Tuesday, 24 May, 2022
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Mani Shankar Aiyar writes why Modi will visit US in Sept & Amitabh Kant on arbitration bills

The best of the day’s opinion, chosen and curated by ThePrint’s top editors.

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Avoiding monsoon mayhem

Amish | The writer is a best-selling author
The Times of India

Amish writes about how Mumbai currently faces a situation in which both a shortage of water and floods occur in the same season. He says Mumbai’s response to the situation – getting rid of excess water during the monsoon floods and getting water from neighbouring districts during the dry season is “pathetic”.

Using Singapore as an example, he recommends, “build(ing) a barrage at the edge of Mumbai’s bays”. Amish stresses on the need to create reservoirs. During flooding, he says, the drainage system will direct water to the reservoirs which can then be used once the monsoon is over.

Regarding the environmental concerns associated with this project, he writes that many people lose lives every year due to flooding during monsoons and thus, the situation should be examined “holistically”. Also, the proposed reservoir system will provide economic benefits to farmers in nearby regions too, he adds.

Much ado about something

Mani Shankar Aiyar | The writer is a senior Congress leader and former Union minister
The Indian Express

Mani Shankar Aiyar argues that to get the Taliban to the negotiating table, the US requires Pakistan’s whole-hearted cooperation. And by going to the US with both his army and intelligence chiefs, Pakistan was signalling just that. To give Imran Khan that which every Pakistan PM requires – something on Kashmir – Trump “obliged” with his recent remark.

He further argues that by refusing to engage with Pakistan, India has already made US “the pivot on which India’s troubled relationship with Pakistan swivels”.

Aiyar speculates that if Pakistan succeeds in bringing the Taliban to the conference table, the US-Pak relations will improve. And that’s why Modi is going to US in September – to salvage things.

The objective, according to Aiyar, is to allow Amit Shah, without any US objection, to “forcibly” integrate Kashmir with the Union of India by abrogating Articles 370 and 35A.

NRC: The battle over citizenship

Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda | Vice-President, Bharatiya Janata Party, and a former MP
Hindustan Times

Baijayant Panda writes that issues such as NRC deal with fundamental concepts of nationhood and citizenship, which in turn have a global context. He suggests that the US is also grappling with these questions, and the Democrats have gone so far as to now advocate open borders. Indian liberals, he writes, are also almost there.

He also talks about the criticism the government is facing over NRC. He argues that while, given the large numbers, a few errors may have allegedly crept into the process, what had actually prevailed before SC’s 2005 intervention was a “lackadaisical process”, without any serious effort to implement either the laws passed by Parliament or the accord signed by government on illegal immigrants”.

Towards the end of the write-up, he says no citizen should, however, get wrongly disqualified.

Having the last word on ‘population control’

Jagdish Rattanani | Journalist and faculty member at SPJIMR and co-author of the advocacy book, ‘Population: Questions That Should Be More Frequently Asked’ (Through The Billion Press)
The Hindu

Jagdish Rattanani writes in response to some of the recent voices which have asked the government to enact population control measures. He says that such voices are “wayward” and cites the economic survey to claim that “India is set to witness a sharp slowdown in population growth in the next two decades”.

He argues that demands for population control can be used to “whip up public sentiment” which can then be used to target the poor and the minorities.

He praises the National Population Policy introduced in 2000 under Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government as “far-sighted and forward-looking” since it was based on “voluntary and informed choice” and “consent of citizens”. He writes that the number of children a couple decides to have is closely linked to their educational and economic background. At the end, he writes that we should not forget the scars of mishandling of population growth during the emergency.

The country’s bankruptcy code awaits another churn

Jagvir Singh | Founding partner, Jupiter Law Partners
Mint

Singh welcomes the changes cleared by the cabinet in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) last week pointing out that a time-bound completion of the resolution process is a key feature of the code.

He writes that besides the changes already announced, there is a need for more changes to the code and to the companies act.

He writes that the distinction between financial and operational creditors should be changed to secured and unsecured creditors as many financial creditors may be unsecured creditors. He also stresses on the need to tighten laws for protecting the interests of homebuyers, including the right to initiate insolvency proceedings.

Taking a load off the courts

Amitabh Kant | CEO, Niti Aayog
The Economic Times

Kant writes on how the New Delhi international arbitration bill and the arbitration and conciliation (amendment) bills will help in promoting an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. He writes that arbitration is important to facilitate the ease of doing business and points out that it can alleviate pressure on the courts, thereby reducing pendency.

There are 3 crore cases pending across courts and nearly 65 lakh of them waiting to be cleared for more than five years.

He points out that the enforcement of contracts and time taken for resolution are likely to worry potential investors.

Health needs more healing hands

K Srinath Reddy | President, Public Health Foundation of India
The Financial Express

Reddy writes about fault lines in the health-care system in India. He highlights the state of India’s health workforce and points out that it is woefully short in number and skill to meet growing demands.

The number of health care providers are less than what is needed and “severely maldistributed across states, between rural and urban areas.”

He writes it is necessary to upgrade district hospitals in the states and revive midwifery programme while continuing to modernise the nursing staff.

He says that advanced clinical nursing can be developed with training in specialised fields. These measures will also create jobs in the country.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Mani is a rejected, discarded, written off and kicked on his back like a rabies suffering dog. He has no following and he. Is like a shameless old bitch using mounds of lipstick to attract the customers still nobody gives him a curosry look. He is frustrated and a desperate old hag who wants to be noticed. His days of anti national rant have gone and this a New India which wants everything on its terms. This is the shameless character who had gone to Hafiz Sayyads home to talk nonsense about our Govt and India. Mani you keep your trap shut and keep away from meddling and poking your snout.

  2. This comments are on Mani Shankar’s article in Indian Express today.
    One can understand helplessness of Mani! First, on internal Kashmir dimension, Modi-Shah position is clear- Get 35-A and 370 out and do whatever is required for it- delimitation, Panchayat elections, demonize Abdullahs and Muftis, prop local leadership in the valley etc. Never in the past, conditions have been so propitious for this course of action. All this is independent of Pakistan dimension of the problem. But this is causing real heart burn to Mani but hopefully, he will see this happening soon and live long thereafter to rue this!! Secondly, Mani’s analysis of US role in Kashmir is spot on. But the facade of Simla Agreement and bilateralism gives Modi a good leg room in diplomacy and he is not likely to give it up officially. It is also clear that just between India and Pak, Kashmir issue can never be resolved, given that Pak is not a stable country and successive governments can change their positions, as has been happening in the past. Hence, India has to try various things internationally to constraint Pak’s anti-India actions. Thirdly, India can never militarily take over POK, just as Pak can never take over our part of Kashmir. Fourthly, India is unlikely to pursue vivisection of Pak to totally degrade Pak capacity to trouble us. Fifthly, if US, perhaps along with other countries like Russia, China and even Saudi, help sort Pakistan dimension of Kashmir issue with an iron clad guarantee on no-terrorism and anti-India activities by Pak, we can reach deal with Pak without redrawing borders. Alternatively, if Pak under Chinese pressure, integrates POK with Gilgit-Baltistan as its province, we make usual noise but allow it to go through. So long as Pak stops its terror activities and accept the LOC as international border, Kashmir is resolved and we are done. If US helps us in this task, we are fine as well provided there is no such a ugly, undiplomatic spectacle like Trump did the other day. Thus, we can now sense beginning of the end to the Kashmir problem in both the dimensions. Lastly, it is unusually gracious for Mani to acknowledge that Trump indeed has at least some good qualities to be a POTUS. Mani seems to be so down and out with the turn of events in Kashmir.

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