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19049Brahaminical Political game turns sacndalous and sexy this time, reduced in CORP

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  • palashc b
    Dec 11, 2010
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      Brahaminical Political game turns sacndalous and sexy this time, reduced in CORPORATE War as Never before, but the Excluded communities as BONDED, Enslaved and divided in graded social status under Manusmriti Rule, Completely Mind Controlled fail to see the Truth!
      Rahul Gandhi could probably be next PM: Pranab

      The Cancun climate change talks closed in the early hours of Saturday morning with an agreement aimed at stopping climate change.Hopes are growing for an international agreement to stop global warming, despite the protests from some countries that the deal is 'tantamount to genocide'.

      Post 26/11, Congress played religious politics: WikiLeaks

      2G scam: 800 more Radia tapes made public

      Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time - FIVE Hundred FORTY

      Palash Biswas

      http://indianholocaustmyfatherslifeandtime.blogspot.com/
      http://basantipurtimes.blogspot.com/
      Key points in climate agreement in Cancun
      UN-led climate negotiations in Mexico on Saturday approved a deal after two weeks of talks and a final two days of virtually non-stop diplomacy.

      Major powers including the United States, European Union, China, Japan and India all endorsed the deal. Bolivia was the only major holdout, but host Mexico overruled its objections.

      Here are some key points in the agreement:

      ACTIONS TO CURB CLIMATE CHANGE:

      * Urges "deep cuts" in carbon emissions blamed for global warming to keep temperatures from rising no more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. Calls for a study on strengthening the goal to 1.5 degrees.

      * Requires wealthy countries to cut emissions by 25 to 40 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. This section is under a working group on the Kyoto Protocol so it does not involve the United States, which rejected the treaty.

      * Agrees to study new market mechanisms to help developing nations curb carbon emissions and to discuss the proposals at the next major climate meeting at the end of 2011 in South Africa.

      ASSISTANCE FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES:

      * Sets up a new international body, the Green Climate Fund, to administer money from wealthy nations for worst-affected countries. The European Union, Japan and the United States have led pledges of 100 billion dollars a year starting in 2020, along with 30 billion dollars in rapid assistance.

      * Invites the World Bank to serve as the interim trustee of the Green Climate Fund for three years.

      * Sets up a 24-member board to lead the Green Climate Fund, with equal representation by developed and developing nations along with representatives from small island states which are most worried about climate change.

      * Sets up a Climate Technology Center and Network to help distribute the technical know-how to developing nations to contain emissions and adapt to climate change.

      REDUCING DEFORESTATION:

      * Voices broad support for efforts to reduce the destruction of forests, a leading cause of climate change as lush vegetation counteracts industrial pollution. Asks developing nations to draft anti-deforestation plans. However, the text does not include calls for a market role in such efforts.

      * Urges all nations to respect the rights of indigenous people.

      FUTURE OF KYOTO PROTOCOL:

      * Calls for wealthy nations to discuss a new round of emission cuts under the Kyoto Protocol -- whose requirements expire at the end of 2012 -- "to ensure that there is no gap."

      It does not require nations for now to inscribe their post-2012 commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. Japan has led opposition to extending the treaty, saying it is unfair by not including China and the United States.

      Brahaminical Political game turns sacndalous and sexy this time, reduced in CORPORATE War as Never before, but the Excluded communities as BONDED, Enslaved and divided in graded social status under Manusmriti Rule, Completely Mind Controlled fail to see the Truth!

      Cancun deal has EXPOSED the ruling Zionist Corporate Regime absolute Naked as the self styled Environment Activist Jairam Ramesh appears to defend the Zionist Corporate American and Global hindutva interests. It has justified the Economic Reforms for Ethnic Cleansing and the agenda of Mass Destruction as NEVER Before. Man and Nature have to liquidated to make a ROBOTIC Virtual world of Luxury and Consumption. Nationality is reduced into a concept to boost ethnonationalism suiting the interest of the Market dominating micro minority!

      National interest is Nothing but the interest of Global War Economy, Anti Nature, Anti Human India Incs and MNCs and LPG Criminal Mafia which has taken over the Galaxy government reducing the Humanity into an Open Market where the Black Untouchables, excluded communities are denied Citizenship with the ploy like Unique Identity Project, deprived of Property and life! Majority Indigenous Aboriginal landscape worldwide does face infinite Exodus, ethnic Cleansing and Holocust!

      Rahul Gandhi could probably be next PM: Pranab
      MUMBAI: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said Rahul Gandhi could "probably" become the next Prime Minister.

      "Probably. After all, the people of India should decide. It is a democracy," he said in reply to a question on whether Gandhi would be the next Prime Minister of India.

      "Of course," he said when asked whether he would be happy with the decision.

      The questions were posed by film-maker Karan Johar to Mukherjee at an awards function here.

      The BJP and Left parties along with the green lobby today attacked Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh accusing him of a "sell out" on the issue of accepting globally legally binding emission cuts by deviating from India's position that it will not agree to any such pact.

      Stating that Jairam has acted unilaterally, they asked the government to come clean on the matter alleging that the 'shift' in stance was done under pressure from the developed nations particularly the US.

      They were reacting to Ramesh's statement made yesterday at the ongoing UN climate summit in Cancun, Mexico that "all countries must take on a binding commitment under an appropriate legal form".

      The BJP alleged that India had weakened its position by kowtowing before the US.

      "It's a unilateral decision which has weakened India's negotiating position. India is buckling under pressure from the US which itself has not undertaken any commitments," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javedkar said.

      He said that his party would ask the government to must come clean.

      "It is not necessary for India to take upon itself the legal binding commitments. It will have impact on country's economy. We are scared," he added.

      CPI(M) Politburo too sharply reacted to the issue saying, with party leader Brinda Karat saying, "This is a sell out. It is extremely unfortunate that this should have happened.

      Condemning the government move, the politburo said, "Such a statement by the Environment Minister cannot be seen as an individual one. It should be taken as representing the view of the UPA government."

      It reminded the government that it had assured Parliament that India would not accept any such binding commitments and demanded that the government reiterate the stand that it cannot agree to any legally binding emission cuts.

      The party, in a statement, also accused the government of aligning with the US, "as in many other matters even if it means going against the vital interests of the country".

      India like many other countries has so far been opposed to any binding emission cuts despite repeated demands from the developed nations but Ramesh's announcement is a major departure at the 17-year-long climate talks.

