The Morning Wrap: 17 Killed In Ammunition Depot Fire In Maharashtra; Man Throws Grandson From Balcony

31/05/2016 10:35 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

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After stricter protocols were implemented in conducting exams in Bihar, less than half the Class X students have managed scrape through. Around 15.47 lakh students appeared for the centrally-administered exams this year. While more than half of them failed, which is a drop of more than 28% from last year, only 10.86% managed to get first division marks. Last year, more than a fifth of the students had passed with first division marks in Bihar.

Noted photographer and founder of the Delhi Photo Festival lost his pet dog in April. But with the help of social media and alert neighbours, he was able to find the dog in 33 days, in a forgotten area half-an-hour away from his home. The dog, Thumki, now safe and sound, has lost some weight but is now happily reunited with the family.

Bishop Jacob Muricken, of Pala diocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Kerala, has decided to donate his kidney to 30-year-old Hindu man Sooraj Sudhakaran, who has been undergoing dialysis for over a year after both his kidneys failed. Taking a cue from Pope Francis, Muricken wants to ensure that the year 2016 will be a 'Year of Mercy'.

Main News

A major fire at an ammunition depot in Pulgaon, Maharashtra killed over 17 and injured 19. Two officers and 15 Defence Security Corps jawans were among those killed in the fire. The fire broke out on Monday night at the Central Ammunition Depot at Pulgaon, some 110 kms from Nagpur.

England's Alastair Cook broke Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar's record by being the youngest batsman to score over 10,000 Test runs. The England captain became just the 12th batsman -- and the only one still playing Tests -- in history to reach the landmark when the left-handed opener clipped Nuwan Pradeep for four through mid-wicket.

The Global Slavery Index by human rights organisation Walk Free Foundation released a study revealing that India has the largest population of modern slaves in the world with more than 18 million people trapped as bonded labourers, forced beggars, sex workers and child soldiers. The report says that the number was 1.4% of India’s population, the fourth highest among 167 countries with the largest proportion of slaves.

Off The Front Page

The government is planning to deliver holy Gangajal (water from the river Ganges) at peoples' doorstep, using the Indian Postal Service. According to cabinet minster Ravi Shankar Prasad they are keen to 'address the cultural under-pinnings of India'. The Gangajal will be delivered via post, and there are plans to collaborate with popular e-commerce websites for the same.

After the debacle with the Bajrang Dal practicing the 'shooting down' of masked dummies, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad held a ‘self-defence’ camp for women in Varanasi. The 100-odd women participated were given martial arts well as weapons training.

In a shocking case, the Mumbai police on Monday arrested an elderly man for allegedly throwing off his three-year-old grandson from the six-floor balcony of his flat. The child was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead by doctors. Reportedly the grandfather had a fight with his daughter-in-law about not giving him food on time.


India’s outreach to African countries needs to go beyond tokenism. The protest by African envoys must serve as a call to action, write Persis Taraporevala and Rohit Negi in The Hindu. "Expounding slogans of shared histories from Bandung are far easier than creating structures that support the everyday lives of migrants and Indians, given the social frictions that typify globalising cities. The current pledges of support require extensive work on the ground and in terms of policy to ensure that the ideas stated by the government go beyond tokenism," they say.

The reasons for India’s growing health problems are both resource-related and systemic, says an editorial in Mint. "The biggest reason for the slow improvement in health parameters in the country, however, is the huge out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditure incurred by Indian households. Private expenditure on health also includes insurance, donations and direct service payments by corporations. In India, 85.9% of private expenditure on health is OOP. The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, 2014, aims to redress this by expanding the health insurance cover—currently, only 17% of the total population—but its effectiveness remains to be seen," it says.

By scrapping the poll notification for two Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu, Aravakurichi and Thanjavur, where money and gifts had been distributed to voters by candidates and members of the two major parties, the AIADMK and the DMK, the Election Commission probably hoped to at least partially redeem its image as a tough, no-nonsense institution, that is both independent and powerful, says an editorial in The Hindu. "In doing so, the EC underlined its independence and authority and signalled that it would not be cowed down by political pressure. In taking on the Governor for his overreach and refusing to quietly acquiesce in this matter, the EC deserves to be commended," it said.

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