Newsletter May 2, 2018










In the latest round of the tussle between the Supreme Court and the government, the Collegium, consisting of the five most senior judges of the apex court, is expected to reiterate this afternoon the name of Justice K M Joseph, Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court.

His name was returned to the Supreme Court by the government last week after a delay of more than three months.

One of the Collegium members, Justice Kurian Joseph had on Mondayntold the Indian Express: “The Collegium might have to reiterate its recommendation furnishing facts and figures and citing precedent which have not been put in perspective by the government when it returned his name.””

On Tuesday, the Indian Express reported that a top government functionary expressed “surprise” that a “possible decision” on reiterating Justice K M Joseph’s name had already been taken before the collegium meeting.

At least six judges of the apex court are said to have conveyed their concerns to the CJI about the government’s response to Justice Kurian Joseph’s statement about the likely decision of the collegium. These judges felt that Justice Kurian Joseph had not done anything improper to draw such a sharp rebuke from the government which itself has not been following any of the established norms in dealing with the judiciary





Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Karnataka yesterday, doing what he does best – addressing an election rally to build BJP momentum for the assembly elections.

“The Congress president recently challenged me saying that if he speaks for 15 minutes in Parliament, I will not be able to sit. Him talking for 15 minutes is a big thing and I wonder what a scene it would be,’’ Modi said in Santhemarahalli in Chamarajanagar district.

“It is true we will not be able to sit when he talks that is because he is naamdaar (a dynast) and we are kaamdaar (ordinary workers). What right do we workers have to sit in front of you? We cannot even wear good clothes. These things do not hurt us because we have been subjugated for years.”

Modi also countered Rahul with a challenge of his own and asked the Congress president to list out the achievements of the Karnataka government in a 15-minute speech.

“Forget about me. During this election in Karnataka pick a language of your choice – it can be Hindi or Kannada or even your mother’s mother tongue and then for 15 minutes without holding papers in your hand list out the achievements of your government in Karnataka over the last five years. Let him do this for 15 minutes before the people of Karnataka,’’ he said.

Continuing his attack on Rahul, Modi also referred to a recent incident when Rahul mispronounced the name of famed Karnataka engineer Sir M Visveswaraiah. “Do one small thing as well in the course of the 15-minute speech say the name of Sri Visveswaraiah at least five times and if you do this, people can decide how much value there is in your words,’’ he said.

In a bid to warm up to JD(S) leader HD Devegowda, the PM also said Congress president Rahul Gandhi was disrespectful towards the former prime minister. “I have heard that the Congress president in election rallies has attacked the respected Devegowdaji. Is this your culture?” he said.

Reacting to Modi’s remarks, Siddaramaiah said his comments established the fact that the BJP and JDS are in an alliance for the May 12 polls.

Referring to the Congress decision to field Siddaramaiah from two constituencies and his son from one constituency as “a 2+1” formula invented by the Karnataka Chief Minister.

Tweeting minutes later, Siddaramaiah was quick to call out Modi’s own track record during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when he filed nomination papers from Vadodara in Gujarat and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. “Was it fear that drove you to contest from 2 parliamentary constituencies (Varanasi and Vadodara) Mr PM Narendra Modi? Of course you are a 56 inch man, you would have some clever explanation!”

The Karnataka CM further charged that PM Modi had a “2+1” formulation of his own, which comprises the two graft-accused Reddy brothers and chief minister candidate B S Yeddyurappa.




Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the media’s reluctance to raise questions about railway minister Piyush Goyal’s financial dealings was a tragedy.

“Piyush Goyal’s 48 crore Flashnet scam is about deceit, conflict of interest and greed. The evidence is on the table. Yet, the media will not touch the story,” Rahul tweeted even as his party kept up the attack on the minister.

“It is a tragedy for our country when journalists entrusted to stand for the truth, will not speak,” Rahul added.

The BJP and Goyal have rebutted most of the allegations but the Congress accused them of misleading people.

After Rahul’s scathing tweet, Goyal tweeted: “Till 26th May 2014, before I became a Minister, I was a professional Chartered Accountant & investment banker. Unlike you, Mr Rahul Gandhi, I have not learnt well the art of living without working. I am also a kaamdaar (worker) and not a naamdaar (dynast).”

Goyal appeared to have picked the ” kaamdaar-naamdaar” phrase from a speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an election rally in Karnataka.





On a day PM Narendra Modi prescribed classwork to Congress president Rahul Gandhi as if he were in primary school, young RJD politician Tejashwi Prasad offered the Prime Minister what can be a lesson in dealing with trolls.

After journalist and founder of news website Janta Ka Reporter Rifat Jawaid complained to RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s son Tejashwi and his sister, Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti, about abusive language used by a junior officer-bearer of the RJD, Bihar’s leader of the Opposition on Tuesday sacked the functionary.

In a tweet, Tejashwi said: “Thanks for bringing this in my knowledge. I tender sincere apology to you on his behalf. He has been sacked from his post with immediate effect as Block President of Chatra RJD. We don’t promote or encourage such unsocial elements. Again my apologies.”

