Column

BE CAREFUL

PRIME Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has hit the nail on the head by attribution the surge in coronavirus infection in the country to widespread negligence about COVID-19 among people. India was among the first countries to impose a lockdown when the first wave hit the world. It helped in breaking the chain of the pandemic and bailed out the country from a perceived deep crisis. However, as the battle against the virus enters the final phase..

Post Pandemic World

THE impact of COVID-19 crisis on the lives of children in India has been far worse than most of the countries of the world, because the country’s share in the global burden was already unacceptably high in the beginning of the pandemic. With neonatal mortality of 590,000 per year India was accounting 23 per cent, under 5 mortality of 960,000 accounting 17 per cent, and stunting of 47.7 million children accounting 27 per cent of the global burden...

'NORMAL' IN US

AFTER the acrimonious electoral fight for Presidency between Mr. Donald Trump and Mr. Joe Biden stretched beyond levels of tolerance over the final outcome, a ‘new’ normal is in the offing for the United States of America. Though he has not conceded defeat Mr. Trump has finally agreed to begin transition process for President-elect Joe Biden “in the best interest of our country”. This has ended weeks of speculation and weighing of various options to get the transition in place. The Biden administration ..

WISDOM DAWNS

FINALLY, wisdom seems to have dawned on the lawmakers in Kerala as the State Government wisely decided to gauge the general mood and put on hold the controversial Kerala Police Amendment ordinance. The new amendment had been introduced in the garb of curbing cyber bullying, insulting or disgracing any individuals, especially w..

Nagrota: JeM’s Failed Bid

THE killing of four heavily-armed terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) --Masood Azhar’s jihadist outfit -- in an encounter by the J&K Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on November 19, at the Ban Toll Plaza near Nagrota has exposed Pakistan’s fresh offensive to sabotage the Valley’s first major democratic exercise. The incident has taken place just a few days ahead of the eight-phased elections for all the 20 District Development Councils (DDCs) in Jammu and Kashmir, slated between ..

TIMELY CHEER

EVEN as multiple States opt for the lockdown mode to contain rising coronavirus cases in what is being termed as the second wave of the pandemic, a ray of hope is on the horizon with the positive results from clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines. After Pfizer and Moderna claimed almost 95 per cent success in their vaccine trials, another major player in the business, Oxford AstraZeneca, has said its vaccine has shown efficacy of around 90 per cent in interim analysis of clinical trials...

THE HITMAN

A MAJOR talking point of the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) was the fitness of opener Rohit Sharma, who was declared injured by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) while leaving him out of the Australia-bound team. Sharma surprised all by turning up for his franchise Mumbai Indians and also led them to title. Now undergoing rehab in the National Cricket Academy (NCA) under the watchful eye of Rahul Dravid,..

Wall Street Worried

WITH their plan to steal the election by having ballots disqualified failing in court after court, President Trump and his legal team are switching gears. His lawyer Rudy Giuliani is now pivoting to a strategy of delaying the final vote count and certification in as many States as possible in order to cast doubt on President-elect Joe Biden’s decisive victory. Giuliani has reportedly told Trump and a team of advisors that the new goal is to pressure Republican..

STAY TOGETHER

WORLD leaders at the G20 Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia have advocated for a unified approach to tackle some pressing issues haunting humanity. Two of the biggest problems that have not spared any country are COVID-19 and climate change. Dealing with the twin problems would entail a calibrated, cogent and cohesive response from the world community, keeping aside their political and geographical disagreements aside for the sake of larger human good...

Obligation To Explain

IN THE judgement of the case – Jayantilal Verma v. State of MP (Now Chhattisgarh), delivered on November 19, 2020, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Hrishikesh Roy, at the Supreme Court, have ruled that in the case of death of wife Sahodarabai in privacy of house, onus is on the residents of the house to give plausible explanation regarding the cause of death in the statement recorded under Section 313 of the CrPC and mere denia..

FACE-OFF

A TEAM that has men with the ability to knock over 20 opposition wickets can only claim superiority in Test cricket. The longest form of the game is as simple as this logic. The difficult part is marshalling those capable men in conditions and surroundings that are way too different from what they are bred upon. Winning overseas is as simple as that! As India begin their test of character in the Australia series, their success hinges on the bowlers who are up for the tough challenge...

The King Kohli prophesy

A brace of ‘Nostramadus’ — not Nostradamus — predictions that had evaded the radar of most scholars, or specialists, has just been revealed. They detail, with veiled dexterity, certain effusive ‘gems,’ that were lost in antiquity, while presaging the classy virtuosity of contemporary cricket’s most exciting batting machine. Here’s one such maxim:..

