Reading Time: 10 mins Azerbaijan and the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh are currently indulging in armed conflicts in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. While the former is supported by Turkey, the latter is backed by Armenia. The latest clashes began on 27th September along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact, which separates Armenian armed forces (namely Karabakh Defence Army) and the Azerbaijan Armed Forces. This current conflict is marked by the deployment of hi-tech weapons and online information warfare. Mediation efforts by external players have so far failed to promote ceasefire.
Reading Time: 9 mins The World is set to witness another cold war in the 21st century. The 5G technology and race to dominate it has been intensified with the US-led West and China engaging in a multilayered competition. The US President has called for international blacklisting of Huawei which is right now leading the 5G tech research and implementation. Banning of Chinese Apps on the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic is the next step in line with the ensued cold war.
Reading Time: 10 mins The Indian handloom industry is one of the oldest and largest cottage industries in India with a standing ancient tradition dating back thousands of years for their excellent craftsmanship, representing the vibrant Indian culture. Indian artisans dating back to the Egyptian Babylonian times had such fine mastery over their fabrics. They were appreciated globally for their hand spinning, weaving and printing techniques that were handed down from generations. Among the largest in the world, this industry employs close to 10 million artisans in India and is considered the second-largest income-generating activity after agriculture in rural India. The crisis caused by COVID-19 has resulted in a sudden disruption of all businesses across the globe including the handloom sector. The sector has severely affected by the closure of the traditional and contemporary market for artisans. Recently, India has celebrated the National Handloom Day and it was on August 7, 2020, for the first time India does so without the All India Handloom Board. The Union Ministry of Textile has abolished the All India Handloom Board in consonance with the Government of India’s vision of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’ on August 3, 2020.
Reading Time: 7 mins Electing a government to govern the nation/states for the next five years by casting vote in a polling booth is an onerous responsibility on the shoulders of every voter in a democratic country. Unfortunately, even after seven decades of independence and numerous elections held in the country so far, despite extensive appeals by the Election Commission, government and other celebrities, large number of voters still perceive, voting is an optional luxury enjoying low priority. According to the 255th Law Commission Report, “Electoral right” of the voter includes the right to “vote or refrain from voting at an election.” The Representation of People Act, 1951 – the law that governs elections also talks of “right to vote rather than a duty to vote”. Last year, in the monsoon session of parliament, Lok Sabha members expressed diverse views on a private member’s bill seeking compulsory voting.
Reading Time: 13 mins Historically, agriculture has undergone a series of revolutions that have driven efficiency, yield and profitability to levels that were previously unreachable. The market estimates suggest that the next decade would witness a “digital agricultural revolution” that would help meet the needs of the agricultural sector. With the majority of the Indian population employed under the sector, efforts need to be put forth in addressing barriers that are currently hindering the adoption of digital technologies within this sector.
Reading Time: 7 mins The Corona pandemic since it hit the world has been successful not only in exposing the sorry state of health systems around the world but also able to put some hard questions to policymakers about issues of polity, society, and economy. India’s case has been no different than the others. In India, the pandemic and its impact has been most starkly visible in the long march of migrants to their native states for the lack of livelihood opportunities in the migrated cities and states. As this is the response of migrants, the host states are grappling with economic issues of slowdown and unemployment. And once again, many states have sought to answer those questions with old strategies, one of which is nativism
Reading Time: 7 mins The COVID-19 crisis has exposed our fragility, with health systems strained and social safety nets stretched to the limit. The economic downturn caused by the global pandemic may drive more people to substance abuse or leave them vulnerable to involvement in drug trafficking and related crime. According to the World Drug Report, 2020 published by UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recently, about 269 million people used drugs in 2018, which was 30% more than the 2009 figure, with adolescents and young adults accounting for the largest share of users and also, it has highlighted the possible consequences of COVID-19 on the production, supply and consumption of illicit drugs. An Annual Action Plan for 2020-21 called Nasha Mukt Bharat was e-launched for the 272 Most Affected Districts by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment on the occasion of “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”.
Reading Time: 5 mins Of the many issues that plague the Indian democratic elections, one of them is the non-fulfilment of the election promises. Unfortunately, Indian voters have cast their votes based on these promises and they are left with no recourse. The world is watching the largest democracy, and maybe it is time to empower our electoral with “Right to Recall”. Recently, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister muted the scope of introducing a bill in the state assembly, empowering the people to recall the elected representatives of Panchayat bodies if they lose their confidence.
Reading Time: 8 mins With the threat of climate change and the subsequent impact of it on the monsoon patterns and agricultural output, all stakeholders must mitigate food waste by employing new practices at multiple levels. At a time when it was reported that migrants died due to hunger and starvation during the lockdown period in April and May 2020, The data revealed recently highlights that over 1,550 tonnes of food grains got damaged in Food Corporation of India (FCI) warehouses.