Insights into Editorial: ISRO places Brazil’s Amazonia-1, 18 other satellites in orbit

    Context: ISRO successfully launched Brazil’s optical earth observation satellite, Amazonia-1, and 18 co-passenger satellites from India [5] and the U.S.A. [13] from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) at Sriharikota. The satellites were carried on board the PSLV-C51, the 53rd flight of India’s workhorse launch vehicle and the first dedicated mission for New …

Insights into Editorial: IAEA | The ‘imperfect’ fight against proliferation

  Context: Revive the Iran nuclear deal: The move by the Joe Biden administration of the U.S. to revive the Iran nuclear deal has once again turned the spotlight on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which played a key role in enforcing the original nuclear deal from which Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. in …

Insights into Editorial: ‘Lateral entry’ into bureaucracy: reason, process, and controversy

  Context: Recently, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) issued an advertisement seeking applications “from talented and motivated Indian nationals willing to contribute towards nation building” for three posts of Joint Secretary and 27 of Director in central government Departments. These individuals, who would make a “lateral entry” into the government secretariat, would be contracted …

Insights into Editorial: The absurdity of the anti-defection law

  Context: The events in Puducherry highlight, yet again, the absurdity of the anti-defection law. In what has now become the standard operating procedure, several MLAs from the treasury benches resigned, lowering the numbers required for a no-confidence motion to succeed. This formula has been seen recently in other States such as Madhya Pradesh and …

Insights into Editorial: A proper transfer policy needed

  Introduction: Government jobs and job security go hand in hand in India, a government officer can’t be easily fired. But a government officer can be transferred. And when it comes to using the lever of transfers, governments can make job security in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy seem like an oxymoron.   Concern …

Insights into Editorial: Being petroleum-independent

  Introduction: Speaking on the increase in petrol and diesel prices, Prime Minister recently said the middle class would not have been burdened if the previous governments had focused on reducing India’s energy import dependence. He also emphasised the need for clean sources of energy. Expanding and diversifying energy supply is good, but if India …

Insights into Editorial: Navigating the storm: On the Fifteenth Finance Commission

    Context: Pair of balanced scales maintained by the 15th FC: The government has accepted the Fifteenth Finance Commission’s recommendation to maintain the States’ share in the divisible pool of taxes to 41% for the five-year period starting 2021-22. A pair of balanced scales representing the Union of India and the States, the cover …

Insights into Editorial: The pros and cons of hydrogen as an alternative fuel

Context: In Union Budget address, Finance Minister announced that India will launch its National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM) in 2021-22. The proposal in the Budget will be followed up with a mission draft and after, a roadmap for using hydrogen as an energy source, with a specific focus on green hydrogen, dovetailing India’s growing renewable …

Insights into Editorial: Make peace with nature now

    Context: Make peace with nature report: The first UNEP synthesis report is titled: “Making Peace With Nature: A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies” and is based on evidence from global environmental assessments. “Our war on nature has left the planet broken,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the foreword of …

Insights into Editorial: Hitting the right notes with the health budget

    Context: Health care has taken centre stage due to an unfortunate novel coronavirus pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods across the globe. The Union Budget 2021-22 allocated Rs 71,268.77 crore to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry an increase of about 10 per cent from the previous year’s budget estimates. Although …

Insights into Editorial: Why India is opening up the Geo-spatial sector

    Context: The Ministry of Science and Technology released new guidelines for the Geo-spatial sector in India, which deregulates existing protocol and liberalises the sector to a more competitive field. The past decade has seen an increase in the use of geo-spatial data in daily life with various apps such as food delivery, e-commerce …

Insights into Editorial: Indian investments and BITs

    Context: Sri Lanka’s decision to renege on a 2019 agreement with India and Japan that aimed to jointly develop the strategic East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo port comes as a rude shock to India. While international relations experts are busy assessing the diplomatic fallout of this problematic decision for India-Sri Lanka …

Insights into Editorial: Boosting confidence: On need for efficient use of COVID-19 vaccine stocks

    Context: Corona pandemic is on the wane in India: The downward trend in fresh coronavirus infections in India continues to inspire confidence that the pandemic is on the wane. The daily new cases fell below 10,000 for the third time this month. India’s tally is now 10.9 million cases and fresh reported fatalities …

Insights into Editorial: Nanophotonics: Hyderabad scientists manipulate tiny crystals

    Context: Crystals are normally rigid, stiff structures, but researchers from University of Hyderabad have shown how crystals can be sliced and even bent using atomic force microscopy. Manipulating them with precision and control comes in very useful in the field of nanophotonics, a qualitative, emerging field where the aim is to go beyond …

Insights into Editorial: Water Governance: Challenges and the Way Forward

      Introduction: Water Governance poses one of the biggest challenges in modern-day India that looks out for definitive solutions. Every place and every community have their unique stories and problems associated with water, wherein the governance addresses complications of the governor than the benefits of the governed. How this scare water resource is …

Insights into Editorial: Disinformation is a cybersecurity threat

  Introduction: Disinformation and cybersecurity threat: Cybersecurity focuses on protecting and defending computer systems, networks, and our digital lives from disruption. Nefarious actors use attacks to compromise confidentiality, the integrity and the availability of IT systems for their benefit. Disinformation is, similarly, an attack and compromise of our cognitive being. Nation-state actors, ideological believers, violent …

Insights into Editorial: Belated, but bold: On Nirmala’s disinvestment policy

    Context: The government’s spending plans for 2021-22 hinge on better compliance lifting tax collections, and an ambitious plan to raise non-tax revenue. Finance Minister has announced large-scale monetisation of government sector assets, including vast tracts of land, and is banking on disinvestment receipts of ₹1.75-lakh crore. This includes likely inflows from the strategic …

Insights into Editorial: New questions: On COVID-19 infecting one-fifth of Indian population

    Context: With its 1.3 billion population, India has the world’s second-highest number of coronavirus infections more than 10.8 million but new cases and deaths have fallen sharply in recent weeks. The results of the ICMR’s third serological survey to ascertain the spread of COVID-19 show that nearly one in five Indians about 270 …

Insights into Editorial: Can a ‘bad bank’ solve the growing NPA crisis?

      Context: Finance Minister in her Budget speech revived the idea of a ‘bad bank’ by stating that the Centre proposes to set up an asset reconstruction company to acquire bad loans from banks. While the problem of bad loans has been a perennial one in the Indian banking sector, the COVID-19 pandemic-triggered …