DMK’s Raja Demands Probe into 5G Auction; India Excluded From US-Led Minerals Security Partnership
India-US high-altitude drill near LAC, sharp fall in IT returns, Delhi High Court comes down on bulldozer raj, MP High Court says collector acted as BJP agent, and is NDA the ‘Nothing Doing Alliance’?
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Snapshot of the day
August 4, 2022
This morning, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana recommended his senior-most colleague, Justice UU Lalit, as his successor. His secretariat finally received a communication last night from the Minister of Law and Justice requesting him to recommend a successor. Justice NV Ramana retires on August 26. At the Collegium meeting yesterday evening, all decisions were deferred to the new collegium, after the succession. This meeting followed a “tense” one held the day before yesterday.
In a statement marking seven years of the signing of the Framework Agreement with New Delhi, NSCN (I-M) chairman Q Tuccu said that Nagas cannot merge with India but cannot live apart from Indians either. Tuccu indicated that New Delhi went back on the Framework Agreement by not respecting the Naga national identity.
Afghan officer cadets who return home after receiving military training in India will be integrated into the Taliban-run so-called Afghan security forces, says Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesperson of the Taliban, which styles itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Balkhi also said that the Taliban and India are exploring infrastructure projects in Afghanistan in which India can invest, besides resuming work on projects that are near completion.
India has not found a place in the 11-member Minerals Security Partnership, an ambitious new US-led partnership to secure supply chains of critical minerals, to reduce dependency on China. Besides the US, the MSP includes Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, UK, and the EU. India’s exclusion comes amid renewed cooperation with Washington DC on multiple other fronts, including the Quad and I2U2 groupings. One reason: India does not bring much expertise to the table. Countries like Australia and Canada have reserves and also the technology to extract them, and countries like Japan have the technology to process them.
Irked by the visit of Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taipei, Beijing sent a sharp message to India, asking it to stick to its ‘One China’ policy instead of emulating the US and elevating its ties with Taiwan. The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in New Delhi issued a statement underlining that the ‘One China’ principle was the common consensus of the international community, including India, and that it also served as the political foundation for China to develop relations with any other country. “India is one of the first countries to recognise that there is only one China. The Chinese side is willing to push forward the development of our relations on the basis of the ‘One China’ principle,” embassy spokesperson Wang Xiaojian said.
So far, India has maintained a studied silence over the controversial visit of US Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in the face of a furore in China, which scrambled jets over the Taiwan Strait. India’s is cold to the developments in Taiwan while Beijing remains a major irritant for New Delhi which, as part of the Quad (along with the US, Australia and Japan) has been taking concrete steps to thwart China’s aggressive posturing in the Indo-Pacific.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has pulled up the district collector of Panna for acting as an agent of the ruling party in a recent panchayat election.
A forensic expert, testifying as a prosecution witness in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, has told a special Mumbai court that traces of explosives were found on several articles including the LML Vespa scooter recovered from the explosion site. The bike is registered in the name of BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, who is accused in the case. Six were killed in the blast.
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The Delhi High Court yesterday said that residents cannot be evicted by threatening to bulldoze their homes without prior notice. “Persons cannot be evicted with a bulldozer at their doorstep early in the morning or late in the evening,” the court said. “A reasonable period has to be given to such persons and temporary location has to be provided to them before embarking on any demolition activities.” The court made the observation while hearing a plea filed by a union of slum residents of New Delhi’s Shakarpur area.
In order to circumvent the new 5% GST on rice, a group of rice vendors in Tamil Nadu are selling rice in 26 kg bags instead of the usual 25 kg. The government considers rice bags weighing under 25 kg as retail, and each kg of their contents now costs Rs 2-3 more than it used to. So consumers have to shell out Rs 50-80 extra for one 25 kg bag of rice. But when packed in 26 kg bags, the rice is regarded as wholesale, which considerably eases the burden on consumers. Traders have also demanded a rollback of the GST rate hike.
The number of income tax returns (ITRs) filed for the assessment year 2022-23 is much lower than during the pandemic years ― 58.3 million were filed by July 31, which is less than the 71.4 million in assessment year 2022 ― indeed, less than the previous three years, including the pre-pandemic assessment year 2019, when 65.3 million returns were filed, Business Standard reports.
India expects bilateral trade worth $8-9 billion with Russia and Sri Lanka in the next two months, after allowing international trade in rupees, India’s trade secretary said. He did not the share by country. India’s imports from Russia, mainly crude oil, jumped nearly five times to more than $15 billion between the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and the end of July. But exports fell to $852.22 million from $1.34 billion in the same period, for want of a payment settlement mechanism with sanctions-hit Russia. Latest trade figures between India and Sri Lanka, which is in an economic crisis, were not immediately available.
Rishi Sunak, the Indian-origin Tory in a bitter contest to be Conservative Party chairman and PM has moved so far to the right that he wants “vilifying” Britain to be a punishable offence. That’s rather like the accusation of defaming Gujarat, which Teesta Setalvad faces. As Audrey Trushke says, Sunak’s grandparents were born in colonial India, but given this proposed law, historians like her would not be able to describe the Britain of those times.
Kerala High Court Justice Amit Rawal noted that traffic cops are seen perpetually scrolling on their phones while on duty and empowered citizens to videograph them and lodge a complaint. But for that to happen, the general public must also get off their phones and connect with reality.
The PM wants everyone to change their digital profile or DP on social media to include the national flag. The Congress party has gone with Nehru, while questioning why the RSS is not changing their DP, but the clear winner is Mehbooba Mufti.
DMK’s Raja wants 5G auction probed, cites lower than promised revenue
Former Union telecom minister A Raja, who was investigated for the grant of 2G spectrum licences in 2007 and spent 15 months in jail before his acquittal in 2017,
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