Syed Ali Gilani calls ISIS, Boko Haram, Tehreek-e-Taliban un-Islamic
Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani described ISIS, Boko Haram, Tehreek-e-Taliban and other similar organisations as un-Islamic. In the statements given in Srinagar Geelani expressed concern over the growth of sects and other sub-divisions within Islam. He described the actions of such organisations as being against the best characters and moral principles of Islam, and described the groups as being plots hatched by the West to divide the Muslims in very small states. Geelani also expressed surprise over the support for RSS within Kashmir, describing it as a Fascist organisation seeking to convert India into a Hindu state.
Sushma Swaraj inaugurates 16th World Sanskrit Conference in Bangkok
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the 16th World Sanskrit Conference in Bangkok on Sunday. In her inaugural address the minister stressed on the need to propagate Sanskrit describing it as a language that purifies the minds of the people and thus sanctifies the whole world. Comparing the language to the river Ganga she said that both Ganga and Sanskrit are sacred by themselves and sanctify all that come into contact with them. The conference will last for five days and is being attended by scholars from 60 countries, the Minister also announced that a post of Joint Secretary for Sanskrit has been created in the external affairs ministry in order to propagate the language.
Government to set up museum and research center for the mythical river Saraswati
The government has decided to set-up a museum and research center for the river Saraswati in order to boost religious tourism and build a multidisciplinary research on the river. As announced by the Union Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma the museum is to be set up in Mugalwali Village and the Saraswati Udgam Sthal at Adibadri in the Yamunanagar district of Haryana. The minister also announced plans to bring Kurukshetra on the global tourist map and to set up a virtual museum for the Saraswati river.
Kalyan Singh calls for removal of the suffix ‘great’ from Akbar’s name
The Governor of Rajasthan Kalyan Singh has called for the removal of the suffix great from Akbar’s name at the Bhamashah Samman Samaroh in Jaipur on Sunday. The former Chief Minister of UP stated that Akbar was an outsider who did no service to the nation. In light of the statements given by the Union Home Minister Rajanath Singh who had equated Akbar’s greatness to that of Maharana Pratap, Kalyan Singh state that the Rajput ruler of Mewar was truly great unlike Akbar.
Industrial expansion on agricultural land made simpler by Maharashtra Government
The Maharashtra government has eased the rules for industrial use of agricultural land as a part of its Make in Maharashtra push. The government has hiked building rights on farm land and also dropped the requirement to convert agricultural land to non-agricultural use. Officials have stated that the move will shorten the time taken for this process and work around the bureaucratic set up obstructing industrial growth on the outskirts of cities. Critics of the move warn that it will lead to reckless expansion of industry on farm land, as a crucial level of scrutiny has been removed.
Police verification to be compulsory for the yearly renewal of PIB cards
The Home Ministry has issued a diktat making police verification compulsory for the renewal of Press Information Bureau (PIB) cards every year. The card is proof that the journalist is accredited with the PIB which is a status that allows them easy access to many government offices. The move comes after the bureau failed to provide a list of renewals to the Home Ministry for the year 2015 despite it being the rule, 2,500 journalists got accredited this year without any home ministry approval. Krishna Prasad, editor-in-chief of Outlook magazine has described the move as being Orwellian.
Special Public Prosecutor comes out in open criticism of NIA
Special Public Prosecutor for the National Investigation Agency Rohini Salian has come out in open criticism of its handling of the Malegaon blasts case and other ‘Hindu’ terror acts. Salian has stated that the NIA has failed to add a single piece of new evidence in the Malegaon Blasts Case and has not moved forward at all. The failure of the investigative agency to collect new evidence is especially shocking in light of the fact that prime accused Aseemanand has already confessed to the involvement of Hindu radical groups in the Samjhauta, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts in 2006. The NIA has insinuated that Salian was making up the allegations since the agency was planning to remove her owing to her failure to perform.
Corporate profit not apace with GDP
For the fifth consecutive year India Inc’s profit-to-GDP ratio has fallen, slipping to 4.1% in the year ended March 31, which is substantially lower than the 10 year average of 5.3%. The ratio which is indicative of the comparison between corporate profit and GDP has been in the range of 9-12% in developed economies and 5-8% in emerging economies. The reason behind the low operating profit is the disparity between the growth rate of revenue and operating expenses, owing to loss in pricing power. Operating profit margins of BSE 500 companies are at a decade low of 18.18% as compared to the 10 year average of 21%. Top brokerages though are indicating that corporate earning in India are at the beginning of a recovery cycle and these figures are set to improve in the coming years.
BJP works on a three-point formula for Land Bill compromise
The BJP is mulling over a three-point compromise formula to placate the opposition to its contentious amendments to the 2013 Land Acquisition Act. The bill which is currently with the joint committee of the Parliament has faced opposition not only from opposition parties but also allies like the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Sangh Parivar outfits. The Sangh Parivar has insisted that the consent clause must not be diluted below 51% of the people affected by the acquisition whereas the BJP has decided to do away with the requirement for consent altogether as even getting the consent of 51% of affected stakeholders will be a tall task. The BJP under its three point formula has proposed the concept of Reverse-Consent under which if 30% of the affected people say no to the acquisition it will be cancelled. It has also suggested that the Social Impact assessment of land acquisition should be carried out by the District-level authority. The government is also working on a national land use policy to incorporate the concerns of all farmers.
Yoga made compulsory for paramilitary
The Government has made Yoga compulsory for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) by making it a part of their daily physical exercise. It has also sought a compliance report from each force. In a circular issued on May 26 by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Director Generals of all seven paramilitary forces the DGs were asked to issue instructions to all field operations to include Yoga as a part of their training exercise and to submit a report of the same to the ministry. The move has been called a welcome step by some while others described it as being impractical.
Zambian national dies after being denied visa by Pakistan
A Zambian woman died under mysterious circumstances in an Amritsar hospital on Saturday a day after she was denied entry into Pakistan and returned to India in a semi-conscious state. The death is being investigated by the police. The SSP of Amritsar has stated that the woman seeking entry into Pakistan did not have a visa, but after Indian authorities contacted their Pakistani counterparts they agreed to grant her visa on arrival. However, when she crossed over Pakistan refused to grant her visa, and owing to the Indian side having closed the woman spent the night somewhere on the Pakistan side of the border, on June 26 she was handed over to Indian authorities in a semi-conscious state and was rushed to the hospital where she died.
The case for liberalising urea imports
Farmers in India are facing an acute shortage of urea owing to the government decision of having it ‘canalised’ through the State Trading Corporation, MMTC and Indian Potash Ltd.. The deep seated impact of this decision was apparent during the last Rabi season which saw farmers scrambling for urea. The practice has also resulted in the farmers having to pay more than the MRP and many still failing to secure sufficient quantities of urea owing to the shortage created by the government not undertaking imports sufficiently ahead of Rabi plantings. Urea not being a fissile or sensitive item from a national security point of view there is no apparent justification for its import through the State Trading Enterprises. As such the farmers and taxpayers are paying for the inefficiency of the STEs and domestic growers who create the shortage and whose interests are being protected.