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One of the most striking images at the beginning of 2020 was that of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), protesters reading aloud the Preamble to the Constitution.(HTPHOTO)

Key constitutional values invoked last year must be built on

By Ritwika Sharma
UPDATED ON JAN 04, 2021 11:09 AM IST
There were assertions of federalism by some states on CAA; the Election Commission smoothly conducted its first post-Covid assembly election; and, most significantly, citizens came into their own and truly realised the import of the Constitution — for themselves and their fellow country people. Let us hope to build on this spirit this year.
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A health worker collects swab samples from passengers for Covid-19 test, New Delhi, January 1, 2020(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
A health worker collects swab samples from passengers for Covid-19 test, New Delhi, January 1, 2020(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

Post-Covid-19, cardiac health management is vital

By RR Kasliwal
PUBLISHED ON JAN 02, 2021 07:01 PM IST
It would seem that the recovery process from Covid-19 exists on a continuum early in the course of acute Covid-19. Management is focused on detecting and treating acute Covid-19 related complications while after recovery from the acute phase, people require management and evaluation of persistent or new symptoms.
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Healthcare workers collect swab samples of migrants, Thane. September 10, 2020(Praful Gangurde/ HT Photo)
Healthcare workers collect swab samples of migrants, Thane. September 10, 2020(Praful Gangurde/ HT Photo)

Covid-19 highlighted the ‘the tyranny of experts’

By Praveen Chakravarty
PUBLISHED ON JAN 01, 2021 08:07 PM IST
Ideas and opinions play an inordinately important role in a liberal democracy and should flourish freely. But the weight of such ideas and opinions rise only when incentives are aligned and symmetrical
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If current indications are anything to go by we are witnessing the revival, even intensification of the ecologically-damaging production and consumption patterns which have landed us in this predicament. Carbon emissions are rising once again as economies begin to revive. Environmental safeguards are being relaxed on the plea that industries badly hit by the pandemic cannot bear the burden of such regulation at least for some time.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
If current indications are anything to go by we are witnessing the revival, even intensification of the ecologically-damaging production and consumption patterns which have landed us in this predicament. Carbon emissions are rising once again as economies begin to revive. Environmental safeguards are being relaxed on the plea that industries badly hit by the pandemic cannot bear the burden of such regulation at least for some time.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

The climate crisis needs a vaccine too

By Shyam Saran
UPDATED ON JAN 01, 2021 06:02 AM IST
The pandemic has starkly exposed the perils of the rampant degradation of our planet’s fragile ecology
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Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, 2018(Getty Images)
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, 2018(Getty Images)

Pakistan’s relations with India remain stationary; with China it has consolidated; there is an uptick with the US

By T C A Raghavan
PUBLISHED ON DEC 31, 2020 07:51 PM IST
In brief the US rediscovered Pakistan’s utility in Afghanistan in 2020.That this happened within the tenure of the Trump Presidency gave to many in Pakistan the hope that things will begin with the new Biden administration on a more stable note and move quickly in a positive direction.
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China’s People’s Liberation Army has violated all the agreements to maintain peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control(AP File Photo)
China’s People’s Liberation Army has violated all the agreements to maintain peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control(AP File Photo)

China violates border agreements with India, swears by 2003 pact on Tibet | Analysis

By Shishir Gupta | New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2020 01:55 PM IST
The Chinese embassy official not just cherry-picked bilateral agreements with India, but also portions from the 2003 pact that the embassy decided to quote.
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Several research studies have indicated that girls drop out of schools due to inadequate sanitary facilities being provided especially during their menstruation periods. Facilities need to be provided — and their awkwardness needs to be addressed too.(HTPhoto)
Several research studies have indicated that girls drop out of schools due to inadequate sanitary facilities being provided especially during their menstruation periods. Facilities need to be provided — and their awkwardness needs to be addressed too.(HTPhoto)

Women must be centre-stage in water and sanitation

By Naina Lal Kidwai
UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2020 05:42 AM IST
In 2018 the rallying call of the Swacch Bharat Mission (SBM) campaign of “Satyagraha se Swachhagrah” - rode on the back of the big change in sanitation habits in India .
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he State must act fast to enforce indoor lock downs and effective ‘social and physical distancing’ norms through media, social help groups, vigorous public announcements and by applying force, if that becomes necessary.(REUTERS)
he State must act fast to enforce indoor lock downs and effective ‘social and physical distancing’ norms through media, social help groups, vigorous public announcements and by applying force, if that becomes necessary.(REUTERS)

