SCIENCE & DEVELOPMENT

The Path to Sustainable Development: Lessons from the Bhopal Disaster

THE premise of sustainable development is that it should be non-discriminatory and equitable as well. Discriminatory practices in the name of development have disastrous consequences as the people of Bhopal had experienced at the hands of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), a US Transnational Corporation (which is currently owned by the Dow Chemical Company, USA).

Arithmetic of Precision Drone Strikes: Kill 28 to Eliminate One Target

THE drone strikes have been touted by the US as “precision” weapons, taking out specific “targets” with minimum “collateral damage”, the military speak for killing innocent victims. The recent report in the Guardian (The Guardian, November 24, 2014) by Reprieve, a human rights group, shows how bogus this claim is – for killing 41 targets, drone strikes killed an estimated 1,147 others. In other words, for successfully killing one “target”, 28 people have to be killed.

Coercive Population Control Claims Thirteen Lives in Chhattisgarh

THE shocking incident in Chhattisgarh, where thirteen women died and many more fell severely ill after undergoing an operation for female sterilisation (tubectomy), shows a mirror to all that is wrong with the public health system in India. The episode is also a clear indictment of the entire population control agenda of the Indian government, which has, for decades, been characterised by targeting and coercion of poor women and gross rights violations.

PROMOTION OF FEMALE
STERILISATION

Modi: Science and Nonsense

MODI's post electoral agenda is one, even more pro-rich policies, masquerading as development, combined with a medieval mindset. His economic policies have been an attack on the workers, the liquidating of the public sector, and giving up planning in favour of – in his view – the all powerful and all knowing “gods of the market”. For him, business is not the business of the government, translating that the government will henceforth work to help the capitalists.

Capitulation on IP: Reaching a Point of no Return?

THE government has chosen the occasion of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US to articulate a vision on Intellectual Property (IP) protection that promises to radically reshape the Indian IP system (as reported in this column a couple of weeks back). What is of particular interest is the contrast between the BJP led government’s present stance on IP and the BJP’s position on the floor of Parliament when India’s Patent Act was being amended in 2005, in order to make it compatible with the TRIPS agreement.

MODI'S US VISIT: Introducing Bad Patents & Removing Liability for US Suppliers

THE US-India Joint Statement signed during Modi's visit to the US has opened the doors for two Indian laws that have been passed by the Indian Parliament. One is on patents – the Indian Patents Act – that contains some measures to keep drug prices low for the people, which the US and its pharmaceutical industries have been trying to change for the last decade. The second is on nuclear liability, again anathema to the US nuclear industry.

Mangalyaan Success: Putting it in Perspective

ON September 24, 2014 when the Mangalyaan spacecraft was inserted into Martian orbit as planned, with Prime Minister Modi present at ISRO’s Mission Control Centre in Bangalore, ISRO declared its maiden interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), a complete success. The Liquid Fuel Engine was fired at the right time as programmed, and the spacecraft was slowed down sufficiently to enable Mars to “capture” it within its orbit.

India's Mars Mission Enter its Final Phase

INDIA'S Mars Orbiter mission – the Mangalyaan – is now moving into its last and most critical phase. The Mars Orbiter is going to be transferred on September 24 from its current heliocentric or sun-centric orbit and into a Mars-centric one. This is no mean feat, as this phase has defeated many an earlier mission. If it succeeds, India's ISRO will be the fourth space agency to manage such a feat; the others are US's NASA, the Russian and the EU space agencies.

Ministry Against Environment & Forests?

DURING his election campaign, prime minister Modi repeatedly assailed the environmental regulation prevalent in the country at the time for obstructing development and damaging India’s economic growth. It was clear even then that a future Modi-led government would move swiftly to reduce hurdles arising from environmental objections to developmental projects, as long demanded by Indian corporate lobbies, a process already initiated by the UPA-II government towards the end of its tenure.

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