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The Financial Express

The Financial Express

Articles By The Financial Express

5994 Articles

Making drivers Uber’s employees hurts innovation

The UK SC ruling could spur other countries to take a similar line, making the models of apps like Uber/Airbnb unviable

In such a scenario, it is unlikely a Proposition 22—this California referendum allowed Uber and Lyft to successfully avoid regulation that would have classified drivers as their employees—would influence policymakers.

A problem of trust: Repeated failures of the state system leading to parallel probes

There are many instances of investigations/trials, and even tax demands, falling flat because of shoddy work by the state’s arms.

However, the Centre and the states—and their various agencies—only have themselves to blame for this “parallel judicial system” thriving.

Marriage Inequality: There are many examples of well-tolerated queer unions

Govt’s stand on same-sex marriage is regressive; India’s mythology has many examples of well-tolerated queer unions

As if such a regressive stance was not enough, the Centre, as per a report in The Indian Express, has made it clear that it is not “permissible” for the court to override legislative intent that limits the recognition of marriage to heterosexual couples, since this “would cause complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country.” (Representative image)

Data drive: The pandemic generation

Although the western world is bearing the brunt of Covid-19 with cases rising and deaths piling up, the after effects of the pandemic will be borne by low- and low-middle income countries.

covid 19 pandemic

Common Test: It should inspire others to follow suit

DU considering a partial move towards a common entrance test should push other universities to adopt this, too

Though the CUCET, administered by the Central University of Rajasthan, has been around for a decade now, only 17 central and four state universities admit students through this route.

Battling Loneliness: Japan setting up a ministry of loneliness brings much-needed focus to mental health

Japan setting up a ministry of loneliness, following the UK example, brings much-needed focus to mental health

In India, despite government efforts, mental health issues remain a stigma. (Representative image)

Don’t cap school fees

Karnataka should make free govt schools more attractive

It is hard to read the trend of growing private school enrolment, especially budget private school enrolment, as anything other than poor households putting a premium on the quality of education.

Covid-19 must not disrupt TB, malaria control

A new report highlights the problem of communicable diseases, policy must take note

Against such a backdrop, India can hardly afford to slip up on its national programmes against communicable diseases.

ASCI’s disclosure norms for influencer-promotions will help ‘followers’ tell a paid promotion from a genuine one

ASCI’s disclosure norms for influencer-promotions will help ‘followers’ tell a paid promotion from a genuine one

A better deal for media: Getting BigTech to pay newspapers for content is good news

Since the credibility of the media often depends upon it not buying the government line and in presenting the true facts to the reader, it is not clear how this conflict is to be negotiated.

Going digital, there is little doubt, increased newspaper readership, but the bulk of online advertisement accrues to the BigTech giants like Google and Facebook; so, while the advertiser has shifted from traditional media to online media, those generating the news are getting a smaller share of the pie.

Keeping yields low when inflation is rising is risky

RBI risks losing credibility if it tries to keep bond yields low while, to contain inflation, it will be tightening policy

Real interest rates, especially at the shorter end, have been negative for far too long, favouring borrowers and hurting savers.

Trolling of a prominent interfaith couple over the naming of their newborn is plain communal polarisation

Policing of people’s choices in the 21st century as in the present instance—with an underlying narrative that deepens divides—is purely communal.

Banking on cybersecurity: RBI’s new rules for digital transactions a step forward

The master direction on digital payment security controls, released last week, casts a wide net.

The Reserve Bank of India has, therefore, done well to provide regulatory direction in this regard, with a new set of guidelines for the digital banking and payments ecosystem. The master direction on digital payment security controls, released last week, casts a wide net.

Time for Centre/states to cut taxes on petrol and diesel

More than two-thirds of the price of petrol is made up of these taxes, and it is slightly lower in the case of diesel

petrol price, petrolprice in delhi

Shot Supply: Lack of access to Covid-19 vaccines is killing healthcare workers in poor nations

Nearly three-fourths of the Covid-19 vaccine doses administered so far have been in 10 countries that account for roughly 60% of the global GDP, as per the World Health Organization.

