proclamation of financial emergency – the only way out of this nationwide crisis

let’s talk real. majority of citizens are struggling with their finances. factories, offices, shops are shut. since there is no way for anybody, save those employed with various governments and government bodies, to make money, the onus lies on governments to provide relief. agreed, a few big corporates will pay salaries during the lockdown period from their reserves and some bosses driven by ethics and morality will also do so. but india is a big, big country. nearly 90 percent of total workforce is employed in the informal sector and most of the employers will find it impossible to pay their workers due to nil cash flows and unavailability of reserves earmarked for such situations. amid all this, the governments are charging for electricity and other supplies. they are doing so since the employees of the state and state-owned enterprises will be paid their salaries in full. but is this justified? at a time when companies are laying off workers

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good governance in the times of covid-19

at the time of writing this, a few more than 27,000 samples have been tested in india, a country of more than 1.3 billion. of these, more than 800 have returned as positive for coronavirus. but this may not be the only concern. we are short on testing kits and test centres and the government’s and other authorities’ response to the crisis is worrisome. let’s start with the announcement that the prime minister will address the nation at 8pm on 19 March, 2020. this announcement came in advance and gave enough fodder to rumour mills. the pm has a history of causing panic at 8, one can recall the demonetization episode. an advance announcement of pm address triggered panic buying and people stockpiled. in fact, the pm and his team of advisors failed to realise this would happen. then came the declaration of a ‘janta curfew’ on sunday. will this be a curfew, a lockdown or something else, nobody knew.

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the case for shashi tharoor as india’s president

this argument can be very simple- the republic of india hasn’t had a presidential office occupied by a young, energetic person, although almost every past president was capable and learned enough in her/ his own domain. but the question is- has the office been utilized in full capacity to add to the productivity of country’s socio-economic and political landscape? the constitution of india vests multiple powers in the head of the state, though people view her only as a person capable to grant pardon to the convicted. what about diplomacy? diplomacy or soft power is the key to ascendance of any country. do not forget the role of american burger and jeans in escalating the influence of united states all around the world. in case only military prowess defined the balance of power, soviet union and america would have, until today, enjoyed the bipolar distribution of power, in actuality it was america’s cultural influence that ended the cold war decisively

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hindustan times, ‘let’s talk about trolls’ is flawed

dissent and aggression are two dissimilar expressions. dissent should have place everywhere, in democracy or under any political regime, while aggression only serves the purpose of sowing disquiet in an otherwise orderly society. your campaign ‘let’s talk about trolls’ is heading toward the same disaster. let’s count why. primarily, it portrays trolls as antagonists, and let us remind you that being an adversary is like being the protagonist in today’s world. you have criticized the incumbent united states president in many of your articles, the world press did it, and see what feat he achieved. you may accept a simple notion that more you glorify negatives, more acceptability they acquire in people’s consciousness. what until now was being looked upon as a distractor of legitimate viewpoint will now be viewed as a contender of being a critic, a counter opinion, which may not always be construed as bad. second, you have equally portrayed women as a disempowered being in this

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kashmir has a solution, this is it

kashmir is not a sick psu, you cannot disinvest, nor can you allow subsidizing its operations through budgetary support. kashmir is a geographical region with inhabitants having uniqueness in many aspects, language, customs, political inclination and social assimilation. the region has been in grip of uprisings, terrorism, crippled education system for long, and why successive governments have failed to find a long-lasting solution is something to ponder upon. for almost three decades, and even prior to this, the kashmir issue has been dealt with by measures that could not go down well with the valley inhabitants. and let us make it very clear in the beginning itself that unless these inhabitants feel assured and integrated with mainstream india, no government can change the fortunes of this region. indian government is no colonial force, nor kashmir could produce a gandhi. people of valley may not know well what passive resistance is and this reflects in incidents of stone pelting and masked

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it’s high time states introduce police reforms

‘police’ falls under the state list of the constitution of india, so does ‘public order’, and they are the top entries in this list, signifying their relative importance over other functions of the government. defence of india and armed forces occupy the top position in union list, and criminal law and procedure are the top entries in concurrent list. the makers of the constitution and those who numbered these entries made an implicit statement by doing so. the supreme court has directed states to introduce sweeping police reforms, recognizing that police is the first point of contact in case of any grievance. be it a burglary or assault, cheating or encroachment, police is the foremost agency to be relied upon. a committee set up by the home ministry of india submitted a draft model police act in 2006, which was circulated to states so that the recommendations, ranging from infusing accountability to fixed tenure and functional autonomy for the police, could

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the concept of ‘crony middleism’

crony capitalism is a much deliberated and researched subject. with the rise of democracy, capitalism has lost its past authoritative hold on the world economy or on economy of individual nations. it may prevail in its present debilitated form in some countries of west asia or africa, even asia, what has superseded it is the ‘crony middleism’ that prevails in contemporary world, allowed in the garb of democracy and fundamental rights. the middle class of all developed countries and of developing ones has become a formidable force, politically as well as financially. laws are devised, amended, repealed and most policy actions are taken in the backdrop of responses that emanate from the middle class. this so-called cluster relishes exotic luxuries once enjoyed only by nobles and rich. they drive air conditioned cars, own houses, enroll in famed educational institutions and are then easily absorbed in the job market that is driven more by individual charisma than by capability. agreed, this doesn’t

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make indian roads nonthreatening, 5 crucial do’s

numbers reflecting fatalities and incapacitation, owing their occurrence to indian roads, are alarming. they are presented in the parliament, deliberated, any paradigm shift in road infrastructure and safety element, however, takes a backseat, for not many people can be polarized on this issue, political will thus remains lacking. here are five proposals that can yield outcomes, progressive and unrelenting. first, and in the backdrop that public spending on infrastructure is the talk of the town, building public dispensaries at every rationally determined kilometers of state and national highways will serve health as well as response to accidental injuries demand simultaneously. they be accorded status of infrastructure and be part of mou signed with the builder. second, and this in backdrop of rising fossil fuel consumption and shift of sentiments towards renewable energy, centre is to devise a model law for states incorporating need of electric scooters corridor in all district and state road projects. third, while mgnrega and rail projects are

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news reduced to being elitist, splendid; rationality at stake

the stories of a woman professional abducted from delhi-ncr, a young it professional murdered in office premises of an it major in pune, a rejig in india’s eminent conglomerate’s top management, add to this, shallow analysis of events and shortsighted speculations about future, are all that we are served with by print and electronic media, barring some meaningful news. they will whole-heartedly cover, from murder till pronouncement of sentence, high-profile cases, they will form an uninformed panel to assess events (where they don’t go beyond mud-swinging and unfounded theories), they will make wild guesses on upcoming happenings, rarely, however, do they will serve their purpose. news channels and papers are our only source of information, also to policy makers and implementers. while they are expected to dig hard and deep, what they come up with is nothing more than a insincere story. add to this inaccuracy in reporting and unwanted rush to broadcast ‘breaking news’. is it the audience’s fault that it

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