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Friday, January 22, 2021

Daily Briefing: Willing to discuss farm laws on clause by clause basis, says Tomar; Maharashtra House ‘won’t take note of court’ in Arnab case

From a 28-year-old hearing and speech impaired woman's search for her parents two decades after they were separated, to a victim of UP's 'Love Jihad' law fearing that she has lost her child after being beaten; here are today's top stories

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 16, 2020 8:35:27 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india latest news today, air india express crash, air india kozhikode crash, air india plane crash, india china border news, sushant singh rajput suicide cbi probe, bihar floods, ayodhya ram templeA look at the top news today, January 22, 2021.

Good morning,

The Big Story

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government was willing to discuss the contentious farm laws on a clause by clause basis with protesting farmers, instead of having a discussion on repeal of the laws. Speaking to The Indian Express, he said the government would invite farmer unions for talks the day they revert with their response to the concessions offered. Tomar said the 303-seat mandate given to the Modi government was not just to stay in power, but to effect change and push reforms.

From the Front Page

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday accused the Opposition of “misleading” farmers, and “shooting from their shoulders” for “politics” over the new farm laws. He said the government was “ready 24 hours” to resolve any doubt the farmers may have.

Questioning the boundaries of the judiciary’s powers, both Houses of the Maharashtra State Legislature passed proposals stating that they will not take cognizance of or reply to any notice sent by the High Court or Supreme Court in the Breach of Privilege motion against Arnab Goswami.

In Gujarat, the Bhavnagar Municipal School Board has asked teachers who exempted themselves from the Covid-19 vaccination survey to “mandatorily apply for retirement”. Due to such “unfit teachers”, the order stated, it is feared there would be a “negative effect on students’ education”.

BJP, Congress MLCs clash in the Karnataka Legislative Council on Tuesday. Deputy Chairman S L Dharme Gowda was pushed off his chair (seen above), in the ruckus over a no-confidence motion against the Chairman. (PTI Photo)

Only in Express

Veera Sarin has filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for the Emergency proclamation of 1975 to be declared “wholly unconstitutional”. The plea may be one of its kind, but then, the 94-year-old has been notching up firsts for much of her eventful life. She remembers a personal journey dotted with the milestones of a century.

Roddam Narasimha, one of the doyens of Indian science, passed away on Monday at the age of 87. His students, on whom he left a lasting impression, say he was “almost the perfect guru”. He was “a different kind of a person, very different teacher, and of course a very bright scientist,” one recalls.

The farmer protests have led to questions being raised on the extensive cultivation of paddy and wheat, especially in Punjab. How much of these crops is grown, and what are the options for diversification? We explain.

Must Read

As a picture of a man in Army uniform at the farmers’ protest goes viral, intelligence agencies are trying to ascertain his true identity, and confirm if he is a serving soldier or an imposter. In the picture, he is holding a placard which reads: ‘My father is a farmer. If he is a terrorist then I am also a terrorist’.

Five years after being repatriated from Pakistan, Geeta, a 28-year-old hearing and speech impaired woman, still has one goal in mind: to find her home and long lost parents. She has been scouring cities and towns in search of her family. Geeta accidentally landed on Pakistan soil two decades ago after boarding the Samjhauta Express.

Days after she was beaten and her husband arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police on the suspicion that their marriage was a case of ‘love jihad’, 22-year-old Pinki is now afraid that she has lost the baby she was carrying. Pointing out that she is an “adult”, and “happy with my choice”, she tells The Indian Express, “I want my husband back.”


Acquitting 36 foreigners facing trial for allegedly flouting Covid guidelines while participating in a Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin, a Delhi court on Tuesday slammed the Delhi Police for lapses.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in January. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Johnson’s presence would be “symbolic of a new era, a new phase of our relationship”.

Mayhem ensued in the Karnataka Legislative Council Tuesday, as the BJP resumed its efforts to depose the chairman and wrest control of the 75-member Upper House from the Congress.

Confirming Moderna’s earlier assessment that its vaccine has an efficacy rate of 94.1 per cent and can prevent severe cases of Covid-19, the US is expected to grant emergency authorisation for use of the shot this week.

A spat broke out between late Pranab Mukherjee’s children over his upcoming memoir, with the ex-president’s son Abhijit Mukherjee asking publishers to seek his clearance, and his daughter Sharmishta telling him not to create “unnecessary hurdles”.

And Finally…

On December 4, Anees-ul-Islam — who is contesting on a J&K Apni Party ticket from Anantnag in the ongoing DDC polls — was shot four times, in the arm and near the hip. Now out of hospital, the 33-year-old is rushing to make up for his absence. “I have been given a new lease of life and I wish to spend it working for you,” he says as he moves from village to village.

Delhi Confidential: Both the democratic right to protest and adhering to Covid-19 measures should go hand in hand, according to Dr V K Paul, member, NITI Aayog.

In our latest episode of 3 Things, we look at the disinvestment of Air India, BJP’s attempts to grow in Kerala and India’s next Republic Day chief guest.

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Murali and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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