Rajnath for Southern Zonal Council meet – (Indian Polity)
- Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will chair the 26th conference of the Southern Zonal Council (SZC) here on December 12. The SZC comprises Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Puducherry.
- Chief Ministers of the six States and senior Central and State government officials are expected to attend.
Paris climate pact talks go down to the wire – (Environment)
- The euphoria created by the Leaders Event nearly two weeks ago of a smooth Paris Climate Agreement emerging by Friday has evaporated, and countries are crunching the most contentious parts of the pact, hoping to come up with an agreed outcome by Saturday morning.
- Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the success of the conference now depends on the spirit of accommodation and flexibility of the West.
Japan keen on ‘making in India’ – (International Relation)
- Japan’s new and aggressive investment plans in India will not be limited to mega infrastructure projects such as bullet trains and will cover almost the full spectrum of prominent government schemes such as “Make in India” and Swachh Bharat.
- Expressing his government’s desire to invest in key sectors, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday said: “Japan has decades of experience of doing business with India. It is this experience which will help us in India.”
Groundbreaking for TAPI project tomorrow – (International Relation)
- The TAPI pipeline will “significantly change the way India and Central Asia are related,” Indian officials said, as Vice-President Hamid Ansari, accompanied by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, landed here to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the $10-billion natural gas project.
India, U.S. to raise defence tech ties – (International Relation)
- India and the U.S. have identified 17 new areas for potential cooperation under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), a flagship scheme to enhance bilateral strategic partnership, particularly in high technology, launched in 2012.
- Concluding his four-day tour of the United States, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said he and his counterpart, Ash Carter, had agreed to closely monitor the progress of the DTTI.
Russia keen on guarantee pact for defence projects – (International Relation)
- As India and Russia gear up to sign a major deal for manufacture of Russian light utility helicopters in India with significant participation by the private sector, Russia is keen to conclude a mutual investment guarantee pact with India for joint defence projects in future, a senior Russian government official said.
- “In the first stage it can be a government-to-government agreement. In the second stage it can be at the business-to-business and central bank level.
India needs to become more rational and less superstitious: Nobel laureate – (Social Issues)
- Stressing the imperatives of pursuing evidence-based science, Nobel laureate Venkataraman Ramakrishnan said that India needs to become more rational and less superstitious as a society in order to advance.
- Delivering the fourth in the series of Centenary Lectures of the University of Mysore here on Friday, Dr. Ramakrishnan said a culture based on superstition will always fare badly than a culture based on scientific knowledge.
Did not order Maggi ban, FSSAI tells SC – (Governance)
- In a twist to the Maggi noodles ban case, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Friday told the Supreme Court that it had never, in the first place, banned Nestle India’s popular household two-minute snack.
- Instead, the FSSAI said it only issued a show-cause notice to the company, seeking an explanation about the “excess” lead levels in its products and, secondly, why it had made a “false declaration of no added MSG (Monosodium glutamate) when its products contained MSG.”
In Siachen, 869 Army men died battling the elements – (Defence)
- A total of 869 Army personnel have lost their lives on the Siachen glacier due to climatic conditions and environmental and other factors till date since the Army launched Operation Meghdoot in 1984, the government informed Parliament on Friday.
- The casualties include 33 officers, 54 junior commissioned officers and 782 of other ranks. The government has taken a series of measures to ensure the best equipment is provided to soldiers and bring down casualties.
Illiberal law, roll it back – (Indian Polity)
- Scan Haryana’s statistics on key social indicators, and the picture that emerges is dispiriting.
- For example, in this State of rich farmers and networked urban centres, 41 per cent of Scheduled Caste men have not cleared class 8; and 68 per cent of SC women have not made it to class 5. Roughly 45 per cent of rural households do not have a toilet, and among SC households that figure rises to 55 per cent.
Tribunal voids CCI’s Rs. 6,316 cr penalty on cement companies – (Economics)
- The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) on Friday set aside the Competition Commission of India (CCI) decision imposing a cumulative penalty of Rs.6,316.59 crore on 11 cement companies on charges of ‘cartelisation’.
- The COMPAT decision spurred intraday gains of more than 4 per cent in cement stocks on the BSE, including JK Cement (4.4 per cent), Shree Cement (2.7 per cent), Ambuja Cements (2.4 per cent), ACC (1.5 per cent) and UltraTech Cement (1.4 per cent).
Industrial output climbs to 5-year high – (Economics)
- With 17 of the 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector showing a positive growth, the industrial output in October recorded a five-year high of 9.8 per cent year-on-year.
- The higher growth was on account of a favourable base, as October 2014 registered a negative growth 2.7 per cent, as well as the pre-festive season ramp up in output.