Ministers Playing Hide and Seek in Parliament on Pegasus

THE two sets of questions in the Parliament to two different ministries on the Israeli software Pegasus being used to hack smartphones of Indian activists have drawn different replies.  It makes clear that the government … Read more

Environment

Nuclear Bomb Connection in United States Fusion Breakthrough

The Lawrence Livermore Laboratory’s advance in achieving fusion energy using lasers has been splashed as a huge success worldwide. So what is the success all about? The joint press release of the United States Department … Read more

Hypocrisy of Rich Countries: Ignoring the Storage Problem in Green Energy

It did not bother us earlier that green energy has a storage problem. Coal or gas-fired plants hooked to a grid can be used to meet shortfalls due to variable supplies from renewables. The shortage … Read more

COP27: More Loss and Damage Ahead

The mild applause that greeted the Egyptian Chair gaveling through the agreement reached at the end of COP27, after almost two full sleepless days of last-minute extensions, probably best captured the spirit at Sharm el-Sheikh. … Read more

Real Challenge at COP27 is Private Greed Versus Devastation of all

The COP27 meet is underway at Sharm el-Sheikh. Although the Ukraine War and mid-term elections in the United States shifted our immediate focus away from the battle against global warming, it remains a central concern … Read more

Emissions Gap Report 2022: Little Hope

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has, as per usual practice, released its Emissions Gap Report (EGR) 2022 on the eve of the forthcoming COP27 meeting in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt. All countries had been required to submit … Read more

Assault on Environment Regulations Continues

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s relentless assault on environmental regulations, and therefore on the environment itself, to serve the interests of corporates and their industrial, infrastructure and commercial projects continues unabated. In a recent … Read more

IPCC Report: National-Level Push to Mitigate Enormous Climate Impact Risks a Must for India

The Report of Working Group 2 (WG2) of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), or IPCC/AR6/WG2, on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation was released earlier this week. This is the second … Read more

Peace and Disarmament

AUKUS, Quad and India’s Losing the Plot Internationally

THE recent Quad leaders meeting in the White House on September 24 appears to have shifted focus away from its original framing as a security dialogue between four countries, the US, India, Japan and Australia. … Read more

Looking Back at the India US Nuclear Deal

MORE than 12 years have passed since the India US nuclear deal was signed. Pranab Mukherjee, then India’s External Affairs Minister, and Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, signed the U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation … Read more

Remembering Hiroshima and the Threat of Nuclear Extinction

THIS August 6, 80 years after the first use of the atom bomb against a section of humanity, reminds us all of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and the threat to all human lives. But … Read more

Privatisation in Space: Lurking Dangers & Poor Prospects

AS part of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package announced by the government supposedly to boost the Covid-impacted economy, the finance minister declared that all sectors of the economy would henceforth be open … Read more

Technology

Ministers Playing Hide and Seek in Parliament on Pegasus

THE two sets of questions in the Parliament to two different ministries on the Israeli software Pegasus being used to hack smartphones of Indian activists have drawn different replies.  It makes clear that the government … Read more

Public Health

Why is India Failing to Vaccinate its People With the Biggest Vaccine Capacity in the World?

OUR first concept of self-reliance came out of our struggle for independence. It meant developing the indigenous capacity of our people, institutions and industry against the colonial control of the economy. The second self-reliance – … Read more

India Gasps for Breath – Gross Mismanagement Again!

THE whole country is reeling under the brutal second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, breaking world records for daily cases. The health infrastructure has collapsed and vital medical supplies such as oxygen are nearing exhaustion. … Read more

DST’s Super Model: Or How not to Model an Epidemic

The Department of Science and Technology has sponsored a model, described as a “Super Model” that— according to government hype—claims India’s lockdown was highly successful and we perhaps have even reached herd immunity. The media … Read more

Covid-19: Airborne Transmission and What Figures in Mumbai & Delhi Show

AFTER the failed lockdown and rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, the Modi government, which declared an emergency under the Disaster Management Act, seems now to have given up. We are seeing rapidly rising numbers in … Read more

Pharmaceuticals

Trump’s Attack on WHO a Cover-up for its Abject Failure on Covid-19

TRUMP’s decision to withdraw from WHO is a continuation of his wielding a wrecking ball to the international framework of treaties and organisations. Whether it is arms control treaties, climate change, trade and now WHO, … Read more

Generic Prescribing of Medicines: Diktats are Not a Substitute for Sound Public Policy

In a recent public meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government would take steps to reduce costs incurred on purchase of medicines by making it mandatory for doctors to prescribe medicines in generic name. … Read more

Parliamentary Committee Indicts Clinical Trial Industry

THE Seventy-Second Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health marks a strong indictment of the way in which clinical trials are being conducted in India. Before discussing the report, it is important to understand … Read more

The Health Budget and Neoliberal Ideology

In the past two years the UPA government, with considerable fanfare, has attempted to project a view that it is serious about bringing about radical changes as regards access to health care. A slew of … Read more

News & Events

THE government announced new Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 last week, superseding the 2011 Rules which mainly addressed intermediaries. The new rules provide for regulation of all kinds … Read more

US Patriot System For Ukraine: More Political-Strategic Meat Than Military

During the much-hyped visit of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to the US, the latter let it be known that, as part of its latest tranche of advanced weapons that Ukraine has been pleading for, the … Read more

Nuclear Bomb Connection in United States Fusion Breakthrough

The Lawrence Livermore Laboratory’s advance in achieving fusion energy using lasers has been splashed as a huge success worldwide. So what is the success all about? The joint press release of the United States Department … Read more

Hypocrisy of Rich Countries: Ignoring the Storage Problem in Green Energy

It did not bother us earlier that green energy has a storage problem. Coal or gas-fired plants hooked to a grid can be used to meet shortfalls due to variable supplies from renewables. The shortage … Read more

Is Revised Data Protection Bill a Charter of Surveillance Capitalism?

The new avatar of the Indian Data Protection Bill 2022 is not simply a rebirth of its 2019 version. Its earlier objective was to provide a legal framework to the Supreme Court’s Puttaswamy judgement that … Read more

COP27: More Loss and Damage Ahead

The mild applause that greeted the Egyptian Chair gaveling through the agreement reached at the end of COP27, after almost two full sleepless days of last-minute extensions, probably best captured the spirit at Sharm el-Sheikh. … Read more

Real Challenge at COP27 is Private Greed Versus Devastation of all

The COP27 meet is underway at Sharm el-Sheikh. Although the Ukraine War and mid-term elections in the United States shifted our immediate focus away from the battle against global warming, it remains a central concern … Read more

Emissions Gap Report 2022: Little Hope

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has, as per usual practice, released its Emissions Gap Report (EGR) 2022 on the eve of the forthcoming COP27 meeting in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt. All countries had been required to submit … Read more

Don’t Just Fix Prices, Treat Drug Regulation as Basic Public Good: Health Expert on Cough Syrup Deaths

The World Health Organisation recently said the death of 66 children in the Gambia was linked to their consuming cough syrups made in India. When officials of the central and State-level drug regulators inspected the … Read more