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NEWS FROM INDIA - OCTOBER ISSUE

October 2nd,  A caste census was conducted in Bihar. According to the data announced by the State Development Director, the total population of Bihar has now reached slightly over 130 million. Extremely Backward Class (EBC) constitutes 36.01%, and Other Backward Class (OBC) is 27.13%. The largest caste group, Yadav, which is a significant vote bank for the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), makes up 14.27% of the state's total population. Dalits (Scheduled Caste) account for 19.65%, and Scheduled Tribes (ST) make up 1.68%.

 

October 3rd, Prime Minister Modi mentioned that the Chief of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and Telangana Chief Minister, who had requested BJP's alliance with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in December 2020, had been unequivocally rejected.

 

October 10th, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi promised, as part of the Madhya Pradesh state assembly election manifesto, that if Congress returned to power, tribal communities would be given ownership of forest land, and the state government would conduct a caste census immediately.

 

October 11th, Uttarakhand's Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) directed all state government departments to submit a report on the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy (TRP) within a week. TRP aims to provide unified guidelines for facilities for Tibetan refugees residing within the jurisdiction of various state governments.

 

October 14th, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin emphasised the need for women's empowerment and the urgency of unity against "divisive forces ruling the country" at the DMK Women's Rights Conference held in Chennai, organised by the Dravidian Progressive Federation (DMK). The conference was attended by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP), and members of the Nationalist Congress Party.

 

October 17th, BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) welcomed a Supreme Court decision that does not recognize the legality of same-sex marriages, stating that the Supreme Court supported their party's stance on same-sex issues.

 

October 18th, The opposition coalition I.N.D.I.A, consisting of 27 political parties, is not expected to hold additional meetings shortly as they have conducted three strategic meetings in the past four months. Instead, individual parties are preparing for joint rallies nationwide.

 

October 18th, The federal government announced an increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Rabi crops. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Telangana, major producers of Rabi crops, are gearing up for state legislative elections next month.

 

October 20th,  A general meeting of the Unified Farmers' Front (Samyukt Kisan Morcha, SKM), comprising about 500 farmer organizations, decided to launch a campaign opposing the BJP in the five state legislative elections. The meeting also decided to protest nationwide against the central government's alleged attempt to link farmer leaders to the News Click incident and arrest them on conspiracy charges.

On the same day, the federal government extended a hand to beneficiaries of social welfare schemes and planned the "Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra" (Developed India Determination Campaign) in 270,000 Panchayats across the country. Government sources stated that Prime Minister Modi set a goal of six months to fulfil the welfare initiatives of the government.

 

October 22nd, The BJP announced the deployment of government officials and bureaucrats at the Gram Panchayat level in all 765 districts nationwide as campaigners to highlight the achievements of the federal government between October 20, 2023, and January 25, 2024. In response, Congress spokesperson Member of Parliament Ramesh and Mr Kella raised questions on ✕ (former Twitter).

 

October 24th, RSS Chief Bhagwat mentioned the war between Ukraine and Israel, stating that the world expects India to show a new path to peace and prosperity. He addressed the challenges the world faces due to "religious fanaticism," incitement, arrogance, and hysteria, stating that these issues cannot be countered by inadequate means. The Chief also revealed the date (January 22, 2024) for the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya during a speech in Nagpur before RSS workers.

 

October 24th, During a massive rally in Delhi, Prime Minister Modi stated that forces attempting to divide the country using casteism and regionalism hinder India's development and must be eliminated.

 

October 25th, Prime Minister Modi announced his attendance at the historic dedication ceremony of the Ram Temple, which is scheduled to take place on January 22, 2024, in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

 

October 25th, Congress Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi released a 28-minute video conversation with former Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Malik, discussing various issues, including the Pulwama terror attack, protests against agricultural laws, and suspicions about the government favouring the Adani Group.

October 27th, Home Minister Shah stated that if the BJP comes to power in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Chief Ministers in both states are likely to come from the Backward Class (BC) community. Given the significant presence of the BC community in both states, there is increasing demand for a caste census, and the BC community not only seeks policy expansion but also wants proper political representation based on population composition.

 

October 27th, The complete proposal for the construction of railway sheds submitted to the federal cabinet had "India" replaced with "Bharat," the preferred term by the Modi government. This marks the first instance in a proposal to the cabinet where "Bharat" is used in place of "India" in all textual aspects.

 

October 31st, Political turmoil ensued as opposition leaders received alerts warning of "state-sponsored attacks" attempting to remotely control their iPhones by Apple. The leaders expressed concerns about government surveillance. Those who received the alert notifications included Karge, the Congress President; Tharoor, a Congress official; Yadav, the Socialist Party (SP) leader; Yechury, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) General Secretary; Moitra, a Member of Parliament from Moitra state (Indian Motherland Congress); Owaisi, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) Chairman; and Chadha, a Federal Senator from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

NEWS FROM INDIA - NOVEMBER ISSUE

November 4th, Prime Minister Modi, in an election speech in Chhattisgarh, announced the extension of the plan to provide 5 kilograms of free food grains per month to 810 million citizens for another five years.

 

November 9th, Federal Minister Joshi announced the winter session of Parliament, the last session before the 2024 general elections, scheduled from December 4th to December 22nd.

 

November 14th, Home Minister Shah expressed confidence in BJP's electoral prospects in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan in an interview with Times of India. He predicted a larger victory for Prime Minister Modi in the 2024 general elections compared to the previous one.

 

November 15th, Prime Minister Modi launched the "Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra" (Developed India Resolution Campaign), a nationwide program aimed at reaching out to citizens who, despite being eligible for various central schemes, have not received benefits. Additionally, he initiated a mission worth 2.4 trillion rupees to assist 2.8 million Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) in 220 districts.

 

November 17th, Prime Minister Modi expressed concern at a BJP gathering about the misuse of artificial intelligence in creating deepfake videos and urged the media to educate the public on this issue.

 

November 18th, The central government expressed serious concerns about deepfake videos, and Federal Minister Baishnawi stated an intention to consult with social media platforms. The minister claimed that if the platforms do not take appropriate measures, the Safe Harbor (note: a range of business activities not subject to regulation as long as certain predefined rules are followed) would not apply.

 

November 20th, The Supreme Court advised the central government and the Governor of Kerala to respond to the state government's petition accusing the Governor of deliberately delaying consent to eight bills passed by the state legislature, granting a four-day deadline.

November 21st, The ongoing campaign for the five state legislative elections has two common aspects: voter polarization in urban areas benefiting parties, and the predominance of election campaigns appealing to welfare initiatives in rural areas.

 

November 28th, With the 2024 general elections approaching in a few months, Prime Minister Modi instructed the cabinet to enter election mode and ensure that government schemes reach all eligible individuals. The Prime Minister also expressed concern about state and local governments diverting central government schemes as their own projects, instructing ministers to inform beneficiaries about who is operating the schemes.

November 29th, The Supreme Court urged governors of each state to clarify the boundaries of their actions when bills passed by state legislatures are sent to them for approval. Specifically, the court ruled that "governors do not have the authority to veto legislative measures of the elected government or indefinitely extend the enforcement of laws formally passed by the legislature.

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