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“Return land to tribals after mining is over”

Seasoned BJP parliamentarian Nand Kumar Sai, who took charge as the chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) on February 28, has his work cut out for him. Archana Mishra caught up with Sai, 71, on his first day in office where he spoke at length on a host of issues being faced by tribals. Sai, who was th

Making Aadhaar mandatory for filing IT returns violation of constitution

The media reported very disturbing news on Tuesday. The government is seeking to amend the Income Tax Act, 1961 and to make it compulsory for taxpayers to have an Aadhaar card for filing income tax (IT) returns. If the Aadhaar number or the Aadhaar enrolment number is not provided by a taxpayer at the time of filing IT returns, after July 1, 2017, the permanent account number (PAN) will be tr

From the Poet PM

Like Atal Behari Vajpayee before him, prime minister Narendra Modi is a poet. He has written quite a few poems in Gujarati. On the occasion of World Poetry Day (March 21), Governance Now presents two short poems by the prime minister that reveal another side of his personality. They are excerpted from `A Journey: Poems by Narendra Modi`, translated from Gujarati by Ravi Mantha, and pub

J&K RTI Act: Poor state of affairs even after eight years

The J&K Right to Information Act (J&K RTI Act) enters its ninth year of implementation. A study of the official websites of 230 public authorities under the J&K government conducted by J&K RTI Movement and CHRI reveals that compl

Sustainable health care model possible in India

Book: Health Care Reforms in India: Making up for lost decades Author: Rajendra Pratap Gupta Publisher: Reed Elsevier India Pvt. Ltd. Pages: 456 Price: Rs 995 Year: 2016

New maternity bill a trojan horse: ORF

Some women currently employed in formal sector jobs may find their positions terminated by employers not wishing to bear the cost and a certain number of women graduates waiting to enter the formal labour force may find themselves unemployed because employers are reluctant to hire women in their child bearing years, said an article on the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016 that w

The battle to access affordable medicines heats up

Tobeka Daki, a single South African mother and health activist from the eastern Cape, died fighting breast cancer in November last year. Her oncologist had told Tobeka that she needed trastuzumab – a life-saving WHO essential medicine for the treatment of HER2+ breast cancer – in addition to undergoing chemotherapy. However, three years after her diagnosis, Tobeka died becau

“Don’t think you are safe from the IS in India”

It seems a narrative straight out of a thriller. Only it isn’t. The puckered skin, the stillness of the left eye, the wrinkled cheek do not, will not, allow you to forget that this was a lived experience of blood and tears for 18-year-old Lamia Haji Bashar. In Delhi to attend the 19th Asian Security Conference hosted by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, she is a living t

Getting ready for Industrialisation 4.0

Eastman Kodak was the first company to introduce the digital camera in 1975. Yet, it continued to prioritise photographic films, only to be wiped out from the market. Nokia once held a dominant market position in cell phones. So did BlackBerry in smartphones. Now, the market share of these companies has shrunk drastically. These are a few examples of the impact of changes in techn

Budget & Tourism

It’s a well-known fact that Indian citizens are a well-travelled lot. Our citizens contribute significantly to the tourism spends in countries such as Switzerland, UAE and Singapore. On the other hand, the attractiveness of India as a tourist destination has improved only marginally over the years, and much remains to be done in this regard.  The Tourism Att

Lesson from Veerappan chase: if there`s will, the state will surely win

K Vijay Kumar, 64, is the man who headed the special task force (STF) that hunted down notorious bandit Koose Muniswamy Veerappan on October 18, 2004 in an operation code-named Cocoon. Kumar, a 1975-batch IPS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, talks to Shivani Chaturvedi about his book, Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand, which is an authentic account of Veerappan’s life, a

On the edge: Not city, not village

Indian cities have been growing exponentially. As modern urban citizens, we give little thought to the dynamics of this expansion. Mainstream thinking focuses on the imperatives of creating cosmopolitan cities. In the post-liberalisation era, governments have given a boost to urban expansion by creating incentives for special economic zones and urban corridors. The growth of outsourcing

Designing a new defence economic strategy

Over the past three years, there has been a marked focus on implementing defence procurement reforms. Many are of the opinion that India’s focus on defence procurement reforms is unique. However, this is not true. India’s focus on defence procurement reforms reflect a worldwide trend. The US, UK, Australia and China are pursuing and implementing procurement reforms. India ha

“Indus people knew how to deal with climate change”

Was the finding of summer rain and crops around the year your ‘exclusive’?   Scholars have long argued that the Indus Civilisation developed in a region that was affected by winter and summer rain, and also that Indus farmers grew a diverse range of crops (e.g. Vishnu-Mitre, Chakrabarti, Weber). However, our understanding of the dynamic

Why Delhi – or for that matter any Indian city – can’t become London

A stretch of road running about a couple of kilometres in east Delhi is very much the core of deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s constituency. In recent months, the civic authorities (which do not come under Sisodia’s command) forcibly removed from the footpaths people why used to run their small-time business from there: tea vendors, washer men and the like. That

"By Sep 2018, we will have broadband in every village"

How are you planning to expand the network of rural broadband, since the NOFN project is moving slow? About 300 km of optical fibre was laid from 2012 to 2014. Now, we have reached 1,09,000 km. Earlier, the speed was 40 km a day. Today it is 400 km a day. There is a tenfold jump. Expenditure, which is one way of measuring the progress, was Rs 3,000 crore last yea

India will be home to world’s largest Muslim population by 2050: Pew

Indonesia is currently the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, but Pew Research Center projects that India will have that distinction by the year 2050 (while remaining a majority-Hindu country), with more than 300 million Muslims.   The Muslim population in Europe also is growing; “we project 10% of all Europeans will be Muslims by 2050

“For connectivity, fibre can’t be the last mile”

  In conversation with Taru Bhatia, Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), explains why the industry has failed to reach the rural market with internet connectivity, the limitation of wired network and how the entry of Reliance Jio has changed the way data is consumed.   T

Towards a republic of bits, bytes, blazing bps

  The lumbering waddle of the Indian internet has been a rich fount of humorous tropes. It fuels a sub-culture that shines an unflattering spotlight on a truth that’s comic and tragic in equal measure. Sample this: slow internet is more painful than breaking up with your girlfriend. Funny. But a trope is a rhetorical device, an easy to grasp intellectual essence that of

Ramjas row an ideological war between Left, RSS: ORF article

  The clash at the Delhi University’s Ramjas College between the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the All India Students Association (AISA) did not happen in a vacuum. Rather, the incident, triggered by attempts to bar two Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students from a seminar at Ramjas College for their alleged “anti-India” stance, symbolises a g

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