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Friday, October 22, 2021

Daily Briefing: In Charanjit Singh Channi, Punjab gets its first Dalit Chief Minister

Read the latest on Punjab's new leader, government's generation of unique IDs for farmers, our Idea Exchange with Finance Secretary T V Somanathan and more here.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 20, 2021 8:44:03 am
A look at the top news today, September 29, 2021.

The Big Story

Punjab will get its first Dalit Chief Minister today with Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi set to take oath at 11 am. However, he was neither the Congress high command’s first choice nor the unanimous choice of the Congress Legislature Party. 

But who is Channi? Lawyer, management graduate, a strong voice for Dalits — Punjab’s chief minister-designate is a man of many parts. Ironically, he was an active participant in the revolt against Amarinder, who had brought him back into the party fold in 2010. 

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 In this edition of the Idea Exchange, Finance Secretary T V Somanathan explains the recent telecom reforms; insists revival of economic activity will create demand; and says that on capital expenditure, he is “optimistic” about reaching Budget targets and that there would be “no restriction” from the Ministry.

From the Front Page

Most economic decisions taken in the last two months — from a law to bury retrospective taxation to a government guarantee for a bad bank — required a political call to be taken at the level of the Prime Minister. One of the most senior bureaucrats in the government told The Indian Express that post-pandemic the Prime Minister’s push has been to focus on reviving the economy and expending his political capital to that effect.

In a bid to help farmers avail all farm-related services under various schemes “seamlessly”, the Centre has started generating 12-digit unique IDs for them. Vivek Aggarwal, Additional Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, told The Indian Express that a unique ID for each farmer is part of the Government’s initiative to create a database by collating data from various schemes, such as PM-Kisan, and linking them with land records.

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The Tihar Jail administration, after an internal probe into an extortion racket allegedly run by conman Sukesh Chandrasehkar from Rohini jail, has initiated a proposal for departmental action against nine officials after finding negligence on their part. The officials have been accused of giving extra favours to Sukesh, including using a mobile phone. During questioning, Sukesh had disclosed his financial transactions with jail officials and claimed he was giving them Rs 65 lakh every fortnight.

Sitting in a posh South Delhi cafe, the 38-year-old recalled a time when more than 700 people used to work for him. What he ran was a call centre — but not one dedicated to resolving customer complaints or selling a property or product. Instead, the North Delhi establishment had a singular purpose: Duping foreigners. Speaking to The Indian Express, he revealed the staggering scope and intricate modus operandi of such ‘call centres’.

A month after the Opposition joined hands with the government in Nagaland, the state’s legislators have decided to call the new formation the United Democratic Alliance. On July 19, the Opposition party, Naga People’s Front, had submitted a letter to chief minister Rio requesting for an all-party government to help reach an early settlement of the Naga political problem.

And Finally…

Shraddha Talekar remembers long vacations in the “city” at her maternal uncle’s home in Thane. It was during one such trip that the uncle, Vishwas Gophan, packed her off to a gymnastics summer camp. Eighteen years on, the 27-year-old from rain-soaked Pedali village in Maharashtra’s coastal Raigad district, has made it to the India team for next month’s Artistic Gymnastics World Championship in Japan.

In today’s podcast episode, we take a look at what led to the resignation of Captain Amarinder Singh, why the Congress picked Channi, and how it will affect the party.

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