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There is, however, a valuable lesson in the coronavirus pandemic-sparked disruption for the government, school boards and education sector. It is time to undertake long-pending structural reforms in assessment methods. (Sunil Ghosh/HT)

Welcome CBSE’s new evaluation plan

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 17, 2021 06:14 PM IST
The board’s alternative assessment model will end uncertainty for students.The change in the evaluation system this year may have been a product of unfortunate circumstances, but it should be used as the basis to undertake a comprehensive review of the evaluation model, especially for those leaving school.
Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan in New Delhi, June 16, 2021 (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan in New Delhi, June 16, 2021 (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

In the north and west, a churn in Dalit politics

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 17, 2021 06:27 PM IST
Three separate developments over the past fortnight indicate the state of play in Dalit politics in north and west India and point to the challenge of sustaining autonomous Dalit political formations
PM Narendra Modi at UN High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation & Drought, in New Delhi on June 14. (ANI) Exclusive
PM Narendra Modi at UN High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation & Drought, in New Delhi on June 14. (ANI)

An underrated ecological crisis

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 16, 2021 06:22 PM IST
The United Nations (UN) defines land degradation as “the temporary or permanent lowering of the productive capacity of land”. Land degradation is hurting India. PM Modi’s focus on the issue is welcome
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto) Exclusive
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Preserving the spirit of chess

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 16, 2021 06:21 PM IST
The chess code of honour took a knock over the weekend after Nikhil Kamath, co-founder of India’s biggest stock brokerage by volume, Zerodha, was slammed by all for cheating in a simultaneous celebrity chess event featuring Viswanathan Anand
A spike in price of essentials hurts even in normal circumstances. These are far from normal times. Labour market conditions are weak. Employment and wage earnings have not recovered to even pre-second wave levels. (mint)
A spike in price of essentials hurts even in normal circumstances. These are far from normal times. Labour market conditions are weak. Employment and wage earnings have not recovered to even pre-second wave levels. (mint)

Shed fiscal policy rigidity

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 15, 2021 06:21 PM IST
Inflation numbers for May — Consumer Price Index (CPI) has crossed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) threshold of 6% and Wholesale Price Index (WPI) is at an all-time high — have under-lined the precarious nature of the ongoing economic recovery
Eight months after Ram Vilas Paswan’s death, there has been a coup in the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP). Paswan’s successor and his son, Chirag, with what many assume to be a nod from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), decided to contest the Bihar assembly polls independently, breaking away from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the state while backing it at the Centre. (Hindustan Times)
Eight months after Ram Vilas Paswan’s death, there has been a coup in the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP). Paswan’s successor and his son, Chirag, with what many assume to be a nod from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), decided to contest the Bihar assembly polls independently, breaking away from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the state while backing it at the Centre. (Hindustan Times)

The fracture in LJP will impact Bihar’s politics

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 15, 2021 06:14 PM IST
The larger lesson is that in family-based parties, social justice often is a cover for raw ambition; and dynasts sometimes lack the political acumen of those they succeed. While age is on his side, Chirag Paswan will have to reinvent himself and go back to the roots to overcome this setback.
Political mobilisation is hard. And it is particularly hard for political forces which may not have a strong base in a particular geography (ANI)
Political mobilisation is hard. And it is particularly hard for political forces which may not have a strong base in a particular geography (ANI)

From Bengal, a lesson in political mobilisation

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 14, 2021 06:43 PM IST
The fact is that for political strength to be sustainable, it has to be organic and bottom-up. Otherwise, when the going is not good, those who may not be committed begin looking for alternatives
Twenty Indian armed forces personnel, and an unknown number of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel were killed as India bravely sought to repel the Chinese encroachment. (via REUTERS)
Twenty Indian armed forces personnel, and an unknown number of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel were killed as India bravely sought to repel the Chinese encroachment. (via REUTERS)

Galwan: One year later

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 14, 2021 06:36 PM IST
There is greater strategic clarity about China, but tactical ambiguity doesn’t help. Galwan is a reminder that India cannot let its guard down on its northern borders.
Commuters wade through submerged railway tracks while a local train is stranded due to heavy rains, Mumbai, June 12, 2021 (Pratik Chorge/HT PHOTO)
Commuters wade through submerged railway tracks while a local train is stranded due to heavy rains, Mumbai, June 12, 2021 (Pratik Chorge/HT PHOTO)

For Mumbai, an annual climate crisis reminder

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 13, 2021 07:32 PM IST
But the climate crisis is certainly not the only driver of environmental risk in Mumbai. The phenomenon’s impact is aggravated by continuous and brazen development on its most ecologically sensitive zones — lakes, rivers, mudflats, wetlands, woods and coastline, and mangroves that create a sort of buffer zone against floods and storm surges.
. While the instinctive response of the State is to bury secrets in the name of national security, precisely because the stakes are so high, the response has to be more openness. And it is only by knowing the truth of how India succeeded — and the Indian armed forces have an outstanding record across geographies — and how India faltered — for there have been either strategic or tactical errors which have cost lives — that both the State and citizens can evolve new approaches. (AFP)
. While the instinctive response of the State is to bury secrets in the name of national security, precisely because the stakes are so high, the response has to be more openness. And it is only by knowing the truth of how India succeeded — and the Indian armed forces have an outstanding record across geographies — and how India faltered — for there have been either strategic or tactical errors which have cost lives — that both the State and citizens can evolve new approaches. (AFP)

