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  • Mind the ‘Gap’ – South Asia’s New Dilemma
    September, 2010 By Joyanto Mukherjee

    The ongoing conflict in Thailand has been covered diligently by the international press for the past few months. The media has been analysing the situation from every possible angle. This enthusiasm has, in return, managed to keep the spotlight away from a trend which can now be observed in many countries in this region. There is a growing ‘gap’ between classes in countries in this belt and this is no more confined only to Thailand. The gap between the rich and the poor are expanding steadily, but surely. This trend, if not addressed immediately, will usher a new and dangerous era for countries in South and South Eastern Asia and may well cause a definite slowdown in the region’s march towards development.  

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  • Ecosystem Economics
    August, 2010 By Ilmas Futehally

    It is not easy to miss the signs of destruction of nature where ever one goes. Tall skyscrapers and the large cranes building them are a constant feature of every city in the world. Mountains of granite and rocks are being flattened, trees cut and rivers diverted to provide the raw materials for the construction industry. It is estimated that about 90% of all non-fuel mineral use and a large proportion of timber use goes into the construction industry. It is easy to fuel economic growth, especially in the short term with no regard to the damage that it is causing on longer term environmental and social sustainability. What we need to find are imaginative and constructive solutions, that not only fuel growth and economic development, but also restore to the earth some of her natural bounties. 

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  • Building Peace in Kashmir
    August, 2010 By Shivangi Muttoo

    There has been widespread unrest in Kashmir for more than a month now. The present government strategy of deploying security forces will treat the symptoms of the crisis but not the malady at the heart of it. Only political and economic development has the potential to build durable peace in a volatile Kashmir.

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  • India 2010:2020 – Decade of Innovation
    August, 2010 By Sanaa Arora

    The Indian government has declared 2010-2020 as the “Decade of Innovation”. Although the gamut of innovation is vast and government efforts will be directed towards stimulating reforms in various sectors including education, environment, healthcare, and legal, there is an underlying emphasis to boost advances in science and technology.  The stress on providing an impetus to science and technology is important, keeping in mind the crucial role it plays in the progress of a nation. 

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  • The National Food Security Bill: ‘Food for Thought’
    July, 2010 By Shivangi Muttoo

    The Indian government will soon introduce the National Food Security Bill in the Parliament. The Bill will probably become an Act without difficulty as the United Progressive Alliance government has a majority in the Parliament and the principal opposition party; the Bhartiya Janata Party is also extending support to the government on the bill. However, if the National Food Security Bill in its present form becomes an Act, it is unlikely to tackle chronic hunger and acute malnutrition in the country. 

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  • Making Innovation Matter
    July, 2010 By Ambika Vishwanath

    Along the banks of the beautiful Lake Siljan, in the idyllic town of Leksand, Sweden, over 1600 people from 120 countries came together for the 5th Global YES Summit in partnership with the Tallberg Foundation. The Summit brought together almost 150 projects and new ideas, developed by people who have a desire to tackle the challenges facing us today. These projects and initiatives attempt to solve issues of social cohesion, climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, and youth unemployment. These ideas, which are focused mainly on the grassroots and community level, have the potential to start an innovation revolution in developing societies.  

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  • India, Bangladesh and Energy Security
    July, 2010 By Sowmya Suryanarayanan

    In January 2010, India and Bangladesh agreed to cooperate in the energy sector to tackle the looming energy crisis. This development is significant as co-operation in the past has been constrained by political mistrust and public misconceptions. Cooperation in the energy sector is crucial for Bangladesh given that the demand for natural gas and electricity in the country has already outstripped the supply. Also, the proximity and dominant position of India in the region will open up energy trade and facilitate new investments in the energy sector for Bangladesh.

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  • Europe’s ‘Austere’ Intentions
    July, 2010 By Joyanto Mukherjee

    Economic rules have always pointed out that the best way to fight recession is by indulging in spending, so that the slack outlays by under-pressure consumers and businesses are compensated for. But the global credit crisis and the harsh terms of an EU-IMF bailout to rescue Greece from bankruptcy have turned that principle on its head across Europe. From Madrid to Athens, governments are unveiling emergency budgets that slash tens of billions from their economies, under pressure to control their soaring deficits, popularly known as the European Austerity Drive. But such a coordinated attempt towards austerity may result in a step down for this group of countries, rather than a way out of the current crisis.

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