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  • Faesal’ Success: A Hope for Kashmir
    June, 2010 By Shivangi Muttoo

    Faesal Shah, from Kashmir, secured the first rank in the country’s prestigious and competitive Civil Service exam. The present generation of youth in Kashmir has grown up in an atmosphere of conflict and turmoil. This article seeks to highlight the plight of Kashmiri youth and analyze the future implications of Faesal’success for the state. 

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  • Where the Mind is Without Fear
    June, 2010 By Anumita Raj

    “Books won't stay banned.  They won't burn.  Ideas won't go to jail.  In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost.  The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.”  ~Alfred Whitney Griswold

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  • Lessons to Learn from the Rainbow Nation
    June, 2010 By Joyanto Mukherjee

    The World Cup which is being hosted by South Africa this month has become the talk of the town for various reasons apart from football. It is being viewed as the coming of age for a country which was reeling in the clutches of apartheid till 1991. It is the first time that an African country is hosting the biggest prize in the game. It is seen as the birth of a whole new era, with countries from Africa and Asia embracing football at its highest stage. The world cup in Africa can be embraced as an education for all developing countries who dream of hosting the cup. Future hosts can understand the nuances involved in staging such a huge event. Will they actually benefit from such an event or is it another way of exploiting such growing markets? Will the money raised help in the development if the sport and the country or will it make the rich richer? Similar questions will be raised, but the answers are actually open to self-interpretation.

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  • In the Post Natural Evolution World
    May, 2010 By Sundeep Waslekar

    Sundeep Waslekar examines the nature of politics in a post natural evolutionary world.

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  • The African Decade?
    May, 2010 By Ilmas Futehally

    I am just back to work after a weeklong workshop at the Bellagio Centre of the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy. Located on the banks of Lake Como, the Centre is a dream location for meeting people from all over the world and hearing different perspectives. Some of the things that I learnt there about Africa were very illuminating.

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  • The Energy Game
    May, 2010 By Ambika Vishwanath

    The global financial crisis, the long war, and the theory that water will be the next big cause of conflict, have all served to partially hide an extremely important, quietly waged, global energy game. This ‘game’ is a fierce struggle for control over the world’s greatest oil and gas reserves in Central Asia. With the discovery of new reserves to the tune of several trillion barrels of oil and gas in both Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, in addition to the existing known reserves in Azerbaijan, the region has become a great playing field for the energy hungry world. On the one hand there are the western powers spearheaded by America who are soon to be heavily dependent on others for oil and gas, and on the other hand is the new emerging contender on the block, China, with her old fair weather friend Russia, in the middle.  

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  • Water – Shaping Civilizations of the Past and Future
    May, 2010 By Gitanjali Bakshi

    Water was the prime element responsible for the rise of the Akkad civilization in Iraq. Dating back to the 3rd millennium BCE, Akkad thrived along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. It is considered the predecessor of the Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian civilizations. Akkad had the highest recorded population densities in the world at this time due to its massive agricultural system. Southern Iraq was extremely fertile and had a yield of 30 grains returned for one grain sewn, which is more productive than present day yields aided by modern farming technology. However, the blossoming of this civilization was short-lived due to a massive drought. The rivers experienced a sudden drop in water levels, while improper farming methods led to a progressive salinization of the soil. Trade seems to have collapsed, cattle starved and ultimately there was forced migration. The affluent civilization, it seems, fell prey to the devastating effects of the very water that once supported its lavish existence. 

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  • Stepping Back: Technology and the State
    May, 2010 By Anumita Raj

    In the last ten years, the interaction between human beings and technology has veered off the path of familiarity, and increasingly into the unknown. As virtual societies replace physical ones, computers control every aspect of human movement from traffic lights to flights and all human activity can be logged and catalogued into a cyber-database, the inexorable march towards ceding all control to technology is already underway. Given this fact, securing the safety of the state, as well securing the interactions between governments has now firmly entrenched itself entirely in technology. This reliance on technology can be looked at from two separate angles, from the point of view of inter-state interactions, and from the point of view of state security. 

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