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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

Indispensable reading for our times

Inquilab: A Decade of Protest Foreword by Swara Bhasker HarperCollins India, lviii+206 pages, Rs 399 On April 5, 2011, some newspapers carried a single-column report about a Gandhian rural-development activist joining a protest movement to press for a Jan Lokpal bill. Many newspapers did not find it newsworthy. That was the time when the UP

India, US firm up plans to stem China’s expansionist designs

The India-US two-plus-two ministerial dialogue, concluded late last month, has once again reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to strengthen their bilateral engagement and work for peace and tranquility in the Indo-Pacific region. As it was held against the backdrop of a bitter standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh, the two countries during their 3rd two-plus-two dialogue

Why ‘Baba ka Dhaba’ is just a magic story, not the solution

By now most of us already know about the Baba ka Dhaba, a three-decade-old eatery in South Delhi whose story recently went viral on social media. An elderly couple who runs the place and their struggle during the Covid-19-induced lockdown period were all across the internet and news after their video was uploaded on social media by a vlogger. I loved to see the distressed elderly owners smiling

Why you should not be afraid of Corona

When my water bag broke, at age 24, I excitedly woke my parents and said let’s go to the nursing home, in Mumbai, to have my first baby because I could not wait to get back home to my hubby in Bahrain. Of course, I was totally unprepared. And it turned out to be the turning point of my understanding of life. A rude shock instead of an ecstatic process that giving birth to new life ought t

We must fight for Right to Information

Fifteen years back, the Right To Information (RTI) Act became operational on October 12, 2005. It was the auspicious day of Vijayadashmi. It appeared to herald a new evolution in Indian democracy. Citizens who had been advocating this law saw an opportunity of converting India’s defective elective democracy into a true participatory democracy that will give citizens true freedom.

Badtime reading

The Courage to Exist A Philosophy of Life and Death in the Age of Coronavirus By Ramin Jahanbegloo Orient BlackSwan, 96 pages, Rs 195 When China witnessed a new epidemic at the beginning of the year, we did not panic. There had been at least four such epidemics in this century itself, creating a scare, but leaving majority o

Derivative market for electricity in India: Will it lead to innovation or speculation?

The Indian electricity sector is going through an interesting phase right now. Many reforms are being introduced to increase competitiveness and transparency in the sector. The power market in India is a surplus market now and the spot prices are going down day by day. With all these indicators signaling a journey towards a mature power market for India, the introduction of derivatives to the p

Visionary Talk with Dr. Ashok Seth, Padma Bhushan Awardee & Chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute On Tackling Corona



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