Get Wired 22/8: Hope for FTII, Muttaz Killed, Woods and Wyndham, and More

Meeting with I&B ministry officials raise hopes for FTII students

Three members  from the I&B ministry visited the campus of the Film and Television Institute of India on Friday. The I&B ministry delegation, comprised S.M. Khan (Registrar of Newspapers of India), S. Naganathan (Joint Secretary in the ministry) and Anshu Shukla (director, films). The delegation spoke at length with all stakeholders (faculty, staff and students). One suggestion was that the Union Cabinet should approve the proposed Central University status for FTII on a priority basis. “It can actually break the current deadlock, bring in more accountability in the system and automatically bring FTII under academic rules and regulations as mandated by UGC, NAAC and other bodies”, said Indranil Bhattacharya, a faculty member. Details of the discussions remain undisclosed as of now.

AP farmers protest land acquisition

The Andhra Pradesh government issued a notice for land acquisition in the Vijaywada-Guntur region despite protests by farmer groups and opposition parties. Guntur District Collector Kantilal Dande issued acquisition notification for 904 acres of land under 29 villages. The government already possesses 33,000 acres in 29 villages under its “land-pooling scheme” that ended on February 28. Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana said that the state is planning to acquire an additional 25,000 acres under the Land Acquisition Act. Narayana also stated that so far the land pooling scheme has been better and that is the reason that the government did not initiate land acquisition earlier. Farmer groups had organised protests across the region Yesterday.

Hurriyat says will meet Aziz come what may

The Kashimiri Separatist group has said that India cancelling the bilateral talks with Pakistan over their meeting is India’s “unrealistic approach”. Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani’s spokesman Ayaz Akbar said the meeting between Geelani and Aziz is scheduled for August 24 at 9.30 am at Pakistan House, Tilak Marg, New Delhi. In addition, Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Democratic Freedom Party chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah both stated that they intended to meet Aziz on Sunday.

Amrinder Singh sits on Dharna outside Punjab CM’s house

Senior Congress leader Amrinder Singh and other leaders of the party held a demonstration outside Punjab CM Praksh Singh Badal’s house on Friday. The demonstration was regarding issues surrounding sugarcane growers in the state. Responding to opposition grievances Badal said that pending payment by cooperative sugar mills for the last crushing season of sugarcane growers was about Rs.540 crore, out of which Rs.450 crore had been given to the farmers. The pending amount he stated would be given in September. He also mentioned Rs.230 crore was pending from private sugar mills. “The matter is sub judice and the hearing is on September 10”, he said.

AIADMK seeks Modi’s intervention

48 AIADMK MPs met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday to seek his intervention in putting an end to the month-long strike by the workers of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), a Central Government company. About 12,000 workers have been on strike since the 20th of July demanding a 24% wage increase, while the NLC agreed only to  10%. The delegation later met with Power, Coal and Renewable energy Minister Piyush Goyal who said steps would be taken to resolve the issue. A separate meeting was also held between Goyal and CPI leader D. Raja. Mr. Raja demanded that the Neyveli Lignite Corporation authorities must revoke the suspension orders and have the protesting workers back on payrolls.

Haji Muttaz killed by US drone strike

Second in command of the Islamic State Haji Muttaz was reportedly killed in a drone strike near the Iraqi city Mosul on August 18, US National Security Council spokesperson yesterday. Muttaz was a former al-Qaeda member who most recently served under Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Greek elections seem likely as parties struggle to form government

Following PM Tsipras’s resignation, the opposition party launched efforts to form a new government but made no progress. This would imply another election in September. It will be the third time this year that Greeks vote, after January elections and a July 5 referendum on reforms that creditors were proposing during bailout negotiations. Hardline lawmakers in Tsipras’s radical left Syriza party announced on they were splitting from the party and forming their own anti-austerity movement.

Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in for fourth time

United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Prime Minister for the fourth time yesterday. Wickremesinghe, has been a Member of Parliament since 1977, and first became the prime minister May 1993 after the then incumbent D.B. Wijetunga was made President, post the assassination of R. Premadasa. Kabir Hashim and Duminda Dissanayake, general secretaries of the UNP and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) respectively, signed an agreement to form a government on Friday.

Tiger Woods makes a comeback at Wyndham

After a year of poor form, Tiger Woods tied for the Wyndham Championship lead on Friday. This is the first time Woods has held an end-of-round lead since he won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in August 2013.