February 4th-5th, 2021
Your 10 minute read!
LAW, POLICY & GOVERNANCE
1. Govt. notice to Twitter on ‘farmer genocide’ hashtag
The Union government has issued a notice to Twitter to comply with its order of removal of content related to ‘farmer genocide’. The Centre alleged that the material was designed to spread misinformation to inflame passions and hatred, and warned that refusal to do so may invite penal action.
MeitY had passed an interim order on January 31, as a matter of emergency blocking 257 URLs and 1 Hashtag under section 69 A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 on the ground that these are “spreading misinformation about protests and has the potential to lead to imminent violence affecting public order situation in the country.”
2. Bihar govt. won’t hire protesters
- The Bihar government has issued a directive stating that government jobs or contracts will not be given to those who stage violent protests or involve themselves in a criminal act against which charge sheets are filed. The directive was duly approved by Director-general of Police S.K. Singhal and was circulated to the State Home Department and other senior police officers. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav criticised the directive and accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of acting like a dictator.
3. SC refuses to intervene in conversion laws
The Supreme Court refused to intervene immediately and examine the constitutional validity of the laws enacted by State governments like U.P. and Uttarakhand, which criminalise religious conversion through marriage and mandate prior official clearance before marrying into another faith.
The Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde asked the petitioners to approach the respective High Courts. He said the SC would like to have the benefit of the HCs’ conclusions. The Bench was hearing petitions filed by NGO PUCL and advocate Vishal Thakre against the implementation of the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018.
4. Legislature panels have the power to summon witnesses, SC told
Committees formed by State legislatures have the power to summon witnesses and enforce their attendance through compulsory process. The Assembly was justifying the summons issued by its Committee on Peace and Harmony to Facebook officials to testify in connection with the Delhi communal riots in February last year.
The court is hearing a plea by senior Facebook official Ajit Mohan who alleged that the notices issued by the Committee threatened him with breach of privilege action unless he appeared before it to testify.
5. ‘Collection of DNA samples will lead to misuse’
- Allowing investigating agencies to collect DNA samples from “suspects”, as laid down in the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019, will give them “unbridled power that is easily capable of misuse and abuse” and amount to a “threat to the life, liberty, dignity and privacy of a person”, Justice Lokur has questioned the need to collect DNA of a “suspect”.
6. Sivasankar gets bail in dollar smuggling case
After being incarcerated for 98 days, M. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, walked out of the District Jail, Kakkanad, on bail.
The prosecution case in the dollar smuggling case is that Khaled Mohamed Ali Shoukry, former finance head of the UAE Consulate, Thiruvananthapuram, smuggled dollars valued at Rs 1.9 crore to Muscat from the Thiruvananthapuram international airport with the help of Swapna Suresh and P.S. Sarith. The Customs arraigned Mr. Sivasankar as the fourth accused in the case.
7. T.N. Governor declines to take call on Perarivalan
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has refrained from taking a call on a plea for the early release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict A.G. Perarivalan. He said the President was the “appropriate competent authority” to deal with Perarivalan’s request for freedom.
By not taking a decision on the pardon plea, the Governor is now on the same page as the Centre, which had opened a novel line of argument in the Supreme Court that pleas for pardon and release should go to the President instead of the Governor.
The Centre had, for the first time, raised the point about the Tamil Nadu Governor’s power to grant remission to Perarivalan under Article 161 of the Constitution in November 2020. They had, to this extent, referred to the Constitution Bench’s judgment in the Union of India versus Sriharan of December 2015, which said the “exercise of executive clemency” was “vested in the President or the Governor”.
8. Tandav: HC relief for Amazon official
- The Allahabad High Court granted protection from “coercive action” to Aparna Purohit, head, India original content of Amazon, in the FIRs lodged against the makers of web series Tandav. An FIR was lodged in Lucknow against the makers of Amazon Prime Video’s new web series on charges of hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus and promoting enmity on grounds of religion.
9. Maternal welfare scheme beneficiaries cross 1.75 crore
- The government’s maternity benefit scheme, or Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, has crossed 1.75 crore eligible women till financial year 2020, the Centre informed Parliament. A total sum of Rs 5,931.95 crore was paid to 1.75 crore eligible beneficiaries between financial year 2018 and 2020. Under PMMVY, pregnant women and lactating mothers receive Rs 5,000 on the birth of their first child in three instalments, after fulfilling certain conditionalities.
