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Rahul’s messianic words don’t match dirty deeds of politics

Self-deception is an essential trait of a revolutionary, particularly of the Marxist variety. Rahul Gandhi as the Congress president seems too eager to internalise this trait in his politics. If you have any doubt, look at his latest tweet which is divinely prophetic in its content. I stand with the la

When two plus two need not be four

The recent victory of the opposition in the Uttar Pradesh by-elections after their complete decimation in the 2014 general elections and the 2017 assembly elections has been interpreted differently by different takers. Some saw it as a resurgence of the opposition on the back of an alliance. This led to  discussion of  the possibility of a grand alliance in UP. Alliances have not been

The rhythms of a protest

On June 29, I was able to grab Carnatic singer TM Krishna for a few minutes on the sidelines of the launch of ‘Kodaikanal Still Won’t’, a music video calling out Unilever’s double standards in cleaning up its mercury contaminated factory site at, well you guessed it, Kodaikanal. The video, a fusion of Carnatic, rap and Tamil Gaana Kuthu genres, features rapper Sofia Ashr

With infighting, CBI faces unprecedented drift

Skeletons, if kept in the cupboards of investigative agencies, are bound to tumble out much sooner than later. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is no exception. The corridors of the CBI headquarters in Lodhi Estate in Delhi have been stinking as hell as an internecine war is on within the agency.   And the destruction of the institution is fairly assured. The latest

Stop shooting the messenger

The recent survey commissioned by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which had ranked India as the most dangerous place on earth for women, has created a serious controversy in India with the government “rejecting” the report, while opposition parties have latched on the report to prove a serious erosion of law and order under the current dispensation. There have been a rash of article

New medium is the new message

A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Those initiated into English-language journalism were asked to learn this sentence by rote and type it on a typewriter repeatedly to familiarise themselves with the keyboard layout. That was before the advent of computers. This sentence (it’s called pangram as it contains all the letters of the alphabet) was the terra firma on which a repo

“Diversity is our tool to handle oil price volatility”

The overseas investment arm of the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), OVL has been witnessing profits due to higher oil output. In an interaction with Praggya Guptaa, OVL’s MD Verma talks about the company’s growth trajectory and the hiccups faced in between.  Please share a snapshot of ONGC Videsh’s growth journey

Woman power plus

The world over, the labour force has proportionately far more men than women. What does this mean in real, quantifiable terms? Here’s one way of looking at it that is quite astounding: according to the McKinsey Global Institute report for 2015, gender parity in labour force participation (LFP) alone could yield global growth of $12 trillion, or about 11 percent of the world’s estima

Contextualising the agrarian

India is looking at a twin set of developmental challenges. First is the sustainability of the rural ecosystems for local prosperity including enhancing farmer incomes. Second is the sustainable development of urban spaces in the face of fast-growing burden on them. These twin set of challenges, however, are not dichotomous. Policy analysts have long focussed on a structural cha

Police reform: Fixed term for top posts a cure worse than the disease

In the discourse of governance in India, no term is as much abused as ‘police reform’. The question is: reform from whose perspective? Should it be focused only on elite Indian Police Service (IPS) officers or also include the constabulary? The answers to these queries lie in the grey areas.   In its July 3 order, the supreme court, it seems, mistook reform for a

Opposition is less than the sum of its parts

Narendra Modi has finally emerged as the architect of unity – of opposition unity, that is. Though it took the Congress and other non-NDA parties four years to learn this lesson, it has come just in time for the grand elections scheduled next year. So, one theory states: As the troubles on the economic and other fronts are piling up and the government is apparently losing its rapport with

The man in the muddle: NN Vohra

Amid a welter of images of blood and war, it is easy to lose sight of how deeply people crave for good governance. The good news from Kashmir last fortnight was that people by and large welcomed governor’s rule. “People are very happy about governor’s rule, especially with this governor,” youth activist Touseef Raina observed a couple of days after the BJP withdrew sup

The Galahads of Indian bureaucracy

 In 1988, at the peak of the Rajiv Gandhi-VP Singh face-off fuelled by media exposes, the most respected editor of those times, Girilal Jain, wrote a comment in The Times of India with the headline, “A Galahad of the Press”. It was a rare front-page editorial, and it continued over into an inside page. It clearly targeted Indian Express editor Arun Shourie for pursuing more act

“Blockchain allows individuals to monitor use of personal data”

Can you explain the concept of blockchain? How does it function? What kind of IT infrastructure is required for deploying it?  Blockchain is a system for maintaining distributed ledgers [‘distributed ledger technology’ or DLT] in a way that allows organisations which might not fully trust each other to agree on ledger updates. Instead of using a central

“Key milestones achieved in Assam”

In an interview with Governance Now, Anil Kumar Jha, special DGP, CID, Assam, who is also nodal officer for the CCTNS project, speaks of what the system in its present form has helped his state achieve. What is the current status of CCTNS in Assam and its outcome? In Assam, the CCTNS has achieved all key milestones in terms of project impl

The neighbour and the valley

The declaration communicated through the director general of military operations (DGMO) of Pakistan and India on May 29, 2018, to implement the ceasefire agreement of 2003 between the two countries in “letter and  spirit” has opened up an opportunity to restore peace in the disturbed Kashmir valley. Indeed, the positive atmosphere generated by the 2003 agreement had not merely

“This initiative is for future generations”

Speaking to Governance Now, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani elaborates on the Sujalam Sufalam scheme to rejuvenate talavdis and desilt reservoirs and lakes. He also speaks on water, politics, and conservation. What makes the Sujalam Sufalam initiative unique?

The steel frame in peril

As a nervous, young IAS aspirant in 1977, I remember being thrilled to see my name in the newspapers when the list of successful candidates was published. Indeed, I was hoping to be allotted my home state, Kerala, but knew that my rank in the exams did not make that possible. Yet, I cannot deny being a little shell-shocked, when, towards the end of our first phase of training, instead of God&rs

Pranab Mukherjee wasted opportunity to take RSS to task

“The politician performs upon the stage: the historian looks behind the scenery.” This distinction, made by British historian AJP Taylor, was expected to come true when former president Pranab Mukherjee took to stage at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters at Nagpur on Thursday. That was not to be. Mukherjee, a schoolteacher in his formative years, could

Actor Juhi Chawla talks about her ‘no plastic’ policy

Very few know that leading Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla is an activist of sorts when it comes to environment. She is an organic farmer as well and does her bit in spreading awareness about sustainable development. A former Miss India (1984), Juhi has banned the use of plastic in her home and office. For the IPL matches of her team, Kolkata Knight Riders, co-owned with Shah Rukh Khan, she c

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