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In this new MTC matrix, the CNS (chief of naval staff) is marginalised and the CDS assumes a supra-operational role that was not envisaged in the original conception of this post(PTI)

Don’t rush into unviable theatre commands, with skewed structures

By C Uday Bhaskar
UPDATED ON DEC 20, 2020 07:43 PM IST
The Narendra Modi government is to be commended for creating the CDS in the first place but a hasty MTC pursuit could become the equivalent of India’s military demonetisation.
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While additional allocations of ₹40,000 crore have been made for the MGNREGS, and this is a welcome step, the scheme is still struggling to meet current demand(ANI)
While additional allocations of ₹40,000 crore have been made for the MGNREGS, and this is a welcome step, the scheme is still struggling to meet current demand(ANI)

Decoding the dip in public expenditure

By Avani Kapur and Sharad Pandey
UPDATED ON DEC 20, 2020 07:42 PM IST
Despite enhanced commitments across spheres, the government has spent less this year than it did last year
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The minister was, however, caught on the UN TV camera asking whether he should start his speech again from the salutations!(HT Archives)
The minister was, however, caught on the UN TV camera asking whether he should start his speech again from the salutations!(HT Archives)

How SM Krishna slipped up at UNSC

By Manjeev S Puri
UPDATED ON DEC 19, 2020 08:33 PM IST
Krishna began by recognising the UNSG. We had not included him in the salutations. He appreciated the presence of two Portuguese-speaking nations. It was not in our prepared text. His third sentence was about Timor-Leste. The penny dropped
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The Mukti Bahini initially comprised only students and non-military personnel, had a limited leadership and was fearful of the Pakistani army(Getty Images)
The Mukti Bahini initially comprised only students and non-military personnel, had a limited leadership and was fearful of the Pakistani army(Getty Images)

1971: A military victory and the birth of a nation

By VK Singh
UPDATED ON DEC 18, 2020 08:57 PM IST
A short swift war, a manoeuvre on foot in which the Pakistani army was outclassed tactically and strategically giving birth to a new nation — this victory has no parallel in military history anywhere in the world.
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We should rejoice that David Cornwell, a mid-level intelligence officer, decided in 1961 to become a writer and transformed into John Le Carré(Getty Images)
We should rejoice that David Cornwell, a mid-level intelligence officer, decided in 1961 to become a writer and transformed into John Le Carré(Getty Images)

Le Carré captured the human condition, in the Cold War and beyond

By Prakash Karat
PUBLISHED ON DEC 17, 2020 09:32 PM IST
Through the grey world of espionage, Le Carré wrote about the human condition. In his own words: “Out of the secret world I once knew, I tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit.”
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Commission agents have also been key beneficiaries of this system. Commission agents in the grain(Sanjeev Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Commission agents have also been key beneficiaries of this system. Commission agents in the grain(Sanjeev Kumar/Hindustan Times)

In Punjab, the centrality of the mandi system

By Shreya Sinha
UPDATED ON DEC 18, 2020 05:41 AM IST
The mandi has been a major rallying cry for the protests in Punjab. Its importance to agricultural life cannot be overstated
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Gurugram: Vehicles ply on roads, amid hazy weather conditions, in Gurugram, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. The concentration of major air pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 are high in the five immediate neighbours of Delhi including Gurugram, according to the air quality index (AQI) maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). (PTI Photo)(PTI31-10-2020_000070A)(PTI)
Gurugram: Vehicles ply on roads, amid hazy weather conditions, in Gurugram, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. The concentration of major air pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 are high in the five immediate neighbours of Delhi including Gurugram, according to the air quality index (AQI) maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). (PTI Photo)(PTI31-10-2020_000070A)(PTI)

A four-point action plan to improve Delhi’s air

By OP Agarwal
PUBLISHED ON DEC 17, 2020 02:02 PM IST
A sustainable plan to reduce emissions from the transport sector requires a comprehensive and multi-year effort
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The world cannot solve the climate crisis without India’s active participation. We will need to seek an equitable outcome based on climate justice that also provides for financing and space for our transition(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
The world cannot solve the climate crisis without India’s active participation. We will need to seek an equitable outcome based on climate justice that also provides for financing and space for our transition(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Indian diplomacy’s climate test, writes Syed Akbaruddin

