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The Week That Was:

From: Vartaa Editorial Team on Oct 2, 2016

Surgical strikes by Indian Army

Responding to the attack on the army camp in Uri which resulted in the death of 18 soldiers, the Indian Army this past week conducted surgical strikes on multiple 'terror launch pads' in a swift action that involved crossing the Line of Control in Kashmir. The Army claimed that the strikes caused significant enemy casualities and were only aimed at suspected terrorists and not the Pakistani army.

Reactions to Indian move

As news broke of the surgical strike, the Pakistani chain of command struggled to come up with a coherent response. On the one hand, the official government response was that India was fabricating the story to assuage domestic opinion. On the other hand however, the Pakistani Army claimed that the Indians were hiding their own casualties in the operation. The NDA government meanwhile worked to get all party support for the operation. The Congress came out in support of the government while the PM himself sought to brief President Pranab Mukherjee on the situation. International reaction was supportive as well with US lawmakers calling on Pakistan to avoid escalation in wake of India's actions.

Black money sees sunlight

The Finance Ministry's much hyped Income Declaration Scheme, under which individuals could declare black money, pay a tax penalty and escape censure, wrapped up this past week with the government declaring it a success. According to the Finance Ministry, Rs 65250 crores of black money was disclosed in the scheme with the government standing to gain almost Rs 30000 cr in taxes. Approximately 65000 people declared black money, including some surprising ones such as the roadside vendors in Mumbai. The tax evaders not only got away scot free but also received a vote of thanks from PM Modi for coming out in the open with their hidden wealth.

Opinions you must read:

  • Why is the Maratha community out on the streets of the state in protest? Kumar Ketkar explains.
  • Former diplomat Rakesh Sood examines the implications of the Uri attack and its aftermath.
  • Sanjay Baru is about to release a new book on ex-PM Narasimha Rao and writes on how the Congress squeezed him out.

Chart of the Week

Climate change is certainly one of the most pressing global issues of our time and the Paris Agreement in 2015 was a huge step towards bringing major greenhouse emitting countries together to tackle this momentous problem. On October 2nd 2016, Mahatma Gandhi's 147th birthday, India ratified the Paris Agreement. That means India has formally committed to a formal plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature rise. As part of the plan, India will produce 40 percent of its total electricity with non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. This is a heartening development indeed. All major greenhouse gas emitters including the US and China have ratified the Paris Agreement. The top 10 emitters are China, US, the European Union, India, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan, Canada, and Mexico.

India due to its sheer size, finds itself among the top CO2 emitters. But if we normalize the emissions with population of countries, who are among the worst perpetrator? Take a look at the chart of this week to find out. Qatar tops the list at 44 metric tons of CO2 emitted in 2011, per capita. Other middle eastern nations are close to follow with Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia all in the top 10. The US, Canada, Australia, and South Korea are the other industrialized nations that have high per capita CO2 emissions.

Thanks to low industrialization and a large populations, India has per capita CO2 emissions of 1.66 metric tons vs 6.7 and 17 for China and the US respectively.