QBullet: Jaitley Calls Note Ban A ‘Moral Move’; Smog Chokes Delhi 

Here’s a roundup of the top stories of the day.

Updated
India
5 min read
File photo of Arun Jaitley.
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1. Demonetisation Moral and Ethical Move: Arun Jaitley

Terming demonetisation as a “watershed moment” in the country’s history, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday defended the Centre’s decision to scrap high denomination notes saying the “status quo” of the economy had to be shaken up. Jaitley also stressed that less cash in the economy doesn’t mean less corruption, but it definitely makes it harder for people to evade tax. Referring to Manmohan Singh’s comment on demonetisation, Jaitley said: “Organised loot is what happened in 2G, CWG, coal block allocations.”

2.Delhi Air Pollution: Primary School Shutdown Today, Govt Says Ready for Odd-Even

On a day that the air quality index in Delhi fell to its worst this year, 448 on a scale of 500, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia ordered all primary schools to shut down for a day tomorrow along with restriction of all outdoor activities in schools. He said that the government was “prepared” to launch the odd-and-even transport scheme and restrict trucks if there is an “emergency” (AQI above 500).

Last year, AQI had scaled 500. The shutdown doesn’t apply to schools in Gurgaon and Noida since they fall under different state governments.

3. India Beat New Zealand by 6 Runs in 3rd T20; Clinch Historic Series Win vs Kiwis

The Indian team poses for a photograph after winning the T20 series against New Zealand.
The Indian team poses for a photograph after winning the T20 series against New Zealand.
(Photo Courtesy: BCCI)

Even though their batting failed, the bowlers, backed by excellent fielding, guided India past New Zealand by six runs in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday to claim the three-match Twenty20 International series 2-1. The game was reduced to eight-overs-a-side due to rain as international cricket returned to Thiruvananthapuram after a gap of 29 years.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. Jaish Says Chief Masood Azhar's Nephew Among 3 Militants Killed in Pulwama

The nephew of Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar was among the three militants killed by the security forces in a gunbattle in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday.

Local news agency GNS said the killed militant was Jaish’s divisional commander Talha Rasheed and that the spokesperson of the terrorist group confirmed his identity to them.

The spokesperson also said two other militants killed in the encounter were divisional commander Muhammad Bhai, a non-local, and Waseem, a resident of Drubgam Pulwama, GNS reported.

Pulwama Encounter site.
Pulwama Encounter site.
(Photo: ANI)

(Source: Hindustan Times)

5. NIA Seizes Rs 36 Cr in Banned Notes in Terror Funding Case

On the eve of first anniversary of demonetisation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) announced on Tuesday a seizure of Rs 36.34 crore in demonetised currency in Delhi in its ongoing probe into cross-border funding of terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

The money was seized on Monday. NIA officials said that the role of some bank employees Srinagar is under the scanner in connection with the second biggest seizure of demonetised currency after the government banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes on November 8 last year. The biggest seizure after demonetisation was in December 2016 when Income Tax officials seized Rs 102 crore in demonetised currency from mining baron Sekhar Reddy in Chennai.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

6. India a Source of Learning: Nadella

India has always been close to his heart, said Hyderabad-born CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella. The inspiration from playing cricket and the experiences from studying in different parts of the country helped Nadella chart out one of the biggest transformations in the history of Microsoft.

In an interview with Business Line, Nadella said India continues to be a source of learning.

“India is a very important source of learning. I measure myself in terms of the progress we make in India by enabling small businesses to be more productive, public sector to be more efficient. I measure our success in the ability to create success around us in India and it is tremendous to see it happening.”

(Source: The Hindu)

7. Kamal Haasan to Tour TN, Meet People

After promising to make an announcement about his entry into Tamil Nadu politics on his birthday, actor Kamal Haasan on Tuesday announced the rollout of an application “Maiam Whistle” in January, which will be a platform for people to connect and discuss social issues.

Kamal Haasan plans to tour Tamil Nadu and listen to people’s issues.
Kamal Haasan plans to tour Tamil Nadu and listen to people’s issues.
(Photo: The Quint/Smitha TK)

“This is not just a mobile application. It is a digital platform to understand people’s problems. Everyone has this feeling — a regret — that things are going wrong continuously, unstoppably. It is a platform for ‘whistle-blowing’ and an effort to strengthen the voices of truth and make politics virtuous again. People can use it even to criticise me,” he said, at the event organised on his birthday.

(Source: The Hindu)

8. ISRO Plans to Scale up Outsourcing, Double Satellite Launches

With Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) gearing up to resume satellite launch services from mid-December after a three-month lull, it is planning not only to double its launch frequency from next year but also to scale up outsourcing to the private sector.

Currently, the space agency launches 9 to 10 spacecraft built by it every year. Dr K Sivan, director of Thiruvananthapuram-based Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said, "Isro is targeting to double the number of launches from 9-10 to 18-19 launches per year."

9. ISI Plot Behind Punjab Killings, Says Captain Amarinder Singh

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh claimed on Tuesday that his police force had cracked the string of targeted killings of religious leaders in the state by busting a terror module managed by Pakistan-based ISI. Most of the killings took place in Ludhiana, Khanna and Jalandhar. Amarinder said ISI was working in tandem with gangsters and "cells" abroad to destabilise Punjab. The victims include RSS leader Brig Jagdish Gagneja (Retd), RSS activist Ravinder Gosain, Pastor Sultan Masih and two Dera Sacha Sauda supporters.

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