The situation in Middle East has not exactly been smooth in the last couple of months with the ISIS issue in Iraq, followed by Israel’s bombing of Gaza. Now Libya has added its name to this list with continuous strife tearing the African country apart. The Indian government led by Sushma Swaraj, the union external affairs minister, has organized a high level meeting where it has been decided an officer belonging to the rank of joint secretary will be soon sent to Libya so that the convenient return of Indians in that country could be guaranteed.
The Indian Ambassador to Libya has revealed that at the moment companies in the western part of the country have employed 450 people from India and are also ready to send them back and bear the expenses for the same. He has added tickets are being bought for Indians who have expressed keenness in getting back to their country. As of now, it has been learnt that at least 58 nurses are eager to come back to India.
Parliament hit by bugging controversy
Indian politics is a strange phenomenon as in often there are proceedings that can challenge anyone’s capability to understand things rationally. For example, one can consider the recent row regarding the supposed bugging of Nitin Gadkari’s house. Here the ruling party is on the receiving end of things but it has continued to issue statements where it has vehemently denied that such a thing may have happened. On the other hand, Congress, which is being regarded as the one to have perpetrated the entire affair, continues to press for a probe into the complaints only to have it rejected by the government.
This fracas has also had a telling effect on the proceedings of the government as there were continuous adjournments of the parliament over the issue today. In fact, the Rajya Sabha was suspended during the question hour and later on in the zero hour. The very stance of both the parties involved here is rather confusing. The question that arises is should one think that it is BJP which has spread a false rumour or is just suppressing the matter because it is under pressure as far as its relationships with the US are concerned? Why is the Congress so fervently in favour of a probe – are they sure of their innocence in this issue? The involvement of US is also a major issue over here.
Government asks airlines to provide information on remaining mandatory dues
The authorities in the union aviation ministry have asked all the airlines plying in India to provide a list of all the various dues that are supposed to be paid by them to various government agencies. This list needs to be submitted by August 4. This report is supposed to be inclusive of the amount that these service providers are supposed to pay to the oil companies that are owned by the government as well as the Airports Authority of India.
They are also supposed to provide information on the status of service tax payment in addition to the tax that they deduct at source. The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation or CAPA has stated that in the past 7 years the aviation industry in India has lost 10.6 billion dollars and they are still supposed to pay 15.8 billion dollars to various debtors. As of 2013-14 their losses have been estimated at 1.8 billion dollars, a figure that will come down marginally to 1.4 billion dollars by the completion of the 2014-15 fiscal. It only remains to be seen how Narendra Modi’s establishment finds a way in which these companies can recoup their losses and perhaps mount a comeback in the days ahead.
Indo-US group to collaborate closely on climate change
India and the US have together created a joint group, which as per environment minister Prakash Javadekar, is a crucial platform as far as addressing the key issue of climate change is concerned. The group is also expected to focus on concerns pertaining to sustainable development. The environment minister feels that the group needs to collaborate well so that a proper understanding of these issues can be developed for the period after 2020 and a properly balanced approach can be taken to solving them.
Javadekar has had a meeting with Todd Stern, the special envoy for climate change on behalf of the US. They have discussed a series of events that could be crucial before the Conference of the Parties (CoP) takes place in Paris in 2015. The joint working group has also had a meeting on this issue. As has been pointed out by Javadekar, both India and the US are equipped with the requisite technology as well as experience to ensure that the project is successful. The minister is also hopeful that both the countries will be sharing with each other the best possible practices that can be adopted for combating climate change and its aftereffects.
TRAI brings out paper on effects of EMF radiation
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has come out with an information paper that deals with the possible results of radiation that comes after being exposed to the electromagnetic field that surrounds the mobile phones as well as the base stations. In fact, in recent times a number of ailments have been associated to this particular exposure and there is plenty of concern regarding the same. However, the regulatory body has also confirmed that more studies need to be done in order to gauge the exact extent of these aftereffects.
Till the time these studies attain completion and the results are properly validated one feels that care needs to be taken as to how the issue of EMF radiation can be approached. The information paper has established the fact that majority of the people are exposed to some or the other variant of EMF radiation on an everyday basis. As far as the telecom industry is concerned the sources of such radiation are the mobile phones and towers. One feels that certain rules and regulations need to be implemented so that this danger can be mitigated but then, as the paper rightly points out, they should be based on science.