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Newsletters
Sunday, 3 April 2005
Indiatogether April 2005 - I
India Together
01 April 2005 Newsletter
http://www.indiatogether.org/
The news that matters

Editors: Subramaniam Vincent, Ashwin Mahesh

Dear Reader:

The April 01, 2005 newsletter from India Together includes an
Editorial and
articles in the following regular sections: Agriculture, Book
review, Economy,
Education, Environment, Government, Media, Opinion, Security,
and Right to
Information. In addition, all India Together articles are
archived and freely
available online. Several Interact conversations are also open.

================================================================================
IN THIS
ISSUE                                                     
01 APR 2005
================================================================================


Editorial
~~~~~~~~~

Dissent isn't defection : Our anti-defection law disqualifies
legislators who
switch allegiances when a government's majority in legislature
is threatened,
and rightly so. But by stretching to it to penalise lawmakers
who simply vote
against their party's stand on normal legislative matters, our
Constitution
has curtailed dissent itself. The India Together editorial.
href="javascript:ol('http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/apr/edt-dissent.htm');">http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/apr/edt-dissent.htm


Agriculture
~~~~~~~~~~~

Organic farming takes hold in Rajasthan : Large numbers of
farmers have opted
for a way of cultivation that does away with chemical
pesticides, and most
importantly, uses less water in a water-starved state. The
dramatic results are
nowhere more visible than in Rajasthan's Shekhawati belt,
reports Deepa A.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/agr-orgswitch.htm

An organic cup of tea, please : Since 1980, organic tea
consumption has grown by
leaps and bounds. India too has joined this new green revolution
with many
farmers
already growing organic tea or converting their
plantations to do so.
However many barriers have to be overcome before this sector
realises its full
potential. K V Prayukth reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/agr-greentea.htm


Book review
~~~~~~~~~~~

Aiyar logic, weaker argument : In his defense of secularism,
Mani Shankar Aiyar
fails on two counts - his poor arguments for secularism, as well
as his scant
attention to his party's role in creating the economic
conditions for
communalism. Ashwin Mahesh reviews Confessions of a Secular
Fundamentalist.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/rvw-confessns.htm


Economy
~~~~~~~

Pulling the workhorse, driving the rickshaw : Despite
notoriously variable and
low earnings, close to 30% of the male population in Bilaspur's
Chingrajpara
slum are cycle-rickshaw pullers. Third in the SLUM DIARIES
series, Ashima Sood
cuts across boundaries to chronicle the forces impinging on
pullers' livelihoods.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/eco-chingpar3.htm


Education
~~~~~~~~~

The needs of today, hopes of tomorrow : There is a surprising
hope in the most
despairing places. It isn't often that many of us see this, but
when we do, we
are struck by the determination with which enormous
deprivation
is tackled by
real heroes. Somnath Mukherji encounters the work of Tomorrow's
Foundation in
Kalighat, West Bengal.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/edu-kalighat.htm


Environment
~~~~~~~~~~~

Orissa's aluminum mining costs are steep : The Central Empowered
Committee of
the Supreme Court has found illegalities in central government
clearances to
Sterlite Industries' bauxite mining project in Orissa. The
committee has
recommended (to the apex court) against diversion of forestlands
for the
project. Kanchi Kohli reports.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/env-alumina.htm


Researching turbulent waters : Researchers around the country
gathered to
discuss solutions to the key water-related problems India faces.
From conflicts
between states, to water-saving agricultural practices, to
receding glaciers, a
number of issues were raised, and their economic and social
implications
weighed. Surekha Sule reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/env-waterconf.htm


Government
~~~~~~~~~~

TN's e-Gov experiences spotty, but ongoing : Tamilnadu's foray
into e-governance
has not yet lived upto potential because policy makers may be
implementing top-
driven projects with little public participation.
Still, the
state does have its
own examples of how things could work. Krithika Ramalingam
reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/gov-tnsystems.htm


Media
~~~~~

New boundaries, old limits : A study on coverage of
developmental issues by
regional newspapers in the three newest states of the Union -
Jharkhand,
Chhatisgarh, and Uttaranchal - reveals public as well as media
apathy towards
the plight of people living in rural areas. Aman Namra reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/med-newstates.htm


Opinion
~~~~~~~

Nice painting, poor canvas : Total plan funding for urban
areas
is Rs 3,500
crores, but for rural programmes, it exceeds Rs 40,000 crores.
In the meantime,
the urban poor often live in sub-human conditions, and the
infrastructure is
barely able to cope. Ramesh Ramanathan says we need more rigour
in our policy
discourse.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/opi-budget05.htm


Inspiration from Pakistan : Perhaps one of the most moving and
inspiring stories
to have come from Pakistan in recent times is the story of
Mukhtaran Bibi or
Mukhtar Mai as she is now called. Her fight is an uplifting
example for all
women, not just those who are victims of sexual crimes, says
Kalpana Sharma.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/ksh-mukhtar.htm


Peace and security
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An illusory battleground : Among military planners, it is common
to devise war
games to counter any nuclear attack by enemy states. The
theories put forward in
such games, however, are not always grounded in reality. The
peace community
should alertly challenge such thinking, says Firdaus Ahmed.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/fah-battle.htm


Right to Information
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RTI finding : Cities subsidising the rich : Property prices have
gone up over
the decades, but Mumbai leases land to private interests at
rates as low as
Rs.7 per sq.m. In the last three years
alone, revenue
authorities have on
average lost close to Rs.48 crores, estimates Shailesh Gandhi.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/gov-rtilease.htm


================================================================================
Interact on India Together - a conversation space for you
================================================================================

NEW: Is urban India really elite?
http://indiatogether.org/interact/2005/itr-000043.html

Your reactions to the Tsunami disaster
color=#000099>http://indiatogether.org/interact/2005/itr-000035.html

AIDS: Compromising values?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000029.html

One person, one vote?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000028.html


================================================================================
Regular Services
================================================================================

List your upcoming non-profit event, and view already scheduled
ones.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/php/eventlist.php


================================================================================
Your annual support for India Together             Credit/Bank
card, cheque
================================================================================

India Together is funded by your annual reader contributions.
Support India Together: it's easy, voluntary, and transparent.
To make
your contribution online by credit or bank card, visit our
online reader
support page. (you may need to cut and paste this URL on your
browser)

Contribute today and keep us viable.
http://www.indiatogether.org/support/


****
Recommended : Rs.1000   ****
**** Friends of India Together : Rs.5000   ****
**** Basic     : Rs.365   ****


Contributions can also be made by cheque, if you prefer. The
addresses
in India and overseas are listed below. 


Contributions in India
======================

India Together
GO2, Kristal Amber-2
13C Cross, 8th Main
BTM Layout II Stage,
Bangalore, Karnataka - 560076

Contributions outside India
===========================

India Together
P O Box 641832
San Jose, CA 95134-1832
USA

================================================================================
Write your cheques in favour of "India Together". Please enclose
a separate
slip with your full name, address, telephone number and email
address, before
you mail your
contribution. For cheques mailed to the US
address, please
allow up to 6 weeks for credit into India Together's Bangalore
account. If
you send more than Rs.1000 or US$100 using the postal services,
email us at
editors@indiatogether.org to let us know. Thank you.

================================================================================
India Together                             
href="javascript:ol('http://www.indiatogether.org/');">http://www.indiatogether.org/

India Together is a broad-spectrum public-interest publication
of Civil
Society Information Exchange Pvt Ltd, Bangalore. Every day,
readers get
in-depth information and news on the issues that matter covering
15 major
topics and over 20 states. Leaders, experts, practitioners,
scholars and
artists take their ideas, insights and concerns expeditiously to
our
interested global audience. This newsletter may be freely
redistributed.

Editors: Ashwin Mahesh, Subramaniam Vincent
================================================================================



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remote Posted by wise donkey at 12:39 PM
Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 26 March 2005
Indiatogether Mar 2005 II
Editors: Ashwin Mahesh, Subramaniam Vincent

Dear Reader:

The March 16, 2005 newsletter from India Together includes an
Editorial and
articles in the following regular sections: Economy,
Environment, Government,
Media, Opinion, and Women. In addition, all previous India
Together articles
are archived and freely available online. Several Interact
conversations are
also open.

================================================================================
IN THIS ISSUE                                                      
16 MAR 2005
================================================================================


Editorial
~~~~~~~~~

