Morning Brief: Election Ban On Convicts Backed; Jio Cries Foul; UK To Trigger Brexit On 29 March

- Mar 21 20, 6:18 am,
The Supreme Court of India.

Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.

Poll Panel Backs Lifetime Election Ban On Convicts: The Election Commission of India on Monday told the Supreme Court that it was in favour of barring convicted persons from contesting polls for lifetime and stopping their entry into judiciary and the executive. In its affidavit filed in response to a public interest litigation seeking setting up special courts for trial of criminal cases against people from the legislature, executive and judiciary, the commission said the issues raised by the petitioner are "not adversarial".

Gallantry Awards For Surgical Strikes Bravehearts: Two members of the Special Forces team that carried out surgical strikes were decorated by President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday. Major Rohit Suri of Para Special Forces was presented with the Kirti Chakra and Naib Subedar Vijay Kumar was given the Shaurya Chakra. At the ceremony, 12 more Shaurya Chakras, 15 Param Vishist Seva Medals, three Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and 22 Ati Vishist Seva Medals were also awarded by the President.

Bangladesh Raises Alarm: Jihadis Entering India: Bangladesh has submitted a report to the Indian government highlighting a surge in infiltration of terrorists to India. According to the report, 2016 witnessed an over-three-fold increase over 2015 in infiltration by Harkat-ul-Jihadi al-Islami (HuJI) and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) extremists into the border states of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. Approximately 2,010 HuJI and JMB operatives had entered the three states, said the report.

Noose Tightening Around Zakir Naik: The National Investigation Agency on Monday issued a second notice to controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik asking him to appear before it on 30 March in a case filed against him under an anti-terror law. This comes after Enforcement Directorate attached assets worth Rs 18.37 crore of the Islamic Research Foundation in the Zakir Naik money laundering case.

Cognizant May Sack Up To 10,000 Staff: New Jersey-headquartered software services company, Cognizant, may sack 6,000-10,000 people to reduce redundant and non-performing employees. Most of the company’s operations are based out of Chennai. The reduction in employee base will be a part of the appraisal process, according to reports, as digitisation and automation are becoming the new normal with Indian IT firms.

Jio Cries Foul: Telecom operator Jio has registered a complaint with Advertising Standards Council of India against Airtel’s claims that it is ‘officially the fastest’ network in India. Jio has said the claim is “false, misleading and incorrect”. According to the company, the methodology adopted to determine Internet speed by Ookla, the web-based network and diagnostic applications, was flawed and Jio has issued a legal notice to Ookla as well.

Speeding Up Judicial Appointments: Chief Justice of India J S Khehar said on Monday that more than 400 vacancies in various high courts would get filled expeditiously with the Supreme Court collegium finalising the memorandum of procedure. His remarks came while hearing public interest litigations on judicial vacancies that have led to an increase in the number of cases pending cases before courts. Justice Khehar said the filling of judicial vacancies was being done on “war footing.”

Ganga-Yamuna Living Entities, Declares High Court: The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday declared the Ganga and Yamuna as living entities, bestowing on them same legal rights as a person, a move that could help in efforts to clean the pollution-choked rivers. The court’s order will allow complaints to be filed in the name of the two rivers, held sacred by millions of Hindus. It also gives the Centre eight weeks to set up boards for cleaning and maintaining the rivers.

Date Set For Brexit Negotiations: British Prime Minister Theresa May will file divorce papers to leave the European Union (EU) on 29 March, launching two years of complex negotiations that will pit the UK’s desire for a trade deal against the bloc’s view that Britain must not benefit from Brexit. The move comes nine months after Britain voted 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent in favour of Brexit in a referendum on 23 June 2016.

MUST READ OP-EDS

The Yogi Adityanath Development Model: Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh is seen as BJP choosing Hindutva over development. But why do we assume a contradiction between them?

What Is The Fix For India? India’s political leaders should reflect on what Mexico’s equally fractious political system managed to achieve and on whether they have it in them to emulate them.

States Lead The Way In Economic Reforms: BJP-led states have tended to reform more aggressively than non-BJP states, with the notable exceptions of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Ease Of Doing Business: Red Carpet, Not Red Tape: For businesses, life is about interacting with all branches of the government and judiciary. A red carpet by one and red tape by another is not ease of doing business.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

Loan Waivers Are Duds: India Needs An Exit Policy For Unviable Farming: The call for repeated farm waivers is a sign that farmers need to get out of farming when they can. It is the government’s duty to aid this change, not retard it. Politicians should stop pandering to a diminishing vote bank.

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

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Mar 21 20, 6:18 am,