      Defending his announcement, Ramesh has maintained that "I have nothing to hide. I stand by it. Everything is being done transparently. This is being done to strengthen India's stance as it was being isolated. India at Cancun has come out looking more proactive."

      However, this has not impressed environmentalists who are crying foul saying it will remove the distinction between developing and developed countries.

      Prodipto Ghosh, former environment secretary and distinguished fellow at The Energy Research Institute (TERI), minced no words when he said, "it is a clear departure from what he (Ramesh) had told Parliament.

      "I feel that the reason for India (not to take binding emission cuts) were very sound. But now there is no explanation from the government or the Minister for making the U-turn in the position."

      Ghosh, who was one of Indian negotiators at Copenhagen climate meet last year, did not agree with Ramesh's contention that neighbouring nations like Nepal and Bangladesh were seeking binding commitments from it and that it stood isolated.

      "It is a matter of our development process. It is a matter of diplomacy and if it is in our interest, we have to walk alone," he added.

      CANCUN, MEXICO: Almost 200 nations agreed on Saturday to modest steps to combat climate change, including a new fund to help poor countries, and put off major disputes until 2011 and beyond.

      "This is a new era of international cooperation on climate change," Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa told delegates at the end of two weeks of talks after breaking the deadlock between rich and poor countries.

      The deal, reached at marathon overnight talks, comprises a plan to design a Green Climate Fund , measures to protect tropical forests and ways to share clean energy technologies and help developing nations adapt to climate change.

      It also reaffirms a goal of raising an annual $100 billion in aid for poor countries by 2020 and sets a target of limiting a rise in average world temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F) over pre-industrial times.

      "The most important thing is that the multilateral process has received a shot in the arm, it had reached an historic low. It will fight another day," said Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. "It could yet fail."

      The talks had lowered expectations after U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders failed to agree on a treaty at a summit in Copenhagen last year. Cancun sets no firm deadlines for an elusive legally binding accord.

      Britain's energy and climate secretary Chris Huhne said that Cancun made it more likely that the European Union would toughen cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, to 30 percent below 1990 levels from a current 20 percent.



      The 'Outlook' magazine on Saturday made public more tapped conversations involving lobbyist Niira Radia and said that it had "unearthed" 800 new such conversations. The intercepts offer fresh political insight into how key portfolios were allocated when the Union Cabinet was formed after the
      related stories

      * Phone taps should not be leaked: PC
      * We engaged Radia to counter vested interests: Tata
      * 2G scam: Spy link sparked Niira Radia phone tap


      victory of the Congress-led UPA in May 2009, with the Kenyan-born British lobbyist, who counts the Tatas and Ambanis among her clients, in the thick of it, the weekly said in a press release.
      It said while the tapes were still being decoded, many of them already "shine a mirror on the interplay between government and big business", especially with regard to the inclusion of A Raja in the Telecom portfolio.
      The new conversations are part of the over 5,800 conversations now in the custody of the Supreme Court, the release said.
      The conversations, all part of an officially-sanctioned tap, are in addition to the 140 conversations already placed in public domain by 'Outlook' three weeks ago.
      I am sad and worried: PM on parliament deadlock
      Breaking his silence on the current political confrontation over the allotment of 2G telecom spectrum licences, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that he was "very sad" with the parliamentary deadlock and had told the opposition that the existing mechanism was good enough to look into
      the issue.
      "It is very sad that parliament is not functioning," Manmohan Singh told journalists traveling with him to Europe, in the wake of continuous disruption of parliament proceedings by the opposition to press its demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the spectrum scam.
      It was not a formal press conference though, but the prime minister came to meet the reporters onboard on his way to Berlin from Brussels and was asked about the parliament deadlock over the opposition's demand for a JPC probe.
      With the government refusing to give in to the opposition demand, the controversy has led to the entire winter session washed away due to daily protests and adjournments of parliament.
      "I have repeatedly told the opposition that existing institutional mechanism can take care of what a JPC can," Manmohan Singh said.
      Asked when he will break his silence on the issue, the prime minister said, "In due course" of time.
      The winter session of parliament, that began Nov 9, has been rendered dysfunctional due to opposition demand for a JPC to probe the controversial allotment of airwaves to telecom companies in 2008, which is alleged to have caused huge losses to the exchequer. The session ends on Monday.
      "I am worried about the future of the parliamentary system. I hope reason will prevail," the Prime Minister said when asked what would happen if the opposition carries over its protests to 2011's budget session as it has threatened to do.
      Asked about his undertaking a foreign tour with the problems back home, Manmohan Singh said prior international commitments had to be kept if the country wanted itself to be taken seriously.
      "This was a pre-fixed appointment. It was decided long ago. It was an annual summit. Commitments have to be kept. Otherwise who will take us seriously?"
      "In any case nothing much is happening" in parliament, he said.
      The prime minister's remarks came a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party launched an offensive against him, saying he has "lost the will to rule".
      "In a democracy, the prime minister occupies a premier position. He cannot be absent from a national debate in or out of parliament, particularly when the whole country is extremely interested in knowing the truth. On crucial domestic issues, a prime minister should not be seen as losing his will to rule," Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, said on Friday.

      http://www.hindustantimes.com/2G-scam-800-more-Radia-tapes-made-public/Article1-637230.aspx



      Speaking to reporters in Chennai after meeting DMK chief and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, Raja said: "I will cooperate with the CBI and will comply with the procedures.

      The Cancun climate change talks closed in the early hours of Saturday morning with an agreement aimed at stopping climate change.Hopes are growing for an international agreement to stop global warming, despite the protests from some countries that the deal is 'tantamount to genocide'. The talks in Cancun, Mexico, are the latest attempt by the United Nations to keep global temperature rise below 2C (3.6F) by reducing carbon emissions.

      The last summit in Copenhagen ended in chaos after rich and poor countries failed to agree on the best way to cut emissions.

      This year the talks have been volatile, and extended well into Friday night, as tempers flared between exhausted delegates.

      India said the telecommunications regulator has recommended scrapping 38 wireless spectrum permits held by companies including Aircel Ltd.While BJP on Saturday accused Congress of insulting democratic principles by steadfastly rejecting the demand for a JPC into the 2G Spectrum and CWG scams, made by majority members of the Parliament. Meanwhile,the 'Outlook' magazine on Saturday made public more tapped conversations involving lobbyist Niira Radia and said that it had "unearthed" 800 new such conversations. On the other hand,Sixteen terrorists allegedly entered India via Nepal and proceeded to Kashmir in the first six months of last year--says a fresh release of US diplomatic cables by whistleblower website Wikileaks.

