QBullet: RBI Rejected Govt Claims on Note Ban; Maoists Kill 5

1. Two Yrs After Demonetisation: Okaying Note Ban, RBI Rejected Govt Claim on Black Money, Fake Notes

Less than four hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation on 8 November 8 2016, the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gave its approval to the scheme but also rejected, in writing, two of the key justifications — black money and counterfeit notes — that he would make in his televised address to the nation.

The minutes of the 561st meeting of the RBI’s Central Board, which was convened hurriedly in New Delhi at 5.30 pm that day, reveal that the central bank’s directors described the move as “commendable” but also warned that demonetisation “will have a short-term negative effect on the GDP for the current year”.

The minutes were signed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel on 15 December 2016, five weeks after the meeting was held. In all, six objections, described as “significant observations”, were recorded in the minutes by the RBI Board.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Demonetisation Is A Tragedy & Suicidal Attack: Rahul Gandhi

2. Maoists Kill Five in Dantewada Strike

Four civilians and one CISF personnel was killed in an IED blast in Dantewada.

Four civilians and a CISF jawan were killed on Thursday, 8 November, when suspected Maoists blew up a bus with an improvised explosive device (IED) in poll-bound Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, police said.

Two personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were also injured in the incident.

“Seven people, including three CISF jawans from Akash Nagar camp, were going for routine purchase — on a private bus deployed for election duty — when they were targeted by Maoists,” said Bastar inspector general Vivekanand Sinha.

The attack comes a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi are scheduled to campaign in Bastar.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: DD Cameraperson, 3 Policemen Killed in Chhattisgarh Naxal Attack

3. Ban Goes up in Smoke, Delhi Picks Crackers Over Clean Air

The air quality in Delhi and its suburbs plunged to ‘severe’ levels early on Thursday, 8 November, after people defied a Supreme Court order to set off firecrackers well into the night, sending up more than 100,000 kilos of ultrafine particles in the air that can penetrate deep into the lungs and lead to major health problems.

Delhi’s 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI), which was 281 at 4pm on Wednesday, 7 November, shot up to 390 on Thursday, 8 November, – the steepest post-Diwali hike in AQI values since 2015. The AQI deteriorated further to 418 by 7pm.

But while the AQI measures a combination of pollutants in the air, the concentration of PM 2.5 particles – the smallest and deadliest of all recorded polluting agents that can be linked directly to firecracker residue – shot up from 90µg/m³ at 6pm to 1,560µg/ m³.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Heavy Vehicles Banned as Delhi Records Worst Air Quality This Year

4. CBI vs CBI: Alok Verma to Depose Before CVC Today

A fortnight after he was divested of all responsibilities and sent on leave by the government along with Special Director Rakesh Asthana with whom he had been at loggerheads, CBI Director Alok Verma appeared before the Central Vigilance Commission on Thursday, 8 November, which is probing allegations levelled against him by Asthana.

But the meeting of the inquiry committee to hear Verma was postponed to Friday, 9 November, due to the non-availability of one of the Vigilance Commissioners. CVC sources told The Indian Express that a notice was served on Verma on Wednesday, 7 November, to appear for the inquiry at Satarkata Bhawan the next day.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: CBI Row: Complainant Businessman Satish Sana Examined by CVC

5. In a First, India to Share Platform With Taliban

A member of Taliban in Afghanistan. Image used for representational purposes. 

India on Thursday, 8 November, said it would participate in a meeting on Friday, 9 November, being hosted by Russia on Afghanistan at a “non-official level” in Moscow where representatives of the Taliban would be present.

While India will attend the meeting on Afghanistan hosted by Russia on Friday, the government has said that its participation will be restricted to “non-official level”. The government recalled India’s position that all peace efforts must be led, owned and also controlled by the Afghans.

India’s presence in the Moscow meeting, even if at the non-official level, is likely to raise eyebrows as it will for the first time share a platform with the Taliban. India will be represented by retired diplomats TCA Raghavan and Amar Sinha.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Questions on Security Louder Than Ever in Afghanistan Elections

6. Uttarakhand: Sanjay Kumar Removed as BJP General Secy After Sexual Harassment Allegations

Image used for representational purposes. 

After allegations of sexual harassment were recently raised against BJP’s Sanjay Kumar, the party on Thursday, 8 November, confirmed that on Kumar’s request, the central leadership had removed him from the post of Uttarakhand general secretary (organisation).

On Sunday, 4 November, the Hindi daily Amar Ujala had published a report where a woman, who is a BJP worker in Dehradun, had raised allegations of sexual harassment against Kumar. Kumar had been sexually exploiting the woman for about five years and several complains of the harassment to various party leaders had gone unacknowledged, the newspaper report said.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: #MeToo: Wife of Army Officer Alleges Harassment by Retd Brigadier

7. SC Collegium Meets 6 Times in 30 Days, Clears 9 HC CJs & 29 Judges

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. (File Photo: IANS)

Apart from recommending and getting four Supreme Court judges, the collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, held six meetings in just 30 days to send proposals to the Centre for appointment of nine chief justices and 29 judges to various high courts.

While the larger collegium comprising CJI Gogoi and Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph, A K Sikri and S A Bobde recommended appointment of judges to the apex court and also effected transfers of 11 judges from one high court to another, the collegium of three — CJI Gogoi and Justices Lokur and Joseph — dealt with high court recommendations for appointment of HC judges from among advocates and judicial officers.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: CJI Gogoi in ‘Awe’ of Centre’s Swift Approval of 4 New SC Judges

8. RSS Wants More From Centre on Ram Temple

The rank and file of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideological fount, is unhappy with efforts by the latter in terms of a legislation that will enable the building of a temple at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi site, senior functionaries of the organisation said on condition of anonymity.

Thus far, BJP MP from the Rajya Sabha Rakesh Sinha has said he will move a private member’s bill on the temple; a few ministers not connected with the issue have commented on the possibility of a law or the need for one, and top government functionaries addressing a background briefing last week emphasised the fact that the government has the power to bring about a law to the effect.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: ‘Ram’ and ‘Sita’ Walk Down the Ramp, Provoke the Sant Samaaj

9. After Losing House, Trump Sacks Sessions

A furious US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, 7 November, fired his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and threatened to retaliate with a “warlike posture” against the new Democratic House majority if it uses its subpoena power to launch investigations into his administration, signalling a precipitous deterioration in the domestic politics of the world’s leading democracy.

In a belligerent response to his Republican Party’s loss of the House of Representatives in Tuesday’s midterm poll — a virtual no-confidence motion against his Presidency from the broader electorate — Trump sacked a pliant cabinet member who he has been angry with for allowing the probe into alleged Russia collusion.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: White House Suspends CNN Journalist’s Pass After Clash With Trump

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