Must Read News Articles – February 19, 2018

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International relations:

For India, it should be neighbourhood first(The Hindu Opinion)

As India’s salience in global matters grows — amply demonstrated recently by the presence of 10 leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at India’s Republic Day celebrations, the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest forays to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Palestine — its leaders also need to contemplate and reflect deeply on what is happening in India’s immediate neighbourhood.

India still hopeful of nuclear deal with Westinghouse(The Hindu)

India is confident of concluding the nuclear deal with reactor-maker Westinghouse Electric very soon as it expects the company to come out of bankruptcy very soon, said Satish Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).

Indian Constitution and Polity:

Directing reforms(The Hindu Opinion)

Adding to the growing body of judicially inspired electoral reforms, the Supreme Court has imposed an additional disclosure norm for candidates contesting elections.

Myanmar dam on border worries Manipur village(The Hindu)

A dam being constructed by Myanmar across a river close to the boundary with India has stoked fears of submergence and water scarcity among border villagers in Kengjoi subdivison of Manipur’s Chandel district.

42 Indian languages stare at extinction(The Hindu)

More than 40 languages or dialects in India are considered to be endangered and are believed to be heading towards extinction as only a few thousand people speak them, officials said.

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Farmers told not to use polluted Hindon water to grow vegetables(The Hindu)

Farmers in western Uttar Pradesh have been asked not to use the water of the Hindon river for growing vegetables, which are also sold in the National Capital Region markets, as it has been found to be polluted and contaminated by various official laboratories. Several NGOs along with the Meerut administration have been creating awareness among the local farmers.

Punjab plans to set up cooperative rural hubs(The Hindu)

In an attempt to strengthen the primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) and boost their business, the Punjab government plans to transform these societies into ‘cooperative rural hubs’.

Doctors for rural India(The Hindu)

Nearly 600 million people in India, mostly in the rural areas, have little or no access to health care. A widespread disregard for norms, a perpetual failure to reach targets, and an air of utter helplessness are what mark the state of rural health care today. One can add to this another fact: the country is short of nearly five lakh doctors.

We have pushed infra projects, says PM(The Hindu)

Blaming previous governments for not pushing infrastructure projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that projects worth Rs. 10 lakh crore were in a state of limbo when he took office in May 2014 and his government had broken the impasse on such investments during its tenure so far.

Keeping the economy humming(The Hindu)

While monetary and fiscal policy makers grapple with the “growth versus inflation” debate to determine India’s economic future, they should give top priority to finding a way out of the current mess in the banking system and improve the private investment cycle.

Banks to knock at RBI’s door on PNB impasse(The Hindu)

Banks are planning to approach the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to break the impasse with the fraud-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB), which is declining to pay them the dues till investigations into the ₹11,500-crore LoU scam are completed, according to an official who attended a meeting of major lenders on the issue.

Virgin group, State govt. enter agreement to build hyperloop(The Hindu)

The Virgin Group signed an ‘intent agreement’ with the State government on Sunday to build a hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune. The hyperloop is expected to reduce travel time between the cities to 20 minutes, from the present three hours.

Slowly, but surely, AI use is rising across industries(The Hindu)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been subject to a fair share of debates including concerns around machines overtaking, or even replacing, the human workforce.

Cryptoassets: regulation in the air?(The Hindu)

Despite repeated cautions by the Reserve Bank of India and the Finance Ministry about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies and their illegality when used as actual currency, the crypto-industry is still pretty enthusiastic about India and maintains that even the government’s negative stance has been exaggerated.


Guards get modern weapons to fight poaching(The Hindu)

In a major initiative for wildlife protection, the forest guards in Assam were on Sunday given modern weapons like self-loading rifles (SLRs) and 9 MM pistols to check poaching of rhinos, tigers and other wild animals.


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