      Police arrested an English teacher in restive Indian Kashmir on accusations he set an exam paper aimed at fuelling separatist sentiment in the volatile region, authorities said on Saturday.

      Shiv Sena on Saturday criticised senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh for his statement that slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare had received threats from those critical of his probe into the Malegaon bomb blast.

      Post 26/11, Congress played religious politics: WikiLeaks

      Post 26/11, a section of the Congress leadership was seen playing religious politics after one of its leaders, A R Antulay, implied that Hindutva forces may have been involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, according to a confidential memo by the then US ambassador to India, David Mulford, released by WikiLeaks.

      "The Congress Party, after first distancing itself from the comments (of Antulay, the then minority affairs minister), two days later issued a contradictory statement which implicitly endorsed the conspiracy. During this time, Antulay's completely unsubstantiated claims gained support in Indian-Muslim community," Mulford wrote in his secret cable to the State Department on December 23, 2008.

      "Hoping to foster that support for upcoming national elections, the Congress Party cynically pulled back from its original dismissal and lent credence to the conspiracy," Mulford wrote.

      Regardless of Home Minister P Chidambaram's dismissal of Antulay's comments, the Indian-Muslim community "will continue to believe they are unfairly targeted by law enforcement and that those who investigate the truth are silenced," he said in the cable.

      "The entire episode demonstrates that the Congress Party will readily stoop to the old caste/religious-based politics if it feels it is in its interest," Mulford alleged, according to the cable posted by WikiLeaks on its website on Friday.

      The United States has neither confirmed or denied the authenticity of these cables, but said that some 250,000 papers have been stolen from its system and demanded that WikiLeaks - the whistle blower website - return them back to the State Department.

      A comprehensive global deal is now back on track after the agreement, which was reached despite protests by Bolivia during a dramatic finale to the United Nations meeting in Mexico.Reports the Telegraph,UK.To standing ovation from the floor, the Mexican Presidency presented a new deal that would put the world back on track towards a legally binding deal on climate change.

      The 'Cancun Package', which the British took a key role in drawing up, suggests that all countries agree to cut emissions as part of a legally binding deal to be drawn up in the future.

      It puts in place the architecture for a new 'green fund' to help poor countries deal with climate change and a scheme to protecting forests.

      But Pablo Solon, the Bolivian chief negotiator, said the agreement did not make strong enough emissions cuts to save the planet.

      "We cannot go along with a text guarantees an increase in temperature to 4C," he said. "This is tantamount to making us responsible for a situation my President has described as genocide and ecocide," he said.

      However as the conference drew to a close, few countries were willing to support the radical Plurinational State of Bolivia.

      In extraordinary scenes the President of the talks was hailed as a 'goddess' and even the United States, usually the villain at climate change talks, was cheered.

      Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said every country had spoken in favour of the agreement except for Bolivia and Saudi Arabia.

      "If we do have a deal, it's going to be very important, we have real commitments to reductions of greenhouse gases both by developed and developing countries," he said.


      The crunch talks went late into the night as more than 190 countries attempted to agree on the best way to cut carbon emissions.

      The last attempt to reach a global deal in Copenhagen at the end of last year ended in chaos and there were fears that the UN process could collapse completely if talks failed again.

      However, after two weeks of negotiating, rich and poor countries agreed a compromise that will see all countries committed to cutting emissions for the first time.

      The "Cancun package" also sets up a "green fund" to help poor countries cope with climate change and a new scheme to halt deforestation.

      Bolivia claimed the agreement was "tantamount to genocide" because cuts are not tough enough to stop dangerous global warming.

      But after repeated attempts to achieve consensus, the UN decision was taken without the agreement of the South American country.

      To cheers from the ministers, Patricia Espinosa, Mexican foreign secretary and president of the talks, overruled the Bolivian negotiator who repeatedly took the floor and insisted the deal needed complete consensus.

      "I of course note your position, but if there are no other objections, the document is adopted," she said to thunderous applause.

      Felipe Calderón, the president of Mexico, said it was a historic agreement.

      He said the world has been "crushed by inertia and helplessness" in the face of climate change.

      But he said that the deal in Cancun would restore hope in the UN process and the fight against climate change.

      "Confidence is back, hope has returned to the fight against climate change and in many other matters that require hope and trust in the face of our global problems," he said.

      The new deal falls short of a global treaty. However it has progressed from Copenhagen by getting all countries, except Bolivia, to sign up to an official UN document.

      The Cancun deal commits all countries to keeping temperature rise below 2C (3.6F) by reducing emissions. Rich countries have agreed to consider an extension of the Kyoto Protocol while poor countries will sign up to emission cuts for the first time. There are also a series of key decisions on setting up a green fund to help poor countries cope with climate change and halting deforestation.

      Chris Huhne, the Climate Change and Energy Secretary, said the proposals did not give everybody everything they wanted but it was progress.

      "We've made much more progress than anybody expected only weeks," he said.

      "We have real commitments to reductions of greenhouse gases both by developed and developing countries."

      1.
      Cancun climate change summit: Viscount Monckton admits that global warming is happening
      2.
      Cancun climate change conference: Britain is urged to impose £15 billion in green taxes
      3.
      Action speaks louder than hot air
      4.
      Baby elephant attacked by crocodile

      *

      *
      Viscount Monckton admits that global warming is happening
      *
      10 Dec 2010
      *

      *
      Calls for PM to stop climate change talks stagnating
      *
      10 Dec 2010
      *

      *
      Climate change killing polar bears
      *
      09 Dec 2010
      *

      *
      Chris Huhne stays at Cancun key climate change talks instead of flying home for tuition fees vote
      *
      09 Dec 2010
      *

      *
      Cancun climate change summit close to a deal
      *
      10 Dec 2010
      *

      *
      Britain urged to levy £600 a home in green taxes
      *
      08 Dec 2010


      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8196074/Cancun-meeting-reaches-climate-change-agreement.html

