Society related issues: People as auditors(The Hindu Opinion) The social audit is conceptually simple. Information is to be proactively shared amongst people so that they can “performance audit” a service or programme, from planning, to implementation and evaluation. Scary, yet banal(The Hindu Opinion) India has come a long way from the small, meaningless and ineffectual pictorial warnings that were first used on tobacco products in May 2009. The size of the warnings was increased from 40% of the principal display area on only one side of the packet to 85% on the front and back sides of the packet from April 2016 onwards. India now has the third largest warnings in the world after Nepal and Vanuatu. In September, India will follow the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) guidelines by using scarier images to shock tobacco users.
International Relations: Substance and optics of the summit(The Hindu Opinion) India-China relations have been under great stress in recent years. The 2017 military standoff at the Doklam tri-junction and the war of words that followed vitiated a relationship that was already reeling under a great deal of pressure. The Wuhan summit should be viewed in the context of this vitiated atmosphere and a strong desire for stability and rapprochement. Pyongyang’s next steps(The Hindu Opinion) North Korea and South Korea have jointly declared that the Korean War will be finally over. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who met for the first time on Friday, have pledged to ensure peace, prosperity and the unification of the Korean peninsula. Wisdom at Wuhan(The Hindu Opinion) For an “informal summit”, the Wuhan meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping appeared to cover much ground over the two days — in terms of public appearances and in the two statements issued. Most of their conversations were unstructured, at informal events where they were accompanied only by translators. India, Pak. to take part in war games(The Hindu) In a first, arch rivals India and Pakistan will be part of a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in Russia in September, which will also be joined by China and several other countries. Indian Constitution and Polity: An antidote to virtual toxicity(The Hindu Opinion) A regulatory framework that balances free speech and accountability is one of the hallmarks of a mature democracy. In this context, the latest recommendations by the European Commission (EC) to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions to tackle online disinformation is a fine document that refrains from any overreach that would undermine free expression.
Economy: On a wing and a prayer(The Hindu) India is poised to become the world’s third-biggest aviation market in seven years with more than 20% growth, after China and the U.S. Foreign fund flow till Apr. the lowest since 2011(The Hindu) Government data showed that the Indian economy grew 7.2% in the quarter ended December 31 while the Chinese economy expanded by 6.8%. Crying need to secure uncharted cyber frontiers(The Hindu) As the world’s second-largest digital nation, India’s biggest risk in 2017, according to the FICCI–Pinkerton India Risk Survey 2017, was in the area of ‘information and cyber insecurity’ for business operations. Government Policies: Food first (The Hindu Opinion) Raising nutritional standards for young children has become a policy imperative only in recent years, with the National Food Security Act, 2013, incorporating the mandate in Schedule II, and the Supplementary Nutrition (Integrated Child Development Services Scheme) Rules, 2017, laying down entitlements. Nutrition panel drops Maneka proposal(The Hindu) As part of the Integrated Child Development Scheme, anganwadi beneficiaries between the age of six months and three years as well as pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to take-home rations, which include wheat, soya and sugar. Environment: Australia pledges half a billion to restore Great Barrier Reef(The Hindu) The World Heritage-listed site, which attracts millions of tourists, is reeling from significant bouts of coral bleaching due to warming sea temperatures linked to climate change.