Sundarbans to become separate district next year – (Environment)
- In July, 2014 when the hut of 50-year-old Kalpana Mondal and many others residing on the edge of Mousani Island of southern Sundarbans in West Bengal was washed away by the rising tides, there was no help from the district administration for over two days.
- While the rest of the State remained oblivious to the plight of the islanders, the people had no option but to move to higher areas and wait for the State’s assistance.
Constitution is our holy book: PM – (indian Polity)
- Asserting his government’s commitment to the Constitution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Parliament on Friday that the religion of the government was “India first” and the Constitution its “holy book.”
- Mr. Modi’s address in the Lok Sabha came as part of the commemoration of the Constitution to mark the 125th birth anniversary year of the chairman of its drafting committee Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and happened to coincide with a debate on “intolerance” and secularism outside Parliament.
Govt. plans to tap into subsidies to pay pension – (Governance)
- The NDA government is mulling a new approach to ensure old-age income security for the poor, offering them the option of allowing a deduction of a part of their government benefits and subsidies at source as contribution towards the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) that gives a monthly pension of Rs.1,000-Rs. 5,000.
Human development holds the key – (Governance)
- Of late, the Kawal Tiger Reserve in Adilabad district has become a safe zone more for the resurgent Maoists than tigers. Curiously, however, the clue to controlling extremism also lies in this disappointing phenomenon, if experts are to be believed.
- “Implementation of development schemes in tribal habitations located in the park, especially those which concern human development, will definitely make a difference. People who are generally on the path of development are not known to be supportive of Naxalism,” observed a forest official working in KTR, as he alludes to the backing of locals enjoyed by Maoists.
Fickle weather adding to farm distress, say experts – (Agriculture)
- India’s agriculture sector is in distress, and with the rise in extreme weather events, farmers have been at the receiving end and hence, they need better protection measures than ever before, said experts at the National Consultation on Crop Loss Estimation, Relief and Compensation organised by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) here on Friday.
- CSE Director-General Sunita Narain said: “We are seeing an increased severity and frequency of extreme weather events. Farmers in India are facing the double blow of agrarian distress and extreme weather events as a result of climate change. A series of measures including better protection mechanisms are needed to support them.”
Four-nation connect in friendship car rally – (International Relation)
- The four-nation — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) — friendship car rally reached Tripura on Friday.
- The 19-day journey will conclude in Kolkata on December 1. The rally will be flagged off on Saturday morning at Agartala for its final destination after a halt in Bangladesh.
Grasp the climate moment – (Environment)
- The Paris Climate Change Conference could become a landmark summit in the history of world development, if leaders of the rich nations show the vision to come up with a just and equitable agreement that supports carbon-free growth.
- The heads of government meeting at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference opening on November 30 are under pressure to evolve a concrete plan that goes beyond incremental measures and acknowledges the seriousness of scientific evidence on dangerous climate change.
Unhealthy defiance – (Indian Polity)
- It is not unusual to see State governments showing reluctance to abide by court orders that rulers deem politically inexpedient or ideologically unpalatable.
- Maharashtra is perilously close to being seen as wilfully disobedient as it drags its feet on issuing licences to hoteliers to host dance performances more than a month after the Supreme Court stayed its legislation to ban dance bars in Mumbai. The court has now peremptorily told the State government to process within two weeks all the applications it has received.
Koirala’s initiatives could start amendment process – (International Relatiom)
- The newly adopted Constitution of Nepal might undergo the first round of amendments if the latest round of consultations being held by former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala becomes successful. Mr. Koirala, who was away in the U.S. for treatment, returned on Thursday and summoned Mahanta Thakur, chairperson of Tarai Madhesh Loktantrik Party, for a meeting.
- Following the meeting, Mr. Thakur told The Hindu from Kathmandu that Mr. Koirala has requested for all Madhesi parties to come on board for the necessary amendments. “We had extensive discussion on the process of amendments and we will work to build consensus. The process of change will begin very soon,” said Mr. Thakur.
Time good for India to firm up long-term LNG contracts: IEA – (Economics)
- India must tie up long-term LPG contracts now as global prices are low and there could be an additional downward pressure on prices in the future as new players enter the market, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol said.
- Mr.Birol also commented on the future of oil prices, a move unusual for the normally reticent IEA.
Defying terror, Indian tourists pack their bags to head for France – (Economics)
- A majority of Indian tourists, who had booked their France itinerary, don’t intend to cancel their bookings after the Paris terror attacks even as tour operators eye other European and Asian markets to provide alternative destinations to sustain their business next year.
- Asia accounts for a growing number of visitors to the country with an estimated 300,000 Indians visiting Paris every year and this number is increasing, according to the French Embassy.
Sexual harassment cases at workplace more than double in 2014 – (Social Issues)
- A third of India corporations and a fourth of global companies surveyed in the country were not compliant with Sexual Harassment Act 2013 and the number of sexual harassment complaints at workplace more than doubled to 526 in 2014, according to the National Commission for Women.
- Overall 31 per cent of the respondents were not compliant with the Act after its enactment, which mandates Internal Complaints Committee being constituted to address complaints, according to a report titled ‘Fostering Safe Workplaces’ complied by FICCI – EY. A total of 249 complaints were registered in 2013.