The Hindu Morning Digest: December 29, 2023

AAP, BJP spar over rejection of Republic Day tableaux of Delhi, Punjab

The Delhi and Punjab tableaux have been left out of the upcoming Republic Day parade due to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “dirty politics”, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged on Thursday. The BJP hit back, terming it shameful that the AAP, which is in power in both States, was politicising a decision taken by a special committee. “If the Delhi government had the chance, they would have showcased their education and health models in the Republic Day parade,” AAP spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar said, noting that Delhi is the country’s capital.

Disabled staff to get quota in promotion with effect from 2016

The Union government on Thursday issued an order paving the way for Persons with Disabilities to be considered for reservation in promotions up to the lowest rung of Group A posts in the Central government, with effect from June 30, 2016. June 30, 2016 is the day on which the Supreme Court had initially ruled that PwD candidates must be entitled to reservation in promotions irrespective of whether the positions were filled through reservation or not. 

Suspension of MPs extends beyond the last sitting of Parliament

In a first, the suspension of the Opposition MPs, most of whom were suspended till the end of the Session, has not been revoked since both Houses of Parliament that adjourned sine-die on last Thursday, has not yet been prorogued.  The notification to prorogue the two Houses is expected in a day or two, parliamentary sources said. Out of the 146 MPs who were suspended from both Houses, 132 were suspended till “the remainder of the Session”. Three MPs from Lok Sabha and 11 MPs from Rajya Sabha have been suspended pending the report of the Privileges Committees of the respective House. 

ULFA pro-talks faction to sign memorandum of settlement with Centre, Assam government

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Assam government are expected to sign a memorandum of settlement with the pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) on Friday, a Ministry official said on December 28. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and 16 leaders of the pro-talks faction of the ULFA, headed by Arabinda Rajkhowa, are likely be present at the signing of the peace pact at North Block on December 29.

Supreme Court Collegium recommends CJs to five HCs

The Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud has recommended the appointment of Chief Justices to five High Courts. Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava has been proposed for appointment as the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court following the recent elevation of Justice Augustine George Masih to the Supreme Court. Justice Shrivastava is currently serving in the Rajasthan High Court. His parent High Court is Chhattisgarh. The Chhattisgarh High Court does not have any representation among the Chief Justices of the High Courts.

China decries Taiwan for ‘hyping up’ military threat, sends warplanes

China’s defence ministry accused Taiwan’s government on Thursday of deliberately “hyping up” a military threat from China for electoral gain ahead of elections on the island in just over two weeks’ time, but again sent warplanes into the Taiwan Strait.Taiwan’s Jan. 13 presidential and parliamentary election will shape the Chinese-claimed island’s relations with Beijing, which over the past four years has ramped up military pressure to assert its sovereignty claims.

Maharashtra sets up COVID-19 task force again

Considering the increase in number of COVID-19 cases daily in the State, the Maharashtra government has once again formed the COVID-19 special task force. The first meeting of the task force was held on Thursday where Health Minister Tanaji Sawant urged people not to panic about the JN.1 variant but follow COVID-19 guidelines, mask up in crowded places during the New Year celebrations and visits to religious places. People with comorbidities are advised to be extra careful. The meeting was attended by district officials and district health departments. The task force would issue a list of medicines and guidelines soon to ensure uniformity in treatment.

Delay in Rajasthan Cabinet formation leaves BJP leaders baffled

The inordinate delay in forming a Cabinet in Rajasthan after the BJP was elected to power earlier this month has left party leaders here baffled. As of Thursday there was no indication about a likely date for a swearing in. Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma who has visited New Delhi twice to meet senior leaders has not thrown any light on the status of the Cabinet either. The delay has especially perturbed young BJP MLAs, many of whom were expecting that they might get an opportunity to serve as Ministers in the same manner as the first-time Sanganer MLA Mr. Sharma, who was picked for the Chief Minister’s post. However, legislators are not willing to openly stake their claims.

