DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2019, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES `4.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 BILL TABLED IN UPPER HOUSE WISHES ITS READERS A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019 BUSINESS AS USUAL Opp unites in Rajya Sabha: Triple talaq draft law needs legislative scrutiny Opp says send Bill to select panel, Govt says Cong playing politics Why this is a test, both for BJP and Opposition BY UNNY RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 31 Two Pak soldiers killed at LoC, says Army THE BILL to make instant triple talaq a punishable offence hit a roadblock in Rajya Sabha Monday with a united Opposition demanding that the draft law be first sent to a select committee for legislative scrutiny. The government pressed for a discussion after Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled the Bill but the Opposition, which has a larger presence in the Upper House, stood its ground and the stalemate over proceedings contin- THE NUMERICAL majority of BJP in Lok Sabha may have got the better of Opposition objections to the triple talaq Bill in the Lower House last week, but the ruling party stares at a numerical challenge from the combined Opposition which has a larger presence in Rajya Sabha. While BJP may try to use this as an opportunity to project the Opposition as being on the side of the Muslim orthodoxy, the trial of strength also has the potential to show which parties in the Opposition are keeping options open to do business with the BJP in the near future. ued on the last day of the year. Opposition parties, barring the AIADMK, made reference to a resolution to send the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, to a select SRINAGAR, DECEMBER 31 THE IDEAS PAGE YEAR OF THE FARCE BY MRINAL PANDE PAGE 9 PAGE 1 ANCHOR CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 KRISHN KAUSHIK & PRADEEP KAUSHAL NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 31 THE CONGRESS Monday said it has accepted the government’s “challenge” to hold a discussion in Lok Sabha on the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France. Since Parliament will remain closed on January 1, the government and Congress are likely to face off Wednesday, promising a stormy start to 2019. Until now, the Congress had continued to disrupt proceedings in Lok Sabha, demanding a As Assam NRC deadline ends, 30 lakh who were left out file their claims ADIL AKHZER THE ARMY said Monday that it had foiled a “major” Pakistan Border Action Team (BAT) attempt to strike a forward post along the LoC in Nowgam Sector in north Kashmir. In the Army retaliation early Sunday morning, “two likely Pakistani soldiers” were killed, said officials. According to a spokesperson of the Army’s 15 Corps, “intruders attempted to move by exploiting the thick jungles close to LoC and were assisted by heavy covering fire of high calibre weapons such as mortars and rocket launchers from the Pakistani posts”. “The movement was nonetheless detected by the vigilant Indian Army troops deployed along the LoC. The firefight initiated by Pakistan was given strong retaliation by Indian Army and the exchange of fire continued the whole night,” said the spokesperson. The Army said search operations “confirmed elimination of two likely Pakistani soldiers and resulted in recovery of a large cache of warlike stores” adding that a “few other intruders managed to escape across the LoC, taking advantage of the Pakistani firing and adverse weather and visibility conditions”. The Army said the intruders were wearing “combat dresses like Pakistani Regulars and were carrying stores with Pakistani markings further reinforced the assessment”. “We will ask Pakistan to take back the mortal remains of deceased likely Pakistani soldiers since Pakistan did provide full covering fire support to these intruders,” said the spokesperson. committee. TMC member Derek O’Brien’s motion for reference of the Bill to a select committee did mention AIADMK member A Navaneethakrishnan as the first Cong changes stand, agrees to debate Rafale deal in Lok Sabha SHILLONG, DECEMBER 31 SAJJAN SURRENDERS Sajjan Kumar surrendered before a Delhi court on Monday to serve life sentence in a 1984 riots case. ANI 288/298: Landslide for Hasina in Bangla polls, Opp cries foul CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Monday. AP NEW RULES, A BETTER GAME ABHISHEK SAHA OF THE 40 lakh applicants excluded from the final draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, around 30 lakh had filed claims for inclusion by Monday evening, when the deadline for the “Claims and Objections” round ended, officials said. While the final tally is expected to be clear Tuesday morning, officials