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The Morning Wrap: Relief From Demonetisation For Some; Sonia Gandhi On Indira And Modi

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

22/11/2016 7:51 AM IST | Updated 22/11/2016 9:37 AM IST
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Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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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

Demonetisation of old currency notes, variously described so far by the ruling political establishment as "a minor inconvenience" and meant for the greater common good, is not going according to plan, if the signs are anything to go by. Not only has it unleashed untold miseries on the common people but foretells more trouble in the days ahead. Keeping the fragile situation in mind, as well as the deaths and growing unrest, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) provided an additional 60 days to consumers for repayment of housing, car, farm and other loans worth up to Rs 1 crore. Cash-strapped farmers can use old ₹500 notes for purchasing seeds from any state or Central government outlets and agri universities, the finance ministry added.

Our guest this week in the Breakfast With HuffPost series is Binny Bansal, the CEO of Flipkart, a billionaire at 33. Over repast at his office in Bengaluru, he recounts to our editor-in-chief the arc of his journey, from packing books in his apartment to deliver to various parts of India to running a company which is giving the global giant Amazon a run for its money.

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his move of demonetisation, the opposition has ganged up against him. Sandip Roy analyses the implications of this uncharacteristic political solidarity against the PM and what the scenario may look like if the public mood decisively turns in favour of the ruling government's move.

Main News

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.3 and having its epicentre in Fukushima prefecture hit northern Japan on Tuesday. While no news of casualties has been reported yet, authorities have issued a tsunami warning to the public. Checks are on to see if the quake has caused any damage to the nuclear power plants in the region.

While offering relief from the rules of demonetisation to weddings taking place this season, the RBI has put in stringent conditions on the withdrawal limits. For instance, the maximum permissible sum of ₹2.5 lakhs can be withdrawn only out of the balance that was in the account at the close of business hours on the day the PM made the announcement to withdraw old ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes from circulation (8 November).

In the last five years leading up to the devastating accident met by the Patna Indore Express recently, the Indian Railways has averted at least 24 instances of head-on collisions, a chilling report has found out.

Off The Front Page

A crematory in Chennai will be soon beaming out funeral rituals of the dear departed to their friends and families all over the world. About to be enabled with a WiFi connection, the Velangadu crematory will be connecting those who cannot make it to the last rites of their loved ones through live streaming. This is one of the several ways in which this institution is embracing modern values, including allowing women to work there.

A key witness in the gangrape and murder of a 35-year-old woman in Shamli district's Kairana village was murdered in his sleep. 55-year-old Brahmpal Singh, who was the brother-in-law of the deceased woman, was shot dead at a site where residents keep their cattle.

In a television interview with journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, Sonia Gandhi strongly disagreed with the latter's suggestion that similarities exist between the ruling PM Modi and the former PM Indira Gandhi, her mother-in-law and erstwhile leader of the Congress. "Absolutely not! There is no comparison," she said to Sardesai's comment. "Indira represented secularism. She treated all Indians as same, regardless of their background and religion," she added.

Opinion

While conceding the difficulty of getting at black money stashed away in gold and real estate, R Jagannathan writes in the Hindustan Times, "The logical and only consistent long-term way of eliminating black money in any sphere is to promote transparency and coaxing citizens to move away from cash (through digital and web-based payments)." He also calls election funding to be "the Gangotri of black money", adding that only with the strongest "political will" would the government be able to tackle this part of the problem.

A.S. Pannerselvan, Readers' Editor at The Hindu, introspects on the challenges faced by mainstream media, especially by traditional broadsheets, in the age of digital churn and fake news. "Even as the technology giants like Facebook and Google are grappling to address this huge ethical issue, it is vital to understand that the social media-inspired, echo chamber-type news ecology creates a new class of people who are dangerously ill-informed and self-assured and have no common public sphere to provide contrarian views," he concludes.

The electoral college system of voting in the US, severely criticised for skewering results, is defended by Jessica Seddon in Mint. Refusing to call "the electoral college the institutional equivalent of the human appendix," she goes on to point out that, on the contrary, "It is a form of filter on broad popular verdicts that deserves some attention (and updating) today."

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