      Outlook Exclusive

      800 New Radia Tapes
      2G SPECTRUM ALLOCATION SCAM
      "It Is Better to have A. Raja In The Telecom Ministry. He Will Behave Himself. Trust Me, He Will Behave Himself"
      Saikat Datta , Ajith Pillai , Debarshi Dasgupta , Sunit Arora , Sundeep Dougal
      Outlook magazine has unearthed 800 new tapped conversations involving the lobbyist Niira Radia in the 2G spectrum scam.
      The conversations, all part of an officially sanctioned tap, are on top of the 140 conversations placed in the public domain by Outlook three weeks ago.
      The intercepts offer fresh political insight into the working of the Kenyan-born British lobbyist who counts the Tatas and Ambanis among her clients.
      While Outlook reporters are still decoding the tapes, it is clear that they shine a grisly mirror on the interplay between government and big business, with the media at the end of the frame, at the time Manmohan Singh was forming his cabinet in May 2009—and in the 2G scam itself.
      What is also clear is that the retention of the DMK's A. Raja in the telecom portfolio in the UPA-2 cabinet was central to the telecom ripoff, now presumptively estimated by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) at a mind-boggling Rs 173,000 crore.
      In one revealing conversation with Tarun Das, the former head of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Niira Radia says DMK chief Karunanidhi was insistent that the telecom ministry, held by Raja in the first term of UPA, should go to Raja again, although the stench of the 2G scam had already begun to emanate by then.
      "Karunanidhi wants Raja because he is a Dalit. The prime minister is only insistent that former shipping minister T.R. Baalu [charged of corruption in UPA-1] should not be in the cabinet," says Radia.
      The Congress, Radia hints, was agreeable to this, but Raja's predecessor Dayanidhi Maran, an aspirant himself, was spreading a canard that he was in touch with Sonia Gandhi's political secretary, Ahmed Patel, who, Maran claimed, felt he was the more suitable candidate.
      "Karunanidhi is a totally confused man," says Radia in the conversation.
      She also indicates to Das that the octogenarian Tamil Nadu chief minister was trapped between a daughter who threatens to commit suicide and a wife who wants "to do this".
      Radia then requests Das to convey to the Congress that they should only talk to DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi, who has a line to her father, Karunanidhi, and that the Congress must not talk to Dayanidhi Maran.
      "The PM also spoke via her [Kanimozhi]," says Niira Radia.
      Tarun Das interjects at this point and says Raja is very unpopular.
      To which Radia responds: "That's only with Sunil Mittal [of Airtel]… it is better to have Raja in telecom. He will behave himself. Trust me, he will behave himself....I have promised, Raja has promised that he will speak to Mittal and deal with the matter. Leave that to me."
      In another chat with an unidentified, female Tamil Nadu politician, Niira Radia reveals that she was clued into the internal politics of the Karunanidhi family that is now central to the 2G scam. She says it was a mistake on the part of Kanimozhi to let go of the Minister of State berth and that she should look after herself first and then think of others.
      "Tell her [Kanimozhi], she should be friends with Azhagiri [Karunanidhi's elder son]," Radia says.
      The new conversations are contained in the over 5,800 conversations that are now in the safe custody of the Supreme Court.
      The interception of phones belonging to Radia was done by the income-tax department and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) while investigating a "criminal conspiracy between certain public servants and some private persons in the grant of UAS licenses in 2007-08."
      The Outlook Exclusive comes in the midst of a Parliament paralysed by opposition demands for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe, an investigation by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), and the appointment of a former Supreme Court judge to probe the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
      The leak also comes in the wake of a blazing exchange of open letters between Ratan Tata and former telecom entrepreneur Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and on the very day the Congress-led UPA government assured the Supreme Court of India that it would take every measure to check the leak of further tapes and transcripts involving Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata.
      Check out the first tranche of tapes we have put up and watch out for more transcripts and analyses as they get updated
      Dec 20, 2010


      Cover Story








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      Julian Assange
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      Anarchist, liberator, web terrorist, www messiah, predator or a man cornered? How exactly would you describe Julian Assange?
      Saptarshi Ray, Ashish Kumar Sen
      cover story: julian assange
      The Cables That Weren't
      Fake anti-India cables appear in Pakistan papers
      Outlook
      cover story: cyber war
      WWW.War.Com
      Forces divided by WikiLeaks wage a bloody guerrilla campaign online
      Debarshi Dasgupta
      cover story: wikiLeaks
      Munni's Darlings Sell The Silver
      The leaks expose Pakistan's double game, tarnishes leaders
      Mariana Baabar



      National








      politics: 2g scam
      Whose Hand In The Pot?
      It's 14 months after the FIR, but the CBI raids may still uncover much
      Saikat Datta

      Of Rajas And Dethronements


      parliament: jpc probe
      Can The House Ever Win?
      A whole Parliament session wasted. How our MPs undermine our democracy
      Saba Naqvi

      Badly Drawn Boys


      politics: chartered flights
      Me And Mine In A Plane Of Our Own
      For more and more politicians, the sign of big-time arrival is arrival by hired aircraft
      Amba Batra Bakshi
      opinion
      R.K. Raghavan
      Eyes And Ears Everywhere
      It's now extra-risky to wander from the straight and narrow
      The Leaked Transcripts Of
      KJo's Secret Koffee With Niira Radia
      Niira Radia joined us from an undisclosed location outside London and had begun work on—'My Experiments With Untruth'.
      Ajith Pillai


      Business








      business: anil ambani
      Sorry, No Connectivity
      All is not well at the Anil Ambani group. The 2G scam apart, it's stop-start with most forays
      Arindam Mukherjee


      International








      foreign: affairs diplomacy
      Norwegian Birch
      The Nobel dispute reflects India's tussle between idealism and realpolitik
      Pranay Sharma


      Features








      history: humanism
      Little Warsaw Of Kathiawar
      A grateful Poland recalls the ruler of Nawanagar's kindness towards its WWII refugee children
      Sugata Srinivasaraju

      Balachadians To Their Core


      education: innovation
      Ek, Do, Teen...
      The heroine sings, the subtitles teach. Chitrahaar as educational tool.
      Namrata Joshi
      women: protest
      Dial D For Denims
      Muzaffarnagar girls are standing up for their jeans and cellphones
      Sheela Reddy
      security: hacking
      Firewall Burning
      An Indo-Pak cyber war singes CBI site
      Chandrani Banerjee
      kerala: expats in africa
      Mombasa Calling
      For Keralites, will Africa be the new Gulf?
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      ecology: konkan
      The Rape Of Eden
      Konkan's entry on India's infrastructure map foretells doom
      Smruti Koppikar
      Mind your body
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      Don't Eat Your Hearts Out!
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      Books








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      A Paradox And A Visionary
      Nayantara Sahgal's biography of Nehru is uncritical, yet thought-provoking and fresh
      Shashi Tharoor on Jawaharlal Nehru: Civilizing A Savage World By Nayantara Sahgal
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      A sharp, rollicking, oddly tender bit of entertainment. Manufacturing that seems to be Basu's superpower.
      Mitali Saran on Turbulence By Samit Basu
      http://outlookindia.com/
      India under pressure to accept legally binding pact at Cancun
      As the climate change conference here winds down, India is coming under immense pressure to accept a "legally binding agreement" on climate change, which is causing rift within developing countries.

