Critique

Board exams 2021 cancelled — Are we better without them?

In the course for the seniors, my sessions would usually get over much ahead of the scheduled closure. There would be limited questions raised by the attendees and there would be repeated requests for similar “problems” for practice. However, with the juniors, the sessions rarely ended on time — the questions just wouldn’t stop. Almost all the sessions would end with me saying, "I am not sure. Let me figure it out and we will discuss it in the next session." The participants were willing to spend a day or two just trying to crack one mathematical challenge I would throw at them. They enjoyed and preferred variety over the practice of the same type of problems.

Quote — Unquote

"It may be useful to talk about location, timing and intensity of infection instead of waves and their number...If we take strong measures, the third wave may not happen in all the places or indeed anywhere at all. It depends much on how effectively the guidance is implemented at the local level, in states, in districts and cities."

- K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, on an inevitable third wave

Critique

Wide Angle: Loud Optics, Tepid Delivery

For Narendra Modi, the second wave has seen the collapse of both his pillars. Delivery has been poor, delayed and steeped in denialism. Image management has not fared any better. The situation has spiralled out of control, and with it, the narrative too.

Critique

India's US-Russia Quagmire Part II

With Russia accounting for 56 per cent of India’s arms purchases, the US is cautious about India’s widening relationship with Russia. A most recent example of this is India’s purchase of the S-400 missile systems from Russia, triggering a threat of sanctions from the US.

Space watch

NASA’s Ingenuity, the $85 million Mars Helicopter, took off from the surface of Mars on 19 April, 2021 at 3:34 am EDT, making it the first flight of a powered, controlled aircraft on another planet. The flight, lasting for about 40 seconds, was the first of five planned with the aim of demonstrating its flight technology.

Tech watch

On March 29, Visa Inc. announced that it will now facilitate payments in cryptocurrency, becoming the first major card network in the world to do so. USDC, the cryptocurrency it will use, is a 'stablecoin'. That is, each USDC is backed by $1 held in the country's reserve, making it significantly more stable than other cryptos.