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


First G20 meeting of Finance and Central Bank Deputies in Bengaluru; PM Modi to address programme commemorating Sri Aurobindo’s 150th birth anniversary; SC to hear Bilkis Bano’s plea against release of convicts; Delhi HC hearing in Jamia violence probe; FIFA World Cup 2022 – Semi-final – Argentina Vs Croatia (12.30 am)

1. Is Arunachal a new flashpoint between India & China?
In eastern sector

  • Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh last week, the first such encounter between the neighbours since 2020.

The clash

  • The incident took place on December 9 and led to minor injuries on both sides, Bloomberg quoted officials as saying. The Defence Ministry has not yet made any comment on the matter.
  • At least six Indian soldiers are believed to have sustained injuries, according to unofficial sources.


  • Both sides have since disengaged from the area and military commanders have met to discuss the matter. There is no clarity over the nature of the fighting or the number of troops involved as yet.
  • New agency ANI reported quoting unnamed officials that the Chinese had come heavily prepared with around 300 soldiers but did not expect the Indian side also to be well prepared.

A volatile border

  • Tensions along the nations’ disputed border have simmered since the June 2020 clash — the worst in more than 40 years — left at least 20 Indian and at least four Chinese soldiers dead. That fighting was centred around the Himalayan region of Ladakh, along their disputed 3,488-kilometre border known as the Line of Actual Control.

China’s claim

  • Arunachal Pradesh, the scene of Friday’s violence, was where much of the 1962 India-China war played out. Beijing claims the Indian state as part of its territory, calling it ‘southern Tibet’.
  • The latest clash comes as the two sides have made significant progress to diffuse tensions in the western sector of LAC — some 16 rounds of talks between military commanders on both sides have taken place — and have moved their troops back from some locations where the 2020 skirmishes were located.


  • Indian Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar will be on a four-day visit to Sri Lanka from Tuesday, which comes amidst Chinese spy ships taking Colombo’s help in refuelling and replenishment during their long-range forays into the Indian Ocean Region.
  • In early-August, India had conveyed its serious concerns to Sri Lanka about the docking of Chinese research and space-tracking vessel, Yuan Wang-5, at its southern port of Hambantota.
2. Congress leader’s ‘kill Modi’ remark stirs a row
  • What: A senior Congress leader in Madhya Pradesh has made a controversial remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking people to be prepared to “kill” him to save the Constitution and the future of minorities and Dalits.
  • Who: An FIR was registered on Monday afternoon at Pawai police station in Panna district against the Congress leader and former state minister, Raja Pateria, for making the remarks against the PM.
  • How: In a video that surfaced on social media in the morning, Pateria can be heard telling Congress workers, “be ready to kill Modi. Kill in the sense of defeating him”.
  • Hatred, enmity: State Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who had ordered the registration of the FIR, said the police found Pateria spread hatred and enmity among Dalits, minorities, and tribal communities based on religion, caste, and language, at the meeting.
  • CM says… MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan targeted Congress over Pateria’s remarks, saying the reality of those who are undertaking the ‘Bharat Jodo’ Yatra is coming to the fore.
  • Demand for his arrest: A delegation of the state BJP called on the Director General of Police (DGP) in Bhopal and submitted a memorandum demanding the arrest of Pateria.
  • And a clarification: Meanwhile, Pateria issued a video statement clarifying he meant to “defeat” PM Modi in the elections but his remarks were wrongly presented.
3. An oath-taking and a defection-in-making
3. An oath-taking and a defection-in-making
Patel again

  • Bhupendra Patel took oath as Gujarat’s 18th CM as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended the ceremony.
  • Patel had replaced Vijay Rupani as Gujarat CM in September 2021 as the BJP looked to ward off anti-incumbency. A year later, Patel was sworn in with the biggest ever majority in the Gujarat Assembly.
  • Sixteen other ministers, including eight of cabinet rank, were also sworn in — 11 were in the previous council of ministers as well.
  • The ruling BJP won a record seventh term in the Gujarat assembly election, winning 156 of the 182 seats. The Congress won 17 seats and AAP won five.
  • Patel won the Ghatlodia seat with the highest margin of 1.92 lakh votes in the election.

