A -Temporary- New Era

The thing on everyone’s mind right now, is the pandemic going on and the unprecedented times we all have been abruptly pushed into. The state of lockdown has been taking a toll on everyone, businesses and industries are no exceptions to that, as a result people have been trying to cope in their own way, maybe by picking up an old hobby or even trying out something entirely new. When it comes to industries, they have taken the biggest hit of them all, but unlike them the education system has said that the show must go on. And with that they opted into the new era of education, online classes.

The Internet has been a prevalent part of our lives for a while now, but the state of emergency gave it a push, a push onto the mainstream. This abrupt transition to online has not been the most fluid or easy, as a lot of people were simply not prepared, such as the infrastructure to support everything going online. There are plenty of bottlenecks in online classes, even though they are more or less efficient in theoretical subjects, when it comes to practical subjects the knowledge taught through online classes becomes extremely limited. At the end of the day when the world grasps at any hope which it can, online classes are proven to be an effective way to learn as well as keep yourself busy and connected to the outside world.Due the lockdown being longer than anyone had expected with no end in sight, like their kids, plenty of working adults continued their nine to five within the comforts of their own homes via internet . Post COVID world, in due time will be a new world, though it is unclear as of now if any of the changes will stick long term or not, the possibility of an increase in work from home jobs is very real, however online classes which are very innovative indeed cannot be replaced normal classes, as theoretical education is not the only thing being taught at schools and colleges, social skills, public speaking, as well as other practical skills require practice which cannot be provided within online classes. A lot of colleges have increased their focus on practical learning instead of straight book learning as it is proven to be way more effect and efficient in order to learn something new. In the end all we can do is speculate, no one really knows what the future holds, uncertainty rules our lives, only time will tell how the world will change after COVID.

The Unknown motives of Donald Trump

The underlying meaning behind Trump’s visit to India

Donald Trump’s visit to India at face value seems something ordinary relation-building but beneath the surface, there have been tensions especially regarding trade between the two. The US-China trade war is not the only trade war going on, India also dabbled in trade sanctions against the US. One of the very first actions trump took when coming into office was to charge 100% tariffs on Harley- Davidson motorcycles, along with this he also raised the import duty on Indian steel and aluminum products among many more. Trump recently stripped India of privileges enjoyed by some developing nations.

Photo: AFP

India did not take these retaliations quietly, India has retaliated over the last few years by raising import duties on several American products as well, and there have been attempts at de-escalation of trade sanctions but to no avail. Seeing Trump visit India might signal a new wave for free-flowing trade or trade which might be in favor of India. Easing of the tensions in the trade is beneficial to both countries.

Trump’s visit might not have been solely for trade deals, since the increasing tensions between China and America on all fronts recently the extensively raging trade war between them, the dispute has seen both the countries impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods. Trump has been long accusing China of unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft. Whereas China perceives that America is trying to curb its influence and rise as a global economic power.

With Chinese markets and manufacturing being at risk Trump looks south of China, to India has India also has a huge and cheap labor force that can produce cheap goods for America. Not only that India has the second-largest English speaking population right after America itself making trade and manufacture much easier to conduct.

Trump can be seen trying to improve bonds with India when he dodges questions which brings doubt to India, for example when he was asked about his position on CAA and NRC, Donald Trump said, “I don’t want to say anything on that. It is up to India. I hope it will take the right decision for its people.”

China has started an enormous project which spans three continents and touches over 60 countries, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will cost over a trillion dollars. The plan is to make it easier for the world to trade with China, by funding roads, railways, pipelines, and other infrastructure projects in Asia and Africa. China is loaning trillions of dollars to any country that’s willing to participate and it’s been a big hit with the less democratic countries in the region. This makes the BRI a risky plan as well. But China is pushing forward because its goals are not strictly economic, they’re also geopolitical.

Trump’s visit to India definitely had ulterior motives to it mainly trying to maintain its position has a superpower as well as not being left behind when China comes at it full force, Trump is trying to improve America’s relations as America has much to gain from being friendly with India, especially when a treat named China is right around the corner.

Delhi Elections: The Future of Delhi

The 2020 Delhi state elections has everyone’s eyes on it after the turmoil in the state after the CAA and NRC decisions made by BJP government, AAP has become one of the newer as well as major opposition party against BJP government after the decline of Congress party.

Elections to Delhi’s legislative assembly are just around the corner with voting scheduled to take place on February 8th. The results will be announced on February 11th. The highly charged elections are a three-way contest between the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC). The assembly has 70 seats in total.

BJP : Divider in chief

“These elections are going to be an election of the country”, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a rally, days before Delhi votes on February 8.
Judging by the campaigners fielded by his party, it’s obvious that this election is of great importance to the BJP. On February 4, when Modi reached the grounds of a DDA park in Dwarka, his words were telling: “Friends, Delhi elections are the first elections of the year”, he said to a crowd chanting “Modiji ko Jai Shri Ram, Jai Shri Ram”.
Modi continued, “These elections are going to be an election of the country…and the country’s progress will depend on today’s decision that you make…The capital will decide the roadmap for the next decade.”

