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News18 Wrap: Alok Verma Gets Sacked, West Bengal to Pull Out of Ayushman Bharat and Other Stories You Might Have Missed

News18 Wrap brings you some of the biggest stories on News18.com today to help you stay updated at all times.


Updated:January 10, 2019, 8:12 PM IST
News18 Wrap: Alok Verma Gets Sacked, West Bengal to Pull Out of Ayushman Bharat and Other Stories You Might Have Missed
News18 Wrap brings you some of the biggest stories on News18.com today to help you stay updated at all times.

News18 Wrap brings you some of the biggest stories on News18.com today to help you stay updated at all times.

In case you missed it

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday, challenging the bill to provide 10 per cent reservation to general category poor in jobs and education. The petition, filed by Youth for Equality organisation and Kaushal Kant Mishra, sought the quashing of the bill, saying that the economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for reservation. The plea said the bill violates basic feature of the Constitution as reservation on economic grounds cannot be limited to the general categories and the 50 per cent ceiling limit cannot be breached. After more than a 10-hour long debate, the bill was finally passed unanimously by the Upper House of Parliament on Wednesday. The quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation to SCs, STs and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Read more.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided to pull out from Centre’s ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme today, alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking all the credit for the health scheme while ignoring the state’s contribution. Addressing a public meet, a visibly angry Mamata said, “He is sending letters to people across Bengal through post offices claiming that they are behind this health scheme.” The Bengal Chief Minister has accused the Modi government of using government post offices for party work. The Ayushman Bharat scheme in West Bengal was merged with Mamata’ Swasthya Sathi health scheme, where the state government provides for 40 percent of the total cost. Crying lack of transparency in the way the Modi government is projecting the scheme, Mamata has decided to withdraw the scheme from Bengal. “Let them take credit,” she said. Find out more here.

A high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday removed Alok Verma as CBI director, who was reinstated by a Supreme Court order after he was sent on forced leave by the government. The CVC report against Verma sealed his fate as the high-powered committee decided to sack him on corruption charges. Verma, who resumed office on Wednesday, had revoked most of the transfers done by M Nageshwar Rao, who was appointed as the interim CBI chief in his absence, signalling that he was ready for a showdown with the Centre. The court, while reinstating Verma had made it clear that he will desist from taking any major policy decision till a high-powered committee considers the issue of "divestment of power and authority". Read more.

In comments that are likely to stir a controversy, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Thursday said the force was conservative and could not allow gays or adultery. Homosexuality was decriminalised by the Supreme Court last year, but the Army chief insisted “hum logon ke yahan nahi chalega (all this won’t work here). He accepted that the Army is not above the law but maintained that the Constitution does give it some independence. "We are neither modernised, nor westernised. LGBT issues are not acceptable to us," he said, adding that they would "still deal with the issues under the Army Act. In the Army, these are not acceptable. We will not allow this to happen in the Army." Find out more here.

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has been appointed the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president after Ajay Maken resigned from the post last week citing ill-health. Reacting to the development, Dikshit said, "I am honoured that the party has given me this opportunity." Critics point that Maken’s offer to resign on health grounds was largely to offset the old guard’s attempts of having some kind of truck with the AAP. Read more.

Agree or disagree?

Writer-director Karthik Subbaraj (with works like Pizza, Jigarthanda and Iraivi) is much too in awe of his hero, Rajnikanth, to cull out anything remotely meaningful from him in his latest Tamil crime caper, Petta (Hood) – certainly not a family entertainer suitable for the coming Pongal or Sankranthi Festival. The story meanders aimlessly, beginning at a college ragging session and zeroing in on corruption in the hostel canteen (where idlis are hard as rock), but wandering off into the misty environs of the hill-station, where the campus lies. And emerging from the haze is Rajinikanth's Kaali – looking listless and jaded, his age (knocking 70) written all over him. Read the review of Petta here.

Art of the Day

by Mir Suhail

News18 Creative of P Sainath by Mir Suhail.

Acclaimed journalist and Founder-Editor of the People’s Archive of Rural India, P Sainath attributes the existential crisis confronting India’s agrarian society to macro-economic policies set in motion 25 years ago.

Read full article
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