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The first day of the year was dramatic for the Samajwadi Party as general secretary Ramgopal Yadav called on party leaders and workers to declare Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav as the president of the party and unseat his father Mulayam Singh Yadav from that position. Shortly afterwards, an understandably miffed Mulayam sacked Ramgopal from the party for six years, declared all decisions taken at the meeting illegal and announced his own conclave on 5 January.
General Bipin Rawat, who took charge of the Indian Army yesterday, said the army will not hesitate using force if the circumstances demand. "We want peace and tranquility on the borders, but that doesn't mean we are weak. And we will not hesitate to use force," he told reporters.
Sheikh Rafik Mohammed, a Keralite by birth and a Saudi-based entrepreneur, has assumed a top position in the defence department of Kyrgyzstan. He was appointed Major General by Kyrgyzstan Defence Minister Ali Mirza at an official ceremony in the Central Asian country.
PARTNER BULLETIN | THE NEW SKODA RAPID
This 3D Design Video Inspired By A Car Has To Be Seen To Be Believed
There's something about great design that irresistibly pulls people closer. Take for example the new SKODA Rapid, whose crystalline design has inspired one of India's top artists, Eric D'Souza, to express his fascination for it through a Virtual Reality painting using the revolutionary Tilt Brush technique (video).
Home loan rates have fallen to their lowest level in six years with the State Bank of India, the country's largest lender, cutting the effective rate to 8.6% from 9.10%. Loans up to ₹75 lakh, earlier available at 9.1%, can now be taken at 8.6%. For others, the rate would be 8.65%, against 9.15% earlier. Besides SBI, the Union Bank of India and the Punjab National Bank also cut rates.
Two Indians, a Bollywood producer and a woman from Gujarat, were among the 39 people shot dead in Turkey when at least one gunman attacked an upscale night club packed with revellers a little over an hour into the New Year on the shores of Istanbul's Bosphorus waterway.
Arvind Panagariya, vice chairperson of Niti Aayog, is believed to have written to the Prime Minister's Office highlighting the need to codify rules to ensure that people, especially women, are not made to suffer for having deposited old notes between November 8 and December 30.
Off The Front Page
Hackers, suspected to be based in Pakistan, defaced the official website of the elite counter-terror force National Security Guard and published obscene messages against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The culprits identified themselves as 'Alone Injector' and filled the website with texts that had references and slogans praising Pakistan.
A youth hurled a shoe at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at a rally in Rohtak on Sunday. Calling the man a "Modi bhakt", Kejriwal later blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the incident on Twitter. The shoe thrower was identified as Vikas Kumar, 26, a resident of Dadri district.
The Reserve Bank of India has directed banks to ensure that the higher withdrawal limit of ₹4,500 is dispensed in a combination of ₹2,000 and ₹500 notes. This is to ensure that ATMs do not run dry soon and there is enough lower denomination notes to provide liquidity to the ₹2,000 notes.
Is 2017 going to be a happy year for the Indian economy? Former Finance P Chidambaram takes a look at the new year and offers his prognosis. "As 2016 draws to a close, the whole country should be celebrating the state of the economy, but there is no joy anywhere," he writes. "Why are the people sullen, dejected and apprehensive about the immediate future?" The reason, he says, is the Centre's move to demonetise high-value currency notes.
Suhrith Parthasarathy presents the 2016 report card for the Supreme Court of India in The Hindu. His verdict: "Collectively, the court's choices this year have shown us that any independence it enjoys hasn't guided it towards concerted courage in decision-making."
Mukul Kesavan begins the new year by asking a happy cricketing question in The Telegraph: "Where does this recent stuffing of England rank in India's Test match history over the last half century?" He goes on to offer an answer, though in a fascinatingly circuitous way. "The knowing take on this would be that it doesn't make the top six," he says, before going on to show how the "knowing take" may not always be right.
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