Saturday, 10 November 2018

10 Nov: Raghuram Rajan: Demonetisation, GST held back India’s economic growth, 7% not enough/ Taliban at talks table, Russia says no games, India representatives only listen/ED flags ponzi scheme in name of Islamic banking; writes to RBI


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
10 Nov. 2018: 1 Rabiul-I 1440: Vol: 11, No:50
INDIA
Raghuram Rajan: Demonetisation, GST held back India’s economic growth, 7% not enough
New Delhi :Ex- RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has contended that the introduction of demonetisation and the GST were the 2 major events that held back India’s economic growth last year, PTI reported.Speaking at the University of California in Berkley, Rajan maintained that the 7% growth rate is not enough to meet the country’s needs.“2 successive shocks of demonetisation and GST had a serious impact on growth in India. Growth has fallen off interestingly at a time when growth in the global economy has been peaking up,”Rajan said while delivering the second Bhattacharya Lectureship on the Future of India. “What happened in 2017 is that even as the world picked up, India went down. That reflects the fact that these blows (demonetisation and GST) have really really been hard blows…Because of these headwinds we have been held back,” he said in Berkley. Commenting on rising Non-Performing Assets (NPA), he said the best thing to do in such a situation is to “clean up”. It is essential to “deal up with the bad stuff”, so that with clean balance sheets, banks can be put back on the track.“It has taken India far longer to clean up the banks, partly because the system did not have instruments to deal with bad debts,” Rajan said.Rajan has been at the receiving end of the Govt’s ire in the past with the NITI Aayog blaming his policies for the economic slowdown. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar in September said that it was a “false narrative” to say that note ban was the cause behind declining growth rate. “If you look at the statistics on growth rate, in post-demonetisation period, the growth rate came down not because of note ban but because there was a declining trend for the last six quarters. Every successive quarter, the growth rate had been coming down. Starting from last quarter of 2015-16, growth rate had come down for 6 successive quarters.So,this was just simply a continuation of a trend and not because of a shock due to demonetisation as it is being claimed,”Kumar said.indianexpress
Impact of demonetisation on black money, fake notes won’t be significant, RBI told Centre: Report
RBI rejected two key justifications of demonetisation – curbing black money and counterfeit notes – while giving its approval to the decision hours before it was announced. Banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 ceased to be legal tender that midnight. Thursday marked the second anniversary of demonetisation.scroll
Unemployment Rate at 6.9%, Highest Since Demonetisaion: Study
While PM  Narendra Modi’s Govt is still calling its decision of demonetisation beneficial for the country’s economy, a latest economic report has revealed that it has severely hit the employment generation with unemployment rate at 6.9% in Oct.2018 which is highest in last 2 years.Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data shows that the Labour Participation Rate (LPR) has been worst in the last two years in proportion to the adults willing to work. It has felt down to 42.4%, the lowest since Jan.2016, CMIE said.LPR, a measure of the proportion of adults who are willing to work, was the lowest witnessed since Jan. 2016 while it was around 48% before demonetization.“Labour participation rate fell sharply after demonetization,” CMIE said in its report. Report suggested that the participation rate that fell sharply after demonetization has still not recovered yet.CMIE analytics showed that the estimated number of people employed during Oct.2018 was 397 million which is 2.4% lower than that employed in Oct. 2017 when 407 million got jobs. It said that the count of unemployed persons have doubled to 29.5 million in this Oct.from 14 million in July 2017. caravandaily
Rahul Gandhi: Modi govt waived loans worth 3.5 lakh cr of select industrialists
Rahul Gandhi alleged that PM  Narendra Modi waived loans worth ₹3.5 lakh crore of 15 select industrialists during his tenure.Addressing a rally ahead of the state Assembly polls, Gandhi said he wanted MP and Chhattisgarh to become agriculture centres in 5 years and provide food, fruits and vegetables to the country."In the last four-five years, Modiji gave ₹3.5 lakh crore to 15 richest people. While an amount of ₹35,000 crore is needed yearly to run the MGNREGA scheme in the country, he waived loans worth 10 times that amount of 15 select industrialists," he alleged."Modiji has given the keys to the treasury to 15 select people but Congress wants the keys to be given to farmers, youth, poor, women and tribals," he said.PTI
In the name of Islamic banking, halal investment, Ambidant Marketing involved in Ponzi scheme: ED
In a major development, the Enforcement Directorate has discovered that Banglore based Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, involved in Islamic banking and halal investment, is allegedly running a Ponzi scheme. According to ED, "During the investigation, it came to the fore that the scheme run by the company is surely a potential Ponzi scheme. In view of the above, ED has written to the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to have another look into the matter and protect the interest of the investors/depositors at large who are being duped in the name of Islamic banking/halal investment."ED had initiated an investigation on the basis of information received from the IT Department that Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd is into forex trading.Agency had then conducted searches at several premises of Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd being run by Syed Fareed Ahmed and Syed Afaq Ahmed on Jan. 4, 2018 and Jan. 5, 2018. Other than Amidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, the above said father-son duo were found to have floated several other firms in India i.e. M/s Ambidant Constructions Ltd., M/s Ambidant Marketing and Trading Company, M/s Profit Theme, M/s Ammar Enterprises, M/s Ambidant Global Solutions, M/s Ambisheltar, M/s Perinet Technologies, M/s Ambigold, M/s Webworld and also having business establishments abroad i.e. M/s Ambidant Marketing Financial Services LLC (at Nawras Tower, Al Quasis, Near Bustan Center, Dubai) started in September 2017. During the search, cash to the tune of Rs 1.97 crore was seized by ED from the residential premises of Syed Fareed Ahmed for violations under FEMA."Several FEMA violations like forex trading to extent of USD 6,62,146/- (equivalent to Rs 4, 20,46,271/- @ 63.50 per USD); the opening of accounts abroad by a resident Indian without the permission of RBI, incorporation of a firm in Dubai without prior approval of Reserve Bank of India or Govt of India came to the fore during the ongoing investigations in the matter. A complaint was filed in the matter in case on 2.2.18 for above mentioned violations under FEMA," said the ED. indiatoday
