Best of BS Opinion: Rollback time, shrine for secularism, and more

Fervid hopes invested in the quick rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine have been boosted now that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has provided Pune-based Serum Institute $150 million “at-risk funds” to manufacture the vaccine being developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, Astra-Zeneca and Novavax, a front-runner in the global Covid-19 vaccine race. That tops up the $200 million of capital that Adar Poonawalla is sinking into this venture. The vaccine is expected to inject recovery into a stalled global economy. Doubts linger about India, though, where a steadily decelerating pre-Covid-19 economy compounded the crisis of an ill-considered and poorly planned lockdown. So far, the government’s responses have not inspired confidence and the steady return to Licence Raj-type controls is unlikely to help in a post-Covid-19 world either, as T N Ninan points out in his weekly column, which can be read here. Other views focus on the implications of the Indian Matchmaking. Kanika Datta sums up the views.

Indian secularism didn’t die with the Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan. It is enshrined in the basic structure of our Constitution and is still worth fighting for and preserving, says Shekhar Gupta. Read it here

After two disastrous appointments for the top job in India’s most complex administrative arrangement, the Union government may have got it right at last by appointing Manoj Sinha Jammu and Kashmir’s lieutenant governor (LG), Aditi Phadnis. A profile of the former minister who cut his political teeth in the rough and tumble of eastern UP’s politics can be read here

Indian Matchmaking is pivotal for not putting the Indian diaspora on a pedestal but it cannot be called seminal because it perpetuates societal biases, stokes typecasts and is superficial, says Sandeep Goyal. Read his review here


“The direct effect of the pandemic-driven [lockdown] will be negligible. In contrast, with an economic recovery tilted towards green stimulus and reductions in fossil fuel investments, it is possible to avoid future warming of 0.3C by 2050.”

Study published in Nature Climate Change

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