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A public policy bridge across the digital divide

There has been an active debate globally and in India about the digital divide. This debate has gained additional weight during the Covid-19 pandemic because the acceleration of the need for digital access to health and other social services has thrown this issue into sharper relief. A critical public policy challenge which arises from the digital divide, when the private and public sectors are

Connecting India faster – with satellite communications technology

The need for digital connectivity has never been more pressing. The pandemic has changed work ethos and day-to-day lives of people across the globe. The new norm is ‘Technology First’, as with people moving to digital connectivity to fulfill their requirements in daily life. India’s dream of ‘internet for all’ has remained a dream. Despite the government and privat

Emerging fault lines around Indian cinema

On June 18, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has proposed to introduce the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and sought public comments thereon. The most controversial part relates to the contents of Para 1 (C) in that feedback paper which proposes to amend Section 6 of the Cinematograph Act. In simple terms, it empowers the Government to reverse the decision of the (Censorship)

Affordable housing in Mumbai: For whom and for how much?

An affordable home must be equal to (or more than) 300 sq ft carpet area. Today the lowest cost of MHADA tenement is Rs. 10,000/sq ft. Thus the MHADA cost of a 300 sq ft basic unit would cost Rs. 30 lakh (and that too, far away). Is this amount affordable to those who earn about Rs. 300,000 a year? This is the income at or near the median! In short, we are altogether ignoring 50% of population

Gujarat’s smart move with smart app for unorganized workers

The Government of Gujarat has launched a web portal and a mobile application to facilitate online registration of workers from the unorganized sector by giving them smart cards for availing various welfare schemes. Chief minister Vijay Rupani has given a befitting reply to his critics that the state government under his leadership does not just act smartly but even in adverse ci

How Gujarat has emerged as the top FDI destination

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, since March 2020 the economy of not only India but the entire world has weakened tremendously and a major factor is unemployment. The challenge before the nation is how to push the economic growth in next financial year. As foreign direct investment can provide a major boost to the economy, the central government has taken several measures for FDI policy reforms. I

Panchayats should be on forefront of fight against Covid-19

The second wave of the pandemic is fast entering rural areas. About 40% of the total cases are being reported from rural areas and infected villagers living in the peripheral areas of cities are turning to hospitals there in large numbers. India’s rural local government has to take the central stage in the fight against Covid-19. Last year, on the Panchayati Raj day (April

Innovating with purpose: Leveraging GIS to build smart cities and communities

As per the UN estimates, India’s urban population increased by 91 million in the last decade. By 2030, India is expected to be home to seven mega-cities with a population above an astounding 10 million mark. As many as 68% of the country’s total population lives in rural areas, while 17% of the urban population resides in slums. Unsurprisingly, during the pandemic it is our cities t

Covid-19 has increased nutrition gap. Public feeding programmes need to be enhanced

One of the most significant setbacks from the massive upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is its effect on food and nutrition security. The pandemic has compounded the already rampant social inequity by adversely affecting the socio-economic status of millions of families across the nation. In the given situation, malnutrition rates are predicted to rise at an alarming pace in the coming y

Lesson from Brisbane: Invest in human capital

We have just witnessed a historic Test match and series win where an Indian team plagued with injuries to all its top bowlers and without their captain and best batsman, Virat Kohli, achieved a convincing win at Brisbane in Australia. Tremendous euphoria has greeted this historic win and it can be said that this will usher an era of dominance of world cricket by India. The victory has a great l

The farm laws: Lessons in policymaking

Parliament last year passed three laws relating to agriculture. They offer three basic freedoms to farmers; first, the freedom to sell the produce anywhere they like; second, the freedom to store inventory which was earlier constrained by the Essential Commodities Act and third, the freedom to make forward contracts. These reforms seek to break the monopoly of the agricultural produce marketing

Unlocking the value of renewable energy assets through InVITs in India

India has been witnessing a sluggish demand growth for power amidst COVID-19. It has affected both thermal as well as renewable energy (RE) sector. While thermal sector (coal) plant load factor (PLF) is coming down continuously amidst no new generation building up, renewable energy held its ground through several government measures despite no new appetite shown by the distribution companies. T

Beyond open defecation: Tackling solid waste management issues

Antony Waste Handling Cell (AWHC) has been offering its services in handling municipal solid waste (MSW) across India for the past 19 years. When AWHC made its initial public offer (IPO) during December 21-23, it was subscribed 15 times. Why the sudden interest in this IPO? Did the market rightly and expediently recognise the immense potential of the stock? The issue of M

Collective role of women elected representatives: A powerful instrument for good rural governance

Local governance is the base of rural development and comprises of mechanisms, process, and institutions through which citizen and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations, and mediate their differences. It is a mechanism by which citizens and groups can define their interests and can interact with institutions of authority. At the village level, lo

Alert India faces China’s aggression on multiple fronts

India is facing aggression from China – not in eastern Ladakh alone, rather it is seized with a Beijing-backed proxy war in the northeast region and also ‘Salami Slicing’ of different nature in Arunachal Pradesh and in areas near Sikkim.   However, what has alarmed Indian security personnel the most is China’s use of Myanmar’s armed groups &ndas

Pankaj Chaturvedi, named among top scientists, shares tips to become effective leader

Noted oncologist Pankaj Chaturvedi has been named among the top 2 percent best scientists of the world based on productivity through publications and citations.   Professor Chaturvedi is Head Neck Cancer Surgeon and Deputy Director at Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai. He is also the in charge of the Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Hospital and Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospit

How Odisha is paving the way for gender mainstreaming in urban governance

There are two parallel narratives to India’s growth story. While one is steering towards achieving rapid economic growth, aiming for the $5 trillion economy, the other, in stark contrast, is marred with pervasive gender inequalities, wherein deep cultural biases deny women and other minority groups such as transgenders equal opportunity to participate in the social, political and economic

How about flagging candidates with criminal past on ballot?

The concept of the ‘Rule of Law’ is the basic structure of our constitution. It becomes imperative to observe the rule of law in order to run the country according to the constitutional provisions. However, in reality, often politicians with criminal records get elected and even become part of the government, destroying the whole idea of the rule of law. Law-breakers after becoming

Changing landscapes of govt schools in rural India

Education is one of the primary requisites that contribute to the holistic development process of self and society. Article 21A of the Constitution considers “free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right.” In India, the majority of the population lives in villages, and the most viable option for accessing education fo

Why CSR is good for business

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) defines Corporate Social Responsibility as “a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders”. The eventual goal of any effective CSR policy is to balance the economic, environmental, and social imperatives that a comp

Visionary Talk with Sanjay Jha, Political Analyst On The Current Political Scenario



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