July 25th – National News Round-Up

14th President

Kovind is now the 14th President of the country. In his maiden address to the country, he referenced national pride as being important to women and also spoke of the role that women played in the country.

Fairly lukewarm speech, but that was expected.

He won about 65% of the votes, beating Meira Kumar.

An Independent President

Interesting article on the Rajendra Prasad and the arguments he used against Nehru to allow himself the space to be the head of state. The article suggests that Kovind is not constitutionally bound to be a non-sequitur in the political space of the country. Though times are different. Kovind is a long-serving RSS member. I doubt this will play out in a similar manner.

Rajendra Prasad (Image Source: Wiki Commons - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/dd/Rajendra_Prasad_%28Indian_President%29%2C_signed_image_for_Walter_Nash_%28NZ_Prime_Minister%29%2C_1958_%2816017609534%29.jpg/842px-Rajendra_Prasad_%28Indian_President%29%2C_signed_image_for_Walter_Nash_%28NZ_Prime_Minister%29%2C_1958_%2816017609534%29.jpg)
Rajendra Prasad (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

Reliance JIO

Reliance Jio is free. Mukesh Ambani publically stated that data is the new natural resource. Ensuring free access allows him to tap into enormous fields of data which one would assume that he can sell to companies that need to map entertainment consumption patterns. Article also touches on the enormously disruptive influence Jio has had on the smartphone data market. Other companies just didn’t have the money to offer something like this. Prices dropped.

GM Mustard Injunction

The SC has asked for there to be further investigation into GM Mustard. The bench also said that there would be an injunction order passed if there was any funny business going on.

Kashmiri Pundits

A group called Roots in Kashmir have approached the SC seeking an investigation in to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits during the insurgency of the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The SC rejected their request since they had waited 27 years to approach the court.

Economic and Political Weekly

On July 18th, Guha Thakurta resigned from his position as Editor of EPW after the board asked him to take down two articles on the Adani Power Limited. Romila Thapar is one of the board members of the EPW.

“The signatories have also cautioned that India is currently living through a dark period in which there are real concerns about freedom and independence of intellectual expression, both for academics and journalists, with significant corporate takeover of major media houses and increasing instances of overt and covert intimidation of independent thinking and debate.”

Kashmir

The NIA arrested 7 J&K separatist leaders. Mr. Geelani and Yasin Malik called for a shutdown in response to these arrests, calling the this a drama that is being enacted by the government that is under renewed pressure to resolve the conflict in Kashmir and to address the human rights violations.

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