US Democracy Watchdog Downgrades India from “Free” to “Partly Free”
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; US human rights watchdog Freedom House has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of “leading India toward authoritarianism” with a “twisted lockdown”, the scapegoat for Muslims and the crackdown on critics, and downgraded India’s status from “free” to “partially free, ”in its annual report.
“Under Modi, India appears to have given up its potential to serve as a world democratic leader, elevating narrow Hindu nationalist interests to the detriment of its core values of inclusion and equal rights for all,”Freedom in the World said. 2021, which was released on Wednesday.
- India’s freedom score, calculated using indicators of political rights and civil liberties, has dropped four points to 67 this year, placing the country in the “Partly Free” category.
- In a year in which social media censorship was hotly debated and the government shut down internet connectivity at Delhi’s borders due to protests from farmers, India’s internet freedom score fell to only 51.
- Freedom House, which is funded largely by grants from the US government, has followed the course of democracy since 1941.
- The report followed a deterioration in political rights and civil liberties since Modi became prime minister in 2014, adding that the decline has only accelerated after his re-election in 2019.
- Last year the government has stepped up its crackdown on protesters who oppose discriminatory citizenship. law and arrested dozens of journalists who criticized the official response to the pandemic, the report said.
- It noted that judicial independence had also been affected, noting the case of a Delhi High Court judge who was transferred immediately after berating police for failing to take action during riots in the capital which have killed more than 50 people.
- Uttar Pradesh’s law prohibiting forced religious conversion through interfaith marriage was also mentioned as a matter of concern.
- Rather than serving as a champion of democratic practice and a counterweight to the authoritarian influence of countries like China, Modi and his party are tragically leading India itself towards authoritarianism, the report said.
- Freedom House, funded largely by grants from the US government, has followed the course of democracy since 1941.
Bangalore, Shimla, the “most livable” cities in the government’s comfort of life index
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; Bangalore was ranked the most livable of India’s 111 cities in the government’s ease of living index, followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodra, Indore and Greater Mumbai.
- Of the 49 cities classified in the livability index as “over one million inhabitants”, Delhi is ranked 13th and Srinagar in last place.
- According to the index published by the Union’s Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, Shimla tops the category of cities with “a population of less than one million”.
- In this category, Bhubaneshwar came second, Silvassa third, followed by Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurgaon, Davangere and Tiruchirapalli.
- Muzaffarpur was at the bottom of the livability index for 62 cities in the “less than one million population” category.
- New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) topped the “Municipal Performance Index” in the “less than one million” population category.
- Indore topped the Municipal Performance Index in the Over One Million People category.
ISRO launches Brazil Amazonia-1, 18 more satellites
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; ISRO successfully launched on Sunday the optical Earth observation satellite of Brazil, Amazonia-1 and 18 passenger satellites of India  and the United States  from space Satish Dhawan, SHAR, in Sriharikota.
- The satellites were carried aboard PSLV-C51, the Indian launcher’s 53rd flight and the first dedicated mission to New Space India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO. The mission was carried out under a commercial agreement with Spaceflight Inc, USA.
- Indian Space Research Organization launches Amazonia-1, Brazil’s optical Earth-observing satellite, and 18 passenger satellites from the United States and India aboard PSLV-C51 from the Satish Dhawan central space station in Sriharikota on February 28, 2021.
- PSLV-C51, equipped with two solid belt drives, the third such launch of the PSLV-DL variant, took off at 10:24 a.m. from the first firing point in Sriharikota.
- Of the 18 satellites, 13 were from the United States, one was a technology demonstration satellite, and the rest were for two-way satellite communications and data relay. Among the five Indian satellites, one belongs to DRDO.
- Five satellites belong to India: the Satish Dhawan SAT (SDSAT) built by Space Kidz India is a nano-satellite intended to study radiation levels, space weather and demonstrate long-range communication technologies and the UNITYsat, a combination of three satellites intended to provide Radio Relay Services.
