Columns

Why Artificial Intelligence is scaring everyone

By their own admission, Jack Ma is uncomfortable with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Elon Musk is scared. But why? Contrary to popular perception AI is old. To be precise it’s 51-years old, widely acknowledged to have been born at a conference at Dartmouth College in 1956. That conference was attended by a diverse group of people. Three of them presented the Logic Theori

Bhutan and the pursuit of happiness

While researching a book I was writing on Bhutan, my cousin passed along Eric Weiner’s Geography of Bliss. Published in 2007, the book is a series of articles on different countries, most of whom rank very high on the happiness index, as to why they are happy. Each chapter is titled with a whimsical title, such as “Happiness is failure” and “Happiness is efficiency&rdquo

India’s halls of shame

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted the report of India’s human rights record review on May 9. There were 250 recommendations by 103 countries that had taken the floor five days earlier to comment on the human rights situation in the country.   Reviewing human rights This was India’s third Universal Peri

Populism: Its past and future

The rise of populism – the revolt of common people against the elite or the ‘system’ – has been one of the broad themes of the past decade. Till 2000, populism was confined to obscure corners of the world, in Latin America and the former Soviet Block, and was largely ignored by the developed countries. The last time populism was strong across the world was in the 1930s.

RTI rejection rate high in public sector banks

Ever since the Reserve Bank of India-appointed P J Nayak Committee submitted a report blaming RTI as one of the constraints on the governance of public sector banks (PS Banks) in May 2014, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has been analysing the RTI performance of 24 PSU Banks. RTI Performance of 24 PSU Banks: Here are main findings  

Moving into fourth gear

Sometimes, when the change is too rapid and dramatic, you might not know whether it is really happening. It is understandable, considering the fact that you simply don’t recognise it. Without you knowing, however, a dramatic change is already taking place. When Klaus Schwab talks about the fourth industrial revolution, it is not going to be too difficult for you to just lo

The carbon debate, with shades of grey

Is the world getting greener? That would be a paradox when nations are putting their heads together to find ways to fight global warming. While the world is condemning carbon dioxide (CO2) as the culprit for global warming, there are some who are fighting for the cause of CO2. And they cite scientific data to support their stand. They say that CO2 is in fact leading to an increase in gre

How to put India ‘on course’ to fight malnutrition

It is not surprising that the Global Nutrition Report 20161 places India ‘off course’ for all nutrition indicators, with some progress in stunting and underweight, and none at all in anaemia among women of reproductive age and wasting of children. India’s jinx in tackling this last unaddressed outpost in its growth and development story continues. Tho

Lokpal can be set up without LoP, yes, but who’s in hurry?

If it was needed at all, the supreme court has cleared the air. The Lokpal Act, it has ruled, is perfectly implementable even without the pending amendments. The interpretation from the apex court is welcome, but the government does not seem to be in any hurry to appoint the ombudsman in the first place. A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha on Thursday

Why India needs a bullion bank

India’s affinity for gold is a well-known fact, so is its dependence on gold imports to meet the domestic demand. More than 98 percent of the gold consumed in the country is met through import, while the rest is met through recycled domestic gold. In 2015-16, India imported 926 tonnes of gold.  Ironically, despite this huge appetite for gold and such massive imports,

Civil services day: Administrating administration

Civil services day observed on April 21 every year is according to the government “an occasion for the civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of citizens and renew their commitment to public service and excellence in work”. On this particular day in 1947, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, expressing his thoughts to the first batch of civil servants, pressed on

Changing with climate change

In 2050 the USA and China would each have contributed around 16 percent of global cumulative emissions, while India’s share will be a mere eight percent even though it would be the second largest economy. This would require the country to become rule-makers and not just rule-takers to ensure that major emitters do not shift the problem to others. At India’s insistenc

Why a hero gets a zero

Remember Sanjiv Chaturvedi? The one who won the 2015 Ramon Magsaysay for his crusade against corruption. The whistle-blower officer has been facing difficulties from various regimes, and the latest is the BJP.  The 2002-batch IFS officer received his appraisal for 2015-16 in January. And the health ministry gave him a zero grading.    Iro

Kashmir’s second stone age

Kanni jang’, or the fighting with stones, is an expression in Kashmiri language for a street clash between two rival camps. These fights would see a lot of bile flowing around and stones being hurled by members of rival groups at each other. For the onlookers – who would gather in no time – it was somewhat innocuous game and entertainment as everyone knew the stones ar

Yet another RTI activist is killed. And govt rules propose to drop his queries

 "Another one bites the dust, another one bites the dust uh.. and another one, and another one". Apro dikro (our lad) Freddie Mercury`s hit song from the 1980s is in real danger of becoming the RTI anthem for India. With the murder of RTI activist Suhas Haldankar in Pimpri-Chinchwad area of Pune district in Maharashtra last Sunday, Maharashtra accounts for 16 instances

Champaran Satyagraha and a long lost diary

 To tell exactly when the Champaran Satyagraha actually started would be little difficult. However, it was April 10 when Gandhi set out for his journey in Bihar and this month marked the hundredth year of Gandhi’s remarkable experiment of Satyagraha in indigo producing villages. Before Gandhi reached Champaran, a villager who spoke Bhojpuri and Hindi ran from pillar to post t

Gandhi gave a master class in political action 100 years ago

The Champaran movement, now a century old, was the country’s “first direct object-lesson in Civil Disobedience”, says Gandhi in the autobiography. [The term used in the Gujarati original, ‘Satyagraha’, is not used even once in the English translation, preferring the term coined by HD Thoreau.]   As Gandhian satyagrahas go, Cha

Proposed RTI rules: Point and counter-point

The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has published a `factual position` about the content of the Draft Right to Information Rules, 2017 that seek to replace the existing RTI Rules notified in 2012. The text of this clarification is copied below. Our preliminary comments on the `factual position` are given after the text of the same: Press Information Bureau 

Is runaway taxation stifling the Indian economy?

An archetypal Indian, let us call him Ram Lal, pays water tax, municipal tax, road tax, house tax, sales tax, central sales tax, professional tax, value added tax, octroi,  service tax, excise duty, customs duty and myriad other taxes. Then, on whatever money is left with him, Ram Lal has to pay income tax. Ram Lal has also to pay a number of cesses and duties – education ces

The secret of Modi’s success

Here is a proposition: Narendra Modi is the top  thinker, the top intellectual of our times. Is that an exaggerated claim? Not altogether. Here’s why. After Brexit and after Trump, intellectuals, especially in the west, are busy guessing what exactly is going on in the world, what the masses are thinking. A sampling of their titles will give an idea: Age of Anger,



Video

प्रभुनाथ सिंह को हत्याकांड में उम्रकैद की सजा

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter