QBullet: Vice Presidential Polls Today; Rahul’s Convoy Attacked
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1. Vice-Presidential Elections Today: NDA Holds ‘Dummy Vote’, 16 MPs Fail
On the eve of the vice-presidential election, the ruling NDA organised a workshop for its MPs on Friday to instruct them on the correct voting procedure. A “dummy vote” was held at the end of the session. At least 16 votes were declared “invalid”.
Addressing the MPs in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah told them “it was embarrassing”, especially because they “represent almost 15-16 lakh people and still make such mistakes.”
The MPs made different mistakes: six were “completely wrong”, five had to seek fresh ballot papers, and the remaining five made mistakes which could get their votes declared invalid if the Opposition insisted.
BJP general secretary and party MP Bhupender Yadav then repeated the presentation, and guided them against making such mistakes on Saturday. Shah instructed the MPs not to carry their own pens. “Leave your pens at home,” he told them.
2. Rahul Gandhi’s Convoy Attacked With Stones During Gujarat Visit
A man from a hostile crowd attacked Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s car with a stone and broke a window on Friday during his visit to northern Gujarat’s flood-hit Banaskantha district.
Political barbs flew after the attack in Dhanera town. Gandhi said he won’t be cowed down by the heckling and stones thrown at him, while the ruling BJP responded by calling his tour a “photo-op”.
“We are not going to step back because of Narendra Modi slogans, black flags and stone pelting. We will do our best to help people,” the Congress leader tweeted.
The stone attack is a serious breach of security as Gandhi is guarded by the Special Protection Group (SPG), an elite unit that protects eight dignitaries, including Prime Minister Modi.
Gandhi flew to Dhanera from flood-affected areas in Rajasthan and spoke to people at Manotra village and surrounding areas before proceeding to the town’s farm produce marketing yard, where he met farmers and traders.
3. Aadhaar Not Mandatory for Death Certificates, Govt Clarifies
The government on Friday made a strong pitch for the use of Aadhaar number to register deaths to prevent “identity fraud”, but stopped short of making it mandatory even as fears of privacy being compromised are yet to be put to rest.
The Registrar General India (RGI), in a notification, stated that the Aadhaar-linked death registration will start from 1 October.
The government, however, clarified that it was not mandatory.
If an applicant is not aware of the Aadhaar number or Enrolment ID Number (EID) of the deceased, he or she will be required to provide a certificate that the deceased person did not possess Aadhaar number to the best of their knowledge.
Aadhaar is a unique 12-digit biometric number that is used for accurate identification of all individuals in the country.
Benefits meant for the poor, under government’s welfare schemes, have been misappropriated – in the name of the dead – raising the need for accurate identification of deceased.
4. Chinese Consul General Says Shared Interests of India, China Outweigh Differences
A day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told Parliament that a solution to the Doklam standoff lay in dialogue and not war, Chinese Consul General in Kolkata, Ma Zhanwu, said that “shared interests’’ between the two countries “far outweigh any differences’’ and India and China need to resolve the issue through “rational, objective and constructive means.”
Ma’s remarks Friday is a departure from the heated rhetoric of the Chinese over seven weeks of the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at the trijunction with Bhutan.
In relationships between nations, there are always differences. It is like belonging to a family with many brothers and sisters. There can be differences between siblings and even parents. If there are such differences between two brothers, that does not mean that they cannot get along. You don’t stop dealing with that brother, with whom you have differences, on other issues.Ma Zhanwu
5. Up to 450% Mark-Up on Knee Implants, Govt May Cap Prices
In what could set the stage for capping prices of knee implants, an analysis by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) shows that importers, distributors and hospitals are earning hefty trade margins that can range from 67 percent to as high as 449 percent.
After capping prices of cardiac stents, the NPPA report can see the government moving in a similar direction with regard to orthopedic knee implants, official sources said, underlining the Centre’s commitment to rationalise cost of medical care and make it more affordable and accessible.