IT department raided facilities linked to Anurag Kashyap, Tapsee Pannu, Vikas Bahl
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; The income tax department today conducted searches at around 20 locations linked to Bollywood personalities in Mumbai. The searches were carried out at locations linked to director Anurag Kashyap, actor Taapsee Pannu and producer Vikas Bahl, a tax department official said.
- The searches, part of a tax evasion investigation against Phantom Films and carried out at 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune, also covered Reliance Entertainment group CEO Shibhasish Sarkar and some executives from the celebrity and talent management company. The raids began in the morning and continued into the evening.
- The action is part of an investigation against the production company, which was dissolved in 2018, and its then promoters Kashyap, director and producer Vikramaditya Motwane, producer Vikas Bahl and producer and distributor Madhu Mantena.
- Tax department sources said that some related transactions between the wanted entities are under the department’s scanner.
- The raids, they added, are aimed at gathering more evidence to further investigate the tax evasion allegations against him.
- Film commercial transactions conducted under the Phantom Films banner are also being surveyed, the sources said.
- Kashyap and Pannu, who worked together on the 2018 film “Manmarziyaan” and are now collaborating on the upcoming film “Dobaara,” are known to openly express their views on a variety of topics.
- Earlier this month, in what was seen as an indirect criticism of the government’s response to tweets from foreign celebrities, including singer Rihanna, about the farmer’s protest.
- Pannu tweeted: “If a tweet shakes your unit, a joke Shake up your faith or a performance. Shake up your religious belief, then it is you who must work to strengthen your value system and not become a “propaganda master” to others.
- This tweet had received over 290,000 likes and about 90,000 retweets.Kashyap had visited JNU and Shaheen Bagh during the anti-CAA protests last year and is known to be just as outspoken on a variety of topics, though she has been quiet lately on Twitter.
Do you want to marry her? SC calls on man accused of repeatedly raping underage girl
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; The Supreme Court today asked a state government employee if he would marry a girl he was accused of repeatedly raping while she was underage. The man refused, saying he was already married.
- A court headed by Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde subsequently suspended his arrest for four weeks so that he could seek regular bail. During the hearing, the court asked the accused’s lawyer whether his client would be willing to marry the victim or risk the prospect of going to jail.
- We’re not forcing you …, Chief Justice Bobde added a caveat, before the lawyer left the virtual session to consult with his client. The lawyer returned soon after to inform the court that his client had refused to marry the young girl.
- “I originally asked for marriage … At this point, I can’t marry her … I’m married,” the lawyer told the court of his client’s comments.
- In another case, the Bench suspended the detention of a man accused of rape after falsely promising marriage. The accused addressed the court saying that he had been trapped.
- He said they were in an internal relationship and she accused him of rape when their relationship turned sour. Their sexual relationship during the period was consensual.
- The alleged victim said she was promised marriage and “brutally and sexually abused”.
- When two people live as husband and wife, however brutal it may be, can sex between them be called ‘rape’?” Chief Justice Bobde asked the girl’s lawyer.
- He replied that his client’s consent had been taken for fraud and that the accused had threatened the young girl. The court ultimately refused to consider the accused’s request to quash the FIR against him, but left him free to seek his release in the trial court, while his arrest was deferred.
- Reacting forcefully to the comments of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde to a rape accused yesterday, asking him if he would marry his victim, more than 4,000 concerned citizens, including representatives of Indian women’s movements, progressive groups, students, lawyers and filmmakers signed an open letter asking CJI to apologize, withdraw comments and step down.
The Supreme Court favors the regulation of OTT platforms
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; On Thursday, the Supreme Court made it clear to OTT (over-the-top) platforms, like Netflix and Amazon that it was in favor of the “projection” of the content they broadcast. He said that some of the films hosted by the platform were pornographic.
“The viewing of traditional films has disappeared. The public now watches movies and web series on these platforms. Shouldn’t there be a review? We think there should be screenings… There is pornography in some films, ”Judge Ashok Bhushan observed before a bench, which also includes Judge R. Subhash Reddy.
