Jatin Verma is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
Sunday Weekly Review DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS 4th To 9th Sept. 2017 By Jatin Verma Educator Unacademy
Page-l: No separate labour rights for transgenders. [4th September 2017] The Wages Code Bill has been drafted to rationalise the country's 44 labour laws into four codes covering all the regulations pertaining to wages, industrial relations, social security and safety etc. . In 2014, the Supreme Court had for the first time recognised transgender persons as the 'third gender' and asked the Centre and the States to give them equal opportunities in education and employment[Article-16]. But now this reform, part of the Labour Ministry's draft law to codify wages and aimed at protecting transgender workers from discrimination, has been shelved following reservations expressed by the Law Ministry. Issue: The draft Labour Code on Wages Bill prepared by the Labour Ministry in 2015 had provisions prohibiting discrimination against transgender persons in the payment of wages. Defined as persons: Labour ministry had proposed inserting clauses for recognising the rights of transgender workers in all the four labour codes. . However, the Law Ministry objected, citing the General Clauses Act of 1897, according to which 'transgenders' fall within the definition of'person'.It was then decided that there was no need to add a separate clause for them. Now, because of the objections raised by the Law Ministry, it will not mention the term 'transgender while stating the entitlements related to gender in any of the labour laws
TransgenderRightsactivist'sviewpoint:Dr ing the separte clauses protecting transgender The Law Ministry's argument is beyond logic. Dropping the separate clauses protecting transgender persons is a hypocritical move by the Union government, as it is well known that they face discrimination at the workplace.The dignity of their body needs to be protected at the workplace as well, with basic facilities such as restrooms and equal wages. According to the Fifth Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey conducted by the Labour Bureau in 201 5-16, 48% of transgenders were either working or were available for work, as against 23.7% females, and 75% males. Articles that come into play here: l.Article 38 directs the state to secure a social order with economic, political and social justice for the promotion and welfare of the people Article 38(2) says that state shall strive to minimize the inequalities of income, status, facilities, opportunities etc. 2.Article 42 says that state shall make provisions for securing just and humane conditions for work and for maternity relief. 3.Article 46 says The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Page-l : In Cabinet relig, PM rewards performance [4th September 201 7] The word Cabinet" was nowhere mentioned in the original Constitution of India. Constitution only contained provisions related to Council of Ministers [Article 74]. After 44th Constitution Amendment Act,Article 352 was amended to incorporate the word Cabinet" A PM can effect changes to his CoM any number of times. Minimum Government, maximum Governance: Article 75(IA) of the Constitution prescribes that the total number of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed 15 per cent of the number of members of the House of the People. . Prior to January I,2004 (effective date of 91 st Amendment of the Constitution) the Prime Minister had discretion to appoint any number in his council of ministers But the Constitution (Ninety-first Amendment) Act in 2003 added clause (IA) in this Article which made a specific provision that, the total number of Ministers, including Prime Minister, in no case can exceed 15 per cent of the total number of Lok Sabha members.
Page-I I: Diplomacy must to solve conflicts: Xi [4th September 2017] Theme of 9th BRICS Summit:"Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future". e Itinerary: PM will hold bilateral meetings with several leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, which is among the five counties Mexico, Guinea, Thailand and Tajikistan - invited by China as the part of BRICS outreach exercise. Emerging Markets and Developing Countries Dialogue: Dialogue between Emerging Market Economies and Developing Countries will be held under the theme of "Promoting Mutually Beneficial Cooperation for Common Development" BRICS bank: Prior to the meeting, Beijing focused on highlighting the maturing of the BRICS institutional architecture. Question: What was the theme of Brics bank summit held in Goa?
