India

Indian media: Pressure on ex-judge AK Ganguly

Image caption AK Ganguly (pictured) has denied allegations of sexual misconduct

Papers are urging a retired Indian Supreme Court judge to quit his position as head of a human rights panel after an intern accused him of sexual misconduct.

On Monday a leading newspaper published a deposition made to the court by a law intern who says she was sexually assaulted by judge AK Ganguly.

"It is only in keeping with propriety that he should step down until a thorough investigation is conducted and the report is submitted… Justice Ganguly should ensure that given his high office, the issue does not degenerate into an ugly political slugfest…" The Hindustan Times says.

The Indian Express also argues that Mr Ganguly should step down as the chairman of the Human Rights Commission in the state of West Bengal.

"If Justice Ganguly continues to refuse to step down, pressure must be brought to bear on him by the institution he served, and which he has been cocooned by, to do so. The charges against him must not be allowed to cast a shadow on the office he holds," it says.

Mr Ganguly has strongly denied the allegations of sexual assault.

In international news, India has decided to adopt a "Look Middle East" policy which will mark a strategic broadening of the country's foreign policy approach, The Asian Age website says.

"Until now 'Look East' was the buzzword" for the country's foreign policy, the report adds. The concept came about after a heads of mission conference in Manama, Bahrain, held earlier this month, the report adds.

The aim of the policy is to have "a holistic approach to countries in the Arab world" the report quotes sources as saying.

'Coloured silk'

Moving on to political news, the ruling Congress party is likely to name Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate for the general elections next year, The Economic Times reports.

"Shocked by its humiliating defeat" in the recent assembly elections in four states, the party will hold its All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting on 17 January to prepare its poll strategy, the report says.

In business news, inflation rose to a 14-month high of 7.52% in November as food items, especially potatoes and onions, which are part of the staple Indian diet, became costlier, The Hindu reports.

"To curb food inflation, there is need for urgent remedial measures for augmenting agriculture supplies…" the report quoted the Confederation of Indian Industry Director General, Chandrajit Banerjee, as saying.

India's central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which said that inflation "remains at uncomfortable level, is expected to raise interest rates again, The Times of India report adds.

The surge is "likely to put more pressure on the government to tame stubborn price pressures, which have been identified as a key reason for the Congress's rout at the recent state elections", the report adds.

And finally, silkworms when put on a modified diet, can produce coloured silk, which may help in removing the environmental hazards caused by dyeing of the fibre, The Hindustan Times reports.

According to scientific journal Nature India, the "green" method has been developed by researchers at the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in west Indian city of Pune and Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute in south Indian city of Mysore, the report says.

"If all of these are successful, this could prove to be a process that can eliminate dyeing of silk, which is known to be a polluting technology," the report quoted Sayam Sengupta, one of the authors from NCL, as saying.

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