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Monthly Archives: June 2014

On the new forest diversion norms

Last week, India’s environment ministry overhauled the process it follows for identifying forests where industrial activities can be permitted. Instead of using six parameters — forest type, biological richness, wildlife value, density of forest cover, integrity of the landscape, and hydrological value – for deciding whether a forestland can be given over for, say, mining, ministry officials told the media that the ministry would henceforth use four parameters. According to media reports, ministry officials said biological richness would be dropped as that is accounted for under wildlife value. Similarly, the ministry clubbed hydrological value with forest cover. In the process, the ministry has mixed up concepts which, as forest ecologist Harini Nagendra says, are related but not replaceable.

– for deciding whether a forestland can be given over for, say, mining, ministry officials told the media that the ministry would henceforth use four parameters.

Accor ..

on coal and land

i am uploading this story late. it was published the day i went on leave.

about ten years ago, ntpc was alloted the largest captive coal block of all — pakri barwadih, with 1.6 billion tons of coal. mining is yet to start here. the company blames delays in land acquisition. but the reasons for that go beyond recalcitrant villagers. in the process, a worrying shift in the architecture of coal PPPs is taking shape.

take a look, here.

fresh trouble for aadhaar

Agencies contracted to enroll people into the Aadhaar fold have joined hands to protest heavy penalties levied on them by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that was steered by tech billionaire Nandan Nilekani till three months ago. The enrollment imbroglio is the latest in a series of shocks for the project in recent weeks, with RBI suspending a plan to mandate Aadhaar-based biometric ATMs and the finance ministry stating that direct benefits transfer (DBT) can work even without Aadhaar. The development is significant amidst uncertainty at the UIDAI headquarters and field offices about the Aadhaar project’s future under the new government.

even as uncertainity over the aadhaar project continues, fresh trouble for the identity project.