Agnipath: Design imaginative solutions for life post-service

  • It is not just the responsibility of the armed forces to rehabilitate ex-servicemen. This is a national effort, which requires us to put our money where our mouth is, for their dignity, for they have great potential to serve. 
the deeper potential of a body of troops is not just their individual technical skills; instead, it is their problem-solving ability, teamwork and a “can do together” attitude as a well-led unit. (File Photo)
Published on Jun 27, 2022 08:37 PM IST
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The road ahead on revenue compensation to the states

  • As the economy recovers and with the improved compliance, the actual growth in revenue would be higher and this may obviate the need for compensation by many states. It remains to be seen how the Council will tread this difficult path.
Implementing GST by combining 13 domestic trade taxes levied by the Centre and states was by no means easy. (File Photo)
Published on Jun 27, 2022 08:08 PM IST
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Navigating a curious chapter in Indo-US ties

  • With Quad’s expanding footprint and the IPEF’s potential for investment, there is an urgent need for India to be clear-eyed on Delhi-DC ties, while it may be forced to rethink its stance on Russia. This is also a good moment to assess other key partners
Notwithstanding the White House’s commitment to India, there will soon be a moment of reckoning. Hence, as much as India’s position on Russia is distinct, it is worth using this time well to strategise for the future. (Reuters)
Published on Jun 27, 2022 08:06 PM IST
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CERT-In’s new cybersecurity directive is a misadventure

  • Its plan to hoover up troves of sensitive data, without a privacy law, is quixotic. The directive should be rescinded or face a challenge in court.
CERT-In has bitten off more than it can chew. This directive sounds like it was written in the 90s. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Representative Image)
Published on Jun 27, 2022 08:02 PM IST
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Pride Matters | Conquering the mental health woes of the queer community

  • In a world comfortable only with heteronormativity, being queer is often shamed. This can lead to mental health stressors unique to the community. As a mental health practitioner, I've found ways to conquer these feelings of shame to embrace inclusivity
LGBTQIA+ people often grow up feeling a sense of alienation, leading to self-hate, shame, or even disgust because they believe what the world tells them — that it is wrong to be you and to be true to yourself.(Unsplash)
Published on Jun 27, 2022 07:53 PM IST
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India’s lagging sustainability performance

India’s low ranking in the Environmental Performance Index is not based on its high level of GHG emissions alone. The low rank also results from sub-par performance on a wide range of pollution control and natural resource management issues
Indian political leaders at the national, state, and local levels need to step up their game across a wide range of sustainability issues(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
Published on Jun 27, 2022 07:49 PM IST
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Pride Matters | Embracing the multitude of identities that we inhabit

  • Through language, society's classificatory impulses have put gender into specific boxes, often forcing people who do not conform to the "feminine-masculine" binary to adhere to the socially acceptable rules of these categories. This is wrong
When a person — legally, socially, and culturally — adheres to reducing their multiplicity into singularity by entering a name, there is always a spectre of contamination that haunts them. (Shutterstock)
Published on Jun 27, 2022 05:43 PM IST
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Distantly Close | A look back at Droupadi Murmu's illustrious predecessors 

  • Most Presidents of the Republic were men of substance with a stamp of their own. As Droupadi Murmu is set to become India's next president, it would do us well not to judge the office by intermittent aberrations.
While Presidents cannot lead governments by their nose, they certainly can nudge them toward the constitutional scheme on seeing them go astray.
Updated on Jun 27, 2022 02:17 PM IST
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By Vinod Sharma

The Taste With Vir: Where to eat when in Bangkok?

