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  • The Failure of Protest
    May, 2012 By Sundeep Waslekar

    Sundeep Waslekar comments on recent civilian protests across the world. He opines that unless activity is treated as a surrogate for result, all this euphoria has actually produced no real change. 

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  • Science of Boon, Politics of Doom
    April, 2012 By Sundeep Waslekar

    Sundeep Waslekar observes that counties such as the United States, China, Israel,  and  Europe, that have created an extraordinary spirit of enquiry and creativity -  making scientific endeavours feasible, are also countries that are obsessed with control and dominance.

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  • Are Global Financial Crises Good?
    April, 2012 By Sundeep Waslekar

    Since financial crisis first broke out in London in 1825, immediately followed by financial crisis in the United States in 1837, every few decades banks collapse; recession sets in; people are unemployed; and then strangely an industrial revolution takes place drawing the world into a higher orbit of scientific, technological and economic progress.

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  • Sudan and South Sudan in the East African Community?
    April, 2012 By Ekta Talwar

    The oil revenue dependent nations of Sudan and South Sudan are currently embroiled in an escalating armed conflict over oil. Despite having walked away with 75% of the oil reserves South Sudan since its cessation has nevertheless depended on Sudan’s oil pipeline and Port Sudan to export oil. Sudan has allegedly confiscated close to USD 1 billion worth of oil in the name of tariffs. South Sudan responded by halting production to prevent Sudan from siphoning oil in the future. 98% of South Sudan’s revenues are derived from oil so halting production is crippling the nation. It is also raising fuel prices in other parts of the world, especially in China, India and Malaysia. 

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  • Pakistan's Backbone
    April, 2012 By Anumita Raj

    In the past few weeks, the crippling power crisis has led to riots in parts of Pakistan. At the same time, the USD 10 million bounty on founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Hafiz Saeed, announced by the US government has caught the attention of the people of Pakistan, and become the focus of various politicians. Amid these larger concerns, it is easy to gloss over the predicament of various state-run institutions of Pakistan, many of whom have been beset by economic woes and plagued by news of corruption scandals. Indeed, even the national media has often given less importance to this news over the past months when compared to political machinations and foreign policy issues. Most of the institutions form the very backbone of Pakistan’s domestic infrastructure. Despite Pakistan’s hardy nature which has seemingly survived various disasters in the past, the complete collapse of anyone of these institutions could send the country into a tailspin that it may not be able to recover from. 

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  • Water Footprint: The Next Big Thing
    March, 2012 By Ilmas Futehally

    I knew the statistics earlier. One cup of coffee requires 140 litres of water to produce- if it is grown, processed and brewed in the most efficient way. One cup of tea requires 35 litres of water to produce. But little did I know that soon, we will have all the data of water usage for all or most products. A number of diverse groups around the world are working on developing the Water Footprint, and the methodology used is just as diverse. Which one will become “the” methodology and “the” water footprint is yet to be seen.

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  • The Iran Quagmire
    March, 2012 By Ambika Vishwanath

    In 2009, when Iran held its last round of national elections, it resulted in wide protests, detentions and the house arrest of two presidential candidates. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is widely believed to have stolen the presidency. At the time of writing this article, Iran would have gone through another round of elections, giving the country a chance to elect a new parliament. The outcome of the elections will take some time to be known, but given the dearth of reformists on the ballot, it will only be a battle between the conservatives. A battle between supporters of President Ahmedinejad, and those who feel he has lost favour with the Ayatollah. It is also these elections that should determine the course of action of the international community with regards to the nuclear debate. The decision to go nuclear is more political than military and a new parliament will influence that decision, which ultimately rests with the Ayatollah. 

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  • The ‘Defence’ of Pakistan
    March, 2012 By Sahiba Trivedi

    By all indications, the recently formed Difa-e-Pakistan (Defence of Pakistan) Council likely has some friends in high places. The success of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council’s (DPC) rallies across Pakistan, and brazen announcements of forthcoming rallies and attendees, many of whom belong to ‘defunct’ or banned organizations, lend credence to the theory that the DPC has the backing of powerful forces in Pakistan. 

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