Firstpost Editor's Picks: Om Birla as LS Speaker, encephalitis in Bihar, recapitalisation of public sector banking; today's must-read stories

Om Birla is Lok Sabha Speaker: Initially frowned upon, Narendra Modi's unconventional political experiments changing course of Indian polity

The Opposition seems to be singularly lacking in the ability to read the political Narendra Modi accurately. The trajectory of his political graph should make it abundantly clear that he does not believe in doing things conventionally. His unpredictable steps are not casual, and are born out of deep thought that aim to change the course of politics. The selection of Om Birla is only one in a series of surprises that Modi has sprung so effortlessly on his political adversaries. Those who fail to read the fine print behind these carefully calibrated moves dismiss them as politically irrelevant ‘antics’.

Encephalitis in Bihar: Lack of proper preventive measures make brain fever recurrent disease, but causative agents continue to elude doctors

Despite efforts of the Government of India, the burden and mortality of AES cases have not decreased, and definitive causative agents are yet to be pinned down. Identification of a specific agent may be important for patient management at least in treatable conditions like bacteria, leptospira, scrub typhus, etc. The exact cause of the illness remains elusive in about half the cases in spite of the best diagnostic workup, making the management and preventive measures difficult to implement. The JE vaccine has been introduced in many districts where JE/AES is common. However, the extent of protection is not as expected.

Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan interview: Paddlers credit UTT, TTFI for rise of table tennis in India; target Olympics glory in Tokyo

Better days are ahead for table tennis in India with the talented crop of Manav Thakkar, Archana Kamath and others waiting in the ranks to take the sport by storm. What has coincided with the rise of the sport in India and its popularity is the advent of Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), a franchise-based league that began in 2017. Apart from bringing eyeballs and glamour to the sport, UTT also brought top players to the Indian shores providing local players with the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best. What followed was not just rub off the green but a rapid rise in quality of Indian paddlers' game.

PSB recapitalisation: Why Narendra Modi govt must look at outright privatisation of state-run banks rather than experimenting with taxpayers' money

No amount of recapitalisation will ever be enough to revive the public banking sector because bad lending practices will continue to rule the roost in the Indian banking universe. The banks will, therefore, be perennially loss-making enterprises and taxpayers will continue to fund them. The long-term effect of this vicious cycle is disastrous. Thus, the government, with its current mandate, is sufficiently equipped to take this tough decision rather than sticking to recapitalisation.

Kiara Advani on first major solo lead in Kabir Singh, breakthrough in Lust Stories, and upcoming projects

Kiara Advani’s career seems to be getting stable. Her debut film Fugly (2014) fizzled out without any noise but she was noticed in the 2016 hit, Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. Then, the Abbas-Mustan-directed Time Machine fell flat but Karan Johar’s Lust Stories on Netflix became a turning point in her career. She also enjoyed the Telugu hit Bharat Ane Nenu with Mahesh Babu. This was followed by a special appearance in Dharma Productions' Kalank, including the chartbuster 'First Class' alongside Varun Dhawan, which definitely gave her more recognition.

Updated Date: Jun 19, 2019 20:09:46 IST