16 May 2016 National Happenings

Seven Days

The states of the nation: news, headlines, gossip, rumours, things we learnt
Seven Days
Immaculate Certification

For an ‘external’ or private student in 1983, Narendra Kumar Damodardas Modi had done quite well in his MA (Political Science) with 62.3 per cent. When Guj­arat University VC M.N. Patel opened up the records, the suspense caused by the earlier refusal to reveal the details and the CIC order to do so was finally over. Or was it? Nitpickers soon pointed out that the date of birth in the college register (29/8/49) did not tally with the date on his electoral affidavits (17/9/50). And why had the pages with handwritten entries not yellowed even after 33 years, some asked. The plot thickened after a duplicate certificate surfaced  of the MA degree in “Entire Political Science”.

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The Art Of Being Churlish

Sri Sri Ravishankar has accepted 15 honorary doctoral degrees and his name is invoked for ‘off days’ by 20 American cities, but he claims he rejected the Nobel Peace Prize. Taking people by surprise in Latur, he asked what’s an award worth if a 16-year-old girl with no contribution can get it—a veiled reference to Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai. Now, that’s a new low.

Conspicuously Rational

Chief minister Siddaramaiah, who is drawing flak for his drought-study trips, loses no opportunity to flaunt his rationalist credentials. Contrary to advice given to him, he presented the budget during the inauspicious ‘Rahu Kalam’, he pointed out. And although there is a belief that chief ministers visiting Chamarajanagar do not last, he has visited the place six times so far, he revealed.

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Fire From The Mountain

They were never really rare, but forest fires in hill states are now fast becoming quite alarmingly commonplace. Yet, officials and the national media woke up to the devastating fire in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh a little too late—after 70 days in the case of Uttarakhand. Teams sent by the National Disaster Management Authority admitted to their inexperience and lack of training in fighting forest fires, forcing the air force to come out to sprinkle water on the burning forests. Eight lives were lost and the now-familiar finger-pointing followed, with the needle of suspicion directed at the timber mafia, the builder lobby and colluding officials in the forest department.

Every Charge Has A Price

An anonymous letter ostensibly written by a group of “honest” investigating officers in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has driven another nail into the coffin of the central agency’s credibi­lity. The “less honest” ones, allege the “honest” officers in the letter, had been blackmailing people charged in the coal block scam, submitting closure reports if they paid up and incriminating those who didn’t.

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Nirbhaya Redux Down South

The gruesome rape and murder of  a 30-year-old law student has triggered protests across the state. A Dalit now descri­bed as ‘Ker­ala’s Nirbhaya’, the student’s mutilated body, intestines pulled out, was found in her house while her daily­-wager mother, with whom she lived, was away at work. Police say they have “little evidence to find the accused”, but have put out a suspect’s sketch—a man seen leaving the victim’s house—and detained five supects.

Kota Times Of Noose-Y Ambition

Forced by parents to prepare for engineering entrance tests at Kota, 17-year-old Kirti Tripathi jumped to her death. In her suicide note, she requested her parents to allow her sister to pursue what she liked. Kirti herself wanted to study pure science.


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7 Stories We Are Not Covering This week
  • Indiana/United States
    Republican frontrunner Donald Trump being declared ‘presumptive presidential candidate’ after the last of his rivals, Ted Cruz, withdrew from the race
  • Jharkhand
    NREGA workers from Latehar protesting the meagre wage hike of Rs 5 per day by mailing Rs 5 to the PM who ‘needed it more’
  • Mumbai
    Over 250 families from Dharavi slum being given flats in an 18-storey building for resettlement
  • Lucknow
    UP governor Ram Naik claims actor Govinda took help from underworld don Dawood Ibrahim to defeat him in the 2004 election
  • Delhi
    The SC agreeing to examine a plea for a CBI inquiry into ‘rampant wife-swapping’ among naval officers
  • Ahmedabad
    Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel saying hospitals would “study” couples with only girls and only boys, as a tribal couple hopes their 17th child will be male
  • Delhi
    The national capital hosting for the first time the ‘International Cat Show’ of India after Mumbai and Bangalore hosted it for the past six years
VII Things We Learnt Last Week
  • Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright is “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the creator of the online currency Bitcoin
  • It takes 26,788 litres of water to produce a kilogram of husked rice in India; the global average is 2,173 litres
  • All 62 residents of the south Pacific Ocean island of Palmerston Atoll share the same surname: Marsters
  • Parts of the glass ceiling at Chennai’s new airport have collapsed 63 times since its inauguration in 2013
  • 95.1 per cent of those getting into IIT-Bombay are virgins, says a survey of 254 students in a class of 875
  • Nagaland is the first state in India to legalise online gaming
  • Actress, model and TV personality Kourtney Kardashian (sister of Kim) starts her day with a heaped spoonful of ‘ghee’

Compiled by Uttam Sengupta and Alka Gupta



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