Morning Brief: The Reverse Migration Of Rohingyas; Kashmir Talks Back On Track; Wooing $100 Billion FDI In Tourism

Morning Brief: The
Reverse Migration Of Rohingyas; Kashmir Talks Back On Track; Wooing $100 Billion FDI In TourismRohingya Refugees in Ukhia along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border. (KM ASAD/AFP/GettyImages)

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

The Reverse Migration Of Rohingyas: The Border Security Force (BSF) has said that India's strong anti-Rohingya policy is triggering reverse migration with several Rohingyas, who worked as domestic help, construction labours and small-time shop-keepers, slowly moving back to Bangladesh. According to BSF officials, at least 50 such Rohingya immigrants, who had been living in India for years, crossed over to Bangladesh over the past few weeks. At least three big teams from Sharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh and Ambala in Punjab tried to cross over to Bangladesh through the border points in North 24 Paragana district. The Border Security Forces apprehended some of these groups and handed them over to the local police for further legal action. According to a rough estimate, at least 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have been living in India for years now. Central agencies monitoring the movement of Rohingyas have observed that reverse migration has started, albeit in small groups.

Former Intelligence Bureau Chief To Lead Kashmir Talks: A former head of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) will lead talks to end the nearly three-decade-long, bloody insurgency in Kashmir. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Dineshwar Sharma, 63, who retired as the IB director in December, will speak to “all stakeholders”, as well as decide on whether to talk to the hardline separatist group, the Hurriyat Conference. The talks offer stems from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s last Independence Day outreach to troubled Kashmir. Modi had said the region’s problems could be solved by embracing its people rather than resorting to abuse or bullets. “For a substantive dialogue, I will need to talk to everybody,’’ Sharma said. “Peace must be restored in Kashmir and for that I will talk to all people in an effort to bring about a solution,” he added.

Elevated Corridors For Suburban Rail Planned: The Indian Railways is planning to build elevated corridors over existing rail tracks in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. "For Mumbai, DFCC (Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation) has already given a preliminary report, now we will put formal teams in place. For Bengaluru, I have told the railways... they are looking into this," said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, adding a study has been commissioned for Delhi as well. Goyal said elevated tracks equipped with elevators and escalators will make suburban rail travel safe as trespassing will not happen and the system will help differently-abled passengers. The construction of elevated corridors also includes developing shopping malls and commercial spaces. Plans have also been drawn up to revive Delhi's 35-km ring railway by constructing elevated tracks as well as modernising and redeveloping stations.

New Twist To National Anthem In Cinemas Saga: India’s top court on Monday hinted at modifying its order on playing of the National Anthem across cinema halls in the country by asking the government why it should not bring circular in this regard if it felt necessary. A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the court would replace “shall” with “may” in its 30 November 2016 order by taking away the compulsory part of playing the National Anthem before the movie began in theatres. On a plea for modification of the order, the bench also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said, “It is appropriate that the central government should take a call on it”. “Why should we assume that if people do not sing the national anthem, they are less patriotic? We do not have to sing the National Anthem to be patriotic,” the court observed.

New Guidelines Drawn Up To Regulate Ground Water Use: New guidelines to regulate the use of ground water have been drafted by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA). The guidelines will affect Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Puducherry, which fall in overexploited areas where ground water consumption is over 100 per cent. The CGWA, which regulates the use of ground water across India, has sought comments from states and Union Territories on the draft guidelines. It has set a 60-day timeline for states to respond after which the guidelines will be finalised and notified. States can modify the instructions but not dilute it. Once approved, the rules will prohibit granting of no-objection certificate for extracting groundwater for construction activities if the project is located in areas where water level is critical or overexploited.

France-India To Boost Maritime Security: India and France are planning to enhance strategic cooperation in defence during the European nation’s Defence Minister Florence Parly’s visit to India. She is likely to hold discussions, primarily on maritime security issues in the Indian Ocean. "The cooperation primarily includes the Indian Ocean maritime security in view of the growing strength of the Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean Region," said a government official. This is important in view of the growing Chinese naval presence in the region, including submarine forays and establishing military bases to strengthen their overseas operations. Besides holding talks with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the matter, Parly will visit Mihan, Nagpur to attend the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Dassault-Reliance Aerospace manufacturing facility that has been established under a joint venture between the two companies to implement the offset obligation-related to the sale of 36 Rafale fighter jets to India.

Government Woos $100 Billion FDI In Tourism: Over the next five years, the government wants to attract $100 billion foreign direct investment in the tourism sector and generate up to 100 million jobs. “Tourism industry has a multiplier effect on the economy… We have held discussions with CEOs of leading tourism companies to address all issues facing the sector,” Tourism Minister K Alphons said after the Tourism CEO Conclave. The conclave is a part of the ‘Paryatan Parv’ initiative from 2-25 October. The tourism ministry will also take up the demand of hotel industry for rationalisation of the goods and services tax rate to 4-5 per cent for five-star hotels. Besides, the government is also looking into the demand of the industry to have a national tourism authority, which will act as a regulatory body and prescribe standards for home stays, bed and breakfast accommodations, among others.

Catalonia's Civil Disobedience Warning Over Direct Rule Push By Madrid: Catalonia is warning of a large scale civil disobedience movement as it fears Spain is attempting to enforce direct rule. Authorities in Catalonia said that they were confident all officials including police would defy attempts by Madrid to enforce the direct rule in the region in a dispute raising fears of unrest among Spain's European allies. Leaders of the secessionist campaign said a referendum on 1 October, in which 43 per cent of the electorate voted, gave them a mandate to claim independence from the rest of Spain. "It's not that we will refuse (orders). It is not a personal decision. It is a seven million-person decision," Catalonia's foreign affairs chief Raul Romeva said. The Spanish government has invoked special constitutional powers to fire the regional government and force elections to counter an independence drive. A vote in the national Senate to implement direct rule is due on Friday.


To Central Banks: Work Together Or Suffer Alone: The invisible hand of the market does not always lead individually self-interested agents to a collectively desirable outcome. Each central bank stands to gain by keeping interest rates low, but, collectively, their approach constitutes a trap.

Long-Run Trends In Rural Wages: While it is a relief that demonetisation did not reverse the wage rate growth trend, it may have slowed it down. The collapse and stagnation of rural wages over the past few years deserves a closer look than it has received thus far.

Regulatory Overreach On Holding Structures: The Companies Rules 2017 could further hasten the flight of more entrepreneurs towards friendlier business jurisdictions like Singapore. We need a system that lets entrepreneurs focus on running their businesses and not on burdensome compliance.

Artificial Intelligence, Safety, And End-Of-Life Care: Pharmaceutical companies are tightly regulated to make sure they fulfil their duty of care obligations to their customers and patients. There is plenty that Artificial Intelligence can achieve in the healthcare arena, including promoting communication between all the members of the care team, and among the team and families.


Did Savarkar Think Gandhi A Sissy Or Is It Another Case Of Distortion By Eminent Historians? A jocular retort becomes a taunt and then is transformed into Savarkar calling Gandhi a sissy.

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

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