Paris climate draft goes into the final round – (International Relation)
- A ‘Draft Paris Outcome’ providing the final base text for the 195 countries of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to craft the Paris agreement was released on Wednesday evening.
- It contains a provision for a progress review of the agreement that could be either in 2023 or 2024.
Seven years after Mumbai attacks, India and Pakistan to resume talks – (International Relation)
- Seven years after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, India and Pakistan have agreed to resume structured dialogue.
- Announcing the breakthrough, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at a joint press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday:
Green cover battling for survival in Karnataka – (Environment)
- Though the gentle slopes of the Western Ghats form its backdrop, an astounding 263 sq. km. of dense forest cover in Shivamogga district has given way to plantations or fields over the past four years.
- At the southern end of Karnataka, the rapidly-concretising State capital has lost tree cover that is more than 15 times the size of Lalbagh and Cubbon Park — Bengaluru’s two proud green spaces — combined since 2013.
‘New dam the only solution’ – (Environment)
- The construction of a new dam is the only solution to the inter-State dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu on the Mullaperiyar issue, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.
- Addressing the media after a meeting of the State Cabinet here on Wednesday, he said the State government would explore legal options and seek the Centre’s intervention to address concerns over the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam, without affecting ties with Tamil Nadu.
A deadly war at the genetic level – (Environment)
- There is something magical about butterflies in different colours flitting around from one flower to another.
- India is home to 1,800 species and subspecies that are increasingly being valued for aesthetic reasons.
Ansari, Sharif to meet in Turkmenistan – (International Relation)
- Close on the heels of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s ice-breaking visit to Islamabad, India and Pakistan will participate in another ground-breaking event at the highest levels.
- Vice-President Hamid Ansari will travel to Ashgabat from December 11-13 for the inauguration of the $10 billion Turkmenistan, Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI) project, where he will meet with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.
U.S. wants periodic climate review – (International Relation)
- In an unambiguous message to all countries on climate action, the United States said on Wednesday that they could not get away with doing nothing or next to nothing after making pledges, though the Paris Agreement did not propose penalties.
- Secretary of State John Kerry praised India for its forward-thinking International Solar Alliance that had the capacity to produce technological breakthroughs and drive progress, but he said carbon pollution knew no origin, whether it arose from “Baltimore, Beijing, Calcutta or Cape Town”.
The nitty-gritty of The National Herald case – (Indian Polity)
- The 27-page judgment of the Delhi High Court inThe N ational Herald case reveals no political vendetta.
- In fact, the High Court on December 7 seems to have dismissed the petitions of the Congress leaders in order to give them a fair chance to clear the name of the “legendary national party.”
Centre sends right signal to the flood-affected – (Indian Polity)
- As the focus shifts to relief and rehabilitation in rain-ravaged Chennai, it is perhaps the first time that the Central government has helped facilitate the setting up of an emergency community radio station within five days of receiving an SOS, at Cuddalore, 180 km away.
- 107.8MHz, offering listeners’ services related to relief in this flood-affected town, became operational at 5 pm on Wednesday. The Hindu had reported on Tuesday how thousands of residents have been cut off by waters.
Thai arms supplier extradited to India – (Security)
- A Thai citizen, suspected to be a key intermediary for northeastern rebel groups for arms procurement, has been extradited to India.
- The interrogation of 59-year-old Wuthikorn Naruenartwanich alias Willy could throw fresh light on how Chinese arms are finding their way into the hands of insurgents in northeast of India. Indian agencies believe that he could also provide details of the engagement of Chinese agencies with Indian insurgent groups.
Strengthening a foolproof relationship – (International Relation)
- There are few sure things in the mercurial world of international relations, and particularly in volatile Asia.
- Still, if you’re looking for a foolproof bilateral relationship, look no further than the India-Japan partnership. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India, which begins December 11, will deepen an already warm relationship. It is also a relationship of great importance for Washington.
Separate ministry for pharma in next one year: Ananth Kumar – (Economics)
- Union Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar on Wednesday said there would be a separate ministry for pharma and medical devices sector in the next one year, and assured that the government will soon implement the Katoch panel recommendations to cut bulk drugs import from China.
- “I want to see that pharmaceutical and medical devices become a separate ministry and we are already in touch with PMO and we are pursuing that it becomes a separate ministry..I assure you in next one year you will emerge as a separate entity as pharma and medical devices ministry,” Mr. Kumar said at an event organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce.
Indirect tax collections grow 34 % in Apr-Nov – (Economics)
- Reflecting improvement in industrial activity, indirect tax collection jumped 34.3 per cent to Rs.4,38,291 crore during the first eight months of current financial year. The government had collected Rs.3,26,273 crore from indirect taxes during April-November period of last fiscal. So far, the collection is 67.8 per cent of budget estimates (BE) for 2015-16.
- As per the Budget Estimate 2015-16, the government aims to collect Rs.6.46 lakh crore from indirect taxes — central excise, customs and service tax.
Govt. will protect farmers’ interests in WTO talks – (Economics)
- The government is committed to the cause of farmers and has taken a consistent stand at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to protect their interests, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
- “For example, under the relevant rules of WTO, if procurement for public stock-holding programmes for food security purposes is done at administered prices, rather than at market prices, then the subsidy element, if any, has to be kept within certain prescribed limits,” she said.