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Must Read News Articles – January 11


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


SC orders audit of 30 lakh NGOs: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the government to audit nearly 30 lakh NGOs which received public funds but consistently failed to explain how they spent the money.

NGT panel to inspect major waste generators: The NGT expressed concern that public authorities lacked infrastructure and appropriate technical capacity to handle such huge quantity of waste.

Make solar rooftops mandatory: CSE: Solar panels on rooftops should be made mandatory for new residential societies.

Cash for land is just not done: SC: Agreeing to hear the plight of the landless victims of the Sardar Sarovar Project in detail, the Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that giving cash instead of land to farmers who lost their fertile lands to the mega dam project is “tentatively” not acceptable.

Effects of Endosulfan devastating: SC: Describing the effects of Endosulfan as “devastating,” the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Kerala government to release the entire compensation to over 5,000 victims, mostly newborns, and their families in three months.


Editorial/OPINION


Taking ‘Cold Start’ out of the freezer?: General Bipin Rawat’s reference to Cold Start raises vital questions about what he means by the phrase and whether he was authorised to speak on the matter by the government.

Mind the gender gap: Despite the successes, better implementation and planning are needed to ensure that these policies percolate right down to the last woman in the most remote parts of the country.

Reaching out to Africa: That 41 heads of state and government from 54 countries in Africa were present at the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, itself demonstrates the importance both sides attach to mutual ties.


ECONOMY


India opposed to inclusion of ‘new issues’ in WTO: Ahead of a special meeting of trade ministers on the sidelines of the forthcoming World Economic Forum at Davos, India opposed attempts by some developed nations to introduce ‘new issues’ including e-commerce and investment into the formal agenda of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)-level negotiations on liberalisation of global trade.

Benefits of demonetisation uncertain in long run: Short-term pain of the government’s demonetisation exercise could outweigh long-term gains that it said were still ‘uncertain.

H1B visa reform to increase IT firms’ margin pressure: IT firms’ margins will come under more pressure if the US government clears the H1B visa reform Bill — ‘Protect and Grow American Jobs Act’.


Indian Express


Central To The Market: Long-term investments in social sector are essential for growth, political stability.

An autonomy policy: Demonetisation process raises troubling questions over the way government has treated RBI. Central bank needs to assert.


Live Mint


Time to revamp the tax administration: The tax department will now have to mine a vast volume of data to zero in on accounts that have been used to deposit unaccounted cash.

Demonetisation and budgets: all in the mind: Arun Jaitley will soon be presenting the 2017-18 budget and his well-laid plans may have to incorporate demonetisation-induced changes.


 

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Must Read News Articles – January 8


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


As EC seeks view, Govt calls Budget session: The government on Saturday convened the Budget session of Parliament from January 31 even as the Election Commission sought a response from the Centre on petitions seeking that the Budget presentation be deferred in view of the upcoming Assembly elections.

Anger raging in Kashmir, says Sinha panel: There is a crisis of acknowledgement of the Kashmir problem with the Indian state. People feel India refuses to recognise that Kashmir is a political problem.


International


India-Myanmar border trade hit: Border trade between India and Myanmar, legalised in 1995, has virtually come to a halt thanks to recurring blockades, general strike and other forms of disturbances.

India, Portugal sign defence agreement: In a bid to boost joint production and development of niche weapons systems, India and Portugal on Saturday entered into a defence agreement. The agreement came following Portugal’s support to India’s multilateral plans in various technology regimes including Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).


Editorial/OPINION


‘India’s refusal to scale up bedaquiline is really the world’s problem’: Delayed roll-out and restrictive criteria are resulting in the unnecessary loss of life. Delay means that little is being done to stop the ongoing spread of MDR-TB (multidrug-resistant tuberculosis).

Health-care data is ailing: Data pertaining to health care in India, evidence shows, is significantly compromised in terms of its quality, its periodicity and coverage.


ECONOMY


‘Indian companies optimistic of economic recovery in 2017’: This is a great time for the policy makers to look at unleashing the next generation of reforms, apart from GST, mostly focussed on ease of doing business and minimum government, maximum governance.


