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A recently announced policy seeks to increase paid maternity leave from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks. It is a welcome move towards increasing job security of female employees but the law may not be sufficient to fulfil its objectives if it ignores the implications on the broad incentive structure. 

 
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I am deeply pained to read that the courts have had to interfere in interpreting to the world the true spirit of my religion, Islam. The judgment of the Bombay High Court upholding Muslim women’s right to enter the Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai is a slap in the face of us Muslims for not having spoken up for a religion which has stood for the rights of women since the day it was revealed 1,400 years ago. And accolades to the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) for speaking up.

 
 
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It was 83-member-strong in London four years ago and the total of 120 this time was in itself cause to celebrate. Or so we thought. Three athletes were eventually barred because of anti-doping rule violation charges.

 
 
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The exasperation of the Supreme Court bench headed by the chief justice with regard to the encroachments on public spaces like pavements, lanes and bylanes of towns and cities is understandable.

 
 
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There is an infectious cheer in India at the moment and we owe it largely to women. Three of these are Olympian sportswomen—shuttler P.V. Sindhu, wrestler Sakshi Malik and gymnast Dipa Karmakar who have returned home from Rio to kudos.

 
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Mashriqi chose the belcha (a spade or shovel) as the symbol of the Khaksar Tehrik. This tool became such an integral part of the Khaksar Tehrik’s image in British India (now Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan), that the movement was often referred to as the Spade Movement or Army of Spades. Why did a man of Mashriqi’s stature choose such an unconventional tool to represent his party? As it turns out, Mashriqi’s choice of a spade was well thought out and highly symbolic.

 
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At least five coastal towns in France have banned the burkini. France was also the first country in Europe to ban the burqa and niqab in public places in 2010 setting in motion copycat bans in several other countries. Aggressive secularism as practised by France envisages a strict separation between church and state.   
 
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If there is one issue on which all political parties agree, it is the imperative to include overseas Indians in India’s economic development and to take care of their needs and aspirations. Successive governments have been vying with each other to give more and more concessions to them as acknowledgment of their contribution by way of remittances, investment, lobbying for India, promoting Indian culture abroad and for building a good image of India by their intelligence and industry.  
 
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To start with, I'm reminded of an old PJ-type joke, probably from the 1950s, which probably started off a Sardarji joke but in these PC times can be easily used in tandem with absolutely any desi community

 
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We eulogise our soldiers and cheer our sportspersons. Yet we don’t care enough to invest in their welfare. On our 70th independence day, as we re-commit ourselves to the service of the nation, let us also resolve to do more for those who bleed saffron, white and green.

 


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spotlight image China has handed over two ships to the Pakistan Navy to safeguard the strategic Gwadar port and trade routes under the $ 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a move likely to raise alarm in India.  
 
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The possibility of a Taliban attack targeting Emirati officials is not going down well with analysts writes Monish Gulati
 
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Since late 2015, cultural and political issues have strained relations between the two countries with anti-Indian sentiment growing amongst the government and people of Nepal, writes Dr. Binodkumar Singh for South Asia Monitor.  
 
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Recently, vandals desecrated at least 20 Hindu idols and three temples in Jamai bazar area in Tungipara of Gopalganj district of Bangladesh Recently, vandals desecrated at least 20 Hindu idols and three temples in Jamai bazar area in Tungipara of Gopalganj district of Bangladesh
 
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It will also feature glimpses of Indian traditional, folk and tribal art such as Gond, Madhubani and Pattachitra paintings.

 
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spotlight image The prime minister is wrong if she thinks a poorer Britain is the price people want to pay for limiting free movement
 
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spotlight image It is unfortunate that Taiwan has a neighbor across the Taiwan Strait that wants to annex it, but, even more frustrating, Taiwanese also have to put up with people who echo China’s rhetoric and intended to intimidate Taiwanese into obedience.
 
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Read the transcriipt of UN Secretary-General's End-of-Year Press Conference, held in New York on December 16, here...
 
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spotlight image It is wrong to look only at Israel while fighting rages across the Middle East, writes the former Shin Bet chief.
 
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spotlight image In May 2016, defence minister Manohar Parrikar had announced his ambitious plan to hike India's defence exports to two billion dollars by 2018, while adding the government would take into account the concerns while forging strategic partnership in the critical sector.
 
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What will be Pakistan's fate? Acts of commission or omission by itself, in/by neighbours, and superpowers far and near have led the nuclear-armed country at a strategic Asian crossroads to emerge as a serious regional and global concern whi...

 
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Some South African generals, allied with the British forces, sought segregation from the enlisted men, all blacks, after being taken prisoners of war. The surprised German commander told them firmly that they would have to share the same quarte...

 
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An aching sense of love, loss and yearning permeate this work of fiction which, however, reads like a personal narrative set in an intensely disruptive period of Indian history, and adds to the genre of partition literature, writes Ni...

 
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This is a path-breaking work on India's foreign policy since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in May 2014 and surprised everyone by taking virtual charge of the external affairs portfolio. A man who had been denied visa by some count...

 
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