What Message Will Work In Fractious Maharashtra?

(An advertisement released by the Congress party on the eve of assembly elections in Maharashtra)   Housing. Education. Jobs. These are the three main issues that Maharashtra’s ruling Congress party is focussing on as India’s second-most populous and richest state prepares for elections to a new legislative assembly on October 15.   Farmers are also being … Continued

Anger In Coal-Rich Orissa District Reflects India’s Flawed Mining Policies

(On a rainy September day, locals living atop some of India’s richest coal seams in central Odisha make their way to a public hearing about a coal mine planned on their lands)     Chhendipada  (Odisha): It was just after 7 a.m. on Thursday, September 4 when the first marchers—men, women, youth, children—streamed down the … Continued

Floods Grab Headlines But India’s Deadliest, Most Unknown Killer Is Lightning

  The devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir, the worst in the state in 60 years, caused due to heavy rains, have already claimed 175 lives. Over the last 11 years (2003-13), a total of 345 people have died due to floods and torrential rains in J&K.   While floods are high-profile events with great economic devastation … Continued

India’s Police Forces Spend Most On….Housing

  A recent episode of television docu-serial Satyamev Jayate highlighted the plight of policeman and policing in India. The problems addressed ranged from transport and mobility troubles to recruitment. We decided to look at the data on police expenditure and scan the general police budgets for the year 2013 in order to find out exactly … Continued

Delhi Climbs The Social Indicator Index But Struggles With Crime

  Highlights* Delhi’s gross state domestic product (GSDP@ current prices) grew year on year at a mean average of 16% (using arithmetic mean method) since 1998.   *The average growth rate of 10.3% at (constant prices 2004-05) between 2005-06 to 2012-13 and average growth rate of 5.4% at (constant prices 1999-2000 prices) from 1999-2000 to 2003-04.   … Continued

The Amazing Jekyll & Hyde Story Of India’s State-Owned Liquor Barons

  Most of us know that excise duties from alcohol sales are a major revenue source for state Governments in India. Fewer would know or have noticed that over the years, most state Governments have floated corporations or public sector undertakings (PSUs) to supply ‘quality liquor’ to the people.   The ostensible reason for this … Continued

Mumbai Resorts To Private Healthcare To Fight Deadly Diseases

One of India’s biggest challenges is delivering affordable healthcare to its millions, particularly the poor. Many studies and surveys show how a single illness can swing the financial fortunes of a poor household.   It gets worse and more frustrating when the diseases are more like epidemics and the system is unable to respond effectively. … Continued

Uttar Pradesh’s Sorry Record Of Custodial Deaths

The issue of custodial and encounter deaths have come back into focus in light of the Ishrat Jahan controversy. The controversy surrounds the 2004 killing of a 19-year-old girl by the Gujarat state police, allegedly in a fake encounter.   While custodial deaths are periodically reported, the numbers, in aggregate, are indeed worrying. Particularly, in … Continued

Extreme State Kerala

Kerala, God’s Own Country, is a sharp study of contrasts.   * Out of a population of 33.38 million as per Census 2011, 16.02 million (48%) are males and 17.36 million (52%) are females. The state has a sex ratio of 1,084 (sex ratio is defined as the number of females per 1,000 males) as … Continued

After Uttarakhand, Will Arunachal & Sikkim Be Next?

  India’s northern state of Uttarakhand is struggling in the aftermath of flash floods which caused massive destruction of life and property. At last count, over 500 have died.   The tragedy has also turned the spotlight on the unmitigated construction activity in the environmentally sensitive hill areas, notably the vast number of hydel power … Continued