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Khunti lockdown: A little known tribal district, 30km away from the Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi, has become a flashpoint between the state's tribals and its police. Thousands of policemen and tribals have been locked in a standoff in Ghagra village in Khunti district since Tuesday night. The death of a tribal in a stampede-like situation on Wednesday after police tried to force entry into the village has further escalated tensions. Tensions rose in the area last week when five tribal women working with an NGO were abducted by six men, taken to a nearby forest area and gang-raped. Police has since connected the gang-rapes to the ongoing seclusionist movement called 'Patthargarhi' that has become a rage in the tribal belt in central India across Jharkhand, and others states.
No more UGC: In a major overhaul, the government has proposed to restructure the University Grants Commission (UGC) and replace it with a new Higher Education Commission of India. The move is expected to downsize the scope of the higher education regulator. The biggest example of this reduced scope would be that in the new avatar, it will no longer have the role of funding universities. The draft act proposes that the regulator only focus on setting, maintaining and improving academic standards in universities.
Bukhari murder: The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday have identified the assailants who killed veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari earlier this month. According to sources, two of the attackers are from South Kashmir and another is a Pakistani national and that escaped LeT terrorist Naveed Jutt is one of the accused.
Game over: Defending champion Germany crashed out of the World Cup on Wednesday after a stoppage-time VAR-assisted goal from Kim Young-gwon and a late second by Son Heung-min earned South Korea a famous 2-0 win. The latter is also out of the tournament after Sweden beat Mexico 3-0.
Poetic Politics: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Wednesday said that Congress disrespected ‘Vande Mataram’ by using only a few stanzas to appease a section of the people during the freedom struggle. Addressing the Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay Memorial Lecture organised by Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation in Kolkata, Shah said that it was due to this shameful act that our country was divided.
Rahul’s test: Congress’s Siddaramaiah started making noise about the coalition government with Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka after it formed the cabinet three weeks ago. Many of his loyalist MLAs have been left out of the cabinet and he is understandably angry. With the upcoming 2019 elections, the onus of keeping the coalition together falls entirely on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. But will the Gandhi scion be able to rein in the former Karnataka CM? Read News18’s exclusive report.
Pressure tactics: Even before reports of a US government official warning the Indian government against buying oil from Iran died down, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley met PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday and reiterated that it was important for India to cut its dependence on Iranian oil. Haley, however, added that the United States would still allow India to use the Chabahar port as a corridor to Afghanistan.
Debunking perceptions: The Women and Child Development Ministry on Wednesday dismissed as "clearly inaccurate" a survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation that ranked India the world's most dangerous country for women, saying the report is based on perception of "unknown persons".
Rape capital: Even as the government debated the veracity of the Reuters survey, a Canadian national was allegedly raped by a man whom she met at a pub in south Delhi's Hauz Khas area. According to the police, the woman went to Abhishek's place on his invitation where he assaulted her. A case has been registered against the accused.
Pride month: Transgender activist Rudrani Chettri who spearheads Mitr Trust in Delhi, opened the first Indian transgender modelling agency called Bold in 2015. Read News18’s exclusive story on the incredible journey of Chettri, who has come a long way from being denied entry inside a mall to walking the ramp.
Proactive measures: The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to go for a ‘rapid’ caste and economic census in a bid to provide welfare schemes to more people in the state ahead of 2019 elections.
News18 Impact: A woman, in her 30s, has been offered a job and a house under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna after it was found that manual scavenging was continuing in UP’s Barabanki district despite a ban on the evil. The action comes after News18 published a story on how the claims of “Swachh Bharat” were falling flat in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh where manual scavenging was still being done even after being punishable by law.
Agree or disagree?
Congress president Rahul Gandhi appears to have suppressed his inner Ronaldo to emerge as a team player in the 2019 general elections. But can he summon his inner Messi in service of a grand coalition of opposition parties? Alas, his Mahagathbandhan teammates do not appear to see him as a striker, writes Bhavdeep Kang.
Niyog lost his father at 17. A father who believed travel broadens the mind. Hitchhiking across India to fight his thoughts, Niyog became a compulsive traveller and became the first Indian to win the Fjallraven Polar, an extreme arctic expedition across the Scandinavian Arctic. While most of us are still rehashing our Goa photos and tagging them as ‘wanderlust’ and ‘travel goals’, in this episode of Unusual People Common Problems meet Niyog, for whom travelling is as important as breathing.
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