whatsapp Tuesday 21 September 2010 8:26 pm whatsapp KCS-content SOPHIE BOYD | HISCOX“If the aim is to make the system fairer, I think that removing upfront fees might well encourage students from lower income families to go to university. But ultimately they will still bear the costs, albeit at a later date.”MICHAEL GROVES | LLOYDS TSB“A graduate tax might improve social mobility in making university more accessible. However, a badly designed graduate tax could end up meaning people pay a lot more than what universities currently ask for in tuition fees.”JAMES BARTHOLEMEW | MODELZONE“It seems a bit useless to change the system to me – I don’t think itwill make a great deal of improvement so why bother going to all the effort? I don’t see how this is going to plug the higher education funding gap.” Share Show Comments ▼ Tags: NULL More From Our Partners Russell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.org CITY VIEWS: SHOULD WE REPLACE TUITION FEES WITH A GRADUATE TAX?
Finance 28th April 2020 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter GVC Holdings has agreed terms on a new revolving credit facility (RCF) worth £535m (€614.4m/$668.3m) as part of its strategy to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on its business.Agreed with existing lending banks, the facility will run on substantially the same terms as its previous RCF – which has now been cancelled – apart from a revised covenant limit. The covenant of net debt and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) will be measured on a trailing 12-month pre IFRS-16 basis, only if the facility is drawn by more than 35% at a quarter-end.For the quarter-ends, up to and including 30 September 2021, the covenant limit will be no more than six times the net debt/EBITDA, after which the limit will return to four times.The facility is currently undrawn and, according to GVC, it is in a robust financial position, with accessible cash of over £350m at 31 March. Of this amount, more than £250m is cash at hand after excluding cash in shops, ring-fenced PSP funds and other items that may not be immediately available.“Having taken early and decisive actions to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on our business, we are confident that we can achieve our target of breakeven cashflow per month during this crisis,” GVC chief financial officer Rob Wood said.“I am delighted that we have reached agreement with our key lending banks on this revised RCF, which will provide us with further financial flexibility to continue on our path of excellent growth momentum.“We remain well placed to take advantage of a range of attractive growth opportunities which we believe will be available to us.”Earlier this month, GVC said the cancellation and postponement of many major sports events around the world as a result of the coronavirus would, before any mitigating actions, reduce its EBITDA £50m per month. However, this was lower than the £100m per month GVC had initially forecast.GVC also said that as a result of this decline, average monthly cash outflow would be limited to around £15m, with the group adding it is confident further cost actions will enable it to achieve its target of reducing cashflow to break-even.Such mitigations include GVC taking advantage of the UK government scheme to award grants to business to help with employment costs, with GVC having place retail staff on furlough and on full pay. Email Address Topics: Finance Strategy GVC agrees new £535m revolving credit facility Tags: Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter GVC Holdings has agreed terms on a new revolving credit facility (RCF) worth £535m (€614.4m/$668.3m) as part of its strategy to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on its business.