Bihar Verdict Boosts BJP

THE Bihar verdict has compelled many political commentators to wonder how come the incumbent National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of JD(U) was able to come back to power again amid the coronavirus pandemic. After all, it’s a fact that the Nitish Government failed to address the worst migrant crisis in recent times that the State had to face during this pandemic. The Biharis working in other States were forced to move out during the lockdown to reach back ..

IN READINESS

IN ANOTHER sign of its strong resolve to counter the aggressive moves by China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian Army completed establishments of habitat facilities for all troops deployed in eastern Ladakh. Availability of the upgraded habitat is a tactical move to ensure operational efficiency of the troops in the harsh winter months that see temperatures plummeting to minus 30-40 degrees Celsius coupled with snowfall up to 40 feet. Troops in the front-line are likely to remain ..

Biden’s Bonding With India

INDIA-FRIENDLY Joe Biden’s ascendency to the top job in the United States means a lot for India, especially in the area of trade and economic relations as the country is looking for large foreign investments from diplomatic allies to grow its domestic industry and boost employment. Contrary to the official data on sources of FDI inflows into India from April 2000 to December 2019, putting the USA as the fifth largest investor after ..

HOPE FLOATS

AS THE global race to find cure for the coronavirus reaches a critical stage, hope has started floating in the form of latest announcements by pharmaceutical giants about vaccines’ readiness. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have claimed 95 per cent effectiveness of their COVID-19 vaccine that protects older age group people from falling prey to the pandemic. Moderna, the other American pharma behemoth, has also released 94..

‘Impaired’ Organ!

INDIA’S reminder to the United Nations to initiate a decisive movement to achieve the long-delayed reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) should set the process in motion rather than making it a platform for futile debates. Mr. T S Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, used the right expressions to make his lament known to the powerful body that seems to have been caught in a time warp and keeps paying mere lip..

Economic Theory & Covid

The COVID pandemic is the result of imbalance between the unlimited needs of consumption of humankind and the limited resources of nature. The Inter-Governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services says that opening up ecosystems where the fauna was never before in touch with humans so cl..

NAIL THE GANG

THE conglomerate of various regional and national political outfits in the form of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has all elements driven by the only vicious agenda of keeping Jammu & Kashmir under their control, far from mainstream India, for their personal gains. By terming the alliance as a Gang of people with deep-roo..

RIGHT STAND

BY STAYING away from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which formed the biggest free trade agreement in the world, India has made its point amply clear that it would do anything to safeguard interests of domestic businesses. There was a big push till last year to join the 15-nation multilateral economic partnership but India opted out at the last minute over lack of clarity in protection against import surge and no credible assurances on market access and non-tariff barriers. ..

Govt’s eye on OTT

SINCE the first talked-about Made in India Over-the-top (OTT) content, Sacred Games, featured on Netflix in June 2018, there has been hue and cry about the kind of content that was peddled in the name of home entertainment. The feature was everything that the CBFC would have rejected after watching the first few minutes. Just about everybody who watched it found it gory, macabre replete with foul words, violence sans reason with overdose o..

The Guide

GEOPOLITICAL churning at a rapid pace has made many nations forge healthy alliances with the idea of peace and prosperity. At the core of these ideas is non-violence which forms the basic philosophy of Indianness. The Indian philosophy is what the world is seeking now for the path of peace, non-violence and fraternity. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s assertion that “for this guidance the world is once again looking towards India” is a proud observation ..

Concede, I Won’t!

CONCEDE: This weak-looking word needs a lot of strength to pull off. And who could’ve told that it would be an election in the great country of the United States of America that will bring us face to face with the power of the word? Though it may look so at present but conceding isn’t Mr Donald Trump’s problem alone. The word has trumped each one of us in one way or the other on so many occasions, hasn’t it? The dictionary says concede accurately means..

AN ICON EXITS

AN EXPONENT of remarkable versatility is only bestowed with a radiance that keeps audience captivated beyond the realms of age and time. Soumitra Chatterjee’s long innings as a colossus of Bengali cinema is a wonderful story of a virtuoso breaking the barriers of art and language to make a permanent place in the hall of celluloid greatness..

One Country, One System

ONE Hong Kong lawmaker, Claudia Mo, said it was “the death-knell of Hong Kong’s democracy fight.” But she was part of it: One of the fifteen remaining pro-democracy members of the Legislative Council (Legco) who resigned on Thursday in protest at the expulsion of four other democratically elected members of the pseudo-Parliament. Wu Chi-wai, speaking for the fifteen who resigned, tweeted that “‘One country, two systems’ in Hong Kong has come to an end.” That is true, and it is regrettable, but it’s ..