News, in proper proportions : It is impossible to record society
accurately if
the content of our news is not drawn proportionately from the
events and issues.
And when the news is drawn in the right proportions, the
morality of our
development goals is preserved better. The India Together
editorial.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/edt-proportn.htm


Economy
~~~~~~~

Water canals, or treasury drains? : Large water management
projects are often
announced with much fanfare, but as an audit of Gujarat's
implementation shows,
they're more likely to steer money towards other ends, and leave
the taxpayers
holding the bill for the benefits that have been diverted
elsewhere. Himanshu
Upadhyaya reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/eco-taxdrain.htm


Environment
~~~~~~~~~~~

Rain barrels catalyse water harvesting : The potential of
rainwater harvesting
has been much talked about in recent times. But that an ordinary
plastic water
storage drum connected to the roof through a pipe will turn this
potential to
reality is surprising many citizens in the Bangalore-Mysore
region, reports
Shree Padre.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/env-barrel.htm

North East: Apex court rules the forests : For eight years, the
Supreme Court
has been taking a proactive role in forest conservation. But the
court's rulings
have been most controversial in the north eastern states, where
its actions have
been misread as reinforcing centralised power over local
communities, say
Ritwick Dutta and Kanchi Kohli.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/env-apexcourt.htm


Government
~~~~~~~~~~

Citizens' forum to support whistleblowers : When Executive
Engineer S K Nagarwal
reported corruption in railway track laying in West Bengal, his
saga with
colluding officials and contractors began. Now, supported by the
S K Dubey
Foundation, a citizens' forum has sprung up to protect Nagarwal
and other
whistleblowers. Varupi Jain reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/gov-vigilance.htm


Making utilities accountable : What does it take to make the
bureaucracy
responsive to the needs and expectations of citizens? A recent
workshop in New
Delhi on Developing Institutions for Public Accountability in
Urban Services
explored this question. Darryl D'Monte recounts some key
observations made at
the workshop.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/gov-utility.htm


Media
~~~~~

Media with a message : Access to and control over media are
critical for the
survival and sustenance of marginalised rural communities. Yet,
this is elusive
because media policy-makers rarely concern themselves with this,
and focus
instead on private and corporate media's expectations, notes
Ammu Joseph.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/ajo-barefoot.htm

Voices of the marginalised : In the poorest part of Jharkhand,
community radio
has become an important instrument for the development of
neglected communities.
If access to their own media were freer, the villagers believe,
things could be
even better. Pratibha Jyoti reports on the progress made even
without government
support for community stations.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/med-cradio.htm


Opinion
~~~~~~~

No pesticides, no Bt cotton, no pests! : 6 years ago, Punukula
village in AP
was no different from many other cotton farming regions.
Pesticide overuse and
environmental poisoning were rampant, and so were pests. But by
2004, the
village had successfully charted a simple escape route. Devinder
Sharma looks
at the lessons.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/dsh-punukula.htm

But don't be a zero : The world moves to the tunes of two kinds
of men: the
great kind and the evil kind. The rest of us are somewhere in
between. But what
heroes and Neros both get us zeros to do is ask questions, says
Dilip D'Souza.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/ddz-herozero.htm

Remembering Dandi : 12 March this year marks the 75th
anniversary of Gandhi's
famous 1930 march from Sabarmati to Dandi. With the ruling
Congress party
staking a claim to the legacy of the march, Venu Madhav Govindu
comments on its
true symbolism.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/opi-dandi.htm


Women
~~~~~

Starting the battle : The Visakha guidelines on sexual
harassment and the
proposed bills on sexual harassment - both the Government
version and the
alternate one - seek to ensure safe working spaces for women.
Mihir Desai looks
at how we got to these bills, and the way forward.
http://www.indiatogether.org/combatlaw/vol4/issue1/visakha.htm

New paths for the women's movement : March 8 remains a valuable
vantage point,
a time to take stock and look ahead. In fact, significant events
over the past
year-and-a-half invite fresh thinking on women's issues. We saw
"empowered"
women, but also saw new victims, notes Mary E John.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/wom-day8mar.htm

Where science falters : The percentage of girl students pursuing
science in
college is quite impressive. Yet, when it comes to careers in
science, the
numbers suddenly drop. Kalpana Sharma notes the social and
institutional
reasons that deny women a level playing field.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/ksh-science.htm

A self-help success story : In Maharashtra, the Golden Jubilee
Urban Employment
Scheme can point to many successes for families below the
poverty line. Surekha
Sule reports on the social, economic, and psychological
upliftment created by
unusually diligent administration of a government program
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/wom-selfhelp.htm


================================================================================
Interact on India Together - a conversation space for you
================================================================================

Your reactions to the Tsunami disaster
http://indiatogether.org/interact/2005/itr-000035.html

AIDS: Compromising values?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000029.html

One person, one vote?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000028.html

A common school system?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000023.html


================================================================================
Regular Services
================================================================================

List your upcoming non-profit event, and view already scheduled
ones.
http://www.indiatogether.org/php/eventlist.php


================================================================================
Your annual support for India Together             Credit/Bank
card, cheque
================================================================================

India Together is funded by your annual reader contributions.
Support India Together: it's easy, voluntary, and transparent.
To make
your contribution online by credit or bank card, visit our
online reader
support page. (you may need to cut and paste this URL on your
browser)

Contribute today and keep us viable.
http://www.indiatogether.org/support/


**** Recommended : Rs.1000   ****
**** Friends of India Together : Rs.5000   ****
**** Basic      : Rs.365   ****


Contributions can also be made by cheque, if you prefer. The
addresses
in India and overseas are listed below.  


Contributions in India
======================

India Together
GO2, Kristal Amber-2
13C Cross, 8th Main
BTM Layout II Stage,
Bangalore, Karnataka - 560076

Contributions outside India
===========================

India Together
P O Box 641832
San Jose, CA 95134-1832
USA

================================================================================
Write your cheques in favour of "India Together". Please enclose
a separate
slip with your full name, address, telephone number and email
address, before
you mail your contribution. For cheques mailed to the US
address, please
allow up to 6 weeks for credit into India Together's Bangalore
account. If
you send more than Rs.1000 or US$100 using the postal services,
email us at
editors@indiatogether.org to let us know. Thank you.

================================================================================
India Together                        
http://www.indiatogether.org/

India Together is a broad-spectrum public-interest publication
of Civil
Society Information Exchange Pvt Ltd, Bangalore. Every day,
readers get
in-depth information and news on the issues that matter covering
15 major
topics and over 20 states. Leaders, experts, practitioners,
scholars and
artists take their ideas, insights and concerns expeditiously to
our
interested global audience. This newsletter may be freely
redistributed.

Editors: Subramaniam Vincent, Ashwin Mahesh
================================================================================






Send money to India Get a FREE 30 minute India Calling Card.



remote Posted by wise donkey at 3:05 PM
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 1 March 2005
India Together Mar I 2005
01 March 2005 Newsletter
http://www.indiatogether.org/
The news that matters

Editors: Ashwin Mahesh, Subramaniam Vincent

Dear Reader:

The March 01, 2005 newsletter from India Together includes an Editorial and
articles in the following regular sections: Combat Law, Education, Environment,
Health, Government, Opinion, and Women. In addition, all previous India Together
articles are archived and freely available online. Several Interact
conversations are also open.

