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Daily Archives: February 7, 2019

130 million tonne food target for Fourth Plan

The Planning Commission has accepted a food production target of 130 to 132 million tonnes by the end of the Fourth Plan. This target has been projected on the basis of a 100-million tonne potential this year. The production targets suggested for the major cash crops along with their estimated …

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Pension for informal sector workers

The government has allocated only Rs. 500 crore for the scheme What is the scheme? A major announcement in the Interim Budget 2019-20 was the creation of the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan, a pension scheme for informal workers. Under this scheme, subscribers will receive an assured monthly pension of …

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Checks and balance

Seeking a count of 50% of VVPAT slips is too much; the focus should be on ending glitches In a significant and welcome change from their earlier demand for a return to paper ballots, representatives of a large section of the mainstream Opposition parties met the Election Commission (ECI) to …

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Tough-talking

The Taliban reconciliation process is moving at a faster pace than was anticipated. Talks facilitated by Russia in Moscow this week, with mainstream Afghan politicians sitting around the table with Taliban leaders, are similar in their approach to the recent U.S.-Taliban talks in Qatar, though the two are rival processes. …

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At the cost of quality

On January 30, a little more than four years after the last hike, the Ministry of Science and Technology increased the fellowship stipend for PhD students by nearly 25%. The government says the hike will be reviewed periodically. Since the increase is far less than the 80% hike that research …

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Trump and his generals

Not even U.S. President Donald Trump’s worst enemies would deny that he has fulfilled many election campaign foreign policy promises, including opting out of international agreements on climate change, the Iran nuclear accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and pressurising allies to pay …

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Ayodhya and the challenge to equality

In elections to three State Assemblies of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh late last year, candidates of the Muslim faith won 11 of the 520 seats in play. That would seem a modest tally, by no means evidence of disproportionate political influence. The myth of a pampered minority, though, refuses …

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We need a leap in healthcare spending

The Central and State governments have introduced several innovations in the healthcare sector in recent times, in line with India’s relentless pursuit of reforms. However, while the government’s goal is to increase public health spending to 2.5% of GDP, health spending is only 1.15-1.5% of GDP. To reach its target, …

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