6. When will the rupee stop falling?

6. When will the rupee stop falling?Below 80: The Indian rupee breached the psychological 80-mark for the first time against the US dollar on Tuesday, declining to 80.06 per dollar. The rupee recovered with the RBI intervening after hitting seven straight intraday record lows. The rupee recovered to close 6 paise higher over the previous day’s mark of 79.98 at 79.92 against the US dollar.The RBI intervened in the currency market to help the rupee steady after hitting seven straight intraday record lows. A recovery in domestic shares also favoured the Indian currency.Why: It is a regular demand-supply market. Currently, there is a greater demand for dollars than there is for the rupee. Two factors have pushed demand — India’s current account deficit has sharply widened particularly after Russia invaded Ukraine, and investment in the Indian economy has fallen due to heavy flight of funds in recent months.How it impacts you? Depreciation of the rupee makes imported items — including petrol and mobile phones — and gives India’s export a competitive edge. But India is a net importer.Rupee alone? No, the dollar has been appreciating against all currencies including the euro. Market watchers, in fact, say that the rupee has fared better compared to other currencies including the euro.How long? The RBI has intervened by selling dollars to check the rupee’s slide. Else, the free market would have seen a further weaker rupee. The current exchange market scenarios suggest that the rupee’s fall may continue for a few more months, breaching even the 82-mark.A jibe: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took a dig at the rupee’s slide saying a “strong government” is “giving us a weaker rupee”.5 THINGS FIRSTPM Modi to interact with the Indian contingent bound for the Commonwealth Games 2022; SC to hear BCCI plea seeking to amend its constitution pertaining to the tenure of its office bearers; Ahmedabad court to hear bail plea of Teesta Setalvad, ex-DGP Sreekumar; Sri Lanka’s parliament votes to select a new president; 5G spectrum auction – final list of bidders to be announced
1. It’s about Nupur Sharma’s ‘life and liberty’ nowIn an ironic twist, the same bench of the Supreme Court (SC) which had earlier this month lambasted former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks on Prophet Mohammed during a TV news debate, “directed that no coercive action shall be taken against” her till August 10.What’s the irony?
The relief on Tuesday was granted by the same bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala, which, on July 1, had accused Sharma of “setting the whole country on fire” with her remarks, observing that she was “single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country”, in the context of widespread protests against her.The court had also passed strong remarks against Sharma’s earlier petition that sought clubbing of all FIRs against her in various states, saying that her petition “smacks of arrogance that the Magistrates of the country are too small for her” and ticked her off for approaching the SC before exploring alternate remedies.A change of heart?
The court, when informed about the rape and death threats against Sharma, posing a “serious risk of life” to her to go “to every place to quash the FIR”, said it “did not intend” for her “to go to all places.”Noting “that there is an imminent necessity to protect her life and liberty as guaranteed under article 21”, the SC issued notices to the states of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra and Telangana in order to explore the option of allowing Sharma to approach one single High Court to challenge all FIRs.How many FIRs are there?
Nine. One each in Delhi and Telangana, two in West Bengal and five in Maharashtra.2. Mining mafia runs over senior cop in HaryanaThe murder: A DSP-rank officer, Surendra Singh Bishnoi, was run over by a stone-laden truck when he went to stop the illegal mining of stones in Haryana’s Nuh district.Crackdown costs life: Bishnoi had received information that stones were being illegally mined at Pachgaon near the Aravalli mountain range. When he reached the spot with his team, the miners started to flee. Bishnoi stood in the way trying to stop the stone-laden vehicles. But the truck driver allegedly ran him over, killing him on the spot. Two other cops had a narrow escape.Accused arrested: One of the accused was arrested after an encounter in which he was shot in the leg, Haryana’s DGP PK Agarwal said. News agency PTI said the arrested accused is the truck driver who ran down Bishnoi.Ex gratia: CM Manohar Lal Khattar announced Rs 1 crore for Bishnoi’s family.Mafia: Illegal mining has continued in Haryana despite the Supreme Court ordering a ban in 2009 in the Aravalli region. The Economic Survey of Haryana, tabled before the Assembly in March, a total of 21,450 illegal mining cases were recorded from 2014-15 up to September 2021. Illegal mining has been so rampant that a group, called Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement, complained to the National Green Tribunal listing more than 15 affected locations in the Aravalli region. They also alleged police inaction on their complaints. The NGT constituted a joint committee from different departments to investigate the cases. More here3. Ex-Mumbai top cop in ED netWhat: On the second day of his questioning, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested former Mumbai Police commissioner Sanjay Pandey on Tuesday in connection with a money laundering case linked to the alleged illegal phone tapping of National Stock Exchange (NSE) employees.Who: Pandey, a 1986-batch IPS officer, retired from service on June 30. Before his four-month stint as Mumbai’s commissioner of police, Pandey served as the acting Maharashtra DGP. He was arrested after more than seven hours of questioning in the case. For what: An IIT-Kanpur alumni, Pandey faces two ED and Central Bureau of Investigation FIRs for alleged illegal interception of phones of NSE employees by iSec Services Private Ltd, a company he founded, and also for alleged violation of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) guidelines in conducting NSE’s system audit.Who else: Besides Pandey, the ED has also booked two former NSE chiefs Chitra Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the alleged snooping case. The ED had last week arrested former NSE CEO Chitra Ramkrishna in the case.The scam: Pandey’s company, iSec Securities Pvt Ltd, allegedly tapped the phone of the NSE functionaries and employees from 2009 to 2017 and gave monthly reports to Narain and later to Ramkrishna. Pandey was earlier the director of iSec Securities which he floated after resigning from IPS in April 2000. He rejoined the services as the government did not accept his resignation. He left the company and appointed his mother and son as directors.4. What do a soldier’s caste and Agnipath’s case add up to?India’s top court on Tuesday transferred PILs pending before it challenging the controversial Agnipath scheme to the Delhi High Court even as several opposition leaders, BJP ally JD(U) and ruling party MP Varun Gandhi alleged that the Army was using caste as a factor for recruitment in the military. Oppn salvo
