INDIA-AUSTRALIA TRUST NOT JUST DIPLOMATIC BUT BASED ON PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TIES: PM MODI
India's vision for global governance is guided by the credo “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayaas”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday, addressing the diaspora at a public event in Sydney where he underlined “mutual trust and respect” as the defining characteristic of India’s “deepening” ties with Australia.
Apart from thousands of Indians settled in Australia, the event, which was held at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, was attended by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, several members of his Cabinet and Parliament. In his speech, Albanese called Modi “the Boss”, drawing loud cheers from the audience.
The two leaders will hold a bilateral meeting on Wednesday. Modi, who reached Sydney on Monday, is on a three-day visit to Australia.
“There was a time when India-Australia ties were defined by three Cs — Commonwealth, Cricket and Curry. It was also said to be based on three Ds — Democracy, Diaspora and Dosti. Some people also said it is based on three Es — Energy, Economy and Education. But the breadth of India-Australia historic ties are much bigger than this. The biggest foundation of those ties is mutual trust and mutual respect. And that mutual trust and mutual respect is not an outcome of diplomatic ties, but its biggest reason and strength is you, every single Indian living in Australia and over 2.5 crore Australian citizens,” Modi said.
FOUR OPPOSITION PARTIES TO SKIP PARLIAMENT INAUGURATION, MORE MAY FOLLOW
The TMC, AAP, CPI(M) and CPI said on Tuesday that they have decided to skip the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28, amid indications that more Opposition parties, including the Congress, are likely to boycott the ceremony.
Alleging breach of Constitutional propriety, the Opposition parties have argued that President Droupadi Murmu, as the head of Parliament, should have been invited to dedicate the building to the nation instead of Modi.
The Congress and several other Opposition parties had skipped the foundation-laying ceremony of the new Parliament building in December 2020 too.
“Parliament is not just a new building; it is an establishment with old traditions, values, precedents and rules — it is the foundation of Indian democracy. PM Modi doesn’t get that. For him, Sunday’s inauguration of the new building is all about I, me, myself. So count us out,” tweeted TMC’s Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O’Brien.
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said that “not inviting” President Murmu was a “gross insult to her” as well as the “Dalits, tribals and deprived sections of the country”.
“How can we associate with such an endeavour that sidelines the President of India and links itself with the memory of Savarkar? Those who cherish the values of parliamentary democracy and secularism can only keep away from this majoritarian adventurism,” tweeted CPI Rajya Sabha member Binoy Viswam.
Earlier in the day, hitting back at the Congress, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that former PM Indira Gandhi had inaugurated the Parliament Annexe on October 24, 1975, and former PM Rajiv Gandhi had laid the foundation of the Parliament Library on August 15, 1987. In a series of tweets, Puri said the Congress lacks “national spirit and sense of pride in India’s progress”. “From criticising the new Parliament building & questioning its very necessity despite many of them advocating for it before but not executing it, Congress president & other worthies are now shifting the goalpost by generously misquoting an article a day from the Constitution,” he said.
Countering Puri, Jairam Ramesh, AICC general secretary in-charge, communications, tweeted: “…there is a fundamental difference between inaugurating an annexe where officials work and a library which is hardly used on the one hand, and inaugurating not just the Temple of Democracy but its garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) itself”.
G20 MEET: J&K SUFFERED FOR 30 YRS BUT TERROR ECOSYSTEM NOW ISOLATED, SAYS L-G MANOJ SINHA
Jammu And Kashmir Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha yesterday addressed delegates at the G20 tourism working group meeting in Srinagar. “For almost 30 years, this land of peaceful co-existence of almost all religious sects had to suffer state-sponsored terrorism by our neighbouring country,” he said in his inaugural address. “However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through development schemes that empower masses and the Union Territory’s effective administration, isolated the terror ecosystem, which thrived with support from across the border.”
“J&K is witnessing a new era that has opened limitless possibilities of growth and peace. Now even foreign investments are coming into J&K, green shoots of better times people are anxiously looking up to,” Sinha said.
Asked about Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s recent remarks on “India abusing its G20 presidency to push its political agenda” by holding the meet in Kashmir, the L-G said, “Pakistan should be more worried about taking care of the basic needs of its citizens.”
In fact, he said, the G20 presidency is a proud moment for India and the United Nations has also sent many representatives to the Srinagar meeting. “This shows that the whole world wants India to hold such events,” he said.
Officials said five UN organisations, including UN Headquarters, UNWTO and UNEP, are being represented at the meeting, apart from a number of international organisations such as ILO.
NDTV POLL: RAHUL GANDHI'S POPULARITY GROWS BUT PM MODI REMAINS DOMINANT
Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains India's most popular leader and the leading choice for the country's top job, reveals a special NDTV survey in partnership with Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).
The survey sought to assess the public mood as the parties prepare for the Lok Sabha polls next year. It was conducted across 19 states between May 10 and 19, just after the Karnataka election in which the ruling BJP lost to the Congress.
