Politics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Priyanka Gandhi to head Congress unit in East UP

  • KC Venugopal appointed general secretary in charge of organisation
  •  Jyotiraditya Scindhia appointed in charge, Uttar Pradesh West

All central universities have a sanctioned strength of 17,092 faculty members of which 5,606 positions are vacant. (Photo: HT)
All central universities have a sanctioned strength of 17,092 faculty members of which 5,606 positions are vacant. (Photo: HT)

EWS quota may face infrastructure, faculty hurdles

  • A Delhi University professor said jumping into the EWS quota will worsen the teacher-student equation
  • Neither the HRD ministry nor the UGC has explained how to implement 10% quota in education for EWS

 (Photo: Mint)
(Photo: Mint)

PMJAY spending gives a boost to govt’s focus on tertiary care

  • The top tertiary specialities for treatment were cardiology, cardiothoracic, vascular surgery, orthopaedics
  • The estimated proportion of all deaths due to NCDs rose from 37.09% in 1990 to 61.8% in 2016, says ICMR report

Senior Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut. (Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint)
Senior Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut. (Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint)

The word alliance does not exist in Shiv Sena’s dictionary, says Sanjay Raut

  • There are no talks from our side (on alliance with BJP)... Elections are approaching and we are concerned only about the Shiv Sena
  • True that we have not had good movies on political themes and biopics

Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac
Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac

Kerala to announce 1,000 crore health insurance scheme in budget

  • Kerala plans to pitch the new scheme as better than Ayushman Bharat
  • Thomas Isaac's budget will also be the first after to be presented after floods ravaged Kerala's economy last year

Under an order passed on 8 January by the Supreme Court, A.K. Bassi's application challenging his transfer was disposed of on the grounds that he could approach the appropriate forum (Mint)
Under an order passed on 8 January by the Supreme Court, A.K. Bassi's application challenging his transfer was disposed of on the grounds that he could approach the appropriate forum (Mint)

CBI vs CBI: AK Bassi moves SC challenging transfer

  • The transfer order was passed by M Nageswara Rao in his capacity as interim director of the CBI
  • Nageswara Rao's appointment is also under challenge at the apex court

The plea had contended that the amendment was a violation to the basic structure of the Constitution. (Wikimedia Commons)
The plea had contended that the amendment was a violation to the basic structure of the Constitution. (Wikimedia Commons)

Madras HC issues notice to Centre against 10% economic reservation

  • DMK’s MP RS Bharathi had challenged the new 103rd Constitution Amendment Act providing for quota up to 10% for persons belonging to economically weaker sections
  • The petition pointed out that it is judicially recognized that ‘reservations are not poverty alleviation programmes’

China president Xi Jinping. (Photo: Bloomberg)
China president Xi Jinping. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Xi Jinping warns party of 'serious dangers' as Chinese economy slows down

  • Xi Jinping told top provincial leaders and ministers that the Communist Party needed greater efforts to prevent risks
  • The US, under President Donald Trump, has slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions worth of dollars of Chinese goods

Ever since he was elected in 2014 as chief minister, Rao has drawn flak for his superstitious beliefs, be it his obsession with making government buildings 'vastu' compliant, or him not going to the secretariat. (AFP)
Ever since he was elected in 2014 as chief minister, Rao has drawn flak for his superstitious beliefs, be it his obsession with making government buildings 'vastu' compliant, or him not going to the secretariat. (AFP)

KCR begins five-day ‘homam’ in his village for good luck

  • Over 300 seers turned up at KCR's house in Erravalli, Siddipet for the 'homam'
  • Rao only has a home minister even after a month of forming the government, as the cabinet is yet to be announced

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had budgeted  ₹70,100 crore for farm subsidies in 2018-19 (PTI)
Finance minister Arun Jaitley had budgeted 70,100 crore for farm subsidies in 2018-19 (PTI)

Government may pay farmers cash instead of subsidies

  • The government is planning to club all farm subsidies including fertiliser costs
  • The additional cost is likely to be limited to 70,000 crore annually

There is still a significant possibility that the RBI could keep the rate on hold next month as policy makers gauge the progress on fiscal consolidation in the interim budget on 1 February, Goldman analysts. Photo: Reuters
There is still a significant possibility that the RBI could keep the rate on hold next month as policy makers gauge the progress on fiscal consolidation in the interim budget on 1 February, Goldman analysts. Photo: Reuters

RBI set to go for rate cut next month: Goldman Sachs

  • RBI likely to cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point in February, Goldman analysts
  • RBI governor Shaktikanta Das to chair his first Monetary Policy Committee meeting next month

The average time taken from the first instalment to completion for a PMAY-G home is only 114 days, compared to 314 days earlier, said a study commissioned by the ministry.
The average time taken from the first instalment to completion for a PMAY-G home is only 114 days, compared to 314 days earlier, said a study commissioned by the ministry.