Confronting the past, honestly

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 13, 2021 07:32 PM IST
The framework for publication of war histories is a good first step. The ministry of defence must now let the principle of truth, openness and transparency guide the implementation of the policy.
Representational image. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO) Exclusive
Representational image. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

A vision for Delhi-2041

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 10, 2021 05:45 PM IST
With its focus on environmental degradation, the draft master plan hits the right notes by focussing on environmental degradation and mitigating strategies
In UP, where Yogi Adityanath’s government is seen as pro-Thakur, having Mr Prasada is a signal to Brahmins that the party is sensitive to their aspirations for representation in the run-up to the polls (HT-photo)
In UP, where Yogi Adityanath’s government is seen as pro-Thakur, having Mr Prasada is a signal to Brahmins that the party is sensitive to their aspirations for representation in the run-up to the polls (HT-photo)

The exodus from the Congress continues

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 09, 2021 07:15 PM IST
Jitin Prasada’s political switch reflects the diminished fortunes of the Congress and the persistent appeal of the BJP
Taliban delegates shake hands during talks with the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar, on September 12, 2020. (File photo) Exclusive
Taliban delegates shake hands during talks with the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar, on September 12, 2020. (File photo)

Talking to the Taliban

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 09, 2021 05:11 PM IST
The move is a reflection of the growing realisation in capitals around the world that Taliban will be part of the next ruling dispensation in Kabul
Many may have been drawn to the generic safety of debt funds and the specific attractiveness of Franklin Templeton. This approach was clearly flawed (Bloomberg News)
Many may have been drawn to the generic safety of debt funds and the specific attractiveness of Franklin Templeton. This approach was clearly flawed (Bloomberg News)

Franklin Templeton: A sordid saga

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 08, 2021 07:28 PM IST
Sebi’s findings are also bound to raise questions of propriety and probity around the behaviour of the Kudvas, but that is beyond the regulator’s purview and a matter between them and their respective organisations
A file photo of Madras high court. (PTI) Exclusive
A file photo of Madras high court. (PTI)

When a judge learns — and teaches

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 09, 2021 07:51 AM IST
With rare introspection, a Madras HC judge displays sensitivity to LGBTQIA issues. His order recognises that society changes incrementally. The sensitisation of the police, the judiciary, even medical professionals is essential
The farm protests are a product of the Centre’s unilateral push on a sensitive issue, and then a maximalist position adopted by farm leaders (Sanjeev Kumar/Hindustan Times)
The farm protests are a product of the Centre’s unilateral push on a sensitive issue, and then a maximalist position adopted by farm leaders (Sanjeev Kumar/Hindustan Times)

A year of internal and external challenges

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 07, 2021 07:55 PM IST
Irrespective of the reasons, the images of China in Ladakh and farmers at Delhi’s borders have tested the State’s strength and democratic credibility.
New Delhi, June 06 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts as he chairs a meeting with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Society via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)
New Delhi, June 06 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts as he chairs a meeting with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Society via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)

Correcting the vaccine course

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 07, 2021 07:55 PM IST
In an address to the nation on Monday evening, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi declared that the Centre would take over the responsibility of procuring 75% of the vaccines (from the current 50%), and provide them free to the states for all those above the age of 18 (and thus relieve states of the responsibility of procuring and paying for vaccines) from June 21
Mamata Banerjee could have shown the way. Instead, she has followed the trend (ANI)
Mamata Banerjee could have shown the way. Instead, she has followed the trend (ANI)

The dynastic turn in TMC

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 08, 2021 07:35 AM IST
While there are complex factors behind the resilience of dynastic politics — the brand recall value of leaders, a quicker route to mass legitimacy, control over finances — it leaves Indian democracy poorer. Ms Banerjee has followed, rather than led, this time around.
Environmentalists worry that the increased target for ethanol blending could incentivise water-intensive crops such as sugarcane and rice, and suggest that the government should focus on lower-water intensity crops such as millets. (HTPhoto)
Environmentalists worry that the increased target for ethanol blending could incentivise water-intensive crops such as sugarcane and rice, and suggest that the government should focus on lower-water intensity crops such as millets. (HTPhoto)

The importance of the PM’s ethanol push

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 06, 2021 07:28 PM IST
The ethanol-blending programme is one of the seven key drivers identified by PM Modi for India’s energy map — gas-based economy; cleaner use of fossil fuels; greater reliance on biofuels; achieving the renewables’ target of 450 GW by 2030; increasing contribution of electricity to decarbonise mobility; moving into emerging fuels such as hydrogen; and digital innovation across all energy systems
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh (left) and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Exclusive
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh (left) and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

