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Leveraging community leaders to build resilience against climate change in urban areas (Comment) (10:58)
By Vineeth Menon and Shreejith Borthakur
While cities cover only two per cent of the global land area, they contribute around 70 per cent of the global greenhouse emissions, one of the main drivers of climate change.

'Bigger and better', Serendipity Arts Festival opens Saturday (17:14)
Panaji, Dec 14 (IANS) Turning the spotlight on Indias rich tradition of music, dance, theatre, culinary arts, crafts, and visual arts through 90 diverse projects, the third edition of the Serendipity Arts Festival will open on Saturday with the participation of over 1,500 artistes.

Decarbonisation or Destabilisation? Trust gap widens as time narrows at COP24 (Comment) (14:06)
By Rajendra Shende
"Since I last addressed the COP in 2009, Ive been deposed in a coup, thrown into jail, and forced into exile. But almost 10 years since I was last at these climate negotiations, I must say, nothing much seems to have changed," said Mohammad Nasheed, former President of the Maldives, adding: "We are still using the same old, dinosaur language." He is now back again to for the negotiations at COP24 and started exploring more effective, urgent and enhanced ambitious targets.

Deciphering the state elections (Comment) (11:58)
By Amit Kapoor & Manisha Kapoor IANS Photo Service
The results of the much-awaited state elections are finally out. By all accounts, it was unexpected that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would be voted out of power in all the three Hindi heartland states. What makes the outcome all the more surprising is that the party has held power for a decade-and-a-half in two of the three states.

Want to double farm incomes? Promote mustard (Comment) (15:06)
By Vivek Puri
The Indian government wants to double the income of farmers by 2022. A roadmap prepared by NITI Aayog outlines the rationale, strategy and action plan for achieving this commendable milestone. We believe that such a plan needs a separate set of measures that focus on mustard farmers -- and promotes mustard as a crop.

10 digital skills students need for today's education (Educational Notes) (12:36)
By Beas Dev Ralhan & Divya Jain
Technology today has become a new way of living and is entrenched in every facet of modern human life. The internet, mobile phones, computers and various other tools of information management have completely changed the way how people live, learn, interact and work.

Salvaging trust after Urjit Patel's exit (Comment) (13:44)
By Amit Kapoor & Chirag Yadav
Disagreements between the government and the central bank are a common occurrence in any economy. It is an expected outcome, given their contrasting roles where one has to maintain the growth of the economy at a healthy pace while the other has to ensure price stability, which sometimes dampens growth prospects. However, this time it was different as weeks of animosity between North Block and Mint Street has culminated in the resignation of the RBI Governor, Urjit Patel.

"Sadak, bijli, paani": Basic, yet game-changing (Column: Behind Infra Lines) (12:32)
By Taponeel Mukherjee
Given the varied use of government spending, the question remains on how important it is to focus on the "basic" infrastructure services such as roads, electricity and water -- the classic troika of "sadak-bijli-paani".

Universities should consult industry on designing courses to make students employable (Column: Active Voice) (12:00)
By Amit Kapoor
Even though the idea of globalisation has come under fire in the last few years, with increasing levels of discontentment over inequity in the distribution of gains, the benefits that the world economies have derived from it are often overlooked.

Into the heart of the art of a book cover (14:16) IANS Photo Service
New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) A gathering of book lovers here celebrated the art of book cover designing and recognised the foremost practitioners of the craft. Cutting across genres and languages, the longlist of Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize was unveiled over the weekend and also saw experts throw light on the subject -- with some fine wine and country music to keep one company.

Cervical Cancer in India: A preventable tragedy that requires urgent attention (Comment) (12:34)
By Prof Vivekanand Jha
Premature death and disability from cancer is a great tragedy that hundreds of thousands of women and their families in India and other developing countries face every year. Of the various cancers that afflict women, that of the cervix, a part of the reproductive system, is one of the most common causes of death in a low socio-demographic index (SDI) country like ours.

Returning the favour: A unique educational experiment in Madhya Pradesh's tiger country (IANS Special Series) (12:00)
By Kushagra Dixit IANS Photo Service
Mukki (Madhya Pradesh), Dec 9 (IANS) Six-year-old Vinannya Uikey wakes up excited every morning to go to school where she can not only learn new things about the world but also play with fascinating toys. What's different about Vinannya compared to the millions of other school children in India is that she belongs to the adivasi (aboriginal) Baiga tribe for whom playschools are an unknown concept. And what's different about the school is that it is situated bang in the middle of a famous tiger reserve in central India and its students comprise children of both indigenous tribes and forest officers.

