30 nov 2015

Prepared by Ashok Sharma

The Hindu: November 30, 2015

Secularism and the Constitution

The current winter session of Parliament was expected to add clarity to the ongoing debate on tolerance, or the lack of it, in the country. But before the issue was taken up, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government came up with the idea of a two-day debate on how far the values of the Constitution are being understood today. The occasion was to mark the 125th birth anniversary year of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution in the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949. After Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh questioned the manner in which secularism is being used in contemporary discourse, Congress president Sonia Gandhi argued that the principles enshrined in the Constitution were under deliberate attack. That secularism is a core value in the constitutional system has always been beyond debate, and its inviolability as a principle of governance has been taken for granted. Whenever the subject was debated in independent India, it was in terms of questioning the balance between the rule of equality before law and the exception in the interest of protecting the rights of minorities. Mr. Rajnath Singh's contention that 'secularism' is the most misused word in Indian politics and that the time has come to end such misuse came close to questioning the continuing relevance of the very concept of secularism. It is indeed true that the Constitution originally had no reference to secularism, and that the word was introduced only in 1976. Yet, in terms of the emphasis it gave to religious freedom, freedom of conscience, equality and non-discrimination, the Constitution was indeed imbued with the secular spirit. The 42nd Amendment merely made it explicit.

Given the attempt by a previous NDA regime (1998-2004) to force a review of the Constitution, it is natural that those committed to secularism read in Mr. Rajnath Singh's remarks an attempt to dilute the concept. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in the debate, ruling out any such review and reaffirming his government's commitment to the core principles of the Constitution, must be welcomed. In contrast to his laconic demeanour in the recent past saying little substantively critical of communal utterances by his party colleagues and others in government, Mr. Modi wound up the debate asserting that the only religion for his government was 'India first' and the only holy book, the Constitution. By ruling out any plan to review the Constitution and simultaneously reaching out to the Opposition to take forward his government's legislative agenda, the Prime Minister has set the right tone, even if one could be tempted to see this as a chastening consequence of his party's defeat in the Bihar election. He will have to say and do a lot more in order to address the apprehension that Mr. Rajnath Singh was in fact floating a trial balloon, and that the overturning of secularism represents a dominant issue on the BJP's agenda.



com·mem·o·rate  श्रद्धांजलि देना

Recall and show respect for (someone or something) in a ceremony



Living or occurring at the same time.


dis·course भाषण 

Written or spoken communication or debate.


en·shrine  स्थापित करना

Place (a revered or precious object) in an appropriate receptacle.


Core  मूलभूत

The tough central part of various fruits, containing the seeds.


Inviolability पवित्रता

(inviolable) incapable of being transgressed or dishonored; "the person of the king is inviolable"; "an inviolable oath"


con·ten·tion  प्रतिविरोध

Heated disagreement.



The relation of something to the matter at hand


im·bue  दिल में बैठा देना ,  व्याप्त होना

Inspire or permeate with a feeling or quality.


di·lute कमज़ोर करना

Make (a liquid) thinner or weaker by adding water or another solvent to it.


la·con·ic  रूखा संक्षेप

(of a person, speech, or style of writing) using very few words.


de·mean·or बरताव

Outward behavior or bearing.


Tempt  परखना

Entice or attempt to entice (someone) to do or acquire something that they find attractive but know to be wrong or not beneficial.


chas·ten         उत्तेजना

(of a reproof or misfortune) have a restraining or moderating effect on.


o·ver·turn  उत्तेजना

Tip (something) over so that it is on its side or upside down.



