the contentious Amravati Lok Sabha seat

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday announced the candidature of Navneet Rana for the reserved Amravati Lok Sabha seat in its seventh list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Ms. Rana, an independent MP and the incumbent legislator of the Amravati Lok Sabha seat, is a supporter of the BJP along with her husband Ravi Rana, who is the current MLA from Badnera (in Amravati). The announcement now paves the way for Ms. Rana to formally join the BJP and contest on the Scheduled Caste (SC) reserved seat.

Rameshwaram Cafe blast: NIA conducts simultaneous raids in Shivamogga and Tamil Nadu

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing Bengaluru’s The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case, conducted simultaneous raids and questioned several suspects in Shivamogga, Karnataka, Chennai, and Ramanathapuram districts in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday (March 27). NIA sleuths on Wednesday raided the residences of Mussavir Hussain Shazib and Abdul Matheen Taha in Thirthahalli. The duo are accused in the 2020 Al Hind IS module case registered in Suddaguntepalya and have been absconding since. They are also said to be the kingpins of the Thirthahalli module and accused in the Mangaluru cooker blast of November 2022. Given the similarity in the timer and detonator devices in the IEDs used in The Rameshwaram Cafe blast and the cooker blast, agencies have suspected the role of the same module. 

Woman stripped, paraded and beaten up in M.P. village; four women held

Four women were arrested for allegedly beating up, stripping and parading a 30-year-old woman over a dispute at a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district, police said on Wednesday. A video of the purported incident that occurred during the Holi celebrations also surfaced on social media. “On Monday, four women forcibly pulled the victim out of her house, beat her up and humiliated her by stripping her naked in public at Bachhora village of Gautampura police station area,” Superintendent of Police (Rural) Sunil Mehta said.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 27, 2024

Employment scenario in India grim, says ILO report

India’s youth account for almost 83% of the unemployed workforce and the share of youngsters with secondary or higher education in the total unemployed youth has almost doubled from 35.2% in 2000 to 65.7% in 2022, as per the India Employment Report 2024 released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD) here on Tuesday. The youth employment and underemployment increased between 2000 and 2019 but declined during the pandemic years, the study, released by Chief Economic Adviser V. Anantha Nageswaran, said, adding that educated youths have experienced much higher levels of unemployment in the country during the period.

Photojournalists covering AAP protest face police’s wrath

Photojournalists covering the Aam Aadmi Party protests were harassed by the Delhi Police on Tuesday. The matter escalated between members of the press and police forces as photojournalists were attempting to click pictures of AAP leaders protesting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest. Salman Ali, a photojournalist with the Hindustan Times, was injured during the exchange, fracturing his elbow. Mr. Ali told The Hindu that there was heavy police force, and they were misbehaving with members of the media, going to the extent of grabbing a fellow photojournalist’s collar. 

IPL-17: CSK vs GT | Super Kings put on a regal display to subdue Titans with consummate ease

Like most Indian venues, Chepauk is used to the chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin’ while cheering the nation’s most celebrated cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, in his playing days .Figuring in only his second IPL match, Rachin Ravindra found a way into the hearts of the city’s passionate fans, who quickly belted out ‘Rachin, Rachin’ as the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener produced another impressive cameo that laid the foundation for the defending champion’s thumping 63-run win over Gujarat Titans at the MAC Stadium on Tuesday.

In its seventh list, Congress announces four candidates for Chhattisgarh

The Congress on Tuesday announced its seventh list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls. The list has five names — four, including two women candidates, from Chhattisgarh, and one from Tamil Nadu.  With these four — Shashi Singh from Surguja, Dr. Menka Devi Singh from Raigarh, Biresh Thakur from Kanker [all three seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST)] and Devendra Singh Yadav from Bilaspur — the party has now announced all the names from Chhattisgarh that has 11 parliamentary constituencies.

Crew of cargo ship that lost power and collided with bridge in Baltimore, U.S. are all Indian

The entire 22-member crew of the cargo ship that struck a major bridge in Baltimore early on March 26, causing it to snap and plunge into the river below are Indians, the company said. The Singapore-flagged container ship “Dali” collided with one of the pillars of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore at approximately 1:30 am local time. According to the vessel information provided by the Synergy Marine Group, the crew was “All Indian, 22 in total”.

Ladakh activist Wangchuk ends 21-day fast, urges PM Modi, Amit Shah to deliver on promises

Climate activist Sonam Wangchuk on March 26 (Tuesday) ended his 21-day fast in Leh, as he urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to “prove themselves as statesmen” .“It was for 21days. From tomorrow, women’s groups will start their fast and will be followed by youth, then monks and so on,” Mr. Wangchuk told The Hindu. Mr. Wangchuk has visibly grown frail and his voice has also strained. The Ladakhi activist has matched the longest fast held by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom movement.

Big tech told to identify AI deepfakes ahead of EU vote

The EU called on Facebook, TikTok and other tech titans on March 26 to crack down on deepfakes and other AI-generated content by using clear labels ahead of Europe-wide polls in June .The recommendation is part of a raft of guidelines published under a landmark content law by the European Commission for digital giants to tackle risks to elections including disinformation. The EU executive body has unleashed a string of measures to clamp down on big tech, especially regarding content moderation.

RJD, Congress hold talks to iron out differences over seats

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav and Congress leaders held talks on Tuesday to sort out the differences that have emerged between the two allies over the seat-sharing arrangements in Bihar. The much-awaited meeting took place at senior Congress leader Mukul Wasnik’s official residence here after a week of tussle. Mr. Wasnik is the convener of his party’s alliance committee. Bihar Congress chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh and AICC in-charge Mohan Prakash were also present. Another meeting could take place on Wednesday before a final agreement is announced in Patna.

