Nepal set to ink energy deal with India
With Narendra Modi’s rise to power as the prime minister of India a number of countries are looking to strengthen their relationship with India for some reason and why should Nepal, one of India’s immediate neighbours, be any different? A parliamentary panel in the Himalayan nation has urged the government to sign an energy pact with India in the shortest time possible. The power trade agreement is supposed to be fully invested by India but there is also a possibility that the Indian companies could enter joint ventures to execute the project.
Sushma Swaraj, the external affairs minister of India, is presently visiting Nepal and both the countries have held long discussions so as to sign the deal. Nepal has stated that it is almost unavoidable to have a large scale investment in the energy sector and for that it is important to ink a PTA with India as without it the investment may not materialise in the end. It is heartening to see that after a period when relation between both the countries was not exactly at its best, things are now starting to look up and efforts are being made to improve the situation.
Government being criticised for the nature of Civil Services Aptitude Test
Recently, the aspirants for civil services in India have been staging protests over what they think as being discrimination being perpetrated at the Civil Services Aptitude Test or CSAT. However, the government is trying to take some steps in order to address these issues as informed by Rajnath Singh, the union home minister, to Narendra Modi. The home minister has also had meetings with Arun Jaitley, Jitendra Singh who acts as the minister of state for the prime minister’s office as well as other senior officers with the aim of looking at every possible solution to resolve the problem.
SK Sarkar, secretary of the department of personnel and training (DoPT) had also taken part in the said meeting. The students have been miffed and are also organising protests since the last few weeks. However, when the UPSC recently started to issue admit cards for the examination, which is slated to start on August 24, the situation took a turn for the worse. This happened a couple of days after Jitendra Singh had assured the students that their problems shall be taken care of. He also stated that he had asked the government to push the exam back so that the report of the three-person committee, supposed to look into the pattern of the examination, could come out.
Venkaiah assures zero reduction in parliament session
M Venkaiah Naidu, the union minister for urban development and parliamentary affairs, has stated that there has been no proposal to reduce the tenure of the parliament session. The opponents of the NDA have stated that the present government does not have any matter to discuss, but Naidu has rejected the claim totally. He has stated that in the upcoming sessions the government will be coming up with a number of crucial bills pertaining to areas such as insurance and securities. Perhaps in order to prove that the remarks made by the opposition are without any base as such, he has stated that the government is also working on a bill that deals with judicial appointments.
In yet another example of the general animosity between BJP and Congress, the minister has also objected to the remarks made by Anand Sharma, the floor leader for Congress at the Lok Sabha, regarding the opinion of Mukul Rohatgi, the attorney-general on giving the post of leader of opposition at the Lok Sabha to Congress. Naidu has stated that since Congress was itself used to putting pressure on the speaker it was thinking from such an angle. He has stated that his government shall be accepting any decision taken by the speaker of Lok Sabha on the prickly issue.
India-US talks could be clouded by trade issues
India and the US are expected to hold talks in a short span of time. However, it is being thought that the stance taken by the Narendra Modi government regarding the World Trade Organization’s trade facilitation agreement could have a serious repercussion on the same. In the said talks the US will be represented by John Kerry, the secretary of state.
Penny Pritzker, the commerce secretary of the US, is expected to come with Kerry in the Indo-US strategic dialogue that will be staged at New Delhi on July 31. In this context, it needs to be kept in mind that the US has already made its displeasure known regarding the stance taken by India on the TFA’s approval but it has not directly named India as such. India has asked to be exempted from the stockpiling rules of the global body for an indefinite period. However, the US had expected a different stance from India that has risen to power by promising to reform its economic system.
Indian CEOs say Modi government is bringing about an air of positivity
Various CEOs of Indian companies who are part of CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) are of the opinion that with the crowning of Modi as the prime minister of India there has been an unprecedented surge of positivity all around the country. They have stated that the first-ever budget put together by the new government is one with a long-term vision.
Ajay Shriram, the president of the said business body, feels that India would only be successful when it receives proper leadership and there is a change in mindset. He also feels that proper philosophy and action are needed in order to make sure India is successful from an economic point of view. While what Shriram says is beyond doubt true, it still represents a rather limited segment of Indian opinion. As is always the case with the industrial sector, the opinion or rather the plight of the agricultural sector, which still continues to be the major bread earner for a huge portion of Indians, is always neglected.