Hopes rise for Paris climate deal - (Environment)
- Paris prepares to host the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change conference beginning on Monday, raising expectations that the participation of nearly 150 Presidents, Prime Ministers and heads of state in a leadership event will bring about a good agreement.
- The high-profile opening event at which U.S. President Barack Obama is to join China’s President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is intended to signal the seriousness with which climate change is being approached at CoP21, the conference of member countries.
India questions OECD claim on climate finance - (Environment)
- On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Paris to take part in the climate change conference, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said India questioned the correctness of the recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which claimed a significant progress on a road map to achieve $100 billion in climate change finance annually by 2020.
Minority rights absolute, Ambedkar said - (Indian Polity)
- B.R. Ambedkar, the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution, had strongly pitched for minority rights as the Constituent Assembly discussed the interim report on Fundamental Rights on May 1, 1947.
- Dr. Ambedkar, however, more than a year later, opposed a proposal to insert the words “socialist” and “secular” in Article 1 of the Constitution.
Dabholkar fought gender bias in temples - (social Issues)
- The trail-blazing activism by rationalist firebrand Narendra Dabholkar, who was killed by right wing elements, and his Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS) to combat the ban on women entering temples was a vital phase in the organisation’s untiring efforts to strive for gender equality in Maharashtra.
- While the struggle commenced with the usual raucous noises from the right-wing patriarchy, it culminated on a happy note with these very sections joining in the cause to uphold the dignity of women across the State.
Concern over large gaps in airspace security - (Defence)
- What will happen if an enemy nation, or a terrorist organisation, were to fire a missile at an Indian city or a naval ship?
- The simple answer: There is no guarantee that India’s air defence systems would be able to detect them and launch a counter-attack to shoot it down before it wreaks havoc on targets.
India a partner in climate change fight: U.S. - (International Relation)
- The U.S. appears careful not to be confrontational with India ahead of the Paris climate conference after New Delhi reacted sharply to Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement earlier this month that India would be a “challenge” in negotiations.
- Despite repeated attempts by The Hindu , a State Department spokesperson refused to elaborate on what the Secretary meant by “challenge,” and instead, chose to underscore that the U.S. and India were partnering in combating climate change.
‘Extreme weather wreaking havoc on agriculture - (Agriculture)
- Farmers in India are facing the impact of extreme weather conditions with 2015 being the third consecutive year in which standing crops across 15 States were damaged on 18.23 million hectares during the rabi (winter) harvesting season due to unseasonal rain and hailstorms.
- In 2013, owing to the same erratic weather conditions, crops ready to be harvested on 0.35 million hectares across five States were damaged, while the damage was reported on 5.5 million hectares across six States in 2014 for the rabi crops, according to a report “Lived Anomaly”, released recently by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
Don’t entertain PIL plea against individuals: SC - (Indian Polity)
- Public interest litigation (PIL) petition essentially directed against one particular individual or organisation should not be entertained, the Supreme Court has ruled.
- If public spirited litigants want to take on the high-and-mighty in courts, there are other alternatives to filing PIL petitions, a Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and S.A. Bobde said in a recent judgment.
Secularism and the Constitution - (Indian Polity)
- The current winter session of Parliament was expected to add clarity to the ongoing debate on tolerance, or the lack of it, in the country. But before the issue was taken up, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government came up with the idea of a two-day debate on how far the values of the Constitution are being understood today.
- The occasion was to mark the 125th birth anniversary year of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution in the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949.
Testing cricket’s true colours - (sports)
- The first day-night Test at Adelaide, between Australia and New Zealand, in the end provided cricket thrilling enough to match the high interest in the long-form game’s boldest innovation in a long time.
- While it is clear that pink-ball cricket is here to stay, it is uncertain whether it simply gives administrators options for scheduling play or whether it will, in fact, revolutionise Test cricket.
Centre to map country’s training infrastructure - (Economics)
- The government, in a bid to bolster the impact of the Skill India mission, is mapping the country’s existing training infrastructure, including thousands of private training institutes that are thriving but do not reflect in the official data.
- New enterprise- and household-level statistical surveys to be conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) would now glean details about training institutions, their capacities for imparting different skill sets and their utilisation by young job market aspirants.
India for protection of poor farmers’ interests at Nairobi WTO meet - (Economics)
- India, at the forthcoming Nairobi meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), will put “all its energies” on pushing through a plan meant to protect the interests and livelihood of poor and vulnerable farmers, government officials who didn’t want to be identified told The Hindu.
- Roberto Azevedo, WTO Director General, recently said that the negotiations to firm up rules to liberalise global trade are currently “stuck” due to member countries finding it “difficult to reconcile their views” on a host of issues.