Lest we err and waste our planet

This book will jolt you awake, quicken your heartbeat and embed niggling worms of anxiety in even the most sanguine of persons. The author is a gifted, American, climate journalist. He grabs your attention in the very first paragraph and keeps it for the next 231 pages of text followed by 66 pages of notes, […]

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Acclimatizing India

Climate change seems inevitable. Risk takers who go long on property should check out locations in Canada, Siberia and Greenland. These hitherto frozen places are expected to become attractive relocation favourites in a rapidly warming world. Collective action a distant dream The international institutional architecture for concerted effort has been negligent in protecting future generations. […]

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Slash petroleum consumption

Retail prices of diesel and petrol are the lowest in Delhi, among India’s key metropolitan cities. It isn’t cheaper to supply them to the national capital than in Chennai, Mumbai or Kolkata. The difference is that Delhi and Goa levy lower value-added-tax on petroleum products (PP) than poorer jurisdictions, even though they are havens for […]

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Oil shock: Entry point for reform

The latest oil shock — an increase from $69 (average Indian import price) to $80 per barrel (Brent) this week — is courtesy the American President, Donald Trump, who unilaterally pulled the United States out of the 2015 deal between Iran and the UN’s Permanent Five (US, UK, Russia, France, China) plus Germany. This spooked […]

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Lives dedicated to change India

This is not a glib account of mobilising the rural poor, penned by a peripatetic babu or a drive-in-fly-out development expert. It is, refreshingly, a record of activists, who elected to spend the better part of their working lives making a difference, bottom upwards, and three decades later remain rooted in their karmbhumi — village […]

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Lighting for all by Deepawali 2018

Poor or profligate households are often forced to borrow for meeting current expenditure. But most borrowers ensure that they are able to fund the interest payable from current income. Not so the Government of India. In fiscal 2016-17, interest payments on government loans amounted to Rs 4.8 trillion. The government had to borrow Rs 1.4 […]

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Pensioning-off cows

So is “the cow” (including bulls) a living deity, like the Ganga or Yamuna rivers, to be revered as a “mother”, or just another productive asset like a buffalo or a goat? This debate dates to the Constituent Assembly sessions in the late 1940s. Cow protection smuggled into a non operative part of the Constitution […]

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