100 Days of Modi Sarkar – Day 56
In this era of changes to the existing administrative line-up, especially with the sacking and appointment of new governors, Narendra Modi has added a member to his team. Sanjeev Kumar Singla, who has previously served as an IFS or Indian Foreign Service officer, has now become the private secretary of Modi. The previous private secretary was Vikram Misri. The deposed private secretary had worked with Manmohan Singh as well as Narendra Modi in the first couple of months. He is now set to become the Indian ambassador to Spain and will be heading over to Spain. Given the speed at which governors and public officials of the previous era have been relieved of their duties, a period of two months for Mistry, shows his importance in the scheme of things.
Modi gets new private secretary
Singla is presently on his way back to India from the embassy at Israel, which given the present circumstances can be regarded as an important job. He happens to enjoy a position resembling that of a director. Rajeev Topno, an IAS officer from Gujarat is also set to be appointed as another secretary of the prime minister. Normally in India a prime minister has a couple of private secretaries – one from the IAS and one from the IFS. Singla who became an IFS officer during 1997 had previously been a director under Ranjan Mathai, erstwhile foreign secretary.
Modi meets delegation from Varanasi for creating developmental plan
After Modi had become the prime minister of India, he had professed that he would always be accessible and has once again provided an instance of being true to his word by meeting a team of delegates from Varanasi, which also happens to be the constituency where he fought from in the 2014 assembly elections. The main purpose of the meeting was to eke out a plan for developing the region. Ram Gopal Mohale, the mayor of Varanasi, was part of the delegation.
With Modi the team discussed various ways in which the Purvanchal region, of which Varanasi is a part, can be developed. Kedar Nath Singh, a legislator from the city, has stated that the main areas of focus are improving the facilities at the city hospital and also cleaning the waters of River Ganga, which happens one of the main aims of the Indian prime minister as well. In fact, it was a critical part of his electoral campaign in this city. The various matters pertaining to the weavers of Varanasi were also discussed at the meeting.
India set to deter WTO deal for facilitating trade
India has been an almost immoveable advocate for greater space for negotiation when it comes to public shareholding in the domain of food grains as well as subsidies on food products. This is the reason why it is set to veto an agreement on trade facilitation being brought out by the World Trade Organization. In case it finally goes ahead with the decision it shall be the sole member in the WTO to have taken such a decision. India has stated that it is not agreement with the way things are being done in the global body.
The said agreement is being promoted by the developed countries. India has stated that one of its main concerns is ensuring food security and this focus has basically forced its hands as far as relenting against the agreement is concerned. Experts are of the opinion that the issue of food security and public shareholding could put some pressure on individual countries and this is why the situation has assumed a political colour. India has a new government, which will look to ensure that the marginal and depressed farmers earn well enough and by supporting the agreement India will be making a significant mistake.
Oil ministry set to move Supreme Court regarding KG-D6 case
The union oil ministry is set to appeal to the Supreme Court so that an arbitrator could be appointed in order to replace Michael Hudson McHugh, a former judge from Australia, who is presently the arbitrator in the gas dispute case surrounding KG-D6 and Reliance Industries. To start with, he had said no, but when Reliance Industries appealed to him he relented and went back on his earlier decision.
McHugh had been employed by the Supreme Court as the umpire in the aforementioned dispute on April 29. He was to serve as the third arbitrator. However, he had withdrawn from the post on May 20 and stated that he had not received any information of the said appointment. For the tribunal SP Bharucha, erstwhile chief justice of India, was named as the arbitrator on behalf of Reliance. The Indian government had chosen VN Khare, a former chief justice of India as its arbitrator. From the looks of it the reasons provided by McHugh for his refusal to accept the post were commendable and logical enough but it is equally strange to see him accept the post so quickly after his refusal.
TRAI expected to provide a free hand in spectrum sharing
In an effort to provide more facilities to the corporate sector the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI is supposed to provide its consent to all companies that are presently providing mobile services across India as far as sharing various ranges of spectrum is concerned. As per the existing rules pertaining to this system, network operators have the permission to take part in deals in sharing passive infrastructure – the active domains are out of their reach.
This now means that with the existing rules enable one company will be able to help another when it comes to sharing mobile towers or any related infrastructure. However, they cannot share the segment of airwave that has been bought by them to another company. However, things are set to change with TRAI getting ready to make a major announcement in this regard on July 21. In the old process for licensing spectrums were allotted and no auction took place. This caused a lot of loss for the national exchequer.