In Speech to Diaspora in Sydney, Modi Calls India ‘Force of Global Good’; Adani Shares Jump as Rajiv Jain’s GQC Raises Its Investment by 10%
Queries on G20 event in J&K upset minister, birth and death registers to be linked to electoral rolls, SC seeks AI tools for transcription, Vinesh ‘suffered silently’, understanding US debt ceiling
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Snapshot of the day
May 23, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Sydney on Tuesday that India would open a new consulate in Brisbane soon. Addressing a grand community programme for the Indian diaspora at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park, he asserted India’s position as a “force of global good”. He also hailed India as the “mother of democracy” and a “bright spot” in the global economy. India and Australia have taken steps towards authorising each others’ [educational] degrees, which students will be able to benefit from, he said. Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese unveiled a plaque acknowledging Sydney suburb Harris Park as “Little India”. Harris Park is a hub in western Sydney where the Indian community celebrates festivals and events such as Diwali and Australia Day.
Rajiv Jain-led GQG Partners has raised its stake in Gautam Adani’s conglomerate by about 10% and will take part in the conglomerate’s future fund raising, doubling down on what Jain calls “the best infrastructure assets available in India”. “Within five years, we would like to be one of the largest investors in Adani Group depending on the valuation, after the family,” Jain, GQG’s chief investment officer, told Bloomberg. On Tuesday, the stocks of flagship Adani Enterprises rose by 13.2%, taking their three-day jump to 39%. Jain said the value of GQG’s Adani holdings was close to $3.5 billion. In March, GQG acquired about $1.9 billion worth of shares in four of Adani’s companies from a family trust. That investment bolstered the Adani Group reeling from the corporate fraud and “brazen” stock-price manipulation accusations made by Hindenburg Research. Hit by the report, the group had at one point shed more than $150 billion in market value.
G20 members Saudi Arabia, Turkey and China and guest country Egypt on Monday skipped the much-publicised meeting of the G20 tourism working group in Srinagar – the first such international event to be held in J&K since the abrogation of Article 370 – but journalists’ questions on the absence of these countries and issues related to security and the political process in Kashmir prompted Union minister Jitendra Singh to angrily question their “mindset”, reports the Telegraph. The minister also got into an argument with a French journalist who questioned the “very high security” and closure of schools for the meeting, eventually asking the journalist not to frighten the delegates by questioning the security.
After the recurrence of violence in Manipur on Sunday night and during the day on Monday, the situation in the state remains tense. The violence in the state first escalated on May 3, and more than 70 people lost their lives in the first few days after that. More than 7,500 people have fled to Mizoram from Manipur, an official in Aizawl said on Monday. A total of 7,527 ethnic Zos, known as Kukis in Manipur, had crossed over to Mizoram till 5pm on Monday, he said. They have taken shelter in eight districts of the state. Kolasib has the highest number of displaced people at 2,685, followed by Aizawl (2,386) and Saitual (2,153).
A bill to link birth and death registers with electoral rolls will be introduced in the next session of Parliament, Union home minister Amit Shah said on Monday. He said that registration of births and deaths is important for updating citizens’ register, electoral rolls and list of people who avail themselves of beneficiary schemes. Shah was speaking at the inauguration of the new census building in Delhi. The decennial census that was to be completed in 2021 has been indefinitely postponed, initially due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government has not given any specific reason to postpone the exercise, which was last done in 2011.
As part of a nationwide tour to garner support for his fight against the Centre’s ordinance on control of services in Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Tuesday. He was accompanied by his party colleague and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann. The AAP has sought support of all non-BJP parties saying this is a “time for agni pariksha” for opposition parties.
An Ahmedabad court on Tuesday issued a fresh summons to Delhi chief minister Kejriwal and his paty’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh to appear before it on June 7 in a criminal defamation case filed by Gujarat University over Prime Minister Modi’s academic degree. The court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate SJ Panchal summoned Kejriwal and Singh after it was informed that the summons issued earlier directing the two to appear on May 23 did not seem to have been received by them.
In Kutch, Gujarat, more cyclone warnings and heatwaves have upended people’s lives, reports IndiaSpend. Data from the India Meteorological Department show more frequent heatwaves and an increased number of rainy days in Kutch district in the past three decades, putting lives and livelihoods of fishers and farmers in jeopardy.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan got a major relief on Tuesday when an anti-terrorism court granted him bail till June 8 in eight cases of violence that erupted at the Judicial Complex in Islamabad in March. The cases were registered in different police stations of Islamabad against Khan after clashes between police and his supporters when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party chief appeared before a court in the Judicial Complex on March 18.
The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday told the Delhi high court that the withdrawal of ₹2,000 notes is not demonetisation but a statutory exercise and that the decision to enable their exchange was taken for operational convenience, reports PTI. The court was hearing lawyer and BJP activist Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay’s plea that the exchange of ₹2,000 notes by the RBI and SBI without ID proof was arbitrary and against the laws enacted to curb corruption. The bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad reserved its order.
The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday invited bids for deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) tools for transcription of oral arguments and court proceedings, reports Bar and Bench. The transcription will be proofread first by qualified transcribers and then by reviewers before it is published on the apex court’s website. The AI tools will initially be deployed for Constitution bench matters and later extended to all matters, subject to the “approval and directions of the concerned court”.
In an article titled “Is Narendra Modi turning Bollywood against Muslims?”, the Economist says: “The Kerala Story exploits the real-life radicalisation of a handful of Keralite Muslims to propagate a right-wing Hindu conspiracy theory known as ‘love jihad’, in which virile Muslim men prey upon innocent young non-Muslim women. Such Hindu conspiracies, whipped up by BJP politicians, have led to an uptick in attacks on non-Hindus, as reported this month in America’s State Department’s latest annual report on religious freedom.”
In a piece titled “For strongmen, it’s not the economy, stupid” for Bloomberg, Pankaj Mishra writes: “One major reason for these leaders’ imperviousness is, of course, their dominance of both legacy and social media. Nearly perfectly exercised by Erdogan, Putin and Modi, that control has helped lock large populations into news-and-analysis siloes. Those who live in India, surrounded by orchestrated fanfare about the G20 summit in September, will immediately recognise [Turkish analyst] Cagaptay’s account of Turkish citizens being constantly bombarded with news of their country’s ‘growing status as a major international power’.”
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