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In a major cabinet reshuffle that comes close on the heels of its two-year anniversary, Narendra Modi government moved Smriti Irani, one of its most high-profile and controversial faces, into the relatively low-key Textiles Ministry. Irani, who faced criticism from several quarters for her handling of Hyderabad University Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide and the JNU row, will now be replaced by Prakash Javedekar who will head the HRD Ministry.
Popular Malayalam writer KR Meera noted for her novel Hangwoman (2014) talked to HuffPost India about her latest novel in translation, The Gospel of Yudas, and talked about the time Emergency was declared in India, and its effect on Naxalites in Kerala. The novel revolves around the protagonist, Prema, who is obsessed with Yudas, a former Naxalite, living with the guilt of having spilled information about his comrades under police torture, and is atoning his lapse by retrieving dead bodies from lakes.
In a rare surgery, doctors in India succeeded in replacing the disfigured nose of a 12-year-old boy with a new one that was grown on his forehead. Arun Patel, whose nose was disfigured because of a cartilage damage after he contracted pneumonia as a baby, got a new one almost a decade later, after doctors in Indore in Madhya Pradesh decided to conduct a four-phased plastic surgery on him.
The Congress party will centre its strategy for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections around strong personalities, in keeping with new strategist Prashant Kishore’s style of personality-based electioneering. The Congress had won just 28 seats in the 403-member state assembly in 2012. While Congress veteran Sheila Dikshit could be the face of the next Chief Minister candidate, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is reportedly being persuaded to step outside the family bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli and campaign across UP.
Jammu and Kashmir government withdrew cases against 634 persons indicted in cases of stone-pelting, a day after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called for expediting review of the cases of youth booked on charges of stone-pelting. The Committee had taken up cases regarding the same, between 2008 and 2009 for review.
Swimmers Sajan Prakash and Shivani Kataria have been selected by the Swimming Federation of India to join the 100-strong contingent and represent India at the Rio Olympics.
Off The Front Page
The little puppy who was thrown off a rooftop in Chennai by a medical student has been found alive. One of the animal rights who had worked towards pushing for social media attention and police action about the same posted a picture late on Tuesday night, saying the puppy is unable to walk properly and that she is presently receiving medical attention.
BlackBerry Ltd has announced that it would stop making its BlackBerry Classic smartphone, 18 months after launching it in an effort to entice users who prefer physical, rather than touch, keyboards. The company added that it was on track to deliver an updated version of the BlackBerry 10 operating system next month.
After Udta Punjab, cyber experts have claimed that a copy of Sultan, Salman Khan's eagerly-awaited film has leaked online. The movie was reportedly leaked on Darknet and is yet not available on Torrent.
Clearly defining the term for Reserve Bank of India governors would avoid uncertainty and political pressure, says an editorial in Mint. "This will help in at least two ways. First, it will allow the governor to plan better. It is important to note that apart from monetary policy, RBI also looks after banking supervision, currency market, and has an interest in maintaining overall financial stability in the economy. Second, a more clearly defined term for the governor will help reduce uncertainty in financial markets," it says.
The goal of low-input, high-output agriculture calls for crop improvement, use of genetic engineering, writes Gurdev S Khush in The Indian Express. "Even if India continues to do well in the services sector and the manufacturing sector picks up, it is expected that around 2030 when India overtakes China as the world’s most populated country, nearly 42 per cent of India’s population will still be predominantly dependent on agriculture. The prosperity of this sector is therefore of critical importance to India," he says.
Chennai youth P Ramkumar killing techie S Swathi has been compared to films and their influences in the media, writes Baradwaj Rangan in The Hindu. "But cause-and-effect is a complex phenomenon, and we cannot place the onus of “responsibility” on the movies alone. It’s like blaming the Corporation for not keeping the city clean when we think nothing of tossing a used paper cup on the road instead of bothering to locate a dustbin. Every time we point a finger at the movies, there are three fingers pointing back at us," he says.
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