Morning Brief: Bodies Of 38 Indians To Be Brought From Iraq Today; Less Than 100 Railway Accidents For The First Time In 35 Years, Bankruptcy Code Set For Major Overhaul
Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.
Bodies Of 38 Indians To Be Brought From Iraq Today
The mortal remains of 38 out of 39 Indians, who were killed in Iraq’s Mosul by the Islamic State, will be brought back to India today. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, who left for Mosul on Sunday to bring the bodies, will travel to Amritsar and Patna to hand over the mortal remains to the families of the victims. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who had said that 39 Indians missing in Iraq would be presumed alive until there was evidence to the contrary, informed the Parliament about their death on 20 March after their bodies were found.
The opposition had accused her of delaying the announcement. Responding to this, Swaraj had said that finding the missing Indians and concluding that they had died was not possible before the liberation of Mosul. She had noted that governments reach a conclusion based on facts and not on individual accounts.
Indian Railways Sets New Safety Record
The Indian Railways has set a new safety record. For the first time in 35 years, the national transporter recorded less than 100 accidents in a year. In the last financial year that ended 31 March, the railways recorded 73 accidents - 29 per cent fewer than the 104 in 2016-17. While the number of derailments came down to 39 from 68 in 2016-17, accidents at unmanned level crossings have come down from 15 to just eight. The casualty figures, too, have come down significantly from 2016-17, when at least 150 people had died after the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanpur. The number of accidents fell to three digits for the first time in 1968-69.
In a related development, the Indian Railways has also set a new record by transporting over 1,160 million tonnes of freight in 2017-18.
Government Set To Overhaul Bankruptcy Code
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is likely to be overhauled soon as Ministry of Corporate Affairs is finalising a series of amendments recommended by a panel of experts to remove difficulties in turning around businesses and to strike a balance between the interests of lenders, customers and promoters. The panel, led by corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas, has suggested treating homebuyers as financial creditors. Another amendment proposed by the experts will make it easier for the panel of creditors to make key decisions for resolution or liquidation with 66 per cent of the vote, less than the 75 per cent required currently. The amendments proposed by the panel will also ensure that that the provisions to disqualify wilful defaulters from bidding for the bankrupt firm do not bar entities like asset reconstruction companies, banks and alternative investment funds.
Teesta Setalvad Booked For Getting Funds Fraudulently
Controversial activist Teesta Setalvad has been booked for fraudulently obtaining Rs 1.4 crore for her trust from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development between 2010 and 2013. Setalvad’s former associate, Raees Khan Pathan, has filed a criminal complaint against her and other Sabrang trustees. He has claimed that the HRD Ministry illegally sanctioned the funds under the 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan'. Between 2009 and 2012, the HRD Ministry was headed by Congress leader Kapil Sibal. Following the complaint, a case was registered against Setalvad by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch. According to the complainant, Setalvad's trust distributed printed education materials that could cause communal disharmony.
SC/ST Act: Review Petition To Be Filed Today
The government is set to file a review petition before the Supreme Court, challenging its decision to ban immediate arrest and place stringent safeguards for registering a case under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry will file the petition today after a decision was taken at the “highest level of the government”, reports say. The apex court had passed the order citing rampant misuse of the stringent rules under the Act. The apex court has made a preliminary probe by an officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent mandatory before arrest under this Act. It has also removed the restrictions on granting anticipatory bail. Many Dalit outfits across India have threatened protests in response to the apex court’s order.
CBSE Paper Leak: Official Suspended, Three Arrested
Amid outrage, Delhi Police has arrested three people for their alleged involvement in the CBSE Class 12 Economics paper leak case. The three have been identified as Rishabh (29) and Rohit (26), teachers at Mother Khajani Convent School, a private school in Bawana, and Tauqeer, 26, a tutor at a private coaching centre. According to reports, the school is also under the scanner for allegedly providing the question paper to the teachers around 9.10 am, 35 minutes before stipulated time. The papers circulated through WhatsApp. The location code on the paper leaked by the two teachers matched with that of the code assigned to the private school. The three accused are currently in police custody for two days. A CBSE official, found “lax” in the examination paper leak case, was suspended on Sunday.
India World’s Second Largest Mobile Phone Producer: ICA
The Indian Cellular Association has said that India is now the second largest mobile phone producer in the world after China. Referring to data collected by market research firm IHS, China’s National Bureau of Statistics and Vietnam General Statistics Office, ICA said that annual production of mobile phones in India increased from 3 million units in 2014 to 11 million units in 2017. Due to increase in production of mobile phones in India, imports of devices fell to less than half in 2017-18. The Ministry of Electronics and IT has set a target to take the production of phones in India to 500 million by 2019. The target also includes creating 1.5 million jobs by 2019 and exporting 120 million mobile phone units by the end of next year.
MUST READ OPINIONS AND COLUMNS
Putting Electric Vehicles Before The Policy Cart: This is actually the time for government to take the lead, consult with industry and frame a suitable India EV policy architecture for electric mobility.
Execution Key For Defence Manufacturing In India: The draft defence production policy is a grand vision document with unambiguous goals and objectives. It needs to be backed by granular detailing.
Crediting India’s Credit Information Companies: A broader coverage by credit information companies will support increased household access to credit for investment and consumption.
A Heritage Bus Ride Into A World Of Myth And Music: A short bus journey or ‘ratha yatra’ ferries visitors in and around temple towns, transporting them into a space of myths and music, history and heritage.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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