70th Year of Independence

Minority vs majority communalism   In the 70th year of India’s independence, while celebration of the country’s development is being lauded and rightly so, we still need to ponder over as to where we are heading with regard to the communal situation. In the backdrop of the development graph as the yardstick,...

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...

The Defence Dynasty

Security slushed out   By Poonam I Kaushish History repeats itself a la Bofors. Today the Rs 64 crores has magnified to the Rs 3,600-crores Choppergate. Both standing testimony to military perfidy. Leaving one angry and astonished about the power of greed, over and over again. In a sinking morass of déjà...

Fight Over Casteism

In politics it’s child’s play By Dr S Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) Cases of honour killing following inter-caste marriages, hitherto believed to be restricted to some States like Rajasthan or Haryana, seem to be common all over India not excluding the States recording educationally above national average. To the surprise...

Pathankot Attack

History repeats itself The attack on Pathankot Air Force Station was expected. It had to happen as it occurres every time after any initiative for India-Pakistan talks. We also know the Government had specific information on Thursday last about it and 12 militants had crossed the border. One wonders whether...

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...

Kaam Haram Hai

India on holiday, enjoy! By Poonam I Kaushish Enjoy! Its party time folks. Put it down to mid-spring madness. India is on a holiday, thanks to Holi followed by Good Friday and the usual weekend. But this is not an once-in-a-while four-day break because we desis’ revel in our expertise of...

Choking Politics

Delhi, a gas chamber By Insaf Welcome to India’s Choke Capital, Delhi which has transformed in to a gas chamber. As part of a slew of measures to combat the emergency situation arising out of severe air pollution the Lt Governor banned construction and demolition activities, shut down schools and the...

Land-mark Budget

Silver lining for farmers? This year, the Union Budget’s special thrust on farmer welfare is very encouraging, particularly at a time when the agricultural economy has been affected because of deficit rainfall. There is little doubt that with 60% of our population into agriculture and allied activities, a boost to...

Kingdoms of Swachcha

Tiny states show the way   By Insaf On the second anniversary of India’s Swachcha Bharat Abhiyan tomorrow Prime Minister Modi has much to be pleased about. Two tiny States Sikkim and Himachal have put to shame their larger brethren by notching up the title of being the Kingdoms of Swachcha. Pertinently,...

Arabian Night Nightmare

Employment creation vital   Development is dicey. Small change in policies or global shift in any area can cause turmoil. Hiking the petroleum price by producing nations itself had caused upheaval and as different energy sources are now being developed it is leading to an Arabian night. Undeniably, the world did not...

Tamil Nadu’s Loss

Warning bells for parties   By Insaf Tamil Nadu is devastated. Its iconic leader Jayalalitha’s passing away has put a big question mark on the functioning of the Government for the next four years as well as the AIADMK’s future. Will politics change in the State, after five long decades, is 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...

Orlando Killings

US’s new terror reality By Amrita Banerjee (School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi) The toxic forces of global jihadist terror, lax gun control laws and pernicious homophobia converged recently at a gay club in Orlando, Florida. The outcome was the deadliest mass shooting in the history of United States and the...

Land Acquisition Row

Jharkhand politics simmers By Insaf It’s now the turn of Jharkhand to get embroiled in the sinister politics of land acquisition. Four people were killed in police firing at protesters opposing the take-over of lands for coal mining by NTPC in Barkagaon, in Hazaribagh district. While the BJP-led government has...

Draft Education Policy

Set up Univs in villages By Dhurjati Mukherjee The recently formulated draft education policy document has come at the right juncture given the need to improve educational standards and quality. The Committee’s 217 pages recommendations has been critical of earlier policies even as some disapprove the recommendations as innovative ideas are...

Railway Reform

Professional approach necessary   By Dhurjati Mukherjee With the Railway Budget integrated with the coming General Budget, it remains to be seen what importance the world’s largest carriers would get. There are various aspects of the Railways that need urgent attention but these have not been receiving adequate attention. The very fact...

Police Training

Ought to be value-based By Dr S Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) It is imperative to bring about a qualitative change in policing and training of police. The opinion is of none other than Prime Minister Modi, which he shared with top police officials at the annual conference of DGs/AGs at...

UP Imbroglio

Yadav cat & mouse game   By Insaf Political parties are watching the never-ending cat and mouse game between father-son— Mulayam and Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh, with uncle Shivpal Yadav as the ménage de trios. This, specially against the backdrop of Chief Minister Akhilesh meeting Governor Naik on Wednesday last, his...

Contempt of Parliament

Offence against voters By Dr.S.Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) Like the previous monsoon session, the present winter session of the Parliament has also gone without completing and without even beginning some items in its agenda. Disruptions of Parliament proceedings have become the rule rather than exceptions in our highly charged political...

Universities In Crisis

Academic autonomy vital There is much talk about events happening in universities across the country. Though politics had entered higher education institutions a long time ago, recent developments ‘engineered by the NDA Government’ are a pointer that there is a growing vindictive approach towards the administrative system in universities. The...

GST= 1 Central + 29 State Laws

No end to multiple taxes The goods and services tax (GST) is projected to set a new dimension in taxes through a supposed uniform rate across the country, something any nation would want. Ideally speaking, it is all about treating all States as equals and ushering a comfortable regime. Undoubtedly, the...

Global Sleaze Index

India in slow motion     (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) Transparency International’s latest Global Corruption Index for 2015 shows a slight improvement in India’s rank, from 85 among 168 countries in 2014 to 76 amid 174 last year. True, the rank has improved yet there is no change in the country’s score...

IPR Policy

India’s dilemma   By Dr.S.Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to the USA soon after the declaration of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy naturally raised serious concern about pressure on the Indian Government to expedite amendment of IPR laws to the advantage of foreign investors and trade...

Impetus For Start-Ups

Make India world hub Prime Minister Modi’s announcement of creating an Rs 10,000 crores corpus to incubate start-ups in the country indeed is a judicious decision. As entrepreneurs who use their own funds will now be able to claim capital gains tax exemption if they reinvest their profits in new...

Paris Accord & After

Challenges for third world   By Dhurjati Mukherjee The Paris accord will come into force from tomorrow (November 4). Though the threshold of 55 countries was met in September, 55 per cent emission share mark was reached only in early October. In all 74 parties (73 countries and the EU) accounting for...

States On Social Indices

Towards competitive federalism By Dr S Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) NITI Aayog has announced a plan of ranking States on social indices on the basis of their performance in social sectors. Initially, the sectors included are health, water, and education – the three most crucial areas that determine the level...

Ban on Jallikattu

Towards humanising sports (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) The Supreme Court’s ban on holding Jallikattu, a bulltaming sport, is causing grievous disappointment and anger to some very vocal sections of people of Tamil Nadu who were preparing to organize the sport considered by them as an indispensable part of Pongal festival....

Air Pollution

Claims lives, harms economy By Dhurjati Mukherjee A recently released report of the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has come out with some startling facts, the most important being that India lost 1.4 million lives to air pollution while in China the toll was 1.6 million....

No Separate Rail Budget

Step towards prvatisation?   By Dr S Saraswathi Next year’s Union budget, 2017-18 will introduce a big change in India by scrapping the practice of presenting a separate Railway Budget before it. The two will be amalgamated as one Budget and presented on 31st January – a month before the normal time. Announcing...
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