By Syed Akbaruddin
UPDATED ON DEC 16, 2020 09:28 PM IST
India has been an overachiever on Paris — but the road ahead is strewn with challenges
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The MNREGS has again proven to be a wonderful scheme, creating huge opportunities for migrant labourers who came back after the lockdown mishap(REUTERS)
The MNREGS has again proven to be a wonderful scheme, creating huge opportunities for migrant labourers who came back after the lockdown mishap(REUTERS)

To revive the economy, go back to the grassroots, writes Bhupesh Baghel

By Bhupesh Baghel
PUBLISHED ON DEC 16, 2020 08:06 PM IST
To strengthen the rural economy, we need to strengthen the rural ecology too
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Joe Biden’s election as the United States (US) president has led to talk of greater coordination between Washington and Brussels over China(Bloomberg)
Joe Biden’s election as the United States (US) president has led to talk of greater coordination between Washington and Brussels over China(Bloomberg)

Decoding the DC-Brussels-Beijing geopolitical triangle

By Manoj Kewalramani
PUBLISHED ON DEC 16, 2020 08:05 PM IST
Irrespective of this economic engagement, there is friction between Beijing and Brussels, which is independent of Washington
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Collaboration in sectors such as digital technology, the climate crisis, and vaccine development will see a fillip. India will play an important role in the mass production of the Covid-19 vaccine(PIB)
Collaboration in sectors such as digital technology, the climate crisis, and vaccine development will see a fillip. India will play an important role in the mass production of the Covid-19 vaccine(PIB)

India is right to bet on a post-Brexit UK

By Avinash Paliwal
UPDATED ON DEC 15, 2020 08:30 PM IST
The invite to Boris Johnson indicates deepening strategic and economic convergence
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The sources of pollution here include construction and road dust, garbage-burning in vacant areas, and industries that spew pollutants from their stacks or congestion points for traffic.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
The sources of pollution here include construction and road dust, garbage-burning in vacant areas, and industries that spew pollutants from their stacks or congestion points for traffic.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Pollution: Why every one per cent counts, writes Sunita Narain

By Sunita Narain
UPDATED ON DEC 15, 2020 08:29 PM IST
The source of pollution here is local. Action has to be taken through local agencies. And it has to be systemic
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The PM’s handling of the pandemic, emphasis on economic reform, the support given to the poor have struck a chord with the voters(PTI)
The PM’s handling of the pandemic, emphasis on economic reform, the support given to the poor have struck a chord with the voters(PTI)

Away from the noise, voters continue to repose faith in the BJP, writes Prakash Javadekar

By Prakash Javadekar
UPDATED ON DEC 15, 2020 08:28 PM IST
From rural area to tribal areas, urban parts to cosmopolitan coastal landscapes, India is giving a message. Diverse electorates, diverse elections are giving the same message — that India’s prime issue in 2020 is development and only a Modi-led NDA can provide it
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WhatsApp provides encrypted services to billions of users for free because its costs are borne entirely by its parent, Facebook. So, the fountainhead of “deaths by WhatsApp” in India is Facebook’s monopolistic profits(Shutterstock)
WhatsApp provides encrypted services to billions of users for free because its costs are borne entirely by its parent, Facebook. So, the fountainhead of “deaths by WhatsApp” in India is Facebook’s monopolistic profits(Shutterstock)

The menace of social media monopolies

By Praveen Chakravarty
UPDATED ON DEC 15, 2020 06:15 AM IST
Facebook’s global monopoly profits helped propel WhatsApp’s domination of India, with great social costs
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To better understand how slum residents were affected by the lockdown and pandemic, we conducted a phone survey with 321 slum leaders across 79 slums in Jaipur and Bhopal, at the height of the lockdown in April and May 2020(Adam Auerbach)
To better understand how slum residents were affected by the lockdown and pandemic, we conducted a phone survey with 321 slum leaders across 79 slums in Jaipur and Bhopal, at the height of the lockdown in April and May 2020(Adam Auerbach)

How did slums survive during the lockdown?

