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MHA to SC: No 4G internet in J&K for now, will review situation after two months

On July 16, a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration and the Centre to respond on the allegations of contempt raised against it in a petition by the Foundation of Media Professionals.

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New Delhi, July 24 : The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has informed the Supreme Court that the special committee constituted to look into the issue of restoring 4G internet in Jammu and Kashmir decided against resuming the services.

In an affidavit filed earlier this week, in response to contempt petition against the Jammu and Kashmir administration, the MHA said: “Based on a considered and wide-ranging assesment of the prevailing situation in this sensitive region, the committee arrived at a decison that no further relaxation of restrictions on internet services, including 4G services, could be carried out at present.”

The MHA said the next review by the special panel will be carried out after two months.

The affidavit said however, the situation will be regularly reviewed by other competent authorities, and if there is an improvement in the security situation appropriate action will be taken accordingly.

On July 16, a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration and the Centre to respond on the allegations of contempt raised against it in a petition by the Foundation of Media Professionals.

The petitoner moved the Apex court seeking action against officials for allegedly defying the Top court’s order on the constitution of a special committee to review the internet restrictions.

The bench had noted the decision on the services should have been put in the public domain.

According to the affidavit, the special committee had held two meetings, before arriving at the conclusion to not ease restrictions on internet services in Jammu and Kashmir. The affidavit added that a separate government notification was not required since the committee was formed following court’s directive.

On May 15, the first meeting was held, four days after the Apex court ruling to form a panel to review internet restrictions. In this meeting, suggestions put forward by the petitioners were discussed and also the prevailing security situation along with the impact of internet restrictions in the region were looked into. No conclusion was reached during the meeting and it was decide to gather more inputs in connection with present situation on the ground.

The committee met again on June 10 to analyse the fresh inputs.

“A thorough and comprehensive and consideration of all facets of the matter, including the feasibility of alternatives suggested by the petitioners as well as the recent occurrence of terrorism-related incidents in the region, was carried out” said tha affidavit.

A report to this effect was duly submitted by special committee to the government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. This report comprises of details of the entire excercise carried out by the special committee, as well as considerations which weighted with its members. This report was also placed before the top court.

“A reading of this report would establish beyond doubt that there is no merit whatsoever in the allegations levelled against the respondents in the contempt petition”, added the affidavit.

The Top court on May 11, had the directed the government to constitute a three-member high-powered committee to examine the issue involved in restoring 4G internet services in J&K. This committee was headed by MHA Secretary, and also constituted the secretary of the Department of Telecom (DoT) and chief secretary of J&K.

The committee was asked to decide on the need to continue theArestriction of mobile internet speed to only 2G bandwidth in the region.

The MHA said the Apex court order was complied “faithfully” by officials concerned of the Centre and J&K governments. The affidavit said that the contentions regarding the alleged failure to constitute this special committee through a notification or order of the government are wholly wrong and misconceived.

Health

Modi interacts with 3 teams developing corona vaccines

The Prime Minister also asked the companies to come out with their suggestions and ideas regarding the regulatory processes and related matters.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Nov 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held virtual meetings with three teams working on the development and manufacture of vaccines against Covid-19, and discussed the potential of various platforms for vaccine development.

The teams are from Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd at Pune, and Biological E Ltd and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd at Hyderabad.

Their potential vaccines are in different stages of trials and detailed data and results are expected from early next year onwards, a Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement said on Monday.

“The potential of various platforms for vaccine development was also discussed,” the statement said.

The Prime Minister also asked the companies to come out with their suggestions and ideas regarding the regulatory processes and related matters.

He also suggested that they should make extra efforts to inform the general public in simple language about the vaccine and related matters such as its efficacy.

Matters relating to logistics, transport and cold chains in respect of delivery of the vaccines were also discussed.

The Prime Minister advised all departments concerned to engage with the manufacturers and seek to resolve matters so that the efforts by these companies bear fruit in order to serve the needs of the country and the entire world.

The Prime Minister praised the efforts made by scientists and researchers in these companies to come out with a vaccine solution to tackle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which so far has infected 94,31,692 people across the country, and led to deaths of 1,37,139 patients.

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Disaster

Economy to grow only 0.3% in 2 years as India enters first technical recession

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

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National debt under Modi govt surges

New Delhi, Nov 30: The Indian economy is forecast to show an average growth of only 0.3 per cent in two years as India enters its first technical recession, GDP could post further decline in 3QFY21.

As per a report by Motilal Oswal Financial Services, “Real GDP declined 7.5 per cent YoY in 2QFY21 (or 3QCY20), worse than our expectation, but better than the market consensus”.

Fiscal spending, consumption plus investments, posted its first major contraction since FY15 and is the worst on record. On the contrary, decline in private spending narrowed to -9.2 per cent in 2QFY21 from -35.4 per cent YoY in 1Q. The government and private sectors are naturally highly interlinked with each other, the report said.

A comparison of India with other major nations suggests India is no longer the worst affected economy — as the Philippines’ real GDP saw double-digit decline in 3QCY20 and decline was also higher in the UK and Mexico.

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

“We now pencil in a decline of 1–2 per cent YoY in 3QFY21 (v/s a negligible decline earlier) and growth of 2–3 per cent YoY in 4QFY21 (v/s +4.2 per cent projected earlier). Accordingly, India’s real GDP is forecast to decline 7.5 per cent YoY in FY21 (v/s the previous forecast of -6.5 per cent ), but grow 8.5 per cent in FY22 (against 7.8 per cent growth expected earlier). This implies average growth of only 0.3 per cent in the two years,” the report said.

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India

Shiv Sena slams BJP, calls using water cannons on farmers amid cold wave cruel

The farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders since five days against the new farm laws and have said they will not accept any conditional dialogue.

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Farmers to Delhi

Shiv Sena on Monday slammed the BJP-led regime’s treatment meted out to protesting farmers, adding it was cruel to use water cannons on them amid a cold wave sweeping parts of north India.

The farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders since five days against the new farm laws and have said they will not accept any conditional dialogue and threatened to block all five entry points to the national capital.

“Our farmers are being treated as terrorists and attacked on Delhi borders while terrorists are killing our soldiers on the border in Kashmir,” an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.

The Sena singled out Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for claiming a Khalistani link in the protests.

“BJP wants to create anarchy. Khalistan is a closed chapter for which Indira Gandhi and General Arunkumar Vaidya laid down their lives,” it said.

“The government is using all its might to crush political opponents but why is this determination not seen while dealing with the country’s enemies,” it asked.

In the last one month, 11 soldiers from Maharashtra attained martyrdom while fighting enemies on the borders, the Sena said.

Referring to the giant statue of Sardar Patel “erected by PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah” in Gujarat, the editorial said Patel was also a leader of farmers and led many farmers’ agitation against the British. “His statue’s eyes must be moist now seeing how farmers are being treated,” it said.

Central agencies like ED and CBI are being used as weapons against political opponents, the Sena said.

“These agencies should also get a chance to display their valour,” it said and suggested that (personnel of) ED and CBI should be deployed in Ladakhand Kashmir to help the Army fight India’s enemies.

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