India Aspires To Be Digital Power But 73% Youth Lack Basic Computer Skills: NSSO Data; Rahul Case Again Shows The Law Has Fallen Into The Wrong Hands
Pakistan joins SCO meet ‘in principle’, SC notice to Gujarat on Bilkis rapists’ release, heat action plans patchy, Namibian cheetah dies in Kuno, the writing and rewriting of ‘Damadam Mast Qalandar’
A newsletter from The Wire | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
March 28, 2023
US President Biden has signed an executive order banning agencies and departments of his government from deploying commercial spyware that could be misused to imperil human rights anywhere. In India, the Pegasus episode has been swept under the carpet.
A former Supreme Court judge, along with judges from other countries, joined unprecedented protests in Israel an overhaul of the legal system proposed by President Benjamin Netanyahu. “Saw democracy in full swing,” said former Supreme Court Judge L Nageswara Rao about protests in Israel to protect judicial independence. Justice Nageswara Rao attended the demonstration and discussion about Israel’s judicial ‘reforms’, and said that judges have kept India safe.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night announced that his plan to overhaul the judiciary would be delayed. He seeks a compromise with opponents of the controversial reforms.
At home, for a change, the Opposition relieved the burden of the ruling party and disrupted the Lok Sabha, raising slogans, holding up placards, waving black flags and throwing papers at the Speaker in response to the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi has been asked to vacate his official bungalow on Delhi’s Tughlaq Lane by April 22. Symbolically, it looks like the ruling party wants him out of House and home, and out on the street. Which is where he found his feet, in the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
With respect to Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification, on the basis of a minor court’s “unusually harsh” ruling, the Economist says that “the world’s biggest democracy is becoming less free”.
Pakistan has decided “in principle” to join three key meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, but perhaps by video link, and not in person. India will host the SCO Summit in July, for the first time since joining the group in 2017. In the lead-up, defence ministers will meet on April 27-29, national security advisors and security officials on April 29 and foreign ministers on May 4-5.
The Indian authorities did not manage to bag radical Sikh preacher and new Khalistan posterboy Amritpal Singh, only his images on the run, in dark glasses and with a cooling beverage in his hand. But The Kathmandu Post reports that the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu has requested Nepal not to permit the fugitive to travel to a third country via Nepal. In a letter to the Department of Consular Services on Saturday, the embassy requested the government agencies to arrest him if he tries to flee via Nepal.
To decode the making of a radical, The Week meets Amritpal Singh’s family and the people of his villager.
Artificial Intelligence is all the rage this month, and the Punjab and Haryana High Court has struck out into the unknown by querying ChatGPT — the world’s best-known AI chatbot — to assess views from all over the world on bail in cases in which physical assault features “cruelty”. The court made it clear that the query made to the AI is only intended to present a broader picture on bail jurisprudence in cases where cruelty is a factor.
While India continues to aspire to be a trillion dollar digital economy by 2025, the latest report by the National Sample Survey Office finds that 73% of Indian youth lack basic computer skills. And in the state of Uttar Pradesh, only 14.5% youngsters reported knowing how to send an email with attachment, which is second lowest in the country after Assam (13.5%). The Print reports.
Indian banks must give defaulters an opportunity to be heard before they classify a loan account as fraud, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday. The bench was led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.
Russian Deputy Alexander Novak has said that his country’s energy sector remains viable despite Western sanction, and has developed new markets. Russian oil sales to India jumped 22 times in 2022.
The Bajrang Dal had recruited the Moradabad police to disrupt Islamic prayers held at a private property, but that wasn’t the end of the story. The police have served notices on 10 Muslims seeking penalties of Rs 5 lakh each for “disturbing the peace” in the area.
The Human Rights Tribunal of British Columbia, Canada, has awarded over CAN$9000 to Manoj Bhanghu, who faced slurs on account of his Dalit caste from co-workers of Punjabi origin in a taxi company’s Christmas party in 2018. The province is following Toronto, and Seattle in the US, in moving against caste discrimination.
The Morning Context looks at why India’s TV news watchdog is toothless.
Malayalam actor Innocent has left “an indelible mark like the Cheshire Cat’s smile.”
South First looks at the life of the man who made a special niche for himself.
Sasha, one of the Namibian cheetahs released in the wild, in a dramatic and theatrical way by PM Modi in Kuno National Park on his last birthday on September 17, has died of kidney disease. She had been unwell from the time she was translocated.
India is translocating tigers to Cambodia, whose tiger population in the wild has dwindled to zero. The project, for which MoUs were signed in November 2022, marks 50 years of Project Tiger, whose anniversary is next month. Cambodia has identified 90 acres of forest land at its Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary for the big cats.
The BBC’s Soutik Biswas visits Kumbanad in Kerala, a ghost town in a densely populated and urbanised region, where schoolteachers have to seek out children to teach, and many homes are shuttered because their owners have emigrated.
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