ED attaches ₹124.57-crore assets in Religare Finvest Limited case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached immovable properties worth ₹124.57 crore belonging to RS Infrastructure, Kenwood Mercantile, Goodfaith Builders and other suspects in a case related to Religare Finvest Limited and others. The agency, in a statement, said Kenwood Mercantile and Goodfaith Builders were entities belonging to the M3M group, a Gurugram-based realtor. “Land measuring 430 acres in Gurugram/Faridabad belonging to the entities of M3M group has been provisionally attached (it) being the proceeds of crime (PoC) flowing through a maze of companies to the M3M group,” it said.

In Gujarat, BJP drops nearly 50% of sitting MPs

In Gujarat, the BJP has dropped more than a dozen sitting MPs, including Ministers Darshna Jordosh and Mahendra Munjapara, for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Two Cabinet Ministers, Mansukh Mandaviya and Parshottam Rupala, whose Rajya Sabha terms end in April, find a place on the candidate list instead .The ruling party has fielded Mr. Mandaviya from the Porbandar seat in the place of Ramesh Dhaduk and Mr. Rupala from Rajkot in the place of Mohan Kundariya. With Mr. Mandaviya hailing from Bhavnagar and Mr. Rupala from Amteli, both candidates were considered outsiders.

Home-cooked food, bed: facilities CM Kejriwal is allowed in ED lock-up

Inside the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) lock-up, where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is currently lodged after being arrested in an excise policy-linked money laundering charge, an accused gets access to basic facilities like bed and bottled drinking water. It is learnt that the toilet and bathroom are located a little away from the lock-up, which is guarded round the clock by security personnel. The premises are also monitored through closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs).

Supreme Court raises concern over the rich gagging media

The Supreme Court has highlighted the problem of the affluent getting pre-trial injunctions from courts against the media and civil society, gagging free speech and the public’s right to information about important affairs .A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said such ex-parte interim injunctions granted by courts rather mechanically spell a death sentence to journalistic stories even before the allegations against them are proven right, if ever.

FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Afghanistan shocks India in Sunil Chhetri’s 150th international match

Lower-ranked Afghanistan shocked India 2-1 as the home team suffered one of its most embarrassing defeats in recent years despite talisman Sunil Chhetri’s 94th international goal in his 150th match, in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Guwahati on March 26. In his landmark game, Chhetri did what was expected of him and found the back of the net from the spot in the 37th minute after Haroon Amiri handled the ball inside the box in India’s home leg match in the second round of the joint qualifiers for the World Cup and 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 26, 2024

Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a Gaza resolution that demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan leading to a permanent sustainable ceasefire, and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, at U.N. headquarters in New York City, U.S., March 25, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

U.N. Security Council for the first time demands immediate ceasefire in Gaza

The United Nations Security Council on March 25 demanded an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages after the United States abstained from the vote .The remaining 14 council members voted for the resolution, which was proposed by the 10 elected members of the body. Washington had been averse to the word ceasefire earlier in the nearly six-month-old war in the Gaza Strip and had used its veto power to shield U.S. ally Israel as it retaliated against Hamas for an Oct. 7 attack that Israel says killed 1,200 people.

European Union investigates Tech giants under new digital Law

The EU, on March 25, launched probes into whether Apple, Alphabet and Meta violated a new law, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), in what is the latest instance of governments trying to exercise greater control over the functioning of big tech companies. The companies could be fined up to 10% of their global revenues and 20% for repeat infringements of the DMA.

Congress questions Modi government’s record in implementing women’s welfare schemes

On a day when an objectionable post by the Congress’ social media in-charge Supriya Shrinate against actor and BJP candidate from the Mandi Lok Sabha seat, Kangana Ranaut, triggered outrage, the Congress attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for reducing the budget of women-centred welfare schemes, flagging five key problems. Ms. Shrinate later clarified that the post had been authored by someone who had access to her social media accounts.

Alcohol warning in Hindi, foreign films on the rise

In recent weeks, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has started requiring an increasing number of Hindi and foreign films to display anti-liquor watermarks for films that feature alcohol consumption, The Hindu has found, based on a review of cut lists of recent films issued by the censor board. For instance, All of Us Strangers, a British film classified ‘A’ for adult-only audiences that extensively features liquor abuse, has the warning onscreen for a significant duration of the film. 

Holi is special this year due to Ram temple inauguration, says Amit Shah in Gujarat

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on March 25 celebrated Holi with party functionaries in Ahmedabad .At the gathering in the BJP’s Gandhinagar Lok Sabha office, located in Thaltej area, Mr. Shah and Mr. Patel applied colours on party leaders, including Rajya Sabha MP Mayant Nayak, MLA Amit Thakar, Gandhinagar Mayor Hitesh Makwana, Gujarat BJP’s general secretary K.C. Patel and others of the women’s wing.

RLP supremo Hanuman Beniwal is INDIA bloc candidate from Nagaur following alliance with Congress

The Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) on March 25 announced its supremo Hanuman Beniwal as the INDIA bloc candidate for the Lok Sabha election from Rajasthan’s Nagaur seat following an alliance formed with the Opposition Congress. Mr. Beniwal — elected as an MLA from Nagaur district’s Khinvsar in 2023 — is likely to file his nomination papers on March 27 .The Congress had left the Nagaur seat for the RLP in the list of candidates released on Saturday. The two parties entered into an alliance in the State after intense negotiations lasting several days amid doubts created by the resignation of Mr. Beniwal’s close confidant Ummeda Ram Beniwal from the RLP and his entry into the Congress.

