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  • Hyderabad Mayor T. Krishna Reddy and the Mayor of Suwon City, Korea, Kim Yong Seo, exchange documents after signing International Sister City Relationship agreement in Hyderabad in March 2005 - File Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

    States and Foreign Policy

    Infusing a New Dynamic to Sister Cities

    Tridivesh Singh Maini

    The Narendra Modi-led government in India has taken a rather unconventional approach to diplomacy evincing interest in granting a more meaningful role to provinces and cities in building ties with the outside world, says Tridivesh Singh Maini. Such bonds, which have paved the way for sister provinces and sister cities, have the potential to promote India's 'soft power' to the world by looking beyond mere economics and ensuring greater people-to-people exchanges.

  • Barring a few cosmetic measures the Union Budget 2015-16 has done little to change the perception that the Indian state is withdrawing itself from the vital role of providing quality healthcare to all through increased public investments. PHOTO: AP

    Union Budget 2015-16

    Placing Wealth over Health

    Sumanth C. Raman

    The Union Budget 2015-16 continues to place healthcare at the periphery of the state's activities. Sumanth C. Raman calls for greater public allocation to healthcare by the central government and makes the case for improving quality in government hospitals. The creation of a new tier of healthcare providers, one rung below the doctors, he says, is possibly the best step that can be taken to solve India’s healthcare crisis.

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.
The Budget presented by the Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, on Feb. 28, 2015, makes a case for inclusive growth within the framework of "business-like development". Though addressing supply-side challenges are important, the uptake of services and the long term success of programmes also depend on building individual capabilities, says Jayshree Venkatesan, emphasising that the outcome of this vision for growth will depend on the manner in which the policies outlined are implemented.

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