South China Sea And US-India-Japan Trilateral Revitalisation

The re-vitalisation of the US-India-Japan Trilateral is a contextual response lately to China’s conflict-escalation in the South China Sea primarily followed by military brinkmanship against Japan in the East China Sea region.

Underlying the very creation of the recently crafted US-India Strategic Partnership and the Japan-India Global and Strategic Partnership superimposed over and above the half a century old US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty was the strategic imperative of these three major nations to correct the strategic imbalance creeping in the Asian balance of power.

The South China Sea maritime disputes over sovereignty issues was generated by China decades back with the forcible military occupation of the Paracel and Spratly Islands from Vietnam’s lawful jurisdiction and sovereignty. Later the same brinkmanship strategies stand applied also in the Spratlys against the Philippines.

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via South China Sea And US-India-Japan Trilateral Revitalisation – Analysis – Eurasia Review.

2G scam: Raja, Kanimozhi, Dayalu Ammal charged with money laundering

A special court has charged former Telecom Minister A Raja, MP Kanimozhi, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal and 16 others with money laundering in a 2G scam-related case.

Enforcement Directorate, in its charge sheet, had alleged that the accused were involved in the Rs. 200-crore money transaction which was not “bonafide” and “genuine” and it was a “bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies” by Raja.

The agency had claimed that the series of transactions relating to transfer of Rs. 200 crore from DB group company to DMK-run Kalaignar TV through Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd and Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd were not “genuine business transaction”.

The accused, however, had countered the claims of the ED contending there was no evidence to support the allegations levelled by the agency in its charge sheet.

Essay [for Civil Services mains exam and Bank PO Exam Descriptive Questions]: National Solar Mission

To develop solar energy as an effective alternative source of power, the government of India, on 11 January 2010, launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), under the brand name “Solar India”. The main target of the Mission is to deploy 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022. Besides, JNNSM is also working on reducing the cost of solar power generation through aggressive R&D, development of critical raw materials indigenously, and formulation of large scale deployment goals.

JNNSM is a major initiative to promote ecologically sustainable growth and, at the same time, address the energy security challenges faced by India.

The infrastructure and technology cost to develop solar energy parks is very high at the moment, as compared to the power sources such as coal, and even oil. For solar energy to become one of the prime sources, it is important that rapid scale-up of capacity and technologies is achieved so that the cost can be driven-down towards parity with current sources of power. It is hoped that JNNSM will achieve parity with coal-based thermal plants by 2030.
The Mission is also encouraging use of number of off-grid solar applications, especially in the rural areas, which are already cost-effective.

Fortunately, India has a vast solar energy potential. Approximately 5,000 trillion kWh per year energy can be produced using solar power. However, the constraint is on availability of space to put the solar panels and development of effective storage. Besides, the monsoon period has its own disadvantage vis-a-vis solar power due to extended cloud cover in the monsoon months. To develop solar power resource the Indian scientists and engineers will need to (i) develop solar panels that can create more energy per sq meter, (ii) batteries that have higher capacity to store energy while occupying lesser space, and (iii) photo-voltaic cells that can produce energy even during the cloud cover. Theoretically, a small fraction of the total incident solar energy (if captured effectively) can meet the entire country’s power requirements.

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Why oil prices went down so far so fast

The reasons oil prices started sliding in June were hiding in plain sight: growth in US production, sputtering demand from Europe and China, Mid-East violence that threatened to disrupt supplies and never did.

After three-and-a-half months of slow decline, the tipping point for a steeper drop came on 1 October, said Ray Carbone, president of broker Paramount Options Inc. That’s when Saudi Arabia cut prices for its biggest customers. The move signalled that the world’s largest exporter would rather defend its market share than prop up prices.

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ALSO READ The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil

Fed ends bond buying, exhibits confidence in U.S. recovery

The Federal Reserve, on 29 October, ended its monthly bond purchase program and signaled confidence the U.S. economic recovery would remain on track despite signs of a slowdown in many parts of the global economy.

“The Committee continues to see sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing progress toward maximum employment in a context of price stability,” the central bank’s policy committee said in a statement following a two-day meeting.

The statement largely dismissed recent financial market volatility, dimming growth in Europe and a weak inflation outlook as headwinds that would do little to undercut progress toward the Fed’s unemployment and inflation goals.

CLICK HERE to read complete story | Reuters.