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HT Top Stories: Cong’s Himachal battle, rise in rural consumption, drug haul near Gujarat coast, and more…

Feb 29, 2024 07:57 AM IST

Also Read: Learning outside the syllabus, beyond the board exams

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Shimla, Feb 28 (ANI): Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Congress leader Rajeev Shukla during a meeting, in Shimla on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)(ANI)
Shimla, Feb 28 (ANI): Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Congress leader Rajeev Shukla during a meeting, in Shimla on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)(ANI)

1) Cong battles to save Himachal government

The Congress on Wednesday scrambled to save its only state government in north India as it rushed senior leaders to Himachal Pradesh to placate six rebel lawmakers whose cross-voting cost the party a Rajya Sabha seat the day before and cast a shadow on the future of chief minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu. The government survived a potential showdown in the state assembly after the speaker suspended 15 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmakers amid pandemonium in the House. Leader of Opposition Jairam Thakur and his party colleagues also met governor Shiv Pratap Shukla and argued that the Sukhu government was in a minority Read more.

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2) Behind the rise in rural consumption spending

The significant gains in Monthly Per Capita Expenditure (MPCE) in the 2022-23 Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO), compared to the level reported in 2011-12, have made headlines. The rate of increase for rural households (40.42%) is sharper than that for urban ones (33.5%) and, for the first time, non-food items account for more than 50% of the total consumption expenditure. Relatively poorer states such as Uttar Pradesh (UP), Madhya Pradesh (MP), and Bihar reported significant gains from 2011-12 levels, but continue to lag the southern states. Among the states, Kerala ( 5,924) has the highest average rural MPCE, followed by Punjab ( 5,315), Tamil Nadu ( 5,310) and Andhra Pradesh ( 4,870). What explains this performance? How can it be improved further? Read more.

3) 219 deaths, 800cr loss: Guv on Manipur clashes

Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey on Wednesday told the state legislature that to date 219 persons have been killed in the ethnic violence that has roiled the northeastern state since May last year, which has also resulted in a loss of around 800 crore to the exchequer, among the first official consolidated numbers coming out on the toll clashes between ethnic groups have taken.

Delivering her address on the first day of the fifth session of the 12th Manipur Assembly, Uikey spoke about efforts undertaken to bring peace and normalcy and the effect of the violence on the state’s economy. Read more.

4) Massive narcotics haul on vessel near Gujarat coast

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Indian Navy and Gujarat anti-terrorism squad (ATS) in a joint operation seized drugs weighing nearly 3,300kg, and ostensibly worth 1,200 crore, off the Gujarat coast, officials said on Wednesday, outlining an elaborate exercise that ended in one of the country’s largest crackdowns on contraband, with five men suspected to be from Pakistan and Iran arrested.

The drugs together weighed 3,293kg — 3,110kg hashish, 158.3kg methamphetamine and 24.6kg heroin — and were concealed in packets that bore the names of a Pakistani food brand and a coffee company, said officials, detailing an intricate smuggling operation that originated in the Chabahar Port in Iran. Read more.

5) Learning outside the syllabus, beyond the board exams

A young student I know is writing his Class XII CBSE Board Examination. The other day I talked to him, sent my prayers, and conveyed my best wishes. Even though I believe he will do extremely well, satisfy his parents and impress his teachers, I am disturbed by some questions. Will he be able to find his swadharma, and live creatively and meaningfully with a life-affirming relationship with the world, even if with, say, 99% marks in the exam, he manages to get admission in a branded medical/engineering college or a top-ranking university? Read more.

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