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When doctors rock the cradle

Sex selection for some feminists is ‘sexist’ and sex selective abortion considered a form of ‘femicide’, regardless of the preferred sex orientation, the location of the practice, or the birth order of the child. India’s child sex ratio (CSR), the primary indicator of missing girls in India, is the lowest since independence at 918 girls per 1,000 bo

You can’t win trust by dropping leaflets from choppers: Arjun Munda

Former chief minister of Jharkhand Arjun Munda, of the ruling BJP, is among the leading tribal voices questioning the amendments to the CNTA and SPTA. Portraying himself as a willing arbitrator who can help find a way out, Munda tells how the government could have handled it better. Amendments to the CNTA and SPTA will open the floodgates to the takeover of triba

Hungama over hamam humour

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s comment on his predecessor Manmohan Singh’s alleged practice of using a raincoat in the bathroom has been met with hostile reactions. It’s difficult to figure out why there’s so much fuss about the simple statement. Yes, the bathroom is usually not far from the toilet or the bedroom, and the remarks launch a new category of

When Delhi patiently waited for Sasikala to implode

 A supreme court verdict on Tuesday put paid to Sasikala Natarajan’s dream of becoming the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, and practically cleared the way for caretaker chief minister O Panneerselvam to continue to govern the state. The apex court found Sasikala, an aide of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, guilty in a two-decade-old corruption case. She will have to spend

Good governance is actually a cooperative, collective endeavour: Jerry Pinto

Prolific writer and acclaimed journalist Jerry Pinto has edited and written many literary works in different genres. His work ranges from children’s fiction and magazine columns to poetry, and topics from Mumbai to Bollywood. His book about actress Helen titled Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb won the Best Book on Cinema Award. His 2012 novel Em and The Big Hoom, a memoir of liv

Everyone’s public policy

Democracy today is changing. It is not a passive exercise anymore where the only participation from citizens was electing governments periodically. Rather, it is proactive today – citizens know more and demand more. In the process, policy formulation is evolving as well. Rece

Grads with grades that go nowhere

India has been among the fastest growing economies in the world. World Bank estimated that in the 1960s, approximately 45 percent of Indians lived below the poverty line. This figure came down to around 21 percent in 2011. Furthermore, per capita GDP in India has risen from $83.8 in 1960 to $1,598.3 in 2015. This has made Indians more ambitious. Traditionally, the government distributed the inc

When JNU took truncheon blows to save its beloved liberalism

Few knew who Kanhaiya Kumar was before February 9, 2016, a day that saw a protest at Jawaharlal Nehru University which spawned a tsunami which ruthlessly tried to flatten the ideals of tolerance and truth. The university, a rocky island of knowledge in the midst of snooty South Delhi, witnessed the protest by a group of students against capital punishment to the 2001 parliament a

“The challenge is to ensure that women stay longer in school”

As the participation of women in labour force declines in the country, Sher Singh Verick of ILO explains to Archana Mishra the reason behind this trend, the role education plays and the kind of transformation the country is going through vis a vis women labour force. The participation of women in labour force has declined in India. And we are still not able to f

The graft, the grease, and the bird that watches others eat

There is a common thread between the charges of alleged corruption CBI has filed against former public servants – Manmohan Singh (prime minister), Harish Gupta (secretary, coal), Shashindra Pal Tyagi (air chief marshal) – and by the anti-corruption bureau of the Delhi government against Swati Maliwal (chairperson, Delhi commission for women). In each case the investigating agency ha

Does the nation have a right to know anything about DeMO-ReMo?

The demonetisation of currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denomination that the government announced on November 8, 2016 and the subsequent remonetisation of the economy has affected almost every person in India. It came as a revelation when the media reported that many people in neighbouring Nepal were also adversely affected by the demonetisation of the high value currency notes when they s

Caveat emptor: It`s up to you!

Reports of the presence of lead in noodles and potassium bromate in bread and the recent clarification by the ministry of consumer affairs that service charge in restaurants is voluntary are pieces of the same puzzle. Apart from the obvious food connection, these issues mark a growing shift towards consumer protection, sounding the death knell for the principle of caveat emptor.

Not a walk in the park for Sasikala

 Sasikala’s elevation as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, exactly 60 days after Jayalalithaa’s death, may bring down the curtains on the power struggle. But, the road ahead is not going to be easy for Sasikala, with fears that the AIADMK may begin to lose the support of its cadres.  AIADMK general secretary Sasikala will take over as the chief minister on February 9

Tough times ahead for labour market and global trade

US president Donald Trump may have seized the job of running the world’s most powerful government with a promise of bringing work back to American shores, but if international predictions are anything to go by then supporters of Mr Trump should be in for a nasty surprise. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) released its annual World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) rep

Post demonetisation, deployment of funds and credit growth a big challenge

Flush with funds after demonetisation, State Bank of India has trimmed its lending rate to revive credit demand. In an interview with Geetanjali Minhas, Rajnish Kumar, managing director (national  banking group), SBI, explains how the bank plans to steer its way now. Post demonetisation, what are the challenges faced by banks? Because

“Basic income should have maximum inclusion”

SEWA Bharat had initiated a unique pilot project on cash-for-food (that is, cash replacing PDS goods) in Delhi some time ago. However, the basic income pilot project in Madhya Pradesh goes a step beyond that, giving cash to people without any conditions. What was the genesis of this project, what prompted SEWA Bharat to take it up?  For many years SEWA has

“J&K could be an experimental ground for UBI”

In the Jammu and Kashmir budget, you have announced a basic income for construction workers, and also mentioned the concept of universal basic income. What was your rationale behind it? My intention is to move to a situation where a whole lot of social sector schemes could be clubbed together. Their funds can be brought under one umbrella and distributed among the benefi

Maternal mortality: Best practices can be adopted by poll-bound states

Demonetisation proved that we keep a good account of our money but apparently we lack expertise and motivation in counting maternal deaths, most of which are entirely preventable. Regular and comprehensive data on maternal deaths disaggregated by place of residence, caste, class and religion can help to comprehend the varied dimensions of the problem, wrote William Joe in an article hosted on

We need better facilities: Sakshi Malik

Sakshi Malik is the first Indian female wrestler to bag an Olympic medal. The 24-year-old comes from Mokhra village of  Rohtak, Haryana. She came into the limelight as an international wrestler after she won bronze in the Junior World Championship in  2010. Then, she went on to win silver in the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and a bronze at the Asian Wrestling Championships  in

“Mediocrity breeds, promotes, awards and nourishes mediocrity”

Sahitya Akademi award winning poet Ashok Vajpeyi returned his award in 2015 supporting “the right to dissent”, and was instrumental in the protest against the murder of writers. Vajpeyi, also a retired IAS officer, is not very happy with the Akademi’s style of functioning.  As an author, what do you expect from the Sahitya Akademi?

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