NATIONAL NEWS/ INTERVENTIONS
1. No accurate data on Rohingyas: Centre
- The Centre informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that there was no accurate data regarding the number of Rohingya migrants living in the country. In a written reply, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said, “Illegal Rohingya immigrants are presently staying mostly in Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka and Kerala.”
2. U.S. government calls for dialogue
Following expressions of support on social media to the farmers’ protest by several well known personalities and celebrities, including pop icon Rihanna, youth climate activist Greta Thunberg and others, the U.S. government has also spoken, encouraging dialogue and supporting the right to peaceful protest.
The U.S.’s reactions were recorded in a statement released by its Embassy in New Delhi and through a State Department statement released to a Wall Street Journal reporter on Thursday. Washington also welcomed steps that would enhance the efficiency of India’s markets.
3. ‘India ready to supply weapon systems to Indian Ocean nations’
Stating that “we have already seen the negative impact of conflicting claims in some maritime areas of the world”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh made a strong pitch for collaboration among countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) while offering to supply a range of weapon systems to them and also helping to build capacities of partner countries.
Calling the recent order of 83 LCA Tejas jets to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as a milestone in indigenisation of defence manufacturing capabilities, Mr. Singh said India is ready to supply various types of missile systems, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), helicopters, multipurpose light transport aircraft, warship and patrol vessels, artillery gun systems, tanks, radars, military vehicles, electronic warfare systems and other weapons systems to the IOR countries.
4. In RS, Opposition observes silence for 194 dead farmers
Opposition parties on Thursday observed a two-minute silence in the Rajya Sabha to pay tributes to 194 farmers who died in the past few months during the farmers’ protest on the Delhi borders.
Manoj K. Jha (Rashtriya Janata Dal), who opened the debate, accused the government of holding a monologue instead of a dialogue. The Delhi border was more fortified than India’s international borders, he said. “With folded hands, I request you to please understand the pain of farmers. In harsh winter, you stopped water supply and toilet facilities, dug trenches, put barbed wires, and installed spikes.”
5. Rajpath revamp gets rolling
The government’s Central Vista Avenue redevelopment project began on Thursday with Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri performing a “bhoomi pujan” at India Gate, a Ministry statement said.
After the construction of the new Parliament building began last month, the redevelopment of the avenue becomes the second part of the government’s larger Central Vista revamp project to begin.
The avenue, which stretches from North and South Block till India Gate, and includes Rajpath and its lawns and Vijay Chowk, is three km long. The project will cost ₹608 crore and it has been cleared by the Delhi Urban Art Commission, the Heritage Conservation Committee, the Central Vista Committee and the local body, the Ministry said. The project was awarded to Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Private Limited.
6. India strikes cautious note on developments in Myanmar
India on Thursday struck a cautious note on the developments in Myanmar saying it continues to monitor the situation. Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava during the weekly press briefing highlighted regional developments including Sri Lanka’s cancellation of the East Container Terminal (ECT) pact with Japan and India and reminded Colombo to adhere to international commitments for “mutually beneficial proposition”.
India had earlier expressed “deep concern” after the February 1 military takeover was first reported from Myanmar and asked for maintenance of the “rule of law and the democratic process”.
7. Delhi launches 'Switch Delhi' campaign to promote EV policy
To promote the use of electric vehicles in the Capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched a ‘Switch Delhi’ campaign. It will educate people about the beneﬁts of electric vehicles (EV) and urge them to make a switch. Mr. Kejriwal said that there was a need to spread awareness about the Delhi government’s electric vehicle policy and the various beneﬁts being oﬀered to those who make the switch. The campaign aims at informing, encouraging, and motivating each and every person in Delhi to switch from polluting vehicles to zero emission electric vehicles.
He added that road tax and registration fees have also been made completely free and tenders have been ﬂoated to develop 100 public charging stations across the city.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS/EVENTS/ PERSONALITIES
1. Sri Lanka’s ECT move unilateral: Japan
Two days after Sri Lanka decided to scrap a 2019 agreement with India and Japan for operating the East Coast Terminal (ECT), Japan said the decision was “unilateral and regrettable”. The ECT project was expected to showcase India-Japan cooperation in a part of South Asia where Chinese infrastructure projects have been prominent.
