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

Why ‘skilling’ India must focus on schooling

The thrust on vocational skills and values among the youth has more often looked at solutions based on extraneous skill-development modules. E S Ramamurthy explains why a more skilled future workforce must entail fundamental reforms in schooling.

Livelihood Curricula Education opinions Children Education Opinions

Where dignity is the first and most pressing need

While debates over legalisation of sex work and rehabilitation of women in the trade continue without much tangible impact, sex workers themselves carry on the fight to win legitimacy, safety and social security. Pushpa Achanta brings us some voices from the twilight zone.

Gender Law and Policy Society Women

How to avert the dangers of being an Internet user

A recent UGC-sponsored seminar on the incidence of cyber crime, hosted in Kolkata, drew attention to the safeguards to be adopted as also the right procedure to be followed in order to obtain redress. Amrita Mukherjee reports.

Law and Order Laws Media Society Women

Those brooms may not be enough to clean our waste!

The success of ‘spot fixes’ and other initiatives by independent resident-collectives or organisations in cleaning up urban spaces and dumping spots has been noteworthy, but a long-term plan for solving waste issues in Indian cities needs more. Pooja Ramamurthi explains.

Public Funds Waste Cities Government

How much do you know about the air you are breathing?

Red, yellow and green are not just about traffic lights any more. Colour coding the air quality in cities is a critical step towards dissemination of pollution data among citizens. But does India’s air quality index satisfy all the necessary conditions for optimal use? Sarath Guttikunda has more.

Environmental Hazards Urban Environment Government

The tiny creature that has made the Assam zoo famous!

On 15 November, the Assam State Zoo opened its doors to three pygmy hogs, becoming the only zoo in the world to house this critically endangered species. Ratna Bharali Talukdar reports on an ongoing project that’s trying to save the animal and its habitats in the face of all odds.

Bio Diversity Wild Life Environment

Are too many ‘gramasabhas’ posing a challenge to governance?

As the Kerala government takes steps to re-inspire citizens to engage in grassroots level governance, P Mohammad Nizar draws attention to certain critical issues that must be addressed for the Panchayati Raj Institutions in the state to be effectively revitalised.

Panchayats Government Opinions KERALA

‘Lighting up’ the lives of the poor

A renewable energy project covering three of Odisha’s most backward villages has gone beyond the immediate promise of providing electricity, bringing about perceptible and deeper changes in the quality of lives of the local people. Abhijit Mohanty reports on the project.

Energy Government Poverty ORISSA

A continuous struggle between ‘power’ and the people

In yet another contested environmental approval decision, a 300-MW power plant in Gujarat has been granted changes in technology, relaxing certain original conditions, without any public consultation. Kanchi Kohli reports on the grievances of the local people.

Energy Water Environment Environmental Law and Regulation

Defining, celebrating and protecting our rivers

India Rivers Week held in November 2014 was a first-of-its-kind gathering in New Delhi, which celebrated rivers and those trying to protect them, while charting out a road map to mitigate the threats they confront. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports on the proceedings.

Environmental Hazards Water Environment Government

Devotion and deception in the land of 'Godmen'

Baba Rampal is the most recent in a long line of Indian religious gurus who have hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Revathi Siva Kumar looks at a long list of Indian ‘godmen’ over the ages and tries to explain the influence they exert on a mesmerised flock.

Opinions Society

Finding the right reasons for reform

The High Level Committee constituted to review key environmental laws has apparently focussed on a wide range of issues and mechanisms; however, as long as the focus in on speed, and not environmental outcomes, the reform process may be futile, writes Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli.

Environment opinions Environment Government Environmental Law and Regulation

Who decides where your city ends?

As Bengaluru is proposed to be split up into different municipal corporations, Mathew Idiculla explains why it is important to examine how decisions regarding cities and their boundaries are taken.

Cities Economy Government

Sterilisation deaths: What’s new, after all?

The death of 14 women in Chhattisgarh following botched sterilisation procedures has rightfully led to furore across the country. But a detailed, historical analysis of family planning as it has evolved, by Shoma A Chatterji, exposes an inherent and sustained gender bias in policy as well as practice.

Health Laws and Governance Women's Health Society Women

Why Raghuram Rajan has lost patience with defaulting promoters

“We need a change in mind set, where the wilful or non-cooperative defaulter is not lionized as a captain of industry, but justly chastised as a freeloader on the hardworking people of this country,” said the RBI governor in his recent lecture at IRMA, Anand. An unedited transcript of his speech

Public Funds Economy Laws

A time to take up the reins

The official Indian response to the recent US-China climate deal is characterised by its historical stance on differentiated responsibility and over-reliance on coal energy. Sunita Dubey calls for an urgent re-assessment of its position and stresses the need for stronger commitment.

Climate Environment Government Opinions

Why the Chhattisgarh sterilisation tragedy may happen again

With a recent drug sample report confirming the presence of rat poison in medicines administered to Chhattisgarh’s hapless tubectomy victims, it is yet another wake-up call for India to address the threats posed by its $4.25-billion fake drugs market. Tanvi Bhatikar bares some stark facts.

Law and Order Health Laws and Governance Health

Are there smarter ways to run our cities?

The ruling government has allocated 7,060 crores of rupees for development of smart cities, but do our realities allow for westernised ICT-driven smart cities? Darryl D’Monte dwells on what would really make our cities smart, based on deliberations at the second Urban Age conference.

Waste Cities Economy Government Urban Poor

Where the fight against extremism is far from over
Is lower inflation here to stay?
Crying out for clarity
What’s in a name, really?
Is the army court’s verdict on the Machhil killings enough?
The many battles that Kashmiri female cops fight
Workers leave agriculture, but where are they headed?
Hydropower in the land of Gross National Happiness
Who will lead the anti-corruption agenda in the health sector?
Kerala: A murky ‘state’ of affairs
A lot needs to be done to realise Modi’s dreams for Khadi
Would you dare to ‘make in India’?
Can a court order end passive violence?
When kitchen smoke can kill
Food security, courtesy Odisha's tribal women
If the Ganga is so hot, can the Yamuna be far behind?
Muslim women fight patriarchal Sharia laws
Visualising the many layers of a brutal world for women
Can PM Modi pull it off?
When a finance minister lectured auditors
Where the boats ferry in good health
The wandering minstrel who turned down Peter Brook’s Mahabharat
The fate of Sikkim's sacred river hangs in balance
In search of the elusive female traveller
A new course for iron ore mining in Odisha
Why minimising ‘mobile’ conversations is a ‘no-brainer’
Voices from a wounded land
A better life through literacy
The vision for our villages
When expecting mothers fight graft to secure prenatal care
Will the government heed calls to save rural jobs?
An old policy Modi must hold on to
What will it take to make our cities really smart?
Building the lives of those who build our houses
Preparing the framework for a new Ganga vision
A trend highlighted in the Jadavpur University moment
Has the Modi government kept its promises on inflation?
What it means to be old and alone in the city
The laws we forgot we had
Why the market fails to lure Mali Parbat’s militant environmentalists
Petitioning God!
Can Mumbai become a global city?
A season of change
The CAG memoirs: A committed crusader’s log
No liquor, no drinking?
Sunburn warning for India’s day in the sun
Good food from dry land
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

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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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