Morning Digest | India developing border connectivity due to China concerns, says EAM Jaishankar; BJP demands Delhi Deputy CM Sisodia’s resignation over ‘feedback unit’, and more

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

February 09, 2023 08:59 am | Updated 08:59 am IST

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with Ministers of State V. Muraleedharan and Arjun Ram Meghwal in New Delhi.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with Ministers of State V. Muraleedharan and Arjun Ram Meghwal in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: PTI

India developing border infra, connectivity with friendly neighbours due to China concerns: Jaishankar

India’s connectivity projects with Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar have been accelerated due to its “obvious” concerns about the frontier with China, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on Tuesday

Congress is trying to defame PM Modi, says Kiren Rijiju

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday accused the Congress of trying to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said the Opposition seemed to have not learnt any lesson from its 2019 ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ campaign.

AAP, BJP in battle over ‘feedback unit’; L-G gives nod to CBI probe

A ‘feedback unit’ (FBU) formed by the AAP government in 2015 has led to a fresh political storm in the national capital, with Lieutenant-Governor V.K. Saxena giving his approval to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a case against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia over alleged political intelligence gathering.

BRS, AAP, Shiv Sena (UT) persist with Adani debate demand in Parliament

The Bharat Rashtra Samithi, Aam Aadmi Party and the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena persisted with their demand for a structured debate in Parliament on the Hindenburg report alleging fraud by the Adani group. The three Opposition parties moved notices under Rule 267 in the Rajya Sabha, seeking a debate on the Adani-Hindenburg issue. The members of the three parties then staged a protest march within the Parliament premises, raising slogans demanding a probe into the Hindenburg revelations and the constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Ukraine's Zelenskyy tells France, Germany to provide 'game changing' weapons

France and Germany have the opportunity to be "game changers" in the war against Russia by not hesitating in delivering heavy weapons and modern fighter jets to Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a visit to Paris. Mr. Zelenskyy arrived in Paris for a dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz after holding talks in Britain earlier in the day

Mahua Moitra says ‘will call an apple an apple’ after uproar over her using unparliamentary language in Lok Sabha

After the BJP attacked Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra over her use of an ‘unparliamentary language’ on the floor of the Lower House on Tuesday, Ms. Moitra stood by her statement and said, “I’ll call an apple an apple, not an orange.“ The ongoing Budget session which has been facing repeated adjournments continuously for the last few days over the Adani issue. Ms. Moitra uttered an allegedly offensive word in Hindi when TDP member K Ram Mohan Naidu was addressing the House during the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address.

Aarogya Setu app contact-tracing data deleted: IT Ministry

Contact-tracing data from the COVID-19 pandemic collected by the Aarogya Setu app has been deleted from government databases, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a written response in Parliament. According to an RTI application filed by the Internet Freedom Foundation, that policy was discontinued by June 2022.

PM Modi trying to protect Adani else he would have ordered a probe, says Rahul Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to protect businessman Gautam Adani or else he would have ordered an inquiry into the allegations of fraud by the Adani Group, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said. Mr. Gandhi said none of his questions involving the Adani Group was answered.“The Prime Minister was shell-shocked. He was in shock and there was no answer. I have not asked any complicated question. I only asked how many times he [Mr. Adani] has gone with you. How many times did he meet you. I posed simple questions but got no answers,” the Congress leader said.

Left-leaning unions urge Kharge to reconsider protests in front of LIC offices

Leaders of two Left-leaning and two independent unions working among the employees of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) have written to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge urging him to reconsider the decision to hold protests in front of the LIC offices on the issue of Hindenburg report against the Adani Group. The leaders said such protests will “tarnish the image of the finest public sector institution” of the country.

Two more arrested in Delhi excise policy case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a Hyderabad-based chartered accountant and the Enforcement Directorate has held a businessman in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. The chartered accountant, Butchibabu Gorantla, was purportedly instrumental in the formulation and implementation of the policy, thereby causing wrongful gain to Hyderabad-based wholesale and retail licensees and their beneficial owners. In the money laundering case, the ED has arrested Gautam Malhotra, son of former Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Deep Malhotra who is in the liquor business.

Travellers from G20 countries can use UPI for payments: RBI Governor

To further expand the scope of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which has become a ubiquitous payment instrument for retail electronic payments in India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to expand its use for inbound travellers to India. RBI Governor also added that QR code-based coin vending machines will be installed on a pilot basis to ease the pressure on bank notes and for easy availability of coins to members of the general public.

Myanmar, Russia sign pact on developing nuclear power

Myanmar’s military-led government, working with Russia’s state atomic energy company, has inaugurated a nuclear power information centre as a step toward developing atomic power to fill energy shortages in the strife-torn Southeast Asian nation. Officials from the two sides met at the newly opened Nuclear Technology Information Centre in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, on Monday.

Collegium rejigs proposals for High Courts; Vinod Chandran named for Patna High Court

The Supreme Court Collegium recalled its earlier recommendation to appoint Kerala High Court judge, Justice K. Vinod Chandran, as Gauhati Chief Justice and has instead proposed his appointment as Chief Justice of Patna High Court. The Collegium stated that the position of Chief Justices in various High Courts have fallen vacant owing to retirement and the recent elevations to the Supreme Court.

Joe Biden says U.S. is ‘unbowed, unbroken’ in State of Union address

President Joe Biden exhorted Congress to work with him to “finish the job” of rebuilding the economy and uniting the nation as he delivered a State of the Union address aimed at reassuring a country beset by pessimism and fraught political divisions. In his 73-minute speech, Mr. Biden sought to portray a nation dramatically improved from the one he took charge of two years ago: from a reeling economy to one prosperous with new jobs; from a crippled, pandemic-weary nation to one that has now reopened, and a democracy that has survived its biggest test since the Civil War.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits and encourages troops with daughter

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un lauded the “limitless strength” of his nuclear-armed military as he visited troops with his daughter to mark the 75th founding anniversary of his army, state media said. The visit came amid indications North Korea is preparing to stage a massive military parade in capital Pyongyang where it could showcase the latest hardware of a growing nuclear weapons program that stokes the concern of its neighbours and the United States.

LeBron James surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA all-time scoring record

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James parlayed his offensive versatility over 20 seasons into the NBA all-time scoring record, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Tuesday for most points in league history. Abdul-Jabbar, who was sitting courtside, stood and applauded as James celebrated. The former Lakers star and NBA commissioner Adam Silver both shook James' hand and gave him brief hugs at center court.

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