Science and Technology


A novel electrode for lithium batteries: A team of researchers at IIT Madras have been able to enhance the capacity retention of anode material in lithium ion batteries four-fold compared to commercially available lithium batteries.

China setting up highest altitude telescopes close to LAC: China is setting up the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India to detect the faintest of echoes resonating from the universe, which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory.


Indian Express


Across the aisle: Whither RBI’s autonomy?: The RBI’s main objectives in 1934 and now are the same to issue bank notes and to keep the reserves.


Live Mint



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Must Read News Articles – January 7


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


GDP growth expected to be slower at 7.1% this year: India’s gross domestic output is expected to grow at a slower pace of 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 compared to the 7.6 per cent clocked in the previous year, Chief Statistician TCA Anant said.

Aadhaar now mandatory for EPF pension scheme: The Centre has made obtaining an Aadhaar number mandatory for 2.5 crore members of the Employees’ Pension Scheme of 1995, one of the benefits available to Employees’ Provident Fund subscribers.

Centre-Delhi row upsets HC: The High Court on Friday expressed its disappointment over a tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government over a repatriation of a bureaucrat and wondered why such matters are brought to the court rather than being resolved amicably.

SC declines early hearing of plea to defer budget: The Supreme Court declined to grant urgent hearing of a plea to postpone the tabling of the annual budget until after the Assembly elections in five States, including Uttar Pradesh.

Centre plans to amend Plantation Labour Act: The Centre is planning to amend the Plantation Labour Act (PLA), 1951 in a major way to exclude ‘in –kind’ components being regarded as wages.


Editorial/OPINION


When banks are awash with cash: In an environment characterised by slowing growth, poor investor sentiment and NPA-strapped banks, the government has its task cut out. When private investment is skittish, public investment must step in.

Clamping down on ordinance raj: Both superior courts and constitutional functionaries have routinely deprecated the propensity of governments to take the ordinance route for mere political expediency.


ECONOMY


Railways may get 6% increase in Budget: Finance Ministry pegs budgetary support at Rs. 48,000 cr.

Tighter norms for e-manufacturing sops: The Centre is likely to reduce the time frame for companies to avail sops in a scheme to boost electronic product manufacturing in the country at a time when tech majors such as Apple are seeking additional concessions to Make in India.

SC stays transfer and sale of 2G spectrum by Maxis: The Supreme Court stayed all transfer and sale by Malaysia-based Maxis group of companies of 2G spectrum, originally allocated to Aircel in November 2006.


Science and Technology


Vast iceberg poised to crack off Antarctica: scientists: A rift, slowly developing across the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula in recent years, expanded abruptly last month, growing by about 18 km (11 miles).

India lacks plan for global rescue: Study: The government’s plans for conducting emergency large-scale international evacuation is “ad hoc” and depends on “quick-fix solutions”.

Google’s experiments with virtually real art: Google’s investment in virtual reality pales beside Facebook’s $2 billion purchase of the VR pioneer Oculus.


Indian Express


No proof required: Financing basic income for the bottom 50 per cent: A political and economic masterstroke would be for the Union budget to contain a basic income scheme for the bottom 50 percent — the poor and lower middle class.

Leaping from a strong foundation: In 2017, the economy will see the benefits of the reforms from the previous year.


Live Mint



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Must Read News Articles – January 6



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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


NGT raps Environment Ministry: A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said that the MoEF had not “applied its mind” while amending a notification published on December 9, 2016, exempting construction projects from the process of environment impact assessment (EIA) and prior environmental clearance.

Ban on import of exotic skins: In a landmark decision that will spare the lives of tens of thousands of animals from the exotic leather industry, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade has banned the import of skins of reptiles and fur of minks, foxes and chinchillas.

Be mindful of speedy justice: HC: Delhi High Court observed that “courts, while endeavoring to deliver speedy justice, must not hand out hasty decisions without any concern for justice” and that docket explosion is a problem for the judicial system to contend with but does not concern the individual litigant who comes to court seeking justice.