Football ATP Tour Former West Indies cricket boss Dave Cameron, who is harbouring ambitions of being the next ICC chairman, envisions a cricket universe where there is more emphasis on private T20 leagues running concurrently and lesser focus on international cricket calendar.While Cameron has thrown his hat in the ring, Cricket West Indies (CWI) doesn’t support his candidature for the top post in the global body. Euro 2020, Switzerland vs Turkey LIVE: Shaqiri doubles Switzerland’s lead after Seferovic opener at HT; Follow Live Updates PUBG Mobile – Krafton IPO: PUBG Mobile promoters Krafton ready to break all records, aims 5 billion IPO Sport News TAGSCameron’s ICC visionDave CameronICC ChairmanT20 leagues SHARE Facebook Twitter Bett1Open 2021 Final: Liudmila Samsonova beats Belinda Bencic to clinch title Tokyo Olympics: BCCI provides fuel in Indian Olympic flame, to contribute Rs 10 crore Past Factory4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. 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OnlineUndoSharing his blueprint for world cricket, Cameron, who was Cricket West Indies head between 2013 and 2019, has proposed a longer IPL and wants all the T20 leagues to run concurrently like top tier football leagues like EPL, La Liga and Serie A, which start around same time.“(Playing) Test cricket should be a choice for smaller teams like Afghanistan and Ireland, it should not be mandatory,” Cameron told PTI in an exclusive interview.England’s Colin Graves is seen as the front-runner for ICC Chairman’s post and India’s Sourav Ganguly could also be in the running. At least two votes from the ICC board are needed to run for Chairmanship and Cameron said he has secured that.“I have those votes I don’t think it will change. I am still waiting hear about Ganguly’s future in the ICC. They have not finalised the election process yet,” said Cameron.Talking about his vision for world cricket, Cameron had a lot to say.“It is a vision which includes growing the game outside the sub-continent, we need to grow in China and other places. It is a plan that has to include India. Any globalisation will require investments from India (who generates 80 percent of game’s revenues).“I see longer a IPL, I see longer leagues in Australia and England. The most profitable events we have now is T20 leagues and we need to grow that, take them to places like US and grow the opportunities have more players to participate in those leagues and have less international cricket, leading to more profitability.“This thing of trying to do more ICC events is not going to help the smaller countries because there is not enough space in the calendar.”Cameron said fans only want to see competitive cricket, which also has a lot more commercial value.“For example, a team like the West Indies plays less international games in a year but their players are able to play in the best leagues around the world and then they come to play for the country.“That way players make more money, their board will not have to spend money on retaining its best players and we focus on continuous development of the sport with that money.”Asked if too much focus on the shortest format will kill ODIs and Test cricket, he said: “We are living in a capitalist world. We are trying to talk about tradition versus what the players want. The players want to be paid.“Yes Test cricket is great and it is a tradition and it will survive for another few years between the big countries (India, England, Australia) but the truth is smaller counties like Afghanistan and Ireland should not be forced to play Test cricket until they can be competitive. You are wasting resources.“Like women’s cricket, they should play only ODIs and T20s.”Cameron feels the football model doesn’t need to be followed blindly but cricket can still learn a lot from it.“A lot of T20 leagues need to run concurrently, which is not happening ow. Everybody wants to not clash with the other guys. The IPL needs to happen alongside BPL, CPL and Big Bash and the best players will get picked in the best leagues.“There will be room for everyone including the Indian players who are unsold in the IPL. They have the opportunity to play elsewhere (if BCCI allows). One has to make a decision on tradition versus profitability.”Cameron also doesn’t see commercial sense in the ongoing World Test Championship though he feels top nations can continue playing against each other. Another aspect of the game he wants reviewed is bilateral cricket.“That has to change. Right now the host keeps all the revenues. A fee has to be negotiated for the visiting team depending on its quality. The series which just finished in England, West Indies cricket did not earn a penny. That doesn’t make commercial sense.”He was also not surprised when T20 World Cup was postponed, making way for the IPL in the same window.“The IPL is way a more valuable product than the the T20 World Cup. Let’s be very clear about that.