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Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao likely to announce his national party; Thackeray and Shinde factions of Shiv Sena to hold Dussehra rallies in Mumbai; Chemistry Nobel Prize to be announced; Dubai’s second temple opens doors to people; OPEC+ meeting to assess oil output

1. ‘Budget those freebies before you promise them’
1. ‘Budget those freebies before you promise them’
  • What: Amid a debate on the freebies, the Election Commission on Tuesday proposed amending the model code to ask political parties to inform voters on the financial viability of promises made in their manifestos.
  • Why: The poll panel in a recent meeting decided it cannot remain a “mute spectator” and overlook the undesirable impact of some of the promises and offers, on the conduct of free and fair elections and maintaining a level playing field.
  • So what? “The Commission notes that the consequences of inadequate disclosures by political parties get attenuated by the fact that elections are held frequently, providing opportunities for political parties to indulge in competitive electoral promises, particularly in multi-phase elections, without having to spell out their financial implications more particularly on committed expenditure,” the letter said.
  • How: The EC plans to seek details of revenue generation ways (through additional tax, if any), rationalising expenditure (cutting some schemes, if so required), impact on committed liabilities and/or raising of further debt and its impact on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM) limits.
  • When: In a letter to all recognised national and state parties, the Election Commission asked them to submit their views on the proposals by October 19.
  • But then: The EC noted that as of now most political parties do not submit to the EC their poll declarations in time. More details here.
2. It’s the same old story in Delhi…
2. It’s the same old story in Delhi…
New probe

  • Delhi LG VK Saxena ordered a probe against the Arvind Kejriwal government on Tuesday into alleged irregularities in the electricity subsidy being given to consumers through DBT.
  • Saxena has sought the report for the aforesaid matter in seven days after his office received a complaint raising issues of “impropriety and discrepancies” in the power subsidy scheme.

A question

  • Why the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission order of February 19, 2018, directing the Delhi government to pay electricity subsidy to consumers through DBT, has not been implemented now?

The allegation

  • The complainants alleged that the AAP government allowed the discoms to settle their outstanding through subsidy reimbursements — instead of recovering the dues of Rs 21,200 crore from them.

Gujarat election link?

  • CM Arvind Kejriwal has linked the probe order to the Gujarat polls for which he is campaigning. He accused the BJP of trying to obstruct the free power scheme.

LG vs CM saga

  • In July, the LG ordered a CBI inquiry into the liquor policy that had brought private players into the liquor trade.
  • The AAP hit back, accusing Saxena of being involved in a scam in the Khadi and Village Industries Corporation. But the party was later told by the Delhi HC to remove tweets against Saxena.
  • On Monday, Saxena wrote to Kejriwal for showing “utter disregard” for Mahatma Gandhi and former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri on their birth anniversaries saying the CM and his ministers didn’t attend the events organised on the occasion.


