Editorial

Review of outdated loss-making postal-services necessary

Postal Department should make a consolidated assessment of all its loss-making services, and should either abolish these or raise minimum tariff to at least rupee one. 

Data reveals continuous and sharp decline in use of ‘Inland Letter Cards’ and ‘Post Cards’, tariffs of which are highly subsidised.

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Modi, Obama hit one for the road, partners in defence

Washington: Call it President Barack Obama's desire to seal his legacy or the Trump effect, as some pundits would have it, he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated his fourth visit to the US in two years with a flurry of agreements, including one in which the US commits itself to sharing defence technology with India "to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners".

These ranged from climate change to the vexed civil nuclear deal to US recognition of India as a major defence partner to a call on Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terrorist attacks to justice.

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Women as a vote bank: Not a win-win for politicos

Women are now being courted by some politicians who sense that their appeal to Dalits, backward castes and Muslims is dwindling in the absence of providing more and more sops, or that their rivals are more successful in cultivating these vote banks.

In the Hindi belt, for instance, the support base of the Yadavs, the most dominant of the backward castes, has become the monopoly of Laloo Prasad Yadav in Bihar and Mulayam Singh Yadav in U.P.

Interestingly, these bases are not transferrable across the boundaries of the two states. Evidently, the Bihari Yadavs are not enamoured of the leader of their caste group in U.P. and vice versa.

It is this watertight division which made Mulayam Singh break away from the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in Bihar last year and ring the death knell of the proposed Janata "parivar" comprising remnants of the old Janata Dal.

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Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, an icon no party can afford to ignore

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, whose 125th birth anniversary falls on April 14, has emerged as one of India's most revered leader especially during the last two decades. No political party can afford to ignore him though the reasons for doing so are more electoral than emotional.

Independent India's first cabinet of prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had only 14 members with B.R. Ambedkar as law minister listed at No.11 in the order of precedence, below Jagjivan but above Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherji of the Hindu Mahasabha (later the Jan Sangh founder).

Mahatma Gandhi had prevailed upon Nehru Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to include non-Congressmen as well because independence had come for the whole country - and not only for those who led the freedom movement.

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Kosi Basin Development: A Potential Win-Win Case forIndia, Nepal, Australia and ICIMOD

On the World Water Day, 22 March, it is worth considering why water is not high-up in the national or international political agenda.

Politicians become interested in water mostly when there are prolonged droughts, serious floods, natural disasters like earthquakes and man-made catastrophes like in Flint, Michigan, with long-term lead contamination of the water supply system.

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Strengthening continental economic relations

The African brand has been in the spotlight in recent days particularly as world media and analysts watched the outcomes of the 2nd China-Africa Summit on Co-operation (FOCAC) hosted by South Africa.

Much has been said about the impact of the agreements signed between China and Africa to support the growth and development of the continent.

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