Citizens' Issues
Andhra's capital to be in Vijayawada region, says Naidu
According to chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra Pradesh's capital would be centrally located around Vijayawada
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has formally announced the state’s new capital around Vijayawada region, adding that this is the most centrally-located area. Naidu-led TDP has also proposed three mega cities and 14 smart cities to boost development in the region.
 
Nearly 50% of the representations received by the state government favoured the Vijayawada-Guntur region, according to an official statement. The decision was taken after a comprehensive study of prevailing conditions, potential, and economic growth strategies of each district.
 
Naidu has also promised to improve, air, rail and road connectivity for all districts to position Andhra Pradesh as a logistics hub and revive economy in the state.
 
Meanwhile, the centrally-appointed Sivaramakrishnan Committee, which had opposed the Vijayawada region as capital, also presented its report before the state Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
 
Making a statement in the Legislative Assembly amid a din caused by opposition YSR Congress, Naidu said, "The Cabinet met on 1st September and resolved to locate the capital city in a central place of the state, around Vijayawada, and go for decentralised development of the state with three mega cities and 14 smart cities.
 
"It is proposed to go for land pooling system to be worked out by a Cabinet sub-committee," he said.
 
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014, which came into force on 1 March 2014, provided for the reorganization of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh.
 
“Andhra Pradesh capital to be centrally located around Vijayawada. Will do justice to every city through decentralised development,” tweeted Andhra CM  Chandrababu Naidu.

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Terms of Surrender: $500 Negative Review Charge
After some bad publicity, Hudson, New York-based Union Street Guest House says its 'stated policy to punish people for negative reviews made online' was a joke
 
Welcome to the second installment of our continuing feature, Terms of Surrender, which shines a light on a sometimes dark place: a company website’s terms and conditions. 
 
Last time, we wrote about a stipulation in an e-cigarette company’s refund policy that required products to be “returned in the same condition as received.”
 
This week, we’re highlighting a Hudson, New York inn’s stated policy to punish people for negative reviews made online.
 
 
After some really bad press, it has since been removed but the Union Street Guest House policy had stated (emphasis added):
 
Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our Inn, your friends and families may not. … Therefore: If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event.
 
The inn later said it was a joke.
 
“The policy regarding wedding fines was put on our site as a tongue-in-cheek response to a wedding many years ago,” Union Street Guest House reportedly told CNBC. “It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced.”
 
Ha, ha. Good one.
 
If you spot a befuddling terms and conditions policy during your travels online, tell us and we’ll consider featuring it next time. 
 

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India Australia nuclear deal and Tony Abbott's visit
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stated in the Parliament that if Australia is prepared to supply uranium to Russia, then surely it ought to be prepared to provide uranium to India under suitable safeguards
 
Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, accompanied by his Trade Minister, Andrew Robb and a supporting trade delegation arrived in India on Thursday, in the first leg of a short tour, at Mumbai.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has just returned, after a successful visit to Japan, will be meeting his counterpart, Tony Abbott, in New Delhi on Friday.
 
Australian exports to India, covering goods and services, amounted to $17.68 billion as against Indian exports of only $3.59 billion. During this meeting with PM Modi, Australian PM Abbott is scheduled to sign a nuclear civilian deal for supply of uranium to India.
 
It may be recalled that two years ago in 2012, Australia had agreed, in principle, to a civil nuclear cooperation with India, but this was not signed, as India had not singed the NPT - Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  However, after this agreement, both Australia and India began their negotiations to ensure that uranium (to be) supplied from Australia will not be used for making nuclear weapons or any other military purpose. 
 
It would be interesting to note that, according to the information available from the World Nuclear Association, currently, Australia holds about 31% of the recoverable resources of uranium, estimated at 1.66 million tonnes. Other known sources include Kazakhstan at 12%, Russia and Canada 9% each and Niger at 8%.
 
About a week ago, while addressing the Australian Parliament, prior to his planned departure, Tony Abbott is reported to have stated that: “if Australia was prepared to supply uranium to Russia, then surely we ought to be prepared to provide uranium to India under suitable safeguards".
 
In the meanwhile, it may be noted that India has signed bilateral agreements with Argentina, Namibia, Canada, Kazakhstan, France, Republic of Korea, the Czech Republic and the USA for civil nuclear cooperation. Yet, official entry into the membership of NSG - Nuclear Suppliers Group - has been a contentious issue. With the proposed signing of the nuclear treaty with Australia, it is just possible that other NSG members would have to reconsider their approach to the membership issue.
 
India's 20 nuclear power reactors, with an installed capacity of 4,780 MW, are not fully operating due to shortage of fuel. Australian supplies would be great relief from now onwards.
 
Indian investments in Australia, in recent months, have gone up considerably. Only a short while ago, the Queensland State Government of Australia cleared the Galilee Basin Rail Line project to be executed by the Adani Group.  Earlier, the Australian Federal Government gave environmental approval to Adani Mining's $16.5 billion Carmichael Coal Mine and rail infrastructure project in that state.
 
This 300 kms rail line would be a key link connecting the proposed Carmichael coal mine to the port of Abbot Point. More importantly, this project is expected to create additional jobs and boost export of coal to India, which, in turn, will supply electricity to an estimated 100 million Indians!
 
Thus the Indo-Australian cooperation is set now on a concrete footing and much more can be expected in the near future.
 
Couple of months from now, Australia will be hosting the G-20 summit in November, in Brisbane, where, PM Modi's presence is expected with great interest.
 
In this short visit, lasting for only three days, what else can Modi and Abbott achieve?  For one thing, Modi would do well to seek full support and cooperation from Abbott to get the technology and assistance in obtaining the minting of polymer rupee currency notes to replace the easily counterfeitable rupee paper currency! Australia is the pioneer in polymer currency notes, which it introduced in its country more than 25 years ago, and many others have followed suit. India needs to join the polymer currency club! 
 
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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