Nepal crisis escalates after Madhesis cancel dialogue - (International Relation)
- In a two-pronged escalation of the crisis in Nepal, the United Madhesi Democratic Front ended the national dialogue with the government of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, even as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa, in an unprecedented internationalisation of the crisis, left for Geneva to present Nepal’s case against the blockade before the United Nations Human Rights Council.
- The cancellation of the talks followed an early morning police action against the blockading Madhesi activists in Birganj that left one person, an Indian national from Bihar, dead and scores injured.
Modi to raise issue of radical Sikh elements with Cameron - (International Relation)
- When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the United Kingdom on November 12, he is likely to raise the issue of radical Sikh organisations with his counterpart David Cameron. Mr. Modi is likely to ask the authorities there to rein in Sikh television channels promoting radical sentiments among the diaspora, a senior government official said.
- He is also likely to tell Mr. Cameron that there was a strong possibility of these channels being funded by Pakistan’s ISI and an investigation should be launched by the authorities concerned.
SC takes serious view of job scheme arrears - (Indian Polity)
- The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition, alleging haphazard implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), and delay in payment of wages and compensation to labourers.
- The petition, filed by RTI activist Aruna Roy, social activist Nikhil Dey and ex-civil servant Lalit Mathur, said the government had a pending liability of Rs. 3,200 crore in wages to be paid to workers. Issuing notice to the Centre, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu, acknowledged the submissions made by the RTI activist in her petition that it was time the government “woke up and started making prompt payments.”
Forest dwellers offer to make room for big cat in Telangana - (Environment)
- In a bid that could save the forest that sustained them through their lives, about 900 families of Adivasis and other forest-occupying communities in Telangana that live in tiger reserves in Adilabad and Mahbubnagar districts have asked the State government to relocate them to non-forest terrain.
- The move, mostly initiated by the Gond tribe in Adilabad and Chenchus in Mahbubnagar, could also contribute to the survival of endangered tigers in Telangana whose count is as low as 20, according to the recent census.
India pushes for NSG membership - (International Relation)
- With the visit of the Nuclear Suppliers Group chairperson last week, India is fast-pacing its pitch for membership to the 48-member nuclear club,The Hindu has learnt.
- In a string of visits by officials abroad, as well as incoming visits planned, NSG membership, as well as membership of the other major groupings: MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime), Australian and Wassenaar Arrangement are in focus, officials have confirmed.
Misuse of sedition law - (Indian Polity)
- Once again the law of sedition has been misused, this time in Tamil Nadu. A folk singer associated with a radical leftist group has been charged with sedition and committing an act with an intent to cause a riot. His offence: disseminating two songs pillorying Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her government for its policy of retailing liquor.
- There is nothing in the compositions that even remotely threatens the state or established government; neither is there anything that encourages violence, beyond calling for the closure of state-run liquor outlets as part of a campaign against government policy. The song has gone viral on social media, and many relate to its central theme.
A blast from the colonial past - (Indian Polity)
The RSS and the BJP want to dump the state built by Nehru, Patel, Azad and Ambedkar and replace it with a state-society visualised by the RSS’s former Sarsanghchalak, M.S. Golwalkar
The Centre’s derision for the wave of legitimate protests is comparable to the quandary experienced by the British regime when Tagore returned his knighthood. The colonial era’s policy of ‘divide and rule’ has returned to haunt our diverse national fabric as the regime attempts to manufacture social divides
Portents of a religious autocracy - (Indian Polity)
- Cultural intolerance is a dominant element in the functioning of the present government, which wants to decide what we eat, wear, read, watch and who we love.
- All autocracies are anti-intellectual. Hence it is not surprising that those who have returned national awards have been termed anti-national and manufacturers of dissent
Fast forwarding to thorium - (International Relation)
- A new worldwide plutonium market brought under safeguards is a safe bet to help India advance its ambitious thorium reactor programme.
- The greatest hurdle to begin full-scale deployment of thorium reactors in ten years is the critical shortage of fissile material.
Downstream concerns on the Brahmaputra – (International Relation)
- As China’s largest hydroelectric dam on the Brahmaputra, or Yarlung Tsangpo, became fully operational this month, it has once again evoked concerns in India. The $1.5 billion Zangmu hydroelectric dam has stoked a virtual paranoia over China’s resource choices and their likely downstream impact.
- But the debate has generated more heat than light. It has also unwittingly ended up being a single-issue debate, fixated on water diversion and its likely impact. But is that all there is to it?
India’s APEC membership not on the agenda, says U.S. - (International Relation)
- ndia’s desire for membership is not on the agenda of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meeting in Manila in Philippines, on November 18 and 19, the U.S. said on Monday. “I do not believe there is any active consideration within APEC for expanded membership in the current time,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Senior Official for APEC Matt Matthews said.
- Reminded that U.S. President Barack Obama had “supported” India’s desire for membership of the forum during his 2015 visit to India on Republic Day, he said the U.S. had so far only welcomed “India’s interest” in joining the APEC.
Steel, cement output weigh on infrastructure sector - (Economics)
- The Modi Government’s big infrastructure push is yet to translate into a pick-up on the ground, data released on Monday show.
- Growth of the eight core infrastructure industries slowed to 2.3 per cent in the first six months compared with 5.1 per cent in the corresponding period last year.
President lauds family businesses’ role in economic growth, employment - (Economics)
- Indian industry is largely dominated by family businesses, which contribute substantially both in terms of economic output and the employment they create, President Pranab Mukherjee said at the release of a book ‘India Family Business Mantras’.
- Family businesses have always been a matter of great curiosity as they are distinctively different from non-family businesses, and the authors Tatwamasi Dixit and Peter Leach had explicitly detailed the nuances in the life cycle of a family business, Mr. Mukherjee said.
‘Digitisation to open up more opportunities for women’ - (Economics)
- The growing digitisation and mobility would open up more ways for women to participate in economic activity and help in gender diversity, ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar said.
- “There are so many new e-commerce opportunities around very small cottage entrepreneurship, which can enable more and more women to participate,” she said on the sidelines of a CII HR summit on diversity and inclusion.