There are nearly 1.2 lakh single-teacher schools in the country of which an overwhelming 89% are in rural areas. More than 30% of schools had no toilets and over 60% had no playground. The selection of the top positions of the institution has emerged as a great challenge. A research scholar who gets a UGC fellowship does not want to complete his Ph.D. work in time but tries to extend it since after his/her Ph.D. if he/she gets an appointment in a private institution, he /she will get less salary. The conditions of teachers in self-finance institutions are very pathetic. Mushrooming of coaching centres and dummy schools across all cities has misled students into believing that they can perform better in entrance exams if they go for coaching at such centres and by skipping classes in regular schools.Read more
By 2028, the military budget of the Land of the Rising Sun will exceed $80 billion. The Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the rising tensions around Taiwan, and North Korea’s continued missile tests are all reasons for the drastic increase in Japan’s defence spending. Its defence ministry is now considering the prospect of purchasing new weapons: advanced missiles and air defence systems capable of intercepting rockets launched from China and North Korea, including hypersonic missiles.Read more
Raagini Shekher Sharma reviews the book titled-“India that is Bharat – Coloniality Civilization Constitution” written by J. Sai Deepak
The strength of the book lies in its total focus on the central theme and the same has been described and written in vivid detail without digressing from the subject. Being a lawyer, J Sai Deepak has a logical and incisive mind and that reflects too in the tone and tenor of the book as it is replete with facts, and research work that is amply seen. Lot many times, the tone becomes a little authoritative and the baritone springs up. Overall, the book is written succinctly, presenting the facts, the research that has gone into writing and the analysis have been done in an exciting manner. Once, picked up, it cannot be put down unless fully read.Read more
Recently leaked information regarding the possible visit of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to Taiwan in August created a diplomatic row between the US and China, pushing China to object to such a visit strongly. Pelosi is a long-time critic of China. Newt Gingrich was the last US Speaker to visit Taiwan, 25 years ago. With August being critical for President Xi Jinping’s leadership, it coincides with the Biden-Xi virtual summit. Although a statement from President Biden regarding the visit is concerning for the US-Taiwan ties, the visit being called off will only convince China that its deterrence worked and will strengthen its position over the Taiwan Issue.Read more
Analysing maritime domain awareness is essential to asses threat to the safety and security of the world’s sea lanes.Read more
Considering the long history of Ukraine and Russia, the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine factored in Kyiv’s desire to join NATO, bringing NATO close to Russian borders. The desire to join NATO not only extended the conflict, which stretched to more than 100 days, but it also caused one of the major humanitarian crises in recent times. With the West continuing to aid Ukraine through military aid, the relevance of Ukraine adopting neutrality still stands valid, as Russia continues to occupy more Ukrainian territory with no scope of peace in the forefront.Read more
Although several developed countries might propagate the idea that the conflicts and wars bring misery to humanity at large, they promote the idea of defence preparedness as a means and instrument of deterrence, and this ensures that their interests are served even during good times. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created all the needed threat perception amongst many a country to cause the global armament exports to flourish. Will the geopolitics permit, promote, and support India to capitalize on this export opportunity, or would it be prevented from doing so?Read more
The current crisis in Sri Lanka must make us sit back and realize our own vulnerabilities. Slowing growth rate, rising borrowings, increasing magnitude of withdrawal by the institutional investors and widening gap between export and import must make India cautious. The economy must be beyond electoral politics. We must leave everything aside and work with focused attention to protecting and safeguarding our economy. The rest can wait, but not the economy!Read more
Dependence on caste and religion to win elections is observed frequently in India. Few call it appeasement while few others call it representation. Is it not paradoxical? Classification of victorious public representatives by their caste/religion tacitly enhances their importance in the country’s democracy. Apparently, it messages about corroborating the wide representation of communities through the leaders belonging to them. But at the same time, it evinces the unfading pertinence of caste/religion in our society. It is inevitable to delve into the disquietude nucleating from the issues of publicizing representation and appeasement of communities based on caste/religion for strengthening coherence in the society.Read more
“I often wonder, how would the governance and policies of a nation would get impacted, if there was a Union Political Public Service Commission (UPPSC) to conduct a tougher than the civil service examination to determine the minimum eligibility condition for contesting the election as MP or MLA?” People clamour for political reforms. They want politics to change. They want competent people to represent them in power and in opposition. Interestingly, however, they do not identify themselves with the educated and those holding official positions based on the merit determined by their educational attainment. They find them far removed from people to represent and promote their causes. Obviously, people prefer their political representatives to look, feel and behave like themselves.Read more
The fight in UP assembly elections remained primarily between the BJP and the SP. The star campaigners of ruling dispensation raked on the incidents during pre-2017 rule with few prominent ones being Kairana riots & associated migration in western UP, dynastic politics, law and order, camouflaged polarization, nationalism, etc. The law and order, women’s safety, free gas connection, free toilets, free houses, elimination of mafias, welfare schemes of a free ration on account of COVID disruption, direct benefit transfer, health care schemes, infrastructure, various freebies, etc. remained the mainstay for the BJP. Astoundingly, the SP leadership maintained reasonable decency in language while referring to the political opponents across the electioneering. The SP leadership continually reminded of its works, including the “Dial 100”, “Dial 1090”, police reforms, free ambulance service, solar energy initiatives, power plants, power station networks, farmer mandis, sugarcane procurement, the four-lane connection of district headquarters, Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Lucknow Metro, IT park, tourism, welfare schemes of food, pension, etc.Read more