Page-14: Business Page Review: Stirring anxiety into a melting pot. [4th September 2017] On April 18,2017,Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that he proposed to safeguard Australian jobs by abolishing the Subclass 457 Visa for foreign workers and creating a new temporary visa restricted to critical skills shortages Changes galore:The most important changes included: [i] a reduction in the list of allowed occupations for the temporary skilled visa by about 200 (from an original list of around 650 occupations), i]the introduction of a two-tier system of skilled migration visas: short-term-two years and medium- to longer-term (four years but with a different occupations list), minimum mandated work experience for some occupations and assurance of a minimum salary level that would be expected to correlate to the skill level. [iij There is also now a heightened focus on English-language requirements, and those with salaries above A$96,400, who were exempted from some of these requirements, will now have to submit proof of the same. Job Protectionism: All of these measures certainly have a familiar ring to them, and raise questions about whether the current global mood of tightening national borders and immigration restrictions, led by the U.S., is catching on in Australia too.
Ethics Case Study [4th September 2017] Q. Should the Railway Minister be made to resign on Moral Grounds? Ans.: Moral Grounds vs. Professional Grounds Operational Aspects Vs. Policy Aspect Sensitive Portfolio: Home Ministry; Communally sensitive District [EoC & EoO] Vs. Large Portfolio: Railways Ministry; Commerce Ministry Every large ministry need not be sensitive ministry
Page-l: BRICS declares Lashkar, Jaish as global terror groups. [5th September 2017] [GSM-2: International Institutions] The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping of the five emerging economies has unequivocally named the Pakistan based groups Jaish-e-Mohammad (eM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as terror organisations, removing a key irritant in ties between New Delhi and Beijing and stepping up the fight against global extremism. o A Joint communiqu released at the BRICS summit expressed concern about the regional security situation and listed Taliban, ISIL/DAISH,Al-Qaeda and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, lslamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e- Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir as sources of violence. e It is yet to be seen if the declaration will advance the effort to impose a UN ban on Masood Azhar as an international terrorist. Making its point unambiguous that the formulation adopted at the ninth BRICS will strengthen the fight on banning terrorists and terror groups at the United Nations, MEA statement said: "The BRICS leaders called for greater efficiency in designation of terrorists and terror groups by United Nations Committee on terrorism."
BRICS position underscores a shift in China position [5th September 2017] Analysts say the BRICS position underscores a shift in China's position, on hyphenating its ties with India with its relationship with Pakistan. . In the past, Beijing has repeatedly asked for a "technical hold" in designating the head of Pakistan based JeM as in international terrorist in the United Nations Security Council 1267 committee-a move that seemed to reflect its special ties with Islamabad. The joint statement, without exception also deplored "all terrorist attacks worldwide" including attacks in BRICS countries. Future Agenda of India: Combat against global terrorism Stepping up the combat against global terrorism further at the international level, India is now planning to hold a global conference on countering radicalisation e On countering radicalisation, India in the context of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the BRICS offered to organise a global conference on countering radicalisation Countries with a positive experience on this will be able to share their experience (at this conference).[lmportant in the context of standing with philippines]
Observers point out that by converging on counterterrorism, India and China are taking a big confidence building step especially in the context of the recent military tensions at the Doklam plateau. It was as yet not clear India-China ties have reached an inflection point in the post Doklam phase. But ahead of the summit of the five emerging economies, the Chinese foreign minister had also advocated the formation of a "different mechanism", that will obviate Doklam-like situation on the borders"in the long-run" Besides, Chinese President had also highlighted the urgency of avoiding "confrontation" as the security template for the five emerging economies, which are setting course on the second decade of their collaboration. . He underscored that the BRICS grouping must uphold the value of diplomacy to resolve "hotspot issues" A commentary in Chinese state media underscored that with the rise of protectionism in major markets like the U.S. and parts of Europe, BRICS must step into this vacuum and give some clear direction about what they see as the future of globalisation, and play their part in building the next phase of globalisation. [5th September 2017]
