Dear Reader,

The sudden and dramatic move by the Prime Minister to repeal the three controversial farm laws, which have had the farmers up in protests for over a year now, has baffled many. While it has been seen as a clear and marked triumph for the farmers, the people’s movement and for democracy, political pundits see this as a strategic climbdown by the PM with an eye on the forthcoming assembly polls, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Mojo Story discusses the reverberations of the move on democratic movements and the lessons learnt from the episode – how the bulldozing of the bills through Parliament, without adequate consultation, and the effort to demonise the protestors as “anti-nationals”, had taken away from the sheen and credibility of the ostensible bid to reform Indian agriculture.

The Probe goes to Singhu, on Delhi’s border with Haryana, to speak to agitating farmers on what the repeal means to them and their resolve to not step back until their other demands are met, including a legally binding MSP mandate.

A “stunning overreach” from Paytm and its lead bankers led to the collapse of the company’s IPO last week. Touted as India’s biggest initial offering, the country’s premier fintech firm’s stock-listing debut saw a severe depletion of its value, particularly leaving small retail investors in the lurch. As ThePrint analyses, this comes largely on the back of steep overpricing, doubts on the efficacy of its business model and a less than clear road to profitability.

The deleterious effects of soil erosion and climate change have wreaked havoc in Assam’s Majuli, the largest river island in the world. River Brahmaputra has devoured half of the island over the last six decades, severely impacting farming and livelihoods. Down To Earth reports that measures taken by the state by placing geo-bags and “RCC porcupines” have been less than par, and the depletion of the island continues.

Even as a debate rages on the pros and cons of cryptocurrency in India, and the Prime Minister leads a high-level meeting on its regulation, The India Forum brings you a detailed explanation of crypto and seeks answers on whether they are a means of freedom from the central Bank’s controls or a threat to systemic and personal financial stability.

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Modi scraps Farm Laws | Masterstroke, Loss of face or win for India & Democracy

The Prime Minister announced the repeal of the three contentious farm laws that had farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and parts of UP protesting for over the last year, including many who died in the struggle. Will the farmers’ relent given the surfeit of other critical demands and the memory of those who perished. Mojo Story dives deep.

Watch Here


Farm laws: Farmers hint at a larger agricultural movement | Ground Report from Singhu border

The Probe brings a report from the site of farmers’ protest - Singhu border - after the announcement of the repeal of the three farm laws. The farmers say that the protests will continue unless the laws are rescinded in parliament and harden their stand on other demands, including a statutory MSP law.

Watch Here


Paytm CEO’s fixation on delivering record IPO led to first-day flop

ThePrint analyses Paytm’s fiasco on its first initial offering which dipped in significant value since its debut. “Hyperbolic forecasts” based on hubris have led to this piquant situation where the investors – including the small ones, and even an overseas pension fund being affected.

Read Here


‘No govt support’, villagers of Majuli river island build bamboo embankment to prevent erosion

Even as the villagers of the Majuli river island come together to erect bamboo structures on the bank of the river to reduce erosion and prevent the island from being devoured by the Brahmaputra River, Down To Earth reports that the measures have been inadequate and if the state does not take stronger measures, people fear that their island will soon be history.

Read Here


Digital Currency: Fog Beyond the Hype

As a fierce debate rages over the pros and cons of cryptocurrency in the past weeks, The India Forum looks at the nature, costs and benefits of this digital currency. Is it a facilitator for financial freedom from government controls or a mirage that could potentially hurt the financial security of both the economy and individual investors?

Read Here

More from the grantees
The Farmers’ Protests and the Court- A Recap
With the government’s decision to repeal the three farm laws, the SC Observer looks back at the developments over the past year, and analyses the farmer’s concerns, the Supreme Court’s involvement; and implications of the Centre’s roll back.
Once perennial, springs in Ukhrul are now seasonal
Springs in Manipur’s Ukhrul district, once perennial and the source of rivers, lakes and ponds, are now increasingly drying up. Imphal Free Press reports on the ecological devastation.
Is your workplace queer inclusive?
Given how difficult to navigate public spaces already are, India Development Review looks at concrete steps that workplaces can take to ensure that Queer people are not kept out of their policies and actions.
Where are the Missing Girls of our IITs? The Leaky Pipeline
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चित्रकूट: हमार गाँव ओडीएफ है, पता नहीं: ग्रामीण, विश्व शौचालय दिवस
In the wake of World Toilet Day on November 19, Khabar Lahariya visits the villages of Barbar and Mawai Kala in Chitrakoot district of UP that were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) in 2018-19 and finds that the reality is quite different.
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