Reportage on a planet without equitable or sustainable development.
It’s a polarised debate. Always has been. Those who make a living expanding the possibilities of technology feel it can solve many economic ills, even those of the India that lives on 20 a day under the trembling glow of a lantern. And those who engage with that very India say technology solutions are fine, but they belie an understanding of rural lives and livelihoods.
The divide is back in focus, over a Rs 1,50,000 crore question: should the government continue to give grain, fuel and fertiliser to the poor at below-market prices, or should it transfer cash to their bank accounts? Wanting a better return on the Rs 1,50,000 crore the government gives as subsidy every year, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee , in his budget speech last month, signalled a move to the cash-transfer system.
I am an Indian journalist with interests in energy, environment, climate and India’s ongoing slide into right-wing authoritarianism. My book, Despite the State, an examination of pervasive state failure and democratic decay in India, was published by Westland Publications, India, in January 2021. My work has won the Bala Kailasam Memorial Award; the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award; and five Shriram Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism. Write to me at email@example.com.
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