India's tiger reserves are maternity wards
The tiger is the sentinel of the ecological destiny of the whole Indian subcontinent. Tiger conservation is no longer merely a choice.
NOBEL FOR LIN OSTROM
Are Indian policy makers listening?
Popular ideas of development and management of common resources should be revisited in light of this year's Economics Nobel Prize, given to Prof. Elinor Ostrom.
A limited 'tribute' to an unlimited legacy
Instead of bothering itself with luxury pens, a truly egalitarian society would focus its attention on the emancipatory possiblities inherent in wielding a pen.
How not to remember Bapu
It is because his own Party stopped taking Gandhi seriously that most young people in India grow up thinking of him as a pious crank, used only as a meaningless icon.
OPINION: SEX EDUCATION
From awareness to real change
Kapil Sibal would do well to assess the learnings from two recent and major HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, before "looking into the ban on sex education".
STATE vs PANCHAYATS
Once bitten, twice not shy
The Governor sent this bill back to the Karnataka state government in 2007 saying that it evidently undermined the Constitution. But it may be back in the state assembly soon.
Panchayats | Karnataka
CORRUPTION AND MILITANCY
In the cross fire between security and insurgency
Plenty of criticism has been leveled at excess use of force by the Army in Manipur. And yet, with much infighting and corruption, insurgents too have lost the moral high ground.
Peace and Security | Manipur
Getting down to the governance business
Winning the elections to the 15th Lok Sabha elections in India was easier than chalking down and executing what the new United Progressive Alliance has to do in terms of governance.
Kerala crisis cure: no rigour
It is nobody's case that there is no crisis. But when remedies are prescribed, the diagnosis and the investigation have to be beyond dispute.
GEO-POLITICS AND TRADE
The world, according to Tom Friedman
"Power to the people" will not be ushered in by the microchip or hydrogen battery, but by a redistribution of wealth. The celebrated New York Times columnist may be misplacing his faith.
Look inward: the lesson of Mumbai
Law enforcement cannot make a distinction between 'our' goons and 'their' goons. It has to make a distinction between goons and law abiding citizens.
Law and order
MUMBAI TERROR ATTACKS
All asleep on the western seaboard
The primary role of the navy is the protection of the seaboards. Having been shown up by the recent failure, the security establishment now has to get the strategy right.
Heed the silent protest
The defence services are unhappy with the sixth Central Pay Commission, and this cannot be in the best interests of the nation.
Security | Public funds
SERIES: RECLAIMING GOVERNMENT
Can there be justice without the state?
There has been a massive erosion in public confidence in our criminal justice system. Numerous commissions haven't helped.
Peace and Security
The trouble with Eden
The Indian liberal can support azadi in Kashmir as the lesser evil, or treat Kashmiri Muslim suffering as the collateral damage of pluralist India.
Jammu and Kashmir
The new avatar of banks
Over the years, nationalised banks have had to buckle up to meet stiff competition from the private sector. But the personal touch, valuable to many customers, is lost.
India's coal-to-liquid push short-sighted
New Delhi recently allocated three blocks of coal in Orissa for projects that will produce liquid fuel from coal, in an attempt to increase oil supply.
Energy | Economy
Modi has raised a serious issue. But he has also let loose the argument that a well-off state does not now need the Centre or other states.
OPINION: ASSAM'S ADIVASIS
Long disenfranchised, and struggling for ST status
The struggle of Adivasis in Assam is more or less unique. It is the only state in India where, post Independence, adivasis were given Other Backward Class status instead of Scheduled Tribe. Sriram Ananthanarayanan says this, and their struggle, warrants an examination.
Adivasis | Assam
Kerala's development paradox
In India, other states look at Kerala's record of firsts with envy. Dr Amartya Sen, the Nobel laureate, has hailed it as a model. But Kerala, caught in a web of paradoxes, is not what it seems, writes Ramesh Menon.
Society | Kerala
Baba Amte: Restless and romantic
He was a zamindar by birth and a successful lawyer by training. He charmed and transformed generations of youth and propelled them into social and political activism. Baba Amte, who passed away last week, was a rare combination of sensitivity and courage, writes Ravindra R P.
