THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
MUMBAI'S WOES
When cities go under

Mumbai is closer to finalising its 20-year development plan, from 2014 to 2034. The plan might be hiding more than it reveals, writes Darryl D'Monte.

Urban Cities Environment Urban Poor


ID REMEMBRANCE
The Dhemaji Tragedy

Parthajit Baruah, director of documentary The Dhemaji Tragedy – An Undefined Chapter, the tragedy that happened on the Independence Day in 2004 talks to Shoma Chatterji.

Media Interviews Films Media ASSAM

TELANGANA'S FARMERS
Registration of informal land sales

Telangana’s free registration of plain paper land sale initiative to digitally clean up its land records not only benefits its dispossessed farmers but makes land governance transparent, reports Manipadma Jena.

Agriculture Land Telangana

MGNREGA
What's working, what's not

The uneven performance of MGNREGA in the task of rural asset generation requires a careful comparison of the decision making processes involved in those cases where the works undertaken have produced value and where it has failed to. Pavan Kulkarni analyses the success and the failures of the act based on different studies, before identifying some of its rectifiable shortcomings.

Agriculture Labour Issues Public Funds

ELECTRIFICATION DRIVE
Lessons for rural electrification from a weaving village

Is village-level electrification enough for the rural population to avail the benefits of electricity? The experience of Nagde, a village in Maharashtra, offers some crucial insights. If electrification drives remain focused only on village electrification, connections and lighting, 'Gaaon Ka Vikaas Garv Ke Saath' will remain just rhetoric. Anjali Sharma, Ann Josey, and Sreekumar N report.

Energy Government MAHARASHTRA

DRAFT NATIONAL WATER FRAMEWORK BILL
The right to water for life

On 26th May 2016, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR) put out the Draft National Water Framework Bill, inviting public comments.  The bill represents an important and progressive step forward despite some shortcomings and challenges involved in its implementation, writes  Shripad Dharmadhikary.

Water Environment Government

ON THE WATERFRONT
There's more than meets the Mumbai Eye

With the arrival of a new Chairman of Mumbai Port Trust, the redevelopment of port land in Mumbai is  being discussed again and like the earlier discussions this one too ignores the real needs of the city and its citizens. Darryl D’Monte elaborates.

Urban Cities Environment

FILM CENSORING
The brouhaha on censorship

The tremendous rage against Pehlaj Nihalani around the Udta Punjab (2016) issue finally resolved by the High Courts with minor cuts gives a reason to take a retrospective look into some memorable deletions and suggestions by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) much before Pahlaj Nihalani entered the frame, says Shoma Chatterji.

Films Media

HILL AGITATION
Manipur: Rattled and Torn

It has been more than nine months since a political crisis has snowballed into a battle between the tribals and the non-tribals of Manipur creating sharp divisions. Ramesh Menon surveys the fragile situation.

Laws MANIPUR

BIO-DIVERSITY ACT
Withering public consultations

The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 states that before using any Indian biological material for commercial or R&D purposes, a wider public consultation is needed via the local Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs). Now, the National Biodiversity Authority is considering dispensing with BMC consultation. Kanchi Kohli and Shalini Bhutani question the logic behind this change.

Agriculture Bio Diversity Environment

COAL POWER PLANTS
Water guzzlers in water-stressed areas

This summer, stories of the impacts of drought and water scarcity have been coming up with a saddening regularity. These stories mostly highlight the conditions of farmers, cattle and increasingly, problems of domestic water supplies in villages, towns and cities. However, what is often not reported is the situation with industries, particularly the coal based thermal power plants, reports Shripad Dharmadhikary.

Economy Environment

ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE
A misplaced emphasis on highways?

Why does the government continue with its blind focus on highways and expressways when infrastructure for water supply, waste management and mass transit system is in desperate need of attention? Kannan Kasturi criticises the government's prioritization and says there is more to public infrastructure than just highways and expressways.

Transport Government

NORTHEASTERN CINEMA
Telling tales from the Northeast

There is hardly any cinema industry or theatres existing in some of the Northeastern states of India today. This is shocking because the seeds of cinema were sown in Assam way back in 1935. Shoma Chatterji writes about the challenges faced and efforts being made in these states to encourage and support film making.

Films Media Society

STATUS OF GROUND WATER
Extraction exceeds recharge

Last month, the Bombay High Court passed an order to shift IPL matches scheduled for the month of May out of the state of Maharashtra.  The court cited an acute water shortage in some parts of the state for its decision. From PRS Legislative Research, answers to some basic questions about ground water and its depletion in our country.

Agriculture Water

NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
How badly designed and unsafe

The 30th and 5th anniversaries this year of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plant accidents respectively are the right occasions to examine India’s record in this sector, writes Darryl D’Monte.

