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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Morning Digest | BJP weighs its options in Bihar, MLAs to meet today; Indian warship contains fire onboard missile-hit cargo vessel in Gulf of Aden, and more

Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Vijay Kumar Sinha leaves the party office after a meeting, in Patna on January 27, 2024.
| Photo Credit: PTI

BJP weighs its options in Bihar; MLAs to meet on January 28

With fast paced developments taking place in Bihar politics amid growing buzz that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may resign from his post on Sunday to join hands again with the BJP to form the NDA government in the State, BJP leaders and legislators met twice on Saturday to end on a parting note that they would meet again on Sunday morning to discuss “certain things” with the upcoming ruling partner Janata Dal (United).

India, France agree on surveillance ties

India and France have agreed to intensify their cooperation in the Southwest Indian Ocean, building on the “joint surveillance missions” carried out from French La Reunion in 2020 and 2022 while the two countries welcomed the progress in bilateral dialogue and identification of specific opportunities for using India “as a base” for the manufacture and export of defence equipment for friendly countries in the region, the joint statement issued at the end of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit on the bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

Gyanvapi mosque case raises a challenge to the Places of Worship Act

Calls to hand over the Gyanvapi mosque to the Hindus have come even after appeals by the Anjuman Intazamia Masjid in the Supreme Court to protect the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991 from becoming a dead letter.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav says alliance with Congress ‘off to good start’ in U.P., offers 11 Lok Sabha seats 

Offering 11 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh to the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) president and former U.P. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, on Saturday said that their “alliance” is off to a good start in the State.

RJD exudes confidence, leaders say ‘game is not over yet’ in Bihar

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) legislators on January 27 authorised their chief Lalu Prasad Yadav to take a final call amid the buzz that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD (U) might ditch his Mahagathbandhan partners to form a government with its earlier ally BJP.

Houthi militants attack British oil tanker in Gulf of Aden, Indian Navy contains fire

A British oil tanker, MV Marlin Luanda, was hit by an anti-ship ballistic missile launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militants in the Gulf of Aden on January 26 night, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra event is politics galore

The Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra (VBSY), a nationwide campaign initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 15, 2023, has seen participation of over 18 crore people in 782 districts across India in the two and half months following its inception. The yatra purportedly intends to raise awareness and achieve saturation of government schemes. However, many bureaucrats, uncomfortable with the political nature of the event, have raised concerns regarding the use of a State funded initiative by the BJP to seek votes.

Visitors to Ayodhya will soon experience Ramayana through 3-D technology

After the consecration of the Ram Temple the focus has now shifted to the making of a museum at Ayodhya which will let visitors get a live experience of the epic ‘Ramayana’ through immersive 3D technology.

Forest rights concerns could influence electoral results in nearly a third of constituencies, says study

The electoral outcome in nearly three in ten of India’s Parliamentary constituencies could be influenced by issues surrounding the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, says an analysis by independent researchers.

Ex-Pakistan PM Imran Khan, party erased from election campaign

Pakistani cricketing legend turned world leader Imran Khan is wildly popular in his constituency and ancestral homeland of Mianwali, but the political posters that line the streets do not bear his face and flags do not fly his colours.

China, U.S. say talks in Bangkok ‘candid, substantive’

China and the United States said on January 27 that top diplomat Wang Yi and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan held “candid, substantive” talks in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, with the issue of Taiwan central after recent elections there. The two-day talks also addressed the topics of the Middle East, Ukraine, North Korea, the South China Sea and other international issues, both sides said.

Lok Sabha polls | As TMC decides to go solo, INDIA bloc partners eye minority votes

With Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress deciding to go alone in the Lok Sabha poll in West Bengal, the stage seems to be set for a triangular contest in the State amid a clamour for minority votes. According to analysts, the minority votes will turn crucial as the BJP will try to consolidate its vote base among Hindus banking on a slew of nationalistic issues and the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. They feel that the Congress and the Left may turn out to be a major concern for the TMC as the BJP is trying to consolidate in north and south-west Bengal. In central parts of the State, in districts of Malda and Murshidabad, the India bloc partners may try to win over the minority votes.

