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The Ministry of Culture recently decided to grade artists and writers across the country to ensure that the best get to represent India at events and platforms across the world. Of the metrics used by the ministry, O (Outstanding) stands for the highest score, followed by P (Promising) and W (Waiting). Knowing the ministry's fondness for artistes, historians and writers of a certain ilk, HuffPost India has made a list of India's best-known English-language writers and their imaginary 'grades'.
The protests in Gujarat over the brutal assault on the Dalit boys by cow vigilante groups is the first backlash against the brazen reign of gau rakshaks, which the BJP, in power at the Centre as well as the state, is facing. And this could be the spark for a huge counteraction against its cow protection agenda, which is antithetical to the economic interest, livelihood and dietary patterns of several communities across the country.
The draft rules released by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) state that bureaucrats cannot criticise the government on television, social media or any other communication application by any means including a 'caricature'. They have allowed babus to be active on social media, but clearly state that they are barred from saying anything critical of the government, its policies and actions.
Taking a strong exception to Bhagwant Mann for uploading a video on social media showing the Parliament premises and internal security positions, the BJP on Thursday said that AAP has become a shelter of comedians which doesn't have an ideology. Even as the video was dubbed as 'highly irresponsible' and 'foolish' by the opposition parties, Mann claimed that he would shoot another video later and dared the authorities to serve him a notice.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday announced that India is planning to reconsider the use of pellet guns by security forces when controlling crowds. The decision comes after the weapons caused multiple casualties and stirred public anger in Kashmir.
Arshid Qureshi, alleged to be a member of Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation was arrested on Wednesday by the Kerala police along with the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad. He is accused of recruiting Kerala youths for the terror outfit Islamic State.
Off The Front Page
Virat Kohli, India's test captain, crossed the 3,000-runs mark while batting on day one of the first Test against the West Indies. Kohli, playing his 42nd Test, took 73 innings to reach the milestone. Other cricketers who have crossed 3,000 runs in cricket include Virender Sehwag, Mohammad Azharuddin, Sunil Gavaskar, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Navjot Singh Sidhu, among others.
Assam forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma said in the state assembly that poachers had killed about 240 rhinos in Assam in the last 16 years. The minister informed the house that a total of 705 poachers had been identified and 661 of them had been arrested since 2001.
Michelle Kakade from Pune has made her way into the Guinness Book of World Records as the first person to complete the Indian Golden Quadrilateral on foot. Michelle, a 47-year-old mother of two, holds a record for being the first woman to travel the Indian Golden Quadrilateral on foot in 193 days. She has walked from Mumbai to Delhi (1514 km), Delhi to Kolkata (1542 km), Kolkata to Chennai (1555 km) and Chennai to Mumbai (1358 km).
Punjab's drug problem is a national security issue. But the nation has neither understood nor acknowledged its full extent, writes Raghu Raman in The Indian Express. "The terrible social and economic devastation which accompany drugs will rapidly spill over from Punjab and scorch rest of the nation. The first step to solving any complex problem — including drug addiction — is acknowledging and accepting its full extent and gravitas. But when state apparatuses resort to steadfast denial as a response to an exacerbating situation, our future generations would rightly wonder — just what were we smoking during our watch," he says.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invested significant political capital in wresting a favourable outcome regarding the Goods and Services Tax, says an editorial in The Hindu. "Addressing an all-party meet on the eve of the session, Modi appealed to members to give primacy to 'the national interest' while urging bipartisan support for the GST bill. So far, the Congress had reiterated its credentials in championing the GST during its years in power as proof that it is committed to the tax reform measure, without fully explaining its obstructionism once out of office. But now it has adopted a conciliatory tone on working with the government to hammer out a consensus. With many non-Congress Opposition parties expressing their willingness to see the legislation through, there is hope that the remaining sticking points will be sorted out," it says.
Research shows that Pokémon GO taps directly into the brain's reward centres, says an editorial in Mint. "The video game mania of the modern-day world is not however, restricted to its fetish for the unreal. It is also the huge level of self-actualisation and gratification that a gamer feels when he 'catches them all' as the catch phrase for any Pokémon game reminds us. Within the human brain is the reward system which is responsible for desire, pleasure and positive reinforcement," it says.
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