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5 THINGS FIRST

Olympics Day 13: Ravi Kumar Dahiya in men’s 57 kg freestyle wrestling final, Germany vs India, men’s hockey bronze medal match; SC to hear pleas for probe into Pegasus row; Assam and Mizoram to hold talks to resolve boundary dispute in Aizawl; India vs England, 1st Test, Nottingham, day 2; UAE lifts transit ban on passengers from India

1. Ravi Kumar keeps Indian gold dreams alive
1. Ravi Kumar keeps Indian gold dreams alive
  • Wrestling: Haryana’s Ravi Kumar Dahiya (extreme right in pic) became just the second Indian grappler to make an Olympic final after staging a remarkable comeback against Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev in the men’s freestyle 57 kg semifinal. This after the 23-year-old reigning Asian champion and Worlds bronze medallist was 2-9 down with about a minute and thirty seconds on the clock, but eventually won by fall (pinning the opponent’s shoulders to the mat).
  • Having begun his campaign with two technical superiority victories to reach the semis with ease, Ravi faces two-time World Champion Zaur Uguev of the Russian Olympic Committee in the final today. If he wins gold, he will be the second Indian after shooter Abhinav Bindra to clinch an individual Olympic gold.
  • Deepak Punia, however, lost to former world champion David Morris Taylor III in the men’s freestyle 86 kg category semifinal. He still has a chance to win bronze when he faces the winner of the repechage today.
  • Anshu Malik, who lost her opening bout in women’s 57 kg to Iryna Kurachkina (Belarus), remains in contention for a bronze as well and will compete in the repechage round today.
  • Hockey: It was heartbreak for the women’s team as they lost 1-2 to Argentina in the semifinal. India took just two minutes to open the scoring through Gurjit Kaur’s penalty corner conversion, but a brace from Argentinian captain Noel Barrionuevo and a stellar performance from goalkeeper Maria Succi made sure there was no way back. India will face Great Britain in the bronze medal match tomorrow.
  • Boxing: Lovlina Borgohain signed off with a bronze in women’s welterweight 69 kg category after being outclassed 5-0 by reigning world champion Busenaz Sürmeneli of Turkey in the semifinal.
  • Athletics: It was quite the Olympics debut for Neeraj Chopra, who qualified for the men’s javelin final in the first attempt itself — his throw of 86.65 m was enough to top Group A. Shivpal Singh though missed out in qualification.
  • Golf: Aditi Ashok made a terrific start in the women’s individual event. After round 1, she was tied in second place with Nelly Korda of the US. Diksha Dagar was tied 56th.

All updates here

2. Parliament remains divided ahead of Pegasus hearing
2. Parliament remains divided ahead of Pegasus hearing
A penalty

  • Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu Wednesday suspended six Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs for the day for disorderly conduct after they protested in the well, placards in hand, the government’s refusal to discuss the Pegasus reports.
  • The six MPs are Dola Sen, Md. Nadimul Haque, Abir Ranjan Biswas, Shanta Chhetri, Arpita Ghosh and Mausam Noor.

An offer

  • Naidu, however, admitted a motion under Rule 267 to suspend the business of the day to discuss the ongoing farmers’ agitation. The opposition snubbed the offer.
  • The opposition parties, in a joint statement, reiterated their demand to prioritise a discussion over Pegasus. “The Opposition parties stand firm and united on their demand for a discussion on Pegasus issue in both the Houses, replied to by the Home Minister, as this has national security dimensions”, read the statement issued by the Congress, TMC, DMK, Samajwadi Party, RJD, NCP, Shiv Sena, National Conference, IUML, CPI(M), CPI, AAP, Revolutionary Socialist Party and the Loktantrik Janata Dal. They said a discussion on the “three anti-farmers and black agri-laws should follow the discussion on Pegasus”.

Short work

  • The union government, meanwhile, continued to push through the House bills without much debate.
  • The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, which decriminalises some offences under the law to encourage start-ups and improve the ease of doing business, was passed in 25 minutes.
  • The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill was passed in about 15 minutes.
  • The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed in less than 20 minutes.
  • Lok Sabha passed two legislations within a matter of few minutes: The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021, and the Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Note: A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana is scheduled to hear the petitions over Pegasus today. The Wire Wednesday reported numbers of two court registrars were on the Pegasus database.

