21 October 2014
The vision for our villages

6,433 model villages by 2024? A summary of the key features of the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, recently launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the objective of facilitating development in villages

Public Funds Government

When expecting mothers fight graft to secure prenatal care

In Jahangirpur Gram Panchayat of Bihar’s Kishanganj district, Rs 30 lakh meant for pregnant Muslim women had already been misappropriated, when a community-driven project launched by Oxfam decided to tackle the corruption head on. Ajitha Menon reports.

Public Funds Women's Health Women

Will the government heed calls to save rural jobs?

The Prime Minister has received at least two letters in the past week from eminent economists, activists and citizen groups, raising their voices against dilution of the Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which seems imminent from recent announcements by the government.

Livelihood Government Laws

An old policy Modi must hold on to

The government’s clarification on the Indo-US joint statement on Intellectual Property Rights issued during Modi’s visit to the United States highlights the imperative of maintaining India’s original stance on patent laws and refusal to yield to US demands made in its Special 301 Report. Shambhu Ghatak has more.

Trade Government Health Opinions Laws

What will it take to make our cities really smart?

The thrust on ‘smart cities’ by PM Narendra Modi has been impossible to miss since he took over the reins. Sujaya Rathi and Shrimoyee Bhattacharya look at critical considerations to be made at the pilot stage of the evolutionary journey towards such urban centres.

Urban Cities Economy Government

Building the lives of those who build our houses

Sordid living conditions, poor educational and medical facilities, and lack of childcare inevitably characterise the lives of construction workers in the country. Are they ever going to be able to reap the benefits of the growth they facilitate? Kathyayini Chamaraj examines.

Labour Issues Livelihood Opinions Work+Life Human Rights

Preparing the framework for a new Ganga vision

A Consortium of 7 IITs is working on a plan that will form the basis for the long-term vision for the government’s much-talked about Ganga rejuvenation programme. Shripad Dharmadhikary reviews an initial summary released by the Consortium as the framework within which the final plan will be drawn up.

Water Environment Government

A trend highlighted in the Jadavpur University moment

An alleged incident of molestation within campus premises at one of Calcutta’s most prestigious universities and the events following it have led to huge upheaval and student protests. But does the entire episode also signify a continuation of a disturbing trend? Shoma A Chatterji reports.


Justice Gender Violence Society Human Rights

Has the Modi government kept its promises on inflation?

S Venkatraman presents an interesting set of charts to capture the movement of the consumer price index and finds that the answer to this question may not be an easy one to arrive at.

Consumers Economy

What it means to be old and alone in the city

A retired diplomat in Bhubaneswar wants more old age homes in India, but why? Rakhi Ghosh narrates the stories of a few elderly people in the city, as she tries to fathom their needs and expectations.

Society Women

The laws we forgot we had

A September report from the Law Commission of India identified 72 antiquated laws that require immediate repeal, among a total of 261 that must be reviewed. Tanvi Bhatikar looks at a few of these and the rationale behind the Commission’s recommendation.

Government Laws

Why the market fails to lure Mali Parbat’s militant environmentalists

The efforts of metals major Hindalco to mine bauxite from Mali Parbat in Odisha has run up against stiff resistance from local Kondh adivasis, who wouldn’t shy away from militancy to protect their ecology, if needed. Javed Iqbal explores why they reject ‘industrial development’.

Mining Displacement Land Adivasis Human Rights

Petitioning God!

In a temple in Almora, thousands of devotees come every year with petitions on, believe it or not, judicial stamped paper, complete with details of their woes, and offer it to Golu Devta with a hope that justice will dawn, even if the courts have failed. Ramesh Menon reports.


Can Mumbai become a global city?

A recent consultation between global and local urbanisation experts and bureaucrats focussed on securing Mumbai’s position in the map of ‘Globally Fluent Cities,’ as envisaged by an international initiative. Darryl D’Monte draws attention to a few critical issues that should be included in such deliberation.

Cities Government

A season of change

It has not been easy to keep track of the frequent announcements of modifications in environmental law and regulation since the new government assumed power at the Centre. Kanchi Kohli presents a round-up of these proposed and implemented amendments.

