THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
BUDGET BLOG
Why Jaitley’s budget has failed to bring our farmers cheer

As has been the historical trend, most of the budget announcements on agriculture this year, too, are geared towards benefitting agribusiness rather than augmenting farm income, writes Devinder Sharma.

Agriculture Economy Agriculture Policy

ECONOMY
Highlights from the Union Budget 2015

Expansion of social security benefits, a focus on infrastructure, easing of fiscal deficit targets and rationalisation of the tax structure - these were some of the most prominent features of Arun Jaitley's budget. A look at some of the provisions.

Public Funds Economy Government

FILM REVIEW: QUISSA
The strange tale of the 'son' who wasn't!

Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost, a recently-released feature film,exposes the shocking depths of insanity to which a father may be driven by his obsession with a male heir. Shoma Chatterji reviews the film, underlining the brutal, patriarchal society that it lays bare.

Reviews Films Gender and Media Women

RAILWAY BUDGET 2015
A broad vision for a better experience

'Four goals, five drivers and 11 thrust areas' formed the framework for Suresh Prabhu’s railway budget, otherwise shorn of big ticket announcements or details about the nitty gritty of execution. Here’s a look at some key announcements in the Budget speech.

Public Funds Economy Government

WASH SUMMIT 2015
Swachh Bharat: What are we missing?

From the time of the PM’s commitment to a ‘Swachh Bharat’ in August 2014, what has changed in the WASH sector in India? Himanshu Upadhyaya reports from notes taken as a delegate at the recent India WASH Summit in the capital.

Public Health Sanitation Government Human Rights

DEVELOPMENT & DISPLACEMENT
Three villages that show why land acquisition needs a rethink

Three million forest dwellers in Odisha are estimated to have been displaced since independence by various industrial and hydro-projects, among which the Upper Indiravati Hydro Project is one. Abhijit Mohanty brings us the story of three tribal settlements uprooted by it.

Displacement Land Poverty ORISSA

THE ROAD AHEAD FOR AAP
Will the Aam Aadmi Party deliver true 'swaraj'?

The initial euphoria over its emphatic electoral win over, the focus is now on realities within which the AAP will have to deliver on its promises. T R Raghunandan explores if the party can realise its vision of ‘swaraj,’ living up to the true ideals of decentralisation.

Government opinions Government OP-ED Women's Representation

MUMBAI DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Who will benefit from the ‘Manhattanisation’ of Mumbai?

The Mumbai municipal authorities have delivered a draft 20-year development plan for the city, but implementation of many of the proposals therein could well deliver the final blow to a city already gasping for breath, says Darryl D’Monte.

Transport Urban Cities Government MAHARASHTRA

HOSPITAL NIGHTMARES
What’s turning women in labour away from hospitals?

Institutionalised delivery is encouraged as a means of reducing maternal/infant mortality, but the misbehaviour meted to pregnant women in government hospitals deters them from seeking such care. Ruhi Kandhari reports.

Public Health Women's Health Government Health

INDIAN SEED CONGRESS 2015
For the love of the seed industry

It was a Valentine’s Day vow with a difference. The bond between the private seed industry and the public agricultural sector received a fillip at the recently concluded Indian Seed Congress in Agra over the weekend, reports Shalini Bhutani.

GM Crops Agriculture Economy Government

KOLKATA PEOPLE’S FILM FESTIVAL
Spotlighting tales of people’s resistance

The recently held Kolkata People’s Film Festival – an offshoot of the founding movement called The Cinema of Resistance – screened powerful documentaries and feature films portraying the struggle and resistance of the marginalised and downtrodden. Shoma Chatterji reports.

Films Society Human Rights

SHANTA KUMAR COMMITTEE REPORT
Is this committee overestimating leakages in ration to curb the food security act?

The report of a high level committee under BJP MP Shanta Kumar proposes radical restructuring of the PDS and reduced coverage of the food security act. But is the estimate of leakages in the report flawed in itself? Shambhu Ghatak presents alternative findings.

Food Security Public Funds Government

TALES FROM THE STREET
The invisible makers of the city

Homeless, vulnerable and deprived of any form of social security, street dwellers often provide critical services, helping to sustain themselves and the city. Pushpa Achanta meets some of them in Bengaluru to know more about their existence.

Livelihood Displacement Urban Poor Poverty

EXPEDITING JUSTICE
The role of data in judicial reform

It is commonplace to cite the number of cases pending in Indian courts as evidence of a judicial crisis and suggest reforms based on the same. Aparna Chandra highlights why the numbers themselves need to be questioned and understood better for effective reform.

Opinions Justice Laws

POLITICS AND DEFENCE
Challenges of the brass in a political minefield

A recent announcement by the army chief that officers of all ranks of the army will donate a day’s pay to the PM’s relief fund for Kashmir floods has triggered an interesting exchange, throwing light on the broader trends of politicisation within the military. Firdaus Ahmed has more.

Nat. Security Government Firdaus Ahmed OP-ED

LESSONS FROM THE SEZ EXPERIENCE
Why easy land is no guarantee of industrial growth

It’s like a scam unnoticed: even after access to over 45000 hectares of land, with massive tax exemptions and holidays, the SEZ experience has been a sorry story. Devinder Sharma questions the government’s economic reasoning and insists on accountability.

Public Funds Economy Devinder Sharma Land

WHITHER DEMOCRACY
When people are merely roadblocks

A series of recent executive orders, amendments to law and ministerial directives either seek to curtail avenues of public participation and consent over projects of critical impact, or do away with them altogether. Kanchi Kohli tracks the trend.

Government Environmental Law and Regulation Laws

AICCTU CONFERENCE
What are contract workers across the country pressing for?

A recent conference organised by the AICCTU in Bangalore saw more than 5000 contract workers marching in protest against the prevailing work conditions, seeking regularisation of contracts as well as amendments in law. Here’s a list of the primary demands raised by the workers.

Labour Issues Livelihood Economy

CAG PERFORMANCE AUDIT
SEZ today, gone tomorrow!

Close to 5500 hectares of land in six states, acquired for 52 SEZs, were subsequently de-notified and diverted for commercial purposes! Himanshu Upadhyaya draws attention to this and other findings in the CAG audit of SEZs, which leave several questions unanswered.

Public Funds Government Displacement Land

BLOG: RESISTANCE AND RECONSTRUCTION
'Krisis': Can Greece inspire India?

The dramatic political transformation going on in Greece, with the victory of the leftist party SYRIZA, is worth watching closely for all those in India who hope for a just, sustainable future. Ashish Kothari deliberates upon the lessons to be learnt.

Economy Environment Government OP-ED Human Rights

ELECTION TRIVIA
Delhi’s big battle in figures

As Delhi readies for the fiercely contested Assembly elections, here are a few details beyond the din of the campaigns that we bet you didn’t know! S Venkatraman captures them in an infographic.

Elections Government DELHI

BOAT-MAKING IN BEYPORE
Kerala’s royal connection: The luxury ‘uru’

In the non-descript town of Beypore near Kozhikode, skilled artisans have revived in a big way the tradition of making luxury ‘urus’, or dhow-shaped boats, as they find a ready clientele in the royal family of Qatar. Akshatha M visits Beypore.

Livelihood Economy Art KERALA

CHILD MALNUTRITION
A sudden cloud over Maharashtra’s nutritional progress

Data from the recently released DLHF Survey shows disheartening figures for nutritional indicators, when compared to the last national level survey. Shambhu Ghatak delves deeper into the state’s nutrition records and also tracks where others stand.

Food Security Child health Economy

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



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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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