ED flags ponzi scheme in name of Islamic banking; writes to RBI
Taliban at talks table, Russia says no games, India representatives only listen
As Govt-nominated ex Indian diplomats shared a table Friday with the Taliban for the first time at a multilateral meeting on Afghanistan, New Delhi said it was not going to talk to Taliban, and its presence at the Moscow format was not out of any “compulsion”. This was the first time since IC-814 hijack in 1999 that Indian Govt representatives publicly engaged with Taliban.In Moscow, host Russia said no one should play “geopolitical games” in Afghanistan and participation of Taliban and Afghan High Peace Council representatives was aimed at creating conditions for direct talks.Sources privy to the discussions Friday said that Indian representatives — ex Indian envoy to Afghanistan Amar Sinha and ex Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan TCA Raghavan — did not make any statement on behalf of New Delhi at the meeting.“There were no statements by Indian representatives, nor was there any document signed. It was an ice-breaking meeting,”source said.In opening remarks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “No one should think in terms of geopolitical games that may result in another transformation of Afghanistan into a field for competition between external players with drastic consequences both for the Afghans and their neighbours.”He said the issues Afghanistan has been facing can be resolved only through political means.“That said, we welcome the delegations of the Afghan High Peace Council and the Taliban movement,” Lavrov said. “Their participation in today’s event is intended to make an important contribution to efforts to create conditions for direct talks between Govt,Taliban movement, public and political circles.”“We are determined to make every possible effort to facilitate the opening of a new page in the history of Afghanistan,” Lavrov was quoted saying by the state-run Tass news agency.Lavrov said the conference was “aimed at building an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue in order to advance the national reconciliation process.” “Russia supports the preservation of a united and indivisible Afghanistan in which all ethnic groups populating the country could live peacefully and happily. I have no doubts that the other participants of the Moscow format share this approach and that we all go by basic national interests of the Afghan people,” he said before the talks continued behind closed doors.In New Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, in response to suggestions that India was talking to Taliban, said: “Where did we say that there will be talks with Taliban? We did not say that India will talk to Taliban.”He also rejected suggestions that India had attended out of compulsion. “There was no compulsion for us to attend the meeting.We took a considered decision to attend the meeting at a non-official level,” he said. He reiterated India’s position that it will support an “Afghan-led” reconciliation process. “India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability and prosperity to the country. India’s consistent policy has been that such efforts should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled, and with the participation of the Govt of Afghanistan.”While a five-member Taliban delegation led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, head of the Taliban’s political council in Qatar, attended the meeting, Sinha and Raghavan sat at table.Both Sinha and Raghavan, who are associated with Govt-funded think tanks, have expertise and experience in dealing with the region. Sinha is a fellow with Research and Information System for Developing Countries (a think-tank funded by MEA), and Raghavan is the director general of the Indian Council of World Affairs (another MEA-funded think-tank). Raghavan has also served as Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran) in Ministry of External Affairs in the past.“Our participation was decided only after consultations with the main actor in the process, the Afghan Govt. Since the Afghan Foreign Ministry did not attend and instead sent Afghan High Peace Council representatives, we decided to send people outside the Indian Govt,” a source said. Apart from India, Moscow meeting Friday was attended by representatives from US, Pakistan, China, Iran and some Central Asian countries.indianexpress
Taliban at Afghan talks table today, Delhi sending ‘non-officials’
New revelations in Rafale deal: Same aircraft, same features, but Modi govt will pay 40% more
Over the past several months, the country's politics has been rocked over the Rafale deal. Congress chief, Rahul Gandhi, has termed it a huge scam of the Modi Govt. The facts that have come out clearly reveal that there have been deliberate irregularities at many levels in the deal. New facts about the Rafale deal are still being revealed.The latest facts have been revealed by defence expert Ajay Shukla in his column for Business Standard.He claims that the cost of the deal that the Modi Govt has negotiated for 36 fighter aircraft in 2016, with French company Dassault, is 40% more than the proposal for 126 aircraft by Dassault in 2012. Referring to the two officials of the Ministry of Defense directly involved in the contract negotiations with Dassault from 2012 onwards, he says that Dassault’s winning bid amounted to Euro 19.5 billion for 126 Rafale fighters, which was considered the lowest and, on this basis, the company had won the bid.According to this estimate, the total cost of 126 planes would have been ₹1.17 billion and the one aircraft would have cost about one thousand crore rupees. Along with the planes, this cost included many other types of expenses such as technology transfer, India-specific needs, arms, aircraft parts and maintenance.Under this proposal, 18 aircraft would have been manufactured in France, and India would have procured the fully-made aircraft. 108 aircrafts were to be manufactured in India by HAL and the raw material for it was to be supplied by the French company Dassault. In the total cost, the cost of HAL's labour was also included.In comparison, under the 7.8 billion euro deal finalised by the NDA Govt in September 2016 for 36 Rafale aircrafts, each aircraft will cost 217 million euros. This is 40% more than earlier deal.nationalheraldindia
