India’s Daughters

Two medals don’t total win   By Poonam I Kaushish Shuttler PV Sindhu, wrestler Sakshi Malik and gymnast Dipa Karmakar were nameless non-entities. Just a part of the Indian contingent to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016. Till a silver and bronze medals and fourth ranking changed their life for ever, paved...

Black: Colour Of Polls

Who will bell the corrupt cat?   By Poonam I Kaushish Paisa phenko tamasha dekho! The song hummed by every Party as five States go to polls next month. Which has paid put to Prime Minister Modi’s war cry of eradicating corruption. After all black is the favourite colour of money which...

Lokayukta Controversy

Karnataka gets entangled     Karnataka is the latest Sate to get enmeshed in controversy over appointment of the Lokayukta. While Chief Minister Siddaramiah has recommended the name of Justice S R Nayak to the Governor for the coveted post, the latter has sought clarifications. This after Vajubhai R Vala got a...

Freedom of Expression

Threatened by govt advts?   By Proloy Bagchi Ram Chandra Guha, a free-thinker and historian who has authored numerous books on Indian history and random societal matters, recently enumerated eight reasons why Indians cannot speak freely. He says India is a 50-50 democracy. It is democratic only in a few respects and...

Uttarakhand Hot Potato

Cong-bjp in battle of wits Uttarakhand is turning out to be hot potato for both the ruling Congress and Opposition BJP. This sordid saga has its genesis with nine Congress MLAs rebelling against Chief Minister Harish Rawat. With the Congress perceivably coming into a minority in the 70 member Assembly, Governor...

Whither Political Parties

Wanted vigilant watchdogs By Dr.S.Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) The nation was shocked to hear of attempts to bribe the Election Commission (EC) by a faction of the AIADMK to get the Party’s symbol of “two leaves” frozen by the Constitutional body. The dispute over it is presently before the Commission. Amidst...

Class & Caste Discrimination

Check neglect of dalits   By Dhurjati Mukherjee The country is the throes of wails over the indifference and oppression of Dalits, tribals along-with those from lower castes. Yawn, nothing new in this as the lower classes and castes have always been at the receiving end. Also true, some political analysts regard this...

Two Rapes, Two Verdicts

Whither equal justice? By Poonam I Kaushish You reap what you sow. This adage rang true as the Supreme Court last week confirmed the death sentence for four convicts in the brutal Nirbhaya case wherein a 23-year-old paramedical student was gang raped on a moving bus on 16 December 2012 in...

Goa, Manipur Conundrum

Congress’ own making!   By Insaf The goof-up in Goa and Manipur is of Congress’ own making. And it’s of no use crying over spilt milk! The grand old party may scream hoarse of ‘use of money power’ and ‘murder of democracy’ in these two States, but it has only itself to...

War Against Tobacco

Economic benefits vs social welfare (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) This year World No Tobacco Day on 31st May is being greeted with a new set of norms governing sale of cigarettes in India issued by the Union Health Ministry even as it is all set to be celebrated with religious...

Champaran Centenary

Farmers await another Gandhi By Moin Qazi This is the centenary year of the Champaran Satyagraha (policy of passive political resistance), the first experiment by Mahatma Gandhi of his epic philosophy. This tool was to become Gandhi’s most powerful amour and earned him a cherished and coveted place in the pantheon...

AFSPA Controversy

Has SC jumped the gun?   By Poonam I Kaushish Excerpt from an SMS reads: “Save State, save identity. Let us take oath, to wipe out the Army.” Welcome to the Gen Next version of militancy. Clearly, the chickens have come home to roost in distant Manipur last week. Tragically, exposing the...

Modi’s Risk-Taking

Towards faster growth India emerged as the fastest growing large economy in 2015 and a possible regional leader. Modinomics is doing some wonders for paving a possible faster growth in 2016. The positives have come from large promises of FDI from Japan, Germany and the US. Global crude oil price...

If Call Drop Penalty Illegal

Consumers in trouble The blemish in India’s much-lauded telecom revolution is a widely recurring phenomenon called “call drops.” In a country which is the world’s second-largest mobile user market after China, fast-paced expansion coupled with inadequate infrastructure and overloaded networks is leading to many callers being cut off mid-sentence! Naturally, the...

Aspirational India

(Excerpts of President Pranab Mukherjee’s recent speech to students, faculty of higher educational & research Institutions & Officer training at Civil Services Academies) India is the world’s largest youth-populated nation. Over 600 million people in India out of a total population of 1.28 billion are below the age of 25...

