Transparency is vital,A ‘duet’ for India’s urban women – 8th December 2020

  Transparency is vital A day after Pfizer sought the Indian regulator’s nod for emergency-use authorisation for its mRNA vaccine, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India has approached the regulator for a similar nod for its vaccine, Covishield, developed by Oxford University. Unlike Pfizer, AstraZeneca, which is carrying out the phase-3 trials of the Oxford […]

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Culture and peace,Tenuous tack – 7th December 2020

  Culture and peace In a strong statement at the UN General Assembly discussing resolutions of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) on the ‘Culture of Peace’. India criticised the world body for what it called “selectivity” in seeking to protect Abrahamic religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – over others. The Indian delegate pointed […]

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Trust deficit, Centre’s suggestions – 5th December 2020

  Trust deficit The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a federation of around 500 farmer organisations, has resolved to intensify its agitation against three farm laws hurriedly enacted by the Centre. After dismissing the protests as ill-informed and motivated initially, the Centre has offered to make some changes to the laws, but the farmers have now called […]

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The Iran Challenge, the Constitution’s endurance – 4th December 2020

The Iran Challenge The U.S., along with other international powers, had signed a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015 and both countries were cooperating in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq. The U.S. pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal is called, and reimposed sanctions on […]

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Castes count,Choppy tidings – 3rd December 2020

Castes count The idea of a caste census is back in the realm of public debate, following the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to establish a commission to collect caste-wise data. However, it is equally true that there is a social and legal necessity for compiling caste-wise data. The Supreme Court has been asking States to […]

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Regional priorities,Slow progress, – 2nd December 2020

Regional priorities The eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), India hosted the SCO heads of governments (HoG) meeting for the first time. The focus of the 66-point joint communiqué at the end of the virtual conference was in developing a “Plan of Priority Practical Measures for 2021-2022 to overcome the socio-economic, financial and food consequences of […]

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The perils of deregulated imperfect agrimarkets,More Mandis Needed, – 1st December 2020

The perils of deregulated imperfect agrimarkets The eruption of massive farmers’ protests across India against the Farm Acts has shocked those in the seat of power in Delhi. According to the government, many private markets will be established, middlemen would disappear, farmers would be free to sell to any buyer and farmgate prices would rise. […]

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Reaping the whirlwind,Historic recession – 30th November 2020

  Reaping the whirlwind The reforms that the Centre brought in, apparently to make the agriculture sector more efficient and lucrative in the form of three ordinances in June, have had the effect of upsetting large sections of them further. Parliament passed them into Acts in September. They have refused to move to a designated […]

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Tech tact, – 28th November 2020

Tech tact India’s decision to block another 43 Chinese mobile applications hardly comes as a surprise. The following escalation of tensions with China at the border, India has blocked over 250 Chinese mobile apps, a bunch at a time, on the grounds that they have been engaging in activities “which are prejudicial to sovereignty and […]

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Storm warnings – 27th November 2020

Storm warnings Cyclone Nivar raised fears of another epic disaster for millions of coastal residents in the south, but its passage overland near Puducherry early was less destructive than anticipated. The reported loss of at least three lives is a relatively low toll for such a large-scale weather system, although property and agriculture have suffered […]

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Banking Health and K curve Dynamics, Overboard Overboard – 25th November 2020

Diplomatic offensive A planned terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir by four men, believed to be members of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, who were gunned down by security forces. The discovery of a tunnel in the Samba sector from where the men are supposed to have infiltrated into India. The government has decided to step up […]

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Banking Health and K curve Dynamics, Overboard Overboard – 24th November 2020

Overbroad, overboard Context Kerala has sought to make amends by keeping in abeyance its obnoxious proposal to abridge free speech by conferring unbridled powers on the police to arrest anyone expressing or disseminating any matter deemed threatening, abusive, humiliating or defamatory to a person or a class of persons in any manner. But Chief Minister […]

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