Acted against deputy Asthana to maintain CBI’s integrity, Alok Verma tells CVC
New Delhi:CBI director Alok Kumar Verma on Friday explained to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) that when in October last year he first handed the CVC a secret note detailing allegations of corruption against his deputy Rakesh Asthana, his objective had been to maintain the “organisational integrity” of the agency, an official familiar with the matter said.Verma explained his position during an examination by CVC, which summoned him in connection with charges of corruption that Asthana has levelled against him.“During an hour-long interaction with CVC KV Chowdary and two vigilance commissioners — Sharad Kumar and TM Bhasin — Verma said maintaining the organisational integrity of the CBI was the only motive for all decisions he took from October last year,” the official cited above said on condition of anonymity.“Former Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik, who is supervising the inquiry, was also present during the examination. It was a conversational examination where the director explained the rationale behind his decisions,” he added.Director Verma and Asthana, special director, were divested of their responsibilities last month after engaging in an unprecedented public feud in which they traded allegations of corruption against each other. HT
Bihar: 82-yr-old killed in communal clash 3 weeks ago, no FIR, no leads
Sitamarhi :Twenty-one days ago, a day after Dussehra, the air in a Muslim-majority locality of Bihar’s Sitamarhi was tense with fear of retribution. Stone throwers had damaged a Durga idol being taken for immersion.But 82-year-old Zainul Ansari, cycling his way home 7 km away after visiting his sister, brushed aside warnings from locals that a mob is out there. “No one will harm an old man,” he told one of them. Hours later, on October 20, Ansari’s body was found – burnt, with both arms and legs charred. His family says Ansari was caught by a frenzied mob and killed.The administration moved quickly to prevent further violence in Sitamarhi, 170 km away from Patna: Internet was shut down and the body was sent to SKM College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur, some 70 km away from this town. Days later video clips and pictures of a body aflame on a road went viral on social media with unanswered questions of who, why and where.The police still haven’t made any arrest in Zainul’s death, which the post-mortem attributes to “shock due to antemortem burn injury”.“Zainul Ansari could have been attacked when he was returning. a sudden sporadic momentary emotional outburst. He was beaten up and died. We will look into how his body was charred. Though we have not lodged a separate case in Zainul’s death, we have filed a case of serious rioting in which murder section is also added for recovery of a body against unknown accused,” said Sitamarhi SP Vikas Barman.Sitamarhi police have filed overall 6 FIRs for Dussehra violence and also arrested 38 people but none specifically for Ansari murder. “We have not yet identified anyone, nor have we found involvement of any kind of group,” said officer. The clips finally reached the youngest of Zainul’s two sons in Delhi two days later and he rushed to Sitamarhi. Mohammed Ashraf said: “Though most parts of the body being shown in the footage looked charred, I could still identify my father through his half-burnt face.”“I accompanied my elder brother to SP and DM (district magistrate) to show video footages and confirmed that it was their father’s body. The police denied credentials of the footages. By that time, we had lodged a missing complaint report at Riga police station under which my village comes,” said the younger Ashraf who like his elder brother M. Akhlaq Ansari in Surat earns his living as a tailor.Elder Akhlaq said there was no way to confirm the death of his father as the Internet was suspended.indianexpress
PM Modi-led BJP sets up Hindu nationalist debate with renamings,statue plan ahead of Lok Sabha polls
From getting rid of some Muslim names of places to promising a "grand" statue of the Hindu god Ram, Indian PM  Narendra Modi's ruling party is making passionate appeals to its hard-core Hindu nationalist base in the most politically important state ahead of a national election next year.A near clean-sweep in UP, northern state of 220 million people that sends the highest number of lawmakers to the lower house of parliament, helped Modi's BJP win its biggest mandate in 3 decades in 2014.Political strategists say keeping its mainly Hindu base intact in UP  and elsewhere would be crucial to repeat such a performance, but there are also concerns that the BJP has been turning up the heat on divisive religious issues.Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu priest who is BJP CM  of UP , on Tuesday changed the name of Faizabad district to Ayodhya, the place where Hindus believe Lord Ram was born thousands of years ago. Before the change, Ayodhya was the name of a town in Faizabad.Last month, he changed the name of Allahabad, where three rivers considered holy by Hindus meet, to the Hindu name Prayagraj. Both Faizabad and Allahabad were Islamic names given to places hundreds of years ago by India's then Muslim rulers."Ayodhya is our honour, prestige and pride," Adityanath said at an event in the town, declaring the name change amid loud cheers from the audience. "Ayodhya is identified with Lord Ram."He said the state would decide on a location for a statue of Ram that could become an Ayodhya landmark. He also promised to open an airport in the district that would be named after Ram. businesstoday
Chhattisgarh Election opinion polls predict close contest between BJP and Congress
New Delhi: The rise of a new front between JCC of former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, Mayawati's BSP and the CPI has added a new dimension to the two-phased Chhattisgarh Assembly election 2018. While how the newly formed front invades the electorate, which has been a conventional Congress-BJP battlefield remains to be seen, the exit polls have predicted an interesting triangular contest making it a neck-to-neck run for the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress.The 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly consists of 18 seats from the Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected areas, which go to polls on 12 Nov. The party crossing the halfway mark of 45 seats will come to power in the state.timesnownews
