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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Daily Briefing: Cabinet clears NLMC to monetise Govt land; upper age limit of NEET-UG scrapped

On the eve of the counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission announced that the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer would be deputed as special officer in Meerut, while the Bihar CEO would supervise counting in Varanasi.

Written by Sonal Gupta , Rahel Philipose | New Delhi, Panaji |
March 10, 2022 7:27:31 am
Top news on March 10, 2022

Good morning,

As we await the results of the Assembly Elections 2022, here are the top reads from today’s edition:

Big Story

The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of the National Land Monetization Corporation (NLMC) to monetise surplus land and building assets of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and other agencies linked to the Government. The monetisation of idle land is part of the Centre’s strategy to reduce its business presence to a bare minimum and generate resources for future asset creation.

Only in the Express

Responding to the statements made by German Ambassador to India, Walter Lindne, at an ‘Idea Exchange’ hosted by The Indian Express, Denis Alipov, Russia’s Ambassador-Designate to India writes: “Lindner says that Russia is “bending” history. Well, it’s high time you open your eyes, Mr Ambassador, for the US has been doing precisely that for the past 20 years, obsessed with the notion of unrivalled global dominance and feeding you and the world the very same fake narrative of which you accuse Russia.”

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From the Front Page

On the eve of the counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission announced that the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer would be deputed as special officer in Meerut, while the Bihar CEO would supervise counting in Varanasi. The poll body also announced the suspension of three poll officials in UP, amid allegations of irregularities by the Samajwadi Party.

The National Medical Commission (NMC) has removed the upper age limit for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) (NEET-UG) for admission to MBBS courses across the country. Till now, the upper age cap was 25 years for unreserved candidates and 30 years for reserved candidates.

Amid the Russian invasion into Ukraine, Indian students from Sumy city, who were among the last major groups to be evacuated from the east European country, will likely be flown home Thursday from Poland, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine has said.

Must Read

While the counting of votes is set to take place in five different states today, all eyes are on Uttar Pradesh. With 403 Assembly seats, UP is broadly categorised politically and culturally into four regions — Pashchim, Central, Bundelkhand and Purvanchal – with parties tailoring their message to each as Election 2022 progressed. We take a look at the main contenders in each region and break down what is at stake.

Like in every election that has taken place in the recent past, this time too, questions were raised over the movement of EVMs. With counting set to take place today, we take a look at the arrangements made by the Election Commission to secure the journey of an EVM from the strong room to the polling station and back.

When Indian students found themselves trapped in Ukraine amid a worsening war, varsity agents emerged as their saviours — helping arrange food, accommodation and transport. These agents are usually the first point of contact for Indian students abroad. They facilitate the admission, provide logistical support, and assist in dealings with the respective university. When the Indian Embassy in Ukraine urged all of its citizens to evacuate the country, these agents rose to the occasion. “The day they reached Pisochyn, the students slept hungry. The next day, I was able to provide them with soup and bread. I helped the embassy arrange buses,” recalled Hardeep Singh, who owns the Bobtrade Education Group.

In Jharkhand’s Godda district, a group of over 1,500 women were able to earn more than Rs 1.8 crore in wages, in all, between 2018 and 2020 by supplying uniforms to government schools. The ‘Godda model’ was hailed by Nitin Aayog as one that could be replicated across the state. But in 2020, an inquiry initiated by a local Congress MLA on allegations of irregularities stalled their wages. Now, the Jharkhand government has denied the allegations saying that there were no irregularities in the supply of uniforms to government schools by the women tailors.

And Finally…

History is written by the victors, it is said, but in sport, the autobiographies of the vanquished get read too. When excerpts from the biographies of Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne mutate, an unheard version of one of Indian cricket’s favourite cricketing tales is born. Disclaimer: Warne, by his own admission, ended second-best to Tendulkar, who was in the form of his life. But like always, the greatest leg-spinner with the biggest heart never gave up.

Delhi Confidential: Every morning for six months, Tripura CM Biplap Kumar Deb has been visited by a friendly woodpecker who would knock on his window panes just as he was about to start his morning workout. Now the Chief Minister is using visuals of the woodpecker on social media to promote his state. According to Deb, the bird makes him “think about the enriched biodiversity of Tripura”.

In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we talk about EVM machines. We also discuss the evacuation of Indian students from Sumy and the NMC scrapping the upper age limit criteria.

Until tomorrow,

Sonal Gupta and Rahel Philipsose

Business As Usual by EP Unny

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