Category Archives: Uncategorized

An Indian alternative to the New York Times’ all-white summer reading list


Reblogging this ‘Indian’ reading list to have a true record and for all my blogger who love books as well. Proud to see names I’ve admired and loved for a long time as well as some new ones to explore soon….

Originally posted on Quartz:

The New York Times’ literary critic Janet Maslin recently published her list of must-read summer books, one that might well be her very last before she leaves her long-held full time role in July.

As Gawker points out, Maslin’s list this year manages to be made up entirely of white authors. And that’s part of a grand tradition—her New York Times’ must-read summer lists are usually pretty monochromatic: In 2012, of the 21 books chosen that summer, the only non-white author was Mindy Kaling. The following year the non-white world was represented by Kevin Kwan alone with Crazy Rich Asians. The list in 2014 acknowledged two non-white authors among a list of 17 titles. This year it has given up its egalitarian ghost altogether.

So here’s a Quartz India alternative—an all-Indian list of titles that are mostly recent releases, or soon-to-be-published, that we’re looking forward to reading this summer:

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Gentrification causes homelessness? Simplistically linking problems does not translate to good housing policy

Originally posted on cprurban:

by Mukta Naik

Scholars, bloggers and journalists in the Global North, especially in the UK and the US, have drawn clear links between the process of gentrification and the increase in homelessness since the early 2000s. With the problem of homelessness growing steadily—some 60,000 people in New York sleep in shelters each night as per the Coalition for the Homeless, about 6,500 slept on London’s streets in 2013-24, 70% more than the number in 2010 as per local agencies—quite a bit of passionate soul searching has taken place over its causes. It has seemed logical to pin the blame on the gentrification of erstwhile poor, debilitated areas of the city. Global capital and the greed of investors, sometimes from far overseas, and even the idea of the global city have been named the villains. In short, global capital (the rich) has pushed out local capital (the middle class and the…

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NITI Ayog & CPR seminar: “Open Defecation Free (ODF) Communities: A key step towards Swachh Bharat”


Do attend if you can

Originally posted on cprurban:

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA), India’s national-level mission on sanitation was arguably born from the realisation that open defecation figures in India remain high in both rural and urban areas. A large push to  construct individual household latrines, and convert insanitary (including pit latrines) into sanitary latrines is underway and the target is for India to be Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2019.

NITI Ayog, the Government of India’s policy think tank and Centre for Policy Research partner to put the spotlight on this issue, which lies at the core of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’s success. The seminar titled “Open Defecation Free (ODF) Communities: A key step towards Swachh Bharat” will debate the definition of ODF communities and the evolution of a suitable matrix to measure the achievement of this status under the mission.

Seminar: Open Defecation Free (ODF) Communities: A key step towards Swachh Bharat

Date: Friday, 22 May 2015
Time: 3:00…

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The story of gentrification of a local market


A friend wrote the post I’ve wanted to write forever. Cities never fail to amaze and surprise, and Delhi is special that way…

Originally posted on Rural-Urban Frontiers:

Twenty years ago when I lived in Delhi I drove past Meherchand Market without giving it a second look as it was never a destination. It was simply a row of small shops, tailors and mechanics which catered to Lodi Colony residents. Lodi Colony was a run down low-income neighbourhood which housed those working in the nearby posh central Delhi locales of Khan Market, Jorbagh and Golflinks. I was surprised to find Meherchand Market now being widely reported as Delhi’s upcoming retail spaces catering to the high fashion industry and elite. Delhi’s “developing” urban fabric, its ever expanding metro network, numerous flyovers (being built supposedly to ease the traffic), the revamped airport have transformed the city, but all these did not surprise me half as much as what I saw the other day while driving past Meherchand Market. The humble shopping street which had held out for so long has gentrified into a posh upmarket street. Being located close to Khan Market, which attract Asia’s highest…

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Failure in planning OR failure of planning? Reflections on the saga of Mumbai’s DP


Some concrete suggestions for planners in the context of Mumbai’s recently shelved (but soon to re-appear) DP!

Originally posted on cprurban:

The ambitious Mumbai Development Plan (DP) 2034, envisaged as a blueprint that specifies the land allocations, land use patterns, transportation networks and amenities for India’s largest metropolis, has been recently put on the shelf  for revisions following intense criticism on several fronts. It is to be revised and republished for public response within four months.

gateway of india Iconic monument, Mumbai’s Gateway of India. Photo credits: Mukta Naik

The release of the plan into the public domain, itself a unique occurrence for Indian city planning, has facilitated an unprecedented amount of public debate and discussion. In the process, many hitherto unconcerned citizens have hopefully thought about the issues involved in deciding a future for their city. However, several burning questions remain. On the mechanics of planning a megacity like Mumbai. On the processes and institutions required. On responsibility. On why Indian cities are unable to plan. And on why they must learn to…

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Of Manish Sisodia, transportation policy and Delhi’s smart city conundrum: A report from CONNECT Karo 2015


Sharing my post on the CPR India Urban Blog this morning.