What’s the buzz

  • There is strong speculation in Gujarat that at least six newly elected MLAs — three Independents and three from the AAP — may join the BJP in the coming days.
  • AAP legislator Bhupat Bhayani (Visavadar) triggered widespread speculation on Sunday, saying that the electorate had given a resounding mandate to the BJP and he would take a decision (on joining the saffron party) after consulting his voters. He, however, later said that he “will not betray” the AAP. But the buzz stays strong.
  • Two other AAP MLAs — Umesh Makwana (Botad) and Sudhir Vaghani (Gariadhar) — could also join BJP.
  • Makwana, too, rubbished the reports of switching sides. But sources in BJP claimed that the party was in talks with four AAP MLAs as provisions of the anti-defection law would be circumvented if more than two-thirds of the five AAP legislators switched over.
  • The three Independent MLAs are Dharmendrasinh Vaghela (Waghodia), Dhavalsinh Zala (Bayad) and Mavjibhai Desai (Dhanera). They had earlier said that they would support BJP. In fact, they had sought BJP tickets for the election, but contested as Independents after being turned down.
4. 21 years after terrorism challenged India at Parliament
4. 21 years after terrorism challenged India at Parliament
A challenge

  • This day in 2001, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists attacked the Parliament complex and opened fire, killing nine people. All five terrorists involved in the attack were also killed.
  • Then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had termed it a “challenge to the entire nation” and that “we accept it”, following which India almost went to war with Pakistan, mobilising its troops.

The bravehearts

  • The nine people who lost their lives in the attack were — Rajya Sabha Secretariat’s security assistants Jagdish Prasad Yadav and Matbar Singh Negi, CRPF constable Kamlesh Kumari, Delhi Police’s Nanak Chand, Rampal, Om Prakash, Bijender Singh and Ghanshyam, and CPWD gardener Deshraj.

What happened to perpetrators

  • Besides the terrorists killed-in-action, four accused — Mohammad Afzal Guru, his cousin Shaukat Hussain, Delhi Universiy lecturer SAR Geelani and Guru’s wife Afsan — were held guilty by the trial court.
  • Guru, Hussain, Geelani were awarded death sentences while Afsan was given a five-years jail term.
  • The Delhi High Court, however, acquitted Geelani and Afsan while commuting Hussain’s death sentence to life imprisonment. Afzal Guru was hanged in 2013.

And conspirators

  • The main conspirators went unpunished in Pakistan. An ET report earlier this year said JeM and LeT have established 11 training camps in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover last August, a UN Security Council-mandated monitoring team has revealed. JeM runs eight camps, of which three are under direct Taliban control.

What India did

  • A special commando-trained squad — over 1,500 personnel-strong Parliament Duty Group, drawn from CRPF — took over security duties at the Parliament House complex in 2014, 13 years after the idea was mooted.
  • For overall security of the complex, the squad, armed with latest gadgets and weapons, has been given special emblems to don them on their uniforms.
  • The new Parliament building will have state-of-the-art security and surveillance systems. More here
5. Identify this political leader
Clue 1: He comes from a family that ruled a princely state.
Clue 2: He spoke out against corruption in Indian cricket after the IPL spot fixing scandal.
Clue 3: His father was a minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government.

Scroll below for answer

6. ‘If you reduce public debate to this level…’
6. ‘If you reduce public debate to this level…’
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s plea for quashing a criminal defamation case filed against him by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The case

  • Sarma had filed the criminal defamation case against Sisodia for making “baseless” corruption allegations against him in connection with the supply of PPE kits at “higher than market rates” to the National Health Mission (NHM) authorities during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The AAP leader had claimed that Sarma, as the state health minister in 2020, had given the supply orders to the firm of his wife. Sarma has denied these allegations.
  • Earlier, the Gauhati High Court had dismissed Sisodia’s petition seeking quashing of the defamation case.

SC says…

  • “If you reduce public debate to this level, you have to face the consequences,” the top court said.
  • The apex court observed that instead of realising what the country was going through during the pandemic, the petitioner was making allegations.
  • Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Sisodia, said the AAP leader had nowhere said any money was taken.

What HC said

  • In its order, the high court had noted Sarma filed the complaint alleging that on June 4 this year Sisodia addressed a press conference in New Delhi where he made a defamatory statement against the Assam chief minister accusing him of indulging in corruption.
  • The HC had then said Sisodia has not been able to make out any case for quashing of the proceedings in the matter which is pending for disposal before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup, Guwahati.
7. ‘Can an accused be kept in prison indefinitely?’
7. ‘Can an accused be kept in prison indefinitely?’
  • The Supreme Court on Monday asked a trial court in Uttar Pradesh to state a tentative time frame for completing the ongoing trial against Ashish Mishra – son of Union minister Ajay Mishra – in connection with the Lakhimpur violence case that led to the death of eight people, including four farmers protesting against now-repealed agriculture laws and a journalist, on October 3 last year.