The Hindu: November 30, 2015 03:48 IST

Testing cricket's true colours

The first day-night Test at Adelaide, between Australia and New Zealand, in the end provided cricket thrilling enough to match the high interest in the long-form game's boldest innovation in a long time. While it is clear that pink-ball cricket is here to stay, it is uncertain whether it simply gives administrators options for scheduling play or whether it will, in fact, revolutionise Test cricket. There had been much anticipation on how how the pink ball, coloured so for white-clothed batsmen and fielders to be able to sight in day-time and under the floodlights, would hold up — and on this account, there is no reason to suggest that the experiment cannot be replicated. Therefore, the pink-ball, day-night option could allow for the uncertainties of bad light to be overcome, and for administrators to start the game later to attract after-work crowds, as the one-day international has done for decades now, and Twenty20 more recently. But is it the day-ness of a Test match alone that periodically raises the fear among cricketers and fans that the format may not survive for much longer? Put another way, would day-night play give Test matches enough of a bump in appeal to regularly pull in crowds and television audiences who sustain abbreviated versions of the game, especially the Indian Premier League? Further, is the problem with Test cricket one of its early-morning start alone?

There are many challenges for Test cricket today. The geography of Test cricket is currently shrinking, bringing down the match-up options. The West Indies, for instance, is not able to adequately finance it. For reasons of security, Pakistan does not have the option of playing its "home" Test actually at home. Test matches need context to be memorable, and Pakistani cricketers miss the historical overhang of home stadia and the presence of home crowds at makeshift venues like Dubai. In any case, India's strange resistance to reviving bilateral cricketing ties denies Pakistan the interest and revenue that come with their keenest rivalry. India is denied too — but India is assured of broadcast revenue no matter who it plays. In any case, the so-called Big Three — India, England, Australia — have ganged up to privilege their priorities above the older each-Test-nation-plays-every-other egalitarianism. Moreover, with the slapdash rush to squeeze in as much cricket as possible, especially with the IPL reducing the overall time for international cricket, boards deny touring teams the preparatory matches against domestic teams that acclimatised them to conditions. This has resulted in many more one-sided matches, reducing their appeal significantly. If the pink-ball innovation is an indication that boards are thinking of the many challenges that face Test cricket, it will inspire hope. Else, in and of itself, it will just remain a fine curiosity.


Thrill  उत्तेजना

Cause (someone) to have a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure.


an·tic·i·pa·tion  पूर्वज्ञान

The action of anticipating something; expectation or prediction.


sus·tain  बनाए रखना

Strengthen or support physically or mentally


ab·bre·vi·at·ed संक्षिप्त करना

Shortened; cut short.


o·ver·hang  सिर पर झुकना

Hang or extend outward over.


sta·di·um  मैदान

A sports arena with tiers of seats for spectators.


re·sist·ance  प्रतिबन्ध

The refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument.


re·vive  फिर से ताज़ा करना

Restore to life or consciousness.


Keen  तीक्ष्ण  नुकीला   दिलचस्पी रखना

Having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm.


as·sured  सुनिश्चित



Egalitarianism  समानतावादी , भेदभावहीन

The doctrine of the equality of mankind and the desirability of political and economic and social equality


slap·dash  लापरवाही से

Done too hurriedly and carelessly.


Rush rushतीव्र प्रवाह

Move with urgent haste.


Squeeze दबाव 

Firmly press (something soft or yielding), typically with one's fingers.




ac·cli·mate   बदलना , समानुकूल होना

Become accustomed to a new climate or to new conditions.


cu·ri·os·i·ty  जिज्ञासा 

A strong desire to know or learn something.


Business Standard

India's agrarian crisis

A survey of chronically drought-stricken Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh published last week could not have come up with a more grim assessment. As a result of two consecutive years of deficient rainfall, farmers and their families in the area are cutting back on their already meagre meals and inching towards something approaching famine conditions. The survey by Swaraj Abhiyan, a farmers' activists group, found that more than 80 per cent of households reported cutting down on consumption of pulses and milk while more than three-quarters reported they were increasingly eating roti with just salt and spices. This grim reading came in a week when several states met the Union agriculture minister to discuss responses to the drought. What is needed instead is a long-term action plan to tackle the effects of deficient rainfall, the overuse of fertilisers, the unpredictability of conditions - witness the heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu this month - brought on by climate change, as well as the seemingly permanent low-productivity trap of small-scale farming in India. Groundwater is rapidly depleting: fresh water per capita in India has declined from 3,000 cubic meters to 1,123 cubic meters per capita in the past half-century. Taken together, this is a colossal crisis - and yet it punches well below its weight in national priorities.

