Bodhi News & Analysis - Paramilitary payscales | US NSA eavesdropping? | Indo-China border | No proxies Pakistan - 21 Apr.

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Welcome to Bodhi News for 21 April, 2017 - from Bodhi Booster knowledge portal!

Bodhi Saar (Video) | बोधि सार (विडियो)

Topics covered indepth: 
Indian Paramilitaries - Court orders equal pay
Is US eavesdropping on all banks? - Cyber-security issues
Indo-China boundary disputes - China goes overboard, again!
Use diplomacy, not proxies - US tells Pakistan

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Highlights | मुख्य समाचार

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    •  Highlights for 21-04-2017
        • 1. Regional politics – Reacting sharply to China’s move,  India has brushed aside China’s announcing its own names for six places in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh saying that renaming or inventing names for places in neighbouring country’s  territory does not make a country’s territorial claims legal. China is desperate to make India succumb to pressure, as US and India practically remain the only 2 nations looking at China eye-to-eye. Read more on related issues here and here and watch videos here
          2. World politics – Finance Minister Arun Jaitley strongly raised the H-1B visa issue with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.  Jaitley highlighted the importance of the role played by highly skilled Indian professionals in America. During the meeting between the two leaders, the US Commerce Secretary reportedly told  the Indian finance minister that the US has started the process of reviewing the H-1B visa issues and that no decision has yet been taken. Read more on immigration related issues here
          3. Constitution and law – The Supreme Court has set a benchmark for maintenance to be paid by a husband to his estranged wife, stating that 25% of his net salary might constitute a just and proper amount as alimony. The court in its order said that the alimony must be sufficient to ensure that woman lived with dignity after separating from her husband. Divorce and Triple Talaq have made headlines. Want to read more about gender inequality and crimes against women? Go here
          4. Indian politics – Things don’t seem to be going too well for the Congress party ahead of the Delhi MCD elections. Days after the ex-Delhi Pradesh Congress Chief Arvinder Singh Lovely quit the party and joined the BJP, the Delhi Women Congress President Barkha Singh resigned from her post alleging that the Congress had used women for garnering votes under the present Congress leadership. Read useful material on elections in India, here, here and here
          5. Indian politics – Bihar Chief Minister and JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar met Congress President Sonia Gandhi to discuss larger opposition unity to take on the BJP in future elections and the upcoming presidential election due in July. Kumar has in the past stressed on a grand alliance of opposition parties and said that Congress should take the initiative of bringing all major non-BJP parties on a single platform. Read material on corruption and transparency here
          6. Terrorism – A gunman opened fire on the police in Paris’ Iconic Champs-Élysées killing one police officer and injuring three people before the police shot and killed him. The Islamic State took the responsibility for the attack. The attack occurred just three days ahead of the first round of the crucial presidential elections in France. Read a lot of material on terrorism here, here and here
          7. Education – Amidst rising protests by parents’ associations over the arbitrary raising of fees by private educational institutions, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has directed its affiliate schools across the country to shut down shops selling textbooks, stationery, schoolbags, uniforms, shoes and similar articles within their premises. The CBSE keeps making these symbolic gestures from time to time, and the private school managements take no note of it at all. This is a common parent experience in India. Read more on education here
          8. Regional politics – The Pakistan Supreme Court announced its verdict in the Panama Papers leak case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family. The Prime Minister narrowly escaped disqualification from Parliament after the court gave a split verdict. But the apex court directed the government to set up a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the allegations and find within 60 days if the Prime Minister is guilty or not. Read more on Corruption related issues here
          9. United Nations – In December 2014, the UN General Assembly had adopted a resolution with a record number of 177 co-sponsoring member states to commemorate the International Day of Yoga every year on 21 June. The first International Yoga Day was commemorated at the UN in 2015 with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj leading the celebrations with then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. This year, the UN postal agency, UN Postal Administration (UNPA) will issue the new special event sheet to commemorate Yoga Day. The special sheet consists of stamps with images of the sacred Indian sound "Om" and various yogic postures. Read more on history, culture, society here. Read more on United Nations here