Energy Forests Environment Government Environmental Law and Regulation

The CAG memoirs: A committed crusader’s log

Reading former CAG Vinod Rai’s autobiography Not Just an Accountant, Himanshu Upadhyaya feels that it is less about the individual and more about a constitutionally-mandated authority’s sustained efforts to uphold transparency in the face of concerted attempts by the powerful to thwart the same.

Public Funds Government Reviews Books

No liquor, no drinking?

The recent decision of the Kerala government to phase out sale of liquor and become a dry state has renewed the debate on prohibition as an effective deterrent. Pushpa Achanta examines trends in alcoholism and de-addiction to show why it may be all for nothing.

Government Health Society

Sunburn warning for India’s day in the sun

India’s foreign policy moves under Narendra Modi have so far been aggressive, but sustaining the heat on the external front, sans resolution of critical internal and regional positions, comes with its own risks, writes  Firdaus Ahmed.

Government Firdaus Ahmed OP-ED

Good food from dry land

Across 20 villages of Bankura and Birbhum districts in West Bengal, 800 families are learning to farm dry land anew in a sustainable manner, resulting in increased income, better health and nutritional outcomes, and food security. Ajitha Menon reports from Bankura.

Food Security Organic Agriculture Women's Health

In search of Binodini and her peers
The value system of the ruling elite is a threat to India: Xerxes Desai
Chhattisgarh’s food ATMs: Portable benefits minus biometrics
PMO, NGOs appeal for funds for flood-hit J&K
Do we really need Gujarat’s Sabarmati model?
It ain’t so difficult to green your home!
An uncertain future for our fauna
Surrogacy: The real picture
Will selective plans for the Ganga work?
Why an abused employee feels let down by the judiciary
Urbanisation challenge: What will drive the funds?
Who will broaden their horizons?
There are more things in heaven and earth than stock markets!
Why a depoliticised police force is a distant dream
What good is an auditor without information?
Should India tone down its moralistic stance in Paris climate talks?
Building a library a day
Tracking fears, hopes and facts in a new state
Remembering Ananthamurthy, the critical insider
Is the lack of human resources choking your city?
Sikkim’s 2400-crore hydro-power scam that no one’s talking of!
Indo-Pak talks: Getting past the eyewash
In conversation with an alleged terrorist
How the latest changes to our Constitution will impact the judiciary
Women along the LoC: Battling climate change and landmines
Should our anti-dowry law shield husbands too?
35? You’re too old for AIR!
All set to lose out on the gains?
Reviving the Ganga, at the cost of its ecology!
Struggling against the double whammy of caste and gender
What our cities are crying out for
Clearance revoked, but you can still have the forest land!
Breaking the myth behind Coastal Thermal Power Plants
Mumbai in the dock
If you want food security, why not have food coupons?
What have the reserved constituencies voted for?
Two states with healthcare for one
When companies flout norms and regulators look away
How about smart villages, Mr Modi?
When a tsunami is manufactured
'E' is for efficiency, but what about empathy?
No big bang in Jaitley’s budget
What we should score Arun Jaitley on
Why UPA’s folly could be Modi’s too
In search of the missing link
Spewing venom, leaders remain above hate speech laws
Are we just blind persons feeling an elephant?
A law to help women, but who is enforcing it?
Should Modi now steer India towards Gujarat?
The women who choose petrol over perfume
Why Punjab still holds aloft the flag of 'new politics'
Decoding the red alert on green NGOs
Could Aadhaar be the game changer for footloose labour?
Will Modi relook at ‘massive’ retaliation in India’s nuclear doctrine?
There’s always one to clear your mess!
How Sikkim’s casino dream turned sour
Why the IB report is undemocratic
Removal of Governors: What does the law say?
What surrogate parenting entails in India
Why large dams aren't a water solution for the future
Facebook arrests: Could you be next in line?
A silent revolution brewing on our farms
Mullaperiyar: Is the light in the tunnel itself?
Why I wouldn’t mind Modi’s 'juggernaut'
Are Indians accountability-challenged?
“I want to learn the mainstream language of cinema”
The many nails in the UPA coffin
Will passengers have to bear the burden of Mumbai Metro?
Corruption: Do we really care?
Ignoring the ‘public’ at a public hearing
Can farmers look ahead to “acche din” as well?
Killing the dead all over again
