In what appears to be a damning indictment of the Five Year Plans, launched in 1951, as well as the economic reforms process that began in 1991, the first ever socio-economic survey has painted a dismal picture of rural India, says Devinder Sharma.
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.
Must women play football in sarees? Women in India have continually faced restrictions on how they dress, whether it is on wearing jeans to college or sports gear on the fields. Shoma Chatterji looks at this persistent trend of sartorial repression and urges women to reject such diktats.
Where is teaching headed in the Modi regime? Despite the simplistic articulation of teachers' roles and teaching, including that by PM Modi, and the alignment of education to a broader nationalistic agenda, could there be potential ‘teachable moments’ under the new regime? Shivali Tukdeo and Savitha Suresh Babu explain.
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.
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.
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.
Missing the woods and the trees Ever since the report of the Subramanian Committee, set up to review and amend key environmental legislation, was leaked, several questions have been raised regarding its real implications for the environment. Darryl D’Monte explains some of the most critical concerns.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Would you dare to ‘make in India’? Prime Minister Modi’s clarion call to manufacture in India signifies a lofty vision, but can that be realised without some critical reforms that would make manufacturing sustainable and rational? Amar Kumar raises pertinent questions.