Implementation, Viable Alternatives Need Political Will For Plastic Ban To Succeed

India | Environment
For a ban that arrived with a bang, it seems to be fading away even before it could take effect. The Maharashtra government has backtracked to allow groceries and general stores to continue to use plastic for packaging after shop-keepers associations complained to state environment minister Ramdas Kadam. Already, environmentalists are saying that the government will soon give in to the powerful plastic manufacturers’ lobby and brings in relaxations.

Elephanta Island Gets Powerful, Finally

India | Development
The Elephanta island, or Gharapuri, to use its original name, is the site of the Elephanta caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and receives more than 20 lakh tourists every year. However, the three villages on the island, home to about 1,200 people, have not had electricity since independence. The villagers lived in darkness – a shame, and a mark of administrative and political apathy. Neither the media nor rights groups played up this fact.

Stunned By Law Mine, Goa Govt Treads Gingerly

India | Policy
In a breather for the mining industry, the Supreme Court on April 4 allowed the export of iron ore from loading points on river jetties in Goa while disposing a joint special leave application filed by Vedanta Resources and another local mining company. The bench of justices Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta maintained that the iron ore for which royalty has been paid to the state government and has been extracted on or before March 15 this year should be allowed to be transported.

Mumbai's Metro Battles Activists, Fears, Divine Fury

India | Development
The storm is yet to die out over the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited's (MMRC) taking over 30 hectares of the famed Aarey colony, a green belt of Mumbai, when another application has come in from MMRC demanding another 12,000 sq metres of land. The colony in Goregaon, inaugurated in 1951, was the result of the vision of Dara Khurody, a dairy pioneer of India whose name is taken in the same breath as Father of the White Revolution, Verghese Kurien and Tribhuvandas K Patel.

Matheran Risks Slipping Off Track

India | Environment
“It’s a national shame,” rues Ali Akbar Peerbhoy, grandson of the founder of the Matheran hill railway, which plies the Matheran toy train. For today, the railway is struggling for survival. The red soil of the hill station, the horse rides, the silence of the forested hills are all under threat, along with the railway. A haphazard maze of crude roads and guesthouses has mushroomed on the pristine hill. Pushy touts and uncouth horse-ride vendors operate in flagrant violation of the law. The local authorities turn a blind eye to the ugly, skewed ‘development’.

New Censorship Dimensions

India | Censorship

Films have always been closely associated with Freedom. But, Freedom comes with riders. One's freedom cannot hurt another. Also, the issue of curbs being ‘unequally distributed,” across media and hence violative of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution that guarantees Equality is of topical importance. Actor-filmmaker Amol Palekar’s Public Interest Litigation challenged the ‘pre-censorship’ of films and, in particular, the provisions of the law in question.

Denial, Willed In Life, Is Not Suicide

India | Law

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the right of a person to make a ‘living will’ has underlined the inevitable. The petition, filed by registered society Common Cause, was about the right of a person to decide on the chain of events that would determine the future course of treatment should that person become incapable of making such a decision. In the unanimous judgment by a constitution bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra, the court upheld the values of liberty, dignity, autonomy and privacy.

Inability To Prove 'Public Good' Will Fetch Damages, Punishment

India | Censorship

Allegations Based on Single Source
The headline of the article in question based on a single statement from Mr Guha Thakurta’s source and the circumstantial evidence used to support it simply didn’t seem to justify it. The article is broadly based on two arguments: Changes to customs duties over the years and Adani Power Limited’s false submissions before the Gujarat High Court, both of which seem based on errors.