Daily Briefing: Last piece of uncaptured Afghanistan falls to Taliban; Only 8% rural kids studying online post covid-19

Read the latest on Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Government’s 2019-20 employment statistics and our latest headlines for today.

A look at the top news today, September 7, 2021.

The Big Story

With Panjshir falling under Taliban control, it is curtains for the Northern Alliance forces, which had once successfully kept out the Soviet Army and the Taliban in the 80s and 90s. But how did the Taliban fighters succeed this time? It is a combination of strategy and outside support.  

Only in the Express

Two specific trends in the Government’s 2019-20 employment statistics, mapped till the first three months of the pandemic (April-June 2020), show a reversal of the falling share of agriculture and a decisive turnaround in declining female participation. But the catch is that much of the surge in female labour force participation rate is because of those working in family enterprises without drawing wages.

From the Front Page

The pandemic-induced school closures have resulted in “catastrophic consequences” for students, especially for those in rural areas, with a mere 8% studying regularly online and 37% not studying at all, according to a survey supervised by economists Jean Dreze, Reetika Khera and researcher Vipul Paikra. The survey covered 1,400 students enrolled in Classes 1 to 8 across 15 states and Union Territories. 

The Rampur police has booked former Uttar Pradesh governor Aziz Qureshi on sedition charges for allegedly comparing the Yogi Adityanath government to a “blood-sucking demon”. He made the remarks after meeting Tanzeem Fatima, a local MLA and meet jailed Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. 

Must read

The BJP leadership fears that Jamui MP Chirag Paswan would refuse to vacate the 12 Janpath bungalow he continues to occupy after his father LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan’s death and “politicise the issue”. After being served evictions notices and alloted a new bungalow, a small bust of Ram Vilas Paswan has come up recently.  

In Bihar, it is BJP leader vs BJP leader, but the fight is over control of the state’s under-19 cricket team. Both camps claim they represent the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) and are preparing to send their teams for the  BCCI’s season-opening Vinoo Mankad Trophy. Asked about the standoff, BCCI secretary Jay Shah told The Indian Express the board “will look into the matter and we are not going to tolerate this kind of activity”.

Noting that the government’s decision to reduce the wait time between two doses of the Covishield vaccine for only certain categories of recipients amounted to discrimination, the Kerala High Court asked the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to make necessary provisions in the CoWIN portal “forthwith” to allow anyone who wanted to schedule the second dose four weeks after the first. Currently, there is an 84-day gap for administering the second dose.

A ‘New Jamatra’ has cropped up on the country’s crime map. Scamsters who operate at the tri-junction of Haryana, UP and Rajasthan from places such as Bharatpur, Mathura and Mewat are increasingly targetting men on social media. The modus operandi? Send the victim a friend request, message them asking for their WhatsApp number, and then make “nude video calls to blackmail people”. 

And finally…

India’s first win at the Oval in 50 years has erased a forgettable record but the team has also burned a stereotype in the process: that, India could never be a fast-bowling powerhouse. The team now arguably has the most lethal phalanx of pace bowlers in contemporary cricket. The depth they have is frightening and literal. 


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