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Mr Juster suggested that the idea of self-reliance, if taken beyond a certain point, would weigh down the trajectory of bilateral cooperation in defence and economics(Prabhas Roy)

Where India and US diverge | HT Editorial

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2021 07:20 AM IST
With an eye on China, both countries must narrow the gap on defence, tech and trade
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The tribunal reasoned that India’s decision to retroactively apply the law, without a specific justification, created a new tax burden on a transaction that was not taxable at the time it was carried out, ie. in 2006(Shutterstock)
The tribunal reasoned that India’s decision to retroactively apply the law, without a specific justification, created a new tax burden on a transaction that was not taxable at the time it was carried out, ie. in 2006(Shutterstock)

India’s retrospective taxation blunder is still extracting heavy costs

By Prabhash Ranjan
UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2021 07:20 AM IST
In endeavouring to extract revenue through retroactive taxation that damages investor sentiment in the long run, India is being penny-wise and pound-foolish
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It should be clear that the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion law infantilises Indian citizens, reduces them to the level of subjects, and authorises State intrusion into the most personal of domains, that of individual conscience.(AFP)
It should be clear that the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion law infantilises Indian citizens, reduces them to the level of subjects, and authorises State intrusion into the most personal of domains, that of individual conscience.(AFP)

Eliminate State and social interference in matters of conscience

By Gautam Bhatia
PUBLISHED ON JAN 05, 2021 06:52 PM IST
The UP conversion law is unconstitutional. But the debate does not end with this one law, as it also replicates many existing provisions from other laws, which have been left standing for too long. India cannot call itself a constitutional democracy until social interference in matters of conscience is eliminated from its laws, once and for all.
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Whatever the opposition put up by China, if India shows it has the diplomatic skills to get other countries to work together, the case for it being a permanent member will become irrefutable.(PTI)
Whatever the opposition put up by China, if India shows it has the diplomatic skills to get other countries to work together, the case for it being a permanent member will become irrefutable.(PTI)

India at the horse shoe table

UPDATED ON JAN 06, 2021 06:15 AM IST
As it enters the UNSC, New Delhi must focus on what is feasible and show its abilities
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Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, US, October 23, 2019(REUTERS)
Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, US, October 23, 2019(REUTERS)

Silicon Valley is in for a rough ride

By Vivek Wadhwa & Tarun Wadhwa
PUBLISHED ON JAN 04, 2021 08:21 PM IST
The days of regulators prioritising innovation over compliance may be over. The traditionally warm relationship between the Democratic Party and Big Tech is becoming contentious
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Covid-19 has taught all governments many lessons. But the most important one will be this: The strength of our social safety net will determine the heights the Indian economy will scale.(PTI)
Covid-19 has taught all governments many lessons. But the most important one will be this: The strength of our social safety net will determine the heights the Indian economy will scale.(PTI)

Only a strong social security net can ensure economic growth

By Jasmine Shah
UPDATED ON JAN 04, 2021 09:13 PM IST
The economic response of the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi has focused primarily on the poor and created the closest equivalent of a universal social safety net anywhere in India
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A medic fills a syringe with Covaxin, an Indian government-backed experimental Covid-19 vaccine, before administering it to a health worker during its trials, at the Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society, Ahmedabad, November 26, 2020(REUTERS)
A medic fills a syringe with Covaxin, an Indian government-backed experimental Covid-19 vaccine, before administering it to a health worker during its trials, at the Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society, Ahmedabad, November 26, 2020(REUTERS)

Vaccines bring greater hope

UPDATED ON JAN 04, 2021 11:10 AM IST
But Bharat Biotech and regulators must now speed up disclosures on Covaxin
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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)
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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The draft policy shows how inclusiveness follows from rationality and a scientific temperament; in its demand for an equitable representation of women, disabled persons and other social, regional and economically diverse groups, as well as its recommendation for spousal benefits for partners of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, “irrespective of their gender”(AFP)
The draft policy shows how inclusiveness follows from rationality and a scientific temperament; in its demand for an equitable representation of women, disabled persons and other social, regional and economically diverse groups, as well as its recommendation for spousal benefits for partners of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, “irrespective of their gender”(AFP)

The draft STIP’s inclusion of LGBT and gender is welcome

UPDATED ON JAN 03, 2021 10:07 PM IST
If the policy, in its current version, is accepted, it will go a long way in achieving its stated objectives.
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A vibrant corporate capitalist base also leads to additional revenues for the State — which, in turn, can be used for greater welfare for the marginalised and creating a more level-playing field in terms of opportunities(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
A vibrant corporate capitalist base also leads to additional revenues for the State — which, in turn, can be used for greater welfare for the marginalised and creating a more level-playing field in terms of opportunities(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

In defence of reformed capitalism

PUBLISHED ON JAN 02, 2021 07:05 PM IST
Targeting corporate capitalism won’t help. It is essential for growth and democracy. Focus on reforming it.
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A health worker prepares a syringe to inoculate a volunteer with a Covid-19 vaccine, Lima, December 9, 2020(AFP)
A health worker prepares a syringe to inoculate a volunteer with a Covid-19 vaccine, Lima, December 9, 2020(AFP)

A robust public broadcaster can guard against anti-vaccine rumours

By Mark Tully
PUBLISHED ON JAN 02, 2021 07:02 PM IST
There seems no reason to doubt that a large number of Indians are, to say the least, undiscriminating in the source of news they chose to watch. This will make them liable to fall prey to false information which can undermine the vaccination campaign.
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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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n many ways, Modi’s economic vision resembles that of the United Kingdom prime minister Margaret Thatcher and the United States President Ronald Reagan. Both faced an avalanche of opposition to their push for economic reforms(PTI)
n many ways, Modi’s economic vision resembles that of the United Kingdom prime minister Margaret Thatcher and the United States President Ronald Reagan. Both faced an avalanche of opposition to their push for economic reforms(PTI)

