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India powers surge in global Autocracy -Anita Joshua

-The Telegraph 'It is on the verge of losing status as a democracy due to shrinking space for media and civil society' More people are living under autocracies than under democracies across the world and India’s “steep decline” on democratic traditions despite electoral politics is a contributing factor to the global surge in autocratisation. India has also been put among the top 10 autocratising countries. This is one of the conclusions of a study...

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JS Verma: Left behind little as inheritance, lot as legacy -Rajeev Dhavan

-The Times of India No obituary notice can do justice to Justice J S Verma. A judge for over 25 years, Chief Justice of India (CJI), Chairman National Human Right (NHRC), Verma Commission on Security Lapses, Verma Commission on rape laws. The list is endless. Many judges hanker for post-retirement jobs, Justice Verma did not. A CJI has to chair of NHRC. He did not ask for the job, but did...

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Hardly unanimous, Mr. Thorat-Shahid Amin

-The Hindu The debate over the cartoons used in NCERT textbooks as aids to learning have thrown up a range of issues. The discussion has crystallised around a set of oppositions: motivated political correctness of our elected representatives vs. the necessity of preemptory parliamentary intervention on educational material appropriate for schools; institutional autonomy vs. political responsibility of a state presiding over a diverse and fraught society; the hubris of ‘experts’ vs....

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Bengal back in ‘Animal Farm’-Prithvijit Mitra

On March 15, 2011, when the Mamata Banerjee wave was at its zenith, thespians Saonli Mitra and Arpita Ghosh went to Bansberia in Hooghly to stage the anti-establishment play 'Poshu Khamar', based on George Orwell's Animal Farm. But they were turned back by local CPM MP Rupchand Pal, who feared that the play was meant to denigrate the then ruling Left Front. The public outrage against CPM's "social hegemony" was...

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Growing water shortages carry economic risks that are as damaging as political corruption by Brahma Chellaney

Water is the most critical of all natural resources on which modern economies depend. Water scarcity and rapid economic advance cannot go hand-in-hand. Yet, with its per-capita water availability falling to 1,582 cu m per year, India has become water-stressed.  In 1960, India signed a treaty indefinitely setting aside 80% of the Indus-system waters for downstream Pakistan - the most generous water-sharing pact thus far in modern world history. Its 1996...

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