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  • Future Flight
    August, 2011 By Ilmas Futehally

    Since the beginning of time, man has looked with longing at birds in the sky. It took about a thousand years to fulfil this dream- from the time of Abbas ibn Firnas in the 9th century - who managed to make short hops into the air - to the Wright Brothers, Wilbur and Orville in 1903, who finally managed to fly -covering a distance of 852 feet in 59 seconds. Just sixty-six years later in July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin flew a distance of 380,000 km in 3 days, 3 hours, 49 minutes and stepped on to the moon.

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  • ‘Jasmine’ Concerns for Sub-Sahara Africa
    April, 2011 By Shivangi Muttoo

    The ripple effect of the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution is far from over; Syria is the latest country in the Middle East to face mounting public unrest. The impact of the Tunisian revolution is not restricted to the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region alone; several countries in sub-Saharan Africa have also experienced anti-government protests. In Ivory Coast and Swaziland, protests have escalated into violent clashes between the government and protestors. While it is hard to predict the next revolution, countries in sub-Saharan Africa may not be able to pull of a North Africa-style revolution, despite its close proximity to the epicentre of the turmoil. Influenced by the political developments in North Africa, three possible scenarios may emerge in sub-Saharan Africa in the near future.  

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  • Securing Land Rights in Bangladesh
    April, 2011 By Sowmya Suryanarayanan

    There has been a phenomenal increase in the number of landless people in Bangladesh over the last ten years. Reports suggests that approximately 60%-70% of the country’s population is either landless or holds less than 0.5 acres of land. Another interesting trend, one that has been scarcely noted, is the rise in the number of disputes over unregistered land and shared waters reported in Bangladesh....

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  • The Future According to Census 2011
    April, 2011 By Anumita Raj

    The new Census of India of 2011 will take several more months to be released in full. In the interim, bits and pieces have trickled out. India’s population is now officially 1.21 billion. Overall effective literacy increased by 9.2% from 64.8% in 2001 to 74% in 2011. Women’s literacy has increased more sharply than men’s literacy. The ratio of adult women to men has increased, whereas the under-6 girls to boys ratio has declined. What does it say about how India has progressed in the last ten years? And what does all this really mean for the future of the country? 

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  • Europe, it is time!
    April, 2011 By Ambika Vishwanath

    The Barcelona Process of 1995 was one of the first in extensively detailing ‘democracy’ as a foreign policy initiative for the European Union with respect to the Middle East. Components of democracy promotion were restricted to a few countries, namely the big three – Britain, Germany and France; had an emphasis on soft security issues and socioeconomic development; and adopted a bilateral approach towards each country as opposed to the region as a whole. Over the last sixteen years the process became the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, included more countries and a stronger military component after the US invasion of Afghanistan and faced serious backlash on the home front after the 2008 financial crisis. Yet, the core of Europe’s policy has not changed much over the last two decades, and with the ongoing shifts in the MENA region, leaders from the continent are forced to reassess their stance and take a harder look at a decades old approach.

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  • Tripoli’s Two Roads
    April, 2011 By Sanaa Arora

    Almost three weeks after UN Resolution 1973 was adopted by the Security Council to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya and take all “necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians, the political and military conflict in Libya continues to be in a deadlock. The rebels have failed to make much strategic headway on the ground, with the battle for control of key towns such as Misrata and Brega still raging. At this moment, a rebellion march into Tripoli seems a long way off. The Benghazi based Transitional National Council has offered the Gaddafi government an immediate ceasefire and freezing of present battle lines; a call which has been rejected by the government. 

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  • Privileges of the Poor
    March, 2011 By Sundeep Waslekar

    Sundeep Waslekar examines the privileges of the poor in today's changing world.

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  • Are We Losing More Than We Are Gaining?
    March, 2011 By Ilmas Futehally

    A recent news article reported that the Lochness monster was photographed in England’s Lake District on the cell phone of a 24 year old Briton. Is it possible that cell phone technology finally solves the mystery that has been kept alive through numerous sightings since 1933? 

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