ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Geopolitical War: Syria's Descent into Turmoil

Mired in a two year bloody civil war, the sectarian divisions in Syria have intensified, and the death toll is rising by the day. The rebel groups have suffered serious setbacks in the recent times, but it is too early to declare the Assad regime victorious. While countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar want to dislodge the Syria-Iran-Hezbollah axis, Russia and Iran are putting their might behind Assad. This could prolong the civil war further and threaten the stability of the region.

The Voice of Jharkhand

Activist-journalist Dayamani Barla has won many awards, the latest being the Ellen L Lutz Indigenous Rights Award from Cultural Survival. The first journalist from the Munda tribe in Jharkhand Dayamani wields her pen and leads the struggles of fellow tribals equally powerfully against the machinations of the state and big business.

Let the Country Grow

As many as fifty per cent of Indians may suffer from mental deficiencies caused by malnutrition during childhood. This might impact the quality of India’s huge and young workforce and dent its ambitions to become an economic superpower. The government is in the process of overhauling the, almost 40 year old, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme, to tackle with the grave issue of child malnutrition.

Political Actions and Sports Policy: A Critique

The Indian government’s response to the banning of Pakistani players from the Hockey India League, and the Tamil Nadu government’s decision of not permitting the Sri Lankan cricketers to play in the IPL matches at Chennai raises grave concerns about the efficacy and desirability of such boycotts. It represents an entirely piecemeal approach of addressing diplomatic conflict, which will only incentivise political opportunism and devalue sporting contests.

Shrinking Public Spaces

In a bid to curb writing on the compound walls by the public, the Bangalore Municipal Corporation is painting monuments, wildlife, landscapes etc. on them denying the underprivileged and marginalised groups spaces to express themselves. The public spaces to which common people had access to have now become the close preserve of either the government, or private entities.

Browbeating Free Speech

The legal notice issued by the Times Group to a law student writing a blog on intellectual property rights issues is another instance of corporate might being used to suppress dissent and criticism in various forms of the media.

The Waste Picking Community: Some Issues and Concerns

The waste pickers, a faceless workforce, play a critical role in the recycling of solid waste. With the increasing privatisation of the municipal solid waste management, the livelihood of these unorganised workers is threatened. A seminar series held in JNU focussed on the plight of these hapless workers as well as delved into the issues of gender, migration and the informalisation of labour.

Are Our Regulators Imaginative?

The recent deposit ponzi scam in West Bengal and the proliferation of such dodgy small-depositor financial schemes in other parts of the country point to the inadequate role of financial regulators. Despite ample examples of the misery they cause, the regulators have not yet responded to the challenges, leaving poor investors at the mercy of the scamsters.

IPL: As Skewed as the System

It must be said that the recent allegations of spot fixing by three cricketers in the lucrative Indian Premium League (IPL) is a consequence of the commercialised culture spawned by the cricket administrators themselves. In its rush to unleash the “animal spirits”, the Indian cricket board has engendered every vice so much so that the IPL is not quite cricket.

Pakistan Election 2013: More Rejection, Less Election

Not since the 1970 election have the people of Pakistan turned out in such great numbers to vote. Two differences are notable, however. First, while in 1970 they voted the Pakistan People’s Party to power, this time, they came out in droves to boot it out. Second, while 1970 was a time of great hope and optimism, this year cynicism was palpable even as they voted. This was understandable as all the main contesting parties appeared committed irrevocably to the same market liberalism that has characterised Pakistan’s governments for the last three decades. In the end, people followed the only path open to them in most democracies: vote the incumbent out, even if the alternatives promise more of the same!

Liberal Education: The Road Not Taken

The proposed Foundation Courses promise a well rounded liberal education with enhanced employability and the ability to meet national challenges, but their rigid structure and poor content breaks this promise.

Delhi University's Undergraduate Programme

This article draws on archival material from the records of the University of Delhi to recount the last major change in its undergraduate programme in 1943 when the present three year BA course was introduced replacing the two year intermediate followed by a two year BA. That change took almost two decades of consultations and debate before they were accepted and implemented and provide an insightful comparison to the current proposals for changing the University’s undergraduate programme.


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