Govt in poll mode, strives to attain ‘Housing for All’ target

  • Rural development ministry asks states and UTs to allot land to more than 400,000 people to ensure the target can be met by the 31 March deadline
  • The ministry is also rushing to complete the construction of 3.34 million houses by 31 March, given only 6.66 million rural houses have been completed

Congress’ state unit is organizing a ‘Jan Akansha’ rally at the historic Gandhi Maidan on 3 February, which will be attended by party chief Rahul Gandhi. (HT)
Congress’ state unit is organizing a ‘Jan Akansha’ rally at the historic Gandhi Maidan on 3 February, which will be attended by party chief Rahul Gandhi. (HT)

Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, parties shift their focus to Bihar

  • NDA, Grand Alliance eye 40 Lok Sabha seats and plan to use public meetings to showcase their strength
  • Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar will be attending meetings together for the first time along with other JD(U), BJP, LJP leaders

Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar deputy chief minister and GST Council member. (Pradeep Gaur/Mint)
Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar deputy chief minister and GST Council member. (Pradeep Gaur/Mint)

GST changes for benefit of small taxpayers, not for political gains: Sushil Modi

  • We can think of bringing petroleum products into GST when we achieve the revenue target of 1 trillion a month, says Sushil Modi
  • Modi says he is confident that after 2022, no state will require any compensation for GST revenue shortfall

YSR Congress Party supremo Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
YSR Congress Party supremo Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

TDP up in arms against Reddy for backing KCR’s front

  • TDP will try and recreate a 2014-like atmosphere in the state when AP and Telangana were created, says a party leader
  • YSR Congress chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy last week held a joint press conference with TRS working president and KCR’s son K.T. Rama Rao

A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Mint)
A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Mint)

PM-led panel on CBI chief to meet Thursday

  • Among the officers whose name would be discussed are JK Sharma and Parminder Rai from the 1982-batch-- the senior most but lacking experience in the CBI
  • The panel meeting to be attended by CJI Rajan Gogoi or his nominee, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge

On 28 September, the Supreme Court granted women of all ages the right to enter the Sabarimala temple, reversing the shrine’s tradition of barring girls and women of menstruating age. (PTI)
On 28 September, the Supreme Court granted women of all ages the right to enter the Sabarimala temple, reversing the shrine’s tradition of barring girls and women of menstruating age. (PTI)

Sabarimala: BJP stops hunger strike as pilgrimage season ends

  • Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan says the Sangh Parivar-led protests were a ‘complete failure’
  • Sabarimala Karma Samithi, a right-wing group, organizes a mass gathering to uphold the religious ban on women in Thiruvananthapuram

The decision to go it alone in 2019 Lok Sabha elections was taken following Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit’s statements, which showed arrogance, AAP leader Gopal Rai said. Photo: HT
The decision to go it alone in 2019 Lok Sabha elections was taken following Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit’s statements, which showed arrogance, AAP leader Gopal Rai said. Photo: HT

AAP rules out alliance with Congress for Elections 2019

  • AAP to contest all Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana
  • AAP has already announced people in-charge for 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi and names of 5 candidates in Punjab

The first Trump-Kim summit was held in Singapore in June 2018. Photo: Reuters
The first Trump-Kim summit was held in Singapore in June 2018. Photo: Reuters

Second Trump-Kim summit to take place near end of February

  • Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are expected to discuss North Korea’s denuclearization at their second summit
  • Trump has long signalled his interest in a second meeting with Kim, and there’s been speculation the summit could take place in Vietnam

