20 September 2014
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 leading ladies of Bengali theatre in the late 19th and 20th centuries presented an intriguing portrait of women caught between two worlds, liberated in a way, yet shackled in others. A recent performance as tribute to these artists leads Shoma Chatterji to reminisce their lives and times.

Art Creative Culture Women's films and books Women

The value system of the ruling elite is a threat to India: Xerxes Desai

Hailed for his stewardship of Titan Industries where he built a premium brand from scratch and won for it international renown, Xerxes Desai naturally has one of the keenest perspectives on Indian industry. But his equally deep insights into Indian society and development become apparent through this interaction with Christopher Lopaze.

OP-ED People Interviews

Chhattisgarh’s food ATMs: Portable benefits minus biometrics

The smart-card driven CORE-PDS system demonstrates the feasibility of introducing portability in social security systems without the use of biometrics. A student team from IIT Delhi surveys Fair Price Shops in Raipur district following the new system to assess how it has been faring.

Food Security Public Funds E-Govt Government

PMO, NGOs appeal for funds for flood-hit J&K

For those who want to stand in solidarity with the people of flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir, here are a few options to choose from to make financial contributions.

Relief J & K

Do we really need Gujarat’s Sabarmati model?

When river restoration translates merely into cosmetic beautification of its ‘front’, real estate and urban elite are the only ones to gain at the cost of the larger river ecology. Amruta Pradhan discusses the Sabarmati Riverfront Development project and others inspired by it to highlight the risks in the model.

Public Funds Urban Water Environment

It ain’t so difficult to green your home!

The environmental benefits accruing from green buildings and living spaces are widely known, but it is often inertia that prevents the adoption of these alternatives. Chandrashekar Hariharan discusses a few easy steps that could foster greener urban infrastructure.

Consumers Energy Urban Environment

An uncertain future for our fauna

Even as India’s Wildlife Protection Act completes 42 years, certain recent moves of the government appear to undermine the law, in a bid to project an industry-friendly regime. T R Shankar Raman analyses the apparent direction in which the Act, and environmental laws in general, seem to be headed.

Forests Environment opinions Wild Life Environment Government Environmental Law and Regulation

Surrogacy: The real picture

Gita Aravamudan’s book Baby Makers is a bare-it-all picture of surrogacy in India, and exposes the multiple facets of the practice through the lens of a keen investigative journalist. Padmalatha Ravi shares more details about the volume.

Health Books Society Women

Will selective plans for the Ganga work?

Rejuvenation of the Ganga has purportedly grabbed a big share of the new government’s focus, but would plans ignoring the upper Ganga basin really be effective? Shripad Dharmadhikary discusses the findings of an expert body that could be crucial to the agenda.

Energy Bio Diversity Climate Wild Life Environment

Why an abused employee feels let down by the judiciary

A recent Bombay HC ruling on the powers of the NCW, with regard to a case involving sexual harassment at the workplace, could have significant implications for gender justice in the long term. Revathi Siva Kumar looks at the facts of the case and the debate that it has stirred up. 

Gender Laws and Policy Women's Representation Women

Urbanisation challenge: What will drive the funds?

Indian cities have neither the funds required to realise their envisaged progress, nor credible systems to ensure effective utilisation of what they have. Srikanth Viswanathan emphasises the need for accountability and more robust financial management by municipal corporations.

Public Funds Cities Economy

Who will broaden their horizons?

On the eve of Teachers’ Day, PM Narendra Modi called upon teachers across the country to inculcate broader perspectives and greater social responsibility among students. But given the shortage of teachers and crippling social malpractices, how realistic is that vision?

Livelihood Education Government

There are more things in heaven and earth than stock markets!

The media frenzy over Narendra Modi’s first 100 days in office is complemented by the cheer in markets, but Devinder Sharma sounds a caveat against judging the performance of the government by the standards of markets alone.

Agriculture Government opinions Economy Devinder Sharma OP-ED

Why a depoliticised police force is a distant dream

With only 14 functional State Security Commissions in the country, and those too with flawed compositions and diluted roles, the efforts towards minimising government interference in police functioning have naturally been lax. Navya PK cites critical findings of a CHRI Report that shows the present sad state of our SSCs.

Law and Order Government Justice Laws

What good is an auditor without information?

A recent letter written by the CAG Shashikant Sharma to the finance minister, seeking access to required information through RTI, exposes once more the lacunae in the powers of the Supreme Audit Institution. Himanshu Upadhyaya analyses the debate around the issue.

Public Funds Government Laws Right To Info

Should India tone down its moralistic stance in Paris climate talks?

Could India’s inflexible and rather aggressive attitude in global climate negotiations jeopardise its domestic mitigation of the real threats from climate change? Darryl D’Monte summarises the key take-aways from a TISS conference that dwelled upon this and related issues.

Climate Environmental Hazards Environment

Building a library a day

Entrepreneur and social activist Pradeep Lokhande’s project of setting up a library every day across rural schools in Maharashtra is helping many poor students see the light of a new day. Ramesh Menon reports on this unique initiative.

Profiles Children Education Society

Tracking fears, hopes and facts in a new state

Widely labelled as the first of its kind, the Intensive Family Survey conducted in Telangana on 19 August gave rise to a range of speculations, and predictably drew its share of brickbats and bouquets. Venugopalrao Nellutla seeks to decipher the real motives and usefulness of the survey.

Government States

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
What constrains our social enterprises?
Lessons from Italy for the Indian farmer
Suicides due to poverty: How reliable is our data?
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?
FDI: Neither necessary, nor sufficient
Sons and daughters waiting to be rescued
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
The Olympic medals India won and ignored
Rape laws have changed, but what about the judiciary?
Travelling afar for solutions nearby
At Kandla, no room for marine ecosystem
Why Arvind Kejriwal does not need magic
UP NREGS: Whither guidelines?
Delhi's cry: No more dead men walking
Spaced out in Mumbai
Shunned by law, embraced by cinema
Wanted: Trains equipped for the sick and infirm
Bad Economics, bad politics
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
A tipping point for Indian democracy
SC judgment: The gaps in logic
When idealism isn't impractical anymore
Why your bag of vegetables costs more every week!
What makes the Aam Aadmi Party tick?
The many stories that Kargil tells us
Powerful forces get water for power
Rail travel for the disabled: Learn from the world
When travel arouses dread
Moments with Mandela: Meeting South Africa's Gandhi
Can new technologies tackle urban waste?
Can illegal mining be stopped?
Exploring state-people relations
When legal redress isn't enough to protect children
What could make our farmers more prosperous?
Should there be a Nobel for economists?
The relevance of Vanzara's letter
Women lead the way in eco-conservation
Helping Pardhi children aim for the sun

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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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