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at Mamallapuram, the leaders ensured just that — by putting “business” first. In a decision taken after their talks, the leaders established a “High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue mechanism” between the Finance Ministers with the three-pronged objective of enhancing trade volumes, bridging the massive bilateral trade deficit, and increasing mutual investment in sectors agreed upon.

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s said the purpose of the second meeting of its kind, following the Wuhan summit, was for the leaders to show that they are “getting down to business”. Cutting through much of the pomp and show <span>at Mamallapuram, the leaders ensured just that — by putting “business” first. In a decision taken after their talks, the leaders established a “High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue mechanism” between the Finance Ministers with the three-pronged objective of enhancing trade volumes, bridging the massive bilateral trade deficit, and increasing mutual investment in sectors agreed upon. If the mechanism works, it will not only succeed in taking away one of the major irritants in ties but also allow influential stakeholders in the business communities of both countries




Abiy Ahmed must view the Nobel as a call to end inter-ethnic conflicts in Ethiopia

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er 14, 2019 00:21 IST October 14, 2019 00:02 IST Updated: October 14, 2019 00:21 IST Abiy Ahmed must view the Nobel as a call to end inter-ethnic conflicts in Ethiopia Share Article PRINT A A A <span>Abiy Ahmed must view the Nobel as a call to end inter-ethnic conflicts in Ethiopia The Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision to award this year’s Peace Prize to Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, is both a recognition of his efforts for peace in East Africa an




President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria is tantamount to betraying the Kurdish forces who were in the forefront of the war against the Islamic State.

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into Syria could weaken anti-IS forces and plunge the region into chaos Share Article 15 PRINT A A A A Turkish incursion into Syria could weaken anti-IS forces and plunge the region into chaos <span>President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria is tantamount to betraying the Kurdish forces who were in the forefront of the war against the Islamic State. Within days of the U.S. decision, Turkey launched its much-anticipated military incursion on Wednesday into the predominantly Kurdish northeastern Syria. The Syrian Kurdish region, Roja




The YGP was the dominant player in the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that destroyed the IS “caliphate”. Turkey, which is fighting a violent Kurdish insurgency led by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in its Kurdish territories, sees an empowered YPG and a Kurdish autonomous government across the border a growing security threat to itself. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s plan is to carve out a buffer between the border and the Rojava, which will be controlled by pro-Turkish Syrian rebels. He also plans to resettle some Syrian refugees here.

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tly Kurdish northeastern Syria. The Syrian Kurdish region, Rojava, is now run by a semi-autonomous Kurdish government, and its militias People’s Protection Units (YPG) are guarding the borders. <span>The YGP was the dominant player in the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that destroyed the IS “caliphate”. Turkey, which is fighting a violent Kurdish insurgency led by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in its Kurdish territories, sees an empowered YPG and a Kurdish autonomous government across the border a growing security threat to itself. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s plan is to carve out a buffer between the border and the Rojava, which will be controlled by pro-Turkish Syrian rebels. He also plans to resettle some Syrian refugees here. In its previous intervention, Turkey had already pushed the YPG out of Afrin, a border town. It is now planning to repeat Afrin in a longer and wider stretch of the border region. The A




But now, with the destruction of the IS “caliphate”, the U.S. seems to be abandoning the Kurds. Mr. Trump could have opted for an orderly exit from Syria with security guarantees from Turkey for the Kurds. Instead, he has just given in to Turkey’s demands. Second, only the IS caliphate was destroyed, not the IS. The remaining IS fighters have retreated to the Iraqi and Syrian deserts waiting for an opportunity to strike back. The Turkish incursion into Syria will not just set back the advances the Kurds have made in Rojava, but also weaken the most potent anti-jihadist force on the ground, besides throwing the whole region into chaos. It is a recipe for tragedy.

