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The Morning Wrap: India Goes Shopping For Arms; Presidency College Turns 200

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

18/01/2017 11:43 PM IST | Updated 19/01/2017 8:35 AM IST
Adnan Abidi / Reuters

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

In a move with tremendous strategic import, India has been on a secretive weapons shopping spree, buying up anti-tank missiles, tank engines, rocket launchers and various ammunition, from Israel and Russia. The purchases amount to more than $3 billion, persons close to the development said.

Polling in at least half of the total of 60 assembly seats in Manipur is now uncertain with the United Naga Council (UNC) deciding to intensify the now nearly three-and-a-half-month-long stir in the border state. Assembly polls in Manipur will be held in two phases on March 4 and 8.

Corporations contributed nearly 85% of the donations regional political parties received in 2015-16, new official data shows. The Shiv Sena reported having received more than four times in donations than 20 other regional parties put together last year, and 98% of it came from one source — Videocon Industries, whose promoter Rajkumar Dhoot is a Shiv Sena MP.

Main News

With rising protests against the proposed banning of jallikattu, the traditional bull-taming of Tamil Nadu, the chief minister of the state, O Panneerselvam, said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today to get an ordinance passed in favour of the practice. Sources in the Union government say that the Centre could take a sympathetic approach, but would wait for the Supreme Court's final order.

Former Prime Minister (as well as Finance Minister) Manmohan Singh spoke up for the institutional sanctity of the Reserve Bank of India. The Congress member's views are a departure from his party's picketing the apex bank's facilities, especially at a time the incumbent Prime Minister has been accused of forcing it to agree to demonetisation of high-value currency notes.

In his last press conference as the president of the United States, Barack Obama firmly defended his decision to cut nearly three decades off convicted leaker Chelsea Manning's prison term, arguing the former Army intelligence analyst had served a "tough prison sentence" already.

Off The Front Page

Air pollution caused a total of 80,665 premature deaths of adults over 30 years in Mumbai and Delhi in 2015, a two-fold jump from 1995, according to a new study at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. In economic terms, air pollution cost the two cities $10.66 billion in 2015 or about 0.71% of the country's gross domestic product.

The CBI registered two preliminary enquiries — one against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and the other against Saumya Jain, daughter of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government. Sisodia is under the scanner for his connection with alleged irregularities in AAP government's social media campaign 'Talk to AK'. Saumya Jain was registered in connection with her appointment as in-charge of the Delhi government's mohalla clinic project.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance that about ₹9.2 lakh crore had been put back in circulation since the demonetisation on November 8. Patel, however, did not offer any clarity on how much of the demonetised currency had been deposited back in banks, saying calculations were still on.

Opinion

Did Amazon.com Inc, the world's largest online retailer, significantly overestimate the potential of India's e-commerce market? Mint gives you the lowdown on the world's largest e-tailer's performance in India. In 2016, for instance, the company's gains came at the expense of Flipkart and Snapdeal's market share and not from a growing online retail industry, it says.

The Trinamool Congress should be worried at the turn of events at Bhangar in South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, where a protest has been on for weeks against land acquisition for a power substation, says an editorial in The Indian Express. Read why this could be a turning point for governance in the state.

On the 200th anniversary of the Presidency College in Kolkata, now known as Presidency University, former civil servant Jawhar Sircar, an alumnus of the institution, reminisces about his years as a student. Admiring the dedication of the teachers, he recalls them teaching classes even at the height of the Naxal Revolt in Kolkata in the 1970s.

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