3. Meet Baradar, the Taliban leader calling the shots
  • Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s de facto leader, is anticipated to be the face of the new Afghanistan regime. Baradar based the Islamist motion with Mohammad Omar — higher referred to as Mullah Omar — in the late ’80s in Kandahar.
  • The Taliban has not made clear what management construction it will set up in Afghanistan, however Reuters reviews it might be a ruling council headed by Haibatullah Akhunzada, with Baradar as one in all the deputies.
  • Akhunzada is the ideological pillar (imam) and the Supreme Leader of the Taliban, however Baradar heads Taliban’s political workplace in Doha and signed the cope with the US in 2020 — the pact that led to the US withdrawal and in the end the collapse of the nationwide authorities.
  • There are different highly effective commanders inside the Taliban, most notably Sirajuddin Haqqani of the Haqqani community, which is designated a terrorist group by the US.
  • Haqqani, too, might be a deputy in the council; Mullah Omar’s son Mawlavi Yaqoob might be the third deputy. A deputy will play the function of “president”, senior Taliban commander instructed Reuters.
  • Born in Uruzgan province, Baradar fought towards the Soviets alongside Omar, and served as the governor of a number of provinces after the Taliban swept to energy in 1996.
  • In 2002, following the US invasion, he fled to Karachi in Pakistan. From there, he planned attacks towards Western forces. Since the demise of Mullah Omar in 2013, Baradar is seen as the leader of the insurgency.
  • He was arrested in 2010 in a joint operation by the CIA and Pakistani forces in Karachi. In 2018, the US asked Pakistan to release him as the Donald Trump administration started negotiating with the Taliban.

Other updates:

  • At least three folks had been killed after the Taliban opened hearth at protesters in Jalalabad after they lowered the Taliban flag to boost the Afghan nationwide flag, a day forward of Afghanistan’s Independence Day.
  • The UAE mentioned it’s internet hosting former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani “on humanitarian grounds”.

Foreign minister S Jaishankar to chair UNSC session on counter-terrorism; Gujarat High Court’s interim order on state’s anti-conversion regulation; Monsoon set to revive in north India from at the moment, says IMD; Golfer Aditi Ashok to compete in AIG Women’s British Open; World Humanitarian Day

1. SC slams Centre & military, permits ladies to seem for NDA
1. SC slams Centre & army, allows women to appear for NDA
  • Asking the Army if it can “only act when a judicial order is passed”, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday handed an interim order permitting women to appear for the National Defence Academy (NDA) examination scheduled for September 5.
  • Directing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to problem a brand new notification for the examination, incorporating the change, in mild of the new order, the SC requested it to “give due publicity so that intent of the order is translated into effect.”
  • The courtroom nonetheless clarified that the results of the examination might be topic to the remaining adjudication of the petition searching for permission for ladies to seem for NDA examination. Last yr, the SC had allowed Permanent Commission for ladies in the Indian Army.

Quote martial

  • “The army doesn’t believe in doing anything voluntarily” — the SC to Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati when knowledgeable by the petitioner that the Centre’s affidavit mentioned that not permitting ladies to seem for NDA examination was “purely a policy decision and should not be interfered with by the court.”
  • “No because of you! You stored on opposing it! And until orders weren’t handed, you did not do something! The Navy and the Airforce are extra forthcoming! The Army appears to have a bias to not implement!” — when Bhati said women have been given Permanent Commission in the Army.
  • “The endeavour is to persuade the army to do things itself! We would prefer if the Army did somethings itself, rather than us passing orders! But there was no success” — the SC, referring to the order last year granting Permanent Commission to women.
  • “Why should you say the one more additional source of entry is closed for women? It is not just a gender principle but discriminatory otherwise also!” — the SC, countering Bhati when she said that women were only permitted into the Army via the Officers Training Academy (OTA) and the Indian Military Academy (IMA).
2. Why the Collegium picks are trigger for heartburn
2. Why the Collegium picks are cause for heartburn
  • In a late Tuesday evening meeting, a five-member Supreme Court Collegium comprising the CJI and Justices UU Lalit, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and LN Rao recommended Justices Hima Kohli (CJ of Telangana HC), BV Nagarathna (Karnataka HC), Bela M Trivedi (Gujarat HC), AS Oka (Karnataka HC CJ), Vikram Nath (Gujarat HC CJ), JK Maheshwari (Sikkim HC CJ), CT Ravikumar (Kerala HC), MM Sundaresh (Madras HC) and the only one from bar — former additional solicitor general PS Narasimha — for appointment to the apex court.
  • With the retirement of Justice Navin Sinha on Wednesday, the SC has a working strength of 24 judges. If the Centre appoints all the names, the SC will have a working strength of 33 judges against a sanctioned strength of 34.
  • The skew: The appointment of Justice Kohli would take the number of judges in the SC from Delhi to four, while Justice Oka’s appointment would bolster to five the number of SC judges with Bombay as their parent HC. Justice Nagarathna would take Karnataka HC representation in SC to three; Justice Nath would take Allahabad HC representation in SC to also three.
  • Read just six states — Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu — would account for more than half of the judges in the top court, while many others would go unrepresented.
  • The nine recommendations have also caused considerable heartburn among many senior judges, who have been heading high courts for a long time and stand superseded by much younger judges of the HCs who were not appointed as CJ of a HC. The superseded chief justices of the HCs also belong to states, which have gone unrepresented in the SC for long.
  • However: This is the first time that the Collegium has selected 3 women judges. Final appointments will mean that India might get its first woman Chief Justice in Justice Nagarathna when it turns 80 in 2027. It will also be the second instance of two generations of a family heading the judiciary after the Chandrachuds.
4. Why LPG costs went up 17 days late
4. Why LPG prices went up 17 days late
The hike