  • Now that Thailand has re-opened and so many of us are travelling to Bangkok, I am always being asked where to eat. Well, things change all the time. But these are the places I ate at a fortnight ago.
The Taste With Vir: Where to eat when in Bangkok?(Pexels)
Published on Jun 27, 2022 08:30 AM IST
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By, Delhi

How BRICS can strengthen itself

The member-States must go beyond rhetoric and work on improving internal solidarity and mutual trust. As a starting point, Russia should consider peace talks with Ukraine, and China should work for an accord on de-escalation in eastern Ladakh
The Beijing summit endorsed a consensus view that there is first ‘the need to clarify the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures’ for the expansion process. It is time to tell China that every member holds a veto on new candidates (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jun 26, 2022 08:33 PM IST
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ByRajiv Bhatia

The Maha political story is still incomplete

A furious Shiv Sena is now threatening to fight on the streets, on the House floor, and in court. This metropolis has always been a stronghold of the Shiv Sena and it is believed that whatever the fellow leaders do, the workers are with Matoshree
Shiv Sena supporters raise slogans holding placards as they stage a rally in support of the Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, New Delhi, August 26 (Amit Sharma)
Updated on Jun 26, 2022 08:34 PM IST
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The impact of our planet’s addiction to fossil fuels is hurting

Tackling the climate crisis needs all G20 nations to step up, make bold commitments, and get on with implementing them. Making the promise is only the first step. Getting the promised job done, as quickly as possible, is crucial if we are to keep warming to 1.5°C and avoid even worse, and worsening, loss and damage from the climate crisis.
People walk through flooded Streets of Sangli, India, August 9, 2019. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 26, 2022 02:56 PM IST
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ByGareth Redmond-King

Mobility as a key driver of greater women’s freedom

  • Inclusive access to mobility must consider a rights-based issue, rather than a protection-based one, so that women can become more independent. 
Any woman who has travelled in a bus will attest to the fact that seats reserved for women are often occupied by men who refuse to vacate them. (Reuters/Representative Image)
Published on Jun 25, 2022 09:01 PM IST
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A little bit of silliness that can lift the spirits

  • Summer is the silly season in Britain. With Parliament in recess, schools and universities closed, newspapers and TV scramble for stories. So, the silliest things make it to the headlines. And if, like me, silliness amuses you, here is a silly read.
If, like me, silliness amuses you, then there’s nothing to beat what I’m told is called The Drunk Poem. It’s a delightful verse, or do I mean worse? (Shutterstock)
Published on Jun 25, 2022 09:01 PM IST
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The charade of autonomy in PoK’s political setup

  • PoK is effectively integrated in Pakistan, not only in terms of the constitutional compact of powers, but through political control. It is Pakistan’s mainstream parties that have formed governments in PoK in successive “elections”
PoK is effectively integrated in Pakistan, not only in terms of the constitutional compact of powers, but through political control. (PTI)
Published on Jun 25, 2022 09:00 PM IST
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The genesis of the electoral and ideological crisis in the Sena

  • The party Bal Thackeray founded is fighting for its survival after a rebellion against the chief minister. The outcome will have a profound impact on state and national politics, and change the face of Mumbai forever
Despite the fluidity in the political situation now, it is certain that Sena’s attrition will transform Maharashtra’s politics. The benefactor is the BJP, which has not only avenged its humiliation post the 2019 polls but has emerged as the de-facto Hindutva mainstay in the state(PTI)
Updated on Jun 25, 2022 09:00 PM IST
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Maha lessons for family focussed parties in India

The debacle is an instructive reminder from the BJP to its challengers that no battle is too small to attempt a fight. It is also a warning to all dynasty-driven parties that the family name is not bulletproof to the assaults of the competition, both within and from competitors
Banners in support of Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, Vashi, Navi Mumbai, June 24, 2022 (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 08:21 PM IST
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How the defence pension bill became a big burden

An institution such as an independent fiscal council can help the people and politicians understand the financial consequences of such plans before they are implemented
Defence pensions comprised 26.4% of the defence ministry’s budget in FY21, up from 18% a decade ago. The increase in the pension bill resulted in an equivalent decline in the capital procurement budget. (AP)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 08:20 PM IST
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ByPranay Kotasthane

Menopause is real. We need to talk about it

While we’ve been chipping away at the traditional silence around menstruation, its progression to menopause is still deemed too awful to talk about
A recent survey in the United Kingdom (UK) finds that one in 10 women has quit a job due to menopausal symptoms. The Indian Menopause Society estimates that 150 million women in India live with it, symptoms of which could include hot flushes and night sweats (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 08:21 PM IST
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Terms of Trade | Hindi cinema, the angry young man, and India’s economic story

