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Summary

Bill to criminalise triple talaq passed in Lok Sabha

Amidst protests from a few political parties, including those close to the BJP, the Lok Sabha on Thursday passed by voice vote the Bill that makes instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence, with a jail term of up to three years.

SEBI tightens rating agency, MF norms

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had tightened the norms for credit ratig agencies (CRAs) and mutual funds (MFs) to reduce instances of conflict of interest.

Bitcoin too small in India to be regulated

Bitcoins and other cyrptocurrencies will see increasing use in India according to industry players, who say that, right now the sector is too small to be regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or Finance Ministry.

1.9 cr names in first draft of Assam NRC

Nearly 32 years after the Assam Accord was signed, the first draft of an updated National register of Citizens (NRC) for the State listed 1.90 crore names out of the 3.29 crore applicants.

US foolishly gave money to Pakistan

US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to stop aid to Pakistan.

Cold wave disrupts life in North India

The intense cold spell continued in the hilly States in north India even as air, road and rail travellers faced cancellations, suspended aervices and delays with heavy fog shrouding the plains on Monday.

Editorial

Testing Times

The Central Government is working its way out to address the twin balance sheet problem of India with very fewer results in its wake. The Financial Stability Report, which was released by the RBI shows that India is still lagging behind in solving the problems which affect the banks and the business corporations. According to the study report, the NPA's of the banking system in India rose to 10.2% during September end from the earlier record 9.6% in March-end. This figure puts India on the fifth-ranking on the list of economies having the most NPA's. The NPA's of the private banks rose significantly by 41% in comparison to 17% of the public sector banks. However, there is some ray of prosperity as the credit growth rate is slowly developing and showing a faster growth trend on a yearly basis. the reforms which are taken by the government and authorities are not sufficient enough to recover the problem. there is a need of recapitalization of the public sector banks which would help in increasing the capital cushion of the banks and would induce them to lend more money and boost the economy. there is also an urgent need of structural reforms for the banks and organizations to recover well.

Growing Forests

The recent disclosure in the Parliament that the Centre isn't ready to comply with the rules to implement the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act 2016 highlights the Government's resolve to meet different environmental objectives like the major commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as the Sustainable Development Goals are fragile. the prior evidence on the compensatory afforestation in a massive project like the Sardar Sarovar Dam project isn't encouraging. in that case, around 13,000 hectares were compensated with pitchy outcomes- healthy monoculture plantations which have low biodiversity value occurring in some places and in other cases there are unhealthy plantations with very less trees. a more feasible and essential method to implement as of now would be to expand the green cover as the sequestration of carbon through the sustainably managed forests is the prime focus of the commitment of the Paris Agreement. for this, the Green India Mission needs to be achieved and emphasized. However, all these rules and policies can be implemented only with the actualisation of the law passed in the year 2016.

Hope for Good Air

Pollution and Delhi are in the news almost every day. it is expected that the policymakers would have learned from the Delhi pollution crisis that combating all the smog and unhealthy haze needs proper ideas and policies. 2017 began with the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) promising a good departure from the old age methods of pollution combating. Tthe Supreme Court mandated the steps by the graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and implemented them before Diwali. However, these steps proved futile during that time and the year 2017 again saw heavy smog and pollution levels. By the end of the year, two new more plans by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and a draft report by principal secretary to prime minister Nripendra Misra highlights that the policymakers have learned a thing or few from the problem. The NGT foremost should implement good measures on maintaining public transport. Thereafter, it needs to handle the prohibition of construction activities during a pollution crisis in the capital. The plans by the NGT also talks about the odd-even scheme without mentioning the earlier squabble between the NGT and the Delhi Government. Tackling with the pollution crisis in the capital also requires course correction and reflection of the previous plans and their implementation.

Talk the Talk

The secret meeting between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan on 26th December would contradict the outraged spirit which was expressed in the Parliament regarding the way how Pakistan treated the family members of Kulbhushan Jadhav. This meeting was reported just a day after Kulbhushan Jadhav met his mother and wife in Islamabad. The meeting also shows that despite the hostility shown by the BJP government in the rule, the Centre still understands its value of remaining engaged with neighboring country Pakistan. It was in December that Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted former PM Manmohan Singh and former Vice President Hamid Ansari for a scheduled secret meeting with the former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. This was followed by the failed meeting of Kulbhushan Jadhav with his family members. These circumstances earlier highlighted that India and Pakistan would never fully come out of their so-called hole they have fallen into. But now, however, things have seemed to change and efforts are seen. The recent meeting of the NSA’s of both countries is one such meeting. Both the advisers discussed matters of mutual interest during their meeting. The Pakistan Army was aware of the meeting with the Pakistani Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa reported to have told the upper house of the Pakistan Parliament that the Pakistan Army backed this meeting. These are indeed good signs.

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