Minister decries cow slaughter – (Indian Polity)
- The outcry over the Dadri lynching notwithstanding, the NDA government seems determined to prioritise its ideological stand on banning cow slaughter and beef consumption in the country.
- Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan (accused in the Muzzaffarnagar riots and MP from that district) has called a review meeting of the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) for Tuesday to determine whether increased export of buffalo meat is not a cover for slaughtering of cows and exporting their meat in the guise of buffalo meat.
Apex court seeks response on compensatory pollution charges – (Indian Polity)
- The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from both the Central and Delhi governments on why commercial vehicles should not cough up compensatory pollution charges along with toll tax before entering the Capital city.
- “This is a serious issue. We will take up this matter on Thursday. We want positive response,” a Bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justices Arun Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goel said.
German to be taught again in Kendriya Vidyalayas – (International Relation)
- Students in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) will be able to opt for German language as an additional foreign language, in conformity with the National Education Policy of India, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development announced on Monday, after signing a joint declaration of intent with Germany.
- The decision was taken after visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.
World Bank estimates show fall in India’s poverty rate – (Governance)
- The World Bank has revised the global poverty line, previously pegged at $1.25 a day to $1.90 a day (approximately Rs. 130). This has been arrived at based on an average of the national poverty lines of 15 poorest economies of the world. The poverty lines were converted from local currency into U.S. dollars using the new 2011 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) data.
- In its latest report ‘Ending Extreme Poverty, Sharing Prosperity: Progress and Policies’, authors Marcio Cruz, James Foster, Bryce Quillin, and Phillip Schellekkens, note that world-wide poverty has shown a decline under these new estimates.
Fast-track wing activated to boost trade – (International Relation)
- Germany welcomed India’s decision to set up a fast-track system for German companies in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- The wing, which will become fully operational by 2016, found prompt appreciation from the visiting German Chancellor.
A tie-up for clean energy – (Energy)
- Three days after India declared its pledge to expand the share of non-fossil fuel energy to 40 per cent by 2030, India and Germany formed the Climate and Renewable Energy Alliance, with the arrival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in India.
Nuclear energy not viable, says German economist – (Energy)
- India will do better to invest in solar and in wind power than in nuclear energy, said German green economist Ralf Fücks. Nuclear energy was economically unsustainable and needed government subsidies to survive, he added.
- “We should not consider nuclear power as green. We are even more confident that nuclear energy is the wrong path, and that we don’t need it. It is inherently high-risk. If something goes wrong then it can be catastrophic like Chernobyl and Fukushima,” Dr. Fücks, president of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, said.
Drones to help gauge crop damage – (Governance)
- The Centre has decided to use satellite and drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) over farmers’ fields to collect crop yield data and to assess damage from natural calamities.
- The high resolution imagery of crop assessment from drones will be collated with satellite imaging and other geospatial technology to get accurate data to enable crop insurance companies to give proper compensation to affected farmers. The experiment will help develop index-based data for insurance companies.
The grand delusion of Digital India – (Governance)
- The idea of attacking poverty by increasing mobile connectivity in a country that ranks 55 in the Global Hunger Index is just fantasy.
- Earlier, there were at least palliative attempts by the previous regimes to deal with the great rural dislocation; now even those have been dispensed with.
U.S., 11 nations reach historic deal – (International Relation)
- The U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations on Monday agreed to the largest regional trade accord in history, a potentially precedent-setting model for global commerce and worker standards that would tie together 40 per cent of the world’s economy, from Canada and Chile to Japan and Australia.
- The Trans-Pacific Partnership still faces months of debate in Congress and will inject a new flash point into both parties’ presidential contests.
3 win Nobel Prize in Medicine for parasite-fighting therapies – (International Relation)
- Three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering “therapies that have revolutionised the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases,” the Nobel committee announced on Monday.
- William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won for developing a new drug, Avermectin. A derivative of that drug, Ivermectin, has nearly eradicated river blindness and radically reduced the incidence of filariasis, which causes the disfiguring swelling of the lymph system in the legs and lower body known as elephantiasis.
Who’s behind the killings of foreigners in Bangladesh? – (International Relation)
- Scepticism runs high on the mysterious killings of two foreigners and the quick claim of responsibility by the Islamic State (IS) as both government agencies and security experts strongly feel that there is no IS in Bangladesh.
- According to a report compiled by the secret agencies, the “anti-liberation forces”, enraged by the ongoing trial of those committed war crimes during the 1971 liberation war, are killing foreign nationals to cast the government in a bad light.
Subsidies slide to 1.6 per cent of GDP – (Economics)
- The Modi Government said on Monday that the Finance Ministry has achieved, over the past one year, restructuring of the expenditure side of the budget: Outgo towards major subsidies is down to 1.6 per cent of GDP in 2015-16 from 2.5 per cent of GDP in 2012-13.
- “While many commentators expressed doubt, we have simultaneously achieved 10 per cent increase in tax devolution to the States, achieved over 30 per cent increase in the Plan capital expenditure, and yet, adhered to the fiscal deficit roadmap in the Budget,” Finance Secretary Ratan Watal said, addressing a press conference.