SC asked to resolve conflict over ‘rape’ definition in two laws: An exception to Section 375 (rape) in the IPC allows a man to go scot-free despite having sex with his 15-year-old ‘wife’.

How will EC decide on the party symbol row: The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 empowers the EC to recognise political parties and allot symbols. Under Paragraph 15 of the Order, it can decide disputes among rival groups or sections of a recognised political party staking claim to its name and symbol.


Editorial/OPINION


Reading between the lines: The Supreme Court verdict on electoral malpractice ensures that future legal challenges to election victories based on identity politics will walk the fine line of text, context and subtext.

Keeping the streets safe: There is the other factor of inadequacies of police leadership that have become glaring over the years.


ECONOMY


Export infrastructure scheme on the anvil: The Centre will tie up with the States to soon roll-out a new scheme called ‘TIES’ — or Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme — to boost export infrastructure.

‘Repayment of micro loans hit by note ban’: A CRISIL study showed that 9 per cent of micro enterprises are facing trouble servicing debt and paying salaries and unorganised players are expected to suffer most due to lower growth expectations.

New norms likely for top PSU bank posts: The Banks’ Board Bureau is working to ensure that leadership roles in state-run banks would only be given to those with at least six years of service left, in order to ensure accountability of their actions.


Science and Technology


Living near heavy traffic increases risks of dementiaWHO estimates the number of people with dementia in 2015 at 47.5 million, a number that is rising as life expectancy increases.


Indian Express


We are all accountable: Blame the nation as a whole for the poor implementation of demonetisation.

Let the budget be: Opposition to advancing the Union budget on account of assembly elections is misplaced.


Live Mint


How to go about chasing black money: The focus of any sustainable reform of the taxation structure must be on reducing flows of tax evasion, not going after existing caches of black money.

Charting our artificial intelligence future: In the great software of the universe, we will remain a beautiful bug, and AI will increasingly become a normal feature.


 

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Must Read News Articles – January 5



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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


SC schedules day-to-day hearings on Cauvery appeals from Feb 7: The Supreme Court asked Karnataka to continue releasing 2000 cusecs of Cauvery water to neighbouring State of Tamil Nadu while posting appeals filed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala against the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal‘s decision on water-sharing for day-to-day hearing.

Pollution problem: rules tough but implementation weak: Experts say the issue must be tackled in a comprehensive and concerted manner with tailor-made solutions for every source of pollution.

Citizens’ interest best served when public money is not wasted: HC: Public interest is best served when public money is not unnecessarily expended, the High Court said.

Ken-Betwa river-linking project faces new hurdle: Lack of clarity on the funding pattern in the first ever inter-State river linking project. The NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) has recommended that Madhya Pradesh contribute 40 per cent of the project cost, with the Centre contributing 60 per cent.

J.S. Khehar sworn in as Chief JusticeJustice Jagdish Singh Khehar, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, was sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of India by President Pranab Mukherjee.


INTERNATIONAL


China’s stance on terror self-defeating, says India: India on Wednesday said that China is following “double standard” on terrorism and asked Beijing to support its campaign to blacklist Pakistan-based terror mastermind Masood Azhar.


Editorial/OPINION


Running into the Chinese wall: The Masood Azhar case is a piece in the fragmenting jigsaw of global terror consensus.

Arms and the region: It is time to look ahead at the challenges that India’s security planners face in 2017.


ECONOMY


TRAI issues paper on net-neutrality: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Wednesday issued a consultation paper on the issue of net-neutrality as it looked to formulate “final views on policy or regulatory interventions” on the subject.


Indian Express


Despite history, geography: India and Bangladesh have wasted opportunities for shared advantages. The mistake need not be repeated.

An unfortunate legacy: The colonial category of “criminal tribes” may have been “denotified” but many communities remain unclassified.


Live Mint


The deleveraging risk in emerging markets: Corporate leverage has increased in recent years because of easy availability of money.

Transforming the digital payment infrastructure: Implementing a new payment infrastructure will require careful planning, patience and flexibility.