What the Modi juggernaut entails
The AAP phenomenon: Too early for an epitaph
A dream come true, but can it seed another?
The message from voters in 2014
The rich and famous funding elections - why not?
Voices Modi and Kejriwal must listen to, beyond the noise
How an MLA hopeful lost the race even before he could contest
A battle that hasn’t been won in nine years
The economics of a strong democracy
Penalties rare for Togadias and Masoods, but mileage aplenty
Will The NYT bat against Washington apples in India?
Oxford study validates Indian environmentalist claims
Why voters in Telangana are still puzzled
India’s “third gender” enters poll fray with new hope
What sways the urban voter?
Chennai voters wary of disappearing acts
Can educated MPs do more for education?
Homecoming election for Harvard professor, courtesy Mamata
A scheme for a better parliament
On the right track, but miles to go
Why I will not fall for the ‘Vote for PM’ trick
What they say about the things that really matter
Women MPs: At par, but rare still
How parties are wooing the young voter
Ash everywhere; in your food and water, too?
Getting ‘practical’ on No-First-Use
Who will spare a thought for the environment?
Leading from the capital
Will the Western Ghats decide Kerala’s mandate?
Why Bihar’s child is different from Himachal’s
Could Modi be a development disaster?
Rampant diversion, tardy reforestation in Himachal
Planning for a climate-resilient city
Digging deeper into the law
“What about our dreams of a free Tibet?”
Thank you, Khushwant-ji
Rating our MPs: A few ground truths
Tracking Chennai’s faces in Parliament
Steeling into Rowghat’s future
Not just one party or the other!
The not-so-glittering stars in Parliament
Let the fight go on
Of Hyderabad’s ‘Sansad Ratna’ and his peers
NaMo-RaGa brand war drowns out Assam’s cries
How well do you know your MPs, Kolkata?
When a river is reduced to an adjective
Our streets are meant for walking: Gil Penalosa
One gaffe too many
How can our lower courts work better?
Looking beyond the spread on our tables
Bodies for sale, by men too
Mr. Leader, I have a question...
What a cell phone could mean for a poor woman
Casting couch vs workplace abuse: A thin line
What bankers don’t tell you about their bad loans
Areca nut opens up new horizons for Assamese youth
Can Bangalore’s planners solve its commuter woes?
Mass marriages to prevent abuse: 550 and counting!
From one language to another: What’s at stake?
Mundra SEZ: Deemed, but not approved
For whom the tolls rile
CIC: Delaying complaints against delays!
Addressing climate change, the Sikkim way
Pragmatism over principles is the norm today: Usha Ramanathan
When a Dalit family approaches the police
The women left behind
Could being ‘right’ be wrong for AAP?
What has your MP done for you?
Who will cast the first vote for equality?
Politics, through the eyes of Bihar’s Dalit students
New body should have better pay, more autonomy
A few facts for GM-advocate Manmohan Singh
Tales of the excluded
Left to languish in a foreign country
Lessons from the "other" Indo-Pak conflict
Can a post box save the Indian whistle blower?
Moulding the young as change agents
Losing India's Greta Garbo
Seeds of doubt
The strange case of ICTT Vallarpadam
Suicides due to poverty: How reliable is our data?
Lessons from Italy for the Indian farmer
What constrains our social enterprises?
Big hopes from small tea
Significant, but hardly enough!
What future for the cities within our cities?
When will Indian politics wake up to climate change?
Sons and daughters waiting to be rescued
FDI: Neither necessary, nor sufficient
The real and present threat to our future
Old approvals from a new regulator?
A school for me too
When every Indian has a bank account
Rape laws have changed, but what about the judiciary?
The Olympic medals India won and ignored
Travelling afar for solutions nearby
At Kandla, no room for marine ecosystem
Delhi's cry: No more dead men walking
UP NREGS: Whither guidelines?
Why Arvind Kejriwal does not need magic
Spaced out in Mumbai
Bad Economics, bad politics
Shunned by law, embraced by cinema
Wanted: Trains equipped for the sick and infirm
2011 to 2013: What has changed in the Lokpal Bill?
Tainted firm escapes scrutiny, but why?
Small hands, hard labour in Surat's textile industry
Does the loser take it all?
Ministries turn a blind eye to impact of small hydel projects
SC judgment: The gaps in logic

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From Aug 2013, published with support from Oorvani Foundation, a champion of public-funded media for the new India.

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