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The Morning Wrap: Earthquake Strikes Central Italy; UPSC May Cut Upper Age Limit For IAS Exam To 26 Years

Our selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers.

24/08/2016 8:32 AM IST | Updated 24/08/2016 9:50 AM IST
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The Morning Wrap is HuffPost India's selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers. Subscribe here to receive it in your inbox each weekday morning.

Essential HuffPost

While it may be tempting to fall for an overly rosy report currently doing the rounds claiming India ranks among the top 10 wealthiest countries in terms of individual wealth, a closer understanding of those numbers reveals a depressing picture. However, if you consider the latest GDP numbers for the average Indian person, the reported "individual wealth" ranking seems a tad misleading, leaving the average person in India quite poor. According to World Bank data, India's gross per capita national income in 2015 stood at $6,020, ranking it 120 out of 216 countries. While its per capita income in 2015 in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) ranks it at 151.

The US Postal Service will release a special 'Diwali Forever' stamp this October, to commemorate the Hindu festival. The American government announced that the stamp would be released on 5 October, and that the first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony will take place at the Indian Embassy in New York City.

Flipkart has joined the list of offenders by endorsing the mothballed stereotype of portraying a Gorkhali people as watchmen in advertisements. A complaint letter submitted to the Delhi Police by the Gorkha Youth and Students' Association of India (GYASA), said, "Their advertisement makes a mockery of the Gorkha community, and stereotypes us as being Chowkidars, with overly exaggerated and highly offensive [which they may consider as being funny] Hindi accent."

Main News

After the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Rajya Sabha, approved the amendments to the existing maternity benefits laws that seek to double maternity leave for women from three months to six months, the clamour for paternity leave is garnering strength. But Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said, point blank, that extended paternity leave will have little impact in India, where men do not even avail their existing leave entitlements to share the responsibility of child care. She also said that it would just become a 'holiday' for the Indian men.

Indian agencies like RAW, IB, CBI, NIA, the police in Delhi and Mumbai and other agencies have been working relentlessly to track the movements of Dawood Ibrahim for 23 years. They have been tracing the movements of his friends, associates and relatives (most of which occur to and from Pakistan and Dubai) through their phone numbers, passport details and even his electricity bills. Most of the evidence points to the fact that Pakistan continues to provide safe haven to India's most wanted terrorist.

A strong 6.2 magnitude quake struck central Italy early on Wednesday near the town of Norcia, the US Geological Survey said. The central Italian town of Amatrice was badly damaged by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake, with people trapped under the rubble.

Off The Front Page

An author a part-time teacher and accountant named Vanaja Vasudev had recently earned accolades as well as wrath on social media for her comment by Kerala excise commissioner Rishiraj Singh, who claimed in a speech that a man who stares at a woman for more than 14 seconds could be jailed for harassment. In a Facebook post she had written that it is not only the men who like to stare at women, but women like to look at guys too. "To tell the truth, if a good-looking guy passes by, I check him out... As far as I am concerned, this is not harassment; it's just for fun...You don't get pregnant from eye-contact," she wrote.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan broke his silence regarding the picture where he was was being carried by two policemen during a visit to flood-hit area of the state, saying he was caught unawares by them. He claimed that before he could 'realise and react', the police constables had picked him up.

In a significant change in the system of the civil services entrance test, reports state that the UPSC could soon rework the age criteria by reducing the upper age limit for giving the examination from 32 to 26. No reduction in upper age limit has been prescribed for SC/ST candidates from the current 37 years.

Opinion

I provoked the ire of self-proclaimed 'nationalists' in saffron because I disagreed with Defence Minister Parrikar's pronouncement that going to Pakistan is akin to a visit to hell. I had just returned from a visit to Islamabad and can safely report that what I found was not hell but a country that is home to people just like us, who happen, sadly, to be ruled by a regime that does not inspire confidence, writes actor-turned-politician Divya Spandana aka Ramya in The Indian Express."While it is easy to denounce conversation with the Pakistani establishment, a conversation with ordinary Pakistanis is crucial regardless of whether or not our governments are on good terms. What these self appointed 'nationalists' want is to drum up hysteria and ensure that we never find solutions to longstanding problems. Theirs is a patriotism that begins and ends at making noise on the street—after all it is easy to gather a horde of bullies and demonstrate. It may get them prime time TV attention, but peace building requires a little more nuance and effort," she wrote.

Refiguring jihadis as faceless masses would be a serious mistake, both tactically and morally, says Noah Feldman in Mint. "There's a problem with the French media's self-censorship is that it dehumanises the jihadi enemy. Why, after all, does the media publish names and pictures of criminals in the first place? It's not absolutely essential that the public or even policymakers know the individual details in every story. The reason is human interest: We pay more attention to a story if we know it's about a specific human being," he writes.

Una showed that Dalits and Muslims are both victims of a similar oppression... The BSP's Twitter handle now goes with the hashtag, #DalitMuslimUnity writes Vidya Subrahmaniam in The Hindu. "...If the BSP has to recover lost ground, it has to go back to the drawing board and do two things: bring the 'bahujan' back into the reckoning and form an alliance with Muslims. The BSP has had a troubled history with Muslims primarily because of a perceived incompatibility between Dalits and Muslims. The BJP's Dalit plan is in tatters. At this point, any attempt at inter-caste dining and such can only feed into Dalit anger. Years ago, Bhimrao Ambedkar had scoffed at inter-caste dining, saying the fundamental problem was with the Hindu religion. Reprising that sentiment, BSP old-timer, Ambeth Rajan says, "the very notion of inter-dining is demeaning to us," she says.

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