Population Explosion Is Over; Apple Pegasus Lawsuit Could Upset Govt’s Applecart

After farm laws backoff, trade unions move against labour codes, Taliban soften Pak to India, Twitter & Facebook to be treated as publishers, oximeters have colour bias and chickens slain by DJ music

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 25, 2021    

Pratik Kanjilal

India’s fertility rate has slipped below replacement level. According to the National Health and Family Survey, NFHS-5, which is equivalent to a health census, India is now reporting a fertility rate of 2.0. A total fertility rate of 2.1 represents the replacement level, so it appears that the Indian population explosion is over. In the last half-decade, the sex ratio at birth has also improved to 1020 from 991 in 2015-16. But childhood nutrition remains a serious problem and India is struggling to fight anaemia.

Sri Lanka is roping in the China Harbour Engineering Company to construct the second phase of Colombo Port’s East Container Terminal. It was to be developed jointly by Sri Lanka, India and Japan, but Colombo reneged on a trilateral agreement three years ago. With this project, China’s involvement in Sri Lanka’s ports deepens.

More than 80% of militants killed this year in the Kashmir Valley were locals, according to Central Reserve Police Force data. Till November 23, 148 militants had been killed ― 127 locals and 21 foreigners. In 2020, 195 militants were killed. Currently, 199 militants are active in the Valley, of which 110 are locals. CRPF has deployed 65,000 personnel in J&K. 

Meghalaya Governor Satyapal Malik remains unstoppable. Yesterday evening, he said that “not all demands of farmers have been accepted. MSP is their basic demand. Government should accept this demand and form a committee. If they did it, farmers would withdraw their protest.”

Mohan Bhagwat told journalists that the “media should focus more on positive news”, according to one of the editors who attended a meeting with the RSS chief. “Media can bring change in society through positive news. He also gave an example of a news story although I don’t remember it right now”. Highly forgettable good news?

According to a letter issued to all ministers as part of ‘Azadi Ka Digital Mahotsav’, at least two personal staffs of all ministers, who used to handle social media on their behalf, would be trained in the wider applications of social media platforms at a workshop, scheduled for December 4 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. More than 150 staff and members of ministers’ social media teams will be trained further to enhance government outreaches. There are 78 ministers in the government, including the Prime minister.

Four and a half months after Father Stan Swamy’s death in custody, the Bombay High Court has allowed the Jesuits to initiate separate proceedings to clear his name and reputation in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case. A division bench disposed of Stan Swamy’s bail appeal and another petition challenging his prosecution under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Father Swamy died of cardiac arrest in a private hospital before his bail hearing on July 5. He was among the 16 civil liberties activist arrested under the anti-terror UAPA. and the oldest.

A year after Parliament passed four labour codes, the Centre is yet to notify rules to implement the laws, and has not set a date for the roll-out. Trade unions plan to intensify their agitation against the codes this week, following the government’s decision to repeal the three farm laws. A senior functionary of the Union Labour and Employment Ministry told The Hindu that the notification of rules was “in process”. The codes — on wages, social security, occupational safety and industrial relations — were passed in 2019 and 2020 and became controversial almost immediately.

A study has revealed that 71% Indians have low or zero trust in cryptocurrencies; only 1% have high trust. Also, 51% want India to roll out its own digital currency. Further, 54% Indians do not want the government to legalise cryptocurrencies but tax them like any digital asset held abroad.

The dip in international crude prices soon after US President Joe Biden’s announcement to release oil from American strategic reserves in concert with other countries, including India and Japan, proved short-lived. prices began inching up soon after it became clear that China was ambiguous and the expected releases from South Korea, Japan, UK and South Korea would not be high. The US has announced the release of 50 million barrels and India, 5 million barrels.

An FIR has been filed after 63 chickens died allegedly due to high-decibel DJ music during a ‘baraat’ (wedding procession) in Odisha’s Balasore district. Police started a probe after poultry owner Ranjit Parida filed a complaint against his neighbour, alleging the chickens died of shock.

This post is for paid subscribers