Edit & Opinion

In India’s Opinion | The Dispatch on 30 May 2020

Every Monday to Saturday, The Dispatch brings to you a selection of Editorials from leading newspapers across the country.

Art and artifice

“The singularity seems to be closer than was reckoned, as artificial intelligence takes office as an art curator in Bucharest,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads, “Practitioners in the arts labour under the misapprehension that the human factor of creativity would shield them from the depredations of artificial intelligence. It is assumed that like machines freed us from physical labour, machine intelligence would rid us of intellectual chores. They would put production line workers, bookkeepers, bank tellers and inventory managers out of work, but novelists and artists, and the marketing networks which have developed around their products, would be unharmed,” read the full editorial here.

When crises come

“Country needs to evolve well-rounded protocols for managing disasters, not look at them as only administrative problems,” reads the editorial of the Indian Express. It further reads, ” On Tuesday, Assam’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma reportedly said that “it would be wiser for the people who are stranded outside the state to return by June 10 so that the state could shift its focus to flood management”. He was referring to the dual challenge the state has been confronted with since last week. Assam has a much lower caseload compared to most states. But with migrants returning, the number of COVID positive people in the state has almost doubled in less than a week. At the same time, it experienced its first wave of flash floods last week. Triggered by the cyclone Amphan, the floods have affected five districts. The situation drives home the urgency of framing protocols and creating institutions to deal with multiple emergencies simultaneously,” read the full editorial here.

Mr Mehta’s lecture

“Solicitor General’s hectoring and bullying need to be called out — by the court too. That’s judicial independence,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads, ” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s grandstanding in the country’s apex court on Thursday crossed several lines. First, the line of propriety. Unlike the Attorney General, the SG is not a constitutional but a statutory authority; he appears on behalf of the government in court. Yet, on a day when the country’s highest court finally, if belatedly, questioned the Centre and the states on the plight of stranded migrant workers, it takes a particularly blind and blatant partisanship, apart from a moral obtuseness, to question, instead, the commitment and credentials of those who are pointing to the unfolding tragedy and calling for urgent redress and accountability,” read the full editorial here.

Trump vs Twitter

“The key issue is social media accountability,” reads the editorial of Times of India. It further reads, “It’s been called a Twitter presidency. Donald Trump not only made good use of the social media platform to get elected, in subsequent years he has continued its enthusiastic use for both political and policy ends, which also increased global traffic to Twitter. But the two have had a falling out. After long holding that even his most controversial tweets did not violate its terms of service, the company started adding factcheck notices to them. The president has retaliated by signing an executive order to review how social media platforms operate. These platforms do operate with the kind of “unprecedented liability shield” that merits fresh regulatory scrutiny,” read the full editorial here

Covid vaccine

“India can contribute significantly to global efforts,” reads the editorial of The Tribune. It further reads, “Developing a safe, effective and accessible vaccine for Covid-19 holds the key to containing the pandemic, especially in the long run. Around 120 vaccines are in the works across the world, of which at least 10 are undergoing human trials. In India, which is moving quickly up the list of countries with the most number of coronavirus cases, at least four industry-led initiatives are expected to enter the first phase of clinical trials by the year-end. It is creditable that the country is looking for indigenous solutions rather than banking on other nations to do the needful. Much depends on the synergy between the stakeholders in the public and private sectors, besides the flow of funds for this critical task. Globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is coordinating research efforts and clinical trials. With Health Minister Harsh Vardhan heading the WHO’s 34-member Executive Board, India now has a greater say in the UN body in making policy decisions and bettering the global response to the pandemic,” read the full editorial here.

Covid-19: Decoding the Delhi spike

“The coronavirus cases will continue to increase. Keep testing and prepare,” reads the editorial of Hindustan Times. It further reads, “On Thursday, Delhi recorded 1,024 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). It conducted 7,615 tests. And it had a positivity rate of 13.4%. The capital now has the third highest number of cases in the country, after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. There are three separate issues here. The first is the increase in cases. This is not a reason to get alarmed. It, in fact, reflects the fact that Delhi is testing more people — at 9,689 tests per million, it has the best testing rate among the worst-hit states. As is now globally recognised, testing widely is the only way to track the infected, isolate them, treat those who are severely affected, and ensure that they don’t transmit the infection to others,” read the full editorial here.

Daily bread: Is quality time, then, opposed to quantity time?

“The lockdown has shown that families which eat three meals together may find it quite a strain to stay together,” read the editorial of Indian Express. It further reads, ” The notion of quality time finds different expressions under differing cultural conditions. An old-fashioned way of expressing it was the claim that families that eat together stay together. Earlier, family bonding was associated with praying together, but as the sea of faith retreated with its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, the family dinner by itself became the cementing factor. A century ago, eating together could mean establishing the subtle balance between hierarchy and equality, inculcating discipline and encouraging socialization or, more recently, exchanging ideas and generally having fun. As families grew smaller and everyone grew busier — even children had tutorials, projects and, perhaps, computer training — eating together became a rare event. The television, and later other forms of home entertainment, often drew members of the family away from the table. It could be said that families that watch TV together stay together, but different preferences within the family led members to find other devices with separate programmes to satisfy their tastes,” read the full editorial here.


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