SC imposes green charge on commercial vehicles entering Delhi – (Environment)
- Declaring that controlling Delhi’s pollution had become the “requirement of the day”, the Supreme Court agreed to formalise in a judicial order a series of directions to impose “environment compensation charge” on all light and heavy duty commercial vehicles entering the National Capital.
- A three-judge bench led by the Chief Justice of India, in a special sitting on Friday, said the formal order imposing the pollution charge would be passed on Monday.
India moves to stop flow of housemaids to Saudi Arabia – (International Relation)
- Alarmed by frequent allegations of sex slavery, arm-chopping and sadistic domestic torture of housemaids in Saudi Arabia, India is considering a total ban on recruitment of housemaids by that country.
- This follows the chopping of a domestic worker’s hand by her Saudi employer which India has described as “unacceptable.” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has also ordered the MEA to pursue the matter with the Saudi Foreign Ministry in Riyadh.
U.P. youth with IS in Syria wants to return home – (Security)
- A youth from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh who went to Syria to join the militant group Islamic State (IS) wants to return home and has contacted his family here.
- A senior government official said the youth was in touch with another Indian national in UAE. On the pretext of having found a job, the man travelled to UAE, where he joined his accomplice from UAE. The duo then entered Syria via Turkey. He is not an active fighter there but is involved in handling their logistics, the official said.
Smart Cities Mission gets a French boost – (Governance)
- In what may be seen as a good omen for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Smart Cities Mission, the French government has shown great interest in the flagship urban development programme with AFD — French Development Agency — rolling out a whopping loan of 2 billion Euros for three cities: Puducherry, Nagpur and Chandigarh.
A return to belligerence – (International Relation)
- There could be two reasons for the overconfidence: deepening of its economic and military ties with China and a strengthening of its nuclear arsenal.
- Pakistan’s recent display of verbal aggression — Prime Minister Sharif’s attack on India at the UN — can be attributed to a new-found overconfidence. India must not be provoked into any kind of knee-jerk response but should look for method behind the madness.
Two sides of an ambitious deal – (International Relation)
- The Trans-Pacific Partnership pact reached this week between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations including Canada and Japan, has raised both hopes and concerns. The commercial value of the deal, when it is approved, is immense, tying together as it does almost 40 per cent of the world’s GDP.
- It seeks to eliminate or reduce about 18,000 tariff and non-tariff barriers. Its supporters, including President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, say the pact would boost growth in the U.S. as well as the Asian economies.
Tunisian mediators win Nobel Peace Prize – (International Relation)
- A coalition of labour unions, businesses, lawyers and human rights activists won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday “for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.”
- The prize to the coalition, known as the National Dialogue Quartet, comes nearly five years after an unemployed street vendor set himself on fire, touching off a political earthquake that toppled Tunisia’s long-time authoritarian president and proceeded to reverberate throughout West Asia and North Africa.
Interest subvention scheme soon to boost exports – (Economics)
- The Union Government is expected to come out with an interest subvention scheme soon to boost exports.
- Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman, told presspersons here on Friday that the reasons were clear for the fall in exports.
High-risk area boundary shifted from India’s coastline – (Economics)
- In a welcome move for Indian shipping companies, international shipping regulators on Friday revised the ‘high-risk area’ boundary in the Indian Ocean and have shifted it away from the India’s western coastline. The new boundaries will come into effect on December 1, 2015.
- “European Union Chair of the Contact Group of Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) announced the revision of the limits of the piracy High Risk Area (HRA) with effect from December 1, 2015,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.