Latest Current Affairs 13 September 2021


Bhupendra Patel becomes new Chief Minister of Gujarat

Bhupendra Patel, a protege of UP Governor Anandiben Patel, was made the new Chief Minister of Gujarat on Sunday. Bhupendra Patel is an MLA from Ghatlodia seat earlier held by Anandiben Patel. Bhupendra Patel has been chairman, Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and also Chairman, Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). He is a first-time MLA. Earlier, he served as municipal councillor in Ahmedabad. Bhupendra Patel had won by a margin of 1.17 lakh from Ghatlodia in the last Assembly polls. The Gujarat BJP legislature party met earlier at the party headquarters in Gandhinagar to elect a new leader to replace Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, following his sudden resignation on September 11. The party high command deputed two Central observers Narendra Singh Tomar and Pralhad Joshi who conducted the legislature party meeting in which a new leader would be elected to the Chief Minister’s post. He will be sworn-in on September 13. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will attend the oath-taking ceremony at Raj Bhavan. On Saturday, Rupani suddenly submitted his resignation along with his Council of Ministers, paving the way for a long expected change of guard in the State. Among the names doing the rounds as a likely replacement for Rupani were outgoing Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Administrator of Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep Praful Patel, and outgoing Cabinet Minister and former State party chief R.C. Faldu. The State BJP president C.R. Patil’s name also figured among the probables but in a video statement he ruled himself out stating that he was not a Chief Ministerial candidate. There was a strong buzz in the party about a likely Patidar face as the new Chief Minister before the next year’s Assembly election. All top contenders, including Mandavia and Faldu, are from the Patidar community. In Gujarat, the Patidars are a dominant caste having a sizeable control over the political economy with its hold over the lucrative cooperative sector, education, realty and construction, and small and medium enterprises. The Patidars form the backbone of the BJP in Gujarat as the party’s first Chief Minister in 1995 when it came to power for the first time was Keshubhai Patel, a Patidar leader from Saurashtra region. However, there was also another theory that the new Chief Minister could be from the OBC community but there was no prominent leader in the party who could be chosen for the post ahead of the crucial elections next year. Insiders in the party contended that the high command wanted to go to the electorate with a fresh face in order to dilute the anti-incumbency factor after the pandemic in which the State administration under Rupani often floundered.

Trinamool criticises U.P. govt for using photo of Kolkata flyover in its advertisement 

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday criticised the Uttar Pradesh government and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for running an advertisement in an English language publication with photographs of a Kolkata flyover. A number of TMC leaders took to social media accusing Adityanath of stealing images from infrastructure seen in Bengal. Transforming UP for @myogiadityanath means stealing images from infrastructure seen in Bengal under @MamataOfficial’s leadership and using them as his own! Looks like the ‘DOUBLE ENGINE MODEL’ has MISERABLY FAILED in BJP’s strongest state and now stands EXPOSED for all!, TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee tweeted. A number of Ministers of the West Bengal government, including Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, said that Maa Flyover, which had been represented in the advertisement, was the pride of Kolkata and completed under the Trinamool Congress regime. Previously BJP used photos from failures of law & order of their states to spread misinformation about West Bengal. Now they use photos of the flyover built under the leadership of #MamataBanerjee and under my chairmanship of KMDA to advertise for the development in UP, Hakim said. Senior TMC leaders Partha Chatterjee and Lok Sabha MP Mohua Moitra also took to social media highlighting the issue and tearing into the Uttar Pradesh government for the advertisement. The advertisement Transforming Uttar Pradesh Under Yogi Adityanath carried on Sunday in an English language publication has a cutout of Adityanath with a flyover that resembles Kolkata’s Maa flyover that connects the central part of the city with Salt Lake and Rajarhat located in the northeastern fringes of the city. The image also has Kolkata’s iconic yellow taxi and a high rise that resembles a five-star hotel in the city next to the Maa Flyover. As the controversy picked up on social media, the publication that carried the advertisement admitted the error and added that the image had been removed in all digital editions of the paper. A wrong image was inadvertently included in the cover collage of the advertorial on Uttar Pradesh produced by the marketing department of the newspaper. The error is deeply regretted, and the image has been removed in all digital editions of the paper, a tweet by the publication said.

Delhi High Court questions West Bengal over handling of requests of AIS officers seeking transfers 

The Delhi High Court has questioned West Bengal over its handling of the requests of All India Service (AIS) officers seeking inter-cadre transfer to other States. A bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Talwant Singh said that the West Bengal government was trotting out shortage of officers as the reason for rejecting the request of inter-cadre transfer, without placing the relevant material on record. We are noticing that, this approach has been taken, in matter after matter, by the petitioner (West Bengal government) where officer(s) have sought inter-cadre transfer to other State(s) on account of their marriage, and which has been refused on a similar ground, the high court remarked. Unless the reasons set out in the order of refusal for inter-cadre transfer are backed by relevant material, it cannot pass muster of this Court, it added. The high court’s remark came while dismissing the West Bengal government’s appeal against an order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal directing it to relieve a 2013 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of West Bengal cadre. The IAS officer, in her application filed over five years ago on April 5, 2016, had sought transfer to Uttarakhand as she had married an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer of 2012 batch of Uttarakhand Cadre on November 26, 2015. Citing this development, she submitted representation to the Central government on April 5, 2016, with a request to change her cadre from West Bengal to that of Uttarakhand. The IAS officer stated that the Uttarakhand government expressed its no objection for the transfer and the Department of Personnel & Training (DoP&T) was waiting for the consent of the West Bengal government. However, on November 30, 2016, the West Bengal government rejected her request stating the ground of shortage of IAS officers. On her appeal against this rejection order, the Tribunal on July 22, 2021 set aside the November 30, 2016 order of the West Bengal government. The Tribunal, additionally, ordered the West Bengal government to pass necessary orders on the IAS officer’s transfer request within six weeks. In case the applicant is not relieved by that time, she shall be deemed to have been relieved on expiry of six weeks, the Tribunal had ordered. The inter cadre transfer of AIS (All India Service) officers on the grounds of marriage is not something new…On certain occasions, the States from whose cadre the transfer is sought, pleaded the ground of shortage of officers. The Supreme Court held that such grounds cannot constitute the basis to deny the right of an officer to seek transfer in terms of the rules, the Tribunal had remarked. The high court concurred with the Tribunal’s decision, noting that the IAS officer was entitled to seek inter-cadre transfer, in terms of Rule 5(2) of the Indian Administrative Services (Cadre) Rules, 1954, which provides for change of cadre.

