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5. Who was the first male cricketer to score 10,000 runs in Tests?


LIC IPO opens for retail investors; PM Modi meets French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris; NTAGI to review data of Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 5-12 years; Union home minister Amit Shah on three-day visit to West Bengal, his first after 2021 assembly polls; IPL 2022 – RCB Vs CSK at MCA stadium

1. Communal tensions in Rajasthan, second time in a month
Communal tensions gripped Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s hometown Jodhpur hours before Eid on Tuesday, the second such incident in the state in a month.

Curfew imposed

  • A curfew was imposed till May 4 midnight in 10 police station areas and mobile internet services were suspended to check the spread of rumours.

The trigger

  • The tensions broke out past midnight after Eid flags were put up at the Jalori gate circle. The situation was brought under control with heavy deployment of police but the tensions escalated in the morning after prayers at an Eidgah.
  • The issue snowballed into stone-pelting and clashes, in which 16 people including four policemen were injured. Police had to lob tear gas shells to disperse the mob.

Political heat

  • While the chief minister has appealed to people to maintain peace and harmony, the opposition BJP turned the heat up on the Congress-led government over the law and order situation. Assembly polls are due in the state in 2023.
  • The BJP alleged an Islamic flag was put up alongside the statue of freedom fighter Balmukund Bissa at a roundabout replacing a saffron flag that had been installed there on the occasion of Parshuram Jayanti.
  • This is the second such incident in Rajasthan after the Karauli violence, which erupted on April 2 when some people hurled stones at a bike rally being taken out by Hindu outfits on the occasion of Nav Samvatsar.

In Maharashtra…

  • Meanwhile, the police in Aurangabad registered an offence against MNS chief Raj Thackeray over his speech against loudspeakers on mosques, following which some party leaders slammed the Maharashtra government and said they will hit the streets in case of further action against their party head. More details here
2. What’s on offer in India’s largest IPO?
  • Size matters: At Rs 20,557 crore, the Life Insurance Corporation’s (LIC) initial public offering (IPO) which opens for the retail investors today is certainly the biggest till date and is also the first to enter the market with Rs 20,000-crore or more issue, which, at its listing on May 17, will command a market capital of Rs 6 lakh crore — possibly the highest for any stock listing.
  • At stake: The IPO offers 22.13 crore shares for a 3.5% stake in the world’s 10th largest insurer by total assets. Of these, half the shares are reserved for qualified institutional buyers (QIB), 15% for non-institutional investors and 35% will be offered to retail investors. 15.81 lakh shares are reserved for employees while 2.21 crore shares are reserved for policy holders.
  • Who pays what: The IPO is priced between Rs 902-949 per share with investors allowed to bid in lot sizes of 15 shares and multiples thereof — which means, at the upper end of the price band, an investor needs to invest a minimum of Rs 14,235. Retail investors and employees get a discount of Rs 45 per share while policyholders are entitled to a discount of Rs 60 per share. The anchor investor portion, which opened on Monday, has already been fully subscribed, raising Rs 5,620 crore.
  • Game of thrones: While the LIC IPO (at $2.7 billion) certainly dwarfs in size the Paytm IPO, which, at Rs 18,300 crore, is now relegated to the second spot, it’s not the largest in this calendar year — which was LG Energy Solution’s $10.8 billion IPO. It’s also a far cry from Saudi Aramco’s $25.6 billion IPOsnatch away LIC’s crown as India’s largest IPO.
3. Wheat procurement struggles to meet Centre’s target as temperatures rise
  • Shrivelling up: Against a target of 444 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat procurement set by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for the current Rabi season, only 36.5% wheat has been procured so far, as of May 1, according to FCI data. The main reason being cited is the shrivelling of the grain due to the unusually high temperatures in March, just when the wheat crop is ready to be harvested. That has also played a spoiler in the Centre’s plan to cash in on an expected rise in global wheat prices following the adverse impact of the Russian invasion on wheat exports from Ukraine, which produces 20% of the world’s high grade wheat.
  • Silver lining: Ironically, Punjab, whose farmers were at the forefront of the year long agitation against the three farm laws that were eventually repealed by the Centre — and who were constantly lambasted by the extreme right wing elements in the government — has contributed the highest to the central granary, with 55% of the wheat procured, amounting to 89 LMT of the total 162 LMT procured by the FCI.
  • Scorched earth: Even Punjab’s contribution is 67.42% of its procurement target of 132 LMT, with Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board (PSAMB) officials expecting total procurement to reach only up to 105 LMT. Other states fared worse — Madhya Pradesh, the second largest wheat producer, managed to contribute just 25.55% its FCI procurement target of 129 LMT while Uttar Pradesh managed to procure just 2% of its target of 60 LMT while Haryana (managed to procure 43.48% of its target of 89 LMT and Rajasthan has not even managed to procure 1 LMT out of its target of 23 LMT.
4. India falls further in World Press Freedom ranking
  • India dropped eight places to 150 — out of 180 countries — on the World Press Freedom Index compiled by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) for 2022. The index’s report notes that “with an average of three or four journalists killed in connection with their work every year, India is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media.” In the current year alone, it states, while one journalist has been killed, another 13 are behind bars.
  • In fact in the last 20 years, India, which was ranked 80th on the index in 2002, has seen its press freedom ranking progressively plummet. The country profile by RSF on India also says that “the Indian press used to be seen as fairly progressive but things changed radically in the mid-2010s, when Narendra Modi became prime minister and engineered a spectacular rapprochement between his party, the BJP, and the big families dominating the media.”
  • Terming the Indian press as “a colossus with feet of clay”, RSF adds that Indian “journalists are exposed to all kinds of physical violence including police violence, ambushes by political activists, and deadly reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt local officials” by “supporters of Hindutva” with the situation “very worrisome in Kashmir where reporters are often harassed by police and paramilitaries.”
6. India-Denmark green partnership to get a boost
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen on Tuesday reviewed progress of the India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership and also exchanged views on regional and global issues. He arrived in Copenhagen from Germany.

