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Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government's plan to demonetise higher currency notes, the Opposition has taken umbrage to it. The protests, mockery and slanging matches on media continued at the winter session of the parliament. With frequent adjournments and abysmal level of debate, has the Opposition helped Modi win the battle of public perception on demonetisation? The answer, it would seem, is partially in the affirmative if we were to go by the results of the HuffPost-BW-CVoter survey, which says 87% Indians think the move is hurting those with black money and 85% believe the trouble they are facing is worth the outcome of the decision.
TS Sudhir explains why PM Modi must listen to the advice of N. Chandrababu Naidu, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, who had initially hailed demonetisation as a noble idea, only to be quickly disenchanted by the implementation of the process. The supporters of his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the state are not only unhappy with the current cash crunch but are singing ditties to register their protests.
Where do you stand in the wealth pyramid in the country and does Facebook know everything about your status? Check out our interactive story to see what your annual income says about your place among your fellow citizens and how the social media giant is trying to use that information to help advertisers target you in a more focused manner.
To strengthen the government's crackdown on black money, India has signed a deal with Switzerland to end the secrecy around accounts in Swiss banks. The agreement will facilitate the flow of financial information between the countries. This measure is among a slew of others taken this month to curb the movement of wealth into overseas or other forms to evade income tax payment.
With the killing of three Indian soldiers, one of whom was mutilated, the Machhil sector has exposed its vulnerability once again. Located at more than 6,500 feet, it is full of dense forests and the weather there is mostly "inhospitable". This report explains why this is a favoured entry point for militants to infiltrate into India.
With the prevailing cash crunch, users of mobile and Internet wallets as well as other pre-paid payment options have been permitted to reload a credit balance of up to Rs 20,000 a month — which is twice the existing limit — as part of the government's move to encourage digital payments.
Off The Front Page
M Balamuralikrishna, a legend of Carnatic classical music, passed away at the age of 86. An outstanding vocalist as well as violinist, he won many recognitions, including the national award for the best playback singer, music director and classical singer. He was also awarded the Sangita Kalanidhi award of the Music Academy and was a recipient of France's Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
While addressing MPs from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the prime minister is believed to have cried a few times — "the number varied between once and thrice", according to this report — thinking of the plight of the poor. Sources claimed Modi's voice trembled, "he choked, paused and sipped water and took off his spectacles to wipe away the tears", while he spoke to his colleagues regarding his move to demonetise high currency notes.
Ola cabs will be offering entertainment in the form of movies and music played on tablets to passengers travelling by their cars. This feature, which will be rolled out by March next year, will be available to Ola Select users in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi, but will be introduced in all Ola cabs in the next 12 months for no extra costs to passengers.
Contrary to the government's claims, a cashless economy may not necessarily be a deterrent to terrorism, Vappala Balachandran writes in The Indian Express. "In November 2014, CNBC conducted a survey of the 10 top "cashless" societies," he goes on to explain, "It found Belgium to be the world's top cashless society... France was second, then Canada, the UK, Sweden, Australia, Holland, the US, Germany and South Korea." As it happens, Belgium and France were also the worst victims of indigenous and trans-border terrorism, which indicates that it can only be substantially beaten by stronger counter-terrorism measures.
In Mint, Bobby Ghosh writes about the silence of former office-holders about their successors, beginning with the example of Barack Obama and Donald Trump. "If quietude can be a failure in a leader under the political spotlight," he writes, "reticence is a virtue in one who has exited from the stage." To understand this, he adds, Obama may look no further than India's former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's career.
In the Hindustan Times, Himadri Gupta pays tribute to Prof MGK Menon, "a brilliant high energy particle physicist and an institution builder of Indian science", who passed away yesterday at the age of 88. Through a survey of his life and work, the obituary gives a sense of an extraordinary mind and the contributions it made globally in science.
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