Newsletter Sept 05, 2018




Ending speculation in a year that saw turbulence in the highest court, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra Tuesday recommended the name of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the most senior judge in the Supreme Court after him, as his successor.

This will now be processed and forwarded to the President who will issue the warrant of appointment.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had recently said that the government’s intention on the appointment of the next Chief Justice of India should not be questioned. He had said that when the incumbent names the most senior judge of the Supreme Court as his successor as per convention, the executive will take a call.

When cleared, Justice Gogoi will take over as the 46th Chief Justice of India on October 3, a day after CJI Misra retires.

On January 12 this year, Justice Gogoi and three colleagues, Justices J Chelameswar (since retired), Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, called a press conference to raise questions on the CJI’s allocation of cases to benches in the Supreme Court. Ever since then, there was speculation whether his name would be overlooked for the CJI’s post, but CJI Misra adhered to the tradition of recommending the most senior judge after him for the high office.

This convention has held, barring two exceptions, both during the tenure of Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister — in 1973, Justice A N Ray’s name was cleared for the CJI, superseding three others, and in 1977 when Justice M H Beg was chosen ahead of Justice H R Khanna who had stood up to the Emergency and the Prime Minister.



 US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Matis will hold bilateral and delegation-level talks and working lunch with counterparts Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi during the inaugural 2+2 Dialogue on Thursday.

This is the highest level of political engagement with the US this year with no visit of President Donald Trump to India expected in 2018.

The visiting US secretaries will arrive on Wednesday night, and meet their counterparts next morning. Their interaction will be first one-on-one meetings between Pompeo and Swaraj, and a separate one-on-one between Mattis and Sitharaman. Then they will be headed for the two-plus-two dialogue, where they will be accompanied by 12 officials from both sides. It is expected to be followed by statements by the four principals. After the statements, the four principals – the two US secretaries and two Indian ministers – will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.



 The BJP yesterday released a letter, claiming a link between Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and the Maoists and alleging a UPA-Naxal “close connect”.

The proof—a letter—“establishing” the connection was initially tweeted by Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan while the theory of “urban Naxals” was pushed further by central BJP leaders, who cited the example of the National Advisory Council founded by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi to accuse the Opposition party of “mainstreaming Naxals” by providing them “launching ground”.“

The Congress has always been two-faced about Naxalism,” BJP leader Sambit Patra said. Some in the Opposition party “romanticised” the concept, the biggest example was “the coterie closest to then Congress president Sonia Gandhi by the name of NAC”. “The brainchild of Sonia Gandhi provided ground for supporting Naxals. While then PM Manmohan Singh used to say that the biggest threat to the nation was by Naxals, Sonia Gandhi gave positions to persons directly associated with Naxals in NAC and the Planning Commission,” he said. “Dr Binayak Sen, who was convicted for sedition in 2010, was appointed in the Planning Commission,” Patra said.

On Digvijaya’s dare to arrest him, Patra said: “Digvijaya Singh is getting very impatient, saying arrest me. Digvijayaji, your friends have already been arrested. Don’t worry law will take its course, no one is bigger than law and the country,” he said.



The results of Prashant Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee’s (I-PAC) National Agenda Forum — a survey to ascertain the biggest issues being faced by the nation and the leader best suited to lead the country — on Tuesday showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the best choice for leading the country with 48 per cent votes.

Rahul Gandhi is a distant second with 11.2 per cent votes and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is not far behind with 9.3 per cent votes. Akhilesh Yadav is fourth on the list with 7 per cent votes and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is in fifth place with 4.2 per cent people voting in her favour. Mayawati is sixth with 3.1 per cent vote share. Over 57 lakh people voted in the online survey.

The list of ‘Top 4 Chief Ministers’ included Kejriwal, Banerjee, Patnaik and Nitish Kumar. People also chose the top 10 ‘Priorities of the nation’ from a list of 28 items. The 10 things that voters thought needed maximum focus were women’s issues, farmers’ issues, economic inequality, students’ issues, education in health and hygiene, communal unity, promotion of provincial languages, basic education, village sanitation and adult education.



Faced with a growing number of issues being discussed on social media platforms, the Army is establishing a new setup for handling social media and also a new ‘app’ called ‘Arpan’.

The ‘app’ will perform multiple tasks related to service conditions and requirement of soldiers, besides ensuring that fake and mischievous information is not spread.

A cell already handles the Army’s social media outreach. The Army has a vibrant social media presence with more than 11 million followers on Facebook, 5.6 million on Twitter and another 1.23 million on Instagram.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said, “We are focusing on establishing a new setup for social media and training of soldiers.” He said troops could not be prevented from using the social media and smartphones, so it was best to allow them, but with discipline.

There is an existing social media use policy of the forces that bars posting pictures of oneself in uniform, unit names, numbers or locations.

General Rawat said, “If we have to leverage Artificial Intelligence to our advantage, we must engage through social media as a lot of what we wish to gain will come via it.”