- Judge Bhushan said the court wanted to consider the Purohit case in light of new guidelines notified by the government to hold social media and OTT platforms accountable for their content. The Chamber requested that the guidelines be recorded and that a hearing be set for March 5.
- The 2021 Information Technology Rules (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Code of Ethics for Digital Media) require streaming platforms to comply with a new, three-tier self-regulatory complaint resolution system.
- It also includes an independent self-regulatory body headed by a retired Supreme Court or Supreme Court judge, who will decide content issues.
- Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting clarified today that none of the OTT platforms will have to register with the government and that no government candidate will be present at the body of self-regulation.
- The statement was released after I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar interacted with representatives of the OTT platforms.
SC fights for measures to accelerate aid to accident victims
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; The Supreme Court is considering creating a nationwide online mechanism to help traffic accident victims and their families obtain compensation as soon as possible.
- A bench led by Judge SK Kaul is considering several avenues to expedite the compensation process, including creating a national network to pay compensation transparently across states for online filing of claims, police claim documents and of Accidents in Traffic Accident Compensation Courts.
- The court intervention came after a motion filed by one of India’s largest insurance companies, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company, highlighting the plight of victims who have been waiting for their money for years.
- Bajaj, based on its “pan-Indian experience” in the insurance industry, said that in many parts of the country it takes police months to file an accident report for submission to the claims court.
- The report is the first step in determining compensation under the Motor Vehicle Act. The delay is often due to a chronic shortage of manpower in the police force, heavy geography or utter lethargy.
- The law requires the “contemporaneous” collection and verification of accident information. A delay would destroy crucial and important evidence. Furthermore, it could also keep witnesses away from the truth.
- The company argued that the delay also adds to the trauma of the accident and affects the victim’s right to equality and access to justice.
- In its petition, the company explained that the delay in gathering information about the accident and submitting the report to the court makes it difficult for insurers to separate genuine claims from false ones.
- Bajaj said it was also “a precious right for insurers to separate genuine claims from others on the basis of verified information provided by the police.” The case was scheduled for a hearing on March 16.
Express dissent against the government does not amount to sedition: Supreme Court
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that expressing its disagreement against the government did not amount to sedition, while it rejected a petition to “end” Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s membership in Lok Sabha and reserve it for sedition.
- A court presided over by Judge Sanjay Kishan Kaul rejected a petition filed by Rajat Sharma accusing Dr. Abdullah, president of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, of declaring that “in Kashmir he will obtain the restoration of Article 370 of the Constitution with the help from China During a speech on September 24.
- Sharma argued that Section 370 was removed from the Constitution by a majority in Parliament.
- Everybody knows that there are only two countries in the world that are trying to seize the Indian part of the Indian territories, namely China and Pakistan, which means that Farooq Abdullah is trying to deliver the cashmere to China or Pakistan, which is totally the opposite. at the disposition of the Constitution and is equivalent to sedition, said his petition.
AG refuses to consent to contempt proceedings against former CJI Ranjan Gogoi
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; Attorney General K.K. Venugopal refused to consent to an activist to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi over his comments on the Supreme Court.
- Activist Saket Gokhale said that Judge Gogoi’s remarks, in a widely publicized interview at the India Today conclave in February, scandalized the court and lowered his dignity in the public eye.
- Justice Gogoi, now a member of the Rajya Sabha, is reported to have used terms such as “dilapidated” justice and so on. Venugopal, in a letter to Gokhale, agreed that Judge Gogoi’s statements were in fact “very forceful”, but that they were said for the good of the institution” and would not “in any way shock the court or lower its authority in the eyes of the public.
- The consent of the Attorney General is required to initiate a contempt process before the Supreme Court.
- Therefore, I refuse to consent to prosecute for criminal contempt under section 15 of the 1971 Contempt of Court Act, Venugopal concluded.
Trapped in ‘sex for favor’ scandal, Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi resigns
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; Karnataka’s Senior and Intermediate Irrigation Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned from cabinet on Wednesday, a day after allegations emerged that he demanded sexual favors from a woman in exchange for a government post .
