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CEO of Delhi airport to appear before the Parliamentary Committee over congestion complaints; EAM Jaishankar in New York to preside over the ministerial open debate on counterterrorism; Data release – Balance of Trade for Nov; SC to hear bail pleas of Godhra train burning case convicts; Day 2 of 1st Cricket Test match– India Vs Bangladesh

1. Are AIIMS cyber attack, Tawang clash linked to China’s Covid surge?
Server before border

  • Weeks before China attempted to alter the status quo on the Tawang sector of the border, Chinese hackers had targeted AIIMS Delhi’s server.
  • The government’s analysts have traced the source of the cyber attack on AIIMS server to Chinese hackers. Five of the 100 servers had been infiltrated by the hackers. Compromised servers’ data have now been successfully retrieved.

The attack

  • AIIMS Delhi first reported a failure in its servers on November 23. Two of the analysts deployed to look after the servers’ securities have also been suspended for the alleged breach of cyber security.

Servers restored

  • AIIMS said, “The eHospital data has been restored on the servers. The network is being sanitised before the services can be restored. The process is taking some time due to the volume of data and the large number of servers/computers for the hospital services. Measures are being taken for cyber security.”

Not just AIIMS

  • The ICMR website faced about 6,000 attempts of cyber attack on November 30 from an IP address of Hong Kong.

Increased frequency

  • Nearly 1.9 million cyber-attacks have been recorded on the Indian healthcare network this year, especially from Pakistan, China and Vietnam.


  • The border standoff and cyberattacks have happened when China is grappling with a huge Covid-19 surge, acute shortage of medicines in stores, and a growing number of doctors and nurses catching the virus. But they have been asked to keep working, according to medical staff and social media posts.
  • China’s top health body National Health Commission has said the true scale of coronavirus infections in the country is now “impossible” to track.
  • Chinese social media is awash with comments linking China’s Covid problem to its attempt to target India. Several of them called it their government’s “diversionary” tactic.
2. Toxic liquor kills 20 in Bihar, again
2. Toxic liquor kills 20 in Bihar, again
A familiar tragedy

  • At least 20 people died in Bihar’s Saran district on Wednesday, a day after consuming spurious liquor at a local joint.
  • Victims had complained of uneasiness, nausea, breathlessness, stomach pain and blurry vision.
  • Back in August, eleven people had died and 12 had fallen seriously ill, many of them losing their eyesight in the same Saran district after consuming spurious liquor.
  • Earlier, 37 people died in March, six in January and 30 in November 2021 — all due to hooch consumption.

Politics over poison

  • The hooch deaths triggered a political slugfest, with BJP leaders saying that the prohibition policy has failed. Union minister Giriraj Singh said, “If a policy is not successful, then it should be reconsidered.”
  • Even JDU MLA Sanjeev Kumar said, “Liquor ban has completely failed in Bihar and Dalit and extremely backward class people are becoming the victims of the law. We need to review the law.”
  • Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who lost his cool in the assembly, shouted at his rivals saying, “Sharabi ho gaye tum log…Ab tolerate nahi kiya jaayega.”


  • Hooch is an inferior quality liquor, which is brewed in small unregulated shanties, and does not attract excise tax, hence cheaper than proper alcoholic drinks.
  • The sale and consumption of alcohol were banned in Bihar by the Nitish government in April 2016.
  • The policy has led to clogging of the courts, as then CJI NV Ramana complained in December 2021, with 3.5 lakh prohibition cases and over 4 lakh arrests.

State of hooch deaths

  • A Lok Sabha report, released in July, said over 6,000 people died in five years — 2016-20 — due to hooch consumption, the lowest figure reported in 2020 at 947.
  • Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Bihar are the top five states with maximum reported deaths.
3. Why is it still so easy to attack a girl with acid?
3. Why is it still so easy to attack a girl with acid?
She’s 17

  • A Class 12 girl was acid-attacked in Delhi’s Mohan Nagar on Wednesday by a pillion riding a bike. The incident was captured on a CCTV camera. She has received burn injuries on her face and in her eyes. She was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital.
  • Delhi Police arrested three people for the acid attack after the victim named two persons as suspects.


  • Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena sought a detailed report from the police on the incident, including information on how the acid was procured despite a ban on its sale in the open market.
  • DCW chief Swati Maliwal said, “The DCW has issued several notices, given several recommendations, but acid sale continues. Just like vegetables are sold, anybody can buy acid and throw it on a girl. Why are governments sleeping over it?”