“India will make a lot more money and so as the players. The players themselves would prefer would playing in IPL than the World Cup,” he added. By Kunal Dhyani – July 30, 2020 SportSport News Football Latest Sports News Sport News ATP Tour Cameron’s ICC vision: T20 leagues running concurrently like football, less international cricket Tokyo Olympics: Dutee Chand, Hima Das among top athletes seeking direct Olympic qualification during IGP 4 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Euro 2020, Italy vs Wales LIVE: Wales begin second half in hope of equalizer; Follow Live Updates Viking Classic Birmingham 2021 Final: Ons Jabeur beats Daria Kasatkina to clinch title Esports PSL 2021 Playoffs Live: How to watch PSL 2021 Playoffs LIVE streaming in your country, India Previous articleCricket-PCB expects England to ‘do the right thing’ in 2022Next articleNBA LIVE: Wizards vs Suns Live stream, watch online, Schedules, Date, India time, Live Link Kunal DhyaniSports Tech enthusiast, he reports on Sports Tech industry and writes on sports products. 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Covid-19 has impacted many FTSE 100 stocks, and the car insurance company Admiral Group (LSE:ADM) is no exception. With most people stuck at home during lockdowns, the number of cars on the road fell significantly. As a result, the level of insurance claims made fell to an all-time low as well. While this may seem like good news for the business, it also enabled competitors to lower their prices in an attempt to undercut and steal market share.The reduced performance ultimately led to the FTSE 100 stock cancelling its dividends in early 2020. But despite the increased pricing pressure, total customer numbers grew by 6% in 2020. And dividends have been reinstated. So, is Admiral a dividend stock I should buy for my income portfolio? Let’s take a look.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…A leader in UK car insuranceAdmiral Group is a worldwide provider of insurance services. It offers home, travel, and motor insurance, with most of its customers buying the latter. In fact, the motor insurance option is so popular that it has become one of the UK’s largest car insurance companies.Over the years, the company has built a portfolio of over 30 brands as well as starting its own financing services and law firm to provide legal protection for customers during claims. Combined, Admiral is now serving more than 7.1 million customers, most of them based in the UK.What’s even more encouraging is the findings of a survey taken in early 2020 by Admiral. It revealed that 94% of its customers who made a claim last year would renew their policy. To me, this is an indicator that Admiral is providing high-quality customer service that may enable it to retain customers even if it can’t provide the cheapest possible price.The FTSE 100 dividend stock has its risksOperating an insurance company can be a risky business. Especially when it comes to motor insurance, which can have exceptionally-high-cost bodily injury claims. In some cases, the premium paid by customers may not cover the expenses incurred by them. In such cases, the firm has to pay out of its own pocket to cover the fees.To offset this risk, Admiral, like many other insurance companies, uses its enormous cash flows from monthly premiums to fund long- and short-term investments in the bond and stock markets. Then it uses the investment returns to cover the excess costs of claim expenses.But this subsequently exposes the firm to market risk. There are significant regulatory restrictions in place to prevent insurance companies from making risky investments. But any volatility in the market is bad news for the firm and could jeopardise the shareholder dividend. The market crash in 2020 is proof of that.Should I buy the dividend stock?When looking to invest in dividend stocks, a consistent track record is something I like to see. And in my opinion, Admiral has just that.More cars are getting back on the road. And the business appears to be providing high-quality customer service that will help to improve its renewal rates. Therefore, Admiral looks like it could be a good addition to my dividend portfolio. Especially since analyst forecasts indicate, the dividend yield will rise to 6% in 2021. Zaven Boyrazian | Saturday, 27th February, 2021 | More on: ADM Zaven Boyrazian does not own shares in Admiral Group. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Admiral Group. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Click here to claim your free copy of this special investing report now! I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. See all posts by Zaven Boyrazian Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares In my search for dividend stocks this week I also stumbled across these five companies. Here is: Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. FTSE 100 stocks: is Admiral Group a dividend stock I’d buy? 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Using smoke and mirrors in Afghanistan, the Obama administration is seeking to convince the world that there will be “an eventual drawdown” of U.S. and NATO forces. A closer look at U.S. imperialism’s strategic goals of a “pivot to Asia” reveals that the 15-year war’s goals include obtaining an economic foothold in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders Iran, Pakistan, China, and the rich oil and gas resources of the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Afghan villagers sit near the bodies of children killed during a U.S.