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s a Kurdistan government in northeast Syria today, it is because the Kurds have captured all the major cities in the region, including Raqqah, the de facto capital of the IS, with U.S. support. <span>But now, with the destruction of the IS “caliphate”, the U.S. seems to be abandoning the Kurds. Mr. Trump could have opted for an orderly exit from Syria with security guarantees from Turkey for the Kurds. Instead, he has just given in to Turkey’s demands. Second, only the IS caliphate was destroyed, not the IS. The remaining IS fighters have retreated to the Iraqi and Syrian deserts waiting for an opportunity to strike back. The Turkish incursion into Syria will not just set back the advances the Kurds have made in Rojava, but also weaken the most potent anti-jihadist force on the ground, besides throwing the whole region into chaos. It is a recipe for tragedy. A letter from the Editor Dear reader, We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, ou




The irony of the Prime Minister telling the international community in Houston that his government had opened up coal mining to 100% foreign direct investment

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renewable sources to 175 GW by 2022 and even to 450 GW later, there is a parallel emphasis on expanding coal-based generation to meet peaks of demand that cannot be met by solar and wind power. <span>The irony of the Prime Minister telling the international community in Houston that his government had opened up coal mining to 100% foreign direct investment was not lost on climate activists campaigning for a ban on new coal plants and divesting of shares in coal companies. No less challenging is a substantial transition to electric mobilit




A five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday held that States can sub-classify Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Central List to provide preferential treatment to the “weakest out of the weak”.

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ven-judge Bench; virtually endorses concept of creamy layer. Share Article 24 PRINT A A A Order counters 2004 verdict; referred to seven-judge Bench; virtually endorses concept of creamy layer. <span>A five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday held that States can sub-classify Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Central List to provide preferential treatment to the “weakest out of the weak”. The Constitution Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra said reservation has created inequalities within the reserved castes itself. Also read | Creamy layer cannot apply to SCs/STs: Centre ‘




Also, the Constitution has been amended in 2018 to introduce Article 342A under which the President notifies, in consultation with the States, the list of Backward Classes, with a caveat similar to the ones in respect of Scheduled Castes (Article 341) and Scheduled Tribes (Article 342) that Parliament can make inclusions or exclusions in this list, and that once such a change is notified, “it shall not be varied by any subsequent notification”. What is the effect of this? The Court says it could mean that just as the BC list can be divided into ‘backward’ and ‘more backward’, the same could be done among SCs too.

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he Bench has disagreed with the formulation in E.V. Chinnaiah vs. State of Andhra Pradesh (2004) that classifying Scheduled Castes into groups amounts to ‘tinkering’ with the Presidential list. <span>Also, the Constitution has been amended in 2018 to introduce Article 342A under which the President notifies, in consultation with the States, the list of Backward Classes, with a caveat similar to the ones in respect of Scheduled Castes (Article 341) and Scheduled Tribes (Article 342) that Parliament can make inclusions or exclusions in this list, and that once such a change is notified, “it shall not be varied by any subsequent notification”. What is the effect of this? The Court says it could mean that just as the BC list can be divided into ‘backward’ and ‘more backward’, the same could be done among SCs too. As E.V. Chinnaiah is also a verdict by a Bench with a strength of five, the matter has been referred to a larger Bench. If the judgment is reconsidered, it would provide welcome relief




Targeting Hezbollah: On Israeli attacks in Lebanon

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attacks in Lebanon Share On 5 Opinion Cartoon Columns Editorial Interview Lead Readers' Editor Comment Open Page Letters Watch | All about Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine Opinion Editorial Editorial <span>Targeting Hezbollah: On Israeli attacks in Lebanon August 29, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: August 29, 2020 00:01 IST August 29, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: August 29, 2020 00:01 IST Israel and the Shia militia should not risk a wider war by enga




Hezbollah, a Shia militia-cum-political party in Lebanon, and Israel, which have fought two wars before, have been observing a tenuous ceasefire for 14 years. Tensions began after Israel’s targeting of Iranian weapons and supplies within Syria. Israel fears that Iranian supplies to Hezbollah via Syria

