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Everyday Politics and Corruption in West Bengal

Trinamool Congress’s decisive second term in West Bengal in 2016, even after serious corruption charges were levied on the party, makes it clear that corruption is not as important as was thought by the opposition. It is argued that corruption is conceived as a “necessary evil,” linked with quick and tangible delivery of public services. The recent rise of Bharatiya Janata Party, parallel to religious polarisation in the state, indicates a shrinking political space for non-BJP opposition in West Bengal.

Doing Nothing and Being Nothing

The lack of opportunities for training and quality education hinders the development of entrepreneurial talent among India and South Asia’s youth. In this way, they are demoralised and disillusioned with the system and more often than not, with themselves. Some of them believe they are useless, while others do “nothing” and therefore amount to “nothing.” Hope and agency can provide an out for these young people all across India and South Asia.

Swachh Bharat Mission

The Swachh Bharat Mission promises to address issues of sanitation and water in rapidly urbanising areas. However, without an adequate understanding of all potential sources of contamination, the mission may, at best, only achieve the goal of universal sanitation but may not meet the goal of safe drinking water.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)

The progress of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) has been impeded by bottlenecks, such as inadequate water supply, defunct toilets, and difficulties in availing microloans for constructing individual household latrines. These need to be addressed if the government wants to achieve the lofty target of making India open defecation free by 2019.

Tech in Work

The “platform economies” of today can provide traditional informal sector workers the opportunity to formalise and organise their work. In the case of Uber and Ola, the mobile-based taxi service companies have been able to provide their drivers with technological solutions to conventional problems like personal finance and wealth creation, job security, flexibility in timings, and regularisation of income payments.

How France Chose Macron

Although Emmanuel Macron’s win is historic and unprecedented, a closer look at the results shows that a significant segment of the electorate was not entirely convinced either by his youth or by his image of a middle of the road, liberal moderniser. This section voted not for him but in order to block the National Front.

Farewell, Uncle Kathy!

Visionaries like Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada, South Africa’s anti-apartheid crusader who died in March, are a fast disappearing breed. For Kathrada, the principled fight for a non-racial, non-sexist, just South Africa trumped all personal perils.

Rabi Ray (1926–2017)

Rabi Ray, a prominent socialist leader and former speaker of the Lok Sabha, was also a public intellectual remembered for his tradition of gosti bichar.

The Curious Case of Justice Karnan

The actions against Justice C S Karnan of the Calcutta High Court by the Supreme Court, since contempt proceedings were initiated against him, appear to be a case of misplaced importance. The case raises questions regarding the disciplinary authority of the apex court over individual judges and the range of contempt jurisdiction.

University Grants Commission and Jawaharlal Nehru University

The Jawaharlal Nehru University was conceived as a “different” university 52 years ago when a bill on it was introduced in Parliament. By the early 1970s itself, it was clear that the university was fulfilling its objectives. Even today, the university is as rural as urban, has more women than men, with socially and economically backward students forming the overwhelming majority. It is also a place of excellence, not as conveyed by ranking systems, but by the value its research holds for its peers across the world.

Applying for Furlough in Maharashtra

Against the backdrop of the Government of Maharashtra’s amendment to narrow down the circumstances under which prisoners can apply for furlough, this article focuses on the provisions of the Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959 and outlines three problematic aspects of the amendment

Happy Days Are ‘Not’ Here!

The interest to create happiness in a gloomy world riddled with crises and turmoil appears to be the new agenda of international organisations. The artificial creation and representation of happiness from sample surveys could be problematic as it may not lead to genuine expression, but could lead to ignoring the larger structural and social determinants of health, well-being and happiness.

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