From Gauri Lankesh murder case to cabinet reshuffle, from Swachh Bharat to terror tale from Pilibhit, here is your weekend reading list
GN Bureau | September 9, 2017
There are many surmises: was she killed because she was anti-establishment? Was she killed because of the rise of that right-wing that disliked her anti-Hindutva stance? Was she killed because she had upset Naxalites as she had recently mainstreamed some of them working in tandem with the Karnataka government? Is this not an irony that of late there has been a tendency to intellectualise the crime which is a remedy worse than disease?
Read: Don’t jump to conclusions on Gauri Lankesh murder
All her life, she had been used to having a toilet at home. But when she came to Hirmathla, 25 years ago as a child bride, she was shocked to see that her new home did not have a toilet. “I had no idea how I would live my entire life here,” she recalls. In fact, back then, none of the 140 households in Hirmathla had toilets. As a coy bride, she often wondered how different life in her village and Hirmathla was despite the two not being located too far. Everyone in Hirmathla defecated out in the open, in the fields; women went out before sunrise or after sunset. The 14-year-old Vijay Laxmi found it repulsive; she didn’t want to live through the shameful experience every day of her life.
Read: Heroine of Hirmathla
Political observers have consistently painted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s actions as being borne out of a dogmatic ideology. But the reshuffle-cum-expansion of the Union Cabinet on Sunday is the latest event that suggests exactly the opposite. Modi, an erstwhile Rashtriya Swayansevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak (full-time worker), has shown that as far as the interests of good governance are served, dogma and ideology can wait.
Read: Welcome to the new age of Indian politics
Pilibhit has about 800 sq km forest area, which is nearly 23 percent of the district’s total area. Located close to Nepal, the Pilibhit tiger reserve (PTR), where tigers have killed at least 18 persons – seven inside its Mala range and 11 in the different villages – in the last 11 months, has become the epicentre of man-animal conflict. One among India’s 41 tiger reserves, PTR is spread across 602 sq km and is home to a large number of rare and threatened wildlife species including Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, swamp deer, hispid (brown) hare and Bengal floricans (a kind of bustard). PTR has around 55 tigers, including females and cubs. Their population has been on the rise since 2014, when it stood at 24.
Read: Living and dying with tigers
Sitting in his office on the fifth floor of the Mantralaya building in Mumbai, Sudhir Mungantiwar is all smiles. The minister of finance and planning, Maharashtra, has achieved something which other ministers don’t even aim for. His office is the first administrative unit in the country to have an ISO certification – 9001:2015.
Read: Why this should not be an ISOlated case
Struggling with rationing and prioritising available supplies amid the acute Covid-19 vaccine shortage, the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has floated a global tender for supply of 1 crore doses, even as it has announced a walk-in vaccination campaign next week for select categories of citizens.
Expressing regret that despite being the largest producer of vaccines in the world things have fallen apart in India, Ashok Seth, a Padma Bhushan awardee and chairman of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, has said that the focus needs to be on percentage and not the number of population vaccinated.
In Maharashtra, the epicentre of India’s devastating second wave, several NGOs and civil society organisations have been at work to combat the pandemic – by spreading awareness about precautions, by helping the slum-dwellers book appointment for vaccine, by providing meals to the marginalised a
The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed the landmark of 17 crore on Monday as the Phase 3 of the nationwide vaccination drive expands further. India is the fastest country to administer 17 crore Covid vaccine doses – China took 119 days and USA 115 days
India is battling the second wave of Covid-19 and infections are spreading into the interiors of the country, says Dr Anurag Bhadouria, National Spokesperson, Samajwadi Party. It is precipitated by the elections in five states, the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar and also panchayat elections in many states, he says
The CoWIN system, the overarching digital platform for citizens seeking appointment for the Covid-19 vaccine, is introducing a new four-digit security code” in the application from Saturday to minimise a peculiar error and subsequent inconvenience to citizens. “It has been notic