- Modi expresses concern at Australia Visa Policy
a) “Prime Minister Modi expressed concern about the possible impact of the recent changes in Australian regulations for the skilled professionals’ visa programme. The two Prime Ministers agreed that officials from both sides will remain in close touch on the issue,” said a government release.
b) Australia has recently announced the scrapping of the “457” visa policy that benefited skilled Indian IT workers. As part of the new policy, the tenure of the visas was to be reduced from four to two years. The notification also announced an increase of visa fees.
2. Fix norms for emissions, SC tells CPCB
a) The Supreme Court directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prepare standards for emission by industries in the National Capital Region (NCR) to bring down the level of air pollutants.
b) The Centre had said consultations among stakeholders were being held regarding banning of petcoke and furnace oil as industrial fuel in NCR.
3. China backs offer of dialogue
a) China backed U.S. President Donald Trump’s openness for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “China has always believed that using peaceful means via dialogue and consultation to resolve the peninsula’s nuclear issue is the only realistic, feasible means to achieve denuclearisation of the peninsula and maintain peace and stability there, and is the only correct choice,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.
4. NN Vohra, Rajnath Singh discuss Valley, opening talks in J&K an option on Centre table
a) Although Governor’s rule has been imposed thrice during his two terms, Vohra is said to have conveyed that imposing it again without initiating any political dialogue would serve no purpose, given the situation in the Valley.
b) A decision on extending the dialogue process to possibly include separatist leaders, including those of the All Party Hurriyat Conference, could be taken at a later stage after the views of mainstream political parties, who have a historic stake in the state, have been shared with the government.