Stories you must read this weekend
GN Bureau | July 29, 2017
TRAI chief RS Sharma, who was the director general of UIDAI at its inception, sits down with Governance Now journalists to talk about how the ambitious project was conceived. He also dispels the misconceptions surrounding it
Read: The UID pioneer thinks Aadhaar controversies miss the point
Pageantry has been a common feature of every Republic Day function that India has organised since 1950. However, it has not been without a fairly large share of weighty political and diplomatic symbolism. From the time when New Delhi invited charismatic Indonesian president Sukarno to be the chief guest at the first Republic Day function, to the most recent, when it made Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan the chief guest at its 68th Republic Day function, each one brought its own heft to India’s national interest. But the 2018 Republic Day would see a major departure from the past as all 10 heads of government/state from Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, instead of just one, are expected to grace the occasion as chief guests – a rare diplomatic initiative that New Delhi undertakes to commemorate 25 years of its engagement with the grouping that comprises Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Brunei.
Read: The power of 10
A small central Himalayan settlement in Uttarakhand – Nainital, with spellbinding topography, earned the sobriquet ‘natural amphitheatre’ from its colonial masters in the nineteenth century. This is thanks to its lake, about 1.5 km long and 0.5 km wide. It is surrounded by seven hills. A two-tiered mall road runs along its shoreline and a vast levelled expanse (known as ‘flats’) is perched on its western flank. The hill station was once known for its cleanliness, colonial hangover and an elite and sophisticated air that marked its general ambience. But with a limited carrying capacity, it had limited possibilities too. Imagine if during the peak season – summers – from all its three entry points, over five thousand vehicles each are allowed to pour in every day adding to the existing population of over one lakh, what ruckus would be wrought all over.
Read: Where angels may fear to tread
India is classified by the World Bank as a lower-middle income country below the likes of Namibia, Botswana and Gabon. In terms of human development, we are more comparable to the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa than the other BRICS nations whom we like to consider our peers. Before India projects any power in the world, it needs to be comparable to first-world countries in terms of income and institutions. The path to a modern first-world country involves evolution on four parameters – an effective government, rule of law, accountability and finally economic growth. It is not necessary that all of these happen simultaneously, but improvement on all parameters is essential.
Read: What India needs to do to finally become a superpower
Hand to heart, we all secretly know that our cities don’t make sense to us anymore. It’s become so complex that we feel as if we are subatomic particles with the seeming possibility to be anything, anywhere, anytime. The question then is: why are we still using 19th century mental models to make sense of our lives?
Read: Quantum urbanism: Step one, dismantle systems thinking once and for all
A three-term Rajya Sabha member, Sanjay Raut is the Shiv Sena spokesperson and its voice in parliament. He is also the executive editor of Marathi newspaper Samana, started by Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. Raut spoke with Geetanjali Minhas on his party’s seat-sharing agreement
Ashish Shelar, 47, was the president of the Mumbai city unit of the BJP, before he became the minister of school education, sports and youth welfare in the Maharashta government this year. He has represented the Vandre West constituency in the state assembly and seeking re-election. In a chat with
The Nobel Prize in economics for 2019 goes to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." The prize, known as “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”, was announc
Prime minister Narendra Modi has accepted president Xi Jinping’s invitation to visit China in 2020 for their third informal summit after Wuhan and Mamallapuram, indicating both sides’ realization of the importance of the mechanism which gives the two leaders of the Asian giants an opportunity t
Dharma: Hinduism and Religions in India By Chaturvedi Badrinath Edited by Tulsi Badrinath Penguin, 194+ xiii pages, Rs 499 How to live: That is the most fundamental question of human existence.
Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar and popularly known as Balasaheb Ambedkar, heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). The three-time MP founded this new political party last year with a vision of Ambedkarism, secularism, socialism and progressivism. The VBA, registered this year before the Lo