New Delhi and Tokyo have been in talks with the Rajapaksa government over the last few months after protests by Port union workers over allowing any foreign role or investment in the ECT project cast a shadow over progress in the agreement.
However, during the Cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Mahinda on Monday, the Sri Lankan government decided that ECT would be operated as a “wholly owned container terminal of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority [SLPA]” and not, as earlier planned, a joint venture with Indian and Japanese entities.
Both India and Japan were taken by surprise, given the negotiations thus far, and given that nearly 70% of the transhipment business through ECT is linked to India. In a possible bid to make amends — the Rajapaksa government has offered the West Container Terminal (WCT) of Colombo Port on a 35-year agreement to India and Japan instead, but officials have thus far been cold to the offer.
2. Suu Kyi charged, remanded for 2 weeks
Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was formally charged on Wednesday, two days after she was detained in a military coup, as calls for civil disobedience to oppose the putsch gathered pace.
The South-east Asian nation was plunged back into direct military rule when soldiers arrested key civilian leaders in a series of dawn raids, ending the Army’s brief flirtation with democracy. Ms. Suu Kyi, who has not been seen in public since, won a huge landslide with her National League for Democracy (NLD) last November but the military, whose favoured parties received a drubbing, declared the polls fraudulent.
3. Medics lead sprouting civil disobedience calls
Calls for a civil disobedience campaign in Myanmar gathered pace as the United States formally declared the military’s takeover a coup and vowed further penalties for the Generals behind the putsch. Doctors and medical staff at multiple hospitals across the country announced that they were donning red ribbons and walking away from all non-emergency work to protest against the coup.
Activists were announcing their campaigns on a Facebook group called “Civil Disobedience Movement” which by Wednesday afternoon had more than 1,50,000 followers within 24 hours of its launch. The clatter of pots and pans, and the honking of car horns, also rang out across Yangon on Tuesday evening after calls for protest went out on social media.
4. Iran’s Rouhani rules out changes to nuclear deal
President Hassan Rouhani ruled out changes to Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers and dismissed calls to broaden the terms of the deal and include regional countries. U.S. President Joe Biden has voiced support for returning to the accord, from which Donald Trump exited, but has insisted that Tehran first resume full compliance and consider expanding the deal beyond the nuclear issue.
Iran’s regional arch rival, Saudi Arabia, has also called for a role in any future talks on the agreement. “No clause of the JCPOA will change. Know this. And no one will be added to the JCPOA,” Mr. Rouhani said at a televised Cabinet meeting, using the deal’s official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “This is the agreement. If they want it, everyone comes into compliance. If they don’t, they can go live their lives,” he said.
Mr. Trump withdrew the U.S. from the JCPOA and imposed crippling sanctions on Iran in 2018, maintaining a policy of “maximum pressure” against the Islamic republic. Iran a year later responded by gradually suspending its compliance with most of its key nuclear commitments in the deal, under which it was promised economic relief for limits on its nuclear programme.
5. U.S. extends New START nuclear treaty with Russia
U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration extended the New START nuclear treaty with Russia by five years, saying it hoped to prevent an arms race despite rising tensions with Moscow. One day before the treaty was set to expire, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was extending New START by the maximum allowed time of five years.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on legislation extending the accord on Friday, meaning that the treaty — signed by then President Barack Obama in 2010 — will run until February 5, 2026.
What is the START Treaty? The last remaining arms reduction pact between the former Cold War rivals, New START caps to 1,550 the number of nuclear warheads that can be deployed by Moscow and Washington.
6. ICC convicts Ugandan rebel commander for war crimes
The International Criminal Court on Thursday convicted a Ugandan child soldier-turned-Lord’s Resistance Army commander of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Dominic Ongwen, 45, was found guilty of 61 charges over a reign of terror in the early 2000s, including the first conviction by the ICC for the crime of forced pregnancy. The court said Ongwen ordered attacks on refugee camps as a senior commander in the LRA, which under its fugitive chief Joseph Kony waged a bloody campaign in four African nations to set up a state based on the Bible’s Ten Commandments.
