The Hindu Important Articles 30 April 2018
# Modi, Xi detail measures to resolve border issue
India, China will pursue sharper strategic communication in era of protectionism
India and China have decided to reboot efforts to resolve their border row so that they can focus on Asia’s rise in a post-western world.
In a media briefing on the first informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale signalled that the two countries were now set for a simultaneous process, which would include additional measures to ease tensions and concrete steps to resolve the differences on the frontiers.
“While one of the areas of focus was to maintain peace and tranquillity [on the borders], I think the work of the Special Representatives (SRs) on finding a solution to the boundary question will continue unabated,” Mr. Gokhale said.
The two leaders acknowledged that India and China “have wider and overlapping regional and global interests,” meriting sharper “strategic communication”.
Analysts say the progress in resolving border differences would be a game-changer for boosting ties between the neighbours which are facing headwinds of protectionism from the Trump administration.
Mr. Gokhale said the two SRs, who are steering the boundary talks, would meet “in due course” to take up the boundary issue. The Foreign Secretary highlighted that talks on the resolution of border differences would be based on principles and parameters anchored in a 2005 agreement.
# Cong, CPI(M) vote out BJP panel chief in Palakkad
It is the only municipality ruled by BJP in Kerala
Amidst debates over the feasibility of a larger political alliance involving the Congress and Left parties to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre, a no-confidence motion moved in the Palakkad municipality on Saturday by the United Democratic Front against welfare standing committee chairman P. Smithesh of the BJP was passed with the support of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
It is the only municipality ruled by the BJP in the State. The BJP is the single largest party in the council and is ruling by default due to lack of unity between the Congress and the CPI(M).
The no-confidence motion moved by the Congress-led United Democratic Front against Mr. Smithesh was passed with support of the CPI(M) members. Altogether, there are nine members on the committee. Of this, four BJP members opposed the motion while three members of the UDF and two CPI(M) members voted in favour of the motion.
Earlier in the day, a motion of no-confidence moved by the UDF against the health standing committee chairman failed. Though the CPI(M) supported the motion, an invalid vote by one member resulted in the failure of the motion. As per the Panchayati Raj Act, before issuing a notice of no-confidence motion against the municipal chairman and vice chairman, the no-confidence motions against the three standing committees should be passed.
A CPI(M) meeting on Saturday decided to support the motion moved by the UDF against the administration committee. The voting on the third motion against the remaining standing committee would be held later.
# ‘Only civil engineers suited for civil services’
Tripura CM Biplab Deb is at it again
Less than 48 hours after his ‘sexist’ remark targeting former Miss World Diana Hayden, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said civil engineers are better equipped to be in the civil services than mechanical engineers.
He made the faux pas while addressing a Civil Services Day function in State capital Agartala on Saturday.
“Those with mechanical engineering background should not opt for the civil services. Administration is for civil engineers who know how to build the society,” the Chief Minister said. He also said mechanical engineers are not primed for helping with construction projects that civil engineers can handle after entering the civil services.
Mr. Deb had stirred a controversy on Thursday by questioning the crowning of Ms. Hayden as Miss World in 1997. He said she was “not a beauty in the Indian mould like Aishwarya Rai is”, and that international firms “fixed” the crowning of Indian women to capture the country’s cosmetics market.
A backlash from feminists and political leaders made Mr. Deb apologise a day later. “I respect all women as my mother. I regret if anybody is hurt or feeling defamed,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Chief Minister said he believed the Internet and satellite communication existed in ancient times, as is evident from the Indian epics.
He said such technology helped Sanjay (who, according to Mahabharata, was blessed with divine vision by Ved Vyasa) narrate details of the Kurukshetra war to blind King Dhritarashtra.
# State’s official website ‘exploited’ by hackers
Numerous webpages with backlinks to foreign country websites exist
In what could be a major technical flaw and security lapse, the official website of the Andhra Pradesh government is found having numerous webpages and backlinks or hyperlinks that were reportedly planted by hackers by exploiting the site’s vulnerability.
The AP State Portal (ap.gov.in) acts as a directory to all the services, departments and other information.
After online reports of the website “selling” a generic pill, it has been found that there are over 396 webpages mimicking online pharmacies of foreign countries. A search for the word “pill” on the website would reveal all the pages.
The website, which is built on the WordPress platform, is vulnerable to attacks and might have been hacked long ago, said ethical hacking expert and CEO of Indian Servers D. Sai Satish who checked it. He rules out the possibility of mismanagement by the developers.
“Hackers check for vulnerable websites and place their pages in them. Though the pages look like dummies, they will have backlinks that would redirect to select websites for which they plan to gain SEO score,” Mr. Satish said.
The hackers could intrude into the server and other sites hosted on the server in the same method, Mr. Satish said.
Explaining how backlinks help hackers, Mr. Satish said: “Having backlink of a particular website in a quality and popular website automatically improves the SEO score of the former.”
Officials in the IT department were not available for comment.
# No blanket nod for liquor shops: HC
The Madras High Court on Saturday held as unsustainable the government’s decision to allow all liquor shops within the limits of cities, towns and town panchayats to function, regardless of their distance from the highways passing through their areas.
The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose, passed the order on a writ petition filed by K. Balu of the Advocates’ Forum for Social Justice.
Holding as unsustainable a letter written by the Prohibition and Excise Commissioner to the Collectors on September 1, 2017, instructing them to allow all liquor shops within these limits to function, the Bench said the Prohibition Commissioner ought not to have given such a blanket permission, without taking into account the object behind the Supreme Court’s December 15, 2016, order banning liquor shops close to highways to check drunken driving.
Some of the counsel wanted to know if the judgment would be applicable to hotels and clubs situated close to highways passing through municipal areas too. The Chief Justice said her Bench had confined its verdict only to the liquor shops run by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC).
# Three kids drown in pit dug for road
Three of the several children playing at a pit dug up for construction of a road in the capital region met a watery grave at Dondapadu village of Thulluru mandal on Saturday.
They were identified as siblings Uppalapati Amala, 10, and Dinesh, 7, who just finished Class V and Class II respectively and Bandi Satvik, 10, who also finished Class V recently.
According to police, the children of the SC Colony were playing near the pit. Water accumulated in it as it had been left abandoned for the past several months.
The children ventured into the water unaware of the depth of the pit and were caught in the slushy base, the police said. Some of the children raised an alarm and villagers rushed to their rescue. However, the trio died minutes after being pulled out.
Parents of Amala and Dinesh are agriculture workers and Sativk’s father is an auto-rickshaw driver. Following the complaint of the parents, the police registered a case.
Villagers alleged negligence on the part of officials as they failed to fence the pit and left it abandoned when the work related to the main road of the capital between Borupalem and Nekkallu was stopped.
# Good days will come, Asaram says from jail
A purported audio clip of Asaram, serving a life sentence at a Jodhpur jail, has surfaced online, in which the self-styled godman is heard telling a person over phone that his time behind bars is ephemeral and that “good days will come”.
According to the Jodhpur Central Jail Deputy Inspector General of Police Vikram Singh, the 15-minute audio clip might be a recording of a telephone conversation Asaram had on Friday, two days after a Jodhpur court found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison for raping a teenage girl.