COVER STORY

15-01-2021

COVID-19 January 15

Vaccine and other developments in the fight against COVID-19

Briefing

COVID-19 Update

The emergence of two new variants of the virus poses concern amid plans for the roll-out of vaccines

R. Ramachandran Cover Story
A global second wave of infection spread with the new UK-variant is possible unless the usual precautions are strictly adhered to and other restrictions on movement are strictly enforced, particularly on international travel between the affected countries and others.
COVID-19 Update

As the first vaccine doses are administered for COVID-19, there is light at the end of the tunnel

Gagandeep Kang Cover Story
Developing a vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary feat of science made possible by of years of scientific work and investment in understanding two closely related coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. But there is still a long way to go before equitable access to vaccines is ensured and COVID-19 is completely defeated.
COVID-19 Update

COVID vaccination poses both a challenge and an opportunity

T. Sundararaman Cover Story
It would be premature to believe that the epidemic has burnt out and unpardonable to leave the population unguarded against a possible catastrophe. That is why the vaccine is so welcome, but there are many challenges in its administration.
Tribute

Roddam Narasimha as scientist & mentor

Deeply immersed in acquiring and creating knowledge, Roddam Narasimha enjoyed the bliss of pursuing research with meticulous attention to detail, and could masterfully communicate that enjoyment to inspire young minds.
Tribute

Mangalesh Dabral: Poet of the masses

Ziya Us Salam Obituary
Noted Hindi poet Mangalesh Dabral (1948-2020) lived, thought, spoke and wrote among the masses. His poems, notable for their simplicity and sensitivity, were reflections of reality and rootedness.
SAND MINING MAFIA

SANDRP report points to increasing violence by illegal sand miners and calls for urgent need to regulate riverbed mining

Lyla Bavadam Environment
SANDRP’s report on deaths caused by incidents relating to illegal sand mining and attacks on law enforcement agencies exposes the devastating impact of the operation on the lives and livelihoods of riverine communities and underlines the need for regulating the activity.
Online education

Digital divide deprives have-nots of proper online education

The experience of Vidya Bhawan Society (VBS) in Udaipur shows that an enormous gulf exists between the digital haves and have-nots in the realm of online school education.
Spotlight

Lignite mining triggers tremors in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat

By Lyla Bavadam Environment
Even as lignite mining operations in the seismically unstable region of Bhavnagar district in Gujarat cause mild tremors and sudden elevations in patches of surrounding farmland, the State administration responds with ‘alarming silence’.
Essay

How a Supreme Court judgment brought back the sedition law in India

A.G. Noorani The Nation
K.M. Munshi’s amendment had removed “sedition” from the Constitution, arguing that its scope was too broad to be compatible with free speech in a democracy, but the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Kedar Nath Singh case in 1962 brought it back by the back door.
Defence Ministry

The rising cost of the defence pension bill

Ravi Sharma The Nation
THE Union Budget 2020-21 highlighted the rising cost of the defence pension bill. While the defence outlay of Rs.4,71,378 crore is 9.37 per cent ...
Defence Pension

General Bipin Rawat’s proposals to increase retirement age and slash pension benefits for armed forces face criticism

Ravi Sharma The Nation
The Department of Military Affairs’ new proposals to increase the retirement age of officers and lower the stipulated pension of officers opting for premature retirement to contain the booming pension bill has been widely criticised.
Social Issues

Tablighi Jamaatis' acquittal shows evidence of innocence

Ziya Us Salam Communalism
The acquittal of Tablighi Jamaat members from abroad nails the widespread lie that they were wilfully spreading COVID-19 and raises questions about the motives behind the demonisation of Muslims.
Jammu and Kashmir

BJP’s game plan gone awry in Jammu and Kashmir

Anando Bhakto Politics
The outcome of the first-ever District Development Council elections has put paid to the BJP’s plan to raise an alternative mainstream leadership in J&K and presented the pleasantly surprised Gupkar Alliance a signpost to build on its success.
Crimes against women

Women’s organisations in Maharashtra want a holistic approach, not the Shakti Bill

Anupama Katakam The Nation
The Maharashtra government defers the Shakti Bill, a proposed law on crimes against women and children, after women’s rights lawyers and activists protest against its contentious provisions.
West Bengal politics

Bengal BJP workers, victims of violence by Trinamool cadre, protest against TMC leaders joining the saffron party

The Trinamool Congress suffers a huge setback as heavyweight leader Suvendu Adhikari and several others join the BJP, but workers of the saffron party are jittery over the massive influx from the Trinamool.
Kerala local body elections

LDF achieves trailblazing win in Kerala local body elections

R. Krishnakumar Politics
With its impressive governance record in Kerala, the Left Democratic Front registers a thumping victory in the local body elections, countering a barrage of allegations from the Congress and the BJP.
Farmers' Agitation

Farmers in Punjab stand in for those involved in the Delhi agitation by fulfilling their farming roles

Giving a boost to the agitation, the practice of friends and neighbours standing in for the agitating farmers by collectively carrying out farming activities in their fields catches up in Punjab.
Interview: Major Singh Punnawale, AIKS (Punjab)

Major Singh Punnawale: ‘We never asked for these laws’

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
Interview with Major Singh Punnawale, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha (Punjab).
Farmers' struggle

Farmers' struggle in India offers a lesson in resilience

A month into the protests, farmers are determined not to yield. And they have alternative media, books, songs and a similar protest in history to keep them together.
Social Issues

