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Fortunately, we now know enough about Covid-19 to be able to open schools safely. Entities such as UNICEF, UNESCO, the World Bank, and the India Task Force of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission have all put out detailed recommendations to guide school reopening efforts while minimising infection risk. In reopening schools, we should aim to implement these recommendations and minimise health risk. In addition, I outline six key principles to ensure that school reopening can mitigate learning losses. (PTI)

Open schools, with a focus on early grades

By Karthik Muralidharan
UPDATED ON JUL 21, 2021 01:03 PM IST
Media and policy attention during the pandemic understandably focused on the immediate tasks of saving lives by procuring beds and oxygen. Yet, the greatest long-term cost of the pandemic may be borne by our children. As the second wave of Covid-19 recedes, and we slowly try to restore a semblance of normality, one of our top priorities as a country should be to open schools safely.
As the Taliban captures district after district, the fall of Kabul looks imminent, unless the United States (US) and the international community realise the folly of surrendering the country to the insurgents (AFP) Exclusive
As the Taliban captures district after district, the fall of Kabul looks imminent, unless the United States (US) and the international community realise the folly of surrendering the country to the insurgents (AFP)

In Afghanistan, how India missed the bus

By Shanthie Mariet D’Souza
UPDATED ON JUL 21, 2021 06:30 AM IST
India is in the midst of frantic efforts to avoid such a scenario. Since it is ill-placed to halt the Taliban, it has reportedly reached out to the insurgents to open a line of communication with the probable new rulers.
Representational image. (AP) Exclusive
Representational image. (AP)

India-US trade relations need a reset. Dispel misperceptions, strike a new deal

By Jahanwi Singh and Neha Raman
UPDATED ON JUL 21, 2021 06:25 AM IST
Since 2016, the US administration has been increasingly undertaking trade actions against India, including tariff and non-tariff barriers and anti-dumping duties
From 2016 to 2019, there were 5,922 arrests under UAPA, but it resulted in only 132 convictions, a pitiable rate of 2.2%. (Representational image/ANI) Exclusive
From 2016 to 2019, there were 5,922 arrests under UAPA, but it resulted in only 132 convictions, a pitiable rate of 2.2%. (Representational image/ANI)

Scrap sedition. Stop UAPA’s misuse

By Yashovardhan Azad
UPDATED ON JUL 21, 2021 06:26 AM IST
With a scathing indictment of its relevance and flagrant misuse, the Chief Justice of India has, finally, joined the chorus against the sedition law
Lack of a trained workforce may become a constraint in the third wave. A supplementary pool of medical and para-medical students, aapda mitras, National Cadet Corps cadets, and Home Guards with a science/biology background can be trained to work under medical guidance (PTI) Exclusive
Lack of a trained workforce may become a constraint in the third wave. A supplementary pool of medical and para-medical students, aapda mitras, National Cadet Corps cadets, and Home Guards with a science/biology background can be trained to work under medical guidance (PTI)

Covid-19: Prepare for the third wave

By Sandeep Poundrik
UPDATED ON JUL 20, 2021 07:18 AM IST
There are three possible scenarios, but in each, India needs to boost oxygen supplies and focus on vulnerable geographies
The disengagement around the Pangong lake areas in February, following a series of military and diplomatic talks to resolve the standoff, was supposed to generate conditions for resolving other outstanding issues, but Beijing seems to be in no real hurry to move forward. As a consequence, problems remain unresolved in disputed areas such as Depsang, Demchok, Gogra and Hot Springs. (PTI) Exclusive
The disengagement around the Pangong lake areas in February, following a series of military and diplomatic talks to resolve the standoff, was supposed to generate conditions for resolving other outstanding issues, but Beijing seems to be in no real hurry to move forward. As a consequence, problems remain unresolved in disputed areas such as Depsang, Demchok, Gogra and Hot Springs. (PTI)