Judges rejected defence arguments that Ongwen was himself a victim, as he had been abducted by the LRA at the age of around nine and suffered psychological damage as a result. Human Rights Watch said the case was a landmark in achieving justice for victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
What is Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)? : The LRA was founded three decades ago by former Catholic altar boy and self styled prophet Kony, who launched a bloody rebellion in northern Uganda against President Yoweri Museveni. The United Nations says the LRA killed more than 1,00,000 people and abducted 60,000 children in a campaign of violence that spread to three other African nations — Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
7. U.K. strips Chinese state TV channel of licence
U.K. regulators stripped China’s state TV channel of its national broadcasting license on Thursday, after an investigation cited lack of editorial control and links to China’s ruling Communist Party. The communications watchdog, Ofcom, said it revoked the licence for China Global Television Network, or CGTN, an international English language satellite news channel.
CGTN had been available on free and pay TV in the U.K. Regulators started looking into the station after receiving a complaint from a human rights group, Safeguard Defenders, calling for an investigation into its ownership. Losing its broadcasting licence is a major setback for CGTN, which was part of the Chinese government’s push to expand its soft power and burnish its image abroad.
8. NATO urges Taliban to end violence
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged the Taliban to honour commitments to reduce violence and cut ties to terror groups, as the alliance weighs withdrawal from Afghanistan. Defence Ministers of the grouping are to discuss whether NATO’s 10,000 strong mission should stay or go later this month. “My message to the Taliban is that they have to live up to their commitments,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.
Analysis : The way forward in Myanmar
(i). Role of Sanctions
- The developments in Myanmar will invariably bring back the old debate around the prudence of sanctions. Given that the military has been able to economically withstand sanctions by striking deals with Asian countries in the past, sanctions are unlikely to bring any major political change. The limited European trade with Myanmar that started after 2010 benefits the poor — the European Union’s ‘Everything But Arms’ scheme targets the poor in Myanmar’s garment industry. The scheme allows the world’s least developed countries, such as Myanmar, to export most goods to the EU free of duties.
(ii). Accountability for war crimes
- The old debate around the need for accountability for crimes against humanity will resurface. As political changes got underway in 2010, many generals, such as Than Shwe, who was the de facto head of Myanmar from 1992 to 2011 and was on the radar of the international community for perpetuating a regime of human rights abuses, quietly vanished from the scene. This bred a culture of impunity. During the 2017 Rohingya crisis, senior military officials brazenly exploited social media to mobilise public support for brutality against Rohingyas.
(iii). China factor
- A critical international player in Myanmar is China. China has appointed specific envoys for Asian affairs, who are de facto working on Myanmar Related issues since 2013. The international community, particularly the West, has to factor in China’s multi-layered influence on Myanmar.
(iv). Collapse of International Mechanisms
- Many international mechanisms comprising Western and Asian countries that were formed to coordinate strategies on Myanmar were disbanded after the 2015 election. That the changes in Myanmar were irreversible was the standard thinking. Relevant actors should be brought on a common platform by reviving past mechanisms. The expectation that Myanmar will see a nationwide protest against the Tatmadaw after the coup should be examined with the geographical extent of Bamar, Myanmar’s largest ethnic group, who support the National League for Democracy. The minorities in the country form around 35% of the population. In the current scenario, the military will continue to exploit ethnic and religious fault lines. Engagement with domestic stakeholders, including ethnic minorities, especially from the north, should be pursued by the international community.
ECONOMICS & FINANCE
1. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to step down
- Billionaire Jeﬀ Bezos, who founded Amazon as an online bookseller nearly three decades ago, will step down as the CEO of the $1.7 trillion global retail giant in the third quarter of 2021, with Andy Jassy being named his successor. Mr. Bezos, will transition to the role of Executive Chair in the third quarter of this year.
2. SEBI bans Biyani from market for one year
- SEBI barred Kishore Biyani and certain other promoters of Future Retail Ltd. from the securities market for one year for indulging in insider trading in the shares of the company. Apart from Mr. Biyani, who was the CMD and promoter of Future Retail Ltd. (FRL), others facing the ban are Future Corporate Resources Pvt. Ltd., Anil Biyani and FCRL Employee Welfare Trust
3. India's fiscal position
The Union Budget’s focus on higher capital expenditure, ﬁnancial sector reforms and asset sales would help to stimulate growth and supply broad-based credit support, but India’s weak ﬁscal position would remain a key credit challenge compared with its rating peers, Moody’s Investors Service said. The budget projects a narrowing of the central government’s ﬁscal deﬁcit to 6.8% of GDP in ﬁscal 2022 from an estimated 9.5% in ﬁscal 2021.
