The ambitious Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, better known as “Saubhagya” scheme, for universal household electrification is all set to achieve its goal soon with only about 28,000 households left to be electrified all over the country. On the other hand, criticisms have been pouring across the country regarding the scheme’s inability to solve some of the grey areas in the power sector.
Recently, the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against 10 people, including student leaders in a sedition case for allegedly raising “anti-national slogans” during an event on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in February 2016.
In addition to this, as many as 12 Aligarh Muslim University students, including the university's students' union chief, were recently booked under sedition charges after a complaint of alleged assault was filed by an ABVP member.
In another instance where an Assamese scholar and two others were slapped with sedition charges for remarks made against the proposed citizenship law.
These fit a disturbing trend of many incidents in recent times where “misguided” people have been termed “anti-national” and has filed charges of sedition.
Notably, the law commission is in the process of revisiting the section 124A of Indian Penal Code and calls for a thorough reconsideration and presents the different issues with respect to it before the public for a national debate.
Recently, The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 (Triple Talaq bill) was passed by the Lok Sabha. The bill is humanitarian consideration for Muslim Women suffering from triple talaq. Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract jail term 3 years and a fine for a man.
However, there is a standoff in the Rajya Sabha for its passage due to the contention from opposition parties and Muslim community leaders who are sticking to their stand against the bill mentioning that there is no need for the bill since the instant triple talaq has already been banned by the Supreme Court.
National Bio-fuel Policy – 2018 seems to be chasing ambitious targets based on unclear plans and questionable technologies. Moreover, the pollution levels and fuel prices are only rising and our biofuels programme is becoming irrelevant because of the lack of effective implementation.
The US has decided to withdraw 7,000 out of its 14,000 troops from Afghanistan. The American troops contribute to training and advising local forces fighting the Taliban and ISIS. Trump’s sudden announcement has raised speculation that it could be linked to his pre-election promises to pull out from external wars to save money to consolidate internally. It also signals that the US has perhaps admitted being defeated in Afghanistan and that it had agreed to the Taliban’s demands. This decision is strengthened by the recent talks between the US and Taliban in Doha which has resulted in a framework for a peace agreement, focussed on ending the 17-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.
India’s participation in the mega-trade agreement, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has long been debated and sentiments around the subject are quite divided and divergent. Critics warned that India must exercise caution before signing RCEP which goes far beyond trade liberalisation to impose a common set of rules on investment and IPRs.
The Union cabinet has recently approved the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2018 with periodic amendments to some clauses. It sparked the debate on development vs. environmental safeguards.