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Showing posts from December 22, 2016

Najeeb Jung resigns, says will return to academics(thehindu)

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung put in his papers on Thursday, catching not only the state and central governments by surprise but even his own staff members.

Officials said they had no inkling about Mr Jung’s decision until they were asked to convey the decision to the media through an official statement.

A senior Home Ministry official said Mr. Jung would be required to continue in office till a successor is appointed. He took over as the L-G of Delhi from Tejendra Khanna in July 2013.

A Raj Niwas statement said Mr Jung “would be returning back to his first love, which is, academics.”

The L-G thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi “for all the help and cooperation he received during his tenure as the Lt. Governor of Delhi.” He also thanked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “for his association in the last two years.”

Mr Kejriwal called the resignation a surprise. “Sh Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind K…

Reality check: Indian economy is not larger than that of the UK(thehindu)

The claim made by a magazine and carried by sections of media is not backed by data.

The claim that the Indian economy has overtaken the U.K. economy in terms of absolute size, as made by a contributor to Forbes magazine and carried by sections of the Indian media, is not backed by data, an analysis by The Hindu of GDP data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Government of India, and currency data from the central banks of the two countries shows.

GDP figures

The Forbes report, authored by a former McKinsey consultant and current student at Tsinghua University, says that the U.K.’s GDP in 2016 was £1.87 trillion which, given the 20 per cent decline in the value of the pound over the course of 2016, translated to $2.29 trillion. The report cites India’s 2016 GDP as being Rs. 153 trillion, which converts to $2.30 trillion at an exchange rate of Rs. 66.6 a dollar.

While the GDP figure cited for the U.K. is corroborated by data from the IMF and the currency rate of 0.81 pounds …

The art of the non-deal(the hindu)

It is doubtful if Mr. Trump’s ‘America First’ isolationism will serve U.S. political or economic interests in the East Asian region.

With the election of Donald Trump as President, U.S. foreign policy is set for some interesting times ahead. Mr. Trump has an unorthodox perspective on China, characterising the U.S.-China economic and trade relationship as unfair and exploitative of the U.S. Throughout his campaign he hammered China’s currency policy and the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China.

After the election, living up to his unconventional approach, the President-elect accepted a congratulatory telephone call from President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan. This was a departure from four decades of U.S. policy on Taiwan. Since 1979, when Washington shifted its political recognition from Taipei to Beijing, no U.S. president has had any official contact with the Taiwanese head of government. Predictably, the telephone call generated significant speculation about Mr. Trump’s approach …

Girija Vaidyanathan appointed Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu (the hindu )

She will also hold full additional charge of Vigilance Commissioner and Commissioner for Administrative Reforms. Girija Vaidyanathan, Additional Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Land Administration, has been appointed Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu in place of P. Rama Mohana Rao, a Government Order said on Thursday. Ms.Vaidyanathan will also hold full additional charge of Vigilance Commissioner and Commissioner for Administrative Reforms. This appointment comes following the searches conducted by the Income Tax Department on Wednesday at the houses and chamber of Mr. Rao and many other places concerning him. Opposition parties had demanded that Mr. Rao be sacked, after Rs. 30 lakh cash in new currency and 5 kg of gold was seized from his residence. An officer of the 1981 batch of the Indian Administrative Service, Ms.Vaidyanathan has a postgraduate degree in physics.  Ms.Vaidyanathan has been Commissioner of Land Administration since 2013. She was closely involved in the formulatio…

City records 2nd highest Dec. temperature (the hindu)

The woollens came off on Thursday, with the city sizzling at a maximum temperature of 31 degrees Celsius, the second highest temperature in December ever.

The general chatter was on how hot it was in winter as the day’s maximum was just 0.1 degree Celsius shy of the highest ever maximum temperature recorded for the month, on December 18, 1926 and December 17, 2003.

The city recorded 30.9 degrees Celsius on December 14, 2015.

On Wednesday, the maximum temperature overshot the 30-degree mark for the first time, by 0.4 degree.

The average mean maximum temperature for December is 26.5 degrees C, which means Thursday’s temperature was a departure of 4.5 degrees from normal.

Kovvada N-plant: State allots land to NPCIL (the hindu)

Cost of 1,473.16 acres to be fixed by Revenue Department

In a major step towards construction of the atomic power plant at Kovvada in the district, the Andhra Pradesh government issued an order (No.1179) on Thursday giving advance possession of land under its control to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).

The NPCIL will take possession of 1,473.16 acres from the government and pay for it as per the value fixed by the Revenue Department.

“It is a major step towards the actual construction activity at the proposed site. As it is a government land, there will not be any objection from anyone,” Kovvada Atomic Power Plant Project Director G.V. Ramesh told The Hindu .

Villagers briefed

Mr. Ramesh and other senior officials visited Kotapalem and Maruvada, and explained to the villagers the details of the social impact survey. He told them that the government would give them the best package for extending support for constructing the plant.

The officials plan to visit Kov…

Moon race: TeamIndus to carry Japanese rival’s rover (the hindu)

There has been an unprecedented tie-up between two rival private space novices — both competing to land on Moon. TeamIndus of Bengaluru and Hakuto, the team of Japanaese startup ispace Inc., have signed a ‘rideshare’ agreement. While TeamIndus’s spacecraft will be launched on ISRO’s PSLV rocket on December 28, 2017, Hakuto’s 4 kg robotic rover will be carried on Team Indus’s 600 kg spacecraft.

TeamIndus said “the commercial agreement is a first-of-its-kind collaboration of two private space enterprises competing in the Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP).”

Rahul Narayan, Fleet Commander of TeamIndus, said the two teams would start working together in the next few months.

Mr. Narayan and Sridhar Ramasubban, TeamIndus Jedi Master-International Sales, said the two teams were in discussion for many months and the contract was signed in late November in Bengaluru after TeamIndus sealed its own launch contract with ISRO arm, Antrix Corporation. Comparing with NASA’s twin Mars rovers, Spirit & Oppor…

A gathering crisis in Poland (thehindu)

The European Union on Wednesday gave Warsaw a dressing down over concerns about the erosion of the rule of law in Poland. And with good reason. The conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) headed by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, which runs the government, has repeatedly tinkered with and undermined the institutions of democracy in the country, progressively tightening its grip over them. The EU’s patience is running out, and it could eventually strip Poland of voting rights in the European Council, an unprecedented action. This is a reflection of grave concerns over the developments in Poland, especially the actions the PiS has taken since it came to power in October 2015 to control the Constitutional Tribunal, Poland’s highest court. In July, the EU made recommendations aimed at protecting the independence of the judiciary. These have been largely ignored. Examples of PiS action that have impacted judicial functioning include publishing judgments selectively (without which they do not have leg…

A little gain after more pain( The Hindu)

Income tax authorities on the trail of illegal acts of money exchange in commercial banks following the demonetisation are netting bigger fish than they may have expected. Investigations into the hoarding of new currency notes in the denomination of Rs. 2,000 have implicated not only mining barons and contractors, but also government officials and politicians. But with Wednesday’s searches in the residence and office premises of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P. Rama Mohana Rao (who has since been replaced) leading to the seizure of loads of cash and gold, expectations are that more high-profile personalities will come under the scanner of the enforcement agencies trying to grapple with diversion of currency notes by bank officials to those in need of converting their stockpiles of ill-gotten high-value currency notes. It is now clear that in the first few days after the demonetisation announcement, when government-imposed limits on withdrawals were in force, and people were queuing up be…