HC stays plan to cut thousands of Delhi trees till 4 July. NBCC (India) Ltd, which has plans of redeveloping seven south Delhi colonies where at least 14,000 trees may be cut to make way for new government residences, has to wait till 4 July to know the fate of the endeavour, with the Delhi High Court staying it until then. Hindustan Times reports that the court asked if Delhi could afford this today, with the two-judge bench also asking the lawyer, “You know the effect it would have?”
Major Nikhil Rai Handa, arrested for the murder of another officer’s wife, didn’t have many friends in the military. The Times of India, which leads with this story today, says police have discovered that Handa was very active on Facebook, and that’s “how he came into contact with (the victim) Shailja Dwivedi in 2015, after seeing a photograph of her on a common friend’s timeline”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke at Hyderabad House after a bilateral meeting with the visiting Seychelles President Danny Faure, announced several initiatives for a “mutually beneficial” partnership with the strategically located country, The Hindu reports. These include the grant of a $100 million line of credit for the purchase of defence hardware, and working on stalled plans for a military base at the island of Assumption.
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said recently that he had “no doubt the Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya”. The Indian Express reports that the statement, made ahead of the 2019 general elections, marks the first time in the recent past that Adityanath has spoken so strongly in favour of the temple’s construction.
The governor has spoken. The man in charge of running Jammu & Kashmir since the PDP-BJP alliance fell through, N.N. Vohra, told Hindustan Times in an interview that Governor’s Rule does not mean a hard line, muscular security approach, as many commentators believe, but that “the entire administrative apparatus, from the very top to the bottom, shall function with efficiency, speed and accountability to serve the people”.
ICICI CEO Chanda Kochar under Sebi lens. After preliminary investigations, regulator Sebi has favoured adjudication proceedings against ICICI Bank and Kochhar for the alleged violation of disclosure norms regarding “conflict of interest” in the business dealings of her husband with the Videocon group, The Indian Express tells us based on a PTI report.
Arun Jaitley compared Indira Gandhi to German dictator Adolf Hitler on the Emergency anniversary Monday, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi backed him up on social media. Jaitley said “there were striking parallels between the way Indira suspended fundamental rights and persecuted political opponents and the manner in which Hitler installed himself as the sole ruler in Germany”, The Times of India reports.
News it’s just kinda cool to know
The Haryana government is planning to build a new city next to Gurgaon to “boost the potential of the region”, The Financial Express reported. To be developed on the public-private partnership (PPP) model, the city is expected to be larger than Chandigarh and will be spread across at least 50,000 hectares. The question is, how many trees will need to be felled for this one?
Mars, the Red Planet, is also partially blue. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has discovered a blue dune on the surface of Mars, and these images show a diverse, but apparently lifeless, landscape, Newsweek reports.
In light of the growing air traffic, Jet Airways has announced the purchase of 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, reports The Economic Times. Over the last one year, Jet Airways has placed orders for 225 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
While speaking at the annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Mumbai, finance minister Piyush Goyal said India would need $4.5 trillion for investment in the infrastructure sector over the next decade, reports Business Standard.
Point of View
The rampant use of plastic has become a cause of concern lately because of the damage it causes to the environment. Maharashtra has taken the extreme step of banning several consumer articles made of plastic. The Hindu writes in its editorial, “Consumers will be ready to make the switch, but they need good alternatives.”
India faces a severe shortage of healthcare providers. The Times Of India, in its editorial, writes, “Narratives around healthcare solutions in India focus on the demand side, with emphasis on insurance and price controls. However, this hasn’t yielded satisfactory results because it cannot offset shortages on the supply side, particularly doctors and hospitals.”
The BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu & Kashmir ended on a bitter note. Senior Congress leader and former union minister Kapil Sibal, in his column in The Indian Express, writes, “For the architect of the AoA (Agenda of Alliance) to blame the PDP is part of a larger design. With 2019 round the corner, a polarised J&K will add fuel to the fire, the centrality of the BJP’s communal agenda.”
The football World Cup is underway and Indians are following it closely, but where does India stand in FIFA rankings? Journalist Saubhik Chakrabarti, in his column in The Economic Times, writes, “There’s probably no other country in the world where consumption of good football and production of good football is so staggeringly out of sync.”
When the foreign minister was trolled
India Today TV’s Rahul Kanwal brought up the issue of Sushma Swaraj facing the ire of trolls after she helped an inter-faith couple with their passports. Congress’ Khushbu Sundar said, “You [BJP] have created so much hate against each other that a senior leader like her is being attacked now.”
India Today deputy editor Balkrishna said the trolls thought Swaraj would fight back, adding that her response had led many to delete their tweets and a few even their accounts. “What percentage of trolls are supporters of the BJP?” asked Kanwal.
“All of them,” replied Balkrishna.
‘Rain, rain go away’
Madhavdas Gopalakrishnan of Times Now discussed the devastation and deaths the Mumbai rains have caused over the last few days on account of the administration’s lack of preparations for the annual affair. Lawyer Sujay Kantawala remembered Dr Amrapurkar, who died last year after falling into an open manhole. “Last year, we lost a gastroenterologist. This time also all the guarantees under the law are being violated,” he said.
Bharat Kumar Raut of the Shiv Sena, which heads the BMC, clarified that the administration comes under the state government and hence the chief minister is responsible. “So why are you blaming the BMC?” said Raut.
On the 43rd anniversary of the Emergency, marked Monday, NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan began her show Left, Right and Centre by reading out union minister Arun Jaitley’s tweets comparing Indira Gandhi to Hitler.
Explaining what led to the Emergency, historian Ramchandra Guha said Indira had “an insecure paranoid streak in her. She would not share power with anyone, and could not even leave prime-ministerialship for 20 days when the court ordered her so”.
On being asked why the Congress had still not apologised for the Emergency, the Congress’ Sanjay Jha replied that Indira herself had accepted that it was a mistake, at a public gathering in 1978.
(With inputs from Prateek Gupta)