Portal

  • India to Fire Foreign Health Consultants in Bid to Curb outside Influence

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016
    Under the new rules, consultants who have worked within India’s health system for foreign aid agencies for more than three years, a total of around 100 people, will be terminated. Experts warned that if vacancies went unfilled, major health initiatives, like those aimed at fighting the spread of AIDS, could suffer serious setbacks. Prime Minister Modi’s government has taken a wary view of nongovernmental organizations, in some cases accusing them of acting against the national interest.   read more
  • World Bank Can’t Be Sued, Rules U.S. Judge in Denying Gujarati Villagers’ Lawsuit

    Friday, April 08, 2016
    From the start, IFC recognized that Tata could have “significant” and potentially “irreversible” adverse impacts on local communities and their environment. Construction of the plant resulted in displacement of local communities and contributed to saltwater intrusion into the groundwater, destroying vital sources for drinking and irrigation. Coal ash contaminated crops and led to an increase in respiratory problems. The plant destroyed local marine environment and fish populations.   read more
  • India Has the Most People in the World without Clean Water

    Monday, March 28, 2016
    About 5% of India's population, 75.8 million Indians, are forced to either buy water at high rates or use supplies that are contaminated with sewage or chemicals. That accounts for more than a tenth of the 650 million people worldwide without clean water access — more than any single country in Africa or China, where 63 million have no access. Using dirty water sickens countless people. About 315,000 children die from diarrheal diseases each year, with 140,000 those deaths happening in India.   read more
  • Pfizer Application for Indian Patent on Pneumonia Vaccine Challenged by Medical Group

    Monday, March 14, 2016
    "Last year alone, Pfizer brought in more than $6 billion in sales just for this product," said MSF's Dr. Balasegaram. "Meanwhile, many developing countries, where millions of children risk getting pneumonia, simply can't afford it. Other companies need to enter the market...for a much lower price than what Pfizer charges." MSF said its decision comes after "years of fruitless negotiations" to get Pfizer to reduce the price of the drug for use in humanitarian projects.   read more
  • Fashionable Air-Filtration Masks Gain Cultural Acceptability against Worsening Air Pollution in New Delhi

    Friday, March 11, 2016
    With health-conscious Indians leading the way, residents of the Delhi metropolitan area of 25 million people are finally taking steps to protect themselves from the health-threatening atmosphere, as people in Beijing and other heavily polluted Asian cities have done. New Delhi's American Embassy School does not require students to wear air filtration masks against the polluted air here, the worst in the world. But it has created “a culture of acceptance” around wearing them.   read more

Top Stories

  • Monsanto Threatens to Pull GMO Technology Out of India

    Tuesday, March 08, 2016
    The company said it was "shocked and disappointed" that the government plans to reduce the fees that seed companies pay Mahyco Monsanto by 70%. Over the last two decades, millions of small farmers have adopted genetically modified cotton seeds, making India one of the world's biggest producers of cotton and a major exporter of raw cotton. But farm activists say that the pest-resistance of the seeds has gone down and that farmers have to use more insecticide on their cotton crops.   read more
  • Amnesty Int’l Criticizes India for Intolerance of Dissent

    Saturday, February 27, 2016
    Amnesty International has joined a growing chorus accusing India of supporting a climate of intolerance by cracking down on dissent through arbitrary arrests, caste-based discrimination, extrajudicial killings and attacks on freedom of expression. Last week, a group of 133 university professors from around the world said the recent arrest of a student leader on sedition charges "is further evidence of the present government's deeply authoritarian nature, intolerant of any dissent."   read more
  • Teacher Truancy in Crosshairs of Hardline Education Officials

    Friday, February 26, 2016
    Teacher truancy is among the more prominent causes of poor student performance. Teaching jobs pay well and are sometimes obtained through political connections. But those who get them often do not want to travel to the remote areas where many schools are. Not showing up has become the norm, and people feel powerless to complain. In one subdistrict, 73 of its 245 teachers were absent. Some live nowhere near their schools. Many work other jobs. One had not been seen in school for six years.   read more

