Download The Hindu Important Articles 08 November 2018
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# Chinese soldiers join celebrations
Indian and Chinese soldiers celebrated Deepavali at the Bum La border post in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday.
A ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM), the last of 2018, was held on the occasion.
Delegations led by Colonels Prasenjit Kar and Yang Zi Ming exchanged greetings in a cordial atmosphere, a sign of improving military-to-military ties at the ground level.
The meeting began with the hoisting of national flags and included lighting of traditional lamps and the ceremonial address. Both sides highlighted the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity along border areas, besides ensuring the sanctity of the Line of Actual Control.
The delegation leaders emphasised upon the need to maintain and continuously improve relations at the ground level which would act as a ‘catalyst’ at the strategic and diplomatic levels to foster cordial ties.
There were colourful performances by cultural troupes showcasing the spirit of India.
# Cong.-JD(S) scores 4-1 in Karnataka
The BJP has held the seat since 2004.
The results, particularly the Ballari debacle, are a warning to the BJP. This seat was lost despite BJP strongman B. Sriramulu campaigning incessantly for his sister and contestant J. Shantha.
Even Shivamogga, despite the BJP victory, is not exactly a comfortable story for the saffron party.
B.S. Raghavendra, son of BJP State chief B.S. Yeddyurappa, won the Shivamogga LS seat by a margin of a little over 50,000, way below his father’s margin of 3.63 lakh votes in 2014. But the party has made significant gains in Mandya LS constituency, a traditional stronghold of the JD(S). The BJP polled over two lakh votes in the constituency for the first time.
In the two Assembly constituencies, it was status quo with the coalition partners retaining their respective seats. Anand Nyamagouda, the son of the late MLA S. Nyamagouda, won by nearly 39,500 votes.
The BJP’s Kulkarni Srikanth lost for the third time.
In Ramanagaram, where BJP’s candidate L. Chandrashekhar rejoined the Congress 48 hours before the polls, the results were as expected.
Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, won by 1.09 lakh votes. But interestingly, the BJP got 15,906 votes despite their candidate jumping ship.
# Delhi chokes as crackers pollute air on Deepavali
Supreme Court deadline violated
Deepavali celebrations in Delhi pushed the air quality index to hazardous in several parts of the city with fireworks choking the city well past 11 p.m. on Wednesday.
A thick haze engulfed the national capital with the air quality deteriorating to the “very poor” category as Delhiites continued to burst firecrackers long after the deadline set by the Supreme Court, the authorities said.
The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 302 at 11 p.m., which fell in the very poor category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The air quality started deteriorating rapidly from 7 p.m. The AQI was 281 at 7 p.m. It rose to 291 at 8 p.m. and further deteriorated to 294 at 9 p.m. and 296 at 10 p.m., according to the CPCB.
The Supreme Court had allowed bursting of firecrackers from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. only on Deepavali and other festivals. It had also allowed manufacture and sale of only “green crackers,” which have a low light and sound emission and less harmful chemicals.
The court had asked the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold and said that in case of any violation, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the police station concerned would be held personally liable and it would amount to committing contempt of the court.
Despite the apex court order, there were reports of its violation from many areas long after 10 p.m.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the PM levels would be very poor on Thursday, with the PM10 level forecast to be 358 micrograms per cubic metre and the PM2.5 level at 210 micrograms per cubic metre.
Dr. Avi Kumar, consultant in Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, said people using inhalers should keep it handy as crackers emit suspended particles (smoke) and toxin gases that could trigger asthma, cause severe headaches, respiratory diseases and chronic cough.
“Wear a face mask to stay protected from air pollution and dust. Avoid exercise outdoors right after Deepavali as the pollutant content will be high in the air; people should avoid going outdoors for doing physical activities like cycling, jogging or any other exercises,” he added.
Doctors also recommend using N95 masks if it is necessary to go out.
(With PTI inputs)
# Meet KCR the songwriter
Chief Minister has written the campaign songs of TRS
A fighter known for leading mass movements, a politician who can get the better of the Opposition and a lyricist — a combination that is rarely seen in a politician.
The caretaker Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrashekar Rao, after catching the Opposition unawares by dissolving the Assembly nine months ahead of the end of its term, is now writing songs for the election campaign of his party, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti.
Mr. Rao, whose literary skills is known to the people of Telangana, is now giving a shape to an album of six songs.
He has written two of them and edited the others written by Suddala Ashok Teja, Mattepalli Surender and Goreti Venkanna.
One of the songs goes as “ Maanavataku Maaru Peru KCRu Malli Gelichi Raavali Manasugalla Sarkaru (He is the sobriquet of humanism, and the government with a heart should come back)”. “In fact, the Chief Minister has made changes to the lyrics of other writers at some places making the song more meaningful and linked to the schemes he has launched,” says TRS general secretary Palla Rajeshwar Reddy.
The lyrics cover a range of Mr. Rao’s pet schemes such as pensions, Mission Bhageerata, Kalyana Lakshmi, solace to the differently abled, KCR kits in hospitals and irrigation projects.
He creates an image of his being the eldest son of the family while targeting women and as the head of the house when messaging youngsters.
Mr. Rao has himself suggested how to play the songs to keep the attention of the people. The songs in audio and video formats will be the major weapons of the election campaign to be kicked off soon by him.
