MGNREGA Going Bust Under Demand; Look East, See More PLA

UIDAI seeks exemption from data protection law, Calcutta HC slams CAT, BJP-ruled Karnataka only lagging southern state, and to construct Savarvar mythos, his prison cell deconstructed

A newsletter from The Wire & Galileo Ideas | Contributors: MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia, Sushant Singh and Tanweer Alam | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal

Snapshot of the day
November 1, 2021

Pratik Kanjilal

Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party will not contest the forthcoming UP polls as a candidate for the assembly though he will be his party’s chief ministerial candidate. Yadav is MP for Azamgarh and will use the legislative council route too be come CM if he has the requisite numbers.

“Between Aryan Khan’s arrest and release, petrol prices rise by Rs 6.62.” Yesterday’s headline in the Marathi daily Lokmat lifted the veil. For the sixth straight day, petrol and diesel prices were hiked today — this time by 35 paise per litre each. Global prices fell today after China released reserves of gasoline and diesel.

The ‘formal’ sector took a great leap forward as the share of the informal sector in India’s economy plummeted to 15-20% in 2020-21 from 52.4% in 2017-18 due to digitisation and the rapidly expanding gig economy, according to SBI Research. Indians’ belief in the country’s economic future has diminished with the pandemic driving middle-class citizens into poverty, says former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan. The 100 million richest Indians are doing well. Air-conditioners, tractors and upmarket housing are selling well but two-wheeler sales are lower than they were 10 years ago. More demand for MGNREGA work than in the last two years reflects distress.

The Home Ministry has pulled down the controversial new National Population Register sample forms, which would have made the move to a nation-wide NRC seamless. 

The Unique Identification Authority of India has asked for exemption from India’s prospective personal data protection (PDP) law. Ironically, making Aadhaar compulsory for key services had triggered the data privacy debate. After UIDAI, other government agencies may seek exemption.

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Virat Kohli made an unequivocal statement in support of his teammate Mohammad Shami. Unlike other supportive cricketers who had ignored the religious angle, Kohli took the matter head-on. He was attacked viciously by Hindutva supporters, who demanded his head. Their gloomy wish to see the Kohli-led Indian team lose to New Zealand was fulfilled last night. 

Sabyasachi has been forced to withdraw his Mangalsutra ad campaign after the BJP objected. That’s the third ad to be canned for supposedly hurting ‘Hindu sentiments’ in the past two weeks. The Quint looks at how social media was used to mobilise mobs in Tripura.

The Karnataka Assembly secretariat has instructed the department of minorities welfare to submit a report on all religious conversions in the state over the past 25 years, in what appears to be groundwork for the anti-conversion law that the ruling BJP has promised to enact. 

The Calcutta High Court has given relief to former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, ruling that his challenge to the Union government’s disciplinary proceedings will be heard in Kolkata and not Delhi, while observing that the Centre’s “entire modus operandi… reeks of mala fide”. The alacrity with which the Central Administrative Tribunal in Delhi shifted the matter from Kolkata to Delhi betrays “overzealousness to cater to the fiat of the government… shocks the judicial conscience,” it said.

Two soldiers, including an officer, were killed in an explosion along the Line of Control in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district on Saturday. The search for militants in Bhatti Durrian forest in Mendhar and Surankote forest in Poonch and nearby Thanamandi in Rajouri district has been on for 22 days. Sixteen Indian soldiers have been killed along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts after the February 25 ceasefire reiteration.

“The Congress is a big party and the RJD’s alliance with it will continue. All Opposition parties will have to come under the Congress’s banner if they want to defeat the BJP,” Lalu Prasad Yadav, who has returned to Bihar after three years, told reporters on Saturday. Mamata Banerjee and her advisor Prashant Kishor have taken the opposite stance.

In the construction of the Savarkar mythology, some deconstruction of the cell where VD Savarakar was imprisoned in Port Blair was required. While Jallianwala Bagh was prinked up, the Cellular Jail has been tastefully dilapidated, like old silver. 

 What an Indian bank says and what it does:

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