On China, the end of delusion and persistence of stalemate

By Harsh V Pant
UPDATED ON JUL 20, 2021 07:18 AM IST
While New Delhi wants the boundary issue to be resolved first, China wants to focus on other areas of cooperation and is in no hurry to move forward on the contentious issue
On February 22, 1944, Kasturba Gandhi died of grave illness in prison in Poona. The House of Commons was informed on March 2, “…She was receiving all possible medical care and attention, not only from her regular attendants but from those desired by her family.” To this, Gandhi, responded: “The deceased herself had repeatedly asked the Inspector General of Prisons for Dr Dinshaw Mehta’s help… Again the regular physicians Drs Nayar and Gilder made a written application for consultation with Dr B C Roy of Calcutta… The Government simply ignored their written request and subsequent oral reminders.” (HTPHOTO) Exclusive
On February 22, 1944, Kasturba Gandhi died of grave illness in prison in Poona. The House of Commons was informed on March 2, “…She was receiving all possible medical care and attention, not only from her regular attendants but from those desired by her family.” To this, Gandhi, responded: “The deceased herself had repeatedly asked the Inspector General of Prisons for Dr Dinshaw Mehta’s help… Again the regular physicians Drs Nayar and Gilder made a written application for consultation with Dr B C Roy of Calcutta… The Government simply ignored their written request and subsequent oral reminders.” (HTPHOTO)

Four deaths, the right to life, and the Jayaprakash Principle

UPDATED ON JUL 20, 2021 07:19 AM IST
The government’s prerogative to prosecute is not to be questioned. Nor the court’s to punish. But this much can and needs to be said: No undertrial or convict should be rendered vulnerable and susceptible to disease or morbidity with the condition reaching the point of becoming fatal. He or she must, on sickness being verified, get medical aid promptly and professionally with the prospect of supervised release.
A monitor displaying a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the virtual Quadrilateral Security Dialogue meeting, March 12, 2021 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
A monitor displaying a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the virtual Quadrilateral Security Dialogue meeting, March 12, 2021 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Democratic Quad vs China’s Quad

By Rajiv Bhatia
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2021 06:59 AM IST
A China-Russia-Iran-Pakistan grouping is a challenge. The task then for the democratic Quad sherpas is delineated — use all available levers to weaken China’s relations with its three partners. China’s potential Quad is flawed because it is founded on limited common interests and rivalries, and is not backed by compelling principles and values.
India’s climate diplomacy got a boost with the International Solar Alliance in 2014 and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure in 2019, accompanied by a major push in energy transition. This has made India one of the few countries on track to fulfil its Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. (AFP)
India’s climate diplomacy got a boost with the International Solar Alliance in 2014 and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure in 2019, accompanied by a major push in energy transition. This has made India one of the few countries on track to fulfil its Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. (AFP)

How the Northeast can help India cement its climate-leader status

By James Sangma
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2021 07:01 AM IST
We are priming Meghalaya to turn into a demo farm for testing the ideas of climate- action economy. From a legacy fossil fuel- and deforestation-based economy, we are making an aggressive transition towards regenerative and distributive dynamics and building political consensus in pursuing the green frontier model.
India will be the most populous country in the world by the turn of the century, followed by Nigeria, China, the United States and Pakistan. The good news is that, according to a report in the medical journal, The Lancet, India’s population will peak by 2047. This will be the point at which the population growth rate will start declining. (REUTERS)
India will be the most populous country in the world by the turn of the century, followed by Nigeria, China, the United States and Pakistan. The good news is that, according to a report in the medical journal, The Lancet, India’s population will peak by 2047. This will be the point at which the population growth rate will start declining. (REUTERS)

People’s support must for population policies

By Shashi Shekhar
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2021 07:00 AM IST
A population policy cannot be seen in isolation from the people it affects. It is, in fact, a social policy. Therefore, India should focus on health, nutrition, education and economic policies. If this is done, population will take care of itself.
Inefficiency, maladministration, and corruption are the prime causes of UP’s comparative backwardness and it is on these that Adityanath should focus his attention (PTI)
Inefficiency, maladministration, and corruption are the prime causes of UP’s comparative backwardness and it is on these that Adityanath should focus his attention (PTI)

UP’s population policy push is unwarranted

By Mark Tully
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2021 07:03 AM IST
The measures designed to make parents afraid of having more than two children include some which would rob them of their legally guaranteed rights
There isn’t a father in this world who doesn’t have character flaws. But how many sons would deliberately reveal them? It’s an astonishingly honest thing to do — and, therefore, creditable — but it presents a loved parent in a rather poor light (Hindustan Times)
There isn’t a father in this world who doesn’t have character flaws. But how many sons would deliberately reveal them? It’s an astonishingly honest thing to do — and, therefore, creditable — but it presents a loved parent in a rather poor light (Hindustan Times)