3. What does conviction rate say about NIA’s arrests?
3. What does conviction rate say about NIA’s arrests?
In reply to question on the number of people chargesheeted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the number of accused who have been convicted, this is what the Ministry of Home Affairs told Parliament on Wednesday:

Chargesheets vs Convictions in NIA cases

4. The donations that make BJP India’s richest political party
4. The donations that make BJP India's richest political party
The power of power

  • The BJP has declared donations worth more than three times of five other parties, including the Congress, TMC and NCP, put together (Rs 785.77 crore against Rs 228.035 crore declared by the remaining parties), according to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms. The report considers donations received by the national political parties, above Rs 20,000, during 2019-20.

Taxpayer’s funds?

  • The report states that the BJP also disclosed a donation of Rs 4.80 lakh from the Amravati Municipal Corporation, where both the mayor and the deputy mayor are from the saffron party.
  • “No details of address, bank name, PAN, among others, have been provided by the party against this donation. A casual search on the internet shows that the aforesaid donor is a Government of Maharashtra local body (as mentioned on their website). It raises questions on the legality of the contribution made by a municipal corporation which is a governing body to a political party,” the poll rights group said.

Not just funds

  • The report said the BJP declared receiving land from three donors of a total value of Rs 1.516 crore.
  • “The three donations are from Jhanjharpur in Bihar worth Rs 36.80 lakh, Rs 50 lakh and Rs 64.88 lakh. Apart from the names, location of donors, PAN details of one donor, no other details have been provided like donors’ address, bank details, PAN of remaining two donors, address and ‘khasra’ (plot) number of land, type of land agricultural/commercial, among others,” the ADR report said.

Not just donations

  • An earlier report by ADR had shown that over 76% of donations made by electoral trusts that submitted their annual reports for 2019-2020 to the Election Commission went to the BJP.

The richest

  • Political parties in India cumulatively hold assets worth around Rs 7,372 crore with the ruling BJP topping the list.
  • “Among the 7 National Parties, the highest assets for the FY 2018-19 were declared by the BJP amounting to Rs 2904.18 crore (54.29%) followed by INC which declared assets worth Rs 928.84 crore (17.36%) and BSP declared assets worth Rs 738 crore (13.80%),” an ADR report in March had said.
6. With a world record, McLaughlin wins clash of titans
6. With a world record, McLaughlin wins clash of titans
Sydney’s Tokyo moment

  • Another day, another race for the ages. Sydney McLaughlin broke the world record to beat fellow American Dalilah Muhammad, the Rio Games gold medallist and reigning world champion, to gold in a clash of titans in the women’s 400m hurdles finals.
  • The 21-year-old clocked 51.46 seconds, bettering her own record of 51.9 set in the Olympic trials in June. Muhammad’s time of 51.58 also beat McLaughlin’s old record.

Spotlight on track

  • The second world record in the hurdles in 48 hours, after Karsten Warholm in the men’s 400m, adds to the list of standouts times set at Tokyo, bringing the design of the track in focus. Elaine Thompson-Herah had set a new Olympic record for the women’s 100m, while surprise men’s 100m winner Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy recorded three of his fastest times at the Games.
  • Track design firm Mondo has said that the design of the track, which is very thin at 14mm, creates these small pockets of air, providing shock absorption and some energy return or “bounce” to the runners.

De Grasse’s time

  • With no Usain Bolt to share a joke with on the final stretch — remember Rio? — Canadian Andre De Grasse won the men’s 200 metres gold with a personal best of 19.62 seconds, finally progressing from a series of silver and bronze medals at major events.
  • Kenny Bednarek of the United States took the silver medal and his compatriot Noah Lyles claimed the bronze.