Despite the loss in Karnataka, the good news for the BJP is that PM Modi's popularity remains strong and the party's vote share remains steady. Around 43% of the respondents say the BJP-led NDA should win a third straight term, while 38% disagree. Nearly 40% say they would vote the BJP if elections were held today. The Congress gets 29% of the votes.
The BJP's vote share has increased from 2019 (37%) to 2023 (39%). So has the Congress's - 19% in 2019 to 29% in 2023.
As many as 43 per cent of the respondents have said if elections are held today, Narendra Modi is their top choice for PM. His nearest rival is Rahul Gandhi - 27 per cent of those surveyed favoured him as Prime Minister.
The others are far behind when it comes to a popular choice for PM - Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal are tied at a distant third (both 4%), followed by Akhilesh Yadav (3%), Nitish Kumar (1%), and 18% for the others.
The data for 2019 and 2023 shows a marginal dip for PM Modi (44 to 43%) and an increase for Rahul Gandhi (24 to 27%). But PM Modi reigns supreme with 40 per cent of the respondents saying they like him.
WORLD NEEDS TO BE PREPARED FOR THE NEXT PANDEMIC: WHO CHIEF
The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, issued a warning that the world must get ready for the next pandemic, which might be "even deadlier" than the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when COVID cases are somewhat stabilising around the world.
"The end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of COVID-19 as a global health threat," Mr Tedros said.
"The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains, and the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains."
The head of the WHO said this as he presented his report to the 76th World Health Assembly.
"When the next pandemic comes knocking-and it will-we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively, and equitably," he advised.
SHIREEN MAZARI QUITS IMRAN KHAN’S PARTY
The Imran-led PTI suffered a blow on Tuesday when former human rights minister Shireen Mazari, one of the most prominent PTI leaders who had been arrested multiple times in recent days, quit the party. She cited health issues and the ordeal that her daughter had to go through during her incarceration as reasons for her quitting politics.
Mazari, before announcing her resignation, condemned the violence that ensued on May 9. Another PTI leader, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, also announced he was quitting PTI, claiming that Imran had “trained” party supporters to “move towards” military installations during a rally on May 1.
Many leaders of Imran Khan's party have either quit or have been arrested in recent days. Imran claimed PTI members were being forced to leave the party at “gunpoint”. “People are not leaving the party on their own, they are being forced to do so, and that too at gunpoint,” he said.
RUSSIA SAYS ‘CRUSHED’ UKRAINE INCURSION IN 24-HOUR BATTLE
Russia’s military said on Tuesday that it crushed what appeared to be one of the most serious cross-border attacks from Ukraine since the war began, claiming to have killed more than 70 attackers in a battle that lasted around 24 hours. Moscow blamed the raid that began Monday on Ukrainian military saboteurs. Kyiv portrayed it as an uprising against the Kremlin by Russian partisans. It was impossible to reconcile the two versions to say with certainty who was behind the attack or to ascertain its aims.
The battle — which took place in southwest Russia's Belgorod region, about 80 kilometers north of the city of Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine — was a fresh reminder of how Russia itself remains vulnerable to attack, in addition to Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine. The region is a Russian military hub holding fuel and ammunition depots and was included in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order last year to increase the state of readiness for attacks and improve defenses.
MAMATA BACKS KEJRIWAL, TO VOTE AGAINST CENTRAL ORDINANCE
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday assured her counterpart from Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, that her party would support him in his fight against the central ordinance to control appointments and transfer of bureaucrats in the city-state.
Kejriwal, who had come along with his party comrade and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann as part of a nationwide tour to garner support for his fight against the Centre's ordinance on control of services in Delhi, held a nearly hour-long meeting here with Banerjee at the state secretariat.
The Delhi chief minister told newspersons that a forthcoming vote in Rajya Sabha on a bill to convert the central ordinance into law, will be a ”semi-final before the 2024 elections.”
He alleged that the saffron party ”buys MLAs, uses CBI, ED to try to break” opposition governments, besides using governors to disturb non-BJP governments such as in ”Bengal, Punjab, Telangana and Andhra”.
Banerjee told newspersons, "We support AAP in the fight against the central ordinance ...Request all parties not to vote for BJP's law (on controlling appointments in Delhi)." She added, ”It is a grand opportunity to defeat the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in the Rajya Sabha as all the opposition parties are united on the issue of the ordinance.”
NO MORE MORAL POLICING IN KARNATAKA, SAYS CM SIDDARAMAIAH
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar came down heavily on the top brass of the state police during a meeting with senior police officials in Bengaluru Tuesday.
“There will be no moral policing anymore. We will put an end to this,” Siddaramaiah said after the meeting. “The police must not look at crimes through the prism of this religion or that religion. All people must be viewed equally and must be given equal protection,” the chief minister added.
“What we have told the police is that we need to have a people-friendly administration. The police have to be people friendly and, secondly, they must behave in a courteous manner with people who come to the police station,” he said.
The chief minister also said the responsibility for checking illegal activities will also vest on respective deputy commissioners and not just police inspectors.
Siddaramaiah also asked police officers to focus on easing traffic problems in Bengaluru and to control cybercrimes in the state.