HABITUAL LIAR

WHENEVER the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) wing of the Pakistan Army comes hand-in-hand with the so-called civic government in Islamabad for a media briefing, a funny show of lies, skullduggery and tomfoolery is played out peddling figments of imagination in a bid to win over domestic audience and divert attention from the mess at home. A dossier has now been presented by Pakistan Foreign Minister Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Army spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar claiming Indian role in ..

Transfer Of Matrimonial Case

IN THE Order passed in the matrimonial case- Shruti Kaushal Bisht v. Kaushal R. Bisht on November 6, 2020, Justice V. Ramasubramanian, at the Supreme Court, has considered that the claim of the wife Shruti that she is not receiving maintenance, has not been disputed, therefore considering the fact that the marriage was also solemnised in Delhi the wife’s petition for ..

FOCAL POINT

MEDIA in Australia is in a tizzy over Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s limited appearance in the tour Down Under. Kohli is set to leave for home on a paternity leave after the first Test, a step that has been much appreciated by the cricket world. Being with the family at an important juncture is a right well earned by the Indian captain. However, it is his availabili..

Biden’s Economic Priorities

 The PRO Act would remove many of the roadblocks the courts, the National Labour Relations Board, and corporate criminals have used for more than 70 years to destroy unions and reduce workers to serfdom.CONGRESSIONAL passage of the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the most pro-worker rewrite of US labour laws since the original 1935 National Labour Relations Act, is high among Democratic President-Elect Joe Biden’s economic priorities, assuming he successfully takes office on January. ..

READY TO HOST

 BUOYED by the resounding success of the ‘special edition’ of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced it readiness to host the 2021 edition of the ICC T20 World Cup next October-November. The confidence stems from the wonderful arrangements put in place for the franchisee tournament amid the dangers of COVID-19 pandemic. That the IPL went off without any big incident is a tribute to the ..

OF IDEOLOGIES

  THE Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has received a rich addition to its prestigious campus with the unveiling of the statue of Swami Vivekananda at the hands of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Swami Vivekananda was the epitome of courage and compassion and a great champion of national cause, towering over personal ideologies and beliefs. When the Prime Minister invoked the philosophy of peaceful coexistence of ideologies for the larger benefit of the country, he made a significant ..

RELIEF

AFTER a lengthy cartwheeling of legal procedure at various levels the Supreme Court has, thankfully, restored sanity to the entire episode of political witch hunting played out in Maharashtra by granting bail to Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV and high-profile journalist Mr. Arnab Goswami in an old abetment to suicide case. It was the good fortune of Mr. Goswami that the apex court rightfully stepped in and granted him relief in an episode th..

Trump’s Legacy

E VERY world leader leaves behind a legacy. What kind of legacy has US President Donald Trump left? His successor Joe Biden has now inherited some bad and some good policies, which he has to tackle. A Reuter’s report sums up Trump’s legacy thus: “Saying that he knew best what ailed America and often governing by executive order, President Donald Trump dismantled or disrupted multilateral pacts, overhauled tax and immigration systems and, with the help of Senate Republicans, reshaped the judiciary. ..

Be on guard

THERE are strong indications of India and China finding a negotiated settlement to the seven-month-long border stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Multiple rounds of military and diplomatic talks have finally initiated the process of breaking the ice and agreeing on a step-wise disengagement of troops and withdrawal of artillery from major friction points in eastern Ladakh. While these are still early days to take the indications as a concrete decision on pulling back troops and weapons ..

CLEAN IT UP

THE attempt by Municipal Commissioner of Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh Mr. Swapnil Pundkar to bring a sense of discipline in the populace over littering of roads is an apt commentary of how civic sense assumes the least priority for people in India. Mr. Pundkar has asked his sanitation workers to give back the garbage to those people who throw it on roads instead of handing it over to the cleanliness team. The initiative is to create awareness amon..

India Must Combat China

IT IS an irony that India is facing problems with its trade with China. China was the biggest trading partner of India consecutively for four years till 2018-19. Trade relations turned sour with the unprecedented outbreak of COVID 19. It rattled China’s significance as dependable supply chain. Further, the repeated face-off in border, intensifying security concern, escalated trade tension with China...