Controversies

  • Name Game Erupts Over Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road

    Monday, August 31, 2015
    Lazy populism once again took centre stage with the renaming of Aurangzeb Road in the capital as APJ Abdul Kalam Marg, in memory of the 83-year-old former president who died in July. However, the choice of road has been objected to by Muslim groups and politicians who claim it to be the result of an anti-Muslim political agenda.   read more
  • Mumbai Police Still Clueless Over Moral Policing Raids

    Friday, August 14, 2015
    The Mumbai police have not exactly covered themselves with glory with their recent moral policing raids. First they booked several couples for alleged indecent behaviour. Following a public outcry, the police decided to order an inquiry. But the officer leading the inquiry found himself transferred out of Mumbai on a ‘punishment posting’. Then, barely 24 hours later, the state government cancelled his transfer. Does anyone in charge know what they are doing?   read more
  • Maharashtra to Derecognize Madrasas Not Teaching English, Maths, Science

    Saturday, July 04, 2015
    The Maharashtra government has sparked a controversy by declaring that madrasas, or Islamic seminaries, that do not teach primary subjects such as English and mathematics would be considered "non-schools" and their students "out-of-school" children. Muslim leaders and opposition parties have criticised the move as discriminatory and unconstitutional.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Municipal Engineer Found With Rs. 20 Crore ($3 Million) Stashed at Home

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015
    Pranab Adhikari, a sub-assistant engineer in charge of approving building plans in Howrah, West Bengal, was caught red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs. 1 lakh ($1,500) last week. When officers of the anti-corruption branch searched his modest home at Bally, they found a staggering Rs. 20 crore ($3 million) in cash hidden under the floor tiles, in cupboards, inside mattresses, sofas, and even inside the commode in the bathroom.   read more
  • U.S. Firm Admits to Bribing Officials to Win Contracts in Goa and Guwahati

    Saturday, July 18, 2015
    A U.S. construction management company, Louis Berger, has agreed to pay $17.1 million in criminal fines to resolve charges that it bribed officials in 4 countries, including India where it won two water developmental projects in Goa and Guwahati. The firm paid bribes of $976,630 for its Goa project, including to a minister whose name has not been disclosed by the U.S. Department of Justice.   read more
  • Cricket’s Day of Reckoning

    Wednesday, July 15, 2015
    Reality caught up with Indian cricket on Tuesday with the Justice RM Lodha committee announcing a two-year ban on former champions Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. Two prominent club officials, Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, also got life bans for betting on IPL games or being in contact with illegal gamblers. But will this verdict succeed in cleaning up Indian cricket?   read more

India and the World

  • Japan to Participate in India’s Naval Exercises With U.S.

    Thursday, July 23, 2015
    Japan is expected to take part in the 2015 edition of India’s joint naval exercises with the United States that are scheduled in October. This is being seen as a sign of stronger military and diplomatic ties between India and Japan, and an attempt by India to recover its position as the dominant maritime power in the Indian Ocean that has recently seen inroads by China.   read more
  • Modi Sets Agenda for Pakistan Visit: Deal With Terror

    Saturday, July 11, 2015
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted an invitation from his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad next year. In doing so, Modi has set the agenda for dialogue with Pakistan: dealing with terrorism.   read more
  • Modi Pushes BRICS Towards Further Cooperation

    Friday, July 10, 2015
    The group of emerging economies known as BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are as different in their values as they are in their economic growth. This informal club has in the past decade largely spent its time challenging the developed world. But the time has now come for closer cooperation and coordination, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who proposed a 10-point initiative at the ongoing BRICS summit.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Another Indian CEO Takes Charge in Silicon Valley

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015
    Sundar Pichai’s elevation as CEO of Google is being seen as a logical extension of his rapid ascent at the search giant: a protégé of current CEO Larry Page who had been groomed for the job with increasing responsibilities in recent years. The 43-year-old IIT alumnus joins the growing list of Indian-born executives to reach the top ranks of tech companies in the U.S.   read more
  • Pachauri Replaced at TERI Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Friday, July 24, 2015
    The former UN climate change panel (IPCC) chief, Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, has been removed from his post as head of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi. The move came days after a court allowed Pachauri to return to his office while facing sexual harassment allegations.   read more
  • DDC Vice-Chairman Ashish Khetan Gets Cabinet Minister Perks, But Not Official Status

