Your Daily wrap: India clinches Thomas Cup; CWC approves one family, one ticket rule; and more

◾ A determined Indian men’s team has etched its name in the history books by lifting the Thomas Cup title for the first time with a dominant 3-0 win over 14-time champions Indonesia in the final. The vague whiff of a dream turned into reality as the week wore on, and India inched closer to the hitherto impossible – winning the ultimate team title in badminton. A dozen players in Bangkok and their coaches there and in India though, believed throughout. It’s a little secret that they’ve known for a month now: Indian men were going to win the Thomas Cup. This was a date with destiny, meticulously envisioned and executed by India’s most underrated and talent oozing sportspersons – the men’s badminton players.

◾ A day after the Jammu and Kashmir administration constituted a special investigation team (SIT) headed by a deputy inspector-general of police, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has ordered an inquiry into the use of force against Kashmiri Pandits who were protesting against the killing of Rahul Bhat. “We have constituted an SIT. The SHO (station house officer) has been attached. The SIT will investigate from all angles,” Sinha said on Sunday. “It would also investigate the force that was used (against the Kashmiri Pandit employees)”. On Friday, police used tear gas against the Kashmiri Pandit employees protesting at the Sheikhpora Pandit Colony against the killing of Rahul Bhat. Bhat, an employee of the revenue department, was shot dead by militants on Thursday inside the Tehsil office at Chadoora in Kashmir’s Budgam district. The protesting Kashmiri Pandit employees were demanding transfers to safer places.

◾ Meanwhile in Pakistan, two Sikh men have been shot dead in Peshawar city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, local sources said. The local Sikh community identified the deceased as shopkeepers Ranjit Singh (42) and Kuljeet Singh (38). They were sitting at their shops at Batta Tal Chowk in Sarband area when two unidentified men arrived on a motorbike and opened fire, they said. Satwant Singh, member of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC), said it appeared to be a case of “targeted killings”. “Both were turbaned Sikhs who were sitting at their shops. The killers came on a bike and opened fire. It seems like a case of targeted killing,” Singh said.

◾ After taking the oath as Tripura’s new Chief Minister, Manik Saha has said his main focus would now be to further developmental activities started by the BJP-led state government and strengthen the law and order situation in the state. The 69-year-old was named as the chief minister by the Bharatiya Janata Party in a surprise turn of events on Saturday after Biplab Kumar Deb was made to step down from the top post in the state just a year ahead of the Tripura Assembly elections . While not explaining why he felt the law and order situation in Tripura needed strengthening, especially when his predecessor Deb boasted of reducing severe and political crimes, the new chief minister said he would work under the guidelines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to develop the state. “Our government under Biplab Deb ji has taken the state ahead. We shall work to continue the work, work for the people and bring in development under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi… Development, development, development. I shall take these works ahead. I shall work to ensure a strong law and order situation,” said Saha.

Political Pulse

◾ After three days of intense brainstorming, the top decision making body of the Congress party, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), has given its approval to proposals for organizational reforms like enforcing one family, one ticket rule With riders in the party, 50 per cent representation for those below 50 years of age at all levels including the CWC and five-year term limit for those holding positions at all levels. The Udaipur Nav Sankalp Shivir declaration has been adopted by the CWC at its meeting presided over by party chief Sonia Gandhi. As reported by The Indian Express, the one family, one ticket rule will have a caveat that sons, daughters, and other relatives of Congress leaders who aspire to contest elections should have worked for the party for at least five years.

◾ On March 9, 1946, about 80 members of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) general house convened at the Teja Singh Samundri Hall in Amritsar to pass a resolution calling on Sikhs to strive for a separate Sikh state. At a meeting in the same hall on May 11, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann, a retired IPS officer whose party is the only one to still contest elections in Punjab on the demand for Khalistan (a separate Sikh state), joined the other two rival Akali Dal groups – the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) to demand the release of Sikh prisoners. Mann did not miss the opportunity to subtly remind the SGPC about the 1946 resolution for a Sikh state and urged the organization to back the idea of ​​Khalistan. He even asked the gathering to wink to show their support for a separate Sikh state. But what Mann glossed over was that the context of the 1946 resolution and his party’s Khalistan demand are not the same.


◾ In a knee-jerk reaction, the Government has banned wheat exports with effect from May 13, with some minor exceptions for those who have irrevocable letters of credit or where the governments of importing countries request the Indian government for food security purposes. This comes as a shock because only a month ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said to US President Joe Biden, in his inaugural address at the 2+2 ministerial on April 11, that if WTO allows us to export grains, India will start exporting from tomorrow to feed the world. So, what happened between April 11 and May 13 that such a drastic decision had to be taken? What could have been done even when wheat production and procurement are down? Know here

◾ Among the multiple artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) initiatives announced by Google last week at its annual I/O developer conference, there were a number of projects to train the internet company’s AI platforms. One such development was the introduction of a 10-shade Monk Skin Tone (MST) Scale — something that could have a broader sociological significance as technology platforms witness deeper intersections with society at large. In Google’s words, the MST Scale will “support inclusive product and research across the industry”. So, what is the Monk Skin Tone Scale, and how will it work?


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