Tablighi Jamaatis' acquittal shows evidence of innocence

Ziya Us Salam Communalism
The acquittal of Tablighi Jamaat members from abroad nails the widespread lie that they were wilfully spreading COVID-19 and raises questions about the motives behind the demonisation of Muslims.
Crimes against women

Women’s organisations in Maharashtra want a holistic approach, not the Shakti Bill

Anupama Katakam The Nation
The Maharashtra government defers the Shakti Bill, a proposed law on crimes against women and children, after women’s rights lawyers and activists protest against its contentious provisions.
Farmers' Agitation

Farmers in Punjab stand in for those involved in the Delhi agitation by fulfilling their farming roles

Giving a boost to the agitation, the practice of friends and neighbours standing in for the agitating farmers by collectively carrying out farming activities in their fields catches up in Punjab.
Interview: Major Singh Punnawale, AIKS (Punjab)

Major Singh Punnawale: ‘We never asked for these laws’

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
Interview with Major Singh Punnawale, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha (Punjab).
Farmers' struggle

Farmers' struggle in India offers a lesson in resilience

A month into the protests, farmers are determined not to yield. And they have alternative media, books, songs and a similar protest in history to keep them together.
Tribute

Roddam Narasimha as scientist & mentor

Deeply immersed in acquiring and creating knowledge, Roddam Narasimha enjoyed the bliss of pursuing research with meticulous attention to detail, and could masterfully communicate that enjoyment to inspire young minds.
Tribute

Mangalesh Dabral: Poet of the masses

Ziya Us Salam Obituary
Noted Hindi poet Mangalesh Dabral (1948-2020) lived, thought, spoke and wrote among the masses. His poems, notable for their simplicity and sensitivity, were reflections of reality and rootedness.
SAND MINING MAFIA

SANDRP report points to increasing violence by illegal sand miners and calls for urgent need to regulate riverbed mining

Lyla Bavadam Environment
SANDRP’s report on deaths caused by incidents relating to illegal sand mining and attacks on law enforcement agencies exposes the devastating impact of the operation on the lives and livelihoods of riverine communities and underlines the need for regulating the activity.
Spotlight

Lignite mining triggers tremors in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat

By Lyla Bavadam Environment
Even as lignite mining operations in the seismically unstable region of Bhavnagar district in Gujarat cause mild tremors and sudden elevations in patches of surrounding farmland, the State administration responds with ‘alarming silence’.
Online education

Digital divide deprives have-nots of proper online education

The experience of Vidya Bhawan Society (VBS) in Udaipur shows that an enormous gulf exists between the digital haves and have-nots in the realm of online school education.
Essay

How a Supreme Court judgment brought back the sedition law in India

A.G. Noorani The Nation
K.M. Munshi’s amendment had removed “sedition” from the Constitution, arguing that its scope was too broad to be compatible with free speech in a democracy, but the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Kedar Nath Singh case in 1962 brought it back by the back door.
Defence Pension

General Bipin Rawat’s proposals to increase retirement age and slash pension benefits for armed forces face criticism

Ravi Sharma The Nation
The Department of Military Affairs’ new proposals to increase the retirement age of officers and lower the stipulated pension of officers opting for premature retirement to contain the booming pension bill has been widely criticised.
Social Issues

Tablighi Jamaatis' acquittal shows evidence of innocence

Ziya Us Salam Communalism
The acquittal of Tablighi Jamaat members from abroad nails the widespread lie that they were wilfully spreading COVID-19 and raises questions about the motives behind the demonisation of Muslims.
Jammu and Kashmir

BJP’s game plan gone awry in Jammu and Kashmir

Anando Bhakto Politics
The outcome of the first-ever District Development Council elections has put paid to the BJP’s plan to raise an alternative mainstream leadership in J&K and presented the pleasantly surprised Gupkar Alliance a signpost to build on its success.
Crimes against women

Women’s organisations in Maharashtra want a holistic approach, not the Shakti Bill

Anupama Katakam The Nation
The Maharashtra government defers the Shakti Bill, a proposed law on crimes against women and children, after women’s rights lawyers and activists protest against its contentious provisions.
Kerala local body elections

LDF achieves trailblazing win in Kerala local body elections

R. Krishnakumar Politics
With its impressive governance record in Kerala, the Left Democratic Front registers a thumping victory in the local body elections, countering a barrage of allegations from the Congress and the BJP.
Farmers' Agitation

Farmers in Punjab stand in for those involved in the Delhi agitation by fulfilling their farming roles

Giving a boost to the agitation, the practice of friends and neighbours standing in for the agitating farmers by collectively carrying out farming activities in their fields catches up in Punjab.
Interview: Major Singh Punnawale, AIKS (Punjab)

Major Singh Punnawale: ‘We never asked for these laws’

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
Interview with Major Singh Punnawale, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha (Punjab).
Farmers' struggle

Farmers' struggle in India offers a lesson in resilience

A month into the protests, farmers are determined not to yield. And they have alternative media, books, songs and a similar protest in history to keep them together.
COVID-19 Update

As the first vaccine doses are administered for COVID-19, there is light at the end of the tunnel

Gagandeep Kang Cover Story
Developing a vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary feat of science made possible by of years of scientific work and investment in understanding two closely related coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. But there is still a long way to go before equitable access to vaccines is ensured and COVID-19 is completely defeated.
COVID-19 Update

The emergence of two new variants of the virus poses concern amid plans for the roll-out of vaccines

R. Ramachandran Cover Story
A global second wave of infection spread with the new UK-variant is possible unless the usual precautions are strictly adhered to and other restrictions on movement are strictly enforced, particularly on international travel between the affected countries and others.