Journalist killed in a political clash in Tripura

A political clash between CPI-M’s tribal wing Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad and Indigenous People’s Forum of Tripura (IPFT) workers broke out in Mandai Tehsil and was brought to attention when a TV journalist Santanu Bhaumik was killed.

Shantanu Bhaumik was working for a local news channel ‘Dinrat’. While covering the conflict and the roadblock, he was hit from behind with sharp weapon and abducted.

Several people were wounded in the clashes between supporters of two rival tribal associations in Mandwai, about 28km from Tripura capital Agartala. The IPFT workers attacked the rivals with sticks and iron rods and wounded at least 60 of them and damaged at least 15 buses.

After the reports of his death, many journalists held a protest outside Tripura CM’s residence. Four IPFT members were arrested after the incident as told by Deputy Inspector General of Police Arindam Nath.

The conflict was over upgrading the existing Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council to a separate tribal state.

Sources: HT, Quint


Maharashtra schools gets no fund from Govt under EWS scheme

Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, which has two schools in the city suffered the total loss of Rs 5 crore after the introduction of the mandatory 25 percent quota admission for children of the economically weaker sections (EWS) under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

There are many other schools in the state that have been suffering losses due to no compensation from the government.

“I have a total of 600 seats, adding both my schools and their shifts together. We give admission to 150 RTE students every year since 2013. However, we haven’t received a single penny in terms of reimbursement from the government towards these admissions, which means we are bearing the entire cost of their education. We are a school, not a profit-making business and our fees are anyway not that high,” Nandkumar Kakirde, secretary of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, said.

Bharat Bhendarge who is a school owner from Aurangabad, sat on a protest about a fortnight ago outside the office of Director of Education in Pune because his school had lost Rs 37.5 lakh because of non-collection of fees from the 25 percent reserved seats for RTE admissions.

“I have 50 seats under RTE. Most of the time they are not filled, but the government does not allow us to take admissions on the vacant seats. They can be wasted, but not filled through regular admissions,” he claimed.

Jagrutti Dharmadhikari, president of the Independent English Schools Association (IESA) had organised a strike to demand the payment of EWS dues.  Jagrutti told to Indian Express, “We had given it in writing that we will not take EWS quota admissions from next academic year if our dues are not cleared by September 30”.

Sources: Indian Express


Hulu wins big at 2017 Emmys; leaves Netflix behind

Netflix pullsin a lot of nominations every year, but it was Hulu that took most of the awards at the 69th Emmy awards. Hulu, a joint venture by Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox Inc, Comcast Corp and Time Warner Inc, won 5 Emmys on Sunday, September 17.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, Hulu’s premier series got 18 nominations and it won three main awards. Elisabeth Moss got the lead actress award, while Ann Dowd won for supporting actress and Reed Morano bagged the best direction in drama series.

The series is based on Margaret Atwood’s classic novel. This award made Hulu the first streaming service to win the Emmys.

This year Netflix got 91 nominations, but did not take home an award in the main category.

Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ won awards for supporting actor role along with an outstanding TV movie award and outstanding writing for a limited series, movie, or dramatic special. John Lithgow won the supporting actor award for his role as Winston Churchill and Black Mirror: San Junipero grabbed the other award.

According to ComScore analyst Paul Dergarabedian, even though there is no relation between Emmy awards and the success of the network, Hulu will surely gain the recognition.

Sources: Business Insider,

Modi inaugurates Sardar Sarovar Dam on his 67th Birthday

After many controversies and protests, Sardar Sarovar Dam was inaugurated today on the Narmada river by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his the occasion of his birthday.

The project would help take water to the Indo-Pak border in Gujarat, 700 km from the dam site, to fulfil the water needs of BSF soldiers, besides benefitting states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

Besides Gujarat, the Narmada canal will also irrigate 2,46,000 hectares of land in the desert districts of Barmer and Jalore of Rajasthan.

The dam became a reality today in Kevadia, Narmada district after 56 years, when its foundation was laid by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961.The project was mired in many controversies and faced impediments from pro- and anti-dam activists, till finally the Supreme Court gave the nod for its construction in 2000.
The apex court, on October 18, 2000, in a 2-1 majority judgement, allowed construction of the dam up to the height of 138 metres subject to completion of the rehabilitation process. However, despite the court verdict, the construction of the dam continued to face hurdles on rehabilitation issue.

