R Sukumar

Sukumar Ranganathan is the Editor-in-Chief of Hindustan Times. He is also a comic-book freak and an amateur birder.

Articles by R Sukumar

Lessons India needs to learn from Covid-19

On the medical oxygen front, the nation is unlikely to witness shortage; on the district hospital front, there is a long way to go; and in terms of science- and evidence-based decision making, some progress has been made
Life and work are almost back to normal in India; providing booster shots to everyone over the age of 18 will ensure it stays that way (PTI)
Life and work are almost back to normal in India; providing booster shots to everyone over the age of 18 will ensure it stays that way (PTI)
Updated on Mar 23, 2022 06:36 PM IST
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Pulp-it | How do you rate a cricket team’s captain?

Sure, culture is important, as is strategy, but because sustained performance is not possible without either, the simplest way to rate a leader is outcomes.
Based purely on outcomes, Virat Kohli is a great leader, perhaps the best the Indian cricket team has ever had (REUTERS)
Based purely on outcomes, Virat Kohli is a great leader, perhaps the best the Indian cricket team has ever had (REUTERS)
Updated on Dec 17, 2021 11:31 AM IST
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ByR Sukumar

Pulp-It | In 2022, what India must do to learn to live with Covid

Covid-19 will become endemic in India. It’s important to tailor our response to this phase around four interventions.
India should mandate (and strictly enforce the mandate of) masks — not just cloth ones, but surgical ones, or N95s — in all closed spaces (Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)
India should mandate (and strictly enforce the mandate of) masks — not just cloth ones, but surgical ones, or N95s — in all closed spaces (Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Dec 11, 2021 05:57 PM IST
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Pulp-It | After WFH, it is time for a BTW strategy

Apart from detailing the logistics of WFO, the Back To Work strategy should include reorientation sessions, communicating an updated employee health policy, and activities (Covid-safe ones, of course) that emphasise team work and fun
The absence of physical interaction with colleagues and the workplace itself could end up alienating (at worst) or distancing (at best) people from their organisations (Representative Image / Bloomberg)
The absence of physical interaction with colleagues and the workplace itself could end up alienating (at worst) or distancing (at best) people from their organisations (Representative Image / Bloomberg)
Updated on Dec 03, 2021 06:31 PM IST
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Pulp-it | Should you lose sleep over Omicron?

Is the new variant more transmissible or infective? Does it cause more severe disease? Is it resistant to existing Covid-19 vaccines?
It’s safe to assume that full vaccination provides more protection than partial vaccination (REUTERS)
It’s safe to assume that full vaccination provides more protection than partial vaccination (REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 27, 2021 10:09 AM IST
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How to solve the crypto conundrum?

The exact contours of the cryptocurrency law that India will introduce isn’t clear. It could completely ban private cryptocurrencies and trading in them; or it could just ban their use as a currency and allow their trade as an asset class .
There are around 15 million crypto investors with an estimated $10 billion in investments, according to estimates. (AP)
There are around 15 million crypto investors with an estimated $10 billion in investments, according to estimates. (AP)
Updated on Nov 25, 2021 05:31 AM IST
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Pulp-it | Delhi’s air is always bad. Stubble burning makes it worse

Stubble burning is singularly responsible for pushing AQI into the severe category on most of the few days in which the air is really bad
There’s a seasonality to the bad air — November, December and January are the worst months (AFP)
There’s a seasonality to the bad air — November, December and January are the worst months (AFP)
Updated on Nov 19, 2021 01:51 PM IST
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Pulp-it | Why Delhi is choking

For eight days till Thursday, the Central Pollution Control Board’s daily bulletin reported an AQI level that is either severe or at the high end of the very poor category. Friday’s reading, too, was in the severe category
On paper, Delhi has a commission to manage air quality, and a well-established protocol for dealing with bad air days (REUTERS)
On paper, Delhi has a commission to manage air quality, and a well-established protocol for dealing with bad air days (REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 12, 2021 08:53 PM IST
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The prickly problem of greater-good debates

Forcing people to change their personal choices in the interests of a greater good could have far-reaching implications. But at some point of time, each of us will have to consciously make choices based on what’s good for the environment
People burst fire crackers on the occasion of Diwali, Saket, New Delhi (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
People burst fire crackers on the occasion of Diwali, Saket, New Delhi (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 05, 2021 06:22 PM IST
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Pulp-it | No one has figured out how to win T20s yet

The T20 format is yet to see a team with the right mix of skills, strategy, and captaincy. When one emerges (and it will take some doing), the form book will start to matter again in the format
One of the most successful franchises, Chennai Super Kings, which has won four IPL titles, has a win rate of almost 60% (PTI)
One of the most successful franchises, Chennai Super Kings, which has won four IPL titles, has a win rate of almost 60% (PTI)
Updated on Oct 29, 2021 02:24 PM IST
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A tale of IIT admissions, coaching institutes, and students as brand ambassadors

