A podcast from The Hindu that delves deep into current developments with subject experts, and brings in context, history, perspective and analysis.
What are the implications of the Supreme Court’s PMLA judgement?
On July 27, the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on a batch of around 200 petitions that had challenged various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The judgment, titled Vijay Madanlal Choudhury & Ors vs Union of India & Ors, has led to grave concerns about further erosion of constitutional protections for personal and civil liberties.
The Opposition has said that it will move a review petition on the verdict and that all the amendments made to the Act in 2010 through the money Bill route should be nullified. What are the problematic provisions of the PMLA? What has been the apex court’s reasoning in upholding those provisions? How will it impact constitutional safeguards for liberty going forward?
Decoding the strategic implications of Pelosi’s visit for the U.S., China and Taiwan | In Focus podcast
Taiwan has for long been a flashpoint in US-China relations. The visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi once again ratcheted up tensions between the two big powers.
Despite China making its displeasure clear in the strongest terms – or perhaps because of it – Pelosi went ahead with her visit. China condemned her visit as “extremely dangerous”. It has also launched aggressive military drills that encroach on Taiwan’s territorial waters. The Chinese Communist Party has made no secret of its intention to integrate Taiwan with the People’s Republic of China. The U.S., while formally claiming to respect the ‘One China’ policy, has indicated it may respond with force if China undertook any military action against Taiwan. But with China aspiring to achieve – if not surpass – military parity with the US, how long can the current equilibrium hold? Has Pelosi’s visit raised the stakes in Taiwan for both China and the U.S.? What are the likely long-term consequences of China’s unprecedented military drills that effectively encircled Taiwan?
Guest: Ananth Krishnan, The Hindu’s China correspondent.
Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu
Edited by Reenu Cyriac
The importance of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s assassination | In Focus podcast
The targeted killing of al-Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri, by an American missile in Kabul on July 31 has raised many questions about the possible impact of this assassination. It comes nearly 11 years after the U.S. took out al-Zawahiri’s boss, Osama bin Laden, in a ground operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
A point of interest in both killings is that bin Laden and al-Zawahiri were hiding in plain sight in cities – one Pakistani and the other Afghan.
Will this lead to a weakened al-Qaeda, unable to engage in terrorist actions abroad? Will the killing give a boost to al-Qaeda offshoots like the Islamic State? Was the Taliban giving shelter to al-Zawahiri in Kabul or did they tip the Americans off about his presence? Will the Taliban now get further isolated?
Guest: R. Kumar, who retired as Special Secretary from India’s external intelligence agency, the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), and spent long years working on counter-terrorism and Pakistan-related issues.
Host: Amit Baruah, Senior Associate Editor, The Hindu.
Edited by Ranjani Srinivasan
Inside the 5G spectrum auction
The 5G spectrum auctions ended on Monday, Aug 1 and have helped the government garner Rs. 1.5 lakh crore compared with the reserve price of Rs. 4.3 lakh crore. While the government says the bid value has exceeded expectation, could it have earned more if the reserve prices had been more benign? Because reserve prices were high for some bands and hence ignored by telecom operators, would the quality of service to subscribers be impacted?
Let’s hear what Dr. V. Sridhar has to say about the use and sale of spectrum as a national resource.
Dr Sridhar is Professor, Centre for IT and Public Policy at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore. He is also the author of 'Data Centric Living: Algorithms, Digitization and Regulations’ that was published recently.
Will Pakistan face early parliamentary elections as its crises continue?
Too much seems to be happening in Pakistan on the political, judicial and army fronts. After the comprehensive victory of Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI, in the recent byelections to the Punjab Assembly, an intervention by the country’s Supreme Court allowed PTI’s alliance partner, Pervaiz Elahi, to take oath as Chief Minister of Punjab on July 27.
A damning report in London’s Financial Times newspaper accused former Prime Minister Imran Khan of accepting funds for his party from a UK-based charity, something prohibited under Pakistani law.
Very public differences have surfaced over the past few days among top judges of Pakistan’s Supreme Court over the appointment of judges to the apex court. Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa took the unusual step of speaking to an American State Department official seeking IMF funds for Pakistan, setting off a fresh round of criticism against the very civilian role of the Army in Pakistan.
Will Shehbaz Sharif be able to hang on as Prime Minister till the next elections in 2023? Or will elections have to be advanced? Is it advantage Imran Khan? Who will be the new Army chief when Bajwa finally retires in November this year?
Guest: Rana Banerji, retired Special Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, and former IAS officer.
Host: Amit Baruah, Senior Associate Editor, The Hindu.
Why India's top sports federations are in trouble
India’s top sports bodies are in trouble. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is facing suspension by the International Olympic Committee if it doesn’t hold elections very soon. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) could get banned by FIFA if it doesn’t get its governance-related issues sorted. Hockey India, too, is in trouble – the International Hockey Federation has threatened to strip India of its hosting rights for the 2023 hockey World Cup.
All this comes close on the heels of match-fixing allegations against the Table Tennis Federation of India. What is going on with India’s sports bodies? What happens to Indian athletes if these suspensions come to pass? Where does the buck stop when it comes to holding our sports administrators accountable?
The podcast has not made the issues a entertaining script .They were authentic and on point along with helping out to dig views of different dignities on worthy topics .
Improve your acoustics
Good topics and discussion but the podcast audio has echos. The guest always has very bad audio
Podcast with left agenda
I heard one podcast about chinas lockdowns but anchor is adamant on getting back to nyt article about how india covid death are way higher like in millions which i don't believe its true.