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Chandra Bhushan's picture
21 January 2010
Chandra Bhushan

The recent controversy on the IPCC report regarding Himalayan glaciers has been all over the media. Before dwelling on this matter further, it is important to recognize that it was a silly mistake on the part of the authors of the IPCC report (those who wrote and reviewed Chapter 10 of the Working Group II: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerabilities), to pick up a non-peer reviewed paper and quote it as a definitive finding. Silly still, they quoted a definitive year – 2035 – for the vanishing of the entire Himalayan glaciers.

Sumita Dasgupta's picture
16 January 2010
Sumita Dasgupta

After the immediate and expected reactions (signalled by an uproar among state-level bureaucrats) to the union minister Mr Kapil Sibal’s dictum on board examinations, its long term impacts on the Indian education machinery  have now begun to unfold.  Some are direct and rather heart warming. 

Sunita Narain's picture
12 January 2010
Sunita Narain

Somebody recently asked me why India supported the Copenhagen Accord. It is correct to say that the proposed accord has no meaningful targets for emission reduction from Annex 1 (industrialized countries). Global emissions will increase or reduce at best marginally.

Sumita Dasgupta's picture
11 January 2010
Sumita Dasgupta

It is true. The adults are often confused about what is right and what is wrong — they know too much about too many things, you see.
But the younger species of the human race have no such compulsions. They make their decisions pretty fast about things they really want, and they make sure that the rest are informed about their choice.

Sunita Narain's picture
31 December 2009
Sunita Narain

It is 25 years of the Bhopal gas disaster—the night when chemicals spewed out of the Union Carbide factory to kill and maim thousands over generations.

Sunita Narain's picture
15 December 2009
Sunita Narain

Take a map of India. Now mark the districts with forest wealth, where the rich and dense tree cover is found. Then overlay on it the sources of streams and rivers that feed us, our water wealth.

Sunita Narain's picture
30 November 2009
Sunita Narain

How will India supply drinking water in cities? Many argue the problem is not inadequate water. The problem is the lack of investment in building infrastructure in cities and the lack of managerial capacities to operate the systems, once created. This line of thought then leads logically to policy reform, to invite private investment and hand over public water utilities to private parties to operate.

Sunita Narain's picture
15 November 2009
Sunita Narain

Let me be straight: As the clock ticks to Copenhagen, how low is the world prepared to prostrate to get climate-renegade US on board? Is a bad deal in Copenhagen better than no deal?

Sunita Narain's picture
31 October 2009
Sunita Narain

Last fortnight, we began discussing ‘authorities’, and asked: Is this variant of governance reform working? This time, let’s consider the Food Safety and Standards Authority (fssa). It was created because of a recommendation of the Joint Parliamentary Committee which investigated our report on pesticide content in soft drinks and the lack of standards to regulate contamination in food.

Sunita Narain's picture
15 October 2009
Sunita Narain

If it’s broken, don’t fix it. That’s the new motto of the government: forget it and build another. Do not sort out details. I am talking of what the government believes will form the spine of regulation in future.

The flavour of the day is ‘authorities’: separate, independent institutions not bound by departmental morass, not tied down by procedures or personnel—the bane supposedly of any implementation or regulatory initiative. I think it is time to review this gelato of current governance.

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