2 min read.Updated: 04 Oct 2019, 12:47 PM ISTLivemint
From young tennis sensation Sumit Nagal’s rapid rise to a new legal clinic for people excluded from the NRC list, Lounge takes on some of the biggest updates of the week
Nagal’s star on a steady rise
Indian tennis sensation Sumit Nagal’s title win at the ATP Challenger Tournament in Buenos Aires on 29 September didn’t come easy. Nagal, who is 135th in the ATP rankings, had to travel to Argentina without his coach Sascha Nensel and trainer Milos Galecic due to financial constraints. It is startling to see a special talent face financial problems in an age when sports foundations devote both time and funds to promising athletes. The setback doesn’t seem to have affected Nagal’s progress, though, and he can now set his sights on reaching the top 100 rankings. —NS
A victory that counts
In a victory for press freedom, this week the National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court in Mumbai refused to restrain the media from covering the Malegaon blast trial proceedings.
The restriction was introduced at the behest of the NIA, which had asked for an in-camera hearing on the grounds of “maintaining communal harmony" and “protection of witnesses". The timing, however, seemed suspect: It filed the motion soon after Pragya Thakur, one of the eight accused in the case, was elected member of Parliament in the recent Lok Sabha election. Thakur had supported its position.
A team of 11 journalists challenged the order. Emphasizing the need for transparency, the court said the press was the “main pillar of democracy" and needed to play a role in disseminating accurate information. —OK
Elon Musk’s star trek
SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants to send you on an interplanetary tour on the Starship spacecraft, a prototype of which was unveiled in Texas earlier this week. Dubbed potentially the world’s most powerful launch vehicle, Starship is powered by six “Raptor" engines that use cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen as propellant. The spacecraft’s booster could have 37 such engines and is designed to carry crew and cargo to “Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond". Musk even claimed it could reach orbit in a matter of six months and crewed missions could begin by next year. Will it prove to be an option for future space travel given that it can refuel in low-earth orbit and is a reusable spacecraft? —NS
A legal clinic for those excluded from the NRC
Finally, there is some hope in sight for the 1.9 million people who have been excluded from the National Register of Citizens in Assam. Earlier this week, five law schools, including the NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, and National Law University Delhi, came together officially to launch a collaborative legal clinic for those filing appeals before the Foreigners’ Tribunals. Titled Parichay, the Guwahati-based clinic says access to competent legal aid is a priority for those left out. This is crucial as “not only may appellants lose their citizenship, but they may also be incarcerated in detention centres," says the team, comprising representatives from these law schools, in a statement. The team consists of Kolkata-based lawyer Darshana Mitra, Mohsin Alam Bhat, executive director of the Centre for Public Interest Law at the Jindal Global Law School, and Anup Surendranath of the National Law University Delhi. —AB