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   Friday, July 03, 2020
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Expert View
Views of domain experts and renowned commentators on diverse issues.

Food diversity can fight hunger
By Pandurang Hegde  | 22 May 2013

Living democracies where farmers make their own decision on what to grow and eat leads to eradication of hunger. It enhances the dignity and confidence of local communities, and teaches them not to become dependent on the government subsidies.

To pee or not to pee
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 21 Apr 2013

Sustained pollution of major rivers; continuous decline in groundwater reserves; priority allocation to non-consumptive sectors; and, growing disparity in water distribution only indicates that the worst is still to come!

Making sense of growth
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 04 Apr 2013

There is too much focus on meeting requirements of organized sector but does it have the capacity to employ vast numbers labelled as 'unskilled' and dependent on vocations in the unorganised sector?

Save languages, save biodiversity
By Pandurang Hegde  | 20 Feb 2013

As we celebrate the World Mother Language Day on Feb 21, 2013, it is important to realize that local languages also play a crucial role in sustainable conservation and management of biodiversity.

Chasing the mirage
By Pandurang Hegde  | 20 Dec 2012

UPA government's decision to constitute Cabinet Committee on Investment will only reinforce the jobless growth at huge social and ecological costs.

Thumbs down to microfinance!
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 12 Dec 2012

Despite generous support from policy makers, donor and private investors in recent years, the future of micro-finance continues to remain grim.

Can we afford to forget Bhopal?
By Pandurang Hegde  | 30 Nov 2012

It seems India has forgotten the painful lessons of the Bhopal disaster, as the pesticides usage is on the rise even at the cost of people's health.

Yamuna may remain a sewer?
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 21 Nov 2012

In little over a century, the Yamuna has lost its 18 tributaries that used to carry surface flow from Aravalli slopes to enrich freshwater discharge into the river. To make matters worse, Delhi alone discharges 4,456 million litres of untreated and treated wastewater each day into Yamuna.

Toilet and the idea of a toilet
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 29 Oct 2012

Government officials and urban elites remain baffled by widespread open defecation despite several programmes and high subsidies to end the practice. Isn’t it time they think beyond aesthetics and hygiene and instead focus on psychology?

The clamour to re-open the mines
By Carmen Miranda  | 25 Oct 2012

Widespread mining in Goa has not only devastated the state's ecology but also resulted in grave human rights violations of thousands of residents. The economic security of few cannot justify the destruction of environment, livelihoods and health of the majority of people.

Milestone or Millstone?
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 03 Jul 2012

UNESCO's decision to include the Western Ghats to the World Heritage List has brought cheer to environmentalists. But since a heritage tag doesn't advocate a new legal framework to protect the designated property, putting all hopes on a heritage tag shall be erroneous.

Food coupons for profit?
By Devinder Sharma  | 21 Jun 2012

If in the USA, the food stamp programme ends up adding profits to the corporate balance sheets, isn't it time that India looks at how to make it more effective in own ingenious way rather than blindly aping the US experience?

Rio+20: Listen to communities
By Pandurang Hegde  | 20 Jun 2012

We can not save the Mother Earth by allowing the corporate sector to take the lead in shaping the 'green economy'. The green policies must be based on the voices of communities, indigenous people and people's movements. But the question is whether the world leaders are willing to listen and pay heed to the wisdom of common people?

Green ministry or green signal?
By Pandurang Hegde  | 05 Jun 2012

During the last eight years of UPA rule, nation's precious natural capital has been exploited at an unprecedented scale on the pretext of ensuring faster economic growth. Now when the GDP growth rate is going downhill, who will compensate the permanent loss to environment for temporary gains?

Hiding behind the growth veil
By Carmen Miranda  | 21 May 2012

The last thing we need is the increasing inclination of the State to suppress important reports concerning environment and ecology and allowing the destructive forces to play havoc with the natural wealth of the country.

MoEF: For environment or economy?
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 08 May 2012

Jairam Ramesh as environment minister constituted an expert panel to submit report on conservation of ecologically critical Western Ghats. But his successor Jayanthi Natarajan has decided against making the report public citing economic interests of concerned states.

First check obscenity of corruption
By Carmen Miranda  | 14 Feb 2012

It is baffling that people from the land of Khajuraho get more agitated when their representatives are caught watching pornography in the assembly, but continue to ignore widespread corruption, violence and damage to public health and environment.

Shut shop of MFIs
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 30 Jan 2012

For long, profit-obsessed microfinance institutions had a free run behind their stated ideal of providing micro-credit to the economically marginalised sections. However, they are in trouble now as governments have begun to realise that unrestrained MFIs are no better than the exploitative moneylenders.

National shame, but who cares?
By Pandurang Hegde  | 19 Jan 2012

Successive Prime Ministers and their governments have termed malnutrition as a national shame. But their misplaced economic and agricultural policies have only exacerbated the problem.

Chocolates, diapers and Durban
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 09 Jan 2012

Notwithstanding the rigid stance of the rich industrialised countries in climate negotiations, the economic meltdown, rather than climate crisis, may eventually transform their citizens' carbon-intensive consumptive pattern.

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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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