Teenage dream

skateboarding1
  • 19-year-old Sakura Yosozumi won the women’s park event on Wednesday, as the Olympic debut of skateboarding continued to be an all-Japanese affair.
  • 12-year-old Kokona Hiraki took silver, becoming Japan’s youngest-ever Olympic medalist.
  • 13-year-old Sky Brown took the bronze, becoming the youngest British Olympic medallist.
  • Yosozumi won with a trick-filled first run that scored 60.09, making her the only competitor to break 60 points in the event at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.
  • Japanese skaters had also won the street events of skateboarding — Yuto Horigome, 22, won the men’s and 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya, the women’s.
7. The AP-Telangana dispute that forced CJI to recuse himself
7. The AP-Telangana dispute that forced CJI to recuse himself
  • Following opposition from Andhra Pradesh (AP) to his proposal for mediation in the water dispute with Telangana, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice N V Ramana recused himself from the case, after saying earlier on Monday that since he was “from both states”, he could not hear the case on legal issues.
  • While Ramana had said that he could “help if parties agree to mediation”, the counsel for AP stressed on Wednesday that the water dispute issue required a court’s adjudication, in response to which the CJI-led bench said that “let the matter be listed before another Bench.” AP has sought control of the common reservoirs of Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar and also Pulichintala.
  • The water dispute between AP and Telangana pertains to sharing of water from the Srisailam Dam project. AP has alleged that Telangana is depriving it of AP’s legitimate share of water for drinking and irrigation purposes. It also alleges that Telangana is utilising the water in the reservoir indiscriminately for power generation and despite repeated requests to stop doing so, had refused to comply.
  • The water dispute between the two states is a highly emotive issue, with police force of both states engaged in a tense standoff last month at the common reservoirs, evoking memories of the fisticuffs they indulged in, in 2015. While AP says that Telangana’s use of water for power generation is being done without approval from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), Telangana has demanded an equal split of the river waters while the current water share split is in the ratio of 66:34 in favour of AP.
8. Former CBI chief could face disciplinary action
8. Former CBI chief could face disciplinary action
  • The union home ministry has recommended disciplinary action against former CBI chief Alok Verma who clashed with fellow officer and now Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana in 2018 for misusing official position and violating service rules.
  • The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the nodal office for CBI, has forwarded the home ministry’s recommendations to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). UPSC needs to be consulted for imposing penalty on IPS officers. If approved, Verma could lose pension and retirement benefits.
  • In 2018, Verma registered an FIR accusing then CBI special director Asthana of extorting money from a businessman; Asthana, in turn, accused Verma of corruption and trying to falsely implicate him. As the allegations flew thick and fast and made headlines, the union government sent both on compulsory leave.
  • Verma was formally removed as CBI director in January 2019. The government later appointed Verma as director-general of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, a posting considered a step-down. Verma rejected the post and said he should be considered superannuated.
  • Asthana, who was cleared of charges, was made the director-general of Civil Aviation Security in 2019, before being made the head of the Border Security Force. He was also given additional duty as director-general of the Narcotics Control Bureau.
  • Last week, just three days before he was due for retirement, Asthana was appointed the commissioner of Delhi Police, which reports to the union home ministry.
9. Seamers rattle England to make it India’s day
9. Seamers rattle England to make it India's day
  • High quality bowling from India’s pacemen and favourable conditions helped the visitors draw first blood against England on the opening day at Trent Bridge. There were four wickets for Jasprit Bumrah, but Mohammed Shami was the better bowler on view, picking up a three-for. And the two created enough pressure for Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj to be effective with their highly attacking lines and lengths.
  • This after Joe Root won the toss and chose to bat first on a green surface. And it wasn’t the best of starts as Rory Burns was trapped leg before by Bumrah off the fifth ball of the day. Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley looked to rebuild, but the former fell just before lunch.
  • Shami accounted for Sibley in the third over after lunch, before Jonny Bairstow and Root added 72. But Shami had Bairstow lbw at the stroke of tea, with England at 138/4.
  • The Indian seamers then got busy in the final session under gloomy skies and with the floodlights on, prompting a collapse at the other end with Root being a spectator. Root’s fifty was the only score of note and once he fell, England were staring down the barrel. Sam Curran added a few important runs towards the end but the hosts lost their last seven wickets for 45.
  • Scorecard: India 21/0 trail England 183 (Root 64, Bumrah 4/46, Shami 3/28) by 162 runs
Answer to NEWS IN CLUES
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Kumar Mangalam Birla. Telecom major Vodafone Idea on Wednesday informed that the Aditya Birla Group chairman will step down as non-executive director and non-executive chairman of the board with effect from close of business hours on Aug. 4, 2021. The board of directors of Vodafone Idea at its meeting has accepted the request of Birla and unanimously elected current non-executive director Himanshu Kapania as the firm’s non-executive chairman.

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



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