Kerala HC Stays Order Disqualifying Muslim League MLA Shaji Over 'Communal Overtones' in Campaign
Kochi: Kerala High Court has stayed its order disqualifying Indian Union Muslim League MLA KM Shaji on a plea that that he used religion to win the Assembly polls in 2016.The HC granted a two-week stay so that that Azhikode MLA could file an appeal. Earlier in the day, disqualifying KM Shaji, who had won the elections from Azhikode Assembly constituency in 2016, for six years, Justice PD Rajan directed the Kerala Assembly Speaker and the Election Commission to take appropriate action.The court gave the judgment on a plea filed by LDF candidate MV Nikesh Kumar, who contested the election against Shaji.IUML is a partner of the Congress-led opposition UDF in the state.In his petition, Nikesh Kumar alleged that Shaji secured a win by a margin of 2,287 votes using corrupt practices.He accused Shaji of having violated norms prescribed under various sections of the Representation of the People Act to win the elections.Nikesh had alleged that an appeal was made to voters by Shaji, who belongs to the Muslim community, his agents and other persons to vote for UDF candidate on grounds of his religion.He had also charged that pamphlets were circulated in the constituency urging people not to vote for a candidate who is not a believer of the Islamic faith.news18
MP polls:Congmanifesto focuses on agriculture, promises commercial production of cow urine
Bhopal :Focusing on agriculture with a promise of loan waiver and bonus on more than a dozen crops, and trying to appease all castes, Congress Saturday released its manifesto for Madhya Pradesh which goes to poll on Nov.28.In its 112-page manifesto, the grand old party has promised the commercial production of cow urine at gaushalas (cow shelters) and setting up of cow sanctuaries in designated areas. Interestingly, the document also promises to amend the controversial provisions of anti-cow slaughter law but does not elaborate. Calling it Vachan Patra, Congress leaders including PCC chief Kamal Nath, campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia and ex CM  Digvijaya Singh promised to rid the state of corruption that is prevalent from `villages to Bhopal’.indianexpress
BJP activists stage statewide agitation against Tipu Jayanthi Celebration by Karnataka Govt
BJP activists staged statewide agitation against Tipu Jayanthi celebration by the Karnataka Govt tomorrow alleging that it was aimed at appeasing Muslim community. District Administration have clamped Prohibitory orders in Kodagu, Chikamagaluru, Chitradurga, mandya, Dharawad Districts for 2 days from today prohibiting holding processions, carrying arms and lethal weapons and assembly of more than 5 people. Addressing the agitators in the State Capital, senior BJP leader and ex Deputy CM R Ashok alleged that Tipu Sultan celebration by JDS-Congress Govt is only to appease Muslim community and only to safeguard the vote bank.Tipu was against Kannada language, culture and Hindu religion." UNI
Ram or Babur?Adityanath questions Cong on Ram Temple
Lormi (Chhattisgarh)Raking up Ram temple issue, UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath Saturday sought to know whether the Congress was concerned about Lord Ram or Mughal emperor Babur.Addressing a poll rally here in Chhattisgarh on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of the state polls, he alleged that the Congress toyed with national security and actively and covertly supported Naxalism in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand for political gains.Despite having extensive mineral deposits and forest wealth,Chhattisgarh remained “poor, backward and a BIMARU state” during Congress rule, he said. BIMARU - an acronym formed from the first letters of the names of the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and UP - was coined in the mid-1980s to refer to the poor economic conditions within those states.“Today, the forest wealth is being used for the welfare of locals. The adivasis (tribals) and forest dwellers are being given benefits of development schemes,” the priest-turned-politician said. “Congress encouraged Naxalism for its gains,but when it (Naxalism) became dangerous for the security of people, it was the BJP which had to deal with the issue sternly. Congress has been encouraging Naxalism actively and covertly,” he alleged. “The Congress, for its own gains, played with the security of the country. Be it Chhattisgarh or Jharkhand, where the issue was giving asylum to Naxalites or using states like Kashmir for political benefits. But for the BJP, national security is of prime importance, hence (it) never accepted toying with it,” Adityanath said.HT
BJP MP Savitribai Phule says Buddha’s statue should be installed in Ayodhya
Amid growing demands for a Ram temple, Savitribai Phule, BJP MP from Bahraich, has called for installing a statue of Lord Buddha at the disputed site in Ayodhya."Excavations carried out at the disputed site in Ayodhya on the directions of the high court had found certain things associated with Lord Buddha," Phule claimed."Therefore, a statue of Lord Buddha should be installed at the same place," she told newspersons on Friday night."I want to make it clear that Bharat belonged to Buddha, and Ayodhya is the place of Buddha. Therefore, a statue of Buddha should be installed there," she said.To a question on reports about BJP Rajya Sabha member Rakesh Sinha bringing a private member's bill for Ram temple construction, she said, "India is a secular country according to its Constitution which has given equal guarantee of security to all religions ...Nation should be run as per the Constitution." Phule's statement comes at a time when right-wing organisations have renewed the demand for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.nationalheraldindia
UP minister Rajbhar slams state Govt over name changing spree, says change names of Naqvi, Raza
