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A coastal wind of change

It’s early summer still in Odisha, but the state is already in the grip of an intense heat wave. In the last few weeks, many places have been regularly recording temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius and above. That doesn’t seem to have dampened the spirits of the four crore people of this state, where elections to the assembly and the Lok Sabha are being held simultaneously. Polling w

“The people of Delhi will vote for change”

Senior Congress leader and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit is the Lok Sabha candidate of her party from the Northeast Delhi constituency. In a conversation with Deexa Khanduri, she says she is confident of a victory, dismissing the Aam Aadmi Party’s claim that the good work of the Arvind Kejriwal government will translate into votes for its parliamentary candidates. In fact

The role celebrities play in politics

In a 1992 Lok Sabha by-poll, voters of New Delhi – the power hub of the capital – were faced with an enviable choice: Rajesh Khanna of the Congress versus rising-star Shatrughan Sinha of the BJP.  The voters preferred the superstar over the non-superstar. It is not clear how Rajesh Khanna discharged his duties as an MP and served the constituency. At any rate, the choice was fr

Driving change

“Kos kos par badle paani, chaar kos par vaani,” goes the old adage, encapsulating the diversity of languages, cultures and geographies in India. At every couple of kilometres, water tastes different, and the dialect itself changes at about eight kilometres, we are told. Now that adage itself should change, because India is changing. Ironically, the change is bringing more

On a personal note: Javed Jaffrey

After his much-appreciated debut in Meri Jung in 1985, Javed Jaffrey inspired a new generation of dancers. He then turned from dance to comedy. The versatile actor constantly changes his styles and his live, film, TV and radio appearances always promise novelty and surprise. In 2014 he joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and contested in the general elections from Lucknow. 

“Managing data is challenging”

The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) is a society set up by the railways ministry in July 1986 to provide IT related services to the Indian Railways. CRIS deals in a gamut of functions, like passenger ticketing, freight operations, train dispatching and control, crew management, e-procurement, management of fixed and moving assets of the railways, and production of rolling stock. V

A boost to those who need it most

What are 600 million people? Almost twice the population of the US. What are 500 million people? About three-fourth of the population of Europe. Why are we talking about these numbers? Well, because as per a study by Sandhya Krishnan and Neeraj Hatekar (‘Rise of New Middle Class in India and Its Changing Structure, Economic and Political Weekly, June 3, 2017), 600 million is what

Expanding Eureka!

Abright yellow van with figures of children playing with a whirligig, a Newton’s cradle, a magnetic compass rolls into the Government Higher Primary School in Kittaganahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Students in the playground leave what they are doing and mill about it in excitement. For they know some interesting lessons, with hands-on practice, will soon follow.  

The spark in the classroom

Not many children dream of starting an idyllic school of their own when they grow up. But Ramji Raghavan, founder of the Agastya International Foundation – which fosters the creative learning of science in students and teachers alike – not only nursed that dream, but brought it to life too.

Trafficking survivors’ votes don’t count

While the entire nation is agog with political grapevine, political parties are weighing on all options to lure voters by touching upon issues that impact their lives. Several parties, including the BJP and the Congress have released their manifestos while many are about to join the bandwagon. The common agenda for the parties is to win hearts, minds and their votes.  

“I have a bigger reason and motivation to join politics”

Urmila Matondkar joined the Congress party and within just two months into politics, the actor is already surrounded by controversies – from being accused of making anti-Hindu comments to inappropriate poll campaigning. Fielded against BJP’s Gopal Shetty in the Mumbai North constituency, Matondkar is aware of the long journey ahead. In conversation with Geetanjali Minhas, she ta

Missing the middle

Chandramouli Vashisht, 29, an engineer who lives in Madhu Vihar, in the middle-class Patparganj locality of east Delhi, says that during the last Lok Sabha election, he voted for the BJP, but the very next year, during the state assembly election he cast his vote for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). This year, as the nation goes to the polls, he is not sure if he wants to vote for AAP, which has fiel

“Socialism is the most relevant ideology and will never wither away”

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is an archetypal Indian socialist, a Lohiaite whose tribe is practically extinct. In his personal life, he is extremely austere. In his political life, he is seen to be making Faustian bargains. What does he stand for? In a free-wheeling interview with Ajay Singh, he reveals his mind.     Let me start

The heat is rising

The day Amit Shah filed his election candidature papers from Gandhinagar, BJP workers were enthusiastic in preparing for a series of rallies in the constituency – but they had a complaint: the mercury was touching 39 degree Celsius. They arranged plastic chairs in a shade on the main road in Ghatlodia, the assembly segment of the constituency where the party president was to address vot

The maker unmade

The bad news about India’s engineering graduates continues unabated. Most recently, a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that American students of computer sciences are well ahead in quality than those from China, Russia and India. The only consolation – if it is at all – is that computer engineering students passing out from elite instituti

“It’s time to change the narrative and have men become part of the struggle”

Documentary filmmaker Vibha Bakshi became well known in India after her film Daughters of Mother India won the National Film Award for best film on social issues and was shortlisted for the Cannes Glass Lions award for media advocacy. Her earlier docus, Terror at Home and Too Hot to Handle, were on domestic violence and global warming, the first being part of an Emmy-winning campaign by the

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



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