Morning Brief: Triple Talaq Ruling Today; Cabinet Reshuffle On Cards? Record 9,500 Projects In One Day!
Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.
SC Verdict On Triple Talaq Today: Is triple talaq constitutionally valid in India? The country will get the answer when the Supreme Court delivers its judgement today (Tuesday) on the constitutional validity of the practice challenged by a group of Muslim women for being violative of their fundamental right. A multi-faith five-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice J S Khehar had on 18 May reserved its judgement after wrapping up a six-day long hearing on the batch of petitions. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which opposed the court’s intervention, had conceded that it does not want the practice to continue and would issue an advisory to exclude it in the nikahnama. The Union government had supported the woman-petitioner saying the practice of triple talaq has to be examined.
Union Cabinet Reshuffle On Cards? Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah’s last minute cancellation of his three-day Tamil Nadu trip has sparked off speculation of a Union Cabinet reshuffle. Shah was scheduled to fly to Chennai on Tuesday as part of his nationwide tour to expand the party’s base and seek ground report ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The buzz in the political circles is that the Janata Dal (United) may get one or two portfolios depending on negotiations with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. There are already half-a-dozen Union ministers from Bihar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi may induct more leaders from the south into his government, which, a senior BJP leader said was crucial to the party’s expansion plan in the non-Hindi speaking belt.
Police Verification For Passport To Go Online: The physical police verification for getting a passport will soon be a thing of the past as the government plans to connect the service with a robust national database of crimes and criminals that will check the antecedents of applicants at the click of a mouse. Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS) is expected to link with the passport service of the Ministry of External Affairs and it will replace physical police verification for passport applicants with online verification in a year. Mehrishi was speaking after Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched a digital police portal under the CCTNS project, which aims to create a national database of crimes and criminals and connect the country’s all 15,398 police stations with it.
Record 9,500 Projects In One Day! Come next Tuesday (29 August), India will see the launch of a record number of road projects in Rajasthan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will roll out more than 9,500 projects, including national highways, state roads and rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) and the state's flagship programmes. These will altogether cost over Rs 27,000 crore. The majority of the projects fall under the Centre's rural connectivity programmes, as well as those of the state government, such as the PMGSY, Rajasthan Road Sector Modernisation Project and Gramin Gaurav Path. Thirty-one others are on the build-operate-and-transfer model.
Rs 42,000 Crore GST Windfall: With four more days to go for the filing cycle to close, as many as 10 lakh taxpayers have filed their returns under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, bringing to the central kitty Rs 42,000 crore. Finance Ministry officials said that at least 10 lakh taxpayers have filed returns and 20 lakh more have logged in to do so, adding a whopping Rs 5,000 crore has come through cess alone on demerit goods. Half of the Rs 42,000 crore has come under Central and state GST, which will be divided equally between states and the Centre. The officials said Rs 22,000 crore is expected to be divided equally as of Monday. The figure could be more than double at the end of the week when filing closes.
ONGC Board Approves HPCL Takeover: Following the green signal from the Union government, the board of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on Monday gave 'in-principle' approval to acquire the government's 51.11 per cent stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), said the state-owned firm. The board of directors, at its meeting on Monday, constituted a committee of directors to "examine various aspects" of the acquisition and "to provide its recommendations to the board of directors", it said. Before the merger, HPCL is likely to take over Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) to bring all the refining assets of ONGC under one unit. ONGC currently owns 71.63 per cent of MRPL while HPCL has 16.96 per cent stake in it.
Infosys Drops Out Of Top 10: Infosys on Monday crashed out of India's 10 most valued companies' list days after the exit of Vishal Sikka as managing director and chief executive of the company. With a market cap of Rs 2 trillion, Infosys now ranks eleventh, and has been replaced in the top 10 by Indian Oil Corporation with a market cap of Rs 2.01 trillion. Investors have lost over Rs 34,000 crore in market capitalisation in the last two trading sessions with the stock falling over 14.45 per cent, its biggest two day fall since April 2013. A year ago, Infosys was ranked the fifth most valuable company in the country, with a market value of Rs 234,589 crore.
Indian Suicide Bomber Killed Kurdistan Fighters In Syria, Claims IS: Dreaded terror outfit Islamic State (IS) on Monday claimed that an Indian suicide bomber killed a “number” of people in an attack in Syria’s northwest Raqqa. The IS identified the Indian suicide bomber as Abu Yusuf Al Hindi, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based monitoring firm. The terror group claimed killing and wounding a “number” of what it described as “Kurdistan Workers’ Party apostates” in the suicide attack involving the Indian bomber. However, there was no confirmation about the IS claim by the Indian agencies. Al Hindi, a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka, was a leader and head recruiter in India for IS, according to the US State Department.
MUST READ OPINIONS AND COLUMNS
Yes, It Is Possible To Change: If a government fails to get small things right, it will not inspire confidence that it will get geopolitical and geo-economic strategy right. That is where the change must begin.
Is The Draft National Energy Policy Actionable? If the national energy policy simply uses the government’s coal targets, it presents a rosier than actual picture for the railways, when analysis suggests otherwise.
A Fundamental Right To Create Jobs: Farmers have the potential to emerge as the largest direct and indirect job creators in the economy. To ensure large-scale job creation, the freedom to create jobs must be on a par with other freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.
We Need A Trust Model For Aadhaar: The model should match ordinary people’s expectations in terms of factors such as identity, authentication, service-level agreements and, of course, privacy.
1,000-Year-Old Temple Demolished In Tamil Nadu: Why a people’s movement is the need of the hour to save temples from government apathy and neglect in Tamil Nadu.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
SUBSCRIBE NOW: The August issue of our magazine is out now. The cover story focuses on dharma: in order to live your dharma, you will need to be your dharma, in every decision, you will have to weigh the scales of justice, evaluate the moral impact on your department, company – and most of all, yourself – Dharma And The Manager. Get a copy home and enjoy reading Swarajya in print. Subscribe here to start receiving your copies for just Rs 349.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.