The plan

  • The police’s statement said the three men, arrested for the acid attack, planned the attack to the minute detail with the intention to mislead investigators.
  • The accused were identified as Sachin Arora, 20, Harshit Aggarwal, 19, and Virender Singh, 22.
  • Sachin and Harshit came on a motorcycle to throw acid on the schoolgirl while Virender took Sachin’s scooter and mobile phone to another location to create an alibi and mislead the police.
  • Sachin and the schoolgirl knew each other, but had a fallout in September.
  • The accused ordered the acid from Flipkart, the police statement said.

How law handles acid

  • In 2013, the Supreme Court banned over-the-counter sale of acid. The government amended the law accordingly.
  • Only a licensed shop can sell acid from a designated place.
  • Acid can’t be sold to minors, and not to an adult without ascertaining the buyer’s identity and recording their address and purpose for the purchase.
  • Flouting the rules invites a fine of Rs 50,000.
  • Acid attack attracts jail term of 10 years, expandable to life imprisonment. Victim will get a minimum compensation of Rs 3 lakh.
4. Bengal cops, CBI on collision course over custody death
4. Bengal cops, CBI on collision course over custody death
The West Bengal CID will investigate the custodial death of Lalan Sheikh, the main accused in the Birbhum district violence. Sheikh was found hanging on Monday in the washroom of a CBI camp office set up in a guest house.

Wife’s complaint

  • In her complaint filed with the Rampurhat police station in Birbhum district, Sheikh’s wife alleged that her husband was murdered, and she named several CBI officers. The federal agency, however, rejected the allegations as “baseless”.

HC order

  • Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed the CID not to take any coercive action against CBI officers named in the custodial death case, based on a plea by the central agency.
  • Allowing the CID to continue its probe on the FIR lodged by Sheikh’s wife Reshma Bibi, Justice Jay Sengupta directed that the investigation, especially the recording of statements and seizures, be videographed.
  • The court noted that the post-mortem report of Sheikh’s body states “violent mechanical asphyxia” as the cause of the death. It also mentions ligature marks and bruises on the body.

The Birbhum killings

  • Sheikh, the main accused in the Birbhum district violence, was arrested by the CBI on December 3 and had been in its custody for questioning on the orders of a local court.
  • At least 10 people were killed as their houses in Bogtui village were allegedly firebombed in the dead of night on March 21 after the murder of local TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh.
5. Identify this politician
Clue 1: He is a criminal lawyer by profession who has defended several film stars in prominent cases.
Clue 2: He represented several suspects in the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai.
Clue 3: He has served as a Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra.

Scroll below for answer

6. How to discipline lawyers who take law into their hands
6. How to discipline lawyers who take law into their hands
‘Lodge FIRs’

  • The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Odisha police to book and prosecute all those lawyers who resorted to vandalism inside courtrooms in some districts during a protest on December 12.

Cops pulled up

  • The apex court also pulled up the state police for their failure to handle the situation. The SC told the Director General of Police, Odisha, and Inspector General, Sambalpur, both of whom appeared before it through video-conference, that if the state police are unable to control the situation, the court will send paramilitary forces there to deal with it.

BCI takes action

  • The Bar Council of India (BCI) informed the bench that it has suspended licence of 43 agitating advocates of the Sambalpur District Bar Association for their alleged involvement in vandalism.

A tough message

  • “Bar is part of the family and being a member of the bar in the past, it is more difficult for us to take action. It has been a very painful exercise for us, but we have to take care of a larger concern…. Disruptive and criminal activity of a section of lawyer cannot be allowed,” a bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka said.

The protest

  • Scores of lawyers clashed with police during a protest demanding the setting up of a permanent Bench of the Orissa High Court at Sambalpur on December 12.
  • The apex court noted there was no justification for having another bench of the high court in view of the widespread use of technology in the functioning of courts. “There is no high hope of formation of a bench, much less any hope now. Even if there was some remote possibility, that is lost now due to their conduct,” the bench observed.
7. Do inter-caste, inter-faith couples need monitoring?
7. Do inter-caste, inter-faith couples need monitoring?
  • The Maharashtra government has set up a committee to gather information on inter-faith and inter-caste married couples in the state and to check with families of the women involved in such marriages if they are estranged.
  • The committee is supposed to monitor district-level initiatives for women involved in such marriages who may be estranged from their families, so that assistance can be provided if necessary, as per a Government Resolution issued on Tuesday by the state’s Women and Child Development Department, cited by news agency PTI.

