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Showing posts from February, 2023

Building resilience through nature-based and community-centred approach

By Garbhit Naik*, Mansee Bal Bhargava**  Climate Change is a natural phenomenon caused due to the transitions in the way earth moves. In the past, it was considered to be a slow transition that would give all the life forms to adapt to changes. Little was known that industrialization, urbanization and technological advancements would put transition in a fast forward mode, so much so to bring the greatest risk to existence of life. The overtly put inclination in technology driven development led to arrogance in human endeavors to conquer nature. At the same time, an avoidance and ignorance grew in the modern society about the traditional wisdom that the best way to fix social-ecological problems is through nature conservation with the help of local communities. In the session on ‘Building Resilience through a Nature-Based and Community-centered approach’ , the focus is on the need to understand, acknowledge and apply the nature-based and community centered learning to help build resili

Climate change: Has India given up even feeble but much-needed mitigation efforts?

Shankar Sharma, Power & Climate Policy Analyst, writes to the Secretary, MoEF&CC, Govt. of India, with copy to the Union Minister, Environment, Forests & Climate Change, New Delhi, and the Vice-Chairperson, NITI Aayog: *** This has reference to a statement attributed to you, which has reported : "The forthcoming United Nations Conference of Parties ( COP-28 ) in Dubai must focus on adaptation instead of mitigation, Leena Nandan, Secretary, Environment Ministry said at a public meeting."

Gujarat state budget shows govt doesn't believe in 'sabka sath sabka vishwas'

By Mujahid Nafees*  In the budget for the year 2023-24 presented by the Gujarat government, only 0.024% of the budget is for the welfare of 11.5% minorities. The budget is disappointing for Gujarat's most backward minority community. Last year the minority participation in the budget was 0.033% and this year it is 0.024%. It suggests discriminatory behavior of the government toward minorities.

Global Biodiversity Framework should protect indigenous rights from harmful industries

By Hannah Greep*  “Never before have the business and finance sector been so present at a biodiversity COP.” This is how the Executive Secretary of the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD), Elizabeth Mrema, opened the first ever ‘Finance Day’ at the CBD COP15 . The conference, held in Montreal in December last year, was the first time that financial institutions and businesses have shown up in large numbers to discuss how biodiversity impacts their business.

Sunil Gavaskar, G Viswanath rated Andy Roberts best fast bowler they ever faced

By Harsh Thakor  The West Indies pace quartet or battery of the 1970’s and 1980’s truck terror to deliver a knockout punch, like never in cricket history. One was reminded of bomber raiding an airbase or a combing operation. Andy Roberts was the pioneer in orchestrating or propelling the most fiery and lethal pace bowling attack ever in the history of the game. Simply the godfather of Modern West Indies fast bowlers. He spearheaded the pack from the mid 1970’s .Without Andy the talent of Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Colin Croft would never have blossomed.Michael Holding credits Andy for shaping his great bowling career, by infusing vital elements.

Indian democracy: Insignificant people's share in comparison to political parties

By Harasankar Adhikari  Morality is the greatest quality of a human being. It is the prime mark of making difference from animal being. Education in all its forms is the only parameter that makes a human being moral. So, Einstein realized, "The most important human endeavour is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. "Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life." But morality is eroding day by day because of the influence of materialisation and consumerism in world society. People are hungry for wealth, power, and prestige. Einstein’s opinion that "only a life lived for others is worthwhile" is not followed among the powerful elite. His caution: " I am absolutely convinced that no amount of wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most dedicated worker in this cause. The example of great and pure personalities can lead us to noble deeds and

Will Gujarat Assembly librarian come under Modi scanner, thanks to this display?

By Rajiv Shah  This was interesting: a Facebook friend put up a photo on the timeline, stating, "In the library of Gujarat Assembly, Gandhi, Savarkar, Marx and Modi stay together." I am not sure how would the powers that be reaction to this. But I can at least try to predict: the librarian who allowed this display in the library would sooner or later would get a flak, or worse, lose his or job -- such is the atmosphere we seem to live in. I am not saying this because the books on Gandhi, Savarkar, Marx and Modi have been put side by side, but because one of the books on display is "Modi Demystified: The Making of a Prime Minister" (2014), authored by Ramesh Menon, whom I peripherally know as a veteran journalist. I have met him a couple of times, and have interacted with him on phone and social media apps.  While I have not read the book, I know him as a Modi critic. This is what the introduction to the book on Amazon , which is selling it, says: "Behind the as

Despite Modi, corruption is the order of the day both in private and public sectors

By NS Venkataraman*  In the last nine years after Mr. Narendra Modi assumed office as Prime Minister of India, there is no doubt that India has achieved significant progress and has made rapid strides in multiple directions .Several infrastructure projects, welfare programmes , proactive policies towards industrial development and number of reform measures have been implemented. However, one area where there is not much of difference is in the level of corruption at different levels all over India. While Mr. Modi has ensured that top administration in central government is nearly transparent without corrupt dealings, this is not so in the case of lower level of administration and in several states in the country. Cross section of people living in various parts of India in different age groups, educational level and economic strata are of the view that the most serious problem confronting India today is the widespread corruption in government departments and public l

Can Myanmar-Bangladesh ties promote ASEAN-SAARC regional stability, prosperity?

