Sizes of cities often turn out to be their enemies because everything costs a bomb to build and operate, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. A hundred new cities spoken of in Narendra Modi’s election campaign evolved into as many smart cities in his ‘vision’. This would be Independent India’s biggest ever boost to planned urbanisation. Hitherto, cities have grown from villages to towns to cities and most of them have not been much of cities either. They are crowded, ill-planned ... Rediff.com, 1 month ago
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No wonder Parliament has some 130 MPs out of the 545 hailing from political families. This class threaten to make the Lok Sabha, which the People’s House, into a sort of Chamber of Princes which we once had before Independence, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Varied interpretations are flowing about the by-election results of several state assemblies announced on Tuesday. They include a sudden comeback by the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, a strong spark of hope were Congress to work harder as ...Rediff.com, 1 day ago
Why does Modi want to speak to the students while his audience should be teachers and parents, not necessarily in that order. And September 5 is not Children’s Day but Teachers’ Day, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Call it what you will -- Teachers’ Day, as was the case since the practice it began to mark Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s birthday -- or Guru Utsav, the new usage by the ministry of human resource development, the important thing would be what message Narendra Modi ...Rediff.com, 2 weeks ago
Given that Mumbai civic body deals with the lives of the people at the cutting edge, the better way would have been to agree to have giant television screens put up outside the civic headquarters to relay the proceedings live so the people are kept in the loop. It eliminates to an extent the distance between the people and their civic keepers but perhaps it is farfetched now, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Why is the opposition in Mumbai’s civic body fuming because two CCTV cameras have been ...Rediff.com, 3 weeks ago
When the high court delivered the stringent norms, which in no way eliminated the fun of the proceedings but made it safer, by requiring proper safety measures, there was an undercurrent of defiance. Sensing the adverse implications of loss of a mass contact platform, the government persuaded itself to seek a review, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. This year’s Dahi handi had every feature on display which is seen every year: tall human pyramids, din beyond the allowed 65 decibels, paid-for ...Rediff.com, 3 weeks ago
What we need to do straightaway is to get our act together and educate children better than merely award degrees. Since English cannot be thrown away, it would be better to learn it well. The crux lies there. Lowering standards of UPSC tests is no use, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Three-four years ago, a person with an MA in English from Nanded met the principal of a Mumbai suburban college seeking employment as a lecturer in that subject. When the principal tried to keep to keep the conversation in ...Rediff.com, 1 month ago
Amid all the changes that Railways has undergone over the decades, one thing has been constant - untidy stations and malodourous trains, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.There are four categories of people, each looking at the Indian Railways and the promises made in the annual budget in their own way. First is that category, which would look at the promise of a bullet train to eventually run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad as a macho symbol of coming of age of a country, where trains move so slowly ...Rediff.com, 2 months ago
If the Indian Railways thinks it can get away with this sassy attitude, it is because it is, in a sense, a monopolist in the business of transporting people. The distances one has to cover, say from Thane or Virar to Mumbai is impossible by road provides railways the arrogance, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. When 7.5 million passengers use the Mumbai’s suburban railway system, and the prices of season tickets are hiked to levels which almost takes away the subsidy component, it is a huge crisis ...Rediff.com, 2 months ago
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