March 2017
At the City’s Margins: Coal, Land and Livelihoods in Chennai

Ennore’s coastal fishing villages, which are surrounded by coal-fired power plants, are often described as being at the social and geographical margins of Chennai. This report, however, argues that the city’s margins are not ‘natural’; they are constantly being made and remade through particular technologies of urban planning. The report emphasises that the process of developing coal-fired power plants entails not simply a material struggle between state authorities and marginalised communities over coal, land, and livelihoods, but also a struggle over the instruments and idioms of urban planning as a form of knowledge. From land acquisition and resettlement to environmental impact assessments and land use maps, these technologies of planning are replete with ambiguities and illegalities. The report analyses how the absence of clearly delineated land records, environmental impact assessments, and land use maps enable state authorities to further marginalise fishing communities. It also examines how fishers have challenged such ambiguities and illegalities in order to make political claims to lands and livelihoods. [PDF 3.49 MB]

Official Document: National Health Policy 2017

"The National Health Policy of 1983 and the National Health Policy of 2002 have served well in guiding the approach for the health sector in the

Will India Script an Uninterrupted Growth Story? [Video and Full Text]

The inaugural Annual Lecture organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy was delivered by P. Chidambaram, on March 13, 2017, at The M

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Event report: Excluding minorities from political process will hurt economic growth: Chidambaram

Video: Annual Lecture No.1 Modi government had failed to seize the opportunity to drive economic growth despite favourable conditions when it came to power in 2014, he says. India cannot achieve economic growth in the long term if it excludes the minorities and marginalised sections of society from the political process, veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram has cautioned. He was delivering the first annual lecture of The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy on “Will India Script an Uninterrupted Growth Story?” here on Monday. Mr. Chidambaram pointed out that the BJP had not fielded a single Muslim candidate in the recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, despite the community constituting 19.3 % of the population in the State. “Is it possible to ensure long term economic growth by excluding from the political process the largest community or women or the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes,” he asked. Multiplication of social fault lines According to him, under the BJP government, throughout last year, the social fault lines multiplied and conflicts became the order of the day. If the social fault lines multiplied and deepened, the government cannot keep its eyes on the economy, and that is what happened in 2016. Mr. Chidambaram felt the Modi government had failed to seize the opportunity to drive economic growth despite favourable conditions when it came to power in 2014. In March 2014, though there were clear signs of recovery and the growth rate had climbed back to 6.54%, the new [BJP] government didn’t have a coherent plan for the way forward. Citing Swachh Bharat, International Yoga Day, Make in India, Stand Up India and similar programmes, Mr. Chidambaram alleged there was a lot of activity but none of them contributed to the growth of the economy. Religious conversions, ghar wapsi, the ban on cow slaughter, ban on sale and consumption of beef, love jihad, moral policing and other issues were the other distractions, he pointed out. “The obvious measures of reform were not taken up. The recommendations of the Finance Sector Legislative Reforms Commission were neglected. The Direct Taxes Code was put on the backburner. Having opposed the GST when the BJP was in the Opposition, the government seemed reluctant to push the idea. Disinvestment was a crawl,” he alleged. The NPA scare, the stand-off between the government and the RBI during the last year of the term of Raghuram Rajan, and demonetisation, which he described as the ‘most calamitous disruption, had all impacted growth. “None of the stated objectives of demonetisation was achieved or are they likely to be achieved,” Mr. Chidambaram said, pointing to slowing economic growth rate, which slipped further in Q3 of 2016-17. Bold reforms needed Mr. Chidambaram made it clear that uninterrupted economic growth was not a given. The government was required to take bold and structural reforms and these cannot be accomplished by a few legislative or administrative changes. According to him, there have only been 11 true economic reforms since 1991 and after 2014, he considered only the GST a true reform. Moderating an open session, Kasturi & Sons Limited Chairman N. Ram described Mr. Chidambaram’s lecture as thought provoking, nuanced and interesting. In his introductory remarks, Kasturi & Sons Limited Director N. Ravi said The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy in its four years of existence has supported 24 short term public policy scholars who have focussed their research on varied subjects, including parliamentary democracy, financial inclusion and voting preferences, among others. Source: The Hindu

Ramjas and the Purge of Dissent

It may be tempting to count the violence at Ramjas College, Delhi, in February as either isolated or yet another fracas. Reducing the organised muz

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Event: Annual Lecture by P. Chidambaram

The first Annual Lecture of the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy will be delivered by P. Chidambaram, former Union Minister, on March 13, at the Music Academy, Chennai. Chidambaram, who has held the Union Finance and Home Affairs ministerial portfolios, will speak on ‘Will India Script an Uninterrupted Growth Story’. The former Union Minister is currently a member of the Rajya Sabha and is the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs.The inaugural Annual Lecture by Chidambaram, which is open to public, will be followed by an interaction with the audience. N. Ravi, Director, Kasturi & Sons Limited (KSL) will introduce the lecture and N. Ram, Chairman, KSL, will moderate the public interaction. The aim of The Hindu Centre, which is based in Chennai, is to promote research, dialogue and discussion to enable the creation of informed public opinion on key issues facing India to safeguard, strengthen and nourish parliamentary democracy and pluralism, and to contribute to the nation’s economic, social and political betterment. The Hindu Centre has so far supported 24 short term public policy scholars, who have submitted Policy Reports on areas such as parliamentary democracy, freedom of expression, content of school textbooks, financial inclusion and rural broadband connectivity, which are published online. The Hindu Centre also publishes frequent commentaries and analytical articles on current affairs. Its publications and resources can be accessed at www.thehinducentre.com . To register please send your name, email ID, postal address and phone number to [email protected] or call +914428524445 or +914428538153 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

The AIADMK: A Party at the Crossroads

The demise of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has placed Tamil Nadu's ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in a leadership crisis. Add

Judgment in Karnataka vs. Jayalalithaa and others shows that even the rich and mighty are not above the law: B.V. Acharya

Senior Advocate, B.V. Acharya, who as Special Public Prosecutor relentlessly led the prosecution for over a decade in the well-known disproport