Human rights | Maharashtra
Delhi's Tibetan glitch
Tibet lies at the heart of Indo-Chinese disputes. To focus on Arunachal or Tawang alone is not only to miss the wood for the trees, but also to play in to the hands of China. India must bring Tibet back into focus, and this can be done without provocation or confrontation, writes Brahma Chellaney.
Peace and Security
Playing politics with floods
An indifferent political system, trading of charges between state and central governments, and apathy of the Water Resources Department have together created and compounded the misery of floods in Bihar. When floods struck this year, all the measures collapsed like a house of cards, which again is not a new phenomenon, writes Dinesh Kumar Mishra.
Government | Bihar
Fighting eve-teasing: rights and remedy
Irrespective of the dress they wear, or, their ages, their looks, their educational, professional and marital status, never mind the time or place, women in Kolkata and elsewhere are being subjected to all kinds of harassment, including eve-teasing. Shoma Chatterji peels the layers and exposes myths.
All legislation and no conservation
A conservation legislation like Biodiversity Act is being implemented as an access legislation. The Environmental Impact Assessment notification which is has great potential for people's involvement is today a mere clearance formality. Kanchi Kohli says the Ministry of Environment must revisit its original purpose.
Environmental regulation | Biodiversity
REGULATING GM CROPS
GEAC's poor record of regulation
How does one countenance a regulator that does not adhere to the law of the land and is also unable to protect the interest of one group against another? The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, says Bhaskar Goswami, itself needs to be regulated to ensure it plays a balanced role.
ASEAN trade agreement will hurt Kerala farmers
India's share in international trade has increased from 0.7 percent to 1 percent, which is a remarkable achievement, some say. In the meantime, lakhs of farmers in Kerala are being adversely affected by reduction of import tariffs on edible oils, spices and other cash crops. Thomas Varghese delves deeper.
Agriculture trade | Kerala
COMMUNALISM AND THE COURTS
State has no religion
Court decisions have lacked strong measures to penalise religious fundamentalism. On the contrary, as some decisions indicate, the judiciary seems to permit social ostracism, boycott of minorities and ghettoisation. But in a democracy the State has no religion, argues Colin Gonsalves.
Society | Justice system | Guest Opinions
MAHARASHTRA : WATER AUTHORITY
A flawed model for water regulation
Scrutiny of the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority Act shows that the progressive promises of its wording are likely to be belied. Partly this is because of fundamental flaws in its structure, but it is also partly because it reinforces the standard World Bank pattern of reforms, writes Shripad Dharmadhikary.
Water | Maharashtra
Contesting the language of development
Policies of privatisation and globalisation are changing not only economies but societies and cultures. At their core is the fight of ideas, and these will be expressed in words. What these words are, and what they mean, therefore, matters greatly, writes Shripad Dharmadhikary.
A mortal blow to Panchayat Raj
A hurriedly passed amendment to the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act last week gives MLAs unwarranted powers over panchayats, which are themselves a separate tier of local government. Nandana Reddy and Damodar Acharya say the amendment is contrary to the spirit of decentralisation and the Constitution.
Panchayats | Karnataka
Are judges over-reaching?
The Constitution has clearly drawn the Lakshman Rekha for both the Legislature and the Judiciary to maintain their independence in their respective functioning. But what happens when either judges or lawmakers cross this line? Pradeep Baisakh presents an overview of that much maligned term, judicial over-reach.
Media barons and press freedoms
How relevant is the argument of a threat to freedom of the press in cases where the financial interests of a media baron could ostensibly conflict with that of the public? The question resurfaced recently in Andhra Pradesh over the Eenadu-Margadarsi controversy, writes B P Sanjay.
The Press | Andhra Pradesh
DISASTER MANAGEMENT ACT
Farce follows disaster
The top down approach of the Disaster Managment Act had its advantages but completely ignored local knowledge and ways of living. The need is for a judicious mix of the traditional and technological, argues Max Martin.
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS
What's that on your plate?
Genetically engineered foods are blurring the line between acceptable and taboo sources of food for many people. This advance of technology is taking place without the informed consent of the consumers, and additionally raises questions about the safety of such foods and the labeling standards that ought to be adopted, writes Suman Sahai.