A tale of two states, two parties

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 04, 2021 06:29 PM IST
In recent weeks, political observers have been treated to yet another demonstration of the contrasting working styles of the two main national political parties, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Retired officials of security organisations must exercise utmost responsibility. They must also comply with the existing legal framework, which entails them to be responsible with “sensitive information” that may imperil the “sovereignty and integrity of India” and “the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State”. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Retired officials of security organisations must exercise utmost responsibility. They must also comply with the existing legal framework, which entails them to be responsible with “sensitive information” that may imperil the “sovereignty and integrity of India” and “the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State”. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

A draconian gag order

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 03, 2021 07:56 PM IST
Retired officials must have the right to speak freely. Rather than threatening them with the stick of withdrawn pensions, trust them and allow the space for informed discourse, within the older framework
A boy waves a Palestine flag. (Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO) Exclusive
A boy waves a Palestine flag. (Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

India’s balancing act in West Asia

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 03, 2021 05:13 PM IST
Recent statements by India at the UN and its agencies have dropped references to the country’s traditional support to the “just Palestinian cause” and Palestinian foreign minister Riad Malki has expressed concern at India’s abstention at the UNHRC vote
A view of Connaught Place during a spell of rain in New Delhi May 19, 2021. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO) Exclusive
A view of Connaught Place during a spell of rain in New Delhi May 19, 2021. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

In Delhi, 11 unpredictable months

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 02, 2021 05:43 PM IST
With weather records broken every month in this period, there is need for urgent scientific research
Representational image. (HT PHOTO) Exclusive
Representational image. (HT PHOTO)

The State and the child: Care for the most vulnerable

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 02, 2021 05:43 PM IST
The ministry of women and child development could consider engaging with the states to work out a suitable kinship care programme. Foster care is another option worth exploring further
With most states still under lockdown, and the shock of the second wave increasing risk aversion, both among governments and individuals, the economic headwinds of the second wave may be more prolonged and increase the likelihood of 2021-22 GDP growth being lower than expected (PTI)
With most states still under lockdown, and the shock of the second wave increasing risk aversion, both among governments and individuals, the economic headwinds of the second wave may be more prolonged and increase the likelihood of 2021-22 GDP growth being lower than expected (PTI)

Address inequity and demand

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 01, 2021 06:30 PM IST
Fiscal year 2020-21 ended on a slightly better note than expected
Though the word sedition was dropped from the Constitution in 1949, Section 124A of IPC defines its scope as the intent or tendency to disturb law and order or words which seem to incite violence. The SC’s position should invite unqualified support. The State must safeguard its security and sovereignty, but it must also protect the fundamental rights of its citizens. Flimsy sedition charges are often invoked to intimidate and silence those who dissent. (HTPHOTO)
Though the word sedition was dropped from the Constitution in 1949, Section 124A of IPC defines its scope as the intent or tendency to disturb law and order or words which seem to incite violence. The SC’s position should invite unqualified support. The State must safeguard its security and sovereignty, but it must also protect the fundamental rights of its citizens. Flimsy sedition charges are often invoked to intimidate and silence those who dissent. (HTPHOTO)

Review the sedition law, protect rights

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON JUN 01, 2021 06:29 PM IST
As India heads towards 75 years of Independence next year, it is only appropriate that SC has weighed in to distinguish between sedition and the democratic right of citizens to express dissent without being labelled enemies of the State.
Both the Centre and state must respect each other’s authority and institutional procedures, and insulate governance (ANI)
Both the Centre and state must respect each other’s authority and institutional procedures, and insulate governance (ANI)

The battle in Bengal persists

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2021 12:14 AM IST
The dispute between the Centre and the West Bengal government — with the former recalling the state chief secretary, Alapan Bandyopadhyay, with immediate effect and the state challenging the decision — is an outcome of four features
China’s announcement that it will now permit couples to have three children is a major step for a country which, until 2016, implemented a coercive, often brutal, one-child norm. (File photo) Exclusive
China’s announcement that it will now permit couples to have three children is a major step for a country which, until 2016, implemented a coercive, often brutal, one-child norm. (File photo)

China’s three-child policy is an admission of failure

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON MAY 31, 2021 05:40 PM IST
The announcement seems driven less by giving people freedom of choice, and more by the challenges posed by a shrinking labour force and a fraying demographic structure. The increase in the ageing population has become an economic and social burden
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Annual Report, released last week, has a detailed assessment on the state of the economy. (REUTERS)
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Annual Report, released last week, has a detailed assessment on the state of the economy. (REUTERS)

The uncertain economic story

By HT Editorial
PUBLISHED ON MAY 30, 2021 05:18 PM IST
In its annual report, the Reserve Bank of India reiterates the first principles of economic policymaking. Not only can we not take economic recovery for granted, but even future shocks cannot be ruled out. Just a flattening of the infection curve will not lead to the restoration of a normal growth trajectory, and it will take a demand stimulus to do so.
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