Chandrayan-1 has created history. It has proved instrumental towards finding water on the surface of the moon. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has proved its competence once again but this time they should also thank their stars and this is not because there is something amiss with their capabilities but because of the lack of maturity shown by some segments of society earlier when Chandrayan-1 had permanently lost its contact with the earth.
India’s announcement on voluntary reduction of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has accelerated otherwise snail-paced negotiation on a deal to be reached at Copenhagen this December. It is a welcome step but tactical move. From the solitude of obstructing, as many argue, to all inclusive to the Copenhagen, India has sent a signal of relief to the climate negotiators, mostly representatives of developed countries. If world sees this Indian move as a surprise, they are wrong.
Indians are by nature emotive. But, unfortunately they believe in overreacting. So, be it 26/11 or Swine-flu or draught like situation: mostly they react excessively. They even cannot take a loss by cricket team sportingly so naturally they are bound to start the blame game when drought is at the doorstep. What best punching bag could be than the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)? Few intellectuals are even asking for its closure.
In almost all cultures and societies, the stereotypical vision of war has been persistent; women are supposed to be the outsiders of war. War is men’s business. They go to the front, do the fighting, take the risks and make the decisions. Women stay at home, take care of the children and keep the home fires burning, waiting for their soldier husbands to come home. In War and Gender, Joshua Goldstein, attempts addressing the “near-total exclusion of women from combat” over time and across cultures.
In the emerging dilemma on the prospects and conflicts surrounding the palm-oil, it is pertinent and relevant to ensure a better understanding of its multiple utilities in today’s world.
The Chinese government has once again conveyed clear indication to the world its ability to administer the local media in its own favor during disasters, both natural and human. Even the government can mould the media reports for its own interest as it happened during Sichuan earthquake and thereafter. The Chinese media has shown contrasting behavior with respect to two disasters- the SARS epidemic (2003) and the Sichuan earthquake (2008).
Global climate politics is finally at home. Much controversial Environmental Conservation levy bill passed without a debate in Sri Lanka Parliament on April 9, 2008. According to Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka the Bill is based on the ‘polluter pays principle’. While the tax itself not justified in the Bill, the question remain why the levy charged for electronic items, phone bills and electricity bills for the climate adaptation Fund.
India has just joined trillion dollar GDP club just before the usual Finance Minister’s budget speech this year. The fifth consecutive budget presentation by the incumbent finance minister (FM) P Chidambaram is itself a rare achievement which was only rivaled by his present Prime Minister. When Dr. Manmohan Singh was finance minister, the Congress party government then, didn’t worry about the Earth Summit or climate change but just opened the Indian market for the west (waste!) world to plunge into it.
This year there are two days for World Water Day celebration! On March 20, the UN observed as the water day due to reasons unknown but could be drawn out of the long weekend. In 1992, the UN General Assembly designated March 22 as ‘World Water Day’ to draw international attention to the critical need of safe drinking water worldwide.
While water war syndrome is being contested in the internatioanl security discourse, the real water conflict remains as an active flashpoint within the national boundary. On November 6, 2007 some 30,000 farmers stormed Hirakud reservoir on Mahanadi River in Sambalpur in Orissa. The reason is water from the reservoir originally meant for irrigation, is being increasingly given to industries. The mass agitation was faced with police high-handedness injuring many. The November agitation has a state wise political ramification.