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UN sets the clock back in Kashmir, and why Sunny Deol owes Muslims an apology

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A selection of the best news reports, analysis and opinions published by ThePrint this week.

Field experts getting lateral entry in civil services not a bad idea

The decision to allow lateral entry of “talented and motivated Indian nationals” to join the government at the level of joint secretary has been welcomed and criticised by different quarters in equal measure. Read this piece by Shah Faesal to know why this is “a major reform in the HR policy of the central government”. The writer talks about how in the current system, an IAS officer flirts with many departments but settles with none, thus working more out of experience than expertise. Faesal explains how domain experts can come in to help rescue the system currently ridden with mediocrity.

Why Sunny Deol owes Muslims an apology

ThePrint’s Sakshi Arora has a quirky take on actor Priyanka Chopra’s Twitter apology for “hurting Hindu sentiments” in a recent episode of her US television series Quantico. By that measure, she argues, actor Sunny Deol should apologise to the Muslim community for associating it with terrorism in several of his movies. The writer points out how demanding an apology from Chopra while allowing the simplistic categorisation of Muslims in movies as terrorists or their sympathisers exposes our double standards.

What IAS officers study isn’t really what they do

With the government’s “lateral entry” offer becoming a hot button, ThePrint’s Sanya Dhingra brings to you the story of almost all secretary-level officers in the Indian government – that their educational qualifications have very little to do with the posts they hold. In this piece, the reporter highlights an interesting finding – of 57 secretary-rank IAS officers, only nine currently head ministries that have a direct relation to the subject they have studied.

VHP, Bajrang Dal classified as militant religious outfits by CIA

Sangh affiliates Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal have been classified as militant religious outfits in the recently updated World Factbook of the US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Pragya Kaushika reported exclusively for ThePrint. The RSS itself has been classified as a nationalist outfit. Read to find out how the saffron outfits plan to deal with this and what legal routes are being considered.

When India and Pakistan were disappointed by their heroes

Author Aneela Babar draws an interesting analogy between the heroes of the 1980s in India and Pakistan – Amitabh Bachchan and Imran Khan – to show how both are “regressing into apologist shells of their cultural pasts”. The year 1996 was a watershed for both, marking their fall, with Bachchan making his foray into business with ABCL and Khan into politics with the launch of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Read this piece to find the road that followed.

Thanks to Modi govt’s woolly-headedness, it’s 1993 in Kashmir again

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s recent report on Kashmir has generated much furore. ThePrint Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta writes that the “fatally flawed report” will really not shame or embarrass either India or Pakistan, given how both treat Kashmir as a “blood feud”. He highlights, however, the repercussions the report is most likely to have: Instead of helping the people of Kashmir, it will only harden India’s approach, while encouraging Pakistan to push more Kashmiris towards jihad “The clock in Kashmir has been re-set, to 1993,” Gupta strikes an ominous note in this must-read edition of National Interest.

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