Times Top10: Today’s Top News Headlines and Latest News from India & across the World


Today: PM Modi to virtually address a conference of law ministers; EAM Jaishankar on a 2-day visit to Egypt; Asia Cup T20 (W) Final – India Vs Sri Lanka at Sylhet, Bangladesh. Tomorrow: 20th China Communist Party Congress to be held; World Health Summit 2022 in Germany

1. Polling day for Himachal, suspense for Gujarat
1. Polling day for Himachal, suspense for Gujarat
  • Himachal Pradesh will vote in the assembly election on November 12, the Election Commission announced the poll schedule for the northern state on Friday. The votes will be counted on December 8.
  • As they stand: Himachal has 68 assembly seats and a party needs 35 seats to win a majority. In 2017, the BJP won 44 seats and the Congress 21.
  • Gujarat waiting: The poll panel said the election schedule for Gujarat would be declared later. However, the EC’s decision to delay the counting of votes recorded in the EVMs in Himachal for almost a month indicates that Gujarat may vote in time for the poll panel to declare results for both the states on the same day in December.
  • The model code of conduct (MCC) came into force in Himachal immediately, meaning that the BJP government can’t take any key policy decision now onwards. But in Gujarat, the MCC is not in force yet.
  • Why no common schedule: Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar explained it: “There is a gap of 40 days between the end of the assemblies of the two states. According to the rules, it should be at least 30 days so that one result doesn’t impact the other.”
  • The term of the Gujarat assembly ends on February 18 and that of Himachal Pradesh, on January 8. However, the conventional practice has been that if the terms of state assemblies end in a space of six months, election dates are announced together, and the results are declared on the same day.
  • Delinked in 2017: Earlier, Gujarat and Himachal went to the polls together for several election cycles but the two state polls were de-hyphenated in 2017. Himachal voted on November 9 and Gujarat voted in two phases, on December 9 and 14. Results were declared for both on December 18. Read analysis here
2. Gyanvapi heads back to SC
2. Gyanvapi heads back to SC
Setback for Hindu side

  • A Varanasi court on Friday rejected a plea for carbon dating or other scientific examination of the ‘shivling’ found inside Gyanvapi mosque premises. District Judge AK Vishvesha cited the Supreme Court’s May 17 direction that no structure can be tampered at the premises while turning down the Hindu petitioners’ plea.

Back to Supreme Court

  • “The court has rejected our demand of seeking carbon dating. We will now move to the Supreme Court against this order and challenge it there,” Vishnu Jain, counsel for the Hindu side, said after the Varanasi court’s ruling.

Claim and counterclaim

  • The Hindu side claims that the structure found near the ‘wazukhana’ during the videography survey of the mosque premises is a shivling, the symbol worshipped by the Lord Shiva’s devotees.
  • The Muslim side, however, claims that the structure is a ‘fountain’. They argued that the Hindu plea was not maintainable as it would violate the the Supreme Court to protect the structure.

The dispute

  • A temple was demolished in Varanasi and a mosque was built at the Gyanvapi site. Both happened during the reign and on orders of Aurangzeb in 1669. Whether the temple was destroyed to build the mosque is disputed. A legal battle began in 1991, and continues till date. More here
3. An acquittal and the ‘urban Naxal’ debate
3. An acquittal and the ‘urban Naxal’ debate
More than eight years after his arrest, the Bombay High Court on Friday acquitted former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case for want of valid sanction for prosecution under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA.

HC order

  • Setting aside the life imprisonment awarded to Saibaba by the trial court, the high court noted that while the fight against terrorism was important, procedural safeguards cannot be sacrificed “at the altar of perceived peril to national security”.
  • Saibaba, 52, who is wheelchair-bound due to 90 percent physical disability, is likely to be released from Nagpur central jail where he is lodged since his arrest in May 2014 on Saturday, his lawyers said.

NIA moves SC

  • Following the HC order, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) — which had taken over the probe from Maharashtra police — moved the Supreme Court against the acquittal. The SC, however, rejected NIA’s request for immediate stay to the order.

The case

  • In March 2017, a sessions court in eastern Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district convicted Saibaba and others including a journalist and a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student for alleged Maoist links and for indulging in activities amounting to “waging war against the country”.

