NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018
- FOUR NON-BJP CMS THROW WEIGHT BEHIND KEJRIWAL; HIS DHARNA CONTINUES
As the battle between AAP and L-G continued for the sixth day on Saturday, four non-BJP chief ministers threw their weight behind their Delhi counterpart to confront the alleged nexus between LG’s office and Modi government. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, along with Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, and Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy held a joint press conference in support of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
Before this, the four CMs were denied meeting with the Delhi Chief Minister, who is holding a sit-in protest at Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s office. They are in Delhi to attend NITI Aayog meeting to be held on Sunday. “All of us would like to make a representation to you with respect to the issues concerning the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi Shri Arvind Kejriwal. Please grant us a meeting slot today as we are waiting. We request you to give us time around 9 PM today,” they said in the letter to L-G.
Reacting to the development, Kejriwal immediately trained his guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused him of “directing” the L-G to refuse the Trinamool Congress chief permission.
He tweeted, “This is getting more and more bizarre…” He added, “I don’t think Hon’ble L-G can take such a decision on his own. Obviously, PMO has directed him to refuse permission. Just like IAS strike is being done at PMO’s instance.”
Kejriwal, along with Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai and Satyendar Jain have been staying put at the LG office demanding that Baijal direct IAS officers to end what AAP described as their “strike” and approve doorstep ration delivery scheme.
Denied permission, the chief ministers expressed solidarity with their Delhi counterpart and sought the Prime Minister’s intervention to resolve the crisis.
While addressing reporters in the national capital, Mamata Banerjee termed the impasse as a “constitutional crisis” and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the case. The four CM’s had sought an appointment with the L-G but later learnt that Baijal was not in his office. “We were told that the LG is not at home. Our demand is very simple: Sort out the issue, let the elected government work,” Naidu told reporters.
Kejriwal thanked the four CMs for their support. He said that people of Delhi will be grateful to them. “The people of Delhi will ever be grateful to you sirs @ncbn @vijayanpinarayi @hd_kumaraswamy and @MamataOfficial didi. We all will work together to save democracy. Thank u so much,” he tweeted.
- NO EXCHANGE OF EID GREETINGS, SWEETS ON INDIA-PAK BORDER
The Indian Army and BSF personnel did not exchange Eid greetings and sweets with their Pakistani counterparts along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. “The exchange of sweets between the Indian and Pakistan Army on the sacred occasion of Eid stands cancelled,’’ said an Army spokesperson in a statement.
The situation was already tense along the international border, especially after the death of four BSF personnel in Pakistani firing in Ramgarh sector on the night of June 12. The ceasefire violation had come days after the BSF and Pakistan Rangers held a flag meeting on June 4 and agreed to maintain the ceasefire.
The immediate provocation for not exchanging sweets along the LoC appeared to be the killing of a jawan in Rajouri district’s Nowshera sector during unprovoked mortar shelling from across the border Saturday. An Army spokesperson said, “Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of mortars on routine Indian Army patrol 700 m inside the Indian territory’’ on Saturday morning. In the exchange of fire, rifleman Bikas Gurung was grievously injured and succumbed to his injuries, he said.
“The unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan, especially on the occasion of Id ul Fitr, is highly unethical and unprofessional,’’ he said.
Both DGMOs had agreed to fully implement the 2003 ceasefire agreement. BSF and Pakistan rangers had last exchanged sweets on Diwali last year.
- PM TO CHAIR NITI AAYOG MEETING TODAY
A day-long meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by all the Chief Ministers of the states, has been called for today.
The meeting will deliberate on issues relating to doubling farmers’ income, NDA flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat, development of aspirational districts and celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Calling it a meeting of “Team India”, Modi in a twitter post said, “Looking forward to the fourth Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog tomorrow. Implementation of key policies relating to a wide range of sectors will be discussed during the meeting.”
- INDIA PROPOSES RETALIATORY TARIFFS ON 30 US PRODUCTS
India has decided to suspend concessions on 30 products originating from the United States.
