Scientists track microbes to monitor health of Sundarbans fisheries (Environmental Feature) (13:00)
By Sahana Ghosh
Kolkata, Sep 19 (IANS/Mongabay) They may be microscopic in size, but bacterioplankton steer major carbon cycling and food webs in aquatic ecosystems. Bacterioplankton are the bacterial component of plankton that live in water bodies, including oceans and lakes.

Is the smart meter programme under UDAY really smart? (Energy Notes) (12:36)
By Rishu Garg
The key to the success of a smart meter implementation programme is its ability to provide reliable electricity consumption data, to be used for plugging operational inefficiencies in the system.

Indian infrastructure: Learnings, challenges, opportunities (Column: Behind Infra Lines) (12:20)
By Taponeel Mukherjee
Issues around infrastructure creation in India bring to the fore some core themes that are worth analysing. The structure of infrastructure companies, cost over-runs, retail investor exposure to credit funds, and the need to recycle assets to real-money balance sheets are once again in focus given the problems that IL&FS is facing currently.

Chicago Congress: Paeans to Hindu unity in shadow of 'nemesis' long deceased (Comment) (11:14)
By Ashok Easwaran
At its best, speeches at the recently concluded World Hindu Congress echoed the soaring spiritual ideals evoked by Swami Vivekananda in Chicago 125 years ago.

Post Maruti-Suzuki departure, Gurugram needn't go the Detroit way (Column: Active Voice) (13:44)
By Amit Kapoor
Cities and regions always have a variety of factors that come into play to pull them out of anonymity.

How India's sports stars overcame tough personal odds to achieve success (IANS Special Series) (16:36)
By Ajeyo BasuIANS Photo Service
New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Ever since she was a kid, Hima Das woke up every morning before the crack of dawn and would go to the local grazing ground in a remote Assam village. With no proper gear or even a playground, she practiced running at this grazing ground, around 50 metres from her house, before the villagers let their cattle loose post sunrise.

Kashmir in its pristine glory as autumn arrives (Travel Feature) (14:30)
By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar, Sep 16 (IANS) As turtle doves and pigeons compete with each other to the accompaniment of cicada's flattering music to pick the fallen grain left behind in paddy fields after harvesting, the message is loud and clear - autumn, Kashmir's golden brown season of plenty, has arrived.

Air bombardment or 'chemical attack': Suspense surrounds Idlib endgame (Comment) (14:58)
By Saeed Naqvi
The Byzantine and Roman sites of Ebla and Idlib, in northwest Syria, may well be reduced to dust if an explosion occurs on a scale many expect. Sadly these archaeological losses will not even be noticed. They will be submerged in the looming human catastrophe.

Amit Shah's 50-year dream: Whistling in the dark? (Column: Political Circus) (12:46)
By Amulya GanguliIANS Photo Service
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah's boast at the national executive meeting about the party ruling for 50 years may have been in keeping with his usual aggressive, bombastic style, but it has been interpreted in two contradictory ways.

Amarinder government has surrendered to radical forces: Akali Dal (22:56)
Chandigarh, Sep 14 (IANS) The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday demanded immediate dismissal of the Punjab government citing complete collapse in the law and order situation in the state and accusing the Congress government of "abject surrender to radical extremist forces".

Drying Ganga could stall food security and prevent achieving SDGs (Environmental Feature) (12:38)
By Sahana GhoshIANS Photo Service
Kolkata, Sep 14 (IANS/Mongabay) Millions of people residing in the lower reaches of the Ganga basin in India may face food shortage in the next three decades if the much revered river continues to lose water due to factors that include unsustainable groundwater extraction, a study has claimed.

5 skills to prepare for tomorrow's tech-centric jobs (Tech notes) (11:46)
By Ishan Gupta
Rapid developments in technology require professionals to upgrade their skills for technology-centered jobs of tomorrow

India-Russia trade at a mere 10% of potential (Comment) (11:16)
By Manish KumarIANS Photo Service
India and Russia have been strong trading partners but the total trade between them in the five years till 2015-16 remained stagnant at $6 billion. In 2016-17, the trade stood at $7.5 billion -- an increase of 22 per cent over the previous year.