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ks on Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon following what it called “cross border fires” mark a significant escalation in the crisis that has been building up along the border in recent years. <span>Hezbollah, a Shia militia-cum-political party in Lebanon, and Israel, which have fought two wars before, have been observing a tenuous ceasefire for 14 years. Tensions began after Israel’s targeting of Iranian weapons and supplies within Syria. Israel fears that Iranian supplies to Hezbollah via Syria, where the Shia militias fought alongside regime fighters against rebels and Sunni jihadists, would leave them stronger, enhancing Israel’s security challenges in the northern border. I




The penalty may be mild, but its import is quite grave. In imposing a nominal fine of one rupee on advocate Prashant Bhushan for criminal contempt of court, and, in the event of default, asking him to serve a three-month simple prison term and be debarred for three years from legal practice, the Supreme Court has bared its dark, intolerant side.

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Supreme Court sentence on Bhushan diminishes its stature, exposes intolerant side Share Article 22 PRINT A A A Supreme Court sentence on Bhushan diminishes its stature, exposes intolerant side <span>The penalty may be mild, but its import is quite grave. In imposing a nominal fine of one rupee on advocate Prashant Bhushan for criminal contempt of court, and, in the event of default, asking him to serve a three-month simple prison term and be debarred for three years from legal practice, the Supreme Court has bared its dark, intolerant side. That this was in response to tweets that contained criticism of the current CJI and some of his predecessors, diminishes the Court’s stature much more than the upstanding lawyer’s tweet




It is unfortunate that the Court did not heed the Attorney General’s wise counsel that it should display magnanimity by not imposing any sentence, and by considering the tweets as bona fide expression of criticism aimed at improving the institution’s stature.

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uld be given to the whole issue. However, Mr. Bhushan was in no mood to oblige, placing his bona fides and conscience above the need to give a face-saving option to the Court to close the case. <span>It is unfortunate that the Court did not heed the Attorney General’s wise counsel that it should display magnanimity by not imposing any sentence, and by considering the tweets as bona fide expression of criticism aimed at improving the institution’s stature. The 82-page sentencing verdict, much like the 108-page judgment finding Mr. Bhushan guilty, sets much store by the claim that it is not so much the reputation of individual judges that




Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserted, at what may have been the most tenuous GST Council meeting so far, that the Centre will not be able to meet the compensation shortfall. With GST collections sharply undershooting all targets this year, the Centre estimates compensation payable for the full year at ₹3-lakh crore. But just ₹65,000 crore is expected in the cess kitty used to pay out the compensation.

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to the States, for a period of five years, compensation for revenue shortfalls in return for their having ceded the power to levy the multiple taxes that were subsumed into the GST. Last week, <span>Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserted, at what may have been the most tenuous GST Council meeting so far, that the Centre will not be able to meet the compensation shortfall. With GST collections sharply undershooting all targets this year, the Centre estimates compensation payable for the full year at ₹3-lakh crore. But just ₹65,000 crore is expected in the cess kitty used to pay out the compensation. In July, the Centre paid out the last instalment of compensation for the last fiscal and is, so far, yet to pay anything for this year. States have now been given two options, both requ




States have now been given two options, both requiring them to borrow from the market. The Centre contends that only ₹97,000 crore of the revenue shortfall is from implementation of the GST, while ₹1.38-lakh crore is due to extraordinary circumstances posed by an ‘Act of God’ (the pandemic). States can either borrow ₹97,000 crore, without having it added to their debt and with the principal and interest paid out from future cess collections, or they can borrow the entire ₹2.35-lakh crore shortfall, but will have to provide for interest payments themselves.

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ected in the cess kitty used to pay out the compensation. In July, the Centre paid out the last instalment of compensation for the last fiscal and is, so far, yet to pay anything for this year. <span>States have now been given two options, both requiring them to borrow from the market. The Centre contends that only ₹97,000 crore of the revenue shortfall is from implementation of the GST, while ₹1.38-lakh crore is due to extraordinary circumstances posed by an ‘Act of God’ (the pandemic). States can either borrow ₹97,000 crore, without having it added to their debt and with the principal and interest paid out from future cess collections, or they can borrow the entire ₹2.35-lakh crore shortfall, but will have to provide for interest payments themselves. The Finance Ministry has argued that higher borrowing by the Centre will push up interest rates and dent India’s fiscal parameters. At best, this is specious — total government debt, in




For now, the only certainty is that the compensation cess levied on demerit goods will stay on beyond 2022, and may even be raised, affecting several businesses, including the jobs-intensive auto sector.