Meanwhile, miles away from the inauguration of the dam, thousands of people took part in ‘Jal Satyagraha’, a protest that requires standing barefoot in water. This was led by Narmada Bachao Aandolan founder Medha Patkar to raise the issue for the 40,000 families who will be displaced since their home will be submerged.

Sources: Economic Times, NDTV

Image Source: PIB

India’s Forex for the first time crosses $400-billion mark

The forex exchange reserves of India for the first time crossed $400-billion mark on September 8. It showed  $400.727 billion as per Reserve Bank of India data. It almost took a decade for the RBI to shore up by $100 billion to cross $400 billion from $300 billion.

The Foreign Currency Assets (FCAs) which mainly accounts purchase and sale of foreign exchange by the RBI, income arising out of deployment of foreign exchange reserves, external aid receipts of the government and revaluation of assets, increased by $2.568 billion to $376.209 billion.

FCAs are expressed in US dollar terms and also include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US dollar currencies, such as the euro, the pound and the yen held in the reserves.

Gold reserves remained stable at $20.69 billion. Special drawing rights (SDR) from the International Monetary Fund, an international reserve asset created by the IMF and is allocated to its members in proportion of their quota at the multilateral agency, rose by $14.2 million from the previous week to $1.52 billion.

Interestingly, India has seen the third-highest reserves accretion globally after Switzerland and China so far in 2017.


Sources: Financial Express, NDTV

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LG, Philips loses appeal against EU’s price-fixing fine.

LG Electronics lost its final appeal against the ruling of European Union and has been asked to pay more than EUR 540 million.

The European Commission (EC) in 2012 had slapped seven top electronics companies with total EUR 1.5 billion for running up a price-fixing cartel for cathode ray tubes (CRTs).

Philips took the harshest penalty of €313.3 million, followed by a €295.6 million fine for LG. The companies were also hit with an additional €391.9 million penalty for the conduct of their joint venture.

Samsung was penalized €150.8 million, Panasonic got hit for €157.5 million and the other offending companies received smaller fines ranging from €7.8 million to €86.7 million.

The commission stated the fact that the companies had fixed prices, shared markets, allocated customers and restricted the output of color display tubes used in computer monitors and color picture tubes used in television sets.

Between 1996 and 2006, the EC said, the companies manipulated the market for cathode ray tubes, the central component in most older televisions and monitors.

CRT-based displays have largely been replaced by monitors using liquid crystal display and plasma technology in recent years, and the decline of the technology was one of the driving forces behind the cartel.

Source: NDTV , Law 360

Image Source: The IPKat

PCB Survey: 73 ‘dilapidated and unsafe’ structures in Pune

A survey conducted by the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) found that 73 ‘dilapidated and unsafe’ buildings in many areas. As per Section 297 of the Cantonment Act, 2006, such surveys are done every year during monsoon to identify the dangerous buildings in Pune.

 Dr. D N Yadav told Indian Express that they issued the eviction notices to the resident who still resides in six such dingy structures and there are approximately 3000 properties in the PCB area.

He further informed, While ward wise surveys are undertaken, the authorities are also intimated by locals about such crumbling structures. Time and again notices have been issued but occupants refuse to vacate the structures in several cases, following which cases are filed in the court.”

 Notices were served to dilapidated properties at 1138, 1139 Saifee Lane, 770 Taboot Street, 1192 Shimpi Ali, 1936 Dwayer Lane and others at Kedari Road by the engineering department.

 Most of the unsafe buildings are in Ward 1, which includes part of  Boottee Street, Dastur Meher Road and a part of Sachapir Street; Ward 2, which includes  J J Garden, old Modikhana, Taboot Street and Meher Mohalla and Ward 3, which has areas like Bhimpura Lane, Centre Street , V P Street and a part of Shimpi Ali.

 In many cases, there were legal disputes between the tenant and owner, due to which no repair work could take place. This posed a risk not only for people staying at such places but also for the adjacent buildings.

Sources: Indian Express

Image Source: TOI