QBullet: Germany Backs Move to Ban Azhar; Male Workforce Shrinking

1. No ‘220 Club’ in BJP Hoping to Replace Modi, Says Gadkari

There is no ‘220 club’ in BJP which hopes a reduced tally for the party in the Lok Sabha elections could see the emergence of an alternative to PM Narendra Modi and this is mere speculation in media circles, minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday, 19 March.

In an exclusive interaction with Times of India, the minister, whose name has often been the subject of speculation as an ‘acceptable’ face in BJP in the event the party falls short, ruled out any such discussion, asserting that the party would return to office with a full majority on the basis of Modi’s leadership.

(Source: The Times of India)

2. Germany Backs Move to Ban Azhar

After France froze assets of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Chief Masood Azhar, Germany too has come forward in support of listing Azhar as an inter national terrorist.

German embassy spokesperson Hans Christian Winkler told ANI, “There is a discussion going on in the European Union on the listing of Masood Azhar as a terrorist. Germany is approaching it very positively in close coordination with France. A final decision on security and foreign policy can only be taken once all members of the EU agree to it.”

(Source: Times of India)

Also Read: We Believe India on Masood Azhar, Matter Will be Resolved: China

3. Schools Write in With Demand for Hiked Fee, Arrears

With the Delhi High Court giving interim relief to private unaided schools on fees, messages and circulars have started reaching parents asking them to pay the increased fees and arrears. Directorate of Education is yet to file a petition challenging the order.

Some of the schools have given a time-frame within which the fees have to be paid, while a few have threatened to withhold results on non-payment. “The school committee will decide on how the fees are to be collected. We generally stagger the time-frame to make it convenient for parents,” said a school’s principal.

(Source: The Times of India)

4. Clashes in J&K After Family Says 29-Yr-Old Died in Custody

A 29-year-old school teacher, picked up from his south Kashmir home on Sunday evening, 17 March, in connection with a terror case, has died in police custody, triggering clashes in the Valley and allegations that he may have been murdered.

A police spokesman said Rizwan Pandit, the principal of a private school in Awantipora, Pulwama district, who also ran a private coaching centre, had been in custody in “pursuance of a terror case investigation” when he died. The state government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the circumstances of his death on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Mamata to give Holi a miss as tribute to Pulwama martyrs

5. Cong in a Huddle to Clinch Alliances in Delhi, Bihar, Maharashtra

From Delhi to Bihar to Maharashtra, the Congress scrambled to finalise its alliances on Tuesday, 19 March, a day after the notification for the first phase of voting in the April-May Lok Sabha elections was issued, allowing candidates to start filing nominations.

Suspense continued in Delhi over whether the Congress will join hands with CM Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar stepped in as a dealmaker, presumably after finalising the details of the alliance between his party and the Congress that are yet to be announced. But late on Tuesday, Kejriwal said his party will not have any alliance with the Congress.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

6. Social Media Giants to Draft Ethics Code for Polls

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and social media intermediaries on Tuesday, 19 March, agreed to draft a code of ethics for the industry in the next 24 hours after being asked to do so by the Election Commission (EC).

Representatives from IAMAI and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, were called by the EC to discuss how to prevent abuse of social media platforms, and reduce outside influence during elections.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

7. AAP Plans 3,000 Road Meetings, 280 Rallies

With 280 rallies and 3,000 roadside meetings planned for over a month, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday, 19 March, said it will launch its campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi on 23 March.

“AAP’s election campaign will begin from 23 March with the first rally scheduled in West Delhi. A total of 280 rallies and 3,000 meetings near polling stations will be held until 30 April. AAP’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal will hold 70 mega rallies – one in each of the city’s Assembly constituencies,” AAP Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai told reporters.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Delhi BJP Seeks Action Against AAP for ‘Indulging in Violent Acts’

8. National Male Workforce Shrinking, Says Labour Report That Govt Buried

For the first time since 1993-94, the actual size of India’s male workforce, or men who are working, has shrunk. Data from the NSSO’s Periodic Labour Force Survey 2017-18, reviewed by The Indian Express, account for 28.6 crore employed male in the country. This is the first instance of a drop in the male workforce that steadily swelled from 21.9 crore in 1993-94 to 30.4 crore in 2011-12 when the last NSSO survey was conducted. This suggests fewer men were employed in 2017-18 compared to five years ago.

The decline in actual numbers occurred, again for the first time since 1993-94, in both rural and urban male workforce. The slide is steeper — 6.4% — in the rural areas compared to a 4.7% setback observed in the urban sector. The yet-to-be-released PLFS report put the unemployment rate for male in urban and rural segments at 7.1 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively.

(Source: The Indian Express)

9. Infra Push Leads to Surge in Bank Credit, Reverses 2-Year Trend

The government’s continued push towards building infrastructure has led to a sharp rise in bank credit growth to the sector over the last 10 months, reversing the declining credit trend seen over the previous two years. According to the Reserve Bank of India data, bank credit outstanding to the infrastructure sector rose by over Rs 95,000 crore or 10.8 percent between April 2018 and January 2019 to Rs 9.86 lakh crore.

This is in sharp contrast to the contraction in bank credit outstanding witnessed by the sector over the previous two years. While the bank credit outstanding to the sector stood at Rs 9.64 lakh crore as of March 2016, it declined to Rs 9.06 lakh crore by March 2017 and further down to Rs 8.90 lakh crore by March 2018.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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