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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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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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The Coercion Bills. The Country’s Protest.

Reports have been received of a number of public meetings from all parts of the country protesting against the introduction of Rowlatt Bills in the Imperial Legislative Council. [At the Imperial Council in New Delhi on February 5] – Notice of the following further amendments to the Rowlatt Bills has …

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Israel rejects Nasser’s plan

Israel last night [Feb. 4] flatly rejected the ideas of President Nasser for a solution of the West Asia conflict as “a plan for liquidating Israel in two stages.” The first official reaction to President Nasser’s interview with ‘Newsweek’ magazine this week came in a statement from the Israeli Foreign …

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Timely review

Start-ups troubled by the so-called angel tax may soon receive some concession from the government. On Monday, the Centre set up a five-member working committee to look into revising the norms of the angel tax imposed on start-ups. The tax, which was first introduced in 2012 to curb money-laundering through …

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