Mutant strains emphasise the need for strict controls

By Narinder K Mehra
UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2020 05:43 AM IST
It is important to keep the viral load in check so that the natural benefits India’s population enjoys of broad-based immunity can be best made use of
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Collegiums, having monopolised appointments and transfers, are duty bound to devise a simple flow/time chart to ensure that movement of files at each level is monitored by a designated judge in each court and does not exceed the stipulated time period for each rung of the ladder.(PTI)
Collegiums, having monopolised appointments and transfers, are duty bound to devise a simple flow/time chart to ensure that movement of files at each level is monitored by a designated judge in each court and does not exceed the stipulated time period for each rung of the ladder.(PTI)

Challenges ahead for the judiciary

By Abhishek Singhvi
PUBLISHED ON DEC 30, 2020 07:44 PM IST
To free up the clogged arteries of the system, we need an alternative dispute resolution mechanism
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It is to the credit of Narendra Modi that he imbibed the lessons of the 1998-2004 experience and sought to inject the party with a new sense of purpose even while wielding power at the Centre.(ANI)
It is to the credit of Narendra Modi that he imbibed the lessons of the 1998-2004 experience and sought to inject the party with a new sense of purpose even while wielding power at the Centre.(ANI)

For the BJP, it has been a productive year

By Swapan Dasgupta
UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2020 05:05 PM IST
It has treated every election, including local body and panchayat polls, as equally important, even those outside its traditional areas of influence.
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Protesting farmers raise slogans at the Delhi-UP border protest site against new farm laws, New Delhi, December 28, 2020(SAKIB ALI/HTPHOTO)
Protesting farmers raise slogans at the Delhi-UP border protest site against new farm laws, New Delhi, December 28, 2020(SAKIB ALI/HTPHOTO)

2020: When people spoke truth to power

By Kapil Sibal
UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2020 05:07 PM IST
In the case of agitating farmers, the government realises that they are not easy targets. This agitation will impact the year 2021. Its political ramifications will be felt in the years to come.
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For India especially, the coming year heralds a phase of new uncertainties, necessitating deft diplomacy accompanied by a firm resolve not to yield ground on issues of sovereignty and national interest.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
For India especially, the coming year heralds a phase of new uncertainties, necessitating deft diplomacy accompanied by a firm resolve not to yield ground on issues of sovereignty and national interest.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

2021 strategic outlook: India must not yield any ground to China

By Jayadeva Ranade
PUBLISHED ON DEC 29, 2020 04:59 PM IST
As India strives to ensure good relations with the US and Russia, revive its economy and build indigenous capabilities, it is vital that it does not yield ground to China and assertively raises issues that impact its core national interests.
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Sanitary workers clear a choked drainage chamber in Nandlalpura area in Indore.(Representative Photo/HT)
Sanitary workers clear a choked drainage chamber in Nandlalpura area in Indore.(Representative Photo/HT)

In between manhole and machine hole

By Pragya Akhilesh | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2020 01:26 PM IST
With the surge of mechanisation, sanitation workers need to be reorganised on a large scale to reinstate a permanent structure in the system.
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The components of a biofuel supply chain create a circular rural economy that results in substantial environmental, socio-economic and health benefits for communities(AFP)
The components of a biofuel supply chain create a circular rural economy that results in substantial environmental, socio-economic and health benefits for communities(AFP)

How biofuels can double farm incomes

UPDATED ON DEC 28, 2020 09:26 AM IST
A total of Rs 1 lakh crore worth of biofuel will be purchased every year by oil marketing firms in the future for blending. This money will be ploughed back to the rural economy
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The SolarWinds hack – a cyber espionage campaign compromising critical organisations of the U.S. – has fundamentally disrupted the power dynamics of cyberspace.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The SolarWinds hack – a cyber espionage campaign compromising critical organisations of the U.S. – has fundamentally disrupted the power dynamics of cyberspace.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

SolarWinds: Cyber strategists are back to the drawing board

By Pukhraj Singh
PUBLISHED ON DEC 27, 2020 06:12 PM IST
Cyber strategists are now back to the drawing board as even the most meticulously derived variables and equations of cyber power look like unfounded abstractions. It is a moment of reckoning for the neoliberal system which was the very foundation of the Internet.
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Pollutants emitted by the incomplete combustion of solid fuels or kerosene for cooking, heating and lighting are associated with serious health risks(SHUTTERSTOCK)
Pollutants emitted by the incomplete combustion of solid fuels or kerosene for cooking, heating and lighting are associated with serious health risks(SHUTTERSTOCK)