Page-l:Centre refuses to offer assurance on Rohingya.[GSM- 2 Polity + International] The Centre refused in the Supreme Court to give 40,000 Rohingya Muslim immigrants an assurance that it will not move for their deportation back to Myanmar. The court then asked Mr. Mehta to take instructions from the government on the plea made by the Rohingyas to protect their life and liberty. The 40,000 Rohingyas are the world's most wretched people. They have been persecuted everywhere onventions Their deportment would violate India's commitment to international c which recognise the "Principle of Non-Refoulement."This principle of customary international law prohibits the deportation of refugees to a country where they face threat to their lives. . The UNHRC Report of 2016 on the Human Rights violations and abuses against Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar has noted successive patterns of serious human rights violations to the right to life, liberty and security of the Rohingyas by state security forces and other officials in Mynamar. . Recently, the National Human Rights Commission had also issued notice to the government on the proposed deportment. [5th September 2017]
Page-9. Interview with UN special Rapporteur on Rohingya issue. [GSM-2: IR] . The recent Kofi Annan Commission report on the crisis indicated that there is a possibility of"threat posed from potential radicalisation The domestic law of Myanmar, 1982 Citizenship Law has to be amended to make sure that those who are living there for generations get their citizenship status as soon as possible For the first time that reports have surfaced of about 10 Hindus being killed and 500 fleeing to Bangladesh and the ethnic Mro community people killed as well In March, in the Security Council, China and Russia blocked a statement on Myanmar which was expected to be critical of the government. How effective it [United Nations] is when powerful countries are blocking a move? r5th September 2017]
Page-12: Naming JeM, LeT not new;action must shift to UN.[GSM-2: IR] . The BRICS declaration at Xiamen, that included a paragraph on terror has been hailed as a major shift of China's policy of protecting Pakistan based groups. However, experts point out that the reference to the Jaish-e-Mohammad JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is not a first for Beijing, and must be reinforced by a bilateral commitment on terrorism during the meeting between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expected on Tuesday. In designating the JeM chief Masood Azhar as a U.N. Security Council sanctioned terrorist when its current hold on the process at the UNSC expires on November I this year. r, they hope the BRICS statement will translate into China removing its block on Beyond statements:_It is obvious that China's new role in the region, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leadership, has given it new responsibilities, and it is significant that this shift also comes post-Doklam. 5th September 2017]
It remains yet to be seen if the listing of the extremist groups means that China has changed its position on Masood Azhar. Analysts say that it remains to be seen whether the "constructive start" at Xiamen, will yield "solid anchorage" capable of withstanding the regional headwinds that India and China are likely to encounter in the future,as they deepen their ties in the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific. Difference between BRICS and AIB: BRICS Bank has been formed - with subscription by Brazil, India, Russia, China & South Africa AllB: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank formed by India, China and 19 Asian economies. . The $100 billion AllB will be headquartered in Shanghai like the NDB but China will be the dominant share-holder with 49 per cent equity unlike the NDB in which the five founder countries have 20 per cent stakes each. Analysis: AllB could be used by China for financing B&RI Projects. [6th September]
Page-ll: Modi's 10 'noble commitments' for BRICS [6th September] .Creating a Safer World- By organised and coordinated action on three issues: 2. Creating a Greener World - By taking concerted action on countering climate change 3. Creating an Enabled World - By sharing and deploying suitable technologies to 4. Creating an Inclusive World - By economic mainstreaming of our people including in 5. Creating a Digital World - By bridging the digital divide within and outside our Counter-terrorism, Cyber-security and Disaster Management through initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance enhance efficiency, economy and effectiveness the banking and financial system economies d World - By giving future 7. Creating a Healthier World - By cooperating in research and development to eradicate diseases, and enabling affordable healthcare for all. 8. Creating an equitable world: BRICS nations should provide equality of opportunity to all, particularly through gender equality.
