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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

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; Shalini Bhutani’s recap of recent developments shows that much of it has been with an overt focus on industry, rather than innovation in general.
Trade Laws

Empowering rural women: Moving beyond 50 percent
April 2015 elections to Karnataka’s gram panchayats will see a high representation of women, given 50 percent reservation at all tiers, but how can one ensure real authority for women in local governance? The recently proposed amendments to the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act may hold some answers.
Panchayats Authority Women

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 Sikkim

What the maritime 'non-incident' on New Year’s Eve tells us
The recent episode in which a mysterious boat was intercepted by India 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 Firdaus Ahmed Opinions

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.
Displacement Land Laws

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 Justice Poverty Human Rights

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 Opinions

“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 Poverty Human Rights

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? Or do they pose a threat to constitutional sovereignty and integrity? Tanvi Bhatikar reports on a recent court ruling that focuses on these questions.
Laws ASSAM Human Rights

Those brooms may not be enough to clean our waste!
The success of ‘spot fixes’ and 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

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

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 Opinions KERALA

‘Lighting up’ the lives of the poor
Defining, celebrating and protecting our rivers
A time to take up the reins
Is lower inflation here to stay?
Crying out for clarity
Kerala: A murky ‘state’ of affairs
A lot needs to be done to realise Modi’s dreams for Khadi
If the Ganga is so hot, can the Yamuna be far behind?
A better life through literacy
Will the government heed calls to save rural jobs?
An old policy Modi must hold on to
Preparing the framework for a new Ganga vision
The laws we forgot we had
A season of change
No liquor, no drinking?
Sunburn warning for India’s day in the sun
An uncertain future for our fauna
Who will broaden their horizons?
Why a depoliticised police force is a distant dream
What good is an auditor without information?
Tracking fears, hopes and facts in a new state
Is the lack of human resources choking your city?
Indo-Pak talks: Getting past the eyewash
All set to lose out on the gains?
What our cities are crying out for
Clearance revoked, but you can still have the forest land!
If you want food security, why not have food coupons?
Two states with healthcare for one
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
Spewing venom, leaders remain above hate speech laws
Could Aadhaar be the game changer for footloose labour?
How Sikkim’s casino dream turned sour
Why the IB report is undemocratic
Removal of Governors: What does the law say?
Are Indians accountability-challenged?
Can farmers look ahead to “acche din” as well?
The message from voters in 2014
Voices Modi and Kejriwal must listen to, beyond the noise
How an MLA hopeful lost the race even before he could contest
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
What they say about the things that really matter
Women MPs: At par, but rare still
How parties are wooing the young voter
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
Rating our MPs: A few ground truths
Tracking Chennai’s faces in Parliament
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
Mr. Leader, I have a question...
Pragmatism over principles is the norm today: Usha Ramanathan
Could being ‘right’ be wrong for AAP?
What has your MP done for you?
New body should have better pay, more autonomy
Lessons from the "other" Indo-Pak conflict
UP NREGS: Whither guidelines?
Spaced out in Mumbai
Does the loser take it all?
Exploring state-people relations
"Compelling citizens to take an Aadhaar card is unconstitutional"
Nothing to audit
Is CCI a bypass lane for the laws?
Building towns to save our cities
Fewer takers for NREGS after long wage delays
Can accreditation ensure accountability?
Bharat Nirman: The numbers don't lie
NREGA workers kept waiting for wages
