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New stars in the East by Krishnan Srinivasan

om the past. It has taken a pragmatic and unemotional view of the relationship, kept calm while asserting its claim line in Ladakh and Arunachal, and does not conceal the dispute behind diplomatic couRTEsies. It has muffled any war hysteria and the converse — a 1950s-like complacency when it was thought “inconceivable” that China would attack us. It proved helpful to India that Obama postponed his meeting with the Dalai Lama till aft

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The system strikes back by Vidya Subrahmaniam

District Collector in a few cases. Naturally, a fuller audit held out the threat of bringing down this cosy nexus. The Bhilwara exercise unearthed two sets of irregularities. The padayatris repoRTEd back fudged muster rolls, missing job cards, delayed and partial payment of wages as well as the use of machines to displace labour. The auditors in the 11 gram panchayats found a recurring pattern of fake and hand-written bills, exaggerated claims,

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‘Mamata’s proposal to set up Railway project at Singur is welcome’ by Marcus Dam

e Railway Board was has already been informed of the status of the land in question. It was this debate over the ‘forcible’ acquisition of 400 acres that sparked off a movement, suppoRTEd by Trinamool Congress chief, Mamata Banerjee against the land acquisition. Setting up a coach manufacturing unit of international standards at the same site was a proposal mooted by Ms. Banerjee as Railway Minister.

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Ban lays out remaining hurdles in climate talks in Copenhagen

t global emissions must be halved by 2050. “I hope that the developed countries should come out with more ambitious mid-term target by 2020 against the 1990 level,” Mr. Ban told repoRTErs in Copenhagen today. The other main issue, he said, is “the most important key to bridge the gap between the developed countries and the developing,” and he called for “sufficient financial and technological support for the d

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Climate change driving displacement, says UN refugee chief

nt” that is interconnected with other “mega-trends,” such as food insecurity, poverty and conflict,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres told repoRTErs in Copenhagen, Denmark, today. Nations are hammering out a new climate change agreement in the Danish capital at the historic UN conference, which is set to wrap up on Friday. Climate change, Mr. Guterres said today, is making natural di

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Stars don’t foretell any more by Aparna Pallavi

us.” The 27 nakshatras in Vedic astrometeorology indicate the overall weather pattern for the year. Wind blows fierce on barren hills According to Dhondabai, the rainfall pattern staRTEd changing, following massive tree-cutting on the hills by coal contractors in the early 1970s. “For almost a decade, these contractors would clear vast tracts of hillsides, and make coal from the wood in large furnaces,” she said. “T

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Mamata allays land fears

Mamata Banerjee today asseRTEd that land would not be taken forcibly for the dedicated freight corridors and multiple options were on the table to procure plots for other rail projects. “We will not take land forcefully for the dedicated freight corridor. We would negotiate and amicably settle the issue….what (is the problem) if there is a delay of four to six months,” the railway minister said during a debate on demands for

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In 2025, India to Pass China in Population, U.S. Estimates by Sam Roberts

f about 6.8 billion. Every minute, the bureau’s estimates, 250 people are born worldwide and 107 die, for an increase of more than 75 million annually. By the time the 21st century is a quaRTEr over, the bureau estimates, the population of the United States will be more than 350 million. The United States fertility rate, about 2.1 births per woman, is higher than in most developed countries, in part as a result of higher birthrates among im

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Guaranteeing service delivery

larger accountability is political, and politicians have to get re-elected every five years. That is true enough, but if the intellectual underpinning for the SLAs is the idea of a citizen’s chaRTEr, it is hard to argue that clean water and public transport should not be part of such a chaRTEr. The counter-argument, which has some validity, is that the best can be the enemy of the good. Limiting the s

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Lessons from Dubai crisis by Abheek Barua

onglomerate Dubai World (DW) announced really matter? The exposure of international banks to Dubai seemed relatively small. HSBC, the biggest lender, had assets of just about $17 billion, Standard ChaRTEred, the second biggest, a modest $7.8 billion. Some analysts saw Dubai’s decision to delay payments as just a bit of sparring with its oil-rich but low-profile neighbour Abu Dhabi that had been trying to grab stakes in Dubai’s profita

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