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Showing posts from January 25, 2017

Indian model to predict impact of climate change(the hindu )

Indigenous assessment to be presented to IPCC to report on effect on ocean temperatures, weather patterns

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, are likely to unveil in December a computerised model that can forecast the impact of climate change on the Indian monsoon until 2100.

This model is significant because it is the first time India will be submitting a home-grown assessment to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body convened by the United Nations, and hugely influential to policymakers and governments on the risks posed by climate change. A test version of the model is already available on websites of research groups affiliated to the IPCC.

The IPCC summarises projections from such models, developed by scientists from around the world, to report on the level of consensus, among scientists, of the extent to which specific pollutants and gases — from carbon dioxide to particulate matter — interfere with weather patterns and …

Will the superbug scare hit home?(hindu,)

The suspected Indian superbug link to an American woman’s death underscores the urgent need for a national action plan to execute the existing framework for combating antimicrobial resistance

A U.S. woman’s death that took place in September last year has had fingers being pointed at India. An incurable bacterial infection, believed to have been contracted from one of India’s hospitals, is said to have killed the Nevada resident, raising questions about the country’s efforts in tackling a threat bigger than any known epidemic.

The Indian connection

The story of the 70-year-old, described by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its Morbidity and Mortality report of January 13 goes thus — during the two years before her death in 2016, the woman was hospitalised multiple times in India for treatment of her fractured right thigh bone. Following an emergency hospitalisation in the U.S. in August last year, testing of a wound sample for antibiotic susceptibility fou…

Bridging the Gulf(Hindu.)

India-UAE ties are an exemplar for the changing Indian approach towards the wider region.

India’s ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are set to get a major boost with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, visiting New Delhi as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.

In recent years, Delhi has often used this ceremony to send out important signals on the foreign policy front by inviting its key partners. The Modi government has invested significant diplomatic capital towards strengthening its ties with the UAE. With the conclusion of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement between India and the UAE this week, this relationship is poised for a dramatic leap.

A contingent of 179 UAE soldiers will lead the Republic Day parade. Several agreements, including one on road and maritime transport, are expected to be signed during the visit. The two sides will underscore their commitment to deal with terrorism. They also hope to work closely in Af…

Navigating a Trumpian world(Hindu.)

The past is no longer a guide to the future. In the coming years, Indian foreign policy will need less red lines and greater agility and pragmatism as the country seeks to find its place in this Age of Uncertainty.

Last week, as Donald Trump took the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States, millions around the world watched, gripped by the thought that the surreal had become real. Clearly, this is not just a regular political transition that takes place every eight years (or sometimes, four years). This is a transition pregnant with implications, not just for the U.S. but also for its role in the world at a moment when tides of change are already under way. Mr. Trump’s elevation adds to the unpredictability, marking 2017 as the beginning of a new age of uncertainty.

If there were any expectations that President Trump was going to be different from candidate Trump, these were quickly dispelled by his inaugural speech. There was neither a healing touch nor a se…

The end of a protest(Hindu)

Everybody loves a good protest — an orderly, self-limiting protest at iconic landmarks organised with state sanction and police protection. But what began as a people’s protest on Chennai’s Marina beach against the ban on jallikattu quickly descended into chaos and confusion when the protesters stood their ground even after the government came up with a practical, legislative solution to the judiciary-imposed prohibition of the annual bull-taming ritual. As the police resorted to force, violence broke out in several parts of Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately, some in the police not only used excessive force but also tried to match the rioters in lawlessness by attacking two-wheelers and setting fire to autorickshaws. Only later in the day did the authorities try to use rational arguments by taking the help of a retired judge and a group of lawyers to persuade the protesters to vacate the Marina where the Republic Day parade is scheduled to be held. Clearly, the government was slow to react, …

Budgeting for the elections(Hindu.)

The suspense over the timing of the Union Budget for 2017-18 finally ended on Monday with the Election Commission and the Supreme Court scotching calls, in the light of upcoming elections for five State Assemblies, to defer the February 1 date proposed by the Centre. The NDA government has been keen to abandon the tradition of presenting the next financial year’s Budget on the last working day of February, citing the potential benefits for the economy from faster spending of the approved public expenditure. With a February-end Budget, transmission of funds, and thereby meaningful implementation, seldom starts before June, by which time the monsoon sets in. This leaves just about two quarters to spend a whole year’s funding for projects involving physical infrastructure capacity-creation, for instance. This is the argument in favour of advancing the Budget date. The Opposition, for its part, has voiced concern that a Budget presentation this year so close to Assembly polls could influ…