Marking the eastern and western contours of South Asia, the countries of Bangladesh and Afghanistan are separated by more than just a geographical distance of 2,474km. Endowed with similar inheritances of an experience of war, extremist threat, and governance by fledgling democracies, the two Islamic countries could not be more distinct from each other than they are today.
On August 26, 2021, the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) launched the E-Shram, the web portal for creating a National Database of Unorganized Workers (NDUW), which will be seeded with Aadhaar. It seeks to register an estimated 398-400 million unorganized workers and to issue an E-Shram card. However, it has come into existence more than a decade after the passage of the Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act in 2008; and if we consider inter-State migrant workers, the portal is a little more than four decades late.
The government’s telecom relief package is a lot like cotton candy: there definitely is candy, but there appears to be a whole lot more of it than there actually is. The government could have done more and still should improve upon its effort.
Cities are confluences of people. It plays a major role in today’s age and time of cosmopolitism. It’s a place where people come in search of career opportunities, a place that gives better access to education and health care services, a place where people are of diverse cultures and speak myriad of languages, a place that primarily assures a moderate and decent standard of living. Since people from different age categories and different walks of life have different expectations from cities, it is vital for the government to classify cities into three broad pillars – live-ability, economic-ability and sustainability with.
The government is reportedly mulling over various measures to provide relief to the telecom sector, ranging from extending the payment period for outstanding dues to 20 years, to lowering the license fees and spectrum usage charges as shares of revenue. These are all welcome thoughts but if telcos follow the ‘sale and lease’ policy common in the aviation industry, they would avoid locking up capital on a spectrum hoard.
There are times when an image can become a defining moment in a leader’s life. US President Joe Biden bowing down his head at a press conference in response to a reporter’s question perhaps sums up Biden’s Afghanistan policy so far. There is chaos, there is confusion and then there is sheer incompetence. Biden is losing his grip on the narrative and his team looks clueless in even managing a patina of order. Washington’s inability to withdraw with even a semblance of dignity intact will have a great bearing on America’s future conduct in global politics and it is not readily evident that the Biden administration is up to the task of moving ahead purposefully.