India to hold G20 Chair in 2018, Delhi may play host – (International Relation)
- India is set to be the G20 Chair in 2018, and New Delhi could host the prestigious annual G20 summit.
- The G20 member nations took a decision on the Chair for 2018 earlier this month, a top Finance Ministry source told The Hindu . “China is chairing the G20 this time, following which Germany will in 2017 and then … the Chair will pass on to India for 2018.
Natural gas price cut in line with new policy – (Energy)
- In a move that may hurt producers like ONGC and Reliance Industries but benefit the power and fertilizer sectors, the government on Wednesday cut the price of natural gas by 18 per cent to $3.81 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) on a gross calorific value basis from the current $4.66 per mmBtu.
- The new price will come into effect from October 1 and will be in place for six months. This is in line with the policy adopted by the government in October 2014.
Policy to achieve self-reliance in defence sector soon: Parrikar – (Defence)
- The government is in the process of putting in place a policy to achieve a high amount of self-reliance in the defence industry, said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday.
- He was speaking after commissioning INS Kochi, an indigenously designed and constructed second ship of the Kolkata-class Guided Missile Destroyer.
Politics of meat ban creating polarisation – (Indian Polity)
- The murder of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri, on the edge of the national capital, by a violent Hindu mob on Wednesday should come as no surprise to those who have been closely following the ground level politics in western Uttar Pradesh and the meat/beef bans imposed by BJP-ruled States during the recent Jain festival of Paryushan.
FTII row: Centre yet to act on Khan panel report – (Indian Polity)
- Exactly a month ago, the Director-General of the Registrar of Newspapers for India, S.M. Khan, who had earlier served as Director-General of the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), submitted his report to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on the crisis that had gripped the premier Film and Television Institute of India as it notched up 70 days of protest.
- The Ministry is yet to speak out on the report, let alone work on it, as the strike by the students enters the 111th day and senior officials of the Ministry try and thrash out a solution in Mumbai.
Sharif proposes 4-step peace plan – (International Relation)
- Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif used the United Nations General Assembly platform to propose a four-step peace plan with India on Wednesday.
- In a 15-minute address that made several references to Kashmir as a land under “foreign occupation”, Mr. Sharif said he had tried to “reach out” to India to resolve the issue. He then proposed that India and Pakistan begin with ending the firing at the Line of Control, “formalise and respect” the 2003 ceasefire and ask the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan to verify it.
Scripting clean polls, via Aadhaar – (Indian Polity)
- A person can be registered as a voter in a place where he is ordinarily resident. However, thanks to factors like seasonal migration and relentless urbanisation, he can end up being on more than one electoral roll.
- Free and fair elections form the bedrock of a democracy and clean electoral rolls are a vital part of it. The use of Aadhaar numbers to identify voters will not just make the enrolment process simpler, it will also help avoid the duplication of voter names across constituencies.
The inconvenience of the past – (Indian Polity)
- Indian history is becoming a laundry list of things we cannot know, need not know, should not know, and a small proportion of things — decided in advance — that we must know.
- To the professional historian, there are many ways of assessing Tipu’s legacy, depending on which of the abundant sources are consulted.
IS terror at the doorstep – (Security)
- The killing of Cesare Tavella, a 50-year-old Italian aid worker who was out on an evening jog in a relatively secure Dhaka locality, should be a wake-up call for governments in South Asia, especially India.
- The possibility of international terrorism taking a deadlier trajectory stares them in the face. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the murder this week. If that is confirmed, it would be the first attack by the particular terrorist group in a South Asian country, barring war-torn Afghanistan.
Development and security – (Security)
- Development comes in many forms and serves multiple purposes. Over the last few months, the Central government has initiated a series of steps to upgrade communications and transport infrastructure in areas affected by naxalite activity.
- The larger project is to not only usher in development in the tribal areas and improve the living conditions of populations in hilly and forest terrains, but also facilitate security operations against Maoists, who specialise in ambushes and hit-and-retreat tactics. Hundreds of mobile phone towers have been erected along the Red Corridor, and roads and bridges are being built to connect naxalite-affected districts.
Russia’s Syria gambit – (International Relation)
- On the first day of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, both U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin took the stage.
- Mr. Obama spoke for twice the designated length, but little in his speech was new.Then, he said, hauntingly, “Nowhere is our commitment to international order more tested than in Syria.”
- The antidote to this test came in one sentence, “The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict.” That was that. It suggested that the Western policy toward Syria had failed. Another approach was needed.
Nepal’s growing divide – (International Relation)
- As beleaguered Madhesis and their opponents from other communities pelted stones at each other at Bhairahawa in Nepal’s Terai region recently, it seemed the violence that had already taken 40 lives in the ongoing protests is not about to end any time soon.
- The new Constitution has failed to address the demands of Madhesis, Tharus and other minorities, former Nepali Ambassador to Denmark, Vijay Kant Karna, told The Hindu . “The basic structure of the ruling class in Nepal is that, at the most, 150 families control the whole system.”
Core sector registers 2.6% growth – (Economics)
- The index of eight core industries registered a growth of 2.6 per cent in August 2015 compared to its levels in August 2014. This is significantly higher than the 1.1 per cent registered in July.
- Five out of eight of the sectors registered a growth of more than five per cent in August. The three that failed to hit this mark were coal, natural gas, and steel.