India Today September 20, 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.

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52 Issues

in this issue

5 min

However much we deny it, India remains a caste-ridden society even after 75 years of Independence and considerable economic progress. It is em-bedded in our society and most definitely in our politics. Indians, it is often said, don’t cast their vote so much as vote their caste. This convergence of caste and politics makes most self-serving politicians want this state of play to continue. Caste politics assumed national centre stage when the then prime minister V.P. Singh’s decision to implement the Mandal Commission recommendations triggered nationwide protests in 1989-1990. His action did not come out of any love of social justice but was a cynical calculation to ensure the survival of his coalition government. The decision earmarked 27 per cent of government jobs for OBCs or the Other Backward Classes.…

1 min
presenting india today insight

For sharp analysis on topical issues by the editors of INDIA TODAY, log on to Why retailers are looking to the festive season for demand recovery by M.G. Arun Businesses are taking heart from the fact that daily Covid cases in most states are under control, even as vaccination drives continue Why India could be leasing a second nuclear powered attack submarine from Russia by Sandeep Unnithan New Delhi signed a $3 billion lease deal with Moscow in 2019 for the Chakra-3. But with growing Chinese naval presence and delays in its own nuclear submarine project, India needs as many submarines as it can get Rs 360 crore scam in the making of NRC, says Assam NGO by Kaushik Deka The NGO whose PIL led to the NRC update, now claims there were financial irregularities in…

3 min
a question of mettle

On August 21, the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council called for a nation-wide strike on August 23, against what it described as the government’s “arbitrary implementation of mandatory hallmarking of every piece of gold and silver jewellery and artefacts with HUID (hallmark unique identification) numbers”. Beginning June 16, the Centre had made it mandatory for all gold and silver jewellery being sold in 256 districts across 28 states to be hallmarked; the deadline for existing stock to be marked was August 31. This came three years after the hallmarking regulations were notified in June 2018 under the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act, 2016, with a quality control order for mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts issued on January 15, 2020. This will be extended across India…

2 min
hallmarking, explained

Q. What is hallmarking? Hallmarking is a purity certification of the gold and silver used in jewellery, and also serves as a tracking mechanism. The hallmark includes four pieces of information—the BIS mark, the gold/silver purity and fineness, the A&H centre’s ID and the jeweller’s ID. Hallmarking rates are Rs 35+GST per piece for gold jewellery and Rs 25+GST per piece for silver jewellery. Q. What items are exempted from hallmarking? Exempted articles include those meant for export or those intended for use in medical, scientific or industrial sectors. Certain categories of jewellery (Kun-dan) as well as products like watches and fountain pens, are also exempted. Q. How many hallmarking centres does India have? There are about a thousand functional hallmark centres in the country. The BIS has proposed subsidies to open more in new…

2 min

HOME TURF Although West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to win the September 30 Bhowanipore bypoll—she has already served two terms as MLA for this south Kolkata constituency—many Trinamool Congress (TMC) heavyweights are jostling to be seen as the most ardent champions of her campaign. Transport and housing minister Firhad Hakim and MLA Madan Mitra, for example, were seen painting the election graffiti themselves. However, while Mamata is in a strong position, the TMC is taking no chances—it has drawn up a list of 20 star campaigners for the effort, seven of whom are former or current actors or sportspersons. IN GOLD WE TRUST Tamil Nadu’s Hindu and Religious Charitable Endowments minister P.K. Sekar Babu is reviving a scheme to net revenue for the state’s temples. Gold offerings by devotees in…

6 min
why is everything so expensive?

AS INDIA RECOVERS FROM the economic damage caused by the pandemic, it is also fighting a persistent surge in inflation. As measured by the CPI (Consumer Price Index, which includes the cost of food, housing, clothing, transportation, medical care and education, among others), inflation has almost doubled since June 2019, from 3.18 per cent to 6.26 per cent in June 2021. This was the second straight month in which inflation was above the RBI’s (Reserve Bank of India’s) targeted ceiling of 6 per cent, though it eased a bit in July to 5.59 per cent, a three-month low. Prices are up in every category, from food (specifically pulses and oil) to fuel and lighting. Food inflation was at 5.15 per cent in June, easing to 3.96 per cent in July, while…