Trust youth to check deviations in society’s journey towards peace and progress, says CJI Ramana

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Sunday said the unity and sacrifice of young people across faiths, beliefs and communities, who took to the streets to challenge authoritarian figures, gave the country democratic rights which were being taken for granted today. The democratic rights that we take today for granted are a result of the struggles of thousands of young people who took to the streets fighting authoritarian figures either during the Freedom Struggle or the dark days of Emergency. Many lost their lives, sacrificed lucrative careers, all for the greater good of the nation and society. Trust the youth to check the deviations in a society’s journey towards peace and progress, Chief Justice Ramana said in his address on the 128th anniversary of the historic Chicago address of Swami Vivekananda. The CJI, quoting Swami Vivekananda, said the youth did not tolerate injustice, either to themselves or against others. They did not compromise with their ideals, come what may. They were not only selfless but were also adventurous. They were willing to sacrifice for the cause they believed in. It is these unadulterated minds and pure hearts which formed the backbone of our nation. The CJI said it was necessary for youth to be aware of social realities and challenges. Remember, any change in the nation’s trajectory always stems from its youth and their participation. It is for you to build the ideal nation and society that you desire to witness, Chief Justice Ramana said. The CJI’s words have significant import even as the past few years have seen young activists, academicians and journalists being jailed for sedition and students chased and beaten up by the police in university campus.


Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid says he lived in Kabul right under nose of his adversaries Taliban’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who appeared before the media for the first time in a decade at a press conference after the insurgent group seized Kabul last month, said that he lived in the Afghan capital right under the nose of his adversaries who considered him a ‘ghost-like’ figure during the war. Mujahid, who operated in the shadows for years, also admitted that he studied at the Haqqania seminary in Nowshera in northwest Pakistan, which has also been dubbed the Taliban University or the ‘University of Jihad’ internationally. They (US and Afghan National Forces) used to think I did not exist, Mujahid told The Express Tribune newspaper in an interview. I escaped so many times from their raids and attempts to capture me that they seriously considered that ‘Zabiullah’ was a made-up figure, not a real man who exists, the 43-year-old spokesman said. And yet, I managed to move about Afghanistan freely. I think this perception helped with that, he explained. I lived in Kabul for a long time, right under everyone’s noses. I roamed the width and breadth of the country. I also managed to have first-hand access to the frontlines, where the Taliban carried out their actions, and up to date information. It was quite puzzling for our adversaries. Due to his shadowy appearance for years, there was speculation as to whether the faceless spokesman might actually be more than one person. The US forces would often pay off locals to obtain some information about my whereabouts. Using that information, like I said, they must have launched dozens of intelligence-based operations hoping to find some trace of me, he said. But I never left or tried to – even think about try to leave Afghanistan. Mujahid, who was born in the Gardez district of Paktia province sometime in 1978, said that he specialised in Islamic jurisprudence from the Haqqania seminary in northwest Pakistan. The Taliban government’s acting interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, Water and Energy Minister Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor, and Telecommunication minister Najibullah Haqqani – all on the UN blacklist — and Education Minister Maulana Abdul Baqi Haqqani studied at the Haqqania seminary, which has regularly received grants from successive governments in Pakistan. Mujahid said he became the spokesman of the Taliban following the arrest of his predecessor. He also said that he had never seen the Taliban founder Mullah Umar. But I have worked with Sheikh Mullah Mansoor, and Sheikh Hebatullah, he said, referring to Mullah Omar’s successors.

Taliban: women can study in gender-segregated varsities. 

Afghan women will be allowed to attend university as long as they study separately from men, the Taliban’s new Higher Education Minister said on Sunday. Women’s rights in Afghanistan were sharply curtailed under the Taliban’s 1996-2001 rule, though since returning to power last month the hardline Islamists have claimed they will implement a less extreme rule. But speaking to reporters about the new regime’s plans for the country’s Education, Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani was unapologetic about bringing an end to mixed sex classes. We have no problems in ending the mixed-education system, he said. The people are Muslims and they will accept it. The Taliban announced earlier this month that women could still study at university if they wore an abaya robe and niqab covering most of the face, with classes segregated by sex or at least divided by a curtain. Haqqani said that the education system had changed greatly since the Taliban’s last time in power, when women were barred from schools and universities. Compared to the past the number of eeducational Institutions have increased dramatically, he said. This gives us hope for a future, prosperous and selfsufficient Afghanistan … we will continue from where they were left. Some fear the new rules will exclude women because the universities do not have the resources to provide separate classes. But Haqqani insisted there were enough women teachers and, where they were not available, alternatives could be found without breaching rules. It all depends on the university’s capacity, he said. We can also use male teachers to teach from behind a curtain, or use technology. The Taliban say they want to distance themselves from the harsher policies of old, when half the population was excluded from work and education.

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