How delayed pregnancies beat sterilisation as a family-planning tool (Special to IANS) (14:24)
By Charu Bahri
Although India spends 85 per cent of its family planning budget on sterilisation and 1.5 per cent on distributing condoms and other non-terminal contraceptives, one Maharashtra districts brief experience with a conditional cash transfer programme shows that rewarding couples for delaying children could work better to temper Indias population growth. And it could bring numerous health, social and economic benefits besides.

Social Progress Index can complement GDP (Column: Active Voice) (10:50)
By Amit Kapoor
GDP is easily the most controversial measure in the field of economics. It is a measure of economic production that should have lost its relevance in a world disgusted by environmental degradation and social injustice. Despite its narrow focus, the concept of GDP has survived decades of debate on a new measure that better reflects human well-being within a nation.

Pihani's story: Why promises Of UP's politicians rarely changed over 15 years (Special to IANS) (13:52)
By Saumya Tewari
Pihani, Uttar Pradesh: For 16 years, Kailash Rai (not his real name), 49, has been commuting six hours every working day between his home in the state capital Lucknow and the government degree college where he teaches in Pihani, 135 km to the northwest.

It's rightists vs left-liberals in media slugfest (Column: Political Circus) (11:58)
By Amulya Ganguli
A major reason the media is being targeted by right-wing establishments in both India and the US is the belief among the "official" ideologues that large sections of the newspapers, magazines and TV channels are dominated by left-liberals, a legacy of Nehruvian times.

Trump's corporate tax plan is one bright spot in his otherwise quarrelsome world (Comment) (11:04)
By George Albert
It is not all bad in Trump land. Yes, we have those pesky Twitter wars, anti-free trade rhetoric, fights with the Australian Prime Minister and the list goes on. It seems that US politics has entered a dark age.

Will Donald Trump take on the Chinese yuan? (Column: Currency Corner) (14:26)
Vatsal Srivastava
China has long been labelled a currency manipulator, having an unfair advantage in the global export arena. However, these allegations have never stopped Beijing from intervening in the currency markets at will, without taking into consideration the negative spillover effects on FX volatility and global trade.

Why are most participants at Gandhi seminars anti-technology? (Comment) (11:18)
By Anil K. Rajvanshi
I was recently invited to attend a seminar entitled "Gandhi Returns -- Back to Basics" at Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad. Gujarat Vidyapith was founded by Mahatma Gandhi in the 1920s and mostly deals with Gandhian subjects.

Corruption a vice of 'insatiable avarice for self-aggrandisement': SC (20:12)
New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that corruption was cancerous and a vice of "insatiable avarice for self-aggrandisement" by the unscrupulous, who took unfair advantage of their power and authority including those holding public office.

Crying need for outcome-based education in India (Column: Active Voice) (15:12)
By Amit Kapoor
If the buzz around Hyperloop materialises, a commute between Chennai and Bengaluru can be a matter of 30 minutes. The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can revolutionise homes around the world and our way of living along with it. Robotics can completely transform factory operations. Self-driven cars can make driving a thing of the past.

Message from MP: Solar power is here to stay (Comment) (10:32)
By Saptak Ghosh
The solar revolution in India marches on, with renewed momentum, if the recently concluded reverse bidding auction for a 750 MW Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh is any indication.

65% Indian women literate, 5% have sole control over choosing their husband (Special to IANS) (16:00)
By Lavanya Garg
How much control do Indian women have over different aspects of their lives?

No Valentine's Day: Love's tortured course in Cold War (Column: Bookends)  (12:52)
By Vikas Datta
Valentine's Day is coming and as love blooms or advances for many young in age or heart, consider its course in difficult situations. Truth is the first casualty in wars, but so is romance. The conflict doesn't even need to be a shooting war - even undeclared conflicts like the Cold War can be daunting and hazardous for lovers - particularly if they are on opposing sides.

Trying times in Trumpland (Washington Diary) (16:14)
By Arun Kumar
Washington, Feb 11 (IANS) The thrice-married President didn't get any time for his "political honeymoon". But Donald Trump is all set for an extended "court-ship" of a different kind.

