In UP School Textbooks, Savarkar In, Nehru Out; Drone Price Comparisons Trigger MoD Ire
India won’t surpass China as superpower, Karnataka minister wants cow vigilantism dead, misspelt names deny access to MGNREGA, Kuki refugees not welcome in Shillong, the secret cant of hijras
A newsletter from The Wire | Founded by MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sushant Singh, Sidharth Bhatia and Tanweer Alam | With inputs from Kalrav Joshi | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
June 26, 2023
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has huddled with 50 prolific Indian YouTubers with a view to demystify and popularise a range of products, from consumer awareness and cybersecurity, opportunities in marketing tourism and handicrafts, to, naturally, millets. Apar Gupta of the Internet Freedom Foundation refers to a tender related to the selection of “Influencer Marketing Agencies”. Is it proper for public money to be used for influencing the public?
Karnataka Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Priyank Kharge has cracked down on cow vigilantism and protected legitimate transporters of cattle from the risks they suffered during the previous BJP regime in the state. Using a small video clip of his speech to police officers, out of context, BJP trolls have launched a bizarre campaign, claiming that the minister has gone against “Ambedkar’s Constitution”.
About 1,000 Kukis displaced by the ethnic violence in Manipur find that they are not welcome in Shillong, in neighbouring Meghalaya, though it is home to a Kuki community. The traditional councils which run Khasi villages have discouraged or forbidden house-owners from letting out property to the internally displaced people.
China has been helping the Pakistan Army build its defence infrastructure, apart from providing UAVs, setting up communication towers and laying underground cables along the Line of Control, officials told PTI. Following its demonstration on Pakistan Day the previous year, authorities said that the recently constructed SH-15, a 155 mm truck-mounted howitzer, has also been observed at several locations along the Line of Control (LoC).
Today, a sessions court in Pathankot will hear arguments on the framing of charges in the case concerning the 2018 rape and murder of a minor nomad girl in Kathua.
Hand to hand fighting and the use of firearms marked a BJP rally in Madhepura, Bihar.
The deal has already been signed but the Ministry of Defence now states that India has yet to finalise with the US the “price and other terms and conditions” of the purchase of 31 General Atomics MQ-9B Reaper high altitude long endurance remotely piloted aircraft systems, and it remains “subject to negotiations”. Sixteen units would be Sky Guardian and 15 Sea Guardian varieties. This clarification is in response to social media reports stating that India has agreed to a much higher price than other countries. The government press statement called such reports “misleading”, “speculative”, “uncalled for” and having “ulterior motives” and aimed at derailing the purchase process. Until a Trinamool Congress activist made the price comparison on Twitter, the government had no issue with news stories mentioning a $3 billion price tag.
According to official sources, India will eliminate further levies on eight US items, including chickpeas, lentils, and apples, that were imposed in 2019 in retaliation to America raising the tariffs on some steel and aluminium exports. The two nations reached agreements to resolve six WTO issues and remove retaliatory tariffs on certain US goods during PM Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US.
Following a visit to Egypt which he hailed as “historic”, PM Modi has returned to India bearing that country’s highest honour, the Order of the Nile, and has asked party chief JP Nadda: “What’s happening in India?”
Two former J&K chief ministers have demanded an investigation after it was claimed that unidentified army personnel forced locals in Pulwama district, south Kashmir, to recite the Jai Shri Ram slogan in a mosque. The incident, which occurred while Union Home Minister Amit Shah was in J&K to assess the security situation, caused a great deal of outrage, with political leaders and civil society members calling it a violation of religious freedom and an assault on the sanctity of Muslim religious sites. Some reports suggest the offending officer has been ‘shifted’.
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Year after year, at the onset of summer, thousands of workers migrate within Maharashtra from villages to towns in search of work, and many find themselves trapped in bonded labour. The Quint reports on the miraculous escape of an 18-year-old which blew the lid off of a bonded labour racket in Maharashtra.
A difference in the spelling of their names on their Aadhaar and MGNREGA job cards can cause loss of work, and force people to migrate to make a living. Job cards are being pruned to meet the Centre’s deadline of June 30 for Aadhaar-based payments, finds The Hindu, and genuine beneficiaries are being taken off the list..
Millions of Bangladeshis feel the impact of climate change when a water crisis hits them. Especially after cyclones, either there is too much water or too little water, or brackish water, finds the New York Times.
What kind of students does the JEE select? Those who want to be IITians but not necessarily engineers. A few academics now want to overhaul the entrance test, reports The Morning Context.
Thanks to its long tradition of sending professional soldiers to serve in the armies of other nations, Nepal finds that its people are fighting on both sides of the Ukraine invasion.
Young Indian astronomer Aswin Shekhar now has a minor planet named after him. The honour was bestowed on him at the Asteroids Comets Meteors Conference 2023 last week. The citation said that he “is the first professional meteor astronomer from India in modern times. He has made important contributions to the field of meteors in meteoroid stream dynamics, particularly in the effects of relativity and resonances in meteoroid streams.”