Customs duty on motorcycles with engine capacity over 800 cc will be raised up to 50 per cent, on almonds up to 20 per cent, on walnuts up to 20 per cent and on apples up to 25 per cent.
The move came as retaliation to Washington’s move to impose higher duties on Indian steel and aluminium exports.
India in a letter to the WTO stated that the suspended concessions are substantially equivalent to the amount of trade affected by the measures imposed by the United States.
“This notification is made in connection with safeguard measures imposed by the United States of America on imports of certain aluminium and steel articles,” India said.
India expects around USD 238 million of duty to be collected through the measure imposed on the US.
- INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
- AFGHAN BOMBER KILLS 25, MOSTLY TALIBAN CELEBRATING EID TRUCE
A suicide bomber blew himself up in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday as mostly Taliban fighters gathered to celebrate a three-day ceasefire, marking the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr, killing 25 people and wounding another 54, said the Nangarhar provincial Police Chief Ghulam Sanayee Stanikzai.
Most of the dead and wounded were believed to be Taliban, he said. The devastating explosion came as previously unthinkable scenes of unarmed Taliban fighters celebrating Eid, often alongside Afghan security forces, played out in cities throughout the war-shattered country on Friday and again on Saturday.
Within hours of the explosion President Ashraf Ghani announced he would extend a nine-day ceasefire that was to expire on Sunday and which he had unilaterally announced last week. The ceasefire was to end at the conclusion of the Eid holiday, which follows the month-long fasting month of Ramzan.
While no one has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion in Rodat district of eastern Nangarhar province, the Islamic State affiliate, which did not sign on to the ceasefire, has a strong presence in the area. Previously, IS fighters have clashed with Taliban, who have rejected their demands for a caliphate.
- MORE ON TRUMPS BARBS AT G7 MEET
Donald Trump threatened Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe he would ship 25 million Mexicans to his country, one of a series of bizarre missives that jarred fellow leaders at last week’s acrimonious G7 meet, according to a report.
The Group of Seven summit gathering of top industrialised democracies finished in disarray after the US President abruptly rejected its consensus statement and bitterly attacked Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau.
Behind the scenes, Trump’s counterparts were dismayed by verbal jabs on topics ranging from trade to terrorism and migration, The Wall Street Journal said, quoting European officials who were present. At one point he described migration as a big problem for Europe then said to Abe: “Shinzo, you don’t have this problem, but I can send you 25 million Mexicans and you’ll be out of office very soon,” creating a sense of irritation in the room, said an EU official.
The source added that when the topic turned to Iran and terrorism, Trump took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron, saying: “You must know about this because all terrorists are in Paris.”
- THE REST
- FLOODS, RAIN AND LANDSLIDES BATTER NORTHEAST INDIA; DEATH TOLL TOUCHES 17
Torrential rains have affected lakhs of lives across the north-eastern states with multiple instances of landslides and flash floods reported from the states of Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland and Assam. The flood situation has deteriorated in Assam with four more deaths reported Saturday, taking the death toll to 17. Thousands of people have suffered the loss of livelihoods and a total of seven deaths have been reported in Manipur alone on Saturday.
Multiple landslides have blocked vital transport routes, hindering the relief work in the affected states. Security forces comprising of paramilitary troops, as well as the Army, have been deployed in carrying out the relief operations and required medical support in the states of Tripura, Assam and Manipur.
- AAP LEADER FOR SIKH REFERENDUM: CONG SEEKS CLARIFICATION FROM KEJRIWAL
Political parties in Punjab, including the ruling Congress and the BJP, on Saturday strongly criticised Aam Aadmi Party senior leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira for reportedly supporting Sikh “referendum” 2020 campaign. Khaira reportedly said: “I support the Sikh referendum 2020 movement as Sikhs have the right to demand justice against atrocities suffered by them.”
