Gujarat Uses Discretionary Power to Free Rapists, Killers in Bilkis Bano Case; India Suspended By FIFA, Govt Runs to Court
Nitish-Tejashwi announce 20 lakh jobs, Russia out of sub tender, India-Pak N-war would kill 127 million, BJP bags top Maha portfolios and says goodbye to hello, envoy purges I-day pee tribute
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Snapshot of the day
August 16, 2022
FIFA has suspended the All India Football Federation today for excessive third party influence. It has violated a FIFA statute which prohibits recourse to ordinary courts of law and prescribes arbitration. The Supreme Court had asked AIFF president Praful Patel to step down for failing to hold elections and appointed a committee of administrators. Immediate consequence: the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 scheduled for 11-30 October 2022 cannot be held in India. The government has scrambled for an urgent Supreme Court hearing ― whose intervention is precisely what attracted the suspension.
India has not condemned the attack on Salman Rushdie or issued an official statement. Asked about it in Bangalore, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, “I also read about it. This is something that the whole world has noticed and the whole world has reacted to such an attack.” The callousness is expected. Rushdie, who has always celebrated chutnification and miscegenation, objects to PM Modi’s project for national uniformity. In yesterday’s India Cable, which carried excerpts from a PEN.org anthology on India@75, Rushdie wrote of an “Indian Mount Doom”, where one ring to rule them all has been forged.
Some UP schoolchildren have movingly shown the ways in which India’s religions show their love for their country. Hate-mongers edited their video to suggest that Muslims were valorised. Recently, a UP school was shut down for organising multi-faith prayers, which were read as an attempt to convert. This time, police saw through the plot and stated that it was maliciously excerpted from a play staged by the children against communal violence. They are moving against the perpetrators of the cropped video, who were tracked down by fact-checker Mohammad Zubair.
CMIE’s Mahesh Vyas writes that as the labour market can’t absorb new entrants, the composition of the workforce is ageing. In 2016-17, people below 30 were a quarter of the employed. This fell to 21% by 2019- 20 and 18% by 2021-22. What is left in the workforce is mostly people in their forties and fifties ― 42% in 2016-17, 51% in 2019-20 and 57% in 2021-22. An ageing working population is not a demographic dividend.
Luxury goods are selling well while entry level demand is tapering. Sales of expensive cars have far outpaced growth in cheaper models, despite higher prices and credit rates. According to a Crisil report, sales of cars priced above Rs 10 lakh grew 38% in FY22 against 7% for small cars. Sales of premium smartphones above Rs 40,000 have surged 83% in the June quarter from a year ago, while the market share of the affordable and entry-level segments — under Rs 8,000 — are down to 17%, according to IDC. “The rich are getting richer, while the mid and poor are in distress,” said Navkendar Singh of IDC.
Corporate earnings in April-June 2022 (Q1FY23) were down sharply from highs in FY22, still growing in double digits but slower. Excluding profits of banks, non-banking lenders, insurance companies and stockbrokers (BFSI), combined earnings were up 16.3% YoY to Rs 1.58 trillion in Q1, the slowest growth in eight quarters. Overall profit of non-BFSI companies was down 22.3% from a record quarterly high of Rs 203 trillion in Q4FY22. ONGC, Reliance Industries, Coal India, Adani Power and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals were the biggest contributors in the first quarter, with nearly 73% of the Rs 40,921 crore incremental growth.
Indian exports are highly sensitive to global growth shocks, Crisil had said in December 2021. In July, exports growth was the slowest since February 2021, having grown 47% in between on global pent-up demand and the base effect. Exports as a share of GDP improved to 21.5% in 2021-22 from 18.8% the previous year but trailed 24.6% between 2011-12 and 2014-15. Exports took five to six years to jump from $100 billion to $200 billion and from $200 billion to $300 billion. However, the next $100 billion took nearly a decade.
The Centre may release Rs 35,000 crore to states as GST arrears by September-end, taking the compensation for FY23 to Rs 1.2 trillion. GST compensation remains a sticking point in federal relations.
If India and Pakistan were to target each other’s urban centres with 250 100 kiloton nuclear weapons, which they are believed to possess, about 127 million people in South Asia would die, according to a Rutgers University study. Of course, the toll pales in comparison to the 5 billion dead the study eventually predicts were the US and Russia to nuke each other.
In the 2020 Assembly polls, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav had made unemployment a big issue. Yesterday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced 10 lakh jobs, and 10 lakh more via other arrangements.
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The BJP now holds most of the plum portfolios in the Maharashtra government of Eknath Shinde. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has Home, Finance and Planning, Law and Justice, and Water Resources. Senior BJP leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil (a long-time Congressman who switched sides in 2019) has Revenue, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development.
The body of an army jawan was found in an old bunker in Siachen, 38 years after he went missing in an avalanche while on patrol. The Sainik Group Centre in Ranikhet on Sunday identified the body of Chandrashekhar Harbola of 19 Kumaon. Harbola was part of a 20-member troop dispatched to the world’s highest battlefield for Operation Meghdoot in 1984, which encountered an ice storm. The bodies of only 15 were recovered. Harbola’s wife Shanti Devi of Almora now lives in Ranikhet. His last rites will be performed with full military honours.
Russia, which has pulled out of the Indian Navy’s tender for six advanced submarines under Project-75I, has said it cannot meet the “unrealistic” terms and conditions for the Rs 40,000 crore project . The Indian Navy would like technology transfer for a stealth missile boat, but none of the world navies have a prototype with the specs. Even the French, Germans and Swedes have quit the tender, leaving only Korea in the fray, though Germany’s Krupp-Thyssen may be having a rethink. The P75I is meant to be built in India through a collaboration between a foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer and an Indian entity but is likely to remain in limbo.
“Hello is an English word and it is important to give it up”, said Maharashtra’s new Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. Government officials will now have to say “Vande Mataram” instead of “hello” while taking phone calls at work. Readers of adequate age will recall Subrata Roy’s absurd “Good Sahara”, which was thankfully limited to his private empire.
Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla has said that he expects an Omicron-specific vaccine in the country in six months, according to NDTV. Serum Institute, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, produces AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine under the brand name Covishield.
A medical student died at AIIMS in New Delhi for want of timely treatment, and students are agitating. The AIIMS director unfurled the tricolour yesterday against a backdrop of protesting students holding up banners.
The Financial Times notes with alarm that Delhi is running dry. Liquor shops are closed as the city is caught between a liberalised liquor licensing regime which has been withdrawn and the old order of state-controlled shops, which will be back on September 1.
And in UP, Godse was paraded on Independence Day.
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