Birth Certificates May Be Mandatory For Jobs, Driving Licences, Voting; In EC Appointment, Paperwork Can’t Hide Surgical Strike On Due Process
Targeted violence against Christians peaked in 2022, farmers threaten another stir, Hindutva tinkering with Assam history, Parle & Britannia take the biscuit, in court mediation
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
November 28, 2022
Rs 18 crore, 3 lakh, 89 thousand and 252: That’s how much public money has gone into the ‘Thank you, Modiji’ ads in Gujarat and other BJP-ruled states.
Asserting that search and seizure of digital devices during probes “further legitimate state interest” and do not violate privacy rights, the Union government has told the Supreme Court that common guidelines for investigating agencies will require consultation involving all states. The Centre also said a blanket order on the return of seized devices would be improper because “the exigencies of the investigation” and “sensitivity of data” vary from case to case.
While no action has been taken against Maiden Pharmaceuticals in India, the Ministry of Health in Gambia has issued a fresh notification warning people not to use Maiden syrups. It has repeated that 82 children had acute kidney damage and 70 died. Nearly three years have passed since 12 children died due to a spurious cough syrup in Udhampur district in J&K, but the Special Investigation Team is yet to file a chargesheet, because they can’t find all 12 death certificates. The five accused are on bail.
The Centre has brought the Competition Commission of India (CCI) within the ambit of agencies that must share information with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA Act). At risk is confidential information shared by corporates with the CCI for its merger control and antitrust functions. Personal information obtained by CCI during “dawn raids” such as call data records, email dumps and tax returns would become easily accessible to ED, inspiring roving and fishing inquiries.
The controversial final electoral roll of Jammu and Kashmir has been released and it transpires that 7.72 lakh voters have been added. The final electoral roll has 83,59,771 voters ― 42,91,687 males, 40,67,900 females and 184 third gender. In a significant intervention, former chief minister Omar Abdullah has upped the ante on what J&K elections really mean.
What does new army chief Asim Munir herald for Pakistan and India? Najam Sethi has some answers. For The Hindu, Stanly Johny profiles the “spymaster turned chief”. Mohammed Taqi from Pakistan foresees no major change of course.
India’s RAW chief Samant Goel was in Sri Lanka last week for talks with President Wickremesinghe and former finance minister and ruling SLPP strategist Basil Rajapaksa, according to the Sri Lanka Sunday Times’ political editor: “In a tough message, Ranil warns he will not allow moves to destabilise Govt.; new laws being drafted to strengthen the National Security Council and create the post of National Security Advisor.”
US and Indian troops are conducting exercises in Uttarakhand, near the LAC. Press coverage has been niggardly, perhaps for fear of provoking the panda in the room. China this week convened the first China-Indian Ocean Region Forum. India was conspicuous by its absence, though all of its neighbours were invited. The forum, held in Kunming on November 21, brought together 19 countries including Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Oman, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Djibouti, and Australia. Later, Maldives said it did not go and the Australian High Commission in India stated that its officials were not there, though former premier Kevin Rudd was.
“Clashes on the India-China, India-Pakistan border”, have been cited as key strategic challenges by Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy.
More ambiguity in India’s foreign policy, after it stopped talking about democracy with the Myanmar junta: India has permitted the India-Kosovo Commercial Economic Office to open its office here, though it does not recognise Kosovo, which has an independent government like Taiwan. The Ministry of External Affairs said, “Our position on Kosovo is well known, and there is no change in it.’’
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, who is under fire for suppressing a series of democratic protests, is to be India’s Republic Day guest in 2023.
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Targeted violence against Christians in India peaked in 2022. The United Christian Forum on Saturday revealed that until November 21, 511 were recorded. Last year, there were 505 acts in 12 months. UCF used data from its toll-free helpline, launched in January 2015.
After decades, an immolation against the imposition of Hindi is news: Thangavel, an 84-year-old DMK supporter of Salem district, set himself on fire after protesting with a placard.
The Hindu reports that the Home Ministry proposes to table an amendment to the Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969 in the Winter Session of Parliament, making birth certificates mandatory for jobs, driving licences, passports and voting. The Centre could use the data to update the National Population Register (NPR), a step towards the National Register of Citizens, which already covers 119 crore residents. The NRC in Assam had to be revised three times and still left out about 1.9 million people. Many Indians do not have a birth certificate.
The Indian Council of Medical Research has issued guidelines warning against the use of antibiotics for low-grade fever and viral bronchitis. The last guidelines were issued in 2019.
Central trade unions will boycott the pre-Budget meeting with the Finance Minister because they have been given three minutes each in virtual mode. They termed this a “joke”.
At a yoga training programme involving women in Thane, with the singer Amruta Fadnavis (the Maharashtra deputy CM’s wife) on stage, Ramdev said: “Women look good even if they don’t wear anything”. It brought to mind the exquisite white chikan salwar he decamped in to escape the Delhi Police from the Ram Lila ground in 2011, during the India Against Corruption agitation. There’s no word from the National Commission for Women. Who makes provocative statements matters.
The Association for Democratic Reforms has collated data on 1,571 political donations worth Rs 174.06 crore in the run-up to the Gujarat polls. The maximum corporate donations worth Rs 163.544 crore were declared by the BJP from 1,519 donors. BJP received the highest donations in the FY 2018-19 of Rs 46.222 cr from 524 donations. In that period, 4.34% of corporate donations came from Gujarat.
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Friday responded to strident criticism of the Collegium system of judicial appointments, saying the government and the Supreme Court cannot work together if they find fault with each other. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, who was sitting on the dais at a November 25 function, has relentlessly attacked the Collegium system as “opaque”. At the Times Now summit, he again launched forth and called it “alien” to the Constitution.
Gautam Adani told the Financial Times: “Why can’t you support one media house to become independent and have a global footprint?” His new media unit launched a hostile takeover of NDTV in August. “India does not have one single [outlet] to compare to Financial Times or Al Jazeera.” Adani said he saw his push into media, including the NDTV purchase, as a “responsibility” rather than a business opportunity.
Most of the meat that Qatar is sourcing to meet increased demand for the World Cup is coming from the popular Haringhata brand in Nadia district of West Bengal. The unit is run by the West Bengal Livestock Development Corporation Ltd.
The Hoot tracks news of and on India’s working class ― read the latest issue here.
PT Usha is likely to be the new Indian Olympic Association president. She was the lone candidate.
Watch a film by the South China Morning Post on a group of activists fighting to preserve Kolkata’s 140-year-old mass transit system ― the tramways.
Natisera Rai was trafficked from Nepal to Kamathipura at the age of 13. She returned to India 26 years later to receive the inaugural Kamla Bhasin Award on Saturday. Vidya Rajput also received the award. She turned her struggle as a transgender person into a lifetime of work.
The cookie has not crumbled, but the Delhi High Court has referred Parle and Britannia to its Mediation and Conciliation Centre for resolution of the dispute over alleged disparaging advertisements of Britannia Milk Bikis against Parle-G biscuits.
Effortlessly moving between movies, theatre and TV in Marathi and Hindi ― Vikram Gokhale, the character actor seen in Agneepath and Natsamrat died on Saturday after an illness.