Current Affairs

Morning Brief: Jobs Created In Non-Farm Informal Sector To Be Counted; Rail Lines On China Border Await Funding; Sonia Gandhi To Host Dinner For Opposition 

A shop selling fireworks in Delhi (NICHOLAS BRADLEY/AFP/Getty Images)

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.

Government To Count Jobs Created In Non-Farm Informal Sector

The Modi government has decided to start counting jobs created in the non-farm informal sector. The labour bureau under the Union labour ministry has been tasked with counting jobs created in establishments deploying less than 10 people. In simple terms, this means that shops run by a single owner or with one employee too will be counted as employment generation. Data collected as part of this exercise is expected to be released either by the end of this year or in the first half of 2019. India lacks accurate jobs data. In July 2017, former NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya had suggested that “in the Indian context, where written contracts are not common and nearly three-fourths of employment is in enterprises with fewer than 10 workers, the definition of a formal worker based on enrolment in provident funds, medical insurance or pension schemes represents a reasonable compromise.”

Four Strategic Rail Lines On China Border Await Funding

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Four ‘priority’ strategic railway lines on the China border, approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in December 2015, have not received an estimated Rs 2.1 lakh crore that is needed for construction. The Ministry of Railways is currently undertaking the final location survey (FLS) for these four railway lines. These rail lines are a part of government’s effort to improve infrastructure in areas along the border with China to provide the armed forces better connectivity. The presence of roads and rail lines along the border is expected to significantly improve the Army’s ability to move in troops and equipment much faster than what is currently possible. The issue of funding has been raised repeatedly by the Empowered Committee on Border Infrastructure, which is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary. However, no conclusive decision on the funding has been taken. The Ministry of Defence had allocated Rs 344.84 crore in the fiscal year 2016-17 for the FLS.

Sonia Gandhi To Host Dinner For 17 Opposition Parties Today

United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi will host a dinner today for opposition parties amid talk of forging an anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) front ahead of ahead of the 2019 general elections. At least 17 opposition parties are likely to attend the dinner in New Delhi. Parties associated with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, including Andhra Pradesh's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), have not been invited. Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) did not get any invitation till Saturday. The TDP in Andhra Pradesh and TRS in Telangana are arch rivals of the Congress. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has proposed forming a Third Front as an alternative to the BJP and the Congress.

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India’s Retail Inflation Eases To 4.44 Per Cent In February

India’s retail inflation eased for the second straight month in February. However, it remained above the 4 per cent medium-term target of the Reserve Bank of India. On an annual basis, India’s measure of consumer price inflation (CPI) eased to 4.44 percent in February, data released by the Ministry of Statistics showed on Monday. CPI stood at 5.1 percent in January, down from the December figure of 5.2 percent, which was the highest rate in 17 months. As the CPI remains above 4 per cent, the RBI is widely expected to maintain rates at their current level next month.

Tata Sons To Sell TCS Stake To Pay Debt

Tata Sons is likely to sell $1.25 billion of its stake in Tata Consultancy Services to pay creditors of its wireless division. Tata Sons will sell 28.27 million shares of TCS, or about 1.48 per cent stake. The shares could be sold at Rs 2,872 to Rs 2,925 apiece, according to the terms of the transaction. The proceeds will also be used by the company to raise its stake in some of its unit in a bid to reduce cross holdings.

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India Tops List Of Arms Buyers

India has maintained its position as the world’s largest importer of weapons. According to data on international arms transfers released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India accounted for 12 per cent of the global imports from 2013-2017. India’s arms imports increased by 24 per cent between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017 periods. Between 2013 ans 2017, the largest arms suppliers to India were Russia (62 per cent), the United States (15 per cent) and Israel (11 per cent).

Hadiya Demands Compensation From State Government

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Days after the apex court set aside a Kerala high court order annulling her marriage with a Muslim man, Hadiya has asked the state government to compensate her for the years that she has lost. Hadiya has also alleged that her father is being used by some “anti-national forces” for their political purposes. Addressing the media on Monday along with her husband Shafin Jahan, she claimed that her father was being misled by “anti-Islamic groups” and will need some time to accept he truth.

NIA Raids Srinagar Central Jail

At least 20 teams of the National Investigation Agency, with commandos and drones in tow, raided the Srinagar Central Jail on Monday and seized over two dozen mobile phones, jihadi literature, a poster of Hizbul Mujahideen and a Pakistani flag. The teams searched the barracks and open ground of the prison that houses some of the most wanted and dreaded terrorists, including those from Pakistan. A close watch was kept on the entire operation with the help of drones. The agency is reportedly probing the escape of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Naveed Jhatt from a busy hospital in Srinagar. The conspiracy for his escape, it is believed, was hatched in the jail.

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SWARAJYA SPECIAL

Boom In Chandigarh Minority Schools Proves How Successful Sonia Gandhi’s Sectarian Project Is: In the last five years, minority schools have doubled in Chandigarh. The sectarian laws designed by Sonia Gandhi’s party are at work, and there is no end in sight to this travesty.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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