Morning Digest | Govt ‘examining’ Indian tech company sanctioned by EU, U.S.; fresh protests in U.P. seek PSC re-exam citing ‘paper leak’, and more

Here is a select list of stories to start the day

Updated - February 27, 2024 06:47 am IST

Published - February 27, 2024 06:46 am IST

Aspirants holding placards stage a protest over RO/ARO exam paper leak allegations, in Prayagraj, on February 26, 2024

Aspirants holding placards stage a protest over RO/ARO exam paper leak allegations, in Prayagraj, on February 26, 2024 | Photo Credit: PTI

Government ‘examining’ Indian tech company in EU, U.S. sanctions list

The government is examining details of an Indian tech company involved in semiconductor research, that was sanctioned by the European Union on Friday for its dealings with Russia. The company is a partner of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for a very recent “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (Make in India) collaboration, officials confirmed to The Hindu

The company, Bengaluru-based high-tech firm Si2 Microsystems, has a complex history as it has been banned by the U.S. from “dual-use” technology transfers as well, and its directors had been placed on Lookout Circular (LOC) notices by Indian authorities over debt defaults.

India expresses serious concerns in WTO meet over unilateral protectionist measures

India has expressed “serious” concerns in a WTO meeting in Abu Dhabi over increase in the use of trade protectionist measures by certain countries in the name of environment protection. The remarks assume significance as the country has earlier flagged issues over the European Union’s (EU) decision to impose carbon tax (a kind of import tax) on sectors such as steel and fertiliser; and adoption of deforestation regulation by the 27-nation bloc.

Uzbekistan court sentences Indian, 22 others over contaminated cough syrup deaths

A court in Uzbekistan sentenced 23 people to prison terms on February 26 over the deaths of 68 children linked to contaminated cough syrups produced by India's Marion Biotech, following a six-month-long trial. The Central Asian nation had previously reported 65 deaths linked to the medicines, but last month the prosecutors at the Tashkent city court updated the death toll and said two more people had been charged during the hearings.

MEA says several Indians discharged from Russian Army after India ‘strongly took up the cases’

The Ministry of External Affairs said on February 26 that several Indians who joined the Russian Army were already discharged after such cases were “strongly” taken up with the Russian authorities. The Ministry said it has “seen some inaccurate reports in the media regarding Indians with the Russian Army seeking help for discharge.”

“Each and every such case brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been strongly taken up with the Russian authorities and those brought to the attention of the Ministry have been taken up with the Russian Embassy in New Delhi. Several Indians have already been discharged as a result. We remain committed, as a matter of top priority, to actively pursuing with the Russian authorities all the relevant cases of Indian nationals for an early discharge from the Russian Army,” the Ministry said.

Fresh protests erupt in U.P. seeking re-exam for posts citing ‘paper leak’

The Uttar Pradesh police on Monday allegedly beat up and chased away those who had gathered outside the State service commission’s office in Prayagraj demanding that the exam for the recruitment of review officers be held again, claiming paper leak. In a purported video of the incident that surfaced on social media, police personnel can be seen chasing away some youngsters. The Prayagraj Nagar Deputy Commissioner of Police could not be reached for comments despite multiple attempts.

The incident has come two days after the State government cancelled the police constable recruitment examination following complaints of question paper leak and other irregularities from across Uttar Pradesh.

Congress leaders meet in Delhi to discuss seat-sharing arrangement with DMK

Ahead of the formalising of the seat-sharing agreement with the DMK, Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal and convener of the party’s national alliance committee (NAC) Mukul Wasnik held a meeting with Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) chief K. Selvaperunthagai and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in Tamil Nadu, S. Rajesh Kumar, in Delhi on Monday.

A source said that the discussion was regarding the ‘rotation’ of some of the Parliamentary seats that are being held by the Congress. Another source said that the DMK was offering only 9 seats whereas the Congress had sought 12.

As BSP MPs desert the party, Lok Sabha election to be a reckoning for Mayawati 

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) saw 10 MPs get elected on its tickets. The run-up to the 2024 General Election, however, appears to be more like a countdown of their diminishing numbers as many of these MPs are looking for and securing different political options.

SC asks Coast Guard to ensure women officers get permanent commission

The Supreme Court on February 26 urged the Indian Coast Guard to ensure that women are granted permanent commission. “Women cannot be left out. If you do not do it, we will do it. So take a look at that,” Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, heading a three-judge Bench, addressed Attorney General R. Venkataramani, appearing for the Centre. The top court was hearing a plea filed by Indian Coast Guard officer Priyanka Tyagi seeking the grant of permanent commission to eligible women short-service commission officers of the force. “You speak of ‘nari shakti’ [woman power]. Now show it here. You are in the deep end of the sea in this matter. You must come up with a policy which treats women fairly,” the court had observed in an earlier hearing.

India voices ‘great concern’ over situation in war-ravaged Gaza

Addressing the 55th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that terrorism and hostage-taking are not acceptable and hoped that the conflict does not spread within or beyond the region. He said that international humanitarian law must always be respected. “It is vital that the conflict does not spread within or beyond the region,” he said, adding that the efforts must also focus on seeking a two-state solution where Palestinian people can live within Israelis.

Paytm Bank rejigs board, inducts ex bankers, retired IAS officers, Sharma steps down as chairman

One 97 Communications Ltd (OCL)., the promoter of Paytm Payments Bank Ltd. (PPBL), on Monday said Vijay Shekhar Sharma had stepped down as the non-executive chairman and board member of the payment bank.

‘Oppenheimer’ keeps devouring awards with top prizes at Producers Guild, with Oscars up next

Director and producer Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer , the tale of the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the birth of the atomic age, won the top prize at the 35th Producers Guild of America Awards — a frequent predictor of Oscar best picture winners — the night after doing the same at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Ind vs Eng fourth Test | ‘I know it’s still early days, but the youngsters have shown that they have the ability to excel,’ says Rohit Sharma

Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma handed debuts to four players — Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel and Akash Deep — and three of them performed remarkably well under pressure. “Such victories don’t come often,” Rohit said after the win. “Playing a five-match series is gruelling. You have to find your way, keep fighting, whatever contest you are in, with the bat or the ball. You have to do that consistently over a period of five to seven weeks. So it’s quite pleasing.”

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