QBullet: Soren Sworn in as Jharkhand CM; PM’s Message to Youth
Find the top headlines of the day on QBullet.
1. Hemant Soren Sworn In, Opposition Leaders Band Together
Hemant Soren on Sunday took oath as the 11th chief minister of Jharkhand in a ceremony billed as a show of strength by opposition parties amid nationwide protests against the amended citizenship act and a proposed move for an all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The alliance of Soren’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) cruised to a majority in the 81-member state assembly in the recently held elections, clinching power from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state.
On Sunday, governor Droupadi Murmu administered the oaths of office and secrecy to 44-year-old Soren, who became the state’s chief minister for the second time.
2. Jharkhand: In First Cabinet Decision, Hemant Govt Drops Pathalgadi Sedition Cases
In its first cabinet decision, the Hemant Soren government Sunday dropped all cases registered against people during the Pathalgadi movement in 2017-2018, as well as against people booked in the protests after the Raghubar Das government attempted to tweak Chotanagpur and Santhal Paragna tenancy Acts.
The cabinet also directed that necessary posts be created for judicial officers in fast-track courts dealing with cases pertaining to women and children in every district, besides paying all dues to Anganwadi workers and para-teachers.
JMM leader Stephen Marandi has been elected Speaker of the upcoming Assembly.
3. Naqvi Slams Meerut SP, UP Dy CM Supports Cop
As a political slugfest intensified over Meerut SP (city) Akhilesh Narayan Singh’s alleged ‘go to Pakistan’ jibe against anti-CAA protesters, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi appears to have broken ranks with other senior BJP functionaries on the issue, saying the cop’s remarks were ‘unacceptable’.
“If found to be true, then action should be taken against the police officer,” he told The Times of India on Sunday.
Naqvi had first criticised the SP’s remark on Saturday in response to a question at a press conference in Mumbai. On Sunday, when TOI reached out to him, he reiterated his criticism of the statement allegedly made by Singh.
4. No Outreach on CAA, Foreign Diplomats Warn: India Fast Losing Friends
More than a fortnight after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act came into force and triggered nationwide protests, there is growing unease within the capital’s foreign diplomatic community over the BJP-led NDA government’s moves.
The diplomats have publicly maintained that the CAA is an “internal issue”. However, when The Indian Express spoke to ambassadors and diplomats from at least 16 countries, across all continents, over the last few days on the new law and the protests, they expressed “concern” at the situation.
The other key takeaway was this: The government held several briefings for them on various issues it had described as “domestic” – Pulwama attack, Balakot airstrike, revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, and even the Ayodhya verdict. But it has not briefed them even once on the CAA and its ramifications.
5. Youth Hate Anarchy, Chaos: PM Modi
PM Narendra Modi reached out to the country’s youth on Sunday, saying they will play an important role in taking India to greater heights in the next decade, and added they hate anarchy, casteism and nepotism, a remark that came amid nationwide students’ protests against the amended citizenship act.
Dedicating a major part of his Mann Ki Baat radio address, the last edition of 2019, Modi said the youth also dislike chaos, instability and discrimination. He applauded them for believing in the system and questioning it when it does not work properly.
“The youth appreciate the system. Not just that, they prefer to follow the system. And in the event of the system not responding properly, they get restless and even courageously question the system itself. I consider this attribute as a virtue,” he said.
6. CDS Can Serve up to 65 Years of Age: Centre
In a precursor to the announcement of who India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will be, a gazette notification issued on Saturday set 65 as the maximum serving age for India’s “first among equals” in the armed forces.
The appointment of a CDS was cleared on 24 December. The government has not announced the name of the country’s first CDS, but serving army chief General Bipin Rawat is widely seen as the front runner for the top post. He finishes his term as army chief on 31 December.
“Provided that the Central Government may, if considered necessary, in public interest, so to do, give extension of service to the Chief of Defence Staff…for such period or periods as it may deem necessary subject to maximum age of 65 years,” said the notification, which comes under the Army (Amendment Rules) 2019.
7. Wikipedia Writes to IT Minister: New Govt Guidelines Will Severely Disrupt Our Model
The nonprofit that funds Wikipedia has said its model would be “severely disrupted” by the intermediary guidelines that India intends to institute by the middle of next month.
Automated filtering and quick takedown requirements would disrupt the volunteer model of real-time editing of information followed by the online encyclopaedia, the Wikimedia Foundation has said in a letter to Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Because the resource is curated by language and not geographic market, the rules would change the entire website, not just Indians’ access to the knowledge, the Foundation said.
8. ‘JD(U) a Bigger Party in Bihar, Must Fight More Seats Than BJP’: Prashant Kishor
Days after ally BJP’s ouster from power in neighbouring Jharkhand, JD(U) on Sunday began mounting pressure on the saffron party for a larger share of seats in the forthcoming assembly polls in Bihar.
Allies JD(U) and BJP had contested 17 seats each in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, while remaining six seats (out of total 40) were given to the Ramvilas Paswan’s LJP.
However, JD(U) national vice president Prashant Kishor told mediapersons here that as per his understanding, there is no question of BJP and JD(U) contesting on equal number of seats in the assembly elections. “The seat-sharing formula of Lok Sabha cannot be justified for the state assembly polls – JD (U) is a bigger party in Bihar.”
9. A First: All-India Ad for J&K Official Jobs
In its first recruitment notice since the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A, the J&K high court has invited applications for 33 non-gazetted posts from candidates across the country. This is the first time in the Valley that eligibility for any government job isn’t limited to “permanent residents” of Kashmir and Ladakh.
The posts include that of stenographers, typists and drivers, with no bar on any candidate applying separately for more than one vacancy. Selection in reserved categories will be on the basis of the J&K Reservation Rules, 2005, which state that “available vacancies will be in favour of permanent residents”.
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