Time has treated Bopanna with a tenderness that defies reason and logic

Sporting excellence in the fifth decade of one’s life is not commonplace. It’s a period when age, along with physical frailties, makes the end of the career feel nigh, forces athletes to reflect and be nostalgic about the good old past, and think about passing on the lessons thus learnt to future generations. Time, however, has treated Bopanna with a tenderness that defies reason and logic. He has finished semi-finalist or better in men’s doubles in four of the last seven Slams he has entered. In 2023, he competed at all four Majors, all nine ATP Masters 1000s, a bunch of ATP 500s and 250s, and in Davis Cup for India.

During a launch, we manage the most complex activities with utmost calm, in an organised and disciplined manner: ISRO chief

Think of a typical day involving a rocket launch, and one is sure to imagine a control room where chaos reigns supreme, and the people involved in the launch, moving about frenziedly. Somnath S, chairman, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), debunked this myth, at The Hindu Lit Fest’s session ‘Transformative Leadership in ISRO: My Experience’, as he revealed, “During a launch, everyone in the main centre is at ease; they manage the most complex activities with the utmost calm, in an organised and disciplined manner.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EU Parliament decries ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Nagorno-Karabakh

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

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

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

Musk’s X strips headlines from news links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asian Games | Indian compound archery teams’ domination complete

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Activists call for defeat of BJP to save MGNREGA from neglect

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

New defence indigenisation list has futuristic weapons, systems

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

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

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

Former Russian journalist sentenced in absentia for Ukraine war criticism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jaishankar meets Blinken, Sullivan in Washington

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

Two killed in Rotterdam twin shootings

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

Mob tries to storm Manipur CM’s home

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

Centre extends deadline for Manipur to record details of illegal migrants

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

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

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

Afghanistan embassy announces shutdown citing lack of MEA support

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

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

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

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

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

Auto driver arrested in Ujjain rape case

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

Karnataka bandh call likely to affect normal life in Bengaluru today

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

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

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

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

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

Indian, French Army Chiefs exchange lessons from war in Ukraine

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

Heavy rain likely in West Bengal, Odisha over weekend

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

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Morning Digest | Centre extends AFSPA in parts of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh for another six months; ‘High level of military tension’ with China over last three years, says EAM Jaishankar, and more

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in parts of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh for another six months, beginning October 1. Image for representation purpose only. File

U.S. calls for ‘full and fair investigation’ into Canada’s allegations against India

The United States has said there ought to be a full and fair investigation into Canada’s allegations that the Indian government was involved in the killing of a separatist Sikh leader in British Columbia earlier this year. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said this at a news conference on Tuesday.

CBI team led by Special Director to probe ‘killing’ of two students in Manipur

The Central Bureau of Investigation Special Director, Ajay Bhatnagar, will be leaving for Manipur on Wednesday by a special flight along with a team of officers to probe the suspected death of two Meitei students, said agency sources.

Centre extends AFSPA in parts of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh for another six months

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in parts of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh for another six months, beginning October 1. The Act gives unbridled power to the armed forces and the Central Armed Police Forces deployed in “disturbed areas” to kill anyone acting in contravention of law, arrest and search any premises without a warrant and protection from prosecution and legal suits without the Central government’s sanction.

Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers as he built real estate empire, judge rules

A judge has ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House. Judge Arthur Engoron, ruling Tuesday in a civil lawsuit brought by New York’s attorney general, found that the former president and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.

Told Canada it is not government policy: Jaishankar on Nijjar killing

In the latest round of sparring between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia last June, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said the government had told the Canadian Government that it was not its “policy“ to engage in such acts.

‘High level of military tension’ with China over last three years: EAM Jaishankar

There has been a “high level of military tension” with China over the last three years, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has said, characterizing the overall state of “ very abnormal” relations between New Delhi and Beijing since the border clashes of 2020.

Karnataka told to release 3,000 cusecs of Cauvery water daily to Tamil Nadu till October 15

The Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) at its meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday decided that Karnataka should release 3,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) to Tamil Nadu from September 28 to October 15.

Cheetahs may be flown in from new countries

With six adult cheetahs dying within the first year of their relocation to India, wildlife experts associated with Project Cheetah are considering options of importing the next batch of big cats from countries other than South Africa and Namibia. A final decision is awaited.