The imperative

GIVEN the imperative stemming from the current internal and international conditions, the United States of America under Mr. Joe Biden can be expected to etch out a tenuous middle path that will defy naive predictions of a lateral inversion of overall policies offering a mirror-image of whatever outgoing President Mr. Donald Trump did. No matter the electoral rhetoric that the world heard during the campaign with much bitterness, Mr. Biden will not make the nation take a reverse-swing on most of the ..

Of silence and music

THE words in this statement appear simple but have a meaning very difficult to comprehend. It appears to be talking of the merit of music, but is actually talking of silence as the most substantive manner and medium of expression and comprehension. A typical Aldous Huxley statement -- profound yet subtle, a poetic expression in prose, with a touch of little whimsical extremism. Let us talk of silence. Silence is space. Silence is an open invitation to interpretation of any kind. Silence has its own ..

Pleading Necessary

A 3-JUDGE bench of the Supreme Court consisting of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R. Subhash Reddy and Justice M.R. Shah, has in the judgement of the case- Biraji alias Brijraji & Another v. Surya Pratap and Others, delivered on November 3, 2020, reiterated “fairly well settled” law that in absence of pleading, any amount of evidence will not help the party. After hearing the lawyers on both sides, the Supreme Court has noted after perusing the ..

Namaste Joe

FINALLY, after an excruciating wait, long delays in vote counting, claims and allegations of poll rigging and a barrage of lawsuits, the United States of America (USA) has got a new President. Mr. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr (77) was elected as the 46th President of the United States, defeating President Mr. Donald Trump in an election that went down the w..

Guns Blazing

INDIA’S defence capabilities have long been an issue of debate and boosting the same has been the priority of all Governments in the face of constant threat perceptions from inimical neighbours like China and Pakistan. While the process of induction of new technology and modernising the armoury has always been a tardy and long-drawn process in India, over the last six years, under the NDA II dispensation led by PM Narendra Modi, e..

Basic belief

THE statement of Nepal’s Prime Minister Mr. K.P. Sharma Oli during his meeting with India’s Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane that issues between the two countries could be resolved through talks, is fully superfluous as far as New Delhi in concerned. It has been a matter of fundamental belief system India has harboured all along that most problems are in the realm of resolution through consultation and confabulation. India has followed this principle in international relations, a ..

Of simple concept of unblemished happiness

LET us talk of happiness as our basic right. Let us ask ourselves a simple (yet intriguing) question : What constitutes happiness? And let us, then, move on to find an answer -- in simple terms. Since time immemorial, the human society has associated happiness with simplicity that teaches us to move away from greed. Since time began, the human race has often associated happiness as a condition available away from darkness. It has also associated ..

INVITING

PRIME Minister Mr. Narendra Modi hardselling India at the Virtual Global Investor Roundtable 2020 by promising long-term returns and stability is a welcome sign of the country opening its doors for foreign investment across sectors to achieve resurgence in the post-coronavirus world...

good tidings

GOOD tidings are available from India’s corporate sector. Bigwigs from India Inc have come together to pledge to work with the Government to tackle climate change and build sustainable economies so as to help the country to achieve its targets under Paris (Climate) Agreement...

QUAD To Combat China

THOUGH very much part of Indo-Pacific, wannabe superpower People’s Republic of China cannot be part of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or ‘Quad’ for the simple reason that the Quad has come to be because China came to be the way it came to be! Quad took to its four feet fearing Chinese hegemony. As soon as China started throwing..

TWENTY YEARS!

BY ANY standard, it is a great collective achievement that the International Space Station (ISS) has completed twenty years of hosting man. Several countries and their space agencies have made this feat possible through international cooperation of the highest order. The ISS, thus, is a symbol of global collaboration in space research that has yielded many wonderful outcomes in diverse domains. In the process of the past twenty years, sever..

Chinese Colony Of Pak

“VENI, Vidi, Vici,” said Julius Caesar after his swift victory at the battle of Zela in 47 BC, which translates as “I came, I saw, I conquered”. This iconic Latin phrase symbolises a swift, decisive victory in which the targeted nation capitulates completely. In the 21st century, an exemplar of this emphatic quote is Pakistan’s equally swift ceding of its sovereignty to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Blinded by their jealousy of a vibrant, democratic and resurgent India, the Pakistani Deep State ..

A puzzle of pandemic proportions

Great literature has almost always gently travelled through the times. It is timeless in the wisdom it imparts and also the delight it grants. It is the fountain of youth. It is evergreen, prodigious and productive. No wonder then, that a couple of lines written some five centuries ago are the one that best describe my situation today! “To be or not to be, that is the question.”..

