Posts

Addressing the 'trust deficit'....

All NGOs work for some cause.  And their funding is under scrutiny.  The government or its designated department gives approval after ensuring the legitimacy of the cause.  At the time of registration, let the govt provide a seed fund, open the NGO's account in a chosen bank, and announce that the NGO can seek funds from anyone who wishes to support the cause.  The funds would be routed through only this account. Can't transparency be ensured this way?  And political parties also can be considered non-governmental organizations! Quoting from NGOs’ foreign funds and a trust deficit ".... foreign funding of NGOs is dwarfed by other foreign money coming into India. Of this, the amount used for potentially questionable purposes is about 13 per cent. Let us look at another set of issues. All organisations working in society need to be transparent and accountable, including NGOs, whether domestically or foreign funded. The RTI tries to do that for the government. But beyond the NGOs, …

Ruralize, don't urbanize! Why do we clone our cities?

A few years ago, living in Thiruvananthapuram and watching the city - a lovable overgrown village really - burst at the seams, these were thoughts that i had shared (see Stop the cloning of cities) - Indian cities have been trying hard at developing into clones of big cities across the world, and succeeding. (Aside: In the matter of solid waste management they are just clones of each other). Bangalore was a laid back garden city till about a couple of decades ago, even though it was the aerospace-cum-electronics hub of India. If we put together all the pros and cons of living comfort, standards of living, and quality of life, we will find that the present Bengaluru has unfortunately lost its overall charm. 
We have let globalisation and technological revolutions invade our urban spaces and our mind spaces so much, and at too fast a pace, that entire sections of urban residents have forgotten to pause, look around, smell the earth, and think of whole lots of other people to whom globali…

Of "Jellicut" aka "Pulikulam" & "Palingu" & the entire imbroglio

Some amazing facts here - From Jellicut to jallikattu"It is only the Jellicut (identified as Pulikulam) that has been described scientifically (between 1870 and 1930) as a “small bull specially bred for bull-fighting/taming in the Tamil region“, according to the Roslin Institute of the University of Edinburgh." i read the piece with great interest. Scientific management is one logical route to protecting native breeds and all of the so-called IP, though i prefer to term it knowledge base instead. One experiences mixed feelings on learning that a few other countries have recognised the unique traits of native Indian breeds, and taken efforts at tapping the preferred qualities for better results; beginning with the fact that “American Brahman” is “the first beef cattle breed developed in the US”. Here are a few questions that occurred to me as a layperson, following the dismaying developments of the past few days 1. Are there clear indications about the A2 milk Vs A1 milk? …

MGIIREPD to MGICCC to MGIUS

Image
On Gandhiji's birthday in 1992, the Govt established the  Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Integrated Rural Energy Planning and Development (MGIIREPD) - with a view to “TAP RENEWABLE ENERGY TO THE FULLEST” and with a mission to Combat Climate Change and develop it as a “CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE” especially related with Strategic Knowledge Centre. 

The Institute - obviously set up by the Govt of the day - was renamed as Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Combating Climate Change (MGICCC) through an office order - perhaps intentionally - 30 Jan 2009. 

As given in the website, "The main objective of the Institute is to organize the Training Programmes for Government, Public Sector and Private Sector Officials in the areas of Pollution Control, Waste Management, Bio-diversity, Greening, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism. Institute is tasked to conduct Education and Mass Awareness Programmes for School Children, RWAs and Rural Women and Ex…

Knowledge must travel....

Image
This is the translation of a verse sung by pastoralists belonging to the Kutch region of Gujarat, India.

Treasures!

What i thought was lost in cyberspace, i found today.
To say that i am a wee bit satisfied.... would be an understatement!
Thanks, unknown cyber librarians and cataloguers!
But not many can make out the priceless from the valueless!

Moderation in Everything, Necessities in Moderation.

The origin of fireworks / crackers (and their use during deepAvali) has become the next contentious issue. While the debate continues, those who wish to pause and think can ponder on these -
1. CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) site lists "Noise Standards for Fire Crackers". Unable to find regulations or emission standards.
2. There are regulations in other countries - see Consumer Fireworks and Hazards and Regulations In recent years, newer toxic pyrotechnic compounds have been unleashed in the consumer fireworks market, without any checks whatsoever.

All religious, social and cultural practices were once environmentally sustainable.
Now each of these practices, fasts and festivals have become convenient targets for 'sustainable' businesses, trapping citizens to vulgar outward displays and transient glee. The climate change crisis is a valuable opportunity for the right wing government to lead the nation in reverting to sustainable and sensible practices. Input…