Friday, 19 August, 2022
HomePlugged InMob attacks Swami Agnivesh in Jharkhand, and monsoon session begins

Mob attacks Swami Agnivesh in Jharkhand, and monsoon session begins

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Swami Agnivesh hospitalised after being assaulted in Jharkhand. The social activist known for his work against bonded labour was slapped, kicked around and verbally abused by a mob, which he alleged belonged to BJP-affiliated youth groups that accuse him of speaking against Hindus, reports The Tribune.

Monsoon session from today, opposition ready with no-trust plan. The Congress announced Tuesday that 12 opposition parties had decided to bring a motion of no-confidence in the Lok Sabha, even as the Prime Minister asked for the cooperation of all parties for smooth conduct of proceedings, reports The Indian Express.

Rahul Gandhi sets up CWC, tries to be all inclusive. With less than a year to go for the general elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday constituted the new Congress Working Committee. “Veteran leaders such as Digvijaya Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Mohan Prakash, Sushil Kumar Shinde, B.K. Hariprasad, Madhusudan Mistry and C.P. Joshi have been removed from the main CWC body. These leaders have been replaced by Tarun Gogoi, Siddaramaiah, Kumari Selja, Avinash Pande, Raghuveer Meena, Gaikhangnam, Tamradhwaj Sahu and Harish Rawat,” Kumar Anshuman reports for ThePrint.

From L to R: Motilal Vohra, Rahul Gandhi, Janardhan Dwivedi and Digvijaya Singh | @prokerala/Twitter
From L to R: Motilal Vohra, Rahul Gandhi, Janardhan Dwivedi and Digvijaya Singh | @prokerala/Twitter

RTI amendment Bill to be placed in monsoon session. The Bill is being opposed by several opposition political parties and RTI activists, who warn that the amendments will dilute the law and compromise the independence of the information commissions, says The Tribune.

WCD ministry will approach the Cabinet to make child marriage void. The move, if approved, will correct a glaring anomaly in the law that allows child marriages to continue despite a Supreme Court judgment stating that sex with a minor wife amounts to rape, as per The Indian Express.

Activists oppose draft anti-trafficking Bill. The proposed Bill, likely to be tabled in Parliament this session, will lead to the classification of sex workers and transgenders as criminals, which may lead to a multi-fold increase in violence against sex workers.  Activists have appealed that the draft legislation be sent to the standing committee, reports The Hindu.

Government drops plan to control funding of central universities. The HRD ministry has eliminated a provision in a draft law that put it in charge of grants given to institutions of higher education after it was criticised by states and other stakeholders. Instead, the ministry will create an independent body of experts that does this, reports Hindustan Times.

Counter-drone strategy for airports ready. Aviation security watchdog BCAS has finalised a strategy to neutralise drones near airports, with the government set to unveil a framework to regulate unmanned aircraft systems in the country, according to The Hindu.

Congress creates ruckus in Maharashtra assembly over height of Shivaji memorial. Opposition members tried to stall proceedings and trooped into the well of the house, raising slogans against the government, as former CM Prithviraj Chavan alleged the government had reduced the height of Shivaji’s statue and increased the sword’s length, reports Hindustan Times.

Supreme Court of India | PTI

From the Supreme Court:

  • The SC said Parliament must bring a law that instils fear in perpetrators of mob violence, gave a four-week deadline for the Centre and states to issue guidelines on curbing “mobocracy”, reports Ritika Jain for ThePrint.
  • The SC reserved its judgment on petitions seeking to decriminalise homosexuality. It will now issue the much-awaited verdict, reports Ritika Jain for ThePrint.
  • On Lokpal, the Supreme Court exuded hope that selection committee, at its meeting Thursday, will form the search panel for the job, reports The Indian Express.
  • The Supreme Court Tuesday commenced its hearing on the contentious issue of women’s entry in the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple, reports NDTV.

Business Class

The department of telecommunications has rejected Vodafone India and Idea Cellular’s demand to recalculate dues to the tune of Rs 7,268 crore that they reportedly owe the department. Their merger will receive the final seal of approval once the payment is made, reports The Economic Times.

The government has set up a committee headed by financial services secretary Rajiv Kumar to suggest measures needed to stop defaulters from fleeing the country, reports PTI. The committee will also include members from the Reserve Bank of India, the ministries of home and external affairs, the Enforcement Directorate, and the Central Bureau of Investigation.

News it’s just kinda cool to know

Yahoo Messenger is shutting shop. Yahoo!, a web service provider owned by Oath, has pulled the plug on its internet-based instant messaging service Yahoo! Messenger after a long run of around 20 years, reports Business Standard.

Astronomers discover 12 new moons around Jupiter. The discovery of a dozen previously unknown moons orbiting Jupiter was announced Tuesday by the International Astronomical Union, reports Wired.

Point of View

The Hindu-Muslim binary play has started a year before the Lok Sabha election. The Indian Express writes in its editorial, “But the larger question is: Why does the BJP, four years after it came to power in a diverse and plural polity, continue to see the two, majority and minority, Hindus and Muslims, as polar opposites, one striking out the other, instead of as two parts of a single whole?”

The monsoon session of Parliament starts Wednesday. The Times Of India writes in its editorial, “Parliament’s monsoon session offers both government and opposition one more opportunity to rise above the din and haze of polarised politics and present some cognitive clarity on major issues facing the country.”

Parliament building
Parliament building, New Delhi | Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Does India need lateral entry in the civil services? Journalist Swaminathan Aiyar thinks so. In his column in The Economic Times, he writes, “But why only 10 posts for lateral entry? Why not 100, or even 500, including state administrations? India needs a world-class administration. It does not need an administration monopolised by a handful of people who fared well in a Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam decades ago, and have expected automatic promotion on the basis of that exam ever since.”

Union minister Jayant Sinha landed himself in trouble by felicitating lynching convicts. Journalist Sagarika Ghose, in her column in The Times Of India, writes, “But the issue here is not legalese. Instead it’s a chilling moral tragedy. It’s the story of how the foreign-returned ‘outsider’ airdropped into Hazaribagh hoping to retain a tough Lok Sabha seat, is forced to compromise on public morality in order to win an electoral battle.”

Prime Time

‘Kill child rapists’

“Should death sentence be given to child rapists?” asked Preeti Choudhry of India Today TV on To The Point. The majority of the panelists answered in the affirmative.

“Getting an acquittal is easier than getting a conviction, that is the sad reality of our criminal justice system,” commented lawyer Sanjay Pinto. “A lot more can be done to ensure the safety of our children,” said advocate Karuna Nundy.

Former police officer M. Karunanithi said granting the death sentence would reduce the number of cases, but won’t stop the rape of children.

‘Organised lynching’

On NDTV India, Aunindyo Chakravarty and Ravish Kumar deliberated on the recent lynchings triggered by WhatsApp rumours.

Kumar said the entire thing was organised. “These are not random WhatsApp groups. The group spreading the hatred can be identified. Especially the ones being honoured by union Minister Jayant Sinha,” he added.

Deal, no deal?

On Times Now, Athar Khan set the debate on law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s letter to Rahul Gandhi, seeking the Congress’ support on the anti-triple talaq Bill, which was written in response to the latter’s request to the government to support women’s reservation in Parliament.

During the course of the debate, Khan said several times that the Congress called Prasad a “dealer”. Political analyst Alimuddin Khan recalled PM Modi’s 2014 statement where he promised reservation for women.

With inputs from Prateek Gupta and Ratnadeep Choudhary

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