1. Kashmir report rules: Frontpage and Pg10
Relevance: This is a landmark report being prepared by the interlocutors (Dilip Padgoankar, Radha Kumar, MM Ansari) appointed by the GOI for envisaging a future roadmap for the Kashmir. Some of the key points are:
–> Delhi Agreement 1952 still serves as the nodal document in defining the state’s relationship with the centre. It should continue with some amendments.
–> Search for a solution in J&K should not be made contingent on India-Pak relations.
–> It recommended hassle free movement of people, goods etc across LOC, moreover, Kashmir should be modeled to serve as a link between central and south Asia.
–> A wide ranging constitutional changes at the grassroot level is required on both sides of the LOC( ..really??) to bring about any meaningful participation of people in the governance.
–> Word ‘Temporary‘ should be replaced with ‘Special’ in Art 370.
–> Three regional councils each for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh region should be formed.
–> A judicial commission to look into the unmarked graves, missing people etc be appointed.
–> A constitutional committee be appointed.
Overall, I found the report as highly idealistic and totally devoid from the ground realities, the only good thing is, it stressed on improving the cross-border trade and voted for more decentralized structures in administration.
2. Quakes off sumatra: Frontpage
Relevance: As always focus on factual and conceptual details like epicentre of quake Banda Aceh in Indonesia, Indo Australian plate, plate tectonic theory, Alfred Wegner, sea-floor spreading, 8 major plates like Eurasian, African etc. and some minor plates like Nazca, Cocoa etc, Tsunami Early Warning system at INCOIS, Hyderabad etc.
3. It’s time water: Pg2
Relevance: Know the issues involved in water pricing, role of private sector, overall a good read over the issue. Also last year, a Yojana was published(Blue frontcover) covering the entire Water debate, try to arrange that and read it.
Clue: Do you know about previous Water policy, Water act 1974, water disputes, Ashok Chawla Committee on natural resources. Refer India Year Book(Ch27: water resources) and net.
Also look for the National Water Development Agency, its mandate and activities conducted by it.
4. Crorepatis, candidates: Pg2
Relevance: About 23% candidates in this year’s MCD election are crorepatis with 9% having criminal backgrounds. This simple fact reflects upon our abysmal failure in establishing participative local self govts in the urban areas even after 20 yrs of the landmark 74th Amendment act.
These handy snippets will help you in writing any answer in Pub Ad, GS etc.
5. Need for a booster: Pg4
Relevance: In Bihar there is a single medical college in 11.5 million population, about 150 districts in 14 high focus states don’t have nursing homes, this depicts the pity state of health infrastructure in our country.
Focus on UHC, HLEP, health infrastructure like ASHA, PHC, RKC, VHC etc, overall a very informative article.
Search Pradhan Mantri Swastha Suraksha Yojana meant for addressing the lack of quality healthcare in far flung area.
6. Not decentralized enough: Pg4
Relevance: Though constitutional amendments done under the 73/74 act, 1992 has established “Representative democracy” but it has somehow not able to realize a truly functioning “Participatory Democracy” at the bottom most level. Focus on the factual part like PESA 1996, Art 243G, proposed 110th and 112th amendments, NCAER’s devolution index etc.
Go though the website of Ministry of Panchayati Raj and know about its major schemes like E-panchayat, BRGF, Rural business hubs,Rashtriya Gram Swaraj yojana, Panchayat Mahila Evam Yuva Shakti Abhiyan, PESA etc.
Also there is an interesting presentation available on the ministry’s website which shows the sorry state of implementation of PESA 1996 and Forest Rights Act 2006 in the LWE (Lefi wing extremist effected) areas.
7. Food security: Pg8
Relevance: Personally I’m a big admirer of Manishankar Aiyar’s oral and intellectual skills, anyway a good read though nothing much to write except few data.
8. Security on wire: Pg8
Relevance: Another matter of discord between India and China. Know the issue.
9. Delete the errors: Pg9
Relevance: A good read. Know about the ongoing Ministry of Rural Development’s Socio Economic Caste census, link with NPR, NC Saxena committee etc.
10. Moderation in FDI: Pg12
Relevance: Update yourself on the FDI front.
11. Other potential 2 markers and tidbits: WGEEP under Madhav Gadgil(Pg2), What must be said, Gunter grass, Benjamin Netanahu(Pg8), Swati Piramal(Pg13),Attari Integrated Checkpost(Pg18).
I found only these items to be useful in Thursday’s paper. If you could spot some thing more which is relevant to CSE please feel free to post in comments section.