QBullet: 8,000-Crore Aid for Sugar Sector; Shillong on Edge Again

Here are the top headlines of the day.

6 min read
Farmers and labourers load harvested sugarcane onto a trailer. 

1. Kairana Effect? Rs 8,000 Crore Aid for Sugar Industry

Days after the bypoll setback in Kairana, which is in the heart of north India’s sugar belt, the Centre has readied a more-than-Rs 8,000 crore package for the sugar sector to help mills clear payment of arrears to sugarcane farmers.

The arrears have crossed Rs 22,000 crore, more than half of which is for farmers from Uttar Pradesh. The package will include creation of buffer stock of 3 million tonnes for which the money will be transferred directly to accounts of farmers.

Government sources said the creation of buffer stocks is estimated to cost around Rs 1,200 crore. Mills will keep the stock with them and the government will pay for maintenance, warehouse and other financial costs.

The decision is likely to be taken by the Cabinet in the next two days, officials said.

(Source: The Times of India)


2. Shillong Still on Edge, Curfew Returns

The Army conducted a flag march and the Centre rushed 15 more companies of paramilitary troops to Shillong on Monday, 4 June, as fresh incidents of mob violence were reported from a tense city that was again placed under curfew after an eight hour-gap on Sunday.

On Monday afternoon, security forces fired tear gas shells and stun grenades at a 1,000-strong crowd that was pelting stones at them near Motphran, one of the nerve centres of the clashes in the heart of the capital.

With relations between the Dalit Sikhs, who moved to the state in the late 19th century, and the locals taking a turn for the worse, the latter have started reiterating a long-time demand that the former move their colony from its current location in the centre of the city to the outskirts.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

3. As NEET Cut-Offs Drop, 17% Enough to Join MBBS

QBullet: 8,000-Crore Aid for Sugar Sector; Shillong on Edge Again
(Photo: iStock)

The results of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for MBBS admissions for 2018 announced on Monday, 4 June, showed even lower cut-offs than last year. The cut-off for the unreserved category is down from 131 out of 720 marks last year to 119 this year, while the one for the reserved categories has dropped by a similar margin from 107 to 96.

Over 7 lakh students from the 13 lakh plus who appeared for the exam have qualified to join medical college.

A lower eligibility cut-off for NEET would mean that students with even lower percentage of marks will be eligible to get admission for MBBS.

(Source: The Times of India)


4. For Talks, Need to Cool Tempers First: J&K Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma

QBullet: 8,000-Crore Aid for Sugar Sector; Shillong on Edge Again
(Photo: Lijumol Joseph/ The Quint)

Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir, has said sentiments have to be addressed and the level of violence in the Valley has to be brought down before any political dialogue can be initiated.

A former IB director, Sharma, who is credited with advocating the amnesty programme for Kashmiri youth booked for stone-pelting and for persuading the Centre to announce the Ramzan ceasefire, in a recent conversation with The Indian Express, said: “The biggest challenge in Kashmir today is to calm down the sentiments of the people, particularly youth.”

“The other issues which need priority attention are how to prevent local youth from joining militancy; how to ensure the return of youth who have already joined; convince the youth that violence and gun will not bring solution to any problem but will only add to the miseries…; and, how to restore harmony between people of different communities living in all three regions of J&K.”

(Source: The Indian Express)

5. BJP Denies Rift With JD(U) in Bihar

PM Narendra Modi with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. 
PM Narendra Modi with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. 
(Photo: PTI)

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said in Patna on Monday, 4 June, that there was no contradiction between the BJP and the Janata Dal(U) in the State over sharing of seats for the Lok Sabha election in 2019.

“When hearts have met, sharing seats is no big deal … all this will be decided once we sit together for our meeting,” the BJP leader said in response to a Janata Dal(U) statement that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be the face of the alliance in the state during the election.

“The votes will be sought in Bihar in PM’s (Narendra Modi’s) name and on the basis of Nitish Kumar’s work … where is the contradiction here,” Sushil Modi said.

While the Opposition parties took a dig at the JD(U) statement, the BJP downplayed the issue, saying there was no contradiction between the two parties.

(Source: The Hindu)


6. Jharkhand: No Ration Card Despite Aadhaar, Woman Dies Due to ‘Hunger’

The death of 58-year-old Savitri Devi, allegedly due to hunger, at Mangargarhi village in Jharkhand’s Giridih district has once again put the state government in the dock as it has come to light that she was not given ration card despite having Aadhaar card.

Social activists in the area claimed she had applied for the ration card a year ago, but was yet to get it.

Chief Minister Raghubar Das has sought detailed report from the district administration within 12 hours. A district administration team visited her house to investigate into the “real cause of death.”

However, Ramdeo Vishwabandhu, a Right to Food activist, said, “She apparently starved to death as no foodgrain was found in the house. It is a landless family. Her two sons migrated to other states due to lack of resources in the village to make two ends meet.”

(Source: The New Indian Express)

7. Farmer’s Strike: Vegetable, Milk Prices Soar in Several States

A farmers’ organisation in Punjab called off its protest on Monday, 4 June, after a scuffle between protesting farmers and milk suppliers in several parts of the state on day four of the Goan Bandh (village blockade), even as prices of vegetables, fruits and milk continued to soar in several cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh.

Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of a faction of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), said there were reports of fracas between protesting farmers and milk suppliers in Amritsar, Faridkot, Mohali, Moga, Gidderbaha and some other places in the past two days.

“I have never supported any violent stir. There was no support from the state government and the situation was going out of hand at some places. We do not want any clashes,” he said.

However, in many other parts of Punjab, tension prevailed as farmers tried to prevent other farmers and traders from carrying vegetables, fruits and milk to urban areas.

(Source: Hindustan Times)


8. Rajinikanth Attempts Damage Control as Cauvery Comments Wash Out ‘Kaala’

QBullet: 8,000-Crore Aid for Sugar Sector; Shillong on Edge Again
(Photo: The Quint)

Actor Rajinikanth on Monday, 4 June, approached the Karnataka High Court seeking the release of his film Kaala in Karnataka, where his remarks on the release of Cauvery waters have hugely upset the film fraternity. The superstar's latest offering is slated to be released across the country on Thursday. But in Karnataka, the Film Chambers of Commerce has banned it.

KFCC president Sa Ra Govindu has admitted that the actor's statement on Cauvery was responsible for the move. "The ban will remain because neither will he apologise for his statement nor are we going to pardon him," news agency Press Trust of India quoted him as saying.

After the results of the Karnataka Assembly elections were announced last month, Rajinikanth reportedly said whichever government comes to power, Karnataka should release Cauvery waters.

(Source: NDTV)

9. 62 Percent of Tribal Land Claims Rejected in Maharashtra: Official Figures

More than 62 percent of claims filed by tribals for individual land titles in Maharashtra under the Forest Rights Act have been rejected, according to data compiled till 31 March, 2018, by the state’s Tribal Development department and accessed by The Indian Express.

Records show that of the 3,59,745 claims for Individual Forest Rights (IFR) submitted under the law that came into force in 2006, 2,24,874 claims, or 62.5 per cent, were rejected in a three-tier process involving local bodies.

These include 51,348 claims rejected by Gram Sabhas, 1,70,126 by Sub-Divisional Level Committees (SDLCs) and 3,390 by District Level Committees (DLCs). Of the appeals filed by IFR claimants, only 41.37 percent were accepted by DLCs, including claimants rejected previously and those who sought amendments in acreage granted.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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