Indoor air pollution: Don’t brush it aside

PUBLISHED ON DEC 26, 2020 07:43 PM IST
In the discussions on air pollution, IAP often loses out to outdoor pollution. But as the extent of the challenge shows, IAP is an equally big problem. Let’s not brush it under the carpet.
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Migrant workers returning from Madhya Pradesh and en route Haryana seen while crossing DND Flyway on foot in Noida.(Sunil Ghosh / Hindustan Times File Photo)
Migrant workers returning from Madhya Pradesh and en route Haryana seen while crossing DND Flyway on foot in Noida.(Sunil Ghosh / Hindustan Times File Photo)

2020: The people vs the Indian State

By Yamini Aiyar
UPDATED ON DEC 26, 2020 07:40 PM IST
The anti-CAA protests, the defiance of migrants, and now the farmers’ stir show that the everyday practice of democracy is a powerful corrective in the face of arbitrary and unilateral State decisions
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According to The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2020 of Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, only half of the women in India use mobile internet compared to men—21% among of women compared to 42% of men(HTPHOTO)
According to The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2020 of Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, only half of the women in India use mobile internet compared to men—21% among of women compared to 42% of men(HTPHOTO)

Girls and boys need equal tech access for online school classes

By Sourav Banerjee
PUBLISHED ON DEC 25, 2020 05:20 PM IST
A strong political will and sharp policies are the need of the hour to bridge this gap swiftly before it becomes an issue of grave social prejudice.
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Farmers at Singhu border during their 'Delhi Chalo' protest march against the Centre's new farm laws, New Delhi, December 23, 2020(PTI)
Farmers at Singhu border during their 'Delhi Chalo' protest march against the Centre's new farm laws, New Delhi, December 23, 2020(PTI)

In the farm debate, focus on access to food

By Pulapre Balakrishnan
UPDATED ON DEC 25, 2020 06:34 AM IST
High food price stalls the expansion of the non-agricultural sector. It also impacts the future of agriculture in ways not recognised
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Oli’s decision needs to be seen in a larger global context of democratically-elected leaders undermining democracy.(AFP)
Oli’s decision needs to be seen in a larger global context of democratically-elected leaders undermining democracy.(AFP)

In Nepal, an attack on democracy

By Vijay Kant Karna and Ajaya Bhadra Khanal
UPDATED ON DEC 25, 2020 06:34 AM IST
Nepalis want good governance, democratic stability and economic development. Supporting PM Oli’s move undermines all these principles.
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As we look to kickstart recovery in 2021, one hopes that policymakers will retain focus on making land records services citizen-friendly, undertaking surveys of previously unsurveyed areas, improving land markets and continuing to invest in affordable housing in our urban centres.(HTPhoto)
As we look to kickstart recovery in 2021, one hopes that policymakers will retain focus on making land records services citizen-friendly, undertaking surveys of previously unsurveyed areas, improving land markets and continuing to invest in affordable housing in our urban centres.(HTPhoto)

An unlikely common strand of 2020 — land and property rights

By Aparajita Bharti and Bindushree D
PUBLISHED ON DEC 24, 2020 06:32 PM IST
A continued focus on land and property rights is important — these cross-cutting issues not only impact the growth of India’s economy but play an important role in the lives of all Indians.
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Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a complex political figure — but there is little doubt that his complex worldview, which defies easy categorisations, helped shape the India of today.(File photo)
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a complex political figure — but there is little doubt that his complex worldview, which defies easy categorisations, helped shape the India of today.(File photo)

The world of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

By Shakti Sinha
UPDATED ON DEC 25, 2020 06:02 AM IST
The former PM was committed to Hindu traditions, opposed caste, sought economic freedom and was prescient about China
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Members of different farmer organisations shout anti-government slogans during a protest against the new agricultural laws, Mumbai, December 22, 2020(AP)
Members of different farmer organisations shout anti-government slogans during a protest against the new agricultural laws, Mumbai, December 22, 2020(AP)