Siddaramaiah says all Congress MLAs will ‘stay together in one place for as long as required’ to thwart any further attempts by BJP to poach its members. Photo: Mint
Siddaramaiah says all Congress MLAs will ‘stay together in one place for as long as required’ to thwart any further attempts by BJP to poach its members. Photo: Mint

Karnataka political crisis deepens as 4 Congress MLAs skip meeting

  • 4 Congress MLAs Umesh Jadhav, H. Nagendra, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumatahalli are holed up in a Mumbai hotel, and suspected to haplans to defect to the BJP
  • Congress to issue notices to all the four MLAs and on receipt of an explanation, will decide the next course of action

The choice of UP East for Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra is significant because the region covers some of the most high-profile constituencies held by the BJP, including those of PM Narendra Modi, CM Yogi Adityanath and both the deputy CMs. 
The choice of UP East for Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra is significant because the region covers some of the most high-profile constituencies held by the BJP, including those of PM Narendra Modi, CM Yogi Adityanath and both the deputy CMs. 

Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra bites the bullet, joins active politics

  • In a surprise move, she is appointed as Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh
  • She is now second member from the fifth generation of Nehru-Gandhi family to become a functionary of the party

Gandhi-Vadra has been a key strategist for Rahul Gandhi since he took charge of the party. She was credited with the alliance with the SP in the 2017 UP assembly polls but that move yielded no electoral gain for either party. (HT)
Gandhi-Vadra has been a key strategist for Rahul Gandhi since he took charge of the party. She was credited with the alliance with the SP in the 2017 UP assembly polls but that move yielded no electoral gain for either party. (HT)

Priyanka Vadra has a new address: 24 Akbar Road

  • From being Rahul Gandhi’s backroom strategist, she finally appears on the forefront
  • Known as an ‘aggressive’ politician, several party leaders and supporters feel she has a strong physical resemblance to her late grandmother, prime minister Indira Gandhi

Karnataka home minister M.B. Patil (Photo: HT)
Karnataka home minister M.B. Patil (Photo: HT)

Karnataka crisis deepens as Cong MLA still at large

  • The developments come amid the Congress party’s efforts to keep its flock together
  • It has alleged that BJP is attempting to bring down the state government by trying to lure its legislators.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. (PTI)
Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. (PTI)

Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, organizational changes in Congress

  • The changes were in line with the recent trend of maintaining a balance between veterans and young blood
  • Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia appointed as general secretaries in charge of UP East and West, respectively

The announcement comes amid the impending final list of the NRC later this year (Photo: PTI)
The announcement comes amid the impending final list of the NRC later this year (Photo: PTI)

Govt empowers autonomous councils in N-E

  • Announcement comes at a time when the North-East is in throes of a turmoil after the cabinet passed the Citizenship Bill, 2016
  • Considering the Lok Sabha polls are just months away, the centre is extending an olive branch to several factions

The ED had summoned Vadra in November in connection with a 2012 land grab case in Rajasthan. (HT)
The ED had summoned Vadra in November in connection with a 2012 land grab case in Rajasthan. (HT)

Robert Vadra’s tryst with law may go against Priyanka Gandhi

  • Priyanka was officially inducted into active politics on Wednesday in a pre-election move by the Congress
  • She will play lead at the electorally pivotal region of eastern Uttar Pradesh

When households and firms reduce their debt, economic activity slows, prompting government spending to kick-start the economy which increases public debt, says a new study.mint
When households and firms reduce their debt, economic activity slows, prompting government spending to kick-start the economy which increases public debt, says a new study.mint

How household debt becomes public debt

  • India has one of the highest debt-to-GDP ratios among emerging markets and many fear this ratio may rise with bailouts of weak state-run banks
  • More spending requires government borrowings which deteriorates public finances and increases public debt

Jaitley was expected to undergo surgery as soon as Thursday in New York, says the report (Mint)
Jaitley was expected to undergo surgery as soon as Thursday in New York, says the report (Mint)

Arun Jaitley undergoes surgery in US, advised 2 weeks rest 

  • Jaitley had stopped attending office since the beginning of April 2018
  • The Interim Budget for 2019-20 would be presented in Parliament on 1 February

Union Minister Piyush Goyal (Ramesh Pathania/Mint)
Union Minister Piyush Goyal (Ramesh Pathania/Mint)

