Morning Digest | Indian Navy steps up surveillance in Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden; Transport unions threaten to intensify protests, and more

Here is a select list of stories to start the day

January 04, 2024 07:22 am | Updated 07:23 am IST

Members of the transport union, protest at Jantar Mantar regarding the new laws related to hit and run, in New Delhi on January 03, 2024.

Members of the transport union, protest at Jantar Mantar regarding the new laws related to hit and run, in New Delhi on January 03, 2024. | Photo Credit: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap

Transport unions threaten to intensify protests

The All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation, a platform of various trade unions of drivers and transport workers, has warned that it will intensify the protests if the Centre does not withdraw Sections 104(1) and (2) of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) immediately. The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), in a statement on January 3, supported the agitations of truck drivers and workers against the BNS provisions on the punishment to drivers involved in accidents. 

Railways tightens RTI norms days after revealing the cost of PM selfie points

The Indian Railways has tightened norms for Zonal Railways furnishing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act after a controversy over cost of selfie points installed at railway stations. Under the new rules, all replies must be cleared by General Managers of Zonal Railways or Divisional Railway Managers. 

Higher PF pension | Employers get five more months to process applications

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Wednesday extended the time for employers for uploading and submitting the joint options of employees to claim higher pension with their wage details online till May 31. This is the fifth extension for the process, which was initiated to implement the Supreme Court verdict on the matter delivered on November 4, 2022. The decision was taken by Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav, the Union Labour Ministry said in a release. 

Supreme Court verdict on Adani probe ‘extraordinarily generous’ to SEBI: Congress

The Supreme Court’s decision not to transfer the probe into allegations of stock price manipulation by the Adani group to the Central Bureau of Investigation or to a special investigation team, instead giving an additional three months to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), is “extraordinarily generous”, the Congress said on January 3, asserting that its fight against “crony capitalism” would continue even more “forcefully”. 

Navy steps up surveillance in Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden

The Indian Navy on Wednesday said its ships and aircraft remain “mission deployed” for maintaining enhanced surveillance and undertaking maritime security operations. “In the last one week, Indian naval task groups deployed in the area have investigated large number of fishing vessel and boarded vessels of interest,” it said.

FSSAI issues show cause notice to IndiGo for serving sandwich with worms

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has issued a show cause notice to IndiGo for allegedly serving unsafe food to a passenger in its flight on December 29. The letter accessed by The Hindu states that airline has been directed to show cause within seven days from the date of issue of the letter (January 2) as to why their license be should not be considered for suspension or cancellation and action be initiated as per the FSS Act, 2006 and rules and regulations made there under.

Hemant Soren will remain CM of Jharkhand, ruling coalition MLAs say after crucial meeting

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who is facing imminent arrest in a land scam case, convened a meeting of legislators from the State’s ruling coalition parties at his official residence in Ranchi on January 3. Emerging from the two-hour-long meeting, at which the current political situation in the State was discussed, MLAs insisted that the CM would not resign.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is indicted for allegedly insulting election officials

A Pakistani court on January 3 indicted imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan in a contempt case for allegedly insulting election officials, his defence lawyer said. The indictment is another blow for Mr. Khan, who is serving time on a corruption conviction and has multiple other legal cases hanging over him. 

Explosions reported near ship in Bab el-Mandeb Strait: U.K. agency

British maritime security agency UKMTO reported explosions late on January 2 near a cargo ship in the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which separates the Arabian Peninsula from the Horn of Africa. United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said it had received reports of up to three explosions 1-5 nautical miles from the merchant vessel, which was travelling between the coasts of Eritrea and Yemen.

103 killed in twin blasts at memorial event in Iran

Twin bomb blasts killed at least 103 people in Iran on Wednesday, ripping through a crowd commemorating Revolutionary Guards general Qasem Soleimani four years after his death in a US strike, state media reported. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed “evil and criminal enemies” of the country for the attack and vowed a “harsh response.”

Manufacturing activity hit 18-month low in December: HSBC PMI

 India’s manufacturing activity slipped to an 18-month low in December 2023, as per the HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, whose reading for the month stood at 54.9 compared to 56 in November. A reading of over 50 on the index indicates expansion in activity.

Ind vs SA | Second test sees 23 wickets tumble

India suffered a spectacular collapse, losing six batters for no run as 23 wickets fell on a crazy opening day of the second cricket test against South Africa at Newlands on Wednesday .Resuming on 153-4 after tea, the home team ran through the batting order to bowl India out for 153 in the space of 11 deliveries, with Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Nandre Burger snapping up three wickets apiece. Earlier, South Africa was bowled out for just 55 in 23.2 overs, sliding to its lowest total since being readmitted to test cricket in 1991, after Mohammed Siraj claimed a test-best haul of 6-15.

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