When the government is stirred to act energetically, it is usually to impose a ban on "hoarding" whichever food stuff where price hikes have hit the headlines - onions usually, or pulses more recently. But these knee-jerk reactions amount to tampering with market mechanisms and make things worse rather than better. The need for cold storage, or for increasing onion dehydration capacity, to solve the perennial shortage of onions has been suggested every year, only to be forgotten till the next episode of eye-watering prices. The emergency decision to import certain kinds of lentils was so low relative to the scale of the demand for pulses in India as to once again beg the question of whether the government was serious about solving the problem.

Instead of short-term responses, the Centre and the states need to dramatically increase funding for agricultural research and agricultural universities to develop better seeds and fertilisers, including varieties better able to thrive in the face of water shortages. Average landholdings are a mere 1.15 hectares - but this is all the more reason for urgent action. Drip feed irrigation is also a priority as the water paucity crisis unfolds daily. Agricultural growth is limping along at about two per cent - some experts predict it might actually slip further this year - while the rest of the economy is growing at more than seven per cent. This disparity in prospects does not bode well when agriculture still employs more than half the population. As a recent series of reports in this newspaper showed, the crisis now extends from supposedly rich agrarian states like Punjab - where the whitefly, abetted by an unusually extended hot weather period, has wreaked havoc on cotton farmers - to rubber farmers in Kerala, who have been clobbered by a collapse in prices. The limits of short-term responses to forces as unyielding as climate change and embedded low productivity on India's small farms have been on display all this year. It is time for the government to act.


a·grar·i·an  कृषि-संबंधी

Of or relating to cultivated land or the cultivation of land.


Drought  अनावृष्टि

A prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall; a shortage of water resulting from this.


Grim निष्ठुर

Forbidding or uninviting.


as·sess·ment निर्धारण 

The evaluation or estimation of the nature, quality, or ability of someone or something.


de·fi·cient  दोषयुक्त

Not having enough of a specified quality or ingredient.


mea·ger  तुच्छ , अल्प

(of something provided or available) lacking in quantity or quality.


Inch  थोड़ा थोड़ा करके

Move slowly and carefully in a specified direction.


fam·ine  अकाल

Extreme scarcity of food.


de·plete कमज़ोर बनाना

Use up the supply or resources of.



Stir उत्तेजित करना

Move a spoon or other implement around in (a liquid or other substance) in order to mix it thoroughly.


co·los·sal  विराट

Extremely large.


tam·per  कपट प्रबंध करना

Interfere with (something) in order to cause damage or make unauthorized alterations.


per·en·ni·al  सार्वकालिक

Lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring.


len·til दाल 

A high-protein pulse that is dried and then soaked and cooked before eating. There are several varieties of lentils, including green ones and smaller orange ones, which are typically sold split.


Thrive  फूलना फलना

(of a child, animal, or plant) grow or develop well or vigorously.


Drip  टपकना या टपकाना

Let fall or be so wet as to shed small drops of liquid.


pau·ci·ty  अभाव

The presence of something only in small or insufficient quantities or amounts; scarcity.


Limp कठिनाई से आगे बढ पाना

Walk with difficulty, typically because of a damaged or stiff leg or foot.


Bode  पहले से चेताना

Be an omen of a particular outcome


a·bet बढ़ावा देना

Encourage or assist (someone) to do something wrong, in particular, to commit a crime or other offense.


Wreak बदला लेना

Cause (a large amount of damage or harm).


hav·oc विनाश 

Widespread destruction.


clob·ber बुरी तरह मारना

Hit (someone) hard.


col·lapse गिरावट (

(of a structure) fall down or in; give way.


em·bed अंतःस्थापित

Fix (an object) firmly and deeply in a surrounding mass.




