Morning Brief: India To Be Fastest Growing Economy In Five Years: US Think Tank; Panneerselvam-Sasikala Stake Claim

Security force personnel walk in front of the Red Fort in New Delhi. (SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/GettyImages)

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

India Will Be Fastest Growing Economy In Five Years: US Think Tank: A top US intelligence think-tank has said in its report that India will be the world's fastest growing economy during the next five years. The National Intelligence Council, which is the centre for mid-term and long-term strategic thinking within the US intelligence community, also said in its report 'Global Trends' that Pakistan, unable to match India's economic prowess, seek to maintain a diverse set of foreign partners, from which it can draw economic and security assistance.

Panneerselvam And Sasikala Stake Claim: In a day of high political drama, Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao met the two warring factions of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (AIADMK) on Thursday – first caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who claimed majority support, and then party general secretary V K Sasikala, who staked claim to form the next government. Rao is learnt to have sent his report to the Centre for further "clarity", given that the Supreme Court verdict in the disproportionate assets case against Sasikala is expected soon.

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India Rejects Pakistan’s Secret Nuclear City Claims As Baseless: Hours after Pakistan claimed India is building a ‘secret nuclear city’, the External Affairs Ministry refuted the neighbouring country’s allegations, terming it baseless. India rejected the allegation as "a figment of Pakistan's imagination" and an attempt to divert attention from its record of supporting terrorism. Pakistan also claimed that India had accumulated a stockpile of nuclear weapons “which threatens to undermine the strategic balance of power in the region.”

NIA Says IS ‘Kill List’ Features 150 Computer Experts From Maharashtra: More than 150 computer professionals from Maharashtra, 70 of them from Mumbai alone, are featured in the ‘kill list’ of terrorist group Islamic State, the National Investigation Agency said. The agency obtained the documents from handlers of the IS in India. The list targets computer experts such as ethical hackers and software managers who helped agencies trace members of the outfit and recruits.

Government Makes Aadhaar Mandatory At Ration Shops: In a major step to reform the Public Distribution System (PDS), the government has made Aadhaar card mandatory for receiving subsidised food grains. The government has allotted time till 30 June for those not having Aadhaar card to get it for availing food grains from ration shops under the food Law. The notification would come into effect from 18 February in all states and union territories Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.

Mallya Extradition Process Begins: India has formally initiated the process of extraditing liquor baron Vijay Mallya from Britain. Confirming this, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said we have requested the UK side to extradite him to face trial in India. "We have an extradition treaty with the UK, and we believe we have a legitimate case against Mallya," he said.

Lie-Detection Test For Tytler In Anti-Sikh Riots Case: Congress leader Jagdish Tytler has been ordered by a Delhi court to appear before it tomorrow on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea seeking permission to conduct lie detection test on him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. Besides Tytler, CBI has also sought conduct of the test on arms dealer Abhishek Verma.

Uphaar Cinema Tragedy: One-Year Jail For Causing Death Of 59 People: The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Ansal brothers, who built and operated Delhi's Uphaar cinema, are guilty of causing death due to negligence and one of them must go to jail within four weeks. Gopal Ansal, 69, has been given a year-long sentence. Judges said he has been given a month to surrender and be moved to prison. In 1997, a fire at the cinema left 59 people dead.

BSF Jawan, Who Complained About Food, Missing; Wife Files Petition: The wife of a Border Security Force jawan, whose complaint about bad food at his unit had triggered a row, approached the Delhi High Court on Thursday, saying her husband has gone missing. In a habeas corpus plea, soldier Tej Bahadur Yadav’s wife Sharmila said she was worried about his safety as she has not been able to contact him for the past three days. She pleaded that her husband be produced before the court.

Debit Card Data Breach Caused By Malware, Admits Hitachi: Hitachi Payments Services on Thursday accepted its systems were compromised by a sophisticated malware in mid-2016, that led to one of the biggest cyber security breaches in the country with 3.2 million cards affected and a scare over security of card-based transactions. The National Payments Corporation of India had said over 600 customers had reported losses of at least Rs 1.3 crore due to the breach.

US May Want To Have A Fresh Look At F-16 India Plan: India, which is expected to spend $250 billion on defence modernisation over the next decade, may have to wait until the Donald Trump's administration gives the go-ahead for the proposal to produce F-16 combat jets in India. US defence firm Lockheed Martin said it wants to push ahead with plans to move production of its F-16 combat jets to India, but understands President Trump's administration may want to take a "fresh look" at the proposal.

MUST READ OP-EDS

Delhi, Tokyo, Canberra: While America’s allies and partners want the US to stay strong in the region, they would like Trump’s Washington to stop lecturing them and start listening instead.

India In Need Of A Two-Speed Economy: India needs this two-speed economy for both economic and political reasons. Economically, the boost in domestic consumption will lead to faster growth. Politically, it will help cushion the short-term pain and make it easier for the government to continue its reform agenda.

Internet Of Things + Analytics = Opportunities: By 2019, IoT may be the world’s largest device market – double the size of the smartphone, PC, tablet, connected car, and the wearable market combined.

India Has The Potential To Become A Leader Among Innovative Economies: A system that embraces robust IP protection will incentivise innovators to continue developing the next groundbreaking technologies and will place India on the path to becoming one of the world’s leading knowledge-based economies.

Managing Big Data’s Big Risks: The good news is that the hazards of Big Data can be largely avoided. But they won’t be unless we zealously protect people’s privacy, detect and correct unfairness and use algorithmic recommendations prudently.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

India’s Own Baghdadi: How This Maulana Has Carved Out A Mini Islamic State In Mamata’s Bengal: This Salafi maulana eats with three fingers, has banned photography, music and TV, and all interaction with kafirs, in a small town in Malda, West Bengal. He is symptomatic of the larger and spreading malaise.

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

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