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015
    Poor Ashish Khetan. The AAP leader first announced that he had got the status of a cabinet minister as the vice-chairman of the newly instituted Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC). But once the political implications of this largesse became evident, the AAP government quickly denied that he had ministerial status. But it nevertheless let him keep all the goodies entitled to a state cabinet minister.   read more

Unusual News

  • 75,000 Apply for 30 Peon Jobs in Chhattisgarh

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    It is a sad commentary on the few opportunities available in Chhattisgarh when 75,000 people, including engineers and university graduates, apply for 30 vacancies as peons (office boys) in the state government. This large number shocked even officials, who were ill-prepared to conduct an examination test for so many. They were forced to cancel the examination scheduled this Sunday, August 30.   read more
  • SBI Error Turns Domestic Help Into Billionaire

    Sunday, July 26, 2015
    This is a rags to riches story – and back again – courtesy the State Bank of India (SBI). Urmila Yadav, who works as a domestic help in Kanpur, recently found she was one of India's richest women when the Rs 2,000 ($32) in her bank account suddenly turned into Rs 95,71,16,98,647 ($1.5 billion).   read more
  • Delhi College Demands RTI Applicant Pay Rs. 80,000 ($1,257) for Info

    Wednesday, July 22, 2015
    A decade has passed since the landmark Right to Information (RTI) Act came into effect, providing ordinary citizens with the power to demand details from their government on its functioning and its decisions. Yet the bureaucracy still finds innovative ways to deny this information, as Kumar Ram Krishna, a history teacher in Delhi, found out recently when he was asked to cough up Rs 80,000 ($1,257) for the information he wanted.   read more

Domestic Policy/Agency of the Day

  • Department of Revenue

    The Department of Revenue is, to the ordinary Indian, the Ministry of Finance’s most visible arm. While the other ministry departments work with government (both states and center) institutions, provide them with the funds they need and influen...   more

Domestic Policy Divisions

Go to Department

Meet Your Government

Blog

  • India to Fire Foreign Health Consultants in Bid to Curb outside Influence

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016
    Under the new rules, consultants who have worked within India’s health system for foreign aid agencies for more than three years, a total of around 100 people, will be terminated. Experts warned that if vacancies went unfilled, major health initiatives, like those aimed at fighting the spread of AIDS, could suffer serious setbacks. Prime Minister Modi’s government has taken a wary view of nongovernmental organizations, in some cases accusing them of acting against the national interest.   read more
  • World Bank Can’t Be Sued, Rules U.S. Judge in Denying Gujarati Villagers’ Lawsuit

    Friday, April 08, 2016
    From the start, IFC recognized that Tata could have “significant” and potentially “irreversible” adverse impacts on local communities and their environment. Construction of the plant resulted in displacement of local communities and contributed to saltwater intrusion into the groundwater, destroying vital sources for drinking and irrigation. Coal ash contaminated crops and led to an increase in respiratory problems. The plant destroyed local marine environment and fish populations.   read more
  • India Has the Most People in the World without Clean Water

    Monday, March 28, 2016
    About 5% of India's population, 75.8 million Indians, are forced to either buy water at high rates or use supplies that are contaminated with sewage or chemicals. That accounts for more than a tenth of the 650 million people worldwide without clean water access — more than any single country in Africa or China, where 63 million have no access. Using dirty water sickens countless people. About 315,000 children die from diarrheal diseases each year, with 140,000 those deaths happening in India.   read more
  • Pfizer Application for Indian Patent on Pneumonia Vaccine Challenged by Medical Group

    Monday, March 14, 2016
    "Last year alone, Pfizer brought in more than $6 billion in sales just for this product," said MSF's Dr. Balasegaram. "Meanwhile, many developing countries, where millions of children risk getting pneumonia, simply can't afford it. Other companies need to enter the market...for a much lower price than what Pfizer charges." MSF said its decision comes after "years of fruitless negotiations" to get Pfizer to reduce the price of the drug for use in humanitarian projects.   read more
  • Fashionable Air-Filtration Masks Gain Cultural Acceptability against Worsening Air Pollution in New Delhi

