By 2030, India is poised to become the world’s third-largest economy with the largest young, working population globally. The RTE could usher in rich dividends in its growth story and help it gain a huge advantage over arch-rival China and its rapidly ageing population. It is well timed (never a day early, actually), but could India, with 35 per cent of the world’s illiterate, leverage education to accelerate its development? The story of these children illustrates at once how the RTE has been an asset, while highlighting the challenges that are holding it back. [READ FULL ARTICLE]
On average, commuters in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata spend 1.5 hours more travelling each day than their fellow commuters in other Asian cities during peak hours, according to the Boston Consulting Group. Meanwhile, the number of vehicles on our roads – as a daily driver I am painfully aware of my own contribution – keeps rising, leading to further congestion and productivity losses.
The economic cost is enormous. Traffic congestion is costing us over $22 billion annually in major cities, to say nothing of the fuel being wasted by the stalled vehicles. [READ FULL ARTICLE]
Modi’s individual popularity had seen a surge despite declining support for his lawmakers and policies. His ‘earthliness’, a carefully crafted image that contrasts with the elite, English-speaking opposition in the centre-left Congress Party, continued to make him a favourite of the aspiring middle classes, who identify with his rags-to-riches story to the extent that it managed to overshadow glaring unemployment figures (the highest in 45 years) and a spiralling farming crisis, which brought thousands of farmers onto the streets in protest last year.
My mother, one of India’s first women cops, often tells me, “You are lucky. Things were harder when we were young.”
I am not sure if I am lucky at all. At best, I find myself hanging in the middle of nowhere. My mother’s generation at least had the hope of a change. And I am supposed to be the change. But am I?
So much has changed in India since my mother stepped out to work. But two things have remained unchanged — women’s lives and empowerment, and how the men control it.
In her time, it was controlled by her male relatives. In my time, it’s controlled by random males.
Bhattacharya’s most iconic poem, written in Bengali, “This Valley of Death is Not Mine,” is a chilling reminder of the way cycles of democracy, interspersed with periods of absolute fascism, both feed off each other. He knew fascism would raise its ugly head in his country again. He was absolutely certain. The poem—written in early 1990s— reverberates with echoes of this new India. No other poem has been or would be able to capture the helplessness and anger of seeing our country slip into the hands of traders of hate.
“My brother and sister are very small. My grandmother is old and ill. If I don’t help my mother, she will not be able to manage especially during harvest season when she goes to the fields at 4 am to help my father,” Neha tells me.
It will be a decade in August since the Indian Parliament passed the Act. In 2010, when the act was implemented, TIME asked: “School is a Right, But Will Indian Girls Be Able to Go?” The skepticism was hidden in the question. The skepticism is now a fact, backed by statistics.
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Exit polls on Sunday evening predicted a second landslide win for the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, renewing a question that was asked repeatedly over the past few weeks: whether India can handle another five years of Modi. Here’s the short answer. Yes, it can. There’s a long answer too.
On the outskirts of the village of Deora, in the drought-affected Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state with a population of over 200 million, lies a large excavation, covered with drying, overgrown vegetation.
‘This is a pond. Can you see any water? This was dug to benefit us during droughts. But it has been dry for over three years now. No one really cares. We have complained enough. Not a single engineer has come to check this out,’ says Chiranjilal, a local farmer. ‘There’s no future for farmers in this country.’
The 72-year-old says his entire family has migrated to Delhi in search of better livelihoods. But he stayed back.