Morning Digest | Tripura goes to the polls today; merchandise exports fall for 2nd month in a row, and more

Here’s a select list of stories to read before you start your day

February 16, 2023 07:41 am | Updated 07:50 am IST

Women poll officials head toward their respective polling stations for the Tripura Assembly elections, in Agartala, on Feb. 15, 2023.

Women poll officials head toward their respective polling stations for the Tripura Assembly elections, in Agartala, on Feb. 15, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Tripura voters hold the winning card as State goes to the polls today

A triangular contest—between the BJP, the Left Front-Congress combine and new entrant Tipra Motha—is on the cards in a majority of the 60 Assembly seats in Tripura, which goes to the polls on February 16. Of these 60 seats, 20 straddling a tribal council are reserved for the State’s 19 Scheduled Tribes, while 10 are reserved for the Scheduled Castes. 

Freedom of speech within Parliament is of utmost importance: Rahul Gandhi

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, according to sources, has filed a detailed reply to the notice sent to him by the Lok Sabha Secretariat in connection with a privilege motion moved against him by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey.

I-T action on BBC has ruined India’s image, alleges Congress

Mounting a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government over the income-tax (I-T) department’s survey on BBC offices in India, the Congress on Wednesday asked what image the Prime Minister wishes to convey to the world, especially when India is hosting the G-20 summit later this year.

Labour Ministry asks EPFO to speed up work on higher pension

As the deadline set by the Supreme Court for submitting joint options of employees and employers to claim higher Provident Fund pension is ending on March 4, the Union Labour Ministry has sent a letter to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) asking it to expedite the process so that those who want to claim a higher pension based on higher salary can avail the option. The Ministry has asked the EPFO to spell out the procedures for submitting joint options for those who retired after September 1, 2014, and subscribers of the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) who are currently working.

Uttarakhand Cabinet approves compensation policy for the disaster affected people of Joshimath

The Uttarakhand Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposed policy for compensation on the permanent displacement of land and buildings of disaster affected people in land subsidence hit Joshimath town.

Indigenous carrier INS Vikrant will be fully operational by year-end: Navy Chief

The country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, which is currently undergoing aviation trials, will be fully operational by year-end. All-out efforts are on to make it fully operational by the end of 2023, Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar said on Wednesday. The indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA-Navy) and Mig-29K carried out their maiden landings on the carrier earlier this month.

Governor should not enter the political arena of alliance-making: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said Governors are not supposed to venture into the political arena of alliance-making among parties. A Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud made the oral remark when Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Maharashtra Governor, dwelt on how the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena had left the “principled” pre-poll alliance between the BJP and the Shiv Sena to join the “opportunistic” post-poll alliance of the Maha Vikas Aghadi with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.

Dalit student death | Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle demands IIT-Bombay Director’s resignation

The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), a student body on the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay campus, on Wednesday demanded the resignation of the institute’s Director Subhasis Chaudhuri after the death of 18-year-old Dalit student Darshan Solanki. After the parents of Solanki, who allegedly died by suicide, spoke to television reporters about caste discrimination faced by him at IIT-B, the APPSC criticized Mr. Chaudhuri for “failing to create safe spaces for Dalit, Bahujan and Adivasi students despite being aware of what they faced”. 

Ladakh Statehood demand | Protest calendar ready, says former BJP MP

Hundreds of Ladakh residents gathered in Delhi on Wednesday to demand Statehood and constitutional safeguards for the Union Territory. The representatives from both Kargil and Leh asserted that when Sikkim with a population of only 2.5 lakh could be granted Statehood, the same could be done for Ladakh which has a population of around 3 lakh (as per 2011 Census). 

Merchandise exports fall for second month in a row; trade deficit eases to a year-low

India’s merchandise exports fell for the second month in a row this January, with the value of shipments slipping 6.6% to $32.91 billion, but the trade deficit eased to the lowest in a year at just $17.75 billion, thanks to a concurrent dip in imports. 

China must take a haircut on its loans to poor countries, says India’s G20 Sherpa

China must agree to take a haircut on its loans to poor countries and assist their economic recovery, India’s G20 Sherpa has said, in a rare, direct reference to Chinese debt of developing nations.

China says U.S. balloons flew over Xinjiang, Tibet, warns of countermeasures

China said on Wednesday that U.S. high altitude balloons flew over its Xinjiang and Tibet regions, and that it will take measures against U.S. entities that undermine Chinese sovereignty as a diplomatic dispute festered.

World Bank says President Malpass to step down on June 30

World Bank President David Malpass will step down on June 1 after more than four years at the helm of the multilateral development bank, the bank said on Wednesday. Mr. Malpass was appointed by then-President Donald Trump.

Women’s T20 World Cup | Deepti, Richa shine as India beat West Indies by 6 wickets

Deepti Sharma shone with the ball before Richa Ghosh led India to a six-wicket win over West Indies in their Women’s T20 World Cup Group 2 match here on February 15. Deepti spun a web around the West Indies batters to restrict them to 118 for six after being asked to bowl.

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