      The United States, India and China are not in favor of accepting a legally binding agreement, which is supported by other developed countries, and several nations within the G77 including African nations and Least Developed Countries.

      "There is a concerted move by a group of developed countries using developing countries to put pressure on India and China to accept a legally binding agreement," environment minister Jairam Ramesh said.

      Pushing hardest for a legally binding treaties are small island nations, which are the most vulnerable to climate change.

      Countries in India's vicinity - Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal - are also supporting a legally binding agreement.

      India's close allies on the climate change issue - Brazil and South Africa - are also in favor of a legally binding agreement, which is causing divisions within the BASIC group.

      "This pressure is coming from developed countries through AOSIS, BASIC and LDCs," Ramesh said, adding "India and China are united and Brazil and South Africa are united."

      "At this stage India's strategy is to keep the door open, the door was being closed on us," he told journalists.

      With the conference closing tomorrow, India has objected to raising the issue so late in the day.

      It has also said that currently it is important to concentrate on the Kyoto Protocol , which is the only legally binding treaty on climate change, but its future is uncertain since several countries want to abandon it.

      Speaking at an open meeting here, Ramesh told delegates that "all countries must take on binding commitments under appropriate legal form."

      Later, the minister indicated that he raised this point to assure countries close to India like Nepal and Bangladesh that New Delhi was committed to fulfilling its domestic commitments.

      "We will honor these," he said, noting that India was not ready to reflect these in an international agreement yet.

      The present discussion has also raised questions about what constitutes the "bindingness" of a treaty.

      India, for instance, argues that consensual decisions taken under annual climate conferences can be considered binding.
      China on climate charm offensive

      Haunted by the criticism it endured after the Copenhagen climate summit , China has launched an image makeover as it recasts itself as a team player in global talks, observers say.

      In the latest UN-led talks underway in Mexico, China's negotiators have cast aside a sometimes shrill past approach and repeatedly said they seek a compromise, including on Beijing's past refusal on outside verification of its climate efforts.

      The shift extends to public diplomacy, with China setting up a prominent pavilion in the heart of Cancun city and distributing glossy magazines to delegates' hotels highlighting action by the world's largest carbon emitter.

      "We are seeing a significant change in negotiation strategy by China here in Cancun," said Ailun Yang of environmental group Greenpeace's China branch.

      "It is encouraging to see that China is focusing on what you can offer instead of just responding to provocations from other countries."

      The turnaround may be more a matter of appearances, as negotiators said China was still holding out on a deal over verification after a compromise led by India.

      But the atmosphere is palpably different than in Copenhagen, attended by more than 100 heads of state, including US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Participants said China put its foot down against any hint of subjecting itself to international requirements.

      "I think China is sensitive to the criticism that they got, whether that criticism is justified or not," said Duncan Marsh, director of international climate policy for The Nature Conservancy.

      "I also think, however, that they are acting from a position of greater confidence. China is doing a lot in terms of domestic action to control greenhouse gas emissions and they know they are a world leader in many of their initiatives."

      Faced with severe pollution and a predicted surge in urbanization, China has inscribed plans to reduce carbon emissions in its last five-year plan. The Asian giant is building the world's largest high-speed rail network and has aggressively pursued research on cleaner coal and vehicles.

      "I don't think that an international agreement or pressure is the dominant factor for China to take action. It is in China's own interest," said Zou Ji, a professor of environmental economics at Renmin University and China country director for the World Resources Institute.

      Zou said China had a choice between developing like the United States, where the average person produces about 20 tonnes of carbon each year, or like Japan and the European Union, where output is half as much.

      "Today, many young Chinese consumers share the so-called American dream. They want a very big house and an SUV. But we should avoid that," he said. "The environment cannot take that. China has 20 percent of the world's population."

      But some negotiation watchers said they also felt a political dynamic at play, with China seeking to smooth out relations with the United States that have been rocky on issues ranging from trade to human rights.

      US President Barack Obama's administration came into office pledging that climate would be one area on which the world's largest developed and developing countries could work together.

      "I think China felt stung at Copenhagen after so much of the finger-pointing," said Barbara Finamore, director of the China program at the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council.

      "I think China has indeed learned from that and clearly made a concerted effort at the highest levels to turn the tide and take a very positive and constructive attitude" on climate, she added.

      Before Copenhagen, the United States was usually on the receiving end of criticism at climate talks as former president George W. Bush was a staunch opponent of the Kyoto Protocol.

      While the Cancun talks have been striking for their amity, the spotlight now may have turned to another country -- Japan. The Japanese bluntly rejected an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, saying the treaty is unfair by not including the United States and China.
      ISRO to launch new satellite GSAT-5 on December 20
      BANGALORE: Indian Space Research Organisation has decided to launch its new communication satellite GSAT-5 Prime from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at around 4 pm on December 20.

      Sources in the Bangalore-headquartered space agency said that the mission readiness review in Sriharikota yesterday, chaired by ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan, gave the go-ahead for the mission.

      "The satellite is slated to be moved to the launch-pad tomorrow", an ISRO official said.

      The 2400-kg satellite, equipped with 24 normal C-band and 12 Extended C-band transponders, would be launched by home-made Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F06) powered by Russian cryogenic engine.

      The exclusive C-band GSAT-5P has a designed mission life of 12 years.
      Police arrest Kashmir teacher over 'anti-India' exam paper
      SRINAGAR: Police arrested an English teacher in restive Indian Kashmir on accusations he set an exam paper aimed at fuelling separatist sentiment in the volatile region, authorities said on Saturday.

      The local teacher asked college students to translate into English an Urdu passage that talked about the killings of youngsters, including girls, by armed troops during recent popular unrest.