The analysis shows that in case of an “insert” — used to replace a damaged bone or cartilage in knee replacement surgery — the average total trade margin is 449 percent, whereas that on the “total knee system” is 313 percent.
Apart from substantial trade margins, the analysis shows a huge disparity in the landed price of imported knee implants and their MRPs. The prices of a range of products available in the market vary drastically.
6. Abu Dujana’s Clip Reveals Al Qaeda’s Expanding Footprint in Valley
In a region already crowded with terrorist outfits ranging from Lashkar-e-Taiba to Jaish-e-Muhammed and Hizbul Mujahideen, the al Qaeda seems to have finally gained a foothold in the Valley going by the encounter killing of Abu Dujana and Arif Lelhari. Both had switched from the Lashkar-e-Taiba to the multinational Sunni Islamist militant organisation founded by Osama bin Laden in 1988.
LeT commander Abu Dujana had joined the al Qaeda’s Kashmir cell Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind led by Zakir Musa, a fact that was revealed in the contents of the last phone call Dujana and his associate Lelhari made to the latter’s brother during the gun-battle that led to their killing on 1 August.
Late on Friday, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind chief Zakir Musa released a video hailing Dujana and Lelhari, declaring them as the first martyrs of the al Qaeda.
In a 3:16 minute audio clip of the call they had made before succumbing to injuries they suffered during the 1 August encounter with security forces, Lelhari, while heaving sighs and swallowing his breath several times, requested his family and followers not to cover his corpse in a Pakistani flag.
7. NCERT to Launch Portal to Sell Books Directly to School Students
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has developed an online portal that will allow schools and students across the country to buy textbooks directly from the education body to ensure they are available in time for next year, officials said.
“The portal will be launched this month itself and schools, as well as individuals, will be able to place an order for books online and it will be delivered to them,” said a senior human resource development (HRD) official.
Currently, the NCERT prints books and they are delivered through the authorised vendors across the country.
Sources said approximately 42.5 million NCERT books are used by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)-affiliated schools.
The move will help parents save money usually spent on sourcing books from private publishers, often on account of non-availability of the NCERT books. Parents have complained to the HRD ministry about schools forcing them to buy expensive books.
8. SC Hears Its 1st ‘Love Jihad’ Case, Demands Proof From NIA
Controversy about a Hindu woman in Kerala converting to Islam and marrying a Muslim man became bigger on Friday with the Supreme Court expressing doubts over certain events linked to the episode and seeking a report from the National Investigating Agency in 10 days.
The woman’s husband, through senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising, slammed the Kerala High Court’s decision to annul the marriage by terming it as part of a bigger ‘love jihad’ conspiracy. The husband demanded that as a major, the 24-year-old woman had the right to decide whom to marry and which faith to follow.
Sibal and Jaising said it was unfortunate that the HC annulled the marriage and even disallowed the husband to meet her. Both of them repeatedly requested a bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud to summon and interview the girl to ascertain her free will while expressing concern about her safety.
9. BJP, Bajrang Dal in Bihar Beef Attack: ‘Our Govt Now’
The blocking of a truck and the alleged beating of at least one of the three men inside on suspicion of transporting beef in Bihar’s Bhojpur district was a well-planned move by the BJP and Bajrang Dal workers who said they wanted to “produce proof” for police to take action against “illegal” meat traders.
Speaking to The Indian Express in Shahpur, Bhuwar Ojha, BJP state executive committee member, said, “We had been telling police for some time about an illegal slaughterhouse in the Ranisagar area of Shahpur but they would not listen to us. Now that the BJP is part of the state government, our morale has been boosted.” Ojha described Ranisagar and Bagahi, the only Muslim-dominated areas in the Shahpur assembly segment, as “the problem areas”. But, he said, the BJP’s top leaders in Bihar have asked him to ensure that “no untoward incident takes place”.
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Topics: Rahul Gandhi NCERT Gopalkrishna Gandhi
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