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30 December 2019

INDIAN YOUTH HATE ANARCHY, NARENDRA MODI SAYS IN MANN KI BAAT 

In his last 'Mann ki Baat' radio address of 2019, the Prime Minister said 
the youth hate anarchy and disorder and dislike casteism, nepotism and 
favouritism, remarks that come in the backdrop of recent violent protests on 
various university campuses over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the 
proposed NRC. 
"According to me, they appreciate the system. Not just that, they prefer to 
follow the system. And in the event of the system not responding properly, 
they get restless and even courageously question the system itself! I 
consider this attribute as a virtue. 
"One can even say with certitude here, that the country's youth detests 
anarchy of any sort. They despise any element of lack of governance and 
instability; abhorring any shades of nepotism, casteism, favouritism or 
gender discrimination," he said. 


PRIYANKA; BJP TRADE CHARGES OVER UNREST IN UP 

Taking on the Yogi Adityanath government over handling of protests against 
the amended Citizenship Act, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday 
said it has "crossed all limits of inhumanity" and claimed party worker 
Sadaf Zafar was arrested on "baseless" charges. 
"This insensitive government has separated children from their mother and 
the older generation from their children," the Congress general secretary 
said, a day after she had accused the UP Police of manhandling her when she 
resisted their attempts to stop her from visiting the residence of retired 
IPS officer SR Darapuri, who was also arrested in connection with the recent 
anti-CAA protests. 
Zafar was arrested here on December 19 while she was live on Facebook from 
the spot where protests against the amended citizenship law had gone 
violent. Police had said she was arrested for her involvement in clashes. 
"The Uttar Pradesh government has crossed all limits of inhumanity. Congress 
worker Sadaf Zafar in a video can be clearly seen telling policemen to 
arrest those indulging in violence. The police have levelled baseless 
allegations on Sadaf and put her in jail," Priyanka Gandhi tweeted in Hindi. 
Hitting back at the Congress leader, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister 
Keshav Prasad Maurya said that such 'nautanki' (theatrics) will not fetch 
votes for the Congress and what's left of the party will also be finished. 
In a Hindi tweet late on Saturday night, Maurya said that it seemed by 
Priyanka Gandhi's behaviour that her party has become a 'danga karao party' 
and it cannot tolerate the peaceful atmosphere and development in Uttar 
Pradesh. He said the state was a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity and added that 
the Congress and the Samajwadi Party were getting disturbed, seeing their 
dark political future. 


NRC INDIA'S INTERNAL AFFAIR: BORDER GUARDS BANGLADESH CHIEF 

The creation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is completely an 
"internal affair" of India and the cooperation between the border guarding 
forces of the two countries is very good, the visiting chief of Border 
Guards Bangladesh (BGB) said in New Delhi on Sunday. 
Director-General (DG) Maj Gen Shafeenul Islam told reporters during a press 
conference that the BGB will continue to do its work of preventing illegal 
border crossings as per its mandate. 
A BGB delegation, led by Islam, is on a bilateral visit to India to hold 
DG-level border talks with its counterparts, the Border Security Force 
(BSF). 
The talks took place from December 26-29, during which a host of issues 
related to cross-border smuggling and activities of criminals and others 
along the 4,096-km-long front were discussed, a senior BSF officer said. 

"This is completely an internal affair of the Indian government," the BGB DG 
said when asked to comment on the NRC issue. 
Asked about the provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that seeks 
to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslims from three 
neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Islam said he would not like 
to make any comments. "I would say the cooperation and relationship between 
the two forces (BSF and BGB) are very good. Beyond that I cannot say 
anything...," he said when asked to comment on the developments in India 
after the passing of the CAA in Parliament. 


'MODI GOVT WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS': HRD MINISTER TO UNIVERSITIES AGAINST CAA 

As anti-citizenship law protests in various universities showed no signs of 
let up, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Sunday said the central 
government will not tolerate educational institutions turning into hubs of 
politicking "at any cost". 
He said that anyone is free to engage in political activities, but colleges 
and universities should be kept out of it, as many students come to study 
from far-off places. 
"The Narendra Modi government is not going to tolerate this at any cost," he 
asserted. 
Scores of students from universities across the country, including 
Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi University, 
Jadavpur University and Presidency University, have been protesting against 
the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). 
Pokhriyal accused the opposition parties of deliberately spreading 
misinformation over the CAA. "It is the Congress, which is responsible for 
the country's division on religious grounds, that is spreading 
misinformation about CAA," he said. 


INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS 


S ARABIA TO CONVENE OIC MEET ON K-ISSUE 

Saudi Arabia has agreed to convene a meeting of foreign ministers of the 
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Kashmir, according to reports 
in the Pakistan media. 
The move is being seen as Saudi Arabia's attempt to balance ties between 
India and Pakistan as well as reward Islamabad for not attending a 
multination summit in Kuala Lumpur that was being seen as an attempt to 
rival the Saudi-led OIC. 
According to media reports, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan 
conveyed the message to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi 
during a meeting in Islamabad. 
The Pakistan Foreign Office said "the two foreign ministers discussed OIC's 
role in the advancement of the cause of Kashmir" and Qureshi "highlighted 
the Indian Government's actions with regard to CAA and NRC and the 
systematic targeting of minorities in India, particularly Muslims". 
The 57-member grouping is largely seen as a talking shop, especially on 
Palestine, but its statements provide a face-safer to member-governments in 
front of their domestic audience on issues they haven't been able to resolve 
on their own. 


PUTIN THANKS TRUMP FOR TIP RUSSIA SAYS FOILED ATTACKS 

Russia said on Sunday it had thwarted terrorism attacks reportedly planned 
in St. Petersburg thanks to a tip from Washington, bringing personal thanks 
again from President Vladimir Putin to his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump. 
Russian news agencies cited the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying 
that thanks to the information, two Russians were detained on Dec. 27 on 
suspicion of plotting attacks during New Year festivities in St. Petersburg. 
The Kremlin said Putin passed on his gratitude to Trump during a phone call 
on Sunday for the tip from U.S. special services. It gave no more details. 


TALIBAN COUNCIL AGREES TO CEASE-FIRE IN AFGHANISTAN 

The Taliban's ruling council agreed Sunday to a temporary cease-fire in 
Afghanistan, providing a window in which a peace agreement with the United 
States can be signed, officials from the insurgent group said. They didn't 
say when it would begin. 
A cease-fire had been demanded by Washington before any peace agreement 
could be signed. A peace deal would allow the U.S. to bring home its troops 
from Afghanistan and end its 18-year military engagement there, America's 
longest. 
There was no immediate response from Washington. 
The U.S. wants any deal to include a promise from the Taliban that 
Afghanistan would not be used as a base by terrorist groups. The U.S. 
currently has an estimated 12,000 troops in Afghanistan. 


NATIONAL OPPOSITION CHEERS AS HEMANT SOREN TAKES OATH 

JMM leader Hemant Soren was sworn in as the 11th Jharkhand chief minister on 
Sunday in a ceremony at the Morabadi ground in Ranchi attended by a slew of 
national Opposition leaders in a show of anti-BJP unity in which the 
bonhomie was evident and enveloped even traditional arch-rivals. 
Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee chatted smilingly with CPI 
general-secretary D. Raja for around five minutes. Hemant escorted Mamata 
and Rahul Gandhi on stage, and the new chief minister took the Congress 
leader around the stage holding his hand. 
Also present were Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh chief ministers Ashok Gehlot 
and Bhupesh Baghel, CPM general-secretary Sitaram Yechury, DMK leader M.K. 
Stalin and his sister Kanimozhi, the RJD's Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, JVM chief 
Babulal Marandi, senior Bihar socialist leader Sharad Yadav, and CPI senior 
leader Atul Kumar Anjan. 
Governor Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Hemant, 44. 