      Noor Mohammad Bhat was arrested on Friday under the "Unlawful Activities Act and suspicion of intent to provoke the masses by causing riots", police superintendent Hazratbal Maqsood-ul-Zaman told AFP.

      Armed rebel violence in Indian Kashmir has eased since rival India and Pakistan launched a peace process in 2004 over the disputed region.

      But popular pro-independence protests since June have left more than 110 protesters and bystanders -- many of them teenagers and young boys -- dead.

      The unrest, in which protesters hurled stones at police, sometimes drawing police fire in return, has left authorities grappling for solutions in Kashmir, where popular desire for independence remains strong.

      The teacher set students at the state-run college in Srinagar questions such as: "Are the stone-pelters the real heroes" of the unrest this year?

      The exam also asked students to translate into English: "Kashmir is burning again. Bullets are being pumped into the chests of even girls and women. Rulers continue in a deep slumber."

      The exam paper "carried objectionable text against the establishment", said the police official, terming it "anti-India."

      Another senior police officer was quoted by local media as saying police had to detain the teacher to ensure "separatist politics don't become part-and-parcel of the educational curriculum".

      The teacher's arrest drew shock from his colleagues, who said Bhat was not known for having strong political views.
      China's strategic highway to Indian border set for completion
      BEIJING: China has inched closer to completing the construction of a strategic highway in a remote Tibet .n county close to its border with India, which is likely to boost its capability to move troops and logistics quickly to the borders.

      Motuo, the remote Tibetan county from where Brahmaputra river enters India, would soon have a highway connecting it with the rest of the Tibetan plateau and Chinese mainland.

      The harsh natural conditions meant building a highway connecting Motuo to outside world was once considered a dream. However, with the last tunnel due to be completed for the Motuo highway, the dream will come true, China's state-run CCTV reported today.

      Construction of the highway, which began in April 2009 and expected to be completed next year, has its own strategic significance as the county was virtually the last post on the China- India border.

      Located on the southern slope of the Himalayas, Motuo would now have a 117-km long highway connecting it with the nearby Bomi county.

      During the past few years, China has embarked on a massive effort to strengthen its rail, road and air infrastructure in the remote Tibetan plateau connecting its mainland.

      While it has vastly improved the infrastructure facilities in the Himalayan region, it has caused concern in India as it provided the strategic capability to Chinese troops to move quickly to the borders.

      It has prompted India to beef up infrastructure in Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as part of Southern Tibet.

      Amid the long-standing boundary dispute, India and China have held a series of border talks to resolve the differences on demarcation of some of the areas of the 4,000 km-long boundary between the two countries.

      Recently, India also conveyed concerns to China over Beijing's plans to build a dam over Brahmaputra.

      China in its response assured New Delhi that it planned to build a run of the rive project to generate electricity and not a dam to block the water.
      10 Dec, 2010, 08.04AM IST,ET Bureau
      2G scam: Raja's diary under lens
      A diary purportedly containing details of payoffs to politicians of the ruling combine and journalists was found by sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation who searched the official residence of former telecom minister A Raja .

      Raja's residences in Delhi and hometown Perambalur (Tamil Nadu) were raided by CBI on Wednesday in connection with 2G spectrum allocation case.

      The diary confiscated by CBI is being scrutinised for payments made either directly or through his close associates for the 2G spectrum allocation. According to a CBI source, the diary contains names of a few hawala dealers who may have routed money to foreign countries.

      The Enforcement Directorate has already traced money trail of telecom companies that benefited from spectrum-distribution by Mr Raja and their links with a slew of Chennai-based companies having ties with Raja's family-members and business associates.

      Chandolia, who was repatriated to the Indian Economic Service by Kapil Sibal in one of his first acts as the new telecom minister, was subjected to an intense interrogation by CBI officials last night. Like Siddhartha Behura, the former telecom secretary, Chandolia too is believed to have pleaded innocence, arguing that he was merely complying with his minister's diktat.

      CBI had earlier this year subjected former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman Pradip Baijal to a gruelling interrogation on decisions taken during his stint. He is said to have offered vital clues to the investigative agency.

      CBI had a day earlier raided residence of Raja's associates, including Department of Telecom deputy director-general A K Srivastava, former Telecom Commission member (technical) K Sridhara, besides those of Chandolia and Behura.

      The official premises of Raja's business partner Sadiq Batcha in Chennai were also searched by CBI. He too was whisked away later for interrogation.
      Have not leaked Niira Radia tapes: Home Secretary
      NEW DELHI: Home Secretary G K Pillai on Saturday said neither has he heard or seen the tapes of conversations between corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and others nor has he leaked them at the behest of Home Minister P Chidambaram.

      "I wish to clarify that neither I nor the Ministry of Home Affairs had access or have any access to any of the tapes concerning the interception of the telephones of Niira Radia," he said in a statement.

      Reacting to reports in the press, he said his interview to The Wall Street Journal, on which the Supreme Court earlier this week made some observations, has been misunderstood and quoted out of context.

      "I had only stated that the interception of the telephone calls have been authorised by the Home Ministry on account of allegations concerning tax evasion or hawala, and that no tapes concerning tax evasion or hawala had appeared in the press," he said.

      Pillai said these were the subject matter of probe by the Central Board of Direct Taxes and if these are substantiated, would be only disclosed later when the charge-sheets are filed by the concerned agencies.

      "Since I have neither heard nor seen the tapes, the allegations that I am leaking these tapes, at the behest of the Union Home Minister, is totally unfounded and false," he said.

      The Home Secretary also said he understood from the affidavits given by the Ministry of Finance (CBDT) that some portion of the tapes had been given to the CBI for investigation.
      11 Dec, 2010, 11.14AM IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN
      Radia's phone tapped on complaint of being a spy: Govt affidavit to SC
      NEW DELHI: The government on Friday defended the interception of Niira Radia's telephones, saying this was done because of a probe into complaints alleging that she was "an agent of foreign intelligence agencies" and was "indulging in anti-national activities".

      A joint affidavit filed by the ministries of home and finance as well as the Income Tax department said, "A complaint was received by the finance minister dated November 16, 2007, inter alia, alleging that Ms Radia had, within a short span of nine years, built up a business empire worth Rs 300 crore, that she was an agent of foreign intelligence agencies and that she was indulging in anti-national activities. On this complaint, it was directed that the matter should be examined."

