CPEC will further increase Pakistan’s burgeoning debt
Pakistani MP: compared CPED with East India Company
Root cause: hostility towards India
Pakistan is quite on Uighur Muslims
Vaccine for all
The race to a vaccine is a relay.
Formulate vaccine policy
Vaccine, when found, should be available to all
Governments should cushion the cost
India has a reliable vaccine delivery system
Plan ahead – Prepare Resources (including HR)
SOP for every stage
The Parliament session - September 14
Visitor galleries will be occupied by the MPs
No Question Hour
Though members can get written answers to written questions
Zero Hour: only 30 minutes
any member can raise issues of urgent national importance
Assemblies: Kerala, Rajasthan, Punjab & West Bengal
No question hour
Globally, executives have expanded their powers
The attenuation of Parliament
Unhealthy trends, accelerated by the pandemic
The government has 11 Bills to replace ordinances.
What is in a NAM and India’s alignment
S. Jaishankar: that non-alignment was a concept of relevance in a specific era and a particular context, though the independence of action enshrined in it remains a factor of continuity in India’s foreign policy.
Non-alignment - as a foreign policy concept - is dead
Cold War - two politico-military blocs
Non-alignment was to retain an autonomy of policy
Non-Aligned Movement provided a platform
De-colonisation, universal nuclear disarmament and against apartheid
“Advancing prosperity and influence” was a description Dr. Jaishankar settled for, to describe the aspirations that our network of international partnerships seeks to further.
United States looks like the only viable option to counter China.
MEA: India will not join an alliance system
Trump’s words and deeds
Turkey is constantly exploring the limits of NATO discipline
Asia-Pacific originally forged to deter the USSR
Today they are pained by an assertive China
Economic engagement + huge military asymmetry
Geostrategy derives from both geography and politics
While politics is dynamic, geography is immutable
In the immediate-term, Indian and U.S. perspectives are less convergent in India’s continental neighbourhood.
Connectivity and cooperation with Afghanistan and Central Asia need engagement with Iran and Russia, as well as with the Russia-China dynamics in the region.
Russia bestrides the Eurasian landmass bordering India’s near and extended neighbourhood.
Seemingly paradoxically, a close Russia-China partnership should move India to broad-base relations with Russia (beyond the traditional defence and energy pillars).
A strong stake in relations with India could reinforce Russia’s reluctance (which still persists) to be a junior partner of China.
The U.S. could acknowledge that India’s development of trade routes through Iran would also serve its strategic interest of finding routes to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan and Russia, respectively.
Council on Foreign Relations: U.S. should see ties with India as a joint venture (not an alliance), in which they could pursue shared objectives to mutual benefit and accept that differences of perspectives will have to be addressed.
COVID-19 may scramble the economics and deepen the confusion further.
Mountains that sustain millions
Sanskrit: Him (snow) and Aalay (abode)
One of the youngest chains of mountains in the world
Among the 36 world biodiversity hotspots
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development: the region encompassing the Hindu Kush Himalaya encompasses 240 million people.
Mountains are the most resilient - their inhabitants are vulnerable
Forests form an essential life support system for the locals
However, dwindling natural resources, unsustainable agricultural practices, lack of basic amenities and so on create a challenge for local sustenance.
Demographic shifts, weak institutional capacity, poor infrastructure, and a paucity of adequate information on mountain-specific climate change pose challenges to capacity-building in the region.
With traditional crops being replaced by cash crops, agro-biodiversity of the region has declined and dietary patterns have altered.
Mountain-specific policies to strengthen livelihood opportunities based on both farm and non-farm activities should be developed.
Local food systems need to be revived
Niche products of the mountain need to be developed
Marketing systems and infrastructure need to be strengthened.
Healthy livestock management practices
Potential of medicinal plants harnessed
Region-specific water security
Cleaner energy solutions
In 2014, Uttarakhand declared September 9 as Himalaya Diwas
For those living in the mountain ranges, the word ‘Himalaya’ might not be what they associate themselves with. For them, it is their pahad (mountain), jal (water), jungle, jameen (land), jeev-jantu (living beings), jadi-booti (roots and herbs), roji-roti (daily earnings).
We as outsiders have dissociated the mountains from the people, the people from the resources, the resources from their livelihood.
No questions, Mr speaker | ToI
Question hour in Parliament is an hour when MPs get to cross-question and interrogate ministers on urgent issues.
Question hour is a crucial democratic institution by which peoples’ representatives hold a powerful executive accountable.
Upcoming Session: Only written questions are to be submitted beforehand to which ministers will give scripted answers.
It is now more crucial than ever that the government is questioned on access to healthcare and mass unemployment.
The pandemic is leading to a dangerous spike in state power and a loss of basic citizens’ rights and freedoms, a democracy deficit which may haunt us even after Covid recedes.
In the 16th Lok Sabha, Rahul didn’t ask a single question in question hour.
Modi hardly devotes much time to the cut and thrust of parliamentary debate, staying silent during contentious parliamentary debates like triple talaq and Article 370 last year.
You don’t need Parliament to win elections.
In previous decades, fiery parliamentary talents like Bhupesh Gupta, Nath Pai, Minoo Masani or Vajpayee derived their political standing from their parliamentary record.
Today a media-saturated politics has created personality cults which short-circuit Parliament.
At the start of Covid, MPLADS (financial allotments to MPs for development work) was suspended, further reducing MPs’ status and links with their constituencies.
A polarised society is bound to have a dysfunctional Parliament.
An example of political hyper polarisation was seen in the recent controversy over the parliamentary standing committee on IT and its decision to summon Facebook for allegations of political bias.
Parliamentary committees are supposed to be bipartisan spaces to take up citizens’ issues.
Ordinances were meant for extraordinary situations but today they’re freely used signalling an impatience with debate.
The first Lok Sabha had 677 sittings, the 16th only 226. When a government refuses to be questioned or challenged, Parliament ceases to matter.
PM Modi to hold Swanidhi Samvaad today with street vendors from Madhya Pradesh
PM Modi lauds role of media in creating awareness in fight against COVID-19 pandemic
India's COVID-19 cases per million among lowest in world; recovery rate reaches 77.65 %
Indian Army says, at no stage it transgressed across LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means
Piyush Goyal urges Industry leaders to partner with Indian Railways to provide cost effective solutions in logistics sector
Five PSUs under Petroleum Ministry to join International Solar Alliance Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action
Railways generated over 8 lakh man-days of work in six states under Gareeb Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan
Govt committed to work towards achieving 100 % literacy by complying with reforms within NEP 2020: Ramesh Pokhriyal
Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurates 22 bamboo clusters in nine states
These States are Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Karnataka.
India, ADB sign 500 million US dollar loan for Delhi-Meerut RRTS corridor
White House corona advisor projects by end of 2020, effective vaccine to be available