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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Daily Briefing: PM tells India Inc to invest more in farm sector; farmers fear they will lose land to corporates

From a peek into the world of India's toy start-ups to the Andhra Pradesh government naming the son of former Supreme Court judge Justice Jasti Chelameswar as Additional Advocate General of the state; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | December 13, 2020 8:36:31 am
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Good Morning, 

The Big Story

The farmers waging war on New Delhi are a middle class — not “rich” or “kulak” farmers, as armchair experts would believe — that was confident and very sure of its future in agriculture. Its fight isn’t about upward mobility — agriculture can no longer be a conduit for that — but defending past gains. The Sunday Express meets some of these farmers camping at Delhi’s borders and their families in their farms.

From the Front Page

Amid the impasse between the Centre and farmers unions over the newly-enacted farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said his government was “fully committed to the welfare of farmers, with its policies and intent”. Addressing industry leaders, he called for greater private sector investment in agriculture.

After Union Minister Piyush Goyal alleged the farmer protests were being hijacked by “Maoist” elements — an apparent reference to Joginder Singh Ugrahan and his Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) — the 75-year-old responded: “First they called us Khalistani, then they called us Pakistani, now we are called Naxals… And the same people harp on the importance of dialogue.”

As Sunday brings another high tide, INS Viraat will be winched closer to the shore in Alang, speeding up the breaking of the iconic aircraft carrier. Dismantling of the carrier has been on for a week, and it now lies about 600 feet away from the shore.

Only in Express

The Centre has sought the transfer of three senior IPS officers who were in charge of security when BJP national president J P Nadda’s motorcade came under attack. The Mamata govt is refusing to give in. What does the rule book say?

Even before the Prime Minister urged Indian entrepreneurs to promote India’s cultural heritage through home-grown toys in his Mann Ki Baat address in August this year, a start-up culture had slowly begun taking shape in the segment over the last five years. In this week’s Sunday EYE, we speak to those for whom toys have become a very serious business.

In his Sunday column, P Chidambaram lists what he says are “chilling facts” of the “new normal” in India. “Place your hand on your heart, arouse your conscience and ask yourself the question: am I proud of the ‘new’ normal to which my country is heading?”

Must read

Responding to a petition seeking implementation of a two-child norm to check the country’s population, the Centre told the Supreme Court that India’s population policy is “unequivocally against coercion in family planning”. Policies to control family planning are “counterproductive and lead to demographic distortions”, the Centre said.

The Andhra Pradesh government appointed former Supreme Court judge Justice Jasti Chelameswar’s son advocate Jasti Naga Bhushan as Additional Advocate General of the state. The appointment comes at a time when Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his government are at loggerheads with the state’s judiciary.

The Delhi Police arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly killing his 23-year-old sister and burying her body in the family’s farm in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri district after the woman married a Dalit man despite the family’s disapproval.


Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has announced that his government will provide the Covid-19 vaccine to all people in the state free of cost.

Work has been suspended, and over 100 have been arrested at an iPhone manufacturing plant in Karnataka after workers went on a violent rampage, causing extensive damage to the premises.

In light of the recent violence in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee has said Union Home Minister Amit Shah is “indirectly trying to impose emergency”, and “terrorising IAS and IPS officers of the state”.

And Finally…

A Mumbai-based construction firm has approached the civic body with a rather unusual claim: they have staked ownership of the land on which the ancient rock-cut Mahakali Caves stand, and are seeking transferable development rights. The Caves have been in existence since the Ashoka Empire.

Vikas Dubey may have been dead for more than five months now but the gangster’s “fan” presence on social media seems to have taken on a life of its own. Months after he was killed in a purported encounter, the police are probing multiple Facebook groups and fan pages that have popped up in his name.

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Murali and Rahel Philipose

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