Maya mirrors larger malaise

The brouhaha over Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s garland of currency notes only confirms that in India morality is selective and sensibilities too fragile. This is not the first time that Mayawati has overtly displayed her affection for material wealth. She has been consistently doing this on many social occasions, including her own birth anniversaries. By accepting garlands of c

Face the future

The much-awaited reconstitution of the BJP`s national executive and team of office bearers reflects the party`s drift rather than a coherent political strategy. The appointment of nearly a dozen vice-presidents and an equal number of general secretaries is a testimony to craving for power and pelf among top leaders who successfully coerced Nitin Gadkari to appoint their minions.

Indian spices and vermillion contain lead

Lead, a dangerous toxin that affects nerve cells especially younger children, has been found in imported Indian spices and vermillion powder, according to an American study. The researchers at the Children’s General Hospital Boston and Harvard School of Public Health, USA found more than 1 microgram of lead per gram in the samples, which could cause cognitive damage and behavioural change

The story of Raj Kumar & why your sugar is sour

Raj Kumar, 50, from Nagla Mubarik village of Muzaffar Nagar in western Uttar Pradesh, is a much relieved man these days. In his four-decade life as a farmer, he had encountered many financial ups and downs. But now he thinks he has insured himself against the uncertainties of life and farming. That is because, three years ago, he changed his crop pattern and instead of growing sugarcane on a su

Karnataka Lokayukta on combating corruption

For a self-declared toothless tiger, Justice N Santosh Hegde has acquired a remarkable reputation for bagging his prey with relentless regularity. The 70-year-old Karnataka Lokayukta, who heads the best-known anti-corruption force in the country, spoke about his work and his concerns in an exclusive conversation with Ashish Sharma. Edited excerpts: You are often described

Save children from legal lacuna

The government’s decision to introduce a set of guidelines for service providers in the tourism sector in a move to prevent a repeat of incidents like the rape of a Russian girl in Goa recently is indeed a welcome step. The code of conduct that has come into force from March 8, 2010 envisages, among other things, training tour operators and hotel staff on identifying and reporting potenti

India can become software superpower by 2020: Gartner

Has India arrived on the global map? In a first step towards becoming superpower, India can displace the United States as the global software superpower by 2020, a report by IT research firm Gartner has said. The report says that to become numero uno in the software field, India will have to maintain competitive advantage, build infrastructure and soft skill development. The Indi

We woke up late to the Games: Randhir Singh

The Organising Committee did wake up late in making preparations for the Commonwealth Games, admits OC vice chairman Randhir Singh, even as he promises the event will turn out to be “top class”. "We woke up late and faced the criticism," Singh told Governance Now. "But the Games will be top class and there is no doubt about that. There is no way that we

Truth, justice and other dreams in Gujarat

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will go to the Supreme Court-appointed panel on March 21 and answer questions about his alleged role during Gujarat riots. Beyond headlines in newspapers and talking heads on TV channels, do not expect much. Law is taking its course, and so is politics. In the eight years since the communal violence, Modi has offered no specific comments on what he d

Congress Raj hangover in RS

For somebody who fails to summon enthusiasm over reservation or so-called positive discrimination anywhere, the fracas over women`s quota bill in Rajya Sabha proved a curiously captivating affair. If the Congress party had indeed orchestrated the entire show to deliver a bravura performance in what would otherwise have been a dull numbers game, it could have scarcely hoped to do better. As the

Gender report by UNDP

Almost half of the adult women are illiterate in the South Asia, says a UN Development Programme (UNDP) report. The gender gap indicators for South Asia are often close to or lower than those in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the key findings of the report are:   More women die in childbirth in South Asia – 500 for every 100,000 live births – than

Gender report by UNDP

Almost half of the adult women are illiterate in the South Asia, says a UN Development Programme (UNDP) report. The gender gap indicators for South Asia are often close to or lower than those in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the key findings of the report are:   More women die in childbirth in South Asia – 500 for every 100,000 live births – than

Fear of the fair sex

In one of his moments of candour, the legendary Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, India`s first civil supplies minister said, “We want legislators as political goondas.” Though Kidwai, himself a no-nonsense minister and a crusader against hoarders, might have said this in jest his words proved to be truly prophetic. The manner in which certain regional leaders are trying to bully the dominant view

Courting competitiveness

The commercial division of high courts bill, 2009, already cleared by the Lok Sabha, has finally been posed before the Rajya Sabha select committee. The buzz is that the MPs found merit in arguments posed by Sunil Munjal of Hero and Manoj Kumar of Hammurabi & Solomon. The argument that our courts should take much less time to adjudicate commercial disputes is crucial to our competitiveness.

Get off that phone and talk to me

Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor....bureaucrat, politician, the rich and the powerful, they are the worst. Have you ever been in this position? You have an appointment in someone’s office and you make the effort to fetch up on time and you enter his office after the a mandatory wait outside and shake hands and sit down all cordial and pleasant and then he gets a phone call and sudd

Budget laid bare by CBGA

The budget presented by Pranab Mukherjee on February 26 has shifted focus from ‘inclusive growth’ to economic growth, says a report prepared by the Centre for Budget and Government Accountability (CBGA). The report also points out how the budget missed out on the most cri

What`s new about your model, comrades?

The Maoists now claim to have developed an “alternative development model”. If you remember, while dubbing the Maoists as the biggest internal security threat since 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also been taunting the rebels and their civil society sympathisers by saying that they didn’t have an alternative vision or development plan. More than four years lat

PM`s selective political amnesia

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s repeated intervention to LK Advani`s contestation on the motion of thanks is rather unprecedented. Though Singh`s new-found belligerence vis-a-vis Advani has much to do with the muscles he acquired after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and diminished stature of the BJP stalwart, his interventions singularly lacked merit. In fact, Mamohan Singh

Futility of talking to Muivah

When a ceasefire was announced with the most violent and dominant Naga insurgency group, the Nationalist Social Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), in 1997, it was hailed as a big step to bring peace to the region and eventually integrate the fiercely independent Naga tribes into the national mainstream. Barring minor incidents of violence and violations of ceasefire agreements, peace has prevai

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CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar


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