The Indian press has discussed the take-aways from the founding conference of the International Solar alliance (ISA). The papers have said that the ISA could be a game changer if it balances the differing needs of its members. The Indian dailies have continued to comment on the limitless presidential term conferred upon Chinese President Xi Jinping by the Third Plenum of the Chinese parliament. The superlative performance by Indian shooters at the ISSF World Cup shooting championships has been hailed by the papers.

THE INDIAN EXPRESS in its’ editorial Here Comes the Sun writes, the Delhi Agenda, which kicked off the International Solar Alliance (ISA), is a refreshing change in global environmental diplomacy. The agenda’s 62 signatories agreed to increase the share of solar energy in their respective energy mix and the alliance plans to generate 1 TW of solar energy by 2030 — more than three times the current installed solar capacity, globally. The coalition will facilitate “joint research and development efforts” to reduce the cost of solar projects in member nations. This is a welcome departure from the times when deliberations over the transfer of climate-friendly technologies were hostage to the entrenched positions of the US, EU and developing countries. Developed countries like Australia and France partnering emerging economies like India and Brazil and small island nations like Fiji, Seychelles and Mauritius could be a potential game-changer for the renewable energy market. But therein also lies the alliance’s main challenge: Balancing the needs and the vastly different capacities of its members would require the ISA to develop robust procedures. At the core of the ISA is the understanding that the coming together of countries that get about 300 days of sunshine in a year will expand the global solar market, the bigger volumes will bring down costs, and this, in turn, will spur demand. But many of the countries have poor technological capabilities that could come in the way of their leveraging the platform.

On the endless tenure of President Xi Jinping of China, the Statesman in an editorial Xi=Mao observes, there is no mistaking that Xi is now on the same pedestal as Mao Zedong was till he passed away in 1976. Considering that the country boasts a rubber-stamp Parliament, legislative endorsement of the President’s signal of intent, made barely three weeks ago, was only to be expected. Visuals of the standing ovation by delegates as Xi stepped into the Great Hall of the People made it pretty obvious that the Head of State would be at the helm for life and not till 2023, as scheduled. Small wonder, that the momentous development to end presidential term-limits has swiftly been panned by the democratic West, which has drawn parallels with North Korea. It has even suggested that a Mao-type personality cult was germinating. A crucial difference must be that Xi has trimmed the ideological sails to the winds of change, pre-eminently with the endorsement of market economy at the party’s Third Plenum. Beijing has been equally prompt in debunking the Western praxis of governance ~ “In these years we have seen the rise and decline of countries and particularly the harsh reality that the Western political system doesn’t apply to developing countries and produces dreadful results.”

The Asian Age in apiece says, the ISSF World Cup shooting championships, which ended in Gudalajara, Mexico last weekend, could be the beginning of a golden era for India. A stellar show by young shooters like Manu Bhaker, Akhil Sheoran, Shahzar Rizvi, Om Prakash Mitharval, Anjum Moudgil and Mehuli Ghosh saw India top the medal tally for the first time in an international shooting competition. Four golds, one silver and four bronze medals was India’s medal haul — a promising sign ahead of next month’s Commonwealth Games at Australia’s Gold Coast. Our only individual Olympic gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra, is convinced that the shooters’ Mexican high noon is a harbinger of a golden future. What was stunning was that very young shooters excelled. Haryana’s Manu Bhaker, 16, stole the show at her international debut with gold in 10m air pistol. Manu, who was taken off physical combat sport by her mother, seems to have taken to shooting like a duck to water.

Script: Padam Singh, AIR: News Analyst