Remembering Hiroshima and the Threat of Nuclear Extinction

THIS August 6, 80 years after the first use of the atom bomb against a section of humanity, reminds us all of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and the threat to all human lives. But this year, we have to address two new questions. Does the dominant section of the US strategic establishment under President Trump believe that the nuclear weapons are usable and a nuclear war can be won? Is that the reason they want to abandon all the nuclear arms treaties?

From Atmanirbhar Bharat to Reliance India

IN four years, Reliance Jio used its oil and gas revenues to finance its entry into telecom and become the leading Indian player. It bled the others with its initial low cost, predatory pricing till they surrendered, letting Jio emerge as the undisputed market leader.  Jio has also made claims that its network is free from any Chinese equipment, and of an in-house, ‘indigenous’ 5G technology, positioning itself as a major player in the US-China 5G trade war.

Trump’s Attack on WHO a Cover-up for its Abject Failure on Covid-19

TRUMP’s decision to withdraw from WHO is a continuation of his wielding a wrecking ball to the international framework of treaties and organisations. Whether it is arms control treaties, climate change, trade and now WHO, the US sees these agreements and institutions as fetters on its hegemonic powers to shape the world. Trump may express this pathology in its most ugly form, but the disease runs far deeper.

PM Re-writes History on Defence Self Reliance

IN his latest Mann-ki-baat address on June 28, 2020, the prime minister expressed some extraordinary views on defence manufacturing and self-reliance before independence, since then, and he took office in 2014. His own words, as per the official transcript in English, were:  “Before independence, in the realm of the defence sector, our country was ahead of many countries in the world. There used to be a multitude of ordnance factories. Many countries that lagged behind us then, are ahead of us now.

Privatisation in Space: Lurking Dangers & Poor Prospects

AS part of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package announced by the government supposedly to boost the Covid-impacted economy, the finance minister declared that all sectors of the economy would henceforth be open for the private sector, and that public sector undertakings (PSUs) would work mainly in strategic sectors and would be privatised in others. One of the areas thrown open to the private sector was space.

With Covid Surge, Amit Shah Starts Blame the Opposition Game

WITH more than 3.5 lakhs infected with Covid-19, India is already among the top four countries in the world affected by the pandemic. But that is not all. When we look at a pandemic, we need to look at not just the total infected, but the speed with which the infections are spreading.  India now has the third highest number of daily deaths and new cases, again confirming the speed at which the Covid-19 pandemic is moving in the country. This is unlike other countries, where lockdowns flattened the curve, and then brought down the number of new infections.

Despite the Pandemic No Will to Public Health in India

IT is extraordinary that the current pandemic has not brought forth a wave of support for enhancing India's public health infrastructure. While a section (only a section, mind you) of the intellectual class, and some leading figures of industry and commerce, have expressed their support for the idea, the extent to which the idea has not caught the public imagination is truly surprising. Surprising because everywhere else in the world, public health has become a real demand, echoed widely by many sections of public opinion.

Environment & Covid-19 in India

WORLD Environment Day 2020 comes at a unique time this year, right in the middle of perhaps the worst pandemic the world has seen in over a century. Due to lockdowns and other restrictions the world over, pollution of air and water has dropped, bird song has been heard in cities after ages, and wildlife has been making surprise appearances in urban areas. Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are estimated to have declined by around 17 per cent in April 2020 compared to 2019, about half of this due to reduction in surface transport.