QBullet: ‘No Surgical Strikes in Past’; BJP Expected to Win in UP
Read the latest news from across the country.
1. Past Operations Were Covert, Not Surgical Strikes: Manohar Parrikar
Maintaining that no surgical strikes were conducted in the past and the credit for the 29 September strikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir should go to the Indian Army and citizens of the country, Defence Minster Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said the next response need not be a surgical strike since “unpredictability” keeps the enemy guessing. He said the strikes were the result of a decision taken by the government of the day and it should be “cheered” for that.
“We need surgical strikes but our next response need not be by way of a surgical strike. There should be unpredictability in response. Otherwise, the enemy can study your pattern and prepare its strategy,” Parrikar said at an event in Mumbai.
Referring to Opposition’s criticism that the BJP was trying to take credit for the strikes, the Defence Minister said:
The credit for the surgical strikes go to the Army and 127 crore Indian citizens. We don’t take credit for the surgical strikes. However, it is the government that takes decisions and such a government should be cheered.
2. India Today-Axis Poll: BJP to Lead in UP 2017 With 170-183 Seats
The Bharatiya Janata Party is expected to lead in the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh. According to the India Today-Axis Opinion Poll, the party will win 170 to 183 seats.
Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party – or BSP – is expected to be not too far behind, with a total of 115 to 124 seats, according to the poll. The incumbent Samajwadi Party will be at third spot with 94 to 103 seats.
The Congress, which has been vigorously campaigning in the state, is currently nowhere in the race, hardly scoring double digits. Last week, party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi concluded his month-long Kisan Yatra in Uttar Pradesh – starting from Deoria to Delhi. Currently, the Congress has a mere 28 out of 403 Assembly seats and 2 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Read the report on The Quint.
3. 'Liberal' Ashoka University Crackdown: 2 Staffers Quit After Signing Student Petition on J&K
Two senior members of the administrative staff have quit; an assistant professor is under pressure to leave and regulations have been revised to moderate all emails between the alumni and students. Ashoka University in Sonepat, which advertises itself as a world-class “pioneering liberal initiative”, is roiled in a fractious debate over curbs on freedom of speech on campus.
The flashpoint: A 25 July petition signed by 88 members of the university, addressed to the J&K government and the Centre, condemning the violence after militant Burhan Wani’s death and calling for de-militarisation of the state and the conduct of a plebiscite. Signatories included students, alumni, two employees and one faculty member.
On 7 October, the two employees, Saurav Goswami, deputy manager of academic affairs, and Adil Mushtaq Shah, programme manager of academic affairs, of the Young India Fellowship, had sent farewell emails to the current batch of 225 YIF fellows. (YIF is a one-year postgraduate diploma programme in liberal studies). Although they quit on personal grounds, many on campus say the management had made its “displeasure” known to them after the petition went public.
(Source: The Indian Express)
4. Medical Bulletins on Jayalalithaa's Health Hide More Than They Reveal
Alongside rumours that continue to swirl over the health of Tamil Nadu’s ailing Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the medical bulletins issued by the hospital have themselves become a subject of speculation.
The bulletins released by the Apollo hospital are brief, guarded and hide more than they reveal anything on the Chief Minister.
The last one issued on 8 October read:
The honourable chief minister continues to be under constant monitoring by the intensivists and the consultants in the panel. The respiratory support is closely watched and adjusted. Lungs decongestion treatment is being continued. All the other comprehensive measures, including nutrition, supportive therapy and passive physiotherapy, are underway.
The health update shared some details of the treatment, but gave nothing away on the status of the chief minister, who has been in hospital since 22 September.
(Source: The Hindustan Times)
5. In Jammu Prison, LeT Man From Pakistan Turns Contrite
A Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, caught last year in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir after he and his accomplice attacked a convoy of the BSF, has been longing to hear from his mother. Predictably, Pakistan has refused to accept him as its citizen.
Mohammad Naved, 20, was caught after a chase by villagers after he and Abu Noman – who was later killed – fired at the convoy on 5 August 2015, killing two BSF soldiers and wounding 13 others. Famished and under the influence of drugs at the time of the attack, Naved escaped from the encounter site and took five villagers hostage at a school nearby. On the pretext of offering him food, the villagers overpowered him. The villagers even recorded Naved saying on camera that he was sent to India “to kill Hindus.”
