Stories you must read over the weekend

We replug a list of five stories that you must read over the weekend

GN Bureau | October 28, 2016


#Cashless Economy   #Noise Pollution   #Jammu and Kashmir   #Lodha committee   #Syria  

The time has come for India to announce to the world that India can no longer be transgressed or trespassed with impunity. And there couldn’t have been a more telling way of doing so than by unleashing the special mission operations, with the brilliance and precision of an experienced surgeon’s scalpel, and spread across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. This retaliation to the unprovoked terror attack on administrative echelons of the army in Uri achieved total surprise as it was least expected. 

 
The Bombay high court recently passed a comprehensive order against noise pollution from sources like urban planning, traffic, construction, aviation, administrative structures and festivals. In 2003, the Bombay HC had passed directions to identify ‘silence zones’ for the first time. The Navaratri festival was the first to comply with the new rules. However, there was no implementation in other places, particularly during politically organised festivals like Ganeshotsav or religious places. In fact, in the last decade, some previously quiet festivals like Dahi Handi became noisier as they became increasingly commercialised with the backing of political organisers and celebrity endorsements.
 
Cash is slowly but surely going out of fashion thanks to technology. It started with credit and debit cards (plastic money), and with the rise of information and communication technologies, soon there were many more options to replace notes and coins: internet banking, mobile banking and digital wallets.Mobile-based transactions are growing rapidly, driven by digital wallets and mobile banking, riding on an upsurge in the number of smartphone users. India has surpassed the US to become the world’s second largest smartphone market in terms of active smartphone users, crossing 220 million users, according to a report by Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
 
In January 2015, the supreme court (SC) appointed the Lodha committee to investigate recurrent controversies that the game found itself mired in. The committee was assigned with the task of recommending changes to the extant functioning of the game in India, including ushering in efficiency in the management of the BCCI and cleaning the body of its political and bureaucratic hold.There is little doubt then that the Lodha committee reforms are a shot in the arm for the game. However, these sweeping recommendations will create a new set of executive challenges, and with it will come a rough transition period before business in the BCCI can go back to usual.
 
With the fighting intensifying in Syria’s Aleppo, parties to the conflict are aggressively pushing their agendas beyond the battlegrounds. The battle over the war-struck city has great symbolic significance for the big powers, particularly the US and Russia, apart from clear strategic benefits accruing from controlling the city. Earlier in October, two UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Aleppo failed to be adopted amid heated debate on the content of the text. One of the resolutions initiated by France and Spain demanding an immediate halt to all aerial bombardments and military flights over the city of Aleppo was shot down by Russia, a P5 member.

 

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