As G20 Presidency Nears, India Performs Second-Worst On GDP; Right Medicine For Bengaluru Floods Is Democracy From The Ground Up
Parliament report says govt blundered on Covid, scheduled drugs list expanded, 80% jail inmates undertrials, BJP mobs hammer Kolkata Police, Lucknow TV journalist quits, spills the beans about bias
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
September 14, 2022
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights is disturbed that “images and videos have been circulating on social media wherein “children are being targeted and are made to participate in their [Congress’] campaign with a political agenda under the slogan ‘Bharat Jodo, Bacche Jodo’”. During the Dharam Sansands which had promoted hate speech against Muslims, though, the NCPCR was not similarly agitated about children doing sword drills and bearing other arms. The Congress has accused the NCPCR of being an RSS affiliate.
Twitter whistleblower Peiter ‘Mudge’ Zatko told the US Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that an ‘Indian agent’ had been placed to gauge the company’s plans. A backgrounder explains why it matters.
Four months into a probe of the Rafale deal led by judges in France, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have denied investigators access to classified documents about the negotiations.
BB Lal was somewhat true to his discipline when he stated that the antiquity of Ayodhya did not go beyond the 7th century BC. But as the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation gained public support the Shilanyas and Advani’s Rath Yatra were successful, the archeologist formally became part of the Sangh Parivar bandwagon and abandoned the remnants of objectivity, writes Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay.
India’s GDP in the June quarter contracted 1.4% quarter-on-quarter, when adjusted for seasonality, and was the second worst performance among the G20 countries — the first being China — according to OECD. “The main reasons were decreases in government spending and net trade,” OECD said. India’s GDP also contracted 1.4% in the March quarter but it remained the fastest growing G20 economy in the June quarter, when growth was calculated on a year-on-year basis.
India will hold over 200 G20-related meetings across the country during its presidency of the grouping from December 1 to November 30, 2023. The G20 Leaders’ Summit will be held in New Delhi on September 9-10 in 2023, and Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the UAE will be “guest countries”, said the Ministry of External Affairs. A major challenge of the session in India is the crisis in Ukraine, which has vitiated relations between Russia and the industrialised Western nations. Most are members of the G20, which represents 85% of global GDP and 75% of international trade. G20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, UK, US and the European Union (EU).
Days after refusing to comment on a possible meeting between PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Uzbekistan next week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry yesterday again reiterated its stand. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit will be held in Uzbekistan on September 15-16, and Modi, Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and others will attend.
The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) has been expanded by 34 new drugs. Now, 384 drugs for 27 therapeutic categories are on the list. At the same time, the popular antacid Ranitidine has been taken off the list because of cancer concerns. The other 25 drugs including Sucralfate, Atenolol and Methyldopa have also been removed because cost-effective and better options are now available. NLEM, also known as ‘scheduled drugs’, was last revised in 2015.
The Union government could not and did not accurately anticipate the gravity of the possible resurgence of the Covid pandemic and its subsequent waves, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health & Family Welfare has said in its report ‘Vaccine Development, Distribution Management and Mitigation of Pandemic Covid-19’. It added that it is disturbed at the unfortunate denial of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding Covid deaths due to oxygen shortage in the country.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India yesterday claimed in the Supreme Court that the cooling-off period would deprive the sport of worthy administrators, which the country cannot afford. Appearing for the BCCI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the organisation’s constitution prescribes a cooling-off period which comes into effect if a person is an office bearer of state cricket association for one term and with BCCI for one term. The bench asked Mehta if he was saying the cooling off period would be only for two terms in BCCI and if tenure in state cricket associations would not be considered. Today, the court will again take up BCCI’s plea to amend its constitution concerning the tenure of office bearers including its president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah by doing away with the cooling off period. Indian cricket isn’t what it was. “Modern cricket reflects modern India: Nepotism and toxic nationalism”, writes Sushant Singh.
Karnataka has a corruption helpline now. The Congress has announced that it is setting it up, along with a website where victims can send information about graft in government. “If you are a victim of corruption, dial 8447704040, or send us a message on www.40percentsarkara.com.”
A mob carrying BJP flags violently attacked Kolkata policemen yesterday and set vehicles on fire. Several government-friendly channels neglected to mention that the BJP flag flew high over the mayhem.
The Telangana state Assembly yesterday unanimously passed a resolution urging the Union to name the new Parliament building in New Delhi after Dr BR Ambedkar.
Former health minister of Kerala KK Shailaja, who refused the Magsaysay Award, spoke about “scientific, pro-people policies” responsible for Kerala’s success.
A day after the CPI(M) and the Congress exchanged salvos because the Bharat Jodo Yatra is spending much more time in Kerala than in UP, CPI(M) State Secretary MV Govindan told reporters that the party stand was not against the yatra or any democratic process associated with it. “However, if the party, its Left Democratic Front or the Left Front as a whole is unfairly criticised or any inappropriate remarks are made against it, then we will respond accordingly,” he said.
French New Wave cinema’s dada Jean-Luc Godard died yesterday. Earlier this month, in an eerie coincidence, an award-winning Odia film Adieu Godard had been the talk of the town. It won praise from Anurag Kashyap. It is an alluring tale of an illiterate porn addict who turns into a Godard fanboy, after accidentally watching the French director’s film. The film was the first Odia work to be released nationwide. “It is a socio-cultural comic tribute to Jean-Luc Godard,” director Amartya Bhattacharyya had said. He was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Kerala International Film Festival in 2021. Here is his interview on that occasion.
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