Narendra Modi
BJP Rally

There has been growing concern towards Delhi elections after the extensive protests as it was the epicenter of the same. There have been a few violent attacks on peaceful protestors by armed goons. The police force has been dubbed as puppets out to stifle dissent, making the atmosphere even tenser.
One of the foremost purveyors of this discourse, MP Parvesh Singh Verma of the BJP, was banned by the Election Commission for 96 hours for saying that protestors of Shaheen Bagh will go into people’s homes and rape their daughters and mothers. While he was back on the stage after his prohibition ended — he was banned again from campaigning a few days later after he called Kejriwal a “terrorist”.
Raking up national issues like terrorism and Pakistan during the election campaign of a union territory (or a state like Maharashtra) has become a tried and tested method for BJP, even though it has not given them spectacular results. During the general elections, most BJP supporters said they feel the country is in danger and a leader like Modi is the armor the nation needs.
But BJP has a tough fight cut out for it. While national issues are always hot topics of discussion among voters, what also concerns the people of Delhi is its law and order, safety, healthcare, schools, water, electricity, jobs, and infrastructure. And the biggest competition here is the AAP, which is fighting to retain the 67 seats it won in 2015.

Up and coming AAP

AAP’s campaign has mostly been based on self-promotion and countering the Opposition’s claims, especially the allegation that AAP failed to keep its promises, and that the CM does not do his job. Twitter especially has been the fulcrum of mudslinging, but Modi in his campaign speech also made such remarks.

AAP Rallly

AAP released its report card in December last year, telling voters about its achievements in education, like constructing 20,000 classrooms; in health, with the opening of 400 Mohalla Clinics; on providing free 20,000-litre water, electricity subsidy, CCTV cameras and more.
After this, a 10-point personal guarantee card was released in early January. This includes free public transport for women and students, basic facilities for unauthorized colonies, good education for students until graduation, affordable and quality healthcare, better security for women, 24-hour electricity supply and a garbage-free Capital.
One issue that has received much attention is th

e healthcare system in Delhi, with a defiant Kejriwal not allowing the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The AAP government maintains that with free healthcare in its government hospitals, it does not need the Centre’s scheme.

AAP, which has been kindly judged for its education reforms, in its manifesto promises to provide a “world-class education facility” for every child. Besides that, it promises to provide a public transportation system with over 11,000 buses, and extending its free bus rides for women to include students as well.

Delhi elections would have been game-changing as AAP has forced BJP and Congress to fight elections not the basis of religion, but Education, Health Care, Electricity, etc. Exit votes suggest AAP would come back into power, we shall wait for the results on 11th February 2020.

The “Doomsday Clock”; 100 seconds to Armageddon

The Doomsday Clock is a symbol that represents the doom of mankind and how close we are to our demise. The clock is a reminder for the unchecked technological and scientific advancements, The clock represents man-made destruction of humankind. The clock is maintained by Atomic Scientist.

On 23 January 2020 after 75 years after the first issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists the hand of the clock was moved 20 seconds closer to midnight, the “END” closest it has ever been, past social issues or nuclear threats have not brought it this close to midnight, even the forever expectation of nuclear war in the era of Cold War or the threats made by North Korea still did not pose such threat as we face today.

 But now the team behind the clock says the threat is even more severe.

“Faced with this daunting threat landscape and a new willingness of political leaders to reject the negotiations and institutions that can protect civilization over the long term, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board today moves the Doomsday Clock 20 seconds closer to midnight—closer to apocalypse than ever.”

“It is 100 seconds to Midnight”

Asia was where the eyes were this time around, with the increasing tensions between five out of nine countries that have nuclear capabilities, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, and North Korea. All were at the verge of full-on war by one conflict, the world waits and sees which conflict would that be; The South China Sea as China expands its influence as well and economical prowess upon the area as well as the ongoing internal conflicts with Taiwan as well as Hong Kong.

India and Pakistan have their tensions rising as the issue of Kashmir has brought on the center plate for each of them, relations between the two countries have forever been sour since they got their independence, religious discrimination runs rampant and one of the crucial reason for separation. New Laws like CAA and NRC also bring forth internal conflict in India.

Prospects of nuclear war higher than it has ever been before.

North Korea and the Korean peninsula has been unstable since the end of World War 2 and it might be the reason for the Third one as well, the Korean peninsula was divided by the two superpowers after World War 2, i.e. USA and USSR with each controlling South Korea and North Korea respectively.

Robert Rosner, chair of the Bulletin’s science and security board, stated that the world right now is “profoundly unstable.” He added that threats are compounded by an increase in “cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns,” which is crippling “the public’s ability to sort out what’s true and what’s patently false.”

Climate change and the constant ignorance of the world leaders towards it is also an alarming sign which should not be taken lightly, the signs of climate change are here, it is undeniable. Extreme climate disasters are happening all across the world from the fires that burned Australia to the floods which drowned Africa.

Internet is now widespread and can be accessed with one click but with the increasingly pressing issue of disinformation and manipulation of the masses which undermines domestic and international efforts to promote peace and prosper the planet.

Influential leaders instead of working together and aiming for world peace and protecting the environment are instead taking actions towards narrow short term personal interest while at the same time undermining scientific as well as global progress.

Doomsday clock is an alarm for the world to wake up, and being 100 seconds away from “Midnight” we don’t have time to sit idle, otherwise, we would have nothing left.