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Showing posts from February 19, 2014

T-Bill stuck in Rajya Sabha

BJP says statute amendment required on Governor’s powersThe Bill for the creation of Telangana, approved by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, hit an unexpected roadblock in the Rajya Sabha with the BJP insisting that without a simultaneous Constitutional amendment, the validity of the Bill could be challenged in a court of law.The BJP stance forced the government not to introduce the Bill in the Rajya Sabha even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and several UPA ministers were busy holding consultations with BJP leaders to convince them that there was no need for a Constitutional amendment to create Telangana.At the centre of the controversy is the interpretation on the special powers conferred on the Governor on issues related to law and order in Hyderabad, which would be the joint capital of both the successor States for a maximum of 10 years.The BJP’s case is that special powers given to the Governor under the proposed Act are in contravention of the provisions of the Constitution as law and…

The battle for water

With the era of cheap, bountiful water having been replaced by increasing supply-and-quality constraints, many international investors are beginning to view water as the new oilThere is a popular, tongue-in-cheek saying in America — attributed to the writer Mark Twain, who lived through the early phase of the California Water Wars — that “whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over.” It highlights the consequences, even if somewhat apocryphally, as ever-scarcer water resources create a parched world. California currently is reeling under its worst drought in modern times.Among the issues that will shape our future world are water and other natural resources, demographics, and sustainable economic growth, as well as an accelerated weaponisation of science and other geopolitical elements. A combination of these factors will create winners and losers in the world.Adequate availability of water, food and energy is critical to global security. The sharpening, international, geop…

The great Game Folio: Silk routes

There is a huge difference, of course, between agreeing to discuss and collaborating with China on large transborder projects.SILK ROUTESAs China reconfigures India’s neighbourhood through its active promotion of new silk routes — over the Great Himalayas and across the Indian Ocean — New Delhi must make up its mind on how best to respond. That Delhi is shedding some of its past defensiveness is evident from the UPA government’s recent decision to discuss the Chinese proposal for the so-called BCIM Corridor that will integrate eastern India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and southwestern China. Delhi also appears to be ready to consider positively Beijing’s invitation last week to join China in the construction of a “Maritime Silk Route” between the Pacific and Indian Oceans.There is a huge difference, of course, between agreeing to discuss and collaborating with China on large transborder projects. China has been pushing the BCIM corridor at least since the late 1990s. India’s default position…

India, Canada for closer ties to ensure food, energy security

The leaders of China and Pakistan vowed to expand energy cooperation and accelerate development of an economic corridor on Wednesday as Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain began his first overseas visit since taking office. Mr. Hussain and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to promote cooperation on energy, transportation, infrastructure and industry parks, China Central Television reported. The leaders attended the second meeting on the development of the economic corridor and witnessed the signing of agreements, including a declaration on “deepening strategic and economic cooperation,” the state broadcaster said. “The people of Pakistan will be grateful to Chinese people and go