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A podcast from The Hindu that delves deep into music as a performance art. We talk to some of the most talented performers of Carnatic and Hindustani music in India and bring to bear our decades of experience in understanding and reviewing music.
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On February 13, groups of farmers began a march to New Delhi, to press for fulfilment of their demands, which include a legal guarantee for purchasing crops at Minimum Support Price (MSP) and India’s withdrawal from the World Trade Organization (WTO) which, they allege, places pressure on the Centre for drafting policies for procurement and MSP. Wh…
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Housing is a basic requirement for dignity of life. But affordable decent housing remains a distant dream for most Indians, especially in urban India. Close to 17% of all households in urban India live in slums, with this percentage shooting up to 41% in a city like Mumbai and 29% in Chennai. Over the years, the government has taken many initiative…
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Most of us are familiar with the plastic waste crisis and public awareness campaigns on the need to recycle plastic. Now a new report by the Centre for Climate Integrity, an international non-profit, says that plastic producers have been lying to the public for more than 30 years – it says that they knew all along that plastic recycling was not a v…
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The headline in a recent article was arresting – India fears losing out to China in smartphone exports race. Another broke the news that Mexico had overtaken China for the first time in 20 years as the largest exporter to the US. One more said – loud and clear at t that – that India should realise that Vietnam, and not China, was the major competit…
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Farmers are back at the barricades, this time they have been stopped by the Haryana police at the Punjab-Haryana border. Twenty-two-year-old Shubhkaran Singh has died in the protests. Farmer leaders have suspended their protest till February 29 when they will announce their next course of action. The agitating farmers are firm that there should be …
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Controlling a computer with just your thoughts seems to be something straight out of a science fiction movie, but that’s exactly what scientific experiments are now doing. This week Elon Musk, founder of the startup Neuralink which implanted a brain chip, called Telepathy, into a human being last month, said that the patient’s progress has been goo…
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The Lok Sabha elections of 2024 are round the corner. The season of defections is also upon us. Party hopping has commenced in earnest. An India Today poll suggested earlier in February that the NDA would win 335 seats in 2024 down from 353 in 2019. The Congress tally was put at 71. A YouGov-Mint-CPR survey, also published in February, said that 51…
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A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down the Centre’s electoral bond scheme. Electoral bonds enabled anonymous political donations, which the apex court has termed as “unconstitutional”. It stated categorically that the scheme violates the right to information under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitutio…
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Recently, music composer A.R. Rahman tweeted that the song Thimiri Yezhuda from the Tamil film Lal Salaam uses an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software to recreate the voices of singers Bamba Bakya and Shahul Hameed. Bakya died in September 2022 at the age of 42 and has sung songs in films including 2.0 and Bigil. Hameed, who died in 1998, worked e…
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The Uttarakhand assembly passed the State’s Uniform Civil Code last week. Titled ‘The Uniform Civil Code of Uttarakhand, 2024’, the Bill was one of the BJP’s poll promises during the 2022 Assembly election campaign. Although its applicability is supposed to be uniform, the law exempts tribal populations, and also the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) fr…
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The Union Finance Ministry has come out with a ‘White Paper’ on the changes in the Indian economy in the past 20 years. In the 58-page document, which it presented in Parliament, the government compares the 10 years of UPA-rule from 2004 to 2014 with 10 years of NDA rule from 2014 to 2024. It claims that the NDA government in 2014 inherited a “deep…
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The people of Pakistan have spoken. They have reposed their faith in democracy and cast their vote against the establishment’s efforts to decimate the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Independents backed by his party, PTI as it’s known, have won 93 seats in a House of 264, with the Muslim League Nawaz notching up…
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For anyone who drives a vehicle in this country, the nightmare scenario is the same: an accident involving another person. India has one of the worst road accident rates in the world – in 2022, the country reported over 4,60,000 road accidents, with over half taking place on national and State highways. Clearly, road safety is an area of huge conce…
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India’s growing private coaching industry has long been plagued by student suicides, fire incidents, complaints of poor infrastructure and teaching, exorbitant fees, and false promises. The spate of student suicides in Kota, Rajasthan, has spurred the Ministry of Education to issue new guidelines, which state that coaching centres cannot enrol stud…
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India and Iran have deep cultural and historical connections. But relations between the two nations have atrophied in recent times. US sanctions on Iran have been a big factor, leading to India largely curtailing its engagements with the country. But recent developments – visa-free travel for Indians, and Iran’s entry into BRICS -- seem to provide …
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The RBI has imposed major restrictions on the operations of Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL). It has directed Paytm Payments Bank to stop accepting deposits or top-ups in customer accounts, wallets, FASTags, and other instruments after February 29. An RBI circular stated that this action follows an audit report and a compliance validation report by e…
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If you or your child has a bad cough, the first thing you’ll probably do is reach for a cough syrup. It’s easy, it's available over the counter and there’s no fuss about taking it. But does it work? Is it at all effective to help your cough go away? Last year, a panel of the US Food and Drug Administration came to the agreement that phenylephrine, …
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Pakistan goes to the polls on the 8th of February to elect members of what will be its 16th lower House or National Assembly. The polls come just as former Prime Minister Imran Khan has been convicted in two successive cases and stands debarred from contesting elections. His party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, or PTI as it is known, is fighting w…
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In the past few weeks, there has been a surge of complaints from passengers about Digiyatra. Their main complaint is about security personnel and airport staff collecting their biometrics for the app, using coercion and deception. According to travellers, CISF personnel at the entry gates were asking them to scan their boarding pass and capturing t…
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This is a crossover episode On February 1, the BJP-led government will place its Interim Budget in Parliament, seeking a vote on account. Has the NDA government’s economic performance in its second term fared better than its first? Here we discuss the question.โดย The Hindu
