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Embed: 25-04-15 -- Aparna Ravi / Policy Report No.8 / From The Hindu

This combination photo made from file images provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows cigarette warning labels from the FDA. India's attempts to implement a law that mandates larger health warnings on tobacco products are thwarted by vested interests. File photo: AP

Public Health Policy and the Tobacco Industry

Smoking out the Elephant in the Room

Aparna Ravi

A law making it mandatory for health warnings to cover 85 per cent of the total display area on packages of tobacco products was put on hold in March, five days before it was to take effect. In this article, Aparna Ravi outlines the events that resulted in the unusual practice of holding up the effective date of a legislation that had already been passed, and calls for the implementation of internationally accepted guidelines to protect public health policies from being influenced by the vested interests of the tobacco industry.

Nandini Dubey_Policy Report No.8

Policy Report No. 8

The Future of Post Offices as Banking Institutions in India

Nandini Dubey

This report seeks to integrate threads of India’s financial inclusion dynamics and recognise the role post offices could play with their homespun technology. It anticipates a future for Indian post offices as banking institutions, taking into consideration the deposits, performance, and administration of the branches that provide Core Banking Solutions (CBS) in Chennai. This report will look at the transitions and institutional layering that the Post Office Savings Banking is going through. This report aims to provide an unbiased evaluation of post office banking, focussing on the loopholes that need to be plugged in the process of institutional layering. The report includes suggestions that will enable the Indian postal services to become an instrument of financial inclusion. The main conclusion of the study is that post offices can do better as an agency commission for credit facilities than as a provider of first party services.

The Nirbhaya agitation of 2012 not only removed the stigma surrounding rape but also gave women the hope that their complaint would be heard. Photo: THE HINDU

From The Hindu

What enables rape reporting?


The anti-rape agitation in India that followed on the heels of the Nirbhaya gang-rape incident in New Delhi in 2012 was the biggest such movement seen in global history. However, did the movement change the manner in which rape was perceived and reported in New Delhi? In this piece, we look at evidence from the data on rape compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau to find out.

The Arena

Cattle protection laws that selectively criminalise the possession and consumption of one among the several key products derived from cattle as reason for the slaughter ban is based on a flawed policy heavily influenced by human identity politics. PHOTO: Yamini Narayanan

Law and Animal Rights

Criminalising Beef, Not Dairy

Yamini Narayanan

Is the beef ban really about protecting animals? By challenging conventional notions of animal welfare that are deeply couched in a lop-sided religious understanding, Yamini Narayanan holds the dairy industry more culpable for cruelty to cattle than the beef industry. To be effective and meaningful, animal protection laws, she says, should make a departure from an anthropocentric framework.


Full Text: Supreme Court judgment on Section 66A of Information Technology Act, 2000

On March 24, 2015, the Supreme Court of India struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, describing it as unconstitutional.

from Group Publications


‘Censor board members need some education in art and cinema’


Senior advocate and former chairperson of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal Lalit Bhasin talks about how film certification is overstepping the law.


Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh adressing the public lecture on Climate Change and India's Energy Policy in Bengaluru on Monday. Photos: The Hindu : Sampath Kumar G P

Individuals can reduce India’s carbon footprint: Jairam Ramesh

In a public lecture on climate change, Jairam Ramesh explores the various energy alternatives that the country has in reducing its carbon footprint and says that India has a pivotal role in global climate change negotiations. The lecture was organised by The Hindu Centre and the National Institute for Advanced Studies on November 10, 2014, in Bengaluru.

Constructing Heritage : Lecture by Romila Thapar

The Second Rukmini Devi Memorial Lecture delivered by Romila Thapar, Emeritus Professor in Ancient History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, on Dec. 20, 2014, at Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai.

It is indeed an honour for me to have been invited to give this lecture, and I greatly appreciate it. Kalakshetra has been something of a legend from the time it was founded by Rukmini Devi and subsequently for the work that it sustains. The respect for the institution grows both for the attention it gives to what we regard as our heritage and for helping in the construction of an on-going heritage. Since both history and heritage conduct a dialogue between the past and the present, we have much to talk about.

‘Heritage’ means that which is inherited. It is used for many things – from genes to geometrical patterns, from property to culture. It was once assumed that heritage is what has been handed down to us by our ancestors, neatly packaged, which we pass on to our descendants, as is implicit in the term, parampara. We sometimes call it tradition. This is what goes into the making of our cultures and our civilization. Heritage is thought of as static whereas tradition is said to mould our way of life. We prefer to think that these have been passed down from generation to generation, relatively untouched. But the more we seek to understand them, the more we realize that each generation changes the contents, sometimes marginally and sometimes substantially.


    Given the high investment and negative incentives such as input subsidies, small farmers have not benefited from government schemes.


    Road to poverty

    Interview with Shanthi Ranganathan, founder of Chennai’s T.T. Ranganathan Clinical Research Foundation, a pioneering facility in India to treat alcoholics and drug addicts. B


    Yes, we need fewer and larger banks, but they must merge for the right reasons

    Kashmir's Crossroads
    Vasundhara Sirnate

    Two grassy green mounds sit beside each other next to a makeshift irrigation canal in Ajas-Bazipora, twin villages near the Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir. Unmarked and nondescript, the knolls are easily mistaken for an undulation of packed soil.

    A peek into the latest book, Legislating for Justice: The Making of the 2013 Land Acquisition Law, authored jointly by Jairam Ramesh, MP, Senior Visiting Fellow, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, and former Union Minister, and Muhammad Ali Khan

    "On March 27, 2015, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) came out with a Consultation Paper on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) Services​, seeking opinion from the public on a set of 20 questions largely dwelling on how the internet could be regulated. They also sought views on net neutrality."