THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
ASTROLOGY SHOWS
Predicting rape on television!

Mars missions and scientific innovations notwithstanding, a large section of India still reposes great faith in the future predicted by astrologers. Satellite TV leverages that to offer a plethora of shows, one of which recently defied all limits of decency, as Arpana H S reports.

Gender and Media Media Society

GRASSROOTS GOVERNANCE
GPOD: Bringing management principles to gram panchayats

As Gram Panchayats in Karnataka go to the polls this year, Madhavi Rajadhyaksha explores the untapped potential of these grassroots institutions and suggests ways in which their capabilities may be leveraged and capacity strengthened.

Panchayats Government KARNATAKA

KELKAR COMMITTEE REPORT ON MAHARASHTRA
Pursuing development: The perils of the beaten track

The report of the Kelkar Committee on balanced development in Maharashtra has important recommendations. But will it all come to nought because of its failure to avoid some conventional pitfalls? Shripad Dharmadhikary explores.

Agriculture Water Economy Government Poverty MAHARASHTRA

SAANSAD ADARSH GRAM YOJANA
Why good governance may need more than adoption of villages

A new scheme launched by PM Narendra Modi envisages development through a model in which every MP chooses a village to develop, with people’s participation. Vikas Jha looks at the numbers and realities to explore the real needs of rural development at the panchayat level.

E-Govt Panchayats Government

MUZZLING ACTIVISM
What’s ‘fashionable’ about protesting human rights violations?

A recent observation of the Supreme Court, while hearing a petition filed by a filmmaker challenging censorship of his documentary, has left advocates of human rights in the country anguished and puzzled. Shoma A Chatterji explains why.

OP-ED Justice Creative Human Rights

FEATS OF WILL
Ain't no mountain high enough!

Nungshi and Tashi Malik from Dehradun have created history as the only twin sisters in the world to have scaled the seven highest peaks across the seven continents. Surekha Kadapa-Bose brings us the story of their feat in the face of myriad odds.

People Society Women

NEW IPR POLICY
Missing: Intellectual Property Rights with a social lens

The Modi government has moved fast and furious on charting a new policy regarding intellectual property rights but Shalini Bhutani’s recap of recent developments shows that much of it has been with an overt focus on industry.

Trade Government Laws

ORGANIC FARMING
What binds every family in this Kerala Panchayat

The thrust on chemical-free cultivation of vegetables that started as an experiment in the 90s has now evolved into a culture in Kerala’s Kanjikkuzhi Gram Panchayat. P N Venugopal traces the growth and success of this initiative so far.

Organic Agriculture Livelihood Environment KERALA

AIR POLLUTION IMPACT
A jaundiced view of the Taj

The pernicious threat of pollution looms large over India’s most celebrated heritage structure and one of its most prominent emblems, the Taj Mahal, for decades now. Darryl D’Monte shares the findings of a recent study indicating that the ravages of pollution continue unabated.

Environmental Hazards Environment U.P.

WOMEN IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Empowering rural women: Moving beyond 50 percent

The imminent Panchayat elections in Karnataka will see 50 percent reservation for women at all tiers, but how can one ensure real authority for them? Proposed amendments to the Panchayat Raj Act may hold some answers.

Panchayats Government Authority Women

MAN & NATURE
The trail of a disappearing culture

Sunanda Bhat’s award-winning Have You Seen The Arana is deeply relevant in today’s world, as it explores the deep connectedness between man and nature, and the struggle of little-known people to preserve it in the face of many onslaughts. Shoma A Chatterji reviews the film.

Environmental films and books Reviews Culture Adivasis

ART & INNOVATION
Blending theatre with nature

In Assam, a unique innovation by a passionate tribal theatre enthusiast succeeds in taking the art from the confines of the auditorium into the lap of nature, creating a near-cosmic experience for the performer as well as the audience. Ratna Bharali Talukdar reports.

Environment Art ASSAM Society

MATERNAL HEALTH
Barefoot auditors ensure health for tribal mothers

In the tribal villages of Nandurbar district of Maharashtra, committed social workers are improving the health and lives of mothers and children by spreading awareness about their special needs. Dilnaz Boga brings you their stories.

Child health Population Women's Health Health

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Farming for self-reliance in Kalahandi

The struggle to feed themselves and their families round the year drives millions of farmers in India to desperate measures. Abhijit Mohanty’s story shows how sustainable agriculture has helped transform the lives of farmers in Odisha’s backward Kalahandi district.

Food Security Organic Agriculture Livelihood ORISSA

YOUTH & UNEMPLOYMENT
The false promise of a demographic dividend

Much is made out of the proportion of youth in India’s population and what it could mean for its economy and progress. However, statistics and trends in education and employment within this group do not paint a promising picture, points out Kannan Kasturi.

