Morning
Brief: ICJ Stays Kulbhushan Jadhav’s Hanging; Modi’s New Jobs Push; Trump Sacks
FBI ChiefThe International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands. (Michel Porro/GettyImages)

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

International Court Of Justice Stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's Hanging: Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday stayed the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of "spying". This came a day after India approached the court against the death sentence. India, in its appeal to the ICJ, accused Pakistan of "egregious" violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy.

PM Sets Up Task Force To Formulate Credible Jobs Policies: In the wake of possible economic slowdown and potential job losses after demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday set up a high-level committee headed by NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya to ramp up jobs data so that the government can frame policies to spur employment generation. “The PM has directed that this task be expedited so that policies on employment can be formulated with a proper appreciation of impacts, based on credible data,” the Prime Minister’s Office said. Presently, jobs data is collected and published by several agencies including the Labour Bureau, but is inadequate.

SC Backs Common Test For Selecting Judges: In a bid to bring about transparency in judicial appointments, the Supreme Court has decided in principle to introduce a common test for selection of judges and sought suggestions from states and union territories on the mode of implementing it. The move is aimed at bringing uniformity in the selection process and to curb the practice of favouritism and nepotism in selection of judges in the lower judiciary. Proposed way back in 1960, the All India Judicial Services could not be implemented due to stiff opposition from various state governments.

Government Notice To BJP, Congress And AAP On Foreign Funding: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and a few other political parties have been asked by the Centre to furnish details about the source of their overseas funding. Official sources said that the Ministry of Home Affairs, in separate communications, asked the political parties to give details of their sources of funding, including those from abroad or foreign business enterprises. They said the move is to ascertain whether the outfits have violated the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

Bengaluru Named Most Affordable Tech City: Bengaluru has topped a list of 22 tech cities across the world in affordable living. The average house rent in Bengaluru, the only Indian city to make it to the list, is Rs 15,250, while in San Francisco, it is Rs 50,000. Bengaluru is cheaper than Cape Town, Santiago, Buenos Aires and Berlin, according to the Savills Tech Cities Index. However, the silicon valley of India, ranks low in many other respects. Bengaluru’s cost advantage is offset by bad traffic: a commute to work takes longer here than in New York and Copenhagen. It ranks lowest in the ‘city buzz and wellness’ category.

Gujarat Passes State GST Bill: The Gujarat legislative assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed the Gujarat Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017. During a day-long special session of the assembly, the Opposition Congress expressed concerns that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will cause a revenue loss of Rs 8,000 crore. Before Gujarat, at least eight state legislative assemblies including Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Bihar, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have already passed their respective State Goods and Services Tax Bills.

Indian Navy Bids Farewell To Two Minesweepers: Two minesweepers of the Indian Navy – INS Karwar and INS Kakinada – were on Tuesday decommissioned after being in service for over 30 years. The two ships were bid farewell at a ceremony in the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai in the presence of Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. INS Karwar was the first of the ‘Natya’ class minesweepers acquired from the erstwhile Soviet Union. The ship was commissioned on July 14, 1986. INS Kakinada was the second of the class and was commissioned on 23 December 1986.

Imran Khan Says Sharif Took Money From Bin Laden To Promote Jihad In Kashmir: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is under attack again. This time opposition leader Imran Khan’s party has said it would sue Sharif for allegedly taking money from Osama bin Laden to promote jihad in Kashmir. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief has been demanding resignation from Sharif for alleged corruption. PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that he would file a petition in the Supreme Court seeking admission of a case against Sharif for “taking funds from a foreign individual to destabilise and conspire against democracy in Pakistan”.

Trump Sacks FBI Boss Comey: US President Donald Trump has sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey. Comey, who has led an investigation into Russia’s meddling during the 2016 election and any possible links to Trump aides and associates, is only the second FBI chief to have been fired. In a letter, Trump told Comey that he was no longer effectively able to lead the bureau and it was necessary to restore "public trust and confidence" in it. Trump acknowledged that Comey had informed him "on three separate occasions" that he was not under investigation. "I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to affectively lead the Bureau," he added.

MUST READ OP-EDS

Think Long Term To Make India Wealthy: The process of creation of wealth has to do with improving productivity and efficiency. Investing in institutions might seem impractical in the short term, but it is needed to give our economy a competitive advantage.

NPA Resolution: What RBI Can Learn From China’s Strategy Against Bad Loans: The RBI must make a concerted effort to distinguish between genuine performance-related loan issues and companies that are taking the system for a ride. The ordinance to Banking Regulation Act has empowered RBI against NPAs in India’s banking sector, but much can learnt from China’s bad loans strategy.

From Here To $20 trillion: India’s Economic Growth Strategy: The Economic Survey as well as the new NITI Aayog action plan could be read as a vote of confidence in the Asian development strategy. The NITI Aayog action plan to boost agriculture as well as job creation in modern activities fits well with what has happened over the past few decades.

Changing Tack In Kashmir: Kashmir needs an opening of dialogue, first with the mainstream political parties, followed by a widening circle of the willing. The differing perceptions of the latest symbol of the conflict in Kashmir suggest a hardening of hatreds that, if allowed to continue, will be difficult to soften.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

SC Sends Rogue Judge To Jail, But The Next Time It May Not Be So Lucky: Clearly, we need a better filter for how judges are selected or dismissed. The current system, of judges appointing themselves, and removals depending on impeachment by parliament, is not working.

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