Good morning Readers,
We are covering the spike in suicides by daily-wage earners, Sharad Pawar’s unhappiness at Covid containment efforts at a key NCP bastion and the government’s big infra push.
The Big Story
After the meeting of Defence Ministers in Moscow, India and China stuck to their guns and laid the blame squarely at each other’s doorstep for the current tension on the border. Be that as it may, India believes that occupying strategic positions on the south bank of Pangong Tso and Rechin La has “evened the table” and it can now negotiate from a position of strength.
From The Front Page
The government is laying the ground for a big infra push by setting up a new Development Finance Institution for raising funds. Discussions have been ongoing at the highest level whether it should be promoted by the government or a private player should run it with the State owning a minority stake.
The share of daily-wage earners among those who died by suicide has been steadily rising, doubling to 23.4 per cent in 2019 as compared to six years before. And the unemployed numbered 14,019 among the suicide deaths last year, a rise of 8.37 per cent from 2018’s figure of 12,936.
With Pune getting the unwanted tag as the city with the highest of Covid cases in the country, NCP chief Sharad Pawar is “unhappy” how things are being handled. He has been camping in the city the last few days to oversee the containment efforts with alliance partner Shiv Sena hinting that his nephew Ajit Pawar mishandled the situation.
As Uttar Pradesh jumped 10 places to break into the top ranks of states that have become better destinations to do business in 2019 and finished second, Gujarat dropped five places to rank 10th, while Haryana, in one of the steepest falls, was knocked down to 16th from its earlier rank of No. 3.
The Special Frontier Force has been in focus in the present stand-off with China in Ladakh. However, a 2016 judgment of the Delhi High Court and later, the government’s refusal to provide them with pension benefits similar to the Army, are a stark reminder of how the members of this covert force remained without any formal recognition for a long period.
Winter is coming. But, for the first time, Lahaul, one of Himachal’s coldest inhabited places, and the Army that uses a route through it to the strategic front in Ladakh are not counting the hours. The Sunday Express reports on the four-decade wait and the engineering triumphs leading to the Atal Tunnel at Rohtang Pass, which is set to be inaugurated by PM Modi this month.
Lawrence Bishnoi was a troublemaker but little did his professors imagine that he would become such a dreaded name in the years to come, and would run his gang while sitting in jail to chalk out a plan to eliminate Bollywood actor Salman Khan.
National Highway 44, dotted with more than 100 dhabas on both its flanks, has over the past several years emerged as a favourite food haunt with some of them even giving a tough competition to a 4-star hotel. With over 90 workers testing positive for Covid in three days, two dhabas have been sealed and these otherwise lively places now wear a deserted look.
- The NCB will soon issue summons to actor Rhea Chakraborty to join the investigation in the drug case in which her brother Showik along with seven others has been arrested.
- A Gujarat court on Saturday dropped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name as respondent from three civil suits moved by relatives of victims of 2002 riots.
- The Reserve Bank of India is likely to announce the financial parameters to be factored in the resolution plans under its proposed loan restructuring scheme to bail out Covid-hit companies on Sunday or Monday.
- Five youths from Arunachal Pradesh have been “abducted” by the Chinese PLA, local media reported, even as the Indian Army and police said they had received no such complaint.
- Journalist Priya Ramani’s lawyer has told the court that the former’s alleged defamatory tweets and article against former Union minister M J Akbar was her truth and a justifiable offence.
How is the guru-shishya parampara of Indian classical music coping with the onslaught of technology and changes in its lopsided power dynamics? Is it still relevant?
🎧 In our latest podcast episode, we discuss how the Covid crisis will affect what we look for in our devices.
Leela Prasad and Liu Chuen Chen
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