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orms do not fall victim to the trust deficit engendered by this standoff, the pandemic response is strengthened and all-round government capital spending to bolster sagging demand not derailed. <span>For now, the only certainty is that the compensation cess levied on demerit goods will stay on beyond 2022, and may even be raised, affecting several businesses, including the jobs-intensive auto sector. A letter from the Editor Dear reader, We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, ou




The Supreme Court’s decision this week to allow telecom service providers 10 years’ time to settle their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues to the government comes as a partial relief to the debt-laden industry. This will give the older providers, especially Vodafone Idea, the crucial breathing space to figure out how they can reconfigure their business plans to stem the relentless flow of operational losses and garner the resources to make the sizeable annual payments to the Centre over the next decade.

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IST AGR dues should not be allowed to impair customer-centric investments in telecom Share Article 0 PRINT A A A AGR dues should not be allowed to impair customer-centric investments in telecom <span>The Supreme Court’s decision this week to allow telecom service providers 10 years’ time to settle their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues to the government comes as a partial relief to the debt-laden industry. This will give the older providers, especially Vodafone Idea, the crucial breathing space to figure out how they can reconfigure their business plans to stem the relentless flow of operational losses and garner the resources to make the sizeable annual payments to the Centre over the next decade. However, in setting a time frame, the Court, which acknowledged the troubled landscape facing the lynchpin industry, seemed to brush aside both the companies’ requests for a longer hori




A new dimension: On India-U.S.-Australia-Japan Quadrilateral

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pan Quadrilateral Share On 11 Opinion Cartoon Columns Editorial Interview Lead Readers' Editor Comment Open Page Letters Watch | All about Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine Opinion Editorial Editorial <span>A new dimension: On India-U.S.-Australia-Japan Quadrilateral September 05, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: September 05, 2020 00:21 IST September 05, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: September 05, 2020 00:21 IST Militarisation of the Quad will not alleviate the t




the annual Malabar exercises with the U.S. and Japan

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dian Ocean, and even within it, held its first one, with France, only recently. In terms of the engagement with the Quad, India has not yet formally announced a decision to include Australia in <span>the annual Malabar exercises with the U.S. and Japan, although it is expected to do so. However, the move from conducting exercises together to joint operations would take time, something that makes the CDS’s assertion significant. It is




Quad would be a “good mechanism” to “ensure Freedom of Navigation Operations” (FONOPs) in the Indian Ocean and surrounding oceans including the Indo-Pacific. Unless he misspoke, the suggestion is that India is now prepared to join Quad military patrols, which marks a departure from its earlier reticence and public statements by the leadership. The Indian Navy has not taken part in any joint patrols outside of the Indian Ocean, and even within it, held its first one, with France, only recently.

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ficant shift of the government’s posture towards the India-U.S.-Australia-Japan Quadrilateral (Quad), Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat stated on Thursday that India believes the <span>Quad would be a “good mechanism” to “ensure Freedom of Navigation Operations” (FONOPs) in the Indian Ocean and surrounding oceans including the Indo-Pacific. Unless he misspoke, the suggestion is that India is now prepared to join Quad military patrols, which marks a departure from its earlier reticence and public statements by the leadership. The Indian Navy has not taken part in any joint patrols outside of the Indian Ocean, and even within it, held its first one, with France, only recently. In terms of the engagement with the Quad, India has not yet formally announced a decision to include Australia in the annual Malabar exercises with the U.S. and Japan, although it is ex




India is the only Quad member not already tied in a treaty alliance with the others, and Mr. Jaishankar’s statement that India would never be part of any “alliance system” would run counter to what the CDS suggests.