Two BSF soldiers were killed and 13 others were injured in the attack. Abu Noman, an accomplice of Naved and an LeT terrorist was also killed.
(Source: The Hindu)
6. When the Dawn Is Looking Brighter on the Other Side
On a day former union minister P Chidambaram asked the Indian media "why are you guys falling like ninepins? ...Why is it (the media) capitulating?", an exemplary lesson in journalistic courage and integrity came from an unexpected place – from a country we are taught to hate, from a flawed democracy we love to revile, from a newspaper called Dawn published in Karachi.
In an editorial on Wednesday, Dawn robustly defended the 6 October story reported by the paper's senior writer Cyril Almeida of a meeting between Pakistan's senior-most government and intelligence officials, where the foreign secretary spoke of the country's increasing international isolation, which was followed by a discussion on how to deal with militancy in the country.
Pointing out that "most news channels have crossed the line that separates journalism from PR and worse", news website The Wire first broke the story that NDTV – the channel which seeks to stand out from the raucous jingoism of some of its rivals and spins its advertising campaign around the word "trust" – had decided to censor news in the name of national interest too.
(Source: The Telegraph)
7. SBI's Arundhati Bhattacharya in Race for Top World Bank Job
State Bank of India chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya will be India’s nominee for the post of managing director and chief operating officer at the World Bank, two senior government functionaries told HT.
If she succeeds, Bhattacharya, 60, will be the first Indian to be holding an important managerial position in an international financial institution.
The closest was in 2001 when former deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia was appointed as first director of the independent evaluation office of the International Monetary Fund.
An official at the Prime Minister’s Office said on condition of anonymity that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has agreed to the candidature of Bhattacharya.
Reporting directly to the World Bank president, this post is considered to be the third most important position at the bank responsible for implementation of policy decisions.
Bhattacharya did not respond to telephone calls and text messages from HT on her nomination.
(Source: The Hindustan Times)
8. Eye on Defence Deals With Russia
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin are hoping to clinch a series of major defence deals at their annual summit in Goa on Saturday, desperate to shed perceptions of distrust following Russia's first-ever anti-terror drills with Pakistan.
The deals the two leaders want to close involve missile defence systems, fighter aircraft, combat helicopters and a possible nuclear submarine, and could represent the single biggest expansion in defence ties in over a decade, senior officials have said.
But the deals – some may be signed while the others may be formally announced as finalised – are equally about ensuring that a relationship does not drift into a downward spiral.
Russia's decision, even after the 18 September Uri attack, to go ahead with scheduled anti-terror military exercises with Pakistan, had set off ripples of concern in India, which has traditionally counted on Moscow as an all-weather strategic friend.
Back-channel negotiations helped avoid the possibility of the exercises taking place in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, and Indian officials are convinced that at the moment, they have little to fear from the Moscow-Islamabad flirtation.
(Source: The Telegraph)
9. In Uttar Pradesh, Lawyers Strike for Over 100 Days in Year
Even if the strength of judicial officers were to increase from the present 18,000 to 70,000 on CJI TS Thakur's impassioned plea, the staggering pendency of over two crore cases may not be cleared in a hurry, thanks to frequent disruption of work in trial courts due to strikes by lawyers.
Uttar Pradesh has 51 lakh cases pending in trial courts, which accounts for over 25% of the total pendency in all states taken together. But, a ground zero report given to the Allahabad High Court listed 10 districts, where the lawyers disrupted trial court work for more than 100 days on an average every year for last five years.
Even if the number of trial court judges were increased substantially, how would they deal with pendency unless permitted to work by the advocates' associations, asks Law Commission Chairman Justice BS Chauhan.
The report about working of trial courts in UP recorded the number of days that work at trial courts in the districts of Muzaffarnagar, Aligarh, Faizabad, Sultanpur, Moradabad, Mathura, Ghaziabad, Balrampur and Chandauli suffered due to lawyers' strikes between 1 March 2010 and 31 March 2015.
(Source: The Times of India)
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