December 07 to December 13, 2015. Week #6


The Big National News

The Japanese Prime Minister is here on a three-day visit.

After months of touring other nations, our PM, for a change, is hosting this time. The guest? His counterpart from Japan Mr Shinzo Abe.

This is a high profile visit with a lot of exciting possibilities. If all goes well – as it certainly seems to be – we could be looking at a long-term partnership with Japan on multiple fronts.

So what’s the visit about?

  • Primarily a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MoU) on civil nuclear energy. India wants it, Japan has it. They say let’s do it, and shake hands on it. Next.
  • Bullet Train(s). Hell, yeah! Cooperation in developing Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor using Japanese high-speed rail technologies and financial and technical assistance. Full report here.
  • Technology transfer between India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JSTA). Basically, our scientists and their scientists will get together and make ‘much wow, such amaze’ stuff.
  • Memorandum of Cooperations between the respective ministries of Health, Labour, Welfare, Education, Culture and Sports. Meaning full brotherhood!
  • A bunch of other regional cooperation deals. But the most important of all might just be this –
  • Agreement on transferring Defence equipment and technology. Traditionally India’s biggest military partner has been Russia. Japan wants to step up the game here. Why? Because “the Japanese premier is trying to rope in India as part of a strategy to contain arch-rival China.” As reported by the Chinese state-run news outlet Global Times.

Oh! Also, they ran the article with this image:

43fe212b-7aae-43bd-ad37-df57b23634b3

So China certainly has a sense of humour! Who knew?!


Other National News

Speaking of China, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tried to do in Delhi what China does in Beijing: the Odd-Even traffic formula.

The concept is simple. Vehicles with even numbered and odd numbered number-plates will run on the alternative days.

Ok, but why?

Because POLLUTION!!

Like most things that make sense, this announcement was also met with a lot of hate and debauchery. So the rule will be implemented starting Jan 1, but only for a fortnight. A trial run.

Can it work?

Probably. Not(?). It all depends on the implementation. On paper, the idea looks great. It will remove 10 Lakhs private vehicles from the streets daily. 10 Lakhs. That’s 1 followed by six zeros! Theoretically, it can reduce emissions by 30-35%.

To compensate, the government will issue permits to 10,000 new auto rickshaws and launch 6,000 new buses. (Further reading).

But bringing positive change in the atmosphere is a long-term endeavour. It is not going to happen overnight. Or a fortnight either. It is a policy issue and needs to be treated like one.

And speaking of policy on climate change:


International News

The Paris COP-21 reached many conclusions and quite comprehensively. So much so that it is being called one of the most successful Climate Meets. Firstpost even went ahead and declaredWith hugs and tears of joy, nearly 200 countries adopt historic Paris climate change pact.”

So what did they decide?

Long-Term Goal: To make sure global warming stays “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and to “pursue efforts” to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Emissions Targets: In order to reach the long-term goal, countries agreed to set national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions every five years.

Reviewing Targets: The initial targets won’t be enough to put the world on a path to meet the long-term temperature goal. So the agreement asks governments to review their targets in the next four years and see if they can “update” them.

Transparency: There is no penalty for countries that miss their emissions targets. But the agreement has transparency rules to help encourage countries to actually do what they say they will do.

Money: The agreement says wealthy countries should continue to offer financial support to help poor countries reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change. It also encourages other countries to pitch in on a voluntary basis.

Loss And Damage: In a victory for small island nations threatened by rising seas, the agreement includes a section recognising “loss and damage” associated with climate-related disasters.

Read the Indian Express’s detailed report here.


This Shit is Weird

I usually find something crazy happening on the internet for this section. But this time, we have a very very special news featuring in this section:

Salman Khan has been freed of all charges!

Mr Khan took to Twitter to thank the entire world.

And of course, there were some epic reactions:

This one is quite intelligent actually:

And this guy was straight out blunt:

To sum it up:

Ok, last one. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Yes:

On a more serious note, this is the issue: A crime was definitely committed. People were definitely hurt. A person was definitely killed. By a vehicle that ran over them. And the only two people inside the vehicle have now walked free.

We will now apply the infallible logic of Sherlock Holmes, ‘when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’

Therefore, the only solution now remains is this: it was the car that was drunk! 


That’s it for this week. See you next Sunday. And don’t forget to subscribe!!

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