He reportedly told officials to take action against social media posts that try to disturb communal harmony and are provocative in nature. “We will encourage those who work well and we will take action without hesitation against dereliction of duty,” he warned.
“There will be no room for the saffronisation of the police department in our regime. There have been instances in Mangaluru, Vijayapura, and Bagalkot, where policemen have posed in saffron attire and insulted the police department. If you have respect for the country, you must wear the national flag,” Shivakumar said at the meeting.
AFTER NITISH, PAWAR SAYS NOT IN PM RACE
Veteran Opposition leader Sharad Pawar has ruled himself out of the race for prime ministership in 2024, and declared that he would not be contesting the next General Election.
Speaking in Pune late on Monday, Nationalist Congress Party chief Pawar said he would invest his energies in building an Opposition leadership that would advance the interests of the country.
UPSC RESULTS: AT OVER ONE-THIRD, WOMEN RECORD THEIR HIGHEST SHARE EVER, TAKE TOP FOUR RANKS TOO
The UPSC made history on Tuesday as the highest number of women ever were selected for the Indian civil services. Over one-third of the 933 candidates (320) recommended for appointment are women.
Moreover, the top four ranks this year have been claimed by women. This is the second consecutive year women candidates have secured the top three positions.
Ishita Kishore, a Delhi University (DU) graduate from Gautam Buddha Nagar, topped the examination in her third attempt with political science and international relations as her optional subjects. She graduated with an Economics (Honours) degree from Shri Ram College of Commerce at DU.
While the all-India second position holder, Garima Lohia from Buxar in Bihar, is also a DU graduate with a Commerce degree from Kirorimal College, Uma Harathi N from Telangana, who holds a BTech degree from IIT Hyderabad, came third. Smriti Mishra, a BSc graduate from DU’s Miranda House College, secured the fourth rank.
DAY 1 OF RS 2,000 CURRENCY NOTE EXCHANGE: BANKS WAIT, CUSTOMERS AWAIT
The rush of 2016 was mostly missing as banks nationwide started exchanging Rs 2,000 notes on Tuesday amid confusion over forms and ID proof.
With memories of queues seen during demonization nearly seven years ago still fresh, bank officials had geared up to facilitate exchange of Rs 2,000 notes. But at most places, there were hardly any one coming to exchange niotes.
This is in sharp contrast to the demonetisation of 2016 when snaking queues had become normal outside bank branches.
The Chandni Chowk branch of SBI in Delhi however had a queue in contrast to private sector banks in the area. The reason: other banks were asking for ID proof.
‘TIME SHELTER’ BY GEORGI GOSPODINOV WINS THE INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE 2023
Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov and translator Angela Rodel won the International Booker Prize on Tuesday for ‘Time Shelter,’ a darkly comic novel about the dangerous appeal of nostalgia.
The book beat five other finalists to the prize, which recognizes fiction from around the world that has been translated into English. The 50,000 pounds ($62,000) in prize money is divided between author and translator. ‘Time Shelter’ imagines a clinic that recreates the past, with each floor reproducing a different decade. Intended as a way to help people with dementia unlock their memories, it soon becomes a magnet for people eager to escape the modern world.
French novelist Leila Slimani, who chaired the judging panel, said it was “a brilliant novel full of irony and melancholy.”“It’s a very profound work that deals with a contemporary question and also a philosophical question: What happens to us when our memories disappear?” she said.“But it is also a great novel about Europe, a continent in need of a future, where the past is reinvented and where nostalgia can be a poison.”Gospodinov is one of Bulgaria’s most-translated authors. “Time Shelter” has also won Italy’s Strega European Prize for literature in Italian translation.
IPL 1ST QUALIFIER: CSK ENTER THEIR 10TH FINAL IN 14 SEASONS
Chennai Super Kings tamed a tenacious Gujarat Giants by 15 runs on a sticky surface to enter their 10th IPL final in Chennai on Tuesday and extend their remarkable consistency in the tournament.
CSK did well to reach 172 for 7 on a slow pitch in Qualifier 1 after Hardik Pandya opted to bowl.
Considering the conditions, it turned out to be much more than a competitive total as Gujarat Titans had a rare off day to end with 157 all out in 20 overs. Rashid Khan made the CSK fans nervous with a 16-ball 30 towards the end but it was not enough for the Titans.
However, the defending champions will got another shot to make a second successive final in Qualifier 2 on Friday.
CSK's master tactician Mahendra Singh Dhoni made the best use of home advantage to take the four time champions to a 10th final in 14 editions. CSK did not take part in 2016 and 2017 editions.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (4-0-18-2) did the star turn for the Super Kings with a brilliant spell during which he strangled the opposition batters to avenge the defeat suffered in the tournament opener. Matheesha Pathirana, Maheesh Theekshana and Deepal Chahar also finished with two wickets each.
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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. - Edmund Burke
When the boss returned to the office, he was told that everyone had been looking for him. That set him off on a speech about how indispensable he was to the company.
"Actually," interrupted his assistant, "you left with the key to the stationery closet."