      The affidavit was filed in response to industrialist Ratan Tata's petition that leak of intercepted conversations of Radia, a corporate communications consultant engaged by the Tata group, breached his right to privacy. He made the ministries of finance and home, along with the CBI and the I-T department, respondents. A Supreme Court bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly on December 2 had issued notices to all the four respondents. In its affidavit, the I-T department asserted that Radia's phones were intercepted strictly in keeping with the procedure laid down for the purpose, and that it was not responsible for the leak. Significantly, it added that it was "neither possible nor practical'' to retrieve the leaked tapes which have found their way to the media and on the Internet. The SC, during the hearing in the 2G spectrum scam , had secured possession of the entire stash of Radia tapes.

      The affidavit gave details of the interception — "1,450 call records of the telephone of Radia containing recording of about 100 hours pertaining to the period May 12, 2009 to July 9, 2009" and "5,800 calls on the telephone of Radia for the period July 9, 2009 to August 20, 2009."

      The affidavit by additional director of I-T (investigation) Sushil Kumar said interception of over 22 telephones lines of Radia and her associates in three tranches from August 19, 2008 to July 9, 2009, was done after obtaining prior permission from the Union home ministry. It added that the leak did not happen from its side and assured the court that the remaining Radia tapes were in safe custody.

      On Tata's interim relief plea seeking stoppage of further publication of the Radia tapes in newspapers and magazines, the I-T department said, "It is not possible or practical for government to take steps to retrieve the various copies of some of the transcripts which have appeared in the print media or in the electronic media and which are being circulated on internet." It also resisted Tata's suggestion that the investigating agency, to protect right to privacy which is closely linked to right to life of a citizen, must destroy those conversations which are not related to the spectrum scam.
      4 Dec, 2010, 04.49AM IST,ET Bureau
      Tata-Radia conversations leakage unfortunate but inevitable: PC
      NEW DELHI: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said leaks of taped conversations were unfortunate but inevitable, and that such things tend to happen when there's a major scam.

      "See, what was recorded was conversation of a person suspected to have violated tax laws. We were recording only one end of the conversation but, as it happens, the other end was also recorded. But I am afraid that when there's a major scam and a major tax violation and such conversations are recorded, things tend to get leaked. It is unfortunate but some of this is inevitable," Mr Chidambaram told ET NOW, this paper's sister channel, at the sidelines of an award function for small and medium enterprises, organised by the broadcaster and Indiamart.com.

      Earlier this week, industrialist Ratan Tata had appealed to the Supreme Court against the leaks of his conversation with lobbyist Niira Radia . The petition sought an inquiry into the leaks "which are not remotely connected with the purpose for which the investigating agencies had conducted the tapping".

      Besides Mr Tata, Ms Radia's conversations with bureaucrats, journalists and other businessmen that were recorded by the income-tax authorities in connection with their investigations also found their way to the media and into the public domain. The government subsequently ordered an investigation into the issue and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is now probing how the tapes got leaked.

      No need to worry

      Replying to a question about concerns about whether scams and government probes would vitiate the business environment in the country, Mr Chidambaram said India Inc need not be worried.

      "It's sad that there are some bad patches but as Professor Bhagwati said yesterday (Thursday), 'let's not exaggerate corruption' . It is an issue which must be addressed and anyone involved in corruption must be punished.

      But I don't think you should allow yourself to be drowned in this cacophony that everything is corrupt and everybody is corrupt."
      2G scam: Former telecom minister A Raja meets Karunanidhi
      CHENNAI: Beleaguered former telecom minister A Raja on Saturday met DMK president M Karunanidhi , three-days after the CBI raided his residence in connection with the 2G spectrum scam .

      Both were closetted for some time at the CIT colony residence of chief minister Karunanidhi, but the outcome was not known.

      This is the first meeting between the two after Raja quit as telecom minister in the face of allegations about his involvement in the 2G spectrum scam.

      Late on Friday night, Raja had put up a brave front in the aftermath of the CBI raids at his New Delhi residence and those of his close aides' in Tamil Nadu, saying that they were mere "scrutiny" and no one was above scrutiny.

      He had said that he would cooperate with the investigating agency and "comply with it".
      Hurdles facing plan against Maoists
      By Jamal Kidwai

      The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for 60 of the mostly Naxal-affected districts. The aim is to draw people away from the Maoists by propelling development schemes like those related to employment, drinking water and healthcare. Under the plan, each of the 60 districts will get Rs 25 crore in the current fiscal year. This assistance will be increased to Rs 30 crore in 2011-12, with a total allocation of Rs 3,300 crore. It is interesting that civil society groups and panchayati raj institutions will have no role to play in the implementation of these schemes. The entire burden of implementation has been left to district administrations, that is the district magistrate, the superintendent of police and forest officer.

      Going by the past experience, such monetary and administrative packages have rarely made difference in areas where there is insurgency and rebellion. Instead, what is required is a radical political intervention by central and state governments at various levels to ensure Acts like PESA, PRI, MNREGA, Minimum Wages Act and others are not subverted and are instead implemented in letter and spirit. Until this is done, these plans and programmes are bound to fail and pumping in more money in Maoist-affected regions will lead to more corruption. However, political initiatives require political will which sometimes does not pay electoral dividends in the short run. Some of the issues the central and state governments could address are as follows.

      First, they demonstrate political will and statesmanship to give up the lure of largesses from big corporations, as well as challenges the powerful village and district-level political lobbies. All the Acts mentioned above through which these development programmes will be implemented are being subverted primarily by the political class. Take the case of corruption in MNREGA and Indira Awaas Yojana. It is the people's elected representatives at the grassroots level like the mukhiya or the zilla parishad members who are the main source of corruption. They are the main implementing authorities for such programmes and without their knowledge and consent, it would be impossible to misappropriate funds.

      Similar is the case when big companies acquire tribal land for mining purposes. Under the PESA, no one can acquire tribal land without the permission of the gram sabha. Yet, it is common that villagers come to know that the acquisition has taken place only at the time they are about to get displaced. Here also, it is the elected representatives who are "bought" by the big companies to subvert the PESA by illegally fabricating the consent of the gram sabha. All political parties are implicated in subverting Acts like the PRI, PESA and the Minimum Wages Act that seek to empower the poor, dalits and tribals.
      http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/7081026.cms
      BASIC nations 'very happy' with Cancun texts: Ramesh

      CANCUN: India today said that the BASIC countries were "very happy" with the two draft texts prepared by climate negotiators from almost 200 nations on the Kyoto Protocol and a long-term action to combat climate change.