Tharoor hints at 2024 being his last contest

RCongress Working Committee member and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor spoke on Thursday about providing opportunities for younger people to contest polls, indicating that his upcoming fight from Thiruvananthapuram in the general elections may be his last in the constituency. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a Congress programme here, Mr. Tharoor, however, said there was no finality about it since it was politics. “I do believe that at some point, the time comes to make room for younger people. And that’s my thinking,” he said.

Ben Stokes hits back at Harmison’s remarks of England losing 5-0 against India

England Test skipper Ben Stokes hit back at former cricketer Steve Harmison for his remarks on England’s lack of preparation for their upcoming Test series against India .Former pacer Harmison who is also a close friend of Stokes questioned England arriving in India just three days before the five-match Test series. He feels that the lack of acclimation could turn out to be a recipe for disaster. He also went on to claim that England could go on to “deserve to get beaten 5-0”. Stokes replied to a video of Harmison’s comments and said as quoted from Sky Sports, “Good job we’re going to Abu Dhabi for a training camp before we go to India for even more training before that first Test then, isn’t it?”

Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing | Canada may arrest two suspects ‘within weeks’, says report

Canadian police are close to arresting two men believed to be responsible for the fatal shooting of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in the British Columbia province in June and are still in the country, according to a media report. According to The Globe and Mail newspaper, the suspects are currently under police surveillance and are expected to be apprehended “in a matter of weeks.” According to three anonymous sources quoted by the newspaper, the two suspected killers did not leave Canada following Nijjar’s assassination and have been under police surveillance for months.

Modi govt. trying to ‘cover up’ worst territorial setbacks in eastern Ladakh in past six decades: Congress

The Narendra Modi government is trying to “cover up” the worst territorial setback in six decades as Chinese troops have been denying Indian patrols access to the strategic Depsang Plains, Demchok and other areas in eastern Ladakh since May 2020, the Congress alleged on Thursday. The party’s communications chief Jairam Ramesh, in a post on X, quoted Chushul councillor Konchok Stanzin who claimed that a landmark at the site of the legendary Rezang La battle of the 1962 Sino-India conflict in Ladakh was dismantled as part of the disengagement process with China.

Israel bombs Gaza as UN warns civilians face ‘grave peril’

Israeli forces on Thursday heavily bombed the besieged Gaza Strip as the centre of fierce combat against Hamas moves steadily south, where hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians are sheltering. The war, which started with Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, has devastated much of northern Gaza as air and artillery strikes and house-to-house fighting have become heaviest in the southern city of Khan Yunis. Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, reported more than 200 deaths “including entire families” over the past 24 hours in strikes across the territory.

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi unveils first electric car

Chinese consumer electronics giant Xiaomi unveiled its first electric car model on Thursday, with its boss declaring ambitions of becoming a global automotive powerhouse despite fierce competition at home .Beijing-based Xiaomi, which is the world’s fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer, is also a leading provider of tablets, smartwatches, headphones, and electric scooters. In 2021, the company announced its intended foray into electric vehicles, joining a trend that has seen several major Chinese tech companies pivot towards the highly competitive sector.

PM to inaugurate new airport, redeveloped railway station in Ayodhya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Ayodhya’s new airport on December 30, along with a re-developed railway station, from where he will also flag off new superfast trains called Amrit Bharat trains and launch projects worth ₹11,100 crore for the development of the pilgrim town. The re-development of Ayodhya’s railway station cost ₹240 crore and has resulted in a three-storey modern station equipped with lifts, escalators, food plazas, shops, cloak rooms, child care rooms, and waiting halls. 

Narendra Modi government failed to empower OBCs, Dalits: Rahul Gandhi

Launching a broadside against the Narendra Modi government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday censured the Centre on the alleged lack of representation of other backward classes (OBCs), Dalits and Adivasis across many sectors, while accusing the BJP of taking India back to pre-Independence days where princely states colluded with their British masters. Addressing the ‘Hain Taiyyar Hum’ (we are ready) rally in Nagpur on the occasion of the Congress’ 139th Foundation Day, Mr. Gandhi reiterated that a caste census would be conducted if the Opposition INDIA alliance came to power after the 2024 general election.

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