The Morning Wrap: Beijing Acts As Delhi Debates Over Pollution Problem; Sushma Swaraj Heads To Pakistan

08/12/2015 8:16 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 07: (CHINA OUT) A woman wearing mask walks along a road in heavy smog on December 7, 2015 in Beijing, China. China's National Meteorological Center (NMC) issued a yellow alert on Sunday as heavy smog will cover the country's northern regions in the following two days. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

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As negotiators are rolling up their sleeves for the big push to reach a climate change deal by the end of week, the Indian delegation has stocked up on sleeping bags in anticipation of spending long nights at the Le Bourget Centre.

The Swachh Bharat Cess is effectively an additional tax of 0.5%, unlike the education cess which is a tax on a tax. So why has the government called it a cess? Tax collected by the central government needs to be shared with the state governments, a cess does not. That is why the Swachh Bharat Tax has been basically been called Swachh Bharat Cess.

This year, Delhi's Queer Pride Parade went beyond the repeal of Section 377 that criminalises 'unnatural sex'. Instead, this year, it marked its solidarity with numerous infringements on personal and social liberties of various communities, speaking up alongside a rising tide of writers, scientists and historians protesting against shrinking spaces for dissent.

Is coffee replacing kaapi? Modern cafe culture in India is booming. Yet, from the frappes, cappuccinos, and, of course, flavoured cold coffees, the one variant that seems to be missing is the South Indian filter coffee.

Timothee Semelin and Yukiko Murayama didn't have an Indian wedding. But for their anniversary, the Hong Kong-based couple flew down to India for the next best thing — a Bollywood-style wedding shoot in front of the Taj Mahal, complete with Indian clothes, jewellery, and a makeup artist and photographer.

Main News

The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed pleas against summons issued to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case. Congress will now challenge the order in Supreme Court today, claiming "several legal deficiencies" in the verdict.

Team India beat South Africa by 337 runs on Monday, winning the India-SA cricket test series 3-0. Captain Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin dedicated the home team's win to the victims of the devastating Chennai floods.

Even as Delhi is debating how to tackle it's air pollution problems, China's capital Beijing on Monday issued its first "red alert" on air pollution since 2013, taking tougher and immediate measures to deal with the issue.

Flood-ravaged Chennai's spirits rose with the sun on Monday as flights took off, trains chugged on and people got back to work. Now, the city needs to rebuild itself, brick by brick.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is heading to Pakistan today, and will meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad this week. She is in the Pakistan capital to attend the ministerial segment on Afghanistan during the annual Heart of Asia conference on Wednesday.

Off The Front Page

Factories in Sanand, Gujarat are faced with an unusual HR problem — handling crorepati labourers. There has been a windfall of Rs 2,000 crore for land owners in and around Sanand, where Gujarat government acquired over 4,000 hectares of land over the last seven years.

A lower court in Hyderabad has ordered a stay on the 'beef festival' planned by students of Osmania University, ruling that it was unlawful and offended the provisions of the Prevention of Cow Slaughtering Act as well as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

A robotic doctor is on the job to assess the health of the 58-year-old multi-purpose Hirakud dam over the Mahanadi. The robot, which is a remotely-operated vehicle, will present a report on the state of wear and tear of the dam that was commissioned in 1956.

About two dozen Flipkart employees took home more than Rs 1 crore in annual salary last year. Flipkart Internet's employee benefit expenses swelled threefold to Rs 476 crore, according to its filing with the Registrar of Companies.


Sushma Swaraj’s Islamabad visit heralds resumption of India-Pakistan dialogue, and New Delhi now needs to accept that the Pakistani army will remain a key determinant in talks.

Even though the internet helps women get educated, start businesses, build communities, and assert their rights, access to this vital resource is still restricted — and sharply divided by gender — writes Sheryl Sandberg in The Indian Express: "This inequality of access is holding back progress towards a safer, fairer, and healthier world."

Blanket alcohol ban in Bihar won’t stop violence against women, write Sanjeev Kumar and Nishith Prakash for The Economic Times: "A blanket ban on a preferred substance like alcohol gives rise to a black market, underground production activities, price rise and diversion of scarce law enforcement machineries for activities that the state and the market can easily work together to limit."

Engineers are trumping MBAs, writes Krishna Kumar, basing his observations on dozens of colleagues from IITs and IIMs.

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