The ratings agency said the widening of the deﬁcit in ﬁscal 2021 was driven almost entirely by expenditure to support Indian households and the economy from the pandemic shock. “Given India’s very high debt burden, this gradual pace of consolidation will prevent any material strengthening in the government’s ﬁscal position over the medium term, unless nominal GDP growth were to pick up sustainably to historically very high rates,” the credit ratings agency added.
4. Plea seeks to probe role of RBI officials in bank scams
BJP leader and MP Subramanian Swamy moved the Supreme Court seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in to the role played by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) oﬃcials in various banking scams that plague the country’s economy, causing prejudice to public interest.
The petition alleged that the RBI oﬃcials had acted in “demonstrable active connivance” in direct violation of statutes, including the Reserve Bank of India Act, Banking Regulation Act, State Bank of India Act, Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act and the Nationalised Bank (Management and Miscellaneous Provisions) Scheme, 1980.
It said information procured through the Right to Information (RTI) Act revealed that “no oﬃcer of Reserve Bank of India has ever been held accountable for any dereliction of duty in case of any fraud reported by any bank. This is in sharp contrast to the number of frauds exploding in the banking sector in India aggregating to in excess of over ₹3 lakh crore.
5. McKinsey to pay $573 mn in opioid case
- McKinsey & Co, the consulting ﬁrm, has agreed to pay $573 million to resolve investigations by most U.S. States over its alleged role in ‘turbocharging’ sales of opioids such as OxyContin, fuelling a nationwide epidemic. Most money from the settlement with 47 States, the District of Columbia and ﬁve territories will go toward opioid treatment and prevention. McKinsey did not admit liability or wrongdoing.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & ENVIRONMENT
1. Pitch for 'Smart Walls' for Indian borders
A ‘smart’ wall that replaces the physical and armed patrolling with advanced surveillance tech is the proposed future of border security now. The ‘smart wall’ technology could solve border security issues without the need for a physical barrier. The wall would use sensors, radars, and surveillance technology to detect and track border break-ins, and technology capable of performing the most diﬃcult tasks dedicated to border security.
Along with surveillance towers and cameras, thermal imaging will be used, which will help in the detection of objects. The system would even be capable of distinguishing between animals, humans, and vehicles, and then sending updates to handheld mobile devices.
India has been struggling with the problem of terrorists and smugglers inﬁltrating into the country and eﬀorts are ongoing to secure our borders and curb cross border inﬁltration. Therefore, it is proposed that it is high time we start envisaging the use of technology to help India secure its borders. A critical factor that must be considered to enable the usage of such a system along Indian borders is that the terrain in the region is rugged, and, furthermore, not even clearly deﬁned. Hence, erecting fences, walls or any physical structures is extremely diﬃcult. Other beneﬁts, such as cost effectiveness, less damage to the environment, fewer land seizures, and speedier deployment are being noted that give the “smart wall” concept an edge over traditional physical borders. Such a system, even if not feasible for our long boundaries, may still be deployed to enhance critical security establishments of the country and complement the already existing physical fencing and walls.
2. Sero Survey latest : One in five Indians exposed to novel coronavirus
Nearly one in ﬁve Indians had been infected by the SARSCoV2 coronavirus until December 2020, the third round of the serological survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found. This is roughly a three fold increase since August and a 30 fold increase since May, when previous rounds of the survey were conducted.
“The message is that a large proportion of the population remains vulnerable. Vaccines are necessary and there can be no complacency with regards to masks, social distancing and hand hygiene,” Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director-general, ICMR, said. The survey sampled people from 70 districts across 21 States.
The overall prevalence in the population was 21.5%, which averaged over India’s population indicated that about 270 million may have been exposed to the virus. India has so far conﬁrmed a little over 10 million infections — or 27 cases to each conﬁrmed case of infection. Experts, however, have previously noted that sero surveys don’t capture the extent of the spread, and other modelling studies have shown that as much as 50% of the population may have been exposed.
In rural areas : In the previous survey, only 5.2% of those sampled in rural areas showed antibodies. It has jumped to 19% in the latest survey. In urban and non-urban slum areas : In urban slums, it was 31%, nearly twice as much as the previous survey ﬁndings of 16%. In “urban non slums'' the prevalence this time was 26% compared with 9% in the second survey. On demography : About 19.9% of adults sampled in the 18-44 years age group had SARSCoV2 antibodies as did 25% of children/teenagers (1017 years), and 23% in those over 45 years.