================================================================================
IN THIS
ISSUE                                                       01 MAR 2005
================================================================================


Editorial
~~~~~~~~~

Can media catalyse India's development? : Possibly, but perhaps not alone.
There are plenty of obstacles within our unjust and deeply hierarchical civil
society outside of the media. Still, an important connection exists between
journalism and the strengthening of civil society: citizenship. The India
Together editorial.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/edt-mediadev.htm


Combat law
~~~~~~~~~~

Flip-flop on personal laws : Any laws that violate fundamental rights can be
struck down by the Supreme Court or any of the High Courts. But judges in these
bodies have exhibited an extremely wavering attitude in testing the
constitutionality of personal laws, notes Mihir Desai.
http://www.indiatogether.org/combatlaw/vol3/issue4/flipflop.htm


Dalits
~~~~~~

The curse of manual scavenging : Despite laws banning dry latrines and the
transport of human excreta, thousands of people still make their livelihood this
way, sometimes even working in government departments. The social structure has
also forced
nearly all of this work on to Dalit women and girls.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/dlt-scavenger.htm


Education
~~~~~~~~~

Unchecked textbooks racket : The dimensions of the open, continuous and
unchecked textbooks publishing rackets have recently come to light following the
defeat of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government in the general
election held last year. Srinidhi Raghavendra reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/edu-textbook.htm


Environment
~~~~~~~~~~~

Bhimgad awaits justice : Illegal felling, mining, and conversion of forest land
have all been unchecked here.
Repeated hearings in the Supreme Court were
ignored. Kanchi Kohli reports that the case presents both new opportunities for
holistic conservation as well as risk of the Court's orders being flouted.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/env-bhimgad.htm

Reviving rural water bodies top-down : In his 2004-5 budget speech, the finance
minister P Chidambaram announced subsidy support for a hundred thousand water
harvesting units. But governments continue to miss the point that
decentralisation must allow citizens choice over institutions too, not merely
access to new schemes and loans, says Sudhirendar Sharma.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/env-waterpol.htm

Still waiting for the green light : The boom in construction has not been
accompanied by a higher level of environmental awareness among builders,
architects, developers and planners. But green buildings can be profitable and
also demand less from the natural world, notes Ramesh Menon.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/env-greenbldg.htm


Health
~~~~~~

Epilepsy - defogging the demon : Some studies estimate that roughly 10 million
Indians may be suffering from epilepsy. But social stigma and economic barriers
are keeping treatment out of reach for the majority. Unlike polio, which has a
national eradication programme, epilepsy treatment has
seen no such focus yet,
finds Varupi Jain.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/hlt-epilepsy.htm


Government
~~~~~~~~~~

5-month old Kerala government wavering : Kerala's lottery regulation is in a
mess. Liquor contractors are getting away without paying license fees that are
precious revenue to a debt trapped government. The High Court passes a stricture
on a minister over sandalwood smuggling. P N Venugopal finds much wrong with the
Chandy administration.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/gov-kerspotty.htm


Opinion
~~~~~~~

Citizen voices, policy choices : It is clear that people across the
country are
driven by strong environment values. Therefore, without having a policy process
that channelises their perceptions and crystallises them in policy statements,
it is not possible to sequence and prioritise our environmental problems, says
Videh Upadhyay.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/vup-process.htm

Lessons in urbanisation : Every developed country built the infrastructure of
its cities only during the last 100 years, often in response to crises of
plagues or fires. If we learn their lessons, then we could build our
infrastructure with the participation of the people, says Ramesh Ramanathan.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/opi-urblesson.htm

Forget Shanghai, remember Mumbai : The best cities in the world are also the
ones that have affordable housing for all classes. Yet is there any Indian city
that has a well-conceived housing policy? We need to put aside our obsession
with becoming "world class", says Kalpana Sharma.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/ksh-shanghai.htm

Are we feeling global yet? : Outsourcing may have come to stay, but the
conditions in which it is undertaken are surely amenable to change. We might
wish to consider questions about the future to which IT/BPO employees are being
invited to commit themselves, or how much of the work is truly cutting-edge,
says Lata Mani.

http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/opi-itbpo.htm

Weddings on hold as prices crash : "It is time for my daughter to get married
but where's the money? We ran a teashop for a long time. That folded as people
had no more to spend." P Sainath finds that as the agrarian crisis has deepened
in Wayanad, many people are now simply unable to afford weddings.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/psa-weddings.htm


Women
~~~~~

Sania's sisters : Sania is the star today, but there are many more waiting on
the horizon, expecting to be noticed and determined to excel. Sania has forced
the media, and the country, to sit up and
take note. Sania and her "sisters"
will not be stopped, says Kalpana Sharma.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/ksh-sania.htm

Working in the world : Chingrajpara's women : Voluble among themselves, these
women are less comfortable in speaking up at civic meetings when men are
present.
Policy interventions can only initiate social change, but change itself takes
time to unfold. Ashima Sood continues her diary series on Chingrajpara slum,
Chhatisgarh.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/wom-chingpar2.htm


================================================================================
Interact on India Together -
a conversation space for you
================================================================================

Your reactions to the Tsunami disaster
http://indiatogether.org/interact/2005/itr-000035.html

AIDS: Compromising values?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000029.html

One person, one vote?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000028.html

A common school system?
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000023.html


================================================================================
Regular Services
================================================================================

List your upcoming non-profit event, and view already scheduled ones.
http://www.indiatogether.org/php/eventlist.php


================================================================================
Your annual support for India Together             Credit/Bank card, cheque
================================================================================

India Together is funded by your annual reader contributions.

Support India Together: it's easy, voluntary, and transparent. To make
your contribution online by credit or bank card, visit our online reader
support page. (you may need to cut and paste this URL on your browser)

Contribute today and keep us viable.
http://www.indiatogether.org/support/


**** Recommended : Rs.1000   ****
**** Friends of India Together : Rs.5000   ****
**** Basic     : Rs.365   ****


Contributions can also be made by cheque, if you prefer. The addresses
in India and overseas are listed below. 


Contributions in India
======================

India Together
GO2, Kristal Amber-2
13C Cross, 8th Main
BTM Layout II Stage,
Bangalore, Karnataka - 560076


Contributions outside India
===========================

India Together
P O Box 641832
San Jose, CA 95134-1832
USA

================================================================================
Write your cheques in favour of "India Together". Please enclose a separate
slip with your full name, address, telephone number and email address, before
you mail your contribution. For cheques mailed to the US address, please
allow up to 6 weeks for credit into India Together's Bangalore account. If
you send more than Rs.1000 or US$100 using the postal services, email us at
color=#000099>editors@indiatogether.org to let us know. Thank you.

================================================================================
India Together                         http://www.indiatogether.org/

India Together is a broad-spectrum public-interest publication of Civil
Society Information Exchange Pvt Ltd, Bangalore. Every day, readers get
in-depth information and news on the issues that matter covering 15 major
topics and over 20 states. Leaders, experts, practitioners, scholars and
artists take their ideas, insights and concerns expeditiously to our
interested global audience. This newsletter may be freely
redistributed.

Editors: Subramaniam Vincent, Ashwin Mahesh
================================================================================



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remote Posted by wise donkey at 12:43 PM
Post Comment | Permalink
Indiatogether Mar - I 2005
01 March 2005 Newsletter
http://www.indiatogether.org/
The news that matters

Editors: Ashwin Mahesh, Subramaniam Vincent

Dear Reader:

The March 01, 2005 newsletter from India Together includes an Editorial and
articles in the following regular sections: Combat Law, Education, Environment,
Health, Government, Opinion, and Women. In addition, all previous India Together
articles are archived and freely available online. Several Interact
conversations are also open.

================================================================================
IN THIS
ISSUE                                                       01 MAR 2005
================================================================================


Editorial
~~~~~~~~~

Can media catalyse India's development? : Possibly, but perhaps not alone.
There are plenty of obstacles within our unjust and deeply hierarchical civil
society outside of the media. Still, an important connection exists between
journalism and the strengthening of civil society: citizenship. The India
Together editorial.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/mar/edt-mediadev.htm


Combat law
~~~~~~~~~~

Flip-flop on personal laws : Any laws that violate fundamental rights can be
struck down by the Supreme Court or any of the High Courts. But judges in these
bodies have exhibited an extremely wavering attitude in testing the
constitutionality of personal laws, notes Mihir Desai.
http://www.indiatogether.org/combatlaw/vol3/issue4/flipflop.htm


Dalits
~~~~~~

The curse of manual scavenging : Despite laws banning dry latrines and the
transport of human excreta, thousands of people still make their livelihood this
way, sometimes even working in government departments. The social structure has
also forced
nearly all of this work on to Dalit women and girls.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/dlt-scavenger.htm


Education
~~~~~~~~~

Unchecked textbooks racket : The dimensions of the open, continuous and
unchecked textbooks publishing rackets have recently come to light following the
defeat of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government in the general
election held last year. Srinidhi Raghavendra reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/edu-textbook.htm


Environment
~~~~~~~~~~~