Farm stir: Latest attempt to stop Modi’s reforms

By Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda
PUBLISHED ON JAN 01, 2021 08:06 PM IST
The Opposition may continue to denigrate him, but millions see in the PM a rare determination and willingness to take risks and cleanse the rot
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Farm to factory is the need of the hour. Apart from part-time seasonal farming, a small farmer and a farm labourer have sufficient time to work and can earn Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 a month easily after eight hours of labour in a nearby factory. This can ensure an additional income to minimise the dependency on the sole agriculture-based income.(HT file photo)
Farm to factory is the need of the hour. Apart from part-time seasonal farming, a small farmer and a farm labourer have sufficient time to work and can earn Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 a month easily after eight hours of labour in a nearby factory. This can ensure an additional income to minimise the dependency on the sole agriculture-based income.(HT file photo)

Farm to factory: Small farmers need second source of income

By AS Mittal | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON JAN 01, 2021 04:47 PM IST
Farming is a seasonal affair, not a full-time job. The second job option is mostly required by the small, marginal farmers and farm labourers in nearby areas. Industrial investment should be encouraged in rural and backward areas by offering special incentives.
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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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Ultimately, Beijing carries out destructive policies because it faces no real retaliation.(REUTERS)
Ultimately, Beijing carries out destructive policies because it faces no real retaliation.(REUTERS)

To deal with an aggressive China, its opponents must hang together

UPDATED ON JAN 01, 2021 06:01 AM IST
That China’s blockade of Australian coal has led to hundreds of Indian sailors being stranded in China is a reminder that, when it comes to the Middle Kingdom, its opponents need to band together.
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The trickiest two demands — a repeal of the new three farm laws, and a legislation guaranteeing minimum support prices for 23 farm commodities — have been deferred until Jan 4. The fate of the talks and their outcome hinge on these two issues. There are big hurdles still to be crossed.(Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times)
The trickiest two demands — a repeal of the new three farm laws, and a legislation guaranteeing minimum support prices for 23 farm commodities — have been deferred until Jan 4. The fate of the talks and their outcome hinge on these two issues. There are big hurdles still to be crossed.(Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times)

The government and farmers’ dialogue is good news

UPDATED ON JAN 01, 2021 06:01 AM IST
But the issue is still a work in progress as there are still hurdles to be crossed
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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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The first month of vaccine rollout has not been smooth elsewhere too. In Germany, delays were reported at several sites after temperature logs showed some of the vaccine boxes did not maintain the freezing temperatures required for the Pfizer-BioNTech dose – potentially damaging stocks(AP)
The first month of vaccine rollout has not been smooth elsewhere too. In Germany, delays were reported at several sites after temperature logs showed some of the vaccine boxes did not maintain the freezing temperatures required for the Pfizer-BioNTech dose – potentially damaging stocks(AP)

Lessons India can learn from the vaccine rollout in other countries

UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2020 05:42 AM IST
This provides an opportunity to tweak or overhaul protocols in time
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For the last few days, the northwestern part of India has been in the grip of a cold wave or severe cold wave conditions. This situation is likely to continue in the National Capital Region for the next three days.(REUTERS)
For the last few days, the northwestern part of India has been in the grip of a cold wave or severe cold wave conditions. This situation is likely to continue in the National Capital Region for the next three days.(REUTERS)

Winter shelters for the homeless: Don’t cut corners

PUBLISHED ON DEC 30, 2020 07:54 PM IST
The problem of homeless people and shelters is symptomatic of a larger problem: The lack of adequate and safe housing.
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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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With statutory powers that cut across federal lines, the CAQM was billed as a super commission, comprising officials from several states and agencies that can need to take the individual steps collectively pivotal to address the problem.(AP)
With statutory powers that cut across federal lines, the CAQM was billed as a super commission, comprising officials from several states and agencies that can need to take the individual steps collectively pivotal to address the problem.(AP)

Air pollution: CAQM’s role is still hazy

UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2020 05:29 PM IST
There is still confusion about which agency has what sort of role in combating the problem.
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A health care worker wearing personal protective equipment collects a swab sample from a Border Security Force soldier, Gandhinagar, December 29, 2020(REUTERS)
A health care worker wearing personal protective equipment collects a swab sample from a Border Security Force soldier, Gandhinagar, December 29, 2020(REUTERS)

Infection rates are falling in India, but there is no room for complacency

UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2020 05:14 PM IST
The calm waters that India’s outbreak is in right now should not be taken as a sign that the tide has turned in the battle against the disease.
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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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People crowd at a Juhu beach in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. India's confirmed coronavirus cases have crossed 10 million with new infections dipping to their lowest levels in three months.(AP)
People crowd at a Juhu beach in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. India's confirmed coronavirus cases have crossed 10 million with new infections dipping to their lowest levels in three months.(AP)

India needs a national surveillance plan

UPDATED ON DEC 28, 2020 10:01 PM IST
With our massive population, over 10 million known cases, and undiagnosed cases probably numbering over twenty times that, India may well be the place for the next important variant to emerge. Going forward, we need as much caution within India, as for incoming international travellers.
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A Christmas tree is decorated with face masks inside a hotel lobby to create awareness about wearing a mask during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, ahead of Christmas celebrations, in Mumbai, India.(REUTERS)
A Christmas tree is decorated with face masks inside a hotel lobby to create awareness about wearing a mask during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, ahead of Christmas celebrations, in Mumbai, India.(REUTERS)

Covid-19 has had a positive effect too

UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2020 06:39 AM IST
The pandemic has led to a compact between scientists and the people. Now we must not go back to the 2019 mindset.
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