Advocate Robert Bruce to take on BJP’s Nainar Nagenthran in Tirunelveli

After days of marathon negotiations, intra-party squabbles and persuasions, advocate C. Robert Bruce, 62, of Saralvilai near Kattathurai in Kanniyakumari district has been fielded in Tirunelveli Parliamentary constituency as the Congress candidate. Sources in the Congress said the delay in announcing the candidate to take on BJP’s Nainar Nagenthran was due to the intense race among the aspirants in getting the ticket who left no stone unturned to achieve their political goal.

Congress lists ‘massive failures’ of WCD ministry, says will usher era of women’s safety in June

The Congress listed “massive failures” of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) in the last 10 years on March 25 and asserted that a new era of women’s safety, prosperity, and development will begin when its government “takes charge in June” .Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said the formation of a Congress-led government in June 2024 will end the “10 years of anyaay-kaal for women”. He alleged the BJP government’s slogans of ‘nari shakti’ remain empty words without real action.

Kyiv endures a third bombardment in 5 days as Russia steps up targeting of Ukrainian cities

Russia launched missiles against Kyiv for the third time in five days Monday as Moscow escalated its aerial bombardment of Ukrainian cities while the front line in the war remains largely stationary .Nine people were injured in the strike on the Ukrainian capital, the Ukraine Rescue Service said. The Pecherskyi district was the hardest hit. Missile debris damaged homes in two districts and a local college gym in another district, Ukraine’s National Police said.

Don’t show hostility towards resident associations if they use public buildings for holding functions, Madras High Court tells civic bodies

Civic bodies such as the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) need not show hostility towards residents’ welfare associations by locking and sealing public buildings if vacant spaces in those buildings had been used by the residents for celebrating birthdays or for teaching yoga/music/dance to the children in the locality without any commercial motive, the Madras High Court has advised.

With nothing to lose, Akali Dal banking on panthic agenda

At the recently held core committee meeting, the SAD resolved to focus on panth issues, in an effort to resurrect itself on the hustings. “The party will continue to put principles above politics and it will never deviate from its historic role as a champion of the interests of Khalsa Panth [Sikh community], minorities, as well as all Punjabis. At the same time, we will continue to devote all our energies towards preserving the atmosphere of peace and communal harmony… As the sole representative of the Sikhs and all Punjabis, the party will continue its fight for more powers and genuine autonomy to the States. We have never compromised on these interests nor will we let our guard down on these issues in future,” said a resolution passed at the meeting, which was presided by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Donald Trump’s $454 million civil fraud judgment fine slashed to $175M by New York appeals court

A New York appeals court on March 25 agreed to hold off collection of former President Donald Trump’s $454 million civil fraud judgment — if he puts up $175 million within 10 days. If he does, it will stop the clock on collection and prevent the State from seizing the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee’s assets while he appeals. The development came just before New York Attorney General Letitia James was expected to initiate efforts to collect the judgment. Messages seeking comment were sent to Ms. James’ office and to Mr. Trump’s lawyers.

IPL-17: RCB vs PBKS | Virat Kohli’s exceptional fifty carries Bengaluru to four-wicket victory over Punjab Kings

Virat Kohli produced a quality half-century on a slightly gummy pitch that took the Holi-day crowd on a joyride and the Royal Challengers Bengaluru to a four-wicket victory over Punjab Kings in an IPL match here on Monday .The 177-run target wasn’t a massively tough one, but needed a meticulous scaling down because of the deck’s nature. Kohli (77, 49b, 11×4, 2×6) conducted it to near-perfection as RCB made 178 for six with four balls to spare to register their first win of this IPL.

Refrain from contesting Lok Sabha election, Manipur’s Kuki-Zo tribals urged

A tribal forum in ethnic strife-torn Manipur has urged the Kuki-Zo people to exercise their franchise but refrain from contesting in the Lok Sabha election in April .The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) has been the voice of the ethnic communities belonging to the Kuki-Zo group since their conflict with the Meiteis broke out on May 3, 2023. “The ITLF Presidential Council, in consultation with its constituent member-tribes, has agreed that no member from the Kuki-Zo community should file nomination for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, considering the plight that we are facing,” the forum said in a statement on March 25.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 25, 2024

Left candidates trounce ABVP in JNU students’ union elections

Around 11.30 p.m, the election committee declared that the United Left panel won three posts of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), while the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) won one post. The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad lost all the posts by a few hundred votes. Dhananjay of the AISA, who won the president’s post with a total of 2,598 votes, said, “I’m overwhelmed at the support I have received. It has been made clear that the students are unhappy with the government and they want things to change.” The ABVP’s Umesh Chandra Ajmeera came second with 1,676 votes.

Lok Sabha elections | Congress drops Jaipur candidate after row over links to right-wing forum

Following a political uproar over its choice of candidate for the Jaipur City Lok Sabha seat, the Congress on March 24 dropped Sunil Sharma and fielded former minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas in his place .Mr. Sharma has been associated with Jaipur Dialogues, a right-wing forum that is known to target the Congress leadership and target minority communities. In a fresh list of three names on Sunday, the party fielded Mr. Khachariyawas, a minister in the Ashok Gehlot government, from Jaipur.