UP  Backward class welfare minister OP Rajbhar on Saturday trained his guns on the BJP Govt in the state over the name changing spree, saying that the saffron party should first change the names of their leaders with a Muslim name. Rajbhar said that BJP changed the names of Mughalsarai and Faizabad. And now they should change the name of their spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and UP minister Mohsin Raza. Rajbhar also termed the name changing spree as drama of the saffron party to divert the attention of the voters from the pertinent issues.Rajbhar’s comment has come after BJP MP Jagan Prasad Garg earlier today urged the Govt to rename Agra to Agravan or Agrawal. In a presser held, Garg said that Agra has no meaning. In the past, he said, there were just a lot of forests here and people from the Agarwal community resided here. Hence, the name should be renamed.The renaming spree started with the renaming of iconic Mughalsarai railway station near Varanasi to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) station. Then, Allahabad was renamed as Prayagraj and recently on the occasion of the Diwali eve, UP CM Adityanath announced that Faizabad district will be known as Ayodhya.newsx
Muslims find little space in BJP, Congress candidate lists for Madhya Pradesh assembly elections
Bhopal:Muslims in Madhya Pradesh, looking for more political space, say they are disappointed by the candidate lists of both the ruling BJP and Congress — ahead of the November 28 assembly elections in the state.BJP has fielded only one Muslim candidate, Fatima Siddiqui, from Bhopal (north) in the elections to the 230-member assembly. Siddiqui is daughter of late Rasool Ahmed Siddiqui, a former state minister. Congress has 3 Muslim candidates — Arif Aqueel, the sitting MLA from Bhopal (north), Hamid Haji from Burhanpur, and Arif Masood from Bhopal (Central). Mohammad Mahir, convener of Madhya Pradesh Muslim Vikas Parishad, a non-political organisation that espouses the socio-economic development of the community, said Muslims had few expectations from the BJP, which has fielded only three Muslim candidates since 1993 (all three lost). He, however, said that they “ expected more tickets from the Congress”.Congress is seeking to end 3-term rule of BJP in MP in the elections.Muslims have only one member (Congress’s Aqueel) from their community in the assembly even though they make up roughly 8-9% of the state’s 78 million population, say political analysts. In 2013, while the Congress gave tickets to five Muslims, the BJP fielded only Arif Beg, who lost to the Congress’s Aqueel in Bhopal North. HT
BJP’s promise to Telangana voters on governance, will rename Hyderabad, other Muslim sounding cities if voted to power
Hyderabad:BJP has promised to change the name of Hyderabad and its twin city Secunderabad if the party is voted to power in the upcoming assembly polls.BJP MLA Raja Singh, who had earned notoriety for justifying attacks on Dalits in the past, said that Hyderabad will be renamed as Bhagyanagar. He said that names of other two Muslim-sounding names of Secunderabad and Karimnagar would also be changed.News agency ANI quoted him as saying, “Earlier, Hyderabad was known as Bhagyanagar. In 1590, Quli Qutub Shah came and changed Bhagyanagar to Hyderabad. At that time, many Hindus were attacked, many temples destroyed. In Telangana, BJP will win a majority and then our first aim will be developing the state and second will be renaming Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar. We will also change the names of Secunderabad and Karimnagar.” jantakareporter
BJP govt doesn’t want my books because I talk of caste equality: Dalit writer Kancha Ilaiah
New Delhi: Academician and activist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, whose books were recently slated for removal from the political science syllabus at Delhi University, has said that the current political regime does not want students to read him because he talks about caste equality and the Govt wants hierarchy to prevail. “In my books, I talk about Gautam Buddha’s political thought, which is of equality. These people do not want OBCs and Dalits to become great thinkers, priests in Hindu temples, become ministers or attain positions of power. They will not let students learn about equality as it would go against the hierarchy,” Ilaiah, who belongs to OBC category and has fought for Dalit rights, said. ThePrint
Assam: NRC standard operating procedure mandates all applicants to undergo biometric enrolment
The standard operating procedure for disposing of claims and objections to National Register of Citizens in Assam was unveiled on Friday, more than a month after the filing process began.“Standard operating procedure has been drawn with the objective that the process of claims and objections is fair and transparent and provides reasonable opportunity to all concerned,” according to a document that was released.Last week, the Supreme Court said the process, which began on Sept. 25, should finish by Dec.15. It also set a deadline of January 15 for issuing notices to claimants and February 1 for the verification of documents.During the course of the hearings of claims and objections, the state Govt–in collaboration with Unique Identity Authority of India – will “undertake the process of biometric enrolment” of all applicants to NRC, according to the standard operating procedure document.“The biometric enrolment in respect of persons who are part of claims and those persons objected upon will be distinctive and separate ID will be generated,” the document added. “Once the final NRC has been published such persons who are included in the NRC will be given the usual Aadhaar number as applicable to legal residents in the country. In case a person already has Aadhaar number who is also a part of the claim or objected upon, his Aadhaar number will be obtained.”scroll.in
Noida police hand over missing Sharda varsity student case to J&K cops
 New Delhi :Greater Noida Police has closed the missing person’s report filed at Knowledge Park police station two weeks ago, in connection with the disappearance of 19-year-old Sharda University student Ahtisham Bilal. Police said they had concluded after investigation that Ahtisham left Delhi on October 28 willingly and the last place he was found active, as per his call details records, was Srinagar.“We scanned CCTV footage and questioned people to trace his whereabouts. We found that Ahtisham left the city on his own accord and the case now falls under J&K Police jurisdiction owing to his last location. Our team returned from Srinagar after handing over the case,” SP (Rural) Vineet Jaiswal said.Bilal, a first-year student of medical imaging technology at Sharda University, went missing from the campus on Oct. 28. According to police, his last traced location, at 2.30 pm the same day, was in Srinagar. 3 weeks before his disappearance, Bilal was allegedly beaten up by a group following tensions between Afghan and Indian students on the campus.indianexpress
