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Showing posts from December 31, 2013

All India Radio discussion on" Remembering the major events of 2013

News Services Division of All India Radio in its "Samayiki" programme brings the highlights of " Varsh 2013 ki pramukh Ghatnaye ". It can be heard on the following link:

In "Spotlight/ News Analysis" programme, ‪#‎AIR‬ brings the highlights of the discussion on" Remembering the major events of 2013.". This programme can be heard on the following link:

The participants are : Prof Rizwan Qaiser, Jamia milia islamia and Sandeep Dikshit, The Hindu.

Banks can lend up to Rs.1 lakh against jewels

The Reserve Bank of India has allowed banks to sanction loans of up to Rs.1 lakh against pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery. “In response to suggestions from banks and with a view to ensuring a level-playing field among various market participants, it has been decided to permit bullet repayment of loans extended against pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery for other than agricultural purposes...,” the RBI said in a

FIPB approval for Vodafone, Tesco proposals

U.K.-based Tesco Plc became the first global retailer to get approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to enter the domestic multi-brand retail sector.
The FIPB also, on Monday, cleared Vodafone’s Rs.10,141-crore plan to buy out minority shareholders in its Indian arm.
A decision on the proposal of HDFC Bank to increase the foreign institutional investor (FII) holding limit beyond the existing 49 per cent in the bank was, however, deferred, Finance Ministry sources

Victims of climate change can now make the West pay

Science is increasingly pointing a finger at human actions as being responsible for the perils of climate change. This is an ineluctable consequence of improving the computer models of climate change. Of course, there are still large uncertainties. But it is clear the human hand is indispensable in understanding what has happened. The more certain is the attribution for blame, the more justified many developing countries will feel in protesting about the impact of rising sea levels on small island states such as the Maldives and Fiji or low-lying delta cultures such as Vietnam and Bangladesh. Fair-minded democracies will find the call for compensation hard to resist at home.

Cautious report card

The risks to the banking sector may have increased in the last six months, the growth impulse may still be weak, and a close watch may need to be kept on the level of non-performing assets of banks; but do not lose heart, for the financial system in India is still resilient. This is the sum and substance of the bi-annual Financial Stability Report (FSR) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released on Monday. Painting a cautious yet an optimistic picture of the state of the financial sector, the FSR, which is a periodic health-check, clearly sets out the stress points. The first reaction of the markets to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tapering of its stimulus programme may have been positive but the pace of

Turbulent days in South Sudan

The U.N. Security Council’s swift political and military response to the civil strife in South Sudan is welcome, but the country’s troubles seem far from dissipating. When violence broke out in various districts of the world’s newest republic a fortnight ago, analysts saw it as an attempted coup against President Salva Kiir by forces under the command of former Vice President Riek Machar. Mr. Machar’s rebel troops were initially successful in taking control of several strategically important towns in South Sudan, including in the oil-rich Unity state. Since then, fighting has intensified in the country’s capital Juba and other provinces, with the United Nations reporting that “thousands” have

Peace, not war, on the Indus

The balanced work of the Permanent Court of Arbitration means a new dawnfor water management in the Indus The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), signed by India and Pakistan in 1960, has recently been seen both as the one agreement that has worked between India and Pakistan and as an anachronism which should be dissolved or renegotiated. On December 20, 2013, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) has issued a judgment which re-calibrates and modernises the IWT and, again makes it a critical and effective instrument in avoiding conflicts between India and Pakistan on use of the rivers of the Indus Basin.

Deliberateness and spontaneity in violence

An Ahmedabad metropolitan court recently rejected a petition challenging the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) 2011 conclusion that the post-Godhra violence in Gujarat in 2002 was an impulsive reaction of Hindus enraged by the Godhra killings and not a political conspiracy fronted by Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
On the other hand, some in the media, academia, police, and advocacy groups have maintained that the violence was a well-orchestrated anti-Muslim “pogrom,” not a spontaneous “riot.” The Sangh Parivar had diligently planned the violence to help a wilting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat, they charged, and disgruntled members among Scheduled Castes (Dalits) and Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis) were instrumentally mobilised to execute the plan. It was suggested that “spontaneity” was a ruse, following ploys adopted by earlier governments, notably the Congress in 1984 and the BJP-RSS in 1992-93.

Water Treaty, only on the basis of current concerns

Interventions in the flows of a river should be minimal. But this issue cannot be argued on the basis of the Indus Water Treaty, only on the basis of current concerns
Dispute resolution:India can go ahead with the Kishenganga project (pictured in north Kashmir) with some modifications and Pakistan’s concern about drawdown flushing has found an answer, after the arbitration court’s verdict.— Photo: Nissar Ahmad Last February, the Court of Arbitration set up under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), 1960, had given an interim award on the Kishenganga dispute, allowing the diversion of waters from one tributary of the Jhelum to another. It has now given the final award indicating the extent of permissible diversion. In order to understand this fully, it is necessary to go back to the Baglihar arbitration because some of the issues that arose in that case find a sequel in the present one.

Supply water for irrigation: PILs

Two public interest litigation petitions have been filed in the Madras High Court Bench here seeking water release from the Vaigai dam for irrigation in Madurai. The petitioners, advocates S. Thirumeni and S.M.P. Amalan, contended in their petitions that if water was not released immediately for irrigation, single crop farmers in Madurai would suffer irreparable loss. A Division Bench comprising Justices P.N. Prakash and R. Mahadevan posted the cases to January 2 for further hearing.

It’s time up for service tax evaders

With the Voluntary Compliance and Encouragement Scheme (VCES) coming to an end on Tuesday, the Union government has warned service tax evaders of “arrest and prosecution” from January 1. “I would like to advise that from January 1, 2014, stern action will be taken against service tax evaders, and the provisions of the Finance Act relating to arrest and prosecution will be enforced in right earnest,” Finance Secretary Sumit Bose told journalists here on Monday.

AAP delivers on water promise

666 litres of free water every day to each household
Delhi Jal Board CEO Vijay Kumar along with AAP leader Kumar Viswas addressing a press conference outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence in Kaushambi, Ghaziabad on Monday.– PHOTO: Special Arrangement After ending the VIP culture in the capital, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on Monday fulfilled another big promise, announcing 666 litres of free water every day to each household with functional water meters. It amounts to 34 buckets of water per family of five every day.

Arup Raha takes over as Indian Air Force chief

Arup Raha, a veteran fighter pilot, took over as the 24th chief of the Indian Air Force on Tuesday, succeeding Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne.
In a brief ceremony, Raha, 59, assumed the charge of the air force from Browne in presence of senior officers, including new Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal R K Sharma and Deputy Chief Air Marshal S Sukumar.
Born on December 26, 1954, he will remain the IAF chief for three years.
Soon after taking over, Air Chief Marshal Raha, in his message to the 1.75 lakh-strong force, said the IAF is on a trajectory of modernisation and is transforming into a strategic aerospace power with full spectrum capability.