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Ecostani | A call to battle, and fight will be pitched

Published on Feb 26, 2024 08:35 PM IST

In a few weeks, the 2024 Lok Sabha polls will be announced. What narratives and strategies do the NDA and the INDIA blocs have in place?

It is still a long way off before we can call the 2024 elections. (HT File Photo)

But first, what is a forest? This definition will determine our future

A SC interim order provides an opportunity to revisit the definition to balance India’s economic interests and infrastructure needs with sustainable goals

April 1995 marked the watershed moment in Indian forest conservation history when the Supreme Court entertained the Godavarman case over large-scale illegal felling of timber and denudation of forests in Gudalur taluk of Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri district (Photo by Manoj Kumar/ Hindustan Times)
Published on Feb 26, 2024 07:21 PM IST

Another Maratha Reservation Bill: Is history being repeated?

The agitators are at a crucial juncture. Their demands must go beyond reservation – for a caste census, a scientific study, and against caste and patriarchy

The Maratha community has been protesting against the state government for several years regarding the issue of Maratha reservation. (PTI)
Published on Feb 26, 2024 07:08 PM IST

Maha News | The anatomy of an impending, likely, fall

Barely a fortnight to go before the Lok Sabha elections are announced, the Congress is in a mess in the state where it was hoping to turn the tables on the BJP

Is the Congress headed for more trouble in Maharashtra? (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)(HT_PRINT)
Published on Feb 26, 2024 06:32 PM IST

Urban Agenda: Hill states move to check unregulated urban development (finally)

Nine hilly states that failed to take up the Centre's incentives for urban planning-informed development get their act together after recent climate disasters

A picturesque view of Shimla town after the fresh spell of snowfall on Thursday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)
Published on Feb 24, 2024 07:22 PM IST

How to be a constitutionalist: Lessons from Fali S. Nariman's cases

All accused have right to a lawyer, a woman has the right to earn without discrimination, Governors must stay neutral, newspapers have freedom of expression

Fali S Nariman(PTI)
Published on Feb 24, 2024 06:33 PM IST

Health Talk | Unpacking Alabama SC's decision that counts embryo as unborn child

A tale of two countries, and their approach to IVF treatment: In India, the rules are being amended too, but in favour of couples

Last week, the Alabama Supreme Court in the United States of America ruled that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law(Wiki Commons)
Published on Feb 24, 2024 05:51 PM IST

The untold story behind climate change: we've known about the crisis for a while

A 351-page report on the quality of our environment is perhaps the first documented evidence of scientists bringing global warming to a US President's attention

Scientists have issued warnings over the last few decades about the impact the burning of fossil fuels was having on the environment. (Reuters)
Published on Feb 23, 2024 07:58 PM IST

Terms of Trade | Politics must fight unequal growth, but sincerely

Politics must criticize new-economy for failing to solve India's structural transformation problem, but first, it must uncouple from dirty capital

Bengaluru has led the country in all things IT and knowledge economy. Recently, the Karnataka government is asking MNCs to display local employees.(HT Photo)
Published on Feb 23, 2024 03:55 PM IST

Why India hosting the Central Asian flyway is a big deal

Millions of birds use the path that encompasses 30 countries over land and water, including India

The Bar-headed geese are amongst the highest-flying birds in the world, flying over the Himalayas when they migrate(Neha Sinha)
Published on Feb 21, 2024 08:26 PM IST

Keeping up with UP | How will Rae Bareli handle Sonia’s decision to not contest?

The Nehru-Gandhis have represented Rae Bareli in the Lok Sabha for over 30 years. With Sonia Gandhi not contesting in ’24, everyone has the same question

Sonia Gandhi was recently elected to the Rajya Sabha after announcing that she will no longer be contesting the Lok Sabha elections(HT Photo)
Published on Feb 21, 2024 08:16 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Northeastern View | How the amended FCA can change the course of NE politics

The framework of national vs ecological security set up by the act is dangerous. The SC’s interim order gives us pause enough to go back to the drawing board

Dzukou Valley in Nagaland is sacred to the Angami Naga tribe (Instagram/@jitofalltrades)
Published on Feb 21, 2024 07:58 PM IST

Will the third iteration of the Maratha quota act pass muster?

This isn’t the first time that a law has been passed on reservation for the Marathas. The previous two attempts were shot down by the courts. Here’s why

Mumbai, Feb 20 (ANI): Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, State Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, State Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar and others celebrate after the Maratha Reservation Bill was passed by the State Assembly, in Mumbai on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)(Deepak Salvi)
Updated on Feb 21, 2024 04:16 PM IST

Electoral bonds versus electoral trusts: The debate raging since Independence

Corporate or individual, anonymous or known, opaque or transparent — these keywords mark the committee reports on party financing and election expenditure.

Updated on Feb 19, 2024 11:49 PM IST

Ecostani | Jayant Chaudhary hopes that the NDA will help his party — and the BJP

The RLD has sensed a shift of Jat voters over to the BJP, and the saffron party would like Jayant to campaign in Jat-dominated areas. Both hope it’s a win-win

RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary at the Parliament House complex in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI PHOTO)
Published on Feb 19, 2024 09:06 PM IST

Maha News | The final war between uncle and nephew

The fight between Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar will be the highlight of the elections in the state. Only one of them may survive politically

The final battle between Pawar and his nephew has begun
Published on Feb 19, 2024 02:56 PM IST

Gender Question | A tale of two South Asian countries and same-sex marriage

India’s SC rejected petitions for marriage equality, but Nepal’s SC rebuked the state for not registering same-sex marriages. What explains this difference?

Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey receive their marriage certificate after legally registering same-sex marriage, at Dordi Rural Municipality of Lamjung district in Western Nepal. Nepal registered the first female-female same-sex marriage, between Anju Devi Shrestha and Suprita Gurung in Bardiya district(PTI)
Published on Feb 18, 2024 09:00 AM IST
ByDhamini Ratnam

Are laws that prevent forced conversions really about freedom of religion?

There is no national anti-conversion law, but various states are enacting laws. Newer grounds where such so-called crimes can take place are being identified

Anti-conversion laws are gaining significance leading to more and more states passing such laws, bringing new amendments to the existing ones. (Shutterstock)
Published on Feb 17, 2024 05:03 PM IST

Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat is key to India’s comprehensive national power

Prime Minister Modi firmly believes that manufacturing capability is crucial as India seeks to take its rightful place as a global leader in a new world order.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is betting big on the Atmanirbhar Bharat program to ensure a developed India in the years to come.
Published on Feb 16, 2024 08:38 PM IST

BJP and the fine art of weaving poll alliances

Estranged allies, Congress chums of Rahul Gandhi, opposition leaders in general, caste leaders in remote locations, all are on BJP's poll-time radar.

PM Narendra Modi and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. (HT file)
Updated on Feb 16, 2024 03:18 PM IST

The quest for equality, at the heart of the Uttarakhand UCC bill, is flawed

The lure of a common civil code has for long attracted lawmakers. A new civil law, like the UCC, is an opportunity to reflect changed social mores — does it?

The Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code Bill 2024 was passed
Published on Feb 13, 2024 06:49 PM IST

Ecostani | A national MSP law will be a tribute to MS Swaminathan

As farmers head towards Delhi to demand an MSP law for all crops, their 2020-'21 Delhi Chalo protests should remind us that their demand isn't new after all

Farmers at the Shambhu border between Haryana and Punjab, as they make their way towards Delhi for the Delhi Chalo protest march.(PTI)
Updated on Feb 13, 2024 12:18 PM IST

Jal Jangal Jameen: Why these three words can’t be separated from India’s tribes

A history of the slogan that has carried forward from Indian Independence to the present, and what it means to the tribal communities and forest dwellers

Statue of Komaram Bheem at Tank Bund Road, Secunderabad, Hyderabad, India(Praveen Kumar Myakala/Wikimedia Commons)
Updated on Feb 07, 2024 08:35 PM IST

Jan 31: ED arrests JMM chief. Feb 5: New CM, from JMM, wins trust vote

Hemant Soren says the BJP used agencies to topple his government as he is a tribal. The BJP, in turn, knows it needs a tribal leader for a headway in Jharkhand.

Hemant Soren resigned on January 31 after he was arrested on the charge of “possessing 12 adjacent parcels of land measuring 8.5 acres” in Ranchi using falsified deeds and tampered revenue records (PTI file photo)
Updated on Feb 05, 2024 09:26 PM IST

Can the Opposition’s broad coalition win against the BJP-led alliance?

The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi joined the rainbow family that stands opposed to the saffron alliance. Will this alliance stand a chance in Maharashtra’s politics?

Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) chief Uddhav Thackeray at a program recently
Published on Feb 05, 2024 06:43 PM IST

The SC asked states to plan prisons for next 50 years — here’s what is missing

Increasing the number of prisons is only half the work to address overcrowding. The other is to tackle the population of undertrials. These 4 charts show why

Nationally, the share of undertrials has always been more than 60% since 2009. Between 2009 and 2022, it grew from 66% in 2009 to 73% in 2022, touching 78% in 2021.(HT Photo)
Published on Feb 04, 2024 05:01 PM IST

Eye on the Middle East | Killing of US forces in Jordan & Washington’s response

The destabilisation of the US-Iraq relationship is the latest strategic butterfly effect of the Gaza war; its spillover effects have now hit Jordan

A satellite photo from Planet Labs PBC of military base Tower 22, located in northeastern Jordan. On January 28, three personnel of the United States Army were killed in a drone strike(AP)
Updated on Feb 04, 2024 04:50 PM IST

Gender Question | A group of Indian, South African feminists revisit #MeToo

A new book examines everything from pre-histories to post-realisations as well as the continuing impact of the movement that reframed the gender conversation

Gustav Klimt's famous painting, The Kiss, has been at the forefront of artistic debate over its intimate portrayal of a couple, even as more recent readings of the turn-of-the-20th century work, have questioned the seeming absence of consent(WikiCommons)
Published on Feb 04, 2024 03:37 PM IST
ByDhamini Ratnam

Seeing Silicon | Driverless cabs or robotaxis face a unique challenge. A cone.

On the wild streets of San Francisco in the United States, a dramatic human versus autonomous vehicle conflict plays out

The city of San Francisco, home to tech hub Silicon Valley, gave self-driving cabs or robotaxis from two companies — Cruise owned by GM and Waymo owned by Google (pictured above) — the permit to operate within city limits in August 2023.(AP File Photo)
Published on Feb 04, 2024 11:52 AM IST

The Maratha agitation may rewrite the rules on certifying caste

The Marathas seeking OBC reservation under the Kunbi caste are appeased for now. But the draft notification introduces a new way of establishing caste identity

Maratha activist Manoj Jarange Patil and his supporters during their march for reservation, in Navi Mumbai (PTI)
Updated on Feb 09, 2024 06:06 PM IST
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