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Editorial Plus

G7 and its agenda on Global Minimum tax regime

G7 and its agenda on Global Minimum tax regime Introduction The G7 countries seek to overcome internal differences and strengthen their economic and geopolitical bond to face multiple challenges from fighting COVID-19 to tackling the rise of China About G7 Formed in 1975 in the aftermath of the 1973 Oil Crisis, the G7 then collectively produced 70% of the world’s GDP, a number that has dropped to 40% now The G7 became the G8 with Russia’s admission into the grou

India’s vaccination policy- Changes in vaccine policy for COVID-19

India’s vaccination policy- Changes in vaccine policy for COVID-19 Introduction Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 7 reversed the Central government’s decentralised policy for procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, declaring that from June 21, vaccines for everyone above the age of 18 years would be procured by the Central government and distributed free to the States. This ended the month-old controversial system of States being asked to procure vaccines for the 18-44 years

Bitcoin push by El salvador

Bitcoin push by El salvador Introduction On June 9, El Salvador became the first sovereign nation to make a cryptocurrency legal tender. The law pushed by its 39-year-old President, Nayib Bukele, passed with 62 out of 84 votes. It mandates that Bitcoin should now be accepted as a valid payment by all establishments, except those that do not have the technical wherewithal to do so. This puts the digital currency that does not answer to any government monetary policies on the sam

Restructuring the tribunals system

Introduction The Centre has abolished several appellate tribunals and authorities and transferred their jurisdiction to other existing judicial bodies through the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance 2021. This Ordinance has been challenged in the Supreme Court. Sharp criticism The Ordinance has met with sharp criticism for not only bypassing the usual legislative process, but also for abolishing several tribunals such as the Film Certificat

Women workers- impacted disproportionately during Covid-19

Women workers- impacted disproportionately during Covid-19 Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed millions of livelihoods and led to a sudden and large increase in poverty and a massive disruption of the labour market in India. Women workers, in particular, have borne a disproportionate burden. A widening gap Even prior to 2020, the gender employment gap was large. Only 18% of working-age women were employed as compared to 75% of men. Reasons: Lack of

India’s stand over palestine

India’s stand over palestine India’s stand at UN At UN, India backed Palestine but without any reference to Jerusalem, borders At the United Nations Security Council on Sunday, India, a non-permanent member, reaffirmed its support for Palestine, but stopped short of making any direct reference to the status of Jerusalem or the future Israel-Palestine borders. T.S. Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said: “In conclusion, India reiterates i

Spanish flu-Lessons to be learnt by India

Spanish flu-Lessons to be learnt by India About the 2nd wave of Spanish flu The 1918 influenza pandemic, commonly known as the Spanish flu. The most severe pandemic in history was the Spanish Flu of 1918. It lasted for 2 years, in 3 waves, with 500 million people infected and 50 million deaths. Most of the fatalities happened in the 2nd wave. The people felt so bad about the quarantine and social distancing measures that when they were first lifted, the people rejoiced in th

Undertrials

Under trials The Supreme Court has thrown open the door to the legislature to “ponder” over the idea of placing convicts under house arrest to avoid overcrowding of prisons. Bench of Justices U.U.Lalit and K.M. Joseph, in a judgment, highlighted the “alarming” statistics of prisons. The suggestion is relevant considering the spread of COVID19. A few days ago, Bench, led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, issued series of directions, including the grant of i

It's getting bad to worse for women workers

It's getting bad to worse for women workers COVID19 pandemic has destroyed millions of livelihoods and led to a sudden and large increase in poverty and massive disruption of the labour market in India. Widening gap Women workers, in particular, have borne a disproportionate burden. As the country meets the challenge of the second wave of the pandemic, it is crucial to learn lessons from the first wave to chart the policy path ahead. Widening gap Even prior to 2020, the ge

Rising Unemployment and Need for Domestic Demand

Rising Unemployment and Need for Domestic Demand Unemployment Rising unemployment, including among the salaried class, and shrinking real incomes have led to a lack of demand that bodes ill forthe economy, said Mahesh Vyas, managing director at the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). Unemployment rose to8% in April, from 6.5% in March, the CMIE said. Labour participation rate Labour participation rate recovered soon after the lockdown was eased last year, but ha

Digital inequality- Health and Educational sector

Digital inequality- Health and Educational sector Introduction Virginia Eubanks’ widely acclaimed book, Automating Inequality, alerted us to the ways that automated decision-making tools exacerbated inequalities, especially by raising the barrier for people to receive services they are entitled to. The novel coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technologies in India, even for essential services such as health and education, where access to them might be poor.

