Modi Skips Punjab Rally, Crowds—Angry or Missing—May Have Been Reason; UGC Drops Research Schemes
BJP leaders want garrulous Malik out, Dalit family attacked & booked, Ranji on hold, southern films flourish, RSS and Gandhi’s killing, and across UP party lines, leaders are dreaming of Krishna
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
January 5, 2022
Former bureaucrats and police officers, academics and journalists number among 273 signatories to a letter sent today to the authorities in Delhi and Uttarakhand, seeking legal action against the organisers of the Hindutva hate ‘parliament’ in Haridwar. Drawing a parallel with Nazi Germany, they say that silence in the face of “abominable speeches” is complicity.
The Supreme Court will hear a bunch of pleas today on quotas in NEET-PG admissions, over which resident doctors in Delhi’s hospitals had struck work. Originally to be heard by a three-judge bench, it will now be heard by Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna. Following the hearing, the NEET-PG counseling schedule is expected to be released. You can follow live updates from Bar & Bench.
The University Grants Commission has stopped several research projects and some are dormant, allegedly for lack of funds from the Centre. The UGC website suggests that around half a dozen other research schemes have been shelved. The “closed” programmes include Major Research Project, Emeritus Fellowship, Dr S Radhakrishnan Postdoctoral Fellowship in Humanities and Social Sciences, Postdoctoral Fellowship to Women Candidates and Postdoctoral Fellowship to SC/ST Candidates. The National Fellowship for Scheduled Caste students is listed as discontinued in 2018-19.
Three people have been arrested in the ‘Bulli Bai’ app case. Mayank Rawal was arrested by the Mumbai cyber police from Uttarakhand. The court has already remanded Vishal Kumar/Jha, a 21-year-old engineering student in Bengaluru, who is in custody till January 10. His accomplice is said to be Shweta Singh, 18, in Uttarakhand, who has been detained.
The Ranji Trophy is on hold due to the surge in Covid-19 cases, announced BCCI, along with the Col CK Nayudu Trophy and Senior Women’s T20 League for the 2021-22 season. The first two were scheduled for this month, and the T20 event in February.
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Often left red-faced by Satya Pal Malik’s controversial statements — the latest being his “arrogant” barb about PM Narendra Modi — BJP leaders want him out of Raj Bhavan. But they have decided to “bear with him”, “until at least” the UP elections before taking any action. Malik has nine months to go as Meghalaya governor, if he is allowed to complete his term.
UltraTech, India’s biggest cement manufacturer, has been accused of violating environmental laws in its limestone supply chain in Gujarat. And in Himachal Pradesh, locals complain about its polluting operations. In both cases, however, the government has eased restrictions on the company to the detriment of air quality, public health and wildlife conservation, reports The Morning Context.
Digital lending apps promising quick cash exploded in popularity across India and other developing economies amid the pandemic, reports Bloomberg. Activists say they prey on unwary borrowers, with heavy-handed collection tactics and interest rates as high as 500%, and are linked to a string of suicides.
The Archaeological Survey of India is restoring the only surviving flag of Indian Independence, unfurled on August 15, 1947, at Chennai’s Fort St George. Measuring 12 feet by 8 feet, it is made of pure silk and was unfurled at dawn on Independence Day. The flag, from the ASI’s reserve collection, is being restored with the help of experts from the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research and the Silk Board of India. Restoration started in November 2020 and the flag will be ready for display in a month.
Films in four south Indian languages on streaming platforms, and their dubbed versions, accounted for 10% of viewing in 2021, OTT executives told Mint. Maharashtra, UP and the National Capital Region accounted for 75% of the viewership for dubbed films. Malayalam film Minnal Murali was one of the top 10 non-English films on Netflix in the last week of December, with 5.9 million viewing hours, while Jai Bhim, Sarpatta Parambarai and Soorarai Pottru were among Amazon Prime Video’s top hits.
Bangladesh has made South Asian cricket proud, defeating for the first time New Zealand, current world Test champions on their home ground in a Test, and without fielding their two best players. Ebadot Hossain, once in the Bangladesh Air Force and a former volleyball player, bowled a stunning spell.