Page-1: Japan wants to develop missiles [6th September] Japan faces an unprecedented threat to its existence after North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb three days ago. . Japan sent out a strong message indicating that Japan is considering acquiring long-range missiles, revising its post-war pacific stance as its national security environment has been drastically changed since the crisis in the Korean peninsula escalated Under the present conditions, Japan may consider acquiring Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles [ICBM] and cruise missiles to deal with the threat that we are facing . The upcoming visit of Mr.Abe to India is significant in view of the tension in the India-China border. Mr. Kawai welcomed the end of the stand-off at Doklam and said, "Military disengagement at Doklam is a positive move and China has indicated its willingness to be engaged in peaceful negotiation of issue:s. Upcoming Abe-Modi talks on Railways and Infrastructure are significant in this light Mr.Abe will probably visit India between September 12-14 where he will hold bilateral discussions with Prime Minister and attend a ceremony to start a high-speed railway project. The Abe-Modi talks will provide the first major opportunity for Japan to share its concerns on the North Korean developments with India.
Analysis: Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security [6th September] Wavering support of U.S. In February 2017,U.S. defence secretary reaffirmed America's commitment to its mutual defence treaty with Japan when he met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.Jim Mattis, on his first trip since taking over the Pentagon, appeared eager to reassure Japan of U.S. resolve, after a 2016 election campaign in which Trump suggested both South Korea and Japan were benefiting from a U.S. security umbrella without sharing enough of the costs. Mattis said provocations by North Korea, which is advancing its nuclear weapons and missile programs, left no room for doubt about U.S. commitment.It was similar to a message he delivered over the past two days in South Korea. Article 5 obliges the United States to defend territories under Japanese administrative control. "Leaders of the World shall not behave like Dealers of Security"
. 2011 PJThomas Case : CVC appointment issue: [6th September] . Even in 2011, CJI had asked the petitioner whether the Leader of the Opposition could be given veto power in the appointment of the CVC, Petitioner said the purposive interpretation would be that there should be unanimity in the choice of the person as otherwise the whole purpose would be meaningless and the government would always go by the majority opinion. . He said if there was no unanimity, the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister could give reasons as to why the Leader of the Opposition was opposing a particular candidate and whether it was for any extraneous considerations. . The government appointed PJ Thomas as CVC despite dissension by the then LoR, who was one of the three members in the high-powered committee. . Back then, the primary issue was:Credibility & integrity of the Appointee This time the issue i: Can leader of Opposition exercise a veto in the appointment of CVC
Govt. to bring out policy to develop agri-clusters [6th September] The Govt will soon bring out a policy to develop agricultural clusters and boost farm exports Minister for Commerce said: If there are clusters for industry, why should we not think about clusters for agriculture. Farmers have the right to access global markets and get better prices for their produce At the multi-lateral level too there is work to be done to eliminate trade restrictions. .On the World Trade Organisation-level negotiations, he said there will be a ministerial conference in Argentina in December. . Govt will ensure that Indian farmers get their due by getting better price from global markets This is going to be part of the strategy to increase farmers income in India.
. India is seeking support for its proposal on an RCEP Travel Card, for the purpose. RCEP negotiations on other issues such as Intellectual Property Rights and investment liberalisation are also not seeing much progress. e Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and . six states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand). [6th September]
'Undersea line from Iran to port cheap gas'. [6th September] . A 1,300-km undersea pipeline from Iran, avoiding Pakistani waters, can bring natural gas from the Persian Gulf to India at rates less than the price of LNG available in the spot market,. Natural gas imported through the more than $4-billion line would cost $5-5.50 per milliorn British thermal unit at the Indian coast, cheaper than the rate at which some of the domestic fields supply gas. . Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, imported through ships costs about $7.50 per million British thermal unit. 'Via Oman to Porbandar' The pipeline can first travel to Oman, and then onwards to Porbandar in the state of Gujarat. . The cost of landed gas through an undersea pipeline will be at least $2 cheaper than importing LNG, saving about $I billion annually. The subsea pipeline is being seen as an alternative to the on-land, Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. . Indiahas not been participating in talks on the 1,036-km Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline since 2007 citing security and commercial concerns. But, it has never officially pulled out of the $7.6 billion Droiect.
