GS 1 Links beyond boundaries Problems with the definition of ‘Aryan’ continue even though the term was first used a couple of centuries ago, writes eminent historian Romila Thapar in the foreword to Which of Us Are Aryans: Rethinking the Concept of Our Origins. GS 2 Venkaiah disapproves of competitive populism Competitive populism among political parties and offers of loan waivers and free power in the run-up to elections are just temporary solutions that do not address the need for structural changes to sustainably develop incomes in the country, said Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday. ‘Expedite implementation of Forest Rights Act’ The Odisha State Food Commission has again asked the State government to expedite implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006, that would help ensure food and nutritional security to the vulnerable section of society. No zero-sum games In March 2018, the U.S. began imposing tariffs on several Indian products, and in April, the USTR began a review of India’s GSP status, based on complaints of trade barriers from India it had received from the dairy industry and manufacturers of medical devices. In November the U.S. withdrew GSP status on at least 50 Indian products. Taliban says no agreement reached on ending hostilities The Afghan Taliban has said that despite the ongoing talks with the U.S. and other regional powers, it had “not yet reached” any conclusion that would entail an immediate end to hostilities, according to a media report. Only 4 UDAN routes in northeast operational Two years since the launch of the ambitious low-cost flying scheme, aerial connectivity continues to elude the northeastern region. While as many as 20 bi-directional routes were awarded to various airlines during this period, only four are currently operational. The solution is universal Strengthening the MGNREGA would be more prudent than a targeted cash transfer plan like PM-KISAN Where ‘angels’ are bedevilled For the past few months, ‘angel tax’ issues have taken centre stage. Circulars have been issued with the hope that the matter would be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is attempting to move a fresh set of solutions to pour water on this raging issue.