Affirming the right to read

The most notable common provision in the new treaty and India’s copyright law is the waiver of prior approval from authors and publishers for the reproduction and distribution of works into any alternative format, precluding commercial gain.

Restoring nature’s shock absorbers

With loss and tragedy at its heart, the debate on appropriate planning in seismically and hydrologically sensitive areas has been rekindled, with the need to relook the very idea of a zone that is “ecologically sensitive.”

Head in sand on Snowden

Three conclusions stem from the exposé by Der Spiegel of documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden on the extent of American spying on foreign governments.

The emerging debt trap

India’s external debt was a little just over $100 billion in 2004; by March 2013, this had grown to $390 billion. More worryingly, the short term debt payable within a year, an indicator of immediate vulnerability, has ballooned to $172 billion in 2013, from $54 billion in 2008.

A climate plan that changes nothing

The Obama administration has shifted from its original, unconditional stand of technology transfer to one based on “innovation” and “investment” in clean energy to favour western companies.

Whose Supreme Court?

The ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, holds that Section 4 is no longer necessary because African-Americans in the relevant States now have higher voter registration rates than whites, and because “blatantly discriminatory” violations of federal decrees are now rare.

Gruel, rice and tamarind water

Health department officials say that a woman (given the average height of tribal women in this area) should weigh at least 48 kg before she can bear a child. But most women here weigh just 35 to 38 kg.

Fighting a war without arms

The current shortcoming raises serious doubts about the government’s ability to meet the increased drug demand when more MDR-TB cases are detected using the advanced molecular test.

An Indian mission to another frontier in space

Today, the country takes the first step to launching its own navigation satellite set-up to tap civilian and military applications that the system can offer.

A very reliable formula by Rangarajan Committee

In going with the formula recommended by the Rangarajan Committee for pricing natural gas produced in the country — even if it means considerably higher prices — the government has chosen the practical way out of a sticky situation.

One barefoot step, a giant administrative leap

In order to create maximum development value, the bureaucracy needs to bring changes at the bottom of the public service pyramid, the citizen’s first point of contact with the state.

All it takes is a missed bus - Delay in court judgements

Slack functioning of trial courts is not the only reason for delays in disposal of cases

Putting faith in the secular courts

When the Shah Bano controversy was at its peak, Muslim women had told this reporter, “The court is our jamaat”. This was their forthright reply to their leaders who were urging them to approach community heads to resolve marital issues, instead of going to court.

Tall stories - City planning

What is at stake is not just the future of Delhi, but also that of other rapidly expanding cities, which often look up to the Capital for ideas worth emulating.

History and sedition - Freedom of Speech

A book that runs to more than 600 pages and purports to be based on research ought not to be banned simply because its thesis and arguments are controversial.

Doctors by merit, not privilege

Cleaning the mess in India’s medical education first needs a strengthening of the Medical Council of India through the appointment of members by an independent and rigorous selection process.

Not that Great being an Indian Bustard

Unorthodox models of conservation are needed to save this elusive and magnificent big bird.

Remembering a perfect spy - For inspiration

In his passing, India’s strategic community has lost one of its finest minds, and the country’s intelligence world, a rare role model.

The kidney paradox

With no ethics complaints on the distribution of organs by a government-appointed administrator, the programme is now globally acknowledged; its contribution in less than five years has been an impressive 1036 major organs, 641 of them kidneys.

Making use of the golden hour

In 2011, as per official figures, some 4.98 lakh road accidents caused 1.42 lakh deaths and injured more than 5 lakh persons, irreversibly disabling many.