According to an old adage, says that as soon as a student gets into an IIT his soul emigrates to the US; and the moment he graduates, his body too migrates to join the soul. The phenomenon is not confined to the domain of engineering and technology alone. The situation with the Indian scientists and academicians is no different. Many of those who went abroad for higher education and chose to make a career there, were recognized for their accomplishments and rewarded with coveted positions. How come most of the Indian Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medal awardees are those who left the country and were able to make their marks on foreign soil? They might appear a loss to the nation but are a gain to the profession that they wish to pursue and excel!Read more
India sliding down in Global Hunger Index is serious and needs holistic consideration Honest introspection, and investigation of the hunger concerns may help!Read more
“To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent thinking”, said Aldo Leopold. Lake Kolleru is showing signs of poor water quality and habitat deterioration. There is an urgent need to ascertain the levels of habitat destruction, over-exploitation, and encroachments in the once peerless fishermen’s paradise and birds’ heaven.Read more
On the commemoration of the first anniversary of NEP 2020, it will be prudent on the part of the regulators to revisit the progress made in the on-ground implementation of provisions of NEP 2020 and reschedule the milestones laid in it, else the disorderliness created through it may disarray the existing education system as well. The predominant disruptions caused by the pandemic and the pragmatic view on the desired transformations ought to be taken into consideration before a realizable road map is relaid.Read more
The disasters happening around the world, especially in India, make it imperative to question ourselves on the importance of disaster management for the preparation of future generations of the country in having better and safer livelihoods. So, how can we incorporate disaster management for preparing people in schools?Read more
Modi government has made repeal of three farm laws a prestige issue. There are lessons in how NEP-2020 received wide support from all stakeholders after the 2016 policy draft was widely criticized and the government went back to the drafting table. Modi-II regime can learn from Modi-I regime’s experiences on engaging meaningfully with stakeholders when working on crucial policy reforms.Read more
The second wave of the pandemic has claimed many of these valuable employees of the IFS ranging in rank from senior officers to daily wagers. But unfortunately, although the forest departments of several protected areas have requested the administration to include foresters in the list of frontline workers, no action has been taken in this regard. Lack of concern towards the health of foresters reflects general apathy of policymakers. As a progressive nation, it is our duty to address the issues and protect the protectors of our ecological wealth.Read more
This is a two-part primer. Part 2 covers the main takeaways for BJP from the 2021 Vidhan Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal. This part elaborates on the positives of the election outcome for BJP; along with analysing how BJP could’ve improved its performance in these states by critiquing its key decisions related to candidature, manifesto promises and strategies.
BJP’s religious politics worked best in West Bengal; hardly worked in Tamil Nadu while it never worked in Kerala.
With 2024 LS elections not far away, if BJP doesn’t take efforts to break-free from its stereotype of being a Right-Wing nationalist party trying to homogenize India under Hinduism using Hindutva, as openly advocated by senior party leaders like Dr Subramanian Swamy, there is a significant chance for an All-India Mahagathbandhan to steal the incumbency from NDA!Read more
The 2021 Vidhan Sabha elections of five states – namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, and Puducherry happened in the Summer of 2021 while the country was grappling with the Coronavirus Pandemic. While the NDA alliance has formed the government in Puducherry and Assam, its defeat in the other three states is the most discussed topic. At this juncture, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been facing a severe backlash from many Indians as the party failed to contain the spread of the virus, which led to the devastating second wave.Read more
Rather than crediting all positives to the regime, and all negatives to the ‘enemies of the state’, we, as a democracy and as ideological inheritors of our freedom fighters, have the moral responsibility of taking the society forward while accounting for the positives as well as the negatives of all the governments democratically elected by us – we, the people!
If the reality is ‘negative’ news, let’s face it. If the reality is ‘positive’ news, let’s rejoice in it! But, let’s not ‘build’ positive news by concealing the reality!Read more
Death robs you of dignity but in this case, it robbed you of personhood – you were just a statistic in the hospital register or the crematoriums, and the illusion of governance that had existed till now showed itself for the sham it was.
The “System’ has gone into hibernation fulfilling a dream for an “atmanirbhar” Bharat. “Don’t expect hand-holding folks, go deal with the Pandemic yourself. Manage your own oxygen and hospital beds and if you fail, don’t act like a cry baby. Just die quietly and be done with it” the ‘System’ seems to be telling us in no uncertain terms. Add to this, the fancy house the ‘System’ is building -it will see the demolition of our colonial past and will usher in the legacy of the great majoritarian premier. If this isn’t good news, what is? Haters and corrupt foreign media might talk about the stench of death all around but who cares for them anyway? You and I can only hope that the palace has enough mirrors where the “System” can see itself stark naked just for once.Read more
How come our society has stooped down to such levels? Is this incident a rare outlier in our so-called ‘culturally rich and diverse society’ or is it a feeling being identified by many? Are social conventions above the survival of a human?
