Best of 2Sides 2018


As we bid goodbye to 2018, we bring to you the ten hottest topics of the year.

10. 2018 Formula One championship.

In this article, a synopsis of rules and regulations for 2018 are presented.

9) Thanos - Good or Evil?


Thanos is one of the most dreaded villains in the whole of the Marvel Universe. Unlike other villains in most of the movies or comics, those who kill or destroy with no reasons or intentions and do villainous activities just for the sake of being a villain, Thanos is an exception in that whatever stint done by him is justified by him. He plays the iconic ‘villain’ character in the blockbuster Marvel movie ‘Avengers : Infinity War’. The plot of the film revolves around his methodology to control overpopulation in the universe (not just Earth but in other planets as well). His idea is to kill off half the population at random for controlling the overpopulation. Thanos devises a plan for accomplishing this mission. With six powerful stones known as Infinity Stones, placed on an Infinity Gauntlet, all he need to do is to snap his fingers to cease the existence of half the population of the Universe. The world’s mightiest heroes, the ‘Avengers’, even though now split, fights against Thanos for saving the Universe. The film revolves around Thanos' quest to the infinity stones, and the fight back by the Avengers, and in the end, (SPOILER) the iconic snap which wipes out half the population in the Universe. The next part of the film, currently named Avengers 4, is set to release next year, and is a continuation to this movie..

8. Kerala Floods- Central help sufficient?

The southern state of Kerala has been battered by heavy rains and flooding, the worst in almost a century. Every single district in the state has been affected, with red alerts having been declared in 13 of the 14 districts. 33 dams in the state were also forced to open their shutters leading to large-scale inundation of many major and minor towns, cities and villages. Flash floods and landslips have also led to widespread destruction of property and loss of life, with the official death toll having crossed 350. With conservative estimates of damage at over 20,000 crore rupees, the state government, headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, had appealed to the central government for assistance in rescue operations as well as for rebuilding the state. After an initial allotment of 100 crore rupees, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the state, and after an aerial survey of the calamity, has allowed a further 500 crores in relief besides other central assistance in rebuilding and monetary assistance of 2lakh for kin of those who lost their lives and 50,000 rupees each for the injured. Various states, organisations and individuals have also pitched in various amounts to the Disaster Relief Fund for Kerala. The international community has also provided support, notably, the United Arab Emirates(UAE) declaring around 700 crores as relief for Kerala.

7. Rafale deal- congress 'chowkidar chor' jibe punctured?

The twin-engine Rafale combat jet from Dassault, the French aircraft builder and integrator, is a multi-role fighter designed for air-to-air and air-to-ground warfare. It is nuclear-capable and its on-board Electronic Warfare systems are capable of performing reconnaissance and radar jamming roles. The aircraft is even fitted with an on-board oxygen generation system which suppresses the need for liquid oxygen re-filling or ground support for oxygen production.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been in need of around 200 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircrafts since 2001. The UPA government approved the demand in 2007 and initiated the bidding procedure. Many companies responded and finally, Dassault won the bidding in 2012 to provide 126 Rafales at ₹54,000 crore-18 jets to be provided ready-to-fly and the remnant to be made in India by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) in Bengaluru. However, the governance changed hands in May 2014 before the deal could be finalised, and the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the 126 aircrafts was cancelled.

The new BJP government effectively scrapped the UPA deal and in April 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new deal by which India would buy 36 Rafale fighter jets off-the-shelf from Dassault. On September 23, 2016, India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France for the same, dubbed as "Rafale deal". As per the deal, India will also get spares and weaponry, including the Meteor missile, considered to have a place among the most advanced missiles in the world. Soon after the deal was declared, the Congress accused the ruling BJP of non-transparency, nepotism and kickbacks in the multi-billion dollar deal and called it "one of the biggest failures" of the 'Make-in-India' programme. The BJP government on its part claims that the current deal is better than the deal negotiated by the previous UPA government with reported savings up to ₹14,000 crore. A cost breakdown of the deal in the original bid under UPA and in the bid under NDA, however, is not in the public domain.

The delivery of the Rafale jets is scheduled to begin from September 2019 with 15% of the cost paid in advance and 50% of the total cost to be spent in India by Dassault as per the offset clause, which is standard practice in all defence contracts worth more than ₹300 crore in India. On October 3, 2016, Dassault and Anil Ambani's Reliance Aerospace announced a joint venture called Dassault Reliance Aerospace with plans to set up a facility spread over 100 acres in Nagpur to create a complete supply chain for the Rafale fighter jets in India. The Dassault-Ambani venture would be a key player in the execution of offset obligations, with the remaining being shared by Bharat Electronics, Bharat Dynamics, and other defence contractors.

6. Pluto- planet 9 again?

Pluto is one among the many icy Trans-Neptunian Objects(TNO) in the Kuiper belt. Discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, Pluto was considered a planet for more than 75 years. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the body in charge of naming planets, updated its criterion for which all astronomical bodies constitute a planet. According to the IAU, a planet is "a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit." Following this, Pluto was demoted to the status of a dwarf planet as it failed to meet the third condition. The controversial decision to drop the ninth planet from the solar system was, and is, much debated.

5. Mclaren Senna-  A worthy bearer of the revered name?

 Ayrton Senna is a name of mythic proportions; a bundle of was-es and could have been-s. Widely regarded as the greatest driver to grace a racetrack, he became an unfulfilled talent when his life was abrutply cut short at the age of 33.

As a tribute to the Brazilian virtuoso, Mclaren has crafted a car, thought to be the most brutal track machine they have built outside Formula One.

4. Did Alonso lie?

Fernando Alonso outrageously claims that he had turned down a seat in Red Bull for the 2019 season.

The two-time Formula One champion has ignited a controversy in the F1 community, as the team had unambiguously dismissed any association with the McLaren driver, much before the claim was made. Red Bull Racing have responded to the claim- that the driver was not offered a seat for the next season.

3. Is it curtains for the Holy trinity?

For the past fifty years in the automobile industry, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche , Bugatti, McLaren and the like have made some iconic cars. The cars which make people count themselves lucky for catching even a fleeting glimpse of them. The cars that would be expected as a default answer, when queried about one's favourite supercars or dream cars. With the emergence of the smaller players, have they lost their relevance? Is the hierarchy being overthrown? Let's go through this article and find out.

In this article, the traditional supercars are pitted against their millennial cousins. As all will agree, the microcosm of the traditional performance cars is captured by the so called "Hypercar Holy Trinity".

2. Force India buyout - Father's gift to Lance?

Force India, the Formula One team co-owned by Liquor baron Vijay Mallya and Sahara Group, declares bankruptcy and goes into administration. Lawrence Stroll, Canadian Fashion investor and father of Lance Stroll, swoops in to buy the ailing team.  

As the brows of the fans go up in unison, we take a look at what the concept of "pay driver" is.
Will the buyout propel Lance to greater heights? If so, whom should he thank to?

1. Musk's pedo tweet- the controversy continues.

British diver Vern Unsworth has told reporters he is considering legal action against tech billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk after the later called him a "pedo" on Twitter. Musk was reacting to a CNN interview the caver gave where he lambasted Musk's kid-sized submarine designed by engineers at SpaceX to help the children trapped within the cave at Thailand. Vern had said the submarine "had absolutely no chance of working" and that Musk can "stick his submarine where it hurts"

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