Bhimgad awaits justice : Illegal felling, mining, and conversion of forest land
have all been unchecked here.
Repeated hearings in the Supreme Court were
ignored. Kanchi Kohli reports that the case presents both new opportunities for
holistic conservation as well as risk of the Court's orders being flouted.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/env-bhimgad.htm

Reviving rural water bodies top-down : In his 2004-5 budget speech, the finance
minister P Chidambaram announced subsidy support for a hundred thousand water
harvesting units. But governments continue to miss the point that
decentralisation must allow citizens choice over institutions too, not merely
access to new schemes and loans, says Sudhirendar Sharma.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/env-waterpol.htm

Still waiting for the green light : The boom in construction has not been
accompanied by a higher level of environmental awareness among builders,
architects, developers and planners. But green buildings can be profitable and
also demand less from the natural world, notes Ramesh Menon.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/env-greenbldg.htm


Health
~~~~~~

Epilepsy - defogging the demon : Some studies estimate that roughly 10 million
Indians may be suffering from epilepsy. But social stigma and economic barriers
are keeping treatment out of reach for the majority. Unlike polio, which has a
national eradication programme, epilepsy treatment has
seen no such focus yet,
finds Varupi Jain.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/hlt-epilepsy.htm


Government
~~~~~~~~~~

5-month old Kerala government wavering : Kerala's lottery regulation is in a
mess. Liquor contractors are getting away without paying license fees that are
precious revenue to a debt trapped government. The High Court passes a stricture
on a minister over sandalwood smuggling. P N Venugopal finds much wrong with the
Chandy administration.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/gov-kerspotty.htm


Opinion
~~~~~~~

Citizen voices, policy choices : It is clear that people across the
country are
driven by strong environment values. Therefore, without having a policy process
that channelises their perceptions and crystallises them in policy statements,
it is not possible to sequence and prioritise our environmental problems, says
Videh Upadhyay.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/vup-process.htm

Lessons in urbanisation : Every developed country built the infrastructure of
its cities only during the last 100 years, often in response to crises of
plagues or fires. If we learn their lessons, then we could build our
infrastructure with the participation of the people, says Ramesh Ramanathan.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/opi-urblesson.htm

Forget Shanghai, remember Mumbai : The best cities in the world are also the
ones that have affordable housing for all classes. Yet is there any Indian city
that has a well-conceived housing policy? We need to put aside our obsession
with becoming "world class", says Kalpana Sharma.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/ksh-shanghai.htm

Are we feeling global yet? : Outsourcing may have come to stay, but the
conditions in which it is undertaken are surely amenable to change. We might
wish to consider questions about the future to which IT/BPO employees are being
invited to commit themselves, or how much of the work is truly cutting-edge,
says Lata Mani.

http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/opi-itbpo.htm

Weddings on hold as prices crash : "It is time for my daughter to get married
but where's the money? We ran a teashop for a long time. That folded as people
had no more to spend." P Sainath finds that as the agrarian crisis has deepened
in Wayanad, many people are now simply unable to afford weddings.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/psa-weddings.htm


Women
~~~~~

Sania's sisters : Sania is the star today, but there are many more waiting on
the horizon, expecting to be noticed and determined to excel. Sania has forced
the media, and the country, to sit up and
take note. Sania and her "sisters"
will not be stopped, says Kalpana Sharma.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/ksh-sania.htm

Working in the world : Chingrajpara's women : Voluble among themselves, these
women are less comfortable in speaking up at civic meetings when men are
present.
Policy interventions can only initiate social change, but change itself takes
time to unfold. Ashima Sood continues her diary series on Chingrajpara slum,
Chhatisgarh.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/wom-chingpar2.htm


================================================================================
Interact on India Together -
a conversation space for you
================================================================================

Your reactions to the Tsunami disaster
http://indiatogether.org/interact/2005/itr-000035.html

AIDS: Compromising values?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000029.html

One person, one vote?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000028.html

A common school system?
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000023.html


================================================================================
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Contributions outside India
===========================

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P O Box 641832
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================================================================================
India Together                         http://www.indiatogether.org/

India Together is a broad-spectrum public-interest publication of Civil
Society Information Exchange Pvt Ltd, Bangalore. Every day, readers get
in-depth information and news on the issues that matter covering 15 major
topics and over 20 states. Leaders, experts, practitioners, scholars and
artists take their ideas, insights and concerns expeditiously to our
interested global audience. This newsletter may be freely
redistributed.

Editors: Subramaniam Vincent, Ashwin Mahesh
================================================================================



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Tuesday, 15 February 2005
Indiatogether Feb II 2005
India Together
15 February 2005 Newsletter
http://www.indiatogether.org/
The news that matters

Editors: Subramaniam Vincent, Ashwin Mahesh

Dear Reader:

The February 15, 2005 newsletter from India Together includes an Editorial
and
articles in the following regular sections: Agriculture, Economy, Education,
Environment, Health, Interviews, Laws, Media, Opinions, Peace, and Women. In
addition, all previous India Together articles are archived and freely
available
online. Several Interact conversations are also open.

================================================================================
IN THIS ISSUE 15 FEB
2005
================================================================================

Editorial
~~~~~~~~~

A poor imitation : We continuously embrace the capital-forming ideas of the
West
without examination of the sometimes invisible support systems behind them,
or
ideas of citizenship in those nations. As a result, our grand ideas for
development often produce grotesque results. The India Together editorial.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/edt-imitation.htm


Agriculture
~~~~~~~~~~~

P Sainath continues his series on the agrarian crisis in Wayanad, Kerala.

Coffee sails globally, sinks locally : This is coffee territory, yet you
cannot
get the local brew in any restaurant here. Drop in at the Coffee Board in
Kalpetta to enquire why this is so - and they offer you a cup of tea.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/psa-coffee.htm

Spice of life carries whiff of death : Imports of pepper from Sri Lanka,
including large quantities that are simply routed through that country but
not
actually produced there, have devastated farmers in Wayanad, home of the
world's
best pepper.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/psa-pepper.htm

Full series on Wayanad agrarian crisis
http://www.indiatogether.org/opinions/psainath/waycrisis.htm


Economy
~~~~~~~

Tsunami-hit saltmakers suffer government silence : 45 km south of
Nagapattinam,
the 26 December tsunamis washed away thousands of tonnes of stock salt at
the
Vedaraniam salt pans, filled them with debris and black silt. With
government
relief coverage withdrawn and the start of the season missed, manufacturers
are
in despair. Krithika Ramalingam reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/eco-saltpans.htm


Education
~~~~~~~~~

Hopscotch and skipping school : The Chingrajpara slum in Bilaspur,
Chhatisgarh
is the city's largest of nearly 50 slums. Why are the children not in
school?
Why is a schooling cost of Rs 318 per year per child a tall figure for poor
parents? Ashima Sood chronicles the lived experience of poverty from her
visits
of 2002 and 2003.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/edu-chingpara.htm

Divided by - and in - class : What is education for, and what is the State's
obligation to support it financially? As the Central Advisory Board of
Education
reviews the legislation introduced in Parliament by the NDA government,
Satlaj
Dighe provides a snapshot of the direction of public education policy today.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/edu-newbill.htm


Environment
~~~~~~~~~~~

A breach in the interlinking plans : Forced by the Supreme Court to make its
research public, the agency that claimed to have conducted feasibility
studies
on interlinking rivers puts out an incomplete document. Sudhirendar Sharma
notes, however, that the politics of this mega-project will keep it alive,
despite such incompetence and disregard for regulations.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/eco-whatstudy.htm


Health
~~~~~~

Rural Health Mission has promising goals : Rural public health care is
choked
nationwide for a number of reasons. To name two, provisioning of services is
very top heavy and many major programmes continue to be conceived and run
uncoordinatedly. But Abhijit Das finds promising prospects in the formation
of
the National Rural Health Mission.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/hlt-nrhmissn.htm


Interviews
~~~~~~~~~~

'The second freedom struggle' : Noted anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare
says
that enforcing a new central RTI law is not going to be a cakewalk. "The
rulers
regard themselves as owners, dictators - especially the bureaucrats", says
Hazare in this interview. But he warned that a national agitation may leave
New Delhi no choice.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/rti-hazare.htm


Laws
~~~~

