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Why CSR is good for business

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) defines Corporate Social Responsibility as “a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders”. The eventual goal of any effective CSR policy is to balance the economic, environmental, and social imperatives that a comp

The art of living – and dying – well

Lives of Stoics The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius By Ryan Holiday and Stepehn Hanselman Hachette India, xv+329 pages, Rs 599 Philosophy is usually seen as an academic matter, a subject fit for classrooms, seminars and weighty books – and not fit for the world outside. That nee

Indispensable reading for our times

Inquilab: A Decade of Protest Foreword by Swara Bhasker HarperCollins India, lviii+206 pages, Rs 399 On April 5, 2011, some newspapers carried a single-column report about a Gandhian rural-development activist joining a protest movement to press for a Jan Lokpal bill. Many newspapers did not find it newsworthy. That was the time when the UP

India, US firm up plans to stem China’s expansionist designs

The India-US two-plus-two ministerial dialogue, concluded late last month, has once again reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to strengthen their bilateral engagement and work for peace and tranquility in the Indo-Pacific region. As it was held against the backdrop of a bitter standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh, the two countries during their 3rd two-plus-two dialogue

Why ‘Baba ka Dhaba’ is just a magic story, not the solution

By now most of us already know about the Baba ka Dhaba, a three-decade-old eatery in South Delhi whose story recently went viral on social media. An elderly couple who runs the place and their struggle during the Covid-19-induced lockdown period were all across the internet and news after their video was uploaded on social media by a vlogger. I loved to see the distressed elderly owners smiling

Why you should not be afraid of Corona

When my water bag broke, at age 24, I excitedly woke my parents and said let’s go to the nursing home, in Mumbai, to have my first baby because I could not wait to get back home to my hubby in Bahrain. Of course, I was totally unprepared. And it turned out to be the turning point of my understanding of life. A rude shock instead of an ecstatic process that giving birth to new life ought t

We must fight for Right to Information

Fifteen years back, the Right To Information (RTI) Act became operational on October 12, 2005. It was the auspicious day of Vijayadashmi. It appeared to herald a new evolution in Indian democracy. Citizens who had been advocating this law saw an opportunity of converting India’s defective elective democracy into a true participatory democracy that will give citizens true freedom.

Badtime reading

The Courage to Exist A Philosophy of Life and Death in the Age of Coronavirus By Ramin Jahanbegloo Orient BlackSwan, 96 pages, Rs 195 When China witnessed a new epidemic at the beginning of the year, we did not panic. There had been at least four such epidemics in this century itself, creating a scare, but leaving majority o

Derivative market for electricity in India: Will it lead to innovation or speculation?

The Indian electricity sector is going through an interesting phase right now. Many reforms are being introduced to increase competitiveness and transparency in the sector. The power market in India is a surplus market now and the spot prices are going down day by day. With all these indicators signaling a journey towards a mature power market for India, the introduction of derivatives to the p

A walk down the rich history of Ayurveda

The Indic Quotient: Reclaiming Heritage through Cultural Enterprise By Kaninika Mishra Bloomsbury India, 230 pages, Rs. 499    Over the past decade, India has seen a significant rise in passion for enterprise as well as pride in heritage. The two have converged to form successful ventures and imaginative social initiativ

Is China gearing up for prolonged conflict with India?

International observers will keenly watch the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee meeting next month. The central committee is the highest organ of the CCP with a mandate to execute the decision of the National Congress which is convened once every five years.   Besides economy, rising tension with the US in the South China Sea, tension with India on the Line of Actual

Covid-19 is not the only culprit for lockdown

Richard Rogers, an acclaimed Western architect and author of such books as ‘A Place for all People’ and ‘Architecture and the Fair Society’, wrote, “Architecture is about Public Space, held by Buildings.” So Rogers (without drawing an analogy from Mahatma Gandhi – my reinterpretation of his talisman – of putting the poorest man/woman at t

Covid-19 and cardiovascular disease: What the research says

According to the American Heart Association, ‘cardiovascular disease’ refers to a number of conditions including heart disease, heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) and heart failure. Heart failure refers to the heart’s inability to pump blood at the same level of efficiency as a healthy heart while arrhythmia refers to a heartbeat that is slower or faster tha

Why we need a new option in EVM: ‘Least Undeserving Candidate’

According to the “lesser of two evils” principle, whenever we have to choose among two evils, we should go for the lesser one. Flawed election systems provide voters such a limited choice that they are forced to vote for the “lesser evil.” This is the situation we are facing these days while choosing our representatives. Noam Chomsky, the most famous advocate of “t

Election manifestos and voters` Right to Know

Recognising the importance of election manifestos, the supreme court directed the election commission (EC) of India to frame guidelines directly governing the contents of the election manifestos in the case of S. Subramaniam Balaji v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors. reported in (2013) 9 SCC 659. Although the EC issued certain guidelines on election manifestos, framed in consultation with the pol

India’s digital empowerment and net neutrality

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has steadily amalgamated information communication technology (ICT) in every aspect of modern human life, having a profound impact on economic and social systems by altering business structures and consumer habits. About two decades back, ICT infrastructure was an augmented resource for business, but today with technical advances it has become the first layer of

Gloves are off: Post Galwan, India junks ambiguities

It is perhaps neither new nor is it unacknowledged by people in general that India has, after the deadly scuffle with Chinese soldiers on the Line of Actual Control, decided to do away with caution or hesitation while dealing with China on issues related to foreign policy, business and investment and strategy.    On the policy front, hints came from none less than minis

Four trends that will shape healthcare post-Covid

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and healthcare systems across the world. Even in the countries, like the US, that have the highest spend on healthcare and public health emergency preparedness, the impact of coronavirus pandemic on health and livelihoods of people has been tremendous. There are three key aspects to fighting a pandemic, viz. behavioural changes, environmental prepar

Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger

In a major development on July 6, the Chinese army started moving back its tents, vehicles as well as troops from locations where disengagement was agreed upon in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. This is a significant milestone in regional geopolitics with India having been successful in isolating the ‘expansionist’ design of an increasingly belligerent China aggressively pushi

A place of local democracy in pandemic governance: The case of Mumbai

Democracy in India is now taken for a fact, with an unstated assumption that all our institutions are democratic and hence often our successes and more often failures are attributed to ‘democracy’. However, a key frontier where democracy remains a challenge is that of local governments and that too in cities. In times of pandemic, the skin-deep veneer of democracy is also given up i



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