China and India Lag on Health Care

China and India Lag on Health CareChina and India, often cited as two rising economic powerhouses, are less than fully equipped in terms of health care, a key attribute of national economic development, according to Amartya Sen. Emergence of the United States, Europe, Japan and Korea as developed economic powerhouses validates Sen’s argument. China and India, representing one out of three people…

India Throws Out the Baby with the Bathwater

India Throws Out the Baby with the BathwaterIndia’s thriving US$2.3 billion rent-a-womb industry, the go-to destination for thousands of foreign couples seeking surrogacy at relatively cheap rates, is in danger after the government said it would seek to outlaw the procedure. In an affidavit to the Supreme Court last week, the government stated it would henceforth “prohibit and penalize commercial surrogacy services”…

Sacred Cows Undermine Modi’s Image of India

Sacred Cows Undermine Modi’s Image of IndiaIndia has been hit by waves of growing religious and social intolerance since Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was elected 18 months ago. This has flushed out some of the Hindu nationalist party’s most stridently anti-Muslim voices, and has also sharply increased liberal concern about where a Modi-led India is heading. For the most part,…

India vs. Mother Teresa’s Orphanages

India vs. Mother Teresa’s OrphanagesA decision by the Missionaries of Charity, the Roman Catholic order founded by Mother Teresa, to shut down 13 of its 16 adoption services across India rather than adhere to new government rules that allow single parents to adopt has kicked off wider debate over the country’s adoption practices as a whole and the order’s in…

India Pioneer Artist Gets her Due

India Pioneer Artist Gets her DueThree works by Amrita Sher-Gil, a painter regarded as a pioneer of modern Indian art, have been sold for over US$2.5 million at auctions this year. All are self-portraits by an artist whose works have a rarity value internationally because they have been declared “national treasures” by the Indian government, which means that those in…

Northeast India Faces Floods of Migrants

Northeast India Faces Floods of MigrantsWhile Europe faces a massive human refugee flow from civil strife and wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, India’s northeastern region, particularly the state of Assam, is facing flood of asylum seekers from Pakistan and Bangladesh that dwarfs Europe’s problems. Although the European countries are seemingly willing to support the thousands of Middle Eastern…

Yet Another Ignored Scourge

Yet Another Ignored ScourgeRarely discussed, and usually believed to be a minor malady, in fact asthma is a huge problem in the world, causing wheezing and difficulty breathing that can lead to complete debilitation. It is a common chronic disease and cause of disability affecting 334 million people of all ages in all parts of the world. "Asthma is…

Update on Bhutan’s Quest For Happiness

Update on Bhutan’s Quest For Happiness“Gross National Happiness is critical for Bhutan – otherwise we will undo all our success so far,” says Tshering Tobgay, prime minister of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of some 700,000 people that is sandwiched between the giant nuclear powers of India and China. For Tobgay, that means balancing economic development with maintenance of the country’s…

Tuk-Tuks to Save Elephants

Tuk-Tuks to Save ElephantsIn India, the iconic Bajaj auto rickshaws or tuk-tuks cost around Rs200,000 [US$3,100], Two nights ago, 20 were sold for up to £100,000 each in brightly colored designs at a wildlife charity auction hosted in Lancaster House in London by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. There was a London taxi lookalike, a…

The Tragedy of Quack Anti-GMO Science

The Tragedy of Quack Anti-GMO ScienceA half-century ago, the International Rice Research Institute, based in Los Banõs in the Philippines, and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in Hyderabad entered into a partnership that ultimately would forestall an apocalyptic famine in which millions would almost certainly have died. The organizations are now celebrating 50 years of cooperation and the effect they…