A history of accords but peace has eluded Nagaland

The landmark peace accord signed by the government and the NSCN-IM on 3 August 2015, came nearly 40 years after another similar treaty inked in Shillong that failed to establish peace and led to a fracturing of the Naga rebel movement.

On November 11, 1975, then Nagaland Governor L P Singh signed what came to be known as the “Shillong Accord” with six representatives of the Naga rebels in the capital of Meghalaya.

The ambiguous nature of the agreement–including a clause that said representatives of underground groups would have “reasonable time to formulate other issues for discussion for final settlement”–and the lack of support from hardline leaders like Thuingaleng Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu meant that the Shillong Accord did not lead to lasting peace.

At the time, the Naga rebel movement had been weakened because China had stopped extending support to it and the creation of Bangladesh meant they could no longer seek shelter in the erstwhile East Pakistan.

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via The Hindustan Times

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All you want to know about Solar Impulse 2

solar impulse

Solar Impulse 2, world’s first solar-powered aircraft is on its journey around the world. It made stopovers at Ahmedabad and Varanasi in India on its way to Mynamar’s Mandalay. Solar Impulse  is the first attempt to fly a plane round the world using only solar power. It’s not a non-stop flight, the plane stops in different countries. Here is all the important information you would want to know about it.

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Via – The Times of India

Government constitutes National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog

The Union Government has replaced Planning Commission with a new institution named NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). The institution will serve as ‘Think Tank’ of the Government-a directional and policy dynamo. NITI Aayog will provide Governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy, this includes matters of national and international import on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support.

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via Press Information Bureau

Climate Agreement – India needs to take the lead

Without Indian leadership, there will be no climate change agreement. The country should improve its own energy efficiency

The latest marathon negotiations on climate change recently finished in Lima, Peru. Many outside observers feel that the centerpiece of Lima, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), neither to be reviewed nor externally monitored, are too weak to have any real impact on climate change.

Despite this, the Indian delegation expressed satisfaction over the result. So has the U.S, which is understandable since little is really being asked of it in terms of commitments. But what is India seeking?

Let’s look at the situation. India is a warm and primarily subtropical country where agriculture and drinking water depend on the monsoons. Northern India depends on river systems which are sustained by melting Himalayan glaciers. The country has a long coastline. It is also regularly exposed to extreme weather events — floods, droughts and hurricanes — and suffers from the presence of mosquitoes and other vectors that can carry infectious diseases.

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via The Hindu

2014 – The year that was

A glimpse of some important events that marked this year.

February-March: The Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa caught the world’s attention. On March 18, Guinean health officials announced the outbreak of a mysterious haemorrhagic fever. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, as of December 10, there have been 17,942 reported cases of Ebola virus disease, with 6,388 reported deaths.

March 08: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 flying from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to China’s capital city of Beijing, with 239 people on board, lost contact and disappeared. Its baffling disappearance launched the world’s most expensive search effort. The debris has not been spotted and the crash site has not been zeroed in on.

April 07: The Indian general election 2014 (16th Lok Sabha elections) was held from April 7 to May 12, making it the longest election in the country’s history. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won the elections.

May 26: BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The swearing-in gained much attention because it was the first time that the leaders of SAARC were invited for such an event. Heads of or representatives from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lankan, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Bangladesh were invited.

July 23: The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland concluded on August 3, with England finishing at the top with a total of 174 medals. India too put up a memorable performance, finishing fifth with 64 medals.

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via The Hindu.

Seven Things You Need To Know About GST Bill

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on 19 October 2014. This Bill has faced stringent opposition from states in the past, the main reason why the bill couldn’t be passed by the previous Congress government.

The Bill seeks to rationalise state and central indirect taxes into a harmonised tax structure. Currently, companies pay multiple taxes at the state and central levels, which raises the prices of their products, making them less competitive compared with imports from China and other low-cost locations. The hassle and time wasted in filing myriad taxes also deters entrepreneurs and foreign companies from investing in India.

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via huffingtonpost.in

Making sense of the growth puzzle

The performance of the Indian economy has been quite enigmatic in the past two-three years. Two successive years of low growth cast a shadow on our growth potential and we went around looking for reasons. Policy paralysis dramatized the issue and remained embedded in our minds. The cabinet committee on investment under the United Progressive Alliance government cleared as much as over Rs.6 trillion worth of investment by February. Yet, growth remained anaemic. We then said that we need reforms and there was some movement on land reforms and foreign direct investment in retail. Then the central government changed. Clearances have continued and the administration has been made to take decisions. Yet, the economic situation is at best stable, although sentiment is sanguine. Are we missing something?

An analysis of the growth path since 2011-12 shows slowdown has been due to a series of issues in which the government plays only a secondary role. The main issue has been with demand, where the level of spending has come down. The three major components: consumption, investment and government have shown limited traction.

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via Livemint