-led NATO airstrike in Kunar province on April 7, 2013.This geopolitical strategy is consistent with the so-called New Silk Road Policy announced by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011 with the object of gaining economic hegemony over Russia, China and Iran. The U.S. occupation of Afghanistan has always been a profit-driven war of economic conquest and plunder. Since 2001, U.S. foreign policy has aimed at regime change in that region to bring in governments subservient to U.S. interests. By passing the “Authorization for Use of Military Force” resolution soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, events, Congress allowed the president to bypass congressional authorization for declaring war. This facilitated U.S. interventions throughout the region against any government it deemed an obstacle to imperialist interests.In an interview with USA Today on Dec. 29, Army Gen. John Campbell exposed the truth about the so-called withdrawal from Afghanistan: “My intent would be to keep as much as I could for as long as I could.” Campbell said he was confident the Obama administration would go along with his assessments: “Every time I have gone to the President and said, ‘I need X,’ I have been very, very fortunate that he’s provided that. So he has been very flexible.” This “flexibility” has cost the working class and the oppressed $1 trillion dollars for 15 years of this unjust and criminal occupation of Afghanistan. Before transferring out of his command, Gen. Campbell testified and told Congress that Afghanistan still needed U.S. support at the same level and would need it for years. The Obama administration reacted by increasing ground troops and drone attacks in Afghanistan.Human costs of the warThe enormous waste of human lives, especially among Afghan civilians, is the price paid for continuing this war. In October of 2015, Washington announced a reversal of its “exit strategy.” The Pentagon will keep the level of ground troops, excluding “Special Operation Units,” to approximately 10,000. This was also to be accompanied by greater reliance on air strikes by traditional aircraft and the intensification of the use of drones. The result of the increase in the use of U.S. airpower was demonstrated with the horrific attack last October on the hospital in Kunduz operated by Doctors Without Borders. There, a U.S. AC-130 Flying Gunship killed 42 patients and staff. Doctors Without Borders demanded an independent investigation of this atrocity, which they described as a war crime. Overall, the number of civilian deaths and casualties has reached a staggering and numbing amount: from 2001, the beginning of the U.S. invasion, to the present, the number of civilians killed has been 26,000 and 29,000 wounded. Overall, the wars of aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have killed approximately 210,000 civilians, according to the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University, while other sources estimate this number as being much higher, especially with regard to the casualties in Iraq.U.S. forces have suffered approximately 2,326 deaths and 20,083 maimed and wounded in Afghanistan. Civilian contractors employed by the U.S. have had 1,173 fatalities. Among both Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans there is an average of 22 suicides a day, besides thousands of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, statistical breakdowns for 2014-2015)Despite the continuation of a U.S. presence, Washington has been losing out in Afghanistan. Units from both the Afghan army and police forces are defecting to the insurgents and some have been turning their weapons on their officers and on U.S. instructors.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
April 27, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out more ChinaAsia – Pacific Organisation to go further News Reporters Without Borders has strongly condemned the continued detention of Chinese researcher on the New York Times, Zhao Yan who has been held in custody by state security since his arrest on 17 September 2004.He was formally placed under arrest on 20 October and has been charged with “leaking state secrets”, a crime punishable with the death penalty, and also with “fraud” which allows him to be kept in detention for seven extra months.”Unfortunately this is not the first time that the Chinese authorities have treated a journalist in this way,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “But this hounding of a contributor to the international media illustrates the impunity with which the Chinese secret services feel free to act. The very serious charges laid against Zhao Yan have created a climate of fear among Chinese journalists working for foreign media,” it added.Zhao, who has still not been allowed to see his family, has been accused of informing the American newspaper of Jiang Zemin’s retirement from politics before his official announcement. The New York Times however has insisted that Zhao Yan did not have the facts.The 42-year-old journalist, who is being held in a cell at the state security detention centre in Beijing, has lost ten kilos in weight and is reportedly very depressed. The prison authorities have refused him some medical treatment.His file was sent by the prosecutor’s office to state security in July with a call for further investigation. Some local sources said that the initial investigation had been ordered by President Hu Jintao, outraged at the report that was carried in the New York Times.On 17 September 2004, state security agents picked up Zhao Yan in a Shanghai restaurant after pinpointing his whereabouts from his mobile phone. A former reporter on China Reform magazine, Zhao produced a number of reports on the plight of peasants in China.Thirty other journalists are currently imprisoned in the country. News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on China RSF_en September 16, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 New York Times researcher Zhao Yan marks one year in custody Reporters Without Borders condemns the prolonged detention of Zhao Yan (photo), a Chinese researcher for The New York Times who has now spent a year in prison on charges of fraud and divulging state secrets. Held in Beijing since 17 September 2004, he has lost 10 kilos and is being refused medical treatment. He has also never been allowed a visit from his family. March 12, 2021 Find out more ChinaAsia – Pacific China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes News China’s Cyber Censorship Figures News Receive email alerts
