QBullet: Modi Launches Digital Farmers’ Market, IPL Matches Moved

The Quint’s compilation of the stories making news headlines across the country.

6 min read
Narendra Modi will launch a digital platform for farmers to trading farm produce without the involvement of cartels. (Photo: Reuters)

1. India Goes Slow in ‘Spy’ Case After Tehran Launches Probe

India’s efforts to secure consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav – held in Pakistan for being a spy – have slowed down. According to The Indian Express sources, Iran has put the former Naval officer’s business operations in Chabahar port under the scanner.

Investigations to determine whether or not Jadhav’s mechanised dhow Kaminda may have been used to run trafficking operations are underway.

A Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson told The Indian Express that India had not yet received any communication from Pakistan on its request for consular access to Jadhav, made immediately after an edited video of his statement to local investigators was released on 29 March. Jadhav had purportedly admitted to being engaged in arming and financing Baloch insurgents, operating from his base in Chabahar Free Trade Zone.
Report in The Indian Express

2. Parched Latur Prepares for 50-Wagon Water Train to Roll in From Sangli

Latur’s main source of water, the Manjara Dam, has been completely dry since February. The state decided to ease the water crisis by sending trains filled with water from the Vaarna Dam in Miraj. Trial runs have been on since Monday and now the inhabitants of Latur are anticipating the arrival of the first ‘real train,’ according to a report in The Indian Express.

At Latur, workers have been racing against time to prepare for the “first real train”, when a 50-wagon train carrying 25 lakh litres is slated to roll into the station over the weekend. A group of labourers are drilling holes for inlet pipes into an 850-metre-long concrete pipeline.
We laid the pipeline early last week before the first trail run. Water from the wagons was emptied into this pipeline through rubber pipes connected to the inlet. We had made 10 inlet holes (for each of the 10 wagons), but now we are drilling more holes for 50 wagons.
PV Patil, Executive Engineer, Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran

3. HC Wants IPL Matches Shifted From Maharashtra

The Bombay High Court directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to shift the venue of the IPL matches scheduled to be played after 30 April to outside Maharashtra.

The BCCI has been granted 15 days to make the arrangements, according to a report in The Hindu.

There is a drought situation in the State, there is not a drop of water available, all dams are drying. The state cannot turn a blind eye to the scarcity of water. 
Bombay High Court

4. Narendra Modi to Launch Digital Platform for Trading Farm Produce Today

An electronic trading platform for farmers will ensure that trading of farm produce in the country goes digital, reported the Mint. The government is making efforts to build a national market and double farming-related incomes by 2022.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: Reuters)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: Reuters)

The e-platform, called National Agriculture Market (NAM) will connect 21 mandis or markets from eight states in the first phase. NAM will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

Presently, farmers have no option but to sell their produce at the nearest mandi at a price quoted by traders who suppress prices by forming cartels.
Radha Mohan Singh, Agriculture Minister

The move comes at a time when large sections of rural India are reeling under drought and a collapse in commodity prices.

5. Odd-Even did Reduce Pollution, Just not as Much: Arvind Kejriwal

According to an Indian Express report, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal admitted that the odd-even scheme did not lower pollution “as much as expected.” However, it did ease traffic congestion on Delhi’s roads – an outcome all city inhabitants were pleased about. Speaking to Kendriya Vidyalaya students, he outlined the steps taken by his government to control pollution.

The government has exempted vehicles carrying children in school uniforms during the second phase of odd-even, Kejriwal said, suggesting that carpooling with neighbours could avoid any problems that may arise. “We gave it a lot of thought but no solution could be found. It will cause some problems but vehicles could be shared with neighbours,” the Chief Minister said.
Report in The Indian Express

6. Kashmir Boils: Another Youth Killed in Police Action

Another Kashmiri died in police firing on Wednesday as protests against the killing of three people in Tuesday’s firing in Handwara turned violent across the Valley. 110 policemen and two CRPF jawans have been injured in the clashes.

Reports said that protests broke out in Dragmulla area in the neighbourhood of Handwara in frontier Kupwara district on Wednesday. Police fired teargas canisters to quell the stone-throwing crowds and one of these hit a protester identified as Jehangir Ahmed Wani in the head, resulting in his death, reports said.
Report in the Deccan Chronicle

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief over the ‘unfortunate tragic death’ of the youth and extended her heart-felt condolences to the bereaved family.

7. ED Seeks Revocation of Vijay Mallya’s Passport

The Enforcement Directorate has asked that Vijay Mallya’s passport be revoked in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in a Rs 900-crore IDBI Bank loan to the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

Vijay Mallya (C) poses with models featured in Kingfisher’s Swimsuit Special 2007 calendar at a function in Mumbai (Photo: Reuters)
Vijay Mallya (C) poses with models featured in Kingfisher’s Swimsuit Special 2007 calendar at a function in Mumbai (Photo: Reuters)

The agency has sought the revocation of his diplomatic passport, issued to him as he is a Rajya Sabha member.

The probe agency said despite giving three chances for Mallya to personally appear before it in the IDBI Bank case, the investigating officer in the case has only met with “non-cooperation”, which is leading to a delay in taking the case forward... Mallya had said that he will be unable to depose personally citing the ongoing legal proceedings going in the Supreme Court over the settlement of loans. 
Report in The Economic Times

Mallya left India in March, even as a consortium of banks chasing him for repayment of loans approached the Supreme Court.


8. The Prescience of Babasaheb

Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary is an apt occasion to assess and reassess his thoughts and ideology and their relevance in India and the world today, writes D Raja in The Hindu. Ambedkar was a philosopher who not only interpreted society and the world during his time but also struggled to change it, he writes.

Having a universal vision, he shaped and steered struggles in which was forged his belief in secularism, social justice and socialism. He believed that the annihilation of caste and negation of capitalism are imperatives for change and taking India and the world forward. He declared that the bourgeoisie (capitalism) and Brahminism are the twin enemies of the people.
D Raja

9. Mark Zuckerberg Waves the Magic Wand, But Not Everyone is Hypnotised

Mark Zuckerberg’s F8 Developer Conference had all the trappings of a company that wants to own the world, writes Nandita Mathur in the Mint. The 2,600-strong audience sat enthralled as the magician, Facebook’s founder-CEO Mark Zuckerberg pulled out surprise after surprise on the opening day of the company’s conference.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (Photo: iStockphoto)
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (Photo: iStockphoto)
In a nutshell, the grand plan is all about connectivity through different forms of technology, building virtual reality to experience the world in different ways, artificial intelligence to help interact with services easily, offering low-cost internet via solar-powered planes and creating customised bots; the ultimate goal being to create one big Facebook-powered global community that will stay connected.
Nandita Mathur
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