AAP No More A Single-State Party, Voters Support BJP’s Agenda In UP; India Facing ‘Gated Stagflation’: Kaushik Basu
Delta-Omicron variety found, Russia offers India-China talks platform, Nagas seek one solution, one agreement, problem of cheating Hindi authors of royalties resurfaces, MCC bans spit and polish
A newsletter from The Wire & Galileo Ideas | Contributors: MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia, Sushant Singh and Tanweer Alam | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
March 10, 2022
The Assembly polls are more or less done and dusted. The Election Commission website has the most authoritative details, sans speculation and gloating. The BJP has retained Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. See The Long Cable below for takeaways. Among other things, Punjab may join Ukraine in having a government headed by a comedian. And in UP, after allegations of stealing votes in Varanasi, the district magistrate of Azamgarh found irregularities in the poll process and ordered action.
The BJP can take credit for a series of victories in the states, but should the Modi government take credit for the Pesochin evacuation, which was actually done by education firms on the ground? Buses were arranged by educational consultants in Ukraine, not by the government, say the firms and students. The government is still trying to blame Indian students in Ukraine for the crisis they are in. Union minister Piyush Goyal yesterday accused them of not paying heed to government advisories issued before the Russian invasion, and that more students should have left before the war broke out.
A recent study by France’s Pasteur Institute reveals the first evidence of a Delta and Omicron recombinant virus. WHO has said that this was expected, with both variants of Covid circulating widely. As the Covid situation eases in India, hospital admissions under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana have nearly doubled in the last six months to 1.5 million per month from pre-Covid levels of around 800,000 a month. RS Sharma, CEO of the National Health Authority, says this is “the pent-up demand” for non-Covid treatment or elective procedures.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval told the Colombo Security Conclave, a maritime security grouping of India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives formed in 2011, that it should institutionalise its cooperation and form new joint working groups to tackle drug trafficking, cybersecurity issues and organised crime across borders.
Coining a new and apt phrase, India is facing ‘gated stagflation’, says Kaushik Basu ― the well-off are doing fine and the pain is confined to the middle and lower-middle classes.
A task force of senior government officials is finalising recommendations on how to check the steady rise in retail prices of petroleum products in India, fuelled by rising crude prices amidst the Ukraine crisis. The team has been told to find a solution for payment channels affected by sanctions on Russia, reports Mint.
Any speech made against government policy or actions “cannot be seditious” and views in favour of fundamental rights have to be taken, said Justice L Nageswara Rao in the Supreme Court in the course of the inaugural Soli J Sorabjee Memorial Lecture. He also expressed concern over the executive interfering with social media, shutting down the internet on pleas of public interest and law and order.
In the Caravan, Sunil Kashyap tracks the several “senas” mobilising in Uttar Pradesh.
Indian traders have signed contracts to export about half a million tonnes of wheat, making hay from a sharp rise in international prices as the Ukraine-Russia crisis breaks supply chains, reports Reuters. India has had five successive record harvests, while buyers are seeking alternatives to European sources.
The Economic Times reports that controversial former BharatPe managing director Ashneer Grover has paid Rs 7.1 crore advance tax for the assessment year 2022-23, and his wife Madhuri Jain has paid Rs 1.1 crore advance tax. Grover is currently under the lens of tax authorities for tax evasion due to alleged misappropriation of funds at BharatPe.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodian of the laws of the game, is banning the use of saliva to shine the ball, among nine rule changes that will come into effect from October 1. Significantly, the ‘Mankading’ rule is being moved from the law governing unfair play to the one governing run-outs. Mankading — named for former India captain Vinoo Mankad — refers to a player being run out by the bowler while backing up. Though not against the laws of cricket, the practice is frowned upon by some as contrary to the ‘spirit of the game’.
How did TrueCaller build a billion-dollar caller ID data empire in India? A weeks-long investigation shows the Swedish company has used the absence of a legal framework for data protection in India to advance its business.
Noted Marxist scholar, literary theorist and political observer Aijaz Ahmad has passed away following an illness. He was 81.
Russia offers platform for India-China dialogue
China yesterday said that it “hopes this round of meetings, on the basis of previous meetings