2.5 Lakhs offered for Inter-Caste marriage with Dalits

To promote the social status of Dalits, Centre is encouraging inter-caste marriages. According to the rule, the Dalit brides or bridegrooms of an inter-caste marriage will be rewarded with Rs 2.5 lakh. This new scheme is entitled to all Dalits, as against the earlier system where only couples with an annual income of Rs 5 lakhs and below were applicable. As reported by Indian Express, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment suggests the linking of the ‘Dr Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration’, to the couple’s Aadhaar numbers and bank account details. This scheme aims to target around 500 marriages a year, though it hasn’t reached even 100 in the past years.

Though the income limit has been scraped off, the scheme demands the marriage to be recorded under the Hindu Marriage Act apart from being the first marriage of both the spouses. The scheme draws inspiration from BR Ambedkar’s views on caste culture and union through exogamy.

As reported by Indian Express, the scheme has failed to perform satisfactorily since its inception. Only five couples were given the sum during 2014-15, and in 2015-16, only 72 couples among 522 applications were accepted. While in 2016 – 17, as low as 45 out of 736 couples were approved. And as of this year, the ministry has received the proposal of 409 couples, but only 74 have been cleared. The target for each state differs depending on their overall share of Scheduled Caste population. Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan submit the maximum proposals.

Sources- Indian Express, Firstpost

Chabahar Port Phase One launched

President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, inaugurated the first phase of the Chabahar port on December 3rd. This advantageous port will provide an alternative route to the land-locked boundaries of Afghanistan and allow it open doors to global markets. It is also an important passage between India and Afghanistan, detouring the hindrances triggered by Pakistan. According to Hindu, the capacity of this new leeway extends from 2.5 million tons to 8 million tons. Through the construction of this port in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran; India, Afghanistan and Iran have reconfirmed their allegiance in ensuring peaceful bilateral trade and economic development. The Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed that the three countries are committed to solving disputes regarding regional connectivity.

Reports from The Times of India recognized the Chabahar port as a challenge to the Gwadar port of Pakistan, located 80 km away. This port developed by China is crucial to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. One of the key benefits of Chabahar port is that it will equip India is guarding Chinese activities in the Arabian Sea.

The first phase of the Chabahar port project – Shahid Beheshti port, will not only enhance India’s entry to Iran, but will also act as a chief pathway to the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), the water, railway and road links shared by Europe, India, Iran Russia and whole of Central Asia.

Sources: The Hindu, The Times of India 

Terror attack at Peshawar’s agricultural university

Under the cloak of a burqa, five Taliban terrorists from Pakistan raged into the agricultural university campus of Peshawar on Friday, December 1st. The outbreak claimed the lives of nine students and left 32 injured before the gunmen were shot by the security forces. According to reports from The Times of India, Tehreek-i-Taliban took responsibility for the attack. Their link with supervisors in Afghanistan was suggested by the military officials. Tahir Khan, city police chief stated that the attackers entered the institute in a rickshaw and went into the training institute and fired at the inmates of the hostel. However, the crowd was relatively less as it was a government holiday on account of Eid-e-Milad.

The terrorists were equipped with automatic weapons and discharged grenades as the entered the campus. Police officials stated that the terrorists were killed by the security forces following an hour-long shootout that left three policemen injured. Hindu reported that the terrorists were geared with suicide jackets, pistols and explosives. They also possessed powerful artilleries such as AK 47s and Kalashnikovs.

Reports from Hindu stated that on Thursday, a day before the attack, Sajjad Khan, police SSP had informed the media about an intelligence report suggesting terrorist hostages. As a security measure, many law enforcement organizations were kept under vigilance. Despite the warning, there were inadequate number guards delegated to the institute. Being close to the Afghanistan border has made Peshawar a victim of violence meted against them by the Taliban mutiny.

Sources: Live Mint, The Hindu

Microsoft offers the highest package of Rs 1.39 crore a year

Microsoft, the biggest technology company of US is ready to welcome students from the Indian Institute of Technology with a ransom pay package. The placements for the passing batch of 2018 commences on December 1. Numerous companies are a part of this process, offering impressive offers to grab the most talented engineers from one of the topnotch institutes of India.

