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Showing posts from December 15, 2016

Mysuru to go the plastic route in laying roads (the hindu)

What better use for plastic waste than in the roads we travel on? Using plastic granules, produced from plastic waste, with bitumen will “give 50 per cent additional strength” to the roads in Mysuru, say Mysore City Corporation (MCC) officials.

MCC Superintendent Engineer Suresh Babu told The Hindu that the corporation will spend Rs. 25,000 more on laying a 1-km stretch this way. “This technology has been approved by the Indian Road Congress,” he said.

A Bengaluru-based company that produces plastic granules was approached by the MCC for experimenting in roadworks in the city.

A Rs. 30-lakh roadwork, sanctioned at Railway Layout in Vijayanagar here, was laid with this technology as an experiment. “If the feedback is good, we may continue the procedure on other city roads. A tonne of plastic granules costs Rs. 35,000,” Mr. Babu said.

Mysuru generates around 100 tonnes of plastic waste, although the authorities have been claiming that the quantum of waste generated had dropped after the pl…

Well-oiled diplomacy (thehindu )

In nominating Rex Tillerson, Chief Executive of the oil and gas conglomerate ExxonMobil, to the post of Secretary of State, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has provided another glimpse into his world view and decision-making process. Similar to Mr. Trump, Mr. Tillerson has no formal experience in political office, yet brings impressive heft in terms of deal-making across 52 countries over six continents. On his watch, the stock market value of ExxonMobil, the U.S.’s largest oil company, soared to over $360 billion. Yet the vast global reach of Mr. Tillerson’s work and the sheer complexities involved in drilling for oil, especially the sometimes messy geopolitics at play, have meant he has often been at odds with the agenda of the U.S. State Department. In Nigeria, for example, his company faced flak for lack of transparency in dealings with the government. Nowhere is the potential divergence from the hallowed traditions of Foggy Bottom’s diplomatic norms more visible than in Mr. T…

A law for equality (thehindu)

By passing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, the Rajya Sabha has adopted a radically transformative piece of legislation that addresses the concerns of arguably the most marginalised section of Indian society. The Lok Sabha should lose no time to approve this Bill in the winter session, bringing to fruition a process that started with India’s ratification of the relevant UN Convention in 2007. A measure of the expansive reach of the Bill that the Upper House passed unanimously is that it is covers as many as 19 conditions — nearly three times the number of disabilities accorded legal protection under the 1995 law. Included are a large number of individuals with multiple impairments, who are the most disadvantaged sections among the disabled. Another welcome provision is the power to notify additional disabilities, a clear recognition of the need to factor in conditions that may arise as a result of an ageing population, an inevitable part of the demographic transition. Re…

Telescope: The grieving (the indian express)

Exactly a month ago, we learnt a new word: Demonetisation. The media queued up alongside ordinary folk, examined every Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 note, from left to right, upside to downside to explain Modi’s money manoeuvre. The media has shown/told us what we know from our own experience: That there is a crushing cash crunch, that Indians have learnt to line up to line their wallets and that while plastic may be an environmental hazard, it is the new currency. And, we’ve seen the government and the opposition parties discover new ways to not allow Parliament to function. A costly loss for the nation?

But for two days, most news channels — and all English news channels — abandoned the money trail — or any other news. From Sunday evening, J. Jayalalithaa’s cardiac arrest, just hours after the AIADMK had announced her recovery, her critical condition and subsequent death on Tuesday, submerged the news, rather like Shiv Aroor’s “sea of humanity” flooded Rajaji Hall ( India Today).

Extraordinary s…

The Constitution test(theindianexpress)

Babasaheb Ambedkar’s enunciation that real independence was achieved for India with the coming into force of the Constitution on January, 26, 1950 constituted a statement of enormous significance. India, for the first time in its long and chequered history, had chosen to be governed by the due process of law enshrined in the Constitution — a law that guarantees equal rights to all, provides a framework for empowerment of the weaker and exploited sections of society and for the social and economic advancement of the nation.


The grand ideal of independence embodied in our Constitution was, in the words of Ambedkar, to privilege the idea of one person one value. It is an ideal that must be pursued to build a nation, which will provide equal opportunity for all citizens, irrespective of faith, language and other differences.


At a time when majoritarian tendencies are gaining momentum in India and the Hindutva forces are threatening the secular foundation of the republic, we need to defend t…

Demonetisation push to labour reforms(themint)

Among the loudest critics of the demonetisation policy are those who predict doom for India’s informal sector as a result of this exogenous shock. Numerous anecdotes are being forwarded to highlight the suffering of daily wage earners and informal labourers across the country. Let us use this opportunity to critically evaluate the factors that have contributed to keeping approximately 83% of India’s labour force informal, despite 25 years of modest growth in a seemingly liberalized economy.

The most authentic estimates of the size of informal labour market in India are from the National Sample Survey Office, which holds employment-unemployment rounds every few years. The data shows little has changed over the years in the nature of employment, as size the of the informal labour market remained significantly high and predominant in the economy overall. In 2004-05, the composition of organized vs unorganized was 13:87; while in 2011-12, this had changed to 17:83. The growth in organized …

Remarks on Gandhi, Bose: SC dismisses Katju’s appeal against Parliament resolution (theindian express)

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by its former judge Markandey Katju against resolutions by both the houses of the Parliament condemning him for his comments over Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose.

The court, however, held his petition to be maintainable in law, which lays down an important legal principle : The Supreme Court has the authority to judicially review even the resolutions passed by the Parliament and that they are not immune.

Markandey Katju Booked For Sedition For Offering Kashmir & Bihar To Pakistan

But it remained unimpressed with Katju’s arguments that the Parliament could not have passed the resolution without hearing him. He wanted the resolutions to be quashed.

In March 2015, both the houses had passed resolutions condemning the former Press Council of India chairperson for his blog post in which he called Gandhi “a British agent” and Bose “a Japanese agent”. Justice Katju claimed the resolutions curtailed his right of free speech and harmed …