169 episodes

A podcast from The Hindu that delves deep into current developments with subject experts, and brings in context, history, perspective and analysis.

In Focus by The Hindu The Hindu

    • News Commentary

A podcast from The Hindu that delves deep into current developments with subject experts, and brings in context, history, perspective and analysis.

    Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on India joining the Afghan peace process | The Hindu In Focus podcast

    Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on India joining the Afghan peace process | The Hindu In Focus podcast

    India should engage with the Taliban and fully support the peace process, says former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. In an interview to The Hindu, Mr. Karzai, who remains involved in the process, speaks of his hopes from the Intra-Afghan negotiations that began in Doha this month, and the future of Afghanistan as the United States plans to pull out troops, in this interview with The Hindu's Diplomatic Affairs Editor, Suhasini Haidar.

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    Write to us with comments and feedback at socmed4@thehindu.co.in

    • 21 min
    FCRA Amendment Bill — why are NGOs upset? | The Hindu In Focus podcast

    FCRA Amendment Bill — why are NGOs upset? | The Hindu In Focus podcast

    On September 20, the government introduced the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 in the Lok Sabha, and it was passed in the Lower House on September 21. The Bill amends the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, a.k.a. FCRA. The FCRA regulates the acceptance and utilisation of foreign funds by individuals, associations and companies. Civil Society organisations and NGOs are unhappy with the changes proposed in this new Bill. Some of the terms they have used to describe it include “draconian” and “cumbersome”.

    What exactly are the changes proposed, and why are civil society organisations concerned? To answer these questions, we have with us Venkatesh Nayak, a development sector veteran who has worked on issues of social justice and public audit mechanisms, and is currently with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), New Delhi. His views and observations are personal.

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    Write to us with comments and feedback at socmed4@thehindu.co.in

    • 30 min
    Understanding the discovery of phosphine gas on Venus | The Hindu In Focus podcast

    Understanding the discovery of phosphine gas on Venus | The Hindu In Focus podcast

    In a massive scientific discovery, a team of international scientists has detected traces of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus. On Earth, phosphine is produced by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments. Crucially, it is considered as a marker for life. The researchers said that their research provided evidence “for anomalous & unexplained chemistry" on Venus. The possibilities for what this means for science, for the long search for life outside earth, are endless.

    Guest: Prajval Shastri, astrophysicist, Indian Institute of Astrophysics.

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    • 21 min
    Will the India-China joint statement on de-escalation make any difference on the ground? | The Hindu In Focus podcast

    Will the India-China joint statement on de-escalation make any difference on the ground? | The Hindu In Focus podcast

    Our episode today looks at the joint statement issued by the Foriegn Ministers of India and China after a two-and-a-half-hour-long meeting on September 10 in Moscow that went into the night, and which now contains a five-point course of action to de-escalate the four-month-long stand-off at the Line of Actual Control. In previous episodes, we have discussed the stand-off in detail at various junctures and why, for months, despite meetings at various levels, the de-escalation process was really making very little headway. What’s more, there only seemed to be more flare-ups.

    Will this new five-point course of action make any difference at all? Where do things stand now and are they headed?

    Guest: Ananth Krishnan, former Beijing Correspondent; Suhasini Haidar, Diplomatic Affairs Editor

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    Write to us with comments and feedback at socmed4@thehindu.co.in

    • 25 min
    Could border tensions with China push India toward accepting a militarisation of the Quad alliance? | The Hindu In Focus podcast

    Could border tensions with China push India toward accepting a militarisation of the Quad alliance? | The Hindu In Focus podcast

    In today’s episode we focus on strategic affairs and, in particular, on the quad alliance between India, the United States, Japan and Australia. The occasion for doing so is statements made by India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday, September 3, where he said that the ‘Quad’ alliance among India, U.S., Japan, and Australia could be a mechanism to ensure ‘Freedom of Navigation’ in the Indian Ocean and surrounding regions. He said this would ensure that there is “no fear of any other nation singularly trying to dominate the oceans”.

    These are, of course, not-so-subtle references to China. And General Rawat’s statement introduces the idea of introducing a militaristic aspect to the ‘Quad’. And that’s where things get interesting, because although the Quad forum goes back as far as 2006, the alliance has refrained from exhibiting a military purpose, largely because China has always viewed the alliance with suspicion. Indian thus far has also always been wary of joining any kind of military alliance that would be choosing sides between any of the world’s superpowers. On the other hand, though, could the unprecedented situation playing out in the LAC with China force a rethink?

    Guests: Suhasini Haidar, Diplomatic Affairs Editor; Dinakar Peri, Defence Correspondent, The Hindu.

    Host: Jayant Sriram

    Find the In Focus podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. Search for In Focus by The Hindu.

    Write to us with comments and feedback at socmed4@thehindu.co.in

    • 28 min
    Understanding the U.S. election through an Indian lens

    Understanding the U.S. election through an Indian lens

    With less than two months to go before the U.S. presidential election not only Americans but people across the world are asking what policy paradigm the winner would bring to the White House.

    Whether in terms of economic policy, including trade and investment, or immigration, geopolitics, and climate change, there could be major differences between the possible presidencies of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

    We explain these differences and why they matter to India, and the relevant policy and political attributes of the Republican and Democratic agendas.

    Guest: Dhruva Jaishankar, U.S. Director of the Observer Research Foundation

    Host: Narayan Lakshman, Associate Editor, The Hindu

    • 26 min

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