Edits & Columns

A state in crisis: Why Ministry of Home Affairs is a surprising pick to deal with Covid crisis

The nodal agency of choice, the ministry of home affairs, is a surprising pick to deal with what is foremost a health issue with social and economic ramifications.

Fighting China on education: This will need more than just increased govt spending

Building high-quality human capital, however, is not just about improved GER across levels of education but also about improved corresponding learning levels.

Why it is important to re-balance India’s digital ecosystem

India's tech ecosystem must capture this opportunity and set new standards for its digital citizens.

Missing Girls: UNFPA data shows India is yet to curb sex selection meaningfully

The latest data from the Sample Registration System shows that the sex ratio for children born between 2016 and 2018 was 899, and nine Indian states have a sex ratio below 900.

Coping with Covid-19: Strategising the next wave of stimulus

Stimulus packages must look through three lenses: The fiscally-challenged sectors, the economic-multiplier sectors, and the push for A ‘green’ agenda for India.

Governments have responded by announcing mega stimulus packages.

The good fight: How pharma companies, healthcare staff, government joined forces to fight Covid-19

At the frontline, right alongside the healthcare workers battling the crisis, are our pharmacies, which relentlessly work towards ensuring that quality medicines reach people around India and around t

There is already a degree of cooperation among various sectors, right from doctors to the police force, industry leaders and the government, which has made considerable difference in management of the pandemic.

NIRF 2020: Where is the ranking taking us?

An India-specific ranking is helpful in the domestic context, but it isn’t clear if it nudges our institutions to be globally competitive

As seen globally, there is a predominance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in the top ranks.

Draft EIA norms need a relook – here’s why

However, many provisions of the draft EIA Notification 2020 seem to tilt the scales in favour of infrastructure over the environment.

The draft EIA notification needs wide and deep deliberation before it is finalised—to that end, the government will need to give enough time to both industry and environment experts.

Can’t just Google news: Some of the balance might, rightly, be shifting back

Just a few weeks ago, Facebook launched a new section in its news feed in the US, and to qualify for getting included, publishers need to have a certain audience size and abide by certain integrity st

Meanwhile, Google has said it will start paying for high-quality news in Australia, Brazil and Germany.

Cause for cheer: Why govt must ensure pandemic doesn’t rob India of progress made on curbing IMR

What is even more worrying is that the rural areas of the country still have large healthcare and nutrition delivery gaps—as a result, one in every 28 infants in rural areas dies vis-a-vis one in ev

Unshackling India’s mining industry

By opening up the sector to encourage more private players for commercial mining and revenue sharing, the measure of mining efficiency will shift focus from total tonnage of mined coal to profit/hour

The reforms also envision an investment of Rs 20,000 crore for building the necessary infrastructure that can further enhance the mined outputs.

Schooling in the post Covid era: Challenges ahead

A piece of well-grounded scientific advice or the availability of a vaccine can assuage the legitimate fears of parents, educators, and school leaders.

As things stand amidst the uncertainties, blended-schooling-a combination of in-person schooling and online education is emerging as a plausible scenario for school continuity.

Journalism Interrupted: Why public broadcasters like BBC have done well, whereas Prasar Bharti has languished

Prasar Bharati’s threat to PTI over China-aggression related interviews seems to confuse journalistic prerogative for loyalty.

Immediately, Prasar Bharati questioned the loyalties of PTI, terming its coverage not be in the national interest.

Covid-19: Kawasaki-like condition in infected children needs to be studied

There is very little understanding of what triggers this MIS—indeed, as is the case with Covid-19 and its pathogen, SARS-CoV-2—and, hence, guarding against it could prove quite tricky.

Will expanded RBI oversight change cooperative banking?

It has often been alleged that some co-operative banks have political clout. it will be interesting to see how the new structures change the way business is done.

From the point of view of RBI, the challenge would be to regulate and supervise these 1,500-odd banks with the same rigour as is accorded to the commercial banks.

Ban on apps like TikTok, ShareIt, UCBrowser and others good, but must calibrate this carefully

Vital that firms with Chinese investment, for instance, are not the next target as these firms have other investors too.

Bigo Live is a competitor to Tik Tok, a third of its users are Indian and its parent, Bigo, is worth around $2 billion.

Covid-19 impact: Planting seeds of hope

Since plantations may not be able to cope till prices recover, an impending crisis could explode, unless averted through an emergency policy.

Evidence is mounting that crisis will last much longer than a few months, and careful calibration of policies—fiscal, monetary and labour market—is required to contain the economic fallout.

Looking through a new lens: In a post-pandemic world, PSEs will have to play a new role to push the economy

They contribute almost Rs 4 lakh crore per annum to the central exchequer in terms of duties, taxes, dividend, etc, whereas 56 PSEs command nearly 10% of the total market capitalisation of the BSE as

With a new world order likely to be in place post the pandemic, PSEs have a new strategic role while the country undergoes yet another transformation to become one of the leading economies.

Taming the dragon! Why not all actions need to be China-specific

Not all actions need to be China-specific; we need a policy objective of maintaining the real exchange rate and reduce the cost of doing business

Increasing trade with China has led to the relative decline of manufacturing in India as China has efficient and surplus manufacturing capacity.

How India can become one of key nodes in global manufacturing value chain

The manufacturing opportunity for India is huge. The government must ease land acquisition and enforce anti-dumping duties on cheap to ensure India cashes it in

For India, this presents a tremendous opportunity to enter the $1-trillion global manufacturing club.

Covid crisis: Bajaj Auto mustn’t shut the plant, lockdown won’t help

The consequences of a lockdown will be worse; we have to learn to live with Covid and try to minimise casualties

And, as Bajaj has pertinently pointed out, no company can afford to pay worker’s wages if they sit at home.

Market volatility: More storms ahead for gold and currency market?

Today’s story appears to be different, and, if equity volatility continues to climb, we could see currencies and gold unstable for a longer period, as they were back in 2008

With reserves at $500 bn, the cost would be $20-25 bn (or more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore), reducing RBI’s profits dramatically.

Coal mining: Why commencement of auction process for ‘commercial mining’ is welcome news

The opening up of the coal sector will also help in fulfilling the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, and will help several economic sectors, especially power, steel, aluminium and unregulate

With India having one of the largest coal reserves in the world, it is concerning that coal supply in the country is inadequate, and the country has to rely extensively on coal imports.

Covid crisis: Govt must roll out new-gen ventilators only after thorough checks

A May 16 report, from another team of experts, had said that the devices needed further technical validation before approval.

This donation delivers on President Donald Trump's generous offer of these critically needed supplies and supports Pakistan's urgent response to the pandemic, the embassy said.

Narasimha Rao showed just how much could be done if the govt put its mind to it

The master of realpolitik, he showed just how much could be done if the government put its mind to it

If there is one lesson that Rao taught us, it is never to underestimate a politician; or that you don’t need to have a brute majority—or be seen as a ‘doer’—to get things done.

Combating Covid: With no vaccine yet, preventive measures are the only recourse

The only hope for “unlocking” to succeed lies in effective containment of the virus. WIth no vaccine/cure as yet, preventive measures Are the only recourse

Since there is neither a vaccine nor a cure for Covid-19 as yet, preventive measures offer the most effective recourse.

Covid agony: Migrant workers’ travel and their travails — Do workers cease to count if they aren’t voters?

Be it in Medchal or at the Secunderabad railway station, there has been reluctance on the part of the government to operate a fulltime shelter for stranded workers. It is puzzling.

When governments finally acted, it was only under duress—to reluctantly comply with the Supreme Court and the High Court orders, but every means was deployed to scuttle the spirit of the orders.
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