SCIENCE & DEVELOPMENT

Challenges in COP 27: Private Greed of Capital vs Society’s Survival

COP 27 is underway in Sharm el-Sheikh. Although the Ukraine War and the US mid-term elections have shifted our immediate focus away from how we are faring in our battle against global warming, it still remains a central concern of our epoch. Reports indicate not only are we failing to meet our climate change goals, but we are also failing them by a large margin.

Competitive Commission of India fines Google

THE Competition Commission of India (CCI) has recently fined Google in two separate rulings. In the first ruling, the CCI imposed a fine of Rs 1,337.76 crores on Google for "abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android Mobile device ecosystem". In the second ruling, the CCI imposed a fine of Rs 936.44 crores on Google for "for abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies". In both cases, the CCI has issued a "cease and desist order" and asked Google to modify its conduct within a specified timeline. 

US Chip War Version 2: Decoupling from China or Declaring War?

THE US has gambled big in its latest, across-the-board sanctions on Chinese companies in the semiconductor industry, believing it can kneecap China and retain its global dominance. From the slogan of globalisation and "free trade" of the neoliberal 90s, it has reverted to good old technology denial regimes followed by the US and its allies during the Cold War. While it might work in the short run in slowing down the Chinese advances, the cost to the US semiconductor industry of losing China – its biggest market – will also have significant consequences.

India’s Combat Helicopter: Re-Discovering Self-Reliance?

ON October 3, 2022, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)’s indigenously-designed and produced Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) was formally inducted into the Indian Air Force in Jodhpur in the presence of the defence minister who named the aircraft ‘Prachanda’ or fearless. “The induction of LCH underlines the fact that just as the country trusts the Indian Air Force, the IAF equally trusts the indigenous equipment,” the minister said.

The Draft Telecom Bill: A Surveillance Paradise and a Gift to Telecom Monopolies

THE government has recently released a Draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022, for public comments. At the same time, the union government has withdrawn the Personal Data Protection Bill, which had been in the making for five years. This bill was to give a framework for the citizens' privacy rights, based on the Supreme Court's Puttuswamy Judgement declaring privacy as a fundamental right. However, the citizens' rights still remain undefined. In contrast, the government's powers over what citizens can do, see or hear are vastly increased.

DART Hits Bulls-Eye!

ONE of the more striking (pardon the pun!) of recent space projects came to the first stage of fruition on  September 26, 2022 when a small spacecraft crashed into an asteroid 11 million kilometers away from Earth. The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency’s (NASA) Double Asteroid Redirection Test or DART sought to deliberately hit the small asteroid Dimorphos with the objective of knocking it off its usual trajectory in a technology demonstration that could, someday, be used to actually deflect an asteroid from a collision course with Earth.

Queen Elizabeth II: The Apology that Never Came

HOW should we remember Queen Elizabeth II and her 70 years on the British throne? A number of people have reacted to the glorification of her rule, pointing out the British Royals' direct connection to the slave trade, Britain's colonial massacres, and its loot from the colonies. Britain's wealth was built on the blood and sweat of people who lost their land and homes and are today poor countries.

Aircraft Carrier Vikrant and Self-Reliance

INDIA’S first indigenously built aircraft carrier, named INS Vikrant and assigned the same ensign number R-11 as its illustrious predecessor, was commissioned and joined service with the Indian Navy on September 2, 2022 at a ceremony in Kochi in the presence of the prime minister and defence minister. Every Indian must of course be proud of this achievement which, with all the many hurdles it has overcome, has taken 17 long years for fruition, spanning the terms of many governments.

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