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The Australian Open likes to call itself ‘the Happy Slam’ and this year’s edition sure turned out to be a happy one for India. Rohan Bopanna became a Men’s Doubles Grand Slam champion for the first time and claimed the World No. 1 ranking at the age of 43. In Men’s Singles, Sumit Nagal made it to the main draw after coming through three qualifying …
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This year’s Annual Status of Education Report or ASER, ‘Beyond Basics’, surveyed over 34,000 young people aged between 14 and 18, in 28 districts across the country, to get an inkling into: what are the young people of India currently doing? What are their basic maths and reading abilities like? And how do they navigate the digital world through sm…
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India’s public distribution system – its ration shops – through which subsidised food grains are distributed to the poor is the largest such welfare programme in the world. It is a lifeline that saves millions from hunger. But for the past few years, the Union government has been running pilot projects where fortified rice --- rice enhanced with ir…
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On February 1, the BJP-led government will place its Interim Budget in Parliament, seeking a vote on account. Has the NDA government’s economic performance in its second term fared better than its first? Here we discuss the question.โดย TheHindu
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What began on October 7 as a conflict between Israel and Hamas seems to be spreading across the entire region. Even after 100 days of a conflict that has already claimed the lives of more than 25,000 people, Israel’s military assault on Gaza continues. But this war has sprouted many secondary plot-lines: Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shia group back…
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A new paper released by the NITI Aayog has claimed that multidimensional poverty (MDI) has declined from 29.17% in 2013-14 to 11.28% in 2022-23, and that 24.82 crore people “escaped” from multidimensional poverty during this 9-year period. Titled ‘Multidimensional Poverty in India since 2005-06: A Discussion Paper’, the NITI Aayog report claims tha…
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On December 27, 2023, the New York Times filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and its backer Microsoft, accusing them of copyright infringement. The NYT has alleged that OpenAI used thousands of its articles to train ChatGPT, a large language model, without permission or compensation. The lawsuit says that this has positioned ChatGPT as a competing sourc…
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Having a loved one in intensive care at a hospital is an experience many of us have gone through, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a stressful time, what with the strain of a relative being ill, the decisions you may have to take, and the costs you have to tackle. What should ICU care look like in India? The Union Health Ministry recent…
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Relations between India and Maldives seem to have hit a rough patch. First came some controversial remarks from Maldivian politicians on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lakshadweep visit, prompting a ‘boycott Maldives’ campaign on Indian social media. Then came a joint press communiqué with China, which committed to “elevating strategic cooperation”…
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The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recently found that over half of the nearly 10,000 hospital patients surveyed for a study were given antibiotics to prevent, rather than treat, infection. The survey mapped patients treated on one to five days each at 20 tertiary care institutes across 15 States and two Union Territories between Novemb…
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According to the Periodic Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate among graduates is higher than in many other developing countries. Students who enrolled in college during the pandemic have now graduated and there are concerns over their employability and the quality of online education. Is higher education in India out of touch with the skill …
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The Telecommunications Act, 2023 was passed by Parliament in the Winter Session of Parliament last year. The Act consolidates much of the telecom laws that existed beforehand, and repeals colonial-era laws that have been updated over the course of over 137 years. While the Act is short in length at just over 45 pages, much of its implementation wil…
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Recently, Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam, far-right populist, won the general elections in the Netherlands. In Argentina, the far-right politician, Javier Milei, won the presidential elections. In 2022, Marine Le Pen finished a close second in the French presidential elections; and a party with roots in the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement won the…
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For at least a year and a half now, most of us have relegated Covid-19 to the back of our minds. Cases of the virus had drastically reduced, it was not mentioned in headlines any more, and life seemed to have got somewhat back to normal as we learnt to live with Covid. It’s difficult however to ignore the news of yet another coronavirus mutation – …
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This month, there’s been a lot of excitement in the medical world over the approval given to treatments for diseases that based on genome editing. What’s this all about? In 2020, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry was given to two women scientists, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for their discovery of what is essentially a genetic scissors, …
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Recently, President Droupadi Murmu suggested that an All-India Judicial Service (AIJS) will help diversify the judiciary. In the same way that the Union Public Service Commission conducts a central recruitment exam and assigns successful candidates to cadres, the recruitment of judges of the district judiciary is being proposed to be made central, …
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This has been a question that has triggered a lot of research, a lot of debate and a lot of questions. A recent meta-analysis of 34 studies looked at excessive screen use and its links to your cognitive functioning. The results of the analysis, conducted by researchers in Australia, says that there is a clear link between disordered screen behaviou…
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As Israel continues its indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza, causing thousands of civilian deaths, it has continued to enjoy unconditional military and political backing from the United States. Last week, as the US vetoed yet another resolution at the UN calling for a ceasefire, it found itself almost completely isolated on the world stage. A few da…
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In August this year, the Union government introduced three Bills to overhaul the country’s criminal justice system. The were – the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), 2023 to replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860; Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), 2023 to replace the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973; and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023 to replace t…
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A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has upheld the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. While the judgement has been hailed as a historic one, it has also raised concerns regarding the federal system, which is understood to be part of the basic str…
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