          10. Demonetization – Contrary to general perceptions that real estate sector would be badly hit by the demonetization move, the latest House Price Index released on RBI’s website indicate that real estate prices actually increased across the country during the demonetization quarter. The all India House Price Index (HPI) increased by 2.3% from 234.9 for second quarter of 2016-17 to 240.2 in Q3 (October to December 2016) of 2016-17 as per provisional figures.  Read more on DeMo here, here and here.
          11. Constitution and law – Red beacons on cars had become a symbol of power, authority and VIP culture in the country. However, the centre has taken the decision to remove all beacons from cars of all VIPs including the PM, from May 1. Only emergency vehicles will display beacons. “Every Indian is a VIP” is what the PM said. This is a small symbolic gesture, and the Indian State needs to go miles before ordinary citizens (not elite) can feel respected in their own land.
          12. Indian politics – The cabinet approved release of funds to the Election Commission for procuring 16.5 lakh voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units for the 2019 parliamentary elections. The total expenditure of Rs. 3,173 crore on the VVPATs will be split over two financial years, 2017-18 and 2018-19. EVM controversy has gathered steam recently. Read a lot of useful material on it here, and here.
          13. Regional politics – China has, for the first time, announced ‘standardized’ official names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh. The Chinese move is seen as a response to the recent Tawang visit of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. China had earlier warned India of consequences in the event of the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal Pradesh visit. India has not reacted, as it perhaps expected such knee-jerk reaction from the Chinese. Read more about India – China relationship here.
          14. World politics – British Prime Minister Theresa May, who had announced snap poll in the country on June 8, won overwhelming backing of MPs to hold a snap election on June 8. The Prime Minister said the decision was in national interest and would strengthen the government in the complex Brexit negotiations. Read more on Brexit here.
          15. World politics – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Iran of alarming ongoing provocations to destabilize countries in the Middle East. US President Donald Trump ordered the review to evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to the nuclear deal was vital to the national security interests of the United States. Read more about Trump’s America here!
          16. World politics – After the US and Australia, now New Zealand announced that it was introducing tougher requirements for skilled overseas workers in an attempt to control immigration numbers which have reached an all-time high. The New Zealand immigration minister Michael Woodhouse said that the government was committed to “Kiwis first” principle.
          17. World politics – US President Donald Trump has taken a hard line against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who has rebuffed warnings from sole major ally China and proceeded with nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions. North Korean state media warned the Americans of a super- mighty preemptive strike and asked the US not to mess with their country.
          18. Demonetization – Recently released RBI data suggests that NITI Aayog overstated rise in digital payments post demonetization. The NITI Aayog issued a note titled “Digital Payment Revolution: Facts & Figures” stating that the volume of all digital transactions increased by about 23 times  compared to that till November 2016. However, the data released by the RBI shows that digital transactions increased 1.43 times in March. The figure indicated by the NITI Aayog is indicative only of transactions on the government’s UPI and not for all digital payment methods. Read a wealth of information on DeMo, here.
          19. Energy – Petrol pumps, like all essential services, were exempted from the law that required business units to be shut one day a week. However, in an unprecedented move, petrol pumps in India announced that they would shut shops every Sunday. Officially, the explanation is that petrol pumps have decided to support the nation’s call for reduce fuel consumption, which would help reduce harm to environment and also lower the country’s Foreign Exchange outflow. Read a lot of useful material on energy related issues here.
          20. World economy – US Tech industry and corporate sector has welcomed the much needed review of the H-1B visa programme ordered by President Trump, and expressed confidence that it would help them to bring in the best and the brightest talent from across the world.
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Topics covered indepth: 
Indian Paramilitaries - Court orders equal pay
Is US eavesdropping on all banks? - Cyber-security issues
Indo-China boundary disputes - China goes overboard, again!
Use diplomacy, not proxies - US tells Pakistan


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Bodhi News: Bodhi News & Analysis - Paramilitary payscales | US NSA eavesdropping? | Indo-China border | No proxies Pakistan - 21 Apr.
Bodhi News & Analysis - Paramilitary payscales | US NSA eavesdropping? | Indo-China border | No proxies Pakistan - 21 Apr.
Issues covered - (1) Paramilitary payscales, (2) US NSA eavesdropping?, (3) Indo-China boder, (4) No proxies Pakistan
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