Will not stop war on currption, says Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that he would not scale down his attack on black money and corruption and promised to unearth more black properties and investments.
Princes, Ministers arrested in Saudi Arabia purge
Saudi Arabia has arrested dozens of senior figures including princes, Ministers and a top business tycoon, with the authorities on Sunday pledging 'fair' justice after a sweeping purge seen as consolidating the Crown Prince's hold on power.
Parliamentary panel studying Doklam issue
The Parliamentary Committee on External Affairs plans to submit a comprehensive report on China-India ties next year and is looking at the 'extremely topical' Doklam issue, panel chairman Shashi Tharoor said.
Hope quadrilateral meet not against us: China
China on Sunday reacted cautiousl over a proposa by the Trump administration for a working-level quadrilateral meeting with India, japan and Australiam saying Beijing hoped that itwould not target or damage a 'third party's interest'.
Centre plans to set up more commercial courts
Days after India jumped 30 positions in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking, Law Ministry officials said the Union government proposed to establish commercial courts in districts to further improve the parameters.
Note ban: firms put, drew Rs 17,000 cr
More than Rs 17,000 crore was deposited and withdrawn post demonetisation, by 35,000 companies, the government said on Sunday.
Beyond big game hunting
India took a significant step into its policies for the subcontinent by agreeing to an invitation for joining the Japan-proposed US endorsed plan of a “Quadrilateral” grouping which includes Australia to provide subsequent alternative debt finance for the countries in the Indo-Pacific region. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads primarily to the East Asia summit to be held in the Philippines next week, where the first ‘Quad’ meeting would be held, it is necessary for India to analyse the impact of its admission on all relations. This would also serve as a good exercise to understand as to why India has conceded it requires all “other parties” in the neighbourhood. One of the reason may be that as a developing economy with varied domestic targets, India’s own needs and requirements clash with its neighbours. More connectivity with neighbours would mean increased competition, whether it is for trade sector, water resources, or the energy sector. Another problem with India which diplomats of the region call is ‘India’s big game hunting attitude’. India pursues its neighbours for effective cooperation on different projects and courts them assiduously, but once after they have ‘bagged the game’, they eventually forget about the neighbours. As a result, subsequent crises grow until they become difficult to handle and the hunt begins again. Like, New Delhi has changed its opinion and position on Hambantota several times, going from the initial apathy state to disapproving Chinese interest, from scoring at the viability of the project to declaring open alarms at the possibility of any Chinese PLA-Navy installations set up in the southern tip of Sri Lanka. Finally after much ado, this year the Indian government decided to bid for the named Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport at Hambantota. This is a $205 million investment project for the empty facility which witnessed an average of two flights a day. India is also hoping hard to win the bid to develop a Trincomalee port with several projects. India is moving in now to build a counter to China in the neighbourhood, but it may be too little, too late and a little too expensive. India also has been very ambivalent on tackling the political issues in its region- often sandwiched between the more interventionist US approach and the Chinese approach. It is important for India to note that while the new plan of the government to involve the U.S. and Japan in the development projects in South Asia will yield the necessary results, it would come at the cost of India’s leverage high in its own backyard. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who began his regime with his “neighbourhood first” plan in his swearing-in ceremony in the year 2014 must look before he takes the leap while inviting other subsequent powers into its neighbourhood.
Seize the Opportunity
On 10th March 2014, the Supreme Court passed a unanimous order in a case which was initiated by the Public Interest Foundation. This case includes various issues dealing with the electoral reforms, including whether the candidates who stood up for elections should be disqualified post-conviction in a criminal case, or should be disqualified during the point of the framing of a charge sheet by a defined court. That issue was then postponed for a more detailed hearing later on. Justice R.M. Lodha took the opportunity to pass a succinct and categoric direction where in relation to cases against the sitting MPs and MLAs who have different charges framed against them for any serious offence as specified in Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the trial should be successfully conducted in no case later mostly than one year. If this act isn’t possible, then the Chief Justice of the High Court should be duly notified. In the present day state, on November 1, 2017, Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha picked up the baton. They enquired and wanted to know how many of the pending 1,581 cases involving MLAs and MPs have been successfully disposed of within the stipulated time frame of a year and how many of them were convicted. The Central government needs six weeks to respond and state that it would cooperate fully in setting up the special courts to try criminal cases that involve political persons. Regarding the question, put forward by the judges on November 1, the figures would undoubtedly be much low- corresponding to the severe violation of the court’s order. But this can be duly resolved. Special attention should be given to two factors- first the necessity of getting prosecutors who are not attached to any specific political party, and the other is that the main trial to be obstructed by any interim orders. As we have seen that political leaders are expert at rendering legal counsel who issues multifarious interim applications to twist the trial, this situation needs to be avoided. It can be actually avoided if the Chief Justices have a superintending mission.
Linking superbugs to the Ganges
The Ganges in India is hailed as a pious river, a river of legend and history and is ‘eternally pure’ life giver. However, this sacred river is bogged down by multiple threats of disease borne parasites, pesticides and bacterial genes edged on by pollutants and sewage from the industrial units it flows by. The threats and lethal infections existing in Ganga are no matches to the antibiotics as they are resistant to all modern antibiotics. The unhygienic living is a burning issue of India- around half the population of the country don’t have proper access to sanitation facilities and no proper toilets. They defecate in the open which leads to infections and serious diseases. A recently discovered bacterial gene names- bla NDM-I which is highly resistant to antibiotic drugs is found in the Ganges and its tributaries and arises through the sewage and industrial waste that is discharged into the river. This gene is the code for a defence protein called New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase. Everyone has heard of superbugs- they travel around from people to people as well as animals though sewers, streams and rivers and easily get transported to a person’s gut across the world. Preventive and pro-active measures need to be taken effectively to tackle the superbug and mostly to avoid spreading of the harmful gene from the sacred river to the people.