Canadian Parliament speaker quits after publicly praising former Nazi soldier

The speaker of Canada’s House of Commons lower chamber on September 26 said he would quit, a few days after he publicly praised a former Nazi soldier in Parliament in an incident that Russia said helped justify its war on Ukraine.

Centre asks States to promote heat tolerant wheat seeds in the rabi season

The Union government on Tuesday held an interaction with the States on the preparedness for the upcoming rabi crop season in the background of a 5% decrease in monsoon in this year. The Centre has asked States to promote heat resilient and high yielding varieties of wheat among farmers.

Promote khadi, Prime Minister tells students

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged students to promote khadi as a fashion statement in colleges and universities, which could emerge as hubs for the ‘Vocal for Local’ movement.

Taliban seek economic support and recognition from India ahead of Kazan meeting under Moscow format

Ahead of the Moscow format discussion at Kazan in Russia, the Taliban have called upon India to help in the economic recovery of Afghanistan. The discussion scheduled to be held on September 29 is significant from the regional point of view as this is the first such meeting after China increased engagement with the Taliban and sent a new Ambassador to Kabul earlier this month.

SC to hear Chandrababu Naidu’s plea for relief on September 27

A Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna is scheduled to hear on September 27 a petition filed by Telugu Desam Party national president and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu against an Andhra Pradesh High Court order refusing to quash FIRs against him in the multi-crore skill development scam case.

Bhavani Devi loses in Asian Games quarterfinals, questions referee’s calls in loss to Chinese fencer

Bhavani Devi registered an impressive series of five wins in the morning to enter the knockout stages of the women’s sabre individual fencing event before bowing out to local favourite Yaqi Shao 15-7 in the quarterfinals. The Chinese, who has also been a training partner for Bhavani, won 15-7, racing to a 7-2 lead in the first period even before Bhavani could find her footing. She questioned some of the early decisions from the referee, even challenging them early on.

Canadian PM prone to ‘outrageous’ allegations, says Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Sabry

Weighing in on the recent diplomatic row between India and Canada regarding the killing of Canadian Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry accused Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of making “outrageous allegations”, and remarked that some “terrorists have found a safe haven in Canada”.

U.S. sues Amazon for breaking antitrust law, harming consumers

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a long-awaited antitrust lawsuit against on September 26, charging the online retailer with harming consumers with higher prices in the latest U.S. government legal action aimed at breaking Big Tech’s dominance of the internet.

‘Cannot bend rules of state to state interactions’: Canada’s U.N. Ambassador Rae

More than a week after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that agents of the Indian government were involved in the June assassination of Khalistan separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia, the country’s Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) reiterated Ottawa’s concerns about foreign interference and rules of state to state interaction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Tamil Nadu, yet another sand storm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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morning digest march 14 2023

A file photo of Afghan students protesting in Bengaluru against the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Chaos over Rahul Gandhi’s comments in London as Parliament resumes after break

Children of lesbian, gay parents do not necessarily become lesbians, gays: SC informs government

Growing up with lesbian or gay parents will not necessarily make a child lesbian or gay, a puzzled Supreme Court on March 13, 2023 confronted the government’s concern about the “psychological” impact same-sex marriages may have on children.

Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud referred petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages to a Constitution Bench, but took the time on Monday to soothe the government’s anxiety about how such a move would affect Indian “social ethos”.

Chaos over Rahul Gandhi’s comments in London as Parliament resumes after break

As the second leg of the Budget Session commenced on Monday, March 13, after a month-long recess, none of the two Houses could transact significant business before being adjourned for the day amid ruckus by both members in the Treasury and Opposition Benches over Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s recent remarks on India’s democracy in London. 

Despite lack of recognition, Taliban claims Indian Mission invited officials for online training programmes

Reports of an alleged decision by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to hold courses for Afghans, including Taliban officials, in Kabul have set off strong reactions among Afghan students who have been denied visas by New Delhi for nearly two years. They termed the decision “contrary to India’s policy” and “disappointing”.

EPF Board meet pushed to March 27-28

The government on Monday announced the deferral of a meeting of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) board, where it is expected to finalise the EPF rate to be paid on crores of formal sector workers’ retirement savings in its custody for 2022-23.