  • Domestic cooking gas (LPG) price was increased by Rs 25 per cylinder on Wednesday — the second straight month of increase in rates.
  • The price has cumulatively risen by Rs 165 per cylinder since January 1 and more than doubled since March 2014.
  • Though petrol crossing the century mark has made bigger headlines, prices of cooking gas and kerosene, the two fuels which fire many Indian kitchens, have risen much more sharply.

The missing subsidy

  • After the latest increase, domestic ‘subsidised’ LPG now costs Rs 859 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi, or more than double of Rs 410 in March 2014. Similarly, a refill will cost Rs 859.50 in Mumbai, Rs 886 in Kolkata and Rs 875.50 in Chennai.
  • There is hardly any difference in the rate of subsidised and non-subsidised cooking gas.

The ‘delay’

  • LPG price is usually revised on the first of every month. But this time, interestingly, the state-run fuel retailers raised the price of non-subsidised LPG on August 1 but left domestic refill prices unchanged.
  • That was because of the oil ministry’s ‘nudge’ to avoid drawing Opposition flak in Parliament, which was in session. As it were, the Opposition was already pressing for a debate on high oil prices.

The politics

  • The Congress asked how would a beneficiary of ‘Ujjwala Yojana’ buy a cylinder at Rs 800 when 97% of people are earning less than what they were earning three years ago, and 23 crore people have slipped below the poverty line.
  • It said the price of a gas cylinder as per Saudi Aramco Index should actually be Rs 600 and citizens were being charged Rs 260 per cylinder extra, calling it ‘immoral’ on the part of the government.
5. Ravinder Takkar is the CEO of which well-known Indian firm?
  • Clue 1: It is the third-largest mobile telecommunications network in the country by subscribers.
  • Clue 2: It’s also the only telecom company in India offering end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) solutions
  • Clue 3: Headquartered in Mumbai, the entity was formed as a merger of two companies in August 2018.

