Daily wrap: Docs’ stir in WB intensifies; HDK govt expands cabinet

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Medical student hold placards showing solidarity with the intern doctor who was assaulted in West Bengal, at Gauhati Medical College in Guwahati, Friday, June 14. Photo: PTI

Docs put forward six conditions, demand Didi’s apology to end stir

The doctors on strike in Kolkata on Friday (June 14) put forward six conditions to call off their stir besides demanding unconditional apology from chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The chief minister had repeatedly on Thursday and Friday called a section of the protesting doctors ‘outsiders’, and threatened them to call off their stir or face action. The strike is developing into a nationwide protest with doctors from cities like Hyderabad, Delhi, Nagpur and Mumbai boycotting work and staging similar protests in solidarity with their counterparts in West Bengal on Friday (June 14).

Nations funding terrorism must be held accountable: Modi at Bishkek summit

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (June 14) said that countries sponsoring, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable as he called for a global conference to combat the menace. Addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Bishkek, Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of the SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism. India stood for a terrorism-free society, he said. “During my visit to Sri Lanka last Sunday, I visited the St Anthony’s church, where I witnessed the ugly face of terrorism which claims the lives of innocents anywhere,” the Prime Minister said.

Kumaraswamy expands cabinet by inducting 2 independent legislators

Amid discontent in the Karnataka coalition, the Kumaraswamy government expanded cabinet on Friday, June 14. Two rebel MLAs— Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party MLA R Shankar (Ranebennur) and independent MLA H Nagesh (Mulbagal)-were inducted as Ministers. In January both the MLAs, who were part of the coalition government, withdrew support with BJP engineering defections to topple the HD Kumaraswamy government. However, with the party failing to grab power, the MLAs moved closer to the coalition again demanding ministerial berths. Shankar had earlier served as Forest Minister in the early days of the Kumaraswamy government. But the State government dropped him during the cabinet reshuffle in December.

Southern rly agrees to withdraw ‘Hindi for communication’ circular

Following the uproar over its circular, which ordered control officers and station masters to avoid all regional languages, the Southern Railway on Friday (June 14), agreed to withdraw its circular. The said circular dated June 12, made public on June 13, stated that the communication between the Divisional Control Office and Station Masters should be either in English or in Hindi and the usage of regional language should be restricted to prevent either sides not understanding what is being communicated.

Govt looks to boost steel exports as India becomes net importer

The government is planning to boost steel exports and reduce unnecessary imports through tariff and non-tariff measures. The move comes as the country became a net importer of steel in 2018-19. The increase added to the problems of under-utilisation of steel produced within the country. India is the second largest manufacturer of steel. Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on June 11 discussed the challenges being faced by the steel sector and the import-export trends with steel producers. During the meeting, representatives of the steel industry and the Engineering Export Councils briefed them about protectionist measures that are being imposed by other countries. They also raised concerns about the under-utilised capacity in steel manufacturing in India.

Rescuers find cockpit voice recorder of crashed AN-32 aircraft

A rescue team has recovered the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) of Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force at the crash site in Arunachal Pradesh Friday, an IAF spokesman said. Shillong-based IAF spokesman Ratnakar Singh said that despite inclement weather and treacherous terrain, the rescue team of Indian Air Force (IAF), Army and locals are trying their best to retrieve the bodies of the air warriors. The Indian Air Force had said Thursday that all 13 people on board the aircraft have died.

At 75, Chennai’s first reservoir in Poondi is now parched

Tamil Nadu is under severe drought due to lack of rainfall and humidity. And hence, most of the dams and reservoirs across the state are drying out. One such reservoir is Poondi Reservoir, located in Thiruvallur district, 60 kms from Chennai. It is said to be the first reservoir built to fulfill the water needs of the city. Constructed across the Kosasthalayar river, it has a capacity to store more than 3,000 Mcft water. The construction of the reservoir was conceived and realised by the then mayor of Madras, Sathyamurthy, who was also a freedom fighter. In the late 1930s, the city witnessed a heavy water shortage for potable drinking water due to lack of rainfall which led to the decrease in groundwater.