Piyush Goyal to be finance minister till Arun Jaitley returns to work

  • Arun Jaitley, 66, has been at the forefront in dealing with a series of economic challenges that confronted the NDA
  • Last year too, Goyal was given charge of finance while Jaitley underwent kidney transplant at the AIIMS in Delhi

The APY scheme is focused on the unorganised sector workers which constitute more than 85% of the workforce. (Mint)
The APY scheme is focused on the unorganised sector workers which constitute more than 85% of the workforce. (Mint)

FinMin looking at suggestions of raising upper age limit for APY: Rajiv Kumar

  • PFRDA seeks finance ministry's nod to double the guaranteed minimum pension under Atal Pension Yojana to 10,000 per month and raise upper age limit to 50
  • Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar says banks can tap Mudra beneficiaries, Self Help Group members or Aganwadi workers

Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

Supreme Court denies interim bail to Unitech’s Sanjay Chandra

  • The brothers are in jail in a case of alleged forgery lodged by buyers of a Unitech housing project in Gurugram
  • A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud noted that the order of 30 October, 2018, was still to be complied with

 (Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

Cabinet approves India-Kuwait pact on domestic workers

  • The Memorandum of Understanding provides a structured framework for cooperation on domestic workers related matters 
  • The pact is initially valid for a period of five years and incorporates provision for automatic renewal

Finance minister Arun Jaitley (Pradeep Gaur/Mint)
Finance minister Arun Jaitley (Pradeep Gaur/Mint)

Govt set to raise food subsidies by 6.5% in Budget 2019

  • The government likely to earmark about 1.8 trillion for food subsidies next fiscal year
  • The bulk of the subsidies go towards covering the cost of buying rice and wheat at a higher price and selling them at subsidised prices

Railway minister Piyush Goyal (HT)
Railway minister Piyush Goyal (HT)

Railways to hire 2.3 lakh people over next two years  

  • In 2018, the railways initiated recruitment for 1,51,548 posts, and left 1,31,428 posts vacant
  • Around 53,000 and 46,000 employees will retire during 2019-20 and 2020-2021 causing an additional vacancy of 99,000 employees

Crisil in its India outlook said growth will be marginally better in 2019-20 at 7.3% from 7.2% in 2018-19. (Bloomberg)
Crisil in its India outlook said growth will be marginally better in 2019-20 at 7.3% from 7.2% in 2018-19. (Bloomberg)

Indian economy may grow 7.6% in FY20: UN report

  • Sustained recovery of private investment remains a crucial challenge, says report
  • Economic activity at the global level is expected to expand at 3% in 2019, but there are signs that growth may have peaked

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Mint)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Mint)

Cabinet approves $400 million currency swap arrangement for SAARC nations

  • The facility, Standby Swap, will help India provide a faster response to requests from SAARC member countries
  • The RBI will negotiate operational details bilaterally with central banks of SAARC countries

GSTAT was approved as per a recommendation of the GST Council.
GSTAT was approved as per a recommendation of the GST Council.

Move to set up GSTAT gets cabinet nod

  • The GST appellate tribunal will rule on appeals arising from central and state tax authorities’ in-house dispute resolution system
  • Parties to disputes can approach high courts and the Supreme Court if they are unhappy with GSTAT decisions

India navy set to open third base in strategic islands to counter China

  • Indian navy chief admiral Sunil Lanba will commission the new base, called INS Kohassa, about 300 km north of the archipelago’s capital, Port Blair
  • The facility, the third in the islands, will have a 1,000-metre runway for helicopters and Dornier surveillance aircraft

Trade wars and the outlook for China are major themes in Davos this week (Reuters)
Trade wars and the outlook for China are major themes in Davos this week (Reuters)

At Davos, CEOs privately vented over China's economic policies

  • Foreign executives raised concerns about China’s treatment of intellectual property and ownership structure of PSUs
  • Efforts aimed at securing the backing of the international business community for ending the US-China trade war

India is giving a big push to urbanisation with more than 100 smart cities being developed: Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO (Reuters)
India is giving a big push to urbanisation with more than 100 smart cities being developed: Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO (Reuters)

Urbanisation to be big driver of Indian economic growth: NITI Aayog CEO

  • Kant said IMF has forecast 7.5% growth for India despite a gloomy outlook for the global economy and this itself is good
  • Special provisions have been made for startups and angel investors, he added