ON THE GROUND IN UP, PROTEST DIVIDE ALONG RELIGION, NOT POLITICS - AN IE 
REPORT 

Invoking the Constitution and waving the Tricolour to widen the base of the 
CAA-NRC protests don't seem to be working in large parts of Uttar Pradesh. 
In a state deeply divided on caste lines, support for the protests is split 
more on the lines of religion than politics. 
The state's main Opposition parties - SP, BSP and Congress - in UP have 
unequivocally opposed the move. But across the constituencies of Baghpat, 
Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Sambhal and Rampur, many Hindus who voted for 
Opposition parties during the Lok Sabha elections support the government's 
citizenship move. 
Their response to the police crackdown in the state - 19 deaths and over 
1,100 arrests - is muted, and hardly anyone is willing to declare that the 
citizenship move should be rolled back. 
All of them say fears over the new law are misplaced, an assert that no 
Muslim from their neighbourhood, village or taluka will be evicted. They 
also endorse communal amity and blame politics for the protests. 
Despite criticism from Opposition parties, the ruling establishment's 
arguments against the protests and for the crackdown find resonance among 
Hindus in this region. Many believe the allegations that these protests are 
instigated by the Opposition and that those resorting to vandalism include 
elements that stand to lose from the new law. 
"They are needlessly rioting. They are fearful that they will be kicked out. 
Nothing like that is going to happen. No Hindu is opposing it, only Muslims 
are," says Ravinder Kumar, a Jat in Kurri waiting to unload his sugarcane 
stock, as other community members nod in support. 
Most of them claim to have voted for RLD candidate and Ajit Singh's son 
Jayant Chaudhari in the Lok Sabha elections. When it is pointed out that the 
RLD leadership is critical of the government's move, Ajay Singh, a Jat, 
chuckles in response. "This is politics. He needs to secure his votes as 
well," he says. 


KERALA JAMIA STUDENT FACES CPM IRE FOR CRITICISING CM PINARAYI VIJAYAN 

Ayesha Renna, a student from Kerala who became the face of the agitation 
against the new citizenship law at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi, faced the 
ire of the CPM in her hometown Kondotty in Malappuram district after she 
criticised Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with regard to the recent arrest 
of protesters. 
Renna has been widely praised for her courage after a video showing her 
stopping police from attacking fellow protesters in Delhi went viral on the 
social media. 
In Kondotty on Saturday night, she was invited for a public function 
organised to protest against the new citizenship law. During her address, 
Renna criticised the arrest of Bhim Army leader Chandrashekhar Azad. She 
also mentioned the arrest of protesters in Kerala and demanded that the 
Pinarayi Vijayan-led government release them. 
Soon, a section from the crowd, later identified as CPM workers, started 
protesting against the mention of Vijayan and his government. They demanded 
that Renna tender an apology. 
As the commotion continued, Renna said she had only aired her personal 
opinion. But the CPM men said the place to voice her personal opinion was 
her home. 
Later, she tendered an apology, and only then was she allowed to leave. 


CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF CAN SERVE UP TO MAXIMUM AGE OF 65 YEARS 

The Defence Ministry has amended rules to allow the Chief of Defence Staff 
to serve up to a maximum age limit of 65 years. 
The changes have been made in the services rules of the Army, Navy and the 
Indian Air Force for extension of retirement age of the Chief of Defence 
Staff to a maximum of 65 years if a service chief is appointed to the post. 
However, the tenure of the CDS is yet to be announced. 
In a landmark decision, the Cabinet Committee on Security on Tuesday 
approved the creation of the CDS who will act as the principal military 
adviser to the defence minister on all matters relating to tri-services. 
According to existing rules, the service chiefs can serve for a maximum 
period of three years or till attaining the age of 62, whichever is earlier. 