Organisation Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU LithuaniaEurope – Central Asia News Help by sharing this information RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” News to go further Follow the news on Lithuania Receive email alerts May 28, 2021 Find out more “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says LithuaniaEurope – Central Asia Reporters Without Borders is deeply dismayed that the journalist Gintaras Visockas, faces imminent imprisonment unless he pays expensive legal costs incurred when he was convicted in March of libelling an Lithuanian army general.The case was brought against Visockas, editor of the news website slaptai.lt (“secret.lt”), by the ex-general Česlovas Jezerskas over an article in which he was alleged to have suggested the former officer has been controled by the KGB. The journalist reported that Jezerskas was regarded as a master of martial arts, a discipline that used to be associated with the former Russian secret service.In a grotesque ruling, a court in Vilnius sentenced the journalist to a fine of 15,000 euros for defamation and awarded costs of 17,000 euros against him, a decision based on the curious logic that “the facts revealed by the journalist are admittedly true, but could be misinterpreted or misunderstood by readers”.Visockas has refused to pay and could face at least 40 days in prison unless he settles the legal costs in the next few days.“There is no proof to support this court ruling,” Visockas said. “There has been no opinion poll to prove that my words could be misunderstood by some people. I am now regarded as a criminal while the court itself admits that what I published was the plain truth.”Reporters Without Borders offers its full support to Visockas who for months has had to face the consequences of a senseless court decision.If, as everyone agrees, the facts are true, there is no libel. The court cannot take the place of readers who are able to form their own opinions based on verified information.The links between former members or employees of the Soviet army and the KGB are in no way a taboo subject and should be freely investigated.Lithuania, as a member of the European Union, has an exemplary duty to do so. The court’s surreal decision weakens this duty and implies that certain chapters of history should not be opened.The disproportionately large fine puts considerable pressure on journalists who may want to tackle this subject. The application of such a decision could lead to self-censorship on a topic that is clearly of public concern.In addition, we are extremely surprised by the strange lack of response on the part of the court of cassation to the appeal application lodged by Visockas, when it could have quickly put an end to this masquerade.The Lithuanian justice system must urgently take up the case again and come to the only logical conclusion – a complete and immediate acquittal.Visockas has already put the case before the European Court of Human Rights, but it will not be able to issue a ruling in time to prevent him from going to prison.We shall be paying close attention to any decisions affecting the case, which should be swiftly concluded. November 14, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist faces imminent jail unless he pays fine in libel case News News RSF_en June 2, 2021 Find out more May 27, 2021 Find out more
Email NewsPresident of Mary Immaculate College to be Awarded Honorary DoctorateBy Guest Writer – May 17, 2013 802 Twitter 1,000 students conferred at Mary Immaculate College United States high school winners of Limerick International Band Championship Linkedin WhatsApp Students’ work showcased at MIC exhibition Limerick DNA project provides blueprint for Irish family history Advertisement Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Print Prof Michael A HayesTHE President of Mary Immaculate College to be Awarded Honorary DoctorateProf Michael A Hayes is to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (L.H.D) from De Sales University, Pennsylvania, USA this weekend.