Below the Line

| Updated on November 11, 2019 Published on November 11, 2019

Jostling for onions

The short supply of onions, on account of heavy rains destroying 50 per cent of the crop in Maharashtra besides other States, has led to prices of the favourite bulb soaring to ₹100 a kg.

The government has pressed into service the Mother Dairy fresh vegetables and fruits retail chain, Safal, to sell onions at a discounted rate of ₹25 a kg.

But, the supply has been running out rather quickly, often leading to most customers returning empty-handed.

Those manning Safal outlets in the capital have been having a tough time managing the crowd. One of the outlets in East Delhi had to be closed down for sometime as skirmishes broke out.

The situation was brought under control by the Safal outlet manager only with threats to call the police.

A customer, who saw each person of a six-member family queue up to buy onions, said it reminded him of the horrible days of demonetisation.

Prasar Bharati is watching you

On Saturday morning, before the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict was pronounced, the digital news service of India’s public broadcaster, the Prasar Bharati News Services, decided to take on British newspaper The Guardian over an article.

In a tweet, it said, “@guardian must desist from provoking communal hatred in India through its slanted reportage that conflates Indian National Interest with Religion.”

Earlier last week it had rebuked China’s national English newspaper, Global Times, on Twitter on its RCEP coverage.

“India is not making any ‘last minute demands’ at RCEP. India’s position on this issue has been consistent and clear from the very beginning,” it tweeted, referring to an article in the newspaper.

It’s Narendra Damodardas Modi

It is proven time and again that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is popular across all the age groups. At a recent start-up event that took place at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, students sitting in audience were asked two questions.

The first was to name the two co-founders of e-commerce company Flipkart; nobody in the audience knew both the names. However, majority of the people sitting in the audience knew the full name of the PM, which was the second question.

Who’s turn is it to say ‘let’s talk’?

India is now looking at reviving its stalled free trade talks with the European Union, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal pointed out last week.

A number of European countries, very recently Germany, have echoed this sentiment and said that they want to go back to the negotiating table.

But the big question is who will take the initiative to re-start the discussions.

Some Indian negotiators say that India has made a number of attempts to carry on the negotiations in the past and the talks would get stuck mostly because of the EU’s refusal to budge on certain matters.

By that logic, it is the EU which should propose a date for the talks, they say.

The problem, however, is that if the EU also believes something similar about India, then it may be a while before the two sides actually get down to talking.

Eat healthy

The otherwise unhealthy spread of fast food offered at press conferences took a turn for the better when the World Health Organization had its joint media briefing with the Health Ministry last month.

The Ministry usually serves heavily fried snacks, sandwiches, sweets and brownies, but none of that was to be seen in the WHO meeting.

Instead, there were sprouts, walnuts and grapes, not to mention a basket of apples, for some healthy bites.

Our Delhi Bureau

Published on November 11, 2019
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