The Telangana prophecy: Will more states mean more conflict?
Why Assam burns again
Seeking new homes in Hyderabad
Six months for a job card?
River basin management: Missing the boat
Why the Current Account Deficit matters to you and me
Solar scam heat scorches Kerala
Promises made to be broken
NaMo Narmada: Who gains?
President Mukherjee must reject the Food Security ordinance
The State is snooping: Can you escape?
New report on POSCO - who's listening?
Uttarakhand tragedy: How we ignored the writing on the wall
MIS = Too many mistakes!
Modi-Nitish Kumar 'shadow boxing' to continue: Dr. Sandeep Shastri
Court battle likely after CIC's RTI ruling
Big Brother watching you, but who watches him?
No respite from hunger
Old trick, new attack
"I am neither an atheist nor a theist"
Both of India's politics on display in KA
Why India needs an alternative model of development
Corporate interests rise above all
Bangalore's MLA races may spark change
Winds of change in killing fields
The strange case of India's missing dams
Chidambaram's lip service to his own goal
Cauvery: Preferring politics to solutions
Law, justice, and the 'placebo' of compensation
Is India at its 'progressive moment'?
Should bribe-givers be let off?
Police forged complaint to arrest reporter
Tamilnadu's striking progress in welfare
Complaints? Who's listening?
Clearing the view
Bangalore's graduate MLC race has stark contrasts
Is Mumbai growing anymore?
Karnataka Lokayukta report may go in vain, feel some
Static in the 3G signal
Measuring how netas perform
How valid is the criticism?
The Lokpal we will finally get
Setting the stage on fire
What Digvijay Singh forgot to tell the PM
What powers must the Lokpal have?
Who won? Politics.
Pie in the planning sky
Honest is, as honest does
Jharkhand's "government by fiction"
Wounded pride, or vanity?
More responsibilities, less funds
Planning for Mumbai
Is the LDF coalition’s confidence wearing thin?
Bombay HC sets aside dubious circular
Narmada authorities allowed to proceed with impunity
Starvation stalks Balangir, government in denial
Democracy in the deep woods
Embankments that doom the people
Gas clouds over the government
e-Governance impact beginning to show
A town full of surprises
Once bitten, twice not shy
Civil litigation? No, thanks.
The great Goan land scam
The importance of Hyderabad
Questions of policy
Sehore: Once vibrant, now in disarray
Elections 2009: A grand success
Nagas revere this bureaucrat from the mainland
Jumping into the fray themselves
Big money seeks common man's blessing
SC keeps door open on negative voting
Parastatals and task forces - the new decision-makers
Reckless borrowing, unholy redemption
High-rise fantasies
A mother's plea: protect our seafarers from pirates
Models of reform
CAG conference: Caged tiger, much ado
For the people, by the government?
Mumbai's eye in the sky
Scamming the law, pretext of inability
A run on the Yamuna banks
Kosi breaches repeatedly, governments merely fiddle
'Street' fight in Bangalore
Old Port Trust lands on the dock
Early gains from Forest Rights Act
Unanswered questions, forgotten middle path
The law on horse-trading
Still fighting, in a maze of law and usury
CAG indicts SEZ policy
Modi's secession?
Lessons from good telecentres
CAG report slams Vidarbha waiver package
CAG: Compensatory afforestation a hoax in M.P.
Neither law nor justice
Assam's poorest district moves forward
No future without a past
Government itself to blame for backlog of cases
Living under constant threat of eviction
Getting the roll call wrong
Telecentre musings
Managing global cities
Privatisation in the Krishna basin is recipe for conflict
Resettlement policy: promising start, and a let down
Rioters against ration dealers
NREGA battling cancerous corruption in Orissa
SEZs: A history of injustice and abuse
Paying no heed to groundswell of opinion
State governments unwilling to relinquish control
Playing politics with floods
Grounded till thirty
Women leaders denounce amendment to panchayat law
Re-engineering the Comptroller and Auditor General
Mumbai sinking
In Maharashtra, the government loves calamities
Privatisation turns murkier in K East ward
The willful breaking of Narmada promises
A mortal blow to Panchayat Raj
A red dawn that set too soon
A model for sanitation for the urban poor
Hope in the season of hopelessness
Replying with bullets
Telangana by-election hits tobacco warning
Mumbaikers mobilise for civic polls
TB: gravest danger to India - II