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up De Sales University is a private Catholic university situated in Center Valley, with a student population similar in size to MIC, and administered by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. During the ceremony, De Sales President, Father Bernard O’Connor, OSFS, will confer degrees upon 414 graduating students, including Prof Hayes.Prof Hayes, who was appointed President of MIC in October 2011, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark in South East England. Born in Limerick in 1957, his secondary education took place at St Munchin’s College Limerick. He went on to study at St Patrick’s Pontifical College in Maynooth, Ireland, before moving to the United Kingdom, where he lived and worked from 1980 to 2011 until his move back to Limerick. He was nominated by the Colleges of Education in Ireland to the Teaching Council of Ireland in April 2012.Prof Hayes is an internationally respected academic in the field of pastoral theology and is particularly interested in the relationship between faith and praxis. He is also a qualified psychotherapist—having studied at the London Institute of Psychosynthesis. He holds a bachelor of divinity from the Pontifical University of Maynooth, a master of arts from the University of London, and a doctor of philosophy from the University of Surrey.In addition to his duties with the Archdiocese of Southwark and as President of MIC, Prof. Hayes is the editor The Pastoral Review, an international journal published in London by The Tablet. Previous articleAwards for Limerick fashion studentsNext articleA homecoming for DruidMurphy Guest Writerhttp://www.limerickpost.ie TAGSDe Sales UniversityPennsylvaniaPresident of Mary Immaculate CollegeProf Michael A Hayes
WhatsApp Twitter TAGS High Speed Chase Ector County Sheriff deputy Zachary Dennis, left, escorts the suspect of a high speed chase to a patrol unit early Tuesday morning on 7th Street. The chase took place all over town and lasted nearly an hour. The chase ended at the intersection of Tom Green Avenue and 7th Street. Odessa Police Department laid spike strip that blew the tires near 2nd Street and Dixie Avenue. By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 Previous articleLos Angeles Lakers waive 2-time champion guard Quinn CookNext articleGOOD NEWS: Sul Ross grad student connects WWII airman with lifesaving history Digital AIM Web Support Facebook WhatsApp Local NewsLaw Enforcement Twitter Pinterest Facebook Pinterest
ColumnsThe Draft EIA Notification 2020 Is A Desperate Attempt To Dilute The Existing Environmental EIA Regulations Parul Gupta8 May 2020 10:07 PMShare This – xQuite recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has come up with a new Draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 that proposes to supersede the existing regulations of 2006. The draft notification which is currently at the stage of public comments, primarily appears to be regressive as it intends to bring significant changes by…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginQuite recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has come up with a new Draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 that proposes to supersede the existing regulations of 2006. The draft notification which is currently at the stage of public comments, primarily appears to be regressive as it intends to bring significant changes by minimizing the existing levels of environment protection. Though EIA was initially introduced in India for river valley projects during the 1970’s. The process only got streamlined after the Rio Declaration in the year 1992 which laid down principles for undertaking EIA for proposed activities likely to have a significant impact on the environment, also focusing on the inclusiveness of effective public participation in the decision-making process. In the year 1994 the first legislation on EIA was brought into effect which made environment clearance mandatory for 32 categories of developmental projects. This was later replaced with the EIA Notification, 2006 which provides a more detailed and comprehensive procedure for the projects to obtain clearance. The existing EIA regulations provide for grant of ‘prior’ Environment Clearance for setting up of new projects or for expansion or modernisation of existing projects in terms of Schedule 1 given in the notification. It categorises various developmental projects and activities into Category ‘A’ and Category ‘B’ depending on their threshold capacity and potential environmental impacts. Projects under Category A are dealt by the MoEFCC at the central level while Category B by the State Expert Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) at the state level. The notification explicitly provides four stages: (i) Screening: Category B projects are scrutinised by the State Level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) in order to determine as to whether the same requires to undergo preparation of EIA studies depending upon the ‘nature’ and ‘location specificity’ of the project, projects requiring EIA are then categorised as B1 and the remaining as B2); (ii) Scoping: Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) or SEAC determines detailed and comprehensive Terms of Reference (TOR) addressing all relevant environmental concerns for preparation of EIA studies; (iii) Public Consultation: Concerns of people are recorded through written responses and public hearing in the affected area; and (iv) Appraisal: Detailed scrutiny of EIA report and other related documents including outcome of public consultations is undertaken by the EAC/SEAC for recommendation of grant or rejection of the EC. The EIA is an interconnected mechanism of various stages where each stage plays an important role. Any compromise with the quality of the EIA study, non-disclosure of relevant information or non-application of mind by the Expert Committees has a cascading effect on the entire process which could prove to be disastrous for the environment. It is therefore necessary