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Page 12:Cong.questions reference to administered Kashmir. . Two days after India welcomed the U.S. State Department's decision to designate Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) leader Syed Salahuddin as Specially Designated Global Terrorist, the move has run into controversy, over the State Department's description of his activities in "Indian- Administered Kashmir" The Ministry of External Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in India and the State department didn't reply to queries for a response on the use of the term"administered" This indicates that despite close ties between India and the U.S. on terrorism in the past decade, the designation of Kashmir has remained the same in some official annals They have used different terms at different times, all meant to indicate de facto control. De jure they still consider entire territory of J&K as disputed territory. Hence the qualifiers. The designation of Syed Salahuddin as a terrorist is important because till now the U.S. has tended to see the Hizb- leadership more in the context of the India-Pakistan dispute and has been reluctant to designate i.t as terrorist
Page 13: As stand-off continues, Army chief to visit border areas According to reliable sources, Indian Army troops objected to the Chinese sol- diers carrying out construc- tion on a road stretch through the disputed Dolam Plateau (Donglang or Dok- lam), triggering the con- frontation. In response, Chinese authorities denied entry to pilgrims for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra via the Nathua La pass. Former Army chief Gen. Shankar Roychowdhury told that such incidents were not new and date back to 1967 when the first such clash took place at Nathu La between Indian and Chinese troops. However, he said the question to ask is why are such incidents taking place with such frequency."Is it because our Prime Minister is perceived to be too close to the U.S. or is it to assist its best ally Pakistan? Or is it a combination of all these factors plus history. Add to that is the fact they have turned the pilgrims away."
Keeping India engaged' A recently retired Army of- ficer who has served on the Sikkim border with China said he too believed that the timing of the Chinese action, not just in provoking a bor- der standoff but to send back Kailash Mansarovar Yatra pilgrims, was a diplo- matic message to coincide with Prime Minister Naren- dra Modi's visit to the U.S. . Brig. Gurmeet Kanwal, Distinguished Fellow, Insti- tute for Defence Studies and Analyses, said these incid- ents were a continuum of maintaining stability at a strategic level while "keep- ing India engaged at the tac- tical level through political, diplomatic and military means." He said the standoff would take sometime but would be resolved. "It could be said to be Chinese manifestation of the choices India has made in the recent past," he said in the context of the recent dis- putes between the two countries and the timing of the incident.
Page 14: Govt. unveils new hydrocarbon policy Govt. introduced a new oil and gas block licensing policy that is expected to open up 2.8 million square kilometres of sedimentary basins to exploration and production activities. Open Acreage Licensing Palisey Data Repository Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) and the National The lack of seismic sedimentary basin data had been hampering the oil and gas exploration and production sector, the minister said, adding that 52% of India's sedimentary basins had not been appraised as yet. sedimentary basins had not ben apprased as ye. . The National Data Repository was expected to improve this situation, he said.
o It gives exploration companies the option to select the exploration blocks on their own, without having to wait for the formal bid round from the Government. The company then submits an application to the government, which puts that block up for bid. Initially the applications and related bids for the blocks would be held twice a year-in January and July - but said this could become more frequent as the industry becomes used to the new model. "A single license to explore all forms of hydrocarbons, no oil cess, reduced rates of royalty are just few of the many enabling provisions which will stimulate investments in the sector.This decision will go a long way towards reducing import dependence and achieving India's quest for energy security.
Niti Aayog moots new regulator for coal, gas Niti Aayog has suggested creation of regulators for coal as well as oil and gas Coal and upstream petroleum sectors have lacked independent, statutory regulators. Due to several reasons, including strong presence of PSUs and limited number of private operators, it was so far not found useful to place the latter in position. e But, now with increased private activity, it is appropriate get an independent regulator. e Ideally, there ought to be a single regulator to govern the energy market, the Aayog said, pointing out that in India, the market has not fully developed. e Hence, the regulators need to devote considerable attention to development of supply. And looking to the large inherent complexities in different fuel sources, it is pertinent that there ought to be sectoral regulators.