03 October 2015



India to cut emissions intensity  –    (Environment)

  • On Thursday midnight, the Union Environment Ministry submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), committing to cut the emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels.
  • The INDCs, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed,” and released on his birthday, laid out the blueprint for tackling climate change.



Hindu fringe groups not yet on the radar of intelligence agencies  –    (Security)

  • The recent spotlight on Hindu right-wing organisations Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Sena (HJS) for their involvement in the murder of social activists and rationalists such as Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and M.M. Kalburgi has forced the central intelligence agencies to focus on an area they have traditionally neglected.
  • For instance, over the last month, they have received hundreds of inputs about the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), and the newly created Laskhar-e-Islami planning terrorist strikes in India. Islamic State (IS), too, is under the scanner. But Hindu right-wing groups, or fringe organisations as they are commonly referred to, seldom find mention in these alerts, several counter-terrorism officials confirmed to The Hindu .


To counter China, Navy expands reach   –    (International Relation)

  • Two developments on Friday, several hundred kilometres apart, emphatically captured India’s naval challenges and growing opportunities.
  • Around the time Navy Chief Admiral R.K Dhowan began his official tour of Australia on Friday, an Indian naval ship entered Vietnam waters on its way to Japan.
  • In the backdrop of both the developments, hangs the shadow of China’s growing naval assertiveness in the region, and India’s new-found aggression to build partnerships both as a response to China as well as part of its role as a major maritime force of the Indian Ocean.


India needs no Monroe Doctrine   –    (International Relation)

  • A brash neighbourhood policy will not only help drive neighbours into the Chinese fold, but also provide traction to Pakistan’s campaign against an ‘Indian domination’.
  • New Delhi’s approach to its neighbours has increasingly been marked by muscularity, evident in its recent attempts to browbeat Nepal into carrying out amendments to its Constitution. What South Asia needs is a friendly India, not a powerful big brother.


Social movement to political party  –    (Indian Polity)

  • In terms of immediate impact, single-agenda social movements are often more effective than multi-dimensional political parties.
  • That the Patel reservation agitation managed, within a short time, to mobilise large sections of the Patel community in support of a separate reservation quota for it is in no small measure owing to the singular focus on a pressing demand.


Preparing for Paris  –    (Environment)

  • India’s commitment to adopt low-carbon pathways for development is welcome reaffirmation that it fully recognises its role in averting dangerous climate change.
  • In the statement of climate goals and plans — formally called the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs — which has been submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Narendra Modi government has emphasised the expansion of clean technologies to generate power, greater energy efficiency in infrastructure, and a significant widening of forestry as key measures.



How to avoid Copenhagen in Paris     –    (Environment)

  • At the climate change conference to be held in December, the world will onceagain try to find a balance between environment protection and industrialisation.
  • National Geographic has said the shrinking of ice caps has forced them to make the biggest change in their atlas since the Soviet Union broke apart.



Choking in the capital    –    (Environment)

  • With the average citizen of New Delhi living in conditions unfit for humans, the Central Pollution Control Board of India either has its facts wrong or is feeding lies to the media.
  • The U.S., Germany and Japan have even considered reducing the tenures of diplomats in New Delhi to reduce their exposure to the city’s polluted air.


India cites development challenges   –    (Environment)


  • India, which submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), committing to cut the emissions intensity, also stated its challenges in terms of human development goals, for which higher energy production and consumption is a must.
  • “No country in the world has been able to achieve a Human Development Index of 0.9 or more without an annual energy availability of at least 4 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) per capita,” the submissions said.



The Russians in Syria: What will happen next?   –    (International Relation)

  • The strategic chessboard of West Asia has been rattled severely this week with the sudden entry of advanced Russian warplanes into the already complex battlefields of Syria.
  • For Washington and its allies, including what little is left of the so-called “moderate Syrian opposition”, this is deeply unwelcome, especially if the targets do turn out to include U.S.-backed rebels. They see it as prolonging an unwinnable war and delaying the departure of a Syrian President who is now unacceptable to a large part of his population.


Angry Obama demands gun control    –    (International Relation)

  • Barack Obama has channelled disgust with his own country’s unique propensity for gun violence in a direct call to the American people to finally push for gun control laws, following a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.



High-speed rail deal signals new phase of Sino-U.S. ties  –    (International Relation)

  • China’s ties with the U.S. are quietly moving to the next level, signalled by a high-speed rail contract and a string of hi-end investments that could help Beijing transition towards an innovation-based economy.
  • Ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S. last month, a consortium led by the China Railway Group signed a deal with XpressWest Enterprise to build a high-speed rail line that would link Los Angeles with Las Vegas. In Beijing, there is considerable enthusiasm that the 370 km high-speed link, between the two iconic cities, will open the floodgates for securing much larger projects.



India banks on subsidy cuts, higher taxes on fuels  –   (Economics)

  • India would need to spend at least $2.5 trillion between 2015 and 2030 on mitigation activities to meet targets as part of its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • To achieve the INDC of reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from the 2005 level, India has said it will bank on fiscal measures including fuel subsidy cuts and increased taxes on fossil fuels including diesel and petrol.



India should benchmark gas price to deficit nations: S&P   –   (Economics)

  • India should benchmark its natural gas prices to similar gas-deficient nations instead of using rates prevalent in gas-surplus geographies such as the U.S. and Canada, says Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.
  • Using rates in gas-surplus nations, domestic natural gas prices earlier this week were cut by 18 per cent to $4.24 per million British thermal unit, a rate which S&P said will “discourage oil exploration and production (E&P) companies from committing new capital expenditure (capex).”
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