Energy Environmental Hazards Environment Government

CONFLICT IN NUCLEAR AGE
World War II redux in the nuclear age

A mega Indian Army exercise aimed at sharpening Army's deep strike capabilities in enemy territory concluded last month in Rajasthan. Firdaus Ahmed analyses why having the strike capabilities in this nuclear age might be a mixed blessing.

Nat. Security Firdaus Ahmed OP-ED Subcontinental Musings

NUCLEAR DANGER
What Chernobyl and Fukushima remind us

The 30th anniversary on April 26 of the catastrophic accident at the nuclear power station in Chernobyl, which is now part of an independent Ukraine, has gone unnoticed in the Indian media. One can ignore the lessons – as well as those of the Fukushima plant, the fifth anniversary of which also falls this year – only at our peril, given the huge investments India is making in this energy sector, writes Darryl D’Monte.

Environmental Hazards Environment

CINEMA
Saankal – strong content, weak movie

Even a badly made film becomes a learning experience for the viewers because it sheds light on issues not known widely otherwise, says Shoma Chatterji as she reviews the movie Saankal. She also ponders why badly made movies are being invited and awarded at several film festivals.

Reviews Art Human Rights

CHAMPIONS OF WOMEN'S RIGHT
This village doesn’t deny its women the right to pray

Suchismita Pai travels to the hinterland of the western state of Maharashtra where a unique intervention with the local men has motivated them to shed their rigid patriarchal mindset and become champions of women’s rights and equality.

People MAHARASHTRA Women

BLOG: RESISTANCE AND RECONSTRUCTION
Hope in Bihar

The state of Bihar is well-known for lagging behind in all economic and human development indicators. Recently, Ashish Kothari visited some areas in Bihar where interesting things are happening. Under progressive governance and grassroots action by its citizens when these are implemented state-wise, Bihar would be well on the path of progress.

OP-ED BIHAR Ashish Kothari

WASTE DUMP
Residents of a municipal dumping site fight back

The women of Meghpar village of Kutch District are fighting the big port town Gandhidham municipality which is dumping its waste in their village. Vimal Kalavadiya and Shvetangini Patel narrate how these women self-learned the waste management rules and other legal aspects to keep their struggle strong and on.

Waste People Women

THERMAL POWER PLANTS
New regulations welcome, but the proof will be in the eating

For the first time ever, new regulations from the environment ministry require coal-based thermal power plants to stick to legally binding limits for water consumption. Shripad Dharmadhikary examines the implications of these rules with respect to the water consumption limits of coal based power plants.

Water Environment Environmental Law and Regulation

LIMBU TAMANG ISSUE
Tribal seat reservation issue rakes up storm in Sikkim

The long pending issue of Limbu-Tamang tribal seat reservation in the Sikkim legislative assembly has to be resolved within the next four months as per the latest orders given by the Supreme Court. Soumik Dutta writes about how this could change the political scenario in Sikkim.

Government Adivasis Sikkim

HUMAN RIGHTS REPRESSION
Debaranjan Sarangi: Another artist incarcerated

Debaranjan Sarangi, a documentary film maker, writer and human rights activist was arrested recently in Kashipur, Odisha. He has been involved for more than eight years with the anti-mining movement of the Adivasis in Kashipur. Shoma Chatterji writes about Sarangi's arrest, his activism and his films which deal with Adivasis and their struggles.

Films Human Rights ODISHA

PROGRESS UNDER NREGA
Jharkhand looks at better planning to aid NREGA outcomes

A three-day planning process undertaken as part of a state-wide campaign called “Yojana Banao Abhiyan” to plan for NREGA implementation in every village in Jharkhand has sensitized the people and authorities to the potential of the scheme and recharged local democratic institutions. Ankita Aggarwal reports.

Labour Issues Public Funds Government JHARKHAND

RISK FROM TOXIC CHEMICALS
The poisons we play with everyday

From the paints in our homes to the discarded CFL tubes, the sources of toxic chemicals that pose a serious threat to our health and safety are omnipresent. Darryl D’Monte highlights why it is imperative for India to move faster and more determinedly in tackling this problem.

Environmental Hazards Environment Environmental Law and Regulation

MUNDRA STORY
How non-compliance is condoned: A short story

The Environment ministry as well as the citizen-led committees have found large scale and conclusive evidence of violation of environment regulation by the Adani group in their Mundra Port and SEZ Ltd and the Waterfront Development Project. Kanchi Kohli reports on why both the projects are still moving ahead.

Environment Environmental Law and Regulation GUJARAT

HUMAN RIGHTS
Ishrat Jahan case: Is the political furore skirting the core issue?

The Ishrat Jahan case has again hit the headlines with former home minister P Chidambaram being accused of rewriting an affidavit to prove the 19-year-old’s innocence.  But the legal probe into whether she was a victim of an extra-judicial killing seems forgotten. Ramesh Menon presents a recap and investigates where things stand now.

Government GUJARAT Human Rights



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