13.02.2018

The Indian newspapers have observed that app based technology could go a long way in the counting of tigers. The formation of a government in Germany after four months is indeed welcome say the Indian dailies. Papers have lauded the action being initiated by authorities on defaulting builders after the coming into effect of the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA)

THE PIONEER in an editorial GETTING THE NUMBERS RIGHT writes the Wildlife Institute of India’s renewed focus to re-evaluate its aims and methodology which will reflect in its capture of data on the number of tigers in the country for Census 2018 is a vital effort in India’s efforts to protect the tiger. The move will go a long way to address the apparent anomalies, especially due to human error, that were present in earlier models of estimating the presence of the big cat in the country. Indeed, the manual procedure was so obsolete that India was at the receiving end of the ire of the international community when it came to policy-making. It was not only tedious, but questions were also raised on the veracity of the numbers churned out by customs officials which many believe resulted in a flawed tiger census. Traditionally, the pugmark methodology, which identifies every tiger from its paw-prints, has been the most popular way of counting tigers but it was ultimately discarded as having no statistical integrity and was found to be lacking in accuracy. With the advancement of technology, cameras became the new tool for national tiger numbers estimates. But this system too received its share of criticism. An app-based system could however, result in better coordination among forest officials, expand coverage, avoid double counting and speed up the process as there will be real-time monitoring of data of not just the presence of tigers but also of the number of tigers who have died or been poached.

THE STATESMAN in an editorial IN-HOUSE INCEPTITUDE says, governance in Germany has been in suspended animation for the past four months. A forward movement in Berlin will be welcomed both within the country and in Europe in the wider canvas. Not least, because ‘Brexit’ and the migrants’ issue are the major challenges confronting the European Union.

Across the continent, xenophobic nationalism has militated against a consensus on the mass migration. Indeed, the absence of a government in Germany had complicated matters, and this reality reinforces the significance of the “grand coalition” deal between Mrs. Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, led by Martin Schulz. This coalition has been defined by Germany’s political class as “something close to business as usual”. It has been greeted with a sense of relief, if not celebration. Collaboration with Mrs. Merkel has denuded the German centre-left of its dynamism and identity. Mr. Schulz is standing down as party leader to become German Foreign Minister and may thus play a pivotal role in continental geopolitics. His party will also be in control of the German Finance ministry.

FINANCIAL EXPRESS in an editorial RERAS GET CRACKING opines, given how hundreds of real estate builders have got away with leaving projects incomplete, the crackdown on errant players by the Noida Authority could not have come a day too soon. On a rough reckoning there are at least three hundred thousand apartments which are yet to be handed over to their owners and in some instances—the courts are in the process of deciding the future of the projects. Which is why, the Noida Authority has done well to commission an audit of the accounts—by international agency Currie & Brown—of some 51 defaulting developers in the area. In the first phase the accounts of some 14 builders will be scrutinised for further action. The Chairman of the authority has said about a dozen builder appears to have misappropriated amounts of anywhere between Rs. 150 to Rs. 500 crore each. While initiating disciplinary action against the errant builders will be the first step, there must also be a way to get the projects finished and the apartments handed over to the owners because it is unlikely the builders would be in a position to complete the projects.

Script: Padam Singh, AIR: News Analyst