Originally posted on cprurban:

By Mukta Naik

The Stein Auditorium at India Habitat Centre is half empty and it’s the hour in which conference goers are eager for lunch to be served. We are attending the CONNECTKaro 2015, an annual and global event on sustainable transport and urban development organised by EMBARQ and WRI India. An esteemed Brazilian politician is speaking about his city’s sustainable transport strategies. The audience is politely bored. He finishes and there is some scattered applause and he leaves the stage.

At that moment, something changes in the air. The hall is full in a matter of minutes, lunch is forgotten and Amit Bhatt from EMBARQ is introducing Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to speak on his vision for Delhi. Mr Sisodia addresses the audience in Hindi, picking up issues important for urban development (a portfolio he currently holds, among many) and specifically for transportation which is the theme of the event…

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When I was doing my masters in the US, we read about discrimination through property rights. ‘Redlining’ to keep blacks out of white neighborhoods was practices in American cities and it continuous insidiously. This post highlights the same in the context of religion and Gujarat. Gheto-ization is not always a choice. And the right to move to better shelter is violated blatantly because of social injunctions of caste and religion. What then is the motivation for a person in the discriminated minority to move ahead in life?

Originally posted on Kafila:


It was 2002. The week before I left for India, my father invited his Gujarati Hindu colleague Rupa Aunty for dinner at our house in California. When I was a kid, I tied the rakhi brotherhood bracelet on her son. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, Rupa Aunty was the first to spend the night with us at the hospital.

“If you need anything at all,” she told me just before I left for India, “my family is from Ahmedabad and we will be there for you.”

I grew up in California mispronouncing names of Gujarati dishes like thepla and my trip to Ahmedabad in 2002 was the first time anyone in my family had returned since my grandparents left Gujarat for Tanzania in the 1920s. This – my father kept reminding me – was my trip “home”.

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Really honest post by a colleague and friend. How do we work towards a city, country, world where women can simply be regular citizens? How do we fight the paranoia inside us? Do read…

Originally posted on teachmehowtodelhi:

Amidst the deluge of news that is covering Delhi’s, and more broadly India’s, moral decline, gender discrepancy, and ineffective governance, I thought I should write about how the incidents over the past few weeks have affected my life as a single woman living in what is now considered one of the least safe cities for females. To be fair, Delhi was considered unsafe before the tragic rape of December 16th, and that incident was, for a variety of reasons, the one among countless others that caught the attention of the media and public at large. Perhaps it was the unusual cruelty, the previous “safer” image of South Delhi (where the incident occurred, and where I live), or simply the straw that broke the camel’s back, but occurrences like that are sadly common even though they are chronically under reported. For me personally, however, the events on and after…

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I gulped down many sobs too as I read this superb post by Prasheila. These are lessons we MUST teach ourselves and our children….

Originally posted on the adventures of a pseudo mom:

Dear Anahita,

A lot has happened in the last almost four months that I haven’t posted at this blog. You have grown more teeth, you have turned a year old, you recognise people other than your mom, you communicate in your own way, you can recognise me from a photo (:-D), and you have started walking (yay!).

A lot has been happening around the world too. A lot has been happening in our family too. I am writing to tell you about some lessons learnt.

Today was a hard day. I was sitting with a designer finalising my business cards, when I got a call from your grandmother. Her voice cracked and I knew she was sobbing when she told me that her sister (your mausi-daadi) is extremely unwell. She didn’t need to say more. I immediately left for home.

The drive wasn’t easy. My mind went back to…

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An enormous effort is needed to address poverty; without that effort economic development is meaningless and impossible methinks!

Originally posted on Vincent Desrus's Blog:

– 1.3 billion people live with less than 1 dollar per day.

–  South Asia has 45% poor, 40% in Africa.

–  The current consumption of an average African household is down 20% over the last twenty-five years.

–  20% of the poorest share 1.1% of global income.

–  In more than half of the cities in developing countries, more than 40% of the population lives in slums.

–  Nearly 12 million children die each year in the developing world from preventable diseases.

– Development aid represents only 0.19% of the GDP of the G7 countries, instead of the 0.7% target adopted by the UN.

– With 16.5% of the poor, the United States accumulate the highest world per capita income and the highest poverty rate in the industrialized countries.

– The European Union has at least 57 million poor people (11.8% of the population in France, 15% in UK…

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