Get additional funds to implement SC order on higher provident fund pension: Panel to Centre

The Labour Standing Committee of Parliament, headed by senior Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartruhari Mahtab, has pulled up the Union Labour Ministry for underutilisation of the allocations meant for the Ministry’s schemes. The panel asked the Ministry to assess and work out the likely financial implication for implementing the Supreme Court judgment on higher provident fund pension and approach the Ministry of Finance for additional funds to enable timely payment of amounts that may become due.

EC tells Allahabad HC it does not have power to ban caste rallies by parties in non-election period

The Election Commission of India (EC) does not have the jurisdiction to restrict caste-based political rallies held by political parties during non-election period, and nor does it have the power to ban such parties from contesting subsequent elections, the election watchdog has submitted before a Bench of the Allahabad High Court, responding to a writ petition that sought a ban on all such political rallies.

Supreme Court asks CBI not to continue probe into charges that BJP conspired to poach BRS legislators

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to hold its investigation into allegations that the BJP conspired to poach Telangana’s Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) legislators.

“The investigation is not to be continued while the matter is sub judice or it will become infructuous. That is the thumb rule,” a Bench led by Justice Sanjiv Khanna orally said.

India remains biggest arms importer between 2018-22 despite drop in overall imports

India remained the world’s largest arms importer for the five-year period between 2018-22 even though its arms imports dropped by 11% between 2013–17 and 2018–22, according to the Swedish Think Tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Russia was the largest supplier of arms to India in both 2013–17 and 2018–22, but its share of total Indian arms imports fell from 64% to 45% while France emerged as the second largest supplier between 2018-22.

Activists, MPs flag RTI amendment in data protection bill

Activists and Opposition Members of Parliament on March 13 expressed concern that a proposed amendment to the Right to Information Act, 2005, could close off avenues to citizens to uncover corruption. Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act allows public authorities to refuse access to information if it intrudes on the privacy of an individual, but permits disclosure of information if there is an overriding public interest. 

Russia an ‘acute’ threat, China an ‘epoch defining’ challenge: U.K. Government

The U.K. government called Russia the “most acute threat” to Britain’s security and termed China an “epoch-defining” challenge, as it released a ‘refresh’ of its foreign and security policy, the Integrated Review 2023 (IR2023), two years after the first version (IR2021) was released.

149 air travellers put on ‘no-fly list’ in the past three years, says govt.

As many as 149 air travellers have been banned by airlines and put on the “no-fly list” in the past three years for unruly conduct, the government told Parliament on Monday.

Of these, smoking inside aircraft lavatory, drunken behaviour and a brawl with cabin crew and fellow passengers are most common.

ATK Mohun Bagan oust Hyderabad FC, set up ISL final with Bengaluru FC

ATK Mohun Bagan edged out defending champions Hyderabad FC 4-3 in a nail-biting penalty shootout in the Indian Super League semifinal in Kolkata on Monday.

Locked 0-0 in the first leg, the reverse fixture also saw a goalless stalemate till 120 minutes of play, including regulation and extra time.

Imran Khan leads thousands at election rally in Lahore as Islamabad police arrive to arrest him

Pakistan’s ousted premier Imran Khan on March 13, 2023 led a march of thousands of his supporters as Islamabad police arrived here to arrest him after two non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against him, a day after he called off his party’s election rally following a ban on public gatherings in Punjab’s provincial capital.

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Morning Digest, March 12, 2023

States demand that lightning be declared a natural disaster

A few States have demanded that “lightning” be declared as a “natural disaster” because deaths caused by it surpass any other disaster in the country, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) member secretary Kamal Kishore said on March 11. Mr. Kishore said that it was a policy issue and deliberations were required.

Vote-from-home facility for citizens above 80, persons with disabilities

In the coming Assembly elections in Karnataka, for the first time, people aged above 80 and persons with disabilities (PwDs) can vote from the comfort of their homes if they are unable to go out to exercise their franchise.

The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday announced that it has introduced a vote-from-home (VFH) facility for the 12.15 lakh people aged above 80 (including 16,976 centenarians) and 5.55 lakh benchmarked PwDs in the Assembly elections in Karnataka. The State has a total of 5.21 crore voters, including 2.59 women voters.

COVID-19 numbers ticking up, Centre seeks more vigilance

Amid a rise in cases of the seasonal influenza subtype H3N2, the Centre on March 11 expressed concern over a gradual increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate in some States and said it needed to be promptly addressed. The country logged 456 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

The Centre requested all States and Union Territories to follow operational guidelines for integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens presenting as cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) or severe acute respiratory infection (SARI).