- A CD allegedly containing recordings of his intimate moments with the woman was handed over to Bengaluru police on Wednesday by an activist.
- Jarkiholi sent his resignation letter to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and said he is stepping down to save the party from shame and should be reinstated once his innocence is proven.
- He described the allegations as far from true. Opposition parties have been protesting since Tuesday to demand his resignation.
- Jarkiholi led the team of 17 opposition MPs that changed the BJP from Congress, which ultimately led to the downfall of the Congress-JD (S) coalition government and the formation of the BJP government.
- In addition to the party he resigned from, a large number of BJP veterans were also uncomfortable with Jarkiholi’s instantaneous political growth.
Maharashtra minister linked to death of Pune girl resigns cabinet
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; Maharashtra’s Forestry Minister and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rathod has resigned from Maharashtra’s cabinet over his alleged connection to the death of a 23-year-old woman from the nomadic Banjara community in Pune.
- Rathod, who was criticized by the opposition Bharatiya Janata (BJP) party for nearly three weeks after the incident, tendered his resignation to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday.
- Thackeray has yet to respond to a call on whether or not to accept the minister’s resignation. While claiming the case was a smear tactic, Mr Rathod said he would help with the investigation.
Five congressmen suspended in Himachal
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatraya on Friday was reportedly ill-treated by some members of Congress inside the Assembly precinct, after which five MPs were reportedly suspended for the remainder of the budget session.
- Spokesman Vipin Parmar said Congressman including opposition leader Mukesh Agnihotri was suspended by a motion tabled by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj.
- Opposition members attempted to arrest the governor outside the President’s chamber as he walked to his parade, accompanied by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Parmar, after addressing the assembly on opening day of the budget session.
- The speaker said the action by members of Congress was against the rules. No congressman was present in the House when the five deputies were suspended.
Chinese malware could have targeted India’s power systems and seaports – American Company
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; Chinese state-sponsored actors may have deployed malware to Indian power grids and seaports when border tensions between India and China began to escalate in May, culminating in a clash along the Actual Line of Control (LAC) in mid-June.
- The alleged cyber intrusion was discovered and disclosed by U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence firm Recorded Future, according to the New York Times, which published the article. A network outage on Oct. 12 in Mumbai could have been caused by Chinese malware, according to the report.
- The Massachusetts-based company discovered that as the fighting approached, it had noticed an increase in malware targeting government, advocacy organizations and the public sector.
- The Energy Ministry confirmed that although attempts were made to breach the systems, the power sector was not affected.
- Although the government has not contacted Recorded Future since the New York Times published its report, according to Mattingly, the company had been in contact with the government before the report was released.
- The New York Times report quoted Recorded Future COO Stuart Solomon as saying that the Chinese state-sponsored group (which the company calls ‘Red Echo’), “has been seen to routinely use techniques advanced cyber intrusion to quietly retreat into nearly a dozen critical nodes in India’s power generation and transmission infrastructure. “
Responsibility for creating an ‘enabling environment’ rests with India, says Imran Khan
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday welcomed the ceasefire agreement with India, but said it is up to New Delhi to create an “enabling environment” for further progress in bilateral relations.
- In his first remarks since the Indian and Pakistani armies jointly announced Thursday that they had agreed to strictly observe all ceasefire agreements along the Line of Control (LoC) and other areas, Khan said Pakistan remains willing to move forward to resolve “all unfinished business” with India through dialogue.
- India and Pakistan issued a joint statement on Thursday to strictly observe all ceasefire agreements throughout the LoC and other areas after direct talks with their Directors General of Military Operations (DGMO) The decision of the two countries entered into effective February 24/25 at midnight.
Saudi Arabia rejects US intelligence report on Khashoggi’s assassination
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; Saudi Arabia has said it completely rejects “the negative, false and unacceptable assessment” of the US intelligence report released on Friday that revealed that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- The de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia approved an operation to capture or kill the Washington Post columnist in 2018, according to the US report, and the United States sanctioned some of those involved, but not the crown prince.