said objections against 700 names in the final draft had also been filed till Saturday. The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the updation process, had fixed December 31 as the deadline for submission of claims and objections. The process for verification of applications in the round is scheduled to begin from February 15, Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the deal. But on Monday, it changed its stand and agreed to a discussion after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the party was “running away” from a debate. Speaking in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, said, “Jaitleyji has thrown a challenge... we are ready for a debate on January 2. Please decide the time.” Congress members had been protesting in the well of Lok Sabha, holding placards and demanding a JPC probe. They also BY MC MARY KOM PAGE 8 GUJARAT EXPRESSIN DHAKA SHUBHAJIT ROY DECEMBER 31 At an NRC Seva Kendra in Guwahati. Express file according to the Supreme Court. Asked about the 10 lakh who have not filed their claims, official sources told The Indian Express that “non-genuine citizens” who had tried to get in earlier “may not try again”. A B Khandekar, who heads Association for Citizens’ Rights (ACR), which focusses on STUDENTS ANSWER QUESTIONS ON CENTRAL GOVT SCHEMES IN GK TEST 10 HELD AFTER CLASH BETWEEN TWO COMMUNITIES PAGE 4 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BANGLADESH’S RULING coalition led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set for an unprecedented, third consecutive term after winning almost every parliamentary seat in the general elections amid Opposition allegations of intimidation and election rigging. According to the Bangladesh Election Commission, the Hasina-led ruling coalition won 288 seats of the country’s 300 seats, while the Opposition alliance got seven seats and other parties won three. Of the 300, the EC declared 298 as elections to two seats will be held later. The ruling coalition also bagged more than 80 per cent of votes, making it the strongest government in South Asia. Hasina’s win is based on her track record of development, as during her 10-year-rule, the country fared quite well on social and economic indicators. “We have a good opportunity to continue with the development of the people, and economic development is very important,” Hasina said after the victory. She also said that she will continue to fight against “terrorism, drugs and corruption”. According to her, people voted her party to power after evaluating the fruit of development borne in her previous CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RELATED REPORT PAGE 18 Don’t allow new colleges Bhima Koregaon: Before memorial Gujarat changes roll call: from 2020, review every day, fear under security blanket Jai Hind, Jai Bharat to 2 yrs: Panel to engg body KAVITHA IYER replace Yes Sir, Present RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 31 WITH MORE than half the engineering seats falling vacant every year, a government committee, headed by IIT-Hyderabad chairman B V R Mohan Reddy, has advised the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to stop setting up new colleges from 2020 and review the creation of new capacity every two years after that. AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe told The Indian Express that the committee has submitted its report and that its suggestions are being considered by the technical education regulator. The panel, in a 41-page report, has also suggested that no additional seats should be approved in traditional engineer- ing areas such as mechanical, electrical, civil and electronics and that institutes should be encouraged to convert current capacity in traditional disciplines to emerging new technologies. This recommendation has been justified on the ground that current capacity utilisation in traditional disciplines is just 40% as opposed to 60% seat occupancy in branches such as computer science and engineering, aerospace engineering and mechatronics. For the same reason, the committee has urged the AICTE to introduce undergraduate engineering programmes exclusively for artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, quantum computing, data sciences, cybersecurity and 3D printing and design. An investigation by The Indian Express in December 2017, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PERNE PHATA (PUNE), DECEMBER 31 MANY WHO will welcome the new year under flimsy pandals around the Bhima Koregaon war memorial have spent every December 31 here, swatting mosquitoes and singing Ambedkarite songs to distract from the cold. But January 1, 2019, is different. It marks a year of deepening faultlines at the site of the 1818 war that saw a Colonial