J&K report indicts ‘agents of violence - (Governance)
- A new report on “institutionalised impunity and violence” in J&K has named 972 alleged perpetrators of violence during counter-insurgency operations over the past 25 years. The report, “Structures of Violence: The Indian State in J&K”, is based on information gathered through RTI and witness testimonies.
India for better channels with Pak. Rangers - (International Relation)
- A Pakistan Rangers delegation headed by Major-General Umar Farooq Burki will enter India through the Wagah-Attari border on Wednesday and will be flown from Amritsar to Delhi to attend talks with the Border Security Force from September 10 to 13.
- For the first time, India will stress on adding “more layers of channel of communication” with Pakistan Rangers.
- At present, a communication channel exists only at the sector level, and India wants it extended it to the levels of company commander, battalion and Inspector-General. India will ask for frequent joint patrolling and confidence-building measures.
We interact with U.N. panel, says MEA - (International Relation)
- Asked for a response to the demand by the NGOs and international groups like Amnesty International for a U.N. Special Rapporteur to look into the cases, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that “the government of India regularly engages with the Working Group of the U.N. Human Rights Commission through its mission in Geneva.”
- The spokesperson said all complaints on “disappeared people”, or people arrested or killed without accountable processes are referred by the committee to the government. “We send all such cases to the MHA for investigation.”
Black money: Swiss govt. discloses Indore firm’s name - (Economics)
- In a fresh disclosure on suspected black money cases being probed by tax authorities in India, Switzerland on Tuesday said it has received request for information about Indore-based textiles firm Neo Corp International Ltd.
- Neo Corp, which began as a small woven sack maker in 1985 and now claims to be a multinational technical textiles group, had incidentally faced income tax searches on its various premises earlier in February for alleged tax evasion.
Take risks and invest more, PM tells industry leaders - (Economics)
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday encouraged India Inc. to take risks and step up investments in the domestic market, as the global economic crisis showed no signs of coming to an end.
- At a three-hour long brainstorming meeting chaired by Mr. Modi, industry leaders wanted the government to strengthen consumer and investment demand in the economy, improve ease of doing business and lower interest rates.
Caste and the battle for secularism - (Social Issues)
- The real objective of Hindutva — never openly espoused, but evident from the remarkable consistency of the content put out by Gita Press — is to emasculate the OBC-Dalit majority by keeping them under the Hindu umbrella but on terms determined by other minorities.
- Is a secular ‘Indian’ nationalism a viable project? The answer, according to the publications of the Gita Press, is a resounding ‘no’. Given that their ideological affiliates are in power, this answer merits serious attention since it denies the constitutional reality.
Cleaning coal instead of wishing it away - (Economics)
- Cleaner coal requires innovation to work well with high-ash Indian coal. Such efforts need technological and financial support Advocates of a zero-coal approach ignore history, and the history of aggregate consumption indicates India’s “fair share” of carbon emissions (if there is such a thing) to be decades away.
- The global push to “end coal” appears to be a manifestation of BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything), which is sometimes aimed at limiting dangerous forms of growth but often ends up being against all new growth.
A blow for gender parity - (Social Issues)
- It took the Delhi High Court to set right last week a largely inexplicable instance of official gender discrimination: it ruled that the Indian Navy must grant permanent commission to women as well, as the Army and the Air Force had to do following a 2010 order by a different bench of the same court.
- Until now, women could qualify only for the Navy’s Short Service Commission with a tenure of up to 14 years; this made them ineligible for pension and often unable to find other work they were qualified for, virtually midway through their working lives.
Welcome conviction - (Security)
- The conviction of six Army personnel by a court martial in the Machil fake encounter case is an important step in ensuring the accountability of the armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir and other States where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is in force.
- The Army opted for a court martial in this case after the Supreme Court ruled in an earlier case of ‘encounter’ in Pathribal that unlike civilian investigating agencies, which under AFSPA required prior sanction to prosecute its personnel, the Army was free to try its members by a court martial.
- That justice has been done by the court martial is significant in the larger context of efforts to make the armed forces answerable for their actions in conflict zones, and to force the withdrawal of special laws that grant impunity to security personnel in such areas.
India’s global hub fears more job losses - (Economics)
- Nearly half a dozen diamond companies in Surat have closed down; a significant hit for the industry.
- A year ago, India’s diamond capital hit the headlines when one of the largest polishing companies in the western city of Surat treated hundreds of employees to bonuses in the form of Fiat cars, apartments and jewellery.