Goa's environment faces problems from infrastructure boom (Environment Feature) (12:26)
By Pamela DMello
Panaji, Sep 13 (IANS/Mongabay) Goa's much-highlighted opencast iron-ore mining has resulted in significant destruction of tree cover in the iron ore belts, where all vegetation is shaved off to scoop out top soil from hills and access the ore. The destruction left in its wake is well documented.

How IoT and predictive analysis will impact the Indian transport industry (Comment) (12:04)
By Surajit Das
A report in the Wall Street Journal predicts that India's combined workforce will increase by 12 million each month, making it the youngest working population in the world by 2022.

Mumbai-born Mahesh Bindra hopes for 2nd term in NZ parliament (Diaspora Feature) (11:50)
By Mayank ChhayaIANS Photo Service
Chicago, Sep 13 (IANS) With his first three-year term as a Member of Parliament in New Zealand behind him, Mumbai-born Mahesh Bindra is biding his time for the next phase of his engagement in his adopted country's public life.

Oil, foreign exchange and other macro musings (Column: Behind Infra Lines) (12:16)
By Taponeel Mukherjee
Emerging market forex volatility has dominated financial news headlines in the recent past. As the world emerges from a decade of expansionary monetary policy, one can expect a realignment of the risk metrics across the spectrum. What noted investor Benjamin Graham said -- "In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine" -- holds true as one tides over the volatility.

Finding spiritual common ground between India's religions (Comment) (11:52)
By Frank F. Islam
"Recent events in India have damaged the country's image as a vibrant, plural and successful democracy." That is the opening line of former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran's recent article in which he expresses his "growing concern over the rising polarisation and communalism of our social and political discourse". Saran pointed out: "We pride ourselves in being the most tolerant of people, celebrating our diversity of faith, culture and tradition, ways of life and language. Diversity thrives on sharing; it becomes poison when it becomes an instrument for separating 'us' from 'them'. One cannot construct an over-arching Hindu identity on the basis of creating a binary Hindu-Muslim divide."

A decade after Lehman: Liberal democracy, open borders the biggest victims (Column: Active Voice) (12:08)
By Amit Kapoor
Ten years ago, on September 15, 2008, the dream run of the world economy came undone with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, revealing a rotten scaffolding of financial skulduggery beneath.

Can the trapped Paris Climate Agreement be rescued? (Comment) (11:24)
By Rajendra Shende
Two months ago, all 12 boys and the coach of a Thai football team were rescued after being trapped in a cave in northern Thailand for 18 days. Many termed their rescue against heavy odds a miracle.

Epic saga: How India's rowing-star Dattu overcame poverty to win gold (Sports Feature) (12:38)
By Tridib BaparnashIANS Photo Service
New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) From digging wells to selling onions to working in a petrol pump to representing India at the Rio Olympics while his mother was in a coma, India's rowing star Dattu Baban Bhokanal has overcome every obstacle in life before winning the gold medal as part of India's quadruple scull team at the recently-concluded Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In Punjab's food capital, international chefs to showcase culinary art (Food Feature) (11:44)
By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, Sep 10 (IANS) Amritsar has always been famous for its rich food, but when international-level chefs descend on this Sikh holy city next month to fill the city with the aroma of their food art, it will be a culinary treat of a different kind.

Respecting the environment crucial to rebuilding a safe Kodagu (11:16)
By Sibi ArasuIANS Photo Service
Bengaluru, Sep 10 (IANS/Mongabay) Heavy, incessant rainfall is a fact of life for the people of Kodagu (the erstwhile Coorg district) in Karnataka.

Reflections on the Supreme Court liberating gays and lesbians (Comment) (14:22)
By Saeed Naqvi
Those travelling to England for the first time in the sixties were recipients of a tract from the British High Commission listing the dos and don'ts. Among the don'ts was a paragraph in italics:

Gauri Lankesh is immortalised in the pages to be read (Comment) (12:46)
By Saket SumanIANS Photo Service
The week gone by marked the first death anniversary of braveheart Gauri Lankesh, whose murder shook the nation and thrust her in the limelight -- but all too late. The ringmasters of the well-planned murder as well as the actual offenders of the horrendous act remain at large, or yet-to-be-proven-guilty, but her passing has left a void in the lives of those who knew her closely, and those who discovered her thereafter in the pages she penned.

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