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A self-destructive consensus explains the CPI(M)’s West Bengal disaster

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) has failed to open its account in the West Bengal assembly. The party-led Left Front (LF) ruled the state from 1977-2011. For an established political party within a democratic set-up to atrophy within a decade, is a rare, if not an unprecedented, political event. To be sure, the CPI(M)’s decimation in ...

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What India should, and shouldn’t, do in Nepal – analysis

Nepal has drifted into a political crisis following its Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli’s decision to dissolve Parliament. The constitutional validity of Oli’s move has been questioned, and is awaiting decision by the Supreme Court. Unlike on previous occasions, Oli has refrained from blaming India for destabilising his regime. The PM’s ire has been directed at his senior party ...

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Chronicling the role of institutions | HT Editorial – editorials

In his final memoir, The Presidential Years; 2012-2017, published posthumously this week, the late former president Pranab Mukherjee has candidly written of the decline of his former party, the Congress, and its political mismanagement in the final years in power. He has enumerated the strengths and weaknesses of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And he has given a glimpse of his ...

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Key constitutional values invoked last year must be built on – analysis

One of the most striking images at the beginning of 2020 was that of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), protesters reading aloud the Preamble to the Constitution. It is truly significant then that 2020, with all that happened in between, ended with farmers from across three states expressing their dissent against three agricultural laws passed earlier that year. Let us ...

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The government and farmers’ dialogue is good news – editorials

The sixth round of talks between the Centre and protesting farm unions has resulted in substantial progress: The dialogue process has been restored, ending a month-long, politically challenging impasse; the government has acceded to two of the four main demands of farmers; and both sides have agreed to meet again on January 4. Moreover, the government was wise to convince ...

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Mutant strains emphasise the need for strict controls – analysis

The Sars-CoV2 that causes Covid-19 in humans is a positive single-strand RNA virus that jumped species to humans in 2019. Mutations within RNA viruses, including those in coronaviruses, occur frequently because of the need for adaptation to the new host and for survivability. While a large majority of such mutations are generally neutral, others may either be advantageous or deleterious ...

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2020: When people spoke truth to power – analysis

The year 2020 has ended and Covid-19 is getting the better of us. We have yet to see whether we can reduce the impact of its onslaught and save lives in 2021. The virus is unrelenting and mutates to scare us with yet further onslaughts. It has changed the way we live and interact with each other. The elderly are ...

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How biofuels can double farm incomes – analysis

India currently consumes only one-third of the global average consumption of energy. As we move towards more robust energy consumption figures, the country faces the unique challenge of fusing together disparate needs: A ballooning appetite while cutting dependence on imports; greening the grid while ensuring affordability; and replacing old forms of energy production while boosting employment, and the human and ...

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In Nepal, an attack on democracy – analysis

When Nepal’s Prime Minister (PM) KP Oli dissolved Parliament and announced elections on December 20, he clearly overstepped his executive authority. Nepal’s entire political class, barring Oli, and Nepali civil society, including constitutional experts, overwhelmingly believe that the move was unconstitutional and illegitimate. Oli’s decision needs to be seen in a larger global context of democratically-elected leaders undermining democracy. Democracies ...

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In gratitude to the scientific community – analysis

The year 2020 has been the “Year of Science”, when the best of humanity has shone through the gloom that descended upon us due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a matter of record that as the spread of the disease accelerated, so did research efforts to mitigate this. Major global collaborations were set up so that scientists could share ...

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