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Monday, August 02, 2021

Daily Briefing: Governor reshuffle, new Ministry clear decks for Cabinet expansion; Oppn leaders ask for action on Stan Swamy’s death

In a letter to the President on Tuesday, the Opposition leaders have also demanded the release of all those jailed in the Bhima Koregaon case and others who are held “under politically motivated cases”.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
July 7, 2021 8:21:53 am
Top news today, Daily briefing, Briefing today, Covid-19 vaccine, India covid vaccination drive, J&K delimitation, All party meet, Sharad pawar, Twitter, Indian expressA look at the top news today, July 18, 2021.

Good morning,

The Big Story 

The much-anticipated Cabinet expansion is happening. When is it happening is another question altogether. While there is no official word,  multiple sources confirmed that the reshuffle is slated for this evening. Who will be inducted? The list of leaders who have been summoned to the capital offers hints on who might make the cut.  

Only in the Express 

A fourth-year Ph.D Scholar at IIT-Guwahati was allowed to resume his research programme on campus only after he signed a six-point undertaking, including assurances that he would not protest on campus, mobilise students, and post messages on social media that are detrimental to the institute. 

With Assembly polls in Punjab less than a year away, the widening cracks within the Congress have opened up the field. Making the most of this opportunity, say observers, is Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP. 

From the Front Page 

Leaders of 10 major Opposition parties, including three chief ministers, have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to direct the Centre to act against those responsible for “foisting false cases” against Father Stan Swamy,  “his continued detention in jail and inhuman treatment”. Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs said that Swamy’s detention followed due process of law.

The Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party has stayed away from discussions with the Delimitation Commission, saying it lacks “constitutional and legal mandate”. The two other key constituents of the Gupkar alliance — National Conference and the CPM — however, met the Commission. 

“How long does it take?” That was the Delhi High Court questioning Twitter over the delay in appointing a Resident Grievance Officer in compliance with the new IT rules. The social media platform cannot be permitted to take as much time as it wants, the court said.

Must Read 

Much after several other states announced that they were scrapping Board exams due to Covid, Assam finally followed suit last month. But the state’s revised examination policy also included a significant caveat, that has since sparked an uproar among students — the marksheets as per the new scheme would not be valid for state government jobs. Students aspiring for these jobs will have to appear for a ‘special exam’ once the pandemic situation improves. 

In 2008, when the UPA brought a bill to amend The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the Congress-led government strongly defended the law and its stringent provision for bail. Fast forward to over a decade later, where in the letter sent to President Kovind following the death of Stan Swamy, Opposition leaders including Congress President Sonia Gandhi referred to the very same law as “draconian”. 

In a worrying trend, 45 of the 73 districts that reported over 10 per cent Covid-19 positivity rate in the last one week are located in the Northeast. Dr Balram Bhragava, a member of the country’s Covid-19 task force and Director General of ICMR, flagged that the Northeast will have to step up testing, keep a “close watch” on the test positivity rate at the district-level and set up micro-containment zones.

And Finally

Two months after it hosted over 36 lakh people for the Kumbh Mela, just before the second Covid wave, the BJP government in Uttarakhand has cancelled the annual Kanwar Yatra in the state citing the pandemic. Those found entering Haridwar  for the yatra would be booked under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act, and placed under quarantine according to Covid guidelines, the DGP said. 

Delhi Confidential: Shortly after the Governors’ appointments were announced, a brief released by the Centre on gubernatorial appointments during the Modi government’s tenure pointed out that eight women Governors and Lieutenant Governors had been appointed since 2014. This was meant to highlight the government’s commitment to women empowerment.

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at what Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist Stan Swamy’s death says about India’s justice system.

Until tomorrow,
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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