Indian Express

Winds of winter

As the world turns to Paris, where the 21st edition of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) takes place, there is cautious optimism. The hope is that the leaders of some 190 nations can arrive at an agreement that will arrest anthropogenic global warming by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While most governments have accepted the scientific consensus that environmental catastrophe lurks in the future if the planet's temperature is allowed to increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, they still bitterly disagree on what a meaningful accord that limits emissions should look like — the last attempt at collective action on climate, in Copenhagen in 2009, turned rancorous. More specifically, developing countries such as India are understandably apprehensive that the developed world intends to jettison the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which places the major burden of climate change mitigation on the wealthy economies that created the problem in the first place. They also differ on the extent to which the first world ought to compensate poor nations for embracing green practices and policies, and transfer technology to them.

India and its developing peers insist on equity because they are rightly reluctant to hobble their development agendas. But this has led to India, especially, acquiring a reputation as a stubborn and obstructionist spoiler at global climate change negotiations —an unfair charge. US Secretary of State John Kerry has already raised the spectre of India's non-cooperation in Paris, calling it a "challenge". He was speaking of the intended nationally determined contributions, where each country furnishes an emissions reduction target and a plan to achieve it. So far, these pledges are not legally binding — which makes the proposed agreement palatable and politically feasible — but there was, at the G-20 meet in Antalya, a move to include a reference to a "review mechanism" requiring a periodic assessment of commitments made. India spiked the move, and there is some concern that a dispute over monitoring and verification could derail a possible accord —as could any binding obligation for wealthy nations to provide financial assistance, which the US is keen to avoid.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will speak at the summit, has reiterated his "uncompromising commitment on climate change" and signalled a willingness to improve cooperation by aggressively flagging India's ambitious domestic renewable energy targets. India can, and must, play a constructive role in facilitating a robust yet realistic deal in Paris. Even if Paris proves to be a triumph of diplomacy and an agreement is successfully negotiated, it is unlikely to be broad or deep enough to curb global warming to the 2 degrees C guardrail. But an imperfect pact that covers much of the world woul



frame·work  रूपरेखा ढांचा

An essential supporting structure of a building, vehicle, or object.


con·ven·tion  समझौता 

A way in which something is usually done, especially within a particular area or activity


cau·tious  चौकन्ना

(of a person) careful to avoid potential problems or dangers.


op·ti·mism  आशावाद 

Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.


an·thro·po·gen·ic  मानवोद्भव विज्ञान

(chiefly of environmental pollution and pollutants) originating in human activity.


ca·tas·tro·phe  प्रलय

An event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering; a disaster.


Lurk छिपे रह कर इंतज़ार करना

(of a person or animal) be or remain hidden so as to wait in ambush for someone or something.


ran·cor·ous  शत्रुतापूर्ण

Characterized by bitterness or resentment.


jet·ti·son फेंक देना

Throw or drop (something) from an aircraft or ship.


dif·fer·en·ti·ate  विभिन्नता प्रदान करना

Recognize or ascertain what makes (someone or something) different


mit·i·ga·tion घटाव 

The action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something.


em·brace आलिंगन 

Hold (someone) closely in one's arms, especially as a sign of affection


hob·ble  लड़खड़ाना

Walk in an awkward way, typically because of pain from an injury.



A ghost.


pal·at·a·ble रुचिकर

(of food or drink) pleasant to taste.


Spike  राह में रोड़े अटकाना

Impale on or pierce with a sharp point


ob·li·ga·tion  दायित्व 

An act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.


re·it·er·ate  बार बार कहना या करना

Say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity.


fa·cil·i·tate आगे बढ़ाना

Make (an action or process) easy or easier.


ro·bust  मजबूत

Strong and healthy; vigorous.


tri·umph  विजय

A great victory or achievement.


The Dawn

Karachi strategy

UNDENIABLE as it may be that the Karachi operation has brought a degree of calm to a historically volatile city and that public sentiment is solidly in favour of the operation, there is in fact relatively little known about the strategy behind the operation.

