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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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Review
 
 
 
 
Addressing entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, and academics December 7 at the Carnegie India Global Technology Summit in Bengaluru, India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar underscored the need to harness the power of technological change for faster economic development.
 
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The strangest of the several barbs hurled hurdled at Pakistan during and after the recently concluded Heart of Asia conference at Amritsar, India,  was that Pakistan is trying to change perception about the Taliban writes Monish Gulati  
 
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Actually, Modi is on to a long-term experiment in India. He and the government aim to re-engineer human souls and minds as much as socio-economic realities. writes Sudip Bhattacharyya for South Asia Monitor.
 
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This has been a mind-boggling year for Europe. First Britain’s shock European Union referendum result and the ensuing backlash against immigrants seemed to signal the rise of the right in Europe. The certainty that the right was on a steady march to power seemed confirmed by the U.S. election result and was seized upon by right-w
 
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Diplomacy can be quirky when not decidedly cold. Donald Trump has caused a flutter in the international roost weeks before his inaugural as the President of the United States of America. He himself has been left wondering how the  "US sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment, but I should not accept a congratula
 
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The Heart Of Asia conference in Amritsar called for immediate elimination of terrorism to help the war-ravaged country in its political and economic transition. Access the full text here...
 
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China on Monday said that it was opposed to any breach of the Iran nuclear deal, opening up another possible avenue of friction with the United States once President-elect Donald Trump enters the White House.  
 
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It is accepted conventional wisdom the world over, ever since well-known military theorist, Carl Von Clausewitz, first articulated the aphorism in the late 18th century that “war is a continuation of politics by other means”.  
 
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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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The pattern of Chinese actions on the global stage demonstrates that it lives by the credo of might is right, a potent tool in its armoury for the pursuit of aggressive designs, writes Sudip Talukdar for South Asia Monitor....

 
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The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and others of their ilk not only destabilise Pakistan and make it one of the world's most dangerous places but also threaten neighbouring Afghanistan and India -- and even far...

 
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