The Morning Wrap: Rahul Gandhi Could Be The Face Of UP Elections; HMT Shuts Shop

02/05/2016 9:34 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

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Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday that he would present the detailed chronology of the AgustaWestland chopper deal before Parliament on Wednesday. The controversy over the chopper deal has escalated in the past few weeks, with Parrikar seeking a clarification from the former UPA regime on who received the alleged kickbacks in the deal.

A video by a daughter of an army officer who died in the 1999 Kargil war is going viral on social media. The daughter tries to explain why it is important to know the difference that it wasn't Pakistani's or Muslims that killed her father — it was war. Using simple placards and slight background music, the video sends out a powerful message and makes all the 'haters' on both the sides of the border think about the issue.

A mobile shopkeeper in Ludhiana committed suicide by jumping under a running train, after posting a suicide note on his Facebook page, accusing the police of harassing him in their hunt for a notorious gangster.

Prince Harry and the Obamas have been engaging in some high level trash talking ahead of the Invictus Games in Florida this year – and even Queen Elizabeth II got involved by challenging, "Oh really, please!"

Main News

Forest fire that blighted around 1,900 hectares of forests in Uttarakhand, has gone out in over 70 per cent of the affected areas, as the NDRF had deployed over 135 personnel to tackle the massive blaze. Latest satellite images show that the effective area under fire has come down to 110-115 locations from the earlier 427. The authorities also added that it was expected that these figures would be brought down to 50-60 over the next few days.

Congress party's poll strategist Prashant Kishor has reportedly suggested that the party vice president Rahul Gandhi be made the campaign's face in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2017. However, if Rahul does not agree to the proposal, Priyanka may be made the party's face in UP, the report suggests.

Indian fighter pilots in their Sukhoi-30MKI and Jaguar jets are all set to take on American top guns in the high-voltage Red Flag exercise at Eielson USAF airbase in Alaska from 3 May. The IAF pilots will hone their combat skills in the exercise with thousands of targets, realistic threat systems and an opposing enemy force. This is the second time IAF is participating in the Red Flag exercise, having earlier taken part in the intense combat manoeuvres at the Nellis airbase in Nevada in 2008.

Off The Front Page

The HMT watch factory unit in Tumkur, Karnataka, which once manufactured the premier brand of wristwatches such as Sangam, Utsav, Elegance and Pilot, among others, was finally shut down and pink slips were handed out to their 120 employees. Ironically, the employees got their pink slips on 1 May, which is also celebrated as International Labour Day.

To save stray animals from being mowed down by cars on roads, a non-profit organisation in Chennai has come up with an initiative to fit these animals with reflective collars. On Sunday, around 300 dogs and cattle were fit with these 'magic collars,' made of a reflective cloth stuck on a nylon tape. The collars have reportedly been successfully tested and used for dogs in Bengaluru, Pune and Jamshedpur.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who on a tour of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, took a break from his hectic schedule on Sunday by taking a ride on the newly-launched e-boat on the river Ganga.


Around 48 million people filed income tax returns in fiscal year 2015; the effective number is perhaps even less given the fact that many of them had zero tax liabilities. Now, compare the number of taxpayers with the 814 million people eligible to vote in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. This means that there is one taxpayer for every 16 voters—an asymmetry that has profound consequences for national policy, says an editorial in Mint. "The result has been a political system that quite naturally cares more about spending to buy votes rather than building a more effective tax system that will spur economic growth," says the article.

The problem with the judiciary is ironically the very thing it is revered for: transparency and accountability. Judges cannot be beyond accountability especially when they show the mirror to all and sundry, writes Suhel Seth in Mumbai Mirror. "Today, we have a situation where the pace of decisionmaking in the lower courts is not only slow but riddled, many a time, with acute corruption and while we do see industrialists and politicians being sent to jail, very rarely do we judicial officers being sent to prison for their misdemeanours," he says.

Last week, when the Delhi’s National Museum of Natural History (NMHM) caught fire, one was surprised to realise how little Delhi residents remembered of this city icon. Apart from charred manuscripts, burnt down specimens of endangered birds, reptiles and mammals and fossils dating back to as far as 160 million years, the museum left behind a story of how to kill our heritage, says Shivani Singh in Hindustan Times. "Across the world, many vibrant cities are proud of their museums. It is not merely about timely restoration of displays but about connecting with people.... These museums are becoming increasingly aware that they need the best of ideas to draw visitors. In India, the management of museums is still a sarkari domain. The 2012 parliamentary report had recommended that the government set up a panel of museologists, environmentalists and educationists to revisit the concept of curating. It may be too late for the NMHM. The others could use that thought," she says.

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