      Following the circulation of two texts, still remain to be adopted by the 193 countries in some formal manner, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the outcome was "acceptable" to India.

      "We have a Cancun agreement," he said, noting that the BASIC countries were "very happy" with the text.

      The BASIC countries (BASIC or G4) are a bloc of four large developing countries - Brazil, South Africa, India and China - formed by an agreement on 28 November 2009.

      Over the past two weeks, there has been concern that the talks might fail since Japan and Russia have said that they will not commit to the second period of the Kyoto Protocol, which is the only treaty on climate change that puts legally binding cuts on developed countries.

      In the last few days, negotiators have struggled to formulate text that accommodates the desire of the majority of developing countries to continue with the Kyoto Protocol, and also not to force Japan and Russia into a second commitment period.

      The first commitment period, which expires at the end of 2012, requires industrialized countries to reduce their greenhouse gases by 5 per cent from 1990 levels.

      The text currently calls for the parties to act so that "there is no gap between the first and second commitment periods."

      Observers here have interpreted the text differently - some groups have said that it is a "weak" text that will eventually lead to the death of Kyoto Protocol, while others look at it workable "compromise" for the moment.

      Observers also said that while the two texts may be considered a significant political step in moving the negotiations forward, they were not really helpful in combating climate change and the compromises were not rooted in what the science demanded.

      "It operationalized the Copenhagen Accord and considering the Copenhagen Accord pledges are not adequate this is disastrous for the environment," said Chandra Bhushan from the Centre of Science and Environment.

      The reaction to the text of the long-term plan to combat climate change has also been mixed.

      Ramesh said that many of India's contribution had been incorporated in the text including the International Consultation and Analysis, which is a transparency mechanism to review whether developing countries are carrying out their domestic mitigation actions.
      'Don't read too much into it': PM on Cancun development
      BRUSSELS: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sought to downplay controversial remarks made by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh at the climate change summit in Cancun , saying "don't read too much into this".

      The Prime Minister's response came to a question at a joint press meet with EU President Herman Van Rompuy when a reporter asked him whether there has been any change in India's stand on climate change in the wake of what Ramesh said.

      Ramesh on Thursday had created a flutter when he deviated from his prepared text, saying "all countries must take binding commitments in appropriate legal form", implying that India was ready to accept legally binding emission cuts, a move it has vehemently resisted.

      "Don't read too much into this," the Prime Minister told reporters seeking his views on the developments in Cancun.

      India has come under pressure from South Africa and Brazil, who are part of the BASIC group, to commit to some kind of legally-binding cuts.

      Ramesh claimed that there has been no shifting of the goal post. However, he went on to qualify that he stood by India's position that it will not accept internationally binding cuts "at this stage" because he does not know what are the conditions that accompany them.

      The Minister said he had articulated a "nuanced" position.

      "There is no shift in the position, only nuancing," he told PTI, pointing out that India was trying to find room for "manoeuvre" due to increasing pressure from developing nations.
      10 Dec, 2010, 08.00AM IST, Urmi A Goswami,ET Bureau
      Legal agreement is bone of contention at Cancun

      CANCUN: With the noise over settling the legal nature of the outcome in the long-term co-operation or Bali Track of the agreement escalating, India sought to create room for itself and stave off an immediate resolution to the longstanding debate. In his address to the ministerial plenary on Wednesday, environment minister Jairam Ramesh said "all countries must take binding commitments under appropriate legal form".

      The minister's statement is a response to the discussions within a 50-member group set up under the Convention to resolve the issue of "legal" form under Article 17 of the Convention. The Indian position has been that the decision whether the second track of negotiations should culminate in a legally binding agreement is premature when the content of the outcome is yet to be decided. However, with the European Union throwing its lot with the Alliance of Small Island States, it appears that India's hardline position could result in New Delhi having to take on the blame for the impasse in the negotiations. India has sought to present itself as a progressive deal-maker over the last year. It has proactively put forward proposals on contentious issues like international consultation and analysis or a global monitoring system for emission reduction measures, and on technology.

      Mr Ramesh's unplanned statement is also an effort to nip the demand for a legal agreement in the bud while not coming out as insensitive to the demands of vulnerable developing countries. Not taking a pro-active position on the issue could open the door to a situation where a legally binding agreement becomes a reality much before India is willing to accept it. "We want to keep the discussion going on legal form instead of a legally binding agreement. We are willing to engage in discussion. Our problem is with agreement, the emphasis in article 17 is on legally binding agreement. We are not in a position to say this today . We want the two-track process to continue and we should not prejudge the nature of the legal form and should have total understanding among ourselves on the content of the pact," the minister said.

      No stranger to controversies, Mr Ramesh explained that his statement to the plenary was all about "expanding room". "India is not against legal form but against legally binding agreement, that is the red line. A COP decision is also legally binding decision. The problem is without knowing the content we are discussing form. There is no clarity on what the penalties of noncompliance to an agreement would mean. Neither is there any indication of what the system or method would be used to monitor compliance," Mr Ramesh said.

      The minister's statement attempts to nuance India's position on the issue of the legal nature of the outcome in the second track of negotiations. It seeks to find that place which conveys the message that while it is not shutting the door on the question of legal form, it is not willing to participate in the debate now.

      The statement may appear as a big concession or deviation from the current Indian position, but in real terms it gives away very little. In the Indian analysis, decisions by the Conference of parties, or the supreme decision making body under the Convention, is also binding. The minister's statement is also reflective of a realization within the Indian government that a legally binding agreement cannot be staved off for ever. In outlining the non-negotiable elements for the current round of talks in Cancun , the Union Cabinet made it clear that India would not take on absolute emission cuts.

      Seen in this context, Mr Ramesh's statement is an attempt to create some space for India. It could also be argued that Mr Ramesh has gone beyond his brief, which allowed him the flexibility in three specific areas-forestry, technology and international consultation and analysis.

      The clamour for a legally binding agreement in the Bali track presents a dilemma for the environment minister-a choice between prioritising BASIC and G-77 unity and sticking to India's stated position on the issue, which is seen to protect India's interest.
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      Is the year-end rally on Wall Street almost over?

      REUTERS
      With dwindling volume, excess optimism, and history all pointing to a stock market out of steam, the December rally may have run out.
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