Food safety bill may hurt hawkers : The central government has proposed the
Food
Safety and Standards Act as part of a series of steps to 'harmonize'
existing
food laws. Devinder Sharma agrees the old exploitative laws must go, but
says
the new bill may deliver unfair advantage to the food industry over dhabas
and
hawkers.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/dsh-safefood.htm


Media
~~~~~

Gender, media and tsunamis : Can there possibly be a gender angle to the
tsunami
story? Certainly, says Ammu Joseph, pointing out that women from
economically
and socially deprived communities usually bear the brunt of disasters,
thanks to
the gender dimension of social inequality and inequity.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/ajo-genmedia.htm


Opinion
~~~~~~~

Cut-off by the date : Not least because affordable rental housing in Bombay
is
an urban myth, the jobs we invite our fellow Indians to fill so that we can
have
all those good things of a booming economy, are filled by people who have
little
choice but to live in slums. And then we raze those slum homes. Cavalier,
says
Dilip D'Souza.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/ddz-demolish.htm

The unbearable lightness of seeing : The elite wants a society geared to
deal
with rare disasters but shows no urgency at all when it comes to the
destruction
of the livelihoods of millions by policy and human agency. P Sainath turns
our
consciences towards Mumbai's demolitions of tens of thousands of the homes
of
slum-dwellers.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/psa-seeing.htm

Not that simple : The search for a viable national alternative to the
Congress
goes back more than fifty years, But India is too large, and too unwieldy,
to be
represented by two parties alone, or even, as it now seems, by two
coalitions
each dominated by a single party, says Ramachandra Guha.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/rgh-twoparty.htm


Peace
~~~~~

Peacing Assam together: Dr Indira Goswami, Assamese writer and Bharatiya
Jnanpith Award-winner, has recently taken up a new role - that of a
peacemaker
in Assam. Nava Thakuria reports that the initiative has been welcomed by
students, politicians, and cultural figures in the state.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/wom-assam.htm

The business route to normalcy : A delegation of entrepreneurs from Pakistan
decided to spend Id in India, exploring opportunities for their businesses
and
forging friendly ties at the same time. Surekha Sule reports that there are
many
areas where the strengths of the two nations in global trade can be mutually
beneficial.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/pce-paktrade.htm


Women
~~~~~

The beauty obsession : Since the economy opened to foreign investment, the
influx of European and American images of beauty have deeply impacted the
notion
of what it is. Susan Runkle notes how over the last decade, international
standards for fair and lovely have taken firm hold.
http://www.indiatogether.org/manushi/issue145/lovely.htm


================================================================================
Interact on India Together - a conversation space for you
================================================================================

Your reactions to the Tsunami disaster
http://indiatogether.org/interact/2005/itr-000035.html

AIDS: Compromising values?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000029.html

One person, one vote?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000028.html

A common school system?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000023.html


================================================================================
Regular Services
================================================================================

List your upcoming non-profit event, and view already scheduled ones.
http://www.indiatogether.org/php/eventlist.php


================================================================================
Your annual support for India Together Credit/Bank card, cheque
================================================================================

India Together is funded by your annual reader contributions.
Support India Together: it's easy, voluntary, and transparent. To make
your contribution online by credit or bank card, visit our online reader
support page. (you may need to cut and paste this URL on your browser)

Contribute today and keep us viable.
http://www.indiatogether.org/support/


**** Recommended : Rs.1000 ****
**** Friends of India Together : Rs.5000 ****
**** Basic : Rs.365 ****


Contributions can also be made by cheque, if you prefer. The addresses
in India and overseas are listed below.


Contributions in India
======================

India Together
GO2, Kristal Amber-2
13C Cross, 8th Main
BTM Layout II Stage,
Bangalore, Karnataka - 560076

Contributions outside India
===========================

India Together
P O Box 641832
San Jose, CA 95134-1832
USA

================================================================================
Write your cheques in favour of "India Together". Please enclose a separate
slip with your full name, address, telephone number and email address,
before
you mail your contribution. For cheques mailed to the US address, please
allow up to 6 weeks for credit into India Together's Bangalore account. If
you send more than Rs.1000 or US$100 using the postal services, email us at
editors@indiatogether.org to let us know. Thank you.

================================================================================
India Together http://www.indiatogether.org/

India Together is a broad-spectrum public-interest publication of Civil
Society Information Exchange Pvt Ltd, Bangalore. Every day, readers get
in-depth information and news on the issues that matter covering 15 major
topics and over 20 states. Leaders, experts, practitioners, scholars and
artists take their ideas, insights and concerns expeditiously to our
interested global audience. This newsletter may be freely redistributed.

Editors: Subramaniam Vincent, Ashwin Mahesh
================================================================================



remote Posted by wise donkey at 1:16 PM
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Saturday, 5 February 2005
Infochange Feb 2005
























InfoChangeIndia News &  Features

What's new on www.infochangeindia.org (February 2005)

This monthly electronic newsletter keeps you abreast of new reports, features and viewpoints on our daily development news channel, www.infochangeindia.org.
To view the entire story, click on the link provided
 























Analysis

Untouchability: What the tsunami couldn't wash away
The dalit survivors of the tsunami were reportedly thrown out of relief camps, barred from using makeshift toilets, and given stale food. What will it take to wash away this powerful and destructive caste order that is so firmly rooted in Indian society, asks Chandra Bhan Prasad
http://www.infochangeindia.org/analysis58.jsp


********************************************


Coastal follies
Over 40% of India 's mangroves have been destroyed. Coral reefs have been damaged in the Gulfs of Kutch and Mannar, and the Andamans. In Great Nicobar, 21 beaches have been lost to sand mining. Post-tsunami, we've got to rebuild our natural coastal defences, say Ashish Kothari and Manju Menon
http://www.infochangeindia.org/features242.jsp


********************************************


Daily disasters
Post-tsunami, organisations are vying to adopt this village or set up that school. But tsunami or no tsunami, the urban fisherfolk and coastal poor live in miserable conditions. Why does it take a sudden disaster to mobilise us? What about the daily disaster of living experienced by India 's poor and pollution-impacted communities?
http://www.infochangeindia.org/features239.jsp


*******************************************


The tyranny of empty bellies
Fifty thousand people die every day of poverty-related causes in this world of plenty. Eight hundred million go to bed hungry. What are we doing about it, asked John Samuel in his keynote address at the World Social Forum 2005
http://www.infochangeindia.org/analysis59.jsp


********************************************


`India can make nuclear bombs but it cannot provide clean water': Lord Meghnad Desai
Lord Meghnad Desai, Professor at the London School of Economics, believes that India can rid itself of the problems of acute poverty, deprivation and ethnic conflict only if it adopts the path of rapid economic development.
http://www.infochangeindia.org/analysis57.jsp


********************************************


The advent of patent raj
The third amendment to the Indian Patents Act, if passed in its present form, is likely to adversely affect the availability, accessibility and affordability of medicines. The public campaign against the proposed legislation is heating up
http://infochangeindia.org/IPR_article10.jsp


********************************************


Modern `emperors' imperil monuments
Jat soldiers who captured Agra burnt hay inside the Taj Mahal to keep themselves warm. The British hosted balls on the Taj's marble terraces and rented out its mosques to honeymooning couples. Centuries later, nature and man continue to undermine this World Heritage Site
http://www.infochangeindia.org/analysis60.jsp


********************************************

`Dirty' gold: The unseen yellow peril
The gold industry consumes a tenth of the world's energy, spews out 30-50% of the globe's toxic emissions and imperils 40% of the frontier forests A single gold ring generates a staggering 20 tonnes of waste
http://www.infochangeindia.org/analysis56.jsp
 
New section: Development Dictionary

One in every four of the world's 6 billion people lives on less than $1 a day. The number of extremely poor people is rising, even as the number of millionaires rises. What makes such an unequal world possible? Is `development' the answer? How is `development' to be defined anyway? And who sets the `development' agenda? A new section on InfoChange News & Features


A world divided by inequality
An additional $28 billion a year would make basic education, clean water, healthcare and nutrition available to all the poor people in the world. Yet Western Europe and America spend $35 billion a year on cosmetics, ice cream and pet food. Something is not right in this grossly unequal equation
http://infochangeindia.org/devp_dictionary_01.jsp


********************************************


Inequality in India : Income, access to healthcare and education for the poor
Inequality in India has grown faster in the last 10-12 years than any other time in our history since the colonial raj
http://infochangeindia.org/devp_dictionary_02.jsp


