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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

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    • 4.2 • 233 Ratings

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

    What’s behind the calls for an independent probe into conduct of NEET 2024? | In Focus podcast

    What’s behind the calls for an independent probe into conduct of NEET 2024? | In Focus podcast

    The results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2024 have sparked a major controversy. Students and experts have flagged plenty of irregularities. Petitions were filed in the Supreme Court over the award of grace marks to more than 1,563 students by the National Testing Agency (NTA), the body that conducts the exam.
    A concerned Supreme Court observed that the sanctity of the exam had been affected. The NTA informed the Court that the grace marks given to the 1.563 students would be cancelled and they would be given an option to take a retest, which would be held on June 23, with results declared on June 30. However, grace marks were not the only irregularity. For the first time in the history of NEET, 67 candidates topped with the maximum possible score, with eight of them from one centre, whereas there has never been a year where more than 3 students have scored maximum marks. There were also reports of question paper leaks, torn OMR sheets, and question papers in the wrong language being distributed.
    Even if we set aside NEET 2024as an aberration, experts have flagged systemic problems with NEET itself as a mode of selection. For instance, the Justice AK Rajan Committee, set up by The Tamil Nadu government to study the impact of NEET, had concluded in its report that NEET was anti-poor, anti-social justice and favoured students from affluent families, students from urban centres, and students who could afford to spend lakhs on coaching centres.
    So, what are the various problems with NEET 2024? Is an independent probe required? How do we ensure transparency and accountability in the functioning of NTA? Why are states like Tamil Nadu seeking an exemption from NEET?

    Guests: Professor Anita Rampal, former Dean, Faculty of Education, at Delhi University, and
    Dr G R Ravindranath, general secretary of the Doctor’s Association for Social quality, who also a Member of the Justice AK Rajan Committee constituted by the Tamil Nadu government to study the impact of NEET.
    Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu.
    Edited by Sharmada Venkatasubramanian.

    • 44 min
    What’s behind the record number of ‘heat wave’ days in north India this year? | In Focus podcast

    What’s behind the record number of ‘heat wave’ days in north India this year? | In Focus podcast

    North India is enduring its hottest ever summer this year, with the number of heat wave days in May increasing by 125%. As per reports, extreme temperatures – in the range of 48-49 degrees - have caused the deaths of around 77 people across the country, including 33 who were on election duty.
    Not only have average temperatures been high, they have been consistently high across a vast region, and across a high number of days.
    How do we understand this trend? Is this primarily due to climate change? Or is this due to environmental degradation and rampant loss of green cover? What are the public health implications and what is the remedy?

    Guest: Raghu Murtugudde, Professor of Climate Studies at IIT, Bombay.
    Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu.
    Edited by Sharmada Venkatasubramanian.

    • 27 min
    Does India need to be concerned about the avian flu outbreak?

    Does India need to be concerned about the avian flu outbreak?

    Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu is back in the news again – at least four states in India: Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala and Jharkhand have already reported outbreaks among poultry. The Centre has asked all States to be vigilant, and said all necessary measures have to be taken to prevent its spread.
    It’s not just in India that bird flu is in the news though – the United States has been battling this problem as the infection has now spread to cattle herds in several states in that country.
    The World Health Organisation recently said that A (H5N1) strain of avian influenza has become "a global zoonotic animal pandemic" with thousands of animals infected across multiple countries.
    While so far there is no evidence that H5N1 virus is spreading from human to human, the risk remains for people who come into contact with infected animals.
    Two cases were in the headlines recently – one of a child who was diagnosed with H5N1 in Australia where she had just returned after a trip to Kolkata, and another case in Mexico, where a man died of a strain of bird flu called H5N2, which had never before been found in humans.
    What are the ramifications of bird flu in India? Who is vulnerable to the disease and how can its transmission be curtailed? How do we ensure the safety of eggs, chicken and other animal products? And does India need reforms in its poultry and animal food sector to ensure better safety of animal and human health?
    Guest: Dr Subramanian Swaminathan, Director Infectious diseases gleneagles hospitals. Vice president clinical infectious diseases society of India.
    Host: Zubeda Hamid
    Edited by Jude Francis Weston

    • 28 min
    Modi's third term: What can we expect from his government?

    Modi's third term: What can we expect from his government?

    A 73-member Union Council of Ministers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath on the 9th of June. A vast majority of BJP ministers have been retained even as about half a dozen Cabinet slots have been given to allied parties in the NDA government, the first since 2014 where the BJP doesn’t have a majority of its own. 
    So, what kind of government are we looking at? Will the BJP’s divisive plans of one nation, one election, a Uniform Civil Code or taking over mosques in Varanasi and Mathura be jettisoned? Or will the anti-Muslim speeches delivered by Prime Minister Modi during the election campaign be taken as the governing philosophy of the NDA government? Interestingly, not a single Muslim has found space in the 70-plus Council of Ministers. 
    Joining us to delve into these questions is author and journalist Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, an expert in BJP and Modi's politics.
    Guest: Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, political journalist and author. 
    Host: Amit Baruah, Senior Associate Editor, The Hindu. 
    Edited by Jude Francis Weston

    • 31 min
    What is the Biden peace plan for Gaza and will it work?

    What is the Biden peace plan for Gaza and will it work?

    Barely a month after Israel rejected a three-phase peace plan brokered by Egypt and Qatar, President Joe Biden has announced another version of a three-phase peace plan. He has put himself on the line by publicly claiming that it is Israel that has come up with this proposal. But Israeli leaders are yet to own up to this plan, and keep repeating the old line that they will not accept any eventuality that leaves Hamas in power in Gaza.
    But the US has been circulating a draft resolution among the UN Security Council members asking them to support this ceasefire proposal. What prompted President Biden to publicise this plan? What does it propose? And how likely is Israel to accept it?
    Guest: Stanly Johny, The Hindu’s International Affairs Editor.
    Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu. 
    Edited by Jude Francis Weston

    • 29 min
    Mandate 2024: Blip in the BJP dominant party system, or start of a new coalition era?

    Mandate 2024: Blip in the BJP dominant party system, or start of a new coalition era?

    A lot has already been said and written about the results of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. But a lot more remains to be unpacked.
    While the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has secured a majority, its biggest constituent, the BJP itself, has fallen short of the 272 mark by 32 seats. Is there a message in this mandate? Or is the outcome an effect of several factors and concerns?
    Also, what went wrong for the BJP, whose performance has fallen way below its own projected expectations? What went right for the INDIA alliance? And does this verdict mark the beginning of a new coalition era in Indian politics?

    Guest: Rahul Verma, political analyst from the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.
    Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu.
    Edited by Sharmada Venkatasubramanian.

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
233 Ratings

233 Ratings

Sukhoi 30 ,

Well researched and informative

Interviews of people who actually know and have experience pertaining to the topic being covered in an episode.

Kudos to the team!!

fi user ,

Gems of information

While most citizens are getting scraps in the name of news, the Hindu is keeping the pillars strong.

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Change the host

Host lacks the energy and enthusiasm required to hold listeners engaged

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