Tejashwi’s apology and swift action earned the RJD politician accolades online. People did not miss the opportunity to point out how his response was in sharp contrast to the manner in which the Prime Minister had dealt with trolls who are a part of the Right-wing ecosystem.

Even when the clamour for Modi to at least stop following trolls on Twitter, if not reprimanding them, reached a crescendo last year after one of them celebrated the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, the Prime Minister did not pay heed.

This also caught the attention of Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF). In its World Press Freedom Index – released last week – the RSF noted that “in India (down two at 138th rank), hate speech targeting journalists is shared and amplified on social networks, often by troll armies in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pay”.









Israel said on Tuesday it does not seek war with Iran and suggested U.S. President Donald Trump backed Israel’s latest attempt to kill the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by disclosing purported evidence of past Iranian nuclear arms work.

A senior Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had informed Trump at a March 5 meeting about alleged evidence seized by Israel in what Netanyahu on Monday presented as a “great intelligence achievement”.

U.S. and Israeli officials said the information showed Iran had lied about its past work to develop nuclear arms but intelligence experts said there was no smoking gun showing that Tehran had violated the nuclear deal under which it curbed its atomic program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

Tehran, which denies ever pursuing nuclear weapons, dismissed Netanyahu as “the boy who cried wolf,” and called his presentation propaganda.





A member of Britain’s House of Lords was on Tuesday forced to deny that he is a racist after he called Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar a “typical Indian” on social media.

Lord Kilclooney, a former member of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in Northern Ireland, was responding to a BBC headline on Twitter which read: “DUP: Varadkar’s visit to Northern Ireland showed ‘disrespect’”.

Kilclooney tweeted back yesterday with the words, “Typical Indian”.

“I am certainly no racist and in particular have an admiration for Indians. A member of the British/Indian APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group), only yesterday I had a reply from 10, Downing St asking for a relaxation of visas for Indians. My point was that the PM (Varadkar) had upset Unionists more than Irish PMs had,” he later tweeted, after being accused of racism.

But many took to Twitter to condemn his words, including former Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt who said it could only be interpreted as a “racist comment”.

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said Lord Kilclooney was “an embarrassment”.





North and South Korea have dismantled huge loudspeakers used to blast Cold War-style propaganda across their tense border, as South Korea’s President asked the United Nations to observe the North’s planned closing of its nuclear test site.

The dismantling of dozens of loudspeakers was in line with an agreement on reconciliation by the leaders of the Koreas at their historic summit last Friday.

South Korean soldiers disassembled loudspeakers in multiple frontline areas in the presence of journalists before pulling them away from the border.









Dalit and tribal groups observed “national resistance day” on Tuesday to demand restoration of key provisions of a protective law that has allegedly been diluted by a Supreme Court judgment.

Over a dozen organisations representing Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes held the protest in 70 cities across the country to demand a reversal of the judgment that stopped immediate arrest of offenders under the SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, a law meant for their protection.

Ramesh Nathan, convener of the National Coalition for Strengthening SC-ST PoA Act, said several review petitions had been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a reversal of the March 20 judgment. The judgment had introduced conditions such as a preliminary inquiry to ascertain the merit of the case before registration of FIR.





Lok Sabha MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam has written to the vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and questioned the presence of a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the university students’ union office.

In a letter to AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor on Monday, the BJP MP stated that he has found out from sources that a picture of the Pakistan founder is displayed in AMU.

Gautam has sought a detailed explanation from the university, justifying the “compulsion” of having Jinnah’s portrait in the university when “he was responsible for the partition of India and Pakistan”, and when “Pakistan continues to trouble India”.

AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai said Jinnah was accorded lifetime membership of the AMU students’ union in 1938 during undivided India. He said no one ever raised any objection to Jinnah’s portrait ever since it was put up more than 70 years ago.

Kidwai said that the portrait hangs in the office of the students’ union, which is not under direct control of the university administration. He said no other Jinnah picture can be found elsewhere on campus — in any department, library or any other building. Among others who have been lifetime members of the students union, Kidwai added, are Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, C V Raman, C Rajagoplachari, and Morarji Desai.

Mohammad Sajjad, professor of History at AMU, said: “Jinnah’s portrait has been there since 1938. It reminds us of undivided India. It represents both a tragedy and a promise.





In a boost to the government facing flak for the manner in which the GST had been rolled out, monthly collection crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore-mark for the first time in April on account of improved compliance, boost in economic activity and the introduction of the e-way bill which has reduced evasion.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed it “a landmark achievement” and a confirmation of increased economic activity.  In a series of tweets, Jaitley expressed the hope that with the improved economic climate, introduction of e-way bill and improved GST compliance, GST collection would continue to show a positive trend.





India on Tuesday extended the deadline for initial bids for the sale of a majority stake in national carrier Air India by a fortnight to May-end. Officials also clarified that besides airlines, corporate houses and funds, employees of the airline were allowed to bid, though all other individuals were barred from the bidding process.