********************************************


Dictionary of development
How did some parts of the world get categorised as `developed', and others as `developing' or `underdeveloped'?
http://infochangeindia.org/devp_dictionary_03.jsp


********************************************


Theories of development: Modernisation vs dependency
About 50 years ago, the freshly decolonised, `underdeveloped' nations began a frenetic process of catching up with the West. `Development' meant economic growth and industrialisation. But this `modernisation theory' is increasingly being challenged today
http://infochangeindia.org/devp_dictionary_04.jsp


********************************************


The development project
The Bretton Woods institutions were set up in the 1940s to make the world stable for business to invest and profit, for trade to grow and presumably for `development' to occur. But critics argue that this `development project' was simply a way for the First World to retain control of the Third World
http://infochangeindia.org/devp_dictionary_05.jsp  


********************************************


The holy trinity: Secularisation, democratisation, industrialisation
In 1947, the Congress, which inherited the Indian State , was uncommitted to any decisive strategy to ensure progress. How then did India come to adopt `development economics' as the way forward?
http://infochangeindia.org/devp_dictionary_09.jsp


********************************************


The destruction of `development'
In 57 years, at least 50 million people in India have been displaced by dams, mines, thermal power plants, corridor projects, field firing ranges, express highways, airports, national parks, sanctuaries, industrial townships, even poultry farms. They continue to pay the price for India 's `development'
http://infochangeindia.org/devp_dictionary_06.jsp


********************************************


How development modernised patriarchy
50% of the world's food for direct consumption is produced by women and women do two-thirds of the world's work. Yet global development projects from the 1940s onwards viewed women as little more than mothers feeding babies. As a result, the socio-economic status of women actually declined, thanks to development programmes
http://infochangeindia.org/devp_dictionary_07.jsp


********************************************

`The main point of the women's movement was to gender human development'
Dr Radha Kumar, author of a history of the women's movement in India, counters the charge that the women's movement has focused narrowly on dowry and sati and not sufficiently on important development issues such as women's health and education
http://infochangeindia.org/devp_dictionary_08.jsp
 

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Development News in Brief
























































































































































































































*Donations worth $1 billion for global immunisation fund
  
*Lack of water, sanitation affect school enrolments: UNICEF
  
*Unique PC-powered study says world could be hotter by 110C
  
*India one of worst polluters, ranks 101 among 146 nations
  
*Worldwide anti-poverty campaign launched at WSF 2005
  
*Promote people-centred early-warning systems, say experts
  
*Report alleges neglect of the disabled in tsunami aftermath
  
*New method uses sun's rays to remove arsenic from water
  
*Maharashtra govt initiates malnutrition eradication mission
  
*Organic farming could help reduce rural poverty: UN study
  
*Pre-empt silent killers like hunger, says World Food Programme
  
*Indian govt to document tribals' early-warning system
  
*Tsunami reconstruction must be driven by local communities: WB
  
*Tsunami caused damage worth $ 675 million to Indonesia 's environment
  
*The Indian Ocean tsunami: one month on
  
*Indian Ocean tsunami alert system by 2006: Unesco
 
*Tsunami an unlikely weapon in Asia 's war on malnutrition
  
*2.5 billion people affected by natural disasters since 1994: UN
  
*Global action plan for disasters `watered down', say activists
 
*Early warning system for all natural hazards launched at disaster meet
  
*Two-thirds of urban air pollution deaths in Asian cities: WHO
  
*Most of India 's 6 million abortions go unreported
 
*Cash prize for whistleblowers to curb female foeticide in Gujarat
  
*Domestic abuse draft bill empowers women to evict husbands
 
*Indian govt uses soap opera to discourage female foeticide
 
*Neonatal death rate in India alarmingly high: Unicef report
  
*At last, a National Commission for Children?
 
*

India will accumulate 65,000 tonnes of e-waste annually

  
*Citizens demand greater role for communities in biodiversity act
  
*India leads South Asia in labour productivity: ILO report
 
*Maharashtra govt responsible for 1.6 lakh child deaths: report
 
*UN presents global action plan to tackle poverty
 
*Bayer backs out of GE research in India
 
*Rajasthan's farmers end stir for more water
 
*Centre favours new laws, special courts for SC/STs
 
*Govt diluting provisions of employment guarantee bill: experts
 
*Pochampally handloom fabric receives IPR protection
 
*With 36 amendments, revamped right to know bill has more bite
  
 

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remote Posted by wise donkey at 3:34 PM
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Wednesday, 2 February 2005
India Together Feb I
India Together
01 February 2005 Newsletter
http://www.indiatogether.org/
The news that matters

Editors: Ashwin Mahesh, Subramaniam Vincent

Dear Reader:

The February 01, 2005 newsletter from India Together includes an Editorial and
articles in the following regular sections: Agriculture, Economy, Environment,
Government, Interviews, Laws, Media, Opinion, Book reviews, and Right to
Information.  In addition, all previous India Together articles are archived and
freely available online. Several Interact conversations are also open.

================================================================================
IN THIS
ISSUE                                                     01 FEB 2005
================================================================================


Editorial
~~~~~~~~~

The litmus session : How will the progressive agenda fare in Parliament this
Budget session in the face of mounting incoherence in the ruling coalition? An
encore of past failed alliances is in nobody's interest, but brinkmanship is
deeply infused into coalition calculus. Only political parties themselves can
change that. The India Together editorial.
href="javascript:dl('http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/edt-litmus.htm');">http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/edt-litmus.htm

Agriculture
~~~~~~~~~~~

Cotton marketing fails Vidarbha farmers : The Maharashtra State Cotton Growers'
Marketing Federation was originally setup to procure cotton from growers at
reasonable prices and sell it to mills and traders. Instead, with government
policies not helping, it has trapped itself and farmers in a vicious cycle of
debt and losses, reports Jaideep Hardikar.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/agr-vidarbha2.htm

Poll freebies not relieving Vidarbha farmers : Last year saw Maharashtra go to
the polls and the incumbent government offer freebies to
farmers. But cotton
growers in Vidarbha saw their problems only worsen as they entered 2005. None
of the political parties seem interested in a real way out.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/agr-vidarbha3.htm


Children
~~~~~~~~

Teen suicides mount in Tamilnadu : 15-year-old Raje was left home alone in
Chennai on 17 January while her family attended the Sunday church. When they
returned, it was to find she had hung herself from the living room fan. Krithika
Ramalingam reports on Tamilnadu's growing suicide numbers in the 10-19 age
group.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/chi-pressure.htm


Economy
~~~~~~~

Recruiting debt : The Kerala government complains that nearly all its revenue
is used to pay the salaries of government employees. Why, then, is the
government busy adding new members to its recruiting agency? P N Venugopal
notes the contradictions, as the government's finances slide further into
the red.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/eco-pscdebt.htm


Environment
~~~~~~~~~~~

Sethusamudram: Court opinion amiss? : The Chennai High Court opined in December
that industrialisation created the wealth necessary for protecting the
environment. Sunita Dubey tests this claim in the United States and finds that
the
court ignored the US' system of local public participation and more.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/env-pubpart.htm

The brave new city? : Increasingly, cities around the world are reshaping
themselves to be centres of culture and commerce in ways that are more global
than related to their home nations. As Indian cities too move in that direction,
Darryl D'Monte catches up with a scholar of the evolution of cities, and finds
much for Indian planners and city leaders to think about.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/env-newcity.htm

High 'court' of appeals, 2004: no cases : The National Environmental Appellate

Authority came into being in 1997 for citizens concerned with environmental
impact to challenge central government clearances. But the Law Commission of
India pointed out not long ago that this forum of final appeals "had very
little work". Kanchi Kohli discovers more.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/env-neaa.htm


Government
~~~~~~~~~~

Urban services: Too many cooks - There is no overlap between the administrative
jurisdictions of various city agencies, or congruence with political boundaries.
The result: the citizen is confused, the local politician is confused, the
agency representatives are confused. Ramesh Ramanathan calls for a
transformation of this chaotic situation.
href="javascript:dl('http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/gov-manycooks.htm');">http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/gov-manycooks.htm