Lok Sabha elections | Kangana Ranaut, Arun Govil, Maneka Gandhi in BJP fifth list; Varun Gandhi dropped

Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut and television actor Arun Govil, who starred in the Ramayan series, are among the names in the BJP’s fifth list of 111 candidates from 17 States for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, released on Sunday. Ms. Ranaut will contest from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, while Mr. Govil will contest from Meerut.

Pakistan to ‘seriously examine’ restarting trade with India: Foreign Minister

Pakistan will “seriously examine” whether to restart trade with India, said its newly appointed Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar. Responding to questions during a press meet in London, Mr. Dar said he had been approached last year by Pakistani businesspersons over the issue, and said any decision would follow a full discussion with all stakeholders. Meanwhile, visiting Singapore, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankarhit out at Pakistan for its “industry-level” support to terrorism, stressing that any talks with Pakistan would need to “face up to the problem”. 

IPL 2024, GT vs MI | Titans keep their nerve, MI loses its poise and the plot

Shubman Gill passed his first captaincy test as Gujarat Titans eked out a nervous six-run win over Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League opener at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Sunday .Pursuing 169, MI was coasting along at 107 for two after 12 overs. But Sai Kishore trapping Rohit Sharma (43, 29b, 7×4, 1×6) leg-before and Mohit Sharma sending back Dewald Brevis (46, 38b, 2×4, 3×6) and Tim David triggered a scarcely believable downturn.

Sri Lanka’s ex-president Sirisena to be quizzed by police over controversial remark on Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s former President Maithripala Sirisena will face police questioning on Monday on his recent remarks on the 2019 Easter Sunday suicide bombings that he was “aware” of the masterminds of the attacks that killed 270 people, including 11 Indians. Sirisena, 72, was president between 2015 January and 2019 November. He had previously denied any knowledge of the attacks. Police chief Deshabandu Tennakoon told reporters on Sunday that Sirisena’s statement would be recorded on Monday.

AAP leadership goes into huddle, workers told to remain united

The entire brass of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi went into a huddle on Sunday, with its leaders asking workers to step up their presence on social media platforms and remain united following the arrest of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in an excise policy case .Mr. Kejriwal, AAP national convener, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in the case involving allegations that the now-scrapped 2021-22 excise policy benefited certain liquor manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers for monetary considerations.

IPL 2024 | Just a matter of time before Pant regains form: Sidhu

Former India opener Navjot Sidhu is confident wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant’s return to form is just a “matter of time” following his nearly 15-month-long absence from professional cricket after a horrific car crash .Pant is back leading his Indian Premier League side Delhi Capitals after missing the action last season due to his recovery and rehabilitation. Though Pant did not have the comeback he would have wished for in DC’s match against Punjab Kings here on Saturday, being dismissed for 18 by Harshal Patel, he was quick between the wickets, took a catch behind the stumps and also effected a stumping.

Former judge, Trinamool turncoats, and woman from Sandeshkhali in West Bengal BJP candidate list

The second list of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha election comprised a mixed bag, including former Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, two turncoats from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), and a woman from Sandeshkhali who was at the receiving end of the violence .Former Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who resigned from the Calcutta High Court recently, has been nominated from the Tamluk Lok Sabha seat. The party has fielded Arjun Singh from Barrackpore, and Tapas Roy from Kolkata Uttar. Both Mr. Singh and Mr. Roy had quit the Trinamool Congress to join the BJP recently. The BJP candidates from Tamluk, Kolkata Uttar, and Barrackpore had joined the party earlier this month.

CBI team revisits Sandeshkhali to gather more evidence in the ED team attack case

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team, probing the attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials at West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali on January 5, on March 24 visited a village in the area to gather more evidence .This is the second visit by the CBI to Sarberia village in North 24 Parganas district after getting the custody of suspended Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shahjahan Sheikh, the main accused in the attack, on March 6. CBI officials had gone to Mr. Sheikh’s house the following day and, after finding it locked, clicked its photos and talked to local people.

Lok Sabha polls: Samajwadi Party fields S.T. Hasan from Moradabad, changes its Bijnor candidate

The Samajwadi Party on March 24 renominated its Lok Sabha MP from Moradabad S T Hasan from the same seat and changed its Bijnor candidate by fielding Deepak Saini, the son of a party MLA .The party announced the names in a post on X. The Samajwadi Party had earlier named Yashveer Singh as its candidate from Bijnor. However, on Sunday, it named Deepak Saini as its candidate for the seat. He is the son of Ram Avtar Saini, the SP legislator from the Noorpur assembly segment that comes under the Bijnor parliamentary constituency.

Myanmar rights group asks India not to deport refugees

A Myanmar-based organisation has asked the Manipur government not to deport Myanmar refugees back to the war-torn country unless they choose to return. They say people returning are likely to face conscription .The Nongthombam Biren Singh government began the process of sending back 77 refugees from Myanmar by deporting eight of them on March 8. In a statement issued on Sunday, the Burma Refugees Committee – Kabaw Valley said they feared that they would be handed over to the military junta.

Ireland to get its youngest ever premier as Simon Harris elected leader of Fine Gael party

Ireland is poised to get its youngest-ever premier after Simon Harris secured the leadership of the Fine Gael party on Sunday, replacing Leo Varadkar who announced his surprise resignation last week .The 37-year-old Mr. Harris, who is the government’s Further and Higher Education Minister, was the only candidate to put his name forward to succeed Mr. Varadkar, who had been Ireland’s previous youngest Prime Minister, or what Ireland calls its taoiseach.

