After President Putin’s short, symbolic yet substantive visit for the 21st Annual Summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi , New Delhi installed the first S-400 battery of the Russian Triumf air defense system in Punjab to keep and eye and take care of threats from western and northern fronts .Others are in the pipeline as talks of upgraded S-500 are said to be a logical next step.
There is a growing demand from a section of farmers’ organisations for guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP). The Central government has agreed to constitute a committee to consider the issue. Now the onus is on the committee to come out with a solution amicable to all stakeholders — farmers as well as Central and state governments. As the proposal will have huge logistic and fiscal implications (estimated costs varying between Rs 1.5 lakh crore and Rs 2.5 lakh crore), which can be sustainable only if both Central and state governments share the burden. Agriculture is a state subject and the entire agricultural extension machinery is in the hands of states, which can advise farmers on the correct choice of crop rotation, the use of right quantity of inputs, supply of irrigation water and most importantly APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) markets.
The Union Budget of 2018-19 proposed to treat school education holistically without segmenting pre-nursery to class 12. It was, post this announcement that the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education launched the integrated scheme for school education, Samagra Shiksha (National Educational Mission) in 2018. Samagra Shiksha is an overarching programme for the school education sector that extends from pre-school to class 12.
‘Back in the severe zone, Delhi air worst in country; ‘No need for 28-member without teeth, says Supreme Court’; ‘Local sources largely to blame for pollution’; and ‘Schools shut again as air quality turns severe – Decision comes after SC rap’ were some of the headlines that dominated the national newspapers in the capital in the first week of December.
The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) must be scrapped, and counterinsurgency operations entrusted to the local police, who, in turn, must be retrained and re-equipped for the purpose. Democratic politics must give ordinary people a visible stake in peace and integration. This is not a novel idea but one whose crying need is once again underlined by the killing of 14 civilians and a soldier in Nagaland last week.
Victor Frankenstein’s ‘monster’ was an ugly humanoid but was not meant to be as bad or destructive as circumstances turned him into. So was Plastics when it was invented way back in the nineteenth century. But its indiscriminate and irresponsible use has turned it into a true environmental monster of modern times. No less of pandemic proportions, actually. Let me explain.