‘Widespread Youth Disillusionment’ a Threat to India; Why Adityanath Needs Fat Ad Budget
Covid curbs slash food market by Rs 2.23 trillion, Amrit Mahotsav breaks arrow of time, I&B handle changed to ‘Elon Musk’, India a blushing red on unvaccinated map, woke academic politics on J&K book
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 12, 2022
Today, the Supreme Court issued notice for a probe into murderous hate speech at the Haridwar Dharma Sansad in December.
Nearly 60 children of every 1,000 born in UP die before their fifth birthday, a rate similar to that of Afghanistan (60.3 deaths/1,000), according to data from the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS 5) and the World Bank.
India’s demographic dividend is a myth seven and a half years old. A World Economic Forum global risks report says “widespread youth disillusionment” is a huge risk for India. India is the only G20 country with the problem, which could mar social stability, individual wellbeing and economic productivity. Other top risks include the fracture of inter-state relations, a debt crisis in large economies, failure of technology governance and digital inequality.
The Special Investigation Team constituted to probe the Army’s killing of 14 civilians in Nagaland’s Mon district submitted its preliminary report to the state government on January 9, four days after the deadline. “It will take some time for the final report to be submitted. Reports are awaited from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory,” an official told The Hindu. Naga civil society organisations have demanded that the Nagaland government make the findings public.
India’s trade tariffs were increasing relative to China’s for two years before the pandemic. India’s average effectively applied tariff rate across all products was 10.21% in 2019 compared to 5.39% for China, shows the latest data from the World Bank. China’s rising trade competitiveness has seen it maintain higher labour force participation than India over the last 20 years. China was at 76.66% in 2001, higher than India’s 57.64%. The number for 2020 was 66.82% for China, compared to India’s 46.29%.
Hindustan Unilever has increased prices of its soaps and detergents ― Wheel, Rin, Surf Excel, and Lifebuoy ― this month by 3-20%. Apparent rising raw material costs had forced the company to initiate several price hikes last year, too. The sharpest increase in the latest round is for Surf Excel’s bar, whose price has risen by 20%.
The restaurant business faces new curbs due to Omicron. The industry estimates that 35% restaurants have shut in the last two years, and 2.4 million jobs were lost. More people will be laid off if curbs continue, say owners. India’s food market in FY21 has shrunk to Rs 2 trillion, down from Rs 4.23 trillion in FY20.
Seven Indians are on board the UAE ship hijacked by Houthi militia off the shore of Al-Hudaydah, Yemen.
The Lokpal is a non-starter, three years after it was created. So much for the second independence movement of Anna Hazare in 2013, supported by the RSS and promoted by TV news channels.
Newslaundry shows how Doordarshan’s election special on UP passed off BJP affiliates as ‘common citizens’. DD called them local residents who just happened to be praising the government.
In Kerala, where allegations of a serious sexual assault haunt actor Dileep, public opinion has been swinging in many directions. Megastars Mohanlal and Mamooty have supported the survivor on social media. Police have filed a fresh FIR against Dileep, after film director P Balachandra Kumar made new revelations against him.
The official Twitter handle of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was hacked earlier today. The alleged hackers renamed the handle ‘Elon Musk’. Reminder: There is no word on the hacking of the PM’s Twitter handle in December, which tweeted promoting Bitcoin. The government did not legislate on crypto, though.
“Through beauty pageants, we get to embrace and empower women all around the world, who then go on to make some difference in society.” New Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu defends the charge that beauty contests are regressive.
India@75 breaks arrow of time
The Modi government’s ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the forum to mark 75 years of India’s Independence coming up in August, faces serious controversy. It claims that Swami Vivekananda (born in 1863) and Ramana Maharishi (born in 1879) inspired the Ghadar, or ‘revolt’ of 1857. The appallingly drafted publicity material, based on