On offer is a 76 per cent stake in Air India to the successful bidder, which can be a single firm or a consortium. Though foreign airlines are allowed a 49 per cent stake, management control has to remain in Indian hands. However, what may be putting some bidders off the process are the huge debt that the successful bidder will have to take on and a condition that forbids mergers with other existing airlines as long as the government continues to be a shareholder and a veto on downsizing for at least a year.





The Telecom Commission on Tuesday cleared proposals for allowing mobile services in flights, use of internet telephony and creation of post of ombudsman to address consumer grievances.

The proposals were approved by the commission chaired by telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan.

“The in-flight connectivity (IFC) was approved by the Telecom Commission (TC). It was decided to accept Trai’s views except that the satellites used for providing services should be Department of Space-approved satellite and the gateway should be in India. We would be operationalising this immediately,” Sundararajan told reporters after the meeting.

Trai had recommended to allow foreign satellite firms in facilitating in-flight mobile communication services.

As per Trai’s proposal, companies who hold valid telecom licence can provide app-based calling service even by using wi-fi connection.





India continued to sit pretty at the top of the ICC Test team rankings, ahead of South Africa and Australia. India have consolidated their position following the annual update in which series results from 2014-15 are removed and outcomes from the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons are weighted at 50 per cent.

India have stretched their lead over South Africa from four to 13 points after gaining four points to reach an aggregate of 125 while South Africa have lost five points and slipped to 112.

Australia are placed third with 106 points after gaining four points following the update, taking back the position from New Zealand, who had overtaken them at the last cut-off date of April 3.

New Zealand remain on 102 points while England have inched closer, reaching 98 after gaining one point.

Sri Lanka remain in sixth position, with 94 points. Pakistan are 7th, with 86 points.

Bangladesh, with 75 points, have moved ahead of the West Indies (67 points), who are in ninth position for the first time ever





Royal Challengers Bangalore pacers blew away the Mumbai Indians’ top-order to set up a crucial 14-run win, which kept them alive in the IPL playoffs race, in Bengaluru yesterday. Mumbai Indians bowlers had also exploited the favourable track but leaked a few runs towards the end to allow the hosts post 167/7, a fighting total under challenging conditions.

The RCB bowlers, especially Umesh Yadav, produced a hostile spell upfront to peg Mumbai Indians back while Tim Southee (2/25) and Mohammed Siraj (2/28) delivered the goods in the death overs. The visitors’ chase suffered a huge setback as they lost three wickets inside four overs.

With this win, RCB have moved to fifth place with six points, while Mumbai are now seventh with just four points from eight matches.





Change, it seems, is inevitable in Indian hockey. It has come again, this time way too quickly. In the latest of Hockey India’s trend of hiring and firing coaches, the federation on Tuesday removed Sjoerd Marijne as the chief coach of the Indian men’s team, less than eight months after he was appointed.

The Dutchman will rejoin the women’s team as the chief coach, while women’s coach Harendra Singh will be the new men’s coach. The decision to make the swap between Indian hockey’s topmost coaching posts is HI’s seemingly straightforward and obvious solution to the men’s team’s under-par performance at last month’s Commonwealth Games. And with three months to go for the Asian Games and India playing the hosts in the World Cup in December, it seems like the most practicable decision as well. It would have been hard for the federation to find a new foreign coach so quickly.





(Indian Stock Markets were closed yesterday)

Nasdaq 7,131 (+64) Dow 24,099 (-64), S&P 2,655 (+7)

US$-Rs. 66.56 GBP-Rs. 91.04, Euro-Rs. 80.07, UAE Dhm-Rs.18.11, Can$-Rs. 51.79, Aus$- Rs. 49.98

GBP 0.73 /US$, Euro 0.83 /US$, Jap.Yen 109.60 /US$, Aus$ 1.33 /US$, Sing 1.33 /US$, Bang Taka 83.67 /US$, Can$ 1.28 /US$, Mal Ring 3.93 /US$,

Pak Re 115.36 /US$, Phil Peso 51.75 /US$, Russian Rouble 63.25 /US$, NZ$ 1.42 /US$, Thai Baht 31.59 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 26.11 /US$

Bitcoin – USD 8,991

Dollar Index 92.25 Brent Crude 73.19  BDI 1341

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,310 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3154 / 2966, Silver (Rs. Per KG) 42,000





It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not a winner. – Vince Lombardi





Irony of a Woman’s life

1. the most important thing for a woman is financial security.

2. Although this is so important, they still go out and buy expensive clothes and stuff.

3. Although they always buy expensive clothes, they never have something to wear.

4. Although they never have something to wear, they always dress beautifully.

5. Although they always dress beautifully, their clothes are always just “an old rag”.

6. Although their clothes are always “just an old rag”, they still expect you to compliment them.

7. Although they expect you to compliment them, when you do, they don’t believe you.



Any suggestions, comments or queries? Or need more information on any particular news story? Or wish to receive a list of our free additional services? Write to us at

ReplyReply AllForwardEdit as new

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar