THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
20 August 2014
BANGALORE BLASTS CASE
In conversation with an alleged terrorist

Abdul Nasser Madani, a key accused in the 2008 Bangalore serial blasts, waits in vain for his trial to be speeded up after countless adjourned sessions of court. PN Venugopal recounts the circumstances of the case and talks to Madani himself to discover how rules become exceptions in such cases.

Law and Order Interviews Justice Human Rights

CONSTITUTION 121st AMENDMENT
How the latest changes to our Constitution will impact the judiciary

A quick summary of the recently passed Constitution (121st Amendment) Bill 2014 from PRS Legislative Research outlines the broad changes that it will bring about in the judicial structure of the country.

Justice Laws

CONFLICT ZONE REALITIES
Women along the LoC: Battling climate change and landmines

For women living along the conflict-ridden borders of Kashmir, caught between cross fire and attempts to check infiltration, the threat of landmines is a constant reality, made worse now by environmental degradation. Chetna Verma’s tales expose their rising vulnerability.

Climate Peace J & K Women

RE-READING SEC 498A
Should our anti-dowry law shield husbands too?

The court decision prohibiting immediate arrests under IPC Section 498A meets the need for safeguards against false charges and enjoys the support of many, including a budding filmmaker. But does it come at a greater risk to genuine victims? Shoma Chatterji explores.

Films Dowry Gender Laws and Policy Laws Society

FM RAINBOW DIKTAT
35? You’re too old for AIR!

In 2013, Prasar Bharati took a decision to stop broadcasts by all contractual radio presenters above the age of 35 on All India Radio’s FM Rainbow channel. Anoo Bhuyan delves into the dynamics behind this surprising move and examines the larger implications of the same.

Livelihood Radio Media

LAND ACQUISITION ACT
All set to lose out on the gains?

News reports and recent statements apparently point towards possible dilution of the new land acquisition law passed in 2013, resulting in less safeguards for affected owners and communities. Kanchi Kohli summarises the key debates around the likely changes.

Agriculture Livelihood Government Land Laws

GANGA WATERWAY
Reviving the Ganga, at the cost of its ecology!

The Rs 6300-crore plans for development of the Ganga waterway from Allahabad to Haldia should be undertaken only after meticulous examination of its impact on various elements of river ecology. Debadityo Sinha explains why.

Bio Diversity Environmental Hazards Water Environment

NAYIBRAHMIN WOMEN
Struggling against the double whammy of caste and gender

As part of a study on the socio-economic status of women from the ‘Most Backward Castes’, women from the Nayibrahmin or barber community talk of their lives of oppression and deprivation. Akhileshwari Ramagoud recounts their tales.

Girls' Education Caste Work+Life Women

URBAN INDEX
What our cities are crying out for

A recent study from the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy shows that Indian cities rest on a weak systemic foundation. Madhavi Rajadhyaksha highlights the key findings from the study to argue for a systemic overhaul of urban India.

Public Funds Urban Cities Government

CAG AUDIT IN WEST BENGAL
Clearance revoked, but you can still have the forest land!

A CAG audit report finds that despite the revocation of clearance for forest land diverted to a public sector power company, the land continues to be used by them. Himanshu Upadhyaya details this and other findings, which show thegloomy picture of forest governance in West Bengal.

Forests Wild Life Environment Government

WATER CONCERNS
Breaking the myth behind Coastal Thermal Power Plants

It is often believed that coal-based power plants near the coast, by virtue of their proximity to the sea, do not create any pressure on water resources. Shripad Dharmadhikary’s visit to Krishnapattanam in Andhra Pradesh and parts of Tamil Nadu exposes the fallacy in that.

Energy Water Environment ANDHRA

PORT REDEVELOPMENT
Mumbai in the dock

The redevelopment of port land in Mumbai, dominated by the grandiose proposals of Nitin Gadkari, now rests primarily on the wishes of the Mumbai Port Trust, while it ignores the real needs of the city at large. Darryl D’Monte exposes the contradictions.

