The News Editorial Analysis 24 September 2021 | Shikara Academy

PM Modi meets chief executives of five US companies.

The Prime Minister held meetings with Stephen Schwartzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone; Vivek Lall, Chief Executive of General Atomics; Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar; Shantanu Narayen, President and CEO of Adobe; and Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm.

Blackstone CEO Schwartzman briefed PM Modi about Blackstone’s ongoing projects in India, and the firm’s interest in further investments in the infrastructure and real estate sectors. “Promising investment opportunities in India including those under National Infrastructure Pipeline and National Monetisation Pipeline were also discussed,” noted an official PMO statement.

While General Atomics CEO Vivel Lall and the Prime Minister talked about strengthening the defence technology sector in India. Lall appreciated the recent policy changes to accelerate defence and emerging technology manufacturing and augment capacity building in India.

PM Modi and First Solar CEO Mark Widmar discussed India’s renewable energy landscape and the country’s target of 450 GW electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030. They also talked about First Solar’s interest in setting up manufacturing facilities in India using First Solar’s unique thin-film technology by availing the recently launched Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme.

The Prime Minister and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen discussed the firm’s ongoing collaboration and future investment plans in India. “Discussions also focused on India’s flagship programme Digital India, and use of emerging technologies in sectors like health, education and R&D,” noted the PMO.

Discussion regarding investment opportunities offered in India’s telecommunications and electronics sector took place between PM Modi and Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon. This included the recently launched PLI Scheme for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) as well as developments in the semiconductor supply chain in India.

Hyderabad to have 100 sewage treatment in 2 years.

Rs 5,000-crore infra projects for Hyderabad

 In a major thrust to drinking water and sewerage infrastructure in Hyderabad Urban Agglomeration (HUA) limits, the State government on Thursday approved two mega projects worth over Rs 5,000 crore through two separate Government Orders. Once completed, Hyderabad would emerge as the only city in the country to achieve 100 per cent sewage treatment.

This is good news for Hyderabadis. Never in the history of Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board’s (HMWSSB) have administrative sanctions been accorded for over Rs 5,000 crore in one day,” Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao.

Stating that the two mega projects would be completed in two years, the Minister, addressing a media conference here, said 31 Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) would be established in addition to the existing 25 STPs, at an estimated cost of Rs 3,866.21 crore. The second project costing Rs 1,200 crore involves the HMWSSB constructing additional service reservoirs for 137 MLD and laying a new pipelines network covering about 2,100 km to supply adequate water to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Gram Panchayats falling under ORR limits but beyond GHMC limits.

The existing 25 STPs are treating 772 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage of the 1,650 MLD generated in GHMC limits. This amounts to 46.78 per cent treatment of sewage, the Minister said. “Once the 31 new STPs become operational, it will aid in the treatment of 1,950 MLD sewage including 1,650 MLD generated in GHMC limits and 300 MLD generated in ORR areas. This would meet the sewage treatment requirements for the next 10 years,” Rama Rao said, adding: “This will make Hyderabad the only city in the country to achieve 100 per cent sewage treatment.”

Telangana High Court summons Finance Special Chief Secretary.

Delay in releasing compensation in land acquisition cases’

Telangana High Court had instructed Special Chief Secretary, Finance, K. Ramakrishna Rao, to appear before it on this September 29 to explain the delay over releasing money towards compensation in land acquisition cases pending before different courts in the State. A bench of Acting Chief Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice T Vinod Kumar on Thursday issued Form-I notice to the senior IAS officer in a contempt of court matter filed by seven persons hailing from different districts. They were seeking compensation under the Land Acquisition Act.

The contempt of court matter arose out of a taken-up PIL petition.

The letter was suo moto taken up as PIL petition by the HC.

The bench instructed all the District Collectors to present details pertaining to the pending cases of execution petitions. The judge stated that several persons from Adilabad, Karimnagar, Khammam, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Medak, Nizamabad, Ranga Reddy, Warangal, Jagityal and Kamareddy districts lost their lands but could not secure compensation. After hearing the PIL plea, the bench issued orders to the State government to pay the compensation sums to the persons who lost their lands.

The government had to pay ₹52.70 crore towards compensation along with an interest amount of ₹5.48 crore to the persons who lost their lands.