OPINION : HEALTH INSURANCE
Healthcare as a broad public challenge
The mounting cost of hospital care, increasing out-of-pocket expenditure, and its catastrophic impact on family finances demand an innovative and flexible risk-pooling mechanism to provide a security net for the poor. Merely transfering the costs to the public exchequer will land the nation in a no-win situation, writes Jayaprakash Narayan.
Health | Guest Opinions
INFORMAL SECTOR ECONOMY
A storehouse of untapped potential
A majority of poor and low-income workers, especially women, are not aware of how to secure their own income using basic skills. Often, they are clueless about using the skills they have tacitly acquired. Varupi Jain on the starting point for development efforts that aim to help them tap their own potential.
Livelihoods | Women
Will the Public Health Foundation be meaningful?
The proposed Public Health Foundation of India, likely to be instituted soon, will establish five 'world class' institutes to train 1000 public health professionals every year. But just where will these new public health experts be employed? Padma Prakash on the unaddressed issues.
Burning biomass is not green - II
Keeping in mind the characteristics of Indian municipal solid waste, a Supreme Court committee had recommended composting and recycling. Still, in our cities and towns, on an average, only 60 per cent of solid wastes are even collected. Gopal Krishna on what is holding better waste management back.
Waste management | Cities
- Engineering crops, distorting trade
- Darjeeling tea's lessons for handlooms
- Say no to the new iron curtains
- Rich daddy, poor daddy
- Acquiring offices for profits
- Rise of the moneylender
- Changing sex roles in Indian ads
- From plants to plastics
- Whose Gujarat?
- Reservations and the 'politics of illusion'
- Importing a farming crisis
- Much research, but no decisive action
- Behind the lessening of true potential
- No need to amend 'Office of profit' law
- A convenient collusion
- Nukes in favour, crops downgraded
- Girls without power
- GDP: number crunching won't do
- Can I have my answer papers, please?
- ASER and beyond
- Police reforms needcreative dialogue
- An autonomous NREG Agency needed
- To serve and protect
- Between sting and scam
- CAG audits of PSUs must stay
- From saree weaver to leader
- A prescription that suits the doctor!
- Unleashed from the bottle
- Making it to page one
- Forest fights, Indian style
- This Seeds Bill must go
- Advertising mirages to mask reality
- Naidu, but with another name!
- More teeth in new RTI legislation
- Political expediency in journalism
- Little space for grassroots innovations
- SC judgment proves it all
- Remembering the Dandi march
- Are we feeling global yet?
- Central RTI law still shackled
- Once upon a Sankranti
- Free to express, not intrude
- Substance, not mere structure
- The ABC's of fighting AIDS
- Draft RTI law needs sharpening
- Broader interpretation of 'rape'
- Sparring in Siachen
- Harvesting flood relief
- Right-to-information or disclosure?
- Lessons? What lessons?
- 'Culture Cops' and the mass media
- Second generation reforms: delivery
- Environment and the new Government
- Opportunity for India and ASEAN
- Not so stunning a verdict
- Bridging the banking divide
- Despising politicians is dangerous
- Organic : to combat pesticide residues
- Infotech and creating resources
- India Shining?
- A question of honour
- Globalisation, values, democracy
- Government: simpler, cost-effective
- Give our children a chance
- Economic rights as human rights
- FIR: Reporting the crime
- New federal roadmaps
- Hunger amidst plenty
- Rescuing the police force
- Plight of the vulnerable
- The base of the pyramid
- Narmada: A curious bond
- History as politics
- A business model for communities
- Legislature and Judiciary : The balance
- Original purpose of democracy
- Our seed, their profit
- We, the people
- The pivotal role of the Press
- A Story of Storytelling
- We are the world
- Will History remain history?
- Is the Internet really a leveller?
- Educating the educated.
- Narmada: Returning compensation
- Towards a knowledge society
- Swaraj Today - is it relevant?
- A meandering tale.
- WSF - From Brazil to India
- Words and deeds
- A contradictory post-colonialism
- A Vision for Nation Building
- A Right to Housing?
- Investing in non-profits
- Can corporate-style NGOs work?
- Getting involved
- Waiting for the messiah won't do.
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