Oppn slams BJP

  • The Congress on Friday said Saibaba’s acquittal proves that the “’urban naxal” tag invented by the ruling BJP is “completely bogus”.
  • The CPI (M) welcomed the acquittal and demanded immediate release of all “political prisoners”.

Conviction rate

  • As per a study conducted by rights group People’s Union for Civil Liberties, which examined NCRB data, out of 8,371 persons arrested under the UAPA between 2015 and 2020, only 235 were convicted.
4. India demonstrates strategic strike capability
4. India demonstrates strategic strike capability
India’s nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant on Friday carried out a successful launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in the Bay of Bengal with a “very high accuracy”.

The test

  • All operational and technological parameters of the weapon system have been validated, seen as a major milestone to further boost India’s strategic strike capabilities.

A strategic military asset

  • India’s nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) programme is a closely guarded project. INS Arihant was the first boat under the SSBN project that was reportedly followed by another boat, INS Arighat.
  • The SSBN programme is a key element of India’s nuclear deterrence capability. A “robust, survivable and assured retaliatory” capability is in sync with the country’s policy to have “credible minimum deterrence” that underpins its “no first use” commitment, the defence ministry said.

Nuclear disarmament

  • India has been a leading voice in pitching for universal nuclear disarmament aimed at complete elimination of atomic weapons.
5. Name this world-famous city named after a river
Clue 1: Founded in 1147, it’s the most populous city of a former super-power
Clue 2: Finno-Ugric tribes are considered to be the original inhabitants of the city
Clue 3: It took modern shape after France’s Napoleon-I had captured it in 1812

Scroll below for answer

6. Are extra-judicial confessions valid?
6. Are extra-judicial confessions valid?
A grey area

  • The Supreme Court has thrown light on a grey area concerning evidentiary value of extra-judicial confession in a criminal case by ruling that although this requires corroboration like any other evidence gathered by the investigating agency, no court can start with a presumption that it is a weak piece of evidence.

Can be relied on, if…

  • Acquitting a man of murder charges, a bench of Chief Justice U U Lalit and J B Pardiwala said, “An extra judicial confession, if voluntary and true and made in a fit state of mind, can be relied upon by the court. The confession will have to be proved like any other fact. The value of the evidence as to confession, like any other evidence, depends upon the veracity of the witness to whom it has been made.”


  • “It would depend on the nature of the circumstances, the time when the confession was made and the credibility of the witnesses who speak to such a confession,” the SC said.


  • “After subjecting the evidence of the witness to a rigorous test on the touchstone of credibility, the extra judicial confession can be accepted and can be the basis of a conviction if it passes the test of credibility,” the bench said.


  • The SC added a caveat by going few steps backward in cautioning the trial courts about the inherent weaknesses in extra-judicial confessions as these could be procured whenever direct evidence were not available in a criminal case.

The case

  • The judgment came in a case in which one Subramanya was acquitted in a murder case by a Chikmagalur sessions court in December 2012. On Karnataka government’s appeal, the HC had reversed the acquittal and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The SC acquitted him.
7. Why inflation speaks two different languages
7. Why inflation speaks two different languages
One inflation at 18-month low

  • The wholesale price index (WPI) inflation declined to a 18-month low of 10.7% in September, as prices of food, fuel and manufactured items softened.
  • It’s the fourth consecutive monthly decline but still in double digit for the 18th month.
  • The WPI inflation touched a record high of 15.88% in May this year.

The other at 5-month high

  • Retail inflation remained above the Reserve Bank’s upper tolerance threshold of 6% for the ninth month in a row and was at a 5-month high of 7.41% in September, as per data released earlier this week.


  • The share of food on a consolidated basis in WPI stands much lower at 24.3%, as compared to 45.9% weightage in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) construct.
  • Higher CPI inflation was led by food inflation that surged to a 22-month high of 8.6% while core inflation rose to a 4-month high of 6.3%.
  • Lower WPI inflation was recorded as food prices eased to 11.03% in September against 12.37% in August. This is despite inflation in vegetables rising to 39.66% in September against 22.29 per cent in August.

