April Fool’s should be the last day to heed promises, especially for the Aam Aadmi who has seen enough of tokenism while suffering chronically bad governance. It’s impossible, however, not to be tempted by the many promises of today. It’s the day when the Right to Education Act comes into force and what is billed as the ‘largest ever census in human histo
The Congress seems to have developed into a fine art the difficult practice of running two power centres. Ever since the party came back to power in 2004, there was hardly any doubt that Sonia Gandhi is the political boss but there came a time, especially during the nuclear deal and the first few months of UPA2 when it seemed like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a mind of his own, too.
Starvation deaths and Orissa have become synonymous. It does not raise eyebrows anymore. Nobody loses sleep over them, least of all the local administration. A series of reports has appeared in a national daily pointing out that about 50 people have perished to hunger in Balangir (one of the three districts infamous as KBK, along with Korapur and Kalahandi) alone in the past two to three years.
Coming down heavily on the housing finance companies which have played a key role in housing for urban India, a report prepared by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) says that these companies have done nothing for the rural India. There is a collapse of government’s social housing development programme - Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), the report says. The key finding is that
An ambitious tree planting programme in Asia has slowed the deforestation in the last decade, says a report document of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). It also says that the net loss of forest area slowed down to 5.2 million a year between 2000 and 2010 from 8.3 million in the 1990s, which is still an area the size of Costa Rica. The report also points out that 32 millio
The first thing you notice as you enter Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangma’s office at Krishi Bhawan is that her petite frame does not match with her rather big chair. The next thing you notice is that her desk is free of the usual clutter— papers, briefs, files and the paraphernalia. The daughter of P.A. Sangma, veteran Nationalist Congre
Increasing taxes and withdrawing subsidies at the time of a generally extortionate price rise and then "rolling back" some of the burden on the consumers in the name of providing "relief" to the common man! Sheila Dikshit government has managed to sound very cavalier in gauging public opinion and managing public finances. That`s happening even as the social c
It is the polluted water which kills more people than any type of violence including wars, says an annual UN report. According to the report, “diarrhoea, mostly from dirty water, kills around 2.2 million people a year.” In India, over one lakh people die of water-borne disease annually, the report reveals. It also states that 3.7 percent of all deaths are linked
Almost half of all people with the multi-drug resistant tuberculosis disease are in China and India, says the World Health Organisation in its latest report. It estimates that 440,000 people worldwide had multi-drug-resistant forms of the disease (MDR-TB) with about one-third of them fatal. The report based on the figure till 2008 says that there were 9.8 million cases of tuberculosis, with 1.8
It took actor Aamir Khan to highlight what veterans in the tax machinery have repeatedly failed to bring out in the open. The day after the budget, the actor used his quick quote in a leading newspaper to ask why refunds by the income tax department were unduly delayed. Aamir also complained about the inherent harassment that honest taxpayers have to go through to procure their refunds. I wonde
The annual UN-HABITAT report this year has praised India and China’s effort in lifting people out of urban slums. The report specifies that both countries have lifted more people from urban slum conditions than any other countries. The figures speak for themselves. China and India have im
This is one statistics that will put India in the poor light. A report by WHO-UNICEF says that Indians comprised 58 percent of all people who defecate in the open. However, the worldwide figures show a decline from the previous years’. The report points out that open defecation worldwide is on decline from 25 per cent in 1990 to 17 per cent in 2008.
The brouhaha over Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s garland of currency notes only confirms that in India morality is selective and sensibilities too fragile. This is not the first time that Mayawati has overtly displayed her affection for material wealth. She has been consistently doing this on many social occasions, including her own birth anniversaries. By accepting garlands of c
The much-awaited reconstitution of the BJP`s national executive and team of office bearers reflects the party`s drift rather than a coherent political strategy. The appointment of nearly a dozen vice-presidents and an equal number of general secretaries is a testimony to craving for power and pelf among top leaders who successfully coerced Nitin Gadkari to appoint their minions.
Lead, a dangerous toxin that affects nerve cells especially younger children, has been found in imported Indian spices and vermillion powder, according to an American study. The researchers at the Children’s General Hospital Boston and Harvard School of Public Health, USA found more than 1 microgram of lead per gram in the samples, which could cause cognitive damage and behavioural change
Raj Kumar, 50, from Nagla Mubarik village of Muzaffar Nagar in western Uttar Pradesh, is a much relieved man these days. In his four-decade life as a farmer, he had encountered many financial ups and downs. But now he thinks he has insured himself against the uncertainties of life and farming. That is because, three years ago, he changed his crop pattern and instead of growing sugarcane on a su
For a self-declared toothless tiger, Justice N Santosh Hegde has acquired a remarkable reputation for bagging his prey with relentless regularity. The 70-year-old Karnataka Lokayukta, who heads the best-known anti-corruption force in the country, spoke about his work and his concerns in an exclusive conversation with Ashish Sharma. Edited excerpts: You are often described
The government’s decision to introduce a set of guidelines for service providers in the tourism sector in a move to prevent a repeat of incidents like the rape of a Russian girl in Goa recently is indeed a welcome step. The code of conduct that has come into force from March 8, 2010 envisages, among other things, training tour operators and hotel staff on identifying and reporting potenti
Has India arrived on the global map? In a first step towards becoming superpower, India can displace the United States as the global software superpower by 2020, a report by IT research firm Gartner has said. The report says that to become numero uno in the software field, India will have to maintain competitive advantage, build infrastructure and soft skill development. The Indi
The Organising Committee did wake up late in making preparations for the Commonwealth Games, admits OC vice chairman Randhir Singh, even as he promises the event will turn out to be “top class”. "We woke up late and faced the criticism," Singh told Governance Now. "But the Games will be top class and there is no doubt about that. There is no way that we