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QBullet: India, Pak Join SCO; 5 Militants Killed in Uri

The Quint’s roundup of headlines from the national dailies. 

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India
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1) India, Pak Enter Shanghai Group, PM Modi Message to Xi Jinping and Nawaz Sharif

The diplomatic games between India, China and Pakistan were in full play in Astana on Friday, as both India and Pakistan became members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

While Chinese President Xi Jinping started the day by telling Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he “liked” the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal, sources said he did not raise the One Belt One Road (OBOR) issue — India boycotted the summit in Beijing last month.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had a meet-and-greet with Modi on Thursday evening, is understood to have met Modi again on Friday, before and after the SCO summit, when the two leaders were in the lounge.

At the summit, the leaders articulated their views, consistent with their stated diplomatic objectives.

Pushing for OBOR, Xi sought deepening of “practical cooperation” and said the SCO may well serve as an “important platform” for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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2) Army Foils Infiltration Bid in Kashmir's Uri, 5 Militants Killed

Five militants were killed in north Kashmir’s Uri sector while trying to infiltrate into India, the Army said on Friday.

It was the latest infiltration attempt to the restive valley and at least 12 militants have been killed by Indian soldiers since Wednesday.

The Quint’s roundup of headlines from the national dailies. 
A soldier takes position near Army Brigade camp in Jammu and Kashmir. (Photo: PTI)
An infiltration bid was foiled in the Uri sector in which five terrorists have been killed. 
Army spokesperson, Srinagar

Thirty nine militants who tried to enter India have been killed this year, the Army said. The Army’s northern command said on Thursday that it has been tackling multiple infiltration bids along the line of control (LoC) in north Kashmir.

3) Farmers' Ire Not About Loans Alone

The farmers' agitation in MP, and before that in Maharashtra, has pushed a simmering agrarian crisis into the spotlight.

Yet why are farmers – the lifeline of India – angry and resentful? One of the key factors fuelling agrarian anger is that good year or bad year, they are unable to earn enough.

There is always a mismatch between their cost of production and what they get in the mandis.

In several states, for several widely cultivated produce like paddy and wheat, prices at which farmers are selling their harvest are actually lower than what they spent in cultivating the crop.

In Madhya Pradesh, the epicentre of current agitation, paddy was fetching 15 per cent less than cost of production while wheat was giving them just 2 per cent profit.

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4) Supreme Court Upholds Aadhaar-PAN Linkage

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the validity of linking Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN). However, it exempted those who do not have Aadhaar from mandatorily getting one till it decides on whether it is a violation of privacy.

The court issued a “partial stay” on the implementation of Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, which makes the possession of Aadhaar card necessary on or after 1 July, 2017 for the continuing validity of an existing PAN and filing income tax returns.

A Bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan exempted citizens without Aadhaar card from the ambit of Section 139AA.

The court also exempted those who have enrolled for Aadhaar but not got hold of one from the provision’s ambit.

Advising Parliament to “tone down” Section 139AA, the court said invalidation of PANs and restricting people from filing income tax returns would have “very severe consequences”.

Source: The Hindu

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5) RSS Affiliates Blame NITI Aayog for 'Anti-Farmer' Policies

The BJP-led government’s handling of the ongoing farmers’ unrest and job cuts has earned the criticism of not just the Opposition, but from the offshoots of its ideological mentor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The labour and the farmer’s wing of the RSS, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) have blamed the government for failing to stem farm and services sectors crises and for allowing the government think tank NITI Aayog to steer policy towards reliance on foreign direct investment.

Both the organisations want the government to revisit its economic and agriculture policies, moving away from FDI and disinvestment, and most importantly not accepting the “anti-farmer and anti-labour” suggestions of NITI Aayog.

The BKS has cautioned the government that unless quick measures such as minimum support price are offered, the agrarian crisis would worsen.

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6) NEET 2017: CBSE Challenges Stay on Results in SC

The Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging a Madras high court decision to stay declaration of results of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), which was taken by 11.38 lakh students for admission to MBBS and BDS courses.

Additional solicitor general Maninder Singh sought an urgent hearing on the CBSE's appeal and said delay in declaration of NEET results would not only create anxiety among a vast section of the student community, but would also put in jeopardy timely completion of admissions to undergraduate courses in government and private medical colleges, the time schedule for which has been fixed by the apex court.

CBSE said it had decided to make the question papers in vernacular languages different from those in English and Hindi to ensure that in the event of any leak of question papers in vernacular languages, it would not entail cancellation of the entire examination. 
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7) Throw Us out of Power If We Fail to Double Farmers' Income by 2022: Rajnath Singh

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday asked India’s voters to throw the BJP out of power if the government fails to double farmers’ income by 2022, a statement which came amid a violent agitation by agriculturists in Madhya Pradesh.

Farmers are not only the largest producers but also the largest consumers, and when they will have money in their pocket then everyone will start earning, be it a shopkeeper, a doctor or a teacher.

He said farmers comprise more than 50 percent of India’s population and unless they prosper the country cannot become prosperous.

Prime Minster Narendra Modi has said that the government was taking steps to double farmers’ income by 2022, and let me say that if we fail to do so then you can kick the BJP out of power.
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8) SS Khaplang, Patriarch of Naga War on India, Passes Away

Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang, the head of the hardline National Socialist Council of Nagalim faction opposed to ongoing peace talks with India, passed away at a hospital in the insurgent group’s military base at Takka, in Myanmar’s Kachin state on Friday, sources in the organisation said.

Indian government sources said the ailing insurgent leader had died of diabetes-related complications.

The Quint’s roundup of headlines from the national dailies. 
(Photo: Anjana Dutta/The Quint)
The long-ailing insurgent leader’s death could pave the way for the second-rung leaders within the group who hope to strike separate peace deals with the governments of India and Myanmar, officials said.

Even as members of the rival Thuingaleng Muivah-led NSCN is engaged in talks with New Delhi, Khaplang’s forces have continued to wage war with Indian troops. Earlier this week, a clash at Tijit, near Lappa in Mon district in Nagaland, claimed the lives of Indian Army officer Major David Manlum, and three NSCN-Khaplang insurgents.

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8) Black Money Hunt Leads I-T to Ex-Cop, Assets Worth Rs 400cr

The intelligence and criminal investigation wing of the income tax (I-T) department in Kochi has unearthed unaccounted for wealth worth Rs 400 crore from a firm owned by a former additional superintendent of police in Nagaland who has also been awarded the President's police medal.

The Quint’s roundup of headlines from the national dailies. 
(Photo: Reuters)
I-T sleuths suspect MKR Pillai to be a front for politicians and top bureaucrats in Nagaland, and are investigating whether government funds, especially central funds for the state, were illegally diverted and later transferred through him.

Officials said Pillai will be questioned in this regard.

Simultaneous raids were conducted in Kerala, Karnataka, Nagaland and Delhi after doubts emerged that Pillai's Sreevalasam Group was involved in "suspicious financial dealings".

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