4 October The Hindu Analysis
- Manmohan Singh to join first batch of pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib #Governance
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has agreed to be a part of the first ‘jatha’ (batch) of pilgrims to the Sikh shrine of Kartarpur Sahib across the border in Pakistan, while President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh after formally inviting them.
He, however, made it clear that his government’s ‘jatha’, of which Dr. Singh will be a part, will visit only Kartarpur Sahib and not attend the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor organised by the Pakistan government.
- Sheikh Hasina to focus on economic agenda during India visit #IR
Bangladesh will try to highlight economic opportunities in relation with India, visiting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said here on Thursday. The comments showed Dhaka’s desire to foreground the economic agenda which has been overshadowed by the fallout of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and Home Minister Amit Shah’s description of Bangladesh citizens as “infiltrators”.
Ms. Hasina addressed the World Economic Forum (WEF) soon after arriving here on Thursday and presented Bangladesh as a fast-growing economy and an attractive investment destination in South Asia.
- Delhi’s tap water fails to meet BIS test; not safe to drink #Environment
With a new investigation of Delhi tap water showing that it is not safe to drink, the Centre has announced plans to test the quality of piped drinking water in the states and release Swachh Pani rankings early next month. It is also trying to build a consensus to make quality standards for tap water a mandatory requirement.
A team from the Bureau of Indian Standards has been sent to state capitals to collect samples of tap water to see if they meet quality standards.
- No HC relief for owners of polluting brick kilns #Environment
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rejected a plea for protection to brick kiln owners who had failed to switch to the newly mandated emissions technology across the State.
The Punjab government had issued orders directing that all brick kiln owners convert their polluting units to new norms by September 30, beyond which no conventional brick kilns would be allowed to operate. Several brick kiln owners had approached the court against the State government’s orders.
- Drone cameras threaten Nilgiris wildlife #Environment
With more and more amateur photographers descending on the Nilgiris and the rest of the Western Ghats to capture footage of stunning vistas and exotic wildlife, conservationists are concerned that enthusiasts using drone cameras may be posing a significant threat to the endangered species of birds, especially raptors, many of which are known to attack the equipment and sustain injuries in the process.
Wildlife enthusiasts like M. Santhanaraman, a lawyer who has photographed breeding pairs of Shaheen Falcons in Gudalur, believe that the drones pose a huge threat to birds of prey.
- SC reserves verdict on plea challenging 2018 SC/ST Amendment Act #Governance
The Supreme Court reserved its judgment in a batch of petitions challenging the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018, which nullified a controversial March 20, 2018 apex court judgment diluting the stringent provisions of the Dalit protection law.
The Supreme Court has itself recalled its March 20 judgment on October 1, 2019 in a review petition filed by the government. It said it was wrong on the part of the March 20 judgment to treat all SC/ST community members as “a liar or crook”.
- Indo-Chinese educational tie-ups need nod from Home, foreign Ministries #IR
Indian educational institutions that plan to collaborate with Chinese counterparts must now get clearance from the Ministries of Home and External Affairs before signing any agreements or undertaking student and faculty exchange programmes. The new guidelines would also apply to existing tie-ups, the University Grants Commission made clear this week.
The Centre’s directive comes just ahead of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to India to hold an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is expected to take place at Mamallapuram on October 11 and 12.
- Allow Huawei to participate in 5G roll-out’ #Economy
Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises Sunil Bharti Mittal on Thursday said India should allow Chinese telecom equipment firm Huawei to participate in the 5G roll-out in the country citing superior products than competition, even as U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross asserted that the U.S. position of banning Huawei did not stem from protectionism but due to ‘considerable’ security risk.
He pointed out that over the past 10-12 years, Huawei had become ‘extremely’ good with products “to a point where I can safely say that their products, at least in 3G and 4G, are significantly superior to those of Ericsson and Nokia without a doubt, and I use all three of them.”