17 August 2015

PM makes a statement with mosque visit  –   (International Relations)

·         Modi in the UAE says West Asian nation is a mini-India, adds that he wants it to be India’s foremost trade ally.

·         The high point of the first day’s engagement was Mr. Modi’s visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the world’s third largest mosque, leaving some powerful images for consumption by a domestic audience. His balance of the domestic and the foreign during the visit was exemplified by a short interaction with blue-collar workers in ICAD Residential Labour Camp, which was more photo-op than substantive.

India, Bangladesh to fight fake currency  –   (International Relations)


·         Indian and Bangladeshi security agencies have agreed to work in close coordination to curb the smuggling of counterfeit currency notes, posing a threat to national security.

·         They have signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect.



War embers that continue to simmer  –   (International Relations)

·         In considering the Chinese invitation to the anniversary celebrations of V-J Day, India will have to disentangle the historical and contemporary dimensions. While there is good reason to participate, New Delhi needs to ensure that the event does not stoke Asian nationalisms

·         In some ways, the Second World War in Asia has yetto end. The controversies over the war are now overlaid on current geopolitical competition — and they are mutually aggravating.

A bank account for Mary  –   (Governance)


·         The PMJDY celebrates success on its website, but thousands of Marys remain outside the banking system. This won’t change unless the scheme alters both design and implementation.

·         The World Bank’s latest Global Findex study says the number of people accessing a formal bank account in India increased from 35 per cent in 2013 to 53 per cent in 2014.


Go in for organic farming: LS panel  –   (Environment)

·         The Committee on Estimates has asked the government to formulate a national policy on organic farming to systematically tackle the “adverse consequences of chemical-based farming.”

·         This will end agrarian distress and improve soil health, says committee.

China, Russia set for naval assertion in Sea of Japan  –   (International Relations)


·         China and Russia are stepping up their military collaboration by holding another round of naval exercises, this time in the Sea of Japan, following recent measures adopted by Tokyo that could deepen its military ties with Washington.

·         On Saturday, the Chinese navy dispatched seven Chinese warships for the Sea of Japan. They will join the Russian Navy’s 16 surface ships, two submarines, 12 naval aircraft, nine amphibious vehicles and 200 marines.



Needs a telecom-like revolution –  (Economics)

·         The root cause behind India’s struggling aviation sector is its wrong perception as an elitist service rather than a time-saving tool. It is over-taxed, over-regulated, over-protected and suffers from high structural costs.

·         For a vibrant aviation sector, DGCA needs to undergo significant reforms, Airports Authority of India needs to be listed and Air India must go out of Government control.

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