Disabled Win Case On Pay-Cut

A BOMBAY High Court division bench consisting of the Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni has declared through the judgement in the case – National Association of Blind v. Bombay Municipal Corporation, delivered on October 28, 2020, that the action of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to withhold the monetary benefits for the lockdown period to its physically disabled employees with retrospective ..

ADIEU, mr. BOND

IF THE very idea of a charismatic spy with uber cool demeanor ever needed an honest soul who could transform the character into a cult, then late Sir Sean Connery’s living as James Bond makes an all-time cinematic success story. He brought to life a legend that continues to weave magic in the world of spy movies across generations...

There are no short cuts to championship

COUNTLESS definitions and descriptions of what stuff champions and winners are made of. All human societies have found their methods and manners and modes of bringing up champions and winners not just in sports but in life. Each human society has its own different stories to share, its own formulae about how winners are made and of what stuff. But all these diverse accounts have one thing in common -- that there are no short cuts to the ..

Hindi is Hindustani

VICE PRESIDENT M Venkaiah Naidu has recently called for according equal respect to all languages emphasising that no language should either be imposed or opposed. Addressing an online event organised recently, the Vice-President said all Indian languages have a rich history and people should be proud of the country’s language diversity and cultural heritage. Noting that Mahatma Gandhi had founded the Dakshina Bharat Hind..

Act Tougher

IT IS time for the Security Forces to act tougher than ever in Kashmir to teach terrorists and separatists a lesson they would never forget. This need is being felt all the more following the killing of three workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a terror strike in Kulgam district by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). In the past one year, the Security Forces have done an excellent job in restricting terrorism by fighting back in real time, killing many dreaded terrorists and arresting ma..

There are no short cuts to championship

COUNTLESS definitions and descriptions of what stuff champions and winners are made of. All human societies have found their methods and manners and modes of bringing up champions and winners not just in sports but in life. Each human society has its own different stories to share, its own formulae about how winners are made and of what stuff. But all these diverse accounts have one thing in common -- that there are no short cuts to the destination; each person dreaming of being a winner has to walk ..

worthy idea

THE suggestion by Chief Justice of India Mr. Justice Sharad A. Bobde that lawyers may get down from their big, beautiful cars and start riding bicycles so as to reduce air pollution in New Delhi certainly presents an idea worthy of serious consideration not just by the lawyers but also by the whole country...

Gone viral!

WHEN I was in school, I was taught a phrase - news spreads like wildfire. We all know that wildfires are uncontrolled, unplanned and unwanted forest fires. They cause great harm to the flora and fauna in the jungle and can’t be brought under control easily. They can be started by human carelessness like discarding of lit cigarettes or campfires or may be intentional arson or due to intense heat from the Sun or strike of lightning. ..

Inspiration

It’s good to find information that validates and deepens what you already know. It’s even better to discover credible, compelling information that challenges what you know. More than one thing can be true at once. More than one perspective can be an accurate depiction of the world. Even if a differing perspective turns out to be wrong, by considering it you improve the value of your own perspective. And you open yourself to new opportunities for learning. ..

FULLY JUSTI

THE action of the Jammu and Kashmir Police to seal the Srinagar office of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) headed by Ms. Mehbooba Mufti and arresting a few workers for protesting against the new land law and NIA raids on NGOs in terror-funding cases, is fully justified. Though Ms. Mufti tried to add an ideological touch to the protests by saying that the PDP would not allow any toying with Kashmir’s demographics, it is obvious that the protests are being made out of frustration of loss of political ..

WELCOME ACTION

THE raids and searches by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) on a few non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to identify and nail sources of terror funding are beginning to yield results. The agency has been able to unearth incriminating documents and electronic devices and digitised materials that indicated terror links of those NGOs. The NIA has been adopting a no-nonsense approach during its searches and did..

Azerbaijan Wins

THE month-old war between Azerbaijan and Armenia is so low on everybody else’s list of concerns that when Azerbaijan won the war last Monday morning, hardly anybody in the media elsewhere even noticed. Shortly after 8 am local time on Monday, Azeri troops gained control of the road through the Lachin Pass. That is the sole land route between Armenia proper and Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian enclave inside the borders of Azerbaijan that the whole war is about. A new road further to the north, offering ..

The ‘Predator’

UNITED States Secretary of States Mr. Mike Pompeo attracted global attention when he said in Sri Lanka that America’s vision on the island nation was “very different” from that of “predator China”. Mr. Pompeo used this strong expression to demonstrate the American sentiment on the issue of China’s sly expansionism. On a whirl-wind visit to the Asian countries along with Secretary of Defence Mr. Mark Esper, Mr. Pompeo has openly talked of China as a country with suspect intentions. The statement ..

