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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS from THE HINDU 8th September 2017 By Jatin Verma Educator Unacademy
What's new in the News Today I. 1993 Blast Case: Death for two. 2. PM visits Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. 3. U.S. backs sale of fighters to India. 4. Where Kerala's birds go for higher studies 5. CIC backlog grows as vacancies remain unfilled 6. India keeps off Bali Declaration 7. Debt, project delays worry 8. China pushes for more UN action, talks 9 'Crystal clear, on moving to alternative auto fuels: MoRTH
Page-7: CIC backlog grows as vacancies remain unfilled. GSM-2: Polity-Statutory Bodies- Functioning; Fundamental Rights-Article-19] Reasons for increasing Backlog: [i] CIC blame the lack of sufficient staff strength; [i] Issue of CIC and IC vacancies. Other lacunae in the proper functioning of the Act: National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI) highlighted the lack of transparency in the process of appointment of information commissioners DoPT has denied information about the process adopted for shortlisting candidates. Question. Critically analyse the functioning of RTI Act over last one decade. Also, throw some light on roadblocks being faced in effective impelmentation of the Act. What steps do you suggest to remove these roadblocks?
Page-10: India keeps o ff 'Bali Declaration, [GSM-2: IR-Bilateral-Myanmar] In a show of solidarity with Myanmar, India refused to be a part of a declaration adopted at an international conference.An Indian Parliamentary delegation,led by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, dissociated itself from the 'Bali Declaration' adoped at the 'World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development' held at Bali, Indonesia as it carried "inappropriate" reference to the violence in Rakhine State from where 1,25,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh. . This was in view of the fact that the declaration, which was to be adopted at the conclusion of the Forum, was not in line with the agreed global principles of 'sustainable development' India reiterated its stance that the purpose of convening the Parliamentary forum was to arrive at a mutual consensus for implementation of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) which required inclusive and broad-based development processes, it said. The part of the declaration to which lIndia objected spoke of the forum expressing"deep concern on the ongoing violence in the Rakhine State of Myanmar,amongst others..."
Page-10: Debt, project delays worry Bhutan [GSM-2: International Relations.] . At the India-Bhutan Dialogue that was attended by delegates from Bhutan and India Bhutan expressed the concern that it is necessary that the issues that have come up due to debt and delay are addressed at the earliest. [I] Delay in Execution of hydro power projects [I] India's status as apower surplus country . The"Hydropower Committee" set up by the Bhutanese government highlighted the emerging challenges from the growing debt burden Bhutan carries due to delays in the major hydropower projects As of July 2017,Bhutan's debt to India for the three major ongoing projects: [i] Mangdechhu [ii] Punatsangchhu l and 2 is approximately 2,300 crores which accounts for 77% of the country's total debt, and is 87% of its GDP. . While the cost of the 720 MW Mangdechhu project has nearly doubled in the past two years of construction, both Punatsangchhu I and 2, each of 1200 MW have trebled in cost and been delayed more than five years over the original completion schedule
A decade ago we shifted from doing one project at a time to doing many projects together, in order to reach the goal of 10,000MW in hydropower by 2020 . Another issue, the officials added, was the fact that India is now a power-surplus country and the demand growth was slower than expected. The government's push for other renewable energies like Wind and Solar Power was also seen as an issue. Meanwhile, the interest repayment on projects that are being financed by India as 30% grant and 70% loan at 10% annual interest is piling up. MEA sources told that the government is looking at the proposals of the Bhutanese hydropower committee, but accepted that it would be difficult to meet many of them, given India's own power sector needs to compete. Key proposals were: [ilto only undertake any new projects after the current projects being undertaken by NHPC are commissioned; "reservoir" projects; and joint ventures between Indian and Bhutanese entities. [i]to move from "run of the river" projects currently favoured to only a few major [iijto undertake only those that come with Inter-governmental guarantees rather than
While the Doklam situation showed that government to government relations can be strengthened very quickly, it is important that hydropower, which is a key issue for the Bhutanese people also be looked at more quickly Public opinion in Bhutan was beginning to question the viability of the debt incurred by the projects be looked at more quickly. . The India-Bhutan Dialogue also looked at environmental issues, illegal wildlife trade and cross-border drug smuggling and other areas of concern between the two countries which will mark 50 years in their official relationship in 2018.
Page-12 International News: China pushes for more UN action, talks[GSM-2:IR] China agreed that the UN should take more action against North Korea after its latest nuclear test, while also pushing for dialogue to help resolve the stand-off. North Korea said it would respond to any new UN sanctions and U.S. pressure with "powerful counter- measures'". . The U.S. wants the UN Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban its exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean labourers abroad, and to subject leader Kim Jong-un to an asset freeze and travel ban. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke at the regional meeting in Vladivostok and agreed to try to persuade China and Russia to cut off oil to North Korea as much as possible. Amid the rising tension, South Korea installed the four remaining launchers of a U.S. anti- missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on a former golf course south of its capital, Seoul.
Page-13 Business Page: 'Crystal clear' on moving to alternative auto fuels: MoRTH. [GSM-2 & 3: Govt Policy, Enviromment- Biofuels,Automobile Sector] Giving a stern warning to the auto industry, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways said the government was 'crystal clear' about moving to less-polluting transport options and those resisting the change would be 'dragged' along . He exhorted industry to research on alternative fuels, adding that the cabinet note on electric vehicles was ready. Mr. Gadkari said the government policy was crystal clear, on reducing pollution and curbing imports, so the industry should work towards it and not complain later that 'they have huge stock of old vehicles that do not run on alternative fuel' It was also pointed out that the sector was already leapfrogging to BS-VI from BS-IV within three years.