Cabinet reshuffle imminent as Rudy resigns, GDP growth down to 5.7% in April-June: Top stories
Prime Minister Narendra Modi set in motion the reshuffle of his council of ministers with the resignation of at least half-a-dozen ministers, India’s economy unexpectedly slowed to a three-year low in the April-June quarter and Mumbai building collapse.Updated: Sep 01, 2017 07:53 IST
Cabinet reshuffle set in motion as Rajiv Pratap Rudy and two other Union ministers resign, more likely to quit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi set in motion the reshuffle of his council of ministers with the resignation of at least half-a-dozen ministers, according to sources in the ruling BJP and the government. HT could independently confirm the resignation of skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, minister of state for human resource development Mahendra Nath Pandey and minister of state for water resources Sanjiv Baliyan. Sources in the party said that at least three other ministers were likely to quit, including two ministers of Cabinet rank — small and medium enterprises minister Kalraj Mishra and water resources minister Uma Bharti. Read the story here.
GDP growth rate down to 5.7% in April-June, demonetisation pain lingers
India’s economy unexpectedly slowed to a three-year low in the April-June quarter, signalling that business was still hurting from last year’s shock cash squeeze as well as disruptions ahead of the rollout of a new tax regime. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 5.7% in the last quarter, undershooting market expectations, compared to 6.1% in January-March period. The drop was even sharper when compared to the like-quarter a year ago when GDP expanded at 7.9%, official data released on Thursday showed. The economy lost steam primarily because of a sharp fall in mining, manufacturing and construction sectors. Read the story here.
‘I am alive… come and save me’: Trapped under rubble, Mumbai man sends SOS; dies
“I am alive…come and save me,” read the message sent by a resident of a five-storey building that collapsed in Mumbai on Thursday morning. Jaffar Rizvi shot the SOS off to a relative on WhatsApp while trapped under the rubble after the 117-year-old residential building fell to the ground in Bhendi Bazaar due to the heavy rains. Twenty-two people were killed and 12 were injured in the incident. Rizvi’s unconscious body was recovered in the afternoon, but he was declared dead soon after at the JJ hospital. His wife, Reshman, and his two teenage children were also found dead. Read the story here.
Don’t know what good it did: Man who became face of demonetisation struggles
“I don’t know what good it did, but I suffered”. This is how Nand Lal remembers the weeks of cash crunch last year after the government decided to yank 86% of the currency in circulation. Lal, a 78-year-old former soldier who now lives alone, became the face of the struggles of millions after a photograph of him breaking down in a crowded bank was published in Hindustan Times. Tens of thousands of people shared the photograph online, seeing in Lal the embodiment of a helplessness that lasted for weeks. Read the story here.
ISRO’s private sector-built IRNSS 1H satellite launch fails, agency to analyse
The launch of India’s latest navigational satellite IRNSS 1H in its indigenous GPS system NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) failed due to a technical glitch on Thursday. A rare setback for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) mission, the satellite’s fourth stage in the launch mission did not go as planned, nearly 20 minutes after satellite had a perfect lift off from the space centre in Sriharikota. ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar said the mission, the eighth navigational satellite to be launched, was unsuccessful and said further analysis would be carried out. Read the story here.
Pro-bandh Gorkhaland supporter dies in police baton charge in Darjeeling
A 48-year-old woman died allegedly after she suffered head injuries when police lathi-charged pro-bandh faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling around 11:30pm on Thursday. Romala Rai was the 10th GJM supporter to have lost her life in the ongoing agitation for a separate Gorkhaland in the West Bengal hill station that began on June 8. Read the story here.
Rajiv Mehrishi appointed CAG in major reshuffle, Sunil Arora is new election commissioner
Outgoing Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi will be the next Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) as the Centre on Thursday announced a reshuffle of 17 senior bureaucrats. The Centre also filled up a vacancy in the Election Commission with the appointment of former information and broadcasting secretary Sunil Arora as election commissioner. Rajiv Kumar was appointed secretary in department of financial services (DFS), while Anita Karwal was named CBSE chairperson. Along with Mehrishi, who retired on Thursday, the government’s audit watchdog also got a new deputy CAG, IA&AS officer Ranjan Kumar Ghose. Read the story here.
Blue Whale challenge: You can enter but not leave, says teen before suicide
A 19-year-old college student found hanging from a ceiling fan in his Madurai home on Wednesday scrawled these lines about the addictive and dangerous Blue Whale Challenge online game responsible for scores of teenage deaths around the world, including India. J Vighnesh said in his note: “You can enter it, but cannot exit the game.” He could be Tamil Nadu’s first casualty of the game that provokes players to do self-destructive tasks for 50 days before taking the final step of death by suicide. Read the story here.
Benazir Bhutto assassination: Musharraf declared fugitive, 2 cops jailed
A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Thursday sentenced two police officers to 17 years in jail and declared former military ruler Pervez Musharraf a fugitive in the murder case of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, almost a decade after her assassination. The court in the garrison city of Rawalpindi acquitted five accused – all alleged members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – for lack of evidence. The court’s verdict, which came nine years, eight months and three days after Bhutto was killed, also directed authorities to seize the property and assets of Musharraf, now in self-imposed exile in Dubai, and to issue perpetual arrest warrants for the former dictator. Read the story here.
Harvey aftermath: Rescuers start block-by-block search of flooded Houston
Firefighters began a block-by-block search of tens of thousands of flooded Houston homes Thursday to look for anyone who might have been left behind in Harvey’s fetid floodwaters, and the loss of power at a chemical plant set off explosions that prompted a public health warning. Searchers will also be looking for any bodies that could add to the confirmed death toll of at least 31. They said it could take up to two weeks to check all neighbourhoods that were submerged by more than 4 feet of rain. As the water began to recede in the nation’s fourth-largest city, the threat of major damage from the storm shifted to a region near the Texas-Louisiana state line. Read the story here.
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma tons flatten Sri Lanka in 4th ODI as India take 4-0 lead
The well-oiled Indian one-day machinery left Sri Lanka enduring another ordeal in the one-day series with the fourth match at the Premadasa Stadium on Thursday simply an extension of the continuing mismatch. Virat Kohli won the toss and joined Rohit Sharma to pummel Sri Lankan bowlers. India piled up 375 for five on a belter of a pitch and Sri Lankan batsmen’s refusal to fight meant a 168–run victory and a 4-0 series lead. Sri Lanka folded for 207 in 42.4 overs. Read the story here.