Articles by the Author
A POPULATION expert sharply critical of India's achievements in curbing population growth. A demographer with scant respect for the census. A statistician who finds prevalent statistics misleading. A professional researcher who would rather rely on visual experience than numerical figures. Ashish Bose talked to SUMANTA PAL about what he called bogus statistics and the dismal performance of India's donor-driven family planning programmes. According to Bose, field realities suggest census figures and government statistics suffer from acute undernumeration and are meaningless in today's social context. The question, as he put it succinctly, is: Who cares?
Whether it is his well-known monsoon model or his new population model, Vasant Gowarikar enjoys defying the classical definitions of a specialist. A tremendous urge to integrate statistical facts in various fields inspires this scientist, originally a chemical engineer, to predict trends accurately. A cryogenic expert who has contributed significantly to India's space programme, Vasant Gowarikar talked to Down To Earth about his models, his assumptions, and his source of inspiration
WITH HUGE reductions in aid already under way and further cuts to follow soon, transfer of resources remains the most contentious issue in international relations, says International Development Research Centre (IDRC) chief Keith Bezanson. Bezanson spoke to Down To Earth on the strengths and weaknesses of Agenda 21, the collapse of a stable economic order in Europe and what he called the "mania of production" in the North. While he conceded that Agenda 21 is recognised as a document capable of establishing a more equitable world order, he also said aid cuts from donor countries for the greater research and analysis required to implement Agenda 21's objectives would defeat its goals.
Meet Manfred Max-Neef. Pianist, economist, eco-humanist and politician from Chile, all rolled into one. Internationally acclaimed for his concept of "human scale development", Max-Neef concludes traditional development models have failed. Green party candidate for the presidential elections in Chile, Max-Neef, on his visit to India, spoke to Down To Earth on the delightful facets of his life, his concerns and his views on globalisation in a world where, as he says, "language fails to explain".
Friends of the Earth (FOE) in Netherlands has been fighting unsustainable lifestyles in the world's affluent societies by campaigning vigorously for sustainable development. Manus Van Brakel, who looks after FOE's Third World operations, talked to Down To Earth on the political effectiveness of FOE's campaigns and its concerns in a world with changing environmental perceptions.