Trouble for couples

  • Large number of inter-faith and inter-caste marriages in India are formally registered under The Special Marriage Act. The law requires couples to provide a minimum 30-day notice in prominent newspapers and outside magistrate offices, local courts and marriage registration offices ahead of the scheduled date – a protocol which several legal experts criticise as discriminatory.
  • Families of many such couples are often harassed by Hindutva groups. Over the last few years, there have been multiple instances of local groups landing in doorsteps of couples, protesting against such marriages, and at times trying to cause nuisance. That way, the Maharashtra government’s policy may lead to additional trouble for such couples.

Comparison with Shraddha case

  • Maharashtra minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha, who is a leader of the BJP and is supposed to head the 13-member committee, said that the move is aimed at avoiding a repeat of the Shraddha Walkar case.
  • Walkar was killed by her partner Aftab Poonawala, and her body chopped into multiple pieces, in Delhi’s Chhatarpur – a case that shook the nation last month.
  • Several BJP leaders have cited the case to rake up the controversial subject of “Love Jihad”, especially ahead of Gujarat polls.


  • The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is in Opposition in Maharashtra, called it a “retrograde” step and said the Eknath Shinde government had no right to spy on the personal life of people.
8. When easing food prices gave some hope
8. When easing food prices gave some hope
  • The wholesale price-based inflation fell to a 21-month low of 5.85% in November as prices of food, fuel and manufactured items softened. The WPI (wholesale price index) based inflation has been on a declining trend since May and came down to single digit in October at 8.39%, reported news agency PTI.

Easing food prices

  • Experts said a high base of last year and some easing in food prices also worked in favour of the November 2022 WPI inflation dropping at its lowest level since February 2021 when it was recorded at 4.83%.
  • Inflation in food articles in November was 1.07% against 8.33% in October. Inflation in vegetables was (-)20.08% in November compared to 17.61% in October.
  • Prices of fruits, vegetables, especially tomato and potato, dragged down the prices and overall inflation, even as there is an uptick in prices of wheat, pulses and milk products.

Metals, textiles and chemicals too

  • “Decline in the rate of inflation in November 2022 is primarily contributed by fall in prices of food articles, basic metals, textiles, chemicals & chemical products and paper & paper products as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year,” the commerce and industry ministry said on Wednesday.

A note from the FM

  • Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Parliament that the government will work towards further bringing down inflation. “Inflation management or control… Prime Minister Modi and his group of ministers and officers are (making) periodic interventions and taking measures as a result of which we find the results coming in,” Sitharaman said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
9. A disturbing trend in press freedom
9. A disturbing trend in press freedom
A total of 533 journalists are detained worldwide in connection with their work as of December 1, which is 13.4 percent higher than last year’s figure. More than half are detained in just five countries: China, which remains ‘the world’s biggest jailer of journalists’ with 110, followed by Myanmar (62), Iran (47), Vietnam (39) and Belarus (31), according to a report by Reporters Without Borders.

Women scribes in prison

  • The number of women journalists in prison is also at an all-time high worldwide, rising from 60 to 78 since 2021, largely due to greater numbers entering the profession. By comparison, the number of male journalists in prison rose by only 11.2 percent, said the report, ‘2022 Round-Up – Journalists detained, killed, held hostage and missing’.
  • Women now account for 14.6 percent of imprisoned journalists, whereas women comprised less than 7 percent of imprisoned journalists five years ago.

Low conviction rates

  • This latest increase in the number of detained journalists (up 13.4 percent in 2022, after a 20 percent rise in 2021) confirms that authoritarian regimes are becoming more and more comfortable with jailing the journalists who bother them, in most cases without even putting them on trial.
  • Just over a third of the journalists who are detained have been convicted. The others (63.6 percent) are being detained without having been tried.

Killed in line of duty

  • The number of journalists killed has also risen. A total of 57 paid with their lives for their commitment to report the news in 2022 – an 18.8 percent increase compared to 2021, after a two-year period of relative calm and historically low figures.
  • The Ukraine war is one of the reasons for this rise. Eight journalists were killed in the first six months of the war. More details here

Majeed Memon: Former Rajya Sabha MP of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and eminent criminal lawyer Majeed Memon on Wednesday joined the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) in New Delhi. He was inducted into the party in the presence of party MP Saugata Roy and Parliamentary Party Leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien. The development comes at a time when TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee has been investing in an Opposition bloc along with NCP chief Sharad Pawar to fight the BJP in the 2024 general elections. Memon quit NCP on Tuesday citing personal reasons.

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

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