It’s time to put food policy back on the table

During the farm crisis of the 1980s, an Iowa farmer asked if I knew the difference between a family farmer and a pigeon. When I said no, he delighted in explaining, “A pigeon can still make a deposit on a new John Deere.” That’s funny, except that it really isn’t. Worse, the bitter reality of the tractor joke is still true: The farm crisis has not gone away, though hundreds of thousands of farm families have. The economic devastation in farm country continues unabated as agribusiness profiteers, Wall Street speculators, urban…

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Health Savings Accounts Are Back In The Policy Spotlight

They are just three little words — “health savings accounts” — but they are generating a lot of buzz as Republicans contemplate plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Expanding the use of these accounts, based on a long-held conservative view that consumers should be more responsible for their health care spending, is a part of almost every GOP replacement plan under consideration on Capitol Hill. Here’s the theory behind HSAs: Making consumers bear a bigger upfront share of medical care – while making it easier to save…

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Time for National Policy on Education Please!

“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”-John F. Kennedy May I use this opportunity to thank God as well as to congratulate Ghanaians for the peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections this December. I will also say kudos to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for successfully wrestling power from the National Democratic Party (NDC). The NPP and NDC are the two political parties which have been governing Ghana one after the other for the past twenty-four years. However their different political…

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National Education Policy panel in around 10 days: Javadekar

The government is set to announce a committee headed by an eminent educationist in the next 10 days which would to draft the National Education Policy (NEP), HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said today. The ministry has already held comprehensive discussions with all the stakeholders including the states, educational institutes, parliamentarians and experts, he said, adding even the recommendations of TSR Subramanian committee will be considered as an “input”. “We will have a committee headed by an eminent educationist in the next 10 days… We are discussing some names but we also…

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China ‘seriously concerned’ over Trump’s Taiwan policy

China says it is “seriously concerned” after US President-elect Donald Trump expressed doubts about continuing to abide by the “One China” policy. Under the policy, the US has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province. In a TV interview on Sunday, Mr Trump said he saw no reason why this should continue without key concessions. China urged Mr Trump to understand the sensitivity of the Taiwan issue. Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that the “One China” policy was…

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Election Focus on Food Policy Is Lacking

As the presidential race drags into the home stretch, food law and policy issues—to my dismay—are polling about as well as is Gary Johnson. Why don’t these issues loom larger? I think three key factors are in play. First, polls show most voters don’t care much about food and agricultural issues. A Pew poll taken over the summer found that voters didn’t identify food and agricultural issues as one of their top priorities in this election. Second, donations from the food sector to presidential candidates sometimes lag compared to other…

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HRD ministry may replace TSR Subramanian-led committee for new education policy

NEW DELHI: The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry plans to constitute a new committee for formulating the new education policy and it is likely to be headed by an educationist, a senior ministry official said — an indication that the TSR Subramanian-led committee, constituted to propose and draft the new education policy by former HRD minister Smriti Irani, would be replaced. The senior official indicated that the decision on formation of the new committee will be announced after November 10. The new committee will prepare the final draft of…

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RSS and its affiliates should not influence the education policy

Getting the education system to conform to its ideology has been a goal of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for much of its existence. So it comes as no surprise that with the ministry of human resource development all set to formulate the new education policy, the RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas is trying to influence its content. It wants the medium of instruction from elementary to higher levels in schools to be in the mother tongue and not English, in fact it says English should not be mandatory at…

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‘India First’ At The Core On Government’s Foreign Policy, Says PM Modi

‘India first’ is the core of NDA government’s foreign policy which is aimed at protecting the country’s strategic interests and ensuring robust economic growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today. “India first is the central point (of our foreign policy). It is about protecting India’s strategic interest, it is to ensure that India marches forward in achieving economic prosperity by leaps and bounds and reaches the position which it is destined to reach,” he said. The Prime Minister was making a Town Hall-style address to mark the second anniversary of…

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