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PM Modi could coordinate a ‘coalition of the willing’ in which BJP-ruled states join hands with solar- and wind-intensive states such as Tamil Nadu, which have the most to gain from a renewable energy-friendly distribution policy, and commit to a reform package with teeth (AFP) PREMIUM

India will need more than green hydrogen

By Jonathan Kay
UPDATED ON SEP 27, 2021 07:22 PM IST
Unless political economy issues around discoms are addressed, India’s renewable energy plans will fail
If the need for boosters is not justified by robust data and analysis, the exercise could hamper the confidence in vaccines (Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)
If the need for boosters is not justified by robust data and analysis, the exercise could hamper the confidence in vaccines (Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)

In Perspective: The booster dose conundrum for India

UPDATED ON SEP 27, 2021 05:40 PM IST
The evidence does support that people in higher age groups and those with suppressed immunity should be offered a booster dose. But for a country where less than a quarter of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated, this will not be an easy choice
In today’s Parliament, the time allotted for questions — the zero hour— has been reduced to the bare minimum, easily dispensable when the government needs to push its own agenda (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
In today’s Parliament, the time allotted for questions — the zero hour— has been reduced to the bare minimum, easily dispensable when the government needs to push its own agenda (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

India’s Parliament must overcome its dysfunctional ways

By Binoy Viswam
UPDATED ON SEP 27, 2021 05:32 PM IST
That the public must hold elected representatives accountable is unquestionable and the very essence of democracy. However, the vice-president and chairman of the Rajya Sabha to omit the accountability of an important stakeholder — the government — in the functioning of Parliament
After he assumed power in Delhi, the electorate saw Modi as a mass leader, and may not have expected much by way of reforms. But to achieve his goals, PM Modi streamlined administration, underpinning his philosophy of minimum government and maximum governance. He got rid of corruption and provided a clean governance model. (PTI)
After he assumed power in Delhi, the electorate saw Modi as a mass leader, and may not have expected much by way of reforms. But to achieve his goals, PM Modi streamlined administration, underpinning his philosophy of minimum government and maximum governance. He got rid of corruption and provided a clean governance model. (PTI)

Modi redefined, refined and reoriented reforms with a focus on the vulnerable

By Syed Zafar Islam
UPDATED ON SEP 27, 2021 07:23 PM IST
Without the ultimate consumer of goods and services — the citizen — no reform can survive, industry can’t sustain itself, markets can’t expand, exports won’t surge, farmers won’t proposer, and India’s growth story can’t continue. And that is why the definition of reforms must be broad and take into account the most vulnerable.
Prisoners, 70% of whom are people held inside as undertrials while the system grinds on, are the victims. (Shutterstock)
Prisoners, 70% of whom are people held inside as undertrials while the system grinds on, are the victims. (Shutterstock)

The urgent need for reform in India’s prison system

By Vijay Raghavan and Maja Daruwala
UPDATED ON SEP 27, 2021 07:24 PM IST
Treating the cadre that works within the prison system with the respect and consideration that every agency of the state receives is imperative. Innovative ideas for reform are not possible if the officers are parachuted in and out of a system that, in fact, needs years of training and on-the-ground experience.
Fast-forward seven years, and today, we have Kevadia and the Statue of Unity on the world tourism map (HT Photo)
Fast-forward seven years, and today, we have Kevadia and the Statue of Unity on the world tourism map (HT Photo)

Harnessing the potential of India’s tourism model of inclusive growth

By G Kishan Reddy
UPDATED ON SEP 26, 2021 07:51 PM IST
The targeted outreach programmes to promote inclusive and sustainable tourism as people begin to travel will ensure India’s potential is realised as we celebrate 75 years of Independence
If this combination of politics and religion was to improve the social structure, that would not be such a bad thing (PTI)
If this combination of politics and religion was to improve the social structure, that would not be such a bad thing (PTI)

From ascetic to flashy, a tale of political priests

By Shashi Shekhar
UPDATED ON SEP 26, 2021 07:51 PM IST
Why is it that often, after the mysterious deaths of such people, issues regarding fame, power, and lifestyles, either theirs or their associates’, arise?
The impending binary world order will succeed in splintering the strategic landscape and, for that reason, could be intrinsically unstable (Shutterstock)
The impending binary world order will succeed in splintering the strategic landscape and, for that reason, could be intrinsically unstable (Shutterstock)