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said in 2018 that India sees the Indo-Pacific as a “geographical concept”, not a “strategy or a club of limited members”, and it would be important to know whether that formulation has changed. <span>India is the only Quad member not already tied in a treaty alliance with the others, and Mr. Jaishankar’s statement that India would never be part of any “alliance system” would run counter to what the CDS suggests. Finally, India is the only country in the Quad that shares a land boundary with China, and it is unclear how the militarisation of the Quad in Indo-Pacific waters would alleviate the te




As External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said last week, diplomacy is the only way out of the crisis, and that can only happen “if both sides understand that it is in each of their best interests if the events of this summer are not repeated”. The problem, so far, has been a stark mismatch between China’s statements and the actions of its troops. Its consistent labelling of India as the aggressor this summer contradicts the reality that India has, since May, ceded about 1,000 square kilometres in Ladakh to Chinese control. If China’s diplomats have spoken repeatedly of the need to keep in mind “the big picture” of bilateral ties, the actions of its military on the ground have suggested an intent that is precisely the opposite, emphasising achieving tactical gains at the border over the broader strategic relationship. Until that calculus changes, India will have to be prepared to be tested along the border and to stand its ground over the long haul. India has signalled its intent to do so with the latest developments on August 29 in Chushul.

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ely withdraw its troops”. He did, also, add that both sides should “stay committed to resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation” and “make joint efforts to meet each other halfway”. <span>As External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said last week, diplomacy is the only way out of the crisis, and that can only happen “if both sides understand that it is in each of their best interests if the events of this summer are not repeated”. The problem, so far, has been a stark mismatch between China’s statements and the actions of its troops. Its consistent labelling of India as the aggressor this summer contradicts the reality that India has, since May, ceded about 1,000 square kilometres in Ladakh to Chinese control. If China’s diplomats have spoken repeatedly of the need to keep in mind “the big picture” of bilateral ties, the actions of its military on the ground have suggested an intent that is precisely the opposite, emphasising achieving tactical gains at the border over the broader strategic relationship. Until that calculus changes, India will have to be prepared to be tested along the border and to stand its ground over the long haul. India has signalled its intent to do so with the latest developments on August 29 in Chushul. If the statements following the Moscow meet did not exactly inspire confidence, both sides will have the chance to reassess the situation when Mr. Jaishankar will likely meet his counte




Deal in danger: On post-Brexit U.K.-EU trade deal

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U.K.-EU trade deal Share On 1 Opinion Cartoon Columns Editorial Interview Lead Readers' Editor Comment Open Page Letters Watch | All about Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine Opinion Editorial Editorial <span>Deal in danger: On post-Brexit U.K.-EU trade deal September 08, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: September 07, 2020 23:41 IST September 08, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: September 07, 2020 23:41 IST A no-deal Brexit has economic costs and puts at ris




In January, the U.S. killed Soleimani after Shia militias attacked American troops. Iran retaliated by launching ballistic missile attacks on a U.S. air base in Iraq, injuring some 100 American soldiers, while the Shia militias continued attacking U.S. troops.

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ecent years, it found stationing even 10,000 troops risky. This is partly because of the hostile political environment and partly due to the growing influence of Iran and Shia militias in Iraq. <span>In January, the U.S. killed Soleimani after Shia militias attacked American troops. Iran retaliated by launching ballistic missile attacks on a U.S. air base in Iraq, injuring some 100 American soldiers, while the Shia militias continued attacking U.S. troops. In March, three of the coalition troops, two of them Americans, were killed in such an attack. Since then, the U.S. has repositioned troops, and the drawdown will reduce risks of such c




On September 9, the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, wrote to Speaker Om Birla to initiate the process, by election or consensus. Mr. Chowdhury also recalled the convention of offering the post to the Opposition.

