International relations: U.S. tightens H-1B approval process, IT firms worried(The Hindu) The U.S on Thursday announced fresh measures to tighten the scrutiny of H-1B visa petitions, mandating fresh documentary requirements for workers at third-party worksites. Adopting a ‘wait and watch’ approach(The Hindu Opinion) Why India and Iran had modest expectations of President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to New Delhi this month Concerned about new Indian tariffs, says U.S. official(The Hindu) The Donald Trump administration has moved the U.S. closer to India than any previous administration on strategic issues, but disagreements on commercial issues remain challenging, according to a senior administration official. Leaders break ground on Afghan section of TAPI(The Hindu) Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India on Friday ceremonially broke ground on the Afghan section of an ambitious, multi-billion dollar gas pipeline expected to help ease energy deficits in South Asia. Indian Constitution and Polity: Govt. schedules meeting on Lokpal for March 1(The Hindu) In a turnaround from its earlier position, the government will invite the leader of the single largest Opposition party to attend a meeting scheduled for March 1 to discuss the long-pending appointments to the anti-corruption ombudsman, Lokpal. No second thoughts on issues: Naidu(The Hindu) The Union government’s “indifferent approach” and “failure in implementing the A.P. Reorganisation Act and assurances given in Parliament” will not deter Andhra Pradesh from achieving its target of becoming the world’s preferred destination by 2050. Frame a law to oversee auditors, SC tells govt.(The Hindu) The Supreme Court on Friday directed the government to frame a law to regulate the auditing profession, saying “failures of auditors have resulted in scandals in the past.” Pak. to face monitoring by international review group(The Hindu) Pakistan, which has been put back on the “Grey List” for terror financing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary on Friday, will, under a “Compliance Document,” now be required to furnish a fresh report to the International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG).
Economy: Grid stability is key(The Hindu Opinion) Electricity is a major concern in rural India, especially for farmers. The Government of India has come up with an original plan to address this problem. Instead of transmitting electricity to the farmers, the government, to start with, wants farmers to use solar energy to power their irrigation pumps. Canary in coal mine(The Hindu Opinion) Forty-five years after India nationalised its coal-mining industry, the Central government has allowed the re-entry of commercial mining firms into the sector, turning the clock back. India’s coal industry was predominantly driven by the private sector after Independence until the Indira Gandhi government decided to transfer all coal holdings to Coal India through the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973. PM warns of action against financial fraud(The Hindu) Modi says the government has been taking strict action against irregularities and that the loot of public money will not be tolerated Environment: ‘Unplanned development plan threatening Netravathi basin’(The Hindu) ‘River diversion will cause irreplaceable loss of biodiversity’ The champions of clean air(The Hindu Opinion) Clean air is turning into a rare commodity as India’s towns and cities become the dumping ground for a variety of pollutants. In this seemingly bleak scenario, Bahar Dutt profiles five Indians whose courageous battle for cleaner air offers a ray of hope to fellow citizens
Yesterday’s current affairs material by Forum IAS
7 PM Editorial: Verdict on Cauvery: fair enough? 9 PM Current affairs brief: 10 PM Current affairs MCQs