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   Friday, February 22, 2019
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Expert View
Views of domain experts and renowned commentators on diverse issues.

Not so well-intentioned welfare
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 12 Apr 2010

In Well Done Abba, Shyam Benegal deals with the serious issue of political economy in an entertaining way and leaves the viewer thinking about the manner our welfare machinery works.

Overhaul policies that acerbate hunger
By Devinder Sharma  | 31 Mar 2010

India has several programmes to fight hunger but none has been effective. Unless we change the policies responsible for poverty and spread of hunger, National Food Security Act would become another piece of legislation incapable of making any difference to those who live in hunger and penury.

Hydrological madness runs deeper
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 25 Mar 2010

With the world water day gone by and a hot summer in the waiting, the case of groundwater anarchy should be back into contention.

Processed food won't feed the poor
By Devinder Sharma  | 22 Mar 2010

Government is extending all possible support to the food processing industry on the pretext of food security and reducing wastage. However, the facts say the processing industry prefers imported ingredients over local food leading to increased wastage and rise in food prices.

GM forests or fuel mines?
By Pandurang Hegde  | 20 Mar 2010

Enough harm has already been done to the environment under the garb of development. Now, novel ideas like GM forests are being proposed as a new alternative fuel for the automobile industry. It's time for the world to learn from its cyclical mistakes, and fast!

Empowering India with imported wisdom?
By Devinder Sharma  | 17 Mar 2010

A section of influential Indian middle class remains obsessed with anything foreign, more so American. No wonder, instead of making efforts to improve the education system of the country, the government is keen to invite the foreign universities to help educate India.

Bailing out the richest
By Devinder Sharma  | 12 Mar 2010

Forbes magazine says India has almost twice the number of billionaires than last year. Strangely these richest of the rich gained when the world economy was badly hit by the meltdown. Was it despite or due to the economic recession?

Art, science and commerce of Brinjal
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 08 Mar 2010

If a large section of mainstream media is to be believed India may soon witness mass hunger, demoralised scientists and economic recession if Bt brinjal is not allowed to be commercially cultivated.

Thou shalt not question GM food!
By Devinder Sharma  | 03 Mar 2010

The proposed National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill threatens the very essence of democratic values and freedom.

Budget 2010: Farmer remains neglected
By Devinder Sharma  | 01 Mar 2010

The finance minister's four-point strategy to revitalise agriculture is good on intent, but weak in content.

Losing our language
By Pandurang Hegde  | 15 Feb 2010

Every language represents the repository of accumulated knowledge over the generations and defines our relationship within the society and its link to nature. Unfortunately, we have begun to judge a language by only its commercial value in the existing market.

Why we should oppose Bt brinjal?
By Devinder Sharma  | 11 Feb 2010

Though the government of India has cancelled the GEAC approval for commercial cultivation of Bt brinjal, majority of people remain unaware of the facts related to the controversy. Here are FAQs to help the readers:

GM push will crush traditional farming
By Claude Alvares  | 09 Feb 2010

Facing tremendous pressure from the very influential agri-business lobby, the Government of India was keen to introduce GM food crops but nationwide protests and strong opposition from various quarters might force it to take a decision in the interest of the people.

Historic decision awaited on BT Brinjal
By Pandurang Hegde  | 30 Jan 2010

The public consultations on Bt Brinjal have brought to the fore strong resentment among people against increasing corporate influence over government policy making.

Bio fuel or Bio foul policy?
By Pandurang Hegde  | 27 Jan 2010

The government has spelt out its intention to encourage bio-fuels but a deeper understanding of energy issues and people’s livelihood concerns is missing.

Bt Brinjal is a symbol of death
By P. V. Satheesh  | 21 Jan 2010

The scientists behind technological innovations like Bt Brinjal fail to understand the sensitive relationship between humans and nature. It is time they learn the right lessons from the women working on the farms.

Calendars speak for the commons
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 20 Jan 2010

The role of calendars has widened beyond commercials and now they convey crucial statements about social and cultural movements.

A farm model to sustain the world
By Devinder Sharma  | 07 Jan 2010

Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture (CMSA) model successfully implemented in Andhra Pradesh is a roadmap for the future of Indian and world agriculture. It has tremendous potential to remove poverty and hunger with a very low carbon footprint.

Nightmare on the road
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 28 Dec 2009

With increased influence of auto-industry over policy making, massive expenditures have been made to expand space for private cars. However, the near monopoly of car owners over road has not improved the transport either.

You can forget, internet won't!
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 23 Dec 2009

Psychologists believe that forgetting is good for mental health. But the expanding reach and capacity of information technology, particularly the internet, to store and remember all types of information can have critical consequences for humanity.

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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

Lead View
People, Partition and the Pain
By Rina Mukherji
15 Aug 2013

Dr Jayanti Basu's book analyzes the complex feelings of hatred and longing for the homeland that have contributed to shaping the personalities of a generation of people who were forced to ..
Book Shelf

Yamuna Manifesto

A Journey in the Future of Water

Spoiling Tibet

On Western Terrorism
Devinder Sharma
Carmen Miranda
Pandurang Hegde
Sudhirendar Sharma
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