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liament begins on Monday and the Rajya Sabha is scheduled to elect a Deputy Chairman. The vacancy of Deputy Speaker appears to be less of a lapse, and more a calculated delay by the ruling BJP. <span>On September 9, the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, wrote to Speaker Om Birla to initiate the process, by election or consensus. Mr. Chowdhury also recalled the convention of offering the post to the Opposition. Mr. Birla has been non-committal in his public comments on the issue, and the BJP has remained silent. Soon after the 2019 general election, the government had made some effort to fill




Election by consensus of an Opposition MP as Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha will be a course correction. The government should be magnanimous and the Opposition creative in dealing with this issue.

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dia sorely requires to deal with the multitude of its current challenges. The BJP’s pre-eminence has also devastated the Opposition which is struggling to muster a coherent and united response. <span>Election by consensus of an Opposition MP as Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha will be a course correction. The government should be magnanimous and the Opposition creative in dealing with this issue. A letter from the Editor Dear reader, We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, ou




The opposition to the Bills, particularly on trade, flows from the position, articulated by Punjab, that agriculture and markets are State subjects, and there should be no tinkering with the MSP and Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC), that form the backbone of existing trading arrangements. Several States have already liberalised agricultural marketing, amending their APMC Acts, and some have allowed regulated private commerce including direct marketing. Yet, provisions in the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, providing for unfettered commerce in designated trade areas outside APMC jurisdictions without levy of any fee, and more generally, empowering the Centre to issue orders to States in furtherance of the law’s objectives, have alarmed States. A challenge has been mounted by Rajasthan, declaring central warehouses as procurement centres under its APMC Act, and therefore required to pay a market fee to the State.

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rdinances issued in June, on key aspects of the farm economy — trade in agricultural commodities, price assurance, farm services including contracts, and stock limits for essential commodities. <span>The opposition to the Bills, particularly on trade, flows from the position, articulated by Punjab, that agriculture and markets are State subjects, and there should be no tinkering with the MSP and Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC), that form the backbone of existing trading arrangements. Several States have already liberalised agricultural marketing, amending their APMC Acts, and some have allowed regulated private commerce including direct marketing. Yet, provisions in the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, providing for unfettered commerce in designated trade areas outside APMC jurisdictions without levy of any fee, and more generally, empowering the Centre to issue orders to States in furtherance of the law’s objectives, have alarmed States. A challenge has been mounted by Rajasthan, declaring central warehouses as procurement centres under its APMC Act, and therefore required to pay a market fee to the State. Mr. Modi has characterised the arguments as misleading, promising that the MSP system will continue. This is welcome, but the new dispensation cannot bring cheer to small farmers, who f




former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with whom he shared his famous “three arrows” economic strategy called ‘Abenomics’. Mr. Suga would be well aware of the big shoes he must fill and the importance of the relationship with India for Japan.

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and Cross-Servicing Agreement, a significant step in defence cooperation. His close personal relationship with Mr. Modi, both seen as “strongmen” leaders, built on his earlier partnership with <span>former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with whom he shared his famous “three arrows” economic strategy called ‘Abenomics’. Mr. Suga would be well aware of the big shoes he must fill and the importance of the relationship with India for Japan. It is significant that one of the new government’s first engagements is likely to be the Foreign Minister-level meeting of the Quad countries in Tokyo next month, which will also give N




Need for caution: On Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine

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’s Sputnik V vaccine Share On Opinion Cartoon Columns Editorial Interview Lead Readers' Editor Comment Open Page Letters Watch | All about Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine Opinion Editorial Editorial <span>Need for caution: On Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine September 18, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: September 17, 2020 23:22 IST September 18, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: September 17, 2020 23:22 IST India needs more than one vaccine, but all must com




New order in West Asia: On Abraham Accords

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On Abraham Accords Share On 2 Opinion Cartoon Columns Editorial Interview Lead Readers' Editor Comment Open Page Letters Watch | All about Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine Opinion Editorial Editorial <span>New order in West Asia: On Abraham Accords September 17, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: September 17, 2020 00:46 IST September 17, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: September 17, 2020 00:46 IST Accords between Arab States and Israel can’t bring




The so-called Abraham Accords, signed in the White House on Tuesday by the UAE, Bahrain and Israel, under U.S. President Donald Trump’s mediation, clearly mark a new beginning in the relations between the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdoms and the Jewish state. Under the agreement, the UAE and Bahrain would normalise ties with Israel, heralding better economic, political and security engagement.

