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India’s investment in research unsatisfactory: UNESCO report -Tiki Rajwi

-The Hindu Gross domestic expenditure on research has stayed at 0.7% of the GDP for years While India has made ‘solid progress’ towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets concerning industry, infrastructure and innovation, the country’s investment in research remains unsatisfactory, the UNESCO Science Report has observed. The gross domestic expenditure on research (GERD) has been stagnant at 0.7% of the GDP for years, although, in absolute terms, research expenditure has increased, the...

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A fatal war on transparency -Aniket Aga and Chitrangada Choudhury

-The Hindu Official secrecy on pandemic policies aggravates a crisis In August 2020, the Modi government constituted the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) as a nodal agency on all matters related to vaccine administration and rollout. Asked under the Right to Information (RTI) Act for details of the NEGVAC’s meetings, the Health Ministry, which anchors the expert group, replied that it does not know where the concerned documents...

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Panel to define offences of speech, expression -Vijaita Singh

-The Hindu The committee constituted by Home Ministry on reforms to the IPC may propose a separate Section A panel constituted by the Union Home Ministry to suggest reforms to the British-era Indian Penal Code (IPC) is likely to propose a separate Section on “offences relating to speech and expression.” As there is no clear definition of what constitutes a “hate speech” in the IPC, the Committee for Reforms in Criminal Laws is...

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India learns a bitter lesson for disregarding crucial warnings and recommendations on Covid-19

In the month of April this year, there has been an unprecedented upsurge in daily new cases and daily new deaths in the country due to Covid-19. States, which reported large increases in daily new cases and daily new deaths, are Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, to name but a few.   Data accessed from https://www.covid19india.org/, which is a crowdsourced platform and an independent aggregator of daily Covid-19 figures and...

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Don’t merge, wind up national institutes: Disability rights groups

-The Hindu They play a vital role in human resources development, they tell Centre A group of 100 disability rights organisations and activists wrote to Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot asking him not to go ahead with the proposed merger and closure of several institutes under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD). They said the institutes and regional centres were set up by the government “in pursuit of...

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