Livelihood Economy Education

POWER PROJECT IMBROGLIO
What ails Sikkim’s Teesta hydropower project?

The 1200-MW Teesta III hydroelectric project has already seen years of missed deadlines and huge cost overruns, but more serious threats loom ahead as the promoter fights its own internal battles. Soumik Dutta has more on the various problems plaguing the project.

Energy Law and Order Economy Government Sikkim

TERROR BOAT CONTROVERSY
What the maritime 'non-incident' on New Year’s Eve tells us

The recent episode in which a mysterious boat was intercepted off the coast, and blew itself up, may or may not have anything to do with Pakistani terror, but has important implications for national security strategy, external relations and domestic political dynamics. Firdaus Ahmed explains.

Nat. Security Government Firdaus Ahmed Opinions

LAND ACQUISITION ORDINANCE
What the new processes mean for the dispossessed

The recently promulgated ordinance amending the national law related to land acquisition dilutes several clauses of the earlier legislation that were meant to protect the rights of holders. Kanchi Kohli summarises the key changes brought in by the ordinance.

Government Displacement Land Laws

BLOG: RESISTANCE & RECONSTRUCTION
Will 2015 be a year of hope?

Will the synergies between the politics of resistance and grassroots initiatives towards reconstruction of the damages wrought by ‘development’ be reaped effectively enough in the year ahead? That is what Ashish Kothari will track in his new blog.

Environment Government Justice Poverty Human Rights

BRICS DEVELOPMENT BANK
A critical role for India at the helm of a new order

India’s decision and actions in appointing the first president of the BRICS New Development Bank will signal its thrust on social and environmental sustainability, not only within the new financial order but also domestically, writes Sunita Dubey.

Environment Government Opinions

DEVELOPMENT DEFICIT
“We don’t need toilets, give us electricity and water”

Total Sanitation Campaign, MGNREGS and other government schemes are unheard of among villagers at Dinesh Nagar, Assam who live with a perennial lack of food, pure water, and health amenities. Nilotpal Bhattacharjee wonders if they will ever find deliverance from despair.

Food Security Government Poverty Human Rights

FOREIGN INFLUX
SC verdict puts the spotlight on Bangla immigrants in Assam

Should foreign immigrants in Assam enjoy Indian citizenship as outlined by the Assam Accord and endorsed by Section 6A of the Citizenship Act? Tanvi Bhatikar reports on a recent court ruling that focuses on these questions.

Government Laws ASSAM Human Rights

AGRICULTURAL DECLINE
Rest in peace, food self-sufficiency

Ironically at a time when food shortage is being widely perceived as a potential global concern in the near future, policymakers seem to be doing everything that would take agriculture further down the path of ruin. Devinder Sharma highlights the findings of a recent NSSO report to substantiate that.

Food Security Agriculture Devinder Sharma

CHILD SEX RATIO
When tribal India too begins to favour its sons

Tribal societies and groups belonging to the Scheduled Tribes in India are traditionally known to have been relatively gender-unbiased, but recent reports and statistics point to a deteriorating child sex ratio in these communities, too. Shambhu Ghatak analyses the findings.

Population Caste Women

VEHICULAR AIR POLLUTION
Will banning older vehicles clean the air in Delhi?

Is modernisation of transport the sole answer to air pollution problems in Delhi? In view of the NGT's proposed ban on older vehicles in Delhi, Sarath Guttikunda draws attention to several problems that need to be addressed for cleaner air in the NCR.

Transport Environmental Hazards Environment opinions Urban Environment

HLC REPORT ON ENVIRONMENT
Missing the woods and the trees

Ever since the report of the Subramanian Committee, set up to review and amend key environmental legislation, was leaked, several questions have been raised regarding its real implications for the environment. Darryl D’Monte explains some of the most critical concerns.                                  

Forests Wild Life Environment Opinions Environmental Law and Regulation

CULTURAL NATIONALISM
Where veterans refuse to give up, what does the future hold?

The increasing power and influence of veterans of the Indian army, known for their natural affinity towards the right wing regime in power, holds important implications especially when one considers the extent of its permeation into the serving structure. Firdaus Ahmed explains.

Nat. Security Firdaus Ahmed OP-ED

THE COSTS OF DEVELOPMENT
When one man stood up against a 35-storey giant

Quarter Number 4/11 tells the story of a factory worker’s failed struggle to retain his home in the face of forced eviction by a high-profile real estate development in the heart of Kolkata. Shoma A Chatterji traces the narrative that is a stark commentary on development trends within the country.

Economy Displacement Society Films and Books Human Rights



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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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