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Iran vs USA: Iran launched missile attacks on US-led forces in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday in retaliation for the US drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East. Iran fired 'more than a dozen' ballistic missiles Tuesday against two airbases in Iraq where US and coalition forces are based, the Pentagon said, in a further escalation of tensions after the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad last week. Read more.
Slow GDP: India is in the grip of a deep slowdown and unless the government takes more steps to spur growth, including a fresh fiscal stimulus, the economy is likely to remain slow moving even in the next fiscal. The government on Tuesday released the first advance estimates for 2019-20 where GDP growth was pegged at 5 per cent. This means the Indian economy will be growing at the slowest pace since the year of the Lehman crisis in 2008-09. Read more.
Bharat Bandh: Central trade unions, except the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), called for a nationwide strike today, citing dissatisfaction with the government's “policy and action” towards workers. This is the fourth nationwide strike called by 10 central trade unions since the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power in 2014. The unions have been calling for action on a list of demands, which they say have been ignored by the government. Read more.
Airline's Crash: A Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 737-800 crashed in Iran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Iranian state TV. It was the first fatal crash for Kiev-based UIA. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, though Iran's semi-official Fars news agency cited unspecified technical problems. Read more.
#BoycottDeepika for JNU?: On Tuesday, Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone stopped by Jawaharlal Nehru University, which has been embroiled in chaos and protests for the past three days, in order to show her solidarity with the students. Deepika, however, did not address the crowd. She stood by as former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar raised slogans and left just as current President Aishe Ghosh, who too was injured in the attack, began to speak. Soon after news of Deepika making an appearance at JNU broke, social media was split into two sections. Read more.
Muzaffarpur Shelter Home: In a twist to Bihar's Muzaffarpur shelter home case, the CBI on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that no girl was killed inside the home and that all 35 'missing' girls have been found alive. Attorney General KK Venugopal, representing the CBI, said that the agency has investigated allegations of murders, but has found all the inmates alive. Venugopal said that the spot where some skeletons and bones had been found was also examined. Read more.
Agree or disagree
To understand what is happening at Jawaharlal Nehru University of 2020, it is important to briefly travel back in time to two pivotal years in India’s history: circa 1193 and 1835. In 1193, Bakhtiyar Khilji and his army of tall, swarthy Turkic marauders descended on Bihar’s Nalanda University. Thousands of Buddhist monks were burned alive, Brahmins beheaded, and 9 million precious manuscripts set on fire.Exactly 642 years later, another massive invasion took place. The battlefield? Again, education. The English Education Act 1835 was passed by the British Parliament. It made English the medium of instruction in higher education, and stopping promoting homegrown, ‘oriental’ institutions. Education controls our lives, culture, worldview, destiny, often without us even realising. Which is why India's invaders and colonial masters demolished and reshaped our knowledge of ourselves time and again, so much so that long after they had left, they still incapacitate and control our minds. Read the piece by Abhijit Majumder, who argues that the furore in JNU and the role of India’s urban, educated, privileged class is tied by an invisible umbilical cord with our history of being invaded and colonised, of the sacking and hijacking of our education many times over.