India’s Afghan muddle

If New Delhi is serious about its concerns over rapid western withdrawal from Afghanistan, it should along with other governments form a multinational joint working group to assess the points of vulnerability for Afghan forces.

Time for a ‘Right to Healthcare’

Amartya Sen says India ranks alongside Haiti and Sierra Leone when it comes to government spending on health as a share of the total health expenditure of the people.

Strong provisions, weak implementation

Although the state is required to give wide publicity to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, the law is relatively unknown even to those who need to apply it.

Unfinished reform

A year after the brutal Delhi gang rape, institutional responses to sexual violence against women have failed to keep pace with robust efforts by civil society to sensitise the public.

The lack of wind beneath Obama’s wings

A new federal rule was announced this month allowing wind farms to lawfully kill bald and golden eagles under 30-year permits.

Ending ‘VIP culture’ in public governance

The political executive and the permanent executive should realise they are public servants first and work in harmony to achieve the constitutional objectives.

Keep the movement burning

If the Aam Aadmi Party’s intention in setting long-winded preconditions for accepting support was to put the Congress and the BJP off, it should have stuck to the basics of opposing VIP culture and doodling with the idea of a Lokpal Bill.

Don’t betray the dream

Arvind Kejriwal and his party have helped the aam aadmi rediscover the dream of a better tomorrow. But to be able to dream is not an end in itself.

A law long overdue

A composite law may be preferable from the people’s point of view, but the concession is in deference to the need to federalise the anti-corruption domain.

A prisoner of his principles

By shooting off letters to the Congress and the BJP taking the high moral ground, Mr. Kejriwal ended up appearing too demanding and not very intent on forming a government.

The wrongness of deference

In upholding the constitutionality of Section 377 of the IPC the Supreme Court has made a judgment that is value-laden, based on a particular worldview that many disagree with.

Going against the tide of history

Siddharth Dube writes of his experience of being gay in India, of how the country is now more accommodative of differences in sexual orientation than it was three decades ago, and why the Supreme Court judgment on Section 377 came as a major disappointment.

France broadens its surveillance powers

Within days of the reports about the National Security Agency’s activities, it was revealed that French intelligence services operate a similar system, with similarly minimal oversight.

The Afghan challenge ahead

Although there are substantial international aid commitments in place, Mr. Karzai has been seeking a reassurance that the country’s most trusted partners will stand by it if things go wrong.

A troubling practice

As a consular official, Ms. Khobragade does not have the same extent of immunity under the Vienna conventions as a diplomat in an embassy. In the United States, consular officials can be arrested for a serious crime on the basis of a warrant.

A legacy of activism

Ifthikar Chaudhary leaves behind a Supreme Court that is more mindful of its role in upholding the Constitution than at any other time in its history, but continues to rely on jurisprudence previously used to validate military rule.

Fiction as a truth-telling device

Author and medical practitioner Abraham Verghese talks to Meenakshi Kumar about his twin careers and how his work as doctor closely related to his writing.

A dream on the theme of civil justice

India is ahead of others in that almost all its High Courts have mediation centres annexed to them Some corporates resort to blackmailing to force other parties to settle.

Unsafe bus rides

It is only in recent years that vehicle manufacturers in India have started to build buses on chassis specially designed for them. However, this shift has not necessarily translated into better design standards or practices.

Premium on continuity

It is for the first time after the recent State Assembly elections that top policymakers of the UPA government are seen reiterating the broad contours of the government’s economic agenda and policy goals.