QBullet: Oil Imports Reduction, Spy Pigeon in Pathankot and More

Here’s the news and views across the papers this morning on #QBullet.  

5 min read
Dharmendra Pradhan says oil import dependency will reduce by 2022. (Photo: iStock)

1. By 2022, We Will Reduce Oil Import Dependence by 10%: Pradhan

In an interview to the Times of India, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan says that his biggest achievement in the first year in office has been to restore the faith of common man and the stakeholders in his ministry.

An atmosphere of pro-people policies through several decisions... there’s clarity over policy. Decisions are being taken.

Read the full interview here.

2. ‘We Have Put the Train Back on the Rails. It is Now Accelerating’ - HT

In an interview to the Hindustan Times, Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha claims that the current BJP government has managed to bring the economy back on track. Sinha says the economy that was like a derailed train has now been transformed into a Rajdhani.

Other revolutionary changes undervalued by people are social security moves like Jan Suraksha, protecting every Indian citizen. And to provide this is why we went out initially to have a bank account with every household. And next is the DBT.

Read the full interview here.

3. Cash Course of Council Votes - TT

Prospective candidates for the Bihar Legislative Council plan to buy voters, not win them over. (Photo: Reuters)
Prospective candidates for the Bihar Legislative Council plan to buy voters, not win them over. (Photo: Reuters)

A report in The Telegraph does a mathematical breakdown of how candidates are planning to win votes for the Legislative Council elections in Bihar. Unfortunately, this strategy is not being built around how to woo voters. The candidates, the report says, are gathering funds to buy them off.

The arithmetic for the election, for such aspirants, is simple. “On an average, one ends up spending about Rs 5,000 per vote. Roughly, there are about 5,000 voters in each constituency. If one can manage half of them, the game is over for the opponent,” said another ticket aspirant.

Read the full story here.

4. ‘Spy’ Pigeon From Pakistan Jailed in Pathankot - TOI

A report in the Times of India says that a “spy” pigeon has been captured in Pathankot two days after Intelligence Bureau warned Punjab police of suspicious Indian Mujahideen activity in the state. The bird had a stamped message and a wire-like body attached to it, adding to the doubts.

The bird landed at the mud and brick house of barber Ramesh Chandra in Manwal village, 4km from Pakistan border, around 6.30pm on Wednesday. The suspicions of the barber’s 14-year-old son were aroused by the Urdu markings, and he went to the nearest police post around 9pm with the “spy bird”. His arrival there with the bird perched on a wire mesh along with Chandra’s chicken created a stir.

Read the full story here.

5. Less Than 8% SCs in Maharashtra Get to Avail Education Quota, Study Finds - IE

Findings of the TISS study explained in <i>The Indian Express</i>. (Courtesy: <a href="">The Indian Express</a>)
Findings of the TISS study explained in The Indian Express. (Courtesy: The Indian Express)

A study by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has found that only 8% of the people who come under the Scheduled Castes category have been able to avail the benefits of the quota in education. The Indian Express explains the findings from Maharashtra that are part of a nationwide study.

While 80.5% SCs were aware of post-matric scholarship, only 17.6% had availed this facility. And though 79.8% were aware of freeships and scholarships, just 22.1% availed those.

Read more here.

6. City Blights to City Lights - HT

An op-ed in the Hindustan Times talks about the government’s smart cities initiative and the things that need to be developed before the government gets into announcing new projects in an attempt to fulfill the promise.

That the issue of urban renewal is more than simply funding a few projects every year per city like the JNNURM. It’s about a medium-term development and growth blueprint unique for each city and a framework of public and private investments building this blueprint. Most city finances are in a mess because of revenue leakage and asset pilferage.

Read the full piece here.

7. In Delhi’s Battle Against Centre the Law is Murky, Solution Must be Political - TOI

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung (left), Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (right). (Photo: Reuters, PTI)
Lt Governor Najeeb Jung (left), Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (right). (Photo: Reuters, PTI)

An editorial in today’s Times of India argues that the solution for the public confrontation between the Delhi government and the Centre cannot be achieved by a “simplistic approach” as taken by the Delhi High Court.

First, the existing position of law is murky and hence any determination must not be founded on a judicial view that negotiates the murkiness through artful usage of technical rules of interpretation. There must be open public debate and civil dialogue leading to a political solution on necessary reforms.

Read the full piece here.

8. Bold Moves on World Stage - IE

If Narendra Modi succeeds in staying firm both domestically and internationally, the world will see a strong India emerge in his tenure, writes Kishore Mahbubani in The Indian Express.

If Modi is shrewd, he can use China-Japan competition to benefit India. For example, he can encourage China and Japan to compete in delivering the badly needed bullet train services to India. Similarly, under Modi, India will move even closer to Israel, especially in defence technology. Yet, Modi has also just signed an agreement to build a port in Chabahar, Iran, which will provide India a much-needed logistical lifeline to Afghanistan. Only a new strong India under Modi can get away with such bold moves.

Read the full opinion piece here.

9. From Universities to Coaching Shops - TH

An editorial in The Hindu attempts to explain that successive governments’ approach to improve education in India cannot begin with radical changes to premier institutions. The change, the editorial argues, has to come from the school level.

Proposals made by United Progressive Alliance-II, for more universities, continue to be the project of the present government. But a serious revision of the educational system in India requires laying a good foundation for primary and secondary schooling by improving their quality in a systematic and rational manner. This applies as much to content as is does to facilities.

Read the full piece here.


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