How many coaching classes does an IIT-JEE topper need? 42
I’m told some of the more popular JEE test-prep schools are so focused on maintaining their track record that they admit students after an admission test (Pradeep Gaur/Mint)
I’m told some of the more popular JEE test-prep schools are so focused on maintaining their track record that they admit students after an admission test (Pradeep Gaur/Mint)
Updated on Oct 22, 2021 03:56 PM IST
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Happy to see economic recovery: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman

The Finance minister said, “I’m happy to see recovery; at this stage we want to have very positive signs from all segments so that mutually they create this thing called sentiment. If sentiment becomes positive, it creates a multiplier effect.”
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 21, 2021 12:52 AM IST
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Banks themselves will drive bad bank, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that she was confident the National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL), effectively a bad bank, will work because “this entire mechanism is driven by the banks”
HT Image
HT Image
Published on Sep 20, 2021 11:52 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

‘Happy to see economic recovery’: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the resolution formula is the one that will be given priority. Not liquidation. When you look at resolution – there is an implicit message being given that these are workable assets, and that with some doing they will be valuable.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said there will definitely be interest in the market.I lay a lot of emphasis on the professionals (managing the assets), which is why, along with NARCL, we have set up India Debt Resolution Company Ltd.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said there will definitely be interest in the market.I lay a lot of emphasis on the professionals (managing the assets), which is why, along with NARCL, we have set up India Debt Resolution Company Ltd.
Updated on Sep 21, 2021 06:10 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Vaccination: Focus on hesitancy, the 12-18 age group, and booster shots

The experience of the United States, where many infections, most hospitalisations, and almost all deaths currently being seen, are among the unvaccinated is a cautionary tale
Representational image. The government, public health workers, employers, media, religious and charity organisations, influencers — all of us have a responsibility in making sure more people get vaccinated, but there are always those who will not. (AP)
Representational image. The government, public health workers, employers, media, religious and charity organisations, influencers — all of us have a responsibility in making sure more people get vaccinated, but there are always those who will not. (AP)
Updated on Sep 01, 2021 06:53 PM IST
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From a pandemic to an endemic, India’s vaccine drive enables a way out

Those managing India’s vaccine drive have always been a step or two behind the curve. But a reading of the infection and vaccination trajectories indicates that they need to start planning now for a future of endemic Covid-19.
470 million people would have received at least one shot of vaccines that prevent death and serious illness from Covid-19 (REUTERS)
470 million people would have received at least one shot of vaccines that prevent death and serious illness from Covid-19 (REUTERS)
Updated on Aug 18, 2021 08:16 PM IST
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ByR Sukumar

To a Republic of reason: R Sukumar on India’s 75th Independence Day

Amid challenges that range from a pandemic to rising school dropout rates, the climate crisis and an economy that has suffered body blows, there are answers, but they won’t be the easy ones. May we return to first principles, and may the science be with us.
 (HT Archives)
(HT Archives)
Updated on Aug 13, 2021 04:49 PM IST
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The twists and turns in India’s telecom policy

The Vodafone crisis is a reflection of the arbitrariness in policymaking. Its collapse will lead to a duopoly, an undesirable outcome
The evolution (or should one say mutation) of India’s telecom policy through the years has lessons for everybody — policymakers, bankers, analysts, the companies themselves, and even the courts (Shutterstock)
The evolution (or should one say mutation) of India’s telecom policy through the years has lessons for everybody — policymakers, bankers, analysts, the companies themselves, and even the courts (Shutterstock)
Updated on Aug 04, 2021 07:07 PM IST
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ByR Sukumar

How to get the next set of reforms right

Second-generation reforms require careful deliberation, effective implementation, and accommodative politics
The government has the willingness, intent and numbers to push reforms. But whether it is able to take everyone along, frame policies factoring in socioeconomic complexities, and stay the course will determine India’s economic trajectory (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)
The government has the willingness, intent and numbers to push reforms. But whether it is able to take everyone along, frame policies factoring in socioeconomic complexities, and stay the course will determine India’s economic trajectory (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 02, 2021 12:00 PM IST
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ByR Sukumar

Covid-19: What you need to know today

  • Some experts are also of the opinion that it could become the dominant strain in most parts of the world, replacing Alpha, which was first sequenced in the UK.
Pedestrians, some wearing face coverings due to Covid-19, walk past shops on Oxford Street in central London.(AFP)
Pedestrians, some wearing face coverings due to Covid-19, walk past shops on Oxford Street in central London.(AFP)
Updated on Jun 16, 2021 05:22 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Covid-19: What you need to know today

