POLICY EXPERIMENTS MAY SABOTAGE FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY
The government is keen to make agriculture policies and programs ‘income centric’ instead of ‘production-oriented’. It has been revealed by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh while addressing the National Conference on “Agriculture 2022 – Doubling Farmers’ Income”. Such policy experiments in agriculture, if government goes ahead with it, may sabotage food self-sufficiency at national level, which we have achieved through decades of hard work, though food self-sufficiency at individual level has remained a dream to be realized. The nation could not afford to let agriculture production to fall, and focus only on doubling the farm income by 2022 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in April 2017.
IT MAY BE TIME TO GO FOR NON-HUMAN JUDGES
When two judges or benches of judges considering the same case issue different verdicts applying the same law, then there is something wrong with the law in question. And if there is nothing wrong with the law and the circumstances of the case remain the same, then there is something wrong with the judges who delivered the divergent verdicts. But if one judge or the bench, issuing a particular verdict, questions the other judge or bench delivering a verdict different than theirs, then it is chaos unlimited. And when the judges in question belong to the ‘preferred’ category on one side and the ‘mutiny’ team on the other, it is hell broken loose.
CROCODILE TEARS ON BREAKDOWN OF BANKING CONTROLS
Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian was correct in his observation that internal controls and external regulatory systems in public sector banks have broken down. But what is really disturbing and at the same time scandalous is his assiduous silence on identifying the nature of the Rs 11,500-crore Punjab National Bank fraud.
HOW TRINAMOOL SPLITS ANTI-BJP CONSOLIDATION
It is not just a question of boycotting a proposed Joint Parliamentary Committee probe against Nirav Modi looting a PSU bank of Rs 11,000 crore: in Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has also blocked a State Assembly discussion on a controversial public religious conversion by militant Hindus. On both issues, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), palpably on the ropes, has won much-needed relief.
CENTRE-STATE LOGJAM IN DELHI BECOMES UGLIER
Delhi’s unique position as the union capital, under the Constitution, has led to constant tension between the Centre and the state government. If the governments at the two centres of power are of the same party, there is less bickering. In the event, however, of two different political parties ruling the Centre and Delhi, there is bound to be trouble, as in the present case. There has been constant trouble between the BJP-led government at the Centre and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party government. This is not to justify the midnight drama at Kejriwal’s residence wherein in the presence of the Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary was reportedly roughed up. This is, perhaps, the first instance of this type and needs to be condemned and dealt with firmly.
NEED FOR POLICY CHANGE TO MAKE DRUGS AFFORDABLE
The issue of exorbitant profit on drugs has been highlighted in the past few months. Several civil society organisations including the All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) and Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH) have been taking up this issue for long and have submitted memoranda to the government several times. Now the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has also admitted this fact. Public outcry and media reporting in this regard in the wake of hefty bills by some corporate hospitals even when the patients could not survive have brought the issue more in to focus and decision making bodies have started showing some sensitivity.
POLITE BUT FIRM YECHURY MESSAGE TO KERALA CPI(M)
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A polite but firm message to the Kerala unit of the CPI(M) from general secretary Sitaram Yechury; a public rebuff of Kannur CPI(M) secretary, P. Jayarajan; and an open expression of warmth towards Kerala Congress(M) chief K M Mani by CPI(M) leaders, EP Jayarajan and A Vijayaraghavan. These were the highlights of the first day of the CPI(M)’s State conference.
GEN RAWAT IS NOT MODI’S ‘BATBOY’, HE IS ARMY CHIEF
Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat draws a link between the AIDUF’s expansion in Assam to a ‘planned illegal immigration’ taking place because of a ‘proxy war’ engineered by Pakistan and China and all hell breaks loose. ‘Muslimeen’ politician Asauddin Owaisi promptly attacks the Chief and the rest of them follow suit – the Congress Party, Brinda Karat, Majeed Memon... CPI leader Atul Anjaan equates Gen. Rawat to fanatic Pakistan dictator Gen. Zia-ul-Haq, much to the outrage of the BJP.
MEGHALAYA MAY GIVE A FRAGMENTED MANDATE
Meghalaya, the only State in the north-east which is headed by a Congress chief minister, is going to polls next Tuesday. In 2013, the Congress won 29 seats in the 60-member House. Together with the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) eight legislators, it formed the government with Mukul Sangma of the Congress heading the coalition. Politics in Meghalaya has undergone a sea change since then. This time, the BJP is making a desperate bid to dislodge the Congress and come to share power in alliance with some regional parties.
TROLLS IN THEIR INTERNET SPRAWLS
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s three minor children can withstand the north Indian winter in rolled-up cotton shirt sleeves because Canadian children start shovelling snow from age two. It has got nothing to do with a meal of goat curry, basmati rice; tomato sauce with onion on the side, as told by an Internet troll gunning for Trudeau and his Khalistani-fare.