the hindu
1.NGT bans open waste burning.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday imposed a complete ban on burning of waste in open places and announced a fine of Rs. 25,000 on each incident of bulk waste burning.

“We direct that there shall be complete prohibition on open burning of waste on lands, including at landfill sites.

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2.The art of the non-deal.

t is doubtful if Mr. Trump’s ‘America First’ isolationism will serve U.S. political or economic interests in the East Asian region.

With the election of Donald Trump as President, U.S. foreign policy is set for some interesting times ahead. Mr. Trump has an unorthodox perspective on China, characterising the U.S.-China economic and trade relationship as unfair and exploitative of the U.S. Throughout his campaign he hammered China’s currency policy and the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China.

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3.Impact of an unusual selection.

At the outset, Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat must be congratulated upon being appointed as the next Chief of the Army Staff. His rich experience, exposure and hoary regimental traditions will stand him in good stead as he assumes the mantle. read more

4.Doing the right thing.

India must break its silence on the humanitarian disaster in Syria, particularly Aleppo

Shiv Visvanathan has written an important article, “Death in Aleppo” (The Hindu, Dec. 16), describing India’s foreign policy with reference to the massacres in Syria, particularly in Aleppo, as “a piece of empty piety”. He is anguished about and critical of the silence that India has maintained over these killings. He says our foreign policy is devoid of compassion. He is right.

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1.NGT bans waste burning in open areas across country.

In a significant order, the NGT today imposed a complete ban on burning of waste in open places across the country and announced a fine of Rs 25,000 on each incident of bulk waste burning. read more

2.Study: States hardly invest in improving quality of education.

For all the talk on education quality and improving learning outcomes, little is actually being done to achieve either.

The Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) and Child Rights and You (CRY) studied education budgets in 10 general-category states and found that allocations for measures, even statutory provisions for ensuring quality -teacher training, monitoring, community mobilisation and training -are close to negligible in education budgets. In fact, share of any of these categories rarely rises beyond 1% in the education or Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) budget in any state.

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3.Pivot to The East.

“Nations have no permanent friends or allies; they have only permanent interests,“ said English statesman Lord Palmerston. What that implies is diplomacy is dynamic.Nations need to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate their preferences in the international arena and strategise.There is no place for romanticism in diplomacy . It has to be cold-blooded and utterly pragmatic.  read more

1.Next big idea: an I-T raid on elections.

We are not in a revolution, we are in reform mode. The collective noun in this case doesn’t signify that we are gathering momentum as a mass to collide with the existing world to create a new universe. It’s more akin to being herded together and pushed to an intangible greater good—the flow of agency is always top-down. It’s like a welfarism of intent.  read more

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