‘RSS Working Hard to Wipe Out True Religions of India’: Devanoora Mahadeva; Forget Agniveers, Ex-Servicemen’s Quota Is Unfilled
China supports India at WTO, insurers make Rs 40,000 crore off distressed farmers, gig work doesn’t pay, Irani restaurant fracas continues in Goa and West Bengal’s palaces turning into boutique hotels
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Snapshot of the day
July 25, 2022
In her maiden speech, President Droupadi Murmu identified the freedom fighters who had inspired her. She started with “Pujya Bapu” and then mentioned “Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Nehru ji, Sardar Patel, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru and Chandrashekhar Azad”, “brave women icons like Rani Lakshmi Bai, Rani Velu Nachiyar, Rani Gaidinliu and Rani Chennamma”, the “Santhal revolution, Paika revolution to Kol revolution and Bhil revolution” and “'Dharti Aaba' Bhagwan Birsa Munda Ji”. Some names that BJP leaders usually mention as inspirational figures were notably absent.
The government has said in Parliament that not a single Kashmiri Pandit left the state after August 2019 but the BBC has busted this claim. At least 16 Hindus and Sikhs have been killed in targeted killings in the past few months. More than 100 Hindu families have fled Kashmir as panic spread after the killing of a Hindu school teacher in Kulgam, a community leader claimed last month.
Ndileka Mandela, writer, social activist and head of the Thembekile Mandela Foundation, a rural upliftment organisation and also the eldest grandchild of Nelson Mandela, writes that “without intervention, India risks becoming an apartheid state as Islamophobia has corroded what was once the world’s largest democracy, as laws that belong to South Africa’s apartheid past pop up across India”.
India’s foreign exchange reserves are plunging at world-beating speeds. They have dropped $70 billion, or 11%, since September last year.
In the past two years, 80 FDI proposals from countries sharing land border with India were accepted, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has said. Almost all were from China. The government tweaked the FDI policy on April 18, 2020, making prior approval mandatory for FDI from bordering neighbours. In reply to an RTI query, DPIIT said: “388 FDI proposals have been received by the Government since April 18, 2020 from countries sharing land border with India… 80 proposals out of 388 were granted permission to invest. Information on sector-wise breakup of accepted proposals is not maintained in this department.” In March, however, the Commerce Ministry informed Parliament that investments from bordering countries from April 18, 2020 to March 1, 2022, was Rs 13,624 crore. Over Rs 5,000 crore was invested in drugs and pharmaceuticals and Rs 2,907 crore was invested in the services sector.
UK Conservative leaders Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak head tonight into the first of a series of TV debates which will help determine who succeeds Boris Johnson at the helm of the party and the UK government. On the BBC at 9 pm GMT (2:30 am IST).
China supported India at a recent WTO meeting on agriculture, in which the rich nations attacked New Delhi yet again for its wheat export ban. Beijing criticised countries like the UK, which again suggested at the WTO Committee on Agriculture meet this week that the wheat export ban was the main cause of the global price spike. The US, EU, Japan, Paraguay and Brazil had earlier said that global wheat futures shot up 6% on the first day of trading on the Chicago Board of Trade after the Indian announcement of an export ban on May 13.
The Commerce Ministry reveals that non-oil exports to Nepal dropped 13.2% to $943.2 million in April-May. Nepal was India’s 11th largest export destination in FY22 with $9.6 billion in shipments. India had the third highest trade surplus with Nepal ($8.3 billion) in FY22, after the US ($32.8 billion) and Bangladesh ($14.2 billion). A dip in exports to Nepal could adversely impact India’s overall trade deficit in FY23, which is already worsening following fears of recession in developed countries, and touched a record $26.1 billion in June. Earlier this month, Nepal extended a ban on the import of non-essentials till August-end ― mobile phones priced over $300, motorbikes over 150 cc, liquor, tobacco products, diamonds, colour TV sets larger than 32 inches, jeeps, cars and vans, dolls, playing cards and snacks.
Private insurance companies have made Rs 838 per farmer in 2016-17 and in 2021-22 they are making Rs 2,286. It's a gift from the government via the PM Fasal Bima scheme. They are estimated to have made Rs 40,000 crore, while farmers are in extreme distress.
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West Bengal Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Saturday in connection with its investigation into the alleged school jobs scam. The TMC secretary general, who was state education minister at the time, was arrested after 26 hours of grilling in connection with the probe since Friday morning. ED put out images of rooms full of currency notes worth Rs 21 crore being recovered from Chatterjee’s close associate Arpita Mukherjee. The Opposition BJP is jubilant but Left parties point to more sinister patterns ― despite a court order calling for action, “delayed action is helping the corrupt ministers, officials and leaders to siphon off the loot.”
Six children have been rescued from a ‘brothel’ allegedly run by BJP’s Meghalaya vice-president Bernard N Marak in Tura, state police announced.
The Congress has upped the ante on the matter of Cabinet Minister Smriti Irani’s daughter running a restaurant in Goa with a liquor licence in a dead man’s name, after footage emerged of Irani’s daughter Zoish Irani admitting that it is her restaurant.
Rahul Kumar, a trainee nurse in Sydney, has been attacked by a gang armed with bats and metal rods. Some news reports identify him as a member of Turbans 4 Australia. The local media says the attack – by men wearing hoodies and balaclavas so they could not be identified – recalls similar hate crimes by Indian-origin gangs against critics of the Indian government in Sydney during the farmers’ protest.
While the media went ape over the victory of the NDA presidential candidate, the numbers tell an interesting story. Droupadi Murmu’s polled percentage is by far the lowest secured by a winning candidate after 1969. Yashwant Sinha, who lost to her, has secured the maximum vote values since 1952. The lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj writes on the tasks that await the President: “In a situation where ordinary Adivasi villagers can so easily be incarcerated or even encountered as a Maoist, the mere thought that they should be cautious even to approach the highest Constitutional Court of this land in the uphill fight for justice, speaks volumes. Smt Droupadi Murmu has difficult tasks cut out for her if she is to protect rights and ensure justice to the Adivasi people.”
In 2017, a Supreme Court bench headed by then chief justice of India JS Khehar had pushed for a centralised selection process to fill judicial vacancies. This government too loves all things central. But late last week, the Union government informed Parliament that it has shelved the proposal for an All India Judicial Service for recruitment through an all-India merit-based selection system. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said there was a lack of consensus on the AIJS among different high courts and state governments.
A court in Mathura has reserved its decision on the appointment of a commissioner to survey the Shahi Idgah mosque near the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple to verify if it betrays any signs of a temple.
The Kashmiri cricket bat industry, a leading exporter to the world’s teams, is in peril despite growing demand, because the government is not planting enough white willow trees.
Gig work growing but doesn’t pay
‘GigPlus’, a new study by
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