Industrialist and former Congress MP Naveen Jindal joins BJP

Industrialist and former MP Naveen Jindal quit the Congress and joined the BJP on Sunday. He said that he wanted to contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda of ‘Viksit Bharat’ .BJP general secretary Vinod Tawde was present at the ceremony. He said Jindal’s presence in the party will help the government’s agenda of boosting the economy and creating prosperity. Mr. Tawde noted that the Jindal Steel chairperson has a keen interest in sports and education as well.

Only classes 3 and 6 will receive new textbooks in 2024-25, says CBSE

Only students in Classes 3 and 6 will receive new textbooks for the upcoming academic year of 2024-25, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) confirmed on March 22, in a circular sent to all schools affiliated with the board. The new textbooks are being formulated by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 09, 2024

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
| Photo Credit: ANI

Abducted Army officer rescued in Manipur’s Thoubal

Amid the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur, a serving Junior Commissioned Officer of the Indian Army, who was on Friday morning abducted from his home in Thoubal district was rescued the same evening after an hours-long search operation launched by security forces in the state, The Hindu has learnt.

Amid fears of AI misuse in upcoming poll, OpenAI executives met Election Commission officials in February

Representatives from OpenAI, the Artificial Intelligence firm that developed ChatGPT, met with officials from the Election Commission of India in February to ensure that its popular platform is not misused in the upcoming Lok Sabha election, and to find ways to collaborate with the ECI. 

Congress releases first list of 39 candidates; Rahul Gandhi to contest from Wayanad

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will seek re-election from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, the party announced on March 8. His name was part of the party’s first list of 39 Lok Sabha candidates.

PM to inaugurate passenger terminals at 12 airports across India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate 15 new airport passenger buildings across the country between March 9 and 10 worth more than ₹9,800 crore.

Jaishankar meets Japan’s PM Kishida

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday called on Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and apprised him of the progress made by the two countries in the just-concluded Foreign Ministers Strategic Dialogue.

Bhutan PM Tobgay’s India visit to focus on bilateral pacts, development and connectivity projects

Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay will arrive in Delhi next week, in his first visit abroad since he took over office in January this year, sources confirmed to The Hindu.

NIA chargesheets one more accused in terror graffiti case

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has charge-sheeted one more accused in the Shivamogga IS conspiracy case related to the graffiti written in Mangaluru supporting banned terrorist outfits – the Islamic State (IS), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and the Taliban. The NIA has also invoked additional charges against two others in the case.

PM Modi reaches Assam amid anti-CAA mood

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Assam’s Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve on Friday evening amid rising sentiments against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Minicoy island to see deployment of BrahMos missiles in future as part of expansion

Radars, jetties, airfield and BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles – the Indian Navy’s newest base being established on Minicoy Island in Lakshadweep, INS Jatayu, will have all these and many more. The upgrade is part of a long-term capability development plan which officials and experts say will shore up India’s security footprint in the islands located very close to critical Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC).

Centre tweaks Prime Minister’s Rooftop Solar ‘free electricity’ scheme

The Centre has tweaked the new ₹75,000-crore PM-Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojna (Prime Minister’s Rooftop Solar: Free Electricity Scheme). From an initial plan to fully subsidise the installation of 1-3 KW solar systems in one crore households via tie-ups with renewable energy service companies, the scheme will now only contribute up to 60% of the costs, The Hindu has learnt.

Indian diplomat met ‘Afghan authorities’ in Kabul, says MEA

A senior Indian diplomat has met with ‘Afghan authorities’ in Kabul, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed on Friday. The development came months after the embassy of Afghanistan here which was earlier run by officials with affiliation to the pre-Taliban government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was shut down and the consular responsibilities were taken over by Afghan officials who are considered to be pro-Taliban.

Odisha Congress adopting ‘wait and watch’ strategy in view of BJP-BJD alliance talk

With reported disagreement over seat sharing between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Biju Janata Dal delaying the announcement of a formal alliance that entered the final stage, the Odisha Congress seems to be adopting a ‘wait and watch’ strategy to capitalise on the situation to their maximum advantage.

Congress promises ‘Right to Apprenticeship’ for youth below 25

With the tagline “Pehli Naukri Pakki” (first job is assured), the “right to apprenticeship” is one of the marquees promises in the Congress’s election manifesto, putting the issue of unemployment at the centre of their campaign against the Narendra Modi government

Electoral bonds case | Five-judge Bench to hold special sitting on SBI plea for more time

A special sitting by a five-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud is scheduled on March 11 to hear an application filed by the State Bank of India (SBI) seeking time till June 30 to share details of electoral bonds purchased anonymously and encashed by political parties since April 2019.

Gadgets found with Sikh extremists: Assam jail superintendent arrested

The Assam Police arrested the superintendent of Dibrugarh Central Jail on March 7 night over the seizure of electronic gadgets from the possession of 10 inmates belonging to a radical pro-Khalistan organisation.

Safety guide launched for journalists covering Lok Sabha elections

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), along with The Hindu, launcheda ‘Safety Guide for Journalists covering Indian elections 2024’ at an online event on March 8.

Centre warns against offers of jobs with Russian Army

Offers for support jobs with the Russian Army made by unverified agents are “fraught with danger and risk to life”, the External Affairs Ministry said on Friday, announcing that stern action has been initiated by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the agencies that conned Indian nationals into fighting for the Russian forces in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Biden vs Trump | What do Super Tuesday results mean for U.S. and India?