Even during the Telangana agitation, Mr. Rao had written lyrics highlighting how Telangana was “looted” and “deliberately neglected,” drawing a huge response.
One of his songs, Garadi Chestundru, Gadibidi Chestundru, Tondiki Digutundru, Hey Mondiki Potundru… , was used in the film Jai Bolo Telangana that hit the screens at the peak of the Telangana movement.
Union Minister Smriti Irani played one of the lead roles in the film in which popular actor Jagapati Babu appeared in a major role.
The CM has made changes to the lyrics of other writers, making them more meaningful …
Palla Rajeshwar Reddy
TRS general secretary
# Srinagar shivers, records season’s coldest night
Minimum temperatures drop below the freezing point throughout Kashmir
Srinagar recorded the season’s coldest night at minus 2.2 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperatures throughout Kashmir Valley dropped below the freezing point on Wednesday, the weather office said.
“The minimum temperatures remained below the freezing point in the Valley as Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season so far at minus 2.2 degrees Celsius,” an official from the Met Department said.
The lowest temperature was minus 5.2 degrees Celsius in Pahalgam and minus 6.6 in Gulmarg.
The official said the temperatures were likely to drop further due to a clear night sky during the next three to four days.
The State government put the losses to the agriculture and horticulture sectors due to the snowfall at Rs. 500 crore and urged the Centre to provide relief to the affected farmers.
Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam urged the Central government to depute a team to assess the damage, an official spokesman said.
# China ropes in India as digital economy partner
As part of Beijing’s drive to cyber-connect with Eurasia
In tune with its rise as an Internet giant, China is roping in India as a niche digital partner, as part of Beijing’s drive to cyber-connect with Eurasia — its new frontier for trade and investments.
At a conference on defining common international standards for two-dimensional (2D) barcodes — the gateways for linking genuine buyers and sellers, as well as making digital payments by scanning QR codes — Chinese officials said that India is already on board in this global exercise.
Last November Zheng Chao, Executive Director of the Global Unified Two-Dimensional Code Registration Management Centre (UTC), based in Beijing, signed a “strategic cooperation” agreement on 2D coding with his Indian counterpart. As a result, UTC (India) was formed.
“In China, there has been a growing awareness of India’s strengths in the pharmaceutical sector and other areas. But the challenge is how to find genuine buyers and sellers. That is where 2D codes become important to solve the problem by eliminating fraudulent buyers and sellers online,” says Tian Furong, Director of the India Universal Two-dimensional code registration centre.
She points out that so far, only exports of Indian pharmaceuticals and cotton are being funneled through the 2D coding route, though other items are likely to be added in the future.
Analysts say that China appears more inclined to source pharmaceuticals and agro-products from India.
# For PM, Deepavali in icy heights
Interacts with soldiers on India-China border, offers prayers at Kedarnath
Dressed in heavy mountain gear, Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Deepavali with Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel in the icy terrain near the India-China border, saying their devotion to duty in the remote icy heights is enabling the strength of the nation.
Greeting jawans in the Harshil cantonment area, at a height of 7,860 feet in Uttarkashi district, the Prime Minister said, “You are not only protecting one corner of our land. By securing the country’s borders, you are making safe the lives and dreams of 125 crore Indians,” Mr. Modi told the soldiers in the presence of the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat.
Since becoming PM, Mr. Modi has been celebrating Deepavali with soldiers. On Wednesday, he also offered prayers at Kedarnath, and walked through Kedarpuri to take stock of the reconstruction projects in the township.
Likening the soldiers to diya s (earthen lamps), the Prime Minister said, “The way a diya burns itself to light up the world, you lead a hard life to spread the light of fearlessness all around.”
He described the implementation of ‘one rank, one pension’ (OROP) for ex-servicemen, which had been hanging fire for over 40 years, a result of this close association with defence personnel.
“As an RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) member, I got the opportunity to live among Army men. Many governments came and went. Since I was connected to you, I understood your emotions. So, after becoming Prime Minister, it was my responsibility to fulfil your dream,” he said.
## ‘Law for temple an option’
Ministers hint that the court cannot have the last word on the issue
The government, while showing no firm signs that there is any move on its part to bring in an ordinance or a new law for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, has also maintained that there are legislative ways out for it, separate from the law courts.
Union Minister of State for Law P.P. Chaudhary has said on record that he is in favour of the construction of the temple. “Since the matter is pending before the court, it should, in my view, be expedited or resolved amicably between the parties, and if that fails, then the question of an ordinance should be explored.”
The junior Law Minister also maintained that this was his personal view but senior Ministers in the government have said that the court cannot be the last word. “It is not in Parliament’s remit to adjudicate a case. What it can do is bring a law to change the basis in law of the case,” said a senior Cabinet Minister, not wishing to be named.
This could mean that an ordinance on the lines of the one for jallikattu could be promulgated for temple construction in the “national interest”, since the long pendency of the case “is creating strife between communities”, government sources said.
The senior Minister maintained that “in any case, a Ram temple already exists at that site. The question is to make it grand.”
These are early days for any decision, government managers said. But the frankness with which Ministers like Mr. Chaudhary and Minister of State for Medium and Small Enterprises Giriraj Singh have spoken about their desire that a Ram temple be built at the disputed site, showed that the matter would assume a bigger dimension in the coming days, they said.