QBullet: PM Modi at BIMSTEC; Proposal For One Nation One Election
Catch all the top headlines of the day here.
1. India Committed to Boosting BIMSTEC Connectivity: PM
Making a strong pitch for enhanced regional connectivity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, 30 August, that India was committed to working with the BIMSTEC member states in the critical sector and to combating the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking.
“I believe that there is a big opportunity for connectivity — trade connectivity, economic connectivity, transport connectivity, digital connectivity, and people-to-people connectivity,” Mr Modi said, addressing the inaugural session of the fourth BIMSTEC summit.
The prime minister said the region had become a meeting point for India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies. “India is committed to working with the BIMSTEC member states to enhance regional connectivity,” he said.
(Source: The Hindu)
2. One Nation, One Election: Law Commission Endorses Proposal for Simultaneous Polls
In its draft report submitted to the government, the Law Commission has endorsed simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies. Recommending changes in the Constitution and the electoral law to hold simultaneous polls, the panel said that it can prevent the country from being in constant election mode.
Such an exercise, the draft report said, will save public money, help reduce the burden on administrative setup and security forces and ensure better implementation of government policies.
(Source: The Indian Express)
3. Demonetisation Helped Modi’s ‘Crony Capitalist’ Friends: Rahul Gandhi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday, 30 August, termed demonetisation the country’s “biggest scam” and accused the prime minister of, through it, helping his “15-20 biggest crony capitalist friends” whose loans had turned into non-performing assets (NPAs).
His statement came a day after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) confirmed 99.3 percent of demonetised currency returned to it.
Addressing a news conference at the Congress headquarters in Delhi, Gandhi said the prime minister owed an explanation on why he “inflicted such a deep wound” to the people at a time when the country was facing pressing problems such as unemployment and low growth rate in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
(Source: Hindustan Times)
4. With 1 Day to Go, I-T Returns Surge 60%, Cross 5 Crore Filings
Income-tax returns filed so far this year hit the five crore mark on Thursday evening, a rise of over 60 percent compared with filings a year ago. This points to improved compliance and augurs well for government finances.
Today, 31 August, is the last day for filing tax returns by salaried individuals and those with business or professional income without the need for audit.
The final number of tax filers will rise further given the usual last-minute scramble. Over 20 lakh returns were filed on Thursday.
(Source: The Times of India)
5. Year After Doklam, India and China Ready to Set up Hotline Between Defence Ministries
India and China are in talks to update a 12-year-old defence agreement and establish a hotline between the two defence ministries as part of confidence building measures, a top PLA official said on Thursday, 30 August.
During Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi last week, the two sides had in-depth discussions on how to further implement the important consensus reached between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Wu Qian said.
6. Quota Can't Move from State to State: SC
The Supreme Court has ruled by a 4:1 majority that people notified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in one state cannot claim reservation in jobs or education if they migrate to another state except for the national capital territory of Delhi.
Thursday's judgment by the constitution bench means a member of a grouping designated as SC or ST in say, Bengal, is entitled to reservation only in Bengal and in Delhi.
The "benefits of reservation provided for by the Constitution would stand confined to the geographical territories of a state/Union territory in respect of which the lists of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes have been notified," Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, writing the majority verdict.
(Source: The Telegraph)
7. Nitish Kumar Gives BJP 20 Bihar Lok Sabha Seats
The BJP and the JD(U) have apparently resolved the seat-sharing formula for the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, with the former agreeing to contest on 20 and the latter deciding to field its candidates on 12 parliamentary berths. Both allies had last contested together in 2009 as the Bihar's ruling party had left the BJP led NDA in 2013.
The last seat sharing formula for both allies was 26 (JD(U))and 15 (BJP). Deccan Chronicle had reported earlier this month that BJP-led NDA's decision to nameJD(U)'s Harivansh as the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha was taken after both allies apparently agreed on the seat sharing formula, which has brought down the JD(U)'s tally as compared to the last formula. BJP president Amit Shah had met his JD(U) counterpart and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar last month over the issue.
(Source: Deccan Chronicle)
8. A Pune Resident’s FIR Set off Trail of Activists Arrests
A First Information Report (FIR) filed in January this year against members of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) — a cultural group which was under the police scanner for alleged Maoist connection even during the previous Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government — is turning out to be the basis of the nationwide crackdown by the Pune police against rights activists on charges of having Naxal connections.
On 8 January, 2018, Tushar Ramesh Damgude, a resident of Pune registered an FIR against members of KKM, namely Sudhir Dhawale, Sagar Gorkhe, Harshali Potdar, Ramesh Gaichor, Deepak Dengle and Jyoti Jagtap for allegedly making provocative statements at the Elgar Parishad on 31 December, 2017 to commemorate the Koregaon-Bhima war between Peshwa rulers and British.
The battle is perceived as the victory of Mahar (Dalit) warriors, who fought with the British, over Brahminical Peshwa regime of Pune.
(Source: The Hindu)
9. Speaking Against Govt Is Not Sedition, Right to Offend, Criticise History Is Free Speech
Underlining that “singing from the same book is not a benchmark of patriotism” in a democracy and “people should be at liberty to show their affection towards their country in their own way”, the Law Commission has said that a person should not be charged with sedition for “merely expressing a thought that is not in consonance with the policy of the Government of the day”.
In a consultation paper on the sedition law (124A IPC) — in which it has spelt out multiple issues that require wider discussion — the Law Commission, headed by Justice (retired) BS Chauhan, has said that the stringent sedition law should be invoked only in cases “where intention” behind the act is to “disrupt public order or to overthrow the Government with violence and illegal means”.
(Source: The Indian Express)
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