In this episode of Worldview, we discuss what will a rematch between Biden and Trump in the US presidential election mean for U.S. Foreign Policy, geopolitics and India

IND vs ENG fifth Test | Rohit and Gill’s tons, Padikkal and Sarfaraz’s fifties have England reeling

Relentless India punished England all day and left it staring at another defeat after just two days of the fifth and final Test here.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 06, 2024

India’s Ravichandran Ashwin, left, celebrates with captain Rohit Sharma the wicket of England’s Ollie Pope on the third day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India, on Feb. 25, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AP

India to IMF: Ensure Pakistan does not divert loans to foot its defence, third-country debt bills

Taking a tough stance, India has batted for “stringent monitoring” of any emergency funds provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to its financially beleaguered neighbour Pakistan, stressing that such funds must not be redeployed towards defence bills or repayment of loans from other countries.

Sandeshkhali violence | CBI takes custody of TMC’s Sheikh Shahjahan

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on March 6 got the custody of suspended Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan, in a case involving an attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on January 5.

Congress drafts manifesto with focus on jobs, income support for poor

The universal basic income idea may have not worked for the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha election but the party will reintroduce the concept in its 2024 manifesto.

President gives away Sangeet Natak Akademi awards

President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for the years 2022 and 2023 to eminent artists in the field of performing arts, including music, dance, drama, folk and tribal arts.

Panauti jibe at PM Modi | ECI asks Rahul Gandhi to be ‘cautious’ in his public utterances

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued an advisory to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, asking him to be cautious in his public utterances and take note of the poll body’s March 1 advisory for parties and star campaigners.

Pannun issues threat against Indian High Commissioner to Canada ahead of event

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who has been in the news for his pro-Khalistan activities, has once again come into focus after he put out a poster that is suggestive of violent attacks against Indian High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma.  

Posters surface in Raebareli asking Priyanka to contest from Congress bastion

Amid the buzz of Congress general secretary Priyanka Vadra’s likely candidature from Raebareli in 2024, posters reading, “Raebareli pukarti, Priyanka Gandhi ji aaye [Raebareli calls, Priyanka Gandhi to come]” surfaced in intersections of Raebareli on March 6, asking the former Uttar Pradesh Congress In-charge to carry forward the development works of the grand-old-party in the constituency represented previously by her mother and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The posters have been put up by one Rishabh Raghvendra Vajpayee, a former student leader and resident of Raebareli.

Former Trinamool MLA Tapas Roy joins BJP

Two days after he quit the Trinamool Congress, former party MLA Tapas Roy on Wednesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Supreme Court advises Kerala to take ₹13,608 crore offered by Centre

The Supreme Court on Wednesday nudged Kerala to meet the Centre’s team a second time and accept the ₹13,608 crore on offer to tide over the immediate financial emergency looming in the State.

Resorts near tiger reserves have turned choice wedding destinations: SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday flagged the “mushrooming” of resorts around tiger reserves and their use as choice wedding destinations.

Modi calls Lalu, Rabri biggest offenders of Bihar

In a scathing attack on former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called them “the biggest offenders” of the State. He also took a dig at the Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) for perpetuating “dynasty rule” and “corruption”.

Hundreds of locals rally in Ladakh for Statehood as talks with Centre breakdown

Ladakh witnessed a shutdown and a protest rally, on March 6, calling for the granting of Statehood to the newly-created Union Territory (UT) and its inclusion in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

BJD, BJP hold talks at their own levels for forging formal alliance

Amid speculations of the BJP and the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) forging a formal alliance for the coming elections, both parties on Wednesday held hectic deliberations at their own levels to smoothen rough edges.

Rahul’s yatra in Madhya Pradesh a morale booster for Congress cadre ahead of Lok Sabha polls

After being on the road for nearly five days, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra ended its run in Madhya Pradesh on March 6, with party workers in the areas it covered saying that the march has re-energised the cadre ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. 

What should India do to achieve ₹50,000 crore export target in 5 years?| Business Matters

In a recent speech, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh estimated exports in the sector at ₹50,000 crore five years from now. That gives rise to the question, where do we stand now and what will get us to this target?

A blast rocks the Ukrainian city of Odesa during a visit by Zelensky and Greece’s Prime Minister

The sound of a large explosion reverberated around the Ukrainian port of Odesa as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ended a tour of the war-ravaged southern city on March 6.

Nikki Haley Concedes as Trump, Biden win big in primaries

Former U.S. President Donald Trump won majorly on ‘Super Tuesday’ , the largest day of nominating contests for the Presidency, emerging well ahead of former UN Ambassador and Trump Cabinet member Nikki Haley, who bowed out of the race, but did not endorse her Republican rival and former boss.

IND vs ENG fifth Test | Team India looks to finish on a high in Ashwin’s 100th

England may be licking its wounds but nurses hope of hurting India in pretty much English weather conditions here. This optimism rose in the week leading to the fifth and final Test starting on Thursday after a fresh spell of snowfall in the higher reaches triggered another round of cold wave.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 05, 2024

Prime Minister Modi gesturing to the crowd during a public meeting at Nandanam in Chennai on March 4.
| Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

Central government employees protest delays in promotion, threaten non-cooperation if demands not met

Central government employees have threatened a “non-cooperation movement” if an expedited decision is not taken regarding their promotions and the “government does not wake up from its deep slumber.” The officials said that many employees suffer stagnation in their careers and financial losses in pension as they retire without getting promoted.

Allow MPs, MLAs to speak in House without fear of harassment, says Supreme Court

A Constitution Bench on March 4 said the Parliament and State legislatures would lose their representative character in a democratic polity if MPs and MLAs are not able to attend the House and speak their minds in the exercise of their duties as members without fear of being harassed by the executive or any agencies.

