It’s the weekend and after a week full of news-making events, it’s time to sit back and relax. However, for those who want a reminder of what happened, we have you covered.
The week started off with people still discussing model-actor Poonam Pandey’s ‘death’, but soon the news moved to the tabling of the Uniform Civil Code bill in Uttarakhand Assembly and later the White Paper tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
This week also saw the Modi government announcing three more Bharat Ratna awards — one to Chaudhary Charan Singh, another to PV Narasimha Rao and the third to MS Swaminathan. These three honours come after the Centre announced Bharat Ratnas for former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur and ex Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani.
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There was also the horrific violence that broke out in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani that led to the imposition of curfew. We take a look at all of this and more in our weekly roundup of explainers from India.
1) The Government of India on Friday (9 February) made the announcement of awarding the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, on not one but three people — former Prime Ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh as well as agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan.
With this, the Bharat Ratna count for 2024 has gone up to five, maximum in a year so far. Until now, the maximum Bharat Ratnas were awarded in 1999 when four recipients were given the coveted award.
Announcing the three awards on social media platform X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded their many contributions to the country.
But who exactly are these three personalities? What have their contributions been to the nation? In our essay, we explore their achievements and why they are deserving of the honour.
2) Earlier this week, rumours of the White Paper being tabled caught speed when the Budget Session of Parliament was extended by a day to 10 February. And on 9 February, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the White Paper in the Lok Sabha, listing the United Progressive Alliance’s failures in managing the economy as well as how the Modi-led Sarkar has pushed the country’s finances to the right path.
3) The hill state of Uttarakhand made quite the news this week. First, the Pushkar Singh Dhami government tabled the Uniform Civil Code bill in the Assembly and it was passed on 7 February, becoming the first state in India to pass such a law.
The bill, drafted after several rounds of discussions and deliberations, has made provisions about marriage, divorce and other social aspects of life. In our essays, we focus on how this contentious law changes the rules on live-in relationships as well as succession for children across religions.
4) And Uttarakhand remained in the news this week as its Haldwani district saw widespread violence on the night of Thursday (8 February). Four people died and another 250 people were injured after locals went on a rampage, prompting authorities to impose a curfew in the area as well as issue shoot-on-sight orders.
But what went wrong? What led to this sort of violence in Haldwani’s Banbhoolpura area? Read here to find out.
5) Many cities and towns in India have been renamed. And the topic became news once again this week, but with a twist. Telangana chief minister A Revanth Reddy announced that the southern state’s code TS, which is most commonly seen on number plates, would be changed.
What’s going to be the new abbreviation for the state? And why the change in the code? Our explainer gives you the answers and more.
That’s it from us, this week. However, if you liked the way we explain the news and want to read more, here’s where you will find them.
PS: While we all aspire to be rich, this might serve as the inspiration we were looking for. Read up on Pearl Kapur, India’s youngest billionaire and his amazing road to riches.