Morning Brief: Middle East, Africa Seek India’s Help For Electrification; Major Manpower, Infra Boost On China Border; AMU Suspends Official For Felicitating Hindu Jagran Manch Leader

by Swarajya Staff - May 14, 2018 10:33 AM +05:30 IST
Morning Brief: Middle East, Africa Seek India’s Help For Electrification;  Major Manpower, Infra Boost On China Border;   AMU Suspends Official For Felicitating Hindu Jagran Manch LeaderVillagers switch on a light in Morabandar, Elephanta Island, off the coast of Mumbai. (SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images) 

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

Countries In Middle East, Africa Seek India’s Help For Rural Electrification

Countries in Africa and the Middle East, impressed by the Modi government’s rural electrification drive, have expressed interest in joining hands with the state-run Rural Electrification Corporation to electrify their villages, Mint reports. This development comes after the government announced that it had achieved the target of electrifying villages 12 days ahead of a deadline set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to the report, Jordan, Syria and countries in sub-Saharan Africa are interested in REC’s assistance. Countries in Africa are looking for a complete electrification package, which includes both financing and technology transfer. India is already working with some countries in the power sector. The Power Grid Corporation of India has clients in countries in the region, including Kenya, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
ITBP To Get Major Manpower, Infra Boost On China Border

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), a central paramilitary force which is deployed along India’s border with Tibet, is set to get a major manpower and infrastructure push, the Indian Express reports. The force is likely to get nine new battalions (each comprising about 9,000 personnel), a strategic sector headquarter on the border in a northeast state, a dozen patrol camps and 47 new border outposts (BoPs) along the China border over the next few years. The number of troops deployed at 18 BoPs in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh will also be increased. The new sector headquarter is likely to come up in Arunachal Pradesh. Frequent instances of transgressions and confrontations with the Chinese Army along the Line of Actual Control could be the reason behind the manpower and infrastructure push.

AMU Suspends Official For Felicitating Hindu Jagran Manch Leader

In its latest dictate, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) administration, which has found the idea of removing Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait objectionable, has suspended an official for felicitating a Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) leader. The HJM leader, the university has alleged, was part of the “group of hooligans who shouted abuses and slurs against the University”. Issuing a show cause to the official, identified as weightlifting instructor Mazharul Qamar, the University said he had “hurt the sentiments of the AMU fraternity, particularly students”. In his defence, the official has told the university administration that the organisers did not inform him about the HJM leader’s presence at the function.

Thunderstorms, Lightning Kill Over 40 In Four States

Over 40 people died in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi on Sunday as dust storms and thunderstorms wreaked havoc in the region. At least 18 people died in Uttar Pradesh, 12 people including four children were killed in West Bengal, nine in Andhra Pradesh, and two in Delhi. High-velocity winds uprooted trees and dust storms affected road, rail and air services. The storm also affected isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, and Maharashtara.

Dalit Not Killed For Riding Horse, But For Harassing Woman: Police

A Dalit youth in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar, who was earlier believed to have been killed by upper-caste men for riding a horse, was hacked to death by a share-cropper. The youth was harassing the share-cropper’s wife, the police have said. Earlier, reports had said that the youth, identified as Pradeep Rathod, was killed by upper-caste men for owning and riding a horse. According to the Superintendent of Police, the woman who was being harassed by Rathod had informed her husband about his activities and asked him to register a complaint. Police have said that the he has confessed to his crime. Rathod’s father, however, has refused to accept the Police’s version and alleged that share-cropper was being used as a scapegoat.

China’s Import Plan Fails To Enthuse Indian Pharma Firms

Pharmaceutical firms in India are not enthusiastic about China’s decision to cut tariffs on 28 medicines, including cancer drugs from India. According to the firms, China will only import medicines after lengthy field trials and approvals, which could take years. China had announced its decision to slash tariffs just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Xi Jinping in Wuhan. The two leaders, reports said, discussed various issues, including trade. The trade imbalance with China remains a major concern for the government. The Chinese ambassador to India, who tweeted about Bejing’s decision to cut tariffs on medicines soon after it was made public, had said the move “will help reduce trade imbalance..in the future”.

SoftBank In Talks To Invest 3 Billion In Paytm Mall

Even as it prepares to sell its stake in Flipkart, Japan’s SoftBank could be in talks with Paytm to invest up to 3 billion in the firm, the Economic Times reports. After selling its minority stake in Flipkart, SoftBank will be free from the restriction of not investing more than 500 million in Paytm Mall until 2020. In April, SoftBank had announced $400 million investment in Paytm Mall for a 21 per cent stake. However, the investment will come only after the Japanese internet giant exits Flipkart. The SoftBank Vision Fund had invested about $2.5 billion in Flipkart. In a deal announced last week, Walmart has acquired a 77 per cent stake in Flipkart for about $16 billion.

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SWARAJYA SPECIAL

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