DEVELOPING J&K

A WELCOME amendment has been made to the land laws in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir that now opens up purchase of land by non-residents of the region. This move has ended a long-pending issue that was always seen as a hindrance for development of the erstwhile State when it enjoyed the unjust Special Status under the Article 370. This amendment was on cards and will now open up channels for a slew of developm..

Increase Import Taxes

MANY institutions had assessed in June that our economy will suffer a contraction of five per cent. Now the same institutions are saying that the economy will suffer a contraction of ten per cent. This contraction is likely to get worse in the coming months because the Corona Pandemic is showing no signs of abating. We may face a second wave in the winter months if the experience of resurgence of the Pandemic in Europe is any guide. In this gloomy scenario, the Government is mighty pleased that a ..

formality

THE strongly-worded condemnation of Pakistan’s indulgence in cross-border terrorism by India and United States and their appeal to Islamabad not to allow the Pakistani soil for terror activities, is nothing but a customary formality that has not served any purpose so far. Likewise, the expression of the need for concerted action against all terrorist networks, also serves as a mere formality that is not likely to serve any purpose other than offering them a sense of satisfaction that they have at ..

MYOPIC VIEW

HOW poor knowledge of history and philosophy can play havoc with a contextual assertion was evident in the distortion of National Security Advisor (NSA) Mr. Ajit Doval’s comments by a section of media which claimed that the NSA’s address at a spiritual centre was declaration of war with China. Mr. Doval was, in fact, recalling the strength of India’s spiritual history and the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda stating that India had never gone to war with anyone for selfish reasons while exhorting ..

Virtual And Online Courts

HOW do we integrate virtual courts and digital justice delivery into the broader legal ecosystem of India? The urgency for developing some methodology or procedure for this has gained new relevance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) of the department of Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice recently tabled its 103rd report on the functioning of Virtual Courts and Digitisation of Justice Delivery in Parliament. Although it is an interim report, ..

valuing ‘guru’

IT IS heartening that a global study across 35 countries has found that India stands 6th in the list of top 10 countries that value their teachers most. The study, sponsored by the UK-based Varkey Foundation, looked for the implicit faith of the peoples of those countries had in the teachers. The study based on the Global Teacher Status Index of 2018 has explained why “Implicit Teacher Status” varies among countries and how it is linked to pupil attainment. Even as we feel gratified that India is ..

Of vision of one’s own

However, there is a fine difference -- between the television and the book: The television is a medium that feeds you visions but do not allow you the freedom to imagine, to delve into the unknown, to define the indefinable. For, there is noise, there is an overdoing of colour, and there is a series of pre-meditated picture-frames aimed at creating only a certain effect...

Timely Caution

UNION Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has recently issued a very progressive and relevant statement regarding the festivities in the wake of the corona. “There is no need to congregate in large numbers to prove your faith or your religion. You can pray to your Gods at your homes. I would suggest that all of you celebrate festivals with your families,” he said, pointing to coronavirus which is still on the rampage. The country has crossed the 70-lakh mark in the overall number of COVID cases and stands ..

flag her down

THE arrogant assertion by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Ms. Mehbooba Mufti about India’s national flag needs to be condemned by every Indian. She has said that she would unfurl and salute the national flag -- which she called ‘the other flag’ -- only if the J&K State flag is also unfurled simultaneously. Any such condition should be termed as an act of insult of the national flag and national honour. But Ms. Mufti has been blinded by the narrative ..

The difference books bring to our lives

This is one subject that can be discussed and talked about any time and every time. We come across people who assert that books have made them what they are -- leaders in various fields. But we also come across people who assert that books -- reading -- made them better human beings...

Verbose Nonsense!

Pune, October 17: “When I was a kid at school, I would debate on a topic like ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. I spoke very much in favour of the motion. Today, having seen our country, its politics and its discourse, am no longer convinced it is, because if you interpret the sword as a metaphor of power and authority and you interpret the pen metaphorically as ideas and words, I am sorry to say that while ideas and words may outlast power and authority, power and authority, ..

BLACK PEARL

  THE greatest of all footballers making appearance on the soccer grounds in this universe till date, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele, has touched another milestone of completing 80 years of fabulous existence in the world. Though ill health and COVID-19 situation restrict the legend’s birthday celebrations, there is no stopping his fans from pouring out their love through various mediums with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Pele deserves all this and much more for the golden ..

