Above the Fold: Top stories of the day
1. The union cabinet approved a tough black money law that would permit a one-time amnesty for those evading taxes.
2. The Prime Minister expressed concern about an attack on church in Haryana and the rape of a nun in West Bengal and called for reports on the incidents.
3. The Bombay High Court has concluded that cartoonist Aseem Trivedi's cartoons may not have been funny, but they were not seditious.
4. International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has warned India that US interest rate hikes could jolt the economy.

The Big Story: Back and Forth
The United Progressive Alliance's last-minute political decision to curry favour with Jats in the North India last year, just before the elections, lies in tatters. The Supreme Court not only quashed the inclusion of Jats in the Other Backward Classes list, it also laid down an understanding of "backwardness" that will make it harder for governments to add more castes to the pie.

The government had pointed to Jats being named on OBC list over a decade ago in a number of states. This meant nothing, the SC said. Decade-old data won't do, especially when the country and most likely Jats had progressed in the last ten years. And "historical injustice" won't cut it as a reason either. Instead, the government should be looking to communities like third-gendered people, who are truly being oppressed by society.

Effectively, the court has made it much harder for the NDA to do what the UPA tried to: dangle a quota to a caste or a community for political gain.

The Big Scroll: Scroll.in on the day's biggest story
The one paragraph from the Supreme Court's Jat quota judgment that slams competitive backwardness.

Need-to-Know 1: Opposition & Sonia
The Opposition presented a united front to the government, not just within Parliament, but also outside, with a 14-party strong march to agitate against the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill. The march was led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi who also had a surprise intervention in Parliament on the Andhra Pradesh bifurcation issue. Despite this, there are some indications that two laws to replace ordinances might get passed in the Rajya Sabha. Also: Rahul Gandhi is still missing.

Need-to-Know 2: AAP back together?
The Aam Aadmi Party began a reconciliation process on Tuesday, with a statement that it would look to expand its base beyond Delhi as the organisation demands. This was welcomed by Yogendra Yadav, a senior leader who had been sidelined along with fellow leader Prashant Bhushan by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's camp because of a difference of opinion on several matters. Senior leader Ashutosh is now going to hold a "how to be a political party" class for leaders.

Politicking & Policy-ing
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's grand smart cities plan has been delayed because of a conflict of interest worries on its first major tender.
2. Modi hauled up Members of Parliament who had been missing in the Lok Sabha during the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill's passage.
3. Ryan International school, a top school in Delhi, has been accused of forcing teachers and students to join the Bharatiya Janata Party with allegations that salaries have been contingent on this. The school claims the drive is voluntary.
4. Protesters are demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the death of IAS officer DK Ravi in Bengaluru.



It's not only about free speech. We shouldn't censor Bollywood also because it is a serious weapon in our soft power arsenal, writes Vanita Kohli-Khandekar in the Business Standard.
2. India needs to be paying more attention to internal political matters in China, says Dhruv Jaishankar in the Indian Express.
Swami Aiyar in the Economic Times says going after former prime minister Manmohan Singh doesn't achieve anything.
4. Repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees in India may be an aim for both governments, but it doesn't always lead to better lives writes Meera Srinivasan in the Hindu.
5. We need to reimagine Dimapur as a place of a common future rather than one of shared ethnic pasts, says Sanjib Baruah in the Indian Express.

Don't Miss
Mridula Chari looks at the extent of dangerous influence the sand mafia has across India.

"Where other forms of mining are limited by the existence of the specific natural resource, sand mining proceeds profitably in all major and many minor rivers across the country. As a consequence, like murder, theft and corruption, there is no state that does not suffer from the ill effects of rampant illegal sand mining."