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In case you missed it
7 Years On: None of the Nirbhaya rape and murder convicts will be hanged on Saturday, a Delhi court has ruled, postponing the execution of their death warrant after the inmates sought a stay on their hanging which was scheduled for 6 am on February 1. No new date for the execution of the four death row inmates has been issued yet. Read more.
Coronavirus Outbreak: The Indian Army has created a facility near Manesar, Haryana, to quarantine approximately 300 Indians who will be arriving from Wuhan amid the outbreak of the coronavirus. At the facility, Indians can be monitored for a duration of weeks by a qualified team of doctors and staff members. Read more.
NRC Drama: Days after a sedition case was slapped against a school in Karnataka, the Bidar New Town Police on Friday arrested its headmistress and a student's mother for alleged involvement in staging of a drama portraying Prime Minister Narendra Modi in poor light over the the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Read more.
Air India: The government should quit trying to revive Air India by seeking to privatise the national carrier, Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee said days after the Centre invited bids to sell its 100% stake in the debt-ridden airline. “I personally feel that if the government doesn't find any takers — the airline should be closed immediately and it should sell the planes and properties to utilise for the development of the poor in our country," he said. Read more.
Hostage Drama: The Farrukhabad drama, where 23 kids were held hostage, was not a random act but instead was planned in advance by the accused Subhash Batham. After being asked for his demands, the accused had handed over a letter in which he had alleged that he was not getting a toilet and house from the government even after repeated attempts. He was denied the free toilet under Swatch Bharat Mission and a house under PM Awas Yojna by the village head and even senior officials were not paying any heed to his request. Read more.
Agree or disagree
A lot of hopes are riding on the proposals already nestling inside that red bahi khata of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, ready to be unveiled on Saturday. Like an accomplished magician, the FM is expected to pull out several rabbits from the hat — signifying some sort of tax relief on income for the middle class, a roadmap to boost private investments to kickstart a moribund economy and measures to boost consumption across India's villages. But Budget making is no magic and Sitharaman may find it hard to satisfy such wide ranging expectations while also remaining on the fiscal consolidation path. India is already struggling with its fiscal deficit target and there is near unanimity among analysts that we would breach the 3.3% mark for 2019-20 by a significant margin. Receipts from corporate tax, GST and disinvestments are all expected to fall short of targets, making fiscal consolidation a near impossible task. And the economy continues to chug along in the slow lane. Read the piece by Sindhu Bhattacharya, who argues that as India awaits Finance Minister's February 1 'magic', Nirmala Sitharaman faces a tough balancing act.