The (absent) CSR in Swachh Bharat (Comment) (12:10)
By Nipun Vinayak IANS Photo Service
A Swachh marathon conducted by the Dettol company, Reckitt Benckiser, in collaboration with NDTV, as part of the Swachch Banega India project, takes the discussion on sanitation into the drawing rooms of the middle and upper classes. With brand ambassadors like Amitabh Bachchan hosting the show, people look up and watch.

How can India improve her Happiness Quotient? (Comment) (11:36)
By M. Rajaque Rahman
It does crush the pride of a nation to find itself ranked as low as 133rd in a global ranking of happiness.

Agrarian distress: India pays price of reforms by stealth (Column: Active Voice) (11:08)
By Amit Kapoor IANS Photo Service
The 180 km-long march of Maharashtra's farmers from Nashik to Mumbai that swelled to about 40,000 in number by the time it reached the state capital is a potent reminder of the burgeoning problem of agrarian distress in India. It is also indicative of how this segment of the Indian population -- which comprises about 60 percent of the total -- has found itself repeatedly short-changed in the country's developmental process.

Siliguri artist bags 10 lakh cash prize, 3-month residency in Scotland (14:56)
New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) Biplap Sarkar is a fresh and talented artist from Siliguri but his artistic journey has found new boost after he was announced as the seventh recipient of Glenfiddichs Emerging Artist of the Year 2018.

Ajmer-based artist captures the myriad nuances of Krishna (14:44)
New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) "When Krishna is your muse," says Ajmer-based artist Ashok Hazra, "the art that captures the myriad nuances of this blue-skinned deity is bound to be both enigmatic and spiritual". And inspired by the Srinathji form of Krishna in Nathdwara of Rajasthan, Hazra is all set to showcase a solo show of paintings titled "Krishna - The Enigma" at Gallerie Ganesha in the capital.

Do movies with roles needing big preparation turn into big flops? (Column: Bollywood Spotlight) (12:18)
By Subhash K. Jha
Just reading and knowing about the preparation that Alicia Vikander undertook to play Lara Croft takes our breath away. But at the end of it all, what has she got to show?

Hubris is letting down BJP (Column: Political Circus) (11:16)
By Amulya Ganguli
If one explanation has to be given for the BJP's electoral ills in the Hindi heartland and nearby states, it is arrogance.

How a couple took 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' to new heights -- three decades ago (12:32)
By Archana Sharma IANS Photo Service
Jaipur, March 16 (IANS) Sulochana Chaudhary, a mother of three successful daughters, was watching TV with keen interest as Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the audience while launching the "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" campaign in Jhunjhunu on March 8.

Of women in business, quest, mystery and truths for children (IANS Books This Weekend) (11:16)
New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Are women getting their due at workplaces or are they being overlooked? What happens when a devastated man embarks on a quest to find the recipient of his donated kidney? IANS book shelf for this weekend presents an exciting array of books that, apart from answering these questions, also feature a thrilling mystery novel and a book for children where 10 "idea-shapers" have valuable lessons for kids.

Evolution dislikes people who are too intelligent, scientists find -- thank God (The Funny Side) (11:02)
By Nury Vittachi
As the years go by, this columnist becomes increasingly aware of the vital importance of being stupid. Consider the evidence.

Why are India's farmers committing suicide? (Comment: Special to IANS) (12:36)
By Kota Neelima IANS Photo Service
Farmer suicides have been taking place across India for years now, and studies of rural distress reveal the deeply-rooted, tenacious causes, such as lack of irrigation, fragmentation of land, unsuitability of seeds and inadequate sources of credit.

Fearful of writing about gods and humans, Perumal Murugan turns to goats (12:24)
By Saket Suman IANS Photo Service
New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) He can barely speak a few lines of English, yet his deep insight and observations of rural life are reshaping how we view the hinterland.

The Modi economy: Mostly sunny, with a few clouds (Comment: Special to IANS) (12:04)
By Frank F. Islam
On Sunday, January 7, the New York Times ran a front page story titled "Rising Anxiety in India is Piercing Modi's Aura of Invincibility". The article discussed the decline in GDP, consumption and consumer confidence and its impact on India and Indians.