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States and Israel can’t bring peace without solving the Palestine issue Share Article 2 PRINT A A A Accords between Arab States and Israel can’t bring peace without solving the Palestine issue <span>The so-called Abraham Accords, signed in the White House on Tuesday by the UAE, Bahrain and Israel, under U.S. President Donald Trump’s mediation, clearly mark a new beginning in the relations between the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdoms and the Jewish state. Under the agreement, the UAE and Bahrain would normalise ties with Israel, heralding better economic, political and security engagement. More Arab countries are expected to follow suit, say U.S. and Israeli officials. The agreements have the backing of Saudi Arabia, arguably the most influential Arab power and a close al




Unlike Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively, the Gulf countries are not frontline states in the Arab-Israeli conflict. They had established backroom contacts with Israel years ago; what is happening now is their normalisation. Second, the agreements leave the Palestinian question largely unaddressed. With Arab countries signing diplomatic agreements with Israel bilaterally,

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e new dawn of a new Middle East”. Though of historical and geopolitical significance, it is too early to say whether the accords will have any meaningful impact on West Asia’s myriad conflicts. <span>Unlike Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively, the Gulf countries are not frontline states in the Arab-Israeli conflict. They had established backroom contacts with Israel years ago; what is happening now is their normalisation. Second, the agreements leave the Palestinian question largely unaddressed. With Arab countries signing diplomatic agreements with Israel bilaterally, the Arab collective support for the Palestinian movement for nationhood, which has been the basis of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, is crumbling. But it does not mean that the Palestin




Venus, the hottest planet in the solar system, has not enjoyed as much recent attention as Mars, as far as space missions are concerned. With surface temperatures of above 460° Celsius that can melt even a metal like lead, and a heavy atmosphere of carbon dioxide, the planet was considered hostile to life.

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ational collaborations can help probe the dense atmosphere of Earth’s neighbour Share Article 2 PRINT A A A International collaborations can help probe the dense atmosphere of Earth’s neighbour <span>Venus, the hottest planet in the solar system, has not enjoyed as much recent attention as Mars, as far as space missions are concerned. With surface temperatures of above 460° Celsius that can melt even a metal like lead, and a heavy atmosphere of carbon dioxide, the planet was considered hostile to life. This despite its being similar in size to the Earth and rocky, so much so that it is often called the Earth’s “sister planet”. There was some excitement when the European Space Agency’s




Apart from the high surface temperature and dense atmosphere, the presence of sulphuric acid in the atmosphere of Venus makes it a highly corrosive environment. Perhaps flying at a height and sending down drones or balloons would be more feasible than a landing. Missions to Venus have been planned by NASA and ISRO

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make sure before celebrating the discovery of extraterrestrial life. This can now only be taken further by making in situ measurements in the atmosphere of Venus. This poses its own challenges. <span>Apart from the high surface temperature and dense atmosphere, the presence of sulphuric acid in the atmosphere of Venus makes it a highly corrosive environment. Perhaps flying at a height and sending down drones or balloons would be more feasible than a landing. Missions to Venus have been planned by NASA and ISRO. While NASA’s mission is slated for launch next year, ISRO is looking at 2023 right now. As is not uncommon in space missions, a spate of collaborations may well improve chances of effi




World Bank pauses publication of Doing Business report

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ing Business report Share On 0 Business Agri-Business Industry Economy Markets Budget 2020 Stock Quotes Over 3.8 lakh companies struck off under companies law in 3 years: Govt Business Business <span>World Bank pauses publication of Doing Business report PTI New Delhi, August 28, 2020 06:21 IST Updated: August 28, 2020 06:47 IST PTI New Delhi, August 28, 2020 06:21 IST Updated: August 28, 2020 06:47 IST It says irregularities have been




