News Digest: In JNU, cricket remains binding force in the time of sedition row
Here are some important reports from the biggest newspapers of India:
1) In JNU, cricket remains binding force in the time of sedition row
The Jawaharlal Nehru University has been on the boil since its students' union president, Kanhaiya Kumar, was arrested on February 13 on sedition charges. Thousands of wall posters across the sprawling campus convey the protest against the action taken by the authorities. At the administrative block, the epicentre, hundreds are taking classes on patriotism daily, The Hindustan Times reports.
However, friction between the All India Students Association (AISA) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), on either end of the student politics spectrum, has not doused their sporting spirit.
That was amply evident on Sunday, at the final of the Chandrabhaga Premier League (CPL), a tennis ball cricket tournament being held for the last few years. Organised on the lawns of the Chandrabhaga Hostel, students belonging to AISA and ABVP all bonded in the 10-oversa-side triangular event.
2) He quit 'wasting time' as engineer, bagged an Oscar
After Resul Pookutty , the first Malayali to win an Oscar award, Mon day witnessed another person from Kerala, Sajan Skaria, having a brush with Hollywood fame as part of the team behind 'Inside Out', named the Best Animated Feature Film at the 88th Academy Awards.
Skaria, who works for Pixar Animation Studios, was the character supervisor in the American 3D computer-animated film. Cartoons were Skaria's childhood obsession. After graduating from Regional Engineering College, Calicut, he joined Siemens.
When his German boss saw he could draw , he had only one thing to say: "Good work, you shouldn't waste your time as an engineer." Skaria took it to heart and never looked back, reported The Times of India.
3) On deficit, CM Modi helped PM Modi
In the run-up to Budget 2016, at one of the meetings which the Budget group headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had with the Prime Minister, the merits and de-merits of sticking to a committed fiscal deficit target for the next fiscal year were listed with the final choice being left to Narendra Modi. Reported The Indian Express.
There were many outside of the government including economists and some inside who were arguing persuasively for easing spending and to invest more — with the private sector unable to step in given their stretched balance sheets, torn in the case of some — given the need to create more jobs and get the economy moving.
But on Monday when Jaitley announced that the government would not deviate from the path of fiscal consolidation and stick to a fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent of GDP in 2016-17, it was perhaps also a reflection of the fiscal conservatism of the man who heads the government, and under whose economic watch in Gujarat, fiscal and revenue deficits were relatively low. That and a more project-oriented approach without the budget reflecting any big ideas back in his home state may have rubbed off here too or in the budget imprint, according to officials who have worked with him.
4) For this Army exam, honesty is stripping down to underwear
After that defining freezeframe from Vaishali last year of people perched on the window shades of a multi-storey building, passing on answer chits to students appearing for exams inside, comes another image from Bihar showing the other side of the coin. This one, from Sunday, shows over 1,150 candidates, dressed only in their underwear, sitting cross-legged on an open ground in Muzaffarpur, putting pen to paper in the hope of making it to the Army.
In a report in The Indian Express, they said they were ordered to do so by supervisors to ensure they don’t cheat in the recruitment exam for soldiers on general duty and in the clerical and technical categories. Sources at the Army Regional Office (ARO) said the candidates were asked to remove their clothes to “save time on frisking so many people”.
5) Agra: VHP plans ‘sankalp sabhas’ in every village to pay tribute to killed leader
A day after holding an “aggressive” condolence meet for Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Arun Mahaur — a Dalit who was allegedly killed by Muslims in Agra last week — the organisation has decided to hold ‘shradhanjali’ and ‘sankalp sabhas’ in every village and ward of the Braj region from Wednesday to protest against his death, said a report in The Indian Express.
VHP has alleged that Mahaur was killed because he was running a campaign against cow slaughter in the region. The Agra district general secretary of VHP, Ashok Lavaniya, said from Wednesday, the organisation will start holding condolence meets for Mahaur in every village and ward of Agra.
6) As Governor lauded vets, police horses stood bleeding
Two horses stood bleeding in the blazing sun while Governor Vajubhai Vala applauded the government for opening 100 new veterinary hospitals in the state, during his address at the joint session of the State Legislature in Bangalore on Monday.
Despite the obvious injuries, the horses that were part of the Governor's cavalcade, were forced to take part in the event. While one had a wound on its left thigh, the other was injured just above its hoof. The animals were made to stand in the blazing sun for over two hours, awaiting the Governor's arrival, and then another hour during his address to the Vidhana Soudha.
Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, a senior personnel from the mounted police said, “The horses were injured during transportation from Mysuru to Bengaluru a few days ago. All of them were brought to Bengaluru in a truck. Iron rods on the vehicle may have caused the injuries. But the wounds were attended to and should heal in a few days.“
7) Thane Massacre - Only apparent motive: his desire to take with him everyone he loved
A day after a Thane man killed himself and 14 members of his family, including eight children, after inviting them home for a feast, the picture that emerges is that of an extremely secretive man who appeared calm to the outside world but was prone to occasional fits of rage. Hasnain Warekar, 35, who on Saturday night drugged and then knifed 14 members of his extended family in Thane's Kasaravadavli neighbourhood, had switched jobs three months ago, but nobody in the family could tell where he was employed.
As per a Bangalore Mirror report, even his sister Subia Bharmal, the only one to survive the massacre and who has told cops that her brother had anger management issues, knows nothing about the last job her brother held. All he had told was that it was in Navi Mumbai.
8) NIA termed Headley's statement on Ishrat as hearsay five years ago
Nearly five years before David Headley's deposition in the 26/11 trial mentioning Ishrat Jahan, the NIA had termed his statement about her to its officers as ‘hearsay', one which wouldn't help probe.
Even in the court deposition, Headley has not stated anything that goes beyond what he had already told the NIA in 2010, says lawyer Vrinda Grover, who represented Ishrat's family in court proceedings said a report in The Hindustan Times.
"The testimony of Headley or his statement given to NIA - both are hearsay in nature and can't be admitted as evidence in court. But efforts are on to extract political mileage out of it,” said Grover.
9) Malayalam TV news anchor reads what Smriti Irani read, gets 2,000 threat calls, 5 arrested
On Friday night, she moderated a spirited discussion on a popular Malayalam TV news show on whether celebrating Mahishasur Jayanti could be considered an act of treason. Since then, Sindhu Sooryakumar, chief coordinating editor of Asianet News TV, says she has received over 2,000 abusive calls on her cellphone, allegedly from activists and sympathisers of various pro-Hindutva groups, accusing her of calling Durga a "sex worker" during the show.
A video of the show, seen by The Indian Express, shows that those two words were read out by V V Rajesh, BJP state secretary, while quoting from pamphlets that he claimed were distributed on the JNU campus and later produced in Parliament by HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
10) Water minister backs cultural event on Yamuna floodplains, says it's a good idea
Minister and Delhi Jal Board chairperson Kapil Mishra on Monday lent his support to the controversial Art of Living event to be held on the Yamuna floodplains from March 11-13.
Environmentalists have flayed the 35th anniversary celebrations of the spiritual organisation saying it will be disastrous for the river and have approached the National Green Tribunal to seek a stay, reported Hindustan Times.
The three-day cultural festival will see 35,000 musicians perform simultaneously on a seven-acre stage. Over 35 lakh people are expected at the event.
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