Govt Suffers Taxonomic Failure, Denies Benefits to Denotified & Nomadic Tribes; For External Stability, 2023 Promises To Be Rough Year
Migrant workers’ survey incomplete, Assam delimitation to begin, campaign to forcibly convert Christian tribals, Zelenskyy seeks more from India’s G20 year, platforms score a duck on work conditions
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Note: The India Cable team will take an early break this week for the year-end and will be back on Monday, January 2, 2023. We wish our readers a happy new year!
Snapshot of the day
December 28, 2022
Odisha police are probing the death of Russian lawmaker and philanthropist Pavel Antov days after another Russian tourist from the same group was found dead in a hotel in Rayagada district. Antov, a multi-millionaire in sausages and an elected politician, had criticised Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as “terror” but removed his social media post later. Rayagada police said that B Vladimir died last Thursday of a cardiovascular stroke. Antov, his roommate, died on Sunday after falling from the third floor ― whether a suicide or an accident is being investigated. Police said that Antov was depressed by Vladimir’s death. “Several high-profile Russian tycoons have died in mysterious circumstances since the war began,” reports the BBC, but this is India’s first such incident.
In a televised address, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said India can be “more active” in efforts to end aggression. “Today, I spoke with the Prime Minister of India. Next year, it will be India that will preside over the G20. I wished Mr Modi a fruitful presidency, and fruitful not for someone in particular, but for everyone in the world who values peace,” he said in the TV address.
All political parties in Jammu and Kashmir support the demand by Kashmiri Pandit and Dogra employees for “relocation” following targeted killings, and the BJP has been forced to join in, despite Lt Governor Manoj Sinha’s threat of “no work no pay”. On December 21, Sinha said employees from the minority community who are not resuming their duties in Kashmir would not be paid salaries, raising anger among migrant Pandit and Dogra employees camping in Jammu for the past seven months. Kashmiri Pandit staff have petitioned CAT to strike down a clause that makes it mandatory for Pandit employees to serve only in the Kashmir division.
The Election Commission will delimit Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in Assam, using 2001 Census figures: “The Commission will design and finalise its own guidelines and methodology… [and] will keep in mind the physical features, existing boundaries of administrative units… and as far as practicable, the constituencies will be kept as a geographically compact area.” The last delimitation exercise in Assam was done on the basis of the 1971 Census.
The Law Commission is seriously out of date. This week, its chairman wrote to the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) seeking its opinion on simultaneous polls for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. But the letter was addressed to Charu Mazumdar, the Naxalbari era leader who was killed in police custody more than 50 years ago.
The Congress has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on serious concerns regarding Rahul Gandhi’s security. It has urged him “to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of Rahul Gandhi and of all the Bharat Yatris and leaders joining the Bharat Jodo Yatra.”
Bihar is to start its caste census from January 7 and complete it by May-end. Meanwhile, there is no word on when the Census of India (let alone a caste census), due from 2021, is to commence, if at all.
RTI documents contradicts the partial truth the Modi government has told the Supreme Court about demonetisation. They did not say that the RBI opposed key government points. Hours before the announcement, the RBI Central Board put on record objections, though it recommended demonetisation. The Supreme Court will rule on the issue on Monday.
Eighteen states are yet to receive Rs 4,700 crore in MGNREGA wages from the Union government and Rs 5,450 crore in material costs is due to 19 states. The MGNREGA Act says the funds have to be paid in 15 days. Material cost includes wages of mates/supervisors, who monitor the scheme. Delay in material costs payment breaks the supply chain, because vendors become reluctant to supply material for fresh work.
Having shelved the free foodgrain scheme, the government is considering releasing 15-20 lakh tonnes of wheat next year from Food Corporation of India stocks for bulk consumers like flour millers, under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS), to contain rising retail prices. According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the average retail price of wheat was Rs 32.25 per kg on December 27, higher than Rs 28.53 per kg a year earlier. Atta prices remained higher at Rs 37.25 per kg, up from Rs 31.74 per kg a year ago.
During 2021-22, the amount involved in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code was Rs 1,99,250 crore, of which banks have recovered only 23.8%, RBI’s report on the ‘Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2021-22’ shows. Rs 47,421 crore was recovered against 885 cases referred to it in the fiscal year.
Top executives have widened the gap in pay between themselves and their employees. The average top executive now earns 241.2 times the median employee compensation, reveals PRIME Infobase, up from 218 in the pre-pandemic year of 2018-19. The ratio declined to 191.8 in 2019-20 to rise again. The average top executive compensation exceeded the FY19 levels of Rs 10.3 crore. It has now touched Rs 12.7 crore, or a monthly compensation of Rs 1 crore. The median employee salary is now Rs 8.2 lakh for the companies in the sample.
Apple contractors looking to establish a robust manufacturing supply chain in India, cannot expect the economies of scale they enjoy in China, in the near term. It would take about eight years to move just 10% of Apple’s production capacity out of China, where roughly 98% of the company’s iPhones are being made, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
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The Rajya Sabha Committee on Government Assurances headed by AIADMK MP M Thambidurai, has rapped the Union government for not completing the All India Migrant Workers Survey, and the impact of Covid, “...even after a lapse of 18 months… This shows a lack of seriousness about the survey on the part of the Labour Bureau.”
With new evidence of urban settlements in Tamil Nadu at least 2,600 years ago, Chief Minister MK Stalin said yesterday that it would be apt to “rewrite” the history of the Indian subcontinent from the Tamil landscape. Addressing the 81st Indian History Congress, he came down on “blatant attempts” made to “communalise and distort history” and said it is befitting that the Indian History Congress is being held in Tamil Nadu, the “land of resistance and rationality.” Here is the full list of papers at the History Congress.
The UP urban local body polls may be delayed. On Tuesday, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court had allowed the polls to be held without OBC reservation, but the Adityanath government wishes to go for the elections only after fixing the OBC quota through a triple test process. In UP, the BJP has been banking on the support of non-Yadav OBCs. Following the High Court order, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the government of being “anti-OBC reservation” and of shedding “crocodile tears” on the issue.
In Mirzapur, the special court for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances cases imposed a substantial cost on a sub-inspector and three other policemen. The accused Suleiman, an autorickshaw driver, had been found in possession of Alprazolam, a commonly prescribed drug. Characterising the search of the accused as harassment, the court also wrote to the UP government that the district police are in serious violation of fundamental rights.
Free legal aid is poor in India because legal aid lawyers are grossly underpaid, poorly treated and overworked. As per a 2018 Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative study including 29 states and seven Union Territories, per capita spending on legal aid in India is Rs 0.75, one of the world’s lowest rates. In 2019-20, as per Tata Trusts’ ‘India Justice Report 2020’, per capita spending was Rs 1.05.
The Bhopal Gas Tragedy Museum, set up in the city in 2014 is set to shut down due to financial difficulties. The survivors say it is a testament to their plight and are sad that it is packing up.
Fourteen people were killed in Oting in Nagaland this month last year by members of the armed forces in what they said was a case of mistaken identity. EastMojo has a documentary: On the Oting massacre: No one died in Oting?
Two Russian YouTubers have been arrested for allegedly entering the Imperial, a 60-storey twin tower complex in Tardeo, to shoot a stunt video. The accused, Roman Proshin (33) and Maksim Shcherbakow (25), were arrested late on Monday night and charged with house trespass (they’ll never live this down!) and other provisions.
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