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The Hindu Morning Digest, December 20, 2023

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Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge addresses a press conference after the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance’s (INDIA) meeting, in New Delhi on Dec. 19, 2023.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge addresses a press conference after the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance’s (INDIA) meeting, in New Delhi on Dec. 19, 2023.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Women MPs of BJP seek more time to discuss criminal law Bills

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday took up the discussion on the three redrafted Bills that seek to replace the British-era criminal laws. Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Bills in the Lok Sabha last week. The three Bills are the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023; the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023; and the the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023. They will replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860; the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898; and the the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

Mamata Banerjee proposes Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge as prime ministerial face of INDIA bloc

Amid suggestions at the Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) meeting here on Tuesday that the bloc finalise its seat-sharing by December 31, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee proposed Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge as the prime ministerial face of the alliance. “He can be India’s first Dalit Prime Minister,” Ms. Banerjee was quoted as saying by a senior Opposition leader.

VHP invites Advani, Joshi for consecration ceremony of Ram temple

A day after Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust’s general secretary and senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, Champat Rai, said that he had requested Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi “not to attend” the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple owing to their advanced age, senior VHP and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leaders met both the veterans and invited them for the event. Working president of VHP, Alok Kumar, along with senior Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leaders Ram Lal and Krishna Gopal, met Mr. Advani and invited him for the event on Tuesday.

Parliament approves additional spending of ₹58,378 crore in current fiscal

Parliament on December 19 gave its approval for a net additional spending of ₹58,378 crore in the current fiscal ending March 2024, with a large chunk allocated to MGNREGA and fertiliser subsidies. The gross additional spending would be more than ₹1.29 lakh crore, out of which ₹70,968 crore would be matched by savings and receipts. Most of the members who participated in the discussion were from the Treasury benches as a large number of Opposition members are suspended from the House. Opposition members who were present did not participate in the discussion.

Ruckus in Jharkhand Assembly; three BJP MLAs suspended, marshalled out

The Jharkhand Assembly on Tuesday witnessed uproarious scenes as three BJP legislators were suspended for the remainder of the winter session and marshalled out of the House for “creating disturbances” in the proceedings. The other BJP legislators staged a walkout in protest against the Speaker’s action. As the proceedings resumed at 12.30 pm after the House was adjourned following uproar by both opposition and treasury benches, BJP chief whip Biranchi Narayan and legislator Bhanu Pratap Sahi trooped into the well in support of their demands.

States can borrow an extra ₹2 lakh crore this year

States may be able to tap about ₹2.04 lakh crore as additional borrowings over and above their net borrowing limits for the year, the Finance Ministry indicated on Tuesday. The Centre had allowed 22 States to raise additional borrowings of almost ₹61,000 crore this year on top of their net borrowing ceilings of 3% of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), as of October 27, the Ministry said.

India may need to import sugar as planting wanes

India’s sugar output this crop year, hit by weak rains, is set to lag consumption for the first time in seven years, according to traders and a survey of farmers, and lower plantings may even force the world’s No.2 producer to import in the following year.

Agnipath scheme surprised Army; it was a ‘bolt out of the blue’ for Navy and Air Force, former Army chief writes in forthcoming memoir

The Agnipath scheme, launched in June 2022 for the recruitment of soldiers, sailors and airmen for a four-year period, had surprised the Indian Army, while it was a “bolt out of the blue” for the Navy and Air Force, former Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane writes in his upcoming memoir, Four Stars of Destiny.

Overseas health workers exploited at U.K. care home, reveals BBC investigation by Indian-origin journalist

An investigation by the BBC has revealed shocking details of the exploitation of overseas care workers at a care home in northeast England. Nurses and care workers from overseas, who constitute a large portion of the workforce at care homes, are eligible for skilled worker visas in the U.K. This means that they need to be sponsored by an employer to be able to work in the country. If they leave their jobs, they need to find another suitable post within 60 days or will have to return to their home country.

A gloomy mood hangs over Ukraine’s soldiers as war with Russia grinds on

Despite a disappointing counteroffensive this summer and signs of wavering financial support from allies, Ukrainian soldiers say they remain fiercely determined to win. But as winter approaches, they worry that Russia is better equipped for battle and are frustrated about being on the defensive again in a grueling war. Some doubt the judgment of their leaders.

IPL 2024 auction | Mitchell Starc smashes IPL auction record; KKR gets him for ₹24.75 crore

Not once in the previous 16 Indian Premier League (IPL) player auctions had a bid breached the ₹20 crore mark. In fact, the auction purse for each team at the start of the IPL in 2008 was ₹20 crore. On Tuesday, the barrier was broken, not just once but twice. Australia’s World Cup-winning pace duo of Mitchell Starc and captain Pat Cummins shattered all records, emerging as the biggest beneficiaries. While Cummins became the first to overhaul the ₹20 crore barrier, when the Sunrisers Hyderabad outbid the Royal Challengers Bangalore to sign Cummins for a whopping ₹20.50 crore.

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