India’s Growth Strategy

Vital to change development path India has the potential to be the world’s fastest growing economy over the next decade far outpacing China. This conclusion by the Harvard Centre for International Development indeed has come as shot in the arm. The findings are based on the country’s productive capabilities...

River On Fire

Netas muddy waters By Poonam I Kaushish Kahein sookha, kahein baar. Jahaan sookha wahain atamhatya, jahan baar wahaan durghatna. Till yesterday, this nature-made dilemma encapsulated the erratic history of India’s water cycle. Today, this quandary goes beyond the quest for water and has become a major politically volatile issue. Thanks to...

Rapes Constant Reality

Nothing has changed   By Poonam I Kaushish Circa 2012: A 23-year-old medical intern Nirbhaya is brutally gang-raped by six men in a moving bus, cruelly tortured in a bus and left naked as dead on a Delhi street. The incident generates widespread national and international outrage. And 13 days later she...

Kolkata Bridge Collapse

“Which part fell, yours or mine?” By Poonam I Kaushish “What’s the use of coming now? They are already dead. All are dead. The Administration is hopeless, useless,” angrily shouted the residents of Burra Bazaar in Kolkota. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Day after day, month by month anguished wails pierce India’s...

Digital Inclusion

Step up on e-villages   By Dhurjati Mukherjee It is generally accepted that digital inclusion leads to economic development and in the process weeds out corruption and other malpractices. After demonetisation, the emphasis on the country turning digital has been reinforced by the Prime Minister. There can be no denying that digital...

Govt Model Employer, But

Who will take care of private sector? By Shivaji Sarkar The Rs 80,000 crores pay hike bonanza to Central Government employees will benefit over one crore employees and pensioners. Importantly, it would not end here as the States too have approximately the same number of staff. Consequently, another Rs 80,000 crores...

Elders International Day

Shed dependency ratio myth   By Dr S Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) Another International Day has gone by, this time it was for elder persons, on October 1. This year’s theme was designated by the WHO as “Take a Stand Against Ageism”. It was intended to rouse everyone to consider ageism...

Transgender Services

Dispel stigma, aid inclusivity By Proloy Bagchi One has to give it to a mayor for taking a very courageous decision: he will use the services of the transgender community for recovery of property tax from defaulters. For want of any more details, it is hoped the Mayor of Bhopal has...

New Open FDI Economy

India world manufacturing hub     By Shivaji Sarkar Prime Minister Modi has virtually broken from the past and ushered in a new economy. The NDA Government has allowed 100 per cent FDI in defence, civil aviation, greenfield pharmaceutical projects, broadcasting carriage services – cable TV, DTH, food product e-commerce and relaxed sourcing...

Poll-Bound States

Clinching last minute deals   Political parties in poll bound States are scrambling for ‘last minute deals’. After three months of negotiations and declaring it would go it alone, the Asom Gana Parishad has done a U-turn. It has sealed a deal with the BJP in the Assam polls, “in the...

Frivolous Court Cases

Govt move to curb litigation   By Shivaji Sarkar Government departments must cease to be compulsive litigants. The casual approach of “let the court decide” must be eschewed and condemned. The approach has a high financial cost, leads to pendency of cases and demoralises the staff. This apart, employees at different levels...

Our Pygmy Leaders

Talk innaneties as reality bites Where is my India going? Most important, where are our leaders taking it? To hell it seems. I agonise over these questions as a battle royale rages in Parliament and across India over two controversies: Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s belligerent reply on the JNU...

Two Years, Two Promises

Achhe din, par kahaan? By Poonam I Kaushish Circa 26 May 2014: It was a billion bucks dream come true. A chaiwallah become India’s Prime Minister of a billion plus people. Riding the wings of glory with a mandate against corruption, the culture of entitlement and pledges for a nouvelle new...

Modi Flexes 56 Inches

Crosses the rubicon   By Poonam I Kaushish It was a tumultuous week. On one hand we paid obeisance to the apostle of peace and non-violence Gandhi. On the other Prime Minister Modi radically changed the rules of the game in India’s Pakistan policy post the Uri army base attack. Bluntly, the...

SIMI Kaam Tamam

Do we want live terrorists?   By Poonam I Kaushish “Gher ke kar do poora kaam tamam,” ominous words uttered in the wee hours of Monday 31 October morning which resulted in death of eight Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists by the Madhya Pradesh police after they allegedly escaped from...
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