that the provisions of EIA which are substantial and mandatory in nature must be followed in essence keeping in view the precautionary principle. The proposed draft notification however, is a fundamental departure from the existing regulations. Sweeping Exemptions to Projects The draft notification places a wide range of projects under category B2 and exempts the same from undergoing all the relevant stages of EIA including screening, scoping, public consultation and appraisal. It proposes that all projects under this category (Except building and construction projects of more than 50,000 sq. mtrs. to 1,50,000 sq. mtrs.) will be directly dealt with by the Regulatory authority without referring the same to the SEAC. A careful analysis of Schedule I shows that some of the projects which are currently mentioned under Category A and B1 (for eg. irrigation projects between 2,000 to 10,000 CCA is currently under B1 category) have been placed under B2 in the proposed notification. This kind of exemption is unjustified and arbitrary as it allows projects to go ahead without any assessment and scrutiny by the expert committee. Further, withdrawing the requirement of public consultation implies preventing people from raising their objections and suppressing their involvement in the decision making process. Dilution of Scoping The draft notification proposes similar dilutions in the process of scoping . It provides that the proposals for grant of TOR will be referred to the appraisal committee by the regulatory authority within 30 days from the date of EC application. However, it places a condition that if the regulatory authority does not refer the matter within the said period, then standard TOR will be issued to the project. The standard ToR which are only indicative in nature cannot form the basis of the EIA without any scientific and technical deliberation of the EAC/SEAC on the various aspects of the project. It is important to highlight that though the decision making power rests with the regulatory authority which decides to grant or reject the EC proposal, the same is based upon the recommendation of the EAC/SEAC which performs the most significant and important functions. It is the appraisal committee which decides as to whether the standard TOR’s are sufficient for preparation of the EIA or if there is a need to impose additional TOR’s considering the magnitude and location of the project which vary from case to case. The expert committees also reserves its right to reject a proposal at Scoping stage if the same is found to be environmentally unsustainable. If the projects are cleared and made operational without any analysis by the experts, it would certainly cause serious prejudice to the environment and ecology of the country. Compromise on the standards The draft notification also attempts to facilitate project proponents in several ways such as allowing collection of baseline data 3 years prior to issuance of TOR, reducing notice period for public consultation from 30 to 20 days, relaxing provisions for submissions of self- compliance reports from six monthly to yearly, replacing mandatory requirement of EIA with a ‘No increase in pollution load certificate’ for modernisation projects etc. In addition to this, the draft notification goes one step forward and attempts to legalise the violations committed by the project proponents. Under the proposed notification, projects which have already started construction or commenced operations without obtaining the necessary clearances can be allowed to go ahead subject to submission of a penalty amount. Such practices of the Ministry of normalizing the illegalities committed by the project proponent by creating ‘fait accompli’ have been discouraged by the NGT and the Supreme Court (Alembic Pharmaceuticals v. Rohit Prajapati; Assn. for Environment Protection v. State of Kerala; Common Cause v Union of India) and are against the constitutional and statutory mandate. It is noteworthy that ease of doing business has been one of the priority agenda of the Ministry for quite some time. However, executing the same by substantially diluting the current the framework appears to be a matter of grave concern. Where environmental laws are required to be more stringent keeping in view the present climate crisis, the Ministry attempts to do just the opposite by relaxing the procedures to give fast track clearances to the industries, even if the same is to the detriment of the environment and public health. If the proposed notification is put into effect, it would certainly lead to unscientific and unsustainable development putting the environment at stake. On the one hand, the Government is committing itself to international conventions to reduce its carbon footprint while on the other hand it backtracks from it by weakening the existing levels of the environment protection. Where right to life and healthy environment is enshrined as a fundamental right under Article 21, the government must aim for the constant progress of protecting the same. Any changes to the contrary is unconstitutional. The author is an advocate practicing at the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi and Legal Advisor with Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation. Click here to see a detailed review of the Draft EIA Notification 2020 submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Comments can be submitted till 30th June 2020. Next Story