Congress leaders and legislators lashed out at Khaira, the leader of opposition in Punjab Assembly, for his “open and blatant support” to the campaign aimed at seceding Punjab from India.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condemned Khaira for “backing secessionism” by supporting the campaign, propounded by Sikh radicals for a separate Sikh homeland. In a statement, Singh said Khaira seemed to be indulging in political antics without any sense of the history of Punjab or any realisation of the possible consequences of his statement.
Other Congress leaders sought clarification from AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, asking him whether he subscribed to Khaira’s stand. They said those fuelling secession via the “referendum” were sitting comfortably thousands of miles away in the west while trying to set Punjab on fire and push the youth toward disaster by using people like Khaira.
- SENA NEEDLES MODI GOVT
The Shiv Sena on Saturday slammed the Narendra Modi govt for the way it has handled Kashmir and took a dig at the Prime Minister’s foreign tours, indicating that BJP chief Amit Shah’s attempts to mollify the ally had not succeeded yet.
“The internal security of the country is in tatters… The govt will have to be blamed for the violence in Kashmir and for the killings by terrorists during the holy month of Ramazan,” Sena mouthpiece Saamna said in an editorial. “We must maintain the piousness of Ramazan and they must play with our blood, this is the current situation…,” it added.
The editorial – titled Naked dance in Kashmir – said the Centre’s unilateral ceasefire during Ramazan had failed, as it cited the murders of Shujaat Bukhari, the editor of the newspaper Rising Kashmir, and army jawan Aurangzeb earlier this week.
The editorial targeted Modi, saying: “Your international tours and politics are turning futile. India’s security is being bathed in blood every day in the Kashmir Valley.”
It referred to the UN report on alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. “The BJP claims the Prime Minister’s foreign tours have increased the country’s prestige but the Prime Minister’s image has been badly hit by the UN report on Kashmir,” the editorial said.
- UK OMITS INDIA FROM RELAXED STUDENT VISA RULES
The UK government’s decision to exclude India from a new list of countries considered “low risk”, which facilitates an easier visa application process to country’s universities, has invited backlash from Indian students who will now be subjected to intense scrutiny.
As part of changes made in the immigration policy which was tabled in the UK Parliament on Friday, the Home Office announced a relaxation of the Tier 4 visa category for overseas students from around 25 countries. This means that students from countries like China, Bahrain and Serbia will now face reduced checks on educational, financial and English language skill requirements to study at the country’s varsities.
However, Indian students applying for similar courses would be subjected to rigorous checks and documentation.
Condemning this latest development, Lord Karan Bilimoria, Indian-origin entrepreneur and President of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), said, “I consider this another kick in the teeth for India… This sends entirely the wrong message to India, to exclude it from these Tier 4 measures. The government has simply got it wrong.”
When asked why India was excluded from the fresh list, a spokesperson in the Home Office said, “We welcome Indian students who want to come to the UK to study at our world-leading educational institutions. We issue more visas to students from India than any other country except China and the USA.”
- KERALA: DAUGHTER BOOKED, SENIOR COP REMOVED FROM POST
Additional Director-General of Police Sudesh Kumar was on Saturday removed as chief of the armed battalions on charges of misusing the service of camp followers and making them do domestic chores. An IPS officer of 1987-batch, Kumar has not been given any other post as of now.
The charges came to the fore after Kumar’s daughter Snigdha allegedly assaulted his official driver Gavaskar. She was booked on charges of manhandling the driver. Acting on her complaint, the police registered a counter-case against Gavaskar.
The issue snowballed for IPS officers after Kerala Police Association alleged that Kumar and a section of senior officials were making camp followers and personal staff do domestic chores. Former DGP T P Senkumar said some IPS officers from other states did not understand the ground reality in Kerala. “The feudal culture in other states would not work in Kerala,” he said.
- ON FATHER’S DAY, AN NGO LISTS DEMANDS
A child rights NGO has aired several demands on Father’s Day eve, including the establishment of a separate child welfare ministry, claiming “fatherless” children are increasingly being drawn towards crime. The country now has a women and child development ministry.
