Posts By Mandakini Devasher Surie
May 21, 2014
Nearly two months, 930,000 poll booths, 1.7 million voting machines, and over 500 million voters later, India’s marathon election concluded last Friday. Across the country, people were glued to their TVs as the results began to come in. By the evening, the outcome was clear – the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), in opposition for the last 10 years, had won a landslide victory. Capturing a staggering 284 out of 543 parliamentary seats, this is the first time in India’s independent history that a non-Congress party has won a clear majority in the lower house of parliament. On May 26, chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat and BJP leader, Narendra Modi, will be sworn in as India’s 14th prime minister.
April 9, 2014
Election fever is at an all-time high in India as polling for the 16th general elections began on Monday. In sheer numbers, the election is the largest in the world, with 814 million people registered to vote for 543 representatives of the lower house of parliament at nearly a million polling stations between April 7 and May 12.
March 19, 2014
In 2008, Nepal and India experienced one of the worst river disasters in their modern history, when the Kosi River breached an embankment flooding vast areas of terai Nepal and northeastern parts of Bihar, India. The floods caused tremendous loss of human life and property, affecting an estimated 50,000 Nepalis and 3.5 million Indians. A tributary of the Ganges and a transboundary river that flows through Tibet, Nepal, and India, the Kosi River is prone to seasonal variations in river flow and sediment discharge, resulting in frequent downstream floods.
February 19, 2014
After only 49 days in government, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s chief minister, dramatically resigned last week. His announcement came after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was unable to introduce the anti-corruption Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly. The bill was blocked by members of the Congress and Bharatiya Janta Party…
January 22, 2014
Delhi’s new chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has publicly declared a war against corruption in India’s government. Within weeks of assuming office, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), or the Common Man’s Party, set up an anti-corruption helpline…
March 20, 2013
More than 75 percent of Asia-Pacific countries lack water security, according to a new report released last week by the Asian Development Bank. Compared to other regions, South Asia is a hot spot where inequity of access to water is the highest. The region supports more than 21 percent of the world’s population, but has access to just over 8 percent of global water resources. As rapid population growth and urbanization increase demand, water is increasingly a scarce and precious resource in South Asia. Even as the complex environmental consequences of climate change, deteriorating river ecology, and growing urbanization continue to unfold new challenges for the region, South Asia’s water woes could be significantly mitigated through improved water governance…
December 5, 2012
India’s online community has been buzzing since the arrest of two young women by the Mumbai police last month for posting comments on Facebook criticizing the city’s shutdown following the death of veteran Shiv Sena leader, Bal Thackeray. The arrests of Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan sparked public outrage across the country, and drew criticism from civil society, media, and the government. Telecom Minister Kabil Sibal described the arrests as “unfortunate,” and renowned Indian personalities, such as author Shobha De, anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal, and others, expressed their dismay on Twitter.
February 29, 2012
Moviegoers in India were disappointed this month when producers of the critically acclaimed Hollywood film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” cancelled the film’s release in India. The decision followed demands by the Indian Censor Board to cut scenes that were deemed “unsuitable for public viewing in their unadulterated form.”…
February 8, 2012
Global economic recovery in 2012 remains tenuous, with the World Bank recently downgrading its forecast for this year’s global growth from 3.6 percent to 2.5 percent. This slide in expectations and persistently high unemployment rates in many countries has sparked a resurgence of protectionist tendencies toward trade. These tendencies are couched in the language of “bringing jobs back,” while tariffs are euphemistically coined as “flexibility” needed to protect domestic producers. South Asia has suffered for decades from a low level of intraregional cooperation, both politically and economically.
September 28, 2011
September 28 is celebrated internationally as Right to Know Day, highlighting the critical importance of people’s right to access information held by their governments. In India, following a nationwide campaign led by grassroots and civil society organizations…