Middle East TURKEY IRAO EGYPT SAUDI ARABIA OMAN SUDAN
Drivers aged 25-35 years were involved in the most number of accidents during 201 6. Around 83% of the people killed in accidents belonged to the working age group of 18-60 years. Steps being taken to avert accidents: [i] Legislature/ Parliament Level: Motor Vehicles Act being amended to increase penalties; [i] Judicial Level: Liquor Ban Executive Level: (a)Separation of Traffic Police machinery form General Police machinery. (b) Two/Four laning of Highways Still, better implementation of laws is found wanting. A district-level road safety committee will be formed to monitor the road safety record in the area. This committee would be headed by the Member of Parliament of the constituency [7th September]
Page-6: Rajasthan clears PPP model in govt.schools Initially those schools where the results had been below average would be handed over to private players and in the subsequent stages, 75% of schools in the rural areas and 25% in the towns would be run under the PPP model. What else is the way out???- Constructive Thinking Food for Thought- Is Education an "Industry" Yes of course- the higher the fee, the better the package, later! No emphasis on humanities- that is why, no study on how we are evolving as a society. Technocratisation of Education is leading to Roboticisation of Human beings 7th September]
Page-10: What data do you share, court asks WhatsApp,FB [7th September] A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court directed instant messaging platform WhatsApp and social media giant Facebook to file affidavits stating what user data they shared with "third parties.'" The Bench is hearing a petition filed by two law students alleging that a contract entered into between Facebook and WhatsApp in 2016 on data sharing was a violation of a citizen's right to privacy.The data, according to them, included photographs, messages, pictures and other personal documents shared by users on WhatsApp. . Initially, senior advocate representing WhatsApp, submitted that the instant messaging platform does not share any personal data of its users with third parties. He said only four details, telephone number, type of device, last access of the user and registration date,' are shared. The petitioners countered that the court should injunct WhatsApp from sharing user data with third parties. European privacy watchdogs have warned WhatsApp against sharing user information with parent company, Facebook.WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014.The petitioners argued that the same restriction should be imposed in India.
Page-12: Suu Kyi slams 'misinformation' [7th September] Myanmar was counting on China and Russia, both permanent members of the Security Council, to block a UN resolution on the crisis. Hasina calls for UN intervention Bangladesh Foreign Office, for the fourth time since August 25, summoned the Myanmar envoy in Dhaka and handed a protest note expressing deep concern over the fresh influx of the Rohingya people. . The UN's migration agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) appealed for an immediate relief assistance of $18 million. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland Director General: William Lacy Swing Official languages: English, French and Spanish Founded: 1951
Established in 195I, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners With 166 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants The IOM Constitution recognizes the link between migration and economic, social and cultural development, as well as to the right of freedom of movement. IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management: Migration and development Facilitating migration -Regulating migration -Forced migration. 7th September]
Page-l:U.S. backs sale of fighters to India.[GSM 2&3: IR & Make in India] The Trump administration has told the U.S. Congress that it "strongly supports" the sale of F- 18 and F-l6 fighter planes to India, built by American companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin respectively panies have offered to assemble these planes in India, should New Delhi decide to buy them. Make in U.S.: Donald Trump is in principle against companies relocating facilities abroad. will help reduce US trade deficit, Defence cooperation with India is so vital to U.S. interests because: [i] U.S. needs India to be a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific [ii]America needs to do more to reduce the deficit. Exports to India support over 2,60,000 U.S. jobs across all 50 States. [8th September]
Page-10: India keeps off '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 d ent processes, it said. . The part of the declaration to which India objected spoke of the forum expressing"deep concern on the ongoing violence in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, amongst others..." r8th September]
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. r8th September] e 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. [ii]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
Page-l:Unruly fliers now face life ban. [GSM-2: Polity & Gov- Regulation] . The unruly passenger will be put on a no-fly list, which will be made public and maintained by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). India would become the first to maintain a national no-fly list for passenger safety. . The ban will range between three months and a lifetime depending upon the gravity of the offence. . In case a passenger is a repeat offender, the duration of the flying ban will be twice that of his previous ban. Internal Committee: Airlines, on receiving complaint of unruly behaviour by the pilot-in-command, will refer the matter to an internal committee chaired by a retired district and sessions judge. The committee will include a representative each from different airline and passenger associations or consumer forums. [9th September]
. Page-10: No shift in policy on Pakistan: China. [9th September] After agreeing to list Pakistan-based outfits Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as international terror groups during BRICS summit, China reassured Pakistan that there was no shift in its policy of recognising Islamabad's role in countering global extremism. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that Beijing saw Islamabad as a close ally that is a key part of the battle against international terrorism Post-BRICS balancing: Mr.Wang embarked on a post-BRICS balancing act when he praised Pakistan as Beijing's "good brother and iron friend". "For years Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism. More importantly Pakistan is an important participant in the international cooperation against terrorism." Chinese Foreign Minister added: When it comes to the issue of counterterrorism, Pakistan has done its best with a clear conscience. In comparison, some countries need to give Pakistan the full credit that it deserves.