On healthcare professionals : The latest sero survey also separately sampled 7,171 healthcare workers and those who work in hospital settings. Nearly 26% of doctors and nurses have coronavirus antibodies, as did 25.4% of paramedical staﬀ. On children : The higher prevalence among children or young adults, showed that it was no longer true, as earlier believed, that children or the young were better protected. Several studies have now established this. They are much less likely to be severely sick but they can be infectious.
Another factor was that in the newest survey, the antibody test employed was speciﬁcally designed to check for antibodies produced against the spike protein. “This is more sensitive than the one used last time and therefore overall detection rates could be higher,” Dr. Panda, Head ICMR's epidemiology division, said.
Analysis : Towards sustainable growth
The pandemic has resulted in huge economic losses. Globally, the GDP is expected to contract 2.4% to 8% in 2020. The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that the global cost of dealing with the pandemic could be from $8.1 trillion to $15.8 trillion.
There is a strong correlation between human density, richness of biodiversity, and the emergence of zoonotic pathogens of wild origin, which renders India particularly vulnerable. With high human densities, among the highest diversity of mammals in the world, and a saturated interface between humans and wildlife, India is considered to be among the hotspots for zoonotic emerging and reemerging infectious diseases.
The WEF’s Global Risks report for 2021 states that environmental risks continue to threaten the global economy. The top five risks are extreme weather, climate action failure, human environmental damage, infectious diseases and biodiversity loss.
It is evident that policymakers should factor biodiversity and ecosystems into their economic decision making. This will accelerate the transition from a fossil fuel based economy to sustainable, equitable, inclusive and just development models.
A National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well Being has been approved by the Prime Minister’s Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council. The overarching objectives are to restore and enhance biodiversity, strengthen its sustainable use, generate thousands of green jobs and encourage the Indian public to appreciate the natural and associated cultural treasures that we have collectively inherited.
1. Sports Ministry happy with the Union Budget
- Ignoring the budget allocation for the current ﬁnancial year citing the pandemic, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju chose to compare the ﬁgures for 2021-22 with those of 2019-20 and sounded pleased despite the truncated allocation and assured that “there was no dearth of funds for the athletes”. The Ministry’s allocation has been slashed from ₹2826.92 crore to ₹2,596.14 crore – a decrease of over 8%. The Ministry, however, can always seek additional funds citing valid reasons during the ﬁnancial year.
2. Ajay Singh re-elected BFI chief
- Ajay Singh was re-elected the president of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI). Nine boxers have qualiﬁed for the Tokyo Olympics so far. Ajay said the BFI would work towards developing boxing at the grassroot level and conducting more open championships. He also promised a strong sports science backup for boxers and focus on women's boxing. The Asian championships would be held in Delhi either in April or May this year.
3. Player Profile
- Tejaswin Shankar : He is an Indian athlete who competes in the high jump event. He holds the high jump national record of 2.29 metres set in April 2018. Shankar won the gold medal at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, setting a Games record of 2.14 metres. He won silver at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati with a leap of 2.17 metres. He finished sixth at the Asian Junior Championships and missed the 2016 World Junior Championships. He broke his national record representing K-State athletics, jumping 2.29m in April 2018 at the Texas tech invite.
1. Karnataka High Court and Manual Scavenging https://thewire.in/law/karnataka-hc-chastises-state-govt-for-failing-to-implement-manual-scavengers-act
2. Critique : Uniform law on adoption, divorce https://www.indialegallive.com/cover-story-articles/il-feature-news/gender-religion-law-adoption-divorce/
3. RTI Act's vested interest scanner https://www.indialegallive.com/cover-story-articles/il-feature-news/rti-acts-income-tax-act/
4. Justice Pushpa Ganediwala https://www.indialegallive.com/cover-story-articles/il-feature-news/pushpa-ganediwala-supreme-court-pocso-cases/
5. Union Budget : Impact of Finance Bill 2021 on judicial Precedents https://www.livelaw.in/columns/parliament-budget-2021-finance-bill-nirmala-sitaraman-direct-tax-indirect-tax-169411
6. Evolution of a new era https://www.barandbench.com/columns/evolution-of-a-new-era
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Sources referred to : The Hindu, The Indian Express, Live Law, Bar & Bench