The results for the National Eligibility and Entrance Test for medical entrance are out, as is evident from the front-page advertisements of tuition centres celebrating their success. The Times of India tells us that with lower cut-offs, over seven lakh of the 13 lakh-plus examinees have qualified the exam. Turns out, you need 131 out of 720 to get an unreserved seat. The topper, Kalpana Kumari, secured 691 out of 720.
The union government has a sweet deal for sugarcane farmers — a ₹8,000 crore package aimed at clearing their dues. The Indian Express tells us that the move follows the BJP’s loss in the bypoll for Kairana, a constituency which lies in the western UP sugar belt. Sugarcane farmers in the region have been protesting against the non-payment of dues by mills for a while now.
Second time lucky? India and Pakistan are trying afresh, the second time within a week, to implement the 2003 ceasefire along the border. Hindustan Times reports that this comes a day after Pakistani sniper fire and shelling killed two BSF personnel and injured 12 villagers. Previously, the directors general of military operations spoke on 29 May and promised to adhere by the 2003 ceasefire.
Facebook likes sharing your memories, and your data. The Times of India reports that the social media platform had reached data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers over the last decade, starting before the FB app was even available on smartphones. These partnerships allowed the device companies to access the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, this really shouldn’t come as a shocker.
The MD of Punjab National Bank has laid the blame of the Nirav Modi case entirely on the Mumbai branch at the centre of the controversy. Sunil Mehta Monday told parliamentarians that there was no systemic failure in PNB, and that it was just the “operational failure” of that single branch that led to the mess, The Hindu reports.
The Gujarat Congress is demanding Smriti Irani’s resignation. Ruhi Tewari reports for ThePrint that the Gujarat Congress has accused Irani of misappropriating MPLAD funds in her adopted village in Anand district. However, the district collector of Anand, whose ‘order’ the Congress quoted, has said the inquiry and allegations were against “officials and contractors but not Irani”.
In its discussion paper on national strategy for artificial intelligence (AI) released Monday, the NITI Aayog has identified five sectors, namely healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure and transportation that may benefit from the adoption of AI, reports The Economic Times.
Rajeev Misra’s elevation from the post of Vision Fund CEO to that of the executive vice-president of the board of directors is being seen as an attempt to find a successor to SoftBank Group’s founder Masayoshi Son after he steps down, reports Business Standard.
News it’s just kinda cool to know
Indians don’t like to see themselves as any kind of terrorists, even on TV. A recent episode of Priyanka Chopra’s US television show, Quantico, in which ‘Indian nationalists’ plot a terrorist attack on Manhattan with the intention of blaming it on Pakistan, has severely upset many people online, Hindustan Times reports.
Looks like the toxic air quality may have made one small positive change: People are trying to quit smoking in Delhi. According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of smokers in Delhi who tried to give up tobacco consumption in 2016-17 saw a 33.3 per cent jump compared to the previous year. This, when the overall India figures registered a 0.1 per cent dip, India Today reports.
Radio City has a new chief creative officer, Kartik Kalla. After being associated with Radio City for over nine years, Kalla’s elevation as CCO means he will now lead the network mandate for creative, content and continue spearheading programming and marketing.
Rumours are afloat that journalist-editor Barkha Dutt is gearing up to launch her own English-language TV news channel. According to Indiantelevision.com, Dutt already has several investors ready to back her enterprise.
Point of View
The death of two BJP workers in West Bengal has led The Times Of India to criticise the TMC government over the state’s law and order situation. “Unless law and order is allowed to function in a non-partisan manner and political violence curbed, Bengal will never be able to pull itself out of the economic morass it finds itself in.”
The Centre plans to reduce its ownership in public sector undertakings to 49 per cent over the next three years. The Economic Times says in its editorial that the government must learn from its “botched attempt to divest Air India”, and exit fully from all sectors, save some strategic ones.
Manini Chatterjee scrutinises the results of the recent bypolls in her column in The Telegraph. “Beneath that nonchalance there is a lurking fear that Narendra Modi is losing some of his sheen,” she says.
5 June is celebrated globally as World Environment Day. Nepal-based journalist Kanak Mani Dixit writes in The Hindu that India should lead in cross-border environmentalism: “Because wildlife, disease vectors, aerosols and river flows do not respect national boundaries, environmental trends must perforce be discussed at the regional inter-country level,” he adds.
Ruchir Sharma, chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, points out in his column in The Times Of India that the wealthy are often the first to jump ship to safer havens when the economy begins to slip.
‘Killing fields’ of Bengal
Rajdeep Sardesai, on his 9 pm show on India Today TV, raised the alleged violence against CPI (M) and BJP members in TMC-ruled West Bengal. Sardesai pointed out that the postmortem report of a BJP worker found hanging ruled the death a suicide. Chandra Kumar Bose, Bengal BJP vice-president, claimed the recent deaths of two party workers were “clear cases of murder”, adding that the “report is not conclusive proof”.
Sardesai said the TMC was using threats and violence to stay in power. Pro-TMC analyst Garga Chatterjee admitted killings had taken place in the state but said the dead were “mostly… Trinamool workers”.
On NDTV India, Ravish Kumar began his prime-time show with the government’s announcement that the Centre would shell out Rs 8,000 for sugarcane farmers. “These farmers won because of one Kairana,” he said.
He also discussed the issue of trains being late, saying Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani’s Facebook explanation for the non-punctuality of trains contradicted the claims of railway minister Piyush Goyal. Kumar went on to list the reasons behind the delays and the government’s stand.
The Ramzan ceasefire
CNN News 18 anchor Shreya Dhoundial analysed the recently declared Ramzan ceasefire in Kashmir. BJP’s Jammu & Kashmir in-charge Ram Madhav, one of the panelists, said the government was ready to hold dialogue and had “even made arrangements to speak with the Hurriyat”.
Responding to Dhoundial’s question on Pakistan’s position, the BJP leader said that talks with the country were a topic for another discussion and did not have anything to do with the exchanges between the Centre and Jammu & Kashmir.