Rajya Sabha polls should be free and fearless, to be given ‘utmost protection’, says SC

The Supreme Court on March 4 said the elections to the Rajya Sabha and Council of States required “utmost protection” and the right to vote should be carried out freely without fear or persecution.

No positive outcome in meeting with Amit Shah, say Ladakh bodies

Civil society leaders in Ladakh, who are protesting to demand Constitutional safeguards for the region, met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday but the “meeting did not result in any positive outcome”.

ED accuses Salman Khurshid’s wife Louise Khurshid and two others of money laundering

The Enforcement Directorate on March 4 alleged that the then Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust’s project director, Louise Khurshid, the wife of senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, and two others allegedly laundered ₹71.50 lakh.

ADR says it will oppose SBI plea on electoral bonds

As the State Bank of India moved the Supreme Court seeking time till June 30 to comply with a direction to make public details of electoral bonds purchased since April 2019, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), chief petitioner in the electoral bonds case, said it was considering all legal options, including opposing the SBI plea in court.

Uttarakhand Cabinet nod for law to recover cost of damage to public property from rioters

Uttarakhand Cabinet on March 4 gave nod to the ordinance which aims to recover the damage of the public property done during riots and protests from the rioters and those involved in the act. The government has also formed a tribunal which will assess the loss for the recovery. The rioters will also have to pay a fine upto ₹8 lakhs apart from the recovery amount which will be used to pay for the expenses incurred on government staff and other work in riot control.

2024 General Election: Congress gets battle ready as manifesto committee discusses poll promises

The Congress held a series of important meetings on Monday as the party gears for the Lok Sabha elections. The Manifesto Committee, headed by former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, discussed the draft manifesto and separately, meetings of screening committees were held to shortlist candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.

DoT launches services to report, monitor spam and fraud calls

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on March 4 launched Chakshu, a platform for telecom users to report fraud or spam callers. The facility, available at sancharsaathi.gov.in/sfc, aims to allow citizens to “proactively report suspected fraud communication,” the DoT said in its announcement. 

Swedish SAAB begins work on new Carl-Gustaf manufacturing facility in India

Swedish defence major Saab on Monday started construction on its new manufacturing facility in India for its iconic Carl-Gustaf M4 weapons with a formal groundbreaking ceremony. The facility is being built in the State of Haryana at MET City at Jhajjar in Haryana. The State has a strong industrial base of good potential partners and skilled employees, the company said.

‘My country is my family’, dynasts incapable of thinking beyond own families, says Modi

Hitting out at the Opposition alliance after Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad mocked him as a person who did not have a family, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 4 said the country’s “140 crore people” were his family and he was working day and night for their development.

AUKUS will ensure safety, security, and peace in the Indo-Pacific: U.S. official

The AUKUS trilateral cooperation between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom will ensure safety, security and peace in the Indo-Pacific, said Bonnie Denise Jenkins, U.S. Undersecretary for arms control and international security. Ms. Jenkins stressed that AUKUS does not violate the non-proliferation treaty and that Australia will remain a non-nuclear state that does not acquire nuclear weapons.

NBBL asked to start interoperable system for net banking in 2024

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for quicker settlement of funds for merchants, has asked NPCI Bharat BillPay Ltd. (NBBL) to implement an interoperable system for Internet Banking which should be introduced during the current calendar year.

Trump wins Colorado ballot disqualification case at US Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court handed Donald Trump a major victory on March 4 as he campaigns to regain the presidency, overturning a judicial decision that had excluded him from Colorado’s ballot under a constitutional provision involving insurrection for inciting and supporting the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

UN envoy says ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe Hamas committed sexual violence on Oct. 7

The U.N. envoy focusing on sexual violence in conflict said in a new report Monday that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe Hamas committed rape, “sexualized torture,” and other cruel treatment of women during its surprise attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump set to win primary races on Super Tuesday; Biden faces dissatisfied Democratic voters

Presidential candidates crisscrossed the country in the run-up to Super Tuesday (March 5) this year, when 17 U.S. States and territories hold their primaries and caucuses to pick their contenders for November’s general election. The support of more than a third of each party’s delegates (i.e., representatives who vote in the parties’ conventions to select the candidate) is up for grabs on Tuesday.

France becomes the only country to explicitly guarantee abortion as a constitutional right

French lawmakers on March 4 overwhelmingly approved a bill to enshrine abortion rights in France’s constitution, making it the only country to explicitly guarantee a woman’s right to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy.

Former Twitter execs including ex-CEO Agarwal sue Musk for over $128 m in severance

Four former top Twitter executives, including former CEO Parag Agarwal, have sued Elon Musk for over $128 million in severance, the Wall Street Journal reported on March 4.

Ranji Trophy semifinal | Mumbai thrashes Tamil Nadu by an innings and 70 runs

The writing was on the wall after Mumbai’s lower-order onslaught on day two. It turned out to be a manic Monday for Tamil Nadu as the hosts completed a thumping innings and 70-run win against their familiar foe to book a berth in the Ranji Trophy final for the 48th time.

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The Hindu Morning Digest: February 27, 2024

Aspirants holding placards stage a protest over RO/ARO exam paper leak allegations, in Prayagraj, on February 26, 2024
| Photo Credit: PTI

Government ‘examining’ Indian tech company in EU, U.S. sanctions list

The government is examining details of an Indian tech company involved in semiconductor research, that was sanctioned by the European Union on Friday for its dealings with Russia. The company is a partner of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for a very recent “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (Make in India) collaboration, officials confirmed to The Hindu

The company, Bengaluru-based high-tech firm Si2 Microsystems, has a complex history as it has been banned by the U.S. from “dual-use” technology transfers as well, and its directors had been placed on Lookout Circular (LOC) notices by Indian authorities over debt defaults.