By Adam Auerbach and Tariq Thachil
UPDATED ON DEC 14, 2020 08:01 PM IST
The pandemic has shown that slums need sustained engagement between crises
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In this world, where distrust with regard to China increases, India can be a part of multiple economic webs and gain from them(REUTERS)
In this world, where distrust with regard to China increases, India can be a part of multiple economic webs and gain from them(REUTERS)

The world is changing. India needs to get its priorities right

By Pranay Kotasthane
UPDATED ON DEC 15, 2020 06:14 AM IST
What will this new world order look like over the next quarter century? More importantly, how can India shape this emerging order to attain peace and prosperity for all Indians?
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The year is ending with Lavrov once again accusing the West of adopting an “aggressive and devious” policy to engage India “in anti-China games”.(AP)
The year is ending with Lavrov once again accusing the West of adopting an “aggressive and devious” policy to engage India “in anti-China games”.(AP)

Moscow must come to terms with India’s security imperatives

By Harsh V Pant
UPDATED ON DEC 13, 2020 08:39 PM IST
As India reconfigures its China policy with the Indo-Pacific at its core, India-Russia ties won’t be able to escape this strategic reality
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From the flourishing of start-ups to the bursting forth of artistic talents, the online space is unleashing boundless potential. To the extent possible, we should preserve the openness of the internet(Shutterstock)
From the flourishing of start-ups to the bursting forth of artistic talents, the online space is unleashing boundless potential. To the extent possible, we should preserve the openness of the internet(Shutterstock)

The emerging contours of tech policy

By Suyash Rai
UPDATED ON DEC 13, 2020 08:38 PM IST
From a laissez-faire approach, the State is turning to regulation. This is understandable but has risks
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Chinese soldiers armed with spears and rifles, which were used during the Galwan Valley clash in June.
Chinese soldiers armed with spears and rifles, which were used during the Galwan Valley clash in June.

China wants India to accept the new normal on LAC, move on to restore bilateral ties | Analysis

By Shishir Gupta | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 13, 2020 10:56 AM IST
While India wants China to restore status quo ante of April 2020, Beijing apparently feels that Modi government will come to terms with the new normal on LAC and revive ties in the coming months and willy-nilly accept the rise of the Middle Kingdom.
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Towns in the hinterland are undergoing a major transformation, driven by a complex interplay of aspiration driven by social media, an international supply-side shock from the coronavirus pandemic, and untapped markets
Towns in the hinterland are undergoing a major transformation, driven by a complex interplay of aspiration driven by social media, an international supply-side shock from the coronavirus pandemic, and untapped markets

From Hisar, notes on a new, changing India

By Neelanjan Sircar
UPDATED ON DEC 12, 2020 09:29 PM IST
The tale of a small outlet in a Haryana town reveals shifting demand, new supply chains and evolving markets across India’s interiors in the wake of the pandemic
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This is what schools have to prepare for now — dynamic responses to distributed decision-making on safety that inevitably lead to disrupted calendars(Shutterstock)
This is what schools have to prepare for now — dynamic responses to distributed decision-making on safety that inevitably lead to disrupted calendars(Shutterstock)

Needed: A new 3-D model for schools

By Meeta Sengupta
UPDATED ON DEC 12, 2020 09:27 PM IST
Blended learning has come centre-stage, hybrid will have to be the norm. We educators need to work faster towards models of hybrid learning that are not wholly dependent on the internet or screens as the pandemic peaks and eases off
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If we could earn cents for every climate speech made, we would all be rich and resilient by now(AFP)
If we could earn cents for every climate speech made, we would all be rich and resilient by now(AFP)

A manifesto for the climate summit

By Arunabha Ghosh
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2020 07:45 PM IST
Summits serve three purposes. High-level participation allows leaders to negotiate knotty issues, building on personal rapport and the promise of grand bargains. Alternatively, leaders could set a new agenda, drawing others to their cause
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Vaccines are our best bet against the virus, but not much is known about their capability to break the chain of transmission or indeed the efficacy of each vaccine(REUTERS)
Vaccines are our best bet against the virus, but not much is known about their capability to break the chain of transmission or indeed the efficacy of each vaccine(REUTERS)