    Friday, March 11, 2016
    With health-conscious Indians leading the way, residents of the Delhi metropolitan area of 25 million people are finally taking steps to protect themselves from the health-threatening atmosphere, as people in Beijing and other heavily polluted Asian cities have done. New Delhi's American Embassy School does not require students to wear air filtration masks against the polluted air here, the worst in the world. But it has created “a culture of acceptance” around wearing them.   read more

Top Stories

  • Monsanto Threatens to Pull GMO Technology Out of India

    Tuesday, March 08, 2016
    The company said it was "shocked and disappointed" that the government plans to reduce the fees that seed companies pay Mahyco Monsanto by 70%. Over the last two decades, millions of small farmers have adopted genetically modified cotton seeds, making India one of the world's biggest producers of cotton and a major exporter of raw cotton. But farm activists say that the pest-resistance of the seeds has gone down and that farmers have to use more insecticide on their cotton crops.   read more
  • Amnesty Int’l Criticizes India for Intolerance of Dissent

    Saturday, February 27, 2016
    Amnesty International has joined a growing chorus accusing India of supporting a climate of intolerance by cracking down on dissent through arbitrary arrests, caste-based discrimination, extrajudicial killings and attacks on freedom of expression. Last week, a group of 133 university professors from around the world said the recent arrest of a student leader on sedition charges "is further evidence of the present government's deeply authoritarian nature, intolerant of any dissent."   read more
  • Teacher Truancy in Crosshairs of Hardline Education Officials

    Friday, February 26, 2016
    Teacher truancy is among the more prominent causes of poor student performance. Teaching jobs pay well and are sometimes obtained through political connections. But those who get them often do not want to travel to the remote areas where many schools are. Not showing up has become the norm, and people feel powerless to complain. In one subdistrict, 73 of its 245 teachers were absent. Some live nowhere near their schools. Many work other jobs. One had not been seen in school for six years.   read more

Controversies

  • Name Game Erupts Over Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road

    Monday, August 31, 2015
    Lazy populism once again took centre stage with the renaming of Aurangzeb Road in the capital as APJ Abdul Kalam Marg, in memory of the 83-year-old former president who died in July. However, the choice of road has been objected to by Muslim groups and politicians who claim it to be the result of an anti-Muslim political agenda.   read more
  • Mumbai Police Still Clueless Over Moral Policing Raids

    Friday, August 14, 2015
    The Mumbai police have not exactly covered themselves with glory with their recent moral policing raids. First they booked several couples for alleged indecent behaviour. Following a public outcry, the police decided to order an inquiry. But the officer leading the inquiry found himself transferred out of Mumbai on a ‘punishment posting’. Then, barely 24 hours later, the state government cancelled his transfer. Does anyone in charge know what they are doing?   read more
  • Maharashtra to Derecognize Madrasas Not Teaching English, Maths, Science

    Saturday, July 04, 2015
    The Maharashtra government has sparked a controversy by declaring that madrasas, or Islamic seminaries, that do not teach primary subjects such as English and mathematics would be considered "non-schools" and their students "out-of-school" children. Muslim leaders and opposition parties have criticised the move as discriminatory and unconstitutional.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Municipal Engineer Found With Rs. 20 Crore ($3 Million) Stashed at Home

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015
    Pranab Adhikari, a sub-assistant engineer in charge of approving building plans in Howrah, West Bengal, was caught red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs. 1 lakh ($1,500) last week. When officers of the anti-corruption branch searched his modest home at Bally, they found a staggering Rs. 20 crore ($3 million) in cash hidden under the floor tiles, in cupboards, inside mattresses, sofas, and even inside the commode in the bathroom.   read more
  • U.S. Firm Admits to Bribing Officials to Win Contracts in Goa and Guwahati

    Saturday, July 18, 2015
    A U.S. construction management company, Louis Berger, has agreed to pay $17.1 million in criminal fines to resolve charges that it bribed officials in 4 countries, including India where it won two water developmental projects in Goa and Guwahati. The firm paid bribes of $976,630 for its Goa project, including to a minister whose name has not been disclosed by the U.S. Department of Justice.   read more
  • Cricket’s Day of Reckoning

    Wednesday, July 15, 2015
    Reality caught up with Indian cricket on Tuesday with the Justice RM Lodha committee announcing a two-year ban on former champions Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. Two prominent club officials, Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, also got life bans for betting on IPL games or being in contact with illegal gamblers. But will this verdict succeed in cleaning up Indian cricket?   read more

India and the World

  • Japan to Participate in India’s Naval Exercises With U.S.

