City: Delhi / NCR

It has been a year of discontent in the medical sector with patients losing patience, doctors threatening to go on strike and governments resorting to thrust-and-parry. At different points in time throughout the year, governments in different parts of the country were seen to lock horns with the medical system, beginning with Kolkata in June, going on to Bengaluru in November and most recently in Delhi this month. Delhi The latest flashpoint emerged in the capital city, the trigger being an incident at the Max Hospital at Shalimar Bagh, where a couple of doctors falsely declared the death of a…

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It has been just over a week since Mumbai was lashed by the highest 24-hour December rain in a decade due to cyclone Ockhi. Temperatures dropped sharply, schools were shut, and companies issued advisories to employees. But when such a disaster strikes the city, the most vulnerable are invariably its homeless. Brijesh Arya, an activist working with the homeless in Mumbai, mentions many cases from Mumbai’s monsoon floods this year. One is the case of Anju Kharwa, who held her child on her shoulders for as long as the floods raged. The flood that lasted nearly two days had caused…

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Rarely ever would runners anywhere have looked forward to rain as fervently as in the Indian capital over the second week of November. In fact, runners across the country preparing to run the popular Airtel Delhi Half Marathon at the end of the week knew that it was only rain that could save the marquee event that many consider among their most favourite races in the country. In the end the rain gods did oblige, so that on November 19th, thousands of runners participated in the half marathon on what was perhaps the least polluted day in the city in…

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"So have you heard this one?" said my brother. "The Stephanians put a board outside the college, saying 'Dogs and Hinduites not allowed.'" "And you know how the Hinduites responded?" he asked with a mischievous smile. "Dogs are allowed, but not Stephenians!" Back when we were students, stories like these went far and wide, carried by nothing more than word of mouth—we didn't need Facebook or Google to know about the rather ridiculous rivalry between St. Stephen's College and Hindu College. For the uninitiated, Hindu College and St. Stephen's College are a part of Delhi University's North Campus, and stand…

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The glass doors slid open, an air-conditioned breeze hitting our faces. It was less cold and much less forceful than San Francisco’s winds on the street. Some of my classmates and I (students from around the world) had come to the San Francisco Planning Department’s office on one of our weekly co-curricular visits. Our university would take us to different organizations in the city each week, for a chance to learn about their work and how it was impacting the city that we had arrived in only very recently. Just like how we stood at the foot of the Golden…

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Gone are the stormy days of bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh and the bitter battles over the city of Hyderabad. Today, as Telangana is governed from its centre of power in Hyderabad, neighbouring Andhra waits eagerly for the completion of its planned seat of administration, Amaravati.   In the government’s own words, Amaravati, “the People's capital of Andhra Pradesh, is envisioned to be a city of world-class standards” and one that will provide “cutting-edge infrastructure, comfortable livelihood and immense prosperity”. However, most remarkable about this planned city, being developed from scratch, is the way it has been…

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It’s July now and the temperature is slowly dipping in Delhi. Only a few migratory birds wintered at the Yamuna biodiversity park remain. Others have left for Central Asia and Siberia. Some species of summer terrestrial migrants are expected to arrive while some others can be seen enjoying the park’s wetlands. “Red-crested pochard, a magnificent bird with a red head and an orange beak, has left,” says Sameer Gautam, an education officer at the park and an avid ornithologist. “The arrival of this bird after a gap of over 15 years was a great feat and is indicative of how…

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They are always a familiar sight – MCD workers patiently sweeping the tiny green leaves that rain down in a never-ending shower from the evergreen trees that line Delhi’s neighbourhoods; children playing with the long brown seed pods scattered on pavements; lovers resting against its muscular trunk. If ever a tree has ‘gone native’, it is the vilayati kikar (Prosopis juliflora). The Mexican tree species was first brought into the city by the British who wanted a hardy tree that grew fast in Delhi’s arid soil to best implement their idea of an ‘ideal’ colonial capital with avenues lined by…

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Over the last six months, cab drivers from New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru have held protests against the policies of cab aggregators Uber and Ola. Uber’s India President Amit Jain had denounced the cab drivers protest.“It is the work of a small number of individuals who do not represent the majority of driver community,” he had said according to a news report. “There is this mix between organic and incentives. Incentives might have come down, but what a driver partner takes home is organic money plus incentives." In his blog post, Amit Jain explained, “individual driver earnings vary widely…

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If you are in Delhi now, the ink on your fingers is probably fresh still. In about a day from the time you read this, the much awaited results of the elections to the three municipal corporations in the national capital will be known. It has been an intense, high-decibel and often bitter campaign but once the reins have finally been assumed by the newly elected members of the municipal bodies, can Delhiites hope to breathe easy? Not just metaphorically, but literally too? In the years to come, Delhi’s deteriorating air could have disastrous consequences for its population. According to Greenpeace India,…

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