14/01/2015 9:04 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

The Morning Wrap: DRDO Chief Sacked, Govt On Greenpeace, Relief For Sahara Chief...

PUNIT PARANJPE via Getty Images
Subrato Roy, chairman of the Sahara Group gestures as he speaks during a news conference in Mumbai on February 4, 2012. Indian cricket was hit by a major crisis on February 4 when the long-time sponsor of the national cricket team pulled out over differences with the board. The Sahara group of companies, which has been a cricket sponsor since 2000, said in a statement that it was ending what it called a 'one-sided emotional relationship' with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). AFP PHOTO/ Punit PARANJPE (Photo credit should read PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Morning Wrap is Huffpost India's selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers.

Main News

The government on Tuesday removed Avinash Chander, chief of the Defence Research and Development Organization, 15 months before his contract was to end. Though specific reasons are unknown, this is the first time that the chief of the sensitive establishment has been removed. His contract was extended a few months ago.

Desi James Bonds are not far away. The government is working on a concept paper to raise a new cadre of spies on the lines of " Western countries like the US, where the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency draw their resources directly from the open market."

The Economic Times reports that three academics from the Sangh Parivar's history wing may join the top panel of the Indian Council for History Research. The furore that followed ICHR chief Sudershan Rao's appointment is likely to repeat itself should HRD ministry clear these appointments.

The government defended its move to deplane Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai, on the basis of standing guidelines issued in 2010 and suspicions by the Intelligence Bureau that she was out to criticize Indian activities on an international forum by using funds from restricted organisations.

Despite various government initiatives and near-universal enrolment in the age group 6-14, basic learning achievements in reading and maths remain low and dismal, according to the tenth Annual Status of Education Report (ASER).

Jet Airways chairman and key promoter Naresh Goyal has pledged his entire shareholding in the carrier of 51 per cent, valued at over Rs 2,600 crore, to state-run Punjab National Bank, though the reasons for this were not disclosed.

The Economic Times reports that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)—ostensibly to signal fairplay and promote foreign investment—has relaxed a longstanding rule that bars local companies from paying more than the 'fair value' price to buy out their foreign partner's stake in a joint venture. The move will benefit Japanese telecom firm DoCoMo as they try to exit their partnership with Tata Teleservices. The exit is however currently a matter of legal arbitration.

Mint reports that a key theme of the forthcoming Union Budget will likely be decentralization. This is likely to happen through the government accepting the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, which recently proposed a fundamental change in the fiscal relationship between the centre and the states.

Pakistan must rein in Hafiz Saeed, said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his first remarks about the terrorist's public rallies. In an emphatic statement, Mr. Ban demanded that the Indian government repeal Section 377 of the Indian Penal code that criminalises homosexuality, calling it a "matter of human rights."

Mirach Capital, a Miami-based debt fund owned by expat Indians, will invest about $2 billion (about Rs. 12,400 crore) in the Subrata Roy-led Sahara group. While that is more than the amount Roy needs to deposit as security to leave jail, the Sahara group said that it would use only half the money for bail purposes.

Off The Front Page

At least 30 bodies, which were ostensibly disposed of in the Ganga river as part of last rites by their kin, surfaced after the water receded near Pariyar ghat in neighbouring Unnao district, prompting administration to order an inquiry into it.

Snazzy, futuristic toilets that self clean will dot the temple town of Tirupati. These toilets, developed by a private company, Eram Scientific, will be set up at three arterial junctions in the city and will be an addition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ongoing pitch to improve sanitation in India.

The special investigation team (SIT) probing the Muzaffarnagar riots has given a clean chit to six of the eight accused in connection with a murder case during communal violence in the district.

Top BJP leaders continue to tread the fine line separating secularism and rightist rhetoric after Rajnath Singh at a convocation in Lucknow said that some highly educated students who have studied information technology and engineering were involved in terror activities and this was due to people "forsaking traditional Indian values."

The CBI will investigate a trust backed by the former law minister Salman Khurshid, which was accused of financial irregularity. The agency didn't disclose the specific nature of the inquiry but has moved on the recommendation of the ministry a social justice. The allegations, which surfaced in 2012, were a key point of attack by Arvind Kejriwal, who had then just founded the Aam Aadmi.


Mihir Shah in The Hinducautions that unconditional cash transfers were ineffective if they weren't backed by appropriate distributive mechanisms.

While analysts in India are agog over the economic gains for India after the regime change in Sri Lanka, Shyam Saran, in the Business Standard, rues that India hasn't done much with regards to the major South Asian-player Indonesia and here too, China has emerged the victor as far as as strategic alliances go.

Nitin Sethi, in the Business Standard, makes a strong case for bringing transparency to the functioning and financing of NGOs in India, but emphasizes that the rules, ethics and benchmarks be equally applied to all--corporate lobbies as well as domestic groups.

An editorial in Mint warns that India's IT firms are truly at the crossroads. Having once innovatively converted slim arbitrage into a giant business, they can now slip into mediocrity or

participate in the brave new world of creating knowledge-based capital.

An editorial in the Hindustan Timesadvises that prominent parties in the fray for the Delhi polls would do well to make the issue of statehood for Delhi a focussed poll strategy