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav alleged that the “extremely casteist government of the Sangh (RSS) at the Centre” will now look at Agnipath recruits’ caste and religion while discharging 75 percent of them.The short-term hiring scheme envisages that 75 percent of the recruits will be discharged after four years and the remaining 25 per cent will be absorbed for the long term.BJP’s counter-attack
Rejecting this allegation, defence minister Rajnath Singh said, “I want to make it clear that this is a rumour. The (recruitment) system which was in place before Independence is being continued and there is no change to this.” The ruling BJP accused the critics of “belittling and insulting” the Army, and claimed that they were trying to instigate youngsters for street protests.From one court to another
During a hearing on Tuesday, one of the petitioners said his plea has a pan-India effect to which a Supreme Court bench asserted that pan-India does not mean the apex court will have to hear everything, adding it would be appropriate to have a considered view of the Delhi High Court.It also asked the high courts of Kerala, Punjab and Haryana, Patna, and Uttarakhand to transfer such PILs to Delhi HC or keep them pending until a decision is taken by the latter, if the petitioners before it so desires.7. Thackeray cornered…now in ParliamentIn another blow to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, 12 of the party’s 19 Lok Sabha members on Tuesday shifted allegiance to Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde and declared two-term MP Rahul Shewale as their leader in the lower house.Claims & counter-claims
Shewale claimed that the Sena leaders have aligned with the BJP as per the wishes of Thackeray, who was himself making similar efforts in June last year but backtracked later.The Thackeray faction, however, rubbished this claim.New LS leader
The 12 Lok Sabha members also wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla identifying Shewale as their leader, expressing no confidence in incumbent Vinayak Raut and retaining five-term member Bhawna Gawli as the chief whip.Shinde claimed that the Speaker had recognised Shewale as the Shiv Sena leader in the lower house. However, there was no confirmation in this regard from Birla’s office.Last month, a revolt by a majority of Sena MLAs against Thackeray’s leadership led to the fall of the MVA coalition government, following which Eknath Shinde became CM.8. Ecology or national security? India has an answer…Amid a protracted military standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, India has exempted its highway projects related to defence and strategic importance within 100 km of the border from the requirement of environmental clearance.Norms tweaked
The government notified amendments to environmental impact assessment rules. The changes will also be applicable to projects pertaining to the expansion of terminal buildings at airports (without an increase in the existing area of the airport), biomass-based power plants that also use auxiliary fuels such as coal, or petroleum products up to 15 percent as well as ports and harbours which exclusively handle fish.Criticism
Green activists had opposed the draft notification issued in April, saying it would cause environmental degradation in areas having a fragile ecology.Significance
With the amended policy coming into force, certain stretches of the Char Dham project in Uttarakhand, several other projects in the Himalayas and the Northeast bordering China will not require the green nod.Chinese provocations
Meanwhile, China’s military has put the precision strike capability of its new rocket launch system to the test at high altitude, South China Morning Post reported, quoting state media.It used the PCL191 multiple launch rocket system to hit a target several kilometres away at a desert shooting range in the west of China at a time when the PLA and Indian Army held their 16th round of border talks on July 17. More details here9. The diaspora of former IndiansEx-Indians: As many as 1,63,370 Indians gave up their Indian passports in 2021 — the highest since 2015, the Union home ministry told Parliament on Tuesday. This number was 1,44,017 in 2019 and 85,256 in Covid-impacted 2020. NRIs too: While 41 Indian citizens based in Pakistan gave up their Indian citizenship in 2021, compared to only seven in 2020, 326 living in the UAE renounced their Indian passports.Overall, 9,32,276 Indians renounced their citizenships in favour of other countries between 2015 and 2021 — including 1,31,489 in 2015; 1,41,603 in 2016; 1,33,049 in 2017 and 1,34,561 in 2018.Why: Those giving up their Indian citizenship cited “personal” reasons for renouncing their home country. Indian laws don’t allow dual citizenship. Real reason? India stands at the 84th position in the Henley’s and Partners’ passport index. A higher rank means easy visa and less bureaucratic delays in international travels.Destination: Almost half — 78,284 — became US citizens in 2021 compared to 30,828 in 2020 and 61,683 in 2019. All of them were already based in the US. The other top destination countries were Australia (23,533), Canada (21,597), the UK (14,637), Italy (5,987), New Zealand (2,643) and Singapore (2,516).New Indians: Of 10,645 foreign nationals who applied for Indian citizenship between 2016 and 2020 — 7,782 from Pakistan and 795 Afghanistan — 4,177 persons were granted Indian citizenship by the government.Answer to NEWS IN CLUESUnited Kingdom. The country recorded its highest ever temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius at London’s Heathrow Airport, breaching the 40 degree Celsius mark for the first time in its history as an unprecedented heat wave enveloped the region. The pound is the world’s oldest currency still in circulation while the Queen doesn’t require a passport as all passports are issued in her name. London’s underground railway, also known as the London Tube, is the world’s oldest, having started in 1863.Follow news that matters to you in real-time.
Join 3 crore news enthusiasts.Written by: Rakesh Rai, Tejeesh Nippun Singh, Jayanta Kalita, Prabhash K Dutta
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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