WIKIPEDIA WRITES TO GOVT: NEW GUIDELINES WILL SEVERELY DISRUPT OUR MODEL 

The nonprofit that funds Wikipedia has said its model would be "severely 
disrupted" by the intermediary guidelines that India intends to institute by 
the middle of next month. 
Automated filtering and quick takedown requirements would disrupt the 
volunteer model of real-time editing of information followed by the online 
encyclopaedia, the Wikimedia Foundation has said in a letter to Information 
Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. 
Because the resource is curated by language and not geographic market, the 
rules would change the entire website, not just Indians' access to the 
knowledge, the Foundation said. 
The "collaborative system of people would be severely disrupted by 
obligatory filtering systems that monitor for and automatically remove 
illegal content across the website. Short response times for removals that 
would essentially require the use of automatic systems would interfere with 
people's ability to collaborate in real time on Wiki, the collaborative, 
open editing model that has been crucial to Wikipedia's growth," the letter 
said. 
"It is impossible to restrict changes inside a Wikipedia article from being 
visible in one country and not another. Fulfilling mandatory content removal 
requirements from one country would leave problematic gaps in Wikipedia for 
the whole world, break apart highly context-specific encyclopedic articles, 
and prevent people from accessing information that may be legal in their 
country." 
Wikipedia is very popular in India. Users in the country visited the 
encyclopedia 771 million times last month, the fifth highest in the world, 
the letter said. It urged the Minister to release the latest draft of the 
guidelines, and suggested a layered definition to social media 
intermediaries similar to The Personal Data Protection Bill, which was 
introduced in Lok Sabha earlier this month. The letter also expressed 
concern over the "unrealistic burden" on nonprofits, and said that 
traceability requirements were a "serious threat to freedom of expression". 


WOULD TRULY APPRECIATE IF THE GANDHIS JUST RETIRED: ANURAG KASHYAP 

"I would truly appreciate if the Gandhis just retire", replied filmmaker 
Anurag Kashyap when an incident surfaced of a 13-year-old boy allegedly 
beaten brutally by the Uttar Pradesh police. 
Kashyap has vocally opposed the new Citizenship Amendment Act. 
In a tweet, the director spoke about the issue and shared his point of view. 
He wrote: "I would truly appreciate if the Gandhis just retire. Privilege 
politics is not going to cut through with people. People see/hear them and 
want to vote for Modi. They should be on a permanent vacation. That will 
actually give us a fighting chance against fascism". 


PRESIDENT HONOURS AMITABH BACHCHAN WITH DADASAHEB PHALKE AWARD 

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday presented megastar Amitabh Bachchan with 
Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Indian cinema's highest honour, at a special 
ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. 
Bachchan was earlier supposed to receive the honour at the National Film 
Awards ceremony last Monday, but the 77-year-old actor was unable to attend 
the event due to ill health. 
information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced at the 
awards the Hindi cinema veteran will be bestowed with the honour in a 
special ceremony hosted by the President on Sunday. 
The award, named after Dhundiraj Govind Phalke who is revered as the Father 
of Indian cinema, was instituted in 1969, the year Bachchan made his debut 
in Hindi film industry with "Saat Hindustani". 
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) 
medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of Rs 10,00,000. 


SOURAV GANGULY CALLS SEHWAG THE BIGGEST MATCH-WINNER OF HIS GENERATION 

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, who is regarded as one of India's best 
captains, played with some of India's greatest cricketers during his time. 
Along with Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman, 
Ganguly formed India's batting line-up, rated as one of the best during the 
early 2000s. But according to Ganguly, the biggest match-winner of that 
generation was former India opener Virender Sehwag. 
"Sehwag was the biggest match-winner in that generation as an opener," 
Sourav Ganguly told India Today. 
Ganguly revealed how he pushed Sehwag to come out of his comfort zone. "I 
had my own belief. I told him listen 'Nobody comes with a batting position. 
It's how you adjust'. The best players are made when they come out of their 
comfort zone," Ganguly added. 
"If I had batted at No. 4 or No. 5 in one-day cricket, I would have been 
half the player. The same with Sachin, he would have scored half the runs he 
scored if he had batted in the middle. I said 'just get out of this comfort 
zone and go and play," he said. 
Ganguly also went on to state Sehwag was not far behind the legendary Sunil 
Gavaskar as an opener in Test cricket. 
"He was special, one of the best. India rates Sunil Gavaskar as the best 
opening batsman, very rightly. This man was not far behind. They played 
differently. One fellow believed in letting the ball go outside the 
off-stump and making it old. The other one believed in hitting the ball and 
making it old. But the impact was remarkable," Ganguly said. 
Sehwag finished his career with 8536 runs in 104 Tests and with 8273 runs in 
251 ODIs. 

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