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  • Trends in Indian Innovation
    December, 2010 By Sanaa Arora

    In the beginning of 2010, the Indian Government formally declared 2010 – 2020 as the “Decade of Innovation”. There is a multitude of activity, both happening as well as planned, in the innovation sphere in India, in which certain salient features stand out and are worth examining. These features may well determine the degree of success India achieves in the next few decades in realizing its goal of becoming one of the leading knowledge economies in the world. 

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  • India’s Accession into the SCO
    December, 2010 By Gitanjali Bakshi

    On June 12th 2010 the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) opened its doors to India, offering the country permanent membership into one of the world’s newest strategic blocs. India, after enjoying observer status at the SCO for years, is now eligible for a seat at the table with some of the most powerful countries in the eastern hemisphere. This opportunity could propel Asia’s crouching tiger into a position of considerable influence but it would also force it out of an age-old, tried and tested policy of non-alignment. 

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  • Full Speed Ahead: Transport System in the Middle East
    December, 2010 By Shivangi Muttoo

    Road and rail infrastructure in the Middle East is rapidly improving with new modes of public transport such as the metro, monorail, light rail transit (LRT), bus rapid transit (BRT) being introduced across urban centres in the region. By 2017, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will have a railway network connecting all the member countries. Modernizing the transport infrastructure has the potential to bring environmental, economic and social benefits to the region.

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  • Maharashtra: A Sorry ‘State’ of Affairs
    December, 2010 By Anumita Raj

    As with any part of India, Maharashtra is a study in contradictions. The financial capital of the one of the fast growing economies in the world is in the state, as is one of the highest rates of farmer suicides that India has ever known. The juxtaposition of the excesses of Bollywood along side one of the world’s largest slums dwelling in Dharavi is oft-mentioned. In fact, for decades, writers and filmmakers have explored the dichotomy that exists in the city of Mumbai, and by extension the state of Maharashtra. What will Maharashtra look like in 10 or 15 years? How will Mumbai accommodate all of the estimated nearly 29 million people that are expected to live in the Greater Mumbai Area by 2025? These are questions that worry the policymakers and the citizens of the state.

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  • Sustainable Waste Management in Bangladesh
    December, 2010 By Sowmya Suryanarayanan

    The rising urban population has been changing the nature of solid waste management in Bangladesh from mainly a localised issue to a more distinct and persistent social problem.  Despite the growing extent of this problem, the sector continues to remain one of the most disorganised areas of urban development in Bangladesh. An estimated 47000 tons of solid waste per day will be generated in urban areas by 2025, which is almost three and half times more than the current generation. Effective solid waste management has the potential not only to reduce the amount of waste generated in the country but also create employment opportunities for the urban poor. 

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  • Changing Choices
    November, 2010 By Ilmas Futehally

    Choices change. That is definitely a given. However the direction of change is often not easy to predict. While a number of predictions do exist about the future trends in technology, computing speeds and genetic engineering, there are fewer on the more human aspects of consciousness, ethics and aspirations.  Before looking at the future, it is worthwhile to look at the past and see what kinds of predictions were made for the present day.

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  • Conditional Cash Transfer: An Emerging Trend in Developing Countries
    November, 2010 By Shivangi Muttoo

    In recent years, Conditional Cash Transfer programs (CCTs) have emerged as a popular policy trend in developing countries. The programme intends to provide cash subsidies to poor households on the condition that they fulfil specific requirements such as minimum attendance at school, periodic health check-ups and participation in immunization programmes. The logic behind the programme is that the provision of financial incentives will encourage poor families to fully use social services such as health and education. CCTs break the vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty and unlike traditional anti-poverty programmes, are more effective in addressing a broad range of challenges among the people living in the periphery. 

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  • Innovations & Food Security in Bangladesh
    November, 2010 By Sowmya Suryanarayanan

    Over the years, Bangladesh has addressed some of the challenges it faces in sustaining food security. With the area under cultivation being stagnant, introduction of high yielding varieties of rice boosted food production in the country. Along with this, efficient irrigation technologies tackled the problem of scarce freshwater resources. Bangladesh however, is likely to face extreme climatic variations in the future that will severely affect food production in the country. Innovations in rice production will play a major role in helping farmers adapt to extreme conditions and secure livelihoods in the coming years.

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