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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

In search of Gandhi’s answer to the question: ‘What a human life should be’

‘Gandhi and Philosophy’, by Shaj Mohan and Divya Dwivedi, stands out among the ever increasing output of scholarship on the father of the nation. Prefaced by eminent French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, the work demands Gandhian slow reading, but rewards with profound insights. Here the authors respond to a few questions from Ashish Mehta:  

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

“AAP has risen in popularity, we will win in Delhi”

Brijesh Goyal, one of the founders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and convenor of its trade and industry wing in Delhi state, is contesting Lok Sabha elections from the prestigious New Delhi constituency. He spoke to Deexa Khanduri about the party’s prospects in the general polls.   Why did the AAP approach the Congress for an alliance to fight L

“We have delivered on 85% of our promises”

The BJP won the elections to the municipal corporations of Delhi in 2017 under the leadership of actor-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari. He is confident of repeating the victory in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In a conversation with Deexa Khanduri, Tiwari talks about how he united the party in Delhi and why the BJP is set to increase its voter base in the capital.  

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

On a personal note: Tara Deshpande

Actor, model and VJ Tara Deshpande is a published author and a trained chef too. After marriage, she taught at culinary schools in Boston and New York, hosted a cookery show on the Public Broadcasting Service channel and ran a catering business. Her first book was Fifty and Done (published at the age of 23). She also wrote A Sense for Spice: Recipes and Stories from a Konkan Kitchen and An

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

“India has huge potential to improve the account usage”

Financial inclusion can fuel the economic growth of a country. In conversation with Rahul Trivedi, Dr Pawan Bakhshi, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, talks about its India specific programmes which aim to broaden the reach of low-cost digital financial services for the poor. Edited excerpts:   What is your idea of financial inclusion? What challenge

India Police Virtual Summit and Awards 2020

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