Summary

Article 35A in SC today, J&K watches closely

The Supreme Court is set to take up on Monday a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional vlidity of the politically contentious Article 35A.

More GST rate cuts likely, AC restaurants could get cheaper

Small businesses under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are set to receive a fresh booster dose with a proposed flat rate of 1% for all three categories of composition dealers- traders, manufacturers and restaurants. The existing rates for these categories are 1, 2 and 5% respectively.

First shipment via Chabahar leaves India for Afghanistan

India operationalised the Chabahar port in Iran on Sunday, sending the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan. This is a major leap in India's strategic outreach to landlocked Afghanistan, to which Pakistan has so far blocked access. Another six shipments of wheat will be sent to Afghanistan over the next few months.

What the return of quad says about India and emerging Asian geopolitics

The concept of quadrilateral cooperation among India, japan, australia and US is inextricaly linked to China's emergence as a great power, whose unilateralism drives Asian nations to band together.

Still verifying junekd notes, says rBI almost a year later

Nearly a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced deonetisation, the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 bills returned to banks are still being 'processed in all earnest' throuhg a sophiticated currency verification systems, the RBI has said.

Editorial

Walk like a great power

Durign the recent visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a talk at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the secretary accused China of destabilising the global order in its bid to deepen the coperation with India. The secretary stated that Shina has put much less effort to maintain the sovereignty of other countries. the Ministry of External Affairs of India hailed the statement as a 'significant' one and it highlighted the shared commitment for a coordinated international order. Rising China is seen as a competitive threat for global power and as such both the countries aim at limiting each other's influence. Understanding the geopolitics and relations of these two countries, India should carefully look into the proposals made by the two countires and also eveluate any decision made by them in context of international relations. India should understand that overlooking China's growing economy and a fast growing defence budget, it is only US who can keep a check on the hegemony of China in Asia. As such, an alliance with US would be much fruitful.

Dark Journeys

The NDA government always stressed the usage of renewable energy for eelectricity generation since it assumed office in the year 2014. However, even then the thermal energy power remains the prime form of energy derivation. A NITI Aayog report stated that coal constitutes around 60% of the total fuel mix of India in the year 2022. Though the government recently took steps for reducing the ecological footprint of coal mining, these measures are seen as lacking and failed to address the pollution which is caused by the transportation of coal to the industrial units. A recent investigation into the coal imports that are carried out in Mormugao port in Goa revealed that around 34,200 tonnes of coal is transported every day from the central government owned Mormugao port via Vasco, Margao and Kulem to Karnataka. This 400 kms long journey of coal is putting the inhabitants along the way at a greater risk. The coal dust that arises causes cases of respiratory disorders and also threatening forests, streams and rivers to carry the soot. To control this, there is an urgent need for a regulatory mechanism which would check the situation. The regulatory board and policymakers shoudl ensure that coal is transported in a environment friendly way.

Dialogue as Diversion

The government efforts of suprpesing the agitation in Kashmir through brutal force and coercion has only aggraveted the law and order problem in Kashmir. There has been lapses in the intelligence scenario and also not a good check to militancy to the state of J&K. In such a time, the government took an intitative to appoint intelocutor to intitiate talks and to control the situation. The Prime Minister earlier in his Independence Day address stated that the Kashmir problem can be solved only by embracing Kashmir and not throuhg bullets. As such, the PM should ensure he sticks to his words and also assign people to follow it. The law and order situation in the state have worsen over the years- militancy increased, unemployment of youth increased and many such situations rising at an alarming rate in Kashmir. In such a time, the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as an inlerlocutor aims at boosting intelligence gatheriing to tackle militancy. The Indian government should understand that it needs to include multiple stakeholders like the army, the border and also Pakistan to solve the issues of Kashmir. Without these, the appointment of the interlocutor is seen as a mere diversionary effort.

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