President Murmu to launch TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan; In SC: bail plea of journalist Siddique Kappan in UAPA case, petitions challenging the Places of Worship Act; Ganesh idol immersions on the occasion of Anant Chaturdashi; UN chief Guterres on solidarity visit to Pakistan; Asia Cup 2022 – Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka in Dubai
Capital gets a new heart: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Kartavya Path — rechristened Rajpath — a stretch of the redeveloped Central Vista from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate on Thursday. He also unveiled a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
PM Modi said, “Netaji Subhash was the first Prime Minister of Akhand Bharat who had liberated Andaman even before 1947 and unfurled the tricolour.”
Why rename Rajpath? “How can Rajpath make the rulers realise if the name is Raj? Rajpath is a symbol of oppression and slavery,” said PM Modi, who, in his Independence Day speech, had committed to “removing traces of colonial mindset”. ‘Raj’ refers to “ruling power” while ‘kartavya’ is “duty”.
The government says the move symbolises a shift from seeing Rajpath as an icon of power to projecting Kartavya Path as public ownership of power. Rajpath was called Kingsway in pre-Independence times, when India Gate was constructed and the national capital was shifted from Calcutta to ‘New’ Delhi in 1911.
The entire Rajpath stretch has been revamped now, with five dedicated vending zones to accommodate 40 vendors each.
The Central Vista project includes a new building for Parliament, a common central secretariat, new PM house and office, and a new Vice-President’s Enclave.
Netaji, new symbol
PM Modi unveiled a 28-foot high statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in the India Gate canopy, where Amar Jawan Jyoti — a tribute to Indian soldiers — was housed before it was shifted to the National War Memorial in the neighbourhood this year.
Bose’s statue is a monolithic granite block weighing 280 tonnes, brought from Telangana’s Khammam in a special 100-ft-long truck with 140 wheels. A team of sculptors spent 26,000 hours chiselling the statue. More here
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, passed away on Thursday. She was 96. She served as the monarch for 70 years. She breathed her last at Balmoral in Scotland.
Her family was with her when the Queen breathed her last at her Scottish estate in Balmoral. They had gathered at Balmoral after concerns grew about her health earlier in the day. Her grandson Prince William was at the estate while Prince Harry was on his way.
The Queen ascended the throne in 1952. With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will become the King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms besides Britain.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” adding, “The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, died in April 2021, just weeks short of his 100th birthday.
In June this year, the UK celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to mark 70 years of service to the nation with grand events.
In 2015, Elizabeth became the longest-serving British monarch, surpassing her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria’s tenure. This year, she became the world’s second-longest reigning monarch in world history.
Elizabeth has been unwell for some time, forcing her to miss some of the events held for her Platinum Jubilee. However, she did appear on Buckingham Palace’s balcony at the end of the Jubilee Pageant.
Her reign witnessed some of the biggest royal scandals, including the divorce of Charles and Diana, her second son Prince Andrew’s alleged links to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and the quitting of the royal family Harry and Meghan. She was served by 14 prime ministers, from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss.
It’s confirmed: The Indian and Chinese military sides issued a joint statement Thursday evening saying their troops have started withdrawing from Gogra-Hot Springs in Ladakh. The two sides had reached a consensus in the 16th round of military talks at the Corps Commander level on July 17. The 15th round of talks had failed in March.
Quote: “On 8th September 2022, according to the consensus reached in the 16th round of India China Corps Commander Level Meeting, the Indian and Chinese troops in the area of Gogra-Hot Springs (PP-15) have begun to disengage in a coordinated and planned way, which is conducive to the peace and tranquillity in the border areas.”
Modi-Xi meet on the cards? The disengagement has begun days ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting scheduled for September 15-16 in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand. There is speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping may hold bilateral talks on the margins of the SCO summit.
Will Xi break Covid barrier? While PM Modi has travelled abroad on a few occasions, Xi has not stepped out of China since January 2020. Reports say he may fly to Samarkand for the regional security bloc meeting.
The Ladakh standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries began on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas. Situation worsened after the Galwan Valley clash in June 2020. Both sides enhanced their deployment of soldiers and heavy weaponry. Each side had 50,000-60,000 troops in the standoff areas.
Remaining friction points include Depsang Bulge and Demchok. More here
Quad allies India and Japan on Thursday agreed to step up bilateral defence cooperation and engage in more military exercises as they emphasised that their special strategic ties played a crucial role in ensuring a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific, amid China’s aggressive behaviour in the region.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada in Tokyo on the first day of his official visit to Japan. This year marks 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar are in Tokyo to attend the second India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
Joint fighter drills
The two sides also agreed to hold military drills aimed at boosting co-ordination between the air forces of the two nations. “We are happy to note that our Air Forces are working closely for early conduct of the inaugural Air Force fighter exercise,” Singh said.
The two defence ministers expressed their commitment in continuing bilateral and multilateral exercises including ‘Dharma Guardian’, ‘JIMEX’ and ‘Malabar’
The Quad grouping comprising the US, Australia, India and Japan is a strategic alliance aimed at ensuring a free, open and rules-based Indo Pacific region in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region.
China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. More details here
A batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which sparked nationwide protests in 2019, will be taken up for hearing by the Supreme Court on September 12
Over 200 petitions
More than 200 pleas were filed by various organisations challenging the law that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants who came to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.
While refusing to stay the operation of the law, the top court had on December 18, 2019, issued notices to the Centre on the pleas. However, due to the Covid-induced restrictions, the matter could not come up for a full-fledged hearing as the matter involved a large number of lawyers and litigants.