Israel-Palestine war, 2021 (Gist)

Israel-Palestine war, 2021 (Gist) Introduction The ongoing violence in Jerusalem is a culmination of the tensions building up since the start of Ramzan in mid-April. Reason for the incitement When Israeli police set up barricades at the Damascus Gate, a main entrance to the occupied Old City, preventing Palestinians from gathering there, it led to clashes. Eviction of Palestinian families in an Arab neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Israeli police entered the Haram al-Sharif

National health service in India

National health service in India Introduction India’s fragmented, often corrupt, urban-centred, elite-focused and wretchedly underfunded agglomeration of clinics, hospitals, and variably functional primary health centres can look like no more than an accidental collection of institutions, staff, and services. Need for higher public spending on healthcare India’s public spending on health is set to double in the 2021-22 financial year, but that is from a figure th

Sedition-Unwarranted arrest

Sedition-Unwarranted arrest Introduction The arrest of K. Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, an MP from Andhra Pradesh, on the grave charge of sedition, is yet another instance of the misuse of the provision relating to exciting “disaffection” against the government. Use of Section 124A for mere discontent against the government The police in different States have been invoking sedition, an offence defined in Section 124A IPC, against critics of the establishment and promi

Unwarranted arrests- On sedition

Unwarranted arrest The arrest of K. Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, an MP from Andhra Pradesh, on the grave charge of sedition, is yet another instance of the misuse of the provision relating to exciting “disaffection” against the government. The police in different States have been invoking sedition, an offence defined in Section124A IPC, against critics of the establishment and prominent dissenters. However, his arrest’s unwarranted, considering that he is being accuse

Israel and Palestine conflict- Ethical Dimension

Israel and Palestine conflict- Ethical Dimension Introduction The recent clashes between young Palestinians and Israelis in Jerusalem and in the occupied West Bank are a reminder of why it is so important to understand that the challenge of peace in that region of the world is actually the challenge for all of us who have been witnessing for the past 70 years a murderous and horrific conflict between Arabs and Jews. A common humanity The refusal to kill or to legitimate murde

Covid-19- DOTS framework to mitigate the 3rd wave

Covid-19- DOTS framework to mitigate the 3rd wave ‘R’ and determinants The reproduction number — often referred as R — is the average number of new infections arising from one infected individual. R fluctuates over time during an epidemic. When R is greater than 1, infected individuals infect more than one person on average and we observe increasing cases. When it is less than 1, cases are declining. It is not a perfect statistic, especially when

Monsoon prediction for 2021

Monsoon prediction for 2021 Introduction A good monsoon will aid agriculture, now one of the few bright spots in the economy IMD predictions If everything aligns, India could see a third consecutive year of surplus rainfall. The IMD has said that monsoon rains will likely be 101% of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 88 cm. In 2020, it was 109% of the LPA and in 2019, 110%. While the forecast 101% LPA is short of the rainfall received in these years and still within th

Performance Grading Index (PGI)- Analysis

Performance Grading Index (PGI)- Analysis Introduction High-performing States with good schools can nudge others if they have the political will Performance Grading Index (PGI) The Union Education Ministry has been attempting to get States into a competitive mode in upgrading their school education system by recognising progress with a Performance Grading Index (PGI) that assigns them a score. It can be argued that countries and State governments use school educatio

Recognising sex work as work

Recognising sex work as work Introduction The pandemic has hit millions of people and caused a great deal of suffering across communities. But there is one community that is especially hard hit and that is sex workers. Owing to the non-recognition of sex work as “legitimate work”, sex workers have mostly been kept at arm’s length from the government’s relief programmes. COVID-19 has thus provided more reason to consider a long-pending demand of sex worke

