Opinion

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)

The way forward on MSP: Important to explore fiscally prudent, administratively convenient options

Public procurement needs to continue for staple cereals, but farmers of non-staple food crops need to be provided with direct income transfers

Also, if rice and wheat holdings that get the benefit of MSP are excluded, then this expenditure may be even less.

Vaccine wastage? The supply far outstripped actual vaccinations

If the procedure for inducting private players for the vaccine drive is not worked out smoothly and speedily, a large number of vaccine dosages could end up being wasted.

A large proportion of those on the computerised list of prioritised beneficiaries did not show up to take the jabs.

Three kings continue to hold the aces

But he attempted one, almost-a-no-look beauty on Championship Point, to win his ninth Australian Open crown and 18th Grand Slam title.

Novak Djokovic

Across The Aisle: Courts sound the bell for liberty

Never before in the history of independent India have the powers of the State been mobilised so ruthlessly to suppress every voice of dissent or protest or defiance.

Demonstrators protest against the arrest of 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi, in Kolkata (Reuters 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

Ailing sans policy: India is yet to have a formal policy for rare diseases

In 2017, MoHFW released a National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases, subsequently replaced by a draft release in January 2020, for treatment of approximately 450 ‘rare diseases’.

The draft in existence has mentioned that financial assistance will be provided for rare diseases that run up to Rs 15 lakh that but only to those patients that have curative therapy and fall under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi scheme or PMJAY.

Survived Covid, long recovery ahead

Services won’t recover till vaccine is fully rolled out and, within manufacturing, it is bigger firms that are doing well

GDP growth in FY21 is now estimated to grow at a slightly weaker minus 8%, from the minus 7.7% estimated earlier.

GST reconciliation & the credit dilemma

The issue of whether the recipient of services can be penalised for non-compliance by the vendor remains open and unanswered

However, while that may be so, the eligibility of credit has been a constant matter of dispute (a) wherever there is a non-payment of GST by the supplier and (b) on account of the restriction imposed by Rule 36(4) of the CGST Rules.

The limits to the US’s pent up demand

Recent trends in US consumer spending suggest that the natural forces of pent-up demand may largely be spent

That’s what the numbers show. Unlike the powerful rebound of consumer spending on durables, the post-lockdown rebound of services from May to December 2020 recouped just 63% of what was lost during March and April.

The economics of petrol pricing

The excise rate, levied on a per-unit basis, has been in the range of Rs 18-20 for 2018, 2019 and the first half of 2020.

This break-up in price can be traced back over the last three years.

BigTech vs BigState: Regulating Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and others

New laws on ‘intermediaries’ are open-ended and worrying

US capitol BigTech vs BigState

Dialling growth with telecom PLI scheme

It is expected to pave the way for incremental production of Rs 2.4 lakh crore, including exports of Rs 2 lakh crore over five years, apart from new investments exceeding Rs 3,000 crore

Simultaneously, the exports linked incentives on offer hit a roadblock with the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Vaccine strategy: No one is safe until everyone is safe

The G7 should press vaccine manufacturers to share their knowledge with local producers and facilitate their legal and operational ability to do so

covid vaccine

Sugar mills made to swallow a bitter pill

If the FRP/SAP mechanism of sugarcane pricing can’t be done away with, govt must at least increase the MSP of sugar

What is more, the NITI Aayog says the twin objectives of preventing occurrences of cane price arrears inconveniencing growers and keeping the industry in “sound financial health” undepin the need for an alignment between price of sugarcane and sugar.

NRI flows need parity with foreign portfolio investment

The NRI and FPI routes have to be urgently merged to increase the amount of NRI investments in India. These investments will be more sustainable, since NRI investors are long-term investors compared w

The government had also proposed to raise the FPI limit from the current 24% upto the sectoral upper limit. This will allow FPIs with deeper access to the Indian markets.

The proof of the privatisation pudding…

How efforts play out in FY22 will set the tone for what becomes of the agenda

They had incurred a loss of Rs 4,826 crore in 1995-96, of which the top nine accounted for over Rs 2,367 crore of losses, nearly 50% of the total!

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.

Narendra Modi’s talk of privatisation implies big reforms

Allowing a new buyer of a PSU to get rid of staff, or to shut subsidiaries, implies a whole new approach to business

Narendra Modi’s talk of privatisation implies means big reforms

New electricity consumer Rules: Reading the impact on ‘rooftop solar’ right

The older regime benefited just a handful. The new rules should spur a conversation on equitable and sustainable pricing frameworks

As selected consumers increase their use of rooftop solar, they reduce their units or kilowatt hours of electricity purchased, but the infrastructure still needs to be built for the peak demand, which is often in the evening.

China’s basket of challenges: The country faces a disadvantageous demographic shift

The country faces a disadvantageous demographic shift, even as its reputation has taken a beating on multiple fronts

In its frenzied pursuits of wealth and power China perhaps is causing too much damage to its own economy and the global trade ecosystem.

How India can improve its EoDB

Increased digitisation efforts in various areas, from inspection to compliance management to regulatory communication, could reap significant dividends

All compliances should go digital with a vision of creating paperless, presence-less, cashless and faceless systems.

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.

Fuel taxes debate: Raj dharma or opposition dharma?

The price of lower fuel taxes is losing revenue that funds welfare projects. The poor will lose from any move to cut fuel taxes

According to 2015-16 NFHS report, just 6% of households own cars and 38% own two-wheelers.

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.

Priorities the new WTO DG must have

Bridging the broken trust amongst members of the WTO and updating the rules to meet the 21st century realities are the priorities of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. MC12 needs urgent attention, as does the morib

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