For perspective, each individual doctor-death is a severe blow for Mozambique, where there are 8 doctors per 100,000 population (India has 60-70 while the US has 300).

I am one of the few girls who got away unscathed: Priyanka Chopra Jonas at JLF

The global actor writes that she had decided early on in her career that though she was on the verge of becoming a public figure, a line would be drawn, that her personal life would never be for public consumption.

Priyanka Chopra, Unfinished, Jaipur literature Festival, Proyanka on her personal life, Priyanka on Nepotism

Data drive: The state of vaccination

Although India on Friday crossed 1 crore vaccinations--and became the fastest country to do so--in terms of vaccinations per capita, India still lags far behind other economies.

covid 19 vaccination in indoia, covid 19 pandemic

Virtual Trade: Governments need to get real about virtual

A $1.5-mn virtual ‘property’ deal should offer a cue to govts on the real potential of regulating the virtual world

A classic example of the ‘move to online’ is Fortnite’s Travis Scott concert last year, which saw 12.3 million views for the first show.

Policy yet to log on to online education vision

Rules remain myopic despite Covid-19 making online education essential, signal reluctance to liberalise the space

The website of the Distance Education Bureau (DEB) of the UGC listing just seven universities/HEIs that are allowed to offer online education is, therefore, quite telling of regulatory sclerosis.

Speed up Covid-19 vaccination: Mutant Coronaviruses in Maharashtra already pose a threat

Given lockdowns can only be a temporary measure, the state government and the Centre need to double down on the non-pharmacological interventions, such as distancing, proper use of masks and hand hygiene.

Given lockdowns can only be a temporary measure, the state government and the Centre need to double down on the non-pharmacological interventions, such as distancing, proper use of masks and hand hygiene.

A NEAT solution: Partnering private sector for online education bodes well

As against 13 ed-tech companies participating last year, NEAT now has participation from 48 ed-tech start-ups, which can tie up with colleges and deliver customised courses.

Until now, colleges have been driving their own collaborations. Delhi Technological University, for instance, has collaborated with Coursera, EdX and NPTEL for online courses for one semester.

Quota within OBC quotas a half-solution

Rohini commission formula doesn’t end ‘hierarchy’; income-based quotas a better approach

However, no matter how it is spun, the formula can hardly be thought of as progressive. (Representative image)

Highway to Hell: Cost of road accidents high for low-income households, govt must ease compensation norms

The government needs to allow no-claims treatment in case of road accidents

Though not a pan-India study, it does outline the areas that need improvement to reduce suffering.

Fighting Fraud: Good to have a nodal body to fight telecom/digital fraud, but need to make users more aware

While the government sets up a nodal body, rooting out such elements will need educating users on digital hygiene, recognising phishing calls, e-mails, SMSs, etc.

Though most online transaction tools come with superior fraud-checks, the fact that scammers are innovating constantly and responding to evolving checks make the DIU an imperative.

India Inc soars, India will take a bit longer

It’s been a cracker of a season with pent-up demand and the formal sector gaining market share, but that can’t last

The restoration of supply chains and the return of workers to factories clearly enabled production teams to meet the festive, wedding and also pent-up demand.

Mapping a new future: Govt does well to liberalise the geospatial data space

Geo-spatial data-based navigation is ubiquitous; India has been leveraging map technologies of Google and Apple.

Middleware can ensure exposure to diverse content, but could make social media platforms open to cyberattacks

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has suggested market-based regulation rather than increasing government interference.

Going digital, there is little doubt, increased newspaper readership, but the bulk of online advertisement accrues to the BigTech giants like Google and Facebook; so, while the advertiser has shifted from traditional media to online media, those generating the news are getting a smaller share of the pie.
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