Assam Blowout – Causes, Consequences, Way Ahead

Reading Time: 9 mins Yet another addition to the series of industrial accidents and disasters plaguing India during the trying times of a global pandemic- recently dubbed ‘The Anthropause’. The Assam blowout that happened in May and the subsequent fires in June has claimed several lives apart from causing gross damage to the environment and the livelihood of the locals. This comes at a time when environmentalists are continuing to raise concerns about the draft Environmental Impact Assessment norms 2020. The current incident is presenting itself to India as a test of its ability to learn from its mistakes and prioritize what’s important in the long run.

Strategic Oil Reserves and Energy Security: Analysis

Reading Time: 7 mins A major fall in the international crude oil prices prompted India to get its strategic Energy reserves filled at a low cost. Recently in a tweet, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said that India has saved Rs. 5000 crores in foreign exchange while strengthening its energy security by filling up the strategic reserves with full capacity.

Contracts in times of COVID-19 – Force Majeure and Doctrine of Frustration

Reading Time: 6 mins The COVID-19 crisis has affected businesses across India in various ways like a drop in demand, labour shortage, supply chain disruption, etc. One of the impacts of the crisis is on the firms’ ability to fulfil obligations under various contracts in India. In this context, firms are looking at the ‘Force Majeure’ clause to provide respite in times of such unforeseen crises not only in the present but also in the future.

Pesticide usage in India – Issues and Solutions

Reading Time: 11 mins The government’s recent proposal to ban 27 pesticides in India has garnered both support and opposition from various segments of the society. It is being welcomed by several exporters (like spice exporters) and is seen as a long-pending implementation of the Anupam Verma Committee recommendations. On the other hand, pesticide manufacturers are threatening to take the government to the court over this move. This proposal is significant given the danger to farmers’ income posed by invading pests like the fall army worm and more recently, locusts.

The Mines and Minerals Act and District Mineral Foundation

Reading Time: 7 mins The Parliament recently passed the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The mining sector in India has been going under a face change since last year as the government took a series of actions regarding the mining sector. In the fourth tranche of the Atmanirbhar economic package, the Finance Minister spelled out reforms in the Mining sector. In this background, it is important to study the above-mentioned Bill.

Cruelty against Animals – Prevalence, Safeguards, Shortcomings

Reading Time: 9 mins The death of the elephant, nicknamed Saumya, in Kerala invited outrage from many sections of the society. The wild animal, which was pregnant with a calf, had eaten a pineapple stuffed with crackers. It had succumbed to its injuries standing in a river. The incident calls for a serious discussion of the prevalence of animal cruelty in India and a relook into the efficiency of various safeguards in place to eliminate the issue.

Oil Prices Crash – Reasons & Impacts for India & Global Economy [Updated]

Reading Time: 10 mins In March 2020, global crude oil prices decreased to about 40%. This means that a barrel of oil costs just $25 now. This came as a result of failed talks of production cut between OPEC and Russia. This led to Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of oil, launching a price war. While many may see this as a disadvantage, for India it is an opportunity to fill up its strategic reserve. The government had decided to buy oil worth Rs.5,000 crore at the current price of around $30 per barrel for deliveries starting in April-May. However, this opportunity does not allow the Indian economy to gain full potential as it has come amid the coronavirus outbreak that has halted most of the economic activities in the country.