Weighing the costs: On COVID-19 vaccine

With over 6 million cases and the death toll from COVID-19 approaching 100,000, India is entering the first winter of the pandemic. Viral infections, particularly of the influenza variety, are also common at this time of the year and there may be new unknowns in the risks that lie ahead. However, another potential milestone approaches: the probable availability of a vaccine. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, on multiple occasions has said that an India-made vaccine was likely to be available in “early 2021”. The government already has an expert committee on vaccine distribution. Their job is to decide who gets the vaccine first, how many will be eligible for the early doses, what the costs would be, and whether there should be a cost at all for the majority of Indians, who anyway were the hardest hit by the pandemic in the summer. Storage and supply of vaccines are also problems as daunting as making one and pose complex challenges in India. The government is yet to make its policy

Minsk on the brink: On Belarus political crisis

With a strongman trying to cling on to power despite mounting challenges and a defiant opposition determined to continue protests despite a police crackdown, the political crisis in Belarus appears to have entered into a dangerous stalemate. Faced with the toughest political crisis of his career, President Alexander Lukashenko, often called “the last dictator of Europe”, shows no sign of compromise for a peaceful settlement of the crisis and a smooth transition of power. Earlier this month, he was secretly sworn in, while his security police continued to crack down on the opposition. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the main opposition leader and Mr. Lukashenko’s challenger in the August 9 election, is in a self-imposed exile in neighbouring Lithuania. Maria Kolesnikova, another key opposition figure, is in detention. Thousands of other protesters have been detained. But despite the regime’s coercive tactics, the protests on the street continued to swell. The crisis began after the country’s
Lead

A wage code that is a hasty composition

K. Chandru
Lead

A demarcation in the interest of public order

Mukul Sanwal
 
Comment

Going beyond the ‘Me Too’ movement

Preeti Pratishruti Dash

The devil is in the detail

A.S. Panneerselvan

When food arguments escalate into bitter war

Ruchir Joshi
 
Open Page

To all the ‘Thangavelus’ out there

S.G. Vombatkere
 
Open Page

The price of extra kilos

Sarangapani Bashyam
 
Open Page

Don’t break the ground rules

Sharada Natarajan