CoWIN adheres to WHO specifications, says COVID-19 vaccine panel chief.

U.K. has not expressed any concern whatsoever on the certification process of CoWIN, says R.S. Sharma, chairman of the empowered group for COVID-19 vaccine administration.

No concern whatsoever has been expressed by the government of the United Kingdom on the certification process of CoWIN, R.S. Sharma, chairman of the

No concern whatsoever has been expressed by the government of the United Kingdom on the certification process of CoWIN, R.S. Sharma, chairman of the empowered group for COVID-19 vaccine administration.

He called reports that the U.K. had agreed to recognize India-made Covishield (COVID vaccine) and add it to the list of recognized vaccines, but refused to recognize vaccine certificate issued by India for Indian travellers a “baseless controversy’’.“There has been no communication from U.K. about COVID vaccination certificate process. The recent talks were about U.K.’s interest in CoWIN platform. The technical teams of both the countries have been in touch since early September,” he said.

CoWIN was an open source platform, Dr. Sharma said. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had been in talks with countries that were interested in this platform. “Talks are at various stages and I will not be able to give specific details. But yes, several countries have shown an interest in the platform,” he added.

WHO standardization

Responding to a query whether the Indian COVID-19 vaccination certificate conformed to the World Health Organization (WHO) specifications, he said India was adhering to the specifications.

“We have looked at our certificate while keeping in mind the WHO standardization. There is a minor technical rectification where India uses year of birth, while WHO prescribes date of birth. For those wanting this change for travel needs, the same can be rectified,” said Dr. Sharma.

“No concerns raised”

On Wednesday, U.K. High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis had said that his country had no issues with Covishield vaccine, but the question was on certification.

On Thursday he tweeted: “Excellent technical discussions with Dr. R.S. Sharma. Neither side raised technical concerns with each other’s certification process. An important step forward in our joint aim to facilitate travel and fully protect the public health of the U.K. and India.”

Dr. Sharma responded to the tweet. “Echoing his excellency @AlexWEllis’s views, this will be instrumental in resuming socio-economic activities between India and UK. We also look forward to deepening ties between @AyushmanNHA and @NHSX, as we collaborate to build a digital continuum of healthcare services.”


Meanwhile, responding to a query on the controversy, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on Thursday at a press conference that India and U.K. officials were in a dialogue. “And we are hopeful that the issue will be resolved soon. We stand by MEA’s position on the issue. This is discriminatory and we have the right of reciprocity,” he said.

FM asks Infosys to fix all issues on new I-T portal on priority; 5 glitches to be resolved in a week.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asked Infosys

NSE 2.12 % to fix all issues on the new Income Tax portal immediately, while the software major said at least five technical glitches, including viewing past ITRs and e-proceedings, are expected to be resolved within a week.

As numerous glitches have continued to mar the functioning of the new Income Tax efiling portal for two weeks since its launch on June 7, the finance min.

During the online meeting on Tuesday, which was also attended by Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj, CBDT Chairman Jagannath Mohapatra and other senior officials, Sitharaman exhorted Infosys to work on the tax portal to make it more humane and user-friendly.
The Finance Minister expressed her deep concern on the various problems being faced by the stakeholders in the new portal, which was expected to provide a seamless experience to taxpayers..

Chanaka-Korata barrage to come alive by November.

The over 45-year-old dream of Adilabad farmers will come true soon as the first benefits of the Chanaka-Korata barrage are expected to reach them in November this year. The barrage is intended to provide irrigation facilities to ryots in four mandals under Boath and Adilabad segments. The construction of the barrage and erection of all 23 gates have been completed. The fixing of the two motors is expected to be completed by November and water will be given to around 10,000 acres initially, official sources said. The storage capacity of Chanaka-Korata is about 0.8 tmcft.

“About 150 tmcft of water has already reached the Godavari River through the barrage. Once the motors are fixed, we will close the gates and start storing the water,” official sources said. Five motors, two with a capacity of 5.5 MW and three with a capacity of 12 MW, are supposed to be fixed. First, the three motors with a capacity of 12 MW each will be installed and water will be lifted in the main gravity canal. An ayacut of 38,000 acres under gravity canal and 13,500 acres under two motors with 5.5 MW capacity each have been proposed. In the upstream of the barrage, another 10,000 acres have been proposed under Pippalkote barrage, which is yet to be constructed.