Anecdotal evidence suggests that some states keen to show their ability in managing the pandemic have under-reported deaths by simply ascribing them to other causes
A man cremates his relative Hatayben Bharwad, 58, who died from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), at a crematorium in Ahmedabad.(REUTERS)
A man cremates his relative Hatayben Bharwad, 58, who died from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), at a crematorium in Ahmedabad.(REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 15, 2021 05:43 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Covid-19: What you need to know today

  • It is also believed that Covaxin, the other vaccine that is currently part of India’s vaccination programme, is also very effective against the variant, but data on this isn’t available.
A healthcare worker shows a vial of China's SINOVAC vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).(REUTERS)
A healthcare worker shows a vial of China's SINOVAC vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).(REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 11, 2021 05:16 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Covid-19: What you need to know today

  • The chaos and confusion over India’s vaccine drive, and recent scientific revelations point to the need for some changes in how India procures vaccines, and how and when it administers them.
On procurement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an address to the nation, the Union government will procure vaccines, and then allot them to the states.(AP)
On procurement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an address to the nation, the Union government will procure vaccines, and then allot them to the states.(AP)
Updated on Jun 08, 2021 05:19 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Covid-19: Four steps that can help India avoid a third wave

Decisions on where to ease lockdowns and restrictions on the basis of vaccination, ramping up the vaccination programme, linking the stringency of non-pharmaceutical interventions in place in a district to the proportion of vaccinated population and enhancing surveillance to identify potential threats from new variants of concern are among the steps that can prevent another wave of the pandemic.
A woman takes a walk at a Han river park , in Seoul, South Korea. (REUTERS)
A woman takes a walk at a Han river park , in Seoul, South Korea. (REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 03, 2021 07:16 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Covid-19: What you need to know today

  • Even after May 31, restrictions on movement and activities were eased in phases, and returned to pre-pandemic levels only in the last quarter of the financial year (January-March).
A man rides motorcycle in Hanoi, Vietnam Monday, May 31, 2021. (AP)
A man rides motorcycle in Hanoi, Vietnam Monday, May 31, 2021. (AP)
Updated on Jun 01, 2021 06:13 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Covid-19: What you need to know today

  • India reported 81,413 cases of Covid-19 on April 1. By April 11, this climbed to 170,100; by April 15, 216,913. On May 5, the country reported 412,783 cases.
People attend the massive experimental concert
People attend the massive experimental concert "Ambition Live Again", organised by Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris and music industry union Prodiss to assess health risks associated with resuming large-scale public gatherings since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic,.(REUTERS)
Updated on May 31, 2021 06:02 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Covid-19: What you need to know today

  • By the end of June, Covax will be around 190 million doses short of its target, according to Covax chief Seth Berkley (as cited in an article in Science).
Prisoners wait for their turn to receive a dose of the AstraZeneca jab against the coronavirus, during a vaccination campaign at the El-Arjate prison near the capital Rabat.(AFP)
Prisoners wait for their turn to receive a dose of the AstraZeneca jab against the coronavirus, during a vaccination campaign at the El-Arjate prison near the capital Rabat.(AFP)
Updated on May 28, 2021 06:35 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Covid-19: What you need to know today

As India considers opening up as the second wave abates (Delhi, for instance, has seen a sharp fall in positivity rates to the low single digits, and could start opening up as early as next week), it would do well to focus on what may well have been a silent contributor to the surge in cases – ventilation.
A boy walks past a graffiti amid the spread of Covid-19 on a street in New Delhi. (File photo)
A boy walks past a graffiti amid the spread of Covid-19 on a street in New Delhi. (File photo)
Updated on May 26, 2021 07:38 AM IST
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Covid-19: What you need to know today

The wise men in charge of the country’s Covid-19 response likely know all this already, but here’s a quick reminder of five things that will help stave off the third wave (or, at the least, lessen its intensity).
People wait to pay before receiving a dose of Covishield at a Covid-19 vaccination center set up at the BLK Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, India.(Bloomberg)
People wait to pay before receiving a dose of Covishield at a Covid-19 vaccination center set up at the BLK Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, India.(Bloomberg)
Updated on May 25, 2021 06:15 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Covid-19: What you need to know today

How do you under-report deaths from Covid-19? Technically, this is possible in two ways, one generic and the other, specific.
A message is written on the back of a medical staff member by a colleague at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward, where patients suffering from coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are being treated in Greater Noida. (Reuters)
A message is written on the back of a medical staff member by a colleague at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward, where patients suffering from coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are being treated in Greater Noida. (Reuters)
Updated on May 24, 2021 06:13 AM IST
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Monday, May 16, 2022