QBullet: Alok Verma Back in CBI Office; LS Passes 10% Quota Bill

1. CBI Director: Supreme Court Sets Aside Govt Order, Alok Verma Back for Now, With Curbs on Powers

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 8 January, set aside the 23 October, 2018, order of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and Union government divesting CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma of his powers and functions, finding that it went against the “legislative intent” to “ensure complete insulation” of the CBI Director “from all kinds of extraneous influences”.

(Source: The Indian Express)

2. 10% Quota for Poorer Sections Gets Lok Sabha Nod; Rajya Sabha Test Today

Lok Sabha has passed a constitution amendment bill to introduce 10 percent reservation for poorer sections among general category aspirants for jobs and educational institutions. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the bill had been supported by 323 members while only 3 members voted against it.

The bill – which was passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting – will be taken up by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 9 January. This is the first time that economic status would entitle a person to reservation benefit at a national level.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

3. CJI, 4 Probable CJIs on Constitution Bench to Hear Ayodhya Land Dispute Case

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday, 8 January set up a new five-member constitution bench headed by him, and comprising justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud to hear the contentious Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case on Thursday.

The bench — it includes the present chief Justice of India and, potentially, the next four chief justices of India — will on Thursday decide whether the decades-old title dispute will be heard on a daily basis.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. General Strike Evokes Mixed Response, Affects PSU Banks

The two-day general strike call issued by 10 central trade unions evoked a mixed response in different parts of the country on Tuesday, 8 January.

In Mumbai, Kerala, parts of Karnataka, West Bengal and Odisha, public transport was affected, and commuters were hit. According to unions, steel and coal production units in parts of the country were affected, with the strike also impacting several industrial belts and engineering clusters. Banking operations in some public sector banks were affected, as well as postal and insurance services. Rallies and demonstrations were carried out in many places.

(Source: The Hindu)

5. Citizenship Bill That Triggered Protests in Northeast Passed by Lok Sabha

Activists of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) led by former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta take out a torch light rally objecting to Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Guwahati. 

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday, 8 January passed a controversial Bill that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan amid protests by the opposition parties.

Home minister Rajnath Singh tabled the Citizenship Bill in the House and said that the Bill is not only for Assam or for migrants from a particular country.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

6. In PM Modi-Trump Call, India Gets All-Good Signal on Afghanistan

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump discussed how to “increase” cooperation in Afghanistan in a phone call on Monday, 7 January in the backdrop of reports the United States was planning to drawdown its forces there and that it wanted India and other regional players to play a large role militarily.

The two leaders also “exchanged perspectives”, said a readout of the conversation from the White House, on how to reduce US trade deficit with India, a top priority for President Trump for the relationship now, acknowledged by both Indian and US officials, and expand cooperation in Indo-Pacific.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

7. Apsara Reddy Appointed Gen Secy of AIMC, First Transgender to Hold Such Position in Congress

Transgender social activist Apsara Reddy has been appointed as the National General Secretary of the All India Mahila Congress (AIMC).

Transgender social activist Apsara Reddy has been appointed as the National General Secretary of the All India Mahila Congress (AIMC).

The appointment was made on Tuesday, 8 January by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. Apsara, who was with the BJP earlier, quit the party within a month citing BJP’s ‘regressiveness’.

(Source: The Indian Express)

8. At Meeting With Rahul Gandhi, Chandrababu Naidu Seeks to Cement Opposition Alliance

TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu with Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu, who has taken a lead role in building an opposition front against the BJP, arrived in the national capital to attempt to cement ties with the Congress. Naidu, who started the exercise with a meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, is expected to call on Nationalist Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar soon after.

Naidu’s latest visit to the national capital comes against the backdrop of the Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party suggesting that they have firmed up a seat-sharing deal minus the Congress.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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