Building tranquil homes in crowded cities (Comment: Special to IANS) (13:04)
By Preeti Harit
Development brings better facilities, improved lifestyles and economic growth. It also brings us crowding cities, noise and pollution. Villages turn into towns and towns into cities and cities can't stop expanding. The demand for built-up spaces increases many fold. This adds to the load on roads and increases pollution to the extent that even metropolitan cities like New Delhi are considered not suitable to live in.

Theatre of the absurd in Tamil Nadu (Column: Political Circus) (11:20)
By Amulya Ganguli
The tradition of hero worship has queered the pitch for the succession battle in Tamil Nadu. In normal circumstances, it should have been up to the MLAs to choose the next Chief Minister.

If Kejriwal wins Punjab, it will alter course of politics (Comment) (10:50)
By Saeed Naqvi
The emerging consensus that there is a wave in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab is terrible news for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, not because they will have lost the election but because the road ahead will become that much more difficult.

Whither defence research? Navy's rejection of Tejas is a lesson (Comment) (09:56)
By Admiral Arun Prakash (retd)
The peremptory rejection of the shipborne variant of the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) by the Indian Navy seems to have surprised most navy-watching analysts. Their confusion has been compounded by the near-simultaneous issuance of a global request for information (RFI) for procurement of "57 multirole fighters for its aircraft carriers" by Naval HQ.

India's defence budget: Trapped in a straitjacket (Comment) (11:04)
By C. Uday Bhaskar
The annual budget was presented on February 1 and the allocation for the Defence Ministry offers some instructive insights about how India plans to nurture its military -- that is, the three armed forces: the army, navy and air force.

Time to question relevance of personal income tax (Column: Active Voice) (10:40)
By Amit Kapoor
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley put the spotlight on the issue of tax evasion in his February 1 budget speech with some eye-opening statistics. Out of an employed population of approximately 300 million, merely 37 million filed their income tax returns in 2015-16. Even if exempted sectors like agriculture are accounted for, this proportion is abysmally low.

The fairytale that launched India's literary renaissance (Column: Bookends) (10:32)
By Vikas Datta
A whirlwind tale of romance, adventure and magic, it is no ordinary fable -- and not due to its genre. The first Indian prose fiction, or even the first novel, "Bagh-o-Bahaar" is a largely neglected pioneer of what is now a thriving, multi-lingual literary tradition, but it still holds prominence due to its language and motifs of loss, mortality, courage, faith, hope and redemption.

Hints of new world order must await Tillerson-Lavrov meeting (Comment: Special to IANS) (13:08)
By Saeed Naqvi
Pundits in Washington are beginning to hope for continuity in US foreign policy under Donald Trump. For their optimism, they are falling back on hints from the new administration.

UP polls: Key lies in Modi regaining the Muslim vote (Column: Political Circus) (11:40)
By Amulya Ganguli
A major reason why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is believed to be finding it difficult to cross the finishing line with ease in the ensuing UP assembly elections is its loss of the Muslim vote since 2014, when it had secured more support from the community than ever before.

Ideological fissures keep PDP-BJP alliance on edge (Comment) (16:56)
By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar, Feb 2 (IANS) Running a coalition government with an ideologically opposed ally is an art, running it successfully would entail magic. As things stand today, it is seems Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is no magician.

Budget aimed at fulfilling heightened expectations post-demonetisation (Comment: Special to IANS) (22:18)
By Amit Kapoor & Chirag Yadav
The Union Budget for 2017-18 was easily the most anticipated one in recent times. The public was seeking the government's policy stance after its bold attack on black money with demonetisation. On a related note, the market was also looking forward to the government's response to the demonetisation-induced slowdown.

Capital expenditure alone can't support Indian growth story (Column: Active Voice) (11:06)
By Amit Kapoor & Chirag Yadav
Unlike in most countries of the world, the Budget unusually holds widespread public interest in India. However, the Budget due on February 1 has an exceptionally heightened sense of anticipation -- for a variety of reasons.

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