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The Indian government's move to demonetise high-value currency notes is meant to propel citizens towards cashless transactions, thereby curb the menace of black money and tax irregularities. But what good would such a decision be when cyber security is not fool-proof? Sandip Roy recounts the horror of his experience of debit card fraud to put the fears of millions of others hesitant about online banking in context.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested three youths from Madurai suspected of running the Al-Qaeda unit of south India who were allegedly planning to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sources say they were allegedly plotting to attack embassies around the country and as many as 22 of the top leaders.
The recent encounter killings of two alleged "Maoists" in Kerala is an exceptional for two reasons, writes G. Pramod Kumar. Not only does it spoil the reputation of a state that doesn't extra-judicially kill its people like several other states in India allegedly do, but "it also exposes the contradiction of the ruling CPM that prides itself on its (past) revolutionary fervour, but cannot stand the alternative left that also subscribe to a similar ideology of resistance".
Since demonetisation of high-value currencies, a large number of Maoists and their sympathisers have been forced to surrender. The Maoists' ability to procure and circulate firearms and ammunitions has been badly hit because of the lack of cash circulating in the economy and has acted as an incentive for them to give up their guns, sources say.
The government is willing to give tax defaulters who have been hoarding cash in black money another chance to come clean. Under a new proposed money bill, a person can declare their undisclosed income, pay a tax of 30% and penalty of 10% on it and a surcharge called Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Cess of 33% on the tax, all of which totals up to around 50%. The rates of penalty differ if the cash is not declared but found in a raid.
The chief minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, accused his opponents of trying to "politically assassinate" him by spreading rumours about his intention of getting close to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The tongues had started rolling soon after he offered his support to the Centre on its move to demonetise high-value notes.
Off The Front Page
Manju Rathi, a 45-year-old mother of two, has been arrested for allegedly taking anything between ₹5-10 lakhs from parents willing to get their children admitted into premier schools in Kolkata. The price Rathi quoted depended on the scale of the challenge to keep her side of the bargain. The police have seized cash totalling ₹16 lakh -- ₹4 lakh of it in new currency -- during a raid on Manju's home in Bhowanipore. The rest of the cash was in demonetised ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes.
Khurram Pervez, a noted human rights activist in Kashmir, continues to be in prison in spite of an order from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to the state government to release him. The court called Pervez's detention "not only illegal" but also an "abuse of power".
A taxi driver in Punjab woke up on the morning of 4 November to find ₹9,806 crore wired into his Jan Dhan account. But the next day, it was wiped out summarily. Read what happened next.
As India approaches its 70th birthday, it is time for the Nehruvian political order to be toppled, writes Swapan Dasgupta in the Hindustan Times. The post-1945 world that once valorised Nehru's politics and social philosophy has shifted dramatically. As a result, it is no wonder attempts to turn his views into national dogma have faltered.
In Mint, Brahma Chellaney forecasts an impending water war in Asia which not only includes conflicting maritime claims but also competition over transnationally shared freshwater resources. The possibility of a rules-based water management system, he points out, may not be remote but for that to work, China will have to be brought on board.
In The Telegraph, economist Bhaskar Ghosh writes an impassioned defence of globalisation, countering American President-Elect Donald Trump's vitriolic stance on the subject. Globalisation, Ghosh says, "has come to mean different things to different people, perhaps the only thing in common being that everyone has very strong views on the topic." He then goes on to draw out the ramifications of the term for those on the Left, Right and Centre of the political axis.
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