Accelerated corruption, a trickle of irrigation : In its eagerness to provide
more Central funding for large irrigation projects, the government is
overlooking an important fact - that the proposed mechanism for this funding
has been severely indicted for corruption by the CAG. Himanshu Upadhyaya offers
a few examples.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/gov-aibpcorr.htm


Interview
~~~~~~~~~

Pracharak to politician, and now, activist : K N Govindacharya, the pracharak-
turned-politician who led the Bharatiya Janata Party into power in the 1999
elections, is
today a staunch campaigner against the politics and economics of
globalization. He now promotes swadeshi development and says he has renounced
party politics. N P Chekkutty caught up with Govindacharya.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/ivw-gacharya.htm


Laws
~~~~

The Lokpal cycle : After several visits to Parliament the Lokpal Bill is once
again before the nation's legislators. Will it pass this time, or will continue
to languish in committees that reach no decision? Pradeep K Baisakh traces the
lineage and condition of the legislation that could curb public corruption.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/law-lokpal.htm


Media
~~~~~

Bloggers connect people, hasten relief : In the immediate aftermath of the 26
December tsunamis, many bloggers visited the affected areas. Their eyewitness
accounts brought the horrors of the devastation to distant audiences and were
instrumental in garnering widespread relief support, writes Rasika Dhavse.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/med-blogging.htm


Opinion
~~~~~~~

Once upon a Sankranti : Half a century of harvests ago, the plans to control the
flooding of the Kosi river got underway. The lives of those who live within its
embankments have never been the same again; successive governments have failed
them,
and the practices that brought them such misery have remained firmly in
place, notes Dinesh Mishra.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/opi-kosipast.htm

Mumbai's tragedy : The poor have filled up marshland, resurfaced uneven land,
all with their own labour, and built their homes. "People should get the right
to shelter," says Kadvi Wagri, another one of the growing stream of homeless.
These voices should not be silenced, says Kalpana Sharma.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/ksh-homeless.htm

Ahluwalia echoes World Bank's line : At a conference on the eve of the 2005-06
Budget, Planning Commission vice chairman Montek
Singh Ahluwalia said he is
advocating redistribution of farm subsidies into road construction and improving
land use. Devinder Sharma warns this is the World Bank's flawed understanding.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/dsh-prebudget.htm


Book review
~~~~~~~~~~~

A greatness of his own : While many know him as Gandhi's secretary and
translator of his autobiography, few have a real sense of the role Mahadev Desai
played in the Mahatma's life. Venu Madhav Govindu finds an intimate and tender
portrait of a man and his intensely lived life, in the Sahitya Akademi award
winning biography by his son, The Fire and the Rose.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/rvw-firerose.htm


Right to information
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Central RTI law: some shine, still shackled : The Right to Information Bill
tabled in Parliament raises expectations to new levels by proposing a dedicated
Information Commission for enforcement. Except, the commission is crippled at
conception, with no direct penalizing powers. Prakash Kardaley comments.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/rti-central05.htm


================================================================================
Interact on India Together - a conversation space for you
================================================================================

Your reactions to
the Tsunami disaster
http://indiatogether.org/interact/2005/itr-000035.html

AIDS: Compromising values?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000029.html

One person, one vote?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000028.html

A common school system?
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000023.html


================================================================================
Regular Services
================================================================================

List your upcoming non-profit event, and view already scheduled ones.
http://www.indiatogether.org/php/eventlist.php


================================================================================
Your annual support for India Together             Credit/Bank card, cheque
================================================================================

India Together is funded by your annual reader contributions.

Support India Together: it's easy, voluntary, and transparent. To make
your contribution online by credit or bank card, visit our online reader
support page. (you may need to cut and paste this URL on your browser)

Contribute today and keep us viable.
http://www.indiatogether.org/support/


**** Recommended : Rs.1000   ****
**** Friends of India Together : Rs.5000   ****
**** Basic     : Rs.365   ****


Contributions can also be made by cheque, if you prefer. The addresses
in India and overseas are listed below. 


Contributions in India
======================

India Together
GO2, Kristal Amber-2
13C Cross, 8th Main
BTM Layout II Stage,
Bangalore, Karnataka - 560076


Contributions outside India
===========================

India Together
P O Box 641832
San Jose, CA 95134-1832
USA

================================================================================
Write your cheques in favour of "India Together". Please enclose a separate
slip with your full name, address, telephone number and email address, before
you mail your contribution. For cheques mailed to the US address, please
allow up to 6 weeks for credit into India Together's Bangalore account. If
you send more than Rs.1000 or US$100 using the postal services, email us at
color=#000099>editors@indiatogether.org to let us know. Thank you.

================================================================================
India Together                         http://www.indiatogether.org/

India Together is a broad-spectrum public-interest publication of Civil
Society Information Exchange Pvt Ltd, Bangalore. Every day, readers get
in-depth information and news on the issues that matter covering 15 major
topics and over 20 states. Leaders, experts, practitioners, scholars and
artists take their ideas, insights and concerns expeditiously to our
interested global audience. This newsletter may be freely
redistributed.

Editors: Ashwin Mahesh, Subramaniam Vincent
================================================================================


Trailblazer Narain Karthikeyan. Know more about him `n his life. Stay in the loop with Tata Racing!



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Amnesty - Reform US policy and stop torture



























































about act!newscontactmessage boardespanol
January 21, 2004
HOT TOPICFeatured News and Action


Reform US Policy and Stop Torture, Amnesty Tells US Government


Iraqi DetaineesAmnesty International has appealed to President Bush to make the eradication of torture and ill-treatment by US agents, as well as the USA's full compliance with international law and standards for the treatment and trial of detainees, a hallmark of his second term in office. The appeal was sent to coincide with the President's inauguration.


US detention and interrogation policies in the aftermath of September 11 have flouted hard-won principles of human rights. Individual detainees and their families, the rule of law and the reputation of the USA have suffered. Further, US policy and practice have set a bad example for those governments looking for justification to employ their own repressive conduct.
> Read the appeal to President Bush


Organize a teach-in on February 2 - President Bush's State of the Union address


President Bush's upcoming State of the Union address is an opportunity for Amnesty International members around the country to bring attention to US policy and practices on detention and interrogation in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. Together, we can help expose these abuses and push for reform. Your efforts will make a difference! Find out how you can participate.
> Learn more




Shop Online
t-shirtsWear an Amnesty International t-shirt and introduce everyone to our critical work. That's how we get stronger, and that's how lives get saved.
> Go there now






 

HUMAN RIGHTS IN BRIEF

To ensure an end to impunity for the worst crimes committed in conflicts in the Sudan, Amnesty International is calling on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in the country, including Darfur, to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
> Read more


Amnesty International is calling for a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into reports that members of the Maltese armed forces have subjected scores of asylum-seekers and unauthorized migrants to physical assault resulting in numerous injuries.
> Read more


The only way to ensure respect for human rights in mental health systems and in-patient facilities in Europe is through effective enforcement of international human rights standards.
> Read more










































































TAKE ACTION
Sudan: Perpetrators of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Must Be Brought to Justice

Despite 21 years of war crimes and crimes against humanity, not one single perpetrator has been brought to justice in Sudan. Write to the US Secretary of State urging the UN Security Council to ensure that perpetrators of grave crimes in Sudan are now brought to justice.

> ACT NOW
GUANTANAMO
Guantanamo: Dangerous to us all

Respect for human dignity and the rule of law are central to the pursuit of security. And yet Guantanamo has become an icon of lawlessness, with mounting evidence -- including allegations by FBI agents -- that Guantanamo detainees have been tortured and ill-treated.

> Read more
EVENTS
Participate in the 2005 National Week of Student Action

During the 2005 National Week of Student Action (NWSA), hundreds of Amnesty International student groups throughout the United States will engage in a week of coordinated action on the PATRIOT Act.

> Sign up Today
ONLINE CHATS

January 25, 2005
Opposition to the Death Penalty: States Leading the Way
More than 40 state legislatures convene in January for the start of the 2005 legislative session. Find out how state legislatures are leading the opposition to the death penalty and what you can do to get involved in the fight.
> Ask a question in advance

January, 31 2005
Taking 'Stock' of Corporate Behavior: Using shareholder activism to promote and defend human rights

Since the 1970s, shareholders have used their power as stock owners to press companies for change on a wide range of human rights issues. These issues have included doing business under repressive regimes; corporate use of security forces; and poor working conditions in factories.

> Ask a question in advance






MSN Spaces! Your
space, your time. Your personal haven online.



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IndiaTogether January - II newsletter
India Together
16 January 2005 Newsletter
http://www.indiatogether.org/
The news that matters

Editors: Subramaniam Vincent, Ashwin Mahesh

Dear Reader:

The January 16, 2005 newsletter from India Together includes a number of
articles on the devastating quake-tsunamis that hit the east coast on December
26, as well as articles in the following regular sections: Agriculture, Economy,
Environment, Opinion and Right to Information.  In addition, all previous India
Together articles are archived and freely available online. Several Interact
conversations are also open.

================================================================================
IN THIS
ISSUE                                                     16 JAN 2005
================================================================================

Tsunami disaster
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Interact: How are relief efforts faring? Have you done your bit for relief? What
do you think citizens are in for during the coming year, now that rehabilitation
is a major concern? How much self-help is possible? Post your views on these
questions, or others that you may frame yourself.
color=#000099>http://indiatogether.org/interact/2005/itr-000035.html

The shape of common sense : In Samiyarpettai, sub-collector Rajendra Ratnoo had
put together a disaster management plan as a test case just two months ago. When
the tsunami came last December 26, Ratnoo's plan worked spectacularly. Over one
hundred survived because of it. That was an achievement, says Dilip D'Souza.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/ddz-tsunami.htm

Trust, but verify : For the great majority of us who are far from the tsunami
disaster, the easiest thing to contribute is money. Finding someone who'll take
our money is easy. But a recipient's annual report summarising relief
transactions isn't enough to tell us how our money was used, says
Ashwin Mahesh.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/ash-verify.htm

Nagapattinam inching closer to normalcy : "We were pushed out of the queues for
food, relief material, an even drinking water", says Bama Rajazhagan, a dalit.
But not all is gloomy in Nagapattinam; district machinery, voluntary
organisations, and the army are lending support to rebuilding. Krithika
Ramalingam reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/rlf-npatnam.htm

Tsunami, mangroves and market economy : The tsunami of 26 December did not
invade several coastlines around the Indian ocean to the degree it did many
others because of mangroves and coral
reefs. Mangroves offer double protection,
but India has seen their rampant cutting down in favour of tourism and shrimp
farming, says Devinder Sharma.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/dsh-tsunami.htm

Relief critical to stem school dropouts : With tens of thousands still
displaced over a week since the Tsunami disaster, some schools are yet to reopen
and others are seeing low attendance. And as children wait anxiously in TN
relief camps, more awe-inspiring stories are emerging. Krithika Ramalingam
reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/chi-tsuchild.htm


Agriculture
~~~~~~~~~~~

