News Updates

21 December, 2018 - 27 Decemeber, 2018
  • 2019 Lok Sabha polls: BJP appoints campaign managers for 17 States. BJP president Amit Shah made large scale appointments of poll managers for 17 States in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The most significant was the appointment of former Gujarat minister and sometime dissident against Prime Minister Modi, Govardhan Zadaphia, as in charge of Uttar Pradesh. (The Hindu, 26 December, 2018)
  • PM Modi inaugurated longest rail-cum-road bridge on December 25. India's longest 4.94-km-long strategically important rail-cum-road bridge over the mighty Brahmaputra at Bogibeel in Assam was inaugurated by Modi. The Bogibeel Bridge, which was a part of the Assam Accord and sanctioned in 1997-98, is likely to play a crucial role in defence movement along the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. (Times of India, 25 December 2018)
  • India Takes Over Iran's Strategic Chabahar Port. India has formally taken over operations at Iran's strategic Chabahar Port, a move that could have significant geopolitical ramifications in the region. The port on the Indian Ocean, is being built largely by India and is expected to provide a key supply route for Afghanistan while allowing India to bypass rival Pakistan to trade with Central Asia. The Port had been granted the lease for "a temporary period of 18 months and a ten-year period afterwards." (Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, 25 December 2018)
08 December, 2018 - 14 Decemeber, 2018
  • India, Russia discuss measures to boost joint production in defence. (The Hindu, 13 Dec, 2018)
  • Setback to BJP in Hindi heartland. Tuesday’s counting of votes for the three States of the so-called “Hindi heartland” saw the Congress winning big in Chhattisgarh, forming the government in Rajasthan and staking claim to form the government in Madhya Pradesh as it inches ahead of the BJP (counting was still on at the time of writing), and a reversal of fortunes for the BJP that will have ramifications for national politics. (The Hindu, 11 Dec, 2018)
  • Kartarpur corridor a conspiracy hatched by Pakistan Army, says Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh. (Hindustan Times, 9 Dec, 2018)
01 November, 2018 - 07 Decemeber, 2018
  • US general addresses Pakistan concerns on India’s role in Afghanistan: Two key elements of an Afghan peace deal — Pakistan’s concerns over India’s growing influence in Afghanistan and what the US could do to allay those concerns — were both highlighted at a congressional hearing this week.Lt Gen Kenneth McKenzie, the next chief of the US Central Command (Centcom), raised both points in a written response to the US Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing the other day. He also said that as Centcom chief, he “will make Pakistan a priority engagement”. (Dawn, 7.12.2018)
  • A blow to India's 'liberal democracy' and secular status: The decision to put Abhijit Iyer-Mitra in prison for cracking jokes smacks of petty vindictiveness and damages India's already wobbly reputation as a liberal democracy. Free speech appears to be in peril all around: journalists have been arrested, independent media has been under attack, internet shutdowns have become common, and cases of defamation, sedition and censorship are on the rise. He also appeared to have become a pawn in a political game involving a prominent local MP who had fallen foul of the state's chief minister. When he made his "objectionable" video, Mr Iyer-Mitra was a guest of Baijayant "Jay" Panda, a former member of parliament who was forced out of Orissa by chief minister Naveen Patnaik's political party. Many believe Mr Patnaik was looking to embarrass Mr Panda and the video came in handy to do just that. (BBC- 7.12.2018)
  • Modi government trying to weaken democracy: Manmohan. (The Hindu, 21 Nov 2018)
  • Amnesty holds protests outside Indian High Commission in London: Amnesty International UK has written to British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, urging the government to raise urgent concerns around human rights and the “politically motivated restrictions” placed on NGOs such as Amnesty India and Greenpeace India with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. They also held a protest outside the Indian High Commission in central London on Friday. In the letter sent earlier this week, the British government is urged to seek assurances from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the NGOs could ‘resume their operations unhindered by politically motivated restrictions” after both organisations’ India operations had had their accounts frozen while authorities “deliberately attempted to tarnish their reputation through government-affiliated media”. The letter also raises concerns around human rights matters in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. “We want to shed light on the politically motivated action against us that is a direct result of the work we have been carrying on exposing human rights abuses,” said Ellie Kennedy, a campaigner at Amnesty International UK, at the protest. “We are trying to leverage consulates and embassies to stop this crackdown on human rights organisations.” (The Hindu: 30 Nov, 2018)
  • Pakistan FM scored self-goal with ‘googly’ remark, says New Delhi. (The Hindu- 30 Nov.2018)
  • Kartarpur corridor won’t help with talks: Dal Khalsa. (The Hindu- 30 Nov, 2018)
  • Pakistan must turn secular, says Army chief Bipin Rawat. (The Hindu- 30 Nov, 2018)
  • Rahul Gandhi sent me to Pakistan: Sidhu. (The Hindu- 30 Nov, 2018)
  • Buddhist activist says he received death threats from Sainiks: Vineet Maurya, a Buddhist petitioner in the Ayodhya title suit case, on Wednesday claimed that he had received death threats. Police was investigating the matter after Mr. Maurya filed a complaint at the Ram Janmabhooomi police station, near the disputed site in the Uttar Pradesh town.
    In his complaint, Mr. Maurya alleged that he a had received death threats from an anonymous mobile number. The caller also had allegedly insulted his family. "He said that 3,000 Shiv sainiks have come from Mumbai and are looking for me," said Mr. Maurya in his police complaint. Station House Officer Ram Janmabhooomi police station S.K. Yadav confirmed that he received a complaint from Mr. Yadav. However, an FIR was yet to be lodged. "We are still probing the matter," said Mr. Yadav.(The Hindu- 30 Nov, 2018)
  • PM Modi defends demonetization. (The Hindu, 12 Nov, 2018)

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