TB: gravest danger to India
India's pro-asbestos position sets back international treaty
RG/PG - new twist to land grabs
Drains that dewater the state exchequer
Myths about police work
Grinding questions for a grand Authority
Acquiring offices for profits
Mission not accomplish-able
Our best hope for urban India
Unreasoned push for large storage projects
Iodised salt: The lesser known facts
Shunglu committee : familiar fait accompli
Emphasis on mixed use needed
A forum of diminishing value
Thwarting women in power
States unhappy with centralised clearances
Monsoon worries once again
Farmers' win in court boosts morale
How things change in government
Crime in the city
No need to amend the 'Office of profit' law
Pune's draft development plan under a cloud
Police reforms book a breath of fresh air
Bureaucracy stands in the way of benefits
Selling piped water or pipe dreams?
Police reforms: creative dialogue needed
To serve and protect
Between sting and scam
Between sting and scam
CAG audits of PSUs must stay
Criminals as leaders -- yet again?
Pradhans under the eyes of Asha Ashram
Envisioning a different city
Bangalore: Whither the future?
Delhi water project soaked in controversy
For the people, by diktat
RTI law: the long road ahead
Pass the (iodised) salt, please
Good governance, by the book
A city's recipe for watery disaster
Combating terrorism : lessons from London
Floods in Sutlej, made in China
Breathing new life into ward committees
Public prosecution - in need of reform
Mixed results for municipal water reforms
Defence budget leaves out Rs 26,000 crores
Cracks in the CAG's scanners
TN's e-Gov experiences spotty, but ongoing
RTI finding : Cities subsidising the rich
Making utilities accountable
Citizens' forum to support whistleblowers
5-month old Kerala government : wavering
Accelerated corruption, a trickle of irrigation
Urban services: Too many cooks
A classroom for leaders
PC or PC? Who sets the policy?
A ‘shocking’ development
Local water: battle of scales
Leaky rural water supplies
Knowing our legislators
Less populous, more powerful
Taken for a taxing ride?
Revamping municipal delivery systems
More reforms, says Election Commission
Right-to-information or disclosure?
Delivering change
Everybody loves a good calamity
The electoral roll farce
Second generation reforms: delivery
Environment and the new Government
A uniform betrayal
Municipal budgets and poverty
Janaagraha spreads out
Could these candidates be lawmakers?
Elections : the Kerala story
Frequencies of expectation
Andhra's electoral earthquake
Talk: Decriminalising Indian politics
Why this election is different
A new property map for Karnataka
Land, law and planning
Voting : Frequently asked questions
Watching the candidates
Despising politicians is dangerous
Infotech and creating resources
Fighting crime on the tracks
Reporting the crime
Government : simpler and cost-effective
Undermining a fine system?
Systems for better governance
A collective enterprise
Lad-ders of indiscretion
Rescuing the police force
New federal roadmaps
Seven lakh voter entries corrected
Historic, unparalleled and more
A progressive law for local planning
Ending municipal water shortages
AP's largest signature campaign
Electronic land
K R Puram's local elections
The transformation of Mendha-Lekha
Delhi's citizens acting en-masse
Nothing intractable or immutable
Public verification of electoral rolls
Seek and hide
Curtail autocratic party bosses
Better accounting paying off
Civil society and political parties
Liberalization, literacy, governance
Societal flaws, stalled citizenship
Testing your municipality's work
Tomorrow's citizens participate today
Better, not just different
The Indian state : Founded on activism
Hyperactive state, governance crisis
PROOF : The Citizen-Government bridge
Strengthening communities - A biz model
So you want to vote
Better lived than talked about
Fiscal deficits and decentralization - II
Interview : Ugly duckling to swan
Govt and Non-Govt Organizations : Partnerships
Productivity of our public services
Public Services : The final assessment
More stories of Parivartan
Voting and the public good
PROOF: Q3, Sustaining the partnership
What ails our Public Services? -- II
Corruption and public services
Public services in a weak civil society
Democratising the Panchayats
What ails our Public Services? -- I
Reinventing Rural Governance
Improving Accountability in Panchayati Raj
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