Supreme Court will ensure rule of law, says CJI Thakur - (Indian Polity)
- Noting that there is a political angle to the whole religious intolerance debate, Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur sent a strong message against divisive forces, saying that India is an inclusive society where people of all faiths and religions flourish with mutual respect and the Supreme Court will ensure that the rule of law reigns supreme.
- “When the Constitution guarantees Rule of Law to those who are not our citizens, there is no question that citizens of India, no matter of what religion or faith should feel unprotected.
Getting passports for children of single parents may be easy - (International Relation)
- Applying for a passport for their minor children for single parents may get easier, if the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) gives its nod to a proposal from the Bengaluru Regional Passport Office (RPO). The RPO has sought further liberalisation of procedures in the application process, including doing away with the need to know the reason for not having the other parent’s consent.
- At present, the parent or guardian of minor applicants has to submit an affidavit for issue of passport when the other parent has not given his/her consent. The second clause in the affidavit seeks to know why the other parent’s consent is missing.
Indo-Pak. dialogue process is back on track – (International Relation)
- Senior officials have confirmed to The Hindu that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Islamabad this week, leading the Indian delegation to the ‘Heart of Asia’ donor conference on Afghanistan.
- Ms. Swaraj, whose visit is yet to be announced, will leave on Tuesday for a two-day visit from December 8 and is expected to meet the Pakistani leadership.
India may ratify WTO trade facilitation pact – (International Relation)
- India is likely to ratify the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), aimed at easing customs rules to expedite trade flows, during the Nairobi meeting of the global trade body from December 15 to 18.
- However, a matter of concern is that India might not take advantage of the entire range of flexibilities in the TFA available for similar developing countries to determine which commitment they will implement at what time, sources privy to the development told The Hindu.
Madhesi leaders won’t climb down – (International Relation)
- Nepal’s agitating leaders from the United Madhesi Democratic Front (UMDF) on Sunday received a warm welcome in Delhi even as they were advised to be more flexible while negotiating with the government in Kathmandu.
- However, brushing aside India’s advice, Madhesi leaders indicated that they are not in a mood to call off the economic blockade immediately.
Illegal remittances scaled down to Rs. 3,200 crore in BoB case - (International Relation)
- The total amount of illegal overseas remittances made through a Bank of Baroda branch on the pretext of imports, which is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, has been scaled down from Rs. 6,172 crore to about Rs. 3,200 crore.
- “The bank had initially quoted overseas remittances to the tune of Rs. 6,172 crore, based on an internal audit. Following a review, the bank then brought it down to Rs. 5,100 crore. However, the latest figure stands at Rs.3,200 crore,” said an officer.
‘We are ready to walk or even take a bus to work’ - (Indian Polity)
- After being pulled up by the Delhi High Court and the National Green Tribunal for the worsening air pollution in the National Capital, the Delhi government got a breather with none other than Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur on Sunday expressing full support to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s “odd-even formula” of car use, even to the extent of saying that Supreme Court judges are prepared to pool cars or take the bus to the Tilak Marg apex court complex.
- “It is the minimum we can do for the city,” Chief Justice Thakur told reporters. “Judges have no problem with the odd-even formula. We would love to adopt it if it helps to reduce pollution,” he said.
Secular in spirit and in letter - (Indian Polity)
- Taken as a whole package, the constitutional vision of secularism is one of principled equidistance from all religious matters, while at the same time regulating its practice in a manner consistent with the demands of a modern society.
- Secularism is inherent in the basic structure of the Constitution. The Home Minister cannot presume to forget constitutional history, and assume that constitutional values such as secularism are just meaningless words to be redacted from a document.
Progressive Paris pact will unlock green funds’ - (Indian Polity)
- India stands to gain from massive renewable energy investments and achieve energy efficiency in key sectors under a climate agreement, a global coalition of business organisations working on low carbon economic growth has said.
- The top industries and services that could reap the benefits are energy companies, financial services attracting investment from around the world, and the IT sector that would find new opportunities in big data analytics, measuring and monitoring systems to meet national climate obligations.
Government aims to move five more reforms to labour laws - (Economics)
- The government is striving to introduce five more labour reform legislations in the winter session of Parliament, including the bills to introduce a new wage and industrial relations code and amend laws governing child labour and bonus payments.
- These are in addition to the amendments to the Factories Act of 1948 that the government had listed for introduction in the Lok Sabha last week, but eventually wasn’t tabled
Startup policy in New Year - (Economics)
- The government is gearing up to unveil a new policy for promoting startups in January 2016 with an eye on boosting innovation, entrepreneurship and creating new jobs.
- “We will come up with a full package of ideas and incentives for the Start-up India initiative announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence day address to the nation,” said a senior government official working on the policy, adding that it is likely to be announced next month.
Public sector banks’ impaired assets stymieing overall economic growth - (Economics)
- The current problem of mounting bad loans on the books of PSU banks first caught public attention in early 2012 when a spurt, especially in their restructured standard loans (uncollectible loans that have been given a fresh lease of life) happened.
- As of end-March 2012, ratio of gross NPA plus restructured standard loans (for this combination, a creative and somewhat obfuscating term — stressed assets — was coined later) rose to 8.8 per cent from 6.6 per cent a year earlier. The corresponding numbers for new private sector and foreign banks were much lower.