    Thursday, July 23, 2015
    Japan is expected to take part in the 2015 edition of India’s joint naval exercises with the United States that are scheduled in October. This is being seen as a sign of stronger military and diplomatic ties between India and Japan, and an attempt by India to recover its position as the dominant maritime power in the Indian Ocean that has recently seen inroads by China.   read more
  • Modi Sets Agenda for Pakistan Visit: Deal With Terror

    Saturday, July 11, 2015
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted an invitation from his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad next year. In doing so, Modi has set the agenda for dialogue with Pakistan: dealing with terrorism.   read more
  • Modi Pushes BRICS Towards Further Cooperation

    Friday, July 10, 2015
    The group of emerging economies known as BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are as different in their values as they are in their economic growth. This informal club has in the past decade largely spent its time challenging the developed world. But the time has now come for closer cooperation and coordination, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who proposed a 10-point initiative at the ongoing BRICS summit.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Another Indian CEO Takes Charge in Silicon Valley

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015
    Sundar Pichai’s elevation as CEO of Google is being seen as a logical extension of his rapid ascent at the search giant: a protégé of current CEO Larry Page who had been groomed for the job with increasing responsibilities in recent years. The 43-year-old IIT alumnus joins the growing list of Indian-born executives to reach the top ranks of tech companies in the U.S.   read more
  • Pachauri Replaced at TERI Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Friday, July 24, 2015
    The former UN climate change panel (IPCC) chief, Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, has been removed from his post as head of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi. The move came days after a court allowed Pachauri to return to his office while facing sexual harassment allegations.   read more
  • DDC Vice-Chairman Ashish Khetan Gets Cabinet Minister Perks, But Not Official Status

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015
    Poor Ashish Khetan. The AAP leader first announced that he had got the status of a cabinet minister as the vice-chairman of the newly instituted Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC). But once the political implications of this largesse became evident, the AAP government quickly denied that he had ministerial status. But it nevertheless let him keep all the goodies entitled to a state cabinet minister.   read more

Unusual News

  • 75,000 Apply for 30 Peon Jobs in Chhattisgarh

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    It is a sad commentary on the few opportunities available in Chhattisgarh when 75,000 people, including engineers and university graduates, apply for 30 vacancies as peons (office boys) in the state government. This large number shocked even officials, who were ill-prepared to conduct an examination test for so many. They were forced to cancel the examination scheduled this Sunday, August 30.   read more
  • SBI Error Turns Domestic Help Into Billionaire

    Sunday, July 26, 2015
    This is a rags to riches story – and back again – courtesy the State Bank of India (SBI). Urmila Yadav, who works as a domestic help in Kanpur, recently found she was one of India's richest women when the Rs 2,000 ($32) in her bank account suddenly turned into Rs 95,71,16,98,647 ($1.5 billion).   read more
  • Delhi College Demands RTI Applicant Pay Rs. 80,000 ($1,257) for Info

    Wednesday, July 22, 2015
    A decade has passed since the landmark Right to Information (RTI) Act came into effect, providing ordinary citizens with the power to demand details from their government on its functioning and its decisions. Yet the bureaucracy still finds innovative ways to deny this information, as Kumar Ram Krishna, a history teacher in Delhi, found out recently when he was asked to cough up Rs 80,000 ($1,257) for the information he wanted.   read more

Domestic Policy/Agency of the Day

  • Department of Sports

    With a population of more than a billion, India earned just six medals (and no golds) at the 2012 London Olympics. India also has the world’s richest cricket board, but some of the most poorly managed and least-funded sports federations. It’s f...   more

Domestic Policy Divisions

Go to Department

Meet Your Government

Blog