A disturbing account of a father’s legacy

UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2021 07:02 AM IST
When I discovered former election commissioner Ashok Lavasa has written a book, I made a point of reading it. Called An Ordinary Life, it’s the story of his father, Udai Singh Lavasa, and it’s based on the diary that bauji, as he calls him, left behind
Beyond the political calculus, both the government and the Opposition must realise that this has been an extraordinarily difficult time for citizens. They expect the ultimate symbol of their sovereignty, Parliament, to be the home of a civilised, even if fierce, discussion on all issues; shape laws and policies after democratic deliberation; and ensure executive accountability (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Beyond the political calculus, both the government and the Opposition must realise that this has been an extraordinarily difficult time for citizens. They expect the ultimate symbol of their sovereignty, Parliament, to be the home of a civilised, even if fierce, discussion on all issues; shape laws and policies after democratic deliberation; and ensure executive accountability (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

The political drivers of the monsoon session

UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2021 07:02 AM IST
Both sides have an interest in ensuring a working session. The government wants to put forth its defence; Opposition feels the occasion is ripe to corner the treasury benches
India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh in 2019. (Representational image/PTI) Exclusive
India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh in 2019. (Representational image/PTI)

With Space 2.0, India’s entrepreneurial odyssey has the potential to take off

By Prabhu Ram
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2021 06:55 AM IST
Over the past 50 years, India’s space programme has contributed to the rise of an array of space technologies for socio-economic development, including, satellite-based remote education, remote health care, agriculture support, and weather forecasting
Union minister of finance Nirmala Sitharaman and union minister for women & child development Smriti Irani along with newly appointed women Cabinet ministers in New Delhi. (ANI) Exclusive
Union minister of finance Nirmala Sitharaman and union minister for women & child development Smriti Irani along with newly appointed women Cabinet ministers in New Delhi. (ANI)

Women leaders, and women voters, matter

By Sandhya Venkateswaran
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2021 06:56 AM IST
India’s status on women’s political participation has been underwhelming, highlighted by the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2021, where India ranked 140 among 156 participating countries, faring the worst in terms of political empowerment
A view of the Parliament House. (HT Archive) Exclusive
A view of the Parliament House. (HT Archive)

Ten questions for the government

UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2021 06:56 AM IST
The monsoon session must be an occasion to hold the government accountable and seek answers about its Covid-19 strategy
In this file photo taken on March 12, 2002, US soldiers disembark from a CH-46 Chinook helicopter at Bagram Air Base. (AFP) Exclusive
In this file photo taken on March 12, 2002, US soldiers disembark from a CH-46 Chinook helicopter at Bagram Air Base. (AFP)

Twenty years later, the old Afghanistan returns

By Yashwant Raj
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2021 06:57 AM IST
India evacuated some 50 diplomats and security officials from its consulate in Kandahar earlier this week as the Taliban closed in on the southern city, which once served as the de facto capital of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Taliban called the country on their watch
Shoba Narayan. ((Sourced))
Shoba Narayan. ((Sourced))

Bangalore Talkies: Gang violence and the new Bengaluru reality

PUBLISHED ON JUL 15, 2021 06:07 PM IST
In a story worthy of a Rajinikanth thriller, two women – sisters in law at that – are the main players in a grisly gang murder. On June 24, in the old Bengaluru area of Cottonpete, former councillor Rekha Kadiresh, slated to win the upcoming city council polls, was stabbed to death 17 times on a street
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. (File photo) Exclusive
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. (File photo)

Mohan Bhagwat’s Muslim outreach and the logic of engagement

By Mohammad Nasir
UPDATED ON JUL 15, 2021 05:43 PM IST
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent address to the Muslims struck a welcome note, through a reaffirmation of the first principles of the Indian Constitution — faith equality, inclusiveness and accommodation
Representational Image. (File photo) Exclusive
Representational Image. (File photo)

