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P Sainath, acclaimed journalist and Founder-Editor of the People's Archive of Rural India, interviewed by Anuradha SenGupta (

ng to Anuradha SenGupta, Sainath makes a case for state intervention in agriculture and says the Modi government, with its shifting positions and policies like demonetisation has only aggravated the aSSAult on agrarian livelihoods. Dismissing the buzz about imminent new initiatives for farmers as political business as usual, P Sainath outlines why Parliament must convene an urgent special session if we want a comprehensive, long term fix to this di

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Why Adam Smith favoured public education -Alex M Thomas

ts, which is characterised by good moral sentiments: “All the members of human society stand in need of each other’s assistance, and are likewise exposed to mutual injuries. Where the neceSSAry assistance is reciprocally afforded from love, from gratitude, from friendship, and esteem, the society flourishes and is happy.” Indeed, the Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments are complementary texts. Please click here to

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Miners in Meghalaya overlooked risks for higher pay -Rahul Karmakar

-The Hindu A majority of men in Bogidari in Chirang district have worked at some point in Meghalaya’s coal mines BOGIDARI: Mohammad HuSSAin Sheikh recalls how a letter from the sirdar (manager and mine supervisor) of a Meghalaya coal mine in 2002 had helped him heave a big sigh of relief. It simply read: “You are hired. Come before the season starts in a few days.” Mr. Sheikh, now 48, was desperate for a job after a crop

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Farm crisis: Short-term palliatives are futile -G Chandrashekhar

es. The country is today paying a price for the omissions and commissions of successive governments over the last 20 years. Instead of improving, the lot of the farmers has deteriorated with the paSSAge of time; and there are no positive signs of a progressive transformation. Policymakers then and now continue to look for facile options to keep farmers ‘pleased’ or in the least, not complain. The most critical reforms — structu

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Will farm loan waiver go the way of the property tax repeal? -Indira Rajaraman

oral outcomes has also been known since, at least, the Gujarat elections. But what is new with the recent five state elections is that a particular palliative, farm loan waivers, is now seen as a neceSSAry promise for electoral victory. There are some curious features to this. A useful parallel to recall is the common practice 10-15 years ago, when electoral manifestos for state elections routinely promised to do away with property taxes. That crip

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'Every second counts': SC says 'diSSAtisfied' with Meghalaya govt's efforts to rescue trapped miners

-The Indian Express Meghalaya mine collapse: Terming it a 'serious issue,' the bench said 'it is a question of life and death.' The Supreme Court Thursday expressed “diSSAtisfaction” with the manner in which the Meghalaya government organised the operations to rescue the 15 miners trapped inside a rat-hole mine in the state. Terming it a “serious issue,” a two-judge bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazee

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Mamata Banerjee asks Bengal departments not to share data with Centre -Madhuparna Das

hat the state departments would have its own portals and store data on its own. She said that the NDA government accesses all data of the state government and uses those to send ‘political meSSAges’ to some sections. Following Banerjee’s instruction, Bengal government has already started working on a dashboard that would act like a common platform for state departments to store government data, said a senior official. “Fr

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30 lakh reapply for inclusion in ASSAm NRC -Rahul Karmakar

uded from the complete draft was opened on September 25. It was to have closed on December 15, but the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the exercise, extended the last day to December 31 after the ASSAm government said the panchayat election, held on December 5 and 9, had robbed the people and officials of precious time. NRC officials said the pace of submission of claims had picked up in the last fortnight. “As of Sunday, 30 lakh of those

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Lifelines beyond farm loan waivers -Kirankumar ViSSA

-The Hindu In addition to reforming the credit system, agriculture should be made profitable Rural agrarian distress is firmly at the centre of the national discourse today, triggered by the recent Assembly election results in the Hindi heartland as well as continuous farmer agitations in the past two years (picture). Just a month ago, the farmers’ march in Delhi highlighted the reality of their deprivation, anger and resolve. Quite remarkably, their presence rallied the urban midd

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A spike in inter-state migration in India could be driving a new wave of nativist politics -Shoaib Daniyal

ce, several Indian states have seen political rhetoric that targets outsiders or their culture. In the 1960s, Tamil Nadu witnessed riots after attempts to encourage the use of Hindi in the state. In ASSAm, waves of often-violent agitations have been directed at Bengalis as well as Hindi and Nepali speakers. In Maharashtra, Marathi politicians have covered much ground since the 1960s by attacking both South Indians and North Indian for taking away loca

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