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Vote for Good Governance, vote for those who care for your life and livelihood

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) compiles an annual  ranking of countries based on an index comprising of health, education, and income. For the year 2020, for which data has been released by UNDP, India’s rank has been 131 out of total 189 countries ranked. This is absolutely unacceptable and evidence that successive governments have failed to give good governance and

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission: How safe, secure, and private is our health information?

Adopting a ‘citizen-centric’ approach, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) launched last September marked an important milestone in India’s evolving journey towards open digital platforms. ABDM strengthens the equity and accessibility of health services through a technology-driven, holistic healthcare programme approach. By providing a unique ID to every Indi

Artificial Intelligence: Promise, Challenges and Threats for India

I. What is AI? For many, the term ‘AI’ still evokes the image of either a Terminator-type robot or a disembodied, talking computer many times smarter than humans. And more often than not, the human race invariably needs to be rescued from their clutches, preferably by a bunch of easy-on-the-eyes Hollywood stars. Fortunately, the reality is considerabl

What Ramayan and Mahabharat teach us about modern times

When I was a young child, I used to read the Panchtantra and the English stories and fairy tales. They taught me many things, like never to speak to strangers, never to trust anybody blindly, always help the needy and the weak. I became aware of many moralistic and positive traits from these stories. But the stories from which I learnt the absolute righteous way of life was from our great epics

Raising the minimum age of marriage for women is welcome, but...

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to amend the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act. The proposal seeks to increase the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21, bringing it at par with men. I welcome this proposal as a progressive move towards empowering women and strengthen the tenets of gender equality. But I have a fundamental concern with regards to the efficacy of the proposed

Pandemic hurt PwD disproportionately: Here’s what needs to be done

The pandemic affected various ethnic and social groups quite disproportionately. This becomes particularly important for a country like India, where many social groups are yet to be integrated with the mainstream population. Development disparities and crimes against weaker sections of society are indicators of the prevalent gaps in the dream of social inclusion. Perhaps the pandemic undid sign

Bank loan recovery in recent years has mirrored Hindu rate of growth

At the outset, for those who are not familiar with the nomenclature ‘Hindu Rate of Growth’, it refers to the low economic growth in post-independent India till the 1990s, when several economic liberalisation measures were undertaken. Till the 1990s, the growth rate was around 4%, which accelerated later after the 1990s to 8-9%. The banks have three major legal ways t

PMC Bank proposed resolution: Areas of darkness at the end of tunnel

A few months after the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-Operative Bank Ltd (PMC Bank) was put under moratorium in September 2019, I met an announcer in a function on banking organised by an industry body, with which I have been associated. She was young, pretty beautiful and had a sweet voice and modulation. She had dreams in her eyes of getting married, and for which she had saved all her earnings of

Kanoon Wapsi: King’s Gambit

For those not familiar with chess nomenclature, a gambit, like king’s gambit, is move that offers a material sacrifice of a pawn or bishop, in return for a strategic advantage that may benefit the person initiating the gambit. The respondent has the option to accept or decline the sacrifice and pursue countermoves in its best wisdom and interest. In a dramatic turnaround, t

Powering India’s Smart Cities Mission with drones

In 2015, India started its Smart Cities Mission (SCM) with the purpose of harnessing technology to initiate infrastructural makeovers and transform the country into a more liveable, economically dynamic and environmentally sustainable nation within five years [see: https://pqars.nic.in/annex/253/A30.pdf]. Since then, cities ac

Why India needs a ‘Just Energy Transition’

India has made overhauling commitment in the ongoing COP 26 at Glasgow, where it sets the deadline for becoming net zero emitter by 2070. This shows India’s resolute approach for combating climate change effects and sets an example for its developing counterpart. I often call it the “utopia of net zero emission”, and it is a fairly complex task to execute especially for India,

Urban-rural divide in healthcare infrastructure and planning for adaptability

Access to decent healthcare facilities is a basic right of every individual. But it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that for a majority of our country’s population – the 65% that resides in rural areas – that right isn’t accorded. The rural healthcare infrastructure in India leaves a lot to be desired. And all the critical problems plaguing it became more evident du

Decoded: RBI committee report on working of Asset Reconstruction Companies

An RBI appointed committee to review the working of Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) recently submitted a report containing a set of 42 recommendations. The recommendations have been made to ensure the flow of NPAs to ARCs gather speed and momentum, so that bankers can focus on core banking activities like lending, leaving stressed asset management to specialised regulated institutional fr

How many more waves must we face?

Fed up of being contained, our lives have become acutely more exciting than that of a lab rat, Covid has taken the centrefold in every socio-economic sense and the coronavirus is the only star we see on posters these days. Now, the competition is the three Khans and SARS; who would you like to see? The first and second waves have emerged as teachers, deteriorators and finger pointing infrastruc

Many roles of civil society during pandemic

The union government enforced a nationwide lockdown on March 25, 2020 to curb the spread of coronavirus as it was causing large-scale infection and disease. Challenges of pandemic management and levels of distress were revealed during this time. The fear of Covid spread like wildfire and a necessity was felt to teach people about Covid-appropriate behaviour. Civil society of Ind

‘Blue Zones’ concept of healthy living and its relevance in India

A long life span free from diseases and disability, the so-called healthy aging, has been a matter of prime interest to humanity. It is widely held that the life expectancy is a function of interplay between various genetic and environmental factors. There is scientific evidence to support the fact that only about 20% of the average lifespan is governed by the genetic milieu and rest 80% by the

Gati Shakti: The National Master Plan

The launch of the Gati Shakti master plan will be a booster dose for India growth story. The plan, as the name indicates, will ensure Gati, i.e., speed and Shakti, i.e., empowerment to the ₹1 trillion national infrastructure pipeline. The plan will break inter-ministerial silos. For example, there are ministries of roads, railways, ports, aviation, mining etc and the left hand

An ‘energy crisis’ in the making

This year during the second wave of Covid-19, an unprecedented ‘oxygen shortage’ crisis gripped the national capital and several other parts of the country. A similar situation is brewing in respect of the ‘power’ situation in the national capital and the rest of the country too. However, the authorities seem to be in a denial mode, hoping all is well, and it is a tempor

After long wait of 86 years, Nobel Peace Prize goes again to journalists

After almost a century, the Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize 2021 to two journalists, Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia. The last Nobel Peace Prize won by a journalist was way back in 1935, by a German named Carl Von Ossietzky for his “burning love for freedom of thought and expression” after revealing that the Nazi regime was secr

How Indian health-tech has supported government efforts during pandemic

In 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic which got the entire world at a pause, the Indian healthcare sector was in progress at a steady but slow pace. The pandemic boosted the rate, and within a year, the sector made a leap into the future – something that would have taken the industry another five years to achieve had the pandemic not been a catalyst to the whole situation.

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


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