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GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
The real challenges to sustainable development

With the expiry of the MDGs which guided global development till 2015, the international community is now negotiating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period 2016-2030. Prahlad Shekhawat summarises the ensuing debates and explores a way forward.

Agriculture Environment Government Poverty

PACKAGING & THE ENVIRONMENT
Not everyone wants a plastic-free future!
A petition filed by an NGO before the NGT seeks a phasing out of the use of plastic bottles and multi-layered plastic packaging, but there is a strong opposition to the proposal from a significant section of stakeholders belonging to the industry. Devanik Saha reports.
Environmental Hazards Waste Environment

TRADE POLICY
Will free trade allow free voices too?
Shalini Bhutani takes a close look at the law and ensuing policy on trade in India, and asks whether the regulatory framework on trade issues nurtures the idea of public consultation.
Trade Government Laws

RURAL WAGES
Skills-building an imperative for rural India too and here’s why!
A recent report from the Ministry of Labour and Employment reveals that skill-intensive occupations such as plumbing, carpentry and electrical work pay more in rural India. Shambhu Ghatak looks at the data closely to argue for greater efforts towards imparting skills, especially to rural women.
Agriculture Labour Issues Livelihood Work+Life

MIGRANT LABOUR
Daily wage-earners in Delhi find little cause to cheer for AAP
The AAP manifesto may have talked at length about “a flexible and fair labour policy” and regularisation of contract workers, but for a vast section of daily wage-earners, such promises hold no meaning. Devanik Saha talks to one to find out why.
Labour Issues Livelihood DELHI

POLLUTION CONTROL
What will it take to make our cities environment-smart?
PM Modi's vision of smart cities will remain unrealised till we have environmentally-smart urban centres, equipped to mitigate the severe chronic air pollution levels. But what will it entail? Sarath Guttikunda analyses.
Urban Cities Environment

POVERTY
Rethinking food security and hunger
A recent report from IFPRI indicates concrete progress by India in reducing hunger and malnutrition, while many experts continue to stress the unsatisfactory outcomes under GDP-driven growth. Prahlad Shekhawat calls for a new approach to address the real problems that lie somewhere in between.
Food Security Government Opinions Poverty

FDI & JOBS IN MANUFACTURING
Can FDI really spur ‘Make in India’?
The government’s thrust on ‘ease of doing business’ and ‘Make in India’ rests significantly on the premise of attracting foreign capital into manufacturing. Kannan Kasturi tracks data on FDI inflows to see whether it indicates true potential to boost the sector and job creation.
Trade Government

BLOG: RESISTANCE AND RECONSTRUCTION
Confluence of hope: Converging for a better world
Ashish Kothari outlines the vision and processes of Vikalp Sangam, a movement that seeks to bring together a multitude of grassroots initiatives that are exploring alternative, inclusive and sustainable paths to human well-being.
OP-ED Society Human Rights Ashish Kothari Ecommentary

BUDGET SIMPLIFIED
Budget 2015: Does it have enough to turn vision into reality?
What could the taxes, allocations and schemes in Arun Jaitley’s budget ultimately mean for the country and its people? Shankar Jaganathan takes a bird’s eye view of the government’s most anticipated annual document for the year.
Public Funds Government

BUDGET BLOG
Why Jaitley’s budget has failed to bring cheer to our farmers
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 Agriculture Policy Ground Reality

ECONOMY
Highlights from the Union Budget 2015
Expansion of social security benefits, 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 Government

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 Government
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EARLIER ARTICLES

