69 small oilfields on the block – (Economics)
- The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new policy for the auction of 69 small and marginal oilfields to private and foreign companies that could unlock hydrocarbon reserves estimated at around Rs. 70,000 crore.
- It’s a shift from cost-recovery to revenue sharing, says Minister.
China has established its presence across PoK – (International Relation)
- Pakistan has opened up the PoK to foreign investment after the 2005 earthquake, which left 80,000 people dead.
- From offices to schools and from medical colleges to power projects, foreign countries are rebuilding the PoK capital, with China taking the lead in developing road infrastructure and building major power projects, along with the Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan.
‘Law reforms feasible through executive action’ – (Economics)
- One way to make land acquisition less time-consuming is for the States to proceed with their own amendments to the 2013 Act under Section 254(2) of the Constitution.
- Tamil Nadu has already done this; its amended law has been in force since January 5, 2015.
India a worthy contender for APEC membership: Rudd – (International Relation)
- India is a worthy contender for inclusion in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which is throwing open its membership after decades, says former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
- India’s membership is also being considered important, as on a proposal made by China, there is likely to be a study of a much larger Asia Pacific Free Trade agreement, which will begin soon.
Chasing black money, with UN help – (International Relation)
- In India’s case, difficulties in recovering black money are in proving that the assets were illegally obtained. The focus here must be on the UNCAC debate that reveals the strength of the argument against insistence on proof of illegality.
- Provisions in the UN Convention Against Corruption can help immensely in the recovery of black money. The convention should be of great value to countries where natural wealth has been plundered and whose governments need these resources to reconstruct their societies.
Beyond the pass-fail binary – (Governance)
- The class-wise structure of the school is an administrator’s delight as it can be used for simple delineation of tasks for teachers and students. And the pass-fail examination system is a natural, logical outcome of these ideas of knowledge, learning, curriculum and school.
- The teachers often complain about no detention and no punishment, seeing them as the most effective tools of control over children which is seen as necessary for making children learn.
- All educated Indians have experienced it, and therefore, are thoroughly conditioned to believe that “no exams, no learning”. This belief is easily transferred to the children in a system that has almost no idea of the joy of learning in itself.
1965: resilience in war, deftness in diplomacy – (International Relation)
- The India-Pakistan war of 1965 was one which altered the fates of both the countries and began the new ‘Great Game’ in Asia.
- One of its biggest outcomes was the sealing of the China-Pakistan entente and New Delhi’s realisation of a two-front strategic threat, with a heightened risk of collusion between its two neighbours.
Risky portents in Manipur – (Indian Polity)
- The crisis in Manipur stems from the demand to stop ‘outsiders’ from buying land in the State, in a context where the local population, predominantly the Meiteis, harbours fears of being marginalised.
- The valley constitutes only 10 per cent of the State’s geographical area and Meiteis constitute about 50 per cent of the population there.
- The long-standing demand has been to introduce a system similar to the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in other northeastern States, or some similar stipulation, to stop in-migration. But for this to be effective, the State needs to identify the ‘outsiders’ first.
The case against death penalty – (Indian Polity)
- The Law Commission of India has taken a historic step by declaring that the abolition of the death penalty must become a goal for India. It has recommended, for a start, the scrapping of the death penalty for all crimes except terrorism-related offences and those that amount to waging war against the state.
- The Commission’s report on the death penalty declares deterrence to be a myth, based on extensive research. It makes a clean break with the ‘rarest of the rare’ principle that was laid down inBachan Singh vs State of Punjab (1980): that judgment noted that the application of the death penalty would remain arbitrary and judge-centric and hence would be constitutionally unsustainable.
Hyderabad could be the hub for pharma products outsourcing – (Economics)
- After information technology services, Hyderabad is fast emerging as an outsourcing destination for global pharmaceutical majors, which are looking at reducing manufacturing and drug development costs.
- As per the industry estimates, the production cost of pharma products in India is around 30 per cent cheaper than that in the U.S., while the cost of developing a generic drug is about 50 per cent cheaper. Hence, multinational companies (MNCs) are also reportedly turning towards Indian companies for gaining access to generic drugs being developed by the latter for the U.S. market.
India is in or close to deflation territory – (Economics)
- Deflation is normally a phenomenon seen in advanced economies and not expected in emerging economies such as India.
- Wholesale price inflation has been in negative territory for the last nine months and hit an all-time low of minus 4.05 per cent in July. Growth in consumer price inflation also slowed to 3.78 per cent in July.