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The world’s anxieties on the not-so-peaceful rise of China has registered another flashpoint - the monopolisation of ‘rare earths’ - a critical component in computer memory chips, smartphones, EV batteries, among others, by that country. The Print explains why the minerals are deemed so critical that the ‘Quad’ summit between India, Australia, Japan and the US, last week, discussed joining hands to build a rare-earth procurement chain to counter Chinese dominance.

The ongoing farmer protests in India has provoked comments from a number of international celebrities, activists and governments. The criticism has clearly received a split verdict in India with the Indian government clearly not considering it kosher. The heat on the issue was raked one step higher last week when the British Parliament deemed it fit to debate the issue, and New Delhi summoned the British High Commissioner to administer a rebuke. Mojo Story debates the nuances of the issue and asks if it was “plain interference in internal affairs” as construed by the government, or if in a globalised international system, India should take criticism from fellow democracies in its stride and stop being unduly prickly.

Reports of China’s decision to build a dam across the Brahmaputra has raised concerns of acute water shortages in India’s northeast, the lower riparian region. Swarajya explains that while the fears about water shortages may be exaggerated, it does give rise to other concerns, including impact on the environment.

Imphal Free Press reports on concerns of environmentalists on the Manipur government’s decision to “develop” the water bodies in Lamphelpat, one of the biggest wetlands located in Imphal, without a deeper scientific and environmental scrutiny.

And The Caravan reports on the advent of a wave of young environmental activists and groups, who have been so vigorous in their scrutiny of the adverse impact of mining, deforestation and the erosion of wetlands that even big businesses, often the targets of their ire, have begun to take note.

For these stories and more from the Foundation’s grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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What are rare earths, why they are strategically critical & how China monopoly is an issue for Quad

As the leaders of the ‘Quad’- a grouping of India, Japan, Australia and the US met for a summit last week, The Print looks at their agenda of building a supply chain of ‘rare earths’ to counter China’s monopoly in the minerals. ‘Rare earths’ are critical for most modern applications - mobile phones, cars, airplanes, missiles, radars etc.

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India tells UK, Mind Your Own Business | Farmers Protests | Barkha Dutt

Last week the discussion of the on-going farmer protests in India in the British Parliament caused outrage in India. New Delhi called in the British High Commissioner and registered its protest at the “gross interference in the politics of another democratic country". However, there are others who take the position that India should take these criticisms in its stride and squarely address the issue. Mojo Story debates the issue.

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Explained: Why China’s New Dam On Brahmaputra May Not Cause Water Shortage In Northeast But Is Still A Concern For India

China’s plans to build a dam in Tibet across the Brahmaputra has stoked fears in India of causing acute water shortage in India’s Northeast, especially Assam, the lower riparian region. Swarajya argues that while the fears are a fallacy as the Brahmaputra is not completely dependent on the upstream flows from the Tibetan region, there are environmental and other concerns which are real.

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Experts concerned over government’s Lamphelpat wetland restoration project in Imphal

Imphal Free Press reports on the concerns of environmentalists on the Manipur government’s decision to develop water bodies in Lamphelpat, one of the biggest wetlands located in Manipur’s capital, Imphal, closely identified with the state’s history and culture. The project, costing Rs 650 cr, needs further scientific and environmental scrutiny, experts feel.

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The young environmental groups leading India’s new climate activism

The Caravan reports on a new and rising wave of youth-led climate justice and environmental movements. Leveraging the social media space vigorously, they have reinvigorated activism against coal mining, deforestation and depletion of wetlands. The movements have been so vigorous that the even big corporates have begun to take note.

Read Here

More from the grantees
Will the Internet FLoC to Google’s Standards‪?‬‬‬‬‬‬
Takshashila Institute's policy analysts discuss how people's online experiences will change after Google decided to disallow third-party tracking cookies on its applications and introduce new standards that only allow advertisers to target groups of people instead of individuals.
Can solar power initiatives provide sustainable self-employment?
India Development Review analyses the shortcomings of solar power schemes that aim to generate employment and how they can better achieve their objectives.
Construction Mud Puts Settlements on the Edge of Eviction in Yamuna Khadar
The Bastion reports on the precarious lives of people in the informal settlements of Delhi’s Yamuna Khadar, where on occasions people are given only 30 minutes to vacate their homes, with no promise of rehabilitation.
Research Radio Ep 19: Can Hospitals Play a Role in Preventing Domestic Violence?
EPW dwells into how the public health system, which is supposed to provide girls and women with care and rehabilitation, besides documenting and providing evidence of the violence, can be improved to prevent incidence of domestic violence.
India And The First World War
Live History India brings you the stories behind India Gate and Amar Jawan Jyoti to highlight the efforts of about 1.5 million soldiers and non-combatants who served Britain in the first world war.
COVID-19: Women issues found little space in print media, finds study
Down to Earth reports on a study that found that livelihood issues of women in the formal as well as informal sectors were under-reported by the Indian print media during the pandemic lockdown. The study found that only 4.8 per cent of the news stories monitored had anything of significance with regard to women and gender issues.
भिल्ल समाजाची घरासाठीची परवड कधी थांबणार?
The Bhils, a tribal community, have played a vital part in India’s freedom struggle in Maharashtra. But today the fruits of development seem to have bypassed them. Max Maharashtra reports on the plight of Bhil communities in Aurangabad.
चित्रकूट: बाल विवाह बिगाड़ रहा महिलाओं का स्वास्थ्य | KhabarLahariya
Despite strict laws against child marriages, the practice continues. Khabar Lahariya speaks to women who, married in their teenage years, suffer from anemia and a host of health issues.
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