SOMETHING FISHY

  NO MATTER the amount of explanation offered by the Maharashtra Government over its withdrawal of ‘general consent’ to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases in the State, the step smacks of a fishy agenda by the Maha Vikas Agahdi (MVA) dispensation in the State. Home Minister Mr. Anil Deshmukh has made public the Government’s apprehensions of the CBI being misused for political purpose.  It is an indirect way of casting aspersions of the capabilities ..

RESPECT THE LAW

INDIA’S strong retort to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on her unwarranted comments on action against an erring NGO should set things in perspective for the global agency that has a dubious record of selective outrage on similar issues. The Government of India acted against NGO Amnesty International Indi..

Inter-Generational War

The State claims that the protests have been infiltrated by criminals, and in some places that is clearly true, but that’s not why the ruling political class is panicking. That’s not why they shot down well-educated, trendy but law-abiding young people in Lekki. It’s because those in power fear a youth revolt that could not only transform the country, but split it in half. THE young Nigerians who were protesting at Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos on Tuesday night were not the African touring company of ..

REVIVAL !

THE assertion by Reserve Bank of India Governor Mr. Shaktikanta Das that the Indian economy is at the doorstep of revival, not just boosts popular morale but also tells how an organised attempt by the central bank as well as other financial institutions to infuse confidence into the system is making a positive difference. The biggest thrust is on raising adequate capital so that the economy is not starved of funds, Mr. Das has said at a book-laun..

Ignorance

IT IS a common occurrence in a democracy where a big chunk backing or opposing a statutory provision is mostly ignorant of the nitty-gritties of the law brought in for a certain purpose. Call it a byproduct of the herd mentality but the fact remains that every agitation or support to a cause has participation of a large element that just toes a line offered to it by some crafty political masters...

State GST Rates

This GST system has taken away the autonomy of the States. Previously, every State had the authority to change the rate of Sales Tax. For example, Himanchal could collect higher rates on room heaters and Tamil Nadu on air conditioners which are bought more in the two states respectively. In consequence the states are caught in a bind. INTERSTATE movement of goods was troublesome before the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). Every State used to classify goods according to its understanding ..

great job

THE word of caution and the word of relief that Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi offered the nation have their own importance in the current context. He has signalled reopening of the economic sectors. He has indicated relaunching of various activities that were affected due to coronavirus restrictions in the past seven months But he wants the nation to be careful. ‘Yes, lock-downs are over. Yes, the country has done well on the coronavirus front. Yes, the world appreciates whatever India has achieved ..

From Divine To Dust: The Woman Story!

ON A cold December night, many candles were lit. It was a lasting image of solidarity for a young girl. It brought to light a nation’s resolve. But since then many nights have gone by with or without candles, with little or absolutely no solidarity. And the nights continue with their cold, dark, crooked ways, watching a society lose itself further into darkness...

LONG PROCESS

UNION Minister of Environment Mr. Prakash Javdekar has pointed out rightly that the problem of pollution cannot be resolved in a day, and that continuous and long-term efforts are needed to tackle it effectively. The Minister also highlighted what efforts are being made to reduce vehicular and other kinds of pollution. Even if we see sense in the Minister’s statement, we also realise that the efforts to reduce pollution are not moving at a desirable pace. There is still a lot of slackness in the efforts ..

A Vision Of Tenacity

FOR many on the Left in Britain and within the heart of the global capitalist system, Venezuela has been an example of staunch opposition to US and Nato imperialism, with a broad collection of revolutionaries fending off multiple coups, mercenary attacks and resisting an imperialist blockade of late. This vision of defiance and tenacity has painted a very particular idea of what the experience is in Venezuela, which ultimately makes the formation of th..

SENSELESS

IT IS perfectly all right for an Opposition party to criticise the Government at every step of the way. It is very much expected of an Opposition party to act as a perfect watch-dog on the Government so as to restrict any abuse of power. But when a political party indulges in hollow cantankerousness shouting itself hoarse against the Government, then the people start losing faith in that party faster than anybody can imagine. This is happening w..

Of domain of delight

Oprah Winfrey states a universal truth about reading. Everybody who is fond of reading is actually preparing all the day for the time with books. For, those moments offer him a safe cocoon in which a world exists all by itself -- between the covers, on the pages, through the plots and stories and characters. And it also is a world in which you -- the reader - also have a chance to be a character, though occasionally from outside the sidelines. So, start your day as usual, get ready to go to work, ..