. Page-10:World News: Nepal, China discuss railway connectivity project. [9th Sept.] Nepalese Deputy PM is on a visit to China. 3 Agreements:  A Railway Connectivity Proie ridinareed to take necessary measures to carry out connectivity project with China. Both sides agreed to take necessary measures to carry out technical study of the project. li] Agreement on Energy cooperation: To undertake a feasibility study to excavate natural gas and petroleum in the Himalayan country, including in the southern Terai plains. [iii]Agreement on Tourism opened up Nepal's tourism sector for greater Chinese investment.It will restore cross-border connectivity and people-to-people relations. China responded positively on Nepal government's request to immediately reopen the 114 kilometre Araniko highway - an old route connecting the two countries. The highway was damaged and subsequently closed following the massive earthquake in Nepal in 2015. China has agreed in principle to upgrade the highway . The agreements came two days after China held the BRICS summit and indicate Nepal's desire to reach out to Chinese and Eastern markets as an alternative to India.
. Page 10: India could embrace CO2 capture technology.[9th September] An Indian delegation at an international conference on Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) in Alabama said India will explore the possibility of introducing technologies for capturing carbon dioxide emitted while burning coal and other fossil fuels. Commercial uses: A lot of advanced research in the area, of late, has been focussing on capturing carbon dioxide emissions from sources like coal-fired power plants, to either reuse or store it so it will not enter the atmosphere. CO2 has commercial and industrial uses, particularly for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) in depleting oil fields. Carbon dioxide has the ability to change the properties of oil and make it easier to extract. . The International Energy Agency's Green House Gas Research and Development initiative organises the annual Post Combustion Carbon Conference, which is currently in session in Birmingham, in the State of Alabama.
. Page-ll: Carmakers seek stable policies.[9th September] After 18 months of sudden rule changes that left many carmakers scrambling, some of the industry's largest players are calling on the Indian Government to set clear, stable policies or face the risk of delays to major investment. India is one of the world's fastest-growing car markets, and getting more companies to manufacture in India- both for its own market and for export- is critical for the government, which needs to create millions of new jobs each year as the workforce expands. Executives at automakers like Volkswagen, Hyundai Motor Co. and Tata Motors say that to invest more and better, they need more stable regulation on tax, emission allowances and electric vehicles. . The latest setback came last week, when the cabinet approved a move to increase the maximum levy on luxury cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to as much as 25%-less than two months after deciding on a lower rate of 15% as part of the new nationwide Goods and Services Tax.
. Other changes that have caught automakers by surprise include a temporary court ban on the sale of large diesel cars in New Delhi last year and a tax increase for hybrid cars from July. . Hyundai, as a result, has dropped its plan to introduce hybrid cars in India and will now look at bringing in electric cars. . He said the company is waiting for clarity on the electric vehicles policy before it decides on any products and strategy. What do Car-makers want? I. Clarity on Electric vehicles policy 2. Biofuel norms- so as to make new investment plans accordingly 3. Reduction in GST cess on SUVs 4. Transitionary incentives for Hybrid Vehicles [9th September]