Scroll below for answer

6. Shashi Tharoor discharged in Sunanda Pushkar demise case
6. Shashi Tharoor discharged in Sunanda Pushkar death case
  • A Delhi court on Wednesday discharged senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in a case related to his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death. Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of January 17, 2014.
  • Tharoor was charged under Sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) as well as 306 of the Indian Penal Code by Delhi Police, but was not arrested in the case.
  • Tharoor was granted anticipatory bail in the matter by a Sessions court on July 5, 2018. Following that order, a magisterial court converted the anticipatory bail into regular bail after he appeared before it on July 7 in pursuance to the summons issued by the Metropolitan Magistrate in the matter.
  • Reacting to the verdict, Tharoor said the ruling brings a significant conclusion to the “long nightmare which had enveloped” him after the tragic passing of his wife.
  • Unlike an acquittal, in which the accused can not be rearrested for the same case based on the same facts in which acquittal has been granted, in a discharge a person can be rearrested.
7. Meghalaya: Human rights chief to probe alleged encounter
7. Meghalaya: Human rights chief to probe alleged encounter
  • Former chief justice of Tripura and Meghalaya human rights commission chairperson T. Vaiphei will head the judicial inquiry into the death of a former militant in a police operation, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said following a meeting with community leaders in a bid to restore calm following the unrest in the region. Sangma requested the delegation of the Voice of the People of Mawlai to allow the judicial inquiry to take its own course.
  • Shillong had witnessed violent protests, including stone-pelting of the Central Reserve Police Force, for days after Cherishterfield Thangkhiew, a former militant of the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), was killed by the police. Petrol bomb was hurled at Sangma’s vacant private residence.
  • Banned in 2000, HNLC is a separatist group seeking the liberation of the Khasi tribe, notes South Asia Terrorism Portal. The top leadership of the outfit is based in Bangladesh.
  • Thangkhiew, 56, had formally surrendered in 2018. But on August 10, an IED blast rocked Shillong’s Laitumkhrah neighbourhood, injuring two. Meghalaya Police say they have a “clear indication” of Thangkhiew’s function in the blast, and one other one in July, the Indian Express reviews.
  • According to the police, throughout a raid at his home, Thangkhiew attacked the police with a knife and was killed in retaliatory firing. Thangkhiew’s sons allege it was a fake encounter. A “black flag day” was noticed on August 15, the day of his funeral, by his sympathisers.
8. India to ratify world pact on refrigerant
8. India to ratify global pact on refrigerant
The choice

  • The Centre on Wednesday permitted India’s ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on phasing down climate-damaging refrigerant Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs). The modification to progressively cut back use of HFCs by the late 2040s was adopted by 197 international locations in Rwanda in October 2016.

The plan

  • India will full its section down of HFCs, utilized in air-conditioners, fridges and insulating foams, in 4 steps from 2032 onwards with cumulative discount of 10% in 2032, 20% in 2037, 30% in 2042 and 80% in 2047 over 2024-26 baseline.
  • Different international locations have completely different section down plans below the Protocol. The developed international locations together with the US, Canada, west European nations and Japan will cut back HFC use first, adopted by China after which by 10 growing international locations together with India, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan.

The influence

  • Overall, the motion is anticipated to scale back HFC use by 85% by 2045 over completely different baselines by completely different international locations. It is anticipated to forestall the emission of as much as 105 million tonne of carbon dioxide equal of greenhouse gases, serving to to keep away from as much as 0.5 diploma Celsius of world temperature rise by 2100, whereas persevering with to guard the ozone layer.

The treaty

  • The Montreal Protocol is a world environmental treaty for defense of the ozone layer by phasing out the manufacturing and consumption of artificial chemical compounds known as ozone depleting substances (ODS).
9. Jhingan indicators for HNK Sibenik in Croatia’s top-tier league
9. Jhingan signs for HNK Sibenik in Croatia's top-tier league
  • Sandesh Jhingan, the reigning All India Football Federation (AIFF) males’s footballer of the yr, accomplished his transfer from ATK Mohun Bagan to HNK Sibenik on Wednesday, changing into the first India worldwide footballer to play in the Croatian top-tier league.
  • Founded in 1932, HNK Sibenik returned to the premier division (Prva HNL) final season below new administration. The membership completed sixth in the league, two locations off qualifying for European competitions. Based out of Sibenik, the Dalmatian area of Croatia, it is at present positioned eighth in the 10-team league after 5 matches in the ongoing season.
  • The 28-year-old defender debuted in the high division with United Sikkim in 2011. In 2014, aged 21, he was adjudged as the ‘Emerging Player of the League’ in the inaugural version of the Indian Super League.
  • After that, he quickly cemented his place in the nationwide workforce, with whom he has 40 caps. The defender has two ISL runners-up medals with Kerala Blasters FC the place he spent six years and one other with ATK Mohun Bagan, who he joined final yr.
  • Score replace: ATK Mohun Bagan received its AFC Cup marketing campaign off to a profitable begin on Wednesday because it rode on objectives from Roy Krishna and Subhasish Bose to earn a 2-0 win over Bengaluru FC.
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Vodafone Idea. As it fights a determined survival battle amid heavy losses and mounting debt, the telcom main has didn’t pay the full licence price to the authorities for the first quarter of this fiscal, with a shortfall of almost Rs 150 crore. This is the second quarter of delayed funds by the firm in the direction of its licence price, and can result in a recent penalty and dues demand over and above the almost Rs 1.6 lakh crore that it has to already pay to the Department of Telecom.

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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Judhajit Basu, Sumil Sudhakaran, Tejeesh N.S. Behl
Research: Rajesh Sharma


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