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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Daily briefing: Personal Data Protection Bill; fall in Kerala births; and more

Data show that Kerala in the pre-pandemic year registered 4.80 lakh births, which dropped to 4.53 lakh in 2020, before plunging to 2.17 lakh as of September 30 this year.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 23, 2021 7:48:34 am
A look at the top news today, November 23, 2021.

Good morning,

Big Story

Widening the ambit of the Personal Data Protection Bill to include non-personal data and data collection by electronic hardware, and treating all social media as social media platform, are among key suggestions believed to have been pushed by the Joint Committee of Parliament after almost two years of scrutiny. The committee’s recommendations and dissent notes from Opposition parties are likely to be tabled in the winter session.

Only in Express

As Kerala battled a raging pandemic, the state witnessed a sharp fall in live births in 2021. Data show that Kerala in the pre-pandemic year registered 4.80 lakh births, which dropped to 4.53 lakh in 2020, before plunging to 2.17 lakh as of September 30 this year. Sources said that at this rate, 2021 is set to witness the biggest year-on-year fall in birth figures in Kerala in the last one decade – a drop that will have a far-reaching impact on Kerala’s demography.

India’s former bowling coach Bharat Arun, who, alongside Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli, helped India during its successful run especially in Test matches, looks back fondly at his tenure in a chat with The Indian Express. “During his (Shastri’s) tenure, there was absolutely no agenda. The decisions might have been right or wrong, that is irrelevant, but they came from the right place, purely thinking about team values and what we stood for as a team,” he said.

Europe is witnessing a resurgence of Covid-19, and is currently reporting nearly two-thirds of all new infections worldwide. The current wave of infections in Europe, which is happening despite high vaccination rates in several countries, is being blamed on a variety of factors. A look at trends, and the reasons for the resurgence.

From the Front Page

The Supreme Court on Monday gave former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh protection from arrest in connection with inquiries initiated against him by the Maharashtra government, with his counsel informing the court that “he is very much in India but apprehends actions being taken by the state of Maharashtra”.

Trinamool Congress leader Saayoni Ghosh was granted bail by the court of additional chief judicial magistrate in West Tripura district on Monday, a day after she was arrested on charges of criminal intimidation and attempt to murder. TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said she would raise the issue of alleged violence in the state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Separately, the Supreme Court will take up the party’s contempt plea of the ‘violence incidents’ today.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal has promised to transfer Rs 1,000 per month into the account of every woman in Punjab if his party is voted to power. Kejriwal, calling the scheme the “world’s biggest women empowerment” programme, said this would benefit one crore women. As per the Election Commission, there are 96.19 lakh women voters in the state.

Must read

The Delhi Police in their chargesheet filed against Sukesh Chandrashekhar, who is facing trial for allegedly duping Rs 200 crore from the wife of former Ranbaxy promoter Shivinder Singh, has said that he paid around Rs 25-30 crore a year to jail staff to get an entire barrack to himself. Police said Chandrashekhar “spoofed” a landline number while making a call to her.

India’s largest mobile company Reliance Jio lost 1.9 crore wireless subscribers in September in an aberration caused by the service provider’s Covid-19 initiatives. The data showed that the wireless telecom industry recorded a net decline in subscriber base of 2.07 crore over August across six players.

To improve their image, particularly online, Delhi Police has decided to hire a social media analytics and outreach management agency, which will, among other things, create a YouTube channel that showcases their “good work”. Last year, the Delhi Police had realised the importance of setting up an IT cell when, during the February 2020 Northeast Delhi riots, some unknown users, including from Pakistan, posted fake “alerts” and tried to “tarnish the police’s image”.

And Finally…

Buoyed by the Supreme Court ruling Monday that ordered authorities to create a seat for him in IIT-Bombay, where he was denied admission due to a technical glitch that stalled payment of acceptance fees within the deadline, the Dalit student at the centre of it all says he never lost heart in the fight to fulfill his dream. “I strongly felt that my grievance was genuine,” said Prince, whose family, barely two generations ago, tilled the land of others.

Delhi Confidential: It is not common for a defence minister to be present at an event at any foreign embassy/high commission. But on Monday, Rajnath Singh attended the Bangladesh Armed Forces Day event at the High Commission in Delhi. “Recalled the heroic fight by the Muktibahini and the Indian Armed Forces in the Liberation of Bangladesh,” he tweeted.

This edition of The Indian Express’s ‘3 Things’ podcast starts with Sourav Roy Burman talking about the highlights of the latest Annual Status of Education Report survey, and the concerns it raises about the digital divide in India. It then moves on to Debraj Deb talking about the communal clashes in Tripura, and the crackdown by the state police on journalists, lawyers, and social media accounts. And in the end, Pavneet Singh Chadha speaks about local residents and Hindu right-wing groups disrupting public namaz in Gurgaon.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Murali and Rounak Bagchi

Business As Usual by E P Unny

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