Green pact

  • Discussions covered cooperation in renewable energy, especially offshore wind energy and green hydrogen, as well as skill development, health, shipping, water and the Arctic, among others.
  • Later, addressing the Indian community in Denmark, Modi said Indians have had no role in harming the planet and the need of the hour is to promote “lifestyle for environment”.
  • The India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership was established during a virtual summit in September 2020. This partnership was translated into a result-oriented five-year action plan during then-PM Frederiksen’s India visit in October 2021.

Key deals

  • On Tuesday, several agreements covering sectors such as green shipping, animal husbandry and dairying, water management, energy, cultural exchange were inked after the bilateral talks.

Business ties

  • Over 200 Danish companies in India are actively engaged in taking forward ‘Make in India’, ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, ‘Digital India’ and other key national missions.
  • More than 60 Indian companies in Denmark, mainly in the IT sector, are further cementing bilateral business-to-business ties. Denmark is home to a robust Indian diaspora of 16,000 people.
7. This NE state issues IDs to Myanmar refugees
The Mizoram government has issued temporary identity cards to more than 29,000 Myanmar refugees who have taken shelter in the northeastern state following a military coup in the neighbouring country and subsequent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, state home minister Lalchamliana said.


  • In a rare move, Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga had last year defied a central government order asking NE states not to give shelter to refugees from Myanmar. Mizoram shares a 510-km unfenced border with the Southeast Asian nation.
  • India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol, and does not officially accord refugee status to foreigners.
  • The CM then wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that “it was not possible for Mizoram to refuse shelter to our own brethren who fled Myanmar fearing for their lives”. He also highlighted that the Mizo people have ethnic ties with those seeking shelter in the state.

The latest move

  • The temporary identity certificates issued to the refugees contain details such as name of the bearer, father’s name, date of birth, place of origin, present address in Mizoram.
  • The majority of the refugees are Chins, who share the same ancestry, ethnicity and culture with the Mizo people.
8. Putin’s health fuels fresh speculation
Vladimir Putin’s health continues to fuel speculation in the western media with rumours doing the rounds that the Russian President may be suffering from either Parkinson’s disease or cancer. There has also been gossip about a potential handing over of power in the event of his hospitalisation even as Russian troops continue their assaults on neighbouring Ukraine.

Cancer or Parkinson’s?

  • The 69-year-old leader might undergo a cancer surgery following his doctors’ advice, according to multiple reports that are yet to be verified. The anticipated surgery and recovery are expected to incapacitate Putin for “a short time”, the New York Post reported citing a Telegram channel purportedly run by a former Russian intelligence official.
  • The NYP report also claimed that Putin, a former operative of the Soviet spy agency, KGB, had been seen by a cancer doctor 35 times in recent years and that he had undergone a surgery last autumn.
  • The UK daily, Mirror, on the other hand, speculated that Putin has “some kind of central nervous system condition, such as Parkinson’s”, based on a video emerged in February in which the Russian leader is seen holding one hand to his chest while the other is held in a fist during a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.
  • While Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said he could not verify these reports, it is quite unlikely that the Kremlin would comment on these speculations.

In his absence…

  • Putin’s loyalist Nikolai Patrushev, currently serving as the secretary of the country’s Security Council, may be temporarily given power to run the show, according to some unverified reports. The President apparently had a two-hour “heart-to-heart” conversation with Patrushev a few days ago.
  • The Security Council is an influential body that answers directly to Putin and issues guidance on military and security issues within Russia.
  • Like Putin, Patrushev is a career Russian intelligence agent, first with the KGB, then later with the Russian FSB.
9. US Chief Justice orders investigation into abortion ‘judgement’ leak
Confirming the authenticity of the draft majority opinion published by Politico on Monday, which suggests that the US Supreme Court is set to overturn a nearly 50 year abortion law that granted women the right to abort, the US Chief Justice John Roberts said he has “directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.”

Caught with pants down?

  • The draft judgement, authored by Justice Samuel Alto, seeks to overturn the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling in the Roe vs Wade case which granted pregnant women the right to choose to have an abortion — overturning laws in some states such as Texas which made abortion illegal except if the pregnancy endangered a women’s life. Alto, in the draft, says that the 1973 judgement “was egregiously wrong from the start.”
  • While Roberts termed the leak “a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court”, the court’s public affairs office tried some damage control, saying the draft “does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.” The final decision of the judges is expected in end-June.

Political tremors

  • US President Joe Biden, who blasted the draft as “radical”, said that if “it becomes the law, and if what is written is what remains, it goes far beyond the concern of whether or not there is the right to choose” — adding that it could set a precedent for other judgements as well, such as the recognition to same sex marriage in 2015.
  • The leak of the draft has expectedly sent tremors among Democrats as they square up for the Congressional elections due later this year, with Republicans likely to wrest back control of the 435-member House of Representatives. The draft has also angered several women’s and abortion rights activists, who have called on the Democrats to “do something.”

Sunil Gavaskar. The former Indian opener, who scored 34 Test centuries, returned a 21,348 sq ft plot of land in Bandra Reclamation to the state government after 33 years for failing to build an indoor cricket academy. The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) had in 2019 sought to take back possession of the land, allotted to Sunil Gavaskar Cricket Foundation Trust.

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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Tejeesh Nippun Singh, Jayanta Kalita
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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