Cyberbullying Among Indian Kids Double Global Rate; In India@75, Modi is Erasing 1st PM Soviet-style―But Is It Really Working?
Singapore-NSE platform brings no business, Union shipping tattered flags, Ayodhya mayor sold land illegally, almost 3 lakh vacancies in Railways, and MP women win panchayat poll but menfolk sworn in
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
August 8, 2022
On the weekend, two BJP ministers in UP faced arrest. One has decamped. A day after Rakesh Sachan, UP Minister for micro, small, and medium enterprises, fled from a district court in Kanpur after being found guilty, another state minister, Sanjay Nishad, president of the BJP ally Nishad Party, faced a non-bailable warrant and arrest orders issued by a Gorakhpur court.
Ved Prakash Gupta, BJP MLA of Ayodhya Sadar and RSS leader and Mayor of Ayodhya Rishikesh Upadhyay are among the people who set up illegal colonies and sold land illegally in the temple town. A former BJP MLA and several others close to the party are also on the list. When the Ayodhya Development Authority moved to demolish illegal houses, buyers of the lands furnished proof of ownership and payment of municipal taxes. The Congress had also alleged large-scale irregularities in the purchase of lands by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Khestra Trust, which is overseeing the construction of Ram Temple.
Indicating a move towards normalisation of ties with Taliban-run Afghanistan, the Modi government restored civilian flights from Afghanistan on Saturday. Regular Kam Air flights now connect Kabul and New Delhi. The newly reopened Indian embassy in Kabul is expected to ramp up operations, with the “technical team” posted there in June focusing on business, trade and distribution of aid. The embassy has not opened visa services yet. Only a “limited number” of e-visas have been issued, disappointing hundreds of students and patients seeking treatment in India. The staff of over 60 comprises five to seven officials, including a director-level IFS officer officiating as Deputy Chief of Mission, a Head of Chancery and a large contingent of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. The force constitutes about a third of the full capacity at the embassy compound.
Three months after the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) started trading in Nifty at the Gandhinagar-based offshore hub GIFT City, SGX has not passed the volumes generated by foreign funds at the GIFT platform, as envisaged in the SGX-NSE connect deal. There have been only small trades worth a few thousand dollars, and none at all after PM Modi formally launched the partnership a week ago. The derivatives business lost to Singapore isn’t coming back.
Mobile data services have been suspended for five days across Manipur. The state has seen protests, bandhs, and an indefinite economic blockade called by the All Tribal Student Union Manipur. It has been demanding that the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021 be tabled in the Assembly. The bill, drafted last year, offers greater autonomy to tribal areas of the state. Instead, the government has tabled a bill at odds with what the union wants.
Despite media hype, the 5G auctions bombed. Of the 72,098 MHz in 22 telecom circles offered in auction, only 51,236 MHz or 71% of the spectrum was sold. The telecom minister had projected collections of Rs 5 lakh crore, but only Rs 1.5 lakh crore was raised. Only 35% of the reserve price of Rs 4.3 lakh crore was realised.
A whopping 85% of Indian children have reported being cyberbullied as well as having cyberbullied someone else. That’s well over twice the global average, according to a McAfee cyberbullying report released yesterday. Cyberbullying includes racism, trolling, personal attacks and sexual harassment, among other things. The report covers 11,687 parents and their children across 10 countries.
ISRO says that satellites on board its maiden Small Satellite Launch Vehicle “are no longer usable” after the SSLV-D1 placed them in an elliptical orbit instead of a circular one. These are the Earth Observation Satellite EOS02 and student-built satellites in AzaadiSAT. SSLV had suffered “data loss” in its terminal stage, after performing “as expected” after liftoff on Sunday morning.
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In July, the Madras High Court ordered that the Thalaivetti Muniyappan temple in Salem district in Tamil Nadu be removed from the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department and given to the state’s archaeological department. A survey of the shrine ordered by the court in 2017 had concluded that an idol considered to be that of the Hindu god Thalaivetti Muniappan was actually a figure of the Buddha. Maintaining that “the mistaken identity cannot be allowed to continue”, the court ordered that the “original status” of the idol be restored. Will this judgement influence similar pending mosque-temple disputes like those involving the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and the Shahi-Idgah mosque in Mathura? The Places of Worship Act, 1991 freezes the religious status of places of worship as of August 15, 1947, and the Hindu side in Tamil Nadu said Hindus had been worshipping there for at least 100 years. Curiously, neither side brought up the 1991 law, nor did the judge see fit to refer to it.
The Jammu and Kashmir authorities have again banned the Muharram tazia processions in areas of Srinagar on August 7 and 9. Tourism and investments are up, but so are targeted killings, and politically, the people are totally disempowered ― Deccan Herald looks at the situation in Kashmir three years after the repeal of Article 370.
The Union Law Ministry informed the Lok Sabha that Rs 186.06 crore has been paid in fees to lawyers who represented the Union government during the last three years and the current year.
Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) will not join the Union council of ministers again, but rebuffed speculations of a rift with ally BJP. JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan dismissed queries about Kumar’s absence at the NITI Aayog meeting chaired by Modi, with the terse remark “you should ask the chief minister”.
The Centre on Friday extended the tenure of Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba by a year. The former Union Home Secretary was given a one-year extension in August last year.
In Yuma, Arizona, Border Patrol is forcing asylum-seekers to throw away all personal belongings except for cellphones, wallets and travel documents. Agents are ordering Sikh men to remove their turbans and are dumping them in the trash. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona wrote to Border Patrol explaining the significance of the item, and that the actions “blatantly violate federal law,” Border Patrol policy, and protections of religious freedom.
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