The (absent) CSR in Swachh Bharat (Comment) (12:10)
By Nipun VinayakIANS 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 KapoorIANS 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.

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.

Why are India's farmers committing suicide? (Comment: Special to IANS) (12:36)
By Kota NeelimaIANS 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.

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 DattaIANS 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 MukherjeeIANS 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.

'Mostly Harmless': Douglas Adams' comic universal 'travelogue' and its impact (Column: Bookends) (11:08)
By Vikas DattaIANS 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 NaqviIANS 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 GanguliIANS 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.

Modi-Macron moment: The real Belt and Road Initiative (Comment: Special to IANS) (11:18)
By Rajendra ShendeIANS Photo Service
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the world's fastest-growing economy, and Emmanuel Macron, President of the world's most aggressive climate change saviour, have a rendezvous starting from March 9 in New Delhi.

Construction Bank: Way to bridge the infrastructure deficit (Column: Behind Infra Lines) (12:04)
By Taponeel Mukherjee
The State Bank of India's (SBI) decision earlier this week to not fund interest payments during the infrastructure construction phase is not only a move to manage its exposure to infrastructure going forward, but also a call to think of innovative solutions to finance the construction phase of infrastructure projects in India.

Start-up finance: Six ways to win at fundraising as a woman founder (11:04)
New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Starting and scaling-up a business needs capital. Right capital, be it equity or debt or grant, can often be the critical difference between a successful business and the one that didn't make it. And yet, it looks like too few women are getting this capital.

NTP 2018 must set stage for 'Telecom-Plus' era (Comment: Special to IANS) (11:50)
By Faisal Kawoosa
The National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2018 is on the anvil. There have been a lot of deliberations -- and opinions sought from the ecosystem, including industry and the regulator -- about what NTP 2018 should look like. It is expected that the Department of Telecom will incorporate most of the enabling and constructive suggestions it receives.

The world needs evolutionary transformation, not economic nationalism (Column: Active Voice) (11:18)
By Amit KapoorIANS Photo Service
The developing wave of economic nationalism across the world has reached disconcerting levels. President Donald Trump's recent move to raise tariffs on import of steel and aluminium into the US signalled the pinnacle of the global shift towards protectionism.

Maldives: India needs to give measured but tough response (Comment: Special to IANS) (11:42)
By Amit Dasgupta
Idyllic Maldives faces a serious constitutional crisis and there are no indications that President Abdullah Yameen is willing to soften his position. On the contrary, all indications are that Yameen would ruthlessly incarcerate the opposition and even prevent the forthcoming presidential elections from taking place.

The failed businessman who gave a new lease of life to Urdu poetry (Column: Bookends) (11:40)
By Vikas Datta
The ultimate test of a language's survival is how it is chosen by its users to express their innermost feelings.This yardstick could well explain the case of Urdu, especially when it struck up its enduring partnership with films. And a standard-bearer among those responsible for bringing the ghazal out of courtly soirees to become an eloquent expression for everyman was this failed businessman.

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