Turkey shoots down Russian plane for ‘violating’ airspace – (International Relation)
- Turkish fighter jets on patrol near the Syrian border on Tuesday shot down a Russian warplane that Turkey said had violated its airspace, a long-feared escalation that could further strain relations between Russia and the West.
- Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered the Foreign Ministry to consult with NATO and the United Nations over this episode, his office said in a statement, without elaborating. NATO announced that it would hold an emergency meeting in Brussels later on Tuesday to discuss the episode.
India to press for equity at climate talks despite pressure – (Environment)
- India’s strategy at the Paris Climate Change summit will be to work with emerging economies and press the developed world to concede that responsibility for cutting carbon emissions after 2020 cannot be shared equally by rich and poor nations.
- Two major issues that New Delhi will focus on at the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are failed ambitions on transferring low carbon technologies to the developing world, and the lack of support for a plan to fund mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Juvenile convicted in Dec. 16 gang-rape a threat to society, say victim’s parents – (Social Issues)
- The juvenile convicted in the December 16 gang-rape case is a “potential rapist and murderer” posing a threat to the life and liberty of common people in society, fear the parents of the victim.
- The juvenile, now a 20-year-old adult, is set to walk free from the Majnu Ka Tila shelter home next month at the end of his three-year sentence.
Fortifying rubber wood, naturally – (Environment)
- A five-year-long research by scientists of the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST) has resulted in finding an organic natural plant extract for treatment of rubber wood to preserve it better and make it stronger to match its friendly pricing.
- While teakwood and rosewood, which are categorised as Class 1, have natural properties to protect themselves against termites and vagaries of weather, rubber wood falls in Category III, which means that it is susceptible to termite attack and may not be long lasting without treatment. Currently, rubber wood is treated with chemicals to increase its shelf life.
New species of tree frog discovered – (Environment)
- A new species of tree frog was discovered and another species of bush frog was rediscovered by a team of researchers during their recent exploration in the Western Ghats.
- The discovery, published in the latest issue of International Taxonomic Journal Zootaxa , is a joint effort by a team comprised Robin Abraham, a researcher from the University of Kansas, USA; Anil Zachariah, a batrachologist from Wayanad and Vivek Philip Cyriac, a researcher, of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram.
Focus now is on counter-radicalisation – (Security)
- First it was Badla (revenge), after Batla House encounter it was Farz (duty) and now it is Deen (religion) — this is the opening line of a secret document prepared by the Telangana Police to explain the influence of the dreaded militant outfit, the Islamic State (IS), in India.
- Though Indian intelligence agencies were little late to wake up to the dangers posed by the IS, with already six of 23 who joined the fight in Iraq and Syria dead, the agencies and the government have finally put their act together. Nearly 150 people are under watch. There are five women also among the probable recruits who were weaned away through community outreach. The thrust is on counter-radicalisation.
India, Singapore enter into strategic tie-up – (International Relation)
- India and Singapore signed a joint declaration envisaging a “Strategic Partnership,” which, besides broadening engagement in existing areas of cooperation, aims to catalyse new ones ranging from political, defence and security cooperation to economic, cultural and people-to-people contacts.
- Besides the partnership declaration — a framework to contribute to greater regional stability and growth — the two countries signed as many as 10 bilateral agreements on Tuesday.
Crime & penalty in Bangladesh – (International Relation)
- The ongoing war crimes trial in Bangladesh, which seeks to heal decades-old wounds in society by finding and punishing those who committed grievous crimes during the country’s liberation war in 1971, has invited applause and also raised concerns.
- After more than 40 years of independence, justice is finally being seen to be done as the Sheikh Hasina government took it upon itself to see the trials through. These crimes remained unresolved all these years because of Bangladesh’s complex post-liberation history.
Not without our girls – (Social Issues)
- New data from the Census have confirmed yet again what is now very well known — the Indian desire for a male child, even if at the exclusion of a female child, is widespread and well-established.
- Within this known phenomenon, however, are two different and in some ways contrasting processes that are going on simultaneously among different socio-economic groups, processes with great import for India’s demographic future. On the one hand, there is a clear birth advantage for male children in India, an advantage of such magnitude that it is almost certainly artificial.
Downing of Russian jet may further worsen Syrian conflict – (International Relation)
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that he found it suspicious that Turkey had reached out to its NATO allies after the downing of a Russian jet over the Syrian border but not to Moscow.
- “Instead of immediately getting in contact with us, as far as we know, the Turkish side immediately turned to their partners from NATO to discuss this incident, as if we shot down their plane and not they ours,” Mr. Putin said in Sochi. “Do they want to make NATO serve ISIS?” he asked.
Obama, Hollande seek shift in Russian strategy before joint action – (International Relation)
- U.S. and France on Tuesday said they would like Russia to be part of their joint efforts to fight the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, but put the onus on Russia to prove its credentials by giving up its support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
- Hours after NATO member Turkey downed along its border with Syria a Russian warplane, U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande indicated a toughening in the coalition’s stance towards Russia.
India to sell rupee bonds: Modi – (Economics)
- India has decided to start selling Rupee Bonds “in some countries” to provide long-term finance for infrastructure development in the country. This will be in addition to the setting up of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and introduction of the tax-free Infrastructure Bonds.
- Disclosing this at the India-Singapore Economic Convention in Singapore on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Singapore could be among the countries where the Rupee Bonds would be offered.
Rail upgrade to boost economic growth by 3% – (Economics)
- The ongoing modernisation of railways may boost the country’s gross domestic product by about 3 per cent over a period of time, Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu said. Railway Ministry was on track to spend Rs 1 lakh crore as budgeted this fiscal and about 103 announcements made in the FY16 railway budget have been implemented with several stations showing marked improvement in cleanliness,
- Mr. Prabhu said during his address at the Annual General Meeting of the industry chamber, Assocham. He added that projects were being awarded in a transparent manner and “not a single rupee tender comes to the minister.”
EPFO to invest in AA+-rated private bank bonds – (Economics)
- The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the country’s largest retirement fund with over Rs. 8 lakh crore under its watch, has decided to begin investments in bonds rated AA+ or higher issued by private sector banks. At least two credit rating agencies should have given such a rating.
- The Board of Trustees of the EPFO, which met here on Tuesday, ratified the decision, a senior government official said.