Spurts of intensive action are followed by periods of relative inaction and while some of that can be attributed to the varying political temperature, it is not very clear what the time frame or indeed overall framework for the operation is.

On Saturday, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan in a typically ambiguous statement suggested that the Karachi operation will be expedited, while also addressing the concerns of the MQM and the PPP.


Most likely, neither the MQM nor the PPP will be very impressed by the minister's assurances given the continuing pressure on the political leadership of both parties. More intriguing was Chaudhry Nisar's suggestion that the pace of the operation may be about to pick up again.

Was the minister hinting at an endpoint to this seemingly most open-ended of operations? Or was it just more political rhetoric?

The Karachi operation is now more than two years old. Given the scale of the problems in the megacity, any attempt to combat violence and crime was always going to be a lengthy affair. But can a provincial capital, one of the world's largest cities and Pakistan's most populous city by far, be in a permanent state of a militarised operation?

To the architects of the present strategy it may appear that their principal job is to restore order and ensure that criminals are put out of business or behind bars — everything being secondary, including considerations of time.? Yet, the longer the operation continues, the more two things have become obvious.

First, the dominant parties in Karachi and overall Sindh, the MQM and the PPP, respectively, have a support base that will outlive any military-led operation in Karachi.

By seemingly treating both parties as part of the problem and no part of the solution, the architects of the Karachi operation may unwittingly be creating the conditions for the eventual unravelling of the operation's gains.

Second, to protect the gains made over the long term, the federal will have to give way to the provincial and local, ie the military will have to hand over control of the city to strengthened and rejuvenated local law-enforcement agencies.

Permanent military control is not an option, but there does not seem to be any thought being given by civilian leaders such as the interior minister to what the long-term measures should be.

Effectively, by treating the MQM and the PPP as the enemy, the architects of the Karachi operation are risking the spectre of a permanent military-run operation with even weaker civilian institutions. Surely, that cannot be the goal?


un·de·ni·a·ble  अखण्डनीय

Unable to be denied or disputed.


vol·a·tile  अस्थिर

(of a substance) easily evaporated at normal temperatures.


Spurt फूट पड़ना

Gush out in a sudden and forceful stream.


ex·pe·dite  शीघ्र भेजना

Make (an action or process) happen sooner or be accomplished more quickly.


as·sur·ance   भरोसा (

A positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise.


in·trigue षड्यंत्र रचना, कुतूहल 

Arouse the curiosity or interest of; fascinate.


rhet·o·ric शब्दाडंबरपूर्ण

The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.



A very large city, typically one with a population of over ten million people


com·bat  लड़ाई

Fighting between armed forces


out·live से अधिक समय तक टिका रहना

(of a person) live longer than (another person).


un·rav·el  स्पष्ट करना

Undo (twisted, knitted, or woven threads).


e·ven·tu·al  फलस्वरूप

Occurring at the end of or as a result of a series of events; final; ultimate


re·ju·ve·nate फिर जवान या युवा करना

Make (someone or something) look or feel younger, fresher, or more lively.


spec·ter  भूत   साया 

A ghost.



The Guardian

view on Saudi Arabia: cruel violent punishments won't bring security

saudi Arabia is not the only country with a dreadful record on human rights. In the Middle East alone, there is Iran, which hanged nearly 700 people in the first six months of this year, some for the supposed crime of "Enmity to God". Pakistan is distinguished by the cruelty of its blasphemy law, which allows disputes among neighbours to escalate to judicial murder. Bahrain has violently suppressed its Shia citizens. Qataris have been said to be among the most enthusiastic funders of violent jihad.

But even in this company there is something altogether special about Saudi Arabia. The mass execution of prisoners is not, sadly, without precedent. Iran did something similar after the revolution. Nonetheless, the Saudi decision to execute more than 50 supposed "terrorists" to discourage Isis is pretty shameless. Many appear to be young Shia men caught up in protests against discrimination last year.