  • The Delhi government’s new electricity scheme came into effect from October 1. Only the consumers opting for the subsidy will receive it.
  • About 25.63 lakh consumers have so far applied for the power subsidy — through a missed call or a WhatsApp message on 7011311111.
3. A quota in Kashmir, a first in India
3. A quota in Kashmir, a first in India
  • Quota for…: Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced a separate quota in jobs and education on Tuesday for the Pahari community — besides the Gujjars and Bakarwals — of Jammu and Kashmir that the Pahari community as Scheduled Tribe.
  • A first in India: To fulfil Shah’s promise, Parliament needs to amend the Reservation Act. If and when the Paharis get the ST status, it will be the first instance of reservation for a linguistic group in India.
  • Amit Shah, linking the move to the abrogation of Article 370, said, “The commission [set up by Lieutenant Governor] has sent the report and recommended reservation for Gujjar, Bakarwal and Pahari communities. It will be given soon…Now, minorities, Dalits, tribals, Paharis here will get their rights.”
  • Election calling? Jammu and Kashmir — without a legislative assembly since June 2018 — is likely to elect one some time next year. In the previous assembly, the BJP had emerged as the dominant party in the Jammu region while the Peoples Democratic Party had dominated the Kashmir region to surpass the BJP to be the single-largest party. The delimitation process was completed in Jammu and Kashmir
  • Attack on opponents: Though Shah didn’t name the Abdullahs, the Muftis or the Gandhis of the Congress, he targeted them saying, “I want to appeal to you [those attending his rally in Rajouri] to free Jammu and Kashmir from the clutches of three families that ruled here.”
  • A counterattack: Mehbooba Mufti targeted the BJP saying, “There is a lot of tension in the Pir Panjal region for the past few days since there is a talk of reservation for the Pahari community. Brothers have been turned into foes and they are baying for each other’s blood. They are being made to fight against each other.” More here
4. KCR goes national for 2024
4. KCR goes national for 2024
  • The muhurt: At 1.19 pm on Dussehra today, Telangana Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrashekar Rao will announce his national party to boost his bid for the 2024 parliamentary polls.
  • KCR held a luncheon with his ministers and all 33 district presidents of the TRS, discussing the roadmap for the launch of the national party.
  • The new name: There is no official word on the new name of the TRS but reports suggest that KCR’s new party will be called Bharat or Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi. A resolution for the same is expected to be moved and adopted at a meeting of the TRS legislature party and state executive committee before the official announcement.
  • What next: Once the TRS MPs, MLAs, MLCs, mayors, municipal and zila parishad chairpersons vote for the new name, the party will notify the Election Commission for recognising the new name. Its tweak is aimed at retaining its election symbol (car) and also its pink colour.
  • As a state-recognised party, the TRS can contest in any state. A national name does not make it an EC-recognised national party until it fulfils the criteria.
  • A national party is the one with 6% votes in four or more states or 2% Lok Sabha seats from three or more states or 4% vote from four or more states with a minimum of four MPs belonging to it.
  • Immediate challenge: While forming its own national government or getting recognised as a national party is still a long way for the new KCR party, the immediate challenge will be to win the Munugode bypolls happening on November 4.
  • Bigger challenge emerges from KCR’s move for leaders such as Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee and also Rahul Gandhi hoping for a united national coalition against the BJP in 2024.
6. Nobel for unlocking future of quantum technology
6. Nobel for unlocking future of quantum technology
  • The winners: This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Alain Aspect, John F Clauser and Anton Zeilinger for their work on quantum information science.
  • The discovery: The three scientists conducted groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states. One key factor in this development is how quantum mechanics allows two or more particles to exist in what is called an entangled state.
  • Work simplified: They showed that what happens to one of the particles in an entangled pair determines what happens to the other particle, even if they are far apart.
  • So what: Their results have cleared the way for new technology based upon quantum information.
  • How: The ineffable effects of quantum mechanics are starting to find applications. There is now a large field of research that includes quantum computers, quantum networks and secure quantum encrypted communication.
  • Entangled quantum states hold the potential for new ways of storing, transferring and processing information. Being able to manipulate and manage quantum states and all their layers of properties gives us access to tools with unexpected potential.
  • Quantum utility: This is the basis for quantum computation, the transfer and storage of quantum information, and algorithms for quantum encryption. Systems with more than two particles, all of which are entangled, are now in use, which Anton Zeilinger and his colleagues were the first to explore.
  • And money: Prize amount is 10 million Swedish kronor — to be shared equally between the laureates. More here
7. Elon Musk now offers a Ukraine peace plan…
7. Elon Musk now offers a Ukraine peace plan…
  • Peace plan on Twitter: Known for his outlandish moves, billionaire Elon Musk has now turned his attention to resolving the Russia-Ukraine war, being fought for over seven months. Musk, who recently withdrew his offer to buy Twitter, asked Twitterati to weigh in on his plan that drew immediate condemnation from Ukrainians, including President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
  • The proposal: Musk, the world’s richest person, has proposed UN-supervised elections in four Ukrainian regions that Russia has occupied. Russia last week moved to annex them through what it called referendums. Ukraine and the countries supporting it denounced the referendums as illegal in their bid seeking Russia’s total retreat.
  • But Musk proposed that “Russia leaves [the regions] if that is [the] will of the people.”
  • On Crimea, Musk proposed that the peninsula that Russia seized in 2014 be formally recognised as Russian territory, that water supply to Crimea be assured and that Ukraine remain neutral.
  • In February, Musk had sympathised with Ukrainian people following invasion by Russia. Responding to a tweet by a Ukrainian government official, Musk had announced that his SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service was available in Ukraine and that SpaceX was sending more terminals to the country.
  • Now, a pushback has come from Zelensky, who responded to Musk’s tweet with his own poll asking, “Which Elon Musk do you like more…one who supports Ukraine, one who supports Russia?”
  • Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Zelensky on phone, conveying “India’s readiness to contribute to any peace efforts” while asserting that “there can be no military solution to the conflict”.
8. The collapse of Chinese civil society under Xi Jinping
8. The collapse of Chinese civil society under Xi Jinping
  • The Communist China was never known for upholding human rights or giving activists space to operate freely. But now a band of Chinese civil society activists is living in exile, fleeing their country due to coercive policies of Chinese Communisty Party chief Xi Jinping.
  • The collapse of China’s civil society has been a long process riddled with obstacles for activists. Ten years of Xi’s rule has dismantled the civil rights organisations, and any hopes of a rebirth stand crushed, an AFP report said, as Xi sought to eliminate any threats to the Communist Party.

The beginning

  • A harbinger of regression was the 2013 internal Party communique, banning advocating of Western liberal values like constitutional democracy and press freedom.

‘709 crackdown’

  • More than 300 lawyers and civil rights activists were arrested in 2015 in a crackdown named after the date it was launched — July 9.
  • Several lawyers were arrested and put behind bars or placed under surveillance. They remain restrained even after years. Some others were disbarred.

The change

  • “In 2014, we could unfurl protest banners, conduct scientific fieldwork and collaborate with Chinese media to expose environmental abuses,” AFP quoted an environmental NGO worker as saying.
  • A foreign NGO law was adopted in 2016, imposing restrictions and giving police wide-ranging powers to track foreign NGOs operating in China. Such NGOs must report to the police before undertaking any project.


  • China saw the springing up of NGO culture during the tenure of Hu Jintao, the predecessor of Xi. As a result, before Xi’s crackdown, a number of NGOs were operating on issues such as LGBTQ and gender rights.
  • Xi’s zero-tolerance of activism became the norm by 2018, with the authorities suppressing a budding #MeToo feminist movement and arresting dozens of student activists.
  • All civil society activities except communist ideology propagation were banned. In July this year, Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University handed two students official warnings for distributing rainbow (LGBTQ) flags (LGBTQ) student groups’ social media pages were blocked. More here
9. When two daughters of India chatted…in US
9. When two daughters of India chatted…in US
  • Kamala and Priyanka: United States Vice President Kamala Harris and Indian actress Priyanka Chopra shared a stage last week, reflecting on their Indian connections, marriage equality and climate change. Priyanka, now settled in Los Angeles, was invited by the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum to interview the Vice President for a fireside chat.
  • The daughters with American dream: Priyanka Chopra kicked off the fireside chat with their Indian connection: “I think we’re both daughters of India, in a way…You’re a proud American-born daughter of an Indian mom and a Jamaican father. I am an Indian born of two physicians as parents and a recent immigrant to this country who totally still believes in the wholehearted, you know, American Dream.”
  • Idea under attack: Priyanka said the United States is regarded as a beacon of hope, freedom, and choice for the whole world. “And these tenets are being endlessly assaulted right now,” she said. Priyanka said after working for over 20 years, it was only this year that she got pay equal to male actors. The actress also touched upon the issue of marriage equality.
  • Kamala Harris acknowledged that right now they are living in an unsettled world. “I’ve been travelling around the world as Vice President. I’ve directly talked with 100 world leaders in person or by phone…things that we long took for granted are now up for debate and question”.
  • On Russia: Harris said, “You look, for example, at Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine. We thought it was pretty well settled–the issue of territorial integrity and sovereignty — and now that is up for some debate, given what’s happening there.”
  • On women’s rights: “We thought a woman’s right–a constitutional right–to make decisions about her own body was settled. No longer,” Harris said.

Bangladesh. It is facing a serious power crisis. Nearly all of Bangladesh is without power following a grid failure. About 14 crore people in Bangladesh were without power on Tuesday afternoon after a grid failure caused widespread blackouts, the government’s power utility company said. Bangladesh has suffered a major power crisis in recent months as a result of higher global energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has imposed regular service cuts to conserve electricity. Bangladesh last witnessed a major unscheduled blackout in November 2014, when around 70% of the country went without power for nearly 10 hours.

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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Jayanta Kalita, Prabhash K Dutta
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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