2. In Cong shakeup, a boost for Team Rahul

2. In Cong shakeup, a boost for Team Rahul

Create your Web Presence with Namecheap5618 2. In Cong shakeup, a boost for Team Rahul

2. In Cong shakeup, a boost for Team Rahul
2. In Cong shakeup, a boost for Team Rahul
  • The Congress on Friday effected a major organisational reshuffle, while laying down a clear roadmap for an AICC session to elect the new party president with the naming of an election authority. And while the dissident letter headlined by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad that sought an organisational overhaul appears to have borne fruit on the face of it, the real effect appeared questionable.
  • Gainers: The shakeup has raised prospects that Rahul Gandhi may shed his reluctance and take back the reins of the party. Little wonder then, there’s been a legup for his confidants like Randeep Singh Surjewala, KC Venugopal, Shaktisinh Gohil, Jitendra Singh, Ajay Maken, Rajeev Satav, Manickam Tagore and RPN Singh — who have either secured key assignments as general secretaries or in-charges of states or membership of the Congress Working Committee (the party’s top decision-making panel) or promotion within the CWC.
  • Losers: Azad has been dropped as a general secretary though he remains a part of the CWC. Ambika Soni, Mallikarjun Kharge and Luizinho Faleiro were also dropped as general secretaries. Party leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was pushed down from the main CWC body to a ‘permanent invitee’ as well.
  • For now: Sonia Gandhi will remain interim chief and a six-member special committee will assist her as was demanded by the dissidents. But it is nothing more than a logistical arrangement designed to steer the organisation towards the AICC session which may be held around January — none that will ensure “collective decision-making” as was stressed on in the dissident letter.

More details here

Today: PM Modi to launch houses for poor in MP; Peace talks between Taliban and Afghan govt begin in Qatar, Premier League kicks off; Tomorrow: NEET 2020; US Open final
1. Talks in Moscow, tension in Ladakh
1. Talks in Moscow, tension in Ladakh
  • Walk the talk: Addressing a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi said Beijing was “ready to take conciliatory steps” to resolve the border standoff with India. This, after a joint statement following Wang’s meeting with Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar, where both sides agreed “that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions”.
  • The five-point agreement also said “that both sides shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs” and “continue to have dialogue and communication” over the India-China boundary issue.
  • Ground reality: According to PTI, the Indian delegation is believed to have told the Chinese delegation that the amassing of troops wasn’t in accordance with the 1993 and 1996 pacts, terming it as a provocative posture.
  • At Pangong Tso, Indian troops have moved to the Finger 3 ridgeline — one of the mountainous spurs jutting into the lake — to prevent further incursions by Chinese troops that have been occupying Finger 4 since April-May, along with other friction points in the eastern Ladakh sector.

Meanwhile, China will hand over the five youth from Arunachal Pradesh who were missing since September 1, to India today, at a designated location, according to Union minister Kiren Rijiju.

3. Maharashtra’s million mark
3. Maharashtra’s million mark
Maharashtra crossed a grim mark of over 1 million Covid-19 case count after nearly 25,000 new infections (24,886) were confirmed on Friday. The state accounts for nearly 22% of India’s total cases. If it were a country, Maharashtra would be the fifth worst-hit globally, with 10,15,681 cases, and may soon cross Russia’s count of 1.05 million cases.

The national outlook:

  • Friday: 97,937 new cases (a record) and 1,249 fatalities
  • Total: 4,653,193 cases and 77,384 fatalities
  • Six other states — Uttar Pradesh (7,103 new cases), Odisha (3,996), Punjab (2,526), Madhya Pradesh (2,240), Rajasthan (1,660) and Gujarat (1,344) — also reported their highest daily count yet.

Yet, even this high official number of confirmed cases could be an underestimation — and by a distance. By early May alone, India may have had 6,468,388 adult Covid-19 infections, the results of a serological survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research said.

4. Is suicide a crime or mental health issue?
4. Is suicide a crime or mental health issue?
  • Should the survivor of an attempted suicide be punished as per Indian Penal Code or be rehabilitated under Mental Healthcare Act? The Supreme Court on Friday sought to know from the Centre.
  • What they say: “Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year” — Section 309 of IPC
  • “Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code.” — Section 115 of MH Act.
  • The debate on ethicality and legality of punishing the survivors of suicide bid has led to several jurisdictions globally decriminalising the offence, which continues to attract punishment in India. However, in 2018, the SC in a landmark judgment had said SC’s 1996 judgment in Gian Kaur case saying “the right to live with dignity did not include the right to die” required reconsideration.
5. Which famous Indian was born as AS Dileep Kumar?
  • Clue 1: In 2017, he made his debut as a director and writer for the film Le Musk.
  • Clue 2: He launched the digital media network Qyuki along with director Shkehar Kapoor in 2012.
  • Clue 3: He’s also the first Indian to win a Golden Globe Award.

