‘When we have money they call us by our names, not our disabilities’

Sunday, January 31, 2016
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People with disability and their families are at core of this microfinance initiative

What can microfinancing scale up to is evident from a cooperative bank being run in Madhya Pradesh which caters to those with disabilities and their families. From modest people who saved Rs 20 every month, the members are now the stakeholders in a ooperative bank. Persons with a disability are the entry point to gain access to unprivileged neighbourhoods because they tend to be poorest of the poor. These families have the greatest need for...

जलवायु परिवर्तन और कांच की बोतल

Saturday, January 30, 2016
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एल्यूमीनियम के डिब्बे के मुकाबले एक कांच की बोतल के उपयोग में केवल 10 प्रतिशत ऊर्जा की ही आवश्यकता होती  है

जिस पेड़ की शाख पर बैठे हो उसी को काटने की मूर्खता करते व्यक्ति की कहानी लगभग सभी ने बचपन में पढ़ी है।  वर्तमान परिदृश्य में, इस दुनिया के लिए यह कहानी सच प्रतीत होती दिख रही है। काल के इस पल में मानव एक बहुत ही खतरनाक दौर से गुजर रहा है जिससे उसका अस्तित्व ही खतरे में आ गया है । यह संकट स्वनिर्मित है । जलवायु परिवर्तन की पृष्टभूमि पश्चिम की औद्योगिक क्रांति के साथ शुरू हुई पर आज बढ़ते उपभोक्तावाद के दौर में भारत (7%) भी ग्रीन हाउस गैसों के...

'हमने पानी का स्वभाव ही बदल दिया'

Monday, January 25, 2016
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वाराणसी में गंगा नदी. स्त्रोत: इंडिया वाटर पोर्टल

नदी का विज्ञानं क्या है और बढ़ते जल प्रदूषण , बाढ़ और सूखे के संदर्भ में यह कहाँ बैठता है? बता रहें हैं प्रसिद्ध पर्यावरणविद् और लेखक अनुपम मिश्र। यह व्यख्यान उन्होंने 28 नवंबर, 2015 को नई दिल्ली में जल नीति विशेषज्ञ स्व: रामास्वामी आर अय्यर की स्मृति में दिया । ‘सबको पानी’ के नारों से ले कर बड़ी वाटर वर्क्स की योजनाओं तक, अनुपम जी पानी से जुड़े सभी सामाजिक और राजनीतिक आयामों को छूते हुए नदी के अविरल स्वभाव को चित्रित करते हैं 

It's time we make farming renewable

Tuesday, December 29, 2015
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Our farmers always saw farming as means of caring for the earth.

Climate change talks are often centered on renewable energy. Nobody talks about making farming renewable. Around 50 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to chemical farming. It emits carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuel required to make chemicals. To prepare 1 kg of urea, 2 litre of diesel is burnt. When used in farms, urea produces nitrogen oxide which is 300 times more harmful than carbon dioxide for the earth. Instead...

History, Ideology and Internet

Saturday, November 7, 2015
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Internet can be a good medium to deal with ideological bias in history.

Author Chetan Bhagat stirred a debate by questioning the worth of historians' work. But much before his utterances, historians in India have been accused of pandering to leftist ideology at the cost of facts. We talk to Prof Rajiv Lochan of History department, Panjab University, on how politics affects history, what role Internet is playing in this debate and how the discipline can be rescued from bias through scientific collection and...

Forest in my soul

Saturday, November 7, 2015
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The film follows the Kondhs through their lives and engagements with the forest. Source: Top Quark Films

If you frequent villages, ‘Jal, jungle, zamin’ is the commonest refrain you hear. While we city dwellers are acquainted to land and water, forest often remains a distant resource for us. But in many places of the world, there are people who are one with the forests. India is home to many such tribes who treat trees and shrubs as their extended family. The film, “I cannot give you my forest’, gives a glimpse of such a tribe, the Kondhs of...

'Tawaifs were highly educated women erased from social scene by new morality'

Friday, October 30, 2015
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Rasoolan Bai was a courtesan famous for her thumri.

Courtesans contributed to music and literary scene of an era when most women were in purdah. 'The Other Song' is a film that examines how we stigmatised these performers resulting in annihilation of their profession which could not meet the new moral standards of independent India.  Their whole existence was termed immoral both by the British colonialists and also ironically by the nationalists who themselves were English educated and...

Indian Railways right on the track: In 11 charts

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
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Only 24% of railway track is electrified. Source: Vinoth Thambldural

From1850s when the first train ran in India and royal families sponsored its expansion to the present-day envious network and 12,000 trains running daily, railways has connected India like nothing else. Here we look at how things have changed with Indian Railways whether it's the expansion of tracks, jump in freight traffic or even casualties during operations. The total length of track used by Indian Railways is about 90,000 km of which 24...

Rural-urban shift is more fluid than we believe

Friday, September 11, 2015
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There is great fluidity of occupations in rural India.

Census 2011 brought in a revelation that the population of urban India increased much more than the rural population, for the first time in 90 years. If urban population shows greater increase, does that necessarily imply rural to urban migration, where the migrants have given up on agriculture? And when we say migration, is it only about rural to urban migration for better work opportunities? Is this an inevitably one sided transition? A...

A penny well spent?

Sunday, August 16, 2015
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Better learning outcomes are coming at high costs. Source: Pixabay

India spends almost 2.5 per cent of its GDP on elementary education. This includes 0.71 per cent of private expenditure. Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the flagship government programme on elementary education, got 67 per cent of the total elementary education budget in 2015-16 at Rs 22,000 crore. High expenditure on elementary education per student leads to better learning outcomes but this expenditure is highly inefficient and needs...