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   Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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Expert View
Views of domain experts and renowned commentators on diverse issues.

Poverty line or starvation line?
By Devinder Sharma  | 18 Dec 2009

The much hyped economic growth figures of India are often twisted and skewed in favour of very rich. While the nation is asked to celebrate few billionaires' multiplying wealth, millions of Indians continue to sink deeper below the poverty line...

Consume, throw and then blame
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 09 Dec 2009

As rapidly growing mountains of trash raise a stink across the globe, it's time to discard the 'use and throw' culture which has no concern for environment and humanity.

Making profits from poverty
By Devinder Sharma  | 25 Nov 2009

Micro-finance is a highly profitable business. No wonder Micro-finance institutions are competing with each other to extract their pound of flesh while 'helping the poor women'.

Don't downplay glacier melting
By Devinder Sharma  | 10 Nov 2009

It is in the interests of both India and China to allow scientific explorations and put suitable remedial solutions in place to minimise the threat of 'Glacial Lake Outburst Floods'.

Manmohan's policies behind tribal alienation
By Devinder Sharma  | 06 Nov 2009

It is high time the country gets over its mindless obsession with the economic growth built on criminal exploitation of the tribal resources

Climate cost of free trade
By Devinder Sharma  | 26 Oct 2009

Climate change has become the buzzword in all development discourses. However, not many realise that the international agencies now trumpeting climate change issues, have long been pushing for free global trade, which is the major cause of global warming.

Climate inaction plan
By Pandurang Hegde  | 24 Oct 2009

On the occasion of the Climate Action Day (October 24, 2009), it would be appropriate to evaluate the National Action Plan on Climate Change.

Small farmers can cool the Earth
By Pandurang Hegde  | 16 Oct 2009

Industrial farming in the rich countries has led to massive increase in green house gas emissions but the small farmers of developing world can mitigate the global warming through their traditional farming practices.

Droughts make the West worried
By Devinder Sharma  | 13 Oct 2009

From USA to China, scanty rainfall this year has led to droughts. The developed world fears recurrence of it could make some of its cities uninhabitable.

It is safe to blame climate for calamities
By Pandurang Hegde  | 12 Oct 2009

As expected the drumbeaters of climate change have begun to blame every natural calamity in India on global warming, but the fact remains that most disasters including recent floods in south India could have been avoided or minimized with some foresight backed by effective and timely actions.

Not so green legacy
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 06 Oct 2009

While Dr Norman Borlaug is revered for his contribution in bringing Green Revolution to India, one can't ignore the deterioration of the plant ecology and destruction to the environment due to excess chemical inputs used to increase yield.

Agricultural scientists won't tell the truth
By Devinder Sharma  | 19 Sep 2009

While defence scientists have shown the courage to raise uncomfortable questions for the establishment in view of the long term national security preparedness, our agricultural scientists continue to hide dangerous facts from the public for their petty interests.

Subsidize traditional varieties, not hybrid seeds
By Devinder Sharma  | 16 Sep 2009

By providing heavy subsidies for hybrid vegetable seeds, the government is promoting chemical and pesticide intensive agriculture. Instead, subsidy should be extended to healthier traditional crop varieties.

Global image, not poor farmers, is India's concern
By Devinder Sharma  | 04 Sep 2009

Lately, Indian negotiators in WTO have become extremely accommodating to the interests of the rich and industrialised world, even to the extent of sacrificing livelihood security of its crores of poor farmers.

Celebrate Corruption
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 02 Sep 2009

Despite sincere efforts of honest people and sufficient laws, corruption in India has reached all corners and acquired innumerable hues; still the majority doesn' seem to be bothered. Isn't it time to start celebrating the creativity behind corruption, instead of criticizing it in public and then indulging in it privately?

Packaged Food or jungle food?
By Devinder Sharma  | 27 Aug 2009

Indians, mostly particular about what they eat, canít believe this but their increased liking for imported packaged food may be damaging to their conscience. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows insects to be an essential component of some of the processed foods.

Is Manmohan turning Green?
By Pandurang Hegde  | 24 Aug 2009

Recent speeches of Prime Minister indicate a policy shift in favour of ecological approach towards development but the emphasis on importing green technologies exposes his preference for market-driven growth model.

Sugar is not so sweet
By Devinder Sharma  | 18 Aug 2009

Due to massive increase in sugar consumption by Indians, the government is exploring the option of duty free imports. But considering the harmful effects of sugar-rich foods, this shortage should be used to encourage the citizens to reduce their sugar intake.

Consumers' silence over adulterated milk baffling
By Devinder Sharma  | 10 Aug 2009

Milk is a crucial component of Indian diet, particularly for children, but the society, industry and government remain indifferent to spurious milk supply and usage.

The Kosi is back to its permanent clientele
By Dinesh Kumar Mishra  | 07 Aug 2009

It's time the Bihar government finds a permanent solution to the suffering of millions of people living within the two embankments of Kosi River.

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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

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Commentators
Devinder Sharma
Carmen Miranda
Pandurang Hegde
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