The Hindu analysis – 15 August 2015

Farmers may get Modi’s I-Day gift 

·         The poor crop insurance cover is among the reasons for suicide by farmers in distress.

·         The Agriculture Ministry has said that 3,313 farmers had committed suicide for agrarian reasons in the past three years, with Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala accounting for 3,301 of them.

For a durable engagement

·         The announcement by Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on national security and foreign affairs, that he would be in New Delhi on August 23 for talks with National Security Adviser AjitDoval, is welcome news, even though the Ministry of External Affairs has let it be known that the information had not yet reached it through official channels.

 

A ban and some questions

 ·         There has been little logic or clarity to the government’s actions around banning a popular brand of noodles, and now its unbanning by the Bombay High Court is unlikely to clear the air either.

·         In June, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said the snack, Maggi, was found to be “hazardous and unsafe for human consumption”.

SEBI notifies start-up listing norms  –  (Economics)

·         Making it easier for start-ups to raise funds, regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Friday notified a new set of listing norms for such entities, including e-commerce ventures, on a separate platform of domestic stock exchanges.

·         The new norms provide significant relaxations in the disclosure requirements, while SEBI has also relaxed its delisting, takeover and Alternative Investment Fund regulations for such new-age entities engaged in IT, data analytics, intellectual property, bio-technology or nano-technology like activities.

 

Government to transfer ownership in PSU banks to a new holding company  –  (Economics)

·         The government on Friday announced a seven-point action plan, Indradhanush to infuse professionalism and fresh capital in to public sector banks.

·         As part of the plan, the government announced the setting up of Bank Board Bureau (BBB) that will give way to holding company to which the Centre will transfer it ownership of all these banks.

Yuan devaluation: experts divided over India trade competitiveness factors  –  (Economics)

·         The devaluation of Chinese yuan currency is a matter of concern and this could lead to a situation where China will start dumping its goods into India. But the government has assured that it will safeguard the sectors which are likely to be affected by the Chinese currency.

·         A sharp slowdown in exports forced China to revalue its Yuan currency to improve competiveness. The currency was devalued twice.

 

Hopes of economic stability   –  (Economics)

·         Wholesale price inflation fell to -4.05 per cent in July from -2.4 per cent in June, a historic low, sparking hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India possibly even before its next scheduled policy announcement on September 29.

·         Reacting to the news, the Sensex gained more than 500 points on Friday, and the rupee, which has come under pressure after China’s move to devalue its currency, recovered to 65 per dollar. It had hit an intra-day low of 65.31 in early trades.

Tianjin blasts may derail China’s space programme –   (International relations)

·         China has shut down its Tianhe-1A supercomputer, signalling that the massive twin blasts that rocked the port city of Tianjin on Wednesday night may have impacted the country’s space programme.

·         China’s state-run Xinhua news agency is reporting that Tianhe-1 was shut down after shockwaves generated by the double blast at Tianjin’s Binhai New Area shattered windows of the National Supercomputing centre, and brought down ceilings at some parts of the building.

 

India, U.S. push to tackle mounting threats, online and offline –   (Security)

·         In a fresh bid to tackle the mounting threats in cyberspace and from more traditional terrorist foes such as the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, senior officials from the Indian and U.S. governments came together here this week to boost collaborative efforts under the aegis of the 2015 U.S.-India Cyber Dialogue.

Parliament turning into combat arena: Pranab –   (Indian polity)

·         In the wake of a washout of the monsoon session, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday delivered a blunt message to the political class, stating that Parliament had been converted into an arena of combat rather than debate.

·         Addressing the nation on the eve of Independence Day, Mr. Mukherjee quoted from a speech by B.R. Ambedkar in which he pointed out that the Constitution could only provide the organs of the State such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. How they work, he said, would depend on the people of India and the political parties they set up.

 

PM’s major initiatives fail to click  –   (Governance)

·         Jan DhanYojana- Billed as the world’s biggest financial inclusion initiative, 16.73cr new accounts opened.

·         SwachhVidyalaya- All government schools have toilets now, a target met on Friday, Independence Day eve, says MHRD that’s 419,092 toilets.

·         Make in India- Not much headway as investors await a more conducive climate.

U.S. backs India’s UNSC claim, says Ambassador  –   (International Relations)

·         There has been no change in his country’s position on the expansion of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) since 2009, said U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma, reiterating that the U.S. continues to support India’s candidature for a permanent seat.

·         The U.S. would stand by President Barack Obama’s bilateral commitment that in the event of a vote on the issue, Washington would support New Delhi, he said.

 

Santhara in the eyes of the law  –  (social issues)

·         The Rajasthan High Court judgment which criminalized the Jain ritual of fasting unto death unwittingly bared the cultural divide between disparate end-of-life concepts.

·         Unlike a Christian believer who looks upon the human body as a God-given ‘temple of the human soul’, a devout Jain views that same body as a ‘prison of the human soul’

The clincher that was the n-deal  –   (International relations)

·         The India-U.S. nuclear deal signed 10 years ago is an exemplar of India’s recognition of strategic patience and the importance of building partnerships and has brought in handsome returns.

·         The most enduring impact of the deal is in creating a new awareness across the world that India’s ancient wisdom is now embroidered with new paradigms of thought, action and behavior.

 

Farmers may get Modi’s I-Day gift  –   (Economics)

·         The poor crop insurance cover is among the reasons for suicide by farmers in distress.

·         The Agriculture Ministry has said that 3,313 farmers had committed suicide for agrarian reasons in the past three years, with Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala accounting for 3,301 of them.

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