JULY 7…Hindu news crunch

1)“The jungle

crow, for instance, is

infrequent in central Kerala

and more abundant in the

Travancore and Malabar

belts. Black kites are mostly

found near towns and cities

and are not found in most


While Red-whiskered

bulbuls (irattathalachi in

Malayalam) are the most

common species in Kannur

and Wayanad, they are the

rarest in

Thiruvananthapuram. The

Indian peafowl, though

purported to be found all

across Kerala, is common

only in Palakkad and during

dry seasons, in Thrissur.

Such finer distribution

details are precisely what

the Kerala Bird Atlas project

— a first-of-its-kind initiative

that engages citizens to

collect bird distribution and

abundance data for an entire


2) An astronomical hike in the

‘expatriate dependent fee,’

or family tax, in Saudi Arabia

is forcing thousands of Indians

working in the kingdom

to send their families back


3)home stays in Kerala are seasonal and GST will bring tax to them for the first time and they are a worried lot.

4) The Central government is

poised to introduce an amendment

to the Ancient Monuments

and Archaeological Sites and Remains

Act, 1958, in Parliament,

which would remove the security

net that exists around our nationally

protected monuments.

5) As a presidential

candidate, Mr. Trump campaigned

on a pledge to avoid direct

U.S. involvement in the Syrian conlict.

Today, he has become a major

player in a regional proxy war that

could determine West Asia’s dynamics

for decades.

The Syrian conlict has expanded

into a war that involves regional

and world powers — including

the U.S., Russia, Iran, Turkey,

Saudi Arabia, and Qatar — whose

interests sometimes overlap, but at

other times lead to multiple confrontations

and uncomfortable alliances.


Trump believes that Iran is a threat.


In recent weeks, Syrian troops,

along with Hezbollah and other

Shiite militias, have been moving

to consolidate control over the

area and to connect with Iranianbacked

militias that are ighting to

dislodge the IS from the Iraqi side

of the border.

The Trump administration is

worried that with these gains, Iran

and its allies will carve out a “Shiite

crescent” extending from Iran,

through Iraq and Syria, and into

Lebanon, where Hezbollah is the

most powerful political and military

force. Such a prospect looms

large not only for the U.S. administration,

but also its allies in the

Arab world, especially Saudi



While Washington is eager to

portray its latest actions in Syria as

defensive measures, Mr. Assad’s regime

and its Iranian allies view

them as an aggression, noting that

the Pentagon shot down a Syrian

jet in Syrian airspace


6) California reaffirmed last

month, despite GM behemoth

Monsanto’s best efforts, that its

glyphosate, considered the safest

herbicide, will be included in a list

of chemicals labelled as “cancer causing”

(following the categorisation

of glyphosate by the World

Health Organization as a “probable



Bayer’s glufosinate, the

herbicide linked with Indian

HT (herbicide tolerant)mustard, is an acknowledged


banned in the EU.


But according to the right wingers GM mustard will cut down on the import and the oil cake can be used for animal feed.This time around the ideological left seems to be paranoid about the issue of GM.


7) The last two months have been

an eventful period in India’s

foreign policy engagements.

The culmination of three

events — One Belt, One road

(OBOR)/Belt and Road Forum

(BRF), Shangri-La Dialogue

and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

(SCO) meet — saw

high-level exchanges among

countries of the Asia-Paciic region. However, India’s diferent

responses to the three events point to complexities that might

hinder its approach.

The first event, the BRF held in Beijing, was attended by 29

heads of states, more than 100 senior government oicials and

70 international organisations. New Delhi, critical of the

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), chose not to attend.

It thus sent a strong political signal of its discomiture to

the leaderships of both China and Pakistan.

When it comes to the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, which

brings together Defence Ministers and other high-level oicials

from 28 nations in the Asia-Paciic, India has attended 12

out of 16 meets since its inception in 2002. This year though,

India was conspicuous by its absence, which was due to a combination

of factors — late conirmation from New Delhi’s end

and a ‘programme oversight’ by the organisers. Finance Minister

Arun Jaitley, also additionally holding the portfolio of defence,

was hard-pressed for time and Minister of State Subhash

Bhamre was deputed to head the Indian delegation. India decided

to pull out when he was told to attend one of the ‘plenary

sessions’ and not given a speaking role at the main session.

It missed out on an important avenue to put across its views

due to the absence of a full-time Defence Minister. That said,

New Delhi could have sent a suitable delegation instead as was

done by China and Pakistan. Chinese delegation, led by Lt.

Gen. Le Hei, raised several issues like U.S. arms sale to Taiwan,

navigation in the South China Sea and Korean peninsula nuclear

issue. On a related note, India is working on its own version

of multilateral dialogue forums. The ‘Raisina Dialogue’

and ‘Gateway of India Dialogue’ have celebrated two successful

editions. India may be keen not to give too much importance

to other similar forums.

The third engagement was at the SCO, which India and

Pakistan joined on June 9 after having remained observer

states for several years. Speaking at the summit in Astana,

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his desire for enhanced

connectivity and trade exchanges and also pledged his

commitment in the collective ight against terrorism. The SCO

will be India’s wedge to make inroads into Central Asia.

The Indian government has invested signiicant diplomatic

capital in bilateral engagements. However, regional multilateral

engagements are equally important, given the commonality

of threats and the Indian leadership should actively participate

in them. They also provide avenues for bilateral

discussions on the sidelines. Until any platform disregards India’s

‘core interests’, New Delhi should consider attending

similar high-level engagements in the future.


8) Gresham’s law


When the price of a currency

in terms of another

currency is arbitrarily

fixed by lawmakers, it

leads to a shortage in the

supply of the currency that

is undervalued, while

there is at the same time

an over-supply of the currency

that is overvalued.

Gresham’s law is often expressed

using the phrase

“bad money drives out

good money”, and is

named after the 16th Century

English financier

Thomas Gresham. The

economics of price controls,

which predicts price

ceilings and price floors to

result in supply shortages

and surpluses respectively,

thus applies to currencies

as much as it does to



9) The Law Commission of

India has communicated

to the government the

need for a new law to

make the registration of

marriages compulsory.

The intervention was

based on a request from

the Department of Legal

Affairs in February 2017

that forwarded a request

from the Legislative Department

for ways to end

the continued prevalence

of practices such as child

marriages, bigamy and

gender violence in Indian


The Commission recommended

that an

amendment Bill should

provide that if the birth or

marriage or death is not

registered within the specified

time limit, then the

Registrar shall, on the payment

of a late fee, register

the death or birth (a)

within a period of 30 days;

(b) within one year, only

with the written permission

of the prescribed authority;

and (c) after one

year, only on an order of a

First Class Magistrate.


It has also said production

of a marriage certificate

should be made mandatory

for anyone

applying for any benefit on

behalf of the spouse; for

making application to government


and for getting benefits of

any welfare schemes like

agricultural and education



10) N. Korea drives a wedge in U.S.-China relations


11) From January 1, 2018, the

price of a packaged good

would no longer depend on

where you bought it — be it a

local kirana store, a mall, a

five-star hotel or an airport.

The Consumer Affairs

Ministry has amended the

rules that govern packaged

commodities to this effect



Arjun here.From Kottakkal, Kerala,India. I am interested in anything that is interesting and writing comes among the top of that list. I read,I write,I live.

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