The top headlines this morning: outsiders can now buy land in J&K, Facebook policy director for India Ankhi Das has quit, and Bihar votes in the first phase today.
In sweeping changes to land laws in Jammu-Kashmir, the Centre has allowed outsiders to purchase non-agricultural land, which the Opposition says, stokes fears of demographic change in the region. The amendments to the land laws, however, are not applicable to the Union Territory of Ladakh.
From The Front Page
After announcing the signing of a crucial military pact between India and US, Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo launched a sharply worded attack on China, saying the Communist Party of China (CCP) is “no friend to democracy and rule of law”.He also flagged the “increasing aggression and destabilising activities by China”.
A Delhi court refused bail to a Jamia Millia Islamia student, saying “vociferous agitation in the guise of Citizen Amendment Bill coupled with other activities of violence would show it was meant to cause or intended to cause disaffection against India”.
Facebook’s policy director for India Ankhi Das is stepping down from her role to pursue her interest in public service, the company said in a statement. This comes weeks after a report in The Wall Street Journal said that Das “opposed applying hate-speech rules” to groups linked with BJP .
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided the Versova residence of actor Deepika Padukone’s manager Karishma Prakash, where it claimed to have found 1.7 grams of charas and at least two bottles of cannabis (CBD) oil. Prakash was earlier questioned in connection with the FIR that had been registered in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
A day before the first phase of the Bihar Assembly elections, a clash broke out between devotees and police over a delay in the immersion of idols in the Ganga, leading to lathicharge, stone-pelting and firing at Munger’s Loharpatti area, resulting into killing of one person. Eye-witnesses say Anupam, a first-year student at JMS College, was killed in police firing. Polling for the first phase is underway.
And this time, the figure of Nitish Kumar looms, bruised and diminished — and alone. He looks embattled in the Election 2020 frame, as voters ask: “Road aur bijli se pet bhar jaayega (is road and electricity enough)?”. But it’s not clear whether these alienated voters are engaging meaningfully with Tejashwi.
For the third year in a row, Gurjeet Singh and Gurjinder Singh, two small farmers in Allahditta village of Kapurthala district’s Sultanpur Lodhi subdivision, have not burnt any parali (paddy stubble) in their fields. The alternative stubble management technique they employ isn’t prohibitively expensive, and the farmers say their yields of wheat have improved.
Facing surge in defaults by credit card customers, with the Covid lockdown leading to layoffs, salary cuts and closure of units, banks have started approaching card holders for settlement of dues at “terms that are beneficial to the borrowers”. According to banking sources, a clear picture will emerge when PSU banks report their September and December quarter results.
# Congress leader Sachin Pilot Tuesday took on Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh, accusing him of making a backdoor entry for his government after the Congress defeated BJP in the elections.
# A new study has found that countries with poor hygiene and sanitation and low-quality water have a lower Covid-19 fatality rate as compared to richer countries where sanitation quality is high.
# After the Indo-US 2+2 meeting, Foreign and Defence ministers of India and the US called on Pakistan to take “immediate, sustained and irreversible” action to ensure that “no territory under its control is used for terrorist attacks”.
# The Centre has designated 18 key operatives and leaders of groups such as LeT, HuM, JeM, IM and members of the Dawood Ibrahim gang as individual terrorists under the UAPA.
# Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has stirred a controversy in the state by saying that his government would not allow a ‘Miya museum’.
Against the backdrop of rising pollution levels being reported in the national capital region, ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava flagged that evidence from scientific studies conducted abroad reveal that pollution is contributing to Covid-19 mortality and that rapid adoption of masks is the only effective approach to this twin public health problem.
Delhi confidential: During his interaction with street vendors of Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chanced upon a person who may well be called an ideal beneficiary of government schemes — a momo seller in his constituency, Varanasi.
In today’s episode of the Three Things podcast, we look into the findings of the country’s largest trial on plasma therapy, why COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be a concern in Bihar, and the tragic death of a sixteen-year-old boy from Goa.
Leela Prasad G and Shreyasi Jha
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