The emergence of a binary world order

By Mohan Kumar
UPDATED ON SEP 26, 2021 07:52 PM IST
The world is headed for two power centres — led by the US and China. But despite the latter’s rise, on all metrics, the US is far ahead at the moment
Quad is much more about the long game. It brings together most of the biggest (ex-China) powers of Asia, covers the breadth of the Indo-Pacific, and seeks to show that whatever autocracies can do, multiparty governments can do better (ANI)
Quad is much more about the long game. It brings together most of the biggest (ex-China) powers of Asia, covers the breadth of the Indo-Pacific, and seeks to show that whatever autocracies can do, multiparty governments can do better (ANI)

Quad: The emergence of a genuine counterweight to China

By Pramit Pal Chaudhuri
UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2021 06:49 PM IST
With four democracies, tied together because of specific but common geopolitical interests, and an agenda for the future, Quad has left the runaway. India should be pleased
I know that religion has a well-established role in the Army, but only based on the equality of all religions. Singling out one faith would breach that custom and practice. In the case of the artillery — a regiment that recruits from all faiths — this would amount to partiality and discrimination. (Hindustan Times)
I know that religion has a well-established role in the Army, but only based on the equality of all religions. Singling out one faith would breach that custom and practice. In the case of the artillery — a regiment that recruits from all faiths — this would amount to partiality and discrimination. (Hindustan Times)

A disturbing trend in the armed forces

UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2021 06:49 PM IST
To be honest, we don’t have evidence of a deep-set malaise in the army. But, equally, a few things have gone wrong. I’d like to believe these are errors that can be easily and swiftly corrected. But only if they are
Over the last few weeks, I have been reminded several times of some of the outstanding officers who have served the government, and of the faults in the system of government that have stood in the way of them making full use of their talents. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Over the last few weeks, I have been reminded several times of some of the outstanding officers who have served the government, and of the faults in the system of government that have stood in the way of them making full use of their talents. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

India’s babus are both perpetrators and victims of a flawed system

By Mark Tully
UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2021 06:51 PM IST
Kaushik Basu’s observations and the experiences of former IAS officers, BD Pande and Keshav Desiraju, demonstrate the talent that there was in the bureaucracy under the Congress and the hindrances which hampered talented bureaucrats. Has this changed under the Bharatiya Janata Party? That could be the subject of another column.
Now that the US has breached the taboo regarding nuclear propulsion, the time has come for India and France to set a new milestone for strengthening their strategic partnership (REUTERS)
Now that the US has breached the taboo regarding nuclear propulsion, the time has come for India and France to set a new milestone for strengthening their strategic partnership (REUTERS)

AUKUS: How not to win friends

By Rakesh Sood
UPDATED ON SEP 24, 2021 07:50 PM IST
An announcement meant to create ripples in the Indo-Pacific has created waves across the Atlantic. But this gives France and India an opportunity
Harris’s earlier criticism of the Modi government was seen as reflecting the dissatisfaction felt among progressives in the Democratic Party (PTI)
Harris’s earlier criticism of the Modi government was seen as reflecting the dissatisfaction felt among progressives in the Democratic Party (PTI)

The significance of the Modi-Harris meeting

By Yashwant Raj
UPDATED ON SEP 24, 2021 07:56 PM IST
Thursday’s meeting was a bold and risky move by Modi to test that antipathy. It could have gone either way. But the gamble paid off
The policy achieves all of these parameters, without either being company-specific or value destructive for public finances — a brilliant move (Pradeep Gaur)
The policy achieves all of these parameters, without either being company-specific or value destructive for public finances — a brilliant move (Pradeep Gaur)

Vodafone Idea’s quest for atmanirbharta. What an idea sirji

By Prabal Basu Roy
UPDATED ON SEP 24, 2021 07:59 PM IST
The government has astutely provided a policy package that is based on the principles of an “earn-out structure” in deal-making, where the benefits to the target company are contingent on its satisfying post-deal milestones
Timing your retirement right is never easy. In politics, there is neither a retirement age nor an institutionalised mechanism to facilitate a smooth transition to a new order (RAVI KUMAR/HT)
Timing your retirement right is never easy. In politics, there is neither a retirement age nor an institutionalised mechanism to facilitate a smooth transition to a new order (RAVI KUMAR/HT)