Glimmer of hope: On India-China five-point consensus

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e-point consensus Share On 18 Opinion Cartoon Columns Editorial Interview Lead Readers' Editor Comment Open Page Letters Watch | All about Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine Opinion Editorial Editorial <span>Glimmer of hope: On India-China five-point consensus September 12, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: September 12, 2020 00:13 IST September 12, 2020 00:02 IST Updated: September 12, 2020 00:13 IST India and China have taken the first step to begin




Cotton has been woven and used in India for thousands of years. Cotton fabric from around 3,000 BCE has been excavated from the ruins of Mohenjo-daro, and archaeological findings in Mehrgarh, Pakistan, show that cotton was used in the subcontinent as far back as 5,000 BCE. Indian cotton fabrics dominated the world trade during the succeeding millennia and were exported to many places, including Greece, Rome, Persia, Egypt, Assyria and parts of Asia.

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T Despite finding huge favour in India, the GM crop has only brought modest benefits Share Article PRINT A A A Despite finding huge favour in India, the GM crop has only brought modest benefits <span>Cotton has been woven and used in India for thousands of years. Cotton fabric from around 3,000 BCE has been excavated from the ruins of Mohenjo-daro, and archaeological findings in Mehrgarh, Pakistan, show that cotton was used in the subcontinent as far back as 5,000 BCE. Indian cotton fabrics dominated the world trade during the succeeding millennia and were exported to many places, including Greece, Rome, Persia, Egypt, Assyria and parts of Asia. Much of the cotton cultivated until the 20th century was of the indigenous ‘desi’ variety, Gossypium arboreum. From the 1990s, hybrid varieties of G. hirsutum were promoted. These hybri




The increasing use of synthetic pyrethroids (group of man-made pesticides) to control pests and the rising acreage under the American long-duration cotton led to the emergence of resistant pests. Resistant Pink and even American Bollworm (ABW), a minor pest in the past, began increasing, leading to a growing use of a variety of pesticides

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pressure to buy hybrid seeds, the indigenous varieties have lost out over the years. But recently, there has been some resurgence of interest. Comment | The flawed spin to India’s cotton story <span>The increasing use of synthetic pyrethroids (group of man-made pesticides) to control pests and the rising acreage under the American long-duration cotton led to the emergence of resistant pests. Resistant Pink and even American Bollworm (ABW), a minor pest in the past, began increasing, leading to a growing use of a variety of pesticides. Rising debts and reducing yields, coupled with increasing insect resistance, worsened the plight of cotton farmers. It was in this setting that Bt cotton was introduced in India in 200




It also underscores that the legislation makes it clear that the daughter’s rights are the same “as that of a son,” and “as if she had been a son at the time of birth”

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sion to which it extends. In that sense, the legislation, even though it comes into effect on a prescribed date, is retroactive in its application as it is linked to birth, an antecedent event. <span>It also underscores that the legislation makes it clear that the daughter’s rights are the same “as that of a son,” and “as if she had been a son at the time of birth”. The coparcenary status given to daughters has been a subject of reform in many States, particularly in south India, long before the UPA regime brought in the amendment for the whole co




The apex court has now categorically ruled that the daughters’ right flows from their birth and not by any other factor such as the existence of their fathers. In other words, it has rejected the common misinterpretation that only daughters of coparceners who were alive on that day could get an equal share in property.

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rdict settles the question whether the coparcenary right of daughters comes into effect only if the father through whom they claim that right was alive on the day the amendment came into force. <span>The apex court has now categorically ruled that the daughters’ right flows from their birth and not by any other factor such as the existence of their fathers. In other words, it has rejected the common misinterpretation that only daughters of coparceners who were alive on that day could get an equal share in property. The court has rightly recognised that the amendment conferred equal status as a coparcener on daughters in Hindu families governed by Mitakshara law, and this right accrued by birth. Th