2 militants killed in Pulwama encounter
Srinagar:Security forces killed 2 militants in a brief encounter in Pulwama's Tikken area on Saturday morning. A police official said the 2 militants were killed in a joint operation of the Army, CRPF and the police in Tikken area. “Security agencies had specific information about presence of some militants in the area,” said police. As the forces were conducting the searches, the militants fired upon them. Forces retaliated, ensuing an encounter in which 2 militants were killed,police official said. The identity and group affiliation of slain militants are being ascertained, he said, adding that some incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of encounter. thehindu
J&K: Hindu, Muslim community in Kishtwar district observe bandh to protest against BJP leader’s killing
Jammu:Normal life in Kishtwar district and its surrounding areas was completely paralysed on Thursday as both the Hindu and Muslim communities jointly observed a bandh to protest against the killing of a senior BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar by some unidentified gunmen in Kishtwar’s Tapal mohalla last week.The call for bandh was given by Kishtwar’s Muslim Shoura Committee and Sanatan Dharam Sabha to press the administration and police to find out killers of both the brothers and get justice to the grieved families. They also expressed concern over the failure of police to protect the lives of innocent civilians.Though the administration had lifted day curfew in the town and its outskirts, all shops and other business establishments belonging to both the communities remained closed and vehicular traffic off the roads during the day.Eyewitnesses said that such a complete bandh was never witnessed in the town in the past 3 decades as whenever there had been such a call by one community, the other had opened its establishments.
India attempts to alter the regional strategic landscape: Pak General
Pakistan army’s Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat Friday alleged that India was attempting to alter the regional strategic landscape through an unprecedented military build-up.Hayat was speaking at a book launch event hosted by Center for International Strategic Studies Islamabad (CISS).CISS said in a statement that General Hayat reviewed the regional security situation and listed the threats faced by Pakistan especially in the context of latest developments, including first deterrence patrol by Indian nuclear submarine INS Arihant, Indo-Russian nuclear deal for S-400 air defense missile systems and India’s shifting doctrinal posture.“An aggressive hybrid war had also been imposed on Pakistan,” he alleged.PTI
Delhi's Khirki Masjid no Rana Pratap fort, says ASI
New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India has finally responded to claims by an unknown group of people that the 13th-century Khirki Masjid at Saket is actually a fort of Rajput warrior Maharana Pratap. It has assured the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC)in writing and verbally that the monument is safe and is under protection since 1915.A few months ago, unknown miscreants had struck off the word ‘masjid’ from ASI signage at the monument. Then a group of people claiming to be Khirki Masjid area locals had approached DMC, claiming that it was the Rajput king’s fort. “As far as we know, there is nothing in recorded history about the masjid ever being a fort of Maharana Pratap. We asked ASI to refute these claims and issue a clarification to end the matter once and for all. If such things are repeated over time,it can lead to unnecessary controversy,” said DMC chairman Zafarul Islam Khan. ASI superintendent of Delhi zone deposed before DMC and said the agency was fully aware of the historical importance of the mosque. He also said the mosque’s name has been written again on signboard, additional security provided and a stone plaque would be installed at the entrance soon.ASI has also started repairing the mosque. “ASI said there is nothing in their records to support the claims about the mosque and if something comes to ASI officially, they will issue a statement,” Khan added. ASI also answered a question about prayers not being allowed in the mosque and said Khirki Masjid was not a living monument when it was taken over. If prayers were being offered in a mosque when ASI took over, the same continues under ASI Act. TOI
Una: 3 Dalits thrashed for objecting to casteist slur
Ahmedabad : 3 Dalits were allegedly thrashed by four men for objecting to their casteist slur in a village near Una town in Gujarat’s Gir Somnath district, police said Friday. It comes over two years after the flogging of four Dalit youths by cow vigilantes in the same district triggered a national outcry.The latest incident took place at Nandrakh village, about 400km from Ahmedabad, on Thursday. No arrests have been made yet, police said. The complaint was filed by one of the victims, Manu Solanki (27), who has claimed that one of the accused, Ajit Gohil, was arrested for his involvement in the 2016 Una flogging case and is currently out on bail. 3 other accused are Mahendra Gohil, Kishor Gohil and Aniruddh Gohil, all belonging to OBC community, police said.PTI
JNU event organisers accused of bias
Assistant professors attending an orientation programme at UGC-HRD Centre (UGC-HRDC) in Delhi’s JNU have accused the course organisers of “sacrificing critical scholarship and spirit of scientific inquiry at the altar of the ideologies of the ruling party”.The participants also expressed dissatisfaction over the quality of the speakers invited for the programme and accused a few of them of “unethical” behaviour.The orientation programme, as mandated by UGC and now made compulsory under the Career Advancement Scheme for the promotion of teachers, was conducted from Oct.8 to Nov.2 on JNU campus. A woman assistant professor from Gurugram, on condition of anonymity, said that the speakers on foreign policy said that PM  Narendra Modi had a 56-inch chest and he had been instrumental in improving relations with our neighbours.thehindu
Delhi festival celebrates Urdu heritage and culture