In Indian politics, the challenge of transition

UPDATED ON SEP 23, 2021 08:26 PM IST
In the absence of inner-party democracy, arriving at a fine balance between gen-next aspirations and an ageing political leadership seems difficult. In politics, the premium placed on experience and stature makes it even more problematic to bring about any overnight change. But there is a way out
Quad should address certain vital questions: How can Quad effectively lead the region in reducing emissions as part of their commitments under the Paris agreement? Will it be successful in enhancing climate action without the participation of other existing international platforms? (Bloomberg)
Quad should address certain vital questions: How can Quad effectively lead the region in reducing emissions as part of their commitments under the Paris agreement? Will it be successful in enhancing climate action without the participation of other existing international platforms? (Bloomberg)

On the climate crisis, a four-point agenda for Quad meeting

By Aparna Roy
UPDATED ON SEP 23, 2021 08:27 PM IST
Quad can capitalise on the essence of democracy to further the vision and action related to the climate agenda. It is high time that a comprehensive, inclusive and fair approach of regional cooperation is adopted in dealing with one of the most significant global dangers of this century.
India is a major stakeholder in the Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI) of the International Energy Agency. (Shutterstock)
India is a major stakeholder in the Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI) of the International Energy Agency. (Shutterstock)

For a shift to sustainable urban transport, political will is key

By Vineet Abhishek
UPDATED ON SEP 23, 2021 06:57 PM IST
PM Modi announcement that Gujarat’s Statue of Unity will be an EV-only zone sends the right message to all planners and policymakers in India’s cities to shift to sustainable transportation
Union minister for commerce and industry Piyush Goyal greets UAE minister of state for foreign trade Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi in New Delhi on Wednesday. The UAE is the ninth largest investor with over  billion invested in sectors such as services, sea transport, power, infrastructure and real estate. (Tweeted by Piyush Goyal)
Union minister for commerce and industry Piyush Goyal greets UAE minister of state for foreign trade Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi in New Delhi on Wednesday. The UAE is the ninth largest investor with over billion invested in sectors such as services, sea transport, power, infrastructure and real estate. (Tweeted by Piyush Goyal)

India-UAE trade can be a cornerstone of the global economy

By Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi
UPDATED ON SEP 23, 2021 05:40 PM IST
The two countries share many priorities. We both want to enhance the business environment in our countries, attract foreign direct investment, and use trade as a means to secure stability and prosperity not just for our citizens and residents but for our respective regions
Representational Image. (File photo)
Representational Image. (File photo)

What India can do to avoid US sanctions over Russia

By Sameer Lalwani
UPDATED ON SEP 22, 2021 06:47 PM IST
The CAATSA legislation compels the US to impose secondary sanctions on any entity that does business with the Russian defence industrial complex. The S-400 delivery to India would constitute such a trigger
An attendant takes stock of supplies inside a mobile toilet on a bus at a public park in Pune. The project, launched in 2016 by entrepreneurs, has 11 mobile washrooms, which are on average used by more 200 women daily. (File photo)
An attendant takes stock of supplies inside a mobile toilet on a bus at a public park in Pune. The project, launched in 2016 by entrepreneurs, has 11 mobile washrooms, which are on average used by more 200 women daily. (File photo)

For the empowerment of social entrepreneurs, a five-point agenda

By Ajay Khanna
UPDATED ON SEP 22, 2021 05:29 PM IST
The second Covid-19 wave has brought to fore the remarkable role of social entrepreneurs as last-mile responders. They mobilised resources, distributed necessities, provided counselling, ensured home care services, facilitated testing, and supported the vaccination drive
Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for USA from New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI/PIB)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for USA from New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI/PIB)

Why Modi’s visit to the US matters

By Harsh V Pant
UPDATED ON SEP 22, 2021 03:16 PM IST
New Delhi has a key role in ensuring that the broader coalition of like-minded partners in the Indo-Pacific is sustained
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

As Quad focuses on tech, the debate on standard setting

By Arjun Gargeyas
UPDATED ON SEP 22, 2021 02:30 PM IST
The control of critical technologies and their supply chains remain essential for all States to project their geopolitical influence. However, having a grip on the governance mechanism of these critical technologies in the form of technical standards can be a gamechanger in the geostrategic field
India cannot fully copy either the Anglo-American model of capital mark-ets, nor can we copy the East Asian-Continental European model of banks having very close ties to industry and unions because our society is much more heterogeneous. (HT archive)
India cannot fully copy either the Anglo-American model of capital mark-ets, nor can we copy the East Asian-Continental European model of banks having very close ties to industry and unions because our society is much more heterogeneous. (HT archive)