The State government entered into an agreement on Chanaka-Korata with Maharashtra along with Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) in 2016. The then Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh governments had reached an understanding on October 6, 1975, to take up Lower Penganga project as an interstate joint project. But, there has been no much progress in the erstwhile AP. In every election, the political parties assure that they would take up Penganga projects.

After the formation of Telangana, the construction of Chanaka-Korata was started across the Penganga river in 2018. As per the interstate agreement, the Maharashtra government has to construct Rajapet and Pimparad barrages. However, the Maharashtra government is yet to start the works. But, Telangana has completed Chanaka-Korata barrage, in which Maharashtra will have 20 per cent water share. Meanwhile, Telangana will get 50 per cent share of water in Rajapet and 30 per cent share of water in Pimparad barrages, to be constructed by Maharashtra.

Bringing climate security into UNSC discourse has potential to disrupt nature of overall discussions: India

Dealing with the issue of climate security, which is just one aspect of climate change, in the UN Security Council is “not desirable”, India said on Thursday as it cautioned that viewing conflicts in poorer parts of the world through the prism of climate change will only serve to present a “lop-sided narrative”.

Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Reenat Sandhu said that the issue of climate change is being discussed in a focused manner by the United Nations in the relevant mechanisms and whether it is climate change, bio-diversity, desertification or others, mechanisms have been put in place to take further action. Given this background, picking one aspect of climate change, namely climate security, and dealing with it in this forum, which is not geared to tackle a multi-faceted problem of this nature, would not be desirable,” Sandhu said at the UN Security Council high-level Open Debate on Maintenance of International Peace and Security (Climate and Security).
She said bringing climate security into the Security Council discourse, ignoring basic principles and practices relating to climate change, has the potential to disrupt the nature of the overall discussion on this extremely important topic.”When we deliberate the securitization of climate, we should be careful not to build a parallel climate track. We need to continue on the path of inclusive decision making, which member states have already agreed to,” Sandhu said.
She also emphasized that while climate change has impacted the lives of people and exacerbated conflict, “to view conflicts in poorer parts of the world through the prism of climate change will only serve to present a lop-sided narrative when the reasons for the conflict are to be found elsewhere.”
Sandhu referred to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which also clearly states that the effect of climate variability on violence is contested. “Climate change may enhance conflict, but cannot be determined as a reason for it,” she said.
A study of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) also indicates that while parties do acknowledge the adverse effects of climate change on their economies, “we need to be conscious while looking at it as a risk to their social stability or as an issue of peace and security. Over-simplification of causes of conflict will not help in resolving them nor can it justify extreme policy measures”, she added.
Sandhu emphasized that over the last several decades, member states have engaged purposefully and in a focused manner to put in place commitments relating to mitigation, adaptation, financing, technology transfer so that climate change can be addressed holistically.
The Paris Agreement also clearly brings out the interconnectedness of these issues under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The measures to tackle climate change have been built on an integrated structure, so that it is equitable to all parties, especially developing countries,” Sandhu said, adding that addressing one aspect of climate change and ignoring others will be counter-productive.
Climate action needs to be based on fundamental and agreed principles, the most important of which is the principle of ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities’,” she said.
Sandhu told the Council that India is a leader in Climate Action and is on track to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement. India currently has the world’s fastest-growing solar energy programme and has expanded access to clean cooking fuel to cover over 80 million households making it one of the largest clean energy drives globally.
Sandhu told the Council that India is a leader in Climate Action and is on track to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement. India currently has the world’s fastest-growing solar energy programme and has expanded access to clean cooking fuel to cover over 80 million households making it one of the largest clean energy drives globally.

The Alliance is among the fastest growing International Organizations today with 80 members and 24 more joining. She said India has set aside 1.6 billion dollars under its soft loans to supplement such efforts.
The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is another successful initiative for enhancing cooperation and building resilience against natural disasters. India has allocated 70 million dollars to support the work of the CDRI.


The News Editorial Analysis 23 September 2021

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