morning digest march 14 2023


A file photo of Afghan students protesting in Bengaluru against the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

A file photo of Afghan students protesting in Bengaluru against the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Chaos over Rahul Gandhi’s comments in London as Parliament resumes after break

Children of lesbian, gay parents do not necessarily become lesbians, gays: SC informs government

Growing up with lesbian or gay parents will not necessarily make a child lesbian or gay, a puzzled Supreme Court on March 13, 2023 confronted the government’s concern about the “psychological” impact same-sex marriages may have on children.

Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud referred petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages to a Constitution Bench, but took the time on Monday to soothe the government’s anxiety about how such a move would affect Indian “social ethos”.

Chaos over Rahul Gandhi’s comments in London as Parliament resumes after break

As the second leg of the Budget Session commenced on Monday, March 13, after a month-long recess, none of the two Houses could transact significant business before being adjourned for the day amid ruckus by both members in the Treasury and Opposition Benches over Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s recent remarks on India’s democracy in London. 

Despite lack of recognition, Taliban claims Indian Mission invited officials for online training programmes

Reports of an alleged decision by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to hold courses for Afghans, including Taliban officials, in Kabul have set off strong reactions among Afghan students who have been denied visas by New Delhi for nearly two years. They termed the decision “contrary to India’s policy” and “disappointing”.

EPF Board meet pushed to March 27-28

The government on Monday announced the deferral of a meeting of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) board, where it is expected to finalise the EPF rate to be paid on crores of formal sector workers’ retirement savings in its custody for 2022-23.

Get additional funds to implement SC order on higher provident fund pension: Panel to Centre

The Labour Standing Committee of Parliament, headed by senior Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartruhari Mahtab, has pulled up the Union Labour Ministry for underutilisation of the allocations meant for the Ministry’s schemes. The panel asked the Ministry to assess and work out the likely financial implication for implementing the Supreme Court judgment on higher provident fund pension and approach the Ministry of Finance for additional funds to enable timely payment of amounts that may become due.

EC tells Allahabad HC it does not have power to ban caste rallies by parties in non-election period

The Election Commission of India (EC) does not have the jurisdiction to restrict caste-based political rallies held by political parties during non-election period, and nor does it have the power to ban such parties from contesting subsequent elections, the election watchdog has submitted before a Bench of the Allahabad High Court, responding to a writ petition that sought a ban on all such political rallies.

Supreme Court asks CBI not to continue probe into charges that BJP conspired to poach BRS legislators

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to hold its investigation into allegations that the BJP conspired to poach Telangana’s Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) legislators.

“The investigation is not to be continued while the matter is sub judice or it will become infructuous. That is the thumb rule,” a Bench led by Justice Sanjiv Khanna orally said.

India remains biggest arms importer between 2018-22 despite drop in overall imports

India remained the world’s largest arms importer for the five-year period between 2018-22 even though its arms imports dropped by 11% between 2013–17 and 2018–22, according to the Swedish Think Tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Russia was the largest supplier of arms to India in both 2013–17 and 2018–22, but its share of total Indian arms imports fell from 64% to 45% while France emerged as the second largest supplier between 2018-22.

Activists, MPs flag RTI amendment in data protection bill

Activists and Opposition Members of Parliament on March 13 expressed concern that a proposed amendment to the Right to Information Act, 2005, could close off avenues to citizens to uncover corruption. Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act allows public authorities to refuse access to information if it intrudes on the privacy of an individual, but permits disclosure of information if there is an overriding public interest. 

Russia an ‘acute’ threat, China an ‘epoch defining’ challenge: U.K. Government

The U.K. government called Russia the “most acute threat” to Britain’s security and termed China an “epoch-defining” challenge, as it released a ‘refresh’ of its foreign and security policy, the Integrated Review 2023 (IR2023), two years after the first version (IR2021) was released.

149 air travellers put on ‘no-fly list’ in the past three years, says govt.

As many as 149 air travellers have been banned by airlines and put on the “no-fly list” in the past three years for unruly conduct, the government told Parliament on Monday.

Of these, smoking inside aircraft lavatory, drunken behaviour and a brawl with cabin crew and fellow passengers are most common.

ATK Mohun Bagan oust Hyderabad FC, set up ISL final with Bengaluru FC

ATK Mohun Bagan edged out defending champions Hyderabad FC 4-3 in a nail-biting penalty shootout in the Indian Super League semifinal in Kolkata on Monday.

Locked 0-0 in the first leg, the reverse fixture also saw a goalless stalemate till 120 minutes of play, including regulation and extra time.

Imran Khan leads thousands at election rally in Lahore as Islamabad police arrive to arrest him

Pakistan’s ousted premier Imran Khan on March 13, 2023 led a march of thousands of his supporters as Islamabad police arrived here to arrest him after two non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against him, a day after he called off his party’s election rally following a ban on public gatherings in Punjab’s provincial capital.


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