The Great Debate (India)

from The Great Debate UK:

Where schooling is sabotaged

Kennji_KIZUKA- Kennji Kizuka was a consultant to the children’s rights division of Human Rights Watch and conducted research for their new report, Sabotaged Schooling: Naxalite Attacks and Police Occupation of Schools in India’s Bihar and Jharkhand States. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Late in the evening of November 29, 2008, a group of guerrilla fighters entered the remote village of Dwarika in the Indian state of Jharkhand and detonated improvised bombs inside the village’s only school. Doors blew apart, desks and chairs splintered, and portions of the classroom walls crumbled. No longer suitable or safe for learning, the school closed.

Dwarika_03_rotatedWhen I visited Dwarika in June of this year, local residents attributed the attack to the “Naxalites”—the term used in India to refer to Maoist-oriented insurgent groups who seek to overthrow the Indian state and establish a new social order to protect oppressed and marginalized people. They wage their armed struggle by attacking police, assassinating politicians, extorting businesses, and targeting government infrastructure – trains, roads, and schools.

Although I visited Dwarika more than six months after the attack, the village had yet to receive government support to rebuild the school that had served 250 children. Families with the means had sent their children outside the village to study. But residents told us that many parents were too poor to enroll their children elsewhere. For these already disadvantaged students, the chance to learn lay in ruins, along with the school.

from Global Investing:

Time to kick Russia out of the BRICs?

It may end up sounding like a famous ball-point pen maker, but an argument is being made that Goldman Sach's famous marketing device, the BRICs, should really be the BICs. Does Russia really deserve to be a BRIC, asks Anders Åslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in an article for Foreign Policy.

Åslund, who is also co-author with Andrew Kuchins of "The Russian Balance Sheet", reckons the Russia of Putin and Medvedev is just not worthy of inclusion alongside Brazil, India and China  in the list of blue-chip economic powerhouses. He writes:

from The Great Debate UK:

After 25 years impact of Bhopal leak lingers

Controversy still surrounds one of the world's worst industrial accidents 25 years after an estimated 8,000 people died in the immediate aftermath of a toxic gas leak in Bhopal, India.

At around midnight on December 3, 1984, a leak at a Union Carbide plant of methyl isocyanate gas -- a chemical compound used to make a pesticide marketed as Sevin -- led to about 50,000 people being treated for severe injuries to their eyes, lungs, and kidneys.

Should India agree to reduce carbon emissions?


The Indian government has reiterated its refusal to reduce carbon emissions under any new global deal to fight climate change.

Carbon emissionsThe Times of India reported this week that Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to accept curbs on India’s rising carbon emissions without insisting they should hinge on new finance and technology from rich nations.

Is an end in sight for the Reliance dispute?


File photo of Anil and Mukesh AmbaniThe feud between the billionaire Ambani brothers became public in 2004, and still drags on.

On Sunday, Anil Ambani issued a statement expressing his willingness to end the bitter feud with elder brother Mukesh.

Will sex before matches help the Indian cricket team?


(UPDATE: Kirsten on Friday denied having any role in  drafting the document and said he was deeply hurt by the quotes being attributed to him)

Coach Gary Kirsten is encouraging the Indian cricket team to have sex to boost their performance in the ongoing Champions Trophy tournament in South Africa, a newspaper reported.

Lessons from the credit crisis


About a year ago, investment banking giant Lehman Brothers collapsed into bankruptcy after the U.S. administration refused to support a bailout. The bust triggered a dangerous domino effect which rocked world markets as people’s faith in the financial system plummeted and forced businesses to cut production as recession started taking roots.

MARKETS-GLOBALThe shock waves were felt in India too – the benchmark Sensex fell more than 50 percent in 2008, exports plunged and companies had to resort to ruthless down sizing to weather the crisis.

Has the Bharatiya Janata Party lost its political plot?


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday expelled former finance minister Jaswant Singh from its primary membership for praising Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in a book.

The decision to expel Singh came after the release of his book “Jinnah – India, Partition, IndependenceINDIA/” which the BJP said went against the party ideology.

Is India ready to tackle swine flu?


INDIA-FLUWith the number of swine flu fatalities in India touching double figures on Tuesday, panic is slowly setting in.

Schools, malls and cinema halls in Pune are already shut and nearly a thousand people across India have tested positive for the virus.

India, Pakistan reach cautious win-win perch


By C. Uday Bhaskar

(C. Uday Bhaskar is a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. The views expressed in the column are his own)

The joint statement issued by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt on the sidelines of the NAM Summit has generated considerable comment in both countries and is being interpreted across a wide bandwidth that ranges from outright condemnation to cautious cheer.