CORONA VIRUS: Beijing authorities on Monday reported the Chinese capital’s first death from a new deadly virus that has rapidly spread across the country, killing more than 80 people and causing global alarm. The victim was a 50-year-old man who had visited the central city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, on January 8 and developed a fever after returning to Beijing seven days later, the city’s health commission said.
LS SPEAKER: Ahead of the European Parliament taking up six resolutions on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act which the two largest groups of its members fear can potentially create a “statelessness crisis”, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday said it is “inappropriate for one legislature to pass judgement on another and the practice can be misused by vested interests”.
AP LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL: The Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Monday approved the draft bill to abolish the state’s Legislative Council. The cabinet meeting Monday felt that the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was misusing its majority in the Legislative Council to halt bills passed by the Legislative Assembly.
RD: India marks its 71th Republic Day today, the occasion commemorating the Indian Constitution coming into effect after careful deliberations in the Constituent Assembly. The day marked the completion of independent India’s transition towards a nation that defines itself a republic.
CAA: The European People’s Party (EPP) Group, a centre-right group that is the largest with 182 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), said the CAA “is selective and excludes Muslims from provisions provided to other religious groups” and expressed concern about the “wide range of negative consequences that it might have for India’s international image and internal stability”.
MAN KI BAT: In his “Mann ki Baat” programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said the insurgency in the Northeast had reduced significantly due to “peaceful dialogue”. “Those who had strayed towards the path of violence, have expressed their faith in peace and decided to become a partner in the country’s progress and return to the mainstream,” Modi said, adding that as many as 644 militants of eight different militant groups had surrendered in Assam.
CPI Index: The report of the corruption perception Index 2019 has been published by the Transparency International. The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. This year’s analysis shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals. Position of India is 41 out of 100 in rank.
The top countries are New Zealand and Denmark, with scores of 87 each, followed by Finland (86), Singapore (85), Sweden (85) and Switzerland (85).
The bottom countries are Somalia, South Sudan and Syria with scores of 9, 12 and 13, respectively. These countries are closely followed by Yemen (15), Venezuela (16), Sudan (16), Equatorial Guinea (16) and Afghanistan (16).
PADMA AWARD: Names of people to be awarded India’s second-highest civilian honour, the Padma awards were announced on the eve of the 71st Republic Day on Saturday evening. This year the President has approved conferment of 141 Padma Awards including 4 duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one). The list comprises 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards. 34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 18 persons from the category of Foreigners/Non-Resident Indians/Persons of Indian Origin/Overseas Citizens of India and 12 Posthumous awardees.
MILITARY HONOUR: Six soldiers have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra, including one posthumously, for displaying gallantry during anti-militancy and anti-insurgency operations, the Army said on Saturday. Lt Col Jyoti Lama, Maj Konjengbham Bijendra Singh, Naib Subedhar Narender Singh and Naik Naresh Kumar were among the recipients of the award. Naib Subedar Sombir was posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra.
SPEEDY TRIAL: Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Friday made a case for speedy resolution of tax disputes saying it will act as an incentive for tax payers and free the funds locked in litigation. “A just and speedy dispute resolution is perceived as a tax incentive by the taxpayer. To the tax collector, an efficient tax judiciary assures that demands arising out of legitimate assessment are not strangled in delayed litigation,” Bobde said at the 79th foundation day celebrations of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.
NSA ON CAA PROTESTOR: The Supreme Court Friday said it cannot issue blanket orders restraining authorities from invoking the stringent National Security Act against people protesting the enactment of Citizenship (Amendment) Act.The Supreme Court Friday said it cannot issue blanket orders restraining authorities from invoking the stringent National Security Act against people protesting the enactment of Citizenship (Amendment) Act. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee refused to entertain a plea challenging the imposition of NSA in few states as also in the national capital amid anti-CAA protests. “We are of the opinion that general writ will not lie in this case. We cannot invoke powers under Article 32. We agree that the NSA should not be misused but there cannot be a general command. This will create chaos,” the bench said.
INDIAN WORDS INCLUDED: The latest edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary features 26 new Indian English words, including Aadhaar, chawl, dabba, hartal and shaadi. The 10th edition of the dictionary, which was launched on Friday, has 384 Indian English words and incorporates over 1,000 new words such as chatbot, fake news and microplastic. The dictionary focuses on language change and its evolution through the years and has ensured that the language and examples used in the new edition are relevant and up to date with the times, Oxford University Press (OUP) said.
ANANDA MAHINDRA: Despite the Indian economy facing a slowdown, industrialist Anand Mahindra said that the economy has been going through a process of ‘detoxification’. Since the negative impact of disruptions is now over, the economy is expected to see an upside in FY21, Bloomberg TV reported chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra as saying at an event in Davos, Switzerland. “The prime minister has been quite obsessed with the kind of growth he wants and that is about transparent, free of corruption and any rent-seeking,” he also said.