- A Saudi court jailed eight people last year for seven to 20 years for Khashoggi’s murder after his family pardoned his killers and allowed the death sentences to be overturned. Khashoggi, a critic of the crown prince, was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, where he went to collect documents for his impending marriage.
- His body was dismembered and removed from the building and his remains have not been found. The assassination sparked a worldwide uproar and tarnished the reformist image of Prince Mohammed, and strained relations between the United States and its closest Arab ally.
18 anti-coup protesters killed in military crackdown in Myanmar (UN Rights Office)
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; Burmese police fired at protesters on Sunday during the bloodiest day in weeks of protests against a military coup and at least seven people were killed and several injured, political, medical and media sources said.
- United Nations Human Rights Office said it had received “credible information” that Sunday’s crackdown on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar left at least 18 dead and more than 30 injured.
- Deaths have reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku, ”said in a statement, referring to several cities in Myanmar.
- Tear gas was also reportedly used in several locations, as well as flash grenades and stun grenades. Myanmar has been in chaos since the military seized power and detained the elected head of government Aung San Suu Kyi and many of her party leaders on February 1, citing a fraud in the November elections that their party won overwhelmingly.
- Police intervened early and opened fire in different parts of the larger city of Yangon after stun grenades, tear gas and gunfire failed to disperse the crowd.
- The soldiers also reinforced the police. Several injured people were carried by other protesters, leaving blood marks on the sidewalks, media images showed.
Bharat Biotech Says Covaxin Showed 81% Efficacy in Phase 3 Clinical Trials
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; The India-made Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, has shown interim clinical efficacy of 81% in its Phase 3 clinical trial, vaccine maker Bharat Biotech said.
- Covaxin has demonstrated a trend for high clinical efficacy against Covid-19, as well as significant immunogenicity against rapidly emerging variants, said CMD Krishna Ella.
- A statement from Bharat Biotech, which developed the vaccine in collaboration with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), said 25,800 participants aged 18 to 98 were enrolled in the phase 3 study, 2,433 over 60 years of age. and 4,500 with co-morbidities.
- The first interim analysis is based on 43 cases, of which 36 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the placebo group versus seven cases observed in the Covaxin group, resulting in a point estimate of the effectiveness of the vaccine at 80.6%.
- The interim analysis included a preliminary review of the safety database, which showed that serious and serious physician-assisted adverse events occurred at low levels and were balanced between the vaccine and placebo groups.
- A statement such as the National Institute of Virology analysis indicates that the antibodies induced by the vaccine can neutralize UK variant strains and other heterologous strains.
- Noting that the vaccine has shown temporary efficacy in preventing Covid-19 in people without previous infection after the second dose, the company said all 25,800 participants received either a vaccine or a placebo in a ratio of 1 : 1.
- Clinical trials will continue until the end of analysis in 130 confirmed cases in order to collect more data and assess the efficacy of Covaxin on additional criteria of the secondary study.
Covid-19-induced school closures hit 25 cr children in India: UNICEF study
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; The closure of 1.5 million schools due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting closures in 2020 affected 247 million children enrolled in primary and secondary schools in India, according to a UNICEF report .
- Globally, schools for more than 168 million children have been completely closed for almost a year, he said. The report says online education is not an option for everyone, as only one in four children have access to digital devices and internet connectivity.
- Before Covid-19, only a quarter of households (24%) in India had access to the internet and there was a large gap between rural and urban areas and between genders.
- In India, the closure of 1.5 million schools due to the pandemic and the closures in 2020 affected 247 million children enrolled in primary and secondary schools. In addition, there are more than six million girls and boys who were already out of school even before the start of the Covid-19 crisis, ”a UN agency press release said on Wednesday.
- He also stated that to date in India only eight States / TU have opened all classes from Class 1 to Class 12; 11 states reopened grades 6-12 and 15 states only opened grades 9-12. Three states have reopened Anganwadi centers, and younger children are missing basic foundational learning.
