India Today August 23, 2021

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.

Living Media India Limited
52 Issues

in this issue

5 min
from the editor-in-chief

The past six months have been a nightmare for the nation and the government, as the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit India between March and April this year. As in several countries, the second wave dealt a double blow—to public health and prospects of an economic recovery—in India too. The surge of infections and deaths overwhelmed central as well as state capacities. Government statistics show that half of the 329,065 Covid deaths in the 14 months since April 2020 occurred in April-May this year. The Indian economy, already on skid row before the pandemic, plunged into negative territory for the entire pandemic year of 2020-21, the first time in four decades. Successive waves of infection have depleted savings, slashed incomes and reduced job opportunities. Infrastructure and construction activity…

7 min
is a third wave coming?

Through the first week of August, India recorded eight continuous days of rising Covid cases. More than 255,000 new coronavirus cases were reported between July 27 and August 2, an 8 per cent jump from the week before. August 9, however, saw 27,421 new cases in 24 hours, the lowest since March 16. According to the Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW), the second wave of Covid is still not over, it has merely reduced in intensity. A single-day fall in cases could easily be overturned, especially if we lower our guard. Like on March 8, when Covid cases dropped to 15,000 in a day from around 18,000, only to shoot up to 40,000 a day a week later, marking the onset of the second wave. “We need to…

1 min
ominous signs

44 districts with over 10% test positivity rate 53 districts have positivity rate of 5-10% States with highest active cases Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, West Bengal, Odisha STATES WITH HIGHEST TEST POSITIVITY RATE Kerala 12.8% Sikkim 11.6% Manipur 11.1% Mizoram 9.9% Meghalaya 9.7% THE ‘R’ NUMBER India (estimated) 1 Himachal Pradesh 1.3 Punjab 1.3 Gujarat 1.1 Madhya Pradesh 1.1 Uttar Pradesh 1.1 Andhra Pradesh 1 Nagaland 1 SEROPOSITIVITY RATES* National average 67.6% Highest Madhya Pradesh 75.9% Rajasthan 76.2% Bihar 75.9% Lowest Kerala 44% Assam 50.3% Maharashtra 58% VACCINATION PROGRAMME National (two doses) 8.6% of eligible population Top five states (both doses) Maharashtra 12 mn West Bengal 9.13 mn Gujarat 9.05 mn Uttar Pradesh 8.52 mn Rajasthan 8.38 mn Source: MoHFW; *ICMR July 2021 report; all other figures as on Aug. 10…

6 min
nitish: an ally and a rebel

On reaching Patna on August 6, the new Janata Dal (United) president Rajiv Ranjan Singh a.k.a. ‘Lalan Singh’ made an exhortative pitch to party workers: “Ek number party tab banegi jab 2010 ka jo hamara mapdand hai usko paar karenge (We will become the No. 1 party only when we cross our 2010 numbers).” Lalan was talking about the 2010 assembly election, when the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) had put up its best performance, winning 115 seats in the 243-member Bihar assembly. The JD(U) government also completed its term even though it snapped ties with alliance partner BJP in 2013 (ironically over Narendra Modi’s nomination as the prime ministerial candidate). The JD(U) joined hands with the BJP again in 2017 (after splitting with the Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD), but after the…

6 min
biting the bullet

After years of dithering, the Centre has finally done away with the infamous retrospective tax law introduced in 2012 by then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. This law had been described as a key impediment to doing business in India. Two recent orders by international courts of arbitration that ruled against the Indian government in such cases—relating to Vodafone Plc and Cairn Energy Plc—amplified the outcry from the global investor community against this law and the embarrassment the government faced because of it. On August 9, the Rajya Sabha approved the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The decision to finally bite the bullet will help the Centre project India as investor-friendly. This is crucial given how badly the country needs foreign investment to get the economy going again, struggling as it is…

1 min
survival of the fittest

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh was down with Covid three months ago but you wouldn’t know it from his recent exploits. The 74-year-old leader jumped police barricades and cour ted arrest at Opposition protests outside Parliament. Earlier, he was seen jostling with cops and braving a water cannon during a political protest in Bhopal. A few years ago, the Congress veteran completed a gruelling 3,000 km Narmada parikrama on foot. What’s the secret of his health? Singh was once a former national level squash player and does 30 minutes of yoga a day. He’s clearly fit to tackle the hurly-burly of politics.…