Dharam's unfulfilled dream - of sharing screen space with Dilip Kumar (Lead, correcting intro) (Dec 8 is Dharmendra's 83rd birthday) (15:56)
By Ali Peter John
Two days ago, Dharmendra was in his bungalow in Juhu (these days he spends most of his time on his farm in Lonavala, where he is busy writing poetry in Urdu) and knowing that it was his 83rd birthday on December 8 I asked him if he had any one dream unfullfilled.

Dharam's unfulfilled dream - of sharing screen space with Dilip Kumar (Dec 8 is Dharmendra's 82nd birthday) (15:32)
By Ali Peter John
Two days ago, Dharmendra was in his bungalow in Juhu (these days he spends most of his time on his farm in Lonavala, where he is busy writing poetry in Urdu) and knowing that it was his 82nd birthday on December 8 I asked him if he had any one dream unfullfilled.

Brexit turmoil: Britain gears up for make or break week (Comment: Special to IANS) (14:40)
By Azeez Anasudhin
London, Dec 8 (IANS) Weekends are usually peaceful days at Westminster. But the ongoing Brexit debate has changed Britains ground zero of power.

Congress needs to position itself differently from BJP (Column: Political Circus) (12:08)
By Amulya Ganguli
The Congress deserves two cheers for recovering from being down in the dumps in 2014 to a position where it is believed to be posing a credible challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Sundarbans women lead the way in making dairy farms organic (Environmental Feature) (12:06)
By Sahana Ghosh
Chowrangi (West Bengal), Dec 7 (IANS/Mongabay) Over 30 women have gathered to deliver milk at a one-room milk collection centre here. It's a daily rendezvous for this clique belonging to a women-run dairy cooperative in the Sundarbans delta in south Asia that is inching its way to becoming 100 percent organic.

Kunming: The city of eternal spring (Travelogue) (12:04)
By Aroonim Bhuyan IANS Photo Service
Kunming (China), Dec 7 (IANS) Covered with blossoming flowers and lush vegetation and blessed with a salubrious climate throughout the year, the city of Kunming, the capital of the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, is a tourist's delight.

Poland seeks to send a climate-change message to the world (Comment) (11:30)
By Rajendra Shende
Is humanity in peril due to climate change? The much-publicised underwater meeting of the Maldavian cabinet 2009, just about two months before the 15th UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 15), was deemed to have already responded to that question, albeit symbolically.

Of a kingmaker, farmland fiction and start-ups (IANS Books This Weekend) (11:26) IANS Photo Service
New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) Read a biography charting Mamata Banerjee's rise from a student leader to the first woman Chief Minister of West Bengal and how she could be a possible "kingmaker" after the 2019 general elections; take in a novel set against the backdrop of old Punjab, early California and revolution-torn Mexico; read a fictional tale that pits debt-laden farmers against the political forces at work; and finally, get a peek into the world of start-ups in India.

As solar industry booms, time to start thinking about recycling (Comment) (11:52)
By Vishu Mishra & Dr Abhijit Banerjee
One of the few encouraging trends in the global efforts on mitigating climate change is the rapid adoption of solar energy across the world. This change is driven by a combination of government policies and declining costs.

Content-starved digital platforms help revive interest in Braj sangeet (Feature) (13:04)
By Brij Khandelwal
Mathura/Vrindavan, Dec 5 (IANS) Thanks to new digital platforms and the rising popularity of YouTube channels, Braj folk songs and classical singing traditions, which were threatened by loss of patronage, are back in demand and are witnessing a happy revival.

Real estate innovation: The next phase of growth (Column: Behind Infra Lines) (12:04)
By Taponeel Mukherjee
As the Indian economy evolves, value-creation opportunities in real estate will exist as much in capturing the consumption-growth upside as in pursuing strategies of specialisation. The last decade has seen significant investments in real estate and real estate-related infrastructure, as investors braced for growth and development. The next phase of growth will be driven as much by value-added real estate strategies as by capital market innovation in real estate financing.

India's education crisis: Time for India, Australia to forge knowledge partnership (Comment) (11:14)
By Amit Dasgupta
India faces a critical challenge in the education sector that has, tragically, been of its own making. In each area, whether primary, secondary or tertiary, supply and resource constraints, infrastructural inadequacies, lack of qualified personnel, including faculty, are a common complaint. This is a result of seven decades of neglect and a lack of forward-planning.

Focused higher education can help India capitalise on its demographic dividend (Column: Active Voice) (18:14)
By Amit Kapoor
While investment in critical social infrastructure like education is a pre-requisite for a country's sustainable development, government expenditure on education in India, as a percentage of GDP, has declined from 3.1 per cent in 2012-13 to 2.4 per cent in 2015-16, with a marginal increase to 2.7 percent in the budget estimates for 2017-18 (Economic Survey, 2017-18).

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