 The Kremlin has criticised US President Donald Trump’s warnings against a possible Syrian government attack on a rebel-held enclave.

Trump on Monday sent a tweet warning the Syrian government and its allies against a “reckless attack” on rebel-held Idlib province.

Russia has been a key backer of President Bashar Assad and has complained about militants in Idlib targeting its own facilities and posing a terrorist threat on the whole.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday reiterated Russia’s stance and called Idlib “a hornets’ nest of terrorists”. Asked about Trump’s tweet, Peskov said such warnings do not take into account “the dangerous and negative potential” of the rebel-held enclave and show that the White House does not have a “comprehensive approach” to solving the Syria crisis.



 Dr Arif Alvi, a close ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan and one of the founding members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, was elected as the new President of Pakistan on Tuesday, as the cricketer-turned-politician consolidated his grip on power.

The 69-year-old former dentist defeated Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Aitzaz Ahsan and the Pakistan Muslim League-N nominee Maulana Fazl ur Rehman in a three-way contest to become the 13th president.

In his victory speech, Alvi thanked PM Khan for nominating “me for such a big responsibility.” Alvi said that “from today I am not just president that was nominated by the PTI but I am the president of the entire nation and all parties. Each party has an equal right on me”.





A Maharashtra BJP MLA has told youngsters he would “kidnap” the girl a boy likes even if she says no to the proposal, a controversial remark that drew sharp reactions from ally Shiv Sena and opposition parties.

Ram Kadam made the comments at a ‘dahi handi’ event in his suburban Ghatkopar assembly constituency in Mumbai Monday night.

“You (youngsters) can meet me for any work,” he is heard in a video clip as telling the crowd, mainly comprising the youth. Kadam went further, saying he has received requests from youngsters to help them after girls rejected their proposal.

“I will help, 100 per cent. Come (to me) with your parents. What will I do if parents approve? I will kidnap the girl concerned and hand her over to you (for marriage),” he is heard telling the crowd in Marathi. Kadam is also heard sharing his mobile number with the crowd.

When asked about the video clip, Kadam said his comments were distorted.

Shiv Sena sought Kadam’s apology and asked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also the state’s home minister, what action would be taken against the MLA for making a statement that “threatens safety of girls”.

The Congress called for Kadam’s arrest, while the NCP said his comment brought to the fore “Ravana-like” face of the ruling party.


The News Broadcasting Standards Authority has directed Republic TV to air a full-screen apology to viewers for derogatory comments made by its Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami during a debate in January.

The authority, an independent body set up by the News Broadcasters Association, issued the order on August 30 based on a complaint by a man named A Singh. Singh has claimed that the channel falsely accused him of harassing its reporter at Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani’s rally on January 9. The journalist was reporting about the purported absence of people at the event when she was heckled by several people and had to be escorted away by the police.

“I want their faces circled more,” Goswami said during his show that night while playing a video of the incident. “I want the family members of these cheap, perverse goons to watch [them] doing this…at this event which was the ‘Jignesh flop show’. Let’s name and shame these people.”

The authority asked the channel to run the apology before Goswami’s 9 pm flagship show on September 7.

“The footage does not show use of any objectionable words by the complainant or any gesture which can be described as ‘lewd’ or ‘threatening’,” the News Broadcasting Standards Authority said in its order. “Use of words like ‘I am going to show these crude, lewd hyenas/show the dirty faces of lewd, cheap, vulgar, sexist, pervert anti-Indian goons’ by Mr Arnab Goswami who was anchoring the programme was totally unwarranted and unjustified and the same was in violation of the broadcasting standards.”



Making an appeal for the police force to demonstrate ‘democratic policing’ instead of resorting to extra-judicial methods, the Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced nine former Maharashtra policemen to seven years in jail each in a 1993-custodial death case.

The bench enhanced the jail term of the former policemen from three years to seven years, which is the maximum sentence under the charge of voluntary causing hurt in order to extract confessional statements.

The High Court had in 2007 sentenced the nine accused to three years in jail each but the top court noted that the punishment was grossly insufficient and disproportional.

The case dates back to June 1993 when a police team, comprising an assistant police inspector, a sub-inspector and constables had picked up one Joinus in connection with robbery cases. According to the prosecution, he was picked up from Deolapar’s town in Nagpur and was tortured so as to extract confession. It led to his death.


An armed Ganga Protection Corps (GPC) whose personnel will have powers to arrest those who pollute the river; treating a slew of actions — from obstructing the flow to commercial fishing — as cognizable offences that may attract a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.

These are among the measures in the draft Bill prepared by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation which has sought opinion of various stakeholders.

Cognizable offences marked in the draft Bill include: construction activities causing obstruction in the river; withdrawal of ground water for industrial or commercial consumption from the land fronting the river and its tributaries; commercial fishing or aqua culture in the river and its tributaries; discharging untreated or treated sewage into the river.

The draft Bill envisages the Ganga Protection Corps as an armed force “constituted and maintained” by the Central government.