The SC had also asked the Centre to consider using audio-visual media to make citizens aware of the legislation.
Is it unconstitutional?
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), one of the petitioners, argued that CAA violates the fundamental Right to Equality and intends to grant citizenship to a section of illegal immigrants by making an exclusion based on religion.
Delay in implementation
Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently said rules for implementing CAA would be framed once the Covid precaution dose vaccination drive is over.
It is believed the BJP-led Centre is treading cautiously as the law sparked violent protests in Delhi, Assam and other parts of the country in 2019.
Inflation cannot be handled only by the Centre alone, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday. Sitharaman said strategies must be developed to collaborate with the states in managing inflationary issues. She was addressing an Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) event.
On cooperation from states
She said, “Inflation handling can’t be left singularly to monetary policy. The majority of measures to tame inflation are outside monetary policy. Fiscal and monetary policies have to work together to tame inflation.”
On RBI’s role
She said the Reserve Bank will have to be more synchronised with the fiscal policy and other factors in taming inflation. “I would say India’s inflation management, the word taming inflation or the word keeping it within the tolerance limit is an exercise of so many different activities and majority of which is outside of the monetary policy given in today’s circumstances.”
Oil for inflation
Sitharaman said that importing Russian crude oil at the time of a global crisis was a part of the government’s “inflation management”.
Crude oil prices rose sharply this year due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and subsequent sanctions by the US-led West on Russia. However, India ramped up oil imports from Russia, giving supremacy to the national interests, she said.
A dip in consumer sentiment
Consumer sentiments in India deteriorated in August 2022 and in the first week of September, after having improved substantially in July. There is a significant dip in urban sentiments, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said.
After an impressive rise of 6.7% in July, the Index of Consumer Sentiments (ICS) shrunk by 0.5% in August, and further by 3.1% in the first week of September. More here
Six tests of the indigenous quick-reaction surface-to-air missiles (QR-SAM) have been successfully completed by the Defence Research and Development Organisations (DRDO) and Army at the Chandipur integrated test range off the Odisha coast.
Capability: The QR-SAM system is designed to intercept hostile fighters, helicopters and drones at a range up to 25-km.
The flight-tests were carried out against high-speed aerial targets mimicking various types of threats to evaluate the capability of the QR-SAM weapon system under different scenarios. The system’s performance was also evaluated under day and night operation scenarios.
Ready for induction: Following the successful flight tests, the missiles are now ready for induction into the Army, DRDO chairman Dr Samir V Kamat said on Thursday.
Indigenous components: The tests were conducted in the “final deployment configuration” of the QR-SAM system consisting of all indigenously-developed sub-systems, including the missile with radio frequency seeker, mobile launcher, fully automated command and control system, surveillance and multi-function radars.
The uniqueness of the QR-SAM system is that it can operate on the move with search and track capability and fire on short halt. This has been proven during the mobility trials conducted earlier, Kamat said.
In capital, for undergarments: Washing their dirty linen in public is something that politicians frequently do. But Basant Soren, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren’s brother, has amused the public and his political rivals with his explanation for his recent Delhi visit, saying he came to the national capital from Jharkhand capital to buy undergarments.
What he said: Explaining his visit to Delhi when Jharkhand is battling a political crisis and his CM brother’s chair is at stake, JMM MLA Basan Soren said, “I had run out of undergarments. So, I went to Delhi to purchase them. I get them from there. The political crisis is a normal thing and it keeps happening.”
Basant Soren is an MLA from Dumka, which recently hit national headlines for two heinous crimes. Basant met the families of the victims in both the cases, in which the accused have been arrested.
Crime in constituency: In the first instance, 19-year-old Ankita was burnt alive by accused Shahrukh after she continued thwarting his advances for two years. In the second case, a 14-year-old tribal girl was kidnapped, raped and hanged from a tree allegedly by accused Arman Ansari.
Action assured: Basant said that the Soren government will soon hold a meeting on the rise of such incidents in Dumka.
Politics: Basant targeted the BJP after party leaders Kapil Mishra and Manoj Tiwari from Delhi visited Dumka along with Jharkhand leaders Babulal Marandi and Nishikant Dubey.
Charge and countercharge: The BJP has accused the Soren government of shielding sub-divisional police officer Noor Mustafa Ansari for his alleged role in the Dumka rape case. Basant responded saying, “No, the government hasn’t shielded anyone. The SDPO is a government servant and not a relative of the government.” More here
Virat Kohli. With a swat drive over deep midwicket, Kohli brought up his 71st international century and also his first T20 International hundred. The gap between his previous century and the latest was of 1020 days, a period that also saw a pandemic bringing cricketing activities to a halt for months. With a 61-ball 122, Virat Kohli led the Indian charge against Afghanistan in their last match of the Asia Cup. Both teams were playing to salvage their prestige, after having failed to qualify for the final. India had lost both their Super-4 matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Besides Kohli, stand-in skipper KL Rahul hit a half-century as India posted a score of 212 for 2 in their 20 overs. In reply, Afghanistan could score only 111 runs in their stipulated 20 overs. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar ran through the Afghan batting lineup, picking up five wickets for four runs in his four overs.
Follow news that matters to you in real-time. Join 3 crore news enthusiasts.
Written by: Rakesh Rai, Tejeesh Nippun Singh, Jayanta Kalita, Prabhash K Dutta Research: Rajesh Sharma