Reforming microfinance

The T.H. Malegam committee on microfinance institutions has made valuable suggestions that are contextually significant. Barely four months ago, the MFI sector seemed to be riding a crest. Though comparatively new to organised finance, it was growing rapidly, particularly in the southern States, with Andhra Pradesh in the lead. With an estimated Rs.22,500 crore lent […]

Indian constitutional democracy: a freedom in crisis

Sixty years ago, the First Amendment to India’s Constitution imposed restrictions on the right to freedom of speech and expression, in contrast to its celebrated namesake in the United States.  Free speech—the very essence of democracy—has since been subject to much judicial and political controversy, but confronted with significant economic, social and political stresses it […]

New Philippine counter-insurgency strategy fails to address the causes of conflict

2011 marks the dawn of a new strategic approach to combating insurgencies that have long bedevilled the Philippines. An internecine conflict, bred by a political system that entrenches the segmental concentration of power in the archipelago, has resulted in a catalogue of state-led extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. The new tactic – ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ (‘Operation […]

Legacy of our Leaders

Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:7-8The secret behind every success lies in the mind of every concerned individuals and leaders. The great men and women of […]

Way forward in India-Pak relations

Fifteen years ago, in a book called “Pakistan Papers,” largely comprising a long despatch I wrote in my last days as Consul-General of India in Karachi, which I was surprisingly permitted by the government to publish as representing my “personal views”, I had first suggested a process of “uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue” as the only […]

After Telangana comes Frontier Nagaland

Once again there is a separate statehood demand and this time it’s in Nagaland. The Frontier Nagaland demand has not come out of nowhere, but does it have the potential to create roadblock for NSCN (IM)’s Greater Nagaland agenda? Ratnadip Choudhury tries to find outThe Telengana movement in the south has ignited a similar spirit […]

Migrants: Exploited by all but healed by none

Just two full-grown human beings can walk simultaneously in the narrow lanes that separate the countless housing area of migrant workers, especially the daily wage earners. The passage of clean air is almost unfeasible in these areas whereas the smell coming out from the unattended and hold up nullahs can cause severe health related troubles. […]

Martin Luther King & the Palestinians

Today, January 17th an American holiday commemorating the birthday of Martin Luther King (January 15th) the famous Oprah Winfrey’s show played clips of older shows that dealt with racism and discrimination against black African Americans in the US. The bigotry, elitism, discrimination, racism and hate crimes of white Americans against African Americans reminded me of […]

It's time to expand the UN Security Council. But who gets a seat?

During his Asian trip last November, President Obama expressed support for installing India as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the power center of the international body. It was an intelligent proposal for enlarging a critical UN institution whose membership (the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France) has remained unchanged […]

Brazil to step up plans for disaster preparedness

The Brazilian government said on January 18 that it would accelerate efforts to devise a national system for preventing disasters and alerting the population quickly when they occur, in response to the deadly landslides in the state of Rio de Janeiro last week that killed at least 710 people. President Dilma Rousseff met with ministers […]

Tunisian revolution & its fallout

Hours after a group of stone-throwing youth braved frantic police beatings and confronted grey fumes of teargas outside the Interior Ministry building in Tunis, the unthinkable happened. As darkness thickened on January 14 and agonising uncertainty gripped the Tunisian capital, word was out that Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, well entrenched dictator for 23 years, […]

Healthcare in disarray

A series of papers recently published by The Lancet points to worrisome trends in the management of India’s primary healthcare system, particularly in the area of infectious diseases. Clearly, the country’s march to economic growth has not had the desired impact on healthcare. Despite the right to health being recognised as a fundamental right, quality […]