No other country would propose to behead a young man, and then crucify his corpse upside down and in public – apparently as a punishment for being the nephew of a Shia religious leader. No other country would impose the grotesque sentence of 1,000 lashes for blog posts about God's existence. No other country would impose a death sentence for atheism on a distinguished poet. Many of the atrocities which Isis performs for effect are in Saudi performed as routine. It is grotesque that the British government was proposing to cooperate with the Saudi ministry of justice, until pressure from Jeremy Corbyn, along with the opposition of Michael Gove, ended the shameful deal.

No one can doubt that torture is practised as a matter of routine by the Saudi security services. It feels cynical for the prime minister to point to the benefits of our craven attitude: Saudi intelligence, he told Channel Four news, had helped prevent a bomb attack in Britain. Similarly, Saudi corruption has enriched British arms companies, and kept British workers employed.

But there is a price we pay for this. Saudi propaganda, whether in mosques and madrassas or over the internet and the satellite channels, feeds a dangerous strain of Islam which does our country nothing but harm. Saudi weapons, some bought from Britain, are being used in a wicked and destabilising war in Yemen, which has so far killed thousands and made millions homeless. The bombing campaign mounted by the Saudis in Yemen far exceeds in indiscriminate brutality anything the west has inflicted on Isis. Even on the narrowest calculations of national interest, a country whose campaign of pointless destruction is making Yemen a safe place for Isis and al-Qaida is not on our side, even if it is formally reckoned as one of our allies.

The only justification for Cameron's policy of "Don't let's be beastly to the Saudis" is that the collapse of the kingdom, if it ever comes, will be a catastrophe for the region and indeed the wider world. The one thing the Saudis have accomplished is stability and the anarchy that has engulfed some of their neighbours shows how valuable this one thing is. Yet stability cannot be the same as immobility. The kingdom must change if it is to avoid a catastrophic collapse. There are signs some of the younger royals understand this. But it won't change without clear, principled and consistent criticism. This we should be happy to provide.



dread·ful भयानक

Causing or involving great suffering, fear, or unhappiness; extremely bad or serious.


blas·phe·my  निन्दा 

The act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.


es·ca·late  तीव्र करना

Increase rapidly.


sup·press  कुचलना

Forcibly put an end to.


ex·e·cu·tion(hang) फाँसी देना

The carrying out or putting into effect of a plan, order, or course of action


prec·e·dent पूर्व उदाहरण

An earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances.



a·the·ism नास्तिकता 

Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.


a·troc·i·ty अत्याचार

An extremely wicked or cruel act, typically one involving physical violence or injury.


gro·tesque  बेढंगा बना हुआ

Comically or repulsively ugly or distorted.


cyn·i·cal  चिड़चिड़ापन

Believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.



cra·ven  कायर

Contemptibly lacking in courage; cowardly.



Strain  नस्ल

Force (a part of one's body or oneself) to make a strenuous or unusually great effort.


Mount  चढ़ना

Climb up (stairs, a hill, or other rising surface)



in·dis·crim·i·nate अविवेकी निर्विशेष  अंधाधुंध

Done at random or without careful judgment.



bru·tal·i·ty निर्दयता

Savage physical violence; great cruelty



in·flict v

Cause (something unpleasant or painful) to be suffered by someone or something.



reck·on  गिनना

Establish by counting or calculation; calculate.


beast·ly  क्रूरतापूर्ण

Very unpleasant.




cat·a·stroph·ic आपत्तिजनक

Involving or causing sudden great damage or suffering




Nov 30 2015 : The Times of India (Ahmedabad)

