Women Wrestlers Put Hammerlock on Federation Boss, Leave Umpires Modi, Shah Speechless; As Joshimath Sinks, Safe Haven for Badrinath Treasure Sought
Vikramaditya to sail, schoolkids set back 10 years by lockdowns, Samsung chases billions in PLI, Why giving PIB powers to take down ‘fake news’ is bad news, Ashok Khemka ‘archived' in latest transfer
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Snapshot of the day
January 19, 2023
A BBC documentary on the Gujarat violence of 2002, when PM Narendra Modi was chief minister, has been aired in the UK, with details of an as yet unseen report of the UK on the series of incidents, which it calls the Gujarat Pogrom. The “campaign of violence has all marks of ethnic cleansing”, is says, and the “aim was to purge Muslims from Hindu areas”. Also, most damningly, it says that “Narendra Modi was directly responsible.” It also recalls the drama that accompanied Modi’s 2003 London visit.
Former British foreign secretary Jack Straw is on camera, speaking of unease and horror in UK government circles about the anti-Muslim violence that raged in the state after a train was set on fire on Godhra, killing 59. Nearly 2,000 people died in retaliatory violence. Indian news outlets are focusing on some Indians reacting on social media, criticising the BBC for focusing on Modi. In the documentary (which is not yet viewable in India), Modi denies that he did not do enough to save lives.
The Supreme Court collegium yesterday stood firm on its decision to appoint senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal, who is openly gay, as a judge of a constitutional court in India. It resolved to reiterate Kirpal’s name to the Union government for his appointment in the Delhi High Court as a judge, after rejecting the Centre’s objections. The collegium maintained that the senior lawyer is eligible in all respects.
Samsung is struggling to collect manufacturing incentives under the PLI scheme, which it believes it’s owed by the government. Its India unit is seeking just under Rs 9 billion in incentives for the fiscal year ending March 2021. But the government is only willing to give the South Korean firm Rs 1.65 billion, unless it can provide more information and documents to support its claim. Samsung exported about $3 billion worth of devices from India in the fiscal year ending March 2022.
India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is expected to come out of major refitment at Karwar Naval Base at the end of this month, after more than two years out of action, including an accident that further delayed its serviceability. It is expected to set sail around January 30 for sea trials. The Indian Navy expects flight trials on both INS Vikramaditya and its successor INS Vikrant before the monsoon. Both the carriers will be based on the western coast while a jetty fit for them is readied at Visakhapatnam. In the meantime, the Navy is considering leasing a jetty at Kattupalli Port in north Chennai to dock the aircraft carriers, with another carrier jetty being considered at Campbell Bay in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Prolonged school shutdowns due to Covid-19 have set students back by about 10 years in terms of basic reading and maths skills, according to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-2022. Children’s basic reading ability is down to pre-2012 levels and their maths skills to 2018 levels. “The percentage of children in Class 3 in government or private schools who can read at Class 2 level dropped from 27.3% in 2018 to 20.5% in 2022,” the survey said. Similarly, the percentage of Class 5 students who can at least read a text at the Class 2 level, dropped from 50.5% to 42.8%.
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The Supreme Court has permitted the Gujarat government to inspect documents submitted to the court by its former judge Justice HS Bedi, who had earlier concluded that three deaths had occurred in fake encounters in the state between 2002 and 2006. Activists and Opposition parties had put the number at 24. A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul posted the matter for further hearing to February 15. The apex court had earlier in 2012 constituted a monitoring committee under Justice Bedi to oversee the investigations being conducted by the Gujarat Special Task Force into the alleged fake encounter killings.
The Centre surprised the Supreme Court yesterday by suddenly seeking to refer the Lieutenant Governor versus Aam Aadmi Party dispute to a larger Bench of seven judges on what may be the last day of the hearing. “We may not be remembered in history for having handed over the national capital to complete anarchy,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for the Centre, told a five-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. The Centre’s unexpected move came a day after it had completed oral arguments before the Constitution Bench.
Here is an example of how the PIB Fact Check works. This is the authority the government wants to legally empower the taking down of news from social media platforms.
Efforts by Indian diamond traders to secure more uncut products from Russia to correct an export slump in the world’s biggest polishing hub are hampered by currency risks of dealing with Moscow. Supplies from Russia to India have fallen 40% since April, leading to a slump in exports. And Indian jewellers haven’t used a special facility set up in July to allow the trade to be handled in rupees, according to the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council. It was “asking the Indian government if they can import Russian diamonds directly on a government-to-government basis for export purposes but the government also has to balance global relations.” India’s diamond exports fell 7.7% year-on-year during April-December to $16.6 billion.
If women were represented in India’s formal work force at the same rate as men, the economy could expand by an additional 60% by 2025. But housing is a major obstacle, reports the New York Times. Many single women pay more, for a narrower selection of apartments, and brokers often make them promise to never bring men over, drink or live alone.
Popular southern actress Amala Paul said she was denied entry into the Thiruvairanikulam Mahadeva temple, near Kochi, on Monday. Temple authorities said that by custom, only Hindus are allowed in the premises. But a determined Amala offered her prayers to the deity from the road in front of the temple.
“I’ll make you a groom for Rs 4,000!” says a wedding outfitter in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk. Amazon and Flipkart are useless for custom designers like him, but YouTube is dynamite, reports Rest of World.
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