 

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Must Read News Articles – January 3


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


SC extends judicial review powers: In a blow to Ordinance Raj, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court widened the boundaries of judicial review to the extent that it can now examine whether the President or the State Governor was spurred by an “oblique motive” to bypass the legislature and promulgate an ordinance.

Seeking votes on religious basis a corrupt act: SC: Terming religion a very private relationship between man and his God, a seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday, in a majority judgment, held that an appeal for votes during elections on the basis of religion, caste, race, community or language, even that of the electorate, will amount to a ‘corrupt practice’ and call for disqualification of the candidate.

Centre stalling judicial transfers: SC: Recommendations of the Collegium cannot be allowed to languish on somebody’s desk, says CJI.

Agni-IV test a ‘grand success’: It can carry a nuclear warhead weighing one tonne over a distance of more than 4,000 km.

It will be a disservice to the ‘little man’: SC: The question referred to the Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur on a batch of election petitions was whether the word ‘his’ used in Section 123 (3) of the Representation of the People Act only meant a bar on appeals made in the name of the candidate or his rival or his agent or others in his immediate camp.


Editorial/OPINION


All’s not well in the Army: A military force with sharp internal divisions and discontent in the ranks has far-reaching national security implications. It’s time the defence establishment got its act together.

What is special about special courts?: The legislature has introduced special courts on many occasions through various laws, usually with the intention to enable quick and efficient disposal of cases.

When women eat last: India has a major child malnutrition problem. Women’s undernourishment contributes substantially to India’s unacceptably high rates of child stunting.

New Year’s-eve tragedy in Turkey: The New Year’s-eve attack on an Istanbul nightclub that killed at least 39 people, mostly foreigners including two Indians, is yet another reminder of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Turkey.


ECONOMY


Demonetisation hits manufacturing sectorDemonetisation of high-value currency notes in November has begun to hit the manufacturing sector.


Indian Express


Quotas are for justice, not to plug job holes: Reservation is not a programme for poverty-removal. It is to remove the monopoly of a few castes in administration. Present quota demands are also growing, seeing castes once looked down upon coming up through reservation.


Live Mint


Demonetisation and welfare: While evaluating demonetisation, one must account for any associated economic losses to the public.


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Must Read News Articles – January 2


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


Pak. endorses China’s block on Masood Azhar: Pakistan on Sunday endorsed the block that China has imposed on India’s campaign at the United Nations Security Council to blacklist a Pakistan-based terror group chief.


Editorial/OPINION


Playing the angles, with Russia: If Donald Trump succeeds in what Barack Obama failed to do, which is resetting ties with an aggressive Russia, it could trigger a cascade of geostrategic realignments across the world.

Not just about a quota: We need to educate children in schools about caste, ethnic, gender and regional diversities and have public policy interventions to make society more equal and fair.


ECONOMY


‘Hoarded black money to be converted into cheaper loans’: Aim is to channel the wealth that was previously being hoarded as black money into cheaper capital for affordable housing, women’s health, the agriculture sector, and medium and small enterprises.

‘Demonetisation alters economy’s recovery path’: The Centre’s demonetisation move has hurt private consumption and impacted sectors such as real estate, automobiles and FMCG, which in turn has altered the economy’s recovery path in the short-term.

Packing food, drugs at a blistering pace: About 80 per cent of cold-form blister packaging is currently imported and the aim is to bring that figure down to zero.


Indian Express


The Middle Ground On Water: Permanent Water Tribunal needs supplementary institutions.

India’s interests tilt eastwards, it walks a new tightrope: India’s economic and strategic interests are hugely tied to the Indian Ocean, the 21st century’s theatre of huge rivalries. If Trump translates his rhetoric into reality, a harried China will be a nightmare there.

Expand partnership with US, limit rifts with China: India has a trade surplus with America, which has ended its pro-Pakistan tilt and supports India’s membership of the UNSC and NSG. Washington says it wants to see India emerge as a great power; China seems to block India’s rise.


Live Mint


GST: anti-profiteering measures necessary?: Competition and an open market place is the best tool for keeping prices in check.

Demonetisation’s hydra-headed critics: If it turns out that notes extant on 8 November were somehow under-counted, it would mean that RBI had greater liabilities than its books showed.


