Silk Road Focus: Chinese Takeaway

At a press conference over the weekend on the margins of the annual gathering of the Chinese parliament, the National People’s Congress, Foreign Minister Wang Yi put the Silk Road initiative at the very top of China’s diplomatic priorities in 2015. The initiative, which goes by the popular name “one

The Sri Lankan president may be more than a match for Modi

If the Nobel Peace Prize, which is frequently awarded to people whose decisions influence international affairs, is rechristened the Nobel Diplomatic Prize, a strong contender for the honour in 2015 would be Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena. Never mind that he was elected president only in January this year. If

Five more years of open defecation: Modi has just washed his hands off Swacch Bharat Mission in the budget

Last week, we learned that the central government allocation to the Swacch Bharat Mission in the coming financial year will be Rs 3,500 crore, which is less than the current budgetary allocation of Rs 4,260 crore and much less than the originally promised Rs 134,000 crore over five years. With

Right to Information Act is getting strangled under Modi government, activists say

While all eyes were fixed on the fate of the previous regime’s big-ticket Land Acquisition Act, a silent process is underway to undercut another of its flagship legislation – the Right to Information Act. RTI activists across the country protest that this tool of accountability has broken down under the

What incentive does India have to pursue peace with Pakistan?

It has become hard to keep track of the number of U-turns the Narendra Modi government has taken, not just from its pre-election positions but post-election ones too. The latest is that Modi’s Bhartiya Janata Party has no problems with the Pakistan High Commissioner meeting a top Kashmiri separatist leader

The new nuclear age

WITHIN the next few weeks, after years of stalling and evasion, Iran may at last agree to curb its nuclear programme. In exchange for relief from sanctions it will accept, in principle, that it should allow intrusive inspections and limit how much uranium will cascade through its centrifuges. After 2025

Modi’s blue cruise: He has a unique opportunity to make the Indian Ocean the nation’s geopolitical nerve centre

India was a maritime power before China had even heard of the term. As Narendra Modi sets off on his ‘blue’ journey, he has a unique opportunity to secure India’s strategic interests by making the Indian Ocean the nation’s geopolitical nerve centre. If we needed a reality check, just last


Reproductive Health was given an international consensus definition at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994.  Despite being a signatory to the ICPD, the family planning programme in India has yet to conform to the principles agreed to under ICPD, especially in terms of doing away with


Evidence suggests that learning outcomes for children in Indian schools are far below corresponding class levels in other countries, and that the learning trajectories for children who remain in school are almost flat. Are children going to schools? Yes, India is all set to achieve universal education, with enrolment level