NDPS Offences Non-Bailable-II

JUSTICE Sarang V. Kotwal, at the Bombay High Court, while granting bail to the actress Rhea Chakroborty, has dealt with in detail, the aspect of the case, as to whether all the offences under the NDPS Act are non-bailable. The High Court has referred to the observations by the Supreme Court that despite the stringent provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985, as amended in 1988, the drug business was booming, addicts were rapidly rising, crime with its role in narcotics ..

Mind Game

THOUGH, of course, they are playing bat-ball apparently as usual, the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) played in the Middle Eastern venues is proving more to be a mind game than anything else. True, Mumbai Indians’ dynamic captain Rohit Sharma is very right when he calls this edition “funny”. For, what is on display, besides cricket, is the mental tussle among teams whose snake-and-ladder performances in early stages have now steadied into a discernible pattern...

The question of right family values

NO MATTER what people may say, it certainly offers a happy feeling to find families in whose homes there is no television, and whose children are not given mobile phones well until their adulthood. The happy feeling gets enhanced when one realises that families attach certain sacredness to their dinners and spend time together not just enjoying food but enjoying one another’s company -- exchanging good stories, good ideas, good thoughts, good dreams, and in the short and long terms, good fortune of ..

PROBLEM AGAIN

DELHI has run into the problem of severe air pollution once again, with a smoky haze hanging low over the area, forcing official agencies to declare that the air quality over the national capital is “very poor”..

‘Bretton Woods’ Moment!

In the past some years, countries like India have often questioned the wisdom of the present global structure that actually keeps power concentrated in just a few hands in a wide spectrum of activities...

GREAT CONFIDENCE

THE robust confidence expressed by Dr. G. Sateesh G. Reddy, the dapper Chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), that his organisation can make any missile the Indian Armed Forces would ever require, is heartening. It shows what kind of expertise the DRDO has attained over time, making every Indian proud of the country’s prowess in creation of appropriate weaponisation of its Armed Forces to suit the requirement on the grou..

Herd Immunity

The great majority of the countries with under 100 COVID deaths per million people are Asian and African nations with fast-growing populations and a median age of well under 30. COVID-19 selectively kills elderly people, and such people are very scarce in these countries. bbbbbbbbbb AFTER eight full months of the global pandemic, the..

ugly paradox

PARADOXES and contradictions often dominate the narrative in international realpolitik, which stands proved once again with the election of countries like China and Pakistan -- with dismal human rights records -- as members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). These elections have angered many countries whose leaderships and human rights lobbies have wondered if the UNHRC has become irrelevant. United States Secretary of State Mr. Mike Pompeo did not mince words while blasting the system ..

Hang them all

BANGLADESH Government has made a bold move by granting capital punishment in rape cases. President Md. Abdul Hamid signed an ordinance awarding maximum punishment in rape cases to death of the convicts. This move came after a nationwide protest against a series of recent sexual assaults in the country. In India also, a social ..

Practical Significance

THIS year’s Nobel Prize for Economics has been awarded to two academics who have made a great deal of difference to sale of publicly owned resources. If the precepts and formats suggested by the economists are genuinely followed, then many of the political controversies in this country could be avoided. I am referring to ..

good action

THE proactive policing and security operations in Kashmir in the last few months have proved beyond doubt how it is possible to counter terrorism effectively with right intent and and right action. The security forces are able to stop infiltration of terrorists and arms and ammunition into the Indian territory and have succeeded in eliminating or capturing hundreds of ultras...

Will the academia step in, please? - II

IT IS truly heartening to know that a good deal of thinking is going on about preservation and conservation of ecology and heritage in some of the universities in Vidarbha. This is a very healthy development that should create a great effect on the larger society in time to come. And if this trend becomes popular, a new era of the connect of the academia with actual ecological and heritage issues will begin in this part of the country. Dr. Murlidhar Chandekar, the dynamic Vice-Chancellor of Sant Gadge ..

OBSERVE RESTRAINT

SOME day, the question about having a regulatory mechanism for broadcast media -- just as it is for the print section -- was to come up in public consideration, which happened when the honourable Bombay High Court asked the Union Government about the arrangement. A bench of Chief Justice Mr. Dipankar Datta and Mr. Justice G.S. Kulkarni raised this question as it heard a bunch of Public Interest Litigations seeking regulation of unrestrained coverage particularly on television news channels about ..

Unholy Controversy

PROBABLY this is for the first time in the history of Independent India a Chief Minister of a State has cast aspersion on the sitting justice of the Supreme Court N V Ramana and lodged a complaint against him of conspiring against his Government, triggering an unholy controversy. Undoubtedly this is a very serious issue and needs a thorough high level probe. ..