What to expect when the vaccine rolls out

By Rajat Arora
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2020 08:49 PM IST
With several vaccine manufacturers in the race for emergency use authorisation, will the rollout guarantee mass immunisation or are there hidden challenges?
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The agreement has been able to bring together the vulnerable countries and high-emitting players to tackle a collective problem, and has enabled us to move to the successful first step in the decarbonisation discourse(AFP)
The agreement has been able to bring together the vulnerable countries and high-emitting players to tackle a collective problem, and has enabled us to move to the successful first step in the decarbonisation discourse(AFP)

What the Paris Agreement means for the climate crisis

By Ajay Mathur and Ritu Ahuja
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2020 08:15 PM IST
India is well-equipped for a new chapter of climate collaboration and competition. The Paris Agreement gives it an opportunity to build on this and create a template for climate change behaviour and action in developing countries
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When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, we found out that we do not have a formal State-financed social safety net infrastructure that is adequate for such a situation(Ajay Aggarwal /HT PHOTO)
When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, we found out that we do not have a formal State-financed social safety net infrastructure that is adequate for such a situation(Ajay Aggarwal /HT PHOTO)

Agriculture as a shock-absorber

By Sabyasachi Kar
UPDATED ON DEC 10, 2020 09:12 PM IST
Commercialisation is inevitable. But it must be accompanied with building an alternative social safety net
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Although over three-fourths of India’s population breathes air that does not meet the national standards, apocalyptic levels for a few weeks in the capital become the defining feature of the crisis(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Although over three-fourths of India’s population breathes air that does not meet the national standards, apocalyptic levels for a few weeks in the capital become the defining feature of the crisis(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Confronting everyday sources of pollution across the country

By Santosh Harish
UPDATED ON DEC 10, 2020 09:05 PM IST
Our fixation with the November smog misleads the way we approach this national public health crisis in three fundamental ways.
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India does not have an adult immunisation programme beyond the tetanus/diphtheria vaccination for pregnant women. Hence, in the prioritisation lists that have been announced, identifying and reaching all priority groups will be a challenge(REUTERS)
India does not have an adult immunisation programme beyond the tetanus/diphtheria vaccination for pregnant women. Hence, in the prioritisation lists that have been announced, identifying and reaching all priority groups will be a challenge(REUTERS)

Navigating the vaccine challenge

By Gagandeep Kang
UPDATED ON DEC 09, 2020 08:36 PM IST
Getting the product, quantity, condition, place, time and cost right is key
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Opposition to such historic reforms is suicidal for the farming community. Yet, some sections of the farmers are on the streets blockading Delhi arteries(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
Opposition to such historic reforms is suicidal for the farming community. Yet, some sections of the farmers are on the streets blockading Delhi arteries(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

How the agriculture reforms finally liberate farmers | Opinion

By Ram Madhav
UPDATED ON DEC 09, 2020 08:59 PM IST
The agitation is led by a section of the farmers, misled by false propaganda. On the other hand, the majority of the tilling class, Dalits and the poor, are conspicuous by their absence
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At the dawn of Independence, the logistical challenges of accommodating the 300-plus members of the Constituent Assembly would resurface(HT ARCHIVE)
At the dawn of Independence, the logistical challenges of accommodating the 300-plus members of the Constituent Assembly would resurface(HT ARCHIVE)

The evolution of India’s Parliament building

By Chakshu Roy
UPDATED ON DEC 09, 2020 08:30 PM IST
The need for the upkeep, repurposing and enhancements in the building had become evident early on
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India is central to the economic and geopolitical thinking of Asia and global economics and politics(ANI)
India is central to the economic and geopolitical thinking of Asia and global economics and politics(ANI)

Decoding India’s latest diplomatic push in the West Asian theatre | Opinion

By Kabir Taneja
UPDATED ON DEC 09, 2020 10:25 AM IST
While successfully balancing relations between Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia power blocks, New Delhi’s affinity for this Gulf outreach is rooted in geopolitical and geo-economic realities
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