122 Accounts Of Journalists, Writers and Politicians Blocked This Week; Portrait of the Artist, Vivan Sundaram
Lama’s reincarnation discomfits Beijing, WHO warns against Indian cancer drug, Slums in Vizag get G20 green screen, UPI data sharing not bug but feature, NBSA data yields Hate TV scoresheet
A newsletter from The Wire | Contributors: MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and Sushant Singh | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
March 29, 2023
India-China relations will be rockier with the Dalai Lama identifying the US-born reincarnation of the 10th Khalkha, the third most important Lama, in Mongolia. It’s taken Beijing by surprise, though the Tibetan religious order has always held that religious matters are its own province. While India has no role in this decision, Beijing believes that by giving shelter to the Dalai Lama, New Delhi is interfering in Beijing’s internal matters.
In Pune, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande spoke candidly of China’s efforts to expand its sphere of influence through predatory economics, weaponising resource supply chains, financing large infrastructure projects with little consideration for environmental and safety standards, and burdening countries with unsustainable debt. Gen Pande also raised concerns regarding IPR theft, stealing trade secrets and technology from foreign companies and unfair trade practices.
The Lok Sabha has finally restored the membership of PP Mohammed Faizal, MP for Lakshadweep. The Supreme Court was to hear his plea against the Secretariat’s refusal to reinstate him for weeks despite a stay on his conviction.
Scroll looks at why Sikhs abroad are more pro-Khalistan than those in India. “In the case of the Sikh diaspora, there is a gap between their memories and events that actually transpired.”
Karnataka Police on Tuesday lathi-charged Bajrang Dal and other Hindutva activists whose protest against the recital of the Quran at the historic Chennakeshava temple in Belur in Hassan district turned violent. Hindu organisations had given a bandh call in this regard in Beluru town. The recitation of passages from the Quran is part of the age-old rituals attached to the historical Chennakeshava Rathotsav or chariot festival.
An association of lawyers in Mumbai has approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Bombay High Court’s dismissal of its petition seeking action against Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Law Minister Kiren Rijiju for their remarks on the judiciary and the collegium system for appointment of judges. The Bombay Lawyers Association petition has said that the two have “disqualified themselves” from holding constitutional posts by showing a “lack of faith” in the Constitution.
The controversy about the Gujarati posing as a PMO officer in Kashmir, who is now in jail, refuses to die down. Conman Kiran Patel’s wife Malini Patel was taken into custody by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch yesterday morning in connection with a Rs 15 crore fraud complaint. The charge was filed against the couple by Jagdish Chavda, brother of former BJP minister Jawahar Chavda, on March 22.
As Visakhapatnam spruces itself up to host the G20 summit meetings on March 28 and 29, the Greater Visakha Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has tried to cover up slum areas with green nets. The slum clusters lie on the way to the airport in ASR Nagar, Thatichetlapalem of Vizag. Former bureaucrat and activist EAS Sarma shared pictures of the cover-up with the media.
Omkar Khandekar “analysed last 5 years of complaints filed against TV news channels to India's TV news regulator.” The headline: India’s leading channels are also among “the top violators of the codes for ethical journalism”, including Zee, Aajtak, News18, and are recidivists when it comes to fuelling hatred against Muslims and Christians
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After the Madras High Court dismissed the interim applications filed by former AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and a few of his colleagues against the resolutions of the July 11, 2022 general council meeting and the consequent general secretary election, Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami was declared elected as the party’s general secretary.
In an unusual move, the Election Commission has said it will enable people aged above 80 and people with disabilities to Vote from Home (VFH) in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections. According to Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, this will help around 12.15 lakh elderly voters and 5.55 lakh persons with disabilities, who may find it difficult to reach polling stations. Earlier, the EC would make heroes of the elderly and disabled who turned up to vote nevertheless. Now, polling officials will visit their homes to collect a postal ballot.
The Supreme Court yesterday stayed demolition of shelters for Delhi’s homeless without its permission. The court further directed the Board to not demolish three temporary shelters run by an organisation led by activist Harsh Mander. These are special shelters for people with tuberculosis, orthopaedic conditions and mental disabilities.
The Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF) staged a protest in Chennai on Monday, demanding that the state government introduce a sanitation engineering course in Anna University. One of the best institutions for engineering education in Tamil Nadu, it is run by the state government. TNUEF said that a sanitation engineering course would promote the development of machinery that can contribute to ending the banned practice of manual scavenging.
On Monday, the Ministry of Education told Parliament that 66 students have died by suicide between 2018 and 2023 at India’s elite institutions, half of them at IITs. About half belonged to scheduled caste (SC), schedule tribe (ST), economically weaker section (EWS) and other backward communities (OBC).
The Environment Ministry recently launched the Aravalli Green Wall Project to ‘green’ a 5 km buffer region around the Aravalli range in Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Delhi through afforestation and by restoring water bodies. Activists and experts speak about rampant illegal mining that is destroying the range.
The Nair Service Society (NSS) colleges central committee, which runs several educational institutions, has recently issued a controversial circular which says that its teachers declare dates on which they have taken extra classes to compensate for teaching hours lost when they take leave. This is applicable even for maternity leave.
The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by the Customs Department against Adani Power Maharashtra Limited (APML), Adani Power Rajasthan Limited (APRL) and others in a case pertaining to alleged over-valuation of imported capital goods. The top court upheld the findings of the adjudicating authority and the appellate tribunal and confirmed that there was no overvaluation. The Adani firms had imported goods required to set up thermal power projects in Maharashtra and Rajasthan. In May 2014, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) issued show cause notices to them.
The government’s Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is framing standards for yoga equipment and some traditional herbal medicines on the request of the Ayush Ministry. BIS Director General Pramod Kumar Tiwari said the Bureau has already framed standards on yoga terminology, yoga mats and yoga centres.
In Chennai, the conservation of new eggs and hatchlings of the endangered Olive Ridley turtle begins with a walk down the beach.