India

Indian media: Praise for parliament over crucial bills

Parliament House
Image caption Indian parliament has approved several key legislations in the monsoon season

Media in India are praising political parties for coming together to approve crucial bills before the end of the monsoon session of parliament.

India's upper house of parliament on Wednesday approved a new land acquisition bill that aims to ensure industrialists pay fair compensation to farmers. It also approved a law to allow foreign investments in pensions, in a move to boost a slowing economy.

"This session has also seen the fractiousness that has become customary. But despite sharp exchanges between government and the opposition, a lot of legislative work got doneā€¦ today, it's not unreasonable to hope that India's politicians can more frequently put aside their petty differences, to move the legislative and reforms processes forward," The Times of India says.

The Tribune says "the passing of the food, land and pension bills has given the message that, regardless of the wastage of parliament's time and the taxpayer's money through regular bickering, the Indian legislators do rise to the occasion when needed".

In business news, newspapers and websites continue to discuss heightened expectations from Raghuram Rajan, the new governor of India's central bank.

"Mr Rajan promises a roadmap of further reforms soon. This will be a real test of the grip he will have on problems holding the country's economy to ransom," The Asian Age says.

The Hindu says the new governor "needs to harness his great skills at communication to carry the markets and, equally important, the government".

Moving on to international news, Iran has released an Indian merchant ship it detained more than three weeks ago, The Hindu reports.

Iran detained the MV Desh Shanti oil tanker, saying it was leaking oil and causing "widespread pollution" in the Persian Gulf.

The development came after hectic parleys between the two countries, with India demanding an "unconditional" release of the vessel.

Kashmir concert

Moving on to technology, India's public broadcaster, Doordarshan, is all set to make its high-definition (HD) debut with noted musician Zubin Mehta's concert in Indian-administered Kashmir on Saturday, the Hindustan Times reports.

Staying with the concert-related news, security has been heightened at the concert venue in the state capital, Srinagar, following resistance by some separatist leaders, The Indian Express says.

Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has said that "any sort of international activity, be it political, diplomatic, cultural or sports, will have an adverse effect on the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir".

In national news, Deepak Sandhu has been appointed the first woman chief of the Central Information Commission (CIC), The Times of India reports.

Ms Sandhu will be responsible for smooth implementation of the Right to Information law, which allows Indians to access information held by the government.

And finally, The Indian Express tells an inspiring story of school-teacher Abdul Malik, who swims from his house to his school in order to cut the 12km (6 miles) road journey and spend more time with his students.

"For a year, I went to school by bus. I had to take three buses and the journey would consume one-and-a-half hours. A colleague suggested crossing the river, which would reduce the distance between home and school to one kilometre,'' the report quoted the 40-year-old teacher as saying.

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