Morning
Brief: Stage Set For Scorpene Induction; Another
Talaq On WhatsApp; Aadhaar Data Safe: UIDAI INS Khanderi, second of the Project 75 Scorpene submarines. (Navy/Twitter)

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

State Set For Scorpene Induction: The Indian Navy has drawn up a timeline for induction of the six French-designed Scorpene submarines. The first two vessels are expected to be commissioned by end of the year. Top Navy sources said the Kalvari, the first of the highly-advanced submarines, is set for induction by middle of this year. The submarines are being built at the Mazagon Dock in Mumbai with technology from French defence major DCNS under a project called P-75 at a cost of around $ 3.5 billion.

Why Is Prajapati Still A Minister, Governor Asks Akhilesh Yadav: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was taken to task by Governor Ram Naik on Sunday over the absconding minister Gayatri Prajapati, who is accused of rape. Naik asked the Chief Minister, why Prajapati was still in his cabinet despite grave charges being levelled against him. "His continuation as minister raises serious questions on the constitutional and moral values of a democratic set-up," Naik said.

Another Talaq On WhatsApp: In another shocker highlighting the rising trend of doling out ‘talaq’ via the internet, a New York-based Indian has divorced his wife in Hyderabad on WhatsApp. Moghalpura police said that Hussain Quraishi sent her a WhatsApp message saying “talaq” three times, following family disputes. Mahreen Noor got married to Usman Qureshi in 2015. Her sister-in-law, Heena Fatima, who is married to Usman’s elder brother, Syed Fayazuddin, went through a divorce in a similar manner six months ago.

RBI Says PIL Can’t Challenge Financial Decisions: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has argued that a public interest litigation (PIL) cannot be used as a "weapon to challenge financial or economic decisions". It urged the Delhi High Court to dismiss a PIL against surcharge on credit/debit card transactions. The PIL has challenged the surcharge levied by the banks and the financial institutions on credit and debit card transactions saying it is "illegal" and "discriminatory" and wants the court to intervene.

New Bill Seeks Quota For Gilgit-PoK Residents In Parliament: A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of parliament has moved a bill seeking to reserve seats in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for the people of Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). In a bid to give momentum to the demand for creating political space for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in legislative institutions, the bill moved by Nishikant Dubey has been listed to be introduced in the second part of Budget session beginning 9 March.

Kashmiri Pandits Seek Review Of Their Rehabilitation Policy: The Union government was urged on Sunday to take a fresh view of its policy for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley. Organisations, such as Youth All India Kashmir Samaj, Panun Kashmir, KP Joint Action and others have claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party-Peoples Democratic Party government in Jammu and Kashmir “failed” to ensure safety of 1,800 Kashmiri Pandit employees under the Prime Minister’s special package announced for the displaced community’s return to homeland.

India Adding Internet Users At Great Speed: A report by software firm Adobe said on Sunday that India accounted for more than half of the 500-million new internet users globally who have come on board in the last three years. “India has a strong position in driving momentum of smartphones and number of new internet users globally and in the Asia Pacific region,” said Mobile Adobe Digital Insights Report. India was followed by China and Indonesia that accounted for 97.4 million and 15.7 million new internet visitors respectively, it added.

Steel Flyover Scrapping: Bengaluru Residents Seek Alternative Plan: Following Karnataka government’s decision to scrap a steel flyover project in Bengaluru, a group of citizens staged a demonstration demanding an alternative plan to decongest the road that connects the city with its international airport and surrounding areas. The demonstrators said they were not adamant about the steel flyover, but want some alternative arrangements to be made to ease the traffic.

Aadhaar Data Safe, Says UIDAI: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has said that personal data of individuals held under Aadhaar is secure and there has been no misuse of biometrics leading to identity theft or financial loss. The UIDAI statement comes amidst concerns about data breaches in Aadhaar when the government is pushing digital transactions. The fear of data theft was spurred by a reported case regarding Axis Bank, Mudra and eSuvidha.

China Defence Spending Boost: China’s Finance Ministry sources have confirmed that the country’s annual defence budget is set to hit $150 billion for the first time in 2017. It is three times India’s planned defence spending for the fiscal year. This comes after a 7 per cent increase was announced by National People’s Congress spokesperson Fu Ying. In comparison, in the fiscal year starting April, India plans to spend 3.6 lakh crore rupees or $51 billion.

India Raises Concerns Over US Hate Crimes: India has raised concerns over hate crimes with US authorities following three high-profile attacks on Indians in America in the last 10 days. Two of these attacks are being investigated as possible hate crimes that have triggered fears about travel to the country and the safety of the community. The US State Department has assured "speedy justice", the Indian embassy in Washington said.

MUST READ OP-EDS

There Is A Need To Analyse, Improve India’s Electoral System: We need to understand, analyse and improve our electoral mechanism once again. For we hold so many elections – panchayats to Lok Sabha ­– where the tallest leaders resort to public mudslinging every few months.

The Political Economy Of India’s Bad Bank: Many stakeholders have been sceptical of using the RBI’s equity capital to fund the NPAs of public sector banks. A bad bank should not get labelled in public discourse as a government ‘bailout’ of crony capitalists.

Beware The Ides Of March: Results of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur will be declared on 11 March. They have the potential to be a benchmark moment in Indian politics.

The Geopolitics Of Environmental Issues: Just as natural resource insecurity can cause displacement and vulnerability, effective natural resource management can support conflict resolution and sustainable development.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

When Lord Jagannath Witnessed The Great Maratha Devotion: Architects of many victories, the new rulers not only pulled out Orissa and Jagannath Puri from the cruel jaws of demolition and destruction, they infused religious and cultural vigour into the vibrant temple life.

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

SUBSCRIBE NOW: The March issue of our magazine is out now. The cover story focuses on the growth of intelligence in machines. Can man evolve and adapt himself to co-exist with this new “Species”? Or are we heading towards Anarchy? – Future Shock. Get a copy home and enjoy reading Swarajya in print. Subscribe here to start receiving your copies for just Rs 349.

Swarajya Apps: Enjoy reading this morning brief and all articles from Swarajya on your mobile. Download our Android and iOS Apps.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

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.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Advertisement