Centre: new law can end collegium – (Indian Polity)
- In a signal that it has no intention of giving up its offensive against the collegium system of judges appointing judges, the Union government said on Tuesday that nothing could stop Parliament from passing a new law to take the place of the recently struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act and end the collegium’s supremacy.
- Through Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, the Centre made an almost hostile note in the Supreme Court, exerting Parliament’s authority to pass “any law” to govern the criteria for, and process of, appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the High Courts.
Impose AFSPA in Garo Hills, says High Court – (Indian Polity)
- At a time when there is a growing demand to revoke the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, from several States, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is finding itself in the soup after the Meghalaya High Court asked the Centre to consider enforcing AFSPA in the militancy-hit Garo Hills region in the State.
- The order, issued in a bid to check the threat posed by militants, also said, “The Chief Justice and judges of the High Court are also getting veiled threats that they would have to face the consequence after their retirement.”
Black money: SIT chief promises swift action – (Indian Polity)
- Justice M.B. Shah, chairman of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Black Money, said on Tuesday that both the SIT and the Central government were serious about the issue and swift action would be taken on any information shared by HSBC whistleblower Herve Falciani.
Afghanistan may get attack helicopters – (International Relation)
- In a major shift in position, India is discussing the transfer of attack helicopters to Afghanistan when Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar visits New Delhi on November 7 and 8 for meetings with his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, highly placed officials told The Hindu . The visit by Mr. Atmar, who will be accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, is being seen as a “reach out” by the Afghan government as it faces a severe security crisis.
- Officials told The Hindu that India was discussing the transfer of four Russian-made Mi-25 helicopters. This will be the first offensive weaponry given to Afghanistan, which has so far been the recipient of jeeps, three transport ‘Cheetal’ helicopters and military training from India.
Nepal rattled as Minister calls for Indian Army’s intervention – (International Relation)
- Provocative speeches and sporadic violence by different political sections of Nepal added to the tension at Birganj on the India-Nepal border, which has been under indefinite curfew since Monday’s crackdown by the Nepali Police.
- The Government of Nepal was rattled on Monday when, in a sensational press conference at Biratnagar, Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s junior colleague Satya Narayan Mandal demanded that the Indian Army enter Nepal to ensure the rights and security of the people of the Madhes region.
U.S. to keep operating in South China Sea – (International Relation)
- U.S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on Tuesday told his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan that the American military would continue to operate in the South China Sea, a senior U.S. defence official said.
- “[Carter] once again reaffirmed that the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” the official said after the two defence chiefs met in Kuala Lumpur.
Dangerous perceptions – (International Relation)
- There is a dangerous game of perceptions being played between India and Nepal, and the death of a young Indian in the Nepali police crackdown on Madhesi protestors must come as a wake-up call to both New Delhi and Kathmandu on the urgent need to end this standoff. For starters, while the Nepali government has every right to deal with internal unrest as it sees fit, it should be aware of the trans-national consequences of its action in Birgunj, given the open border that India and Nepal have enjoyed for decades.
- The new government of K.P. Oli has shown some desire to reach out to the protestors in the Terai, but its efforts, both on talks and on discussing constitutional amendments, are far slower than what is necessary to calm the situation. At the same time, it is doing nothing to quell the perception that India is responsible for all of Nepal’s problems.
Bumps on the super-highway – (International Relation)
- The evolution of the internet from a forum for communication and commerce to a medium of free exchange of opinion and views has been so rapid that the nearly ubiquitous worldwide network of computers is now almost an extension of social life for many on the planet.
- It is therefore a discomfiting fact that despite the communitarian growth of the internet, the threats to freedom of expression on the medium, such as content takedowns, online surveillance and other forms of state control, have increased in the past year.