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Monday, October 18, 2021

Daily Briefing: Sidhu, Channi meet, break deadlock to resolve Punjab crisis; India blames Beijing’s troop build-up for tension

Covid-19 cases among the younger population including children have seen a slight increase in the last one month, as per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s data of age-wise positive patients.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
October 1, 2021 8:03:04 am
A look at the top news today, October 10, 2021.

Good morning,

Big Story 

Fault lines appeared to harden in the Congress between the high command of the Gandhi family and an increasingly isolated group of senior rebels. Among those who spoke up was senior party leader and CWC member P Chidambaram, who in a carefully calibrated tweet said: “I feel helpless when we cannot start meaningful conversations within party forums. I also feel hurt and helpless when I see pictures of Congress workers raising slogans outside the residence of a colleague and MP. The safe harbour to which one can withdraw seems to be silence.”

Two days after Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as Punjab Congress chief, throwing the ruling party in the state into fresh turmoil, a key issue that led to the crisis appeared to have been resolved with Sidhu and Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi reaching an agreement on “contentious” appointments. Both sides also agreed on a three-member panel, comprising CM Channi, the PPCC chief and AICC general secretary in-charge Harish Rawat, to take collective decisions so that there is no conflict later.

Only in the Express 

Key provisions of the Central Government’s draft ecommerce rules have been stridently opposed by the Industry department and Corporate Affairs ministry — and the Niti Aayog vice chairman who has warned that they “will severely harm Ease of Doing Business and impact small businesses”, records obtained by The Indian Express under the RTI Act show. Records show that the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has flagged several anomalies, questioned some provisions and suggested remedial tweaks in an office memorandum sent to the Department of Consumer Affairs, which had issued the draft rules in June.

Standing up for former Punjab chief Minister Amarinder Singh, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said people in the AICC who were given responsibility for Punjab could not appreciate the way the state had progressed over the last four and a half years — and that is the reason for the current political crisis. Punjab under Captain Amarinder Singh was “politically stable (and) progressing in the correct direction”, the former Union minister told The Indian Express in an interview.

From the Front Page

Delhi-based journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested a year ago on charges of sedition while on his way to Hathras following the murder of a Dalit woman, did not write like a “responsible” journalist, “only and only reports to incite Muslims”, and also wrote to “sympathise with Maoists and Communists”, the UP Special Task Force is learnt to have stated in the 5,000-page chargesheet filed against him.

Covid-19 cases among the younger population including children have seen a slight increase in the last one month, as per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s data of age-wise positive patients. Data show that in the last one month, of the total new cases, 11.52 per cent were from the age group of 0-19 years. This is slightly higher than the previous month, when infection among children and the young population up to 19 years was 9.38 per cent.

Must Read 

As instances of human-elephant conflict rise, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has embarked on a massive project to identify and secure elephant corridors in the country. A mapping exercise is presently underway, to track land use and land cover of elephant reserves using GIS technology which will also aid conservation, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said. 

“We are made to sit separately during lunch time…If we do anything even slightly wrong, we are beaten up,” said Jyoti, a 10-year-old Dalit student of Banpurwa Government Primary School in Amethi. The school’s headmistress, Kusum Soni, was suspended and an FIR was registered against her. The incident is eerily reminiscent of another case in UP, where similar action was taken at a school in Mainpuri district, for forcing Dalit students to keep their utensils separately.

An antiques dealer, a cosmetologist, patron of an organisation for expatriates, chairman of a yet to be launched TV channel, motivational speaker and philanthropist. Monson Mavunkal, who was arrested this week in Kerala on charges of cheating and fraud, wore different hats to raise his profile, perhaps making his con job easier, investigators said. According to police investigations, the 52-year-old is a school dropout.

And Finally 

In each of RCB’s four IPL games, soon after he returned from a pandemic-induced break, Yuzvendra Chahal has been an irresistible force, and has been both plucking wickets and plugging the flow of runs, so much so that his country could end up regretting his absence in the World Cup that begins next month. This raises the big question: Was India too hasty in discarding Chahal? We take a look at his IPL stats, before and after the break. 

Delhi Confidential: Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh, who is also the minister for personnel, managed to execute a minor yet effective personnel reform within his ministry. He has almost 40 people in his personal staff, spread out across four offices. Recently, he trimmed the number to about half-a-dozen. Now, instead of each department having earmarked staff to attend to him, some of his staff members accompany him as he visits each building. 

Until tomorrow, 
Rahel Philipose and Rounak Bagchi

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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