Indology meet to project ‘soft power  –   (Indian Culture)

  • The Ministry of External Affairs is getting ready to promote the global discipline of Indology as a soft diplomatic platform.
  • The Ministry, under the umbrella of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, will organise the first World Indology Conference from November 21 to 23. “The spirit of universality found in the Upanishads are particularly relevant to the violent 21st century,” Karan Singh, former president of the ICCR, and one of the prominent speakers at the meet, said.

Centre readies blueprint to check IS influence  –   (Security)

  • The National Democratic Alliance government is ready with a blueprint to tackle the influence of the Islamic State (IS) in India, and newly created Telangana has a major role to play in it.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will circulate among all States a model framework for de-radicalisation and counter-radicalisation. The model is based on a presentation from the Telangana police.


5-member panel mooted for deciding on monetary policy  –    (Economics)

  • After four months of debate and discussion, the Reserve Bank of India and the Finance Ministry have overcome the stalemate over the most significant reform in the central bank’s 80-year history.
  • Both sides have abandoned their original position on the proposed amendments to the Reserve Bank of India Act to reset the responsibility of deciding India’s monetary policy, including the decision on interest rates, and have arrived at a mid-way position


Indonesia is our key ally, says Vice-President   –   (International Relation)

  • Vice-President Hamid Ansari said here on Sunday that key agreements in maritime security cooperation, bilateral trade and cultural exchange would be soon signed with Indonesia, the “single-most important and biggest country in ASEAN, and a key strategic partner.”
  • Mr. Ansari underlined the three crucial MoUs under consideration in Jakarta. One was a collaboration between the AYUSH Ministry and Bali’s Uddiyana University in the field of Ayurveda. Another pertained to a cultural exchange programme. Notes would be exchanged on the Extradition Treaty signed in 2011.


Cargo vehicle begins trial run on new Dhaka route  –   (International Relation)

  • The first trial run of a cargo vehicle on the Kolkata-Agartala via Dhaka route was flagged off here on Sunday.
  • It will reduce the distance between Kolkata and Agartala nearly by two-third. This is a part of the four-nation agreement among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) for cross-border movement of people and goods. Known as the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic, it was signed in Thimpu on June 15.


Refugees, the children of modernity  –   (International Relation)

  • Nature did not equip us with a ‘stay and die’ instinct. That had to come from culture. It came with the invention, first, of private property, and subsequently, of the nation-state.
  • Displacement is a by-product of development. Due to factors like global inequalities, war and nature’s fury, an ever-greater number of people are fleeing their place of habitual residence and will continue to do so. Nation-states cannot continue to live in denial of this reality for long.


Threatened by intolerance     –   (Indian Polity)

  • Moody’s Analytics, N.R. Narayana Murthy, the well-respected founder of Infosys, and now Raghuram Rajan, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, have all added heft to the chorus of voices warning that growing intolerance and bellicose behaviour threaten economic development, the promise of which had won Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party an overwhelming electoral mandate last year.
  • In an unequivocal message, Moody’s Analytics noted that controversial comments by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, including belligerent provocation of various minorities, had fanned ethnic tensions.


Legal checks to political vandalism    –   (Indian Polity)

  • The increasing intolerance of dissenting views in today’s India is an extremely worrying trend for most Indians. The blame has been laid squarely at the doors of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its associates but this is not entirely accurate.
  • Many other political organisations are also responsible for this situation , overtly or otherwise. But what is perplexing is that these organisations can commit criminal acts in furtherance of their extremist ideologies and yet not face any repercussions.


For a truer decentralisation  –   (Indian Polity)

  • Despite its uneven history in India, decentralisation is vital to strengthen participatory democracy, facilitate responsive governance and enable public service delivery.
  • Sustainable decentralisation comes from people’s demand and advocacy should focus on a decentralisation agenda.


Govt. forms committee to review drug pricing policy  –    (Economics)

  • The government has formed an inter-ministerial committee to review the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013, following the Supreme Court verdict this year that termed the drug pricing policy as irrational and unreasonable.
  • According to sources, the committee will look into the drug pricing mechanism as there have been complaints that the companies are making significant profits which go up to few thousand per cent.


Domestic air traffic to soar threefold to 218 million by 2025: Report  –    (Economics)

  • The number of air travellers in the country is slated to rise more than threefold to 218 million by 2025 from 70 million in 2015 and each metro requires a second greenfield airport to handle the traffic, a report says.
  • According to the report commissioned by Vistara airline and conducted by industry body CAPA (Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation), aviation can contribute 5 per cent to the country’s GDP or $250 billion by 2025. This would mean the existing airports in the metros would not be able to meet the rising demand.


Capping regional fares, under proposed RCS scheme, will hurt airlines, says CRISIL  –    (Economics)

  • Regional connectivity scheme (RCS), as proposed in the draft aviation policy, is a big negative for the heavily indebted and loss-making airlines as it would cap fares on regional routes, says a report.
  • “We believe capping fares on regional routes, under the proposed RCS, to be effective April 2016, is a negative for airlines. Even with the 2 per cent cess on other tickets, we expect domestic air fares to decline by 5-7 per cent in FY17,” CRISIL said in a report, after the government sought comments on the new aviation policy.


Tough challenges on the trade front  –    (Economics)

  • Indian policy makers face a number of stiff challenges as they prepare for the 10th ministerial meet of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to be held in Nairobi, Kenya during the middle of next month. The ministerial meet is the highest policy making body of the WTO covering 161 members.
  • First, the news on trade front is nothing to cheer about. The September foreign trade data showed Indian exports declining for 10 straight months in row.


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