Accept the SC’s advice, don’t underestimate the agitation

By Vinod Sharma
UPDATED ON DEC 24, 2020 05:46 AM IST
Pressing the pause button on the legislations will be a face-saver for the agitators, who want a repeal, and the Centre, which is loath to roll them back. Observers point to the availability of a reservoir of jurists, retired generals, academics, agriculture experts and bureaucrats who can inspire trust on either side.
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The absence of purpose limitation safeguards with respect to use of worker records by aggregators and/or government agencies exposes platform workers to the threat of discriminatory profiling.(HINDUSTAN TIMES PHOTO)
The absence of purpose limitation safeguards with respect to use of worker records by aggregators and/or government agencies exposes platform workers to the threat of discriminatory profiling.(HINDUSTAN TIMES PHOTO)

A data rights agenda for platform and gig economy workers

By Nandini Chami and Sadhana Sanjay
PUBLISHED ON DEC 23, 2020 05:52 PM IST
In the long term, a well-rounded data rights agenda that acknowledges privacy and personal data protection considerations as well as workers’ collective claim need to become the new 21st century frontier for the labour movement.
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Farmers protest against the newly-passed farm laws, Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, December 17, 2020(REUTERS)
Farmers protest against the newly-passed farm laws, Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, December 17, 2020(REUTERS)

What agriculture needs: Risk mitigation

By Shoumitro Chatterjee
UPDATED ON DEC 23, 2020 04:21 PM IST
Its absence make farmers less receptive to pro-market reforms which add to income uncertainty
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By various estimates, close to 90% of the workforce in India is employed in the unorganised sector and this has been severely impacted(AP)
By various estimates, close to 90% of the workforce in India is employed in the unorganised sector and this has been severely impacted(AP)

Where the Indian economic story went wrong

By Arvind Mayaram
UPDATED ON DEC 23, 2020 04:21 PM IST
The ongoing economic recovery is being driven by a small section of the economy, and led by profits rather than wages. We can hope, on a wing and a prayer, that the government will finally act.
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Democratic states have come to the right conclusion that going it alone in the realm of high-tech geopolitics is unrewarding. India should use this change in thinking to expand its role in the global high-tech value chain. A Quad Silicon Dialogue can be one such start.(SHUTTERSTOCK)
Democratic states have come to the right conclusion that going it alone in the realm of high-tech geopolitics is unrewarding. India should use this change in thinking to expand its role in the global high-tech value chain. A Quad Silicon Dialogue can be one such start.(SHUTTERSTOCK)

The next step for Quad: A dialogue on high tech

By Pranay Kotasthane and Rohan Seth
PUBLISHED ON DEC 22, 2020 06:56 PM IST
Building a semiconductor supply chain as the first initiative matters for three reasons. One, the semiconductor industry underlies all critical technologies. Two, it is perhaps the most globalised high-value supply chain and no country can become entirely self-resilient. And three, all four countries have complementary strengths in the semiconductor supply chain.
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The US sees India’s participation as important for the success of an Indo-Pacific architecture.(AP)
The US sees India’s participation as important for the success of an Indo-Pacific architecture.(AP)

How much India should invest in the Indo-Pacific

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller
UPDATED ON DEC 21, 2020 08:34 PM IST
India will need to decide whether it will be a founding architect as the US hopes, or a more passive bystander in what could be one of the key framings of international order for decades to come.
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A research scientist works inside a laboratory of Serum Institute, the world's largest maker of vaccines, May 18, 2020(REUTERS)
A research scientist works inside a laboratory of Serum Institute, the world's largest maker of vaccines, May 18, 2020(REUTERS)

In gratitude to the scientific community

By Harsh Vardhan
UPDATED ON DEC 21, 2020 07:49 PM IST
If 2020 was the year of rapid and unprecedented breakthroughs on vaccines, 2021 will be the year of getting it across to people
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As and when vaccines are found to be safe and effective, countries will need to activate detailed plans to efficiently deploy the initial tranches of Covid-19 vaccines to cover up to 20% of the most vulnerable of their population, and to carry out coordinated and equitable deployments thereafter.(REUTERS)
As and when vaccines are found to be safe and effective, countries will need to activate detailed plans to efficiently deploy the initial tranches of Covid-19 vaccines to cover up to 20% of the most vulnerable of their population, and to carry out coordinated and equitable deployments thereafter.(REUTERS)

The equitable and efficient deployment of vaccines

By Poonam Khetrapal Singh
UPDATED ON DEC 21, 2020 07:42 PM IST
Complacency must not set in. Although vaccine manufacturing has already started, reaching sufficient availability will take time. In a crisis such as this, there are no silver bullets
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