PM Keen to Mediate in Russia-Ukraine But Can’t Resolve Maharashtra-Karnataka Dispute; Deep Pockets, Weaponised Agencies the Muck BJP's Operation Lotus Grows In
Unemployment rate rising, Rs 10.09 lakh crore NPAs written off, manual scavenging deaths uncompensated, Chandrachud SC reducing pendency, UP slaps house tax notice on Taj Mahal and threatens seizure
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Snapshot of the day
December 20, 2022
India’s unemployment rate is rising. It was high in November, at 8%. Now, it threatens to breach this upper end of the range observed since the lockdowns, writes Mahesh Vyas of CMIE. The elevated rural unemployment rate of 8.4% in the first three weeks of December is much lower than the nearly 10% rate in the same three weeks in urban India. Weekly data suggests rising a Labour Participation Rate in both rural and urban India and a rising employment rate. However, employment opportunities remain lower than demand for jobs.
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai wants to be seen as cooperating with India and called on PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Pichai said: “Look forward to continuing our strong partnership and supporting India’s G20 Presidency to advance an open, connected internet that works for all.” Google has launched Project Bindi, to ‘counter social biases in AI models’. Recently, Google was put under the scanner by the Competition Commission of India on several antitrust complaints, and in October, CCI imposed a penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore on the company “for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android Mobile device ecosystem, apart from issuing cease and desist orders. The Commission also directed Google to modify its conduct within a defined timeline.”
Scheduled commercial banks have written off loans of over Rs 10.09 lakh crore in the last five financial years, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha. Sitharaman said recovery in NPA (non-performing asset) accounts, including written-off loans, was going on. According to RBI data, public sector banks have recovered Rs 4,80,111 crore, including Rs 1,03,045 crore from written-off loans. Moneylife has published the names of the top 50 defaulters. Number one is fugitive Mehul Choksi’s scam-tainted Gitanjali Gems, “which owed Rs 7,848 crore, besides other group companies, Gili India Ltd and Nakshatra Brands Ltd, which had taken loans of Rs 1,447 crore and Rs 1,149 crore, respectively.”
While the Indian drug regulator gave a clean chit to Maiden Pharmaceuticals for the deaths of 69 children in the Gambia, a lab in Geneva that received samples of four cough syrups manufactured by the Haryana-based company from WHO has identified the presence of diethylene glycol (DEG), whose toxicity has been known since 1937. WHO had sent 23 samples to the lab to see if they were linked with the deaths of 69 children in Gambia. These results are in sharp contrast with the investigation carried out by India’s drug regulator, the Central Standards Drugs Control Organisation (CDSCO), which claimed that control samples of the four drugs in question had no DEG contamination.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram yesterday asked the government whether the border situation figured in Bali, when the Indian PM got up from the dinner table to talk to President Xi Jinping. The contents of the exchange were never made public. “I just want to know, without going into details, was the border situation discussed? Don’t tell me what you discussed,” Chidambaram said. The Opposition persisted with a demand for debate on the border issue with China and walked out when it was disallowed.
The BJP’s daily attack on the judiciary was delivered yesterday by prominent BJP MP Sushil Modi, who broadened the front to include the LGBTQ community. “Same-sex marriages create havoc,” he claimed. Patronisingly, the MP argued that its recognition “shouldn’t be left to the decision of two judges alone”.
A parliamentary standing committee has flagged the delay by governments in releasing compensation to the families of 104 persons who had died while cleaning sewers or septic tanks. The standing committee on social justice and empowerment has asked the Union government to take suitable measures to compensate the families of the deceased. “The committee would be happy if there is no further dilly-dallying in awarding compensation in the pending 104 cases and information in this regard is furnished to the committee,” it said.
The Maharashtra-Karnataka feud does not show any sign of resolution. Karnataka Police prevented Maharashtra leaders from entering Belagavi to participate in the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti Rally. Sanjay Raut has said in Saamna that the PM is busy trying to mediate in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, but is unable to get Maharashtra and Karnataka to resolve their tensions.
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Karnataka BJP MLC N Ravikumar, who is also state party general secretary, has sought to introduce a private member’s Bill to ban halal certification in the state legislature’s ongoing winter session. He has sought permission to introduce a Bill to amend the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, to prevent private entities from issuing certification of foods. This is the lead in today’s Delhi edition of Inquilab.
Several Twitter users in India have been locked out of their accounts recently, with no clear solution in sight. Users who have enabled two-factor authentication (2FA) could not log into their Twitter accounts on a new device.
Natarajan Panchapakesan remembers Asoke Nath Mitra (1929-2022), theoretical physicist and role model, who died on November 26.
Workers from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka helped build many of Qatar’s eight stadiums, and to fill them for the FIFA World Cup matches. India was one of the top ticket-buying nations. But photo portraits of the workers who built the Lusail stadium where Sunday’s final was held were taken down from its walls just before the tournament started.
What are the prospects of migrant workers after the Cup is over?
Ali Sayeed, who played Left Out, and was part of the 1964 Hockey Olympic gold medal winning squad, died last night in Gorakhpur. He was also the first Muslim to represent India in the Olympics, and always very proud of his sporting legacy.
Messi’s fans in Kerala have immersed his image in the sea after Argentina entered the finals.
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