army, helped by a Mahar regiment, defeat the Peshwas. This new year, the day that marks the overthrow of upper-caste rule is time to mull over what remains a divided society. “It’s going to be peaceful tomorrow,” says Santosh Davne, 35, from Nanded. A vendor of trinkets featuring Dr B R Ambedkar and the Buddha, the disabled Davne has been visiting the RITU SHARMA AHMEDABAD, DECEMBER 31 At the Bhima Koregaon Jaystambh, Monday. Nirmal Harindran Jaystambh, the obelisk to honour soldiers who died on January 1, 1818, on the banks of the Bhima, for 12 years. “I set up a stall every year, but I have never seen such police presence or such quiet fear among people,” he says. Residents of Bhima Koregaon, Vadu Budruk and Perne, the sites of tension and rioting on January 1, 2018, say no trouble is expected this year. On WhatsApp groups and Facebook CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 TAKING INSPIRATION from a Rajasthan teacher who was honoured in Ahmedabad last Saturday by RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Gujarat government Monday asked all schools to ensure that students respond with “Jai Bharat” or “Jai Hind” during roll call from January 1. The Government Resolution (GR) was issued in a circular by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, and Director, Primary Education. “In order to instil nationalism from a young age, it is directed that students of all schools, government, grant-inaid as well as private, should say ‘Jai Bharat’ or ‘Jai Hind’, instead of ‘Yes sir’ or ‘Present sir’ across the state from January 1, 2019. Ensure this is followed across all schools,” the circular states. According to officials, the decision was inspired by Sandeep Joshi, a History teacher at a school in Rajasthan’s Jalore district, who received the Yashwantrao Kelkar youth award, at the ABVP’s national conference, for his work in education, including for getting his students to say “Jai Hind” and “Jai Bharat” during roll call. Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said: “There is nothing bad in taking inspiration from such a good initiative. This was followed in Gujarat decades ago but somewhere down the line, it was forgotten.” Can’t Believe PM Spoke About Me: Lassi Seller’s Boxer Daughter NITIN SHARMA CHANDIGARH, DECEMBER 31 EARLY ON Sunday morning, Jasmer Singh got to know that his daughter Rajni, the 16-yearold national junior boxing champion, would get a mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly Mann ki Baat. It was Rajni’s coach, Surinder Malik, who first got the confirmation from a Doordarshan official. Malik was told about Modi’s interest in the inspiring story — reported by The Indian Express — of his ward from Buana Lakhu village near Panipat, whose training was funded by her father who lugs heavy metal cans on his old Rajdoot motorcycle, knocking on doors to sell lassi. But Jasmer missed the broadcast. “Rajni had told me that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would mention her. I had to do extra rounds to sell lassi, since I knew we would have a crowded house by evening. The village elders would drop by, so I had to serve them food,” he says. It went as planned. Jasmer, who on an average sells 60 to 70 litres of lassi daily, sold over a hundred. “On Sunday, I sold 102 litres of lassi and returned home with barfi and laddoos,” he says. Earlier this month, The Indian Express had reported Rajni’s gold medal triumph in the 46-kg category of the Junior Nationals at Chandigarh, through the eyes of a father who, over the years, had diligently set aside a substantial portion of his profits for the family’s boxer. Modi spoke about Rajni for over two minutes, recounting how Jasmer supported her dream despite financial hardship. “On The Indian Express report on December 19; (Left) Rajni with her father Jasmer Singh. Express winning the gold medal, Rajni ran to a milk stall and drank a glass of milk to honour her father Jasmer Singh, who sells lassi. She said her father had sacrificed a lot to help her reach this stage... When she expressed her desire to learn boxing, her father was determined to provide all possible resources, and encouraged her in her pur- suit,” he said, as he congratulated Rajni and her parents. Rajni’s tryst with the sport began over four years ago when she saw some girls training at the Phul Singh Memorial Boxing Academy run by Malik. The youngster, the third eldest among six siblings, would initially train with old gloves at the academy. Things improved after she won a gold medal at the School Nationals in Dehradun last year. This was followed by a bronze medal at the first Khelo India Games, which provided an CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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