It is indeed an appalling reality of our civilisation which we need to face point-blank keeping aside the so-called excuse of ‘negativity all around in pandemic era’.
The earliest realization of the fact that the large size of India’s population is reeling under penury is the only way to catalyse the government for strategizing jobs/source of livelihood to every hand.
With the vaccination drive on the way in the country, the disparate COVID vaccine pricing in India by the native manufacturer is amoral.Read more
India’s fall in the world ranking based on the gender parity index warrants sincere introspection to strategize for achieving gender parity. We have already lost much of the ‘India 2020’ dream envisioned by Former President Kalam to petty politics and jingoism. Let’s not lose this golden phase of 37-year demographic dividend into which India entered three years ago!Read more
As per the Freedom House Report, India is stated to have slipped from the ‘Free’ to ‘Partly Free‘ category dueRead more
Topsy turvy farmer protests need to be handled intelligently, else other farmer miseries could catalyze the movement.Read more
Any dent on the stated objectives of the preamble of the Indian constitution directing to secure justice, liberty, equality to all citizens and promote fraternity to maintain unity and integrity of the nation may damage the democratic values irreversibly.Read more
As of late, it has been observed that many charismatic leaders across major political parties of India, who happen to be incumbent Ministers of Union and Chief Ministers, have started campaigning even for civic body polls for their favoured candidates. However, should these individuals holding constitutional offices really campaign for their parties?Read more
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 has ironically been full of large-scale protests all across the world, including India. This includes the CAA-NRC protests in India, the ongoing farm act protests in India, the Black Lives Matter Movement in the USA and the ongoing Pro-Democracy Thai Protests of 2020, to name a few. This article analyses the impact of protests and public demonstrations on the democratic environment of any country in the light of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India’s recent verdict on protests in public spaces.Read more
The state, with more than 12 crore population, has the credit of influencing national politics significantly in the past. Thus, the outcome of Bihar state elections is likely to have serious implications on the future political moves in the Hindi heartland of India. With all political parties pursuing the voters through numerous tactics and tantrums, the canvassing for the first round of polling has come to an end. Nonetheless, it is not discernible to categorically conclude the swinging mood of the voters.Read more
The need of the hour is to fight the global pandemic through solidarity and cooperation with each other and puttingRead more
Across space or over time, farmers should be able to trade freely with certainty. If MSP were a panacea, we would not be having any conversation, in the first place, about doubling farmers’ income more than five decades on!Read more
Farm laws in India should be seen in perspective of global best practices as the farmers need enabling to trade for getting the best returns.Read more
The commentary around any policy change in our country, unfortunately, seems to boil down to who understands India better. The resulting discussion often devolves into adversarial claims about the ‘real vs. imagined’, with all sides, of course, claiming the real for themselves. Hence, this article intends to focus more on the drivers of the protests rather than forecasting the possible outcomes of the policy change.Read more
There are over 100 million farmers in India, and no policy is likely to make all of them happy or upset. The protests, therefore, should only be surprising to people who believe that there exist win-win outcomes in which every stakeholder is better off.Read more
Agri sector bills aim to increase competitiveness in agri supply chain and freedom of choice to sell their produce to Indian farmers. But, will there be a level playing field for farmers?Read more
The government needs to view the issue through the perspective of a farmer. The small farmers of today need safeguard from exploitation along with greater choices. Although the bill promises them more choices, it doesn’t attempt to strengthen the safeguards. This is what the farmers of today are protesting against!Read more
A Step Towards Atmanirbharta in Next-Gen Delivery Systems: India’s test of the “next-gen” weapon systems is to secure its position and defend itself from any threat especially when the major powers have re-engaged in a nuclear arms race through improved delivery systems.Read more
Even though the pandemic is taking its toll on federal structure of most countries, as can be seen in the case of India and Australia in this article, if there is one good thing that comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic for both countries, it is the push to re-evaluate what federalism means in the 21st century.Read more
The tyranny of an independent nation may continue, just the treatment may change, as we have yet not lost our chains!Read more
The largest democracy of the world is a successfully functional democracy. But, there also exist certain instances where unethical practices woo the voters. It seems that the high cost of electioneering fosters corruption. The money should not play any role in influencing the voters. A nationwide debate to have major reforms in the electoral process is inevitable.Read more
The all-important is to initiate public discourses through well-conceived opportunities to stimulate the scientific temper in all segments of the population across the country. For efficient deliveries in the democracy of around 1.33 billion population, there should not be any room for irrational thinking, else the country will lag in the present and an ensuing era of technology.Read more
Democracy 2020: Are new Gods in the making ?
The growing numbers of “devotees” instead of “supporters”, is not healthy for a democracy as vibrant and diverse as India where every voice should be respected