The real challenges to sustainable development
For the love of the seed industry
'Krisis': Can Greece inspire India?
A sudden cloud over Maharashtra’s nutritional progress
Pursuing development: The perils of the beaten track
The false promise of a demographic dividend
When one man stood up against a 35-storey giant
Who decides where your city ends?
Why Raghuram Rajan has lost patience with defaulting promoters
Are there smarter ways to run our cities?
Workers leave agriculture, but where are they headed?
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’?
What will it take to make our cities really smart?
Urbanisation challenge: What will drive the funds?
There are more things in heaven and earth than stock markets!
Mumbai in the dock
If you want food security, why not have food coupons?
How about smart villages, Mr Modi?
No big bang in Jaitley’s budget
What we should score Arun Jaitley on
Why UPA’s folly could be Modi’s too
Should Modi now steer India towards Gujarat?
Why the IB report is undemocratic
Can farmers look ahead to “acche din” as well?
The economics of a strong democracy
Oxford study validates Indian environmentalist claims
On the right track, but miles to go
What they say about the things that really matter
How parties are wooing the young voter
What bankers don’t tell you about their bad loans
Can Bangalore’s planners solve its commuter woes?
Mundra SEZ: Deemed, but not approved
For whom the tolls rile
The strange case of ICTT Vallarpadam
What constrains our social enterprises?
When every Indian has a bank account
At Kandla, no room for marine ecosystem
Delhi's cry: No more dead men walking
Should there be a Nobel for economists?
Greening the finance sector
One Person Companies: Speed without effective brakes?
Helping businesses help society
Can rural India get the 'power' to choose?
Who's importing all that gold?
Our cheese has moved, and only we must find it
Transferring benefits, but where?
Irreconcilable differences : The Right-Left Divide in Economics
Why the Current Account Deficit matters to you and me
Why I root for right to food, for all
Death knell for music?
Humble jackfruit eyes haute cuisine status
Reading beyond Siddaramaiah’s lines
60 to a dollar: Good, bad or ugly?
Beware of disaster profiteering
A 'pilot' that lost direction
When a legend returns
'Pearl of water' transforming lives
Ballia: Chasing elusive dreams
Corporate interests rise above all
Professional or mercenary?
A bumpy road ahead for electric vehicles
BUDGET: Why more taxes may be good
Founders would have wanted inheritance tax restored
Why ants didn't win the Nobel prize
FDI in reverse
In praise of transfers
FDI: Just the facts, please
CNG isn't really the answer
Making CMPs more useful
The key to the handloom crisis
Who profits? Who pays?
Building the Transit Metropolis
Welcome, foreign investors!
Where woodcraft is a way of life
Oil subsidy is all gas
Moving in, staying out
RBI frees deposit interest rates
Manufacturing a policy
Cooking the dam books
Ideas to market Jackfruit
The great drain robbery
Agitation looms in Kerala over National Highway widening
MGNREGA payment woes: bad to worse?
Albert Pinto's missing anger
A canal of misery
Plugging the skills gap
Making silk looms spin faster
Untying the states
Kerala going greener
The first true BRT in India
Varanasi weavers get GI protection
New sparkle in Assam's jewels
Bihar's bridges, way to a new work culture
Meet on quality of growth and inclusive development
The spirits of Mumbai's cars
Inflation: perception and reality
Making sense of the rural rush
G20: The 'trillion' dollar magic trick
Kerala crisis prescription: unconvincing, no rigour
Bodo weavers spin money in Bhutan
HDI Oscars: Slumdogs versus millionaires
Whose crisis is it, anyway?
World Bank's CAS: The forward march of failure
Sericulture gets a boost
From snow ball to coconut lassi
SEZs: engine derailed?
Driving away cars from city centres
Selling thick and fast: land and dreams
Lured to sell, driven to buy
Nagpur's land party: risky, unregulated
Milkmen of a dying village
Nagpur cargo hub plan drives villagers desparate
Give us a break, Mr Sreedharan
PPPs: Tall claims, but little evidence
Artisanal weavers struggling to survive
The new avatar of banks
India's coal-to-liquid push short-sighted
From Busway to BRT
Too much fruit, too little bounty
High growth: In deep waters
Power to the rich, literally
Wanted: talented young to match jobs galore