Rajasthan's water
sharing woes escalate : Conflict erupted recently between
farmers and government in Rajasthan over water supply, with farmers resorting to
violence. There are simply too many stakeholders and too little water to satisfy
everybody. But it is possible to make life easier for citizens, writes Deepak
Malik.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/agr-wtrbattle.htm

Vidarbha 2004: a suicides diary : The "simple man" silently walked out of his
hut that fateful day, went to the backyard and consumed pesticide in the veil
of darkness. Rising family debt had forced his children out of school, and that
proved the last straw. Jaideep Hardikar recounts the stories of this and two
other farmer suicides.
href="javascript:dl('http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/agr-vidarbha.htm');">http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/agr-vidarbha.htm


Economy
~~~~~~~

Bangalore airport: real estate or runway? : True, Bangalore must be able to
handle more flights, passengers and air freight to meet current demand and
future growth. But London's Heathrow airport sits on 1000 acres less land, and
yet flies 14 times more passengers than Bangalore's new airport will. What's
going on? Jacob John investigates.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/eco-blrbial.htm


Environment
~~~~~~~~~~~

Whose garbage is it, anyway? : In a hurry to meet MSW 2000 Rules and to spruce
up the cities, municipalities are
outsourcing city waste collection to private
contractors. As a result, rag-pickers face a loss of their livelihood, unless
the informal sector itself can be institutionalised within the hierarchy of
solid waste management. Surekha Sule reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/env-ragpick.htm

Soft drinks, hard realities : The CSE report into pesticides in soft drinks
found high levels in many common brands. The Joint Parliamentary Committee
recommended regulations to put adequate safety standards into place. Sanjay
Parikh reviews the outcome of a very public effort to protect public health.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/combatlaw/vol3/issue2/softdrink.htm

Imaginary cities : There are several questions about the nature of "planning"
itself. Who makes these plans? Who are they made for? Do the planners take into
account actual data from the study of how cities grow, asks Dunu Roy.
http://www.indiatogether.org/combatlaw/vol3/issue3/fakecity.htm


Opinion
~~~~~~~

Wayanad: Arrack as distress trade - Toddy is legal in Kerala, while arrack is
banned. Also, while a litre of toddy costs Rs. 30, a sachet of arrack goes for
Rs. 11. As the farm crisis sees thousands of migrants crossing over into
Karnataka, arrack shops right on the border are booming. P Sainath continues his
series on the
agrarian crisis in Wayanad.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/psa-arrack.htm

Invisible sportswomen : If a woman, or a group of women, does well in any sport
in India, it is despite the State and the establishment and not because of it.
Their achievements therefore are that much greater than of those who are
pampered and feted, even for failing continuously, says Kalpana Sharma.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/ksh-cricket.htm


Right to Information
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Delhi authorities condone vicious attacks : In the sixth incidence of recent
violence against citizens exposing corruption, Santosh (20) was
attacked
murderously on 30 December 2004. The Delhi government is not pursuing the
wrongdoers, and has instead projected the violence as an issue between an NGO
and shop owners. Varupi Jain reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/rti-attacks.htm


Women
~~~~~

Women's force for peace : Although most members of the Mahila Shanti Sena are
illiterate labourers, they are very aware of the strength of thier force, and
the importance of their role in society. Alka Arya reports on a women's movement
that is tackling complex social and economic questions with a deep conviction
for peace.
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/jan/wom-pceforce.htm


================================================================================
Now on Interact
================================================================================

AIDS: Compromising values?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000029.html

One person, one vote?
http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000028.html

A common school system?
color=#000099>http://www.indiatogether.org/interact/2004/itr-000023.html


================================================================================
Regular Services
================================================================================

List your upcoming non-profit event, and view already scheduled ones.
http://www.indiatogether.org/php/eventlist.php


================================================================================
Your annual support for India Together             Credit/Bank card, cheque
================================================================================

India Together is funded by your annual reader contributions.

Support India Together: it's easy, voluntary, and transparent. To make
your contribution online by credit or bank card, visit our online reader
support page. (you may need to cut and paste this URL on your browser)

Contribute today and keep us viable.
http://www.indiatogether.org/support/


**** Recommended : Rs.1000   ****
**** Friends of India Together : Rs.5000   ****
**** Basic     : Rs.365   ****


Contributions can also be made by cheque, if you prefer. The addresses
in India and overseas are listed below. 


Contributions in India
======================

India Together
GO2, Kristal Amber-2
13C Cross, 8th Main
BTM Layout II Stage,
Bangalore, Karnataka - 560076


Contributions outside India
===========================

India Together
P O Box 641832
San Jose, CA 95134-1832
USA

================================================================================
Write your cheques in favour of "India Together". Please enclose a separate
slip with your full name, address, telephone number and email address, before
you mail your contribution. For cheques mailed to the US address, please
allow up to 6 weeks for credit into India Together's Bangalore account. If
you send more than Rs.1000 or US$100 using the postal services, email us at
color=#000099>editors@indiatogether.org to let us know. Thank you.

================================================================================
India Together                         http://www.indiatogether.org/

India Together is a broad-spectrum public-interest publication of Civil
Society Information Exchange Pvt Ltd, Bangalore. Every day, readers get
in-depth information and news on the issues that matter covering 15 major
topics and over 20 states. Leaders, experts, practitioners, scholars and
artists take their ideas, insights and concerns expeditiously to our
interested global audience. This newsletter may be freely
redistributed.

Editors: Ashwin Mahesh, Subramaniam Vincent
================================================================================


65,000 jobs listings. Post your CV on Naukri.com today.



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