Finally, a national maritime sherpa

By C Uday Bhaskar
UPDATED ON JUL 15, 2021 05:22 PM IST
India’s national maritime coordinator will have to manage the geopolitical, geo-economic, and geo-physical dimensions of the oceans
Fans gather for Italy v England - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 11, 2021 (Reuters)
Fans gather for Italy v England - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 11, 2021 (Reuters)

Opinion | The Taste with Vir Sanghvi: Racism and Communalism

By Vir Sanghvi, Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 15, 2021 04:44 PM IST
  • There is much for us to learn from how England responded to racism after the Euro final.
Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, carrying Richard Branson and crew, begins its ascent to the edge of space above Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, US, on July 11, 2021. (via REUTERS) Exclusive
Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, carrying Richard Branson and crew, begins its ascent to the edge of space above Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, US, on July 11, 2021. (via REUTERS)

Branson, Bezos and the frontiers of outer space

By Jay Manoj Sanklecha
UPDATED ON JUL 15, 2021 02:33 PM IST
Apart from flattering the egos of the concerned billionaires, the question of whether these sub-orbital flights advertised as “space flights” actually fly into space carries important regulatory consequences. The answer to the question determines the applicable legal framework
It is crucial to measure the effect of Covid on excess deaths everywhere(Satish Bate / HT Photo)
It is crucial to measure the effect of Covid on excess deaths everywhere(Satish Bate / HT Photo)

Counting deaths in India is difficult

By Shamika Ravi
UPDATED ON JUL 14, 2021 09:06 PM IST
  • The current data architecture leaves gaps. Conduct large-scale household-level demographic surveys to ascertain excess deaths
Representational image. (HT Archive) Exclusive
Representational image. (HT Archive)

Women work more, earn less, and face greater health risks

By Swetha Totapally and Vineet Bhandari
UPDATED ON JUL 14, 2021 05:05 PM IST
There is a multi-generational impact of poor nutrition, lack of access to contraceptives, and debt. Making the right investments in women’s issues now could prove transformational in the long-term recovery
A truck from Afghanistan enters via the Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Attari near Amritsar. (HT archive) Exclusive
A truck from Afghanistan enters via the Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Attari near Amritsar. (HT archive)

Borders: From zones of security to commerce via ICPs

By Riya Sinha
UPDATED ON JUL 14, 2021 04:31 PM IST
Despite its challenges, the Integrated Check Posts along India’s land borders show the capacity of the Government of India to deliver on infrastructure projects
Representational image. (AFP)
Representational image. (AFP)

Scientifically Speaking | Identifying genetic superpowers in people

By Anirban Mahapatra
PUBLISHED ON JUL 14, 2021 12:30 PM IST
We have entered the realm of precision medicine, in which clinicians are starting to tailor treatments for people based on their genetic profiles
The US misadventure in Afghanistan did not necessarily have to end this way (AFP)
The US misadventure in Afghanistan did not necessarily have to end this way (AFP)

How the US lost the plot in Afghanistan

By Dhruva Jaishankar
UPDATED ON JUL 13, 2021 08:27 PM IST
In some ways, the real war began after 2009, as the US forces drew down from Iraq. The result was a carrots and sticks approach; the swelling to over 60,000 US troops in Afghanistan (with another 30,000 committed during the “surge”) coupled with greater economic assistance to Pakistan
Representational Image. (Shutterstock) Exclusive
Representational Image. (Shutterstock)

Bar Council’s social media rules are regressive. Adopt the reformative approach

By Dakshina Chandra
UPDATED ON JUL 13, 2021 05:55 PM IST
The regulator is often caught between the conflicting interests of the judiciary, bar associations across the country and the ministry of law and justice. Proposed regulatory changes by one group are met with severe attacks by other groups or questioned in courts
Responsibility requires that, by understanding the impact of our choices, we reduce our footprint. Recognising business opportunities could drive efforts that go beyond individual action towards wealth creation from recycling. (Representational image/REUTERS) Exclusive
Responsibility requires that, by understanding the impact of our choices, we reduce our footprint. Recognising business opportunities could drive efforts that go beyond individual action towards wealth creation from recycling. (Representational image/REUTERS)

The potential of India’s circular economy

By Arunabha Ghosh
UPDATED ON JUL 13, 2021 05:39 PM IST
Tech innovation, finance, policy and behavioural change can create markets where none existed. Leverage it
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