Supreme Court Tears Into Gujarat HC for Denying Teesta Setalvad Bail; Differences Over Ukraine War Derail G20 Joint Communique
US blacklists Israeli spyware firms, foreign banks wary of Adani, India wants Black Sea grain deal, Surat Diamond Bourse world’s biggest office building, Mamata challenges ‘atrocious terrible’
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Snapshot of the day
July 19, 2023
The Supreme Court has set aside the order of the Gujarat High Court denying regular bail to the 2002 riots activist Teesta Setalvad, saying that its reasoning was “perverse” and there is no need for custodial interrogation. Justice BR Gavai, one of the three judges on the bench, also suggested that the manner in which the apex court last year made harsh observations about Setalvad without affording her a chance to be heard went against the principles of natural justice.
Tibetan news site Phayul reports that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) set up four tents within a designated buffer zone in Chushul, in the Gurung Hills of eastern Ladakh on July 11. A local councillor complained and the Indian Army stepped in. The matter caused concern because it coincided with the Dalai Lama’s visit to Ladakh.
The RBI’s Economic Research Department estimates that India will have to grow at 7.6% annually for the next 25 years to be a developed nation. The word on the grapevine was something similar three decades ago, too, during liberalisation. The burden on the industrial and services sectors is now worse ― they would need to grow at over 13% annually. Due to multiple uncertainties in recent years, companies have held back on capital investment, slowing down long-term growth.
India has abandoned the idea of a joint communique following the G20 meet due to differences over the manner in which the conflict in Ukraine should be mentioned, reports Nikkei. Some countries insisted on calling the conflict a war, while Russia calls it a “special military operation”. India has adopted a strategic neutrality, declining to blame Russia for the invasion and urging a diplomatic solution, while buying more discounted oil from Russia. But while India wants its presidency to focus on issues which are central to the global South, it is discovering that the conflict in Ukraine cannot be ignored. India is supporting UN efforts to continue the Black Sea Grain initiative and wants the impasse triggered by Russia’s termination of the deal to be resolved quickly so that grain and related foodstuffs and fertilisers from Ukrainian ports can be exported.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has retained India’s economic growth forecast at 6.4% for the current financial year and 6.7% for the next. It expects robust domestic demand to support growth.
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The Tatas’ Jaguar Land Rover will build a battery gigaplant in Somerset, UK, to supply a new range of electric vehicles. The corporation was torn between the UK and Spain, but is now assured of £500 million from the UK government in support for the plant, which could manufacture batteries for lakhs of electric cars every year. It will fill the void left by Britishvolt, which stayed lit like a torch until it burned out, despite £100 million in state funding. Post-Brexit, British carmakers transiting to electric require a local battery-maker to remain competitive. It’s a captive market for JLR.
Exports shrank 15.1% in the first quarter of this year amid global uncertainties, and The Hindu reports that though the Commerce Ministry had set export targets for 2023-24 for export promotion councils and diplomatic missions, there may be a rethink in favour of conditional and sectoral targets. Officials feel that since the WTO predicts a slowdown, targets cannot be set for purely optimistic scenarios.
In a personal account, Boniface Kamei describes why it is hard to be a Naga in Manipur ― first, there’s the chauvinism of a local community and second, a reluctance to admit even the humanity of the Nagas.
Kanpur Mayor Pramila Pandey wants to make sure that Hindus and Muslims can’t buy each other’s property, so that both communities can continue to hang together. In the case of the Muslim minority, of course, it would mean ghettoisation. Pandey will take her proposal to the chief minister.
ISRO Chairman S Somnath has told the BBC that the barnacle-encrusted metal dome that washed up on an Australian beach is definitely space junk ― possibly of Indian origin.
A judge of the Allahabad High Court was treated like mango people on the train from New Delhi to Prayagraj. He got no reception, no refreshments, the train was three hours late and everything was really, really designed to displease. Unlike the mango people, he complained.