Scroll below for answer

6. And in more bad news for the economy…
6. And in more bad news for the economy...
  • Moody’s has become the latest to project a double digit contraction of India’s GDP, estimating a -11.5% growth in FY 21 — this, after Fitch Ratings, India Ratings and Goldman Sachs also predicted a more than 10% contraction in the GDP for the current fiscal.
    Falling down
  • The downgrade came on a day when the data for industrial production contracted 10.4% in July, chiefly on account of the fall in output in manufacturing, mining and power generation.
    Sluggish industry
  • Amid the gloom, some good news came from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, which said that passenger vehicle sales in August rose by 14.16%. The last time monthly passenger vehicle numbers showed a growth was in October last year, which itself followed 11 consecutive months of decline. However, much of this increase may be attributed to pent-up demand due to the lockdown as auto dealerships were shut.
7. Azarenka conquers Serena to take another shot at a major
7. Azarenka conquers Serena to take another shot at a major
  • Two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka ended Serena Williams’s bid for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win to reach her first major final in seven years at the US Open on Friday. It was Azarenka’s first win over Williams — an opponent she first faced in 2008 — at a major in 11 attempts.
  • Williams, 38, dominated early, breaking Azarenka’s serve twice in 10 minutes before winning the first set in just 34 minutes. But Azarenka, 31, won five straight games to close out the second set. In the third, Williams needed court-side treatment after hurting her left ankle but by then, Azarenka had firm control of the proceedings. And she held onto that once play resumed, reaching her first major final since she lost the 2013 US Open to… yes, Williams.
  • Awaiting her in the final is 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka, who broke through an early resistance by Jennifer Brady for a 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3 victory in the other semi-final. That’s a repeat of the Western and Southern Open that preceded the US Open in the biosecure bubble. Osaka then withdrew due to a hamstring injury, giving Azarenka her first title since 2016.
8. Justice is blind. But what of digital justice?
8. Justice is blind. But what of digital justice?
  • The parliamentary panel on Law and Justice, headed by BJP MP Bhupender Yadav, on Friday called for the continuation of virtual courts even in a post-pandemic scenario, saying “digital justice is cheaper and faster”. “It is time, the courtroom which is often regarded as the last bastion of antiquated working practices opens its doors to latest technology,” the committee said.
  • A representation by the Bar Association had argued that over 50% of lawyers did not possess a laptop or a computer and that virtual courts favoured “tech-savvy advocates”. The committee was also informed that only 3,477 courtrooms supported facilities for virtual proceedings while 14,443 did not. Acknowledging the digital divide, the panel called for timely implementation of the Centre’s national broadband mission and computer courses for budding lawyers.
  • The panel’s outlook is in contrast to earlier statements made by Justice DY Chandrachud, who’s also the chairperson of the e-committee at the SC. “I want to dissuade people from the idea that virtual court hearings are some sort of a panacea or a formula, which is a substitute for open court hearings,” he had said. “We had no choice in the pandemic, but to resort to hearing via video conferencing. They will not be able to replace physical court hearings.”
9. Premier League’s back! What’s new?
9. Premier League’s back! What’s new?
  • New schedule: If 2020-21 was a normal season, the Premier League would have already played four matches by now. But the 38-game season has been condensed by nearly a month (running from today till May 23, 2021) with the rescheduled Euro 2020 kicking off 19 days later.
  • New teams: Leeds United, West Brom and Fulham are the three clubs to come up from the Championship. While West Brom and Leeds were relegated in 2018 and 2019, respectively, Leeds are back in the top flight, under maverick manager Marcelo Bielsa, after a 16-year absence.
  • New signings: While James Rodriguez (Real Madrid to Everton) may be the headline arrival this season, expect Timo Werner (RB Leipzig to Chelsea), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea), Donny van de Beek (Ajax to Manchester United) and Ferran Torres (Valencia to Manchester City) to light up proceedings as well.
10. Swami Agnivesh passes away
10. Swami Agnivesh passes away
  • The social activist and Arya Samaj leader died in a Delhi hospital on Friday, after suffering from liver cirrhosis. He was 80.
  • Born in Andhra Pradesh, to a Brahmin family, he founded the Bandhua Mukti Morcha, which campaigned against bonded labour. He was elected to the Haryana Assembly in 1977, serving as the state’s education minister for a couple of years, before resigning in protest against the Haryana government’s inaction against police who had opened fire at workers protesting bonded labour.
  • Even as he was part of peace initiatives in Kashmir and with the Maoists, Agnivesh was no stranger to controversy. Once an integral part of the Anna Hazare-led anti corruption crusade, Agnivesh was forced to leave after a video surfaced allegedly showing him speaking to a minister from the Congress government.
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AR Rahman. The Madras High court has issued a notice to the composer based on an appeal filed by the Income Tax department. In the appeal, the IT department stated that Rahman had evaded tax in individual capacity by allegedly transferring his remuneration of Rs 3.47 crore to his charitable trust. The IT department has found discrepancies in Rahman’s tax filing for the year 2011-12.

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Edited by: Judhajit Basu
Written by: Rakesh Rai, Sumil Sudhakaran, Tejeesh N.S. Behl; Research: Rajesh Sharma

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