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- The scholarly, “India Now and In Transition” consists of essays by 37 leading thinkers
- The book analyses the nation’s way ahead in different fields such as governance, security, and development
- The world’s largest democracy is witness to debates on a range of issues across the political spectrum(Left, Right and Centre) have shared their thoughts in two recent books
July 22, 2017: The world’s largest democracy is witness to debates on a range of issues and noted public intellectuals from across the political spectrum — Left, Right and Centre — have shared their thoughts in two recent books.
The first, “India Now and in Transition” (Niyogi/Rs 595/448 Pages), has been edited by Atul K. Thakur, a public policy professional who specialises in the interface of politics and economics. This scholarly offering has essays by 37 leading thinkers such as Ramachandra Guha, Shashi Tharoor, Robin Jeffrey, Jayati Ghosh, Vinod Rai and T.S.R. Subramaniam, among others.
The book was launched on Friday evening at India International Centre here amid a power-packed gathering from the world of public policy. The evening also saw a panel discussion featuring Dhruva Jaishankar (Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at Brookings India, Delhi); Omair Ahmad (Author, Journalist and Columnist); Pallavi Rebbapragada (Feature writer); T.S.R. Subramanian (Former Cabinet Secretary) and Wajahat Habibullah (First Chief Information Commissioner). The panel was moderated by former Reserve Bank of India Governor Bimal Jalan.
With a foreword by Sunil Khilnani, Professor of Politics and Director of the King’s College London India Institute, the book analyses the way ahead for the country in the fields of politics and governance, economics and development, security and foreign policy, society and culture, and language and literature.
The beauty of India, the book reminds us, is that there are many kinds of Indias within our country. Understanding the fundamentals that have given birth to such multiplicity across various segments is especially imperative in the present day, when the ‘Idea of India’ is keenly contested. This nation has the world’s largest youth population and is undergoing tectonic social and political changes at present; therefore, this book becomes crucial as it helps one understand what direction India may take in the future.
Each essay critically analyses a major theme of India’s present, to propose the likely way ahead for this emergent nation. The book notes that while beset with both internal and external challenges on many fronts, India isn’t waiting for its moment. It is making its moment happen. “India Now and in Transition” is an enquiry into possible futures, based on current happenings.
And then there is “Left, Right and Centre: The Idea of India” (Penguin/Rs 599/269 Pages), which has been edited by television journalist Nidhi Razdan.
This is a more organised collection of essays on issues of contemporary interest, in the sense that it brings voices from all the three spectrums of our politics. You have the likes of Chandan Mitra, Derek O’Brien, Sunita Narain and Shabana Azmi sharing their perspectives in this book.
In the introduction, Razdan makes her point — that the idea of India is different for different people. In an apparent reference to the ruling government, Razdan says that it is responsible for fuelling a kind of nationalism where “you’ve to wear your patriotism on your sleeve” and where “to question the government, the courts, the army, is to be anti-national”.
She also takes readers through the many instances of the recent past and succeeds, to a large extent, in establishing that there is indeed a rising tide of nationalism in India. She counters this with the words of Tagore who, despite penning India’s national anthem, was a strong critic of nationalism. The essays in the book focus on history, civilisation, sexualities, the rise of the Indian right and feminism, among other similar issues.
Both books make for excellent additions to your bookshelves and will enrich you with the valuable lessons of their many contributors.
(Saket Suman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.
According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: crypto wallets, BadgerDAO, decentralised finance, Blockchain, 120 million, crypto tokens, Hackers)
A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."
Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.
Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Rajasthan, December 9, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, film stars, celebrities, Bollywood, Katrina-Vicky)
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash
The consortium is focused on upscaling genomic surveillance as part of national efforts led by the INSACOG - Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium - to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consortium intensified its sequencing efforts after the World Health Organisation announced Omicron as a Variant of Concern. Such an intensified effort enabled the Bengaluru team at the NCBS, a member laboratory of INSACOG, in collaboration with Strand Life Sciences and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), to detect, rapidly sequence and verify the existence of the omicron variant in samples from two Covid-19 infected individuals.
They hope this will aid in a rapid response to contain the spread of variants of concern. Prof Satyajit Mayor from the NCBS conveyed the information to local and national authorities, and the Indian government released a statement on December 2, all within four days of receiving the samples. Both SARS-CoV-2 genomes have also been uploaded to the global repository for SARS-CoV-2 sequences, GISAID, so that they can be publicly available to the scientific community, the NCBS said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Situation, NCBS, Omicron)