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Crosscurrents

Whose flat is it anyway

Issue Date: Apr 30, 2014
In their manifestos for the last Delhi Assembly elections, the three political parties, the Indian National Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and Aam Aadmi Party, promised flats to those living in jhuggi jhopdi clusters (JJCs). The idea is not new. Delhi’s Congress government had prepared an action plan to make Delhi “slum free” by 2015.

Gory conservation

Author(s): Rakesh Soud 
Issue Date: Apr 30, 2014

Centre-state collusion

Author(s): B K Manish 
Issue Date: Apr 15, 2014
On March 12, Chhattisgarh was on the front page of all leading national dailies, thanks to yet another Naxal attack. The attack claimed the lives of 16 CRPF jawans the previous day in Sukma. The Union home minister virtually repeated the statements he made last year after a Congress party convoy was ambushed in Darbha Valley: he announced a probe by the National Investigation Agency and threatened retaliation.

Shutter bugs

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2014
Whether it is the regal looks of a lion or a baby elephant being cuddled by its parent, wildlife photographs play a crucial role in winning over the general public and spreading the message of conservation. Photography is also invaluable for documentation. For instance, in 2013, photographer Jeff Cremer took a picture of a peculiar picket-fence-like structure on tree barks in the Amazon which piqued the interest of scientists.

Who needs ultra mega solar power plants?

Issue Date: Mar 15, 2014
The bigger the better seems to be the mantra of Central government ministries these days. If the Union Ministry of Power can promote ultra mega thermal power projects, each with a capacity of 4,000 MW or more, why should the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) be left behind? MNRE too wants to set up four ultra mega solar power plants (UMSPP) of 4,000 MW using solar photovoltaic (PV) technology.

At home with nature

Issue Date: Mar 15, 2014
Towns and cities are expanding, and so are fragmented habitats, accumulation of chemicals in the atmosphere, scarcity of natural food and light and sound pollution. This affects insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds as well as mammals. Many people and organisations want to do something about it, but fail to take a concrete and coordinated step.

Not-so-organic fests

Author(s): Garga Chatterjee
Issue Date: Feb 28, 2014

A land of their own

Issue Date: Feb 15, 2014
In popular iconography, a farmer is a man with a moustache, wearing a turban and holding a plough on his shoulder. What about women farmers? A few months ago, my eight-year old-nephew asked, “Why do you need to qualify farmer to represent women far mers? Isn’t ‘farmer’ a gender-neutral word?” It was a valid question.

Curse of the urban boom

Issue Date: Jan 31, 2014
Increasing urbanisation and favourable demographics have resulted in the real estate sector turning into an appealing investment opportunity for domestic as well as foreign investors. According to the 2011 Census, 31.16 per cent of India is urbanised. Residential, commercial and corporate buildings continue to grow at a considerable rate. But what about their impact on the environment?

Beyond techno fixes

Author(s): Phrang Roy 
Issue Date: Jan 15, 2014
The severe impact of global warming and technical solutions to it have always grabbed the media’s attention. Unfortunately, the socio-economic challenges of climate change that expose marginalised people to greater vulnerabilities and create conflicts and weaken macroeconomic performance seldom make headlines.
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