Triumph of spirit over form: The extraordinary life and career of Stephen Hawking (Obituary) (13:26)
By Vikas Datta IANS Photo Service
Diagnosed with a debilitating condition when barely out of his teens, he was given just two years to live. But Stephen Hawking went to live on a further half-century.

Airport infrastructure: Case for expediting growth (Column: Behind Infra Lines) (12:36)
By Taponeel Mukherjee IANS Photo Service
With its rapidly-growing economy, the fact that India needs significant investments in airport infrastructure cannot be overemphasised. While Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and privatisation of airports have been attempted to some extent, the time has come to accelerate the pace on this front.

Five years on, mandated philanthropy not delivering in India (Column: Active Voice) (11:16)
By Amit Kapoor
India is now into the fifth year of its unique experiment of legally binding companies to be socially responsible. This push by the government to solve the country's most challenging social problems was based on the idea that the corporate sector will come up with transformative solutions that will scale up impact across the country. As the development goals of the country are immense and everyone recognises that the challenges can only be overcome with the effort of every stakeholder in the ecosystem, many scholars viewed it as the right move by the government.

Fighting climate change: How a 'crazy' engineer solved Ladakh's water crisis (IANS Special Series) (12:10)
By Kushagra Dixit IANS Photo Service
Leh, March 11 (IANS) Years back, on a harsh winter morning in Ladakh in the northernmost Himalayas in India, a young and curious boy in a remote mountain village of the cold desert observed water coming out of a semi-frozen pipe, collecting in a small crater on the ground and freezing, just like a glacier.

'Mostly Harmless': Douglas Adams' comic universal 'travelogue' and its impact (Column: Bookends) (11:08)
By Vikas Datta IANS Photo Service
No other book has gone so far. Last month, Canadian American entrepreneur Elon Musk sent a copy of this science fiction classic into deep space aboard his Roadster, with one of its seminal messages painted on the dashboard. Then another phrase from this book was, according to a leading writer of the genre, the best advice that could be given to the human race.

Ban tobacco, promote sports (Comment: Special to IANS) (12:06)
By Siddhartha Upadhyay
Let me start by saying that I don't want to sound a fanatic, for I don't suggest anything that I can't do myself. I quit smoking recently. And that's no small feat. Tobacco is the most common form of addiction and one of the most harmful as well, much more than the dreaded cannabis or for that matter Ecstasy, let alone alcohol.

Tripura ends CPI-M tedium by trading decency for false El Dorado (Comment: Special to IANS) (12:00)
By Saeed Naqvi IANS Photo Service
The extraordinary feat the BJP has pulled off leaves one breathless. Which other Chief Minister in the country will have a decorated Director General of Police, B.L. Vohra, write in his book, "Tripura's Bravehearts", "Manik Sarkar was definitely unlike any Chief Ministers whom I had seen, met, worked with and heard about.... He was honest personally and that had percolated down to all echelons of the government -- again one cannot find many examples of his ilk unfortunately in the country." This level of decency has been traded by the Tripura electorate for mobs who pull down statues.

BJP's politics of dualism could easily backfire (Column: Political Circus) (11:10)
By Amulya Ganguli IANS Photo Service
The Shakespearean phrase "fair is foul, foul is fair" can be one way of describing the contradictory nature of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) policies in different parts of the country.

Need to infuse new dynamism into stale India-France ties (View from Paris) (13:48)
By Ranvir Nayar
Over the last seven decades, Indias relationship with France has been steady and stable, but perhaps a bit stale and out of energy -- just like a long-married couple.

Blockchain can truly revolutionise our lives (Comment: Special to IANS) (11:46)
By Amit Kapoor & Kashish Arora
The use of the internet has undergone rapid evolution in a matter of a few decades.

How to eat something larger than yourself (The Funny Side) (11:14)
By Nury Vittachi
"An alligator can eat a quarter of its bodyweight in a single meal, equivalent to a human eating 89 bowls of rice," a reader told me in an electronic conversation.

Four hacks for women's wellness (15:22) IANS Photo Service
New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Wellness takes a backseat for most women, what with a hectic schedule taking care of work, home, and all the people in their lives. This Women's Day, encourage the women in your life to make themselves a priority and practice these simple wellness tips to improve their overall well-being.

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