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India Today May 4, 2020

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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

in this issue

5 min.

It is hard to imagine a time like this in the recent history of the planet. The novel coronavirus pandemic has so far killed over 180,000 people and infected over 2.5 million people globally. It has triggered the largest industrial shutdown since the Second World War. Factories are shuttered, airlines grounded and borders sealed. Oil prices have crashed through the floorboards, particularly in the United States where producers are paying suppliers to take the excess oil because they lack storage capacity. It is the ‘Great Lockdown’ recession, as the IMF calls it, where the advanced countries are likely to post a negative growth rate of around 6 per cent and India marginal growth or worse. We could be looking at the worst global recession since the Great Depression of the…

6 min.
drawing the line

On April 20, the standoff between the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, over its implementation of the national lockdown, reached snapping point when two inter-ministerial central teams (IMCTs) arrived in the state for a review at the behest of the ministry of home affairs (MHA). They had come at very short notice—West Bengal chief secretary Rajiva Sinha was reportedly informed an hour before they landed, and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee received an official call from the MHA after the fact. Predictably, the IMCTs received a chilly welcome, with state officials allegedly refusing to cooperate at first. The two administrations have been steadily upping the ante since end-March or even earlier, with the Mamata Banerjee government seemingly going out of its way to sidestep or flout central decrees and…

1 min.
politics of pandemics

BIHAR Assembly election in 2020 ₹ 2,200 CRORE Total amount the state government plans to spend on COVID-19 relief 8.7 MILLION pensioners to get three months’ advance pension 16.8 MILLION ration card-holding families and 1.3 million registered construction workers to get an assistance of Rs 1,000 TAMIL NADU Assembly election in 2021 ₹ 1,000 CRORE allocated for fighting the COVID-19 crisis (initial amount was Rs 60 crore) WEST BENGAL Assembly election in 2021 80 MILLION people to get free rations for the next six months under Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Khadya Sathi’ scheme —Amitabh Srivastava, Romita Datta and Amarnath K. Menon…

3 min.
needed, nuanced policy, not kneejerk reaction

India’s Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has issued a press note, PN3, which closes the automatic approval route for foreign direct investment (FDI) in designated industries for countries which share a land border with India. This means that restrictions which already apply to Pakistan and Bangladesh, have now been extended to China. This does not bar Chinese FDI but applies an additional level of scrutiny. This has been triggered by legitimate concerns that in their weakened state due to the COVID-19 crisis, high-value and sensitive Indian companies may fall prey to cash-rich and statesupported entities from China. This echoes concerns in western Europe where similar regulations have been introduced recently. The US has had such regulations in place even before the current crisis. The risk of opportunistic…

2 min.
the week in numbers

706,097 SKILLED INDIAN WORKERS with an undergraduate or advanced degree waiting in line for green cards. The immigration process, says US president Donald Trump, will be temporarily suspended. Even if nothing changes, says the Cato Institute, an American think-tank, 205,665 Indians are likely to die while waiting for their green card; 44% of those remaining are expected to eventually receive their green cards after a 39-year wait. -$37.63 The price of US oil when markets closed in New York on April 20, dipping below zero dollars for the first time. Essentially, American oil producers were so desperate to get rid of their stockpiles they were paying ‘buyers’ to take the oil off their hands. 5 MILLION Average monthly searches for child pornography across 100 Indian cities, according to a report released in…

3 min.
a return to the old normal?

On April 5, Keran village in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on the Line of Control (LoC) saw an intense close combat between a squad of the army’s special forces and five newly infiltrated militants. The massive, five-day search operation, which began on April 1 in adverse snowbound conditions, culminated in a reported death toll of 10—five on each side. THE VALLEY IS WITNESSING A SPIKE IN MILITANT ATTACKS AND ALARM OVER NEW DOMICILE RULES The Keran gun battle is the fiercest the Valley has witnessed this year and points to Pakistan sending in highly trained militants as snow begins to melt on the high-altitude mountains. The infiltrators were owned up as its members by ‘The Resistance Front’ (TRF), a militant outfit that the Jammu and Kashmir police say emerged only in March.…