New Delhi: Delhi Govt on Saturday announced "Jashn-e-Virasat-e-Urdu", a festival to celebrate Urdu culture and its heritage.While promoting and preserving the collective social and cultural heritage of the national capital, the festival aims to "keep the language alive and ensure its growth through larger participation". Inaugurated by deputy CM Manish Sisodia, 6-day festival is being held at Central Park, Connaught Place. Urdu festival will come to a close on Nov.15.Sisodia in a statement said that event this year will be a "bigger and better" given to the public's response to Urdu Heritage Festiva's last edition."Urdu is an integral part of Delhi's cultural and literary history. It is an important marker of Delhi's composite culture...This celebration of Urdu will bring together all the lovers of Urdu who can enjoy the use of the language in varied forms," Sisodia said. The festival will witness a diverse range of artistes and artforms practising Urdu including traditional forms like Chaar Bait - a rare traditional style of singing in Urdu, Dastangoi and Kissagoi. TOI
WORLD
US bill would restrain Saudi from developing N- weapons: Report
A US democratic congressman will introduce a bill in the House of Representatives that would severely limit nuclear technology trade with Saudi Arabia, according to a Vox report on Friday.Congressman Brad Sherman’s bill, titled “No Nuclear Weapons for Saudi Arabia Act of 2018”, would not only prohibit the kingdom’s construction of nuclear weapons from the material it buys from the US, it would also force Saudi to uphold a number of strict regulations to ensure that classified material regarding US nuclear technology does not get leaked.“I don’t think this bill would’ve passed prior to the events in Istanbul. Now I think we have a chance,” Sherman told Vox. Istanbul events Sherman referred to took place on 2 Oct when Jamal Khashoggi was murdered after entering Saudi’s Istanbul consulate.It remains unknown when Sherman’s bill will be brought to the floor for a vote, but it will probably be after new Democratic-controlled House of Representatives convenes on 3 Jan.2019. Khashoggi’s slaying has tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been under heavy scrutiny over a possible role in assassination, which kingdom has strongly denied.middleeasteye
Norway suspends future arms exports to Saudi
Norway has suspended new licenses for arms exports to Saudi Arabia, becoming second country after Germany to do so amid weeks of pressure on Riyadh over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen.A spokesman for Norwegian foreign affairs ministry would not say on Friday whether the decision was made because of Khashoggi's murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 Oct."We have decided that in the present situation we will not give new licenses for the export of defence material or multipurpose goods for military use to Saudi Arabia," Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said. Decision comes a week after Soereide summoned the Saudi ambassador to Oslo to protest Khashoggi's assassination. It was taken after "a broad assessment of recent developments in Saudi Arabia and the unclear situation in Yemen", the ministry said.middleeasteye
MBS tells US evangelicals world should focus on Iran, not him
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman told a group of American evangelicals last week that Jamal Khashoggi’s murder was “horrible”, but that the world’s focus should remain on the threat from Iran and Turkey, the delegation’s leader has said.The crown prince – nicknamed MBS - also attacked Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and the Russians during the two hour meeting with the US visitors, Joel Rosenberg, an evangelical who lives in Israel, told Israel Channel 10 News’ Barak Ravid.MBS's reported comments come amid mounting signs of anxiety from the kingdom, with 82-year-old King Salman off on a tour to shore up support and photos emerging on social media of royals who have been under house arrest. According to Ravid’s account, published on Axios, Rosenberg told him that MBS “said his enemies are using everything they can to exploit this situation and make it worse”."He said, 'Listen, I am arresting people, firing people. Iran? When they kill people are they arresting people? No. You get promoted. What about the Russians? What about the Turks?'" The evangelicals have said they were invited to Riyadh before Saudi journalist Khashoggi was murdered at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, and were quick to ask the prince about Khashoggi during the meeting.“He had 2 messages on this,” Rosenberg told Ravid. “‘It was horrible and unacceptable’ and ‘I can’t let this stop me from all the reforms we have to get done to make life better for the Saudi people and to protect ourselves from the enemies – Iran, Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, ISIS'. middleeasteye
Erdogan: Turkey shared Khashoggi tapes with Saudi, US and others
Turkey has given recordings on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia, US, Germany, France and Britain, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday. Turkish sources have said previously that authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting the murder.Speaking before his departure for France to attend commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, Erdogan said Saudi Arabia knows killer of Jamal Khashoggi is among a group of 15 people who arrived in Turkey one day ahead of the Oct. 2 killing."We gave the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to US, Germans, French and British, all of them. They have listened to all the conversations in them.They know," Erdogan said.He  said he might meet with US President Donald Trump in Paris during the commemorations. aljazeera
A packet of rice for a family of 9: Why Yemenis starving
Taiz, Yemen - Bashir al-Sofi remembers making a living as a construction worker. That was before the war.Work is scarce today, and 48-year-old father of 7 now struggles to feed his family in his village south of the city of Taiz. His children don’t get three meals a day and they haven’t eaten meat or fruit in a long time. Such staples have now become a luxury.“One of my children suffers from malnutrition because he was born at the beginning of the war and I couldn't provide him with milk and proper food," Sofi said.With 500 grammes of rice, 1kg of flour, and the occasional 500 grammes of fava beans split between nine people, each member of the Sofi family eats an estimated 500 calories a day- less than a quarter of what is needed for a healthy balanced dietMost days, the family subsists on bread and tea for breakfast, rice or aseed - a traditional Yemeni dish made with wheat, salt and water - for lunch, and bread and tea again for dinner.With approximately 500 grammes of rice,1kg of flour, and occasional 500 grammes of fava beans split between nine people, each member of the Sofi family eats an estimated 500 calories a day - less than a quarter of what is needed for a healthy balanced diet.Photographs of skeletal Yemeni children have shocked the world into paying attention to the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country, where 18 million of the country’s 28 million inhabitants are food insecure and eight million rely completely on external assistance, according to UN's World Food Programme.middleeasteye
