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Accessing quality sexual and reproductive healthcare

Approximately 2000 healthcare providers who serve Mumbai`s 57,26,442 women attended the two day conference on sexual and reproductive health hosted by Mumbai Obstetric and Gynecological Society (MOGS) that co-occurred with the World Health Day on April 7. The federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) an

Make oral care integral to universal health coverage

In a world that continues to witness a sharp divide between the rich and poor, and diseases continue to stare menacingly at humanity, it is only prudent that World Health Organisation declared Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as this year’s Health Day theme. UHC means that all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services

The Indian abroad

Diaspora diplomacy has emerged as an important component of India’s foreign policy in the last few decades. At the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in January, prime minister Narendra Modi emphasised the diaspora’s as ‘India’s brand ambassadors’. While the Indian government has been promoting bilateral and multilateral dialogue on economic and political levels, cultural dip

Congress campaign: Perennially catching up?

The general elections of 2019 commence on April 11 and the last phase of campaigning in the 91 constituencies of 21 states is under way. Both prime minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi are addressing multiple rallies in the poll-bound constituencies in a final attempt to woo voters. The debates in the last phase of campaigning are important in the battle of perception and

Schooling in freedom

This year’s interim budget allocated Rs 93,847.64 crore for education. Of this, Rs 56,386.63 crore was for school education, a hike of 10 percent over the allocation made in the previous budget. Does this materialise into tangible and sustainable improvement and enhancement, offer solutions to our stubborn and complex education challenges?   In education there a

A blind spot

 “The 21st century is the century of human mobility and migration. We can no longer think about our economies, societies or cultures without thinking about human mobility.” – Laura Thompson, deputy director general, International Organization for Migration   Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the importance of migratio

Beyond Justice

You will not find God or grace in legal concepts, in formal notions of criminal justice. Certain values and ideals are beyond justice. These include mercy, forgiveness, redemption, dignity. Also love. This crime story is about values larger than mere procedural justice. It is a story that was not so widely covered by the media, but it should have been. I first read about this twisting

The chronicles of a gradual fadeout

Few know that LK Advani was often accused by Sangh Parivar apparatchiks of exercising ‘unilateralism’. In the history of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its earlier incarnation, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), Advani’s influence on the organisation was not only overweening but also extended for decades, from the 1970s to 2013. His numero uno status was frowned u

How taxes vanish into a black hole

When a citizen does not pay due taxes, the result is black money. Everybody gets worked up about it, and rightly so. But when the government collects taxes and does not use the revenue for the intended purposes – or even collects money for non-existent taxes, what would be the result? Grey money? That has been happening, and despite reminders from the supreme auditor, goes on happening su

Land digitisation and India

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report 2019 ranks India at 166 out of 190 countries in ‘Registering Property’, lower from last year’s ranking of 154. This, in spite of a 53-place jump in India’s overall ranking in the last two years alone!   In Mumbai, it takes a little less than three months to get a property registered in the na

Easing birthpangs

Most of us have paid at least one visit to a health facility. It is easy to identify quality care when we receive it – an attentive doctor, a responsive team of health workers, adherence to hygiene and safety protocols, and so on. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to high quality care, a situation we are working hard to change.     In Delhi in Dec

Rethinking healthcare

The new world is aggressively batting for individual rights and self-determination. As the society is evolving for the better, we see a more assertive Indian coming to the fore. An Indian who has higher expectations and an Indian who is cognizant of his/her rights. Our constitution guarantees us several freedoms and rights, with Article 21 affording a window for the generations to interpret and

Why not have a reconciliation panel?

Jenine di Giovanni, a reporter who was a first-hand witness to the destruction in Bosnia, Chechnya and other places, wrote: “In the aftermath of any war or genocide, healing and reconciliation are ultimate aspirations.” After some years of the end of the apartheid era in South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established there under the chair of Archbishop D

An engineering disaster

After passing the 12th board exams in 2014, Vikas Kumar, of Madhepura in Bihar, took a year’s break to prepare for the engineering entrance exam. The hard work paid off and he managed to score high enough to qualify for admission to one of the prestigious National Institutes of Technology (NITs), where admission rates are as low as 1-2 percent of the applicants, making them only next in s

Who benefits from India-Pakistan conflict?

The dastardly attack on the personnel of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) of February 14 in Pulwama that killed forty men has already turned a new page in the India-Pakistan ties. The loss of precious human lives caused immense resentment across India against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, for the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM), which is being supported by the Inter-Service intelligence (ISI), a wing

Priyanka’s ill-advised photo op with Azad reveals Congress diffidence in UP

Here is a picture of the late 1970s: prime minister Indira Gandhi calls on an ailing Sheikh Abdullah at a hospital in Srinagar. He had just been released and had taken over the reins of Jammu and Kashmir after elections. The picture shows Gandhi offering her hand while Sheikh is lying in bed. Yet, the persona of Sheikh, a veteran leader from Nehru’s generation, towered over Indira Gandhi.

Crossing the border

Ghar mein ghus ke marenge (We will hit you right inside your own home),” prime minister Narendra Modi thundered, when he addressed a meeting at the civil hospital in Ahmedabad on March 4.    He paused before finally delivering this one-liner with an elan that conveyed that patience was exhausted. That he chose the civil hospital, where a bomb blast targeted

Not enough for the kids

The nation is virtually in election mode, and political parties are busy thinking up campaign strategies. But have MPs been making a mark in their constituencies? A study of malnutrition indicators among children below five years in parliamentary constituencies in the country shows that some of the constituencies with the worst health profiles are state capitals like Bhopal and Ranchi, and citi

The ancient city’s modern avatar

As you drive down from Varanasi airport, the elevated road that takes you to the city says it all. It takes less than 20 minutes to reach the cantonment area where the British established their garrisons and other establishments to administer the city.  Varanasi, one the world’s oldest cities, is bracketed by two rivers, Varuna and Assi, from whom it derives its name. There

When Ujjwala loses the shine

Near a deserted park in Salempur Jat village in Bulandshahar sit a few men discussing politics. Sipping their morning tea, the men are engaged in a heated conversation about upcoming elections, education for the poor, local village issues and rising prices of fuel and LPG cylinders.  Narrating his tale of woe, 52-year-old Bane Singh says that his family was forced to use firewood



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