What next

  • Economists say the gradual month-on-month decline in WPI is mainly due to moderation in commodity prices.
  • Over the next few months, the headline retail inflation is also expected to mirror the WPI trend but at a slower pace due an uptick in supply-driven food inflation.
  • The RBI mainly looks at retail inflation to frame monetary policy. To tame stubbornly high inflation, the RBI has hiked the key interest rate four times this year to 5.90% — the highest since April 2019 — and may hike it further.
8. ‘Absolutely transparent mode of political funding’
8. ‘Absolutely transparent mode of political funding’
Govt’s stand

  • The Centre told the Supreme Court on Friday that the electoral bonds scheme is an absolutely transparent mode of political funding and it is impossible to get any black or unaccounted money through it.

What are electoral bonds?

  • Electoral bonds have been pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding. The government notified the Electoral Bond Scheme on January 2, 2018.
  • According to provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a citizen of India (an individual or a group) or a body incorporated or established in India.
  • Electoral bonds can be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with an authorised bank.

The plea

  • The top court was hearing a PILs by NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and other petitioners.

‘Subversion of democracy’

  • The NGO, which had filed the PIL in 2017 on the alleged issue of corruption and subversion of democracy through illicit and foreign funding of political parties and lack of transparency in the accounts of all political parties, had filed an interim application in March this year before the assembly polls in West Bengal and Assam seeking that window for sale of electoral bonds be not reopened.

SC says…

  • It would examine on December 6 whether a batch of pleas challenging laws permitting funding of political parties through the electoral bond scheme should be referred to a larger bench.
  • On January 20 last year, the apex court had refused to grant interim stay on the 2018 electoral bonds scheme and sought responses of the Centre and the Election Commission on an interim application by the NGO seeking stay on the scheme.
9. Where India still is a land of snake charmers
9. Where India still is a land of snake charmers
  • A 19th Century bug: When the Western powers were competing to colonise India, they presented India as a land of snake charmers, primarily to discredit India’s non-mechanised industrial production and traditional scholarship. Spain, which colonised much of the world, however, held no part of India but it seems the colonial snake charmer-bug still bites Spanish thinking.
  • Spanish newspaper, La Vanguardia, has used a snake charmer caricature — in its article titled, “The hour of the Indian Economy” — to depict India’s economic growth while the globe is staring at a recession. Global agencies, including the IMF, have termed India as the lone bright star amid the global gloom.
  • Reaction: The snake charmer graphic has drawn sharp criticism for painting India in a “racist stereotype”. BJP’s Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan tweeted: “The hour of the Indian economy” is the top story of a Spanish weekly. While India’s strong economy gets global recognition, portraying our image as snake charmers even after decades of independence is sheer stupidity. Decolonising the foreign mindset is a complex endeavour.
  • Stock trading firm Zerodha CEO Nithin Kamath called out the publication on Twitter: “Quite cool that the world is taking notice, but the cultural caricaturing, a snake charmer to represent India, is an insult.”
  • Author Rajat Sethi said, “While the world is taking notice of India’s economic prowess, their racist caricaturing of Indian snake charmers continues unabated.”
  • Pun fact: Spain is currently the world’s 15th largest economy, with a GDP of $2 trillion while India is the world’s fifth largest economy with a GDP of $3.5 trillion. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook predicts India to overtake Germany in 2025-26 to become the world’s fourth largest economy and the third by 2027-28 leaving behind Japan, with a GDP of $5 trillion. More here

Moscow. A threatening email warning of a bomb in a flight from Moscow to Delhi caused a massive terror scare at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) on Thursday night. But a probe into the email showed that the warning was a hoax as nothing suspicious was found on the flight. The security personnel had launched an investigation after a threat about a bomb in the flight was received by Delhi Police. “The flight has been searched and nothing suspicious was found,” ANI quoted Delhi police as saying. The official said that the aircraft has been isolated. Full emergency was declared for the landing of the Boeing 777 aircraft that was being operated by Russian carrier Aeroflot. As the flight landed, its 386 passengers and 14 crew members were immediately evacuated. There have been at least two incidents of alleged bomb threat on flights in the last few weeks.

Follow news that matters to you in real-time.
Join 3 crore news enthusiasts.

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


Kig News: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button