Urban Cities Economy

PDS ALTERNATIVES
If you want food security, why not have food coupons?

The erstwhile UPA government’s Food Security Act, now set to be implemented by the present government, could mean unendurable strain for the country’s public distribution framework. P V Rajeev spells out better alternatives to explore.

Food Security Economy Government Opinions Agriculture Policy

CLASS POLITICS
What have the reserved constituencies voted for?

In the 2014 elections, the BJP won 66 out of 131 seats reserved for SC/ST candidates, which is the highest for any single party since 1991. Prabhu Mallikarjunan looks at the statistics and tries to decipher what this says for voting behaviour in these constituencies.

Elections Government Caste

TELANGANA TROUBLES
Two states with healthcare for one

Already struggling with low budgetary allocation for healthcare and shortage of trained staff, health services in Telangana and residual Andhra Pradesh have taken a more serious hit due to issues arising out of bifurcation. Tejaswini Pagadala reports.

Public Health Government Health ANDHRA

E-WASTE MANAGEMENT
When companies flout norms and regulators look away

A recent report from environmental research group Toxics Link exposes how multinationals are flagrantly violating the MoEF-notified rules on e-waste, even as the authorities empowered to enforce implementation remain passive. Richa Malhotra details the key findings.

Consumers Waste Environment Environmental Law and Regulation

BUDGETING FOR AGRICULTURE
How about smart villages, Mr Modi?

For over two decades now, agriculture has suffered overall neglect as successive governments, led by World-Bank prescribed growth models, have issued disproportionate doles to industry. While the present allocations do not spell much hope, Devinder Sharma suggests what the Modi government may still do to reverse the trend.

Agriculture Economy Devinder Sharma Agriculture Policy

NARMADA DAM PROJECT
When a tsunami is manufactured

In view of the alleged corruption in rehabilitation of affected families, the Jabalpur HC has imposed a stay on the decision to raise the height of the Narmada dam further. Recalling the history of the project till date, Himanshu Upadhyaya asks why a higher dam should be considered at all.

Water Government Displacement GUJARAT Human Rights

FOREST DIVERSION CLEARANCE
'E' is for efficiency, but what about empathy?

The MoEF’s recent move introducing e-filing of applications for approval of forest land diversion may facilitate procedural agility and efficiency, but precludes the interpretation of environmental and human complexities critical to a fair process. Kanchi Kohli elaborates. 

Livelihood Forests Environment Government Environmental Law and Regulation
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EARLIER ARTICLES

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
Lessons from Italy for the Indian farmer
What constrains our social enterprises?
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
Delhi's cry: No more dead men walking
Why Arvind Kejriwal does not need magic
UP NREGS: Whither guidelines?
Spaced out in Mumbai
Wanted: Trains equipped for the sick and infirm
Shunned by law, embraced by cinema
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
When idealism isn't impractical anymore
A tipping point for Indian democracy
SC judgment: The gaps in logic
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
Women lead the way in eco-conservation
Should there be a Nobel for economists?
The relevance of Vanzara's letter
What could make our farmers more prosperous?
Helping Pardhi children aim for the sun
US-EU spanner in the works of India's food security programme
"Compelling citizens to take an Aadhaar card is unconstitutional"
For distraught Phailin survivors, life is little consolation
Lone crusader warns school-goers against substance abuse
A new fast-yielding jackfruit
Char dwellers turn to sugarcane, but will it be enough?
Nothing to audit
Farmers take the long-term view, with long stalk rice
Cutting sugar: The bitter reality
Is CCI a bypass lane for the laws?
Have you overstepped the Sustainable Consumption Line?
The Indian feminist who took on Oxford
Hydropower: Will new committee break new ground?
Why are so many elderly men killing themselves?
Building towns to save our cities
When riots are tools, where does secularism stand?
Biosafety: Who is liable for damages?
Soldiers, not servants
Policy indifference threatens to make the Great Indian Bustard extinct
Competing effectively in MP panchayats
Greening the finance sector
Tackling preventable blindness through screening in schools
One Person Companies: Speed without effective brakes?



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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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