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Daily Briefing: PM Modi targets corruption, nepotism in I-Day speech; Taliban celebrates one year since Afghanistan takeover


The Big Story

Devoid of announcements on any social sector schemes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech focused on the big picture, and dwelt on the ideas for the future, urging people to embrace self-reliance in spirit and action. He framed his political argument on two pillars, spelling out a five-point “pran” (commitment/ resolve) for the ensuing 25 years, and the twin challenges of “corruption” and “dynasty politics and nepotism” confronting the nation.

Only in The Express

To celebrate the first anniversary of their takeover of Afghanistan, hundreds of Taliban fighters took to the streets of Kabul, riding in open pick-up trucks, holding automatic guns and waving their group’s white-and-black flags. But few civilians, either on the streets or indoors, took part in the celebrations — and no women at all. However, a small group of women reportedly met in secret at a house in Kabul to mark their protest and pledged to continue their resistance against the Taliban.

While the family of the Dalit boy who died after he was allegedly beaten up by his upper-caste teacher for drinking water from a pot meant for the teacher, Rajasthan police have maintained that their investigation so far hasn’t revealed any caste angle. The teacher also found support from his staff, some of them Dalits, who say no drinking water pot was kept in the building. The boy’s family, however, alleged that the Dalit teachers of the school were under pressure and had no option but to back the teacher, who is also their employer.

On August 26, when Justice N V Ramana retires as Chief Justice of India (CJI), he will be leaving at a time when high court judge vacancies are down to their lowest level since 2016. The Supreme Court collegium led by him made more than 250 recommendations for high courts. During CJI Ramana’s tenure, the collegium also made 11 judge recommendations for the Supreme Court. The list included, for the first time, three women — Justices Hima Kohli, B V Nagarathna and Bela Trivedi. Justice Nagarathna is in line to be the first woman CJI in 2027.

From the Front Page

Bilkis Bano, who was pregnant at the time, was gangraped and her three-year-old daughter Saleha was among 14 killed by a mob during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Of the 13 convicts, 11 were sentenced to life imprisonment on the charge of gangrape and murder. Now, the 11 have been freed from a Godhra sub-jail on Independence Day after a state government panel approved their application for remission of sentence.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in his Independence Day speech said that the state government would try to create over 20 lakh jobs within and outside the government. This comes as conversations at village chaupals, and tea and paan shops remain dominated by berozgari (unemployment) – a long-standing grouse against the government – post the recent political churn in the state.

Must Read

PSUs across sectors from banking to energy continued to witness a shrinking of their headcount, an analysis of annual reports shows. Among the top 15 listed PSUs by market capitalisation, barring SBI Life Insurance, IRCTC, and LIC (not yet reported its numbers for the year-ended March 31, 2022), all companies have been reporting a decline in the number of employees for the past several years.

The Centre’s DigiYatra initiative, piloted at the Delhi airport, envisages that travellers pass through various checkpoints at the airport through paperless and contactless processing, using facial features to establish their identity. We explain how DigiYatra works, which airports will implement it, and how.

Opining about India’s foreign policy as it moves towards becoming “viksit Bharat” (developed India), C Raja Mohan writes: “Deterring the dangers from across the Western frontier must remain a major priority until Pakistan is ready for a productive relationship with India. Meanwhile, Delhi must continue to build on the recent good work in overcoming the bitter legacies of Partition in the east – including the settlement of the boundary dispute with Bangladesh.”

And Finally…

Cricket was at the heart of an early struggle over the rights of citizenry. As a new Governor from England, Lord Harris – a former cricket captain – arrived in Bombay in 1891, Indians petitioned him to reserve the land used by Britishers to play polo for cricket alone. Harris resolved the conflict by allotting land, ‘reclaimed’ from the sea for the exclusive use of native Indian cricketers. We trace the history of the polo vs cricket fight, the birth of Pentangular cricket tournament and its eventual disbanding.

Delhi confidential: More than 5 crore Tiranga selfies have been uploaded on the Har Ghar Tiranga website from across India and the world. The website saw a huge draw because of its feature that allowed people to digitally ‘pin a flag’ at a location based on their IP.

In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we talk about the death of a 9-year-old Dalit boy in Rajasthan, India’s concerns over a Chinese vessel docking at a Sri Lankan port and the attack on Salman Rushdie.

Until tomorrow,
Leela Prasad and Sonal Gupta

Business As Usual by EP Unny





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