23/02/2015 9:43 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

The Morning Wrap: Country's First 'Paperless' Budget, Coal Blocks To Net Government Rs 1 Trillion

Bloomberg via Getty Images
A worker holds a lump of sinter for a photograph in the sintering unit of the Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. plant in Raigarh, Chhattisgargh, India, on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Jindal Steel manufactures sponge iron, mild steel, and cement. The Company also produces power, conducts mining operations for iron ore and coal, and explores for natural gas and oil. Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Morning Wrap is HuffPost India’s selection on interesting news and opinion from the day’s newspapers.

Much more satisfying than the hyped contest with Pakistan last week, India resoundingly won against South Africa and seems convincingly poised to put on a concerted, credible performance as defending World Cup champions.

The Indian government facilitated the release off Jesuit priest Fr. Alexis Premkumar Antonysamy, who was released from captivity eight months after he was abducted by the Taliban at Herat in Afghanistan last June. Though he reached Delhi on Sunday, officials said details of the efforts that led to his release could not be shared.

From attending a wedding in Mulayam Singh’s family and having senior minster Venkaiah Naidu personally reach out to Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appears to be extremely keen on a productive Budget session in Parliament, which convenes today.

The first round of coal block e-auctions that ended on Sunday saw some of the key names in the industry bagging 18 mines with a combined extractable reserve of 90 million tonnes, along with attached end-use infrastructure. According to the auction amount and royalty payable, six mineral-rich states are likely to earn nearly Rs 1 lakh crore over the next 30 years.

The Uttar Pradesh government which paid out nearly Rs 750 crore, twice as much as last year, to compensate farmer suicide victims is now so starved for cash that it has now plans to rope in private insurance companies to streamline the scheme and share the burden.

Essential HuffPost

Ayaz Memon rues that the first week of the World Cup has been extremely poor in terms of the quality of cricket on display with most matches being one-sided and without a single close finish.

Battling charges of sexual harassment, Teri chief Rajendra Pachauri now faces a fresh set of charges, this time from an ex-colleague who worked with him in 2005. In light of this, the India Conference at Harvard has withdrawn its invitation to Pachauri to be one of the speakers at its student conference.

Off The Front Page

Former particle physicist and education minister Murli Manohar Joshi likened ‘namaaz’ to yoga and "Prophet Mohammad as the greatest yogi". He added that were every person in India to practice yoga, it would curb incidents of rape across the country.

A consumer court has directed a weight-loss clinic to refund the fee of Rs.73,000 to a woman and compensate her for her mental agony, as she was falsely lured by the company’s claims of helping her lose five kilos on following their treatment programme. The woman claimed she’d only lost 400 grams despite sticking to the regimen.

A Delhi court will decide on whether e-commerce web sites can be prosecuted for falling foul of India’s infamous section 377 of the penal code that, among other things, makes same-sex intercourse illegal.

Himachal Pradesh is set to become the country's first state to present a 'paperless' budget on March 11. All documents related to budget estimates would be made available online and only around 10 budget copies would be printed “for record.”

To tide over a financial crisis, the Congress, that lost several elections due to its inability to tackle multi-crore corruption scandals, has hiked membership fees to 50 times its current charge of Rs 5. The Hindustan Times reports that the Congress, through this, seeks to raise approximately Rs 750 crore annually from its claimed 3 crore members.


K Balakaseri points out in The Hindu that introducing reforms in the Railways is hard because the process is “complex, can invite severe staff backlash and can disrupt a reasonably well-functioning system, with serious consequences for the economy.”

Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner cautions in The Indian Express that recent laws in Rajasthan stipulating certain minimum criteria for holding panchayat posts only serve to “…restrict the number of qualified candidates — rendering contests over reserved seats (as) battles among an elite ‘creamy layer’.”

Indrajit Hazra observes in The Economic Times that RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s recent criticism of strong government shows that “..airing criticisms of, and differences of opinion with, a strong government needn’t amount to sedition or being tagged as the village obstructionist…”

Manu Joseph in The Hindustan Times says that recent news of Mumbai planning on 24X7 nightspots is a positive social-leveller as it will serve to make it “…impossible to pre-determine the social class of the patrons. Such a trend sets the grounds for a uniformity of experiences across social classes…”