The Singh brothers have been trying hard to maintain a public display of harmony for a long time. The cookie finally crumbled late Tuesday, with younger brother Shivinder, former Fortis Healthcare promoter, moving the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), accusing his elder brother, Malvinder, of “oppression” and mismanagement of RHC Holding, Religare and Fortis.

In an emotional statement, Shivinder also said he is dissociating with his elder brother as a business partner and will pursue an independent path. Shivinder has also filed a case against family friend the former head of Religare Sunil Godhwani. Shivinder said the action was long overdue but was delayed in the “fond hope” that better sense would eventually prevail and another “ugly chapter of family feud would not be written in our family business’ glorious history.”

Claiming that sensitivity towards his family’s business reputation stopped him from making any public statements so far, Shivinder said, “My family reputation kept me a silent spectator, as I mutely watched the organisation I founded come to a point where it was publicly auctioned; where my family and myself have been stripped of our legacy, our finances and my personal credibility.”

  • AMAZON FOLLOWS APPLE INC, HITS $1 TRILLION MARKET VALUE MILESTONE Inc on Tuesday became the second US company to reach $1 trillion in stock market value, just weeks after Apple Inc hit the same milestone on Aug 2.

Shares in the world’s largest online retailer last traded up 1.4 per cent at $2,041.68. Its shares hit the $2050.2677 level to give its stock a value of $1 trillion.

Amazon crossed the $2,000 threshold for the first time on August 30 after doubling its price in just 10 months. Amazon shares first hit $1,000 on October 27, 2017. It first reached $100 on October 23, 2009.


At least 34 per cent of India’s population is insufficiently active, according to a new Lancet study published online on Tuesday. The levels of insufficient activity were higher among women at 48 per cent, while the prevalence was 22 per cent among men.

In 2016, around one in three women (32%) and one in four men (23%) worldwide were not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity to stay healthy — which is at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week.

The study was undertaken by researchers from World Health Organisation (WHO) and published in the Lancet Global Health journal. Dr Regina Guthold of WHO, Switzerland, and main author of the study, says that cities needed to be more “walk friendly” and more opportunities for physical activity in public open spaces and parks in workplaces need to be created.

In 2016, India ranked 52nd (with 1 being the most inactive, and 168 being the most active) among 168 countries, which means India is in the top third of inactive countries.


Heat, age and a relentless John Millman combined in a perfect storm to drive Roger Federer to the US Open exit on Monday, leaving the winner of a record 20 Grand Slam titles looking every bit the 37-year-old he is. Federer lost 3-6 7-5 7-6(7) 7-6(3) – only the 5th time since 2004 that he’s failed to reach the quarter finals. While the temperature in New York hovered around 78 Fahrenheit (25°C), Federer said high humidity was the problem at Arthur Ashe Stadium. For years fans and pundits have been watching for signs of decay in Federer’s game and there were hints of fading greatness to be seen on a sweltering Monday night.

There was however no surrender — he wrestled with Millman through two tie-breaks — but in the end Federer simply ran out of energy and ideas.

In the first quarter finals match, former champion Juan Martin del Potro claimed a hard-earned 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win over John Isner.

Sloane Stephens‘ U.S. Open title defense ended in the quarterfinals, one match shy of a possible Serena Williams showdown. Latvian Anastasija Sevastova upset the American 6-2, 6-3 on another steamy day inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 18th-ranked Sevastova, not No. 3 Stephens, will now face Serena Williams who defeated former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3.

Serena Williams is now the only woman standing in the Women’s Singles with a Grand Slam singles title.


Sensex 38,158 (-155), Nifty 11,520 (-62), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores) 35,796

Nasdaq 8,091 (-18) Dow 25,952 (-12), S&P 2,897 (-5)

US$-Rs. 71.32 GBP-Rs. 91.62, Euro-Rs. 82.58, UAE Dhm-Rs.19.41, Can$-Rs. 54.22, Aus$- Rs. 51.25

GBP 0.77 /US$, Euro 0.86 /US$, Jap.Yen 111.32 /US$, Aus$ 1.39 /US$, Sing 1.37 /US$, Bang Taka 83.05 /US$, Can$ 1.31 /US$, Mal Ring 4.13 /US$,

Pak Re 123.14 /US$, Phil Peso 53.57 /US$, Russian Rouble 68.17 /US$, NZ$ 1.52 /US$, Thai Baht 32.74 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 28.30 /US$

Bitcoin – USD 7,189

Dollar Index 95.38 Brent Crude 77.98 BDI 1557

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,194 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 2977 / 2889, Silver (Rs. Per KG) 40,000


If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old. – James A. Garfield


A journalist, who was fed up with the state of the Indian Economy, decided to ask the views of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on sports instead of Indian economy.

He asked, “Dear FM, which game do you like?”

FM replied, “Cricket when played in India.”

Journalist further asked, “which part of Cricket do you like, I mean batting or bowling?”


“Why, only toss Sir?”

Jaitley smiled for the first time and said, “BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY TIME WHEN I SEE OUR RUPEE GOING UP.”

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