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India Today March 4, 2019

India Today is the leading news magazine and most widely read publication in India. The magazine’s leadership is unquestioned, so much so that India Today is what Indian journalism is judged by, for its integrity and ability to bring unbiased and incisive perspective to arguably the most dynamic, yet perplexing, region in the world. Breaking news and shaping opinion, it is now a household name and the flagship brand of India’s leading multidimensional media group. Additionally, the weekly brings with it a range supplements like Women, Home, Aspire, Spice and Simply which focus on style, health, education, fashion, etc. and Indian cities.

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52 Issues


access_time4 min.
from the editor-in-chief

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This maxim seems to rule India-Pakistan relations. A glance at the 16 Pakistan-themed INDIA TODAY covers in the past five years suggests Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s experience has been no different from that of his predecessors Manmohan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The build-up is the same—a promising start, great personal equations and then, violence, mostly from Pakistan-based terrorists, or, in the case of PM Vajpayee two decades ago, military action to evict the Pakistan army from the Kargil heights. The hope of a new beginning when Prime Minister Modi took oath in May 2014 at a ceremony attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was quickly dispelled by ceasefire violations later that year, followed by terror strikes in Gurdaspur, Pathankot…

access_time3 min.
data that keeps leaking

Digital activists and privacy advocates across the country felt partly vindicated when the Supreme Court in September 2018 struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, which allowed private business entities to use Aadhaar to authenticate the identities of people. This was a qualified restriction of Aadhaar’s remit because the judgment also upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar for the purposes of identifying beneficiaries of government welfare schemes. The wisdom of this ruling has been questioned by critics who maintain that government and quasi-government agencies do not have the technological wherewithal to ensure the safety of citizens’ data. While there has been no reported direct breach of the Aadhaar central database, companies and government departments that require the provision of Aadhaar numbers are weak links. On February 18, French security researcher…

access_time2 min.
bankrolling government handouts?

With just weeks to go before the general election, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), at a board meeting on February 18, decided to transfer Rs 28,000 crore from its surplus as an interim dividend to the government, prompting critics to predict that the government may use the money to fund some of its promises made in the Union budget. This is the second time the RBI has transferred a part of its surplus funds as interim dividend. It had transferred Rs 10,000 crore in March 2018. “The transfer will essentially help maintain the revised fiscal deficit for 2018-19 at 3.4 per cent of GDP by bridging the shortfall in the government’s income,” says Madan Sabnavis, chief economist with Care Ratings. However, some critics relate the amount to the Rs…

access_time1 min.
indo-saudi ties: the value of a friendship

After meeting Pakistani PM Imran Khan, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Delhi earlier this week, but, in the wake of the Pulwama attack, was required to return to Riyadh rather than fly directly from Pakistan. Can Saudi Arabia be expected to support India in its case on cross-border terrorism? Pakistan is too important an ally for Saudi—despite its extensive trade with India—to take anything more than an equivocal stand, condemning the attack while still continuing to stand with Islamabad. The substantial financial ties with Saudi also keep India from condemning the Saudi-led war in Yemen or the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in which the crown prince has been implicated. 4 Saudi’s ranking in India’s list of trading partners, behind only China, the US and the…

access_time3 min.
by the people, for the people

Rohit De, an assistant professor of History at Yale University, has written a remarkable and unusual book on the role that ordinary citizens played in the development of Indian constitutional law. Usually, legal scholars adopt a results-oriented approach to study the development of constitutional law. This essentially means that the focus is more on the analysis of the judgments given by the constitutional courts. However, De documents how ordinary Indians enforced fundamental rights and protections guaranteed by the Indian constitution by directly approaching the High Courts through writ petitions. The distaste displayed by the elected leaders and the bureaucracy against such petitions is best understood by a letter written by the chief minister of Hyderabad in 1951 to the Central Government, which is cited by De. In this letter, the chief…

access_time2 min.
“they don’t care about sabarimala”

Q Why did the TDB do an about-turn? A. I’ve not changed my stand. When the Supreme Court allowed women entry to the temple, lifting the age bar on September 28, the Board had no alternative but to accept the verdict. We probed the possibility of filing a review petition and seeking the court’s permission to delay execution of the order due to the violence by the Sangh Parivar and the Congress. People and parties with vested interests are claiming that we have changed our stand. Q. You were a prominent CPI(M) youth leader and legislator. Has the Sabarimala issue changed your relationship with the CPI(M) leadership or the Kerala CM? A. Not in the least. I’ve been working with the CPI(M) since 1973. I’ve completed 45 years as part of the Communist…