  • Youth anger has finally met austerity in India, but its portrayal in popular culture is still missing
It remains to be seen which one among politics and popular culture catches up with the mood of the masses first. The latter of course, will find it easier, because it does not necessarily have to solve it to find popular traction. 
Published on Jun 24, 2022 06:11 PM IST
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Pride Matters | Finding the queer icon in Sridevi: Losing control is hard work

  • I did a deep dive into the world of Sridevi and Madhuri, reflecting on the cinematic universes they created, and on how their movement sat in my own body. Here's what I found:
There is a treacherous chasm between the actor and the character she portrays, and you are constantly reminded of it — in how she crashes into guests at the party, or teeters forwards and backwards, testing the limits of her balance. 
Published on Jun 24, 2022 05:41 PM IST
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History, Southside | Empires of sound and linguistic politics

  • South India's history and politics are complex and intertwined — and this is most evident in its languages. Here, I explore their vibrant and surprising past, including how the linguistic innovations of Southern India often outpaced those of the North.
For centuries, the languages of the South have had a turbulent relationship with each other and with those of the North. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jun 23, 2022 11:19 PM IST
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The anti-defection law and its effect on politics

  • By barring members from voting or speaking against the party on any issue, it weakened legislatures. And, as the turmoil in Maharashtra shows, it fundamentally altered the relationship between a politician and the party
Visuals of lawmakers being herded from state to state have underlined their lack of independence and the fraying relationship between a party and a lawmaker. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
Published on Jun 23, 2022 09:56 PM IST
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What it takes to become a sapper in the Indian Army

  • A sapper is promoted as Army commander after having successfully commanded a corps. He reaches that position by dint of ability.
For decades, the corps of engineers (popularly called sappers) has been the most-sought after arm in the Army. (ANI)
Published on Jun 23, 2022 09:53 PM IST
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Pride matters | The quest for gender-inclusive educational spaces

  • Practising diversity in the classroom is a slow evolution to unlearn and move away from binaries, stigmas, and preconceived constructs to arrive at a common ground of shared realities, where differences are understood, accepted, and then etched into one's understanding of diverse ways of life.
A participant poses in front of young students (and supporters) of the Delhi Queer Pride movement. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 05:42 PM IST
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Policies and People | Cheetahs in Kuno: Who gains, who loses

  • The cheetah introduction plan has sparked a controversy. While eventually, everything may fall in place, there is no harm in answering the project-related questions from scientists and conservationists
Unveiling the cheetah plan, Union minister for environment, forest and climate change, Bhupender Yadav said that “Project Cheetah aims to bring back independent India’s only extinct large mammal – the cheetah. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 03:53 PM IST
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G7’s Just Energy Transition Partnership: Should India get on board?

The hurried adoption of JETP as a template for future Nationally Determined Contribution financing raises a number of questions
The Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) initiative is apparently modelled after the South Africa JETP launched at the last climate conference in Glasgow with the support of the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), France, Germany, and the European Union (EU). (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jun 23, 2022 08:02 PM IST
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ByRR Rashmi

Agnipath: A good step for the Army, youth and the nation

As we proceed with Agnipath, I am sure that the government will keep an open mind on refining it to respond to the concerns that have been raised
Department of Military Affairs Additional Secretary Lieutenant General Anil Puria ddresses the press conference on the Agnipath Recruitment Scheme, New Delhi (Amlan Paliwal)
Published on Jun 23, 2022 01:32 PM IST
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Pride Matters | The fight for meaningful queer emancipation

  • Has India moved forward in the inclusion of the queer community since the scrapping of Section 377? With Covid-19 as an example of a trying time for the community, their fight for fundamental rights continues, while the State is often found wanting
While legal change is critical, it goes hand-in-hand with social change. For that, the State and society have an obligation to fulfil. (Samir Jana/HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 22, 2022 10:25 PM IST
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