Lankan Prez dissolves parliament, snap election on Jan 5
 Sri Lanka will hold a snap election on January 5, nearly two-years ahead of schedule, President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday soon after he dissolved the parliament when it became clear his PM  nominee did not have a majority. President made the announcement in a gamble that a new election will get backing for his preferred candidate as PM over an ousted premier who has refused to give up, a minister told AFP. Sirisena said in a proclamation that a new parliament will be convened on Jan. 17 after conducting the nation-wide vote on Jan.5. Sirisena signed a decree dismissing the island's 225-member assembly just hours after his party admitted it did not have enough votes to get support for former president Mahinda Rajapakse against rival claimant Ranil Wickremesinghe.The 2 have been battling for PM's post for 2 weeks as international concern grows over the mounting turmoil.The minister, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the official notification would take effect from midnight Friday. Before signing the order,Sirisena inducted more ministers into the cabinet headed by Rajapakse.In the latest twist in the crisis, Sirisena's UPFA said ahead of the president's stunning announcement they were at least eight legislators short of getting a majority for Rajapakse in the assembly.AFP
US ‘war on terror’ killed around 5 lakh people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan:study
A report of the study conducted by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs put the toll between 4,80,000 and 5,07,000 people, but said the actual number is likely to be higher since there are “limits in reporting”.The new toll “is a more than 110,000 increase over the last count, issued just two years ago in August 2016,” Brown University said in a statement, according to AFP. “Though the war on terror is often overlooked by the American public, press and lawmakers, the increased body count signals that, far from diminishing, this war remains intense.” Those killed in the wars include insurgents, local police and security forces, civilians and US and allied troops, journalists and NGO workers.Neta Crawford, who wrote the report, said many of those reported by US and local forces as militants may actually have been civilians. “We may never know the total direct death toll in these wars,” Crawford said in the report. “For example, tens of thousands of civilians may have died in retaking Mosul and other cities from ISIS [Islamic State group] but their bodies have likely not been recovered.”According to the report, between 1,82,272 and 2,04,575 civilians have been killed in Iraq, while 38,480 have been killed in Afghanistan, and 23,372 in Pakistan. Nearly 7,000 US troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.scroll.in

Jerusalem churches achieve new victory against Israel
Council of Jerusalem Churches has achieved a new victory against Israeli Govt, with an “unprecedented number of US churches condemn[ing] Israeli attempts to confiscate church lands,” a Council statement – a copy of which was sent to MEMO – said on Friday.Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, who heads the Council of Jerusalem Churches has toured the USA and EU countries to lobby against an Israeli law – known as the “Properties Bill” – which was recently advanced in Knesset to target church property. Following the tour, a group of US churches sent a letter to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemning the Israeli move, the statement said. US churches wrote in their letter: “Extent to which the Jerusalem Patriarchs and Heads of Churches consider this legislation to be an existential threat cannot be overstated”.MEMO
Abbas conditionally accepted Hamas, Israel truce
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has conditionally accepted the truce between Hamas and Israel, stressing that “it must not exceed the understandings that ended the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014”.Member of PLO’s Executive Committee, Ahmad Majdalani, added that the truce “must not include any political section,” stressing that:"The PA has always been worried about the consequences of the truce between Hamas and Israel, fearing it would have indirect political outcomes, but the PA has decided to accept the truce in order to stop more humanitarian suffering being inflicted on the Gaza residents and to stop more victims being harmed."Majdalani explained that Cairo would resume reconciliation efforts – aimed at bringing Hamas and Fatah together – next week. He emphasised that these Egyptian-led efforts did not include Qatari funds being paid to Palestinian civil service employees in Gaza, revealing that PA and the EU reject this approach “because this will be a financial support for Hamas and will reinforce its control over Strip”.MEMO
Israel minister invited to Bahrain conference
Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen has been invited to attend a conference in Bahrain to discuss cooperation between the two countries.Cohen received an official invitation to attend the “Startup Nations Ministerial Conference” -which is being organised by the World Bank and Global Network Initiative NGO– in Bahraini capital Manama. Conference is expected to take place in early 2019 and will see international ministers “discuss ways in which employment can be stimulated and economic growth promoted by stimulating and promoting economic “initiative and entrepreneurship”, i24 Arabic reported.This is the fifth time the conference has been held, with previous hosts including Italy, Turkey, South Africa and Colombia.The invitation will be seen as the latest evidence of Bahrain’s normalisation of relations with Israel. In Oct., it was revealed that Bahrain is secretly holding talks with Israel in preparation for open relations between the 2 countries and a visit to the Gulf state by Israeli PM.MEMO
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:32 PM)

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