India’s financial system gets a reset

By Harsh Gupta Madhusudan
UPDATED ON SEP 21, 2021 06:43 PM IST
With a bad bank, lower rates, and account aggregators, the country is ready for a cleaner credit cycle
India can move away from price-based support to its farmers to income-based support, which will not be trade-distorting under the Agreement on Agriculture, provided income support is decoupled or not linked to production. However, given the enormous political salience attached to the MSP-based procurement regime, underlined by the ongoing farmer agitations, it is simply not possible for India to dump or even dilute the current system. (HT archive)
India can move away from price-based support to its farmers to income-based support, which will not be trade-distorting under the Agreement on Agriculture, provided income support is decoupled or not linked to production. However, given the enormous political salience attached to the MSP-based procurement regime, underlined by the ongoing farmer agitations, it is simply not possible for India to dump or even dilute the current system. (HT archive)

The WTO threat to Indian agriculture’s MSP regime

By Prabhash Ranjan
UPDATED ON SEP 21, 2021 05:51 PM IST
Procurements done for food security purposes should be exempted from inclusion in Aggregate Measurement of Support, provided such food grains are procured transparently. India, as part of G-33, should bargain hard for this at the WTO’s 12th ministerial conference later this year
It is unrealistic to expect CMs to allow autonomy to the police beyond a certain degree. In every democracy, the police function under a mayor or elected government, and in ours, where grassroots politics constantly hovers round thanas, kachahris and tehsils, it’s difficult to conceive of a police force that is impervious to political overtures. (HT archive)
It is unrealistic to expect CMs to allow autonomy to the police beyond a certain degree. In every democracy, the police function under a mayor or elected government, and in ours, where grassroots politics constantly hovers round thanas, kachahris and tehsils, it’s difficult to conceive of a police force that is impervious to political overtures. (HT archive)

15 years after SC’s order, police reforms languish

By Yashovardhan Azad
UPDATED ON SEP 21, 2021 05:45 PM IST
To achieve the prime minister’s vision of a SMART and efficient police, the IPS leadership across the states must call for wide-ranging reforms within the system
Representational Image. (File photo)
Representational Image. (File photo)

The future of work depends on aligning technical skills with soft skills

By Sandeep Sinha
UPDATED ON SEP 21, 2021 04:18 PM IST
The signs of change were already there. Covid-19 has only hastened the pace. With a more enabling environment, individuals are feeling empowered to take that plunge and bet on their skills. Similarly, organisations are realising the importance of seeking holistic competency in their employees
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Scientifically Speaking | Can the world’s most popular banana be saved?

By Anirban Mahapatra
UPDATED ON SEP 21, 2021 03:24 PM IST
In the US and Europe, it can be hard to find any banana other than the Cavendish. Even in India, it represents as much as 60% of bananas traded these days. Cavendish bananas face imminent threat from Panama disease caused by another strain of fungus known as Tropical Race 4
He would do well to wait his turn, and reconcile to being a facilitator rather than a competitor in the larger goal of the party retaining power (Ravi Kumar/Hindustan Times)
He would do well to wait his turn, and reconcile to being a facilitator rather than a competitor in the larger goal of the party retaining power (Ravi Kumar/Hindustan Times)

With Channi’s elevation, the Congress has an opportunity in 2022. But it won’t be easy

By Vinod Sharma
PUBLISHED ON SEP 20, 2021 08:28 PM IST
If the Congress fights the polls as one team, Channi’s Dalit appeal can be enchased across Punjab. But he won’t succeed unless the Gandhi family has his back
Afghan women hold placards during a demonstration demanding better rights for women in front of the former ministry of women affairs in Kabul on September 19. (AFP)
Afghan women hold placards during a demonstration demanding better rights for women in front of the former ministry of women affairs in Kabul on September 19. (AFP)

Afghanistan: Don’t sacrifice women’s rights at the altar of geopolitics

By Lakshmi Puri
UPDATED ON SEP 20, 2021 07:56 PM IST
Because women’s rights have been systematically violated and women have been excluded from governance, peace and nation-building, conflict has become endemic
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