PM Modi takes the first dose of COVAXIN
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took the first injection of COVAXIN, the Covid-19 vaccine researched and produced in India (produced by Bharat Biotech) at the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
- Tweeting a photo of himself being shot, Prime Minister Modi said: “I took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS. It is remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in a short time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19. I appeal to all who are eligible to get vaccinated. Together, let’s rid India of COVID-19! “
Indian economy enters positive territory, registering a growth of 0.4% in October-December
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; After contracting for two consecutive quarters, the Indian economy entered positive territory with a growth of 0.4% in the October-December quarter, mainly thanks to the good performance of agriculture, services and construction, according to official data, reported PTI.
- Retail and hospitality contracted 7.7% in the third quarter of this fiscal year, and the sectors continued to suffer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- According to data published by the National Statistics Office (NSO), the agricultural sector grew by 3.9% and the production of the manufacturing sector increased by 1.6% during the analyzed quarter. The construction sector grew 6.2%, while electricity, gas, water and other public services grew 7.3%.
- The NSO said: “GDP at constant prices (2011-12) in the third quarter of 2020-21 is estimated at ₹ 36.22 lakh crore, compared to 36.08 lakh crore in the third quarter of 2019-20 , showing a growth of 0.4%. “The GDP had grown by 3.3% percent in the corresponding period of 2019-2020.
In the spectrum auction, Jio is the biggest buyer
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; India’s first telecom spectrum auction in five years ended Tuesday with the purchase of 77,814.80 crore waves, mainly by Reliance Jio from billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
- More than 2,250 MHz of spectrum carrying telecommunications signals, in seven bands worth nearly Rs 4 million at the reserve or exit price, were offered for auction in the auction that began on Monday.
- Telecommunications Secretary Anshu Prakash said 855.60 MHz of spectrum was purchased for 77.814.80 million yen in the two-day auction.
- Reliance Jio bought 57,122.65 crore of spectrum and Bharti Airtel acquired radio waves worth 18,699 crore, while Vodafone Idea Ltd recovered 1,993.40 crore of waves.
EPFO keeps interest rates unchanged
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; The Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) decided Thursday to keep the provident fund’s interest rate unchanged at 8.5% for fiscal year 2020-2021, the Labor and Employment Ministry said.
- This decision was made at a meeting of the EPFO central board on Thursday and was chaired by the Union Labor Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar.
- “The interest rate would be officially notified in the Official Gazette, after which the EPFO would credit the interest rate to subscribers’ accounts,” the Labor Ministry statement said.
- The notification of the interest rate will be made prior approval of the Ministry of Finance of the Union. The 8.5% rate remains the lowest since 2012-2013. However, EPFO said it was higher than other investments.
Army cancels recruiting test due to paper leak
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; The military canceled a review for the all-Indian recruitment of general service personnel after the discovery of a paper leak, officials said Sunday.
- They further stated that so far at least three people had been arrested in Pune. From a proactive joint operation with the local Pune police, a case of possible leak of a questionnaire prepared for the Common Entrance Exam for the Recruitment of Soldiers (General Services) was reported last night, the manager added.
- While further investigations are ongoing, it was decided to cancel the review to ensure continued transparency in the recruitment process.
Labor rights activists Nodeep Kaur and Shiv Kumar released on bail
Weekly NEWS Summary | 26 Feb to 4 March 2021; On Friday, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana granted labor rights activist Nodeep Kaur bail in a case of attempted murder and riots, among others.
- “The court granted bail to Nodeep Kaur. While posting a bond, the court observed that section 307 [attempted murder] is moot at this stage of the case, ”said Kaur’s lawyer Arshdeep Singh Cheema.
- Her bail request added that she was falsely implicated and attacked because she had successfully generated massive support in the Kundli industrial zone for the ongoing farmers’ movement against the new farm laws in the Center, which angered the administration.
- Labor rights activist Shiv Kumar was released on bail by the Sessions Court at Sonipat in Haryana on Thursday in an assassination attempt that led to his release from prison.
- He had already been released on bail in two other cases on Wednesday. Kumar, district chairman of Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, a workers’ rights group, was arrested by Haryana police on February 2 in three cases filed against him in the past two months.