 Formula For Peace


  New Delhi should talk Kashmir, but Islamabad too should create propitious conditions Former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah has kicked up a storm by asserting that Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) would continue to be part of Pakistan while the rest of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh would remain an integral part of India. In saying this, he has gone against the Indian position that Pakistan is an occupying force in PoK. But his statement does reflect reality, in that neither India nor Pakistan have the capability to change the situation on the ground for the foreseeable future. That said, within these parameters Pakistan has been trying to alter the status of Kashmir by using anti-India terror groups. India, on the other hand, is a status quoist power. While the biggest issue for India is cross-border terrorism, for Pakistan it's Kashmir. In such a scenario, New Delhi ne eds to adopt a calibrated and flexible approach towards Islamabad with a tough line on terror but also engaging Islamabad on the backchan nel, which should include reaching out to Gene ral Raheel Sharif. Such backchannel negotia tions had in fact almost resolved the Kashmir issue during the Manmohan Singh-Pervez Musharraf years. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has indicated he would like talks with India without any riders, but the other Sharif is the more crucial determinant of India policy . The general has just been to Washington where he got an overall positive reception, as the US today is preoccupied with the Islamic State threat and unlikely to push Pakistan too much on anti-India terror. It's all the more necessary, therefore, to engage him and ensure he doesn't misread these signals while understanding better New Delhi's intentions.Islamabad needs to appreciate that it cannot have talks, terror and gunfire on the border all at the same time; public opinion in India will then be hostile limiting government's options.


pro·pi·tious अनुकूल

Giving or indicating a good chance of success; favorable.


fore·see·a·ble  पूर्वाभास के योग्य

Able to be foreseen or predicted.


al·ter बदल देना

Change or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way.


cal·i·brate   जांच करना

Mark (a gauge or instrument) with a standard scale of readings.



A secondary or covert route for the passage of information.



hos·tile  प्रतिपक्षी

Unfriendly; antagonistic.





Nov 30 2015 : The Economic Times (Mumbai)

Solar Should Not be Sole Climate Basket

Solar alliance welcome but consider other options, too

India is taking a proactive role in combating climate change by spearheading a global solar alliance. This is welcome. There are energy economists who are so sanguine on the prospects of solar energy as to forecast all energy in the globe being drawn from this source by 2030. They extrapolate the steady reduction in the cost of solar power and of electricity storage to reach this conclusion. If it happens, well and good. India should have an aggressive research project in solar energy , so as to both contribute to new cutting-edge technology in the field and also usefully absorb advanced technologies that others produce.Yet, it would be a mistake to put all our climate change fighting eggs in the solar basket.

India must be equally aggressive, if not more, in exploring clean coal technologies, to exploit the country's most abundantly available fossil fuel in the least damaging fashion. The technology options are not limited to going ultracritical with power plants, so as to double ther mal efficiency , and deploying high quality filters and precipitators and catalytic converters to minimise emi ssion of greenhouse gases from ther mal plants. Another route is to con vert coal into natural gas, preferably in situ, and burn the gas in combined cycle plants to raise thermal efficiency to close to 60%. Experiments are on elsewhere in the world to crack natural gas, that is, separate the molecules of carbon and hydrogen that combine to form methane, and use hydrogen as fuel. When hydrogen burns, the output is heat and water. Some try to use biotechnology to raise sunlight-to-food conversion in photosynthesis. Others seek to grow tough plant fibre, absorbing carbon dioxide in the process, and use the fibre to reinforce concrete. Nuclear fission and fusion remain attractive research propositions for the future.

Apart from energy source, India has to also focus on how cities are planned to minimise commutes and to maximise use of public transport for the commute that cannot be avoided. As India urbanises fast, how well it is planned will determine our carbon footprint.

pro·ac·tive अग्रसक्रिय

(of a person, policy, or action) creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.


com·bat  लड़ाई 

Take action to reduce, destroy, or prevent (something undesirable)


spear·head अगुवा (

Lead (an attack or movement).



san·guine  आशावादी

Optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation


ex·trap·o·late  बहिर्वेशन करना

Extend the application of (a method or conclusion, especially one based on statistics) to an unknown situation by assuming that existing trends will continue or similar methods will be applicable.


de·ploy असरदार तरीके से इस्तेमाल करना

Move (troops) into position for military action.


pre·cip·i·ta·tor अवक्षेपक

An apparatus for causing precipitation, especially a device for removing dust from a gas.



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