By Sufian Siddique*  Naf River flows through Bangladesh and Myanmar. The Rohingyas who fled through this river crossing the tortured, oppressed, expelled and fearing for their lives have taken refuge in Bangladesh. However, trade between the two countries can continue on this river route, cargo ships can crowd the river ports of the two countries. Boats full of tourists can be floated on the river where tourists can see the sights of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Although the ongoing Rohingya problem with this neighboring country of Bangladesh is an obstacle, initiatives should be continued to improve the relationship between the two countries. Bangladesh's two neighbouring countries are India and Myanmar. There is a 271 km border between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Although the two countries are close to each other historically and socially, there is a lack of close contact between the people of the two countries. Burma (now Myanmar) recognized Bangladesh on January 13, 1972 after independe

Only 25% of mass communication students become journalists, even they are unstable

By Rajiv Shah  I have never studied in a journalism school, though I find that today only those who graduate (or post-graduate) in what is now termed as mass communication are taken as journalists in all top papers and other news outfits. In fact, there is no separate journalism course today. So what are produced in what is called mass communication courses? "Journalism is just one subject out of many in the mass communication course", I was told by one of the senior teachers -- a professor -- in a private university at a workshop organised by Google News in Ahmedabad. So what does the course teach? And what kind of professionals does it produce? This is what I learned: only 25% of the students are interested in going to journalism, while others would like to pursue their communication skills as public relations person, or work in advertising industry, or elsewhere where you require communication expertise. Surely, journalism is no more a lucrative choice.  And what a

People of Peru continue protests against Boluarte regime despite violent repression

By Harsh Thakor   The protests of the Peruvian people staged against the dictatorial government of Dina Boluarte have been taking place for more than a month and, in recent days; have taken on more intensive and generalised form. Road blocks and important demonstrations in several regions of the country have been routine, like in Puno, Arequipa, Junín, Cusco and Apurímac.

Playing double game, complicit governments across the world support drug trade

By John P. Ruehl  The modern globalized world has made it easier and far more lucrative to facilitate and enable international drug networks , and several governments, or elements within them, actively work with criminal groups to support the flow of drugs around the world. This has led to a surge in drug usage among people worldwide, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s World Drug Report 2022 , with 284 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 using drugs globally in 2020, which amounts to “a 26 [percent] increase over the previous decade.”

Now fathom this: Not just Shiv-Parvati, even Ram-Sita was a love marriage couple

By Rajiv Shah  Following my blog in Counterview,  A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe' , some Hindu love marriage couples were quite excited. They said they were not aware of the myth (they considered it as historical truth) that they were in love and then got married -- and that, that's why Maha Shivratri is celebrated. One of them, who resisted their parents to get married four decades ago, phoned up from US, where they are settled, to find out whether what I had written was true. They were excited: this should be "our Valentine's Day." Ironical though it may seem, two days after the Maha Shivratri, during our group trip to a top temple in Ahmedabad district, a discussion arose on love marriage. A young Hindu love marriage couple -- who rebelled to get married -- said, Shiv and Parvati were not the only love marriage couples in our ancient past. Ram and Sita were also love marriage couples -- Sita cho

Adivasi land rights question in Telugu states: Digitization process without transparency?

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao  This paper examines whether the Land Records Modernization Program initiated by the successive governments in Telugu States is beneficial to tribals in the Scheduled Areas in the light of special protective Land laws that are in force there. Digitization process or regularization of land records or land surveys without transparency will result in disempowerment of Adivasis. This can be tested in the case of Adivasis in the Scheduled Areas of Telugu States. British colonialism, through its land revenue policy and elaborate exploitative bureaucratic structure, made land alienable on a large scale especially in tribal areas. 1 Land and the forest produce remain the main source of tribals’ livelihood; but availability of land is restricted by forest reservation on the one hand, and non-tribal encroachment on the other. 2 In the Andhra Area, there were certain laws including the Agency Tracts Interest and Land Transfer Act, 1917 that existed before the inaugurati

San Diego school asked to cancel Islamophobic presentation by Hindu far-right supporters