According to the Economics times, Microsoft is recruiting students for their Redmond headquarters with an annual pay check of Rs 1.39 crore. The exorbitant salary will include a base income of $108,000, along with performance gratuity of $21,600, joining bonus of $15,000 and stock units worth $70,000. All of this adds to a total of $214,600. As compared to Microsoft’s offer during the previous placement season with a package of $136,000 inclusive of all bonuses, this year’s offer is a remarkable leap.

 Reports from Business Standard stated that one among the chief recruiters is Uber Technologies, the US-based cab aggregator. Uber is set to provide a total package of Rs 99.87 lakh ($155,000), with a base income of $110,000. The other top hirers include Samsung Korea with an offer of Rs 96.8 ($150,000) and Rubrik, an American cloud data management company with Rs 74 lakh ($115,000).

Sources claim students from Kanpur, Bombay, Madras, Banaras Hindu University and Roorkee campuses are more likely to bag such opportunities.


Economic Times, Business Standard

Mirabai Chanu bags gold at World Weightlifting Championship

Mirabai Chanu won a gold medal for India during the World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, United States. After over three decades, she becomes the second Indian to bring home a gold after Karnam Malleswari’s victory in 1995. Chanu created a world record by lifting 194kg – 84kg snatch and 109kg clean-and-jerk in the women’s 48kg category. The silver medal was won by Sukcharoen Thunya of Thailand with 193kg, and bronze by Segura Ana Iris with a lift of 182kg.

Chanu, who is currently employed at the Indian Railways, surprised the country with her impressive performance this year following her disappointing show during the Rio Olympics, 2016. With her defeat last year in getting an overall total by failing to lift the weight in all three attempts of the clean and jerk section, she amazed the world by setting a new record this time. She had previously won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth games.

This 23-year-old Manipuri acknowledged the guidance and support of her coach Vijay Sharma during her victory speech. Earlier in September, Chanu qualified for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games (2018), after claiming a gold at the Commonwealth Senior Weightlifting Championships held in Australia. She now aims to win medals at the Asian games next year and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

TRAI backs Net Neutrality

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a paper on November 28th in support of net neutrality, as per reports from Times of India. Internet Service Providers have been urged to remain nondiscriminatory by doing away with unwarranted practices such as blocking, lowering the speed of specific websites, providing ‘fast lanes’ and prioritization of certain web portals. The TRAI calls for the free delivery of information via the internet, unhampered from preferential treatment.

As stated by Indian Express, the TRAI suggests the exclusion of content delivery networks (CDN’s) and “specialized services” such as video-conferencing facilities internally managed by businesses from rules of net neutrality. However, telecom companies are permitted to engage in measures to ensure moderate web traffic management. This would provide them with the scope to offer qualitative service to their consumers. To uphold greater transparency, the service providers are recommended to declare their traffic management system to TRAI.

To check the violation of net neutrality norms and monitor internet providers, the TRAI recommends the creation of a regulatory body. These comprehensive recommendations listed by the regulator will be analysed and considered by the Department of Telecommunication while forming norms on net neutrality, according to Indian Express.

Sources – Times of India, Indian Express

1993 Mumbai blasts verdict: Death penalty and Life imprisonment

According to Indian Express, a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA), special court announced its final judgement on the 1993, Mumbai serial blasts on September 9, 2017. The court of Judge GA Sanap awarded death sentence to Feroz Khan and Tahir Merchant. The remaining convicts, Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan were pronounced with life imprisonment apart from being imposed with a fine of Rs 2 lakhs each. While Riaz Siddiqui was sentenced to ten years in jail. This announcement was made twenty-four years after the deadly attack that killed 257 people and injured over 700 on March 12, 1993, through the explosion of 12 bombs in various locations of the city, destroying properties worth around Rs 27 crore.

Investigation reports suggested that the attacks were planned by Dawood Ibrahim, India’s ‘most wanted’ criminal and his accomplice Tiger Memon to avenge the deaths of Muslims during the Hindu-Muslim riots that had ripped Mumbai in the past. During the court session on June 16, 2017, key conspirator Mustafa Dossa was found to be guilty. However, the case against him was closed as he expired on June 28, 2017, during his sentencing in the court. Prior to this verdict, Yakub Memon was hanged in July 2015 for his involvement in the same case, as reported by Times of India.

Sources: TOI, Indian Express