In this first part of the Weekly Current Affairs Column, Columnist Mr. Kaustav Pallav provides key insights on a few selected and important news and development in the past week. (2nd May to 14th May, 2022)
With affects of climate change being reckoned, the concept of pricing carbon emissions has been thoroughly pushed. The Biden administration has estimated its social cost at $51 per ton of carbon emission; also Pennsylvania has adopted a carbon pricing policy to address climate change. India however is yet to work on a uniform carbon pricing scheme. On the diplomatic front, India had witnessed a flurry of such activity on the pretext of Raisina Dialogue that provided platform for critical conversations to take place. Also Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelling to Europe at a time when the region finds itself at war comes as significant. India’s relations with Germany, France and Denmark are strategically important. Moreover, India and Denmark also agreed to strengthen the green strategic partnership with a focus on green hydrogen, renewable energy and waste water management. The Prime Minister also expressed joy in suggesting progress in the joint work plan for green energy. With this, Prime Minister’s meet with the Nordic country heads also comes as significant and hints heavily on India’s Arctic policy. Back home, Delhi University turning a hundred year old is another milestone to India’s proliferating journey. It has grown since 1922 with Viceroy Lord Reading as its first Vice Chancellor to the now present, remaining testimony to many important stories that make India a whole.
The previous two weeks has also seen an abating heat wave situation in Delhi, giving the people some relief. Coal India Limited expressed that because of the heat wave situation demands for the dry fuel by the electricity generating plants increased by some 15.6%. CIL said that it supplied 49.6 MT of coal which is 6.7 MT higher than the previous April. Further, the power consumption situation in the whole country rose by 13.6% year-on-year to 132.98 billion units of power in April. This indicates nothing but an early arrival of summer!
After Sri Lanka, our neighbour Pakistan is suffering from a tenuous financial situation. India has for one another time extended more loan to Sri Lanka to import oil while Saudi Arabia on the other hand has offered financial help of $8 Billion to Pakistan. The Islamic country at this time suffers from sliding forex reserves, high inflation, and widening current account deficit. Saudi Arabia has also agreed to double the oil facility to Pakistan.
Today being Buddha Purnima, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited the Mayadevi temple at Lumbini to pay his respects to the Buddha where he took birth as Prince Siddhartha Gautama. Prime Minister Modi is scheduled take part in ceremonies to take place at the temple premises along with his Nepali counterpart. He is accompanied by a host of Foreign Service officers proficient in matters of the realm and also in matters of China and experience in Nepal.
On the other hand, Press Trust of India has expressed concern for the recent report on World Press Freedom Index that ranked India 150 out of 180 countries saying that freedom of journalists is an integral part of a vibrant democracy. It also talked about draconian rules and colonial laws used in some flimsy narratives to harass journalists, also incarcerate many. To talk more on colonial rules, the constitutionality of the sedition rules have been questioned in a petition filed in the Supreme Court by a few journalists and citizens. To what can be called as judicial criticism, the Chief Justice of India himself hinted that such laws can thrust governments for its misuse.
Dear readers, I shall be delighted to quench your thirst for more stories and details of the previous week in the second part of this segment. I shall see you tomorrow again. Until then, do take good care of yourself and everyone around.