India expresses serious concerns in WTO meet over unilateral protectionist measures

India has expressed “serious” concerns in a WTO meeting in Abu Dhabi over increase in the use of trade protectionist measures by certain countries in the name of environment protection. The remarks assume significance as the country has earlier flagged issues over the European Union’s (EU) decision to impose carbon tax (a kind of import tax) on sectors such as steel and fertiliser; and adoption of deforestation regulation by the 27-nation bloc.

Uzbekistan court sentences Indian, 22 others over contaminated cough syrup deaths

A court in Uzbekistan sentenced 23 people to prison terms on February 26 over the deaths of 68 children linked to contaminated cough syrups produced by India’s Marion Biotech, following a six-month-long trial. The Central Asian nation had previously reported 65 deaths linked to the medicines, but last month the prosecutors at the Tashkent city court updated the death toll and said two more people had been charged during the hearings.

MEA says several Indians discharged from Russian Army after India ‘strongly took up the cases’

The Ministry of External Affairs said on February 26 that several Indians who joined the Russian Army were already discharged after such cases were “strongly” taken up with the Russian authorities. The Ministry said it has “seen some inaccurate reports in the media regarding Indians with the Russian Army seeking help for discharge.”

“Each and every such case brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been strongly taken up with the Russian authorities and those brought to the attention of the Ministry have been taken up with the Russian Embassy in New Delhi. Several Indians have already been discharged as a result. We remain committed, as a matter of top priority, to actively pursuing with the Russian authorities all the relevant cases of Indian nationals for an early discharge from the Russian Army,” the Ministry said.

Fresh protests erupt in U.P. seeking re-exam for posts citing ‘paper leak’

The Uttar Pradesh police on Monday allegedly beat up and chased away those who had gathered outside the State service commission’s office in Prayagraj demanding that the exam for the recruitment of review officers be held again, claiming paper leak. In a purported video of the incident that surfaced on social media, police personnel can be seen chasing away some youngsters. The Prayagraj Nagar Deputy Commissioner of Police could not be reached for comments despite multiple attempts.

The incident has come two days after the State government cancelled the police constable recruitment examination following complaints of question paper leak and other irregularities from across Uttar Pradesh.

Congress leaders meet in Delhi to discuss seat-sharing arrangement with DMK

Ahead of the formalising of the seat-sharing agreement with the DMK, Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal and convener of the party’s national alliance committee (NAC) Mukul Wasnik held a meeting with Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) chief K. Selvaperunthagai and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in Tamil Nadu, S. Rajesh Kumar, in Delhi on Monday.

A source said that the discussion was regarding the ‘rotation’ of some of the Parliamentary seats that are being held by the Congress. Another source said that the DMK was offering only 9 seats whereas the Congress had sought 12.

As BSP MPs desert the party, Lok Sabha election to be a reckoning for Mayawati 

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) saw 10 MPs get elected on its tickets. The run-up to the 2024 General Election, however, appears to be more like a countdown of their diminishing numbers as many of these MPs are looking for and securing different political options.

SC asks Coast Guard to ensure women officers get permanent commission

The Supreme Court on February 26 urged the Indian Coast Guard to ensure that women are granted permanent commission. “Women cannot be left out. If you do not do it, we will do it. So take a look at that,” Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, heading a three-judge Bench, addressed Attorney General R. Venkataramani, appearing for the Centre. The top court was hearing a plea filed by Indian Coast Guard officer Priyanka Tyagi seeking the grant of permanent commission to eligible women short-service commission officers of the force. “You speak of ‘nari shakti’ [woman power]. Now show it here. You are in the deep end of the sea in this matter. You must come up with a policy which treats women fairly,” the court had observed in an earlier hearing.

India voices ‘great concern’ over situation in war-ravaged Gaza

Addressing the 55th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that terrorism and hostage-taking are not acceptable and hoped that the conflict does not spread within or beyond the region. He said that international humanitarian law must always be respected. “It is vital that the conflict does not spread within or beyond the region,” he said, adding that the efforts must also focus on seeking a two-state solution where Palestinian people can live within Israelis.

Paytm Bank rejigs board, inducts ex bankers, retired IAS officers, Sharma steps down as chairman

One 97 Communications Ltd (OCL)., the promoter of Paytm Payments Bank Ltd. (PPBL), on Monday said Vijay Shekhar Sharma had stepped down as the non-executive chairman and board member of the payment bank.

‘Oppenheimer’ keeps devouring awards with top prizes at Producers Guild, with Oscars up next

Director and producer Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer , the tale of the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the birth of the atomic age, won the top prize at the 35th Producers Guild of America Awards — a frequent predictor of Oscar best picture winners — the night after doing the same at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Ind vs Eng fourth Test | ‘I know it’s still early days, but the youngsters have shown that they have the ability to excel,’ says Rohit Sharma

Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma handed debuts to four players — Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel and Akash Deep — and three of them performed remarkably well under pressure. “Such victories don’t come often,” Rohit said after the win. “Playing a five-match series is gruelling. You have to find your way, keep fighting, whatever contest you are in, with the bat or the ball. You have to do that consistently over a period of five to seven weeks. So it’s quite pleasing.”

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