Morning Brief: Modi’s New Push For Cleaner India; American Crude Arrives; US Scientists Win Nobel In Medicine

Morning Brief: Modi’s New Push For Cleaner India; American Crude Arrives;
US Scientists Win Nobel In MedicinePrime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 148th birth anniversary at Rajghat in New Delhi on 2 October. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

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

Swachh Bharat Mission Needs Popular Support To Succeed: Modi: Seeking popular participation to make the Swachh Bharat campaign a success, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said even a 1,000 Gandhis and a lakh Modis and all the CMs will not succeed unless the mission is adopted by India's 125 crore population. "Just because there are difficulties, should we let it be?" he asked and reiterated his government's resolve to take the Swachh Bharat Mission forward. He asked his critics not to "politicise and make fun" of the cleanliness initiative. He said people's participation in the initiative will ensure the mission is successful despite scepticism in some quarters. “You have thousands of topics to criticise Modi. I give you something every day, utilise them. But don't make fun or politicise an issue which is essential to bring change in our society," Modi said at an event to mark the third anniversary of the government's flagship mission.

India Receives First US Crude Shipment: The first ever shipment of American crude oil of 1.6 million barrels was received at Paradip Port on Monday. The shipment is a part of recent commitments to purchase US oil by state-run Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum. IOC has placed a cumulative order for 3.9 million barrels from the US while BPCL and Hindustan Petroleum have placed orders for about 2.95 million barrels and one million barrels respectively. “This marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of India-US trade, particularly in the oil and gas sector,” Sunjay Sudhir, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said. US crude oil shipments to India have the potential to boost bilateral trade by up to $2 billion, the US Embassy said.

Boost Strike Power: IAF To Step Up Night Flying By Combat Jets: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to step up night flying by its combat jets from the current around 30 per cent in all its frontline bases to have a major tactical advantage over its adversaries. It is part of a move to boost overall strike capability and keep the fighter squadrons fully ready for operating in an entire 24 hour cycle. “The warfare scenario is changing fast. We now are preparing ourselves to operate in an electronic warfare environment and that is why we are making the changes,” a senior IAF official said. He added that the ratio of night flying is being increased as IAF has now much more powerful and better electronic sensors, radars and air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and there is no impediment for night operation by the jets.

Corruption-Free India: Anna Hazare To Launch Agitation: Accusing the Narendra Modi government of failing to keep its promise of creating a corruption-free India, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has said the Prime Minister “did nothing” to enforce the Lokpal Bill. Hazare said the government had not enforced the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, but had instead “hastily” passed amendments to weaken the anti-corruption law. “It appears you have no intention to bring Lokpal and Lokayukta Act... And that you don’t want to build a corruption-free India,” Hazare wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Modi. Hazare said he would launch another agitation on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 148th birth anniversary from Rajghat, where Hazare paid tribute to the Father of the Nation.

President Kovind Appoints Panel To Examine Sub-Categorisation Of OBCs: President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday appointed a commission under former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini to examine sub-categorisation of the other backward classes (OBCs) for a “more equitable distribution” of quota benefits. “This decision, taken on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, reinforces, in the spirit of his teachings, the Government's efforts to achieve greater social justice and inclusion for all and specifical members of the OBC,” the government said. The move comes ahead of the Assembly polls in Gujarat, amid demand for giving reservation benefits to Marathas in Maharashtra, Jats in Haryana and Patidars in Gujarat. “The commission is required to present their report to the President within a period of 12 weeks of assumption of charge by the chairperson of the commission,” the government said.

UP Proposes Rs 156 Crore Projects For Taj Mahal: The Uttar Pradesh government has proposed a number of tourism projects worth Rs 370 crore, around half of which is meant for the Taj Mahal and its surrounding areas. The details have been released in the wake of reports in a section of the media saying the Taj Mahal has been excluded from the tourism development projects of the state. “Tourism projects worth Rs 370 crore are proposed, under which schemes worth Rs 156 crore are meant for the Taj Mahal and its surrounding areas in Agra,” the government said. The proposal for the projects have been prepared in consultation with the World Bank and submitted to the Union government for approval, which is expected within the next three months, said the government.

US Scientists Awarded Nobel In Medicine For Body Clock Insights: The Nobel prize in medicine has been awarded to three American scientists for their discoveries on the molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms – in other words, the 24-hour body clock. According to the Nobel committee’s citation, Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young were recognised for their discoveries explaining “how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth’s revolutions.” The team identified a gene within fruit flies that controls the creatures’ daily rhythm, known as the “period” gene. This gene encodes a protein within the cell during the night which then degrades during the day. Hall spent most of his career at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, where Rosbash still works as a faculty member. Young works out of Rockefeller University in New York. The winners will share a prize of 9 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million).

58 Killed In US Mass Shooting, IS Claims Responsibility: At least 58 people were killed and 500 injured when a heavily armed "lone wolf" gunman opened fire from a 32-floor hotel room on an open-air concert on the Las Vegas Strip in the deadliest mass shooting in US history. The Islamic State group claimed the 64-year-old Nevada man behind the Sunday night massacre, Stephen Craig Paddock, was one of its "soldiers" but the FBI said it had found no such connection so far. Police said Paddock, a retired accountant, killed himself before a SWAT team breached his room in the Mandalay Bay hotel overlooking the venue for the country music concert. President Donald Trump called the attack “an act of pure evil” and added: “In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has.”

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SWARAJYA SPECIAL

Dropping The Annual Border Meeting: China Continues To Squirm After Doklam: With the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party coming up later this month, it appears that Xi Jingping wants to project that even after Doklam, it is China that is dictating terms to India.

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

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