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Daily Briefing: Protests against govt’s ‘Zero Covid’ strategy flare up in China; Mudra loan NPAs at just 3.3%; and more

In today’s edition: Covid protests flare up in China; how Surat civic polls tweaked the Gujarat polls story; crisis in Rajasthan Congress; an upset of Belgium in the World Cup; and more.

Top news on November 28, 2022.

Good morning,

The Big Story

Unprecedented public protests have flared up in China, amid a surge in coronavirus cases, despite heavy censorship and the government’s attempts to manage the situation. Major cities like Shanghai and Beijing are witnessing a wave of civil disobedience against President Xi Jinping with frustration rising over the government’s ‘Zero Covid’ strategy. What triggered the latest protests? We explain.

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Borrowers of Mudra loans – essentially micro and small enterprises – have been paying their EMIs to banks, in over seven years since its launch. Non-performing assets of banks for Mudra loans are lower than the average NPAs of the sector as a whole, data obtained under the Right to Information Act reveals.

In the latest edition of Idea Exchange, Dr Soumya Swaminathan talks about quitting as WHO’s chief scientist, the way forward with long Covid, and a desperate need for high-level governance to avoid a future pandemic. 

From the Front Page

If there is a tweak in the familiar story of the Gujarat election, if this time the 27-year-incumbent is facing a plucky new competitor it cannot ignore, it has a lot to do with what happened in the 2021 civic polls in Surat. Read this to get a closer glimpse of the Gujarat election’s newly minted triangle — BJP vs Congress vs AAP.

On an average, 20-25  cases are filed under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in Jammu and Kashmir daily. But the conviction rate is very low. Speaking to The Indian Express, J&K DGP Dilbag Singh underscored the need for specialised units for time-bound investigations and more convictions.

The crisis in Rajasthan Congress has deepened. The high command is upset with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over his attack on rival Sachin Pilot. Though the party has said it needs both Gehlot and Pilot, the Congress also made it clear that it would not shy away from taking “tough decisions”. Sources said the decision will only be taken after the Rajasthan leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

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Bihar has launched the Har Ghar Gangajal project, a unique and ambitious initiative to provide Ganga water on tap in parched areas of the state that do not lie along the course of the river. We explain how this project will help regions such as Rajgir, Gaya, and Bodhgaya, which have for long depended on tankers of drinking water from adjoining districts, overcome the existing crisis.

Over the last four decades, senior advocate Santosh Kumar Rungta has been at the forefront for fighting for the rights of people with disabilities. During a chat with The Indian Express, Rungta, who has been visually impaired since childhood, said: “It was in the third standard that I decided that if I ever want to make some difference in the life of the blind, the only profession to achieve this is the legal profession. I studied with this single focus in mind.”

The aviation and telecom departments will shortly roll out a plan to ensure safe flight operations around airports with 5G airwave infrastructure. The plan includes telecom companies setting up infrastructure powering 5G networks away from the flight path around airports, carrying low power signals in such areas and a plan to upgrade the altimeter of all aircraft by August 2023. 

And Finally…

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Substitutes Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal earned Morocco their first World Cup victory in 24 years as they upset a hugely disappointing Belgium side 2-0 in World Cup Group F on Sunday. The Indian Express reports from Qatar on how coach Walid Regragui’s decision to make two substitutes helped Morocco register a thumping victory against Belgians.

Delhi Confidential: BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad’s connection with Gujarat started in 2003 when he was invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Kailashpati Mishra as the Governor. A frequent visitor to party offices across the state, he is now in Gujarat for campaigning. On Sunday, at the BJP media centre, Prasad was nostalgic as many seniors reminisced the time he had spent there.

🎧 In today’s episode of the ‘3 things’ podcast, we discuss about the firing incident at the Assam-Meghalaya border, the BJP’s manifesto for the ensuing Gujarat elections, and the surge in measles cases in Mumbai.

Until tomorrow,

Sonal Gupta and Anandu Suresh

First published on: 28-11-2022 at 08:38 IST
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