 

 

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Must Read News Articles – January 1


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Leave your New Year Wishes Here  Happy New Year 2017 🙂


The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


Delhi Lieutenant-Governor takes chargeAnil Baijal was sworn in as the new Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi.

Decide on safety sealing in six months: HC to Centre: The Bombay High Court recently gave the Union government six months’ time to take a decision on making safety sealing mandatory for healthcare and hygiene products.


Editorial/OPINION


The year of personal genomics: The conversation around personal genomics amplified in 2016, as did the range of diagnostic options.


ECONOMY


Rs. 3 lakh cr. plan afoot to double airport capacity: The Centre will require up to Rs. 3 lakh crore for doubling the airport capacity over the next 10 to 15 years.


IT challenges to remain: Driven by strong, stable fundamentals, Nasscom has reiterated that the long-term opportunity for the industry will remain unchanged to achieve $350 billion by 2025.


M&As to be favoured route for foreign investment in 2017Mergers & acquisitions (M&A) are likely to be the favoured route for foreign direct investment flows into India in the year 2017 as market consolidation is expected in sectors facing a cash crunch, such as e-commerce and telecommunications.


Indian Express


Corridor Of Uncertainty: Trade utopia of CPEC will remain incomplete if India is kept out.


Live Mint



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Must Read News Articles – December 31


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


Railways may bring in cess on tickets again: The Railways may bring back a cess on tickets to finance its proposed Rs.1 lakh crore Rail Safety Fund after a rise in derailments this year.

China again stalls India bid to blacklist Azhar: India’s international counter-terror campaign suffered a setback on Friday with China again blocking its attempt to blacklist Pakistan-based terror leader Masood Azhar at the U.N.


Editorial/OPINION


2016: The Supreme Court’s report card: The court’s choices this year have shown us that any independence it enjoys hasn’t guided it towards concerted courage in decision-making.

Managing risk in banks: Thee Reserve Bank of India’s biannual Financial Stability Report has once again flagged the fact that risks to the banking sector remain worryingly “high”.


ECONOMY


Singapore investors’ capital gains to attract tax in India: India secured amendments to the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Singapore on Friday, effectively closing one route of laundering domestic black money by “round-tripping” it from countries like Mauritius, Cyprus and Singapore.


Indian Express



Live Mint


Raghuram Rajan | Democracy, inclusion and prosperity: Democracy and free markets thrive on competition. But whereas democracy treats individuals equally, free markets empowers them on their income.

The age of Donald Trump: With the arrival of Donald Trump the coming year may well be remembered as a turning point in US and world history.


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Newspaper

Must Read News Articles – December 29


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The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


Ordinance to end RBI’s liability: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the promulgation of an ordinance to help extinguish the Reserve Bank of India’s liability towards currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000, which were withdrawn on November 8.

New draft could help India’s NSG entry: A new draft proposal circulated among Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) member-states early this month could pave the way for India to become a member of the elite club.

CCEA approves road project for Maoist areas: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved a Rs.11,700-crore project to improve rural road connectivity in the worst-affected left-wing extremism (LWE) districts.


Editorial/OPINION


Tel Aviv on tenterhooks: The UN resolution condemning settlement activity in the occupied territories is not what Israel fears. What troubles it is that the resolution opens the door to a full criminal investigation into Israeli excesses.

Still frowning upon intermarriages: A survey in two diverse areas shows that the desire to stop other people from having inter-caste or inter-religious marriages is not so uncommon.


ECONOMY


Cabinet’s gives nod for International Solar Alliance pact: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its ex-post facto approval to the proposal of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy for the ratification of the International Solar Alliance’s framework agreement by India.


Indian Express


Reaching The Milestone: US’s designation of India as a ‘major defence partner’ comes after a two-decade process.


Live Mint


Is the Naga peace deal dead?:The Naga peace process has a default bug of failure. It’s just too darn complicated, this chess game of lives and futures.

The waters of our discontent: The Patidar, Maratha and Jat agitations are symptoms of agricultural distress that can be traced back to drying up of water resources and lack of viable alternatives.