The Hindu (EDIT.), Sept 4, 2015 || Welcome step on oilfields: The government has taken a refreshing and progressive approach with respect to the unutilised natural resources locked away in the 69 small and marginal oilfields lying with the state-owned exploration agencies. The Union Cabinet has not only approved the auction of these oilfields to private, and even foreign, companies, but also initiated a new approach in the licensing and proceeds-sharing mechanisms. So far, these progressive steps are limited to the 69 oilfields on the block, but hopefully they will be extended to all the oilfields in the country. With growth in oil production slowing and natural gas production contracting, there is a sore need for steps like these to boost domestic production.
The Hindu (EDIT.), Sept 4, 2015 || No Law Can Ignore Women’s Basic Rights: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has not done itself or its followers any good by proclaiming that there is no scope for change in the “triple talaq” system. There are Muslim countries that say just the opposite. In fact, there are moves in the Muslim world to soften the harsh laws against women; even Saudi Arabia has relaxed its laws against women driving. The saving grace in the AIMPLB stand is its proposal to seek the opinion of Ulemas across the country on whether any penalty could be imposed on a person giving “triple talaq.” While doing so, the Board should take note of the changing mood among women and their urge to empower themselves, instead of merely saying they have nothing to do with what is happening elsewhere in the world.
Deccan Chronicle (EDIT.), Sept 4, 2015 || 8% GDP – but how?: India’s GDP can certainly grow by eight per cent and more, as predicted in the Economic Survey and repeated by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian on Wednesday and on Thursday by President Pranab Mukherjee. It would have been enlightening if Mr Subramanian had spelt out how the government aimed to achieve this and what advice he is giving the government. Perhaps Mr Subramanian has overlooked the fact that a household buys not at the wholesale level but at the retail, where prices are much higher, and that all these years the RBI had been looking at wholesale inflation. It was only Dr Raghuram Rajan who corrected this anomaly.
Deccan Chronicle, Sept 4, 2015 || The power of Buddha: Civilisational concerns and cultural diplomacy are unlikely to captivate the popular imagination at the time of celebrity murder. Yet, when a Prime Minister makes time in his otherwise busy schedule to inaugurate a global Hindu-Buddhist convention on something as abstruse as “conflict avoidance and environment consciousness”, it is wise to presume that the agenda is more far-reaching than it appears on first glance. The squeamishness is of recent origin Jawaharlal Nehru wasn’t embarrassed by his appropriation of Ashokan iconography as state symbols or with the government’s large-scale Buddha Jayanti celebrations in 1956.However, its effect has been devastatingly counter-productive and has facilitated China’s grip on Asia. Overcoming that dominance is a long, hard slog and resurrecting our Indic inheritance is a small but important step in that direction.
Hindustan Times, Sept 4, 2015 || OROP deadlock: Veterans say open to 2-yr revision: President might intervene in OROP row, seek briefing: Tales of hardship emerge from the OROP battle: Veterans accuse Govt of ‘shifting goalpost’: The government and protesting soldiers are inching closer to a final formula on the “One Rank, One Pension” (OROP) scheme. While some ground has been covered, gaps remain and possibility of the government “unilaterally” notifying the scheme on its own terms exists. A group of ex-servicemen met Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and said they could agree to a biennial (once in two years) revision of pension. President Pranab Mukherjee may intervene in the logjam over ex-servicemen’s demand for a One-Rank, One-Pension (OROP) scheme, in what can be dubbed an extraordinary move.
Dainik Sambad, Agartala, Sept 4, 2015 || Row over One Rank One Pension: The leaders of the agitating ex-Servicemen today said if the Govt cannot take positive action immediately to meet their demand of One Rank One Pension they would spread the agitation to other places of the country initially at Varanasi, Ambala, Leh, Pune etc. …..In fact, political factor of vote bank over the probable beneficiary families of OROP – numbered about one crore – as well as huge economic burden in addition have made the OROP a complex issue.
The Tribune, Sept 4, 2015 || Death of a professor: On August 30, an unidentified person shot dead Professor M.M. Kalburgi. Kalburgi was a highly respected author and a leftist ideologue who questioned the basis of idolatry in Hinduism. He had received threats from extreme right-wing Hindu groups for questioning non-rationalist aspects of his faith. In these fanatical times, rational elements have to avoid confrontation of ideas, or be silent. Silencing the spirit of inquiry and debate is the worst crime that can be committed in a society.
DNA (EDIT.), Sept 4, 2015|| What’s brewing? The RSS-BJP Samanvay Baithak casts a shadow on democratic functioning of the Modi government. The RSS seems to indicate the agenda to the government and the Ministers try to implement them. Both the RSS and BJP leaders in general tend to be dodgy about such meetings. This opaque relationship is deeply disturbing in a democracy. The two sides must come clean about their relationship.