Behavioural change can reduce transmission (Covid-19)

Behavioural change can reduce transmission (Covid-19) Need for behavioural change There are many methods rooted in behavioural science that we can employ to improve mask wearing Most of us in India will agree that there are two large parts to this pandemic: medical science and human behaviour. Universal vaccination will reduce infections, but with vaccine availability currently challenging, ‘herd immunity’ is still many months, if not years, away. Lac

Did Covid-19 virus escape from the Wuhan lab?

Did Covid-19 virus escape from the Wuhan lab? Introduction This article is based on the publication of science writer, editor, and author Nicholas Wade’s well-researched article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, “The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?” He has laid out a strong case for a fuller investigation into the event. The U.S. link China promoted the narrative that the virus spread from a wet market (sea

Consumer Confidence Survey- RBIs policy statement

Consumer Confidence Survey- RBIs policy statement Introduction The RBI’s latest policy statement underscores the diminishing options available to it to address the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Accommodative monetary policy The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee left benchmark interest rates and reiterated that it would keep its policy stance accommodative ‘as long as necessary to revive and sustain growth on a durable basis’. Since it

Sedition and freedom of speech

Sedition and freedom of speech Introduction The Supreme Court’s rulings on cases of sedition give hope the law will be re-examined What constitutes a sedition Mere criticism: It has long been recognised that strident criticism of government will not amount to an attempt to excite disaffection and disloyalty towards government. Colonial legacy: The archaic and colonial view that an intemperate attack on an incumbent ruler should be met with fierce prosecution for sedi

Covid-19 and the hurdles associated with patent waiver

Covid-19 and the hurdles associated with patent waiver Introduction The decision of the President of the United States, Joe Biden, to support the India-South Africa proposal, seeking a waiver of patent protection for technologies needed to combat and contain COVID-19, comes as a shot in the arm for global health. The proposal that was placed before the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had been facing resistance from several high income countries including the U.S. administration. A

Northern Ireland crisis

Northern Ireland crisis Background The communal clashes of April in Northern Ireland has left 74 policemen injured, threaten to undermine the fragile peace between Protestant pro-British loyalist unionists who want to remain part of the United Kingdom forever, and Catholic pro-Irish nationalists who wish Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic of Ireland. Failure of the Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland altered enormously for the better after the signing of the A

Social murder- Failure of India’s health system

Social murder- Failure of India’s health system View of Friedrich Engels on police state When people are placed under conditions which appeal to the brute only, said Friedrich Engels, what remains to them but to rebel or to succumb to utter brutality? The scenes that are being witnessed in India now are apocalyptic in tone. When a citizen attacks hospital personnel because a life was lost due to the absence of medical care, or a citizen struggles to breathe with an oxygen cy

Supreme Court’s views on Maratha quota

Supreme Court’s views on Maratha quota Supreme Court’s views on Maratha quota The separate reservation given to Maharashtra’s Maratha community, the Supreme Court has underscored the importance of adhering to the 50% limit on total reservation, as well as the need to justify any excess by showing the existence of exceptional circumstances. The Court has not only found no merit in the Maratha claim to backwardness but also said the community is adequately represented

Lives versus livelihoods

Lives versus livelihoods Introduction Strict to moderate lockdowns are being imposed terminating jobs in many an establishment employing large numbers of informal workers. Of those employed in the informal category, large numbers include migrants who face a bleak future, with job losses, loss of rented accommodations, a lack of sustainable income and savings to ensure food, transportation back to villages or any other emergency including falling victim to COVI-19. Grim to grimmer

One Health approach

One Health approach Introduction The father of modern pathology, Rudolf Virchow, emphasised in 1856 that there are essentially no dividing lines between animal and human medicine. This concept is ever more salient as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions that took place around World Veterinary Day, on April 24, 2021, focused on acknowledging the interconnectedness of animals, humans, and the environment, an approach referred to as “One Health

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