SC ON DEATH SENTENCE: While hearing a plea to commute the death sentence of two convicts for killing a family of seven, the Supreme Court Thursday underlined that the “finality” of death sentence is extremely important and said that condemned prisoners should not be under the impression that the death penalty remains “open ended” and can be challenged all the time by them. The court asked lawyers Anand Grover and Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the convicts, whether “good behaviour” of convicts post their conviction is reason enough for commuting their sentence. “I thought it is the crime that is punished. If one goes by innocence of a human being, even the worst criminal has an innocent heart. There is no one who is a criminal at the deepest level,” CJI Bobde observed.
CAA: The Supreme Court on January 22 gave the Centre four weeks to respond to pleas challenging the validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and said it will set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear the petitions. SC said that it will not grant any stay on the CAA without hearing the Centre. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde also restrained all high courts from hearing pleas on CAA till it decides the petitions. The bench said it will hear petitions related to Assam and Tripura separately as the problem with CAA in these two states is different from the rest of the country.
UP: The UP government will provide land subsidy to the proposed food park of Patanjali Group in Greater Noida. Patanjali is going to invest more than Rs 6,000 crore in the mega project spread over 91 acres of land in the National Capital Region (NCR). The decision was taken at the UP cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Yogi Adityanath on January 21. Subsidies granted to the company include stamp duty rebate of 25 per cent.
Submarine Project: The defence ministry on January 21, selected two Indian shipyards and five foreign defence majors for the Rs 50,000 crore project to build six conventional submarines in India for the Navy besides approving military procurement worth Rs 5,100 crore. The shortlisted Indian entities to construct the submarines are the L&T group and state-owned Mazagaon Docks Ltd (MDL).
Ayodhya Case: A curative petition was filed in Ram Janambhoom-Babri Masjid land dispute case on January 21, challenging the November 9 verdict which cleared the way for construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya. The curative petition filed by Mohammed Ayyub, President of the Peace Party of India.
DERADICALISATION CAMP: On Thursday, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat had said that “girls and boys as young as 10 and 12 are now being radicalised” in Kashmir, and that those who are “completely radicalised” need to be “taken out separately” and put in de-radicalisation camps”. Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh Monday said terror organisation Hizbul Mujahideen was on the verge of being wiped out from the south Kashmir region. He added that if de-radicalisation camps do come up in Kashmir, it will be a “good sign”, as it will help people who have “gone astray”.
BJP PRESIDENCY: BJP leader J P Nadda took over as the new party president on Monday after he emerged as the only candidate for the top post following the conclusion of nomination process at its headquarters here. He was a leader from Himachal Pradesh worked his way up as an “excellent” organisational leader, be it in the RSS students’ wing ABVP or the BJP youth wing, and was also a successful health minister in the first Modi government.
CAA PROTEST: Former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung who joined a sit-in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) outside Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia university on Monday said that the controversial law needed a revamp to make it inclusive.“I feel that the Citizenship Amendment Act needs a revamp. They should either include Muslims or remove other names. Make it inclusive…. If PM calls these people and talks, the matter will get resolved,” Jung said.
Union Budget 2020 India: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman may not go overboard in setting growth target for FY21 in her second budget speech. The Finance minister perhaps would set the target for nominal GDP growth to 9.5-10 per cent as she now doesn’t have the time for ‘picking optimistic target’ experiments, IANS reported citing sources as saying. On the other hand, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), has asked the Finance Minister to avoid having over-ambitious tax revenue and fiscal deficit targets, according to the report.
Kapil Sibal: No state can deny the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) when it is already passed by the Parliament, said Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday. “If the CAA is passed no state can say ‘I will not implement it’. It is not possible and is unconstitutional. You can oppose it, you can pass a resolution in the Assembly and ask the central government to withdraw it. But constitutionally saying that I won’t implement it is going to be problematic and going to create more difficulties,” said the former minister of law and justice on the third day of the Kerala Literature Festival (KLF).
Jaising got Rebuttal: The mother of the December 2012 Delhi gang-rape and murder victim has hit out at senior lawyer Indira Jaising for asking her to forgive the four men, who are on death row for committing the brutal crime against her daughter. The mother was reacting to Indira Jaising’s tweet on Friday. “Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion? The whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims. I can’t believe how Indira Jaising even dared to suggest such this. I met her many times over the years in the Supreme Court, not once did she ask for my well being and today she is speaking for convicts. Such people earn a livelihood by supporting rapists, hence rape incidents don’t stop,” she said.