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) note:  *** The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) wrote a letter to the administration of Francis Parker School in San Diego, CA, raising concerns over a scheduled Islamophobic presentation by the supporters of Hindu supremacism. The presentation promotes various anti-Muslim narratives, conspiracy theories, and far-right propaganda among the school students. IAMC’s letter debunked several false claims made by the Hindu far-right supporters in their breakdown of topics to be covered at the event, including claims that the partition of India and Pakistan only led to the death of Hindus, that the Pakistani military carried out a genocide only of Bangladeshi Hindus in 1971, and that Muslims have carried out a genocide of Hindus in Kashmir. The letter cited historical facts, prominent reports, and media sources in informing the school leadership that “the Partition of India and Pakistan led to the mass killings of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs alike

Fighting hunger with vaccine mandate? Realities of Left resurgence in Brazil

By Dr Gautam Das*  Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He is popularly known as Lula. His political future was hanging in balance in the last run-off presidential election held just three months ago. He bagged 50.9% of total vote while his closet rival Jair Bolsonaro got 49.1%. Millions of people took to the street alleging unfair means of counting. These people were voicing their unhappiness and discontent over the election results. The Corporate media as well as the leftist commentators summarily dismissed them as right wing supporters of Bolsonaro. [1] [2] [3] [4] [27]

Economic reform and Union Budget: Mindset change from entitlement to empowerment

By IMPRI Team  As part of its The State of Economy- #EconDialogue series, #IMPRI Center for Study of Finance and Economics, IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, organized the panel discussion on New India’s Economic Transformation and Union Budget 2023-24 on February 8th, 2023 as a part of the IMPRI’s third annual series of thematic deliberations and analysis of the Union Budget, fiscal year 2023-24 being organized from February 2- February 7, 2023. Ms Zubiya Moin, researcher at IMPRI started the program by giving a brief introduction about the topic and also introducing the moderator and chair for the session, Prof Mukul Asher, Former Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore; Visiting Distinguished Professor, IMPRI. She further welcomed the panelists Dr A. Amarender Reddy, Principal Scientist (Agricultural Economics), ICAR-Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, Hyderabad; Dr Radhika Pandey, Senior Fellow, National

Gandhi's intended to emancipate people from British, preserve capitalist-feudal structure

By Harsh Thakor  On January 30th in 1948, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi fell to the bullets of fascist communal forces, as martyr who fought for communal amity. Every secular democrat should salute his efforts in the final stages to combat and nullify communal violence, reject the Mountbatten Settlement and offer moral support to Pakistan. With RSS sponsored Hindu fascism flowing at an ebb it is imperative to resurrect a figure like Gandhi. Ironic that even Marxists like late Suniti Kumar Ghosh, Rajni Palme Dutt and Stalinist Vijay Singh, hailed role of Gandhi in the final stages.

Local governance and Union Budget: Whither smart city mission, urban jobs guarantee?

By IMPRI Team  The IMPRI Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, organized a panel discussion on ‘Local Governance and Union Budget 2023-24’ on 6th February 2023 under the IMPRI 3rd Annual Series of Thematic Deliberations and Analysis of Union Budget 2023-24. The discussion was organized under the #WebPolicyTalk series #LocalGovernance. The session was chaired and moderated by Shri Tikender Singh Panwar, Former Deputy Mayor, Shimla; Senior Fellow, IMPRI. The discussion had an esteemed panel of eminent professors and scholars consisting of Dr Joy Elamon, Director-General, Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA), Thrissu; Dr Purnima Chauhan, IAS (Retd.), Secretary (Retd.), Government of Himachal Pradesh; Mr Srinivas Alavili, Renowned Urban Expert; Dr Jawed Alam Khan, Thematic Lead – Fiscal Decentralisation, Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), New Delhi; Mr Sameer Unhale, Urban Practitioner

Of child labour and 'sanskari' (cultured?) education at temples near Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah  It was a pleasure trip.  We enjoyed it thoroughly. We visited three temples about more than 100 km from Ahmedabad -- towards the famous Harappan site of Lothal. However, Lothan didn't appear to attract the group members of the society where we live. First it was a Boot Bhawani temple at a village called Arnej, then we went to Ganpatipura temple of Lord Ganesh, where I had been about two decades ago, and finally to Sarangpur Hanuman temple and the Swaminarayan temple aligned with it. I asked what was meant by "Boot", but nobody seemed to know. At Sarangpur Hanuman temple, it was interesting that they offered free meal, where we had our lunch, though what disturbed we was three poor kids, including two girls, taking from us used plates and handing them over to the woman who collected them. I also noticed a small child sweeping the premises of the temple, and I managed to take his photograph. At the Swaminarayan temple, I was struck by a photograph w