‘Accused also has rights’

  • “In cases of bail, we consider the seriousness of the crime, the period which the trial will take and also the period spent by the accused,” the court said. “How long should he [Ashish] be in prison? Can he be kept indefinitely?… The accused also has rights as the victims.”
  • The Supreme Court is hearing Mishra’s plea challenging a July 26 order of the Allahabad High Court that dismissed his bail application citing a possibility that he could influence witnesses if he were to be released.

The other case

  • A vehicle belonging to Mishra had allegedly run over a group of demonstrators, following which three occupants of the car, including two BJP members and Mishra’s driver, were also lynched by agitated protestors.
  • The top court has also directed the trial court to file charges in the ongoing hearing of the second case related to the killing of the occupants of the car, reported news agency PTI.

And in bail-related news

  • A Delhi court on Monday granted one-week interim bail to activist Umar Khalid, who is in prison since September 2020 in connection with a case concerning the 2020 Delhi riots. Khalid had sought interim bail for two weeks to attend his sister’s wedding. He will be released on December 23 and will need to surrender on December 30.
8. A well-oiled quid-pro-quo affair between India and Russia
8. A well-oiled quid-pro-quo affair between India and Russia
  • Russia has welcomed India’s decision to not support the price cap on Russian oil announced by G7 and its allies and offered India cooperation on leasing and building large-capacity ships to overcome the ban on insurance services and tanker chartering in the European Union (EU) and Britain to continue buying discounted oil.

Contractual obligations

  • Russian Deputy PM Alexander Novak has said that amid the energy crisis, Russia is responsibly fulfilling its contractual obligations for the supply of energy resources and diversifying energy exports to the countries in the East and South, reported news agency PTI.

Russia offers help

  • To avoid dependency on others due to the ban on insurance services and tanker chartering in the EU and Britain, Novak is learnt to have offered India cooperation on leasing and building large-capacity ships.

Oil imports from Russia

  • India’s demand for Russian oil has swelled ever since it started trading on discount as the West shunned it to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. The Indian government has been vehemently defending its oil trade with Russia, saying it has to source oil from where it is the cheapest.

Interest of the nation

  • Imports in November were made ahead of a price cap agreed by the EU on Russian seaborne oil.
  • But, the Indian government has indicated that oil companies will continue to buy oil from Russia outside the price cap.
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on December 7 told the Rajya Sabha that Indian refiners will continue to look for the best deals in the interest of the country.
9. US teases ‘fusion’ energy breakthrough
9. US teases ‘fusion’ energy breakthrough
A teaser

  • The US Department of Energy has said it would announce a “major scientific breakthrough” this week, after media reported a federal laboratory had recently achieved a major milestone in nuclear fusion research.
  • The Financial Times reported Sunday that scientists in the California-based Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) had achieved a “net energy gain” from an experimental fusion reactor.

Why it matters

  • That would represent the first time that researchers have successfully produced more energy in a fusion reaction — the same type that powers the Sun — than was consumed during the process, a potentially major step in the pursuit of zero-carbon power.
  • Nuclear fusion is considered by some scientists to be a potential energy of the future, particularly as it produces little waste and no greenhouse gases.
  • Fusion differs from fission — the technique currently used in nuclear power plants — by fusing two atomic nuclei instead of splitting one.
  • Fission technology is also used in making atomic bombs. A controlled fusion reaction could lead to making much more powerful ‘solar bombs’.
  • “If this fusion energy breakthrough is true, it could be a game changer for the world,” American MP Ted Lieu wrote on Twitter.

What’s the claim

  • The fusion reaction that produced a 120 percent net energy gain occurred in the past two weeks, the FT said, citing three people with knowledge of the preliminary results.
  • The Washington Post later reported two people familiar with the research confirmed the development, with a senior fusion scientist telling the newspaper, “To most of us, this was only a matter of time.”
  • The LLNL fusion facility consists of almost 200 lasers the size of three football fields, which bombard a tiny spot with high levels of energy to initiate a fusion reaction. More here

Jyotiraditya Scindia: The Civil Aviation Minister on Monday visited the Delhi airport, following complaints regarding crowding and congestion. For the past few days, many passengers shared their experience on social media about crowding and congestion, often uploading short video clips and photographs of long queues at security checkpoints – mostly from Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Scindia on Monday directed airport officials to temporarily increase the number of entry gates and checkpoints, even as he attributed the congestion in the airport to the aviation sector recovering from issues that cropped up because of the pandemic-related restrictions.

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

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