Land-for-job case | Enforcement Directorate says trail of ₹600 crore detected

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said that the searches in connection with the land-for-job money laundering case resulted in the detection of “proceeds of crime” currently amounting to ₹600 crore and seized unaccounted cash of ₹1 crore.

Net direct tax collection rises 16.8%, reaches closer to Budget target for 2022-23

India’s net direct tax kitty had risen 16.8% to touch ₹13.73 lakh crore by Friday, reflecting a slight dip in growth over the past month but reaching within striking distance of the Budget target for this year, with three weeks still to go.

Ranks of over 37% SC, ST students asked, reveals survey in IIT-Bombay

“Even EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) people feel that they come here through genuine reservation as compared to us. EWS openly tells our case is genuine unlike you,” a Dalit student of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) said in an Open House on caste discrimination held months before 18-year-old Darshan Solanki, another Dalit student, died by suicide inside the campus, a few months into his Chemical Engineering course. 

Sickle cell screening meets only 1% of target, hurting ambitious elimination goal

With barely two weeks left in the fiscal year, the Health Ministry has completed a miniscule 1% of its ambitious target to scan one crore people for sickle cell disease in 2022-23. The Ministry is starkly behind schedule, having screened just a little over one lakh people this year, according to official data accessed by  The Hindu from the National Health Mission’s portal for sickle cell disease.

Tejashwi Yadav fails to appear before the CBI in land-for-job case

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on March 11 did not appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for questioning in connection with the land-for-job scam case, an agency official said.

“In response to the summons, Mr. Yadav expressed his inability to join the probe citing his wife’s health. Another summons will be issued soon. On March 4 also, he had not come,” the official said.

ED questions BRS legislator K. Kavitha in Delhi Excise policy case for nine hours

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 11 questioned Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) MLC K. Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, for about nine hours in connection with the Delhi Excise policy case.

She has been summoned again on March 16 for recording her statement.

Assam Congress initiates grand alliance move against BJP for 2024 Lok Sabha polls 

The Assam unit of Congress has initiated a plan for a grand alliance of smaller parties to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. 

The move is an attempt to revive the 10-part Mahajot or grand alliance that failed to stop the BJP juggernaut in the 2021 Assembly polls but with a conspicuous omission. The Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) is not in the scheme of things this time.

Health Ministry backs 2017 guidelines that exclude transgender persons, MSM, female sex workers from donating blood

The Union Health Ministry has in the Supreme Court supported its 2017 guidelines, which excludes transgender persons, men having sex with men (MSM) and female sex workers from donating blood, saying they are “at risk” category population groups and sometimes, the public health perspective must trump individual rights.

Russia doesn’t have monopoly on Soviet ties, Ukraine friend of India too: Ukraine MP Yurash

Russia cannot claim a “monopoly” on the relationships of the Soviet Union, said a Ukrainian Member of Parliament (MP), who hoped India’s position on the war of Ukraine will “evolve” to one that is more supportive of Kyiv. The youngest MP in the Ukrainian parliament, 27-year-old Sviatoslav Yurash, has fought in the Ukraine war himself, and has been nicknamed the “MP with an AK-47”, had earlier visited India in 2015 as a student on an exchange programme at Calcutta (Kolkata) University.

Aircraft communications firms, AAI argue against auction for spectrum

The aircraft communications industry argued on March 10 that requiring auctions for the wireless spectrum used for communicating between planes and airports would be burdensome, and that this is not how such spectrum is licensed around the world. The telecom industry, on the other hand, pushed for a very high frequency (VHF) spectrum to be allotted only on the basis of auctions.

After Kapp cuts the Giants down to size, Shafali takes over with stunning assault

Lightning struck twice for Gujarat Giants on Saturday night .First there was a brilliant spell of seam bowling from Marizanne Kapp that broke its batting. And then Shafali Verma launched a stunning assault with the bat that left the Giants fielders, and the excellent crowd at the D.Y. Patil Stadium, dazed.

Shafali’s blitzkrieg (76 not out, 28b, 10×4, 5×6) meant Delhi Capitals went past Giants’ total of 105 with 10 wickets and 12.5 overs to spare.

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