Big Brother Will Soon Be Watching You Like Never Before; Doval Assured Russia of India’s Support at Multilateral Forums, Say Leaked US Papers
Amid fear of local job quota, former top govt officials in con-man's network, investments in Haryana decline, anti-hijab man is BJP’s Udupi candidate, 'subaltern' historian Ranajit Guha passes away
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Snapshot of the day
May Day, 2023
Investments in Haryana are declining amid worries over a law reserving jobs for locals. Total investment outlays announced in the state fell 30% during 2022–23 to ₹39,000-odd crore from nearly ₹56,000 crore in 2021–22, pushing it from the ninth-best state in terms of new investment projects to the 13th rank, reports the Hindu. Manufacturing investments declined 60% to just about ₹9,500 crore. The law enacted in early 2022 reserved 75% of private sector jobs with monthly salaries up to ₹30,000 for locals. The law is in abeyance after being challenged judicially, but the suspense over its implementation remains a worry for investors.
A company allegedly run by Sanjay Rai ‘Sherpuria’, whom the UP police arrested last Tuesday and whom they called a con man in their FIR, has retired IAS, IPS and armed forces’ officers on its advisory board, reports the Indian Express. One retired IAS officer on the advisory board is linked to Kiran Patel, the con man who was arrested in March in Srinagar. Another advisory board member, who was an IPS officer, was embroiled in the 2018 CBI vs CBI battle. This IPS officer’s son runs another company – with a director of the company mentioned above – which once had the same address as Sanjay Rai’s.
The dramatic aerial rescue by the IAF of 121 Indians stranded in war-torn Sudan, which was executed in pitch darkness on a remote airstrip late Thursday night and early Friday morning, is undoubtedly the stuff of military legend, reports Rahul Bedi.
Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar summoned CPM member John Brittas and sought an explanation for – of all things – a newspaper article he had written chiding Union home minister Amit Shah for “belittling” Kerala, leaving the Leftist politician “shocked and baffled”.
Zakir Hussain, a driver at the office of the British High Commissioner in New Delhi, is struggling to find his son who was arrested in the UAE four years ago. Hussain first learnt that his son Salim had been abducted from his residence in Abu Dhabi. Now all he knows is that Salim is in a UAE prison. What are the accusations? He doesn't know.
A morphed image of a female figure above blast smoke tweeted by the Ukrainian defence ministry on Sunday triggered outrage, with many netizens accusing it of mimicking the Hindu deity Kali and labelling it disrespectful and “Hinduphobic”. The account @DefenceU tweeted a photo of a female in an upskirt pose reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe with the caption “Work of art”. However, it wasn't received well by several Indian users, and the backlash forced its removal.
The Karnataka city of Udupi hit the headlines last year when a government pre-university college for girls turned down the demand of six Muslim girls to allow them to wear hijab or headscarf in classrooms. The vice-president of the college development committee, Yashpal Suvarna, who stood firmly with the president of the committee and BJP MLA, K Raghupathi Bhat, in making the “dress code” mandatory in the college, is the BJP’s candidate in the Udupi assembly constituency.
It is nearly impossible to restore a blocked Twitter handle in India. A few users tried to revive accounts withheld on a legal demand from the government, but they hit a wall, reports Scroll.
Twitter has reportedly taken down certain tweets of activists and journalist, Saurav Das, following a court order from the Punjab and Haryana High Court in February, across the world. The Hindu has obtained a copy of the notice sent to Das after he lodged a complaint against Twitter under the newly enacted IT Rules, 2021.
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The amended IT rules also apply to social media intermediaries like Twitter and Facebook, who will have to take down content flagged by the government’s fact-checking unit. Speaking to the BBC, the “political satirist” Kunal Kamra argues that “the government possesses by far the largest megaphone” with “every available infrastructure”. He said that his “ability to engage in political satire would be unreasonably and excessively curtailed” as it would be under an “arbitrary, subjective” fact-check unit hand-picked by the government which would “entirely defeat the purpose of political satire”.
In 2005, a 25-year-old student in Pune began chatting with a Pakistani girl he met on the internet and fell in love. Two years later, the love affair that began with internet chats, hundreds of phone calls, two visits to Pakistan and a promise to convert to Islam, ended with the student being arrested for espionage case and sentenced to seven years in jail. Read the gripping story of how a love affair landed a Pune student in an ISI spy plot.
Historian Ranajit Guha, who would have turned 100 this month, has passed away. His influence on postcolonial and subaltern studies is indelible and his work has given birth not just to whole disciplines but also noted experts in these disciplines. He helped us understand the precolonial indigenous roots of Indian democracy, writes Milinda Banerjee. Guha taught us to ask questions to which often there are no adequate and comfortable answers, writes Rudrangshu Mukherjee.
National security adviser Ajit Doval assured his Russian counterpart Nikolay Patrushev of India’s support for Russia in multilateral venues during a meeting in Moscow on February 22 this year, leaked classified US intelligence assessments show, according to a Washington Post report. Doval, according to the leaked documents, also told Patrushev that New Delhi was working to ensure the Ukraine war did not come up during a G20 meeting chaired by India, despite “considerable pressure” to do so. He also cited India’s resistance to pressure to support the western-backed UN resolution over Ukraine, saying India “would not deviate from the principled position it had taken in the past”.
A major independent review, commissioned by the British government, says Sikh extremism and Hindu nationalism are on the rise in the UK and pose significant challenges to the country’s social cohesion.
Harvard University’s Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan has been elected as a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mahadevan, who is a professor of Applied Mathematics, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Physics, has been recognised for his outstanding contributions to the field of biological physics.
While noting that casteism is rampant in Bihar, the Supreme Court on Friday, April 28, refused to hear a petition that sought an interim stay on the ongoing caste census in the state. Instead, it asked the petitioner to approach Patna high court with his plea and directed the high court to dispose of it “preferably” in three days.
“There is so much casteism there. In every field. Bureaucracy, politics, service,” Justice MR Shah, one of the two judges on the division bench, remarked, according to Bar and Bench.
Migrant workers – mostly adivasis – working in the boiler rooms of Gujarat’s textile factories “are compelled to work long, brutal hours and live in squalid conditions.”
In Maharashtra, the number of microloans increased from 82.89 lakh on March 31, 2021, to 91.66 lakh on March 31, 2022. However, changes in weather patterns and easy access to microloans are causing a new catastrophe in Vidarbha, the centre of India’s agricultural problem, forcing thousands of farmers to commit suicide over the past 20 years. This crisis is forcing women farmers into an endless cycle of debt and misery.
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