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Contents page
Jul 15-31, 2011

Cover Story

Arguably, this is the hottest political summer for Delhi. Reason: friction between anti-corruption activists and the Union government over the anti-graft Lokpal Bill. It has been more than three months, but there is no sign of ebb in the confrontation. Rather, it has metamorphosed into an all-out war between the government and non- government groups. The polarisation is getting sharper. Most political parties have joined hands with the ruling alliance to oppose the “legitimacy” of non- government groups in taking part in legislative affairs. The confrontation has left many questions in its trail.

Does this reset the relationship between government and non-government organisations? Is it a battle for space between government and non-government? Why is the government adopting such an aggressive approach towards the other side? Or, have the non-government organisations strayed into the political arena?

There are no yeses or noes. The crisis is an outcome of a post-liberalisation churning taking place. In the past 20 years, the state has undergone changes and comfortably settled its relationship with the market. Government is shrinking its role in development works leaving space for non-government players. The private, for-profit companies are entering the health and education sectors through private-public partnerships. Non-government not-for-profit organisations are also rediscovering their roles.

Subjects that NGOs dealt with as “social contractors” have now gone to the Panchayati raj institutions. That is why NGOs have started reinventing themselves into groups advocating for rights and empowering legislation. But elected representatives see this as a threat to their mandate.

Richard Mahapatra, Arnab Dutta and Ruhi Kandhari analyse this transformation as India marks 20 years of liberalisation

Editor's page

imageMy article last fortnight about people’s fight against POSCO has brought me interesting responses. They call for clarifications and further discussion. The question is about the value of current livelihoods of the people of coastal Odisha. Is earning from betel nut farming being exaggerated to reinforce the romantic and misinformed view that people are fighting projects because they are better off today? The equally valid question, then, is: why are the people so apparently poor if they are earning Rs 10-17 lakh per hectare (ha) each year as I had said?


Fifteen people hospitalised after unethical drug trial in Hyderabad

State rolls out scheme to reimburse fertiliser cost of maize farmers

Maharashtra makes change after 4,000 families denied aid

Pollutes Irai river in Maharashtra, kills thousands of fish

Complainants say coal power plant in Gujarat will harm environment and affect catch

SC allows French giant to mine in forest; asks Centre to set up a green regulator for projects

Maharashtra builds dam in quake zone without permission. High Court refuses stay

Rural development ministry suggests land reservation for agriculture


Keshav Raj Kranthi, an entomologist by training, is director of the Central Institute for Cotton Research, Nagpur. He has developed an extensive database on bol...

Guim Valls Teruel and his wife Nguyen Thuy Anh travelled across 14 countries on hybrid solar electric bicycles before landing in Delhi. Betwee...

Patently Absurd

Developing countries will now have to battle IP issues related to new agricultural technologies at WIPO instead of WTO

Science & Technology

Studies show global warming is making it difficult for lizards to survive

How brain behaves when stress builds up

Climate change affects breeding patterns of cows in the UK

Planting trees will not reduce global warming, says study

A handy instrument to measure soot level in the air

DNA analysis shows coconuts have two different origins

Special Report

Flat yields for five years and rising insecticide use are jeopardising the success of Bt cotton technology

Authorities yet to identify cause of deadly disease prevalent in Muzaffarpur for a decade

Farmers from 12 Rajasthan villages refuse to part with fertile land for cement companies

CSE laboratory tests show energy drinks contain excess caffeine; their market grows without checks

Great Indian Bustard has been pushed to extinction in its biggest sanctuary; breeding stops

Demand for state control as Pesticides Management Bill is set to be tabled in Parliament


Residents dig shallow wells to tap sweet water reserves

Soligas of BR Hills say litter fire is the only way to salvage the sanctuary


Wards off stomach ailments and cold


Mining in Odisha’s Khandadhar hills will dry out perennial water bodies

We are only beginning to understand snake bites better


Film>> Partners in Crime • Directed by Paromita Vohra • Produced by Magic Lantern Foundation

Film>> Home • Directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrandls • Produced by Denis Carot and Luc Besson

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