Quoting “research & studies done by multiple organisations across the globe”, the Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (Crisp) said children deprived of a father’s care are:
5 times likelier to commit suicide;
9 times likelier to drop out of high school;
14 times likelier to end up as rapists;
20 times likelier to end up in prison or become a drug addict; and
32 times likelier to run away from home.
In a statement from Bangalore, Crisp president Kumar Jahgirdar urged the Centre to meet the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights’ recent recommendations, which call for fresh guidelines on child access and custody.
- DEMAND RISES FOR ITIs, DIPS FOR ENGINEERING COURSES IN MUMBAI
At a time when engineering colleges in Maharashtra are not finding many takers, colleges offering vocational courses or Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) have emerged as the winners.
Over 1.36 lakh seats are available at ITIs this year — at least 3,000 new seats have been added this year. In stark contrast, no new seats were added to engineering colleges this year and the intake is likely to fall by 10,000 seats. Sources in the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training, which has kicked off the admission process for this year, said that some of the courses offered by the ITIs are sought after because of their employability.
In 2017, over twice the number of applications were received against the number of seats available — 3.23 lakh applications against 1.33 lakh seats. Applications have also increased over the past few years. In 2016, 2.83 lakh candidates had applied for 1.25 lakh seats, indicating a rise in demand.
- SENSEX REJIG: PHARMA’S LOSS OF CLOUT WILL ADD SHINE TO METALS
With Dr Reddy’s Labortories getting excluded from the Sensex pack on Monday, the weightage of the pharma sector in the index is all set to hit an eight-year low.
Capital goods and telecom sectors are some other sectors which have lost clout in last decade while others such as cement and real estate sectors have, for long, had no representation in the index.
In the case of pharma sector, it would now be represented only by Sun Pharma, which would have a weightage of 1.7 per cent in the 30-pack. Cipla and Lupin were shown the door in the December 2017 rejig. The sector’s weightage in Sensex had risen from 1.1 per cent in FY10 to 8.3 per cent in FY16, only to decline thereafter.
Weightages of capital goods and telecom sectors, too, have hit new lows. The capital goods sector accounted for 10.7 per cent weightage in the index in FY08, which has fallen to 4.7 per cent now. Telecom sector’s weightage has dropped from 5.4 per cent in FY10 to 3.7 per cent now.
That said, with Vedanta entering the index, the weightage of the metal sector in the index will rise from 1.3 per cent at present to 2.6 per cent. This sector had 7.2 per cent weightage in the index in FY10.
- WORLD CUP, DAY 3: ICELAND DRAWS AGAINST ARGENTINA!
The only World Cup matchday with four consecutive matches, Saturday featured a slip-up from Lionel Messi.
Despite dominating possession and creating the majority of the chances, Argentina didn’t win its opener against Iceland, drawing 1-1. Lionel Messi had a penalty kick saved as the South Americans surrendered a lead and only got a point out of the match.
Iceland, meanwhile, earned such a valuable point and made history.
Croatia has three points after a 2-0 win over Nigeria, but they weren’t convincing at all. They needed an own goal and a penalty kick to complete the scoreline, while the African nation did next to nothing. Not very good vibes from either team, but Croatia will take this in a heartbeat.
Lady Luck was not with the Peruvians on Saturday as the country made its first appearance at a World Cup since 1982. Peru fell 1-0 to Denmark despite dominating the chances. Peru failed miserably on a penalty kick and faced a focused Kasper Schmeichel who kept an impressive clean sheet with numerous big-time saves.
France won its opener, beating Australia 2-1, but it was another showing that doesn’t bring you confidence that France can contend. They were sloppy, unorganized and lacked attacking creativity, which will likely force coach Didier Deschamps to make some changes ahead of the second match.
History was made during the game though, as video assistant referee was used for the first time.
- THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Fear not those who argue but those who dodge. – Marie von Ebner Eschenbach
- OFF TRACK
A couple went to an Art Gallery. There was a picture of a girl covered only with leaves. The husband kept staring at the picture for a long time.
Wife: You want to move on or you’ll keep waiting for a strong wind?