Two classes, two unions
Villagers protest plans for salt factory
Brass metal work losing its shine
Tripura taps the rubber economy
Uneasy quiet on the POSCO front
SEZs: A history of injustice and abuse
How about a fruit ice cream?
India's investment opportunities in sustainable business
A rural B-school for women
Courses and jobs aplenty, but students uncertain
Carts, kiosks and Indian retail
Tender coconut juice, instantly chilled
A 'sour' source of delight and livelihood
Lives strangulated by needle and thread
Looking beyond the chicken's neck
Jobs, skills, shortages and future-proofing
Traditional knowledge receives a boost
A storehouse of untapped potential
Training the millions left behind
Pune's BRT stumbles at the start
Bit by byte, IT firms make rural plans
More self-goals by the PFC
SEZs: Invitation to chaos?
Citizens input on power tariffs
Tender coconuts break into corporate offices
Darjeeling tea's lessons for handlooms
The 'Free trade' explosion
Thirty years with a load of fish on her head
Caution - road work ahead
Bt: Flaky results, pre-determined consensus
Look who's on the road
A floundering trade
Does Jamnagar diesel equal Basmati?
Compact biogas plant making waves
Livelihoods caught in the nets
Making motorists pay
Reviving the cotton-to-cloth chain
Ahmedabad takes the bus
What's in a brand name?
An independent voice for workers
Beyond the Clemenceau's recall
The high cost of 'easy' foreign exchange
GDP planning: number crunching won't do
Too little, for too long
Build first, sell next, approvals later
Basmati beset by debate and delay
Weaving woes on the handlooms
A new coalition backs garment workers
Power-play, for the people
How many bullets maketh a dam?
The dams balance sheet
A drive through hell
Low cost rural houses from local materials
An exceptional nation
Micro credit gathers force
A prescription that suits the doctor!
Mindful markets
Entertainment tax bonanza in Kerala
Serving up success
Weeds of hope
Businesses, growth and the good society
Less scrutiny of PSUs planned
Snakes and Ladders in Chingrajpara
Into the maze of the EGS scam
The enterprising labour of small vendors
Special Exploitation Zone
The whole world's bhujia
'Middle class' palaces
'Regularly' employed in Chingrajpara
Connecting outlays to outcomes
GI protection: too little, too slow
Budget 2005: Rhetoric vs. reality
The hamaal: weightlifter or pack mule?
Salvaging VAT's left
Brains and bullocks
Pulling the workhorse, driving the rickshaw
Water canals, or treasury drains?
Tsunami hit saltmakers suffer govt silence
A breach in the interlinking plans
Pracharak to politician, and now, activist
Recruiting debt
Bangalore airport: real estate or runway?
Death knell for low cost medicines
Flower power
The future of Pune's public transport
VAT, or something like it
Bustling, struggling, progressing
Keep away, Anjammas tell GM pushers
Waiting and guessing
Shifting designs
Tax better, spend better
This money grows on trees
Common minimal budgeting
Fast, smooth, and affordable - but when?
Train to nowhere
What’s in a Name, Part II
Dial R to reroute funds
Orissa's labour industry
Migrant labour, migrating debt
What's in a name?
Defence or development?
Money for nothing
The shadow economy
What can save Kerala's small coir?
Diamond Point : where dignity is auctioned
Organising inside the home
Business for benefit
Chinks in the armour
Bridging the banking divide
Thanjavur : summer of discontent
Geographical indications in jeopardy
Progress by any other measure
Livelihoods : the numbers tell
Unemployment and migration
Money talks, ... and walks
A burdensome livelihood
Financing inequality and impunity
The rise of India and WSF
Leadership by non-believers
Judge derails expressway plans
A surge for consumer rights
Rescuing the coconut economy
A weekly struggle
Leading a horse to water
A depressing flavour
Old books in old lanes
These food subsidies inflate prices
Did India win or lose at Cancun?
Disquiet before Cancun
Saviour of the hassled commuter
Ganging up on development
Unmapped, yet visited
Re-routing livelihoods
Budget, Women & The Yawning Gap
From then till now
Production cost Rs. 60, auction price Rs. 47
Technology Transforms Rural Women
Making a Govt Scheme work
Dignity though Papad making
Business with humanitarian goals
 

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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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