According to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme, India has the highest share of welfare costs of about $220 billion in South and South-East Asia out of a combined total of $380 billion from mortality due to air pollution.
The global mortality costs from outdoor air pollution are projected to rise to about $25 trillion by 2060 in the absence of more stringent measures.With the advent of technology, certain forms of pollution are reduced.However, they are not adequate to stop the 19 million premature deaths every year.
UNEP called for strong high-level political commitment and engagement of the local government, civil society and other stakeholders to curb the pollution.To achieve high-level political commitment in key economic sectors, there is a need to have interministerial cooperation among agriculture, finance, infrastructure etc.
The building of Phase 1 of the Chabahar port has been completed by the Iranian side. Iran President Rouhani will inaugurate the port with all regional beneficiaries and neighbouring countries.
The port will enhance trade in the region with a final aim to connect not just to Afghanistan via rail but also to the 7,200-km International North-South Transport Corridor to Russia.The inauguration of the port will effectively pave the way for India to carry forward the next phase of construction and development of two berths for its use, particularly for trade with Afghanistan.
India has already completed the Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan, which would facilitate the trade to Kabul and eventually beyond to Central Asia.
India will continue to support nation-building activities by the Palestinians and urged for the creation of a Palestinian state that will co-exist ‘peacefully’ with Israel.
The two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is based on Resolution 181 of the United Nations which called for the creation of independent Israeli and Palestinian states.
The statement is the first occasion that the Prime Minister has spoken about the need for a viable Palestinian state since his visit to Israel last July.In the recent India-Israel Joint Statement issued this year, there was no mention of the need to create a Palestinian state.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Tuesday recommended upholding the basic principle of net neutrality by keeping the Internet open and prohibiting any service provider from discriminating on the basis of content.
Use of the Internet should be facilitated in such a manner that it advances the free speech rights of citizens, by ensuring plurality and diversity of views, opinions and ideas.
The recommendations also call for keeping Internet of Things (IoT) within the purview of non-discriminatory restriction, with the exception of critical services.
The finance ministry may well postpone implementing the new fiscal consolidation roadmap recommended by the N.K. Singh committee by two years as 15th finance commission need time to dwell on the matter.
The move is expected to give finance minister more leeway to decide the fiscal deficit levels for the current and next fiscal year.This could mean putting off meeting the fiscal deficit target of 3% of GDP for 2018-19 by a year or two.
The fiscal responsibility and budget management (FRBM) review committee headed by N.K. Singh had recommended a fundamental shift in fiscal consolidation by targeting overall government (states+centre) debt.The FRBM review panel had also recommended enacting a new Debt and Fiscal Responsibility Act after repealing the existing Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act and creating a fiscal council that would monitor the government’s fiscal announcements for any year.